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Don’t Forget!

Don’t forget to update your readers, bookmarks and what-have-yous…Healthy Exposures has moved!

New Reader feed: feed://www.healthyexposuresblog.com/feed/

 

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A VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

Hey guys!!

So, remember that top-secret mission I’ve alluded to briefly?!

Well…clicky here to see more about this:

Awww yeah. Oh, and

Almond Joy Butter. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this post…so head on over to my new home and make sure to update your Readers with the new feed URL!

(I tried doing a redirect but dont think it worked :\)

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It’s Time Forrr…a Giveaway!

I almost titled this “what starts with a “g” and rhymes with “iveaway,” but I figured being normal for once and just saying “giveaway” would capture people’s attention more.

I am not unique enough to have thought of this first, Gabriela is. I am unashamedly stealing her idea. (please don’t hate me?)

But, with Valentine’s Day coming up…don’t you want to win a little somethin’ somethin’? Maybe a little somethin’ somethin’ straight from my kitchen?

I will give two readers the opportunity to choose anything (within reason) of my baked goods. See note at the bottom to see what “within reason” means.

I’m sorry, but I will not be sending you pancakes via mail. And I’m not sending you Teddie, either. Not that he’s baked, anyway.

Here are some of my suggestions…

Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink granola bars, with your choice of “flavor” – ginger? sure can do! Cinnamon Raisin? Okay! Cranberry-almond? That’s chill, too. We can brainstorm. So long as you don’t request chicken-and-biscuit granola bars.

Cashew Butter. Cinnamon raisin or plain.

Energy Cookies. Recipe is from Vive le Vegan. AKA my favorite “super-power cookie.”

Date Bars – Cranberry orange or original.

Orange-Date Cookies

And I’ll even make something that isn’t a recipe of my own, but a loved recipe…such as…

Eat, Drink and Be Vegan’s Lemon-Poppyseed Cookies. A favorite of mine as well as…well…everyone’s.

or Vive le Vegan’s Sparkled Ginger Cookies. I know I just said the lemon cookies were my favorite, but it’s obvious that everything is “my favorite,” so I’ll say these are my favorite, too.

I’m open to other requests, as I said above I will try to accommodate what the winner really wants. However!! Keep in mind these things need to be mailed! I think some things will “keep” better than others, or travel better than others. I will also try to accommodate special dietary restrictions. Most everything is vegan, but do advise of allergies! Unfortunately the only gluten-free options are nut-butters. I don’t think that counts as “unfortunately,” though, and to be safe lets say “everything will be manufactured on equipment shared with peanuts, dairy , gluten and soy.”

Just covering my bases here, people.

Anyways. How to enter?

  1. Leave a comment saying what you’d like. This won’t necessarily be considered your “final choice,” if you are the winner, don’t worry. Maybe you’ve been eyeballing something I failed to mention?
  2. Tweet about the giveaway using my handle (@HLTHYexposures)
  3. I don’t know…humor me. I can’t think of anything else but I like giving three ways of entering.

As usual, please leave each entry as a separate comment.

Winner will be chosen sometime on Sunday. Which means you won’t be getting them for Valentine’s day anyway, but whatever. It’ll be like a consolation Valentine’s day present. Or something.

Would anyone hate me if I entered my own contest? Because I want to win.

(Oh, yes, and lets keep this open to U.S. residents only. Purely because I don’t think any of these things would a. survive the trip, or b. still be good a week and a half later. Sorryyyy!)

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Note to Self…

This morning, hardly awake:

First thought – DKM. Dropkick Murphys. YES! That was it! go back to sleep.

Second thought – Bran muffins. I want some bran muffins. go back to sleep.

Third thought – I think I’ll sleep in today. I’m a little tired and it looks crappy out so I probably won’t be going anywhere anyway. shut eyes.

Fourth thought – The phone would ring immediately after I declare I’m sleeping in, wouldn’t it?

_________________

So, basically I must have been driving myself crazy in my sleep because I still hadn’t thought of what DKM was before I went to bed. There were a couple bloggers who guessed it [e-mail me to redeem your prizes], which just made me laugh and remember waking up with “Shipping Up to Boston” in my head moments earlier.

And no, it’s not just because of the Bruins that I love that song. I mean, just listen to it. First thing in the morning, preferably. And do some Irish jigs around your butcher block in the kitchen while preparing your breakfast.

In a leprechaun hat, preferably.

Not that I would know anything about any of that scenario.

I would know something about flaxy French toast, though. So I’ll talk about that, instead. I’ll leave it to your own imaginations as to whether I was tap dancing around my kitchen while making this, though.

 

Being that I looked out my window and saw this yet again:

Really wet, heavy snow. Read: Sloppy and slippery. House arrest once again.

I decided to make something a little more time consuming for breakfast. I have pancakes down to a science so I can make them quickly in the morning, which carries over to mornings when I have more time, too. Having nowhere to go, I decided to put a little more thought into breakfast this morning.

I’ve been wanting to make French toast for a while now, but wasn’t sure if the mini slices would be enough for keeping me full. Today, I knew I’d be home all day. Worse comes to worse, I eat an hour later, right?! Surprisingly enough, it was difficult for me to finish it all! Don’t worry, though – I took one for the team and did.

Yes, it really is possible to get that same French toast texture without eggs! Making it with flax sounds strange at first, I admit. I mean, I think I was legitimately grossed out when I first heard of it, so I don’t blame you if you are, too.

But I mean, really. Have I ever lied to you? -insert shifty-eyes here-

Buttering/Earth Balancing your pan is critical to making any sort of pancake or sandwich – and French toast is no exception. You don’t need a lot, but you can’t even compare the flavor to that and just using non-stick spray.

And please, no need to be “neat” about it. We’re not after pretty awards here, we all know the ugly food is the best.

Huh, maybe that’s why I’m always disappointed whenever I go out to eat…

If you’re patient and give it enough time – the outside still gets crispy while the insides are still moist and flavorful. I’m sorry if you hate the word moist. I do, too – but really, what else can I say? Damp? It’s not juicy not is it soggy.

The Mixture I used (approximately, anyways…about that measuring thing…)

  • 2 T. milled flaxseed
  • 1/4 c. + 2 T. coconut milk
  • 1/2 t. coffee extract (vanilla would work just fine, I just so happen to be the person who is all out of vanilla, yet has plenty of coffee, peppermint and coconut extracts. I would.)
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg

Mix all with a fork, allowing to sit a few minutes. Add more milk if necessary. Poke each piece of bread a few times before dipping each slice in and saturating. Transfer to a greased pan, allowing extra of the flax mixture to remain on the bread. Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, until crispy.

Garnish with grilled banana and figgy peanut butter and jelly sauce. And chia seeds and honey-roasted almonds if you’re feeling feisty.

Note to self: I miss you terribly. (speaking of “bring me back” songs…)

Er, wait, what I meant was – note to self: make French toast more often.

And about those bran muffins?

They were not just a groggy early-morning sentiment, my dears. They were happening.

I promise these were muffins for me, not Teddie. I kept thinking how much he would love them. Carrots, applesauce, molasses, cinnamon and sunflower seeds? The kid would be in heaven.

I used these almost-forgotten about pressed dates that Mo sent me way back when. I got a kick out of the “serving size: 1 package,” as I imagined myself just plopping down on the couch and nommin’ on the brick like so:

om-nom-nom

The recipe I used was Kelsey’s. And they are fantastic! It’s a good thing I didn’t actually read the recipe before I printed it off and trekked into my kitchen, though. It requires the use of a food processor, which is usually a big no-no for me. For some reason, I detest cleaning the processor in addition to regular baking dishes. Or in general. Same goes for garlic presses.

Life’s tough.

I realize this is probably old-news, but my new trick is using an ice-cream scoop. I used to just spoon it in, but then I’d have really ugly muffin tops. This leaves them nice and smooth!

And perfectly sized! Well actually my mini-muffins are perfectly sized since I usually just want a little somethin’ somethin’ when it comes to muffins, but that would have required me refilling the tray about ten times.

Which wasn’t happening.

I am very picky about my bran muffins – a lot of bran muffin recipes use more oat bran than wheat, and are too sweet for my liking. I like my bran muffins to be dense, moist and…well…wheaty! These are just the ticket.

Another added bonus: they didn’t require any bananas. I love bananas, and have a great branana muffin recipe – but I’m down to my last banana and you guys know what happens when I lose my bananas. I think I might hide the last one, just as an extra precaution. You know…in case someone else might want it, heaven forbid.

But if I haven’t convinced you to make bran muffins or flaxy French toast…maybe I can convince you to do this:

Toast up some good bread…smother one slice with cashew butter…smother the other with a bit o’ butter/earth balance…throw on some good dried apricots…drizzle a smidgen o’ maple syrup…and chow down. Heavenly.

(but what’s with me saying o’ instead of “of”? Am I really feeling that Irish today?)

And I’ll leave you with this scandalous picture:

I had sausages with dinner! I love sausages…

What’s something you openly admit to having high standards about? I am definitely a bread snob!

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Filed under baking, banana, bran, bread, breakfast, brunch, carrots, chia seeds, cooking, dates, dinner, food, french toast, healthy living, muffin, muffins, recipe, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian

A Conglomeration

With my new (er, not so new anymore) blogging style, there’s a lot more useless blabber that ends up “on the cutting room floor,” as they say. With me, it’s more like on the bedroom floor and then covered with dirty clothes.
This leaves me feeling relatively out of touch with you lovely people, and I don’t like that! So…here’s some relatively mindless rambling that I deemed relatively useless at one point, and is probably still relatively useless, but I have nothing else to share. So there.
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I still eat pancakes like they’re going out of style. Because I work in phases, I’ve been loving sauteed apple as the topping of choice…though bananas still have my heart.
And are way cheaper.
And I’m welcoming applicants to start up a peanut flour business. I mean, I would think us bloggers alone are reason enough for TJ’s to keep it stocked, but apparently not.
Should we place bets on what the next hot food item will be? I don’t even know where to begin.
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In a traumatic event involving me trying to use Teddie’s right ear as something to hold onto whilst flying over his neck,he is now right earl-less. See?
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I have been loving on salads lately. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that my mom bought me two huge tubs of lettuce and baby spinach, but we’ll just say that ever since the eggplant bacon caesar salad I’ve been getting cozy with a big bowl of greens pretty frequently.
My favorite salad add-in (save for buffalo tempeh) is red onion. I like to breathe stinky.
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L is the sweetest girl ever, after hearing my grumblings of whole wheat breadcrumbs being nonexistant in these parts. I had no idea what the strangely shaped package my mom brought me contained…
But I don’t think I’ve ever been so giddy about breadcrumbs before. If I was just a little bit crazier I’d had run right out and bought a sweet onion so I could make onion rings, but those football fans that are stocking up on Superbowl foods scare me. That and the Bruins game was starting in ten minutes.
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Speaking of Bruins, Thursday night’s game = four fights and a goal within the first minute. Four fights and two goals within…two minutes, I think? That is all. I love hockey. We won’t talk about today’s game, though.
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iHerb.com has the fastest and most reasonably priced shipping I’ve ever seen. And reasonably priced goods! And if you want to save $5 off your first order, you can if you enter in code WEZ004. Oh, and they always include fun samples! Well, everytime I’ve ordered anyway.
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I received a bunch of fun-sounding salt samples in my last Foodzie box, but I’m really disappointed to report that I don’t think my tastebuds are so delicate to pick up on any differences.
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It occurred to me the other morning, as I was driving to work at 7:00 am, wide awake and so ready for the day, that if I were as optimistic, outgoing and energetic at night as I am in the morning, I wouldn’t even be a real person.
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The other day I was chopping celery with my really sharp knife, and I somehow slid a finger over the top of the blade by the point. I thought I cut myself, and deep enough to warrant stitches or at least a lot of blood, so I dropped the knife and started freaking out, clutching my hand and waiting for blood to start spurting everywhere. It turns out I didn’t even break skin. I can be a little be dramatic. I guess.
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My mom is convinced she wants to take part in Meatless Mondays since she watched Oprah, but wants it to change to Meatless Tuesday so that I can be home to cook for it. Yes, I watched the Oprah episode. If you haven’t seen it, Nicole wrote a good post about it, and I left my thoughts there, too. But, hey, if my mom wants to have a meatless Tuesday, awesome.
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Sometimes, I get asked why I won’t post a recipe from a book.

My answer is simple: I am morally opposed to it.

Cooking is an art-form. Creating recipes is an art-form. Even if a list of ingredients can’t technically be copyrighted (how weird is it that it’s copyrighted and not copywritten?) I know how it feels to have work that you’ve created show up elsewhere without credit. I am talking about my photography, but I view it as the same concept. I know how ripped I get when I see people taking my photos, and I can only imagine how ripped published authors must get when they see recipes they’ve poured their heart and soul into to be published in a book appear on websites where people can go and get them without paying a single penny.

I’m all about supporting the author, not ripping them off. I have too much respect for them than to post their recipes will-nill on the internet. In case you’re wondering, yes, I also buy my music rather than downloading it for free. Again, respect and appreciation.

As for posting recipes from other blogs? Well – I understand that basically everything has been done before. If I see a recipe that is similar to one another but there’s hardly any mention of another recipe, I tend to give the author the benefit of the doubt that there was a similar thinking process. But using a recipe from another blog, saying so, and then posting the exact same recipe on your own blog? Well, I think link-backs are sufficient so that traffic can be directed their way as a sign of appreciation…but I think that’s just one of my little quirks.

And lastly, re: adaptations and inspirations. I link-back or don’t post the recipe if from a book if I keep mostly the same. C’mon…changing the flour or a couple spices doesn’t make it a unique adaptation. I don’t even think veganizing something with a flax-egg and earth balance makes it an adaptation. When I do that, I say it and link-back to direct people to the basic recipe and instructions. Only when I change a good number of things – say, at least 5 things that aren’t basic flour swaps, etc – will I just re-post the recipe. And even 5 things is a close-call to me. Take, for example, the chickpea recipe I posted the other day. I was tempted to just write out my swaps again instead of re-typing the recipe – but then sort of realized that by the time I wrote out the swaps it was just plain confusing. Had it been a blogger or book, I might have passed on reposting. But it being a free source I decided to just go for it. Am I guilty of the “I swapped the flour, so I adapted it!” label? Well, I can’t say for certain – but I bet if I looked through my baking tabs I’d find one or two back from my beginnings that aren’t quite as unique as I now require. Not hypocritical – I’ve just learned what respect is.

This was not directed at anybody or any certain event!! Just something I’ve been meaning to mention lately, since I’ve been cooking out of books so much lately. I would love to hear your thoughts on it, though. Am I just picky because, being a photographer, I know how it feels and can relate too much to the authors? Maybe. I mean, I feel bad when I give full disclaimer that something wasn’t my idea and someone comments saying “oh my god! you’re so creative! marry me!”

I just want to say “no no no!! I’m a terrible person, I’m not the cool one!”

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

I had a lot of decisions to make today.

Now before you go getting all concerned, relax! Relax. Fortunately for me, the hardest decision I have on days like today is what I’m going to have for dinner. Before you laugh, that’s a pretty big decision. I mean, it can make or break your day! …or maybe I’m just a little dramatic.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s snowing all over the northeast.

I’m guessing you’ve heard.

My first decision I faced was whether I wanted to call in to work or not. I’m guessing you can figure out pretty quickly that I called in.

Which meant that I decided sauteed apples were in the forecast for breakfast this morning. I was awed when I saw that my beloved Gala apples were on sale at Hannaford’s. Unless they’re fresh picked from the farm down the road, they’re the only apples I truly enjoy. (okay, so I probably prefer them over the local McIntosh apples, but I fear that might be un-Vermontan of me to admit, so I won’t. We have maple laws for Pete’s sake, I wouldn’t put it past us to have an apple law, too)

My, oh my, how I’d forgotten how amazing sauteed apples are.

I polished off the last of my bread yesterday, and knew I had to make more today. The decision?

Do I keep it as the original inventor intended, or mix it up again?

I kept it as intended, and think this loaf is a bit prettier (re: less embarrassing) and so won’t withhold the name of the kind woman who shared her recipe with me this time – it was the lovely Sarena, of course! I don’t think there is anything she can’t do in the kitchen. And if you don’t want to see really delicious looking pancakes with a beautiful pour of maple syrup, definitely don’t go to her blog right now.

While that rose, I faced another decision: strength or cardio?

Cardio won.

But these things can only keep me entertained for so long. It was 9:00 and I was already looking for my next project.

Biscotti or granola bars?

Biscotti, says mother – who also had a snowday.

Orange chocolate chip or cranberry almond?

Orange chocolate chip. Best biscotti I’ve ever made all thanks to Veganomicon. No I can’t share the recipe and no I can’t find it either. Buy the book. The biscotti and the chickpea-quinoa pilaf are worth that $15.

…but do I want peanut butter, jelly or maple cream on my hot-from the oven bread?!

Maple cream.

But what kind of nut butter do I want smothered into my date?!

It doesn’t matter because I’ll have another one in five minutes.

If I have hot cocoa in my Easter mug, will it be Spring tomorrow?

probably not, but you can try.

I love this Dagoba hot cocoa!

Should I shovel multiple times so that I only shovel a couple inches at a time, or once so that I’m shoveling more than a foot – but only one time?

Uhhh, well, I banked on multiple times, but this so-called “storm of the century” fizzled out, and I didn’t need to shovel after the once.

As it is, though, the snowbank to the side of our front porch is taller than the front porch, and if I venture off the beaten path I am up to my waist in the fluffy powder.

I hope I can go to the barn tomorrow so I can ride Teddie in it! Hopefully he won’t be like my Corona pony and decide it’s more fun to roll in said snow than it is to play in it. I’m not worried about getting rolled on, I’m worried about my saddle getting saturated. I paid more for the saddle than I did for the pony.

Do I make buffalo tempeh or barbecue tempeh?

Both! Sorry, guys – but I think I’m getting tempeh burnout. I’m sort of bored with it. When this block is done, I need to bid goodbye for a couple weeks. Needless to say, I do adore buffalo tempeh! Especially with the last of my caesar dressing and red onion (I heart red onion + buffalo + caesar)

I think I struggle making the decision between sweet potato fries or whole-baked sweet potatoes more than I struggle with the decision about what to wear.

It takes me a while to figure out what to wear in the morning. It’s too early to think clear, so I just stare into my closet for at least five minutes as if it’s some other-worldly realm.

And in case you were wondering, a whole baked sweet potato won, but I didn’t get to use this picture yesterday and was pretty proud of how perfectly baked and cut those fries are. Not to toot my own horn or anything.

Dinner was a big decision today, but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

I knew I should use the eggplant I had in the fridge, but nothing was particularly speaking to me.

Yes, when I flip through recipes certain ones call to me. I can plan “ooh I want to make that!” until I’m blue in the face but I can never decide what I want for dinner until 3:00 that day.

What did speak to me was Chickpea Piccata. (< Lucky for you guys, Isa has the recipe for this one on her website!)

But what to have it with?

Eggplant!

But how?

My new favorite way ever, of course!

I was flipping through my binder of recipes,and saw this very plain-jane recipe for roasting eggplant originally from Cooking Light. I was a bit apprehensive that it would be all that great – it is basically eggplant straight up, after all – but combined with the absolutely amazing piccata, this meal was enough to make me fall head over heels in love with…well, everything in site. It turned me into a hippie peace-love flower-girl.

For the eggplant, though:

Roasted Eggplant

slightly modified from cooking light, for one eggplant:

  • 1 medium eggplant, about 1 lb.
  • olive oil for brushing (I used basil oil)
  • pinch salt, pepper and herbs de provence

Preheat oven to 450*. Carefully slice your eggplant the “long way” into 1/4″ slices, leaving the end in-tact. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and fan out the eggplant. Brush with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly tender. Remove from oven, press down to fan out more, and brush again with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Bake 15-20 minutes more or until tender and skin is beginning to crisp.

My mom: “are you going to eat that whole eggplant?”

Don’t mind if I do!

Decisions – do you find yourself sometimes having a terrible time deciding over the silliest of things, too?! Please say yes so I’m not alone. And don’t ask me who you should marry. I’ll just say “everyone! peace and love!”

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Filed under apple, baking, bread, breakfast, chickpeas, cookie, cooking, dates, dinner, eggplant, food, food blog, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, snack, snow, sweet potato, tempeh, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

My [non]Accent

I can’t believe I’m posting a “vlog.”

It’s something I swore I’d never do.

Pardon the eye rolling in the beginning and the near-whispering.

If you wanted to follow along, here is the list of words/questions for The Accent Vlog: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

 

  • What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  • What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
  • What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  • What do you call gym shoes?
  • What do you say to address a group of people?
  • What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped
  • body and extremely long legs?
  • What do you call your grandparents?
  • What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry
  • groceries at the supermarket?
  • What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  • What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Now you all have to play along so I don’t feel so silly.

 

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