Special

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

You might think someone who’s willing to post such a large portion of their life on the world wide web would live for attention. I don’t. In fact, in life I really hate being “special” in any way or getting extra attention at all. But some days that’s hard to avoid. Some days, you just stand out whether you’d like to or not.

Organic Red Delicious

Organic Red Delicious

Like this apple. It was probably the biggest piece of organic fruit I had ever seen. It held me over 2 and 1/2 hours. I love it when organic fruit is humongous; it gives me hope for organic farming.

Avery's 4th Birthday

Avery's 4th Birthday

We drove to New Hampshire for my cousins birthday party. It was at a local raquet club where the kids could swim in a pool. I conveniently forgot my bathing suit and went out to pick up the pizza with my father and grandfather. Of course, I didn’t want to be “special” but I couldn’t eat the pizza because of the crust. On the way back, we stopped at a natural food store where I found a salad bar.

Stir-Fried Greens, Pineapple, Organic Chicken

Stir-Fried Greens, Pineapple, Organic Chicken

I was having a good vegan streak this weekend and wanted tofu, but chicken was what they had :-/ It was very tasty chicken, I must add. I also had some greens and pineapple, and ate off to the side trying not to seem “special”(though it was pretty obvious). I must add: pizza still smells really good even when you can’t/won’t eat it, and the one with pineapple and marinara sauce was tempting me.

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Thank God for birthday cake, because I could have sworn he was turning 4! 8-| Obviously, I passed on this, but not on this…

Gluten-Free Vegan Midnight Chocolate Cupcake

Gluten-Free Vegan Midnight Chocolate Cupcake

The cupcakes I made were a hit, even though I really didn’t care for the frosting. Even my older cousin who doesn’t care for chocolate loved them. My aunt, in trying to describe them, gave them every “special” title in the book: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic. I was surprised she didn’t add Jesus made them. They weren’t 100% organic, but they were all-natural.

Organic Baby Carrots And Orange Zevia

Organic Baby Carrots And Orange Zevia

Coming home, I was really torn whether to try and go back to campus tonight or not. I was tired, not prepared, and overall a grouch, so that made the answer pretty simple after chewing on the last of some baby carrots and an orange Zevia. And since no one felt like cooking, it was out to dinner.

Coconut Curry Tofu And Veggies

Coconut Curry Tofu And Veggies

I had such a coconut milk craving last night, you wouldn’t have believed it. We went to Big Fresh Cafe. After explaining why wheat noodles wouldn’t work for me in this dish, and that I’m just not a fan for rice, my plate was a big bowl of veggies, tofu, and coconut curry sauce. I’d rather get a big bowl of “special” ordered food I love than not eat 1/2 of it. And I loved this; I could have drank the sauce, but I didn’t. Come to think of it, that may not have been vegan if they used eggs or anchovy in the sauce. Regardless, I need to make curry more.

Endangered Species Deep Forest Mint

Endangered Species Deep Forest Mint

I bought this chocolate bar while at Whole Foods and started digging in with some mocha teeccino. It may be a project cleanout fail but it wouldn’t be much longer I could get a decent mint chocolate bar for $2.

And I finished up with the emotional roller coaster that is Brothers & Sisters and a bowl of oatmeal with almond butter, which photos my camera is withholding :-/ It’s probably just as well since I didn’t bother to photograph the 2 fingerfulls of almond butter and handful of almonds I had afterwards. I think I was on an almond kick, especially after baking these.

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What’s In The Oil?

Posted on April 8, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

I feel like I’m part of that Reddi Wip commercial asking “Oil or cream?” Uhh, you know what, keep both.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Butter

But what I would like to know is what’s in the oil that we constantly stir(or not) back into or nut butters? Last night, my Naturally Nutty vanilla almond butter was a bit more than thick; it was more like almond meal than butter. I had a thought: Why not take the oil off of plain almond butter and rehydrate this one? That’s what I did, and it worked beautifully. Afterwards, I decided to look a little more into almond oil.

Apparently, it’s not so obscure an ingredient. You can buy pure almond oil from plenty of sources, and among its uses other than cooking is body care. It’s high in monosaturated fats and is good to keep around because the low number of essential fatty acids in it(the omega-3’s that we otherwise want a lot of via fish, flax, hemp, or other fats) means it won’t go rancid quickly, even at room temperature. Did you learn something about almond oil? I sure did!

Birthday Cake And So Delicious Mint Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Birthday Cake And So Delicious Mint Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

For sort of a “dormroom sundae”, I had the last piece of Bob’s Red Mill cake with the last scoop of So Delicious mint chocolate ice cream. I love finishing  things! It gives you an excuse to get more new stuff, right? 😉 This was so delicious(pun not intended), but it made me realize that, for all the coconut milk ice cream I’ve had, I don’t think I’ve had “coconut ice cream”. Weird, huh? I’ll have to look for that one next.

Banana

Banana

I love learning about my readers. For instance, from this post I learned you’re all hardcore when it comes to waking up and getting to the gym! I love it. And today I figured I could be “hardcore” to. I got up at 6:15(which clearly would be sleeping in for a lot of you), grabbed a banana and some water, and hit the streets.

11.55 Miles

11.55 Miles

The weather in the early morning couldn’t be more perfect for running this time of year: slightly cool with a breeze. And it was so much more busy than I would have guessed it to be! Apparently, there are more morning runners in this city than I know. A convoluted path and a stop at Whole Foods later, I went 11.55 miles and whipped up a breakfast for class.

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Vanilla Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanut Sunspires

Again, I did the oil trick: A little pure peanut oil in the the butter toffee flavor and it was the right consistency once more. Peanut oil is much more commercially available than almond oil for cooking and frying, but it has a lot of the same properties. The major difference I found was that peanut oil is often more fragrant and nutty than almond, at least when it’s unrefined. The yogurt tasted especially good this morning, and I don’t know why; I guess candy on yogurt can’t be bad 🙂

How do you like your peanut butter? Runny? Thick? I definitely hate mine to be runny; I want something thick and wet, like an actual butter and with a sort of fibrous mouth-feel to it.

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Wrapping And Packing Up

Posted on April 5, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This weekend has been a blast! I hope you’ve enjoyed yours, too. And in case you missed them, here was my raw birthday dinner and then the Easter feast. Also, Go Sox! Had to throw that one out there 😀

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Staying home an extra night was definitely a good choice; I did not feel like doing much last night, and hardly got anything accomplished staying in one place! At some point, there was a little bit of my favorite ice cream by So Delicious. Yum! I hope most/all of my ice creams will still be in the freezer by the time I get back on campus, not like I left much of any to begin with 😉

Irawnic Salad, Birthday Cake

Irawnic Salad, Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Leftovers are a funny thing: You crave them at odd times and never feel guilty getting them out of your fridge. Around 10pm I just wanted something citrus/vinegary, which the irawnic salad totally satisfied. Of course, salad breath is never fun to go to bed with, so I washed that down with a side of birthday cake; you got to eat this stuff up while it’s around, right?

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter, Eggs, Tempeh Bacon

Oatmeal With 365 Peanut Butter, Eggs, Tempeh Bacon

Eggs And Tempeh Bacon

Eggs And Tempeh Bacon

I spent this morning muddling around, packing things, sipping on teeccino, and eventually whipping up a breakfast. I would be crazy not to include what I gave up for Lent here, right? Truthfully, I just wanted a bowl of salty oatmeal with plain ol’ 365 brand peanut butter on it, but figured I’d add 2 organic eggs and some Lightlife tempeh bacon for some protein; the tempeh bacon tasted salty and delicious, especially after 40 days without 😀

Maple Sugar Leaf

Maple Sugar Leaf

Right now I’m planning out a run and eating the healthiest thing possible: a maple leaf made entirely out of maple sugar. At least I’m about to run and put that instant energy to good use. This was from my Easter Basket, speaking of which…

Easter Basket

Easter Basket

You didn’t think the bunny forgot about my favorite holiday, did you? With a little guidance, the bunny was very good about knowing what I wanted. There was a little something from everyone including Divine, Lake Champlain, Green And Black, Go Max Go Foods, and Alter Eco. Should we start the betting pool on how long this will last me?

Mystery Food

Mystery Food

And what on earth could this be?! I’ll let you wonder that for just a little bit while I hope and pray it turns out right. In the meantime, you can enter this Zevia giveaway or this Easter giveaway.

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One Quick Thing

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

I don’t think I have enough time tonight to make a post worthy of my day; I’ve been busy moving back into my room and just now have sat down to The Biggest Loser. But I’d be amiss if I didn’t shout out a Happy Birthday to my very best of friends, who turned 12(or 84 depending on how you count) today. Happy birthday to my Montana.

Montana

Montana

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The Birthday Day

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

First of all, thank you. For everything. I haven’t had time to say that enough between the half marathon and my birthday, so I wanted to get that out from the start. These past two days have been hectic but I panned them that way after all and so thank you for all your well wishes. Over the past two days, 1) my official time and place was announced as 1:42:10 and 36, 2) Megan wrote this article which I really enjoyed pausing to take the time to read and I think you might as well, and 3) my Wellness giveaway is still running so get your entries in!.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee PB, Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Choc Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Vanilla Cake Chobani With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

For breakfast I had plain ol’ pumpkin oatmeal with butter toffee peanut butter, which we’re running out of here and at my dorm so clearly it’s time to reorder Naturally Nutty. I sweetened a plain Chobani with 1/2 a serving Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake mix for something really yummy. On top were also one of my favorites–milk chocolate peanuts–making this definitely one special birthday breakfast.

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Since it was raining, I took the chance to do something I haven’t done in over 4 weeks: bake! Runners gotta run and bakers gotta bake. Since going low-gluten, I’ve discovered that one of the wheats I can tolerate is spelt. Spelt is an ancient, non-hybrid grain whose gluten is generally accepted better. Hearing that, I whipped up one of my favorite recipes, the banana goodness bread. A good bread has plenty of brown sugar on top to turn into a crust 🙂

Honey Baked Tofu

Honey Baked Tofu

I decided to do a “practice” for something to make for Easter Sunday and try baking a tofu “ham” with honey and cloves. The result was OK, but it really didn’t come out like I was thinking it would, and I much prefer maple anyway. Who needs to stick to tradition?

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Honey Pineapple Soyaki Tofu And Asparagus

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

Spelt Banana Goodness Bread

The honey with some soyaki Trader Joe sauce was actually really good and made it taste a little “tropical”; it reminded me of the Wildwood tofu I reviewed a while ago. For a vegetable, there was asparagus. And because bread tastes freshest, I had a slice of banana goodness bread made with spelt, chocolate chips, and hemp seeds(!!). The hemp added a great subtle nuttiness to it that I preferred to the flax.

Apple

Apple

Even though I wasn’t running, I felt like I could eat and eat and eat. This apple came while I was cleaning up dirty dishes and waiting for my next baked good to cook…

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

You all didn’t think I posted that recipe last night for no reason, did you? I made a batch of gluten free chocolate brownies done peanut butter style. I had such difficulty finding the black beans, wondering why they weren’t with the baking items?! I definitely had no patience, ended up cutting into them way too early, and making 1/4 of the pan turn into crumbs. Nevertheless, I got my slice.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie With Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode, anyone? I’ve actually never understood the combination of cold ice cream and warm brownie–until yesterday that is. It’s not that you want the contrast between the two, you just want brownies and ice cream and so take both 🙂 This was So Delicious, pun intended, but not terribly filling. Why not have more?

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt With Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Did you know the same amount of So Delicious ice cream and yogurt has just about the same amount of sugar? In fact, a lot of flavored yogurts are just as sugary as some ice cream brands. Maybe I should have just had the ice cream, lol. At least this had probiotics. And after this grand afternoon snack I was filled well for dinner, which we ate at Tomasso.

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Grilled Local Chicken, Sage Roasted Fingerlings, Broccoli Rabe

Holy yum, a dinner I didn’t have to cook! At first, I was a little disappointed the prezzo fisso menu wasn’t that appealing nor were the specials; I ended up ordering(for the first time, too, probably) just off the everyday menu local Misty Knoll chicken, roasted potatoes, and broccoli rabe. Let me tell you, the chicken and potatoes were to die for. Seriously, I have a little for leftovers and can’t wait to have them. I don’t think I’ve eaten local chicken before, either! So it was special after all.

Raw Vegan Brownies

Raw Vegan Brownies

When we got home I whipped, err, processed up dessert. I made a batch of raw vegan brownies using sunflower and hulled hemp seeds; I love that a raw recipe can be so no-fuss and still taste great and exotic! I made a quick and raw coconut milk frosting using about 2 parts coconut milk and agave to 1 part cocoa powder.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting, So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Brownie a la mode was definitely the theme of the day 😉 The chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream never gets old; it’s just pure magic, and such a fine, natural replacement for my old Turkey Hill addiction. And anything with frosting never disappoints 😉

Raw Vegan Brownie

Raw Vegan Brownie

I snagged one last brownie, because, ya’ know, they’re best when they’re freshest out of the food processor. They’re also little sugar bombs, which is probably why I was up 2 hours later, but I got to sleep… eventually. All in all, it was a great great day, and that’s coming from someone who has a tendency to inflate the importance of things and create impossible expectations. I drank too many cups of decaf coffee to count, ate a lot of sugar, and couldn’t get out for a run because of the constant deluge here in New England, and I’m OK with all of that because that’s what special days are for.

I can’t believe all the Facebook notifications in my mailbox right now; did it have to send one everytime someone posted on my wall? Now I have the morning to deal with that. I’ve also decided I’m going to try to go low/no added sugar today and without sweetened beverages; after yesterday, my palate is just begging to taste something other than sweet. I managed to keep my breakfast “clean”, but I’ll save that for the next post. In the meantime, here are giveaways for a refrigerator makeover, my favorite brand chocolate, gluten-free goodies, a gluten free cheesecake giveaway, and one for coconut oil.

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Surprise!

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

Surprise! It’s Monday. How much does that suck? Miss the weekend race recap? Read all about it here.

Surprise! Oprah hates surprises; did you know that? She would not like this post.

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Surprise! These were all from 1 sweet potato! Granted, it was a hugh jass one, but I think that’s impressive nonetheless.

Surprise! I stayed home while my parents went to Whole Foods. I’m pretty sure this is theopposite of how things should be, but I was worn out from my race and needed to sit on the couch with my friend, Mr. Computer 😀

Perfect Apple

Perfect Apple

Surprise! This apple actually tasted good!

Grass-Fed Grilled Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma

Grass-Fed Grilled Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Chipotle Cayenne Parma

Surprise! I still eat the same at home as at school, just with different equipment 😀 I asked for red meat for dinner, so we heated up the grill and made some burgers. Mmmm so much juicier than in a pan! And I love how spicy the chipotle cayenne parma makes sweet potato fries; they’re like a new experience.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Surprise! My parents picked up a chocolate flourless cake at Whole Foods the day before my birthday to celebrate while my grandmother was around! This really was a surprise; I saw the sketchy brown paper bag they hid it in, but could only guess what it was. You have no idea how relieved I was when I realized they understood gluten-free eating and got an appropriate style cake; that’s love for ya 😉

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Surprise! When we got So Delicious cookie dough ice cream, we also got the peanut butter chocolate swirl, which I’m ready to confess is my new favorite frozen dessert. OK, I don’t think there’s actually much surprise here except from my dad when he realized how much ice cream I need to grab for a few days at home.

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Surprise! Could you see this one coming? How could I not take the two fattiest pieces of dessert in our kitchen and combine them? 🙂 I was refueling from a half-marathon, after all. Needless to say, this was tasty. But I think my mom and I agreed there are better flourless chocolate cakes out there, hers included.

Surprise! My stomach got me! 30 minutes later I was not feeling so hot :-X It had been so long since I’d eaten something that rich made from dairy, I forget that a lot of milk fat really doesn’t sit well in my stomach. That plus a sugar rush had me wanting to be near a garbage tin for the rest of the night. Could I possibly regret it, though? Not a chance.

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Not A Surprise! You didn’t have to be psychic to see a final bowl of oatmeal before bed coming. I wasn’t sure if I’d see this come back up, so I kept it small with just a little butter toffee peanut butter. And before you say “Isn’t that dairy fat, too?”, butter is the 5th or 6th ingredient and 2 tablespoons has just 2g of saturated fat, so I can’t imagine there’s much.

Cards And A Present

Cards And A Present

Surprise! was how I felt when I woke up to cards and my favorite chocolate bar. Awww, what a perfect way to wake up 🙂

Surprise! I’m going to keep the rest of the morning a secret for a good birthday recap tonight or tomorrow morning. What a shame because there’s already been cake mix involved and it’s not even 10am 😉

Surprise! Not even 24 hours after my last half marathon and I’ve signed up for my next! I was actually thinking about this before yesterday. It’s perfect. It’s the Providence Marathon, so let’s just say I know the streets quite well 😉 It’ll hopefully be a nice, warm May day, too. And I might be able to coerce a Brown friend of mine into running, too, which would be great. My only concern are the hills around Providence but I’ll have a while to work with those.

Surprise! You or I could win either Tazo tea, gluten free goodies, or coconut butter in either of these giveaways.

What has been a surprise in your life lately?

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Today Was Not S.A.D.

Posted on February 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today has been a lot, but you know what it wasn’t? Singles Awareness Day. I must have been living under  rock, because I first heard the term driving up to my house this morning. I have to say–it made me laugh at loud! I love it 🙂 It’s totally a great attitude to have if you can “wear it”. I think I can defiitely wear it and proud; I will 100% celebrate V-Day single with a box of chocolates and not give one bit. If you’re single, would you embrace S.A.D., too?

Making Chocolate Cups

Today for me was not S.A.D. or V-day but B-day, or my Aunt Leslie’s B-day at least. We rushed home and got their at 12:30 after stopping at a few stores to get baking supplies. I always feel like I need to make a dessert. And while I know I don’t need to really, I think it’s fun 🙂 Today, I made simple milk chocolate peanut butter cups, and a new recipe for vegan coconut cherry dark chocolate cups! How good do those sound?

Next Generation Cheddar And Caribbean Cheddar Raw Cheese

I also was able to provide some appetizers for the crowd; Next Generation Dairy really did send me 2 moo’s worth of cheese to sample and review so I loved the chance to share. This later sparked some great conversation about raw cheese and Canada and “the old days”. Yes, 1/2 of me stems from cow-milking Canadians 🙂

Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, Cheddar Cheese

As we waited for the relatives I made a snack plate of sour cream & onion popchips and cheddar cheese. Yes, we found them! I’ve been looking for this flavor for so long since I loved them so much and now I have a brand new bag along with the cheddar flavor 😀 I do have yet to review this flavor of cheese, but I’d rather do it when I’m not rushed so will the next time I taste it. From what I could tell, it was very good! It didn’t have a strong tang like raw cheese tends to so I think it would be a great start for beginners.

Carved Chicken

It was my job to carve the chicken, as usual. First off, my dad had the sniffles all day, so we didn’t want to infect anyone. Besides that, I’m just better than anyone 😉 Not going to lie. And I totally stripped the 2 we have down to the bare bones. My mom made a point that the were Amish and from Whole Foods. Do you think that means they would have protested to being cooked in an electric oven?

Table Set Up

As always, there was an impressive spread of food, of which we could not begin to eat all of. Whenever there’s so many options in front of me, I like to keep it simple and just pick the 3 that look most appealing. Then I feel free to load my plate with those. I think that’s so much better than “sampling a little bit of everything” because it leaves you so much more satisfied with what you did it.

Golden Beets, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Dark Meat Chicken

I went with roasted brussels sprouts–a favorite, obviously–, golden beets which were a new find at Whole Foods, and the dark meat chicken. I love the dark meat, and since I only eat meat so rarely and in small amounts, it makes sense to go for dark in my opinion. And if you’re buying naturally fed animals, all the better for the fats in there. It all was delicious! I’m sure the same goes for what I didn’t taste. A good home cooked meal was a major perk for making the trip.

Blowing Out The Candles

A little later, we sang happy birthday to my aunt who turned 46, and then my cousins blew out the candles. They love Carvel cakes and I cannot begin to imagine how many they’ve eaten in their lives–100’s for sure. There was all-natural vanilla bean ice cream from Hannafords for me, but honestly this wasn’t 30 minutes after lunch so I couldn’t care less for dessert and passed.

PB And Coconut Cherry Cups

From what I could tell, everyone who had one of my cups found them delicious! I’m always worried trying out a new recipe, especially when I myself haven’t even tried it. I’m so glad they worked out. Most of the time, my cousins were playing my video games as we were eating. They couldn’t figure out how come I’d only gotten through so few worlds on Mario; I don’t think they quite understand what it means to not live at home. Oh to be young again 🙂

Acorn Squash With Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

While they were doing their 30 minute farewell tour(as anyone with young children understands), I totally got hungry for real food again. I heated up an acorn squash that was meant for lunch, and added maple syrup, cinnamon, and sea salt. It’s an unusual “snack” for sure but so good! This is absolutely the best combination of flavors, and was 100% necessary to suffer the parade of hugs.

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

After the relatives left, it was then time for my family to get back in the car and bring me back to campus. My grandmother even came “just for the ride”. Oh, am I jealous of having time like that. Right before we hit the dorm, we hit Whole Foods for this, which I was waiting for all afternoon. Seeing everyone else have ice cream really gave me a craving for some, but we didn’t have any flavors/types that would fit that craving. I knew I needed to give this one a shot if only to quench my curiosity.

Vegan Coconut Cherry Cup With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

This would be my dinner. Oh yes I did 😀 I figure–If I’m ever going to go all-out dessert for dinner, it might as well be on Singles Awareness Day, and might as well be vegan, right? The ice cream was a little bit of a let down because it tasted a bit too coconutty, but besides that was decent. The vegan coconut cherry cup was incredible! Oh my God, now I get why people were raving about them. I will get a recipe page up for them, but first I want to submit them in to Tropical Traditions and want to keep it under wraps until then.

Speaking of Tropical Traditions, I’m picking a coconut oil giveaway winner in the morning! Now’s your last chance to enter! Also in the morning, I have a long run of 10 miles planned! Yikes! I’m a bit nervous to go for double digits again, but I’ll give it a whirl. I also need to do my laundry, but that’s a bit less frightening, haha.

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My Cupcake’s Been Drinking

Posted on December 22, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Let me start off by saying this is the 5th post I’ve written today so if I sound a little blogged out and speedy with my words that’d be why. But I don’t mind because I love it 🙂

Prepared Dinner

After blogging earlier I wanted to get a start on dinner, which I figured either I’d be making or it’d turn into a mishmosh of instant soups. I dethawed frozen wild salmon filets and rubbed them with thyme and lemon, steamed some broccoli for roasting, and scrubbed and wrapped some sweet potatoes. I swear this cooking thing isn’t nearly as much of a chore as my mom makes out sometimes 🙂 After all that, I figured that people wouldn’t be home for quite some time(not like they actually call to say when they’re coming…) so I made a protein packed snack.

Chobani 2% With Peanut Flour, Salt, And Turbinado Sugar

Yum! Adding a touch of salt is definitely the trick when working with peanut flour. Just like I rarely eat unsalted nut butter after having tasted the salted variety, I doubt I’ll go back to not salting my yogurt. Weird? In theory. But delicious at heart. By 6 I finally got around to doing things I’d been meaning to all day. Like shave. Wouldn’t have going to NY with a stubbly face been fun? I could have blended in with the homeless men. First my mom came home and then only 40 minutes late my dad, so that we could have dinner.

Lemon And Thyme Salmon, Sweet Potato, Broccoli Fries

The salmon was a bit overdone and the broccoli a bit under but all in all it was good enough. I portioned out 3oz of meat for myself and was set with that(although I really wasn’t even in the mood tonight so I might as well have dove into the 1/2 eaten can of chickpeas in the fridge). The sweet potato was nicely roasted, but I showed some restraint because I knew there’d be dessert. After cleaning up we called my mom down to celebrate her birthday.

Kickass Cupcakes

My dad got cupcakes from a Boston bakery called Kickass Cupcakes. We used to always get a cake from a Chinatown bakery but these are all all-natural so we could all enjoy them. He got the Yule Nog, Banana Cream, Mojito, and Caramel Macchiatto. I also gave out all my presents(which were sort of Christmas presents but I wanted to get them done with). My mom got a Beads For Life bracelet and my dad a jar of NuttZo(he is like me and was very easy to shop for lol). After making some coffee, I grabbed this as my own.

The Yule Nog

The Yule Nog is described as a “gingerbread cupcake with brandied egg nog frosting dusted with nutmeg”. The base was just OK, except when I got a bite of whole ginger which was WOW. The frosting… when is frosting ever bad? 🙂 Especially when it has brandy 😀 I have no expectation of this holding me over very long, so I expect to be making oats with peanut butter and pumpkin in a little bit.

Like I pointed out in this post, I’ve been a bit forgetful today. So forgetful in fact I forgot I should pack a plethora of snacks and entertainment for tomorrow. We’re leaving at 7:15 to drive to a Connecticut train station to ride into New York for 11. Then we’re meeting friends at this restaurant(which, as I look at the menu, am not so enthusiastic for) and seeing a play(tbd). Then we’ll probably mosey about, check out Times Square, eat a cheap dinner and be home by midnight(I’ll be so dead by this time I won’t know what’s going on). That doesn’t mean I won’t be “posting”; check back tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon for the down low on a little known condiment and a new technique for your repertoire.

Edit to add: I’m psychic.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With White Chocolate Wonderful And Honey Maple Peanut Butter

That or really predictable. I actually think it’s the latter. At least this used up the last of the can so I don’t have to think about that growing older while I’m away. And the white chocolate wonderful was… wonderful 🙂 I also packed the food for tomorrow.

NYC Trip Food

Let’s not point out just all the craziness I pack. Honestly, I’d love to just go to NYC with nothing(except what I’ll need for breakfast and snacks for 8 hours of transportation) and really live it up in the city as a foodie. Unfortunately, the people we’re meeting are not likewise thinkers, so I expect foodie touring to be to a minimum and going to a lot of places where my menu options will be limited. That’s why I ended up packing so much and a variety to choose from for my taste buds. Can you tell that my “dream trip” to New York would involve visiting this restaurant? I would be over the moon.

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Thanksgiving 2009

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

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

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

Deep Chocolate Vitatop With Cocoa Greek Yogurt

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

Organic Balsamic Vinegar And Lemon Pepper Oil

Maple Syrup From Berlin

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

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

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

Carved Turkey

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

Thanksgiving Table

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

Turkey, Stuffing, Roasted Brussels, Organic Jellied Cranberry

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

Enjoying The Meal

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

Blowing Out The Candles

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

TruWhip

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

Pumpkin Pie, Trader Joe Lemon Square, TruWhip

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

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

Raw Vegetables

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

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

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

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

 

Plain Soy Yogurt With Cranberry Sauce

 

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

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

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Almond Butter And Smart Balance Peanut Butter

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

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

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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.

Hey It’s Tay is having

a giveaway

so say

yay!

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