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SNACKS: Fries & Vinegar

It happened one time when I was in a Five Guys Burgers & Fries.

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REVIEW: Think Jerky

Last week I chatted with the man behind Think Jerky: the jerky that’s hoping to shake up the jerky industry with cutting edge flavors developed by famous chefs. (Check out my interview here.)

Today, I am excited to say I’m putting Think Jerky to the test.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Think Jerky”

Q&A: Ricky Hirsch, CEO of Think Jerky

 

What do you think of when you hear the words “beef jerky?”

Dried meat, yes.

A protein-rich snack, most definitely.

High sodium content? For some, yes.

Beef jerky is said to have been around since as early as the 1500’s. A South American tribe, called the Quechua, named it “jerky,”(well, really it was called “ch’arki,” translating to “dried meat”) and was a form of preserving meat. Jerky was used as fuel for this tribe when they went out on long journeys!

Fast forward to today: it’s a snack devoured by many all over the world. And it’s not all about the beef either! There are MANY different kinds of jerky to choose from.

One company, based in Chicago, is looking to shake up the jerky game.

Continue reading “Q&A: Ricky Hirsch, CEO of Think Jerky”

Shoutout to the Local Butcher Shop

I’ve truly realized the difference between going to a butcher versus the butcher at your local supermarket.

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DAYTON: #grocerystoreobsessionsMay21

I love grocery stores.

I’m fascinated by them.

Ever since I was younger, I’ve always loved to browse the aisles for unique items.

I’ve done this with friends, I’ve done this flying solo (i.e. the 24 hour Wegman’s in Syracuse, and here, the 24 hour Kroger‘s).

As I’ve said before on this blog, for the most part I like to eat cheap, and eat out of convenience.

Sometimes that can get tough when you feel the need to jump on the healthy train.

But I’m on my latest healthy kick, and I’ll tell you, I have found some guilt-free items at the grocery store I am full on OBSESSING over! And if you tried them, I think you would too.

Without further ado, here they are:

1) SKINNYPOP – Ultra Lite White Cheddar flavor

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POPCORN. It’s the movie time staple we all know. But when doused in a ton of movie theater butter (I’m guilty of this, trust me), calories can add up. But this popcorn is a guilt-free gold mine. If you love cheese, this is the popcorn for you. It’s just enough of a cheesy taste to fulfill a craving, but it doesn’t overdo it (and you won’t get orange or white powder on your hands!). According to its website, the ultra lite white cheddar has a serving size of 3.5 cups, which is generous! And at only 160 calories, 9 grams of fat and 95 mg of sodium per serving size , guilt-free is definitely the word. And as it says there’s “no artificial anything,” as well as zero trans fat and a good source of fiber, I say DIG IN and bring this to your movies (or try it as a snack anytime).

2) Green Giant Seasoned Steamers: Brussels Sprouts with Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper

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These are something that if you offered it to me as a kid, I would’ve said no. Brussels sprouts! The ultimate healthy green vegetable that you either like, or pass on. I grew into liking these green morsels in recent years, and came across these frozen ones at Kroger recently. Very easy to make, just microwave and when you open the bag they’re hot, steamy, and perfectly seasoned with the salt and pepper. The serving size is 3/4 cup at 3 grams of fat. The only thing to watch would be the sodium (at 250 mg).  But according to whfoods.com, brussels sprouts have special cholesterol-lowering benefits, and is also a great cancer protector!

3) KIND Bars

photo 1Have you ever had a protein bar? I’ve tried different kinds, from PowerBars to CLIF, and while not all of these are “protein” bars, they’re amazing for breakfast or as a dessert to resist eating sweets (and I’m a chocoholic, I love sweets!). In fact, it says on the bars’ packaging that “A recent study conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center found that two KIND bars a day can curb appetite and even help prevent weight gain.” The company is all about using ingredients you can actually pronounce, i.e. nuts. But many have nuts in them, so if you don’t like nuts or are allergic, be cautious at the store. There are so many sweet/savory combinations to choose from, but two of my favorites right now are Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants and Dark Chocolate Chili Almond. 

4) Brad’s Raw Crunchy Kale Chips, Vampire Killer flavor:

photo 4Friends, these kale chips are mind-blowing.

Mind-blowing.

So much so that as soon as I finished the first pack I bought a few days ago, I went out and bought another one tonight at Kroger. Right now they’re situated near the vegetable section.

Now you’re probably thinking, Vampire Killer?!What’s up with that!

I’m a huge garlic lover, and that’s exactly what Brad set out to do in this chip, bring out the garlic and cheese with a good crunch.

Here’s what makes up Vampire Killer chips, according to its website:

“Coated with red bell pepper, cashews, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, scallions, chickpea miso, garlic, and Himalayan sea salt, these kale chips may kill vampires, but they liven up your taste buds!”

Its website also points out that all flavors of Brad’s Raw Crunchy Kale is dehydrated, to preserve the nutrients that “enhance digestion and dramatically increase energy levels.”

Woohoo!If you’re looking for something fun to munch and crunch on guilt-free, this is IT. And to give you an idea of the fat content, serving size is 1 ounce, 7 grams of fat and 116 mg of sodium.And Brad’s story on the website is inspiring in itself, please check it out. Brad, if you read this, I give you MAJOR kudos to an awesome chip. —What are your current #grocerystoreobsessions?Comment below or tweet at me, @kathleenhessman!

Cool Article of the Week – 11/11 – 11/17

These cool article(s) of the week are dedicated to all of you wonderful college people out there, living in the dorm rooms.This is also dedicated to the budget-friendly person who wants some really awesome, cheap and easy food ideas.

Ah, college.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Living in the dorms (er, residence halls, as one of my closest friends always corrects me on! She was an R.A. ), with those communal kitchens with the oven/stove. I remember having big communal group dinners with my friends at times, in our residence halls, sitting around the couches and having a great time.

You had to be strategic, because you don’t have a TON of space in those kitchens, but you had to have yummy food too! (Hence, as well as those group dinners in the dorms, there were tons of late night orders as well to various pizza places, ah, the days).

So as Thanksgiving is on its way, one article of the week speaks 11 Easy Recipes for Friendsgiving In Your College Dorm (thank you, BuzzFeed Food!).

Photo credit: BuzzFeed Food
Photo credit: BuzzFeed Food

I appreciate that they advise to make turkey cutlets. I’m actually a huge fan of those and when I was home living with my parents, that was one of our meals we’d make, breaded turkey cutlets with gravy and noodles. Delicious! And VERY easy to make. I approve!

The one on the list I probably would not make is #8 (Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips and Brussel Sprouts). As much as I love those vegetables, I think mashed potatoes, cornbread, biscuits, etc. are beautiful items for a Friendsgiving menu. Those personally don’t yell out “college comfort food” to me, but I see how throwing roasted veggies in the oven would indeed impress people.

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Photo credit: BuzzFeed Food

What would you make on the list? Let me know, comment below! 🙂

Speaking of college foods, this VIDEO is technically article #2 that I know ALL of you will love, again, from BuzzFeed Food.

Simple College Snack Hacks You Should Know.

Oh man.

First of all, love the use of Kroger products throughout this video (love you, Kroger!).

Second, these ideas are GENIUS.

If you ever wondered what to do with your cereal, ramen noodles, or kettle corn to spruce it up a bit, you will definitely be salivating over these easy ideas.

((And for the record, Nutella DOES make everything better.))

 

Photo credit: BuzzFeed Food
Photo credit: BuzzFeed Food

=)

Enjoy!

 

 

Cool Articles 10/9-10/22

This post is going to be chock full of cool articles!

These come from some of my favorite foodie sources: Eater, BuzzFeed Food, The Daily Meal and Serious Eats.

Here are some cool articles for you to check out:

1) Inspired Desserts from the New York Wine and Food Festival Godiva Truffle Showdown, Serious EatsThere was a Godiva Truffle Showdown at this year’s New York Food & Wine Festival, and get ready to feast your eyes on a slideshow of mouth-watering, decadent chocolate treats, because you are in for one tasty ride!

2) 18 Reasons Pizza is Your Best Friend, BuzzFeed Food: This is a super fun read. Especially with the pictures. It tells the tale of why pizza is, and will always be with you for the long haul. From Lunchables, to Bagel Bites, to late night munchies. Yum.

3) 23 Most Glorious Balls of Cheese, BuzzFeed FoodWho doesn’t love cheese? And who doesn’t love a big ball of cheese? But honestly, I would not eat the one that looks like a rat (would you? Do tell below!)

4) 13 Things You Didn’t Know about Dunkin Donuts, The Daily Meal: Time to make the donuts! The Daily Meal puts out a fun list of things you (may) not have known about the coffee/donut shop. Something I didn’t know:

There are Dunkin’ Donuts coffee experts that taste an average of 200 cups of coffee a day to ensure that they’re delivering the best possible coffee to consumers.”

Did you know this? That’s so cool! Can you imagine being a coffee taster for #DD? Brilliant.

Enjoy!

Cool Article of the Week: 9/15-9/21

This week, I have a tie of cool articles of the week!

Both of these come from one of my favorite foodie sources: BuzzFeed Food.

The first ties in with a big awards show tomorrow, the EMMYs!

Primetime TV’s big night!

We’re all rooting for our favorite shows, but hey, how about the food the actors use during their performances?

This article highlights 21 Emmy-Worthy Performances by Food in a Television Series.

You’ll even see how the food is used, like a pizza pie that flies in the air!

The second cool article of the week is for people that are looking to eat some really delicious treats, but may be lactose intolerant.

This article highlights the 18 Treats You Might Not Know Are Dairy Free.

One being….drumroll please….Oreos!

Did you know this? I certainly didn’t realize the cream in Oreos Isn’t actually…well…cream. Woah!

Enjoy both articles, and please let me know what you think, join the conversation below!

 

 

Cool Article of the Week – 9/11-9/14

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This cool article of the week I just found today via my Facebook news feed.

It’s from one of my favorite foodie sources, The Daily Meal.

Have you been to your state’s fair? Did you have any fun foods-you-only-get-at-the-fair-once-a-year?

I moved to Ohio from New York, and have had the pleasure of attending the Great New York State Fair twice. My favorite parts: the food, and the wine tent.

Yes, there’s a huge tent, full of local wineries. Samples. Yum. (#ILoveWine)

So the following article is for you state fair lovers.

It’s titled “America’s 50 Most Outrageously Insane State Fair Foods.”

There’s an article and a complete slideshow with pictures for you to browse through.

Here’s a link to the article

And here’s what I’d love to try on the list  (without saying which state it’s from):

-Salad on a Stick: Salad that’s easy to eat and easily accessible? I’m in!

-Shrimp Corn Dog: It sounds like Fried Shrimp, except a corn dog instead of fried shrimp batter. YUM!

-Fried Pickles and Chocolate: The salty and sweet combo sounds intriguing, and the flavors likely balance each other out. That way, you can have your chocolate fix while having your fried savory fix. Mmm!

-Viking on a Stick: A DEEP FRIED MEATBALL. AMEN. 🙂

-Deep Fried S’mores: This sounds heavenly.

-Deep Fried Bubblegum: Well, it’s not actually bubblegum. But it sounds really tasty.

Deep Fried Goo Goo’s: Never heard of these until I read this article…It’s a chocolatey cluster deep fried. Chocoholics, rejoice 🙂

-Hot Beef Sundae: I actually saw something similar to this at a fair near me recently (the picture is above). It sounds SO good: roast beef, mashed potatoes, cheese, cherry tomato.

Deep Fried Cookie Dough on a Stick: Woah. I love deep fried Oreos, but this sounds like heaven too…. A fried ball of chocolate chip cookie. Wow.

Spaghetti Ice Cream: I’ve seen this in Syracuse before at Peter’s Polar Parlor. It sounds fantastic: a whimsical ice cream sundae. Mmm.

-Fried Jelly Beans: It sounds like it would be extra sweet, but it also sounds like it would likely be fruity, crispy and delish.

-Do-e-Oreo: I want you to go to the article and read what this is. Sounds sweet tooth approved. Sign me up!

-Pancake Burger: Oh. My. Gosh. A huge fluffy pancake for a bun. Om. Nom. Nom.

 

Weigh in: Which ones off the list would you try from the article? Comment below!

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