Fusions

Posted on December 28, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Somethings were just meant to be: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Lucy and Ricky, Me and Emma Watson, Ross and Rachel–the list goes on and on. And the truth is that these pairs work better together more than on their own. So yesterday I was looking for things that worked better together than on their own.

Pecan Butter With Cashews

My first inspiration came from Artisana’s Pecan Butter. I really enjoyed the hint of cashews in this to make it more of an artisan nut butter so I thought I’d try to replicate that with the pecans I picked up from the natural food store and some Oh Nuts! cashews. I won’t reveal the “secret” ratio but I think this came out damn good and would get a 10/10 from my own scale. I will reveal that I roasted them all so the flavor would be more pungent, but I didn’t add any salt.

Butterscotch Peanut Butter

Butterscotch and peanut butter are definitely another flavor combo that was meant to be. I think Kath would agree with the number of times I’ve seen butterscotch chips on her oatmeal. For this I used 16oz raw peanuts I dry roasted, more butterscotch extract than I’d care to know, stevia, and 4 teaspoons brown sugar. The flavor is definitely unique; it’s not my favorite but it seems like one of those I might randomly crave at some point. After I played around on nutritiondata.com, it was time for dinner.

Thai Curry Chickpeas With Hot Sauce, Brussels Sprouts, Buffalo Bleu Chips

I think Frank’s Red Hot sauce + anything is amazing(as attested by multiple bloggers around here). My mouth was on fire after all of this. There was also lemon-thyme salmon on the table but a) I didn’t think the lemon-thyme and hot sauce would work and b) I didn’t feel like having meat this meal.

After dinner, as disgusting as it was, I was determined to find the receipt for the food processor so that I can work at getting a non-broken one. It just so happened to be in the same bag of trash which my mom threw out ALL of her receipts from balancing her checkbook. This was really like finding a needle in a haystack but we got it.

Macy's Receipt

A little worse from ware but proof is proof. I think I continued to wash my hands for another 20 minutes to get off the coffee grounds and tofu, and then turned on I Love Lucy and picked up more fusion food.

Xocai Nugget And Power Square

Obviously, chocolates bestie is more chocolate, so I tried out Xocai’s nugget and power square. If you want to get technical, both of these are also fused with dried acai berries to increase their ORAC value, but really chocolate is chocolate. I liked these, but surprisingly they weren’t dark enough for me at the time. They tasted like a good 55% but I was expecting them to be more bitter-sweet. After a few good I Love Lucy episodes(a timeless show), I found more fusion in the kitchen.

Barney butter And Peach Amaretto Jam

Oatmeal With Barney Butter And Peach Amaretto Jam

These were soooo meant to be together. The jam was a Christmas present to my parents and is unreal; it has so much amaretto flavor! And it’s totally giving me ideas for more nut butters. The Barney Butter oddly separated in the squeeze pack so half was really hard and have was liquid. At least it still tasted OK. Lastly I had a 2nd daily probiotic source and hit the hay.

Pop Culture Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

This morning I must have been lazy because I slept in 40 minutes. It is vacation, after all 🙂 But then I got “in the mood” for a good workout. I did my core with

  • 240 varying arm rotations
  • 5 sets of 7 chair swings
  • 40 squats(thinking back, I might have forgotten this one)
  • 70 rowers’ arms
  • 40 second pose hold
  • 70 standing marches
  • 100 sit ups
  • 100 air kicks
  • 70 tricep dips
  • 70 side crunches, both sides
  • 100 crunches
  • 50 second crunch hold
  • 40 push-ups(a little messy by this point)

After that I threw in 100 flights of stairs, which took about 30 minutes but flew by to some good ipod tunes. After that I knew exactly what was on the menu for breakfast.

Vegan Cinnamon Raisin Roll With Pecan Butter And Brown Sugar Vegan Butter Spread

Peanut Flour Yogurt

Pecan butter, earth balance, and brown sugar were most definitely all meant to co-exist(We are the woooorrld. We are the futurrre). I’ve come to think there is nothing better than to be able to think “I’m eating homemade pecan butter” and know it’s your home that made it! Now I just need to figure out how to homemake a cinnamon roll. Peanut flour and greek yogurt were equally meant to be for a 1-2 protein punch. Today’s agenda most definitely includes a trip to Macy’s to try and get a new food processor piece, and hopefully addressing 1 or 2 recipes on my to-do list.

A huge vitatop giveaway from Iowa Girl!

And a Wild Bar giveaway from Chocolate Covered Katie!

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Eating The Alternative

Posted on October 5, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Beside my daily grind, today I want to point out some of the foods I ate yesterday that are something of an alternative to the traditional. I hope you find something fun and funky to try; and I’d love to read comments about any alternatives you’d think I like because I love trying new foods(and all the better if they’re delicious :-))

So I’m kind of bad with rest days, case in point: I run on them. Write after I wrote and (thought I) posted, I got to thinking about a walk. And then I thought “why walk when you could run?” Well that did it for me. Plus there were some old streets I hadn’t been by in a while and I thought it’d be interesting to run around and see if anything’s changed. One thing I don’t like about running any other time than first thing is having food digesting, and feeling my body switch from running on simple carbs to stored energy. About 2 miles in I felt the switch and got a little dizzy for a minute, but thankfully that past and I continued on feeling like I do every morning. I saw a skunk as roadkill and about a mile later almost made a baby squirrel road kill, too; he darted right in front of me and it took a hop, a skip, and a jump to avoid him I ended up running 7.18 miles in 59 minutes. When I got back I showered and it was pretty much time for lunch.

Bison Steak Medallion, Sweet Potato, Brussel Sprouts

Bison Steak Medallion, Sweet Potato, Brussel Sprouts

Alternative first: Bison. Consider bison and yam the meat and potatoes of the new millenium, because they’re here to stay. Bison is a much leaner red meat than beef yet has the same robust flavor and is very very tender. My 6oz medallion had 180 calories, 1.5g saturated fat, and 38g protein. Amazing, isn’t it? It cut as well as butter and was perfectly fulling. If you’ve read this for a while, you’d know I don’t eat meat unless I think it’s quality, and this definitely was. Of course, it went great with the sweet potato, which is an alternative we all already know a lot about probably. I top mine with salt but cinnamon is a great alternative for something with a bit of a punch. What’s Sunday lunch without dessert, right?

Vitabrownie

Vitabrownie

Not really alternative, just delicious 🙂 I ate this in the car to my second Massachusett’s home, also known as Trader Joe’s. I stockpiled things for the dorm including bread, cheese, mac n’ cheese pouches, canned tuna, and peanut butter filled pretzels. If you haven’t had a TJ peanut butter filled pretzel, you have experienced life. We stopped at Whole Foods because it’s literally across the way(how cool is that?) where I got another one of my favorite alternatives for dinner. Not too much time was spent back at home; it was mostly pack the car, serve some ice cream, and go. Or was it?

Purely Decadent Mocha Almond Fudge Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Purely Decadent Mocha Almond Fudge Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Alternative second: Coconut milk ice cream. I love all types of ice cream, frozen yogurt, soy yogurt, etc. And don’t get me started on the joy of goat milk ice cream! Coconut milk is just one of the many great alternatives. It is higher on fat, particularly saturated, but it’s all plant based so it has no cholesterol(and I think plant saturated fat doesn’t have the same negative effect on cholesterol as animal meat but someone might want to correct me here). That’s why coconut milk is great, but here’s why this ice cream is: I first had it after seeing Jenna gush about it. I love anything mocha and the fudge in this blends with the coffee so well. And the almonds are a perfect touch, especially since they’re roasted and salted to really bring out the flavor for a salty/sweet punch.

Getting back to college this time around was much better than the emotional disaster of last. My roommate was not in the room, so I invited my whole family to actually come in the room this time. Of course, we had to yell at grandma when she started picking up my roommates clothes on the floor, haha. My dad even scraped down the freezer that was all iced up so it hopefully will run better now. This time the goodbyes were much more normal and after they left I got a case of the munchies:

Peach, Toast With Cream Cheese And Pumpkin Butter

Peach, Toast With Cream Cheese And Pumpkin Butter

It’s been so long since I’ve had a good peach, too long. This one was a bit soft but it was not a disappointment at all. I’m missing the perfect peach season 😦 Summer, come back! Oh wait, we have pumpkins and apples to comfort us. Meh. I also had some T light whole wheat bread with cream cheese and TJ pumpkin butter. This sweet/savory combo works really well. And I like this bread for toast when I’m not looking for a real artisan bread because it has a light, wheaty flavor that toasts well and doesn’t impede on the spread. Gotta watch out though; 5g insoluble fiber per slice can get a little dangerous if you know what I mean. I met up with a friend for dinner but I already had what I wanted in mind so I brown bagged it:

Gardenburger With Light Cheddar Cheese And Tempeh Bacon, FSTG Potato & Chive Chips

Gardenburger With Light Cheddar Cheese And Tempeh Bacon, FSTG Potato & Chive Chips

Alternative third: Tempeh bacon. Try getting a bacon cheddar cheeseburger at any burger joint and I bet you won’t find this. The flame-grilled gardenburgers have a great flavor on their own, but with the smokiness of the tempeh bacon it was just out of this world. Obviously, tempeh bacon is a great vegetarian alternative. It has no cholesterol and has heart-healthy fats; and the Lightlife brand uses all natural flavorings to give it that bacon-essence. The potato and chive Food Should Taste Good chips totally top and greasy fries you’d find at a burger joint, too. There’s something so deliciously intriguing about them that makes it hard to stop eating them.

Last night I started off with The Amazing Race. I don’t really think it’s all that great of a show, especially not worthy of the crap load of Emmy’s it’s one. But I also have an addictive personality and aren’t too picky about reality shows so I’ll probably be watching the whole season. Usually each season has a pair of charming old people but I think this season’s missing that, which is so disappointing. Instead, I tihnk I’ll be rooting for the couple that came in 2nd last night and the gay brothers. I don’t really care for those shrewd poker players. One of my latest kicks lately has been the black and white cookies. I’ve never tried them, but after seeing them on blogs I got curious. I’m told I’m not missing anything special, so I don’t really feel like I’m missing out anymore, but that quest did inspire some kickassbutt oatmeal:

Black And White Cookie Dough Oatmeal

Black And White Cookie Dough Oatmeal

Ok, I can stop questing for the cookie now that I have this. I used P.B. Loco’s cookie dough peanut butter, which has vanilla bean extracts and chocolate morsels, and used 1/2 serving grain sweetened dark chocolate chips and 1/2 serving ghiradelli’s white chocolate chips. This was definitely a “dessert” oatmeal, and it was so perfect. It took me almost an hour to finish because I was also watching Family Guy and working on my essay(1/4 of the way there…). I thought Family Guy wasn’t as great as last week but still decent enough to keep up its reputation. Afterwards I made some homemade pumpkin pie yogurt with double alternatives:

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Turbinado Sugar Glaze

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt With Turbinado Sugar Glaze

4th and 5th Alternatives: Stevia and Turbinado sugar. There are a lot of ways to sweeten our favorite dishes; and when it comes to sweeteners, while none might be all that great for us, in moderation there are some better than others. Stevia is an all natural zero-calorie sweetener from the stevia. Normally, I’d be suspicious of things like that that seem too good to be true. But since I own my own stevia plant and can see what this comes from, it puts my mind to ease. NuNaturals has a great line of products, too. Another better option is turbinado sugar. This is the unrefined crystallized form of evaporated can juice. Because of the method employed, it’s more slowly absorbed into the body than other table sugars and retains more of the nutrients. Again, though, these are all sugars and need moderating. I topped off the night with some more of Holly’s amazing cookies and toast with peanut butter cookie spread and watched Brothers & Sisters. I fell behind last season but I’m trying to get back into it and feeling really bad for Kitty at the moment 😦

This morning I felt decent enough. I decided to keep it in the gym because there was one part of my important morning routine that wasn’t happening and I wanted to keep it close to a bathroom, if you catch my drift. My first machine was definitely broken, telling me I was running 7 mph but going wayy faster than that. I hopped over to another machine and tried readjusting. I’m not quite sure I trust all the stats but according to the machines I went 8 miles in 66:46. I’ve also been lucky enough to make a gym friend(i.e someone who you constantly run in at the gym and awkwardly acknowledge each other’s presence). She’s a rockin’ 60 or so year old who kicks her butt out of bed to walk for a few miles and even do a bit of jogging while watching the Today Show. Clearly she’s a woman after my own heart. Breakfast was a little bit of a nuissance; my kitchen scale has run out of batteries so I needed to measure everything with tablespoons and measuring cups. I really love using a scale for oatmeal and other grains because it gives me the perfect amount with the perfect amount of water every time. Nevertheless, I trudged on:

Peanut Butter Flax Oikos With Granola Bar Granola, Eggy Oatbran

Peanut Butter Flax Oikos With Granola Bar Granola, Eggy Oatbran

Alternative Last: Peanut Flour. A while back, when I came in 2nd at The Peanut Butter Boy‘s recipe contest, The National Peanut Board sent me some peanut flour to play around with. This very easily became a new food obsession with me. Peanut flour is the roasted, ground, defatted product of a peanut. It retains much of the flavor and essence but is in a dry form, much more easily mixed in to liquids and cold products such as Oikos. I recently ordered 2 more pounds of it from Byrd Mill to continue using. A 24g serving has a whopping 12 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber and I typically will use 1/2 a serving in my yogurt. I’ve also added it to bread and cookie recipes to add nutrition. This breakfast was pretty decent; I think the oat bran came out a little dry because there wasn’t enough water, but hopefully I’ll get batteries for the scale later on today. For the granola topper I used Cascadian Farms Vanilla Chip, which is extremely delicious, but on its own will not fill you up at all.

Not much for the day ahead other than batteries and essay writing. I hope you enjoyed and learned something from all these alternatives. Again, please share anything you love that’s a little bit different so we can all learn and experience a little more.

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My Whole Foods Is Thiiiis Big

Posted on September 3, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

G’morning. Yesterday my savory breakfast threw my body way off. I was totally not hungry for a mid-morning snack but I figured I could use one anyway:

Homemade Lemon Cashew Larabar

Homemade Lemon Cashew Larabar

The homemade larabars were definitely a worth while time investment. Too bad dates haven’t been on sale and so cheap since back in July. I ate half and stuck the other half back in the freezer. I always heard that a high protein source for breakfast makes you less hungry over the course of the day; I definitely think it’s true. Another way the savory oats threw me off: I was craving sweet for lunch. I never want something sweet for lunch, but all I could think about was a PB&J, or just the J! I also really wanted to finish off the box of salmon burgers, and that won out.

Salmon Burger And FSTG Potato And Chive Nachos

Salmon Burger And FSTG Potato And Chive Nachos

I had to have more of the potato and chive Food Should Taste Good chips. They’ve really grown on me, and with a healthy dose of salt and pepper they were remarkable. For a time when I was craving something sweet, this salmon burger hit the spot nonetheless. I wish I checked the ingredients to see how they’re seasoned, because adding anything on top of these would be a sin; they’re so flavorful on their own.

I actually ended up eating lunch in the car, as it were. We planned a special trip for today. The largest Whole Foods in all of New England opened in Dedham.

Dedham Whole Foods

Dedham Whole Foods

How could I not visit this before going off to Brown? It was a 45-55 minute drive, and we passed one of our regular Whole Foods on the way, but it was soooo worth it. Check out the bulk section:

Bulk Section

Bulk Section

They had EVERYTHING in bulk bins. They even had bulk containers for agave nectar, honey, and maple syrup. Not to mention bulk gojis for $20/lb(Fritz would have gone bulk bin nuts). From this section I got Grade A maple syrup and vanilla sugar. I should have gotten a lot more vanilla sugar; I didn’t realize it would smell so amazing with all the bean pieces in there. To give you a better idea of how big this place was, know that it had a coffee bean roaster, a walk in cheese cellar, homemade pasta, a butchery, about 5 different salad bars, a nut and trail mix section seperate from the bulk bins, a full wine section, several dessert bars, sushi, a gelateria, and full bakery. Classy, very classy. Oh yeah, and there were some groceries, too 😛 I wouldn’t say it had more variety than other Whole Foods, just a lot more. Imagine how high our bill would have been if I didn’t have to think about moving! Argh, I did, however, pick up an organic chocolate hazelnut butter I’d been eyeing at other Whole Foods as a sort of souvenir.

Whole Foods Loot

Whole Foods Loot

We were in there for over an hour–no lie. It was no wonder I needed a snack when we got in the car:

Peach And Morning Maple Cookie

Peach And Morning Maple Cookie

The peach wasn’t organic, but it was cheap and from a farm that’s closer to my house than the Whole Foods(irony) so I figured it must be very fresh. The cookie is one of my Morning Maple Cookies I resurrected from the freezer; at first I didn’t really care for these but the sweetness of apple and maple has really grown on me and they’re incredibly pillowy considering they have flax, wheat germ, oats, and whole wheat flour.

When we got home, I had this conversation with myself:

Gut: Hey, can we get some of those healthy probiotics?

Tongue: Sure, do you mind if they come in frozen form?

Gut: Not at all. They’re dormant in the freezer but become active again at higher temperatures.

Tongue: That’s interesting, I never knew that.

Brain: I did. Now eat some Frozen Yogurt.

Vanilla, Coffee, And Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Vanilla, Coffee, And Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

I could’ve finished the vanilla container but I was feeling a little more fun than that. Chocolate, vanilla, and coffee in one bowl, does it get any better? I also got an amazing package in the mail that contained this:

NuNuNatural Products

NuNuNatural Products

The kind folks at NuNuNaturals sent me a wide variety of their products to try. In the line-up they included their Stevia powder used as a sugar substitute, cocoa and vanilla stevia drops, and their Better Baking formula. This powder can be substituted into any recipe at a 1:1 ratio for sugar, and instead brings fiber, not sugar, to your baked good. That’s perfect, thanks NuNunaturals! I planned on making myself Banana Goodness Bread on Friday as a housewarming gift for myself(is that weird? that’s weird. I’m weird, yeah I already knew that) and this sounds like it will fit into my recipe perfectly! New things always get me so excited so I had some toast and milk:

Toast With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Toast With Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Vanilla Almond Milk

Vanilla Almond Milk

On the toast I spread my new chocolate hazelnut butter. This stuff is absolutely amazing and melted into a rich, velvety coat the second I put it on. It tasted exactly like Nutella and brought back fond memories of that. I don’t eat Nutella anymore because it’s artificially flavored, so having this as an alternative is wonderful. What I like even better than Nutella is that this has a nutrition label more like a nut butter than a dessert sauce. Sure, hazelnut is the 3rd ingredient, but it has almost half the sugar as Nutella and more healthy fats. In the vanilla almond milk I added Nuvia’s vanilla drops. It’s hard to tell whether the vanilla came from the milk or the drops, but this drink was very good. it was cool, creamy, and hit the spot; and better yet, there was no funky stevia taste I’ve experienced in the past.

All these good eats, I might not have been hungry for dinner if it wasn’t my favorite: Salmon!

Salmon, Corn, Brocolli, Laughing Cow Cheese

Salmon, Corn, Broccoli, Laughing Cow Cheese

I must have more omega-3’s in me than the ocean. Thankfully, I’ve done some research on the subject and the main side effects of a high Omega-3:Omega-6 ratio is just diahrrea, slightly thinned blood, and perhaps a slightly elevated mood. I can deal with the first two for salmon. Obviously I wanted to play with my new toys products for dessert.

Yogurt With Peanut Flour And Cocoa Bean Stevia

Yogurt With Peanut Flour And Cocoa Bean Stevia

Coffee With NuNatruals Stevia

Coffee With NuNatruals Stevia

First I tried making some PB&C(chocolate) yogurt with the cocoa bean stevia. I like this product because it’s non-alcohol based which makes it more appealing to add to uncooked products. The yogurt definitely tasted sweetened, but I don’t know that I got the cocoa. Maybe the problem was that yogurt typically requires more sweetening than beverages, which the instructions are geared towards. Then I tried their plain stevia powder in my cofffee. Just like the package says, there was no bitter taste. I use stevia in the raw typically and this was a great replacement; it’s much better than other brands I’ve tried like Treader Joe’s which has a very odd aftertaste. I fixed myself some more breads and spreads and watched Top Chef. Is it weird that nothing they made that challenge really appealed to me? Clearly the brothers are dominating and the only two worth keeping an eye on this season.

Today’s running was not how I would have liked it. I should have stayed in the neighborhood today but I went for a road run anyway. My left arch started feeling tight but I was too stubborn headed to stop. Around 2 miles in a soccer mom barreled up to a Stop sign; if I was 1 second behind I very clearly would have been hit. At that point I was thinking of just sitting on the side of the road and waiting for my dad to pass me on his way to work, but I kept going. 4.5 miles in that first side effect of too many Omega-3’s kicked in and I had a new motivation to get back into the neighborhood. Finally I made it back, safe and sound, and was just thankful to sit down to breakfast.

Kashi Strawberry Waffles With Dark Chocolate Almond Spread, Yogurt With Banana Jam, Carrot Juice

Kashi Strawberry Waffles With Dark Chocolate Almond Spread, Yogurt With Banana Jam, Carrot Juice

This meal finished off the box of waffles and container of yogurt–double score. The almond butter calls itself a “spread” but it has less than 10 grams of sugar and almonds are the first ingredient, making it a butter in my books for what it’s worth. I thought after the picture to add some cocoa stevia into my yogurt. Again, I didn’t get a strong cocoa sense, but it definitely sweetened it well.

Today I might meet up with my new roommate and his mother in Boston. They’re from Montana but flew in to see the city I guess. I also have some last minute “Why didn’t I think to take care of this sooner” things to workout before I move, so it should be a busy busy day.

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A Very Vanilla Weekend

Posted on August 31, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In case you left the planet for the day, check out my Naturally More nut butter review. And don’t confuse that with the Naturally Nutty company, for which I already have a second review in the works(the first being here).

Phew, let’s take a break from peanut butter… Ok that’s over. Saturday was such a dreary morning. You know it’s bad when you need flash at 11am to snap your snacks:

Peach With Naturally More Peanut Butter

Peach With Naturally More Peanut Butter

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

I took a tip from Erik over at VeganFritz and tried my peanut butter with a peach. Why did I doubt this would work? It was like a double-dose of Georgia in my mouth. I think I might prefer bread overall, but it’s nice to have a few simple swaps in the toolbox. I also grabbed a mini-slice of bread and flew out the door to the bank where I cashed my last paycheck!

Wallet

Wallet

Lettuce in the pocket 🙂 Ok I kind of already spent most of that on peanut butter but it felt like I was getting more, and nothing beats that winning feeling. When we got home it was a munchy lunchy inside.

Veggieburger with Cheese, Broccoli With Ground Flax And Pepper

Veggieburger with Cheese, Broccoli With Ground Flax And Pepper

Don’t you love how you can make anything in the microwave these days? The veggieburger was Morningstar’s grillers vegan, which is pretty great but has a bit of a weird and long ingredient list. I have some Gardenburgers’ Grillers which is made by the same company but organic lying in the freezer, so hopefully those will be a good replacement. Afterward we hung around a bit while my dad did his errands. I thought I’d bake up some fig and almond blondies with our figs before they grew mold. Well, it was a little late for 2 of them, but the rest seemed fine so I plowed ahead(just don’t tell anyone).

Fig And Almond Blondies

Fig And Almond Blondies

Fig And Almond Blondie With Almond Milk

Fig And Almond Blondie With Almond Milk

I also resurrected on of this batches’ older brothers from the freezer while it was in the oven and enjoyed it aside some vanilla almond milk. I can’t believe I drink that stuff straight now. I first bought it to lighten up my coffee but couldn’t stand it plain. Now I drink my coffee black and my almond milk straight up, yo… sorry, I don’t know where that came from.

After that we did some Back2School shopping. Ugh, if you need proof that we feed our kids too much sugar, go to Walmart on back to school weekend. Them lil’ buggers be running up and down every aisl, ahootin’ and ahollerin’. I grabbed a stabler and was out of there. We also stopped at Market Basket for lots of loot including Carrot Juice and Whole Foods. I was pretty famished at Whole Foods, so I grabbed a Kind Almond & Cashew bar by instinct. Then I thought “Sure, this is pretty nutritious, definitely delicious, and all the ingredients are recognizably food, but could you do better?” At that point I put it down and hopped over to the salad bar for something special.

Whole Foods' Chicken Rice Soup

Whole Foods' Chicken Rice Soup

I’m the last to think I’d be getting chicken soup in August, but it was that kind of day in Massachusetts. This soup was packed on chicken, light on the rice, so I knew I was getting a heavy dose of protein. It was actually a little underseasoned; isn’t that rare to find in premade soups these days? This definitely gets a big “Food” stamp. When I got home I was proud of myself, but also a little munchy. I made up this parfait:

Vanilla Chobani With Cinnamon And Cinnamon Puffins

Vanilla Chobani With Cinnamon And Cinnamon Puffins

Vanilla and cinnamon were made for each other, just like Laverne and Shirley. If you recall, we were supposed to be seeing the Savannah Chef doing her thang over a stove tonight, so dinner wasn’t really planned, and definitely didn’t go over smoothly. I’ll spare you the drama and pathetic pic of “dinner”. What was much better was dessert(isn’t this always the case?). I had been looking for a good vanilla frozen yogurt and finally just went with elan’s at Market Basket, hoping it’d be suitable.

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

I was a little worried, because this wasn’t vanilla bean, which is the only way to know you’re getting real quality vanilla. But oh my god, was this good. It definitely was not one of those this-has-no-flavor-so-let’s-label-it-vanilla flavors. No, this was like frothy milkshake from a burger joint vanilla. I just let it sit and licked it like a cone as it melted, which made the flavor even purer. And because it’s elan it’s all natural and has a readable ingredient list. +1000 on this purchase.

Flashfoward to Sunday morning. I was planning on just running around the neighborhood about 6 times, but I decided to take advantage of the fact that nobody’s on the road on Sundays, so I went out for 8.5 miles. I would call this my “long run” but Friday kinda trumped that. I was ready for refueling after that, so I made myself this:

Pineapple Chobani, Banana Goodness Bread, Toast With Mocha Peanut Butter, Carrot Juice

Pineapple Chobani, Banana Goodness Bread, Toast With Mocha Peanut Butter, Carrot Juice

I wanted to give pineapple Chobani a second chance after seeing it so much on the blog world. I didn’t like it so much the first time but I figured I must have missed something. I enjoyed it much more than I remember. This time I could taste the creaminess from the 2% base. And I thought that the pineapple wasn’t a distinct flavoring but rather more a sweetener which masked the natural tartness, which I also enjoyed about it. I gave the mocha peanut butter a second try after not getting a strong taste of it the first time. I don’t know if I’m down with coffee in my peanut butter, but there’s no denying the flavor is there and kicking. Of course Sunday morning meant coupon clipping time:

Weekend Circulars

Weekend Circulars

My mom totally stole the coupons I clipped myself. I’m going to have to raid her stash for the things I eat before heading off on my own next weekend(odd thought, right there). Check out my shirt I got on the internet last year(that doesn’t sound sketchy at all)

Get Your Greek On

Get Your Greek On

What a painful reminder I have 2 dead languages to relearn for next week after my brain rotted this Summer. Oh well, I’ve studied Latin so long I can probably pick up the Aeneid and start translating, but Greek is another story.

Sunday also meant having my grandmother over for dinner. I was not feeling turkey(what was being cooked) so I turned on the grill and fired up one of the bison burgers I made last week.

Bison Burger With The Fixings On Whole Wheat Bun, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato

Bison Burger With The Fixings On Whole Wheat Bun, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato

Clearly, I’m not becoming a vegetarian any time soon. But I would like to cut animal protein out of my diet a bit and the first thing that I feel good about giving up is bland poultry(not that my mom’s turkey is bland more than any other turkey). That being said, nothing’s bland about bison, am I right? I picked up a trick from UFood and put steak sauce underneath the burger. That way your tongue gets a dose of it before the meat, making for a flavorful combo. I was also a bit of a genius when it came to dessert.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt And Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt And Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

I can not begin to describe how good this was. The vanilla with the cinnamon and cookie dough chunks made for some super-cookie-concoction with protein, fiber, and probiotics. It was also a delicious way to stretch an expensive ice cream(the snickerdoodle) with a cheaper one(the vanilla). Too bad I figured this out with the last of the snickerdoodle 😦 I got out the college check list…

College Checklist

College Checklist

…and hit up Target…

Blue Spoon And Newman's Own Organic Decaf

Blue Spoon And Newman's Own Organic Decaf

Not the largest loot but not bad. I picked up that spoon, which was the only blue one in a sea of green and white, so it was obviously meant for me. And I couldn’t belief that coffee was on clearance. It’s the same stuff from McDonalds and is soooo good(not to mention organic). Newman’s Own Organic have made my Summer in more ways than one; can’t wait to bring them into my dorm! We also swung by Roche Bros. where I completely beat the system with the sales.

Kashi Mountain Medley Granola And Kashi Vive Cereal

Kashi Mountain Medley Granola And Kashi Vive Cereal

Check this out: Both of these were on sale for 2 dollars a piece, and I had a 1.50 off any 2 boxes of Kashi cereal, making this a 2.50 grab. At normal prices, this would be over 9 dollars. Isn’t that ridiculous? If they had Kashi Honey Sunshine, I could’ve grabbed a box of that for 50 cents with my coupon, but they were out so I’ll check another store this sales period. I haven’t tried either of these, but I was sold on the Vive when I heard it had probiotics and vanilla yogurt balls. And granola is just impossible to pass up ever. Hopefully they’ll both be good.

For dinner we grilled. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to I made up some lentils but figured salmon would also be good.

Snobby Joes In A Whole Wheat Bun, Salmon Burger With Avocado

Snobby Joes In A Whole Wheat Bun, Salmon Burger With Avocado

I’m totally doing an impressive job freeing up our freezer by eating all these burgers. Plus it doesn’t take much convincing for me to eat salmon 😉 We went for a walk after dinner and got in right before it became dark and the bug started swarming.

Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Deep Chocolate Vitatop And Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Yogurt

Deep Chocolate Vitatop And Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Yogurt

Consider operation eat-out-the-fridge-of-my-food officially on. I really can’t complain about that operation; it’s giving me an excuse to eat vitatops and ice cream for any and every meal 😉 I also tried catching up on some TV shows before all these new seasons start in September! Crazy!

This morning the run wasn’t so hot, just like the weather. I got in 6.7 but I don’t feel like I ever really got going. I think my time was 56:45. Maybe I spent too much time on my feet and not enough time in front of the tube, which I will make up for today. Breakfast was more let’s-finish-this-crap-so-we-can-make-some-space:

Raspberries, Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt With Maple-Agave Syrup, Strawberry Flax Waffles With Cream Cheese And Syrup

Raspberries, Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt With Maple-Agave Syrup, Strawberry Flax Waffles With Cream Cheese And Syrup

Ok, by “crap” I meant really yummy stuff. I’m definitely bringing my TJ’s Maple Agave syrup to Brown. It’s so good at sweetening up just about anything. And the raspberries are still from the bunch that we picked last weekend. A little bit less on the freshness and nutrition by this point, but still tangy and delicious. Today I’m debating buying myself a really nice chair for Brown because it’s 50% off. Besides that I’m going to see how many more Kashi coupons and loot we can score. Boy this was a long one, thanks for hanging in there!

P.S. Mary over at Food & Fun is having her first giveaway. Check it out and add her to your blogroll if you haven’t already!: http://mponz.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/my-first-giveaway/

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Going Farther, Getting Nuttier

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

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

10.05 miles in 1:20:12

10.05 miles in 1:20:12

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

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

Eat This Not That And A Peach

Eat This Not That And A Peach

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

Drink This: Best Bottled Juice--Odwalla Carrot Juice

Drink This: Best Bottled Juice--Odwalla Carrot Juice

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

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

Salmon Burger On The Grill

Salmon Burger On The Grill

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

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

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

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

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

Framingham Farmers' Market Peppers

Framingham Farmers' Market Peppers

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

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

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

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

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

The Sugar

The Sugar

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

The Secret Ingredient

The Secret Ingredient

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

Oven Ready

Oven Ready

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

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

Elan Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt With Cinnamon And Midnight Moo

Elan Decaf Cappuccino Frozen Yogurt With Cinnamon And Midnight Moo

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

The Peanut Butter Boy's Scones

The Peanut Butter Boy's Scones

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

Banana Goodness Bread And Peanut Butter Scones

Banana Goodness Bread And Peanut Butter Scones

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

Peanut Butter And Apple Popcorn, Raspberries, Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Peanut Butter And Apple Popcorn, Raspberries, Cinnamon Raisin Bread

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

Meatball Sub With Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Peppers

Meatball Sub With Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Peppers

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

My Package

My Package

Naturally Nutty Nut Butters

Naturally Nutty Nut Butters

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

Mocha Peanut Butter On A Split Scone

Mocha Peanut Butter On A Split Scone

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

Banana Goodness Bread With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Banana Goodness Bread With Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Flour Flying Everywhere

Posted on August 26, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday morning I put on my work clothes and did some heavy lifting.

The Spare Bedroom

The Spare Bedroom

I can’t believe move in day is in less than 2 weeks? I feel wicked prepared, but also very not prepared. I have most of the big stuff, so today I focused on finding pencils, binders, etc., and moving that huge ass trunk. A hernia, fallen cactus, and 20 minutes later, I was spent. That’s enough for one day, right? I mean, it IS over a week away. I needed sunlight being trapped in that room so I stepped outside with a peach.

Going For A Walk

Going For A Walk

When I got back, we needed to go next door to let out our neighbors’ new cat. His name’s shadow, and he was a stray that’d been roaming the neighborhood for the past 2 weeks. Finally my parents and neighbors got wicked attached to them and apparently he’s been adopted. I’m pretty sure that breaks about 3 rules my parents taught me but apparently never learned themselves?

Shadow

Shadow

After that I was pretty cranky, which definitely meant lunchtime. I tried making a salmon and tuna burger with our leftovers–bad idea. I should know not to take on difficult cooking projects when I really just want to eat, but I needed to relearn that. I settled for a pretty sweet reincarnation of pizza and wings.

Trader Joe's Individual Pizza Grilled With Buffalo Bleu Kettle Chips

Trader Joe's Individual Pizza Grilled With Buffalo Bleu Kettle Chips

What a knockout combo. Of course I grilled the pizza which gave the bottom that crusty, burnt flavor. We used to have pizza parlor pizza and wings every Tuesday. Looking back, that was fun, but definitely not healthy and something to eat every week. Plus, fresh basil? I would eat this meal in a heartbeat over that greasy stuff.

After “the soaps” we jumped in the car, swung by my grandmothers condo, and took her to Roche Bros. I needed something for some shopping energy.

Banana Goodness Bread

Banana Goodness Bread

This loaf is definitely on its last leg. Roche Bros. was a reminder of why I’m not much of a fan of shopping other places than Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Does anybody else find it ridiculous that grocery stores these days have special sections for “natural” products? I mean, it’s a food store, you’d hope most of what’s in there is natural. But that’s just not the case these days. And Whole Foods is lovingly termed Whole Paycheck, but have you ever tried buying Whole Foods quality stuff at regular supermarkets? That’ll be your paycheck and your bonus. Whole Foods can actually be quite affordable; the trick is to shop the sales and use the coupons from companies/The Whole Deal and you can get some real bargains. That all being said, I did get some loot(with a little help from a stop at a natural food store on the way back)

Watermelon, Carrot Cake Ice Cream, Bulk Bin Oats, Cinnamon Sugar Grinder, Banana Vanilla Yogurt

Watermelon, Carrot Cake Ice Cream, Bulk Bin Oats, Cinnamon Sugar Grinder, Banana Vanilla Yogurt

The wallaby yogurt and spice grinder is for my next banana loaf–I am so on top of this planning thing. The oats were from the natural stores’ bulk bin, which are rocksome for getting high quality cheap grains and seeds. And the dairy free ice cream was another find from the natural food store.

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

How could I turn this down? I couldn’t obviously. Carrot cake is my favorite dessert so I needed to give it a try. The base was absolutely delicious, like a frozen form of carrot juice with cinnamon and nutmeg, and absolutely none of that soymilk flavor. In the ice cream was big globs of gingerbread dough, which were surprisingly soft and moist, almost like eating right out of a freshly mixed batch. Overall this was really good, but not quite what I was expecting. I love raisins and pineapple in my carrot cake, as well as a little cream cheese frosting. Still, this was great for what it was. The nutrition threw me off in a non-favorable way. No fiber or protein? That’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of non-dairy ice creams: Because you miss the nutrients from milk. Still, it was a great treat, just not something to be eaten if you’re looking to get filled up.

I also really wanted to try out my new peanut butter flour today, and one recipe instantly caught my eye. I majorly tweaked it to fit my particularities–aka no butter and low sugar. Even for being tweaked so much, these came out great.

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops

Ingredients:

2oz Mighty Maple Peanut Butter

2oz reduced fat cream cheese

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup peanut flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon baking powder

Cinnamon sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl, blend the cream cheese and peanut butter with a mixer. Crack in the eggs and add the milk and maple syrup. Mix until well incorporated. In a seperate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Sift the dry into the wet and mix until fully smooth. Using an ice cream scoop, dump the dough onto lined cookie tins. Dust with cinnamon sugar and bake for 10 minutes or until puffed and firm.

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops

I’ve never made muffin tops before, so I was a little dissappointed when these didn’t turn out just like the picture. But then I figured they probably used real muffin top tins, which apparently exist, so boo on them. While these cooled we had dinner:

Halibut, Watermelon, Asparagus, And Corn With Sunflower Butter

Halibut, Watermelon, Asparagus, And Corn With Sunflower Butter

Yours truly grilled the watermelon using some fun kabobs. It makes them so juicy and sweet, almost like they were dusted with sugar. The halibut was ok, but when I heard how much wild halibut costs “on sale” my jaw hit the floor. Seriously? That’s a lot of nut butter. Speaking of nut butter…

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter And Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

A package came for me at dinner time as well and it was this lovely gift bag from Katie over at Naturallynutty.com I ordered 3 of their flavors last month and wrote a review here. Katie loved my review and clearly figured out how much I LOVED these two flavors and was nice enough to send me 2 8oz jars! This package really threw me off at first, because I also am waiting for another ordered I placed to try 3 new flavors, which is apparently in UPS’s hands in Ohio at the moment. So much peanut butter! It’s a good problem to have, though, like a REALLY good problem. Thanks again, Katie! Now I have some jars to take to college and some to leave home. To anyone who hasn’t gotten a chance to try some of this peanut butter, I highly suggest treating yourself to some from their website. They’ve been my celebration-purchase of choice for my first and last week of work.

For dessert I needed carbs–loads of them for running. Obv, my favorite source is breads and spreads, so I loaded up on those.

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops With Maple Agave Syrup

Maple Peanut Butter Muffin Tops With Maple Agave Syrup

Frozen Cherries, Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter, Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Cream Cheese

Frozen Cherries, Toast With Vanilla Almond Butter, Carrot Ginger Muffin Top With Cream Cheese

Hey, what’s that fruit doing there? Ever notice how the same food appears on every blog. Well, it’s quite simple. After reading all of each others blogs, how could we not get cravings for the food we see? Frozen cherries was all over blog world last night and nothing felt like it would hit the spot better. The muffin tops were really delicious–not much of a maple flavor but HUGE on the peanut butter and protein. I did some mental math and found out there’s at least 5 grams of protein per top. My one problem with muffin tops is that they’re ugly which is the only reason I don’t think I’ll be making them again unless I get my hands on a special tin.

Waking up this morning was an odd experience. Usually my alarm radio is playing Daughtry and having some light hearted talk about the Red Sox but today it was all reminiscing about Senator Kennedy. Reminiscing? It took me a while to put the pieces together and realized he passed away. I’m not a very political person in the least, but one thing I do remember is him taking the time to meet and shake the hands of my entire 7th grade class on a trip to DC, so he was definitely a great man by my standards.

Normally my mornings are pretty standard: Run 5-7 miles, shower, make breakfast, blog and eat, do my email/website round-up, all while watching my Regis, Kelly, and Rachael Ray. Not a bad life, right? 🙂 But this morning I had a bagel-hankering. After pleading for arranging a ride I was good to go for a new plan. I ran the first 3/4ths of the run I was planning but then took a turn and ended up at this humdinger of a place:

Panera Bread

Panera Bread

It’s definitely been a while. I ran here at the beginning of the Summer but it was always a 2.5 mile walk back, and that just wasn’t a wise use of my time. I went in expecting to get a French Toast bagel but what was this? A new signature bagel? Cherry vanilla?! That’s definitely one of my top flavor combos so I knew I needed to order it. I got one of each, came home, toasted up half of each, and unleashed my armory of spreads.

Cherry Vanilla bagel With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter And Cherry Butter, French Toast Bagel With Pumpkin Butter And Mighty Maple, Carrot Juice

Cherry Vanilla bagel With White Chocolate Cherry Almond Butter And Cherry Butter, French Toast Bagel With Pumpkin Butter And Mighty Maple, Carrot Juice

Breads and spreads make my life. I had an awful thought last night: What if my roommate is allergic to nuts? He’d be dead if he got within 10 feet of me. I’m sure he would have mentioned this in one of our emails, right? Here’s hoping. Today we’re totally hitting up a Farmer’s Market for some Great Harvest bread. This is a chain, but there are only 2 in all of MA and I’ve never tried them before. I think they’re good though, Kath from KERF seems to really like it.

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Pick Me! Pick Me!

Posted on August 24, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

After going through a mountain of circulars and clipping some coupons I noshed on this little guy:

Juicy Peach

Juicy Peach

Peaches seem to be a favorite of bloggers, myself included. This turned out to be a cling peach, which I don’t like nearly as much as the free stone peaches(although not liking nearly as much is still liking a lot). Any other people with a preference one way or the other? I also like peaches with a darker orange flesh. White peaches are just not up my alley, sorry to get all racist on ya’ll. For lunch we were grilling but I did my own thing.

Turkey And Avocado Sandwich, Newman's Own Organic White Cheddar Soycrisps

Turkey And Avocado Sandwich, Newman's Own Organic White Cheddar Soycrisps

Turkey and avocado is just so tried and true I couldn’t turn it down once it got in my head. And I really like the Newman’s Own Organic white cheddar soycrisps(and the fact that they sent me 2 bags since the first is almost gone ;-)) They’re much better than their barbeque counterpart I decided after trying these again. For dessert I killed some dead weight:

Stonyfield Cookie's N Dream Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield Cookie's N Dream Frozen Yogurt

Doesn’t it feel good to empty out a pint and make room? I don’t even know what I’m going to replace this with, but I’m already racing my mind. Any suggestions are welcome so long as it’s an all-natural brand/flavor.

I really didn’t think today would be all that exciting or interesting until my mom came up with a great idea–berry picking! We went to Tougas Farm a while back for blueberry picking, from which we still have some berries, but this time we wanted something different. We decided to be fancy and mix it up.

August 23rd 004

August 23rd 005We decided to get 1 pint of blackberries and 3 of raspberries, since raspberries are just that pro(and so expensive to buy in the store). I really kick the other people in this family’s asses butts when it comes to picking berries, mostly because I find the really ripe ones and then put them in my container instead of my mouth. I ended up doing about half the total picking, including this pint which I proudly labeled after getting home.

My Pint O' Raspberries

My Pint O' Raspberries

Peaches were also in season at the farm(!!) but there was a bushel minimum. I enjoy my peaches, but a bushel plus the ones we already had would make enough pies for a Southern State Fair, so we just bought some already picked. I asked the lady distributing them who said they were free stone, which has me pumped to try one.

Tougas Farm's Peaches

Tougas Farm's Peaches

After that my parents needed to get some coffee from price chopper. Folgers is definitely not the best part of waking up, but they got 2 containers for 3 dollars, which I must admit was a killer deal. We also stopped at Trader Joe’s for some whole wheat hot dog buns for an upcoming meal. I was also getting the snackaroo’s at this point and figured it was a great chance to try one of Trader Joe’s muffins.

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Muffin

Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Muffin

Normally, I’d say avoid any store or cafe muffin, but Trader Joe’s are the real deal. They’re well sized with decent nutritional stats–full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. I love that all the ingredients make sense and are things I would put in my muffins. And what I love more is that I don’t have to lift a finger to make them 🙂 I chose the carrot ginger flavor since it sounded like my most beloved dessert–the carrot cake. The carrot and ginger flavor was present but subtle, which I liked because it made this muffin taste like a muffin and not a dessert. The oatmeal and oatbran added a lot of texture, and the water, oil, and white grape juice kept the muffin moist. Overall it was a great, filling snack and would make a killer on-the-go breakfast. I definitely want to stock up on these to shove in the freezer and heat up whenever I’m feeling a wee bit lazy.

Before dinner I took a little note from my previous day:

Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate With 365 Crunchy Peanut Butter

Stonyfield After Dark Chocolate With 365 Crunchy Peanut Butter

2 pints free from the fridge? Ooo, I could buy a quart of ice cream now 🙂 Another pick-up from Trader Joe’s was some Wild Atlantic Salmon for dinner.

Summer Squash, Atlantic Salmon With Homemade Sauce, Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley

Summer Squash, Atlantic Salmon With Homemade Sauce, Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley

I made my own sauce for the salmon instead of turning to my standby Island Soyaki and am so glad I did. All I did was take 1 part apricot preserves to 1 part soy sauce, added a few squirts of agave nectar and zested a little lemon and voila. It was light and citrusy and asian, so basically perfect for this meal.

Of course dessert started with this little number:

Plain Greek Yogurt With Agave Nectar, Raspberries, And Slivered Almonds

Plain Greek Yogurt With Agave Nectar, Raspberries, And Slivered Almonds

I totally had this in mind when I was picking my berries. It’s one of those combos that you just know works and is going to be good. Nothing beats berries and cream in the Summer, am I right? I tried to toast the almonds for 6 minutes, which didn’t really work but I was feeling a little impatient. If you have the time to, toast away–it really brings the flavor out. Then I noshed on a little more homemade banana bread with coffee.

Banana Goodness Bread With Coffee

Banana Goodness Bread With Decaf Coffee

One idea I had was to bake the bread with instant coffee granules to give it a bit of a mocha taste, but if it had any caffeine in it I probably would be afraid to eat it past 5pm because, yes, I am that much of a lightweight.

This morning I really didn’t know what to run so I did the same 6.7 as yesterday. My time was only 1 minute slower than yesterday, which I thought was pretty good considering my legs weren’t feeling 100% and I was slightly bored/hesitant running the same path. Maybe I’ll be spending more time on Google Maps today looking for something new. As I write I’m sitting down to a deliciously orange breakfast:

Carrot Juice, Peach, Carrot Ginger Muffin With SB PB, And Wallaby Yogurt

Carrot Juice, Peach, Carrot Ginger Muffin With SB PB, And Wallaby Yogurt

I love whole grains at breakfast but I always turn to toast or oatmeal. One of the challenges of the breakfast challenge for me has been how to work whole grains in in a new way, to which my response is this delicious muffin top, smothered in peanut butter. The peach from the farm wasn’t really free stone, but it didn’t matter. It was so ripe and buttery it all practically fell apart and tastes amazing. Alas, that was the last of my quart of Wallaby Vanilla Bean yogurt that I got for 2.50. That was a good Whole Foods sale. Today I plan on getting a lot more college stuff done. i can’t believe I move in in less than 2 weeks; it seems so close yet so far!

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Starting Off With A Smile

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

English muffin With Almond Butter And 365 Raspberry Jam, White Peach With Wallaby Vanilla Bean Dipping Yogurt

English muffin With Almond Butter And 365 Raspberry Jam, White Peach With Wallaby Vanilla Bean Dipping Yogurt

If that doesn’t make you look forward to the day ahead, I don’t know what will. I ran 6 miles this morning; it was so hot and humid I snuck over into my neighbor’s sprinklers for a quick mist. I don’t even know where our sprinklers even are but I might have to find them later lol.

I didn’t even get a chance to eat a snack between blogging and lunch yesterday the time was so short. My grandmother came over for a family Sunday lunch. This was my plate:

My Lunch Plate

My Lunch Plate

I sometimes feel like just doing my own thing at meals, but then I feel bad disregarding the food my mom made, so I compromised on this one. I took the chicken and broccoli and smothered it with Whole Foods Steak Sauce–so addicting! Then I heated up some Whole Foods refried beans and ate it with some Trader Joe’s Potato Nachos. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, find these and pick them up. they’re made with corn flour, potatoes, and brown rice flour, so it’s like this weird nacho-potato chip love child that tastes sooo good.

Stonyfield Cookies N' Cream Frozen Yogurt

Stonyfield Cookies N' Cream Frozen Yogurt

Dessert was a bit of froyo. If it looks like I’m eating a lot more ice cream/frozen yogurt lately, I probably am. our freezer is wayyy too full and there’s only one way to fix that: eat our way out. Haha, I’m definitely not minding that “mission” considering it’s a heat wave up here.

We planned to see Julie & Julia in the afternoon so I packed some snacks. I hate buying snacks at the theater because they’re so unhealthy and overpriced. I decided to go with something old and something new:

Something Old

Something Old

Something New

Something New

I opened up my 2nd bar of Mocha Milk Chocolate. After trying all the Newman’s Organic Chocolates and coming back to this one. I really can’t say why I love it so much, other than I really really do. It’s not like their milk chocolate at all; and the coffee isn’t like a dark roast or espresso bean but just a simple cup of joe. it just all works so perfectly. i haven’t seen these in many stores but I highly suggest you buy a bar if you do.

I also figured I’d give the high protein pretzels a try. These have 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber in every serving, so Newman’s definitely trumps the competitors for the nutrition. Overall they were Ok, but not great. They needed more salt, but then again I pour way too much salt on everything. I don’t eat pretzels much but these felt more airy and crispy than others I’ve had, which I liked though didn’t exactly remind me of a pretzel. Overall I think they’re a great product because they really left me feeling full and satisfied. These would probably be optimal for dipping in yogurt or mustard to add a little more flavor, but I definitely want to keep these in my dorm.

Before we hit the theater we went to the same Target as yesterday to pick up a printer for my dorm. It was on sale this week. 2 dollars off isn’t much, but a sale’s a sale right? Then we hopped over to the AMC to see Julie And Julia. We got there 50 minutes early so I killed time playing Soul Caliber in the arcade. Fun Fact: I don’t play video games much but when I do I kick some CPU ass butt, except when it comes to first person shooter which I’m awful and impatient at.

Overall I really liked the movie. I didn’t think the story of Julie and the story of Julia were as parallel as the director tried to make them seem, but I liked that they kept them true to the real stories, both of which I wasn’t too familiar with. Oddly, I’ve been to France and I have to say I didn’t like the food that much; but it’s always great to see someone else so enthusiastic about a culture’s food. Julie’s story I thought would have been inspiring and motivating and encourage me to take this blog somewhere. But actually it just made me feel good for doing what I do and like I want to keep it up. And I like that the movie showed how blogging, while fun, can sometimes feel like a 2nd job and definitely extends into your life past the keyboard.

We got home pretty late(for us, at least) so we grilled for a quick dinner. I tried Morningstar’s Grillers Vegan for the first time.

Morningstar Griller's Vegan

Morningstar Griller's Vegan

I really liked these. They tasted smokey and grilled, a lot like the veggieburgers at UFood Grill. And the ingredient list seems more natural than other Morningstar products, which was an added bonus. I also tried Newman’s Own Organic popcorn to keep with the movie theme.

Newman's Own Organic Pop's Corn

Newman's Own Organic Pop's Corn

Again, this was a Newman’s Own Organic product I really liked. It definitely had a buttery and salty flavor but wasn’t overly done or greasy like others. Of course, the fact that it’s organic makes it all the better. Did you know cheaper brands stick artificial color in there just to make it look more buttered? Yikes. I’m a little sad I only was sent 3 bags of this because that means I’ll be going out to buy some more real soon probably, lol.

At dinner my parents talked about how many times they had seen Julia Child eating at Legal Seafoods. Don’t you hate that feeling of missing out only to realize it’s hard not to miss out on things that happen before you’re born? I was about 20 feet away from Hillary Clinton back in 7th grade on a trip to DC, that’s about as close to celebritydom that I’ve gotten. My dad read that Mrs. Tom Brady shops at one of the same Whole Foods I do, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for her from now on(for some pretty obvious reasons):

After missing the past 4, yes 4, episodes of Big Brother and getting semi-caught up with my On Demand, I finally caught an episode as it aired. I love this show so so much and life has made it hard to really get into this season but I’m trying. Lydia is definitely my favorite at the moment. Woohoo for anyone labeled an off-beat! In High School I always felt like a bit of an off-beat, but I don’t think anyone else saw me like that. I pretty much hung out with every crowd, and I’m glad that I went to a school where I could do that and not feel ostracized by any social group.

The highlights of dessert:

Pecan Sticky Bun Granola In Greek Yogurt

Pecan Sticky Bun Granola In Greek Yogurt

Peanut Butter Cookie Toast And Seeduction Bread With Sunflower Butter And Pumpkin Seeds

Peanut Butter Cookie Toast And Seeduction Bread With Sunflower Butter And Pumpkin Seeds

I picked up the granola today because it was on sale. 20 cents isn’t much of a “sale” but it certainly was an excuse 🙂 I though it was pretty good. It must have been sweet because I mixed it with plain greek yogurt and didn’t notice any tartness. I usually eat granola as a topper to yogurt so I’m going to need to try this again a different way to get a better taste of it. The seedy bread was a bit of genious, if I may say so myself. I’m liking sunflower butter more now that I’m learning to use less; it’s a little bit bigger on flavor than nut butters and a tablespoon is just too seedy for me(pun intended, obviously).

On a last note, I think I caught a virus last night shopping peanut butter on Amazon… I wouldn’t believe it if it weren’t me, either. Anybody know any good software to get rid of it? Spybot Search And Destroy doesn’t seem to be doing the trick.

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Early To Bed, Early To Rise

Posted on August 8, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , |

What’s my idea of “relaxing” on vacation? Apparently it’s being the first to pass out fall asleep and waking up early just to run 5.15 miles. Only a runner would find that fun…

After the banana and PB we had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Ok, I don’t miss home too much after only 1 day, but I DO miss my mom’s cooking; she makes the best meatballs which make eating anybody else’s taste like sin, but these weren’t bad. They also had some peaches lying around which were over ripened to they made peach pound cake. I love that, because it sounds like something I but no one else in my family would do, and dessert always tastes better when you didn’t have to make it/clean the dishes afterwards.

Peach Pound Cake

Peach Pound Cake

It was pretty good, but, dare I say, it made me miss whole grains and smart balanca canola oil? I’m so used to baking healthy that, sure I can appreciate the flavor here, but it almost isn’t as satisfying physically or mentally. Weird, all I know is I was craving one of my loaded scones after this from the freezer back in MA.

We sat around the table and talked and kind of goofed around a bit–definitely not like my family. We’d be off in front of the TV and computers once the plates were licked clean. I suppose different families just have their different ways of living. We ended up deciding to watch gladiator, but I had to quit 45 minutes in. I hate to be the first to leave a party, so to speak, but I think at 10:30 after a day of waking up at 5:30 and traveling it was justified. I blew up the air matress and fell straight asleep.

Apparently the boys I’m staying with aren’t much for early rising. Well I was up at 7:15 and figured why miss a good oppurtunity? A quick drink and I was out the door. There’s a lot of dead end streets around here, so the run got real repetetive real fast, but I think my body appreciated a bit of normalcy. For breakfast I reloaded with this:

Peach Under Vanilla Chobani, Vanilla Kashi Oatmeal With Smart Balance PB

Peach Under Vanilla Chobani, Vanilla Kashi Oatmeal With Smart Balance PB

Yes, I brought my own oatmeal on vacation(and I’m glad I did seeing the breakfast options around here). Like I thought it would, the smart balance went well over oatmeal. And the peach was a little too ripe and sort of spoiled the yogurt, oh well. After the birthday boy woke up he opened his presents(an iTouch, lucky him!) and we all sat around talking a bit. I’ve now escaped excused myself to check some emails and snack on this:

Trader Joe's Perk Me Up Trail Mix

Trader Joe's Perk Me Up Trail Mix

It’s the other trail mix I tracked down and bought. This one has craisins, golden raisins, almonds, walnuts, and dark chocolate covered espresso beans. The latter are, of course, to die for and the best part. The golden raisins are unique and something I haven’t had much of but I don’t know how well they fit in. the walnuts, which I usually don’t like, surprisingly work overall. And there were a little too many almonds for my taste but maybe I just got a bad handful.

Tonight there’s a special dinner planned at a Japanese restaurant. I think it’s one of those places where they prepare the food in front of you with an onion ring volcano–how fun! I’m hoping to get some good salmon teryaki as that’s one of my favorite Japanese dishes. They’ll be plenty of pics from that!

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Orange Monster & Chocolate Lovin’

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

For all the New Englander’s reading this, wasn’t the sun  amazing? I went out running yesterday right before lunch. Sure, when I got back I felt like a lobster that just got cooked, but damn did I feel good. The sun has reminded me of part of why I started running: to enjoy the outside. Today’s not so sunny, but I was pumped enough to go on my long run: 7.5 miles 🙂 That felt pretty damn good. Well, needless to say after a hot run you need something to cool you down and heal you up. If you’re a blog reader no doubt you’ve seen the green monster. Hmmm, to each their own I guess. I’m not sure I could get something that looks like that down my throat, but so long as I don’t have to drink one I’m happy. However, what does work for me is an orange monster 😉 I thought of this guy on my run and couldn’t get home fast enough. As you all probably know, I love my carrot juice. As for my favorie fruit, I’m a peachaholic. It seemed natural in my mind that the two be put together, so I did! 6oz carrot juice with 140 grams frozen peaches and 1/4 cup greek yogurt gave me the orange monster:

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Sooo good. It actually tasted more like a creamcscicle than any of its components, but I wasn’t complaining. It has plenty of carbs for recovery with a little hit of protein. And what a great way for weight gainers to get a compact serving of their favorite fruits and veggies! I’ll admit, since I’ve needed to eat 2500+ calories a day fresh produce has pretty much left my diet. Maybe blending’s the key to get the nutrients without the bloat.

Ok, what did I promise for today? Oh right, chocolate 🙂 For today I reviewed four “gourmet” chocolates. Basically, these are not your checkout Hershey bars.

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If you’ve stepped into a chocolate store, you know Lindt. The swiss company prides itself on using the purest, best ingredients. First up, I tried their 70% dark chocolate. This bar was basic, but definitely not boring. The flavor was rich and sweet; it was the quintessential dark chocolate. This is definitely the bar you want to keep in your pantry for that quick chocolate fix, or to share with friends(it was the cheapest after all that I tried).

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Sticking with the Lindt family, next up was their 99% cacao chocolate. This is definitely an acquired taste which I have yet to acquire. The chocolate was dry and assaultingly bitter, and yet I loved it for that reason. A teeny sqaure of this was all I needed for the full flavor. My trick; take a tiny bite and then a sip of a light, sweet coffee, and your mouth will be in for a mocha sensation like no other.

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Welcome now the organic chocolate of the bunch. I love the combination of chocolate and cherry(if you’ve been reading a while you’ve seen my parfaits). Add in some vanilla and I should be in heaven. My verdict; this bar was actually a slight disappointment. The chocolate base was very sweet and mellow. And the cherries were their texturally, but added very little flavor. As for the vanilla, I would never have guessed it was in their if the label didn’t tell me. Save your money on this one and buy something with a more promising flavor like Dark Chocolate and Citrus.

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The last chocolate I had the pleasure of eating was Joey & Marty’s Amazing All Natural Belgian dark chocolate with raspberry ganache and nonperils. Holy yum was these good! The raspberry flavor was very present and sweetened the lovely bitterness of the dark chocolate. The nonpareils were a welcomed twist to the chocolate world, reminding me of sprinkles on a cupcake or Italian Christmas cookie. My only gripe was that each piece was so small, almost too “bite sized”. And I’m slightly confused if these were meant to be marketed to children or adults; what child would pay 2.89 for chocolate or even knows where Belgium is or what ganache is?

Anyway, I hope I got your taste buds fired up for chocolate eating. And I encourage you to go to the good chocolate aisle and splurge on something, because nothing can be more rewarding after a rough day than sitting down with a piece of fine chocolate.

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