Friday Fixins: June 28th

WHAT A WEEK.  I don’t want to be That Blogger who decides to come back with a vengeance and then has to post ANOTHER apology for going off grid, but this week has been kind of a madhouse.  Last weekend we had a big family picnic/reunion, and planning for that took a lot of quality blogging time out of my life.  And on top of that, just when I thought things would be smooth sailing once the weekdays hit– nope.  Business has been slow at work, which means the bosses want us all to Buckle Down and Band Together, which has…just been hell, quite frankly.  But the week is over!  It’s Friday!

(Or…Sunday.  Hush.)

So, your Fixins this week are really just going to be mroe of a weekend roundup– forgive me?  Things have been (good)crazy; the kind of crazy where I’m bummed that I haven’t had time to post, but that means things have been going well.  I had a job interview on Friday afternoon (second round and sounds promising!)  Then I spent the rest of Friday afternoon sort of tooling around Mass., which was good for head-clearing.  Saturday I baked (recipe to come because oh my god) and saw a number of people I haven’t seen in a VERY long time.

Which was pretty damn sweet.

To kick off the part that’s more broadly applicable, have some things I cooked last week in the frenzy!  First, to combat the nasty heat wave NE was dealing with last weekend, foccacia and gazpacho.  Yum, dude.

foccacia and gazpacho

Gazpacho is like the slice-and-bake cookie of the soup world.  You literally just cut up vegetables, toss them into some tomato juice, and call it a day.  What could be easier?

Besides maybe opening a can, but that’s just not any fun.

And remember that thing I told you I baked?  Yeah.  You want some.

heart shaped boxWhat is it?  A surprise, that’s what.  Don’t get greedy on the information, now.  You’ll be hearing about it soon enough.

 

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Friday Fixins: Subscription Box Review – Love With Food, June 2013

I got both the LWF box and the Goodies Co. box for May; neither was killer, but there was enough in the LWF box that I loved (namely these three) that it survived the competition.  Goodies Co. has since been canned.

Nothing to do with the fact that one of their items last month was the hugest bottle of coconut water in the universe.  And that it tasted like feet, because that is what coconut water tastes like.

lwf 6/13

Anyway, here we are with another month and another box on my front step!  Super exciting.  June is the Summer Beach Bash box and tastes appropriately tropical (read: if you don’t like pineapple, get the hell out of this box).  According to the insert, each of the June boxes helped to donate not one, but TWO meals to Oklahoma food banks– just go on ahead and hit me with the feelgoods, LWF.

Roasted Seaweed from Seaweed Love
lwf 6/13 seaweed
This stuff had the approximate texture of a Listerine strip.  I’m not huge on seaweed as a food product in general, so that might’ve tipped the scales for me here, but I wasn’t too in-love.  They smell a lot stronger than they taste, true, but the only flavor I was actually getting hit with was a (very) light saltiness.  Eh.

Coconut and Mango Fruit Ice from Smooze
lwf 6/13 smooze
I liked this better than I thought, considering I’m not huge on mango and that that’s the flavor that comes across as dominant.  It’s a reeeally smooth fruit popsicle (I’m guessing that has something to do with the coconut milk) with a punchy flavor; I can imagine loving this if it was sitting in my freezer in something other than mango.  The problem is that I can’t figure which; the Smooze website lists mango, pineapple, and pink guava, all of which are a little off my flavor dreamland.

(P.S.: tropical and I are not close.)

Gluten-Free Pineapple Coconut Cereal Bar from Do More Bars
lwf 6/13 Do More
The packaging advertised this as “tasting like a Rice Krispie treat with the bonus of brown rice” and that, my friends, is a very apt description of what this is.  Like crunchy brown rice cooked with brown sugar and a little pineapple juice.  Can’t see myself making these a regular part of my snack routine, but I enjoyed my sample.

Organic Fruity Bears from Surf Sweets
lwf 6/13 Surfsweets
Tropical gummy bears?  I’ll bite.  (Hilarious, right?)  These are like no gummy bears you have ever found in the store.  My tester was grapefruit.  When have you ever had a grapefruit gummy bear?  Never, that’s when.  And you can definitely taste the fruit; if it weren’t for the fact that you were chewing, these little guys taste almost juicy.

Sweet Plantain Chips from Turbana
lwf 6/13 Turbana
These little guys have a nice subtle honey flavor and the texture of a thick-cut baked potato chip.  I could imagine munching them with like a strawberry-and-mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich, because who doesn’t like having an all-sweet lunch?  They have a slightly bitter aftertaste, though, which I’m attributing to the fact that plantains roll like that.

All-Natural Fruit and Soy Bar from SoyJoy
lwf 6/13 SoyJoy
I LOVED this thing.  It’s like a cookie had a baby with fruitcake and soy.  I know that sounds really weird, but it was super awesome.  The bar is thick and chewy and the little bits of fruit inside are a nice textural surprise.  The sweetness was subtle and the pineapple was subdued and in general I was a happy camper while I was munching it.

Plus, protein.  I am a fan of protein.  Protein makes me perky in the morning.

Pomegranate Mint Chewing Gum from PUR Gum
lwf 6/13 PUR
I was super excited at the idea of this stuff, and I was ready for love at first chew.  The first few bites definitely do pack a nice pomegranate flavor, after about the fourth you’re left with a weak pre-chewed mint taste in your mouth.  So much promise, but execution just needs a little oomf.

Organic Hard Candy from GoOrganic
lwf 6/13 Go Organic
Another product that seems standard (hard candy!) but comes with unique flavor (blood orange!).  They were a little sweet for me, but that’s just hard candy’s deal.

Organic Drink Mix from Flavrz
lwf 6/13 Flavrz
So when I tried this stuff in a super-concentrated capacity (aka with about a shot of water) it was like drinking pomegrante juice, but when I tried it at full dilution (aka into a bottle of water) I could barely taste anything.

Overall: again, I wasn’t overwhelmingly gaga over the things in this box, and this time around I’m not sure there’s anything I would go out of my way to buy again (those SoyJoy bars, maybe, if I found them in a store I actually go to) but it was still nice to kick a little variety into my routine– which is why I do this, anyway.  Hopefully next month’s box will be a little less tropical (hint, hint, LWF).

Also, again with the Naked Wines gift cards?  I do not drink nearly enough wine for these to be helpful.  And when I do it’s bottom of the bottom shelf wine.  Talk to me about beer gift cards, LWF!  Please.

Please.

Please.

(For those of you with eagle-eyes, or for anyone who just acutely watches my blog like it’s some kind of high-drama series about people with interesting lives: a, what is going on in your life that that’s your top priority and b, you might’ve noticed that the Friday Five has been replaced with the Friday Fixins.  Why?  Because I’m in the slow process of tweaking a lot of things around here, that’s why.  And so that my Friday post can be more of an “anything goes” kind of situation– if I have five things I dig that week, that’s dandy, but now I can fall back on things like subscription reviews and CRACK or whatever it is strikes my fancy when I’m drafting the post.

And that has been my Blog Insight for the day.  Certainly giving y’all a lot of that lately, aren’t I?)

Friday Five: June 14th

HAPPY FRIDAY!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

I’ve missed writing these!  But I’ll probably be revamping the logo for the future.  FYI.

(Because your investment in these things is great and powerful, I know.)

In advance; I’m apologizing for this being The Longest Friday Five Ever.  I’m blaming writer’s withdrawal, or maybe just having a lot of juicy stuff to talk about this week.

1. Graceland

Graceland airs Thursdays at 10 on USA

We’ll start with Graceland.  My family were huge fans of Rescue Memostly because Denis Leary is one of the wittiest pieces of shit ever to walk the Earth.  (Sidebar, I do not even know what it is about him but I would do him in a heartbeat.  Skinny Irish ass and all.  So would my mother.  And incidentally enough, he shares her birthday.)  So when mamabear heard Daniel Sunjata (aka Franco, the token Puerto Rican and general sex machine) was going to be on a show called “Graceland”, she was a little confused.  Mostly because she thought it was going to be about Elvis, and probably because I think she was confusing it a little with Nashville.

Which is totally unrelated.  In case you don’t know, Graceland is about undercover agents who are all working out of one house (…Graceland.  Get it?)  Sunjata plays this Super Agent with a rogue side and some super sekrit something that we don’t know about yet (hey, you can only reveal so much in a pilot).  Aaron Tveit, who I’m seriously regretting never having seen before, is the top-of-his-class rookie who is assigned to him for training– but wait, he’s really there to investigate Sunjata.

It has promise.  It’s from the creator of White Collar, my love for which has absolutely nothing to do with Matt Bomer.  (60% or more of it, anyway.  Honest.)  Either way, I’ll keep watching until either a, it stays awesome, or b, it completely fizzles out (and I continue to watch it anyway because that’s what I do.)

2. Hannibal

Hannibal also airs Thursdays at 10, on NBC. And is not for the faint of heart.

Along the lines of television that I have been completely devouring (I’m hilarious), I give you Hannibal, which I have NOT been able to get enough of.  (Seriously.  This show is sickeningly good.  And so well thought out that it makes your head spin.  And full of little things that just make you go “squee”, like the fact that the episodes are all named after elements of classic French cuisine?  And the fact that the show has a tumblr and it’s actually the best thing ever?  I can’t.  Gold star.)

Mads Mikkelsen is Dr. Lecter, and he’s brilliant in that way he is.  Hugh Dancy is borderline-of-psychopathy FBI profiler Will Graham, who is not only working on a series of murders actually committed by Hannibal at the moment…he also goes to Hannibal for therapy.

Hannibal wants them to be friends.  I think this is a great idea.

The show is pretty brutal, and I’m not sure how Bryan Fuller is getting away with showing this shit on network TV, but I’m super thrilled that he is.  And with the exception of Laurence Fishburne (aka Craterface 2) the supporting cast of characters is pretty damn brilliant.

Also, Eddie Izzard.  I rest my case.

3. Gillian Flynn
You guys are going to think I’m just in super twisted mode right now.  (This is probably not true.)  But aside from being able to construct some seriously twisted stories, Gillian Flynn is an excellent writer and you should give her a look if you’re not finding your usual summer-reading-list fodder to be as gripping as you’d like.

YOUR NEW READING LIST

My book club read Gone Girl for our June meeting, and we all loved it.  I foisted it on my mom, and she loved it.  Everyone I have talked to who has read this book has loved it.  (That could have something to do with the fact that it’s really, incredibly well crafted.)  I’m not going to tell you a peep about it because I don’t want to spoil anything (and trust me, you don’t want me to risk that) but basically just find it, read it, and come back to smash your fingers wordlessly against the keyboard in a comment or something when you get to The Twist.

After we both loved GG, my mom went ahead and requested Sharp Objects and Dark Places.  I gave her a dose of “but mom, I’m already reading another really excellent book and I’m getting back to Infinite Jest after that and when am I going to have time to read these things?”

I’d forgotten something in the weeks since finishing Gone Girl: Gillian Flynn is an amazingly compelling storyteller.  I started Sharp Objects Wednesday at work; I was finished by Thursday night.

Not a big.

I probably would have been done faster if I hadn’t had to, you know.  Work.

TL;DR: check this woman out.  Doctor’s orders.

(Sidebar #2: I would suggest reading them in publication-order, not because there’s any continuity or chronology to think of but because her writing builds so much.  The difference is hugely noticeable between SO and GG; they’re both fantastic, but SO has a much more subdued punch (and this one I actually saw coming, thanks to more overt clues.  GG is like GJAE;ROIYJHROT out-of-nowhere-you-expected) and I think letting your experience unfold with her development as a writer would be a good way to tackle these.)

I’ll stop writing about things like an English major now.

4. Sirens

Oh, E4. You so rarely fail me.

If you’re currently going through some Red Wedding PTSD (because that shit was as hard to watch as it was to read), may I direct your attention towards the gentleman pictured above: Richard Madden, our favorite late-great-King-in-the-North.

(May he rest in peace.)

Sirens was sadly shortlived, but it’s good comedic fodder in that crass-buddy-E4 way.  Madden and Company are a team of EMTs, and the show chronicles their antics on the job and off.  It’s a bit silly, but in a good time-wastey way with just enough heart and just enough time spent on the Big Questions to keep it engaging past that point.

Plus, Madden.  But we covered that.

I’ve been rewatching it as filler in the mornings, so I’m remembering that it’s actually a pretty decent show.

(Sidebar #3: it’ll be brought to the US next spring, thanks to Denis Leary (who is a huge softy for emergency services, if you couldn’t tell) and USA.  I’ll forgive you if you wait until then to check it out.)

5. True Blood

The wait is over, Truebies: season six starts Sunday!

I’m excited.  I want to see what’s up with Billith!  I want to know what’s going to happen with Jason and Jessica!  I want to see Niall!  I want to see Skarsgård again!  And Alcide ripping off his shirt for no reason!

Sue me.  Sometimes, I’m a really simple creature.

What have you been into this week– and what are you looking forward to over the weekend?

I’M BACK!

HELLO WORLD!  HELLO WORDPRESS!  I’ve missed you both immensely, but I’m glad to announce that after that long and very dumb hiatus, I am going to work towards getting myself BACK IN THE BLOGOSPHERE.

I’ll stop allcapsing now.  The nub and gist is that I’ve had a really rough go for the past month-ish, and trying to blog as much as I was trying to blog was really just taking too much out of me.  Could.  Not.  Do.  It was overexertion on a massive level; I was pushing myself to get out a post every day, when I didn’t have the time or the effort or really the brainpower to make that kind of quota.

So here’s the New Plan: I’ll be pushing for two to three posts per week; even if I can just get out the Friday Five and a recipe, I’ll be calling that a success.  I really want to start getting myself back out there– the writing was really v. therapeutic, when the effort of scheduling it into my life wasn’t driving me to extremes– and I feel like that’s a reasonable way to do that.

I’m also going to be puttering around with a few changes to my social presence; dividing that a little from my blog, as it were.  So keep an eye for updated links on Instagram and things like that– social media is definitely something I want to continue to use, but it has to be streamlined so it doesn’t feel like another “work” aspect of blogging or else I”

True Blood starts on Sunday. Y’all excited yet?

 

 

Friday Five: SuperFoods

We made it.  It’s Friday.  Congratulations.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

And today is a very special Friday, indeed.  Today is Friday, May 3rd, and later today Robert Downey, Jr. will be parading around on a large (IMAX-sized) screen in front of my hubcap-sized eyes.

If you need me, I’ll be fangirling.

I have a tendency to get really exited about things that are comic books.  Adding Tony Stark aka my spirit animal to the mix just makes the combo that much more flail-inducing.  So to honor Tony, have five comic hero based things that are also food (..or drink) related!

#5: These Cupcakes.

Quickly, to the cupcake!

I made these while blogging in another life, and they’re still high on my list of favorite bakes for the past year.  Basically: deliciously magical geeky glory.

Plus, fondant capes.  Fondant capes for victory.

#4: These Cookie Cutters.

I’m really, really incredibly sad that you can’t get either of these sets anymore.  And I’m even sadder that I didn’t get them before they went the way of the dodo.

Curse you, Williams-Sonoma; you make so many great things, yet cause me so much pain.

#3: This Cookbook.

Not gonna lie, I would not have thought to do that without Peter’s help.

If you ever kill your boredom with Cracked, you might have already heard about the Mighty Marvel Super Heroes Cookbook.  Trust me, if I could get this sucker for less than seventy bucks, it would be sitting in a place of honor on my cookbook shelf.

(Apparently, DC was not to be outdone.)

#2. These drinks.

Yeah, these are happening.  All of them.  Rawr.  Tony is clearly not listed because he’s just straight whiskey, obviously.  And Hawkeye wasn’t cool enough for his own drink.

#1. THIS LUNCHBOX

Is it a food?  No.  Do I care?  Also no.  I am a sucker for capes in places that capes don’t truly belong.  ThinkGeek sells them, but they’re understandably sold out right now.

That’s all she wrote!  Have a lovely Friday, everyone.  Maybe treat yo’self to dinner and a movie?

May Blog Goals and a Wrap-Up

I’m sorry, but what is time?  I swear to you it was just the beginning of April, like, yesterday.

How.  Time never moved this fast when I was in college, this is making my head spin.

I don’t really have much to wrap up, being as April wound up being the least productive blog-month in the history of ever.  But what I can do is check in on my goals from last month, and make a few for this month.

Hopefully I’ll do better with those.  Gulp.

First, looking back on April’s Goals.

Blog Goals

  • Get back to a more regular posting schedule– 3 per week as an absolute bottom line. Nope.  Didn’t even happen.  Time wasn’t even a thing.
  • Make time to pre-write!  The past two weekends have made this seriously impossible but I need to make it more of a priority.  See above.
  • Mingle more!  I feel like a blog island; commenting on other peoples’ wonderful content should be more of a priority for me.  But again, time– so I just need to prioritize it.  I was barely even on my own blog, let alone anyone else’s.
  • Uh, maybe finish changing my layout, since I started…and never did anything else after that.  Whoops.  I changed my social media icons!  ..and that was about it.

The rest of my goals are a continued story of failure, I’m not even going to touch them.  Let’s just move on and think about how May is going to be about ten trillion times better.

May Blog Goals

  • Post things that I eat.  If I can’t manage a recipe, at least I should tell you when something comes out well.
  • Actually take pictures of things!  How many of April’s cooking conquests would have been posted as successes if I’d had the forethought to take pictures of them in the progress stages.
  • Finish a photochallenge!  I’ll be doing the Fat Mum Slim May photochallenge, and hopefully I’ll make it past day six this time.  I’ll be playing on Instagram if you’d like to follow along!
  • Finish the blog update!

May Food Goals

  • Actually, for real, make new things.  English muffins are on the docket.  Methinks my DIY cookbook will be of great help here.

May Life Goals

  • Eat more vegetables!  It’s spring, so I’m on a fruit kick, which means none of my snacks are vegetables anymore.  And this makes me sad.  
  • Find more time for meeee.  Back to her Roots has a really good series on self-accountability where she checks in on fitness and wellness goals, and one of the problems she had last month was taking care of her self.  I’m taking a leaf from her book with a list of things to do to self-care, because I have likewise been suffering in that area recently.  Grump.
  • Stop raging at Brendon for everything that he does.  Not his fault his parents didn’t teach him how to eat food like a human.  (How do you slurp an apple.  How.)

Wrapping it up with Top Posts of the last 30 days…

Number One: Chicken Cacciatore

Mine!  Mine mine mine!

You guys REALLY liked this shit. Which makes sense; it was REALLY good. Y’all have good taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number Two: April Goals

The irony is not lost on me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number Three: Subscription Boxes, Food Edition

IMG_0669

Little baby post making it into the top! So proud. But that would probably be because I didn’t do much else, so. Shhp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for now, folks.  Cook the book resumes tomorrow with a recipe, and then a very very special Friday Five!  Happy Wednesday, and happier May!

Subscription Boxes: Food Edition

I’m replacing Friday Five this week with Friday ALL OF THE THINGS!  I should probably pick a day to do this in the future, but whatever.  That’s tomorrow’s problem.

A few months back I discovered the magic that is subscription boxes: monthly packages of goodness and fun delivered right do your door.  They’re great because of two key reasons:

1. Mail. I have never met someone that could say honestly “man, I hate getting things in the mail”, bills excluded.
2. Surprises.  Because it’s one thing to get something in the mail that you specifically ordered and knew exactly what it was– it might be exciting, but it’s not as exciting as a box of SURPRISE.

Okay so having established that subscription boxes are great.  Moving on.  I started out with beauty subscriptions, thinking (oh so stupidly) that they were the only kind; I was an Ipsy subscriber and an occasional Cravebox-getter (back before they changed their entire format, egads).  And they were both pretty cool.  But after a while I realized I wasn’t really using much out of the Ipsy bags on a regular basis (aside from the actual bags, which I use always because they’re such a perfect size) and the aforementioned Cravebox re-formatting happened.

So my time as a box subscriber ended– until, that is, I discovered something great last month.

Apparently, subscription boxes aren’t just for things that make you pretty anymore.

April marks my first trial month with two food subscription boxes: Goodies Co. and Love With Food, which gives you stomach-food and heart-food all in one by donating a meal to a hungry kiddo for every box purchased.  (I know, right?)

Anyway.  Now that I actually have both boxes in hand, I thought I’d post my thoughts on both.

(Don’t mind the photos of open packages.  I was hungry.)

Love With Food

LWF 4/13

Got this one first, on the 17th.  Paid the monthly price of $12 ($10 for the box plus $2 for shipping) and by “paid” I mean “used a coupon code to get the first box free”.

So, yeah, I didn’t actually do that “helping the hungry” thing, but I’m still subscribed for next month.  I am helping!  Just not yet.  The contents fall into the “good” category– things that are all-natural, vegan, gluten-free, GMO-free, blah de blah.  (Generally, shit I do not otherwise give a single fuck about.)  But I’m not holding that against LWF; as I’ve said before, I don’t have so much a beef with things being gluten free/vegan/whatever, it’s really just when they try to make me feel bad about not eating solely gluten free/vegan/whatever food.

I like meat, hi.  And that’s okay.

Mini-rant over; on to the box!

Cocomels Coconut Milk Caramels by JJ’s Sweets

LWF 4/13: Cocomels

I’m not a huge caramel fan so this was kind of an ‘ehhh’ for me.  But that’s because I’m not huge into caramel more than it’s because they weren’t any good. They were good, as far as soft candies that aren’t a flavor I like are concerned.  Nice and chewy, very smooth; good amount of wrapper-cling, which is always a good sign when you’re eating something you want to get caught in every single one of your teeth.

Lemony Lover Olives by Oloves

LWF 4/13: Oloves

I like olives!  I also like lemons.  I haven’t had a chance to bust these bad boys open yet (I’m waiting for a salad, I think) but if you do that math, you can guess that these will be pretty well-received.

Salty Pepper Sunflower Seed Snacks by Somersault Snacks

LWF 4/13: Somersaults

I. AM. IN. LOVE. Um, I kind of want to eat these forever.  And when I went to look at their website and found you can get a snack pack of 2 oz. bags of all the flavors, delivered monthly– clever move, boys.  They’re like a perfect texture, and they taste kind of nutty and wonderful.  They’re apparently packed with fiber and protein, which are two things I really like.  Plus they’re like the size of your thumbnail, and I am a lover of small things.  See also:

Gluten-Free Itty Bitty Butter Popped Sorghum by Mini Pops

LWF 4/13: MiniPops

Literally popcorn’s baby cousin.  The baby cousin that everyone talks about for being so great, when really they’re not much different from grown-up-popcorn.  But they’re small.  And they’re cute.  And look how precious.

That basically describes my experience with these suckers.  They’re good, though.  Maybe not mindblowing enough to make me buy them normally, but still enjoyable.

Organic Fennel Pollen by Pollen Ranch

LWF 4/13: Fennel Pollen

I don’t even know what this is and to be perfectly honest, I haven’t had a chance to use it yet.  I’m probably going to spice some pork with it and we’ll see how that goes.  Smells real good, though.

Smoky Chili & Lime Roasted Chickpea Snacks by The Good Bean

LWF 4/13: Good Bean

Hi, chickpeas, have I mentioned that you’re one of my favorites?  Because you’re one of my favorites.  When you’re dry roasted and mingling with chili powder and lime, I like you even more.

These guys were tasty, but putting them in a bag is really just a convenience thing; I’m one of those ‘I WILL MAKE EVERYTHING’ people, and the only reason I haven’t roasted my own chickpeas up until now was out of sheer laziness.  I’ll make sure we get like a trillion cans this week so I can do everything with them, just to make up for it.

Creamy Buffalo Ranch Dip by Buff Lo Dip

LWF 4/13: Buff Lo Dip

I’m planning on mixing this into my next batch of pimento cheese to see if I like it any better.  We’ll see.

It’s..creamy, slightly blue cheese flavored buffalo dip product thing.  I shrug.

Goodies Company

Can we talk about that box lining for a minute?

Can we talk about that box lining for a minute?

Came in on Wednesday, and my mom has been wondering what it is every hour since.  (Hyperbole, mama.)  Don’t even care that its run by Walmart.  I did a little bit of Googling and apparently there are some people out there saying ‘well they’re just proving Love With Food is awesome and PS, it’s awesomeer’– yes, sure, whatever.  I’m not one for internet wars.  The box is $7, and while it doesn’t seem to put on as many airs about it as Love With Food does (sorry) the products are still largely of the artisan/gluten-free/vegan/all natural variety.

Green Giant – Sweet Potato Multigrain Chips

GC 4/13: Sweet Potato

A solid chip.  More sweet potato-ey flavor than sea salt-y flavor, which I think I liked because hey, I like sweet potatoes.  Texture is halfway between a chip and a corn chip.  I’d eat them if they were in front of me, and I’d probably pick them over a normal potato chip in the store, but I’ve kind of backed off from chips lately so it’s all a little moot.

Frontier Snacks – Pecan Cherry Cinnamon Bites

GC 4/13: Frontier Snacks

My test bite was mostly a piece of pecan, which may have influenced what I thought JUST a hair.  (Because pecans, oh my god pecans.)  But they are pretty tasty.  Cherry flavor was light in the aforementioned test bite (it was a crumb, I’ll be honest; I didn’t want to eat the whole thing JUST to get the post out) and the cinnamon was a nice background compliment.

Help me, I sound like a wine taster.

Celsius – Sparkling Cola

GC 4/13: Celsius

Hadn’t tried this at press time.  Their site says it’s super great before a workout– helps you burn more calories, or something?  Whatever.  I’m trying it today before I hit the gym, largely because I think having something with substance in my stomach rather than my usual large dose of water might do me good.

True Bar – Apricot Almond Bar

GC 4/13: True Bar

The chai flavor hits you before the almond and the apricot have a chance to, and once they catch up it’s not too bad– but for those first few seconds it’s really an overpowering experience.  Good texture for a granola bar, very dried-fruit with nuts stuck in (yes, that is what I like in a granola bar these days do not judge me).

Angie’s Popcorn – Sweet & Salty Kettlecorn

GC 4/13: Angie's Kettlecorn

Kettlecorn.  -shrug-  No better or worse than any other kettlecorn in the world.  There was a piece stuck in the back of my throat for the better part of a half hour, though, which was slightly pesky.

Zone Perfect – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bar

GC 4/13: Zone

Um, this tasted like a chocolate chip Pop Tart.  A chocolate chip Pop Tart with fewer calories and actual nutritional value.  That is the highest compliment someone can give anything, ever.

PLUS: Naked Wines $50 Voucher

GC 4/13: Naked Wines

YES. Hello, wine that is maybe better than the wine I buy normally.  I was less excited when I got onto the website and found out you had to buy six bottles to place an order, so we’ll see what I actually wind up with (cheapskate, party of one), but this was still pretty cool.

Also, Things I Learned: blogging while the largely-useless-kid in the office is sitting behind you staring agape out the window…really hard.

The Roundup

Would I buy some of these?  Sure.  The Somersaults and the Frontier Snacks would definitely make it into my shopping cart without too much trouble, and I’d be willing to try the True Bar in a flavor that wasn’t so..chai.  The Zone bar would make it if I were planning on not being able to eat real food for a while (how perfect would that have been when I was still in school and finals were still a thing?) and a few of the others might find themselves in my future if they were on sale, maybe.

Overwhelming success?  No.  But tasty experience?  Definitely.  I’m excited to see what next month brings, and then we’ll see where I want to go from there!

Interested in subscribing?  Let me know and I’ll get you a referral code; that way we both get points (for both services!) that can be redeemed for more goodies later.  

(Also, anyone who wants to go in on six bottles of wine…you know where to find me.)