NatureBox Canada – November 2014 Review

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NatureBox has provided a lot of yummy snacks over the last few months and while I enjoyed a lot of them, I don’t know if it will be worth it for me to continue to be honest. Duy has already unsubscribed and brought up a valid point that a lot of the snacks seem to be a bit repetitive but then again, there are only so many variations right?

But also, having that many snacks at my disposal makes me want to eat them all as well. Everything should be in moderation but if I put a bowl of chips in front of you, you’re going to pick at it, even if you didn’t want any in the first place.

For now, I’ll unsubscribe. Maybe I’ll try it again when they get their full site running. But I’m always on the hunt for new food boxes so if you find one that sounds interesting, do let me know about it!

In the November box, you’ll find:

  • Lemon Almond Biscotti Bites
  • French Vanilla Almond Granola
  • Roasted Kettle Kernels
  • Garlic Plantains
  • Tart Apple Mango Crispy Chews

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Lemon Almond Biscotti Bites

“I’m usually not a fan of biscotti but the lemon really makes it nice and fragrant. It’s also hard but crumbles in your mouth when you bite into it. If I saw this in stores, I’d definitely pick it up.”

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French Vanilla Almond Granola

“I love putting granola in my Greek yogourt and while I like this one, it’s nothing special.”

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 Roasted Kettle Kernels

“I loved these, they were the first thing I finished from this month’s box. Just throw a handful in your mouth and listen to that loud satisfying crunch. It’s lightly salted and I like how they kept it that way so you could enjoy the simplicity of the corn.”

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Garlic Plantains

“It’s an interesting pairing; I’m not quite sure if I like it or not to tell you the truth. I like plantain chips but I’m not a fan of garlic which could be why I’m a little hesitant. They’re a nice snack but not satisfying in any way.”

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Tart Apple Mango Crispy Chews

“Apple and mango make a great mix and these remind me of those real fruit snacks that came in those packages that your parents threw into your lunch box because they thought it was healthy. It’s like the name says, tart, but it the fruit gives it a nice aroma I’m loving the rice crispy bits.”

Bitter Melon Soup

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Bitter melon is a hit or miss with me; I don’t hate it but if I’m not in the mood for it, I won’t eat it. Many people I know won’t even go near it but sometimes, it really hits the spot on a chilly day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce + 5 tablespoons
  • 1 small package (about a fist full) of bean thin vermicelli noodles, soaked
  • 4 bitter melons
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 300g ground beef
  • 4 pieces of dehydrated fungus, soaked
  • 2 stalks green onions, sliced
  •  3 pork or beef bones
  • 1 egg white

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First, soak the bean thin vermicelli noodles and black fungus in warm water until they are soft.

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Meanwhile, cut the the bitter melon into thirds and scoop out the insides. Make sure you get as much of the white as you can.

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When you’re done, it should look like this. Give it a quick rinse and set them aside. Drain the noodles and fungus; cut the noodles half an inch thick and dice the fungus.

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Mix the pepper, fungus, noodles, 1 1/2 tbsp of fish sauce, green onions, egg white and beef in a bowl. Set aside the mixture and boil half a large pot of water. Place the bones in and let the flavour soak.

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Fill the bitter melon with the mixture. Press down with your fingers to make sure all the air is removed.

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When the bone water comes to a bowl, drop the bitter melon in and add 5 tablespoons of fish sauce. When the “scum” rises to the top, scoop it out to ensure your broth is as clear as possible.

Keep the heat on med-high for about an hour. If you want it to be less bitter, you can boil it for longer.

All that’s left is to enjoy! Let me know how you guys feel about bitter melon and if you’ve never had it, are you willing to give it a try?

Dessert To-Go List

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I recently cleaned up my foodie to-do list and narrowed it down. These are the ones I have under “Dessert”. I’m surprised I don’t have more since I have such a huge sweet tooth lol. If you folks have any more you want me to check out, let me know!

(P.S If it’s not on the list, it’s possible I may have gone there already.)

Bang Bang Ice Cream

Butter Avenue

Patachou Patisserie

Jules Cafe Patisserie

Patisserie La Cigogne

Amadeus Cakes

St. Philip (went once, have to return)

 

Best So Far

Best Cupcakes: We Bake in Heels

Best Macarons: Nadege

Spinach Brownie

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I wanted something quick and easy to make for a last minute event I was attending. I found this recipe on Allrecipes and with its’ 5-star rating, I knew it had to be good. It’s more than good, it’s greeeeat! And I’ve made it at least three times by now and it’s been licked clean all three times.

I highly recommend you try it out because you’ll absolutely love it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bundle (10 oz) spinach
  • 1 flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 fahrenheit and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Boil the spinach in a medium saucepan and lower the heat and cook until the spinach is limp, about three minutes. Remove from the stove, drain and set aside. What I like to do is cut the spinach into pieces so that more of it is dispersed when I mix it later.

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Make sure your onion is chopped, if you can, dice it. The smaller the pieces, the better.

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Sift the flour so that you avoid having clumps in your dish.

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In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking powder together. Stir in the milk, eggs and butter.

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Mix in the spinach, onions and mozzarella. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes.

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Cool before serving and enjoy!

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NatureBox Canada – October 2014 Review

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  • Honey Dijon Pretzel
  • Baked Peppery Potato Fries
  • Cherry Berry Bonanza
  • Salt and Pepper Lentil Loops
  • Dutch Cocoa Sun-Crunch

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Honey Dijon Pretzel

Honey mustard flavoured pretzel bites.

Manley-Icon

 

 

 

“OMG, BEST SNACK EVER! Honey mustard and ranch are my two go-to flavours and this is just so amazing that I’m trying to limit myself but it’s so hard! I know NatureBox is meant to be shared but this is a snack I won’t be sharing, hehe.”

Duy-Icon

“SOOOO GOOD. I don’t know why honey dijon isn’t a flavour on more food stuff.”

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Baked Peppery Potato Fries

Sea salt & pepper-flavoured potato crackers.

Manley-Icon

“I was intrigued about this snack but it failed to deliver. It was lightly dusted with cheese but other than that, it’s bland and is just potato cut to look like chip sticks.”

Duy-Icon

“Took one bite, no comment. As usual, not a fan of cheese so review may be biased.”

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Cherry Berry Bonanza

A medley of dried cranberries, cherries and blueberries.

Manley-Icon

“I was expecting more granola but they excluded it this time and had a dried fruit blend that was quite yummy. It’s sweet and the fruit is dried but it’s still soft and maintains some of the juice. I’ll be sprinkling this on a few things to kick it a sweet kick.”

Duy-Icon

“This stuff is good, but a dried berry mix isn’t anything new or inspiring to me.”

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Salt and Pepper Lentil Loops

Baked lentil and potato crisps.

Manley-Icon

“I thought the idea of lentil chips sounded a bit odd but once I took a bite, I was blown away. These chips aren’t like anything you’ve had before but the salt and pepper gives it a little flavour without taking away from the uniqueness of the lentil loops.”

Duy-Icon

 

 

 

“These were surprisingly good. ‘Lentil chips’ didn’t exactly sound appetizing to me at first, but these were great. The seasoning were really well balanced and kept me coming back for more.”

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Dutch Cocoa Sun-Crunch

Cocoa-flavoured sunflower and sesame seeded crackers.

Manley-Icon

“I’m not a big fan of these at all. It’s not very flavourful and doesn’t do anything for my taste buds. I’ll be giving these away for sure.”

Duy-Icon

“Not a lot of flavour but a decent snack. I liked the crunchy and nutty texture but could use more cocoa.”

TO Food Fest 2014

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The current weather probably has everyone wishing it was summer again. I know, this is a late post but I’m sure if you enjoyed this past summer as much as I did, this will take you back to those days when there was more sun than clouds and rain.

This event has been going on for three years but I feel like the crowd hasn’t increased that much. There does seem to be more buzz but people aren’t coming from all parts of Toronto to attend it (except a small handful). Most of the attendees are from the Scarborough area and with good reason. It’s pretty far into the East end and this is the only food event I know of in that area aside from the ones at the JCCC.

Taro Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream -  Ice Volcano

The first stall I passed by was Ice Volcano and it’s always interesting watching vendors make nitrogen ice cream. My flavour of choice was the Taro Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream because I love taro and I always go for the one that’s a little out of the ordinary. I loved how there were actual chunks of taro and it was smooth and didn’t melt too quickly.

Oma's Rissoles - Babi & Co

The Oma’s Rissoles from Babi & Co was a new item that they recently added to their menu. It’s a deep fried crepe with ground pork and spices. I was really anticipating this one but it didn’t really hit the spot for me. While the crepe was cooked to a nice crisp, the filling wasn’t flavoured very well and made it pretty bland.

Babi on a Bun - Babi & Co

Something I always get from Babi & Co when I see them at an event is their Babi on a Bun. I love how the fried bao is crispy on the outside but the inside is soft. The pork belly is mouth-watering and the extra sauce with pickled cucumbers makes it to die for!

Palabok - Kanto

I’ve seen Kanto at a few events but never had anything from them. Their Palabok was really disappointing. It’s a stir-fried rice noodle dish but there’s too much going on and it’s extremely salty.

Monk Cream Puff - Monk

As you know, I love my desserts and Monk had a tempting array of pastries that I couldn’t turn away from. My first choice was their Monk Cream Puff that had a smooth custard that oozed when you bit into it. I wish the shell was a little softer but still delicious nonetheless.

Salted Caramel Macaron - Monk

Monk’s Salted Caramel Macaron was perfect; the filling was smooth and not too buttery while the shell was hard and melted in your mouth.

Most food events are a good experience; I have yet to go to one and say it was a complete waste of time. Unfortunately, TO Food Fest is a one-day event and that hasn’t changed so mark your calendars because if you miss it, it won’t be back for another year!