Walking Around A Ghost Town

Posted on December 16, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

As you’ve heard me complaining mentioning, my last final is Friday. This in itself is a bit annoying, but c’est la vie. What really is annoying, though, is that that’s quite late compared to other classes. In fact, I’d bet half the campus has probably already gone, and every hour or so I’ve heard a new person running down the halls screaming “I’m done, I’m done! I completely f-ed up that last one but I’m done!” If anything has me pessimistic about the end of the semester, it’s that most of all. But let’s get to the eats, shall we?

This morning was one of those times where I didn’t even have to be slacking off to just feel “behind” on things. When you turn off your computer at 9:30pm and get off the treadmill at 9:30am, apparently the internet is still hustling and bustling–go figure. When I realized what time the day had gotten to I decided to make lunch, even though I wasn’t super hungry.

Al Fresco Pepper & Asiago Sausage

These seemed good and promising for a new product so I thought I’d give them a try then.

Roasted Red Peppers, Sweet Potato, Al Fresco Roasted Pepper & Asiago Sausages

This wasn’t my favorite sausage, but I also didn’t mind it. It just sort of was. It sort of reminded me of a kielbasa from when I was a boy eating with my Italian and Polish family, but I definitely wasn’t thinking “cheese” during it all. It felt good just to dive into a sweet potato even though I wasn’t hungry; those things always feel good.

I ended up finishing internet things during Days and a little bit of Rachael Ray, which had Aretha Franklin’s meatloaf recipe featured. I think that has to be the most ridiculous thing; go find it online if you can. She substitutes “traditional” ingredients with corn chips and tomato soup. Then again, i suppose she’s an icon for her voice and not nutrition/recipes for a reason.

I ended up walking around and going to the mail room, when I realized this really was a ghost town. On the other hand, as I watched a friend’s roommate climb into a taxi to go to an airport to fly to Las Vegas to get hoe, I also realized I’ll probably be “settled in” long before some of these other people, so I can’t really complain(though I have a fun time trying ;-)). While I was out I also picked up perhaps the most dangerous “food” in existence.

Zuzzy's Rocky Trail Cookie Dough

Pure cookie dough. Awesome. They used to sell this at my school’s cafeteria(which was really BU’s cafeteria) in High School but then it mysteriously vanished. As it turns out, it’s also sold at a certain dining hall here at Brown. It’s all-natural, with basically only ingredients you’d ever find in your own pantry. And the eggs have been pasteurized so they don’t carry diseases. Like I said, awesome.

Rocky Trails Unbaked Cookie

Things like this are why a food scale’s a good investment. Veggies? Pile them on the plate. Delicious bundles of rawness you might want to show a little discretion around. I remember eating the whole container(3.5 servings of not-so-goodness) many a day after Fencing practice. Anyway, it tasted like pure butter with sugar and chocolate chips. Like I said, awesome. This actually *might* be one of those cookies better cooked, and it was definitely better once it came to room temp. Afterwards, I realized I was still hungry. Don’t you hate when fun foods aren’t filling?

Vanilla Sugar Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt–she’s good. Sometimes, plain jane vanilla is the way to go. Though, to be honest, I hate buying the big containers. I’m so lazy, I’d just rather buy an individual sized one and pop it open. There–I’ve said it. I want to ruin the environment! 🙂 Next I’ll be tossing the plastic necks from my Zevia 6-pack into the ocean =-O Jk

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

One last snack of the day and I was done writing my last paper! It came just to the page limit, and probably has more jokes than content, but I have the kind of professor who will appreciate that–I’m sure. Who wants to read 20 kids write about why Athens fell over and over again? Not he. I tried getting together with a friend for dinner but, as it turned out, he too finished up and went home today! I swear I’ll be the last person on campus. That was OK because I’m still eating a lot out of my fridge and was able to put together a nice little meal.

Al Fresco Sweet Apple Sausage, Whole Foods Stuffing, Broccoli With Pumpkin Cream Cheese

With coffee on the side, because I’m classy like that 😉 Seriously, this could have been served at breakfast and I’d be fine with it. This sausage is much better, to me(could be all the maple syrup they load in it that doesn’t hurt). I think after I get a PhD or whatever I’m doing with this education thing, I should throw it out the window and run a diner. Aren’t diner’s the most fun? I love Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I wonder if Guy Fieri would come or I’d be to healthy for him…

I, like most bloggers, have no clue what day it is. I just got really excited for Survivor tonight and now I’m realizing it’s Wednesday, not Thursday :,-( Oh well. Modern Family, here I come!

Here’s a nuttastic giveaway from Meagan!

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Breakfasts Make The Best Meal

Posted on December 9, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thank you for all the kudos on the recipe contest 3rd place win. It feels so good to be acknowledged for a recipe. If any of you try my pumpkin bread let me know how you like it and if you bake it on your blog so I can give it linkage. Now the question is what I’m going to be making with eggs for the next 3 months 🙂 That’s one of those good problems to have, I figure. Like I promised after blogging yesterday, there was a trip to the mail room in order. I found a new tea.

Tazo Calm Tea

Calm? Hmm. Something tells me this is going to get bought a lot during the stress of finals week. I was alerted of a package I had. I had no clue what it was at first.

Gettysburg and Gods And Generals

Then I remembered I bought this on Black Friday from Walmart. I’m not much of a war buff but I really wanted to see Gettysburg, and the double feature with Gods And Generals was only about a dollar more. Instead of watching it then and there, I decided to save it for when I have time to pay attention to it and got to writing. My room is soo comfortable with the heat on now. You know it must be warm because I was ready for ice cream in the afternoon.

Snickerdoodle Purely Decadent Soy Ice Cream

I’m so glad we bought some of this Sunday; I’m always tempted to break out the one at home but never have the time or am in an ice cream mood. If you’ve never had it–gah! It will change your life. The snickerdoodle cookie dough chunks… *drool* Anyway, yes, more work ensued. Something about working made me want breakfast.

French Toast Oats And Coffee

Maybe I wanted an egg after winning 3 months worth. Maybe it’s just that breakfast is the best meal of the day. I’m not sure, but this was tres magnifique. I think the secret to french toast oats is swirling the egg in but not too much. And cooking it thoroughly but not too much. So basically they’re a crap shoot 😉 I started to get hungry but had plans to meet up for dinner so there was some fruit snackage:

Tangerine

I tried to convince myself it was a clementine but it doesn’t work that way. Plus it had little annoying seeds in it. Don’t you hate those? I much prefer Trader Joe’s milk chocolate orange for my citrus intake, thank you. I decided to smuggle some links in the dining hall to bolster up whatever veggies they were serving.

Al Fresco Country Style Breakfast Chicken Sausages

I don’t think it’s weird to carry around breakfast sausages. In your coat pocket. At dinner time. Do you?

Fresh Vegetable Medley, Curried Acorn Squashes With Maple Syrup And Breakfast Style Sausages

Wow… remarkable. These sausages… beyond words. They were so perfectly herby I could hardly believe it. With a touch of maple syrup–to die for. And who would have thought maple syrup and curried squash would work? It so totally did. It was almost Indian but with a Maine flair. I’ve been scared off of making my own Indian food thus far but I think I just need to find a good curry powder and I’d be good to go.

Before the Biggest Loser I went to a dining hall to stock up of Greek yogurt for the impending storm. I walked out carrying 4 with a bar and a coffee. I have some serious balancing skills 😉 How amazing were all the come back contestants on The Biggest Loser? I don’t think there was a loser amongst them.I always feel funny snacking during The Biggest Loser but I spend my time in the gym and earn my damn dessert 😉

Cherry Greek Yogurt With Cherry Dark Chocolate And Vanilla Sugar

Plus this had fruit, dairy, and antioxidants, so it was entirely healthy, right? I’m going with that 🙂 Did anybody else learn to spell dessert with an extra “s” because you always want more? That always stuck with me. There was definitely more dessert, unfortunately.

KIND Sesame And Peanut Bar

I try to eat with no regrets. But I regretted this. Firstly, I try not to eat bars in my dorm when I could have real food(or, you know, oatmeal), but this at first seemed alluring. Secondly, this wasn’t very good. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good; it’s best feature was chocolate which I could easily have eaten in other forms. And yet I ate it in about 2 minutes flat, because I didn’t know how to put it down or just throw it out. I think all the thinking required for writing an essay made my rational thinking go away, and afterwards I learned better. For my last desssert, I tried being much more in tune with what I wanted.

Chocolate Vitatop With Cream Cheese, Advent Chocolate, White Chocolate Wonderful

Delicious and what I wanted. I’m not accustomed to eating peanut butter without carbs underneath but I didn’t want toast or oatmeal or to put it on the vitatop. The answer? A simple spoon–and it was perfect.

This morning I woke up to this lovely scene:

Providence 6:45

Snow! I love snow, I really do. I hate the cold, but I love snow(let’s not point out the contradiction here). Unfortunately it doesn’t put me in a work-out mood, but I decided a good run was just what I needed so I grabbed a bar and hit the gym.

Maple Nut Clif Bar

At first I wasn’t feeling it for one reason or another; it didn’t help the non-basic cable tv channels weren’t operative. But then I thought maybe this would need to be one of those “move your body” and not “run” days and I resolved to go for 14 miles. It definitely felt like a stretch for the first 5 but eventually it just flew by and I was happily done in 1:58:02. After trekking back to my room and warming up I made yet another satisfyingly-breakfast meal.

Eggnog Greek Yogurt, French Toast Oatmeal With Al Fresco Breakfast Sausages

Clearly being a repetitive eats blogger does not weigh on my mind because I was happy to dig in to this. I just love these sausages. Perhaps it’s a bit hypocritical to use vegan eggnog and serve it next to chicken and an egg but let’s ignore that like the snow and cold thing.

Today I would love love love to take a trip to the groceries stores. Unlike rain, however, that’s not in the forecast. What is is an essay being done, I’m sure. Happy humpday!

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Parting Is Such Tasty Sorrow

Posted on December 7, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Edit: I just had an amazing time. My voice is absolutely hoarse. I was planning on posting a full recap tomorrow right before my first final but I am positively beat and thinking there’s no reason to rush things so I’ll just post what I prewrote now and fill in the rest of the deets sometime after lunch tomorrow. G’night!*

“Now that I’ve blogged, I’ve really done everything I could besides write this paper, so I’ll work on that.”

I’m such a liar; what I really meant was that I’d done everything except go and check my mail and pick up the closet key I’ll need for when I’m booted out of the dorm for winter. And because the campus convenience is in the mailroom, what I really needed was some liquid warmth.

Ginger Snappish Tea

Since they always have decaf and not always this tea, I thought I’d opt for it instead. I liked it more when I had it Friday but I think that’s because I sweetened it with NuNatural’s packets which are better but I think gone from my stash. Of course, tea required some tea cookies. I’ve never had a Biscoff because I think someone very entertaining on the blogosphere has eaten them all but I do have these:

Trader Joe's Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Fudge Cookies

I hate it when I like a store bought cookie better than my own. Then again, I don’t douse mine with white chocolate fudge. Maybe that’s my problem? I’d like to see this Trader Joe; I can’t imagine him being in good shape if he’s around all his incredible food all day long. I worked on the paper a bit until I realized cookies were not the foundation of a good diet and had a more nutritious snack. Look what I found:

Almost Empty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Jar

Is there anything more joyous and depressing than an almost empty jar? Well I suppose one that’s made by this Michigan based company 1500 miles away is a tad bit more saddening 😦 But I tried to look just at the positive memories and joy this has and was about to bring me.

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, A Crumbled Vegan Pumpkin Molasses Cookie, And Peanut Butter Chips

Also the last vegan pumpkin molasses cookie; what a momentous bowl. I threw on 1/2 a tablespoon of peanut butter chips because you have to have peanut butter on top, right? And I don’t make enough excuses to use up those things 🙂 I think I must have looked silly in the bathroom cleaning out my jar after this but I wanted to save the jar for decor, haha. There was more work blog reading work where I rethought 1/2 of my thesis and some of the work I’d done. Don’t think. Just write. For dinner I had plans to eat it up with Adam at the dining hall but I had cancelled those in the morning so that I could keep working and then go out after dinner.

Snobby Joe, Roasted Vegetables In Curry Sauce

Have I discovered the magic way to make lentils in a microwave? Sadly, no. I asked the mother to cook up a big batch before I left Sunday and she did. Now I have a bowl I can scoop, heat, and serve. It had been wayyyy too long since snobby joes, so this meal was perfect. For a side I heated up 1/2 a sweet potato with some dining hall veggies and added Seeds Of Change simmer sauce. This meal was so saucy and vegrific–fantastic! And that’s where I was until 7:30 when I stepped out for a time-honored Brown tradition. What is it, you ask? I’ll leave that hanging. But there was a perdricem in piro involved 😉

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Productivity

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

I guess my productivity is like condensation in New England: when it rains, it pours. Before i had showered, eaten, blogged, or even stretched yesterday morning, I had my laundry going. At 12, it was done and my bed looked like this:

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Unfolded Laundry

Amazingly, I resisted the urge to put on freshly washed pajamas. Don’t lie; we all want to do that when it’s fresh out of the drier. Instead, I folded and put everything away, and worked on the first of my 3 history midterm essays while I waited for my dad to come at 2. I would have thought I’d get hungry by then but I think I was so immersed in writing I didn’t notice anything. I did grab this for a little pep:

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Zevia Cola

Did you know all of Zevia’s sodas are caffeine free except this one? That’s because it’s naturally flavored and the kola nut naturally has caffeine. That really is making me wonder what’s in caffeine-free coke, though I suppose that’s so unnatural to begin with it doesn’t matter. When my dad did show up, we had a good laugh.

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Frying Pan

He brought a package that came for me in the mail over the week. Neither of us knew exactly what it would be or who it was from. It turned out to be a frying pan I won last month; doesn’t everybody need a lightweight frying pan for their dorm? We put it back in the box to bring home. Because it was 2pm, I started wanting lunch, so we stopped at Whole Foods to hit up the salad bar.

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Grilled Peppers, Lemon Rice, Gobhi Matar, Aloo Baingan, Chicken In Chettinad Sauce

Weighing food is the worst idea ever; don’t let me know if I’m about to eat well over a pound of sauce-laden goodness. This is actually one of the first times I ever had Indian; it’s not a common cuisine around my town and it smelled so good I thought I’d try it. I liked it but I bet there are better dishes out there to try. My favorite was probably the chicken, which was a very fatty cut of meat but very delicious as well. I consider eating ethnically to be productive because it’s expanding my horizon. I didn’t actually finish it all. I intuitively ate the first half, then ate another 1/4 because it was damn good 🙂

On the way home we also stopped by Market Basket; no matter when you go that store has the longest lines, and everybody’s cart looks like they’re coming from BJ’s. They didn’t have vitatops this time or the bread I was looking for, but we did get something for dinner, pumpkin for baking, gardenburgers, and Oikos and soy yogurt from Whole Foods. In the car ride I wasn’t able to write but I did come up with a decent thesis for my Epic Poetry paper.

When we got home I plugged in my computer and got to work(there might have been some Montana scrubbing in there somewhere). I finished my first essay and started on the next. Along the way, I needed a study snack.

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Vitabrownie And Plain Soy Yogurt

The hug was entirely K inspired. Note: soy yogurt doesn’t hug quite as well as regular yogurt, but it kind of looks like a pillowy cloud if you ask me. This vitabrownie definitely needed a hug because it got a little squished in the freezer. Time in the microwave was totally the medicine for that. I was a bit more productive(get the theme of this post?) until it was time for dinner.

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Mahi Mahi With Soyaki, Corn On The Cob, Beets

Wow is all I can say. It seems so simple and like the dishes I had all Summer but for some reason this was so much more welcomed yesterday. I think I haven’t had corn on the cob in months; talk about your whole grain. And the beets were fun if only because I haven’t had any in months again. They left behind a lot of red juice and I joked with my mom(sort of serious, though) that she should collect it to make red velvet cake. Did you know Whole Foods sells natural food coloring for the holiday season? Expect to see some come Christmas time. Also, the mahi mahi was much better than Friday’s chewier fish, and the soyaki sauce put it over the top.

Well what helps productivity more than a full belly? After dinner I finished my second essay(booyah) and printed some recipes I was planning to make, as well as catch up on DVRed shows. Like I said, when it rains it pours. Ice cream was a well deserved treat.

 

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Purely Decadent Snickerdoodle Soy Ice Cream

Unfortunately, I finished off this flavor. This was definitely my favorite find from the Summer. And it seemes like they carry it at more and more stores these days! How exciting. I also had some coffee and worked on this blog post(see how productive I am doing things ahead of time :-)) Unwrapped was having a marathon on The Food Network = heaven. Heaven like these oats:

 

November 7tj 008

Pumpkin Oats With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter, Maple Syrup, And Pumpkin Molasses Cookie

Chocolate, maple, ginger, peanut, pumpkin, etcetera, etcetera. These were delicious fuel for… well lounging around and translating Latin. That takes energy, and plenty, trust me. My dad bought an 8oz container of chocolate butter toffee when he placed his Naturally Nutty order(ps. If my dad has placed an order all his own, what’s slowing down you cool cats?). It’s ok, but I think I like butter toffee peanut butter and chocolate chips better for the contrast.

 

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Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin With Cream Cheese

One last snack and I was done. I wanted to try my dad’s maple butter he’s always loved that comes from our grandparents. There’s no butter in maple butter, it’s basically just crystallized maple syrup you keep in the fridge and spread like maple syrup. It was awesome! Though I could easily see myself going a little overboard with a tub of this in my dorm, haha.

Well remember how yesterday morning I had hoped to write 2 essays, pick a thesis, and translate 3 odes, and I thought that was a crazy amount? Well, I did everything but about 30 lines of poetry! I had no idea I’d actually get that much done. But I’m glad I did. What should I set myself for today? 1/2 my Epic essay sounds like a good goal. Let’s keep the productivity rolling. But first, this welcomed sight:

 

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Recipes

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Ingredients

 

 

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Winding & Grinding

Posted on July 25, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Breakfast

Breakfast

Mango Avocado Tuna sandwich + Peach and Agave Greek Yogurt + Peanut Butter Z-Bar + carrot juice = post-run fuel from my new distance PR! Today I scheduled my long run of 7.5 miles, but after that 5th mile I decided to take a different route home and added an extra mile to my distance, making that the longest I’ve ran EVER. And I was sooo close to having a sub 8:00 pace overall but finished just a little over. Oh well, that’ll give me something to work on next time 🙂

Backtracking a bit, after my blogging on Thursday I took a trip to the dentist. He’s a nice man, but I felt like he spent more time asking me every question possible about my life/going to college than he did on my teeth. Oh, and what happened to the good ol’ days when we got to choose what flavor toothpaste they would use? Anyway, the good news was no cavities, and he didn’t bring up my wisdom teeth, so I’m clean and clear for another 6 months.

After that a quick trip to Market Basket was in order. I’m getting so disappointed with that place. The first time we went they had Dark Chocolate Vitatops–some of the best dessert I’ve ever had. Ever since they’ve only had corn vitatops and bran muffins 😦 I need my chocolate fix; at least Z-bars are there for that. I also picked up a pint of the best frozen yogurt ever: Stonyfield Cookies N’ Dream. The next rainy day I am popping in a movie and digging into that. I knew that all this dentistry/food shopping would cut into my eating time so I packed lunch.

Lunch

Lunch

Leftover turkey shredded and mixed with avocado, and some buffalo blue kettle chips. I’m wicked proud of myself; I never eat leftovers(mostly because I never have leftover oatmeal or yogurt to eat). But now no one besides me has touched that leftover turkey and the next time I get told I spend too much at food I will totally play the turkey card. Also, I love those chips. They have such an unexpected cheesiness to them. Try them out.

Fast foward through my uneventful afternoon and arrive at my slightly more eventful night. I’ve been experimenting a lot with ground flax seeds lately for their nutrition and thickening properties. As I’ve mentioned before, I like Stonyfield’s yogurt flavors but their yogurt is just too thin for me. So I tried mixing 6oz of Banilla with a tablespoon of flaxseed meal and arrived at this:

Banilla with Flaxseed Meal

Banilla with Flaxseed Meal

Photogenic? No. Flavorful? Yes. The flaxseeds definitely thickened it up and added a nuttiness that worked with the banana flavor. Some peanut butter granola or just a tablespoon of peanut butter really would have made this pop–it’s definitely something I’ll be trying again and again. Other highlights of the night: I made some more chocolate avocado pudding and even convinced my mom to eat some. And what’s more, she actually liked it! Well, she said it wasn’t sweet enough, but then I made fun of her for liking thiings super sugary and secretly added a stevia packet because she was right. I also spent A LOT of money on peanut butter from Naturally Nutty. That’s all I’ll say for now until the package comes in. But I figured it was ok to spoil myself since I now have a job and am getting payed.

Well the next day my alarm went off at 6am but I did not budge. I could hear it pouring outside so I wasn’t ready to run. I must have shut off my alarm because the next thing I knew it was 7:35 and my dad was waking me up. Crap. I am not someone who can get completely prepared in 15 minutes. After a lot of scrambling and food prepping, we got out the door around 8:10 and I downed this in the car:

Breakfast

Breakfast

An english muffin with apple butter and mighty maple, honey almond flax bar, and green tea chai pudding. It was pretty good considering the mad rush/cloud of fog I was in. I also thought I had to make myself lunch for the day so I threw together a turkey and avocado sandwich(I didn’t even realize I was eating the same thing as the day before until I wrote this blog). I was so rushed for lunch I completely forgot a to take a picture, but I did remember to photo this which I made a special trip for 🙂

Pomegranite Chobani

Pomegranite Chobani

Thank you, Chobani, for a delicious flavor. The tartness is a lot like raspberry except with little pomegranite seeds added in. I hope these come to Hannafords soon. After work on the way home I munched on this lil’ bar:

Almond, Macadamia, & Walnut KIND Bar

Almond, Macadamia, & Walnut KIND Bar

I was really excited to try this because of the 10 grams of protein. The bar, however, was incredibly dry and almost inedible. I think the soy protein needed honey or dates or something to offset them. I would not buy this guy again.

Well I was home alone for the night so I decided to get my culinary skillz on. First off, we had an Amy’s Margharita pizza gathering dust in the freezer, so I decided to have that for my dinner. I’d never tried grilling a pizza before but I figured there’s a first time for everything.

Amy's Pizza on the Grill

Amy's Pizza on the Grill

Dinner

Dinner

First off, let me get something off my chest. I’m a complete poser, lol. The second after I snapped that photo I moved everything indoors, plopped myself on the couch with my laptop and dug in while watching Conan O’Brien. That being said, that was one kick ass butt dinner. The pizza tasted great; the bottom had a distinct, burnt flavor while the inside was soft and doughy. And of course I added some fresh basil to really liven up the cheese. And I gave the Zevia cola I won a try. I thought it was OK, not quite as good as the root beer but definitely not bad. I think I’m so used to fake diet Coke that I forgot how real cola should taste. I also did some flaxseed grinding:

Flaxseed Meal and a Coffee Grinder

Flaxseed Meal and a Coffee Grinder

Try it! The health benefit from the fresh ground flax seed is great, and they add a great nuttiness and thickness to any dish. I added some to Stonyfield Java frozen yogurt last night; it became thick like frozen custard. Unfortunately, I stuck it in the fridge thinking it would take on more of a yogurt consistency and it got too thin, but this is definitely something to play around with in the future.

After a night of good eats, I woke up and ran my distance PR and that was that. Hopefully there won’t be too much to do today; I need new socks since my big toe was hanging out the entire time today. Time to read your blogs, see ya!

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A Berry Long Past Two Days

Posted on July 23, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review, Recipe, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It feels good to sleep in, check my emails, and blog in the morning again 🙂 I swear if my work week wasn’t just 2 days and that money wasn’t being put towards some tasty peanut butter I would just stay home and not write that reflective essay I’ve been neglecting so well. And look what was waiting for me when I got home: it’s the Zevia I won from Melinda’s blog! Thanks! I love how it’s a sampler of all the flavors–I had only ever tried root beer.

Zevia Package

Zevia Package

Anyway, let’s jump back to rainy Tuesday. After a hectic morning of running around/blogging/contacting Odwalla because my last carton of carrot juice had more skin in it than a Playboy magazine/other stuff, my body was craving red meat. Of course, the one time I crave red meat the grill won’t start. But it was that bad that I settled for a skillet cooked burger, along with some TJ Mac N’ Cheese.

A Burger & Mac N' Cheese

A Burger & Mac N' Cheese

I was really hungry, and that lunch hit the spot. Once the rain let up, I went out for a short walk around the neighborhood. Apparently I do my best thinking on walks. I was thinking about what to make with my buckets o’ blueberries; I had picked out a recipe for maple blueberry muffins with flax seed. Well, I didn’t really feel like cooking with flax because it seemed complicated. And, although I like maple, I love white chocolate. I never actually restashed my white chocolate after my last batch of Toffee Almond Blondies, so I thought about the next best thing: vanilla. Hmmm, vanilla and flax? Sounds like my favorite Kashi oatmeal. SO, I took the lazy shortcut and modified the recipe.

Ingredients

4 packets Kashi Creamy Vanilla Cereal

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup almond breeze

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups(210 grams) blueberries

The Set Up

The Set Up

In a cup, let the almond breeze and lemon juice stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal packets, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, oil, and sour milk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly incorporate the egg mixture. Fold in the blueberries and mix until it reaches a lumpy batter. Line 12 muffin tins and pour equal amounts of batter into each one(it should fill up to the rim). Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are golden and springy.

Blueberry Mixing

Blueberry Mixing

Muffins Out Of The Oven

Muffins Out Of The Oven

I’ve got to say, these muffins are amazing. You would never know they’re at all healthy with the soft, cupcake-like bread and the generous mix of blueberries. They have a strong vanilla flavor that ties in with the blueberries well. And the best part about these muffins is the oatmeal shortcut adds all the flavor and health benefits for you. Next time I’m going to try this with raspberries(and maybe toss in a few white-chocolate chips if I restock).

While those were cooling, we ran to the store and picked out a few things:

Blueberry Z-Bars

Blueberry Z-Bars

Blueberry Sausages

Blueberry Sausages

I was absolutely craving those Z-Bars the entire time I was baking. Is it bad that I ate one of them before I ate my own blueberry creation? They’re just so delicious. I think I’ll keep them in permanent stock from now on. The sausages I had never seen before and needed to grab. I just figured they would go so well with my blueberried dessert. They ended up being really good. The blueberry flavor is subtle, but the maple really brings pizzazz to the sausage overall and makes it more of a dessert than a meal. It went really well with these:

Warmed Blueberry Muffin

Warmed Blueberry Muffin

I popped it in the microwave for about 10 seconds so the blueberries were nice and juicy.

Can you believe that was all only Tuesday? Well on Wednesday I kicked my butt out of bed at 6am for a 5.3 mile run around the neighborhood. Why I do this I do not know but it felt so good(in hindsight, not so much at the beginning). I think I was running on blueberry power maybe? Haha. Well then I had to do what I do best worst and make a breakfast for the road. My taste buds led me to this:

Pumpkin Oatmeal In The Car

Pumpkin Oatmeal In The Car

At least I wasn’t driving, right? In the mix was oatmeal, pumpkin, ground flax seeds, Mighty Maple PB, and sliced almonds. This was the first time I used ground flax, so I was a little nervous. Overall they came out nice and thick and nutty; ground flax is definitely something I’ll try using more of.

Why I Love My Office

Why I Love My Office

Work was pretty bland. Luckily it was a meeting day and when there are meetings I get kicked out and get to go on a coffee break. I got an extra hour and a half to sit and sip 🙂 Also, I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was packing after my run before I had to head out of the door. I found it a little funny when I actually looked:

My Bag Of Bars

My Bag Of Bars

I’m seeing at least 7 snacks plus the cinnamon raisin Larabar I made and threw in the company fridge. Well if there was a blizzard in July and we were trapped suddenly I would have been Mr. Popular. For lunch my dad and I went over to UFood Grill, a restaraunt I did a review on a while back. I love this place because of the generous portions, healthy simple dishes, cheap prices, and friendly atmospher. i got their signature Chopstick Chicken UBowl:

Chopstick Chicken UBowl

Chopstick Chicken UBowl

This is one of those dishes I feel like I should be able to recreate but just can’t. It’s steamed brocolli, grated carrots, and seasoned kitchen all over a big pile of brown rice and covered by a teryaki ginger glaze. In all honesty, their might be a little too much brown rice. This really filled me up, filled me up like air into a Macy’s Day Parade float. For the rest of my time at work I nibbled on a chocolate brownie Z-Bar. And then once I got off hunger hit me like a ton of bricks. Luckily we were planning to go to Whole Foods anyway so I grabbed this to give a try:

Goat Milk Raspberry Yogurt

Goat Milk Raspberry Yogurt

I was craving something cool and creamy with a tang. This went above and beyond the call. I absolutely loved the goat milk base which gave a very unique flavor. Also, the manufacturers use chicory roo insulin to thicken it, which not only adds fiber but also makes it somewhat thick(not greek yogurt thick, but not Stonyfield creamy thin). If it ever goes on sale, I will be loading up on all of the flavors. Wow that was a long two days. Hope Thursday turns out restful!

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Fluffernutter Cupcakes!

Posted on July 10, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Good evening, all! This post is just going to have a really quick summary because I have been busy as a bee recently, and then it has a really super special recipe. So if you plan to skip anything skip this and go down until you find that lol. Ok, well, I didn’t get my but out of bed early like I had thought about; big kudos to Emily from Too Much Apple Pie though for getting herself up at 5:30 to run. I’ll definitely try to live up to that  my next work day, next Wednesday. Overall the day was rather dull. I did, however, discover my work has a fridge(it depresses me I didn’t realize this last summer). What does this mean? Basically free food and a place to store yogurt so I can eat it as a snack at work 🙂 Also, we went back to that little Italian place I talked about; I just love this place more and more. It’s not enough that a store like this is a unique find in Boston–the store is unique every day! They change the foreign groceries and menu daily, so it’s like walking into a new store each time. Today they had thin crust margharita pizza, my absolute favorite. Let me tell you, this was better than most of the pizza I had in Italy. Later on I went back and got one of their homemade chocolate cups; this one had a white chocolate shell with a raspberry puree filling, and it was only 80 cents! How I was a good son and managed to not chomp on my dad’s half I do not know.

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I’m also really excited because I can now upload photos from my phone!(^case in point) so expect a lot more photos in my blogging. Ok, well that was pretty much it for today. I won’t be blogging again until Monday. Right now my weekend plan is to wake up and run at 7 tomorrow, leave for Maine by 9:30, and not get back until lateee Sunday. Soo I wanted to make this post really special if I’m going to leave you that long.

The whole reason we’re going to Maine is for my grandparents 50th anniversary, so I needed to bake something to celebrate. Well what says celebration better than delicious, decorative cupcakes? So next time you want to whip up a treat for something special, give these childhood favorites a try.

Note: This recipe is my entry to http://www.peanutbutterboy.com/the-great-peanut-butter-exhibition-7-celebration

To make this recipe, I started by comparing a lot of different peanut butter cupcake recipes. After adjusting them to my taste, I came across the perfect base. It’s moist, full of healthy fats, low on added sugar, and packs a peanutty punch; in essence, it tastes like peanut butter slathered on bread. The cupcake then needed a companion, like so many peanut butter sandwiches have. While jam may be the number one add on, my most fond memories come from when sticky peanut butter met its sticky, vanilla cousin: fluff. I’ve always seen fluff as more of a frosting than a condiment, so this not-so-delicate spread didn’t need modification to fit my recipe. And any good cupcake has sprinkles, right? So to top my creation I added the third obvious member of the party: a banana chip. Add them whole or crushed, the slightly saltiness truly makes the vanilla of the fluff pop. And if banana chips aren’t your style, there is always the potato chip–yes, I admit to sticking these in my sandwiches on occassion.

Makes 12 small-medium cupcakes, or “tastecakes”

Ingredients:

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup fluff

Banana Chips(optional)

Potato Chips(optional)

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix the honey(I used maple-agave blend) and peanut butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time and add the vanilla extract. In a seperate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk(I used original Almond Breeze) to the peanut butter mixture and blend. Slowly incorporate the dry into the wet until the batter is only slightly lumpy. Line a 12-well muffin tin and use an ice cream scooper to transfer the batter into the tin.

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Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the top springs back to a touch.

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Let the cupcakes cool completely. With a frosting knife, frost each cupcake with a tablespoon of fluff(I used an all-natural, vegan marshmallow spread). Garnish with potato chips or banana chips.

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I really hope you try this one; I’m sure you’ll love it.

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A Marathon Post

Posted on July 9, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

No, that title was not a hint towards any future running expeditions of mine. This is just going to be one hell of a post since I have a lot to catch up on and look ahead towards.

So yesterday there was no run 😦 Instead there was lots of filing 😦 😦 Ok, my first day back wasn’t that bad. They all remembered me from last summer, which made me feel right back at home. There were 3 new bottom-of-the-totem-pole workers like me: all Emerson girls between 20-22. Working with 3 college girls? I could get used to this… Anyway, breakfast was some oatmeal with PB and a homemade granola bar. I’m thinking I’m going to have homemade yogurt parfaits for breakfast on days I work from now on. As you probably now, I’m a yogurt freak, and it’s so hard to get yogurt around Boston Common; yesterday I went an entire day without probiotics(!). Plus I can make the parfait and not eat it until I get hungry for breakfast in the car, so it seems like a good plan.

I had a chocolate brownie Z-Bar as a mid-morning snack. I thought I over packed bringing 3 bars but I ended up eating them all so clearly I need to bring more just in case. Then it was lunch time. Oi did I learn a lot here. Last summer, I met up with my dad every lunch and we went somewhere and ate. Well, I guess I’ve become a bit pickier since then; every time I thought of somewhere we ate I thought about the ingredients they might use and all that; I really just wanted to eat somewhere I felt comfortable I was getting a quality lunch(without blowing my dad’s wallet… too much). Unfortunately, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s aren’t too close to my work, but all I wanted to do was hit up that WF salad bar! I might also consider bringing a can of tuna or some prepared lunch from now on, just in case I have another mini-melt down like this.

Anyway, I very luckily remembered this little Italian place that opened up some time last winter. It’s something of a grocery store with a lot of foreign products, but it also has its own meat counter and pastry display(which makes the most amazing desserts I will have to share with you some day). This place clearly is the real deal so we decided to get a sandwich from there. Me and my dad split a tuna, endive, zucchini, arugala and olive sandwich. I also grabbed a peach and drank half of this natural soda.

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The soda was really refreshing and unique. The peach was perfectly ripe and juicy. And that tuna sandwich, albeit tiny, was like a symphony of flavors in my mouth. I’ll definitely be eating here more often, since the only other place near my work I feel good eating at is Starbucks, and that I can eat basically anytime anywhere. Overall it was a pretty small lunch, but that’s because I knew there’d be dessert back at the office; one of my coworkers birthday was Monday and they had a “bake-off” to celebrate today. I wish I’d known, I could’ve brought a muffin or two. There were two types of chocolate cake so I had to have a nice slice of both to compare. Yum. Too bad I can’t expect that every day at work.

We got out off an hour early so naturally I used the spare time to visit Whole Foods 😉 Voskos Greek Yogurt was on sale this week so I picked up the Honey Vanilla Bean. You’d think the flavors would compete but this was absolutely perfect; there were actually specks of vanilla bean in the thick and creamy yogurt. I’m going to pick some more up very soon I’m sure. I then spent my night catching up on emails and blogs, and was so wiped out I got into bed at 9:30, watched Top Chef Masters and went to bed.

I said this was going to be a marathon post, right? So keep with me here.

This morning I did a long run, thinking I’d be really refreshed from my rest day. It wasn’t bad, but definitely didn’t live up to what I hoped. The rest day also reminded me that I’m just not a cheery person on rest days; a morning run puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day. So all this has made me think about getting in an early run on work days. I think it would make me feel better about the day as a whole. Then again, I’d have to kick my butt out of bed at 6, which doesn’t really sound like the me I know. Ultimately, if I do this it would be something I do to make me feel better. The only way I’ll know if it’s something that makes me feel better is if I do it once and see how it goes. It may suck, or it may be perfect; I won’t know if I don’t try, so this is something I’ll give serious thought to doing tomorrow.

Over the weekend I’m heading back up to Maine to hang out with my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins. I’ll bring a camera and hopefully there’ll be some fun day trips and good eats(lobster again possibly? :-)) I also plan on baking my super duper Peanut Butter Boy Recipe Contest recipe for my relatives so look out for that recipe in my next post. But before that, I also need to pack, charge tons of electronics, and so much more, so I probably won’t get a chance to update this until Monday.

Also on Monday, I’m going to the Harry Potter Premier in Boston!!! Doesn’t it not open to the general public until Wednesday? Yes, but the premier is Monday, and my dad somehow scored tickets, so I’m incredibly pumped for that. All right, Big Brother season 11 starts in 5 and I’m a junkee for this show who refuses to miss one minute. Seriously, anyone else this addicted? Bye for now.

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Such A WTF Day…

Posted on July 7, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ok, time for a real post. Well this morning it was pouring and lightening when I woke up. Joy. After about 5 snooze cycles I finally got up and it had stopped raining! I really wanted to run this morning since I won’t be able to tomorrow so I went out and did a hilly 5.6. Breakfast was a random medley of things. I haven’t had hunger all day and I find all I can convince myself to eat on days like this is random things thrown together and doused with salt. Well when the sun came out I went for a walk and came back to make those muffins I showed earlier. Voila:

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Honestly, I haven’t tried them yet; I might dig into some later or save them for an extra special breakfast tomorrow, but they look tasty. I think some of the brown sugar stayed in lumps and got nice and carmelized in the oven. Yum. So after that I was feeling pretty peachy:

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It’s a tuna burger smothered in Smoky Peach salsa with a cut up peach on the side. What can I say, I like peaches 😉 Well right after lunch we head off to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to knock off the grocery list. I basically spent 30 minutes at the bulk bins at Whole Foods getting the exact amount of ingredients I needed. And when we came out of the store, hell had clearly opened up over New England. It looked like 8pm and was pouring cats and dogs again. On the way home it actually hailed for 5 minutes, and we had to drive through some puddles we weren’t sure we’d get through, but luckily the ol’ car held out.

Got home, made myself my between-lunch-and-dinner meal of a cinnamon raisin english muffin fluffernutter(with White Chocolate Wonderful cause that’s how I roll) and a chocolate chip Z-Bar. I always see other people eating the chocolate chip kind and even though I don’t really like it I get a craving for it, eat one, and realize I don’t like it again. Weird, I’ll stick with my chocolate brownie ones, thank you.

So it was then time for my second recipe of the day. I won’t lie, brownies and muffins are way simpler for me than granola and granola bars. I modified the recipe I posted earlier, using 4oz dried cherries, 4oz cashews, 8oz rolled oats, 1/2 cup maple agave syrup, 2 egg whites, vanilla extract, and salt. I think it needed something more for glue like 1/4 cup cashew butter. Here’s my slightly depressing results:

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It actually made about 12 bars. Some of them held together, making me a proud papa. Some of them kind of crumbled in my hands and made me want to throw them against a wall, but I figured my parents will eat those ones.

Then the sun came out again weirdly and there was a lot of dishes in the sink so I did the natural thing: go for a walk and hope someone else cleans them when you get back. And guess what, someone did! That happified me. Again I basically had no hunger for dinner and ended up eating some rice and bean(burger)s while everyone else had potstickers. Now because I didn’t eat potstickers there are leftover ones in the fridge. I hate leftovers; I always feel obligated to eat them even if I really don’t want them.

Well what’s left for tonight is to pack for my first day of work. I hate preparing snacks and stuff because how am I supposed to know what I’ll want at 3pm tomorrow? I’m the type of person who will hate eggs for 3 months and suddenly crave them for lunch. Oh well, I figure if I pack some chocolate brownie Z-Bars those’ll satisfy any sweet tooth I might have. Well, I’m going to put on a pot of coffee and figure out what else I can convince me to eat. Maybe marshmallows + microwave?

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