Category: Uncategorized


IMG_1892So, I’ve been meaning to post for a while, and a few times I have seen this conspicuous little container floating around the refrigerated section of the Duane Reade below my office (funny, I’ve worked in two separate buildings in New York City, and both of them have been above Duane Reades – whatever, convenient for lunch food when I’m feeling too lazy to make a bento.  ^^;; Anyway, while I was wandering around down there last week or so was when I got my first glimpse of these marshmallows – and what caught my attention is the little bunny on the front.  Normally, a bunny on the label means ‘cruelty free’ or ‘vegan’, so I’m always on the lookout … And vegan marshmallows aren’t something I’ve come across before in a local super market sort of store.  Well, I was down there again today and I saw this container again, so I figured eh, why not?  And I picked it up.  This little 6-and-a-quarter ounce container ran me $3.99, which I didn’t think was TOO outrageous … Even though an entire bag of regular marshmallows tends to cost that price … But whatever; it’s vegan and all sorts of other fancy things like non-GMO and Kosher and what have you, so they are allowed to sell you a little bit for a lotta money.

That’s how that works, right?

But I digress.

IMG_1893So, I purchased my after-lunch treat, along with a few other items, and headed back up to my desk, and immediately took a picture of the container before I did anything else, as you can see above.  Now, according to the label, there are four different kinds of marshmallows in this container, and that is true – the flavors are: vanilla, toasted coconut, strawberry, and cinnamon pecan.  However, as you’ll see in the picture to the left, I only took out three to take a picture of – the three specialty flavored ones, vanilla being the odd man out.  That was because that strawberry is a sticky one; the rest are firm and dry like regular marshmallows, but I am telling you those pink ones are as sticky as chewing gum!  I tried to get a vanilla one out, but the regular ones were just hopelessly stuck to the strawberry ones, and whenever I tried to separate them, the vanilla was pulled out of shape or stained or … I just gave up.  They are little white squares, it’s not like it’s gonna be a shocker; just imagine there’s another of the toasted cinnamon pecan ones without the nut on top.

So, right; that leads me to my first point; all four of them have a good firm consistency as far as touch goes except for the pink ones; they are very sticky.  They hold their shape alright if you leave them alone, especially if they are straight out of the fridge (did I mention these have to be stored in the fridge?) but as soon as they sit at room temperature for a few minutes, forget it; they stick pretty good to most things, including skin, tissues, themselves, desks …

But anyway; on to taste!  I was actually very pleasantly surprised as far as taste for all of them.  The vanilla tasted like a regular white marshmallow, the strawberry ones had a great strawberry flavor, the coconut one was pretty good but the actual marshmallow didn’t taste much like coconut, it really came from the toasted coating, and the cinnamon pecan one tasted mostly like cinnamon – I wish the pecan on top had been toasted as well, but it was just a chip of the soft meat of the nut, no crunch or heat applied previously.

However, the devil’s in the details, so the real question is – how was the texture?  And in 3 out of 4 of them, it was pretty spot on.  The vanilla, toasted coconut, and cinnamon pecan all boasted a nice firm consistency, and when I bit into them they made that sort of … spongey noise it makes when you bite into a regular marshmallow.  I was actually super surprised, because a lot of the time, vegan food substitutes taste alright, but the texture is totally wrong.  I will be the first to declare that this is not the case for these three marshmallows …

But now we have to have a chat about this strawberry marshmallow.

Because texture-wise, it’s sort of a train wreck.

IMG_1895Now, I mean that in the nicest way possible – I’m not trying to be mean.  But it’s pretty bad.  Like, I took a bite of it and it nearly made me gag bad.  First of all, it’s not firm at all.  It’s not … liquid or anything; as you can see from the picture above, it does hold it’s shape if you leave it alone.  But it has this odd slightly gritty soft vaguely gooey texture, kind of like slightly soupy uncooked cookie dough … And when I say that I almost gagged when I took a bite, that’s not a lie; I had eaten one of each of the other kinds, and strawberry was the last one.  So I assumed, since the texture of the others was so spot-on, that this one would be the same, so I was just expecting that slightly firm, spongy cloud-like consistency of the other ones … And then I bit into that sticky pink one and … Well it wasn’t good.

Which isn’t to say the flavor wasn’t good; as I said in an earlier paragraph, the strawberry flavor was very decent.  I have a feeling they probably flavor the strawberry ones with some sort of strawberry puree or something, and that stops it from being able to set properly or something.  And I did try eating a second one just to see if I had happened across a bad marshmallow or something … That one I couldn’t finish; texture was the same and my throat/mouth was not having it.  I’m big on the mouth feel of things, and these little pink devils were not particularly pleasant in that regard.

Now, if you follow my other blog, A Swiftly Tilting Bookshelf, then you know that in my reviews, I give a rating out of 5 stars and then I give a final verdict for whatever I’m reviewing/critiquing.  So, in accordance with that, I’m going to do the same thing here!

Rating : ★★★★☆

Final Verdict : They aren’t perfectly, exactly the same as marshmallows, but for a vegan substitute, they are pretty awesome.  I don’t really love that they are marshmallows, and I tried to sort of roll them or change their shape with a little force – but much like traditional marshmallows, they sort of just cracked, and whatever is on the outside (powdered sugar or corn starch or whatever that is) just sort of fluffed off a bit and it just didn’t make a good shape.  Of all of them, I liked the strawberry flavored ones the least – which was too bad because they really do have a nice flavor, but I cannot get past that terrible mouth feel they have. My favorite were definitely the toasted cinnamon pecan ones, though like I said I do wish that the little chip of nut on top  was actually toasted in some fashion.  But the cinnamon flavor was good!

strawberry-mug-cake-14

Not to brag or anything, but I totally think this isn’t too bad a job considering I am not trained in the culinary arts … Though that also means I don’t have a super developed pallet, so there could be subtle nuances I’m missing – also I haven’t had real cake in a while, so this might taste nothing like real cake … But it has that nice fluffy consistency that I remember cake having, and it can be any flavor a cake can be, so I count that as a win! :3  Anyway, here is the ingredient list:

1 Mug (all of the ingredients go into this mug :3)
3Tbsp + 1tsp Flour
1/4tsp Baking Powder
1/16tsp Salt***
2Tbsp Sugar
2tsp Vegan Margarine
1 Egg worth of prepared Egg Replacer
2tsp Water
1Tbsp + 1tsp Milk Substitute (Rice, Soy, Almond, etc.)
Flavoring as desired

***Really this is just a pinch of salt, but I hate it when recipes say stuff like that and don’t actually give a measurement of some kind, so basically this is just a VERY SMALL AMOUNT of salt … xD  I just wanted to give you SOME idea of how much I was putting in.

As for the flavoring, I added a 1/4tsp of extract to each of my trial cakes and they were certainly vanilla-y enough for me.  So I would suggest a 1/4tsp of any extract, and between 1/2 and 1 full tsp of any powder (like cocoa powder, matcha green tea powder, spices, etc.)  In the video example, I ended up using 1tsp Matcha Powder and 1/2tsp of Raspberry Extract for a Raspberry Green Tea cake (which I definitely suggest!)  Just sort of use your best judgement; but don’t add too much powder or it will make the cake to dry after you microwave it!

Likewise, if you add alcohol or juice to flavor it, if you add too much liquid you might need to adjust the cook time of the cake to account for it.  If you add a Tbsp of coconut extract and a Tbsp of pineapple juice for a pina coolada cake, you might have to add 15-30s on to the 2min cooktime I suggest in my video.

Speaking of cook time, I mentioned I would tell you what the wattage of my microwave was just so you know exactly what I’m doing in the video and how my cake was cooked.  My microwave is a Sharp .8 Cubic Foot unit with 800Watts of power.  So, if yours is more or less than mine, you also may need to adjust the cook time accordingly to keep your cake from burning or coming out gooey.

Aaaaand … if you happened to just find this post and have no idea what I’m talking about, why here; I have a video for you to peruse!  Just scroll down 🙂

To the rest of you, sorry for the wait on this post – and until next time, remember, There’s no use Boiling your Cabbage Twice!

❤ TwiceBoiledCabbage

World of Warcraft Donuts!

Go forth and make delicious donuts!  (Whether they are Vegan or not!) :]

In case you missed the video:

Here are the downloads I promised; click on the below link for the .pdf for 1doz toppers sized to fit the donuts from the tutorial, or right click and save as to get the individual pictures to resize as you please to fit whatever size donut or cupcake or cake that you want!

WoW Sigil Donut Toppers

Horde Alliance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liquid Day 5: Soup Monster

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Found this on the internet when I Googled “Soup Monster” … I thought it was really cute xD

… xD As the title might suggest, I actually have not gone through an epic battle with a monster born from my carton of cooked and pureed vegetables.  And whether that would be hilarious or terrifying is anyone’s call really.  But anway; not why we’re here.  We are here today because I once again woke up late. Though this time it was entirely my fault because I blatantly ignored all of my alarms, and I knew I was doing it at the time; I just didn’t really recognize the consequences at the time.  Basically it was like, meh, 5 more minutes … 10 more minutes … It’ll be fine … I’m still tired …

08425324054lAll the way from 4:30 to 7, because I had no idea what time it was.

Once again, the alarm clock in the other room is what what me up …

As such, I did in fact not have time to make juice … So instead, I brought soup with me to work again.  And, if you to the right you can see the soup that I brought with me.  It was pretty good; it needed some salt and pepper, but it as slightly sweet, and a little spicy, and I could taste some bell peppers I think … Or something like that.  I dunno, but it was pretty good.  Not as delicious as I imagined … And it didn’t look as delicious as the packaging suggests it should.  Not that anything ever does, but look at my comparison pictures.  Can you guess which one is the advertisement, and which I took with my phone? xD  I know it’s hard to figure out, but do your best; I’m sure you can figure it out …

Shells-with-Creamy-Butternut-Squash-Sauce 0110141432

However, despite it’s look, and the sad thinness of the soup as a whole (it was nowhere near as thick and creamy as it looked on the packaging) it wasn’t bad, and I ate half of it for breakfast, and half of it for lunch or so.  There’s a little left I’m bringing home, possibly for dinner, but for the most part I ate the majority of it and it was pretty good.

I also, for breakfast, got on the train with a water bottle full of 100% pomegranate juice.  Sort of citrus-y, and I think it has antioxidants in it (or at least that’s what the package said) so, it’s good for you and it was pretty delicious.  Also it took away my immediate food cravings upon leaving my house, so that was cool too.

Not much else to report today; TapouT will have to wait until tonight, and I have to get home fast because I have another raid … But I’m sure it will be fine ^^;;  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update, and Sunday’s video! ^-^

Sorry for the short post, but not a whole lot to report today since I’m lacking in the freshly juiced department … Tomorrow hopefully I’ll get to the bottom of how to juice a grapefruit without that terribly bitter taste …

Until next time, remember: There’s no use boiling your cabbage twice!

5_liquid_diet_68715232_full_1356731723Alright; HAPPY 2014 EVERYONE ^-^

So, to kick-start this new year, I have decided to start up TapOut again.  I think I can do it if I don’t stop in the middle like I did before for a little thing like getting sick … But that won’t stop me this time.

And, I’m kicking off my work out regiment with an all liquid detox for 7 days.  Or at least, I hope it lasts for 7 days; I am finding out that produce really doesn’t, well … produce … much liquid … So we’ll see.  Anyway, in my research, I found out some interesting facts and tips about liquid diets, and I figured I’d share the top 10 things I discovered here, since it was helpful to me …

Alright; when starting an all liquid diet, things to keep in mind:

1. You should be drinking between 64oz and 96oz of juice per day.

2. Try to consume upwards of 1600 calories per day, and absolutely no fewer than 1200!

3. Be sure to count calories to make sure you are eating what you should be.

4. Don’t drink anything freezing cold; drink things at room temp or a little cooler than room temp.

5. Mild headaches and strong cravings are normal for the first few days.

6. Drink at least 16oz of water following each juice meal. (2-3quarts/day)

7. Practice a strictly liquid diet for 7 days for a full detox; new juicers might do better w/3-4 days.

8. Try to add as much citrus to your juices as possible; citrus is great for detoxing.

9. Looking for something sweet?  Try making a fruit juice blend as a ‘dessert’!

10. Listen to your body!  If something seems really wrong, stop the detox!

Let me tell you, I have frequent headaches, so I wasn’t as enthused when I saw that headaches are common on a detox … But then I thought about it, and that sort of makes sense, because you’re getting rid of all the crap you have going on inside yourself, and that probably isn’t too easy to go through, or else there wouldn’t be all this junk gunking up your system in the first place, right?  So, I decided to go through with it anyway.  Today is my first day, and let me tell you what it took to make 32oz of juice for breakfast.

Into my JuiceMan Juicer, I p0106140654ut:

1c Pomegranate Seeds
2 stalks of Celery
1 cored Granny Smith Apple
1/2 Lemon
1 Cucumber
1/2 head of Romaine Lettuce
1/2 head of Kale
2 large handfuls of Seedless Red Grapes
1 Mango
5 or 6 Baby Carrots

At first I was only adding the ingredients you see in the picture.  Which doesn’t include the grapes, mango, or carrots – but there wasn’t enough juice!  (Note: if I made this juice again, I would add pears or red apples; something sweet, because the citrus and romaine lettuce were really overpowering) I had to dig around and find other things to add.  Even then all of that didn’t quite do it – I had to add about half a cup of water and some ice cubes to fill up my 32oz Nalgene waterbottle.  Which you can see below:

0106140718However, I couldn’t really think of anything else to add – I mean, I have a couple of grape fruits, some red apples, and some pears, but … all of this produce was supposed to last me a week, and right now I’m not even sure it’s going to last me 5 days!  And I have to stretch this to 2 meals every day.  Yeah, this ought to be fun. However, to be fair, it did make some really pretty colors in the little juicer cup thing when I was making it.

0106140658 0106140710  The picture to the left is the first half of the ingredients, so the pomegranate seeds, the apple, the celery, lemon, cucumber, and apple, while the picture on the right is  the other half the ingredients (romaine lettuce, kale, grapes, mango, carrots).  The cup is only a 16oz cup, so I could only juice half of my produce at a time in order to make up the 32oz I was going for for breakfast.

0106140712Anyway, another thing I added to my juice this morning that I thought I would share with you:  Chlorophyll. Yeah.  The green stuff you find in plants.  Apparently you can purchase a concentrated version of it to add into smoothies and juices and all of that good stuff.  The bottle I bought is the one to the left – it’s from Whole Foods, which was a great adventure I went on this past weekend, and was $12 … But since there are 33 servings, I wasn’t too worried about it. ^^;;

According to the package, it boosts your red blood cell count, which is sort of what iron does, and helps get oxygen to all the parts of your body that need oxygen … And I actually have pretty poor circulation, so it’s something I could use a little help with.  I dunno if this will help or not, but I counted out 36 drops of the stuff this morning and added it to my juice.

Also, can I tell you … It takes a LONG time to drink 32oz of juice, and then chug at least 16oz of water afterwards?  I started drinking when I made it at about 7 this morning, and I didn’t finish until about noon or so … And I keep fluctuating between feeling hungry and feeling really uncomfortably full … I’m pretty sure I’ve confused the hell out of my body pretty badly ^^;; But I don’t feel sick, and no headaches worse than normal, so … So far so good.  I’m sitting here, trying to decide if I want to eat the soup I brought for lunch … I’m sure I need the calorie intake, but I am currently feeling uncomfortably full, so I don’t think I want to put anything in my mouth …

Hell, let’s figure out how many calories I’ve eaten so far today.  I’m willing to bet it’s not very many … ^^;;

Produce Quantity Caloric Value
1c Pomegranate Seeds 145 calories
2 Stalks Celery 12 calories
Granny Smith Apple 80 calories
1/2 Lemon 10 Calories
1 Cucumber 46 Calories
1/2 Head Romaine Lettuce 30 calories
Kale 70 Calories
Seedless Red Grapes 250 Calories
Mango 145 Calories
Baby Carrots 75 Calories
Chlorophyll 15 Calories
Total: 878 Calories

Actually … that is a lot more calories than I thought … If I drink another one of these for dinner with a similar caloric intake, I’ll actually make the 1600 calories no problem … Wow.  I’m really surprised.  Especially with how many calories are in grapes o.o;; I had no idea that like, 2 cups of grapes was 250 calories.  That is ridiculous.  Especially because I know they have crappy nutritional value; they’re basically sugar and water, but they’re so delicious.

I guess at the very least this explains why I am so uncomfortably full now …

0106140714Also, the last thing I wanted to mention; I know the machine is a juicer. I know it’s job is to extract juice from produce, as much as possible, and leave behind all of the other junk. But, when I went to clean it out when I was done using it this morning, I was like, totally amazed. The contents of the like, rind and skin catch are to the right, and that is a lot of minced up junk sure … But I was mostly impressed with how dry all that stuff was. Like, it was almost chalky – there was almost no fluid left in it. It wasn’t like sandpaper or anything, but it was definitely extremely lacking in the liquid department, much more than I thought it would be. The only part that you can see a bit of water in is the edge that didn’t really go through the strainer thing – that’s the mango.  Oh also, ProTip? Make sure you take the rind out of the mango before you try to juice it. Like, that hard section in the middle? That doesn’t juice well. Learned that lesson today …

… You thought I wasn’t going to talk about it, didn’t you?

No, I didn’t forget about the second part of the title of this post … … I just don’t want to talk about it.  Because I am so NOT excited for TapOut this time around that … Well, it’s Monday, and I was supposed to get up early to do TapOut this morning … Yeah that didn’t happen.  Hitting snooze and staying in my extremely overheated bed is what happened xD But, I do plan on doing it when I get home from work today … I just really, really don’t want to.

Gotta think positive though; gotta stop saying that … I’m excited for TapOut!  Yaaaaaay TapOut!

… … … Yeah pretty sure that didn’t work.

But I’m gonna do it!  I have a goal!  TapOut I and TapOut II finished by July!  That is my goal.

This is going to be a long 6 months. >_>

Until next time (probably tomorrow), remember:  There’s No Use Boiling your Cabbage Twice.

TapOut XT: 1 Month Results

Alright ladies and gentlemen – this is going to be a really quick post.  I just wanted to update quickly on the status of TapOut – I’ve completed it for a month and so, I have rewarded myself accordingly.  I got this cute little netbook to write on, which is actually what I’m posting from now :]  The other thing is that I wanted to share my pictures (I know right? Finally.) Not because I’m particularly comfortable with my body at the moment, but because I actually can see results, and I am pretty surprised by what I saw, because I honestly didn’t expect to be able to tell the difference  between the pictures.  But anyway, I have pictures from the front and from the side.

So … Here’s the front:

Pictures - Front - 1 Month

And here’s the side:

Pictures - Side - 1 Month

As for my measurements, I was just going to post a picture of my filled in grid, but I don’t know if you can see it well enough to read.  I’ll include it, but I’ll type everything out too:

Yay Blurry Grid ...?

Yay Blurry Grid …?

Day Number Weight Jean Size Chest Bicep Waist Thigh
Day 1 207lbs 15* 46″ 15″ 39″ 28″
Day 10 202.5lbs 15* 43″ 15″ 36.5″ 27″
Day 30 195.5lbs 15* 42″ 14″ 36″ 26.5″
*Note: I don’t measure this because I don’t wear jeans! So it’ll always be the same.

My weight loss progress so far:

Day/Week End Weight
Day 1/Week 0 207lbs
Day 7/Week 1 202.5lbs
Day 14/Week 2 195.5lbs
Day 21/Week 3 197.5lbs
Day 28/Week 4 194lbs

Until next time!

~RaeynnBeau

Come and Get it!

Come and Get it!

Alright guys – here it is; TapOut XT week 2.  I finally started doing TapOut again – though I never really posted it.  I’ve been busy getting YouTube videos together, so I haven’t had time really to tell you what I’ve been doing.  I’ve realized that 15 minutes of talking still isn’t really enough time to give a real, in-depth review of what I did for the week, how I felt, what goals I’ve set for myself, etc, so I’ve decided that I’m still going to post here, and I’m still going to write a book for you at the end of every week or so xD

Alright; so in my videos, I’ve started doing a weigh in every week to track my weight loss progress.  Here are my results so far:

Day/Week End Weight
Day 1/Week 0 207lbs
Day 7/Week 1 202.5lbs
Day 14/Week 2 195.5lbs

I’ve been loosing 4-6lbs/week!  Which, I actually understand is probably not healthy to maintain, because it means you’re loosing muscle mass as well as fat.  However, I’m still thinking that it’s water weight I’m still getting rid of, so I’m not worried.  Yet.  If I’m still loosing more than 3lbs/week consistently by the time I get to 4-6weeks, then I’ll start panicking.  But until then, I like being down 12lbs in 2 weeks!  It’s oddly … Empowering.  More so than when I was just weighing in when the TapOut grid told me to … I would actually recommend, as a motivator, to weigh yourself every week when you start this work out, at least in the beginning – and that’s saying something coming from me, because I absolutely hate scales.  Seriously – hate them.  The only reason I’m using one now is because the piece of paper told me to, and even then I was reluctant.

Something I’ve really really noticed too, which I think I mentioned the first time I posted about doing TapOut, is that no matter what time of day I do this workout, about 5 minutes after I’m done, I’m starving.  No joke; the only time I wasn’t was when I had eaten directly before doing Yoga XT one night, (which I do NOT recommend, because it made me feel extremely queasy and almost loose what I’d eaten …)  The only problem here is, now that I’m working out in the morning, I don’t really have time to eat breakfast at home – I have oatmeal in my desk at work that I make, and I eat while I’m at my desk every morning.  So, my solution?  I drink about 4-8oz of orange juice right after my workout.  The sugar and Vitamin C give me a good kick; it takes down the hunger pangs enough that I don’t feel like my stomach is trying to eat itself while I’m shampooing … xD

Ok; now let’s talk about this new resistance band I got.

Not exactly what I bought, but it's close!

Not exactly what I bought, but it’s close!

I got this band, and since it’s actually Monday night right now, I can give you a little review blurb as far as my first impression of this $5 band goes.  The first thing I noticed was that this one is shorter than the TapOut band – a good deal shorter.  I’d say probably 4-6inches shorter.  So, that automatically means that it adds even more resistance than I thought there would be.  I used it today almost through my whole workout, but I was really tired afterwards and my muscles really hurt – like, they hurt too much for me to really want to use this thing much tomorrow.  I think, since the bands at Five Below probably all follow this ‘shorter’ trend, I’ll get the resistance one lower than this one – the red one I mention in my YouTube video – and see if that adds more resistance than the TapOut band.  I think it will, and I think it will be a better fit for me at this stage of the game.  I wasn’t afraid I was going to snap this band in half or anything, which is what I was really afraid of, so I figure I’ll also pick up the higher resistance one as well – for $10 I might as well complete the set!  They also had a yoga/pilates/fitness mat I think I’m going to get as well so that I can do Yoga XT on a mat.  I’m not sure it will make a difference, but at the very least I won’t have to sniff my carpet when he makes me hold a push up position and take a deep breath … It smells like dog fur.  Which makes sense, since we have one, but still.

As for the workouts for week 2 – they are mostly the same as week 1, except that the first workout is Competition Core instead of Cross Core Combat, but they are both pretty similar work outs, as the titles, which both contain the words ‘Competition’, would suggest.  I have, however, been steadily forcing myself to improve.  I remembered doing the workout moves in Week 1, and for the most part I think I remember when I sat down, rested, etc – so I have been trying to force myself to up the anty in some way with every move.  Even if it’s just doing a couple repetitions of something I know I didn’t do last week, or forcing myself into plank for a few seconds during a move – I try to do something more than what I did last week.

And let me tell you.

It is brutal.

However, if I keep getting results like this, then I think the brutality is worth it.  Maybe possibly …

Anyway, I’ll be back with another update next week I’m sure, if I don’t come back with something else to blather on about that is …

So, until then, watch my YouTube Videos! :]

~ RaeynnBeau

TapOut XT: Week 1

Week 1 of TapOut … Is really much the same as week one was … And perhaps this sounds lazy of me, but I’m going to direct you to the last time I started TapOut XT to get my thoughts here … Or just watch my video on it :]  You’ll get a more in-depth assessment of TapOut when I get around to reviewing week 2, so stay tuned for that as well! :3

IT LIVES!!!!

So … This is going to be a really short post … But I finally managed to get an introductory video edited and posted on YouTube!  I have been editing for DAYS … And I haven’t even done the Week 1 Update yet … xD But anyway; follow the link below for 15 minutes of TapOut XT Goodness!