Building A Perfect Evening

Posted on May 30, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Movie Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

What would be in your perfect evening? Last night might not have been “perfect” btu, well… I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Whole Foods Salad Bar OptionsFalafals

Eating out? Good. Eating somewhere with a huge array of choices? Better. Trying new and exciting things? Best. I think I want to try to make falafels now, because these were my first taste, and while they were good, they weren’t the best. But that tamarind chutney. WOW. I wish I took note of the ingredients besides onion and raisins because it was amazing.

The Holiday

I have to admit this is one of my favorite movies, so I went ahead and popped it in for the night. I still remember trudging through snow in Boston with friends to see it at the movies. I think it comforts me that Cameron Diaz’s character might just be crazier and more high-strung than me. And if Jack Black can get a girl like Kate Winslet, well there’s hope for everyone.

Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Ice Cream With Chocolate Chips

You haven’t had ice cream until you’ve had homemade. The gluten-free birthday cake didn’t come out quite like I hoped for(probably needs more sugar). But I’d rather have a decent birthday cake flavor that’s gluten-free than an excellent one that’s not. And chocolate chips–of course.

Dark Chocolate With Salted Buttercream

Who says vegan buttercream has to be just for cakes? It tastes just as good on a Newman’s Own Organic‘s 54% dark chocolate bar. I was looking for cream cheese but we didn’t have any. Next thought: buttercream. The day you discover the how to make a really fast buttercream with be the first day of the rest of your life.

2% Fage With Pineapple, Oatmeal With Justin's Nut Butter

And now we’re back to realty… sort of, with oatmeal, Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter(aka, better Nutella butter), and a Fage with pineapple and brown sugar.

Yogurt With Brown Sugar And Pineapple

Pineapple Chobani, eat your heart out.

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I’m The MacGyver Of Baking

Posted on May 16, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday, my parents went to see our relatives while I stayed home studying. My aunt, ever-thoughtful, sent back some cupcakes for me. It was really thoughtful; but there was something that worried us. If you asked her what they were, she’d say “organic, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, nut-free…” the list goes on. She did the same when I made my cousin these cupcakes. And they didn’t seem gluten-free. In fact, after a little investigating, it seemed likely they weren’t and she just got confused. Well I was OK with that and letting my family have them. Except then I wanted cake. I really wanted cake.

Simple Chocolate Cake

Simple Chocolate Cake

I broke out the Sweet Utopia cookbook sent to me by Book Publishing Co. and flipped open to the first recipe in the book: a simple chocolate cake. Perfect. I made a few alterations to the recipe(switching to gluten-free flours, almond milk for soy milk, and olive oil for canola oil), and 28 minutes later I brought life into this world.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Cake

Vegan, Gluten-Free Cake

Isn’t she a cutie? But I wanted cake fast so I cut a slice and stuck it in the fridge to cool quickly. While that was cooling, I made a 2-minute buttercream frosting by mixing earth balance, powdered sugar, and vanilla powder in a small dish with a fork. It was almost too easy.

Cake With Frosting

Cake With Frosting

I went from thinking I’d have a chocolate bar for dessert(but not really happy with that) to 1 hour later having a vegan, gluten-free chocolate cake with vegan buttercream frosting all with whatever ingredients I had on hand. I think that qualifies me to be the MacGyver of baking.

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate

Vanilla Oikos With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Vanilla Oikos With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Organic Baby Carrots

Organic Baby Carrots

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Butter Toffee Peanut Butter

After that excitement, I just couldn’t sleep; this happens almost every Saturday night and it’s so annoying. I figure this last time just might be because of my last final. But I definitely needed more fuel than usual for the 2+ hours I was awake. I’m not even sure when I got to bed, but this morning I stumbled out of bed late and just hungry.

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Pineapple Chobani, Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

Oatmeal With Crunchy PB, Maple Syrup, And Maple Butter

I’m still trying to find out the secret to making a really amazing maple peanut butter. It’s harder than you’d think! And the secret ingredient is not coconut oil as it turns out. Oh well. This bowl was still really good with crunchy maple butter. And now I’m eating a Chobani as if it were a parfait–not stirring the jam up first. It’s pretty good this way.

What do you hate most about restless nights? In the time I’m awake, all I can think about is the stuff I could have done with that time rather than lie in a dark room and toss and turn. And here’s a fun chocolate giveaway to enter.

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Easter 2010

Posted on April 4, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

All this post made me want was cheese. I don’t eat cheese much but when I do, God, do I love cheese. I’m not even sure I understand the bastardization of it in the first place. It’s milk processed with enzymes to the point of having little to no lactose. Sure, let’s all bastardize Velveeta, but then again I wouldn’t call that real “cheese” to begin with. Real cheese is an art.

Next Generation Organic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese

Next Generation Organic Garlic Parsley Cheddar Raw Cheese

Keeping the theme of the night “raw”, I had some of Next Generation’s Dairy organic raw garlic parsley cheddar cheese. Soooo good *drools*. And if you were  to tell me something about this complete protein with organic dairy fat and raw enzymes wasn’t healthy, I wouldn’t believe you. Skip the Velveeta and stuff yourselves with this. By the way, it scares me that my spell check finds nothing wrong with “Velveeta”, but type “kombucha” and let the red squiggles go flying!

French Toast Oatmeal, Pomegranate Chobani With White Chocolate Wonderful

French Toast Oatmeal, Pomegranate Chobani With White Chocolate Wonderful

I was surprisingly hungry right when I woke up. Instead of running, I made myself breakfast and started food prep. Hot cross buns have nothing on french toast oatmeal. Yum! And dark chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter–whatever you put on a pomegranate Chobani tastes delicious.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Coconut Oil

Raw Vegan Brownie With Coconut Oil

Finally I was ready to run after we went to Easter Mass. For some quick energy I had a raw vegan brownie with coconut oil schmeared on top. I don’t know if it was this sudden heat wave, improper hydration, or too much casein at breakfast, but the first bit of running was definitely uncomfortable.

Banana

Banana

Eventually, I got into my groove and did 9.5 miles around the neighborhood at a great pace. I refueled with a banana while I showered, cooked more, and waited for the relatives to arrive. Among my dishes was my Irawnic Salad

Irawnic Salad

Irawnic Salad

Doesn’t that look amazing? I finally got around to making my own and it was heavenly. I can’t wait to make this recipe more often. It was so simple, too!

  • 2 bunches organic kale
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2-2 avocadoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup cashews roasted with sea salt

In a bowl, mash the avocado with the lemon juice and vinegar.Massage the kale until well coated. Top with diced red onion and salty cashews. Dear Lord, is this good. It’s “irawnic” because the salad is completely raw except for the roasted salted cashews. I like to think of it like the fatty bacon slices in an otherwise “healthy” salad 😉 and that’s why it’s ironic.

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

Easter Table

There was so much good food. But I never feel pressure to eat much differently at holidays than on regular days. In fact, I make it a point to choose 3 things, and just eat those. Since there is always leftovers, I know I’ll be seeing all of this for the next few days, and that way it’s like each meal is “new”.

Parmesan Cauliflower, Maple Tofu, Irawnic Salad

Parmesan Cauliflower, Maple Tofu, Irawnic Salad

For my plate, I had irawnic salad, roasted parmesan cauliflower, and maple baked tofu. Yum! This was perfect and just what I needed to eat. The salad I think was a hit; even the maple tofu got a few fans among the meat eaters. There was no love lost hereon skipping the ham(at this meal, at least). I had seconds on the salad and tofu.

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Dessert was easiy my favorite part 🙂 Since my relatives are always down for Easter, we also celebrate my birthday with them.I was very particular about my cake, but that made it just the perfect thing when it came out. It was Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free vanilla cake made with 3 organic eggs and coconut oil instead of canola. The frosting was a vegan buttercream made with earth balance and on the side was a little organic coconut shreds.

Birthday Cake With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Birthday Cake With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

It was dreamy. Seriously, this was one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. And I think everyone else shared that sentiment. It was perfectly sweet and moist, and you would never thing twice about the “gluten-free” texture. Bob did me well for my birthday 😀 On the side was a scoop of dairy/soy-free So Delicious coconut milk vanilla bean ice cream. Between the cake and the ice cream, vanilla beans were flying everywhere!

Irawnic Salad And Melon

Irawnic Salad And Melon

A few screaming cousins, Disney World slide shows, and pots of coffee later, I made a raw snack plate. I figured the salad wouldn’t really keep well, so I’d have those leftovers first On the side was some cantaloupe and honeydew melon, all covered in sea salt. Glorious.

I was supposed to go back to school tonight, but the day totally wiped all of us out: Church, cooking, cleaning, little cousins, etc. Not to mention I wasn’t packed and there were leftovers bursting out of the fridge Instead, we mustered up the strength for a small Whole Foods run and then leftovers for dinner.

Honey Ham, Grilled Asparagus, Roasted Carrots

Honey Ham, Grilled Asparagus, Roasted Carrots

Now the ham makes an appearance. It’s from Whole Foods, so it’s completely natural and nitrate-free. The best part of this meal was purposely avoiding these 3 and other foods at lunch so that it didn’t even feel like leftovers! Admit it: You wouldn’t have known if I didn’t mention it 😉

Well, my Easter rocked. How about yours? If you posted it on your blog and I didn’t comment, I promise I read it. I was on and off my computer all day catching up with things when I was allowed a break from being the 3 wheel on the Wii. Like I said, there’s so much I want to and have to do before I can think about school again, even though Spring Break ends now 😦 Perhaps I’ll make a chronographic list! That’s one mental health tip that’s never out of style.

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