Girls on Food

Snacks

Sipping in San Francisco: The 40th Annual Union Street Festival

Crowd Scene SFUSF

Local artists, unique products, festive food, and of course craft beer and fine wine — this is what San Francisco is known for. And what better place to celebrate all things SF than on trendy Union Street in the upscale Pacific Heights district? That’s exactly what hundreds of Bay Area folks did this past weekend at the 40th Annual Union Street Festival.

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Lauryn’s Barbeque Sauce Review By @SouthDallasFoodie

This week I was enlisted by my super awesome Editor, Julianne, to try out Lauryn’s Barbecue Sauce and try to come up with some recipes.

So much pressure you guys, but it was so worth it. I’ve spent the last three weekends messin’ around and now I am here to share with you, our loyal Girls (and boys) on Food, my findings.

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Lauryn’s Maple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce y’all.

Over the course of three weekends, I used the sauce in three different ways. My litmus test with all BBQ sauces is how well it works for chicken wings. I was not disappointed.

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Maple Bourbon BBQ Chicken

Lauryn’s Maple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce is probably the best sauce I’ve ever used on wings you guys.

I’m not crazy about wing sauce that is super spicy or overly vinegar-ish, but this sauce has a kick to it and rounds the sweetness out so well.

It’s not too sweet, not too tangy. It’s perfect.

Then last weekend my adorable foodie husband bought a teeny new grill to play with this summer. We christened the grill with the sauce and a huge rack of baby back ribs.

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Step one – Sauce and Bake the ribs

Recipe for mouth watering, fall off the bone ribs By SouthDallasFoodie:

Salt, pepper then sauce them bad boys up.

Place ribs on a wire rack inside a roasting pan.

Fill the pan with water, about an inch deep. You don’t want the water touching the meat. Cover very tightly with foil and bake for two hours at 325.

You’ll know they’re ready when you can see the bones poking out.

Then sauce them again and either put them under the broiler on low (continuously monitored) for about 2 minutes, OR…

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A little hickory wood smoke always does the trick.

…give them a few moments on the grill. All we’re trying to do is get these babies nice and caramelized so just about five minutes or so should do the trick.

Today, the hubs and I had friends and family over for Memorial Day. I decided to enlist one of my own little Girls On Food, my Goddaughter – Emma, to help me with the most fun and most delicious recipe in the whole experiment.

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This gorgeous girl is going places in the kitchen y’all. She’s a natural Chef.

This recipe is not just delicious and fun but also super easy.

Take about 1/2 a cup of Lauryn’s Maple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce and mix in about 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

Now lay some bacon out on a roasting pan and brush the mixture on.

Bake at 350 for 5 minutes then baste again…

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My oven is a battlefield of charred food crumbs.

You’re gonna do a baste, bake five minutes, baste, bake five minutes thing here. About twenty minutes should do it; it just depends on how crisp you like it.

When you’re done, VOILA, you have Maple Bourbon Candied Bacon Strips. If you’re looking for a unique appetizer, then look no further.

The maple flavor with the bacon was off the hook. A super unhealthy/delicious snack for any occasion.

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I love you, Lauryn.

Lauryn’s is available for sale online here. Other flavors include Honey Mustard, Pineapple Heat and Bite of The South.

Let Lauryn know Girls On Food sent ya! Happy cookin’.

barkTHINS. Yes, please.

Ellen Hancock from Girls on Food samples barkTHINS.

If you’re anything like me, once you get a craving for dark chocolate there is just no denying it. Dark chocolate will be had. I get a bit picky about it, though… I hate overly sweet chocolate bars with frightening ingredients. I need the good stuff to satiate my dark chocolate cravings. That’s just the way it is!

Enter… barkTHINS. These self-proclaimed “snacking chocolates” are so good they are hard to stop eating. But at least, they are made with simple and real ingredients! The dark chocolate is rich and smooth and absolutely fixes my craving. They come in several different flavors, all of which have an excellent crunchy texture.

 

Girls on Food barkTHINS review

Dark Chocolate Pretzel with Sea Salt tastes the most snack-like out of the flavors. The pretzel chunks give it a lighter texture, and the Sea Salt makes it both savory and sweet.

For more adventurous flavors try the Dark Chocolate Coconut with Almonds or the Dark Chocolate Mint. These flavors seem somewhat seasonal for me. The coconut flavor is a great summery twist, and Mint makes me think of winter. Of course, you can eat them anytime, but it wouldn’t shock me if you said you enjoyed the mint flavor a little more around Christmas time!

And finally… if you are on a mission to ride the dark chocolate train to heaven, you have to go for the Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt. I can’t eat as much of this flavor because it is such an intoxicating blend of goodness. The almond flavor is a bit subtle and simply adds a little nuttiness to a very rich chocolate experience. If you need to get your fix quick, this is the direct route.

So, next time you get that craving now you know where to turn. Let me tell you; it was hard work tasting all of these flavors for you gals, but I do it because I care. Aren’t I generous? 😉

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Summer’s Peachy Coconut Cream Popsicles

Spring is in the air; the temperature is rising, and there is nothing better than a cold sweet treat to keep you cool. My favorite kind of treat is ice cream. I LOVE ice cream. Like I love it so much, I would marry it. Seriously, I wouldn’t even need a ring. The problem is ice cream is all about that dairy. At least, the flavorful, good ones are. Since dairy is pretty much my arch nemesis, I needed to find an alternative. Something a little healthier without sacrificing taste. Enter coconut cream. Fluffy and smooth just like a pillow. Now, I have used coconut cream for many things, yet for whatever reason it never dawned on me to use it for a delicious frozen treat until now.

I started rummaging around my kitchen and found the following in my cupboard and freezer.

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It was a sign; I needed to make peaches n’ cream popsicles.

I kind of did everything by taste and eyeballing it… with that said here is an estimation of the actual ingredient measurements.

measurements

I like using maple syrup to sweeten things because it is healthier and vanilla extract is pretty much a no-brainer since it makes everything taste better. You can also use stevia or agave syrup.

I chopped up the frozen peaches so that they were more bite size.

I then put everything except for the peaches into a bowl and mixed it all up.

Mixing it

After that, I started spooning the delicious mixture into my nifty dollar store popsicle holders.

filling the container

After a few spoonfuls of the coconut mixture, I dropped a few pieces of peaches in and repeated the spooning, peach dropping process until the popsicle molds were full.

ready to freeze

Place the tops on and freeze overnight.

I was super excited to wake up and try out my delicious treat the next day. I’m not going to lie; they were a little tough to get out. (maybe I should have invested in popsicle molds that were more than a dollar) I had to let them sit on the counter for a couple of minutes to loosen up. I tell you what, though, they were worth the wait!!

me with popsicleThis recipe is totally customizable. I think strawberries, pineapple, kiwi would all be awesome choices as well.

Give them a try and let me know what y’all think in the comment section below!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Happea for Green Pea Cookie

Growing up and living in the Bay Area, there are so many healthy options that cater to so many different diets. Even desserts and snacks have stepped up their game with being natural, vegan, and/or gluten-free. Cookies have elevated themselves to the next level, like these Green Pea Cookies I was fortunate enough to get to try! It’s a delicious cookie that is made up of five ingredients. Yes, you read that right: five. And it comes in the cutest little box, ever!

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Green Pea Cookie
http://www.greenpeacookie.com/

The Green Pea Cookie is based on a cookie that was originally made in Singapore, and according to them, was founded by “two food-loving Singaporeans and an imaginative American.” Together, they fine-tuned the recipe with simple, all natural ingredients and then debuted the cookies in Dolores Park! With everyone loving all of these little green guys, they set out to make it a brand that is proud to be a more natural cookie to snack on – that happens to be made with green peas!

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When I opened my box, I will admit, I was a little skeptical. I mean, a cookie with its primary ingredient as green peas? That sounded so strange. I have had sweet peas and salty peas, but those were still considered savory sides instead of a sweet snack. But when I saw these little nuggets stacked together, waiting to be eaten, I was intrigued.

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On their website (where you can shop for all of their Green Pea products), they have the Peater: The Original Green Pea Cookie, the Penelopea: The Cranberry Green Pea Cookie, and Dimpea: The Chocolate Covered Green Pea Cookie. I had a box of Peaters, and I was ready to indulge!

The Peater’s ingredients were: unbleached wheat flour, salted green peas, organic sunflower oil, organic powdered sugar, and sea salt. While their “pea flour” looks very green, they’re actually moving towards using a more organic pea that doesn’t have any dyes in it, so that they can get rid of the artificial dye ingredients. I think it’s awesome that they’re so committed to keeping the ingredients real and all-natural.

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When I bit into them, I found them crunchy and subtly sweet. They reminded me a lot of South Asian cookies that have a kind of crunchy texture though it crumbles easily. When you start to eat more of the cookie, it has a lovely combination of sweetness from the sugar to the saltiness of the peas. They struck the perfect balance of those two contrasting flavors. The box recommends five cookies a day, but honestly, once you try one, you want to eat another one. And another one. And then another one. The cookies disappear quickly.

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From someone who had a mostly pea-free childhood (I hated them for some reason), I think these are an excellent snack! It feels like you’re indulging in sweets, but you feel better since you know it’s all natural without compromising flavor. The nutrition info isn’t outrageous either: it doesn’t go overboard with carbs or sugar. I’ve had them for a pre-dinner snack, and I don’t feel like I substituted the cookies for dinner, which I have with some other snacks. I would love to try the Dimpea some time – chocolate and pea cookies sounds like a fascinating combination!

Rocking Popcorn: Handmade, Small Batch Popcorn Goodness

Rocking Popcorn

My pregnancy cravings for popcorn got pretty brutal one day and my snack cabinet was looking a little uninspiring. I decided to search online and find something new. After finding Rocking Popcorn, based out of West Hollywood (but sold on their website), I decided their interesting flavors were the way to go. The box arrived on the porch. I immediately ripped into the box and started to examine what I was about to indulge in. As I was rifling through all the bags, I noticed a sticker on the bottom right corner of the bag. It stated that the Rocking Popcorn brand was fresh, all natural and gluten-free. Also, the popcorn is handmade in small batches, to maximize freshness and quality and is popped in coconut oil. Here are a few of my favorites:

I first tore into the Loaded Potato bag and experienced flavor explosions of cheddar, spices and wait for it….wait for it…BACON! It was a nice twist and like the bag promised,  was deliciously good. That bag didn’t last long. I actually hid it because I didn’t want my husband and his ginormous hands scooping the popcorn out by the handful. That was my secret stash.

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Chocolate City made me jump out of my skin with excitement. There is chocolate drizzled generously over each and every kernel and melts in your mouth giving you sweet and salty. I honestly think that bag lasted less than 5 minutes. It’s an absolute MUST order for any chocolate guru and my absolute favorite!

The Hotter Than Hell bag was just that. Hotter Than Hell! If you are a fan of spicy, this is your treat. The burn seriously lingers and well, I suppose you can say, “Hurts so good.”

The Mac & Jack was filled with cheesy crunch. It was so addicting; I actually felt my eyes start to water up when I realized I had reached the end of the bag. Ok, pregnant hormones are torturing me. However, this flavor was legitimately the front runner. I must be put on auto ship for this one.

Cinnamon Girl soothed my sweet tooth. It was like someone took each and every popcorn kernel and hand rolled it into cinnamon bliss. Nothing drives me crazier than when you end up with a few dashes of spice or seasoning on your popcorn, and the rest ends up at the bottom of the bag. Each bite was equal parts popcorn/cinnamon. Delish!

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My glory days, the preggo belly served as my popcorn table.

I checked out their website and carelessly pondered my next order. It pretty much summed up to, give me one of everything. The popcorn was fluffy, it was crunchy and not “stale” like some bagged popcorn you buy at the store and best of all it was a guilt-free treat that delivered their word, deliciously good.

You have not experienced popcorn until you have been rocked out of your seat with the Rocking Popcorn brand. Seriously Pop-a-licious!