Monday, December 31, 2012

Chef Jay's ...cookies for breakfast!

Yes... you heard me right - I said: COOKIES FOR BREAKFAST! :)

I had the opportunity to review Chef Jay's Tri-O-Plex Snacks (all opinions are strictly my own, the only thing I received from Chef Jay's company was the samples).

Chef Jay has devoted his life to creating extremely healthy (and not to forget-delicious) bars, cookies and brownies. His company sells a wide variety of products, but I had the opportunity to sample his Tri-O-Plex protein cookies. 

The verdict?? Delish! My favorite is the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie flavor (is anyone surprised my favorite was something with peanut butter??)

I thoroughly enjoyed warming these in the microwave for about 10 seconds for a hot out of the oven taste! They were also amazing crumbled up over a bowl of ice cream. 

The nutrition is pretty darn good for a cookie!
The saturated fat is a little high for me... but there are cookies. I was ecstatic with the protein content and iron though! 

Here are the ingredients:



Not too bad... I wasn't "excited" about the hydrogenated oils in there, but I suppose a little bit of anything never hurt anyone right

Overall: Delicious taste! Great protein content! However, they should still be treated as what they are: a treat. They are still cookies, and while they are a great protein supplement for those consumers needing a protein boost, they are cookies-and to be treated as such. 

Thanks Chef Jay for such a yummy treat! I truly enjoyed them :)

Multigrain Bread

With today being New Years Eve, a lot of people are thinking about their New Year's Resolution... I'm here to help! How you ask....
Maybe your resolution is to save money by making more of the food you consume at home...
Maybe your resolution is to eat healthier...
Maybe your resolution is to reward yourself and eat more delicious, soft, moist, hearty bread! (oh-that's just me? Oh well...)

Even if your resolution did not fall into any of these three categories, I can assure you that you will still enjoy this bread recipe!

1 1/4 cup white flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons flax seed
2 TBSP. wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoons salt
12 ounces barely warm water
4 tsp. vital wheat gluten


1. Proof yeast - add 1 pkg. (2 1/4 tsp.) fast acting (aka quick rise) yeast to 1/2 cup warm water. Let sit a few minutes - if bubbles form, your yeast is good to go!

2. While waiting for yeast to 'proof itself' (hehe- punny joke!) you can get started mixing the dry ingredients together. This includes... well everything but the water. Just throw in all together in a bowl or stand mixer and combine!

3. Add another cup of warm water to your water/yeast mixture

4. Slowly pour water/yeast mixture into dry ingredients and begin mixing

5. As your water becomes fully incorporated you will begin kneading the dough - note: you may need to add a touch more flour or water to get it to the right consistency. This dough should be elastic, not very sticky and slightly heavy

6. Knead for about 6-8 minutes (or 4-6 if using the kneading attachment on a stand mixer)

7. Place in a bowl and cover with a dry kitchen towel. Place in a warmish area and let rise until double - about 1-2 hours.

8. After it has doubled - punch dough down and allow it to rest another 10 minutes

9. Remove from bowl and shape into your loaf. Place in a greased & floured loaf pan and cover again with a dry kitchen towel and allow to rise for another hour.

10. Preheat your oven to 350* F

11. After dough has risen, place in over and bake for 45 minutes (bread should be slightly browned)

12. Cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting - this will help create a nicer texture that won't crumble as you slice it

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Sooo it's my birthday! And not that I want/like a lot of fuss of attention ...but I do love any excuse to have cake batter flavored anything! :)

So due to that obsession - today I made birthday cake pancakes! Woot woot!

All you do is add 1 tsp of each of the following to a standard pancake recipe:
-vanilla extract
-butter extract
-almond extract

Check em out:

Friday, December 21, 2012

Jamba At Home Greek Yogurt Smoothies

I love smoothies! I mean.... that came with saying, errr typing, but it is a good leeway into this product review :P

I have the opportunity to sample and review the new 'Jamba' at home Greek Smoothie. They are a "ready to blend" mix of superfruit and Greek yogurt. I had the Acai Super-Antioxidant and Pomegranate Pick-Me-Up. Both were DELISH!

Now, I'm not a huge one for 'ready to make' smoothie mixes. I like to have the ability to add exactly how much of what fruit and yogurt I like. But daaaaang these were good! The Greek yogurt didn't add as much tang as it usually does for me, which in my opinion is a good thing!

All you have to do add 8 ounces of the liquid of your choice - I used milk (but you can also add juice, soy/almond/rice milk, etc.), and mix in a blender.

The only issue I had with these smoothie mixes, was that they were a little off the mark in terms of serving size for me...
The picture above is a full drinking glass full, and that was 2 servings of the smoothie mix-with only one 8 ounce serving of the additional liquid. This was mainly because I like a thicker smoothie... Not that the nutritional value is horrible if you have both servings - it ended up being about 230 calories, but had a 15 grams of protein, 7ish grams of fiber and lots of vitamins!

Overall - these were delicious and made for a quick and easy nutritional smoothie. I will probably still stick to making my own smoothies, but that is purely a personal choice-along with a consideration placed on price and availability of these smoothie kits - each one is around $3.29-$3.89. However, if you enjoy smoothies and want an easier way to make them in no time at all - pick some of these bad boys up!

*Thank you, Jamba Juice, for allowing me to sample and review these products - all opinions were purely my own and the only thing I received was the sample smoothie kits.

California Suncakes

Guys - I just ate a hockey puck!
Ok, random story... I've been to one hockey game in my life. During that game my mother managed to get hit in the head by a hockey puck! Yes, one of the hockey pucks came out of the ice box during the game and whacked her right in the noggin. Talk about a memorable game!

Anyways, back to my eating of a hockey puck. Alright, so needless to say it wasn't really a hockey puck-but it sure looked like one! It is shaped exactly the same, only this 'puck' is sweet, delicious, and nutritious!

It is actually a Suncake. A huh?! A Suncake.
I'll explain...

California suncakes are a Gluten Free energy bar. Made out of whole grain oats, dried fruits, fruit juices, soy and brown rice flour and syrup that supply around 30-40% of your daily needs for protein and fiber - and taste like a COOKIE!
The company has also expanded now to create 'Heart Thrives' - these little guys are two cakes in the shape of hearts and also contain a good deal of your daily Calcium requirements. They come in 7 flavors: Apricot, Cranberry, Apple, Date, Lemon Poppy Seed (my favorite!), Chocolate Chip and Raisin Spice
The original Suncakes come in 6 flavors; Apricot, Cranberry (soooo yummy!), Apple, Date, Lemon Poppy Seed, and Chocolate Orange. Each Suncake is a 4 ounce "hockey puck" that is actually two servings.

These little guys are sweet, chewy and full of flavor! They're obviously extremely portable so they make for a great grab-and-go snack! 

* A word of warning: since these goodies are made out of whole, natural ingredients and no preservatives, you should keep them in the freezer if you won't be eating them all in a week or two, but honestly-good luck keeping your mits of these delicious treats! 

Thanks California Suncakes for a chance to review your great tasting product! (all opinions were completely my own, the only thing I ever received for California Suncakes was their sample)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

BREAD! Alpine Valley Bread #obsessed.

Ok, let's get some stuff straight...
1. I LOVE bread all carbs - but especially some good bread
2. I have dont some great product reviews in my short time blogging and am extremely grateful
3. I would much rather make my own homemade bread than eat bread from a company

And to further clarify: #1 still stands, #2 still stands, #3 is out. the. window.

Yes-I admit-I've found been blessed to have the best bread company EVER come into my life!

Alpine Valley Bread. It's the BEST bread company I have ever come across, not lying. Their bread is so delicious, healthy and smile-inducing. (yes, that is now an adjective)

I don't even know how to explain it - it's just soooo soooo.... ahh! Smile-inducing!

Alpine Valley Bread was generous enough to send me a few different loaves of breads. They arrived while I was away at college so my mother kindly kept them in the freezer until I got home (which was about 1 month). You'd think that would lower their taste... NOPE! Even after a month in the freezer this bread was the most amazing non-homemade bread I have ever had in my entire life. I have been home 5 days and already on loaf #3... little obsessed-maybe?!

Although my family is definitely helping me out though, which right there says a lot about how delicious this bread is because they would not eat something just because it is healthy. But, since we are on the subject, the bread is crazy healthy!

They have both all natural bread and organic bread. On average, one slice has about 60ish calories, 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein plus a little iron. It's very low in sodium (about 3%) and low in carbs as well.

The bread is soft and moist. Makes extremely great sandwiches, but also flavorful enough to just be eaten plain. They have so many varieties, I'm sure everyone will find one (or 20) that they just love. I know I have. Everything that goes into these loaves of bread is delicious and wholesome, and the end product is nothing short of delicious and wholesome itself.



Their Multi-grain with Omega 3 toasted with some pears and Greek yogurt for a delicious breakfast

Some Spelt bread with a peanut butter & honey smoothie makes for one delightful bedtime snack!

So no matter who you are - if you are able to eat bread, GET ALPINE VALLEY BREAD! The sooner the better! Check this out to see where the closest place to pick up these little slices of heaven are to you!

Thanks Alpine Valley Bread Co. for an amazing, delicious product that I am now obsessed with! *These opinions are all my own, the only thing I received from Alpine Vally Bread was their samples. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bare Fruit - Cinnamon Apple Chips Review

So it's no secret that I love love love love fruit. Apples are one of my favorite, but sometimes... carrying an apple around gets funny looks. And other times, you just don't have the room.... or maybe you don't want to squirt juice all over the two people sitting on both sides of you on the bus... (yes, I have done this-I was hungry and had to get to class-sorry loyal public transit commuters!) 

This is where a delicious snack of Bare Fruit dried apples come into play! I was recently given a bag of Bare Fruit Cinnamon Apple Chips to sample and blog about (the only thing given was the bag of apple chips, I was given no compensation and all opinions are solely my own).

Bare Fruit Snacks make apple chips in three varieties: Fuji, Granny Smith and Cinnamon (the kind I tried). They also make dried apricots, pears and mango. The company is based out of Washington (imagine that! :P) and they use only Washington Apples. They honestly use nothing other than apples (well and cinnamon in the cinnamon variety) in their apple chips! Amazing!

These apple chips really did taste like a chip in texture... crispy, crunchy, crazy good! I loved how sweet they were and the cinnamon touch was just right. 

The first night I opened them... yes they are pretty much gone! I (and everyone that was lucky enough to be around me when I opened my package and got to try some before they were devoured) LOVED them!

Taste: 5/5 So sweet and fresh! I loved how they still tasted just like an apple... not at all like a dried out piece of cardboard like some dried fruit can taste like.

Texture: 4/5 Great! Without using anything other than apples, Bare Fruit was able to get an amazing crispy bite to their apple chips.

Nutriton: They are just apples people! So 5/5! About 1/2 cup = 1 apple, so roughly 90 calories, and 4 grams of fiber! NICE!

Overall: 5/5 - these apples chips were great! I loved adding them to trail mix, cereal, and of course just eating them plain on the bus - I'm sure the people I was sitting beside loved not getting squirted in the face with apple juice as well. 

So if you love apples, you need to try these apple chips out! They are convenient, delicious and healthy! What's not to love?! ...other than seeing the bare bottom of the bag :(


Saturday, December 15, 2012

BZZZZ!!! Bee Pollen Buzz

Mmmmm Honey! 

I love its sweet and comforting taste, delightful aroma and encompassing texture. It truly is an amazing food God has given to us. But did you know how beneficial it can be to our health? Me neither... until now! Even the Bible tells us that honey is good for us: Proverbs 16:24 says, "Kind words are like honey--sweet to the soul and healthy for the body."

I was lucky enough to receive a sample of Bee Pollen Buzz's raw honey (they provided me with a sample, but the thoughts and opinions are completely my own, I was compensated in no other way.)

I had never had raw honey before and was a little curious as well as nervous - I had NO idea what to expect... raw honey? I went along with it though - would I ever turn down a review opportunity?! Of course not! 

Well, I was not let down. Not in the slightest! After a little research, I discovered that I knew absolutely NOTHING about honey! If you're like me, you're probably thinking.. well honey is honey, what more is there to know? A lot! 

Most honey is highly processed, meaning it has been heated to temperatures that kill off all the beneficial enzymes, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. In fact, honey should be a solid at room temperature?! Crazy baking girl say WHAT?! I know... I was shocked too! 

Raw honey hasn't been treated with the high heat or excess filtration that strips it of its amazing health properties. Just look at all the benefits raw honey has:

• Harmonize the liver
• Neutralize toxins
• Relieve pain
• Wipe out toxins that cause diarrhea
• Digestion 
• Anti-Inflammatory
• Expectorant
• Laxative
• Sedative
• Anti-Toxic
• Anti-Anemic
• Fever-Reducing

If that isn't enough to get you incorporating raw honey into your life, the taste sure will! One little lick of the raw honey was enough to get me hooked! It is so sweet (obviously...) but since it is a solid at room temperature it can be spread directly on toast! (talk about convenience!) or any other way you'd like to enjoy this sweet treat! 

I am truly truly truly in love with this raw honey and will soon be out! I have used it in sooo many ways, but my two favorite are:

~1 tsp. raw honey mixed into 1 cup of hot water a squirt of lemon juice for an amazing drink when you have a sore throat or any cold-like symptoms!

~A Peanut Butter & Honey Smoothie!
-1 TBSP raw honey
-1 TBSP peanut butter
-1/2 cup yogurt (frozen in ice cube trays)
-1/2 cup milk
-Blend all together and ENJOY nearly pass out from its amazingness! 

Keep one thing in mind though, honey, as with absolutely anything should be consumed in moderation, after all - it is a saccaride and while it is completely natural and a much better alternative to white sugar, it should still be treated as a sweet.

I hope you all give raw honey a try! Both your health and your tastebuds will thank you! Bee Pollen Buzz also makes some other interesting, and crazy healthy bee products! Check them all out here

Have a sweet day!


What the world needs now is love... love and only love... A little help from Up Above

We all could use a little more love-so why aren't we giving more away? Who doesn't love love? It's free, wonderful to receive and fun to give away... So why are we so stingy with it?

I don't understand, and yet I am just as guilty as the next person. I push people away, bark when even the littlest thing annoys me, get frustrated with changes of plans, furious when I fail... the list goes on and on but why? What good does it do? What does it change? nothing.

Love's the only house big enough for all the pain in the world. It's so true - there are only two things in life that are certain, death and taxes - and well, I don't really know enough about taxes to write about them, so let's just look at the first. It's no secret we will all die at some point, some think it's just a matter of days until the end of the world, some assume they'll live to 100, others just don't want to think about it... but regardless - at some point everyone will die. (Encouraging blog post huh?) Well, what I'm trying to get at is this... We all know things of this world will not last forever, so why are we so fixated on this world as if it is our eternity?

I fall into this temptation too, but we need to snap out of it. Money, possessions, fame, power, even our body will one day fade away... (this is not saying go neglect your body with a pint of ice cream!) But these things are only temporary... in fact-in the scope of eternity, they seem nearly pointless. What does matter... what will get us somewhere... what will truly bring peace and pleasure and pardon... LOVE.

Think what would happen to this world if everyone would follow the Golden Rule? Wouldn't that be amazing? No one worrying about safety, no crime, no jealousy, hatred, deceit? A beautiful thought... wait-I think I just described Heaven... :)

I realize this world is destined from the beginning of time to not be perfect. It's chaotic, full of sin and pain. But can't we at least try to minimize that as best we can? It's a long shot-but if we all work together things can and will change!

So can we just all try to love a little more and frown a little less - I'm willing to give it a shot if you are! I think with all the recent happenings, and seeing as how it is the time of year of joy and goodwill towards man, it wouldn't hurt to just give it a go! So who's with me?! Let's start a LOVE revolution!

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookie Bread

It's Christmas time... know what that means?!

Ok, well first and foremost it means time with the people you love celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST.

But for just a moment or two can we go back to that first one... mkay thanks :)

Soooo Cookie Exchanges...
Sugar cookies, so overdone. Chocolate chip-good, but get hit pretty hard at all other times of the year. Peanut Butter cookies, always a winner! But... we need to change things up a little bit... how? How you ask?

BREAD! Bread, Bread, Bread, Bread, BREAD!!!

My favorite thing (well.. for the moment-I have a short attention span so 'my favorite' changes quite often) ANYWAYS.... My favorite thing right now is mesh quick breads and desserts!

I <3 quick breads and making new flavors is probably the most fun any a weird health food obsessed college student can have!

So this recipe combines my love of peanut butter, cookies and bread to create... The Peanut Butter Cookie Bread

Honestly people, this taste like a peanut butter cookie - in a loaf form. Ah-May-Zing.

If you don't try this, the world will probably start raining tangelos, erupting with gophers and traffic lights will never-ever change to green. Do you want that to happen!? Me Neither-so go make this bread!


2 cups all purpose flour (I used half white whole wheat)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup equivalence sweetener (sugar, Stevia, etc.)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

1. Mix all ingredients together until everything is wet and combined - Do not overmix!
2. Pour into a greased and floured 8x5 loaf pan
3. Bake on 350* for 45-ish minutes... just keep a good eye on it and take out when the edges are a dark golden brown.
4. Enjoy. Enjoy in the morning as breakfast with coffee! Enjoy as a snack alongside a Peanut Buster Shake... too much peanut butter? Nah... Enjoy after a nice meal of homemade pizza. Just enjoy it! And the sooner the better :)