Thursday, April 17, 2014

Whole Grain Goodness to Go

This post was created in partnership with Quaker. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Both my hubby and I live a busy life.  

Between his work commute AND work, and both my school AND work life, we simply don't have time to sit-down and eat breakfast during the week like we do on the weekends. 

Breakfast during the week has become an afterthought instead of a priority.

The lack of food in the morning affects our mood and energy level. By the time lunch rolls around it's quite common that both of us make bad choices: I tend to starve myself until dinner time if I don't have breakfast or lunch (don't ask!), and my hubby stops by a local fast food place to get lunch if he's hungry and in a rush.  

At our age (we are both over 40), we know that this is not the healthiest, or smartest thing to do; so, we have tried several things to get us going in the morning and back on the right track.

But it's hard!

We couldn't seem to find a happy medium that both my hubby and I liked...until now.

My friends at Quaker sent us a couple of bottles to try of their new Quaker Breakfast Shakes in both strawberry and chocolate.  Being that I am not a fan of thick drinks, I was a bit skeptical to try the drink, and questioned whether or not I would like them

While my hubby literally swallowed the strawberry drink in one sip, I was cautious as I sipped the chocolate flavor. I quickly got used to the thickness and texture of the shake and really enjoyed the chocolate flavored shake.

Not only are the shakes tasty, they have 8 grams of whole grain oats, 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. Another upside about the Quaker Breakfast Shakes is that they don't have to be refrigerated, but taste a million times better when they are. 

My hubby even suggested to blend the strawberry flavored shake blended with ice and maybe half a banana as an afternoon weekend snack (We'll have to try it).

I also suggest trying the chocolate (my favorite) or vanilla flavored drink. Drink the shakes cold (my preferred way), at room temperature, or blend with your favorite fruit and ice for a little extra "pizzaz."

Look for the Quaker Breakfast Shakes at your local grocery store and save $2 when you use this coupon on your next purchase.

Do let me know if you try them!

***To learn more about Quaker Breakfast Shakes visit 
their website or their FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and YouTube pages***

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Private Chef Tasting Hosted by Del Monte

A couple of months ago, a fellow blogger shared the opportunity to work with Del Monte and Kitchen Surfing for a unique at-home dining experience.
Our Menu
Being the foodies that both my hubby and I are, we found it exciting to have a chef cook for us at home and jumped at the opportunity. We couldn't be happier that we did!

The process of working with Kitchen Surfing was actually quite simple. All we had to do was sign-up for the free membership and select a chef from the various available to work in our area (another benefit of living in West Los Angeles!). 

Chef Mariko cooking in our kitchen
The Kitchen Surfing profiles of each chef showed sample menus, food photos, testimonials and a bit of background on each chef.  I found both the menus and personality of Chef Mariko, AKA Pink Haired Chefto be a major reason for selecting her to be our private chef for our mid-week, at-home foodie experience.  My hubby agreed and after a couple of emails directly with Chef Mariko to finalize our dinner, we were set!

Our menu included various fresh and canned veggies - who knew!?
Del Monte was kind enough to send us prep ingredients for Chef Mariko to use in the menu she was preparing for us. While Chef Mariko brought the main ingredients and was ready to work when she arrived - but not before connecting with me on a personal level and playing with Maya. 
Maya and Chef Mariko
As you can imagine, before the food was even plated, Chef Mariko had me with her personality.  The food, well, that was just an added bonus. 

Our first course: Grilled Romaine Salad
My hubby, which is my foodie ruler ate everything off his plate - including the salad!

Chef Mariko was thoughtful and courteous, making sure that we enjoyed each yummy morsel more than the previous. The courses were timed perfectly and each dish was more amazing than the previous. 
Tuscan style beef with creamy polenta and seasoned roasted vegetables
Flowerless chocolate cake with Del Monte peaches and vanilla ice cream
Everything that Chef Mariko prepared was amazing and at the same level of a five-star restaurant in West Los Angeles/Beverly Hills.  

The plating, the flavors and just the overall experience was everything you can imagine a private-chef experience should be like. 
My hubby and Chef Mariko
Both my hubby and I are beyond impressed with the entire experience and thank both Kitchen Surfing and Del Monte for this amazing opportunity!

**To view more photos about our amazing #CookingwithDelMonte experience, go here.**