Wednesday, February 28, 2018

REVIEW: Peep Flavored Oreos are actually pretty good!

Full disclosure: I outgrew my passion for Peeps right around the time I stopped believing in the Easter Bunny, which is to say A LONG TIME AGO.  They're way too sugary and sticky and artificial tasting, and I can't remember the last time I ate one. 

Nevertheless, when I saw Peep flavored Oreos at my local grocery store, I was intrigued.

Right off the bat, I give these cookies "bonus points" for having fun Easter-themed imprints on the sandwich cookie: they alternate between a bunny shape and a baby chick, the two most typical style of Peep marshmallow treats you find in stores this time of year.

Another interesting feature: the creme itself: it is an unusual, saturated shade of purple--I don't think I've ever eaten anything that was exactly this color--but I must admit, it's undeniably festive.

 Of course, the big question: how does it taste?  My expectations were pretty low, but I soldiered on.

And I tell you what...these are surprisingly good.

They don't exactly taste like anything you'd find organically nature, and they're very sweet, but despite the artificial flavoring, there's something about them that is oddly pleasant.  The flavor reminded me of a jelly bean, although my husband said they were closer to the marshmallows you find in Lucky Charms cereal.

All I know is, they satisfy one's craving for "a little something sweet" and they taste pretty good when paired with a glass of cold milk. Who knew?  I've tried lots of Oreo flavors in the past, and I must admit, Peep Oreoes represent  a solid effort.

Monday, February 19, 2018

11 Years and Counting...

Eleven years ago today, at exactly 4:21pm, I posted my first blog entry. I can't even remember why I started blogging in the first place--I guess I just needed an outlet where I could jot down random thoughts from time to time, a place to express myself without the confines of my usual editorial assignments or deadlines.

I've posted a variety of things over the years, from travel logs and television critiques to product reviews, inspirational quotes, and yes, the occasional rant.  The one consistent thing I can say about all of my posts is that they are written primarily for me--I don't write for a particular audience, other than myself.  The fact that I've gotten hundreds of thousands of page views over the years from every continent (the day I got a hit from Greenland/Antarctica, I actually celebrated) is just a bonus.

For those who have stopped in to read my often-meandering musings over the years, I thank you. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

UGH: Witnessing the Realities of the Food Chain Outside my Back Window

I had a very upsetting experience this afternoon, and I'm still feeling unsettled by it. I live in the suburbs, and it's not uncommon to observe many different types of wildlife crossing through my backyard on any given day.  We see deer on a daily basis, groundhogs, rabbits, possum, skunks, raccoons, and a wide variety of birds--from beautiful songbirds and hummingbirds, to birds of prey like hawks and owls.  I've seen hawks swoop down and scoop up a sparrow lunch, and stray cats make a meal of an unfortunate chipmunk or squirrel, but today was different. 

Just a few minutes ago, I saw a small white dog run through my yard. At first I thought it was my neighbor's dog, because it had a color, but when I went outside and got a closer look, I realized this one was a bit bigger than the shi tzu across the street. 

I tried to coax the dog to come to me, so that I could get a look at its color and call its owner, but it was skittish and hesitated to come any closer.  He looked out into the woods bordering my property, and suddenly, a young coyote appeared out of the brush and starting chasing the dog.   I had no idea he was being hunted, and was powerless to stop it. 

Of course, I tried: I yelled and went running after them, but they both took off at top speed into the woods. My husband and my next door neighbor rushed out to try and help, but the dog and coyote were long gone.

I would love to believe that the dog escaped, but I doubt it.  He was so small, and that coyote was quick. I called the police to report the incident, but beyond that, there was nothing that could be done. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sugar-free Chocolate Truffles That Don't Taste Like Death? YES!

Sorry to be so melodramatic (actually, no--sorry, not sorry) but I find that most sugar-free recipes yield disastrous, inedible results. Case in point: yesterday, I attempted to make "Flourless Keto Brownies" and they were probably the worst thing I've ever baked in my entire life. They were dry and crumbly and chalky and just....nasty.

Fortunately, I also made some regular Ghiardelli brownies from a boxed mix as a backup, so Valentine's Day dessert was saved.  Still, I've been on a low-sugar kick lately, so the brownie fiasco was disappointing.

Since it was a holiday, I decided to make one more dessert, just for the heck of it, and that one turned out to be the BEST of the bunch.  Yes, the Sugar Free Chocolate Truffles ended up eclipsing both the heinous keto brownies and the decadent, sugar-filled Ghiardelli brand.  They are dense and rich and absolutely delicious--you cannot tell that these are sugar-free! I got the recipe from Low Carb Maven--find it HERE. 

The recipe is simple to follow--I used Swerve as the sweetner, which I found at my local Kings supermarket, but is also available on Amazon at this link.   I did find the Lily's Sugar-free Chocolate Chips at Wegmans, but those are on Amazon as well (at this link).

The only downside to this recipe: you have to give the chocolate several hours to chill up firmly before shaping it and coating it with the topping of your choice (shown in the photo at left: unsweetened cocoa powder and unsweetened shredded coconut0.  I was a bit impatient, so they're not as perfectly round as they could have been, but next time I'll plan ahead better.  I'm definitely going to try some other toppings, like crushed peanuts or maybe even a little cocoa laced with some spicy cayenne. 

Only 2g net carbs per serving. If you have someone in your life who had to give up sugar, earn their undying love and affection--make these!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Anniversary to my Grandparents

On this day in 1925, my grandparents were married. As the youngest grandchild, I only remember them as being "old" (they were both in their late 60s by the time I was born), so it's nice to think about them as young twenty-somethings choosing to marry on the most romantic day of the year.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Baby fish!

Well, so much for that water change I was about to do...looks like one of our black mollies had some babies recently.  Keep swimming, little guy!

Thursday, February 8, 2018


A friend did one of those Facebook app things that shows you what career you're supposed to have, as well as the careers of your closest friends.  Her report said I was meant to be a "Drifter" and now I feel like I totally missed my calling.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018