Bokksu Hanami Festival Box: Taste of Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival

Although it may not feel like it, we are fully in the season of spring. Many cultures celebrate the season of renewal and growth in different ways. One of our favorites is the Japanese Hanami Festival, celebrating the Japanese Cherry Blossoms. In honor of Japan’s famed Hanami Festival, Bokksu, makers of the artisanal Japanese snack box, presented the Bokksu Hanami Festival Box. Hanami means “flower viewing” in Japanese; loved ones get together to enjoy a delicious feast under fully blossomed cherry blossom trees in parks throughout the country. The Bokksu Hanami Festival Box celebrates the decadent snacks enjoyed during the feast.

As April’s coveted snack box, the Bokksu Hanami Festival Box wonderfully honors the April Japanese festival. Bokksu curated this snack box to help you transport you to hanami season in Japan! Potato chip lovers won’t be able to stop eating the potato sticks. Fans of all things savory will love the snacks like the Ebi Crunch Black Pepper. Love sweets? The Handmade Sakura Candy is a must.  Check out all of the Bokksu Hanami Festival Box snacks below:

Spring Sakura Senbei – This thin cracker has a lot of flavor going on: preserved sakura blossoms, mirin (sweet sake), and squid to name a few. In fact, squid is the main ingredient of this senbei! Squid is a popular food in Japan during the spring and goes surprisingly well with the salty yet floral tang of the pickled sakura flowers. This uniquely Japanese flavor combination is captivating, so don’t let the squid scare you off!

Handmade Sakura Candy – Since its sakura season, Bokksu brings you this Handmade Sakura Candy made exclusively for them! Sakura in Japan symbolizes ephemerality and the fleeting quality of life. Like the sakura that fades away at the end of the season, this candy dissolves lightly on the palette. Sweet and floral, cherry blossoms are harvested and prepared by pickling and drying the flowers in salt. This traditional method preserves the vibrant color and flavor of Sakura, which makes it perfect for candy. This is also why this Handmade Sakura Candy contains real bits of preserved sakura!

Cheese Okaki Plum Flavor – This okaki (a type of cracker) with a cheesy center from popular maker Bourbon is a long-time favorite in Japan. It hasn’t stopped selling since the original flavor came out in 1984! This special plum flavor is seasonally exclusive for the spring hanami season. The cracker itself features umeboshi (pickled plum), a popular tsukemono (pickled food) in Japan known for being very tart and salty. It’snot uncommon to find umeboshi gently placed on top of a bed of rice or in the center of onigiri (rice balls) in a hanami picnic bento. This snack is great with a cup of green tea.

Sakura Chocolate Crepe – This delicate delight is one of our favorite spring-time treats. We first tried this crepe last April, and loved it so much we had to bring it back! A wafer-thin crepe is baked and rolled up for crisp layers. It’s then enrobed in a decadent coating of white-chocolate infused with powdered sakura petals for a richer flavor and color.

Sakura Chinsuko Cookie – This adorable Sakura Chinsuko cookie is shaped, flavored, and colored like a Japanese cherry blossom. Chinsuko is a traditional cookie from Okinawa and is a very popular omiyage (souvenir gift) in Japan. It’s similar in texture to a shortbread cookie and carries delicate flavors like sakura well. The addition of real sakura leaves enhances the light floral flavor of this pink cookie.

Ebi Crunch: Black Pepper Flavor – The cousin to Bokksu’s favorite, Ebi Crunch, this Ebi Crunch Black Pepper is equal in flavor as a mix of rice crackers and peanuts. It packs even more heat than the original, with its concentrated punch of pepper. It is the perfect accompaniment to your next happy hour beverage with its puffy frame and a generous helping of seasoning.

Kakinotane Plum Shiso – Kakinotane is a classic Japanese snack mix of crescent-shaped senbei and peanuts. This mix packs a powerful punch of traditional Japanese plum and shiso (perilla leaf). Sharp and a little spicy, it blends pickled plum, shiso, and paprika. The buttery peanuts perfectly balance the mix of dominant flavors. Kakinotane is a kind of otsumami, and as such is typically enjoyed with beer. We’re sure you’ll be amazed by its incredible flavor.

Suppa Mucho Plum Potato Sticks – These thin, crispy potato sticks are bursting with flavor. Like an ode to the Japanese plum tree, every bite carries the floral notes of plum blossoms, the sourness of umeboshi, and the earthiness of shiso (perilla leaves). This Japan-exclusive snack is the most addicting potato chip we’ve had.

Spring Gold Green Tea – Celebrate the spring with this beautiful tea package designed exclusively for Bokksu and enjoy classic sencha tea to warm you from the inside out! Sencha is a traditional steamed Japanese green tea and considered the most popular tea in Japan. This particular tea is exceptionally strong in flavor and is the perfect addition to any spring picnic party under cherry blossom trees!

What are your thoughts on the snacks in the Bokksu Hanami Festival Box?

Nourish Bowls: The Healthy On-The-Go Meal from Mann’s Fresh

As beings that are always on the go, it can get quite difficult to eat a healthy, well-balanced meal. Be it for breakfast (for those of us who eat breakfast), lunch or dinner. While we try and at times have the best intentions to live a better life, it never lasts. This may happen for many reasons, we fall back into our old routine because it’s what we’re used to; the new “lifestyle change” doesn’t satisfy us, or maybe we end up being unsatisfied. We’ve all tried to implement healthy choices but many times, we just don’t enjoy them. But what if we did? We were recently introduced to the latest healthy and delicious meal from Mann’s Fresh that will change your mind (and your habits). Say hello to Mann’s Nourish Bowls Breakfast.

Although we haven’t tried the others, we had the pleasure of enjoying Mann’s Fresh Nourish Bowls Breakfast. The two new breakfast options, Denver Scramble, and Fiesta Scramble join the vast variety of Nourish Bowls that includes Monterey Risotto, Sesame Sriracha, Southwest Chipotle, Smokehouse Brussels, Spicy Thai, Basil Pesto, Tomato Bolognese, and Cauli Rice Curry.

A healthy twist on one of America’s favorite breakfasts, the Denver Scramble features kale, sweet potato, cauliflower and broccoli with a Bell Pepper Sauce that has diced ham & onion and comes with a cheddar cheese topping. The Fiesta Scramble has kale, cauliflower, kohlrabi and butternut squash with a Pico de Gallo Salsa that has chicken chorizo and comes with a Mexican Cheese Blend topping.

You will see making a healthy and delicious breakfast is as easy as 1,2,3. Add one or two eggs, pop the microwave-safe bowl in for 4 minutes and enjoy these fresh veggie breakfast bowls! At 330 calories or less and up to 25 grams of protein, these new bowls bring to the breakfast table. Are you excited for the new Nourish Bowls Breakfast from Mann’s Fresh Vegetables? We certainly are!

Wünder Creamery Nutrient-rich Superdairy

Wünder Creamery Grass Fed Quark: The Nutrient-Rich SuperDairy

When you hear the word Quark, you typically think of particles and science; but we promise the Quark we’re writing about today is something much more edible. The Quark we’re talking about is a nutrient-rich, super-dairy made from a special blend of cultures, Wünder Creamery Grass Fed Quark. And we can tell you, it’s wünderfully delicious!!

Wünder Creamery Nutrient-rich Superdairy

What makes Wünder Creamery Grass Fed Quark so amazing? Thanks to its unique production process and an exclusively sourced special blend of French cultures, Wünder Creamery Grass Fed Quark delivers an extraordinary rich taste and creamy texture. Gone are the days of overly tangy and sour yogurts, plus this yogurt boasts up to 16g of protein and less sugar than leading yogurt brands. Wünder is also high in protein, has less than 5% lactose, contains no starches or gum and is powered by probiotics. It’s gluten-free, has no rBHG, and it’s ph levels is higher than regular yogurts, giving you a distinctively better taste (4.4/4.5 vs. Greek/Skyr’s 3.8/3.9). Since Wünder is fermented for twice as long as Greek yogurt (13 hours vs. 6 hours), it also boasts creamier texture.

Wünder Creamery Grass Fed Quark is available in six varieties: Plain, Coffee, Raspberry, Blueberry, Vanilla & Coconut, and Matcha. After sampling all six flavors, we found ourselves captivated by two, the Vanilla & Coconut, and Matcha. While all six were delicious, these two definitely had us reaching for more. There are so many delicious recipes you can make using the Wünder Creamery Grass Fed Quark flavors. One of our favorites is the Matcha Cheesecake, see the recipe below:

Wünder Creamery Matcha Cheesecake

Cheesecake Filling
3 24-ounce containers Wünder Creamery Plain quark, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. matcha powder
2-4 Tbsp. hot water (for creating matcha paste)
2 large eggs, room temperature
Mix matcha powder with hot water to create a paste-like consistency. In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the quark on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and continue beating on medium speed until smooth. Reduce the speed to very low and drop in 1 egg at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated into the batter. Do not overmix.

The Crust
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
⅛ Tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350˚. Bring a large pot of water (about 6 cups) to a boil. Lightly spray or butter the bottom and sides of a 6-inch springform pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Pour the crust mixture into the springform pan and use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the mixture down into the base, making sure to create an even, smooth layer. Place on the middle rack of oven and bake for 8 minutes or until golden-brown in color. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly.

Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with aluminum foil, allowing for the foil to reach the top of the sides. Press the foil firmly around the pan to make sure it is fitted well (this protects the pan from absorbing the water). Transfer the pan to a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, and pour the boiling water into the large pan, creating a bain-marie. The water should reach about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake.

Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the oven and bake on the middle rack for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the sides are set and the middle jiggles very slightly. After baking, remove the cheesecake from the water and set on a wire rack to cool for 2 hours. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6-12 hours. Release and remove the side of the springform. Slice with a sharp knife, rinsing the knife with warm water before each slice.

Popbar Passion fruit popSorbetto with Vegan Chocolate

You Can Handcraft and Customize Vegan Pops at Popbar NYC

When many people hear the word vegan, the words tasty and delicious don’t usually come to mind. However, we’re here to tell you why you’ll absolutely be using those words and some others to describe these frozen vegan treats. You may remember our delicious WafflePop experience at Popbar NYC, so we had to go back to try the Vegan Pops at Popbar NYC.

All of Popbar’s popSorbettos are vegan and come in wonderfully delicious flavors such as Strawberry, Passion Fruit, Blood Orange, Mixed Berry, Pineapple, and more. Their dark chocolate, caramel chocolate, and mint chocolate dippings are vegan as well. They also boast vegan toppings like sprinkles, crushed hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, and coconut, so you can customize your vegan pop any way you want. We had the opportunity to do just that, trying three flavors of the vegan pops at Popbar NYC; and as we expected, every bite was divine.

1ST VEGAN POP – Passion Fruit popSorbetto with vegan Dark Chocolate and Chili Powder

Popbar Passion fruit popSorbetto with Vegan Chocolate

First, the Passion Fruit popSorbetto is incredible on its own, the perfect combination of tart and sweet. We decided to get it half dipped in and drizzled with dark chocolate (which is also gluten-free), then topped with some chili powder for a nice kick. I loved this flavor combination, it was an incredibly delicious way to begin this vegan snack.

2ND VEGAN POP – Mixed Berries popSorbetto with vegan Dark Chocolate and Coconut

For the 2nd of our three vegan pops at Popbar, we were inspired by chocolate covered cherries; hence, the Mixed Berries popSorbetto fully dipped in dark chocolate and covered in shredded coconut. It’s hard to believe, especially as this looks so delicious, but this is still an all vegan treat. Needless to say, it went down quickly.

3RD VEGAN POP – Blood Orange popSorbetto with Caramel Chocolate and Chocolate Sprinkles

Popbar Blood Orange popSorbetto with Vegan Chocolate

We definitely had to make room for the third vegan popsicle but it was worth it. We decided to try something a bit different; flavors you wouldn’t think about at first. You will love the sweet citrusy blood orange flavor half dipped in vegan caramel chocolate. The chocolate sprinkles are an added bonus. The flavors don’t overpower each other, they play quite nicely together on your palate.

The best thing about these vegan pops is the fact that they don’t taste vegan at all!! So if your circle is filled with vegans, carnivores, and gluten-free friends, you can all enjoy a delicious Popbar Popsicle handcrafted to your tastes and needs. Happy snacking!

Perfect Pumpkin Recipes

Perfect Pumpkin Recipes To Use Well After the Fall Season

Pumpkin is a harvest classic and shows up in many iconic fall dishes. But just because pumpkin is frequently used in autumn dishes doesn’t mean you can’t use it later in the year as well. Here are a few ways to make use of this healthy vegetable in baked goods throughout the year, even in some dishes that might not be quite as healthy, but just as delicious. Keep reading for three Pumpkin recipes to enjoy well past the fall season.

Pumpkin Rolls

Pumpkin Roll Photo from Food Network

This take on a dessert classic is perfect for a rich treat the whole family will love. Pumpkin rolls incorporate pumpkin puree into a layer of pumpkin cake, spread with a layer of ice cream, and then rolled to create a swirl in the center of the dessert. It’s great for the holidays, but there’s no reason you can’t indulge in this sweet year-round.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Photo from POPSUGAR

Chocolate chip cookies are a classic dessert that is sure to please every palette. Adding pumpkin and a bit of pumpkin pie spice takes this common cookie jar staple and adds a bit of a harvest flavor to it. Experiment with the spices if you’re not a fan of pumpkin pie to find a combination that’s perfect for your personal tastes.

Pumpkin-Parmesan Biscuits

Pumpkin-Parmesan Biscuits Photo From Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen

Not all pumpkin foods have to be sweet to be utterly delicious. Parmesan can add the perfect savory taste to accompany the pumpkin in this hearty side. The flavor pairing is complex but goes perfectly with the many hearty main dishes of winter.

Before doing any baking with pumpkin, make sure to account for the high water content of this ingredient. Pumpkins are 90 percent water, so be sure to properly prepare your pumpkin ingredients before incorporating into any baked good, or it might throw off the moisture content of your final product.

Even if pumpkin is typically used for fall classics, it can be an excellent ingredient to make use of year-round that adds excellent depth of flavor to many baked goods. What are your thoughts on these Pumpkin recipes? How will you make use of this unique vegetable in your future baking?

Brooklyn Bites Cookie Brittle

Brooklyn Bites Cookie Brittle: Healthy & Delicious Snacks You Will Enjoy

Now that Christmas Eve is over and Santa has gotten his cookies, we hope you saved some for yourself. If you haven’t, we have a great range of cookies for you and your family to indulge this holiday season. As you head out to take advantage of the after Christmas sales, make sure you pick up a bag or two of Brooklyn Bites Cookie Brittle. Available in a nice variety of six delicious flavors, Brooklyn Bites Cookie Brittle, is a healthier yet delicious specialty treat. The only cookie brittle available in the market that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. They are also made without white sugar, eggs, or preservatives. What more can you ask for in a delicious snack?

Made with gluten-free oats instead of white flour, these thin, vegan-friendly cookies are a delicious way to snack. This is especially important if you’ve overindulged this Christmas. Other high-quality ingredients include coconut oil, low-glycemic coconut sugar, and almond milk. Treat yourself to decadent, guilt-free bites of deliciousness like Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Crunchy Creamy Pretzel, Chocolate Nutty Sea Salt, Coco Crispy Rice, Chocolate Lovers Delight, and White Chocolate Brownie (not pictured). Each flavor is 110 calories or less per serving.

Brooklyn Bites Cookie Brittle

The Brooklyn Bites Cookie Brittle was created by mother-and-daughter-duo, Sara Bibi and Barbara Dayan. With one bite, we know you will love this latest launch from this woman-owned, healthy artisan snack and treat company. Trust us when we say you certainly won’t miss the bad ingredients.

The Brooklyn Bites cookie brittle flavors are currently available at several retail locations. These include Wegmans, Fairway Market, Best Market, Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace, Westside Market NYC, 7-Eleven NYC, and more than 150 gourmet and specialty retailers. The cookie brittle will also soon be available at Kings Marketplace, Balducci’s, Shoprite, Giant Eagle, Market District and many more. They are also available on the company’s website for $7.99 for a 6-ounce package.

Sheila G's Thindulgent Chocolate Bark and Brownie Brittle Bites

Chocolate Indulgence: Treat Yourself to Sheila G’s Decadent Holiday Snacks

Do you know what Thanksgiving week means? It means the holiday season has officially begun and it’s time for all thing merry. So we’re beginning our holiday season with a sweet treat. Last year we had everyone drooling with our Brownie Brittle Releases Decadent Holiday Snacks feature, and today we’re doing it again. With some new flavors under their belt. Join us in a little chocolate indulgence with Sheila G’s Thindulgent Chocolate Bark and Brownie Brittle Bites, the perfect snack for the true chocoholic.

Sheila G’s sources and uses Fair Trade Certified cocoa, and pairs it’s rich, creamy, chocolate with a mix of savory, crunchy, chewy ingredients Thicker than a sliver, thinner than a candy bar, with a bit of snap to it, every bit of Sheila G’s Thindulgent Chocolate Bark delivers richly satisfying flavors and textures. This goodness packed slithers of indulgence are available in four flavors: Cashew Toffee, S’mores, Caramel Pretzel, and Dark Chocolate Almond. Each bag of Sheila G’s Thindulgent Chocolate Bark retails for $4.49 each.

 Sheila G's Thindulgent Chocolate Bark and Brownie Brittle Bites

What makes Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle Bites so amazing? Sheila’s Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle is baked to crispy perfection, cut into bite-sized pieces, and covered in rich, creamy chocolate. They are deliciously snackable, wonderfully indulgent and so addictive. Brownie Brittle Bites are the perfect pop-in-your-mouth snack treat! We’ve been indulging in the very popular Brownie Brittle Bites, are now available in milk chocolate caramel and peppermint dark chocolate flavors for $4.49 per bag.

Sheila G’s decadent holiday snacks are perfect for you to share with friends and family, or to  enjoy all by yourself.  Indulge yourself in the sinful yet divine combination of chocolate chips, caramel, chocolate, and peppermint delights. The choice is deliciously yours.

The Sheila G’s holiday products are available now and sold at retailers nationwide as well as online on www.browniebrittle.com. Grab a bag or two and enjoy.

Bokksu Tasting: An Evening with the Ambassador of Japanese Snacks

During the summer we introduced you to Bokksu, the ultimate foodie’s guide to Japanese snacks and a great gift idea for snack food lovers. Well, we’re back to remind you why it makes such a great gift during the holiday season; and to highlight meeting Bokksu Founder Danny Taing, the Ambassador of Japanese Snacks.

We enjoyed an evening of sushi, sake, and of course Bokksu snacks. We had the delicious opportunity to try some of Bokksu’s exclusive snacks, all of which are not available outside of Japan. It was wonderful to speak with fellow Bokksu fans, some of whom hold unboxing get-togethers, enjoy the variety of wonderful snacks; and meet the man behind the exclusive subscription snack box.

Some of the Japanese snacks we enjoyed include Green Tea Cream Sandwich, an assortment of Foliage Rice Crackers, Edamame Rice Crackers, Matcha Chocolate Covered Azuki Beans, Kinako Mochi, and Olive oil Salt Senbei.

Along with the above-pictured snacks, we also enjoyed exclusive snack reveals from their November and December holiday boxes. These artisan snacks included the White Chocolate Strawberry, the world’s first chocolate-infused strawberry. It is a delectable organic strawberry which has been carefully preserved with and infused with White Chocolate for a delicately tart and sweet confection, unlike anything you have tasted; handmade Apple Hard Candy, and Sweet Potato Langue De Chat.

Last but certainly not least was the Holiday Bokksu “Snow Festival” snack box, a Limited Edition Bokksu x Bento&Co. box featuring Hokkaido delicacies. The Holiday Bokksu is the first to feature a pristine white and gold box, with limited edition gourmet Bento boxes available. Hokkaido, due to its unique climate and agricultural focus, is renowned for its wide variety of gourmet cuisines and artisanal delicacies.

The December Bokksu features innovative new snacks including the Mimosa of Snow White Chocolate and Cheddar Cheese bars, alongside all-star favorite Bokksu classics such as the White Strawberry (pictured above). Delicate melt in your mouth savory snacks includes the Milk Mochi and the Potato Butter Rice Crackers. The Holiday Bokksu also includes their brand new private label Mikon Orange Candy and a warming Hojicha Green Tea Latte pairing from gourmet maker Hoshino. You can purchase the holiday Bokksu as a subscription or by itself.

The Limited Edition Bokksu x Bento&Co. with a collectible Bento box – $79.00
The Classic Bokksu – $39.00 (less with subscription)
Tasting Bokksu – $25.00 (less with subscription)

What do you think of these delicious snack offerings from the Ambassador of Japanese Snacks? Will Bokksu be added to your holiday gift list for the foodies in your life?