Hey everyone. I hope you’re having a better Labor Day weekend than I am. It’s all good though, because these products I want to share with you today are worth smiling about.
Firstly, Sarah from The Inspired Cookie sent me some samples awhile back. Gluten-free vegan baked goods? Yes please!
All of The Inspired Cookie‘s products are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, egg-free, dairy-free, casein-free, wheat-free, peanut-free, and cholesterol-free—wow! It’s no wonder they were nominated in this year’s VegNews Veggie Awards. Sarah sent me two brownies and three cookies to try. I couldn’t wait to dig in.
I found the Espresso Lemon Chocolate Chunk cookie a bit perplexing at first. The espresso was hard for me to detect, and the lemon with the chocolate was an unexpected combo. The cookie itself, though, had a great texture, on the soft and crumbly side.
A flavor combo I was downright hesitant about was the Peppermint Chocolate Chunk cookie. You may know how I tend to feel about mint (I almost always hate it), so I tried this cookie with trepidation. I was flabbergasted to find that from the first bite to the last, I really liked it! The peppermint notes reminded me immediately of Andes mints, one of the only minty things in the world I can say I love. What a pleasant surprise!
That wasn’t the last surprise, though—I also loved the Lemon Lavendar cookie more than I expected to. The common thread through all these cookies seemed to be unusual, original flavor combinations, and The Inspired Cookie executed each with flair and tasty results.
But I saved the best for last—the Chocolate Chunk brownie. Ohh, this brownie. Though I’ve been on a casual quest for the best vegan brownie recipe, I didn’t have a particular flavor or texture in mind to look for…until I tried this. Whatever her methods, whatever her recipe (which I would LOVE to have!), Sarah has crafted the best packaged brownie I think I’ve ever had. Chewy, fudgy, PERFECT!
Some other samples I received recently came from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea.
They have some of the most amazing, original flavors I’ve seen in any teas. Actually, it was only after I got these samples that I realized I had an entire canister of Zhena’s Tea in my cabinet! I’d been fascinated by the Goji Cacao Berry green tea as soon as I saw it at World Market, and I’d bought it on a whim. I’m glad I did, because it’s delicious!
The flavors that Zhena’s sent me individual samples of included Coconut Chai black tea…
I’m no good at describing the complex flavor notes in various teas, but I can say that every one of these was wonderful. The Açai Berry red was a particular favorite of mine. Zhena’s is uncompromising in their rigorous production standards, and the thoughtful selection and high quality of their ingredients shines through in each cup.
Thank you again to Zhena’s Gypsy Tea for the great samples. Check out their website and/or “like” their Facebook page to keep up-to-date on specials. Right now, you can get 20% off your online order, plus a free tin of Berry Bellini tropical green tea, until Monday 9/6 with promo code SUMMER2010!