Archive for December, 2009

Spick And Span

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

That’s the most ridiculous phrase, if you ask me. Does anyone actually know what it means? I feel like I could do some funky research with my linguistics background but–meh–it’s a holiday and I’d rather be lazy 🙂 Anyway, that’s what we’re doing right now: Making everything “spick and span” for our guests soon to arrive. That’s as opposed to last night when I was throwing pillows everywhere, emptying salt containers on the counter, and rustling the leaves from out Christmas tree just for fun. JK! But I was in a mood to try something new.

Dark Chocolate Q.Bel Wafer Rolls In Raspberry Chobani

Correction: I tried 2 new things. To get some more probiotics in my day, I gave the raspberry Chobani a try. Yum! I am soooo excited for this flavor to hit shelves. I would grab the pomegranate one soley because it reminded me of raspberry. However, I’m majorly depressed sugar beats out raspberry on the ingredient list 😦 That’s not the case on any other Chobani fruit flavors, so I can’t help but wonder why here?

The other thing I tried was Q.bel‘s dark chocolate wafer roll. Again, yum! But then again, what dark chocolate isn’t? I liked how this was more sweet than bitter, but only because of the wafer part. In my mind, I was hoping for more of a hard chocolate coating but a soft, flowing syrupy center(I can dream, can’t I?). That wasn’t really the case, but it was still good. After that I was exhausted and wanted to go to bed early. My mind, however, had other plans.

Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

I really think they’re lying on the ingredients or the nutritional info here because these are simply too good. Is cinnamon roll envy a viable reason to spark an investigation against a company? I think so, and I’m not above that. To make it more “night time appropriate”, I slathered on some healthy nut butter and picked out all the raisins.

Leftover Raisins

Definitely didn’t need that sugar before going to bed. I’m actually not a big raisin fan at all(hence leaving them out of my cinnamon roll recipe). That is unless we’re talking about Rum Raisin Gelato, in which case all bets are off 🙂 I thought I was waking up earlier this morning after listening to a few songs on the radio and shutting my alarm off but as it turned out I woke up at 7:40, again. Oh well, I’ll save that change for the new year. Eventually I got around to drinking more coffee than I’d care to mention and making a breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pumpkin Cream Cheese And Walnut Butter, Fat Free Greek Yogurt With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

My last breakfast of 2009, to be exact(I really hate always thinking about that “last” thing). I didn’t have any pumpkin yesterday so clearly that erupted into my bowl of oatmeal. I love the pumpkin cream cheese/walnut butter combo because the cream cheese has speckles of walnuts in it. I was soooo happy to have something other than 2% yogurt after 2 weeks. Even “plain” as a flavor can get old. Fast. Afterwards I got spick and span myself in the shower and started the party plating.

Pad Thai Hummus And Sunny Hummus

My two hummuses I made yesterday. I’m predicting the Pad Thai Hummus to go over really well with this crowd. I also baked, of course.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter And Chocolate Brownies

Since one of the people coming is perhaps the biggest chocolate fan I know I decided to make gluten free chocolate mint brownies. This time, however, I made the chocolate and peanut butter by swapping out vanilla extract for mint and using 2 tablespoons chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons peanut butter chips. The peanut butter chips weren’t gluten-free certified but none of the ingredients should have gluten. And since it’s not a genuine health concern of anybody, I figured it’d be fine. I decided I was hungry for lunch at 12 and ended up spending 45 minutes making a meal. I think that’s a new record for me. Oh well, it was worth it!

Pad Thai Hummus With Green Pepper, Brussels With Steak Sauce And Tempeh Bacon

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

I caved on the hummus a little early because I’m not much of a snacker at parties and like to just eat things in meals. Now I can recommend it and have had my full 🙂 I was looking for a more smoky flavor with the brussels than the steak sauce has so I added a strip of pan-heated tempeh bacon and plenty of salt. Really, though, the pudding was entirely what I wanted; and it was sooo good! I pureed 3oz avocado with 2 tablespoons cocoa in my food processor. After that I used a fork to add 3 tablespoons coconut milk kefir, stevia, and vanilla powder. The result could not have been more perfect. All it is(besides delicious) is fat and fiber. And look how nicely the day is turning out!

Snow

I was dreaming of a white Christmas New Years and it looks like we’re getting one! I can’t bellieve it. I also can’t believe that a) my mom hasn’t been stressed out by company being here in a few hours and started yelling yet and b) that the decade is now almost over. After listening to the DJ’s on the radio reminisce and think back myself, I think this decade was best for two things: American Idol and Survivor. I hardly ever voted for American Idol these days, but who can deny that it has given us so many great artists? Besides that, Survivor is just my favorite show on television, and I imagine the same for others since it’s going into its 20th season. It totally built the world of reality television. What will you remember the decade for?

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I Don’t Do Semi-Homemade, Sandra Lee

Posted on December 30, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don’t do “semi”; I go full throttle or cop-out entirely.

Acorn Squash With Baked Beans And Brussels

Have I ever made baked beans from scratch? No. Do I have any plans to? Not at all. I’m fine with these organic ones from Whole Foods. I threw together this lunch and then literally threw it in the car to get to finishing things. Good thing I’m not the driver 🙂 First we stopped off at the natural food store near me where I bought this foodie find with Christmas money.

Almond Amaretto Herbal Coffee

This isn’t really “coffee”(or “cawfee” because I’m a New Englander). It’s actually dried carob, figs, almond, and other natural ingredients for an herbal drink very similar to coffee. I was a little disappointed when I forgot to add coffee to my x-mas list because I’m such an addict, but in hindsight that was probably a good call because I don’t know how anyone in my family would have found this. I can’t wait to see if it really tastes like amaretto 😉

After the natural store, we went to get the last items on the lsit for New Years from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods–mainly the meat which we didn’t want sitting in our fridge. I’m so excited because my favorite candy bar protein bar is $1 off the entire month! Expect a lot of those for green snacking 😉 I was parched by the time we finished Whole Foods so I broke out a new soda I found on sale to try.

Steaz Orange Green Tea

I wasn’t aware that there was another stevia sweetened beverage on the market, but these in 4-packs were 3/$8 so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m sure it had caffeine even though it doesn’t say, but that was OK with e at the tie. I liked the flavor; it was a little subtle but I think tea is all about subtlety so I can understand not over-sweetening it. While I was at Whole Foods I also made another purchase with my Christmas money.

Vegan Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

Like I said, i don’t do semi. I’ve made my cinnamon rolls, and now I’m buying these cinnamon rolls 🙂 I still don’t know how they can make these with just whole wheat flour, flour, water, grape juice, canola oil, yeast, salt, and cinnamon! Soo good. After we unpacked, I got working on cooking projects 4 and 5.

Thai Peanut Hummus

When it comes to having company, I never phone it in; I do homemade. In this case, I was making hummus for our guests tomorrow. The first one was my own concoction, with 1 can of chickpeas(drained), 2 tablespoons The Heat Is On, 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce and lime juice, salt, and 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts stirred in in the end.

Sunny Tomato Hummus

The second one was a recipe from The Broccoli Hut. Apparently, food processors have no problems with nuts, but sundried tomatoes are touch cookies veggies. From the itty bits I snacked on from the scoopula, I can tell I loved the first recipe and didn’t care too much for the tomato flavor. After nibbling through these, I decided to eat something real.

Oatmeal With An Egg And The Heat Is On Peanut Butter

I guess this is “homemade”? Hard to get much simpler. I figured while the peanut butter was out I’d use it and have a spicy afternoon snack. The albumen(or egg whites if you aren’t feeling pretentious) were cooked to the perfect runniness. But after this was done I quickly got working on dinner(my thing for the 3rd night in a row).

Al Fresco Buffalo Style Sausage

I went store bought on the main protein. Actually, this was part of the large array of flavors Karen from Al Fresco sent to me a while ago. As a family, we used to always get greasy pizza and buffalo chicken wings on Tuesday nights(real healthy, right? ;-)) so this flavor was right up our alley. I did, however, do something homemade.

Killer Cornbread

Like I mentioned this morning, I had a killer craving for cornbread(say that 5 times fast). After looking at some recipes, I combined them to make my own and hoped it would come out all right.

Killer Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup whole grain cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sweetener
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, sift together the first 5 ingredients(unless using a liquid sweetener like honey or agave in which case just the first 4). Beat in the egg, milk, and any liquid sweetener if using. Add in the greek yogurt and butter and mix until blended. Move into an 8×8 baking pan and bake until browning on the outside(about 20 minutes).

Green Beans With Hot Sauce, Killer Cornbread With Cream Cheese, Buffalo Style Chicken Sausage

The cornbread was, in a word, killer. It came out perfectly grainy. I definitely had an extra 1/2 a square, and as a family we polished off 7 of the 12 servings. I think that recipe is a keeper! I also really loved this flavor sausage. It was super spicy and didn’t need a hit of hot sauce at all. Watching Paula Dean definitely had me craving cream cheese, which topped the fresh-out-of-the-oven cornbread perfectly.

Where has the day gone? What about the year?! It’s too much to think about. Instead I think I’ll figure out what foodiness is for dessert once all this darn cornbread digests.

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The Yogurt Fairy Came

Posted on December 30, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

And by yogurt fairy, I mean the UPS man.

Strawberry Banana Chobani And Raspberry Chobani

He earns his name. New flavors of Chobani! Did you know at the beginning of 2010 Chobani will be releasing 2% strawberry banana and 0% raspberry? Well now you do! How exciting. I think pineapple and pomegranate were great additions to the line and these seem like yet more good growth. Through facebook, I got the opportunity to sample and review these a little bit early and jumped at the chance. Thanks, Chobani! Before the yogurt fairy came, I made myself a snack plate while making dinner.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie And Milk Chocolate Peanut Sundrops

Fatty foods are so delicious 🙂 The peanut butter cookie from the freezer was not quite up to par as fresh from the oven but c’est la vie(I surely wasn’t going to whip up a batch for one cookie). I think milk chocolate coated candies will never get old, organic or regular. Once again, I was making dinner for the family. I picked up wild swordfish at Market Basket since it was well-priced and made vegetables.

Swordfish, Asian Vegetable Medley

2% Strawberry Banana Chobani

Did I mention I couldn’t wait to try the new Chobani? Don’t worry: I made acorn squash for those at the table who weren’t getting some yogurt-loving at this meal. This flavor was just “OK”. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting because strawberry banana has always been one of those flavors that seems “fake” to me even when it’s freshly blended. I’m sure it will get a lot of appreciation for it’s 2% base, though. The “vegetable medley” had soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger preserves, and mustard on it. My mom was the one to call it a “medley”; I was the one to call it “we didn’t have enough of 1 vegetable so that’s what you’re getting”. I need to get more creative with names 🙂

After dinner my parents had to go to Walgreens and CVS for party supplies and I came along “just for the ride”. Apparently, I’m becoming my 81 year old grandmother, and I love it! I sat in the car the whole time and turned up the heat and volume when they were in the stores. There might or might not have been some “nodding my head like ‘yeah'” happening to Party In The USA. When we got home I had a majorly dark chocolate tooth.

Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate

VERY dark. It totally hit the spot but I could only get through 1 of the squares. I split it with my mother, not saying what it was(she rarely cares) and got wayyy too much amusement out of her reaction. Apparently, 100% cocoa is too much for the unexpecting. Normally, I think 70% has the best balance for my taste buds. Any preferences out there? Later on I made some pre-bed oatmeal.

Oatmeal With Protein Honey Maple Peanut Butter And French Toast Hazelnut Butter

The french toast hazelnut butter is amazing. Seriously, 1 scoop of this will make you rethink your appreciation for Nutella(or Rapunzel’s organic in my case) because it’s such a renovation on hazelnuts. It’s hard to imagine it only has 3g of sugar per tablespoon! Not much protein, though, because hazelnuts are low on that, so some proteinous peanut butter finished the dish.

This morning I have been “vacation lazy”. After saying I was going to try to wake up on time and get to bed earlier, I slept in an hour. Wrong way! Wrong way! Oh well, at least I didn’t have any exercise or baking plans pre-breakfast to “miss” anyway.

Vanilla Sugar 2% Greek Yogurt

Banana Goodness Oatmeal With Chocolate Chips And 365 Peanut Butter

What a delicious way to start the day. I won a case of 2% Chobani playing spoons and since then it’s been all the yogurt we have in the house. Is it weird that I’m actually getting tired of the 2% and craving the 0%? Definitely adding that to the shopping list, ASAP. Speaking of cravings, I was craving a slice of banana goodness bread, which I haven’t made in at least a month or 2. Instead, I made banana oats with salt, cinnamon, and vanilla powder and added chocolate chips. It did OK for the time being, but it also wouldn’t kill to make a fresh loaf.

Speaking of craving and baking projects, today is definitely shaping up. This blogger has me wanting something Pina Colada and this one putting cornbread on my mind. Thankfully, I’m in charge of dinner so if it becomes a tropical BBQ that’s up to me 🙂 I also have to make the hummuses(hummi?) for tomorrow’s party! I’ll be making use of my food processor, for sure. OK, I officially feel gross since it’s past 11 and I’m in PJ’s and glasses listening to Hoda and Kathy Lee bicker :-/ Off to shower up and run those end-of-year errands!

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2 Recipes And 1 Oopsies

Posted on December 29, 2009. Filed under: Recipe | Tags: , , , , , |

So, a few hours out of the oven the vitatops which didn’t hit the freezer immediately have developed a weird pigmentation on the top. Oopsie-daisy? Hmm… still, they might taste good. Until further observation, I’ll just leave you with my gluten free mint chocolate brownies and healthy happy pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Gluten Free Chocolate Mint Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, unsalted, drained
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 ounces butter
  • 3 ounces greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoon mint extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup gluten free chocolate chip(Trader Joe’s recommended)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Puree the black beans until they are completely deconstructed(this can also be done with a potato masher if need be). In a bowl, whisk together the butter, softened, eggs, greek yogurt, cocoa powder, sugar, and mint extract. Add in the black bean puree and chocolate chips and fold until all is incorporated. Prepare an 8×8 brownie pan and pour the batter into it. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center is fully set.

This recipe is extremely adaptable; you can swap out mint for vanilla extract to have a more neutral flavor. Adding 1/3 cup chopped nuts would also be a great addition. The texture comes out more like a fudgy brownie than a cakey one.

Healthy Happy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegan, organic butter spread
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablesoons turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 6 tablespoons apple butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a sauce pan, bring milk and butter spread to a slight simmer until the butter is melted. Move this off the stove. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, egg, sugar, and salt. Add the yeast and milk mixture and stir. Slowly add in the flour, 1/2 a cup at a time until entirely incorporated. Cover with a damp cloth and place somewhere warm to double in size.

Once doubled, dump the dough onto a surface and knead slightly. Add flour here but only if it is absolutely neccesary(the dough should be sticky but able to be handled). Stretch the dough out into a square with 1/4 inch thickness. Smear on the apple butter and generously sprinkle on cinnamon. Roll into a log with as many rotations as you can achieve. Cut into 8 rolls and place in a lined baking pan. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the rolls have risen, place in the oven for 18-20 minutes and take out while still slightly soft.

This recipe is far from perfect, so as I make more I’ll be updating it. That being said, it’s the only one that’s worked for me so far in terms of precise measurements and instructions. They’re very low fat on their own so I enjoy smearing peanut butter, organic vegan butter, or whatever fat I might be craving at the time. I also like it because it’s very versatile. For softer, flakier rolls, use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose flour. For a richer filling, omit the apple butter and instead do a brown sugar butter filling by melting 1/4 vegan butter spread and brushing it on, sprinkling on top 1/3 cup turbinado sugar.

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Vets, Bacon, And Hazelnuts

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

I am in serious need of lazy-time after today. What I told you this morning was that we were bringing Montana to the vet. What I left out was that before then I was madly rushing to get some whole wheat pumpkin cinnamon roll dough rising.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Dough

If you remember, I tried this once before and it all wound up in the trash; I hate dealing with yeast dough but I loooove how it tastes. Overall I hate any batter that’s sticky or requires unprecise amounts such as “flour until just together”. Why did I decide to go for these anyway? Who knows. But once the dough was done we hopped in the car for Montana’s check-up. He was shaking like a leaf waiting in the room and my dad said his breath smelled bad so I thought it was only rational to give him this.

Newman's Own Organic Cinnamon Mints

I like them and he does apparently, too. Not sure how his breath was after that but the vet wasn’t complaining. Things seemed exactly the same with him so we were out pretty quick and on to more errands. Because his vet is near a bigger, much larger Whole Foods. I thought I’d check if they had the chocolate bar I’ve been so desperately seeking since Christmas.

Mo's Bacon Milk Chocolate Bar

Success! It was 1 of 4 flavors they carried. Now I need to get creative of how to use it 🙂 After that it was my job to run into Market Basket to get vegetables. Like I’ve mentioned, we’re having company on New Years Eve and making them dinner, and Market Basket has the cheapest vegetables going. That store, however, is always full and a menace to work a shopping cart through. I think I bumped in to 2 people? Their fault. I ended up grabbing everything on the list and some fish for dinner. On the way home I was treated to a coffee.

McDonalds' Coffee

I’ll take it 😉 When we got home it felt like I had 10 things suddenly on my plate: work more with the cinnamon rolls, make lunch, put away groceries. To make things more confusing, my grandmother had randomly drove over. 3 people in our kitchen is too much when 2 of them are just standing around. I started making up a meal, trying to feed a craving for fried chicken.

Pecan Crusted Cornish Hen, Stuffing, Broccoli

I heated up leftover cornish hen over the stove and then patted it with homemade pecan butter and whole foods whole wheat bread crumbs for some crunch. It really was nothing like fried chicken but it definitely fed a general “fat” craving. I also heated up the last of the leftover Thanksgiving stuffing and charred some broccoli on the stove. While I was munching on this, I squared the dough for the rolls and slathered it with apple butter and cinnamon. The recipe was supposed to make 12 but after cutting up half of the log into 6 I cut the other half into 4 because they looked a little dainty. Then they rose for 30 minutes and baked for 23.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I’m really impressed that I made it to the final product(let’s just say I was not as optimistic this morning when I started them). They felt a little tough. I think it’s either that they’re whole wheat, sat out for too long, or baked for too long. I’m definitely not complaining, though, and I’ll write-up my version of the recipe within a few days. They’re very low fat because of the apple butter replacing the usual brown sugar butter filling, which is perfect for me because I prefer to spread peanut butter or whatever it may be over the top.

French Toast Hazelnut Butter

After that baking project, I moved on to my 3rd(of 6). This one involved the “mystery” nuts you all correctly IDed as hazelnuts(I knew you guys would figure me out ;-)). What you didn’t guess was the flavor. Surprisingly, I wasn’t aiming for an all-natural Nutella; I already have Rapunzel’s organic version so I’m fine with that one for now. I decided to make “french toast hazelnut butter” by blending 8oz hazelnuts with 2 tablespoons maple butter, 1 1/3 tablespoons vanilla infused sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla powder and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. This came out awesome from the little bit I nibbled on squeezing it into the jar. Hazelnuts, however, are not nearly as good blenders as peanuts to anyone looking to recreate this.

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“Hey, That Was Vegan!”

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

Last night, like I mentioned, I took control of dinner. I got hungry handling the food, so I snacked on some yogurt.

YoBaby And Greek Yogurt

I mixed 1/2 a container of YoBaby with 1/2 a greek yogurt. The YoBaby was made for… well, babies and was sweet potato and apple flavored. It was actually pretty good! A little thin, but I suppose babies need it to be like that? If you’re wondering why we even had a YoBaby, there was an instore coupon to get it for free and I could not pass on free probiotics. I was very excited to see how the parents would respond to my dinner.

Broccoli Fries, Maple Baked Tofu, Brown Rice Medley With Vegan Butter

I stuck with my favorite simple vegetarian dish: maple tofu. I also made broccoli fries(which needed another 10 minutes but I wasn’t going to make others wait any longer) and some rice which I don’t particularly care for but knew my mom loves. Everyone seemed to like it! Even my mom was picking at second servings of the tofu from the pan. She later asked if it had soy in it, which she’s convinced is poison for woman over 40. Should I bother showing her it’s probably in 50% of everything she eats? I’ll save that amusement for another day. Literally 3 hours after this, for no reason whatsoever, it popped into my mind that this meal was completely vegan! I never would have pictured us as a family enjoying a vegan meal so much, and entirely accidentally. Later on I was still stuffed but wanted a little bit of chocolate cake.

Vitabrownie

Perfect. I love the touch of walnuts on top, which is weird because I’ve never made brownies with walnuts in them. I was thinking of making my gluten free brownies with walnuts instead of mints. Good thing I didn’t because I later found out that my aunt happens to break out with acne from walnuts(and she loves digging in to my desserts at the holidays ;-)). Later on I still had a chocolate tooth but this time more room to stomach oatmeal.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Chocolate Chips

Delicious. I swear I’m going to need a 5lb tun of Naturally Nutty‘s butter toffee to last through the next semester. I’ve thought about trying to recreate it with my food processor but I just don’t think I could; the texture is just too perfect with this one among other things.

This morning I slept in again. Maybe I need a New Years Resolution to get up on time? Thankfully, I had nowhere to go, just some things to address.

Recipes

These are all the recipes I plan on making before the New Year. 3 are for out New Years Eve party and 3 are for my own amusement. 4 of them are just adapted from internet ones but 2 are “homemade”. The first one I wanted to try was homemade deep chocolate vitatops; I don’t want to think about how much money I’ve spent on these so I was happy to get muffintop baking sheets for Christmas. After studying the ingredient list carefully, I wrote up a recipe that would almost match it exactly.

Homemade Vitatops

They certainly look like the real deal, don’t they? And they’re almost identical in every way, from calories to texture to even whole grains per serving(although I threw in a few extra chocolate chips because vitatops tend to skimp ;-)). So even though I haven’t tasted them yet, I’m going to count this as a win because the point wasn’t to make the best tasting thing I could but the best replica. I’ll post the recipe a little later on. After showering, I wanted a maple(not chocolate) breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Greek Yogurt With Maple Butter

I need to eat my pumpkin cream cheese more because there was a little mold when I opened the container. Why, oh why. This happened last time and we had to throw out the whole thing, but this time I just skimmed the top and carried on(shh, don’t tell). I’d rather take the risk than lose the 6 dollars. The maple butter on yogurt was perfect; I’m going to be using the butter as the “special ingredient” in one of those 5 remaining recipes. But first up it’s time to take Montana to the vet for a check up! Of course the big lump of fur is still sound asleep.

Check out this kitchen gadget giveaway from Graze With Me!

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Really? The Millennium?

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

Really? All the radio stations here are doing a “look back at the millennium so far”. Do they realize it’s been 10 years and a millennium is 1000? Can’t we look back on the decade and be happy? Or even just the year because that’s all that’s ending? The media is never happy until it blows something entirely out of proportion(although, to be fair, they kind of called it on the Tiger Woods thing).

Soy Meat Stuffed Pepper With Cheese, Onion, Brussels

We had so many errands to run today, I literally took my meal “to-go”. The Lightlife sausage was yummy, as always. I don’t care if soy doesn’t agree with me; I’ll eat it till it kills. First we stopped at the bank to cash Christmas checks(chaching). I forgot my identification but thankfully the teller was super nice and my dad was able to cosign for me. Then we went to Macy’s to try and exchange the food processor.

Black & Decker Food Processor

Thankfully, this woman was not as talkative as the teller. She asked no questions and I didn’t have to lie at all! I just said “We bought this here two days ago and the chute piece is broken”. 2 college semesters of linguistics is a dangerous thing to wield because I really know lawyer speak 😉 After that we went to job-lot for some nuts to grind(1.50 for a pound of peanuts!) and then on to Whole Foods. 2 days ago they said they’d have my bacon chocolate bar today. Today they said they’ll have it Thursday. Ugh. We need to go to Whole Foods Wednesday to get food for a New Years Eve party so we’ll just go to one of the stores I know carries it then.

Banana Oatmeal With Banana Pudding And EB Almond Butter

When we got home after 3 hours of errand running, I was pooped(and hungry). I had a bananarama in this dish, with 3oz mushed banana in the batter and topped with 1/2 a container Zensoy banana pudding. The flavor to this was… interesting. It was a little watery but I think that’s characteristic of soy. The flavor wasn’t awful, but wasn’t perfect.

Earth Balance Almond Butter

I also found this at Job Lot for $4. I think that’s at least half the price of Whole Foods. I bought it from my Christmas fund for good measure. It was good but I think I wanted more of a funkier taste, like Smart Balance has. Maybe add more agave after putting it on the oats? Still, a great deal and great nutrition.

Tofu, Rice, Broccoli

I’m in charge of dinner(well, I thought I was until my mom came home 80 minutes before expected but I’m still going to hold the reigns). I decided I’d make maple tofu for everyone. They aren’t the biggest fans of tofu but I think the prospect of maple will convert them. I’m also throwing in rice, which my mom will probably eat mostly and I won’t touch, and broccoli fries. I hope this all comes out disaster free!

Bulk Bin Nuts

I also picked up these nuts at Whole Foods. Anyone want to take a guess a) what type they are and b) what I’ll be grinding up? 🙂

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Fusions

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

Somethings were just meant to be: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Lucy and Ricky, Me and Emma Watson, Ross and Rachel–the list goes on and on. And the truth is that these pairs work better together more than on their own. So yesterday I was looking for things that worked better together than on their own.

Pecan Butter With Cashews

My first inspiration came from Artisana’s Pecan Butter. I really enjoyed the hint of cashews in this to make it more of an artisan nut butter so I thought I’d try to replicate that with the pecans I picked up from the natural food store and some Oh Nuts! cashews. I won’t reveal the “secret” ratio but I think this came out damn good and would get a 10/10 from my own scale. I will reveal that I roasted them all so the flavor would be more pungent, but I didn’t add any salt.

Butterscotch Peanut Butter

Butterscotch and peanut butter are definitely another flavor combo that was meant to be. I think Kath would agree with the number of times I’ve seen butterscotch chips on her oatmeal. For this I used 16oz raw peanuts I dry roasted, more butterscotch extract than I’d care to know, stevia, and 4 teaspoons brown sugar. The flavor is definitely unique; it’s not my favorite but it seems like one of those I might randomly crave at some point. After I played around on nutritiondata.com, it was time for dinner.

Thai Curry Chickpeas With Hot Sauce, Brussels Sprouts, Buffalo Bleu Chips

I think Frank’s Red Hot sauce + anything is amazing(as attested by multiple bloggers around here). My mouth was on fire after all of this. There was also lemon-thyme salmon on the table but a) I didn’t think the lemon-thyme and hot sauce would work and b) I didn’t feel like having meat this meal.

After dinner, as disgusting as it was, I was determined to find the receipt for the food processor so that I can work at getting a non-broken one. It just so happened to be in the same bag of trash which my mom threw out ALL of her receipts from balancing her checkbook. This was really like finding a needle in a haystack but we got it.

Macy's Receipt

A little worse from ware but proof is proof. I think I continued to wash my hands for another 20 minutes to get off the coffee grounds and tofu, and then turned on I Love Lucy and picked up more fusion food.

Xocai Nugget And Power Square

Obviously, chocolates bestie is more chocolate, so I tried out Xocai’s nugget and power square. If you want to get technical, both of these are also fused with dried acai berries to increase their ORAC value, but really chocolate is chocolate. I liked these, but surprisingly they weren’t dark enough for me at the time. They tasted like a good 55% but I was expecting them to be more bitter-sweet. After a few good I Love Lucy episodes(a timeless show), I found more fusion in the kitchen.

Barney butter And Peach Amaretto Jam

Oatmeal With Barney Butter And Peach Amaretto Jam

These were soooo meant to be together. The jam was a Christmas present to my parents and is unreal; it has so much amaretto flavor! And it’s totally giving me ideas for more nut butters. The Barney Butter oddly separated in the squeeze pack so half was really hard and have was liquid. At least it still tasted OK. Lastly I had a 2nd daily probiotic source and hit the hay.

Pop Culture Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

This morning I must have been lazy because I slept in 40 minutes. It is vacation, after all 🙂 But then I got “in the mood” for a good workout. I did my core with

  • 240 varying arm rotations
  • 5 sets of 7 chair swings
  • 40 squats(thinking back, I might have forgotten this one)
  • 70 rowers’ arms
  • 40 second pose hold
  • 70 standing marches
  • 100 sit ups
  • 100 air kicks
  • 70 tricep dips
  • 70 side crunches, both sides
  • 100 crunches
  • 50 second crunch hold
  • 40 push-ups(a little messy by this point)

After that I threw in 100 flights of stairs, which took about 30 minutes but flew by to some good ipod tunes. After that I knew exactly what was on the menu for breakfast.

Vegan Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Pecan Butter And Brown Sugar Vegan Butter Spread

Peanut Flour Yogurt

Pecan butter, earth balance, and brown sugar were most definitely all meant to co-exist(We are the woooorrld. We are the futurrre). I’ve come to think there is nothing better than to be able to think “I’m eating homemade pecan butter” and know it’s your home that made it! Now I just need to figure out how to homemake a cinnamon roll. Peanut flour and greek yogurt were equally meant to be for a 1-2 protein punch. Today’s agenda most definitely includes a trip to Macy’s to try and get a new food processor piece, and hopefully addressing 1 or 2 recipes on my to-do list.

A huge vitatop giveaway from Iowa Girl!

And a Wild Bar giveaway from Chocolate Covered Katie!

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Pop Culture Product Review

Posted on December 27, 2009. Filed under: Product Review | Tags: , , |

You all know I love my probiotics, right? And you all know I love my bar stash, right? So you must know I was flippin’ when I found a bar with probiotics. Pop Culture fortifies their two flavors with a special, shelf-stable strand of bacteria with 10x the viable cells of supermarket yogurt. I got the chance to sample and review both of their current flavors and here are my thoughts.

Yogurt Fruit & Nut

8.5/10: With 4g of fiber and a host of live and active probiotic cells, Pop Culture packs a lot into a 90 calorie, 1oz bar perfect for your pocket. The yogurt coating might have been slight, but I loved what there was of it; it reminded me exactly of yogurt covered raisins or pretzels. The fruit in the bar really came out more of a generic sweetness than any flavor, and the nuts were disappointingly unrecognizable, though I don’t know how they could have been with such a slight nutrition label. But in the end the yogurt coating saved it all and made this a tasty treat.

Chocolate Chip Granola

8/10: As a lover of probiotics, I’m always excited to find them in a new form. Here, Pop Culture takes the traditional and adds a huge twist; their unique strand of bacteria and methodology allows for a shelf-stable granola bar with probiotics. I liked the abundance of chocolate chips and the small, snack size. I also liked that it had protein from soy isolates to boost the nutrition so that this wasn’t an over-glorified granola bar. With only 1 strand of bacteria, though, this isn’t the best to rely on fully. And the texture was a bit chewier than my liking. Overall, this was a fun way to switch up the daily yogurt trend(and add a few more chocolate chips to my life ;-) )

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This Is Why I Can’t Have Nice Things

Posted on December 27, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I was sooo anxious this morning to break out my new food processor, I couldn’t even wait until after lunch! I decided that the first thing I would try to tackle is a chocolate peanut butter; I have not found one to my liking yet and was hoping to create my very own with peanuts and my favorite chocolate bar: Newman’s Own Organic Mocha Milk Chocolate.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter

The flavor came out pretty good–or at least better than what I’ve had. But while that was happening, so did this.

Broken Top Piece

I swear, I can’t have nice things for more than 5 minutes without something going wrong. I was making my peanut butter, and my dad was pretty much hovering over my right shoulder. When I unscrewed the top I lost focus trying to tell him to go away and dropped it on the floor, shattering some of the plastic. I was definitely livid, but it’s not my style to scream my face off at people, so instead I burried my face in my hands and continued until I was finished making my peanut butter. I hate that that sounds like such an excuse I’m making for myself, and I know after all is said and done I was the one who dropped it. Even 30 minutes later, emotions were not settled and not much talking amongst people happened before lunch, which my grandmother came over for.

Sweet Potato With Maple Butter, Cornish Hen, Broccoli

We heated up 2 of the leftover hens and I portioned out 4 ounces. I was surprised to see how little that was; I can’t imagine how much hen I had on Christmas! Oh well, it was a holiday 🙂 Still afterwards things were a bit icey, but I snagged the main computer to play with for my new peanut butter.

Nutrition Label

Did you know about nutritiondata.com? I just found out about it this afternoon. You can use it to find out the nutrition of anything you make! This peanut butter turned out pretty good, too. Had I known it would only have 2.5g of sugar per serving, I would have added more chocolate 😉 I could definitely see this site being more useful for things. At the same time, I’d rather not know how fattening some desserts are, haha. Afterwards, my grandmother was heading to the store, so I thought I’d tag along.

Grammy Mercy

Yes, the one with the purple steering wheel you all loved so much 🙂 You should have been at that yankee swap! Their was no love for the steering wheel that year. We went to a normal grocery store where she bought my groceries–joy! It was just tofu and some baking chocolate, but that was a nice surprise. I don’t think she knows what tofu even is, haha. We also stopped at an all-natural food store where I went to get nuts and found a fun surprise.

Butterscotch Extract

Had you ever heard of this? I always thought butterscotch only came in unnatural forms these days unless you whip some up yourself, and I was none to keen on that. I also was hungry so I made myself some brain power oatmeal.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Walnut Butter And Goji Ginger Walnut Cookies

Delicious! And now I can eat walnut butter knowing I can make my own once I finish the jar! Oh, and the goji cookies helped my brain, too 😉 And now I’m off to play with my nuts! Err… you know what I mean.

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