Archive for the ‘ Unhealthy ’ Category

It’s Been a While…Let’s Hop, Skip, and Go Naked

So, I have been away much too long. Excuses could be thrown, as I have a few legitimate ones. For instance, I am actually changing my career path, and taking on a new job soon. It should be fun, and will take me to some new places to try out food, and review here. For now, we won’t dwell on my absence, and we’ll talk a little about what this is all about: food.

More specifically with New Years Eve coming tomorrow, what is everyone going to eat? Anyone out there throwing some wild and crazy parties? Personally, it’s pretty low key this year, with only a few friends coming over for some shenanigans. Last year was a bit crazier, and I cooked a boat load. This year is a tad easier…

So, for pre-dinner fooodage, I’m just throwing together a simple cheese and veggie platter with crackers. Nice, easy, and everyone usually is happy with it. For dinner, I think we’re doing the cop out this year, and ordering Chinese takeout. I’ve always heard that this is a New Years staple, but have never done it myself until now.

And to the important part: the drinks! This year, I will once again be making Hop, Skip, and Go Naked Punch. The recipe is as follows, so enjoy!

Hop, Skip, and Go Naked Punch

  • 6 oz. Limeade Concentrate
  • 6 oz. Lemonade Concentrate
  • 2 liters of lemon-lime soda
  • 8 oz. Bacardi 151
  • 8 oz. Peach Schnapps

Note: The measurements are pretty flexible, and mine usually gets made with extra booziness 🙂

Review: Talenti Double Dark Chocolate Gelato

So, back to Talenti Gelato I guess. This stuff still amazes me, but I’m disappointed that my Hannaford only stocks four different flavors (yes that means there’s one more gelato review after this one). Still, this particular specimen was one of the richest of any of Talenti’s products that I have tried thus far.

A wile back I talked about Ben and Jerry’s Flourless Chocolate Cake Ice Cream, describing it as one of the most chocolatey ice creams that I had ever tried. Well this throws that right in the back seat.

This Double Dark Chocolate gelato is rich with chocolate decadency, going so far as to even have a different texture than the other Talenti’s that I’ve tried. It boarders on mouse, but thicker, and creamier with the flavor punch that I’ve come to expect from this company. The chocolate bits in the ice cream are some of the best quality dark chocolate that I have ever tasted in a frozen dessert.

This is one for those nights when you really need a treat, and even I hesitate to have this flavor too often. It is potent, but so delicious. Try it, and then come back and thank me.

Review: Telenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato

So, I promise that I’m not on a kick here (okay, so maybe I am), but these Talenti Gelato’s have kept finding their way into my freezer, and I’m stalling while I work on getting a decent picture of a new sweet potato recipe that I want to share.

So, this time we’re looking at Talent’s Tahitian Vanilla gelato. Now, it may come as a surprise, but as much as I like ice cream, I very rarely dig into some plain old vanilla. I’m truly a mix in guy at heart, and that’s probably why I love Ben & Jerry’s so much. Well, the amazingly intense flavor of the last Talenti I tried has gotten me to step out of the usual, and give a classic a try.

Now for me, vanilla ice cream has always been a second fiddle to other desserts like apple pie, or fresh brownies. It’s not something that I usually tackle alone. Still, after the last flavor, I wanted to see what this gelato would do with something so…vanilla.

Wow….yeah…umm…wow. This is once again a very intense experience. This is not some mild-mannered pasty frozen second stringer. This vanilla flavor is in your face. The intensity of the vanilla flavor actually had me setting down my spoon after the first bite. This wasn’t because there was anything wrong, it was simply because I needed a moment. I didn’t know that vanilla could be so rich. It’s like the punch of a dark chocolate, except with the purest vanilla flavor.

Talenti really took something plain and made it extraordinary. I will say that, hands down, this is the best vanilla frozen anything that I have ever tried. It should never be sullied by even the best of grandmother’s pies. It is a masterpiece all to itself in its plain white splendor.

So, if you are a vanilla person, and I mean really a vanilla person, give this a try. It is the essence of the flavor, and will have you making some inappropriate noises for something eaten with a spoon.

It’s Not Ice Cream: Talenti Gelato

So, I consider myself a fairly adventuresome eater, and am willing to try almost anything once (I’ll definitely “try” it more if I like it). Still, when it comes to Ice Cream, or “frozen desserts” I have pretty faithfully stuck by Ben & Jerry’s.

Well, a while back I stopped by a neat little place called Swan Chocolates in Merrimack, and managed to try some of their homemade gelato. Without going into a review of that, let’s just say that my eyes were opened to the possible wonders that gelato holds.

Now, for a little context. I won’t paste the Wikipedia article here, but I will point out that gelato differs from ice cream primarily by using less butterfat, and less sugar. The result is a much creamier texture, and a more vibrant flavor in every taste. Now this doesn’t really make gelato any healthier,  but it does make it a very different frozen animal.

Okay, on to the actual review. For a long time now, Talenti gelato has been catching my eye as it is parked next to my beloved Ben & Jerry’s in my local grocery store’s frozen food aisle. You can see some of the allure in the image above. Even though the shot is straight from Talenti’s website, it’s actually what it looked like in person (you know, excluding the cookie and caramel sitting next to it). Really, the stuff comes in a neat little plastic container with a screw top so you can see the food you’re buying. It’s pretty novel, and very eye-catching…you to distract you from the nearly five dollar price tag.

To the actual flavor: holy wow on my taste buds Batman! Gelato really doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to getting flavor to your brain. It’s instant, and delicious. It’s hard to put my finger on one flavor, but it’s really like the most pure cookies and cream flavor that I’ve ever tasted, infused with a rich, and decadent caramel that adds a deep body to the ice cream’s taste. Needless to say, more than one of these has already been consumed since I discovered this flavor. I haven’t even grabbed Ben & Jerry’s since. Now I’m not saying that this is better than the old B & J, but it’s definitely completely different, and a nice change of pace.

If you want to try something with a little more class, and give yourself a treat, try Talenti Gelato out. I will again, and will bring some thoughts on their other flavors here as well.

Review: Edy’s Limited Edition Pumpkin Pie

Okay folks, this one is winding down the Fall seasonal foods we’ve been seeing. Seriously, I walked into my grocery store the other day, and not only is the section gone, it has been completely replaced by Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, but isn’t there something involving a turkey between now, and when the fat man in a red suit visits? Anyways, to the ice cream…

So, if you haven’t guessed by now, I like ice cream…not to mention seasonal flavors like Pumpkin. What I don’t like is Frozen Dairy Dessert. Now I’m not normally a texture based eater, but for this review, I need to split my thoughts between the two.

We’ll start with flavor. Here is where Edy’s has it pegged. Every bite of this limited edition flavor tastes like cool pumpkin pie with whipped cream. It’s almost freaky how well they captured the flavor here. It’s not some fake substitute; you could put this in a pie crust and I would be happy *Files idea away to try later*. The only problem that keeps this ice cream from perfection is…

The texture. Edy’s, just like I can’t figure out how you so perfectly captured the essence of pumpkin pie, I can’t figure out how you created the weird elastic like consistency of your treat. This isn’t just a problem with this flavor, but Edy’s in general. Their desserts are now more like frozen Cool-Whip than ice cream. I know they no longer advertise as ice cream, but I want Ice Cream!!!

Okay, taking a chill pill. It’s just a bummer how much the weird elastic goo bothers me. Edy’s used to make good ice cream. Now they just make good taste with weird texture. Oh well. Here’s hoping we get some more seasonal Ben and Jerry’s this Christmas season so we can really rock some quality flavors.

Attempted: Two Ingredient Brownies

I know, I say brownies, and then I show a  picture of truffles. I’m a horribly confusing person I know. Still, there is a connection here! This Halloween weekend, like most 20-something adults, I decided to throw a small, spooky shindig. As such, food was in order, so I decided to get creative and adapt this interesting brownie recipe into something to serve to my friends…

So, this is actually a  recipe post for my version of 3G brownies. With my odd fascination with pumpkin, and creative cooking, the idea of simply mixing a chocolate cake mix and a can of pumpkin puree was pretty enticing, especially with everything else I needed to do to get ready for a party. Oh yeah, here is the recipe form if you want to get professional:

Two Ingredient Brownies:

  • 1 box dark chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can pumpkin puree

Directions:

  1. Mix cake mix and puree
  2. Put in pan
  3. Bake according to box directions

Yeah…it really is just that easy… I did try and mix this up a little. In an attempt to be classy, I actually baked these in a muffin tin, and put Lindt White chocolate truffles in the center in my attempt to create “Monster Eyes”. Yeah, it failed. The truffles browned in the heat of the oven, and caved in on themselves creating something that didn’t really…look..like..anything…Still, the flavor combination was spot on.

The pumpkin and dark chocolate really make to form a velvety cake texture. Yes, that means these really weren’t brownies, more like very silky cupcakes. Still, they were enjoyed by all, and the pairing of the white chocolate added the sweetness that was needed to make these truly a dessert item. My goal is to try them again with Ghirardelli white chocolate chips next time to more evenly spread the sweetness, and not waste Lindt truffles.

The best part of these though has nothing to do with their simplicity or their flavor. I got my friend who loathes pumpkin (or at least thinks he does) to eat one, and say that they were awesome before telling him halfway through a mouthful that 50% of what he had just crammed into his mouth was pumpkin. He wasn’t thrilled, but the rest of us sure got a good laugh. Just goes to show you that it’s always good to try new things, and expand your horizons…or ask what something is made of before eating it.

Oh, last note on the nutrition of these things. It’s just a guess, but I think we’re talking somewhere in the vicinity of 200 calories a muffin without the truffles in them. No point value as of now as I wasn’t aiming for health food on Halloween.

Review: Hershey’s Halloween Holiday Kisses

 

Photo courtesy of Baking Bites

 

Continuing with the trend of holiday fair, and the nine million blogs that seem to have already reviewed these products, I’m looking at some of the seasonal Kisses put out By Hershey’s. This year at my local target, I discovered Pumpkin Spice, Caramel Apple, and Candy Corn Kisses, only bringing the first two specimens home with me.

Looking at the photo in the upper left (taken by Nicole

Photo Courtesy of The Chocolate Review

at Baking Bites) you can see my favorite of the two varieties that I tried: the Pumpkin Spice. These were a real unique flavor, truly driving home a sweet and spicy flavor. The pumpkin was actually pretty muted in these, overwhelmed by what felt like a strong white chocolate that when combined with the spice component, almost burned the throat a little. They were pretty decent, but I’m more interested in the possibilities of baking with these. Hopefully for this Halloween weekend I will be able to find another bag to add to this 3G brownie recipe I found.

 

Moving on to the Caramel Apple kisses, all I can say is “whoa”. These things were crazy sweet, almost searing the back of my throat with how potent the filling is inside. To me, these tasted a lot more like a candy apple than caramel. I think that was due in part to the artificial apple flavoring used in these things. It also reminded me that although I love caramel, and eat apples every day, I’m not that huge a fan of the combo. I can’t put my finger on a reason why, but to me some things shouldn’t be tampered with.

Overall, these two flavor of Hershey’s Kisses are neat, and worth trying for the novelty, or if you are a seasonal food nut like I am. Still, I’m more excited about some of the varieties we may see more towards Christmas time. Bring on the mint and chocolate people!