Thursday, October 2, 2014

EatSmart Precision Pro Food Thermometer Review

I am a snob when it comes to kitchen gadgets. I love gadgets, but they MUST work, be reliable, long lasting, and easy to use. I've gone through a whole host of thermometers, with little success. I had one that looked like a large meat fork, but it only worked for a few months and then wouldn't read any temps. I have a small Pampered Chef thermometer, but you have to get your hand so far in the oven and close to the dish...even then it takes forever to get an accurate temp, which by then you've burned your hand. I had an Oxo leave-in thermometer that I loved, but it too stopped working and wouldn't read temps. While I'd prefer a thermometer that can be both leave in and a quick check, I realize they don't make those with interchangeable probes.

I love EatSmart products....I have a kitchen scale from them that's over 6 years old and still going strong. I have a set of bathroom scales that are just about as old and never had an issue with it.

This handy thermometer was something I really wanted to try out.

I love that the readings are super quick....close reading in 5 seconds, with a precise one in 10 seconds. It has a nice back-lit LED screen which is perfect for reading inside the oven. it has a hold feature so you can keep your accurate temp reading as you take the thermometer out of the oven. It has an auto-off timer set to 5 minutes, which is great because I am constantly forgetting to turn mine off and you don't want to run through batteries. The instruction booklet also tells you how to recalibrate the unit in case the temps are off.....never knew that you could do that!

My absolute favorite feature about the thermometer, which they don't really show in the photo too well is that the cover for the probe snaps onto the end of the handle. This not only keeps it from getting lost, but is designed to add extra inches to the length of the handle so you don't have to get your hand so close to the hot dish. BRILLIANT! Why don't all thermometers have something so simple yet awesome?

One strange thing though....the box says readings in 5 seconds and a 2 year warranty. The instruction booklet says 10 seconds and 1 year......maybe I misread something, but the two don't seem to match. No matter though because I've never had a bad EatSmart product and the readings are pretty close in 5 seconds.

Here's what the EatSmart website has to say about the features:

  1. EatSmart InstaRead Technology - Measurements in 5 seconds or Less!
  2. Temperature Range -40F - 450F.
  3. Resolution of .1 degree F
  4. Easy to read LCD display with illuminated blue backlight
  5. 3" probe with 1.5mm step downtip and splash-proof design
  6. Measurement Modes: Fahrenheit / Celsius
  7. Hold Feature - Lock in temperature for safe reading
  8. Splash-proof design
  9. FDA and NSF Certified
  10. Auto Calibrated; Runs on 1 CR2032 battery (included)

You can see my review on Amazon too. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Kroger Skillet Meal Review: Chicken Stir Fry

I love cooking meals at home each night from scratch, but sometimes I'm too busy to take an hour or two to make dinner.  I absolutely hate frozen dinners because they're unhealthy and full of junk....and rarely do they taste good.  I loved the Progresso Recipe Starters when they came out because it helped me create a quality home-cooked meal without taking the time to start a sauce from scratch.  When I discovered Kroger Skillet meals, I have to say I was hesitant at first.  I've tried some of these skillet meals before by other name brand makers and really wasn't impressed.  Kroger's new skillet meals though boast 20 grams or more of protein per serving, which is great for my family right now since I have a teenage son who's starting basketball season right now and needs all the protein he can get.

With the Kroger Skillet Meal, I had a tasty, healthy weeknight dinner in less than 10 minutes and best of all, the whole meal only took 1 rice cooker and 1 skillet.  I chose to try the chicken stir fry variety.  I added rice along with the meal to make a complete dinner for my family.  They say this meal is perfect for two, but I served myself, my hungry hubby and a 14 year old boy with this one bag (along with the rice).  It could have used a bit more chicken, however, even if it was just for two servings.  There was probably less than 3/4's of a thin chicken breast in this meal.  The sauce was fantastic though....not too much soy-sauce taste and just the right balance of sweetness.  The sauce also comes in a separate pouch so you can choose how much you want to use.

Nice 24 oz size and plenty of yummy, crisp veggies

This is how it appears straight out of the bag

6 minutes later....ready for the sauce

Use the amount of sauce YOU want, not what they tell you to use

Finished pretty and tasty

I even loved that the bag was of a material and texture that didn't puncture easily in my freezer and folded up flat with no troubles to dispose of in the trash can.  I know that sounds silly, but I don't like bulky bags and boxes in the trash nor do I like freezer bags that puncture at the slightest touch.

Skillet meals come in a bunch of varieties, more than pictured here  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hormel Rev Wraps Review

Your teen need a pick me up before a ball game or sports event or just a sustained boost of energy for the day?  They're made with real meat and cheese and provide at least 15 grams of protein per wrap!  This quick boost of protein helps kids (and parents too) sustain energy throughout the day or for a big game, 

They're available in eight flavors: pepperoni pizza, ham & cheese, peppered turkey, meat lovers pizza, Italian style ham, hot pepper ham, Italian style and spicy Italian style.  You can find them in the meat case at your local grocery store.

I got the pepperoni pizza flavor for my son.  They come in nice little single-serve packages, so I tossed him one on his way out to basketball practice.  He wasn't too keen on the parmesan cheese taste, but said it was an okay snack.  My teen daughter also tried it and said it wasn't bad for pre-packaged food (I think I've spoiled them with mostly homemade food).  These little guys do cost a bit more than I generally like to spend for a single-serve snack, about $2.79/ea, if I remember correctly.  But for a snack that's healthy with real meat and cheese, it's a fairly good deal for pre-made items.

My son doesn't love it when I photograph him for you can see by the grumpy look on his face!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lean Cuisine Honestly Good Review

I try and stay away from frozen meals because most of them are filled with horrible preservatives, taste terrible, and don't offer me any way to add just the right amount of sauce for my taste.  When I found Lean Cuisine's new line of frozen meals, Honestly Good, I was intrigued and decided to give it a whirl. They're made with 100% all natural ingredients; when I checked the list on the back of the package, there was NOTHING I didn't understand or that sounded scientific.  There's also something on the package that said all the vegetables were grown in the US and they give back a portion of the vegetables grown for Honestly Good to local communities.  I like a company with ethics and morals and willing to buy food locally for their products.

I opted for the Lemongrass Salmon, but was a little leery about a frozen meal being able to pull off salmon.  Oh, what a treat it was!!!  The salmon, while obviously not restaurant quality, tasted good and didn't smell overly fishy after being cooked.  The vegetables were tender and the rice was awesome.  The best part though, was the lemongrass sauce that came in a packet inside the meal.  I was able to put as much or as little sauce as I desired and the taste was fantastic.  For the first time in a long time, I think I am going to purchase the other varieties of the Honestly Good line and try them at work for my meal.  These meals are on the pricey side, selling for around $4.50 at my local grocery store.  However, they are delicious, made with all natural ingredients, and contain enough in each serving to fill me up.  This particular selection had 5g of fiber, 18g of protein, and 80% of my daily value of Vitamin A.

Here's a little bit about the varieties they offer.  I think I am going for the Pomegranate Chicken next.
  • Pomegranate Chicken with whole grilled chicken breast filet, whole grain pilaf with currants, green beans, wax beans, ribbon cut carrots, served with a pomegranate glaze
  • Lemongrass Salmon with coconut-crusted salmon filet, brown rice with wheatberries and slivered almonds, snap peas, orange & yellow carrots, edamame, served with ginger lemongrass sauce
  • Roasted Red Pepper Chicken with whole grilled chicken breast filet, whole grain cavatappi pasta, sea salt & lemon-seasoned broccoli florets, served with roasted red pepper sauce
  • Plum-Ginger Grain-Crusted Fish with grain-crusted wild caught whole fish filet, brown rice with edamame, snap peas, wax beans, carrots, served with plum ginger sauce
  • Pineapple Black Pepper Beef with whole tender beef cuts, brown & wild rice with pineapple & silvered almonds, green & wax beans, orange & yellow carrots, served with pineapple black pepper sauce
  • Honey Citrus Chicken with whole grilled chicken breast filet, whole grain radiator pasta mixed with spinach, slivered almonds and sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli florets, yellow zucchini, served with a honey citrus sauce

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kroger Deli Fried Chicken Review


Looking for a quick and easy meal for the family but don't want to eat fast food or frozen meals?  Kroger's deli has always been my go-to place for inexpensive and delicious meal ideas.  I normally get the rotisserie chicken and some of the sides like baked beans and coleslaw, but  this time we tried out the deli fried chicken.  I wasn't overly impressed with the taste or texture of the fried chicken.  It may be that the chicken was old or that we have an hour drive home from the grocery store, but the outside was mushy and didn't have a lot of seasoning to it.  The breasts were dry, but the wings and thighs were juicy.  It seems like a lot of money to get this little 8 pc fried chicken for almost $8 when I can get a whole rotisserie chicken for about $5-6.

We did really love the Kroger brand Mesquite BBQ kettle chips...those were gone within no time!  The flavoring is perfect and has just enough umph to it.  The kettle cooked chips were also a great departure from your standard light and greasy potato chip.  I'll definitely be buying these chips again!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles Review

I have one of those jobs where I am on my feet a lot and often times I'm standing in work boots for long periods.  My feet hurt.  There's no getting around it....the older you get, the more things hurt.  I used to be able to stand for hours with no problems, I used to be able to wear those super cute high heel boots and high heel shoes with no problems.  Not any more.

That's why I was more than happy to test out these new Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles.  I've tried the foam insoles before with not much luck.  I've also tried the ones made specifically for women's high heel shoes, but they always slide around too much or cramp my feet because they're too thick.  These insoles are pretty nice for something like a pair of high heel boots or maybe even a pair of flats.

I first tried them in my work boots.  I followed the instructions and took out the insoles that came in my boots and replaced them with the Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles.  I had a lot of problems with them sliding around when I went to shove my foot in the boot.  I think that it's probably because the bottom of the insole is a gel/plastic type of material and the bottom of the boot is smooth plastic.  They also didn't let my feet breathe very well in the work boots.  The insoles that came in the boots have air holes for circulation, while the Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles don't.  I tried the two insoles together, but that made it even hotter than just the gel insoles alone.

I decided to move on to another pair of shoes to try the Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles in.  My high heel boots are okay to wear walking around for a very short period of time, but if I do something more like walk around Walmart, they really start to hurt.  There wasn't a removable insole in these boots, so I just slipped the Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles on in and tried it out.  They were a little tricky to fit in the toe area just right, but after I got them in, they didn't move, even when I shoved my foot in.  I didn't have to wear normal socks any longer to give myself some extra padding, I just put on a knee high and wore the boots all day Sunday with no pain or problems.  The insoles didn't slide around after walking and didn't move when I took the boots off.  The Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel® Insoles are definitely staying in these boots!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kroger: Indulgence Without All the Guilt! ~ A Review

I am a sucker for frozen treats.  I love ice cream, popsicles, smoothies, ice cream name it, I probably like it.  However, I don't love all the extra fluff it gives me around the mid section when I indulge in a frozen treat each night.  A while back I posted about the awesome Kroger Fruit Bars I found and have been buying them for the family regularly.

I was excited to hear about a new line of treats that are both yummy and calorie friendly.  I decided to try Kroger's Yogurt Smoothie Bars because I'm always looking for a yummy smoothie that's easy on the wallet AND on the hips.  I also don't want to have to worry about my kids having unhealthy selections for dessert.  The yogurt smoothie bars came in strawberry banana and triple berry flavor.  I chose to go with the triple berry, at just 100 calories and 1 gram of saturated fat per bar.

Everyone in the family loved these treats, teens and adults alike.  They're super creamy with just the perfect balance of sweetness to tartness.  The small portion size was a little disappointing, but that's the way most products are going lately. I'm looking forward to buying the Strawberry Banana flavor next.  I can't bring myself to pay $5 or so for 6 bars of the Skinny Cow or Weight Watcher's yogurt bars, but these were very reasonably priced and worth the money.