Friday, January 30, 2009

Outrageous. And not in the good way.

I'm still working on those other posts, but yesterday, while watching Top Chef, I noticed something I could not ignore.  

Belinda Carlisle is the new face of Nutrisystem.  Yes, that company that sends you completely processed, pre-packaged food and claims that you'll "re-learn" how to eat.  I'll give you a hint, as someone who has dropped 25 pounds, one of the things to avoid is prepackaged food.

What really upset me about the ad though, was not that BC, my new wave hero, got behind a product I am so vehemently against.  No, it's the copy that she reads:

Being a part of an all-girl band was a blast but being singled out as the plump one really bugged me, but, as I got older, and maybe a little wiser I started to get smarter by eating healthier and taking care of myself. At 50, I look better than I did at 30… I’ve kept my weight off for almost a year and it’s such a relief to wake up, go into my closet and wear anything I like. NutriSystem taught me how to eat again.

I can say that BC was many things in the Go-Gos, but I don't think "plump" is ever a word that came to mind.  BC was beautiful, energetic and was chosen as the face of the band (I think the world's obsession with Pete Wentz has proven that the lead singer is not the de facto!).  Beyond that, even though she was the "fat" girl in the band, she went on to the best-known solo career of any of her contemporaries.  

I don't blame BC for this decision entirely.  Someone is obviously presenting her with the wrong opportunities (see Rock the Cradle).  Although, I don't know if, looking back at my career, I'd want to say, "Man, it was fun being in a girl band, but not as the fat girl!"  Whatever.  You were in the FIRST all-girl band to write a hit song.  And you did it while you had maybe a sliver of a beer gut.  That makes it even more incredible.

So, with that in mind, I'm gonna give you guys a cookie recipe.  These things GO.  I had a craving for something sweet the other night and whipped these bad boys up.  I brought the leftovers (after the roommates got to 'em) to work and they disappeared.  I doubled the recipe last night and brought half of them to a party and lo and behold, gone again.

Chocolate Chippies! 
(adapted in part from Nestle Tollhouse, in part VWAV, in part Nana Watson)

1/2 c Margarine
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 T syrup (corn syrup's fine, or maple, molasses...whatever you want)
2-3 T water
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp agar agar powder 
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 C chocolate chips (or peanut butter or butterscotch, whatever you want!)
1/4-1/2 C Almonds, whirred through food processor until about the size of rice

Preheat oven to 350. Set margarine out (or microwave 8 seconds), then cream with sugar.  Add vanilla extract, almond extract and syrup and mix until blended.   I'd tell you to sift the flour but it doesn't much matter, just make sure you mix the soda, nutmeg and agar agar into it a bit before you dump it into the bowl.  Start mixing, and add your water as needed.  We all know the consistency cookies should be, but in case you forgot, the dough should be stiff but congealed.  If it's not sticking together, add water.  If it's too runny, add a little flour and a little sugar (about 2:1).  Drop the cookies in tablespoon sized balls onto a sheet.  Hannah over at Bittersweet Vegan reccomends only using one sheet at a time.  This does yield slightly better results, but this recipe will make 2-3 dozen cookies, so I'd rather have em all in there at once.  I've tried both.  If you want your cookies cooked more evenly, go with one at a time.  If you don't care and you just want cookies, stick 'em in there.

For chewy, soft centered cookies, bake 8 minutes.  For more traditional crunchy cookies, bake appx 11-12 minutes, or until an even golden brown color.  If you're baking more than one sheet, add a minute or two to the cook time and use your oven light and judgment to make the call.

Pictures coming soon!


Anonymous said...

These diet companies don't teach you how to eat better, they just take all the thought out of it, which means you have to buy their product forever, or if you stop you'll put the weight back on because you haven't learnt a damn thing about healtier eating! Swindle!
I'm going to need to see pictures of these awesome sounding cookies, but I can wait >;oD

Alicia said...

Hello: great blog! Can yu please give me an adress to buy agar agar?
Thank you

twotwotwo said...


Agar agar should be available at your local health food store, but if it isn't, you can get it here: