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I’m sorry.

I am giving up the blog.  It’s kind of sad, and I really enjoyed writing it, for a while, but I just don’t have time for it anymore and I think that’s clear to us all.  It’s become a chore, and I don’t want it to be that way.  I spent the last few weeks not photographing food, and I have to tell you, it felt pretty fabulous.

So thanks for reading for all of this time, I really appreciate it.  It’s been fun, and I met many awesome people, which was by far the best part.  Maybe I’ll pick it back up again one day, but for now, I think I’d rather just let it go.

I am redeeming myself

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Remember many, many months ago, when I reviewed the Fizzy Lizzy drinks (sorry there are no longer pictures in that post…use your imagination).  Well, would you believe me if I told you that someone asked me to review another drink after that?

It’s true, they did.  Sunkist has a new line of smoothies, and they asked me to give them a try.   So I did.  And…I liked them!

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I can’t believe it, really.  I hate juice.  But these are pretty good.  Particularly the strawberry dream flavor.  In fact, Chris, who also isn’t a big juice drinker, drank the entire bottle on Saturday after announcing that it was “quite refreshing.”

The berry blue bountiful was also good, and very blueberryish.  Which makes sense.  The berry cherry bountiful was the one I liked the least.  I think it’s hard to turn cherries into a juice.  Robitussin has kind of ruined that flavor for me.  But it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and if you like cherries (I don’t) you might like this one.

All in all, I’m not sure I’d drink these things regularly, only because I prefer water.  But I might use one to replace a peice of fruit on a day that I don’t have time to sit down and eat.  It would be much easier to drink one of these than try to eat a bowl of strawberries on the train, that’s for sure.  They are also 100% juice, all-natural, no preservatives.   Each bottle holds two servings (Can I just say, I hate it when companies do that?  No one drinks half a bottle.  Seriously.  It’s such a scam.) and each serving is 130 – 140 calories.

My only real gripe?  Hardly any protein, so I’m not sure it would keep me full past the initial I-just-drank-16-ounces-of-thick-liquid stage.   But adding protein would take away from the 100% juice factor, so I’m okay with it.

A snack!

Can you even believe it?  I bet you can’t.  I haven’t posted a snack in AGES.  I still eat them, though.  Although interestingly enough, perhaps not as often.   I think I ate more when I felt the pressure to post my snack every day.

Anyway.  Grapefruit:

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The grocery store was out of grapes, my fruit of choice.  I do like grapefruit, although now I’m thinking I should have had hot chocolate or something because it is snowing like crazy here.  Luckily, there is still time.

Also, I am going here tonight.  Way excited, obviously.  Do you think I could order the fudge brownie soft serve with pretzel crunch and a peice of the carrot cake?  Or would that be too much?  Because I’d also like to get the brown butter cinnamon bun with cheesecake filling, but something tells me I might walk out of there with a stomach ache if I do.

I think it would be worth it.

I am not really much of a baker.  Baking involves things like measuring and following recipes because it is a matter of chemistry and science, what with the flour and the baking powder and the baking soda.  Or at least, that’s what I’ve heard.

But for part of a holiday present I wanted to make some kind of cookies involving caramel, and the lovely Betsy forwarded me this recipe.  We consulted back and forth a bit, mostly about the fact that the instructions for the caramel involved wearing a long sleeve shirt and protective eyewear.

Scary, right?  I thought so too.

However, I bet you didn’t know this about me, but I am quite brave.  I really live on the edge.  For instance, sometimes I cross the street on a solid hand.  So I decided to give the caramel a go.   But first, I had to make the cookies:

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Then I put on my long sleeves in preparation for the caramel:

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No eye wear, though.  Like I said, brave.

The recipe calls for light corn syrup, but my local grocery store didn’t have that, so I bought this instead:

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And then I put it all in the pan and started stirring:

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Nothing happened for a while, and I was getting pretty annoyed because I’m an impatient person and I wanted to see some action in that pan.  But then things started bubbling:

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And then everything happened all at once and I was running around grabbing cream and stirring and looking at my laptop and freaking out and then I poured the warm cream in and the whole thing bubbled like crazy and I would’ve taken a picture but I was scared out of my mind because I didn’t have protective eye wear on.

Finally, after all that, there were these:

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Pretty good, right?  I think they’re okay.  The cookies aren’t the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had (probably because I again didn’t follow the recipe and used natural peanut butter) but the caramel is AWESOME, if I do say so myself.  However, I had a ton leftover and I didn’t know what to do with it so I ate like half poured it onto a sheet pan in hopes of making brittle:

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Yeah.  Apparently that’s not how you make brittle, because it didn’t harden.  Maybe I’ll work on that one next.

Things happen

There is this Thai restaurant in Williamsburg called SEA (it’s actually part of a smallish chain made up of those extremely overcrowded I-feel-like-I-might-be-in-outer-space Thai restaurants) and it is dirt cheap for lunch.  They have a special menu and you can get an appetizer and an entree for like $7.  And one of the options on that menu is my favorite thing EVER, Rama the King.

I think this is kind of a standard Thai thing, although they don’t have it everywhere.  I Googled it and found a few chicken dishes.  In other words, it’s no pad Thai. Because it’s better.  It’s like a mix of peanut sauce and red coconut curry sauce, with vegetables.  I also like to treat myself to some shrimp, because you know.  I work so hard.

Anyway, the other day I purchased this product at Williams-Sonoma:

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I used it in this soup, but I had a ton left over so I decided to try my hand at a little Rama action.  The mix:

3/4 can light coconut milk

1/4 cup peanut butter

3 T of this red curry base

1 tsp red curry paste

That’s it!  Seriously.  I think the red curry base is kind of a very important, extremely necessary ingredient though, so I hope you can find it. Otherwise, I believe A Taste of Thai has something that is similar.   If you want to make it on your own, ask someone who isn’t me.

I used it to marinate some tempeh and then put the rest over the baked tempeh and some sauteed vegetables:

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I was going to make rice, too, but I got locked out of my apartment building and had to wait outside for  forty-five minutes and then Jack tried to jump over the gate that separates my building from the sidewalk and I had to tackle him and then he had a total meltdown because he saw some guy and thought he was Chris.  Which he wasn’t.  He just had a short haircut and a grey coat on.  Similar to Chris’s tan coat, apparently.

So, I used Trader Joe’s frozen naan instead.  I know.  Thai and Indian.  I bring cultures together.

I am really 12 years old

I apologize, but this is another post about bars.  Last time, though.  I will stop talking about them for at least a week.  I do eat other things, but this week has been particularly busy.  And also, this time, the review is a positive one!  How about that?  I found something I like, other than Z Bars.

Jamfrakas:

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I know.  Like the Z Bar, this bar is designed for children.  I’m not sure what that says about me and my taste buds, but I really liked these.  I bought two – the Peanut Butter Blisscrisp, above, and the Chocolate Chip Cosmocrisp.  I don’t know what’s up with the names, so don’t ask.

Anyway, I opened the chocolate one first because I was dying to try it, and Chris and I both took a bite on the subway platform on the way home from the grocery store.  He didn’t like it, and I didn’t really either.  So I wrapped it back up and stuck it in the cabinet when we got home.  Later in the week, I found it and thought I’d give it another shot, and I liked it a lot for some reason.  Not sure what the difference was, maybe I was just in the mood.  I don’t even like Larabars, but  I like how this kind has the little crispies in it, so there’s more texture.  Also, it was really sweet.  I like sweet.

I actually enjoyed the remainder of the chocolate one so much that I immediately ate the peanut butter one above.  I don’t know which is better, but this one is good too.  Better, I would even say, than the peanut butter Larabar.  I know.  I am going to get hate comments for that one.

They have fruity kinds, too, and I’m not sure I’d go for that.  Not really a fruity person.  But I am all over the chocolate and peanut butter.  I think I saw a chocolate banana one, too.

Mexican polenta casserole

I think that I have never made a casserole before because I had to Google the spelling.  Actually, I’m not even sure this is a casserole.  But we’re going to call it that so it looks like I am trying something new and different instead of just making Mexican again. Which I do a lot.  I’m sure you’ve noticed.

Anyway:

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This is pre-oven, obviously, because the cheese isn’t melted.  The recipe:

1 cup dry polenta, cooked according to the directions

3/4 can refried beans

I cup black beans

1/2 cup corn

1/2 of a red onion

1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I used canned)

2 scallions

2 cloves of garlic

Salsa

cilantro

chili powder, cayenne, cumin

1/2 cup or so of cheddar, shredded

Spray a dish like the one above with cooking spray and spread the cooked polenta along the bottom.  Stick it in the fridge to harden.  In the meantime, cook the onion until soft, add the garlic, then the refried beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro and spices to taste.  Once this mixture is hot, spread half of it along the top of the polenta, then add a sprinkle of cheese and a little sauce.  Add the remaining black bean mixture, sprinkle with scallions, then top with salsa to cover and the rest of the cheese.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 400.  You may want to cover it for the first 15 minutes or so so the cheese doesn’t burn.

My layering skills in action:

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Not so hot.

My serving:

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I think it probably serves four.  We only had one serving left, though.  Hmm…

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