Friday, January 25, 2013

Bzzagent Review: Morningstar Farms Corn Dogs

So, my most recent campaign was for Morningstar Farms.  My family really likes their spicy black bean patties, so I was really excited to try another product by the Morningstar Farms brand.  Below are a few photos and my review.
My Bzzkit

Corn Dogs!
Okay, let me start by saying that our family has tried (and really likes) their spicy black bean patties.  They are very flavorful and when we eat them, no one misses meat.  They really have a great texture, and wonderful flavoring.

I decided when we received our kit (seeing that we already had spicy black bean patties in the freezer) that we would try something that I normally would not purchase.  So, we decided to try their corn dogs. 

They were easy to find in the frozen food section.  All the Morning Star products were grouped together - all I had to do was look for the green section (all their boxes are green which makes it very easy to see them right away).  I purchased the corn dogs, which came in a pack of four. 

A few days later, I remembered they were in the freezer - I had actually been putting off trying them because I was afraid of what the texture of a meatless hotdog would be.  So, I baked them for 20 minutes like it said on the package.  My kids scarfed these down so quickly, that I had to practically bribe them to get one nibble. 

The bite I had was good.  There was a good crunch to the outside (the next day I baked them for 22 minutes, and that was even better!), and the texture of the 'hot dog' wasn't bad.  As to be expected, it wasn't the typical texture of a meat hot dog.  One pro to this; however, is that you won't get any of those hard little bits that you sometimes find in hot dogs.  My kids didn't notice a difference.  My only issue with the corn dogs is the aftertaste.  The hot dog aftertaste was just a little odd, but nothing that a little ketchup or mustard couldn't fix.

The price on sale isn't bad either.  I don't think I'd pay full price for them (of course, I rarely pay full price for anything), but we will most definitely purchase them again when they go back on sale. 

As I mentioned above, I never would have tried these had it not been for this Bzzcampaign, but now, we're going to be regular consumers! 

Also, please note that the picture is of the corn dogs before they were baked - my children ate them so quickly that I wasn't able to snap a shot of them (still intact) once they were cooked!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Checking In and (finally) Catching My Breath

As usual, December was a whirlwind.  Actually, the last few months have been a whirlwind.  I'm finally able to sit down and catch my breath.  And, I wanted to update ya'll.  Okay, so we have a few friends from Texas, and I now say ya'll - not often, but sometimes.  I swear, I pick up dialect like some people catch colds.

Anyways.  Homeschooling is going very well!  X-Man loves it.  I had a schedule planned earlier in the year - the schedule is no longer applicable.  X-Man has been loving math, so he's a few weeks ahead there.  And, we took our time to study the planet Earth, so we're a few weeks behind there.  We've also added in some Presidential studies (X-Man can tell you the order of Presidents, which number each one was, and the dates of their Presidency - I however, cannot).

Also, we started back (after taking a couple weeks off for Christmas) last Monday, and now we begin each day with a quiet time.  I work on my Bible study, X-Man reads devotions, and L picks out some picture Bibles to look at - she often prays during this time (unfortunately, she thinks this means she can play  but call it praying "No, I'm praying over here!").  Overall, this change has been great!  It gives us time to ease into our day, and starts the day in the right mentality. We also added a basketball hoop to our classroom.  If X-Man starts getting antsy, he can hold the ball (it seems to help him focus) - he also gets to shoot a basket between each subject if he was a good listener.

I feel much more confident, so we often change what we were going to learn about to make it more interesting for them.  We've been using our library and are loving that.  Anything he wants to study is easy to study when you have a fantastic library with tons of resources.  We've been adding activities and games and even movies - all of which have been great.

Our family also started 2013 by adopting a weekly budget.  I take X-Man grocery shopping while Little Lou is at school.  He brings a calculator and keeps track of how much we're spending so that we don't overspend.  I also have him help me cut coupons - this helps him with fine motor skills, alphabetization, and matching similar items.

Little Lou is still loving preschool three days a week.  She is still learning Bible/History and Science with us, we also read some stories before she goes to Preschool.  The days she is home all day are much easier (I thought it would be easier when she was at school). 

Oh, and one more (huge) thing.  Remember when I left my job to begin homeschooling?  We talked about how this meant that we'd be bringing in less money.  Well, God again provided for us in ways that we never planned!  The hubby was offered a new job (a few months ago) that has more than provided the amount of lost income from my old job!  And, he loves his new position.  Again, I'm so thankful and can't wait to see what God has in store for us this year.  And, He has great things in store for you too :)

Thanks for reading!

Bzzagent Review - Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Cereal

This past Friday, (three days ago), I recieved a BzzKit containing Kellogg's Crunchy Nut cereal.  Well, the box is already gone, and I couldn't wait to post a blog about this very tasty cereal!  Below is my review:

Okay, so my family LOVES cereal.  As a mid-western family, we're dealing with the cold of winter right now, so a typical morning begins with a bowl of oatmeal; however, we LOVE to snack on cereal. And, when it's warmer outside, we typically have cereal for breakfast.  So, with all that being said, we were quite excited to be chosen for this campaign.

When the kit arrived, we were lucky enough to receive a big box of the Golden Honey Nut variety, along with four $.50 off coupons.  It just so happened that when the box arrived, my children were finishing breakfast, so we opened it right away. 

My daughter isn't a big fan of nuts, but she wanted to try some of the cereal.  I gave her a little bit in case she didn't like it - and she didn't like it - she LOVED it.  Immediately, she asked if she could have a bowl of cereal and milk with her remaining breakfast.  My son LOVES things with nuts.  So, I wasn't surprised that he also really enjoyed the cereal. I had a bowl (which may have been much larger than the serving size) and was quite surprised with how good the cereal tasted.  To me, it tasted just like honey roasted peanuts.  It really was quite good, and I may have poured myself a second bowl.

Two days after we received the box (we had spent the weekend out of town), I asked my hubby to try it as there was only enough in the box for one more serving. He is very picky and only has a couple cereals that he purchases and consumes regularly.  Even he was impressed.  Which says a lot.  He said that he would pack the remaining cereal to take to work with him. I may have given him 'the look' in response to him taking my remaining honey nut goodness.

He forgot to pack the cereal (which may or may not have to do with my reaction the night before), so I enjoyed the last of it today.

I do like the cereal in milk much more than on its own.  Don't get me wrong, I liked it dry, but if you eat each flake on its own, you don't get nuts in every bite.  If you eat it in milk or with a spoon, you definitely get a good amount of nuts in every bite.

The texture was good too.  Crunchy and holds up in milk.  The last bite wasn't crunchy, but it definitely wasn't soggy either.

The taste (as mentioned above) was pretty good.  Very nutty, and also tasted a lot like honey.  It was sweeter than what I normally enjoy, but to be honest, it didn't bother me. I thought it was great.
I would purchase this cereal again.  My only issue with it is the sugar content - there's 10 grams of sugar in every 3/4 cup serving.  Knowing that the sugar comes from honey and not added sugar makes me feel a little better, but for my children this is too much sugar for a school day.  I'll likely buy this again for them to enjoy on weekends or as a snack.
All in all - it's a real winner.  Quite tasty!