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:

-wheat

-dairy

-peanuts

-tree nuts

-egg

-soy

-shellfish

-fish

-potatoes

-sesame

-sulfites

or

-casein

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. ūüėČ

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.

 

Defining Delicious

November 8, 2010

de·li·cious

[dih-lish-uhs]
‚Äďadjective
1. highly pleasing to the senses, esp. to taste or smell: adelicious dinner; a delicious aroma.
2. very pleasing; delightful: a delicious sense of humor.
Used in a sentence: “Holy crap, that was a delicious pancake.”
Example of deliciousness: Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter!
There is a LOT of passion in this picture.
I’ll do anything to save money. I’ll avoid using the air conditioning in my car to save money on gas, I’ll bum laundry soap off Roomie until I cave and buy my own, and I’ll only buy organic when I absolutely have to. But I have no problem shelling out $10.99 for a jar of this magic:

The reason I have two jobs.

Now that boyfriend’s outta the picture (his loss anyway), Justin can have my heart. Actually, he stole it long ago. Back when I experienced Whole Foods for the first time I spotted a squeezie pack of this “Nutella knockoff” and nabbed it. I saved the little pouch of chocolate-y goodness until it was perfect weather: a rainy night in need of some chocolate. It was love at first bite.

I thought living as a vegan meant I’d never be able to drizzle Nutella on my pancakes or enjoy it straight up. Of course, I also thought it’d mean I would have to give up Bailey’s, but I didn’t…. Anyway, back to the point, Justin is a genius. A true hero. And if it means I have to go without gas for a week, then so be it. ūüėČ

Is there a certain food that you’ll “splurge” on when you buy groceries?

Break Away

October 12, 2010

Oh, how I love five day weekends. It’s the last 24 hours of fall break. This means it’s the last 24 hours of me procrastinating on studying for four, yes four, midterms that I have this week. I spent a good chunk of my weekend in Chapel Hill getting speeding tickets (those cops are sneaky as hell), being forced to watch Twilight (I hatehatehate those movies and books), stuffing my face with Mellow Mushroom pizza (hello, Daiya!) and last but certainly not least, going to Whole Foods for the first time in my life. Actually, I had a [rich] foodie’s dream day. I went to Earth Fare, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s all in the same day.

Sad speeding ticket face:

Yay for court dates.

I don’t even want to know how much this is going to cost me, between needing an attorney (I can’t make it as my court date is during a final exam) and the fact that I was going…well… let’s just say I was going a lot over the limit. But it will be okay in the end I know, so I’ve decided that I’m not going to let this affect me. After tweeting my speeding ticket anger away, Happy Whole Foods face ensued. But I’m a bad blogger and didn’t capture it. I realized as I walked into the store that I had forgotten my camera. Trust me, there was madness. I don’t know how I only spent $17, hot bar included. Oh God..the hot bar. Don’t even get me started. I had some of the banginest (that’s a word) tofu EVER. I am sad and happy that I don’t have a WH store back home. Happy because I’d never have any money, but sad because it’s Whole Foods, man.

I hope Heaven has a Whole Foods.

Other treats include Sweet and Sara marshmallows, a squeezie pack of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butta (!!!), Daiya, and a sh!t ton of chocolate. I also purchased something I’ve had my eyes on for a while…

I’ve only heard praise for this stuff. With the nutritionals, it was no surprise. Lotsa protein and fiber and goodies inside. I’ve been using Trader Joe’s chalktastic soy protein powder for my green monsters, so it goes without saying that a change was welcome. I’ve also been avoiding cafeteria food like the plague, so a smoothie for lunch sounded delicious the other day.

Post-gym lunch.

Into the blender went 2 very ripe bananas, a dash of vanilla almond milk, ice ice baby, and Vega’s Vanilla Chai optimzer.

Faaaavorite mug!

Yum. Green.

I really wish I could say I loved this. I want to say that it was an explosion of vanilla-y, banana-y goodness. All my favorite flavors were there, but something was off. I took about four sips before having to pour the rest down the sink. It was just so chalky! Maybe I did something wrong? I’ll give Vega another chance sometime, but not for a while. I’ve lost my faith in protein powders.

And cops.

Have you ever had a run-in with the cops? When I was 16, I got pulled over for the first time for running a stop sign. I turned on the water works and got away with a warning.¬†ÔĽŅAlso, what’s your favorite brand of protein powder?

Easy Peasy Pasta Chreesy

September 7, 2010

Being in college has definitely made me a lazier person, especially when it comes to cleaning. Last year, I discovered that having an unmade bed is acceptable (shock! horror!) and that shirts can totally be worn multiple times…. just as long as they don’t smell. Of course, I’ve also learned a lot of other fancy stuff, not just academically. Allow me to share:

1) If you can go 3 weeks without doing laundry, either you’ve got a sh!t ton of underwear or you’re a sick, sick person.

2) However, if you can go 3 weeks without having to lug your trash to the dumpsters, you’re a champ.

3) It is perfectly okay to drink apple juice straight from the container if it saves having to wash a cup.

4) You shouldn’t feel guilty for picking up a quarter you find on the sidewalk. That’s laundry money!

5) Taking a tupperware to the Caf on hummus night (!!!) is perfectly fine. Just don’t let the worker minions see you.

Oh, college…

On the other hand, I’ve learned something important! If you can get a job as a full time student, you’re lucky. If you can get a job that you love, you’re probably lying. But I’m not… I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful family that needed a nanny for their adorable 11 year old. My old RA, who transferred, recommended me to them and I was fortunate enough to land the job. I’ll just tell you this: I LOVE IT! I work 2-3 days a week, picking her up from school and driving her to dance class, then coming home afterward and tutoring her. And to think, I was nearly desperate enough to apply for a job at the library…

The only downside to the job is that I get back around 7 sometimes. And I eat at 6. Now, my tummy does not like to have a disrupted eating schedule, so I usually stash a Larabar or piece of fruit in my purse to tide me over until I get back on campus for dindins. Sometimes I go to the caf, and other times I realize I have a bag of spinach that needs to be used in my fridge.

Whoops.

There’s no way I’m letting that $4 sucker go to waste (Thanks for your expensive prices, Earth Fare >.<) so I decided to have some veggie POWA in my dinner today! This meal is pretty great for someone lazy¬†busy like me who doesn’t want to spend a long time cooking after work and loves something easy yet healthy. You could probably feed this to your kids and trick them, too. Bwahaha. This isn’t really much of a recipe, just a “throw everything together,” kind of thing, but still. It’s tasty, and you don’t argue with tasty things.

It even says it’s tasty on the box. No arguing.

Easy Peasy Mac ‘n’ Chreese the College Way

You’re gonna need:

1 box of mac ‘n’ chreese

1 can of no-salt added vegetables

1 bag of spinach (preferably the kind that’s not on it’s way out)

A splash of unsweetened non-dairy milk

First, set your pot to boil with a drop or two of extra virgin olive oil just to make sure that nothing sticks to it. Doesn’t it suck when that happens? Once it’s boiling, cook your shells according to the box directions.

This stuff is great in a pinch!

When the pasta is alllllmost al dente (you have to say that in a Giada de Laurentiis accent, by the way. Overannunciate!), toss in your can o veggies so they can heat through.

Don’t judge me!

Then in the last 30 seconds or so, toss in all of your spinach. Remember, it looks like a lot when you put it into the water, but you only get a little in the end. It’s like a bag of chips. Half of it’s always air. >=(

Post drain-age, pour in your choice of non-dairy milk and the cheeze sauce. I like unsweetened or unsweetened vanilla because I usually add a ton of maple syrup to my cereal or oatmeal, so I don’t want to be on a mega sugar high from syrup + almond milk.

I drink this shiz straight up, yo.

Don’t be alarmed by my man-hands. Or the look of the cheeze sauce.

In the end, you’ll get this pile of wonder!

Yumgasm.

I like to top mine with a bunch of dried basil and oregano.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot the last epic college discovery!

Putting leftovers in a plastic cup is Classy with a capital C.

What’s your favorite college memory?

And Many Mooooore

August 1, 2010

Birthdays are fun. Especially when they involve raw vegan restaurants, chocolate, and cupcakes.

This will be a post of few words but of many pictures..mostly because I’m exhausted as I type this…and I know y’all just want the food porn.

Did not disappoint!

Luna’s Living Kitchen was previously a pure vegetarian restaurant. I was devastated when they shut down a few months ago – so when I found out that they re-opened you KNOW I had to pay them a visit. Very much improved – everything on the menu was vegan and raw!

Raw zucchini spaghetti with mushrooms and pesto.

Sissy and Mum got the sprouted quinoa and kamut burger.

At one point, my carnivorous counterpart said “OHEMGEE this is SO good. It’s amazing!” Yep. Future vegan.

Go ahead and drool.

Or do what I did, and try to lick up all the drippy parts. So worth it.

El Luchador: banana, peanut, hemp milk, hemp protein, raw cacao, agave. Oh yeah, and bliss.

Next up: vegan cupcakes.

After reading about these babies on Caitlin’s blog, I knew I just had to find ’em.

This display was beautiful!

Vanilla cupcakes with raspberry and chocolate frosting.

Eh. I wasn’t crazy about this cupcake. For $2.75, it wasn’t super expensive but it wasn’t a fantastic deal either. The Boston cupcake (AKA best in da world) was $3.50 but double the size and less oily.

This vanilla cupcake sure was moist, but that was because I’m betting there was a ton’o vegetable oil in there. I know cuppycakes aren’t supposed to be healthy and all, but I don’t like when they’re just plain old greasy. The frosting was a bit of a¬†disappointed, too. Upon first tasting it, I didn’t think it tasted like much at all. It was kind of bland. And then I noticed the texture. It was chewy, mushy, almost like eating jam? I can’t really describe it – it made me wonder if there was gelatin in it, though.

I’ll give it a C+ but an A for effort. After all, being able to get vegan cupcakes in the dirty dirty is pretty freakin awesome.

All in all, today was purdy darn good. Food, gifties, and family time.

Oh yeah… and chocolate.

What’s the best birthday you’ve ever had?

A Sweet Discovery

July 23, 2010

Okay, so I thought I should let you guys know that I’m back in the dirty dirty. I didn’t blog and wasn’t really supa active in the blogosphere while I was gone, so I apologize for the lack of life. Anyways, onwards and upwards we go.

New Yawk was amazing. Bawston was immense. Posts from here will be about the trip for a while, cause I have a lot to say, mmmkay? I promise I won’t be boring. ūüôā

Goodbye, New York! Hello, Boston!

Such pretty architecture,

I will own this one day.

Great views,

and a crap ton of cute shops.

(This reminded me of you, Mama Pea!)

And amongst all our shopping and dropping, Roomie and I made an amazing, fabulous, epic, and very sweet discovery today, nestled among rows and rows of fancy and uber expensive boutiques… a cupcake store! But not just any old cupcake store.

This brand new and oh so adorable little cupcake shop was called Sweet. You’re gonna see this word so many times it’s going to stop making sense… don’t you hate when that happens? Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet…..

Everything was pink and there was a large chandelier over our table. How cute is this place?! It was as if it came out of a fairy tale or a dream. Everything was sleek, modern, and PINK!

Adorbs.

The menu was pretty extensive, and the selection in the case was even bigger.

Of course, I instantly saw the bestest cuppycake flavor within a few moments of being behind the counter. My cupcake senses were tingling.

CHOCOLATE.

I feel like the decision to buy this little gem had been made even before I walked into the store. It was fate. Destiny. Whatever you want to call it, me and that little cupcake were meant to be together forever.

Happy cupcake face!

Adorable Roomie and her red velvet cupcake.

I can’t remember the last time I had a good cupcake. And by good, I don’t mean the crappy Betty Crocker kind or the one that comes in a box from the grocery store. I mean a made-from-scratch-with-oodles-of-love-inside kind of cupcake. The ones that make your heart sing and your¬†taste buds¬†dance. To be honest, I can’t remember much of this cupcake, but only because it BLEW my freaking mind.

Roomie tested, Roomie approved.

This is the part that I’m supposed to show you pictures of the inside and how moist (ew, I hate that word), soft, and chocolate-y this sucker was. But I was too busy having multiple parties in my mouth to remember to take pictures. Just imagine the best cupcake your grandmother/mommy/lover/private chef could ever bake for you and then make it even better. That’s how good this was.

That’s why I have a sad-last-bite face.

Now I just wish we had a vegan cupcakery in the dirty dirty. Until we do, I’ll be singing.

Have you ever made an epic, tasty, fantastic discovery?

PS – don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

There’s a giveaway in this post! ūüôā

On our second (and last) day in NYC, I was¬†persuasive¬†lucky enough to get to visit One Lucky Duck, the takeaway shop attached to Pure Food & Wine.. Do a Google search for “vegan food in NYC” and I can guarantee you One Lucky Duck will be on the top five places listed, along with Babycakes vegan bakery. Admittedly, One Lucky Duck wasn’t first on my list. Babycakes NYC was…because let’s face it, I hadn’t had a legit cupcake in the longest time and I was jonesing for a refined sugar free high. It’s hard to make good vegan cupcakes.

When we realized that Babycakes was 3.66 miles away from the hotel we were staying at (and I couldn’t make Roomie and her mum walk over 7 miles for vegan food), I looked up where One Lucky Duck was. 1.2 miles? Right on. 1.2 miles in the heat? Major suckage. By the end of our trip there, my jeans were stuck to my legs like jeggings (what the heck are those things all about?!?) and I could feel the sweat dripping down my back. My feet were aching (by this time, we had walked over a marathon distance as well as running at ze gym) and I knew blisters were well on their way.

But it was worth it. Soooo worth it.

Super cute!

The menu was so intense. I wanted it all.

The first thing I noticed when I walked inside was the super chill atmosphere. There was some music playing in the background – perhaps The Decemberists – and the decor was abso-freaking-lutely adorable. One wall, painted red, had pictures of ducks and stringed lights hanging from the ceiling. I took a picture, but it ended up blurry. ūüė¶ Sad times.

The other wall, however, was full of DELICIOUSness.

O hai, Roomie!

These little pouches of goodness are worth the ridiculously expensive prices. Seriously… despite the fact that I spent $25 on an epic smoothie, cookies, and crispies. But you’re paying for amazing quality. Everything in the shop is raw, vegan, gluten and refined sugar free, and it’s also organic. And orgasmic.

On to the eats!

Banana-nut-crackcocaine smoothie.

This little treat was so tasty, I couldn’t stop sipping it. I was surprised I made it out the door with a fifth left in the cup. The first thing that hit me when I took that glorious first sip was bananas and then a hit of cinnamon. I think they put a loaf of banana bread into the vitamix. It was frothy, rich, creamy, and just how a milkshake should be. On such a hot day, it didn’t leave me with an overly sweet mouth and desperate for a sip of water.

I was also surprised that the chocolate crispies that I bought lasted the train ride to Boston. They made the four hours of reading about Hitler and the Cold war soooo much better. These crispies are intended to go in cereal, kind of like raw cocoa pops, but there was no way these babies were going to make it another week – I had a long arse train ride as well as a trip on a plane to make it through. I needed these.

Organic buckwheat, organic maple syrup, organic maple powder, organic cocoa powder, organic vanilla extract, Himalayan crystal salt.

What?! Where’d they put the crack? Cause these things are good eats… even if they weren’t cereal-ized.

Which is why this demolition happened approximately two hours later in the hotel room…They lasted a whole 8 hours!

One Lucky Duck luckily, I still had something chocolate-y and fantastic up my sleeve.

Chocolate chip heroin cookies.

(seriously, why do I keep adding addictive substances to these cookies?! They must have put ’em in there, how can something raw taste so great?)

These adorable heart-shaped cookies were fantastic. Phenomenal. “Fantasmagasmic,” as Roomie says.

I wish I could tell you guys how much I loved this place. But I just can’t put it into words. I now understand why One Lucky Duck is a must. Why it’s on so many vegan websites, featured in magazines, and why it’s so well known. I understand why people can “do” raw food without missing things like cookies, chocolate cereal, and ice cream.

Sarma, you are a goddess.

So do you want to be a lucky duck too?! Well read on, my friends! That’s right, I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY!

One Lucky Duck Gift Card

One lucky duck¬†reader is going to receive a $10 gift card to One Lucky Duck’s online store, sent straight to their e-mail address. With those ten buckaroos, they can get some [help in buying] fantabulous snacks, great books, or wonderful body products. We’re talking macaroons, chocolate bars, cookies, chocolate truffle butter (!!!!), and *Atisana* products. You do not want to miss out on this, take it from me.¬†The best part is that the heroes at One Lucky Duck will ship their store products worldwide, so this contest is open to everyone and anyone!

How to enter:

1.) Leave a comment on here telling me ¬†your best restaurant experience and why. Or bribe me with chocolate. ūüėČ

2.) Tweet about this and let me know. (You can follow me on twitter @southernbritish)

3.) For an extra entry, link to this on your blog and post that in your comment, too!

You will automatically win if you buy me chocolate.*

I will randomly pick a winner one week from today.

Good luck, ducklings!

*not really…sorry.