MacroBars are better than kale!

Earlier this summer, I was talked into buying and trying a raspberry-chocolate kale bar from the local grocery store’s “natural” section. It was NOT delicious. I’d sum up the flavor and texture as dirty grass. After that experience, I was somewhat less excited about trying a new nutrition bar, but I took a chance on MacroBars, and here is my report.

I received a box full of mini MacroBars, and at first, I thought there was no way I’d ever eat that many bars — I was expecting them to be yucky. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Like all of the MacroBars, the minis are USDA organic, non-GMO project verified, kosher, gluten free and vegan certified. AND, they taste delicious!

Macrobars
MacroBars

My favorite flavor was the peanut butter and chocolate (surprise, surprise), but I honestly thought all of the bars were tasty. They had a nice chewy texture, weren’t too grainy, and there wasn’t a grassy or dirt-flavored bite among them.

The minis were perfect mid-morning office snacks for me. They provided a nice bit of sweetness, and the nutty ones even gave me enough protein to help keep me from feeling hungry before lunch.

Macrobars
MacroBars

I had planned to take a few more photos of the bars, but I ate them. 🙂

GoMacro is available online, and if you use coupon code BLOGGER, you will get 40% off your first order. If you’re looking for a nutritious snack to take to work or to send to school with the kids this fall, take a look at MacroBars. I recommend them!

About GoMacro
About GoMacro

Check out the links below to learn more about the family-owned company and their full line of products.

Shop: https://gomacro.com/shop/ (remember to use code BLOGGER for a discount!)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gomacro/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gomacro
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gomacro/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/gomacro/

Many thanks to GoMacro for providing me the samples!

Stop calling things “Artisan”

On a recent trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru, I was in the mood for a cheeseburger, but convinced myself to go with a slightly less guilt-inducing “Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich.”

On my way through Window One, the polite girl at the register confirmed my order, made change for the ten, and waved me forward to Window Two. The boy there handed me my Diet Coke and then said, “I’ll go get your Artesian.”

Artisan vs artesian
Stop calling things “artisan!”

Seriously?

This prompted a couple of thoughts for me:
1. Stop calling things “artisan.”
2. “Artesian” and “artisan” are NOT the same.

Dictionary.com provides this definition of “artisan.”
Artisan: Adjective. Pertaining to an artisan or the product of an artisan; artisanal: artisan beer.

I enjoyed my chicken sandwich. It was pretty good! But I doubt anything about it was “artisan.” The bun didn’t appear handmade. I doubt the chicken was an artisan. The people who assembled it in the kitchen? The kid who handed it through Window Two? Nope.

And while we’re talking about that kid, he’s not the first person I’ve heard say “artesian” when he meant “artisan.” In case you’re wondering, here’s what that means.

Artesian: Adjective. Noting, pertaining to, or characteristic of an artesian well.

And if you don’t remember what an artesian well is?

Artesian well: Noun. A well in which water rises under pressure from a permeable stratum overlaid by impermeable rock.

My sandwich was tasty, but it was neither artisan nor artesian.

Stop calling things “artisan!” And if you call anything “artesian” that is not well-related, you sound stupid.

Meg Hourihan Makes a “Mean” Chocolate Chip Cookie

Perhaps I get an abnormal amount of satisfaction from a well-done geek project. I also get an unusual amount of satisfaction from a great chocolate chip cookie. This project made me extremely happy, appealing to both my scientific side, and my… well, chocolate side.

I do not have the privilege of knowing Meg Hourihan personally, but I can tell that we would get along! She writes a food blog at megnut.com, and during a recent recipe search, this post caught my eye: A Mean Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Intrigued, I decided to give the recipe a glance. What I found was a wonderful fusion of geekery and bakery.

Meg, a self-described “Food Enthusiast,” had embarked upon a quest to find THE best chocolate chip cookie. She solicited suggestions, and received more recipes than she could use. To simplify her work, she narrowed the list of recipes down to a dozen contenders.

Then, like any good geek, she made a spreadsheet of the recipes. She converted all of the measurements to base 10, averaged the preparation techniques, chilling times, oven temperatures, baking times, etc. She came up with a formula for a “mean” (averaged, get it?) chocolate chip cookie. You can see the complete recipe on her blog. It is quite brilliant.

So, how did the cookies taste? After doing all of the mathematical calculations, measuring, mixing, chilling, and baking (13.04 minutes at 354.17°F), Meg sampled her creation, and declared…

The first bite revealed a cookie crispy around the rim, warm and chewy on the inside. A few hours later, they were firmer, but still tasty. The best chocolate chip cookies ever? I’m not sure, but I baked A Mean Chocolate Chip Cookie. And that’s enough for me.

A happy ending to a unique kitchen adventure! I say, “thank you!” to Meg for her contribution to the canon of kitchen geekery.

Geek Sweets: Super Mario Cupcakes

super mario cupcakes by naomiThese are simply amazing. Click the thumbnail to take a closer look at these perfectly crafted Super Mario cupcakes! I would love to bite into that cute little 1UP mushroom, or give that piranha plant a taste of his own medicine! Chomp!

These are crafted by Australian artisan Naomi, who must be a fondant coloring and sculpting genius, to render these Super Mario characters so well. From the perfect shade of sky blue in the background, to the placement of the buttons on Mario’s overalls, these are just wonderful! I don’t know what I crave more after looking at these — eating cupcakes, or playing Super Paper Mario!

According to her profile, Naomi works with robots by day, and is a “cupcake ninja” by night. Sounds like the perfect combination! See more of her amazing creations, including robot, Lego, and Pacman cupcakes, as well as lots of beautiful non-geek designs, too.

Thanks for sharing, Naomi!

Attention, Food Geeks: “Bizarre Foods” is Back!

Andrew Zimmern eats bugsI would not call myself an adventurous eater. On the contrary, I am rather timid when it comes to food. I’ve been known to throw away food that is probably still safe to eat, just because it was past its expiration date. I don’t like meat cooked rare. I don’t like moldy cheese. I don’t like to take risks. I hate being sick. That’s just the way I am.

But Andrew Zimmern is a bonafide bizarre food aficionado. Not only does he love to eat, but he really seems to enjoy trying stuff that looks foreign, undercooked, even dirty and disgusting! And, I happen to enjoy watching him do that.

The best thing about the way Zimmern approaches this gastronomic thrill ride is that he is not doing it just for the gross-out factor. Yes, I’m sure it has occurred to him and/or his television producers that a certain part of the population does find it entertaining to watch a mild-mannered, chubby, bald, white man eat things that make most normal people gag. However, he does make an honest effort to explore the culture behind the cuisine. He’s not just eating weird things to shock people. He’s eating whatever people eat, wherever they live. It’s amazing, entertaining, and educational.

If you’ve never seen the show, the new season of Bizarre Foods starts tonight. If you have a sensitive gag reflex, this may not be the program for you. But if you’re curious about world food traditions, and you can handle some strange stuff, you should definitely check it out. It’s on the Travel Channel on US cable television.

Darn those Girl Scouts and their Thin Mints

Once a year, the Girl Scouts set up shop in the foyer of our local grocery store. They stack up boxes and boxes of cookies, put on their sashes, smiles, and best manners. I try to resist, but I just can’t!

I must have the cookies!

Last year, my husband mistakenly brought home some peanut butter sandwich cookies. I wanted Peanut Butter Patties. They are soooo not the same. Peanut Butter Patties are covered in chocolate. The sandwiches are not. The Patties are my favorites!

Coming in a close second are the Thin Mints. When I was a Girl Scout, I think there were lots more Thin Mints per box. Also, each box was much cheaper back then. Yes, the cookies are expensive. Yes, they are not good for me. But I just can’t help it!

This is embarrassing, but I just did a line of Thin Mints. I tried to stop, but I couldn’t, and before I knew it, the whole tube was empty. Darn those Girl Scouts and their tiny, delicious, overpriced cookies!