April 23, 2015

nuNaat's Garlic Magic Hair Care

I got a great opportunity to work with a fantastic company called, nuNaat. They make wonderful hair care products for an inexpensive price. I worked with them once before with their Brazilian Hair Care Set. It was wonderful and I still buy the hair mask till this day because it leaves my hair so soft and shiny. I was a bit surprised when they told me the new hair care set was made using garlic. Yea that smelly delicious stuff you use for cooking was being used for shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, and a leave in treatment. As much as I was a little worried about the smell, I was super excited to try it out. It couldn't possibly be that bad if its by nuNaat.

So I got my package, really fast by the way, and took the four different bottles out. Like I mentioned before they were shampoo, conditioner, a leave in treatment, and hair mask. The first thing I did was open them up so I could smell what they smelled like.

I opened up the shampoo first and took a whiff and...it smelled great! It had a very light floral soap scent. It was thick and creamy and with two quarter sized dollops it was enough to clean my hair. It lathered up well enough, but not a lot. It isn't like regular shampoos that lather up a lot, its "cleaner". I don't find a problem with this, although it does mean I have to use slightly more to coat all of my hair. The conditioner has less of a floral scent, it actually doesn't have much of a scent at all. It too is thick and creamy and I had to use two dollops to cover my entire head as well. It washed off easily and I could feel the difference in my hair after using it. I didn't use the hair mask the first time because I used the regular conditioner. I did use the leave in treatment, but I believe I put too much. I can honestly say I wasn't sure how much I was supposed to put and ended up putting too much because it was left with a lot of residue. The next time I used it, I used much less and it came out fine. It left my hair super soft even after I straightened it with my flat iron. A few days later I did try out the mask and wow it left my hair so full, shiny, and soft. I have another hair mask that I loved, but I have found myself reaching for nuNaat's garlic hair mask.

So the main reason for me trying it out is because of my main issue...dry scalp. Yup I have dry, flaky, itchy scalp that always seems to get worse on days I wear black clothes. Garlic shampoo is great for people whose hair is thinning out. As we get older some of us tend to start losing our hair. Garlic helps to prrvent hair loss by acting as a stimulant for growth in cells. It helps to make your scalp healthy and aid against dry and itchy scalp. It helps to prevent breakage so yay, no more split ends. Also if you have issues with frizzy hair..well guess what it fixes that too! I had never heard of garlic shampoo, but I'm so glad that I got to try it out.

Since using it my hair is much softer, shinier, and more importantly no itchy dry scalp. Nothing more embarrassing that huge flakey dandruff all over your shoulders. So if you are experiencing any of these issues then you should definitely try out NuNaat's new Garlic Hair Care Products. They're all pretty affordable and you can purchase them online and in stores.

Prego Alfredo Sauce Review

So I've had Prego Alfredo sauce before, but to be honest it wasn't always my favorite. While it was good I always reached or the more inexpensive brand that was just as good, but certainly not better. Well I was able to try Prego's Light Alfredo through Crowdtap and loved it. Sadly though when I went to go find it again in my store...there wasn't any. Apparently stores don't carry it and when trying to search for it online, nothing comes up!

Okay Prego, why you holding out on us? Give us the tasty Light Homestyle Alfredo sauce please. So since I wasn't able to find the light variety I just got regular Homestyle Alfredo. It still had the same thick, creamy, not too salty flavor as the light version.

So of course I like things simple and easy so I went for some Shrimp Alfredo! So I grabbed my shrimp, a little unsalted butter, and some peppercorn and started cooking. I cooked the shrimp till they were almost done and added the alfredo sauce. I let it continue cooking making sure not to overcook the shrimp. No one needs rubbery overcooked shrimp in their life...no one. Before I even started to cook the shrimp though, I took some Barilla thin spaghetti and started boiling it. I like my noodles to be a little chewy, how about you?

After making sure the noodles were just right, for me anyway, I drained them and dumped them in the pan with the shrimp and alfredo sauce. I made sure to coat the noodles so that they would all have sauce...sauceless noodles = no bueno!

So obviously the final verdict was delicious! Seriously I think I'll spend the extra cash to get the Prego sauce because it's really good. It has the right flavor, the right consistency, and I don't feel too guilty about eating it. It isn't overloaded with salt so it makes a great dinner for me and the family.

So if you're ever out at the store and see some Prego Alfredo Sauces grab them up! They also work really well for some homemade mac and cheese. Check out the recipe below which serves 10, obviously I did mention I've got a large family which means lots of servings! You can fix it to fit your family by halfing the recipe, etc. It's super tasty and actually really easy. Feel free to use reduced fat cheeses and skim milk, you won't be able to tell the difference.

Extra Recipe!
Mac and Cheese:
  • cooking spray 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni  
  • 1 (15 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce (I recommend Prego Alfredo Sauce)
  • 1/2 (1 pound) package processed cheese (such as Velveeta®), cubed 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1/2 (16 ounce) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup of milk (your choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13 baking dish or pan with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; stir 1 teaspoon salt and vegetable oil into boiling water. Gradually stir macaroni into the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until macaroni are tender but still slightly firm, about 10 minutes. Drain well and pour macaroni into prepared baking dish.
  3. Pour Alfredo sauce into a 3-quart microwave-safe bowl and stir processed cheese into sauce; microwave on 60 percent power for 6 minutes. Stir sauce mixture and microwave for 5 more minutes on 60 percent power. Season with black pepper and paprika. Stir 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese into mixture until cheese has melted and sauce is thick and smooth.
  4. Pour half the cheese sauce over macaroni and stir to coat; pour in remaining cheese mixture and stir again. Spread remaining shredded sharp Cheddar cheese over macaroni.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the casserole is bubbling, 30 to 40 mins. Let macaroni and cheese stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Disclaimer: I originally tried Prego Light Alfredo through Crowdtap, this review is on regular Homestyle Alfredo. All opinions are my own and no compensation was received for this review.

Campbells Soup For Easy Cooking Review

I tried out the Campbell's Soups For Easy Cooking "Mexican Style Tomato" and it was really great. I honestly didn't think it would taste as good as it did because sometimes big companies don't get Mexican or Hispanic flavors right. Things could sometimes end up tasting generic and just doesn't hit the spot. Well I was pleasantly surprised because the soup or sauce came out great.

So the soup actually doesn't really seem like a soup to me. I really see it as a flavored tomato sauce that can be used in different recipes. I don't think I could really see myself eating this as a soup. Maybe you would, but I just don't see it...now as a soup base, yes. Anyway, its got a really great flavor to it and thankfully wasn't that salty. I've been cutting down on my salt intake and now whenever I do eat things that are a bit saltier, it's totally unbearable. It tastes like I'm drinking sea water, it just assaults my taste buds.

So I was looking for something simple and easy to cook because now that summer weather has hit  South Texas I do not want to spend too much time roasting away...I mean cooking in the kitchen. So I went online to Campbell's Kitchen and found a recipe for "Easy Beef Taco Skillet". I didn't want to put tortillas into my recipe though because it just seemed too heavy, not too mention they add more salt to the recipe. I'm always changing up recipes and making them my own, cooking should reflect your wants and needs and in this moment I don't need tortillas. I did keep the cheese in the recipe though because...who doesn't love cheese!?

Easy Beef Taco Skillet
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion (about 1 cup)
1 carton (14.5 ounces) Campbell's® Mexican Style Tomato Soup
4 flour tortillas (6-inch), cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  • Cook the beef and onion in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat.
  • Stir the soup and tortillas in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir the beef mixture. Top with the cheese.

The kids really enjoyed this and honestly I wasn't totally sure they would. They can be extremely picky when it comes to certain foods. The whole, "I don't know what that is, but I know I don't like it" routine. Well they loved it and asked for more, thankfully this was more than enough to feed my extremely large famil.

The Campbells Soups for Easy Cooking do come in other flavors :
Creamy Herb & Garlic Soup With Chicken Stock
Savory Portabello Mushroom
Sweet Onion Soup

I'd definitely recommend trying them out, especially the Mexican Style Tomato, it is great with enchiladas too!

February 22, 2015

Cooking With Splenda

 Cooking Gluten Free with Splenda Sugar


So I recently found about my sensitivity to gluten as I've gotten older and the years have passed. I always just assumed that I had eaten too fast or too much and that that stuffed feeling would eventually go away. Well it didn't go away, but got worse as I've aged' I didn't know what gluten was and why it was bad for me. I grabbed whatever I could read and honestly was saddened. I felt like I wouldn't be able to enjoy anything tasty like cakes, cupcakes, and breads. Throw out all the cookies and cereals as they're no longer an option for me.

Thankfully that's not true and I can enjoy some goodies and regular food with just little tweaks here and there. Gluten free just isn't about being wheat free, it needs to be low in carbs as well. Carbs come from many things including sugar. Now everyone needs a certain amount of carbs, but too much is not always a good thing. So I like that by using Splenda sugar I'm not adding more carbs into my diet. Splenda is basically sucralose and has no known side-effects so you get a real sugar taste without all the calories or carbs.
 For my gluten free recipes I chose a couple that I knew would be easy to recreate. I'm not an expert cook or baker, so easy and simple is a plus for me. The first thing I decided to make was banana bread! Banana bread is something that I've made from scratch many times before, but using regular flour which now is not possible. So I took a recipe for all purpose gluten flour from Wheat Belly that included almond flour, coconut flour, and golden flaxseed. I had to totally wing it with everything else, but one thing I did do was substitute regular sugar with Splenda's Baking Blend. I don't normally cook with "fake" sugars because they have that gross fake sugar taste. You don't get that with Splenda at all.  I would share the recipe but honestly there isn't one. I totally winged it and it came out awesome, the best thing is no weird sugar aftertaste!

The second thing I made was breakfast cheesecake, umm yes! I think the second time around I'll definitely make the strawberry glaze the cookbook mentioned because it just wasn't sweet enough for my liking. It still tasted great and the kids were like, "Can we have this for breakfast all the time?" Obviously not, but it's such a great weekend breakfast treat and so easy to make. It doesn't take long at all, only 30 minutes from start to finish. I did make little mistakes here and there while making it though, like I forgot to whip the ricotta cheese mixture before adding the egg whites. But that's what learning is all about, trial and error and finding out what works best for you. Splenda worked perfect in this recipe and again no gross weird after taste that comes with some sugar substitutes. Now one thing I can say is don't get too close when you're measuring Splenda for a recipe because a puff of Splenda dust wafted up and surprised me a bit. Or maybe that's just something I was lucky enough to experience.

I'm so glad that Crowdtap and Splenda gave me a chance to try out these Splenda sugars. While the breakfast cheesecake was just for my family, I did go and make more banana bread to share with my family. My younger brother also has intestinal issues and has to be very careful with what he eats. So he definitely enjoyed all the sweets that I made.
I haven't gotten a chance to try out the Splenda brown sugar, but I will be using it for some gluten free chocolate chip cookies real soon. I love the caramel taste that I get from brown sugar.
Here's a simple smoothie recipe you can make using Splenda sugar, strawberries, banana, and some kefir. Of course you could use anything else if you don't like kefir, but its super healthy for you. 

Strawberry Banana Kefir Smoothie
1 large banana - I like to freeze mine, but that's just a preference
1 cup frozen strawberries or fresh
1 cup kefir - any type or use regular milk, juice, soy
Splenda sugar to taste - this is totally optional, but I do add a little just to add some sweetness if my strawberries are more tart than sweet.

Stick it all in a blender until smooth and enjoy a nice healthy drink for breakfast - or any part of the day.

Disclaimer: I received all three Splenda products for the sole purpose of trying it in my own home in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own and no further compensation was given.

February 7, 2015

Purex PowerShot Review & Giveaway

I got a chance to try out the new Purex PowerShot laundry detergent through the Purex Insiders
program. I already love and use Purex so I knew the quality was going to be there. Once I got the box I proceeded to teat that sucker open! I looked at the bottle and thought, huh this looks a little weird. I was a little bit skeptic that it would actually work and that more detergent wouldn't be able to be poured out; man was I surprised! I tilted the bottle over because tearing off the plastic seal and looked at the detergent fill into this little "bowl" and it stayed there. Huh, well time to put it to real work!

Now I have 4 very messy active kids so I need something that is going to get there clothes clean and leave them smelling great. Purex PowerShot is concentrated so you don't have to use a lot in order to get the same results as other laundry detergents. The scent I got to try was Mountain Breeze which has just a hint of floral, but a lot of a clean crisp scent.

Now that the kids are teenagers and can start washing clothes themselves, I've handed the torch - or laundry detergent over to them. They're good about sorting their clothes, making sure not to overload the washer, but they over pour! I found if I let them pour their own laundry detergent then the bottle that should last for 35 loads ends up lasting for like 20. They think they need to fill up the laundry detergent cap completely. It seems that they're hard of hearing because no matter how many times I explain that they don't need a lot, they still overpour. Well thankfully the new PowerShot does it all for them! All they have to do is open it up and flip it to start pouring, and then it stops! Seriously its measured out in the perfect sized dose for child and adult alike. No more wasting laundry detergent thinking you need a whole lot to clean a load. It really does work too, even though I was skeptic, it totally worked! Now I can be at ease when the kids do their laundry because I know they won't be wasting any of it. Not only do they not waste the laundry detergent, but it saves me money in the long run.

The Purex PowerShot isn't available just yet so you need to keep an eye out for it in stores. It's really great for those with teenagers or absent minded hubbies/partners that go a little detergent crazy. The PowerShot will be offered in two scents: Mountain Breeze and Linen & Lillies. I can't really mention price, but because Purex is so affordable I can't see this costing an arm and a leg. It will come in three different sizes: 35oz, 45oz, and 90oz. If you have a heavily soiled load then using two "doses" is recommended.

Right now Purex is running a really nice giveaway promotion where you could win a washer and dryer set, or a bottle of the new Purex PowerShot. ENTER HERE

As for my giveaway I will be giving two lucky winners a chance to win a coupon for their own FREE bottle of Purex PowerShot for when it hits the store shelves. The coupon is good until 12/31/2015 so you have a ton of time to find it in a store near you.

Just enter into the rafflecopter below and you could be a lucky winner of a new awesome product!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received this free product and coupons for the sole purpose of trying it out in my home. All opinions are my own and no further compensation was received.

January 7, 2015

Campbell's Tasters Mission Review

 I was chosen to try out some great new and wonderful products from Campbell's through Crowdtap. I was amazed at the the huge selection of products and at how many different things I'd be able to make. All individual reviews can be seen just by clicking on the links below.

Included in the mission kit was:
  • a Campbell's tote bag
  • a small cutting board
  • wooden spoon
  • plastic shaker (sadly it didn't make it through shipping and was cracked)
  • a coupon book 
  • one carton of Swanson Cream Starter
  • one pouch of Campbells Skillet Sauce Creamy Parmesan Chicken
  • one Campbell's Slow Kettle Style Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup
  • one can Campbell's Beer n Cheese with Beer and Bacon
  • one jar of Prego Light Alfredo Sauce (didn't get photos so used Homestyle Alfredo Sauce)
  • one can of Campbell's Creamy Poblano & Queso
  • one Spaghetti O's Micros
  • one carton Campbell's Soups For Easy Cooking Savory Portobello Mushroom (used Mexican Style Tomato)
Extra Review: Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauce (bought using coupon included in kit)
 As you can see there was a huge amount of great products to try out which lead me to try out other products as well. Also included was a coupon to try out new varities of V8, but sadly couldn't find it in stores. The V8 varieties are Sea Salt & Clam, Spicy Mango, and Mint & Lime - I really wanted to try out the Mint and Lime and use it as part of a marinade. It had a great recipe for a marinade that I know would taste fantastic! Also I had used the Prego Light Alfredo sauce and totally forgot to take photos. When I went to the store I found that I couldn't find it! I had to substitute regular Homestyle Alfredo Sauce for my review, which is just as tasty. In the case for the Soups For Easy Cooking I opted to save the one that I got in the kit and chose to use the Mexican Style Tomato. It was totally awesome and something totally new! I don't think I would have ever tried it out if not for the mission kit.

I really enjoyed all the products that I used from the kit. They were a little high in sodium content at times, but with a little work I was able to really have fun with them. However, I didn't try the Beer N Cheese soup because it includes bacon and I just can't eat bacon. I passed it to my mom's boyfriend who practically inhaled it before I could take photos of it. He said it was alright, but not the best he has had from Campbell's soup. He mentioned a slight after taste that wasn't too bad so he didn't stop eating it. He did say he would try it again, so I guess he liked it enough.

Campbell's has been in my family for years and will definitely continue to be a staple. Nothing makes you feel better when you're sick than a nice warm bowl of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. V8 juices are tasty in smoothies or just by themselves and are healthier than some other drinks. The new skillet sauces, slow cooker sauces, etc can make your life easier and your stomach full.

Disclaimer: I received all products herein for FREE in return for my honest reviews. All opinions are my own and no further compensation was given. If you'd like to try new products such as these then sign up for Crowdtap.

Campbells Condensed Soup Review Creamy Poblano & Queso

Campbell's Condensed soups aren't just supposed to be thrown in a pan or in a bowl to be served just as it is. Some soups can be used in delicious recipes to spice up your regular menu. I can honestly say the only condensed soups I got were cans of chicken noodle soup. Everyone knows that nothing makes you feel better than some Campbells Chicken Noodle so when I received this can of Creamy Poblano & Queso in my kit I was a bit lost.

Thankfully I wasn't lost for long because Campbells has a great recipe for a jazzed up macaroni and cheese. The Creamy Poblano Mac N Cheese is so easy and doesn't require a lot of ingredients. The best thing about it is it's totally customizable so you can add different ingredients or leave some out and still have a great tasting dish in the end.

Creamy Poblano Mac & Cheese:

What You'll Need 
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup medium tomato, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Creamy Poblano & Queso Soup
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese (about 4 ounces)
8 ounces (1/2 of a 1-pound package) elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

How to Make It:

Heat the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomato and garlic to the saucepan and cook and stir for 1 minute. Season with the salt and black pepper.
Stir in the soup and milk and heat to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the macaroni. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

I modified the ingredients list quite a bit, but that's because I was using whatever I had in the house. It still came out super delish and I will definitely be making this again. I wish there were more recipes using this soup though, so hopefully I can use it for more than just mac and cheese.

The actual flavor of the soup was actually really light tasting. It didn't have any spiciness to it, and actually wasn't overly cheesy either. It was pretty mellow and had nice chunks of poblano mixed in it. All the kids really loved it, even though it was totally DIFFERENT. Score! So if you're looking for a great addition to your regular boring meals, then try out the poblano mac n cheese! You're family and their stomachs will thank you.

Disclaimer: I received this can for FREE through Crowdtap for the sole purpose of reviewing. It was included in the Campbells Tasters kit. All opinions are my own and no further compensation was received.