Wednesday, December 28, 2011

If I make 12 I'll eat 12! or How to Make 1 Muffin



Okay so Im not really that greedy, but sometimes I would like a cupcake or muffin
and don't feel like going through the process of making a full pan.

Solution?

Just make one.

This recipe has been seen in various places under various names, but here is my own variation.
And I know what question is burning in your mind :
What's the dif between a cupcake and muffin?

Sugar! As in the batter of a cupcake has more sugar and it's often topped with a sugar-based icing.
Im apparently more of a muffin girl since I hardly add an sugar (if any).

I prefer the honey or agave drizzled on top.

Also:
- coconut oil
- peanut butter with pomegranate cherry preserves
- throw in some fruit before "baking" and drizzle with honey

Im thinking this would be great in a savory version (maybe with zuchini or squash , spinach and tomatoes) but I have yet to try that out. I'll let you know when I do. :-)

Lazy Tea Cup Apple Muffin

Ingredients :

3 T spelt flour
1 t sticky rice flour (optional)
1/8 t finely ground salt
1 T coconut oil (melted)
1 - 2 T water (as needed, but the more water the moister)
1/4 t  almond extract + 1/4 t vanilla extract
1/4 t baking powder
1 T Sugar (optional, but i usually don't add it since the apple is sweet enough)
1/2 a small apple diced (or as i prefer it shaved with a vegetable peeler) or 1 T apple sauce (or pear)

Directions:

Mix ingredients in a small bowl (or mug or tea cup or other tiny microwave safe dish) throwing the apples in last.
Microwave for about 90 seconds


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Are you vegan? Are you vegetarian?


this pie is not Vegan and neither am i
Short answer: I do not eat meat or dairy, but No I am not a vegan..


Long Answer: I am a human. I am a Christian. But I do not define myself, by what I eat. Therefore I am not "a vegan" nor "a vegetarian" Im just the average human who has decided not to eat meat.

Do you get that question a lot? Does it annoy you too? Do you live in the United States?

When I was in Italy in September and I would say "Oh i dont eat meat" No one would bat a lash. They would say "okay. try this instead."

But they are masters in the art of cooking. Not that America doesn't have its share of great chefs and culinary achievements. But the average American seems to have no culinary imagination. Or maybe they are stuck on tradition.

Bread and butter? No thanks I'll dip my bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar thank you very much.
Peanut Butter and Jelly? If I must, but why not try almond butter and preserves on toasted bread (so the peanut butter melts a little)?

Is it an American thing to be preoccupied with food to the point of intrusion in other peoples personal choices?

Can I turn down an ingestible in America without giving an explanation? "No!" the masses shout.

And it's only with certain things: alcohol, bread, meat and cheese.

But these four things might be the backbone of american diets. It's quite possible that people think they literally can't live without these things.

I mean think about it.

If you say "I don't drink alcohol" people ask (in hushed tones) "Are you an alcoholic?"

If you don't eat cheese "Are you lactose intolerant?"

If you dont eat bread, "What! Are you on a diet OR SOMEThiNG?" Still not sure what the "or something" entails but doesn't it seem rather foreboding.

I won't even go into what people say when someone says "I dont eat meat" because either you have said it or have had it said to you. Plus it annoys me just to think about it.

I doubt anyone gets those questions with things like mustard, carrots or sesame seeds.

"What? You don't eat sesame seeds? Are you addicted? Do you want me to eat this sesame seed bun somewhere else? Are you sesame seed intolerant? Can you eat just a little? Like one or two? How sick do you get?"
As if there is no other reason you would abstain from these things unless you are an addict or allergic OR SOMETHING.

I think I mind "are you allergic?" the least out of the three questions because a simple "yes" can end the inquisition. But it still seems to imply the only valid reason to avoid these things is if you were born with a flaw that demands abstinance.

Okay. Enough ranting. Tomorrow we will talk about eating cupcakes and dancing.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My second Blissmobox!

My second and sadly last Blissmobox came yesterday. I was so excited I hopped right into. These are the things I haven't eaten yet. They are all new to my palate except for the Flamous Falafel Chips. I purchased a bag of those on my last trip to Naturally Soergel's.

untouched goodies..not for long
 The theme was Vegan Snacks and it seems vegans must adore chocolate because most of the snacks are chocolate based or have chocolate in them.

things ive tried so far

This morning I had the chocolate Bobo Bar for breakfast. Awfully delicious! It had the flavor notes and scent of a brownie, but its made up of completely friendly co-workes and gluten-less to boot. I have been a long time fan of Bobo's Bars, but I usually get the original flavor.

Yesterday, I had the  ProBar Halo in S'mores flavor. Delicious! The Eli's Earth Bar was out of this world. It was in the "celebrate bar" flavor. The outside of the package said this flavor was 'almond caramel coconut'. Interestingly, the coconut was inside the caramel.

inside eli's earth bar in 'celebrate bar'

I am very happy with this months box selection. Anything food related usually makes me happy tho. I just really like it that this will suplement the groceries I got until it time to shop again and beyond. I really don't buy snack often because its not in the budget, but this box is great!

Thanks Blissmo for having an awesome selection. Totally work the12.50. :-)

Friday, December 9, 2011

I love boxes of Stuff!

I received a reviewers box of goodies from the Brad's Raw people last Monday and I really couldn't wait to share it with you.

 However, when they said they were sending a sampler I was expecting tiny sample-sized packets, but this is what I got:

And since I'm working on not being a greedy gus, I didn't immediately rip into all the packages and devour them. I did eat almost a whole container of the Naked Leafy Kale chips for dinner, but that was out of necessity since i haven't been shopping...

Even though I don't strictly follow a gluten free or raw diet, I'm always on the lookout for a good tasting, portable gluten free or raw snack. I usually lean toward the Raw sweet snacks, but I'm open to more salty or savory ones.

Along with the box of tasty vittles there was a nicely packaged information folder about how the company started and who Brad is. Brad was the typical American guy (i.e. overweight and unhealthy), but that all changed when he moved to Pennsylvania (ironic considering the high level of obesity here, but that is more near the cities and he moved to Bucks County which thankfully has nothing to do with the sports team with that nickname...yes you Pirates!).

Eating a predominately raw diet he lost 40 pounds, but more importantly he regained his health. No point in being thin if you are just as unhealthy in your habits as you were when you were overweight or obese.

And ...
One of the things that throws many people off track in their attempts at healthier eating is the lack of quick access to good for you foods. So having a healthy chip alternative like a raw chip or kale chip that is tasty and a good value is a great help.

And if you are like me, snacks fall into the entertainment budget. They are not a necessity, but a perk on the grocery list. I'm always on the lookout for a great snack review before I buy.

Without further ado...
I was sent two categories of Brads Raw treats: Raw Leafy Kale and Brads Raw chips. Here are the flavors I was sent and a little review.


Brad's Raw Leafy Kale

~Naked
I have to say it wasn't love at first bite for me, but by the third bite I was seriously digging these guys. These are meant to just taste cheesy, but the addition of red pepper takes the flavor to a whole new level. If you aren't a fan of red peppers you might not enjoy these, but they are very tasty. The texture and crunch factor are just right.

~Nasty Hot
Tasty like the Naked with heat thanks to the addition of jalapenos and cayenne. With the impressive nutritional information you don't have to feel bad if you accidentally eat the whole box. I'm not saying I did this I'm just saying.... Oh and they would be great movie night snack mixed with some plain fresh popped popcorn. Might need a 12-step program to get away from these guys. But they are so impressively healthy an addiction I really don't have to. Yay!

~Vampire Killer
 I thought Nasty Hot was my favorite until I tasted these one. I really like garlic so combining them with all the other yuminess in the Leafy Kale is a no-brainer deliciousness. These are fabulous on their own, but they are so flavorful I think I'll try them on salad and mixed into some quinoa. That is if i can stop eating them on their own.

Brad's Raw Chips

~ Cheddar
Like a fiesta in my mouth. I could see using these as the base for a taco salad. Would love to have them with salsa and guacamole, but I ate the bag before I could buy the ingredients for the other stuff. Ha!

 
~ Sweet Potato
Fall in one bite. Reminiscent of sweet potato pie, but better since you're not getting all the calories. These would be delicious with a raw cashew cream. Will be getting these again...and again! These made a great breakfast a few days I didnt have time to cook.

~ Red Bell Pepper
These remind me of something and I cant think of what it is. Maybe a soup I had once upon a time and loved. I dipped some in a plain hummus. So delicious! Will definitely be buying these again.

~ Indian
This is going to sound strange, but the scent of these is like a warm dish of Indian food. It is most likely from the presence of all the yummy spices in this one like curry, cumin and tumeric. They are very flavorful. After a few my mouth was burning so best eaten in moderation or with a cooling cucumber salad.

Final Verdict....

Brads Raw hits all the check points for a great snack food: vegan (no animal products), gluten free (no gluten..duh!), raw, portable (i transport my kale in a hard container so my leafy kale chips don't get crushed in my stuffed bag), its a chip (its a psychological fact: a chip has to be replaced with a chip..duh!) and super tasty.

On top of that they are a very open and informative company. Go check out their website! 
There are many videos so if you are not a fan of reading you can still feel as informed as the rest of us.
I suggest switching from videos to reading and back again several times to prevent eye strain.

You can shop and learn about the Raw Diet, recipes, the 7-day raw challenge and more about their other products.

There is even a video of Brad making several raw dishes. He is the opposite of ugly so no risk of eye strain in that respects either. 

For more information please check them out at: http://www.bradsrawfoods.com/,
If you'd like some social interaction with them: www.facebook.com/bradsrawchips,
And if you are a stalker you can "follow" them at: https://twitter.com/#!/BradsRawChips

Brad's Raw Chips

Monday, December 5, 2011

Getting stuff in the mail: Eco Emi & Kashi

 Eco Emi October Box

 Eco Emi had an overstock of their October boxes for sale and being that I am addicted to getting things in the mail I went ahead and purchased one. In hindsight I wouldnt have purchased this particular month, but that really didnt change my excitement in getting it in the mail. How's that for a nice little contradiction?

Nothing personal I just am not a fan of trying new hair products and my last two mail boxes had hair stuff. More to share with my underserving friends I guess.

I was so excited to snap a picture I didnt even unwrap all my goodies yet, but here it is in all its glory. On the left side of the pic you can see a little tin that is actually a candle.

Here's the Full List:

~ Big Dipper Wax Works Travel Candle in Rejuvination
~ Crazy Rumours Lip Balm in Orange Bergamot
~ Mulling Spice by Simply ORganic
~ Gin Gin's Boost Ginger Candy (so tasty and great for winter. it warms you from the inside. also great after a pungeant meal (i.e. garlic or onions or both))
~ Herbaria Herbal Soap in Almond Spice(Great spicy smell! Will be using this after i finish my blissmobox bar)
~ Rise Food Bar in Blueberry Coconut (seriously delicious! I went to whole foods to buy some but they are going to have to go on the "find a coupon or splurge" list)
~ Neuma's Hair Care Line (still haven't decided if im gifting or keeping these)
    -Renew Shampoo and Conditioner
    -Blow Dry Lotion
    -Style Texturizer
    -Smoothing Creme

More stuff in the Mail...

Kashi sent me this nice little sample of their Honey Sunshine cereal in the mail.

I didnt eat it right away (shocking i know), but I saved it for a "Seldom Worked Territory" trip to Rimersburg a few weekends ago. I knew id need a "run out the door with it and eat in the car" breakfast and thought this would hit the spot along with some almonds that i sprinkled with cinnamon.

Hit the spot it did. Working in Seldom Worked Territory in the country involves a lot of climbing in and out of trucks and walking up and down long (and sometimes sharply slanted) driveways. This kept me satiated for the whole morning, but kid you not I was ready to eat when lunch time rolled around.

It was a really tasty, sweet but not too sweet cereal. Kinda made me think of Captain Crunch for adults.
I ate it dry but im sure it would be fabulous with some vanilla almond milk. It had bite to it like it wouldnt turn to mush in milk if it sat for a few minutes.

Will definitely be using the coupon to buy some more. Thanks Kashi!

Great design!

Sometimes a product catches my eye either because it is ghastly grotty and impractical
or because the design is so unique and exceptional I feel the need to snap a picture.

The following falls into the latter category. At first glance it is just a run of the mill fragrance sample, but on closer examination.


where the stream comes out
directions 1) pull 2) squeeze bottle






Saturday, December 3, 2011

Frosty Morning (not the chocolate kind)....1,000+ words


Does anyone else love the mysterious look of a foggy, frosty morning?
The way everything sparkles and shimmers in the hazy sunlight



 How things slowly take on their natural color as it sheds its wintery coat...


 Like a tiny glimpse of spring...


 The way everything takes on a whole new look...

And how it's as if everything slowly comes into focus
as the sun melts away the ice and haze....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Living in a Hotel... A Pictorial

Perk 1: Not having Cable at home, being in a hotel provides ample opportunities to catch up on less noxious reality shows like Deadliest Catch and Pickers.

Perk 2: And of course it is an absolute treat to have a tricked out in-home gym:

creepy blue workout pants from Bebe

Perk 3: Plenty of opportunities for creepy photos:
exhibit a

exhibit b
Perk 4: Lovely large dining room and breakfast area:
i could fit all my friends in here...if i had any friends that is
Perk 5: Beautifully decorated front hall greeting area tricked out with a fireplace:
i seriously have a thing for fireplaces


Some other of the many perks of living in a hotel:
~ Ice machine
~ Central air and heat
~ Big picture windows
~ Drink bar in front lobby for all day coffee and tea (BUT no dairy alternative sadly)
~ Maid service

Inspirational Thoughts:

And for our creepy photo of the day/ inspirational message:
Take Time to Smell the Flowers

Since I live in the North East and there are no naturally growing flowers this time of year I will have to go to Whole Foods or some other such place to smell the flowers. But who can frown at an excuse to go to whole foods?

Its funny.. For all the things Pittsburgh does not have, we do have a Whole Foods and a Trader Joe's within walking distance with a Target smack in the middle of the two. Go figure!

Black (and Blue) Friday AKA Dumb Holidays

Hotel Breakfast:

Instant Oatmeal with craisins and walnuts with a chaser of Bigelow green Tea (Hi Bigelow! Call me!).
I brought my own cereal from home but to this morning I was sneaking out of the suite pretty early and my lil bro sleeps in the kitchen (don't ask) so I decided to embibe in the creepy snacks the hotel offers.

The selection was actually not bad for omnivores and less picky non-omnivores. Im just not a fan of instant oatmeal. The ingredient lists generally include a few ingredients that the general population could not spell in a life or death spelling bee (I mean non-Americans of course since Americans can't spell anyway. Im not prejudiced! Im honest.) let alone know what they are..

Did everyone survive the materialistic olympics yesterday?

I hope so. I did not wake up at a ridiculous time of day, but I still got some awesome deals. It should be noted my sole reason for going shopping is my proximity to the Tanger Outlets this weekend.

It's kind of far from home, but since Im staying out here this weekend why not eh?
(No Im not learning to speak Canadian! Im just trying to be more culturally diverse. Hi Canada!)

These running shoes at addidas were $10 after all the discounts. Boo ya!(I dont know what this means because I dont speak slang, but it seemed to fit the moment.)


With my awful knees I dont plan on doing any running, but these are great fitness shoes.

 Running shoes have great arch support and wonderful shock absorbption if you get a good pair. I don't claim to have purchase a "good" pair, but they were uber discounted for no other reason than that they are from the "spring line", so they will do just fine.

Not on the shopping list, but these juicy tube babies were a rediculous steal at $2.20 each (marked down from $10!!!). Of course I remember when the full sized ones were $8 at the outlet cosmetics store (she scornfully recalls). I bought four but will most likely not keep the other three. Want one?

Old Navy is usually offering up some sweet clearance deals and they were! I got a pair of dark wash jeans for $5, a white 3/4 length sleeve tee for $1.97 (we dont have sales tax on clothes so it really was that price), and a cream colored top with braiding design along the shoulder area. I look really stupid with braided hair so Ill wear that trend on my sleeve..literally....

Im not a fan of clothes shopping in general because...well.. Im a miser. But I really don't like shopping this time of year when people are in an absolute frenzy.

For those in the reading audience not from the USA or other such materialistic, oppressive and holiday-addicted places, they are in a frenzy to get a good deal on things because the "have to" buy gifts for everyone they know. Rediculous? Like most traditions in this country : yes it is rediculous.

God loves a "cheerful giver"! Not one who is forced into giving because "last year neighbor Bob bought my pet Joe a chew toy so this year I have to buy something for his dog Missy and sign the card as coming from my Joe". There are at least 4 elements of rediculous in the previous sentence. If you can name all 4 you get a special treat. Leave a comment below or email me. The value of the treat is under $5 but i think you will enjoy it nonetheless. ;-)

Something scary.....AKA "Just in Case You doubt we live in the 'Last days'"

Im using the computer in the business office of the hotel. There is a little girl who is maybe 10 years old and white is looking up rap videos on you tube to learn the lyrics. Her current choice is sexually explicit and has profanity that would make a biker blush. But the rapper is a female so i guess that makes it all okay in someones mind (that someone being a complete demented record executive).

Im not sure what is more scary (you pick):
- that she wants to listen to rap music
- that she is trying to learn the lyrics
- that women rap
- that she is allowed to use the computer on her own
- that she is allowed to roam around a hotel by herself

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fri-Yay!


This week seemed to drag on a bit.....


Or was it just me?

I didnt have anything special or extra to do this week so i think maybe i had too much free time (aka bored out of my mind time...okay maybe not bored but i actually had to find something to do which is strange).

Okay so maybe I had one out of the ordinary thing to do.....

On Wednesday I went to the Partylite Preview Party/ Regional Meeting. The preview party was wonderful. The meeting part not so much.

These are my favorite two holders. Not sure that the first one is new per ce, but it really caught my eye.


This one has a really stupid name. So, I'll just  call it the SIlver Art Deco Lamp Style candle holder.

And interior designer had the cleveridea of using 5 of the large ones in a flower design as a centerpiece. It looked really beautiful, but these cost approximately $3,000,000 dollars each so Im not sure who could afford such an extravagance.




Last night...

Tomorrow...

 Saturday Im going on a Seldom Worked Territory trip. At least I think I am. Let's see at 5am tomorrow. lol
Wow! Typing that out loud made me realize how early i have to get up tomorrow. But im going to bed early to compensate so it will all even out by Sunday (she says to herself doubtfully).


On an unrelated note...but not totally...
Isn't this the cutest tea pot ever. It's based on those Russian Nesting Dolls.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend Fun

Friday: Here is the yumminess I had for lunch. Seriously tasty new item in Trader Joes. There are 4 in the box with a coconut chutney (for only 1.99!). I had one at work and ate the other 3 when I got home. These were seriously yum. I have to go buy some before Joe stops selling them ( I love you Joe, but you are kind of fickle sometimes..I still havent gotten over the Wonton Chips Incident)


Friday evening I went to the Tasting event at Whole Foods. No pics cuz too busy stuffing my face with free samples of cranberry orange relish, tofurkey and stuffing, quinoa wild rice pecan stuffing, and roasted seasonal vegatables.


jewelry for sale
 Saturday: lovely morning of service,then to the craft show and directly on to the "Spiritual Goals" program where I was interviewed and "sang" a Kingdom song in sign language

 
cards for sale

awesome tower on fall drive


Sunday: Woke up to study Watchtower. Wonderful lesson! To meeting and then on a fall drive out to a state park near Soergels Orchard and naturally a stop at Soergel's  followed.

Got some treats from "Naturally Soergel's". Not as many things as usual since I was "hungry shopping" (while most people over shop when hungry I tend to undershop..I know..that is weird...).

But I will tell you about the things i bought later this week.

right before i fell in the lake of lunacy
Here is a lame picture of me in front of the beautiful waterfall in front of Naturally Soergels. I made it as small as possible. Sorry for the damage to your eyes.


You know I had to buy one of these baskets of serious yum. It was only $5, but there was a ginormous apple in it that I would have paid $5 just to have. I see apple pear bake in my future belly.


I love weird looking gourds. Creepy grey pumpkin thingy's with skin issues can all be in my club.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Customer Service All Star Award : Raw Revolution

Ive been a fan of Raw Rev for quite some time now. I discovered them when I was going through a "raw" eating phase.

 But unlike my desire to eat Raw all the time (I'm too anemic to avoid a piping hot bowl of soup in the wintertime and my blender stinks but if i had an awesome (i.e. not made in the 1950's) blender I know i could do more "raw") certain "raw" products like this one stayed in my repertoire.

 Their bars are seriously decadent, delicious, and chock full of "good for you" things. They are great for an on the go meal or snack.

Alas, I had a not too pleasant experience with one of their bars (story withheld to protect the innocent bar) and I wrote to inquire "what the dealy yo?" (did i spell that right?). And guess what happened....

No really. Guess what happened.

You give up? Quitter....

Well what happened is that this really awesomely nice guy who works for Raw Rev sent me a box full of lovely goodies and yumminess.

Kudos to Raw Revolution for being kind, awesome, understanding and extremely generous.

Also, a very special thank you for being delicious. and quite often chocolate.

I'll be reviewing the flavors soon. I know you are on the edge of your seat waiting.

Take a Look:
7 full sized bars, 5 100-calorie minis and 3 Organic Greens Super Food Bar
 



And some awesome BOGO coupons!

A close up of the minis. They are so cute!

 Speaking of Raw and Sweet....

Wholesome  Sweeteners sent me a sample pack of their agave and raw sugar products.

I've been wanting to try their maple syrup so I guess now I can at no cost to me. Yay!

Pancakes for breakfast tomorrow? I think so!

Cute packaging...
But its whats on the inside that counts

 On an unrelated note....

I purchased the Sula Paint and Peel nail polish in the color "Dove" ans I really like it!

It's not as dark as it looks in this picture, but it's more like a purple grey with hints of blue.

Notice the Raw Rev Bar Hiding in the background....