Tag Archives: apple

A Fair Warning

I wish I had really, really fun and exciting things to share with you after a weekend being gone, but truth be told…

…most of my meals are either unpictured, or look like some sort of slop in a bowl.

I can’t say I’m upset and don’t even want to really apologize because slop is good, so I guess we’ll just call this a fair warning.

So what have I been doing?

Takin’ pitchas. Lots and lots of pictures. Actually, I was supposed to have taken even more pictures but due to the rain, we would have been up to our waists in mud for the location it was desired to be in. (No, the above picture is not relevant.)

That’s okay. The two other senior portraits kept me busy enough. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s pretty time consuming to go through 100-150 pictures and just making slight adjustments for color, contrast, and density. I try to shoot them right in the first place, obviously, but minor adjustments can still help a lot.

I just had to make Angela’s scalloped tomatoes again. It’s pretty simple to throw together, but gave me time to keep working while it baked.

And we have a ton of tomatoes. I used up almost all of the ripe ones, but we’ve still got all this to contend with:

Uh, yeah. When those ripen, I’m pretty sure we have a. a lot more scalloped tomatoes in our future, and b. a lot of homemade sauce in our future. Oh, and c. Mo’s baked pasta.

Yep.

Although, I’m not sure how my stomach feels about the amount of tomatoes I’ve eaten over the course of the past three days. It felt awful after eating that for dinner yesterday!

Nothing a handful of ginger (thanks to Sarena!) can’t fix. I’ve been loving this uncrystallized ginger like nobody’s business.

Obviously, waffles came into play, too. This morning I tried them with a chia seed egg instead of a flax egg! Don’t make fun of me for getting really interested in things like that. In case you’re mind is as inquiring as mine, it didn’t make much of a difference.

But, lets face it. Chia seeds are a lot more fun than milled flaxseeds.

And let me just say again how much I love fruit compotes on waffles or hot oats: I love fruit compotes on waffles or hot oats. This one, especially, tasted like fall. I simmered an asian pear and a dried fig in a bit of unsweetened almond milk, ground clove, ground cinnamon, and ginger syrup.

I’m licking my lips just typing that.

But who would I be if I didn’t stop and get some delicious local apples?!

for some reason, I still haven’t felt like it’s “Fall-enough” to break out the pumpkin, even though it’s obviously in the air for everyone else in blog-land. Baked apples, however?

Oh, if you insist. Maybe it just needs to be closer to Halloween for me to feel the pumpkin vibe.

Speaking of which, what are you going to be for Halloween? Fun fact about me (not to be a joykill or anything) I hate halloween.

I think it stems from me being chased down a driveway by a Frankenstein with a (running!) chainsaw when I was trick-or-treating when I was little.

Those *badwords* robbed me of a happy Halloween for years afterwards. They even robbed my sister of it! I’d refuse to go trick-or-treating, so she couldn’t go, either.

I was (and still am, I guess) a bit of a scaredy-cat. I guess riding half-ton animals is enough bravery for my days.

I mean, I dressed up as Rudolph one year. Just goes to show what kind of kid I was.

Anyways. I found Miso when I ran into town to stop at the co-op real quick, too.

I don’t really know what Miso is aside from some more sort of fermentation (I think?) so if anybody wants to tell me what to do with my newly acquired Azuki Bean Miso, I encourage you to enlighten me.

One thing we also have copious amounts of is spaghetti squash.

I’ve eaten a lot of red things out of bowls this weekend.

I guess I didn’t really think before planting 4 spaghetti squash plants/seeds. I didn’t really think all four plants/seeds would blossom. I mean, I like spaghetti squash…but really, there’s only so much you can do with them after a while! Especially when I have other squashes beckoning me.

I guess my biggest beef with the spaghetti squash is their name. They should not be likened to spaghetti. They are, however – pretty darn good with some chili, as I did tonight. I figured I best start making a dent in the collection before my mother starts twisting my arm.

Sometimes ya just gotta take one for the team.

After dinner, I really wanted to tackle this guy. The quince. Which, by the way, in case you didn’t know – should be cooked somehow prior to use. I’m really glad I’m a geek and decided to google quince that day I brought it home, because I was thinking I’d just cut it up and eat it.

But apparently, quinces go bad quick. And that plan got vetoed. I’m sort of bummed. I paid good money for that exotic fruit.

I think.

But it’s whatever. I settled for a cup of decaf and a sweet potato muffin from heaven. And I really needed to get away from the computer, so I sat down to some homework.

You know, the good kind of homework.

Oh, and check this cool jacket!

I promise it’s one of those jackets that looks way cuter on, you’ll have to take my word for it! I’m sort of a freak for anything plaid/checkered anyways. And I’m sort of mad that I paid $40+ just a couple days ago, and now it’s down to $24. Dude, Smart Pak…not cool. Maybe I’ll get another one. (For proof it’s way cuter on, clicky here. Or if you want a really cool looking jacket for next to nothing. If you google it, you can even get a free shipping code. Yes, I am ultra sleuthy, aren’t I?)

Do you remember any irrational childhood fears? I guess being chased by a chainsaw-bearing man isn’t irrational, but c’mon. The chain was probably off of it anyways. I would hope.

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

Forgetting Something

I’ve had sort of a weird day. Not weird as in…funky weird…weird as in “Am I forgetting something? I feel like I’m forgetting something.” weird. You know that feeling, right?

Maybe it was because I didn’t get to bake or cook anything creative like I wanted to. Maybe it was because I didn’t get to ride Teddie. Maybe it was because my day was full of a lot of “hurry up and wait” scenarios.

Or maybe it was because I didn’t have a delicious bowl of banana soft serve with peanut butter sauce, figs, and walnuts until after dinner. I’m going with the latter, because that feeling has now left me.

This was something to write home about. Er, or in this case – to blog about.

Remember when I made sweet potato fries with raspberry sauce? It was actually a slightly different recipe – but what I’m getting at is that it won a blogger BSI that was hosted by Sarena. She was gracious enough to seriously hook me up with all sorts of goodies, too – which I received today!

When I arrived home tired, hot, hungry, and thirsty…I was greeted by this lovely present and I forgot all about being hot, tired, and thirsty. I was still hungry, though.

Peanut flour has been sweeping the blog nation, and I have been dying to get my hands on some! Sarena made it happen.

And is it really that noticeable that I have a mild ginger obsession?! Haha…I think I tamed it a little bit this summer just because of the season…but going back into fall and winter, it’s bound to start back up. I don’t think the uncrystallized ginger, ginger syrup, or ginger chews are going to be holding me back any, either!

This uncrystallized candied ginger is so good! I’ve only ever seen the crystallized kind around here – and I didn’t know I was missing out and that the uncrystallized is this much better!

And yummy hot coffee ginger chews. These will be perfect for work…sometimes I just get a little…mouthy, nah’mean?!

I didn’t realize right off that the ginger on front was actually a ginger character. Is this not the cutest marketing you have ever seen?! I only imagine, like…an entire building devoted to the ginger people.

I have some bars dreamed up for that ginger syrup 😉

I love fall...and I love waffles with sauteed apples and cinnamon and figs even more!

Back track to this morning. It was Teddie pedi (aha…get it?!) day…the farrier was  coming to trim his tootsies! My mom and I decided to drive in together since she had to get some stuff in town, and I would get Teddie taken care of, and then afterwards we would go to a big restaurant-supply store.

Naturally, the farrier, A and I spent all morning gabbing, and then even more once my mom got back! So, I didn’t get to ride…just lunged him a bit beforehand and did some ground work, and he got to graze the majority of the time we gabbed, the lucky devil. We finally bid our goodbyes at 11:45, which was much later than I’d bargained for.

So, we just did some quick shopping – and let me tell you, that store was sort of an eye-opener. I’ve been before, but never really paid attention to the quality of the food. Basically – it’s a big bulk store, but not like Costco…like, supply to restaurants. So big cans of tomato sauce, oils, sauces, dressings, etc. Basically…everything that consisted of pure corn syrup. It sort of skeeved me out, really.

But! hear me out, here…the main reason we go occasionally is because you can basically steal spices, seasonings, flour, and even some nuts and seeds. We made out with huge jugs of cinnamon and many other spices for about $5 each, which is pretty exciting if you ask me. I was bummed I just barely bought flour, though. If it was closer I’d probably go more often for stuff like that, but it’s sort of a pain to get to.

And of course, while we’re there, have got to hit up the produce. Some organic, some not. Some local, some not. Among many other things, I walked away with a new squash – a buttercup! Oh, the excitement 😉

And that would be why I was tired, hungry, thirsty, and hot when we got home. I made the quickest thing I could think of, and what I was craving: PB & J! Err… BBQ tempeh, raspberry-peach jam, and sunflower butter on homemade quinoa-millet bread. And a plum. And the aforementioned desserts 😉

The weather this afternoon was far too gorgeous to spend inside baking or doing school work. The ponies were calling for me and my mom was home so we could play with them…I just had to!

…But I could at least be productive and bake some eggplant while I was out! I really wanted to stuff it, but I wasn’t feelin’ eggplant tonight and it needed to be used.

Rather, I was feeling brazen enough to tackle the rutabaga and was seriously craving some kale-apple saute.

And if I had to boil something on the stove, then I had to be inside, and so I had to get some needed Nutrition reading done!

This was a fun chapter because it was all new to me – all about digestion. I really hate how they use the term “squirt” so loosely, though. Is “the pancreas squirts enzymes into the small intestine…” really that scientific? Some words just sort of weird me out.

Squirt is one of them. What’s some of your every-day terms that just weird you out?

Back to the rutabaga. A couple of you suggested mashing it…so mash it I did! I boiled half of it with a clove of garlic until it was tender, drained, and mashed. Added in some almond milk, olive oil, dried chives, dried dill, salt, pepper, and a big spoonful of garlic hummus and mixed it all up.

I also tried a fritter-type thing by grating some with a small carrot and mixing with some milled flax, a splash of water, and some flour.

I really liked the rutabaga mash – but not so much the fritter. The carrot just way overpowered it. I’ve never had rutabaga (as mentioned) before so I was winging it on flavors, but now I know! I have some left that I’d like to roast, unless someone suggests something else!

The lover of the dish, though, was this Kale and Apple saute. It was one of my favorites last winter, and I am sure it will be again this winter.

Sweet Kale-Apple Saute

  • 4-5  big leaves kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium sized apple, chopped
  • 1/4 of a red pepper, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 c. chick peas
  • 2 T. dried cranberries **
  • 2 T. chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 T. maple syrup
  • 1 T. dijon mustard
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  1. Place the kale, apple, and pepper  in a large non-stick fry pan with a small amount of water. Cook down over medium heat, and season with salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the syrup, mustard, and vinegar.
  3. Pour the dressing over the cooked-down kale, and add in the chick peas and cranberries. Allow to cook through.
  4. Serve with chopped walnuts

**this is even better with fresh cranberries, I just can’t find them yet! You might need to add a little bit more maple syrup to the dressing to counter act the tartness of the cranberries, depending on your preferences!

What’s your favorite way to have Kale?!

And, for your reading pleasure:

Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments for centuries. Now, science is catching up and researchers around the world are finding that ginger works wonders in the treatment of everything from cancer to migraines. Here are ten health benefits of this powerful herb:

Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Ginger may be powerful weapon in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it was applied.

Colon Cancer Prevention
study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.

Morning Sickness
review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.

Motion Sickness Remedy
Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.

Reduces Pain and Inflammation
One study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller.

Heartburn Relief
Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose.

Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment
Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flus or food poisoning, which is not surprising given the positive effects ginger has upon the digestive tract.

Migraine Relief
Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.

Menstrual Cramp Relief
In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps.

Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy
A study done on diabetic rats found that those rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage)

Source!

Ginger – love it or hate it?

p.s. it’s your last chance to vote!!! clicky clicky

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

Lesson Learned

I totally forgot to type flax up as an ingredient in yesterday’s wrap recipe (wrecipe?). My bad. All is fixed now, but…I wanted to point that out.

Look how flexible they stayed!

I mean, I shouldn’t act like I was expecting a brick…but I thought they’d be a little hard or fragile to bend without nuking first. But no! It was this pliable right out of the fridge, and this is actually one that I cooked bordering on too long. Sure – they’re not your super-soft store bought wraps…but these don’t have preservatives. Can you pronounce everything in those store bought wraps, anyways?!

I stuffed it with garlic hummus, black beans, roasted broccoli, and roasted red pepper. I chose to panini it, but I think I’d have liked it better on the less-crunchy side.

And while we’re talking about lunch, check out the rest of it:

The last of my raspberries, a peach and some pineapple. So refreshing. Not that this chilly day needed it!

Although, I did need refreshment after going to the post office. Guys – I dealt with a crazy person. I wish I was kidding. First he rails on me for having the wrong date on a package. The date on the package was not wrong – he just didn’t know today was the 8th, not yesterday. Okay, no big deal, misunderstanding. I rarely know the day, too! I politely correct him, and he apologizes profusely for about five minutes. Okay – I wasn’t too upset. Not a big deal.

But this minor incident unleashed his inner demon, and he goes on this huge vent to me, telling me how much he hates his job, he’s not treated like a human, he’s owed money, he’s planned trips to other countries but can’t go because of that, on and on and on. Of course, the funniest part was that in between all of his ranting, we’re still mailing my packages. It went a lot like this:

“…and I mean, I’m not even treated like I’m a human here, do you want delivery confirmation? I meant it’s just awful.”

“..uh, yes please.”

“Okay so this one came to $11.55, I mean I’ve got trips planned to Costa Rica…”

ahah. After that ordeal, I needed to restock my peanut butter while I was downtown. After taking what felt like a million tries to parallel park (don’t know what my issue was) I found this in the co-op:

I had my mind on the Green Mountain Goodness and was seriously excited to try it. I’ve been seeing this brand on my co-op trips but always restrain myself since I’ve had plenty of peanut butter at home. Lately, though, I’ve been flying through jars.

I just bought this Saturday! I did quite a bit of baking, but still. Sort of a pain. I’ve become really simplistic when it comes to nut butters lately – I just want a simply salted and lightly sweetened chunky peanut butter, and my sunflower seed butter. So I was sort of bummed that the Green Mountain Goodness just so happened to be out of stock!

Look at that protein! I wasn’t giving up, though, and decided Monkey Business was gonna have to be the winner. They have lots of other flavors, too! I had a taste a couple minutes ago, and so far my socks aren’t knocked off, though 😦 I think the banana is a little too artificial for my liking. But, it made sense when I looked at the ingreds again.

I’m not saying those are bad ingreds – I just think itd be better with, say – dehydrated bananas, not extract. Definitely not giving up on the brand, though, and it’s by no means bad.

Our eight flavors all have 100% Whey Protein Isolate added to provide additional, natural, healthy & pure protein. Our Plain Creamy and Chunky peanut butters do not. We wanted those to just be what they should…Organic peanuts a little sea salt for taste…period. We also do not add any refined sugar, preservatives or other yucky and unnecessary chemicals to our products. The pinch of salt we use is a Low Sodium 100% natural sea salt. The sodium in our nut butters is so low it is virtually sodium free. If you are a vegetarian, you will be happy to know our products do not have lactose except for the “trace” (1gram or less) of lactose found in whey. Our products are all gluten free and contain NO trans fats and NO hydrogenated oils!

So proud of my lil’ state, makin’ peanut butters and err’thang!

Did you know there’s 800 peanuts in one jar?! Thasss a lotta peanuts!

Speaking of finishing things, I polished off these puppies today.

as well as my plaintain burgers (…I froze one for future use, though 😉 )

I paired it with some bulgur tonight – plantain bulgur! Bulghur brought to a boil with 1/4 of a diced plantain, which I mashed up a bit. Seasoned with salt and pepper and then added in baby spinach and some diced mozzarella. Stirred with some BBQ sauce and voila!

Due to my “best for last” tendencies, I’m slooowwwly eating my way through these Boomi and Prana Bars that Nicole sent me a while ago.

Divine Foods believes that satisfying our taste buds with healthy food satisfies mind and body. Divine Foods manufacturing facility is free of wheat, cane sugar, GMO’s, meat, eggs and peanuts ensuring our products are gluten-free, soy-free and vegetarian.

Divine Foods manufactures two lines of all-natural energy bars that are superior in taste and contain no artificial additives, preservatives or sweeteners. Divine Foods’ Boomi Bars are 100% all-natural, gluten-free and contain no GMO, sulphured fruits or hydrogenated oils

Such simple ingredients! And surprisingly, not redunkulously sweet even though the first two ingredients are quite sweet on their own. I love the texture these have – soft and gooey from the dates, but with some crunch from the sesame seeds.

And I think the tidbit about enzymes is really interesting!

Enzymes are specialized protein molecules facilitating most of the body’s metabolic processes – such as, supplying energy, digesting foods, purifying your blood, ridding the body of waste products etc.

Without enzymes in your body, you could have the best nutritional plan around, and supplement your diet with a host of vitamin supplements, but without these humble workers we call enzymes, the vitamins will not be absorbed into your system.

They assist in fighting aging, weight loss, lowering cholesterol, cleaning the colon, breaking down fats, strengthening the immune system, improve mental capacity, detoxifying the body, building muscles from protein, eliminating carbon dioxide from the lungs etc.

[source] So – how to get more, without following a strictly raw diet? Well, watermelon, Kefir, apples, dried fruit, and banana splits are just naming a few! There’s some really great information here, though – a good read if you are interested!

And this bar was quite enzymingly excellent! I can’t say it was entirely pear-ginseng-y but it was still very flavorful. I find bars with dates need a lot of the other flavor in order for it to taste like that other flavor, though – this was certainly more datey than pear-y, which could be either good or bad depending on your preference! Regardless, though – these bars are a definite treat!

And, because I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake I did, don’t think that just because baked apple chunks are perfect on stovetop oats they’ll be good on overnighters. It just doesn’t work. Probably my first disappointing bowl of overnight oats to date.

I guess you just don’t mess with a classic. I consider baked apple oats to be classic – they’re good no matter what. But – especially comforting on rainy mornings or fall or winter mornings. Which, naturally, means hot oats – not cold ones!

Lesson duly noted 😉

What have you recently discovered doesn’t work as well as you’d initially hoped?

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

Comfoat and Joy

I am of the mindset that dreary weather = the need for a homey, “comfoat” breakfast. [ahhh, I’m so chheeeezyy.]

For me, that’s obviously oats…and personally, the most comfort-like bowl of oats to me is apple oats. Something about it is just so homey and reassuring. The warm apples and oats are just so autumnal – and while I may not want autumn and rather, would prefer our winter storm advisory that we are under to just disappear – a bowl of oats with jubilant, fresh berries just wouldn’t cut it for a rainy morning like this.

Does the weather affect your breakfast/meal choices? What’s your favorite comfort breakfast?

As mentioned yesterday, I finished the last of my 5 grain cereal, so was “allowed” to open up another bag of Bob’s Red Mill product. The victim? Creamy Rye Flakes.

I thought the idea of having rye for breakfast was just too cool! I had thought I would pair it with banana for the first taste test – but I was already set on apple, so that wasn’t changing. I quite like the rye! It’s not overpowering like you would think rye bread to be – but it definitiely adds a fun, whole-grain-like flavor and has a great bite (texture) to it. I’ll definitely try it with water next, so that the coffee doesn’t fight with its’ flavor.

The base today:

And topped with:

  • flax-chia icing
  • candied pecans & walnuts (using the method here)
  • PB&Co. Cinnamon Raisin PB
  • and a chutney (maybe?) of the rest of the gala apple with some chopped dates and a dollop of fig preserves, simmered until almond milk and maple syrup have been absorbed.

…with a dollop of locally made Apple Walnut Rum Conserve on top that I’d totally forgot about in my fridge! And Green Mountain’s Southern Pecan was the perfect comfort flavor for the morning.

I braved the bitter cold to get to my cray-cray first class. Note the sarcasm. Ugh. Almost over. I did, however, enjoy half of this bottle of Odwalla Wholly Grain smoothie. Check out the stats on this puppy – I couldn’t pass up all those whole grains, or pineapple/banana/mango!

And wholly cow this smoothie was gooood. Yes, its carb count rivals that of maple syrup, but oh well? It was definitely abundant in the banana flavor – a good thing for me! I don’t like smoothies with primarily apple or orange flavors, even though this had orange juice as a primary ingredient. I sipped it while staring in disbelief at some honkin’ big snowflakes coming down outside. Uhm, hello, it’s almost May. It should not be 34 degrees  out and snowing, with a winter storm advisory, thank you very much.

After freezing walking back to my car, I hustled home so that I could whip up the muffins and lunch I dreamed up in class. Because everybody knows that even if I’m sitting in a world regions class, I’m still thinking about what to concoct next, and not so much the issues in middle and south america. Although they are a large contributor to global warming, and I felt proud to have consumed a cup of Rain Forest Nut priot to leaving since they cut down so much rain forest.

But, I digress. Once I was home, I took the hint from Mo that I ought to cook with quinoa. She had a recipe for lemon poppyseed bread that I’ve been dying to make – but since I didn’t have any lemons, I flipped through Veganomicon to see if I could find something similar. I found a quinoa muffin recipe that I decided to funkify, and that I did. I present: Cranberry-Almond-Poppyseed Quinoa-Bulghur Muffins. Vegan muffins, bee tee dubs.

‘dem boys gooooood. I should have taken pictures during to do a recipe post, but it was sort of dark in the kitchen and I had no idea whether all my altercations would work, hah. Buuuttt, I’ll post it soon 🙂 I only made 6, so I’ll need more by the weekend, I’m sure. These will definitely make good morning snacks. Protein, fiber, whole grains, naturally sweetened, all ‘dat good stuff.

While those were baking I also made some parsnip fries, and more date balls because I ate the last one last night. I have no more dates left now, and that spells trouble. Won’t be going to Hannie’s for a while and I prefer buying them in bulk. Guess I’ll have to eradicate that addiction.

My other concoction I was day dreaming about while “learning” about South America? Lunch.

So it’s no secret I’ve been a tempeh fiend lately. With fiending comes mass consumption, and in turn – running out of consumed product. I’m not out of tempeh yet, but don’t have much left. What could take the place of tempeh in a tempeh and jam sammie?

Chickpeas. Yep. Not sure if that sounds gross to you, probably does – but to me it sounded amazing, and it tasted even better. I mashed some canned garbanzos with some apple-rum-walnut conserve and spread on some harvest grain with baby spinach and almond mozzarella and then panini’d away. To. Die. For. Might be more of a winner than tempeh + jam. They’re both winners in my eyeballs. And you know what? I know I’ve said I’m a fan of the mini loaf, but this loaf of harvest grain is seriously tiny, and a little bit larger would be more than welcome. Remember that, Price Chopper, remember that.

Dessert was some cottage cheese and a chopped plum con un drizzle of irish cream agave. A lovely combination.

While home I had some reading-up to do since my power point presentation that I’d worked on all weekend and Friday was tonight. Let me share with you: I. Hate. Presenting. If there is one thing that absolutely terrifies me, it’s standing up in front of a bunch of people, giving a presentation. I am not a fan of public speaking or drawing attention to myself. Which, is rather ironic since I have a blog where I talk about myself, and I probably come across as quite confident or outspoken since I’m not afraid to gloat about some sort of amazing food. Hm. Maybe if I had a culinary class or something I’d be more outspoken 😉 Anyone else have any fears of something that is so seemingly simple? (I like alliterations, what can I say?)

Anyways, I probably stressed myself out even more reading the notes I’d written up. Sometimes it’s better to go in blind, so that you don’t freak out when you go “off track” – so I tried not to work myself up. Just told myself…this time tomorrow, it’ll be all done, and no one will even remember. No one cares if you mess up. We all have to present. We all don’t want to. Just deal.

That's no way to treat a cookbook.

So that’s what I did. Before that, though, I dined on a toasted scone and a cup of coffee. It was fahhh-reezing all day, and continued quasi-snowing, too. And toasting the scones = the way to go. Not that that has to do with snow.

Shortly before leaving I had another snack, this time in the form of a caramel oikos with half a banana and some of Mae’s Granola. Stress eating. Oh well.

You didn’t hear it from me, but driving is a really good time to figure out your presentation. You can’t look at our  notes too long, but it’s okay to glance down for a second every so often.

I grabbed a bar on my way out the door so as not to get loopy halfway through class. I’m not sure if I was hungry when I actually ate it, or my stomach was just in a knot. I couldn’t tell, so I ate it anyways. I love those nectar bars, and this cherry pomegranate was espeically pleasing. I wish Clif still made them!!

The presentation went quite well on my part – but remember how I said I ended up putting the powerpoint together all by myself, even though it was a “team” project? Well, I pretty much presented alone, too. I take that back – I would have prefered presenting alone. I made up notecards as guides and everything – but my partner could still hardly read it, and didn’t paraphrase at all. Not bangin’ on the poor kid…but honestly. I made up the notecards as guides – not to be read wuickly through so it sounds like we’re reading to the class rather than presenting.

That being said, eventually it was over with, and I came home to a quick dinner. I still had a frozen homemade veggie burger (the tempeh-quinoa-sweet potato ones from Moosewood’s) that I reheated and then pan-fried, and paired it with a quick kale-apple saute.

Also paired with some almond mozzarella, of course 🙂 It hit the spot – I love having quick meals ready that are still homemade 🙂 Way better than any frozen veggie burger I’ve ever had!

I hope everyone’s day has been swell – Vermont has been schizofrenic all day. The sun started shining as I left for class, only to start snowing again while halfway there. Currently, it is shining really bright and there’s a portion of blue sky. And tonight we’re slated for 3 inches of snow. Uhm, I am about as impressed with this weather as I am with Courtney Love. Hint:I detest Courtney Love.

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

Sun Therapy

It’s hard to be in a bad mood when the sun is shining as brightly as it was today – who’s with me?! I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, but my mood is definitely directly related to the weather. When it’s gloomy, rainy, and cold, I’m gloomy too. Sure, I won’t let it put me in a grouchy mood, per se – but I will be pretty quiet.

Today, on the other hand, was stellar. It was so sunny (though I won’t lie – pretty chilly!) and I think my boss and I were both feeling it. It was a great atmosphere at work. But enough talking about how my day went without even talking about breakfast!

The guest speaker of the morning.

Remember way back when I picked up two Justin’s nut butter samples? I still hadn’t tried either of them!

But due for this morning was a simple old favorite : apple-cinnamon oats and I thought this was the perfect time to try out the Maple Almond Butter. I may be a coconut fiend, but I do draw the line somewhere.

It was okay – definitely not bad by any means, but I was expecting wow maple. And this was shy maple. More of a meek “hello.” This could just be my taste buds because I’m pretty…uh…liberal…with my maple consumption. Either way – it’s a good nut butter and you certainly can’t argue with the ingredients. Just don’t expect knock-your-socks-off mapley-ness like I was 😛 I’m looking forward to trying the honey peanut butter that I picked up along with this, especially with my recent honey obsession.

In the Mix this morning was oat bran, rolled barley flakes, rolled spelt flakes & wheat bran, brewed coffee & almondmilk, goji berries, 1/2 diced apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

On the top was chia-acai icing, ground flax, crystallized ginger, blueberry-cherry preserves, and 1/2 diced apple, sauteed with maple syrup, cinnamon, raisins, and a splash of water.

Sauteeing is the new thang. Aaaaand ya can’t forget about the Golden French Toast that accompanied this oh-so-perfectly.

snackage for the workday

Orange & carrot; Nut Clusters, Sesame Rice Crackers & Wasa

lunchski.

Leftovers from last night and a lil’ panini-pita with shrimp, spinach, parmesan, ranch & dijonnaise, and sundried tomatoes. This definitely kept me full all afternoon! Must have been all the protein. I usually go for a bar around 4ish, but there wasn’t any need for one today.

Before I left the house, I tried another new nut butter!

This Wilderness Poets Hempspread is the last part of my Live Superfoods order. I was way too interested in it when the order got here that I gave it a little taste then, but not enough to get the true “feel” for it. And since I’ve been going for coconut butters or sweet nut butters since then, it sort of fell to the wayside!

I was pretty intrigued when I found it on the website – I had so many sweet nut butters, but this one seemed like it was more savory. The brand also has sweet flavors, and I almost went for one of those, but then decided I wanted to mix it up. Sesame-pistachio? I’d never even thought of the combination – had to give it a shot, right?

And I’m so glad I did! It’s definitely way better than I was expecting. Obviously – I wasn’t expecting anything bad (I mean, I did buy it, after all) but I wasn’t sure if it’d be too raw tasting like my first almond butter experience. (For those unsure of my first almond butter experience – I bought a completely all-natural, unsalted one. While it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t all too enjoyable plain or on toast, and was sort of designated for oats, until I made Almond Butter Cookies)

after stir-age

I opted to give it its’ proper introduction into my life on an english muffin for my drive into work. I almost added a drizzle of maple syrup (hey – doesn’t that sound like it’d be interesting? Sesame-Pistachio-Maple? Anybody?) but then reminded myself to stop already with the adding everything to everything and just let the Hempspread do the talkin’. And I’m glad I did. It sang!

The Agave gives it the perfect amount of sweetness, so that it’s not so raw like, but it’s not sweet, either. Definitely a good mix-up from the usual! I wasn’t feeling a sweet nut butter, and for some reason didn’t want jam either. This was perfect!

Am I the only Hempspread n00b? If you’ve had it before – what’s your favorite?

Now I’m dying to try the rest of the Wilderness Poets line. Chocolate Cashew? And especially Hazelnut – I’d love to try a Hazelnut butter 🙂

Like I mentioned – work today was really great. In fact, I’ve been in a pretty great mood all day. I love it! I love just pausing and doing a “self-check” and realizing you’re perfectly content. Does anyone else do that, or am I the only weird one? Checking-in with yourself, I mean. I dunno. haha. Anyways. I bought my birthday present from my mom – a new SB600 flash, my birthday present from myself – a spare battery for my D90, and work gave me a TTL cable – which allows me to use the flash off-camera. Super excited – I cannot wait to play! I may be buying myself another birthday present – a tripod – in the near future. You read that right – I still don’t have a tripod. Ah, well.

Reunited with my sweet potato love.

Dinner may not look appetizing, but it definitely hit the spot! Remember this Pumpkin-Honey Chicken Curry that I made a while ago and loved so much? Tonights dinner was loosely based on that. Only…uh…different.

While the sweet potato baked, I simmered chick peas, parsley, onion, and kale in a mixture of honey, almondmilk, and curry powder. Shortly before it was ready, I added in some diced apple so that it didn’t get too mushy. The only thing I’d do differently next time would be the Kale…not sure what I would replace it with, but I could have taken it or left it for this dish. I think part of it is that I prefer my kale as kale chips – and the other part that it simply just didn’t lend itself to curry. I still don’t really know what to do with kale other than make Kale chips, to be perfectly honest. Just use it like spinach?

Other than that, I loved the chick pea-apple-sweet potato paired together, and the honey-curry really completed it. Yum! I love adding apples to dinner 😛 I’m wondering if maybe baby peas would be good in this? Or carrots, but I’m afraid they’d be too similar to the sweet potato. I dunno. Any thoughts?

This is an exciting weekend – it’s Vermont’s tax free Saturday! So I’m going to Bed, Bath & Beyond and hittin’ up the mall. Is it sad that I’m way more excited to go BB&B shopping than clothing shopping? After all of yesterday’s waffling I realized I could really use a waffle maker! It’s been too long since I’ve had a good waffle.

I also have a 20% off coupon…should I get a waffle maker? a food processor? cookbooks? kitchen gadgets? more bowls, plates, and mugs? Oh, the possibilities! I am sure to get lost for an hour or so. I am not a real college student.

And on Sunday night I’m making my birthday dinner! I should clarify that I want to make my own birthday dinner – my mom isn’t making me, haha. But I have no idea what to make!! Help?!?! While I could use this as a great way to get my mom, Henry, and my sister who’s coming down to eat whatever I want them to – I think I’ll play nice 🙂 Maybe a Margherita Pizza? I’ve never had one before! And they’ve been popping up everywhere and really tickling my fancy. That and, I hardly ever get the chance to make a real pizza – and have been dying to try out a Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust recipe. Or I could do Blueberry Salmon…Chutney Chicken One-PotHoney-Rosemary ChickenMushroom Stroganoff? I’m almost tempted to make pancakes. I think I might need to have a Birthday breakfast, too! haha. (*cough*or, maybe I’ll have a waffle maker by then*cough*)

Oh, the dilemmas 🙂 I’m leaning towards the pizza, though.

Do you have a traditional “birthday celebration” meal, or one you always request when you have a special occassion?

and what should I make on Sunday?! haha.

The real reason I want a waffle maker? Fawaffle.

Have a great night, everyone 🙂

p.s. Don’t forget!! Only two more days before a winner is won for my giveaway!

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