Dec 19

Holiday Enteraining with The BRAND NEW Keurig® 2.0 hot beverage brewing system

Say Hello to the Keurig® 2.0 K550 Brewing System — the first Keurig system that features revolutionary Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technologywhich is designed to read the lid of each K-Cup or K-Carafe pack to brew the perfect beverage every time. The K550 brewer allows you to brew a 4-cup carafe with the same ease and convenience of brewing a single-serve cup — all at the touch of a button. It’s so smart, and so simple!

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This deluxe machine features a digital screen where you can customize the display, set a timer, and choose your settings for each cup of coffee. The best thing about any Keurig coffee maker is that it allows you to brew a single cup of gourmet tea, hot chocolate or coffee quickly. But the 2.0 also lets your brew a whole carafe of up to 4 cups, just like a regular coffee pot! I also really liked the fact that it holds a lot of water at once, so you don’t have to refill every time you brew.

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The holiday season is a wonderful time to get together with your family and friends. While trying to create the perfect entertainment experience for all your guests, it may become slightly challenging to know which coffee flavor each will enjoy. One of the best ways to ensure that all your guests are enjoying the festivities, and their cup of joe, is by using the new Keurig 2.0 K550 Brewing System!  It will come in handy throughout your season of holiday entertaining and beyond, and will help everyone enjoy their favorite seasonal beverage.

The brewer has other great features including an extra large 80 ounce water reservoir, 2.8 inch color touch digital display screen, programmable clock, an auto brew option, and a strength control setting for brewing bolder coffee. There’s even a separate setting for hot cocoa and other specialty beverages like lattes and mochas. The K550 model also has a customizable night light in the water reservoir and offers hot water on demand. So many options to choose from — not at all like a typical coffee maker.

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When I was asked to review the new Keurig® 2.0 K550 Brewing System, I had to call my friends and family right away (anyone who I knew would be super jealous) and let them know of my good fortune.  Of course they were jealous, and wanted to also use it right away!

I set it up before a small dinner party I had with a few friends so it would be ready for everyone to use. The brewer was surprisingly easy to set up, and I couldn’t wait to try it out!  It’s the one coffeemaker for all to enjoy. Whether you want to brew for yourself or your whole crew, the Keurig 2.0 K550 coffeemaker caters to coffee drinkers of all sizes with an 80-oz water reservoir and cup size options from a single 4-oz cup to a 30-oz carafe. Not only was everyone able to brew their favorite coffee/tea/hot cocoa/cider, but the Keurig brews up a warm cup faster than any other coffee machine I’ve ever owned. Everyone had a cup of coffee/tea/hot cocoa/cider in record time, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the party and good company.

Being in the kitchen and not able to mingle with everyone all the time is the one thing I dread about being a hostess. At least the Keurig helps me spend more time with my guests and less time preparing coffee for everyone!

The only downside is that you have to use “licensed” k-cups. So if your favorite cups are a “non-official” brand, you can’t use them; the machine will actually reject the cups and not brew the coffee. However, the vast majority of k-cups ARE licensed. Everything from the major brands (Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Green Mountain. Folgers, etc.) and many store brands. Even Target’s “generic” cups are official, for example, and can be used in your machine. There are actually over 400 varieties of beverages from 60 brands you know and love that make k-cups compatible with a Keurig brewer.

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I love the new holiday flavors: Gingerbread, Spicy Egg Nog and Wicked Winter!

When you purchase the Keurig® 2.0 K550 Brewing System it includes a variety of coffee to help you get started.

The variety pack includes:

4 K-Carafe packs:

6 K-Cup® packs:

I would definitely recommend the Keurig 2.0 to anyone looking for a fast and versatile coffee maker. With so many k-cup options and flavors, you’ll be satisfied and warm all season long.

You can purchase the new Keurig® 2.0 K550 Brewing System for $199.

 

Disclaimer: These are my opinions and my opinions alone. I was provided with product and monetary compensation for this feature however, I was not required to write a positive review. All posts whether sponsored or not, are true to how I feel and my opinions.

 

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This entry was posted in Beverage, Product Review and tagged , , on 19 December, 2014.

Dec 18

Digestive Enzymes by Green Root Wellness

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What are digestive enzymes, and why are they so important?

We eat food, but our digestive system doesn’t absorb food, it absorbs nutrients. Food has to be broken down from things like chicken and asparagus into its nutrient pieces: amino acids (from proteins), fatty acids and cholesterol (from fats), and simple sugars (from carbohydrates), as well as vitamins, minerals, and a variety of other plant and animal compounds. Digestive enzymes, primarily produced in the pancreas and small intestine, break down our food into nutrients so that our bodies can absorb them. If we don’t have enough digestive enzymes, we can’t break down our food—which means even though we’re eating well, we aren’t absorbing all that good nutrition.

What would cause digestive enzymes to stop working correctly in the body?

Certain diseases may prevent proper digestive enzyme production — pancreatic problems, Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease are just a few examples. But even in the absence of any obvious disease, things still may not be working properly.

Low-grade inflammation in the digestive tract (such as that caused by “food allergies,” intestinal permeability, dysbiosis, parasitic infection, etc.), low stomach acid, and chronic stress can all lead to deficiencies in digestive enzymes.

As someone with inflammation in my digestive tract I am all too familiar with this topic. I’ve been taking digestive enzymes for a few years now to help me better absorb nutrients. Finding the right combination and quantity of enzymes is something you should always consult your doctor about.

I recently tried a new enzyme from Green Root Wellness.

Green Root Wellness Digestive Enzymes are carefully selected enzymes that help support and optimize the digestive functions of your body. Enzymes ensure the prompt and complete digestion of all proteins, fats and carf10bohydrates in the upper part of the stomach. This is where the initial phases of our digestion occur.

Below are some additional Benefits from Green Root Wellness’ Digestive Enzyme Formula:

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Ingredients

61xVIacZwwL._SL1129_Green Roots Enzymes can help boost nutrient absorption, optimize digestion, assist pancreatic functions and improve metabolism. The suggested use is 1 to 3 capsules, depending on your bodies needs, with water of juice with or immediately following a meal, or as directed by your healthcare professional.

Digestive Enzymes can be costly. Green Roots Enzymes are available on Amazon for $23.97— 48% off its retail price of 45.97. Use promo code ‘Digest11′ for a 10% off discount when you order 2 or more products! This promotion is valid until December 31, 2014.

Do you use digestive enzymes? How have digestive enzymes made a difference for you? Leave a comment below!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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This entry was posted in dairy free, Product Review, Soy free, vitamins and tagged , , , on 18 December, 2014.

Dec 17

The Dagwood Popchip #snacksmall

Tired of your old, boring sandwich routine? Looking  for a fun and unique way to serve up your favorite cold cuts? Look no further! The Dagwood Popwhich is a fun and easy way to make sandwiches more exciting! Change up your routine, or let kids make their own, either way everyone will have fun!

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Directions:

popchips + 1 your favorite cold cuts + cheese + slather on the toppings +stacked to the max = the delightful dagwood popwich!

In case you haven’t had the chance to try popchips yet, here’s a little more about this healthy alternative to potato chips! popchips, a delicious popped chip, are nothing like your typical potato chips. popchips have all the delicious flavor but only half the fat of fried chips. Popchips are not fried nor baked, instead they are popped using heat and pressure, which helps retain flavor and keep out the grease. You’ll never have to worry about greasy hands or too much salt!

Popchips have no artifical colors, preservatives, or flavors, and very little sodium in each chip. Popchips are not only gluten free, but they are also soy free, nut free, and certified Kosher. The only flavors that contain dairy are cheddar potato, katy’s kettle corn, and ranch and nacho cheese tortilla. These allergens are marked on the ingredient section of each bag. popchips are 100% vegetarian and a few flavors are vegan.

popchips are available at Target, Whole Foods, grocery stores nationwide, and on Amazon .

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge to review for my blog. I was not paid for my review, all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This entry was posted in dairy free, nut free, Product Review, Snack, Soy free, Vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , on 17 December, 2014.

Dec 16

Gluten Free Potato and Carrot Latkes // Happy Hannukah

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My favorite holiday dish is potato latkes. The typical latke is made with potato, flour and eggs.  I however, like to make a little healthier by adding carrots and using almond meal. You can also replace the white potato with a sweet potato if you are staying away from white starches.

I’ve made dozens of latkes and this is by far the best recipe I’ve made. (Jeremy agrees :).

Although Hanukkah is a celebration that entails a good deal of fried food, if you saute these in a bit of olive oil rather than deep frying them, they’re a nice alternative to regular greasy Hanukkah food and a much healthier latke.

Ingredients

Directions

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Happy Hanukkah!

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This entry was posted in Appetizer Recipes, holiday and tagged , , on 16 December, 2014.

Dec 15

Gluten Free Options at Lima’s Taste Ceviche Bar and Restaurant // West Village

photo courtesy of Lima's Taste

photo courtesy of Lima’s Taste

Lima’s Taste, located in the West Village, is a small, cozy and vibrant neighborhood restaurant. I love the ambiance and décor, and it doesn’t attract many tourist. With both high top tables and regular dining available, it’s great for a romantic night out, drinks with friends, or dinner with a group.

Lima’s Taste specializes in authentic Peruvian cuisine, with some of the dishes tracing back to the Inca civilization — such as the Escaveche, a chicken or fish dish seasoned with Panca peppers, vinegar, and garlic, served with onions and yucca [gluten free].

Lima’s Taste Specializes in ceviche but offers plenty of chicken, meat, vegetarian, and of course seafood options. Ceviche is made with fresh, ripe fish and seafood, ‘’cooked’’ in the juices of lemons and limes, spices and seasonings. It is one of the healthiest foods you can find, and naturally gluten free!

Peruvian cuisine is a great option for gluten free diners. Fresh seafood, grilled meats, quinoa, and rice make up a majority of the menu. Some restaurants due use soy sauce so it is important to clarify with your server how the sauces are made, but more often than not, Peruvian sauces will not use soy sauce. I usually judge a Peruvian restaurant based on this fact. (For example Pio, Pio uses soy sauce in their Lomo Saltado, and it’s not my favorite restaurant by any means.)

At Lima’s Taste you will find 9 different ceviche dishes, including a vegan option made with mushrooms and tofu. We had the Ceviche Mixto ($17) with fish, shrimp, squid, baby octopus and mussels marinated in lemon and lime juice.

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We also shared the Salchipapas appetizer— French fries and sausage topped with aioli and a spicy green herb sauce.

We were served a small complementary dish of Cancha, dried and toasted Peruvian corn, which is typical of Peruvian restaurants. Cancha has a slightly nutty and salty taste, it’s very crunchy and absolutely delicious.

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I ordered the Tuna Anticucho ($17), two skewers of grilled tuna and served with two dipping sauces, a side salad and fried yucca. Thee sauces were the same aioli and spicy sauced that came with our appetizer.

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Lomo Saltado ($23), one of my favorite Peruvian dishes, consists of cubes of fillet mignon, tomatoes, onions and French fries, stir fried together and seasoned with Peruvian spices. Beware, saltado means salty and this dish is salty!

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For drinks you must try a Pisco Sour ($12), a traditional Peruvian cocktail that originated in Lima, Peru. Made with pisco, the liquor used as its base, citrus juice and egg whites, it is refreshing and delicious! Lima’s Taste offers a variety of flavors including the two we tried traditional and passion fruit. Drinks are listed on a chalk board and include Pisco Sours, Sangria, Margaritas, Peruvian Beers (not gluten free) and wine.

All in all the food was pretty good (although it does not compare to my favorite Peruvian Restaurant Machu Picchu in Somerville, MA) but the portion sizes are a bit small for the price. Luckily we had a restaurant.com gift card, which shaved 50% off our bill. (You can get one here.)

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Lima's Taste Ceviche Bar on Urbanspoon

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This entry was posted in New York City, Peruvian, Restaurant Review, Seafood, West Village and tagged , , , , , on 15 December, 2014.

Dec 12

Holiday Special! Harvest Snaps Review & Giveaway

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Good-for-you and great taste can be hard to come by these days, but for Harvest Snaps they’re like two peas in a pod. Inside every bag of Harvest Snaps they combine taste, quality, and simplicity. Sprinkle that with their passion for fresh, natural ingredients, and you get one “snaptastic” snack.

Delicious Holiday Snaps from Harvest Snaps are back again this year with two new flavors: Cinnamon & Brown Sugar and Coffee Toffee, joining my favorite, Salted Caramel.

When it comes to “what’s inside” Harvest Snaps, it all starts with the clean flavors and essential nutrients Mother Nature intended. The Snapea Crisps are made with all-natural peas – 70% to be exact – while the Lentil Snaps come packed with 65% authentic lentils and their powerful combination of nutrients.

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With each handful your body will soak up Vitamin B, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium. Finish that off with a high level of protein and fiber and you’re sure to feel satisfied without feeling sluggish. Not to mention, these snappy little snacks are gluten free** and non-GMO.

**Harvest Snaps are made in a facility that also manufactures products containing wheat, milk, soy, shrimp and fish.

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I received a great selection of flavors from Harvest Snaps, which included lightly salted, Salted Caramel, Coffee Toffee and Lightly Salted. Each bag is a generous 5.7 oz full of delightfully flavored, light and airy puffs with the crunch you look for in a snack!

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These Harvest Snaps are not only a healthy alternative to traditional chips and puffs, but more importantly a TASTY alternative.

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The bottom line, if it doesn’t’ taste good, your not going to eat it. But Harvest Snaps taste amazing! You will not be disappointed. Do you want to try Harvest Snaps? Well, one lucky reader is going to win a sample pack of the new Holiday Snaps and Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps and Lentil Snaps. To enter, simply click on the rafflecotper below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end on December 18, 2014 at 11:59 pm. Open to U.S. residents only.

You can find Holiday Snaps at Super Target, Safeway, World Market, Amazon, Costco and other retailers nation-wide.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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This entry was posted in Giveaway, Product Review, Snack and tagged , , on 12 December, 2014.

Dec 11

A gift for you: $10 off at Bonefish Grill

 

 

 

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The Fresh Fish Experts at Bonefish Grill are continuing to celebrate the holiday season in a big way by offering a $10 gift to me and all my readers now through December 30!

Bonefish Grill has a gluten free menu that features everything from gluten free beer and martini’s, to appetizers and fresh wood-grilled specialties, and desserts. There are plenty of menu options to please all tastes.

While you’re there, savor some of the decadent dishes from the new Colossal Winter Menu featuring favorites like  succulent King Crab Legs, and Whole Grilled Mediterranean Branzino stuffed with citrus and served with a Mediterranean sofrito and arugula almond grains salad.

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To embrace the season and all its frost, sip one of Bonefish Grill’s Winter cocktails including the Cold Snap Blackberry Frost served in a glass made entirely of ice, mixed with freshly muddled blackberries, blood orange liqueur, vodka and fresh lemon juice or the winter-time favorite Winter White Cosmo, mixed with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, white cranberry juice and fresh lime.

Bonefish Grill has locations nationwide, including one in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and nine in New York.

Click here to get $10 off your next visit!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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This entry was posted in Burlington, Cranston, New Jersey, Restaurant Review, Rhode Island, Seafood and tagged , , , , , on 11 December, 2014.

Dec 10

The Guacamo Popper Popchips #snacksmall Recipe

Looking for a fun and unique way to serve up your favorite guacamole recipe? Have friends coming over to watch the football game this weekend? This Guacamo Popper is a fun and easy way to serve guacamole at any party this holiday (or football) season!

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Directions:

1 salt and pepper popchip + 1 dollop of [spicy] guacamole + jalapeno slices = the little bite that packs a big wallop!

In case you haven’t had the chance to try popchips yet, here’s a little more about this healthy alternative to potato chips! popchips, a delicious popped chip, are nothing like your typical potato chips. popchips have all the delicious flavor but only half the fat of fried chips. Popchips are not fried nor baked, instead they are popped using heat and pressure, which helps retain flavor and keep out the grease. You’ll never have to worry about greasy hands or too much salt!

Popchips have no artifical colors, preservatives, or flavors, and very little sodium in each chip. Popchips are not only gluten free, but they are also soy free, nut free, and certified Kosher. The only flavors that contain dairy are cheddar potato, katy’s kettle corn, and ranch and nacho cheese tortilla. These allergens are marked on the ingredient section of each bag. popchips are 100% vegetarian and a few flavors are vegan.

popchips are available at Target, Whole Foods, grocery stores nationwide, and on Amazon .

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge to review for my blog. I was not paid for my review, all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This entry was posted in Kosher, nut free, Product Review, Snack, Soy free, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , on 10 December, 2014.

Dec 09

LÄRABAR and Renola Granola // Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, and non-GMO

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LÄRABAR, the Original Fruit & Nut Bar™, is a delicious gluten free blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts, and spices. Made from whole food, each indulgent flavor contains no more than nine ingredients – minimally processed, and as close to their natural state as possible.

Everything LÄRABAR makes is gluten free. From the bars to Renola™, LÄRABAR products have no gluten-containing ingredients, and they have manufacturing controls in place to assure there are no cross-contact concerns. They also periodically verify their practices using Gliadin gluten testing. Not only are all LÄRABAR flavors gluten free, they are also dairy free, soy free, vegan (Chocolate Chip varieties are not actually made with dairy or soy, but due to cross contamination they may contain trace amounts of each), and Kosher.

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LÄRABARs are available in 22 flavors:

Almost all the bars have 9 or fewer natural ingredients and are free of sulfites, preservatives, fillers, or colorings. Calories range from 190 to 230 and each bar contains 23-32 grams of carbohydrates.

Cappuccino Nutritional Info

Cappuccino Nutritional Info

All the bars were moist and chewy (they break well, leaving no crumbs or mess). The ones with nuts had a very slight crunch. The flavors were anything but subtle. I find the bars to be a little on the sweeter side, and would prefer a little less sugar per bar.

I was also sent Renola Granola, which I had never heard of prior to today. For those of you, who like me, are not familiar with Renola, the name means “Reinventing Granola.”

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Most granola on the market contain oats or other grains, but Renola is a gluten free, grain-free blend of non-GMO nuts, fruits, seeds, and spices. It tastes so good that anyone can enjoy it, but especially appeals to those actively seeking to avoid grains. It’s packed full of nutrition, without any fillers!

Not only is it gluten free but, like LÄRABAR, Renola is also dairy free, soy free, vegan, and Kosher.

Renola is available in 3 flavors:

Renola come in convenient individual sized bags great for when you are on the go.

Renola can be enjoyed a variety of ways: in a bowl with milk, mixed into yogurt, sprinkled on ice cream, shaken on a salad, or by itself. It’s deliciously versatile!

Finding LÄRABAR and Renola is a piece of cake! So many retailers nationwide carry both products, including Whole Foods, Stop & Shop, Hannaford, Walmart, Giant Eagle, Food Emporium and so many more. Click here for a complete list of retail locations. You can also purchase both products on Amazon.

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This entry was posted in bar, dairy free, granola, Kosher, Product Review, Snack, Soy free, Vegan and tagged , , , , , on 9 December, 2014.

Dec 08

Green Mountain Gringo Salsa and Tortilla Strips Review & Giveaway

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Chips and salsa are one of my favorite gluten free snacks. Tortilla chips and salsa are almost always gluten free. Come to think of it, I don’t know any that are not. Even though it is incredibly easy to find gluten free chips and salsa, it’s not always easy to find healthy, fresh, and non-GMO varieties.

Let me introduce you to Green Mountain Gringo Salsa and Tortilla Strips.

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The tortilla strips were a huge hit in this house. They were crunchy and fresh tasting. The Strip was invented to go beyond sturdy and reliable to reach a whole new level of taste satisfaction. A solid rectangle of pure leverage makes it stable enough for the most aggressive of dippers. Either end features an ergonomic handle allowing even the “power dipper” an enjoyable experience. Sturdy and dependable, they won’t break short of your expectations.

It’s important to me that I can pronounce all the ingredients in the foods I buy. The tortilla strips have just that. Like all Green Mountain products, these strips are gluten free, preservative free, fat free, kosher certified, non-GMO and all natural.

INGREDIENTS: Organic Stone-Ground Masa Harina Corn Flour, Non-Hydrogenated Safflower Oil and/or Sunflower Oil, Salt

Just what it needs and nothing it doesn’t.” Those eight words sum up Green Mountains entire approach to salsa. Because they believe that when you start with superior, all natural ingredients, you can make something delicious without taking chemical shortcuts.

That’s why they use hand picked vegetables and the perfect blend of essential herbs and spices. On paper, the recipe probably seems rather simple. But to those who know their salsas, Tastefully Crafted is the only way to describe it.

Green Mountain Salsa is available in five varieties: Mild, Medium, Hot, Roasted Chili, and Roasted Garlic.

I was sent the Roasted Garlic Salsa. A medium heat with open-flame roasted garlic added, it is not salty or over garlicky. It has a natural and fresh taste with a little kick at the end.
I have one Tastefully Crafted gift package to giveaway to one lucky reader! To enter this giveaway, simply click on the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on December 15, 2014 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only.

You can find Green Mountain Gringo Salsa & Tortilla Strips in many Natural, Health, Specialty Food stores, and numerous grocery stores nationwide.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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This entry was posted in Dips, Giveaway, Kosher, Product Review, Snack and tagged , , , , on 8 December, 2014.