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The Snack Report: Dole Smoothie Shakers

Smoothie Sunday season is almost here!  I better get to work and start coming up with some new smoothie recipes!  In the mean time, I decided to ease into things by reviewing some smoothie products you can buy in stores.  First up is Dole Smoothie Shakers.  These seem to be the option for if you want a quick smoothie on the go since no blender is necessary.  There are seven flavors available (though I only saw two in the store I was in): blueberry banana, pineapple mango, strawberry raspberry, peach mango, strawberry, strawberry banana, and mixed berry.  I tried pineapple mango.  I went with that one because it also has carrot and sweet potato in it, and since I tried making my own carrot and sweet potato smoothies last year, I wanted to see how a different one would taste.  I also I just enjoy both pineapple and mango.

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So, how did the smoothie stand up?

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Food 101: Tostones aka Fried Plantains

I created a monster.  I turned Erik into a tostones monster.  My first experience with plantains was tostones.  I saw Alton Brown make them on Good Eats and was intrigued, so I made them.  Erik’s first experience with plantains was them just cooked and in a sauce as a side dish at a Colombian restaurant.  He couldn’t understand how I liked plantains so much (since not-fried plantains, while not bad, are definitely not as good as their fried brethren).  So I told him about how amazing fried plantains are and that I would make them for him sometime so he could see for himself.  I think he may still have been a bit skeptical.  But boy did his mind change after he had them.  Now we cannot go to a grocery store without Erik sneaking some plantains into our cart to make with dinner.  As I said, I’ve created a monster.

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This is what you’ll be starting with

I’ve talked about plantains before in a review of plantain chips.  As I mentioned in that post, fried plantains are pretty much the best French fry you’ll ever have.  Because they’re so starchy, when you smush them and fry them they almost become self-battering.  It can be hard to believe that they haven’t been dipped in something other than water.  They’re crunchy, starchy, and salty in all the best ways.  You’re definitely going to want to give these a try.

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Cheat Code: Egg-less Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies

I realize this is now our third chocolate chip cookie recipe on the blog, but well, we really like chocolate chip cookies.  While the chocolate chip cookie recipe using cream cheese instead of eggs came about out of necessity, this recipe was developed strictly out of curiosity.  I remembered from an old episode of Good Eats that Alton Brown said that avocados are actually kind of similar to eggs in terms of fat content so that got me to wondering if avocado could also replace eggs in cookies.  And I was right!  The cookies ended up with a slightly different flavor than regular chocolate chip cookies, but nothing that can really be pin-pointed to avocado.  Even skeptics will enjoy these cookies.  They’re also some of the most cakey chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had, so if that’s your favorite type of cookie, then these are for you.

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Pizza Lab #40: Birthday Cake Pizza

Alright guys. We’ve done some zany shit involving pizzas, before. I’ll admit it. We’ve hit some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle joke-levels of wackiness with Pizza Lab. We’ve done curry pizza, chicken & waffles pizza, cheesecake pizza, and all sorts of other insane mashups. But we have once again managed to outdo ourselves with a pizza so delightfully out-there, that it actually kind of demolishes out-there and flies far, far beyond it. I present to you: Birthday Cake Pizza.

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Cheat Codes: Make Your Own Bruschetta in Minutes

We’ve discussed bruschetta before, when talking about the tomato salad that typically gets served on or alongside it. And yes, said tomato salad is amazing, but let’s not all forget about the base of this: the actual bruschetta. These tasty, little toast slices are incredibly useful for all sorts of applications, and even better is how insanely easy they are to make.

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