Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Product Review: Goodies Co. Chocolate Lovers Box

I WON!! I WON!!! - No kidding, I actually won something and it is a very nice prize. Goodies.co had on their Facebook a contest, in which they solicited pictures of "Better Together". They were interested in what their subscribes thought would be natural pairings, such as peanut butter and appeals or carrots and dip. I submitted an image that I had taken some ago, which showed a plate of dark chocolate with banana slices and red currants.

copyright Durhaonthecheap - the winning image for the contest "Better Together"
So my prize arrived today, a Goodies.co Chocolate Lovers box, which was also sold as the Valentine's Day Special. The box contained a collection of wonderful items:
  • Flourless Bliss - Chocolate Souffle Mix
  • Alter Eco - Dark Coconut Toffee Chocolate
  • Alter Eco - Dark Mint Chocolate
  • Alter Eco - Dark Twist Chocolate
  • Brownie Brittle - Chocolate Chip
  • Bobby Sue's Nuts - It's Raining Chocolate
  • Mayesa - Cacao Mint

    copyright Durhamonthecheap - this will feed my sweet tooth for some time!
    As you can see, the box contains a wonderful variety of chocolate-flavored or -containing items. I am particularly excited about the three bars of Alter Eco chocolate. A bar from that company was in my first ever Goodies Co. box and I absolutely loved the dark chocolate made by Alter Eco. I have also had the chocolate souffle and loved that as well. The other three items are totally new and so I will be carefully sampling them and reporting back on my blog about the items. Chocolate covered nuts are alway good and chocolate brittle is an item that I am already wondering why I did not think of that before.  The chocolate drink comes in the perfect size to take to lunch at work, so this will likely get used this week. I think with all the wonderful items in the box I may have to watch out that I am not going to suffer from chocolate overload due to me overindulging on the win!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Harris Teeter: Double your coupons up to and including $2 - review of Campbells Go soup Coconut Curry!

I sometimes blog about my shopping trip, but super doubles at Harris Teeter makes this difficult because I end up with so many good deals.

This week is super doubles week again at HT and on Saturday my shopping ended up with two huge shopping bags and a gallon of milk. Regarding the milk, one thing I really appreciate about Harris Teeter recently is the regular sales on milk. For me the milk was an eVic special, valid on Saturday only, but at less than $3 a gallon, this was a bargain that I combined with my weekly shopping on super doubles week.

I had plenty of coupons worth $2 and also used several that were worth $1. I noticed that super doubles will only be doubled up to the price of the item that your purchase; Harris Teeter does not provide overage anymore. This may be specific to the store on the intersection of Hwy54/55 in S. Durham. I will go to another Harris Teeter and verify this. I would be interested in hearing whether Harris Teeter in other areas still produce overage during super doubles weeks.

One of the nice things about super doubles week is the fact that you can use the big savings to go on some product discovery. I did just that with the Campbells Go soups. I had heard some bzz around these soups on the internet and decided to give it a try. In part I was attracted to the soup because they have a variety entitled Coconut Curry. I love Curry and I love Coconut, so I of course purchased that variety.  All the flavors are listed here. The benefit of these soups and I guess the origin of the name "Go" comes from the convenience of these soups. They come in microwaveable bags. You simply make a small tear into the bag, microwave them for a couple of minutes and pour the soup into two bowls; there are two servings per bag. The salt content is quite high, but I figured sticking to the serving size, adding some boiled rice to make the soup a filling meal, I could handle the higher than usual salt content.

The flavor was good, quite spicy and you could taste both the curry and the coconut. Overall, I liked the soup and the preparation is hard to beat in terms of convenience. What made this Go soup such a good deal was the fact that you could download a digital coupon from Harris Teeter for $2 off two Go soups (priced locally around $3), combine that with an available catalina coupon from the cash register to save another $1.50 and stack it finally with a $1off Facebook coupon available here. This makes the Go soups practically free and ideal to try out for the first time during the super doubles week at Harris Teeter.

So go to Harris Teeter, enjoy super doubles and maybe make your own product discovery!

Product review: Kroger Greek and Carbsmart Yogurts

As part of bzzagent, I received a giftcard and some coupons to try out new Kroger yogurts that are intended to be healthy and a cost conscious alternative to other brandname products. I have been a long-time user of Kroger storebrand products, such as Private Selection, and so I was more than willing to try a budget friendly alternative in yogurts since yogurts tend to be quite expensive in the USA compared to other countries, such as Germany or France.

In this post I will review the Carbmaster Kroger yogurt in the flavor of spiced pear. As you can see from the flavor selection, Carbmaster also comes in some more novel flavors. I had previously tried spiced pear yogurt in Europe and really like the flavor. I was happy to see that it was available in the Kroger Carbmaster series.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - big chunks of pear fruit in the yogurt!
 The yogurt tasted excellent and I was happy to see that the yogurt, despite being a store-brand and quite affordably priced (on sale for 40 cents) contains good sized chunks of fruit.The yogurt has a creamy texture, was smooth and the fruit flavor was good. I was surprised by how creamy the yogurt was. It seemed to me more on the liquid, soft side compared to what I remember the usual Kroger store brand yogurt is like. I really like it and I am happy that it seems to come in more flavors, such as pomegranate, that may be introduced to appeal to shoppers with a more healthy lifestyle.
copyright Durhamonthecheap -good size yogurt and healthy for your low carb diet as well!
The yogurt is truly low in carbs, containing only 1% total carbohydrate (and also no fiber). Not sure that I am happy about the low fiber since I was worried that it would not be a filling snack, if eaten between meals. But the yogurt did serve as a good in between meals snack that was also low in calories, with only 60 calories.
Overall, I am happy that Kroger with its budget friendly store-brand is expanding into the more health conscious lines. At 40 cents a snack, this is a very affordable alternative to carrot sticks and dip.

Disclaimer: I received a giftcard to be used towards purchasing Kroger Carbsmart Yogurt courtesy of bzzagent. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by Kroger, bzzagent or any third party.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Product review: bzzagent - Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel

As part of my bzzcampaign, I was provided a new Overnight Peel by Garnier that is intended to create a more even skin tone and brighten the skin overall.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the Garnier Overnight Peel with a promise of more even skin!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - spotty and irritated skin, due to the dry winter air, so I hope Garnier does the trick!
The product is very easy to use. You simply apply it before going to bed and it only takes a little amount, so the bottle lasts a really long time. Garnier promises that effects can be seen almost right away. After one week, the skin is supposed to be significantly brighter and after a full treatment of 4 weeks, the skin is promised to be showing less imperfections and fewer spots.

I have applied it twice now and I am happy to say that despite the name peel, the product does not irritate my skin and is very gentle on my skin. The rejuvenating effect of Garnier Overnight Peel is due to Glycolic Vitamin C Complex. And the best part of the Garnier Peel is that you can leave it on overnight. I have done this now and the fact that my skin shows no sign of irritation is an indication on how gentle this product works on skin. Not only convenient, but you can have the Glycolic Vitamin C Complex work on skin for hours, contributing to the promised fast effects on your skin. I am really excited to try this product and I will blog a follow up about the effects on my skin. Keep checking back in!

Disclaimer: I received a free product through Bzzagent.com in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this blog is solely my own and has not been influenced by bzzagent or any third party.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Food review: budget cooking with Harris Teeter

In a week when Harris Teeter made headlines for all the wrong reasons (a possible sale of the company to either Publix or Kroger), I still enjoyed bargains at Harris Teeter and was able to come up with a healthy, but frugal meal.

I had seen produce at Harris Teeter that was reduced for quick sale, so I picked up a bag of mushrooms and a bag with three red bell peppers and a tomato. Each of these bags was $1 only, a bargain considering the amount of vegetables I took home.
This weekend now came the decision what to cook? I prefer to fix big portions on the weekend, so I can store left overs for lunch in the coming week and also store containers in the freezer to thaw out for a quick meal some time in the future. I decided to do an Asian-inspired dish because the red bell peppers and the mushrooms were well suited for a curry dish.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - budget meal with ingredients purchased at Harris Teeter!
From the pantry, I grabbed some yellow curry and a can of coconut milk as well as a can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos mixed in already. I then started cutting the peppers, tomato and mushrooms into bite-size portions and added everything to the crock-pot. I had some leftover homemade chicken stock that I added as well. Then I went looking for some meat to add since I did not feel like creating a vegetarian dish. I came upon a bag of Harris Teeter home-style meatballs that I believe were bought as part of a meal deal some time ago. I tossed those into the crockpot as well. Then I stopped and a good thing it was because the slow cooker was filled to the brim.

I let all the ingredients cook for a couple of hours until the chicken stock started boiling, then added the coconut milk and curry powder. I left the slow cooker on a high setting and waited another 2 hours to ensure that the precooked meatballs would absorb the curry and the flavor of the vegetables. The house started to smell wonderful. I paired the meatball curry with some Barilla whole wheat pasta  and ended up with a flavorful and healthy meal.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - healthy, but satisfying meal, full of flavor and vitamins!

Considering the total expense, this dish was a bargain since the whole crock pot was filled with the curry sauce, meatballs and vegetables. In addition, all ingredients, with the possible exception of the curry powder, were bought on clearance or with coupons. combined with sale prices in many cases, so bargain cooking can be healthy and flavorful.

On the note of Harris Teeter possibly being sold to a competitor. I would hate to see this happening. I do not care very much for the local Kroger staff and their policy towards coupons. I am not a fan of extreme couponing, but I do use coupons regularly because it allows me to stay on budget. Harris Teeter has a uniform coupon policy, whereas Kroger allows managers to set their own policy for each store. This to me is a questionable practice since one part of bargain shopping, whether or not it involves coupons, is planning. And to properly plan, I need to know how sale prices and use of potential coupons are being handled. For Harris Teeter I never had an issue with the limit on purchases or rain checks or coupons. Note that I list coupons last because a lot of my savings come from wisely using rain checks and jumping on bargain prices when I see them. My first purchase out of school was not a dining table or big TV but a freezer, because a freezer allows me to store groceries bought in bulk at sale prices and I find having freezer storage essential to staying on budget with my groceries.

Anyway, I do hope that Harris Teeter stays an independent, North Carolina-based grocery story chain because the Walmart that opened up in my neighborhood has yet to be a regular stop for me and compared to Kroger, I buy a lot more items at Harris Teeter because the bargains are better!

TV "Preview": The Taste: Tuesday at 8|7c on ABC

The Taste is an new spin on cooking shows. While the premise is similar to Hell's Kitchen, namely selecting a semi-amateur, but talented cook to win a competition, the similarities end there. Similar to The Voice, there is a team of judges that in the first rounds selected competitors to be on their team. The judges went by cooking style as well as sometimes the personality of the competitor when making offers to join their team. In at least one case, this may have lead to negative vibes between a competitor and the celebrity judge, whose team the contestant did not elect to join.

You can read more about the actual process of selecting a winner below and actually watch a whole episode here (http://abc.tv/Z3jimp), but first I want to tell you why I find this show so much better than Hell's Kitchen and other cooking shows. First of all, while the comments by Anthony Bourdain may be sarcastic, there is no yelling. Clearly, when the contestants create their dishes, there is a high stress level, but the tone of the show is not as egregiously rude as that other cooking show.
I also love the concept of having a mix between team and individual competitions, with some interesting mystery ingredients thrown in. I believe that the mystery ingredients challenge the contestants, but also leave enough space that each contestant can extend their comfort zone to their own liking since they have a choice of mystery ingredients.

Another plus for the show is that the judges include an interesting and eclectic mix of characters, such as Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre, and Brian Malarkey. They have very different cooking style and personalities. This often leads to the judges fighting more with each other than letting the contestants become the target of nasty comments. This to me is a nice change because clearly you do not enter one of these shows to fail. So every contestant is doing their best and the last thing they need is to be put down on national TV for lacking cooking skills. After all, all contestant want to become famous chefs and I believe that most contestants acknowledge that they have room for improvement and are eager to learn from the judges.

Quite honestly, I have been a fan of Anthony Bourdain for a long time and while I enjoyed watching Nigella's cooking show, Anthony's style of cooking and his brutal honesty just make him, in my opinion, the best judge on this show. Having a team, whose members he selected and who he wants to see win the competition, also permit Anthony to show a side that is not all snarky. I find his critique of the prepared food honest and his criticism constructive. So far Nigella and Ludo lost contestants in the individual rounds, while the teams of Anthony (yeah!) and Brian remained unscathed. I suppose it is only a question of time until these two have to give up contestants as well. In any case, all contestants I believe are benefiting from the mentoring efforts of the judges during the team round and the sofa cooks at home can get inspiration for some new creations of their own.

Here is some more information on how the winners and contestants going home each show (I try to avoid the L word because these people made to a national TV show) are selected:

After the teams were formed, the next rounds are now elimination rounds. Each show will now feature a team competition and individual competition. In the initial part of each show, the team competition will select a winning team and the contestant whose dish was voted best will have immunity for the subsequent individual competition. In the individual competition, each contestant is on their own. Creating a dish to be presented to the judges that then will select the best and worst spoons. Why spoons you may ask? The food in this show is presented on spoons, so each contestant when deciding what to prepare for the judges must be aware that the judges will only see and taste what can fit on a spoon. Overloading the spoon with too complex a dish can be a detriment as can be a dish that is overall lacking in spices because the food on the spoon will seem more bland than if you presented a bowl full of it to judges.

In this final individual round, the judges award stars to the best competitors, while also deciding which contestant(s) goes home. But rather than just read this and imagine how the concept works, you can watch the most recent episode of The Taste here. This video should also help to get into the mood for the next episode this coming Tuesday 8/7c on ABC and become familiar with the interesting cast of characters (which includes both contestants and judges!).

Disclaimer: I was provided free access to episodes and clips from The Taste and may be eligible to win rewards in exchange for an honest review. This review was posted in conjunction Influenster.com. Despite of all this, the opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by Influenster, ABC or any third party.

Aldi - great source of fresh fruit and vegetables

One of the grocery items that eats up a lot a money is fresh produce. I know that before Aldi came to Durham, I would strictly buy what was on sale and look for produce that was reduced in price for quick sale. Even though, fruit and vegetables were still luxury items and the range of items that could be bought was rather limited. For fruit, it usually involved apples, maybe some oranges, but rarely bananas or pineapple. Berries, especially non-strawberry items such as blueberries or blackberries, practically never appeared on the list because the prices were so high.

Now comes Aldi and the last two weeks, strawberries were quite affordable. This week, strawberries are on sale for around $1 a pound and last week they were around $1.50 a container; this is roughly half the price of other stores in the area. Blueberries were also on sale this week and even though blackberries were not on sale, the price I saw for blackberries was only $1.29 per container. Similar sized containers for blackberries are usually around $4.00 in other stores. So no wonder that fruit is now frequently appearing on the menu in my house and is not limited to apples anymore.

Below is a quick dessert I mixed up that includes strawberries, blueberries and some raspberry yogurt (which only is 39 cents at Aldi).
copyright Durhamonthecheap - a quick dessert including fresh berries and fruit yogurt!
This dessert takes about 5 minutes to prepare and is low in calories, but high in vitamins. You can alternate different fruits and add some vanilla bean-infused sugar for extra flavor or add a few drops of fruit liqueur. But thanks to Aldi, fresh fruit can now be regularly included in meal planning!

Product review: Michael Angelo's Eggplant Parmesan

As part of the Michael Angelo's Taste and Tell family, I received coupons to share and also a couple to buy products to invite friends over for meals. The first dinner with Michael Angelo's involved the favorite of the family, Eggplant Parmesan.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - Eggplant Parmesan with big and juicy slices of eggplant covered in cheese and sauce
 Eggplant Parmesan by Michael Angelo's can easily compete with any restaurant dish involving eggplant. As you can see from the image above, they have nice and juicy slices of eggplant included. If you buy an eggplant dish, no matter what else is included, you should taste and see the eggplant slices. Michael Angelo's takes wonderful thick slices of eggplant (think Chicken Parmesan size pieces) and covers them in a wonderful tomato sauce that truly tastes homemade and then adds some cheese, because everything is better with cheese.

I normally do not enjoy frozen dinners, but this dish as are all of the Michael Angelo's dishes I have tried is tasting homemade and I have no problem serving it to guests. Last night we had eggplant parmesan with a mixed salad. It was a hit! This dish makes as great vegetarian entree and with the bad news regarding "interesting meat ingredients" in frozen dinners in European grocery stores, Michael Angelo's dishes are one type of frozen dinner I will never worry about serving in my home.

Michael Angelo's is made in small batches with all natural ingredients to produce a high quality, restaurant-style dinner. I bought the larger size eggplant parmesan dish and used the oven to heat it up.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - I promise this tastes as good as it looks, Eggplant Parmesan by Michael Angelo's
The preparation of this dish is very easy. You simply preheat the oven to 400oF and then put the eggplant dish, with the film cover, on the middle rack for about 40 minutes. Afterwards, you remove the plastic cover and start serving - it is really that easy.

I took the image above of the container with the eggplant. I love the way the cheese melts in the oven and forms a perfect cover for the tomato sauce and the eggplant slices. The eggplant slices are covered in the gooey goodness of sauce and cheese. And there is plenty of eggplant in this dish. Every bite you have will include eggplant and so if you like eggplant, but are afraid of the time it takes to prepare this dish, Michael Angelo's is the best option. Based on the Michael Angelo's Facebook page here, we are not the only ones that love this dish. It seems to be a general customer favorite and no wonder, the taste is fantastic!

To see a full line of the Michael Angelo's frozen dinners that are available in single serve to family-size portions, go to the Michael Angelo's homepage here. I believe I had most of the varieties available locally, including the chicken and regular pasta dishes. I have never been disappointed and usually have a lasagna dish or eggplant dish in my freezer, in case I need to serve some unexpected guests. As I said, the quality of these dinners is outstanding and the taste is consistent. I never had a bad batch!

Disclaimer: As part of the Taste and Tell campaign, I received a package from Michael Angelo's that included coupons for reduced and free products in exchange for honest reviews. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by Michael Angelo's or any third party.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Product review: Campbell's Slow Kettle® Style soups

Through smiley360.com, I received a sample of their new line of Slow Kettle Style soups. I received the
Southwest-Style Chicken Chili with Black Beans & Sweet Corn, which was one of my top selection. The total line consists of seven different flavors. In addition to the Southwestern Chicken Chili:
  • Braised Beef Stew with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Roasted Potatoes
  • Kickin Crab & Sweet Corn Chowder
  • Portobello Mushroom & Madeira Bisque with Shallots, Thyme & Sage
  • Roasted Chicken & Chardonnay with fire-roasted tomatoes, aged parmesan & pasta
  • Tomato & Sweet Basil Bisque with Fresh Cream & Ground Red Pepper
  • Tuscan-Style Chicken & White Bean with Asiago Cheese, Thyme & Rosemary 
copyright Durhamonthecheap - my smiley360.com package for Campbell's Slow Kettle Style soups, including socks!

They soups are available, among other stores, at Walmart, where they cost just under $3. This is not cheap, but if they truly taste homemade, this price is worthwhile and comparable to the deli soup offerings are other stores, including the  H. T. Traders brand from Harris Teeter.

The package  contained a number of $2off coupons, so I will sample at least one more flavor. I may go for the Tomato Bisque or the Roasted Chicken. I will see what is available at Walmart and then decide. I usually go for the lower calorie and lower fat choice, unless I really like one flavor better than another one.

So keep an eye out for a future blog post about how the Chicken Chili was and how any additional flavors turn out that I may end up buying. One nice thing about these soups is the fact that you can store them at room temperature, perfect to take to work for

Product preview: The battle of the Nexxus haircare products!

Thanks to bzzagent, I got two packages today (in total I found 4 packages in my mail today which all contained freebies - what a day!)

I am now sampling Nexxus haircare products. Nexxus has some very nice products and brought out two new lines of products, Nexxus Salon Hair Care Hydra-Light and Nexxus Youth Renewal. According to the Nexxus website, Nexxus Salon Hair Care Hydra-Light  is supposed to provide refreshing hydration and natural fullness for the hair, while Nexxus Youth Renewal is intended to combat a total of eight signs of aging hair. I will start testing the products tomorrow. But wanted to introduce my readers to these products already, in case someone has tried them and can provide some feedback.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the battle lines are drawn, which Nexxus line will treat my hair better?

copyright Durhamonthecheap - will Nexxus Hydra Light reign supreme at the end of the contest?

copyright Durhamonthecheap - or will Youth Renewal win out in the end!
 Each line comes with shampoo and conditioner as well as additional products. For my Hydra Light I also received :
  • Hydra-Light Root Lift Mist
  • Hydra-Light Leave-In Conditioning Foam

Both of these products I will sample and I am particular excited about Root Lift Mist because this product is advertised as targeting roots to lift hair for added fullness and body, providing hair with up to 4X volume boost.We will see if I notice such a dramatic effect!

For the Youth Renewal line, in addition to the shampoo and conditioner, I also received the Youth Renewal Blow Dry Spray. This product is infused with VITA-8 Complex™ to build thicker-looking hair by providing weightless volume that lasts all day.Extra volume should be good, especially if it holds up well in humid weather, which is sure to come soon to North Carolina.

The prices for these products are not cheap, most products cost significantly more than $10 and usually are between $13 and $16. But if they work as promised, the products end up being a bargain at those prices compared to saline treatment to add volume or hydrate your hair!

Disclaimer: I received products for free from bzzagent to sample and review. The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely my own and have not been influenced by bzzagent.com or any third party.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Brandchallenges from Influenster = Prizes have arrived

Those of you who follow my blog will have heard about Influenster.com. Influenster is a product service that uses WOM advertising and blog reviews to generate buzz about new products, many of which are natural or organic.
Influenster from time to time will send you boxes, called Voxboxes, that contain an assortment of products to sample and, if you have a blog, you can also write about the products on your blog. For those without a blog, posts on social networking media can substitute for blog posts or youtube videos.

Completing the tasks associated with each product means you have succeeded at the brand challenge and you are eligible for a possible brand prize. I was lucky with the last Influenster Voxbox and won two brand challenges.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - EBoost brand challenge win from Influenster
 My first prize was from EBOOST, which is an all natural energy drink powder. I have previously sampled EBOOST in Orange as part of a Voxbox, but for my challenge win I was able to select a flavor and chose pink lemonade. I also got a nifty water bottle to use my EBOOST in. Great prize and it will come in handy since I am trying to save on soda purchases and either drink plain water with lemon slices or mix flavored powder into my water. This package of EBOOST will get me through another couple of months!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - Lypsyl brand challenge win from Influenster

The next prize was from Lypsyl, which has been a favorite lipbalm of mine for years. I got to know Lypsyl, which is made with natural beeswax, several years ago and not only it the little bee, with which you slide the balm out of the container, super cute, but the balm itself can be applied very sparingly, yet lasts a long time. This makes Lypsyl a very reasonably priced product. I am happy to see that I got three different products to try, including their cold sore relief, which I have yet to try. Now I am set with lip balm for a while!

Disclaimer: I received Voxboxes with EBOOST and Lypsyl products from Influenster for free in exchange for sampling and honest reviews. The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by Influenster or any other third party.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Food Review; Promotion - McDonalds Fish McBites in snack size for $1 (through 2-14-13)

From 2-12 through 2-14, McDonalds has the snack size of their Fish McBites on sale for $1. This is a new menu item and I thought I would give it a shot. Paired with a small fries or salad, you can have lunch for around $2. It is currently listed as a temporary item, so I am not sure whether they are just testing the waters or will handle this potentially similar to the McRib. I am not sure why this could not be a permanent item on the menu since it is actually not bad and for people that like fish, it is an alternative to their sandwich, which I for one do not like at all.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - snack size Fish McBites and Tartar Sauce for $1 during promotion

So what was the first impression?

Fish McBites in their snack size come with 10 pieces and you can get tartar sauce with it for dipping. The box has a little holder to put your tartar sauce in. Overall, for $1 it is a good value. The tartar sauce is very liquid, not as thick as I like it. The flavor of the Tartar sauce is okay, although I prefer the sauce they put on the McD Fish sandwich. So if possible, I would ask for some of that sauce to go with the Fish McBites.

The fish bites are actually pretty good. The breading is soft, not crunchy and so it is hard to make two bites out of one piece because you tend to end up with a mess in your hand. The breading may be soft in part because it is fairly thin and that means there is quite a beat of fish filling in each bite. The bites actually taste like fish.

Now before everyone starts and says this is not real fish. I used to live in Minnesota and really enjoy fresh fish. But I do not like to spend the money required for a nice lunch with fresh fish on a regular basis and for a quick lunch, these bites are quite tasty and they are nice non-beef alternative.

The fish used in the McBites is Alaskan pollock and since the breading is not too spicy, the fish taste carries the meals. Based on the McDonalds website here, the snack size contains 250 calories, with 120 calories coming from fat. The tartar sauce will add likely another 30 or 40 calories. By comparison, grilled Honey Mustard Snack Wrap has also 250 calories, but only 70 calories from fat. I would not consider the Fish McBites a staple of my diet, but when I feel like eating fish for lunch, I may grab the snack size in the future.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - 10 total bites in a package!

The promotion is ongoing until 2-14-13, so if you have a McDonalds close by, consider stopping by and forming your own opinion for $1.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Product review: Goodies February Box

Today I received my February Goodies box and in honor of Valentines Day the theme for this box is pairings. They included some expected, traditional pairings, but also at least one pairing that I would call unexpected. This will be an interesting month to sample.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the Goodies box for this month with a theme "Pairings"

I received:
  1. Sweet & Spicy Chipotle Roasted Chickpea Snacks (see here for product info)
  2. Chewy Chips Ahoy made with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (here)
  3. Snackwell's - Yogurt Pretzels, 6 count (here)
  4. Bacon Popcorn, 3 count (here)
  5. Peanut Butter & Co - Smooth Operator (here)
  6. Peanut Butter & Co - Dark Chocolate Dreams (here) 
  7. Enjoy Life Plentils Light Sea Salt (here)

I had White Chocolate Peanut Butter from the same company some time ago and really liked it, so the two versions of Peanut Butter included in this box should be good. I am also happy to sample the Chickpea snack. I am thinking that it will be similar to roasted peanuts.

I have no idea how the lentil snack or the bacon popcorn will turn out to be. But I signed up for a product discovery service and so the discovery of these new flavor combinations will be interesting. I will blog about my impressions of the content later on this month as I snack my way through this box.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - Bacon Popcorn? This should be interesting.

Disclaimer: I received the contents of a Goodies Box in exchange for a subscription fee. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by Goodies or any other third party.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Book review: Nightwatcher by Wendy Corsi Staub

I have been reviewing book for Once Upon A Romance for quite some time and the books have been really good, making the review process enjoyable. Nightwatcher was probably the first book that to me missed the mark a little bit. 

On a brighter note. I recently reviewed a book by an author from North Carolina and reading that book could not help but somehow feel at home since the language style was so reminiscent of how people here tell stories. I tried to express that in the review and got a nice surprise this past weekend, when the author took the time to thank me personally for the review of his book. Reactions such as this by the author are what makes reviewing books fun. That and of course finding new authors that write great books!

On to the actual review of Nightwatcher by Wendy Corsi Staub: 

This book by W.C. Staub is on its face a thriller, but reading the book, it seemed to me more than a work of fiction and ended up being a book about how great New York City and its people are (murders and all). W. C. Staub dedicates the book to the city and its people in the aftermath of 9/11 and that tragic event features prominently in the book as well.
The events covered in the book start shortly before 9/11 with an innocent encounter between the protagonist and one of the victims from the World Trade Center. The following chapters interweave the impressions and experiences of Allison Straub in the aftermath of the terror attack. While the main story line of the book is the brutal mutilation and killing of several women, the backdrop of 9/11 is featured more prominently in this book than I expected and actually detracts somewhat from the storyline of Allison coming too close for comfort to the murders.
A young woman in Allison’s house is murdered and we get introduced to the various residents of the house and their issues. Could one of them be the culprit? Allison is the unfortunate person to find the first victim and as the story progresses she inches closer and closer to the person responsible for the attacks. While the story in itself is interesting and the characters are well developed, the author does spend significant time going back to describing New York in the aftermath of the attack. This helps the reader remember those awful days and paints a vivid image of how the residents of New York must have felt, but it also forces the reader to go through pages of text that add little to the storyline of identifying the murderer.
Overall, the author is certainly talented and can tell a story. I believe that the attempt to write a thriller and turn it into a story dedicated to New York and the victims of 9/11 is not a natural pairing and made the storytelling extremely difficult. The author did a good job, given the difficult task, but the book is certainly not your traditional thriller.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Giveaway and Review: Michael Angelo's Taste and Tell - Why this is the only frozen meal regularly found in our freezer

copyright Durhamonthecheap - even a picture of the lasagne looks mouthwatering!
 I am so happy that Michael Angelo's selected me to be part of the Taste and Tell family. While I love to cook and ended up with a good amount of homemade tomato sauce using the tomatoes from the garden this past year, occasionally there is just not enough time to cook a real homemade dinner. For that reason, I will usually have a lasagna dish from Michael Angelo's in the freezer. I have previously blogged about the Taste and Tell family kit that I received from Michael Angelo's here, but the older post did not go into as much detail about the various products by Michael Angelo's and did not point out what makes Michael Angelo's so different.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - What I like about Michael Angelo's, they are very responsive!
 Michael Angelo's is a family-owned business that produces a variety of Italian frozen food. I love their vegetarian lasagna and their eggplant dishes. But they also made chicken dishes, regular pasta dishes as well as a meat lasagna. The products come in a range of sizes from individual servings to feeding the whole family size dishes. They can be prepared in the microwave, but you can also heat them up the oven. The family-sized dishes I usually heat up in the oven because the cheese melts nicely and the dish looks and tastes truly homemade.
Another plus for Michael Angelo's is the fact that they listen to their customers. If you for any reason are not satisfied (we all know that occasionally there can be a bad badge or the product was not properly handled at the store), contact Michael Angelo's and they will do things right!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - fresh ingredients are the reason Michael Angelo's taste home-cooked!
 I like this part of the Taste and Tell kit best because it sums up why I love Michael Angelo's. They make their products in small batches and use quality ingredients. There is a reason why their food tastes better than other frozen meals.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - they also have a great selection of vegetarian entrees!
 Michael Angelo's also considers the needs of vegetarians. The eggplant parmesan though is good enough that even non-vegetarians like me will love it. It is actually one of my favorite dishes and without a doubt would be classified as restaurant-quality by me. The vegetarian lasagna is excellent as well and really contains vegetables, not just a lack of meat like some competitor versions.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - I got nothing more to add, this summary says it all!
 This part of the kit sums it up perfectly. Michael Angelo's is not cutting corners when it comes to ingredients or preparation.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - if you want to find out more about the company or get coupons, here is the info!
 If you want to find out more about Michael Angelo's or get a coupon to make trying out Michael Angelo's even more tempting, the information is listed above.

So what dishes are available? Too many for me to list them all. I will focus on the signature line of dishes since we are all familiar with these. The complete line of product, including nutritional information is available on the Michael Angelo's website here.
This classic line of Michael Angelo's dishes includes the varieties listed below and is available locally at Harris Teeter and several other grocery stores. 
  • Meat Lasagna  
  • Eggplant Parmesan  
  • Vegetable Lasagna 
  • Chicken Parmesan   
  • Shrimp Scampi   
  • Chicken Piccata   
  • Baked Ziti with Meatballs   
  • Four Cheese Lasagna   
  • Pasta Primavera   
  • Manicotti with Sauce  
  •  Chicken Florentine  
  • Sausage Lasagna   
  • Chicken Alfredo   
  • Chicken Cacciatore   
  • Sausage, Peppers & Onions   
  • Herb Roasted Chicken   
  • Stuffed Tilapia 

But for my readers, I will also have a giveaway. 

What can you win? Two $1 off coupons for Michael Angelo's products.

Deadline: The contest ends on 3-1-13 at Noon EST.

How to enter: To enter, simply post a comment with your favorite Italian dish (home-cooked or not).

To contact you, I will need your email: If you subscribe to the blog, your name is automatically linked to the comment. If you are not subscribed to the blog, please enter your email so I can contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by selecting a random number based on their total number of entries.

Disclaimer: As part of the Taste and Tell kit, I received coupons for Michael Angelo's product to share and also informational material about the company and its products. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by Michael Angelo's or any third party.

Food Review: Harris Teeter Taste & Tell of H.T. Trader's Sir Chocolot Cookies

Through the Taste and Tell promotion at Harris Teeter, I was able to get a package of H.T. Trader's Sir Chocolot Cookies for free. They come in a variety of flavors, including Peanut Butter, Caramel and Chocolate Raspberry. I opted for the Peanut Butter variety.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - H.T. Trader's Sir Chocolot Cookies Peanut Butter variety
The cookies are definitely considered higher quality because of the pricing (a bag on sale was $3.50) and I for one feel that this is justified. Each cookie has a little cookie base, almost like an animal cracker, topped of with a layer of chocolate that has a peanut butter filling. The flavor is nice and a couple of cookies make for a nice snack.It is an interesting and new concept. Rather than have a sandwich cookie, this is cookie is almost like an open sandwich cookie. I really liked the Peanut Butter variety and based on the comments by others on Facebook the other varieties were good as well.

Add caption
I received this free box through the Taste and Tell promotion by Harris Teeter on Facebook. From time to time. HT will have a promotion on Facebook. You sign up for a limited number of coupons and if you are lucky, you get the value of the sample added to your eVic card. The last promotion was in January and between 1-30 and mid-February, you were able to get the H.T. Trader's Sir Chocolot Cookies for free. If you are not a fan of Harris Teeter on Facebook, I would sign up now and ensure that you can participate in future Taste and Tell promotions.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Kroger Freebie: 2l bottle of Pepsi Next

Another Freebie from Kroger - go to Kroger.com and sign in to pull up your free digital coupon for Pepsi Next. I have not tried out this Pepsi, so this is a good opportunity to have a no risk free trial.

To get the coupon, you will need two things:
- a Kroger frequent shopper card
- an account at kroger.com

Free Pepsi Next 2 Liter At Kroger & Affiliates. Thanks Kroger! Join the new coupon forum below for more great coupon deals.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Review: An Amish Kitchen by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston and Kelly Long

What attracted me first to this book was the attached recipes that promised to add to my still rather limited collection of Amish recipes. I started being interested in Amish cooking when I first came across the term Shoofly pie and had no idea what to expect. But finding a recipe and baking the pie, followed  by enjoying this great taste with my friends, got me hooked. I have been a fan of Amish cooking ever since.

When I received the ebook, I realized that I had gotten an even better deal, namely three stories by three authors. All of the authors are known for writing about the Amish and their lifestyle. So this book was an excellent opportunity to introduce me to three voices about the Amish at the same time.

The stories, entitled A Taste of Faith, A Spoonful of Love and A Recipe for Hope, each take place in the Amish community of Paradise,PA. The first two are love stories, while A recipe for hope deals with a generational conflict that may be overcome through cooking and working together in the kitchen.

As short stories, the stories in the book provide nice reading material for a holiday. The authors do a good job of portraying the conflicts in the Amish community, but the selected issues that are not just limited to the Amish.  The characters are drawn in broad strokes, not surprising given the limitations of short stories. This does not detract from the basic message of each story.

What I most enjoyed, though, were the recipes at the end of the book. These recipes alone are worth buying the book for. There is a recipe for Banana Bread, but also for Shoofly Muffins, which is on the top of my list of recipes that I will try out. Followed by a bunch of wonderful sounding dessert recipes like Apple Pudding and Apple Roll Ups as well as Kaffi Cake.
available on amazon.com here

Overall, I enjoyed the stories because they painted a nice image of Amish communities. While somewhat predictable in their outcome, the stories do make for a relaxing read on a holiday or a lazy weekend. And I see the book as continuing to give because the recipes will be used in my household over and over again.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through booksneeze in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own and have not been influenced by the authors or the publisher of this book.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Product Review: Lean Cuisine Salad Additions in Cranberry & Chicken Salad flavor

Today, I decided to have a somewhat healthy dinnerand start using the  Lean Cuisine Salad Additions packages that I had gotten for 50 cents (on clearance and with coupon) at Kroger last week. I had decided on the Chicken and Cranberry flavor because the salad dressing included (Raspberry Vinaigrette) seemed to me the most likely one that I would enjoy.

I am really picky with salad dressing and so purchasing any dressing is more miss than hit with me. I usually only add oil and vinegar to my salad, but I prefer raspberry vinegar and the Raspberry Vinaigrette included with this flavor of Salad Additions seemed like a natural choice.

The prep is really easy. The box contains several bags
  • the meat and vegetables
  • the dressing
  • the dry ingredient, this could be taco strips or sesame crackers etc.
One of the nice things about this salad upgrade by Lean Cuisine is the fact that you can store the package in the freezer. So if you find a sale, you can stock up and use them as needed. Well, I decided I needed one this evening.

I left the dressing and sesame cracker bags out for a while. When I was ready to eat, I popped the chicken and veggies into the microwave for two minutes and then waited another minute before pouring the contents over the lettuce in my bowl. Finally, I added the dressing and the sesame crackers.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - Cranberry Chicken salad courtesy of Lean Cuisine!
The vegetables smelled nice an fresh and because everything got mixed when I was ready to eat, the lettuce as well as the sesame crackers were crispy, not soggy.

The Lean Cuisine Salad Additions come in four flavors:
  • Asian-Style
  • Bistro
  • Southwest Style
  • Cranberry & Chicken

You can find more information about Lean Cuisine Additions, including nutritional information on the Lean Cuisine page here. While you may not always find them on clearance or have coupons handy, for a healthy, but filling lunch or dinner, Salad Additions by Lean Cuisine are a nice options. Again, I really like that I can buy them and store them in the freezer until I need or want them.

Book review: The Last Newspaperman by Mark Di Ionno

Let me start off by saying that this is a novel and not a non-fiction history of famous New Jersey newspaper stories of the 20th century such as the Hindenburg disaster and the Lindbergh kidnapping. It is written by a real journalist and for a first fiction book by a newspaper journalist this book has surprising depth and shows the journalist to be a wonderful storyteller. I know that the term storyteller is more and more commonly seen in reviews and so I want to clarify why I use this term to describe the book by Mr. Di Ionno. I do not use the term storyteller frequently, but reserve it for books that are entertaining and grasp my attention through the way that the words flow. I am not caught up in trying to find out how the specific story ends, but in the tale told by a great storyteller, that I simply cannot put the book down because the story is so beautifully written that I want to continue reading and enjoying it. 

The book has two protagonists, an unknown narrator that acts as the interviewer of and listener to Fred Haines, who as a reporter covered the major stories occurring in New Jersey in the early 20th century. A major part of the discussion between both men deals with the ethics of reporting and how to cover a story responsibly. How important is the story and can or should a story take second place to ethical consideration? The narrator is a young reporter that tries to come up with a story to make an impact. He decides to visit Haines at his retirement home and finds out that Haines in his younger days was at the center of most big news events occurring in New Jersey. Through their conversation, both characters learn from the other, and through the wonderful writing of Mr. Di Ionno the reader learns about New Jersey in the early 20th century, and in historically accurate descriptions about the major events that took place then in the state.
I believe that Mr. Di Ionno’s experience as a journalist comes through in the excellent research that went into the book. There is so much detail about each historical event that the passages read like a nonfiction book. I really enjoyed that because it provides me with a view into a long gone time and I feel as if I am getting a better understanding of time and people. This is an insightful book about a historically important era in US journalism with major stories breaking. The reader will feel as if they are getting a firsthand view to the stories by following the unknown narrator in his encounters with Fred Haines. 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book through Once Upon A Romance in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by any third parties. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

30 years of Brueggers - celebrate on 2-7-13 with a free bagel w/ cream cheese

30 years of Brueggers. I have been a fan of their Bagels since the late 80s when I first was introduced to them in Iowa City. IA.

This week, Brueggers is again celebrating their anniversary by giving away free bagels and cream cheese. Go to their Facebook page here and like the page. You can then print out a coupon and in the store on 2-7-13 select any bagel and cream cheese combination you like.

I am hoping for a pumpernickel with any cream cheese since I love their pumpernickel bagel.

What is your favorite bagel flavor?

National Frozen Yogurt Day is coming up - Coupon for free Menchies yogurt!

Menchies is offering free froyo on National Frozen Yogurt day! Get your coupon here

Celebrate 2-6-13 and frozen yogurt with a treat from Menchies. There is one in the Woodcroft Shopping Center in S. Durham.

I went today and enjoyed a wonderful mix of frozen yogurt for lunch, including their new flavor "Red Velvet Royale", which is made with real cocoa, cream cheese & cake batter.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - free 6oz Menchies today!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Product Review and Giveaway - PERDUE® Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Roasts

 Contest and giveaway rules:
Deadline 2-20-13 Noon (coupon is good until 3-31-13):
Coupon: good for up to $5 towards the purchase of PERDUE Breast Roasts available only at Walmart

What is required:
1) you must either subscribe to the blog AND post a comment with your favorite chicken recipe
2) put your email in the comment field AND name your favorite chicken recipe

Today, I am reviewing my first experience with a totally new product by Perdue, the Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Roasts. The Breast Roasts come already marinated in Lemon Herb (which was the only flavor available in my Walmart) and they are exclusive to Walmart stores.

This is important for the giveaway that I am hosting. If you do not have a Walmart store in your neighborhood, you will likely NOT be able to buy the product. I checked this morning at Food Lion, Kroger and Harris Teeter and could not find this product in any of the stores.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - picked up at Walmart, Breast Roast in Lemon Herb flavor (about 1lb)
 As I said, I had to buy the Lemon Herb flavor since my local Walmart in S. Durham carried no other flavor. But according to the Perdue website, the Chicken Breast Roasts are also available in Smokehouse Peppercorn, only not at my local Walmart. 

copyright Durhamonthecheap - it is recommended that you add foil to the bake sheet for easy clean-up

copyright Durhamonthecheap - oven set to 375F and pre-heating, meanwhile you can "prep" the roast
 I mention prep, but really all you need to do is cut open the bag and place the breast roast onto the baking sheet! Dinner prep could not be easier. I made mashed potatoes while the chicken was cooking and steamed some asparagus. I love these dinners because one course takes care of itself and frees up your time to do other things!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - calories per serving are 110 and the meal is gluten-free! Serves 4
 Notice that the 110 calories per portion contain only 25 calories from fat and the size of these breast roasts is perfect for a family. Depending on the age of the kids, you may have even some leftovers for lunch the next day!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - 40 to 50 minutes into the oven and dinner is ready!

copyright Durhamonthecheap- smells abolutely delicious and looks totally appetizing!
 I wish their was smell-web so you could actually smell how the delicious the meat was. It was really nicely balanced. When I first put the breast roast into the oven I could smell garlic and I do not like garlic. I mean not just not like garlic, when I was in the hospital they actually allergic to garlic on my chart because I really react that strongly to garlic. So was definitely worried and wished Walmart had offered the other flavor with Peppercorn, which likely did not contain as much garlic as a Lemon "Herb" flavor. But after letting the meat cook and then actually tasting it, the worries were not needed. There was really not obvious garlic flavor present.  The flavors were in my opinion well balanced, similar to the Oven Ready products that I had previously sampled from Perdue.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - but no matter how good it looks, you got to wait 5 min or risk losing the juices!
 If you go the Perdue homepage for the Breast Roasts here, you can find recipe suggestions. I decided to simply prepare the roast as recommended on the packaging since I had found some asparagus on sale and also wanted to make homemade mashed potatoes for dinner. But you can certainly go to the Perdue pages and find recipe suggestions. One recipe that I am interested in trying is making some apple relish containing the breast roast.

So how were the PERDUE® Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Roasts? Well, I could show the empty plates! But honestly, the prep was so easy and the meal ended up being delicious and healthy. I paired steamed asparagus with butter, mashed potatoes with chives and the PERDUE® Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Roasts. It was a nice weekend dinner and we even had some left over for a lunch next week. I liked the flavoring of the breast roast; you could really smell and tastes the herbs. I would without hesitation serve these roasts instead of homemade chicken breasts. It is nice to see that you have another quick and easy option from Perdue available that comes in handy on a busy day when you cannot prepare a meal from scratch. They taste like homemade and the meat was juicy. I can highly recommend this new product by Perdue.

And to ensure that one of my readers can sample the PERDUE® Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Roasts and see how their family likes the breast roasts, Perdue was nice enough to provide me with a free coupon. This coupon should cover the actual price of the product. Coupon value is up to $5 and at my local Walmart in S. Durham the price on the shelf was $4.98. So I ended up only paying taxes.

Contest and giveaway rules:

Deadline 2-20-13 Noon (coupon is good until 3-31-13):

Coupon: good for up to $5 towards the purchase of PERDUE Breast Roasts available only at Walmart

What is required:
1) you must either subscribe to the blog AND post a comment with your favorite chicken recipe
2) put your email in the comment field AND name your favorite chicken recipe

Disclaimer: I received a coupon for a free  PERDUE® Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Roasts from Perdue in exchange for an honest review. I was also provided with a coupon to give away to one of my readers. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by Perdue, Walmart or any third party.

Product Review: bzzcampaign Cafe Escapes

Today I received the bzzcampaign supplies to WOM advertise Cafe Escapes, which makes Keurig compatible beverages in a variety of flavors. What makes this campaign particularly exciting for me is the inclusion of Chai Latte and Mocha. I like Chai because the spices give its flavors a nice complexity and Mocha to me is the perfect combination of chocolate and coffee.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - included in the bzzkit were two different samples!
 Gosh, the packaging already looks delicious! Those cups of specialty coffee and hot chocolate look so good, especially one week after we had a real winter here in North Carolina with ice storm and everything!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the whole bzzzkit, coupons for sharing, samples and bzzguide!
 I will bring the coupons to work next week, so if you are interested in sampling Cafe Escapes, let me know!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - I have had these previously and they are little bit too sweet for me, but great when mixed
 I will share the Cafe Caramel and Cafe Vanilla. For my taste they are too sweet on their own, but great if mixed in with regular coffee instead of coffee creamer. So if you work at the university, you may find these in break rooms across campus for sampling! If you like the McDonalds frappes and lattes, these may be really good for you because the frappes at McDs or Starbucks tend to be too sweet for me and I am not very fond of the whipped cream on those either. I know that both new flavors have gotten really good reviews online. If you prefer French Roast because you want full-bodied coffee flavor, you are in the same boat as I, you will miss coffee flavor in these.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - now this is perfect for me, Chai Latte and Mocha as well as two hot chocolates - Love it!
This second sampler I am particularly excited about because it has Chai Latte, Mocha and two hot chocolates - what a wonderful variety of flavors to include. I love Chai and Mocha and having two hot chocolates, especially a dark chocolate variety, is awesome. I am glad bzzagent decided to have this campaign now when it is still cold, even in North Carolina, and we can warm up with a nice cup of hot chocolate!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - preparing the Cafe Caramel!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - a nice cup of Cafe Caramel courtesy of Cafe Escapes!
It is amazing that Cafe Escapes managed to make a flavored coffee that actually tastes like caramel. Overall, the caramel flavor is good, but it was a tad too sweet for me. So my solution, use half and half. I mix regular coffee with Cafe Caramel, save the cream and sugar, and it is ending up being a perfect cup of coffee with a hint of caramel!

Disclaimer: I was provided by bzzagent.com free samples and coupons in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in the blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by bzzagent or any other third party.