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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

As If Hershey's Wasn't Awesome Enough...Meet Hershey's Spreads.

I was chosen by Crowdtap to participate in a Sample and Share, which always brings me great joy. The icing on the (chocolate) cake, so to speak, was that it was one of my favorite brands in the world: Hershey's.

A Pennsylvania native, Hershey's is a part of my life from childhood. I didn't think they could do anything to make me love them more. But I was so, so wrong.

Hello, gorgeous.

I was honored with the Chocolate with Almond flavor, but it is also available in Chocolate, and Chocolate with Hazelnut.
Courtesy of the website.

When I shared with my group, I tried to showcase the diversity of the spread. Straight from the jar, it is delicious. No question. As a dipping sauce or spread, it's the bomb. Fruit, pretzels, on a peanut butter sandwich, you name it. If you really want something fun, give it a few seconds zap in the micro and dip potato chips in it. It sounds weird, but it's really good. 

I made a tray of dipped fresh apples and oranges, and using disposable plastic spoons, made samples for everyone to get the true awesomeness in pure form.

But best of all, you can bake with it! I found a super fab recipe for an  S'mores  bar that uses another kind of spread, and tweaked it a bit. Since Hershey's has always said S'mores to me, I figured it would be even better. You can find the original recipe here. Hers sounds a bit healthier than mine. (.:

S'mores Oatmeal Bars
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup Hershey's Spread
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 8 x 8 baking dish with a cut piece of parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the dry ingredients. I added the chocolate chips and marshmallows after the other ingredients were mixed.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter on low.
  5. Turn off heat and add the Hershey's Spread, honey, oil, vanilla and water.
  6. Using a small whisk, combine well.
  7. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine.
  8. Pour mixture into the baking dish and with the back of a large spoon, press into the baking dish evenly.
  9. Bake 28-30 minutes.
  10. It may look soft, but it will firm up as it cools.
  11. Cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. 

They are SO Good.  It's like no-bake cookie meets S'more. Chewy and decadent.

These spreads are LITERAL awesomesauce. People just loved it in all forms. I've personally tried the Chocolate flavor as well, and I can't wait to try the Hazelnut. They have that fabulous Hershey's taste you know and love, and the texture is perfect for many uses. It melts quickly and easily, and doesn't clabber up. I'm excited to see what else I can use it for.

I received a free product from Hershey's and Crowdtap in exchange for my review and sharing. My opinions are my own.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Holiday Bonus: 4X Fuel Points at Kroger

We all have to buy gift cards during the holidays, whether is for that teenager who hates everything, or the relatives who just live too far away. How would you like to save money on gas as well?

You got it!


If you're a frequent shopper of the Kroger family of stores, you're probably already familiar with the awesome Fuel Points program, but just in case:

From the Kroger website:

The fuel program allows you to receive savings of up to $1 off per gallon on fuel purchases at Kroger and at participating Shell Stations. You may redeem 100 fuel points at participating Shell Stations for a 10¢ per gallon savings. And you may redeem up to 1,000 fuel points in a single fill-up at Kroger for up to 1,000 fuel points. For each increment of 100 fuel points redeemed at Kroger, 10¢ per gallon will be awarded. Program discount is good for one purchase of fuel, up to . Credit and debit card fraud prevention policies may limit transaction at the dispenser. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts. 

For example:
    • 100 fuel points = 10¢ per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at participating Shell Stations.
    • 100 fuel points = 10¢ per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at Kroger.
    • 200 fuel points = 20¢ off per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at Kroger.
    • 1,000 fuel points = $1 off per gallon of fuel for 1 fill-up at Kroger.
Now here's the cool bit: if you purchase gift cards, you get TWICE the Fuel Points.  So how can it get any more fabulous?

During that holiday time of year I speak of (early December) when it seems like you're in the store every other day, if you purchase gift cards, you get FOUR TIMES the points. So those gifts that make your holiday shopping easier also takes some of the pain out of filling up your gas tank. If you really wanted to maximize your return, you could buy gift cards for yourself, to use when you shop for gifts at many well-known stores, like Best Buy. It's a win-win.

Helpful hint: using a gift card with a set amount when you shop can also help you stay on that holiday budget, and we can all use that, right?

Bookmark this program and get ready for next'll be glad you did.

I am reviewing the 4X Fuel Points Program for BzzAgent in exchange for a discount. My opinions are my own.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Kroger Skillet Meals: Fast, Easy, Tasty, and Gentle on the Budget!


 Thanks to the fabulousness that is BzzAgent and Kroger, I got the opportunity to try the latest in quick dinners: Kroger Skillet Meals, Fresh Selections Salad mixes, and Garlic Bread!

Scope it:

So obviously, you gotta make yourself a Skillet Meal. The ingredients for the Sesame Chicken flavor are super simple: Main dish, sauce packet, rice packet, and sesame seed packet.

First step: You need to thaw the sauce. I ran water over it, and it thawed in a jiff.

Then the main ingredients into a  saute pan. Looking good, eh?

Just a little sizzle sizzle, then add the sauce...

The rice is super simple, just toss it in the micro.

Layer the dinner over rice, and garnish with the sesame seeds. I dressed the salad with a simple balsamic vinaigrette so it wouldn't clash.

Voila! Dinner is served.

Yes, that was taken in my kitchen.  Beautiful, yes?

My other side was the fantastic Kroger Garlic Bread. It's already scored and ready to go..just pop it into the over for warm, crunchy, soft in the middle, buttery deliciousness.

I found the flavors of the Sesame Chicken to be very on target with takeout versions that I've had, and I loved being able to just pull it out of my freezer and whip it up. I have always had faith in the Kroger brand, and this just renewed it. I MUST try more flavors! The salad mix was fresh, tasty and crisp, and the garlic bread was so good...often the garlic taste is too instense for me, but I adored this one. It came out of the oven crunchy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside.

I received free products in exchange for my review. My opinions are my own.