Monday, February 7, 2011

Mailbox Goodies

Don't you just love it when the mail guys bring you something other than bills and junk mail? Any by mail guys, I mean anyone from USPS, FedEx and UPS. I can see out the front window when I'm sitting at my computer and when one of these trucks comes rolling down my street, a sense of excitement comes over me. I can't help myself, I just LOVE getting goodies in the mail and in the last couple of weeks I've received some real sweet stuff from some real sweet bloggers.

First came a package from Ryan of Florida Keys Living, if you remember I introduced him to ya'll back in January. I just love the seafood recipes and pictures he shares. Last week though, he shared a recipe for Key West Chicken Wings that look out of this world good! Anyway, he was so sweet and sent me a bag of their special seafood spice rub and some salt water taffy as a way of saying thanks. I haven't tried the rub yet, I'm saving it for when I go to my cousin's in a few weeks, but I tore right into the bag of salt water taffy.

I adore treats that have a sweet/salty taste to them and these have a perfect blend of both. Plus, they are so darn pretty…

Look at all those luscious tropical colors!

These are made by the Conch Republic Candy Company in Key Largo and are available in Ryan's online seafood store. The best part? Every purchase of Happy Sea Cow Gourmet Salt Water Taffy sends $1 directly to organizations dedicated to saving our manatees from extinction, like Save the Manatee. I've belonged to that group for years and can attest to all the great work they do for our precious manatees.

I received the Key West Party Mix, which includes these tropical flavors… 

These would be perfect for a beach party, included in a beachy gift basket or set out in your beach house for visitors. Thanks Ryan!

Next to hit my doorway was this box…

Now I have to tell you a bit of a backstory here. Diane over at Lavender Dreams had a post not too long ago that said another blogger was having a contest to name a new flavor of gelato or sorbetto for the Roba Dolce Company her hubby is a partner in. In case you don't know, I used to manage restaurants and one of my favorite things was coming up with recipes and names for various dishes. Honestly, I used to manage Le Petit Cafe here in Florida many years ago and one night I had a dream that we were serving a chicken and artichoke crepe topped with a wild mushroom sauce. Oh yeah, we developed a recipe and it was on the menu within the week.

So, I scurried on over to This Old House 2 to join in the fun. I didn't win, but the company decided to send everyone who participated a sample. Now the keyword here is sample. I expected a couple of those individual servings — one of gelato and one of sorbetto.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and pulled out this…

Five QUARTS and three individual servings! Yep, I said 5 quarts, as in, get out the bowls and get to eating cuz I don't know how I'm going to fit this all in the freezer and I love sorbet and gelato and I'm home all by myself so this could be dangerous  and I wonder if the neighbors are home and if they'd want to come over for an impromptu party………whew!

I took a deep breath, cracked open one of the individual servings and set about straightening out the freezer. Gosh, I found things in there that I swear have been there since the ice age. So thanks Roba Dolce, for all the yumminess and for motivating me to clean out the freezer. It was a good day.

Now I should probably tell you that I love sorbet and gelato. During the hot, humid days of summer here in Florida, I always keep sorbet in the freezer. Sorbet will cool you off in a sweat-filled heartbeat. Much like a frozen margarita will, but I don't have to explain to the neighbors why I'm a bit tipsy at 11:00 in the morning. Ha! Gelato is my friend because it has all the creaminess of ice cream with about half the fat. My waistline is always thankful when I am aware of things like this, on the other hand, it means I can eat more at one time. Shhh…don't tell anyone that I do that.


After my daughter arrived home, I had a light dinner and we decided to do a taste test all of the flavors. 

Grab a spoon there's plenty to go around!

Going clockwise from the Dark Chocolate Chunk Gelato, we have Coconut Gelato, Pistachio Gelato, Mango Sorbetto and Lemon Sorbetto.

Both the chocolate and the pistachio have chunky bits and let me tell you,

Roba Dolce is not skimpy on the goodies. Here let me open this one…

Didn't I tell ya? Yea, lots of pistachio just under the surface and the same is true of the chocolate. I'd show you a picture, but we polished that flavor off in no time.

Last night my daughter told me that she took a scoop of Mango Sorbetto and another of Coconut Gelato and mixed them together. She said it tasted like a Creamsicle. Oh yea, I had already tried that combo and she's right, but it's a Tropical Creamsicle. I love those two together and even made them into a smoothie, adding some pineapple juice and half a banana — TASTY! My taste buds were doing the happy dance and screaming for more!

Just remember, if you're using sorbetto in a smoothie, you only want to blend it for a few seconds, so add your juice, gelato and fruit and blend until smooth and then add the sorbetto and pulse for just a few turns. Yumminess. Stuck in the snow? Make one of these and you'll be whisk away to an island with balmy breezes in an instant.

All of the flavors are good, but my absolute favorite is the coconut. Smooth, creamy and a delightful pop of toasted coconut flavor.

Thank you Roba Dolce. If I've enticed you, be sure to visit their website to see where you can find it in your area and look under the specials tab to find a coupon for $1.00 off.

You really need to stop by and visit Karen at her blog, This Old House 2, she is a wonderful blogger and a real sweetheart. We've exchanged several emails and she is a real beach lover. Don't miss her post Finding Joy On a Rainy Day, it has everything — yummy food, antique goodies, lots of bling and some of the best snow pics I've seen. Tell her I said hello!

Okay, so I've had two packages that were all about my waistline and I was ready for something different. Then I find out that I won a giveaway from my blogging friend, Lily. Lily has two blogs, Blahwg - Life on and off the Farm and Becoming an Author - my journey.

Lily's been so busy taking care of a new grandchild, has a wonderful farm with horses and chickens that lay the biggest eggs and working on her book that she doesn't get to blog as much as she used to, but I try never to miss a post. She is a woman who loves her family and her animals and I just adore her.

Lily sent me a giftcard for Bath and Body Works and I just had to share what I got, or rather what I'm getting with it. 

Don't you love these candles?

"A delicious blend of pineapple, creamy coconut and orange, with a touch of ginger."

I know they have all that fabulous smelling girly stuff, but heck, I smell like saltwater from spending so much time at the beach lately and since I don't have a man in my life, I'd rather my living space smell good, you know what I mean?  Doesn't that description sound like tropical heaven? They are 3.25" wide x 6.25" tall and the white color is going to go beautifully with my decor once I get moved back to the other coast. I'm going to pack them away and save them until then, hopefully it won't be much longer.

I saw these on their website and it said they were a limited edition, so I called the BBW up the road from me and they were already out. Then, I called the one that's just a bit further in the BIG mall and they had two left and were more than happy to hold them for me. The International Mall is HUGE, so it takes a bit more planning to go. The Apple Store is there and I like to go and drool over the new Mac computers. Williams Sonoma is just across from there, so I know I'll do a little browsing, no shopping, but a lot of browsing. My granddaughter wants to go with me, so we'll make a day of it.

Thanks Lily, I'm going to love these new candles!

Whew, I feel like such a lucky girl to have received such wonderful things from such wonderful people. I want to thank them and all of you for making me remember to smile each day and take joy in the good things in my life.

20 Thoughtful Comments:

The Quintessential Magpie said...

yum. fun. you deserve it. xoxox

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It really is SO much fun to get goodies in the mail! And I'm so glad some of it was in the form of "GOOD TO EAT" mail! Wasn't that box full INCREDIBLE! You got a great photo of the pistachio! It has been our favorite! I'll try mixing those two next! HUGS to you, my friend! I can just imagine the smell of the ocean....ahhhh! (it's raining her right now!) ♥♥♥

Kaybe said...

Oh Rhonda, Aren't you the thoughtful one to sacrifice yourself in the name of gelatto research & development. All those lab rats are pissed off and want to know where their gelatto is!
Really now...those flavors look simply scrumptious especially the sample bowl. Reminds me of Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor ay Tyrone Mall. You could order a sundae with a scoop of every flavor.

Love ya!

Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

I too love the mail guys. And that is good ice cream! You scored that day.

CHERI said...

You are one lucky girl! All that yumminess...wish I was there to share. You deserve it all though:)

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Oh you lucky lady! With all that gelato and sorbet I was thinking the same as you, time for a party! LOL! Yum! So glad you made room for the good stuff in your freezer. It wouldn't take me long to clear out mine. LOL! Your new candles are so cute! Enjoy that taffy too Miss Popular! Lot's going on with me and slowly catching up w/everyone. I have been meaning to get to your posts, please forgive! I do appreciate all your kind comments always! :))

Sue said...

Well, haven't you had fun? I just love the Roba Dolce products. It was the easiest review I've ever done, it is all so darn good! The candy looks yummy and of course I love the candles.

We are so stuck in a winter freeze that anything that seems at all like summer it great to me right now!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Wow.. lucky girl Rhonda!!!
But I couldn't think of anyone who deserved a bit of good luck more than you!!!

I sadly wouldn't be able to participate in the sweet goodies.. [thought I was invincible yesterday and ate chocolate and feel like hell today.. hahaha].. but that candle is right up your alley.. you can take a long lovely soak in the bath. light your candle and pretend to be on the beach..

OK.. have a wonderful week .. ciao xxx Julie

gpc said...

Wow, you are one lucky lady! Happy for you! I am imagining those delicious smells and tastes (sigh).

Magdalena said...

You deserve all the goodies and sweet treats the world has to offer my friend. I love taffy, it is so yummy and so pretty to look at, all the adorable colors make me so happy! Speaking of happy...Oliver goes nuts when he sees you leave a comment on his blog, it is so cute. Thank you for visiting him, it means a lot to us!!

Jane said...

How wonderful to receive all those goodies! You are so good to all of us bloggers...glad to see that you are the recipient of so much good favor...We all love you, Rhonda.

Now...if there's any gelato left...don't forget that Tracy and I are just across the bay... ;-)

rjerdee said...

Hey there, Rhonda...this is such a fun the mail guys too!!! I waited yesterday for the FedEx truck to leave me a book from but, alas, I was didn't come! Maybe today...

Loved all your sweet presents!!! Thanks for sharing :)

Karen said...

That salt water taffy looks awesome!!.. and I'm thinking what a great gelato flavor!!

Thank you for a terrific post, your photos are magazine worthy too!!... The guys at Roba Dolce thank you, and they are so pleased that you like their product.

Drawn to The Sea said...

I love when nice things happen to nice people :-) You've got me craving a mango smoothie... so refreshing.

Kelly said...

Just came across your blog but I love it! I can't wait to read more.

Desert Dreaming said...

Isn't it the greatest feeling to have UPS or FedEx drop packages off!!! The anticipation is great as well, and then when it arrives, you tear through the tape to open it and then the smiling begins. I live on a quiet dead end street, and when one of the trucks come down the street and passes my house, I get sad :). But seriously, I am crazy about pineapples and these are just beautiful, and of course anything tropical in fragrance is the best. I have a few from Tommy Bahama, and their fragrances lasts forever. Just love your post, all beautiful tropical colors.

Have a wonderful week!!


Della said...

So much tropical goodness! MMMM I'm going to have to pick up a quart of Roba Dolche for this beach this weekend. My husband loves ice cream!

The pineapple candles are nice. I love using tropical scents in my Scentsy.

BeachGypsy said...

Oh my gosh!--I LOVED THIS POST! The colors and the flavors came through loud and clear! LOL I've never had the gelato so its now on my market list for this weekend--hey if i can wait that long! LOL Looks yummy and I am also a big fan of coconut flavor and also the coconut candles--you will love them! I dont have the bbw ones, but have others and they smell so good. I loved how the colors of all that candy you posted matched the colors of the springy formals I just posted! Cool! have a great week!

Lillian Robinson said...

Wow! What an amazing week! I love the candles... but I think I might love the candy of frozen treats more! lol Now I'm hungry.

michelle said...

Two of my favorite treats! Salt water taffy and that gelato looks amazingly delicious!!! I am craving something tropical, that smoothie sounds perfect!!! Love the candles and I bet they smell wondferful!

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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