Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Try It" Tuesday

I don't usually try snack foods unless they are 100 calories or less and are fairly nutritious. Which leads me to today's "Try It" Tuesday treat:

"Apple Chunks." That's what the good people at Dole decided to call these. I must not have  been repulsed too awfully bad, since I purchased them anyway. (I think it was the 90 calories that really tipped the scales for me.)
Anyway, as the package says, they are made with yogurt (as in the yogurt covered raisins yogurt) and whole grain oats. I suspect they mixed the oily yogurt coating with the whole grain oats to create the outer shell:
Each packet contains 8-10 of these "apple chunks." They are quite harmless looking and smell very "apple-ly." But when you bite into them?

Kinda "Turkish delight" like. First of all, the texture of the outer coating is pretty repulsive. I coaxed my husband into trying one and when I asked him about the texture, we both said, "pasty" at the same time. I was thinking grainy or gritty, but "pasty" pretty much covers it. (You know, as in: bland, mealy, pallid, doughy. Do I really need to go on?) 
The apple chunk center is gel-like and a little too overpowering flavor wise. Anytime there are those really strong flavors, it screams "overcompensation." Obviously, they knew the outer shell was lacking tremendously.

 I seriously don't want to even eat all 9 of these (and that's saying a lot since I did finish the Honey Swirl Frozen Greek yogurt in my previous "Try It" post.). I suppose I do have some limits. But seriously, these were just really kinda...gross. Definitely NOT the vee's knees!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Catfish Corner!

Here in the North Georgia Mountains, we used to have an all you can eat "fish house" called Catfish Corner. I loved the place because on Friday or Saturday nights, our parents would take us there for the all you can eat buffet and we'd try all sorts of Southern delicacies! For example, I had my first fried frog legs there! (I was 8 years old at the time- maybe it was just the novelty- but they really did taste like chicken!)

Anyway, now I have a new obsession with Catfish and it's not the food...it's the TV show!

If you haven't watched Catfish on MTV, you're missing reality TV at its best! It's a documentary-esque show about a twentysomething guy named Nev Schulman who (after discovering that his online love wasn't exactly who she portrayed herself to be) helps others discover the real identities of their online lovers.
Ok, so far, I've seen every episode and never has the other person turned out to be exactly who they say they are. Are we really surprised by this? So you text and chat on facebook for months (and in worse cases, years!) only to discover that the hot, blonde chick who may be the love of your life is really a college flunkie dude with waaay too much time on his hands.

The sad reality is that this is not a novelty. Real people are really getting hurt. It's sad, but the good news is that there are lessons for these kids (and sometimes even adults!) to learn from this show:

1. Don't believe everything you see online (or in the movies or magazines, for that matter!) Haven't you seen this commercial?
2. If you are going to believe what the person says, Google Skype. Then use it.
3. If 1 and 2 don't work, contact Nev and see if he'll do the investigating for you!
4. Some online relationships work. Some don't. If yours is the latter, find out what went wrong and try again (just maybe not online this time.)
5. You deserve for someone to respect you enough to be honest with you. NEVER settle for less!

Maybe this show will fizzle out just like Catfish Corner, but as long as there are people looking for love on the Internet, I suspect Nev'll have his work cut out for him.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rainy Night In Georgia

It's a rainy night in Georgia and there's even a winter weather advisory in effect! Brrr! So all I had on my mind heading home from work was some good, homemade chili! I figured I'd make an impromptu, "ad- libbed" (not to be confused with Mad Libs, which I love, as well!) version since a normal girl who plans ahead would've had a pot of chili already going in her Crock Pot...
Anyways, I put together a last minute recipe and it was pretty, doggone amazing! (I suspect it'll be even more awesome after it sits overnight!)
Here's how I made it: (Be warned, it's a tad bit spicy!)

2 cans of Bush's Chili Beans
1 can mild Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with chilies
1 can light kidney beans (I would have used dark, but I didn't have them.)
1 jar of Pace medium salsa (16 oz.)
1 small can of tomato paste
1 T. chili seasoning (see below)

Mix everything together in a medium stock pot and simmer on low-med heat for at least 2 hours.
If you want to tone down the spice, you can use mild salsa and diced tomatoes instead of Ro-Tel, but honestly, it was pretty great...
You can add ground beef if you'd like. 1.5-2 lbs should be good. If the MOTH (Man of the House) were home, I would've added beef. I can live without it, though.
(Makes approx 9 cups. 1 c.=168 cal.)

Chili Seasoning Mix
(adapted from Chili Seasoning Mix II)
2 T. chili powder
1/2 T. crushed red pepper
1/2 T. dried minced onion
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Mix everything together and seal in an airtight container.

Being the Southerner that I am, chili got me thinking about cornbread...and how I can't make it, but really wished I could. However, I have to say: my mother in law makes the best cornbread you've ever put in your mouth- hands down- and every time I try to use her directions, mine always flops. Out of desperation, I dug in my cookbooks to find her recipe, but instead, I stumbled upon a recipe I found online a while back that failed and thought I'd try it again. I adapted it a bit after a quick phone call to MOTH's grandma and guess what? Another score! Check it out:
Since I had a little help modifying this with grandma over the telephone, we now refer to it as "Telephone Cornbread." Here's how I did it:

Telephone Cornbread
1 c. all purpose flour, leveled
1 c. self rising yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 c. shredded cheese ( I used Sargento's Four Cheese Mexican blend)
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a hot 9" cast iron skillet. (If you only have an 8" skillet, only pour 2/3 of the batter into the skillet and make cornbread (4) muffins out of the remaining batter.)
BE SURE to have grease or butter (as the original recipe calls for) melted and your skillet HOT before pouring the batter in. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let it cool a bit before serving.
(1/8 slice=148 cal. and 1 muffin=145 cal)

If you make any of these, let me know what you think! As for me, I gotta go clean up a dirty little kitchen:
Sigh...Don't judge me...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Work It!

If you work in a small office all day like I do, then you might find this helpful. It's a little piece of ingenious that I LOVE! So without further ado, I present...your new office buddy!

What? You're not excited? Look again! It's a rubber medicine ball! What's so great about a medicine ball, you ask? It makes you move, which in turn makes your heart move, which makes the world go round! Here's why I love it: I get a workout without leaving the comforts of my own cubicle! When I'm at my desk, I take this little gem and toss it back and forth from one hand to the other. Then, when that get's tiring, I'll hold it in one hand and lift it straight up over my shoulder for a few reps (or until I get tired).

But the best news about this ball? It will tone your wiggly underarm flab! That's right! Just, take the ball in your hands and hold it straight out in front of your face. Then, raise your arms straight up over your head, then drop your arms down behind your neck, then raise it back up over your head. Do this until you can't do it anymore and stay with it! This really is the simplest way to tone up in the office without breaking much of a sweat. When you find that you have a little spare time, just walking around with the ball will help you burn more calories than walking alone! Pick one up here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Try It" Tuesday

Ok. So like I said, I like to try new things. My goal is to be able to try something new each week and post it here every Tuesday and call it "Try It Tuesday." Kinda like "try it before you buy it." I'll give you my two cents and you can decide if you want to purchase the product yourself. Sound good? Great! Let's get started! Here's my latest try:

Healthy Choice Greek Frozen Yogurt. These little babies are only 100 calories per cup and come in a pack of 3 for $2.50 at Walmart. I was so excited when I found these because I'm currently on a 1200 calorie diet and healthy 100 calorie treats are a staple for me. There are a few flavors to choose from (blueberry, raspberry and strawberry), but I tried the Honey Swirl. When I got home, I couldn't wait to tear into the box! I grabbed a spoon and a warm blanket, got cozy on the couch and dug in. Then my world kinda stopped turning. I was experiencing a very bittersweet moment and I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. First, the bad news: this particular flavor tasted just like a bouquet of flowers. Literally. I called my husband over and asked him to taste the yogurt. He looked at me a little sideways and refused. "Smell it, then," I said. He shook his head and kept reading his magazine. "What's wrong with it," he asked. "Well, it tastes like a flower and I'm not so sure why..." And I'm still not sure why. Why should my honey vanilla Greek frozen yogurt taste like flowers? Do you know? Honey comes from bees and flowers, but I've never had any taste like flowers. I'm baffled. Even still...
The good news? Believe it or not, there really is good news about this product and here it is: I absolutely loved the texture! It was like golden silk in my mouth. And guess what? I ate the whole cup. Two days later, I ate the second cup. Apparently the texture was so great for me, I really didn't care that I was eating a bottle of my grandma's perfume.
Bottom line: I will definitely try this brand again, just not this particular flavor. Any thoughts?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Welcome to my blog!

I am a troll. I troll Facebook. I troll blogs. I troll Pinterest.
Happy Internet Troll

But this is 2013, y'all...I should start my OWN blog, right? Right.
(Insert cricket noises here.)
Anyway, for those of you who have stumbled across my humble blog, thanks for helping me start this new chapter in my life! I hope you will come back soon and enjoy my silly little antics, rants and raves! Peace out.