Archive for the ‘product reviews’ Category


Monday, July 9th, 2012

So today I accidentally peeled off a toenail with a chair leg while moving furniture. It was fun!

Except that it wasn’t. I did take a picture, but I’m not going to show you. Promise.

So yesterday after I posted I did in fact rearrange the living room.


What I didn’t do was take a ‘before’ picture. Let’s see – the couch that’s on the left used to have it’s back to the window box thing, the kitchen table (that I’m standing next to while I take the picture) used to be on the right… I don’t know. It’s different. I like it. We’ll have to see what Crockett thinks when he gets home. Cloey kept giving me the side eye, but once I’d put her bed in a place she deemed acceptable she settled down.


I was tired and hungry, so I ate more chickpea tuna salad straight out of the fridge and went to bed.


So you know Toothpaste for Dinner? No? You should. Write that down. Anyway, Drew, who draws the comic, also has this Tumblr called The Worst Things for Sale, and a couple of weeks ago he mentioned this dehydrated defatted peanut powder called PB2 that you mix with water to make lower calorie peanut butter. It was on a blog specifically listing stupid things – and I bought it anyway. I actually had peanut smoothies in mind, but I’ve discovered that if you mix it with more water than called for it makes an excellent dipping sauce for bananas. I’m not going to lie – a lot of what makes PB so ummy is the fat. However, this is pretty freaking tasty if you’re willing to acknowledge that it isn’t peanut butter.

I especially like the chocolate kind.

Oh, and speaking of buying dumb things?


This is a mango nectarine.

Ok, there’s nothing wrong with mango nectarines. Apparently they have nothing to do with mangos – they’re just wacky nectarines that some farmer found one day and grafted and it took. They do sort of taste like mangos, but are like nectarines in every other way. The whole thing is odd and overall I just sort of wished I had another mango and some nectarines.

I ate all the above with some iced coffee (2 points total – yay fruit!!) before even getting out of bed (other than to get it, I guess – no breakfast in bed delivery when your man is out of town). I did some writing (novel #2 is underway) and searched for someone to edit novel #1, and then got up to actually eat and fuel myself for the day.


And fuel I did. This is a piece of toast topped with a dry-fried egg, a wedge of Laughing Cow Queso, and some Morningstar Farms Grillers crumbles things heated with some salsa. Oh, and cranberry juice. Six points total and damn did it fuel me. The girls and I went for a hike, I rearranged our bedroom (and lost the aforementioned toenail), and I went to the Lowe’s and got some plants, then came home and planted them. And then I realized it was 4:30 and I was starving. Whoops. I again ate tuna and chickpea salad out of the refrigerator.


Our front planter looks pretty nice, though – I like the grasses. (The blue on is a hanger on from last year.)


Plus, dwarf citrus trees! The meyer lemon one already has some fruit, which I find confusing because they’re supposed to fruit from December to May, but whatever. I’ll take it and make some more of the Vanilla Bean Meyer Lemon Marmalade that I made while I was on haitus. Trust me, you guys want this recipe.

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Anyway, now I’m enjoying my one teeny tiny glass of wine for the night before I shower all the dirt off. (Oh, I also painted my nails a pretty sparkly light purple but I guess you can’t tell here. Yes, I did my nails before a day of gardening and moving furniture. I have no idea what my brain damage is.) (Also, it’s delicious and cheap wine that I will tell you about tomorrow, maybe?)

The one thing that bums me out about today is that I couldn’t find mint! When Crockett went herb plant shopping a few weeks ago, he couldn’t find any, and today I looked again and still couldn’t find any. Yes, I could probably start some from seeds, but arg.

What happened to you today? Good things? Bad things? In between things?

days go by

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Yesterday’s breakfast:

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Today’s breakfast:

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Both were pumpkin oats, but yesterday’s used the last of the steel cut oats, so today’s used rolled oats. The rolled oats were definitely gluier, which helped while eating in the car, but the steel cut oats are better in all other ways.

I’m so picky.

Yesterday’s lunch:

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A mixed up plate of raw mushrooms, frozen grapes, cheese, and crackers, with lots and lots of tea. I felt like crap when I got home from school yesterday – I think I didn’t get enough sleep Monday night. I’ve been having really irritating dreams. Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up and jerked all the blankets off Crockett, looked around all panicked, and then went back to sleep. Apparently.

Today’s lunch:

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I went to school, came home, ate an apple, went to the gym, did a quick upper body workout and ran 2 miles with speedwork (quarter mile warm up, repeats of a tenth of a mile each of 6 mph, 6.5 mph, and 7 mph, quarter mile cool down), and went to the grocery store for the very important half and half… and then realized it was 3:50 and all I’d had for lunch was an apple.

Enter the Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon, Cheese, and Egg biscuit. 45 second in the microwave, a lifetime in mah belly. (I don’t think that’s how that goes.) I microwaved it for too long because I forgot the instructions, but it was delicious anyway. Whoever does the taste testing for Morningstar Farms must have my same tastebuds, I swear – there is nothing they make that I don’t like. (As I’ve said before, they have no idea who I am and in no way requested that I eat their stuff.)

Yesterday’s dinner:

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Part of my recent grocery pledge was to eat through some of the protein we had in the freezer. Cue the organic ground beef that had a sell by date of 18 months ago. (It’s been frozen the whole time, so it was fine.)

Beef isn’t really something I’m comfortable cooking. Fortunately, Crockett is – enter the panfried burger! (I made onions and mushrooms to go on top, and shaved brussels sprouts salad for the side.) We ate them open faced and they were delicious. Good beef, well cooked, is a glorious thing.

Tonight’s dinner:

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Eggs softly scrambled with chopped onions and garlic and chopped basil, topped with goat cheese, and sweet potato chips (thinly sliced sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil and salt and baked for ~25 minutes in a 400 degree oven).

Yesterday’s view:

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On my way to my car, in Golden.

Today’s view:

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In Crockett’s car (it’s the one with four wheel drive) on the way to Golden.

Yesterday’s favorite thing:

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This fence makes me think of the secret garden every time I walk past it.

Today’s favorite thing:

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The fake vampire in the gym, whose sign changes a few times a week.

SNOW. (Apparently it will be 70 again by Monday. This is one of those things about the Front Range.)

other programs n stuff

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

So yes, I am obsessed with my new blogging program.

I thought I’d share a little, just in case you’re a blogger.

See, I used to have to log in to WordPress – which was fine, but took awhile and had odd formatting depending one how many things I had open.

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See? Weird formatting. Things are overlapping other things. Plus, I had to upload the pictures in a super duper slow way.

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Now look how easy!

(Yes, this post is essentially flouting the laws of time travel. A picture of what I wrote comes before what I wrote. MarsEdit is just that magical.)

Since I’m talking about computer¬†stuff, though, I thought I’d tell you about MacGourmet.

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Isn’t that pretty?

(Deb’s recipe as well as the program?)

Here’s how it works. One the menu, there’s a folder called ‘clippings’. When I find a recipe online that I like, I highlight the whole thing and drag the highlighted portion to the clippings folder. MacGourmet saves them for me until I’m ready to format them.

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When I get around to it, I open it up and use a series of command key strokes to divide it into title, servings, source (I try to be really good about that, but it doesn’t always work), picture, notes, ingredients, categories, tags, and instructions. (You can fill in as many or as few of those things as you want, but they’re all searchable, so I try to do as many as I can.)

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Once you’ve done that, you get the recipe with all of the editing tabs. The one I’m showing now is the ingredients tab – you can also divide them into sections and all sort of fun things.

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Lately the nutrition tab is one of my favorites – just to get a sense of protein/carb/fat ratios, if nothing else.

Finally, when I’m actually cooking, chef view is awesome.

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I can set my laptop on the kitchen table (which is not actually in the kitchen) and cook without fear of keyboard spillage. The screen never goes to sleep and I can scroll up and down with one finger.

Two programs I like. Just so you know.

P.S. Neither of the companies behind these programs know who I am – I just think they’re nifty.

it’s that time again

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Yes, it’s school time again.

It’s also been a year since I had my first cholesterol test ever and they told me that I was basically about to die.

Fine. I’m exaggerating.

But it wasn’t good.

My doc recommended South Beach, and I tried for awhile, and then got cranky because I eat (fairly) well and I exercise and South Beach seems to be geared towards those who don’t. My dad has high cholesterol. My grandma had high cholesterol (and was in her 90s when she passed away).

Of course, they both took medication.

Anyway, I’m going to make an appointment tomorrow to see if last year was a fluke, or if eating more oatmeal somehow worked a miracle.

(Cough*I don’t know if oatmeal can touch 279 but I can sure hope*cough).

If it didn’t, I may consider medication.

Now that I said all that, let me show you the terrible care I’ve been taking of my heart this week.

Chips and beer at Chili’s. (Girl date.)

Steak with Crockett when I got home that evening. (That is the piece I ate, so at least I’m practicing good portion control. That’s important, right?) Plus, everyone knows avocados are full of heart healthy fats, and those sauteed greens with summer squash were done in a non-stick pan with just a smidge – a SMIDGE I say – of olive oil.

After that, I figured I had a window where my heart would be so busy with the steak that it wouldn’t even notice more red meat headed its way.

You know, how the second cookie totally has fewer calories than the first.

My dad brought me some venison green chili, made with venison that I pulled out of me and Crockett’s freezer. (It entered the freezer before I moved in and I’m not entirely sure where it came from.) Since I have no idea what to do with venison, I let my dad fool around with it.

I poached a couple of eggs directly in the chili and ate it on my way to school.

Turns out I like venison when it’s super hot. The closer it got to room temperature, the more it tasted like something you shot in the woods.

I didn’t finish it. If I’d been eating at home, I would have just kept nuking it and happily devoured the whole bowl.

Last night we had a birthday party to go to, and the night before we had snacks on the town (including frozen yogurt from The LoCoYo, a new do-it-yourself place in town that I would totally move directly into if I could).

Tonight I did two important things. First, I got back on the lean meat and lots of veggies bandwagon.

Second, as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a sampel of the new¬†KC Masterpiece Buffalo Marinade. I actually used it as a marinade for pulled chicken that I put on a pizza way back before we left for NY, but a) I didn’t take pictures and b) the crust (homemade) was TERRIBLE – too salty and floppy and never really stopped being damp. Yeah, terrible. Tonight, I went simple.

Crockett was in Golden watching stage six of the US Pro Cycling Challenge until late afternoon, so I threw some mostly defrosted breasts into the marinade to throw on the grill when he got home.

Of course, by then it was raining, so ‘the grill’ became ‘the Foreman grill’.

Still totally worked. I ate mine with some of the light blue cheese dressing I’m madly in love with spread on top. Crockett just plain dipped bites of his into the dressing.

I am a huge fan of buffalo flavor (my favorite salad and my boyfriend both have their roots in Buffalo) and this doesn’t disappoint. This is the second pound of chicken I’ve used it on, and there’s probably another pounds worth in the bottle.

With it, we had tomato and cucumber salad with cornbread (based on this recipe). I made some substitutions (mint for the cilantro, reduced fat feta for the cojita, and crumbles of my dad’s cornbread recipe for the cornbread croutons) and it was perfect.

See? As along as you totally ignore the first two things meals I showed you, I am taking excellent care of my heart.

I hope my doctor doesn’t read this.


Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

They’re back.

I’ve missed them so.

Never leave me again, Morningstar Farms Veggie Corn Dogs.


Seriously – they’re a little high in sodium to eat every day. There are a lot of ingredients involved in making fake meat, so the ingredient list is sort of intimidating. They have both egg and milk, so they’re not vegan. They’re also around $5 for 4, at least at my local Albertsons, which is a little pricey. (I’m going to go look at Target later this week to see if they’re cheaper there). But? But? The outside is crunchy and the inside is appropriately hot dog tasting and they’re SO GOOD. They were missing from the stores for almost a year for reasons that I believe had something to do with corn prices or only getting GMO corn or something, but now?


Never leave me again, corn dogs.

P.S. Those things on the sides are slices of champagne mango, not fries. I realized after the fact that they look like they might be the grossest fries ever, and I wanted to clear that up. Not gross fries: mango.