Oct 31

Cocoa Cravings Gluten Free & Vegan Dark Arriba Chocolate Bars // Review & Giveaway

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For the chocolate lover in all of us, Cocoa Cravings mixes will hold a special place for you. With Cocoa Cravings, you get nothing artificial, nothing over engineered – just top-notch ingredients, prepared exactly the way they should be with care, style and dedication.

Cocoa Cravings chocolate bars are made from the fabled “Criollo Arriba beans” and use a recipe based on a simple combination of cacao beans, cane sugar and pure vanilla.

Grown solely in Ecuador, “Arriba” is a special cocoa varietal with a perfumed floral scent. Its flavor is smooth, with a dominant floral note and nutty after–tones. In order to present you with the purest flavor of Arriba chocolate, there is no other “covering” aroma or extra flavors added to these bars. This allows you to experience the uniquely rich Arriba aromas in these tasting bars from 55% to 71% cocoa. The uniqueness, depth and flavor also result from the use of non–deodorized cacao butter in our production.

Available in three varieties:

Vegan Dark Arriba Chocolate 55%
Vegan Dark Arriba Chocolate 65%
Vegan Dark Chocolate Bar 71%

I tried the 65% dark chocolate bar. With my first bite I experienced a hint of sweet caramel, followed by rich cacao and ended with a light vanilla; both mellow and rich at the same time.

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The bar itself is 50g and made up of 16 etched out squares so you can eat as much or as little as you want. It has a nice dark color and dark chocolate scent.

Cocoa Cravings chocolate bars are organic, gluten free, and vegan. They are also free of additives, preservatives, synthetic ingredients, artificial flavorings, trans fat, corn syrup, glucose, milk substitutes, or vanillin, which are commonly found in some chocolates.


With the combination of the finest cocoa, unique recipes, and eclectic ingredients they have created truly extraordinary cocoa.  Would you like to try Cocoa Cravings chocolate? Here’s your chance! Cocoa Cravings has offered to give one lucky reader the chance to win a delicious chocolate bar! To enter, simply click on the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on November 6, 2014

Cocoa Cravings is an independent family-owned and operated business started by Chicago natives with a passion for spreading their love for healthy cocoa in a unique and contemporary way.  They work with organic fair-trade farmers and co-op farmsteads to ensure the absolute best product that has individuality and style. The top-quality products are manufactured in small professional batches in Chicago, USA, by T.C. Bauer Co, and are available for purchase online.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


This entry was posted in chocolate, Giveaway, organic, Product Review, Vegan and tagged , , , , on 31 October, 2014.

Oct 30

Popchips The Spider Bite Popwich Spooky Snack for Halloween


Popchips, a delicious popped chip was chosen as the favorite snack by a panel of children in real simple magazine. they are adored by kids who find the taste and texture irresistible without even knowing they are healthier for them! Unlike traditional fried potato chips, popchips meets many of the strict nutritional standards being enforced in a growing number of schools throughout the united states and are a great option for Halloween!

… and what’s better than snacking on popchips? snacking on popchips disguised as spooky spiders (quality control – don’t worry, they only sound spooky). we’ve been getting (witch)crafty, and casting snack spells all over social media. feast your eyes on our frightfully fun halloween #snacksmall spider bite popwich.

The Spider Bite Popwich:

popchips are available at target, whole foods and grocery stores nationwide.  to find a store by you, visit the popchips product locator at http://www.popchips.com/store-locator.


This entry was posted in Restaurant Review and tagged on 30 October, 2014.

Oct 29

The Chocolate Expo 2014 // Sunday November 2, 2014 // Meadowlands Expo Center – Secaucus, NJ

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Chocolate Lovers & Foodies Rejoice! The Chocolate Expo will returning to the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, NJ, on Sunday, November 2nd, from 11am until 7pm.  Attendees will get to taste & purchase gourmet chocolates, baked goods, specialty foods, gelato, wines and much more from over 50 local and regional vendors!

The Chocolate Expo event combines chocolate and food with a dash of fun such as unique exhibits, performances, demonstrations and celebrity appearances. Chef Barrett Beyer (who appeared on Season 11 of Fox TV’s Hell’s Kitchen Season 11, as well as on Food Network’s Kitchen Casino) will spearhead a day of celebrity chef demos and competitions at The Chocolate Expo.

A few of the vendors will offer no-sugar-added, all-natural, organic, vegan, salt-free, gluten-free and/or kosher products.

Gluten free vendors include:

For a complete list of vendors, check out the Vendors page.

Tickets are available for $15 (children = $10) and will be sent to you electronically in a PDF file (attached to an order confirmation email).

Plenty of free covered parking is available at the Expo Center, and NJ Transit Bus #320 provides a door-to-door connection to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan in just 16 minutes!

For more details, including FAQ and driving directions, please see their website at:  www.TheChocolateExpo.com.

Will YOU be at the Expo?

I hope to see you there!
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This entry was posted in chocolate, event, New Jersey, Product Review and tagged , , on 29 October, 2014.

Oct 28

INBAR Gluten Free and Allergy Friendly Snack Bars


I was very excited when INBalance Health Corp contacted me to review their INBAR nutritional snack bar. The INBAR is a 56g, great-tasting snack bar designed to keep you full for hours without spiking your blood sugar. Originally doctor-formulated for diabetics, INBAR is Certified USDA Organic, GMO and Gluten Free, Allergen Free, Vegan and Kosher!


What really attracted me to try the bars is that they are FREE of so many things!

The bars are free from:

INBARs are available in six flavors including: Chocolate Butter Crunch, Cinnamon Swirl, Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Mint, Cherry Chocolate and Strawberry Banana.

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At only 170 calories per bar, this healthy snack is loaded with protein and fiber, healthy fats, and only 6-7 grams of sugar per serving.

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How does INBAR compare to other nutrition bars on the market?

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InBar also works well for those who have weight management goals or glucose management goals!

You can purchase INBARs online or in stores. INBARs can be found in many Whole Foods and Natural Health Stores all over the city. To find a retail location nearest you, go to their Store Locator.

Disclaimer: I received these products free of charge to review for my blog. I was not paid for this review, all my opinions and thoughts are my own.


This entry was posted in bar, dairy free, Kosher, nut free, organic, Product Review, Snack, Soy free, Vegan and tagged , , , , , , , , on 28 October, 2014.

Oct 27

Kiva Organic Stevia Powder Giveaway

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Kiva Organic Stevia Powder is a multi-purpose tabletop sweetener made from non-GMO stevia plants grown in the USA and is a perfect substitute for sugar and artificial sweeteners. Kiva organic stevia has zero-calories, no bitter aftertaste, and a low glycemic index, making it ideal for those managing calories and blood sugar.

Kiva blends their high purity stevia extract with erythritol (e-ryth-ri-tol), a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in fruits and vegetables, to create a delicious gluten free and vegan blend that’s easy to serve.

Conversion: Sugar to Kiva Organic Stevia
1 Tsp (sugar) = 1/8 Tsp (Kiva Organic Stevia)
1 Tbsp (sugar) = 1/3 Tsp (Kiva Organic Stevia)
1/4 cup (sugar) = 1/2 Tbsp (Kiva Organic Stevia)
1/2 cup (sugar) = 1 Tbsp (Kiva Organic Stevia)
1 cup (sugar) = 2 Tbsp (Kiva Organic Stevia)

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I use Kiva Organic Stevia Powder to naturally sweeten drinks, cakes, pies, cookies, etc. It is VERY concentrated and incredibly sweet, so don’t over do it. A little goes a long way. It is well worth the price of $14.80, as it will last you a while.

Use promo code GoodKiva to save 15% off ALL Kiva products. You can purchase Kiva Organic Stevia Powder on Amazon or on their website, www.kivahealthfood.com. Kiva also makes xantham gum, Spanish saffron, Ceylon cinnamon powder, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, cacao powder, maca powder, and maqui berry powder.


Kiva strives to provide customers with innovative food from around the world that is great tasting, healthy and of the highest quality. They are committed to using only ingredients that are sourced directly from local farmers that practice sustainable and eco-friendly methods. The kind folks over at Kiva have offered to give one of my lucky readers the chance to win an 8 oz. jar Organic Stevia Powder! To enter, simply click on the rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on November 7, 2014 at 11:59pm.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.



This entry was posted in Giveaway, Product Review, Vegan and tagged , , on 27 October, 2014.

Oct 26

Kitchenware Plus – Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board Set // Holiday Gift Idea

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There is nothing worse than getting into a cooking project and you find your cutting board is not big enough. You will never have that problem with Kitchenware’s Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board Set.

These eco-friendly Bamboo Wooden Chopping Boards can be used with meat, bread and vegetable.

The set consists of two boards:

Both boards are extra thick, 3/4″inch, made to last and not warp.

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The boards are made of vertical cut bamboo, which is stronger than horizontal or strand bamboo, making them very sturdy. Both of the cuttings boards are nice and smooth.

The larger cutting board is big enough, and strong enough, to use as a serving platter for a good-sized turkey or roast. I like that the boards have a groove cut into the board all the way around— like a moat— to catch any drippings and juices. The juice grooves on both boards is deeper than most other boards and can hold more liquid, keeping my counters cleaner.

Not only are these boards well built, but they are also beautiful, and I am not ashamed to set these on my dining table when guests are over.
To clean the boards simply wipe clean with a damp cloth. Use hot soapy water, but never immerse fully in water. Oil monthly with kitchen food grade quality oil.
Care instructions:

Kitchenware’s offers a 100% Lifetime Money Back Guarantee. So if you are not happy, you can get your money back, no questions asked.

Kitchenware’s Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board Set is available on Amazon for $36. If you are looking for a large, sturdy cutting board this is it. The set would also make a great gift for any chefs, or home chefs, in your family!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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This entry was posted in Product Review and tagged on 26 October, 2014.

Oct 25

PEM: Panty of the Month Club // Holiday Gift Idea



No, this post has nothing to do with food or being gluten free. Instead, I am going to introduce you to a fun “club” I recently got to try out.

What girl doesn’t like cute underwear? I’m a huge fan of cute underwear something I think I share with most females. So when I was offered a chance to review this month’s panty from the PEM Club of course I took it.hires-logo

PEM Club’s name is derived from the acronym ‘Panty Every Month Club’. There are plenty of gluten free subscription boxes I’ve written about, and this is pretty much the same thing, except instead of food you get cute underwear! PEM allows customers to order a subscription ‘box’ that will have a surprise pair of panties delivered every month, either to you or to someone else whom you have designated them to be delivered to.

There are three subscriptions to choose from:

PEM focuses on affordability, quality, and choice. The main motivator is the fact that everybody likes receiving something special in the mail once a month. Their product adds a bit of sexiness and mystery to that concept as the customer never really knows exactly what they’ll be getting each month.

pink-boyshort-hiresJessica-DennisThe demographic is split pretty evenly between men and women, age 18-55. Women mostly purchase for themselves and as you can imagine, men mostly purchase as gifts for their loved ones. (Hint! Hint!)

Of course, this is not the only service that they offer. You can also shop for and buy lingerie straight off of their website. They carry a pretty extensive line of products and offer relatively good prices on everything.

If you are looking for a fun way to treat yourself to something nice every month, or a unique gift idea, PEM is a great choice! With 1- 3- 6- and 12-month subscriptions available, there are plenty of options for everyone’s price range.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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This entry was posted in Product Review, subscription and tagged , on 25 October, 2014.

Oct 24

The Great Low Carb Bread Company Gluten Free & Paleo Product Review

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I often find myself thinking, Why can’t there be gluten free low carb bread products that tastes great and doesn’t have the consistency of a sponge? The Great Low Carb Bread Company has found the answer. The Great Low Carb Bread Company makes great tasting low carb, gluten free breads, bagels and buns that won’t raise your blood sugar.

All the gluten free low carb buns, muffins, bagels, and granola are also paleo and have no additives, preservatives, or anything else but wholesome ingredients.


I recently had the chance to try the line of gluten free items— they also have a line of non-gluten free low carb bread products for anyone in your family who is interested.

The first thing I tried was the granola. Available in 3 flavors, Cinnamon, Coconut, Maple, all three are made with all natural and non-GMO ingredients. The granola is also sugar free, though it does have 3 grams of sugar from stevia. For those of you who like sweet granola, this is not for you. But if you are like me and don’t like sugary granola then you are sure to like this!


This morning I had the bagel for breakfast. The bagel was thin, which has to do with there being no yeast in it. With that said, this is the ONLY bagel I have ever found without yeast; something else I cannot eat. So looks aside, I toasted the bagel, added my lactose free, dairy free, gluten free Go Veggie cream cheese and enjoyed a bagel for the first time in years!!

This bagel had a slightly different taste and texture than ‘’normal’’ bagels, but I really liked it nonetheless.

I also like that Low Carb Bread products are grain free. The bagel is made with organic coconut flour, almond flour, water, egg whites, organic golden flaxseed meal, organic unrefined virgin coconut oil, baking soda, sea salt, and stevia.

The six muffin flavors include: lemon, coconut, chocolate, cinnamon, pumpkin, and vanilla.

You can purchase all Great Low Carb Bread Company products online!

If you are looking for tasty, nutrient dense, grain free, gluten free muffins, bagels, granola or buns then look no further! I highly recommend you check out all the great products the Great Low Carb Bread Company has to offer.


This entry was posted in bagel, Bread, dairy free, granola, Muffins, Product Review and tagged , , , , , on 24 October, 2014.

Oct 23

Wines of Portugal Annual Grand Tasting 2014 in New York City Recap

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Yesterday I attended the Wines of Portugal Annual Grand Tasting. I was in Portugal in August, and had an amazing time learning about Portuguese culture, food, and wine. I loved it there and wish I could go back! Since I can’t, the next best thing is a Portuguese wine tasting event, which I was very excited to attend.

Portugal offers a variety of wines, from the dry reds of Bairrada to the delicious whites from Vinho Verde, and from the newly-renamed Tejo and Lisbon regions to the progressive offerings from the Douro.


Wines of Portugal Annual Grand Tasting event is a great way to experience and discover Portugal’s wines; many of which you have probably never heard of. Whether you have tried the wines before, or are a newbie to Portuguese wines, you will learn just how much the country has to offer!

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Light appetizers were served, which were there to showcase the ease in ability to pair Portuguese wines with various types of cuisine.

With a selection of over 300 wines, it was impossible to try them all. But I did discover some new finds that I will be adding to my repertoire. If you missed this event, don’t miss it again next year!

Wines of Portugal Annual Grand Tasting has also been held in Boston, San Fransisco, Chicago, and Washington D.C.. Future tastings and events from Full Circle Wine Solutions can be found here.

Disclaimer: I attend this event fore free as a member of the press. I was not paid for my review and all my opinions are my own.

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This entry was posted in event, New York City, wine and tagged , , on 23 October, 2014.

Oct 22

Enjoy Life Foods Seed and Fruit Mixes


Salty, sweet and crunchy, Enjoy Life Foods’ Seed and Fruit Mixes are so good you won’t even miss the nuts! Seed and Fruit Mixes are the ideal portable snack without peanuts, tree nuts or any of the other eight common allergens. They are also Kosher and vegan.

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Nut free, it’s a great— and safe— for school lunches or classroom snack, and to keep in your bag when you’re on the go. This low-calories and low-sodium option is loaded with good fats from seeds and antioxidants from fruit.

Seed and Fruit Mixes are available in two flavors: Mountain Mambo and Beach Bash.

Mountain Mambo is made with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), raisins, dried apples, cranberries, and mini chocolate chips. This trail mix is both wholesome and delicious.

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Beach Bach is a tasty medley of sunflower kernels, pumpkin seeds, dried pineapple, apricots and cranberries. Beach Bash® belongs with you at the shore, on the trail or on the go.

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The Seed and Fruit Mixes are available in two sizes: 6 oz. bags and 1.6 oz. Grab & Go Bags.

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Not only do Seed and Fruit Mixes make for an easy convenient snack, I also use them to make breakfast cookies and as salad toppers. For more great recipes click here.

You can use the Store Locator to find a retail location near you!


This entry was posted in dairy free, Kosher, nut free, Product Review, Snack, Soy free, Vegan and tagged , , , , , , on 22 October, 2014.