{Sponsored Post} Tastefully Simple Review and Giveaway

I like cake… a little too much.

Part of last week’s self destruction was cake based and naturally it reignited my sweet tooth.  In an effort to find ways to balance the sweet cravings this week and provide some stability to the process I decided to bake something at home.

I knew that I had a Tastefully Simple Product at home for review – Tastefully Simple Absolutely Almond Pound Cake MixTM.  This seemed like a good idea because normally I am not a huge fan of almond flavoring, though I do like it.  I figured it would be easy to stop myself from eating the whole thing.

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If I have learned something from my experience with Tastefully Simple this year it would be that their food is always tastier than I expect it to be.  Making the pound cake was simple: the mix, butter and water.  I suppose I could have used a light butter, but I wanted the full experience so real butter it was (besides, I will always pick real fats over trans fats).

Side note:  I love how simple cooking the Tastefully Simple products are.  E1 can help easily and he never gets bored of the process by too many steps.  In fact, he basically made this one all on his own, with just directions from me. It also meant I was free to take pictures!

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It did take 50 minutes to bake.  I realize that is fairly standard, but it doesn’t allow for immediate satisfaction.  However, when food and cravings are an issue having to wait for something can be a good lesson.  It forces me to sit down and plan what I really am able to eat.

In this case, while it was baking I was able to sit down and figure out the Weight Watcher Points for the prepared cake.  The box had the mix nutrition information so using the Weight Watcher Recipe Maker I could figure it out with the mix, the butter and the water.  As it turns out at 10 servings a loaf (Tastefully Simple’s serving size for the cake) each slice was 5PP.  That is extremely reasonable for cake, especially cake with real butter.

So prepared with the knowledge of how much I could eat I waited patiently (mostly) for the cake to come out of the oven.  When it came out the tooth picks were clean but I could tell it was still moist.

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Again I waited for it to cool.  As it turns out at this point in my evening I decided to run E2 to urgent care as she was fighting a virus and her breathing was iffy.  So I left the cake in Mr. Goat’s and E1’s hands for dessert.   I worried if I would get the full effect of the cake when it had cooled completely.

When I returned home (E2 earned a chest x-ray but thankfully was free of pneumonia and her O2 was ok), I definitely was ready for some cake.  I did have dinner first and left points knowing I could have 2 slices of cake within my remaining points. As I had mentioned I don’t always crave almond flavored food so I was prepared to just try it and leave it be if necessary.

As I sliced off a piece for me I noticed how generous the sizes were for 1/10 of the loaf.  And I noticed how moist and butery it was.  It smelled wonderful and though it was distinctly almond flavored I didn’t find it over powering.  In fact it was delicious!

(Yeah, I had the two pieces of cake)

But after two pieces I was also satisfied (I probably could have been satisfied at one slice, but it was a case of knowing I had the points and market research! J).  Since the cake was rich and buttery I didn’t need a lot.

If I had been thinking I would have had some fresh berries and maybe a little whipped cream to top it off.  Then it would have been a dessert worthy of entertaining.  As it was, I was happy to have a slice while standing in my kitchen after a long day with sick kids.

So in the end, my sweet tooth was satisfied, my control remained intake, I cooked with my child, and I went to bed happy.  Not too shabby for a box of cake mix.

Would you like to try the Tastefully Simple Absolutely Almond Pound CakeTM?  I am giving away a box to one reader.  Simply comment below and tell me your favorite cake flavor!  Maybe Tastefully Simple will listen to us and make a bunch of other flavors too!  PLEASE include an email address as well, so you can be contacted if you win! The winner will be drawn on Feb 26th at 10pm (E1’s birthday and a good day to giveaway cake!) 

Disclaimer:  I was compensated for this post and received the product to review.  However, my opinions are always my own.

{Sponsored Post} Tastefully Simple Review and Giveaway

One of my favorite healthy eating tricks, and really just one of my favorite parts of eating, is flavor.  When you add seasoning  you can get a lot of flavor without adding fat, carbs or sugar!  I try to watch my salt intake as well, especially since I am now on bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy.

When I first started working with Tastefully Simple they sent me several items to get a sense of the company.   Some of the items I was most taken with were the seasoning blends, with one in particular – Tastefully Simple’s Garlic Garlic ™!

Shown here is my empty bottle because I’ve used it all!

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I am a sucker for garlic.  It packs a punch in a small package.  I love using fresh garlic, but sometimes I hate how finicky peeling and cutting garlic can be.  I also have always been a big garlic powder person – in tomato sauces, on homemade pizza, etc.  But ultimately it is just powder and it doesn’t seem to have the real garlic flavor.

Tastefully Simple’s Garlic Garlic™ is the best of both words.  It can act like fresh garlic in a recipe and rehydrates when added to sauces, sautés and entrees.  It also can be a more potent dry seasoning for pizza toppings or homemade garlic bread.  And a little goes a long way!

Another benefit is apparent when you look at the actual ingredient list.  I can read every word of the ingredient list and I know immediately what they mean.  There are no crazy processed chemicals or surprises in this bottle, which makes my desire for healthy eating happy.

Just take a look:

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So what did I use a full bottle of Garlic Garlic™ on you may ask?

  • Garlic dip for chips and veggies – this can be made from mayo/sour cream, light mayo/sour cream, or greek yogurt or almost anything.  It is all good!
  • Garlic bread – homemade – YUM!
  • Garlic chicken
  • Homemade spaghetti sauce – extra yummy when paired with roasted Spaghetti squash.
  • Bagel Pizzas – a yummy lunch while home on bed rest.
  • Roasted garlic veggies
  • Garlic sautéed green beans.
  • Etc.

French bread + butter + Garlic Garlic™ = amazing unprocessed garlic bread

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It sometimes feels strange to be a weight loss/health blogger talking about partnering with a food corporation, but in this case, this seasoning has been wonderful.  I can use it to add flavor without needing to add fat.  Or I can go for a full-fat dip or buttery-garlic bread and the intensity is enough that I don’t need to gorge myself on these less than healthy foods.  Just last night I was having some chips with the garlic dip I had made and I ate a few and STOPPED.  I repeat, I stopped eating chips voluntarily.  The dip added enough flavor that I didn’t need that much to be satisfied.

So would you like to try some Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic™ seasoning blend?  They are offering a giveaway of this seasoning and two of their other seasoning blends – Bacon Bacon™ and Onion Onion™.  All of them are delicious!

To enter just leave a comment on the blog with your favorite way to spice up a recipe without adding calories!  And don’t forget to leave a valid email so that I can reach the winner!

And if there is one bit of advice I have – if you are going to make garlic dip – make sure your partner eats some too so that you both can be garlicky for kissing!

Only one entry per person.  Giveaway will be open until 11:59pm on Oct 31.  I was provided Garlic Garlic seasoning blend from Tastefully Simple.  I am also compensated for this post.  However all opinions are my own.

A bubbly kind of giveaway #giveaway

{Note: This giveaway has closed & winner has been notified}

At the taping of the Bethenny show, they has a segment on bubbles. Not just any bubbles but the kind that leaves kids with their jaws dropped in excitement. The kind of bubbles that stop adults their their tracks as they stare at the bubbles, memory’s subconsciously floating thru their mind.

Fun, huh?! Everyone in the audience reviewed a ticket to the Broadway show of the Gazillion Bubble Show!!

Unfortunately, my cousin and I both had flights back home that evening and weren’t going to be able to use our tickets so we decided to share then with YOU!

Are you in NYC or vising in the next 2 months and wanna go?

ENTER TO WIN!

Details:

  • Voucher will be used to reserve tickets for performance date – show is IN NEW YORK CITY ONLY.
  • Voucher maybe used for performances thru November 24th; subject to availability
  • Performances to choose from include:
    • Fridays at 7pm
    • Saturdays at 11am & 4:30pm
    • Sundays at 12pm
  • Not valid on October 5th or 6th, additional blackout dates may apply.
  • Tickets must be picked up on the day of the performance only, and at least 30 minutes prior to the performance

Leave a comment on this post sharing who YOU’d take with you to the Bubble Show! The winner will receive TWO vouchers for tickets to the Gazillion Bubble Show!

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Fine Print: Comments must be received by Thursday, September 26th at noon. Winner will be notified via email. One entry per comment, one comment per person. Vouchers hold no cash value. Seating is not confirmed – additional tickets can be purchased. 

 

Your final chance to enter the Love My Cub contest! {sponsored} #ilovemycub

 

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Alright, friends – this is your final chance to enter the contest to win $4,500 in groceries from Cub. Seriously, what are you waiting for?

 

I’ve already entered – make sure you do too!

How it works:

1. Visit the Cub® page on Facebook.
2. Click on the button to “Like” Cub’s Facebook Page.
3. Click on the “Love Your Cub” contest app on the Facebook platform by clicking on the link to the Contest page.
4. Enter the Contest by completing the entry form and uploading a video (“Video”) or photo (“Photo”) and description (“Description”).
5. Checkthe box indicating your agreement to these Official Rules, and then click on the button to submit your entry.
6. Get your friends to vote every day through September 29th.
7. Top 10 entries will be eligible for the grand prize and be chosen by a panel of judges including shopping experts, creative directors and employees of Cub.

Details: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  ENTRANTS MUST BE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF MINNESOTA OR ILLINOIS AND 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER AT THE TIME OF ENTRY. Limit one (1) entry per person / Facebook account.

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Disclaimer: All opinions expressed here are of my own however this post is sponsored by Cub.