GIVEAWAY: West Bend Versatility Cooker

Have you seen my Facebook page? No? You should. It’s pretty awesome. It’s the mecca of all the behind the scenes fun that I don’t post on the site. I can’t write about everything that comes to mind, believe it or not, and often have to be pretty selective. Oh, and I’m also giving away a slow-cooker on it.
West Bend sent me an awesome slow cooker for the winter and is also providing one for a very lucky reader. Details for the giveaway are at the bottom, but here’s my scoop on all things slow. Like I said, the Facebook page exists solely for me to show off my leftovers and creepy creations to the general public without being the recipient of a restraining order. One of my favorite recent posts was the onslaught of tacos I made back in November- simple, easy homemade masa tortillas with shredded chicken and the best salsa in the world. I can easily eat six at a time, for I am the great taco destroyer.
With the Versatility Cooker featuring a slow cooking function and a griddle, making these was a no-brainer. They’re easy and deeply spicy, with a heat that threatens to vanquish even the most clogged nose or sorest throat. Chicken soup v2.0, if you will. Setting up the cooker was pretty easy, and the parts came apart for simple assembly and later storage. There are a few neat customizable settings on the cooker- low heat, high heat, keep warm, and griddle, as well as a timer so you can set your own time should you so choose.
I found that my recipe, which made roughly three servings of shredded chicken, definitely didn’t require the five hours allotted for the high heat setting or the nine hours for the low heat. The preprogrammed cooking times are definitely formatted for larger quantities of food. Not necessarily a bad thing, but also a little much for a smaller recipe. I chose not to fiddle with the customized timing and just set my tacos on high, checking periodically and stopping about two hours in when I felt it was finished. There’s a reason why “set it and forget it” is so appealing- a few hours later, dinner was ready. The cooker is perfect for multi-taskers with limited space. While the chicken cooled, I cooked the tortillas on the griddle.
Everyone loved them.
Yes, everyone.
Clean-up is a little unwieldy as the griddle cannot be removed from its base, so you’re limited to the space around you to clean it in. Scratching is also a hazard. It includes a stainless steel roasting rack, another feature that slightly worries me with the metal-on-nonstick friction, never a good sign. While the pot can be cleaned in the dishwasher, I’m leery of trying it out as I’d hate for the non-stick finish to get warped or scratched in any way. That, and the somewhat harsh beeping the cooker makes when it is turned on or any setting is changed, are the only two features I wasn’t keen on. It’s a fantastic appliance for anyone with limited space or time and is incredibly easy to use.How do I win this awesome device? Easy. If you’re already a fan of my Facebook page, you’re ahead. Simply email me at foodette.reviews@gmail.com detailing the next recipe or idea you think I should use with my cooker and you’ll be entered into the running. I’ll pick the best recipe on Sunday, January 15th, and follow up with a feature post!
Chicken Tacos Verde
Ingredients (serves 3)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 boneless chicken thighs
2 cans or 6 whole roasted jalapeno peppers
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, or one garlic clove
1/8th cup of Cognac
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 teaspoon of orange zest
2 cups of water
Salsa verde and tortillas to assemble
1. Put all ingredients (with the exception of the salsa and tortillas) in a slow cooker or pot on the stove, allowing the mixture to slowly simmer for four hours.
2. Remove chicken and shred with two forks.
3. Serve with tortillas and salsa and enjoy!

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Santa

This candy has long been a favorite of mine, and I know I’m not alone. I think the Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Bar is one of the only ones to incorporate a little salinity into their chocolate, which makes it my automatic preference when it comes to picking out movie candy or a treat. It’s one of the only commercially popular white-chocolate based bars out there as well as one of the few cookie-centric treats that has survived the 90’s. Guys, remember the Reese’s Crunchy Cookie Cup? A moment of silence. I’ve seen assortments of dark and milk chocolate bars along with the white ones in miniature bars, but I haven’t tried them yet.
Everything about this bar is pretty much perfect, from the salty, crispy cookies that actually taste like chocolate wafers to the sweet white chocolate. It’s a little too sweet, but those cookies make it just dreamy. This Christmas-themed Cookies ‘n’ Cream bar is shaped like Santa Claus’s head. It’s nicely molded and cheerful, until you remember that you’re slowly dismembering an already decapitated public figure. Can’t win ’em all. That being said, this was great to eat- thicker than the bar and packed with a denser layer of cookie pieces, and gone in about four bites.
Sorry, big guy.

Hershey’s sent this over along with a few other goodies that you’ll see pop up in a neat recipe this week. Wanna win a Hershey’s holiday gift pack? It has one of these beautiful babies along with some other classic favorites repackaged for the holidays- a Hershey’s Kiss Santa hat, creamy Hershey’s milk chocolate holiday bells, Rolo candies, and more!
To win, just comment on this post with something holiday-related. Tell me what you’re going to eat. Tell me about the worst gift you’ve ever received. Extra entries will be given if you retweet or post on your Facebook with a link to this post including the phrase, “Meet me under the mistletoe, Foodette!” or any other slightly creepy-sounding holiday-oriented phrase and let me know where you put it. The link, that is. Options include, but are not limited to, “Let me see your latkes,” and “Honey, where’s the Ramadan?” Failing that, “My daughter has her own website and all I got was a half-eaten box of artisanal truffles.” I’ll post the winner on the 18th, and you’ll be eating bells by Christmas!

Free Freschetta By the Slice Event

Frozen pizza lovers, this is your wheelhouse, baby. On August 4th, Freschetta Fresh Connection is having a fairly massive giveaway consisting of 5,000 coupons for a free By the Slice product (MSRP $2.39) every half hour for the day, starting at 11 AM when the giveaway’s website, www.FreeFreschetta.com, launches. That gives you the potential to snag one of over 50,000 slices of free frozen pizza. If one slice isn’t enough, Freschetta is also holding contests throughout the day with more coupons for prizes. It’s like a food festival for neckbeards. Not a bad giveaway, if you ask me.

While the coupon is mailed rather than sent electronically, you can satisfy your frozen pizza cravings by seeing what I thought of the pizza here. It wasn’t necessarily the Cadillac of pizza, but I’ll probably grab a few coupons for those late nights studying.

Domino’s Pizza voted “Pizza Chain of the Year” by Pizza Today Magazine

Pizza Today Magazine has given them this award three times, and to celebrate, I’m giving away two (2) Domino’s Pizza gift cards, courtesy of Domino’s!
Each card is worth $10 and can get you two carryout lunches, a pasta, a sandwich, a small pizza…anything! You could even try their new boneless or bone-in chicken wings that we recently reviewed. Just let me know what your favorite thing to order at Domino’s is and leave your email address! I’ll pick the winners sometime this week.
Foodette

Healthy Month Contest: Win $50 Worth of Free Food from Foodette!

Happy Healthy Month, one and all. By now you’ve probably discovered that this is NOT a post about massive burgers. Happy April Fool’s Day! Consider this my personal Lent, combined with, of course, quintessential Jewish guilt. To celebrate, we here at Foodette Reviews are offering you the one and only chance to win $50 worth of free, relatively healthy food gift cards and coupons, as well as a starter set of eco-friendly glass straws! (Prop twenties not included!)The prize includes:
A $10 gift card from Wendy’s
A $10 gift card to Stop and Shop (or your grocery equivalent)
5 Healthy Choice Coupons, each good for one meal of your choosing
2 Lean Cuisine Coupons, each good for one meal of your choosing
2 General Mills Gluten Free Chex coupons
One package of Glass Dharma glass straws- a $50 value, ABSOLUTELY FREE!It’s a food extravaganza! It will feed you for a week or possibly a day if you’re in college! It’s delicious and nutritious! And KEEPITCOMING POSED FOR EVERYTHING! (She understands and wishes to continue.) All you need to do from now, April 1st, 2011, to April 29th, 2011, at 11:59 2011, is post a comment telling me one of your favorite healthy treats and one of your favorite guilty ones and you’ll be automatically entered to win. Leave your email address and let the games begin!

Happy Healthy Month, guys!

CONTEST: Pimp My Twat.

It’s not what you think! Unless it is what you’re thinking, and then you’re right.

As you all know, yes, all three of you (that goes for my mother also) I’ve just entered the 21st century and made myself a Twitter account so I can bore you all with even more details of my fascinating life. However exciting that may be, I’m such a dinosaur that I don’t even have a logo for my tweet feed, or whatever.

That being said, I will send ONE LUCKY READER a prize pack of some of my favorite reviewables if they can design me a pithy, brilliant logo. It’s a $29.99 value, ABSOLUTELY FREE! Actually, it may or may not be a $29.99 value. I have to make the box first. But it is absolutely free. The best logo wins. Bonus points for tits.

The official rules of the contest…
1. The contest starts now and ends October 1st, 11:59 EST.
2. Please, no actual boobs in the logo. Or objectionable whatever.
3. Entries must be submitted by email to foodette.reviews@gmail.com and can be no larger than 700k in JPG, PNG, or GIF form.
4. Bonus points for including awesome shit.
5. Winner will be announced prior to the contest and submits their entry with the knowledge that it will be used and exploited on my Twatter.

Good luck! (Special thanks to @Davincivirus for asking the question that sparked this contest.)

Foodette

VitaMuffin Chocolate Mint VitaTop AND CONTEST!

I want groupies.

I mean, there must be some chicks, or even a few gorgeous guys out there, who are willing to pull off their VitaTops for me and show me that they’ve tattooed or written “Foodette Reviews” on their chests. Or arms.

Here’s the deal: send your photos, with Foodette Reviews written anywhere on your body, and I’ll pick the best ones for a special prize. It will be something delightful and delicious from my coffers. Extra points for curly, twirly script and drawings that look like old sailor’s tattoos.

You have until 11:59 PM EST, SATURDAY, MAY 8TH to email all your submissions to foodette.reviews@gmail.com and then, the winners will be posted on the site. I’m not responsible for ink poisoning or sudden crushes from the same or opposite sex flocking towards your sick tat.

On another note, I’m reviewing a different kind of VitaTops today, the kind that’s rarely featured on Girls Gone Wild. This is a natural and delicious snack from VitaMuffins, who makes all sorts of delicious and healthy treats perfectly portioned at just 100 calories apiece. In Paris Hilton math, that’s half a muffin top a day!

Today’s VitaTop is a chocolate mint. Having a well-known affinity for all things Girl Scout, I gravitated towards this and the peanut butter chip VitaTop and geared up for a fantastic snack. This is a pretty big snack, too, roughly the diameter of one of the dining common’s dessert plates or Gollum’s eyes, clocking in at around three inches. As I opened it, I immediately smelled a fresh, minty aroma, and knew that this would be sumptuous.The cake part is fluffy and moist, just like a real muffin. I know that with some lower calories muffins, texture is compromised, but not here. It’s cakey and substantial and there’s a multitude of chocolate chunks spotting the entire surface of the muffin.

The flavor is identical to a Thin Mint. Seriously. But it’s like the one Girl Scout of the bunch who could beat everyone up, Scout Mum included. It’s packed with a ton of vitamins, including 4 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and 50% of your daily serving of iron. In a muffin top! After eating this for a snack, I was full for a good hour and felt like I could stay full for a little while more. It’s very chocolatey and minty, and neither flavor dominates over the other. The mint makes it refreshing and just adds to the overall wonder of this snack. I could feel just fine eating two or three of these for breakfast and enjoying it.My only real criticism of this is that because they’re all natural and lack preservatives, they have to be frozen at all times, but that’s easily rectified with a quick thaw or 30 seconds in the microwave. These feel really versatile and I think they’d make great desserts just as they do breakfasts and snacks. VitaMuffins also has a wide range of other products and recipes for an endless array of variety. I’m keeping this snack in the books.

Giveaway: 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp Bars!

Dear readers,

I have a giveaway for you! Spring has finally sprung in Western Massachusetts, and I am so freaking excited that I am giving away something awesome. Mars has sent me an entire case of 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp Bars, 24 of them, and I am giving away 12 gift packages of them, with two bars in each, to 12 lucky readers.I have something very exciting coming down the pike with 3 Musketeers and I’m working with their team for another giveaway, so this is just a small taste (literally, ha ha) of what’s coming in the near future!
Here are the rules!

All I want YOU to do is comment and tell me what your favorite candy as a child was (or is, if you’re a kid now) I want stories, people!

One entry per person.

No entries after Monday, March 1st, 12:00 AM.

Winners will be randomly selected and announced the Tuesday after!

Happy contesting!

Foodette