The Unofficial Guide To Boujee Appetizers: Recipes Included!

Since I’ve been in culinary school—I’ve taken a wide range of different classes from basic skills, baking, and now garde manger ( which I like to explain to people that it’s essentially “boujee appetizer class” and I LOVE it. I think it is by far my favorite class thus far. My Chef really lets us do things on our own (within reason) which definitely helps strike my creativity! We’ve done a whole variety of things in this class which is awesome because it’s like you’ll never know what you’re going to be doing next Saturday. Some highlights: I’ve learned how to make homemade gluten free pasta–which has always been a goal of mine but never had the determination to just go and do it at home. One day we made sorbet and that was super fun too– I had never used an ice cream machine before and was blown away ( science, man ) I made a strawberry balsamic basil sorbet, and I must say, it was out of this world! And just this past Saturday, I deboned a whole chicken and made a filling to stuff it with–I gotta say this was a little frustrating, but once you get the hang of it, it’s kinda fun! Kinda felt like a surgeon lolz

Annnnnnnnnd let us not forget: the canapes AKA boujee appetizers ;) These are awesome to make–because they don’t really require any cooking (SO EASY) and look super fancy on a plate! I’ve made quite a few in this class and I always always get comments or messages about them on insta so I thought I’d share my three faves that are guaranteed to knock your socks off! (and make your friends think you’re a boss ass chef)

***DISCLAIMER: I don’t typically do things exactly to recipe so the measurements might not be 100% accurate, be sure to taste as you go!

Cucumber/Goat Cheese/Smoked Salmon

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  1. Cut the cucumber into (medium thickness) slices
  2. Make your filling– A half package of goat cheese (about 6 oz), salt and pepper to taste, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic, 1 tablespoon dill (maybe add some cold water, if consistency isn’t quite like a spread)
  3. Top with small slices of smoked salmon
  4. Add dill sprig for garnish
  5. ENJOYYYYY :)

 

Cucumber/Cream Cheese/Prosciutto

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  1. Cut cucumber into (medium thickness) slices
  2. Put a dollop of cream cheese on each slice
  3. Thinly slice prosciutto on each cucumber slice
  4. Garnish with chiffonade (finely cut) basil
  5. Drizzle balsamic glaze and top with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper
  6. ENJOYYY :)

 

Polenta/Prosciutto/Pesto (MY FAVE)

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  1. Make the polenta: 1 cup of cornmeal into a boiling pot of water/ continue to stir until thickened/ add 3 tablespoons of butter / add 1/2 cup of shredded parm / 2 tablespoons garlic / salt and pepper to taste / spread out on a pan and place in the freezer to harden for at least 30 minutes / Cut into wedges: egg wash and flour each wedge and pan fry on the stove with some oil! They will have a golden brown crust when they are ready :)
  2. Make the pesto: 2 cups of greens any of these will do–>(basil, parsley, arugula, cilantro, spinach) / 2-3 cloves garlic / 1/4 cup of nuts any of these will do–> (TOASTED pine nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews) / 1/2 cup parm / 1/4 cup EVOO / salt and pepper to taste / Throw all of it in a food processor and pulse until a creamy consistency!
  3. Julienne (thin slices) bell pepper ( I used yellow and red ) saute in a pan with olive oil until soft!
  4. Cut prosciutto into small slices!
  5. Pan fry the polenta wedges, spread them with the prepared pesto, top with the       sauteed peppers, a couple small prosciutto slices, and a sprinkle of fresh parm!
  6. ENJOYYY :)

 

If you’ve ever wanted to be super EXTRA and FANCY with your appetizers–here’s your chance! Hope you all enjoy and if you try them out– let me know!!

 

xoxo

 

Kelsey

 

 

Moving Update && Italian Pasta-less Salad

For those of you who don’t follow me on social media (ya should), I have been documenting my crazy moving experience and the progress thus far! As of now, I am officially all moved in. It only took a whole week (lol) and the help of my mom and a Uhaul–but hey, we did it and had a blast doing it! It is amazing all we put together in just five short days but I am so overwhelmed with how perfect it turned out. It is so very cozy (and I think I am going to love living alone) :) If ya’ll are in the moving process or know anyone who is, I’d highly recommend checking out some secondhand furniture shops! I was a little apprehensive at first, but you’d be shocked at the unique gems you may find! My couch, dining table, and chairs are all from the consignment shops listed below!

Some cool places in lex–> Restore // Another Man’s Treasure  // The Great Room //

Here are some updated progress photos below…

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(Even Noli approves of the new bedding ;))

Next up, I’ve got an awesome and super duper easy recipe for ya! I’ve always enjoyed a pasta salad but since my gluten allergy came in full force–I’ve been trying to do things differently and healthier! This salad is super fresh and inexpensive– I put prosciutto and a little calabrese in it, but you can definitely do without if you’re not a meat eater!

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Italian Pasta-less Salad

  • 3 roma tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 english cucumber (diced)
  • 3 slices of prosciutto and/or calabrese salami (finely chopped)
  • handful of green olives (halved)
  • handful of kalamata olives (halved)
  • feta or mozzarella cubes (as much as you want)
  • 2-3 tbs olive oil
  • 1-2 tbs italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup roasted garlic **optional (I found this at the olive bar @ kroger)

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Annnnnd that is literally it! SO simple and packed with flavor! Yesterday, I enjoyed a bowl of it on my porch with some pineapple and a la croix, of course! You can definitely meal prep this for the week for a perfect portable lunch or dinner option!

Hope you enjoy and let me know if you try it out!!

 

xoxo

 

Kelsey

 

 

 

Lexington Blogger Brunch: Eggs Edition

It has been two weeks now and I STILL can’t stop telling people about the lexington blogger brunch. I mean, ya’ll FOR REAL, this was the most gorgeous set up I could ever imagine. We all kept joking (but not really joking) that it looked straight out of Pinterest! It could best be described as a fairytale…If ya don’t believe me, check it out below ;)

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The event was at the barn at Springhouse Gardens which was just the most perfect setting: beautiful land, gorgeous barn, and the nicest family who owns it! The morning was jam packed with so many good eats, a self-serve mimosa bar, a DIY flower crown bar, and of course, the awesome goodie bags!

I think if you’ve followed the blog long enough–you know I’m a huge breakfast person, or “bruncher” you could say, currently trying to work on having “professional bruncher” be a real thing. For me, breakfast is all about eggs (and mimosas) :) Eggs are like a super power food because they are so incredibly versatile! Like I literally just googled “how many ways can you cook an egg?” I found 16!! That’s insane guys! By far my favorite way to make eggs is in the form of either an egg bake or egg muffins! In fact, I cooked up some killer egg muffins for the blogger brunch! I cannot even get over how simple these are to make and you can literally add whatever you’re feeling that day and bake it all up (!!!) Not to mention, it is totally cheap and a great way to get rid of veggies that are on their last leg! Find the recipe HERE  :) Again, as I say in all my recipe posts, measurements are a rough estimate–as I typically throw things together without using measuring devices!

—-> Just remember, the key to a good egg bake is sufficient seasoning ( don’t be afraid to add in that extra dash of salt and pepper ) AND some of your favorite cheese (!!)

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All in all, I wish I could have brought every single one of you to this magical, fabulously fantastic brunch that I thought could only be as good in my dreams (yes, I dream about brunch. And yes, I have accepted it) It could not have been possible without the awesome people that contributed to making this morning perfect and the even better company ;)

Thank you to all…

The whole brunch was photographed by: Kirstie Dunston Photography

Goodie Bags && ETC: Springhouse Gardens // Shop Local KY // Miss Molly Vintage // AJ Apothecary // Shop Twenty Something // Morton James // Whole Foods Lex // Kentucky Yarnbirds // The Barn At Springhouse

Annnnd can’t forget the bloggers —>

Be sure to check out their pages and posts on the brunch too!!

The Stylish Tales of Tay <http://www.thestylishtalesoftay.com/

Authentically Emmie <http://authenticallyemmie.com/

Space, Place & Southern Grace <http://www.spaceplaceandsoutherngrace.com/

Kentucky Girl Ramblings <http://kentuckygirlramblings.com/

Bright on a Budget <http://brightonabudget.com/

Hartley Social <http://hartleysocial.com/

Lee’s Lookbook <http://www.leeslookbook.com/

Kayla Weber Art <http://www.kaylaweberart.com/blog

Fabulous in Fayette <http://fabulousinfayette.com/

Girl Meets Lex <http://girlmeetslex.com/

Basically Bronwyn <http://www.basicallybronwyn.com/

This Lexington Life <http://thislexingtonlife.com/

Lex Eats <http://lexeats.com/

Miss Molly Vintage <http://www.missmollyvintage.com/blog/

Candor and Rose <http://candorandrose.com/

Salt & Life Blog <http://www.saltandlifeblog.com/ 

 

Here’s to hoping we can top this brunch next time ;)

xoxo

Kelsey

 

 

Travel Eats: Columbia, MO

About a month ago, I went to visit my sister in Columbia! Let’s keep it real here, you’ve probably never heard of this town unless you’ve been to Mizzou or know someone who goes there ;) It’s not really a sought after destination… about 80% of the town is the actual university and then some corn fields (lol) but hey, we had fun and there are definitely some places that I would highly recommend :) With that being said, let’s get on with it…

Geisha Sushi Bar (804 E Broadway) 

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We came here our first night and it was definitely a hit! Although, I was kinda amazed that my (asian) sister had never had edamame before–so naturally we had to order it! (YUM) We both had miso soup and a roll ( I think mine was the crazy roll, but not completely sure. It was 10/10 good though! ) Definitely a casual laid back atmosphere with quality sushi (which is super important)

Andy’s Frozen Custard (610 Cooper Dr N) 

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Y’all seriously have to come here, OMG! I’m not even huge on custard but man, this place sold me! Such a cute late night summer spot for a sweet tooth craving ;) SO GOOD, I demanded we go twice! Both times, I got a chocolate concrete with peanut butter cups!

Nourish Cafe & Market (1201 E Broadway)

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Cannot say enough good things about this place! First came here with the family when we went to a Mizzou Kentucky football game (GO CATS) and I had a goat cheese frittata that rocked my world. Obviously, we had to come back and I had a grilled veggie wrap with pesto and a coconut matcha smoothie! Definitely the best part about this place is not having to worry about any allergy concerns because the whole menu is GF!! (This never happens so naturally, I was PUMPED) Real & delicious food that you can feel good about eating! Side note: they have desserts too that are out of this world. I ended up picking up some cinnamon rolls that had cashew cream frosting, like WOAH! 12/10!

The Roof (1111 E Broadway)

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Welllllllll, I’d for sure come here for the view, drinks, and just a fun night out. This place is a nice bar/restaurant on top of a hotel with crazy cool views of the downtown and comfy seating. The food and service left a lot to be desired, but we still had a good time! However, we did have pretty good brussels sprouts and pork lettuce wrap things that were pretty decent!

Lakota Coffee (24 S 9th Street) 

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I don’t think I could write a travel eats without including a coffee shop, because let’s be real, I am an addict. I really like this place because it has a very extensive menu with unique options, like a coffee shake, which I’m kinda kicking myself that I didn’t get because it looked amazing. I guess you could say I am a creature of habit and stick with my black coffee and a splash of almond milk ;) Definitely a chill vibe, somewhere you could sit for a while and get stuff done. Love, love, love, local coffee shops!

 

Hy-Vee (3100 W Broadway)

—–> LAST, but certainly not least, I have to give a huge shout-out to the local Hy-Vee for quite the impressive “healthy section” where I found the NEW Skinny Pop flavors that I SO highly recommend :) I’m probably the only person that would get pumped to go to a new grocery store and find new products, but hey, it is what it is! #sorrynotsorry You should ask my sis though, I was completely geekin out over this popcorn y’all (lol)

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Annnnnd that’s a wrap :) If ya ever head to Columbia (for whatever strange reason) — I hope you’ll check these places out!

Until next time,

xoxo

Kelsey

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Be The Best You.

Hey everyone! Hope you all are enjoying your summer. I am sorry, yet again, that there has been an absence on the blog…and it is because I have been struggling to get my thoughts out on paper (or cyberspace)// Truthfully, I have been wanting to write about this for a while now– but wanted to make sure I got it right…I hope someone, somewhere, will resonate with this.

This summer has been full of changes. Change isn’t always easy. At the end of the semester, I watched three of my good friends walk across the stage and graduate college…something I probably should have done two years ago (lol) , but that’s beside the point. The fall will come and I will have my time. Anyway, I was super pumped for them, but also really emotional. I am naturally emotional, so it didn’t come as a big surprise to me when I started tearing up during their commencements– But, I think my emotion goes WAY beyond being proud of my friends.

All my life, I’ve had someone to depend on. Now, I am not saying this is a bad thing…but it does make life somewhat “easier” when there is someone around. Ever since I was in 7th/8th grade, I had someone around. All throughout high school, I had a “serious” boyfriend. In college, I met someone new right away and we dated for an extended period of time…Then I met someone else, and we also dated for an extended period of time…Meanwhile, I had the same tight knit group of friends… In fact, one of them even lived with me last summer…like actually in the same room. Someone was always always there… Do you see the trend? Don’t get me wrong, It’s AWESOME to have people there. Someone to go to target with late at night, someone to come lay with you while you cry, someone  to go to dinner with you on a whim or someone who will watch movies with you all day (and avoid responsibility).

But that all comes to an end. And once it ends, you are left with yourself. This sounds depressing, but at some point, the guy you thought you’d marry will dump you, the friends that were always there will graduate and move on with their lives, and you are just here, dealing with it all. Maybe it won’t happen quite like that, but in some form, one way or another, you will truly feel and be alone. 

If you’re there right now, I am here to tell you that it is OK.  You’ll make it. No, seriously, you really will. I have finally finally finally gotten to a place in my life where I can truly say I believe this. 100%. And as someone who has been through it, I can tell you it is even better than “OK.” Finding myself, loving myself, and supporting myself has been the greatest blessing. I take myself on long drives, I finish books I never got around to, I try a new workout class just for the hell of it, I spend hours cooking myself a good meal, because why the hell not?? When did life become all about “wishing you had someone to do (fill in the blank) with” ? Are you NOT enough as it is?? Newsflash, YOU are pretty awesome just the way you are and don’t ever forget it. You don’t need anyone to complete you, because you, yourself, are whole. You don’t need to pour all your love on someone who won’t love you back, because you deserve to be loved. You don’t need someone else to make you happy, because you can be your own happiness. You don’t need to chase after someone who sees you as a second option, because you should always be first. 

 This summer has been full of changes. I’ve done things for ME, not anyone else. And I have to say, it feels pretty great. I’ve rediscovered old hobbies, created new interests, and have worked toward a new chapter for myself…A new chapter where I put myself first, where I do things for me, where I let go of the past, and strive to be the best ME I can be.

Because I (and you) deserve it.

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xoxo

Kelsey

 

Travel Eats & Other Things: Florida

Man oh man, where to even begin?! This had to be hands down the most hilariously chaotic trip I have ever taken, and I do mean that in the best way possible! But, a little background info first–> Once upon a time, Sarah and I decided we wanted to do one last trip together before she leaves me and goes back home to Egypt ( where she is now, and i miss her so much!! ) We both had expressed that we were really feeling a beach trip….but were at a loss of where to go! For some odd reason, we decided on Florida, which I have to admit is SUPER unlike me to agree to this considering i’m not Florida’s #1 fan (sorry not sorry) I guess i’ve always associated it with bad food and tourists ( which is kinda not far off ) However, after the week we spent there, It kinda grew on me ;)

The search to find a place to stay was near IMPOSSIBLE. I mean, we must have looked at 10 different cities trying to find a cheap place in a good area that would have what we needed..It became extremely frustrating until we came across the infamous boat (LOL) Although it was tiny and had the potential to be slightly sketchy (it kinda was), it fit the budget and was something different! So here Sarah and I are, thinking we are all spontaneous and shit staying on this boat. Keep in mind, we know next to nothing about boats but—let the adventure begin!

We begin the 13 hour drive (which ends up being more like 16 due to my small bladder, gas guzzling vehicle, and last but not least, Atlanta) We show up to this boat at like 11:30 pm….actually we show up at this “marina” that kinda looks more like a deserted parking lot that you’d get murdered at, but that’s beside the point. We search everywhere for this freaking boat (like i kid you not, 45 minutes) until we lay our eyes on it and just die a little inside. It is exactly as pictured but we never could have imagined how small it really was until we saw it in person… Regardless, we got on it and explored ( well, I explored, Sarah took about an hour to finally figure out how to get herself on the boat ) and what did we find, you might ask? ANTS! In our tiny bedroom space, there were ants on the pillows and in the sheets. And let’s get something straight here, I am not by any means a high maintenance person…BUT I really couldn’t muster the courage to be one with the ants and enjoy their company. At this point, we are just hysterical and slap happy, I had just drove 16 hours and then this happened… obviously, I needed a drink. Little did we know, we were literally in a ghost town with zero sign of civilization, granted it was a monday night at midnight, BUT STILL! We come across the only place that seems to be somewhat redeeming, The Daiquiri Shak (lolz) and yes, you can best believe I had my good share of ($2) daiquiris ( which we found out later was only a monday thing ;) We made friends with our waitress who wrote down a whole list of places to go for us and decided hey this might not be so bad after all ??

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Daiquiri Shak: 14995 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Needless to say, we were not sleeping in the ant bed…so where did we sleep you may ask? outside on the little benches on the boat. We are very lucky that the rain held off all night and morning so were able to get a few hours of sleep! It wasn’t ideal, but we definitely made the most of it and woke up to the most beautiful sunrise!!

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The Boat: Exact Location Unknown, Madeira Beach, FL

Naturally, Sarah and I were like boat illiterate when it came to operating the toilet, shower, or even attempting to find an outlet. That morning we drove to Starbucks and made it our home. We charged our phones, changed, brushed our teeth, and indulged in much needed caffeine after a restless few hours of uncomfortable “sleep”. I decided to call my mom because this was just a story worth sharing and thought she’d get a kick out of it. Instead, she wasn’t too thrilled about it after we mentioned the creepy crawlers and the fact that a GIANT storm was coming through… she and my dad insisted that we get a hotel (PS thanks dad for the hookup with the hilton points <3 ) That day we had a great time relaxing on the beach, under an overcast sky, without sunscreen.  ( PSA: don’t make my mistake, you STILL get VERY VERY VERY burnt under a cloudy sky, don’t underestimate the sun!!! ) That evening, we checked into our hotel which was PERFECT… would 10/10 recommend! Talk about upgrade!?? It had a deck patio thing with an ocean view! And for the record, I will never ever take a nice warm bed for granted every again! IMG_4262.JPG

Double Tree Beach Resort By Hilton: 17120 Gulf Blvd, North Redington Beach, FL 33708

The next day, we decided to try out one of the places that our waitress had recommended, Sweet Sage Cafe! And let me just say, and this is a BOLD statement coming from a breakfast connoisseur like myself, it was probably one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in my 24 year of living…..Cutest little cafe with all the charm of a small town, super simple meals but cooked absolutely perfectly AND coming from someone who cooks for a living–someone definitely knows what they are doing in the kitchen!! (gluten free toast is always a plus too :)

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Sweet Sage Cafe: 16725 Gulf Blvd, North Redington Beach, FL 33708

The day of the bad weather we decided to go to one of the bigger cities near by, St Petersburg, and explore a little!  While we were there, we went to a museum, walked around, found a cider bar where we had vegan sushi which is literally just carrots and onions in seaweed, and got oysters for dinner (duh) AND it was Sarah’s first time!!  I am such an oyster fanatic. Later on, we made our way back to the Daiquiri Shak where we met a new friend who charmed us with his terrible pool skills and even worse air hockey  abilities ;)

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The Oyster Bar:  249 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL 

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The Cider Press Cafe: 601 Central AveNorth St. Petersburg, FL

Our last day was the most beautiful day you could imagine! We spent the day laying out on the beach, swimming, walking around, AND can’t forget the frozen margaritas ( for me, of course)

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That night we spontaneously decided on a trip to Tampa, because like why not?? Because it was recommended to us, We decided on a place called Datz for dinner, which ended up being very tasty and neat. ( Don’t worry, I researched it on yelp before we decided on it// just foodie things ;) We had chicken and fish tacos and the most delicious truffle fries (still dreaming about them TBH) We found out later the restaurant had been featured on the travel channel for this bacon mac and cheese stuffed meatloaf thing, which of course neither Sarah and I could eat .. LAME. but here’s the link: http://www.travelchannel.com/videos/stuffed-meatloaf-at-datz-0189277

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Datz: 2616 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL 33629

Annnnnnnnd, last but not least, DEFINITELY the best part about going to Tampa (lol), was the amazing SANGRITA, yes a sangria and margarita mix, can you believe it?! I can’t really put into words how great it was!

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Overall, it was definitely a one of a kind trip and I cannot wait to go back:)

 

xoxo

 

Kelsey

Snack Attack: Element Rice Cakes

Long time no chat, blog!! Super excited to be back at it with a really exciting post. Recently, I was contacted by @elementsnacks to do a little promo about their products! Since I have already been a fan for quite some time now, I was like uhhh yes duh, send me all the rice cakes! (lol, but seriously though) As we may have gathered already from my posts, I am not one for “basic” or “bland” foods, which kinda gets me in trouble but also makes life much more exciting. I tend to lean towards rich complex flavors, which is quite alright with me ;)

I first discovered these rice/corn cakes when browsing a whole foods (classic me) I was actually on the hunt for a snack I could eat with my coffee, because like as much as I love coffee, I need something to eat while I drink it! I came across the dark chocolate covered rice cakes and was sold! I definitely tend to lean towards the salty/sweet combination.

Since then, Ive learned that they have several other amazing flavors! Such as: milk chocolate, strawberries and cream, vanilla orange, sweet mint, and of course dark chocolate ;) AND they also offer the dark chocolate and mint in corn cakes! Not to mention, they are certified gluten free, Non GMO, only 80 calories each, and all that good stuff haha

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Dark Chocolate Rice Cakes: 10/10 would recommend, I am 100% a dark chocolate girl…pair these with a cup of coffee or an after dinner snack and you are good to go!

 

Milk Chocolate Rice Cakes: 9.5/10 would recommend, these are almost as good as the dark chocolate ones just a touch too sweet! These would definitely be best as a dessert or with some PB on top :)

 

Strawberries and Cream Rice Cakes: 8/10 would recommend, if you’ve ever had a strawberries and cream frappuccino, then you know exactly what these taste like! A little on the sweeter side, but definitely a change of pace if you aren’t feeling chocolate.

 

Vanilla Orange Rice Cakes: 8/10 would recommend, I was honestly a little apprehensive to try these due to me not really liking orange flavoring, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! These are rich but also refreshing!

 

Sweet Mint Corn Cakes: 7/10 would recommend, Although still good, I have to say these were the weakest link for me, just too sweet! But add a little chocolate with the mint and you are golden!

 

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Go find them at Whole Foods, you won’t regret it!

Until next time,

xoxo

 

Kelsey