- Clif Kid Twisted Fruit: When I was a kid, Fruit Roll-Ups were pretty much my favorite food. Good fruit leather is still pretty high up there, but it's hard to find. Old-school Fruit Roll-Ups are ridiculous now; they're all like, mojito-flavored and tie-dye and turn into Silly Bandz. And at a natural foods store it's hard to find ones that don't contain flour and aren't overly firm. (The grown-up thing to do would be to substitute dried fruit, but only a few dried fruits are sufficiently chewy and tangy.) These are nearly ideal. They come in a thick rope shape so you can really get a good bite in there (like when you would mash up an FRU into a ball), and they're so intensely flavored it's hard to believe there's no corn syrup. I need to figure out a way to order these in bulk off the Internet.
- Poblano Farm Salsa: This has that super-thick, cooked-down tomato texture and taste, almost like tomato paste, with a lot of tang and sweetness. (Are you sensing a theme here?) The one I have (mild) contains no poblanos, despite the farm whence it came, but rather guajillo. Mild enough you can basically eat it with a spoon, which I like to do with top-notch tomato products. Cooked tomatoes have replaced Fruit Roll-Ups as my favorite food.
- Lee Kum Kee Sriracha: Huy Fong is the more famous version, with the rooster on the bottle, but I prefer LKK. It's got a thicker texture (again, more like tomato paste) and a distinctly different taste, both sweeter and more fermented, and therefore more complex. It's also not vegetarian; I think it contains fish sauce. Sorry.
- Kind Bars/Lara Bars: The only healthy(ish) snack bars I've found that don't have that ooky chalky texture/taste from protein powder. Also, they're all gluten-free, and it's easy to verify if one contains cashews (I'm allergic), whereas with a Luna bar you have to scan through like 90 ingredients.
- Liberte Mediteranee Yogurt in Apple Crumble: This is just stupid delicious. They use some special process to get the fat level up to 8%. A triumph!
- Trader Joe's Gingerbread Coffee: One of the best flavored coffees I've ever tried -- it's just ground coffee with little bits of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, so it doesn't taste all fugazi. (I also recommend sprinkling some ground cinnamon in with your regular coffee. Like, into the grounds before brewing, not into the brewed liquid.)
All right, now for some beauty stuffs:
- Nude Lip Balm: I have a hard time finding lip balm that doesn't make my lips itch. Usually ones with sunscreen don't work. I like Vaseline/Aquaphor, but I find they tend to melt and get liquidy when you buy the little portable tube. This costs something like $14; I don't think I'd ever spent that much on lipstick, much less chapstick, prior to this purchase, but I was deeply in need of a lipcare solution! This is very thick (I have to use my fingernail to get it out of the awkward little tub), but it melts on contact. Feels great, no smell, no color, no flavor. I've even put this on dry patches on my face, in a pinch.
- Neutrogena Body Oil: After I moved to Boston my dry skin got even drier, so I load up on oils and fatty body butters (see below), best applied right out the shower. The Neutrogena formula is really light and absorbs more quickly than other oils; not sure how they engineer that, but it works.
- Body Shop Body Butters: I stick to the really oily/nutty ones for extra dry skin (Almond, Shea, Brazil Nut, Olive). They're pricy but a tub lasts a long time and they often go on sale.
- Aussie Three-Minute Miracle: One of the few haircare products I've bought multiple times over the course of many years. Cheap as dirt, makes your hair soft and untangly. By the way, if you're still washing your hair every day, stop! I converted to the every-second-or-third day schedule this year and it no longer gets all staticky in the winter. I still get it wet in the shower, but I just use conditioner, no shampoo, until it my scalp starts to look oily.
OK, your turn, what should I buy?