Churning The Day Away

Posted on May 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I think I’ve found my new hobby

Yesterday, I spent a good portion of my afternoon working on this masterpiece. It was supposed to be vegan white chocolate ice cream, but the white chocolate flavor never really came through :-/ Then again, I don’t think I’ve had any vegan white chocolate ever, so I’m not sure what I was working with to begin with. Anyway, what came out was a delicious Coconut Cocoa Butter flavor.

Today started out very relaxingly with yogurt and raw local honey and some lightly-sweetened peanut butter over oats. Even though the weather was gorgeous, after 9 days of running I was happy to take a rest day because that’s what my body wanted.

Rest day or not, I refuse to give up some morning chocolate 😉 Followed by a good walk. When I got back, I fired up the grill and cooked for everyone.

I think I’ve taken my onion love to new, stink-breath heights. All it took to make these was tossing them in some EVOO and putting them in an aluminum foil pack cooking 5 minutes on each side. Delicious! They went perfectly with a southern style Wildwood burger and some roasted broccoli.

And right afterward, I went back to my new favorite hobby. I made a mix of 3 cups organic half and half, 3/4 cup Bob’s gluten free cake mix, 5 tablespoons Madhava light agave, and some guar gum and poured that into the ice cream maker. Like I learned from this experience, you really need to make the ice cream a good 3-4+ hours before expecting to eat it.

Why not some matching cupcakes? Made with Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil and a flax egg. Getting that flax chicken to lay an egg on command is tough work! But she clucks one up eventually.

And then, since none of that would be ready for a few hours, I’ve been snacking on a bowl of oatmeal with Justin’s chocolate almond butter and coconut milk for richness–delicious! I think dessert for tonight is pretty much set with my new hobby, wouldn’t you? 😉

Annnd now I’m snacking on one of the cupcakes. Flax, egg–I’ve still got it no matter what I’m cooking with.

What’s your favorite kitchen appliance? I’d say my food processor has some competition now…

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A Night At The Museum

Posted on May 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I like to think I’m not stereotypical “meat and potatoes”, but…

Ground Beef, Potatoes, Olive Oil, Rosemary, Basil, Paprika, And Sea Salt

Ground Beef, Potatoes, Olive Oil, Rosemary, Basil, Paprika, And Sea Salt

My lunch yesterday comprised of meat and potatoes might argue differently. I did not realize what a great flavor paprika was for a smokiness! This whole dish was herby goodness. And it felt good to refuel after my slowish 10 mile-run.

Cantaloupe And Virgil's Root Beer

Cantaloupe And Virgil's Root Beer

We did our grocery shopping in the afternoon; beforehand, I grabbed some things from Whole Food and made it snack time.

Virgil's Root Beer

Virgil's Root Beer

I had a major craving for the real deal root beer, so I gave Virgil’s Root Beer a try because it was among the cheaper varieties and I remembered Mama Pea toting Papa Pea’s love for it here. ‘Twas alright; I don’t think I picked up all the subtle flavors listed as ingredients but it was a fun change of pace.

Chickpea-Raw Mozzarella Salad, Raw Almond Butter

Chickpea-Raw Mozzarella Salad, Raw Almond Butter

Back home I made a quickie-early dinner with a stick of Next Generation Dairy Raw Probiotic Mozarella and part of a can of chickpeas, all over spinach dressed in Foods Alive‘s Sweet & Sassy. Yum! for a sweet dessert, there was an Artisana Almond Butter sample eaten with a spoon. I swear it tasted like marzipan, it was that good.

Boston Skyline

Boston Skyline

Last night, I had a reunion of sorts held in the Museum Of Science’s skyline suite. Love that dirty water, Boston you’re my home.

Mixed Colored Vegetables, Beets And Golden Beets, Almond Encrusted Salmon

Mixed Colored Vegetables, Beets And Golden Beets, Almond Encrusted Salmon

I honestly had no faith in the food that’d be there so I was packing tofu and larabars, but I was pleasantly surprised to see loads of vegetables and wild salmon. I actually only had about 2 bites of the salmon–wasn’t in the mood–but grabbed a 2nd, equal-sized plates of vegetables and put those away too. I definitely run on plant power.

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

Newman's Own Organics' Super Dark Chocolate

French Bulk Chocolate

French Bulk Chocolate

Dessert after a show was a Newman’s Own Organicssuper dark chocolate bar, and then a little bulk baker’s chocolate at home… times two… plus baby carrots. Have I mentioned I’m an insomniac every Saturday night?! That’s turning in to a frustrating habit…

Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Honey

Oatmeal With Raw Cashew Butter And Honey

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

2% Fage With Organic Strawberry Conserves

Why is Fage so good?! It’s also the most expensive Greek yogurt brand around here, but it’s been on sale, and magically delicious. Take that, Lucky Charms.

What do you buy in bulk? Working with a 3-foot fridge and a tiny room, it was hard to buy anything in bulk all year long. Since coming home, I’ve started buying 5 pound bags of organic potatoes. And now I’ve done the math and discovered that if you buy the gourmet baking chocolate by the pound from Whole Foods, it’s cheaper than buying chocolate bars, so I’m sure I’ll be taking advantage of that from now one.

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Practice Makes Perfect

Posted on April 10, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thank you for your reassurance on this post that my nerves are normal. I feel like I’ll be able to run so much better on race day with a clean and clear mind knowing that a lot of the other racers must feel the same way.

Newman's Own Organics Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

Newman's Own Organics Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

I sipped some teeccino and snacked on a Newman’s Own Organics milk chocolate peanut butter cup planning my run. Really, I was just stalling and didn’t get out until almost noon! I figured I’d run as much of the real race course as I could for some “practice”. It ended up being a lot more like race day than I thought it would…

13.37 Miles In 1:50:54

13.37 Miles In 1:50:54

Definitely did not plan to go so far! What can I say? I got in the spirit of things. It was fun imagining how full Providence will be on that day, all the other racers running near me, and the adrenaline. I ran 9 miles on the course and then looped around a bit to extend the mileage and end up at Whole Foods(I even saw one of my teachers whose paper I’ve been putting off writing, haha, but that’s another story and he didn’t see me ;-)). Unfortunately, I didn’t account for the 1+ mile walk back from Whole Foods, so I was pretty pooped by the time I got to sit down and eat lunch.

General Gao's Chicken, Avocado With Lemon And Sea Salt, Fresh Yoghurt Cheese

General Gao's Chicken, Avocado With Lemon And Sea Salt, Fresh Yoghurt Cheese

Holy dietary fats, batman! I was craving some dark chicken which is why I went to Whole Foods in the first place and got General Gao’s. That balanced really well with a creamy, soft avocado half with lemon juice and sea salt. I also grabbed from the prepped food bar a block of yogurt cheese; it wasn’t anything special and just sort of tasted like a basic mozzarella :-/ I still ate it all.

Since lunch was so filling and eaten pretty late, I wasn’t in the mood for much this afternoon. But if you’re gonna twist my arm…

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Organic White Chocolate

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Organic White Chocolate

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Organic White Chocolate

Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Organic White Chocolate

Don’t tell chickpeas, but I think vanilla is my favorite bean 😉 While at Whole Foods, I picked up a few groceries including Vanilla Bean So Delicious. I just love this stuff; I’ve even made a review page for it now! Check it out. Equally j’adore Green & Black’s organic white chocolate, which I also made a review for. It’s not the best white chocolate I’ve had, but it’s pretty darn good 😉 And those vanilla bean specks get me every time.

Faux Buffalo Chicken Salad With Steamed Broccoli And Avocado

Faux Buffalo Chicken Salad With Steamed Broccoli And Avocado

I wasn’t too hungry for dinner; I think that lunch was still holding me over, and I’d care not to know how much exactly was in that plate. I made a nice, light Summer salad starting with a bed of torn hamburg lettuce and adding a pack of chopped Lightlife Buffalo Wings. Some people prefer neither real meat or fake meat; lucky for me, I eat both happily so long as they’re ethical and natural 😀 I added a few more slices of avocado(love) and some steamed broccoli for light fiber. Maybe my hunger will strike for dessert? I’m well stocked if that’s the case.

Have a great Saturday’s night and go ahead and enter Katie’s giveaway! I just noticed Anchorman is on TV at 8(!!). It’s not my favorite movie, but I can’t complain about it, either.

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Long, But Not Longer

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good morning and happy Monday! Are you a Monday lover? Or maybe it’s that dreaded day that sparks the work week for you? I’m a big fan of Monday’s myself; to me, they’re the time when things “normalize”: The gym is open at 6:30 again, the TV shows get better, I do my laundry, etc. It’s just a great day to get back at it! I’ll rave more about Monday when we get to that point. But first, Sunday night I had a lot to look forward to, too.

Trader Joe's Bed Time Tea

I tried this new tea from Trader Joe’s. Of course, since it was TJ’s, it was a cheaper knock-off version of some chain’s flavor. But it was also ridiculously good! It had plenty of chamomile and vanilla going for it, which tasted like a sweet treat with stevia. Mmmm. Beyond that, I opened up a new pint.

Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Soy Milk Ice Cream

Not that kind of pint; this kind! Although to get to this in the common room fridge, I did have to walk past a group of guys playing beer pong in PJ’s. LOL! Some might find that a little awkward but I’m comfortable in my own skin(or pajamas) and will jump through hoops for my ice cream! I love how this had a Gluten-Free seal on it, as if gluten is a creeper that would crawl up the sides and slip on in 🙂

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Yum! So good. I can’t even count how many pints of this flavor I’ve gone through. Incidentally, I’ve also lost a few scoops to stealers in the dorm in the past 😦 That won’t happen again, hopefully.

This also led me to question whether this conflicted with my Lenten give-up of pre-flavored soy products. My answer: No. I really wouldn’t say soy milk or soy ice cream counts very well as “food” to begin with(as opposed to tofu and tempeh). The point of giving up what I did was to take away a convenience food–2 key words there–and not to take myself off of trivial desserts. I don’t think it’s very “Lenten” to banish unhealthy food as if another excuse to diet. That’s my 2 cents; check out this post for what I think sounds like the best and toughest give-up by a blogger.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Blueberry Jam And Mighty Maple

Later on I had some very New England oats while watching Brothers & Sisters. Warm jam? Heck, yes. I’m glad Brothers & Sisters is back. Last night’s episode was incredible and next weeks looks good, too. I just wish it was actually played on Valentines Day, which would have made it more effective. I was not a fan of that crazy ice dancing; seriously, the aborigines?

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

For 3 weeks now, Sunday has been the hardest night for me to get to bed. Maybe this time it had something to do with the people singing Bohemian Rhapsody a few floors down–don’t know. I had to stay up late, watching something about King Tut on the Discovery Channel, and chowing on this Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar I found in my stash. I forgot how good these are! Too bad I don’t think I have more 😦

Newman's Own Organic Decaf

Back to why I love Mondays;. For one, I got to open this new bag of coffee which we bought at Stop & Shop yesterday; it’s one of my favorites! I got up at 6:50 so that I could be at the gym at 7:15, which I find is the perfect time for me to start running. Recently, Mondays have also been my “long run” which has so far been 1 mile longer than the one the week before. That would have put today at 11 miles. Well, my heart was just not that into it today. So I decided I’d still do a “long” run of 10 miles–just not a “longer” run.

10 Miles In 89:49

That took 89:49, in which time I had the good company of The Today Show, Cartoon Network, my gym friend who works for the college, and the local news. Apparently, it’s going to rain Tuesday-Friday straight! If that were snow, I’d be happy as a clam, but rain has me frowning 😦 At least it’s sunny today? Before breakfast, I also squeezed in a trip to a campus store for yogurt, a shower, and stuck my laundry in the machine. Needless to say, I was ready for fuel when I sat down!

Pomegranate Yogurt With Dark Chocolate, Pumpkin Oatmeal With SB PB And Nutritional Yeast

Pomegranate Yogurt With Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Shavings

Mmmm, yum yum yum! I would call this a sweet and savory meal. For savory, we have the pumpkin and nutritional yeast combo with Smart Balance Peanut Butter; I swear it tastes like cheddar cheese crackers with peanut butter on them, and it’s a vegan dish! Perfecto! For the sweet, I bought a pomegranate yogurt this morning and topped it with 1 square of the 1.4oz organic dark chocolate bar by endangered species; this is pretty much my favorite dark chocolate–very deep in flavor, hard texture, and entirely organic.

So, have I convinced you of Monday’s greatness or not? Answer quick because my laundry comes out of the dryer in 20. Or, if you want to rant about Monday in the comments, I don’t mind that, either 😀 For my part, I’ll rant that I have a paper due Wednesday for which the writing fellow was no help with and a Greek test on Thursday I feel under-prepared for. To all that, I just have this to say: Que Cera Cera

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Amarett-Oh My

Posted on January 4, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

So, it was obviously a bummer to have driven 30 minutes to go to a sold out show last night :-/ Once we were heading home, we thought about what we could do to make it not such a waste to have left the house at night. Since we were in the area, I suggested we stop at Whole Foods to look for an ice cream I thought I saw there last time but that technically didn’t exit, even online.

Cherry Amaretto Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I was right. How awesome does this sound? But, like I said, it doesn’t exist. If you go to the So Delicious website, it’s not listed under the flavors. Weird, huh? But when it comes to groceries and ice cream, I knew what I saw, so I was pretty sure it’d be there. We also asked the prepared foods section if they still served my favorite stuffing after the holidays. Nope. Bummer 😦 But the man behind the counter detailed a very odd and complex way through emailing the right people that we could specialty order some, and I entirely plan on following through with that because it’s worth it. When we got home, to get in the mood for ice cream(because it’s freezing up here in case you didn’t know), I broke out one of my Christmas presents.

Almond Amaretto Herbal Coffee

This technically isn’t coffee. It’s made of carob, dates, and other natural flavors. The smell is absolutely amazing. It’s like whiffing pure liqueur and had us all salivating–not gonna lie. And a little goes a long way, apparently, because 1/2 a tablespoon made a strong cup. Overall, the actual flavor was a little “medicinal”, like cough syrup but more pleasant. I think I’d rather just smell it, though. After that, I was definitely “in the mood”.

Cherry Amaretto Ice Cream With Slivered Almonds

In the ice cream itself is only cherries(big, honking ones) and I needed some crunch so I threw on slivered almonds. This was unreal-good. The flavor was perfect for the description. The ingredient list is super short. The nutrition isn’t too shabby, either(130 cals, 6g fat, 5g fiber). And, bestly, it’s soy and dairy free. Of course, I eat soy and dairy, but I’m not convinced my stomach loves me too much when I do; coconut milk, on the other hand, I’m pretty sure I’ve never had trouble digesting. I almost went back for more during Brothers and Sisters, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t need all that sugar then, so instead I reached for something different.

Tropical Coconut Almond Bora Bora Bar

I won this in Averie’s giveaway, and it looked appealing a) because the flavors were like the ice cream and b) it only had 7g of sugar with plenty of nutty fats. I also definitely needed some more almondy crunch. It was good, but I don’t know that I’d buy one(I’m not even sure where they sell them?). To be fair, coconut is not my favorite flavor(unless it’s in ice cream form…) and it’s the number 1 ingredient here.

I was so happy to see Brothers And Sisters back on television. After setting us up with a huge cliffhanger, it now looks like Kitty’s getting over her cancer completely after 1 episode. Gotta love TV. This morning I actually woke up on time for once, but didn’t have much ambition to do any workout. I did, however, get the house to myself after 30 minutes and was able to brew a nice big pot of coffee to go along with breakfast 🙂

2 Eggs With Raw Cheddar Cheese, Green Beans

Plain So Delicious Soy Yogurt With A Newman's Own Peanut Butter Cup

Would you believe that I didn’t want oatmeal this morning? It must be a full moon or something. What I wanted was eggs–properly cooked and with cheeeeese. I melted a little vegan butter in a pan and then made what had to be one of my best omelets, technically. The little butter on the bottom makes it go so much better. Then again, a lot of things go so much better not in a dormroom microwave. Along side I had soy yogurt with a peanut butter cup. I remember this combo being so much better than it was. Soy and eggs–you’d think I’m trying to smell up this place at this rate.

Dirty Dishes

I totally made a mess doing 10 different things this morning, but this is all now cleaned. Not put away, but I’m not trying to be Mother Teresa.

Kahlua Almond Butter

I made up the nutrition label for my newest nut butter. I was worried how it’d come out(besides drunk) but apparently only has about 3g of sugar per serving–not too shabby.

Killer Cornbread

And I whipped up some Killer Cornbread. It was such a hit with my parents and grandmother, I know this won’t go to waste. And it’s a simple side any time we don’t feel like cooking up a carby vegetable. I also went through our freezer to throw out nasty baked goods from the Summer, just in case we need to freeze this or anything else(though I’m 95% sure this won’t last that long). I was so ready for a simple lunch after doing all that.

Killer Cornbread, Baked Beans, Roasted brussels With Bac'Uns

I figured since the cornbread was fresh I might as well see how it came out 🙂 This actually came out better this time than last! I think last time I used room temperature vegan butter, whereas this time I was lazy and just cut it in cold. The result is a lot richer, chunkier flavor. I also used only 2 tablespoons sweetener because I thought that was what the recipe called for. For protein I had some baked beans and then roasted up some brussels sprouts. They could have used another 10 minutes but after 35 minutes of waiting I just wanted to eat them! That’s the problem with roasted vegetables: You have to start when you’re full.

My dad took 1/2 a day off from work so that we can meet the same people to see Avatar in 3D this afternoon 🙂 We bought our tickets online this time, so everything should go smoothly. I found an awesome recipe for dinner but it’s a good 2 hour+ preparation so I guess it will have to wait until tomorrow.

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Vets, Bacon, And Hazelnuts

Posted on December 29, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I am in serious need of lazy-time after today. What I told you this morning was that we were bringing Montana to the vet. What I left out was that before then I was madly rushing to get some whole wheat pumpkin cinnamon roll dough rising.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Dough

If you remember, I tried this once before and it all wound up in the trash; I hate dealing with yeast dough but I loooove how it tastes. Overall I hate any batter that’s sticky or requires unprecise amounts such as “flour until just together”. Why did I decide to go for these anyway? Who knows. But once the dough was done we hopped in the car for Montana’s check-up. He was shaking like a leaf waiting in the room and my dad said his breath smelled bad so I thought it was only rational to give him this.

Newman's Own Organic Cinnamon Mints

I like them and he does apparently, too. Not sure how his breath was after that but the vet wasn’t complaining. Things seemed exactly the same with him so we were out pretty quick and on to more errands. Because his vet is near a bigger, much larger Whole Foods. I thought I’d check if they had the chocolate bar I’ve been so desperately seeking since Christmas.

Mo's Bacon Milk Chocolate Bar

Success! It was 1 of 4 flavors they carried. Now I need to get creative of how to use it 🙂 After that it was my job to run into Market Basket to get vegetables. Like I’ve mentioned, we’re having company on New Years Eve and making them dinner, and Market Basket has the cheapest vegetables going. That store, however, is always full and a menace to work a shopping cart through. I think I bumped in to 2 people? Their fault. I ended up grabbing everything on the list and some fish for dinner. On the way home I was treated to a coffee.

McDonalds' Coffee

I’ll take it 😉 When we got home it felt like I had 10 things suddenly on my plate: work more with the cinnamon rolls, make lunch, put away groceries. To make things more confusing, my grandmother had randomly drove over. 3 people in our kitchen is too much when 2 of them are just standing around. I started making up a meal, trying to feed a craving for fried chicken.

Pecan Crusted Cornish Hen, Stuffing, Broccoli

I heated up leftover cornish hen over the stove and then patted it with homemade pecan butter and whole foods whole wheat bread crumbs for some crunch. It really was nothing like fried chicken but it definitely fed a general “fat” craving. I also heated up the last of the leftover Thanksgiving stuffing and charred some broccoli on the stove. While I was munching on this, I squared the dough for the rolls and slathered it with apple butter and cinnamon. The recipe was supposed to make 12 but after cutting up half of the log into 6 I cut the other half into 4 because they looked a little dainty. Then they rose for 30 minutes and baked for 23.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I’m really impressed that I made it to the final product(let’s just say I was not as optimistic this morning when I started them). They felt a little tough. I think it’s either that they’re whole wheat, sat out for too long, or baked for too long. I’m definitely not complaining, though, and I’ll write-up my version of the recipe within a few days. They’re very low fat because of the apple butter replacing the usual brown sugar butter filling, which is perfect for me because I prefer to spread peanut butter or whatever it may be over the top.

French Toast Hazelnut Butter

After that baking project, I moved on to my 3rd(of 6). This one involved the “mystery” nuts you all correctly IDed as hazelnuts(I knew you guys would figure me out ;-)). What you didn’t guess was the flavor. Surprisingly, I wasn’t aiming for an all-natural Nutella; I already have Rapunzel’s organic version so I’m fine with that one for now. I decided to make “french toast hazelnut butter” by blending 8oz hazelnuts with 2 tablespoons maple butter, 1 1/3 tablespoons vanilla infused sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla powder and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. This came out awesome from the little bit I nibbled on squeezing it into the jar. Hazelnuts, however, are not nearly as good blenders as peanuts to anyone looking to recreate this.

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Eat For Your Brain

Posted on December 21, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If anyone ever said brainfood couldn’t be yummy, they clearly didn’t know what they were talking about. Some of the best foods are also the best foods for you.

Chocolate Pudding With Dark Chocolate Peppermint Newman Cup

Ok, I’m not actually sure if peppermint is brain food, but it definitely doesn’t hurt? And this blogger eats a lot and seems pretty darn smart to me so it must do something. But mostly I was just eating this to get probiotic #2 of the day… tasty, delicious probiotic number 2. But was the center of the Newman cup supposed to be like a powder? It might have been a bit old.

Advent Chocolate And Omega Xocai Square

Then there was brain food via chocolate. Of course, my 20th piece of advent calender(I’ll be so sad when this goes away :-() and a new product: Xocai’s Omega Square. Each piece of chocolate has 70mg of DHA Omega-3’s(the kind we need) and is well balanced for the 2:1 Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio we as Americans should be getting. I definitely enjoyed the chocolate. If you’ve taken supplements before that have been fishy, this was nothing like those; the only “funny” tastes in it were orange peel and flaxseeds, which weren’t so much “funny” as just unexpected.

Banana Oatmeal With Maple Cashew Butter, Raw Walnuts, And Maple Syrup

I’ll admit I was upset when Russell lost on Survivor; I spent all season hating him but he played so well he deserved to win. Anyway, after getting over that, I made more brain food. I topped banana oats with Tierra Farm‘s raw organic walnuts and maple cashew butter. I thought I’d give the cashew butter another chance; it still wasn’t very mapley, though continues to impress me as a nice cashew butter. I’ve never been a fan of raw walnuts, but I gave Tierra Farm’s a try anyway; they were just as dry as I expected, but at the very least I got good brain food, right?

This morning I fully intended to try another workout but when I got up I was so sore. Yesterday’s really pushed my limit and left my legs shot. After trying something out, I decided better to push it off to the afternoon or never than overwork anything. Instead I mulled about and dreamed up a brain food breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter

Pumpkin Oikos With Me & Goji Granola

Goji berries I think are a brainfood? They have plenty of antioxidants, at least. And my [me] & goji granola is packed with them(and dried blueberries and raspberries–yum!). Today felt like an almond butter morning so I had some of justin’s nut butter. While eating I pondered everything I have to do today and it turned out to be a lot! Whoever said vacation was for resting did not know me. I’ve made a schedule to keep myself on top of my game.

9-12: Internet work
12-1: Shower and make lunch
1-2: Eat, watch Days, and more internet work
2-3:30: Bake for Christmas Eve and figure out mom birthday plans
3:30-5: Workout?
5-5:50: Internet work
5:50: Start dinner

For Christmas Eve I’m baking an intermediate(aka, this could get messy) cookie recipe. I’m hoping it goes well, though honestly a bit intimidated. Care to know more as it happens? Follow me on Twitter. Also(and this is my favorite thing about blogworld), I need some advice from you: Got any good workouts to do at home you suggest or can point me towards? Bring them on. Also, for dinner I have sirloin roast, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and sweet potatoes to work with. Suggestions? Edit: And whole wheat mac and cheese(from a box). And no, I don’t intend to make ALL of these, just 2 or 3.

An amazing machinery giveaway!

And a Plush Puff Marshmallow giveaway!

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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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Latin Carol Celebration

Posted on December 8, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Choosing to ignore an overflowing inbox* The last 16 hours have felt so crammed! I’m happy to have just gotten out of my last class of the week 🙂 For this week all that remains is a pesky paper. Next week might be another story but I like to focus on the present. Except for now when I’m focusing on last night, which was the 62nd annual Latin Carol Celebration!

The First Baptist Church

What is this celebration, you may ask? Well, for 62 years, the Brown Classics department has hosted a Christmastime event where only ancient languages are spoken: Latin, Greek, and this year Sanskrit. There’s readers who read passages from famous texts as well as a full song book of latin Christmas carols and a choir. And it’s held in The First Baptist Church. Not “of Rhode Island”. Just The First Baptist Church.

Professor DeBrohun

It was put on by Professor DeBrohun, who you might know as my Latin teacher, or academic advisor 🙂 Clearly a woman of many hats. It was so much fun belting out carols in Latin and I couldn’t believe that I understood probably 95% of it. During the ceremony I was feeling snacky so I pulled out a bar.

Kardea Cranberry Almond Bar

This was the last of the flavors I had to try. I think I got the most nut out of this bar out of all of them, but I’m still not a fan of the crisp rice in there. Oh, and if this were a real church sermon, I’m pretty sure photographing a snack would not be OK, but needless to say the night was a little bit more relaxed. I was pretty bad about taking pictures of the actual performers but I did snag one of The Chattertocks singing the 12 Days Of Christmas(in latin).

The Chattertocks

What a fun escape from paper writing. I was surprised by how many people were there: easily a couple hundred. And they weren’t just from Brown but rather a large part of the Providence community came to this(and rightly so). It got over later than expected and I was in a mad rush to tie up some loose ends when I got back to my dorm so that I could hit the hay. I made an antioxidant boosting snack:

Pomegranate Chobani With Newman's Own Organic 70% Dark Chocolate

I was so excited to find the ever-elusive pomegranate flavor in one of the dining halls yesterday. The little arils don’t freak me out too much but really why I love this one is because it’s tart like raspberry. And it goes perfect with some dark chocolate, of course. I thing shaving a bar makes it look so much fancier than using chips, don’t you? And because I’m such a creature of habit I needed to down this bowl of oatmeal before I fell asleep:

Oatmeal With Smart Balance, A Double Chocolate Pillow Cookie, And Advent Milk Chocolate

I’m running out of ways to eat those advent chocolates. See the 3 broken heart pieces? Good thing they’re tasty and I’ll never get bored of them. I got a much better night sleep, mostly because I was so tired, but woke up an hour earlier this morning–6:20 as usual. I headed off to the gym with all the necessities in hand.

1/2 An Amazing Grass Bar

This was left over from a run last week. I hate having 1/2 a bar lying around and I was glad to finish it off this morning. The gym was slightly busier than I expected for Reading Week but still empty most of the time. I planned on 10, but as always happens with an Amazing Grass bar I went a little more, 2 miles to be exact. I’m wondering at this point if it’s the bar or just the mentality now? Either way, it worked. Let’s just say I was in a HUGE peanut butter mood when I got back.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Peanut Butter Chips

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple And Peanut Butter Chips

Peanut Butter 2% Yogurt With Raspberry Jam

I love raspberry jam with peanut butter; I think it just works the best. And the peanut flour really took to the fattier yogurt than the non-fat. Overall a winning breakfast(when do peanut butter chips not win ;-)). My final this morning was… not. It was our final required test, but it was 10 minutes of site translation and that was all. Haha, glad I didn’t invest time there. When I got out I took a walk to the mailroom.

Christmas Cards

It never ceases to amuse me that people I see over the weekends send me cards. With money. My mom’s card was a singing one and surely attracted some attention when I opened it up right there in the middle of the building. Thanks mom. I swung by The Ratty for cooking materials because I had the perfect lunch planned.

Vegetarian Philly Cheesesteak Bowl With Broccoli And Sunflower Cheddar Dr. Kracker Flatbread

Yuuuuuuum. I was daydreaming–let’s call it that–about really fatty beef on the treadmill this morning and how my grandmother made the best(but worst for me) tacos as a kid. My mind jumped from taco’s to philly cheesesteak, which was easier to recreate with what I had. I microwave boiled onions for 5 minutes, then mixed together 4oz Lightlife sausage style meat, red and green peppers, the onions, and a slice of American cheddar–sooo delicious and yet healthy enough to enjoy whenever! How is that possible? On the side I had this flatbread. Dr. Kracker sent me products to try and I took a couple from home to my dorm room. I’m glad I grabbed this one because it was astounding–read my review for more deets.

Now that things are winding down, emails have been acknowledged, and google reading has lessened, all there is to do is go pick up a package and then start back up on the essay!

And check back later on for a product review recap post featuring a blog exclusive online coupon code.

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Color My Yogurt

Posted on December 4, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Apparently the mystery is solved: I ate an unripe hachiya persimmon whereas I should have eaten a fully ripened or fuyu persimmon. I think from now on instead of hear about the 25 reasons I could be dying from WebMD I’ll just ask the blogger world. Dare I go back and try another? I think this experience has scared me off for now and I will stick with the dried persimmons in my granola. Well when I said I was dragging yesterday, I was reeaaallly dragging. I reached for the only caffeine I keep around after I posted.

Cola Zevia

Well that picked me up. I straightened up a bit around here; there seem to be papers and books everywhere. What is this? A dorm during finals period?! Oh wait… haha 🙂 Dr. Phil was on Oprah; I can’t really stand him on his own show but somehow Oprah made him tolerable. I must admit I love some of his expressions: “dogpiling in the foyer” If anyone can explain that to me, they get bonus points. My hunger definitely subsided after the persimmon incident and I wasn’t feeling too snacky in the afternoon. There was one thing I didn’t mind having, though.

Plain Soy Yogurt With Peanut Sundrops

Omnomnomnom. I love this soy yogurt with milk chocolate peanut butter cups, so having it with milk chocolate coated peanuts was just as good! It was so nice and sweet and salty and delicious. But what I really loved here was how the colors ran and made the yogurt orange and yellow and purple. It may sound silly, but once and a while since going all-natural I miss the fun food colors and playing with those, and most natural food dyes cost an arm and a leg. This reminded me of how ugly cookies get when you bake them with M&M’s in them 🙂

Like I said, I wasn’t very snacky in the afternoon, so I had no problem holding off until dinner when I could try out my new purchase.

Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce

I think I’m starting to like Indian food. Or at least start to crave it, because it was on my mind all through Whole Foods. I really wanted to make a chickpea dish but the dining hall didn’t have those, so instead I got carrots and broccoli and diced half of one of my sweet potatoes and let that “simmer” in the microwave at a low power. I served that along side some lemon and lime salmon also from Whole Foods

Vegetable Tikka Masala, Lemon And Lime Salmon

The salmon(which was like 1.50 off the salad bar, wahoo bargains!) surprisingly did taste like lemon and lime. Sprite, anyone? With enough salt, though, it got back to its fishy roots. I liked the vegetables, but the sauce was a bit too mild? I know it says “England’s favorite mild curry sauce” but I was expecting their mild to be a bit more. Oh well, I’ll have to step it up next time!

I loved loved loved Survivor last night. it was the auction episode, which I’m always a fan of. It’s also such a good sign you’re getting towards the end of the season and can see who the real playa’s are. I had a (very repetitive) snack.

Oikos With Crushed Sunspire Peanut Milk Chocolate Drops

These mini Oikos cups are… mini, but they’re perfect for when you just want the topper and could care less about the yogurt 😉 Have I mentioned I’m now obsessed with the milk chocolate covered peanuts? I’m writing in to Trader Joe’s to request it(literally). Since there was no Grey’s, I was able to watch The Office and 30 Rock on their regular time. Neither of them had me loling, but at least I don’t have to worry about watching them online now. Then I got really random for Leno.

Toast With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, Double Chocolate Pillow, Advent Chocolate, Newman's Own Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Like I said: random. I was going to make my favorite bowl of oats but then thought this “sampler” platter was more fun. I still way prefer peanut butter on oatmeal than toast–it’s just better! And both of these cookies were still amazing after so much refrigeration, which made me happy. I’m definitely “rediscovering” my Newman’s Own Organic chocolate stash, which is dangerous since there’s a ton to rediscover.

This morning I didn’t have much of an excuse not to get up and go go go for a run. I set my sight on 12 miles and grabbed this bar.

Amazing Grass Whole Food Energy Bar

At 6:40, anything with the word energy is very welcomed. This flavor is OK, but I really prefer the chocolate or chocolate peanut butter(Could you imagine that? Me preferring chocolate and peanut butter? :-P). I ended up eating half and saving the other part for another morning, though I must admit I hate the idea of having half a bar around and right now that’s the case with 2(!). After the 10th mile I had to stop; I just wasn’t feeling it and, while I could have “entertained myself” and gone another two miles with eating up the rest of the bar, I recognized this was a time when pushing myself was not a strengthener but would weaken me. Instead I stopped at 10 miles and 83:18, did my cool down, showered, and made a breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Maple Almond Butter And 2 Goji Almond Oat Cookies

Pumpkin Yogurt With Brown Sugar

Omnomnomnom. The oatmeal was such a great bowl of antioxidants, healthy fats, and flavors. And I forgot how simple yet worth it raw sugar on yogurt can taste. Maybe that’s a good thing I forgot since sugar isn’t exactly the most nutritious thing but some granolas are practically 100% sugar anyhow so I just got rid of the bulk 😉

This morning I had a really positive interaction with my gym friend, Gail, that I thought I’d share. She told me that she saw me from her office window yesterday and wanted to compliment me on my leather jacket.

Firenze Leather Jacket

Spiffy, no? I got it in Italy the summer after 9th grade and now that it fits me better I find it so comfortable to wear. I also corrected her in thinking that my name was Ian; it felt a little awkward to address but I knew it’d be only more awkward with time and that it was better to correct a problem like this at the beginning. I think I’m going to make it my goal to compliment someone today. If such a simple and little thing can brighten someone’s morning, why not do it, right?

Who doesn’t love a tofu giveaway?

Amazing giveaway at Averie’s blog

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