Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Posted by Lisa Yak at 9:16 PM
Sunday, January 6, 2019
There are no “rules” when it comes to Avocado toast, so experimenting with different flavor combinations, depending on what you have on hand, is highly encouraged.
This morning’s version: 647 low carb bread, toasted, with half an avocado sliced up on top. Add salt & pepper, a drizzle of pesto sauce, and top with a fried egg. Good stuff!
Posted by Lisa Yak at 11:24 AM
Friday, January 4, 2019
It's been an ongoing hobby to sample and rate the new "Limited Edition" Oreo flavors as they are released, so when I spotted THREE new flavors at my local Wegman's, I snatched up one of each, and brought them home for a post-dinner family taste test. Tonight, we have "Love" Oreos vs. Carrot Cake Oreos vs. Dark Chocolate Oreos. Which one will reign supreme among them?
Full disclosure, for those who follow my Oreo taste tests regularly: I had the whole family voting this time, since I'm avoiding processed foods in the New Year, and only had a small taste of each. But that's okay, because for one of these cookies in particular, one small taste was one taste too many.
First up: Love Oreos
Oh. My. Gosh. These are HEINOUS. As soon as we opened the package, one of my daughters said, "Ewww...what's that smell?!?" These cookies emit a harsh, chemical odor that is difficult to pin down: acrid and bitter and just...really unpleasant. It took a bit of coaxing for each of us to actually take a bite, and the taste was equally awful. The package doesn't give a clear indication of what the flavor is supposed to be, other than to call them "Sweet & Tangy," but the closest we could come to describing these is a very highly-concentrated, artificial fruit-flavored cereal, like Fruit Loops or Trix mixed with nail polish remover instead of milk. “Sweet & Tangy?” More like Vile & Nasty. Avoid these at all costs--warn your friends AND your enemies.
Overall Grade: F
Next up: Carrot Cake Oreos
We all had high hopes for this one, and I'm happy to say we were not disappointed. As soon as we opened the package, the aroma of carrot cake filled the air. They definitely nailed the scent. The cookie itself also smelled like graham cracker, but there was not much carrot on the flavor profile.
One thing that impressed me, before I even tasted these, was the ratio of filling to cookie--each sandwich cookie had a very generous dollop of cream cheese filling flavored creme. The filling is absolutely delicious, with a smooth, rich texture. The only drawback: everyone agreed that these were a little too sweet. One of my daughters said that she would definitely eat these again as a snack, but that she probably wouldn't be able to have more than 2 cookies in one sitting.
Overall Grade: A-
Last but not least: Dark Chocolate Oreos
The sandwich cookie is basically the same as a regular Oreo, and doesn't add much to the overall taste profile. However, the enjoyment of this flavor begins as soon as you open the bag, and catch the scent of heavenly dark-chocolate. The dark creme filling tastes rich and fudgey, like fresh brownie batter--you can tell they use real cocoa for this recipe, and it says so right on the package.
The Dark Chocolate Oreos weren't overly sweet, and my husband and daughters all said they can't wait to try them dunked in milk, which will probably enhance the flavors even more. I can guarantee that this bag won't last long in my house, even without me eating them.
Overall Grade: A
It was VERY close, but the winner of tonight's Oreo Smackdown was the Dark Chocolate Oreo. The Carrot Cake Oreos came in second, and the Love Cookies need to pulled from supermarket shelves ASAP because they are JUST. THAT. BAD.
Posted by Lisa Yak at 8:02 PM
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
At the dinner table last night, my family and I talked about our goals, but then I saw this photo about actually writing them down, taking the steps needed to turn Dreams into Reality.
This morning, I put pen to paper, and I noticed a theme emerge: the need to be more selective in how I spend my time. As a freelancer, I set my own schedule, and it's been a grueling one for the past year. The best thing about working from a home office is also the worst thing: you don't have to leave the house to get to your job, but you also never get away from your workplace.
In the year ahead, I'd like to do a better job of setting limits on my work hours. There are times when inspiration hits at 11pm, and I just go with it, and that'll probably never change, but that can lead me to a mindset where I'm never off-duty. I'm going to experiment with picking a specific time window when work tasks are strictly off-limits. On the flip side of that, I'd also like to set aside a specific time and day of the week for pursuing something non-work related that I enjoy.
I'd also like to use my time more wisely. Part of my work entails managing clients' social media accounts, so logging onto Facebook and Twitter isn't just fun and games, it's also a necessary part of the work day. Unfortunately, it can be a bit too easy to get sucked into other pursuits once you start scrolling through, and the number of distractions start adding up. I'll be more disciplined about staying on task in the months ahead, and not getting lured down the rabbit hole of recipes, political posts, and viral videos.
Another goal: to connect with friends in person more than I do online. There's no substitute for direct communication with someone, sitting across a table, making eye contact and reading their facial expressions and hearing directly from them how they're doing, not some filtered online version of real life.
Writing more and getting caught up on my massive "books to be read" pile are perennial goals, so I'm filing those under the same overall category of using my time more efficiently.
Maintaining good health is always a priority, and this year, I'm going to focus more on my overall well-being--not just physical fitness and nutrition, but the mind/body/spirit connection.
The news and unstable political climate can be emotionally draining, and one of the things I know I need to work on is being less reactive to upsetting situations that arise, locally and on the national level. "Choose your battles" is good advice, and something I'm going to do more of in the year ahead. To keep things in perspective, I'm going to try the 10-10-10 method I heard about on TV once: when faced with a tough decision, ask yourself: what will be the consequences of this decision in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years? [I googled--this was based on advice from author Suzy Welch on Oprah.]
I'm also a big believer in the words of Mahatma Gandhi: You Must Be the Change You Wish to See in the World. I have these words plastered on my office wall, as a daily reminder of the importance of making a positive difference in the world. I'm looking forward to further prioritizing my volunteer advocacy, and working for the passage of common-sense legislation that makes our community safer.
I know, it's quite the list--I'm exhausted just reading it. Here's to a productive 2019!
Posted by Lisa Yak at 10:27 AM