Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Where Did the Tiffin Girl Go?

Where did I go? Absolutely nowhere. No grand vacation that has kept me out of pocket for awhile. No family crisis to keep me away from blogging. That's correct, there has been no actual hindrance between me and my blog. Well, maybe one. I have nothing to write about! I'm still looking eye to eye with that big boulder of blogger's block. Everything I think to write of sounds too similar to something I have already written. I need something new and fresh and I figured writing nothing is better than a Carrie Bradshaw french fry article. Or is it? Let me ponder what's going on in the world to spice up some blogging inspiration...

I could write about the crisis in Syria. But really, pop culture is my forte. Unless of course I care to critique Putin's ensemble during his meeting with Obama?

I could write about the exciting tale of the first Indian-American Miss America, Nina Davuluri. But unfortunately her story is filled with hate and racism by many viewers of the pageant, so rather than waste my time and ruin Nina's story by discussing the ignorant I would like to simply give big props to Nina. She's a born and raised Indian American girl who represented her heritage with a Bollywood dance performance during the talent competition. My thoughts on the purpose of pageants aside, you go, girl! So obviously this isn't an entire blog post. What else is there...

How about what's going on with Lamar Odom? Is he a crack addict? Is he buying supplies to make his own crack pipe? Did Khloe kick him out of the house? Why did he refuse a drug test? What's he hiding? Again, not a full blog post considering there are no answers to any of this. Am I really going to speculate when that's what we have TMZ for?

Or maybe the new show Divas on E!? Sadly to say, I think I'm kind of getting hooked. Not to the point of putting it on DVR rotation, but whenever it is on and I have time to watch tv, I do watch. I've never watched WWE nor do I know anything about it, but I am impressed with the athletic prowess of these women, wow! I've pretty much gotten hooked to the show becauase I have nothing on Bravo that I'm watching right now. I know, shocker? I've stopped watching Housewives of Miami and New Jersey and neither Housewives of Beverly Hills nor New York City are on right now so what does that leave me with? A plethora of wedding spin-offs? No, only Bethenny could pull that off.

Bethenny! Perhaps writing about her new talk show? I recorded the first episode and watched it after the kids went to bed and kind of liked it, but not really the type of show to record and watch. And with the kids awake when it comes on, don't think I could watch it live. Maybe that's proof that it really isn't that good of a show? It's attainability to DVR status?  I do like to see what she's wearing and her failed attempts of taking the attention off of her and putting them on her guests. I mean, come on, she  made a career of putting herself as the center of attention and making it all about me me me, so to turn it around must be hard, but isn't that the key element of an interviewer?

Or maybe a post about a recent book I read that I loved? I actually contemplated this one about Jennifer Weiner's book Then Came You.  It's the story of the birth of a baby. Now, we're not talking immaculate conception or anything, but of a couple who use a surrogate with donor eggs and a tummy mummy (A little Jane Green reference for you) to bring the baby into the world and then you add in the mother and half-sibling and you've got yourself a story. But when I write about books I always struggle with how much to write and who my audience is. Those who haven't read it and to tell them about the book or those who have and to "discuss" what happened.

I also thought of a full article of Big Brother spoilers (Stop reading here if you don't want to know who won the first two HOH competitions). Specifically, how so many people think Andy is a rat. He may have floated by (Unlike in his graceful fall into the pool. Catching a moth? Huh?) and stabbed some people in the back, but he made it to the final three. And Gina Marie and Spencer. These were literally the last people I suspected in the final three (Maybe not Andy) but to all those who think it's unfair that they are there, they were never evicted whether by default or actual game play, and now they are left in the end fair and square. I'm really anxious to see who wins, especially considering the first HOH endurance comp lasted a whopping two minutes! I just read that Andy won competition number two. So Gina Marie vs. Andy? My money's on Andy. So is it a given that he will take Spencer? I'm thinking yes.

Or maybe even an entire article on McCrae. What happened to him? Amanda is what happened to him. In the first week he was kind of the Ian from season 14, the quirky oddball. And then he got with Amanda and her loud mouth worked his game. Personally, I think he wanted out of that relationship, but how could he break up with her? You know he would have been a large target considering Amanda was controlling the house for awhile there. Did you hear his interview with Julie post eviction? He didn't seem to think too much of Amanda outside of the Big Brother house.

Or should I write about last week's New York Fashion Week? (Thank you Giuliana Rancic for your incessant publication of the photos on your instagram page in case we were unaware what was going on last week.) But honestly, I just don't care whether vertical stripes or polka dots are in. I'm going to wear whatever is sold at Target, holes or not.

I suppose perhaps there are items I could blog about, so maybe if I get all Freud on myself the truth of the matter is that I just don't want to write. I tried to revive the blog with my Workouts of the Day, but that didn't last long. For some reason a daily blog post that was almost entirely cut and paste was far too large of a project to undertake. How did Julie of The Julie/Julia Project do it?

Links
Carrie Bradshaw
Nina Davuluri
Divas
Bethenny
Then Came You
McCrae and Amanda

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Chobani Recall is Official

If you've followed my Chobani Crisis closely, then you are aware that there has been something murky in the Chobani cups and quite literally this is the case. Chobani is officially recognizing that the withdrawal of the yogurt is now called a Voluntary Recall, for all of you concerned with semantics.

If you have any Chobani yogurt with the code 16-012 and the Best By date 9/11/13 to 10/7/2013 then please contact Chobani's customer loyalty team at http://chobani.com/care. According to their webpage, there is a mold (Which according to the Cho people is common in dairy products that use no preservatives, meaning excuse are oh so healthy yogurt, this is what happens when you don't use the Yoplait Mickey Mouse yogurt) in a small batch made in their Idaho facility. They've asked stores to take most of them off the shelves, but for the small amount still out there which is the reason for the recall. You can contact Chobani's customer loyalty team to get a refund or replacement.

I tried to get to their site last night but there was too much traffic and I could not access it. This morning, there's heavy traffic but you can access their press release on their site.

All jokes aside, at least Chobani is taking the matter seriously and offering refunds or exchanges rather than simply taking items off of the shelves.

Now the question remains, I have four thick and creamy cups in the back of my fridge that do not contain the cursed code, should I consume them?

Thanks, AK, for bringing this to my attention!  

Spinach, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Taquitos


I admit, not the best of photos considering you can't see the filling, but don't let the pathetic, slouchy tortillas fool you, these taquitos are amazing! 

So I quite often make a baked, ground turkey meat taquito for Hubby and the kids (Well, the kids take their dainty bites and then resort to eating something else for dinner), but I had yet to make a vegetarian version for me. I have, on a couple of occasions, made black bean and sweet potato enchiladas, but never a taquito! 

Well, last week I was in the mood for some sweet potato and black bean enchiladas so I bought some sweet potatoes and tortillas and went to make the dish, only to realize I did not buy any tomatillos for the sauce! When I make enchiladas, my favorite sauce is the verde sauce and it's very simple to make, just boiled tomatillos, cilantro, onions, water and salt pureed together. And oh so good. I was about to give up all together on making the dish, but I realized there has to be some other way to make the dish without the sauce. So I racked my brain and realized, taquitos! I could make the same filling and then place it in the tortillas and bake in the oven. And what do you know, it tasted even better than the enchiladas! 

So when I went to make the dish I also had some spinach in the fridge and decided to throw that in there as well. This recipe came out so, so well. And oh so filling! Two full taquitos, with no sides, was good enough for a meal and kept me feeling very full. So even though I had to eat this for several days (Nobody else in the household appreciated this dish), I had no problems consuming the leftovers, still so good when popped into the oven.

I have no exact recipe to link this too, but I loosely got the idea from this recipe.

Ingredients
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup fresh spinach
1 whole sweet potato, chopped and cooked (I steamed it) 
1 15oz can of black beans drained or 1 1/2 cups cooked
4-5 sprigs of cilantro, chopped.
1/2 a medium size onion. chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
Low fat shredded cheese (Amount based on taste)
Tortillas (About a packet of 10. Depends on how much filling you put in each.)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375. Heat vegetable oil on medium high heat. Add in onions and garlic and saute until softened. 

2. Add in spinach and saute until wilted. Add in black beans and sweet potato, saute.

3. Throw in cumin, chili powder and salt and saute. Taste to determine spice level and add more as needed. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in cilantro once you take it off of the heat and mix. 

4. Open up tortilla and put filling in center in a vertical line. Sprinkle cheese based on desirability. (I am not a big cheese fan, so I only put a smidgen for taste.) Roll up and place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat until you finish all of your filling. (For extra crispy taquitos, brush with vegetable oil prior to placing in oven.)

5. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes, until tortillas are crispy. 

And that's it! This is a great, vegetarian dish with much flavor. It has to be one of my favorite dishes I've ever made (outside of baked goods, of course), and sadly I'm the only one in the house who eats it!

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 4
This one is pretty simple, outside of steaming the sweet potatoes before hand and having an extra step of filling tortillas (which can be a bit tedious), but well worth the extra step. 

If you're a Vegetarian or a Meatless Monday kind of person, this is the dish for you! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Chobani Crisis is Going Strong


As you recall, I've had quite the difficult relationship with Chobani Yogurt. I love the peach flavor with the mixture of thick, creamy peach yogurt with chunks of sweet peaches on the bottom. But for some reason I kept getting cups of watery yogurt. I contacted Chobani and got some coupons only to end up buying more yogurt that was watery. I found that H-E-B was the worst with watery yogurt but that Kroger and Central Market was quite thick, but $.25 more per cup! When you eat one cup a day it adds up!

And then I thought that the location of the Chobani in the fridge affected whether it was watery. There was one sweet spot in the back that would make other food frozen and Chobani partly frozen and partly thick. So I kept placing it there until my sweet spot no longer worked! So then I just stopped buying Chobani all together, especially since H-E-B raised the price back up! I've recently been buying Stoneyfield's Greek Yogurt with either honey or strawberry for me and chocolate for Hubby. It's not as thick as Chobani originally was, but not as thin and watery as Chobani currently is.

And so since I couldn't find any other information about it on the Internet and didn't want to bother with constantly complaining to Chobani and getting free coupons that the cashiers at H-E-B would hesitantly except, I banned the product all together and put the issue to rest.

Until this past week when I noticed that my Chobani post had been getting many hits! I googled the words  "Chobani Recall" and my post was the first to come up! And then yesterday I received a comment stating that the Chobani Crisis was alive and well and to check out Chobani's Facebook page. And indeed such is the case. I am not the only one that was suffering admist the Great Chobani Crisis! This is an epidemic! Watery yogurt everywhere with cries for a recall to no avail!

And then today I googled Chobani Recall and it's quite apparent that the Chobani crisis is literally a crisis! Many stores are taking the yogurt off its shelves because the yogurt is spoiled, but not past it's expiration date! Apparently Choabani is not actually referring to it as a recall, yet are asking stores to take a certain lot of 6oz cups off of shelves. Ahh, semantics. The backlash that comes with the word recall, I suppose? 

The social media manager at Chobani is working his copy and paste skills in overtime because for every comment someone makes about their unacceptable Chobani on Facebook, they are directed to the same page I submitted to receive my free coupons. Which were a pain in the arse to use!

And while I haven't been consuming any Chobani in the past few months, I went to a specialty grocery store yesterday and stocked up because they were 5 for $5 and they were thick! I shook them all and couldn't hear the runny consistency. Granted, they sat in the car longer than needed and became runny, but I put them in my sweet spot in the fridge and thick again! What does all this mean? I have no idea, but I am enjoying my thick Chobani and but still do not plan to purchase any thin, runny expensive Chobani from H-E-B. But after reading this article this morning, I'm questioning whether I should have eaten that Chobani this morning.

Images
Chobani