January 24, 2011
The title says it all.
Last week, I was contacted by the lovely folks over at Enjoy Life Foods asking if I was interested in sampling and reviewing their new and improved cookies. Um, vegan and gluten free cookies FO FREE? You know this girl ain’t gonna turn that down.
I can’t lie… playing with those packing peanuts was pretty darn fun.
On to the crux of the matter….the goods.
I received 3 boxes of cookies – 1 Snickerdoodle, 1 Lively lemon, and 1 Double Chocolate Brownie.
Before I go on, I have a confession to make: I wasn’t too sure I would like these cookies. You see, I bought Enjoy Life’s cookies before and was disappointed. I found the texture and taste to just be, well…off. You know when you give someone a vegan cookie and they can tell it’s a vegan cookie without you saying it? Yeah – that’s how they used to be. So when I heard that the recipe was new and improved I wondered if that meant they’d be less obviously vegan.
My thought process went like this: how can a cookie that is free of 12 allergens and also vegan and gluten free be delicious? There’s no:
Plus there’s no trans fats, GMOs, or artificial ingredients.
So…is it any good?
First I sampled the double chocolate brownie cookies. Would you ever expect any different from me?
Upon ripping open the plastic wrapper I could smell the cocoa powder and I didn’t even bother to get a plate. That’s juts a formality, anyway right? When Enjoy Life says new and improved, they really mean it. My doubts were gone and my world was full of butterflies, rainbows, and unicorns because I had delicious chocolate cookies in my life…finally. These cookies were even Roomie tested and Roomie approved. I do believe her word were along the lines of, “This is vegan?”
Once the sugar coma wore off (what’s a serving size again?!) I decided to sample a snickerdoodle. Hey, it’s a tough job but I have to get my review out there.
Two words: holy cow.
How on earth had I gone my entire life without eating a snickerdoodle before today!? Maybe it’s the cinnamon that scares me away (ever since attempting the cinnamon challenge, I’ve shied away from the stuff). I hesitantly took a small nibble of a snickerdoodle before promptly inhaling the rest. Good grief, Charlie Brown – these are delicious.
Another great thing I noticed about these cookies was the fact that they stayed so soft and moist, even after being opened. I forgot to put them in a ziploc baggie, but when I tried one the day after opening, they were still as soft as ever.
Oh, it’s love.
Finally, I tried the Lively Lemon flavor. I’m not the biggest fan of lemony desserts. Lemon bars and lemonade are too tart for me. My dad is a fan of anything lemon, so clearly, I didn’t get that trait from him.
I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I say I loved these cookies, too. There were flecks of lemon throughout, but there was a nice balance of sweet and tart; the lemony flavor wasn’t overpowering at all. It was more like a hint of lemon. Or, as the name suggests, a lively lemon flavor.
It’s safe to say that I’m addicted to the snickerdoodles and once I’m all out, I’ll get my butt to the nearest Earth Fare and buy
ten a few boxes. My only dislike was the size of these cookies. They’re kind of small, maybe three or four inches in diameter.
The verdict? Two thumbs up.
Thanks again to Enjoy Life Foods – check them out! They have a full line of allergy and gluten free products, everything from [delicious] chocolate chips to cookies to granolas and bagels.
Note: I was not compensated or paid in any way to write this review – I simply received the cookies in the mail and gave my honest opinion!
What’s your favorite kind of cookie?
Go buy these. Now.
January 13, 2011
49 out of 50 states are covered in snow right now.
Mine is no exception.
afternoon morning, Roomie and I woke up to a blanket of snow and ice outside of our window and were thrilled to find out that classes were cancelled. Glorious. Sledding > studying.
Of course, being the cheap college student I am, I don’t have a sled. Or the proper footwear. Lucky for me, my RA is a genius and informed me to wear rain boots. She also provided me with a sled.
Yes, my ghetto ass sled was a box. No shame.
Come on, you didn’t think I managed to stay on, did you!?
My RA isn’t the only genius around here though. My brilliant neighbors discovered the most innovative sledding solution of this still very young century. Can you tell what it is?
No? Well, it’s a cookie sheet! I’ll tell you what, if you have a spare anywhere and you’ve still got snow on the ground, you need to get your toosh on that cookie sheet and find a hill to speed down. I am doubly sure that I would singlehandedly own any and all of my competition in Bobsledding. London 2012, anyone?
After two hours of intense sledding, we were pretty frozen. My hands were numb, my sweater was filled with ice, and I had muddy smears on my peacoat. I may or may not have looked like I peed my pants. I knew what was in order: a warm, comforting, warm, delicious, warm, and filling lunch. That was warm. Enter one pot chilli!
Chilli To Warm Your Bones
This delicious chilli is easy to prepare and perfect for heating yourself up after a romp in the snow. The spices are completely versatile, so you can adjust the heat to your taste and use whatever ones you want or have on hand. Serves 4-5.
2 cans of beans, your choice. I used kidney beans.
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cups TVP, hydrated*
1 can of no-salt added diced tomatoes, with the liquid
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
*TVP, or textured vegetable protein, is pretty easy to rehydrate. Click here for the 411.
To start your chilli, heat up a large pot (large enough to fit everything) with a drizzle of good olive oil. I feel like Ina Garten when I say that.
Once your EVOO is heated (Oh God, now I feel like Rachael Ray!), toss in your onion and, if you’re feeling saucy, go ahead and toss in a tablespoon of minced garlic. Once the onion is translucent, add your TVP and bell pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Heck, you could even roast the pepper beforehand for even more deliciousness. Crazy talk.
Now you’re at the point where you need the TVP to absorb all of your spices, so go ahead and add them in before you add in your canned tomatoes and vegetable stock. If you want to be even more of a risk taker, you could pour in a bottle of Blue Moon. Hey, I won’t tell, especially if you live in a dry dorm.
Once everything is in your pot, bring it to a boil. Then let it all simmer and hang out for as little or as long as you like. The flavors will intensify and meld and become the most comforting chilli you ever imagined. It’ll warm you up enough to go play in the snow some more.
Just be sure to wear the right shoes.
How did you spend your snow day(s)?