The Tough Letters

Namely… X, Q, and Z.

For the X, I intended to get my hands on some Xagave… never mind that I’m not even sure I can have it.  I went to the only store around here that supposedly carries it… and wouldn’t you know, I forgot to even check for that.  Oh, well.  My Alphebruary, my rules: I can use xanthan gum, because even though I have used it before, I’ve never found a way to use it that didn’t totally gross me out.

So I blended up a smoothie… a banana, special dark cocoa powder, whey protein, crushed ice cubes, and the tiniest bit of xanthan gum.

You know what I hate about xanthan gum?  I can taste it.  It’s kind of … slimy.  Maybe if I used it in bread or something, it wouldn’t be an issue, but I still can’t stomach it in smoothies.  Neeeext.

I saw this in the grocery store a couple of weeks ago, and I got all excited because it starts with a Q.

That excitement was moronic, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  First, these straws.  I stuck one into a glass of Almond Dream.

It was fine, I guess.  Just slightly chocolate-flavored, and I would have preferred it stronger.  And I’m not big on drinking things other than water (and crack, but that’s a category all its own).

The misplaced excitment was moronic because it completely slipped my mind in the moment that I had an unopened box of red quinoa at home, which I’d just never gotten around to trying.  And for my purposes, it is hereby known as quinoa, red.

Stir-fry!  I know, I know, shocking.  There are always random bits of vegetables that I need to finish, and that’s just the easiest way.  On a bed of steamed baby bok choy leaves and red quinoa: baby bok choy stalks, shredded cabbage, baby peppers, baby bellas, and edamame, stir-fried with peanut oil.  At first, I thought that the red quinoa tasted exactly the same as any other quinoa I’ve ever eaten… but then I decided it was a little sweeter.  Not really the right word, but… you know how quinoa has that slightly bitter taste, even if it’s rinsed?  This didn’t have that.  Now, personally, I don’t mind that in regular quinoa; but for someone who does, this would make a good substitute.  And, hey — it looks pretty.  😉

And, finally, the Z… I decided that since I’ve never made it before, zucchini bread qualified.  I made two mini loaves — one for me, and one for my brother to thank him for resuscitating my mini.  (He’s a miracle worker; everything is still on there!!)

Except that, um, I kind of invented the recipe as I went along.  So I obviously had to taste it before I gave it to him.  Just to ensure I wouldn’t indavertently kill him… he is my favorite brother, after all!  😉

There was a little too much ginger in it.  Which isn’t a problem, I suppose, if you like ginger.  I don’t hate it, but I’d definitely cut back on it next time!

Since my senioritis is getting worse by the hour, I’m probably going to just end up watching the Oscars tonight.  Even though I don’t really care about it, since I haven’t seen any of the movies.  But… pretty dressesSparkly things!  The magpie in me likes to come out to play.  😉

Sort of related to play… I heard about on the radio last week that Wonderland is coming to Broadway!  I wanna goooo… then again, considering that I’ve been wanting to see Wicked for years, I’m guessing that won’t be happening any time soon.  I have a talent for honing in on expensive things, apparently.

Happy Everyone’s-Favorite-Day-of-the-Week (well, not mine)!

“If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” 
~Frank A. Clark

…and um, yeah… I kinda signed up for a 5K today.  I’m clearly insane.  But we’ll discuss that some other time.


10 responses to “The Tough Letters

  1. I’ve never used xanthan gum before, either. I was on a kick for a little bit when I reallly wanted to get my hands on some to try, but then I finally decided that for $10/bag I’d be fine with smoothies that weren’t epically sized because of the gum 😛 It seemed everyone who used it swore by it, though, so I actually enjoy hearing that you’re not crazy about it!!
    And I think red quinoa definitely counts for your Q 😉
    I totally skipped over that 5k part until I was just sort of sitting here, staring at the page while listening to something on the TV, and then was like “oh, does she always have a little line of writing there? oh, it’s about a 5k!” haha. Can’t wait to hear about it!!

  2. Thanks to you I’m never going to bother trying xanthan gum (it’s a good thing!). I have been up in the air about trying it but now I’m not even gonna bother. I prefer to eat my food anyway 😉

    Ya know what, I’ve never even tried quinoa before! How do you cook it?

    Those quick sip straws look fun! I can, however, see myself cutting the straw open and just eating what’s inside. I’m gross like that.

    Now get yaw ass of that couch and go do some uni work, woman!!!


  3. Ha! I love the fact that you put your 5K entry in itty bitty text. I smiled when I saw your update on FB too.

    Obviously from my perspective I’m uber-excited for you and I know that you’ll finish the race, but you probably won’t be happy with your time because you’re ALWAYS too hard on yourself. So I’m going to presage your dissatisfaction by saying that I hope this race is the start of a long and beautiful running journey. Ironic coming from me, but make sure to train smart and fuel adequately (don’t worry, you don’t have to eat an entire bag of granola like me :P)



    • Oh, and I meant to say that I used to hate xanthan gum too, but if you use a tiny amount and make up the rest with guar gum then the funky taste/texture generally improves a lot.

  4. I’ve never used xanthan gum in smoothies either because I’ve heard that it can cause stomach cramps and worsen IBS symptoms unless it’s cooked properly. I DO use it in my gluten free cakes, and it works well in those 🙂 And red quinoa is my favourite! I love it, I have two boxes in my cupboard. Might have to eat some for lunch now!

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