Delicious Valentine’s Day Treats from Lindt



Valentine’s Day is not the same without mouth watering chocolates to enjoy.

Honestly I rather have chocolates than flowers. :-)

It’s easy enough to stop by the local grocery or drug store and pick up a box of heart shaped chocolates. But those chocolates are usually “blah” tasting and nothing special.

Instead of giving your beloved something ordinary give her something much sweeter (and creamier) – Lindt Lindor Truffles.

This year Lindt has new products, in varying sizes, as well as new packaging making them wonderful gifts for the one you love and those special people in your life.

Here are some excellent Valentine’s Day gift offerings.


NEW! HELLO Assorted Lips Tin  (7.1 oz.): These romantic lips are ready to gift! The lip-shaped tin contains HELLO Mini Sticks with an enticing selection of delicious Crunchy Nougat, Strawberry Cheesecake, Cookies & Cream and Caramel Brownie Mini Sticks. Available exclusively at Target locations. SRP: $12.99


NEW! LINDOR Truffles Strawberries & Cream Bag (5.3 oz.): A new twist to the classic LINDOR Truffles bag! A soft white chocolate shell infused with strawberry pieces encloses an irresistibly smooth white truffle filling – an indulgent treat for your special Valentine. Available exclusively at Target locations. SRP: $3.99

LUS LDr Vday Heart 06

LINDOR Truffles Milk Chocolate Gift Heart (8.5 oz.): Give a piece of your heart with the classic LINDOR Truffles Milk Chocolate Gift Heart.  Surprise your Valentine with this elegant and festive heart, filled with smooth Milk Chocolate LINDOR truffles. SRP: $9.99


LINDOR Truffles Milk Chocolate Bag (7.2 oz.): This signature Lindt gift bag is filled with delicious LINDOR Milk Chocolate truffles sure to melt the heart of your Valentine. SRP: $4.99

Not only are Lindor Truffles from Lindt delicious gift ideas, they are also budget friendly. You don’t need to “break the bank” to give these as a gift.

You could easily give these sweet treats, especially the chocolate bag and/or strawberries & cream bag to someone special like your mom, grandmother or someone else you want to let know that you love them.

The milk chocolate truffles are a family favorite. Even my kids can’t resist these sweet, creamy truffles.

The heart shaped box is filled with a lot of truffles.

heart box

I like that they are individually wrapped so you can toss one (or more) in your purse or lunch box. Most other boxed chocolates are not individually wrapped.

What I love about Lindor Truffles is that one is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, or chocolate, craving. Each one is a wee bit more than a bite size.

The strawberries & cream truffles are decadent. Normally I’m not a fan of white chocolate but the chocolate works so well with the strawberry creme. The truffles even have little strawberry bits inside. Mmmm! So good!


These are available exclusively at Target.

You can purchase these products at Lindt stores, online (Lindt.com) and other retail locations.

For more information about these and other Lindt products, or to find a location near you, visit LindtUSA.com. You can also check out the brand on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

What do you think about the Valentine’s Day offerings from Lindt?

What is your favorite Lindt / Lindor product?



*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Enter the Fiora Snack-Off Contest (giveaway ends 2/1/15)



Snacks… who doesn’t love snacks. Sometimes we need snacks to make it through our day, otherwise we risk over eating at meal time.

This time of year (the start of a new year) many people are opting for healthier snack options, like fresh fruits and veggies. Normally I DO opt for those kinds of snacks (I love raw baby carrots). I also enjoy yogurt and nuts.

Every now and then we like to snack on more typical snack options like chips and dips and wings. In all fairness wings are chicken which is a protein so in a  way it’s not so bad for you. It’s better than snacking on cake, cookies and candy.

Any snack is OK within moderation. It’s OK to enjoy a couple of cookies from time to time (instead of veggies or a piece of fruit), just make sure you DO make healthier choices most of the time.


Sometimes the snacks we choose snacks that might be a bit messy. If you’ve ever enjoyed wings I’m sure you know how messy they can be. Other times dips might make a bit of a mess too, like Queso dip or salsa.

When you are enjoying your favorite snacks be sure to keep plenty of paper towels on hand to wipe up messes and to keep your hands clean.

Speaking of messy snacks and paper towels, Fiora, the leading tissue and paper towel brand, has launched a Snack-off Contest. They are asking fans to submit their favorite snack recipes to go head-to-head with others for the title of Best Snack in America.

Fiora product line


There will be four winners chosen. Each will win a year’s supply of Fiora products. There will also be a special grand prize.

If you are interested in entering your favorite snack for a chance to win simply visit Fiora’s Facebook page for all the details as well as to submit your snack recipe in the contest. Hurry! The contest ends on January 28, 2015.

If you would like to learn more about the Fiora brand please visit their official website.

Fiora would like to send a lucky reader a special Fiora Snack Prize Package. Thank you Fiora!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on February 1, 2015 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me what your favorite snack is?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received a prize package and gift card to buy snacks in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. Fiora will provide the prize package. 

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Check out what is new at SONIC Drive-In to kick of 2015



I know it’s not summer time yet, but it’s already on our minds. Not only are we looking forward to not having near zero degree temperatures, but we’re also looking forward to the fun places we go during summer break.

One destination my kids like to go is SONIC Drive-In. We don’t have one local to us so we visit the one upstate near their grandparents.

It might not sound like “fun,” but it’s actually a very pleasant drive (most of it is very scenic) and I usually find something else to do while we’re upstate, so it’s not like we just drive to SONIC Drive-In and back.

They enjoy stopping at SONIC Drive-In for their ice cream treats. Of course we enjoy the food too (I love the onion rings and chili cheese tots).

SONIC® Drive-In has added a few new items to their menu – Lil’ Doggies and Lil’ Chickies. They are mini-sized hot dogs and chicken sandwiches perfect for a quick snack or even a yummy meal.

Because they are mini sized the Lil’ Doggies and Lil’ Chickies are gone in a few bites, however they will satisfy any appetite with loads of flavor and protein.

“At SONIC, we’ve created a menu that offers our guests the opportunity to create a full meal or just stop in for a snack and we wanted to strengthen that option for our guests,” said Chef Claes Petersson, vice president of product innovation of Sonic Corp. “With the success of our hot dogs and chicken offerings, we were able to create these craveable Lil’ Doggies & Chickies that give big flavors in just a few bites.”

Lil Dogs

Lil’ Doggies are available in three tasty flavors;

  • Chili Cheese Lil’ Doggie™ topped with warm chili and melted cheddar cheese.
  • Classic Lil’ Doggie topped with ketchup and yellow mustard.
  • Baja Jalapeno & Chili Lil’ Doggie topped with chili, spicy cheese sauce and jalapenos.

Just like the Lil’ Doggies, Lil’ Chickies are mini sized chicken sandwiches which are made with 100% all white eat crispy chicken pieces.

Lil Chickies

Lil’ Chickies are available in this mouth watering flavors;

  • Classic Lil’ Chickie™ with pickles and mayo.
  • BBQ Lil’ Chickie with Hickory BBQ sauce and pickles.
  • Buffalo Lil’ Chickie with SONIC’s tangy Buffalo sauce.

You can also mix and match and pair any combination of Lil’ Doggies or Lil’ Chickies with Tots and a SONIC drink. Or you can simply enjoy them as a snack any time of day.

The Lil’ menu items start at $1.29. Hurry! They are only available for a limited time.

Also added to the SONIC Drive-In menu is the French TOASTER Breakfast Sandwich. It’s made with fluffy scrambled eggs and melted cheese placed between two slices of French toast. It’s available with sausage or bacon. This is a new addition to SONIC Drive-In’s popular TOASTER sandwich lineup.

If you would like to learn more or find a SONIC Drive-In near you visit SonicDrivein.com. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Are you a fan of SONIC Drive-In? Do you have a favorite menu item? What do you think about the new Lil’s and TOASTER sandwich?

French Toaster with Bacon


*I have partnered with SONIC Drive-In to bring you this information. I’ll receive a gift card to try out the new menu items in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Outback is celebrating a grand opening and “Steak for a Year” Sweepstakes (gift card giveaway ends 1/26/15)


Bloomin' Onion from Outback Steakhouse

Bloomin’ Onion from Outback Steakhouse

I know that I have readers from all over the country. For those of you who live in the New York City area, or there abouts, I thought you might be interested in a grand opening of a new Outback Steakhouse and a special “Steak for a Year” Sweepstakes.

Outback Steakhouse is hosting a grand opening event for their newest restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. The new restaurant is located at;

Outback Steakhouse

355 Gateway Drive

Brooklyn, NY 11239

(718) 277-4275

For more information about the new location please visit here.

The official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Monday, January 26, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 10:30 PM. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will be helping to cut the ribbon.

Steak and fries from the Outback Steakhouse

Steak and fries from the Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse wants to invite people from the community to stop by to enjoy some delicious food and fun.

The new location will be open for lunch daily and will feature a new “Modern Australia” building design, both inside and out. I am not sure what the “Modern Australia” design looks like but it certainly sounds interesting.

My family and I LOVE the Outback Steakhouse. We’ve only eaten there for dinner. I’d love to check out their lunch menu one day.

In the event you are not familiar with the restaurant, here is some additional information.

Outback Steakhouse® starts fresh every day to create the flavors that our mates crave. Best known for grilled steaks, chicken and seafood, Outback also offers a wide variety of crisp salads and freshly made soups and sides. New creations and grilled classics are made from scratch daily using only the highest quality ingredients sourced from around the world.

If you read my blog on a regular basis  I’m sure you have seen my posts about Outback Steakhouse. Their food is so good especially their popular Boomin’ Onion.

To make the grand opening even more special, Outback Steakhouse is hosting a Grand Opening Event to celebrate its newest restaurant. It’s called the “Steak for a Year” sweepstakes. Ten very lucky customers will will FREE STEAK at the Outback Steakhouse for an entire year.

Freshly made salad at the Outback Steakhouse

Freshly made salad at the Outback Steakhouse

Beginning on opening day, January 26th through February 9th, guests can enter to win the Outback “Steak for a Year” sweepstakes via restaurant iPads located at the Brooklyn Outback Steakhouse. A random drawing of all eligible entries will be held on or about February 10, 2015.  Potential winners will be notified via telephone and/or email.

For official sweepstakes rules, please visit the Brooklyn Outback restaurant.

Even if you don’t live in Brooklyn, New York there might be an Outback Steakhouse in your area. Visit www.OutbackSteakhouse.com to find a location near your. You can also check them out on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Have you ever eaten at an Outback Steakhouse? Do you have a favorite menu item? Personally I love the Bloomin’ Onion, French Onion Soup, Alice Springs Chicken and their Sweet Potato with Honey Butter and Brown Sugar.


I have a $50 e-Gift Card to the Outback Steakhouse to give to a lucky reader. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on January 24, 2015 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me what is your favorite menu item at the Outback Steakhouse – OR – why you would like to win this gift card?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I will be receiving an Outback Steakhouse gift card in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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McCormick® Flavor Forecast® for 2015 – How will you spice things up in the new year?



Every new year I always make it a goal of mine to learn how to cook different foods and try new recipes with my family. I tend to make the same meals over and over again. I know what my family likes (and doesn’t like) so I tend to stick with what I know works. The only problem is that we all get bored of the same things over and over again.

One thing I do try and do differently is to spice things up – literally. Often just adding a few spices, or swapping out one spice for another, can really change up a recipe.

To give you an example. I make homemade chicken soup. Normally I don’t season it. One night we were having soup and I ran out of saltine crackers. We ended up using roasted garlic crackers. We all liked the way the garlic added to the flavor of the soup. The next time I made soup I added garlic and some black pepper. It really enhanced the soup’s flavor. My whole family loved it.

It was the very same soup I’ve always made, I just added garlic and black pepper. It turned my good soup into a delicious soup and all I did was add some spices.

You can add spices into baking too.

I still have a lot to learn about spices. I have a cabinet full of spices but I don’t know which spices I should try to add to my meals. I tend to stick with what I know. I need to get outside of my comfort zone.

McCormick & Company, a global leader in flavor, especially when it comes to herbs and spices, recently released their 2015 Flavor Forecast®. This year they highlighted eight flavor trends that could possibly shape the future of flavor.

Flavor Forecast

This is a much anticipated report throughout the food industry. This year marks McCormick® Flavor Forecast® 15th year.

Reflecting the rapidly increasing demand for bolder, more intense flavor experiences, the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2015 pinpoints adventurous global tastes on the rise, like Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi), as well as an appreciation for the robust flavors developed in slow-simmered dishes from around the world. The report also showcases new ways to elevate pantry essentials to starring roles, like smoking spices and herbs or pairing sours with coarse salt.

“Many early trending flavors in past reports have become favorites of today. Take chipotle chile, for instance,” said McCormick Executive Chef, Kevan Vetter. “When we first identified this chile pepper as a flavor to watch in 2003, many people couldn’t pronounce it. Today, it’s a household name. Pumpkin pie spice, sea salt, coconut water and cocktail-inspired flavors have seen similar success, taking over restaurant menus and grocery store shelves. The flavor trends highlighted within our 15th annual Forecast promise to do the same.”

I guess in a way I follow the flavor trends too. I started to use sea salt instead of regular salt because it seems like everyone is doing it. I’ve also dabbled with coconut water. I guess without even knowing it I’ve been affected by the Flavor Forecast® too.

Identified by a global team of McCormick chefs and flavor experts, here are eight flavor trends that will offer a taste of 2015 and beyond:

1. Global Blends On the Move – Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi) offers a new kind of spicy heat, while Shawarma Spice Blend lends warm, spiced flavor to grilled meats and more.

2. Middle Eastern Mezze – These distinctive dips and spreads, packed with zesty herbs and seasonings, offer an approachable and delicious introduction to a vibrant global cuisine.

3. Sour + Salt – Combining coarse salt with surprising sours like pickled ginger, sour cherry, dried mango and lemon zest results in a lively finishing flavor that lends brightness and texture to dishes.

4. Smoked Spices – Smoking spices and herbs deepens their flavor and aroma, adding richness to meals and drinks.

5. Umami Veggies – For a fresh way to savor the tempting “fifth taste,” look no further than naturally umami-rich veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and nori.

6. Liquid Revolution – Fresh purees and juices blend with bold spices and herbs to intensify sauces, pasta, dressings and more – providing a fun, delicious way to enjoy an extra serving of fruits and veggies.

7. Flavor Worth the Wait – Lift the lid to discover the rich flavors from recipes around the world that meld aromatic spices and comforting ingredients into mouthwatering slow-cooked meals.

8. Cookies Reimagined – Classic spiced cookie flavors take new form in decadent, imaginative desserts that redefine “milk and cookies.”

I am fascinated by Umami. It’s considered the “fifth taste” along with sweet, salty, sour and bitter.

A few years ago I attend an event in New York City, along with authors, journalists, “foodies”, blogger and others in the food industry to learn more about Umanmi. It was an interesting and delicious experience.

The event was held at the NY Academy of Science and the food was created by Chef Danny Boome from the Food Network.

This is some of the food we ate to help teach us about Umanmi.




The event was a few years ago (March 2011). I don’t remember the meals but I do remember that each one was amazing.

Umanmi has something do do with glutamate – as in MSG. The event was held to dispel the myths about MSG and the benefits of using MSG to balance and enhance the taste of reduced-sodium or sodium-controlled foods. It was an interesting experience (and a delicious one too).

I am also interested in flavors to help enhance my slow cooked meals. I use my crock pot often and I would love to find herbs and spices to help boost the flavor in my “comfort meals” that I slow cook for my family.

In addition I’d like to learn more about smoked flavors. I would love to add a smoked flavor to my poultry and fish, maybe even vegetables.

I’m looking forward to learning more about the McCormick® Flavor Forecast® for 2015.

If you would like more information visit FlavorForecast.com and Pinterest.com/McCormickspice for innovative recipes, images and more ways to explore this year’s top tastes.

I would like to encourage you to visit both pages. The Flavor Forecast page has some truly mouth watering recipe ideas, in addition to more information about the forecast flavors. Some of my favorites include Smoky-Sweet Pickles with Strawberries, Roasted Beet and White Bean Dip and Gingersnap Crème Brûlée.




I am definitely going to try the Smoky-Sweet Pickles with Strawberries recipe. I didn’t know that you can “smoke” spices on your stove top. I thought you had to buy special smoked blends.

To smoke spices: Spread 1 cup fine mesquite wood chips in cast-iron skillet. Heat on high heat about 10 minutes or until wood chips start to smoke. Reduce heat to low. Place small baking rack on top of wood chips. Spread seasonings in small shallow disposable aluminum pan or foil muffin baking cup. Place pan on rack. Cover skillet with lid. (In order to keep the smoke in, lid should cover skillet tightly. If necessary, place aluminum foil over skillet first then cover with lid.) Smoke 30 minutes. Turn heat off. Let stand 1 hour or until cooled.

Now that I know it’s possible to smoke spices at home I am going to give it a try. I just need to figure out where I can get the mesquite wood chips.

I can image how nice smoking spices would make your home smell too.

What do you think about the McCormick® Flavor Forecast® for 2015? Are you interested in learning more about these trends? What flavors do you think are trendy these days? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and on social media using the hashtag #FlavorForecast. I’m looking forward to reading your comments and social comments.

McCormick Spices


*I have partnered with McCormick to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Check out Red Lobster’s BIG Shrimp Festival


Parmesan Shrimp Scampi (Left) and Shrimp Linguine Alfredo (Right) from Red Lobster

Parmesan Shrimp Scampi (Left) and Shrimp Linguine Alfredo (Right) from Red Lobster

Do you love shrimp? Mmm… I LOVE shrimp. I love it A LOT. I used to buy one of those small cocktail rings available at the grocery store and gobble up all the shrimp myself. :-)

Whenever we eat out (as rare as that might be) I always make sure to check out the restaurant’s seafood menu. I do make fish at home, but seafood like shrimp, clams, calamari, and salmon I leave to the restaurants to create my mouth watering meal.

One of my favorite seafood restaurants is Red Lobster. Not only do they offer delicious seafood options, their biscuits are out of this world.


Red Lobster is having a super sized promotion right now, their first ever Big Shrimp Festival, which features some of the largest shrimp ever offered on the new menu.

Big Shrimp! Yummy!

As part of this promotion guests can mix and match two Big Shrimp selections for $15.99, or three for $19.99. The prices are slightly higher in Alaska, Hawaii and Times Square (NYC).

There are several options you can choose from including a few new flavor options:

  • NEW! Crispy Tempura Shrimp
  • NEW! Extra Jumbo Spicy Sriracha-Grilled Shrimp
  • NEW! Ultimate Shrimp Scampi Pasta
  • NEW! Brown Butter Shrimp Scampi
  • NEW! Extra Jumbo Garlic-Grilled Shrimp
  • Guest Favorite Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp

Check out the television promotion. I must warn you, don’t watch this brief video if you are hungry. All of the food items they show look so scrumptious!


If you want more information about the Big Shrimp Menu please visit the Red Lobster Specials page.

I MUST try the Crispy Tempura Shrimp. That looks so good!

All entrees come with your choice of salad and unlimited Cheddar Bay Biscuits too.

Needless to say I am making arrangements with my family to head on over to our local Red Lobster ASAP to take advantage of the Big Shrimp promotion before it ends. I’m hoping we can go soon.

I know I’m going to have a hard time choosing from the menu options. I think I’ll go with the Crispy Tempura Shrimp and the Extra Jumbo Garlic Grilled Shrimp.

If you would like to find a Red Lobster location near you please visit www.RedLobster.com. You can also find Red Lobsters on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Are you a fan of Red Lobster? Do you love shrimp? What do you think about their Big Shrimp promotion? Which menu option are you interested in the most? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Red Lobster



*I will be receiving a Red Lobster gift card in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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