Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Publishing Company: Luscious Vegan Desserts

Book Publishing Company is doing an online promotion called, "Luscious Vegan Desserts"! 

Click here to enter to win a free dessert book or buy one!  I was sent a review copy of More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally.  It has a great collection of dairy and egg-free recipes ranging from cookies and puddings to smoothies.  The first chapter detailed the essential ingredients and equipment for a "nondairy, egg-free baker's dessert kitchen."  This was VERY helpful!  My only complaint about the actual recipes was that they didn't have nutrition facts.  The recipe I decided to try out first was the Virtuous Vanilla Cake.  Of course, you may know by now that I have trouble following recipes, so here is a link to my modified version.  I can't help it - I don't like being constrained :-).

I was quite impressed!  The cake turned out kind of spongy and similar to a pound cake in texture.  I loved the vanilla flavor and the sweetness level was perfect for me.  I do regret not using coconut oil in place of the canola oil though.  I used olive oil since that is what I had on hand.  It worked out just fine, but it would have been neat to see how coconut oil would have worked :-).

Yay for cake that's full of wonderful ingredients!

Have a fabulous Halloween weekend!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kettle Almond Butter Review

Hello!  You all know I love nut butters :-).  Kettle generously sent me a jar of their Almond Butter to review, pictured below:

9 of 10.  This nut butter had a very nice consistency, but I must say the flavor wasn't what I was expecting...  It was tasty, but just didn't compare with peanut butter like I thought it might.  It worked well with bananas, apples, and especially carrots if you can believe it ;-).

Coming up will be a cookbook review courtesy of Book Publishing Company.  They are currently promoting their cookbooks for vegan desserts.  Check it out here!  You can even enter to win a free dessert book!

I'm looking forward to Halloween... are you?



Saturday, October 23, 2010

Zevia Giveaway Winner and my New Website

Thank you everyone who entered my Zevia giveaway sponsored by Zevia. declared #5 the winner!  Congrats ManoloMandi!  I'll be e-mailing you soon!

I recently made some homemade spaghetti sauce with homemade stewed tomatoes (courtesy of my mom!).  In order to transform the stewed tomatoes into a sauce, I added a can of tomato paste, green peppers, onions, garlic, basil, Mrs. Dash original seasoning, some salsa and a bit of salt.  Here is the final result:

Also, in case you're interested, I just created a new website where I'll be posting my nature photography.  Here it is:  I hope you like it :-).  There's not a whole lot on it yet, but every image, even the header, is mine.  I'll gradually be adding more.

Hope you're all having a nice, relaxing weekend!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Don't forget to enter my Zevia giveaway!

Hello everyone!  Today, I'm just going to share a few random notes with you :-).

There's still time to enter my Zevia giveaway here

CSN Stores is having a sale on their cookware now, so you may want to check it out here.

Penny Pincher Gazette is a site for coupons and recipes that I enjoy.

This is a fun site I found with videos from 1860-2010!  It's a fun way to waste a little time while gaining some perspective on life in the past.

I absolutely LOVE Recipe Puppy, an ingredient based recipe search engine.

I'll end this post by filling you in on my current exercise schedule.  Biking has been my means of transportation to class and work this fall.  Unfortunately that won't last much longer since winter is fast approaching.  I also go on about 2 longer bike rides each week for an hour each.  I haven't been running much lately... perhaps 4 miles a week...  I am lifting weights or using my kettlebell 2-3 times per week though :-).  As the weather gets colder, I'll be heading to the gym in order to use the indoor track and elliptical.  I'll do more running then since I will no longer be able to bike.

I hope everyone's hump day went well ;-).


Friday, October 15, 2010

Jay Robb Review and CSN Stores Giveaway Winner

Jay Robb Products sent me a complimentary package of their protein bars and powder to review!  This brand is definitely popular around the blogosphere, and I am excited to share my own experiences of it with all of you :-).  I'll review the protein bars on this post and the powders later.  Here is what Jay Robb has to say about his JayBars:

"I've raised the bar on bars and created the JayBAR—a great tasting high protein bar made with organic ingredients.  JayBars are formulated without sugar, corn syrup, casein, artificial sweeteners, maltitol, acesulfame-K, evaporated cane juice, aspartame, or sucralose!"

Who exactly is Jay Robb?  He is "a clinical nutritionist with over three decades of experience as a professional in his field. He is the CEO of Jay Robb Enterprises Inc.—a Southern California corporation founded in 1988 and known for producing the best-tasting protein powders on the planet. Jay Robb products and books are sold in over 10,000 health food stores, grocery stores, doctors’ offices, nutrition centers, and gyms across the nation."  Find out more here!  Jay Robb even has an eNewsletter called JayTalk you can subscribe to here :-).

Now for my review:

Cashew Coconut: 9 of 10.  Tasty, creamy, smooth (other than the crunchy whey protein crisps), and very rich!  It was actually a little too rich for me.  The bar was sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.  I love the ingredients too.  This is not your standard protein bar.

Fudge Brownie: 10 of 10. A very sweet chocolate treat that is loaded with protein.  I love how thick and dense it is - quite substantial.

Peanut Butter: 9 of 10. This bar was a little greasy on the outside, and it had a rich, deep flavor.  It was just sweet enough to make for satisfying treat, and it had a nice peanut butter flavor (though not the best I've experienced).

Almond Energy Bar: 9.5 of 10. Quite sweet with a great fig and raisin combo flavor. The YAMMIT Energy Nuggets were fabulous :-). The almonds made a wonderful addition. I consider this bar to be a 'souped-up' Larabar.

Overall, these bars are quite nice. They are pricey too though! You get what you pay for though, and if you're looking for a quality protein bar that you don't have to make on your own, then this would be a good purchase. AND... if you're so inclined to make a purchase, here is a discount that Jay Robb has extended to you all:

NOW for the $45 CSN Stores Giveaway Winner! Thank you everyone who entered and thank you CSN Stores for allowing me to host this generous giveaway. Only one could win though, and declared lucky #7 the winner, which is Katie M. Congrats!! CSN Stores should be sending you an e-mail soon :-).

Have a great weekend everyone!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Zevia Review and Giveaway!

Yep, you read that right - another giveaway!  Zevia recently received some great publicity courtesy of Oprah.  Zevia was on the O list in the September 2010 issue of The Oprah Magazine here.  Zevia must be good then, right?!  Well, here were my thoughts in February 2010!  Here are the flavors that Zevia generously sent me this time:

I was excited to see that I was sent Dr. Zevia because I didn't get to try that flavor during my first review.  It is definitely a great addition to their line up and quite similar to Dr. Pepper.  Zevia makes for a refreshing treat, and I must say I enjoyed them more this time around... perhaps I'm less picky?

So what exactly makes Zevia so great?  Well, "ZEVIA is the first all natural zero calorie soda. With only pure ingredients, ZEVIA contains none of the chemically processed artificial sugar substitutes, artificial flavors or artificial colors found in other diet sodas. ZEVIA is all-natural, has zero calories, zero net carbs, zero fat, and little or no sodium (depending on flavor)."  You can find out more on their website here!

Giveaway: Zevia has graciously offered to give away one mixed six pack of Zevia to one of my readers.  This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents and it will end on October 22, 2010. The winner will be picked via and will have 48 hours to respond to winning email to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn. Make sure you leave a valid e-mail address in your posts!

Mandatory Entry: What do you like most about Zevia?  Or what flavor would you most like to try?  Leave your e-mail address too please!

Extra Entries (leave 1 comment for each): Blog about this giveaway and leave a link to your post.

Become a follower of my blog.

Good luck!  Don't forget my CSN Stores giveaway that's still going on here!

Monday, October 4, 2010

$45 CSN Stores Giveaway!

Here it is - a major giveaway that CSN Stores is allowing me to host!  This is great because YOU decide what you win!  One of my readers is going to receive a $45 gift code to use at CSN Stores!

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents and it will end on October 15, 2010. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.  Make sure you leave a valid e-mail address in your posts!

Mandatory Entry: Leave me a comment telling me how you would spend $45 at CSN Stores. Please include your e-mail address too.

Extra Entries (leave 1 comment for each): Blog about this giveaway and leave a link to the post.

Become a follower of my blog.

That's it!  I will be posting more product reviews soon :-).  As for my life, classes are busy, but going well.  I'm LOVING the Autumn weather and am hoping Winter holds off for awhile.  Also, my basil plant made a come back!  I wonder how long it will last??

Take care!


Friday, October 1, 2010

CSN Stores giveaway coming soon!

I'm spreading the wealth with my wonderful readers!  CSN Stores is generously offering one of my readers a $45 gift code to their stores!  Are you interested in dining sets?  If so, they have a nice selection for you :-).  Otherwise, they have many more items to choose from!  Stay tuned for giveaway details!

I went on a nice bike ride this evening and took some pictures around town.  Unfortunately dusk is not a great time for taking pictures... but I'll share some with you anyway :-).

I hope you all have a relaxing weekend!

FYI: This past week was Banned Books Week.  Here is a list of challenged and banned books in 2009-2010.  I say, just say no to banned books!