Friday, February 10, 2012

Shiny New Product Review: Dulce de Leche Cheerios and Peanut Butter Cheerios

I'm a bit of a cereal nut.  Growing up, we were limited to healthy cereals (and when we were really, really good, an occasional box of Peanut Butter Crunch).  This meant we ate regular ol' Cheerios quite regularly.  And after a short phase of sugar cereal binges during my freshman year of college, I returned to my love of plain Cheerios with milk or a sprinkling of sliced banana mixed throughout.

I get excited when I see new cereals.  But I got really excited when I saw both of these new cereals in particular - Dulce de Leche Cheerios and Peanut Butter Cheerios.  Why?  Let's see.  We mix my love of Cheerios with my love of dulce de leche (which I originally experienced in Argentina) and peanut butter, and you get a terrible bit of excitement.  And cereal is just one of those awesome things - eat it any time of day, no cooking required, and the crunching is a stress reliever : ).

I love the original Multi-Grain Cheerios.  They have the perfect hit of sweetness that accentuates the grains.  No, really. Those be curvy grains.  I wonder why Cheerios didn't start with a blank slate of plain Cheerios?  I want to like the peanut butter flavor but there is no real punch of flavor to set them apart from anything else.  Better in a cereal bowl than as a snack, the Cheerios don't have quite enough "oomph" in the peanut butter department.  Honestly, if you're jonesing for some peanut butter cereal - just go have a bowl of Peanut Butter Crunch.  The one advantage that these have over PBC is that they will not wreck the roof of your mouth.

Lackluster Dulce de Leche Cheerios

And the Dulce de Leche?  Frankly, my first bowl left me quite disappointed.  The flavor seemed overly artificial (which is funny as they are "naturally flavored").  I don't even want a second bowl and cereal is a regular part of this gal's diet.  I suppose I expected with both flavors, that rather than having the new additions mixed into the actual cereal batter, that they would instead have a light coating on the outside - like a glaze.  I found both (although DdL especially) to not be dense enough in the texture.  I wanted to hear and feel a more audible "crunch" when biting down.  There seemed to be more aeration in each cute little circle than I am accustomed to in my other favorite flavored Cheerio (Honey Nut).  My positive discovery after the fact was that while I did not enjoy these with milk, they were far better as a straight snack, no milk necessary.

But this brings me to what I would recommend to my friends.  If given the choice to take 'em or leave 'em, I'd leave 'em.  No ifs, ands or buts.  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini

Another turkey post....

Because I've been swimming in turkey, I've been playing around with a few recipes so that I'm not eating the same ol' turkey dishes day in and day out.

So, here is my favorite way to get rid of turkey leftovers thus far:

Turkey Tetrazzini (as found on

Note: I cut this recipe in half since there are just two of us.  It normally means two nights worth.

1 (16 ounce) package uncooked spaghetti
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups chopped cooked turkey

I also like to add Panko to the top.  It adds a tasty texture to the dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking dish. 

Chop up your leftover turkey.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and place in the prepared baking dish. 

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour. Mix in chicken broth and milk. 

Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir in about 1 1/3 cups Parmesan cheese, and remove from heat.

Mix chicken broth mixture and turkey with spaghetti.

Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle Panko to your heart's content.

Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until surface is lightly browned.

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie Pockets

Life has gotten slightly busy.  That's a good excuse, right?  In 2011 I worked full-time, finished my MBA, served as Executive Vice President of Communications and Social Media for my MBA class, had a baby, and finished by serving as the Director of Internal Communications for the Utah AMA.

Is that a good excuse?  Sigh, not really.

So, once again, the husband wanted a turkey again.  For me, that means a month of turkey.  We typically eat Thanksgiving at one of our parents' or grandparents' homes.  But we still must buy and prepare our own turkey.  And when you only have two people (and a baby) in your home, that equals a lot of turkey and, in turn, turkey centric meals.

So here is my New Year's Gift to you.  Two more turkey recipes to help you get rid of leftover turkey.

Turkey Pot Pie Pockets

1 can Pillsbury Grands (or generic brand)
1/2 cup peas and carrots (frozen or your leftovers)
1 can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
2 cups chopped turkey

Optional add-ins
Leftover stuffing
Diced onion
1/2 c chopped celery

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all of the innards together in a bowl.  Spray a rolling pin and surface (I cheat and use my cookie sheet as my surface) with cooking spray.  Roll each biscuit out to approximately 6-7".  Fill half of the biscuits with a heaping scoop (you can use an ice cream scoop if you like) of filling.  Do this with each biscuit.  Place remaining biscuits on top of filled biscuits.  Use a fork to press edges together.  Score top lightly with three lines.

Bake at 375 F for approximately 15 minutes.  Check on the pot pies and take out when golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!  These work great to bring to work for lunch - just throw in a ziplock bag!  You don't even need a plate and fork if you don't have one.