Tag Archives: oatmeal

Mondays

Every Monday, my local news channel shows a clip of a rooster cock-a-doodling to help those of us with a “case of the Mondays” to get their sorry bums out of bed.

I needed that rooster this morning. I can’t imagine why, because I was in bed at 8:30. I’ve been on this “go-tobed-early” phase lately. Usually because I enjoy getting up early when I have a day to myself.

It’s just that Monday’s don’t hold much promise.

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Alas, I was up and at-‘em in no time. Feeding my face. Feeding my horses’ faces.  Entertaining random thoughts. You know.

Like envying those of you who have coffee shops that have non-dairy options. I’d love a non-dairy cappuccino. Or hot cocoa. Or latte. Or something.

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And like how something so good [hummus] can be so bad [artichoke kalamata hummus].

Like how insanely lucky I am to have the best pony in the world.

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Like how I’ve been dreaming up the best granola bar recipes for months, only to completely overlook the best one all this time: a banana swimming in peanut butter.

I was definitely a monkey in my past life. I know eating too much squash turns your skin orange…what’s too many bananas do besides keep me up-to-par with potassium?

Like how Vermont has started using cell phone towers that are supposed to look like trees, but since they’re a good many feet taller than the rest of the treeline, they just stick out like sore thumbs. There’s something about trying to blend in that just makes you more noticeable, I think.

Like how obsessed I am with this song.

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Like how random it is to have a man and a woman nuzzling each other on my pumpernickel bread.DSC_3848

Although I was really thinking about how lucky I am to have had the opportunities to form such wonderful friendships with some pretty fantastic people.

Take Tat, for example! She is a constant inspiration to me, and someone I think I will always look up to for her bravery, honesty and generosity.

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We did a fun little swap – I was just expecting date syrup, but was sent so much more, though what really meant the most to me was her wonderful note that she included. It made my night!

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But this pumpernickel wasn’t far behind Winking smile I’d seen Tat blog about it before and was quite envious – I haven’t seen anything like it before. I wasn’t super hungry when I got home from work (weird…) but just had to try it. It is fantastic! Dense, chewy, and full of flavor – reminds me of molasses! I smeared some of the fig preserves she sent me on it, and I am in. loaf. (hey, I haven’t said anything corny yet today – in loaf it is!)

Have you ever had real Pumpernickel?

Mondays – love ‘em or hate ‘em?

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Habits

Ugh. I just had to get my “mean face” on and try to convince that girl who still hasn’t paid me, to pay me. For the second time. I hate being “mean.” And realize blogging about it probably I isn’t the most mature thing to do, but I’m pretty sure I’m not exploiting her or anything.

Girl, if you are reading (you’re not), please pay me.

I have a habit to support.

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I like pumpkin. And I like walnuts. Neither of these mediums are known for being inexpensive. $2.50 a can for pumpkin might not seem like a lot, but it adds up.

Luckily, oats are really cheap.

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And I love bananas, figs, and peanut butter. Yes, all together.

Dried figs are expensive!!

Luckily, bananas are really cheap, and I can make my own peanut butter now.

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Maybe these would be penny candy back in “the good old days,” but no longer – though I still can’t say 5 cents a piece will put me in the poorhouse. Sarena, you’ve gotten me addicted!

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I am loving this bread, and you know what else? Tempeh is pretty inexpensive! I think? I can’t really compare – I haven’t gone ground beef or turkey shopping in a while.

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Kale? Kale usually isn’t cheap. And in case you were wondering, girl who still hasn’t paid me, you caused me to burn it as I was writing you a very carefully worded letter, fretting that I would come across as rude.

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I also have a pretty serious horse habit that needs supporting.

How can you deny these faces?

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And not only that, but I have a wee bit of a cookbook habit.

Check the new additions:

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I smell trouble in paradise for Vegaomicon. Will it share the spotlight with Eat, Drink and Be Vegan, or will one ultimately take center stage?

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And lastly, I’ll mention the co-op habit. I couldn’t resist new flours this time, and graham and 6-grain flours both made their way into my cart.

It’s okay, though – they were inexpensive.

The lesson we’ve learned: it’s okay if you’re too trusting of people, because in the end, it’s always possible to survive on oatmeal, tempeh, ginger chews, and bananas.

But really – why are healthy things so gosh darn expensive?!

Other things:

  • Those of you who found my little “hidden link” in my last post – thank you for your kind words on my work!! It really means a lot to hear.
  • I haven’t had a “baking day” in what seems like ages. I am dying to just get cooking in the kitchen again. Although it probably has a lot to do with the fact that otherwise I’ll have nothing to eat for dinner tomorrow, and am sad to report the finishing of gingerbread muffins.
  • I designed “save the date” magnets over and over again today. If anybody’s getting married, I’ll hook you up.
  • I must look a lot older than I feel. Yesterday I was asked if I have kids. Whaaa?!

What’s a “habit” of yours?

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Squash Banana

I’ve discovered my purpose in life.

To make (and eat) gingerbread overnight oats. Hey – I’ve made gingerbread waffles, gingerbread hot oats, gingerbread birdseed bars…you must have seen it coming! I’m a little bit of a gingerbread fiend – I love it even more than pumpkin, although I think gingerbread is more Christmas-y than Thanksgiving-y, and jumping ahead to December is admittedly quite frightening.

Gingerbread Overnight Oats

  • 1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1/2 of a ripe banana
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • generous pinch of ginger and nutmeg
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • 1/2 T. blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2  c. + 2 T. almond milk

Combine all the ingredients but the almond milk in a bowl, mashing the banana into the oats and other ingredients. When it’s pretty much combined, stir in the almond milk. Cover and refrigerate!

I tasted it before stirring in some vanilla chobani, and it was just right. After the vanilla chobani, though, the gingerbread flavor got a little more muted. Next time I’ll definitely nix the greek yogs!

I was really lazy photographing foods this morning. I just figured…you guys know what some fruit and birdseed bars look like by now!

I did, however – enjoy another fantastic sandwich, though. I’ve been on a roll this week! It was sweet basil pesto tapenade, red onion, sliced apple, and tempeh. The tempeh I grill on the panini maker at work, and then panini the whole sandwich once the tempeh is done. I love that pesto tapenade!

I couldn’t resist playing with the cookies before bringing them in, though. These were a major hit! I think maybe I’ll make it a mission to bake more cookies out of Veganomicon. These were fun to make and I enjoy making things that are genuinely enjoyed, too.

Which makes me think…how great would it feel to run an entire restaurant? cafe? deli? I think I’d fall asleep smiling every night. Food really brings people together…I mean, look in any deli’s dining room, and you’re bound to see smiling faces and stories being told. And not just friends getting lunch at a random place – but the relationship between the deli and the diner. You know, “becoming a regular.” My boss went to get lunch at the place I used to buy bread religiously at (remember?!) and the man came up with a new creation. He gave some to my boss to try, and gave him a piece to bring me, too.

Isn’t that sweet?! I used to go in there every other week…and the bread is really good! I’ve just been having so much fun trying to make my own. I am bound and determined to make a loaf that doesn’t fall! That said, this wasn’t the first time I was sort of tempted to just go buy a loaf just for the sake of buying a loaf.

Do you develop “bonds” with anywhere? A place you frequent, and most recognize you right off?

Anyways. The bread was really good…he’s so creative! The new loaf is made with apple cider instead of water, and has dried and fresh apples in it. The only thing I didn’t like was that it had a strangely chewy texture…but I’m not sure if that’s because it’d gotten a little warm inside the plastic wrap he put it in? Regardless – I toasted it and spread it with some peanut butter and cinnamon. Lovely snack 🙂

Did anyone else adore The Lion King as a kid? I think that’s probably my favorite movie ever. Even still. How adorable is it?! The first Lion King, mind you. Anyways, this isn’t as irrelevant as it seems…because both last night and tonight, when I see this sunshine squash filled with beans and rice, I think of Rafiki’s little gourd thing with paint.

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What was your favorite childhood movie? Maybe I just liked Rafiki because he says (rough translation) “thank you very much squash banana, you’re a baboon and I’m not.” I mean…how cool is he?!

And…other than that, today’s been full of “I have burdocks in my clothes!” Namely, the butt of my pants, but that wasn’t anything I wanted to share with the guys at work. My little monster decides it’s fun to find the practically nonexistant burdock bushes and stick his whole head in them. As in, A and I have no idea where this lone burdock bush is, and neither do any of the other horses, but Teddie sure does. Ugh! This is the worst time of year for them, too – because they’re so dry and you just get a bunch of random tiny little burs down your sleeves and other places that they shouldn’t be, nor does it make sense how they get there – but they are.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and has as great of weather as we are predicted to have!!

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Not What it Seems

Wow.

It seems an overwhelming portion of you have been also chased by a man bearing a chainsaw. I feel not-so-alone now! That doesn’t make me enjoy Halloween any more, however.

It was a chilly one this morning! I didn’t much care for getting out of bed.

…but the promise of overnight oats and hot coffee makes everything better! I’ve had a question or two as to how I make my overnight oats.

  • 1/2 a ripe banana (or other fruit that can be mashed, like a peach, strawberries, pear)
  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 1/3 c. quick oats (or 1/4 c. quick oats, and the rest old fashioned)
  • 1 t. chia seeds
  • cinnamon (a hefty portion!)

The night prior I mash the banana up with the oats, cinnamon, and chia seeds, and then stir in the almond milk. In the morning, I stir in a spoonful of vanilla or plain Chobani – but to make it vegan, just stir in coconut milk yogurt or soy yogurt! Sometimes I’ll add some protein powder the night before, too. Just sort of depends what I’ve got on the cards for the day, I guess!

The rest of my day isn’t as it seems.

What do I mean by that? Well, take, for instance, these figs. I don’t know what I was thinking packing them, as I know I need more of a morning snack than two lone figs.

Luckily, my boss brought in a bunch of apples he’d picked with his kids this weekend, so these figs turned into a baked apple with figs and cinnamon. Chop up that apple, chop up those figs, stir in some cinnamon, and nuke for a minute and you’ve got yourselves a mug (well, in my case) of pure delicious.

Continuing on, pictured is just a plain sandwich with red onion and baby spinach. Yes, I packed more – tempeh and rosemary sauce, to be exact – I just didn’t feel like taking a picture of another container. But, I added to that mix, a few apple slices and panini’d it all up. So yum!

I didn’t mention yesterday that I made another loaf of bread – honey oatmeal wheat, to be exact. Again. It’s a good recipe! But – again, it fell. Dude, what am I doing wrong?! I even follow the recipe now. I can’t wait to bake my next (or very soon!) loaf by hand.

Raw, these carrots tasted…wrong. The solution? Throw on the panini press and smother in yellow mustard. Success. My mustard craving was sort of creeping in there.

This white nectarine was just as delicious as it looks and sounds. I love white flesh peaches and nectarines!

I made these cashew birdseed bars a bit too dry in attempts to cut back on sugar. The first couple days they were still good, but by now they’re just a bit too dry. The solution? Dollop with some pear-almond jam that I keep in the fridge at work!

I’m telling ya – there’s a quick fix for everything!

…and I am 99% sure that things eaten hot and out of bowls are 99% better than things eaten on plates. Too bad they’re always ugly!

However, I quite enjoyed the last of my scalloped tomatoes over the last of my (current) spaghetti squash. It was a match made in heaven!

And now, I’m off. I’ve got senior portraits I’m still going through, as well as orders to put together that came through!

What are your quick fixes for things that turn out not as good as you’d hoped?

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Soggy

So.

Much.

work that raincoat.

Rain.

It poured like it was never going to pour again last night. Unfortunately, that meant the horses were a mess this morning, and a mini-crisis involving our hay falling out of the shed and toppling my mom’s saddles directly into the torrential rain happened at some point during the night. I averted the crisis, cleaned out the horses, and by the time I was done, regretted getting dressed and made-up as per usual prior to going out.

Whoops.

That’s only one leg…my other one was sopping, too. We’re talking drenched sopping, not just sopping sopping. The only reason half my shin is dry is because I wore knee-high boots. You know, up to my knees. Somehow, the water started seeping down them, too.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m back to my usual mashed banana overnight oats. But…not quite! Last night I was feeling creative and this time mashed a peach into the base rather than a banana! It proved to be quite delicious.

This morning, though, I topped it with the usual – wheat germ, peanut butter sauce, figs, and cashews. It’s an obsession, and I’m okay with that.

Speaking of obsessions, you people sure are crazy about your pumpkin, aren’t you?! That is definitely the winner for the next birdseed bar flavor 😉 I can’t say I blame you for loving the pumpkin…it is lovely, isn’t it? Ironically, I’m a little late jumping on the “pumpkin everything” craze. It still seems too early for pumpkin for some reason!

Dates & Cashews! It’s love.

You know what else is love? Those scalloped tomatoes. Just as good left over. I think I’ll need to make that again this weekend and finish off the tomatoes. That and, it’s pretty quick and easy for something so delicious, which is good for my weekend. I’ve got a bunch of portraits to shoot, and even one gets pretty time consuming! Speaking of which – this weekend is Project Food Blog’s next challenge – good luck to everyone who advanced!! I will not be joining you, but thank you to everyone who supported me! It means more than anything 😉

Cashew birdseed bar. A little mouse must have stolen a nibble.

A little mouse named Jessica.

The creeper of the day award goes to this exchange:

(creepy man to me) “Is that all your hair?”

(me to man, after almost saying “no, I borrowed some from my horse for today.”) “Yes it is!”

(man to me) “You’re like Amy Winehouse! And that’s a compliment. Just as long as you make better decisions.”

(me to man)”hah…thanks…have a great day!”

I’m surprised he knows who Amy Winehouse is – he was kind of older. Just the right age to be creepy saying it.

Would you judge me if at one point during the day, when I looked out and saw it was still raining buckets, I thought to myself “I’m really glad I have chili waiting for me at home…”

This definitely hit the spot. I think it should be illegal to have chili before right once it’s been cooked. It definitely needs a night for all the spices to mingle and become best friends. This was way better tonight than when I tried a small bowl yesterday! So comforting, too. And freezer homemade cornbread always is a win 😉

What’s your favorite “comfort” meal?

Any plans for the weekend?

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Don’t Mess with a Good Thing

Let this be a lesson to you all…

you just can’t mess with a good thing!

I broke out of my banana and fig overnight oats this morning, and it just didn’t cut it. The cashew butter cut it.

The blueberries cut it.

The oats cut it.

Together, they didn’t cut it, especially when I had bananas and figs in the back of my mind.

Don’t yell at me just yet for taking the blueberries out of hiding for another day, though! It was just to break my rut. Which, I can now go running back to after scaring myself of ever abandoning the banana and fig overnighters ever again.

Luckily, I was wise enough to not mess with a good thing when it came to lunch, though. I had to have another “Thanksgiving in a sandwich.” This one was even better! It consisted of seitan, baby spinach, dried cranberries, red onion, and rosemary sauce on some delicious homemade honey-oat wheat bread.

And a newbie to me – an asian pear! It was yummy – like an appley pear!

Morning snack was a banana and some vanilla almonds. You know I’d have to make up for my banana-less breakfast somewhere along the line!

And a ginger birdseed bar for the afternoon.

Today flew by…and the weather was so tempting me to just stay with Teddie when I saw him this morning. So not fair, because tomorrow’s going to be a complete washout.

On another note, the customers at work started to seriously get on my nerves. Sometimes I swear people come in who are totally…I don’t want to say sexist, because I think maybe my age has to do with it. But they’ll always ask for one of my bosses to help them even with stupid, simple stuff that I am totally capable of. And when I say “oh, it’ll be a while, is it something I could help you with?” the “brave” ones still treat me like I want to ruin whatever it is they’re doing because I obviously don’t know the first thing about cameras, even if I do work there.

Grumble grumble.

But, does anyone else ever get that “oh, you’re a young woman, you obviously don’t know, and if you do I don’t trust you anyway.” If so, how do you deal with it?

Lately I don’t care as much, just say okay and let them wait minutes on end before my boss frees up. Although it’s a bit ironic because if it’s something a bit more complex like digital work, I’m probably the one who’s going to do it anyways.

Sorry for the vent. It just gets on my nerves and that’s how pretty much everyone who came in this afternoon was.

But, stuffed buttercup squashes always make up for picky people. I made some cheater baked beans this time. I really love that buttercup squash – it’s going to be hard to play favorites and decide what squash I like best 😉

Sorry for being short and sweet tonight – but I gotta run!

xo

How do you deal with people who doubt you, or treat you like you don’t know how to count backwards from ten?

What’s your longest food “rut”? (although, let me say this – if you enjoy it, I don’t consider food repetition a rut! Banana-fig oats are far too delicious to call a rut!)

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Grateful

There’s no way I could start this post without a huge “eeegads thank you guys so much i love you!!

I’m on to the next phase in Project Food Blog!! I know it’s only the first level – but I wasn’t even expecting that…now I’ve really got to plan something great for the next challenge that’s due on Sunday, no less!! Yikes…my busy weekend just got busier 😉 This challenge will have me exploring “The Classics” – preparing classic dishes from another culture. And not just your usual French and Italian – something I rarely challenge myself with! Now keep your fingers crossed I don’t lose my creative mojo! I’m pretty happy to have a challenge, so again – thank you guys! ❤

I know, I know – you’re tired of the same old overnight oats. But I just cannot get over this simple combination.

In fact, I think everything was pretty simple today! Sometimes, it’s just the way to go.

This was mashed banana overnight oats…oh, who am I kidding. You know the drill by now!

Dates stuffed with mixed nuts, some rolled in hemp seeds!

This morning started out so weird. Well, let me rephrase – once I got to work it felt so weird.

I started my day stopping and seeing Teddie. Lately I’ve been helping A out with morning chores a little bit, basically cleaning the run-ins. It’s something I actually enjoy doing (call me crazy, but I think many horse owners would agree there is a strange satisfaction to doing all the hard horse work that goes along with ownership!) and I still get to see Teddie.

And this morning was beautiful. It was unseasonably warm, actually, and the cool breeze on my bare arms made me just want to stay there all day. I think Teddie quite enjoys the more relaxed company lately as I clean, too. While everyone else goes down to graze, he stays up and “watches” me clean. Of course,I give him many pats throughout! I just can’t pass his handsome face more than a time or two without some pats on that lovely wide blaze of his.

A rather protein deficient but still good lunch: a panini with baked eggplant & pasta sauce, fresh tomato, garlic hummus, and feta, along with a plum...

Once I got to work, though, I felt so out of it! Very unlike me. A bit lightheaded and my eyes felt really…strange? My stomach felt upset and overall I felt rather…weak? It was sort of freaky, and I was almost wondering if I should go lay down or something! The feeling passed, though, for which I am quite grateful. I hate being sick! I don’t know what was goin’ on, but I think the lightheaded and eye thing had to do with the lights in the building?

...and a sweet potato cookie for dessert

I am looking forward to sleeping in a bit tomorrow morning, though! I’ve been going to bed too late!! Bad Jess, Bad!

I’ve actually been really…I don’t know how else to say it without making it sound like I’ve been depressed (which, I haven’t, btw)…happy lately. Like, I’ll drive home and just be feeling so grateful for everything. Not to get all mushy or anything – but I think it’s definitely the weather that is bringing it out!

The fall is so gorgeous, and I love driving home in the beautiful fall light and the changing trees.

Simple bowl of bulgur, eggplant, tomato, cannelini beans, red onion, and feta. Simple yet GOOD!!

Of course, I’m not too thrilled that night is falling as I drive home now! I remember when I could go outside right now and have another hour of daylight left (it’s 7:30) but now I wouldn’t be able to see my hand in front of my face!

That doesn’t mean I didn’t take advantage of one of the last warm days of the year, though, and enjoyed this delicious dinner with the FreePress and watching my mom and Kaia “golf.”

Remember when I used to have a red onion with every sandwich? It's been so long!

…onion definitely make me nearly bawl my eyes out lately, though!! They never used to bother me, but now they really do. The red onion was quite nice to welcome back, though. I just read, though, that if you refrigerate your onion before cutting it it won’t have as strong a smell!

Don't worry - it's just a whiffle ball!

haha, even Mouse made a shot. The whole fam was out tonight!

Sorry for being all mushy and sentimental tonight! haha. But, I’m off to do my homework – of course, by that I mean Project Food Blog and not “real” homework 😛

Something you’re grateful for today?

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