Tough Week Inspiration & Snack Olympics Recap

So much has gone on this week, would you not agree? Between SOPA, PIPA, and ASU getting hacked, the internet has been a crazy place.

Instead of venturing into my growing collection of allergy friendly office lunches, I thought it would be nice to recap the results of the gluten free dairy free snack Olympics and highlight some other strong contenders…

1. Roasted Seaweed (crunchy salty) 2.Bumble Bar (chewy savory) 3. Fruit bar 4. Fruit in a Jar 5. Blueberry Muffin Larabar (chewy sweet) 6. Sunflower seeds (chewy protein filler) 7. Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte (chewy chocolate chip) 8. Baked Snap Peas (chip-crispy veg) 9. Dark Sweet Cherries (chewy sweet)

Bumble Bar is a new addition, but one I luckily discovered. When you lose staple snacks, branching out is no longer an option. It is necessary. Though I thought I would completely hate a sesame-based product, Bumble Bars changed my mind. Cherry Chocolate is my favorite, with the Original flavor a close second. Do try this bar at least once.

The two fruit snacks I added were to jazz up a usual snack. I love bringing in raw fruit, but you can get bored (and unmotivated) with an apple. Instead, bring in a frozen version like frozen grapes or icicle pops made from local fruit. Another idea is to re-use an empty jar and fill it with chopped up favorites. Mix in dried fruits for a texture combo. Just be sure to keep it local and get quality produce on the cheap at your farmer’s market. 😉

There is the recap for you. I am always interested in suggestions though, so twitter me!

Q: Share the top 4 items in your internship or office food stash!

PS- I also thought I might share a really neat idea I found browsing the web. I’ve had free time since the ASU network is still unavailable and I cannot access half of my classwork. (Hooray?)

Washi Tape your keyboard! For anyone with white keys at home or at the office, it is removable, simple, and fun. There is even a local AZ Etsy Store to get cheap deco tape from!

Interns & Snacks

Hello guys,

I promised you a little update on my first day at my internship aaaand some snack reviews. Well, I have great news.

I am more than a glorified copy machine artist, though less than a presidential parking spot. Cheers! And oh- you get to hear the story too. I did not see marked parking for the firm on Monday and just picked a spot. No labels, rather obscure, no problems. Then the receptionist randomly calls in to my supervisor’s office and asks if anyone (cough, the intern, cough) drives a certain color car.

…which is parked in the president’s parking spot. …who will be returning soon. And would I like to move it?

🙂 Yes, yes I would.

Ms. Receptionist is a really lovely person in the office and I am so grateful she saved me from a terrible first impression. May your maternity leave be showered with people who massage your feet and cook for you. Amen.

On to our update on the allergy friendly snacks! More good news…

I have loved them. All of them. Ohm nom nom.

Chocolate Cherry Torte makes the world delicious and rich. I am seriously jealous of anyone who has access to the Larabar newest: cappuccino. I’ll bet it’s heavenly.

The salty green seaweed taste makes my other, more exotic treat really cool to eat. I like steamed vegetables covered in a salty dressing. Be prepared though. The seaweed wants to stick to your mouth, makes obnoxious crunchy sounds, and is somewhat chewy. I recommend stuffing your face with two or three sheets every time your colleague leaves the room so that you can have little green specks on your lips and fingers by the time he returns. I’m keen on those first impressions. I really am. 😉

Like I’ve resolved, I’ll keep checking back in with you as we continue on with our snack Olympic tryouts! Hopefully next week I can break into my lunchtime marathons. More on those soon.

Q: Do you have any first-time stories about work? Or funny incidents? Tell us!

Q & A Update

Hello lovely readers!

Q: Where have I been????

A: I have not entirely removed myself from the blogging world (check those tweets!). However, I have been reflecting on how difficult it is to find local restaurants which can accurately cater to those with allergies as well as those without. To be honest, I almost felt like giving up. Lame sauce. (That picture? Slushes on winter vacation with Jessica!)

Q: Well… what now?

A: Luckily, my newest semester in school inspired me by accident! Instead of focusing on primarily restaurants, I am shifting my gaze a bit more broad. Here is the future as I see it:

1. Local food or food-based business reviews (per usual)
2. Reviews on products that are local (as defined >>here<<) and are CONVENIENT (read: frozen or workplace oriented)
3. Nifty recipes for home cooking or baking that I make or just want to share (per usual)
4. More life stories which pop into the picture

Q: Inspiration? Explain please.

A: My inspiration came from my internship. Basically, each hour I am not in school I will be interning from 9a-5pm during the week. My internship is near Scottsdale, which gives me reason (and funds!) to venture into local places there. It also means I need to be super UBER practical with how much time I have to cook and what conveniences are worth buying! I hope that as my life takes a little twist, you can enjoy the new look right along with me.

Q: What do you (lovely readers) think? Do you like the tweets via instagram?

A: Comments below!! 🙂

Double Up Smores: Food Allergy Friendly

Curious about my whereabouts this Thanksgiving? I have been sneakily waiting for the after party (my own creation) and plotting how to rock the season sans allergies! I love you guys and want you to be super healthy and happy this season. Therefore, I am bringing you treats of all shapes and sizes, and none of which will encourage your waistline.

Tell me more! Tell me more!

How about the healthiest SMORES you’ve ever tasted and a fire to huddle around for starters? We need to show the build up, and then I’ll break down the specifics… we’re making two. (Come on, one smore SO does not cut it. Gotta get our fix!)

First, a gluten-free graham cracker that tastes just divine. Does not crumble easily, and therefore tis perfect. Compare:

GF = gluten free, DF = dairy free/casein free, SF = soy free, PF = peanut free, TNF = tree nut free. Wow. So much avoided and so yummy. You’ll notice the calories indicated, but I save my explanation for the end. Ignore for now. Instead, hooray for the Smorables’ ingredients list! It is 2 ingredients short of completely recognizable and therefore very body friendly. Points.

Next, we assemble the most important filling selection: the chocolate. I think these mini chunks taste terrific melted and even beat the usual. Once again, an ingredient list you can read. Comparison…

We have 3 squares chocolate per smore. I like a ratio of 2 parts graham to 1 part chocolate. Flambe marshmallow just bonds the two together of course. Hehe. One importance thing to notice is that Enjoy Life offers chocolate without dairy, nuts, or soy. Huge deal. Huge.

FINALLY the critical marshmallow. Your typical marshmallow is full of crazy.

And not just that crazy. You know there are crazy ingredients in them. However, a nice little switch in labels means the same great taste, the same results can be had, BUT made from natural ingredients. Marshmallows that love your bod. Is not life so good today?

Alright. A nommy set of smores for us. What about this calories business, right? Perhaps you could care less about the calories, but my calorie notes serve a purpose. Those calories indicate how much of your intake comes from that product. If the calories are majority junk, then your treats are needlessly bad for you. It’s the holidays! Let’s indulge in really good stuff. 🙂 Our waistlines can jiggle from laughter all year round since we made smores and could enjoy them too!

Q: Do you have any other ideas for using these marshmallows, grahams, or chocolate pieces? I do!

*images: Smorables, Honeymaid, graham crackers, marshmallows pink, Elyon marshmallow & cartoon, Jet Puff, smore pics, Hershey, Enjoy Life, mini chunks

Gracious, the Season!

Hold. the. phone. What has happened to the winter season? I feel invaded by the world of commercial living! Since when do you begin posing Christmas materials before the end of Halloween? Since when do you post frosted cookie recipes before the start of Thanksgiving? I love the decor, the frosted cookies, the whole nine yards. I really, really do.

This year just feels so different. I almost feel pushed shoved into one of my favorite experiences. The Christmas season. For others, the Diwali or Chanukah or general giving season. Does anyone else feel this way too? It is rushed. Impersonal, even. I almost want to sit back and just soak up the outdoors for a few moments and forget certain holiday activities. Present as opposed to pressed in the world around me. Winter months are a wonderful time for remembrance, thankfulness, and overall generosity. I want to experience those things with the people I love.

A kind of grounding method for me is sipping hot liquids. It unwinds the mind. To me, this acts against the go-go-go push I keep feeling, and replaces it with a comforting ahhh moment. Of course, my preferred drinks are in harmony with the season. Fabulous for one or a multitude!

Hot apple cider is my current favorite and great for those with any food allergies. It’s easy to make at home, and hits the sweet and spicy notes just right. And did I mention it provides great nutrition? Perfect!

For any college students out there, the thing you simply must have is RAW, unfiltered apple juice. Not Motts, Juicy Juice, or any other brand. You want the real stuff from a local source because it makes or breaks any recipe you use. Adults (haha, with real jobs) can buy the cinnamon sticks and actual cloves. To save a few bucks, spend it all on the raw apple juice you’ll need and then dash the pot (filled with however many servings – I base mine on my mug by pouring from it) with a serious amount of ground cinnamon, a little ground cloves, and boil it for a minute or so. If you like, add a few orange slices too. Those are generally cheap to get. I think you’ll love it.

Now, for those with real jobs, you too need to make sure you buy literal raw apple juice to use. It should have murky stuff swirling around the bottom of the container. It makes the difference, I swear. If you can purchase local, Arizona apple juice you may have liquid gold on your hands. Delicious. Unfortunately, my favorite cider recipe disappeared from the face of the internet due to a downed food blog. None of the recipes come up anymore. Boo. I do have one which reminds me of it though, so here it is!* Enjoy.

*Note: Neglect the need for a cheesecloth. That is completely unnecessary. Just strain it.

Q: Do you have a particular seasonal recipe for a quick fix? How do you feel about the push, push, push of this season?