13 March 2014

Cerealously




This blog post is dedicated to the awesome blog that is no more, "Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp" and its intrepid author.



While on a nostalgic Internet search for French Toast Crunch, specifically the Halloween version from Fall 1998, I found a blog called, “Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp,” a Wordpress site on which the young male author discusses college football and reviews food. Adam Nettina had managed to score a box of Canadian French Toast Crunch and reviewed it sometime in the last two years. The more I read the site, the more I noticed what the author and I had in common: twenty-something, higher-educated, Catholic, living in the DMV, eating disordered. Don’t try to look it up, though; Adam took the blog down last year.


His clear writing style made the blog easy to read, and his photos made me want cereal, had me eating with my eyes, as a good blog should. Reading his posts brought a smile to my face as he rated food on texture, taste, price, availability, and whether he would buy it again. Adam once began a review for yet another kind of cereal that he was "someone who chooses to eat [his] carbs in the form of cereal," a statement I found hilarious and relatable up to a certain point in my life.


Yeah, I had a bit of a crush.

Hey, for words on a screen, Nettina met my criteria for cool before I even had criteria: excellent writer, critical thinker, religious, foodie, writer, blogger... This article showed me how similar Nettina and I am, in psychology.

Promise I'm not a creeper! Most of my crushes/squishes to that point were hopelessly unrequited, so I didn't have reciprocal experience. Hence, my crushes/squishes until 2013 rather closely resembled stalking. The Internet makes indulging such passions all too easy.

Until the target disappears.


I began reading Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp in September 2012, and I took pictures of my breakfast consisting of Nature’s Path Koala Krisp and green juice (and the requisite ground flaxseed and peanut butter hiding in there). I had intended to blog about the cereal in the style of OPWC, but I put it off. Now I can’t even link to the blog that inspired it all.


Review 1. Envirokidz Chocolate Koala Crisp (TM)

Brand: Nature's Path

Composition: Chocolate puffed rice

Works well: Straight, as cereal or in Sacrifice Bars II or the original Sacrifice Bars or Embassy Treats

Number of ingredients: 6

Price: $4.50-$5.50, depending on the store (it's available at Whole Foods Markets, MOM'S, and similar stores in the DMV area)


Crunchy and chocolaty, Nature's Path has a solid kids' offering here with the Koala Crisp. The chocolate flavor is more "cocoa-y" than chocolatey, but that's par for the course with healthy cereals. At six ingredients, there's nothing to complain about in terms of it being a mysterious, supplement-sprayed, frankenfood kid's cereal, and for this, it rises way above competition. It clocks in at 11 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fibre, and 2 grams of protein per serving, though, which makes it a better "treat" cereal than a daily one. I have purchased and cooked with it on multiple occasions already.
















You can tell I used nondairy milk in that smoothie because it's "flat" green. Oh wait, I write down what I eat. That was a kale-ginger-red delicious apple-almond butter-unsweetened vanilla almond milk-plain coconut kefir smoothie. As if this post wasn't weird enough, there's another one of my idiosyncrasies, food journalling!


Review 2. Simply Maize Organic Corn Cereal

Brand: Kashi

Composition: Puffed corn flakes (think Special K)

Works Well: Straight

Number of ingredients: 4

Price: Costco-sized box, close to $7

TC introduced me to Kashi Simply Maize cereal last month. I ate it with a mysterious smoothie, of course. He and his superior said my breakfast concoction looked pretty gross. SM tastes much like healthier, cleaner, clearer Corn Pops. The corniness is inherent in the crunch and toasty flavor (the latter of which is probably due to the molasses). Two grams of fibre, six grams of sugar, and two grams of protein for a 3/4 cup serving is safe for daily consumption, in my book. Daily consumption drowned in green juice, that is. I already bought a tonne of it at Costco, but I will buy it again in my efforts to 1) have food TC will eat at my apartment and 2) build healthy, long-shelf-lived snack packs to prevent binges.




Tangent time: DID YOU KNOW...Araceli, the heroine of the short story "Nickel-a-Pound Plane Ride" by Gary Soto, creates a concoction (fifth grade vocabulary word) of cornflakes and coffee, and said concoction was the inspiration for my group of friends' subsequent creation of lunchtime potions? Moreover, that story gave me license to begin mixing tea with ice cream, and my culinary imagination took flight from there.


Proof: Q circa June 2004, my post-prom dessert. Actually, Alaine and I left early, so the time of this photo wasn't even technically post-prom. Videre licet, decaf tea over chocolate frozen yoghurt, Ghirardelli chocolate, and a Ghirardelli brownie. Ownie Mom's the chocoholic and food preparer, not me.


And then I got into the "cover everything with nondairy milk" phase, when I used to drown my bread or oats in it every morning. Q, 2011, looking extremely pissed off next to a bowl of oats, fruit, and nondairy milk (soy from the off-whiteness of it).





Review 3. Cinnamon Heaven

Brand: Van's

Composition: GF flour blend squares coated in cinnamon

Works Well: Cereal qua cereal. Maybe as cereal qua French toast?

Number of Ingredients: 14

Price: $4.50-5.50 (found it at MOM'S)









OMG. OMG. OMG. It's my fave cereal in natural foods style! Or close enough. Cinnamon Toast Crunch was my favourite boxed cereal from back in the day when The Little Mermaid was my favourite movie. Nostalgia aside, this tastes like it should, healthier version of the original (i.e., cleaner taste, not as stridently cinnamonny). For the price of it, no, I would not buy it again. Not when I can make it.











TC's response to my telling him about this cereal, since Cinnamon Toast Crunch is/was our mutual favourite, was, "Did you eat the entire box?" One night, TC and I were looking for something to do and he said, let's get boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and see who can finish first. I countered with something along the lines of, 'eww, no, but I'm a binge eater, so that's no contest.' Cereal used to be my drug of choice, and having as much as I do in my apartment right now is a challenge, mainly because the sugar is triggering. I also realized that denying myself sugar 100 per cent was setting myself up to fail:

1) because it's in everything and avoiding it is more of a problem than I thought.

2) because some cravings ought to be given into--healthily.


There are worse foodstuffs to shove down one's throat than 3/4 cup of sugar-containing cereal. So, moderation. Lieber das Messer ablecken als den Löffel abgeben.


Parting shots:







My new AGV Valentino Rossi motorcycle helmet, with which I am obsessed. It was on sale and TC's spare helmet was too big. Now I have a helmet that fits my noggin! Can't stop thinking about how neat it is. Going to be riding pillion (proper term) or bitch (vulgar term) with TC on the sport bike a lot as the weather warms up.





Steamed some broccoli.


Pressed some tofu.


Marinated tofu in jazzed-up broccoli water. Voila:

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