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Archive for May, 2009

Craigslist Jackpot!

Oh boy, oh boy!  Guess what I found on Craigslist?  A 55″ tall, 4-year-old, upright, self-defrosting  Frigidaire freezer for only $50!  Based on the picture, I thought it was one of the really small ones that stands about 3 feet tall, so I was shocked when I arrived.  No, make that horrified.  I thought there was no way I could get it home, and I had driven over an hour to the person’s house (Houston is ridiculously big).  But with my muscle-man brother’s help and some creative rearranging, we squeezed it into the minivan with four of the five back seats still in place and about 30 collapses moving boxes piled all around.  Shocking.  We all stood around shaking our heads in disbelief for a minute before I remembered to pay the man.

freezer

When I triumphantly arrived home, I found my husband collapsed on the bed, exhausted from a new plyometrics workout his trainer cooked up that morning.  He described his legs as “jelly-like.”  Uh oh.  With a little sweet-talking, however, he rallied, and we gamely wrestled the freezer up the staircase into our unit.  It was quite a perilous endeavor, and if our neighbor’s daughter had not shown up for a surprise visit and helped us wriggle the appliance around a tight corner, it would still be downstairs.

Now I’m just holding my breath, praying that it will still work after turning it on its back.  You aren’t supposed to do that to refrigerators or freezers, apparently, but it was the only way I could get it home.  The man told me that if I leave it upright for a full 24 hours before plugging it in, it should be okay.  My brother agreed, so I decided to risk it.  I thought it was worth it, given how much I could gain by having a freezer.  I’ll let you know what happens when we plug it in tonight!

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This review might seem redundant given yesterday’s overall (wildly favorable) Coconut Bliss review, but I thought it was worth following up on this particular flavor because, if you’re anything like me, the thought of mint and coconut together falls rather short of appealing.  Coconut and vanilla?  Sure.  Coconut and chocolate?  Gimme more!  But coconut and mint?  Blech.  I hastily skipped over this combo on our first two forays to the store.  The “on sale” sticker in front of it only inflamed my suspicion.

Serendipitously, however, my hubby suggested a sweet treat last night as a reward for…wait a minute, what was it a reward for?  Maybe I unpacked another box?  (There’s a reason I haven’t posted pictures of our new place.)  Or maybe it was a thinly veiled excuse to try more Coconut Bliss

Nah.

In any case, I agreed and promised to return from Whole Paycheck with a new flavor in tow.  With only two more to try, Mint Galactica and Naked Coconut, I decided to be bold and save a buck on the marked-down one.  How very frugal of me.

I’m so glad my tightwad leanings kicked in at that moment.  Mint Galactica turned out to be delightful!  It was everything mint chocolate chip ice cream should be — smooth and refreshing with real mint flavor, real rich chocolate, and none of the crazy-scary food colorings so often observed in this classic combo.  Only the tiniest tinge of coconut came through and only at the end.  It was very subtle.  I think only the seriously coconut-averse would dislike this ice cream. 

The only downside to this Coconut Bliss flavor?  It feels lighter than the others because the mint makes it so darn refreshing, so I wanted to eat more.  In other words, it didn’t “do me in” quite as quickly as the Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge.  Hm.  I think my hips will forgive me.

But will my fabulous new jeans?

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coconut bliss compressedBelieve it or not, I still have a pulse — and taste buds.  And those taste buds have been dancing with delight over a new discovery.  Have you heard about Coconut Bliss?  If you haven’t, allow me to share the good news.  It’s a dairy-free ice cream made from coconut milk that you can buy in your health food store, and it’s oh-so-heavenly.

See, I’m on a dairy-free kick for a bit to check for sensitivities, and I really wanted an ice cream fix the other day.  I needed ice cream.  While I’m all about making coconut ice cream at home (hats off to Kimifor that brilliant idea), my new itty-bitty freezer doesn’t provide sufficient room for my Kitchen Aid ice cream maker bowl.  Oh woe.  Until I procure an additional freezer, then, I have to buy my frozen treats in the store. 

Fortunately, I remembered seeing an ad for coconut ice cream and decided to check out Whole Foods’ offerings.  Sure enough, both Nada Moo and Coconut Blissgraced the shelves.  We nabbed Maple Pecan Nada Moo (giggle with me over their tag line: “When Having a Cow Is Out of the Question”) and Vanilla Island Coconut Bliss.  We needed one of each.  For research purposes, you see. 

The Nada Moo was yummy, yes, and far better than rice milk ice cream, but it didn’t come close to touching the profound excellence of Coconut Bliss.  CB was rich, velvety, full-flavored, sweetened perfectly, and just plain fabulous.  My mother-in-law said she might like it even better than regular ice cream.  We all agreed that we’d consider it on even footing with gourmet ice cream. 

Because I wanted to be absolutely sure about this recommendation before posting it, ahem, I bought another pint over the weekend, this time of Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge.  Studded with gorgeous chunks of hazelnuts and a thin fudgy ribbon, it was heaven on a spoon.  I’m so hooked.

So if you’re dairy-free, vegan, or if you’re merely an ice cream fanatic looking for the next thrill, you musttry this stuff.  It costs a pretty penny ($5 to $6 a pint), but it’s made with only organic and fair trade ingredients, and the dessert is so rich, a pint can satisfy four people.  Even once I get my home ice cream maker up and running, I’ll indulge in CB’s version regularly.  You simply can’t get that knock-your-socks-off texture at home.  Check out CB’s website for more info on their ingredients, story, and where to buy their products.

One last thought: The Vanilla Island flavor was awesome topped with fresh, local peaches.  Mmmm!

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