Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Food Review: Annie's Organic Smoky Maple BBQ Sauce

In my quest to cut out high fructose corn syrup wherever it hides, I decided to try a new to us BBQ sauce.  We are very finicky about our sauce.  We like brown sugar hickory and it has to be thick.  I didn't have time to sit and read 25 labels of different sauces at the grocery store so this one jumped out at me.

One thing I knew by tipping the bottle is it was of medium consistency and borderline something I would pass on but I threw caution to the wind with it being on sale.   Besides, being fresh off of a Vermont trip, I'm down with all things maple.

Here's a peek at the nutritional info...

Pretty comparable to many sauces but slightly better on the sodium as well which I always look for.

Here are the ingredients...

But how did it taste?

That pretty generous looking portion is actually 1 tbsp and not the 2 tbsp serving so you can see it easily coats an 8 oz pork chop.  Now I did season the pork chop with some spices so it wasn't the most unbiased first taste test.  But a quick taste or two on its own told me it that it did tend to lean more toward tangy over smoky in my opinion.  Consistency is thinner than we like but I knew that going in.  The Mr said that was really the only difference he noticed.  This was certainly much less smoky than I'm used to and I missed it.  (We use K C Masterpiece Hickory Brown Sugar.)  I love that it's as natural as possible so that's a big plus in its favor but what I could taste when I did taste it on it's own just wasn't that maple-y or smoky.  I'll finish the bottle but I'm going to keep looking for that perfect sauce that is as close to what we're used to without me having to doctor it.  I've got to be able to pour and go.  I'll make sure to season the meat less next time so we can have a better representation of it.

What's your favorite BBQ sauce?  You a smoky molasses type or vinegary Carolina style?

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Classic eats and classic flicks

Happy Tuesday all!

The weekend was a pretty bland one since I'm still recovering.  The Mr seems to be over it for the most part which is good.  He was kind enough Friday morning when he heard me hacking up a lung to bring me some piping hot tea which really helped my desert like throat.  Then when I decided to take a bath, he brought in the tablet with The 1975's playlist on Vevo.  What a nugget.

I hope to get there by the weekend and be able to actually taste what I'm eating. I'm told I made a pretty wicked burger and fries...I bet they were good.  I bet this was too...

I used a mix of the Mr's favorite cheese, Orne Meadows from Cabot (which we'll never find until we go to Vermont again) and some pepper jack.  It did feel good on the throat though between the hot soup and the scratchy bread.

The groceries wait for no one.  We were expected to get some ice storm (didn't happen) so we went out Friday night to do Trader Joe's and Target.  Then Sunday we did our last grocery store run and stocked up on veggies and such.  Since we're going to throw in a few meatless meals here and there, I needed to pick up some extras including a major container of mixed greens for a big salad.

That would be salad greens tossed with TJ's bacon onion vinaigrette, roasted sweet potato, carrot slices, clementine wedges, half a serving of walnuts and an egg.  I was skeptical it would be able to keep me full but did about as fair as anything else I eat so that's good.  I did need a cup of hot tea later to keep the satiety going but no biggie.

I don't know what the deal is but ever since we got back, I have been friggin' ravenous.  It's taken all of my restraint not to stress eat and that's even with a cold for crap I can't even taste.  I have GOT to get that under control because I still have 5 vacation pounds to get off me bum.

Last night we watched the cult classic The Warriors.  We were WAY too young to see it when it came out.  It was heavily cheesy where the gangs were concerned and I still couldn't see Michael Beck as anything but Sonny Malone from Xanadu which I did see back in the day because Olivia Newton John was my girl crush.  When the last gang to approach were on skates, I began whistling Xanadu and expected Kira to rush past the thug with her glowy self and sweep Sonny off to Coney Island.  I guess I'm glad I can say I've seen it now?  It was funny to see Dexter's dad and T-Bird from The Crow in their early days.  We rounded out the evening by watching the MLK documentary I told you about yesterday which meant I blew my nose a lot...well, more than normal.

What cult classic movies have you not seen yet?

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Monday, January 16, 2017

When History Changes You

I wasn't great at History in school.  Matter of fact, it was probably one of my worst subjects.  I was never interested in it and if I'm not interested in something, it's just not going to stick.  I am 99% sure that my History teacher junior year passed me simply because she liked me because when my friend (who was equally as bad at the class as I was) and I went to get our exam scores, she said "you passed."  I asked "what were our scores?"  She barked "you passed, accept it and walk away" and gave a slight smile.

When we would get Martin Luther King Day off school, I was grateful for the extra day.  I didn't think much past that because in that time, I was like most kids- self involved and glad to be able to sleep in.  I knew there were breakfasts and parades and events honoring Dr. King but that was about it.  It has been in my lifetime that Black History Month became a nationally recognized thing but I don't remember it being prominent until I was a teenager and again, being ignorant and white, I assumed that black history wasn't my history so it didn't pertain to me.  How wrong was I?

Within the past 5 years, we made two trips to Memphis.  On the second one, I said I wanted to see the National Civil Rights Museum because frankly, I was embarrassed I knew so little about MLK and the civil rights movement.  It is set up at the Lorraine Motel where he was killed.

It is chilling to be in the same place that such an event in history has taken place with it looking just the same.  What makes it more surreal is touring the museum after you've seen the documentary they show you at the beginning of your visit called The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306.  That documentary had me bawling like a friggin' baby within about 10 minutes.  It provides insight and a retelling of the events by a man who was one of King's friends and there that day that will forever change you.

The black glass in the middle is actually where you can stand inside the museum to see the building where the shot came from (and you can tour that building as well.)  The inside of the room is set up the way it was when Dr. King and his friends were there that fateful day.  I again stood there crying like a baby because after having watched that documentary, I could see his feet from the angle inside that a picture had been taken.  I own the DVD and we watch it every MLK Day to remind ourselves that all history is our history no matter what your color and though things are better in some regards, we have a ridiculously long way to go.

I was able to track down the documentary online and if you have 30 minutes tonight, I beg of you whether you like history or not, please give it a watch.

It's true reality TV that will actually change you for the better and not rot brain cells from listening to millennial vocal fry.  It will give you an appreciation for the holiday and I promise you will never be the same.

Happy Martin Luther King Day all.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week #2

Happy Friday all!

This week seemed to zip by for some reason which is odd because I was awake for most of it at all hours.  If anyone knows of cleaning fairies that are willing to magically clean my house and put everything exactly where I would without me having to tell them, I'd be down with that.

But enough of my domestic goddess fantasies, let's get to...

It's all good: Any exercise cuts risk of death, study finds  (Get up and get movin'!)

Classic Covers: New Year’s Resolutions  (Yeah, that first one looks like me)

Why Building “Long and Lean Muscles” Is A Myth and How You Can Get Strong and Lean!  (Interesting stuff)

What 1 Woman Did After Being Fat Shamed by 3 Skinny Girls at the Gym  (Great article but barf, can we STOP using the term "shamed" for everything?  Over it)

My 6-Month CrossFit Transformation Isn't What I Thought It'd Be  (Good message for those who think "my body should look like X after X amount of time)

7 Things People Who Lose Weight Do Every Day  (Word up)

7 Foods to Eat When You're Sick   (I'd better get to it)

Smartphone Deniers  (Any deniers here?  The only reason I have a smartphone is for the camera.  Literally no data plan!)

5 Ways to Finally Get Your Ass in Gear and Quit Stalling  (I will, I will...sheesh!)

Heart Attack Signs You Must NEVER Ignore and How To Prevent Them!  (You MUST know the difference between symptoms for men and women...they aren't the same!)

The 1 Photo Going Viral to Help Women Detect Breast Cancer  (Memorize this!)

How To Hygge (Or: 29 Ways To Actually Enjoy Winter)  (These are EXCELLENT suggestions for people who are actually getting snow which is not me so...)

I did manage to get two good cardio sessions of Tae Bo and Turbo Fire in this week.  I didn't die so that's a plus.  The Turbo Fire was a little more taxing because I was sore from a wicked PT session that left my legs already tight and sore so I had a bit of a tingling throughout and after the workout where my "yank points" have been.  I'll take it easy tonight.

If you need me, I'll be on the couch hacking up a lung at the world's most slow moving, irritating kind of a cold, kind of not but enough to disrupt my life event I'm living through.

I hope you have better plans!  Spill 'em!

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Movie Bender

With the Mr down and out with his cold, we've been on a movie bender lately.  Here's my summary of our recent rents.

Sully- (Tom Hanks)- I think we all remember the "Miracle on the Hudson" and the beloved pilot we'd all want on our side, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger.  The Mr and I were very excited to see one national treasure playing another in this movie.  As the movie starts with a scenario you know isn't real, you begin to see how they're going to tell the story.  I am not a fan of time jumping in movies but despite that was looking forward to seeing more about the man and what made him such a wonderful pilot.  I feel like I'm still waiting.  Only very briefly did they touch on some key things that may have contributed to his awesome but it focused mostly on the NTSB's handling of the incident.  While that may be an interesting story, it wasn't the one the Mr and I rented it for.  Meh.

Blair Witch-  We are fans of the original Blair Witch Project because it was truly a breakthrough back in the day for the way it was marketed.  It's still a great psychological watch and I still freak with Heather screeching and the dude in the corner.  *insert heebie jeebies*  We decided we'd see if these people could give it a better go than previous attempts at a sequel.  While the likelihood of Heather still being out there all these years later waiting to be found by her little brother is pretty low, you suspend your disbelief and try to go with it.  When a dude sends him video of the Blair Witch (watch that footage closely and see if you spot the twist toward the end!), a bunch of fools end up in the woods together.  It doesn't end well for them.  The last 10 minutes are kind of terrifying but seeing the Blair Witch was kind of underwhelming for me because it looked like a praying mantis or overdone stick figure.  While unnerving, I thought it was a cop out.  It was certainly better than other movies they tried to do so there's that.

The Accountant- (Ben Affleck, John Lithgow, JK Simmons)  Wait, where are you going?  Yes, Ben Affleck is the lead in this movie but holy sh*tballs, we didn't know he had this in him!!!  How awesome it was to see a character on the spectrum use what others view as a disability as their strength to be a major bad ass!  In the beginning, it started a bit slow but it did pick up and man did it just take you on a ride!  It gave you every feel.  I laughed, I cried, I covered my eyes, the choreography during fight scenes was almost like a beautiful ballet that reminded me a lot of Brandon or Bruce Lee.  Of course I couldn't help but yell "Affleck, you da bomb in Phantoms, yo!"  (Points if you got the reference)  But truly, he was da bomb in this and we both agree we will likely own this one.  Four thumbs up!

Passengers- (Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence)  We saw this one in the theater and I believe it's where I caught whatever this is that I have but I'll try not to hold it against the movie.  As the trailer shows, two people in hibernation wake up 90 years too early and da poo hits the fan in so many more ways than you could imagine.  If you like Chris Pratt's butt, pay attention.  I looked away for a NANOSECOND when he was coming out of hibernation coma and by the time the Mr alerted me, I only caught coin slot.  He worked out hard and wanted people to enjoy it so I felt it my duty to pass it on.  The movie is almost a full two hours and I feel like they may have been able to cut out 15 minutes and still do a good job.  The twist actually comes relatively early given the length of the movie and when you see it, it's one of those things you'll come out saying "holy crap, what would you have done" and probably argue for or against 20x over.  Overall I did like it.  The relationship seemed more brother/sister to me though and I didn't think they had much chemistry as lovers but you know, trapped in a spaceship and all so...

What have you rented/seen lately?

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Prep time

If you follow me on Facebook, you know every Sunday I post about preparing for the week.  While yesterday wasn't Sunday, I decided if I was going to potentially do a few nights of this new meal plan I got that I should have some stuff on hand.  Some of the things that come up frequently are...

Quinoa.  I made mine with minced garlic.

Black beans with some chipotle powder.  (From dry bagged to control the sodium)

Roasted sweet potato unseasoned.

Today I will portion them out and freeze them so that we can grab them for lunch or dinner.  I don't quite have everything I need but they will get us through this week and into next week.  This weekend I'll do more stocking up on veggies like peppers, onions and stuff like that to add in.  I'm glad to have these things pre-cooked so that dinner after my ever increasing exercise sessions will be easier to throw together.

Do you prep food for the week to make dinners/meals easier?

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sorry I'm a little late

I know, I'm late on the "new year, new me" bandwagon but I've had other things on my figurative plate so I apologize.  You may remember last year I told you that I'm not a resolution person and had no real desire to pick a word for the year...I rarely stick with it.  I revealed my motto which may have seemed pretty dismal but it was the first time I actually put a new year's thought like that into action.

A reminder for those who don't have time to click the link, it was "if you don't care, I don't care."  I also posted a sign with this saying...

(via Pinterest)

I tried very hard to do that.  It took some reminding from people who knew it was my goal including the Mr who, God love him, probably talked to death more issues than he cared to on the health front. When the subject of Grandma came up, I smiled, kept my mouth shut and said as little as possible. Obviously the Mr and I would yap about it when out of the situation but for the most part I just kept my lip zipped.  I said my goodbyes to Grandma at Thanksgiving as everyone was fairly certain this holiday season was her last.   Even though I would express frustration with the situation, I spent last year making peace with the fact that decisions had been made, they are not what I would've done and no amount of crying, stressing and stating my opinion would change it.  I am kind of dead inside on the subject.

The problem is, I became dead inside on many things.  It was not a good year and not just because of what was going on in pop culture.  I had an entire year full of leg issues and a lot of tears were shed and a lot of money spent to fix it.  (The bills are rolling in and boy when they say chit rolls downhill...welcome to the valley, yo!)  I am still not fully recovered but better and know that full physical therapy at least 3x week is my reality for life.  It may have been our 20 year anniversary but I'm not ashamed to admit to you all that it was not the Mr and I's best year.  I'm hopeful though.  What is "bad" to us is probably someone else's dream.  Just some tweaks that need to be made.  With the baking channel came a LOT of stress for both of us due to a time crunch and my ambitious plans but I'm hoping it's something that will give us a good base going forward as I continue to share my passion.  So it was a stressful year on many levels and one I'm glad to be putting to bed.

The Mr has some work related stuff he needs to get done early this year so I will help him with that if he needs it.  I need to sit down and work out a schedule for my work stuff because time just flies too damn fast anymore to wing it.  I will continue to set boundaries on issues that have no middle ground.  The weight loss stuff?  Well, that's probably worth a whole other blog.  We're still getting back to a good rhythm on the exercise front with a small setback on the ankle due to being lax on vacation with PT and the Mr recovering from his creeping crud.  Of course it looks like I could be catching it too so I may be in for a rest day or two depending on how bad it gets.  This week will likely be more of formulating a plan of action.  I bought a food plan through a website we use all the time for meal ideas since I'm in a food rut and have ZERO desire to do a fad.  Unfortunately it looks like I purchased a pre-planned food rut (I swear I typed turd instead of rut uncontrollably 3x) since everything basically looks like "have an omelet for breakfast and spend the rest of your time throwing veggies in beans, quinoa and/or rice."  I wasn't looking to go vegetarian.  But I suppose we'll consider making a few more meals per week along those lines.  I'll think on it more as the week progresses into grocery refill weekend and figure out where the hell I'm going to keep even MORE veggies in the fridge.

So yeah, I have no word for the year.

I have no motto.

I have no bandwagon I'm jumping on.

Just a little time this week to formulate a plan going forward as we assess goals both physical and mental.

How would you say 2016 went for you overall?

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