About Me

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My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Product Review: EnviroKids' Organic Koala Crisp cereal

I loved Rice Krispies and Cocoa Crunch cereals as a kid. As an adult, I have become concerned about the preservatives (and other undesirable ingredients, such as corn syrup) that randomly appear where they don't need to be ... such as in my cereal and wanted something that would be a good substitute.

A few years ago, I went through a phase where I did nearly all of my grocery shopping at either Whole Foods Market or Better Health Market. I was trying an elimination diet to see if gluten bothered me, so I was on a mission to find a cereal which didn't include it.

I bought a couple of other cereals with it. The buckwheat flakes weren't a notable success (although they did taste better when I put raisins in the bowl, too). The puffed rice needed serious sugar and milk to be edible. But EnviroKidz Koala Crisp Cereal by Nature's Path Foods was full of chocolaty goodness.
On the website, it's listed as being "Made with love and ...It's a little too good; actually, it's hard to eat just one serving. This fact led to my first major cereal mix in conjunction with the unsweetened puffed rice. (Try it with 2/3 Koala Crisp and 1/3 puffed rice and your choice of milk or milk substitute.)

Organic brown rice flour, organic evaporated cane juice, organic cocoa, natural chocolate flavor, sea salt, organic molasses.

Product Review: Jelly Belly® 100-calorie packs

I was delighted to hear that earlier this year Jelly Belly® had entered into the 100-calorie pack war. I learned to love them when my best friend, whose husband was stationed at Great Lakes with the Navy at the time, worked fro the factory in Chicago.

Even the sugar-free kind taste better than the same old jelly beans in a bag that get scattered through Easter baskets. I was less enthused to hear that some of them had caffeine in them. (I do not need caffeine in my jelly beans, personally.)

Limiting the amount of jelly beans is a great idea, but I think that 100-calorie packs, are, in general, incredibly overpriced.

If you can't find the 100-calorie Jelly Belly® packs, which I understand were being sold singly, why not get one of the larger containers of them or bulk Jelly Belly® beans (available in a number of places, including bulk food sections of various markets)? Put enough different kinds in your bulk bag to be interesting. Wash and dry your hands well when you get home, and put enough jelly beans to be equal to the 100-calorie mark (or 2 Weight Watcher Points). If using the bulk jar, put the packs back into it.

For those people who are all about convenience, and won't bother with that idea, these 100-calorie packs or the small boxes you sometimes see are fine; whatever works for you!

Product Review: Breakstone's Reduced-Fat Sour Cream

Originally, I was going to review Breakstone's Fat-Free Sour Cream, but I took another look at the label on Kraft's website to be sure I could recommend it. I found corn syrup listed in the ingredients, and went to a tastier alternative in the same product line.

Breakstone's Reduced-Fat Sour Cream is preferable in both taste and texture. In addition, it has only six ingredients. In a blind taste test, I could not tell it apart from the full-fat version (of any kind of sour cream I've tried (and I've tried most of them on the market at one time or another). It is my preferred full-fat sour cream substitute, although Daisy's low-fat sour cream, which is cheaper, is a close second. Either of these are acceptable for baking or stirring into Beef Stroganoff; however, I would suggest straining the water off the top first!

It does have 2 g saturated fat, which is common with all dairy products (aside from fat-free) but trans fats are listed at 0. For those interested in watching your sodium intake, it has only 20 mg sodium per serving, which, unaccountably, is given in grams, but eight ounces yields seven servings.