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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I Eat Chocolate Like It’s My Job

Posted on December 17, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I have a dirty, dirty secret.

Chocolate Stash

I have a chocolate stash. If that were all it might not be so bad. But I’m afraid that’s just what’s open… minus a milk chocolate orange and my chocolate chips. It’s only a problem if it’s an unwanted addiction, right? Sometimes I could probably get away with calling chocolate tasting my job; I am a product reviewer, right?

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate

I already reviewed this bar here a few days ago. I was craving just a simple, good dark chocolate and that’s exactly what this was. There was 2/3rds left so I just went ahead and finished it off 🙂 After that, I decided to do a “taste test”.

Chocolate Nut Butters

None of these were new, but it’d been a while since I’d had some and never compared against each other. I’ve actually never been a fan of Dark Chocolate Dreams which gets a lot of love on the blogger world so I thought after a few months it deserved another try, also.

Oatmeal With 3 Chocolate Nut Butters

Fake taste tests are fun! And yet, it was just as I suspected. I loooove the chocolate sunflower butter. I wish it melted better, but oh well. It also has the least sugar of them all! Go figure, because it tastes just like chocolate. The dark chocolate almond butter was only OK and I’m still not a fan of dark chocolate dreams 😦 It got better with salt. Although I think I found grounds for a disqualification with the “dark chocolate” almond butter; it had milk powder on its ingredient list. In my book, if it has any form of milk, that makes it milk chocolate. Now if anyone made a milk chocolate peanut butter, I bet that’d be good!

Advent Milk Chocolate

Of course there was the obligatory advent chocolate. And maybe a spoonful of chocolate sunflower butter straight from the jar… maybe. Every night this week I’ve been going to bed earlier; I’ve just been exhausted. I think last night I was asleep before Leno finished, and only woke up once when my roommate came home around 1:30. When I woke up my legs felt a tad sore, but why wouldn’t they after yesterday’s 17 miler? Still, I went to the gym.

Great Date With Chocolate YouBar

Of course, the chocolateness continued. And oh my god was this fun running fuel. Seriously–love it. It definitely made my sluggish jogging on the treadmill sooo much better. And I have never seen the gym so empty. I ran for 1 hour 44 minutes for 12 miles and there were 6 other people there that whole time. Everyone’s gone for vacation but me! Oh well, I guess that was better than it being overly full. When I got back to my dorm I probably could have walked to the showers naked and back because it’s not like anybody’s around to notice.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Vanilla Yogurt With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

I really think if I saw any chocolate at my breakfast I would have gone nuts; I just needed a break after all of that. Instead, I had yogurt with vanilla sugar and my favorite jam. I have a Pineapple Chobani in my fridge but this was way better. And the oats were simple pumpkin with a rich, buttery peanut butter–yum! And no chocolate, thank God 🙂

Have you ever worn yourself out of a food? I don’t think I’ve worn myself out of chocolate, but it’s definitely not going to be at the table any time soon today.

HoliDEALS update! Free shipping at Oh Nuts! today only with the code FSD09 if you spend $30 or more!

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Dark Chocolate Almond Day

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

Ever just have a flavor follow you throughout the day? Yesterday was officially dark chocolate almond day in Evan’s world(not like that’s a bad thing in the least). It all started off really innocent. I thought “you know what I haven’t had in a looooong time? Chocolate milk.” Dark chocolate almond moment number 1:

Chocolate Almond Milk

Chocolate Almond Milk

I usually use the almond milk for thinning out overnight oats or pouring into coffee, but over time I’ve developed a flavor for it on its own. I even prefer the unsweetened version because it has a soft almond bitterness to it. I stirred in about 2 teaspoons organic midnight moo sauce and it was a cool glass of spot-hitting nostalgia.

Surprisingly I didn’t go for a walk in the morning; I stayed in spending quality time with my adoptive father: Conan O’brien. Good times, good times. I miss him when he goes on repeats. I also made my Whole Foods shopping list for the day after checking out the new sales:

Shopping List

Shopping List

I have to admit I’m an over-organizer. Not only do I make a list for things that I need but also any products that I might want or still need time to think about. I end up buying about 1/4-1/3 of what’s actually written down and usually nothing not on the list. Apparently men are better at sticking to grocery lists. Sorry, ladies, we’re just that good 🙂 For lunch I thought I’d go veg for the meal since I have been having a lot of meat/fish.

Watermelon, Refried Beans, Tomato Avocado Swiss And Mustard On Seedy Bread

Watermelon, Refried Beans, Tomato Avocado Swiss And Mustard On Seedy Bread

I tried making a panini on an indoor grill but that really didn’t work out. After working out my fisherman’s vocab, I stuck the bread in a toaster and slathered on tomato, avocado, swiss, and mustard when it came out. I also threw it alongside some watermelon and refried beans.

Wayland Farmer's Market

Wayland Farmer's Market

This Wednesday was particularly special because we found out where there was a farmers’ market that sold Great Harvest bread. Apparently this is a very popular chain but there are only 2 in all of Massachusetts so I’d never had their bread before. We went to the farmers’ market and picked up Dakota 4-seed bread. The woman selling it asked if it was “ok that it’s still a little hot from the oven”. Ok? That’s fricken awesome, thanks.

Dakota 4-Seed Great Harvest Bread

Dakota 4-Seed Great Harvest Bread

I actually didn’t break into the bag because Whole Foods was like 100 yards away and I was itching to get in there. I almost never go to the Wayland Whole Foods since it’s a bit more out of the way than Framingham and it’s a little bit smaller. Well good things come in small packages, right? This place had tons of new goodies I hadn’t seen on the shelves yet. Check out this aisle!

New Spreads

New Spreads

They had an entire part dedicated to new spreads. I was in heaven. I know I said I almost never buy something not on the list, but this CLEARLY begged to be that “almost” time. I spent literally a good 10 minutes debating between an organic version of Nutella and what I actually ended up buying:

Whole Foods Tote And Maranatha Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Whole Foods Tote And Maranatha Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Now do you get the title of this post? I bought this and the tote with my own money. My grandmother who was with us offered to pay but I feel like such a moocher all the time, I needed to do this for my independence. I started way over thinking that decision on the way home and over thinking how much of a poor college student I’ll be and my life will suck which I realized meant I was just Hungry. Before the groceries were even put away I made myself this:

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter On Banana Goodness Bread

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter On Banana Goodness Bread

Taste test time! I was slightly worried this would be like PB&Co.’s dark chocolate dreams peanut butter, which is really nothing like peanut butter or dark chocolate. But this was exactly the flavor you get from the name. The almond was very pronounced followed by a sweetness from the chocolate and finishing with an overall slight bitterness–joy. It didn’t even matter that the banana bread was definitely over ripe because it was that good. And currently Maranatha is the only company I know of who offers this flavor, so they’re definitely the innovators here.

I straightened out the entire kitchen after that snack. When I get stressed, no matter what it’s about, I need to clean everything around me until it’s sparkling clean. Even if that wasn’t the stress factor, it makes me feel better. That’s when I had dark chocolate almond moment 3 of the day:

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

So Delicious Coconut Milk Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream

Newsflash: Ice cream isn’t bad for stress relief either. I could’ve easily finished the pint, but a little voice in my head reminded me of how I’d been nagging my dad to give it a try and see if he liked the flavor. Later on he finished the pint and gave it a thumbs up–obviously.

Dinner was definitely fit for a king:

Sirloin Steak With 365 Steak Sauce, Beets, Broccoli, Dakota 4-Seed Bread

Sirloin Steak With 365 Steak Sauce, Beets, Broccoli, Dakota 4-Seed Bread

Boneless sirloin steak was on sale for 5 dollars a pound at Whole Foods. This was almost 3 times less than the halibut from last night, and umm 20 times better? 365 steak sauce was the perfect touch to it(like it is with everything else). I’d never had beets before but they were pretty good too; I liked the sweetness with some salt. And the Dakota 4-seed bread was ok, but for my money, I think I’ll be sticking with Trader Joe’s soft 10-grain bread until I find something else. My mom apparently got sick sometime in the afternoon and went upstairs without even eating, and is now requesting that we have steak again sometime while it’s on sale because she missed it; sounds good to me 🙂

Right after dinner this was on my doorstep:

Food Should Taste Good Package

Food Should Taste Good Package

Emily from Foodshouldtastegood.com was nice enough to send me a sampler of their products!

Lime, Sweet Potato, Buffalo, Jalapeno, Yellow Corn, And Cinnamon Chips

Lime, Potato And Chive, Buffalo, Jalapeno, Yellow Corn, And Cinnamon Chips

Emily sent me their 4 new flavors–Lime, Potato And Chive, Yellow Corn, and Cinnamon–as well as their 2 spicy flavors–Buffalo and Jalapeno. Did you know men prefer the spicy flavors? I knew that was true for myself but didn’t want to jump to general conclusions, but apparently it’s a fact. Thanks Emily! I can’t wait to munch on these over the week and right a full review for Food Should Taste Good.

I prepared myself for dark chocolate almond flavor 4 of the day:

Banana Whip With Crushed Dark Chocolate Almond Topping

Banana Whip With Crushed Dark Chocolate Almond Topping

I pulsed up 7 ounces of frozen banana and then a small handful of Emeralds’ Dark Chocolate Almonds to go on top. Each bight had jsut the right amount of cocoa and nut to banana. I must admit, this soft serve is really growing on me, even if my food processor is duller than a door knob. I was thinking of buying a very base flavor ice cream to add whatever mix-ins I want, but my money would be so much better spent on a bunch of bananas. A big tub of frozen yogurt might not be a bad idea, though, until they make probiotic bananas(hey, you never know these days).

After some more carbs(unpictured) with some more spreads(also unpictured, but you betcha dark chocolate almond butter was in there) I watched Top Chef and went to bed. It’s so obvious one of the brothers are going to win; they kind of blow away the competition. This morning I ran 6.7 slow and steady. My legs definitely aren’t 100% at the moment but I’m thinking Sunday will be a rest day and that they can wait. This morning did not continue dark chocolate almond day; I was in a peanut-pumpkin mood:

English Muffin With Pumpkin Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Peanut Yogurt With Banana Nut Granola

English Muffin With Pumpkin Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Peanut Yogurt With Banana Nut Granola

Sadly this killed my jar of pumpkin butter, my banana nut granola sampler, AND my tub of vanilla chobani. That being said, it’s totally delicious and hitting the spot. And I’m loving the peanut flour from The National Peanut Board. 5oz vanilla chobani with 2 tablespoons peanut flour has 19 grams of protein and a great peanutty flavor; could you ask for more? Eating a high protein breakfast has been shown to have benefits that last through out the day. I’m definitely going to see if any stores around here carry peanut flour once I’ve baked out this bag.

Today I’m very excited for. Why? I’m baking a fresh loaf of banana bread. I’ve been debating playing with the recipe, but I’m thinking of just going with what I did the first time, since I know how that comes out and it’s damn good.

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