Friday, April 26, 2013

Subscription Boxes Coupons: 3 Great Mom & Kid Sub Box Deals from Plum District (April 26)

Plum District is a website where local moms find businesses they love and share savings of 50 – 80% daily. Today, Plum District is offering 3 great subscription box deals. Take a look:
  • $13 for Your First Month Subscription to The Little Book Club (Free Shipping) - $25 Value (expires 09/01/13)

  • $12 for 1-Month Trial of Bluum - $25 Value (expires 06/30/13) - valid for new subscribers only

  • $24.99 for a 2-Month Sproutkin Preschool Subscription (Ages 3-6) - $49.98 Value (expires 05/30/13)

All of the above deals offer savings of close to or more than 50%. I've tried Bluum before and really liked their boxes, but haven't tried them since they changed their box to full-size only items. Also, I've wanted to try a kids book club for a while, so I'm definitely grabbing the The Little Book Club offer for both my kids. If you'd like to sign up for for a free Plum District account through my referral link, you can do so here. Thank you!

Are you getting any of these offers?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday Treats: 'Perfect' Yoghurt, Granola & Fruit Parfait

Hello everyone! I'm loving today's Thursday Treat because it's simple to make, delicious and  healthy - just perfect (or parfait [ˈpɑrfeː], if you prefer the French name)! I often make Yoghurt, Granola & Fruit Parfaits because of all the reasons above and because it's a good any-time-of-the-day treat. You can absolutely improvise by using any kind of yoghurt, granola and fruit you have at home, plus you can add whatever additional bits & pieces you like such as jam, nuts, cinnamon, shredded coconut, flax or chia seeds, etc. Take a look at some of my Parfait creations:
I always like to serve my parfaits in martini glasses - it' just fancy and elegant, and makes me enjoy them just a tiny bit more :) Besides, martini glasses should not be just for drinking! Now, the easy recipe:

Ingredients / Products (for 2 parfaits):
  • 1 cup plain or flavored yoghurt - use your favorite variety: I personally love Chobani Vanilla Chocolate Chunk (the one used in the Raspeberry Parfait above) or the plain organic low-fat Trader Joe's kind (used in the Apple and Banana / Strawberry Parfaits in the photo_
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup granola (use your favorite kind): I like granola that is moderately sweet, with lots of crunch, seeds and nuts. Some of my favorite ones are: Trader Joe's Vanilla Almond Cluster Granola Cereal and Nature's Path Organic Flax Plus Pumpkin Granola
  • 1/2 cup of fresh fruit - I like berries, bananas, apples, pears...
  • Additional 'bits & pieces" such as: 1-2 tbs pecans, 1-2 tbs of jam or honey, 1-2 tbs shredded coconut, flax seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, etc.
  1. Put all of the key ingredients in cups / bowls - I like to do that so I can portion well and also, because in this way I can see all of the delicious parts that go into the separate parfait layers
  2. Cut the fruit into small pieces - except for the decoration on top, I like the fruit for my parfaits to be cut in tinier pieces as it's easy to mix with the rest of the ingredients and thus, easy to get those perfect spoonfuls
  3. Arrange the yoghurt, fruit and granola in layers in the martini glasses, starting with fruit and granola or jam and granola at the very bottom
  4. Finish with a spoonful of yoghurt and decorate with fruit slices and nuts based on your preference
Share with family & friends and enjoy any time of the day!

Do you make parfaits at home? What are your favorite add-on's and flavors?

*Follow all my Thursday Treats creations on my Pinterest Thursday Treats board!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Subscription Boxes Coupon Codes & New Subs: April 2013 (cont)

*NEW: Check out these latest (4/26) mom & kid sub box offers from Plum District!

I have already posted about some subscription box coupons & new subs at the beginning of this month, however I "need" to post again because some great new offers & subs are available. As usual, I've listed the expiration dates where known. Here is the list:

Promo & Coupon Codes:
New Subs & Promo Codes:
  • Cycleface: A brand new box, Cycleface brings pro-level nutrition specifically targeted for cyclist. Tshe site is "not live yet" but you can fill out a survey & submit your email to get your invite. 
  • Bleu Box: A new monthly jewelry and accessories subscription box by the online shop Bleu Vintage. There are two options - Bleu Box Silver: costs $24.99 and currently offered for $19.99 and Bleu Box Gold: costs $49.99 and currently offered for $39.99  - NO CODE NEEDED
  • Stride Box: A new monthly subscription box for runners that delivers an assortment of running accessories, gear, and nutritional products for $15 / month.
  • Pretty Box: A new subscription box by the online shop In a Pretty Box offering luxury gifts for women for different occasions. Currently, there is a Beauty Box starting at $17 and an Artisan Feature Box starting at $42
  • Treatsie: This just might be the box I've been waiting for! Treatsie is a brand new curated sample box of artisan candy from ever changing confectioners offered for $15 a month. The box seems to be popular as they announced on their Facebook page that they've already reached their subscriber limit for May. You can sign up on their waiting list....
It's hard to keep up with all the new entrants in the subscription eCommerce space. There seems to be new entrants at the two sides of the spectrum. On one hand, there are new very targeted box offerings -  such as specific sports boxes, and on the other - there are companies offering many various boxes depending on occasion / price / etc. The most intriguing new box for me from this list is definitely Treatsie - I might just have to try it once it becomes available.

Friday, April 19, 2013

FabKids Outfit Selection + One Free Outfit Offer

I've already posted about FabKids - the kids monthly outfit club for adorable head-to-toe ensembles - and the super-cute Nautical Neon Outfit my daughter received back in February. I was very impressed with the quality of the clothes and my girl says they are comfy and soft to wear.  

FabKids just released their new spring / summer outfits inspired by the Carnival in Brazil and my girl "just had to" pick another happy ensemble that is set to arrive in May. Take a look at what we selected (Note: Initially, we selected the Hearts in Rio Outfit, however we changed our order for the 5-piece Ready for Summer Set - a much better value at the same price and available for a limited time only):
This Ready for Summer Set consists of five pieces - in addition to the ones in the picture above, there is another striped tank but in pink. Of course, the set has the sparkle hearts tank that my daughter loved so much. The skirt is a skort which is great as it eliminates the need for shorts underneath for spring / summer days. So, we're getting five pieces for the regular outfit price of $39.95. Both my daughter and I can't wait to receive this set!

If you want to learn more about FabKids and try it, you can do so here. Plus, for a limited time, if you sign up for FabKids and order your first outfit, you'll get your second one FREE, no code required. That comes to less than $20 per outfit which is not a bad deal. Plus, you can skip a month and if you are not completely satisfied with the outfit you receive, you can return it for free within 30 days.

Are you a FanKids subscriber? Are you going to give them a try? What do you think of this outfit?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday Treats: Ham & Cheese Breakfast Toast

Today's Thursday Treats is all about a simple, quick and tried breakfast (or any-time-of-the-day) recipe that I've known for years - exactly as my mom used to make it, and that I now make for my own daughter. We love melted Ham & Cheese Breakfast Toast - so much that we have these almost too often at our house . These are similar to the all-famous Croque Monsieur, however I've been enjoying my version long before I even knew of the French one. Take a look:
Have fun by customizing this recipe to your taste by varying all the main ingredients - experience with your favorite bread, ham (or go meat-less and try it with a cheese combo) and cheese. Use any kind of ham or salami - we like ours best with light Canadian bacon or oven roasted turkey ham (sometimes with both together!). As for cheese, I've tried it with almost infinite varieties and discovered that Muenster works the best - with it, the toasts are perfectly melted and browned. Here is the easy recipe:

Products / Ingredients (makes 4 toasts):
  • 4 French bread slices - you can substitute for any type of bread, but I like French and Ciabatta (the Italian white bread version) the best for that perfect crunch
  • 8 slices of Canadian bacon or oven roasted turkey ham 
  • 4 Muenster cheese slices or your favorite soft & smooth texture cheese (Cheddar, Gruyere, etc.) 
  • 1/2 tbs of butter
Heat the oven to 400 / 425 F

  1. Divide the butter onto the slices - no need to spread if straight out of the fridge, just arrange shavings equally on the slices (the butter makes the toasts soft and moist on the inside)
  2. Arrange the Canadian bacon slices by two on each bread of slice
  3. Arrange the Munster slices on top of the bacon / ham
  4. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned
Enjoy warm with you favorite fruit for a wholesome breakfast.

What are some of your favorite breakfast recipes?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Love With Food April 2013 Review

My much anticipated Love With Food April box arrived yesterday and I couldn't open it fast enough. If you are not familiar with this sub, here's more information: 

The Box: Love with Food 
Get a box of gourmet food shipped to you monthly, with new flavors curated with a different theme every month. 
Price: $12 / month ($10 + $2 / shipping) 
Highlights: *gourmet food; *shop full-size products at a discount; *meal donated with every box; *earn credit points from reviews

This month's Love With Food box has teamed up with "the master of bizarre foods" Andrew Zimmern to celebrate the launch of his "Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild & Wonderful Foods". He has selected some of his favorite bites to feature in the box. The box was packed full; take a look at all the included treats:
There was a total of eight items from seven brands, and I wasn't familiar with any of them (that is a good thing as it's all about discovery). Here are the details:
Air Popped Sorhum Grain from Mini Pops
Very similar to popcorn, these mini grains are much tinier, with a buttery flavor and all natural. Sorghun is said to be the 5th most harvested cereal grain on the globe - didn't know that and have never had it before - certainly not instead of popcorn. This is the first snack I tried and I loved it! It tastes very much like popcorn, however it's crunchier and more buttery, and incredibly cute since it looks like "mini popcorn". Also, I specifically liked the fact it was not salty at all - I usually buy the unflavored all-natural popcorn... My daughter loved this snack, as well. The Mini Pops website lists other tempting varieties... I'll definitely be looking for sorghum grain pops on my next grocery store trip.

Cocomels from JJ's Sweets
There was one original and one sea salt cocomel included. These are all-natural coconut milk caramels. They are dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, GMO-free and vegan, and... apart from all that, they are (well, were!) absolutely delicious! I liked both varieties - smooth and not overly sweet like some of the regular caramels. The included card said the cocomels were available in eight "mouthwatering flavors" - well, I might just have to try all of these. These do look yummy!

Organic Fennel Polled from Pollen Ranch
There was a tiny packet of fennel seasoning included in the box - the smell of the fennel is definitely overpowering... It's said to be "hand-collected from the wild" and that you can use it in both savory and sweet dishes; also, there was a meat recipe included, so I might give this a try.
Lemony Lover Olives from Oloves
I love olives so I was excited to see this pack included in the box. These are green olives marinated with lemon, garlic & oregano. While I prefer black olives (Moroccan & Kalamata are among my favorite), I'm curious to try these green ones as the flavors combination does sound like something I'll like. Oloves seems to be based in the UK and says its products are sold in 14 countries.
Salty Pepper Nuggets from Somersault Snacks
I really like the packaging design of this snack, although I'm not so sure I'd like the snack itself. These are said to be "crunchy crackers made with sunflower seeds, toasted grains and a touch of garlic, onion, salt & pepper". I love crackers but I don't like pepper and onion in my crackers, so I'll see how I like these... The  company website lists other cracker varieties that seem more to my liking.
Creamy Buffalo Ranch Dip from Buff Lo Dip
This is a good-sized sample jar of buffalo wing & ranch dressing dip which I'm not sure how much I'll like as I typically don't use or buy either dressing... Still, I'll give it a try and I know my husband will probably like it on his chicken wings or even next time we have hotdogs.
Smoky Chilli & Lime Chickpea Snacks from The Good Bean
I really wanted to like these as I like chickpeas, however these were simply too spicy for me and way too sour. They are supposed to be really good for you because of all the fiber, etc., but I just did not like the flavor combination.

My verdict: Overall, I am happy with my April Love With Food box as I got to discover new and definitely different foods and flavor combinations. While not all of them were "wins" for me, I still enjoyed the process and I did discover two great new snacks - the Cocomels and the Mini Pops. If you want to learn more about Love With Food and sign up, you can do that through my invite link here. Thanks!

What did you think of this month's Love with Food selection? Did you find these wild,weird or wonderful?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Graze Box Review: Nibblebox #4 (#10)

Another week - another new Graze Nibblebox! Seeing my Graze box in the mail always puts a smile on my face and for good reason - I've been really happy with the nicely-packaged well-portioned snacks I've been getting for the past couple of months. Here is a look at this week's Graze box:

Of the four snacks this week, I have only tried one in a previous box - the Summer Berry Compote with wholemeal shortbread... I really liked this snack before, so I was happy to receive it again. The shortbread is perfect with the tangy compote! Here is a detailed look at the other three snacks:

Chocolate Orange Granola: Granola seeds, dark chocolate, orange raisins & almonds
I knew I'd absolutely love this one as it had some of my favorite flavors - I always cave in to orange and dark chocolate, and granola is a big part of my daily diet. I loved the flavors and the texture in this snack, and the almonds were a nice addition for some extra crunch and good fats. This snack was the first to quickly disappear - I just added some almond milk and took care of my afternoon cravings :) This was by far my favorite treat in this box.

Little Figgy Went to Market: Apples, cranberries and diced figs dusted with rice flour
At just 95 calories, this snack is healthy, however I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I found it a bit too tart for my taste. I'd say it was 'just OK' but nothing special.

Marvelous Macaroons: White chocolate, amaretti drops, almond slices & coconut
I love coconut and while I find macaroons a bit too sweet for my taste, I did like this snack. I took a bite packed with all of the four ingredients and it was quite tasty - not overly sweet, with a nice coconut crunch. I'm adding this snack to my "like" list.

My verdict: As usual, I enjoyed my Graze box, however since I wasn't "head over heels" with all four snacks this time, I'd rate this box as an above-average one and thus, not one of my all-time favorite boxes. Still, I'm happy I got to try some different flavor combinations and snack varieties.

What did you think of the snacks in this box? What are some of your favorite Graze snacks or other food subs?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday Treats: Feta Cheese & Yoghurt Scones

Today's Thursday Treats post is all about warm savory homemade goodness - Feta Cheese & Yoghurt Scones. This is my mom's recipe that she's been making for us regularly on many occasions, and I've begun to make these for my kids. These scones are easy to make and one of my "best savory snacks" - perfect for breakfast, an afternoon snack or even a light lunch with a side salad. Take a look:

You may know that I often use yoghurt and feta cheese in my treats, and I always love the result. Since the yoghurt is one of the main ingredients in this recipe, it makes the scones really soft and moist.

Products / Ingredients (makes 20-22 scones):
  • 2 cups Greek-style yoghurt (I use non-fat Chobani, but you can substitute with your favorite kind)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I like to use sunflower oil) 
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 10 oz feta cheese (you can use half cheddar if you find feta cheese too strong)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Heat oven to 365 F. 

  1. Mix the baking soda in the yoghurt and let it dissolve
  2. Beat the eggs and add them to the yoghurt mixture, then add the oil and stir
  3. Mix the baking powder in the flour and add them to the yoghurt-egg-oil mixture
  4. Finally, crumble the feta cheese and add to the dough. The dough will be somewhat sticky. 
  5. Use oil to form scones with your hands and arrange about 2 inches apart
  6. Bake ~ 45 min at 365 F or until golden in color
These scones or savory cakes are delicious right out of the oven, but are also good for a few days after if stored in an air-tight container. Again, if you find feta cheese too strong, you can make these with cheddar or even mozzarella - I've made them with both feta & cheddar and they are yummy!

What are some of your favorite family recipes? Are you going to give this recipe a try?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Graze Box Review: Nibblebox #3 (#9)

Today my third Graze Nibblebox arrived at my door and I was really excited, as I had pushed it a week later (just to give myself a little break) and had already started to miss my delicious graze snacks. I loved both my first and my second Nibbleboxes, so was curious to try the snacks in this box. This box contained two snacks I've already received in previous boxes (which I loved / liked) and two new ones. Take a look: 

The two snacks I already had before were: the Hot Cross Yum (orange raisins, sponge pieces & cinnamon honey almonds) and the Pina Colada (pineapple, coconut & mango). Just as the first time I tried it, I loved the Hot Cross Yum. I really liked the Pina Colada the first time I tried it, as well. This time though I liked it even more - the pineapple and the mango were moist and delicious. And you can't beat the fact it is just about 100 calories and loaded with vitamins. As for the other two new snacks I received in this Nibblebox, here are the details:
Texan Corn Salsa: Salsa almonds, corn chips and roasted corn
A few words - a delicious crunchy savory snack! I love roasted corn and they were perfect in this combination. I've never had the salsa almonds before - I really enjoyed them.
Honeycomb Flapjack: Rustic rolled oat flapjack with honeycomb and milk chocolate
I've only tried one other flapjack variety (the orange & ginger one) and I really loved it, so the minute I saw those in my box, I was hoping they'd be as good. They were - moist, chewy, loaded with honey, with a touch of milk chocolate... I still graded them with "love", although I did love the orange & ginger ones a tiny bit more (but I'm very partial to both orange and ginger). You can only get flapjack in your Nibbleboxes as they are, at ~ 240 calories, one of the more filling snacks. I don't mind it though as I love them for breakfast or as an after-workout snack.

My verdict: I really liked my Graze Nibblebox. It included two of my past favorites and I didn't mind that. Also, I got to discover two new snacks that I enjoyed very much. 

As you might know, Graze has limited the number of invitations current members can send out because of the overwhelming initial response (a good problem to have!). If that changes going forward, I'll let you know.

What are your favorite Graze snacks? If you are not subscribed to Graze, what other food subs do you receive?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

POPSUGAR Must Have Box April 2013 Review

My April POPSUGAR Must Have Box showed up at my door today - that is the earliest it has arrived since I've been with the sub! I already had an idea what was in the box and while I was expecting to really like the contents, I just loved everything! Take a look:

April's theme is about "embracing Spring and getting in the eco spirit" with Earth Day around the corner (April 22). With the help of an Eco-friendly four-in-one garment bag, a classic fresh scent, some jewelry and some treats I don't think getting into Spring-mood would be a problem at all. Here are the details:

Must Have Food:
Alter Eco Dark Quinoa Chocolate ($3.50): I've seen this brand in my local Whole Foods store but have never tried it. I loved it and to no surprise, as I simply love dark chocolate! I also love quinoa, but I've never had it in chocolate before. I found the combination delicious, in addition to it being healthy. I'll definitely be buying more of this brand - the included $1 off coupon will be used.

Must Have Beauty:

Kai Perfume Oil ($36): I've heard of this oil before and know it has celebrity fans following. I found the scent of "gardenia and white exotic flowers" really appealing. It's very fresh and light, not over-flowery at all; it really is spring-y. Also, the more it wears, the lighter the gardenia scent becomes and the more I can smell sweet and warmer notes... It's a roll-on bottle and it will be perfect for my summer travels and to bring in my purse for on the go touch-ups. I know some people don't like getting perfume in their subs as it's personal, however I like trying out new perfumes and don't mind getting these little treats (the fact that they come in little packages is definitely a plus) from time to time.

Must Have Fashion:

The Green Garmento Four-in-one Reusable Garment Bag ($9.98): I've never heard of this brand before but the idea seems cool and definitely Eco-friendly as it converts from hamper to duffel to bring clothes to the dry cleaner, to garment bag. I'll most probably be using this as a travel garment bag for my upcoming summer trip (going to a June wedding) and will then be using it to store some of my winter coats. I would have preferred if it did not have the POPSUGAR logo on, especially when I use it as a travel garment bag, however it's not a deal breaker.

Must Have Fashion:

Shashi New Nugget Bracelet ($22): This two-tone gold nugget bracelet is fun and can be stacked up with other bracelets for a unique look. I got the gray color and I love it! The information card said POPSUGAR picked three colors for the April's box: cobalt, turquoise and gray. I am a bit partial to any shade of blue, but the gray is also very nice and neutral.

Must Have Beauty:

Tatcha Petal Fresh Evening Aburatorigami Beauty Papers ($15): These evening clutch-size papers are said to keep your skin's natural moisture and not mess up your make-up. I typically don't carry blotting papers in my bag but now that I have these, I'll definitely throw them in and use them.

My verdict: I'm loving every single item in my April's Popsugar Must Have Box! While it may be the box with the least number of items included so far (no extras this month and supposedly, the lightest box yet; and at just under $87 in value it is the lowest-value box I received so far) - it is the contents that count and in this case, I will use every single item in the box. I especially like the fact that a few of the items will come handy in my summer plans (upcoming trips & wedding). To me, this is definitely a successful box.

If you want to sign up for POPSUGAR Must Have Box, you can learn more here. Use coupon code REFER5 to get $5 off your first box.

What did you think of April's Must Have box? 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Subscription Boxes Coupon Codes & New Subs: April 2013

April is here and with the new month, there are some recent subscription box discount codes and new subscriptions that I'd like to share with my readers. Here is the list:

Promo & Coupon Codes:

  • Glossybox: Join Glossybox and get a free Zoya nail polish with any subscription. Use code FUN to get the Zuza color (a very nice blue-green that is much on-trend this spring) (Expires 4/11/13)
  • Bulu Box: Get your first box free with code FIRSTFREE. Box is usually $10 + free shipping
  • Naturebox: Use code HEALTHY for 25% off your first box (still valid, expires 5/31/13)
  • PopSugar Must Have: Get $5 off your first box (usually $35) with code REFER5
  • Love with Food: Get your first box 50% off (just $5) with code YUMMY
New Subs & Promo Codes:
  • The Bride Box: A new subscription box that promises to "supply brides with monthly gifts and incentives to help them plan their wedding"; in addition, the focus will be on "personalized and unique" gifts. Cost: $35 / month. This one sounds like a great idea and I'm definitely interested to see of the reviews for the first boxes.
  • Our Local Box: "A new way to explore local", this new monthly subscription service features "full-size products from the coolest, most unique independent businesses in Kentucky". The box of Kentucky-made goodies will help you discover "new food, music, art, apparel, home and beauty products". Cost: $30 / month. This is definitely an intriguing offer as the service differentiates itself by being state-focused, so again, I'm curious to see what the first boxes contain.
  • KLUTCHclubMom: A new monthly box launched by KLUTCHclub, it offers products targeted at active and healthy moms. Cost: $8 + $8 shipping. Use code EARLYBIRD to save 20% off a subscription.
It seems that the subscription eCommerce space is still much growing - there are both new entrants offering focused niche products / "boxes", as well as "box additions" by established players. Hopefully, some of these discounts and / or new offerings will let you try a sub you've been wanting to or... didn't know you wanted? Have you heard of other new monthly subscriptions?

POPSUGAR Must Have April Box *SPOILER*

NEW: I got my box today (earliest ever); check out my review here!
*If you'd like to remain spoiler-free, you should not read the rest of this post*

While everyone is anxiously anticipating this month's PopSugar Must Have box, some of the ladies on the MUT have received their boxes and have graciously shared the contents with the rest of the readers - and I'm always curious about spoilers! This is what is said / rumored to be included in April's Must Have Box:

  1. Alter Ego Fair Trade Dark Chocolate with Quinoa (~$4) - Supposedly, there is also a discount coupon included
  2. Kai Perfume Oil, 1/8 oz. (retails for $48) - I'm really curious to try this one...
  3. Shashi Nugget Bracelet ($28) - not sure if this is the exact variety and / or color, but this is from Shashi's website...
  4. Tatcha Blotting Papers ($19)
  5. Popsugar-branded Laundry Tote - I didn't find a picture for this item, so I'm just listing it here
As always, I will hold off on my opinion until I get my box and see everything in person (I always seem to like the items much better when I see them!), but my initial thoughts are that I'll probably like this box... a lot.

Did you get your PopSugar Must Have box yet? What do you think based on this spoiler?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thursday Treats: Homemade Dark Chocolate Walnut Truffles

I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate! Today's Thursday Treats are inspired by a special treat my friends brought over for Easter and I decided to try it myself. This recipe is a first for me and it turned out just heavenly - take a look at my Homemade Dark Chocolate Truffles with Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur:

As with all my recipes, I've taken a recipe from one of my favorite books - in this case I took a basic truffle recipe from my go-to dessert book Chocolate & Baking - and modified it to my taste. Just a note to all who might think making homemade truffles is difficult - it is really quite simple and allows for infinite variations & modifications to suit your taste. So, dare and give it a try - the result will be delicious!

Products / Ingredients (makes 30-35 truffles)
  • 5 oz dark chocolate (I like Trader Joe's Pound Plus Dark Chocolate bar, but you can use a semi-sweet or milk variety if you prefer it less bitter)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp Chambord black raspberry liqueur (you can substitute with your favorite liqueur or skip it altogether; the amount is not so much that you can taste it but it does give a nice flavor to the chocolate, and I love black raspberry!)
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 chopped walnuts (again, feel free to substitute with other nuts - almonds, pecans, even shredded coconut or... just skip the nuts altogether and use just cocoa for dusting)
  • cocoa for dusting
  1. Melt the dark chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring continuously, until well combined and smooth
  2. Add the liqueur to the chocolate & butter mixture
  3. Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar and sour cream until smooth
  4. Leave the chocolate mixture either in the fridge for a few hours or in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes; the mixture needs to be firm enough to form and roll chocolate balls
  5. Form each truffle with the help of two teaspoons and roll it into the walnuts and cocoa: I found that the walnuts and cocoa together help with the rolling of almost-perfect balls
  6. Put the truffles into mini cupcake sleeves and let cool in the fridge
Enjoy - any time of the day! These also make wonderful hostess gifts - you can get creative with the presentation depending on the occasion and the variety of truffles you've prepared.

Have you made homemade truffles? What is your favorite chocolate-inspired recipe?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fashion Subscription Boxes Added to the List

While my Subscription Boxes List & Directory is taking longer than expected, I'm making progress. I've just added close to 20 fashion subscription boxes. Included in the Fashion Subscription category are:
  • Clothing boxes
  • Accessories boxes - including shoes, jewelry (quite a few of these monthly subs), handbags, hair ties, etc.
  • Clothing / accessories combination - e.g. Golden Tote
  • "Personal Shopper" Type boxes - e.g. The List by i-Ella (I have to admit, that is one of the subs I really want to try; the initial reviews / feedback seem quite positive)
I have tried StyleMint and of the few pieces I've ordered, I did like most - I liked the soft fabric and whimsical designs (like of this tee). However there were a couple "misses" mostly because of sizing and / or cut issues.

Don't forget to check out the other categories in the Subscription Boxes Directory (now has close to 110 subscriptions included) and stop back often as I'm adding to the rest of the list.

What fashion / accessories subs have you tried? What are your favorite?