Friday, February 25, 2011

Gullah Gourmet Review

As Featured on Food Network!



The Gullah Culture:

The Gullah are African Americans who live in the Low Country region of South Carolina and Georgia, which includes both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands. Historically, the Gullah region once extended north to the Cape Fear area on the coast of North Carolina and south to the vicinity of Jacksonville on the coast of Florida; but today the Gullah area is confined to the South Carolina and Georgia Low Country. The Gullah people are also called Geechee, after the Ogeechee River near Savannah, Georgia. The term Geechee is most com-monly used in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Gullah are known for preserving more of their African linguistic and cultural heritage than any other African American community in the United States. They speak an English-based creole language containing many African loanwords and significant influences from African languages in grammar and sentence structure. The Gullah language is related to Jamaican Creole, Bahamian Dialect, and the Krio language of Sierra Leone in West Africa. Gullah storytelling, foodways, music, folk beliefs, crafts, farming and fishing traditions, etc. all exhibit strong influences from West and Central African cultures.






About The Gullah Gourmet Company:

In 1993 I had a small Gourmet Basket Shop in the famous tourist area of the downtown Charleston Market. As you know, Charleston is very well known for its flavorful cuisine. We would have many tourists come in that would have tasted Shrimp & Grits in one of our wonderful restaurants, and they would want a recipe to take home. At the time we carried all of the local cookbooks and none of them had recipes for that, so I knew that would be a great first product. I wanted it to be unbreakable, yet eye catching, taste as if the finest chef in town had prepared it, and be easy because I am not a cook. I wanted the background of the bags to look like newspaper print because when I was younger and you went into a seafood house to purchase fresh seafood they would wrap it in newspaper for you to take home. I also wanted to incorporate the Gullah language on the back of the bags. Gullah is a language that is a mixture of Elizabethan English and African that is spoken rapidly, in a rhythm, and is rather difficult to understand. Of course, it had to be modified, because if it were true Gullah, most people would not understand it and not be able to prepare the product. As a child I would love to listen to the Gullah language, and all of the stories and the songs still ring in my head. The language is still spoken on the outer islands around our area. It is almost a lost language, and I wanted to try to keep it alive and pay homage to the colorful culture and people. In other words, when someone buys a package of Gullah Gourmet, I not only want them to take home the flavor of Charleston, but also a bit of the culture. We went to work on this new venture in 1994 with four products and have been so blessed the whole way through. Now, fifteen years later, we have thirty-two bagged products, twenty-four bottled and jarred products, a variety of canned seafood, aprons, and T-shirts. We are proud to say that we have been featured on the Food Network many times, the first of which was the Food Finds program. The most recent production was with Paula Deen's sons, Jamie and Bobby, on their show Road Tasted. Our products are now known worldwide and are award winners for taste as well as packaging.

My Review:

When I received my box of goodies to review from The Gullah Gourmet I was really excited to see that it contained all of my favorites. It had She Crab Soup, Shrimp and Grits, Fried Green Tomatoes, Hot Crab Dish, Peach Cobbler and Sweet Cornbread Mix. Even had a little toy blue crab tucked in it!

Last night I fixed the She Crab Soup, Shrimp and Grits and the Peach Cobbler. All was really yummy and thankfully I have enough left for my lunch today. I will fix the Fried Green Tomatoes and the Cornbread tonight!

Here is what the She Crab Soup Bag looks like.



And here is the finished She Crab Soup!



Here is what the Shrimp and Grits bag looks like.



And here is the finished Shrimp and Grits!



Here is what the Peach Cobbler Bag looks like.



And here is the yummy finished Peach Cobbler!





To visit their website and find out more about their products or to order, please go to: http://www.gullahgourmet.com

If you are ever in Charleston, SC, please be sure you go by and visit them!



These products were awesome and I rate them a 9.75 out of 10!

Disclosure: While I was sent tasting samples, all opinions presented here are entirely my own.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This Weeks Winner's!



Congrats goes out to this weeks winner's!

The winner of the Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce 2 pack is comment #7 from Bev Casteel.

The winner of the Food Should Taste Good Chip 5 pack is comment #18 from Aubrey Laine.

Please email me your mailing address within 48 hours to claim your prizes.

Keep and eye out for more great giveaways coming in a few days!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tips for Healthy Dining Out


We are eating out more than ever. When dining out, it is easy to eat more calories and fat as well as food that is less healthy. Try these ideas for healthy dining-out.

Dining Ideas:

1. No matter where you’re eating, practice eating small portions. Take half the entrée home or split the meal with your friend. Order an appetizer as a main course instead.

2. Skip parts of the meal you like less. Have an “I can eat that food any old time” approach.

3. Go to places where you can order healthy, lowfat meals.

4. Ask to substitute high fat items like french fries for a baked potato or side salad instead. Request items be made without butter or oil.

5. Eat a little less at noon to save for a special dinner later, but don’t skip meals. This can lead to eating too much.

6. Eat something 30 minutes before your meal to help be in better control of your choices. Eat a piece of fruit or have a glass of water with lemon.

7. Avoid buffets, and all-you-can-eat specials.

Menu Choices:

• Breaded, batter-dipped, and tempura all mean fried food, which is heavy in fat. Look instead for lower fat, grilled, broiled and flame-cooked. Other good choices include entrees that are steamed, poached, roasted, or baked in their own juices.

• Avoid croissants, biscuits, potpies, quiches, and pastries. Pick hard rolls, bread sticks (if not brushed with butter), french bread, or whole-wheat buns.

• For sauces, stick to wine, or thinned, stock-based sauces. Avoid thick butter sauces, béarnaise, Mornay or sauces that sounds creamy. If you’re unsure, ask the waitstaff.

• Choose salads made with rich dark greens like spinach and romaine rather than pale iceberg lettuce.

• Order a baked potato instead of french fries or have a side salad, steamed vegetables or a cup of broth-based soup.

• Skip the mayonnaise and special sauces and ask for extra lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mustard on sandwiches.

• If ordering pizza, ask for extra vegetable toppings and forget the meats and extra cheese.

• We often forget to count alcohol calories as part of our eating. It is very high in calories and can prevent us from making healthy food choices. What to Order When You’re Eating Out…Here are some hints on how to order from menus. Ask if you can get nutrition facts for menu items.

Steakhouse
• Trim the fat from broiled meat and order without sauces or gravy.

• A filet, flank, or London broil steak is the leanest cut.
Salad Bar

• Be careful about potato and pasta salads, bacon bits, marinated vegetables, olives, fruits in heavy syrup, and seeds or nuts.

• One ladle of creamy salad dressing can be about 300 calories.

• Select dark, leafy greens, raw vegetables and fruits, lean ham or turkey and cottage cheese.

• Use fat-free dressing or low-fat dressing in small amounts.

Chinese/Oriental

• Many menu items can be made to order. Request no oil (ask for broth or stock instead) or ask for only a small amount of oil.

• Choose items with large portions of vegetables.
• Avoid wontons, egg rolls, sweet and sour choices, fried rice, fried dumplings, sesame noodles, egg foo young, and tempura.

Italian

• Pasta with red sauce (marinara, red clam, or marsala) is a great choice unless the sauce has high fat meat such as sausage.

• Avoid cream sauces such as Alfredo or butter sauce as well as parmigiana, beef lasagna, cheese sauce or filling, pesto, carbonara, sausage dishes and garlic bread.

Pizza

• Vegetable pizzas can have half the calories of the “works” type.

• Ask for extra vegetables to replace the meat on pizza.

• You can request ½ of the cheese as well.

Mexican

• Chicken fajitas, tortillas and Spanish rice without sour cream and guacamole are often OK choices.

• Go easy on chips and rich/fried items on the menu such as chili rellanos, nachos, chorizo, chimichangas, flautas, and taco bowl salads.

Fast Foods

• Choose BBQ or broiled and grilled chicken sandwiches as well as a regular hamburger or roast beef sandwich instead of jumbo burgers and fried sandwiches.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Clarine's Florentines Review





Clarine’s Florentines are a gourmet confection made by hand in small batches using only the finest ingredients to ensure the best quality.

The main ingredient of this delectable treat is natural almonds that are baked until bubbly into a perfectly golden brown brittle.





The final step to creating heaven in your mouth is to give Clarine’s Florentines a generous coating of Guittard bittersweet chocolate.

My Review:

When I received my box of Clarine's Florentines, the little bag of 6 with a pretty yellow bow was really nice looking, and I could not wait to rip open the bag to taste these pretty little creations! The buttery taste of the almond brittle smothered in Guittard bittersweet chocolate was amazing. I was on the verge of rating these Clarine's Florentines a 10 out of 10 until I was on my last one over the weekend and found a hair embedded in the florentine. So, my only comment to the company would be to make sure everyone wears a hairnet! Other than that, they were awesome and I would definately purchase more from Clarine's Florentines in the near future!



You can find out more about Clarine's Florentines online on their website at:
http://www.clarinesflorentines.com/index.html

They can also be found on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarines-Florentines/310233907710?v=wall.

And on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/cflorentines.

Disclosure: While I was sent tasting samples, all opinions presented here are entirely my own.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Alexia Foods Review


Never Complicated. Always Extraordinary.

We love food as much as you. That's why we make it exactly how you would: all-natural, gourmet-inspired, and absolutely delicious.

OUR BEGINNINGS: At Alexia, our creativity and passion for the highest quality side dishes runs deep in our roots. As a Manhattan chef, Alex always wondered why there weren't quality side dishes that achieved the same discerning standard as the main entrée. He knew others would agree, and believed he could create distinctive and inspired convenient everyday side dishes that lived up to what he might create in his own Greenpoint kitchen. Alex started by hand selecting the finest all-natural ingredients and producing only small batches making Alexia a hard to find favorite. Whether seasoning his Beauregard Sweets and Yukon Gold Potatoes or baking the perfect artisan Ciabatta and Focaccia breads, Alex always used real ingredients and put quality and taste first.


Aged cheddar lightly breaded with a beer batter and a sprinkling of sea salt makes these the perfect crispy bites.


Combining the delicious flavor of savory mozzarella cheese with classic Italian herbs and olive oil for a new Old World taste.


Fresh field mushrooms, robust roasted garlic and olive oil blend perfectly to create these savory bites of heaven.


Product InfoNutritional InfoLarge, sweet, farm grown white onions dipped in an irresistible beer batter, baked to perfection.


Biscuits baked using traditional methods and ingredients create anything but a traditional frozen bread, these are the perfect complement to any occasion.


Made with rosemary and extra virgin olive oil, these fluffy rolls are a delicious rendition of a savory Italian classic.


Made in the traditional style, carefully balancing humidity and temperature, you'll find an all-natural, international classic at your table in no time.


Made in the traditional style with crispy French bread and our own special blend of real butter, robust garlic and spices. This delicious side is worthy as a complement to any entrée or as an hors d'oeuvre at your next meal.


Fortified with nutritious flax seeds, soy and sunflower seeds, you'll taste that hearty old-world flavor and texture with new world whole grain goodness.


Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Julienne Fries combine the sweet and savory flavor of the traditional sweet potato with spicy chipotle seasoning to bring you a delicious flavor combination that the entire family will enjoy.


Pacific Northwest Russet Potatoes deliciously seasoned with sea salt & cracked black pepper combine perfectly to bring out savory potato flavor like never before.


Columbia Basin red potatoes are combined with roasted garlic, parmesan and extra-virgin olive oil for an extraordinary flavor. This home-style recipe is sure to be a brilliant accompaniment to any dining occasion.


Our Roasted Red Potatoes & Baby Portabella Mushrooms are presented with whole green beans and onions, then bathed in a thyme-infused oil blend. The side is ready, bring on the roast.

These are just a few of my favorite items from Alexia Foods.

To find out more about their products, and to get a $1.00 off coupon, please visit their website at: http://alexiafoods.com/index.jsp

You can also find them on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/alexiafoods

I love Alexia Foods because they offer a wide variety of products for a great value!

Disclosure: While I was sent tasting samples, all opinions presented here are entirely my own.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Original Country Bob's Review and Giveaway! (CLOSED)


The Original Country Bob's Review and Giveaway!

It was 1968 when Country Bob Edson perfected his sauce recipe and today we call it All Purpose Sauce because it was more than just a steak sauce. Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce has remained the flagship item since 1982 when Country Bob, Inc. was established.


Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce is in a class by itself. It is more than a steak sauce, because of its unique flavor and the variety of uses. You can grill, cook, and marinate with it, or put it in your soups, stews, baked beans, and your other favorite dishes. Experience the Taste of our Gluten Free All Purpose Sauce!

Use our All Purpose Sauce on:
Steak, Chicken, Barbeque, Fries, Hamburger, Fish and so much more!


Order a Gift Pack Today

Gift Pack Includes:
1 bottle of Original All Purpose Sauce
1 Bottle of Apple Chipotle All Purpose Sauce
1 Bottle of Honey Habanero All Purpose Sauce
1 Bottle of Barbecue Sauce
1 Container of Seasoning Salt
Great Gift for Family, Friends, Employees & Clients


Have you tried it yet? Sign up on the website to receive a FREE bottle!

Follow them online at: http://www.countrybobs.com

Follow them on twitter at: http://twitter.com/countrybobs

Follow them on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Country-Bobs-All-Purpose-Sauce/132429261413

I had never tried this sauce before, I and would recommend you to try it as soon as possible. This stuff is awesome!!! Kind of has a steak sauce flair to it. Wonderful on steak, burgers, etc.

Disclosure: While I was sent tasting samples, all opinions presented here are entirely my own.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!!!!

One lucky reader will win a 2 pack of their own Original Sauce, courtesy of The Original Country Bob's.

Mandatory Entry (must be done for all other entries to count): Follow me through Google Friend Connect. (Be sure to leave a comment below for each entry that you made, so you get counted!)

For additional entries:

1. Follow @amateursgourmet on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (can be done once daily, and leave a comment below).

2. For 2 entries! Become a fan (now called like) The Amateur Southern Gourmet on Facebook (remember to leave 2 separate comments.)

3. For 2 entries! Become a fan (now called like) The Original Country Bob's on Facebook (remember to leave 2 separate comments.)

4. For 2 entries! Follow The Original Country Bob's on Twitter.

5. For 3 Entries! Blog about this giveaway with a live link back to this post (Leave a comment below once done.)

One winner will be randomly selected from all valid entries via Random.org, and will have 48 hours to respond to their prize winner email notification. If winner fails to respond, within that time period, a new winner will be drawn. Contest ends February 23rd, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. Open to all US residents, age 18+.

Thanks and good luck!

Food Should Taste Good Review and Giveaway! (CLOSED)


Food Should Taste Good Review and Giveaway!

A Simple Idea...

I love food. I’ve been working in restaurants and grocery stores my whole life, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that food tastes best when it’s made with real ingredients. That’s why I started my own company, dedicated to making wholesome, healthy snacks. As for the name, Food Should Taste Good, it kind of wrote itself.

Pete Lescoe
Founder, Food Should Taste Good, Inc.

CEO and founder Pete Lescoe created Food Should Taste Good, Inc in 2006 with the goal of making a unique new snack with great taste, healthy ingredients, and sophisticated flavor - the qualities he is most passionate about in food. Based in Needham Heights, Massachusetts, Food Should Taste Good, Inc is a small company and growing fast.

With a brand name that says it all, Food Should Taste Good chips are made from the highest quality, all-natural ingredients baked into the chips. All chip varieties are gluten free, cholesterol free, have no trans fats and do not use genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). They are also certified Kosher, low in sodium and are a good source of dietary fiber. The chips combine the crunchiness of a chip, the crispiness of a cracker, and the dippability of a tortilla chip.






Stop by the Food Should Taste Good website for a $1 off coupon.
Find them online at: http://www.foodshouldtastegood.com/#/home

Find them on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/FoodShouldTasteGood

I love all the flavors that I was sent to try. My favorites were the Sweet Potato and the Lime. My husband loved the Jalapeno, it was a little too hot for my tastebuds, but if you like spicy foods, then this one is for you!

Disclosure: While I was sent tasting samples, all opinions presented here are entirely my own.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!!!!

One lucky reader will win a sampler 5 pack of their own, courtesy of Food Should Taste Good.

Mandatory Entry (must be done for all other entries to count): Follow me through Google Friend Connect. (Be sure to leave a comment below for each entry that you made, so you get counted!)

For additional entries:

1. Tell me which flavor of Food Should Taste Good Chips, you most want to try.

2. Follow @amateursgourmet on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (can be done once daily and leave a comment below).

3. For 2 entries! Become a fan (now called like) The Amateur Southern Gourmet on Facebook (remember to leave 2 separate comments.)

4. For 2 entries! Become a fan (now called like) Food Should Taste Good on Facebook (remember to leave 2 separate comments.)

5. For 3 Entries! Blog about this giveaway with a live link back to this post (Leave a comment below once done.)

6. For 1 Entry! Join the Food Should Taste Good Fan Club to receive a $1.00 off coupon.(Leave a comment below once done.)

One winner will be randomly selected from all valid entries via Random.org, and will have 48 hours to respond to their prize winner email notification. If winner fails to respond, within that time period, a new winner will be drawn. Contest ends February 23rd, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. Open to all US residents, age 18+.

Thanks and good luck!

Smart Balance Review


Why is Smart Balance Different?

Good health is your greatest asset, and eating well can help you protect it. Aside from great taste, our products have absolutely no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and are naturally 0g trans fat, so you can enjoy the delicious flavors you love while helping to reduce your intake of damaging, man-made trans fat. Our buttery spreads contain our unique natural blend of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats designed to help improve the ratio of good HDL cholesterol to bad LDL cholesterol.* Plus, you’ll get extra nutritional support from the Omega 3s, vitamins, calcium, protein and plant sterols that we add to many of our products. Of course, all this goodness means nothing without good taste. We make sure that every Smart Balance® product delivers delicious flavors and textures so you’ll want to make them part of your diet. Please see the nutrition information of each product for fat and saturated fat content.


Smart Balance Cooking Oil A specially formulated blend of oils for healthier sautéing, frying and baking. Add ALA Omega-3 every time you cook with this perfectly proportioned oil that contains a great blend of poly- and monounsaturates.



Smart Balance Light Butter Flavor Deluxe Popcorn...A Great Tasting and Healthy Snack!


Smart Balance Smart Movie Style Deluxe Microwave Popcorn Enjoy the great movie-style butter taste you love.


Smart Balance Smart 'n Healthy Deluxe Microwave Popcorn A delicious snack that also helps supports healthy cholesterol levels.

They also offer many more great products, so be sure to check them out.

Find them online with some great coupons at: http://www.smartbalance.com

Find them on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/SmartBalance

Find them on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/smartbalance

Disclosure: While I was sent tasting samples, all opinions presented here are entirely my own.

Contessa Foods Review



Since 1984, Contessa Premium Foods has produced seafood of consistent quality and value, pioneering a new set of Quality Assurance standards in the industry. Always committed to preserving our environment, we built the first green frozen-food manufacturing plant in the world in 2007. Today, you can join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Beginning with our first cargo of shrimp, Contessa has been a leader in the seafood industry and a favorite among seafood consumers. Adding to our seafood line of shrimp, scallops, and calamari, we offer an array of customized gourmet foods including convenience meals, hearty homestyle meals, vegetable stir-fries, and specialty seafood items.

Receiving many awards for our our quality and innovation, Contessa was twice honored in Paris, France with a Gold Medal from the prestigious Salon International de l’ Alimentation — or SIAL –the food industry’s highest honor. Recent recognition in 2009 include Women’s Health Magazine, Examiner.com, and Leigh Ann at Fred Meyer.

Served in fine-dining restaurants and major hotel chains nationwide, Contessa products are available in retail supermarkets, warehouse club stores, and U.S. military bases. All our products are backed by a dedicated quality assurance team, guaranteeing quality and freshness.





You can get a FREE Yoga DVD when you Buy: Any three (3) Contessa® Convenience Meals.

Send: Original UPC code from each of three (3) packages accompanied by a completed Official Order Form, or a 3X5 piece of paper on which is legibly printed your full name, address (street address, city, state and zip code) and daytime phone number.

$3.50 for shipping & handling. Make check or money order payable to Contessa Premium Foods. Cash not accepted.

Requests must be received by 3/31/11.

Mail To:

Contessa Premium Foods
Yoga for Beginners DVD Offer
P.O. Box 1950
San Pedro, CA 90733

Receive: A 56-minute Element™: Yoga for Beginners DVD. (Approximate retail value: $14.98)


Find them online at: http://www.contessa.com/

Find them on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Contessa-Premium-Foods/57709606575

Find them on twitter at: http://twitter.com/contessafoods

Disclosure: While I was sent tasting samples, all opinions presented here are entirely my own.

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