Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Things I Am Loving This Week

This “Things I Am Loving This Week” is brought to you from high above the ocean as I fly to Portland for Christmas on what started out as a very nasty, bumpy flight—ugh, but now has calmed down somewhat—at least enough to write this post. I wasn’t going to squeeze a “TIALTW” post in this holiday week but since I did have a couple of food-related things I really do love, I thought I should go ahead and share them.

First up, I have a passion for peppermint bark--there is something about the dark chocolate bottom, covered with a layer of white chocolate and topped with broken pieces of candy cane that makes it feel like Christmas. When I saw that Häagen-Dazs had a Limited Edition Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, I had to try it.

Their version has a white chocolate base with small pieces of peppermint bark and candy canes mixed in. Delicious—the balance of the white chocolate and peppermint really works and it is neither too sweet nor too sharply peppermint. In fact it is the kind of creamy, zingy ice cream I could learn to love—luckily it is only available for a limited time. My only complaint is that it needs just a bit more peppermint bark, or bigger pieces of it. If you are a fan of peppermint or peppermint bark, I recommend finding a pint to try and enjoy.

Speaking of the peppermint bark that I love so much, it is not a good thing for me when I am trying to eat healthy as it usually comes in big tins that I could easily plow through, self-imposed sugar restrictions be damned! But since I do need just a bit for the holidays I was happy to find these individual packets of Jo’s Candies Natural Peppermint Bark at Whole Foods.

One square is 150 calories and it is a nice smooth chocolate with good flavor too. The good-sized piece more than satisfies my craving (actually half of it does with the other half saved for later), without all the damage that a whole tin would bring. Love them!

Finally, I’m not sure it’s a true love, but I have a need to travel with healthy snacks at all times as the thought of being stranded somewhere hungry makes me nervous. Hungry means low blood sugar and low blood sugar makes me grumpy. Put it this way, you wouldn’t like me when I am hungry—trust me in this. Also hungry means bad choices, like fast food and other bad airport selections. To combat this I put together little travel snack packs or survival kits in Ziploc bags that go on the plane with me so I thought I would show you one. Mind you it is a five-hour flight to Portland so all of this does not necessarily get consumed, I just like to have options.

What’s in it? Well, of course a Lara Bar (PB&J my new fave), a Kind Fruit & Nut Bar (this one is Macadamia & Apricot), a Sahale Snacks Almond PB & J (almonds and peanuts coated in dried strawberries and raspberries). I also like to take my own tea and just ask for hot water on the plane—in this case I have little “Travelers Tins” of The Republic of Tea’s Pomegranate Vanilla Red Tea (rooibos, hibiscus, pomegranate juice) and Get Charged (rooibos, ginseng, hibiscus, peppermint, blueberry and other good stuff). I like rooibos (an herbal tea or tisane that originated in South Africa), because of all the antioxidants and I try to stay away from caffeine on flights. A couple of Emergen-C packs—this is the Acai Berry flavor, to throw into the bottle of water that I buy once I get in the airport, assorted sanitizing wipes—to wipe down me, the tray tables, etc., mini single-use tooth brushes that are flavored with peppermint, and finally mini Ricola cough drops just in case. So what actually got consumed? Well I was blessed to get upgraded and had a pretty decent meal, (a mini cheese plate, salad and fish) so I used two tea bags, both Emergen-C packs, the Sahale Snacks (in lieu of the pumpkin mousse-thing they were serving on the plane for dessert), plus I used a mini toothbrush and a few sanitizer wipes. For me it is all about loving the feeling of being prepared if I end up delayed or stuck somewhere.

So those are the “Things I Am Loving This Week.” How about you?


  1. yummy post, I should really prepare a healthy "emergency" bag of stuff for flights too.

  2. I always travel with prepared foods. I hate buying airport food because it's expensive and horrific for you. Larabars are the way to go in my opinion! I also try to bring to some fresh fruit, but it all really depends on how long the flight is gonna be.

    I am on my way to Whole Foods today and am definitely gonna seek out those single serving peppermint barks!

  3. I hope you have a great time with your family. I'm going to have to pick up a pink of the peppermint bark. I'm also in the category that cannot restrain from finishing the entire tin of peppermint bark. In years past, I've single-handedly polished off one pound of the velvety peppermint chocolate. It's dangerous for me and my wardrobe. Jo's is a very good tip!

  4. Love the travel kit!

    Things I am loving this week - way, way too much chocolate and goofing off from work without the guilt :)

    Happy and safe travels!

  5. That is a great way to travel. Takes some of the uncertainty out of it.
    Love the ice cream. The great thing about Haagen-Dazs is that it comes in those single serving tubs. ;-)

  6. I love peppermint bark too! And just plain old peppermint ice cream. What a great 'care' package you pack for yourself!

  7. There's a PB&J Larabar? Where oh where do you find such a treat?

    Hope you had a safe flight to Portland and have a wonderful Christmas too!

  8. Kat--it is so nice to have it on hand whether you use it all or not. I always get stuff I like too.

    Joanne--I wish i could have fruit but they don't allow you to take fresh fruit in or out of Hawaii. Going out you go through an "agriculture" check in addition to security! ;-(

    F, L & B--Yes, much as a tin is a delight to receive I am better off not having one around! ;-)

    Alisa--Thanks! I am finding I am enjoying too much chocolate too! ;-)

    Natashya--They only had the pints in this one but I am hoping my house/Max sitter finishes the rest up while I am gone! ;-)

    Reeni--peppermint is so great especially this time of year.

    Megan--it is the best and one of two new ones--Whole Foods has them and I am seeing them in the other places I buy them too.

  9. That peppermint bark ice cream - I *knew* there was a reason I don't walk down the ice cream aisle!!

  10. oh love your survival kit and so cool to be blogging from the sky have a fun time with family love Rebecca

  11. I need to try this ice cream, yum!

  12. Dearest Deb,

    Oh girl, you totally amazed me with your box!!! Girl, I love it all!

    First, because I am a girl from the tropics, I just love soups and coffee and fruity teas and nuts and chocolate and salt and music I just love, love, love Hawaii.. The US for me is Hawaii as I've traveled to three of the islands.

    I've been to Honolulu, Maui and many different places in the Big Island. I am amazed by the volcano park and I also flew over a hot blooming Kilauea on a helicopter together with some other Brazilian journalists...

    Of course I love Israel and I've heard a lot of his music when I was in Maui in September 1998 and about his death sometime before and I never got his CD, until now. My best friend promised to make a copy of his CD for me but he never did...

    I was totally amazed by your letter and the package which, I believe, was heavenly planned for me, and I don't believe in heaven (laughs)!!!

    Thank you so much! I got it today 23rd of December and it was the best Christmas gift I could ever get this year, I don't get many presents so...

    By the way, I am totally into raw fish, sushi and raw meat too! I just never say no to sushis, ceviches or carpaccios... You got me on that too!

    Merry Christmas and thank you so much for such a lovely gift!!!

    Thank you again,

    Claudia, all the way from

  13. Peppermint bark is delicious. I just saw that Dove made little squares of dark chocolate peppermint bark and I had to seriously back away from it at the grocery store. I wanted it so bad, but knew I would eat the whole bag! The ice cream looks delicious. Good for you packing those healthy snacks. It's better for you and saves you lots of money compared to buy expensive and nasty airport food. Have a wonderful Christmas at home!! Safe travels :D

  14. Jenny--It is a good aisle to avoid lol!

    Chow & Chatter--thanks Rebecca--you too! ;-)

    5 Star Foodie--Have a wonderful holiday too!

    Claudia--Yay! It got there--I was beginning to worry about it. So glad you liked everything!!! I had fun putting your box together!

    Kim--good thing I didn't see the Dove Peppermint Bark! ;-) Have a fabulous holiday!


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