Well, I thought I was going to switch over to WordPress, but now I’m not sure – I don’t really like the themes and I can’t figure out how to show updates from the multitude of blogs I’m following…so for now, I’m sticking with Blogger. Just FYI.

Aaaanyways, I have a crap ton of stuff to talk about: bar reviews, Banh Mi subs, a new restaurant, French Toast Bake, Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies, Food Principles lab….

My life is SOO eventful outside of food, right?

First off, another Gnu Bar review, specifically the Espresso Chip Bar. After the not so great Banana Walnut Bar (again, I don’t like banana flavored anything – not really a reflection on the bar’s texture or chew, etc.), I was ready to try a flavor I knew I would like. The Espresso Chip bar did not disappoint. I’d say it was a pretty close comparison to the Mochawalla Odwalla bar, except Gnu bars are 100% natural and have a TON more fiber than Odwalla bars. The espresso flavor was spot on and the chocolate chips were a nice touch.

Next, one of the new, coveted LARA bars: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

So. Good.

Seriously, the way to eat the LARA bars with chocolate chips is to let it hang out in your bookbag for half of the day and let it get semi-melty. Well, only the chocolate gets melty; the rest of the bar stays, well, bar-ish. I must have looked like a grinning idiot as I enjoyed my bar while booking it up the “biology hill” to my nutrition class. The chocolate chips MAKE this bar, while the dates provide a perfect sweet base.

Gimme another.

I also tried the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip LARA bar.

I was surprised to find that I liked this bar a little less than the “plain” chocolate chip. I mean, don’t get me wrong, this bar is the bomb, but if I HAD to choose between the two, I’d ditch the PBCC bar in a second. It had a nice, natural peanuty flavor with well-dispersed bursts (tongue twister, heh heh) of (melty) chocolate chips. Yuuuuuum.

I must seem like a bar junkie. I collect them like a kid collects Pokemon cards. Except a kid would never eat a holographic Charizard card. Chocolate Chip LARA bars = Holographic Charizard.

So, along with a crap ton of new bars, I also ventured into the world of homemade Vietnamese food, specifically Banh Mi subs, aka the delicious subs from Just Pho that own the small, Asian food loving part of my soul. I’d like to say that my attempt at Banh Mi subs were just as delicious as the subs at Just Pho, but then I’d be lying. I guess I’m just not quite cultured enough to recreate those delicious subs.

It’s okay, though…they were still pretty good. I think the meatballs I made were too small – they just couldn’t hold their own against the super crusty bread. I’ve had this recipe sitting in my inbox since last spring – my friend’s mom is totally cultured and can whip up delicious Banh Mi subs no problem. Hannah’s parents actually treated me to my first Vietnamese meal back in the 11th grade.

I’d like to say that I was just as open to foreign food back then as I am now, but that would be a fat lie. Foreign foods to my eleventh grade self included Chinese food from the mall, Chinese food frozen in a take out box, and Moe’s. That Vietnamese place blew my mind back when I was sixteen – I didn’t know what to do with myself. I don’t even remember what I ate, which is a shame because that Vietnamese place was pretty (for lack of a better word) legit.

So anyways, the subs were good, but not great. I really liked the slaw (which included daikon…tasted like a radish) as a sandwich topper and cilantro really tied the whole sub together. I’ll definitely have to get different bread next time, or at least try not toasting it – the stiff bread had a hard time keeping all of the filling together. I eventually had to eat my sub with a fork, which was a real travesty, in my opinion. I also had the pleasure of smelling fish sauce for the first time whilst making the meatballs.

Gross. Ugh. It was like essence de concentrated fish tank. Luckily the meatballs didn’t retain that odor. Anyways, here’s the recipe. It’s actually really quick to make once you let everything hang out in the fridge for an hour or two…and I’m pretty sure the recipe originally came from Bon Appetit magazine.

Banh Mi Subs, courtesy Bon Appetit Magazine
Serves 4

2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)

1 pound ground pork (I used turkey. I thought the meatballs were still really flavorful, but go with what you like)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

2 cups coarsely grated carrots
2 cups coarsely grated peeled daikon
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
4 10-inch-long individual baguettes or four 10-inch-long pieces French-bread baguette (cut from 2 baguettes)
Thinly sliced jalapeño chiles (Left these out)
16 large fresh cilantro sprigs

Julienne the carrot and daikon, then mix with the rice vinegar, sugar, salt and oil. Let the slaw hang out in the fridge for an hour so all the flavors can marry. Next mix the ground meat, garlic, green onion, fish sauce, siriachi, salt, pepper, cornstarch and sugar together in a bowl. Mix together – I used my (clean) hands because I’m cool like that. Let the meat mixture sit for an hour in the fridge so it’s easy to roll into balls.

1 hour later…

Heat up some oil in 2 pans over medium high heat. Start rolling the meat mixture into 1 inch balls. Place the meatballs in the oil and let them brown on each side, making sure they cook all the way through. Mix together the mayo/siriachi mixture, then put your subs in a 350 degree oven to toast. Or you could not toast your bread – Shelley had a much easier time eating her sandwich with non-toasted bread, but I just really like the toasted bread flavor. And don’t forget to chop that cilantro!! Once your bread is done toasting and your meatballs are cooked, get ready to assemble!!

Spread the mayo mixture on both sides of the sandwich, then top with four meatballs and a nice serving of the slaw, topped with some cilantro. Squish the sandwich together and give it your best Guy Fieri bite!

The sandwiches looked really pretty, even if they only tasted okay.

And I just had to include a picture of the delicious tomato dish that Alexi made for dinner one night…

I’m pretty sure it was a hollowed out tomato filled with corn, onions and egg. It was from Everyday Food (or whatever it’s called).

Oh yeah, and in my food lab, I pretty much tried every vegetable known to man. It was awesome. New vegetables included: acorn squash (SO GOOD!!!!), turnips, beets (gross), kohlrabi, and I even tried spaghetti squash again! It definitely wasn’t as gross as I thought it was two years ago, but it’s still not my favorite squash. My Spinach Parmesan Pie turned out great. It was pretty much like an upside down quiche, but I was proud of myself for doing some mad multitasking in the kitchen.

This post is getting pretty lengthy, so I’ll give a Labor Day weekend recap some other time! Have a super three day weekend!

PS – go to http://sjs427.myweb.uga.edu – I MADE IT WITH DREAMWEAVER!!!! EAT IT, CSS/HTML!


12 thoughts on “

  1. Thanks! I'm actually not going to use it for anything, unfortunately. It was just an assignment for my Writing for the Web English class.And the food lab is my lab for Food Principles…it's one of the classes dietetics majors have to take. It's basically the science of food and cooking/baking.

  2. You are so lucky!! I'm seriously larabar deprived these days… my local grocery store only carries the pb&j, peanut butter cookie, lemon and apple. I found a chocolate one once but never again. *sigh* I'm still dying for the carrot cake one but i'm not ready to spend 30 bucks on a case online lol.anywhosers, you also make me miss school. how sad is that, i MISS school. this is the first time since i was 3 that i'm not starting school this fall and i have no idea what to do with myself!!

  3. Goodnesssssss. Your blog makes me hungry =D, and I am shocked that i have never tried a Larabar, because I am a HUGE bar fan, since the fit so perfectly in my purse and backpack 😉

  4. K I'm going to start with this quote: "It was like essence de concentrated fish tank."You KILL me girl ahahaha. I love reading your blog because I swear you sound exactly like me and my friends. Too funny/NAST, ugh. I am not a big larabar fan (:x!) I've tried so hard to be one, too, but maybe I just haven't had the right flavors. I tried an orangey one awhile ago, I think. I love love dates, I just couldn't get into it. Chocolate chips sound ideal though, and I'm a bar freak so I'm definitely up for trying a round two 🙂 I made the switch from blogger to wordpress and I haven't regretted it. I custom made my own layout though because I didn't like any of theirs. xo!

  5. MMMMMM banh mi! cilantro! hell yeah!! you're so brave for using fish sauce… i totally run the other way about that stuff. when i made banh mi, i hallowed out part of the bread before i toasted it (sad, the innards are the best part of the bread), but it helped a lot to keep the junk in the trunk, ya know? also it's 7am here… is it wrong to be craving one right now??

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