Category Archives: Jessamyn’s New Favorite Thing of The Week

SAY CHEESE- Jessamyn’s New Favorite Thing of The Week!

STOP- before we go any further, I need to ramble about a product which has slowly but surely taken over my life. It is perfect in every way, and while it’s not a food, it definitely falls into the category of great skin care (a recurring theme recently- check out my Stages of Beauty product review and my Six Tips for Jealousy Inducing Skin).

Anyway, I don’t think anyone likes having dry lips. I HATE it- my friend Whitney and I have always joked that we should buy stock in blistex– we’re both completely obsessed with having satin-smooth lips. I usually try to have at least three tubes/pots in my possession at all time- one on my night stand, one in my wallet, and one in my backpack. Because my name is Jessamyn, I manage to lose my lip balm at a rate of one/week, so I end up spending way too much money on this particular product. In fact, because of the loss equation, I tend to only buy really cheap tubes- blistex or chapstick, mostly. I mean, I don’t mind losing a $0.99 tube of blistex, but I get PISSED if I lose my $2.99 tube of Burts Bees. However, as a token of appreciation for my work on 1776, one of my new favorite people was nice enough to buy me a truly awesome gift to feed my lip fetish:

body shop mango lip butter

I don’t usually shop at the Body Shop– I tend to think it’s a bit overpriced. However, this lip butter is enough to make me a regular customer. Butter is the only proper descriptive word- it’s literally like rubbing dairy fresh beurre on your pecker. The mango odor is very realistic- none of that sticky, sweet fake mango flavor that cosmetic companies usually favor. And it’s long lasting- I can involuntarily lick my lips multiple times and my lips won’t get patchy. While it’s DEFINITELY not cheap ($8.00), if you can afford to splurge this should definitely make your short list. Personally, if anyone ever gives me a gift card (HINT HINT) this is a Body Shop product I would not hesitate to buy again.

Ok, I didn’t mean to ramble about skin care products AGAIN, but what can I say? I’m obsessed.

Anyway, there was a four-way tie for this week’s New Favorite Thing. The tie was so intense that I will need to write separate product reviews for the other three items because they were all just that tasty and handy. Major emphasis on the ‘handiness’ because since my schedule is so hectic, I need foods which can move at my pace.

Anyway, anyway, ANYWAY: What’s my new favorite thing of the week?

annies parm pasta

Ok, I love macaroni and cheese. If you were spontaneously quizzed about my food preferences, this is probably the factoid that will jump to mind immediately. However, though my love of homemade baked macaroni and cheese is well documented, I have to admit something- I freaking HATE boxed macaroni. I mean, I’ll eat it. What kind of stereotypical fat kid would I be if I turned down boxed mac and cheese?Smile Forget about stereotypical fat kid: what kind of former college student and four year dormitory resident would I be if I didn’t admit to (over)indulging in easy mac from time to time? But, as an adult, I would never buy boxed mac and cheese voluntarily.

For one thing, it’s SO bad for you- I mean, regular mac and cheese isn’t traditionally healthy either, but if you’re going to fall into a cheese coma, shouldn’t it be from freshly grated cheese and not questionable cheese ‘powder’?

Also, it…doesn’t taste good. Yeah, I loved to eat it poolside with hotdogs after an afternoon of hanging out by the pool with my childhood friends. But I’m an adult now. And as an adult, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I don’t like it. I’m not judging anyone who always stocks up on Kraft mac and cheese when it’s 10/$10 at your local supermarket, but I have developed a serious aversion to these products.

Therefore, I’ve been a bit skeptical of Annie’s Organic boxed pastas. I’ve heard good things, but would I be able to shift my way of thinking to accommodate Annie’s?

First of all, you should check out the Annie’s philosophies. Their list of core values is really awesome:

  • Annie’s is real, authentic, and trusted by consumers.  As a company we strive to build upon this legacy with every decision we make.
  • Annie’s only makes products that taste great; they delight our consumers.
  • Annie’s uses only simple natural and organic ingredients, no icky additives or pesky preservatives.
  • Annie’s sources only from places and people we trust, with high emphasis on quality, as well as agricultural and environmental sustainability.  We believe in transparency.
  • Annie’s is a socially responsible company, and through our actions and programs, we spread awareness and act as a positive role model for consumers and other businesses to do the same.
  • Annie’s and its valued employees treat consumers, customers, suppliers, shareholders, and each other, with the same high degree of respect, fairness, & honesty that we expect of others.

How does this fit into their food? Well, unlike other boxed pastas, you can recognize every ingredient on the ingredient list– In fact, check this out:


This week Annie’s box pastas are on sale at Whole Foods, and I decided to give it a  try. I went to the grocery store after a fairly intense exercise session, so I was pretty famished by the time I lugged all my (reusable!) bags home. I ate my pasta with a Lightlife Smartdog (my fave) and a GIGANTIC serving of steamed baby bok choy and peppers. For the record, both the baby bok choy and the smart dog were DELISH. But the star of my dinner plate was the Annie’s Peace Pasta and Parmesan. Seriously, if I didn’t know it came out of a box, I would have thought it was homemade. The sauce was really delicious- it says the addition of butter is optional, but I threw in some earth balance to thicken it up and it was a great addition. Also, I’m generally a little put off by pasta with funny shapes- you know, spongebob squarepants, and the like. However, the little peace signs are absolutely adorable and they actually help the sauce stick to the noodle. Excellent idea, Annie’s.

All in all, this dinner hit the spot and Annie’s Peace Pasta and Parmesan deserves a fair share of the credit. I can’t wait for summer pool parties, where I will definitely have to introduce all my friends to the beauty of Annie’s boxed pasta. Oh, and smartdogs. We will definitely be eating smartdogs. Smile



Filed under food, Jessamyn's New Favorite Thing of The Week, product review

Jessamyn’s New Favorite Thing of The Week: North Carolina Pride Edition

I’ve been thinking about how to explain the insanity of my day. Of my week, for that matter. But really- today just took the cake, pie, and every other decadent metaphor. Put simply, TGIF.

However, you know why Friday is also especially awesome. Because it’s time for Jessamyn’s New Favorite Thing.

No kidding, I tried about a dozen new food items this week. Some of them were really awesome- some left quite a bit to the imagination. And some (quite literally) left a bad taste in my mouth. But what came out on top? What is Jessamyn’s New Favorite Thing of The Week?

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Ok, picture your favorite potato chip. Now make it less fatty, more delicious, and even more awesome. You’re thinking of Glories Sweet Potato Chips. The purchase of these chips was the definition of an impulse buy- the woman shopping in front of me at Washington Perk and Provisions was eating them and I asked to try a few. I immediately bought a bag, and proceeded to eat nearly the entire bag during the Sunday matinee of 1776.

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There are so many good things about these chips that I almost don’t know where to begin. Some sweet potato chips are too salty and too broad, which makes them take up too much space in your mouth and messes up the balance of natural potato sweetness and added salt. These chips are really thin and very crunchy- simply by size judgement, you will never question whether these chips are the product of actual sweet potatoes or a sweet potato processing machine monster. They are properly dusted with sea salt, and the salt does not overpower the natural potato sweetness. The chips are gluten-free AND GMO-free. Also, the only ingredients are sweet potatoes, GMO-free oil, and sea salt. As it should be.

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After I bought the chips and consumed nearly the entire bag before intermission, I made it my mission to find out more about the company. What other products do they make? Would the products like me? Would the products want to take me to the prom? (Too far? Yeah, a step too far.)

Well, I perused the website and immediately found out that NOT ONLY are these American south sweet potatoes (which explains why they are perfect and delicious- the American South farms the best sweet potatoes you’ll ever eat), but OH MY GOD THE COMPANY IS BASED IN GREENSBORO, NC.

My hometown. THE BIRTHPLACE OF JESSAMYN. It’s also the next large town over, but that’s irrelevant right now.

Therefore, not only are Glories Sweet Potato Chips my new favorite thing of the week, but Good Health Natural Foods is my new best friend.

Happy Friday, y’all. Seriously, TGIF, or what?

By the way, speaking of  Jessamyn’s New Favorite Things, my pre-fasting breakfast this morning was a bowl of corn flakes with chocolate almond milk. I nearly swooned because of the delicious flavors entering my mouth. Seriously, go to the grocery store and GET YOU SOME.

Also, keep your socks on: days 2 and 3 of The Macaroni Bowl are still forthcoming- I promise. I’m also going to post the recipe for this ABSOLUTELY AMAZING curried lentil soup I made on Wednesday.

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Delicious doesn’t begin to describe it. Also, since I’m in the mood to overshare, I finally received Waiting For “Superman” from netflix, and I can’t wait to start watching. Wait, why am I still typing? I need to watch!

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The Girl Who Forgets, and Jessamyn’s New Favorite Thing Of The Week

So who’s got two thumbs, made PERFECT basmati rice last night, photographed the process for her lovely readers, and then forgot to upload the pictures before she left home this morning?


As a result, you can now look forward to reading about the perfect basmati rice recipe tomorrow, when I will (hopefully) find time to post again. However, due to this weekend being Ayyám-i-Há AND opening weekend of 1776 AND Walk For Choice 2011, I’m going to be a little strapped for time. However, guess what else is happening this weekend?

oscar night

Yeah, that’s right- if you thought the SAG Awards were my Superbowl Sunday, then Oscar night must be my…I don’t even know how to express my excitement over this televised event. I’ve been putting together my ballot for weeks, and if I were a betting woman I’d probably have money on a couple of competitions. However, in honor of film’s most auspicious of evenings, I’ve got a whole menu of good eats marinating in my mind. Trust me when I say that there are going to be some delicious odors emanating from the J.Stanley household on Sunday night.

But  I digress. I know why you’re reading this: you want to know about my New Favorite Thing of The Week. Ok, Jessamyn, get your rambling under control: what food item blew your mind this week?

silk almond chocolate milk

Y’all, I have been waiting on pins and needles to write about this ALL WEEK. I stopped drinking cow’s milk quite some time ago, and almond milk has been my cereal beverage of choice for the past couple of years. However, due to a fear of “sugar bugs” which was instilled in me by my kindergarten teacher, it’s been (literally) AT LEAST 15 years since I’ve voluntarily consumed chocolate milk. Silk PureAlmond Dark Chocolate has erased this terrible memory, and I’m a happy convert to the world of chocomilk. The best part? It’s not actually milk. The worst part? It still actually has calories. I mean, it’s really no big deal: a glass of this delicious liquid is only 3 wwpoints+. However, 3 points+ can become a bit much when you feel the desire to drink an entire 1/2 gallon in one day. Trust me, you’ll understand once you start to sip: it’s a magic potion of deliciousness.

Plus, I’m not sure you understand the heaven that occurs when this:

banana happy


Meets This:

silk almond chocolate milk

“GET IN  MY BELLY RIGHT NOW” is what happens.

I hope you’ve had a really lovely week. Oh, by the way: What’s Your Favorite Thing Of The Week?


Filed under food, Jessamyn's New Favorite Thing of The Week

SlapHappy Friday: Jessamyn’s New Favorite Thing of The Week

Ok, so remember that time I said I was too busy to breathe and didn’t have time to blog?

Ok, I definitely wasn’t lying but I couldn’t resist sharing my new favorite thing of the week. Maybe this should be a weekly segment… Hm, I’ll put that in my good ideas folder: right next to “Vegan and Gluten-Free Soul Food Cookbook” (which is DEFINITELY an active idea- I’m mentally working out a primitive version of Southern Fried “Chicken” as we speak).

Ok, enough rambling, Jessamyn! What’s my new favorite thing?

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Isn’t it adorable? I discovered this while having a really quick dinner at the UNCSA non-cafeteria on-campus eatery (was that descriptive enough for you?) It’s a Sabra Hummus Grab N’ Go Pack. It comes in a domed container (obviously), with hummus on the bottom half and pretzel crisps on the top half.

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Nevermind that Sabra hummus occasionally tastes like mayonnaise (am I the only person who feels this way? I mean, I like it in general but sometimes it definitely tastes like mayo). This idea is freaking AWESOME. The container is really handy, the portion size is plentiful, and who doesn’t love pretzel crisps? Ok, I’m sure someone doesn’t. Also, I’m sure someone doesn’t care for original hummus- well, that’s why it also comes in roasted garlic and roasted red pepper, DUH!

But let’s get serious: I was pleased with this purchase even though it was a bit of an impulse buy. I ate some of the pack with my fruit bowl dinner, and then decided I didn’t want anymore. So I just put the two halves back together, tossed it in my bag, and headed back to rehearsal. Guess who had a tasty hummus mid-rehearsal snack? THIS GIRL. So yes, this pack is PERFECT for travel, school, work, and play.

By the way, I’m sorry if I seem a little slaphappy and crazy: it’s because the weather here in Winston-Salem is about 73 degrees today. ON FEBRUARY 18TH. Like I said via twitter: I hate global warming as much as the next liberal, but this NC spring during winter weather? I AM IN LOVE.

Happy Friday, y’all. I’m going to spend all weekend listening to hot boys sing about the revolutionary war. What are your weekend plans?


Filed under food, Jessamyn's New Favorite Thing of The Week, product review