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.

Campbells Slow Cooker Review Mexican Red Chile Taco

While this wasn't included in the Campbell's Tasters Crowdtap kit. I did happen to find it because of it. While I was there looking for another package of the Creamy Parmesan Chicken Skillet Sauce, I saw this and couldn't pass it up.

I mean what is not to love about tacos!? We eat tacos all the time, but they can get a little boring. The same seasoning, same toppings, just the same ole thing every time. This gave me a chance to try out something new without having to worry about messing it up. It's so easy just follow the directions on the back and you end up with a delicious meal!

First I used pork shoulder roast instead of beef. We don't eat much red meat so I knew I'd be using either pork or chicken. I got a medium sized pork shoulder roast, just enough to fit into the slow cooker. I opened up the package and dumped all the sauce on right on top. Looking at it as first I wasn't sure it would be juicy enough, but I went with it.

The sauce is made with onions, vinegar, and a blend of peppers, that makes this sauce super tasty! It smelled so good throughout the house as it the pork slowly cooked and turned the thin sauce into a juicy delicious sauce.

After I let the pork sit for a little bit I started the process of pulling it apart. It was so easy because the pork was super tender that I hardly had to touch it at all. I used a bone in shoulder roast and I easily just pulled the bone straight out and it was clean. The pork was moist and juicy and after a couple of taste tests - I knew it was ready.

Because the meat had tons of flavor already I didn't want to add to much to it that would take away from that. I used corn tortillas to cut down on salt and calories and added some tasty avocados to round it out. I think if anything I would have added some fresh thinly sliced onions because I know it would have went really well together.

There are other varities of slow cooker sauces such as:
Moroccan Spiced Stew
Sweet Korean BBQ
Apple Bourbon BBQ
Tavern Style Pot Roast
Hawaiian Luau Pork

You should try these out for yourselves and see how easy and tasty they really are. One of the best things, other than them being easy to use, is that they're pretty affordable. You can find all varieties at most grocery and bigbox stores.

Disclaimer: I paid for this product myself using a coupon received from the Crowdtap Campbell's mission. All opinions are my own and no compensation was given.

Campbells Skillet Sauce Review Creamy Parmesan

In my kit I received a package of Creamy Parmesan Chicken Campbell's Skillet Sauce. Each package serves four people and with there being 8 of us, another package was definitely needed. Thankfully the price was really affordable so I didn't break my food budget. I used the extra $1.00/1 coupon I received in my coupon book and put it to good use! I grabbed some boneless, skinless chicken, some green onions, and I was ready to go.
 The package was really easy to open and contained more sauce than I thought. It's so simple all you have to do is open it up and pour it on top of your cooked chicken. You can bake, broil, boil, or grill your chicken before hand. You don't even need pasta, but I definitely felt like it needed some some so I made some veggie rotini. The sauce was creamy and rich, and thankfully not salty tasting. Since I've started cutting down on my salt intake I've noticed that things that aren't salty to the family, are salty for me. With that I was sure that I wouldn't be able to stomach this because sadly cheese is salty.

The recipe is practically not needed, but here it is anyway just in case.

Creamy Parmesan Chicken

What You Need 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
3 Simple Steps
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Add chicken and cook until browned. 
  • Stir in sauce and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through.
 Campbell's Skillet Sauces come in 7 different varities including:
  • Creamy Parmesan Chicken
  • Sweet & Sour Chicken
  • Chicken Marsala
  • Sesame Chicken
  • Thai Curry Chicken
  • Bacon Cheddar Beef
  • Shrimp Scampi
All of them only require a small amount of ingredients and only 3 simple steps to make the meal. Just because it's simply and easy, doesn't mean you aren't getting quality. From the ones I've tried (shrimp scampi, creamy parmesan, and sweet & sour), you get a ton of flavor for a really affordable price.

Disclaimer: I received the product for FREE in return for my honest review from Crowdtap and Campbell's. All opinions are my own and no further compensation was received.

Swanson Cream Starter Review

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

made with Swanson Cream Starter

So part of my Crowdtap #DiscoverCampbells mission kit I received a carton of Swanson's Cream Starter. I was sort of at a loss at what to make because I've never used this type of cream before. I am not a fan of clam chowder - or any chowder for that matter, so I went online. I went to CampbellsKitchen.com and looked up some recipes using the Swanson Cream Starter. I found the website easy to navigate, but sadly not many recipes utilizing the cream starter. I opted for the very simple and very safe: Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Who doesn't love mashed potatoes? They're certainly a main staple in my household so I knew they would go over well.

The recipe is as follows -
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (about 5 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup Swanson® Cream Starter Traditional or 25% Reduced Fat or Swanson® Cream Starter 25% Reduced Fat
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened 

  1. Place the potatoes and garlic into a 3-quart saucepan.  Add water to cover.
  2. Heat over medium-high heat to a boil.  Cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Drain the potato mixture well in a colander.  Return the potato mixture to the saucepan.
  3. Mash the potatoes.  Stir in the cream starter and butter.  Season with salt and black pepper.
This recipe is so simple that I know the kids could make this themselves. This is so simple that even the person with the worst cooking skills ever couldn't really mess this up. I made some baked meatballs with gravy and some corn to finish off the meal.

The carton was easy to open and easy to hold, so if you have issues with arthritis it won't give you any problems. The cream itself smelled pretty good, the thickness was good, and tasted good as well. I did get a little taste of the cream before I put it in the mashed potatoes. At that point there was still time to back out if I didn't like the smell or taste. The kids and I are those kinds of eaters - if it doesn't smell or look good, we ain't eating it.

The potatoes came out really good, really creamy and smooth. The only thing I'd do different would be to scale back the garlic as it was just too intense a flavor for the kids. They still ate it and said it was good, but just that it was too garlicky. I liked it and thought it was fine, so I would add half the amount of garlic first and then go from there.

Overall the cream starter is super easy to use and I'm looking forward to using it in many more different recipes. If you only buy it for mashed potatoes though, it'll be totally worth it, much creamier than when using milk.

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

December 11, 2014

Easy Off Oven Cleaner Product Review

gross roasting/broiler pan
I was sent a $5 Walmart Gift Card by Smiley360 in order to do this review. I had a choice between the different Easy Off Oven Cleaner varieties: Fume Free Trigger, Fume Free Spray, Heavy Duty, BBQ Grill Cleaner, and Cooktop Cleaner.

 My father pretty much lives alone so he cooks and cleans for himself. I know there are things that get neglected, one being the oven, so I decided I'd try and clean it for him. Well I don't know what I got myself into because wow, that oven was a mess! But before all this I had to head to Wal-Mart and buy some Easy-Off to try out. The $5 gift card was more than enough to cover the product and taxes. I can honestly say I don't normally shop at Wal-Mart. The lines are always horrendous and most times the cashiers are hard to work with. This is not a generalization of all Wal'Mart shopping, this is just about my own area store that I normally avoid like the plague.

Like I mentioned above there are 5 different varieties to choose from and Wal-Mart had all of them available. The first two are the same product just in different packages. Easy Off Fume Free comes in a trigger spray and regular can spray. This type of Easy-Off is better for every day use so your oven doesn't get bad enough for the Heavy Duty cleaner. The trigger spray can be used in more ways than the can spray and doesn't need gloves, but both are fume free and leave a light lemon scent in the air. The BBQ cleaner is obviously made specifically for your grill, and would be a must for summer time grilling. It is safe to use on all types of grills as well as stainless steal, and aluminum/non-chrome pots and pans. The cooktop cleaner won't scratch or leave a residue on your cooktop, and is safe for all cooktops. It also can be used on glass-ceramic, enamel, stainless steel and chrome.

inside back of oven, before and after
The last is Heavy Duty which is obviously for those really bad messes that you need a little oomph to clean up. Because it seemed like my dad's oven had never been cleaned I opted for this choice. Gloves are a definite must and I advise you to open up a window or door when you use it. Even with the door open the fumes were a bit intense. I can say I never really knew what the roast/broiling pan was. I knew there was a little handle at the bottom of the stove and some weird looking grill thing down there. By the way, that grill thing was filthy! It must had had years worth of whatever built up on it. I hadn't realized it was supposed to be blue-gray until I started cleaning it. One thing that wasn't mentioned is the time needed to clean anything other than your oven. I was left to estimate the time needed to clean the broiler pan. I sprayed it on and left it for 5 minutes and scrubbed it. I noticed it was still dirty so sprayed it again and left it for another 5 minutes. The results are fantastic, not really surprising, and so now I moved onto the oven. Again I can not stress the need for ventilation when using this. If you're oven is as filthy as my dad's was be prepared to use a lot of spray. Obviously that means you are going to have quite a bit of fumes in the air so take care so you don't breath it in. I covered my face while spraying the oven down and it was still pretty intense.
Oven door, before and after
It says on the can that all you need is 5 minutes for it to get to cleaning. Well I know that oven is going to need more than just 5 minutes. I feel like a horrible daughter knowing that my dad was essentially cooking in a death trap. That oven looks one step away from igniting on all the grease and going up in a big ball of flames. So this review couldn't come at a more better time for me. I knew going into this I'd be in for the long haul. I also wondered why the men in my family can't seem to find time to clean their ovens. My brother's oven is not as bad, but certainly was getting worse before I went by to clean it. I thought it would be a hard job, but thankfully with Easy-Off it was just that - easy! I sprayed the oven and left it to sit overnight. The next day I got a little hot water and started scrubbing. I was amazed at how dirty the oven was, and how easily the built up grease was coming off. I changed the water a few times and kept at it. The oven was looking great! There were just a few spots that had some build up still, but I can spray those down at a later time.

Overall, I'm totally impressed with Easy-Off Oven Cleaner. It definitely will continue to be used in my household and my father's house as well. I'm actually going back to get the fume free to keep at both houses to use on a regular basis. Easy-Off Oven Cleaners are all under $5.00 in my area and are totally worth every penny!

Disclaimer: I was sent a $5 gift card to Wal-Mart to buy this product for free. I was provided it by Smiley360 and Easy-Off for this review. All opinions are my own and no further compensation was given.

November 24, 2014

Wet Ones Product Review

 I was chosen by Smiley360 to do a review on Wet Ones Hand Wipes. They sent me an awesome kit that included a 24ct box of single hand wipes - perfect for on the go, a travel pack of 15 wipes, and a tub of 40 wipes all in the limited editions Citrus Scent. I was also sent some coupons to share with family and friends so they could try out Wet Ones for themselves. With so many kiddos in my family those coupons were definitely appreciated! I of course shared some wipes with my brothers so they could try them out with their little ones.

If you'd like a chance to try out some great products for yourself and your family then check out Smiley360 - Click Here. It's a great program that puts you in touch with a lot of great brands waiting to hear your opinion.

My Review:

I grabbed the box of single hand wipes and started stuffing them into my kiddos bags. I've seen how they eat at home, I can only imagine how messy they get at school. I like that they're easy to open, even for the youngest. The hand wipes are really large, larger than other hand wipes I've used. They were really moist and didn't dry out too quickly. They were able to clean up the messiest of faces, especially after eating one of my chocolate cupcakes. I really didn't want to share, but sharing is caring - right? Kids will always get messy, so it's great to have these single packs handy if you don't want to carry the tub around. The wipe has a nice soft citrus scent to it, not very strong at all. It also didn't dry out my skin, so I know it was gentle on his. It doesn't have a huge alcohol type smell to it either, like some other wipes tend to do.

Next was the tub which took a little work. I found it a little difficult to get the wipe into the top part. Once I threaded it through I then had a problem of keeping it to pull the next one up with the one I was going to use. Not sure if that makes sense to everyone, but bear with me. After several attempts I finally got it working. I just used the extra wipes to clean up the counters and tables so they wouldn't go completely to waste. You probably won't have as much trouble as I did, I'm sure I was doing it incorrectly. Either way these wipes were more like the size of baby wipes. They had the same scent as the single packs and the larger pack. I love these tubs and find them super handy when all you have is one hand to use. Yea, try chasing a one year old around trying to wipe his face when he absolutely wants none of it. Good luck!

Wet Ones Hand wipes are anti-bacterial so they kill 99.99% of bacteria, wipe away grime, and get nice soft hands. They use aloe so that way you hands stay nice and soft and don't get all dried out. They're hypoallergenic as well so they're pretty gentle on your hands. Have a kiddo with sensitive skin? No problem! They also make a special Sensitive Skin wipe that is extra gentle. They are hypoallergenic, alcohol- and fragrance-free! All varieties of Wet Ones are readily available at most grocery and big box stores and are pretty affordable. So head to your local store and find them for yourself - you'll be happy with the results.

Disclaimer: I received this mission kit from Smiley360 for the sole purpose of doing this review. All products contained in this post were given to me for FREE in return of an honest review. All opinions are my own and no further compensation was received.