Category Archives: photography

That’s Totally Okay

Looking back through today’s pictures, I still don’t know how I was as productive as I was.

I guess that explains how it’s already 6 pm, though. Last I checked it was 10am!

There was lots of learning to be done, though. Both of the educational sense as well as the personal sense.

Like how it’s totally okay to completely mess up your pancakes, only to discover they’re the best you’ve had all week. Even if they look like they’ve already been digested once or twice.

…and it’s also totally okay to realize that maybe the only reason you make mini loaves of bread is not because you like it better fresh – but because it’s so much fun to make and smell.

Sarena’s bread has yet to disappoint. I don’t think it’s possible for it to. It is so quick, so simple and so delicious.

Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic hummus from Appetite for Reduction

Realize you’re home alone for 25 minutes? Well – it’s perfectly reasonable to go on an insane food-processor rampage, right?

For some reason, I can’t get the rest of my family to welcome with open arms the amount of noise required for making hummus and nut butters. On a Sunday morning, no less.

When people should be waking up to the smell of bacon, not the sound of hummus.

And yes, it’s totally okay to combine hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and peanuts in your quest to make the perfect unsweetened peanut butter. Just don’t forget the pinch of salt!

But hey – why not try a flavored cashew butter for once? I’ve never had anything other than “normal” cashew butter, so I decided to give it a try. Verdict? totally okay.

  • 2 c. roasted & salted cashews
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1 t. date syrup
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. golden raisins

Method: Process the cashews until they form a ball. Break it up and add in the oil, syrup, extract and cinnamon. Process again until smooth. Add more oil depending on how runny you like it. Add in raisins and pulse a few more times to combine.

And by the way…if you just so happened to have made peanut butter before this…and didn’t feel like washing and trying your processor…it’s totally okay to just use the processor with the peanut butter residue still in it.

Not that I would have ever ofund myself in this situation or anything.

Haven’t done laundry in two weeks? Totally okay – it just makes you find all those old clothes you don’t know why you still have…but then realize why when you have nothing else to wear.

Again, not that I would know anything about that.

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to consider your workout for the day simply walking up a hill.

…but it’s probably easier to buy when the snow is up to your waist, and your dog might hate you for it.

Sorry for the butt shot…but this just had to be done. Kaia found that it worked best if she just tried dragging herself along on her belly.

We have so much snow right now. And we had a thundersnow storm last night!

It was kind of creepy and I was ready for the apocalypse.


I also realize that lately I’ve been hardly creative in the kitchen on my own, but rather have been making recipes out of books like it’s my job.

Well, I do wish it were my job…

But hey, that’s totally okay. I’m calling it “fine-tuning my technique.”

Because really, I don’t actually know anything about cooking or baking.

It’s totally okay to instantly think of your childhood when creaming “butter” and sugar.

Isn’t it a requirement of growing up to eat the butter and sugar when making cookies?

Not quite enough dried figs for your homemade “Fig Not-Ins” after you absent-mindedly munched on a few?

Using some golden raisins as filler is perfectly okay.

Adding anise extract, on the other hand? Totally not okay. Sambuca has ruined anise extract for me for the rest of my life, I think. I can’t have peppermints anymore because of peppermint schnapps, either.

Luckily, the anise was just an accentuating flavor, not a main player. I followed Vegan with a Vengeance‘s recipe because I wanted to have a more dough-like newton. The recipes I found online were more like a date bar – but with figs. I wanted more of a distinct fig newton! But, adding the anise idea came from this recipe.

Ironically, rolling the dough out for this was very time consuming and difficult and it will probably be many moons before I do it again. That and the directions confused me. I don’t think they were confusing, I think I was just having a “moment.” A “what the kale?” moment.

And if you lose patience with it, it’s totally okay to end up just making two giant tarts with the last of your dough.

And by the way – taste-testing your fig filling? Perfectly fine. In fact, I think it’s required. Mainly if you have some fresh bread and cashew butter to accompany it. D’oh.

Having paprika that’s older than you are? Well, that’s probably not okay, but I use it anyway. It probably doesn’t taste like…well…anything…to be perfectly honest with you.

I kid you not, I remember having this paprika when I was, like, three.

Because I was definitely using paprika as a wee little three year old. I distinctly remember burping “mo’ papriikay!” a time or two.

But until I finally remember to buy new paprika, this old stuff had to do for the mushroom and cannellini paprikas in Appetite for Reduction.

And in case you were wondering – it’s also totally okay to have sweet potato fries with every meal…and still not know whether you prefer them with barbeque sauce or hummus.

And lastly – it’s perfectly fine if you just watch the Superbowl for the commercials. I’m not a football fan…I prefer real sports.

Other things that are totally okay:

  • Realizing you haven’t gotten out of your pajamas all day. Which probably means they’re really gross considering the fact that I was definitely sweating walking up that hill.
  • Not putting away your laundry even if it’s all done.
  • Realizing you sort of enjoy the reading for your recent classes.

What was your “totally okay” moment of the day?

And I’ve gotta ask…Superbowl – yay or nay?

24 Comments

Filed under baking, bread, breakfast, cookies, cooking, dessert, dinner, food, healthy living, hummus, lunch, musings, nut butter, pancakes, photography, recipe, snow, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian, veggies, vermont

Bacon. Mmm, Bacon…

I am in metaphorical foodie heaven.

Also known as…a plate full of my soon-to-be obsessions. I think the only reasons none of this is already an obsession is because I didn’t know it existed up until now. Or last night, if we’re talking onion rings.

Chavez Caesar Salad. With Eggplant Bacon.

And a side of homemade bread. (we’ll get there.) Oh and a couple onion rings. I had a few leftover and am rationing them two at a time so I can savor them over and over. I only have two left.

I already am plotting more excuses to “need” to get groceries so I can purchase a lifetime supply of sweet onions.

Fun fact: for just about the entire duration of my teen-hood, say from junior high to high school, you could bet $5 that whenever I’d/we’d go somewhere to eat, I’d be having a caesar salad or a caesar salad wrap. With chicken. Even after learning it had anchovies. And then something happened…maybe it was a caesar salad burnout. Maybe I was just too lazy to want to make my own once I started saving my pennies and stopped eating out for every meal.

But I finally geared up motivation to make a caesar salad (read: wasn’t feeling too lazy to clean the blender) and it. was. phenomenal. I don’t know how Isa thinks of these things, but seriously – this dressing is the caesar salads I remember.

Except better.

And you’d better believe I was picky about my salads. You’re probably thinking I was healthy even back then anyways, but honestly, for some reason I just had an inexplicable attachment to chicken caesar salads.

And then there’s the eggplant bacon.

Does it taste like bacon?

No! It’s eggplant!

Is it good?

Oh hell yes it is.

I was basically munching on it for the entire hour leading up to dinner. I’m lucky I had any left for my salad. I was never a “bacon-on-my-caesar-salad” kinda gal, but apparently I am an “eggplant bacon on my vegan caesar salad” kinda gal.

And here’s the kicker: I can make all of the above but apparently remembering about the bread I put in the oven is too difficult for my brain to handle.

Not to mention my other rookie mistake of completely forgetting to spray the plastic wrap I put over top while it rose, so of course when I went to pull it off I disrupted the entire top of it, beautifully risen and all.

But ohhhhh hot damn, this bread? Best loaf I’ve ever tasted. Hands-down. And unfortunately for you guys, I can’t give you the recipe.

Neener-neener-neee-ner!

Ahem. I’m sorry. That was incredibly rude of me. But this recipe was so generously passed along to me from a wonderful blogger friend. I’d really love to tell you because these acts of generosity deserve mentioning – but I’m afraid my ugly loaf would be an embarrassment, so instead I will choose to hold off until I make a prettier one.

Which won’t be very far away.

See, I fell in love with L’s idea of making mini loaves, so I halved the recipe and just made a mini loaf. My “problem” was that I’d make a normal sized loaf of bread and feel like I had to live off of sandwiches for fear if I didn’t have at least one a day, the bread would get wasted. Mini loaf? No problem.

Except…it’s almost all gone already. Mreh, well.

And as an aside – I need to publicly thank Jenn for being better support than WordPress is. She helped me figure out a way to publish the site I designed in iWeb for my photography! It’s got some kinks, but I feel so much more streamlined now 🙂 This blog’s gotta be next, though!

eventually.

What’s something you accomplished today? It took all morning – but I was so glad to get my site up. Far from done, but done enough to be public, I think. And at least better than what it was! I also did a bunch of schoolwork. Grumble.

Do/Did you have a favorite “restaurant meal”? Something you love to order out, but never make at home? I never made caesar salad (of course, I didn’t make myself anything back then!) but as mentioned – always ordered it out!

[Side note: Ask me how happy I was to have natural, real light to photograph my dinner. Go ahead, ask me! I’m so sick of using flash!]

21 Comments

Filed under bacon, baking, bread, cooking, dinner, food, healthy living, photography, review, salad, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Little Things

I don’t think I’ve shared one of my other passions with you guys.

You know I love photography. Teddie. Good food. (And yet – I’m still single. It’s not like I’m asking for a diamond ring…just a nice barn with an indoor would be nice.)

But part of that “photography” field includes film photography.

I hear you already – “But Jess, isn’t that a little…well, archaic?”

No. It’s not. Film is magnificent. Film is better than digital. With the digital revolution, everyone is forgetting about film, ad everybody and their brothers is becoming a photographer.*

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Film is sharp where digital is soft. What is a sea of green for a field in a digital photo, in film you can count the blades of grass. Film makes you pay attention to what you’re shooting. With a digital camera, you are limited by your sensor. With film, you’re not limited at all – but rather, it depends on how good your photo lab is and their capabilities of scanning and printing.

And c’mon…how exciting is it to shoot a roll of film, get it developed and printed, and only then see how your shots came out?!

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In case you couldn’t tell – I’d remembered about my long lost love and randomly shot a roll of film this morning. While I’m far from considering these candid snapshots works of art – it was definitely a good reminder that I need to shoot film more often!

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Of course, being able to develop and print them myself while at work only adds to the excitement Winking smile

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Have you ever shot film before/do you have any interest in it?

What’s one of your “long lost loves” that not everyone knows about you?

*This isn’t meant to be taken offensively – after all, I shoot digitally 99.9% of the time, except for when I’m in the mood to play with some film. Just an observation!

27 Comments

Filed under photography

The Irony

Hey again, pun’kins 🙂 I hope everyone had a beautiful day – we were graced with sunshine for most of the day, and warm temperatures for just about all of it, too! I definitely soaked it up considering the fact that snow may be in the forecast again for tomorrow night. Go figure, right?! Once I get the first taste of Spring!?

I had a mango just begging to be used today or tomorrow, and I figure – no time but the present, right?! Mango oats never disappoint, and since the weather was being predicted to match the tropics, why shouldn’t my breakfast, too?!

The Base for today consisted of

-equal parts oat bran, rolled spelt flakes, and rolled barley flakes

-wheat bran

-brewed coffee & almondmilk

trail power

a couple of thin slices of banana (I was freezing some for tonight’s dessert and figured – why not add a few slices?!) and approx. 1/4 of a diced mango

approx 1/2 Tbs. chia seeds

-chai spice blend, vanilla extract

The toppings:

-chia-acai icing & milled golden flax

-ginger preserves & coconut butter

-chopped macadamia nuts

and a fruit mixture of diced mango, sliced banana, shredded coconut, and dried papaya sauteed in some almondmilk and sprinkled with chai spice blend.

I’ve started adding in some chia seeds to the oat base lately, just for some added nutrition. Actually – I’ve really upped my chia seed intake lately, but a lot of it is in my evening snacks that you guys don’t really see much of.  It made a huge difference in the volume of this bowl. If you compare it to previous mornings with this bowl, I think you’d be able to tell just from the picture! I loved it. I still like the icing, though – it won’t be leaving 🙂

I savored this while pondering what to do with this glorious day – and since it was still pretty chilly out, wanted to wait until it warmed up to get outside. I had been thinking a run/walk was in order, but then started getting the itch to do some more photos at the junkyard down the road! I also wanted to squeeze in a quick ride, and godonlyknowswhatelse. So – I settled on a  walk to the junkyard, a ride, baking, and whatever else lends itself! I knew tomorrow is supposed to be yucky, so I definitely knew I would be leaving my cleaning and grocery trip into town for then. Not a chance was I spending today “working.”

Before my photo expedition, I knew some english muffin baking was in order. How perfect, right?! Make the dough while it’s still cold – let it rise while I do my photo thang.

I followed Nicole’s recipe with only minor changes based on what I had – I used almondmilk and olivio. We didn’t have any butter or  milk – but of course I had almondmilk! I hoped it would still work. I’m not a good yeast baker. I credit it to the fact that I always want to change things up and use whole wheat, spelt, buckwheat, etc. So I didn’t want to make any drastic changes, and hoped Nicole’s recipe would treat me well. I had faith! After placing the dough in the warm oven to do its thang, I put my face on, snacked on a plum & some almonds, and gathered my photo gear. I quickly decided that rather than walking all the way down to the junkyard – I’d drive to where I could park the Jeep safely and discreetly off the road, and walk the rest of the way. I didn’t want to bring just my camera and tripod, I wanted to bring my entire bag – which is quite heavy, even though that’s only half of all my equipment.

Uhm, let me just say – glad I did this. I’ve never been able to judge distances well, and even though I drive this road daily, I guess I kind of brushed off the fact that this junkyard “right down the road” is 2 miles down the road, and I still walked almost a mile from where I parked. I’m not sure if you’ve done it before, but when you’re carrying 20 pounds of awkward camera gear on one shoulder and a 5-pound tripod on the other shoulder, even a mile is long enough. Not to mention, it would have taken me all day long. Which – yes, it was gorgeous out, but that meant I did want to cram everything known to man inside of it! hehe.

I won’t bore you with the photos – I ended up being my own model. I had fun, though! The bummer about living in the boondocks is that no one wants to drive an hour to hang out. Oh well – sometimes it’s easier to be your own model. I knew what I was looking for!


Once I got back, I was thrilled
to see how much the dough had risen!! I’ve never had this fast and this big a rise from any bread I’ve baked before. Yes! I divvied it up into balls, placed on a baking sheet, and covered again. I ended up making twice as many muffins, too – it seemed like making 6 made 6 honkin’ big muffins, especially after they rose again.

My mom was outside raking leaves again, so I grabbed some quick fuel and went to help again.

mango, galaxy vanilla granola, greek yogurt, chai spice blend.

Loving this Galaxy Granola! I know it’s already been raved about on close to every health-food blog out there already, but thought I’d throw my two cents in, too 🙂 I started making my own since so many companies use oil and tons of sugar – well, Galaxy doesn’t! Perfect!

The downfall of a big lawn is raking. Holy heck, raking is tiring. I know, I know – I’m pathetic. But we have a big lawn! We finally finished, though – blistered, tired, and – dare I say it – hot! In Spring! In vermont!

By now it was almost 12:30 and I was about ready for lunch, but didn’t really want to eat that early. So I just nommed on some dried apricots, pitted dates, and almonds while finishing up the english muffins. I should note that I’ve been having a major dried fruit and almond grazing problem lately! I pretty much grab at least one every time I’m in the kitchen! So, of course it goes without saying that this also occured all during the baking process. Hey, at least it’s a little more normal than just grazing on carrots like I do when I make dinner. What can I say?! 😛 Shnoopsies.

Little Babies! Okay – so maybe I should have found a happy medium and made 10 or so rather than 15. They’re just babies! But, that’s okay – I mean, half the time I only have half of a normal sized english muffin anyway! I was just happy that these were easy, successful, and delicious! Even my mom liked them – and she’s the whole wheat hater. Although, it was comical that before anything else, both she and Henry – at seperate times – asked “Why are they so small?” Gee – thanks for the support guys. It’s because I’m a n00b. Hey – it doesn’t bother me any! I don’t mind not sharing 😛 Although – I think I will be. My mom said I had good nooks and crannies. Hear that, Thomas?! You may be the original nooks and crannies muffins but you’ve got some competition!

I, naturally, sampled the babiest of them all fresh out of the oven with some Olivio. Hey – everyone else makes a baby “tester” when they make stuff, right?! aha.

Delicious! Thank you SO much, Nicole! This was my first 100% successful yeast recipe. Cannot wait to try your Naan and other bread recipes, too 🙂 Cannot BELIEVE how easy this was. It was hardly any hands-on time, and requires only pantry staples.

But – after that – it was time for lunch! I uploaded my photos while pondering ideas, but decided on just an old faithful:

I had some creative ideas rolling around, but honestly – there were too many!! So I went for a yum-wrap supreme of tomato-basil hummus, red pepper, roma tomato, fresh basil, almond mozzarella, spinach, red onion, and a fried egg. Too good. Since these travel so well, I usually just have them once they’ve been heated, cooled, and reheated. So this was actually a treat, even if basic! I also polished off my popchips (and shed a tear – I was kind enough to share with my mom though, who is also a newly rabid fan) and an orange.

After this, it was the moment I’d been waiting all day for: I was gonna be crash dummy for my mom!! What?! Crash dummy?! You must be saying. Yep…I’m naive enough to volunteer my life to wrangle my mom’s wild beast of a youngster:

JIGGY! Short for "Jigalo". I'm not kidding. We didn't name him.

Yep – after the winter off, it’s time for the ol’ Jiggy to get back into work. Sometimes horses can be quite – uh, neurotic – after a workless winter, but I trust him 🙂 (The “wild beast” remark was mostly sarcasm. As my mom put it – “I trust him, I’m just getting old and don’t bounce well anymore.” Thanks, mom. Catch me if I fall?) I figured today was the day – it was mild and only slightly breezy. Though, strangely – by the time we got ready to ride (my mom was riding her old mare) it was getting quite overcast and very windy. Wahh!

Naturally, it went off without a hitch, and as you can see, I’m still alive to re-tell the tale. What you can’t see, however, is my broken wrist and black eye.

I kid, I kid. Really – he was fine and it was absolutely amazing to be sitting in a saddle on a live horse’s back again. This will be happening much more frequently 🙂

english muffin w/ honey-apple butter, greek yogs, kiwi

I honestly have no idea when I had time to eat the above snack considering I also had the below one, and we ate a late lunch…

Chia gel pudding, apple, and a PB & Honey-Apple butter with apple slices and tempeh churro-style flatbread sammie. Yes, Please.

But obviously, I fit it all in! Thank heavens, because – what you see above is the most miraculous snackage since…warm kashi. Oh yeah – I said it. Don’t worry, though – I’m stil all about my warm kashi bowls. But seriously loving this beaut. Pan-fried in some non-stick spray and sprinkled with some cinnamon and truvia – reminds me of a churro!! I think that’s what I mean…?

Naturally, after eating all these protein and fiber-packed snacks, I wasn’t too hungry for dinner at the early-normal time, but I decided last minute that I might as well go grocery shopping tonight. I could only see myself getting bored and antsy, since my mom & Henry were headed to an auction. Granted, I could have spent this time writing that paper, but…who do you think I am, here? Soooo – it was either dinner early, or dinner late. I opted for early. It’s more suitable for having night-time snacks, duhh!

So, I sauteed up 500 pounds of kale, plus or minus a few ounces.

Alright, so it doesn’t look like thaaat much here – but that’s a pretty deep bowl! I figured I might as well just polish off the last of my Kale, even though it was a bit, so that I wouldn’t have two bunches once I bought a new one.

Wellll, has anyone thought there wasn’t quite as much left of something as you initially suspected, and started using all of it, before realizing there’s way more than you thought – yet it’s too late to stop, because if you stopped – you’d be leaving hardly enough for a solid serving? [read that slowly.] That was a lot like what I did here. At least I love me some Kale, and it came in handy, because I was made to realize that those Gardein chik’n cutlets are godawful plain.

I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed something poorly – but I really don’t care for these. At all. They weren’t bad in the salad I made the other day, and since I still have two left – may just do that again so I don’t have to throw them out. But plain? They have the funkiest aftertaste and texture. No me gusta. Not a winner, in my book. Sorry, Gardein. I did want to try more of your products, but now I’m really not so sure.

This Kale, however, was absolutely amazing. Good thing, because after the second taste of that cutlet I abandoned ship on that one.

I started out by sauteeing red onion and red pepper in a drizzle of olive oil, and then added in a boatload of kale and fresh basil. Drizzled very lightly with some balsamic vinegar and seasoned with some salt and pepper and lemon pepper. Then added in some chopped apple and a couple spoonfuls of unsweetened applesauce and some raspberry-dijon mustard. Raided the cabinets some more and decided some raisins were in order, too! Oh, and, hey – only two carrots left, might as well polish those off to make room for the new bag! Cover and let wilt and voila. Delish! Garnish with some chopped nuts and some almond mozarella for supreme eats. Don’t garnish with a chik’n cutlet. Unless it’s a Quorn chik’n cutlet. ‘Cause they know what’s up. That’s what I get for cheating on them.

So – you’re probably wondering about the blog title by now. What’s so ironic? Uh, yeah – so, in my “might as well finish the Kale!” rendezvous – the thought never occured to me that P.Chop might not have any Kale. Yeah, just my luck – there was no Kale in sight. And in addition, they didn’t have the flax tempeh I wanted (so I just got Soy) and had really sub-par produce and selections all around. Ugh! I was so not-happy. It must have been stock night or whatever, because they were all over, shelves were bear, shelves were being re-stocked, worked were pushing big boxes everywhere, and there was an airplane load of 2-liter sodas in the front entryway. Lesson learned. Never think you’re being efficient by shopping on a Saturday night rather than Saturday or Sunday morning.

Guess I’ll have to go to Hannafords and the co-op this week after all.

The one good find? I totes got 2 big bunches of extra ripe bananas for $1.50. One person’s trash is the next person’s treasure – this was oat-lover’s heaven. And not just oat-lovers: banana soft-serve lovers! Which, I now am.

banana, mango, greek yog - processed. Topped w/ crystallized ginger & granola

Ohhhh, bananas…how do you do the things you do? You make oats perfect by sweetening and adding lovely volume, you blend into softserve like you’re magic, and to top it all off? You’re amazing plain, too! I should make an ode to bananas.

But, alas…I’ll leave you on that note, so you can dream about how amazing bananas are, too.

What’s YOUR favorite thing to do with bananas or english muffins?!

Oh, and cottage cheese. I’ve had this huge cottage-cheese…well, phobia…since I was little. It’s just totally grossed me out. But, I bought some today because I want to see if I like it now. I won’t lie. I’m a little afraid to try it, so I want to make sure I do it up right, and get the ultimate experience to see if it’s worth warming up to or not. Hey – I used to hate broccoli, and look at me now!

hehe, lame question, I know…but c’mon…what’s better?!

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Filed under all natural, almond milk, apple, bread, breakfast, chia seeds, cooking, food, food blog, foodblog, greek yogurt, health, health blog, health food, healthy cooking, healthy eating, healthy food, healthy living, hummus, nut butter, oatmeal, oats, organic, panini, photography, recipe, review, vegetarian, veggies, vermont, whole grains, wrap

Why Not BOTH?

Good evening, lovelies! I hope everyone was able to enjoy their Saturday – maybe it’s only blustery and cold again in Vermont, and you’re all being graced with sunshine?

plum oats

Like I’d mentioned yesterday, I had to work today 😦 I shouldn’t complain, really – I’ve been pretty lucky that I haven’t been asked to work Saturdays since Christmas time! I love having a full two days in a row off. Otherwise, it messes with my whole schedule. Yes – I realize I don’t do much of anything important on the weekends anyways – but I enjoy “me time.” Two days of being able to do whatever I please always makes me ready for another week of craziness.

Luckily, however, Saturdays are generally always really laid back. This is both good and bad: good in that we tend to just generally be even more relaxed than we are already, and bad in that it’s really easy to get bored and antsy. At least this time of year, anyways. I almost view working on Saturdays as just “hanging out,” not workin’ to pay tha billss.

This means – I can show up whenever I want, too!

I typically never take advantage of this, but today I got a little caught up in going through photos before leaving, so I decided I’d just meander it around 9:30 versus the usual 9:00. I took my time preparing and savoring this never-fail oat combo of plum and coconut. Yum! These plums are the perfect ripeness. So juicy and sweet! And I decided to use half barley and half oat bran for the base – it was so “fluffy” – I loved it! Granted, I’ve done this combo before, but I love the rolled barley flakes. Have you tried them yet?

Classifieds

For the plum topping I sauteed some chopped plum, almonds, dates and shredded coconut in some almondmilk. And the co-stars were White Choco Coconut PB and Artisana Coconut Butter! I was torn between the two, and then realized; why not a lil’ bit-a both?! It was a good call.

My meandering continued as I leisurely prepared a lunch.

I figured since I had to get more almondmilk on the way home last night – why not replace my fermented hummus while I was there?! I prefer Garlic and Chive – but Tomato and Basil is another wise choice. Each time I go to the store I went to last night (which isn’t the one I usually go to) I am astounded by the ridiculous array of hummus. Both the amount of brands, and the amount of flavors! It’s gotten so crazy! I remember when the options were pretty much garlic, sundried tomato & basil, original, and roasted red pepper. Now there’s everything to please even the strangest of cravings!

What’s your favorite hummus flavor? What’s the weirdest you’ve had?

My sincerest apologies if you hate burnt eggs. It’s the only way I’ll eat them. I want golden, crispy edges! Though – in my defense, this one looks so strange because that’s parmesan cheese on top 😉

WW wrap with hummus, spinach, red pepper, roma tomatoes, fresh basil, and two fried egg whites – that were fried in red onion, fresh basil, sundried tomato, and parm. I couldn’t decide – sundried tomatoes or fresh roma tomatoes? And decided – hey – why not both?!

Kiwi or orange? Well – you see where that went. And of course, popchips. New obsession. Their bags are way too small, though. I can’t say for certain- but I think I’ve only got a couple servings worth left already! Not good. I hope I don’t have to write them a letter like I had to write Silk. (p.s. thanks everyone for your support in my dreams of becoming the Silk ad-campaign girl. Maybe we should all write them and encourage it. We’ll all be famous! …i kid.)

Trail mix or Z-Bar?

This was almost a “why not both?” moment – but I ended up not eating the last of the trail mix. I brought it in case I needed a little something extra – I wanted to clean my office after work, so Idon’t need to go into town tomorrow.

So – after enjoying a delicious lunch and snackage – I was on my own at work. Yep – I had to work today so that my bosses could attend their nieces birthday party – which involved leaving me all by my lonesome for the last hour we were open, and closing up shop. I won’t lie. I was nervous! The good thing about Saturdays, though? We close at 4, not 5:30. So luckily, I would be able to clean the office and get home not too late. I almost thought I was going to be stuck there until 5, though! Why do customers always choose to come in at the last possible minute? Oh, well. I actually still got out of there by 4:30 – I was worried for a little bit, though.

I dreamt of this all day.

I confess. I have this thing. This thing involves me dreaming up dinner ideas by the time noon rolls around. Anybody else share this thing with me? I hope so. It will make me feel a little more normal. *cough*I won’t admit that often the ideas start rolling after breakfast*cough*

Tonight’s thing? Balsamic-Mango Glazed Salmon.

Remember Balsamic-Honey Glazed Salmon, one of my favorite salmon recipes? Well, it’s such a delicious recipe, yet also easily adjustable – so I decided why not play with it to replace the honey with a mango puree mixture? Ohhh, okay, if you insist.

I also crusted it with poppyseeds. I can’t remember where I saw this a little bit ago and had to try it – I love poppyseeds, why not? Newsflash: I love poppyseeds, but I don’t need them lovin’ on my salmon. I scraped them off. It didn’t taste bad, I just got weirded out by the amount of poppyseeds. Ah well. At least the rest of the recipe was a success: the mango-balsamic mixture was divine! Not to mention, it went great with the sauteed kale.

To make the sauce, I simply pureed half a mango in the food processor with a spoonful of greek yogurt, zest of half a lime, a dash of crushed red pepper, and a dash of lemon pepper. Meanwhile, a salmon filet that had been sprinkled with smoked salt and pepper (and poppyseeds – but don’t do that!) was browning in a pan drizzled with evoo. I don’t think browning is the correct term, but hopefully you’re pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down.

lime or mango? Um, hello, both!

Once your mango puree is ready, combine it with 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar and 1 t. honey. I also added a half a packet of sun crystals. Just taste it as you go – if you like it  more lime & vinegar-y, you probably won’t need to add additional sweetness. You could also add a bit more honey in place of that, though. Or cut back on the vinegar – I had a lot of the sauce leftover. No complaints, though – I sauteed some red pepper and kale in it, which was, to put it simply fan-freaking-tastic.

Try this. But don’t try and coat your salmon in poppyseeds. Lesson noted. Is there anything you’ve tried that you thought you would adore, but ended up not caring for?

To prove that I do still love poppyseeds, however:

English muffin, or Kashi?

A lil’ bit-a both! The last cupcake, too 🙂 I haven’t bothered with my crazy cereal bowls lately because I’m sure you can only take seeing so much soggy Kashi concoctions. But this one was too good: mango, Kashi, cupcake, crystallized ginger, and chai spice blend. Yes, please.

Plans for the night? I still have so many photos to go through! I am hoping to make some lee-way tonight and tomorrow, though 🙂 Listening to the wind whip outside, in my nice cozy down-comforter clad bed. With a vanilla latter. ohhh, if you insist.  And, Hopefully, I will get that mango-coconut cupcake recipe up tomorrow!

I hope everyone has a great night 🙂 Laterr gaterrrs.

oh yeah – sweet dreams ! (hehe…sorry.  I couldn’t help but laugh the entire time I heard this. You know – the whole “I want to change this, but I just can’t.” scenario.)

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Throwback Thursdays

Are we ready for today’s throwback thursday? Let’s compare and contrast, shall we?

But first off – I hope everyone had a wonderful Thursday?

Mine kicked off with a breakfast dilemma – how to use that last banana? Plain-jane nanner oats, or jazz it up? Well, I had one last whole carrot in my fridge, and who would I be if I didn’t make a stellar bowl of carrot-cake oats with it?

That’s what I thought. Just doin’ what needs to be done. Clearly, this needed to be done.

Although, if you ask me, chances are I’ll say that this always needs to be done. For this bowl, I sauteed some of the shredded carrot and nanner in almond milk and maple syrup. I love simmering/sauteeing the fruit in some almond milk as of later. I also enjoyed a drizzle of coconut butter.

I goofed around for an hour (okay, more like two…what can I say? I told you I liked waking up earlier than necessary!) before heading off to class. But not before taking necessary hunger precautions.

Once again, just doing what needed to be done. This keeps involving finishing foods – this involved that last of my puffins. Insert sad-face here. And you all know what that looks like.

My first class dragged on like a bad dentist appointment. I really hate the dentists. No offense. Afterwards, however, I decided I was going to go on a photoshoot, so I texted up a partner in crime. Ironically, I decided to do this very same thing one month ago today. Unintentional throwback. Today I also decided I will be dropping my Intro to C.J. class. This sort of kills me because I have never dropped a class before. However, I did some career planning and at this point; it is a waste of my time. I know that sounds awful. But it is the truth, and it’s still at the point where it won’t harm my GPA.

Getting back to the subject at hand: after my first class, photoshoot, blah blah blah.

But not before enjoying an orange.

And finally finishing those sesame rice crackers.

I’m not hatin’ on the rice crackers. In all honesty, I’m a little sad that they’re finally all gone. But I am moving onward and upward! My throwbacks continued as I listened to Mayday Parade in my car because for some strange reason, my radio wasn’t coming in to save its soul. This was the CD in the player. It brought back memories. I used to be a diehard Mayday fan. I won’t lie – this put me in a super happy mood. It’s probably a good thing, because the beautiful sun decided it was time to go away, and moody bleak skies invaded. Luckily for me, moody bleak skies make for beautifully diffused light.

PIC. Partner in Crime, not "picture."

I interrupt this blog-post for a newsflash: The Lambert dude just got booted off American Idol, and while I’m not saying this is upsetting, wasn’t the last winner a Lambert? Adam Lambert? Right? It was bound to happen, if I am not mistaken. there can’t be two American Idol Lamberts.

But back to the normally scheduled blog-cast: After running around downtown for an hour or two, we seeked warmth and caffeien in the lovely Clem’s Cafe.

Note my honey packet, which I was ecstatic to find.

Gabbing and people watching took place, all the while being made to feel rather self conscious as we thought we were being stared at relentlessly. Apparently the basketball game of the century was on, and we took the prime seating. Everyone kept standing right next to our table to watch. Not basketball fans.

My cafe however, was superb. While it’s typically hard for me to support many coffees other than Green Mountain, I don’t mind some New England once in a while – and this is what Clem’s served. They have a new flavor. This new flavor is Irish Creme. This new flavor was fantastic. Throwback to this morning, where my flavor of the morning was Timothy’s Irish Creme. I guess I’m gearing up for Saint Patty’s Day. I am wearing a green hoodie, after all.

I am remarkably attractive.

People watching? There are some characters in this town. Well, that town. I live an hour from there, I think I’m safe.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I love cafes. They have such a relaxing atmosphere, and almost always have such beautiful light. I get geeky when I see good light. I’m that girl. The one who will suddenly say “StoP! Just look at this LIGHT!”

Anywho – eventually, we broke – I had editing photos on my mind, and the weather lent itself very well to such an activity. That, and – it was nearing two and I was becoming hungry. Clem’s had a great menu – I was definitely eyeing their spinach salad with homemade honey mustard vinaigrette – but I actually had a hempspread and jam sammie waiting for me in my car.

The participants.

I love that Blueberry Cherry jam. Unfortunately, as you well can see – it is almost muerto. I think that’s how you said dead, anyway. Or – gonezo.

Simple, yet superb.

En-Route.

Not sure who bought these babies, but I decided I'd help myself. It's for my eyesight.

Annd, to satisfy my Thirsty Thursday sweet tooth.

YeahThirsy Thursday for me means drinking a lifewater. Maybe if I put it in a PBR can, I’d look like a normal college kid. Eh, it’s just not the way I roll, I suppose.

One month ago today? Funny to think about, because it was my first co-op experience! Who’d a thunk – now it seems like old hat! Though I did make the goji berries I got last a month. And it was then that I discovered my love for almond mozzarella.

After continuing to listen to Mayday Parade in efforts to make the sun come out all to no avail, and then puddle jumping my way into the house, I started uploading photos and fixed a snack

One of the best plums ever, coconut butter, dried currants, some Kashi, and some almondmilk. The Throwback? I used to be a Kashi H2H fiend. I actually purchased 2 bulk boxes of 2 bags each a while ago, that never got opened due to the fact that my obsession died soon after the big purchase. Luckily, my obsession is back.

Editing took over my afternoon and evening, but I did break for a fun dinner. I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve had waffles, na’mean?

Buckwheat-Spelt Savory Waffles & Eggs

Essentially – my Multigrain Buckwheat Pancake recipe, made savory. Except, I halved the recipe, and forgot to halve the amount of eggs. Shnoopsies. Luckily, this didn’t have a terrible outcome and they still tasted divine.

I realize my life could have been made esaier if I just made the dang things pancakes. But who doesn’t love waffles? I’ll make anything a waffle. Granted – I’ll also make anything a crepe. This threw me way back to when I would have ritualistic Pancake Sundays. I was big on Pancake Sundays. I also used to be big on egg scrambles. Oats are to me now, as egg scrambles were to me last summer.

I also used to be a huge chicken sausage fan – and having it tonight reminded me of that. I love me some Bilinski Farms chicken sausage.

Side-Note: has anyone else noticed that I’ve been eating my body weight in parmesan lately? Ah well. At least I don’t weigh tooooo much.

Oh yeah — the food. This was a buckwehat-spelt savory waffle – seasoned with garlic, mustard, pepper, salt, basil, sundried tomato, and had some parmesan thrown in there, too. The eggs were a glorious italian scramble with fresh basil, romas, red peppers & onion, and tomato-basil chicken sausage. And parmesan. Of course.

This was good. I am going to make everything a waffle from now on. I haven’t had a sweet potato lately – maybe tomorrow will feature a sweet potato waffle?

Do you have “flashbacks” or deja-vu-esque memories when you hear certain things, go certain places, or do certain things? I do all.the.time. Especially with music! Sometimes it drives me nuts – and sometimes it’s great.

Additionally – How are you guys feeling about my blog posts lately? I want some feedback on what you like and what you hate!! You can be anon if you’d like 🙂 Do I talk too much? Too many photos? I’m too weird? I eat too much cereal and broccoli? Hey – can’t guarantee I’ll stop that – but I dooo want your thoughts and opinions 🙂

Have a great night, everyone!

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andifeelfine

…anybody? …anybody?

I hope everyone else’s day has been as splendid as mine. I just can’t get over this beautiful weather! I have been in a nonstop amazing mood since this morning.

I thought I woke up wicked late – it was so light out and I had that groggy “slept-in” feeling – but it was really only 6:30! I caught up on some blogs before strolling out to the kitchen and makin’ up a repeat of the other day. Sorry!

carrot-cake oats

Because I am having an affair with carrot-cake oats, and they will never grow old.

In the mix was oat bran, rolled barley flakes, and wheat bran, brewed coffee & almondmilk, goji berries, 3/4 carrot – grated, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove, ginger, vanilla, and a couple slices of ripe nanner.

On the top was chia-acai icing, dates, crystallized ginger, ground flax, Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, drizzle coconut butter, strawberry-pom jam, and the rest of the carrot, sauteed with raisins, maple syrup, and coconut.

I almost threw in the kitchen sink, but couldn’t quite get it loose. Oh well, maybe next time 😉 I’ve been thinking it’s rather comical that I load up my breakfasts so much that you can’t even see the oatbran and whatever other grain I’m using! Haha…it’s under there. Somewhere 🙂

I flipped through some magazines while enjoying this beaut, and then cleaned up, spiffed myself up, did a mini photo shoot because I was really bubbly and haven’t held my baby in a while

and then set sail for tax-free shopping. Woo-hoo! I decided I’d take you guys with me today, too! You’ll probably be sick of my face by the end of this post. I apologize. But I’d been thinking about how it probably seems like I’m not even a real person behind this computer because I never show my face. This is primarily because it’s tricky to take a picture of yourself when you’re using a camera with a fixed, manual focus lens. And you’re too lazy to switch it, like moi.  But I love seeing all of your beautiful faces, so hopefully you don’t think I’m a robot anymore 🙂

Wild Mtn. Blueberry & Vanilla latte. Copco spokesperson.

You’ll probably be sick of my bony, dry, old lady hands by the end of this, too. Oh well. I tend to wait until it’s too late to fix those sorts of things.

AB&J muffin with Justin's Maple AB

Yeah, I’ve still got these muffins and scones, haha. I freeze them right away, and tend to forget. That and I have a large variety of carbs to choose from daily, and unfortuately, out of sight out of mind tends to have a strong affect on me. Sometimes it’s good – sometime’s it’s depressing. Like when there’s a freezerful of these and these.

I stopped at the discount foods store first, and there may or may not be any more boxes of Sugar Cookie tea left in the state of Vermont. I may or may not know who should be held accountable for this. Jus’ sayinnn.’

When I’d reached my final desired location, it was time for a refuel before a shopping spree.

I'm supposed to look sad because of the ugly nanner... I'm not sure I was successful.

The rest of my nanner from breakfast, and the plaza in the background. Okay, you only see Dicks. Pretend that’s BB&B and Hannaford.

I was strangely conservative in BB&B, but I am not complaining. I think it’s just because I wanted everything – so I just stuck to what I went there with the intentions of getting – which you’ll see soon enough! They do have so many cool gadgets, and I really wanted to get a bunch of kitchen organizational stuff, but refrained. It’s a lot more expensive there, I could probs go to wally world or something.

Afterwards, I hit up Hannafords for a couple goodies and ran into some old friends. This was weird because I never run into people and I thought they were out west somewhere. So it was a pleasant surprise!

As a side note, I love shopping when you’re in a really good mood – I like being the pleasant customer. Is that weird? I know when I wait on people at work, I love when a happy cheery person comes in. I’m not annoyingly happy, I’m just polite. I think. I hope. You all must think I’ve been sneaking some sort of happy pills lately. aha. Yeah – it’s called sun and spring air!

Afterwards, I hit up the co-op! Again, I was surprisingly well-behaved. I think I have this “go big or go home” slogan. I knew what I went in for, so I tried to stay just to those aisles, haha. I just wanted to get some more almondmilk, and see what they had already packaged for dried fruits and nuts. I was successful 🙂

But all that shopping made me work up an appetite!

Sick of me yet? That's okay - this is the last one 🙂

And all I wanted was a big, crispy, juicy, apple! I still had to stop and clean the office on my way home, though, and wasn’t sure it’d tide me but wanted it anyways. For some reason, apples make me really full at first, and then really hungry. I guess it makes sense in a weird way – the fiber making you feel full initially, but then your body realizes it wasn’t that much food? maybe? Anyways, after my cleaning expedition decided it was time for another snack. I planned to stop some places to take some funky photos on the way home, too. Can’t do that hungry, you know 🙂

Other than the mis-spelling of "sesame," can you really argue with those ingredients?

Okay, maybe you’ll argue with the butter – but hey, at least it’s a real food. No complaints over hurr!

Yum. They’re really dense, so I had a little less than half, since I was going to be home in an hour or so for lunch anyways. But I had forgotten how good these are! I can’t wait for one of you luckies to win some – I hope you find them as good as I do! I may be doing another giveaway with them soon, too.

I stopped some fun places on the way home to snap some photos, but haven’t finished sorting through them all yet. Sneak peek? Oh, okay.

After unpacking everything and gettin’ in my cozy pants, all I wanted for lunch was a fried egg sandwich on a chewy english muffin with hummus. Weird lunchtime craving for me, but I followed it.

I must have really wanted some sodium and carbs, because I wasn’t even into the carrots…and I’m always into raw, crunchy, yummy carrots! So, fried egg and english muffin it was. With some hummus, spinach, parmesan, sundried tomatoes, half a dill pickle, and some dijonnaise. Hit. The. Spot. I’m usually all about fresh veggies and letting them sing with minimal bread-age, but I just loved crunching into the english muffin and the crispy & salty fried egg, complimented by the oozy cheese and creamy hummus. Yum!

But of course dessert was in order, too.

You’ll be seeing this often. Puffins, granola, honey apple buttah, almond milk, and the star of this one was some sliced dried turkish fig! The figs keep getting forgotten about in the back of my fridge. A shame, because I love figs as much as I love dates – and you all know how much I love dates 🙂

overstock (dot com, that is!)

Apparently, my mom had the same thoughts I did while she was out. I may or may not have had one or two throughout the course of the day.

is that...is that...a FOOD PROCESSOR?!

oh, yes. It’s actually a Ninja processor. Apparently, it’s been seen on TV, which makes me unsure it’ll last all too long, but hey. It fits the bill for what I need. And it’s a blender, too! The blender I had was pretty awful, so I killed two birds with one stone on this one. Which is a shame because I like birds.

But what in the hay am I makin'?

Ohh, just a lil’ comethin’ somethin’ that required chickpea flour. I had no chickpea flour. I did have chickpeas. I made a quasi-flour. I do what I do.

The girl's gone mad!

oh yeah, baby! Wafflin’ it up. Should we take bets on how long it is until I use both of these appliances next, now that I’ve made my longed for fawaffle? Hopefully not just a phase.

I pretty much  just threw everything even vaguely reminiscent of falafel into this and prayed to the waffle gods. Surprisingly, it worked! I thought for sure it’d be a relative fail. Unfortunately, however, I wasn’t really in the mood for falafel – but of course, I had it in my mind, had chickpeas I needed to use, and have been eyeballing fawaffle for months. So, I still had it. I can’t wait to make it when I’m craving falafel! haha.

Although that pickle may have killed my taste buds.

Dessert of puffins, scone, currants, maple AB and granola. Although, in the time it’s taken me to write this post, I’ve already consumed a kiwi-yogurt-and granola parfait. It’s been a couple hours, what can I say?

What is everyone’s favorite kitchen gadget?

and I’ll be picking (randomizing?) a giveaway winner tomorrow – so make sure you’ve taken advantage of the chance to enter up to three times! I’ll probably do it around the time of my usual posting – so early evening-ish 🙂

Hope everyone has a great night!

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