Okay, so it's gonna be a year of fun with Crowdtap - the posts just keep on coming!
Near the end of 2014, I was selected to participate in a sample of Campbells products as part of my ongoing participation with Crowdtap, one of the best consumer product test sites I've ever been lucky enough to be a part of. They give us the opportunities to try lots of (yummy) FREE stuff - food, goods -- from toiletries to candies -- and even free TRIPS (got selected to go on a trip to Atlantic City from them last year) all in exchange for honest reviews -- you can't beat it! Check em out at www.crowdtap.com.
Now, onto the fun stuff. The Campbells giveaways were INSANELY awesome! I was SO excited when I got the box in the mail. Usually you have a certain amount of time to test out all the products they send and then you report on them, usually within a few weeks. Crowdtap gave us a few MONTHS to go through this stuff, which was awesome on their end, but I have to say that, just like my students, when I know I'm gonna have time to get a report done, it just gives me more time to procrastinate on it -- not gonna lie. That said, we DID manage to use MOST of the items in the sample, but not all.
Here is a shot of what was included in the sample:
Most of these goodies are gone, BUT, the awesome shaker we got from Campbells, along with the tote bag, wooden spoon, and cutting board, will be here to stay - yay!
So, when I got the products, I was already familiar with some of them, so I was HAPPY to see "faves" like Spagetti-Os and Chicken Noodle Soup. Hubby and I love Campbells Skillet Sauces so that was another nice bonus. We hadn't tried the Creamy Parmesean Chicken one, however, and we were VERY pleasantly surprised to see it included in the kit! We aren't huge fans of Latin/spicy cuisines, so we were admittedly nervous to test out the Poblano and Queso soup...that said, I DO love creamy sauces and soups, as does hubby, so that made the "challenge" a bit easier to swallow (pun intended :)
The light Alfredo sauce was another one that we were slightly nervous about. I LOVE Alfredo sauce, as does hubby, but we weren't sure about the LIGHT part. First off, how do you go "light" with a sauce as rich, creamy and decadent as ALFREDO. Light Italian sauce? gravy? For shame! My grandmother is rolling in her grave as I type this, BUT, we do love Campbell's products and it wouldn't hurt to try it! We could always ease up on the caloric intake if ya know what I mean!
How can you go wrong with Swanson Cream Starter? I gave this to my momma to make me and the hubs dinner with (she and my father come over regularly for dinner, so she was happy with the role reversal :)
As far as the Campbells Beer and Cheese soup goes, we LOVE the chunky soup series, so we figured this one would go down nice and easy (we were right!)
As far as product reviews go, as to not make this post 10000 words long, I'll keep them short and sweet, with a smattering of pics...
Loved the Tips and Ideas booklet, Crowdtap - thanks! The only thing that stunk about this little gift was that the coupons expired in November, which meant we missed out on a lot of the deals that were included in there :(
As I said previously we've used the shaker twice already for what it's supposed to be used for, BUT we found it works great as a CUP to drink out of, too! We use it more often for just drinking than for shaking up ingredients. The chopping board is great for mincing and dicing veggies and herbs for adding to saucepot, crock pot, and oven cooked dishes. The spoon sits in our utencil holder on the countertop with all the other large spoons we have. It's great!
This soup was DELISH! We often go out to eat, and when we do, we can't help but order the pretzels with the beer-infused cheese dip at some of our fave hangouts. This soup was reminicent of that flavor. I shared some with the hubby - he too, agreed, this one is a winner! The chunkiness of the soup makes it hearty and filling - two thumbs up for a cold winter's day!
Nope, I don't have kids, I just eat like one! As I said above, we are big fans of Spagetti-Os in this household, so to demonstrate our appreciation for this giveaway in particular, we made a pyramid of yumminess to pay homage to some of our favorite lunch canned goods. What was so awesome about the Spagetti-Os in particular was the automatic throw in the microwave component. While we both love the O's, what's great about these is that we don't have to worry about emptying the can into a container before work to microwave - we can just take this little package and go! The taste is not affected by the container - they're just as good as always! I hope the Spagetti-Os that come in this form will include a) larger sizes and b) meatballs or sliced franks in the future! I bet kids would love to have shapes in their favorite characters as well. Just another idea is all ;)
Dun-dun-dunnnnnnnn...the Latin infused Campbells product. As I said earlier, we were a bit worried about this one because neither of us are fans of "Poblano" (Queso - please double and triple that - we love Latin foods, just not SPICY Latin foods). The smell of the product when we opened the can was a bit strong for us - again, we're not fans of Latin stuff, BUT we didn't want to knock it before we tried it. Here are some pics and a video of our handiwork:
So you may be able to sense the hesitation from my husband's face in the above photo. I wanted to be honest with my review - I'm sure Crowdtap values that perspective when it comes to what the customers think, no? That said, we were NOT fans of this soup. We did try it, we just aren't a fan of the spice. I really don't like peppers and the scent alone reminded me of jalapeno which is just NOT my thing. Anyone who likes creamy soups will dig the texture, and the cheddar is a plus, but the overwhelming scent of poblano upon opening the can was enough to make us think twice about putting it to our lips. Thanks, but no thanks on this one :)
This was YUMMY! Five stars for the Creamy Chicken skillet sauce. We actually bought this flavor on Amazon afterwards so we could try to enhance it with other herbs. It's EASY to make and that's key for us, so even if it didn't taste like it came from a restaurant, you wouldn't hear either of us complaining. It's simple enough that he could make it (he's not the cook in the family) and I could add more to it to jazz it up if I felt like. If not, it was still good prepared just "as is".
As I said earlier, Mom made a recipe with the Swanson starter. It was delish. I got the recipe off of the Swanson Pinterest board "One-Pot Recipes":
We loved it! My parents and siblings are VERY picky. When I was living at home, NO ONE agreed on dinner, but THIS recipe hit the spot. There was only one review at the time we made this dish, which was 4 stars. My mom has a tendency to throw in her own extra ingredients, but I'm pretty sure I didn't see ANYTHING extra in there. Since the creamy starter has spices and ingredients to give the chicken more flavor, I believe she stuck with the "instructions" on this and it was terrific! Again, my parents don't try any daring foods and pretty much eat "American only" so, if anyone's looking for fancy recipes with heat and all that, you're not gonna find it in our kitchen. What I love about Campbell's is the classic American flavor styles... I realize that there is a market out there for other forms of sauce (Marsala, Ginger, Poblano, etc.) but that's not my family's thing. They'd prefer to stick with the classics :) Hubby and I are a bit more daring, so we will try the other flavors down the line!
Couldn't WAIT to try the Slow Kettle Style Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup. After a snowstorm one afternoon, I took that baby out for lunch. It FELT good to eat. It warmed me up, body and soul. That sounds cliche, corny, and a little too cute, but I'm being honest. I LOVE the Campbell's Classic Chicken Noodle soup from the can, and this more "mature" looking adult container for that Kettle Cooked Flavor Seal definitely did the trick. We'll be purchasing more of these babies because, again, we love to have foods to take to work with us to warm up in the microwave without having the hassle of putting canned goods in a microwavable container :)
Finally, the light Alfredo sauce. Not gonna lie, it wasn't our favorite. It wasn't one of those, oh no, this is horrendous, forget it, type reactions. It was just "eh" -- that's all. Nothing more, nothing less.
Overall, we couldn't be happier with this product test! We thoroughly enjoyed trying the different items that Campbells and Crowdtap put together for us and all the other lucky testers out there!
Thanks so much, Crowdtap!
Erica & Jay Lucci