Category Archives: Review Foods

Torani Syrup

My family loves flavored coffee drinks.  Hot or cold, served either way, they definitely enjoy it.   If I even try to make one for myself, it is snatched right away….and I have to make another….and another…..until we all have one.

Recently on a crisp fall morning, we sat on the front porch enjoying a delicious treat of Pumpkin Pie Latte as we discussed our plans for the day.


Oh yeah, these kids love to drink their “Latte”! And it was an awesome sensory experience to sit outside in the chilly, crisp, fall air as it blew on our faces, and feel the warmth of the coffee cup in our hands. The smell of the coffee flavored with Torani syrup and the morning breeze outside was amazing. The taste was delicious!


We are enjoying some delicious flavored syrups in our drinks and deserts lately created by a company called Torani. They have over 125 flavors.   They have been in business since 1925 and have been owned by 3 generations of the same family. 

So far, we have tried the Vanilla Bean syrup, and Pumpkin Pie syrup.  I use about 1 to 2 teaspoons of syrup per serving in our beverages.  But you can use more or less as desired.  It really is all about personal preferences and you can customize any beverage you wish from coffees, sodas, milk, fruit drinks, and more.  You can also customize whipped cream, icing for cakes and cookies, and there are many other ways to use these flavored syrups too.  Be sure to check out the Torani website for lots of recipes and flavor options.

I am looking forward to trying the Raspberry and Blackberry (for homemade soda and flavored teas and lemonades), English Toffee, and Creme de Cocoa for more delicious coffee drinks soon.  Below are some of the coffee recipes and a coke recipe we have been enjoying with these syrups.


Pumpkin Pie Latte
4 servings

Two cups brewed coffee (we use Park Place Medium Roast by Starbucks).
Two tablespoons Torani Pumpkin Pie Syrup
Two cups warm milk (we use fresh raw whole milk straight from the farm).

If serving hot, mix and heat together in a saucepan before filling coffee cups.  Or to make it frothy, blend all together in a blender before serving.  I use a Vita Mix blender and it handles the heat of the hot liquids very well.  If you have a specialty coffee machine that makes lattes and cappuccinos and can froth your hot milk, then you wouldn’t need to make it in the blender.   If serving cold, then serve over ice or place in a cooler to reach a chilled temperature.  It is good served either hot or cold.
You can also freeze this and blend it in your blender to make a delicious Frappe (frozen coffee shake).

Optional: additional sugar to taste (if needed).
Optional: Ready whip real whipped cream. 


Vanilla Bean Iced Latte
4 Servings

2 cups brewed coffee
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons Vanilla Bean Torani syrup

Mix together and serve over ice cubes. 


Vanilla Bean & Coke
1 serving

8 oz. of Coke (or any soda you like)
1 tsp Torani Vanilla Bean Syrup

Stir together and serve over crushed ice.  Yummy!


Vanilla Chai Tea
1 serving

1 tea chai tea bag (black or green)
3/4 cup of boiling water
1/4 cup warm milk
1 tsp Torani Vanilla Bean syrup

Steep together for 3 minutes.  Remove tea bag.  Serve.



This is a very funny video about using Torani syrups in your holiday entertaining…besides being delicious, it can really come in handy!

And this video seems to play out at my house almost daily….only it is with my kids (I have 6 kids)…and I have to make my coffee several times….

Where To Buy

Torani syrups come in both sugar and sugar free varieties. Torani flavored syrups are available in the coffee isle of most grocery stores, and can also be ordered
online. Be sure to check out their website for coupons and specials too. There is also a special $1 off coupon good until Jan 4th located here.

Torani currently has a recipe contest going called
Holiday Cheer Recipe Contest, with great prizes.  Be sure to check it out!

Disclaimer: I received the product mentioned above at no cost to me in exchange for writing an honest review.  All opinions expressed are the honest opinions of myself and my family.

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Snikiddy and the Snack Lab

I hosted an outdoor learning program in the park this past week.  Homeschool families joined me and we had a science program and food tasting lab we called the “Snack Lab”. 

The main goal was to help kids identify healthy snack choices.  But we also had a fun adventure learning about our taste buds and sampling sweet, sour, bitter, and salty food options.  We also did a product sampling and giveaway of Snikiddy All Natural snacks.

The kids spent some time answering questions and sharing about their favorite snacks.  They learned to identify their personal favorite combinations: salty and crunchy, sweet and juicy, sweet and crunchy, sour, etc. 

Then we discussed some healthy and not so healthy snack choices.  Using lots of plastic toy foods, we grouped the healthy choices and not healthy choices on different plates.  We discussed why some foods are healthy snack choices: nutrients including vitamins and minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, good fats, and proteins.  We also discussed why some foods are bad snack choices: artificial colors, too much sugar, bad fats and hydrogenated oils, and artificial ingredients. 


Then the kids took turns trying out several different healthy food choices that met these different criteria: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, crunchy, soft, juicy, etc.  After tasting the food, the children identified and described what they were tasting. 

Bell peppers were bitter and crunchy.

Lemons and Limes were sour and juicy.


Grapes were sweet and juicy, carrots were sweet and crunchy, and so on.  The kids tried out several fresh snacks.  However, I forgot to cut up the apples, even though I brought several apples with me and a cutting board and knife along.  I just ran out of time and forgot to do it.  Sometimes the pollen in the air makes me feel like my head is in a cloud!

We discussed several more fruits and vegetables and protein snacks that we did not have on hand, but would make good snack options too, like fresh broccoli, celery, cauliflower, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, cheese and crackers, and so on.  Most kids said apples were their favorite fresh food snack. (go figure, the one choice I didn’t serve them, but they saw it on the plate, sorry guys!).

Next we sampled some varieties of salty and crunchy snacks.  We discussed lots of options like popcorn, nuts, crackers, pretzels and various chips too.  Most kids said either popcorn or pretzels were their favorite salty and crunchy snack.

On each plate the kids tasted Snikiddy All Natural snacks. We were sent five different bags to try.  The variety included: Baked Fries: Sea Salt, Barbecue, and Cheddar Cheese; Cheese Puffs: Grilled Cheese ; and Eat Your Vegetables: Sour Cream and Onion.  

Snikiddy All Natural snacks are made with healthy wholesome ingredients, are gluten free, wheat free, preservative free, no corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, and have no artificial colors or flavors.  You can read about the ingredients on the links posted above. 
From the Snikiddy website: “ …Snikiddy® creates products for families actively looking for healthier foods that satisfy their snack cravings. The Snikiddy brand is a portfolio of better for you snacks that are simple, wholesome real products for families.


After the tasting lab, the kids and some of the parents took a snack survey.  I came up with the questions myself and printed them out on paper.  I cut the sheets of paper into 10 rectangles a little bigger than buisiness card size.  This way I could fit 50 surveys on 5 sheets of paper.  It was much cheaper to print this way than print out 50 sheets of paper. 

They answered these questions on the survey:

    1. Do you eat snacks? 
         a) Yes  b) no

    2. Which answer is a snack? 
         a) apple  b) popcorn  c) chips  d) all

    3. What is your favorite salty snack?

    4. Which Snikiddy All Natural snacks were your favorite?
        a) Baked Fries: Sea Salt , Cheddar, Barbecue
        b) Cheese Puffs: Grilled Cheese
        c) Eat Your Vegetables: Sour Cream and Onion


Four of the parents helped me serve the kids all of the various snacks and take the survey.  After the tasting lab, they went to each child and took down their personal answers on the survey forms.  The parents squatted down like you see in the pictures at eye level with the kids and got their honest open opinions.  This was such a big help, as it a
llowed me to focus on teaching the kids and taking pictures. 

I love homeschool families and their servant attitude.  Truly these families encourage me to do more and more, reach my full potential, accomplish my goals, and be the best I can be.  You know they are teaching all these kids the same thing too.  Wow, all these kids reaching their goals and full potentials, awesome!  All this encouragement and support makes teaching the kids absolutely fun!  I just want to say a big “Thank You!”  I just love everyone of them!

After our sampling and survey of the Snikiddy snack foods, the kids and parents were free to eat as much of the various snacks as they wanted.  Oh, it was so yummy, and there was plenty to eat today. They ate everything except the bell peppers. 

The kids also made a snack bag / goodie bag craft to take home bags of Snikiddy snacks.   I supplied them with various craft supplies and they could decorate their snack bag anyway they wanted with crayons, colored pencils, and cut outs. 


After our craft, we filled their snack bags with Snikiddy All Natural snack bags.  This was such a treat to take home.   Then we drew names for giveaways.  Some kids won large boxes full of Snikiddy snack foods. Wow!


Some kids won Snikiddy Art Kits.  These kits are wonderful and fit nicely in a backpack, purse, or desk.  They contained 8 pastels, 12 crayons, and 8 colored pencils all in a handy plastic organizer kit for crafting lots of arts and crafts.


There were way to many pictures from today to share them all with you.  But as you can see, we learned allot about nutrition and healthy snack choices, science with our taste buds, and we had a lot of learning fun! 

Everyone loved the Snikiddy snacks.  When it came to picking favorites, the most favorite by far was the Grilled Cheese Puffs.  All of the parents also enjoyed the Snikiddy snacks and several asked where they could buy them for their kids.  I am glad to share this information, because these snacks really are delicious, kids love them, and many families with allergies or on special diets can eat them. 

Snikiddy is available for purchase in lots of stores and online.  Check out the Snikiddy website to find a retailer near you.  They also offer a free coupon at the top of the product page. 

Snikiddy also offers contests and giveaways.  Right now they have a Summer Escapes Sweepstakes going on.  Stop over to and enter their contests for a chance to win great prizes!

Disclaimer:  I was sent the product mentioned above in exchange for writing an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my personal opinions, and I also gathered opinions from the folks I shared the product with and expressed them in this review as well.

This post will be linked up with:
No Time For Flash Cards
Science Sunday
Sharing Time
Raising Homemakers


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The Butterfly Bakery Giveaway

Delicious, moist, and sweet, that is how I would describe The Butterfly Bakery Gluten Free baked goods. 

It is not often that you could describe gluten free bakery products as delicious.

The Butterfly Bakery makes all their products with wholesome ingredients.
They call it 100% love!

My kids can eat a wide variety of foods.  I am very thankful for this.  But many children can not.  Gluten intolerance is a real problem for many adults and children.  When I owned a healthy foods store, I stocked the shelves with gluten free products that were special for kids.  Most parents had me order a long list of specialty flours for their recipes to try to make tasty treats for their kids on special diets. 

My kids loved this cake.  It is made with 100% Whole Grain Teff flour.  It has 14% more protein than regular wheat flour.  It also supplies a good amount of potassium, vitamin B, and fiber.

Every single morsel disappeared.

I was really impressed with the quality, taste and texture ofTthe Butterfly Bakery products.  They don’t ad tons of sugar or salt to try to hide an inferior product.  They have done a great job at mastering a difficult task, taking traditional foods like cake and cookies we all enjoy and making them just as delicious for someone on a gluten free diet.

We also enjoyed The Butterfly Bakery’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and fresh raw milk straight from the farm for a picnic one afternoon. 

These cookies, along with some fresh raw milk and fruit was our desert.

These cookies went perfectly with fresh milk!  They don’t fall apart.  The cookies have a delicious cookie taste and lightly sweet with bits of chocolate.  They reminded me a bit of shortbread cookies.  They had the perfect crunch and blend of flavors.

My children and I liked both the Gluten Free Espresso Creme Cake and the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. Both products were made of high quality ingredients and tasted delicious. If you are searching for a well made gluten free bakery item, I encourage you to try the baked goods from The Butterfly Bakery.

The Butterfly Bakery began in 1998 when Brenda Isaac decided to bake her own sugar free baked goods for her mom who was a diabetic.   She now has over 75 different varieties of baked goods for restrictive / specialty diets in stores everywhere.  

The Butterfly Bakery has several specialty lines of products.  Each line has its own distinct colored flower label.  The specialty lines and label colors includes:
Gluten Free  – Orange Flower.
Sugar Free – Pink Flower
No Sugar Added – Blue Flower
Low Calorie – Purple Flower
Whole Grain – Yellow Flower

The Butterfly Bakery products are available in healthy food stores, grocery stores, and through Amazon.

Check your local area to see if the Butterfly Bakery is sold in a store near you.   If it is not, the The Butterfly Bakery has a letter you can print off and give to your local grocery store to request their products. 

Their products are also available on Amazon and ship right to your door.  Now that is convenience!


The Butterfly Bakery is offering one of my readers a Gluten Free Prize Package.  The Gluten Free Prize Package will contain two items from their gluten free line of products.  The Butterfly Bakery will choose what items they send the winner.

To enter the giveaway, fill out the rafflecopter and follow the directions.   Best wishes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I was sent a package of Gluten Free Sliced Espresso Cream Cake and a package of Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Butterfly Bakery in exchange for writing an honest review.  All opinions are my own honest opinion regarding this product.

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