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Suckers For Samples

by Courtney on November 20, 2011

Well, yesterday was quite a busy one! And a fun one, too.

When I last left you all, I mentioned that Jay and I were going to be hitting up a local craft fair. To be exact, it was the Country Folk Art and Craft Show at HVCC which is always enormous and full of tons of beautiful stuff. This year was certainly no exception. Lots and lots of Christmas decorations definitely left me feeling a little festive!

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The only problem for Jay and I is that 95% of the stuff that they had was either super country (which is cute but not totally our style) or it cost way more than we wanted to spend.

So you know what we did? Well, besides a couple of glittery snowflake decorations I picked up, we spent the rest of our money on…FOOD.

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There was no shortage of food at this craft show, that’s for sure! And you know what makes it even worse? There was samples. Tons and tons of samples.

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Yes, Jay and I are total suckers for samples. And had it not been for those darn little samples, we probably would not have walked away with the pasta fagioli soup mix that I “just had to have” after trying it.

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Or the three blocks of fudge that we certainly do not need in our house right now (despite the fact that it is probably the best fudge I’ve ever had).

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Or the amaretto-flavored no bake cheesecake mix that won our hearts.

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Or how about this: a pomegranate wine slushy? Yes, wine slushy! Had the clever sales guy not yelled over, “Hey there, would you like to try a wine slush?” I most likely would have walked right by that table. But ohhhh no; one sip in and both of us were hooked.

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I’m telling you, we are a food salesperson’s dream.

Before leaving the craft show, there was one more food item that we had to get, even without getting a free sample: Kettle Corn. Oh, you know I love me some kettle corn!

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This particular brand (Adirondack Kettle Korn) is always at the craft show and they are, by far, my favorite kettle corn company around. It’s seriously the best and had we not been on our way to dinner, I most definitely would have scarfed down the whole bag. But hey, at least now I have some to snack on today, so it’s all good. Smile

Speaking of dinner, Jay and I actually planned our timing perfectly at the craft show because we were able to go right to dinner from there and made perfect timing. We met up with his parents at Valente’s Restaurant, to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday which was on Thursday.

To start, we got a typical house salad that was included with dinner which was actually sort of lame-o which you can tell by looking at it. Ehh, I guess since it’s included.

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We also noticed on their menu that they had their award-winning "Three Little Pigs Macaroni and Cheese," which is made with Italian ham, bacon, salami and three Italian cheeses. It sounded way too good to pass up, so we decided to get an appetizer-sized order of it.

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Can you believe that right there is an appetizer? Good lord, it was enormous. I’d be curious to see what the entrée of it looks like. Yikes! The mac & cheese was really, really good and I could totally see why it would be award winning. Delicious, and most definitely not for those looking to save calories. Winking smile

For my dinner entrée, I ordered the Chicken Francesca which was chicken, roasted red peppers, spinach, fresh garlic and herbs served in a marinara sauce over your choice of pasta (rigatoni for me).

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I’ve actually ordered this dish more than once and it’s usually pretty good but last night it didn’t “wow” me. I don’t know, maybe I was still craving kettle corn? Either way, I ate about 1/3 of it before calling it quits and it still barely looked like a made a dent in it.

Besides, I had to make sure to leave room for birthday cake!

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Check this baby out: Oreo Cookies & Cream cake which I will tell you, tasted pretty much like one big ‘ol Oreo cookie.

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I enjoyed my little slice along with some vanilla ice cream and man-oh-man was it good. Too good.

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I was actually surprised at just how much the frosting tasted like that in an Oreo cookie.

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But as delicious as it was, I’m so glad that my in-laws took the leftovers home with them. I definitely don’t need to be tempted with that sitting in my fridge; and besides, I have fudge to take care of. Winking smile

To say I went to bed feeling rather stuffed is an understatement. There was a lot of food consumed yesterday and a lot of heavy, rich food at that.

That being said, time to go hit the treadmill!

Questions for the Morning:

Are you a sucker for samples, too?

Kettle corn or regular popcorn?

What’s your favorite kind of birthday cake?

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health November 20, 2011 at 8:34 am

Oh I love samples!! I just hate feeling guilty afterward if I decide not to purchase the item haha. And I’m all for kettlecorn. Although regular popcorn sometimes just does the trick :). That oreo b-day cake looks fantastic…and the fact that the icing tasted similar to a real oreo is incredible! I know what you mean about indulging in a lot of foods this weekend…I can’t wait to get back on track. Hope you have a great day pretty lady!
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2 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 20, 2011 at 8:36 am

Samples get me EVERY time. I love going to Costco (after 11 on Sundays) which is when they have them set up. Is it sad I know the time they set up samples?
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3 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries November 20, 2011 at 11:01 am

Ha! It’s 11:00 now and we’re headed out to Costco for that very reason!
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4 Amanda @ Let Me Be Whats Underneath November 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

You ladies took the words right out of my mouth—COSTCO on the weekends–perfect time for free samples! :)
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5 Mallory @ It's Only Life November 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

oh wow, that cake looks like a giant oreo! i would not have been able to limit myself to a small piece… i’m impressed!
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6 Chelcie @ Chelcie's Food Files November 20, 2011 at 8:42 am

I love samples! It’s my favorite part about going to Costco! I think I’m more of a regular popcorn fan but I love kettle corn if it’s freshly made! ..that Oreo cake looks amazing! I don’t think I have a favorite birthday cake but I love having unique cakes on birthdays!

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7 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake November 20, 2011 at 8:42 am

So many good eats! I LOVE samples too, who doesn’t?! I totally would have caved on the fudge too!
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8 Sarah Bittorf November 20, 2011 at 8:50 am

My favorite birthday cake is Funfetti cake! I LOVE it, but the frosting has to be vanilla with the sprinkles mixed IN the frosting (not on top)! :-)
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9 Hope November 20, 2011 at 8:53 am

I love samples! :) Favorite kind of birthday cake has to be funfetti! There is just something about that cake mix that is delicious.
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10 Laura @ LauraLikesDesign November 20, 2011 at 8:55 am

Mmm Chicken Francesca is something that I would love to recreate at home–looks so good!

I am a sample queen, too! Last winter Andy and I used to go to an upscale grocery store every Sunday after church for the sole purpose of sample day.

I love both kinds of popcorn, but if I had to choose, I’d pick salty.

I’m not a huge cake person, but I do love icing!
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11 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles November 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

Wine slushy?!?!?! I neeeeeeeed that! I would have been all over that, hardcore all over that. One of each flavor. I can see the handwriting on the wall!
I am a sucker for samples too!
Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles recently posted..Twins? No, just close sisters…. and a birthday gift!

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12 Kristen @ notsodomesticated November 20, 2011 at 9:31 am

I’m a big sucker for samples, but I can usually walk away from the table without buying anything …. usually. ;)

I really love any birthday cake. But that one looks amazing! Last night, my husband and I had a date night and we split a big piece of chocolate tort at a fancy restaurant. It was sooo good!
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13 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries November 20, 2011 at 9:41 am

I LOVE samples! That’s my favorite part about going to Costco!

I love both kettle corn and regular, but kettle corn wins!

My favorite kind of birthday cake is either funfetti or this dark chocolate fudge cake my stepdad makes – yummm.
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14 Khushboo November 20, 2011 at 10:05 am

That cake is droolworthy! I love ice cream cake for birthdays- devil’s food cake with alternating layers of coffee & vanilla ice cream.
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15 Lindsey November 20, 2011 at 10:13 am

I actually usually don’t go for the samples, unless it looks really yummy.
Kettle corn for sure :)
That cakes looks so good! I made my brother a Oreo birthday cake last week. I am not a huge cake fan but I do like Angel Food cake.
It is funny whenever I go to craft sales too I end up coming home with 90% food!
Lindsey recently posted..Foodie Friday!

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16 stacey November 20, 2011 at 10:31 am

love your outfit! you look great! I’m def. NOT a sucker for samples! I avoid them! (just o i’m not tempted to buy into anything!) Next, I love me some kettle corn! THE BEST! My fav bday cake is red velvet or an insanely rich chocolate cake and icing combo! holla!

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17 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile November 20, 2011 at 10:42 am

Samples are always the bestttttt. Who doesn’t love free stuff?
I’m a kettle corn girl for sure! I don’t really like regular popcorn.
I used to love ice cream cake!
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18 Maria@La_Piattini November 20, 2011 at 11:01 am

What a fun day! My fiance, mom, and I went to a wine festival a few months ago and they had those wine slushies- sooooooo good! My mom bought me one for Christmas and I can’t wait to get it haha.
Oh, and yes I’m a sucker for samples. Mom and I were in New Hope, PA yesterday and got lots of samples at the Italian store- how could you resist pasta and biscotti?!
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19 Tara Burner November 20, 2011 at 11:18 am

That cake looks sooooooo good
not big on samples though..depends on what it is…
kettle corn
I dont have a fav cake, been awhile since I had a bday cake

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20 Claire November 20, 2011 at 11:23 am

Loving the boots girlfran- they are super cute on you! AND your makeup looks so darn good in your pics!! Looks like a fun filled food weekend, I like! I’m waiting to go to brunch right now so I’m drooling over your food pic!! Happy Sunday :-)
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21 Allison November 20, 2011 at 11:26 am

that is actually the question of the morning at my house. My mom wants to know what to get/ make for my bday tomorrow, but i can’t just narrow it down to one. I am with you though, part of me wants to just go out for fro-yo to not have cake sitting around for a week for me to stare at!
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22 Liz @ Tip Top Shape November 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

Wine slush?! I want one!!
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23 Melissa November 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

You look freaking adorable! I am going to need the deets of that outfit, please and thank you, so I can recreate it and steal it because I’m not stylish on my own. ;)

That oreo cake looks awesome! My favorite birthday cake is chocolate with white icing from our local grocery store. It is THE BEST! And I’m not even a cake person!
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24 Colleen @ Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill November 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I LOVE kettle corn popcorn! I remember I first tried it at a fair and immediately converted!
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25 Cait @ Cait hates Cake November 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I like your outfit!
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26 Lauren B. November 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I will really only indulge in extra calories in the day if they are samples of sweet stuff… The savory samples at Costco don’t really tempt me, but truffles or cake? I’m the first to line up!

And Kettlecorn all the way! I eat it almost everyday. To say it’s an addiction is an understatement.

Growin up, I always had Funfetti cakes for my bday, but now I ask for Coldstone ice cream cakes… My two favorite yummies in one delicious bday dessert!

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27 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy November 20, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I remember eating the samples at GFS (Gordon Food Service) when I was little. My mom would always buy chicken in bulk there for summertime grilling. Costco has some good samples too :)!
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28 Diana November 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Free samples are like a honing beacon for my heart…er, stomach.

And a wine slushy are you kidding me?!? I want that, need that, have to have it!
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29 Heather November 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm

those dips in the second craft show photo? Jen and I DOMINATED it at the Stockade-athon expo/craft fair!!
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30 Shannon November 21, 2011 at 4:40 pm

The November craft fair at HVCC is always the best one in my mom’s opinion. I agree. Man, you ate a lot Saturday! I think I would have died at the end of the day after eating that much food.

1. Sometimes- it depends what the sample is. Lotion, yes. Food that I love, OF COURSE! :)
2. Regular popcorn- I can’t really eat too much of it now because of my braces.
3. The best birthday cake is the Chocolate Layer Cake w/ Chocolate Frosting at Bella Napoli. Hands down the BEST!
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31 Laura November 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Definitely a sucker for samples! My sisters and I used to live for the samples at Sam’s Club and Costco. I’m happy to say my palate has grown up a little more, but I still love samples. And kettle corn all the way!
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