My baking is going through an adjustment. My cooking too. But for now, like always, I'd rather focus on the baking. G is here from Florida and he cannot eat dairy for the most part. Luckily, I already use rice milk instead of regular milk, but I had been baking with butter. That has had to change.
I went to Stop & Shop and looked at margarines. As I read the lists of ingredients on the packages, I noticed that most margarines contain whey, which is dairy. I had planned to make a quick run to the store and didn't think that I would be reading so many labels. I realized that margarines weren't going to work, so I started looking for lactose free and vegan friendly labels. Plus I was trying not to spend a fortune and the prices had started going up as I changed my search criteria.
I narrowed it down to two different products. I don't remember what the other one was, but I was tired and the labels started looking the same and they were about the same price. In my head, I asked for one of them to give me a reason to buy it. I looked at the packages again and saw the words Brandeis University on one of them. Hey, my school!
The product is Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread. It's 100% vegan, trans fat free, lactose free, and gluten free. It's made with natural oils that are balanced and patented by nutrition researchers at Brandeis to help improve the cholesterol ratio as part of a heart-healthy diet. Well, that was good enough for me. I bought it.
I've been cooking and baking with Earth Balance for a couple of weeks now. It's really good and I don't miss using butter at all. I bought Trader Joe's Bourbon Vanilla Cake Mix and made some cupcakes. They are incredible! G and I ate most of them without frosting. Actually he ate most of them, but I did want to photograph at least one looking pretty, so I made some frosting using Earth Balance.
I don't usually buy cake mixes, but the original plan was to enter Trader Joe's Recipe Showdown. See the guidelines here. You still have one day to enter if you're interested. The deadline is May 15th. I didn't have the time to figure out something. The guidelines are really strict, so it just didn't happen. Maybe next time.
*Updated* I have one more thing to share with you here. BlogHer conducted a survey of women bloggers. Find the results here.
"36.2 million women actively participate in the blogsophere every week."I participated in the survey myself, so it's interesting seeing the final results. Many of us would give up something in order to keep blogging. I've found that I watch less television and read less magazines since I started blogging. That's perfectly fine with me.
Now would I give up chocolate in order to blog? Nooooo way! 80% of women agreed with me.
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