Book Review

Recipe Test: Midnight Chocolate Cupcakes

Posted on April 25, 2010. Filed under: Book Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

As I’ve mentioned several times, Book Pub Co. sent me the vegan dessert cookbook Sweet Utopia to read and review. I talked about my first impression here, but this weekend I got to test my first recipe. What a fun task that was! I immediately eyed the midnight chocolate cupcakes for my cousin’s 3rd birthday party today. I confess to making the following substitutions to the recipe:

  • All-purpose gluten-free flour and xanthan gum for the flour
  • Teeccino in place of the the coffee
  • Almond milk for the soy milk
Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream And Crumbled Cupcake

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream And Crumbled Cupcake

Two cupcakes suffered an, err, unfortunate oven accident, but their crumbs were still good for eating, so I made a cake and ice cream sundae with So Delicious vanilla bean ice cream. I am such a cake and ice cream person at heart. I can’t wait for the Summer since the grocery store near my home sells these ice creams for a dollar less than the Whole Foods near my school 🙂

The cupcake was impressively moist and “cakey”; I wouldn’t have thought that would be easy to recreate without eggs. The moisture must come from the fat ingredients, which seemed to work well. Overall, I think this recipe relies on a lot of sugar to be good(there are at least 4 sources of it), when in fact this makes an impressive cake all its own and doesn’t need to distract with sweetness. I would definitely give this one a thumbs up.

Red Delicious Apple

Red Delicious Apple

I snacked on a red delicious watching Sherlock Holmes. In truth, I was paying more attention to my work and didn’t see most of the movie. I just like having British accents playing in the background. Can I get a white noise CD like that?

Oatmeal With Turbinado Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Turbinado Peanut Butter

And I fashionably finished off the night with oatmeal and peanut butter. This one almost tasted like Garden Grille‘s, except the chunks of sugar didn’t dissolve and made this really crunchy. I’ll discover you yet!

Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Frosting

I think the best thing is when you get to wake up and first thing make frosting. Run? Coffee? Breakfast? That can all wait. Chocolate first.

Midnight Chocolate Cupcake With Frosting

Midnight Chocolate Cupcake With Frosting

Perhaps surprisingly, I wasn’t a fan of this frosting recipe. It came out so thick, it was like fudge! It just wasn’t very spreadable or much more than melted chocolate. It would make for a good ganache filling, but it certainly didn’t come out like a “frosting”. I have to say, it was super simple to make, though. Believe it or not, I didn’t eat a cupcake for breakfast.

Oatmeal With Plain PB, Siggi's Orange Ginger Yogurt With Chocolate Chips

Oatmeal With Plain PB, Siggi's Orange Ginger Yogurt With Chocolate Chips

That’s more nutritious. I topped oatmeal with some 365 brand peanut butter(see, I practice what I preach). I also tried my very first Siggi! I chose the orange ginger flavor, since it sounded so exotic, and topped it with the vegan chocolate chips(you would too if you’d been handling them for 2 days). It was good, but it was a tad undersweetened for me; maybe I just have a sweet tooth to rival Averie’s. But what a fun flavor. And it’s so thick! Love it.

Are you a cake, brownie, or cookie person? I’m all about the cake, which is why cupcakes seemed perfect for this birthday party. I just love the light and airiness to the dessert! If I want something dense and chewy, I’d rather just eat a chocolate bar.

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Homemade Nut Butters And Ten Tips To Tweet

Posted on April 16, 2010. Filed under: Book Review, Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thanks for all the great veggie burger suggestions; keep them coming! I’ve got a whole slew of brands to look for next time I go to Whole Foods and can’t wait to find some fun flavors. I’m also loving the recipe suggestions. I didn’t even think of making my own! For the remaining time at school, I don’t see that happening. But over the Summer it sounds like a fun project.

Sweet Utopia

Sweet Utopia

Last night, my entertainment was Survivor, old SNL skits, and reading some of Sweet Utopia which I mentioned I was sent from Books Publishing Co. to review. I like how it didn’t jump in to recipes but laid out what a vegan kitchen should have and everything that’s going to be called for in this book. What I wasn’t a fan of was the overemphasis on everything vegan; I think I’d rather be wowed by a recipe and look back in hindsight thinking “that was vegan?!” than be convinced going in these recipes will be “different”. I only got 2 recipes in after all of that, but one definitely struck my eye as the most decadent chocolate cake I could think of and I can’t wait to make it some time soon.

Green & Black's Cherry Dark Chocolate Bar

Green & Black's Cherry Dark Chocolate Bar

There’s so few joys in life lesser than opening up a new bar of chocolate and seeing the shiny tin foil.

Green & Black's Cherry Dark Chocolate Bar

Green & Black's Cherry Dark Chocolate Bar

I snacked on 20 squares Green & Black’s cherry dark chocolate while watching Survivor. I’ve had this a lot on Greek yogurt but not so much on its own. Eating it like this made me realize how intense the cherries were in flavor. Wow! I bet that also means they’re packed with antioxidants, just like the dark chocolate? Yeah, we’ll call this one healthy.

Organic Cripps Pink Apple

Organic Cripps Pink Apple

We picked up a few organic apples on sale at Whole Foods before I moved back in to the dorm. I didn’t care so much that they were organic that they were fresh; eating this definitely made me feel better than eating one sitting in the cafeteria for who knows how long.

Chocolate Pecan Butter Ingredients

Chocolate Pecan Butter Ingredients

I got a fun idea in my head watching SNL reruns: chocolate pecan butter. Don’t you love it? I just took a scoop of my homemade pecan butter, some cocoa powder, and vanilla agave and a touch of sea salt.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Pecan Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Pecan Butter And Coconut Milk

Yum! I think this could be called German’s Chocolate Cake oatmeal; it was that good. The sea salt was definitely the touch that made the chocolate flavor more pronounced, as with the coconut milk. I can’t believe how long this batch is lasting! I tell ya: if you move it to a plastic, seal-tight container in the fridge, it stays fresh a lot longer.

10 Miles In 89:29

10 Miles In 89:29

I knew I’d be running inside since rain was in the forecast, so I wanted to get up early and run at the gym. Still, I knew I needed to rest, and resisted setting the alarm. After enough sleep(sleep bores me), I hit the gym for 10 miles a bit later than usual. Apparently, the later crowd does not have the same TV preferences as the earlier people. I’m referencing the girl who changed The Today Show to 16 And Pregnant. Really? Really?

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk, Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt, Vitabears

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk, Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt, Vitabears

Breakfast was filled with flavors of Spring and Summer: vanilla, strawberry, coconut, almond. This was actually all inspired by my favorite white chocolate bar, and was a good substitute short of eating that for breakfast. The yogurt was plain Greek sweetened with Madhava’s vanilla agave and Crofter’s organic strawberry conserves

Raw Almond Butter With Fair Trade White Chocolate With Strawberries

Raw Almond Butter With Fair Trade White Chocolate With Strawberries

This is an almond butter I made over Winter break. It has raw, organic almonds and pieces of my favorite white chocolate bar, which is fair trade and has bits of strawberries in it. I think the vitamin bears wanted a taste 😉

Do you ever feel like for every Twitter follower you gain, you lose 2 more? Well, the good news is some of those are just people who follow you hoping to be followed back who then go back and unfollow. I wouldn’t worry about them. But you might also be doing things to genuinely annoy people. I know I have, and am in no way touting perfection righting this list. If anything, it’s a bit of self realization on places to improve. If nothing else, it was educational and comical. Enjoy!

  1. Don’t tweet every little thought that comes to your mind. “I wish my portable laptop had a portable toilet” may sound  cute, but someone on the other end is probably saying to themselves “What were they thinking?!”
  2. If you’re conversing with someone in particular, put @theirtwitID first. This way, only people who follow both of you will see the relevant conversation. If it’s really personal, direct message.
  3. Care about who follows you. Don’t just follow to be followed.
  4. Retweet! People follow you because they have the same interests as you. If you find something to your liking, share it.
  5. NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE SHOUTED!!!!!
  6. Cap your tweets. No one wants their Home to be filled with one face.
  7. There are other ways to communicate with people close to you. If you know someone well, use the phone to tell them what to add to the grocery list. Not Twitter.
  8. A Twitpic says a thousand words, which is useful when Twitter only lets you type 140
  9. Use #hashes and trending topics to get your voice in a stream of people with the same thing on their mind.
  10. Shortened words and syncopated grammar for space reasons is understandable. Misspelling and wrong grammar just looks poor.
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Teas, Tweets, Chocolate, And Sweets

Posted on April 1, 2010. Filed under: Book Review, Daily Update, Giveaway | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Despite the order of this rhythmic post title, I’ll start with chocolate and save the tea for last 😀

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Last night I was feeling like a chocolate snob and debating between which brand of orange dark chocolate to have; yes, I do that. In the end, I went with Newman’s Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate not just because it’s organic but because it has a sweeter flavor from a higher sugar content. OK, enough chocolate talk. That prompted the tweet,

EvanFMFF: I want to go on an all-organic chocolate diet so that when I get fat from it I can say “yeah, but it’s organic fat”.

It was a joke (sort of :-D) but I loved the responses so much I had to share. Some bloggers wanted to join in; could I be more popular than the cookie diet? Other bloggers were their witty selves:

RunEatRepeat: @EvanFMFF and when you die all that organic fat will be like feeding the soil in a good way 🙂

which reminded me of something I want to share from the Today Show: sewage waste is not only permitted, but used in non-organic produce fertilizing. Uhh, ew! I don’t always or even often eat organic produce but these are the kinds of things I’d rather not know because it makes me want to. And, lastly, some bloggers made a knowledgeable and poignant tweet:

CandidRD: @EvanFMFF Sadly people really do think organic and “natural” foods are ALL healthy. HA!

That’s a good reminder that just because you shop at Whole Foods doesn’t mean you can’t go wrong, or at least be picking up things that are still “sometimes” treats rather than good-for-you diet staples.

Jokerz Candy Bar

Jokerz Candy Bar

For instance, Go Max Go Foods Jokerz candy bars. Not USDA organic,  and not a diet staple by any means. But one a week won’t kill you 😉 Just maybe your wallet.

Teeccino Mocha Herbal Coffee

Teeccino Mocha Herbal Coffee

This morning I slept in in hopes of a sunny outdoors run later on this morning; let’s see what the sun has to say about that. Instead of coffee, I thought I’d opt for mocha herbal teeccino instead so as to not dehydrate myself. It doesn’t really taste like coffee, but it’s nice beverage to have around if you need to feel April Fooled into drinking the real java. It’s better because it’s non-acidic. If it were the only type of coffee I kept around, I probably wouldn’t notice missing the “real” thing.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple PB, Cacao Coconut Yogurt With Coconut PB

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Honey Maple PB, Cacao Coconut Yogurt With Coconut PB

Cacao Maca Coconut Yogurt With Coconut Peanut Butter

Cacao Maca Coconut Yogurt With Coconut Peanut Butter

Ahh, pumpkin oats, my voluminous friend, where have you been these past few days? 🙂 There was some pumpkin oatmeal with honey maple protein peanut butter, but the real story was in the yogurt. I mixed a plain So Delicious coconut milk yogurt with 2 tablespoons Navitas Naturals‘ twister powder(cacao, maca, and hemp) and topped that with some Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter. Coconutty? I think so. The peanut butter was a little stiff on the yogurt and might have been overkill, but at least it was tasty overkill.

Sweet Utopia

Sweet Utopia

Rick from Book Publishing Co. offered to send me a book for review and share my opinions on. Sweet Utopia by Sharon Valencik is a book devoted to vegan desserts; how perfect does that sound? Desserts are something I’ve always had trouble “veganizing” myself so I can’t wait to see what she has to teach me and how much I can take away. For the month of April and possibly May, I’ll be flipping through the book, picking up tips, and trying out recipes. In the end, I’ll give a comprehensive review and hopefully if I end up loving it I can suggest it to you all! Sound fun?

Last but not least, the winner of the Celestial Tea Wellness giveaway as chosen by random lot is Angela! Congrats to her and happy sipping 🙂

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On An Almond Butter Kick

Posted on February 12, 2010. Filed under: Book Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

With so many nut butters around here, my taste buds can really go any which way they desire. Obviously, I have plenty of peanut butters, a good number of almond butters, a few varieties of cashew, and then 1 or 2 jars of sunflower, pumpkin, pistachio, pecan, hazelnut, and–of course–coconut oil. But lately I have been all about the almond, baby!

Endangered Species Organic 1.4oz Dark Chocolate Cherry Bar

OK–I lied. First I was all about the chocolate 😀 To be honest, I didn’t care much on what flavor I was grabbing for(in fact I would have preferred plain dark chocolate but thankfully the cherry isn’t too pronounced in this bar). What I wanted was just toe at a whole chocolate bar! Not break of 2 chunks from a HUGE one, or finish a half eaten one. I just wanted to eat a chocolate bar. I think that’s the strongest feature of Endangered Species 1.4oz organic line to me.

A lot was going on while I was eating this. First and foremost: Survivor! I love the new season already, and hate the villains already. They get my blood boiling! I was bummed that the whole thing was 2 hours. Now I need to watch Greys and NBC shows online. I also found out that my peaceful, catch-up weekend on campus might not end up like that; I might need to take a trip home Sunday where my relatives and us would celebrate my aunt’s birthday. Of course, that’s  a pretty darn good reason to put down the books and go home, so 95% chance I will. Now I just feel as though I need a new recipe to try. Suggestions? Anyway, that all went down and my hunger went up; now bring on the almond butter!

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Almond butter and chocolate? My heart be still. This bowl was a salty/sweet mess; that’s one of the best kinds of messes, in my opinion! So in love with Justin’s chocolate almond butter, but not quite as much as his maple almond butter. And how have I never reviewed that?! I’ve gone through pounds(literally). Adding that to the list of things I might not get around to this weekend… And after that I got to bed(finally!) to cap off the work week. Woohoo!

Honest Foods Choco Peanut Butter Bar

I wasn’t particularly starving before my run today but I wasn’t exactly “topped off” either. This choco peanut butter bar from Honest Foods(which I also ate 1 of yesterday afternoon…) was what I needed to hit the spot. What’s the 3rd ingredient? Almond butter! That’s interesting for a chocolate and peanut butter bar, but the flavor works regardless so it’s good with me.. I’ve been asked if I eat something before I run in the morning; the simple answer is “If I take a picture/mention something, then I ate it”. I always have a unpictured, single cup of black decaf coffee before leaving my room, but that’s it otherwise.

Running Stats

This morning’s run was a dilemma, but a happy one indeed. I felt very on top of my game throughout the whole planned 8 miles; I think watching about Olympians on The Today Show had me all fired up! Naturally, I just didn’t want to stop, and I thought today I could reach double digits again. Well, after talking myself down from increasing my mileage that much, I went with my schedule: 8 miles(70:42) and 30 minutes cross-training.

Elliptical Machine

I also took ya’ll advice and swapped to the elliptical from the bike. My verdict: I loved it! It felt like a “real” workout. I put on resistance level 5 and did about 4500 strides in 30 minutes, trying to stay above 150/min. It kept my heart rate at 120+ and got my sweat on. Lovely, right? Thankfully, I then got my shower on and eventually my eat.

Breakfast

Hemp And Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Butter

My grandfather always says “Holy Hannah!” as an exclamatory but I think “Holy hemp!” could be my own thing 🙂 In place of 1/6th a cup oat bran in my oatmeal, I swapped 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill hulled hemp seeds. This was a bit of a haphazard swap; oat bran is the outer, fiberous layer of a grain whereas hulled hemp is the innermost part of a seed. Naturally, that meant the “fluff factor” was not there in the oats. But it was delicious! Nice and nutty(or “hempy”). And perfect with some vanilla almond butter from Naturally Nutty, which is made with hemp ground in! On the side I had some vanilla-y green tea and vanilla 2% Greek yogurt. I think today might be a vanilla sort of day 🙂

Speaking of “the day”, I may not have classes, but now I might have to get at working to make up for the weekend! And yet, for some reason I can’t stop looking at recipes for a lunch or dinner here or thinking about things I might want to order from iHerb. Do you ever feel like you need someone whose sole role is to tell you what you “need” verse “want”? Yeah, I “need” that person now.

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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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Where’s The Bread?

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

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

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

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop And Shop Loot

Stop And Shop Loot

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

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

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

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

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

A Lonely Unopened Package

A Lonely Unopened Package

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

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

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

Emerald's Cocoa Roasted Almonds

Emerald's Cocoa Roasted Almonds

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

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

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

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

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

So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

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

Banana Bread With Midnight Moo Sauce

Banana Bread With Midnight Moo Sauce

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

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

I promised a rocksome breakfast right?

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

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

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

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

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An Impulse Buy: Book Review

Posted on June 30, 2009. Filed under: Book Review | Tags: , , , , , , |

First of all, thank’s for the book suggestions! I’ll be sure to go on Amazon later and read all the synopses and add some to my wish list. Meanwhile, right before popping in to Market Basket yesterday(where I didn’t really pick up any new foods to try, just the old trusty essentials), I popped into Barnes & Nobles and bought Eat This Not That: The Supermarket Survival Guide. Usually I take weeks to decide on things I want to buy. But I had just seen the author on Rachael Ray yesterday morning and damn do those television appearances help sell products!

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My first reaction after buying it was “Did I just pay 20 dollars for a book of facts and tips I already know?” I’ve spent many days on the internet and Runners World forums and picked up plenty of knowledge on what should and shouldn’t be in my food. Then I realized there’s no way I could know everything this book has to offer. And even if I did, this is certainly the type of book you want to leave on your coffee table for others to pick up and flip through; I’d go so far to say this should be on any Summer reading list, from the high schooler’s to the moms who feed them.

The book’s set up with several different formats to help you get the lesson. Each chapter has an introduction with general facts, debates, and general history about the topic. Then it moves into tips and tricks for choosing the right things, like what to look for on an ingredient list, or how to pick out certain fruits/vegetables at the grocery store. The authors also include informative tables, such as one that rates and compares meat from chicken breast to duck on protein:fat ratio, and a chart for which fruits are really worth getting organic and which are just added cost for little effect(Let’s just say I’ll be getting my peaches from Whole Foods from now on).

Of course, Eat This Not That also offers side-by-side comparison of products to show you which ones to eat and which ones to avoid. I found this the more tedious and annoying part of the book, since it basically is just applying all the tips and tricks you just read, but for those who only look at the pretty pictures when flipping through a book this can be pretty handy. What I do like is that the book compares identical items; it knows if you buy buttered microwave popcorn, you aren’t going to suddenly switch to airpopped with nothing added, so it shows the safer brand to buy. The authors have a clear point of view throughout the many pages of item comparison: added sugar is the devil and fiber is a gift from the gods. While I somewhat agree with this, the lesson is almost pounded in to a point of absurdity. But, to the authors’ credit, they do more often than not go with all-natural products. They don’t, unfortunately, consider store brands like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, which often offer cheaper alternatives to the Eat This foods, but all-in-all there’s a lot of good suggestions to throw into your shopping cart next trip to the store.

Would I recommend this? Absolutely. If nothing else, flipping through the comparison pages and realizing you already have most of those products in your pantry will give you a comforting feeling. There’s plenty of lessons to be learned(like HFCS made from organic corn is organic!). And the more people you can push this book onto, the better.

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