Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The BEST Travel Containers

I spent this past weekend in Atlanta for my brother's wedding which meant I had to pull out my trusty quart-sized Ziploc bag to stash all my liquids in per the good folks at airport security. But alas, I had lost the plastic bottle destined to hold my face wash. I ran over to the grocery store to pick another $.99 bottle, but there was no such container to be found. My only option was a slightly pricier variety that seemed fancier than what I required - but since it was the only option, I tossed it in my basket.

Well this week when I head to the store I'm picking up a couple more of these "fancy" bottles and I can't wait until I need to use them. So what makes these little pouches so special? Why am I oh so in love with them? Let me count the ways:

  1. They're made from soft but sturdy silicone that is super easy to squeeze.
  2. They balance on their caps so you don't have to shake the bottle to get your liquid out.
  3. A large opening allows for easy filling and no spilling.
  4. A no-spill nozzle ensures your goop doesn't leak and the cap doesn't get all gunked up.
  5. The flip open cap is incredibly easy to open.
  6. The 2 oz. version I purchased has a built in suction cup that really does stay put and allows for single-handed dispensing.
  7. There is a built in ring you can adjust to show what the contents of your container are.

Have I sold you? The brand that makes these little tubes of joy is called Humangear and the tubes I am a total convert to are called GoToobs! A definite must for any frequent travelers out there. Plus they come in three sizes.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Autumnal Eats: Breakfast Edition

This weekend the temps dropped and fall hit like a Hefty-bag full of leaves. Granted, we're supposed to see some relief from the sub-50 degree weather soon, but until then I'm going to be enjoying this perfect fall breakfast... Carrot Cake Oatmeal with Maharaja Chai Oolong Tea.

Carrot cake lovers rejoice - there really is a nutritious and delicious carrot-cake-inspired breakfast option, all thanks to the amazing Angela of Oh She Glows. Seriously, you need to make this tomorrow. No excuses. It is so yummy and filling and will keep you energized all morning long. The recipe is below, but you should definitely go check it out on Angela's site for the gorgeous photos on Oh She Glows.
While I suppose any chai tea is nice to wash down the delicious oatmeal with, my favorite has to be Teavana's Maharaja Chai Oolong Tea. As I may have said before, the flavors are so intense and complex, and you get the sweetness without having to add anything but water (a much healthier alternative to boxed chai tea mixes which contain major amounts of sugar). This blend is so good it'll instantly warm you from the inside out.

And now on to the recipe...

Carrot Cake Oatmeal from Oh She Glows
  • 1/2 cup regular oats
  • 1 cup almond milk (or soy, rice, etc)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large carrot, finely grated (1 heaping cup)
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk cream (use the cream off the top of the full-fat can only)
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground cinnamon, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8th tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp crushed walnuts, divided
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk cream + 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup (to drizzle on top)
  • Shredded coconut, for garnish
  • Cinnamon, for garnish
  • Raisins, for garnish

Directions: Finely grate the large carrot to yield 1 heaping cup of grated carrots. Note that you want to use the fine grate, not the large one so the carrot shreds are very small.

In a medium sized pot over medium heat, add your almond milk, lemon juice, and coconut milk cream. Stir well. Add in your spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger) and salt. Stir again until mixed.

Stir in your grated carrots and oats. Adjust heat if necessary or bring heat to low if it starts to boil. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. When the mixture has thickened up, stir in the vanilla extract, 1 tbsp crushed walnuts, and 2 tbsp of maple syrup. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.

Top with 1 tbsp of crushed walnuts and 1 tsp of shredded coconut. Prepare your coconut milk cream + maple syrup mixture and drizzle it over top. Sprinkle with cinnamon for garnish.

Serves 1 large portion or 2 small portions.