I recently received a recipe for a sugarless brownie that sounded rather interesting, so I decided I should try and make one. If the brownies turn out as delicious as they were described, then this might make for a great way to curb a sweet tooth for cake.
I was able to get all the ingredients for the brownie and it’s sugar free frosting at my local Vons, well all except the called for Xylitol, which is a natural sugar substitute. It’s something that can be baked with and doesn’t have the neuro-toxins found in Sweet-n-low, Nutrasweet, or Splenda. Well my search also took me to Henry’s Marketplace, but no luck there. I then tried Stater Brothers but no luck there either.
So off to Albertsons, where I thought there was a good chance they might have it as I had purchased a box of Truvia sweetener there and I remember they had a choice of things available, but unfortunately no, there was no Xylitol to be found there. Maybe Trader Joe’s would have it. No such luck at all. At this point I was getting frustrated that it was no where to be found. Reluctantly, I gave Ralph’s a try, as it’s the only major grocery chain in the area I hadn’t yet checked. And no luck there either.
Continue reading The Quest For Xylitol
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Now that 2009 is now upon us, it seems that it would be good to take a few minutes to highlight what made high points for me in 2008. Taking a quick glance at the list of items that made the list this year, it seems that the very early 1980’s seem to be related to almost all of the items that make the list for this year. The influence of the 1980’s will be readily apparent as you check out the list. And I’ll point those out along the way for those who might not quite see the influence.
Without further ado, I now present My 9 Most Incredible Things of 2008, in no particular order… Continue reading The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World
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Recently I received an e-mail from a business site that monitors branding related issues, and this time one of their featured articles was on British companies trying to carve out a niche in the American market place. One of the companies featured was Tesco, a British company that’s considered similar to Wal-Mart that’s been launching “Fresh And Easy” stores here in California since November. Their approach for the US market is creating “Neighborhood Market” stores which are similar to supermarkets but smaller and getter emphasis on meeting community needs (meaning the stores will have the freedom to cater to local community tastes). They also emphasize a more environmentally friendly store, and carry a large selection of organic and more natural type product mix.
Since the concept sounded interesting I thought I’d check it out since there happens to be a store in Escondido, California that’s not too far from my path to and from work. And liked the green color scheme and the big windows allowing for lots of natural light to come in. I found the people working there to be really friendly and helpful and some interesting product choices. The store definitely had the appeal of a Trader Joe’s store except with not nearly the same kind of floor space devoted to wine and alcohol as a Trader Joe’s store. It really did feel like a hybrid between a Trader Joe’s store and a traditional supermarket as there were familiar brand names in the store mixed in the definitely more appealing look of the Fresh and Easy products.
There was definitely a large emphasis on store label products with the Fresh And Easy brand logo. The prices certainly seemed very reasonable and I elected to buy a few items. The had a great looking section of prepared foods which looked great and convenient. This has been a hallmark of Trader Joe’s and some of the other more stores aiming for the natural and organic foods market like San Diego’s own Jimbo’s Naturally, and the nationally known Whole Foods Markets. Some of the prepared items I wasn’t quite so adventurous to try, but some I’m definitely looking forward to trying on future visits.
Continue reading Checking Out Fresh And Easy
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