The Swing Of Things

Posted on November 30, 2009. Filed under: Book Review, Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning! In case you were travelling over the weekend, there was a new recipe dreamed up on Black Friday, a review of Clif bars, a day that had me blushing beet red, and a 2nd, meatless Thanksgiving.

After that awesome lunch, I needed time to digest on the couch with Montana, and then got to work on my next project.

Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree. After chopping it down yesterday and leaving it in the cold overnight, we finally brought it in. Traditionally, I do the lights and the cranberries while my mom does the ornaments afterwards; since I was moving back to my dorm I needed to do this snappily. I was happy at the end 🙂 I love the lights on a Christmas tree. I think the ornaments are always nice and personal but it’s just not a tree to me if it doesn’t light up.

Afterwards we got to packing up. I dreaded this. It always feels like I have more going back than coming home, and this time I knew I did because of all the leftovers and extra clothes. Ugh. Thankfully with enough helping hands in the house this wasn’t too bad and shaped up pretty quick.

Packed Bags

I think it was a backpack, 3 bags of food, 2 of laundry, 2 of random machinery, and a stevia plant. Because, really, how could I live without all of that? We swung by my grandmother’s apartment to pick her up because she likes to come “just for the ride”. Wouldn’t it be nice to have time to go for a ride just because you have nothing else to do? 60 more years and I’ll be there.

Double Chocolate Pillow

Of course before hitting the highway we wento McDonald’s for some decaf and I broke out one of these cookies. I think it’s always the case that things grow on me after a few days, because 4 days later and I’m now becoming obsessed with them. Seriously, just smelling the cocoa–bliss. On the way down we stopped at Target looking for a movie. Alas, no luck 😦 But underwear was on sale and that’s close enough to grab, right?

Moving back in was actually quite quick and painless with enough helping hands(again). The rug looks awesome since my mom brought down her vacuum to clean it up(thanks!). I definitely lost track of time in all of this and realized I was hungry. A little cookie is not a substantial afternoon snack, but you know what is?

Laloo's Strawberry Darling Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Ice cream. I’m surprised this has survived the common freezer for so long, but yesterday I decided it was time to polish it off(only about 1 serving left anyway). I love the tang of the balsamic vinegar in this. Something tells me adding balsamic vinegar, even an organic one, to strawberry chobani wouldn’t work the same. When all the groceries were away I enjoyed staring at a full fridge.

Full Fridge

Really? Is there anything more blissful? I’m surprised I managed to cram it all in there; it looked like it might not make it and I’m glad I left some tofu at home for another weekend. I also found this which I snuck into my bag:

The Killer Angels

I don’t really “pleasure read”, and if I had time to, I’d probably choose a book I haven’t read, so I’m not sure why I brought this. But I do love and recommend this book for anyone wanting to read a psuedo-historic novel. I did a huge paper on it and the battle of Gettysburg in 11th grade. As you might know, I’m a Classics major, but besides that American history 1640-1865 is my other area of interest. There’s a movie, Gettysburg, based on this book I have yet to see but I can’t wait to find it some day.

Dinner started off a little disgusting; I went to get one of my sweet potatoes and found it covered in mold–yuck! That’s actually never happened with the food I keep under my bed but I guess there’s a first for everything. Instead, I had to improvise.

Broccoli, Turkey Breast, Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Lightlife Breakfast Sausages And Maple Syrup

You know how sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach? Yeah, story of my life day. First there was being stuffed from a stuffed tofurkey and acorn squash, and then there was this. The turkey wasn’t anything special, I just wanted to eat it up before it got moldy like a sweet potato. The english muffin with sausage was the real money maker here. Does anybody else remember McGriddles from McDonalds? That’s EXACTLY What this was like, except with infinitesimally less trans fat. Oh my God, so good. Rest assured it will be made again. Unfortunately, there was one casualty during dinner.

 

Broken Amazing Grass Bottle

 

My Amazing Grass bottle 😦 I dropped it on the floor while it was full and water went pretty much everywhere–fun. After cleaning it up I went to the bathroom and tried refilling it, wondering why it kept being empty. Smart one, Evan. I think they carry these at Whole Foods? That’s what I’m hoping at least. After getting ahead(ahead! not catching up!) on work I made a snack and settled in for A Dog Named Christmas.

 

Peanut Butter Soy Yogurt With Fig Jam And Peanut Butter Chips

 

I don’t expect much from cheesy, holiday, made-for-TV movies, but this one was even below expectations. I expect them to suck, but to also be cutesy, and the child acting in this was not cutesy. This snack also did not disappoint even though I was iffy on the flavor combo. I think I forgot to sweeten the base but thankfully I bought a Vanilla flavor. I completely forgot I even had fig preserves but they were still just as good. And the pb cheeps were nice and sweet, nothing at all like real peanut butter and yet just as magical 🙂

After I’d put up with bad child acting for an hour, it was time for a new Brothers & Sisters. Last weeks episode was not on because Adam Lambert needed to whore it up at the AMA’s, but this week there were supposed to be great plot twists and secret revealings–it did not disappoint. Midway, I snacked on this:

 

English Muffin With Pumpkin Cream Cheese And Honey Maple Peanut Butter Topped With Me And Goji Granola

2 english muffins in one day? I was on a roll. I liked the crunch from the granola. And the gojis I’m sure were some decent brain food. I also love “rediscovering” peanut butters I forget about. Brothers & Sisters I thought was awesome–can’t wait until the wedding(or will there even be one?) next week.

I was exhausted so I knew I wanted shut eye but for some reason, as tired as I was, I wasn’t getting to sleep. I don’t know how much I slept overall or how many times I woke up/had weird dreams. This was one harsh “welcome back” to the swing of things. When I woke up, though, I was ready to meet my old friend–the gym. I made a quickie snack.

Kashi Strawberry Flax Waffle With Banana Peanut Butter

Normally I like bars that I can take on the treadmill but for some reason this was what appealed to me best. When I got there, it was packed for 6:50am(read: 3 other people). But then it quited down and the regulars started showing up. I didn’t concern myself too much with pace or anything; I was plenty happy to be back and watching the Today Show(does anybody care about Tiger Woods’ car crash at this point? really?). In the end I did 12 miles in 1:38:59. That’s almost exactly like yesterday, which is good because I tend to be slower inside than out. When I got back, I relearned how to make a dormroom breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pepita Butter And Maple Frosting, Eggnog Yogurt

This microwave just ain’t the same as the one back home. For the oats I used Caitlin’s pancake frosting recipe with a little vanilla stevia. I think my cooking skills were on vacation and are just getting back, too, because everything was underseasoned/sweetened. Afterwards, I added more stevia and cinnamon to the yogurt and some vanilla sugar and salt atop the oats and that perked things up.

And so, clearly I’m relearning dorm life after a week of bliss. I suppose with finals and papers coming up I won’t even notice the time between now and Christmas vacation, right? Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s cyber Monday, and as dirty as that sounds I have some deals to catch.

 

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Going Farther, Getting Nuttier

Posted on August 28, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I can’t wait until the end of this post to brag recap about today’s run, because I’m just too excited. Check this out:

10.05 miles in 1:20:12

10.05 miles in 1:20:12

A NEW PR! The farthest I’ve ever ran is 8.5 miles. This morning I planned 6 miles around the neighborhood, which is about 6.7. But on my 4th or 5th lap I felt so good that I started thinking(and me thinking is usually dangerous) “why wait until Saturday to do my long run? If I feel good now I should run what I’m feeling”. So I just kept going and going like the energizer bunny and 9 times around plopped me at double digits, and at 800: min/mile, a pretty great pace for me.

That excitement aside, let’s look at the food that fueled this morning… in a fun way. See? the name of this blog has a point. I was really sore after the run yesterday. I cut myself some slack and said no core for the day; I may not know how to take a rest day from running but I find the little ways to cut myself slack. I figured a walk around da hood would raise some spirits. I came by some awesome neighbors playing outside who lifted my mood, but the rest of me was still pretty shot after I got home so I sat down with a snack and some heavy reading.

Eat This Not That And A Peach

Eat This Not That And A Peach

Have you ever held that book? The hard cover makes it heavy(and expensive :-(). Also, notice the keen placement of the peach. I will eat this and not that. I flipped through a few chapters–mostly looking at the pictures like I’m a 2 year old and this was Peter Rabbit. I was pretty stoked when I found this in the Best Drinks section:

Drink This: Best Bottled Juice--Odwalla Carrot Juice

Drink This: Best Bottled Juice--Odwalla Carrot Juice

You go, Odwalla carrot juice. Now just don’t be so expensive and maybe I won’t have to give you up when I go off to college. Seriously, if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. I’ve used it as a post-run drink all summer since it has more potassium than OJ or a banana and has a naturally sweet flavor with almost 1 pound of carrots in each cup.

I grilled for lunch because I was having a Darius Rutker “It won’t be like this for long” moment.

Salmon Burger On The Grill

Salmon Burger On The Grill

Do you think I could befriend the cooks at the Brown dining halls and use all their fancy crap for cooking and bond like we’re in some Disney Channel Original movie? It’s a thought…

Salmon Burger In FlatOut Wrap With Lime FSTG Chips, Salsa, And Avocado

Salmon Burger In FlatOut Wrap With Lime FSTG Chips, Salsa, And Avocado

I also thought I’d give the lime flavored Foods Should Taste Good nachos a try since lime is one of my favorite flavors(love that saltiness). Of course no chip taste test would be complete without salsa, which was habanero and lime because I’m that matchy-matchy, and some avocado. My first impression of the chips was that they had a good lime flavor, but were a little underseasoned. I added some salt and that fixed the problem. The texture was very crispy without tasting stale and reminded me of the fresh baked nachos from a Boston tacqueria, Fajitas And Ritas. I was really pleased with them overall and can’t wait to see how they stand up against the other flavors. Once I go through them all I’ll be ready to give a full review.

By the end of lunch time, the Kennedy’s were on all the local stations, so there wasn’t much reason to stick around watching TV. Yes, we all loved Senator Kennedy, but can’t the family get 24 hours of peace? We went to the Framingham farmers’ market, which had a solid attendance.

Framingham Farmers' Market Peppers

Framingham Farmers' Market Peppers

I knew I wanted to get some peppers to grill for dinner so I grabbed 3 of those, as well as an eggplant. I don’t know what I’ll do with it yet, but with so many recipes floating around the blogs I’m sure I’ll find something. We also got some sharp cheddar made from raw milk. Intriguing, no? On the way home we stopped by Super Stop And Shop were I was a super shopper. Super.

Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola, Smartfood Peanut Butter And Apple Popcorn, Elan Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola, Smartfood Peanut Butter And Apple Popcorn, Elan Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt

I had a coupon for a free Kashi product so I went with their expensive granola which is never included in the sales. It has chocolate, almond, and coconut, so this will go well with… EVERYTHING. We had a coupon for a dollar off Elan’s which expires in 4 days–nice catch there. I love that this is Decaf Cappuccino flavored, as opposed to their coffee. I don’t think coffee ice cream would have enough to really keep me up at night, but better to be safe than hyper. And Smartfood apparently has a new flavor–peanut butter and apple. I couldn’t turn it down while it was still on the sale period.

When I got home I knew just what I wanted to make: Banana Goodness Bread

The Sugar

The Sugar

No sooner did we go through the last loaf that I was ready to make the next. I considered making slight alterations to the recipe to include my peanut flour. But I got some pleads requests to not change a thing, so I pleased my fans. That’s really all the added sugar that goes into the bread, yet it still comes out with a deliciously sweet flavor. This time I used unrefined sugar from the Whole Foods bulk bin.

The Secret Ingredient

The Secret Ingredient

I also changed up the yogurt from Vanilla Bean to Banana Vanilla. Sneaky, sneaky.

Oven Ready

Oven Ready

The cinnamon sugar topping really adds the finishing touch. All it is is 5 grams of sugar with 1/2 a teaspoon cinnamon mixed in a bowl and sprinkled over.

Once that was in the oven I had a little something to hold myself over.

Elan Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt With Cinnamon And Midnight Moo

Elan Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt With Cinnamon And Midnight Moo

This came out really mocha-y and delicious, but I think next time I might forgo the chocolate sauce and just go with chocolate chips for the bit of texture difference. While I was waiting I got a little impatient and made another one of my favorite recipes while the baking supplies were out.

The Peanut Butter Boy's Scones

The Peanut Butter Boy's Scones

These scones are so delicious. I’ve developed an unexpected love of scones over the Summer. They’re just the ultimate food and can be breakfast, dessert, or a portable snack, so what’s not to love. The Peanut Butter Boy’s recipe for scones is definitely tied for my favorite with my own Loaded Scones. I made these vegan by swapping out the egg for flax and some water. Finally everything was baked.

Banana Goodness Bread And Peanut Butter Scones

Banana Goodness Bread And Peanut Butter Scones

Hiya, carbs. I’ll see you later tonight 😉 I also made myself a little let’s-eat-this-stuff-to-get-rid-of-it snack before dinner.

Peanut Butter And Apple Popcorn, Raspberries, Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Peanut Butter And Apple Popcorn, Raspberries, Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I finished off the pint of raspberries I picked, and ate the butt(lol, butt) of the cinnamon raisin Vermont Bread Co. loaf. The popcorn was ok. It didn’t have a strong peanut flavor but reminded me of cracker jacks. And I loved the dried apple slices which were totally random and tart. My mom really loved it when I made myself a meatball sub for lunch last week and saw this as an easy dinner to cook great meal for the family.

Meatball Sub With Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Peppers

Meatball Sub With Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Peppers

We also grilled the peppers from the farmers market and sampled the cheese. I’m not a cheddar aficionado, so I can’t say much about it other than it was really tasty. My mom who loves cheddar seemed incredibly impressed. Maybe raw milk is the way to go? The highlight of dinner came when we got a knock on the garage door, which was obviously the UPS man but my dad answered thinking it was someone coming to chat us up.

My Package

My Package

Naturally Nutty Nut Butters

Naturally Nutty Nut Butters

If you’ve been reading this for a while, you might remember how I celebrated my first paycheck by buying 3 flavors of Naturally Nutty, which I reviewed here. Well to celebrate my last week of work I bought myself the 2 flavors I was really impressed by–Vanilla Almond Butter and Butter Toffee–as well as 3 new flavors–Honey Roasted Cinnamon, Mocha, and Vanilla Peanut Butter. As a special surprise, Katie from Naturally Nutty sent me a sampler of a new surprise sampler they’ll be releasing soon. Thanks, Katie! I love surprises and I don’t think anything will be more of a surprise than trying to guess what this could be.

Mocha Peanut Butter On A Split Scone

Mocha Peanut Butter On A Split Scone

When the king of peanut butter’s recipe meets the queen of peanut butter’s peanut butter, you know it’s going to be good. I’ll save an in depth review for once I’ve tried all the new flavors. All I can say is the mocha definitely delivers the flavor it promises, and you can’t ask for more than that. To follow that off I did some more bread and spread lovin’.

Banana Goodness Bread With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Banana Goodness Bread With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Smart Balance, Toast With The Surprise Peanut Butter

Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Smart Balance, Toast With The Surprise Peanut Butter

Going 18 hours without that bread was a sin. What was I thinking? Of course, I decimated the bananas in this house between that bread and freezing some for soft serve, so I should get on that today. Then I needed to try the surprise flavor, because when someone sends you an unlabeled jar in the mail with your name written on it, you need to taste it, right? 🙂 I had it along side a muffin top(which are 10 times better when they’re from an actual muffin) and some smart balance for a good comparison point. Again, I’m saving any detailed review for a special post, and I’m not sure how much about this flavor I should/am allowed to give away. All I can say is I’m 95% sure I’ve pinned it, it blew my mind, and I’ll DEFINITELY order a 15oz jar when it’s available.

So, ya’ll already know about this morning’s run. I wasn’t feeling any particular flavor for breakfast oddly, so I went with what was handy:

Cinnamon Raisin Bread With Honey Roasted Peanut Butter, Carrot Juice, Chocolaate Banana Yogurt With Cocoa Beach Granola, Banana Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Bread With Honey Roasted Peanut Butter, Carrot Juice, Chocolate Banana Yogurt With Cocoa Beach Granola, Banana Bread

I also added a peach and threw some wheat germ and ground flax on the yogurt. I really liked my new granola, but it was almost a little too clustery for me. I like clusters and single oats, and this seems to be all clusters. I suppose that’s better than all oats. And the peanut butter is sweet and delicious with the cinnamon raisin bread. Today I plan on sitting on my heiny most of the day and admiring my mileage. That being said, bluefish is on sale and sounds like the plan for dinner so we’ll need to pick up that. And apparently yesterday was my 2nd most viewed day ever, which is awesome and so I thank you all for reading. I’ll try to keep it fresh and funky.

Go here for an exciting coupon giveaway: http://www.fitandfabulouslife.com/2009/08/27/another-coupon-giveaway/

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Where’s The Bread?

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

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

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

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

Peanut Butter Z-Bar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop And Shop Loot

Stop And Shop Loot

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

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

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

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

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

A Lonely Unopened Package

A Lonely Unopened Package

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

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

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

Emerald's Cocoa Roasted Almonds

Emerald's Cocoa Roasted Almonds

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

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

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

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

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

So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

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

Banana Bread With Midnight Moo Sauce

Banana Bread With Midnight Moo Sauce

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

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

I promised a rocksome breakfast right?

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

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

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

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

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Having My Cake And Eating It Too!

Posted on August 22, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Peanut Butter Boy 2nd Place Prize

Peanut Butter Boy 2nd Place Prize

Sweet, No? Don’t tell me you’re not jealous 😛 Once again, it was a ton of fun and I can’t wait for the next one, and I have yet to bake one of the other recipes from the contest but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been looking and gearing up my hand mixer!

So the new thing out there seems to be the breakfast challenge, which I am all for. I pretty much have the same thing every morning–fruit, whole grains, nuts, and yogurt–but that doesn’t mean it has to always be in the same form, right? I took a hint from some fellow bloggers for Thursday’s breakfast:

Kashi Strawberry Waffles With Mighty Maple And Maple-Agave Syrup, bananas, Chocolate Chobani With Cherries

Kashi Strawberry Waffles With Mighty Maple And Maple-Agave Syrup, bananas, Chocolate Chobani With Cherries

What’s new? The PB on the waffle. Believe it or not, I’ve never done this before. I always thought the spreading would be difficult and uneven, but I gave it a go to get those fats on the plate. And I have to say, ya’ll were right; the pb on the waffles worked well. Thursday morning was major Tivo time. I don’t even remember what I watched, just that I got through it all. I hardly recognized when lunch came around and Ias starving, but luckily this guy only took about 5 minutes to throw together:

Meatball Sub, Cantaloupe, Green Beans, And A Tomato

Meatball Sub, Cantaloupe, Green Beans, And A Tomato

This meal made me realize why I love blogging so much: Taking pictures of what I eat makes me take the time to really appreciate what I’m putting on the plate and know it in a whole new light. Really, everybody should blog or take pictures of what they eat, because it stimulates the senses and makes you became a better eater. Even though all a picture can share is sight, when you take the time to make your food look good, you sure as hell put just as much into the flavor. I made a great sauce for the meatballs with pizza sauce, steak sauce, and fresh basil. I salted the cantaloupe slightly and let it sit. And while I can’t say I prepared the tomato any particular way, I can tell you it was grown in our very own garden–another thing I might not have done if I hadn’t learned to appreciate food. So this meal was dedicated to food blogging. Thre cheers!

After lunch I explored the neighborhood:

Exploring

Exploring

By which I mean I killed time waiting for my mom to get back from “lunch with the girls”. I also killed a pint with a little ingenuity:

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

Stonyfield Java With Vegan Fluff And Midnight Moo Sauce

I wasn’t sure how the fluff would work with coffee, but then I did some simple math. Fluff = vanilla. Vanilla + coffee = french vanilla latte. Ok, the math worked out and the taste buds agreed. This was rather good 🙂 We hit up Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I spent 15 minutes looking at the bread at Trader Joes–no lie–and ended up buying the same one we always get: light wheat. I really want a bread like the sunflower bread I got from Dekalb Farmer’s market, and I noticed 2 of TJ’s bread have sunflower seeds on the ingredient list. Anybody ever try these/have an opinion to share? At Whole Foods we quickly filled the space left from the Java FroYo with So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream. I have yet to break into this but I’ll let you know how it is when I do!

I got home and instantly whipped up a recipe that was running through my head:

The Wet

The Wet

The Dry

The Dry

The Cookies

The Cookies

I’m just going to call them Pumpkin Patch Chocolate Chippers. They came out great, but I’m sure there’s ways to improve them, so I’m not sharing the recipe just yet. Plus, these are based off another recipe which is a tight family secret, so I might just have to keep these locked away in the Disney Vault with Cinderella. Dinner was one of them boring well balanced meals *yawn*

Chicken, Broccoli, Basmatti Rice, And Island Soyaki Sauce

Chicken, Broccoli, Basmatti Rice, And Island Soyaki Sauce

Jk, it was pretty good, it just… wasn’t dessert 🙂

Newman's Own Organic Chocolate Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Newman's Own Organic Chocolate Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

I’ll admit, I’d fallen behind on my Newman’s Own Organic testing since I’ve been baking up a storm lately, but I welcomed a treat that I didn’t have to make from scratch. The first thing that confused me about these was the long ingredient list, which I realized was only long because this has chocolate chips AND organic chocolate chips(both of which list all of their ingredients). A bit odd, but that cleared up some q’s. Like the espresso cookies I noticed how tough these looks. The initial texture was rather dry, but after a few seconds of sitting in my mouth the flavor really popped. There was no denying this was chocolate chocolate mint. I think a lot of chocolate mint products have one or the other flavor be overbearing, but this had a nice balance. The texture was dry but it all came together on the palate, making them ultimately enjoyable.

I also baked a fresh loaf of pumpkin bread and banana chocolate chip bread:

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread And Pumpkin Bread

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread And Pumpkin Bread

Did I say baked a fresh loaf? I meant took the ultimate lazy shortcut to some fantastic results. For the banana bread, I nuked 1/4 of a banana into a spread and added chocolate chips. They melted and got nice and gooey as they sat there. For the pumpkin bread, I just used some good ol’ TJ pumpkin butter(almost out 😦 but almost the right season again :-)) and topped with salted and roasted pumpkin seeds. Seriously, baking whole loaves is overrated when you can be lazy ingenious and just do this.

Friday was a very special day–my last day of work! Of course that meant a very special morning–my last day of 6am running!! The air was so thick and humid, just breathing took thought(yuck) but my itunes shuffle was very good to me and powered me through the 5 miles. I kept up the breakfast challenge for the 2nd time:

Overnight Oats With Plain Yogurt, Kashi Vanilla Oatmeal, Frozen Cherries, Cocoa Almonds, And A Deep Chocolate Vitatop

Overnight Oats With Plain Yogurt, Kashi Vanilla Oatmeal, Frozen Cherries, Cocoa Almonds, And A Deep Chocolate Vitatop

I’ve done the overnight oat thing twice before: The first time they came ou great and I loved them, the second time they were too thick so I thinned it with too much milk and ended up dumping it and clogging the drain. Needless to say, I was hesitant to try them again after that, but I’m glad I did. The yogurt was a little thick bt I resisted from thinning it and I’m glad I did because the natural cherry juice really loosened it and got it perfect. The whole almonds were a great way to get my nut fat into breakfast without turning to butter(and who doesn’t love cocoa?). And the vitatop was a little special treat to celebrate my last day 🙂

I have to say this breakfast was so filling I kept half the vitatop for work, where it said hello to my little friend:

Newman's Own Organic Coffee And 1/2 A Vitatop

Newman's Own Organic Coffee And 1/2 A Vitatop

Newman’s Own Organic has been so good to me. Oh won’t you just adopt me into the Newman family already? I love getting their coffee from McDonalds because a) it has a balanced neutral taste and b) it’s cheap. Oh, and c) it’s good for the environment. I challenge any die hard Starbucks fan to try this out; your taste buds won’t mind and your wallet will thank you.

UFood's Chopstick Chicken Ubowl

UFood's Chopstick Chicken Ubowl

Lunch was the typical-but-oh-so-delicious UFood. Only UFood can take brown rice and make it taste so delicious. I never make brown rice from a box for myself because it always has that bland, healthy taste, but UFood totally doctors it up with broccoli, carrot, chicken, and spicy thai ginger terryaki and you’d think your eating something as sinful as deep fried general tsao’s chicken–no lie.

When I got back to the office there was a little surprise in store for me…

Last Day Card

Last Day Card

Party! Haha, well it wasn’t quite a full blown party, but there was a card and some snacks from Chinatown and mindless joking. The four of us played a rousing game of pin the tail on the donkey:

Pin The Tail On The Donkey

Pin The Tail On The Donkey

Meghan from healthy Tipping Point has been listing things to do more often. Add spontaneous childhood gaming to that list, because this was pretty fun. Mine is the one coming out of his neck, so we changed the game to pin the ponytail on the donkey and I won! Filing really switched into high gear my last hour at work so I was very relieved when 5(or 4:50 but who’s counting :-P) rolled around. i treated myself to this:

Strawberry Banana Vivvano

Strawberry Banana Vivvano

I’d actually never had this flavor before, and I must say it was pretty good. It had a strong strawberry flavor which i was really looking for. It was a great way to get fruit into my day, and I love the added protein and fiber to curb the carbgestion. I used this to power me through the farmer’s market at Copley where I got some great finds:

Yellow Squash, Okra, Raspberries, And Hickory Smoked Goat Cheese

Yellow Squash, Okra, Raspberries, And Hickory Smoked Goat Cheese

I’d never seen okra before until this moment. Ever. Needless to say, I was excited to find it. It’s not really a New England thing, but I’m going to search some recipes and figure out what to do with them. I already found something on KERF last night to try! And the goat cheese was a local product that sounded so good. I love goat cheese, and you can’t beat fresh, right? It was well worth the $4.25 for 4oz. When I got home this was waiting for me:

Thrive By Brendan Brazier

Thrive By Brendan Brazier

This and Oprah okra have been all over the blog world. I bought it from the internet to use up my Barnes & Noble card, and am really curious to see what I can learn from it. I’m not interested in going raw or vegan, but I’m happy to pick up some recipes, and definitely have stuff to learn on fueling. Any pre-book knowledge to share before I open up the pages?

Dinner was, again, quite the treat:

Salmon, Grilled Tomatos, Corn, And Goat Cheese

Salmon, Grilled Tomatos, Corn, And Goat Cheese

Salmon, salmon, salmon. Oh how I love thee. Have I mentioned I would have it every night if that was an option? Switching the protein up is overrated. Slap me some salmon and I’m a happy boy. And the goat cheese was as good as it sounded. Cheese and bread I think are two of those things that, if you find homemade, you just gotta go for because you know it’ll be good.

For dessert I had these two treats:

Chocolate Cake From Finale

Chocolate Cake From Finale

Redwood Hill Farm Vanilla Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspbrerries

Redwood Hill Farm Vanilla Goat Milk Yogurt With Raspbrerries

The cake was a gift from my fellow work study–very rich and delicious and prefect with a cup of joe 🙂 The yogurt was something from Thursday’s Whole Foods trip. I grabbed it because it was on “sale”(I have a hard time calling anything that’s 5 dollars a sale but that was about 15% off). I’d only tried Liberte goat milk yogurt which I loved so I wanted to try more brands. This one stood out as one of the best yogurts I’ve had; the vanilla isn’t overpowering but balances the natural tang of the goats milk so that the result is palatable and pleasant while still being true to the goat milk nature. I would totally buy this if it were ever cheaper, but it’s nice to splurge now and again.

Today there’s a farmer’s market in store(!!). I just hope the farmers show up, because they never seem to do around Marlborough, lol. We also might check out a hole-in-the-wall artisan bakery to find some decent sunflower bread. Until then, have fun and do what you can to beat the heat!

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Wrapping And Jap(anes)ing

Posted on August 9, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hey again! I’ve been trying to read/comment on some of your blogs but the internet connection here is s…l…o…w… I will never complain about the occasionally Page Load Error again.

Before lunch we sat around and watched some Family Guy(typical teenagerdom. For lunch, Miss Chris made her famous buffalo wing dip; this stuff is soo good. It’s basically shredded chicken and hot sauce baked under sour cream and then topped with Mexican shredded cheese at the end so it tastes like buffalo wings. I couldn’t quite bring myself to have chips and dip for lunch–that’s just a bit too weird for me. So I grabbed a FlatOut wrap from the fridge and plopped the dip in the center with some lettuce to make a burrito.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

They obviously thought it was a smart idea because some of them followed suit. Boy was this delicious! After lunch we went used car shopping(lol?). Did I mention it got Hot with a capitol H yesterday? It was 100 degrees while we were at 1 dealership. This, however, made the Z-Bar I packed deliciously soft and melted so I ate it along with some complimentary car dealer coffee.

Melted Z-Bar And Coffee

Melted Z-Bar And Coffee

Then, believe it or not, they actually bought a car! I thought it was so weird/cool that they would just do that on an impulse–not something my family would do. Okay, it wasn’t really on an impulse since they had been shopping online for the past week, but it certainly felt exciting.

Test Driving The New Car

Test Driving The New Car

After the dealership we stopped at Target. This was actually the first Target I ever went to way back when.

Target

Target

Since then they’ve moved up to New England and I’ve become addicted, lol. They don’t have the same great Archer Farms selection down here but I got some whole grain bread. Is it weird that I’ve been craving the taste of whole wheat and flax? I guess we just get used to certain things after having them so much.
Then it was time for the birthday dinner.

We went to a hibachi Japanese restaurant. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I’m not reviewing the restaurant.

Prepping The Meats

Prepping The Meats

Chopping Skills

Chopping Skills

Onion Ring Volcano

Onion Ring Volcano

Salmon With Weird Sauce

Salmon With Weird Sauce

The atmosphere was kind of cool but the chef couldn’t have seemed more out of it(I’m sure he’s done the same routine for 5 years). It was also definitely one of those times when the customer shouldn’t have seen how they cooked the food. He kept pressing down my salmon and smothering it with cooking oil. I felt like grabbing it and cooking it myself; alas, I held off. He topped it with some sauce that went weirdly with it. I think it had brown sugar? I dunno, I tried to avoid it and eat of the salmon what I could. The important thing was the birthday boy had a good time and that’s what mattered.

A Happy 20 Year Old

A Happy 20 Year Old

After that we did something I haven’t done in soooo long: go bowling! I admit, I really sucked at first, but we all did so it felt ok. I actually did not-so-bad the second time, getting a 121 at the end.Not shabby, huh? 😉

At The Bowling Alley

At The Bowling Alley

After that we meandered home, stopping at Starbucks and Barnes & Nobles. I needed to pick up something for the flight home. Recently, there’s been three books I keep wanting and not wanting to get: Thrive; In Defense Of Food; Eat This Not That The Worst Foods In America. Well the first one they didn’t have and the last one was 25 dollars so I settled on In Defense Of Food.

In Defense Of Food

In Defense Of Food

I can’t wait to see what this has to say. I’ll admit I’ve been avoiding nutrition books since I feel like I’ve finally found a method for eating that’s been working for me and I don’t want to be swayed. At the same time, this is really the subject that interests me so I had to read the book at some point.

I had a certain taste for dessert:

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

I was definitely thinking about this one all day. At first I was a little nervous; the chocolate didn’t have a strong citrus odor and usually with chocolate the aroma ties in with the flavor. All that nerve was definitely set aside when I tried it. The citrus flavor was just at the right level and didn’t overpower the chocolate but was distinguishable and pleasing. It reinded me of one of those chocolate oranges I would get at holidays as a kid. But what I really like is that this has a dark chocolate base as opposed to milk chocolate. I tihnk the sweetness in milk chocolate would have made this taste like a glass of OJ but with the dark chocolate it genuiinely tasted like chocolate with citrus. A+ for this one, right up there with the mocha milk.

This morning I had a great 5 in the Georgia sun. I came back, shower, and refueled with this:

Vanilla Chobani With Raspberries And Almonds, Toast With PB And Banana

Vanilla Chobani With Raspberries And Almonds, Toast With PB And Banana

I’d seen the microwaved banana spread on other blogs but never gave it a try. I figured since the all-natural spreads are limited down here I’d give it a try and I think I have a new love! It’s not quite my banana pineapple rum jam but it has good flavor and is so nice and warm on the toast. Thanks for turning me on to yet another new thing, bloggers!

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An Impulse Buy: Book Review

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

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

61my0o-42AL__SL500_

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

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

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

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

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