Sunday, January 24, 2010

Splenda, Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup

I will admit that I have adjusted my food habits after watching Food Inc. Maybe it's the fact that I am getting older and more concerned with what goes into my body as well. I am certainly not a total health nut (I did have about 10 too many Hershey Miniatures at work one Friday afternoon). We were debating our last McDonald's experience just this weekend. I can pinpoint it to the day: Ocean City New Jersey, August 2009, the Southern Chicken Sandwich, while I waited for my parents to come pick me up. And before that? I really have no idea. I just can't remember it was so long ago.

My ongoing debate is how to reduce my Splenda intake. It can't be great for me. But maybe it's not so bad? So every few days the guilt gets me and I use Raw Sugar in my coffee or tea. When it comes to soda, it's now very infrequent and always diet. Which is why I couldn't bring myself to purchase the real sugar version of Mountain Dew and Pepsi that I saw this weekend. I just can't drink real soda. But I'm very against all the high fructose corn syrup (it's in everything!).

So I had to snap these pictures because I've read about it, but haven't seen it yet:

And if you need your caffeine as well:

Apparently, the real sugar versions are available for about 8 weeks (through February). I spotted these at Costco and Target. I typically try 95% of products I see or products out for a limited tim (Tim Tams at Target? I should have stocked up!). Since I don't drink regular soda, I'm not sure I would notice the difference. But I am curious.

Have you tried it?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Birthday Day here, and in honor of our the two Capricorn birthdays in the house, we have the official
Red Velvet Boy Girl Birthday Cake.

It was all about the frosting, of course. We chose the cake around the cream cheese frosting. I will admit that we had the help of Betty herself, but made the frosting from scratch. It's funny because I talked to a good friend tonight and she agreed that the cream cheese frosting drives the cake choice. Red velvet OR carrot, both have the right frosting.

This is dedicated to all birthday cake lovers out there.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Still Cold - Off to T Salon

It's another cold weekend in New York which means more warm beverages! We only made it about 15 blocks south before we had to duck in for cover in the Chelsea Market. Way in the back there is a quiet little space where you can get a seat and sip your tea: T Salon.

Chelsea Market can be very busy, especially on the weekends. You are lucky if you can grab a table on the hallway through the market. Which is why we passed on the coffee shop for hot chocolate, we couldn't find a seat! With some soothing music and a pot of tea, you can settle in for a little bit of rejuvenation at T Salon.

The helpful staff any will open up any can and let you smell the teas before you make a selection. We settled on a jasmine tea (I love the smell of jasmine).

The T Salon is the first sustainable tea cafe and bar (yes, they have a selection of wine and beer as well). The Los Angeles location just opened, so now you can enjoy the T Salon on both coasts. The stores use bamboo, as well biodegradable or recyclable packaging (made of recycled paper and non-toxic soy ink). Corn plastic is used for all to go cups (I love these, we have them at work, and they are 100% biodegradable). Last but not least, many of the teas are organic.

Grab a little sweet nibble and settle into seats in the back of the store!

T Salon, Chelsea Market:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year - And More Cocoa

It's been cold here in 2010. Downright cold and blustery. But we are out and about people and love to go walking on the weekends. The wind and chill factor have really put a crimp in our "walkabouts", but we have managed to venture out a little closer to home.

On Sunday, we ventured down 9th Avenue for more hot chocolate. When I last posted in December I mentioned that I was going to taste my way through hot chocolate in New York. This is my 3rd official stop (and if it stays this cold, there will be more!).

Cocoa V is a vegan chocolate shop on 9th Avenue and 20th Street (very near Three Tarts) and is new to the neighborhood. It is a Chocolat Boutique and Chocolate Wine Bar with half the space dedicated to chocolates and the other half to seated service. We just dropped in for a hot chocolate and split a large one while we warmed up.

The waiter was very nice, let us take a seat and sit for awhile while we enjoyed out beverage. I wish I was able to snap a few shots of the cases of lovely chocolates, but I was trying to be discrete (I hate to be the blogger taking too many pictures). They looked delightful.

I am not particularly focused on living a vegan lifestyle (just wait for my Shake Shack post), but if it's good, I'll eat or drink it. This was the best hot chocolate yet, hands down. Very rich and creamy, with a hint of spice and homemade marshmallows. I think there was some cinnamon and cardamon. There is a spicier version so I may have to try that.

I have seen these types of marshmallows bagged and boxed at Whole Foods and specialty food shops, and wondered if they were really any different than a jet puffed marshmallow. I can report that they are in fact delicious!

The site is still under construction (they are very new!):


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