Tag Archives: horse

Chutney Chickpeas (and TEDDIE!)

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

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

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

This is why I’m hot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry, Ted.

Oh,yeah…anyways. About that food thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chutney Chickpea One-Pot

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

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

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

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

Serve with some crusty bread or a grain!

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

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

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

Going Bananas over Cashew Butter

You may recall that I’m often saying I’m relatively laid back. Not much ruffles my feathers, if you will.

This morning, I realized something.

I realized that’s all lies.

Do you see what's missing? It starts with "b" and rhymes with "shmershmanas"

Because I get upset about bananas.

I was somewhere in the middle of demanding my sister tell me what happened to my bananas, prompting her to tell me if she’d eaten any, and rifling through her purse and lunch box before I stopped myself and had this sudden epiphany of “oh my heavens, what has become of me. I’m being selfish over bananas.”

Sure, you can have my kidney.

Hell, take my liver, too!

But heaven forbid you eat my bananas. Because then the pancake batter that I’ve so lovingly prepared to go along with those non-existant bananas will, in fact, hit the fan.

Muffins I made Tuesday. There were 9 large ones and a dozen mini ones. I've only eaten one. None of my food is safe around here these days.

I guess it’s a good thing, so I’ll just look at it that way. Even if last night I had three bananas left and this morning, 0. The other night, I still had a quarter of a loaf left of  an orangey-coconut barley flour loaf, and the next morning, none. So finally I made these muffins that were politely requested, using barely any sugar, and braced for the “these are terrible!” remarks, but apparently that wasn’t necessary.

I think we have secret leprechauns hiding in our cabinets that come out at night-time, because there’s only four of us. March is just around the corner, you know.

Luckily, being rendered banana-less doesn’t mean the world has stopped turning. I don’t think. I mean, I’ve still got three more days to go before I make it to the store because I’ve pledged no more groceries until Sunday, but I’m pretty confident that the apocalypse won’t come because of this occurrence.

Knock on wood.

Being all thrifty and wanting to save money lately, I decided to take it upon myself to make cashew butter.

Cashoo butter, if you will.

I guess I’m not really sure if that makes sense, since I don’t recall how much I spent on those cashews, but I’m sure the price would end up being pretty close.

At least I feel like I’m being more resourceful/economical/thrifty.

Do these pictures convey how runny it was?! Because it was. I was so giddy. It is so delicious. Cashew butter is easily my favorite nutbutter. So smooth and creamy all on its own. I refrained from adding anything to it, because I just love the plain cashew flavor it has on its own!

Well, I did add a bit of oil – but just because based on everything I read, it tends to be on the drier side, and the jar of it I had prior had oil in it, too. You could omit it, but I wanted it runny so I added it. It’s negligible, really, so you might as well just add it since it improves the consistency that much.

Cashew Butter

  • 1 1/2 c. salted cashews
  • 1-2 t. olive oil

In a food processor, blend cashews first, it took me about 5 minutes. When butter-like in consistency but a bit dry, add in the oil. Blend about 4-5 more minutes, until silllllky smooooth!

Such a shame all that gets wasted, too difficult to scoop out and into the jar…

Hah, syyyyke. You wouldn’t think I’d let all that creamy, cashewy goodness go to waste, did you?! You’d be silly.

I’m not sure, though. Between my pancake breakfast for lunch on Tuesday, and my clean-out-the-cashew-butter with bread lunch today, I’m probably being shunned by other health bloggers blog-wide. Please don’t hate. (appreciate?)

If it makes me look any better, at least the cleaning up was mainly done with homemade pumpernickel…which I realize is actually terribly unappealing, but there will be a post dedicated to this baby soon.

Although, speaking of babies – maybe I ought to mention how much of a rockstar Teddie was today after his little vacation. Oh, yes – it was 20* when I woke up this morning and was about ready to go running around outside in shorts and a t-shirt it felt so warm. Which meant Teddie’s sweet vacation must come to an end.

I thought his little eyeballs were going to pop out of his head when he saw a new scary monster in a new corner (now there’s scary things in all but one corner – eyeroll) but he was surprisingly gentlemanly about it. Truth be told, it scares me, too – it’s a cart (to be pulled behind a horse) that is quite large and propped against the wall.

He probably knows exactly what it is and is afraid I’m going to hook it up behind him. Maybe that’s why he was so good undersaddle…hmmmmmmm…

Now. Go protect your bananas. And make some cashew butter while you’re at it.

Are you “possessive” over anything? I should clarify that I wasn’t legitimately upset about the banana issue, but I was a little baffled and a little disgruntled I couldn’t have my grilled banana this morning. Eh well, it’s good for me to start having to think outside of the banana.

In terms of the baked stuff, I enjoy sharing because I know what the alternative is and I’d rather the fam eat homemade stuff than pure sugar from a box or bag :/

Have you ever made your own nutbutter? What was your favorite combo?

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Filed under baking, banana, breakfast, food, food blog, health, healthy living, horseback riding, lunch, muffins, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, teddie, vegan, vegetarian

Still Goin’

I’m still goin’ from the busy weekend and busy day…but only because I’m a glutton for punishment. I could have slept all day today if I so chose…but where’s the fun in that?

Instead, today, I relied on old standbys in the kitchen, prepping foodstuffs for the week.

There's something you haven't seen in a while.

First up once I got home from the barn, was bread. Those of you who have read me for a while now, know that a. I’m bad at making bread, and b. recently found the best bread ever. Those of you may also know that I was disappointed in my most recent loaf.

This encouraged me to give it another go. This recipe was my “victim.” I mean, c’mon…I was following a recipe straight from the bread machine book. There was no way I could fail.

Right?

We’ll see.

Chunkier Chunks of Energy - Oatmeal Raisin form!

Next up was an oatmeal raisin variation of my chunkier chunks of energy.

I’m pretty oatmeal raisin obsessed lately. I mean, lets think about it – it’s the perfect flavor! Not too sweet, warmth from the cinnamon, heartiness from the oat. Yes, please.

For this variation, I used honey rather than maple syrup, added a heaping 1/2 t. of ground cinnamon, a pinch of ground nutmeg, and 1/3 c. raisins instead of the papaya or coconut. I also used less honey than the 1/8 c. maple syrup. I thought they could do with less sweetness.

You know the recipe's a winner when it's made more than once in a matter of weeks.

I also put a bunch of split-open bananas that my mom brought home from work to good use in Amanda’s banana bread. I don’t think I’ve had a better banana bread experience yet! The girl’s a genius.

I baked in my toaster-oven again, and yielded two smallish sized loaves. Direct into the freezer after a couple of tastes and dessert for the fam 🙂

I’m all out of spelt flour, though – and subbed with white whole wheat. I also used honey rather than maple syrup, and peanut butter rather than coconut butter. And added – you guessed itraisins and pecans.

I also threw together my eggplant strata in a larger batch than last time, and some chickpea cutlets. You’ll see the strata soon – and I didn’t cook the cutlets yet. By then I was almost out of steam, and figure they’ll keep just fine if I bake/fry them as needed.

I resisted the urge for oatmeal raisin waffles for the plum that was screaming to be used.

So that was [part of] my afternoon – how did it all begin? Well, the waffle way of course! It is a Tuesday, after all.

Afterwards, though – it was of course Teddie time. I haven’t really gotten into detail as to what our “issues” are just because I haven’t had the time – but I’m hoping today was a step in the right direction.

Topped with banana, plum, maple syrup, cashews, and chia icing

On Saturday, he basically gave A and I the big middle finger when we asked him to do anything. Which is funny, because he warmed up amazing – wonderfully supple, if not a bit spooky, as I’d mentioned. Then it all went downhill. He’d just randomly slam on the brakes and kick out. After about 20 minutes of this, I was beginning to feel like I was really pushing my luck, so just hopped off with the intention to lunge his booty off. A walked in at the knick of time and offered to hop on.

As I mentioned – he was just as monstrous for her, and he really never got over whatever his issue was. He even nailed the wall a couple times. I hope it hurt.

She finally found an okay note to end on, though.

I bought my lunch at the same store I bought the horse's lunch today. Hah! Just kidding. Couldn't forget about Kaia though!

Sunday, I wasn’t looking forward to how it was going to go, but remained optimistic because that’s the attitude that gets you places. He wasn’t as bad – did fine at first, but still did the stopping thing. Rather than be a real brat, though – he’d just sort of stop, shuffle around without going forward, and then finally sigh and go. I kept it light, and when he’d gone around in an agreeable manner, took him for a walk down to the outdoor and around it a few times.

I'd been missing my Green Monster lunches. It'd been too long! For this one, I blended a banana, a peach, spinach, vanilla chobani, a couple of dates, and flax oil. Topped with quick oats, marcona almonds, dried apricots, peanut butter, and honey!

So then today I decided maybe it’s pain that’s causing him to act this way. I realize at his stage in training it’s very common for horses to test their limits, but I also want to make sure he’s not acting out because something is hurting him. While I’m pretty confident in my saddle fitting knowledge, I was wondering if maybe my saddle was pinching him a bit. Or, maybe he was just tired of the indoor (and working) and working without another horse. So, I tried him with my close contact saddle.

He was much better – would still test me but all he did was stop and with a little pop he’d resume his walk. We squeeked out a pretty agreeable trot, too, and then I hacked him around outside a bit.

So, long story short – maybe it’s my saddle, or maybe he just needed an attitude adjustment. I think it’s sort of a combination of green-ness (wanting to test his limits) and boredom. That and – Haflingers are practically known for being a bit lazy.

I had some of my strata on a bed of farmer's market lettuce with some Ragu and a big dollop of garlic hummus.

Ironically enough, my friend asked me if he could use me and Teddie for a “photo story” assignment he has for his photo class. So Thursday you’ll see some Teddie pictures! I told him his story might involve a bucking pony, but if you ask me – that’d make a pretty good story. I’ve always maintained that if I get dumped, I want it on film, you know? So we’ll see how it goes 😉

There was an ear of corn leftover from last night, and I claimed it before anyone else could. In typical Jess fashion, I enjoyed it with some butter, salt, and parmesan cheese.

Sorry this was such a horse-intensive post, but I just felt like even though only a couple of days had passed since I gave an update – a lot has been missed! That and, I’m always sharing the “glitz and glamour” of young horses, when in reality – training bumps always pop up. Usually, when you least expect it!

I was quite eagerly waiting for my bread to be done - and timed it so it was just as I was finishing dinner. Perfect! Now I had something to soak up the leftover "dressing" with.

But, while maybe Teddie hasn’t been smooth sailing the past couple of days, this lovely lady is doing great!

Georgie says Haiiii.

I’ve been working with her at least every other night, usually involving hopping on and walking around a bit. And my mom sat on Maya (tacked up) for the first time tonight!

They both seem like they’ve been handled a bit roughly, so we’re taking it slow. They’re both very affectionate and we’re really enjoying working with them, though! I can so picture Georgie as being a perfect little hunter pony. Maybe you wouldn’t think it from the pictures since she is…well, a Haflinger – but she’s got a beautiful, floaty trot and a naturally nice head carriage.

So – now that you’re all horsed out, I feel like I’ve finally caught up with life! I was terrible photographing anything other than my main meals that made it into my gullet today – whoopsies!

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

Scattered

Lets have a scattered post day, shall we?

Kitchen Experiements

I am all out of muffins, and have been for a couple of days now. This is sad to me. I love having one of my muffins for dessert. And I especially loved the PB Branana Muffins I made recently. It’s also been way too hot to turn on the oven.

I was going to make them again, but then remembered the BSI this week is applesauce. And so I changed my plans a little. Yet still failed to come up with something suitable to enter.

Why?

Well, these muffins taste good. But, there were some glitches in the experimenting. Take, for instance, trying to bake a big loaf (instead of the intentional muffin) in a small toaster oven.

Yes. I went there. But!! I’m still going to post the recipe because I am 99% sure if you are just able to bake them as muffins you would have a much greater success rate.

Quinoa Carrot Muffins

  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 3/4 c. applesauce (unsweetened, all-natural)
  • 1 T. milled flaxseed
  • 1/3 c. Xagave
  • 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 2 T. coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. ginger
  • 1 1/4 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 2 chopped Turkish figs
  • crystallized ginger (optional, for the top)

Whisk together the milk, applesauce, and flax. Allow to sit one minute, and then whisk in agave.


In separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
Add wet to dry, and combine. Do not overmix.
Fold in quinoa, carrots, figs and pecans.


Pour into muffin tins and bake at (I’m guessing here) 350* for 20 minutes. Don’t take my word for it, though. I sprinkled chopped crystallized ginger on top, too.

They are moist and delicious, but my batch is ugly. I figured that would happen. I baked it for about half an hour…took it out…flipped it over in the pan…baked about 20 more minutes…thought it was done…cut into it…was sorta gooey. Cut it into chunks about the size of a muffin, put on the baking sheet that came with the oven, and baked longer. Then they were done 🙂  So, they will certainly be making an appearance again. Except in real muffin form.

The Morning

Everyone was sleeping still when I woke up! And I even slept until 7. Looks like these guys were out late partying.

Maya and ???

Apologies for the poor photography. I didn’t feel like putting shoes on, so shot from the deck 😛

Jiggy. He's alive, I promise.

Kaia was up, though I don’t know how she felt about it:

Really, mom?

And SaBaay always wants to say hello, too:

She looks so mean. She's not.

For a cat, she's doing a pretty good "cow."

I had to take advantage of the pretty fog we had this morning – sorry! Moving on. I was obviously too lazy to change my lens. Work with me here.

The Eats:

Really good waffles. I'd missed them.

Peaches were on sale for $0.68/lb yesterday. Score. Obviously, they will be much loved this week.

Waffles! Except, I’ve been buying the honey flavored Kashi puffed cereal. Very good, as well. For some reason, these waffles were better than usual, maybe for that reason. Or maybe because it’s been a couple of days and I missed them more than I’d realized.

The Toppings:

And yes, I do still let my waffles get soggy before eating them. The juices from the fruit combined with the agave melting into the waffle is just too perfect for words.

Lunch was amaaaaze today.

A tomato sandwich, but not being a mayo person, I made it with a ranch dressing – greek yogurt, garlic salt, pepper, dill, and chives – and pepper goat cheese.

Why yes, yes that is a boatload of smoked sea salt that my snap peas are swimming in. And yes, yes that is fresh lettuce from our garden. Minor gloat.

Fun Fact: I’ve probabbly eaten my body weight x ten in sweet cherries today. I feel like a farmer spitting out chew when I spit the seeds out, because I’m not classy enough to cut them or de-pit them first.

Best snack ever. If I'm home, anyway.

Kashi, oats, trail power, honey roasted peanuts, sunflower seed butter, cherries, almond milk.

I found a kidney bean in my chickpeas when I was making dinner. Random.

I had leftover quinoa, so naturally that had to star in dinner. I made a quick cold quinoa salad with:

  • quinoa
  • chickpeas
  • sliced cherries
  • fresh basil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

And let it chill for a while in the fridge. When it was time for dinner, I served it over a bed of lettuce from the garden, snap peas, and red pepper and made a quicky yogurt-dressing by mixing greek yogurt, cranberry-orange jam, dijon mustard, and fresh basil. I thinned it with a splash of almond milk. This was a great combo of flavors, if I may say so myself 😉

The Ponies

My mom tried her hand at momography while I rode Teddie this morning. Teddie was a superstar once again. Mom was a superstar at momography. Which, as you may know, means a work in progress at photography. I’m just grateful to have someone with me though, so I won’t complain! It’s actually difficult to find someone to take good riding pictures because there’s a certain point in the stride that you need to press that button. Otherwise, it’s just not a pretty picture.

And that’s the “pretty point” in the trot. Although I’m mildly embarrassed at how popped my collar is. He’s stepping up nicely, though. And honestly, I’m just glad he’s quieter with the bit at the trot, so I’m still not asking for much.

Showing off for my mom. He’s a ham.

This isn’t flattering for either party involved, but he has the cutest face, doe she not? Proud mom here, bear with me.

Practicing our centerline!

As for Maya and yet-to-be-named, they are the sweetest things ever. Especially Maya! Yet-to-be-named is sweet, but sometimes plays “hard to get,” in that she’ll walk away at first but after a minute or two of just letting her think it out she comes over and ends up loving the attention! We took them both out for a little walk down the road in-hand and they did very well, even when Mel and Jiggy charged the fence 😉 My mom took Maya and I yet-to-be-named. We have our favorites I think 😉 Yet-to-be-named reminds me of a female Teddie!

I’m off to find my cell phone, finish a massive load of laundry (when did I become so awful about putting off laundry?!) and if tonight is anything like last night, do a little bit of yoga, too 🙂

So, I’ve blabbed long enough – what was the highlight of your weekend?!

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Haircuts and Hummus

Is it obvious, yet, that I’ve gone through a bread withdrawal?

Yeah, I thought so. Hence the flaxy french toast that just had to happen this morning! Just making up for lost…bread.

I dipped the slices of fresh bread into a mixture of:

  • 2 T. milled golden flax
  • 2 T. water
  • 4 T. almond milk
  • almond extract
  • cinnamon

I let it sit for a little bit to get gooey, and then just cooked on both sides on a nonstick pan. Tasted just like “normal” french toast.

Except way better. I have nothing against French toast using eggs, I just wanted to do something a little different, and was sort of curious as to whether flax french toast really actually tasted “legit,” as kids are so often saying these days.

Well, the term legit, anyways. I don’t think there’s a bunch of other kids my age talking about flaxy french toast.

I topped it with a sliced nuked banana and fig mix, along with some icing:

  • spoonful greek yogurt
  • maple syrup
  • splash of almond milk
  • chia seeds

This was a perfect start to my day. I went all morning doing chores and working and riding Teddie, and wasn’t even ravenous when lunch time rolled around. But, since my mom and I were planning on going to an auction this afternoon, I went ahead and ate anyways.

A small yet filling salad!

  • lettuce [from the garden!!]
  • snap peas
  • seitan
  • feta cheese
  • sesame seeds
  • and a “dressing” of hummus mixed with Ragu

and more bread. Because that’s how I roll.

The afternoon consisted of playing with the ponies and horses here and said auction. I think we go to this auction to people watch more than because we are looking for equipment. And we’re obviously not looking for more horses 😉

After our fair share of people watching, though, we moved along to the grocery store where I accidentally purchased $9 worth of cherries. Whoops. They were on sale, but all of the bags were huge, and I wasn’t about to start separating cherries like you can bananas.

Although, I did overhear one reassuring conversation:

Mom 1: “Did you want cookies too, Jane? Oh, wait, you don’t do cookies with lunch.”

Mom 2: “Uh, no, my kids get hummus.”

My mom: “Good choice!”

If I was closer I probably would have grinned and said something similar, although I guess that Mom 1 could have found that rude.

After we got home and took care of all the animals it was getting late, so I just threw together an old faithful. Well, almost. I’ve realized when I don’t have any ideas for dinner, I just grab a sweet potato and roll with it. I also decided I wanted honey curry chickpeas with broccoli. And then my irrational brain said “hey, salad is good too.” So, for whatever reason, I chose to combine salad with sweet potato and honey-curry chick peas. This could have worked it the lettuce was spinach, but I only had buttercrisp…which was sort of a failure and I ate around it.

But, the sweet potato and honey curry chickpeas were phenomenal. I love the honey and curry mix. Just simmer almond milk, honey, and curry powder with chickpeas, and today I added in broccoli and red pepper, too. It’s even better when you have time to roast the sweet potatoes the same way, but I just microwaved it tonight.

And now I’m watching the news, which is talking about Iron Kids – oh my gawww, these kids rock!!

_________________________________________________

Pony Tales!

I’m going to try to be more diligent about separating food & horses just because I know some people probably find it confusing and/or boring 😛 But – Teddie was amazing this morning! I think we had the best ride yet, but we also had a challenge in the beginning – a mare being worked in the indoor, oh boy!! The little things are so exciting for his little mind 😉 He was pretty interested when we were grooming him in the aisles, and when the girl was cooling her out we asked if it’d be alright if we walked Teddie around in there, too. Normally it’s fine to share the ring – but I didn’t want him to be stupid and ruin her ride. He was actually really good with her also in the ring, so I went ahead and lunged him a couple minutes before hopping on him for a great w-t ride.

And as for the two new ponies – well, Maya got a haircut!

Yeah, we’ve already switched her name. We kept wanting to say Maya instead of Mia. Anyways. Look at this dredlock she had!

And we also cut her forelock so maybe she can actually see now 😉

Okay, so maybe it looks a little dorky, but it’s really hard to cut a horse’s forelock! I wasn’t about to pull it like you would a mane!

She is such a sweet heart. Just wants to be loved!! And we actually think that she is the mother of the other mare – her udder looks more like a mare who has been a mother, and, judging by her teeth, she is older.

And if her forelock still looks long, here’s a comparison to what is was:

This little girl is a little more shy, but warms up fast. She’s my pick 😉 And she still needs a name! We were just saying random things trying to see what “fit,” haha. I think we went through Roomba, Peaches, Nina, Lena, Aria, Austria, Loki, and I can’t even remember what else. Anyone have any suggestions?! Peaches stuck for a while, and then I said what about Lena but my mom thought I said Nina. My mom likes Nina, but I don’t 😛

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It’s Raining Ponies

Cousin It found its way into our backyard today:

That’s a lot of hair. But, before I introduce you to our two newest comrades, lets do a lowdown on today.

I loved overnight oats yesterday morning so much that I decided to make some for this morning, too. Waffles aren’t very time consuming at all – but when it’s this hot, every second in the kitchen counts, and I wanted to get to the barn before another sweltering day.

I used the same base as yesterday, except with more Peppy Kernels and regular chia seeds instead of Ruth’s. I love the goldenberries and the mulberries of the trail power mix, and let to sit in the mixture overnight makes it that much better.

I tried to make the toppings pretty, but it’s really hard to do when an entire plum and banana is involved, and that’s hardly half of it. Eventually, I just said to heck with it 😉 On the top:

And yes, I did microwave the fruit and plum. I’m probably a raw foodist’s nightmare – I love microwaving my fruit if it’s going on oats or waffles of any sort!

My bad mom story of the day: I went out to work Teddie-kins before it was scorching – I figured he’d be fine with 20 minutes of walk/trot work. He was being sort of a punk – not naughty, but was more stubborn than usual. We would be going along fine and then he would just stop when we got to a certain point. So, he’d get the boot and off we’d go on our merry way until we got back to the same spot and, all of a sudden, stop. Boot, go, stop. ugh. By then I’d probably been riding him twenty minutes and we were both drenched, but, as with any young animal or horse – you don’t stop until you’re able to end on a good note. Finally, we walked a full circle and trotted a full circle past the “sticky” spot. I stopped to dismount (far away from the “sticky spot,” mind you) and that poor horse stretched out (as they do when they go to pee) and practically peed Lake Champlain. You have no. idea. how awful I felt. Although, he was still a gentleman – never offered to buck or kick out even though I’d have to boot him pretty good to get him to move. If I were him I’d have sent my derriere flying and said “yeah, I wanna see you run around this indoor with a full bladder.” Some horses just don’t like to pee undersaddle, and he’s probably one of them – or at least until he’s more comfortable undersaddle.

Bless his soul.

On a positive note, I cross-tied him today without any problems! And made sure he got a nice hose-down and plenty of grass after my “I’m a terrible mom” moment.

Now that I’ve taken five minutes talking to you about horse pee, lets talk about lunch. (Gosh, I’m weird. I’m surprised you guys stick around.) I guess this could also classify as breakfast #2. I’ll let you decide.

As you may remember, I’m out of bread until tomorrow. Did I mention that tomorrow, there’s a loaf of bread with my name on it? Yeah, special ordered that baby. I hope they make it with extra love.

Of course, considering the poor man makes each loaf individually with a tiny Kitchen-Aid mixer, he probably wishes I would move away already or something 😉

Anyways. Driving home I thought about eggs, and really wanted an egg sandwich. It’s hard to have an egg sandwich when there’s no bread. Enter: Down Home Buckwheat Waffle. Yes, please.  And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. With a banana for bread. Because that’s how I roll.

I made a ranch-esque spread consisting of greek yogurt, garlic salt, pepper, basil, and chives which adorned the waffle along with some roma tomato slices. And a yummy crispy-fried egg.

And iced coffee, since I was obviously fantasizing about that driving home, too.

This lunch was pretty spectacular, if I may say so myself.

I cooled off for a bit before warming myself back up with some yoga sculpt. I don’t do yoga very often – I’ve been doing about 30 consistent minutes every Tuesday and Thursday, maybe some Saturday and Sunday, and if I feel like it a couple minutes at night MWF. But honestly…I already feel such. a. difference. Love.

Anyways. The snackery that occurred: (minus the random handfuls of cherries and dried apricots)

Kashi Puffed grains, sunflower seed butter, dried apricot, greek yogurt, honey roasted cashews, Xagave.

Charlene at The Organic Whey notified me of this whey protein powder, and asked if I’d be interested in trying it. I heard a big truck pull into the driveway when I was dripping with sweat from mucking out the horses and lugging down water for the ponies soon to come, so I was pretty excited to seen this on my doorstep when I went back in.

Especially because I was hungry again but not sure what I wanted! Enter: protein brownie batter! My mix was

It was so. good. I tried this with Tera’s Whey bourbon vanilla the other night, but even though I love Tera’s Whey flavors – it turned out pretty gross! This, however – hit the spot. Probably because it’s not flavored or sweetened, which is going to be awesome to add into bars and muffins and such!

Comparisons, click to enlarge. And also note the serving sizes are slightly different, so take that into consideration.

Tera's Whey

The Organic Whey

I’ll have to keep an eye out for some recipes to put it to use in! For me, I actually like that it has less protein than most…I try to get in my protein with the food I eat, so powders/supplements aren’t really necessary, but I don’t think they’re necessarily bad for a diet, either.

I also made a tabouli-esque salad during the day for dinner tonight.

  • 1/4 c. (dry measure) bulgur wheat
  • 3/4s of a finely diced roma tomato
  • 2 fresh basil leaves
  • garlic salt
  • chives
  • balsamic vinegar

I served it over a bed of local lettuce, and intended to add chickpeas to it for some protein. I forgot about that idea halfway through…so, imagine this bowl half-eaten, but with a bunch of chickpeas and feta added 😉

…and then, as we were finishing up dessert, it was pony central!

Remember the ponies I mentioned a couple of weeks ago? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t. It was a while ago! We were beginning to wonder when they were ever going to deliver them, or if they’d decided not to sell them to us. We’d called enough times and they had our number so finally we started thinking they’d sold them to someone else or had shipped them already.

But, they came tonight! They were soaked with sweat getting off the trailer because it was so hot. Poor guys.  They’re not too skinny, but for Haffies could certainly use some pounds – and definitely some love! I mean…their tails are practically dreadlocked, and just look at this poor girl’s mane and forelock! Don’t think she can even see!

…but she’s got absolutely gorgeous, kind eyes hiding underneath there.

The mare with all the hair is actually the younger one – and is the daughter of the other mare, above. I’m thinking mama is probably crossed with some other pony breed possibly. She’s actually got a pretty cute trot on her, too. She is a little more stand-offish, but I think they’ll both warm up when they learn what affection is!

They haven’t been handled much, but lead and are friendly enough. We saw the mom dragged out of her paddock back in April when we were horse shopping. They just tacked her up and got on her, possibly for the first time ever, but at the very least the first time in years. She didn’t do anything bad but honestly didn’t know what to make of it.

They will be a project for us, that is for sure – but projects are fun 🙂

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Salads in the Summertime

It’s only been two weeks, but I think I’m in love.

Have you ever had a picture taken of yourself/something/someone you love, and everytime you look at it, you just get all giddy inside?

That's how I feel about this picture, and this horse.

I just love the glimmer in his eye, even if I do look like I’m half expecting him to bolt, and half overly excited.

Another funny fact is that that’s actually the compilation of two photos. My mom shot two – and of course one was with me looking like an alien from another planet, and Ted looking quite handsome, as shown here – and one where I looked like a normal, civil human being, and Mr. Pony was gnawing on his bit.

I put my skills to work and in the matter of minutes, a star was born. Work didn’t hire me just for my pretty face, you know. (That’s a joke – I’m not that vein, but it’s a pretty good saying, no?)

Though the more I look at it, the more I think my head is a bit small – and to make a long story short, I guess it’s just funny that I adore this photograph so much when it’s sort of a phoney.

mememe!! pick me!

Before I went on that long tangent, I was thinking about how much I adore this pony. He’s hardly my first, and not even the first I’ve trained.

But for whatever reason, I seem to have come to admire him quicker than any. Maybe because I feel the whole situation was truly meant to be. I never really divulged the story of how we “found” him, but to make a long story just a little bit shorter – my mom just so happened to be eavesdropping during one of the auctions we went to, and before you know it – we discovered Teddie.

His old mom nonchalantly mentioned something about “feedlot” and “Haflinger” to another person, and my mother – the normally quiet, shy person like myself – asked her about her experiences rescuing a horse from the feedlot.

We didn’t know she was trying to rehome him, my mom simply wanted to know her experiences. My mom has rescued horses before, but never from a feedlot situation.

Blue is an elder - and Teddie hardly respects him 😉

Before we know it, we’re headed back to her truck to see some photos of the handsome devil as she casually mentioned she may be trying to rehome him.

And soon after that, we’re exchanging e-mails…and you know how the rest of the story goes.

She hadn’t even advertised him yet.

And she almost didn’t even go to the auction that day.

Kinda like fate, if you ask me.

Lets hope we still love each other for many more moons, hmm?

But, anyways! Sorry for getting all lovey-dovey story-time on you guys…you want to see food, don’t you?! [insert awful Teddie-almost-was joke here. oh, I’m such a bad mom. It’s really not something to joke about.]

A little better?

You didn’t think strawberries were going to end after yesterday, did you? Trust me – you’ll be seeing them very frequently!

I woke up bright and early feeling even more rejuvenated than usual – lately I’ve been taking advantage of sleeping in a half hour extra or so, but I guess I didn’t need it today. I’ll credit it to a mini yoga sesh before bed. I needed to sttrrreeeeeetcchh!

I got busy in the kitchen after some quick bloggie-reading, and made my usual millet oatmeal waffles,and added in some strawberry juice from some nuked berries. Figs also joined the party, as well as cashews and some agave…but I guess I just wasn’t feelin’ the nut butter today. To me, strawberries don’t scream peanut butter as much as some other fruits do!

And who would I be without my coffee?

I knew it was supposed to get hot today, so I wasted no time this morning. I tacked up Mel with my new saddle for a quick ride, just so I could use it a bit before riding in it on Teddie. I didn’t actually end up riding him today, just lunged a bit at the “scary” end of the indoor. He was fine and I thought he’d need a little day off, so I left it at that. That and, I was all alone again.

The saddle seems to fit him well, but I’m hoping to have a fitter out soon, as I think some of the flocking can be taken out for an even better fit. Only the best for my boy!

I cleaned the office while I was out, and came home to a nice cool house, where I leisurely prepared lunch.

Part One

Plain greek yog + strawberries + galaxy vanilla granola + mixed nuts + cinnamon + irish cream agave…

Part Two

Panini with spinach + goat cheese + balsamic and basil marinated strawberries + seitan.

Enjoyed with a beggar

Bashful beggar...

And a blue sky.

Does it get any better?

yum.

Afterwards, my mom came home from Tractor Supply with some fencing supplies, and we got to work strength training.

Err, or maybe putting in a new fence for the ponies soon to come. We only have large areas fenced in for Jiggy and Mel, and wanted a smaller enclosure for when these guys get here. They will not be going out with Jigs and Mel.

We chose to pound in T-posts with a hammer. (well, not a normal hammer, but still – a hammer.)

I’m not sure if T-posts are used for stuff other than horse/animal fencing so I’m not sure if any of you are familiar with the business that is pounding in fence posts – in which case, consider yourselves lucky.I tried convincing my mom to get a T-post pounder because even though they weigh 20 pounds, you can pound the post in in 5 tries. It took us about 5-10 minutes per post with the hammer we had, and it was still a big hammer. By the time we were halfway done, it seemed as if the hammer was fifty pounds and there was a magnet in the ground that refused to allow me to lift it.

I’ve learned that the only days it’s sunny and hot in Vermont are the days you’re planning on doing some fencing. After a couple hours of that, food and hydration was necessary.

Ridiculous. In a good way.

This started out innocent enough – just a giant yog mess, pretty much the same as the one with lunch.

Just bigger.

And then I remembered some things…

Things like Purely Decadent’s coconut milk ice cream I’ve had chillin’ out (literally) in my freezer (it’s a bit chocolatey for me – though mixed with the greek yog it was perfect!) and thus, the final product ended up as such: greek yog + strawberries + chocolate Purely Decadent coconut milk ice cream + coconut + half a Super Charge Me cookie + Annie’s Bunny Grahams + honey.

Holy guacamole.

Enjoyed while browsing through a Smart Pak Equine catalog, where I pondered how Teddie would feel if I made our “colors” black and pink.

Might not fly.

thermometer in feline form.

Mouse is good for determining the weather. When he’s zonked out on the carpet underneath the dining room table, you know it’s hot out. Likewise, when he’s hiding in my room, there’s a storm coming. And when he’s just laying on my bed, chances are it’s going to rain all day.

I disrupted the sleeping panther.

It was nice to be able to come inside to a nice cool, comfy bedroom after all that pacing, pounding, and blister forming (and popping – eww!)

And it wasn’t long until dinner rolled around, where I had yet another salad, again with sweet potatoes and strawberries.

I love sweet potatoes in salad.

is this worthy of the kitchen sink title, rebekah?!

Spinach + romaine + sliced strawberries + roasted sweet poato chunks + roasted broc + diced butter bean cutlet + corn from a cob + salt & pepper – and a dressing of maple dijon + balsamic vinegar + poppyseeds + salt and peppah.

I love salads in the summertiiiiime.

And after-din bike rides. (it cooled down – or rather, a breeze picked up)

and “strawberry shortcake” with peanut butter banana bran muffins serving as the biscuit.

(I know, I know – it’s not summer yet. Don’t burst my bubble)

What’s your favorite summertime meal?

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