Churning The Day Away

Posted on May 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I think I’ve found my new hobby

Yesterday, I spent a good portion of my afternoon working on this masterpiece. It was supposed to be vegan white chocolate ice cream, but the white chocolate flavor never really came through :-/ Then again, I don’t think I’ve had any vegan white chocolate ever, so I’m not sure what I was working with to begin with. Anyway, what came out was a delicious Coconut Cocoa Butter flavor.

Today started out very relaxingly with yogurt and raw local honey and some lightly-sweetened peanut butter over oats. Even though the weather was gorgeous, after 9 days of running I was happy to take a rest day because that’s what my body wanted.

Rest day or not, I refuse to give up some morning chocolate 😉 Followed by a good walk. When I got back, I fired up the grill and cooked for everyone.

I think I’ve taken my onion love to new, stink-breath heights. All it took to make these was tossing them in some EVOO and putting them in an aluminum foil pack cooking 5 minutes on each side. Delicious! They went perfectly with a southern style Wildwood burger and some roasted broccoli.

And right afterward, I went back to my new favorite hobby. I made a mix of 3 cups organic half and half, 3/4 cup Bob’s gluten free cake mix, 5 tablespoons Madhava light agave, and some guar gum and poured that into the ice cream maker. Like I learned from this experience, you really need to make the ice cream a good 3-4+ hours before expecting to eat it.

Why not some matching cupcakes? Made with Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil and a flax egg. Getting that flax chicken to lay an egg on command is tough work! But she clucks one up eventually.

And then, since none of that would be ready for a few hours, I’ve been snacking on a bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate almond butter and coconut milk for richness–delicious! I think dessert for tonight is pretty much set with my new hobby, wouldn’t you? 😉

Annnd now I’m snacking on one of the cupcakes. Flax, egg–I’ve still got it no matter what I’m cooking with.

What’s your favorite kitchen appliance? I’d say my food processor has some competition now…

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I’ve Never Felt So Guilty

Posted on May 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Oh, dear. Oh, dear. How am I going to say this? Growing up Roman Catholic, guilt’s been built in to me from day 1. Seriously, you want to talk about Jewish guilt? Find a Roman Catholic guy, mention his mother, and watch him crumble. I guess the best way to get it out there is just to blurt it out:

I’ve never felt so guilty about using a boxed mix than since becoming a food blogger. Let me try to excuse myself by saying I was really craving chocolate pudding and chocolate avocado pudding was not about to do. Actually, I was craving peanut butter pie; watching Man Vs. Food can really screw you up. But let’s not get in to that. True to my “foodie” nature, I kept some things unique:

Raw milk chocolate pudding, anyone? I know I couldn’t get weirder; I embrace that fact.

Topped with whipped cream and peanut butter fudge topping(peanut butter, whipped cream, and powdered sugar mixed together in a little dish–super simple, super delicious).

There! I feel better getting it off my chest. I did it! It was me! And I’d do it again! And again! And again! He had it coming to him! Lock me up and throw away the key!–Whoops, wrong confession.

Now, make me feel better and tell me what you last felt guilty about?

Maybe you had a bit too many? No worries–this was simply organic limeade in a cup with some salt. Love that saltiness 😉

Maybe too much fried food on a Friday night? Let me tell you: Fried herbs on seared meat is a little bit like heaven, just a little(OK, a lot).

Did you have too much chocolate? If that day ever comes, I’ll let you know; don’t hold your breath. And who ever decided peanut butter and honey? PB & Agave is the way to go.

Did you spend your Friday night watching Man Vs. Food and rocking out to Sugarland and Adam Lambert? Me neither…

Did you raid the fridge for a midnight snack for cold chickpeas? I agree. That would be ridiculous(I heated them up).

Guilty as charged

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Can Carob Compete?

Posted on April 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Before last night, I had never tried carob.

Mint Carob Bar

Mint Carob Bar

I had known about it for months now, and even have had this bar since November. Still, I hadn’t really tried carob, not because of what it is, but because of what it isn’t: chocolate. Carob has been marketed as “the new, healthy chocolate”. Hold the phone; what was wrong with our old chocolate? Chocolate-specifically cocoa powder which is found in higher concentrations in dark chocolate–can be packed with antioxidants. Dark chocolate only has fat from cocoa butter and relatively low added sugar. Carob, on the other hand, has no antioxidants and inherently more sugar than cocoa. The only advantage might come in its lack of caffeine, or for anyone allergic to chocolate(if you are, I am so so sorry you have to sit through 90% of what I eat). But how did it taste?

Mint Carob Bar

Mint Carob Bar

This certainly was sweeter than dark chocolate, and it’s hard to tell if that’s from a disproportionate amount of carob/cocoa powder or because carob naturally has higher sugar content. The texture was what threw me; this was rather chalky, and not at all smooth like my favorite dark chocolate. As for the benefits of carob, it’s easier to obtain in its raw state than cacao. It also boasts more calcium(or, in its case, calci-yum). I did like it, but I’m certainly not running out to buy carob powder or recommending it to anyone not allergic to chocolate(again, sorry!).

Baby Carrots And Broccoli

Baby Carrots And Broccoli

I also had healthy snacks like baby carrots and tiny broccoli florets. Actually, I ate this right after my dinner post. I love roasted broccoli, but it’s about 1/2 as filling as steamed broccoli, and 1/10 as filling as raw. Don’t get me wrong, though: The flavor is a thousand times better. Can you tell I’m good with numbers, particularly food math?

70% Dark Chocolate With Vanilla Peanut Butter

70% Dark Chocolate With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Like I said, chocolate is irreplaceable. The texture is smoother; the flavor is richer; and think of all those antioxidants! I enjoyed Endangered Species Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate with a shmear of 365 peanut butter sweetened by Madhava vanilla agave. The chocolate bar looks damaged because it was in my pocket all last Friday and got melted along the way, but it tasted delicious. And I was so happy Grey’s Anatomy was back new last night! That show has had me addicted since Season 1.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

This morning I actually forced myself to sleep in until 8; otherwise I just wouldn’t have known what to do with myself. I muddled around/read blogs until I was hungry for breakfast. It was more of my non-chocolate addiction:365 peanut butter sweetened by Madhava vanilla agave. I have yet to see this agave in a store, but if I do I’m buying them out. And I’m sure the overall price is better than buying a fancy nut butter, since 365 only cost me $1(Get those Whole Deal coupons before they go!).

Plain Yogurt With Raspberry Conserves And Vanilla Almond Butter

Plain Yogurt With Raspberry Conserves And Vanilla Almond Butter

Of course, fancy nut butter will always be a part of my life, like vanilla almond butter from Naturally Nutty. I prefer things like nuts or trail mix on my yogurt so much more than granola; and I never have to think if it’s gluten-free or not!

Have you tried carob? Like it or not? It was fine, really; but it will never be a part of my life like chocolate is.

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I’ve Caught A Bug And I’m Burnt Out

Posted on April 17, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If you haven’t yet got to read my post on food combining and the comments, it’s well worth it! There are good opinions weighed in by experts, and if anything I know I’ve mentioned I’m no expert. What’s there is what I’ve noticed and what works(or doesn’t) for me, but if you have a different experience, please share!

This week, I caught 2 bugs. There was the bug that made me so sick, I couldn’t so much as move out of my chair for 2 hours. That’s not gone, but it’s a lot better now, and I’m sure I’ll feel great again in a few days. When I went home, though, I caught a second bug: The Summer Bug. Since then, all I’ve been able to think about is time not at school. I can’t wait for the opportunity to make real recipes from scratch like when I made white bean and kale soup, or do Summertime activities like pick blackberries and raspberries(with better quality pictures, this year). It’s definitely burnt me out of school with just 1 month to go. I’m trying to stayed focus; I even did homework first thing when waking up this morning. But this bug could be too strong. Have you caught this bug yet? What’s the remedy? Or, let’s just embrace the bug. What are you looking forward to most about Summer?

Local White Chocolate Cranberry Gelato

Local White Chocolate Cranberry Gelato

As proof I’ve caught the bug: A shamefully large portion of my night was spent trying to find ice cream shops around Boston and Massachusetts that don’t use artificial ingredients. I’ve got the name of a store with organic gelato in my pocket. Meanwhile, this gelato tasted heavenly. I’m not even a huge fan on cranberries generally but put them(or anything) with white chocolate and you’ve got me. Since I only had a serving of yogurt at breakfast, this clocked me in right around my 3 daily servings of dairy.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Another new obsession on the warm front this time is mixing 365 peanut butter with Madhava vanilla agave: ah-mazing. I’ve found adding a little peanut oil makes it a bit runnier, too, but not super thin, so this bowl was perfect. The joy of the night was falling asleep to the sound of rain; I hate being out in the rain but I love listening to it, and the same with thunderstorms.

Tazo Thrive

Tazo Focus

Like I mentioned, this morning I woke up with a goal: to focus. Fittingly, I gave Tazo’s new Focus tea a try. The cocoa peal and orange essence made this smell like orange dark chocolate–yum! The flavor was a lot more subdued, much like any black tea. I think the real therapy came in the aroma, but the flavor was nice with a hint of zest. I probably won’t be drinking it much just because I avoid caffeine generally but this was fun for a change of pace.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Raspberry Greek Yogurt

Raspberry Greek Yogurt

Hopefully the Summer will include finding a place that sells Justin’s chocolate butters because I’m almost out of the almond, too 😦 Meanwhile, have you jumped on the coconut milk train with me? I could drink the stuff if anything would fit after that. To turn some plain greek yogurt into something fruity, I added Crofter’s Organic raspberry conserve and Madhava raspberry agave; this agave I wasn’t so much a fan of as the vanilla. Do you see my multi-vitamins at breakfast? They’re hiding.

After much delay, I’ve finally given oatmeal a recipe page! I should seeing as how I eat it year round 😉 Check out my way on how to make oatmeal and enjoy the weekend! It’s all rain and gloom here. Perhaps that’s good to quash the Summer bug.

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“If I’m Running, It Ain’t At 6:15”

Posted on April 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning! I hope you feel refreshed. I sure do sleeping in. I think I’m still catching up on sleep lost from Saturday night and I knew a 6:15 wake-up was not happening. I was thinking of running soon but I’ll just take a rest day and call the whole thing off.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Can I change the name of the blog to “Oats and peanut butter”? Because that’s all you’re getting today since that’s all I felt like. I blame the fact that something in our hall smelt like freshly roasted peanuts. God, I can’t pass those up. I tried to recreate some sinfully unnutricious Reese’s peanut butter and had a little too much fun putting it on my oatmeal.

Peanut Butter Ingredients

Peanut Butter Ingredients

Despite the combination of 365 brand peanut butter, Madhava vanilla agave, and vanilla bean sugar, it didn’t really taste that sweet :-/ Maybe I wasn’t using as much sweetener as I thought, but I’ve had the agave in peanut butter before and it tasted better than this. Oh well, there’s always the next bowl!

Oats With Mighty Maple And Milk Chocolate

Oats With Mighty Maple And Milk Chocolate

And there was another bowl. This time, it was a more tried-and-true combination of PB&Co.’s Mighty Maple, which you must know I’m addicted to for a sweet peanut butter, and some Scharffen Berger milk chocolate, which is perhaps the dreamiest I’ve ever had but better to get as a gift than pay for yourself. A little sea salt to this and it was like a gourmet peanut butter cup. Yum.

It felt very good this morning to have time to sip coffee, walk around, check email and blog all before having to do much activity; that’s definitely not how my Tuesday/Thursdays would go otherwise. Eventually, my taste buds led me to yet more oats and peanut butter…

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Pomegranate Yogurt With Orange Dark Chocolate

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Pomegranate Yogurt With Orange Dark Chocolate

I broke open a new can of pumpkin and had to celebrate with Naturally Nutty‘s butter toffee peanut butter. And for a fun yogurt-mess, I started with a fruity flavor of Chobani and added some fruity chocolate.

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Orange And Pomegranate Chobani

Vivani Dark Chocolate With Orange And Pomegranate Chobani

I remembered really loving the combination of pomegranate and citrus chocolate so I thought I’d try it with Vivani’s orange dark chocolate. The combination was good, but not quite magical. Vivani’s dark chocolate is just a little too dark to let the sweetness of the citrus shine. Of course, since I love their 72% dark chocolate, I knew this could never be a bad bar 😀

And now in between classes I’m the luckiest man and get to take a trip to Whole Foods. I did not realize how low on oat bran I was when I went on Sunday! The answer? Very low! I usually only use Trader Joe’s oatbran, but since he’s 10+ miles away the bulk bins will have to do. And if I put this off any longer I’ll never be back in time for my next class. See you tonight!

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