Sunday, July 8, 2012

Oh so Pinteresting..!

I have recently become utterly addicted to Pinterest. I feared that would happen, which is why I avoided joining the site for so long. But now that I'm there, it's a haven for inspiration!!!

This caught my eye on Pinterest and with a bag of pre-made Trader Joe's pizza dough in the fridge, I knew we had to give it a whirl. Or a twist. (Get it? They're twisted breadsticks! harharhar)

With Ian's help, and a bit of trial-and-error, we made it work well enough to have some tasty breadsticks. They look normal from this angle, but...

...we needed to use less dough per skewer, because they sagged as they baked and the saggy parts were still a bit doughy once they came out of the oven. Ah well! Note the saggy baggy elephant lumps from this angle. Ah, gravity.

The Purple Chocolat Home recipe was a guide, since we were using pre-made pizza dough anyway. Towards the end of cooking, we spooned over some melted butter with spices in it and put them back in the oven to brown. Then we dipped them in some warmed up leftover marinara pasta sauce and it made a great, quick, easy meal... snack... thing. YEAH.

So... I'll call it a half-success, because they were edible and tasted good. But next time we'll definitely make them skinnier since we're using skewers and not big dowels like in the inspiration. I prefer the dough to be crunchy and flaky moreso than doughy so using less dough per skewer should help them firm up, too.

It's a good alternative to making homemade pizza if you are low on toppings, or out of cheese, or just feel like something a little different. Or, if you're nerdy like us, something easier to eat at the computer. ;)

Your turn! Tell me: What was the first thing you tried off of Pinterest? Did it work? Or are you one of my readers who is still wondering "WTH is this Pinterest thing?!" ;D

☮ ♥☺
~ Cara

Friday, July 6, 2012

Big Brother 14 is upon us!

BIG BROTHER BIG BROTHER BIG BROTHER. *screams and flails excitedly!*

The show is named after one of my favorite books, George Orwell's 1984. So, of course I love the concept. It's entertaining but waaay less creepy than the book, haha. The show is edited to be entertaining no matter what happens, so I don't really care that it's "reality" TV because I know all TV shows should be taken with a grain of salt anyhow (*ahem* History Channel, Ancient Aliens, anyone?). I've been watching this show on and off for years and saw this ONTD post and was SO EXCITED because I totally forgot about it's existence as being my favorite summertime thing to watch. I'm so glad they show the episodes on the CBS page the day after they air on TV!

I felt the need to post about it today because: there is someone in the cast named Kara. Yeah, spelled different, but everyone will be saying "Cara" and that will amuse me. But that's not all, folks! There's also an Ian!!! Hahahaha!!! So in a sense, me and my hunny can live in the Big Brother house through these people who share our names. *snicker*

I'm also intrigued by the chef guy, Russell-the-Survivor-villain's brother, and the ex-Kittie bassist. It'll be interesting to see how these personalities play off each other... especially once they bring back previous cast members.

*squee* I CAN'T WAIT!!! Ahhhh!

It begins July 12th. *eyeballs calendar* OMG ONE MORE WEEK. O_O *twitcH*

☮ ♥☺
~ Cara

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hittin' up the bar... the GRANOLA bar! (harharhar)

Lately I've been having a back-and-forth in my mind between eating "real" food and eating easy processed foods. I'm so thankful that more and more, there is a mix of the two and I'm able to find real foods for sale that are also convenience foods. I mentioned recently that I bought a bunch of granola bars and energy bars and such because they were on sale. Yeah, it was one of those "on a whim" purchases, but I'm glad I did!

This Harvest PowerBar in Toffee Chocolate Chip flavor was actually fairly tasty! I wasn't sure what to expect but it was edible AND enjoyable. Good combo.


I also tried the Triple Threat Energy bar in Chocolate Caramel Fusion flavor, which, by the time I pulled it out of my purse after driving around in the car, was covered in melty gooey chocolate and pretty darn delicious. The ingredients in these don't alarm me, so I feel okay buying them occasionally if I feel the need for a candy bar, haha, because they taste like candy bars but without all the processed crap. However, while the sugar content IS lower than a candy bar, they still have quite a bit of sugar in 'em.

Now, I'd like to talk about this little baby.

The Pecan Pie Larabar is my new favorite dessert. Okay, maybe not - the dark chocolate I bought the other day is almost gone! But oh. my. gosh. THIS THING IS SO GOOD. And when I read the ingredients: dates, pecans, and almonds? THAT'S IT?! I was astonished. Ian, the guy who is all about some pecan pie, also approved. While it's 220 calories for a TEENY TINY little thing, we split it and it was rich enough in flavor and texture that I probably wouldn't want to eat the whole thing anyway. One of my favorite bloggers, The Fitnessista, mentions eating Larabars quite often, so I don't know why it took me this long to try 'em. We tried the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor as well, but I wasn't as impressed with it as I was of the pecan pie flavor. I can't wait to try the other varieties now! 

Honestly, I'd rather have the Larabars than the PowerBars, but they are different monsters. The Larabars remind me of my beloved Chocolate Brownie Pure bars, since both have dates as a main ingredient. These kind of bars are more chewy than the PowerBars, which remind me more of the Nature Valley chewy protein bars I bought (also on sale!). 

It's great to have these kind of products to grab when you're on the go. They are easy to eat, tasty, and fulfilling - at least to my little tummy, haha! But part of me still says, "you can do better." I made it past the Snickers, to the tiny little Quaker Dipps granola bars, to the Nature Valley roasted almond granola bars, to the Pure and Larabars of simple simple simple ingredients. So, it's progress. But, I've seen recipes for homemade granola bars, so I know it can be done. I suppose that's the next step on the trail of convenience foods. With how much I enjoy the convenience of this type of food, I don't see myself forgoing them any time soon, but a homemade variety would be interesting to try. 

Your turn! Tell me: Have you ever made homemade granola bars? Do you have a recipe I HAVE to try? Or recommend another healthy-ish granola bar I should be on the lookout for?

☮ ♥☺
~ Cara