Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Treasures

Here are some things I'm into right now.

1. Benefit Erase Paste concealer and They're real! mascara. The best cosmetics I've used in a while. Anyone else try these? A bit pricey, but you get what you pay for.

2. Trader Joes. We don't have them in Colorado, so when I was driving through Santa Fe, I stopped by. The cashier told me that lots of people in Colorado do this, and sometimes they receive orders for dozens of cases of wine*. I'm on a specialized eating regimen right now and I was traveling with a small cooler, so I was limited in what I could buy. Here are my essentials that I had to stock up on:

Wine - 3-buck Chuck and Smoking Loon - surprisingly good-tasting cheap wines.
Coffee - not too expensive, delicious, fair-trade certified, and it comes in the most beautiful canisters.
Margarita mix - The TJs brand is inexpensive and delicious.

3. Spaghetti squash. This vegetable is easily the best substitute for spaghetti I've ever tried (and I love spaghetti). It's so good and really easy to make. Here is a simple recipe. Top with your favorite marinara or other italian sauce.

4. Mary Roach books. I just finished Packing for Mars, and I've moved on to Stiff. Basically, she teaches you (in a humorous manner) about scientific aspects of life that they don't talk about in school. Her books are everything you didn't know you would be fascinated by about space travel, dead bodies, sex, and the afterlife.

Remember to read the footnotes. Some of the funniest stuff is in the footnotes. If you have the audio book, the narrator reads them aloud. My only complaint about having the audio book rather than a physical copy is that there is no bibliography of the fascinating-sounding books she sources. I'm thinking about running to the library and jotting down a few titles.

5. Quorn Crumbles. These are a great soy-free** veggie meat substitute in recipes. They are mostly mushroom and seem to have less crap in them as opposed to other brands. If your next question is "why do vegetarians buy meat substitute products?" my answer is "because it's easy and it adds protein and texture to dishes like chili." I try to limit consumption of these items, but they can be very useful if you need to make something quick.

*It's against the law in Colorado to sell wine and other alcohol in grocery stores. It's the biggest pain in the butt ever.  It's also most likely the reason why there are no TJs in Colorado. 
**If you're anti-soy, a position that I don't think there is a lot of evidence for, but that I respect.


  1. I love Mary Roach! I read "bonk" last summer, I love the combination of funny and factual she does.

  2. "Packing for Mars" was really enjoyable. I think I'll have to check out some of her other books.

  3. Meli - she's hilarious AND you learn stuff. Win/Win


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