Archive for the ‘Snacks & Munchies’ Category

Someone Cares Soup Kitchen And A Pin On The Map Of Herbs.

October 30th, 2011 No comments

Stopped by to learn more and will be donating time to Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in November and December when it’s needed most.  How about you?  Come do it too.

Read more and watch a video about the volunteer experience here.  Also appreciate the Rosemary bursting through the fence at Someone Cares Soup Kitchen — We’re always on the lookout for Herbs planted around the city.  An abundant find saves money and inspires new dishes.  In this case, a Rosemary sprig will come in handy for Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts.

October: Pumpkin Seeds And White Puffy Clouds Against A Blue Sky.

October 5th, 2011 No comments

Don’t toss the SEEDS, bake ’em — Pumpkin Seeds are too easy to make, especially in October.

Have You Tried Wheat Thins Crunch Stix?

August 16th, 2011 No comments

When asked if I wanted to sample Wheat Thins Stix, my first thought was no thanks.  To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of Wheat Thins, but know my Mom is.  She’s been snacking on them ever since I was a kid.  Since they’re always in her cupboard, I asked if she wanted to try the Wheat Thins Stix.  She agreed and here we are — Lexi from Kids in the Kitchen (pictured) loved them, especially the Cinnamon Kick.  And my Mom liked both.  Okay, I sampled a few too and have no complaints.  Thanks for the opportunity Nabisco, as I’m now partially converted.

Update:  Apologies, the post title was changed due to formatting issues.

Pickles And Ice Cream: It’s Not What You Might Think.

June 28th, 2011 No comments

When I only purchased Pickles and Ice Cream, the grocery checker asked if an announcement was going to be taking place.  I’m glad she didn’t ask when I was due, hahaha.  Funny, but both were picked up for a purpose during a recent lunch break.  The reason for the Pickles was a debate over the best — And the justification for the Ice Cream is that it’s reported to be outstanding.  A co-worker brought in a baggie of Famous Dave’s Pickle Chips claiming they’re the finest around.  After one bite, I knew it wasn’t true.  They’re too sweet and not what I want in a Pickle.  Sorry for spitting it back into the bag so no one else could eat them.  Ooops, my bad.  In my opinion, the best Pickles are Bubbies, pictured above.

And with respect to Graeter’s Ice Cream — It is pretty darn good.  Mike got this one right.  Over the years he’s paid hundreds of dollars to have it shipped to California from Ohio and now it’s available here.  He recommended the Black Raspberry Chip, which is fabulous and made up for the Pickles.  None of us ate both together.  We’re not pregnant.

It’s The Kind: Frickin Phenominal Fruit & Nut Bars.

June 17th, 2011 No comments

Unsolicited recommendation, like most here — Kind Healthy Snacks are the best Fruit & Nut Bars.  It’s the clear packaging that got me to try them and the taste keeps me buying them each week.  Unlike many Snack Bars, you can see what you’re getting and it’s even better than it looks.  The pictured Almond & Apricot and Mango Macadamia are the two I eat most, but all flavors tried have been exceptional.  Kind offers a lot of combinations to choose from.

Yogurt And Granola: An Achievable Breakfast When You’re Not Ready.

June 8th, 2011 1 comment

I’m rarely hungry in the morning, but know I “should eat breakfast” — If and when I do, it’s usually a V8, Jamba Juice, KIND Bar, Clif Bar, or some sort of bottled Green Juice.  It’s seldom a full breakfast, unless enjoying a special, leisurely weekend.  In that case it might be Huevos Rancheros or Eggs Florentine, but lately it’s been Plain Yogurt and Granola (with sometimes Berries).  How can it taste so crazy good?  It just does.  The tartness of the Plain Yogurt goes well with Granola and I’m really liking the Maple Pecan Granola Clusters from Fresh & Easy.

It’s Crrrrrrunchy Alright: Once You Go Greek You’ll Never Go Back. What?

May 11th, 2011 1 comment

It was an unexpected treat to receive all this Yogurt in the mail.  They were still well chilled when transferred to the fridge.  Thank you Voskos — I apologize for not thanking YOU sooner for the chance to run wild with your Greek Yogurt.  Already a Yogurt and Granola fan, I agreed to try it, but didn’t expect all this and cannot complain.  I like the flavors and variety.

I was a little skeptical about the Granola remaining crunchy after being in the fridge, but DAMN, it’s the crunchiest Granola I’ve ever had and its packaging works well.  I now buy it.

Oh Oh O’ReeO: Martha Stewart’s Cookies And Cream Cheesecakes.

April 13th, 2011 No comments

Have you heard of Bookswim?  It’s the Netflix of books.  The library that comes to you.  I love it.  It’s a great way to test out books, or read a lot of them for less money.  Through Bookswim I checked out Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes cookbook and chose to make the Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes.  The recipe is in her book and it’s also been reported about by several food bloggers, as found here and halved here.  It’s an easy and luxurious dessert.

Since I REALLY didn’t need 30 Cheesecakes, I halved the recipe, which worked very well.

Start with a Muffin tin with paper liners and an Oreo Cookie for the bottom Crust.

Combine the other ingredients as specified and pour over each Oreo Cookie and bake.

They look special in B & W, color and upside-down, and taste great too.  I’ll make ’em again.

Turn A Can Of Garbanzos Into Hummus In Minutes: An Any Day Snack.

April 4th, 2011 No comments

After much experimentation, I found the best combination/ratio of ingredients to make Hummus using (1) Can of Garbanzo Beans aka Chickpeas.  I always have at least one can on hand, plus all necessary components to prepare a flavorful Hummus — Garlic (1 Clove), Tahini (2 Tablespoons), Lemon Juice (3-4 Tablespoons), Olive Oil (2 Tablespoons), Salt (1 Teaspoon) and Pepper (to taste).  And the best part is… All is simply blended together to produce instant homemade Hummus in minutes.  With warm Pita Bread, it’s my current snack preference.  Recipe doubles well, if you want more.  Opa!

Luxury Camping: Palm Springs Bound With Lots Of Snacks On Board.

March 25th, 2011 No comments

Boursin Cheese from scratch, Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts, homemade Hummus, Mimosas and more are bound for Palm Springs in a (thankfully) giant, comfortable motorhome for warmer weather and family fun.  The above photo was taken while BBQ’ing Hot Dogs on a previous “camping” trip, if we can call it that, on the cliffs of South Carlsbad.  Enjoy the weekend rain, snow or shine.  Traveling mercies. 🙂

Cheez-It Wants You To Choose The Cheese: Which Do You Like Best?

March 14th, 2011 2 comments

Cheez-It wants YOU to choose the next Cheez-It flavor.  They recently introduced Baby Swiss and are now looking to add another flavor — Asiago, Colby or Romano.  Which sounds best to you?  We’re still unsure.  Six of us tried ’em all, but couldn’t agree.  Our votes were split between all three.  That’s not very helpful to Kelloggs, but we enjoyed eating them all.

You may still be able to obtain free samples to try the same.  Here’s the link.  Voting ends March 31, 2011.  If you already know which Cheez-It to vote for, you may vote here now.

Nuts For The Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts In NY: Easy To Make In CA.

February 21st, 2011 1 comment

There’s not much more to say about the Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts that hasn’t been said or written by many.  I first saw them on the Food Network as one of Giada De Laurentiis favorite snacks.  They looked and sounded so good I made ’em the next day.  I love Nuts and everyone is right, the Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts are superb and easy to make at home.

The Nuts are toasted in the oven at 350° for about 10 minutes, then tossed with a little Butter, Sugar, Sea Salt, Cayenne Pepper and Rosemary.  That’s it.  They end up with a sweet, salty, smoky, spicy, herby flavor.  Our new favorite snack — The Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts.


While Nuts are toasting in ovens coast to coast, Kids in the Kitchen are playin’ in the NYC snow and we’re ready to toast on an OC beach.  We’re nuts over these Nuts — This time we used Almonds, Pecans, Cashews and Hazelnuts.  Use any Nut you want, and read what others are saying herehere and here.  We’re happy to have the recipe.

Oh Where Did You Come From Crispy Green Fruitzio Kiwi Snack You?

February 18th, 2011 No comments

Who sent these to me?  I don’t recall being asked to try them?  Let me know if it’s you?  In any event, they are timely.  Just this day I told someone how much I like freeze dried fruit — I usually eat it out of the Cereal before pouring the Milk.  I like ’em crispy.  Thanks Crispy Green.

These Fruitzio Kiwi Snacks are outstanding.  There were a couple tart bites, but I still want more.  I’m not hinting or begging, I’ll be buying.  Most dehydrated fruit I see is fairly expensive.  I hope these aren’t, because I’m eager to try the Pineapple, Peach, Mango and Asian Pear options.  Q’s: If one eats a snack pack and drinks a lot of water, what happens?  Does it grow like capsule dinosaurs, into 10 Kiwis?  Unrelated, have you heard of The Kiwi Game?

Historic Strips And Cheese Along The Bike-Walkway In Huntington Beach.

February 12th, 2011 8 comments

It’s practically Summer all year long in So Cal — Although it’s really Winter, today we couldn’t tell.  We all had Strips and Cheese from Zack’s or Jack’s in Huntington Beach, near Lifeguard Station #11.  Fixated on the Strips and Cheese, I forgot to check where I got them.  Similar and/or related food shacks along the HB bike and walk path have sold ’em for years. 

Today some went swimming, some rode bikes, played Frisbee and football, and others dug for sand crabs, but ALL had the HB Strips and Cheese for old time’s sake and a few others for the first time.  I first had them as a kid.  They’re unique in that the Cheese isn’t melted and the Sauce is mild and sweet — A good beach combination.  Hope they’re sold for another 50 years.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Toaster Oven S’mores In Less Than A Minute — Guy It’s Easy To Win It.

January 15th, 2011 No comments

Toaster Oven S’mores can be ready in less than a minute.  Do you even need instructions?

Layer as shown, then broil/toast the exposed Marshmallows and top with other Graham Cracker half.  They couldn’t turn out better!  Keep an eye out not to burn the Marshmallows and learn more about making S’mores here.  And if you want to head the opposite direction and make everything from scratch, The Cilantropist does it beautifully — Until then, these will do.  Make a bunch in the oven for a crowd.  No fire circle or wire hangers necessary.

A Christmas Party & Cost Plus World Market During The Holidays.

December 19th, 2010 No comments

A Christmas Party and Cost Plus World Market go very well together.  This year I hosted my 16th Annual Girl’s Christmas Party for several long-time dear friends (and the best sister in the world), and Cost Plus fit right in, since my relationship with it spans equally long.  My first apartment in Belmont Shore was basically furnished by them — I was so proud of its style and still have several cool imports and dishes from way-back when.  For this Sweet 16, CPWM generously provided a Gift Card that was used to purchase all snacks, prizes, drinks, wrap, and most stylish and tasty party supplies.  What a great thing!

Each guest brings an Appetizer, Salad or Side Dish, plus a GIFT for a wild gift exchange with plenty of opportunities to steal what you really want — And this year, as always we enjoyed an abundance of FOOD, fun and laughs.

A PRIZE is awarded to the person bringing the Best Voted Appetizer, an incentive to bring something good.  Guests cast anonymous (and sometimes padded and made-up) votes that are tallied to choose a hopefully legitimate winner.

Desserts are always baked by my treasured friend Loretta, whose goodies can’t be beat.

Having one person bring the Dessert is also strategic — In earlier party days, guests/friends  were asked to bring an Appetizer or Dessert and I learned that it would produce too many Desserts and not enough Appetizers.  Now, Loretta automatically receives a prize for her award-winning Desserts and there’s always enough savory stuff to eat.  This year, Patty aka Tricia won a prize for her Salad pictured at top.  All tasted fantastic — And I’m now trying to obtain the recipe for the Tapenade pictured above, which was made by my friend, Nora’s husband Brian.  If allowed, I’ll share it here, as it was truly outstanding and a runner-up to the Salad.

Wouldn’t you know that I had technical difficulties with my camera this evening, which resulted in mostly blurry and poorly lighted food dishes that can’t be shared. 🙁

Cost Plus World Market recently to stumbled upon Nibbles of Tidbits, and me who is already in love with them — The result is continuous adoration and perfect party supplies (from around the world) for my Sweet 16th Annual Girl’s Christmas Party.  We girls appreciated it ALL!

Because I like handing out prizes and laughing at people playing the stupid games I come up with, each year we play several new and old favorites — This year Nora won the red and white votive candles, Arlene won the Oil & Vinegar Cruets, Loretta won the colander, soap and bath fizzies, and Heidi won the Chocolate Champagne bottle and more.

The pictured snacks were chosen from CPWM‘s seemingly endless selection of international goods.  It was hard to decide, as one could host a variety of party themes with Cost Plus food.

And a BIG SHOUT OUT needs to go out for the White Cheddar Snowball Puffs!  They have a perfect amount of tasty Cheddar flavor and a nicely crisp puff.  They were a hit and I want to go back for more before they disappear.

Cost Plus is the only place I’ve seen thus far with Red & Green Tortilla Chips that taste and look good.  I served them with a favorite Salsa determined during a Salsa Taste-Off.

And if you don’t know already, Cost Plus World Market offers an amazing selection of Beer and Wine.  We enjoyed Stella Artois, Corona Extra and Skinny Dip New Belgium — Had to get it for the name and we were pleasantly surprised by its likable flavor.

To keep our drinks straight, we used the above drink markers, also from Cost Plus.  I turned ’em into a game by awarding a prize to the person picking the prized adjective — Whomever chose DESPERATE won.

Photo of this year’s party attendees and BFF’s.

Although I’ve shopped at Cost Plus for years, I haven’t purchased much of their Beer, Wine or other imported beverages, which is probably a bit odd, since many shop there specifically for it.  Since CPWM sponsored most of this year’s party, it was a great opportunity to sample their infinite offerings — And ultimately there was an overwhelming response to the Cristalino Champagne.  It’s terrifically bubbly, fresh and not too sweet.  It’s an excellent inexpensive Champagne.  Other photos reflect prizes happily won by guests.

Do you like my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree?  It’s easy clean up, but I’m starting to miss a real one.  Maybe next year.  Also pictured is a giant bottle of the Champagne noted above.  The large bottle was fun and oh so good — We went through it too fast.  And I probably talked on the microphone too much, but had to get the attention of the rebellious crowd to participate in the next silly game.  There were cool prizes to be won.

Cost Plus is an old friend that made my Sweet 16th Annual Christmas Party extra special and tasty — All friends were joyful about it too!  Merry Christmas to YOU.

Several Say: This Is The Best Onion Dip In The World.

December 16th, 2010 No comments

My friend was right, Ina Garten’s Pan-Fried Onion Dip is the BEST!  I can’t stop making it and eating it, which probably isn’t the best for you on a daily basis, but it’s crazy good and super easy to make.  My friend told me that someone recently brought this Dip to a party she attended and the guests didn’t stop raving about it. 

Learning this information after hosting a party was good timing, as I had leftover Chips and Crackers begging for Dip.  And now I can’t stop eating ’em all.  I’m almost done, but will be making it again for a party next week — I’m curious if all will have the reactions my friend described.  I did.  How about you?

Ina’s Pan Fried Onion Dip RECIPE.

Have You Had Your Grapple Of The Day (Or Ever)? It’s A Different Way.

November 22nd, 2010 4 comments

Have you heard of, seen or tried a Grapple yet?  I first saw them on Unwrapped.  They’re Washington Extra Fancy Gala or Fuji Apples that are infused with a concentrated Grape flavor.  It’s said that Grapples look like an Apple, but taste like a Grape, and is described to have the sweet distinctive flavor of a Concord Grape with the crispness of a fresh Apple.  Chef Lexi (below) from Kids in the Kitchen gives ’em a try.

And the verdict is in… Lexi and the tastin’ gang behind the camera (5 of us) were unanimous — The Apples were indeed fresh and tasted like Grape, but the Grape flavor unexpectedly tasted artificial.  Its scent and taste was reminiscent of purple, Grape flavored Candy or Soda, not that of a true Concord Grape, as we were hoping.

Since we’re always interested in different things, we had to try a Grapple.  They’re definitely of premium quality, but we didn’t fall in love with their flavor.  Regardless, we appreciate trying unique foods — It’s a fun time.

Instant and Complete Picnic From Cost Plus: Consider It For A Good Time.

August 30th, 2010 No comments

When was the last time you had a picnic?  We mustn’t forget the simple enjoyment of a picnic.  It seems Americans don’t take enough pleasure in them.  While traveling through many parts of Europe, you’ll see people having picnics everywhere and often.  It’s a great thing.

We’re inspired to have more picnics and Cost Plus World Market, a favorite destination for unique and imported food items can make it happen on a moment’s notice.  It has everything one could need for a picnic.  We prepared for this one by getting ALL shown from Cost Plus, including the insulated picnic basket that transported the Salami, Cracked Pepper Smoked Salmon, Bruschetta, Roasted Artichoke Hearts, Pepper Jack Cheese, Assorted Crackers, Almonds, Pickles, Olives, Wine and Cookies.

This day it was too windy to show you it was too windy — Meaning, we couldn’t back up for a wide photo, since all hands were necessary to hold down the light stuff during the wind gusts.  It was (kinda) funny, until it blew over our Chardonnay, and it was a bit scary thinking the Smoked Salmon could possibly land on us, but ultimately it was a lot of fun.

We had this picnic in Temecula, near Pechanga Resort & Casino, where we took our Grandma to see her favorite singer, Engelbert Humperdinck.  Prior to the concert, we laughed eating the Orange Chocolate Rolled Wafers — They are sooooo darn good and fodder for immature jokes that transcend generations, Groucho Marx impersonations and more.

Cherry On Top: Self Serve Frozen Yogurt Your Way.

August 25th, 2010 No comments

Looking out through the pink dots, I used to feel so uninspired… cause you make me feel like [wanting] a natural Yogurt — The semi-related song popped in my head and couldn’t resist, since I actually was somehow inspired by the pink dots, natural Yogurt and fresh toppings at Cherry on Top.  As you may or may not know, we’ve been sampling various Frozen Yogurt shops all around town and just tried Cherry on Top.

We’re fans of the tart flavors and really liked their Original Tart and Blueberry Pomegranate.  We were hoping to try the Lychee Tart (sometimes available), as we’re currently hooked on Lychee’s taste, but it wasn’t being offered at the Huntington Beach location this day.

Each Yogurt shop we’ve tried has almost been better than the previous and we especially like the self serve options.  All have offered truly fresh fruit, along with a wonderland of colorful toppings that look equally good.  Although the topping selection is great, most are wasted on me, since I still can’t get past the simple Granola, Blueberry, Mango and sliced Almond combination.  We’ll go to Cherry on Top again.

09/13/10 Update:  For convenience, Cherry on Top will be opening the first drive-thru store of its kind — A first for any leading Frozen Yogurt company.  It’ll open in Culver City in September.  Check their website for more information.

I’m A Pecan: What’s Your Nut Personality? Take The Quiz Here.

August 17th, 2010 1 comment

What kind of Nut are you?  I’ve heard that question many of times, hahaha, and now I know.  It appears I’m a Pecan for those who have wondered all these years.  Fisher Nuts has developed a Personality Quiz to help you determine which Nut you’ve always been.  Take the quiz now — It’ll be such a relief to finally know.  The mystery is somewhat solved. 🙂

PECAN: You are generous and loyal.  Friends and family love to be around you because you consider their needs first.  You are a tenacious, committed team player who doesn’t require recognition.  You are happiest when you share the credit with everyone around you.

Last Day For The ‘Friday Specials’ At The Orange County Fair.

August 13th, 2010 No comments

It’s the last weekend of the Orange County Fair and today is the final day to munch out on the $1.00 Specials (Fridays, Noon – 4PM).  During that time, most food stands offer something interesting to eat for $1.00.  We had all that’s pictured below, including Deep Fried Bull’s Testicles (yeah, that’s right) and much more.  It’s a great time to try different things.

Note:  Hover your cursor over each photo to learn a little more, or stop by each booth and ask ’em what they’re serving for $1.00.

The Cost Plus World Market Chip Invasion Taste-Off.

July 13th, 2010 No comments

So many Chips, so little time — Well, we actually have the time, but can only eat so many Chips.  We thought it would be fun to sample a cross-section of the vast Chip selection offered at Cost Plus World Market.  Although they have much more than you see here, we ultimately decided to try (7) Bags of Chips and (4) Salsas for our Chip Invasion Taste-Off.

Seven of us gathered for the festivities to determine our favorites — To learn more about the Chips, hover your cursor over the pictured plates below to match ’em up with the Chip Bags above.  It’s always good to see what’s in a bag before you buy it.

The variety we selected appears to be a good representation of Chip types and brands.  Some are produced especially for Cost Plus World Market, and others you’ve seen there and at other popular markets (i.e., Kettle Chips).

The same applies to our Salsa selection — The (2) on the left below are specially made for Cost Plus World Market and the other (2) can be purchased there and elsewhere.  And the Salsa verdict is… All were good and enjoyed for their comparative uniqueness.  In other words, the pictured Salsas would be a terrific combination for a party.  One was spicy (Chipotle), one was mild (Roasted Tomato), one was cheesy (Chili Con Queso) and one was chunky (Corn, Black Bean & Red Pepper).  All were picked as a favorite by one or another, with the most votes cast for the Frontera Chipotle and Cost Plus World Market Chili Con Queso.

With respect to the Chips, the verdict was all over the board.  The favorites were the Gaytan Baked Cheese Puff, Sweet & Spicy Tortilla Chips with Flaxseed and the Death Valley Chipotle Chips.  We really don’t think the Spinach & Artichoke Chips taste like Spinach and Artichoke, but they’re a good dipping Chip for any Salsa.  The favored combo seemed to be the Veggie Tortilla Chips (due to their neutral flavor) dipped in the Chipotle Salsa.  It’s all good.

Note: Nibbles of Tidbits loves Cost Plus World Market — Check back to learn about our future Candy Taste-Off, our picnic inspired by Cost Plus products and more.  We have a lot of great ideas, because they have so much cool stuff!