Archive for November, 2009

Shortcut Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted on November 30, 2009. Filed under: Recipe | Tags: , , , |

Shortcut Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/2oz(approximately 2 tablespoons) Fluff
  • Sweetener to taste(optional)

In a small container, combine cream cheese and Fluff(I use an all-natural vegan alternative) and whip until light and fluffy. Add a pinch of sweetener if desired.

I don’t think it can get simpler than this. And because I don’t keep a bag of powdered sugar and a high-speed beater in my dorm(shocker), this is like a little taste of home. I add a little vanilla stevia, but it has a perfectly cream flavor without it.

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The Swing Of Things

Posted on November 30, 2009. Filed under: Book Review, Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning! In case you were travelling over the weekend, there was a new recipe dreamed up on Black Friday, a review of Clif bars, a day that had me blushing beet red, and a 2nd, meatless Thanksgiving.

After that awesome lunch, I needed time to digest on the couch with Montana, and then got to work on my next project.

Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree. After chopping it down yesterday and leaving it in the cold overnight, we finally brought it in. Traditionally, I do the lights and the cranberries while my mom does the ornaments afterwards; since I was moving back to my dorm I needed to do this snappily. I was happy at the end 🙂 I love the lights on a Christmas tree. I think the ornaments are always nice and personal but it’s just not a tree to me if it doesn’t light up.

Afterwards we got to packing up. I dreaded this. It always feels like I have more going back than coming home, and this time I knew I did because of all the leftovers and extra clothes. Ugh. Thankfully with enough helping hands in the house this wasn’t too bad and shaped up pretty quick.

Packed Bags

I think it was a backpack, 3 bags of food, 2 of laundry, 2 of random machinery, and a stevia plant. Because, really, how could I live without all of that? We swung by my grandmother’s apartment to pick her up because she likes to come “just for the ride”. Wouldn’t it be nice to have time to go for a ride just because you have nothing else to do? 60 more years and I’ll be there.

Double Chocolate Pillow

Of course before hitting the highway we wento McDonald’s for some decaf and I broke out one of these cookies. I think it’s always the case that things grow on me after a few days, because 4 days later and I’m now becoming obsessed with them. Seriously, just smelling the cocoa–bliss. On the way down we stopped at Target looking for a movie. Alas, no luck 😦 But underwear was on sale and that’s close enough to grab, right?

Moving back in was actually quite quick and painless with enough helping hands(again). The rug looks awesome since my mom brought down her vacuum to clean it up(thanks!). I definitely lost track of time in all of this and realized I was hungry. A little cookie is not a substantial afternoon snack, but you know what is?

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Ice cream. I’m surprised this has survived the common freezer for so long, but yesterday I decided it was time to polish it off(only about 1 serving left anyway). I love the tang of the balsamic vinegar in this. Something tells me adding balsamic vinegar, even an organic one, to strawberry chobani wouldn’t work the same. When all the groceries were away I enjoyed staring at a full fridge.

Full Fridge

Really? Is there anything more blissful? I’m surprised I managed to cram it all in there; it looked like it might not make it and I’m glad I left some tofu at home for another weekend. I also found this which I snuck into my bag:

The Killer Angels

I don’t really “pleasure read”, and if I had time to, I’d probably choose a book I haven’t read, so I’m not sure why I brought this. But I do love and recommend this book for anyone wanting to read a psuedo-historic novel. I did a huge paper on it and the battle of Gettysburg in 11th grade. As you might know, I’m a Classics major, but besides that American history 1640-1865 is my other area of interest. There’s a movie, Gettysburg, based on this book I have yet to see but I can’t wait to find it some day.

Dinner started off a little disgusting; I went to get one of my sweet potatoes and found it covered in mold–yuck! That’s actually never happened with the food I keep under my bed but I guess there’s a first for everything. Instead, I had to improvise.

Broccoli, Turkey Breast, Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Lightlife Breakfast Sausages And Maple Syrup

You know how sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach? Yeah, story of my life day. First there was being stuffed from a stuffed tofurkey and acorn squash, and then there was this. The turkey wasn’t anything special, I just wanted to eat it up before it got moldy like a sweet potato. The english muffin with sausage was the real money maker here. Does anybody else remember McGriddles from McDonalds? That’s EXACTLY What this was like, except with infinitesimally less trans fat. Oh my God, so good. Rest assured it will be made again. Unfortunately, there was one casualty during dinner.

 

Broken Amazing Grass Bottle

 

My Amazing Grass bottle 😦 I dropped it on the floor while it was full and water went pretty much everywhere–fun. After cleaning it up I went to the bathroom and tried refilling it, wondering why it kept being empty. Smart one, Evan. I think they carry these at Whole Foods? That’s what I’m hoping at least. After getting ahead(ahead! not catching up!) on work I made a snack and settled in for A Dog Named Christmas.

 

Peanut Butter Soy Yogurt With Fig Jam And Peanut Butter Chips

 

I don’t expect much from cheesy, holiday, made-for-TV movies, but this one was even below expectations. I expect them to suck, but to also be cutesy, and the child acting in this was not cutesy. This snack also did not disappoint even though I was iffy on the flavor combo. I think I forgot to sweeten the base but thankfully I bought a Vanilla flavor. I completely forgot I even had fig preserves but they were still just as good. And the pb cheeps were nice and sweet, nothing at all like real peanut butter and yet just as magical 🙂

After I’d put up with bad child acting for an hour, it was time for a new Brothers & Sisters. Last weeks episode was not on because Adam Lambert needed to whore it up at the AMA’s, but this week there were supposed to be great plot twists and secret revealings–it did not disappoint. Midway, I snacked on this:

 

English Muffin With Pumpkin Cream Cheese And Honey Maple Peanut Butter Topped With Me And Goji Granola

2 english muffins in one day? I was on a roll. I liked the crunch from the granola. And the gojis I’m sure were some decent brain food. I also love “rediscovering” peanut butters I forget about. Brothers & Sisters I thought was awesome–can’t wait until the wedding(or will there even be one?) next week.

I was exhausted so I knew I wanted shut eye but for some reason, as tired as I was, I wasn’t getting to sleep. I don’t know how much I slept overall or how many times I woke up/had weird dreams. This was one harsh “welcome back” to the swing of things. When I woke up, though, I was ready to meet my old friend–the gym. I made a quickie snack.

Kashi Strawberry Flax Waffle With Banana Peanut Butter

Normally I like bars that I can take on the treadmill but for some reason this was what appealed to me best. When I got there, it was packed for 6:50am(read: 3 other people). But then it quited down and the regulars started showing up. I didn’t concern myself too much with pace or anything; I was plenty happy to be back and watching the Today Show(does anybody care about Tiger Woods’ car crash at this point? really?). In the end I did 12 miles in 1:38:59. That’s almost exactly like yesterday, which is good because I tend to be slower inside than out. When I got back, I relearned how to make a dormroom breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Butter And Maple Frosting, Eggnog Yogurt

This microwave just ain’t the same as the one back home. For the oats I used Caitlin’s pancake frosting recipe with a little vanilla stevia. I think my cooking skills were on vacation and are just getting back, too, because everything was underseasoned/sweetened. Afterwards, I added more stevia and cinnamon to the yogurt and some vanilla sugar and salt atop the oats and that perked things up.

And so, clearly I’m relearning dorm life after a week of bliss. I suppose with finals and papers coming up I won’t even notice the time between now and Christmas vacation, right? Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s cyber Monday, and as dirty as that sounds I have some deals to catch.

 

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A Second Thanksgiving

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

I’m glad to hear that I delighted some of you with my embarrassing beet story(and that I’m not the only one!). On my run today, which I’ll get to, I asked myself this: What makes someone a “full-time blogger? Is it the amount of posts they make per day? Surely I or someone else isn’t less of a blogger for posting all at once what someone else posts spread over 3 times. Is it someone who can live off their blog income alone? Ha! If somebody can do this, congrats to them and they can go f— themselves(jk here ;-)). Or is it someone who just loves posting and is inspired by the whole community and blogs when and because they feel like it? I’d argue the last one. What do you think makes a full time blogger?

Oatmeal With An Egg, The Heat Is On Peanut Butter, And A Morningstar Breakfast Patty

Unfortunately, today was one of those mornings when my hunger was there but my appetite wasn’t. I had no clue what to make and went through a number of dishes before settling on this. Most mornings my tongue tells me what dessert(because my breakfasts always taste like a dessert to me :-)) I want but on the rare occasion that it’s vacationing in Rio I feel up a creek without a paddle. These oats, Green Dog Wine style, were delicious nonetheless. I decided that this morning I would run(2 days off and I feel like a sloth, haha) so after letting breakfast settle for 5 minutes I grabbed some fuel.

Apple And Double Chocolate Pillow

This fuel was fun(oh em gee, the title of this blog!). The apple was adorably small; I think any fruit that’s a little abnormal is adorable(plantains, anyone?). And why didn’t I realize how good these cookies are? When I had it on my oats Friday, I thought it was pretty decent, but needed a milkiness to it. Today, however, it was perfect: like bittersweet chocolate but with a cakey texture. That had me revved up for a strong run. I first went around the neighborhood 6 times for 6.7 miles. After that I set out on the road for my small loop around town of 5.3 miles. Both of these were my “long run” at some point so it felt awesome that I could do them both on one day now. When I got back in the neighborhood I noticed my dad had been sent to drive around and find me so I figured it was time to stop 🙂 I did a great 12 miler in a little under 1:39. Not a bad “welcome back” to running. When I got back, I was ready to try a new recovery drink.

Vega Acai Berry Sport Drink

Vega was nice enough to send me some of their powders to try out a while ago and I’m just getting around to them. I’ve never experimented much with energy powders but this one seemed simple enough: just mix with 1 cup of water and shake what your momma gave ya’. It says drink before a workout but I think the nutrition still works for post-run recover. I’ve never had an acai berry, but this was rather nice; the flavor was a lot like a diluted blueberry flavor and definitely nothing I minded drinking. I’m not quite convinced yet specialty powders and drinks are necessary for optimal recovery but I guess I’ll see how this makes me feel tomorrow. Once I showered, it was time for our family Sunday lunch, which felt like a second Thanksgiving!

Carving The Tofurkey

Yesterday we picked up a Tofurkey on sale at Whole Foods and I couldn’t wait to give it a try; this is like the epitome of fake meat products, right? We cooked it in the oven according to directions, and it looked beautiful all done. It was both my dad and I’s main protein, and my grandmother even took a slice!(though I’m not convinced she had any clue what the hell she was eating). After I made my plate, I could have sworn it was Thanksgiving all over again.

Tofurkey, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Acorn Squash Stuffed With Canned Cranberry Sauce

I actually think I ate more here than at Thanksgiving lunch. Oops. Well there wasn’t going to be much leftovers so I thought I’d seize the moment 🙂 The tofurkey was excellent, but it felt like a little much. I seriously think this is sitting like a brick in my stomach right now. The stuffing was amazing for being whole wheat; I wonder if they sell that seperate? I’ll need to try Tofurkey deli meat to see if it’s the same. The squash + cranberry sauce was equally excellent. I still can’t imagine how cranberry sauce is accepted as a lunch item and not dessert but I’ll take it!

Speaking of dessert, let’s not. I don’t think I have any room :-X Now I’m off to decorate the tree! And then it’ll be time to pack the car and go back to campus 😦 Boo. Can’t I just live here again and pretend like work doesn’t exist? I’ll just dream on…

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Not Quite Bloody

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

If you want a good laugh at another’s embarrassing story, by all means read on. After sleeping in, not running, and blogging yesterday morning, I got around to breakfast. I wasn’t super hungry from pre-sleep turkey but oats are always appealing.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Banana Pineapple Frosting

See? Always appealing. At first I think I oversweetened the greek yogurt for the frosting(who knew this was possible?) so I added a little more plain to dilute it and it was muy perfecto.

Even though I had declared my rest day and the wind was 20 mph, I decided to gear up for a 6-7 mile slow paced run. And then the morning got a little weird(feel free to skip to lunch if you don’t want to hear tmi). After a pre-run trip to the bathroom, something I was fearing happened again–my “stool” had red color running through from it in the toilet water. This had actually happened several times in the past 2 weeks between that and urine, but I, being a stubborn Pollack, would rather ignore anything that looks negative from a medical perspective. Having happened two days in a row, though, I brought it up to others and suggested we go to the hospital. I think just about everything went through my mind as I showered and went from running clothes to day clothes; all of this thinking about diseases really had me anxious and pushed my limits. And then when I came down ready(though not quite mentally) to face my medical fears, Dr. Dad had an explination: beets.

Beets, as described by wikipedia, are a member of the amaranth family. The are a root vegetable with a bright red pigment, and over the past 2 weeks when I’ve been home my mother has been preparing them at a much more common rate than usual since she discovered how easy they are to prepare. And one of the side effects is having red coloration in the toilet. Well, very perplexed, I consulted the blog and looked at all the days I remembered being worried by this and when we ate beets. And it seemed that, always a day or two before an “episode”, I ate beets. Really? I was thrown into all this anxiety, embarrassment, and anger because of beets? Ugh. We nixed the trip to the doctors and now I’ve ressolved not to eat beets for two weeks to make sure they’re the culprit(and then never again because I’m not going to go through this BS). That pretty much wasted my morning and the run, so I moved on to homework and then lunch.

Stuffing Stuffed Pepper

2 Eggs Scrambled With Celery And Shredded Turkey

I made two of the leftover dishes I’ve been wanting to since Thursday. I heated up a pepper in my pan and some stuffing in the microwaved for a delicious stuffed pepper. If it were a little bit more runny of a stuffing, it would have been perfect, but it was still good. I loved the slightly runny eggs with the turkey; it sort of made its own sauce, and was a perfect protein with a little salt. I’m going to miss making proper eggs when I get back to the dorm today. After lunch we decided to pick up our tree. While my dad drove, I walked(it’s not even a mile down the road). They even let me cut it down. Now whose bright idea was it to hand me a saw?

Cutting Down The Tree

It wasn’t a perfect job, but no fingers chopped off. After I walked home and the tree was dropped off, we took a trip to Whole Foods. Don’t you hate missing a sales period or weekender? Well, they didn’t look too too good this week, but I was glad to get a bunch of deals between coupons and sales and then the stuff we needed. We also stopped at Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop. Has anybody noticed that Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell chocolate covered peanuts, milk or dark? They sell chocolate covered everything. I can sooner get chocolate soy beans than I can peanuts. Ummm, what? Though they do now have chocolate oranges with all natural flavorings which I hope to have one of this season. Oh well, that was pretty much the only thing on the list we couldn’t find.

Groceries

I got a total of $4 off two Green & Black products between coupons and sales–score. Can you tell I like my organic chocolate? The star of the trip was the Tofurkey! It’s for my dad and I for lunch today, and was 3 dollars off at Whole Foods 🙂 I figured since it’s a frozen product that’s good for 2 more years, it wouldn’t go on sale any more than that so I seized the day. I can’t wait to see what it’s like. I also couldn’t wait on another Whole Foods find:

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pumpkin Cream Cheese, Peanut Greek Yogurt

A Whole Foods exlusive pumpkin cream cheese was on sale for 4 dollars a tub. It had in it pumpkin, honey, ginger, walnuts, and spices. It probably wasn’t something I couldn’t have made, but it was convenient and sounded good. And it tasted awesome! The spices and walnuts really worked with the creaminess and it was very sweet. And though the oatmeal and yogurt were in two containers, rest assured they were eaten as one 🙂 Before dinner I caught up on Slapsgiving 2–legen, wait for it… I also tried watching an SNL but it crashed everything and that was the end of that. For dinner I forwent leftovers *gasp*.

Lentils In Trader Joe Curry Simmer Sauce, Broccoli, Roasted Zucchinni, Full Fat Voskos Greek Yogurt

One of the non-sale items we picked up was Trader Joe’s Curry Simmer Sauce; I was looking at getting a prepared Indian meal but the sauce was a better bargain. I cooked some lentils and let them simmer. The flavor was good, but it probably could have used a little more curry. The yogurt I felt was very Indian and a nice touch 🙂 This meal reminded me, though, why I hardly ever have lentils or beans even though I love ’em(i.e. buddha belly and discomfort). I suppose it was that or sleepiness from turkey, right?

There was an entire Charlie Brown Movie on ABC Family. I love my specials, but after 90 minutes I was tuckered out and couldn’t finish it. Instead I moved on to fun for the whole family: Knocked Up. What else is better to watch with the fam? I also had a vitalicious snack.

Coffee And A Vitabrownie

 

On a paper plate because, at 9pm, I’m not aiming to impress anyone 😉 I still think these taste best in circular form with evident chocolate chips(i.e. the vitatops), but they didn’t have them where these were on sale for 3.99 so I compromised for a bargain. The rest of the night was filled with about 4 cups of decaf coffee, and then this two-faced inspired snack.

Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raising Roll With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Um, perfection. Since coming home I have not stopped craving smart balance agave sweetened peanut butter. Have you noticed? That’s why I picked some up at Stop & Shop to take back to my dorm. I don’t know why the flavor is better than molasses sweetened, but it is. This pumpkin cream cheese is also to die for; I loooove that it has crunchy walnuts for texture. And the vegan rolls are just always euphoric 🙂 I went o bed nice and happy with this in my stomach, until I woke up at 4:45 and couldn’t sleep. I decided maybe I was hungry and that this snack would knock it out:

Cinnamon Raisin Gnu Bar With Pumpkin Cream Cheese

I tried this new gnu bar, heating it up in the microwave and then topping it with the cream cheese. Wow, this was all good. The bar was just like a good slice of cinnamon raisin bread with a nice earthiness, and the cream cheese made it perfect. It definitely filled me up, but that must not have been the problem because I was still awake for quite some time.

I woke up at 8:30 this morning–a tad bit of an improvement from 9, right 😉 It’s definitely time for me to get a move on it and make breakfast. And, who knows, a run might even happen today(could you imagine that?). I’m going to need to make plenty of room for my Tofurkey for lunch! Haha.

 

Sodastream Giveaway! I could make some very bubbly seltzer with this bad boy 🙂

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Clif Bar Product Review

Posted on November 28, 2009. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , |

A couple weeks ago I gave my review on Clif’s Mojo and Mojo Dipped line. At the same time I recieved those, I also received some of Clif’s original energy bars to try out. Each bar is a blend of ClifPro–their signature soy protein blend–, brown rice syrup, nuts, and flavorings. As I’ve learned from perusing the Clif website, their Clif bar comes in nearly 20 different flavors so there’s surely a taste for everyone. Here are the reviews for the 3 flavors I received.

Maple Nut Clif Bar

9/10: As a New Englander born and raised with relatives from the depths of New Hampshire, I’ve had my fair share of maple syrups and consider my self something of a connoisseur. I loved the flavor in this as it was very sweet and, more importantly, very authentic; it tasted like maple syrup and not the Aunt Jemima imitation stuff. I mean, I really enjoyed the flavor. I also was surprised and overjoyed that the “nut” wasn’t the typical walnut that’s overdone with maple but rather the pecan which I personal enjoy more. Nutritionally, this bar had a lot of sugar; sugar is 1/3 of the calories here. However, the flavor had me overlooking this because, and let’s face it, when you’re doing maple you’ve got to go big or go home. Besides that, I loved the protein boost from soy, the 5g of fiber, and the healthy fats. It’s also fortified with plenty of vitamins and minerals which I’m a sucker for. This isn’t a bar I would have again, but rather one that I will have again.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clif Bar

6.5/10: As magical as white chocolate is, this bar just wasn’t. The first flavor impression I got from it was the generic, Clif sweetness. Eventually, the white chocolate cut in but it wasn’t horribly strong. I didn’t think I’d like the macadamia nuts but they were actually welcomed here; the butteriness of the nuts made up for the overall sweetness and lack of white chocolate. I’d eat this bar again if I’m ever in a “Clif” mood, but as for anything more specific this just didn’t cut it.

Blueberry Crisp

8/10: Yet again, the Clif company takes the full flavors of a dessert and manages to squeeze it into a pocket-sized energy bar. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a blueberry crisp, but I get the sense from apple crisps. I liked how this bar wasn’t very sweet, but rather earthy with tons of spices. That’s more or less how I like my own crisps, although it made the unfortunately high sugar content that much more unfortunate. Like all Clif bars, I enjoy the fortification and good protein content. The almonds were a nice final touch and I probably would have preferred more of those for less of the sugar. Overall this was a fun, Autumnal flavor I’d buy again.

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Target Hopping

Posted on November 28, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday was the epitome of a rainy day in New England. It did get off to a rockin’ start, however, when I got this in the mail right as I was posting yesterday’s blog entry:

Me And Goji Granola

I got the opportunity to custom build my own cereal from [me] & goji. Let me tell you, this was a ton of fun! I’ll go into the process more in my review of them on another day, but they have TONS of options for you to pick out and make your very own cereal. I ended up making a mix called “Chocolate And Berries” with vanilla granola, gojis, raspberries, blueberries, chocolate covered gojis, and chocolate covered peanuts–yum! Of course I was ready to dive in for breakfast.

 

 

Banana Oats With Chocolate Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Chocolate Raspberry Yogurt With Chocolate And Berries Me And Goji Granola

Loved it! Thanks [me] & goji! There’s definitely not skimping on the mix-ins with them; this was like chocolate and berry overload(except that’s of course not possible). I think my favorite was the organic chocolate covered peanuts. The oats were so simple and yet hit the spot; a touch of sea salt on top really had the flavors placed. My morning was pretty lame, but that made it excellent. I was stuck home alone in the rain, and the highlight was showering and getting straight back in to pajamas 🙂 Montana was clearly in the spirit, too, since he got out of his crate, went to the bathroom, and fell asleep under a blanket. I made lunch in time for Days.

 

 

Stuffing, Spicy Chicken Sausage, Broccoli, Grand Marnier Sweet Potatoes

Have I mentioned that I love leftovers? I never have them when I cook for myself, but I think it’s fun to play with them when they come around. Everything here was leftover except the broccoli, which I made because I wanted some green. I think I’ve taken in more alcohol from those sweet potatoes than I have since being at college(OK, that’s not saying much with me). I will never tire of Whole Foods’ stuffing; thank God we have 24oz left. After some soap opera and homeworking, I decided to transition to the kitchen.

Seasonal Music Channel

Oh yes, there’s a channel that only plays Christmas music, all day 😉 Sometimes you have to wonder what barrel they scraped the bottom of to get the renditions of carols by the people they do, but other times they’re quite festive. Anyway, I decided to make up a new recipe and hope and pray it came out good(and chocolatey!).

Double Chocolate Pillows

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Wet And Dry

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie trays with wax paper. In a large bowl, sift together the first five ingredients. Mix in the chocolate chips evenly distributing. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the oil and extract. Add in the pumpkin and sugar and mix until all is dissolved. Pour the wet into the dry and fold together until fully incorporated(batter will be very thick). Scoop into 24 mounds, flatten, and bake for 10-12 minutes, until puffed and firm to the touch.

Thick Batter

The batter was incredibly thick; I was thinking of maybe adding some liquid, but I’m glad I didn’t. They ended up taking 14 minutes in my oven, but smelt so good when they were done.

Double Chocolate Pillows

Hello, chocolate. These were so soft and light but with a heavy, rich cocoa smell. Of course, in order to truly appreciate one, I had to try it first over oats.

Pumpkin Oats With A Double Chocolate Cookie And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Much better. The cookie was delicious, with a very dark taste of chocolate. It wasn’t quite bitter, but also not sweet. Bittersweet maybe? I’ll definitely make these again, but I might swap the 1/4 cup oil for 1/4 cup cream or full fat yogurt to give it more of a milky flavor. I’m sure you could go the otherway and veganize this recipe fairly easily, too, but I was not feeling that creative. When my parents finally got home from the funeral, I took the chance to get out of the house.

Target

Thankfully, Target had died down 12 hours after it opened. And surprisingly the store wasn’t entirely picked over. Then again, there wasn’t much left. I found a good deal on a camera, which a, let’s just say aloof, salesgirl led me to believe they had but when the manager came and I tried buying it pointed out it wasn’t the right one. Well they supposedly had some at another Target, so we picked up some things and moved on. After that we hit up a natural grocery store and Stop & Shop and, lastly, the other Target. When we got there, however, those 11 cameras they supposedly had were no longer. Wtf? They assured us they’d get some overnight if we really cared to come back. I’m not sure I’m that invested in the purchase, so I’ll have to give it with more thought. In the end my shopping was a lot more modest.

Shopping Loot

I either got really screwed on some stuff or really good deals on the other, because the peanut butter chips were the most expensive item by $2+ dollars. It was also well past dinner by the time we got home from Target hopping.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts In Balsamic Vinegar, Catfish, Roasted And Mashed Butternut Squash

Who buys two types of fish the day after Thanksgiving when there’s well over a few pounds of turkey in the fridge? My mother, apparently. And yet I’m the one who gets the name for being a wasteful shopper. That pretty much rubbed me the wrong way for the night, but rather than try to pick a fight I just took a plate of food and removed myself from the situation. I hardly feel comfortable having meat once a day, and I don’t feel comfortable at all wasting it, so all of this is meat overload for me and has just made me feel tense thinking about it. To take my mind away, I had a delectable snack.

Soy Yogurt With Peanut Milk Chocolate

This candy bar definitely had me with “caramelized peanuts with a touch of sea salt”–could somebody please adapt that and put it on my gravestone? All Stop & Shop had was flavored soy yogurt, but it was also on sale for a dollar, so good enough. I think there’s a bit of irony topping soy yogurt in milk chocolate that I never appreciated until now… I also watched this week’s Modern Family, which was more than fantastic. Can Fizzbo please come to my party? It’s OK if the comb sheaths aren’t there, though.

Green & Black Organic Peanut Milk Chocolate

I didn’t like this chocolate bar at all. That must be why it followed me upstairs and into my room 😉 After a while I had trouble sleeping. Hmmm, maybe sugar isn’t a better night time snack than oatmeal? Fascinating. I had a pretty genious thought, though.

Free-Range Turkey With Salt And Rosemary

Tryptophan! I’ve heard it’s also in legumes(and thus peanut butter) but I’m sure in greater amounts in turkey. I salted and seasoned 3oz of leftovers. While that was good, it didn’t do the job, so I did another 2oz. After that I good have fell into a food coma, and was asleep soon enough.

This morning I slept in until; I think vacation is making me lazy, haha. Isn’t that the point of Thanksgiving? It’s not looking like running weather and I could always use rest(I just never take it) so today will probably be a sans running day as well. Maybe I’ll work up a sweat at Target or a Whole Foods–we’ll have to see.

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Thanksgiving 2009

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

Hopefully with a title like that it’ll be easy to find in the archives 😉 How was your Thanksgivings?(if I haven’t already read about them on your blogs). Mine was pretty fantastic I’d have to say. But why take my word–the proof is in the pictures!

Firstly, the relatives were running “a little behind”. This is absolutely expected every time. So it didn’t really change anything. I knew Thanksgiving lunch wouldn’t be for a few hours, and I had no plans to touch the appetizers, so I got a head start on dessert.

Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Cocoa Greek Yogurt

Can you tell I had a chocolate tooth? I just mixed cocoa powder and sweetener with the yogurt and voila–it was so thick I think had it been frozen for 30 minutes it would have been like ice cream. At around 1:15 the relatives showed up(which impressed us who thought they wouldn’t be here until 1:40). They came bearing gifts.

Organic Balsamic Vinegar And Lemon Pepper Oil

Maple Syrup From Berlin

*Swoons* Something tells me my relatives are finally starting to “get” me; the maple syrup actually was on my Christmas list!! Now I need something to take its place, right? As predicted, my little cousins had one thing on their mind: video games. They aren’t allowed to have game systems besides a computer(they’re only 8 and 3) so my house is like gold. When they were doing that, the adults had appetizers:

Homemade Meatballs, Whole Food Stuffing Stuffed Mushrooms, Cheese Platter, Trader Joe Chicken Wontons

I’m pretty much the opposite of a grazer, and was still satisfied from my vitatop, so I was fine skipping all this. My mom’s meatballs are kind of famous within the family; maybe some day I’ll steal borrow the recipe and make it with bison and organic sauce. I don’t think I’ve seen someone attack appetizers like my grandfather on those wontons. Apparently he’d been “saving” calories all last week for today. Probably not the healthiest thing but when you’re 75 who’s to say you can’t do what you want.

Carved Turkey

The turkey rested while people chatted and then we got to carving. Notice how on the left it’s pulled like pork and on the right it’s nicely carved in tact. Guess who did the right 😉 My mom was anally organized about the table and had labeled everything a place so set up was fast.

Thanksgiving Table

Like usual, my mom and I were the first to the table with the old people behind only because they’re… slower. And the uncle, aunt, and cousins were running around enthralled with video games, haha. My cousin wanted me to help him on a level but I told him I was hungry, and when my grandmother said I’d need to prioritize with my own children I assured her that’s a ways away. And then there was food.

Turkey, Stuffing, Roasted Brussels, Organic Jellied Cranberry

Delicious. The turkey, from Whole Foods, was free-ranged so I felt perfectly fine digging right into it. Ironically, I probably took less than 2oz of meat! I think meat being absent so much while I’m at school makes a little seem like a lot and have me appreciate it more. My “strategy” going in was just to take 3 or 4 foods, even though there were plenty more on the table. I didn’t want to do a “sampler” of everything; I knew I’d have all this for leftovers so I’d rather eat what I did take and ignore what I didn’t. No regrets here or in the foods I did choose. I’ve loooooved cranberry sauce from a can since being a boy and am so happy that this didn’t have HFCS in it. Here are my 3 living grandparents also enjoying the meal:

Enjoying The Meal

We swiftly started heating up pies, defrosting desserts, and cleaning plates. I completely failed on taking a picture of the dessert line up but there was my pie, Trader Joe lemon bars, homemade berry pie from my grandmother, store bought cheesecake, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and a Carvel birthday cake.

Blowing Out The Candles

Tuesday was my grandfather’s 75th birthday. Happy birthday! Hopefully he doesn’t eat like that everyday or there’s no way he’s hitting 76, haha. There was also another unique item welcomed to the table.

TruWhip

This week I received a coupon from TruWhip to try and review their product. Could you think of a better time than Thanksgiving? Unlike its competitors, TruWhip is 100% natural, 70% organic, with no hydrogenate oils or HFCS. Not only was I happy to try this but it felt great to serve to my family. I took plate of the natural goodies that fit my hunger.

Pumpkin Pie, Trader Joe Lemon Square, TruWhip

What a sweet way to end the meal. The pumpkin pie came out as good this time as last time. The lemon square from Trader Joe was good but not superb; it was definitely better than any lemon bar I could’ve made from scratch. The real shocker here was the TruWhip, which everyone seemed to enjoy. It really tasted just like the competitor to me. I must admit there are some things I miss since eating all-natural so it’s always fun when groceries like this come along. It was light and airy, sweet with a hint of cream. I think the only one who wasn’t convinced it was an identical match was my mom, who went in with a slanted opinion to begin with. I think a carton is only 4 or 5 dollars, and since it can be refrozen for another holiday, this is completely worth buying and keeping around for a naturally special event.

Everyone had a good time and piled out by 5 o’clock. I think the most tired of the day was Montana, who was already sleeping on the couch. We tried passing off as much leftovers as we could but in the end our fridge was full. At least what we have is real food we can work into any meal over the next few days. By 5:45 I was feeling munchy.

Raw Vegetables

I started to work on the leftovers with the raw veggies. My mom couldn’t understand how anyone would still be hungry after Thanksgiving; I believe it’s called not eating 3 slices of Carvel cake? I was happy with eating until I was comfortably full and knowing how much was enough–I absolute despise that “overstuffed” feeling. Right like clockwork I had a dinner for one made and ready for 7.

Brussels And Tempeh Bacon With Maple Syrup, Grand Marnier Sweet Potatoes, Lightlife Breakfast Sausages

3 delicious meals in one day–how lucky am I! I wasn’t quite up to real meat for the time, so instead I let my protein be soy sausaged and tempeh bacon. I steamed and then pan seared some brussels to add some crust, and drizzled maple syrup at the end. The sweet potatoes were one of the dishes I passed over at lunch because I knew there’d be leftovers, and I rather liked this because it made it feel like I was eating a completely new meal! They were pretty good, but I think my mom had a heavy hand with the alcohol because these were pungent, haha 🙂

You know I was right there for the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special(it helped that Survivor was just a clip show, too). After a cup of coffee for good digesting, I got to work on more leftovers.

 

Plain Soy Yogurt With Cranberry Sauce

 

I will never understand how something like cranberry sauce has become accepted with dinner and not as dessert but I’ll just be thankful for that 🙂 We got 365 organic and it is perfect. Not only does it not have HFCS but it’s and also a little less sweet so that the tartness is evenly balanced. Between the textures of jellied cranberry soy yogurt and the flavors this was just to die for.

I was also thankful for NBC’s People Of The Year special. I really hope it wasn’t just me. I think I’m becoming old, because in my head I thought of this as “The Today Show + 60 Minutes + Miracle Grow” and practically wet my pants in anticipation. It lived up to what I hoped. I’m really tired of the Octomom and balloon boy, but I could never get tired of hearing praise for Taylor Swift. Right before I went to bead I had what my day was lacking–whole grains.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Almond Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter

That brought me back to my roots. I’m liking the double nut-butter topping now as opposed to the nut butter and a topping(like chocolate). Not sure why, maybe I truly am just nuts for nuts 🙂

This morning there were plans to maybe attack Target for Black Friday sales with my dad, but my parents had to leave for a funeral at 8:30(irony) and the sales just weren’t as appealing as last year so we called it off. Today it’s planned raining all day so it will, by all likelihood, become a rest day, and I will be between the kitchen baking and my computer studying. Again, hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Now get to work on them leftovers 🙂

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Pans And Pies

Posted on November 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I didn’t feel that much pressure to get out and run yesterday. At the same time, I wasn’t sure how many opportunities I’d get today and tomorrow, so I decided to take the time and go out. It was a slightly slow 6.7 but felt good to be active for an hour(because I firmly planned on being lazy the other 23). When I got home, I challenged myself to make a lunch not with the microwave. It’s simple enough but there’s so many flavors and textures it just can’t achieve. After planning out a menu, I got to work with my fancy pan I won from some Hood milk promotion last month.

Brussels And Sausage In A Pan

First I scrambled 2 eggs and cooked those in the pan to the perfect doneness–so much easier than in a microwave! Then I steamed raw brussels for 3 minutes in the microwave and then pan-browned them for another 2 minutes. I also heated up a pre-cooked chicken sausage in the microwave(btw, all these uses of it don’t count ;-)) and finished that in the pan.

Scrambled Eggs, Spicy Chicken Sausage, Brussels Sprouts

This deserves a Holy Yum award. Brussels sprouts are seriously my favorite green vegetable and by far the best thing here, even though they were a bit dry, with a touch of salt. The browning gave a good crispness to the outside. The sausage was also quite good. Note: It was real meat and not faux meat. I think I can love them equally. The fennel in it was really impressive. For dessert I had something that took neither pan nor microwave.

Oikos With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

So perfect. Well, OK, it could have used more jam, but then again my ideal would be eating the jam from the jar with a spoon, which is a no-no when it costs as much as this one does. I had a lovely evening on the couch planned, but then my mom asked if I wanted to accompany her to Market Basket while she picked up some last minute food. My knee-jerk reaction was a big yes, and next thing I knew it I was in the car. Oops. At least I brought a little work with me. For those who don’t have a Market Basket, it’s a place full of interesting finds…

Christmas Decor

Oh, Canada. What are you doing up there? Jk, but Market Basket does have good finds. It’s right across the way from Whole Foods, and while it might only carry about 30% the same stuff, what it does have is very often cheaper. The only thing I could find on my list this trip was a 4-pack of deep chocolate vitatops for 3.69. they had faux meat, but unfortunately nothing all-natural and breakfasty 😦 It was pretty late when everyone was done, so I was happy to grab a snack in the car.

Banana Walnut Gnu Bar

Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. All you have to do is read my review to know I loved this. I don’t like bananas that much, but I swear anything that tastes like bananas I’m game with. And this was just like banana bread. There wasn’t a large presence of walnuts, but that was fine by me since I don’t care for the. And all the fiber filled me up and kept me calm when I realized I still had to make the pie! Yikes. By the time we got home it was dark and I was getting anxious about that, until I remembered this is the simplest recipe and I didn’t even need to check my computer to remember how to make it.

Unbaked Crustless Pumpkin Pie

There was a mini-issue with the pesky water bath, but otherwise crisis averted and sanity restored. I felt a little something was in order along with a pat on the back.

Chocolate Elan Frozen Yogurt

This snack ended up being a little littler than I expected; who knew we were almost out and there was hardly a serving left in the container! Too bad nobody realized this over the past 4 weeks we’ve been having freezer-space issues. Normally I’m happy to finish an ice cream but I love elan and this flavor so much I feel like I need to get an exact replacement for it. I watched 1 of the 2 SNL’s I slept through and then the pie was done.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

It had a couple bubbles but no cracks and definitely nice and firm so that it will stand on its own at the table. Amen 🙂 And then there was dinner.

Haddock With Soyaki, Beets, Parsnips With Peach Salsa

Not quite my pan-licious lunch, but this was pretty good, too 😉 There was a little more beets taken after the photo and we finished it all! We didn’t want any leftovers going in to Thanksgiving. I swear this house empties of all vegetables when I’m not here so I made sure we got good ones at Market Basket. Parsnips are so good for a soft and white vegetable; I don’t like white potatoes because they always taste dry and starchy but I think I’ve found a new friend in parsnips.

I almost forgot about The Biggest Loser last night! I was so thankful my tivo reminded me of it. I brewed some coffee and had a naked dessert.

Deep Chocolate Vitatop

I kept racking my brain to try and figure out what to do with this vitatop. It finally occurred to me: If it wasn’t coming naturally, it wasn’t meant to be. And this vitatop tasted just delicious on its own. It was great to see where former contestants are and to know they’ve really changed their lives. I think finding and staying with that balance must be the toughest thing. There was another snack.

Oikos With Turbinado Sugar And Chocolate Chips

Turbinado sugar is good for you because it has the minerals crystalized in, right? And it’s from Trader Joe’s so it cures cancer, right? We’re just going to go with all of that because this hit my sweet tooth. It was so depressing seeing the winner who gained back so much weight. Clearly, though, he felt bad about it, too, so it’s hard to be upset with him.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter

Let’s just say, this bowl took a lot of work to figure out what to do with it, but I’m happy where I settled. I forgot how good and chocolatey(not to mention thick) the chocolate sunflower butter is. And probably a better choice at 10:30 than chocolate chips with my sugar tolerance(or lack thereof).

I set my alarm for 7 this morning. On a holiday–why’d I do that? To run, of course. I wasn’t sure it was going to happen but it was actually reasonably warm and I felt refreshed with only 8 hours of sleep. I grabbed a bar for the run.

 

Amazing Grass Chocolate Whole Food Energy Bar

What a delicious way to start Thanksgiving 🙂 I ate 3/5ths of it on the run and then never needing the last bit. I ended up doing 10.55 miles–my longest run outside! The course was completely new to me; they demolished a bridge near my house which pretty much eliminated as options all my longer runs but I figured out a new course that worked perfectly. I came home to a house already smelling of food–love that. I got a touch creative with breakfast:

 

Pumpkin Yogurt With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Nog Cream Cheese Frosting, Peanut Oikos

Ok, I’ll admit it, I used the microwave for the oats and I don’t regret it because this bowl was perfect. The frosting, which I dreamed up on the run, really made it; the recipe is 1oz greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon low fat cream cheese, and 1 tablespoon Silk Nog with 3 drops vanilla liquid stevia. I wouldn’t give such precise measurements if I weren’t convinced those are the measurements of the Greek Gods. It’s sweet but not so much that you lose the cream cheese, and it’s entirely seasonal.

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Now I’m kicking back, watching The Parade with Pikachu just having floated by. My relatives are coming in just 2 hours! I’m so excited, even though I realize the 2 little cousins will probably have me tearing my hair out of my head by the end of the day, haha.

 

NuNaturals giveaway! I think they’re stevia taste the purest(and this is coming from someone who, from time to time, nibbles on his plant).

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Fried Food Makes You Feel Better

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

**Caveat: Amazing Grass is having an awesome sale right now! Go to there website(accessible through the button to the right) and enter the code BAR09 on any purchase of Amazing Grass bars and get 20% off! Isn’t that awesome? I think I’m going to have to stock up on the chocolate peanut butter protein bars–so good**

I’m pretty sure that title is the last thing people who eat around me would expect me saying but–let’s face it–it’s true; and there ain’t nothing wrong with food fried in good oils in moderation 😉 Wait, where was I? Oh yes, yesterday morning was filled by a light-hearted class in which 3 people ditched for Thanksgiving were mysteriously sick. 3 might not sound like a lot for a college class, but you notice it in the Classics. I was so relieved when I got out I wanted to jump for joy’ instead, I kicked it into gear to get back to my dorm so I could pack and go. I basically combed the room, thinking of everything I could possibly need for 5 days and throwing it somewhere else. Around 1 I realized I was hungry. I wanted a repeat of yesterday’s amazing spicy oats, but I needed something faster and portable so I racked my brain for a veggie dish.

Broccoli Salad And Flamegrilled Gardenburger With The Heat Is On PB

Stewed Tomatoes With Crumbled Morningstar Breakfast Patty, One Lucky Duck Raw Rosemary Quackers

Ok, this was still basically my breakfast, just with oats metamorphosed into broccoli. I just could not get enough of The Heat Is On! The stewed tomatoes were dining hall fare and I wish I could have thought of something more intricate to do with them but I did not have the chance. It game me an opportunity, though, to sample and review the One Lucky Duck Rosemary Quackers. They were not exactly what I was expecting/hoping for, but it was fun to try something raw. I think I’ll be sticking with baked chips from now on, though(and, yes, the occasional fried :-)) Well this is what things looked like when my dad showed up:

Packed And Ready To Go

That’s 2 bags of food, an extra bag of clothes/toiletries, a backpack, laundry, a coffee maker, and a stevia plant. I suppose 5 days is a while and deserves all this, right?(Back me up here). We swung by the mail room to pick up some last minute arrivals, and hit the open road. I got a package from Gnu Foods and I couldn’t wait to dig in, so I didn’t.

Chocolate Brownie Gnu Foods Bar

Um, yum?! This hit my chocolate tooth. And the nutrition was astounding. I loved reading the company info they sent in the car(because I was doing that instead of work). They’ve created their own blend of grains and seeds to give each bar 12 grams of fiber! When I read that, I took it slow and drank a ton of water–smart move. I can’t wait to try the other flavors now, though somebody remind me NEVER to eat this pre-run(for obvious reasons).

Before we got home, we swung by Framingham to hit up Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It’s really fun when these are right next to each other. I tried to stick with just buying essentials/sales and coupon items/what we still needed for Thanksgiving, because I know we’re going to have a lot of leftovers pretty soon. In the end, I think I stuck to my mission mostly.

Groceries

The big unmarked bag is about 2lbs of steel cut oats, like I go through anything else that much. The lemon bars were a new Trader Joe’s product for Turkey Day as is the TruWhip(can’t wait to try this!). Of course, the one thing that made me ditch my entire plan of items was my vegan whole wheat cinnamon raisin rolls. But seriously, how often do you find these? I went with the grab and run method… The fiber bar held me over really well but by the time we got home and I completely unpacked it was 5 and I was famished. I went for a meal rather than a snack.

Amy's Shepherd's Pie With Colby Jack Cheese

An Amy’s meal, that is. I think I’d been wanting to try this for a few months; last weekend I bought it with a coupon on the cheap, and I broke it out yesterday. I was not going to wait 45 minutes for the oven, so instead I nuked it for 3 minutes and topped it with 1 ounce of colby jack cheese which I’m pretty sure would have had a “Don’t touch. For Thanksgiving” note on it were my mom more careful. The meal was okay, but I don’t think it ever would have held me over on its own as a dinner or anything. I supplemented this with another snack.

Empire Apple

2 apples in 2 days? I think I’m setting a personal record. A very sad and low personal record. Thankfully, unlike the last one, this tasted juicy and fresh. Considering I picked it 3 weekends ago, I’m now wondering how old the apples from the dining hall must be… I caught up on Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef–you know, my chef shows. As a family, we all were slackers on dinner, so when the time came and passed and no one was doing anything it was a little frustrating. I felt hanger(hunger –> anger) coming on, so I went for something I knew would make me a happy boy again.

WildWood Original Veggie Burger, Broccoli With Soyaki Sauce

I’d never actually tried this veggie burger before, but I was 99% sure I’d like it because it’s fried. I learned in 11th grade bio that humans crave fat because of our ancient ancestors who got the opportunity to eat so little that nature is to pile it in and store it when we come across it. Why fight nature, especially when it’s healthy fat and portioned, right? Needless to say, it hit the spot, and I think I’m making a permanent place in my fridge for those little fried wonders.

I spent quite literally the rest of my night tying up loose ends and doing other work on the computer. It wasn’t the dream way to kick off vacation but C’est la vie. It gave me a great chance to watch The Biggest Loser and have some blogger faves as dessert:

 

Oikos In A Cherry Butter Jar With Dried Cherries, Cherry Dark Chocolate, And Vanilla Sugar

Can we fry this somehow? Paula? Scratch that. I think jam jars are so much easier to empty out than nut butters. Fortunately, both are good options. I just love the spoonfuls of whole jam towards the end, which are bites of tart heaven. I’m really enjoying all you new commentors who might have read this for a while but just got to saying something and getting to find new blogs that way. Keep it coming! Afterwards I just had to break into these.

 

Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Roll

Food like this are what rededicate myself to an all-natural diet; I challenge any mass-bakery product to rival this. And it’s vegan to boot! It almost makes me think I could be vegan… and then I remember yogurt, cream cheese, flavored nut butter, fish, meat, etc. It wouldn’t work.  But is anything better than peeling back layers of yeasty dough? I think not. Maybe… Paula, can we fry this? I wish I were kidding here.

 

Peanut Butter Gnu Bar With Mighty Maple

I was a little worried eating this right before bed. 12g of fiber? That’s dangerous. But everything worked out fine, and this was a great peanut butter treat. This bar probably would have been a little bland on its own but with an extra dose of peanut butter it was the perfect piece of toast. I find it funny that most of America has trouble getting in enough fiber when I got 100% just between 2 bars both of which felt like “desserts”. I think Americans need to learn to love fiber more.

I did was not feeling the pressure to get up and run this morning with no warm gym and treadmill to entice me. I slept in almost until 9(that’s really late for me) and instead spent way too long deciding on how to make a bowl of oatmeal. I am very happy with the conclusion of that thinking.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance And Mocha Milk Chocolate Frosting

Holy yum. Let me walk you through this one. I did a standard pumpkin base with 1 1/2 tablespoons Smart Balance Agave Sweetened. I’ve decided I really like this version better than the molasses sweetened; I don’t know why but the flavor “works” better. For the frosting, I melted a Newman’s Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate square and then mixed that with 2oz sweetened Oikos. Ahhhhhmazing. The milk chocolate with the peanut butter comes out just like my childhood favorite candy.

I might head out for 6.7 miles in a bit. Or I might not run at all today. While I’d enjoy it, there’s plenty I have to do around here that would keep me occupied. I might just have to make an identical bowl of this oatmeal.

 

 

Secret Santa Alert!! Who doesn’t love this time-honored tradition? Well there’s a blogger’s version about; visit this post for all the info to join in!

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P.B. Loco Product Review

Posted on November 24, 2009. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , , , , |

Last week I was sent some samples of P.B. Loco‘s gourmet nut butters to review. P.B. Loco is known for making upscale, intricate flavors of peanut butter. If you’re lucky enough to live near one of their cafes, you can stop in any time and order a signature sandwich. Otherwise, their peanut butter can be found at Breugger’s Bagels and some specialty grocery stores.

Before I get into the reviews, I want to mention that I’ve been on the mailing list of P.B. Loco for quite some time, and they never fail to provide delicious sounding recipes and discount coupons in their bimonthly newsletters. You can sign up for these on their website. Right now there are a few promos I know about. Their blogger promotion has it that if you spend $30 or more you can get jar of P.B.Loco Dreamy Creamy Peanut Butter with the coupon code BLOG1209. Their newsletter promo now is get a free jar of Munchy Crunchy if you buy their new dairy-free and vegan peanut butter package and use the code DAIRYFREE.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

8.5/10: The first thing I noticed about this was the aroma; it smelled just like peanut butter mingling with fresh milk chocolate. The ingredient list was a bit long and complex at first but after looking it over I was happy to see simply peanut butter and what ingredients I would need to make cookies. After first try, I was surprised how neutral the taste was; it wasn’t bad, but it was a little too subtle. There was definitely a hint of chocolate and vanilla, but I’m not sure it all pulled together for a “cookie dough” sense. With a little added salt, this really perked  up. And with a low sugar content, this remains a nut butter with a good source of healthy fats and protein and not a “spread”. I’m sure to keep a jar of this in my pantry.

Raspberry White Chocolate

7.5/10: P.B. Loco manages to dream up some of the most tantalizing and unique flavor, and this was no exception. I love the combination of white chocolate and berries and I couldn’t wait to see how they would work in a nut butter. The raspberry was present, but a bit too subtle for my taste buds. Rather than a distinct flavor I got more of a generic tartness. Mini white chocolate chips speckled the whole peanut butter and looked adorable; they only made me wonder, though, how much this could still be considered a “nut butter” with so much decadent chocolate. While it wasn’t perfect, I really liked this as a new twist to white chocolate peanut butter and an innovative flavor.

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