Cassava Chips by Siete

If Cassava Chips by Siete weren’t so expensive, I’d be eating a bag of them a day. These chips really are remarkable because they have just the right amount of salt and a very light and thin texture that makes them very hard to stop eating. I’ve always loved snacks, but have discovered in the last couple of years that the artificial oils and modified corn in these products is a common trigger for migraine headaches. While I’m not on a strict paleo diet, I now force myself to keep away from snacks that cause headaches and other, undesirable, unhealthy side effects. Cassava Chips are made from three ingredients: Cassava, avocado oil, and sea salt.  Like the Siete Almond Tortillas I reviewed several months ago, Cassava chips give you a healthy alternative to grain-based foods and snacks.  What is Cassava and how are the chips made?

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Cyclone Vacuum and Pool Blower

Winterize Inground Pool

Cyclone Vacuum and Pool BlowerThe Cyclone Vacuum and Pool Blower was an essential piece of equipment I needed to begin winterizing my own pool. I’ve been paying a pool guy around $400 a month each of the last 9 summers to winterize my in-ground pool. With the long, sustained, and deep freezes we are known to get in Colorado, closing an in-ground pool properly is essential. The $400 annual cost seemed small compared to the thousands of dollars I could risk in busted piped by failing to properly blow-out my lines and drain. Finally, I got the courage, did plenty of reading on-line about pool winterizing and decided to do it myself. Only two things have kept me from previously winterizing my own in-ground pool: 1. Understanding how to do it, and 2. Lack of the proper equipment to blow-out the pool lines. One thing leads to another, so I’ll start with number one:

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Plantain Chips

Plantain ChipsPlantain chips are a perfect snack for those who are on a Paleo-diet or at least trying their best to stay away from less, “healthy” snacks. If you need something to crunch on, the Artisan Tropic Plantain strips are perfectly roasted and have a very satisfying texture and crunch. They are neither hard, nor soft; neither salty, nor sweet, yet they give you just the right amount of both snack characteristics. Some might prefer them a bit sweeter; others might want them saltier so fortunately, they provide them in either flavor; naturally sweet or with sea salt.

What are Plantains?

Plantains are a member of the banana family. In fact, they look like a big, green, yellow, or black banana on the outside.  I’ve been told that the green plantains are the best for making chips, so i would assume that the Artisan Tropic brand of Plantain strips are in fact made from the green ones. The green ones are also the sweetest, though still not as sweet as a banana. When I crave a salty snack, I don’t want it to be too sweet, so in a way, making chips from plantains makes a heckuva lot of sense.

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Dare Maple Creme Cookies

If you like maple-flavored donuts, maple syrup on your pancakes, or the maple with anything, I can pretty much guarantee you will like
Dare Maple Creme cookies. A 10.6 oz box of these maple creme delights includes about 18 cookies.

Dare Maple CremeI was skeptical when my wife first brought home a box of these. I had not heard of the brand, Dare Foods before. The box advertises that that these cookies are made from real maple. Upon opening the box, my senses were immediately filled with the fresh aroma of real, maple syrup. These maple cream cookies really do taste fresh, from the cookie dough to the maple cream filling that is inside. I will not lie and try to tell you these are paleo friendly or make a healthy snack. The first ingredient is wheat and they are made with hydrogenated coconut oils, vegetable oils and high fructose corn syrup. See, the link to get the entire nutrition and ingredients: Dare Maple Creme Cookies.

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Best Store Bought Pasta

Best Store Bought PastaWhat is the best store bought pasta? Barilla Linguine Fini is the best store bought, egg-free pasta, hands-down. Really, the best pasta should be made with eggs, but it is hard to find that these days and some of them are just not as good as they used to be. When I was a kid we always bought a brand called, RF Egg Vermicelli. Unfortunately, the stupid and phony cholesterol scare caused pasta makers to stop using eggs. Nobody would buy it because they were mistakenly conned into thinking consuming eggs would raise your cholesterol and harm your heart health. So, pasta makers stopped using eggs and the pasta has never been as good ever since. But, that’s another topic. Back to rating the best store bought pasta. A good pasta should be springy, bouncy, and full of life. I love watching the television show, Lydia’s kitchen. Lydia has demonstrated on TV more than once what a good pasta looks like. Nobody wants limp or soggy spaghetti. Lydia has even specifically described and demonstrated how pasta needs to have a spring and bounce to it when you twirl it with your fork.  I am not sure what brand of pasta Lydia actually uses, but as far as I am concerned she is the best Italian chef on TV. I’ve learned many things from her and her cooking reminds me of my Italian grandmother.

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