Monday, June 6, 2011

Update on Life and GoGo Squeez Review

You may have noticed I will try pretty much anything marketed for a small child. This is because kid-related food and candies are just unbelievably rad: Hello Kitty waffles, sour belts, gummy Skittles, bear-sized jawbreakers, McDonald's fat nuggets, BK chicken fries, et cetera. All way cooler than adult food. I just don't think this is fair. Why do kids get the fun and nutrient-free food while we adults have to choke down spinach salad topped with soggy cheese and eggs?

What's that you say?

Health reasons? 

Eh, heath issues. I will never stop consuming kiddie food. I do not discriminate based on nutrition. Bring on the lower-back fat and heart attack producing foodstuffs!!

So my point: Something about the combination of sucking applesauce through a straw sounds kid-centric and disgustingly delicious. So, of course, I had to check this sout, y'all. For those of you who don't know what the GoGo squeez applesauce is, you are, in fact, missing out on the ultimate in applesauce convenience.

Packaging: I love the tiny banana bag-ish packaging. You don't even need a spoon! I'm over the moon about this because I am lazy. I even pick through the dirty dishwasher to find a dish to use. I'M BEING GREEN!!!  

The package writing is deep chromatic and white printed on a surface of light green. The sauce is encased in a kid friendly wrapper but it is not the licking a lollipop, kicking a soccer ball, wearing a beanie with a propeller annoying-type sheath. More sophisticated.
Above the logo are cartoon apples, who are simply adorable and look like apple shaped kiwi birds with long and wiry flamingo legs, discussing the smart facts about the product.

On taste: This stuff is really good but I would definitely recommend refrigerating before consumption. Slurping it hot leaves a salty and bitter aftertaste. However, if you place it in the refrigerator until the bag gets a cold palpability, the taste is pleasure. Strong apple-applesauce flavor with hints of concentrate and juice. The texture has a grainy Mott's quality and NOT the organic glue-in-your-intestines type. (I feel like any organic brand applesauce has the ability to hodge-podge your entire colon.)

So, the mogul who invented this product is a true genius. The whole squeezable applesauce idea is  awesome.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Special Edition- Life and Friends


Last week, I downloaded HBO GO on my NEW white iphone 4! I love this application. It is an awesome smartphone program where you type in your HBO subscription digits and instantly have access to a combination of HBO movies, documentaries and shows.
At school or home or in any location with a decent WiFi source, you can count on HBO-GO to offer a constant source of entertainment. And yours free with the purchase of a Pedi Egg Foot File!

I've been watching HBO everywhere and have reawakened my love for Sex and the City. The best show ever written, in my television-addicted opinion. If you have never seen Sex and the City, it is a television series that chronicles the lives and loves of four single women living in Manhattan. It aired in the late 1990s. What I love about the show is how it beautifully captures the relationships between women and projects this kind of family tight image.

I guess I have been blessed with a ton of Carrie Bradshaw-luck because I have remarkable friends who are even better than the fictional Sex and the City characters! They are primo. I don't know any other person who is lucky enough to have such badass friends. Allow me to talk about these wonderfully-gorgeous people.

My friends are so pretty.


I am uncool. Seriously, I'm like the pre-love potion number eight Diane Farrow. I also secretly play World of Warcraft, read H.L Mencken and P.G Wodehouse daily, and rely on Netflix as my source of entertainment on a Friday night. But, ever since I was in the seventh grade, my friend Hailey has helped me hide my lameness and absorb myself in cliques of cool and beautiful people.
Hailey has and always will be fabulous. She even let me ride on her wave of popularity in high school. Over the years, she taught me how to cuss, play basketball, pitch a softball, make J├Ągerbombs, approach a hot guy, carry-on a conversation with a hot guy, and take shots, shots, shots! With Hailey by my side, I even tackled all the college experiences my nerdy self would normally pass on. Yes, I was privy to stellar undergraduate happenings and introduced to some ridiculously sexy dudes.
Aside from the coolness factor, Hailey is an absolutely amazing friend. She is unbelievably kind and unflagging in her efforts to lend a nonjudgmental ear, give advice or provide old-fashioned encouragement. She has, undoubtably, helped me become the woman I am today and I love her for it.

Lynsey is my little free-spirited firecracker and the most likable person ever, no joke. She can walk into a room full of people and within an hour everyone wants to be her friend. You cannot help but love this girl. I have always envied Lynsey's personality and mystique of style because she just puts herself out there (other people be dammed) and doesn't worry about what happens next.
I don't think she knows this, but out of all of my friends, she has taught me the most about myself. I miss the long talks in her Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Also, I am usually super high strung so being around her is a great buffer!
Lynsey taught me something very important too: how to dance. (When you are fifteen, and about to debut your dancing at teen night, proper dancing is very important!) I remember I had studied my moves in the mirror at my house. “Ok, I got this.” I thought. Then I showed Lynsey. As it turns out, jumping like a manic hippy and waving your arms in the air like an inflatable stick-person is NOT acceptable dancing. “Um, no.” Lynsey unsympathetically corrected me. “This is how you dance. No crazy arm waving. Just shake your butt with the rhythm.”

Tara has been my closest confidant since the fifth grade. She is my dazzling best friend and fills my life with love! I love my girl, TB! She is always smiling and brighting the day of everyone she meets.
Growing up, when we weren't riding on our retro bikes to the snow cone stand or hosting a faux talk radio show on our Fisher Price cassette player, Tara was teaching me about all things rap music. At first, I was apprehensive about not having the rap swag or the ability to hop with the hippest but Tara assured me I would learn to love it. (I did.)
In terms of maturity, Tara has always been 2000 miles northwest of me. While she was spending all night talking to boys on her landline, I was playing my kick-ass Nintendo 64 or creating new magic/card tricks to preform for anyone who would watch. Today, she is still on another level of maturity than me and already has a fantastically-beautiful-awe-inspiring family.
Tara is a marvelous mother. She could give seminars on parenting. I used to  think having my own kids would suck hard, but watching how loving and caring Tara is with her offspring makes me want my own, someday in the very distant future. It really is breathtaking to see how wonderful she is with her cute little boys. She has somehow perfected the balance of being a great mom and a positively spectacular friend. True skill, fo' sho'.

Like many slacker Biology majors, I met Taylor while sitting on the back row of Organic Chemistry 3201. Our friendship blossomed into existence when we both came to the realization we would need each other to pass this freakishly hard class taught by a first-rate Harvard douche. We leaned on each other for support and eventually made it through with passing grades and a new friendship. ( Also, Taylor would graciously sign me in if I was late. Awww!)
Ever since our infamous semester, we have become the closest of friends. What I love about Taylor is she is like a wise little Buddha. Her knowledge about relationships and life runs deep! She is the first person I call for advice and the only friend who can read my emotions like a book. Taylor is unfailing in her loyalty and blessed with a wonderfully wise soul. I love my Tay Tay!

Rebecca and I have been friends for many years and she, by far, has been the biggest supporter of my blog and my writing. I owe her a very special hug of gratitude for her endless love. She is an assiduous reader and the most loyal and committed ally I could ask for.

The two of us have always had a unique bond. Our friendship was built on a love for All My Children. Yes, All My Children. The classic soap opera. Don't judge!

One day I was paired up with Rebecca in our Business Computer Information Class, I didn't know her very well because we ran with different peeps, but I recognized her as a closeted soaps groupie like me. “Dude, I'm sad today. I think they are killing off my favorite character on this soap opera I watch.” I announced after we completed our assignment. “His name is Leo Du Pres. Seriously, this gorgeous hunk of flesh who is too pretty to be killed.” Rebbecca looked at me and suddenly responded, “WHAT!! Not Josh Duhamel's character!!!”

(Request: Let us all bow our heads for the cancelation of All My Children. I'm sorry you were the ABC's sacrificial lamb, Erica Kane. RIP.)

After several weeks in our class, I decided Rebecca was the most fascinating and funniest person I had ever met. We became thick as thieves. Along with being affable and easy to talk to, she is the most laid-back, down-for-whatever young lady I have ever known. Really, Rebecca is up for anything from going out dancing and drinking to staying in and building the Titanic out of Legos.

We also both harbor a desire for John Corbett and are still on team Aiden. Who's with us?? Damn you Sex and the City 2!! Ughhh!

Marley is my very best friend. She is one of the greatest people in Texas and I would bet the entire world. Marley is the Laverne to my Shirley, the Shawn to my Gus, the Joey to my Chandler, the Betty to my Wilma, the yin to my yang, if you will. She is too sweet for words.

Marley was my college roommate. We met and three hours later we were buying matching Harry Potter key chains and laughing uncontrollably. We lived the life of struggling and sloth-like undergrads, rising at around 10:00, chowing down Maruchan Roasted Chicken Flavor Ramen and walking to campus for class. On the weekends, when I wasn't stuck in the basement level of the library, we would hunker down with some fabulous food and watch movies or rendezvous with friends at our place of choice. 

The days when I came home feeling like crap, my best friend would be there to lift my spirits. She is the the ultimate team player and always there for her friends. Truthfully, Marley is more than a friend, she like my sister. We are both going to find uber-cool and handsome guys, get married and have our families live next door to each other. With a pool going across both of our yards, of course. (Psych-style!)

We talk every day and I die with laughter when we cover our random topics:

Me: I bought something called glacier water today.
Marley: Does it taste like global warming?
Me: It kind of does, man. I bet Al Gore is pissed.
Marley: Robert Hanssen reminds me of Al Gore
Me: Somewhere in Nashville, Al Gore just went into A-fib. 

We can chat like that for hours.

Randomly...The Arrested Development chicken dance at Disney World. I miss you, Michael Bluth. CASH MONEY IN THE BANANA STANDDD!! PEACE.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Schwan's Frozen Food- Everywhere

(There is a gargantuan icebox in my garage stocked with stale puff pastry, empty pyrex containers, batteries, vodka and a TON of Schwan's flash-frozen food. I'm kind of like the Dylan Thomas of Schwan's.)

As a kid, I was green with envy when I saw my friend, Emily, was having actual ice cream delivered to her front door. I just could not believe she didn't have to leave her red-brick home to get a half-gallon of soft-serve. “This is bullshit.” I mumbled. “We don't even have an ice cream truck in my neighborhood. Just a snow cone van that smells like mayonnaise and sells pink ice.” Emily handed me a Chocolate Sundae Crunch bar. “Gross.” She commented. “Well we get ice cream and real food from Mr. Schwan's truck. Both are dope.” I ate my crunch bar, hopped on my Huffy bicycle and motored down the street toward my house. I had to inform my mom about this whole Schwan's business. After loads of begging, my mom caved and we soon became loyal costumers.

If you haven't experienced Schwan's, it is a company that sells frozen food from home delivery trucks. The trucks are a tacky jonquil and plastered with food pictures, slogans and the requisite swan emblem. The vehicle houses a pantry of ice lockers and is stocked with every imaginable food novelty from funnel cake fries to sweet bourbon glazed chicken.*

Schwan's man, Bert, delivers food to my house once every two weeks. Today, he rang the doorbell and I jumped out of my desk to greet him, happy to have a distraction from the medical mumbo-jumbo I should have been committing to the mental rolodex. I grabbed my wallet from my backpack and opened the door wearing my study attire: cheer shorts, UGG boots and a massive Thialand Hard Rock hotel t-shirt. ( Bert's professional accoutrements are a hybrid of a postal worker uniform and an air conditioner repairman's jumpsuit; I feel like he can never judge my outfits.)

Howdy Bert!! Did you bring me Dinner?” I asked. “Yes mam, we also have a couple of new options.” he said, handing me a copy of the catalog. Bert makes me laugh. He is a preciously odd Mister Rodgers' Neighborhod type who suffers from almost fatal shyness. Bert also has the personality of a rusty Folgers coffee can, looks like Tom Amandes and can talk forever about Schwan's food and his family. “Bert, you should really show up at my house with dancing penguins and Mary Poppins flying in the background.” He awkwardly smiled.

Well, I think I'm going to go with lasagna, garlic toast, a couple of vegetables, steak bites, strawberry ice cream and french toast sticks.” I said as I did some quick addition and handed him cash. “Very good, mam.” he replied. “I'll go get the food out of the truck and put it in your freezer.” “Mucho appreciado, Bert. Bring your chimney sweep next time” “ Yes, mam. I just forgot it this week.” He said as he smacked the palm of his hand against the side of his forehead.

I scampered back to my room to put my now cashless wallet away and pulled out my books so I could study again. After an hour of staring at the inner workings of the kidney, I was super bored. Switch subjects? Hells no. Break into the Schwan's boxes? Duh!  

I headed to the freezer to fetch the foodstuffs.

Lasagna and garlic toast- Who actually makes homemade lasagna? Not I Rabi!

In my opinion, making lasagna is better as an idea not as an actual act. Like paint by numbers or exercise. Stirring homemade marinara over an open flame, sauteing thyme and oregano with ground chuck and rolling out pasta like a legit Top Chef all-star sounds fantastic. But, since it is hardwired in my DNA to royally screw-up a dish of that caliber, I will pass. Luckily, with Schwan's, you can just rip and dump. woot woot!

Packaging: I want to give props to the packaging of these frozen dishes! I love the fact Schwan's dinners are sold mostly in boxes. Good and solid boxes, too, perhaps even superlative and Container Store worthy. And not only can you recycle them in the good-for-the-earth kind of way, you can recycle them as Christmas boxes and storage units. Winner!

On taste: The taste is super marinara-y and less bold cheese. The bread is also a great buffer to soak up the saucy juice. Of course, if you cook the dish too long the liquid hardens and it taste like plastic; this is a hazard with all frozen food. However, if you heat this sucker properly it is a real slice of scrumptious. I would cautiously say it is as good as any restaurant.**

Ice Cream: Deliverable ice cream is the sluttiest thing since the milk man's glass bottle. It's like Schwan's is a brothel on wheels and they have a trick for everyone. Way more than 32!! The ice cream is all delicious too.

On taste: Strawberry is kind of like the super slut. I decided to go with it because I was, clearly, feeling extra sassy and sexy in my UGG boots and unwashed attire. I am an ice cream enthusiast and this stuff is saturated, sweet, lactose goodness. The strawberry flavor is light and reminds me of a thick Steak 'n Shake milk-shake. Also, the fruit chunks aren't too big so the seeds will not stick in between your teeth. All in all, an solid frozen novelty.***

Vegetables: I have to take vegetables very serious because I have a tendency to live on a diet of pop-tarts. I have issues consuming anything naturally green and only eat veggies because my body has this annoying need for vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, et cetera. However, if you like these earthy side items, Schwan's has an array of them and they are even available in several mixes. 

On taste: My opinion of vegetables is basically limited to edible or not. So, as far as vegetables go, these are good and definitely edible. You can even grill 'em.

P.S- I also bought steak bites and french toast sticks.

The french toast sticks are soft, doughy, fried deliciousness encased in an apple-cinnamon blanket. Amazing! Sharks should have a week dedicated to this version of french toast.

I don't like the steak bites; they look like shit droppings from a platypus and taste kind of rubbery. 

*I don't know who is responsible for coming up with all of the different Schwan's options, but whoever you are, you deserve a golden egg.

**I am from America. So, my lasagna standards are low and unhealthy.

*** Blue Bell is still has the BEST ice cream, everrrrrrr!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Cupcakery- Frisco, Texas

I love cupcakes. They appeal to my love for frosting and cake nestled in a zigzagged liner. So, on a slow Tuesday, I decided to venture around Frisco, Texas and search for a quirky cupcake to chow on.

Frisco is a pretty sweet town. It's an outer-ring suburb of Dallas and is filled with mostly cash-fancy folks, pretty kids, brick, ivy-lined homes and sprawling lawns with purebred golden retrievers. I drove around the city looking for the perfect bakery. I was about to settle on cinnamon rolls and swedish meatballs from Ikea when I spotted a store that suited my needs. The Cupcakery. No frozen balls from Stockholm for me!

The Cupcakery is located on Lebanon and the Dallas Tollway. It is in a shopping precinct comprised of adobe-contemporary brick buildings with tinted windows surrounding the perimeter of each edifice. This is an 'I'm bored and rich' shopping plaza; it has a coffee shop, children's boutique, yogurt bar, the requisite clock tower and a bunch of other shops no normal, middle-class American necessarily needs to survive.

I got out of my car and went up to the door. Inside the cupcake shop, the air was the smell of vanilla extract, melted butter and nostalgia. It is a small and playful space that looks like it was once an ice cream parlor. The colors chocolate brown and Molly Ringwald pink permeate throughout the store, it's a baby nursery theme, and swirly font adorns the walls. The atmosphere makes me giddy and extremely hungry. The Cupcakery chain has locations in Las Vegas and Texas.

I made my way to the counter and stood in line to get my treats. I was standing behind a tall, skinny-faced, hug-a-dolphin type woman who was so thin she was almost invisible. She also had a kid on her arm. He was a cute snickerdoodle but acted like a little shit. Knocking on the furniture and kicking the counter. "I WANT MY CUPCAKE!" He screamed in a tone only reserved for cats in heat. I ignored his antics but stared at his mom with a look of annoyance. She looked back at me and mentally told me, "Yes, girl. Kids suck." I smiled and nodded in agreement. Then I went back to examining the cupcakes as they left the store.

I approached the checkout. "So, that kid did not need a cupcake. He needed a high-dose of Ritalin." "Word," a young, punk-rock, tan girl with a Twiggy short hair cut replied. She tinkered with the register as I was making last minute decisions on which cupcakes to order. "So, what can I get ya?" she asked. "I'll take a Tickle Me Pink, a Bugsy and a Southern Belle." (The pseudonyms crack me up.) "Want to try a grasshopper? It tastes just like a Thin Mint." The girl said. "No, thanks. I like my Thin Mints in cookie form. Call me old-fashioned." I replied. The treats were placed in a clear container with a Cupcakery sticker on the top. "See ya later, chicka," she chirped as I slipped out the front door.

I wasn't sure where to eat my cupcakes so I went inside a coffee shop for my cupcake fix. I ordered a cup of black coffee and prepared to consume the cakes.

Observations: These cupcakes are luxurious and ooze with color; they wouldn't be available pre-packed by Hostess at the Piggly Wiggly. The details are artful. Icing pearls. Piped flowers. Iridescent powder. Gum paste toppers. They look like they belong in the Pottery Barn Kids Cupcake set.

Tickle Me Pink: The signature cupcake of The Cupcakery. It is classic white cake topped with pink vanilla buttercream frosting. I removed the hand fan-pleated wrapper and took a bite. The taste is sugar explosion. The cake is moist and mild while the frosting is overpowering and chock-full of syrupy, liquid sugar. Perfect for kids or anyone with a sweet tooth the size of a Mons Meg, like me.

Bugsy: Young people never seem to appreciate carrot cake. I guess it's because the cake is always served at a crotchety grandparent shindig. But, for whatever reason, I was never turned off by the carrot-centric treat. The way I saw it, it was like getting two of the essential food groups in one dulcified morsel. Anyway, this cupcake is really good. Not as dense as a normal carrot cake; it is airy and light in spice. The cake is coated with thick, rich cream cheese frosting. Thumbs up!

Southern Belle: In case you can't tell by the name, this is a red velvet cupcake. At first glance, I'm not sure about it. Red velvet is normally  dark; this one is more Strawberry Shortcake, the cartoon character. It's an impostor masquerading as the sanguine cupcake my grandmother served us on her aqua-colored, boomerang countertop! The taste is vanilla-y infused with red dye #40. But, the cream cheese frosting is still a creamy, topnotch splash of greatness.

If you want to make someone's (my) day, head over to the Cupcakery and pickup a couple of these gems.

(The pictures were borrowed from the website.)