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?)