Category Archives: Dessert
Every weekend Elena and I have a discussion about which days we’re each going to blog for the upcoming week. Usually these discussions take place via text message, and after some negotiations (Georgia: I have to watch all the episodes of Once Upon a Time on Monday so I won’t have time to write a post Elena: Well on Monday I have to write a ukulele song and record it for my YouTube channel so I don’t have time either!) and the exchange of banter so meek it doesn’t even entertain us (Georgia: Wanna start a business? Elena: Ok, what should we do? Georgia: I don’t know, we’re not really good at anything Elena: Bat Mitzvah planning? Georgia: Dog yoga classes? Elena: Eh, I don’t feel like starting a business) we decide on our days and move on to more compelling (but equally mundane) topics.
Some weird twist of fate led to me being the assigned blogger for this Friday, and it wasn’t until late Thursday afternoon that I realized that this post would be the last for SkinnyOffice in 2011! I don’t think Elena was thinking of the date when she JUMPED at the chance to write on Tuesday and Thursday this week, because there is just no way that she would knowingly pass up having the last word of the year. But I’ll take this opportunity to speak for both of us when I say that 2011 (particularly the last few months of it) has been a great year! We started this blog as a fun side-project that both of us could look forward to working on outside of our regular work hours, and it not only met, but exceeded our expectations.
I’m not usually a fan of New Years resolutions. I always feel that making a resolution for a new year seems a bit stupid. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just make resolutions throughout the year as we see fit? Despite my dislike of the seemingly mandated metamorphosis that we all go through each January, I’ve always been a sucker for tradition and I’ve never gotten through a New Year’s Eve without resolving to better myself in some sort of way. Last year I vowed to take on something new and exciting, and here I am, on the eve of a New Year, writing a blog post for a blog I could never have imagined a year ago! So while keeping the success last year has brought in mind, in no particular order, here are my resolutions for 2012:
1. Work harder on SkinnyOffice
2. Go to the gym more (Isn’t this on everyone’s list? Click here for some tips from Gawker!)
3. Compliment people more often (NYTimes Social Q’s said this was a good idea for a resolution)
4. Go somewhere amazingly interesting (This is right up my alley, though I assume there is no gym onboard and therefore goal #2 will have to be disregarded)
5. Eat more applesauce
I don’t know if #4 or #5 is crazier. A train ride through the plains of Mongolia is insane, especially because I’d be willing (and would love) to go on the journey by myself. But a commitment to eat more applesauce? I’m not an applesauce fanatic. I mean, I like it, but that’s about as far as my affection for the fruit purée goes. Well that was until I discovered GoGo Squeez Applesauce Pouches.
GoGo Squeez Applesauce is portable, resealable, and totally delicious. You can drink it à la Gogurt, but for those of us who do not like anything even remotely creamy (am I alone in this?) applesauce is a great alternative to the yogurts and cottage cheeses that are so popular. With only 60 calories a pouch these snacks are as lo-cal as they are savory!
What I’ve always found unappealing about New Years resolutions is the unlikelihood of keeping them. I mean, not a gym-goer never a gym-goer, right? Didn’t make it to Mongolia in 2011, probably won’t make it in 2012! But applesauce, and increasing my intake of it, that’s doable. Bring on the GoGo Squeez packs, 2012!!
SkinnyOffice, see you next year!
America’s Sweetheart/resident psychopath Britney Spears recently announced that she and boyfriend Jason Trawick are engaged. Uh, congratulations? I’m happy for Btirney, I really am. I’ve been a huge supporter of hers ever since I choreographed a floor gymnastics routine to Hit Me Baby One More Time in my 5th grade gym class, and I used Toxic as my ringtone for the better part of my college career. As much as I’d like this marriage to work, it’s no secret that Brit doesn’t have the greatest matrimonial track record.
Maybe it was Brit’s bad habits that tore apart her first two marriages. Remember her widely-publicized penchant for drive-thru burgers? Or her repeated use of gas station bathrooms–barefoot? How about her dire love of Cool Ranch Doritos? And then of course there was the whole head shaving/beating up paparazzi/losing custody of her children thing. Sometimes these things happen!
So what’s to say that the soon-to-be Mr. Britney Spears will not suffer the same fate as the two that came before him? Britney is a changed woman now: you can see it in her new music and also the courts said so. But what really made me realize that the former-Mousekateer has changed her ways is the knowledge that she has traded her beloved fries and chips for Trader Joe’s Oatmeal Cranberry Dunkers, which her assistant Brett says is her new favorite snack.
What a healthy treat, Brit! I wonder if Jason Trawick turned her onto a purer lifestyle or if she discovered it somewhere along her Femme Fatale tour. Whatever the reason, Britney looks great and I’m going to go ahead and credit her new snacking routine to her overall revival.
With 170 calories per Oatmeal Cranberry Dunker, these aren’t the lowest-cal treat on the market. But I woke up this morning feeling as if my blood has been infused with the holiday spirit, so I’m going to be generous in my snacking suggestion today. As the name suggests, you can dunk these cookies into coffee or tea, or you can just eat them plain. There’s a thin layer of icing on them, which perhaps reminds Britney of the Dunk-a-Roos she used to have such a fondness for.
It seems that Britney has changed for the better. Here’s to hoping she won’t be singing Oops I Did it Again a few months after she and Trawick tie the knot.
I’ve been dying for a muffin for days. Of course the logical solution to this problem would be to go buy a muffin. I do live in the middle of Manhattan– I’m sure I could find a muffin less than 10 steps from my front door. But then I remembered this: muffins from Dunkin Donuts contain 500-600 calories each. Even the reduced fat blueberry muffin has 450 calories and 11 grams of fat! I don’t even want to know how many grams of fat are in the regular blueberry muffin. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually eaten a muffin from Dunkin Donuts and I’m certainly not going to start now, but even reading about Dunkin Donuts monster muffins didn’t quell my craving. I understand that the terrifying nutrition facts about Dunkin Donuts muffins are not reflective of all muffins, but just to be safe I decided to stick with VitaMuffins, the world’s only 100 calorie full-sized muffin! (I’m not actually sure if it’s really the only one in the world, but they’re so good they could put everyone else out of business).
With only 100 calories per muffin, these low-cal, low-fat and high-fiber muffins are perfect for a snack any time of day. But that’s not even the best part. VitaMuffins also makes VitaTops— just the top of the muffin, also for 100 calories. My favorite is the banana chocolate chip, which actually tastes like banana bread, but they come in a variety of flavors including chocolate mint, apple crumb, fudgy peanut butter, and pumpkin spice.
I think it’s pretty common knowledge that the top is the best part of any muffin, and VitaTops really saves you the hassle of having to remove the top from the base, and also eliminates any guilt you may feel about throwing away the entire bottom part of the muffin. You can order VitaTops and VitaMuffins online (along with a variety of other interesting products the company makes).
VitaTops are definitely the best (and healthiest) way to have your
cake muffin and eat it too!
‘Twas 8 am Sunday morning, when all through my boyfriend’s apartment, not a roommate was stirring, not even the unidentifiable guy sleeping on the couch. Their big “Christmukkah” party had been the night before, and after a night of eating, drinking, dancing, crying a little, and then dancing more, I woke up needing a glass of water almost as much as I need this snood (hint hint, Mom…oh who am I kidding, she’s not reading).
As I tiptoed into the living room, I surveyed the wreckage. Lots of empty beer cans, half-eaten cookies, a small pile of nuts on the floor…not too bad, I thought, as I cautiously made my way to the sink. My own room has looked worse, often after a trying-on-everything-I-own-while-wailing-that-I-hate-it-all rampage.
It seems that I wasn’t quite cautious enough, because all of a sudden I felt some sort of sticky rod-shaped object beneath my (previously) clean, festively-red-toenailed foot. I gingerly lifted up my foot to see what it was: a lone, half-crushed mini candy cane–the poor little guy! Must’ve been in the wrong place in the wrong time. Welcome to my life, I wanted to tell it.
I managed to clean off my foot, obtain my water (Mother Nature’s SkinnyDrink), and sneak back into bed without being completely traumatized. The whole incident, while unfortunate, ended up serving a very useful purpose in reminding me 1) always to wear socks in my boyfriend’s apartment, and 2) about one of the season’s best SkinnySnacks–mini candy canes.
There is literally NO downside to mini candy canes, they are like manna from Santa. THREE of them are about 40-50 calories. They are festive, minty sweet, and take a long time to eat. You can even lick one until the end gets all pointy and then use it to threaten an irritating coworker. Holding one will add a charming sense of holiday spirit to your appearance, so you can flaunt one in front of that cute new guy. They are cute and striped and will make your breath smell better after all that garlic hummus. And if none of those reasons are enough, even my homie Snoop likes them. Enough said.
Epilogue: Later, I went into the kitchen and scanned the room for other, whole, wrapped mini candy canes that I was maybe or maybe not planning on stealing for the office. Alas, none were to be found. What else could I do but take an unopened bottle of wine instead?
My sister has an amazing snack cabinet in her house. I go over to her house fairly often, and though she may think it’s so I can spend time with her and her three kids, it’s really because I like to check out any new additions to the snack cabinet. There have been times when I’ve come close to trampling my 2-year-old niece, Charley, to death because of my mad dash for the snacks.
It was on one of my snack-stampedes that I came across ZBars. I think one of my nephews had brought one home from school, and loved the bar so much that my sister has been stocking her cabinet with them ever since. ZBars are the kid version of CLIF bars, and though I’m no Sam Sifton, I have to say that in every way, ZBars are better than their parent-food, the CLIF bar. It’s very possible that I’m too old to be eating a kid product, but I overlook my age when it comes to ZBars. They come in seven flavors– chocolate brownie, chocolate chip, s’mores, honey graham, peanut butter, full-moon brownie (whatever that is), and blueberry– and the only one I’m hesitant to try is blueberry. I’m a chocolate chip devotee, which is a point of contention between me and my nephew (Mac is a die-hard chocolate brownie fan).
With only 130 calories a bar, these are the perfect portable snack to throw in your bag as you’re running out the door. And they travel well, too! I’ve never been happier than the time I was starving and alone in Vietnam and I reached into my bag and found a ZBar!
As for my sister’s snack cabinet…I can only hope that her kids don’t outgrow ZBars. But I don’t think they will anytime soon: I’m almost 24 and I’m still eating them!
I still feel full from Thanksgiving dinner. How could I not after indulging in countless plates of carbs, meats and fat-laden sides, all topped off with a generous slice of pumpkin pie? But with Turkey-gate 2011 now behind us, we have another diet-busting holiday looming on the horizon. The upcoming holiday season is once again wreaking havoc on waistlines across the country, and the candies, cookies, chocolates and cakes have started rearing their ugly heads. Candy canes in the doctor’s office? White chocolate bark at the nail salon? Macaroon samples in Whole Foods? What is the world coming to?!
SkinnyWorkers have to pull out all the stops to combat what I like to call the prerequisite “Festive Bulge”- you know, the kind where your favorite pair of J Brand skinnies suddenly feel like Saran Wrap? But there are only so many carrot sticks and plain-lettuce-dressing-on-the-side salads you can eat in the four weeks leading up to Christmas before breaking down and inhaling five of those scrumptious looking sugar cookies a (demonic) co-worker left in your office kitchen. That is where Fiber One Brownies come in!
At 90 calories a pop, these melt-in-your mouth treats will satisfy your sweet tooth without creating a Saint Nick-style physique. They come in two flavors (the Chocolate Peanut Butter is to die for) and provide 20% of your daily required fiber, keeping you full well past the 3 p.m. slump. For an extra special treat, pop a brownie in the microwave and top with a scoop of Arctic Zero. These will having you singing, “‘tis the season to stay skinny!”
McKenzie, 23, http://zestofbeauty.blogspot.com/
Anyone who has been following the saga of Mariah Carey’s career and pregnancy knows that she put on a few pounds over the past year or two (and by a few I mean 70). After giving birth to twins Roc and Roe–also known as dem babies— the diva realized she had too many mirrors in her house, told a reporter that she felt “rancid”, and decided to trade her beloved candy and soul food for some Jenny Craig soup. When Mimi began dieting, her husband/indentured servant Nick Cannon issued a warning: “She’s going to come out looking better — looking like it’s 1990!” 1990, like when Nick was in the 5th grade.
Mariah’s weight loss story proves that stars really are just like us. Like so many other desperate Americans, the songstress turned to Jenny Craig to help her shed her baby weight (and her I-eat-too-much-fried-shit weight, too). Jenny Craig has clearly been good for Mariah– she’s lost 40lbs since signing up and was recently named the company’s newest spokeswoman. But I think it would have saved Mariah a lot of trouble– not to mention a few dry Jenny Craig brownies–if she had known about Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisps.
Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisps are low-calorie (110 per bar!), low-fat, and high in fiber, but they don’t lack any flavor. The chocolate that’s drizzled on top of the bars is just as creamy as real chocolate; the inside of the bar is a delicate wafer that’s hardly discernible from the wafer of a kit-kat bar. I could sing praises for Heavenly Crisps and all Skinny Cow products all morning, but it’s not even this candy’s dietary attributes that Mimi would go wild for.
An entire generation envied Carey’s svelte figure, which she famously flaunted on the cover of her 1999 album, Rainbow, so it was quite a shock when the superstar waddled onto stage at the 2010 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting looking like a very robust Mrs. Claus. See, Mimi would love Skinny Cow because Mimi is a skinny cow; a skinny person in a cow’s body.
Even though she doesn’t work in a typical office, the size of Mimi’s ass is a testament to the perilous combination of boredom and snacking. Carey is doing a great job getting back on track, and unlike us plebeians she has a chef, a trainer, and a 31-year-old live-in boy-toy/baby daddy to help keep her diet on track. But Mimi, if you’re reading this, here’s some advice: next time Nick is off schmoozing with Sharon Osbourne and you can’t change one more of dem babies’ diapers (OK let’s be honest, girlfriend isn’t changing any diapers), put down the cornbread and enjoy a Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp. You’ll thank me when no one mistakes you for Santa at this year’s tree lighting.
I think it’s common knowledge that the grape is a pretty average fruit. Eating a grape certainly doesn’t leave you feeling refreshed, like eating a sweet summer watermelon does, and the grape does not possess the apple’s uncanny ability to capture the essence of an entire season with one crisp bite. Grapes don’t have a category, they don’t have a season. Grapes are just…grapes– and as I’m not usually one to settle for mediocrity, I tend to reach for a fruit that’s a bit less, um, pedestrian, when perusing the produce section.
But this was all before I discovered frozen grapes. Frozen grapes are not a new product; they are just ordinary grapes that have been in the freezer for a few hours. It’s hard to believe that the simple act of freezing can transform this uninspired fruit into something that tastes so regal. That’s right. Frozen grapes actually taste like royalty.
Non-frozen grapes often taste dry and chalky, but put your grapes in the freezer and they’ll taste like velvet. One of the biggest problems with eating grapes at room temperature is that you run the risk of accidentally grabbing a soft, soggy one. Just stick your grapes in the freezer and problem solved! When frozen, grapes don’t become rock-hard as one might expect. Instead they have a pleasantly firm outside while the inside has a bit of a crunch but still retains its juiciness. Frozen grapes are like the french fries of fruit.
Just remember to dry the grapes before you put them in your freezer…
The only thing I love more than a sweet, low-calorie, frozen treat is a sweet, low-calorie, frozen treat that I can eat using only one hand (Shopbop isn’t gonna browse itself, people). And there are even more advantages to sugar-free popsicles. You don’t need a plate, which means you don’t have to wash said plate; it takes a while to eat just one (the Holy Grail of low-calorie food qualities!); and the colors are so bright and pretty, just like me.
Popsicles are the perfect snack to eat while you’re at a computer, it’s like they were made for an office or study-room setting. I don’t even want to tell you how many of these I ate during college. Sometimes I stocked up on so many I’d have to take them out of the box in order to fit them all into my freezer (though admittedly, most of my other groceries had to go into the freezer as well). The brand of fruit-flavored popsicles that I always bought and highly recommend is the Popsicle brand, since who could possibly make better popsicles than the company NAMED “Popsicle”?! They only have 15 calories per popsicle, and absolutely zero of anything else remotely nutritious but who cares? Sure, they aren’t the “real fruit” ones with “no preservatives” or whatever, but come on, get over yourself–who are you, Michael Pollan?
And if you eat enough of them, you can make a popsicle-stick house, which could be one of those quirky conversation-starters that you use when you feel uncomfortable at a party.