The Memory, The Reality

Posted on February 20, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Memory: 90 degree, sunny days over the Summer with nothing to do but enjoy the outdoors

The Reality: Mid-40’s with low/no Winter breeze, but plenty of work to keep me inside

The memory totally owns here; I spent most of today reading Plutarch’s life of Alexander(should’ve just sucked it up and watched the movie with Colin Farrell) along with other work. BUT in a lot of other ways the reality beat(or at least came close) to some good memories.

Cooking A Grass-Fed Burger

The Memory: I’m 6 years old, my mom’s most probably out of town, and my dad’s idea of a “dinner” is leftover pancakes from McDonalds(to be fair, I probably asked for these) and maple syrup, which we stuck in the microwave with an aluminum tin–mini-fire, anyone?

The Reality: Cooking my own grass-fed beef burger in my own pan in the dorm kitchen.

This one’s pretty clear: reality wins. Getting a full pound of beef at the beginning of the week felt daunting, but I’m loving the meals I can get from it; I hope to pick up a big(cheap) piece of quality meat tomorrow for next week.

Grass-Fed Burger, Steamed Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, Root Beer Zevia

The Memory: Spending Summer days at my grandparents’ home for daycare. My grandmother knew how to cook 3 things: eggs, tacos(from a seasoning packet), and hamburgers. A typical meal would probably be a hamburger on white bread and Ore Ida french fries, washed down with a Mountain Dew

The Reality: A grass-fed beef burger with steamed broccoli, a 100-calorie portion of Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, and an all-natural diet root beer ala Zevia.

Again, need it be pointed out? It’d be one thing if the “unhealthy” meal were clearly more tasty, but I would choose today’s meal anytime. I was practically dreaming about a grass-fed burger all of yesterday but I didn’t let Lent get the best of me! Popchips are still my crack but I find this amount is perfect for satisfying my chip tooth.

Chocolate Xagave Frosty With Whole Milk

The Memory; Stopping by Wendy’s drive-thru for a chocolate frosty and dipping fries into it

The Reality: Making my own “Frosty” using Xagave, Bob’s Red Mill‘s guar gum, xanthan gum, sea salt, cocoa powder, and whole milk

The real Frosty still wins here :-/ But I’m getting closer to making the reality be better! This time, I very clearly added too much ice without noticing(it should not make almost two cups worth). I think the whole milk from cows helped the flavor, too. I had to get it from the dining hall because, well, I really don’t remember the last time I kept milk in the fridge. To be honest, I was a little scared I’d be getting some cheap-o, hormoned up junk. But after I did poking and prying, I found the milk I got was Rhodyfresh, which is from local farms all pledging against the use of hormones–yippee! That put this foodies mind to rest.

Raw Vegan Mint Chip Emmy's Organic Macaroon

The Memory: Big bowls of mint chip ice cream that was an unholy shade of green

The Reality: An all-natural, vegan, raw mint chip macaroon I won from Emmy’s Organics

Surf Sweets Sour Gummy Worms

The Memory: Junior year of High School in Boston. Nearly every day, we would spend our dining points at the campus store where you could make a bag of mixed candies and pay by the pound. My favorite bag usually had in it Reeses Pieces, Swedish Fish, and Sour Gummy Worms.

The Reality: Organic Vegan Sour Gummy Worms to review from Surf Sweets

Weeeeell the memory still wins, here. But only because of the lack of Reeses Pieces and Swedish Fish(someone needs to get on making these natural, pronto). The sour gummy worms were really quite good and flavorful, and really didn’t feel like a candy that had anything “funny” to it. You could totally pass this off to a 3(or 18)-year old to sneak in some natural sweetness and 100% their DV vitamin C. Kudos to Surf Sweets!

Roasting Sweet Potatoes, Maple Tofu, And Broccoli

The Memory: 1st semester, eating every night at the dining hall. Sometimes there was a lot to choose from, and some nights I was mixing chickpeas from the salad bar with honey and mustard

The Reality: Sticking pressed tofu with maple syrup, sweet potatoes, and broccoli in the dorm oven for 55 minutes at 350 degrees

I’ve really loved the reality of this semester; I’m very inclined to believe food affects mood and by cooking my ‘good mood food” I haven’t had a dull dinner yet. I still take cues from the dining hall(that’s where these sweet potatoes were from because mine grew mold), but I’m certainly not looking back with regrets. Also, does anyone else think if I were a country in the Olympics that tray of veggies could be my flag?

Maple Tofu, Sweet Potato, Roasted Broccoli

The Memory: My mom’s classic dish was penne with broccoli, garlic, and white-meat chicken

The Reality: My classic dish is roasted broccoli, sweet potato “fries”, and maple tofu

Obviously, if I’m willing to call it my dish, I like it a lot 🙂 No offense to my mom, but I’ve never been a pasta person, and nowadays I’m more inclined to the dark meat if I eat poultry, soooo this was an easy one. Unfortunately, the sweet potato wouldn’t “fry” up here because they were pre-baked. Boo 😦

The Memory: Translating “fun” texts in Latin class in 11th grade like Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura(I must have a very warped sense of “fun”)

The Reality: Translating Horace, Catullus, and Petronius this year, all of whom are very very raunchy

What is it with the authors these professors post classes for? I swear they’re just entertaining themselves. Ah well, Petronius and the Olympics it is.

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Time Crunch

Posted on October 17, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thank God there’s so little expectation to get anything done on Friday because I certainly didn’t(anything productive, that is. Plenty foodie). Yesterday morning I was in a bit of a downer mood after my not-so-splendid 10 mile run. After I thought about it, I realized how great it was that I’ve come to the point where I can run 10 miles and became thankful for that, forgetting the rest. 1 bad day can never spoil the week. It also might of helped my mood when shy, slightly uptight girl who sharpened a pencil with her knife(remember her?) felt extremely uncomfortable translating a poem with the words “sex session” in it. After everything that was translated in that class, she could have gotten much worse. I didn’t think anything would top the vitatop with chocolate sunflower butter I had for breakfast, but the lunch room certainly did a good job trying:

Portabella Mushrooms In Sauce, Vegan Chana Masala, Broccoli

Portabella Mushrooms In Sauce, Vegan Chana Masala, Broccoli

I’m not sure I know what Chana Masala is other than magical and Indian. Best yet, I know if the lunch rooms version is this good, the authentic stuff must be amazing. I’ll have to track that down. The mushrooms were meant to be stuffed in a hoagie bun but I liked them straight up with a fork(plus, the buns in our lunch room, despite being whole wheat, have partially hydrogenated oils in them. No thank you). I love a nicely cooked mushroom for all its earthiness and thought this was excellent, although the dried herbs were a little tough to get between the teeth. Between Greek History and Epic Poetry I checked my mailbox and was excited to find these!

Mail

Mail

The tiny package was some samples of Barney Butter. I see that brand all the time on Carrots N’ Cake and I can’t wait to try it out. The other was a letter from my Aunt Leslie who I saw over the weekend. It was a thank you card and picture from the birthday party and she even slipped a little present in to buy “yummy food” with. Oh, I will 🙂 At Epic Poetry we got the essays from last Friday back. I didn’t even look at it all through class and later until 5. Frankly, the grade didn’t matter to me when I realized I think I’m the only Freshman in that class and I haven’t taken a formal English course since 11th grade. It’s a class I’m taking because I want to, not because I need to, and the important thing is enjoying it. I actually did better than I expected: a B. That’s somewhat what I was used to in High School English class, which was always my weakest area. I think she went a little lenient on me because she knows I’m under prepared compared to the rest of the class.

When I got back to my dorm, I had an itch to go see the weekend sales at Whole Foods. It was a bit of a cold walk but thankfully not raining? Looking on the bright side here. I perused Whole Foods and Eastside Market. Seeing swordfish on sale is like a knife in my heart with no way to cook it; I should man up, buy a pan, and make use of the communal kitchen in my basement. What I did end up getting was just as good, though:

Grocery Loot

Grocery Loot

The Oikos and Attune were from Whole Foods; I found the dark chocolate flavor! Can’t wait to give that one a taste and review. Vitabrownies were “on sale” at Eastside Market(though not for cheaper than I could get them at home) and I had such a hankering for them recently I needed to grab them. I also got a jar of my favorite Banana Pineapple Rum Jam. At 7.19 a jar, it’s definitely a luxury. I decided to forgo getting a cupcake for Cookie Friday and just be content with the money I spent. I did get my cookie on in another way, though:

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Close enough, right? I spent way too much time walking around, so I didn’t get to eat this until around 5, at which time I had a ton of online reading and reviewing to get done(did you catch my seed butter reviews?). What happened here? Like I said, thankfully there’s no expectations for the first day of the weekend in my book. I was honestly not feeling up to eating at the dining hall; they didn’t have anything I wanted, it was freezing out, and I was still feeling overwhelmed. Instead I decided to make a mess of what I have:

Vegetable Mess And Maccaroni Mess

Vegetable Mess And Maccaroni Mess

I’m not nearly as talented with yogurt messes as some other bloggers, but I think I make up for that with these. The vegetable mess was with a medley of peppers, zuchinni, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, plus a sliced sweet potato. The macaroni was Trader Joe’s instant microwave mac n’ cheese with 1/2 can tuna and 1 1/2 strips tempeh bacon. Basically, it was one big salty delicious mess, especially with added sea salt. I caught up to The Office and 30 Rock. I love that that show’s back. Bring it on, Liz Lemon. I hope Pam and Jim get back soon, though. She needs to have that baby!

Ghost Whisperer was touching, as usual. I love it when that show doesn’t try anything fancy but just goes with its regular formula. I might or might not have had this dessert planned since Wednesday:

Caramel Walnut Vitabrownie And Narrangasett Creamery Kefir

Caramel Walnut Vitabrownie And Narrangasett Creamery Kefir

I never did the brownies and milk thing as a kid, but this is definitely my style. I took a regular vitabrownie and added caramel sauce after microwaving it. I couldn’t microwave the kefir without killing the probiotics, so instead I let it sit at room temperature for the afternoon which got it warm enough. Yum! That’s my milk and brownies for ya. I’m still on the look out for a good store bought kefir. I love the tang to it and want to find one like that. Something tells me the Farmers’ Market one is whole milk and it’s a little heavy for a nutritious drink. In fact, it was so heavy I didn’t bother with the last 1/3 of the glass; that was more than enough for me. With my sample of Barney Butter, I needed to give the oats I drool over on Carrots N Cake a try:

Banana Oats With Barney Butter

Banana Oats With Barney Butter

For this I whipped half a banana until the fiber was practically gone, cooked the oatmeal in that like usual, and topped with Barney Butter. I was so impressed how thick 1/2 a banana made the oats! I’m not a huge banana fan, but if I was it really would have given pumpkin a run for its money(watch out, Libby). I loved how much of a melting butter Barney Butter was, but I’m not sure I got a good sense of the flavor. My first impression was a little bland, which was unexpected for a nut butter with sugar and sea salt. I added a ton more sea salt and enjoyed the bowl that way; I’ll have to give it a second taste before reviewing. I also figured I’d end the day the way I started it for good measure:

Bread With Chocolate Sunflower Butter

Bread With Chocolate Sunflower Butter

I say “bread” and not “toast” because I was too impatient to eat the sunflower butter to make toast; what can I say? It’s good and I’m lazy. I forgot I’m not the only member of the blogosphere who loves Vermont Co. Bread; it’s one of pbandjenny’s favorites. We have good taste 😉

This morning I got to sleep in until 8:30 since the gym won’t open until 9. I actually got such a good nights sleep that it was hard to sleep in. Can you imagine that? Oh what a hard life I live… I was the first one in, obviously, and got some good running in to the tune of Saturday morning cartoons(much funner than CNN in my opinion). I broke the machine again. Broke as in it wouldn’t go as fast as it said it was after a while, so I jumped ship and moved to another. Overally I did 8 miles at a challenging pace and finished in 64:33.

Nature's Path Organic Multigrain Raisin N' Spice Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin PB, Peanut Butter Oikos With Dark Chocolate Chips

Nature's Path Organic Multigrain Raisin N' Spice Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin PB, Peanut Butter Oikos With Dark Chocolate Chips

When I got back and showered I didn’t sit down to breakfast until 10:40! Well now I just feel lazy. For a quick breakfast I went for quick oats–quick cooking that is. I tried out one of the new oatmeals Nature’s Path Organic sent me. I’ll be sure to start my next post with a review, ya know, once I actually get a chance to eat it and all 😉 And of course some Oikos with peanut flour was welcomed to the table. My Oikos didn’t have a code under the lid 😦 Does anyone know if it’s because it just wasn’t new enough a container or are they only under Stonyfields lids?

Chobani giveaway over at Hop Skip Leap. Another yogurt always welcome to the table.

And a vitatop giveaway! How lucky could the winner of this one get?

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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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