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!

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Recipe | California Walnuts Pesto Gemelli Salad with Shrimp

This post is sponsored by California Walnuts

Did you know that walnuts are a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids (2.5g/oz)? Those are the good kind of fats, making walnuts the perfect lunch ingredient. 

Americans are skipping lunch, and this can impact energy levels as well as productivity. I have partnered with California Walnuts to #ChooseLunch to help me feel satiated and more energized throughout the day.

Walnuts are very versatile, so I decided to put a twist on a classic pesto pasta salad by using walnuts as the nut ingredient in this recipe. Hope you enjoy!


INGREDIENTS

Pesto

2 bunches of basil 

6 garlic cloves

½ cup Parmesan cheese

½ cup California walnuts

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

salt + pepper to taste

Pasta Salad

8 oz bag of pasta {I used Gemelli}

½ lb shrimp, 16/20 count

¼ lb cherry tomatoes, halved

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put all the ingredients for the pesto (except for the oil) into a food processor and pulse until they are evenly chopped.
  • Pour the oil in a steady stream while running the food processor to emulsify. Stop when the mixture is homogeneous.  
  • Set the pesto aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to directions on the packaging. I chose Gemelli because of all the crevices in the pasta; it will catch all the pesto goodness!
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the shrimp.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot, add the shrimp.
  • Cook the shrimp until they are opaque. Do not overcook.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the shrimp.
  • Stir in the pesto.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan. Mix until everything is evenly coated. Can be refrigerated for lunch or eaten immediately. 
  • Enjoy!

All the ingredients to make our pasta salad!
Place all the ingredients for the pesto [minus the oil] into the food processor and pulse.
Walnuts are a great substitute ingredient for pesto.
Perfect lunch!
Continue Reading

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.

***

Continue Reading

Sponsored | Foster Farms Bold Bites

This post is sponsored by Foster Farms.

Foster Farms has released Bold Bites in five unique flavors. These are the ideal snack for people on-the-go! As for me, they are the perfect snacks for my low-carb days.

Now available at: Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Safeway, Save Mart, Lucky’s, Albertsons, Vons

What I like about Foster Farms is that their chicken is responsibly raised by local farmers. They are committed to raising their poultry at a higher standard; they want to live up to their philosophy of good food feeds good times.

There are five bold flavors to choose from! And they all have completely different flavor profiles which makes it hard to choose just one bag. Which flavor would you try??

Cajun Style, Chile Verde, Caribbean Jerk Style, Korean BBQ Style, Parmesan Garlic
Made a quick snack with crackers, cheese, & Bold Bites Parmesan Garlic flavor.

For my low-carb days, I substitute the cracker for fresh cucumber slices. I used the Bold Bites with Chile Verde Seasoning because I thought it would pair nicely with some guacamole.

Bold Bites are made with whole chicken breasts which makes them a healthy snack option.
They do not include artificial colors, flavors, nitrates, or nitrites.
Bold Bites makes taking a snack break so easy.

If you are on-the-go, these Bold Bites make a great high-protein snack. When I feel like munching on something on my low-carb days, these are perfect. The Bold Bites that I tried are moist, juicy & packed with flavor. My favorite flavor is the Garlic Parmesan!

The other day, I introduced my friend to these Bold Bites because she was interested in my low-carb days & I turned her onto these as the perfect snack option; her favorite is the Korean BBQ.

#BeBoldAnywhere & try these Bold Bites now! They are currently sold in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, & Hawaii.

Visit Foster Farms to find a retailer near you.

***

Continue Reading

sponsored | feel alive with nature’s way alive! multivitamin gummies

this post is sponsored by Nature’s Way Alive! Multivitamins

the end of the year is approaching and i know what that means: another year has passed & i will be another year older when the new year arrives. getting old is not easy & i realized that i need to take care of myself better. i need to #OwnTheMorning and savor each moment.

these gummy vitamins help support converting food into cellular energy.

i was gifted Nature’s Way Alive! Premium Gummies for women which is perfect for me because I JUST LOVE GUMMIES. the thought of taking vitamins in pill form is something i dread at times because of the taste. but since this is in a chewable gummie-form, what is there not to like?

the daily serving size is 3 gummies for 16 vitamins/minerals with choline & inositol

these gummies contain vitamins and minerals at 100% or more daily value than leading brands & contain nutrients to keep me energized throughout the day*

they are made with a premium formula with Orchard Fruits™ & Garden Veggies™ Powder Blend

 

share them with a friend before a meal to support each other’s hair, skin, bones & heart health.*

would you try these to #OwnTheMorning? don’t worry, there’s one for the whole family. Nature’s Way Alive! Premium Gummies are also available for men & kids. Use 15ALIVE1 for 15% off here.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Continue Reading

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

 

Continue Reading

recipe | summer strawberry watermelon smoothie bowl that Outshines all others

this post is sponsored by Outshine

When I think summertime, I think of watermelon and strawberry ice pops. Both sound so refreshing! Ice cream month just came to an end but you can still enjoy watermelon & strawberries all summer long with this quick & easy strawberry watermelon smoothie bowl recipe. This is a great way to keep cool while enjoying a healthy snack.

 

Outshine Strawberry Fruit Bars are made with real fruit.

 

Here are some of the toppings I will be adding to my smoothie bowl. I like berries & chia seeds so I will add them as my toppings.

 

I chilled some of the fruit toppings because I need this to be extra cold & refreshing on a hot summer day. I also added mint to add an extra bit of freshness.

 

I think using the watermelon as a bowl is a creative & fun way to present smoothie bowls for guests. And not to mention, it saves you from doing a dish or two. Enjoy this easy recipe on a hot summer day because #TheresAnIceCreamForThat!

 

serving: 2 bowls

ingredients

1 mini watermelon

2 Outshine Strawberry Fruit Bars

juice from 1/2 of a lime

garnish

watermelon balls

handful strawberries, whole or sliced

handful blueberries, whole or sliced

handful raspberries, whole or sliced

tablespoon chia seeds

sprig of mint

slices of lime

* drizzle of honey [optional] for added sweetness

*any toppings that you would like

materials

melon baller

blender

directions

1. Cut watermelon in half & scoop out the inside. Use the melon baller to scoop out round balls for some pieces and set those aside for garnish. Save the empty halves, for they will serve as bowls for your smoothie.

2. Freeze the watermelon scoops for one hour or until frozen.

3. Place the frozen cut-up watermelon pieces, lime juice, and Outshine Strawberry Fruit Bars into the blender & blend until it becomes thick & smooth in consistency.

3.  Put the contents into the hollowed-out watermelon halves.

4. Garnish with toppings of choice & enjoy!

 

Let me know what toppings you would add & how you liked my recipe!

*Outshine comes in a variety of flavors and right now you can stock up and save.

Save $2 when you buy 3 or more Outshine or other Nestlé ice cream products. Find the offer here:
http://lynk.to/HEEJINLEE

 

Continue Reading