Rant

That Food Network Show I Hate

Posted on May 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I’m not very picky when it comes to television, especially since moving back home and getting more channels with a DVR. I men, you have to be a TV whore to record something called Sex In The Ancient World airing at 3:01am, right? To be fair, I had a history class period this past semester devoted to that, a whole awkward class period. But there’s one Food Network show that I both watch and loathe.

What’s right about this show? I’m sure the contestants are great hometown chefs, but they never pop. They just aren’t Food Network chefs and it shines through. The producers are constantly trying to build the pressure when there just isn’t any. And presentation is always overemphasized. If you can mix sugar cookie dough and miso and make a dessert, you can dress it up all you want but I just want to know how it tastes. There was no emphasis on pressentation last night. No funky ingredients. And no Chopped.

2% Fage With Raw Honey, Green & Black's White Chocolate

2% Fage With Raw Honey, Green & Black's White Chocolate

Green & Black's White Chocolate

Green & Black's White Chocolate

I like to balance the incredible health benefits of raw honey with nutritionally void white chocolate. It’s OK when it’s organic 😉 And so delicious. Just look at those vanilla bean specks! Green & Black, you have my heart.

Oatmeal With Dark Choc And Peanut Chunk PB

Oatmeal With Dark Choc And Peanut Chunk PB

See? I would definitely fail presentation on chopped, even if you can never go wrong mixing crunchy peanut butter, peanuts, and dark chocolate shavings. I had no clue what I was in the mood for at the time, but how can you go wrong with peanuts and chocolate?

Oatmeal With Almond Butter, Fage With Fig Jim And Hazelnuts

Oatmeal With Almond Butter, Fage With Fig Jam And Hazelnuts

This morning was all about the almond butter. The Trader Joe’s creamy salted is to die for. But I think I have enough nut butter to shingle a roof so I’ll have to wait to buy another jar.

Fage With Fig Jim And Hazelnuts

Fage With Fig Jam And Hazelnuts

I think I’ve been spoiled with Fage since it seems to be on sale everywhere lately. It really is the best plain yogurt to get, and you can dress it up with anything, like fig jam(from an open market in France!!) and hazelnuts. That makes the day feel so much more adventurous already.

What television show can you not stand?

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The Earth Will Forgive Me

Posted on April 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*I don’t think google reader has yet picked up this morning’s post at the time I’m writing this. I’m hoping this was just an individual problem, but if it persists I’ll look into it*

So, if I was supposed to “celebrate” the earth in some way today, the earth is going to have to forgive me. To be honest, I find a lot of the notions put forth about Earth Day a little silly. The whole thing is counterproductive: we build up so much about recycling and being green this 1 time a year that it’s as if to say we aren’t expected to do this all the time. We are.

3 things have really rubbed me the wrong way today

  • Having to go down to the bank this morning to cancel my current card and request a new one to be sent to me in 5-7 business days. Looks like I won’t be purchasing any peanut butter online in that time(but maybe that’s a good thing). Oh, at least while I was down there I bought a gingerade kombucha. No need for the day to totally suck, right?
Gingerade Kombucha

Gingerade Kombucha

  • Cookies/Bars that use banana as a binder. Don’t ask me why but I hate these and I’ve been seeing them everywhere recently. If you made them and have been eating them and love them, that’s all that matters. Personally, I’ve never had a baking success with a banana besides banana goodness bread, and even that relies on eggs.
  • The idea that eating vegetarian today at all has to do with “celebrating Earth Day”. I don’t know how to feel about this one other than like it’s a personal attack saying you can’t eat meat and also be green. You can. You can  also be a vegan who litters. Shocker. I happily and greenily ate my naturally-raised, grass-fed burger for lunch today.
Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash With Olive Oil, Spinach

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Hash With Olive Oil, Spinach

(Not so) funny story. When I got to class, my friend Alex knocked this all over the floor :-/ I really didn’t have anything else to eat, so I just ate it anyway, hoping things were clean enough(most actually went onto her purse). Was that green? I don’t know. But at least it still tasted good. I tossed the sweet potatoes in EVOO after they grilled in my pan for added fat and flavor. Delicious. Since I wasn’t even all that hungry to begin with, this held me over well into the afternoon.

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar

Alter-Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar

I whole-heartedly believe that the best way to be green is with our shopping cart and the foods we buy. That’s why so often I look for good companies like Alter Eco who not only make tasty chocolates but use fair-trade, organic ingredients. This particular flavor is not my favorite(I hate crunchies in my chocolate), but I’m still working on project clean out.

Organic Pink Lady Apple

Organic Pink Lady Apple

I also snacked on an organic apple. As I’ve said in posts before, I don’t always by local or organic produce, simply because it’s not affordable 100% of the time. If there’s a sale, or it’s a small cost extra or something, I’ll gladly buy organic, even choosing a pink lady over my beloved red delicious. I’ll eat pink to be green.

Dinner was something special tonight. I’m going home for the weekend for an event tomorrow night and then one Friday, so my dad came down to pick me up and start moving things home. On the way, he grabbed take out from Garden Grille that I placed. I tried a new dish: their vegan and gluten-free baked macaroni and cheese.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

How did it taste? Honestly, I just uploaded the picture and need to start packing the car, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow 😉

What’s something you do year round that’s green? Proceeds for my favorite chocolate bar by Endangered Species go towards rain forest preservation. I wonder how many trees the 6 I’ve bought in the past week have saved… But seriously, I do believe my greenest contribution takes place in the market, and I take pride in that. Today, in fact, I signed up for a program next Fall to get fresh produce from local farmers weekly through my college. If that ain’t green, neither is broccoli.

Perhaps more controversially, Do you see eating green and eating vegetarian as one in the same? I can picture an indirect connection being made between the two. But to directly relate one another is, I think, invalid.

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On Fried Foods And Chocolate

Posted on April 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2 things

  1. I’m a little slow on catching up on comments, but I love how you all fully support my chocolate addiction. You won’t be disappointed today, either.
  2. I try to keep this blog food and running focused, leaving out most of the rest of my day and mood. But I’ll admit right now I’m feeling a little frustrated from the housing lottery for next year 😦 The whole thing is a stress breeder, but basically I had to throw my hands in the air, pass, and throw myself at the mercy of the housing Gods, and probably won’t know what’s the deal until the Summer. Right now, I just about want to curl into bed with a bowl of oatmeal and drift off, but I just kept repeating these thoughts in my mind: No matter what, I will be a passionate food blogger, I will run and love it, I will have my wonderful friends and family, and wherever my bed might be or rooming situation will not change that. *Sigh* It feels even better writing it out. On to the eats!
Salad With Broccoli, Snap Peas, Beats, And Golden Sesame Tofu

Salad With Broccoli, Snap Peas, Beats, And Golden Sesame Tofu

I love fried food. What did you think, I’m not human? At least fried tofu is a little healthy, right? Right? I could never fry it myself; that’s why I let Whole Foods do it and only pick it up once and a while. It made this salad glorious, along with steamed broccoli, cooked sugar snap peas, and raw beets. Yum! I haven’t eaten beets in sooo long(I hate their dubious side effect). I forgot how much they’re nature’s candy(along with nature’s red dye #40…)!

Tazo Thrive

Tazo Thrive

I sipped some of Tazo’s new Thrive tea during the meal to make it feel like I was at a Chinese restaurant. You can read my review to find out more about it, or just know that it tasted like a good green tea.

Endangered Species Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Endangered Species Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

That salad held me over a really long time, but eventually I got munchy. Can I say just the sight of the blue butterfly makes my heart flutter a bit for this chocolate bar? I know I said I wouldn’t touch the 3 I bought until I ate up more of the ones I had opened…

Endangered Species Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Endangered Species Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

I lied. To be fair, I said that because I didn’t want to have another half eaten chocolate bar lying around. There was no survivors here. I ate and loved the whole Endangered Species bar–no shame. The most “dubious” ingredient on the list is only soy lecithin, which–so long as it’s from non-GMO soy–I don’t really give a second thought. Can I now have another?

Spinach, Avocado, Southwest Wildwood Veggie Burger, Mango Kombucha

Spinach, Avocado, Southwest Wildwood Veggie Burger, Mango Kombucha

I packed dinner and ate it at the afformentioned lottery: spinach, 1/2 an avocado with sea salt, a Southwestern Wildwood veggie burger, and a mystic mango kombucha. Really? Could I have upped the fried food today a little more? This was seriously one of my favorite kombuchas thus far. It was also a very different drink. Because of the mango puree, this was more like a juice than a tea, and had a higher sugar content. But it still had that great, raw kombucha fizz to it and a tropical twist. I will definitely be getting this one next time they go on sale again.

I need carbs. Or anything not fried. My brain feels fried from tonight. I’m sure I’ll feel better in the morning. G’night, and go enter Lauren’s giveaway for Amazing Grass goodies.

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What A Bust

Posted on February 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

One more day to enter the yogurt giveaway!

Save anything food related, today was totally a bust! That incredible Nor’easter has hardly hit us, and there’s barely an inch sticking to the ground while just 10’s of miles away they’re getting feet. Feet. What a bust.

Also, my professor sent an email saying we’d have class today even though he sent one last night(after this grandpa had logged off) saying we probably wouldn’t have class. Another bust. Did I mention I volunteered to bring snacks for this class?

Xagave

Making Raw Frosting

Because this class is about 20% serious, 80% fun(like me! Or how I try to be), there’s a snack sign-up, and I volunteered first. I thought it’d be “cute” to make my raw vegan brownies because my essay–also due today in rough draft form–is on the food processor. And, yes, I’ve brought my food processor to Brown. As I plan on being here many weekends and days off, I’ve realized I just can’t be without it for so long and dragged it along(in 10 feet of bubble wrap) Sunday.

Raw Vegan Brownies With Raw Frosting

To be honest, I was a little disappointed with this batch; the flaxseed was not ground well enough and so I could tell these would be “crunchy”. I think the problem was in making a double batch; these deserve the care of small-scale making so that the focus is on quality and not quantity! I also made a triple batch of frosting for them; that part was just for fun 😉 For “real food” I made a real lunch.

Broccoli, Tuna Salad With Sunflower Seeds, Sunflower Cheddar Flatbread

Tuna salad was the perfect protein for today. I literally do not remember the last time I ate fish :-O And it makes a little more space in the bins under my bed; it’s just a little, but I need all that I can get. I mixed the can with 1oz full-fat greek yogurt for creaminess and sunflower seeds for crunch! Those went great with the sunflower cheddar flatbread; I forgot how good these were over break! The benefit of eating out under my bed before buying anything new will be (re)discovering treasures like this.

Blueberry Pomegranate Steaz

And I had a Steaz because fancy drinks make me happy when everything else is a bust. Days Of Our Lives may not be a bust, per say, but it sure is a tease. Would something just amount from this Melanie drama! So frustrating.

Gingerade Kombucha

I got to class way early so I could also look to buy a book for one of my classes; the line was too long for me to wait in so that walk was a bust. While I was down there, I stopped by Blue State for my new favorite drink. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of looking at my School Card balance online to realize these cost $4 a pop! Yikes! I justify that by saying it’s money that’s “already in the system” and needs to be used up eventually, but I need to tame my addiction to these or get to a Whole Foods and start using the coupons I was sent to sample new flavors.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Chocolate Frosting

As far as I can tell, the brownies went over really well! There are 10-11 of us in the class, I made 16, and there was 1 by the end. You can do the math. I think the one problem was that there were flax seeds in everyone’s teeth, but the excess frosting totally makes up for it. I found it so interesting looking at who were the people taking seconds; it wasn’t the burly men but rather the happy and healthy looking girls. I love women with appetites 😀

Even though class was a go, our “field trip” was a bust. We were supposed to go to the library and get a presentation on some one-of-a-kind Native American watercolors from the 16th century. The librarian who was supposed to do this never came in today because she was “sick”. I’m pretty sure that’s code for not wanting to go to work on what should be a snow day. Oh well, we got out 50 minutes early! That gave me time to get back into my dorm and eat this:

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Hulled Hemp Seed

I swear, if it weren’t for the food today this would be a total bust. But this surely wasn’t! Nothing about me was craving the fat in chocolate avocado pudding; actually, I’ve been craving So Delicious soy yogurt all week and it’s driving me up a wall! BUT I did need to get my Bob’s Red Mill hemp seed fix in. I am just loving these! They’re so much more nutty and vanilla than any other seed, and quite unique. I wonder if hemp seed butter is as delicious.

Stir Fried Tofu, Tempeh, Mushrooms, And Snap Peas With Soy Sauce And Sesame Oil

For dinner, I had planned to have a red thai curry tofu and tempeh dish with a coconut milk based sauce(Trader Joe’s Brand). Once I got a whiff of sesame oil, I knew it was all I wanted. I made a quick stir fry of snap peas, mushrooms, tofu, and tempeh, and then added soy sauce and more sesame oil at the end–delicious! Whenever I do a stir fry, I think tofu and tempeh is a must; I love the soft and chewy contrast.

Does it count as a bust that Survivor isn’t on tonight? OK, it never was supposed to be, but I was sooo convinced it was Thursday for the past hour. But it starts back up tomorrow! I can’t wait 😀 Maybe I’ll just have to bust a move while finishing Latin and getting an early night in for a 6:15 wake-up call. How many miles can I bust out before I need to get ready for class? We’ll see…

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Nutelling What I Think

Posted on January 26, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I keep things in my life–including my blog–free of controversy. I don’t confront people a lot, and always try to respect others opinions while keeping my own. At the same time, I love a good rant 😀 So skip down to the end for me blowing my top on a not-so-nutty topic.

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

I wanted to eat up this soy yogurt so it would be one less thing to carry back to school with me. Of course, what’s soy yogurt without a milk chocolate topic? Irony is tasty. I love how the peanuts taste a little roasted and salted; that contrast definitely helps bring out the sweetness of chocolate. I tried throwing myself back in to Heroes since it looked like the only new thing on television, but since I haven’t seen any of the 2010 episodes I was a little confused. Claire has daddy drama again? That can’t be healthy.

I decided the night would be perfect for a new nut butter. This was one of the ones I bought from Justin’s online store with my Christmas money. It’s similar to Nutella in concept, but the stats are much better as I’ll go into later.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Mmmm, yum! It melted so well over the oatmeal. This one’s a keeper. It didn’t taste too chocolatey; it more tasted like hazelnuts sweetened up. But that’s what I hope for in a hazelnut butter. And, unlike Nutella, this is vegan! I hope it reaches store shelves before I go through it(I hear it’s already in Colorado!). I ate this watching the star from NCIS on Leno. That was possibly the least interesting interview I’ve seen; oh Conan, we’ll miss you and your wit! I ended up tuning out early, going to bed, and waking up to a sweet surprise.

Box Of Q.Bel Chocolate

I mentioned yesterday that I won a Facebook contest for reviewing Q.Bel. Well, apparently they have Speedy Gonzalez running deliveries for them because I got my prize at 7:20 am from FedEx. Look at that chocolate! I can’t wait to try out the 2 new flavors. That’s definitely one way to start the day. That excitement aside, I started doing my core and did that through. When I got to the cardio(stairs), I grabbed something with protein and carbs.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Luna Protein Bar

I wish I had time to review this now; I will sometime soon and I’d give it a 7.5/10. But I think I say it all when I ate about 1/3-1/2 and just threw the rest out. And I HATE wasting food. It just tasted OK. But it almost was more like a candy bar and definitely not a whole food. I figured, if I wanted to eat a candy bar at the time I should have a Q.bel and if I wanted peanut butter I should have peanut butter. After I finished all the flights, I made a breakfast to “redeem” chocolate and peanut butter.

Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Oatmeal With Chocolate Peanut Butter

Ok. I’ve made my peace with chocolate and peanut butter now. I assure you, the dollop of peanut butter was big; it just got “nestled” into the oats after I popped it back in the microwave for 15 minutes(doesn’t that sound delicious :-D). For the yogurt, I just mixed full fat and 0% with some vanilla stevia and vanilla powder and it was nice and clean tasting. Once again, Justin’s nut butter made me happy 🙂 That was such a good purchase with my Christmas money.

Not Nutella

I’ll admit it: There was a time I adored Nutella and kept it in my pantry. There was also a time I had a Barney plush and thought about tearing out all my teeth if it meant I’d get a dollar under my pillow. But I’ve grown older, and wiser, and just cannot stand Nutella or its marketing. Have you ever noticed how they call it a “Hazelnut spread”? That’s because, legally, they cannot call it a hazelnut butter. The ingredients and statistics of it are so poor, I’m amazed they can get that far.

INGREDIENTS: SUGAR, MODIFIED PALM OIL, HAZELNUTS, COCOA, SKIM MILK, REDUCED MINERALS WHEY (FROM MILK), SOY LECITHIN: AN EMULSIFIER, VANILLIN: AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR.

What’s more appropriate would be “Chocolate Pate” or even “Palm Oil Spread”. But would you top your oatmeal with something called “Palm Oil Spread”? Probably not. But there it is, higher on the ingredients than hazelnuts. And modified to boot! And the list is rounded out with vanillin, which I just can not stand and am happy to have out of my diet. Is it going to hurt you? Not at all. It’s just the hallmark of a cheap product. Now let’s look at Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter:

Ingredients: Dry Roasted Hazelnuts, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Natural Vanilla, Sea Salt.

That looks 10 times better to me. No, 100x. It’s a legitimate hazelnut butter–not a chocolate spread. The ingredients are straight forward and organic. And the nutritional information reads like a nut butter. I’ll leave you with a good rule for buying a flavored nut butter: If the grams of sugar are more than the fiber and protein, look at it with a skeptical eye; if the grams of sugar are more than the fat, put it down and walk away.

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Good News For Fat

Posted on January 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Don’t forget to enter the Chobani Giveaway*

I love watching the media’s view on fat. In case you need a recap: Trans fat and movie theater popcorn are still bad, but now butt fat is OK and even kind of good. Personally, I’d rather take the wisdom of fellow bloggers like Heather than NBC who’s toying with my beloved late night talk shows. And after dinner last night, when I was still hungry, I did think about Heather’s wisdom; yesterday she wrote a great post about how fats help satisfy her and I realized that my dinner was appauling in that it had virtually no fat. There was some in the cornbread, but it wasn’t like I was dipping broccoli fries in peanut butter. After giving it some thought, I’ve come to realize that fats are my filling food, too, and now I’ll try keep meals more well balanced in that respect. But like I said: fats are my filling food and work for me, though by no means everyone. So while I recommend exploring this for yourself, it’s by no mean a blanket answer. I think you can guess what I had to feed my fat craving ways.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With NibMor Original Chocolate

Sooo good. I think we discovered there was 15g of fat in this? Well, I look at this dish in a whole new light now that I know there’s also 10.2 grams of fiber there; I definitely kept a warm drink nearby as I ate this and watched both The Biggest Loser and American Idol. I hate that the two are competing! I ended up watching American Idol more, because I find it amusing at this stage whereas I don’t have any connection with The Biggest Loser’s contestants. Plus, I know if I miss any real drama, I’ll read about it on food blogs 😉 After American Idol, I threw together a unique combo on the whim.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Nutritional Yeast

Is the combination of nutritional yeast and peanut butter outlandish or not? I haven’t seen it on any other blogs, but they feel like two things that just “work” together; maybe I’m not looking at enough vegan cookbook/desserts. You definitely get a delicious, cheesey mouth-feel from the nutritional yeast that pairs with the peanut butter. And I think I feel a recipe coming on.

This morning’s workout was 10 times better than yesterday’s attempt; I ended up doing my core(minus leg works) and 200 flights. To get myself into “the spirit” of working out, first I got in the right clothes; comfy socks and PJs are fun but not really motivating like basketball shorts. I also put on the ipod and blasted that. Yes, I would have liked to listen to The Today Show, but it’s not as fist-pumping as songs. Speaking of which, I’m not quite sure what’s wrong with my Top 25 Most Played, but I can not imagine a time in my life went Push It by Salt N’ Pepper was played that much. I ended up not having anything mid-workout for a snack(besides 2 or 3 cups of coffee you couldn’t pry out of my hands if you tried). I was oddly not even that hungry for breakfast, but made something nice nonetheless.

Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Oatmeal With 2 Cage-Free Organic Eggs

Similar to how I laugh at the media’s take on things, I just don’t agree with a lot of modern medicine advice. I’ve heard both that the cholesterol in eggs isn’t bad for us and that we “can have up to 1 egg a day and do no harm”. No. I can have as many eggs a day as I can fit in my body. You suggest up to 1 a day. There’s a difference. I have high cholesterol, but it’s completely hereditary and I’m not convinced it hurts me or will change no matter what I do. Along with the oatmeal and eggs(and enough salt to make a doctor cry), I had some greek yogurt with vanilla powder, vanilla bean sugar, and vanilla stevia. I guess I’m a vanilla kind of guy 😀 I wish it were 2% but they don’t sell that near me 😦 Maybe I’ll buy a full container of full fat and mix in a couple tablespoons in each of my bowls.

Once again, Don’t forget to enter the Chobani Giveaway!

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Healthy Is Not My Word

Posted on October 12, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Rant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First off, huge news on the nut butter front! Naturally Nutty has just released a new line of seed butters! I had the great fortune of trying the Pepita Sun Butter and I promise you it is one of the best I’ve ever had. I was so excited I’ve already placed orders for some of their new products as of last night, so go on over to the site and give them a looksie.

Ok, enough excitement and good morning. Thanks to the long weekend I got not one but two great nights of sleep in a row. Boy that has me feeling rested. Like I mentioned, yesterday we were heading off to Maine in the morning. I am completely incapable of packing light for wherever I go:

Study Bag

Study Bag

Yeah, let’s just say I don’t get much on the times I come home except what I do in the car. That’s one of the things I’ve hated about the past few weekends; I feel like I always fall behind and by the time I get back on campus I’m rushing like a mad man. Anyway, I packed plenty of dead languages, a couple bars, and my camera. Along the drive I got a bit snacky and came across the perfect time to try this:

Nature's Path Organic Orange Chocolate Bar

Nature's Path Organic Orange Chocolate Bar

This was another one of the goodies Nature’s Path Organic sent my way, and let me just say: wow! I had not had a Nature’s Path bar before at all so this was very new to me. The nutrition, look, and ingredients were all along the same lines of an Odwalla bar so that’s what I was comparing it to in my mind. At first I didn’t think it looked chocolatey or orange, but each bite had a great zest to it which made the flavor distinct. There were also plenty of chocolate chips as well as bits of soynuts which added a great crunch to the texture. The size was personally a bit bigger than what I look for in a bar, but it also helped to hold me over longer. There was a good bit of added sugar, but overall it was a tasty and nutritious bar that I wouldn’t mind buying again.

When we got there it was about 1 and all the appetizers were out. I’m not an appetizer person; I’d really rather sit down with a plate full and eat. I did, however, contribute the cumin cheddar from the farmers’ market:

Cumin Cheddar

Cumin Cheddar

It seemed to be a hit. My family is definitely more into crackers than chips–what’s up with that? Well people got moving surprisingly fast for my family and by 1:45 the lunch had came. If you guessed lobster would be on my plate, you were right:

Lobster, Cumin Cheddar, Green Beans

Lobster, Cumin Cheddar, Green Beans

I also had an unpictured salad with Newman’s Own Honey Mustard dressing when I realized there really wasn’t enough on the table for me. Lobster is a bit overrated if you ask me, but it feels fun to eat because of all the hype. There were also mussels but that’s one sea creature I can not get my mind around eating; it’s just too weird. After lunch we had the 90 minute getting ready for dessert period which always happens. With 2 young cousins and an entire family who need ADD pills when it comes to conversation, things don’t get moving so fast. Which is a shame because they also like ice cream cakes that manage to turn into mush by the time they want to eat them. I caught this little tyke red handed:

Avery Stealing Cake Frosting

Avery Stealing Cake Frosting

Like I said, 90 minutes and 90 candles later we were ready to sing Happy Birthday.

Birthday Cakes

Birthday Cakes

Enter joykill moment of the day: My family, although I’m sure they try, really don’t “get” me and why I eat what I eat or even just what I eat. There’s a major assumption on my grandmother’s part that I only eat “healthy” and shun sugar. She even mentioned having a “special sugar-free dessert” for me which she thankfully never brought out or up again. Let me say it straight: Not now or ever do I claim to be a healthy eater. That isn’t my aim or focus. I’m all about eating natural, and I assure you natural can be just as unhealthy as laboratory food. I actually shun the word “healthy”. Does it sound fun? Not at all. I would much rather be “healthy” in the sense of sane and happy than any of its other meanings. So yes, in a sense when I didn’t have either of the cakes, which were made from a box and frosted from a can, I was avoiding them. But I was avoiding their absolute artificialness and not their nutrition; had they been made from scratch with wholesome ingredients like I believe in I assure you I would have had half a cake myself. Unfortunately, it’s easier to find stuff like that for me from my Whole Foods than my family. Well this is what I actually did end up having:

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Trader Joe Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie

Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Trader Joe Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pie

This was not healthy. Dessert shouldn’t be healthy. This was tasty and joyful–that’s my kind of dessert. The Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookies were a HUGE hit with the family; like I mentioned, my cousin’s deceased grandmother used to make some amazing ones for us and they were really happy to have these as a sort of notalgia to those cookies. I was equally pleased to break into the TJ pumpkin spice whoopie pies we picked up. They were good, but a bit too sweet for me. I wasn’t really in a sweet-tooth mood at the time, so 1/2 of one was more than enough to satisfy me. I think I liked the ones from Whole Foods a bit better because those had a cream cheese filling; if you’re going to get fat from dessert, you might as well be eating fat instead of sugar(tasty, tasty fat :-P).

We managed to escape say our goodbyes by 5, which was good because I had light for most of the way home to catch up on work. Unlike other people who actually did eat half a cake, I didn’t so I needed a little boost on the way back:

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

This was perfect in the sense that it hit my peanut butter tooth. All my grandparents had was original Skippy(so happy to have at least weened my dad off that stuff). But unfortunately it didn’t fill me up very well and I was pretty cranky by the time we got back into my town. On the one hand, all I wanted to eat was lentils and beans to actually feel full for once in the day. On the other hand, time was a factor. By only some good grace, I managed to find a vegan 365 chili in the back of our cupboard; I know no one else bought this so I assume it was something I grabbed over the Summer and just completely forgot about. Well, it certainly made my night and my meal:

365 Vegan Chili With Cumin Cheddar, Apple With Mustard

365 Vegan Chili With Cumin Cheddar, Apple With Mustard

Thank you, fiber. This was a gala apple, which was a bit too sweet to work with the mustard as good as a tart apple. But trust me, the combo does work. I would be lying if I said some apple didn’t find it’s way into the chili and I liked it. It’s all pretty much about earthy flavors so it shouldn’t be too surprising that it worked out. Thankfully my inbox was pretty empty after being gone for the day. My google reader? Not so much.

Last night I had the pleasure of watching The Food Network(why oh why don’t I get this in my dorm?) and catching up on The Next Iron Chef. Any love for this show? I liked it on principle, but honestly I don’t know if any of them seemed like a true Iron Chef to me; it’s pretty hard to rank any cook along the lines of Bobby Flay and Cat Cora except maybe the other Food Network stars who are a bit too famous to do a show like this. I digress from the food of course.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt With Peanut Butter Drizzle

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt With Peanut Butter Drizzle

I love my self rule about 2 probiotic sources a day because it gives me an excuse for things like this 🙂 I used 365 peanut butter because it’s nice and runny so it gets onto the frozen yogurt well. Personally, I’ve always been more of a vanilla and peanut butter person, especially with ice cream; I think a good chocolate overpowers the peanut butter but a good vanilla works right at its level to make a great overall product. After this, I had to get a little nutty 😉

Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

Just when I thought those cinnamon raisin yeast rolls couldn’t get more amazing, I added this. Let me explain how this jar got into my possession, or rather my dad’s. He placed a large order a few weeks ago, and the company had run out of labels for the Vanilla Peanut Butter Jar. No biggy, he still got the flavor, but the company is so nice overall that to apologize they sent him that before it was released. It’s only by pure luck it wound it’s way into this nutty characters hands. And let me tell you, it was ah-mazing. It reminded me a lot of the pepita sun butter except a little less french toasty and a little more subtley sweet. Have I mentioned since finding these online last night I’ve already ordered 15oz jars of Pepita Sun, Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower, and Chocolate Sunflower? Clearly I didn’t like it so much I had to have it again:

Deep Chocolate Vitatmuffin With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter Frosting

Deep Chocolate Vitatmuffin With Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter Frosting

Just because I don’t like the word “healthy” doesn’t mean I don’t think about things like nutrients and vitamins, which felt a little low at the end of the day. Low on vitamins and sunflower butter on the brain? This was the perfect snack for the drama of Brothers & Sisters.

Thank you to all the New Englanders who gave me props for running yesterday. Trust me: I wouldn’t have gone out if I had any clue of how freaking cold it was. This morning I definitely learned my lesson.

Coffee

Coffee

So a little low on the breakfast front as of yet. It has a spoon in it, so it counts as food, right? I’ll come up with something I’m sure. Fun fact: I drink decaf. Always. And yet I swear I need it to get up in the morning. At this point I think it’s more mental, because if I just have water I know I can’t get up and go as good as with some joe. Anyway, I’m starting to get a little hungry so time to experiment in the kitchen.

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TGIM

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

Sorry for the negative Nedness I’ve been putting forth lately. I promise it gets more cheerful at the part about this morning, so just skip ahead to the big muffin if you’d like. Overall, this was just one of those weekends where we hail the arrival of a fresh new week and wave goodbye to the weekend happily. They happen, but the important this is moving on and looking at things with a pleasant disposition. But let’s back up a bit. Yesterday I enjoyed my morning in and made a breakfast around 9:

Kashi Vanilla Oatmeal With Peanut Flour, Greek Yogurt With Figs And Vanilla Sugar

Kashi Vanilla Oatmeal With Peanut Flour, Greek Yogurt With Figs And Vanilla Sugar

The Greek yogurt with figs and vanilla sugar was clearly something off of Mount Olympus itself, and I should know since I’ve been trudging through the Iliad for the past 3 weeks. The creamy yogurt contrasted with nutty fig seeds and crispy sugar to be just perfect. The peanut flour in the instant oats was great and it come out as thick as pudding. It was missing one thing though:

Peanut Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

Peanut Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful

White Chocolate Wonderful. Wonderful. I’m so glad I’ve gotten my dad(who admitted to being the culprit who reads this) to be an addict for that peanut butter and keep a jar in the pantry. I also decided that I’d keep up the baking while I had the opportunity. I made my Maple-Apple Morning Cookie recipe and tried altering it for oatmeal raisin. I swapped the maple syrup for NuNaturals baking blend, added 1/4 cup of water, swapped raisins for the apple, swapped the amounts of oatmeal and flour, and halved the ground flax.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The result was OK, but not spectacular like the originals; I could kind of taste the baking blend a bit too much, which wouldn’t had been an issue if it was more like brown sugar, but it’s not. We also went out for another Sunday morning treat:

McDonald's Decaf Coffee

McDonalds' Decaf Coffee

So good. But wait, it get’s better. That was free. Yep, McDonalds is having a promotion until Wednesday where any  hot coffee is free. And the fact that I couldn’t make my morning decaf and refused to drink the regular stuff my mom makes made this so much more sweet(well, that and all the stevia). Before I even got a chance to do some homework it was lunch already–kind of a problem since I had virtually neglected all homework on Saturday with the drama. My grandmother came over, we sat down, and had a nice Sunday lunch:

Sweet Potato With Cinnamon And Salt, Brussels And Carrots, Steak Tips, Twist Zevia

Sweet Potato With Cinnamon And Salt, Brussels And Carrots, Steak Tips, Twist Zevia

This meal had everything that should have put me in the right mood but just didn’t. The Zevia Twist flavor was really good and sweet, more like 7Up than Sprite. The sweet potato, despite being amazingly seasoned by moi with salt, cinnamon, and black pepper, wasn’t quite as spectacular as it should have been; it was even so big I had to cut a bit off to make room on my plate for anything else. The steak tips were the biggest disappointment. I like eating meat when it’s well prepared and a choice cut, but this was like most steak tips and too fatty for my taste. Unfortunately, there wasn’t really enough on the table for me to make a well balanced vegetarian meal so I ate my protein and tried being happy with it.

Well while I was in MA there was one thing I had to do before departing:

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's

I believe there’s one in all of RI that’s no where near me so this was a must. I picked up some of my favorite cinnamon raisin english muffins, carrot ginger regular muffins, and turbinado sugar to fuel my recent sugar-over-yogurt kick. I’m excited to try turbinado, both because it’s less refined and I expect the molasses flavor to be perfect with pumpkin oats. Trader Joe’s has tons more I’d like to try, like their new black beluga instant lentils–yes, I said instant lentils. I kept the trip minimal though. We got back and loaded up the car, but not before I took a few more scoops of this:

Whole Soy & Co. Chocolate Hazelnut Frozen Yogurt

Whole Soy & Co. Chocolate Hazelnut Frozen Yogurt

Like I said, this IS nutella in frozen yogurt form, only with better nutrition. The second time around I think I totally liked this more because of a funny realization I had: this is fake milk ice cream btu it tastes just like the real stuff. I completely missed the first time that this was soy milk because it’s so creamy and doesn’t have a touch of aftertaste.

I won’t deny that lifted the mood of the weekend, but froyo alone is not enough for a man to enjoy life on. When we got onto campus it was a bit of an emotional silliness. My entire family including my grandmother carried things to my dorm room, a place where I didn’t even want them to come in the first place. I came into my room to find my roommate and his friend hanging out, watching youtube, and pretty much blowing the weekend off. Now my mind was really all over the place. The family who I didn’t want to come this close to my dorm I now wanted to have stay for as long as they could but didn’t want them to come into my room, which isn’t even “my” room because it’s shared with someone who I might be able to live with but don’t connect with at all. We said our goodbyes in the hall, and I don’t even know how sincere I came off because my mind was running 10 directions. When I got into the room I really just wanted to throw myself on the bed and bury my head in my pillow, but I didn’t even feel like I could do that with the people around. I calmly unpacked my groceries and laundry and made myself a snack:

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Maple Almond Butter And Apple Butter, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Maple Almond Butter And Apple Butter, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Like I mentioned, the cookies didn’t come out slammin’ like I had hoped; this was when I found that out. I suppose it would be good as a topper on plain yogurt with a heaping amount of cinnamon to balance it out. Thankfully, melted almond butter has a way of making problems slide away(I know a lot of you know what I mean here).

After I caught up on emails/blogs, I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself. I didn’t want to stay and do homework because I was not in a people mood, so I went for the one thing I knew I did want: the caramel sauce I found at Dedham Whole Foods but put back. I decided it was an entirely necessary Fall item even if I was paying for it, and it was the perfect item for me because it came in a squeeze bottle and only had milk and sugar as its ingredients. Well, I went for a walk in the rain to my Whole Foods for it, and after going 1.2 miles I was extremely disappointed to find out they don’t carry it. They have a different brand with cream as its first ingredient in a glass jar, but that’s not the kind I’m looking for. It hit me that the Dedham Whole Foods might just be the only place I’d found that particular brand before, and now I wasn’t going to get it until the next time I go there, which won’t be for a good long while most likely.

Walking back in the rain was incredibly long and frustrating(not to mention wet because the Thomas family doesn’t believe in umbrellas). I was pretty much throwing myself my own pity party and not beaming a smile when I went into the cafe. I didn’t even bother eating there because I wanted to get into my dorm and put on my PJ’s despite the fact it was 6:40. That’s when I decided, if I just eat out of the plastic take out containers and don’t season my food, it’s only going to feel worse. If I take the time to make myself a decent meal I’m excited about, I might just turn my frown upside down. So that’s what I did.

Snobby Joes, Sweet Potato, Cooked Cabbage, Broccoli And Beets, Peas And Mushrooms

Snobby Joes, Sweet Potato, Cooked Cabbage, Broccoli And Beets, Peas And Mushrooms

One of the things in the Ratty was a “lentil stew”. It was completely under/not seasoned which actually worked for me; I mixed it with some mustard, ketchup, and steak sauce to make a sort of “snobby stew”. All the vegetables tasted like their vegetable self, but it was nice to have some cheery colors to look at.

The night indeed got a little better after that. My roommate FINALLY got himself out of the room for dinner and I was able to dissolve to some music, watch The Amazing Race, and make this:

Pumpkin Oats With Dark Chocolate Chips And Mighty Maple

Pumpkin Oats With Dark Chocolate Chips And Mighty Maple

The Amazing Race definitely isn’t my favorite reality show, but it has its moments and eats up time well. These oats were pretty decent, too; the dark chocolate chips are from Dedham Whole Foods and sweetened with grains rather than corn products, isn’t that cool? I really didn’t care what nut butter I had on it, I just wanted something melted and gooey. Half way through I realized it wasn’t enough, and I needed something a little flaxy in my life:

Adding A Spoonful Of Smart Balance

Adding A Spoonful Of Smart Balance

Much better. I don’t know why, but I think chocolate and Smart Balance go hand in hand. Maybe they really do in this case since both had grains in them, haha. To round out the night, I pretty much cut myself some slack and stopped doing homework once I did the bare minimum for today; it was a little thing but really helped to take pressure off my shoulder. I was in bed, watching TV, and ready to go to bed by 10:30. I’m sure my roommate thinks I’m nuts but I’m taking up a new attitude where, if I just want to go to bed that damn early and not do work or go out, so be it.

I was very excited to kick off a new week. unfortunately, the kick off happened about 25 minutes late because I slept through my alarm. I wasn’t sure what to do at that point, because I planned on doing a long run for that day. But then I thought why should anything change? So I hit the gym and did my long run on the treadmill–yes the treadmill. These are not optimal for long runs because a) it’s easy to get bored and b) they stop after 60 minutes, but I didn’t let any of that stop me. And even though I was listening to a playlist I made up in a bad mood, my mood was higher than ever thinking about finishing. I did 10 miles in 81:30 minutes and couldn’t have felt better by the end. Talk about a runner’s high, I was practically dancing back to my dorm, until I realized my roommate locked me out while he was taking a shower. Oi. After 10 minutes of standing in the hall, he FINALLY got back, I took what was perhaps the quickest shower of my life, and threw together a fast, portable breakfast:

Blueberry Bran Muffin With Cream Cheese And Honey Maple Protein Peanut Butter, Raspberry Maple Kefir

Blueberry Bran Muffin With Cream Cheese And Honey Maple Protein Peanut Butter, Raspberry Maple Kefir

Portable? Check. Nutricious? Check. Probiotic? Check. Delicious? Can I get a check check? When life makes it so that oats are a little inconvenient, I love a good healthy muffin to kick off the day. The Honey Maple peanut butter is made by a Providence company and has 14 grams of protein per serving! Not to mention it tastes very similar to Mighty Maple and Butter Toffee. The kefir was my first try at portable probiotics; I decided to just drink it straight up like I believe Ada mentioned. It was pretty decent. It definitely had the raspberry flavor, and was thick sort of like a milkshake. I was a little shocked at first by the tanginess I assume is lactic acid, but got used to that. I could definitely see myself trying more brands of kefir for the future.

I completely messed up my google reader, haven’t opened my mailbox(wait, I just did), and have class in less than 30 minutes. Needless to say, my running 10 miles has me running behind, but I’m not letting that put a damper on my Monday. So please excuse me while I dash off to work on all of that and here’s to a great week!

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We’re Drama People

Posted on September 27, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Rant, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First off, I’d like to let the somebody in my house who reads this know I’m on to them 🙂 Dad, I’m guessing it’s you since you probably can work the browser history better, but clearly not well enough to make it so that I couldn’t find see my own self. Oh well, now I just can’t write anything too too bad about ya’ll.

Yesterday morning that sugar really had me pumping, so much in fact I took a walk down to Eastside Market to pick up another pint of black mission figs. That’s just too good a deal not to take advantage of again and again. Then I popped over to Whole Foods where I didn’t buy anything but I sure had fun browsing!

Swordfish Sample

Swordfish Sample

My school might not feed me fish, but my Whole Foods sure will. There was also some cheese I’d never heard of but was nice and sharp. Good cheese is something I’ve definitely been missing in college life, but I eat it so rarely and in such small amounts at a time it doesn’t make sense to buy any. I actually didn’t buy anything during this Whole Foods trip, just snacked on the freebies and dashed. I found the new Whole Deal for October/November(!!) which I was super excited to see hit shelves.I think I spent a little too long scoping out the freebies because by the time I had gotten back on campus, grabbed my lunch, and made my way into my dorm room it was 12:50.

Broccoli, Artichoke Vegetable Melange, White Bean Ragout, Roast Beef

Broccoli, Artichoke Vegetable Melange, White Bean Ragout, Roast Beef

As far as Ratty meals go, this is one I’d happily have more often. Roast beef was the main protein option; I don’t think you need as much as they encourage you to put on your plate but a sensible amount of meat as a side to a meal is always welcomed. The veggie option, which I had reserves about, was a white bean ragout with mushrooms and leak. It looked heavy but the nutritional info insured me it had a relatively low amount of fat and no butter. Overall this was really good. The mushrooms and white beans ad a real earthiness to them tat paired with the roast beef. I also like the artichoke melange, but got a sharp piece in my mouth–not so fun.

When I finished this my parents pulled onto campus, I hopped in the car, and we were off to foodie heaven:

Dedham Whole Foods

Dedham Whole Foods

If you remember my trip here at the beginning of September, you’d know that Dedham now has the biggest Whole Foods in New England. That picture does it no justice and captures about 1/20th of the store. This place is so big you can(and we did) spend well over an hour shopping each aisle. And look what I found:

Spooky Smores Z-Bars

Spooky Smores Z-Bars

It’s totally Fall now. I’d been looking for these forever and you readers who mentioned having found them were just more taunts until now. I did my little happy dance and loaded up the cart. Now do you believe me this was foodie heaven. If not, let me mention the amount of ridiculous add-ons it has that I’m now convinced should be in every Whole Foods:

Trail Mix Bar

Trail Mix Bar

Dessert Bar

Dessert Bar

You know, in case the walk in cheese cave, sushi bar, gelateria, winery, and massive bulk bins sections weren’t enough for you, maybe the trail mix bar and dessert bar might be. What do I mean when I say dessert bar? I mean they had full bread puddings, boston creme pies, strawberry shortcakes, AND carrot cake for you to scoop and buy by the pound. Normally, I can’t turn down a good carrot cake, but I didn’t have too much trouble passing up this one; to get it you had to scoop out your piece rather than cut, which made the whole thing really messy and disassemble.

This was pretty much where the day went from fun to just not. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to read about other people’s family drama(do people like that exist?), skip wayyyy ahead past the rant. Otherwise, strap in for some of the most pointless family bickering as of yet which was probably the result of how little sleep we’ve all gotten lately, my parents due to my dog who cries in the night and I because of my dormmates who drink during the night. as we proceeded to the check-out, my mom insisted we pay separately and that my items come out of my allowance. Umm, say whaaat? Obviously getting free groceries was not my ENTIRE point of coming home for the weekend, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t something I was looking forward to. I think I was more insulted than anything, because I keep such good track of my allowance, expenses, and income; I even have a whole Microsoft document devoted to it. Well communication kind of broke down at this point while I put back all the fun stuff like 2 year old cheese and butterless, HFCS-less caramel sauce(which I’ve since resolved I must go back to a Whole Foods and buy with my money because Fall won’t be Fall without caramel apples).

The car ride home was more awkward than a fart in an elevator. A loud fart. I snacked on this to make try and calm my nerves at least:

Spooky Smores Z-Bar

Spooky Smores Z-Bar

Honestly, I wasn’t in the right state of mind to properly review this bar. I definitely liked it, but in hindsight I can’t remember why. All that I was thinking about was how the day had played out so far. I mentioned being taken back to my dorm without going home, and gave it a lot of thought, even once we were in the driveway at my house. I went into my room to compose myself(which didn’t really work out) and then demanded to go back to school. The way I saw it, I came home to bake and have a good time with family, and the former wasn’t going to happen since I put back half of my baking supplies at Whole Foods and the latter just wasn’t happening. Now we were all crying for one reason or another and none of us particularly well at sharing our feelings. What can I say? We’ve watched way too many soap operas in our house and now we’re just turning into one. After really bad communicating, I ended up staying, which was probably the best decision for all. Enough drama for you? Because it’s enough for me. Here’s the loot I ended up paying for from Whole Foods:

Whole Foods Loot

Whole Foods Loot

Essentials, right? I got the 6 5 Spooky Smores bars, cream cheese(aka old faithful), vanilla sugar, raisins, Greek yogurt, honey(for baking), grain-sweetened dark chocolate chips, and chocolate hazelnut Whole Soy frozen yogurt. One of the things that convinced me to stay was a trip to Hannafords for the rest of my baking needs, but not before this:

Elan's Chocolate FroYo And Whole Soy Chocolate Hazelnut FroYo

Elan's Chocolate FroYo And Whole Soy Chocolate Hazelnut FroYo

Chocolate, meet chocolate hazelnut. I think you two are half-siblings, but you make a perfect marriage. How dramatic is that? In all seriousness, this frozen yogurt was AMAZING. It tasted exactly like liquid nutella. Not to mention it has a skim milk base so it’s light and airy and similar to soft serve when it’s slightly melted. It has decent nutrition(120 calories per serving) and actually less sugar per serving than real Nutella and no artificial flavors–chew lick on that.

We were out and back lickity split, or as least as lickity split gets with grocery stores and I. On the agenda was 2 recipes, the first of which being my Banana Goodness Bread:

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

I switched up the original recipe a bit using some of the various baking products I’ve received for the blog. The first change I did was using 1/2 cup of NuNaturals special baking blend; this can fit into any recipe in a 1:1 replacement for sugar and adds fiber, not empty calories, to your product. The second change I made was adding 1/2 cup peanut flour instead of oatbran. In terms of recipe swapping, this was a bit of a mismatch. Oatbran adds structure whereas the peanut flour adds 24g protein and 6g fiber to the loaf, but I had hopes it would work. Dinner interrupted the baking magic.

Corn On The Cob, Broccoli, Salmon, Goat Cheese, 2 Year Cheddar

Corn On The Cob, Broccoli, Salmon, Goat Cheese, 2 Year Cheddar

Salmon was also part of the “please, won’t you stay” shpeal, but honestly it didn’t taste that great after all that went down. I felt like I should have swiped my dining hall card or payed for my portion to eat it, which was just absurd but where my mind was at. As soon as my loaf was out of the oven, my fig and almond blondies went in. The original is Veggie Girls’ and let me just say there’s someone who knows how to bake. Every time I see figs on sale, my mind goes to that recipe, and this week was no exception. When the whole gang was out of the oven, it looked like this:

Banana Goodness Bread And Fig And Almond Blondies

Banana Goodness Bread And Fig And Almond Blondies

And my plates looked like this:

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

Spooky Smores Z-Bar, Fig And Almond Blondie, Blueberry Muffintop With Vanilla Almond Butter Creamcheese

Spooky Smores Z-Bar, Fig And Almond Blondie, Blueberry Muffintop With Vanilla Almond Butter Cream Cheese

I spent the night having “quality time” with my DVR. Oh how I miss some channels in college. I completely caught up on The Food Network shows–phew, right? On the snackage front, everything was amazing. I would have preferred a nice hot bowl of oats to the muffin but we have no oatbran in the house and a bowl of straight oats just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. The banana bread and fig and almond blondies came out perfectly despite all the distress surrounding them and I can’t wait to have them back in my dorm. And the spooky smores bar was PERFECT in my opinion. I can’t really compare it to the peanut butter or brownie because they’re all so different; I liked how this one had the graham base but with white chocolate specks inside that instantly gave a vanilla flavor –love at first bite. And I liked how the smooth chocolate drizzle melted with time and imposed itself as an after taste. I’m seriously stocking up on these before the season’s over.

Sleep last night was pretty amazing. I had a deep, full nights worth. And I had one of those long, intricate dreams which feel like I glimpse of the past and future with all these people, some who you recognize obviously but some who you can’t help but feel you’ll see on the street someday. Don’t you love sleep like that? Unfortunately, this morning I also woke up to this:

Rain

Rain

A bit unfortunate that my rest day coincides with the day I’m back on my old running turf but necessary nonetheless. Even though I’m not running, my metabolism’s pretty much running the same, so I plan on DVRing it until hunger strikes, probably around 9. Now if you’ll excuse me, this grandpa couldn’t stay up for SNL last night so he needs to get caught up.

BTW–If you loved drooling over my Vitatops, you’ll love even more the giveaway over at Busy Mom. head over there to win a HUGE vitasampler!

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Everything Out Of The Norm

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

For instance, I normally don’t post twice in one day, and never at night. But seeing as how tomorrow is a work day and a lot’s been going on/I’m really bored and whiney, I figured blogging would be best(and potentially amusing for you).

Before I start the complainathon summary of today’s festivities, let’s do a quick TV talk, shall we? The Best Thing I Ever Ate? More like The Best Show I Ever Watched. Sorry I’m a little late on this, but I tivoed the last episode and just got around to it, and it totally blew my mind. I love listening to chefs go gaga over other peoples dishes, and this week’s episode was all about Breakfast. I didn’t even delete it from my tivo, because I want to go back and rewatch it. That’s how lame I am good it was. Also, anyone else psyched for the new season of Ace Of Cakes? I wish I worked in that bakery; they always have so much fun for people “working”, and I definitely wouldn’t need to work so hard gaining weight if I was around fondant and buttercream frosting all day.

Ok, well after blogging, I went for a walk and came home to my 2nd banana whip ever.

Banana Whip

Banana Whip

Like I’ve said, I think we’ve got a real winner here people. It’s not there yet, but it’s damn good. I’m thinking about doing something a little special some time, but I want to keep it a secret… Ok I suck at secrets: I want to stick some fresh basil in the food processor. Basil?! What?! Evan, you’re mad! No, I’m just channeling my inner Giada.

Giada de Laurentiis

Giada de Laurentiis

Ok, I just wanted an excuse to look at/post that picture. Sue me.

Anyway, after that I got a little inspiration from France for lunch:

English Muffin With Turkey, Goat Cheese, Spinach, And Herbs Du Provence

English Muffin With Turkey, Goat Cheese, Spinach, And Herbs Du Provence

I’ll have that tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and for dessert, please. I’ve definitely been on an herb/spice kick lately. They just can add so much flavor for something so simple. I need to stock up well before heading off to college. I also had this for dessert:

Toffee Almond Blondie

Toffee Almond Blondie

I think this one was meant to be given to our neighbors? Well they haven’t been easily accessible so sucks to be them. I actually ate this on the car to Market Basket and Whole Foods. I kept the purchases to a minimum to soothe the madre, but I did manage to find and snatch some Deep Chocolate Vitatops and amber agave nectar. It’s all so cheap at Market Basket, I just couldn’t say no. I also picked up some Wallaby Vanilla Bean Nonfat Yogurt at Wholefoods because it was only 2.50 for 27oz. It’s a little thin for my preference, but I have no preference at that price 😉

Now, normally I like to plan my baking a few days ahead and, as my coworker would say, “just do the damn thing” all at once. However, I spotted a recipe for Banana Chai bread this morning and needed to give it a go.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

2 tablespoons ground flax

6oz mushed banana

1/2 cup strongly brewed chai tea

Batter

Batter

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a cup, let the flaxseed sit in the chai tea for 5 minutes. Mix together the agave nectar, yogurt, and tea in a seperat bowl. Incorporate the banana and blend well. Pour the wet into the dry and mix until fully incorporated. Note: The batter will be thick. Transfer into a loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Banana Chai Loaf

Banana Chai Loaf

The chai flavor wasn’t very strong; that being said, this is the best banana loaf I’ve ever made, so I’m sure that little kick of spice boosted the flavor. Hopefully, this will be a recipe I revisit in the future and find modifications for the better.

This was the part of the night where things started going down hill. Have I mentioned my order from Naturally Nutty yet? I have? Ok, well I’ve been obsessively tracking this with the UPS code, and it SHOULD have came today. In fact, the UPS man stopped RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE… and then gave packages the next 2 houses… Oi. Tomorrow’s another day right? I’m sorry, I’m just not a patient person.

The next disappointment of the night was this:

Broken Kitchen Scale

Broken Kitchen Scale

Sometime after dinner, my scale went a little haywire and froze like this. It also flashed a low battery sign at some point, so the problem’s pretty clear. However, if you’re like my dad and can’t accept anything at face value, you’re going to argue that a low battery sign might not mean low battery… I don’t get him. I love to use my scale for everything: measuring out amounts for recipes, measuring out food for calorie counting, weighing random objects out of boredom. Hopefully we’ll get a new battery soon so I can go back to playing “guess how much a lemon weighs”.

So all this put me in a whiney mood tonight, but now I’m sitting down to this magical trio to try to lift my spirits:

Deep Chocolate Vitatop And English Muffin With White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese And Maple Almond Butter

Deep Chocolate Vitatop And English Muffin With White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese And Maple Almond Butter

I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feeeeeeeel sooooo baaadddddd. Ok, I really need to stop drinking coffee at night(the really sad thing is it’s 98% decaffeinated… I’m a light weight). This meal has lifted my mood, though I’ll still probably have a deficit for the day. Oh well, what’s going to happen is I’ll wake up at 6am tomorrow, feel like crap, not run, and go to work sore and angry in the morning. Luckily I’m one of those people who believes life needs to really suck sometimes so you can appreciate when things aren’t so bad. And I realize that on the grand spectrum of things, things don’t “really suck” tonight, they just aren’t as peachy and rosey as normal.

Fun Fact: Vitatops have 50% of your DV of iron. What the hell? I don’t think anything in my house has more than 10%. What are they stuffing these amazing pillows of chocolate with? Anyone else have some nuggets of nutritional wisdom to share?

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