Category Archives: pony

Chutney Chickpeas (and TEDDIE!)

I finally got the chance to play with my favorite little furry four-legged today!

…just a shame Vermont can’t plow roads this winter. I could have made it there much faster? Even in this picture you can see where someone started swerving!

With all the fashion blogs out there today, I thought I’d join in on the trend. Here I am modeling my gloriously fab boots, snow-pant breeches and Carhartt knock-off.

This is why I’m hot.

Naturally, being so bundled up didn’t make for optimum riding gear. So why not just hop on bareback (er…blanket-back…) and go for a snow ride?

That was Teddie’s thought as he took great joy in making me get an additional workout trying to climb atop him.

He may be short, but damn, when you’re wearing bulky clothing, you’re sinking up to your butt in snow, and you have an excited pony walking in circles around you because he wants to visit with everyone, it’s a lot easier to say “hop on” than it is to actually hop on.

When I finally got halfway on he was at least patient enough to stand still while I made like a seal as I flopped the rest of myself up and over.

We had fun. Maybe we’ll just become snow riders for the rest of the winter. Or pick up skijoring.

And in case you thought I was too hot to handle before, it got even better when I put my helmet on:

I realize I look like dorkus maximus, but look at Ted!

daaaaaaaamn! Oughta have put a warning sign on this blog.

See all that snow on his bridle? He took great pride in trudging along with his nose buried in the snow while I thought he was going to roll on me. Luckily, the only time I had to bail was when I accidentally steered him into a drift that was up to his belly. It was probably deeper than that, but his belly kept him from sinking further, luckily.

Sorry, Ted.

Oh,yeah…anyways. About that food thing.

Truth be told, when it came to dinner tonight, I almost just sauteed up some spinach, garlic and barbecue sauce with barbecue tempeh and called it a night. And if I didn’t have to work tomorrow, I totally would have.

Sauteeing spinach in olive oil with garlic and BBQ sauce is way better than it sounds, fyi.

But, I kind of like making enough dinner the night before working to be able to pack an easy lunch to bring the next day. Sauteed spinach wasn’t going to cut it.

Especially sauteed in garlic. I can still smell my breath from having it for lunch, and that was 5 snacks and a dinner ago.

I might as well just dedicate this post to Rachael Ray, what with using her bench scrape, knife and recipe.

They were Christmas presents! (…but I still love Rachael Ray.)

I’ve made this “Chutney Chicken One Pot” and posted about it before – well, raved about it before – but just linked to the recipe with all of my swaps written separately.

Well, usually I don’t break my “link-back” rule, but since this is one of my favorite meals (I’ve gotta go there) and I’ve made some substitutions over the couple times I’ve made it, I’m just going to go ahead and post how I make it.

Chutney Chickpea One-Pot

serves 2 as a side, adapted from Rachael Ray’s Chutney Chicken One-Pot

This dish is easily customizable to your likes and dislikes. Check out my notes after the recipe! Not only that, but once you’ve got everything chopped it comes together in a handful of minutes! And I know I just talked about a fear of long ingredients lists – and this one is…but it’s SO easy and you’ve probably got it all on hand.

  • 2 t. olive oil
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. diced celery
  • 1/4 c. diced green or red peppers
  • 1/4 c. diced dried apricots
  • 2-3 dried Turkish figs, chopped
  • 1 c. chickpeas
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/8 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. allspice
  • 1/8 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. dijon or whole-grain mustard
  • 2 1/2 T. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 2-3 handfuls baby spinach

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add in the apple, onion, celery and peppers. Saute until slightly soft. Add in the spices, dried fruit and chickpeas. Stir and then add in the broth, applesauce, vinegar and mustard. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer about five minutes, until sauce thickens slightly. Add in the spinach, stir and cover. Remove from heat, leaving covered until spinach wilts.

Serve with some crusty bread or a grain!

Last time, I made it with tofu instead of chickpeas, and mixed in cooked bulgur instead of serving it with bread. There were other differences, but I also didn’t add the spinach. I much prefer it with spinach! I also think I preferred it with bread instead of a grain.

I love dishes that mix a sweet element with savory, and this one hits the nail on the head. Change it to your tastebuds, though. I chose to use applesauce instead of jam because I figured jam would be pushing the envelope on too sweet. You can also easily use a bit less dried fruit, and use what dried fruit you have on hand. I love apricots and figs, but raisins are good, too!

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Filed under apple, beans, bread, chickpeas, cooking, equestrian, food, healthy cooking, healthy living, horseback riding, pony, recipe, snow, teddie, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies, vermont

Back to the Future

I’m having a little bit of a “geek moment” right now, as I blog from my newly-downloaded Windows Live Writer 2011. We won’t talk about the fact that I’m yet to have my own Mac, and instead talk about the fact that I’d been blind to the fact that there was an easier way to put up blog posts – as in, not through WordPress, as I’d been doing.

Let’s thank Kristie for bringing me back to 2010!

Installing that ended up being a week-long excursion, however, and a project I thought for sure I’d never get done. Apparently I was in some dire need of updating my computer, and I think I updated about 100 things just so I could get Live Writer.

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On another note, look at how freaking cute my pony is when someone who knows what they’re doing gets his booty in gear.

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I had A ride him yesterday. Not because he’d been being naughty with me, but because I wanted to see what he could do when someone really makes him work. We both have this hunch that he knows more than he lets on, and since he’s sort of a stinker in that he’ll try and get away with murder if he thinks it’s possible (and it’s definitely possible, because I’m such a softie) I wanted to see her on him.

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I might have her do some more rides on him in the very near future. I think it would definitely benefit us both!

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…that’ll be me getting that big bold trot soon enough! It didn’t come right away, he was a brat at first – but I was glad to hear that she thinks it’s more of a “what do you want from me?” that he’s asking, not a “screw you.”

As I said – all good things are not without struggle!

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As for eats? Well, random is a good way to describe them! My appetite has been sort of weird, I guess. I’m not hungry until like, dinner time – and then it’s like I’m all of a sudden ravenous and ready to eat my arm.

I’ve get in this “mode” sometimes, and I know I need to eat good, filling snacks and lunches whether I’m hungry or not – but it’s just so easy to forget. And I forgot. But, two days of relearning my lesson is enough to ensure I won’t be doing it tomorrow!

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This was a tomato sandwich with homemade ranch and marinated artichoke hearts. Apparently I have a thing for broccoli and yellow mustard lately. Not sure what’s up with that, but I’m working with it.

Oh, yeah – maybe because I’ve got about 5 heads of broccoli in the fridge. My mom’s way of hinting that I roast some is just buying me a bunch. She loves it when I roast a bunch up, but she’ll never do it herself, and then I all of a sudden realize I have about 5 pounds of broccoli to eat in the course of a day or two.

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Sometimes, I have this thing when I go grocery shopping that I just have to try what I have already determined I don’t like.

Case in point: hummus with olives and coleslaw.

I’ve never had artichoke kalamata hummus – and like artichokes, but dislike olives.

I really want to like olives, though. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I buy some soon, and just start forcing myself to like them. That’s how I got myself to like pumpkin, you know! I always hated it until this time last year, when I just started forcing myself to add pumpkin to stuff because it just seemed so “cozy” and seasonal or something.

Anyways – these two new “I just want to like it!” purchases were neither a hit nor a miss. I think I’ll like them both by the time they’re done. For the coleslaw dressing, I actually mixed some of the hummus with plain greek yogurt and dijon mustard, dill, salt, and pepper.

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And I’m pretty sure this is a first! Cereal for breakfast?! Who am I?!

I love cereal – but rarely have it at the meal it was meant for.

Except this morning. I slept laaate – 8:45! My excuse is that I stayed up really late watching Pit Boss and Pit Bulls and Parolees.

Take that, dirty martinis and Colt 45s. I like Pit Bulls better than you on a Saturday night.

Needless to say, when I woke up I was feeling rather lethargic. And just wanted some breakfast! I was hungry when I quasi-woke up at 7 am, so by 8:45 I was rally hangry. Some Kashi Vive, plain greek yogurt (sweetened with maple cream) a plum, cashew butter and almond milk was perfect refreshment.

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And last but far from least – more bread! I made the recipe right on the King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour bag for WWW Walnut Bread. I changed it slightly, and am very happy with the results. It is perfect PB & J bread – but I think it will be just fine for savory ‘wiches, too.

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Don’t let the “flat top” fool you – I think if you’re careful and don’t live in the arctic, you’ll be fine. I took it out of the warm oven where it was rising, to preheat the oven. I watched it go from having a nice, rounded top – to falling to be level with the pan with exposure to the cold air. Next time I’d just let it stay in the oven while it pre-heats!

White Whole Wheat Walnut Loaf

adapted from King Arthur Flour

yields one loaf

  • 2 t. active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3 c. warm water
  • 2 T. honey

Gently combine these in a small bowl, until yeast is mostly dissolved. Set aside and combine following ingredients:

  • 3 c. white whole wheat flour (may need up to 1/4 c. more, but add it only as you “knead” it. pun intended.)
  • 1 1/4 t. salt
  • scant 1 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1 T. olive oil

Gently pour in the yeast after it has formed bubbles on top, and either stir and knead until a smooth, elastic dough forms, or knead with a dough-hook on a stand mixer.

Once dough is formed, pour a small amount of olive oil in a large bowl, and place dough in bowl, turning once to coat top. Cover and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size – 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Once dough has risen, form into an 8” loaf pan that has been oiled lightly. Cover with plastic wrap loosely, and set back in warm place to rise until it is about an inch over the top. It won’t rise as it bakes, so what you see when you start baking is what you’ll get when it’s done baking.

Bake at 350* for 35 minutes. It should sound hollow when you gently knock on it. Turn out onto a cooling rack, and enjoy a slice or two warm Smile (thanks, Live Writer, for giving me a really dorky looking smiley face instead of an emoticon.)

And man…have I got a yummy recipe to share tomorrow, too…

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(p.s. I got a total kick out of reading everyone’s comments that they’d want to be reincarnated as a cat. That very night, I had to “share” my bed with my big mountain-lion sized cat. And by share, I don’t mean he was at my feet. I mean he was taking up the entire top portion of the bed, clawing and biting my arm if I even suggested he move aside just an inch so I didn’t have to lay with my head hanging off the mattress…yeah, I’d want to be a cat, too…)

Are there any foods you “taught” yourself to like, or that you want to like but just don’t?

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Filed under bread, breakfast, dinner, lunch, pony, recipe, teddie