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....