I’m The MacGyver Of Baking

Posted on May 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday, my parents went to see our relatives while I stayed home studying. My aunt, ever-thoughtful, sent back some cupcakes for me. It was really thoughtful; but there was something that worried us. If you asked her what they were, she’d say “organic, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, nut-free…” the list goes on. She did the same when I made my cousin these cupcakes. And they didn’t seem gluten-free. In fact, after a little investigating, it seemed likely they weren’t and she just got confused. Well I was OK with that and letting my family have them. Except then I wanted cake. I really wanted cake.

Simple Chocolate Cake

Simple Chocolate Cake

I broke out the Sweet Utopia cookbook sent to me by Book Publishing Co. and flipped open to the first recipe in the book: a simple chocolate cake. Perfect. I made a few alterations to the recipe(switching to gluten-free flours, almond milk for soy milk, and olive oil for canola oil), and 28 minutes later I brought life into this world.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Cake

Vegan, Gluten-Free Cake

Isn’t she a cutie? But I wanted cake fast so I cut a slice and stuck it in the fridge to cool quickly. While that was cooling, I made a 2-minute buttercream frosting by mixing earth balance, powdered sugar, and vanilla powder in a small dish with a fork. It was almost too easy.

Cake With Frosting

Cake With Frosting

I went from thinking I’d have a chocolate bar for dessert(but not really happy with that) to 1 hour later having a vegan, gluten-free chocolate cake with vegan buttercream frosting all with whatever ingredients I had on hand. I think that qualifies me to be the MacGyver of baking.

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Vanilla Oikos With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Vanilla Oikos With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Organic Baby Carrots

Organic Baby Carrots

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

After that excitement, I just couldn’t sleep; this happens almost every Saturday night and it’s so annoying. I figure this last time just might be because of my last final. But I definitely needed more fuel than usual for the 2+ hours I was awake. I’m not even sure when I got to bed, but this morning I stumbled out of bed late and just hungry.

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

I’m still trying to find out the secret to making a really amazing maple peanut butter. It’s harder than you’d think! And the secret ingredient is not coconut oil as it turns out. Oh well. This bowl was still really good with crunchy maple butter. And now I’m eating a Chobani as if it were a parfait–not stirring the jam up first. It’s pretty good this way.

What do you hate most about restless nights? In the time I’m awake, all I can think about is the stuff I could have done with that time rather than lie in a dark room and toss and turn. And here’s a fun chocolate giveaway to enter.

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Excess

Posted on April 18, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m so glad you liked my first Picture It post; I feel like I’ve had so many food memories already and will undoubtedly have more so I can’t wait to share more of them.

Yesterday, it seemed that everything was in excess. Luckily, I’m in a mindset where I’d sooner laugh it off than actually fret. Every day is a new day and the bigger picture is always more important and dwarfs those little “outrages”. And you always have the power to change.

I don’t even know how many cups of decaf coffee with stevia I had yesterday; today, I’m all about the moderate amounts of teeccino(non-acidic, herbal coffee). In fact, now I’m just drinking unsweetened herbal tea because I really just want water but it’s so cold I need something hot.

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

1/2 of a big Newman’s Own OrganicsSuper Dark Chocolate Bar? Yeah, that’s not so bad…

Endangered Species Deep Forest Mint Dark Chocolate

Endangered Species Deep Forest Mint Dark Chocolate

Add on what was left of a really old Endangered Species mint dark chocolate bar and maybe my love of dark chocolate is a little excessive. I had had this one lying around since Summer because–blech–it just isn’t very minty(for the record, Alter Eco‘s Dark Chocolate Mint is much better).

Empty Wrappers

Empty Wrappers

I imagine I look a little guilty with these in my trash right now, but I sure as hell don’t feel guilty. At least dark chocolate is low on sugar, dairy-free, and high with flavenoids? I love excuses. I eat chocolate like it’s my job(moreso than just being a chocolate reviewer), so if anyone could hook me up and make that really the case, I’d be mucho appreciative. And, yes, this is me excessively pleading to get a Summer job in the chocolate industry.

Yesterday was filled with an excessive amount of work; I anticipate being much more lazy today.

Last night, I clicked on iTunes to start downloading my Doctor Who way too much to no avail; it finally did so this morning.

And Bear Grylls giving himself an enema for the sake of rating was all too excessive. And I would not care to say more.

Pomegranate Yogurt With Apple Ginger Granola, Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Maple Butter

Pomegranate Yogurt With Apple Ginger Granola, Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Maple Butter

I’m sure you don’t need 2 guesses to know what I wanted at breakfast this morning. I completely removed that from being an option, and you’d have thought I’d shot myself in the foot. What to do, oh, what to do? I topped oatmeal with Mighty Maple and maple butter(which I wrote about last weekend), and topped 1/2 an Honest Foods bar on a pomegranate Chobani.

Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

Oh, yum. I just loved the apple ginger bar. This could easily be my favorite non-chocolate bar out there. It tastes kind of like an apple cinnamon oatmeal Quaker Oats square. But it’s also bursting with an welcomed excess of dried fruit and nut, and the nutrition of it is amazing. Even though almond butter is the fat used to cook it, it’s not a strong flavor, which I love. What a great way to start my day of moderation.

What’s been in excess in your life lately? Please, no references to the band or awful CBS show…

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Rough Night And Maple Talk

Posted on April 11, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Ugh, I don’t know where to start. Aren’t Sunday mornings when you’re supposed to wake up feeling fresh and rejuvenated and ready to tackle on another day? I definitely was not able to get enough sleep, and my throat’s soar so I’m drinking tea like there were a fire there and I could put it out :-/ On the bright side, my Saturday night started out promising.

Walnut Date Boomi Bar

Walnut Date Boomi Bar

I sat down with this Walnut Date Boomi Bar to watch Anchorman and get some serious work done. You’d think the two wouldn’t work together, but they did. Every time I see that movie, I like it more(I hated it to begin with so that doesn’t have to be saying much). The bar as also not a disappointment; I loved how it tasted simply of walnuts, dried fruit, and a touch of honey. I think there could have been the raisins left out and honey brushed up a bit, but overall this was fantastic. And hand rolled?! Did I read that right? Amazing.

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Mint Chocolate

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Mint Chocolate

I wasn’t hungry for much, so I just finished off the night with the rest of my Alter Eco dark chocolate mint. I can’t believe 2 night-time snacks and this bar is already gone 😦 I’ll have to get another; I love the bits of whole sugar in here! It’s definitely a textural and taste sensation.

I also managed to write and submit a full rough draft of my before going to bed!! That was the one thing I’ve had looming over my head all weekend, and to be honest I thought it would take a lot longer and I might not get it down with all my other work. But now I feel like I won’t be chained to books until Tuesday night, and that’s a very good thing 😀

2 Apples

2 Apples

Around 2:45 was when the trouble began; I woke up to go to the bathroom and couldn’t get back to sleep 😦 There was a loud party downstairs that kept me up probably until 4:20. I ate an apple around 3 and then another around 4. I get that people want to party, I do. I can’t really blame them. But last night was absurd. At one point, a girl got her feelings hurt apparently and took it upon herself to run around screaming and crying and banging. After some random person wrote on my door, I locked things up.

But the past is the past.I slept in a bit extra, woke up with a sore throat, and finally had an appetite for breakfast. Food tastes so much better when you really, truly want it. And all I wanted was a big bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter.

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Homemade Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

And a big bowl it was. I upped the amount of grains and made a special peanut butter out of Teddie’s, sea salt, brown sugar, and maple butter. I wanted to try and remake Garden Grille’s, but this wasn’t quite that good. On the side, I had a pineapple Chobani, hoping that the probiotics in there will help prevent anything I might be coming down with.

Maple Talk

As if you can’t tell by the maple butter dousing my oatmeal, I’m a maple freak. But it occured to me that not everyone grew up in New England with lumberjack grandparents who feed a maple addiction, so I thought I’d give a little lesson on the different kinds of maple. I’d also like to take now to unveil my review page Justin’s Maple Almond Butter; I’ve had this in my pantry almost a year now and finally got around to writing about it.

Maple Syrup: The most common form of maple available, the sap from the tree is cooked down to a syrup, making for a pure, unrefined sweetener thinner than honey and involving no animal by-product.

Maple Taffy: This is the product of cooking down maple syrup a bit more. More moisture is taken out, leaving a rich, thick taffy. Unsuitable for pouring over breakfast goods, this is reserved mostly for use on ice cream or even snow.

Maple Sugar Leaf

Maple Sugar Leaf

Maple Sugar: The sugar is the maple with all of its moisture removed. It is solid at room temperature and has a brown, rich flavor to it that regular sugar doesn’t. It can be substituted in any recipe at a 1:1 ratio with regular sugar.

Maple Butter: With a slightly higher moisture content than maple sugar, maple butter has to be kept in the fridge lest it melt into a thick taffy. Maple butter is granulated and perfect for spreading on toast. Note: It involves no real butter and is 100% maple.

Clearly, we New Englanders have a religion around maple products. Don’t try to tell me the “maple flavored syrups” or “sugar free maple syrup” are any kind of real food; they aren’t. You just can’t go wrong with the pure, true stuff itself. But if maple syrup isn’t your thing and chocolate is, check out Avery’s Chocomize giveaway!

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Oops, Was I Supposed To Fast?

Posted on April 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m 110% distracted by my breakfast and reading the closed captioning on the Today Show right now, so if this has a bazillian typos, that would be why.

Chococonut Nature's Path Chewy Granola Bar

Chococonut Nature's Path Chewy Granola Bar

Nature’s Path sent me a few of their granola bars to try and this one had been freakin’ call my name: chocolate and coconut? Yes please! This bar was super sweet–like a candy bar. I’m surprised it actually had more whole grains than sugar, too; that’s a plus. But it wasn’t very “coconutty” even if the chocolate was pretty amazing. If you want to avoid the Quaker Oats bars and have your kid not know the difference, the Nature’s Path ones are brilliant. Otherwise, I think there are better and more nutritious bars.

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple, Maple Cashews, And Maple Butter

Pumpkin Oats With Mighty Maple, Maple Cashews, And Maple Butter

2 things were amazing last night: Grey’s Anatomy and this bowl of oatmeal. And neither of them were very pretty, either. But I assure you the combination of mighty maple, whole roasted cashews, and gritty/sweet maple butter was a little bit of heaven. It was weird not having my pumpkin oats salty; I don’t know if I liked that part. But otherwise this was divine chocolate.

I started watching The Marriage Ref with Kirstie Alley, Jimmy Fallon, and Sheryl Crow last night; to my great surprise, they were actually pretty funny! But I was beat, so I turned in early and was asleep probably by 10:30. Glorious.

For breakfast, I wanted a big slice of German’s Chocolate Cake. Not happening? I can do better.

Coconut Milk Oatmeal With Dried Cherries, Chocolate Cherry Greek Yogurt

Coconut Milk Oatmeal With Dried Cherries, Chocolate Cherry Greek Yogurt

Coconut Milk Oatmeal With Dried Cherries

Coconut Milk Oatmeal With Dried Cherries

After making this, I remember hearing that you’re supposed to fast on Good Friday and have 1 “meal”. 1 meal?! I have like 5 or 6 a day. If I ate 1, I don’t know how I’d function; even if I took a rest day, my hunger would be haywire. Then it occurred to me that I’ve never actually fasted on good Friday or any other day. No one enforced it in my house, so why start now? Have you/do you fast? Or how do you fast?!

Besides that, the breakfast was amazing; could it even be called a breakfast without Green & Black’s chocolate? Clearly not. In a plain Chobani went cherry butter and a little sweetener. I think that’s why I like plain yogurts the best: You can doctor them up however you want. And I’m still working on that can of coconut milk I opened a while ago, which tastes just as fresh; coconut milk on oatmeal makes it incredibly rich and satisfying. For me, a “German’s Chocolate Cake”, even though it gets its name because of German’s Brand Chocolate, entails chocolate, coconut, and cherry. But apparently it isn’t those flavors for everyone! So what makes a “German Chocolate Cake” to you?

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All Kinds Of Blocks

Posted on March 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Write now I think I’m suffering from writer’s, runner’s, reader’s, and any other “er’s” block you could be, because I have no motivation or clue where to begin! Of course, you could also call this “Spring Break mode”. Well, somebody’s going to have to remind my body that that’s a good week away. 3 tests, 2 papers, 4 homework assignments, and 2 scheduled lunches away, but who’s counting?

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Fig Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Ice cream on a Thursday night–that felt classy 😉 I suppose it’s better to eat up what I have here while I can before Spring break. 1/2 of this was So Delicious chocolate coconut milk and 1/2 Laloo’s fig. The combination of chocolate and fig is always so surprisingly delicious; I never would have thought the two to work together but they so do! With all these cow’s milk alternatives, you’d think I’m lactose-intolerant or have something against bovines. Nope! Haha. I just think all the best flavors are in “alternative” brands, or you get a richer, velvetier texture with better nutrition. When the cow’s milk flavors start being stepped up, I’ll revert.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter And Chocolate Peanut Butter

The way I eat pumpkin oatmeal, you’d think I own a pumpkin patch. Again, nope! I was just never affected by this “pumpkin shortage” I’ve heard about and always been able to find it somewhere. I like replacing 10g of grains with 1/2 cup pumpkin because it sneaks in a serving of fruit(which I would not be getting otherwise :-/). I topped this with the last scoop of Justin’s chocolate peanut butter and Naturally Nutty‘s Butter Toffee while watching The Marriage Ref. The fact that I fell asleep during that show shows about how funny I think it is. BUT the Indian couple were from my hometown! I tried recognizing the house because I’m sure I’ve ran near it at one point or another but I couldn’t do it.

Like I mentioned, I had “runner’s block” this morning. I was incredibely indecisive about whether or not to sleep in; when I fell asleep that pretty much made up my mind for me, but then I had an unpleasant dream about pizza being made from dogs 😦 I think that at least made the crust gluten-free? Bad joke, bad joke. I slept in 40 minutes, played games and browsed blogs, and decided that almond butter isn’t in my life enough.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Butter, Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Peanuts

Again, where’s my pumpkin patch? Cooking an egg in the oatmeal makes it taste so much more like a pumpkin pie to me–light and airy. And Justin’s maple almond butter was a must here along with some real maple butter; did you know it’s maple season coming up now? I’m sure they’ll be more maple products to come. And then there was the oh-so-delicious-but-again-not-cow’s-milk-yogurt with some milk chocolate peanuts. I have 6 of those left(the peanuts, not the yogurts) 😦 I definitely need to see a grocery store soon.

It’s true what they say: You only regret the steps you didn’t take. I’m thinking that taking the morning off was a blessing in disguise, and that running in this gorgeous weather might re-excite me for something or at least unblock my mind. I probably won’t get to a Whole Foods as planned today 😦 I can go a day without sweet potatoes, right? Maybe…

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Oh Really?

Posted on March 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Some things recently have made me question the sanity of certain humans(myself included). I stumbled on a Mythbusters marathon last night and watched it for 3 hours. I love that show, but I have to wonder who’s funding The Study For How Much Popcorn It Takes To Blow Out A Window. Oh really?

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Coconut + Vanilla Macaroon

I took my mind off those things by making some chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk and NuNaturals‘ vanilla stevia. I don’t know why, but this particularly batch tasted amazing On top I broke up my last Emmy’s Organics Coconut + Vanilla macaroon. These had SUCH a good vanilla flavor to them; if you can find them, I’m jealous and would highly recommend grabbing them if only to flaunt in my face.

While I was doing that, I was of course playing around on the internet. I haven’t even been away from Facebook for very long, and already I wonder things every time I log in. Like since when can you become a fan of any random object such as brownies? And for the love of God if I get one more invitation to be a farmer, or a vampire, or a vampire farmer…

Better Than Roasted Sprouted Almond Butter

I wasn’t cute sure whether to have oatmeal or more pudding after that. I debated this for 10 minutes like it was a matter of life or death. Oh really? Do I have nothing better to do? Apparently not. And then after decided I wanted pudding, I realized I was out of avocadoes. Oatmeal it was!

Oatmeal With Sprouted Almond Butter And Sweetened Chocolate Coconut

Call me coconut-crazy if you want; I mixed some organic unsweetened shredded coconut with raw cocoa powder and raw vanilla agave. Oh really? Did I just discover how to make quick and sloppy macaroon shreds? Because that tasted a little too good to be true… Concerning the sprouted almond butter by Better Than Roasted, it took me a good 5 minutes to decide what it tasted like: raw almonds. I know–aren’t I a genious? But after chocolate almond butter, roasted almond butter, and white chocolate cherry almond butter, this was definitely unique and delicious in its own right. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Oh really? He got in to Brown?”

Maple Butter

I woke up at 4 and couldn’t get back to bed. I knew I was hungry, but was hoping I could shake it off and fall back to sleep. Eventually, I told myself, “Evan, you’re an A——. That’s right, you’re an athlete. If you’re hungry now at 4:30, for God sake’s stop being lazy and eat something.” Clearly, I also thought that maple butter, which is pure sugar, would be another good choice for falling back to sleep. Oh really?

French Toast Oatmeal

I went downstairs to the basement to make french toast oatmeal. And you know what? This was actually perfectly cooked; apparently the secret is to do it at a ridiculous hour, half in the dark, and not involved–go figure. And the secret to a “keeper” of a photo? Moving the red Solo cups out of the way.

Morning Apple

I can say that, after that, I fell asleep nicely. And for the first time in longer than I can remember, I overslept. I got up, looked at the clock, and realized it was 9:30! OK, can you oversleep when you really don’t have any “plans”? Probably not. But that’s later than I prefer. I decided the weather looked perfect for another outdoor run, gobbled down this apple, and hit the outdoors.

9.55 Miles In 1:20:53

Before I get into the run, I’d like to point out that’s 3 1/2 minutes faster than yesterday, meaning I shaved off 20 seconds per mile. Wow! Where did that come from? When I looked at this, my first thought was Oh really? Apparently! It was just so gorgeous out again how could I not get into it? I also had motivational support via a country playlist with Taylor Swift telling me “These things will change” and Brooks & Dunn that cowgirls(and cowboys?) don’t cry.

March/April Whole Deal Flyer

Can I also mention my favorite part was running in to Whole Foods, grabbing the new Whole Deal flyer, and running out? I think I got odd looks, but it was worth it. There are fantastic coupons in here, including $1 off their 365 peanut butter! With only peanuts and salts for ingredients, it’s delicious, and that’s a steal. When I first heard about that sale, I had to thing “Oh really? Have they lost their mind?”

Oatmeal With Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter And Coconut Milk, Cherry Vanilla Greek Yogurt With Cherry Dark Chocolate

And then I made breakfast, right at 11:50. I’m glad to have slipped under the wire; I’d have hated to have missed this and then feel like I should eat “lunch”; breakfast is better anyway. I sweetened the plain 2% yogurt with cherry butter and vanilla agave in an effort to keep stevia out of my breakfast. For the oatmeal, some chocolate cherry peanut butter and coconut milk was perfect! Coconut milk keeps forever if you put it in a thick plastic container sealed off in the fridge. And it makes fats more readily available as a fuel source! Perfect for fueling.

I have to sound like “Much to do, gotta run” but… much to do, and gotta run(not literally)! There’s a Vitamix presentation at the Whole Foods nearby today I might get to see(along with some friendly faces), and my grocery list is turning in to a catalog. But first, I need to ask, breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Clearly, breakfast foods are my favorite!

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Layers Of Flavor

Posted on February 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Reunited and it feels so good… with Food Network! I forgot how much I enjoyed this channel. Right now, I’m getting my 5-ingredient fix with Claire Robinson on; I’m not even a fan of hers but 3 weeks without having it and I’ll watch anything on the Food Network. Her theme is layering flavors, so naturally I’m going to be a copy cat and show you some delicious layered flavors.

Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Shavings, Peanut Butter, And Salt

From top to bottom:

  • Sea salt
  • 365 Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Trader Joe’s Bulk Milk Chocolate Shaved
  • Soy Yogurt With Vanilla Stevia

Hello, flavorful. I didn’t have any peanut butter cups around, and I didn’t feel like making the, so I just used the raw ingredients. Then I stirred it all together. BIG MISTAKE. The peanut butter always gets lost in the yogurt, so I finished it off with a garnish:

Peanuts Added On Top

Much better 🙂 I find, if you want peanut flavor in your yogurt, it’s better to use peanut flour(which I’ve discovered troubles my stomach) or peanuts to get it loud and proud. On TV was bobsledding; I think bobsledding/luge/skeletons are so much more exciting than most of the sports they show on The Olympics but they get almost as little attention as cross-country skiing 😦 And yet the world has to stop to see ice dancers. Go figure. Before I went to bed I had some nutty oats.

Oatmeal With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Creme Concentrate

One thing that is not muy bueno about being home is not having my super stash of nut butters to choose from. I ended up going with Maranatha’s almond butter, which is not nearly as good as Justin’s now that I’ve tried both 😦 I can’t wait to turn the people in this house on to Justin’s once it hits New England shelves!

Spoonful Coconut Creme Concentrate

The coconut creme concentrate is a new product I’m trying from Tropical Traditions. It’s kind of like very concentrated coconut milk. I haven’t explored it much and so won’t review it yet, but know that it was tasty enough that I took a spoonful straight from the jar before falling asleep 😉

This morning I slept in and read a little in bed before actually getting up. Is it just me, or are there a lot more commercials for cereals and breakfast foods before 9am? That would be good advertising if it’s true. It made me hungry for some cinnamon toast crunch–not like we actually have that or even any organic version around. That’s OK because I was perfectly capable of layering my own flavors.

Cinnamon Soy Yogurt With Ginger Cookie, French Toast Oatmeal With Honey Cinnamon PB

For the yogurt, I did…

This was delicious, kind of like my beloved snickerdoodle ice cream but breakfast-friendly. I think the fact that I have 3 soy yogurts in the my fridge right now for the week and I’ve gone through 2 in 12 hours is a bad sign.

Oatmeal With Cinnamon And An Egg Topped With Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter And Maple Butter

The oatmeal likewise was a bit of a flavor conundrum(I’m pretty sure I’m not using this word right here).

Cinnamon toast crunch who? This was wayyy better. And it went good with some Mexican style coffee on the side, too. Now Food Network programming has shifted from Aida to Sunny Anderson. Fun fact: She actually commented on this blog once! It was towards the beginning of the Summer when I mentioned the new program The Best Thing I Ever Ate. It definitely made me feel famous for that one day(and might have gone to my head :-)). Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe Giada will be coming on, and she’s always entertaining to watch, and not because of her cooking 😉

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The Big Fat Post

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Race Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Before I go into too much, I want to stress that everything hear is based on my own opinion. I’m not a certified nutrition anything, and these are personal thoughts reached through researched. I also recognize that I change my mind like crazy, so let the record show it is 1/27/20092010*

You’re all invited to my big fat Italian-Polish-French-Welsh-Canadian wedding after you read my big fat post. Really, I should call this my big post about fat, because that’s the topic on today’s agenda. I don’t think anyone would deny that fat’s an important part of your daily intake. And I really don’t think anyone would deny that it’s usually pretty delicious(Helloooo, peanut butter?). At the same time, there are several different types of fats stemming from countless sources. After taking advice and literature from 3 intelligent bloggers, I’ve decided to incorporate saturated fat from 2 new sources into my diet.

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil

Common literature would tell you that saturated fats are awful and should be limited. That same literature, however, once toted trans-fatty margarine over all-natural butter. Things an opinions change. These 2 pieces of literature(#1 and #2) combined with other effects and observation led me to this decision. The fats themselves, as you’ll read, are quite nutritious in themselves. Unlike commercial butter, grass-fed butter hosts a range of nutrients and a higher omega-3 content; this was also the butter that our great-great grandparents were living and thriving off of–not margarine. You can read all about Pasture Butter here. Coconut oil hosts a bound of benefits of saturated fats without a speck of cholesterol. It also hosts a wide and unique array of beneficial components, including lauric acid, the same food infants thrive off of from milk.

The other half of this shift will be limiting the amounts of canola, safflower, soy, and other refined liquid oils. The reasoning for this is two-fold: Firstly, they aren’t nearly as “natural” as some of their counterparts like Rachael Ray’s favorite, EVOO. Secondly, introducing new fats into my diet means I should probably take some of the old ones out, and these ones serve little purpose on their own. Of course I’ll still be getting a strong flow of fats from nuts and, on occasion, animal sources. But I did want to put this out there, so that there’s no surprise that I might be featuring food like this a lot:

Homemade Raw Vegan Chocolate Bar

And why wouldn’t I when it’s this yummy? That would be my 3rd ever homemade raw vegan chocolate, made with 13g gold label virgin coconut oil, 19g agave nectar, and 12g cocoa powder. I really liked this blend. And, yes, when it comes to these raw chocolate bars it’s grams–not even teaspoons–that change the flavor completely! I’m loving playing around with the flavor with my minute changes and I think this one came out best of all so far. I’m going to pass over the irony of eating coconut oil and a chocolate bar while watching The Biggest Loser 😀

WHILE WE’RE ON THE TOPIC, I am totally infuriated with the red team. I really hate it when anyone “plays the game” instead of just losing weight. As much as I love Alison Sweeney, I really miss the days when Caroline Rhea hosted and the contestants entered not knowing what they were doing but solely devoted to getting healthy. Meanwhile, teams like the grey team keep me thinking there are still those like that out there and have hope. I needed oatmeal to distract me from being angry.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And Maple Butter

If I’m working grass-fed butter into my diet, I should work more maple butter in too, right?(For those who don’t know, maple butter is simply granulated maple syrup and, in fact, not at all butter). I think I need to add less salt to my oats because even with all this mapleness nothing tasted sweet. I might have had to have an extra spoonful of maple butter from the jar. Oops.

This did not help my first night of sleep back in the dorm. I don’t know why, but I think it took a good 60 minutes of nothingness to fall asleep. My mind was just racing with thoughts about the new day and everything. The thing I was most anxious about was running again. To top it all off, I forgot to set my alarm! I managed to wake up naturally at 7:20, though, so only slept in 20 minutes. I guzzled down a cup of coffee from a fresh canister, and hit the gym.

365 Decaf Hazelnut

It’s so hard to find coffee that’s flavored and decaf; and this really tastes like hazelnut! Love it. What I didn’t love so much was reuniting with the treadmill. The run was so tough. I knew it wouldn’t be as easy after 5 weeks but I couldn’t believe after 2 miles it was becoming a battle, even though I had The Today Show to entertain me. My goal was 7 miles and I pushed to that in 59:59; I don’t know how I’m going to build back up for my half in time. When I got back to my dorm, I was ready to refuel!

Bananamon Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin PB

Peanut Soy Yogurt With Milk Chocolate Newman's Cup

This hit the spot. I needed to go to the dining hall to get bananas and I grabbed 5 while I was in there 😀 I’ll be set for a bit I think. I love the cinnamon raisin peanut butter but I almost feel like it was too much raisins! Good thing I had soy yogurt with peanut flour to help satisfy my peanut tooth. The trick to good peanut flour yogurt: salt. It makes it that much more authentic.

Today’s the first day of classes! Already so much has happened I want to share and I’ve gotten a ton of good news, but I think after covering 1 big fat topic, that’ll be enough for this post. Instead, I’ll leave you with some giveaways.

Enter here for a goji gourmet giveaway(it’s one of my superfoods!)

Here is 1 iHerb giveaway and here is another! You could get a lot of herbage with that, lol.

And an Oikos giveaway!

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Late Lunch

Posted on December 19, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good afternoon! Is it afternoon already? Apparently, and by 4 hours. My how the day has gone.

Yesterday night I swear I could have eaten out the kitchen! Thank God we have such scrumptious food. First off, I made a bowl of oatmeal.

Tierra Farms Organic Maple Cashew Butter

I got this new nut butter in the mail to sample and review. I haven’t had cashew butter much, but I consider myself a connoisseur of maple syrup, so I felt well qualified to dive in 🙂

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter And Maple Butter

I wanted to top this also with pumpkin cream cheese but it was all moldy! 😦 Oh well, maple butter was just as unhealthy. Overall, this cashew butter was a bit of a disappointment; it didn’t taste very mapley. However, cashew butter has always been a bit on the savory side, which doesn’t work with oats. And this was most definitely a sweet nut butter, so it worked really well here, and for that I liked this. I think this on some banana oats with no expectation of maple would be perfection.

Red Delicious Washington Apple

After that I snacked on an apple while I waited for something to brew(I don’t even remember if it was a coffee or tea night… that probably means coffee). And then I decided to celebrate cookie Friday!

Fluten Free Life Flax Shortbread Cookie

This was one of two cookies Gluten Free Life sent me. I had it stuck in the freezer so it’d be good for another friday and it seemed like the perfect time to thaw it.

Gluten Free Life Flax Shortbread Cookie

This was really interesting. You might think flax would be used for a vegan replacement, but not here; this was just as rich and buttery as any shortbread should be. And oh my god was it delicious! Another great cookie by them. I liked how it wasn’t overly sweet. It wasn’t meant to be a sugar cookie, after all.

Running might be on a bit of a hiatus for the time I’m home. I’m trying to figure out how to go about this; it’ll definitely be too cold and snowy to run outside most days. I could join a gym but it’s hard to say how often I could get to it and use it(not to mention the cost). I’ve also been toying with the idea of cross training and resting for the month, which wouldn’t be a bad alternative either. Maybe even a “30 day cross training challenge” is in my future? Challenges seem to be popular with bloggers 😛

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Smart Balance Peanut Butter And Tempeh Bacon, Probiotic Chocolate Pudding With Yogurt

Well breakfast was not a challenge–I just went with my cravings! If you follow me on Twitter(EvanFMFF), you’d know those cravings were peanut butter, chocolate, and bacon. Yes, apparently I’m a pregnant man. This was soooo good. I added a little yogurt to the pudding to make it more protein-packed. And it was a nice break from putting things away.

Because there’s a HUGE storm acomin’ very soon, we needed to go out grocery shopping while my mom Christmas shopped. In theory, we were buying food for Christmas and beyond(because who wants to be out grocery shopping on the 26th?) so we needed A LOT and things that would keep. Beforehand, I made a snack because I knew it would be a late lunch.

Doctor Kracker Klassic 3 Seed Flatbread

Instead of toast, I decided on some seedy flatbread.

Klassic 3 Seed Flatbread With NuttZo

OMG yum! This was like a seed and nut heaven. I loved these flatbreads, and with the nuttzo it was perfection. I’ve been trying to think of snacks packed with more fat and protein than carbs; this definitely qualified and satisfied me. It might not have been as filling, but it gave me long lasting satiation during shopping, which was good because we were there forever. I figured the whole world would be out shopping before the storm, and I was right. The lines at Trader Joe’s were ridiculous! Thankfully, we really stocked up.

Root Beer Zevia, Sweet Leaf Stevia, Ciolo Pumpkin Cream Cheese

What I payed for was my “fun” groceries. None of this was on sale nor did I have a coupon, but it’s all stuff that I feel is a treat that I can pull out to make myself happy at some point. We did get actual food, don’t you worry.

Brussels Sprout Stalk

Like brussels sprouts. I find it so amusing how they are in their raw state; I actually didn’t know they came like this until I saw them on another blog! For 3.50, this was definitely a deal. I’m just glad I didn’t have to cut them off and clean them myself.

Soups, Beans, Chips, Teas, Bread

We got more than this, too, but these were the more exciting pieces. Amy’s soup was over 50% off and it’ll definitely be good for the snowy nights. I had a coupon and the tea was on sale–score! And I had a coupon for free chips 🙂 The bread is organic sprouted cinnamon raisin. That sounds so unique I can’t wait to see if it tastes the same. By the time groceries were away, it was almost 3! I needed a good, late lunch.

Lightlife Sausage Meat With Onions And American Cheddar, Broccoli

How ironic that, even when I’m home, I cook in the microwave. This is definitely one of my favorite meals. That sausage with some boiled off onions and cheese tastes so delicious, and yet you’d never know it wasn’t some fatty cheesy beef from a sub shop. Great description of a meal, right? Dessert was simple and also decided by my taste buds.

Green And Black’s Cherry Dark Chocolate

I love this cherry dark chocolate; I also think it counts as a fruit because there are whole dried cherries in there… just enrobed in the chocolate. I actually picked up another bar of this at Whole Foods today because it was on sale and I had a coupon, not realizing I only have 6 squares left of my last bar! Thank goodness. I swear it was light out when I started writing this; where has the time gone?

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It’s A Wonderful Day

Posted on December 12, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I need to make this snappy; It’s A Wonderful Life is on in less than an hour!(I get excited over this movie)

But first, a shout out to a new peanut butterrific blog, We’re Totally Nuts! You may remember I reviewed a few of their peanut butters here a while back. Can’t wait to see what recipes they come up with!

Well now I hate to start this post today this way but there was no peanut butter at breakfast today. Instead, I thought I’d try out walnut butter!  It took 3 spreads to make these oats.

Berlin NH Maple Butter, Pumpkin Cream Cheese, Artisana Walnut Butter

Pumpkin Oats With Walnut Butter, Pumpkin Cream Cheese, And Maple Butter

Plain Oikos With Vanilla Stevia And Vanilla Sugar

This felt like a Sunday morning breakfast… even though it’s Saturday. I was none too crazy about this walnut butter at first but it definitely grew on me. Once I sample and review all of Artisana’s flavors, I might have to go out and buy myself this one. Although really I loved the maple butter the most(though who wouldn’t?). The yogurt was super good; for anyone new to or worried about stevia’s flavor, adding a little sugar really helps neutralize it(all the better when it’s wanilla bean infused sugar from Whole Foods’ bulk bins!).

Zevia Root Beer

Not going to lie, I also had this in the a.m. But it’s OK because I was out of my PJ’s… for most of it. I ended up doing something I’ve been meaning to for a while.

1 Cup Organic Shredded Coconut, 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar, 1 Tablespoon Earth Balance Butter

Sweetened Coconut

Ever notice how they don’t sell organic sweetened coconut? Well, they don’t; it’s like you can have something unhealthy but organic. Umm, hello? They’ve been making organic chocolate for forever. Oh well. I sweetened some myself this way; it didn’t knock my socks off(mostly because I’m not an intense coconut lover) but it’s way better than regular. I’ll think of some way to use it up. I also made some cookies.

365 Peanut Butter

Flourless peanut butter cookies, to be exact. Would you believe I haven’t made these ever? No excuse; I just hadn’t. I used this peanut butter because all my other ones are in my dorm. No need for a recipe page, because I used the oldest recipe in the book: 1 cup peanut butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, vanilla extract, baking soda. I substituted 1/2 cup of sugar for NuNaturals baking blend to up the fiber and down the sugar. After these came out I made myself a random but delicious lunch.

Brussels And Broccoli With Soyaki Sauce, Oikos With Caramel Mustard And Sweetened Coconut

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie

I said it’d be random. The veggies were drenched with soyaki–perfect. I was worried how the mustard would be on lightly sweetened plain yogurt but it went just fine because it’s a pretty sweet mustard to begin with. This cookie was also really really good. I didn’t expect them to puff up so nice but it was like a big, crumbly spoonful of peanut butter.

Afterwards I picked out a topic for my 3rd paper; gotta keep working! And then remembered that my parents were going to a neighborhood party for dinner and I needed something for myself. Long story short, we ended up at Job Lot, which has nothing in terms of proteins but some really awesome foodie finds!

Organic Raspberry Agave Nectar, Earth Balance Creamy Peanut Butter, New England Clover Honey

The peanut butter was only 2.50 and the agave nectar 3 dollars–incredible. They also had blueberry and maple flavored. We also got some protein(salmon) from Hannafords. When I got home, I couldn’t resist.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie

Seriously heaven–all 3 of us agree(but I didn’t tell anyone else it has stevia in it because they might become afraid). I decided to put in my Gettysburg movie and start that even though I knew I wouldn’t get half way through. And I made a movie snack.

2% Chobani With Raspberry Agave

Oh my God, this stuff is like pure raspberry candy. Seriously awesome. I’m going to stalk Job Lot while I’m home for break. The movie was really good but I only got through 40 minutes until I had to think about dinner.

Fuji Apple

And by “think about dinner” I mean eat an apple and tell other people what I’d like them to cook me for dinner; isn’t that what being home is all about? To be fair, I did make the popcorn.

Burnt Popcorn

And burn the first bag. Way to go, Evan. Not so much fun when they cost almost a dollar each(I opt for Newman’s because I’m crazy like that). All in all, though, dinner was good.

94% Fat Free Buttered Popcorn, Salmon, Roasted Carrots And Brussels

I think if you’re willing to eat rice with a little butter and salt with salmon, you should be willing to have popcorn. Plus, it’s a whole grain, so it’s like brown rice–awesomeness. Roasted vegetables are definitely one of the joys of being home(along with baking). By the time I finish this post, I’ll also probably have finished this.

Popcorn

OK, I’m definitely stopping after a 2nd bowl. The next form of carbs I eat will be peanut buttery and oaty, too. And now to go enjoy the movie!

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