Summer Snacking | Delicious Treats to Enjoy This Season

During the hot summer days, we always find ourselves more on the go which means there is less time spent cooking or preparing a meal at home (though I try to find the time to cook at least once a week). That just leaves snacking throughout the day to keep you going, and give your body the nutrients and fuel it needs to get through the day. Here are some delicious treats to help you get through this unpredictable summer. Are you ready for some great snack options?

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Puffs

For those of you cheese puffs addicts, you’ll love this addictive healthier alternative (they’re baked not fried, gluten-free, made with real cheese). If you’re already a fan of Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish then you know how delicious they are. The newest goldfish additions are a crunchy and puffy snack with big flavor. Available in three tasty varieties – Mega Cheese, Buffalo Wing, and Cheddar Bacon – you’ll find yourself buying multiple bags. These small bites of deliciousness are currently available in major supermarkets, grocery stores and mass merchandisers nationwide.

DUKE’S™ Brands Smoked Meats

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One thing I realized while surviving the overwhelming heat and humidity this summer weather has bestowed upon us is that having a good amount of protein really helps but of course you don’t want to go out and wolf down a heavy burger or steak. This is when some delicious jerky comes along. One bite of the above upscale jerky will have you saying goodbye to all others. Duke’s Brands has a range of uniquely flavored smoked meats  (they are slathered in your favorite, delicious sauces) that give you down home flavor in a fulfilling, on-the-go meal (I say meal and not snack because you will only stop eating them when you’re full). While Duke’s Brands do offer classic flavors, you must try their sweet and savory Bourbon Glaze Beef Steak made with Jim Beam, their spicy Island Teriyaki and the host of other dynamic flavors available – one bite and you’ll be hooked.

BIGS Sunflower Seeds

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Sunflower Seeds are a summertime staple. You can’t go near a baseball game without seeing fans snacking on sunflower seeds. While the original is always enjoyable, The BIGS Brothers have come up with a few  great-tasting flavors for this fire roasted all-time snack favorite. Get BIGS Sunflower Seeds in the most premium and unique flavors such as Vlasic® Dill Pickle, Bacon Salt® Sizzlin’ Bacon, “Catch of the Day” Old Bay Seasoning, FRANK’S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wing, etc. Want to try all these flavors? Click HERE to get yourself a sample pack of five flavor varieties for only $3.50.

SAHALE Snacks

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If you’re looking to elevate your trail mix, look no further than Sahale Snacks. Combining the perfect blend of healthy and delicious, Sahale Snacks offer a variety of gourmet fruit and nut based snack blends that include exotic ingredients like black-peppered pecans, fruit, and nuts glazed with maple or vanilla bean, toasted sesame seeds, orange blossom honey, etc. Their must-have snack blends include Crunchers Almonds with Cherries, Apple + Maple, Pomegranate Pistachios, Valdosta Pecans, Cashews with Pomegranate + Vanilla and Grab & Go: Almonds with Cranberries, Honey + Sesame Seeds snacks. Get your hands on these delicious snacks at WholeFoods, Amazon.com, Walmart, and Costco.

Wonderful Brands Almond Accents

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I love products that do double duty, especially when they are so tasty. Not only do these Wonderful Brands Almond Accents make a great out-of-the-bag snack (it’s amazing for blogging fuel), they add lots of taste and flair to salads (both vegetable and fruits salads). Say goodbye to boring croutons and top your greens with the sweet, tart taste of cranberries or pomegranates, or bake your salmon with a sea salt and peppery crust. Want to add a kick to your fruit salad, yogurt or cereal? Any of these Wonderful Brands Almond Accents will do. Get a COUPON and try them for yourself.

Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt

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Of course, I can’t write about summer snacking without the current number one summer snack – frozen yogurt. With the launch of their two newest flavors, Ben & Jerry’s combines the indulgence of rich and creamy frozen Greek Yogurt with the fun chunk-and-swirl combinations that they are known for. The Liz Lemon flavor features Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt with a Blueberry Lavender Swirl (a flavor created as a special homage to Tina Fey’s “30 Rock” Liz Lemon character – you can really taste the lavender), Pineapple Passionfruit which features Pineapple Greek Frozen Yogurt with a Passionfruit Swirl and Vanilla Honey Caramel, Vanilla Greek Frozen Yogurt with a Honey Caramel Swirl. Dive in and enjoy each spoonful.

What do you think of these delicious treats? Have you enjoyed any of them?

Popcorn, Indiana Debuts New FIT Popcorn Line

Sometimes it’s difficult to snack happily without a little guilt that you’re eating too much. There are lots of great, delicious healthy snacks but how do you stop yourself from eating too much and of course, how much is too much. Thankfully Popcorn, Indiana, innovators of all-natural popcorn and whole grain snacks, introduced a line of wonderfully delicious popcorn that allows you to enjoy more and snack smarter. We all know popcorn is an enjoyable snack with great health benefits –
it contains more of the antioxidant, polyphenols, than fruits and vegetables and is high in fiber. With the Popcorn, Indiana FIT Popcorn range, a new low-fat and low-calorie line of ready-to-eat popcorn, you get so much more.
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Featuring amazing taste, a light crispy crunch, 40 calories or less and just 2g of fat per cup, the gluten-free, whole grain FIT range is perfect for those of you who want to snack smarter without sacrificing flavor. The new popcorn range features four savory and delicious flavors – Sea Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Parmesan & Herb and Onion Dijon (Sea Salt and Olive Oil flavors are on-GMO Project Verified) – all of which have been approved by “The Biggest Loser” as snacks that can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

I must say, I usually stick to regular butter-flavored popcorn but these all-natural tastes amazing, my favorite was the Onion Dijon. It makes a great substitute to potato chips and other fat-heavy snacks. Popcorn, Indiana FIT popcorn will be available at leading retailers nationally. To find a store near you, visit the Popcorn, Indiana website at www.popcornindiana.com.

 

New Year, New Cuisine From Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia

There are lots of upcoming occasions that are a great time to show off your cooking skills, new recipes, etc – there’s Chinese New Year, Super Bowl Sunday parties, regular get-togethers and for a more intimate setting, Valentine’s Day. For these and other occasions, Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia offer simple solutions to spice up any celebration. Chinese New Year is a great time to get time to try some new delicious Asian recipes. One of my favorite dishes, Shrimp Pad Thai, can be spiced up with some color by using Thai Kitchen’s new Rice Noodles, a first-of-its-kind that is made with all-natural, gluten-free ingredients and comes conveniently packaged in four individual servings – wow your guests with either the Purple Corn and Rice Noodles or Red Rice Noodles

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Another recipe hit is Zing Rolls (see the spring roll recipe below), you can also add Simply Asia’s Stir-Fry Sauces to seamlessly spice up Restaurant-Style General Tso’s Chicken and Ginger Teriyaki Lettuce Wrap recipes. Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia actually offer a complete line of Asian convenience items including sauces, curry pastes, rice noodles, noodle bowls, coconut milk and more.

Zing Rolls – Vegetable Spring Rolls with Red Rice Noodles

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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Refrigerate: 30 minutes

3 single-serve packages (2 ounces each) Thai Kitchen® Red Rice Noodles
12 round rice paper wrappers (8 1/2-inch)
2 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into thin strips
3/4 cup shredded carrots
2 medium avocados, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
Thai Kitchen® Spicy Thai Mango Dipping Sauce, for dipping

Bring large pot of water to boil. Remove from heat. Add Red Rice Noodles, stirring to separate noodles. Let stand 5 minutes or until noodles are tender but firm. Drain well. Place in large bowl with cold water. Separate noodles fully. Set aside.

To assemble Spring Rolls, fill 9-inch pie plate with warm water. For each spring roll, dip 1 rice paper wrapper in water to wet completely. Place on work surface. Blot dry with paper towel. Place 1/3 cup drained rice noodles in bottom third of rice paper. Layer with 4 bell pepper strips, 8 cucumber strips, 1 tablespoon carrot, 2 avocado slices, 1/2 teaspoon cilantro and 1 teaspoon peanuts. Fold in sides, then gently roll tightly to enclose filling. Place spring roll on platter or tray. Cover with damp paper towels and plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining rice paper wrappers and filling ingredients to make 12 spring rolls.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Serve with Dipping Sauce. Makes 12 spring rolls.

Super Bowl Sundays fans will be truly impressed with with unique game-day favorites like their fun Satay Par-tay (see the photo below), General Tso’s Meatballs or Kung Wow wings.

Satay Par-tay

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes

1/2 cup Thai Kitchen® Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons Thai Kitchen® Premium Fish Sauce
2 tablespoons Thai Kitchen® Red Curry Paste
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch strips
Bamboo skewers

Mix Thai Kitchen® Coconut Milk, Thai Kitchen® Premium Fish Sauce and Thai Kitchen® Red Curry Paste in small bowl until well blended. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; toss to coat well.
Refrigerate one hour or longer for extra flavor. Remove chicken from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Thread chicken strips onto skewers.
Broil or grill over medium-high heat 3 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with Thai Kitchen® Peanut Satay Sauce or Thai Kitchen® Sweet Red Chili Sauce for dipping. Makes 8 servings

Tip: Soak bamboo skewers thoroughly in water for at least 30 minutes before threading with chicken. This prevents them from burning when on the grill.

For Valentines Day, dazzle your sweetheart with a spicy and delicious meal made with Thai Kitchen’s Red Rice Noodles. Thanks to the versatility of Thai Kitchen’s Rice noodles, you can create noodle stir-fries, rice noodle soups, and more with ease. Of course you don’t have to wait until these occasions to create and serve these delicious recipes. These easy recipes make can make every night a special night.

New Delicious Treats from Lifeway Kefir

Lifeway Kefir, makers of the creamy blend of rich flavorful, drinkable, yogurt-like beverages packed with probiotics and rich health benefits. Lifeway Kefir is great for everyone – Kids, infants, seniors, pregnant or nursing women, those with compromised immune systems, and those with digestive disorders. Last year they launched their delicious Lifeway Frozen Kefir, an extra-healthy, probiotic, 90-calories-per-serving frozen yogurt alternative that provides the amazing benefits of kefir’s 10 live and active probiotic cultures (up to three times more than yogurt with roughly half the calories) that help stimulate digestion and support the immune system but in a deliciously frozen form. This addictive, delicious frozen treat came in four fun flavors: Mango, Pomegranate, Original, and Strawberry – allowing you to give up the guilt from eating a whole pint of ice cream by substituting it with this tasty, healthy treat.

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Now Lifeway has introduced three new decadent flavors to their Frozen Kefir line – Pumpkin, Chocolate, and Dulce de Leche (pictured above). These three new decadent flavors make enjoying dessert deliciously guilt-free. Lifeway Frozen Kefir is always 99% lactose-free and gluten-free. These new flavors, which are available now, retails for $4.59-$4.99 for 1 pint /473 ml.
Another great new product from Lifeway Kefir and my new addiction is the Greek Style Fro-Yo – a delectably creamy, tangy and good for you pint of heaven

Greek Style Fro-Yo Blood Orange

This protein packed creamy treat can curb your hunger while satisfying your sweet tooth with its three delectable low-cal flavors – Blood Orange Swirl, Chocolate Swirl, and Honey Swirl. Blending in a velvety swirl of flavor, Greek Style Fro-Yo kefir is gluten-free, 99% lactose-free, 110 calories per serving, and packed with 10 strains of probiotics. These retail for $4.59-$4.99 for 1 pint /473 ml. I fell in love with the Blood Orange Swirl at first spoonful and it was quite a challenge not to enjoy the entire pint in one sitting.

Lifeway has joined Christy Turlington Burns and Every Mother Counts to improve the health and lives of mothers and children everywhere. Julie Smolyansky, Lifeway Foods, Inc. CEO ran in the ING New York Marathon to increase awareness and support for the non-profit organization Every Mother Counts (EMC). Lifeway is sponsoring a private screening of Christy’s documentary, No Woman, No Cry in Chicago on April 16th. Lifeway is currently running a sweepstakes and fundraising campaign to support maternal health. The Grand Prize for the sweepstakes includes an all-expense paid trip for two to Chicago on April 16 to meet global maternal health advocate and founder of EMC, Christy Turlington Burns.

NEW RESTAURANT OPENING: Contorno’s Restaurant

I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening and media tasting event for family-owned, Contorno’s Restaurant, a rustic Italian Ristorante and wine cellar on West 31st Street located inside the new boutique Holiday Inn Express just steps away from the Empire State Building and the hustle and bustle of Herald Square. The open layout (with seating for 110) allowed guests ample space to explore and mingle.

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Contorno’s is the passion project of the Impagliazzo family, who were looking to introduce NYC to the tastes and feel of their traditional Sunday Family Dinners; a time for family and friends to come together at the dinner table to talk, laugh, and share many small Italian tapas-style dishes of traditional, old world Italian food paired with fine Italian wines. Fellow guests and I enjoyed wine tastings as well as a selection of amazingly delicious “small plate” hors d’oeuvres from the menu developed by executive chef David Buico which included some of the following:

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Hand Rolled Ricotta Gnocchi w/ Wild Boar Bolognese & Shaved Dry Ricotta, Gorgonzola and Fresh Honey Comb served on toasted Raisin Walnut Ciabatta, Old fashion Veal Meatballs w/ Chick Pea Puree, Shrimp Al Pancha w/ White Heirloom Beans, Homemade Fettuccine w/ Porcini Mushrooms, Grandma’s Homemade Spaghetti, etc. Featured in the photo below are just a few of the must-have entrees available at Contorno’s
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Some of the wines, led by some of Contorno’s favorite sommeliers, indulged guests with wines from around the world.
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Dessert was heavenly, a wonderfully delicious way to end the savory and hearty meal we experienced at Contorno’s, you must experience the below Milk Chocolate & Pistachio Tart and New York Cheese Cake

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On February 28th, Contorno’s introduced Wine Flight Tuesday’s. Each week GM/Sommelier Marta Cisneros will lead customers in sampling a red or white wine flight from a different region, and help them learn about the wine and how to pair it with different dishes. Contorno’s also recently introduced a late night bar menu as well as a weekly Happy Hour Special from 4:30pm-6:30pm— all house wine, well drinks and beer are just $5.00

Contorno’s Restaurant is located at 30 West 31st Street in New York and is open for dinner seven days a week, Sunday-Thursday, 5 pm-10:30 pm and Friday & Saturday, 5 pm-11:30 pm. Contorno’s is also open for lunch and weekend brunch.

For more information about Contorno’s, please visit: www.contornosrestaurant.com.

Lifeway Frozen Kefir Giveaway

As the weather gets sunnier and the temperature gets hotter, we look for things to cool us down and sometimes (most of the time), we tend to ignore healthier foods and snacks and go for taste, well thanks to Lifeway Kefir, we can combine healthy snacking with yummy keep-you-cool snacking. Lifeway Frozen Kefir is an extra-healthy, probiotic, 90-calories-per-serving frozen yogurt alternative from Lifeway Foods, Inc. that provides the amazing benefits of Kefir’s 10 live and active probiotic cultures (up to three times more than yogurt with roughly half the calories) that help stimulate digestion and support the immune system but in a deliciously frozen form.

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The delicious frozen treat is available in four fun flavors: Mango, Pomegranate, Original and Strawberry, the first Kefir Treat in the Freezer Aisle. The original flavor will also be sold in a 3.6-oz. single-serve size packaged with a spoon. All four varieties will come in one-pint containers selling for $4.49 to $4.99. Lifeway Kefir’s new good-for-you frozen yogurt alternative is the latest addition to an extensive line of Kefir dairy beverages and associated probiotic foods

Lifeway Frozen Kefir is also great to help you keep a flat stomach. This creamy low-fat, “flat belly power food” also provides all-natural, gluten-free and 99% lactose-free benefits. To help you stay cool and fit during the hot summer months, I am gifting four winners a VIP Coupon for a FREE PINT of Lifeway Frozen Kefir.

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment on this post stating which Lifeway Frozen Kefir flavor you’d like to try

Extra Bonus if you:

1. Tweet this Contest – tag @guestlistblog
2. Like Lifeway Kefir on Facebook
3. Share/Like this contest on Facebook
4. Follow Lifeway Foods on Twitter
5. Be a Fan of My Life on and off the Guest List on Facebook

LIFEWAY FROZEN KEFIR GIVEAWAY

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Must be legal U.S. and Canada resident, 18 yrs or older to enter. Sweepstakes to commence on May 30th, 2011 at 12:00:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) and end on June 6th, 2011 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. My Life on and off the Guest List will determine (4) five winners by random drawing from all eligible entries. Four Winners will receive (1) one VIP Coupon for ONE FREE PINT of Lifeway Frozen Kefir. Limit one prize per household. Odds of winning are dependent on the total number of eligible entries. Approx estimated retail value of prize $4.99 each. Winners will be notified by email. Offer valid while supplies last. Giveaway sponsored by My Life on and off the Guest List; Prize provided by Lifeway Foods.

Robert Verdi’s The Future of Fashion Retreat

Celebrity Stylist Extraordinaire, Red Carpet Aficionado and now host of his own show, The Robert Verdi Show Starring Robert Verdi hosted his third The Future of Fashion Retreat for the fashion elite to relax and unwind in between the mad dashes to shows. We, lucky few, were treated to “Blowouts from PHYTO’s professional hair stylist, Manicures from Ginger+Liz, Make-up touch ups from Jouer Cosmetics (all were too busy so I never got a chance to enjoy), New ABSOLUT Berri Acai cocktails, Healthy lunches & recovery kits from Blue Print Cleanse, SmartWater & the new VitaminWater Zero, Aluminum bottles from Coca-Cola, Rock & Republic Jeans (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE), ShatoBu Shapewear Bar (heaven), Vans custom shoe station (I never got a chance to try it out), Shades from Carrera (I never got to check these out either) and one-on-one fittings to find your perfect bra size from Maidenform” and a few more treats.

Before I go into detail on my gifting experience, let’s find out a bit more on this amazing retreat (and a few other tidbits) from the man who created it – Robert Verdi. Although I didn’t get to experience every aspect, Robert Verdi does go into great detail the brands featured in his retreat.

Now, my first stop was to Popcorn, Indiana. I must say that Kettle Corn is my favorite and as you can see below, there was plenty of it to enjoy.

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I then ventured to the private boudoir to get fitted for my perfect bra size by Maidenform thanks to Nicole. I found out some very interesting things including the fact that I have to get rid of most of the bras I own as they are the wrong size.

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I was introduced to a new bra guaranteed to give you two cup sizes instantly – as many of you may know that is something I don’t need so Nicole introduced me to the custom fit bra. I asked her the one question that all women should know the answer but don’t – because I didn’t

My next stop was to sample the fantastic and healthy food and drinks from BPC (Blue Print Cleanse). I loved the Spicy Lemonade and Cashew Milk from BPC and the amazing cocktail made with Absolut Berri Acai (a delicious combination of Acai, Blueberry, and Pomegranate)

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Then it was off to the Rock & Republic Denim bar to find a new pair of favorite jeans. Rock & Republic is a luxurious denim brand who makes “must have” jeans and has recently branched out into the Cosmetics market to join their handbag and accessories lines.

 

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My favorite were these embellished skinny jeans (UPDATE: the jeans are called F#@k Me B#@!H)

 

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Then I was introduced to what could possibly be my new best friend – The ShāToBu™ Shaper, the workout you wear. ShāToBu™ burns up to 12% more daily calorie- that is my type of workout. “Designed to be worn all day, every day, ShāToBu™ offers enough resistance in the bands to provide a significant toning and burning effect”. I welcome the challenge to these thighs of mine.

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And although I didn’t get to personally try out the Carrera Sunglasses which has been around since 1956 and has made quite a comeback thanks in part to Lady Gaga and other celebs, in my interview with Robert Verdi, he does talk about them and I do have a photo (thanks to a friend).

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What do you think of the items we saw at the Robert Verdi’s The Future of Fashion Retreat? Any favorites you’ll be keeping an eye out for?

Shigoto Fashion Launch Event

On a dry but humid day, Dave, Kim, Natasha and I ventured downtown to attend the Shigoto Fashion Launch Event at Ninja New York Restaurant.

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Shigoto Fashion is a Japanese Streetwear clothing company consisting of Tabi Boots (split toe boots), Tobi Pants (Japanese construction workers’ baggy pants), Teko Wristbands, T-shirts, and other accessories all inspired by the old Samurai era.

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Founded by Jasper Momma (here he is holding alcohol sponsor, TY-KU’s Junmai Ginjo Sake with one of his models)

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Shigoto’s mission is to bring this innovative Japanese street style to the world and they begin with this first US show.

Right before the show, we dined on some of Ninja’s delectable Ancient Short Rib and got a surprise when we noticed Kwame Jackson, runner-up from Season 1 of The Apprentice

Kwame Jackson

I asked what he was up to now and he told me he had an accessory line called Krimson by Kwame. Anyway, although I didn’t get a chance to speak to the designer, I did get a photo (see above) and of course each model was stationed in the various alcoved rooms at Ninja Restaurant, which allowed us to take photos. After I got my photos, we each grabbed our gift bag and headed on our way.

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