New Food Product Reviews…

I’m currently up to my eyeballs in backup hell…

You may recall, yesterday I injured my external hard drive while backing up my data… I had my ‘taste-tester’ look the drive over. He ran file system check (fsck) on it and said it should be ok, but to assume that all the data had been corrupted… translation, backup everything again from scratch. Luckily, I still have the data on my system, because I canceled the install. I ran the backup scripts overnight seeing as how we are talking ~219G.

This morning I ran into a problem though… the amount of data on the external drive vs. the data I wanted to backup had a discrepancy of about 17G. WTF? Turns out I had once again squirreled away some data in a nook and had forgotten about it, I guess I really am a squirrel! Data found, and backed up… but now I question everything… do I really have all the data? The numbers still don’t add up! Grrr!

My ‘taste-tester’ suggested running md5 check sums on my data, it’s currently running in the background… it just goes to show that you really do need to be much more organized with your data, squirreling it away is a pain in the ass to backup later. I didn’t mean to forget about that data, poor planning on my part. I needed space to put some data, made a partition, and forgot about it… lesson learned, I hope. Thankfully the squirreled away data hasn’t been *important* data, just data that is nice to have… more of a “oh, that’s where that went” than a “holy crap, I can’t live without this data, so glad I found it”… so really no harm done.

So while all that crap happens in the background, I thought I’d review some products we’ve tried lately – using the manufacturer’s pictures or other pictures from the web – rather than deal with the backup situation and my camera. So for future posts, I plan to show you the soup I made with butternut squash and cauliflower and the little trip I took with ‘little-bit’ to the trail with my ‘good’ camera… but those pictures are ‘safe’ on the camera until I get the backup stuff sorted out.

Some of the products I’m going to review are not vegan, some were gifts, some where items that fit the situation at the time. Hey, vegan doesn’t mean perfect…

My ‘taste-tester’ had to work a really loooong shift that went way into the following morning… the only thing open when they stopped for a break was your usual fast food burger joint or the 24-hr Harris Teeter grocery store… he picked the grocery store… He went to the frozen section knowing that they carry Kashi frozen dinners (but wasn’t sure if he had utensils in his desk) and stumbled upon Amy’s Burritos…

Black Bean Vegetable Burrito (vegan) – He really liked this one, says he liked it better than the southwestern one. Rating: Awesome

Southwestern Burrito – Good, but not as good as the Black Bean one, plus it wasn’t vegan (it has cheese).
Rating: Good, not vegan – contains cheese

I mentioned on my last product review post that I have been unable to locate a balsamic vinaigrette that I like… we’ve tried Cindy’s Kitchen vinaigrettes before and I had a sneaking suspicion that the balsamic was the one I had liked before but had stopped buying it because it had honey in it… well my friends, this is the dressing I was looking for, the.exact.one actually… I’m going to continue to buy it even though it has honey until I can find a suitable replacement. Because my gentle lettuces deserve to be consumed in a good dressing, not the crap I keep finding. *Sidenote: we also really like the ‘Wild Maine Blueberry – Dressing Marinade’ (vegan) – awesome with spinach and dried cranberries.*
Rating: Awesome, not vegan – contains honey

These next two were gifts…
Raisinets chocolate covered cranberries – I will be the first to admit that I love raisinets, but since they are made from milk chocolate, they are no longer on my radar. I was given these chocolate covered cranberries as a gift, so being the good gift receiver, I had to try them… twist my arm. šŸ˜‰ I really liked the blend of chocolate with cranberries, I will see if I can replicate this taste combo in a vegan version in the future. Even though, I personally will not be purchasing this item, it was very tasty and it didn’t last very long in my presence. šŸ˜‰ (Thanks, Pam!)
Rating: Awesome, not vegan – contains milk

Sunsweet PlumSweets – dark chocolate coated dried plum bites – Also a gift… you might assume that since it was dark chocolate that it was vegan, but you would be wrong… for some unknown reason the company decided to add ‘butter oil’. I had to do research to find out just what the heck butter oil was and the closest I can figure is clarified butter or ghee, which is not vegan. It’s a moot point though because even though I was hoping to really enjoy this one, I did not. I like plums, I like prunes (aka dried plums), therefore I should like dark chocolate coated dried plum bites… alas, no. These dried plum bites were more like the gristle parts of a plum – which a plum should not have. I’m afraid I didn’t like these at all. šŸ˜¦
Rating: Skip it, not vegan – contains dairy

So there you have it, if you are a vegetarian or not a really strict vegan there were some really good new finds this week. I’m off to check on the progress of my data backups… hoping to reinstall this decade! šŸ˜›
~nic

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