Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Tasting

A big box of F&E goodies arrived a few weeks ago. My apology for not getting too it sooner!

The thing is, before I even get to take a picture of the loot, SOMEBODY started in on the Cranberry Oaktmeal Cookies with Walnut ...and I haven't seen the rest of the tub since. *sigh* Verdict: Nirvana ...judging by the fact that it has disappeared in a few days after arrival.

Then there were the condiments: Organic Ketchup, Yellow Mustard, and Barbecue Sauce. Haven't tried any of them yet but their mere presence led me to find out that the ketchup and yellow mustard I have in the fridge expired in 2008. Whoops.

The Il Fornaio Gourmet Wheat Hamburger Buns arrived just in time for my LOST finale dinner! The original idea was to get a bucket of fried chicken and pretend they were from Hurley's Mr. Cluck. But now that I had the buns, we switched up the menu to a pineapple-ginger-soy glazed sirloin burger (flavored with pressed garlic, a squirt of Sriracha, and salt and pepper) with butter and rum caramelized onion instead.

The soft, tasty buns grilled up beautifully nutty. No structural integrity failure here when you take a bite (yes, we used that term for our food stuff in this geeky household). Verdict: Heavenly.

Now, I'm not a huge white wine drinker, so I past along the Vine Yard Pinot Gris to Sister Amanda (from Four Girls Three Wines episode) after said LOST finale dinner. She said she enjoyed it very much and it went very well with her mango chicken salad a few days later. Verdict: Heavenly.

Malt Vinegar & Sea Salt Kettle Chips is waiting to be tested. My boss is a big salty snack fan so I'll let her review that one. :)

The Box O' Joy also came with an apron, the crowd-favorite $5 of $20 purchase coupon, and a gift card.

Also in the box was a list of their grill events with award winning grill expert Neil Strawder (aka Bigmista) with special grilling tips. The first 100 people will receive a free reusable bag.
  • Friday, June 4: 5 p.m. at Eagle Rock location on, well, Eagle Rock.
  • Friday, July 30: 5 p.m. at Norwalk location on Rosecrans.
  • Saturday, August 21: 4 p.m. at Alhambra location on Main.
  • Saturday, August 28: 4 p.m. at Northridge location on Nordhoff.
The irony in this is that I just went to F&E to restock a couple of days before the box arrived. While there, I did go a little crazy as I always do after a few weeks of not haven't been to F&E. Ah...the binge cycle! I came out with a few new items I haven't tried before.

Barbecue Pasta Salad was a surprise. I bought that to eat with the veggie dogs I picked up for my meatless Tuesday and found myself serving it again with the LOST Burger and it was divine. Pasta, corn, black beans, and red bell peppers tossed in mayo-based barbecue dressing that is just sweet enough with a subtle kick of poblano chilli. It doesn't taste like a pasta salad mixed with barbecue sauce, if you're thinking that's what it is. It's more of a sweeter and smokier pasta salad than your plain ol' stuff.

Your meal having barbecue sauce already on it or not, this pasta salad will still kick your traditional pasta salad's ass. Verdict: Nirvana.

Organic Chocolate Soy Milk was new to me. Sister Aurora (the Provider of F&E Coupons...since she lives in Long Beach and getting all the F&E mail) told me about it but I haven't picked it up. And I was a little disappointed that it seemed more watery than the Silk counterpart. I don't know what are all in it that makes the difference but it tasted like a glass half full of Silk Chocolate Soy with another half a glass of water mixed in. Verdict: Purgatory.

Eat Well Creamy Basil Chicken was quite disaster. The whole wheat pasta was overcooked and was grainy in texture. And, a trend with Eat Well line, the sauce was under-salted. Having been to the Eat Well tasting event and talked with the chef, I knew why the salt level was low. But this thing just lacked flavors altogether. If there were more tomatoes, I think I might have been okay with it not having the salt. But I *did* eat it all, so it wasn't completely inedible. Verdict: Purgatory.

Tons of products at F&E for the summer grilling, you guys.

And of course, keep your eyes out for the great deal that are the Grill Pack: nearly 5 lbs. of burger patties, Italian sausage, and seasoned chicken pieces. The normally $9.99 deal usually go on sale for something like $5.99 during the high grilling season so keep your eyes peeled and stock up!

1 comment:

Solar Oven Chef said...

Hi I just found your blog, I love F&E. My DH enjoys it too because there are no lines to check out.