Thursday, December 15, 2011

How do you like your....cereal?

Light and sweet?

I have tried every iteration of oatmeal I think. Milk, soymilk, water. Margarine or none. Dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, white sugar, molasses or stevia. Fresh fruit, dried fruit, frozen bananas warmed and mashed, cranberry sauce, applesauce, pumpkin or none. Cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or none. Salt or none. Rolled oats, toasted rolled oats, or steel cut oats.

I've also tried cream of wheat, cream of rice, cornmeal mush, and porridge made from various grains--rye, wheat berries, couscous, etc.

I've found my favorite is steel cut oats made with water, dark brown sugar, margarine and cinnamon.

What's your favorite?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Product Review: Rite-Aid Peanut Butter Cups

I know, I know--what did I expect? Well what I expected is a nice, smooth store brand peanut butter cup like Walmart used to make. (I can't believe I just plugged Walmart. *hangs head in shame*) Sometimes I want a peanut butter cup with smooth filling instead of crunchy.

For $5 ($7 when not on sale) I thought it would at least be tasty. And it is, if you enjoy eating chocolate candles.

The "chocolate" is actually a light brown waxy substance that would be unidentifiable if eaten blindfolded. The filling did have a faint peanut butter flavor and a nice texture, but certainly not worth the calories.

At least the brand had the smarts to call the product what it is, without making up a sad new name for the item to compete with its hipper, more popular cousin (the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup). I can't say the same for the "chocolate lentils" in the same aisle, which were actually a generic form of M&Ms.

Verdict: Buy a candle instead. You'll enjoy it more.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Product Review: So Delicious Brand Coconut Nog

I am an afficionado of eggnog. I have been ever since I was a young child. I have no idea why; I've always hated drinking milk.

My refusal to drink milk as a kid is the stuff of legends whereby my stubbornness would beat out my parents'. I was raised in the days when it was "good parenting" to tell your kids they could not get up from the table until they finished dinner. This taught me how to be stubborn--stubbornness was a game, I thought--and I became Nobel Laureate of Stubbornness. I slept at the table.

Another common parenting wisdom was to keep serving kids their uneaten dinner for every subsequent meal until the lesson was learned. "They'll eat when they're hungry enough." Uh, no. I refused to eat and hunger did not bother me. As Nobel Laureate of Stubbornness, I was quite willing to become faint just to win the game.

I don't even like the sound of the word milk. When pronounced, it reminds me of exactly why I don't like it. Mi-lll-kkkk, like the slimy feeling in my mouth and throat as it goes down. Yuck.

As you know I drink smoothies quite often, but even then I need a thick, milkshake-like texture. No milk-like drinks for me.

I guess eggnog is more like an milkshake to me. I got a LOT of positive feedback for drinking eggnog! My parents and grandparents were totally thrilled when I drank it, albeit perplexed.

I can't wait for the first eggnog to be available at Byrne Dairy each year. I drink it alone. I drink it with a little spiced rum. I sweeten my espresso with it. If it wouldn't make me literally sick, I'd probably drink it even more often.

Regular eggnog has a lot of sugar and calories, though, and I don't do well with a lot of dairy. I heard about nondairy nog a few years ago and thought it blasphemous. I finally tried it just now.

Wow. So delicious is right! It's awesome and I do not feel as though I'm depriving myself of anything. It's got half the calories of my traditional nog and less sugar. It does have more fat.

Unlike the brand's coffee creamer, this product does have a coconut flavor, which I find pleasing.

Verdict: There's noggin better.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Or not. It's been unseasonably warm here. I LOVE it!

I went on a hike in the woods a few days ago. There was barely a dusting of snow and it was sunny. As we walked in the silent woods, tiny glistening snowflakes drifted off the evergreens and onto us. The smell of the woods was phenomenal. It was bliss.

This may be the first time I've ever enjoyed winter. There's a first time for everything, I guess!

Hope it lasts.