Hey babes! I hope everyone had a wonderful time with their mothers/admirable woman in their life today. I know I did! But, unfortunately, my mom is not a breakfast person (crazy, right?!) so breakfast here was pretty normal.
6:30. I’m making a little bit of progress, it’s better than 6.
Oh, well. Since figs are soon to take over the world, I got figgy with it once again in the kitchen. This time? Strawberry fig oats. I restrained myself from the figs when I made strawberry oats a couple days ago!
- 2 T. Bob’s Grains & Nuts, 3 T. Bob’s Creamy Rye Flakes, 1 T. Wheat Bran
- 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. Almond Breeze
- diced strawberries & 1 chopped diced Turkish fig
- drizzle maple syrup
- flax-chia icing
- Mae’s Coconut Butter
- few dark choco chips
- and a mix of diced strawberries and one chopped fig, simmered in some almond milk and maple syrup.
Yes, I totally forgot about chia seeds. Yes, I realized right away because the oats didn’t seem as voluminous as I poured them into the bowl. Yes, this bowl was still amazing. I thought I was cravin’ a lil dark chocolate action, but they actually just reminded me of my dislike. Can’t say I didn’t try.
Green Mountain’s Southern Pecan accompanied this lovely bowl. Almost outta coffee!! Need to get with the program 😉
I spent most of the morning sorting through photos to get my final portfolio ready for Photo, which is due Tuesday. I have a little bit of beef with the assignment since we need 250 photos, which to me is a little bit ridiculous. Is 250 photos a lot? No, not at all. I’ll shoot that during one photoshoot! Is 250 final pieces a lot? Yeah…for a semester, yeah. Given the fact that from one photoshoot, you’re probably only going to end up with a handful of shots you really like, and maybe one that you think is portfolio worthy, that pretty much means we should have gone on at least 250 photoshoots in one semester. Um, excuse me? I’m not working for National Geographic. That being said, I’m pretty sure she’s using the term portfolio a bit too loosely. So, instead, I’m making a compilation of almost there but maybe not quite what I would put in my “official” portfolio when I do make one. She never specified they had to be “final pieces,” but that is what I take the term portfolio to mean. That and I’ve got some from last year. Sue me.
Wow, that ended up more rant-y than intended. Anyways, I also helped mi mama make some cream puff desserts that she is bringing to work for the TA’s in the dorms last days. or something like that. I learned that it’s really hard to stir the cream puff dough/base/crust/what-have-you. I was a little saddened since she also made one for us, so I didn’t get to make a Mother’s Day dessert 😦 I’m not a big fan of the good ol’ cream puff (I think I’m the only one) and I wanted a Mother’s Day dessert, too. Mreh, well.
It ended up being an awful day weather-wise. Freezing cold, windy, and the threats of rain. I had so hoped we would be graced with gorgeous sun-shine so we could enjoy a nice trail ride together, but instead just warmed by the fire. Putting together the portfolio was relatively tedious – I was relieved when I could stop and clean instead! But, I did finish it up first. I went on a whirlwind cleaning mission, and made some homemade Larabars with dates, figs, a couple raisins (I just wanted to use them up, really) and cashews. They turned out really good! I would say this is a great combo for anyone who finds normal Larabars or dates to be too sweet. Since figs aren’t very sweet, they tone it down a lot – and the seeds give such a fun little crunch!
I had to have a repeat of yesterday for lunch. I intentionally left just enough strawberries after this morning’s breakfast just for the sole purpose of another balsamic strawberry, goat cheese, and spinach panini on dakota bread. I added some dried basil to the strawberries this time after reading Nora’s suggestion. I wanted to use fresh but when I took it out of the fridge it was just about gone bad.
I paired it with some cottage cheese and cinnamon. For some reason, I was ravenous before it was hardly noon – and this hit the spot. Apparently sitting is hard work, because that’s about all I did all morning besides clean for a little bit. Not even gonna lie. Afterwards, I ventured out to the garden to get some fresh chives to make that delicious goat cheese spread with goat cheese, figs, chives, and cashews since I am otherwise not a fan of goat cheese. I agree it has a place on the aforementioned sandwich and I love this spread – but I knew I wasn’t going to be using it in any other way since I’m all out of strawberries!
We were able to play with Jiggy a bit after lunch, but it was just not a good day to ride. It has been insanely windy these past couple of weeks – anyone else?! Pair that with the cold and I felt like we were headed back into winter. Hey, weather…please make up your mind already?
For dinner, my mom requested homemade Veggie Burgers!! And parsnip fries!! I willingly obliged – but like I mentioned yesterday, I had nothing to do with it. I used to be persistent in taking her out for dinner be it her birthday, special day, or mother’s day – but she really dislikes going out! Hm, guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree? So – I would finally settle on making her a nice dinner. Initially she’d said she wanted sweet potato-quinoa burgers from the Moosewoods recipe when I asked her earlier in the week. Well, I got a slightly different answer when I asked today whether she wanted those burgers or black bean. I was surprised when the answer switched to black bean! luckily, I was blog-surfing last night and came across this recipe from The Front Burner, so I wasn’t caught off guard too much! (Although – I do have an awful lot of sweet potatoes now.) I thought of combining the two recipes, but wasn’t sure if that would seem too “I asked for black bean and I got sweet potato” to her, hah. That, and – today was a day to stick to a recipe 😉
And so that is what I did(other than the fact that I used garlic powder, not onion, quartered the salt, added fresh chives, and omitted the chili powder and cayenne) because I didn’t want to put out a big fat FAIL for mother’s day. I was sort of dying to add some chopped dried apricots and barbeque sauce since I am apparently newly infatuated with combining black beans, apricots, and BBQ sauce – but I resisted. It’s in the back of my head, though. I even thought back to a Cook’s Mission challenge and wanted to use pretzels instead of oats for the breadcrumbs. Man, I’m weird. ANYWAYS. I made the mixture a bit after lunch so in case I failed it wouldn’t be the end of the world, and that way all I had to do was throw them in the oven when it was about 40 mins from when we wanted to eat.
To go with everything, I made a mushroom gravy from Veganomicon. I let mom chose sauce – I sort of threw a cheese sauce, spiced yogurt dip, and mushroom gravy out there to get her mind working, but she said mushroom gravy sounded good. I agreed – I thought it would not only go great with the burgers, but over the fries!! Fries and gravy, anyone? Um, yes please.
This dinner turned out great! It was a hit, and I’ve gotta say – that mushroom gravy went marvelously with the parsnip fries and topped on the burger! It was so simple to make, too – especially since I just used canned mushrooms. Definitely saving this recipe as my go-to black bean burger recipe! I am (well, had been) always on the hunt for the best veggie burger recipes. I checked Moosewoods and Veganomicon before deciding on The Front Burner one, and The Front Burner one just seemed more mom-friendly. And they had pretty pictures 😉
All that said, I don’t feel like anything can show my mother how grateful I am for her endless support and love. And, as I’ve always mentioned before on the blog, I really do appreciate all she does for me, and make sure I show her this appreciation every day and not just on Mother’s Day. She’s always encouraged me to do my best, but not in ways in which I would only become stressed out. She’s taught me that it’s okay to be myself, and I don’t need to try to impress anybody. That it’s okay to try new things yet not enjoy them; just as long as I don’t judge before giving anything a chance. That “failure” happens, but it’s never a failure if you learn from it. To do my best, no matter what. That everything happens for a reason.And not only that – but she is incredibly hard working. She’ll hardly ever take a day off, until she is just about forced to because otherwise the time she’s earned will get eaten. She puts everyone else before her, but still raised me with the tough love ways – which I am so, so grateful for. Have I ever heard a complaint from her? No. And all of that hardly skims the surface. Thank you, mom – I love you!
What has your mom taught you?
Question & Answer
I’ve been receiving a lot of questions lately that are repeats of one another – while this doesn’t bother me in the least, it does make me think “why not just answer them all on the blog?” because I’m sure there’s bound to be more inquiring minds that are just too shy to ask. So, I’ll eliminate your need to google things, and let ya in on the basics right here 🙂
1. Recently, a lot of people have asked me about my “chia-flax-acai icing” that show up every morning. I’ve been terrible about linking to my “recipe” for it – but here it is! Why is recipe in quotations? Well – it’s not much of a recipe, more of an explanation for what the mix is. I mean, it’s a lot easier to just say icing rather than “mixture of greek yogurt, almond milk, chia seeds, flax oil, and acai powder that have sit until slightly soupier than yogurt but thicker than milk,” nah’mean? The recipe is a tad outdated – I now use flax oil when I make it and often forget to add acai powder – but do with it what you will. If I don’t use flax oil, I often sweeten it with honey or maple syrup, or jam – depends on the mood!
2. What is Dakota Bread? Well, if you ask me personally I’d just say “heaven baked into a loaf of beauty,” but since I’m betting that’s not what ya’ll are looking for, I consulted with google. And Price Chopper’s ingredients list, since google proved to be relatively useless. Basically, it’s a wheat bread that’s also got barley flour, oats, seeds such as sunflower, poppy, and sesame, as well as seasonings like garlic and onion powder. I am betting it varies from bakery to bakery, but that’s the ingredients from my loaf. It reminds me a lot of an everything bagel when it’s toasted with some butter, but is delicious any which way 🙂
3. What is Seitan? I am a seitan noob, too – but have seen it online everywhere, yet never in stores. Actually, I never even knew you could purchase pre-made seitan until Kelli’s post. I finally picked up some Vital Wheat Gluten with the sole intention of giving seitan a try. Basically, it’s another vegetarian protein, or “wheat meat,” as it may be referred to. It’s made from the gluten of wheat by washing away the starch of wheat flour, leaving you with an elasticy mass to cook and eat. I know, I bet you’re all dying to try seitan now, right? Yeah, not sure what made seitan so appealing to me since when I think about it now – I wouldn’t just grab a hunk of flour and water and some seasoning and pop it in my mouth – but somehow, it works. The funny thing is, I’ve yet to really try it other than a nibble! But, that nibble was quite nice. It’s a nice switch-up from tempeh, and I’m not a big tofu fan, so I definitely prefer it over tofu. There’s some recipes and more information here, since I probably just scared you all away from the food. Do not be afraid, chicklings.
Anyone please feel free to correct me on anything above! I’m still a bit confused as to how seitan works (it seems so strange that it tastes so good from what I’ve had! haha) but I won’t complain.
Sorry for the wordy post today – normal activities will resume tomorrow. I’m off to send through some prints for my portfolio!!