Formatting Fun

Anyone who hasn’t thrown and put away 400 bales of hay in 90 degree humidity (outside – add about 20 up in the hay loft) hasn’t lived yet.

Okay – maybe that’s a lie and you’re probably perfectly content not participating in this rather cruel and unusual punishment for loving your horse. I mean, in order to play the game right, you must:

  • be clad in hot, sticky jeans, boots, and t-shirt, and possibly gloves if you don’t want to callus your dainty hands
  • be willing to stack and/or throw 50 lbs one after another
  • realize you’ll have sweat dripping down your face, into your eyeballs, and not be able to do anything about it because the next bale is waiting for you already
  • realize there are no breaks, except for maybe five minutes in between carts
  • realize you will be breathing in hay particles via your nose and mouth
  • realize you may get stung by bees
  • realize it’s highly likely that the hay will come in the most unpleasant of weather
  • realize you’ll probably have a killer headache for the rest of the day after having so much dust and hay up your nose so that it feels like there’s hay in your brain
  • feel really accomplished when you’re all done.

That said, a good breakfast was necessary.

I knew I wanted to help A with hay today, and since it was to arrive at 8:00 (hah! what a joke that was) I knew I should probably make a quicker breakfast than waffles, since I also knew I’d rather sleep in a little bit after heading to bed late. Of course, by the time I’d made banana soft serve to “top” my oats, I’d probably spent just as much time anyways. Sometimes I like to take the long way around things.

I’ve seen tons of bloggers mixing overnight oats and banana soft serve, and now I know why. The mix of textures is perfect, and banana soft serve is pretty fantastic, itself! For the overnight oats portion, I mixed:

En la manana, I mixed in some more coconut water and vanilla chobani…before “topping” (err – sharing the bowl) with:

  • banana soft serve (I can never get it to blend with just bananas – so I added in more vanilla chobs and some OV vanilla yogurt)
  • wheat germ
  • cashews
  • coconut
  • goji granola
  • pb sauce (peanut buttah and OV yogs)

and zennn….I was off! I grabbed an Apricot Clif Bar for snackage. I’m not usually a fan of Clif bars since they are so sweet, and of course the whole soy protein thing – but knew it was a better choice for today than, say, my beloved Larabar.

This actually wasn’t super sweet, luckily – but it didn’t much taste like apricot, either. It’s my last one in my “stash,” though – and probably won’t buy any more πŸ˜› I had most of it (A had a piece) in between hay wagons.

Of course, the hay guys didn’t even show up until 9:10 – and hour + late. While we were waiting we cleaned out some lanes that had old hay in them – and I was already hating wearing jeans.

That sounds funny. I wouldn’t have preferred to be nekkid, for those wondering what I meant – but breeches are much easier to work in! Not good for hay though. And don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining about putting hay away. I enjoy it in aΒ weirdΒ way (it’s a great workout!) and offered my help – but it would have been much nicer if it had been delivered on time, when it was much cooler! We’ve been having insane heat and humidity lately, but luckily, it’s supposed to end tomorrow!

I was drenched with sweat afterwards, and there was no way I was up for riding Teddie, unfortunately. Oh,w ell – I’m sure he wasn’t complaining! I immediately jumped in the shower when I got home, and even though it was only 11:20, I was thinking of so many things I wanted for lunch.

Of course, I also wanted to spend next to no time making it. Waffles and eggs? too much time! Tempeh and PB. too much time to fry the tempeh. Portabella burger. too long. I can’t even remember all of the millions of things I was thinking! But one of them was broccoli-bean pie, and I was so grateful for leftovers at that moment in time! I left a little bit left for my mom for lunch tomorrow (though she might forget and it’ll be my lunch!) and homemade bread, which became this:

And half a random banana. And coconut water. And a SuperCharge Me cookie.

And just to give you an example of how gross I was, I needed more almond milk but didn’t go to the store on my way home. Usually I have no shame and go horsey all the time – but hay-y is a whole ‘nother level of gross. Anyways. I went raspberry picking, too! I just pick the best days for outdoor activities.

Note the sarcasm.

Which resulted in a bowl of vanilla chobs, rasperries (x5) and a random half-piece of bread with peach-ginger jam.

Dude, why are there so many random “halves” of food in my house?

And then I passed out. Actually, I tried to pass out, but I think I Β only “slept” for ten minutes or so. I was exhausted (did I mention I went to bed late?) and had such a headache.

Unfortunately, horses don’t go on vacation, and I knew I’d have to face the heat again to clean out “the girls”. Before braving it, much of this happened:

Look at my mom’s b-Day card I got her for tomorrow, it’s super cute! I love card shopping.

Unfortunately, you won’t get the true feel for it, but when you open it, it speaks and says “ohhhh no you di-iiinnt!”

Okay, okay – so maybe not my best card selection ever, but I thought it’s cute. It’s all about the shock factor.

After melting some more, I came in to make exactly what I wanted to go raspberry picking for in the first place:

Raspberry-Fig Sauce! For these, naturally;

This time I made it alittle different by adding silken tofu. And since I can’t find my last post I made this in, here we go:

Raspberry-Fig Dressing

  • 1 c. raspberries
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 3 T. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 medium figs, chopped
  • 1/2 t. basil (dried – but fresh would be better. just double the am’t)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. silken tofu
  • 2 t. date sugar
  • drizzle sesame oil dressing (opt)

Over medium-low heat in a medium sized sauce pan, simmer everything except for the tofu, oil and sugar. Mash up the raspberries a bit, but then just leave it alone until it thickens a bit. Add in the date sugar. You might need to add a splash more water if it gets too thick. Shut off heat and allow to sit and cool for a couple of minutes.

In a blender, add in the silken tofu and then the slightly cooled raspberry mixture. Blend until smooth.

Using a strainer, pour the blended mixture into a container. It will be thick so it won’t pour through on its’ own, so just stir it around with a spoon. This takes care of all of those pesky raspberry seeds! There will be lots πŸ˜‰

Once strained, discard of leftover seeds, and add in a little bit of sesame oil dressing (sesame oil/olive oil/balsamic vinegar is what mine is) and then thin with water and a splash more balsamic. It’s perfectly fine to leave it thicker, of course, but for me I preferred it thinned a bit.

Initially I wanted to roast the cubed sweet potatoes in the sauce – but then went a different route and decided to just shake them with the sesame oil and then roast them, and just have the sauce as dressing.

This mixing bowl salad was so refreshing! Hidden in there:

  • head of hydroponic Boston Lettuce
  • sweet potato
  • black beans
  • roasted broc
  • grilled portabella cap
  • raspberry-fig sauce
  • toasted bread (a little too much so!)
  • sesame seeds

the only thing it was missing was some good, fresh, local goat cheese! Sad life.

_____________________________________

Don’t Forget to Format!

I’m gonna have a fun little camera blurp now!

I can’t tell you all how many times I’ve come across a blogger saying “I had a picture of it, but my camera ate it.”

Have you had that happen, yourself? More likely than not, it’s probably because you haven’t formatted your memory card lately. It’s sort of one of those minor yet oh-so-important details. Often, people simply erase them as they go along – hit delete, delete all, or even delete them through your computer.

This can get veddy, veddy bad.

If you fail to format your memory card every so often, the “language” in which the camera communicates with the card becomes a bit foggy. You may think you’re taking a picture, but it’s not writing it to the card. Sure – some people may never format their memory card in their life, and never have any problem. Good for you! I am glad. Just know that when you actually take really, really important pictures – say, a once in a lifetime trip – is when it will happen. So get in the habit now! It’s easy. For most cameras, simply:

  • hit menu
  • select “format memory card”
  • select “yes”

on menu, it may be under the “playback menu”. Just do a little hunting, and you’ll find it – but it’s not hidden. Yes, this will erase all of the photos on your card.If you’re that person walking around with pictures from two Christmases ago still on your camera, I suggest you burn them all to a CD now and format your card. I do this after each and every time I upload. Being foodbloggers – we “dump” our camera’s cards often, and I’m probably a little too format-happy as it doesn’t need to be done every week, even. But just don’t forget to do it! Especially before big, important events and after lots of use.

What else should you be careful about? For a happy memory card:

  • never “swap” cards with someone – don’t use your card in your camera, hand it to someone else to use in their camera, and then use it again in yours. You’re asking for trouble.
  • Be careful of static electricity – you’re quite likely to have something erased should you, say, slide down a slide with your coat in your wool jacket’s pocket when the air is very dry/staticy.
  • use multiple – mostly relevant if you’re on a long trip, not a day-to-day basis – but I much prefer shooting cards until they’re, say, half full – and then starting with another one. This way, if you run into a problem, you’ll potentially lose less data than had you shot with the card until it was full.
  • format your new memory cards the second you put it into your camera – this makes sure the card and camera are communicating clearly
  • switch off your camera before removing the card – this is to avoid “voltage shock”

I don’t want any of you to go running into your local camera shop frantically because you lost all of your photos of your trip to Alaska, your child graduating preschool, or a zebra running down the street with a party hat. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen before. (Not the zebra scenario – the people running in frantically to their local camera shop. Those people are hard to calm down, tell you what.)

So format your card!

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28 Comments

Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

28 responses to “Formatting Fun

  1. I just want you to know that seeing your blog name bolded in my Google reader thingy at night is something I look forward to. πŸ™‚

    Anyways, I’ve bailed hay at a friends house (yea, never mentioned that we’d be doing that but it conveniently worked out for his parents that he had a few of his friends over that day…) and I was in shorts. Aside from having massive allergies and snot running down my face, and the hay in my socks and scratches on my legs, I felt pretty great afterwards too.

    I’ve never really made a sauce for any of my food… probably because most are either huge amounts of oil or added sugars that I’m afraid of/against using. I usually stick to hummus, which is just as good, but I’m sure I’ll get around to making a healthy sauce that is actually good for me one of these days.

    And if you ever have the chance to get some raw cacao nibs, they go great with banana softserve and overnight oats – they have an awesome crunch to them!

  2. Michelle

    I just formatted my card πŸ™‚ Thank you for the helpful tip!

    It sounds like you were super dehydrated from hauling they hay. Drink some water and coconut water missy πŸ˜‰

  3. Girl have I ever been there! To make matters worse, I’m ALLERGIC to hay so I break out all up and down my arms and legs after touching it. SUCH good times πŸ˜‰

  4. You are too funny, girl! This post was exactly what I needed to read and just chill out tonight.. so thank you πŸ˜›

    Saying that actually makes me feel quite pathetic, because I did no where near the amount of physical work that you did… good job with the hay! I totally know what you mean about the jeans though, and I think I have a very good idea of exactly how gross you might have been! Denim and the barn make a horrible couple.

    I need to go out and buy myself some sweet potatoes asap. I actually baked on for dinner the other night and I was so excited (because it’s been ages) and it was all brown and rotten inside! I waited for nothing. Hrmph. Anyway, you sweet potato bowl looks fab!

    ❀ Tat

  5. Gosh – you sure did have a busy day – hauling hay sounds like hard work 0- especially in this heat!!!! You will definately sleep well tonight!!!
    I love the fig- raspberry sauce – sounds perfect top top sweet potatoes with!!
    Hope your mom has a great birthday – cute card – im sure she’ll love it
    Have a great weekend – aimee

  6. bails of hay doesn’t equal a good time to me, but i love your passion πŸ™‚

    thanks for your sweet comment on my post! totally agree with you 100%.

    oh and ps – watch out for roasting with sesame oil. most of them have a pretty low smoke point before they turn carcinogenic! eek!
    -r

  7. It is freakin’ hot here too! I did nothing that involved hay though. The sauce sounds so delicious. I bet the sweet potato roasted in the sesame oil was good! I need to try that. Um, thanks for the formating info. I need to check with Tony to see if he does that. Have a great night Jessica! Oh and I am always eating the random left over stuff. Sometimes those are the best parts!

  8. Go you for all that hard work this morning! Thanks for the memory card formatting tip! I never knew I had to do that!

  9. How you can manage to do all that work in the morning, have to go back in the afternoon, and still be able to fit in a creative amazing recipe somewhere in the midst of it amazes me. Not kidding. πŸ˜›

  10. I am LOVING your dressing recipe! I love anything sweet (and with cinnamon πŸ™‚ ). I wish I still rode horses – so many fond childhood memories πŸ™‚ Just found your blog and love it, by the way! Absolutely beautiful photography, truly. I have photographer-envy πŸ™‚

  11. I am impressed. I am quite the wimp when it comes to manual labor. But it does feel good to rest after a long day of work! And thank you for that dressing recipe. I am about to receive a huge shipment of figs that I won, and I’m looking for fig recipes everywhere. I hope you have a great Friday love!

  12. Oi, haystacking is just one of those things that start out quite romantic, then turn absolutely terrible, then finish off awesome, hehehe…

  13. Ooooh, with every bullet point about the hay, I was literally wincing – I sooo feel that pain!
    AMAZINGsounding sauce! That’s going in your recipe pages right!!?? Actually all your meals look so good – I wish I ate more like you! Maybe I’ll make it my new mission πŸ˜€

    Annnd finally – I’ve never even heard of the format thing; I always just click ‘erase after loading’ on my computer, but I think maybe I need to actually do something better!? Thanks for the tip!!

  14. Wow you have been working hard girl! I think you deserve to treat yourself for all that work! Your bowl for dinner sounds totally yum, I love bowls made of loads of different things with all my favourite flavours put together and I’m a hugee sweet potato fan! It amazes me how you’re so good at making sauces and dressings, I’m scared to try making any because I just worry that the flavour won’t go with the food but yours always seem perfect! Xx

  15. Thanks for sharing all the card formatting info!! I didn’t know any of that, but I feel like it’ll come in useful with my new camera!!

    The raspberry sauce: HOW did you even come up with that??? Looks/sounds so good…you’re a genius girl!!

    Happy Friday!!

  16. Nathalie

    Haha, yep, I HAVE lived then… hay in the brain included… πŸ™‚

    Will try your Broccoli-Bean-Pie this weekend, it looks delicious!!!

    Have a good weekend!

  17. Throwing hay sounds like such a work out! Suddenly my 30 minute runs feel like a breeze compared to that! πŸ˜›

    Thanks for the tips on memory card formatting! I had no idea I had to do that. Luckily I’ve never had my camera eat my photos, but I’m going to format the card just in case!

  18. I think you should have fun camera blips more often! I need them!

  19. Such good advice on the memory card formatting! Duly noted. Thank you!

    Your meals are such beauties – I’m sure the excellent photography helps but dang you’ve got some great recipes too! I’d love to try the raspberry fig dressing. Looks incredible.

    And finally, go you for the hay work! Does not sound like the world’s easiest task. No indeed.

  20. I did not know that about memory cards and formatting! Thanks so much for the tips. πŸ˜€

    (p.s. moving hay sounds like one killer workout!!)

  21. Looove banana softserve!! And I’ve never tried apricot clifs but now I really want to. And your salad looks awesome! Huge salads are the best πŸ™‚

  22. Just when I was getting excited to return to the farming life, you made me remember the joy of haystacking….thanks for the reality check πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the tips on formatting too – I always assumed that delete = gone for good, so now I can treat my camera a little more kindly!

  23. that hearty comforting sweet potato and veggie and bean bowl is definitely a toss up of amazing wonder and deliciousness.. im kind of captivated by it and the leaning/balancing toast πŸ™‚

    im so happy u love the overnight oats and softserve combo too! i know right, that stuff is crack! watch yerself hehe ❀

  24. teenagehealthfreak

    never tried banana softserve..you make it look amazing!!!!! wow. i’ve never done the hay loading before..but my dad does..and i know it’s hard work…but we also use round bales…so it’s more tractor-labor..but you’re right about it being a good workout! πŸ™‚

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  28. Dee

    Hey chica! Can you believe that I’m only now just catching up? ummm… *blush*

    i think i’ve only formatted my SD card once. I almost always delete all the pictures once i upload though. do you think i should still re-format?

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