Playing Around

I had two goals this summer.

1. Paint our kitchen table (it is looking rough!)

2. Start using the manual setting on my Nikon camera.

The first goal was a complete fail. As for the photography goal – mission accomplished! Yesterday I spent 1 hour looking into tips of how to use the manual setting. It seemed so overwhelming to me – adjusting aperture, shutter speed and ISO…why not just set it o auto, no flash mode, right? I am now happy to report that the manual setting takes MUCH better pictures. Naturally, I used food as my object. Plus, a product review from Macro Vegetarian is long overdue!

 Macro Vegetarian: Sun-dried Tomato Baked Tofu Dumplings

sundriedlabelSame familiar box I have grown to love over the past couple of years. For those of you that don’t know me – sun-dried tomato is one of my favorite flavors. Italian heritage? Perhaps….but I just love the taste. Rarely has a Macro meal every disappointed me so I had high hopes for this dinner.

closeuptomatoes

Uhm, can we take a minute and stare at those huge globs of sun-dried tomatoes!? Yeah, that was only one batch of them. The dumplings were garnished with cilantro and basil for an extra flare of fancy. After a few minutes in the microwave, my house smelled like marinara sauce and I was okay with that.

dumplingsplateI couldn’t get over how incredible this variety is! The dumplings were soft and slightly crispy on the outside (partly due to the amount of time in the microwave because I like them crisper) The sun-dried tomato flavor was spot on – not to mention the filling of tofu, cabbage and herbs complimented the tart flavor the the tomatoes. To say I enjoyed this meal would be an understatement.

Rating: 5 Coffee Beans

I still can’t believe how great the pictures came out with artificial lighting…the possibilities are endless when I take some pictures during the day! Fun Photography + great food = winning evening if I do say so myself.

Macro Managing

Suffice to say, it has been one heck of a summer. I had an awesome internship experience with a fabulous RD, caught up with old high school friends, shopped for my apartment (!) and spent quality time with my family. Oh and I got to spend a week in paradise for the week, aka Hilton Head. Life is good, but I am itching to get back to school because Virginia Tech is one of my favorite places on earth. Not to mention I am missing my roommate & friends like crazy. Oh and ABP Coffee, but that is to be expected. Since life has been a tad crazy, I haven’t been too crazy in the kitchen but I did find time to heat up my favorite Macrovegetarian meals.

Udon Noodles

I could pretty much sum this box up in one word: ginger. Seriously, the ginger flavor was overpowering. Let me preface by saying that I am not a huge ginger lover. Sure, I love small amounts of the spice added to my stirfrys for some Asian flare, but not to the point where its all I can taste. For this noodle box, all you can taste is the ginger. While its not terrible, I just would not get this again. One the plus side, the noodles were nice and al-dente, just the way I like my pasta. Also, there were huge cabbage chunks for a nice crunch.

Rating: 2 Coffee Beans

Shanghai Dumpling Box

Welp. I hate to say it, but I think I found a meal that I would never eat again. These dumplings had a weird taste – they were bitter and minty. The mint flavor was a little overpowering. It wasn’t the kind of mint flavor that cleanses your palate either -  more of the “oh my goodness why does my food taste so bitter” kind of mint. Sure, the dumplings were nice and soft and made with whole wheat flour (not to mention the box contained 80% of my daily calcium!) but the strong bitterness just overpowered the great texture of this meal. Oh well, you win some & you loose some.

Rating: 1 Coffee Bean

Have you ever bought a product by a favorite brand that you just did not like?