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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Bokksu - Enjoy Yummy Japan at Home every month!

If you (and/or your friends) love all things Japanese, as we do, especially trying new foods and treats, you are going to Love having a subscription to Bokksu!  
I recently received my November Bokksu box of Japanese snacks and teas, and am Totally loving it!  Bokksu is unlike any other Japanese snack box; the Bokksu folks are Really in love with Japanese snacks, and they handpick tasty snacks that people in Japan enjoy, and curate them into a unique and fun themed box each month. They source their snacks directly from the makers in Japan, so many of the artisanal snacks you get can't be found anywhere else! 
Enjoying my Foxtail Pastry and coffee!
The theme for their November box was "Japanese Folklore", and all the things they included were Very cool- and cute, too- with info about each one on the enclosed card- and so far DELICIOUS! (In the photo I was enjoying the yummy, flaky Kitsune "foxtail" pastry, which is iced with maple white chocolate, with a cup of coffee!
This is truly a Very cool (and not expensive) treat to enjoy- or give as a great holiday "foodie" gift- for Anyone interested in Japan! (And Especially if you- or they- live in a place like we do- rural southern West Virginia- where you cannot even Dream of finding these things!) Bokksu really created something special here; it's very well designed and thought-out-  and yummy! I'm truly impressed!
Adorable chocolate Panda cookies!

The adorable and totally delish chocolate "Panda" cookies, were also perfect with a cup of coffee- on top of being really yummy, they were totally "Kawaii" - or "super-cute", as Hello Kitty would say! (And they sent 4 packets of them!)
Bokksu is NOT expensive- I think it's a very good deal- AND the are having a special now, so go check it out:
My Bokku Box and the info card that explains all the treats!
Each box comes with a guide so you know what everything is and "why"- which is almost the best part, since even when I've been lucky enough to live or visit places where there are Asian food stores, I almost never knew what to buy, as the packaging is almost never in English! LOL

My November box was themed "Japanese Folklore" and it included Organic Sencha Tea, the flaky Foxtail Kitsune Pastries with the maple/white chocolate icing, Kumamo "bear" cookies from Kumamoto Prefecture, the totally adorable Saku Saku Panda cookies, "Dream Animals" butter cookies, and savory/spicy ones I intend to have with a glass of sake (which you actually can get here in rural southern West Virginia, LOL): Hakata Mentai Shrimp crisps!

As my blog-followers know, Dan and I were lucky enough to have spent 4 glorious days and nights in Japan back on our honeymoon in 2008, and we truly love the food and culture of Japan. Having a Bokksu arrive at our door brought all the great memories back, and gave us the opportunity to try new treats, and learn stuff, too!
 Let me know in the comments if you try Bokksu, or get it as a great Hanukkah or Christmas present for that Japan-loving "foodie" in your life!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I'm a #CoolAger! Thanks, Philosophy, for pointing that out!

Thanks to being a Crowdtapper- a member of Crowdtap- I recently had the opportunity to try Philosophy's "uplifting miracle worker moisturizer"- their "cool-lift & firm moisturizer for face & neck". 
I'm a #CoolAger, all right!
At 57 (I'm a #Boomer born in 1959), I Do like to think of myself as a #CoolAger - one who at least tries not to let anything stop her, and for whom age is only a number! My mom is THE ULTIMATE #CoolAger- at 94, and a WWII US Army #Veteran, she is a 165 avg. bowler and a Great golfer (see photos below), as well as a professional artist- and a 20-year breast #cancer survivor/thriver! She has been my Cool Aging Inspiration for many, many years- my whole life, actually- and as a result, I have a lot to live up to in the Cool Aging Department! LOL
My belief is that being able to be a #CoolAger, and to keep doing the things you love and want to do, depends a lot on genes- and I'm counting on having my mother's! But it is also an attitude, and a determination not to "let the turkeys get you down", as the expression goes! I HATE when people advise others not to do the things they love and want to do because of their age! As long as you want to and enjoy doing the "crazy" things you've always loved to do, keep doing them!! For me, being a #CoolAger is also doing what ever I can to make myself both look and feel good, and as youthful as possible. No, barring a miracle, I'm not gonna look 35 again (dang! LOL), but I can strive to look as good as possible. Living now in Extremely Rural West Virginia (as opposed to NYC, where I'm from and lived for many years), means I don't have access to monthly facials and spas and shopping, and such, so I really have to do it all myself! I don't wear makeup every day now, either, so it's important to me that my skin look as good as it possibly can without makeup. I do a lot of research on natural medicine, which I rely upon for my health, and I take Ayurveda (Indian) herbs every day as they really do make a difference in how I look and feel. And as an Official Anti-Aging Beauty Product Junkie, I am Always looking for the newest, best, and most 'cutting edge' anti-aging beauty products to hold back the hands of time (at least visually LOL), and so I was really excited to try Philosophy's "uplifting miracle worker moisturizer", as it promises, in only 4 weeks, to make one's skin feel more firm with a better bounce, with one's facial contours appearing more sculpted, youthful and defined. In 8 weeks, 75% of the women who sampled it showed a clinical improvement in skin firmness, radiance, and texture! That is pretty darn impressive!
I've used a number of Philosophy products in the past and have always been pleased with them, and I was pleased with this one, too! (Thank you, Crowdtap!)
I really like the way the uplifting miracle worker moisturizer feels when I apply it- it's cool and lightly firming. You can see from the photo of me applying it, that my skin has a nice, smooth sheen to it. It's absorbed quickly into my skin, my face does feel soft and hydrated all day, I've experienced no breakouts or other issues, and my makeup goes on smoothly on top of it. It is a great moisturizer! To be honest, however, I was, frankly, expecting more... more visible anti-aging results, faster, I guess, especially as it's $65 and not an inexpensive product... I am using it on my face, neck, and decollete, twice a day, and I am going to continue using it to see if I get more "lifting" and "firming" results over time. Philosophy does suggest that for best results it should be used together with their "uplifting miracle worker instant-effect cool-lift & tightening moisturizer booster", which supposedly provides "instant results"...  and I want to try that, along with this moisturizer... Not cheap, but heck- I AM worth it! :-)  
My 94 year old mom- #CoolAger Extraordinaire!
My 94 year old mom playing golf last month...

As you can see, I received the full-size product to try from Crowdtap, which was great, because to see results with a product like this you really do have to give it a fair shot and some time to work- it's unfair to judge a product after only sampling it once or twice. I HEARTILY recommended joining Crowdtdap if you enjoy market research and giving your opinions on products- sometimes you get to try them, too!
SO: the bottom line is: YES, I really like Philosphy's uplifting miracle worker moisturizer, and the cool, firming feeling it gives, and the way my skin looks and feels after I've applied it, and YES, I'm going to keep using it! AND I'm going to lash out and buy the serum, too! :-)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer works for my Super dry skin!

Crowdtap sample of Curel Hydra Therapy Moisturizer
I have very dry skin, including "scaly" Psoriasis on my elbows and knees, which is why I was very excited when I was selected by Crowdtap to try Curel's HydraTherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer- and I was not disappointed! In Israel, at the Dead Sea, which clears Psoriasis in 30 days, we'd rub baby oil into our skin under the showers to keep our skin moisturized, and so I am familiar with the concept of wet-skin moisturizing, but Curel's moisturizer is SO much better than greasy baby oil! It's not greasy (like baby oil), and it's absorbed readily into my wet skin. It keeps my skin moisturized, soft, and smooth, and doesn't make me itch like so many other moisturizers I have tried! And I am going to keep using it!
As you can see from the photos, my arms and hands and elbows (as well as my knees) are now all nice and smooth! No redness, no flaky, dry skin, no scales! Just nice, smooth, normal, hydrated skin! I can wear sleeveless tops again! YAY! for Curel! This is really a Great product for anyone with dry skin! 
Applying Curel Hydra Therapy Moisturizer...

I keep my Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer in the bathroom on the sink, so it's ready for me when I get out of the tub! I use it every night after my bath, while my skin is warm and wet, and while I use it on my entire body, I focus on my arms and legs, as they are the driest- especially my knees and elbows, where I get "scaly" Psoriasis. I massage it in, and I don't towel off- I let it soak in. It's absorbed really quick, and it's not greasy, so there's no staining of clothing or sheets!

I have been Very pleased with all the Curel products I've tried so far (thanks to Crowdtap I was able to try their excellent "Itch Defense" products- Spray, Body Wash, and Moisturizer- products which I love and use regularly), but this is so far the best one yet!

As I've written before, Crowdtap is a great program if you are interested in giving your opinion about products, as well as being invited to sample and review them! Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments- and let me know if you've tried any Curel skin care products, and what you think of them!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

RoC Multi-Correxion Night Cream & Eye Cream: The anti-aging babe's review!

I recently had the opportunity, as a member of Crowdtap, to sample two new RoC anti-aging skin care products: their MULTI CORREXION 5-in-1 Restoring Night Cream and RETINOLCORREXION Eye Cream, both of which I've now added to my daily skin care regimen.

As many of my readers know by now, I'm an Official "Anti-Aging Product Junkie", always interested in trying the latest and greatest new products in my quest for Eternal Youth! Yes, that's a bit of a LOL, but I am serious about trying to stave off the aging of my 57 year old face (and neck and chest and hands and- hell- all of me! LOL), and so I have been using a regimen of RoC anti-aging products for some time now. Back in February of this year I did a blog post on the RoC 5-in-1 Multi Correxion Chest, Neck & Face Cream, and the results were dramatic enough that I've continued to buy and use it: 
So now, in addition to using Roc's 5-in-1 Multi Correxion Chest, Neck & Face Cream and Deep Wrinkle Serum, I've added their RoC's MULTI CORREXION 5-in-1 Restoring Night Cream and RETINOLCORREXION Eye Cream to my "arsenal" of anti-aging products, and I have to say that I'm pleased enough with both of them to go out and buy them once my samples are done! The night cream is light, but rich and very creamy, and I now use it every night, in place of another cream I was using. I like its moisturizing properties, and that a little goes a long way! The scent is very light and nice, as well, and it's not heavy, pore-clogging, or sticky. I've been using the eye cream morning and evening, also in place of another eye cream I was using, as I've found it to be a light and creamy eye cream that moisturizes very well, and again, that a little goes a very long way! The scent is very light and pleasant, and I've had NO problems with irritation- I mention this because I do know that some people have reactions to Retinol. 
As I said, I HAVE have seen excellent, visible results from RoC's 5-In-1 Chest, Neck & Face Cream, especially on my neck and decollete, so I am going to continue to use their products- and they are affordable enough that I can stick with the program! 
Not so bad for 57! :-)
That is seriously one of the best things about RoC products: that they are affordable and easy to find in stores, so you can actually afford to not only try a complete regimen, but to stick with it long-term, so you really do see results! Perusing their website I've discovered several other RoC products I want to add to my anti-aging arsenal- heck, I AM worth it! :-)
Have you tried RoC skin care products? Which ones have YOU seen great results with? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Folgers BOLD Coffeehouse Blend- we love it!

Thanks to my being a member of Crowdtap, we recently had the chance to sample and share a new coffee from Folgers: their "Coffeehouse Blend" Medium Roast. I really wanted to sample it because my husband and I both  LOVE Really Bold Coffee- and Folgers promised this coffee would be really bold- and it was! :-)
Folgers Coffeehouse Blend on our Coffee Table!
Our love of coffee is such that we have sought out interesting coffees all over the world- most notably in the Caribbean, where we especially love Alto Grande coffee from Puerto Rico, in Italy, where I lived and studied and first learned to adore coffee, and in Vietnam, where we actually took a tour through the Central Highlands coffee region with tastings of their famed coffees! "Regular" coffee in the USA is often waaaaay too bland and flavorless for us- so bland that we often refer to it as "hot water with a brown crayon"! So I'm happy to be able to say that Folgers Coffeehouse Blend is really bold, tasty, and terrific! Frankly, I don't know if we would have tried it if not for Crowdtap, and we are so glad we did! I usually only put milk or cream in my coffee (I'm sweet enough, LOL), but Dan likes his with milk and sugar, and many of our Elkhorn Inn guests like to add Folger's Flavors or other sweeteners or flavorings to their coffee, and Folger's Coffeehouse Blend stands up to all of them! It's smooth and not bitter, and "bold" really is the right word for the taste- both we and our guests like it Much better than the "regular" ground coffee we used in the past! It comes as ground coffee (in the canister pictured with my happy hubby and his coffee!), in "brick" bags, and as K-Cup Pods; as we usually use our coffee-maker to make coffee, the ground coffee is perfect or us.

This is how my sample of Folgers Coffeehouse Blend arrived from Crowdtap. Crowdtap really is a great program- thanks to being an active member, I've been able to sample a variety of great new products that I didn't even know existed, and most of them have become things we now buy regularly! Check it out, sign up, and join in the fun!

One of the things I like to do if there's leftover coffee is make coffee ice cubes. You can, of course, make them in a regular ice cube tray (or even freeze coffee in a glass, which I do sometimes, too...), but I got a cute little silicone ice cube tray online that turns out totally adorbs coffee bean shaped ice cubes, and that way when I make ice coffee (my "summer staple", as it were), I can cool it without diluting it! And Folgers Coffeehouse Blend coffee is great that way! Try it- you'll love it!
Folgers Coffeehouse Blend Ice Coffee!

Coffee bean ice cube tray

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

#Chef Dan Makes Kabobs with the Cave Tools Kabob Set!

#Chef Dan recently had the opportunity to test CaveTools Kabob Set at the Elkhorn Inn, and he (and I) were More than pleased with it- it is truly well-designed, and an excellent and EASY way to make perfect kabobs every time! He'd never actually used a "Kabob Set" before- only skewers, placed on the grill, with all the mess that entails: meat and veggies falling off the skewers into the coals, food getting stuck on the skewers or stuck to the grill, and the kabobs getting unevenly cooked... and so he made kabobs very infrequently. This great set made it MUCH better and SO much easier- and now he's using it all the time and getting "creative" with his kabobs! AND CAVE TOOLS GIVES A LIFETIME SATISFACTION GUARANTEE ON THEIR PRODUCTS! How cool is that?!

Keep reading to find out how to get 15% off on your Cave Tools Kabob Set!

This is how the set looks when it arrives- you get a nice, heavy grooved stainless steel rack that sits the perfect height off the grill, and 5 good, sharp, flat 12" skewers that fit perfectly onto the rack- and each skewer has an attached sliding disc that makes it SO easy to slide the kabob off onto a plate!
You also get a card with a link to tons of great recipes AND video tutorials that will truly make you a "Grill Master"!

 The first Kabob Chef Dan made was Grilled Chicken  & Veggies. First he cut up the chicken into chunks and marinated them in white wine and lemon juice over night in the fridge- the bowl of marinated chicken chunks is on the right of the photo.

Then he cut up red bell peppers and onions.
He slid the chicken chunks, pepper and onion slices, and cherry tomatoes onto the Cave Tools kabob skewers and set them on the rack...
Sliding the chicken and veggies onto the skewers...

Cave Tool Kabobs, ready for the grill!

The flat skewers are made so you can easily rotate them and they will stay in place- so you never get kabobs that are only done on one side, or are burnt on one side and raw on the other!

Kabobs on the grill!


You can serve the kabobs on the skewers...

Or easily slide them off, thanks to the little disc!

A wonderful (and easy and fast) summer dinner of grilled chicken and veggie kabobs, served with smoky, grilled sweet corn! YUM-O!

The second kabob he made was Vietnam-Style Pork Kebobs, using a delicious, spicy marinade he often uses for grilled pork chops. He marinaded chunks of pork tenderloin in a mixture of chopped garlic and fresh ginger, Chinese Five Spice powder, turmeric, coarse-ground Vietnamese black pepper, cayenne and Vietnamese hot pepper, a bit of Kosher salt and sugar, vegetable oil, and soy sauce, overnight in the refrigerator.
An hour before grilling he added freshly ground Star Anise to the marinade.
Then he cut up fresh pineapple into cubes, and slicd an onion, and slid the marinated pork chunks, dates, pineapple and onion slices onto the Cave Tools skewers.
The Cave Tools skewers and rack allow you to line everything up nicely and see how they will look, and the rack holds them in place on the grill so things don't fall into the coals, and you can turn them easily so everything gets evenly grilled!

This time he turned the skewers the long way, so that the little Weber Grill would totally close...

Kabobs & Rack on our little Weber Grill

He basted them with the marinade while they grilled...

The kebobs after grilling- perfect and pretty!

Dinner! Vietnam-Style Grilled Pork Kabobs, served over rice! 
(He cooked down the marinade to make a delicious sauce to mix with the rice!)

In short, the Cave Tools Kabob Set is an EXCELLENT buy. It's well made, sturdy, and stands up to repeated use, washing (it's dishwasher safe, too), and grilling, and the skewers don't get bent out of shape. The grooves in the rack hold the kebob skewers steady and just the right distance apart, and the right height from the grill, too. You can use it in the oven, too! The set makes it really easy and fast to make five perfect kabobs at a time, and once cooked, they slide off the skewers easy and fast. We love ours!

Where to buy the Kabob Set on Amazon:

Where to buy the Kabob Set on the Cave Tools website:

We have been truly impressed with all the Cave Tools we have used at the Elkhorn Inn- their Smoker Box, BBQ Tongs, and now their Kabob Set. Cave Tools are truly superior to any other grilling and BBQ products we've used- and the price is right, too!
What great kabobs are you going to make this summer with your Cave Tools Kabob Set?? 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

#Chef Dan uses THE best #BBQ Grill Tongs- from Cave Tools! #FathersDay Gift Idea!

Chef Dan, Cave Tools Grill Tongs, Ribs and Pastrami!
Smokin' Chef Dan is truly a Master when it comes to grilling and smoking meat- his herb-crusted smoked ribs and lamb chops have received rave reviews from Elkhorn Inn guests! He recently had the opportunity to try the Grill Tongs from Cave Tools and they were truly THE best Grill Tongs he's ever used! I honestly didn't think there'd be all that much of a difference, or that I'd seriously be singing the praises of a pair of Grill Tongs, but these are SO much better- heavier, well-weighted, and well-designed- so Very much more well made than anything we've ever used- that here I am, writing a love song to Cave Tools Grill Tongs! LOL
Cave Tools' Grill Tongs are SERIOUSLY SUPER HEAVY DUTY-  they are 20% thicker stainless steel than the ones you'd normally buy, and they're extremely durable- they are made so that they never bend or break when turning large pieces of meat- and Chef Dan does smoke and grill large pieces of meat!
Chef Dan and his AbFab Cave Tools Grill Tongs!
Meat on the Smoker...
Turning the Pastrami with his Cave Tools Grill Tongs
One Happy Griller!

Cave Tools Grill Tongs vs Wally World's flimsy ones: NO COMPARISON!

Chef Dan Spray-Mopping his smoking meat...
Dan used his new Cave Tools Grill Tongs to make herb-rubbed smoked riblets and smoke a pastrami on Memorial Day Weekend, and the results were excellent! It was easy for him to turn over large, heavy pieces of meat, nothing fell off the tongs, and they didn't bend or slip or break; There is simply no comparison between Cave Tool Grill Tongs and the flimsy, crummy ones you get at Wally World!

One of the really excellent things about Cave Tools products is that they offer a LIFETIME SATISFACTION GUARANTEE! If at any point you are unhappy with your BBQ Tongs you can return them to Cave Tools for a full money-back refund! Yes, they honestly take Customer Service That seriously!



BONUS: You will ALSO get a link to the The Grill Master's Essential Barbecue Recipe Book, with 25 professional BBQ recipes, step-by-step instructions, tutorial videos, and access to their great and growing library of over 135 cooking videos!

Our new Cave Tools Grill Tongs - with the cool leather hanging strap!
The results: Chef Dan's Peppercorn-Fennel Crusted Pastrami...

and Herb-Rubbed Smoked Riblets...

Served with a Garden Salad with WV Ramp Dressing...
and Fresh Mango -Vanilla Ice Cream for desert!

Turning Steaks with Cave Tools Grill Tongs

Caribbean Dinner: Rum-Marinated Steak, with Onion Jam,
 and Coconut Rice & Beans

Chef Dan also used his Cave Tools Grill Tongs to make Rum-Marinated Steaks on our small Weber Gas Grill, for a Caribbean Dinner at the Inn, and they worked great, on those, too!

What great BBQ or grill recipes do YOU have that you could use a great pair of grill tongs for??? And what great Dad do you know who could be enticed into grilling something fabulous if he had a great new set of heavy-duty Grill Tongs??! My idea of a GREAT Father's Day Gift:  Cave Tools Grill Tongs, (or even better- their 3-piece BBQ Tool Set, which includes these great tongs), AND a rack of ribs (or a rack of lamb chops, or salmon fillets, or burgers..) and a bag of charcoal!  And their BBQ Grill Light for grilling in the dark! :-)