Tag Archives: Review

Granola gets me every time

Some of my obsessions are obvious: Shoes, wine, mani / pedis … But I probably haven’t proclaimed my love for cereals enough on the ol’ blog.  Why?  Because I get major “fat kid” moments whenever a box is near.

Picture something like this:

Naava apparently loves her Raisin Bran Crunch

I’d say that’s really quite accurate.

I’m also this way with granola.  Probably more so because I think anything made of — or including — oats is fat kid worthy.

So when Love Grown Foods offered to send me (me!) some granola, I jumped at the chance, knowing my thighs would possibly hate me later.

Granola trio from Love Grown Foods

Three awesomely delicious flavors: Cranberry Pecan, Almond Raisin, and Chocolate.

Last week I slipped the Almond Raisin in my laptop bag for my trip to Denver because there is nothing worse than being entrenched in work without food.  Believe me, I turn into a beast.  I ended up snacking on this the entire week.   How it lasted nearly 7 days, I have no idea because this is good stuff.  And by good, I mean quite possibly ranking up in the top 3 granola I’ve ever had.  Yeah, that good.  Tons of clusters, coconut flakes (nom!), and whole almonds and raisins were a huge win!

Vanilla Chobani, Love granola, strawberries

I polished the rest of it off with a yogurt bowl (how else can you incorporate the end-of-the-bag crumbs?).

Next I opened the chocolate.  Why?  Not because I love chocolate (I do, though), but because I’m skeptical of chocolate granola.  So far, any that I’ve tasted are just “ok.”  Love granola is more than okay.  Again, those clusters AND actual chocolate chips.  The flavor reminds me almost of no-bake cookies that you eat around Christmas.  Nom!

Because I don’t want to snarf down 3 bags of granola in two weeks, I’m saving my Pecan Cranberry for a few more weeks.  Once I open it, there’s no holding back.  Oh and yes, I have hidden this from the hubby.  Mwuahahahaha.

You can find Love Grown granola at these locations.

What gives you your “fat kid” moments?  Mine are PB, cereal/granola, chips/salsa, popcorn.

If you were to add 2 must have ingredients to make the perfect granola, what would they be?  Mine would be maple syrup and almonds.


Filed under Reviews

The Bread Winner and a Chickpea Recipe

It’s mid-week people, let’s keep it up!  I have been a busy bee lately with work, life, etc.  When I’m not doing anything at all, I start to get anxious as if I’m forgetting something.  Then I go on a tangent thinking of all the things I could be doing, like putting up Christmas decorations.  I need a good dose of calm — I think that can be found in Pinot Noir, no? ;)

So last week, I found out from the gorgeous Lea on Healthy Coconut that I was a winner of two loaves of bread from Julian Bakery in Southern Cali (lucky for me they sell in Northern Cali stores too AND across the country!).  Have I ever / Would I ever turn down bread?  Heck no!  Love it, especially grainy, earthy, hearty breads and this is just what was promised.

These are the two loves…errr I mean loaves I received :)

My 2 loaves of awesome bread!

I received the Low Carb and the Cinn Raisin.  I’ve only broken into the Low Carb one since Thanksgiving foods went and infiltrated my life last week!

TJ's PB on low-carb bread

To me, a good test of how tasty bread is is how well it can stand alone or how well it can stand toasted with some PB and a cup of coffee.  I chose the latter ;)  And it did NOT disappoint.  This bread is the essence of filling nutrition.  And for the health – nuts out there, check out the ingredient list:

Smart Carb # 1 Bread (1 Net Carb)


Fresh Ground Whole Grain *Wheat, Sprouts of *Kamut, *Spelt, *Rye, Lentils, Sesame Seeds, *Millet, *Quinoa, *Amaranth, Ground Flaxseed, *Wheat Bran, Oat Bran, Eggs, Undenatured Whey Protein Isolate (90%), Chicory Root (Inulin Fiber), Wheat Gluten, Yeast & Sea Salt

Pretty impressive, no?

I can’t wait to dig into the Cinn Raisin which I have in my freezer.  I plan to make a pumpkin bread pudding with it…nom! 

Onto the chickpea recipe, which I made for a Thanksgiving appetizer and have been munching on ever since.  Note that I tripled the recipe I’m about to show you ;)

Draing and rinse your ‘peas good

Hot chicks

 In a small bowl, add 1+ tbsp EVOO, 1 tsp dried rosemary, and some cracked ground black peppa.  Then add the juice of one lemon (I think half a lemon would be just fine too).

Squeeeeeeze your lemon

 Now stir it all up and pour your ‘sauce’ over your chickpeas (that have been transferred to a bowl / tupperware, etc). 

Douse your peas

 Shake, shake, shake and make sure all your lil ‘peas are coated.  Then ignore it for an hour.  

Just before you’re ready to roast, preheat your oven to 400deg.  Arrange all your chickpeas on a cookie sheet (with rim) so that they are single layer.

Bake them at 400 deg for 45 minutes (turning 2x).  This is what they’ll look like:

Roasted and ready to go

Now, don’t do what I did and seal them up in a tupperware container before they have completely cooled, or they will get a bit mushy and lose their crunch appeal.  They were delicious nonetheless and I’m totally going to make them again.  Can I just tell you how good they tasted in leftover stuffing too? ;)

Have you tried Julian Bread?  I’m eyeing the Southwest cornbread and want to know who has tried it!

What other roasted chickpea recipes can you offer up? 


Filed under Recipes, Reviews

Make this for T-day dessert: Pecan Spice Cake with Maple Frosting

Last week I hinted that I was having a pre-Thanksgiving on Saturday with all my fave foods and most favorite person: my bestie.  Now, you never really have to have a reason for having a pre (or post, for that matter) Thanksgiving dinner, but this one was extra special.  You see, my bestie just left for her cross-country move to Boston.  Yes, sadly, Andrea and her hubby are moving to Boston for new and exciting opportunities.  While I am so happy for her new adventure, I am also quite sad.

My bestie is my right arm.  She is my Friday-night vino friend.  (Heck, she is my Tuesday-night vino friend).  She’s my pedi partner.  She’s my fellow shoe hoarder.  She’s my shopping spree amiga.  She’s my go-to on days that are low and the person I call when I share my happiest news.

As we parted ways on Sunday, it wasn’t “good-bye” but rather “see you soon.”

A word to you Boston:  you have no idea what’s in store for you ;)

Okay let’s get to what this post is all about!  Thanksgiving day dessert(s) =)

CL Pecan Spice Cake with Maple Frosting

I don’t think I’ve ever made a more delicious cake.  This is restaurant quality flavor, texture, and decadence.  So.  Freaking.  Good!  Please make it.   You will not be sorry.

Cooking Light Pecan Spice Cake with Maple Frosting:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (I used I can’t believe it’s not butter)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used 1% lowfat buttermilk)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (I used unsalted lightly toasted pecans from TJs)


  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (I used Log Cabin Lite)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2+ tbsp chopped pecans

How to make:

  1. Preheat oven to 350deg
  2. Spray cooking spray on bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch) round metal cake pans [note: CL suggests laying wax paper down first, which I omitted and it was fine].  Lightly flour.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Mix together well.
  4. In large bowl, place 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter.  Beat by hand (or with mixer) until light and fluffy.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and beat until well combined.
  5. Fold in 1/3 cup pecans.
  6. Pour batter evenly into two prepared cake pans
  7. Bake for 24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  8. Invert cakes on wire rack until cool.

Cakes done, moving onto frosting

How to make the frosting:

  1. Put a small pan on stovetop on medium heat
  2. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, heavy whipping cream, maple syrup, butter, and dash of salt
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar dissolves
  4. Cook 3 minutes without stirring (slightly reduce heat)
  5. Scrape brown sugar into bowl
  6. Add powdered sugar and beat by hand (or mixer on high)
  7. Add in vanilla

Now you’re all set and just have to put your bottom layer of cake on a platter.  Frost top and add second layer.  Frost entire cake, sprinkling pecans on the top.

Andrea presents you with this;

Bestie and best cake ever

And if you have a big sweet tooth like we do, you might want to make some pumpkin pie too:

Pumpkin pie and pumpkin ramekins

Or if you’re my hubby, you’ll need at least one of these:

Applecrisp: serves 1 hubby or 6+ guests ;)

And after a fabulous dinner (to be shared in another post), your dessert plate may look like this:


Seriously, this was the ultimate dessert trifecta.  I highly recommend bringing the maple frosted pecan cake to your Thanksgiving dinner.  And then, eat whatever is left over for breakfast ;)

What dessert do you most look forward to on Thanksgiving?

Applecrisp or apple pie?


Filed under Recipes