8 Oct 2012
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4 Oct 2012
First off; product design? Win.
Awake chocolate is a new chocolate bar with added caffeine. 1 full chocolate bar is equivalent to one cup of coffee. If you are both a chocolate lover and a coffee junkie, then this is definitely an option for you.
The unfortunate problem for me was that because the taste of Awake’s chocolate was so utterly fantastic, I was getting way too much caffeine.
Such gooooood chocolate that equals no sleep(for me), is somewhat of an unfair trade-off.
I still allow myself this treat in the mornings. Damn right. I would love to treat people with these at the office!
So on the whole, I was very pleasantly surprised by this chocolate bar. Having added a significant amount of caffeine to the chocolate, I’d have thought the taste may have suffered. Au contraire!
Everyone I’ve introduced Awake to has been impressed. If you try it out, it’s not available everywhere yet, but it likely will be. Currently it is only sold in Canada, but will soon be in the US according to their website. It is found at some Shoppers Drug Marts, and pretty much all main corner stores. (dépaneurs, esti!)
Primarily, they are available at all Canadian University and College campuses. Gotta keep the students awake, and they’ll try anything!
Have you seen the adorable owl and the chocolate art? Best part.
16 Apr 2012
Nearly two years ago I compared ketchup brands, to see if I could find a ketchup that tasted as good as Heinz. I could not. To me, there is no ketchup that can beat it.
What I have pleasantly come across recently is the fact that Heinz now uses bottle made from plants. They’ve launched a little ‘Guess what my bottle is made of?’ campaign in support of Earth day. Using 30% plant based bottles is a good positive step. Now I can feel good about spending a little bit extra for my ketchup because I’ll have no other.
I think a lot of companies are finally starting to change their ways which is good. I’ve always recycled bottles, but who knows how many plastic containers still end up in land fills. Some areas still don’t even have government run recycling programs. Imagine that.
Anyhow,this was just a little update on Heinz ketchup.
Here’s an easy meatball sauce recipe that I love. The main ingredient is Heinz tomato ketchup. Try it out, it’s delicious.
All you need is a cup of ketchup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp white vinegar and 1 tbsp margarine. You may add more brown sugar and vinegar to taste. I don’t actually measure anything, but it’s sooo good I had to share. Stir all the ingredients over medium-low heat in a pot. Once heated and melted through, pour the sauce over your favourite tasty homemade meatballs(or store bought ones if you prefer).
29 Jan 2012
25 Jan 2012
Sun-Maid’s cinnamon swirl raisin bread has been around for many years. There’s a reason for that. It tastes superior to all of the other brands. It also has the most raisins, and the perfect balance of cinnamon.What I also enjoy, since this bread is clearly a treat; is the fact that the slices are nice and small. No need to feel guilty! You know, unless you use the copious amounts of butter and cream cheese that I do.
27 Dec 2011
Good Day to my followers,
Stuffed Ashes has taken a little break as you may have noticed. The reason is because I had my baby December 3rd, so I’ve been quite busy with the little one.
I hope to start posting again soon for 2012. With a fresh new banner as well.
Thanks for your patience and support,
23 Nov 2011
Method, the all-natural green cleaning supply company, has come up with a fabulous line of holiday products in cute festive bottles. all of their products use recyclable packaging, are naturally derived, biodegradable and never tested on animals.
This holiday collection has pump dish soaps, gel hand wash, and foaming hand wash. Their holiday scents are frosted fir, spiced pear, candy cane, and cinnamon drop.
Well I just HAD to try the candy cane dish soap! I’m so sick of my green apple or citrus scents. So I have the candy cane pump dish soap, and I decided to try the frosted fir gel hand wash, because I love the smell of real Christmas trees, and always get them.
The pump mechanism on the dish soap is awesome. Usually dish soaps get all gunked up at the top and you don’t even bother to close them anymore. They’re just goo. Well this is a pump, so you never get that gooey mess at the top. It comes out nice and smooth and you have less chances of wasting it because you’re not pouring/squeezing it out. The candy cane smell is fabulous! Makes me want to eat the damn soap lol. I also love the red Christmas bottle with the bulbs on it. I have a black and white kitchen, so the red stands out nicely.
The frosted fir hand wash is a perfect holiday fragrance. The smell of fresh fir tree stays on your hands afterwards. You’re reminded of Christmas throughout the day. My brother in law was joking around about it though, because he decided to eat a sandwich after he washed his hands. He said he felt like he was going to take a bite out of a tree each time. So it’s fairly strong, but I enjoy it.
These method holiday soaps are perfect for gift-giving to your holiday hosts. They make great holiday décor, too. The Method dish soaps are $4.59, while both hand washes are $4.39. Even though they’re a bit pricier than other dish soaps, the fact that they are biodegradable and have such unique scents makes them worthy in my opinion. Plus they’re much less than the Body Shop or Fruits & Passion.
Method sells a whole bunch of other cleaning products, body washes, detergents, and bathroom care. I’m very anxious to try their line of ’wood for good’ collection for my hardwood floors and my piano.
21 Oct 2011
Dempster’s is a Canadian bread company that’s been around for many years. It is a subsidiary of the Maple Leaf Foods company. This fall, they’ve come up with a new line of sliced bread. Country Originals.
The country originals line includes a white loaf, a whole wheat loaf, and a 12 grain loaf. What’s different about this line of bread is that it is entirely made free of artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives.
I don’t understand why bread has not just ALWAYS been free of these things. The dates on this line of bread are no different than any of the other brands on the shelves, the expiry dates are comparable.
I cannot taste ANY difference between this new line of bread and Dempster’s other lines of sliced bread. It totally tastes the exact same to me. They should just stop making the other ones.
The country originals line is one that I recommend. No one needs preservatives, artificial flavours or colours. On the topic of colours, why the heck would there be colour added to bread? This bread appears to look identical to the other loaves I’ve seen. Thankfully society is moving towards more healthier natural eating as it once was. I’m really happy that Dempster’s has come up with this new line of bread, because it’s just that much better for you to eat, and easier on your entire digestive system.
I can’t tell the difference in flavour at all (if there even is any), so I highly doubt children would, or anyone for that matter.
Making the change to this new Country Originals just makes sense to me. I will keep buying them.
Click here for some coupons.
Dempster’s products are sold at most National Canadian chain grocery stores. The Loblaws chain does not seem to offer Dempster’s anymore, likely in favour of their own President’s Choice line.
6 Oct 2011
The Epicurean cutting boards caught my eye when shopping in Westboro at Kitchenalia a few weeks back. I’ve been in need of a new cutting board for a while.
I decided to buy the Nutmeg cuting board of the Epicurean Kitchen Series. It met a bunch of criteria that I felt was important, most notably that it was dishwasher safe. Here are all of this cutting board’s attributes.
Dishwasher safe : easily sanitized in dishwasher
Eco Friendly : made using materials that leave a low carbon footprint
Knife Friendly : will not dull knives by allowing surface to slightly score, protecting knife edge
Heat Resistant : heat resistant to 350F (can be used as a hot plate)
Made and manufactured in the United States
50% Recycled material : materials made using 50% recycled corrugated cardboard
When I first read the tag on the cutting board, the breakdown of each attribute was not given. I just saw the titles. The reason I bring this up is because of the ‘knife friendly’ quality. I took this to mean that the cutting board would not be affected by knife marks…
After a few uses I noticed the scratches show up on the board. I was very disappointed. Now that I’ve looked further into the brand, I’ve seen that knife friendly means that the board is friendly to your knives, and not the other way around. In fact, the website says that the surface is supposed to ‘slightly score’ in order to protect your knives. Ohhhh!
The board I bought is very large (18×13), very lightweight, and has so far not warped, meaning it remains flat after numerous dishwasher loads. I really do like it because I can chop many different veggies on it without having to clear the board all the time. Since it is made with recycled cardboard, I am reluctant to cut raw meat on it though. I save my ugly plastic cutting boards for raw meat. Although they do claim that the board will NOT harbour bacteria. Here is a video!
Other than the knife marks(which apparently will never be deep cuts), I am pleased with this cutting board. Especially now that I realize I was mistaken. It’s a nice-looking board, and is perfect for all of my vegetable chopping. It is also very easy to slide off the cut vegetables into whatever pot or pan to cook, because the entire surface of the board is smooth, there are no ledges. The little hole makes it easy to pick up, or could be used to hang it for those with kitchen hanging systems.
The board cost me $35. Since it was made with recycled material, I didn’t mind paying a bit more for it. Hopefully one day I will find a board that is scratch free, but until then, I am glad that my knives will keep their sharpness on this board.
2 Oct 2011
The Giveaway mentioned in this post went to my fabulous reader Lex! Thanks for your support Lex
How fitting to start off October with a treat post? A treat post with a special giveaway that is! Read on…
Allan Candy company has come up with a new line of individually wrapped candies called Saybon. Ordinarily I would describe these candies as your typical ‘business’ or ‘grandparents’ type candies. The kind you find when leaving a restaurant, or the ones you would avoid until the end at Halloween.
These thoughts vanished after I tried them. I tried two different packages of the Saybon line. The But’r Mints, and the soft fudge candies (2 flavours). All of the Saybon candies are made in Canada in a peanut-free facility and are kosher.
My favourite of all the ones I tried is the dairy chew from the soft fudge package. Soo delicious! The regular chocolate fudge ones were fantastic too. Both are very soft and melt in your mouth. I thought they would be really sticky and get all into your teeth, but they’re much softer than that. The flavour of the dairy chew reminds me of maple somehow, but they only describe the flavour as ‘dairy’.
Ah-hah! I just checked out their website, and realized that they actually describe the dairy chew as ‘a delicious maple flavoured chew’. I wonder why the bag doesn’t say that. At least my taste buds are accurate!
The but’r mint candies are much closer to a hard candy. It’s a very interesting flavour. You get the buttery cream then the mint in your mouth. They’re very good. They’re still chew-able, but not like a soft fudge. I planned to give all of these candies out to my guests whenever people come over. They all lasted about a week instead. My husband and I ate most of them, then my father kept eating but’r mint after but’r mint, and even hid the last few from me lol.
The Saybon line has11 different flavours to chose from. Visit SAYBON on Facebook to enter the “It’s Good to Share Sweepstakes” for a chance to win $10,000.
These candies were a definite pleasant surprise. No longer will I judge a candy by its packaging. You have to try them.
One of my readers who posts a comment on this review will win a gift pack of these SAYBON candies, so please post a comment to be entered in a draw. I’m looking forward to sending one of my faithful readers a special October treat!
20 Sep 2011
While I’ve in the past reviewed other conditioners that work very well for my hair, in particular, the Lanza conditioner, I’ve still been on the search for a more affordable every day conditioner that I love.
At nearly $60 per bottle, using the Lanza Healing Conditioner is a luxury, or is otherwise used when my hair needs intense repair. (i.e too much time between cuts and dye jobs)
Being a fan of Aveeno’s products, when I saw that they now have a hair care line, I jumped at the chance to try it.
The Aveeno conditioner that applies to my hair needs is the Nourish & Moisture one, so I grabbed it.
The bottle is very narrow and small, and with my thick hair, a bottle like this would not last long. That being said, at a sales price of around $8.99, this is still much cheaper than the Lanza.
When I judge conditioners, it is totally about how my hair feels when I rinse it out. I typically leave conditioner in after washing, for around 2 minutes - or rather, the time it takes me to wash my body, and shave anywhere that requires shaving. For the conditioner to be considered excellent, my hair has to feel extremely silky and smooth when rinsed out, and I should have no difficulties brushing my fingers through it.
The Aveeno Nourish + Moisturize conditioner does just that. It feels awesome. It’s very annoying to try fancy sounding conditioners, or even expensive salon conditioners that are not able to meet the above criteria. There are so many that fail at doing this. The Aveeno conditioner is my current conditioner of choice. I will keep using it along with my Tresemme Naturals shampoo for as long as my hair continues to feel healthy.
I do advise to change up your hair care products every once in a while, because your hair can become immune to the positive effects. It needs a change once in a while.
I highly recommend the Aveeno nourish and moisturize conditioner. For those with different hair types and needs, I bet their other varieties would work just as well.
27 Aug 2011
About two weeks ago, I went to a restaurant called Allium with my family here in Ottawa. Allium is located at 87 Holland Avenue in Westboro, just North of Wellington West.
It’s a small little place from the outside, but once you venture in, you’ll see a fabulous warm atmosphere, with lighting that’s just right. Not too dark, but not too light either. My father had made reservations the day before, but when we got in, they couldn’t find us on their list. There were no issues though, they apologized and immediately sat us at a table.
The service was excellent. Out waiter was extremely courteous, polite, and very respectful. He was also very patient with my mom’s indecisions about which wine to have with her appetizer. He had her try a few before she decided on his recommendation.
The menu at Allium is one that changes monthly. They chose their meal plans according to the seasons of fresh ingredients. Everything at Allium is fresh. The restaurant has their own gardens, and it is clear that chef Arup Jana takes pride in selecting his ingredients, and in serving beautiful dishes. The meats come from local organic farms.
Our appetizers. My father and I both ordered the Heirloom Tomatoes. (Tomatoes From Ian’s Farm/Fresh Goat’s Cheese/Pickled Beets/Bacon/Honey/Basil/Red Wine Pickled Shallots) My mother ordered the Seared Scallops(Potato Salad/Sweet Pea Puree/Corn Salsa/Radish/Sour Cream/Cilantro), and my husband ordered the Beef Carpaccio & Tartare (Shaved Parmesan/Peas/Corn/Herbs/ Balsamic/Herbs/Radish/Truffle Toast/Foie Gras Mousse).
My appetizer had the most delicious tomatoes I’d ever tasted. They were served on a bed of creamy goat’s cheese, with flavourful beets, and such distinctly selected herbs. It was beautiful. I did not take a picture of it unfortunately. I also tried my husband’s tartare selections. They were fabulous. It all just melted in your mouth. My mom also loved her scallops.
After our wonderful appetizer experience, we became even more excited for our mains. I ordered the Duck Breast (Mushrooms/Zucchini/Peas/Light Jus/ToastedAlmonds/Raisin Puree/Potato Croquettes/Seared Foie Gras), my father surprisingly ordered the Vegetarian Dish (Crispy Polenta/Quinoa and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pepper/Portobello Mushroom/Tofu Cream/Roasted Pepper Sauce/Pecans), my mother ordered the Lake Erie Walleye (Spicy Fish Cake/Shrimp Sauce/Roasted Potatoes/Green Beans/Tomato/Hollandaise), and my husband ordered a mystery meal.
Yes, at Allium you can order a mystery meal that is completely to the chef’s discretion. You cannot make any specifications, it is entirely a surprise. It is not recommended that people with food allergies chose this option.
Everyone thouroughly enjoyed their meals. My husband’s mystery was a grilled Halibut served on the tastiest vegetables and sauce. I cannot even remember what the principal veggies were, they were Japanese. See photos.
On to the dessert. Allium is famous for it’s Banoffee, a tarte made with Graham Crumb/Toffee/Bananas/Cream and Shaved Chocolate. Both my husband and mother ordered the Banoffee, while I ordered the vanilla bean crême brulée, and my father the Lemon Tart served with Pascale’s Golden Raspberry‐Honey Ice Cream and Berries. The Banoffee was indeed to die for, while my crême brulée was perfect. The ice cream that came with my father’s lemon tart was incredible. Such an amazing flavour.
Allium has excellent service, and gourmet food that you’ll crave for weeks after you’ve left. I cannot wait to return. You must go to this little gem of a restaurant. You will not be disappointed.
3 Aug 2011
6 Jul 2011
28 Jun 2011
The Lady Speed Stick Stainguard antiperspirant has been all over the tv commercials for a long time now. I’d been meaning to try it for quite some time. Deodorants stain your clothes over time. It’s been pretty much inevitable it seems; until now.
Testing a product like this stainguard antiperspirant is really something that has to be done over a long period of time. I am pretty confidant that it does indeed prevent stains in your clothing but can’t prove or disprove that fact at the moment.
The problem I have with it, is that it just doesn’t keep me all that dry, and I’m not a sweaty person either. It certainly keeps me from smelling, but I don’t really like the stickiness factor by mid day. I haven’t even tried using it at the gym yet. That being said, it is a great invisible solid. No white marks at all.
I’m still not giving up on this deodorant. I think I will keep it for white clothing, or any new tops that are sleeveless which would show any stains.
I really like the idea of this antiperspirant. I hope they continue to improve upon it.