Sep 8, 2018

Review: One Bars

There are so many protein bars out there, with something for just about every flavor, texture, and consistency preference and just about every dietary need. 

While protein bars can make a really convenient snack, since they're generally individually packaged, shelf stable for months or more, and not messy or smelly to eat, some protein bars can be loaded with up to 30g of sugar. I don't think I'm in the minority when I say that a protein bar should have more protein than it has sugar! And it should also have less sugar than a Snicker's bar. One Bars (formerly OhYeah! bars) have nutritional stats worthy of a protein bar - 20g of protein and only 1g of sugar per bar. That's great for keeping blood sugar levels even and energy levels steady!

They also come in a nice variety of different dessert-y flavors!

One Bar Review

The bars all taste quite different, but they all share some important similarities.

Jul 11, 2018

Recipe: Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancakes)

Okonomiyaki - fun word to say, isn't it? It's also a fun dish to make (and eat).

Okonomiyaki Recipe

The savory Japanese pancake is made with cabbage, tenkasu (crunchy tempura bits), and bacon, fried up in a skillet, and then topped with green onions, nori flakes, sesame seeds, and okonomi sauce (think Japanese version of ketchup. Enjoy!

Okonomiyaki

1 big pancake (serves 2)

* 2 cups green cabbage, chopped into very thin strips (the thinner, the better for getting the pancake to keep its form well)

* 0.667 c. water
* 0.333 tsp. dashi stock powder

* 0.5 c. all-purpose flour
 * 1 egg
* 3 Tbsp. tenkasu (tempura bits)

* 0.333 c. chopped green onions

* 4 strips bacon, cut into ~2" pieces

* Okonomi sauce
* Sesame Seeds
* Flaked nori (I tore up a few regular nori sheets, but you can also buy aonori)

1. Whisk the dashi stock powder into the water in a large bowl until dissolved.

2. Add the flour, egg, and tenkasu. Whisk well, to form an even batter.

3. Add the cabbage and most of the chopped green onions (reserve a bit of the onions for topping).

Homemade okonomiyaki recipe

4. Heat some oil in a large skillet pan. 

5. Once the oil is hot, spoon the cabbage batter into the pan and smooth into an even layer, about 0.5" thick throughout. Sprinkle the chopped bacon on top.

How to make okonomiyaki

6. Cook the pancake for 4 minutes, then flip. Cook for an additional 5 minutes with the bacon side down, or until the bacon is crispy.

7. Flip the pancake again, so now the bacon side is up, and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

8. Transfer the pancake to a plate. Drizzle the okonomi sauce over it and then sprinkle the remaining green onions, as well as the nori flakes and sesame seeds, over the pancake.

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake) recipe

Looks delicious, doesn't it? Food with toppings is so much more fun - acai bowls, frozen yogurt, and now okonomiyaki!

Have you tried okonomiyaki? How about other savory pancakes?

Jul 8, 2018

How to Beat Writer's Block

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. Literally before I could write in a straight line or sign my own name in cursive, I was writing far-fetched fantasies on printer paper that I stapled together into "books."

Funny Writer Memes

If you're a writer for a long time, no matter how creative you are and how much you love writing, you will eventually run into writer's block. It can be incredibly frustrating, both for hobby and professional writers, and for professional writers there's the added stress of fretting about whether you'll beat the block before your pages are due.

Whether it's your first block or your hundredth, hopefully my ways of handling writer's block will be helpful to you!

How to Get Creatively Unblocked

1. Step back.

Sometimes the answer to a writer's block is just to give in and take a break. If you're on a tight deadline, you may not have this option, but if you do have more time and/or you've been working really steadily, sometimes a little break to unwind and do something else can be just the right answer! 

2. Write garbage.

We can't write brilliant, well-crafted work all the time. I'm not saying you should be satisfied with garbage as your finished work, but you should give yourself permission to write garbage when you're blocked. Some of it may make it into the final work, after heavy editing, or it might just help you work through your block, so you can come back and write something better.

Funny Disney Memes

Sometimes you just have to let yourself write things that don't make sense. But go back and edit before you publish! I'm looking at you, Disney.*

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