• A Few of My Favorite Things for February 2014

    by Dorothy Reinhold on February 12, 2014


    Print This Post Print This Post Valentine's Day red heart fruits and vegetables from Melissa's Produce | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com

    1. Heart-healthy produce

    Our friends at Melissa’s Produce have created a wonderful visual Valentine for all of us –a short video showing a heart full of nutritious red foods. Their cool, short, stop-motion video is their version of a Valentine for the world. During the week that we celebrate all things red, let’s all pledge to include red fruits and vegetables in our meals as often as possible! As the people at Melissa’s say, “Looking at the color red may make you feel more passionate, romantic, powerful and energetic, but eating red is an even better path to a healthy, happy and loving heart!” I suggest that next year they actually SELL a heart-shaped box with red fruits and vegetables, for all of us who might prefer that over chocolates. What do you think of that idea? And I just learned this: My old friend Diana Lundin shot the stop-motion video! It is truly a tiny world.  

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    Valentine Peeps -- favorite things for Feb. 2014 | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com2. Peeps

    If you love iconic Peeps at Easter time, you’re the right person for Valentine Peeps! Who’s in the club with me? I adore the marshmallow interior with gritty sugar on the outside. Call me crazy or just call me a little kid. They have a bunch of wild flavors just right for V-Day – Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Crème, Chocolate Mousse Bears, Strawberry Crème Marshmallow Hearts, Vanilla Crème Marshmallow Hearts, even Sugar-Free Marshmallow Hearts (sweetened with Splenda). My sweeties might see these at their place at the table on Friday, or maybe I will have eaten them all beforehand. Time will tell. ($1.49-$1.69).

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    Oatworks Smoothies -- favorite things for Feb. 2014 | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com3. Oatmeal smoothie

    In this month of hearts, let’s watch out for ours! I’m drinking OatWorks Oat-Powered Smoothie, a 170-calorie beverage sweetened with fruit juice that contains oat soluble fiber, which thickens it slightly. It has none of the pesky stuff (is gluten-free, vegan-friendly, dairy free, non-GMO, no cholesterol), and lots of the good stuff (fruit juices and fruit purees). Beta glucan, the soluble fiber in the oat, is responsible for many of its key health benefits; it has been proven to help lower levels of bad cholesterol. A 12-ounce bottle of this has as much soluble fiber as two bowls of oatmeal. My kids like it, too, chilled or over ice. Available at retail in New York, or nationally through Amazon.

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    Ole Smoky Strawberry Moonshine -- favorite things for Feb. 2014 | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com4. Strawberry Moonshine

    Ole Smoky Strawberry Moonshine -- favorite things for Feb. 2014 | www.ShockinglyDelicious.comDefinitely a more adult beverage, Ole Smoky Strawberry Moonshine – a beguiling delicate pink made of neutral spirits and natural flavors – makes a nice little 40-proof sip. I like it straight, over ice, but you can mix it with lemonade for a refreshing, less powerful cooler. ($20-$25/750ml)

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    Chocolate Cheddar Cheese -- favorite things for Feb. 2014 | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com5. Chocolate Cheddar Cheese

    Yes, I really said those three words all together, and it is surprisingly good! I found it at Trader Joe’s, and it makes a nice addition to a cheese plate, especially on Valentine’s Day, but anytime you want something unique.

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    6. Blood Orange Olive OilHotel Valencia Blood Orange Olive Oil -- favorite things for Feb. 2014 | www.ShockinglyDelicious.com

    I can’t get away from hearts, and hearts = blood, and blood = blood oranges. Did you follow me in that train of thought? A wonderful Hotel Valencia Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil is adding interesting flavor to my meals. It’s an ultra-premium extra virgin olive oil in which the ripe olives and whole fruit have been crushed simultaneously at the mill, allowing for the essential oil from the citrus to mingle nicely with the oil from the olives. I’m using it to dress salads, as a slight drizzle over simply poached fish, as a drizzle over oven-roasted broccoli and cauliflower, over roasted potatoes and wilted greens, and even with sliced fresh strawberries. It’s a private label oil used at Citrus, the acclaimed restaurant at Hotel Valencia Santana Row in San Jose, Calif. Available for purchase online at Olive and Vine and on Valencia Group’s culinary page(About $18/220ml)

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    Disclosure: Peeps, Oat Works, Ole Smoky and Hotel Valencia sent products for review. There was no expectation of a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own.



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