Archive for August, 2009

A Very Vanilla Weekend

Posted on August 31, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In case you left the planet for the day, check out my Naturally More nut butter review. And don’t confuse that with the Naturally Nutty company, for which I already have a second review in the works(the first being here).

Phew, let’s take a break from peanut butter… Ok that’s over. Saturday was such a dreary morning. You know it’s bad when you need flash at 11am to snap your snacks:

Peach With Naturally More Peanut Butter

Peach With Naturally More Peanut Butter

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

I took a tip from Erik over at VeganFritz and tried my peanut butter with a peach. Why did I doubt this would work? It was like a double-dose of Georgia in my mouth. I think I might prefer bread overall, but it’s nice to have a few simple swaps in the toolbox. I also grabbed a mini-slice of bread and flew out the door to the bank where I cashed my last paycheck!

Wallet

Wallet

Lettuce in the pocket 🙂 Ok I kind of already spent most of that on peanut butter but it felt like I was getting more, and nothing beats that winning feeling. When we got home it was a munchy lunchy inside.

Veggieburger with Cheese, Broccoli With Ground Flax And Pepper

Veggieburger with Cheese, Broccoli With Ground Flax And Pepper

Don’t you love how you can make anything in the microwave these days? The veggieburger was Morningstar’s grillers vegan, which is pretty great but has a bit of a weird and long ingredient list. I have some Gardenburgers’ Grillers which is made by the same company but organic lying in the freezer, so hopefully those will be a good replacement. Afterward we hung around a bit while my dad did his errands. I thought I’d bake up some fig and almond blondies with our figs before they grew mold. Well, it was a little late for 2 of them, but the rest seemed fine so I plowed ahead(just don’t tell anyone).

Fig And Almond Blondies

Fig And Almond Blondies

Fig And Almond Blondie With Almond Milk

Fig And Almond Blondie With Almond Milk

I also resurrected on of this batches’ older brothers from the freezer while it was in the oven and enjoyed it aside some vanilla almond milk. I can’t believe I drink that stuff straight now. I first bought it to lighten up my coffee but couldn’t stand it plain. Now I drink my coffee black and my almond milk straight up, yo… sorry, I don’t know where that came from.

After that we did some Back2School shopping. Ugh, if you need proof that we feed our kids too much sugar, go to Walmart on back to school weekend. Them lil’ buggers be running up and down every aisl, ahootin’ and ahollerin’. I grabbed a stabler and was out of there. We also stopped at Market Basket for lots of loot including Carrot Juice and Whole Foods. I was pretty famished at Whole Foods, so I grabbed a Kind Almond & Cashew bar by instinct. Then I thought “Sure, this is pretty nutritious, definitely delicious, and all the ingredients are recognizably food, but could you do better?” At that point I put it down and hopped over to the salad bar for something special.

Whole Foods' Chicken Rice Soup

Whole Foods' Chicken Rice Soup

I’m the last to think I’d be getting chicken soup in August, but it was that kind of day in Massachusetts. This soup was packed on chicken, light on the rice, so I knew I was getting a heavy dose of protein. It was actually a little underseasoned; isn’t that rare to find in premade soups these days? This definitely gets a big “Food” stamp. When I got home I was proud of myself, but also a little munchy. I made up this parfait:

Vanilla Chobani With Cinnamon And Cinnamon Puffins

Vanilla Chobani With Cinnamon And Cinnamon Puffins

Vanilla and cinnamon were made for each other, just like Laverne and Shirley. If you recall, we were supposed to be seeing the Savannah Chef doing her thang over a stove tonight, so dinner wasn’t really planned, and definitely didn’t go over smoothly. I’ll spare you the drama and pathetic pic of “dinner”. What was much better was dessert(isn’t this always the case?). I had been looking for a good vanilla frozen yogurt and finally just went with elan’s at Market Basket, hoping it’d be suitable.

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

I was a little worried, because this wasn’t vanilla bean, which is the only way to know you’re getting real quality vanilla. But oh my god, was this good. It definitely was not one of those this-has-no-flavor-so-let’s-label-it-vanilla flavors. No, this was like frothy milkshake from a burger joint vanilla. I just let it sit and licked it like a cone as it melted, which made the flavor even purer. And because it’s elan it’s all natural and has a readable ingredient list. +1000 on this purchase.

Flashfoward to Sunday morning. I was planning on just running around the neighborhood about 6 times, but I decided to take advantage of the fact that nobody’s on the road on Sundays, so I went out for 8.5 miles. I would call this my “long run” but Friday kinda trumped that. I was ready for refueling after that, so I made myself this:

Pineapple Chobani, Banana Goodness Bread, Toast With Mocha Peanut Butter, Carrot Juice

Pineapple Chobani, Banana Goodness Bread, Toast With Mocha Peanut Butter, Carrot Juice

I wanted to give pineapple Chobani a second chance after seeing it so much on the blog world. I didn’t like it so much the first time but I figured I must have missed something. I enjoyed it much more than I remember. This time I could taste the creaminess from the 2% base. And I thought that the pineapple wasn’t a distinct flavoring but rather more a sweetener which masked the natural tartness, which I also enjoyed about it. I gave the mocha peanut butter a second try after not getting a strong taste of it the first time. I don’t know if I’m down with coffee in my peanut butter, but there’s no denying the flavor is there and kicking. Of course Sunday morning meant coupon clipping time:

Weekend Circulars

Weekend Circulars

My mom totally stole the coupons I clipped myself. I’m going to have to raid her stash for the things I eat before heading off on my own next weekend(odd thought, right there). Check out my shirt I got on the internet last year(that doesn’t sound sketchy at all)

Get Your Greek On

Get Your Greek On

What a painful reminder I have 2 dead languages to relearn for next week after my brain rotted this Summer. Oh well, I’ve studied Latin so long I can probably pick up the Aeneid and start translating, but Greek is another story.

Sunday also meant having my grandmother over for dinner. I was not feeling turkey(what was being cooked) so I turned on the grill and fired up one of the bison burgers I made last week.

Bison Burger With The Fixings On Whole Wheat Bun, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato

Bison Burger With The Fixings On Whole Wheat Bun, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato

Clearly, I’m not becoming a vegetarian any time soon. But I would like to cut animal protein out of my diet a bit and the first thing that I feel good about giving up is bland poultry(not that my mom’s turkey is bland more than any other turkey). That being said, nothing’s bland about bison, am I right? I picked up a trick from UFood and put steak sauce underneath the burger. That way your tongue gets a dose of it before the meat, making for a flavorful combo. I was also a bit of a genius when it came to dessert.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt And Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt And Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

I can not begin to describe how good this was. The vanilla with the cinnamon and cookie dough chunks made for some super-cookie-concoction with protein, fiber, and probiotics. It was also a delicious way to stretch an expensive ice cream(the snickerdoodle) with a cheaper one(the vanilla). Too bad I figured this out with the last of the snickerdoodle 😦 I got out the college check list…

College Checklist

College Checklist

…and hit up Target…

Blue Spoon And Newman's Own Organic Decaf

Blue Spoon And Newman's Own Organic Decaf

Not the largest loot but not bad. I picked up that spoon, which was the only blue one in a sea of green and white, so it was obviously meant for me. And I couldn’t belief that coffee was on clearance. It’s the same stuff from McDonalds and is soooo good(not to mention organic). Newman’s Own Organic have made my Summer in more ways than one; can’t wait to bring them into my dorm! We also swung by Roche Bros. where I completely beat the system with the sales.

Kashi Mountain Medley Granola And Kashi Vive Cereal

Kashi Mountain Medley Granola And Kashi Vive Cereal

Check this out: Both of these were on sale for 2 dollars a piece, and I had a 1.50 off any 2 boxes of Kashi cereal, making this a 2.50 grab. At normal prices, this would be over 9 dollars. Isn’t that ridiculous? If they had Kashi Honey Sunshine, I could’ve grabbed a box of that for 50 cents with my coupon, but they were out so I’ll check another store this sales period. I haven’t tried either of these, but I was sold on the Vive when I heard it had probiotics and vanilla yogurt balls. And granola is just impossible to pass up ever. Hopefully they’ll both be good.

For dinner we grilled. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to I made up some lentils but figured salmon would also be good.

Snobby Joes In A Whole Wheat Bun, Salmon Burger With Avocado

Snobby Joes In A Whole Wheat Bun, Salmon Burger With Avocado

I’m totally doing an impressive job freeing up our freezer by eating all these burgers. Plus it doesn’t take much convincing for me to eat salmon 😉 We went for a walk after dinner and got in right before it became dark and the bug started swarming.

Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Deep Chocolate Vitatop And Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Yogurt

Deep Chocolate Vitatop And Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Yogurt

Consider operation eat-out-the-fridge-of-my-food officially on. I really can’t complain about that operation; it’s giving me an excuse to eat vitatops and ice cream for any and every meal 😉 I also tried catching up on some TV shows before all these new seasons start in September! Crazy!

This morning the run wasn’t so hot, just like the weather. I got in 6.7 but I don’t feel like I ever really got going. I think my time was 56:45. Maybe I spent too much time on my feet and not enough time in front of the tube, which I will make up for today. Breakfast was more let’s-finish-this-crap-so-we-can-make-some-space:

Raspberries, Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt With Maple-Agave Syrup, Strawberry Flax Waffles With Cream Cheese And Syrup

Raspberries, Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt With Maple-Agave Syrup, Strawberry Flax Waffles With Cream Cheese And Syrup

Ok, by “crap” I meant really yummy stuff. I’m definitely bringing my TJ’s Maple Agave syrup to Brown. It’s so good at sweetening up just about anything. And the raspberries are still from the bunch that we picked last weekend. A little bit less on the freshness and nutrition by this point, but still tangy and delicious. Today I’m debating buying myself a really nice chair for Brown because it’s 50% off. Besides that I’m going to see how many more Kashi coupons and loot we can score. Boy this was a long one, thanks for hanging in there!

P.S. Mary over at Food & Fun is having her first giveaway. Check it out and add her to your blogroll if you haven’t already!: http://mponz.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/my-first-giveaway/

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Naturally More Nut Butter Review

Posted on August 29, 2009. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , , |

Maple. Dark chocolate. Banana. These among with many others are the flavors that companies add to their nut butters to market their product. But Tim and the folks at Naturally More add something else: Nutrition. Offering a peanut butter, organic peanut butter, and almond butter, Naturally More combine their nuts with flax seed, wheat germ, and egg white to increase the fiber, protein, and omega fatty acids. With 4 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein for the peanut butter and 9 grams for the almond butter, Naturally More’s butters trump the competition’s and makes this a reliable source of protein. Each serving also provides 4.1 grams of Omega-3’s–a whopping 8% of your daily value and unheard of in your commercial peanut butter.

Tim was nice enough to send me a sample of both their peanut and almond butter to try. Since recently discovering almond butter, I’ve been fascinated by it and have wondered how such a product scarcely existed my whole childhood. Needless to say, this was the first one I wanted to try. Naturally More is just as it’s name says: Natural. Unlike other company’s, Naturally More doesn’t pretend their product won’t separate, so a good amount of stirring was necessary and expected. For the almond butter, it definitely felt like more stirring than anything should have needed, but after a few minutes it reached a creamy consistency. Upon first bite, I thought the flavor was a bit flat. Afterwards I realized what I was tasting wasn’t nothing, it was almond–pure and simple. This almond butter truly tasted like it had only 1 ingredient: Almond. One complaint about Naturally More I’d heard of was “funky tastes” attributed to the flax seed and egg white, but truly I noticed nothing which is what made this product so remarkable. I do think it needed a touch of salt, which in my opinion makes any nut butter better. But besides that, this product provided all the boosted nutrition without an adulterated flavor. With a salt shaker in hand, this will definitely become a staple in my pantry.

Naturally More Almond Nutrition

Naturally More Almond Nutrition

After the pleasant experience with the almond butter, I became evermore excited to try their peanut butter. Each serving has 10 grams of protein. While I’ve never considered most of my peanut butters with 6-8 grams as a serious source of protein, this one certainly had me reconsidering. The peanut butter took some stirring, but certainly less than the almond butter, enhancing its appeal towards me. Again, after my first bite I noticed just one flavor: Peanuts. The 6 other ingredients were unnoticeable to my palate and this reminded me of the fresh peanut butter you’d get from a grinding machine. Again, I thought it could have used salt, but this was quickly fixed. And normally any snack with peanut butter would satisfy a nutty tooth but not hold me over for long. But this eaten on a peach kept me feeling full and focused throughout my mid-morning all the way to a late lunch.

Naturally More Peanut Butter

Naturally More Peanut Butter

Overall I’m really happy with the Naturally More products and thankful to the company for sharing their products with me. I highly recommend them to anybody wanting something very basic with an extraordinary health benefit. To order your own, you can check out the website http://www.naturallymore.com, or look for them in your local grocery stores in the all-natural section.

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Hurricanes Are Moving In

Posted on August 29, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’ll just start out with the disappointing news. My family and some of my mom’s childhood friends were supposed to see Paula Deen today in Boston but that was canceled due to “illness”. Apparently Miss Paula didn’t take her daily stick of butter or something. Oh well, it’s a lot more upseting for my mom and her friends who were oh so excited and bought expensive seats. My dad and I just got the 15 dollar nose-bleeders and were mostly functioning as the ride, but I’m still a bit saddened. We’ll see how the day plays out after this.

As for yesterday. I totally revisited a fave from Dark Chocolate Almond Day in the a.m.

Chocolate Almond MilkChocolate Almond Milk

Not too sweet, not too bitter, just right. Goldielocks would have no problem with this. Time really flew in the morning; I think that extra time running set me back and I was basically glued to the computer catching up the entire time. I felt like having something a little special for lunch, which for me meant making lentils(doesn’t it sound like a party? woot, woot!)

Cooking Lentils

Cooking Lentils

I love my lentils, particularly my snobby joes, but I’m the laziest chef. I can bake no sweat, but anything that requires standing over the stove and constant attention is usually too much for me. But then again microwaved lentils aren’t exactly the tastiest treats going so I thought I’d put in the effort while watching some Tivoed Ace Of Cakes. Anybody else love this show? I thought the gimmick was soo bad at first, but now I’m convinced I need to apply for a job there. 50 minutes later I finally got to plating:

Watermelon, Snobby Joe With Goat Cheese, Buffalo FSTG Nachos

Watermelon, Snobby Joe With Goat Cheese, Buffalo FSTG Nachos

I made the snobby sauce with 365 steak sauce, mustard, and some Frank’s hot sauce this time. And I crumbled a little hickory smoked goat cheese on top since we didn’t have any bleu(and I’ll find any way to eat that goat cheese anyday). To go with the Buffalo theme I had the Buffalo Food Should Taste Good nachos. At first bite I thought these were incredibly bland an under seasoned. Little did I know these lil’ devils had a slow and silent kick to them after a couple seconds which set my mouth on fire. I was incredibly impressed and pleased by the strong, spicy flavor. I still think a little salt for some initial flavor would have been nice, but paired with any salsa these would be delicious and have a killer kick.

Pumpkin Patch Chocolate Chipper

Pumpkin Patch Chocolate Chipper

I defrosted this bad boy for dessert. It took me about 3/4ths of it to realize I was celebrating Tina’s Cookie Friday. I guess every day is cookie day around here so it’s hard to tell when I’m celebrating or just eating 🙂 We went to Trader Joe’s because we were mondo low on bread, hot dog buns, and burger buns. Yikes! We grabbed those, some salmon and salsa-makers, and a basil plant.

Baisly

Baisly

I named him Baisly, and plan on keeping him in my dorm. Here’s hoping I won’t kill him! I totally made the worst mistake by a) not bringing a snackeroo and b) not buying a snackeroo, so I was pretty famished when we got home. Note to self: Don’t try to use the mini-chopper as a food processor when you’re hungry. 10 minutes and about 50 swears later, I came up with this concoction:

Banana Soft Serve With Peanut Butter Flour

Banana Soft Serve With Peanut Butter Flour

About 2 bananas pureed with 2 tablespoons peanut flour. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a strong banana-peanut butter flavor which I was hoping for. What the peanut flour did do was act as a great binder that made the soft serve much firmer and almost putty-like, all without messing up the flavor. And adding 6 grams of peanut protein was also a great plus, too.

The second note to self is this: I’m a baker, not a chef. I shouldn’t try to be. I got it in my mind I would make a mango-avocado salsa to go with the salmon tonight. Mango and avocado are two ingredients I’m pretty used to and could dice fairly easy. Tomato? Onion? Garlic? Pepper? That’s when I got into unfamiliar territory. I felt like Julia Child chopping up the onion, having no idea what the hell I was doing, and getting a bit teary eyed.

Mango Avocado Salsa

Mango Avocado Salsa

All in all, it didn’t come out that bad. All that went into it was an avocado, mango, tomato, jalapeno pepper, 1/2 an onion, 2 cloves of garlic, salt, lime juice, and some torn up basil, minus the amounts that fell onto the floor. It had a great sweet heat to it. But salsa and chips really aren’t my things for snacking so I made myself this:

Smartfood Chocolate Chip Cookie Pecan Popcorn And Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

Smartfood Chocolate Chip Cookie Pecan Popcorn And Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

I love these smartfood products, which are all natural and a serving has 20% your daily value calcium and 5 grams of fiber from chicory root extract. And they come in awesome flavors, case in point being chocolate chip cookie pecan. And this was my first time trying Naturally Nutty’s Vanilla Peanut Butter. I was a little hesitant spending the moola on this one, mostly because I thought it might be too similar to PB&Co.’s White Chocolate Wonderful. The flavors were similar, but this had a much subtler sweetness and a great basic vanilla flavor. After trying all 3 of the flavors I purchased plus the super secret one Katie snuck in, I feel pretty good writing a review for them, so keep an eye out for that sometime soon. This also arrived for me around this time:

Naturally More Peanut And Almond Butter

Naturally More Peanut And Almond Butter

The kind folks over at naturallymore.com sent me some of their nut butter to try. This is one brand I’ve always been curious about so I was excited to get it. Even though they aren’t flavored, they do have an impressive list of ingredients. The peanut butter is made with peanuts, wheat germ, flax seed, cane sugar, egg whites, honey, and flaxseed oil. The almond butter is made with almond, flax seeds, wheat germ, cane juice, and egg white. These ingredients result in some power house nutrition, giving the peanut butter 10 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving, and the almond butter 4 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein per serving. In all honesty, I’ve never seen nut butter as a protein source; while I’m sure to have nut butter at my breakfast, I’m usually scrambling to add high protein bread or an egg in. With 9 or 10 grams, the Naturally More definitely qualify as a source of protein in books. And I love any product with added omega’s so that’s a double thumbs up for Naturally More for me. Thanks again, Naturally More, and I hope the tastes are as good as the nutrition! But because dinner was already planned, I couldn’t quite have a PB&J, so this was my plate:

Salmon, Mango Avocado Salsa, Carrots, Corn

Salmon, Mango Avocado Salsa, Carrots, Corn

The salsa was made for the salmon, but I definitely preferred it as a side and ate it straight. Woh was it a nostral cleaner when I hit that jalapeno! Besides that it was pretty plain and self explanatory; I was too lazy even to break the sunflower butter out and shmear it over the corn.

I was still reeling from the 10 miles after dinner and thought a kickassbutt dessert was in order, which for me means one of them expensive but oh so good vitatops.

Deep Chocolate Vitatop And Almon Naturally More

Deep Chocolate Vitatop And Almon Naturally More

I also saw this as a great chance to try one of the new Naturally More. Like I said, I was pretty darn impressed with the nutrition, and was really hopeful for the flavor to be on par. I like how Naturally More doesn’t pretend that there’ll be oil separation, but this was borderline ridiculous; I was churning for 5 minutes, wondering if I was gonna get actual butter at the end. After I finally got it smooth, I spread it nicely and gave it a taste. This was very clearly almond butter, plain and simple. None of the other ingredients affected the flavor so that you might think this had just one ingredients: almonds. I do like salt in my nut butter, but that was easily fixed. Definitely a strong plus for this jar.

Toast With Strawberry Orange Liquor Marmalade And Naturally Nutty Secret Nut Butter

Toast With Strawberry Orange Liquor Marmalade And Naturally Nutty Secret Nut Butter

After that was s’more bread and spread. I had to have some of the secret butter from Naturally Nutty. This stuff legitimately reminded me of Eggo French Toast Sticks, but my guess of French Toast Peanut Butter was way off. After Katie told me all the ingredients, I was pretty floored. Not only is this delicious and sweet but it has some powerhouse nutrition. It’s going to be out in 2 weeks, and I will definitely be buying a jar in my next order. I also had a little Banana Goodness Bread and called it a night. I wasn’t too surprised when my alarm went off at 7 and it was pouring on account of the hurricane, so I shut off the alarm and went back to bed until 8:30. Bliss. I made myself the ultimate rainy fall morning breakfast:

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple PB And Pumpkin Seeds, Decaf Hazelnut Coffee

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple PB And Pumpkin Seeds, Decaf Hazelnut Coffee

Oh yeah, a lot of pumpkin will be nuked in my dorm microwave this Fall, I can feel it. Can you imagine what that will be like with fresh pumpkin? *drool* Now I’m sitting down watching Saturday morning cartoons blogging and checking emails. I’m trying to think of something on the fly to distract us from no Mrs. Deen today. Any suggestions?

Mrs. Peanut Butter is having an awesome giveaway to check out: http://www.pbandjenny.com/2009/08/so-i-hear-yall-like-giveaways.html

The College Gal is also having a giveaway for some great dorm room munchies: http://collegaleats.blogspot.com/2009/08/back-to-school-giveaway.html

And Tay is having a giveaway!(that one rhymed ;-)): http://heyitstay.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/surprise-package-1-giveaway/#comment-961

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Going Farther, Getting Nuttier

Posted on August 28, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I can’t wait until the end of this post to brag recap about today’s run, because I’m just too excited. Check this out:

10.05 miles in 1:20:12

10.05 miles in 1:20:12

A NEW PR! The farthest I’ve ever ran is 8.5 miles. This morning I planned 6 miles around the neighborhood, which is about 6.7. But on my 4th or 5th lap I felt so good that I started thinking(and me thinking is usually dangerous) “why wait until Saturday to do my long run? If I feel good now I should run what I’m feeling”. So I just kept going and going like the energizer bunny and 9 times around plopped me at double digits, and at 800: min/mile, a pretty great pace for me.

That excitement aside, let’s look at the food that fueled this morning… in a fun way. See? the name of this blog has a point. I was really sore after the run yesterday. I cut myself some slack and said no core for the day; I may not know how to take a rest day from running but I find the little ways to cut myself slack. I figured a walk around da hood would raise some spirits. I came by some awesome neighbors playing outside who lifted my mood, but the rest of me was still pretty shot after I got home so I sat down with a snack and some heavy reading.

Eat This Not That And A Peach

Eat This Not That And A Peach

Have you ever held that book? The hard cover makes it heavy(and expensive :-(). Also, notice the keen placement of the peach. I will eat this and not that. I flipped through a few chapters–mostly looking at the pictures like I’m a 2 year old and this was Peter Rabbit. I was pretty stoked when I found this in the Best Drinks section:

Drink This: Best Bottled Juice--Odwalla Carrot Juice

Drink This: Best Bottled Juice--Odwalla Carrot Juice

You go, Odwalla carrot juice. Now just don’t be so expensive and maybe I won’t have to give you up when I go off to college. Seriously, if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. I’ve used it as a post-run drink all summer since it has more potassium than OJ or a banana and has a naturally sweet flavor with almost 1 pound of carrots in each cup.

I grilled for lunch because I was having a Darius Rutker “It won’t be like this for long” moment.

Salmon Burger On The Grill

Salmon Burger On The Grill

Do you think I could befriend the cooks at the Brown dining halls and use all their fancy crap for cooking and bond like we’re in some Disney Channel Original movie? It’s a thought…

Salmon Burger In FlatOut Wrap With Lime FSTG Chips, Salsa, And Avocado

Salmon Burger In FlatOut Wrap With Lime FSTG Chips, Salsa, And Avocado

I also thought I’d give the lime flavored Foods Should Taste Good nachos a try since lime is one of my favorite flavors(love that saltiness). Of course no chip taste test would be complete without salsa, which was habanero and lime because I’m that matchy-matchy, and some avocado. My first impression of the chips was that they had a good lime flavor, but were a little underseasoned. I added some salt and that fixed the problem. The texture was very crispy without tasting stale and reminded me of the fresh baked nachos from a Boston tacqueria, Fajitas And Ritas. I was really pleased with them overall and can’t wait to see how they stand up against the other flavors. Once I go through them all I’ll be ready to give a full review.

By the end of lunch time, the Kennedy’s were on all the local stations, so there wasn’t much reason to stick around watching TV. Yes, we all loved Senator Kennedy, but can’t the family get 24 hours of peace? We went to the Framingham farmers’ market, which had a solid attendance.

Framingham Farmers' Market Peppers

Framingham Farmers' Market Peppers

I knew I wanted to get some peppers to grill for dinner so I grabbed 3 of those, as well as an eggplant. I don’t know what I’ll do with it yet, but with so many recipes floating around the blogs I’m sure I’ll find something. We also got some sharp cheddar made from raw milk. Intriguing, no? On the way home we stopped by Super Stop And Shop were I was a super shopper. Super.

Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola, Smartfood Peanut Butter And Apple Popcorn, Elan Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola, Smartfood Peanut Butter And Apple Popcorn, Elan Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

I had a coupon for a free Kashi product so I went with their expensive granola which is never included in the sales. It has chocolate, almond, and coconut, so this will go well with… EVERYTHING. We had a coupon for a dollar off Elan’s which expires in 4 days–nice catch there. I love that this is Decaf Cappuccino flavored, as opposed to their coffee. I don’t think coffee ice cream would have enough to really keep me up at night, but better to be safe than hyper. And Smartfood apparently has a new flavor–peanut butter and apple. I couldn’t turn it down while it was still on the sale period.

When I got home I knew just what I wanted to make: Banana Goodness Bread

The Sugar

The Sugar

No sooner did we go through the last loaf that I was ready to make the next. I considered making slight alterations to the recipe to include my peanut flour. But I got some pleads requests to not change a thing, so I pleased my fans. That’s really all the added sugar that goes into the bread, yet it still comes out with a deliciously sweet flavor. This time I used unrefined sugar from the Whole Foods bulk bin.

The Secret Ingredient

The Secret Ingredient

I also changed up the yogurt from Vanilla Bean to Banana Vanilla. Sneaky, sneaky.

Oven Ready

Oven Ready

The cinnamon sugar topping really adds the finishing touch. All it is is 5 grams of sugar with 1/2 a teaspoon cinnamon mixed in a bowl and sprinkled over.

Once that was in the oven I had a little something to hold myself over.

Elan Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt With Cinnamon And Midnight Moo

Elan Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt With Cinnamon And Midnight Moo

This came out really mocha-y and delicious, but I think next time I might forgo the chocolate sauce and just go with chocolate chips for the bit of texture difference. While I was waiting I got a little impatient and made another one of my favorite recipes while the baking supplies were out.

The Peanut Butter Boy's Scones

The Peanut Butter Boy's Scones

These scones are so delicious. I’ve developed an unexpected love of scones over the Summer. They’re just the ultimate food and can be breakfast, dessert, or a portable snack, so what’s not to love. The Peanut Butter Boy’s recipe for scones is definitely tied for my favorite with my own Loaded Scones. I made these vegan by swapping out the egg for flax and some water. Finally everything was baked.

Banana Goodness Bread And Peanut Butter Scones

Banana Goodness Bread And Peanut Butter Scones

Hiya, carbs. I’ll see you later tonight 😉 I also made myself a little let’s-eat-this-stuff-to-get-rid-of-it snack before dinner.

Peanut Butter And Apple Popcorn, Raspberries, Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Peanut Butter And Apple Popcorn, Raspberries, Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I finished off the pint of raspberries I picked, and ate the butt(lol, butt) of the cinnamon raisin Vermont Bread Co. loaf. The popcorn was ok. It didn’t have a strong peanut flavor but reminded me of cracker jacks. And I loved the dried apple slices which were totally random and tart. My mom really loved it when I made myself a meatball sub for lunch last week and saw this as an easy dinner to cook great meal for the family.

Meatball Sub With Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Peppers

Meatball Sub With Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Peppers

We also grilled the peppers from the farmers market and sampled the cheese. I’m not a cheddar aficionado, so I can’t say much about it other than it was really tasty. My mom who loves cheddar seemed incredibly impressed. Maybe raw milk is the way to go? The highlight of dinner came when we got a knock on the garage door, which was obviously the UPS man but my dad answered thinking it was someone coming to chat us up.

My Package

My Package

Naturally Nutty Nut Butters

Naturally Nutty Nut Butters

If you’ve been reading this for a while, you might remember how I celebrated my first paycheck by buying 3 flavors of Naturally Nutty, which I reviewed here. Well to celebrate my last week of work I bought myself the 2 flavors I was really impressed by–Vanilla Almond Butter and Butter Toffee–as well as 3 new flavors–Honey Roasted Cinnamon, Mocha, and Vanilla Peanut Butter. As a special surprise, Katie from Naturally Nutty sent me a sampler of a new surprise sampler they’ll be releasing soon. Thanks, Katie! I love surprises and I don’t think anything will be more of a surprise than trying to guess what this could be.

Mocha Peanut Butter On A Split Scone

Mocha Peanut Butter On A Split Scone

When the king of peanut butter’s recipe meets the queen of peanut butter’s peanut butter, you know it’s going to be good. I’ll save an in depth review for once I’ve tried all the new flavors. All I can say is the mocha definitely delivers the flavor it promises, and you can’t ask for more than that. To follow that off I did some more bread and spread lovin’.

Banana Goodness Bread With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Banana Goodness Bread With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Smart Balance, Toast With The Surprise Peanut Butter

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Smart Balance, Toast With The Surprise Peanut Butter

Going 18 hours without that bread was a sin. What was I thinking? Of course, I decimated the bananas in this house between that bread and freezing some for soft serve, so I should get on that today. Then I needed to try the surprise flavor, because when someone sends you an unlabeled jar in the mail with your name written on it, you need to taste it, right? 🙂 I had it along side a muffin top(which are 10 times better when they’re from an actual muffin) and some smart balance for a good comparison point. Again, I’m saving any detailed review for a special post, and I’m not sure how much about this flavor I should/am allowed to give away. All I can say is I’m 95% sure I’ve pinned it, it blew my mind, and I’ll DEFINITELY order a 15oz jar when it’s available.

So, ya’ll already know about this morning’s run. I wasn’t feeling any particular flavor for breakfast oddly, so I went with what was handy:

Cinnamon Raisin Bread With Honey Roasted Peanut Butter, Carrot Juice, Chocolaate Banana Yogurt With Cocoa Beach Granola, Banana Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Bread With Honey Roasted Peanut Butter, Carrot Juice, Chocolate Banana Yogurt With Cocoa Beach Granola, Banana Bread

I also added a peach and threw some wheat germ and ground flax on the yogurt. I really liked my new granola, but it was almost a little too clustery for me. I like clusters and single oats, and this seems to be all clusters. I suppose that’s better than all oats. And the peanut butter is sweet and delicious with the cinnamon raisin bread. Today I plan on sitting on my heiny most of the day and admiring my mileage. That being said, bluefish is on sale and sounds like the plan for dinner so we’ll need to pick up that. And apparently yesterday was my 2nd most viewed day ever, which is awesome and so I thank you all for reading. I’ll try to keep it fresh and funky.

Go here for an exciting coupon giveaway: http://www.fitandfabulouslife.com/2009/08/27/another-coupon-giveaway/

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Dark Chocolate Almond Day

Posted on August 27, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ever just have a flavor follow you throughout the day? Yesterday was officially dark chocolate almond day in Evan’s world(not like that’s a bad thing in the least). It all started off really innocent. I thought “you know what I haven’t had in a looooong time? Chocolate milk.” Dark chocolate almond moment number 1:

Chocolate Almond Milk

Chocolate Almond Milk

I usually use the almond milk for thinning out overnight oats or pouring into coffee, but over time I’ve developed a flavor for it on its own. I even prefer the unsweetened version because it has a soft almond bitterness to it. I stirred in about 2 teaspoons organic midnight moo sauce and it was a cool glass of spot-hitting nostalgia.

Surprisingly I didn’t go for a walk in the morning; I stayed in spending quality time with my adoptive father: Conan O’brien. Good times, good times. I miss him when he goes on repeats. I also made my Whole Foods shopping list for the day after checking out the new sales:

Shopping List

Shopping List

I have to admit I’m an over-organizer. Not only do I make a list for things that I need but also any products that I might want or still need time to think about. I end up buying about 1/4-1/3 of what’s actually written down and usually nothing not on the list. Apparently men are better at sticking to grocery lists. Sorry, ladies, we’re just that good 🙂 For lunch I thought I’d go veg for the meal since I have been having a lot of meat/fish.

Watermelon, Refried Beans, Tomato Avocado Swiss And Mustard On Seedy Bread

Watermelon, Refried Beans, Tomato Avocado Swiss And Mustard On Seedy Bread

I tried making a panini on an indoor grill but that really didn’t work out. After working out my fisherman’s vocab, I stuck the bread in a toaster and slathered on tomato, avocado, swiss, and mustard when it came out. I also threw it alongside some watermelon and refried beans.

Wayland Farmer's Market

Wayland Farmer's Market

This Wednesday was particularly special because we found out where there was a farmers’ market that sold Great Harvest bread. Apparently this is a very popular chain but there are only 2 in all of Massachusetts so I’d never had their bread before. We went to the farmers’ market and picked up Dakota 4-seed bread. The woman selling it asked if it was “ok that it’s still a little hot from the oven”. Ok? That’s fricken awesome, thanks.

Dakota 4-Seed Great Harvest Bread

Dakota 4-Seed Great Harvest Bread

I actually didn’t break into the bag because Whole Foods was like 100 yards away and I was itching to get in there. I almost never go to the Wayland Whole Foods since it’s a bit more out of the way than Framingham and it’s a little bit smaller. Well good things come in small packages, right? This place had tons of new goodies I hadn’t seen on the shelves yet. Check out this aisle!

New Spreads

New Spreads

They had an entire part dedicated to new spreads. I was in heaven. I know I said I almost never buy something not on the list, but this CLEARLY begged to be that “almost” time. I spent literally a good 10 minutes debating between an organic version of Nutella and what I actually ended up buying:

Whole Foods Tote And Maranatha Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Whole Foods Tote And Maranatha Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Now do you get the title of this post? I bought this and the tote with my own money. My grandmother who was with us offered to pay but I feel like such a moocher all the time, I needed to do this for my independence. I started way over thinking that decision on the way home and over thinking how much of a poor college student I’ll be and my life will suck which I realized meant I was just Hungry. Before the groceries were even put away I made myself this:

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter On Banana Goodness Bread

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter On Banana Goodness Bread

Taste test time! I was slightly worried this would be like PB&Co.’s dark chocolate dreams peanut butter, which is really nothing like peanut butter or dark chocolate. But this was exactly the flavor you get from the name. The almond was very pronounced followed by a sweetness from the chocolate and finishing with an overall slight bitterness–joy. It didn’t even matter that the banana bread was definitely over ripe because it was that good. And currently Maranatha is the only company I know of who offers this flavor, so they’re definitely the innovators here.

I straightened out the entire kitchen after that snack. When I get stressed, no matter what it’s about, I need to clean everything around me until it’s sparkling clean. Even if that wasn’t the stress factor, it makes me feel better. That’s when I had dark chocolate almond moment 3 of the day:

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

Newsflash: Ice cream isn’t bad for stress relief either. I could’ve easily finished the pint, but a little voice in my head reminded me of how I’d been nagging my dad to give it a try and see if he liked the flavor. Later on he finished the pint and gave it a thumbs up–obviously.

Dinner was definitely fit for a king:

Sirloin Steak With 365 Steak Sauce, Beets, Broccoli, Dakota 4-Seed Bread

Sirloin Steak With 365 Steak Sauce, Beets, Broccoli, Dakota 4-Seed Bread

Boneless sirloin steak was on sale for 5 dollars a pound at Whole Foods. This was almost 3 times less than the halibut from last night, and umm 20 times better? 365 steak sauce was the perfect touch to it(like it is with everything else). I’d never had beets before but they were pretty good too; I liked the sweetness with some salt. And the Dakota 4-seed bread was ok, but for my money, I think I’ll be sticking with Trader Joe’s soft 10-grain bread until I find something else. My mom apparently got sick sometime in the afternoon and went upstairs without even eating, and is now requesting that we have steak again sometime while it’s on sale because she missed it; sounds good to me 🙂

Right after dinner this was on my doorstep:

Food Should Taste Good Package

Food Should Taste Good Package

Emily from Foodshouldtastegood.com was nice enough to send me a sampler of their products!

Lime, Sweet Potato, Buffalo, Jalapeno, Yellow Corn, And Cinnamon Chips

Lime, Potato And Chive, Buffalo, Jalapeno, Yellow Corn, And Cinnamon Chips

Emily sent me their 4 new flavors–Lime, Potato And Chive, Yellow Corn, and Cinnamon–as well as their 2 spicy flavors–Buffalo and Jalapeno. Did you know men prefer the spicy flavors? I knew that was true for myself but didn’t want to jump to general conclusions, but apparently it’s a fact. Thanks Emily! I can’t wait to munch on these over the week and right a full review for Food Should Taste Good.

I prepared myself for dark chocolate almond flavor 4 of the day:

Banana Whip With Crushed Dark Chocolate Almond Topping

Banana Whip With Crushed Dark Chocolate Almond Topping

I pulsed up 7 ounces of frozen banana and then a small handful of Emeralds’ Dark Chocolate Almonds to go on top. Each bight had jsut the right amount of cocoa and nut to banana. I must admit, this soft serve is really growing on me, even if my food processor is duller than a door knob. I was thinking of buying a very base flavor ice cream to add whatever mix-ins I want, but my money would be so much better spent on a bunch of bananas. A big tub of frozen yogurt might not be a bad idea, though, until they make probiotic bananas(hey, you never know these days).

After some more carbs(unpictured) with some more spreads(also unpictured, but you betcha dark chocolate almond butter was in there) I watched Top Chef and went to bed. It’s so obvious one of the brothers are going to win; they kind of blow away the competition. This morning I ran 6.7 slow and steady. My legs definitely aren’t 100% at the moment but I’m thinking Sunday will be a rest day and that they can wait. This morning did not continue dark chocolate almond day; I was in a peanut-pumpkin mood:

English Muffin With Pumpkin Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Peanut Yogurt With Banana Nut Granola

English Muffin With Pumpkin Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Peanut Yogurt With Banana Nut Granola

Sadly this killed my jar of pumpkin butter, my banana nut granola sampler, AND my tub of vanilla chobani. That being said, it’s totally delicious and hitting the spot. And I’m loving the peanut flour from The National Peanut Board. 5oz vanilla chobani with 2 tablespoons peanut flour has 19 grams of protein and a great peanutty flavor; could you ask for more? Eating a high protein breakfast has been shown to have benefits that last through out the day. I’m definitely going to see if any stores around here carry peanut flour once I’ve baked out this bag.

Today I’m very excited for. Why? I’m baking a fresh loaf of banana bread. I’ve been debating playing with the recipe, but I’m thinking of just going with what I did the first time, since I know how that comes out and it’s damn good.

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Flour Flying Everywhere

Posted on August 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday morning I put on my work clothes and did some heavy lifting.

The Spare Bedroom

The Spare Bedroom

I can’t believe move in day is in less than 2 weeks? I feel wicked prepared, but also very not prepared. I have most of the big stuff, so today I focused on finding pencils, binders, etc., and moving that huge ass trunk. A hernia, fallen cactus, and 20 minutes later, I was spent. That’s enough for one day, right? I mean, it IS over a week away. I needed sunlight being trapped in that room so I stepped outside with a peach.

Going For A Walk

Going For A Walk

When I got back, we needed to go next door to let out our neighbors’ new cat. His name’s shadow, and he was a stray that’d been roaming the neighborhood for the past 2 weeks. Finally my parents and neighbors got wicked attached to them and apparently he’s been adopted. I’m pretty sure that breaks about 3 rules my parents taught me but apparently never learned themselves?

Shadow

Shadow

After that I was pretty cranky, which definitely meant lunchtime. I tried making a salmon and tuna burger with our leftovers–bad idea. I should know not to take on difficult cooking projects when I really just want to eat, but I needed to relearn that. I settled for a pretty sweet reincarnation of pizza and wings.

Trader Joe's Individual Pizza Grilled With Buffalo Bleu Kettle Chips

Trader Joe's Individual Pizza Grilled With Buffalo Bleu Kettle Chips

What a knockout combo. Of course I grilled the pizza which gave the bottom that crusty, burnt flavor. We used to have pizza parlor pizza and wings every Tuesday. Looking back, that was fun, but definitely not healthy and something to eat every week. Plus, fresh basil? I would eat this meal in a heartbeat over that greasy stuff.

After “the soaps” we jumped in the car, swung by my grandmothers condo, and took her to Roche Bros. I needed something for some shopping energy.

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

This loaf is definitely on its last leg. Roche Bros. was a reminder of why I’m not much of a fan of shopping other places than Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Does anybody else find it ridiculous that grocery stores these days have special sections for “natural” products? I mean, it’s a food store, you’d hope most of what’s in there is natural. But that’s just not the case these days. And Whole Foods is lovingly termed Whole Paycheck, but have you ever tried buying Whole Foods quality stuff at regular supermarkets? That’ll be your paycheck and your bonus. Whole Foods can actually be quite affordable; the trick is to shop the sales and use the coupons from companies/The Whole Deal and you can get some real bargains. That all being said, I did get some loot(with a little help from a stop at a natural food store on the way back)

Watermelon, Carrot Cake Ice Cream, Bulk Bin Oats, Cinnamon Sugar Grinder, Banana Vanilla Yogurt

Watermelon, Carrot Cake Ice Cream, Bulk Bin Oats, Cinnamon Sugar Grinder, Banana Vanilla Yogurt

The wallaby yogurt and spice grinder is for my next banana loaf–I am so on top of this planning thing. The oats were from the natural stores’ bulk bin, which are rocksome for getting high quality cheap grains and seeds. And the dairy free ice cream was another find from the natural food store.

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

How could I turn this down? I couldn’t obviously. Carrot cake is my favorite dessert so I needed to give it a try. The base was absolutely delicious, like a frozen form of carrot juice with cinnamon and nutmeg, and absolutely none of that soymilk flavor. In the ice cream was big globs of gingerbread dough, which were surprisingly soft and moist, almost like eating right out of a freshly mixed batch. Overall this was really good, but not quite what I was expecting. I love raisins and pineapple in my carrot cake, as well as a little cream cheese frosting. Still, this was great for what it was. The nutrition threw me off in a non-favorable way. No fiber or protein? That’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of non-dairy ice creams: Because you miss the nutrients from milk. Still, it was a great treat, just not something to be eaten if you’re looking to get filled up.

I also really wanted to try out my new peanut butter flour today, and one recipe instantly caught my eye. I majorly tweaked it to fit my particularities–aka no butter and low sugar. Even for being tweaked so much, these came out great.

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops

Ingredients:

2oz Mighty Maple Peanut Butter

2oz reduced fat cream cheese

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup peanut flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon baking powder

Cinnamon sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl, blend the cream cheese and peanut butter with a mixer. Crack in the eggs and add the milk and maple syrup. Mix until well incorporated. In a seperate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Sift the dry into the wet and mix until fully smooth. Using an ice cream scoop, dump the dough onto lined cookie tins. Dust with cinnamon sugar and bake for 10 minutes or until puffed and firm.

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops

I’ve never made muffin tops before, so I was a little dissappointed when these didn’t turn out just like the picture. But then I figured they probably used real muffin top tins, which apparently exist, so boo on them. While these cooled we had dinner:

Halibut, Watermelon, Asparagus, And Corn With Sunflower Butter

Halibut, Watermelon, Asparagus, And Corn With Sunflower Butter

Yours truly grilled the watermelon using some fun kabobs. It makes them so juicy and sweet, almost like they were dusted with sugar. The halibut was ok, but when I heard how much wild halibut costs “on sale” my jaw hit the floor. Seriously? That’s a lot of nut butter. Speaking of nut butter…

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

A package came for me at dinner time as well and it was this lovely gift bag from Katie over at Naturallynutty.com I ordered 3 of their flavors last month and wrote a review here. Katie loved my review and clearly figured out how much I LOVED these two flavors and was nice enough to send me 2 8oz jars! This package really threw me off at first, because I also am waiting for another ordered I placed to try 3 new flavors, which is apparently in UPS’s hands in Ohio at the moment. So much peanut butter! It’s a good problem to have, though, like a REALLY good problem. Thanks again, Katie! Now I have some jars to take to college and some to leave home. To anyone who hasn’t gotten a chance to try some of this peanut butter, I highly suggest treating yourself to some from their website. They’ve been my celebration-purchase of choice for my first and last week of work.

For dessert I needed carbs–loads of them for running. Obv, my favorite source is breads and spreads, so I loaded up on those.

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops With Maple Agave Syrup

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops With Maple Agave Syrup

Frozen Cherries, Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter, Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Cream Cheese

Frozen Cherries, Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter, Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Cream Cheese

Hey, what’s that fruit doing there? Ever notice how the same food appears on every blog. Well, it’s quite simple. After reading all of each others blogs, how could we not get cravings for the food we see? Frozen cherries was all over blog world last night and nothing felt like it would hit the spot better. The muffin tops were really delicious–not much of a maple flavor but HUGE on the peanut butter and protein. I did some mental math and found out there’s at least 5 grams of protein per top. My one problem with muffin tops is that they’re ugly which is the only reason I don’t think I’ll be making them again unless I get my hands on a special tin.

Waking up this morning was an odd experience. Usually my alarm radio is playing Daughtry and having some light hearted talk about the Red Sox but today it was all reminiscing about Senator Kennedy. Reminiscing? It took me a while to put the pieces together and realized he passed away. I’m not a very political person in the least, but one thing I do remember is him taking the time to meet and shake the hands of my entire 7th grade class on a trip to DC, so he was definitely a great man by my standards.

Normally my mornings are pretty standard: Run 5-7 miles, shower, make breakfast, blog and eat, do my email/website round-up, all while watching my Regis, Kelly, and Rachael Ray. Not a bad life, right? 🙂 But this morning I had a bagel-hankering. After pleading for arranging a ride I was good to go for a new plan. I ran the first 3/4ths of the run I was planning but then took a turn and ended up at this humdinger of a place:

Panera Bread

Panera Bread

It’s definitely been a while. I ran here at the beginning of the Summer but it was always a 2.5 mile walk back, and that just wasn’t a wise use of my time. I went in expecting to get a French Toast bagel but what was this? A new signature bagel? Cherry vanilla?! That’s definitely one of my top flavor combos so I knew I needed to order it. I got one of each, came home, toasted up half of each, and unleashed my armory of spreads.

Cherry Vanilla bagel With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter And Cherry Butter, French Toast Bagel With Pumpkin Butter And Mighty Maple, Carrot Juice

Cherry Vanilla bagel With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter And Cherry Butter, French Toast Bagel With Pumpkin Butter And Mighty Maple, Carrot Juice

Breads and spreads make my life. I had an awful thought last night: What if my roommate is allergic to nuts? He’d be dead if he got within 10 feet of me. I’m sure he would have mentioned this in one of our emails, right? Here’s hoping. Today we’re totally hitting up a Farmer’s Market for some Great Harvest bread. This is a chain, but there are only 2 in all of MA and I’ve never tried them before. I think they’re good though, Kath from KERF seems to really like it.

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Where’s The Bread?

Posted on August 25, 2009. Filed under: Book Review, Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

G’morning, G’morning. Anyone else feeling amazingly chipper today? Maybe it’s just because I’m sitting down to the best breakfast ever right now, but you’ll have to wait to see what it is(or, ya know, use the scrolly thing in the middle of your mouse).

Anyway, yesterday at around 11 I got a case of the munchies.

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Anybody seeing the irony in this photo? Last week I finished up In Defense Of Food. Overall, the book really resonated well with me and taught me a lot more on subjects I thought I already knew most about. It’s certainly a worth while read, and has a great message–eat food. In fact, for the entire weekend I didn’t eat a single bar; the most processed thing I ate was probably frozen waffles or ice cream, but besides that I ate all fresh food. But while I do agree this is generally how we should eat, I feel like giving up bars and other like foods would be a bit reckless, especially ones made with quality ingredients and that are nutrient-fortified. We’re all going to be caught at times when “food” is back home in our refrigerators and we’re out on the road somewhere and have little to turn to. And then there are times like this when I simply wanted the peanut butter Z-bar, because I knew what it tasted like and that’s what I was looking for. So while I’m always going to be trying to eat more food, I’m not ready to pass up anything just yet.

After that I got caught up on my daily reads(aka all ya’lls blog). Seriously, what would any of us do if we all stopped posting for a day? I know I would be bored. The newspaper–no thanks. And Rachael Ray and Food Network only come out with 1 magazine a month, so I’d get pretty bored.

For lunch I really switched it up and forced myself to make something a little different from the routine. Think of it as taking “the lunch challenge”.

Tuna Salad With Raspberries, Croutons, Goat Cheese, And Sunflower Seeds

Tuna Salad With Raspberries, Croutons, Goat Cheese, And Sunflower Seeds

First I layed down some trusty spinach for a base. Protein? Check. Added 1/2 a can of tuna. Then I threw in some of the fresh raspberries yours truly picked, and crumbled up 1/2 an ounce of the hickory smoked goat cheese from the Farmer’s Market(oh yeah, this is as amazing as you’d think). Then I toasted up some of the Trader Joe’s 10-grain bread for crouton crunch. And lastly I took up a note from our favorite Everythingtarian and threw on some sunflower seeds, since apparently no salad is complete without them(and she was oh so right). I really know nothing about dressing, so I stirred up some tart yogurt, zesty lemon, and sweet agave on the side. It wasn’t quite a “dressing”, but now I know how to make lemon yogurt which I’m psyched about.

After that we stopped by the post office to fill out a form for a new passport. I don’t have a driver’s license because I’m… lazy and a city boy. So as my only source of ID it’s important my passport doesn’t expire, which it does in a month. They took my picture again and it actually wasn’t bad. i’ve always been worried somebody was going to call me out because I don’t look a thing like the fat 12 year old I was when I got my first passport.

Next up we went to Stop & Shop. In the circular it says Alvarado St. Bread is on sale this week for 3 dollars a loaf. Anyone ever try this? The website makes it seem so good and grainy. If you can’t tell by the way I’m writing, they didn’t have it 😦 I couldn’t even stock up on plain yogurt or oats since they were way too much there. I did get some other sale items though:

Stop And Shop Loot

Stop And Shop Loot

Stevia In The Raw is my sweetener of choice. Buffalo Bleu Kettle Chips are D-lish. You can actually taste the hint of bleu cheese, plus it’s all natural so you know it’s not some weird artificial bleu cheese flavoring. Awesome, no? I found 2 mini Bear Naked granolas. I’ve never tried them before since the big containers can be so expensive, but I figured I’d try these to see if they’re worth it. I got some aged swiss for super-sandwich lunches, and lastly some cocoa roasted almonds. These are amazing–perfect for when you want some cocoa but not quite chocolate. I had them in 100 calorie pack form before; I’ll be doing some serious damage with the big containers now. Oh, and of course there was one more (creamy) purchase:

Breyer's All Natural Smooth And Dreamy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Breyer's All Natural Smooth And Dreamy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

We made a lot of space in the freezer yesterday so I thought I’d reward us. Mint is the perfect summer flavor; it freshens the palate and doesn’t feel to heavy. When I first scooped this I was a little concerned. It had almost a chalky texture. i couldn’t figure out if this wasn’t right or I was too used to frozen yogurt and soy products. I got it all in the cup, and nature intervened: My dog peed on the rug so I had to clean that up. When I finally got to the ice cream, it was slightly melted, which did wonders for the texture and the flavor. Suddenly it really was smooth and creamy, and the peppermint flavor definitely increased. I loved the chocolate chips in this, too, since they were nothing like the chocolate chips in Breyer’s Mint Chocolate Yogurt. These were thick, dark, and flavorful. Overall I loved this flavor, and the fact that it’s low fat just means I’ll be burning through the quart way faster.

I was still a little bummed about the bread, so I did some research and called another Stop And Shop down the road. They said they had it so we hopped back into the car. And guess what–no luck. We went to ANOTHER Stop And Shop which was just a mile further, and again nada. I’m definitely taking a break from Stop And Shop until I cool off from this experience. When we got home something was waiting for me.

A Lonely Unopened Package

A Lonely Unopened Package

Partially Defatted Peanut Flour, Recipes, And A Letter From The National Peanut Board

Partially Defatted Peanut Flour, Recipes, And A Letter From The National Peanut Board

Remember how I came in 2nd in the Peanut Butter Boy’s competition? Lauren from the National Peanut Board congratulated me on my recipe and was kind enough to send me this to bake with. Not only that, my recipe might be featured in a future e-newsletter! Needless to say, I was pretty stoked. How many people are contacted by a National board? I can’t wait to start using this flour. Peanut flour is high in protein and fiber and great for athletes to cook with for that reason. Some of the recipes I was sent look great and I’ll be sure to be featuring them as I make them. I celebrated by getting a little nutty:

Emerald's Cocoa Roasted Almonds

Emerald's Cocoa Roasted Almonds

Ok, they aren’t quite peanuts but I’m sure the National Peanut Board and National Almond Board are on good terms with one another. Dinner was some delicious whole foods.

Chicken With Steak Sauce And Mustard, Broccoli, Yukon Gold Potato With Salsa, And Black Cherry Zevia

Chicken With Steak Sauce And Mustard, Broccoli, Yukon Gold Potato With Salsa, And Black Cherry Zevia

Mmm doesn’t the mustard on top of the steak sauce unmixed look so appetizing? My messy fork skills soon took care of that. The yukon gold potato was from the farmer’s market on Saturday, and the bright yellow inside was a testament to how fresh and nutritious it was. And see the glass of what looks like water in the top right? That’s the last Zevia flavor I had to try, the black cherry. You’d think with a name like that it’d be… black? I was confused too, but this was one of my favorite flavors. It was deliciously tart with a splash of soda-pep. It reminded me of cherry sprite if there is such a thing.

After dinner the ‘rents wanted to walk around the neighborhood. For once I really wasn’t feeling a walk, but who knows if that would be the last time before I go off to college so I signed myself up. Not bad, but I was totally waiting to dig into this the whole way around:

So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Boo for this not being available in quart size; my pint’s almost out 😦 I’ve got to say this is one of my favorite flavors of ice cream ever. I really wish a non-dairy free company would make it because I have a friend going to Brown with me who’s lactose intolerant and I know he’s going to be all over this if I keep it in my freezer 😛  Going into day 17 of straight running, I needed some more carbs clearly.

Banana Bread With Midnight Moo Sauce

Banana Bread With Midnight Moo Sauce

I’ve officially got a hold going on the bananas in this house so that they ripen and I can make another loaf. I like how the recipe had some chocolate chips but not a ton; that way you could eat it plain and have it still be a healthy and delicious breakfast, or you could add a little chocolate syrup and have a healthy and delicious dessert. Before I went to bed I had some english muffin lovin’ and a Maple Morning Cookie resurrected from the freezer, hoping the flax and wheat germ would work some magic on my legs overnight.

I woke up feeling a lot better and more willing to run than I thought I’d be. I did my favorite 6-miler, which is always easy to push through because it’s 3 miles to a church, around the town square, and straight back. I like telling myself I’m “half way there” when I’m half way to the church, which makes the whole thing seem shorter. I felt Larger Than Life at the start. When I started hitting them hills, I definitely could’ve Use Somebody, but I kept going. By the end I was soo hot and sweaty that I was making the Good Girls Go Bad. I ended up doing it in 48:15, which I liked.

I promised a rocksome breakfast right?

Peanut Butter Yogurt With Banana Nut Granola, English Muffin With Mighty Maple And Pineapple Banana Rum Jam, 1/2 A Banana

Peanut Butter Yogurt With Banana Nut Granola, English Muffin With Mighty Maple And Pineapple Banana Rum Jam, 1/2 A Banana

Anyone else see Mickey Mouse? Lemme speed ya through this: The english muffin and spreads are some oldies but goodies. What’s really innovative here it the left ear peanut butter yogurt. Yep, you read that right. For my first experiment with PB flour, I mixed 2 tablespoons with 6 ounces plain yogurt and a stevia packet(because the yogurt on its own is really tart). The result is something from the peanut gods. It has a  deliciously light, delicate peanut flavor, a lot like my favorite frozen yogurt from JP Licks. Not only that, but the nutrition is incredible. The yogurt(sans granola) has 16.5 grams of protein! Peanut flour has gotten something of a wrap as pb lite or diet food, but I think used properly it’s much more athlete food than anything else. In fact, one day it might be seen as a “super food”. Anybody else tired of being told to eat random berries harvested from the middle of nowhere that cost more than a pretty penny? Hopefully more American companies will get on the trend and mill some peanuts making this an affordable household flour alternative.

P.S. Speaking of yogurt go here if you love your greek yogurt(and, let’s face it, there’s about a 95% chance that you do): http://heatherbakes.com/2009/08/24/chobani-review-and-giveaway/

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Pick Me! Pick Me!

Posted on August 24, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

After going through a mountain of circulars and clipping some coupons I noshed on this little guy:

Juicy Peach

Juicy Peach

Peaches seem to be a favorite of bloggers, myself included. This turned out to be a cling peach, which I don’t like nearly as much as the free stone peaches(although not liking nearly as much is still liking a lot). Any other people with a preference one way or the other? I also like peaches with a darker orange flesh. White peaches are just not up my alley, sorry to get all racist on ya’ll. For lunch we were grilling but I did my own thing.

Turkey And Avocado Sandwich, Newman's Own Organic White Cheddar Soycrisps

Turkey And Avocado Sandwich, Newman's Own Organic White Cheddar Soycrisps

Turkey and avocado is just so tried and true I couldn’t turn it down once it got in my head. And I really like the Newman’s Own Organic white cheddar soycrisps(and the fact that they sent me 2 bags since the first is almost gone ;-)) They’re much better than their barbeque counterpart I decided after trying these again. For dessert I killed some dead weight:

Stonyfield Cookie's N Dream Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield Cookie's N Dream Frozen Yogurt

Doesn’t it feel good to empty out a pint and make room? I don’t even know what I’m going to replace this with, but I’m already racing my mind. Any suggestions are welcome so long as it’s an all-natural brand/flavor.

I really didn’t think today would be all that exciting or interesting until my mom came up with a great idea–berry picking! We went to Tougas Farm a while back for blueberry picking, from which we still have some berries, but this time we wanted something different. We decided to be fancy and mix it up.

August 23rd 004

August 23rd 005We decided to get 1 pint of blackberries and 3 of raspberries, since raspberries are just that pro(and so expensive to buy in the store). I really kick the other people in this family’s asses butts when it comes to picking berries, mostly because I find the really ripe ones and then put them in my container instead of my mouth. I ended up doing about half the total picking, including this pint which I proudly labeled after getting home.

My Pint O' Raspberries

My Pint O' Raspberries

Peaches were also in season at the farm(!!) but there was a bushel minimum. I enjoy my peaches, but a bushel plus the ones we already had would make enough pies for a Southern State Fair, so we just bought some already picked. I asked the lady distributing them who said they were free stone, which has me pumped to try one.

Tougas Farm's Peaches

Tougas Farm's Peaches

After that my parents needed to get some coffee from price chopper. Folgers is definitely not the best part of waking up, but they got 2 containers for 3 dollars, which I must admit was a killer deal. We also stopped at Trader Joe’s for some whole wheat hot dog buns for an upcoming meal. I was also getting the snackaroo’s at this point and figured it was a great chance to try one of Trader Joe’s muffins.

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Muffin

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Muffin

Normally, I’d say avoid any store or cafe muffin, but Trader Joe’s are the real deal. They’re well sized with decent nutritional stats–full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. I love that all the ingredients make sense and are things I would put in my muffins. And what I love more is that I don’t have to lift a finger to make them 🙂 I chose the carrot ginger flavor since it sounded like my most beloved dessert–the carrot cake. The carrot and ginger flavor was present but subtle, which I liked because it made this muffin taste like a muffin and not a dessert. The oatmeal and oatbran added a lot of texture, and the water, oil, and white grape juice kept the muffin moist. Overall it was a great, filling snack and would make a killer on-the-go breakfast. I definitely want to stock up on these to shove in the freezer and heat up whenever I’m feeling a wee bit lazy.

Before dinner I took a little note from my previous day:

Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate With 365 Crunchy Peanut Butter

Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate With 365 Crunchy Peanut Butter

2 pints free from the fridge? Ooo, I could buy a quart of ice cream now 🙂 Another pick-up from Trader Joe’s was some Wild Atlantic Salmon for dinner.

Summer Squash, Atlantic Salmon With Homemade Sauce, Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley

Summer Squash, Atlantic Salmon With Homemade Sauce, Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley

I made my own sauce for the salmon instead of turning to my standby Island Soyaki and am so glad I did. All I did was take 1 part apricot preserves to 1 part soy sauce, added a few squirts of agave nectar and zested a little lemon and voila. It was light and citrusy and asian, so basically perfect for this meal.

Of course dessert started with this little number:

Plain Greek Yogurt With Agave Nectar, Raspberries, And Slivered Almonds

Plain Greek Yogurt With Agave Nectar, Raspberries, And Slivered Almonds

I totally had this in mind when I was picking my berries. It’s one of those combos that you just know works and is going to be good. Nothing beats berries and cream in the Summer, am I right? I tried to toast the almonds for 6 minutes, which didn’t really work but I was feeling a little impatient. If you have the time to, toast away–it really brings the flavor out. Then I noshed on a little more homemade banana bread with coffee.

Banana Goodness Bread With Coffee

Banana Goodness Bread With Decaf Coffee

One idea I had was to bake the bread with instant coffee granules to give it a bit of a mocha taste, but if it had any caffeine in it I probably would be afraid to eat it past 5pm because, yes, I am that much of a lightweight.

This morning I really didn’t know what to run so I did the same 6.7 as yesterday. My time was only 1 minute slower than yesterday, which I thought was pretty good considering my legs weren’t feeling 100% and I was slightly bored/hesitant running the same path. Maybe I’ll be spending more time on Google Maps today looking for something new. As I write I’m sitting down to a deliciously orange breakfast:

Carrot Juice, Peach, Carrot Ginger Muffin With SB PB, And Wallaby Yogurt

Carrot Juice, Peach, Carrot Ginger Muffin With SB PB, And Wallaby Yogurt

I love whole grains at breakfast but I always turn to toast or oatmeal. One of the challenges of the breakfast challenge for me has been how to work whole grains in in a new way, to which my response is this delicious muffin top, smothered in peanut butter. The peach from the farm wasn’t really free stone, but it didn’t matter. It was so ripe and buttery it all practically fell apart and tastes amazing. Alas, that was the last of my quart of Wallaby Vanilla Bean yogurt that I got for 2.50. That was a good Whole Foods sale. Today I plan on getting a lot more college stuff done. i can’t believe I move in in less than 2 weeks; it seems so close yet so far!

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I’ve Found The Holy Grail

Posted on August 23, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

No, not the Holy relic. Something better! But you’ll have to wait(or scroll down) to find out what it is.

Yesterday was Saturday which meant my long run. I was not super-psyched going in but I needed to try. it was very cloudy but I stepped out there and got going. About 1 1/2 miles in it looked like it was going to pour, and started raining quite a bit. That lasted all of 1 minute and then the sun came out and it got brutally hot and humid. I was not a happy camper runner but I knew I’d be disappointed if I stopped so I pushed through, all the way through. My time wasn’t great but turning into my driveway after those 8.5 miles felt sooo good and I had 1000 breakfasts running through my mind. This was my creation:

Waffles With PB, Maple Syrup, And Chocolate Chips, Fruit Cup With Yogurt

Waffles With PB, Maple Syrup, And Chocolate Chips, Fruit Cup With Yogurt

I couldn’t decide between french toast oats or toast with peanut butter, so I took the route that got me peanut butter AND maple syrup. Smart choice. And keeping up with the breakfast challenge, I made myself a fruit parfait. You know those things at Starbucks for 4 dollars? Yeah, turns out they’re cheaper and better to make yourself. In mine I had banana, peach, blueberries, and raspberries, topped with vanilla bean yogurt. Yum.

After lunch we stopped at the bank to cash a paycheck(chaching) and then swung by a local farmer’s market we heard about. It wasn’t big, but at least a farm showed up.

Wayside Farmer's Market

Wayside Farmer's Market

There was also a stand of clothes made by alpaca fur. Awesome, but apparently no one told them it was 95 degrees out? Here was what we picked up:

Yukon Gold Potatos, Corn, And Yellow Plums

Yukon Gold Potatos, Corn, And Yellow Plums

I’d never seen yellow plums before, so I hesitantly grabbed them. Right after this we scooted on home for lunch.

Brown Rice, Salmon, Yellow Plums, And Orange Zevia

Brown Rice, Salmon, Yellow Plums, And Orange Zevia

The salmon was leftover from last night–can’t let perfectly good salmon go bad! The brown rice, for being plain, was surprisingly good. Well, if you pour Island Soyaki sauce on anything absorbent it’s going to be good I guess. The yellow plums were surprisingly bitter. They went well in this dish but I wouldn’t have them as a fruit(plus you gotta watch out for their armpits).

After lunch we hopped back in the car to go to a local artisan bakery before they close at 2. Well, we must have missed a memo because it was 1:30 and they were already closed. Bummer. We’ve never been there before but it sounds pretty good and hopefully we’ll get a chance to see the inside some time. We stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way home since it was on the way where I got some replacement bread.

Trader Joe's Soft 10 Grain Bread

Trader Joe's Soft 10 Grain Bread

Again, I spent a good 15 minutes debating between this and another loaf called Trader Joe’s Double Fiber. That loaf has sunflower seed as the 3rd ingredient but this one looked seedier(in a good way) so I went with this and had to gnaw on a piece in the car. All I can say is this was a great choice. The grains made it super nutty and delicious, while the actually bread was soft. This might become my standard loaf. Of course, 1 piece of bread isn’t really a decent snack.

Purely Decadent Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

We bought this flavor on Thursday from Whole Foods(sale plus internet coupon? hellz yeah I’m good). This was my first time trying it and I had rather high hopes, most of which this met. The base had that soymilk flavor, but it wasn’t too bothersome amongst the vanilla and cinnamon. It actually tasted a lot like their cinnamon bun yogurt, another favorite of mine. The snickerdoodle cookie dough chunks tasted a little… off. It didn’t seem like you could actually put these in the oven and get anything remotely cookie-like out, but they were good. Maybe it was a strong vanilla flavor they were missing, but they definitely had cinnamon and brown sugar in there. They were also a bit gritty, but I liked that since you got bits when you lick the ice cream.

Was any of this the Holy Grail? No, no, and nope. I have a confession: I can find or make a recipe to bake almost anything healthy and tasty, but not banana bread. I’ve tried and loaf after loaf it burns or falls or just taste like raw wheat. But finally, after burning through recipes and bunches, I’ve got it: a banana bread recipe that tastes great, is healthy, and holds up as a loaf of bread. I give you, Banana Goodness Bread

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup oatbran

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoonds ground flaxmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chocolate chips

2 tablespoons canola oil

50g(about 1/4 cup) white sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

10 ounces(about 3) bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, oat bran, baking soda, flaxmeal, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips. In a seperate bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil, beating in the eggs 1 at a time. Mix in the yogurt and vanilla extract. Mash the bananas and incorporate into the wet. Pour the wet into the dry and mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter into a loaf pan. In a small cup, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the loaf. Bake the bread for 55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Turn off the oven and open the door, letting the bread sit there for 5 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a plate until cooled completely.

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

I don’t know how much of my excitement is coming through the computer screen, but believe me when I say I was jumping for joy at this point. Banana bread had always been the black sheep of my baking skillz–that one thing I’d kind of ignore if anyone brought it up. But no more. With this recipe in hand I will make many monkey’s jealous.

Dinner was a bit of a mystery until we settled on grilling(always a good standby).

Buffalo Burger On 10 Grain Bread, Hickory Honey Barbeque Chips, Okra

Buffalo Burger On 10 Grain Bread, Hickory Honey Barbeque Chips, Okra

I found a buffalo burger from last month sitting in the fridge I didn’t mind eating up. It went great with the nuttiness of my new Trader Joe’s loaf. Those chips are always a great add-on to any grilled meal. And the okra I picked up last night at the Copley’s Farmer’s Market. It was the first time I’ve had okra and I’ve got to say it wasn’t bad. The flavor was a bit… green? I can’t explain it. it was sort of like a plain pepper, except softer. They got a little burnt on the grill but I liked that charred bit to them. If anyone has any okra recipes(that don’t require frying) send them my way! Oh, and I’ve decided to go raw:

Buffalo Burger

Buffalo Burger

Not really, but look how pink that burger was! It couldn’t have been safe or legal to serve in a restaurant, but it was good and I’m still alive, so I ain’t complaining. I love my meat really rare; the more you cook it the more you’re killing the flavor in my opinion. Through my nutrition learning I’ve come across animal cruelty, slaughter houses, and all the reasons people become vegetarians. i could/would never give up meat but I do think overcooking it and covering it in sauce is disrespectful to the animal that gave its life for your plate which is probably why I like it so rare.

In accordance with facing the black sheeps in my life, I adressed the one ice cream I haven’t touched in a long time: Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate. Sounds good, right? Well I bought this a while back, and enthusiastically sat down with the pint and a spoon–no bowl. About 1 serving in I got tired of how boring and bland the flavor was, put it back, and haven’t touched it since. I know the only way to make room for new stuff is to eat the old, so I faced my fear with a little weapon in hand:

Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate And 365 Creamy Peanut Butter

Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate And 365 Creamy Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter And Dark Chocolate FroYo

Peanut Butter And Dark Chocolate FroYo

Winner, winner, buffalo was for dinner. I mixed some of the peanut butter into the yogurt and let the licking begin. It really added the missing touch to the flavor. i still have about 1 1/2 servings of dark chocolate left, and now I know exactly how to eat it. Of course I sliced into the banana bread, too.

Banana Goodness bread

Banana Goodness bread

30 seconds in the microwave and this tasted fresh out of the oven. The bread is the perfect amount of sweetness; so often I think banana bread get’s overly sweetened to be a dessert, but this stays true to a bread. And of course, the sweetness of the occasional chocolate chip really contrasts well and gives it excitement. And the bit of brown sugar and cinnamon on the top adds a nice crunch. This more than earned a spot in my recipe book.

This morning I woke up and, despite going on 16 days of running in a row, felt absolutely great. The humidity left overnight and I was happy to step out the door into a slight breeze from good ol’ Bill(hurrican Bill that is). I ran 6.7 miles in 53 minutes–not a PR but much better than last time I ran that route. And now I’m sitting down to this:

TJ Toast With Cashew Butter, Cherry Butter, And Sunflower Seeds, Plain Yogurt With Raspberries, Blueberries, Maple-Agave Syrup, And Sunflower Seeds

TJ Toast With Cashew Butter, Cherry Butter, And Sunflower Seeds, Plain Yogurt With Raspberries, Blueberries, Maple-Agave Syrup, And Sunflower Seeds

I wasn’t sure what new thing I could make this morning for the challenge so I didn’t make an effort, though the TJ Toast and sunflower seeds are both new purchases from yesterday so that sort of counts, right? Sunday morning means circulars and sales around here so I’ve got to start reading them to figure out what to do today.

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Having My Cake And Eating It Too!

Posted on August 22, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Peanut Butter Boy 2nd Place Prize

Peanut Butter Boy 2nd Place Prize

Sweet, No? Don’t tell me you’re not jealous 😛 Once again, it was a ton of fun and I can’t wait for the next one, and I have yet to bake one of the other recipes from the contest but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been looking and gearing up my hand mixer!

So the new thing out there seems to be the breakfast challenge, which I am all for. I pretty much have the same thing every morning–fruit, whole grains, nuts, and yogurt–but that doesn’t mean it has to always be in the same form, right? I took a hint from some fellow bloggers for Thursday’s breakfast:

Kashi Strawberry Waffles With Mighty Maple And Maple-Agave Syrup, bananas, Chocolate Chobani With Cherries

Kashi Strawberry Waffles With Mighty Maple And Maple-Agave Syrup, bananas, Chocolate Chobani With Cherries

What’s new? The PB on the waffle. Believe it or not, I’ve never done this before. I always thought the spreading would be difficult and uneven, but I gave it a go to get those fats on the plate. And I have to say, ya’ll were right; the pb on the waffles worked well. Thursday morning was major Tivo time. I don’t even remember what I watched, just that I got through it all. I hardly recognized when lunch came around and Ias starving, but luckily this guy only took about 5 minutes to throw together:

Meatball Sub, Cantaloupe, Green Beans, And A Tomato

Meatball Sub, Cantaloupe, Green Beans, And A Tomato

This meal made me realize why I love blogging so much: Taking pictures of what I eat makes me take the time to really appreciate what I’m putting on the plate and know it in a whole new light. Really, everybody should blog or take pictures of what they eat, because it stimulates the senses and makes you became a better eater. Even though all a picture can share is sight, when you take the time to make your food look good, you sure as hell put just as much into the flavor. I made a great sauce for the meatballs with pizza sauce, steak sauce, and fresh basil. I salted the cantaloupe slightly and let it sit. And while I can’t say I prepared the tomato any particular way, I can tell you it was grown in our very own garden–another thing I might not have done if I hadn’t learned to appreciate food. So this meal was dedicated to food blogging. Thre cheers!

After lunch I explored the neighborhood:

Exploring

Exploring

By which I mean I killed time waiting for my mom to get back from “lunch with the girls”. I also killed a pint with a little ingenuity:

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

I wasn’t sure how the fluff would work with coffee, but then I did some simple math. Fluff = vanilla. Vanilla + coffee = french vanilla latte. Ok, the math worked out and the taste buds agreed. This was rather good 🙂 We hit up Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I spent 15 minutes looking at the bread at Trader Joes–no lie–and ended up buying the same one we always get: light wheat. I really want a bread like the sunflower bread I got from Dekalb Farmer’s market, and I noticed 2 of TJ’s bread have sunflower seeds on the ingredient list. Anybody ever try these/have an opinion to share? At Whole Foods we quickly filled the space left from the Java FroYo with So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream. I have yet to break into this but I’ll let you know how it is when I do!

I got home and instantly whipped up a recipe that was running through my head:

The Wet

The Wet

The Dry

The Dry

The Cookies

The Cookies

I’m just going to call them Pumpkin Patch Chocolate Chippers. They came out great, but I’m sure there’s ways to improve them, so I’m not sharing the recipe just yet. Plus, these are based off another recipe which is a tight family secret, so I might just have to keep these locked away in the Disney Vault with Cinderella. Dinner was one of them boring well balanced meals *yawn*

Chicken, Broccoli, Basmatti Rice, And Island Soyaki Sauce

Chicken, Broccoli, Basmatti Rice, And Island Soyaki Sauce

Jk, it was pretty good, it just… wasn’t dessert 🙂

Newman's Own Organic Chocolate Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Newman's Own Organic Chocolate Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

I’ll admit, I’d fallen behind on my Newman’s Own Organic testing since I’ve been baking up a storm lately, but I welcomed a treat that I didn’t have to make from scratch. The first thing that confused me about these was the long ingredient list, which I realized was only long because this has chocolate chips AND organic chocolate chips(both of which list all of their ingredients). A bit odd, but that cleared up some q’s. Like the espresso cookies I noticed how tough these looks. The initial texture was rather dry, but after a few seconds of sitting in my mouth the flavor really popped. There was no denying this was chocolate chocolate mint. I think a lot of chocolate mint products have one or the other flavor be overbearing, but this had a nice balance. The texture was dry but it all came together on the palate, making them ultimately enjoyable.

I also baked a fresh loaf of pumpkin bread and banana chocolate chip bread:

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread And Pumpkin Bread

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread And Pumpkin Bread

Did I say baked a fresh loaf? I meant took the ultimate lazy shortcut to some fantastic results. For the banana bread, I nuked 1/4 of a banana into a spread and added chocolate chips. They melted and got nice and gooey as they sat there. For the pumpkin bread, I just used some good ol’ TJ pumpkin butter(almost out 😦 but almost the right season again :-)) and topped with salted and roasted pumpkin seeds. Seriously, baking whole loaves is overrated when you can be lazy ingenious and just do this.

Friday was a very special day–my last day of work! Of course that meant a very special morning–my last day of 6am running!! The air was so thick and humid, just breathing took thought(yuck) but my itunes shuffle was very good to me and powered me through the 5 miles. I kept up the breakfast challenge for the 2nd time:

Overnight Oats With Plain Yogurt, Kashi Vanilla Oatmeal, Frozen Cherries, Cocoa Almonds, And A Deep Chocolate Vitatop

Overnight Oats With Plain Yogurt, Kashi Vanilla Oatmeal, Frozen Cherries, Cocoa Almonds, And A Deep Chocolate Vitatop

I’ve done the overnight oat thing twice before: The first time they came ou great and I loved them, the second time they were too thick so I thinned it with too much milk and ended up dumping it and clogging the drain. Needless to say, I was hesitant to try them again after that, but I’m glad I did. The yogurt was a little thick bt I resisted from thinning it and I’m glad I did because the natural cherry juice really loosened it and got it perfect. The whole almonds were a great way to get my nut fat into breakfast without turning to butter(and who doesn’t love cocoa?). And the vitatop was a little special treat to celebrate my last day 🙂

I have to say this breakfast was so filling I kept half the vitatop for work, where it said hello to my little friend:

Newman's Own Organic Coffee And 1/2 A Vitatop

Newman's Own Organic Coffee And 1/2 A Vitatop

Newman’s Own Organic has been so good to me. Oh won’t you just adopt me into the Newman family already? I love getting their coffee from McDonalds because a) it has a balanced neutral taste and b) it’s cheap. Oh, and c) it’s good for the environment. I challenge any die hard Starbucks fan to try this out; your taste buds won’t mind and your wallet will thank you.

UFood's Chopstick Chicken Ubowl

UFood's Chopstick Chicken Ubowl

Lunch was the typical-but-oh-so-delicious UFood. Only UFood can take brown rice and make it taste so delicious. I never make brown rice from a box for myself because it always has that bland, healthy taste, but UFood totally doctors it up with broccoli, carrot, chicken, and spicy thai ginger terryaki and you’d think your eating something as sinful as deep fried general tsao’s chicken–no lie.

When I got back to the office there was a little surprise in store for me…

Last Day Card

Last Day Card

Party! Haha, well it wasn’t quite a full blown party, but there was a card and some snacks from Chinatown and mindless joking. The four of us played a rousing game of pin the tail on the donkey:

Pin The Tail On The Donkey

Pin The Tail On The Donkey

Meghan from healthy Tipping Point has been listing things to do more often. Add spontaneous childhood gaming to that list, because this was pretty fun. Mine is the one coming out of his neck, so we changed the game to pin the ponytail on the donkey and I won! Filing really switched into high gear my last hour at work so I was very relieved when 5(or 4:50 but who’s counting :-P) rolled around. i treated myself to this:

Strawberry Banana Vivvano

Strawberry Banana Vivvano

I’d actually never had this flavor before, and I must say it was pretty good. It had a strong strawberry flavor which i was really looking for. It was a great way to get fruit into my day, and I love the added protein and fiber to curb the carbgestion. I used this to power me through the farmer’s market at Copley where I got some great finds:

Yellow Squash, Okra, Raspberries, And Hickory Smoked Goat Cheese

Yellow Squash, Okra, Raspberries, And Hickory Smoked Goat Cheese

I’d never seen okra before until this moment. Ever. Needless to say, I was excited to find it. It’s not really a New England thing, but I’m going to search some recipes and figure out what to do with them. I already found something on KERF last night to try! And the goat cheese was a local product that sounded so good. I love goat cheese, and you can’t beat fresh, right? It was well worth the $4.25 for 4oz. When I got home this was waiting for me:

Thrive By Brendan Brazier

Thrive By Brendan Brazier

This and Oprah okra have been all over the blog world. I bought it from the internet to use up my Barnes & Noble card, and am really curious to see what I can learn from it. I’m not interested in going raw or vegan, but I’m happy to pick up some recipes, and definitely have stuff to learn on fueling. Any pre-book knowledge to share before I open up the pages?

Dinner was, again, quite the treat:

Salmon, Grilled Tomatos, Corn, And Goat Cheese

Salmon, Grilled Tomatos, Corn, And Goat Cheese

Salmon, salmon, salmon. Oh how I love thee. Have I mentioned I would have it every night if that was an option? Switching the protein up is overrated. Slap me some salmon and I’m a happy boy. And the goat cheese was as good as it sounded. Cheese and bread I think are two of those things that, if you find homemade, you just gotta go for because you know it’ll be good.

For dessert I had these two treats:

Chocolate Cake From Finale

Chocolate Cake From Finale

Redwood Hill Farm Vanilla Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspbrerries

Redwood Hill Farm Vanilla Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspbrerries

The cake was a gift from my fellow work study–very rich and delicious and prefect with a cup of joe 🙂 The yogurt was something from Thursday’s Whole Foods trip. I grabbed it because it was on “sale”(I have a hard time calling anything that’s 5 dollars a sale but that was about 15% off). I’d only tried Liberte goat milk yogurt which I loved so I wanted to try more brands. This one stood out as one of the best yogurts I’ve had; the vanilla isn’t overpowering but balances the natural tang of the goats milk so that the result is palatable and pleasant while still being true to the goat milk nature. I would totally buy this if it were ever cheaper, but it’s nice to splurge now and again.

Today there’s a farmer’s market in store(!!). I just hope the farmers show up, because they never seem to do around Marlborough, lol. We also might check out a hole-in-the-wall artisan bakery to find some decent sunflower bread. Until then, have fun and do what you can to beat the heat!

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