Celebrate Summer with Open Nature® Scandal-less Light Ice Cream from Safeway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% mine.

Summer is here which means ice cream weather is here! To celebrate and to bring a little joy to our unprecedented summer, I’ve decided to make a SCANDAL-LESS ice cream sundae bar using Open Nature® Scandal-less light ice cream. We all could use a little light ice cream after sheltering-in-place, right? I know I could, with all the snacking and eating that was happening in my home during shelter-in-place. I was a little skeptical about the light ice cream at first, but these flavors really won me over! I recommend the Peanut Butter Cup Light Ice Cream.

I went to my local Safeway to gather all the ingredients for my little ice cream bar. I got some topping options such as chocolate chips, hot chocolate sauce, gummies, berries, cereal, maraschino cherries, sugar cones, waffle bowls and of course, some sprinkles! I picked up the following Scandal-less ice creams. I chose a few different flavors such as Peanut Butter Cup, Cookies & Cream, and Sea Salt Caramel. I usually gravitate towards these kinds of flavors normally, so I was excited that Open Nature had a light version of these flavors.

The Peanut Butter Cup flavor was my favorite out of the three because it was not overly sweet and it had a balanced peanut butter & chocolate flavor. Cookies & cream is a classic flavor and I thought Open Nature made a good light version of it. The ice cream wasn’t too hard and it was creamier than other light ice creams I have tried in the past. I enjoyed the sea salt caramel flavor because it had a nice balance of sweet and salty.

Open Nature Scandal-less light ice cream products have no artificial colors or flavors. They are low in calories & fat while having a high protein content. And if you are counting calories, each pint has about 240-370 calories. Can you believe that each ice cream has between 60-80% less calories & 40-50% less fat than regular ice cream? It is definitely treating yourself with less guilt.

For my ice cream sundae bar, I put the toppings in cute bowls and made a little arrangement around the ice creams. Just doing something as simple as that makes such a big difference. I think creating a fun theme is something that everyone can appreciate. It is all about the little details and presentation and of course, the ice cream!

Can you even tell that this is light ice cream? I think everyone was surprised that the ice creams were light. Everyone enjoyed the variety of flavors and the time spent together making our unique ice cream sundaes.

I got these ice creams at Safeway, but you can also find these SCANDAL-LESS ice creams at the Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Randalls, Shaw’s Supermarket, Star Market, Tom Thumb and Vons. Or for convenience, you can also get them through Safeway Grocery Delivery & DriveUp & Go™.

So far, I have been really impressed with Safeway’s private label brands and will continue to try their different items & showcase my favorites throughout the year. Hope you will try them as well & let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Creating a Beautiful Charcuterie Board with Primo Taglio® from Safeway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% mine.

Due to the shelter-in-place & current events, I have been cooking & eating at home more often than before. So I’ve decided to make a charcuterie board using Primo Taglio®, Safeway’s exclusive line of premium quality meats & cheeses available at Safeways in the Bay Area. Primo Taglio translates to “first cut” in Italian, meaning every cut tastes as delicious as the first. And I must agree, their meats & cheeses are pretty tasty!

Charcuterie boards are easy to put-together and they look like you’ve spent a lot of effort on them! The board is great for snacking because I can put a lot of different varieties of meats & cheeses, as well as crackers and fruits. For this board, I’ve used their Manchego, Mozzarella Cheese Roll, Prosciutto, Italian Dry Salame, & Soft-Ripened Brie Cheese. Primo Taglio products are made with the finest ingredients, using traditional, time-honored preparation methods. They do not use artificial flavors or colors, or MSG*. (* With the exception of some of their items such as American cheese & certain value meats which do contain MSG.) I’ve used some fruits such as berries, grapes, cucumbers and dragonfruit to balance out the flavors.

The key to making a photogenic charcuterie board is to add a variety of colors and textures on the board. I usually start with a main item that I want to be the focal point in the middle and build around it. And if there are empty spaces, I add small garnishes like berries or nuts to fill the gaps. To create texture, I folded the prosciutto so it isn’t just flat on the board. There is no wrong way to make it, so get creative with it!

Brie & prosciutto are my favorite meat & cheese for a charcuterie board. Primo Taglio’s brie is delicious and pairs well with the prosciutto. You can tell that Primo Taglio uses the highest quality milk for their cheeses; the brie is perfectly creamy! I can probably eat the whole wheel. In contrast, the Manchego has a rich and intense flavor and has a hard yet crumbly texture. It was quite good! Some of their cheeses use old world recipes, which can be naturally aged up to 2 years.

The board is perfect for unwinding at home with loved ones. I love the way food brings us together. We could all use a little break during the day for some snacking. Wouldn’t you agree?

I love how my snack board came out. I love all the different textures and flavor combinations that can be made for each cheesy, meaty bite! The cucumbers were refreshing with the Italian Dry Salame and Manchego. What is your favorite combination?

I went to my local Safeway to purchase the items for my charcuterie snack board, but you can find Primo Taglio products at Albertson Companies family of stores, such as ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Randalls, Shaw’s Supermarket, Star Market, Tom Thumb and Vons. Try their cured meats & cheeses and let me know what your favorite items were!

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SF | illy caffè university of coffee

This post is sponsored by illy caffè

the flagship location in San Francisco

illy caffè’s flagship store in San Francisco is located in the Financial District. They have multiple locations in the city!

The cafe is very spacious. There is a bar area, as well as booths for more privacy.

Inside their flagship is the University of Coffee which can be rented out for different educational and hands-on coffee experiences. I was invited to their DIY latte art experience. To learn more about the classes they offer, or to book a team building experience or private class for you and your friends, click here!

We were able to view some new products on display: the illy Art Collection by Olimpia Zagnoli espresso cups & the Y3.2 machine in new colors: white + Cape Town Blue. The white one is so cute and would go perfectly with my white kitchen appliances.

Our instructor, Heidi, demonstrated how to make latte art and then we were able to try and make our own.

I was the first volunteer to try it and it was harder than I thought!

After the latte art experience, we also had a coffee mixology demo. We were also able to taste them and I loved the cold brew with salted caramel cream, which was made with illy’s Cold Brew Aria, the first-ever system that infuses ambient air into coffee to create a “nitro” effect.

Thank you, illy caffè, for the wonderful experience! Now I have to practice & perfect my latte art at home.

***

illy caffè

220 Montgomery St Ste. 148

San Francisco, CA 94104

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Sponsored | Simply Chocolate is Simply Delicious

This post is sponsored by simply chocolate.

Simply Chocolate is the perfect resource for chocolate lovers. They offer quality gifts from iconic chocolatiers, as well as innovative artisans.

Simply Chocolate has recently launched the Simply Chocolate Premier Collection & Colossal Truffles, featuring delicious flavor pairings by an artisan chocolatier. These were gifted for me to try.

It’s been raining a lot lately, so I thought it would be perfect to cozy up with some hot milk tea & these chocolates.

Simply Chocolate Premier Collection [28 piece] & Simply Chocolate Colossal Truffles [12 piece]

I was gifted the 28 piece from the Premier Collection & the 12 piece Colossal Truffles. They also come in 14 pieces & 6 pieces, respectively.

6 Flavors: Milk Chocolate, Black & White, Milk Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter Sea Salt
These truffles are definitely COLOSSAL.
I cut them in half so you could see the cross sections.
8 Flavors: Ultra Dark Chocolate, Caramel Coconut, Strawberry Rhubarb, Sea Salt Peanut Butter, Caramel Rose, Mocha Cream, Hazelnut Heart, Orange Cream
Look at the detail on the Strawberry Rhubarb!

Aside from these new additions, Simply Chocolate continually provides new & exclusive products. They have introduced chocolates from four new brands: Ethel M, Jacques Torres, Knipschildt & Kohler. There are more than 30 brands on their site as well as hundreds of products to choose from!

As for pricing, the overall product price points range anywhere from $20- $300, so there are chocolates available for any budget; they make perfect gifts for the chocolate connoisseur. The Simply Chocolate branded collection price points range from $20- $100.

The Colossal Truffles [$29.99 – $49.99] & Premier Collection [$34.99 – $59.99]

Visit SimplyChocolate.com to find the latest in chocolate offerings, & also find information about top chocolate shops + featured chocolatiers.

***

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recipe | not your ordinary granola bar using non-dairy Häagen-Dazs frozen dessert

 post is sponsored by Häagen-Dazs, a Nestlé brand

This post is dedicated to all the lactose-intolerant ice cream lovers out there!

I recently discovered that Häagen-Dazs has a variety of non-dairy frozen dessert flavors that aren’t just sorbets. One of my favorite non-dairy flavors is their Chocolate Salted Fudge Truffle. It has a little bit of saltiness and a whole lot of rich, chocolatey goodness.
I am going to use this flavor in my recipe to create a non-dairy frozen delicacy to enjoy after work, or even as a midday snack. These granola bars are perfect for these warm summer days. #TheresAnIceCreamForThat

 

use two pints of Häagen-Dazs Non-Dairy Chocolate Salted Fudge Truffle frozen desserts for this recipe

 

here are two ways to make these granola frozen dessert bars: one with coconut whipped cream layered on top & one without.

 

one option: put a dollop of coconut whipped cream & top with a fresh strawberry before serving

 

the other option:  freeze a layer of coconut whipped cream on top & then serve it with a fresh strawberry

serving: 9 bars

ingredients
crust
8 oz premium all-natural granola
6T coconut oil, melted
*if using unsweetened granola use honey to taste

filling
2 pints Häagen-Dazs Non-Dairy Chocolate Salted Fudge Truffle, softened

toppings
strawberrys
coconut whipped cream
– 1 can [13.6 oz] coconut cream, chilled overnight

materials
6” x 6” x 2” baking pan
stand mixer + bowl & whisk attachment, chilled

instructions
crust
1. Toss the granola in melted coconut oil until evenly coated.
2. Pour the granola into the pan that is lined with plastic wrap & press down firmly. Make sure the layer is ½” in thickness.
3. Refrigerate the crust for one hour to set.
4. Pour the softened Häagen-Dazs into the pan & freeze until hard.
5. While the frozen treat is being frozen, take out the chilled coconut milk & carefully scoop out the
hardened coconut cream from the can while leaving the liquid untouched.
6. Using a chilled bowl for the stand mixer, whip the coconut milk until stiff peaks form.
7. Take the frozen dessert out of the pan & spread the coconut whipped cream onto the frozen dessert & chill until set. Cut up into 2″x2″ squares.

**another option: cut the treat into 2″x2″ pieces & then place a dollop of coconut cream on each bar.
8. Top each granola frozen dessert bar with a strawberry; place back into the freezer until it is ready to be enjoyed!

 

Save $2 when you buy 3 or more
Häagen-Dazs items or other Nestlé ice cream
products @Safeway.
http://lynk.to/HEEJINLEE

 

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SF | museum of ice cream – san francisco edition

this very instagrammable museum of ice cream is sold out.

 

it used to be a bank before it was converted into a very pink & colorful museum dedicated to all things ice cream. this door does not open.

 

during the month of October, salt & straw featured their sea salt caramel flavor with a magic coffee shell. i like their salted caramel flavor and the coffee shell added a little extra something to their regular flavor.

ice cream, DUH! here you will be able to sample a scoop of ice cream, mochi ice cream, cotton candy, unicorn milk soft serve & pop rocks.

i didn’t ride the unicorn like most people. but i did try unicorn milk!

it was quite creamy and not too sweet. it was the perfect bite. the pink is a white chocolate shell.

they have the famous sprinkle pool here but i only went in mid-calf deep with socks on. i just couldn’t get myself to dive in. but if you do, they have a station where you can “dry off” with an air dryer.

 

the swings are the last exhibit. there are three of them but i think i liked the whipped cream “exhibit” the best.

 

the museum of ice cream is a place where adults can be kids again!

***

museum of ice cream

1 Grant Ave

San Francisco, CA 94108

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SF | China Live in Chinatown

China Live is a new addition to Chinatown, where you can shop, eat, drink and explore Chinese culture & cuisine.

this is above the entrance that leads to the marketplace.

i got to attend the market restaurant media preview for China Live in Chinatown.

[thanks to tablehopper ‘s Marcia Gagliardi x @kavalanUSA x @anchorspirits x @chinaliveSF]

there are communal benches as well as tables. bar seating is also available. the tables and chairs were crafted in China from reclaimed Chinese Elm.

the ceiling has Chinese characters that represent the flavors of China.

these were some of the seasonal menu items that i had the pleasure of tasting.

shen jian bao, chrysanthemum ten ingredient salad, pressed five-spiced bean curd, winter turnip. the bean curd was probably my favorite from this group. the dish was well-seasoned and the green peppercorn flavor really came through.

the crust of the roast pork char siu baked bun added a nice sweet crunch to the soft baked bun.

one of my favorite dishes was the peking duck with kumquat glaze, in traditional sesame pockets. who doesn’t love the crispy, oily skin of a peking duck wrapped in a crispy sesame pocket? the sweetness from the kumquat glaze complemented the saltiness of the skin. the cucumber & green onions brought freshness to each bite.

we also had cocktails made with Kavalan, a Taiwanese Whisky brand.

this was the ‘laughing gas’: Viognier, fresh lime, pineapple, smoked honey & bitters.

and lastly, the dessert was mango shaved ice, similar to the Taiwanese shaved snow but with an added twist of sesame soft serve underneath the fluffy snow with yogurt-flavored popping boba.

currently, the market restaurant opens @ 5pm

***

China Live

644 Broadway

San Francisco, CA 94133

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2017 Winter Fancy Food Show: Wild Garden Foods

This is my second year attending the Fancy Food Show in SF.

I had the pleasure of meeting the people at Wild Garden, which brings the taste of the mediterranean to your home.

Ziyad is the parent company, specializing in mediterranean & middle eastern products.

wild garden is based in chicago & was originally known for their hummus.

they started branching out to quick marinades & heat + serve pilafs.

i had a chance to sample their persian & chicken shawarma. they were loaded with flavor.

wild garden uses natural and healthy ingredients, which is a plus.

they sent me a tasting box to try & i can’t wait to try them.

you can purchase their products online or find them through a store locator on their site.

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DeLicious DeLuscious Cookies & Milk

DeLuscious Cookies

Happy Holidays!

I have had this place bookmarked for YEARS and I was so glad that I finally got the chance to try them.

It’s not a retail store with cookies on display but they do allow walk-ins; you would have to choose from whatever they have available at the time and sometimes they sell out so it is probably good to call before heading over.

 If you call a few hours ahead during nonpeak days, they may be able to prepare the cookies you want! Shhh!

this is where you pick up the cookies. (it is their HQ.)

this is the stairway that leads to their offices/pick-up location/kitchen.

love the handmade hat box. perfect for gifting.

classics

cinnamon brûlée

chocolate decadence

chocolate chip

oatmeal raisin

peanut butter

peanut butter chocolate

couture (changes seasonally)

white chocolate macadamia nut cranberry

ginger spice

chocolate peppermint

red velvet chocolate brownie

butterscotch blondie

vegan

vegan gluten-free chocolate chip

special edition

chocolate bing cherry (Spielberg’s fave!)

These DeLicious DeLuscious cookies are available for pick-up, hand delivery, and they even ship internationally.

I also like that they also do a lot of charity events; they give back to the community.

My faves: chocolate chip, cinnamon brûlée, chocolate bing cherry.  They are crispy around the edges and chewy in the center. The bing cherry surprisingly goes well with the chocolate.

Owner, Lydia Shayne, is a self-taught baker who takes pride in her cookies. She does not use preservatives and  uses the best ingredients possible in these hand-crafted cookies. FYI, the bing cherries used the the chocolate bing cherry cookie are from washington. She also creates her own blend of quinoa and rice flours for the gluten-free options.

I will definitely be back to try more of their flavors.

***

DeLuscious Cookies & Milk

829 Highland Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90038

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Sanrio x Box Lunch

Sanrio and Box Lunch Collab = #HelloSanrio

the collab features blankets, notebooks, clothes, blind boxes, pillows, etc.

I went to the preview event (12/8) and came home with this goodie bag.

their next event is in Irvine on 12/17.

 img_6305

so cute! love the packaging.

the inside contents:

img_6312

hello sanrio memo tabs, gudetama toilet paper & key cap, sanrio character cookies, a sticker and their little catalog.

every $10 you spend, @boxlunchgifts will provide a meal to a person in need.

my only question was: where’s pochacco?

***

Box Lunch

69 Powell St

San Francisco, CA 94102

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