Archive for August, 2009

Dinners For Dessert

Posted on August 20, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Before I begin, can I just say what amazing songs can do for a run? I wasn’t sure how today’s 6 would be but I really pumped through it with the help of some Cobra Starship and Black Eyed Peas. All I need is a 3-hour mash-up of I Got A Feeling and Good Girls Go Bad and I could run a marathon. Haha, ok maybe that’d get a little boring after a while, better throw in some Don’t Trust Me 😉

Backtracking a ton, for lunch Thursday I really couldn’t pick anything or even a theme so I threw a bunch of things onto a plate:

Bunless Salmon Burger, 1/2 An Avocado, Refried Beans, Guiltless Gourmet Lime & Chile Nachos

Bunless Salmon Burger, 1/2 An Avocado, Refried Beans, Guiltless Gourmet Lime & Chile Nachos

It all sort of works, except for the salmon burger which is a bit random but soooo good. I’d only had these with parmesan cheese before which I thought brought all the flavor; I was way wrong. I should see what brand they are/how they’re seasoned because these really don’t need a damn thing on them. I put the chips on to eat the refried beans with but then I ate the chips straight and had the beans with a spoon 🙂 They’re so much better that way. For dessert I kept up with cleaning out the freezer.

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

So Delicious is so delicious. And it’s on sale again this week at Whole Foods! Once this pint’s gone I’m going to pick up another(or 2 or however many I can get away with). I checked and the almonds in this are roasted and salted which makes all the difference and the flavor pop. And I like it because it’s pretty low on sugar and high on fiber for an ice cream, and sure it has a lot of saturated fat but it’s plant based.

We hit up CVS for a new passport picture. I’m a little weary that they didn’t let me see the picture and I still haven’t looked at it. Oh well, as long as it’s not God awful I’ll live. Then we went to Hannaford where I bought… nothing! Nada. Zippo. When was the last time that happened? No clue, but I couldn’t find anything. We got home and I made a little snack.

Raspberries, Plain Yogurt, And Sliced Almonds

Raspberries, Plain Yogurt, And Sliced Almonds

I never would have pictured myself as a plain yogurt person just a few months ago but now I dig it. It has only milk and bacteria in it and a great flavor(ps. tart is a flavor). Well then I got to work on using up the figs from Whole Foods, some of which I’d let go moldy(oops). I used the adapted version of VeggieGirl’s Fig And Almond Blondies from Mindless Living which I adapted a little myself. Check it out.

Ingredients

1 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons canola oil

6 tablespoons(about 1/3 cup) honey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/4 white whole wheat flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 ounces fresh dates, diced

2 ounces slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat your oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix together the first 5 ingredients. Sift in the flout, baking soda, and salt. Add in the dates and almonds and mix until well incorporated. Pour into an 8 x 8 baking pan and bake until golden, about 35-38 minutes.

There was a little accident during this recipe.

Finger Wound

Finger Wound

I cut myself with a butter knife dicing the figs. Wtf? I’ve done much more dangerous stuff; I’ve diced mango and avocado in a rush at 9am with a steak knife and didn’t brush the skin. I must have been off my game, but I washed it and worked on. Here were the beauties out of the oven:

Fig And Almond Blondies

Fig And Almond Blondies

No time to taste quite yet, though. Right after this I started making the 4-C scones I posted yesterday. And as soon as those came out of the oven, dinner went on the table.

Grilled Carrots, Turkey With Steak Sauce, Corn With Sunflower Butter

Grilled Carrots, Turkey With Steak Sauce, Corn With Sunflower Butter

Yes, you read right, sunflower butter on my corn. I’ve been having trouble falling in love with this butter so I thought it’d be better on a savory dish instead of toast. Funny story: As I put it on the corn, my mom said “I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that”. After a short explanation of how sunflower butter is NOT peanut butter, she just rolled her eyes and smothered butter on her corn. Oh the irony. It tasted pretty good on the corn, though I think there’s more potential out there to be found.

Well, let’s see. What could possibly have been for dessert…

Fig And Almond Blondie And 4-C Scone

Fig And Almond Blondie And 4-C Scone

Let’s see, where to start. How about at YUM! The fig and almond blondies were amazing and a hit around here. They’re definitely going to be the first thing I make whenever I get my hands on figs again. Major props to Mindful Living and VeggieGirl. I don’t know that I would ever change the recipe anymore, but if I did it would be to swap the 2 tablespoons canola oil for 2 tablespoons olive oil. It might sound weird but a fruity olive oil would go perfectly here and just lend a very subtle flavor to the overall dish. And the 4-C scones were also delicious. Like I said, the recipe as is doesn’t have a very pronounced cashew flavor; it mainly serves as a healthy fat in the recipe. To get a better flavor, swap out all the cream cheese for cashew butter, or simply cut your scone in have and spread more cashew butter on! After all this sweetness, I needed a bit more savory:

Snobby Joe

Snobby Joe

I told you there’d be dinners for desserts. Again, microwaving lentils is not the proper way to make them, but it gets them soft enough to chew, and that’s all I cared about. Is it said this dish is so fiberous, proteinrific, full of health benefits, and I would have it on my death bed? I ate this watching Big Brother. Ok, I know there are other obsessed people out there: Don’t be shy and admit it. What the hell was with Shima? I would NOT have given up an opportunity of being on Big Brother like that. I hope they throw in some cool twist to replace her.

Well that certainly makes good running fuel because the next morning I was up at 6 and out at 6:30. I kind of forgot that I run at 6 before work on Wednesdays, so I was really confused when my alarm went off, but eventually it hit me and I got the pot o’ joe brewing. I ran 5 miles a little slower than 8:00 min/mile pace but I think that’s because it’s been so darn hot up in New England lately(and, yes, it was hot at 6:30am). I finished up, showered, and threw together a breakkie before hopping into the car:

French Toast Oatmeal, 1/2 Banana, Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Vanilla Almond Butter

French Toast Oatmeal, 1/2 Banana, Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Vanilla Almond Butter

I had some oats soaking for the past 2 days that needed to be used or losed so I made french toast oatmeal. I’m really liking this new concoction(especially when I added a bit more maple-agave blend this time ;-)). And I tried something I’d actually never done before–nut butter on yogurt. I always like having yogurt and nut butter be somewhere around my breakfast, but I wasn’t sure how to fit the nut butter in with the french toast oatmeal without toasting up some bread, until I remembered seeing this on some other blogs. It was pretty good considering the vanilla/vanilla combo; I made sure not to stir it in to keep the flavors pure. It’s not my preferred way of eating either but it’s a great way to fit in both to a balanced breakfast.

Work was… work? This is my last week. I was willing to work another week but they didn’t quite have the money for that. I’m lucky to have gotten a job and so many paychecks as is in this economy so I’m very thankful for that. I brought in 5 4-C scones and they were all gone by 11:30. I also packed one for myself(grab I packed it seperate or I might not have gotten it!). For lucnh I was feeling cheesy and we hit up UFood.

UFood's Veggie Cheeseburger

UFood's Veggie Cheeseburger

It’s easy to eat veg when they make it this tasty. I ate my pickles on the side; I like them but don’t want them playing with my burger flava. And they put wayyy too much ketchup on the bottom which made it sweet like a candy bar. I scraped that off with a knife and swapped it for some mustard/steak sauce. Much yummerer. These were buy 1, get one at CVS so I thought I’d give it a try:

Sobe Lifewater Yumberry Pomegranite

Sobe Lifewater Yumberry Pomegranate

It’s naturally sweetened with Stevia. I really enjoyed this flavor; it was like a great Hawaiian–not overly sweet with a touch of tartness from the pomegranate. It’s also fortified with plenty of Vitamins which I’m sure I already get enough of but why not get some more? I would definitely buy this again. The one question I have is if it is “all-natural”. I know it has natural flavors and is naturally sweetened, but I’m a little confused with some of the ingredients which (I think) are the added vitamins.

I broke away from the bars for an afternoon snack:

Cinnamon Raisin Bread And Justins Maple Almond Butter

Cinnamon Raisin Bread And Justin's Maple Almond Butter

I picked up the maple almond butter pack at a Starbucks a while back and finally got to use it. Those things are so handy and portable; I’d love to stock up on them but the expense isn’t worth it considering I usually eat toast at home where my pantry is right at hand. Still, it was nice to eat fresh food instead of packaged stuff(not that I see much wrong in packaged stuff so long as it’s wholesome). But would it kill my office to get a toaster?

Dinner was pollock; I’m becoming such a fish snob I don’t even want to eat anything other than salmon, but I closed my eyes, covered it in Soyaki, and tried pretending. Then I placed a celebratory last-week-at-work order to Naturally Nutty(!!). I’m getting myself some new flavors but I’ll keep it hush hush until the package comes. We all went for a walk and when we got back I wasn’t quite ready for dessert, so I had another dinner for dessert:

TJ's Instant Mac N' Cheese And Al Fresco Buffalo Chicken Sausage

TJ's Instant Mac N' Cheese And Al Fresco Buffalo Chicken Sausage

Here’s where I don’t even make sense to myself; I try to limit the amount of animal meat I have at meals as a self-challenge, but apparently desserts don’t count? Maybe that’s just me over thinking things. Either way, this was good and hit the spot. What with cheese doesn’t hit the spot?

English Muffin With Mighty Maple And Vegan Fluff, Fig And Almond Blondie

English Muffin With Mighty Maple And Vegan Fluff, Fig And Almond Blondie

Finally I was up for something more desserty. I love this Vegan Fluff I found at Whole Foods. It’s a local company and it’s all natural made with real vanilla bean. It’s as nutritionally void as regular fluff, but it doesn’t have vanillin so it fits in with my first motto in To Live By… And to stop raving about those blondies would be a sin. There’s only 3 left on the counter as of 9am this morning and 6 in the fridge. Yikes, I better eat them up before others do!

Like I said, I ran a pretty decent 6 miles today. Later we’re going to Whole Foods and Trader Joes to pick up some essentials(like bread) and some not-so-essentials(like whatever works its way into my hands). I dreamt up a recipe on my run that I’m itching to try for my last day of work tomorrow(!!). If it goes good be sure to look for it on Saturday. Until then, g’bye!

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A Special Recipe For A Special Day

Posted on August 19, 2009. Filed under: Recipe | Tags: , , , , |

Usually I don’t blog on days I work but I felt as though I had to acknowledge something. I was super-psyched to be runner-up in The Peanut Butter Boy’s celebration recipe contest with my Fluffernutter Cupcakes. They were a lot of fun to come up with and I hope anyone who tried them likes them as much as my cousin did(it was also the first time he discovered fluff!). All the other contestant’s recipes look great to and I’m definitely going to try a few out.

How do I celebrate this achievement? By baking some more, of course! I wanted a little something nutty and fruity and my mind immediately went to one of my favorite creations, my Loaded Scones. But rather than give you the same thing I thought I’d tweek it just a bit and came up with these winners, if I may say so myself

4-C Scones

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons flaxseed, grounded

3/4 cup unsweetened almond breeze

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups whole wheat flour

90g(about 1/2 cup) sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

5 tablespoons cashew butter

5 tablespoons reduced fat cream cheese

Cashew Butter, Cream Cheese, And Cranberries

Cashew Butter, Cream Cheese, And Cranberries

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a cup, mix the almond milk, flaxmeal, and vanilla extract, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix in the cranberries. Cut in the cream cheese and cashew butter until coarse and crumbly. Pour in the almond milk mixture and work until batter is firm but wet. Divide into the even sized balls. Place each on a lined pan and flatten. Cut into quarters and pull apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops turn golden.

Going Into The Oven

Going Into The Oven

In case you didn’t get it, the 4 C’s are Cashew butter, Cranberries, and Cream Cheese. I really love the combo of cashews and cherries, but we were running low on dried cherries and cranberries also have that great tartness. The cashew flavor in these isn’t very explosive; it’s more of a subtle note that you need to work at to get. What the cashew butter does do in this recipe is replace the bad fats that would be introduced by butter and give the health benefits that comes from nuts, all without changing texture. Speaking of texture, these scones are very soft and puffy, which is how I prefer my scones though others might prefer a denser version. If you do want a louder cashew flavor and denser result, simply replace the cream cheese with equal amounts cashew butter.

4-C Scones

4-C Scones

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Beans And Bison

Posted on August 18, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thanks for all your advice on the virus. I ended up listening to my dad and downloading and installing Symantec Antivirus from the Brown website and that or something did the trick. I guess being related to a Director of Information Technology comes in handy when you’re not so hot at computers. While I was running 1000 different scans, I took a walk to clear my mind and snacked on this:

Blueberry Z-Bar

Blueberry Z-Bar

I really hope these go on sale somewhere soon because at 1-a-day this could become an expensive habit if I continue it into college. The walk wasn’t actually that relaxing because I came across a snake. I hate snakes; they’re kind of my biggest fear. That being said, though, I’m not too too afraid of them so maybe I’m braver than I give myself credited for. It was slithering into grass when I noticed it so I just kept walking and stayed a little closer to the road.

I got back and was really in the mood for a Trader Joe burger with the Whole Foods bun I always feel like I should eat but don’t get the chance to. of course someone had to throw the buns out THAT morning. Ugh, the excuse was so lame. A little mold never killed anybody… that I’ve met personally. I really wasn’t in the mood for anything else but had a pretty big deficit starting already and was getting hungry so I made a Snobby Joe and ate these Newman’s crisps I’d been eyeing:

Newman's Own Organic Barbeque Soy Crisps

Newman's Own Organic Barbeque Soy Crisps

Lunch

Lunch

Ok, microwaving lentils for 10 minutes isn’t the proper or best way to cook them(they were still a little hard). But put 2 tablespoons steak sauce, 1/2 tablespoon ketchup and 2 teaspoons mustard on anything and all your problems kind of float away in a cloud of bliss…. Sorry I was just thinking about it and drifted off for a second. The soy crisps didn’t blow me away like I was hoping or their other products have. They had a great barbeque flavor in every bite, but left you with that soy aftertaste. I much preferred the white cheddar because it either didn’t have an aftertaste or the white cheddar was a nice subtle flavor which eased into the aftertaste. I still liked these chips, enough that I’d eat them again. And their a great source of veggie protein(7 grams per serving). But if I was looking for just a good barbeque flavor on a chip I’d go for Kettle Chips Baked Honey BBQ.

Naturally, in keeping with the theme of freezer cleaning, I had a little Stonyfield Java froyo.

Stonyfield Java Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield Java Frozen Yogurt

I really loved the So Delicious Mocha Almond Fudge but my palate just needed something simple and refreshing and wasn’t up to the massive complex sweet and salty flavor so I stuck with the Stonyfield. It hit the tongue spot in the car on the way to Market Basket and Whole Foods in Bellingham. This is the perfect store combo because you never know what you’ll find at Market Basket and any of the staples you can fill in at Whole Foods across the street. Here was the notable loot.

Vermont Natural Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Vermont Natural Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Ground Bison And Organic Omega-3 Eggs

Ground Bison And Organic Omega-3 Eggs

We go through so much bread in this family. We’re going to turn into a bunch of loaves. This all-natural brand was on sale for 1.99 at Market Basket so I thought I’d try it; it’s a nice break from my cinnamon raisin english muffins. Getting the fancy-shmancy eggs was a bit of a battle with my mom but I won out. Normal eggs are fine with me for baking but I don’t eat many eggs straight and the ones I do I prefer be as healthy as possible. And the bison was for bison burgers of course! We also picked up some replacement buns so I’d get the lunch that never was. But first I needed a little something-something to power me through:

Banana Whip With Organic Chocolate Syrup

Banana Whip With Organic Chocolate Syrup

Things didn’t go as smoothly with my food processor as I would have liked(haha, get the pun?) but I got through. The Trader Joe’s organic syrup was an amazing find. It’s like 1/2 the price of any other brand and it’s all natural. I’ll admit their isn’t much difference between the first ingredient in this being sugar and the first ingredient in Hershey’s being high fructose corn syrup but it’s enough of a difference for me to have peace of mind. Back to the bison, I formed my first patties ever.

Bison Patties

Bison Patties

We got 5 3.2-ounce patties out of the meat. 5 bison patties for 5 dollars is a great bargain these days and it was all super simple. I wasn’t sure what to mix in so these were all-meat. I was thinking of flaxmeal(I’m serious, keep with me here) because it would act as a binder and give the meat a grilled nutty flavor, but I wasn’t sure how the parents would like it. Here was my dinner plate:

Burger And Fries

Burger And Fries

I threw in some homemade Alexa’s sweet potato fries. They crisp up pretty nicely from the freezer to the oven. And the burger was really good, too. My mom for some reason thinks bison is this far-out-crazy meat and didn’t understand it–she asked if it was considered a red meat. She really liked it, though. Hopefully not enough to steal the 2 extra patties we made from me.

For dessert first up I needed to try out my new bread.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread And Peanut Butter

Cinnamon Raisin Bread And Peanut Butter

What to top this with was a bit of a no brainer, but I kept the spread light and only used 1/2 tablespoon because I really wanted to get a sense of the bread. The most obvious thing was how it was OA with raisins, major plus. The bread was a little tough–I think it needed to be toasted wither a little longer so it was really crisp or a little less so it was soft. Overall it was pretty nice, but unless it’s on sale more often, I’ll stick with my english muffins.

Next I tried another crazy runner concoction I heard about on the RW Forums:

French Toast Oatmeal

French Toast Oatmeal

What is it exactly? 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal with an egg cracked in, lightly swirled, cooked until the egg is done, and topped with maple syrup and cinnamon. It didn’t actually taste like french toast, but it was pretty good. The egg wasn’t fully swirled in which I liked and made every bite unique. It tasted like having oatmeal, pancakes, and egg all on one plate and letting them intermingle with one another. I don’t eat eggs so often but this is how I’ll eat them from now on when I do. I also gave another Newman’s Own Organic product a try.

Newma's Own Organic Fig Newmans And Toast With The Bee's Knees

Newman's Own Organic Fig Newmans And Toast With The Bee's Knees

I knew I liked Fig Newtons but I did not know how much I love Fig Newmans. Straight out of the package, of course they were incredibly fresh and soft like pillows. The breading didn’t crumble until it hit my mouth and which point it sort of melted goodness. The fig filling tasted like real fig(and I should know considering the pints I’ve gone through this Whole Food sale period). And when fig is the 3rd ingredient, you know you’re getting good quality. Another noticeable flavor was the strong presence of vanilla. At first I wasn’t sure how to react to it. But after letting the flavors sit in my mouth, I realized the vanilla is really what make this taste like a cookie that just happens to be healthy as opposed to a healthy cookie. And with the simple and short ingredient list these clearly beat out the original fig newtons in my opinion.

Tuesday is kind of my “recharge day” when I basically make it a point to charge anything electronic. I’ve got my Garmin going now and my ipod’s next. Anybody else have specific days of the week where you make it a point to do something you could in theory do whenever?

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Starting Off With A Smile

Posted on August 17, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Movie Review, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

English muffin With Almond Butter And 365 Raspberry Jam, White Peach With Wallaby Vanilla Bean Dipping Yogurt

English muffin With Almond Butter And 365 Raspberry Jam, White Peach With Wallaby Vanilla Bean Dipping Yogurt

If that doesn’t make you look forward to the day ahead, I don’t know what will. I ran 6 miles this morning; it was so hot and humid I snuck over into my neighbor’s sprinklers for a quick mist. I don’t even know where our sprinklers even are but I might have to find them later lol.

I didn’t even get a chance to eat a snack between blogging and lunch yesterday the time was so short. My grandmother came over for a family Sunday lunch. This was my plate:

My Lunch Plate

My Lunch Plate

I sometimes feel like just doing my own thing at meals, but then I feel bad disregarding the food my mom made, so I compromised on this one. I took the chicken and broccoli and smothered it with Whole Foods Steak Sauce–so addicting! Then I heated up some Whole Foods refried beans and ate it with some Trader Joe’s Potato Nachos. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, find these and pick them up. they’re made with corn flour, potatoes, and brown rice flour, so it’s like this weird nacho-potato chip love child that tastes sooo good.

Stonyfield Cookies N' Cream Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield Cookies N' Cream Frozen Yogurt

Dessert was a bit of froyo. If it looks like I’m eating a lot more ice cream/frozen yogurt lately, I probably am. our freezer is wayyy too full and there’s only one way to fix that: eat our way out. Haha, I’m definitely not minding that “mission” considering it’s a heat wave up here.

We planned to see Julie & Julia in the afternoon so I packed some snacks. I hate buying snacks at the theater because they’re so unhealthy and overpriced. I decided to go with something old and something new:

Something Old

Something Old

Something New

Something New

I opened up my 2nd bar of Mocha Milk Chocolate. After trying all the Newman’s Organic Chocolates and coming back to this one. I really can’t say why I love it so much, other than I really really do. It’s not like their milk chocolate at all; and the coffee isn’t like a dark roast or espresso bean but just a simple cup of joe. it just all works so perfectly. i haven’t seen these in many stores but I highly suggest you buy a bar if you do.

I also figured I’d give the high protein pretzels a try. These have 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber in every serving, so Newman’s definitely trumps the competitors for the nutrition. Overall they were Ok, but not great. They needed more salt, but then again I pour way too much salt on everything. I don’t eat pretzels much but these felt more airy and crispy than others I’ve had, which I liked though didn’t exactly remind me of a pretzel. Overall I think they’re a great product because they really left me feeling full and satisfied. These would probably be optimal for dipping in yogurt or mustard to add a little more flavor, but I definitely want to keep these in my dorm.

Before we hit the theater we went to the same Target as yesterday to pick up a printer for my dorm. It was on sale this week. 2 dollars off isn’t much, but a sale’s a sale right? Then we hopped over to the AMC to see Julie And Julia. We got there 50 minutes early so I killed time playing Soul Caliber in the arcade. Fun Fact: I don’t play video games much but when I do I kick some CPU ass butt, except when it comes to first person shooter which I’m awful and impatient at.

Overall I really liked the movie. I didn’t think the story of Julie and the story of Julia were as parallel as the director tried to make them seem, but I liked that they kept them true to the real stories, both of which I wasn’t too familiar with. Oddly, I’ve been to France and I have to say I didn’t like the food that much; but it’s always great to see someone else so enthusiastic about a culture’s food. Julie’s story I thought would have been inspiring and motivating and encourage me to take this blog somewhere. But actually it just made me feel good for doing what I do and like I want to keep it up. And I like that the movie showed how blogging, while fun, can sometimes feel like a 2nd job and definitely extends into your life past the keyboard.

We got home pretty late(for us, at least) so we grilled for a quick dinner. I tried Morningstar’s Grillers Vegan for the first time.

Morningstar Griller's Vegan

Morningstar Griller's Vegan

I really liked these. They tasted smokey and grilled, a lot like the veggieburgers at UFood Grill. And the ingredient list seems more natural than other Morningstar products, which was an added bonus. I also tried Newman’s Own Organic popcorn to keep with the movie theme.

Newman's Own Organic Pop's Corn

Newman's Own Organic Pop's Corn

Again, this was a Newman’s Own Organic product I really liked. It definitely had a buttery and salty flavor but wasn’t overly done or greasy like others. Of course, the fact that it’s organic makes it all the better. Did you know cheaper brands stick artificial color in there just to make it look more buttered? Yikes. I’m a little sad I only was sent 3 bags of this because that means I’ll be going out to buy some more real soon probably, lol.

At dinner my parents talked about how many times they had seen Julia Child eating at Legal Seafoods. Don’t you hate that feeling of missing out only to realize it’s hard not to miss out on things that happen before you’re born? I was about 20 feet away from Hillary Clinton back in 7th grade on a trip to DC, that’s about as close to celebritydom that I’ve gotten. My dad read that Mrs. Tom Brady shops at one of the same Whole Foods I do, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for her from now on(for some pretty obvious reasons):

After missing the past 4, yes 4, episodes of Big Brother and getting semi-caught up with my On Demand, I finally caught an episode as it aired. I love this show so so much and life has made it hard to really get into this season but I’m trying. Lydia is definitely my favorite at the moment. Woohoo for anyone labeled an off-beat! In High School I always felt like a bit of an off-beat, but I don’t think anyone else saw me like that. I pretty much hung out with every crowd, and I’m glad that I went to a school where I could do that and not feel ostracized by any social group.

The highlights of dessert:

Pecan Sticky Bun Granola In Greek Yogurt

Pecan Sticky Bun Granola In Greek Yogurt

Peanut Butter Cookie Toast And Seeduction Bread With Sunflower Butter And Pumpkin Seeds

Peanut Butter Cookie Toast And Seeduction Bread With Sunflower Butter And Pumpkin Seeds

I picked up the granola today because it was on sale. 20 cents isn’t much of a “sale” but it certainly was an excuse 🙂 I though it was pretty good. It must have been sweet because I mixed it with plain greek yogurt and didn’t notice any tartness. I usually eat granola as a topper to yogurt so I’m going to need to try this again a different way to get a better taste of it. The seedy bread was a bit of genious, if I may say so myself. I’m liking sunflower butter more now that I’m learning to use less; it’s a little bit bigger on flavor than nut butters and a tablespoon is just too seedy for me(pun intended, obviously).

On a last note, I think I caught a virus last night shopping peanut butter on Amazon… I wouldn’t believe it if it weren’t me, either. Anybody know any good software to get rid of it? Spybot Search And Destroy doesn’t seem to be doing the trick.

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Cookie Identity Crisis

Posted on August 16, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Howdy, ya’ll. Damn I miss Georgia and all their accents 😦 Can’t get away speaking like that up here. People always say “when you go to college, you can be anybody you want,” so does that mean I can go and put on a Southern accent for the next  years? Intriguing…

If you thought I was lying about my oven heating when I was blogging yesterday, well pop goes your bubble, lol. I put down the laptop, picked up the pans, and got to work. Like the title suggests, these cookies have a myriad of possible names. The original recipe was Maple Quinoa Cookies With Pecans. Well, these don’t have quinoa or pecans, so I’ll pass on that. If I was trying to be descriptive, I’d call them 4-Grain Maple Apple Vegan Cookies, but I can only fit so much in one breath. I think for now I’ll keep it simple at Maple Morning Cookies(alliteration, who doesn’t love that?).

Ingredients:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup flaxmeal

1/2 cup wheat germ, toasted

40oz dried apple slices, diced

The Dough

The Dough

Preheat your oven to 325. In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add in the oats, flaxmeal, and wheat germ and mix. Pour the maple syrup mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. Throw in the apples and mix until evenly distributed. Drop onto lined cookie sheets and bake until firm to the touch, about 18 minutes. The recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Maple Morning Cookies

Maple Morning Cookies

Let’s get rid of the elephant in the room and point out the dynamite nutrition these cookies bring to the table; eat one of these and you’re doing good on your recommended daily values of whole grains, Omega-3’s, folic acid, and so much more. That aside, I really liked the flavor these had. They were subtly sweet, with a bit of a nuttiness, and the texture is surprisingly puffy and soft. The apples add a nice tough and sweet contrast to the base. If you’re really looking for something sweet I’d up the maple syrup or add brown sugar. But I think these are perfect breakfast cookies, like the name implies. The Summer can be a not-so-oatmeal-friendly time, so I welcome any new ways to get whole grains in the morning. 1 or 2 of these with some yogurt, fruits, and nuts would make a great and tasty way to start the day.

I feel like I should mention the Newman’s Own Organic product I used:

Newman's Own Organic Dried Apples

Newman's Own Organic Dried Apples

I don’t like eating dried fruit alone as a snack; I’d much rather have the real, hydrated thing. That being said, I love baking with dried fruits because of their concentrated flavor and obvious health benefits. And, while it’s not always the easiest on the wallet, I think it’s great to incorporate ingredients into baked goods whenever possible. Homemade has lost almost all its meaning in recent times; people are tricked into using prepackaged mixes and ingredients that are loaded with artifical flavors, preservatives, and colors, that they don’t even know are there. I don’t keep high fructose corn syrup or artificial cherry flavoring in my cupboards, so I don’t want to bake products with them, but that’s sometimes what ends up happening. That makes using organic products all the better because I could give these cookies to the neighbors really knowing what was in them.

All baked out, I sat down to lunch:

Bluefish And Spinach Wrap, 1/2 Sweet Potato, Maple Morning Cookie

Bluefish And Spinach Wrap, 1/2 Sweet Potato, Maple Morning Cookie

I’m getting a lot better about eating leftovers even though I hate having them. It annoys me so much that my mom buys more fish or meat than a family of 3 could/should eat, cooks it all, and then makes it a point to save the leftovers even though we all know she won’t be the one to eat them. Well I guess i can’t complain too much because I got a decent lunch thanks to the leftover fish. Then I said goodbye to a dear friend during dessert:

Stonyfield White Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield White Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

*sniffle* *sniffle* Ok, I’m done, this just gave me an excuse to buy it’s replacement later on(White chocolate raspberry, if you’re out there somewhere reading this, know I could never replace you). Then we brought 6 of the cookies over to the neighbor, who invited us in for a quick tour. She’s a neat freak with her house, which I relate to. She has a magnet that says 26.2(+1), a Runner’s World magazine(+2) and is running 1/2 the San Fransisco marathon(+1000). I’m glad I baked some good fuel for her for training with those cookies 🙂

After that excitement we stepped out to do college and grocery shopping. I got a microwave and a microwavable bowl, so oats at college are officially a go. I also got this awesome shirt from Target that was only 5 dollars and is made with 100% organic cotton

Organic Shirt

Organic Shirt

Funky, huh? I never pictured myself as someone who goes for organic clothes, but I KNOW I’m someone who goes for 5 dollar shirts. I needed some fuel for shopping:

Cherry Pie Larabar

Cherry Pie Larabar

This is the signature Larabr, so I figured it must be amazing, right? Fail. Sorry, but I really didn’t like this. It needed something sweet and something salty. Would it have been too may ingredients to add honey and salt? I almost always finish every thing I put in front of me just because it’s easier to add up the calories but this was so not for me that I actually took it home, measured the amount I didn’t eat, and gave it away. That was ok, because I also picked up this:

So Delicious Mocha Almond Fudge Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Mocha Almond Fudge Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Well this was a no brainer; the name pretty much had me. Plus it was on sale and I’ve spotted this on Jenna’s blog over at Eat, Live, Run, so I didn’t hesitate grabbing it. At the risk of sounding corny, this was So Delicious(had to say it…). But seriously, I think I’m in love with an (coconut milk) ice cream. I’m not a toppings fan, but I love mix-ins, fudge and toasted almonds being some of the best. Combine that with a java base and it’s an instant winner. The almonds were deliciously salty which I loved with the sweet fudge, and the base was like a light-roast cup of joe. Anyone hearing angels singing besides me? I don’t even want to try other So Delicious flavors, I just want an unlimited supply of this one.

Dinner was, surprisingly, not the rest of the pint of So Delicious(though it very well could’ve been). My mom was having an “I don’t feel like cooking” night, so I just had her pick up some salmon and planked it on the grill with pineapples while basmatti rice cooked in the microwave. Topped off with a little TJ Island Soyaki and I was good to go.

Dinner

Dinner

Now for something hysterical: my parents went out to see a band play while I opted stayed home on a Saturday night. Haha, I really don’t think I was missig much. The band was a bunch of 50 year old men, one of whom lives in our neighborhood, playing jazz or rock or something. Yeah, really regretting skipping that*eye roll*… Anyways, I got in a cinnamony mood and had a cinnamon raisin english muffin with cinnamon raisin PB and melted banana spread with added cinnamon. As if that wasn’t enough cinnamon, I found these in the box-o-goodies from Newman’s:

Newman's Own Organic Alphabet Cinnamon Grahams

Newman's Own Organic Alphabet Cinnamon Grahams

Hold on, hold on, time out. That’s not fair. This product is too adorable; you’d have to be Cruella DeVille to hate mini alphabet crackers. Obviously these should have been a blind taste test. After trying them, I wasn’t in love with them, but I definitely liked them. The flavor was not too sweet like supermarket graham crackers. They were a bit tough but I really liked them dipped in coffee. I’m way too young to have kids(and even once I “have” kids I won’t be doing more than yelling “Push, honey, push!” and getting blamed for all the evils in the world), but this is one snack I’d feel great giving to my kids. They’re healthy, cutesy, tasty, and only 120 calories for 10 cookies. I know from my cousins that kids love to nibble and don’t really care if it’s a tiny graham cracker or an over-sugared brownie so I’d feel great giving them these lil’ buggers to spell with and eat.

I was also seeducted by another food for dessert:

Whole Foods Seeduction Bread

Whole Foods Seeduction Bread

In my quest to find something like the AMAZING sunflower bread from Dekalb farmer’s market I found this at none other than Whole Foods. It has poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, and a bunch more. I really liked it lightly toasted; it wasn’t quite sunflower seed level, but it was really good. I liked biting into whole pumpkin seeds in the bread for some texture and flavor.

This morning I wasn’t particularly “feeling” any route so I tried a new one. It was a bit hillier than I thought it’d be but not bad. I also discovered where all the mansions around here are located. Nothing makes you feel better than running down a rich street, haha. today I think we’re seeing Julie & Julia. Hopefully it’ll be good and I’ll write a review for it for tomorrow(though it seems like I’m the last on the blog world to see it).

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I Brake To Bake

Posted on August 15, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have you gone out and bought chocolate yet? What could you possibly be waiting for?

I have to admit, the time between blogging and lunch is pretty brief and boring and I don’t know why I bother to mention it. I snacked on a homemade Larabar and ground some flax.

Fresh Flaxmeal

Fresh Flaxmeal

Please tell me I’m not the only one who sniffs the flax after they grind it and get a huge smile on their face. Anyone? No? You’re just not willing to admit it. I can’t wait until I go to Brown and my roommate finds this in our fridge and asks “Dude, what are you on” and I stare blankly and say “Flax, man. Flax.”

Lunch was the perfect opportunity to try another Newman’s Own Organic product:

Newman's Own Organic White Cheddar Soy Crisps

Newman's Own Organic White Cheddar Soy Crisps

Is it even fair to review a product you already know you’ll love? Idk, but these were really great. The white cheddar flavor was very present and they had a great crispy crunch to them. The best part is that a serving(pictured) has 8 grams of protein and they’re completely vegetarian. I’m not a vegetarian, but I try to have 2 meals a day without meat, and I usually have to worry about getting enough protein on the plate during those meals. I threw this alongside a black bean burger, which has moderate but not high protein, and didn’t have to worry anymore. These would probably also make a great snack as opposed to potato chips since the protein is much more filling, though I’m not someone who tends to munch on chips in between meals.

After lunch was, what else, but grocery shopping. Our fridge was a little low on things I consider staples since I’d left for vacation so we picked up some stuff like spinach and fruit. We must have been out for longer than I realized because I was pretty hungry(and cranky) when we got back. I threw together an afternoon wrap:

Salmon, Goat Cheese, And Spinach Wrap

Salmon, Goat Cheese, And Spinach Wrap

I’m getting so much better at using leftovers. The salmon was from last night, the wrap and spinach were from the shopping trip, and the goat cheese sadly is almost gone! And I was just at Trader Joe’s yesterday, now I’ll have to go back. Ugh :-(… ;-).

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

I snacked on that while baking Pumpkin Bread. I consider this my best recipe; not only is it healthy but other people actually like it too. Well I meant to bake this for our new neighbors but we were out of applesauce so I just had a field day playing with the recipe. The result tasted OK, but needs more sugar(and if I’m saying this, you know it’s not sweet enough).

I don’t usually share dinner but this was off the chain and so simple:

Buffalo Mac N' Cheese And Buffalo Chicken Sausage

Buffalo Mac N' Cheese And Buffalo Chicken Sausage

The sausages were Al Fresco brand which I love; they have no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and come in a lot of fun flavors(blueberry maple anyone?). The Mac N’ Cheese was Archer Farms brand so it was also all natural. A big box had 3 servings–perfect for our family of 3. And the whole thing together had a nice hot-wing flavor without too much heat.

Dessert was a lot of goodies, per usual, but I’ll just share the highlight:

Newman's Own Organic Espresso Chip Cookies

Newman's Own Organic Espresso Chip Cookies

Another Newman’s Own Organic product to try. I’m not a chocolate chip cookie lover, so I was a little weary of these; I would choose a hermit style cookie anyday. That being said, I was surprised how much I liked these. My main issue with chocolate chip cookies is that the base is flavorless and each bite is a contest to see how many chocolate chips you can get–not so with these. The base of the cookie had a delicious vanilla-sugar flavor that made me completely forget about the chocolate chips. These are crispy whereas I prefer chewy, but they did melt in my mouth which was a welcomed surprise. Overall I’d definitely recommend them.

Friday’s are my unofficial rest days, which I celebrate by waking up at 6am and running 5 miles on. Before I headed out I emptied another PB jar and filled up it’s replacement:

PB&Co. Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

PB&Co. Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

I forgot how many raisins a fresh jar has before I get at them, this will be delicious 🙂

There was a police officer driving around my neighborhood, and he totally didn’t stop at a 4-way intersection D-X. He was probably called to check out who the nut running so early around the neighborhood was(I know 6:30’s not early for most runners, but for the people in this neighborhood it is). I had oats soaking in my microwave for 2 days(I didn’t mean to let them go this long but kind of never got in an oaty mood). I figured it was their time so I concocted this breakfast:

Pumpkin Oats With Maple Almond Butter, Cantaloupe, Strawberry Yogurt With Banana

Pumpkin Oats With Maple Almond Butter, Cantaloupe, Strawberry Yogurt With Banana

Surprisingly, I didn’t have carrot juice for once after a run. I figured the banana had plenty of potassium and the fruit and yogurt had sugar so I didn’t need it for recovery. Work wasn’t awful; it never is when we all just sit around and joke about other people in the office and have baked goods to keep the sugar up. Of course we had UFood for lunch. I wasn’t feeling like a meat dish since I figured we’d be having that at home so I went with their Tofusion bowl for the first time:

Tofusion Bowl

UFood's Tofusion Bowl

I’m not crazy ont he tofu, but I’m trying to get mmore vegetable protein into my diet. Next time, I’ll just go with the Newman’s Soy Crisps. For “dessert” I tried this:

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Breath Mints

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Breath Mints

Ok, a breath mint isn’t dessert, but it was really good. I lvoe that Newman’s Own Organic even has this sort of stuff on its line, because I figured I’d have to give up breath mints along with gum and candy after getting rid of artifical stuff from my diet. This had a a kicking flavor that really left my mouth feeling refreshed and spicy(in a good way). My dad said it was “too strong” and that “the flavor lasted 20 minutes after it was gone”, at which point I clarified it was a breath mint and NOT a candy. Then he seemed pretty pleased with the product lol.

Lady luck was on my side: Our boss let us all go an hour early because so many people took today off and no one would really notice. I took a trip to the Whole Foods at Symphony I never go to and on the way stumbled across the Farmer’s Market at Copley:

Copley's Farmer's Market

Copley's Farmer's Market

It was no Dekalb but it was pretty neat. There was tons I could’ve bought but I just grabbed some corn and broccoli and kept on my way. I stumbled upon Shaws and got some Vitatops on sale(!!), and then got wicked lost trying to find Whole Foods. Ultimately I found a cool asian chick carrying a Whole Foods bag so i asked her and it turned out she was going there, too. We talked and chatted; she’s a Berkley student and reminded me a ton of my friend Alex who’s already a Junior at Brown and one of the people who convinced me to go there.

The trip was a bit of a bust because they didn’t have much different except Coconut Artisana Butter and Blue Diamond Almond Butter, so I just grabbed some more figs that were on sale and was content.

There was a bit of an angry tantrum when I got home. I think one of my worst qualities is that I still have these. I was more upset with myself since I KNOW never to ask others to buy groceries for me because I’m so specific. So I was a little annoyed when I asked my mom to get a jar of unsweetened applesauce and she came back with individual cups of HFCS sweetened applesauce. Again, I was more upset with myself than anyone else, since I was JUST at Shaws and Whole Foods and should’ve bought it myself. Well the parents were nice enough to go back out and get what I asked for while I did the tons of crap I always have after a day of work.

Dessert started with a plate of zombies:

Loaded Scone And PB & J Homemade Larabar

Loaded Scone And PB & J Homemade Larabar

By zombies I mean foods that were dead(aka frozen) that I necromanced(aka thawed). I can’t believe I never froze my baked goods before. It’s so great to have something delicious and homemade whenever I want without lifting a finger. Then I had a bit of a savory tooth:

Trader Joe's Microwaved Pizza

Trader Joe's Microwaved Pizza

I love it when pizza parlors cut their pizza into uneven slices so I went with the 12-slice method here. And I finished up with some unpictured pumpkin bread, white chocolate cherry PB toast, and fresh figs. Is it just me, or do figs look a little… naughty when bitten into?

I woke up this morning still digesting most of those carbs and went out for my long run. I really didn’t see the 8.5 miles happening last night but something got me through them this morning in only 1:08:16. Not shabby, huh? I made myself a rather incredible post-run breakfast:

White Peach, Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Mint Chip Yogurt, carrot Juice, Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter

White Peach, Deep Chocolate Vitatop, Mint Chip Yogurt, carrot Juice, Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter

I’d probably have this every morning if I wouldn’t go po’ from the vanilla almond butter and vitatops. I can be satisfied with it being a weekly thing. I’m going to make some 4-grain Maple Apple Vegan cookies today, an adaptation from a recipe from the Runner’s World forums. I’m hoping they come out alright because then I will FINALLY have something for the neighbors. I also just found out that the wife(they’re newlyweds) is training for a marathon. I think that’s awesome, though I’m pretty much a horrible running partner/prefer going solo so I kind of hope she doesn’t ask if I want to go running some time. Asking me to bake whole-grain cookies is more my style 😉 Ok, I’ve got the oven preheating, time to make these bad boys.

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Newman’s Own Organic Chocolate Review

Posted on August 14, 2009. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , |

Part 1: 100%

We all love to put “natural” food in our body; how can something made in a lab ever be better for you than something from the ground? But what does “natural” mean. Well, on food labels, it means nothing. That’s because the USDA has no regulation for the word “natural”, so it’s up for the company to slap on their product. Organic, on the other hand, is a well-loaded word. For a product to be organic it must meet several requirements, and Newman’s Own Organic only produces the finest quality products that meet this. For one, it means that all the ingredients are as natural as we would expect from hearing the word “natural”. Nothing from a laboratory; everything from the earth. In the world of cocoa, it also means that Newman’s Own Organic have grown the process in a way which doesn’t harm the rainforest–an all-too-common problem with most cocoa produced.

Part 2: Guiltless

What is there to feel guilted by in chocolate? Well, as I will convince you, absolutely nothing in Newman’s Own Organic. We’ve already established the ingredients are all natural and produced in a way which didn’t hurt the environment. Then there’s the nutrition. Newman’s Own Organic uses only organic palm oil. While higher in saturated fats than other oils, this contains absolutely 0% trans fat. And the saturated fats it does contain have no effect on cholesterol like saturated fats from animal products does. Lastly, chocolate naturally contains plety of antioxidants and stress-relieving flavanoids that also serve to fight inflammation. I dare you to find any reason to find guilt in these products; in fact, in moderated amounts, they can easily become a staple for a healthy diet.

Part 3: The Products

Mocha Milk Chocolate-

Newma's Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate

Starting off with a bang, this was the first I tried and stayed my favorite throughout the entire review. If you ask me if I like milk or dark, I’d yell dark in a heartbeat. But this milk chocolate gained a unique flavor from the “hint” of coffee, which was more like a full box o’ joe. The two worked incredible together and the overall impression was like a sweet and creamy specialty coffee drink in my mouth. I can’t and won’t stop raving about this one to everyone I know. Be sure to look for this in your grocery store’s organic aisle.

Dark Chocolate-

Like I mentioned, I would sooner label myself as a dark chocolate lover than milk. I’ve tried plenty of other brands of dark chocolate, and Newman’s Own Organic just didn’t stand out here. The flavor had a bit of bitterness which was soon subdued with sweetness as it melted in my mouth. When I think dark chocolate, I’m really looking for a subtle bite back from the bar which this one just didn’t deliver. It would be good for anybody trying to ween themselves onto darker chocolates, but any one else should feel free to skip this one.

Espresso Dark Chocolate-

Newman's Own Organic Espresso Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Espresso Dark Chocolate

For this chocolate, Newman’s Own Organic infused espresso beans into the base of their dark chocolate. Each bite contained finely ground bits of espresso bean, which disrupted the creaminess of the chocolate. The coffee flavoring was present, but not particularly enhanced. Upon first impression, I was rather dissapointed by this one; I was hoping for a more intense coffee flavor that intertwined with the chocolate. After trying it for a second time, I appreciated the bar more when I thought of it simply as a dark chocolate. The espresso beans serve to enhance the chocolate and give this an artisan quality. Anyone looking for a coffee experience, however, should opt for the Mocha Milk.

Orange Dark Chocolate-

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

This, ultimately, was a close runner-up for my favorite of the line. The citrus aroma is subtle but the flavor intense. The orange works particularly well with the dark chocolate to create a bitter-sour flavor combo. Had they tried this with a milk base, I think the result would taste more like orange juice than chocolate; but this bar has the perfect cocoa content for the two to balance each other out.

Super Dark Chocolate-

Newman’s Own Organic upped the cocoa content this time around to make a truly dark chocolate. I enjoyed this one much more than the other variety since it didn’t have a sweetness in the aftertaste. It also wasn’t dry and had the creamy texture I’ve found synonomous with Newman’s Own Organic chocolate line. I really enjoy and highly suggest this product. My only wish is that Newman’s Own Organic would take it to the next level and make an even darker bar.

Milk Chocolate-

Newman's Own Organic Milk Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Milk Chocolate

Dark chocolate’s more my style, so I felt a little out of my comfort zone reviewing this one. The texture was incredibley smooth and creamy and delightful. It melted very slowly in my mouth, and reminded me of a gourmet Easter bunny from my childhood. The flavor was a bit too sweet for me, but I think just right for milk chocolate. I would suggest this to any milk chocolate lover. But if you’re a true milk chocolate lover(or just a chocolate lover in general) and looking for something a little different and special, skip this and go on to the mocha milk.

For all the products mentioned and any other Newman’s Own Organic products visit http://www.Newmansownorganics.com or shop the natural aisle of your local grocery store.

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Monday Through Funday

Posted on August 13, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

P.S. Wednesday is now known as Funday

P.P.S. Funday wasn’t so fun until around 6pm this week.

It seems like only yesterday I was here:

The Pond

The Pond

That’s the pond across from their house. Years ago we would fish in it but at some point the idea of sticking a spear into fishes’ lips, tearing it out, and throwing them back lost its appeal. I sat around waiting for other people to get their butts out of bed get dressed and ready. While I was waiting I enjoyed some Newman’s Own Organic Dark Chocolate Espresso chocolate and my favorite funny lady.

Espresso Dark Chocolate And Kathy Griffin

Espresso Dark Chocolate And Kathy Griffin

My opinion’s changing slightly on this one with each try. I still don’t see it as an espresso flavor, but it’s growing on me as an artisan flavor.

When said butts were in motion, we went to Malibu Grand Prix–a place with race cars, bumper boats, mini-golf and an arcade. It was the first day of school in Georgia so the three of us comprised half the population in the whole place. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t turn on the bigger machines until 3pm when more people might show up, so we played a round of golf.

Alex Taking His First Putt

Alex Taking His First Putt

I even got a hole in one!

My Hole In One

My Hole In One

After that I was feeling munchy. We stopped at Publix on the way where I grabbed some of my all-time favorites: Hormel sliced turkey, an avocado, and an organic peach.

Turkey And Avocado And A Peach

Turkey And Avocado And A Peach

I made a turkey and avocado sandwich. Oh God have I been missing this, especially the cool and creamy avocado. So happy I had some waiting for me back home J The peach was… weird. The inside was brownish but it tasted perfectly normal. I was just happy to have an organic peach; it’s number one on the pesticide dirty dozen list.
I played a few games, but mostly I think they’re a waste of money considering the hefty amounts of video games I have, so I just ate while the others played.

A Skiball Machine

A Skiball Machine

This guy stole one of my tokens >_< After that we hit up the race track. I drive very much like my parents: slow and cautious. I was literally waving people on the track to pass me and staying on the outside of curbs. I think the 8 year old who lapped me got a kick out of it. Oh well, that’s how we do it in New England and if you don’t like it stay off our streets. We also went on the bumper boats.

Bumper Boats

Bumper Boats

This was fun and relaxing until mine lost power at the end and the women operating the ride had to get into another boat to come and pull me in. I guess I can now say I’ve been part of a sea search and rescue operation?

Dinner

Dinner

For dinenr we had chicken marsala and Kashi curry pilaf on the side. It was all tasty(with loads of salt added, of course) but my stomach felt awful. I have no idea what the problem could have been; the rice was a few months past the date but that doesn’t seem like it would have been an issue. Maybe it was all the fiber and protein at once? Idk, if my stomach ever feels like that again I can relate the two situations and figure it out.

We all went down stairs to watch one of the birthday gifts: Watchmen. I think a huge WTF is warranted here. I just did not get it at all, thank god I had my laptop to blog read with during that. I also popped this out of m pocket since I wanted something small to try and settle my stomach.

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

This is definitely still one of my favorite flavors. The orange has just the right intensity for the dark chocolate. I also made myself a parfait and tried using the banana spread trick with raspberries. The raspberry spread came out Ok. I’d stick with the 365 brand, though. The parfait was really fun, mostly because I don’t take the extra minutes to make myself something like that usually.

I was a little sleep deprived from my roomie’s tv watching habit(maybe this was good practice for college), but I still got up the next morning at 7 and powered in a 5-miler. That makes 20 miles for Georgia and I’m more than ecstatic about that. I came back and made myself oats with SB PB and another parfait.

SB PB Oats And A Strawberry Vanilla Almond Parfait

SB PB Oats And A Strawberry Vanilla Almond Parfait

At the suggestion of some other Runner’s World forumites, we explored the Dekalb’s Farmers Market, and I’m so glad we did.

Dekalb Farmers Market

Dekalb Farmers Market

This place was huge and absolutely incredible. I really wish we had something like this within 50 miles of me because it would entirely be worth the trip. Maybe it was a good thing I had to get on a plane in a few hours because otherwise I would’ve bought all the produce I could get my hands on to. The variety and prices were incredible. I found some Sunland Inc. Peanut Butter which I’ve been really wanting to try but they only had creamy and crunchy which weren’t too exciting. I ended up with this as my loot:

Liberte Honey Goat Milk Yogurt, Sunflower Seed Bread, Cashew Butter, Cherry Butter

Liberte Honey Goat Milk Yogurt, Sunflower Seed Bread, Cashew Butter, Cherry Butter

Using everything I bought, I made a sandwich with Cashew and Cherry butter on that fresh bread. That bread must be baked with crack love, because it’s sooo good. Too bad there aren’t many more places that make artisan breads these days; it’s really a lost art. The goat milk yogurt is always one of my favorites. This one was a little thin but I think that’s because it hadn’t been in the refrigerator long before I grabbed it.

We got to the airport and said our sad goodbyes. It was fun and hopefully we’ll see them around Christmas time in NY for a day like we usually do. I can manage to smuggle a lot on to an airplane, but apparently not Smart Balance Peanut Butter and Cherry Butter. The containers were “too deep” or something like that. Sure, they’re things I can get at Whole Foods, but it was pretty annoying.

The first flight went fine, the second not so much. I had to lay over in Philly. My flight ended up getting pushed back 20 minutes. I grabbed this way overpriced but not horrible salad for dinner:

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad

We starting boarding another 20 minutes late due to the mass amount of people trying to get on my plane since the previous flight to Boston was cancelled. We got onto the runway and–surprise–wouldn’t know if we could take off until 9:30. All we could do was sit there, so I watched a movie on my ipod, hoped to God we’d get off the ground, and snacked on some Newman’s Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate for stress relief, which actually worked.

Snacking On The Plane

Snacking On The Plane

We ended up taking off around 9:45 and got off the plane at around 10:40. I’ll spare you the drama but the landing was a little more than bumpy.  I was not in the mood at that time to be chatty so I just snacked cherry butter I asked my dad to buy and cashew butter on toast, just like my lunch. Life’s hysterical, ain’t it?

I was asleep by 12:15 and as soon as I knew it it was 6am and I was waking up to run. A little crazy maybe but I figured it was the best way to get into the swing of things. I did a good 5 miles before heading off to work and having some breakfast:

Vanilla Almond Butter And Cherry Butter On An English Muffin, Strawberry Brown Cow Greek Yogurt With Blueberries

Vanilla Almond Butter And Cherry Butter On An English Muffin, Strawberry Brown Cow Greek Yogurt With Blueberries

Work was, again, unexciting. I’m just happy I made it through the day awake. I tapped into the power of Goji berries in the form of my favorite bar, Clif Lemon Vanilla Cashew Nectar. I figure it makes Erik from Vegan Fritz so badass it’ll keep me going for a few hours. For lunch I munched on a bison burger.

UFood Bison Burger

UFood Bison Burger

It was a little over cooked, but it hit the spot. I got a paycheck, too. You’ll be seeing that in the form of peanut butter eventually. I also tried the last chocolate Newman’s Own Organic sent me:

Newman's Own Organic Milk Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Milk Chocolate

I’m not a milk chocolate fan in general; my memories of it are Hershey’s bars and Easter bunnies. That’s probably why I pushed this one off as long as I could. It was actually pleasant. It in no way made me think of a dreaded Hershey’s. It did remind me of an Easter egg but a high quality one. The texture was smooth and the flavor was overall pretty creamy. I’m still not a milk chocolate fan, though. I’d much rather go for the Mocha Milk Chocolate, which was absolutely incredible.

On the way home we stopped at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to hit the sales.

The Loot

The Loot

Black mission figs were 2 dollars for 8oz, yippee!! I also got some Zevia root beer on sale, some TJ brand sunflower butter, all-natural gummies, and chocolate syrup because they’re so cheap, and a few other goodies. I also had this waiting for me:

Newman's Own Organic Products

Newman's Own Organic Products

Newman's Own Organic Pretzels

Newman's Own Organic Pretzels

Newman's Own Organics Snacks And Cookies

Newman's Own Organics Snacks And Cookies

Newman's Own Organic Dried Fruit

Newman's Own Organic Dried Fruit

Sally from Newman’s Own Organic sent me more(much more) products to review. I just got through all the types of chocolate; they’re really working me over there. Haha, jk. Thanks a ton Sally and Newman’s Own Organic! I never knew Newman’s Own Organic made so many high-protein snacks and munchies. I’m going to find plenty of uses for these over the next few weeks.

After all that excitement I had to try something out, but what? These!:

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Hermits

Newman's Own Organic Ginger Hermits

I’ve already had and reviewed their original hermits, but I was really excited to try the ginger variety. I love their hermits in general because each one has 8-10% your DV of iron, in a cookie no less! Plus, I love a deep spice and molasses flavor over something sugary sweet anyday. The ginger variety was very delicious, but I didn’t notice a huge difference from the original ones. Both had a great spiced flavor that wasn’t too sharp. Overall I’d definitely recommend getting some Newman’s Own Organic Hermits if you’re a spice lover, but I can’t recommend one flavor over another; you’ll be healthy and happy with any.

Speaking of Newman’s Own Organic, the chocolate review is almost complete, and since tomorrow’s a work day I plan on finishing it tonight and posting it bright and early before I head off. Hope you’ll check it out!

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Prioritizing

Posted on August 12, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update |

Hey, all. Getting back from Georgia was a little hectic and at times didn’t seem like it was happening last night but I finally landed around 10:40, got home by 11:40, up and running at 6 and now I have a day of work ahead. As you can imagine I’m pretty beat so am keeping this one short and simple. I hope to be back with a HUGE recap post tomorrow and have my Newman’s Own Organic Chocolate Review done for Friday. Hope all is well with you guys and I’ll try to get some blog-reading done a little later.

By the way, If you’re in town for the Blog Summit and want to meet up that’d be awesome, just drop me an email. I think I’m going to try to go to the J.P. Licks event tomorrow–I can never say no to some delicious peanut butter soft serve froyo.

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Book Lover

Posted on August 10, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I’m starting not to mind that the boys down here sleep ungodly late because that’s making catching up on email and blogging really easy. Yesterday morning we hopped in the car and went to the local Borders. There was a 40% off sale so you know I had to buy something even though I just bought a book the night before. I got this:

Eat This Not That

Eat This Not That

I loved the Supermarket Survival Guide. It turned me on to loads of new foods(like that oh so delicious and nutritious flax I wish I packed but didn’t because I thought the people at the airport might think it was some weird drug, hahaha). So far this has been OK, but I’ve only read 3 chapters. I never realized the Egg McMuffin was such a relatively good choice. I snacked on a bit o’ trail mix while shopping:

Perk Me Up Trail Mix

Perk Me Up Trail Mix

This stuff alone is turning me into a walnut lover. After that we had burgers for lunch(no pic as the people here think I’m weird enough that I don’t need to photograph everything I eat. I don’t believe I’ve shown you the residential cutie yet:

Snickers

Snickers

This puppy is adorable and could play all day long; mine farts and sleeps all the time. Can we make a trade? Jk, I love my Montana. After lunch I grabbed this from the fridge and we were out the door:

Vanilla Coke Zero

Vanilla Coke Zero

Yeah, this was throwing the no-artificialness thing out the window, but I couldn’t visit the red state without having at least 1 Coke product? And actually I think they use real vanilla flavoring, so this doesn’t go against my first motto in the To Live By section. I drank this in the theater of Kiss Me Kate. My friend Tommy worked as a stagehand for the play and this was the opening weekend. It was fun to get to see his work. The play is about putting on a performance of The Tamer Of The Shrew. It was good, but I’m not a fan of plays within plays; they make my brain hurt!

For dinner, everyone sort of did their own thing, so I reheated the buffalo dip and made a sandwich. Did I mention that stuff was like crack?

Buffalo Chicken Dip Sandwich

Buffalo Chicken Dip Sandwich

We watched some Family Guy. While doing so I ordered Thrive online. 3 books in two days? That doesn’t sound like me. Can’t wait to get it in the mail, though. I also tried this:

Newman's Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Super Dark Chocolate

This was the 5th of the 6 Newman’s Own Organic sent me that I’ve tried. I wouldn’t say that this was a super Super Dark Chocolate, but I would say that it was a super Dark Chocolate. Get what I’m saying? It was a really  really delicious standard dark chocolate, but I wouldn’t mind if Newman’s Own Organic bumped up the cocoa % for another bar. The one I have left is their milk chocolate, and once I try that back in MA I’ll be ready to write a full on review for you all. Overall, I’ve been really pleased with Newman’s Own Organic’s chocolate line and can’t wait to share my thoughts/hope you’ll consider buying and enjoying the really good ones too. Per usual, I went to bed way earlier than most others. Well that was ok because it made me feel great and ready to run at 7. I did the same course as yesterday since it’s what I know and clocked 5 miles. Getting back I grabbed this:

Vault Zero

Vault Zero

Again, artificialness, but caffeine is good for post-run recovery and I’m on vaca. I was more curious how this tasted more than anything. I think it’s supposed to be Coke’s Diet Mountain Dew. It wasn’t bad but tasted a lot like sugar and water. Then I made myself breakfast:

Toast With SB PB And Banana Spread With Cinnamon, Plain Yogurt With Maple Syrup And Almond Slices

Toast With SB PB And Banana Spread With Cinnamon, Plain Yogurt With Maple Syrup And Almond Slices

The PB and Banana Spread were pretty delicious and genious. The plain yogurt actually had a nice tangy taste, was all-natural, and I was surprised to find it in the back of the fridge. The maple syrup was a slight mistake. I’ve been craving it a bit, so I was excited when I found some in the pantry. It was Aunt Jemima, which is loaded with water, sugar, and HFCS, but I figured I’d put aside my qualms and deal with it. Ha, jokes on me, this stuff doesn’t taste at all like real maple syrup and I can’t believe there are people who have never had real Maine maple syrup and consider this the “real” stuff.

Today no one has to work so we’re planning on going to a place with bumper boats and race cars. Then we might go to Dave And Busters or see a movie, so it should be loads of fun for my last day.

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