Smooze! Fruit Ice $5/box Review

I "wander" in the grocery store sometimes. And this was one of those times. I was looking for canned maraschino cherries and after I found them, I lingered around the aisle and these caught my eye. How could I not be sucked in by them? The bright colors? The funny little stick drawing and the lure of sweet icy goodness!

They are Smooze! Fruit Ice and they come in a box of 10 and each box comes in 4 different flavors!
1. Mango + Cococnut
2. Pink Guava + Coconut
3. Passion Fruit + Coconut
4. Pineapple + Coconut

I grabbed a box of each flavor(except for the Pineapple one cause it wasn't on the shelves). I love that these are made from 100% real fruit juice and fruit purees. They are completely dairy-free, rich in Vitamin C, fat-free, cholesterol-free, preservative-free, gluten-free and GM-free! They're absolutely a good-for-you snack and at 50 cents a piece - very economical too!

Inside the box, the fruit ice is individually packaged in this funny looking trapezoid carton. You can snip off one of the edges and use the other end to "push-up" the frozen treat. These won't work well, if you tear into it immediately. I wash the outside of the carton under some cold water (for sanitary purposes as you will be putting your mouth directly on the carton) and this seems to do the trick to loosen the treat from the sides. It's kind of like an eco-friendly push-pop (Did I just give away my age? Does anyone still remember those?)!

These are so nice after a workout, when I just want to cool off and the texture is a nice blend of juice and smoothie. The smoothie part is the fruit puree and it melts slowly to ensure you can enjoy every bit of fruity goodness to the end. The juice part is the coconut juice and it melts just a bit more quickly so that it quenches your thirst without being drippy.

My very favorite has turned out to be the Mango! At first I thought "eh, mango - how common" but the flavor is wonderfully tropical! A very very VERY close second is the Pink Guava. I love guava juice and I'm always such a sucker for anything guava. It's such a common fruit in asia, but not here in the U.S. so when I see guava anything - I'm hypnotized and can't say no. I thought Passion Fruit would be my suprise winner, but turns out I've no passion for it. It's a bit sour and the flavor doesn't quite do it for me. I have to admit I've never had passion fruit itself, so I can't say if it's the fruit I'm not a fan of or if it's the Smooze! creators that screwed it up. I will give the latter the benefit of the doubt and say I probably just don't like passion fruit.

Just wanted to show how both the production and expiration dates are printed on the box.


Canterbury Naturals Chocolate Crepe Mix

I am super excited to try these out! I've was planning to make a birthday dessert using chocolate crepes and I had resigned to the fact that I'd be doing it ALL from scratch. Lucky me when I spotted these at the store!

Now I'll be going the Semi-Homemade route and I'd like to think I'd make Sandra Dee proud :) All I have to add is eggs and water - that's what is says on the box!

Inside the box - the mix!

Click on the image for a larger pic of the nutrition info.

Click on the image for a larger pic of the Ingredients List.

What a thoughtful box mix <3

Don't these look yummy? They're a closeup of the image on the box.


Matzo Crusted Chicken and Squash Tatin

This dish was inspired by the April issue of Martha Stewart Living. You can find the full menu and recipe for the entire meal here.

For the chicken, I added 1 tsp of smoked Paprika to the crushed matzo.

You can find the recipe for the Vegetable Tian here. I didn't take the recipe with me to the grocery store so I screwed up and didn't get the carrots or potatos. I got zucchini and yellow squash instead so I just used those. I cooked softened the onion in a saute pan first and put that into the casserole. I also softened the squashes first and arranged them on top of the onions. Then I just topped it all with a mix of breadcrumbs and romano cheese and stuck it under the broiler at 350 degrees for about 10min.

Not a good pic - but I was in a hurry to snap the pic and move on to tend the chicken that was frying next to me!


Rainbow Sushi

This is my favorite sushi rolls - The Rrrreinbo Roll!!!! At least that's how the Sushi Master says it when he hands it to me - haha! It's simply a California Roll topped with Salmon, Tuna and Yellowtail (other places use Hamachi or Guacamole on top too). I get this as take-out sometimes when I'm lazy to cook and just pick it up on my way home.

One of my favorite sushi restaurants to go to is Royal Tokyo Sushi Den in Addison! It's tucked away in a strip of a shopping center and you would never think to look for it there. I love this place! It's quiet, they have modern asian decor that is warm rather than stark, the sushi masters are acutally Japanese and they appreciate when you buy them a round of Kirin as they make your order. It's a great place!


J&M Cheese Straws

These are not my idea of "cheese straws". I think of cheese straws as puffy breads but these were tasty nonetheless! They made from only all natural ingredients and I was hungry when I spotted these so I couldn't resist!

First the Original flavor - these were like a sophisticated grown-up cheese nips. I was never a fan of nips because of the dry cracker texture but these have a crumbly texture that melts in your mouth. They also leave a nice spicy after note too! I ate these plain and did not try it with chocolate (as suggested on the box).

Of the two, I preferred the flavor of the Asiago ones. It's got asaigo cheese and rosemary baked into them and I love rosemary! These were more crumbly than the original (I'm guessing because of the rosemary in the batter) and were non-spicy.

They've got a whole line of these in different flavors and I'd like to try the Bleu Cheese ones next. I wouldn't say these are a go-to snack for me, but I love giving any kind of food a try at least once.


Stephanie's 10th Birthday Cupcakes

I showed my baby cousin these Beach Bear cupcakes that the awesome Bakerella made and she immediately wanted to make the same to take to her classmates for her birthday. Her little sister Tiffany (aka my teeny baby cousin) helped to make them too!

Here's how our bears turned out:
It was so much fun making these! We used Teddy Grahams, YoGo Yogurt Bites, Gummy Life Savers and Fruit Roll-ups. For the "sand" we rolled the tinted icing in raw cane sugar :)


Mama Didi's Spaghetti and Meatballs

8 Servings
Carb: Spaghetti
Protein: Beef
Veg: Plum Tomatos

This is quite possibly the BEST pasta sauce I've ever tasted. Literally THE BEST. I've never made pasta sauce from canned whole tomatoes before, but now I don't think I'll ever be able to go back. Haha! I think it's the flavor combo of bay leaves, fennel and oregano. Also the texture of this sauce is just what I've been looking for! It's got bits of tomato all through it and it's not too chunky or runny.

16oz package Spaghetti
4 28oz cans of whole peeled Plum Tomatoes
1 Onion, diced
2 Garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 Tbsp dry Oregano
2 Bay Leaves
2 tsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Salt or to taste
1/2 tsp Pepper or to taste
3 Tbsp Canola Oil

Meatballs (makes about 18)
2 lbs Ground Beef
1 cup plain Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Romano Cheese, finely shredded
2 large Eggs
1/4 Shallot, finely diced
1/4 fresh Parsley, finely shredded
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 Tbsp Canola Oil

The Recipe:
1. Mix Ground Beef, Breadcrumbs, Romano Cheese, Eggs, Shallot, Parsley, Fennel, Salt and Pepper together by hand.
2. Shape into 1.5 inch meatballs and place on large cookie sheet.
3. Heat 2 Tbsp Canola oil in large skillet.
4. Brown Meatballs in batches of 5-6 at a time. These will not be cooked through. Set aside as they will finish cooking along with the sauce. (Drain oil from skillet and set aside for later)

5. Start the sauce by heating 3 Tbsp Canola Oil in large a stockpot (stainless steel or enameled cast iron only) on medium heat.
6. Add Onion and Garlic and a pinch of salt. Keep stirring until softened. Do not let burn.
7. Crush tomatoes with hands and add with juices to the pot. Don't worry if it's not completely crushed to bits - they're going to cook down.
8. Raise heat to med-high. As soon as tomatoes comes to boil, add meatballs.
9. Carefully stir from the bottom of the pot to cover the meatballs. Let come to a boil again.
10. As soon as it comes to a boil again, immediately lower heat and let simmer for 30 minutes covered.
11. Uncover and add Fennel, Oregano, Bay Leaves, Sugar, Salt and Pepper. Let it simmer uncovered for 3 hours. Stirring every 30 minutes.
12. In the last 30 minutes of cooking boil spaghetti according to package directions. Do not add oil to the water it will make the noodles slippery and they won't soak up the sauce.
13. Heat skillet used to brown meatballs on low.
14. Add pasta sauce and spaghetti and gently stir with tongs to coat spaghetti.

1. Place pasta on plate and top with 2-3 meatballs per person.