Tag Archives: carrot cake

Scrambling

I am loving reading everyone’s requests for winning the baked goods! Seems like the lemon poppyseed cookies and birdseed bars are in high demand ๐Ÿ˜‰ Keep on piling in those entries!

***

I don’t think whatever that sickness I had yesterday had much of a chance…in fact, I think I effectively slept it off. Between dozing all morning yesterday and sleeping until nearly 8:00 this morning, I was good to go today. I woke up still a little “bleh,” but ate something and took 875% of my d.v. of vitamin C and I was feeling better already.

I actually received this sample along with my iHerb order, and I figured there was no day better than today to use it. Yes, that is 525 mg of vitamin C per serving, and yes, that does equate 875% of my daily value of the stuff.

I was a little worried I was going to turn into a clementine or something, but I’m still alive. Even better than alive, dare I say.

Maybe this was the reason why I felt so good all afternoon? It’s probably just coincidence, but oh well ๐Ÿ˜‰

Good enough to go grocery shopping, even!

…unfortunately, I would have been better off at home. Ugh, $60? Really? I am so upset because I didn’t need to spend that much. In fact, I had just cashed a check for $45 an intended to spend no more than that.

I decided to just go to Price Chopper (from here on out to be called “The store which shall not be named,” AKA TSWSNBN) rather than Hannaford (closest thing I have to a Whole Foods around here, though I’m thinking it’s less expensive from what I hear) because of the whole convenience thing. TSWSNBN = 5 mins away, Hannaford = 1 hour away. It’s convenient if I’m in the area because of work/going to see Teddie, but not on a day like today.

Anyways. I get there and start cringing at the produce prices, but shrug it off thinking “I didn’t spend any gas money to get here at least.” and carry on. Note I pretty much just buy produce that’s on sale. If you can call it that.

Not only that, but they were out of just about everything I needed – most imperatively, dates.

I almost started crying when the stock-boy told me they were sold out. My lip started quivering and I had to breathe deep, but luckily I spared him the waterworks. And moved on to wanting to hit him over the head with the chopped dates he suggested I get.

You know you’re a date addict when you move from feelings of despair to ones of extreme anger.

Not only that but all their produce was on its outs, they didn’t have any old fashioned rolled oats unless I wanted to buy them in the tiniest container possible for $4 and I bought a moldy yucca.

So basically, I have to go to Hannafords and/or the co-op sometime soon anyway. And had I known that from the get-go, I just plain wouldn’t have wasted my time and money there today.

UGH! Okay, rant over. Onto happy things.

Like banana scrambles.

Oh hail yes. I feel better just looking at that. Don’t you?

It’s like food therapy.

See, the other option for breakfast the other morning was a banana scramble, but the French toast had the louder scream.

When I saw Jenny suggest a banana scramble on that very post, I knew it was fate. I had to try one, once and for all. I might start cheating on my pancakes for these babies, too.

But oyu know what I haven’t had in a while?

Anything gingerbread. I’m assuming this has been done already, since it is gingerbread and all…but here’s how I did it:

Gingerbread Banana Scramble

adapted from The Edible Perspective’s Cinnamon Banana Scramble

  • 1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1 T. oat bran
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1-2 T. milk
  • 1/2 of a large banana
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. ground clove
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 – 1 t. molasses
  • pinch of maple sugar

Mash the banana with the oats. Mix in all remaining ingredients and then form into a patty with your hands. Place on a pre-heated, greased pan and cook until golden brown on both sides. Top with peanut-ginger sauce.

Peanut-Ginger Sauce

  • scant 1/4 c. peanut flour
  • 1/2 – 1 t. molasses
  • 1/2 t. maple syrup (or to taste)
  • pinch ground ginger
  • heavy pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 T. milk

Whisk together all ingredients, starting with just 1 T. milk and adding more to get to your desired consistency. Check for sweetness, adding more maple syrup as your taste buds call for it ๐Ÿ˜‰

The only thing that would have made this better would have been having it between French toast. Too bad I was out of bread :[

But naturally, when new obsessions are born, they do not die quickly. As a snack post-workout, I decided more were necessary as an almost-lunch-but-not-quite.

On a note unrelated to banana scrambles, I think this was when I realized I might be more of a “late morning” workout kinda gal. I’ve never given myself the chance to workout anytime other than mornings, before starting my day. I felt like my mind was so much more in it today, though.

Maybe I was just high on Vitamin C, though.

In keeping with my almost-tradition of making just about everything either gingerbread or carrot cake, though, these ones were carrot cake.

I die.

Carrot Cake Banana Scrambles

adapted from the Edible Perspective’s Apple Scramble

  • 1/4 c. quick oats
  • 2-3 T. applesauce
  • 5 shredded baby carrots (do you find it funny to imagine me shredding poor little baby carrots?)
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground ginger
  • 1/2 T. shredded coconut
  • pinch maple sugar
  • 2-3 T. milk

Combine all ingredients, adding in more milk as you see fit. Carefully form a patty (or two) and place it on a preheated, greased pan. Cook until golden on both sides. ย Serve and top with peanut-carrot sauce, coconut, carrot, pecans and molasses.

Peanut-Carrot Sauce

  • scant 1/4 c. peanut flour
  • 1 shredded baby carrot
  • 1/2 t. maple syrup (more or less as desired)
  • 2-3 T. milk

Whisk all ingredients together, adding milk 1 T. at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

I think this one would have been ever better with a banana instead of applesauce, just to add a little bit more sweetness to the carrots. I didn’t really want to go on three bananas today, though. What can I say?

What else happened today? Well, naturally I made more bread. Do I even need to say I love Sarena’s bread anymore? It’s probably engrained in everyone’s brains already.

I made this loaf with 6-grain flour that I’d almost forgotten about, adding in a little Vital Wheat Gluten to make up for the heavier flour.

You know bread is good when you can eat it plain without even toasting it.

I made Chelsey’s granola and burnt all the raisins.

Luckily, I don’t mind the occassional taste of char. You probably think I’m being witty right now but I’m totally serious.

Ironically, I also had to make it with quick oats. The whole reason I wanted to get rolled oats at the store was so I could make granola. My heart was dead-set on making granola though, so I didn’t give up. It worked better than I thought it would!

Aaand lastly – sausage and peppers and a baked sweet potato.

You know what I realized? I don’t think I like green peppers anymore.

And also: Jenn’s method of baking a couple sweet potatoes at a time (in the oven) for grabbing one on the fly, totally works. I baked this one when I baked one for last night, and after reheating in the toaster oven, it was just as good as if it were fresh out of the oven. It’s a great trick if I’m craving a sweet potato for work the next day since it takes an hour in the oven and I now flat-out refuse to microwave-bake my taters.

What are your time-saving techniques?


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Filed under baking, banana, banana scramble, breakfast, carrot cake, chia seeds, coconut, cooking, dates, dinner, food, healthy living, molasses, oats, recipe, seitan, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian

Obsessions

Whew! Thanks once again to everyone so being so wonderfully supportive of my concerns for Teddie. After everyone’s thoughts, prayers, crossed fingers, my built-up karma, and wishing on 11:11 while baking Carrot Fig ‘Nola Bars (true story) he is…dun dun dun

this cracks me up. "how fast can we trot before i have to canter?"

a-ok! Big sigh of relief!! The vet totally freaked me out at first…when he saw it he was going on and on “I’m glad you called rather than waiting…blah blah…corneal ulcer.” So I’m like oh, great – but all that talk was while we were waiting for the stain he put in it to take effect. When he looked at it afterwards he saw there was no scratches, lumps, or any weird stuff…and it’s just how his eye is! He did say it’s weird, but something he has seen onย occasion. Sort of like some people’s eyes may change, or a portion of their eye changes. Just said to keep an eye on it and if it does get real goopy/watery/seems to be bothering to give him a call but as of now it’s not from him going blind like I was for sure was happening! ๐Ÿ˜› I was certain that a blue glow was reaaal bad news.

So, his act is over ๐Ÿ˜‰ Speaking of acts – it’s been a while since I’d updated on Georgie. Yeah, we’re pretty sure she was putting on an act, too ๐Ÿ˜› Back to work for her! Not sure what she was reacting to…but she’s pretty well back to normal. Well, she was acting a little funny tonight…but not “I’m about to have a baby.” funny.

Anyways. Now that my life has not been shattered, my day today was pretty beautiful. Beautiful = glorious weather, I mean. It’s hard not to be in a good mood! I mean, my horse isn’t losing his eyeball for pete’s sake, I’d have been smiling if it was blizzarding outside. In August. Yeah.

I experimented with my flash attachment for these breakfast shots! It was very dark outside and I bought the thing back in March (actually, my mom bought it for me for my b-Day) and have used the thing about a handful of times.

It intimidates me.

But, it might be a good route to go come winter time when it’s pitch black outside. It was almost that way this morning! I’m thinking…maybe I’ll make a light box. That’d be fun stuff right there ๐Ÿ™‚

I think I need to go to a carrot cake addicts anonymous meeting because my obsession is getting a little bit ridiculous. I just had to make carrot cake oats last night for this morning. Teddie must be rubbing off on me.

Other obsessions include peanut butter icing.

Snack involved half a banana and some mixed nuts. Of course, the mixed nuts were only there for moral support. The morning seriously flew by somehow, and I never really got hungry? My stomach felt a little funny when I was leaving the barn to get to work, though, so I had the banana thinking maybe it would setttle it. Usually an alarm (re: my stomach) sounds around 10, 10:30. It just didn’t ring today, I guess!

Of course, that’s not to say I wasn’t ready for lunch. I know this isn’t much to look at – but I loved this lunch. I had the other helping of my Tasty Bite Punjab Eggplant with some roasted broccoli and some red kidney beans for some more oomph. And a slice of homemade bread – toasted, of course! I think the biggest downside of using a bread machine is the whole it awkwardly leaves in one or two slices from the paddle.

and a plumcot for dessert! This plumcot was perfections. As was the Tasty Bite! I think it was even better second time ’round ๐Ÿ˜€

a baked Carrot-Fig ‘Nola Bar was the snack of the afternoon. Definitely better un-baked…but not bad with a little bit more honey ๐Ÿ˜‰

My other obsession? Broccoli bowls. You know how some bloggers can’t stay away from a “yogurt mess”? Well, I think my “broccoli bowls” are kinda like my version of a yogurt mess. I’ll just start calling it a broccoli mess, I guess.

And tonight’s was pretty exceptional, if I may say so myself. I chose the sweet potato falafel and some dark red kidney beans as my protein-of-choice, mixed with roasted broc, carrots, and garlic. Rather than hummus, it was topped with the yogurt-tahini sauce that I’d made to go with the sweet potato. And you can’t forget the garden-fresh tomato on the side, and cashews on top!! I had a slice of toasted bread to wipe up the extra ๐Ÿ˜‰

Welp, that’s all for now! It was a gorgeous night out so I spent a little more time outside than usual. It’s getting late and I’ve got some blogs to read!

Current Obsession?

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

Revelations

If you’ve got sandwich meat from WalMart don’t eat it!! you might die. roast beef and something. this is probably irrelevant since a lot of you probably don’t eat sandwich deli meat from Wally World anyways. But seriously – what’s up with all the food recalls lately?! I guess it’s not surprising, but still scary. Glad I’m careful about what makes it to my tummy.

Anyways. Today, I (and Teddie) had a revelation.

Teddie doesn’t wanna be a dressage horse. At least, not now. So, since I just want to do what makes both of us happy, we will be having play-days.

Play-days will consist of minimal suppling work, and mostly riding around aimlessly and carelessly in the big fields.

coming out of his grump.

I should have listened to him a week ago…and should have listened to my gut that was telling me to just give him a play-day today…but of course I wimped out because it was really windy and a bit chilly so I thought for sure he’d be feelin’ it. So we started in the indoor so I could get a feel for him, and all was well for ten minutes and then he pulled his “ehhhh, not so much I’ll just stop kthanks.” move. I’m not sure which is worse. A horse that bolts or gets really hot when it’s being stubborn, or one that just doesn’t move/gives mini bucks/shuffles sideways.

Not a very flattering picture of us - but I still love this. Note the birds ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, I just went for plan A, what I should have done all along. oh, well. After today, I’m fairly certain his “game” is just boredom. He wants change. And reasonably so – indoors get boring. Of course, he always pulls his game when there’s more people around than there ever are. Two of my friends back from college came, and there were a bunch of kids helping A paint jumps, and of course it was while their parents were still there.

Thanks, Teddie.

Anyway, long story short, that was while we were in the indoor. I walked him around a full length without stopping and just called it a day and went out to play!

But you know what? That’s okay. I mean – I knew he wasn’t going to be some second level dressage horse. I wasn’t even thinking I wanted to show anyways. I wanted to do some dressage but mostly for fun.

And you know what? I think we both had more fun today than we have yet.

I mean – I think I’m smiling in every single picture. And Teddie is too! (well, except for that one grumpy one – and that wasn’t even a grumpy face, really.) I think he had a revelation that hey – this can be fun!

So, the lesson? The moral of the story?

Don’t lose sight of why you’re doing something. Sometimes we get into things and take it too serious. We realize we’re doing something we love – but not really letting ourselves love it. If you’re doing something because you want to have fun – make sure you are! It’s easy to lose sight and push ourselves too much, and take things too seriously. When really – you’ve got plenty of time. And yet – at the same time – life is too short to waste it ๐Ÿ˜‰

***

Another revelation? I lub carrot cake waffles.

I also lub this Organic Valley Vanilla Yogurt (still). It makes the best peanut butter icing! The PB I buy isn’t all drizzle – and gobs don’t really work for waffles or overnight oats. Solution? Nuke it for a few seconds and mix it with this stuff and some chia seeds, and you’ve got yourselves a winnah.

Revelation: I would definitely be okay with having this for breakfast every day. Maybe the toppings could change up a bit just for a little bit of zazz – but even figs every day would receive no complaint from yours truly.

for me: figs & pb, nut stuffed dates. for teddie (and me): a tydeman apple.

Revelation: I wonder how much smarter I would be if I remembered everything I am taught, and recalled everything I think. And I’d probably be less hungry if I remembered everything I packed.

Yeah – packed this five seconds before I left, and of course I walk out the door without any of it. I remembered my camera though!

is this a snapping turtle?

I saw this big guy crossing the road when I drove home from the barn. I think it was a snapping turtle, though, so I definitely stayed a good distance away.

Those things scare the poo outta me.

green monstarrrr

packed with tons of goodies!

topped with some of the dates i’d forgotten, wheat germ, and sunbutter icing (mixed with OV yogurt)

3/4s of a sweet potato, beanballs, BBQ sauce

Revelation: life will still go on even if you have no bread for lunch.

But that doesn’t mean you should make another loaf! I tackled Daniel’s recipe for 100% WW Sandwich Bread. It popped out just in time for “dessert”!

Revelation: best. bread. yet. See – I’m so picky that most of the time…I don’t like a slice of fresh, hot bread. I like my bread toasted. And yet, Iย always still slice myself a piece hot out of the breadmaker. And I always think I’ve failed once again – until the next day, when I have some toasted for my sandwich. ย This bread didn’t need toasting . ding, ding, ding – we have a winner!

I did make a few changes to the recipe:

-used almond milk rather than skim

-used olive oil rather than vegetable

-for the “3 cups White WW Flour,” I used: 1 cup White WW Flour, 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour, 1/4 c + 1/8 c. quick oats, and 1/8 c. bulgur wheat.

-bread machine yeast, not active dry – though those may very well be the same thing. I have no idea.

Another revelation: my breadmaker is meant for loaves this size, not the size I’d been making! Which, I’d actually realized last time, but was afraid to make them bigger incase I didn’t like the recipe.

So! Go investigate the recipe. And make it.

Too bad I ruined this by making dork-face.

Revelation: Jiggy made me really appreciate Teddie when we were out on a leisurely trail ride and he randomly breaks into bronc-mode. He’s usually pretty laid back so I was just following my mom along, thinking about life, and he roaches his back and pounces in the air a couple times before I snap back to reality and growl at him. I think he knew he was being naughty and felt bad because that was all it took to make him stop, baha.

"Caprese" Bulgur!

Revelation: I cannot get enough bulgur wheat lately! I think it’s made an appearance for the past…3 dinners? four? Anyways – tonight wasn’t much different from last night. Last leftover fritter (although friger/frigger seems to be preferred ๐Ÿ˜› don’t say that to your five year old children, though)

For the bulgur, I simply prepared one serving in water and maybe 2 T. balsamic vinegar. Added in a diced tomato, garlic salt, fresh basil, and fresh oregano and let to boil. When it was done I stirred in smoked mozzarella cubes and it got all melty and deericious. The balsamic became sort of like a reduction with the heat ๐Ÿ˜€

And I am so sorry I haven’t but up the branana recipe yet. I was having too much fun going through photos from today ๐Ÿ˜› Maybe later tonight. If not, definitely tomorrow!

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

I’m Afraid

Last night, I hit a wall at 8:30. This morning, I found myself pulling my eyelids apart at…7:54?!

On the Menu for Breakfast? Carrot Cake Oats!

Ah, yes – now I think I’m good and caught up! It’s amazing what 11 hours can do for you ๐Ÿ˜‰

While at first I had a mini freak-out because the world was surely going to end when I didn’t leave at 8:30 for the barn (insert eye-roll here) I realized it wasn’t a big deal, and was glad to feel so refreshed.

So – if I’m going to be late anyways, why not just enjoy it?! Carrot Cake Waffles are too few and far between – and I knew they were just what I wanted this morning ๐Ÿ˜‰

Carrot Cake Waffles

  • 1/4 c. oats – quick or rolled
  • 1 T. wheat bran
  • 1 T. wheat germ
  • 1 T. (heaping) WW flour
  • 1 c. puffed millet
  • 3/4s of a large carrot, grated
  • baking powder
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/8 t. ginger

[combine in bowl, and add:]

  • 1 T. milled flax (mixed with 3 T. water and set aside to thicken)
  • 1/3 c. almond milk
  • 1/8 c. vanilla chobani

I topped them with the majority of a banana, the rest of the grated carrot, and some raisins that I nuked with some maple syrup for a few seconds. Poured over some Organic Valley Vanilla Yogurt and sprinkled on some pecans and chia seeds for good measure ๐Ÿ™‚

The yogurt was a little too runny – but I didn’t feel like letting it sit with the chia seeds this morning. But – it would be perfect after that, and easier than mixing greek yogurt, milk, and chia seeds for my “icing” ๐Ÿ˜‰

My new favorite snack - dates with almonds (almonds that I keep at the barn). Or - a deconstructed Larabar!

These dates are easily the best I’ve ever had. I’ve been getting organic ones from the co-op, and they are so much bigger, softer, chewier, and not as sweet as the ones from Hannafords. You know how dates can be too sweet? These ones have a wonderful mellow sweetness to them, if you will.

Not only that, but they are such. good. snacks. I had some (stuffed with almonds) while working with Teddie, and even though I didn’t get home until 12:30 (I would normally be hungry by noon – of course, breakfast was later!) I wasn’t hungry in the least.

Speaking of the devil – Teddie was lovely today. We’ve moved from being a bronc pony to being a freight-train. We’re working on it, but since he’s been very agreeable and otherwise really, really good lately, I’m not too worried about not being able to stop him sometimes. heh. Of course, probably wasn’t the brightest idea I’ve ever had to take him to the outdoor (after some indoor bendy/collection/transition/hello I’m up here work) under these circumstances. Call me brave, crazy, or stupid. I’m still not sure which – but he did try to save us from the pony-and-rider eating roundbales that were down there. I am thankful that he a.) has a good pully rein and b.) when he’s scared out of his pants he just launches forward and spins rather than bolting and saying “see ya later, you’re on your own.”

So anyways, I decided to do someย cooking/baking until I got hungry for lunch once I was home. I made part of dinner – which you will soon see, and another loaf of bread.

Uhh, apparently substituting oatmeal for 1/2 c. of bread flour is a cardinal sin, and this is what I wound up with:

uhhh...yeah...one thing I WILL enjoy about cooler weather is the ability to go back to cooking and baking with a real oven!

I went with the triple wheat bread with the aforementioned substitution. Luckily, it doesn’t taste bad at all, but…it’s going to be a PITA to make a sandwich with, that’s for sure!

Speaking of being a PITA to make sandwiches with – I had a deconstructed sandwich with the last two slices of the honey oat bread I made.

Yellow and red tomatoes mixed with olive oil & balsamic, fresh basil, salt & pepper, and smoked mozzarella chunks. Honey oat bread toasted and spread with garlic hummus.

Naturally, a green monster was the perfect companion.

Confession: Up until now, I’ve never bothered with ice or frozen fruit, since my blender can’t do ice and I don’t usually have frozen fruit. I didn’t have many options today other than to use the last of a bag of frozen berry mix, and I just loved the chill factor!

Blended: Spinach, frozen berries, vanilla chobani, almond milk, oats, and dates. On top: Organic Valley Vanilla Yogurt, wheat germ peanut butter, marcona almonds, and dried berries.

And I had fun pouring a design into it, of course – next time I’ll have to actually get creative ๐Ÿ˜‰

The afternoon was spent cleaning out the horses and ponies, and working with the ponies when my mom got home. And a visit from UPS! My second of the day – the first was when I was finishing up with Teddie…I had to sign for the package, too, and the man was too afraid of him to get close enough! I admit that horses aren’t a silly fear to have – I mean, it’s logical enough! But I’m just usually around horse lovers, and everyone sees Teddie and about melts at his cuteness…so when this big, muscular man was afraid to take another step so I could sign, I found it sort of endearing. I’m not saying I immediately hatched a crush and want to marry the dude, but it was just this cute little “I…I’m afraid.” after I said Teddie wouldn’t do anything. Sort of sad…here I am, a girl much smaller with a small [and adorable] pony, and he didn’t want to pet him ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I can’t say too much – I’m a wuss, too.

Anyways.

Kuzi over at Kroeger Herb contacted me recently, wondering if I would be interested in trying some of their products as well as hosting a giveaway! (so – stay tuned!) I got lost on their web page browsing all the herbal health supplements, concentrates, oils, etc. There is so much information!

I don’t often rely on supplements and try to get what I need through food, but find the herbal ones quite interesting! In fact, I’ve even got Teddie on raspberry leaves! They’re supposed to…uh…help with his thinking that he is “more of a man” than he really is ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was sent Healthy Gut, Garlic, and Kava Kava.

Healthy Gut is “a strategic combination of herbs that works in conjunction with the bodyโ€™s systems and intestines to promote a healthy, strong and balanced digestive system and a proper pH.ย  Provides soothing action for a hot gut, helps maintain proper absorption and supports the natural detoxification process.”

Garlic is said to be good for the heart and immune system, and Kava Kava is a calming/muscular supplement. I think one of the interesting things about herbal stuff is that some people might swear by it, and others may say it’s a bunch of bologna – that the effects are imaginary. And of course, as with everything, there are potential side effects. Do your research ๐Ÿ˜‰ย Based on mine- the main thing garlic pills are good for is with helping to control cholesterol. And Kava Kava? Well, I certainly found some interesting info, but it tends to be used to lessen anxiety and insomnia.

Entirely unrelated (sort of…it’s still about garlic, though!!) – did you know that some people react to garlic with pain?! My boss always said garlic didn’t sit well with him – and I always felt bad because I love the stuff. But, the same pain-sensing nerves that our bodies use to react to chili-peppers and hot foods like wasabi is what senses garlic, too. The reason some people may sense the “pain” but not others is because the nerves that respond to the garlic are only a portion of the ones that respond to hot peppers.

Do you or have you taken any herbal remedies or supplements?

Moving on.

Yes, yes – onto dinner. and a great one it was! One of my mom’s co-workers brought in a huuuuge spaghetti squash for us. It made the tiny teeny ones we’re growing look even more pathetic ๐Ÿ˜ฆ This big bowl was just 1/4 of it!!

I made beanballs to go with it (and did something wrong once again while cooking – I don’t think I added enough VWG? They taste lovely, but they are much mushier) as well as had a slice of bread. For the squash, though, I sauteed a clove of garlic, a tomato, spinach, fresh basil and snap peas in a bit of sesame dressing (sesame oil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar) and once it was heated through mixed in some smoked mozzarella chunks.

And unpictured ear of corn was also consumed, but I wasn’t sure how many more corn-on-the-cob pictures you guys could take. Just so you know, there will be more tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Happy Carrot Day!

**Disclaimer: I don’t think it’s truly carrot day. I bet they have one, though. They have days for everything!**

For the first time in a while, the thought of “gottadolaundry.” had me shooting out of bed rather than breakfast. I think that actually jolted me awake more than the thoughts of delicious breakfast ever have! Of course, had I done laundry before I had a stockpile which rendered me useless until I did some – I probably wouldn’t have been thinking these thoughts. As it were, I wasn’t going anywhere (re: barn) until some clothes were washed and dried.

After taking care of that situation in addition to some fuzzy four-leggeds begging for their breakfast, I started making my breakfast. So kind of me to feed their cute faces first, no?

Carrots are once again becoming quite admirable to me. Carrots tend to come and go for me. And I didn’t realize this until today, but they’re definitely a go lately.

To my usual waffle recipe, I added:

  • raisins
  • 3/4s of a large carrot, grated
  • generous pinch(es) of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of ginger

and I topped them with the rest of the grated carrot, raisins and a sliced banana. I nuked this with a splash of almond milk and mixed in a bit of cinnamon, too. And of course – a chunky peanut butter icing of greek yogurt, almond milk, chia seeds, and chunky peanut butter. I missed the crunch that the nuts provide that I usually have – but I didn’t have any pecans or walnuts…and call me picky, but I just didn’t feel like peanuts, cashews, or almonds could play the same role. Instead, I enjoyed my southern pecans in liquid form. That sounds gross, but I’m talking iced coffee here, kids!

Ready to go...

I scurried right off to the barn after plucking my breeches and polo from the dryer and brekkist was cleaned up. It was really quiet out there today, for some reason! It’s always quiet – but usually A is there, and then there’s another girl who comes around 10, and another shortly after. Today it was just me and Teddie! Not gonna lie, I was actually sort of giving myself a lesson, talking out loud reminders on position, figures, etc. There’s no radio in the barn, so it was too quiet!! Since there was no one to chat with I left earlier than usual – 11ish, and had time to make some phone calls before diving into lunch.

Enter: Carrot Cake SIAB.

Naked

Ever since Michal posted this delicious-looking page of eats, my mind has been non-stop thinking about making a carrot cake green monster. Uh, not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing when you have no qualms about adding spinach and carrots to your smoothies. It’s whatever. I didn’t think to do this until I opened the fridge and, once again – the carrots were staring me down. I wasn’t sure I was in the mood at first – but that seed was already planted, and I just had to see what the result could be.

The end result!

Into the blender went:

  • couple handfuls of spinach
  • approx. 1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
  • one medium carrot
  • approx. 1 frozen banana
  • 1 peach
  • a splash of almond milk
  • quick drizzle of maple syrup
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • ginger

mmmm good.

On the top went:

  • quick oats
  • marcona almonds (this time I really needed crunch – but pecans or walnuts would have totally ruled)
  • dates
  • chunky peanut butter
  • raisins
  • drizzle maple syrup (for the oats!)
  • cinnamon
  • wheat germ

The verdict? Delicioso! Actually, next time I’d add more carrot and cinnamon, but I’d rather not have enough the first time around than too much. And lets just imagine how divine this would be with pineapple in place of the peach.

I decided to replenish my homemade cracker stash afterwards, with some changes to what I did last time. I wanted to use less cashews and see if I liked it better. I ended up with 1/4 c. sunflower seeds, scant 1/4 c. sesame seeds, 2 T. cashews, 2 T. poppyseeds, 2 T. milled flax, paprika, garlic powder, and smoked sea salt. I think I used a bit more than 1/4 c. water total to get this:

I didn’t have any chia seeds that weren’t cranberry and ginger so that’s the only reason they weren’t in there. I actually prefer them with the more noticeable cashew flavor! These ones are much lighter and crispier – not a bad thing, but I just preferred the others, I suppose.

In fact, does anyone else – when uncertain whether you like something or not – try things over and over because you can’t tell what you think about it? That’s sort of how I was all afternoon with these.

Note to self: Use this as a pizza crust recipe idea sometime soon.

Luckily, though, their long baking time allowed me to do stuff in between – like mucking out both sets of four leggeds and doing some more of the raking that I love so much. We weren’t able to get everything up over the weekend, and there’s still a little left, too. Wasteful creatures, they are. I should also mention that all throughout the afternoon I kept munching on a carrot, too. See, the intent was to bring it out with me to give to the horses – but I kept forgetting and kept snagging a bite as I’d go in and out.

I wanted to wait until my mom got home so we could work with the ponies together, so in the meantime I made Veganomicon’s Cheater Baked Beans. I’d made them once before and loved them, and decided to put the rest of my black beans to use in that same fashion. I didn’t stray from the recipe save for using black beans rather than white and I used cinnamon and nutmeg instead of allspice, with no bay leaf. It’s a very simple yet delicious recipe…and if you can caramelize onion, add garlic, and then mix in tomato sauce, molasses, dijon mustard, black beans, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg – you’re golden. Today, surprise of all surprises – I threw in two carrots, too.

They baked for an hour while I cooled off with an iced coffee, and then my mom was home. Perfect timing. Unfortunately, today – this had to be done:

๐Ÿ˜ฆ

You see – Georgie came to us with this bunch of burdocks in her tail. We’ve been putting baby oil on it in hopes it will work itself out, and also waited a while to tackle it because we weren’t sure what she would think of having us pulling at her tail. It’s sort of close to the range of fire for a horse you don’t know much about. Today, though – we decided to just hack it off. She didn’t much care when I was pulling on it, but there was just too much that it was nearly impossible to salvage. Not to mention – we don’t have burdocks now, and want to keep it that way. Picking them out would almost guarantee one flying someplace and growing a monster of a bush!

Luckily, it actually looks like a lot more tail than it is – and she still has quite a bit left. I mean – poor Jiggy just about has nothing, save for a few strands!

After doing other chores involving them, I went shopping to get food for dinner.

Shopping in our garden, that is! I “harvested” some lettuce and the first Roma tomato. I was pretty excited to have my first homegrown Roma.

I beefed up the garden lettuce with some romaine, chopped up the Roma and a yellow pepper, added some roasted broccoli and spooned some of my baked beans over top. I wanted some sort of cheesy-ness but just wasn’t feeling feta, so stole some of my mom’s Muenster. I’ve never been much of a cheese fan – I enjoy feta, goat cheese, and good mozzarella, but never in a diehard way. Growing up, I remember preferring Muenster, and felt like having it tonight. Wasn’t impressed…I’ll stick with my feta, thank you.

The beans with carrots was a lovely idea, if I say so myself. I’m thinking carrots baked in pasta sauce might be a new craze of mine.

And I’m a little concerned – I didn’t have a hankering for bread today! And rather, went with crackers. I hope I’m not phasing out of my bread adoration! I quite like visiting my friendly bakers every so often. Maybe it’s because this loaf isn’t as good as the others?

Oh! And for those wondering – the $1.89/gallon for gas came about because Price Chopper has a thing where for every $50 you spend there, you earn $0.10 off a gallon of gas at Sunoco stations. It carries over each shopping trip but once you use it you start back over. Since neither of us had used it for gas in a while, we accumulated 90 cents off!

_________________

Horsey Blah-Blah

There;s so much you can tell about a horse's personality just by looking at their eyes...

Teddie was a champ again today. In fact – I’ve been really proud the past three days! He’s been very agreeable and easy to work with and around. It probably seems like I’m saying that all the time, and should really tell more about the times when he tests my willpower – because working with young, green horses is not all sunshine and smiles ๐Ÿ˜‰ In fact, I sort of sensed he was maybe getting a little unhappy in his work a couple weeks ago, so backed off on work. I now do undersaddle work Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, though soon will probably be adding in one more day. On his days off, I still stop by just to love on him. I think it had a lot to do with being in a home where he just was a lawn ornament, basically – and here, it’s work, work, work!

But, it’s important that horses have fun with their work, so I backtracked and added in more “play time,” so that we could bond and learn about each other. It’s certainly worked – his personality is really coming out! When he first came, he was a lot more reserved. Didn’t care if I brushed him or not, but he was still sweet and always came up to me. Now, he’ll just stand in his paddock while I rub him all over, totally making the “oooh, right there!” face and lip wiggle. It’s pretty adorable.

And then there was the day I mentioned where I had to be a “mean mom” and have a discussion with him about what I wanted when I told him walk on – and that I wanted a response! I think this came about when I asked him for too much, too soon. Longer trot works than he was comfortable and fit for. It’s all too easy to forget that just because we’re fit enough to trot for a couple laps around the ring – even that much might put a previous lawn-ornament out of breath. Hence, just slamming on the breaks. Since this issue, I’ve been more careful to have limited trot work, but enough to build his fitness. In this case, I think it was also a spoiled issue – he wanted to stop, so he did. I am certain he wasn’t on the verge on having a heart attack before I made him go. forward. though, don’t worry ๐Ÿ˜› For all I know – maybe this is why he went to auction and just stopping has worked in the past to get him out of work!ย The issue hasn’t really risen since our discussion. I also make sure to make it my idea to stop- never his.

So lately, this is our typical 25 or so minute undersaddle session:

  • 5 mins walk work on a light contact, lots of figures, but generally just getting him focused, attentive, and supple. Main figure is down the centerline, circling to the right 10m until back on the cL – straight for a couple steps, circle left 10m – straight, circle 10 m right, repeated all the way down.
  • 10 mins walk work on a bit more of a contact, still with lots of figures but really making him bendย aroundย my leg and give to the contact (though not “on the bit”) the figures generally include serpentines, 10m. circles, spiraling in and out of a 20m circle, hourglass figures, leg yielding (quasi, anyways)ย occasionalย “whoa” is thrown in, but we don’t drill that since he knows it quite well, almost too well. hah.
  • 5 mins trot work (ish) – both directions, simple 20m. circles, change of direction across the long diagonal. stopping is on my terms, not his!
  • 5 mins walk work with more contact, working on getting him to really lift and give to the bit. He’s been doing quite well with this lately, though I’m not concerned as much with this. Forward is most important, first! But, since he is quite good about giving to the bit, figured I might as well incorporate a little!
  • “cool out” on a long rein, cool out being in quotes because it’s not like it was hard work…aha. but, regardless – allowing him to stretch down and out, and I still do a lot of figurey type things from seat and leg, with next to no contact with the bit.

I know that’s long, and I doubt many read it – but if not for my own personal “Teddie Diary,” of sorts – thought it might be interesting to those of ย you working with young horses. I always make sure to mix up my figures and such – but if you have any you find really good for young, learning minds, please do share ๐Ÿ™‚

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Back In Order

It seems like ages that I’ve actually gone through a post in order, as my day ocurred. Of course, by forever I mean a couple of days, but who’s really counting? It’s been forever.

Normally, it’d have been a waffle day today, but my mom had to work so we just decided to carpool, and I’d barn it up while she worked it up. Which meant leaving a bit earlier than usual.

And for the sake of sleeping in an extra couple minutes on what’s left of my weekend – I just went with overnight oats. Carrot cake overnight oats. Oh, yess – it’s been too long, my friends.

The Oats:

The carrot was just sitting there (for some reason) so innocently. It’s like it was begging to be people food instead of the horse food it was bought for, you know?

And I don’t know what fruit goes better with carrot cake than bananas. And figs.

And maple syrup, wheat germ, ginger preserves, and a ton of cashew pieces.

Those aren’t all fruits, but work with me here.

Carrot Cake Oats, let’s not let it be ten years until we see each other again.

You’re kinda nice to have around.

You might even be better in overnight form than stove-top. (ooh la la!)

Pony Talk!!

I really enjoyed my morning at the barn today. I had planned on meeting another girl there to ride together, but she overslept so it was just Mr. Pony and I…and it was nice. I enjoy having people around – but that’s how it was every other time I went this week, so it was difficult to really ride him. Each time we’d kinda take it easy, moreso working on “yes, life goes on when another mare is in the ring,” and I’d do a lot of groundwork, too. Since he hates that stuff, I didn’t want to burn him out with a half hour ride, too. So, this morning we did some ground work and a good ride. He was good, and is beginning to accept the bit more and more. A little more wiggly than usual, though. I haven’t attempted canter yet, but have started lunging him before rides again for the sole purpose of getting a canter with tack before I’m in the saddle. He still thinks it’s time to celebrate in that first stride, so I’ll probably just have to make sure I’m ready for that the first time around ๐Ÿ˜‰

I wanted to give him a bath afterwards, but being the bad mom I am, I only grabbed conditioner, not shampoo – so just did a quick wash with some liniment ๐Ÿ™‚ My bad mom moment #2 was when I realized my batteries in my camera were dead after getting him all prettied up and putting his dopey fly mask on ๐Ÿ˜€

Lunch

I confess, I feel like I’ve been in a food rut lately. I’m still really enjoying my food – just haven’t had anything new lately, you know?! I need ideas for fun snacks and meals and stuff. Like, sandwich ideas!! I will never tire of sandwiches. Or salads. So tell me all about your new finds and obsessions!!

So, all I thought up for lunch today was a simple sammie with local peppered goat cheese and jam. Delicious (anything is delicious on this bread) and simple. But not new.

I have been enjoying my fair share of yogurt messes, however! Typically they involve plain greek yogurt, agave or honey, nuts, granola, and fruit. This particular one was no exception – the last of my brown cow plain greek yog, honey, a peach, galaxy granola, and honey roasted peanuts.

The afternoon involved fixing the barn that the ponies decided to push a board off of (???) and playing with them. We tried introducing Jiggy into their paddock area so that we could keep the four of them together (we’ve had them separated so far) but there was too much commotion. Jiggy tends to be a bully.

We took them for a nice little walk in-hand down the road, though. They seemed to have fun, and Georgie is getting much easier to approach. Knock on wood – she wasn’t so sure about us after we put Jiggy in there with them! :O

Oh! And how could I forget – I also made banana bread! But not just any banana bread. Amanda’s Blissful Banana Bread! And blissful it was. I made a few slight changes based on what I had – but if you’re searching for a good banana bread recipe, this is the one. I ended up having to use white whole wheat flour instead of spelt, 4 bananas, honey instead of maple syrup (and a little bit less than 1/4 c.) and sunflower seed butter rather than coconut. I really wanted to use coconut – but I only had cacao bliss and wasn’t sure how that would fly ๐Ÿ˜› I also added in some figs! So. Dang. Blissful.

You know what else I find blissful? Big ol’ salads. Yeah – another salad. Sorry! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying them, however. In the bowl tonight:

and topped it all with a homemade ranch dressing! I’m always talking about my homemade ranch dressing, so here ya gooo:

Ranch Dressing:

  • 2 heaping tablespoons Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 t. garlic salt with parsley
  • 1 t. dried chives (or fresh)
  • dash black pepper
  • 1/8 t. dried dill
  • 1/8 t. dried basil
  • 1 T. almond milk (optional, to thin)

Combine everything and there you go! Easy peazy. And you’re not stuck with a whole bottle of the stuff if youย justย need to cure a quick ranch dressing craving. The almond milk can be left out if you’d prefer it for a dip or sandwich spread. Or just like really thick dressings.

Hey, I dunno…maybe you do!

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Eggplant Strata

I think this is my most blunt post-title thus far. I’m sort of proud.

Some housekeeping, before I forget:

  1. I am so so sorry if any new readers have left comments and I haven’t responded in any way, shape, or form. Something inspired me to go through my comments marked as “spam” automatically today, and found a bunch of legitimate comments and pingbacks. Whaaa?! Couldn’t quite figure it out myself, but I felt bad because some of them are from weeks ago!! So, check your “spam” every so often, kids!
  2. I loved reading everyone’s “if I’m being honest…” comments!! I forgot to mention it in the next days post. I think my favorite might have been Freya‘s: ย she mentioned she had a dream where she peeled a peach…and when someone questioned the act, said “because Jess does.”
  3. I bought age-defying foundation today because apparently Revlon stopped making my favorite foundation. The closest I could find was this stuff called “instant age rewind.” I think I was unconsciously fascinated by the fact that it has goji berries in it. Hopefully I don’t look like a 5 year old tomorrow.
  4. Apparently in the state of Vermont, a “detour” means “ten minutes out of your way, but we’ll get you there eventually.”
  5. Apparently Vermont has a lot of diaper-rashed babies. I was looking for some for Teddie (apparently it helps keep the bugs out of their booty) and there was no store-brand stuff left on the shelves. The Desitin was too pricey for a “it might work, it might not” situation. Sorry buddy.
  6. Make the following eggplant strata STAT.

For dinner tonight, I whipped up this project based on Moosewood’s Eggplant Strata recipe. It is in Low-Fat Favorites, and while I kept the idea the same, I decided to switch up the flavors a bit. It’s great for a hot day, because it’s actually served cold, and the only cooking you need to do is broiling the eggplant – which can easily be done in a toaster oven. Not only that – but it gets better the longer it sits. Helllooo, leftovers.

Not to mention it’s mom-approved.

Eggplant Strata

adapted from Moosewood’s Low Fat Favorites

serves 2-4

Part One:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • salt

Cut off the ends of the eggplant so that it can stand up. Peel two of the sides off and discard, and then cut into 1/2″ thick strips. Arrange on a pan to broil them, sprinkling with salt and balsamic. Broil for about ten minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, prepare the fillings.

Part Two:

  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • lemon pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • salt (to taste – I didn’t add any because the beans are already pretty salty. your call.)
  • 1 t. olive oil

Combine all in a medium bowl and mash, or, if you’re feeling motivated, blend them in a blender or processor.

I preferred them having some chunks, though, and since the processor will be needed for the next step, didn’t feel like washing and drying in between. Call me lazy, it’s okay.

Part Two:

  • 1 1/2 T. goat cheese (I used Peppered goat cheese)
  • 3 T. feta cheese (I used tomato & basil feta)
  • 3 T. almond milk
  • 1/4 of a roasted red pepper
  • 2-3 leaves, chopped, of fresh basil
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 3 chopped sundried tomatoes (I used the dried kind, not in oil or rehydrated)

Microwave goat cheese for a couple seconds, just to get it softened. Add in the almond milk and feta, and whisk until combined.

Add in the remaining ingredients, and combine.

Part Three:

  • 1 medium Roma tomato, chopped
  • 7 basil leaves (small-medium sized)
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Place all in a processor, and puree.

Putting it all together:

By the time all the fillings are made, your eggplant should be ready. Perfect timing!

Let the eggplant cool a bit, and then cut into approximately 1/2″ strips.

Line the bottom of a loaf pan with plastic wrap (this is the hardest part of the whole recipe. Does anyone else despise that stuff?) and then place in 1/3 of the eggplant slices, going parallel to the short sides of the pan.

I made sure the bottom layer (to be top layer) was pretty snug and cozy.

Press in all of the chickpea mash. I had some more roasted red peppers, so added those on top, too.

Layer on another third of the eggplant, remembering to go parallel to the short sides, and then all of the cheese mixture.

Spoon on the tomato mixture,…

and then the remaining eggplant slices. As you can see, my eggplant ended up being a bit small ๐Ÿ˜›

Place plastic wrap over the top, and press down firmly. If you have a pan to fit inside, place the pan on top.

And then let sit in the fridge for as long as you want, until you’re ready to eat. Moosewood’s suggests at least two hours, or even overnight. I only waited about an hour and it was still delicious.

To plate, just remove the top piece of plastic wrap, place a plate over the top, and quickly flip.

nom-licious!!

I enjoyed my portion over some local lettuce – hey, I was gonna have a salad, anyways. It made a great dressing!! And some is already waiting for me for tomorrow night. Perfff!

But dinner wasn’t the only exciting thing today. So was breakfast. Yes, yes – waffles, but in carrot cake form!

I can’t remember if I’ve made carrot cake waffles before, even though it’s one of my favorite oats concoction, even if I have gotten rather lazy when it comes to shredding carrots. Why does shredding carrots seem like such a chore to me?

I just used my usual waffle recipe, but added in one small shredded carrot, lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Oh and I’ve been getting rather forgetful and haven’t been using the applesauce lately. I think I could probably throw ice cream on my waffle maker and still get a waffle, though.

Okay, maybe not.

The funky-lookin’ drizzle stuff was an icing mix of almond milk, chunky peanut butter, and chia seeds. It was delicious…

as were the toppings, which was one chopped, peeled peach microwaved with a chopped Turkish fig and some maple sizzurp. The usual earth balance and ginger preserves were on thurr, too ๐Ÿ™‚

aaaand, before I let you go, the funny comment of the day, said by a little girl just arriving at the barn as I was tacking Teddie up to ride:

Oh, good, you’re all done! Uh, not that I didn’t want you to ride…. (voice trails off)

I’d only met her one other time, and apparently Teddie left quite the impression – the one other time just happened to be Teddie’s first time seeing another horse in the ring with him at the same time…and he was a crazy man ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think he wowed her with his gentlemanly manners today, though. His ground work is improving by miles, although he’s still like a five year old child who needs his binkie.

I can’t help but laugh: imagine me, middle of the ring, coaxing and trying a million different things to get an adorable pony to drop the leadrope, while he stands there as if there’s not a problem in the world. Hmph. Good thing he’s adorable.

On a positive note, I no longer hope to have the barn to myself just so I can get a ride in. Now if there’s other people riding, too – all the more fun! Of course, go figure – there’s never very many people around ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I think this was our busiest week yet.

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