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Tastefully Simple... what to order?

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I'm not a big fan of prepackaged or convenience type foods but I was invited to a Tastefully simple demonstation tonight and I have no idea what to order. Any suggestions? I have tried a few of their things at some family functions and they tasted pretty good, but I feel I could make much better sauces, dips, etc. at home using fresh ingredients for much cheaper. Anything good and worth the money?

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  1. They have a few different kinds of beer bread that are nice. Not cheap, but nice.

    1. Someone gave me one of those beer bread mixes. It sat in my cupboard so long I eventually threw it out.
      Most of the spice mixes I have seen that they carry have similar ones in the stores and most were something you could mix up in your kitchen and re-bottle.
      I think Tastefully Simple is heavy on gimmick and less about food quality. It seems to be marketed as a system for busy working mothers who don't know how to cook.

      1 Reply
      1. re: blackpointyboots

        I've looked at their catalog and thought the same thing about the spices and dip mixes and stuff. The beer bread was pretty good, but there are some local women who are making up beer bread mixes now so I'll be patronizing them. We did the TS thing because one of Mike's customers was into it. But I'm not interested in making any special effort to get the stuff.

      2. TS is a private-label repackaging of products that you would probably
        pass by in the supermarket. Their criteria is not more than half-hour to prepare
        and no more than two ingredients to add -- be it water or an egg, etc.

        Best way to hold on to a non-purchase resolve is to look at
        the ingredient list and note the high volume of preservatives
        and other unpronounceable additives.

        Their sales strategy seems to work on a methodology of
        peer-pressure, tinged with shame.
        Try to resist being bullied into buying.
        I'm not generally such a downer, but this 'semi-homemade' stuff
        is not really food...

        1. I received a beer bread mix, truffle brownie mix, and an herb sprinkle as a gift. While they're not things I would buy on my own, both mixes were decent. I think I've used the herb sprinkle on scrambled eggs and it was fine as well.

          1. I like the Bacon-Bacon stuff. I rarely make a dip out of it...I like to shake it on things for a quick bacon flavor.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jzerocsk

              i went to a simply tasteless party.....spent 18 on dehydrated garlic and onion. and oddly enough the bacon bacon is kosher. when i looked at the ingredients, it's because it has no meat! it's kosher vegan bacon. *shivers*

            2. The beer bread is very good especially when you jazz it up with spices or add cinnamon and sugar for a sweeter bread. I like the cilantro dip, the key lime cheese ball and the onion dressing. What I like about TS stuff is that it lasts FOREVER! All of the spices come in larger than the supermarket sizes and really last.

              1. It's all rather expensive - I attended one of these "parties" and sampled the Nana's Apple Cake. It is delicious - it is the one item I purchased. I've been meaning to look online for a copycat recipe.

                1. Very expensive! I went to a party recently and bought a few things because I like the hostess. Coconut Macaroon bars box costs $7.99 and makes an 8X8 pan! The mix uses 2/3 cup (about 1/2 can) of sweetened condensed milk. What do I do with the other 1/2 can of the sweetened condensed milk?? Beer bread is as easy as it gets from scratch, their mix is $5.49 a box. Easy? Yes. Worth the cost? Hardly.

                  1. I like using the fiesta party dip, but I mix it with a lot of other things. I mixed it into sour cream with cumin, chili powder, tobasco, a tiny pinch of superfine sugar, and fresh ground pepper for a sweet potato fry dip tonight.

                    1. I had never heard of them so I went to their website and perused their E-catalog. I was not impressed. It looks to me like just another company based on the idea of "You're not smart enough, or too lazy, to make this stuff for yourselves, so we'll sell you a bunch of overpriced, over processed cheap crap so you can pretend to be a pseudo-gourmet cook".

                      1. I don't know this company, either, but I lump all of these "party" invitations into one category: Fleece Your Friends. You feel obligated to buy something. I either (a) don't attend, or (b) buy the least expensive item, no matter how much hype there is.

                        1. I have a friend who is a Tastefully Simple Consultant -- so we have spent a lot of time figuring out what we can buy with a straight face. Their caramel sauce is surprisingly good, and not something I would generally bother making myself (since a caramel sundae is a fairly regular event at my house). Also, we like to take their stuff when we go camping -- one of the few times convenience wins out over taste for us. The beer bread is good, but a little sweet for me. You also don't have to order just because you attended. I often also say I want to take home the catalog and consult my SO, and will then order online. A slightly more graceful out than just saying no.