So Good I Could Cry

Posted on May 19, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

What a wonderful response to my freshmen review this morning.

But that’s not what my title is referring to. It’s referring mostly to this:

Sushi And Fudge

Sushi And Fudge

Sushi and fudge on a Wednesday for lunch. I think a tear just went into my wasabi(I’m joking, of course; I hate wasabi). I picked out this sushi at Whole Foods the other day and ended up not wanting it for dinner. I love when the Genji people make a custom order just for me 🙂 I’ve been craving raw salmon for too long; I’m surprised I didn’t end up curled in a ball in the corner clutching a can of salmon. This hit the perfect spot.

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Vegan Chocolate Fudge

And what’s more extravagant than fudge? My refrigerator will never be without fudge again, methinks.

Starbucks Extra Bold Decaf

Starbucks Extra Bold Decaf

And this! Oh my, words cannot express my enjoyment. You see, when we went to the auction a few weeks ago, my parents won more Starbucks coffee than you can dream of in a raffle. I’ve been weening off of it, moving to teccino, iced tea, or just water. But today I held nothing back. Absolutely dreamy.

Green Beans

Green Beans

My hunger was still up even without running so I noshed on sting beans while doing some reflecting. You see, even though I haven’t ran the past 2 days, today felt like my first true “rest” day in too long. Without schoolwork and with crappy weather, I gave myself full license to do nothing. If I had on a pedometer, it’d read about an 8. And that gave me time to dream up things like oatmeal. Dreamy, creamy oatmeal…

Pumpkin Flax Oatmeal

Pumpkin Flax Oatmeal

Pumpkin Flax Oatmeal

  • Oats
  • Crunchy peanut butter
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Molasses

Oh, hello; this was a recreation of one of my favorite granolas and it did not disappoint. I forgot what a sweet and distinctive flavor molasses has.

Gluten-Free Biscuits

Gluten-Free Biscuits

OK, I did do a little work today. I whipped out the food processor and got baking. I blame this post which had me craving KFC biscuits–sweet, flaky, butter biscuits. I used this recipe and followed it to a T, but since I didn’t have a biscuit cutter, I kept them square and made 8.

Protein Hummus

Protein Hummus

I also whipped up some Mama Pea inspired protein hummus. Just chickpeas, tofu, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and lemon juice. So simple!

Hummus Salad With Raw Veggies And Hummus Chips

Hummus Salad With Raw Veggies And Hummus Chips

Gluten-Free Biscuit

Gluten-Free Biscuit

Dinner was a simple hummus salad with raw veggies and hummus chips. On the side, of coarse, was a fresh biscuit patted with earth balance. Did I die and go to carb heaven tonight? I wish I had a marathon to eat for tomorrow; I don’t, but I’ll happily eat like I do. After this, I threw another one in the microwave and ate that, too. Who can resist biscuits when they’re fresh?

Did you ever love KFC? I remember eating there 1 a week in my childhood. Probably not the best habit, huh? My favorite thing on their menu was their thick cut, seasoned fries, and then their biscuits were a close second. And their mac n’ cheese–Yum! I actually didn’t care so much for the chicken thinking back.

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Picture It: Javaberry

Posted on April 17, 2010. Filed under: Picture It | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Food holds memories. Those make the dishes ten times better and ten times tastier. And yet it’s hard to know on a blog just what someone is thinking when they put flavors together unless they’re willing to share it all. That’s why I’m starting a new category of posts, ala Sophia Petrillo, called “Picture It”s.

Picture it: Prom night Junior year. After the prom, I end up at a friends house for an after party with 40 or so friends. There’s an open fire, cookies, chips, s’mores, everything legal(yeah, yeah. We weren’t a very troublesome crowd, but something tells me that’s a good thing). I didn’t even plan to stay the whole night, but by 1am I was convinced by my good friend and hostess. After too many games of midnight Hide N’ Seek(who does this?!), I crashed sometime around 5am in front of Bend It Like Beckham. The next day, still in a cookie coma, no one cared for a very nutritious breakfast, if it’s even breakfast at 11:30. Instead, we took a very short walk to Dairy Joy.

Of course, when there’s an ice cream shop virtually in someone’s front yard, you have to throw yourself at their mercy and get what they suggest. The “favorite flavor” couldn’t have sounded weirder: Javaberry. A blend of raspberry and coffee ice creams. Really? Could that possible be good? No. It was fantastic. What a random but delectable combination, one that I had never had again, until today.

Black Raspberry And Coffee Frozen Yogurts

Black Raspberry And Coffee Frozen Yogurts

That would be Elan’s decaf cappuccino frozen yogurt and Sweet Scoops‘ black raspberry frozen yogurt. Again, the combination was eerily magnificent. How could these two flavors work? They just do. And when I had the Sweet Scoops‘ black raspberry the first time, I thought it wasn’t sweet enough. I take that back. This was perfectly fruity and sweet. But I did more today than just eat ice cream.

Chocolove Raspberry Dark Chocolate

Chocolove Raspberry Dark Chocolate

I ate chocolate, too. Right before hitting the gym, I snacked on the last few pieces of a raspberry dark chocolate bar and ran out the door. It’s been rainy/cloudy all weekend, so I stuck with the gym. It turns out I picked a perfect time for television, and I was really able to get into my “groove”.

12 Miles In 1:46:08

12 Miles In 1:46:08

These 12 miles truly felt effortless I could have kept going, if I really had to, which leads me to feel confident for my half-marathon in 2 weeks from tomorrow. And when I was done, I went straight to work on lunch. I was craving chickpeas, so I tossed some with honey, water, and garlic and tossed them in an oven to roast at 425 while I showered. My lunch ended up having 3 forms of chickpeas. Obsession?

Roasted Garlic Chickpeas And Garlic Over Greens

Roasted Garlic Chickpeas And Garlic Over Greens

Steamed Broccoli With Garlic, Hummus Chips With Hummus

Steamed Broccoli With Garlic, Hummus Chips With Hummus

My breath was not pretty after this meal, but I loved it nonetheless. On the salad was just the roasted chickpeas given a little flavor with garlic and honey, as well as some roasted garlic from the cafeteria. I steamed some broccoli and added ground garlic, and had “hummus chips” with hummus. The chips are made completely with garbanzo bean flour and baked with garlic and olive oil. Like I said, I think I was having a flavor obsession.

In between lunch and dinner was when I had the Javaberry creation. I also did some work and made an impulse online purchase. Aren’t those fun? I’ll be sure to share on that in a little time…

Cheese Burger, Roasted And Grilled Sweet Potato With Tumeric, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

Cheese Burger, Roasted And Grilled Sweet Potato With Tumeric, Cinnamon, And Sea Salt

I basically kept putting off finding a way to not have to cook so long that I needed to cook. I tossed a sweet potato in the oven for 90 minutes and made a cheeseburger with some questionably old meat :-/ And I love roasted potatoes; nothing says “home” and “comfort” like a roasted sweet potato. But they are wholly unfilling. I topped mine with turmeric and cinnamon for powerful antioxidants.

Hidden Ketchup

Hidden Ketchup

Whenever my grandmother made me a cheeseburger, she put the ketchup on top of the burger and then the cheese while it was still cooking so the ketchup got a chance to heat up while the cheese melted. I always thought that was smart, and tasty 😉 Speaking of grandparents and parents, I loved Heather’s post today on just enjoying a day with her mom, and I’d like to wish Matt and his wife a huge congratulations for the birth of their baby!

I think after all that cheese and frozen yogurt, dairy has been capped for the day. Thank God for dark chocolate 😀 In the meantime, here’s a giveaway for Tropical Tradition’s shredded coconut! Yum.

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Field Trippin’

Posted on March 13, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Has the sun shined where you are? Because it’s been pouring and raining all day! Oh well, I guess that’s could because it’s made me a little worker bee; I got sooo much done. But first, I was dragged out the door to meet my class for a “field trip” at 10am. Since it’s an object history class and Providence has plenty of historical places, it wasn’t hard for us to find somewhere fitting. We visited the John Brown House Museum.

Slave Trade Objects

As you might guess, it was no coincidence that the John Brown house is so close to Brown Univesity–he’s from the family we’re named after. When you get through the door, they don’t beat around the bush: The entire Brown family at one point was invested in the slave trade. That led for some good objects for us to look at. John Brown actually went through his whole life advocating for slavery and the slave trade, while his brothers turned into abolitionists and argued against him. That family must have been fun around the holidays!

John Brown's Chariot

You’ve got to admit that the man had some wheels. This was the oldest American made vehicle and actually carried George Washington around Rhode Island.

Squirrel Wall Paper

The same man, however, had no sense of “style”; he had a whole room wall-papered like this with squirrels and a squirrel carving over the fireplace. Uhhh, no thank you. It was pretty cool how they were able to restore the whole thing to its original ugly pristine.

Bull's Head Soup Holder

Since I’m still a foodie no matter where I go, the kitchen was the most interesting room; this soup bowl was used to hold hot soup which the steam would exit from the nostrils to make the bull look real. LOL. The owner after the Brown family also had one of the first working refrigerators in America!

Silver Bowl

And I think I found a new bowl to replace the one I broke earlier this week. What do you think? I think it could hold a lot of oats(and pumpkin, of course). After that the trip pretty much wrapped up and we all scurried to our dorms because the rain had intensified through the morning. By this point, I was pretty famished and surprised to see it was only 11:50; there are days when I’m just finishing breakfast then. Still, I whipped up the quickest and saltiest thing I could think of.

Soy Tofu And Broccoli, Cheddar Popchips

15 minutes later and I had a good meal done. I diced 1/2 a block of soft tofu and simmered that in soy sauce. While that was working, I steamed broccoli and added that towards the end to cook down. On the side I had some cheddar popchips and voila! a well-balanced meal! Chips can count as “balanced”, right? I was still feeling a little snackish later after this, which I’m pretty sure is the whole purpose of dessert.

Chocolate Brownie Z-Bar

I don’t think I know any “kid” who actually eats Z-bars, but they get so much love from us around the blogworld. And they should! I can never believe how soft and chocolaty these are for something prepackaged. They’re well portioned and fortified, too. And they make feel not so bad about not being able to bake while I’m at college. OK, when did I become a commercial for Z-bars? I’ll stop now.

Gingerade Kombucha

I didn’t want to boredom eat throughout the afternoon while I was working on my Greek, History, and Latin classes, so I sipped on some gingerade Kombucha instead. I don’t believe in any “appetite suppressant” if you’re really hungry but some times all your body needs is a nice flow of nutrient dense energy to realize how it really feels. That, and I’ll use any excuse to drink something that costs a whopping 2.50 🙂 My only complaint was that this one had a lot of floaties in it that felt awkward swallowing. OK I’m done thinking of that one.

Perfect Foods Peanut Butter Bar

I learned 2 important non-class related things this afternoon. Firstly, you can be hungry and bored without being hungry because you’re bored. Secondly, when I’m bored, I will take about 20 pictures of my food trying to be as “artsy” as possible. Case in point: ^. I think in retrospect I like the carob chip Perfect Foods Bar best but the peanut butter is also darn good. And because this was an afternoon snack packed with iron and protein, I decided not to have the grass-fed burger I thought I would for dinner and go with something more cravable:

Veggies With Vegan "Cheeze" Sauce

That would be about a pound or more of an Asian veggie blend from the dining topped with Meagan’s vegan “cheeze” sauce(hummus, water, and nutritional yeast). I also added a little coarse sea salt as needed. While I enjoy meat, I don’t particularly like to eat it when I’m not craving it or think it holds nutrients I need. Otherwise, I could(and do!) just eat a bowl of veggies. I’m pretty sure if you put me, Avery, and Heather in a room with only 1 pound of vegetables, a death match would ensue.

And now I’ll be a responsible blogger and use my platform to remind you that we lose an hour from Daylight’s Savings time tonight, so set your clock forward(or just sleep in, what do I care?). I’m actually looking forward to this? I’ve been hungry for meals a bit earlier all day, not by much–about 30 minutes to an hour–so my body will in a sense catch up with the time. Can I get a head start on things by throwing on my PJ’s an hour early tonight? I just might have to…

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That Dirty Quaker

Posted on March 3, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy humpday! How was yours? I’m just glad mine’s over. Nothing went bad particularly, it just felt like a good day to get through. That being said, I’ve hardly been in my room for a couple of hours now and things are still strewn about, so clearly I have a lot to do before it’s really “over”, but I’ll manage.

Celestial Teas

This morning I tried the 2nd of my new Celestial teas I got from Stop & Shop: the honey vanilla chamomille. It tasted very medicinal, but in a good way! Kind of like what you would expect if you walked into a therapist’s office, lied down on the couch and was served tea. LOL. Not like I’d know much about that, but I can imagine 😉 Lunch was such a dilemma; I just didn’t know where my taste buds were at.

Roasted Garlic Hummus Chips

I remembered I picked these up from a convenience store on campus a long time ago and thought I might as well give them a try. They’re chips(my crack) made with garbanzo bean flour instead of any wheat, so they’re gluten free! Good news for me. I haven’t really been bloated at all besides Sunday, which is when I had a whole wheat cookie at breakfast. Coincidence? I think not…

Chickpeas With Sea Salt And Garlic Over Spinach, Hummus Chips, The Heat Is On Tofu Salad

Amazingly, this came out to be a well-composed, not-random dish. I used the 2nd half of a can of chickpeas and tossed that with grated garlic to match the chips–yum! I loved them both. For the tofu salad, I took a chunk of soft tofu(a little more than 1 serving) and mixed that with a forkfull(is this a measurement? Now it is) of The Heat Is On PB&Co and sea salt. This combo is always perfection. I only wish I had more time to enjoy it before I had to run off to discussion section; I had to be there today to give my friend, Alex, one of the cupcakes I made over the weekend. She loved it! Bob’s Red Mill knows how to make some good grains.

Organic Decaf Coffee

In between classes, I had just enough time to grab some coffee. I don’t know if it’s the fact that this was brewed by someone else, or the NuNaturals sweetener, or that it was snowing sideways at all day. But this totally hit the spot. Don’t you love when drinks or food do that? This particular class is 2 hours and 20 minutes long(Ugh, right?), so every week someone brings in a snack. This week, a girl brought in 2 bags of these Quaker snacks.

Perhaps I should start off by saying that, in spite of a lot of what I’m going to write, these are probably better than 90% of things you could snack on, and would be good to raise a family with. In fact, in high school I remember demolishing a bag of the apple cinnamon ones after school a lot of days. With that disclaimer out of the way, these are a lot more decieving than I would have thought.

  • A “serving” has 60 and 70 calories respectively. Sounds great, right? The same serving is also about 1/2 as much as weight as potato chips or nachos would be. So, essentially, you’re getting half the calories because you’re eating half as much. Mr. Quaker has a trick up his sleeve to deceive.
  • On the ingredients list for the apple cinnamon flavor is sucralose(aka Splenda). Would you have thought to see it here? Probably not, but there it is. It really bugs me when this particular artificial ingredient is snuck onto otherwise great snacks. It’s also on Emerald’s cocoa almonds, which is why I no longer buy those.
  • On the ingredients list for the cheddar flavor is partially hydrogenated oils(aka trans fats). Because it’s less than .5g, it doesn’t appear on the nutrition panel. But fear still because it’s there. If you asked Mr. Quaker, he’d deny it.

My point–believe it or not–is not to bash these products; in fact, I might have mistakenly grabbed these at any point thinking they fit my diet only to realize they don’t. What my point really is is to emphasize how important the ingredient list can be. Even a trusted quaker can be out to deceive you. So what did I eat?

Fruit & Nut Perfect Foods Bar

I had a bar from Perfect Foods flavored as Fruit & Nut. Again, not to rant, but… the only “fruit” here was raisins and the only “nut”(besides the peanut butter base) was walnuts. Does 1 fruit and 1 nut really make it fruit & nut? Besides that, the honey flavor was delicious. And I love all the other ingredients, especially the whole food powder. This is an amazing source of vegetarian iron! 40% your daily value! Can you believe that?

So Delicious Soy Yogurt With Surf Sweets' Sour Worms

When I got back to my dorm room, the first thing I did was throw my backpack somewhere. Then I sliced up a sweet potato and shoved it in the oven. Normal stuff, right? After that I made a snack to hold me over of So Delicious soy yogurt and sour worms from Surf Sweets. This was so good! I love sour and sweet. And I didn’t even need to sweeten the yogurt with stevia! My sweet tooth must be dimming down a bit, which I can’t say I mind. Then again, what needs stevia when its bearing candy? And the sweet potatoes lead me to dinner…

Grass-Fed Beef Burger With Ketchup And Sweet Potato Fries

Dinner was a bit late tonight, but oh so welcomed. There’s nothing like roasting veggies after a long day, even if they take a little longer. And while I was waiting I cooked some grass-fed beef to perfection(rare) in a pan–glorious. And wow! Look at the time(I suppose this bears no meaning whatsoever since you could be reading this at 8am)! A late dinner throws me all out of whack; time to kick myself back on a schedule and clean up around here.

But first–I need to ask–are you an ingredients hawk? Since declaring an all-natural diet and running an all-natural food blog, I kind of have to be unless I want to live out of Whole Foods and local natural food stores. But it’s actually really easy once you get used to it! And I’m surprisingly lenient with foods otherwise. Overladen with sugar? Sure, I’ll give it a shot if it’s from a natural source. Lastly, check out this giveaway for a chance to win a kitchen scale(I love mine), and this giveaway from The Mom Buzz to win some Surf Sweets.

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20 Blessings To Count

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

1. Running 7 miles this morning might have been incredibly difficult, but I was able to push through. And I have 2 months left to build up those extra 6.1. Consider it done.

2. I won Froze bars on Melissa’s blog–that’s always fun 🙂

3. I got a very important email this morning while blogging. Last semester, I got shut out from registering for a class I wanted to take that would really work well for my schedule. I kept a communication going with the professor, but I still wasn’t in the class. He emailed me this morning saying there were 2 spots that opened up! I was registered in minutes. The thing about this class is it’s a fun topic and I’ll be taking it Pass/Fail, so I will really be able to enjoy it.

4. With my schedule right now, I have a 4 day weekend! I know–I entirely lucked out because I got a lineup of classes that interest me, work for my concentration, and give me a great schedule.

Cooking Lunch

5. I cooked my first meal in the dorm kitchen–nothing exploded and no fire alarms went off! In my pan, I heated up some EVOO. Then I cooked leftover tempeh and tofu until brown, and added the soy sauce to caramelize. To finish it off, I tossed in steamed broccoli to cook down.

Broccoli, Tofu, Tempeh Stir-Fry, Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

6. It tasted good!!! 😀 No, this tasted great. You could have told me it came from an authentic Chinese restaurant and I would have believed you. It’s also very good to know I can cook successful meals because…

7. I can lower my meal plan! This was of some concern, but as it seems I can lower my meal plan 2 levels without it costing us anything extra. In fact, we’ll get $250 back. While I’ll be losing a lot of meals and flex points, they aren’t anything I’d have used particularly. AND this means I’ll have money so I can buy greek yogurt at the grocery store where it’s $1–not $2.69.

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

8. There was dessert with lunch. That’s always a plus.

9. Days was really good today, too. I need to work up the nerve to tweet my admiration to Alison Sweeney my admiration. If she tweeted back–Oh God.

Blue State Coffee

10. I reunited with Blue State Coffee. This stuff is seriously good. Starbucks? Who needs that.

School Books

10. I got all my books! Since I’m 95% set with my class choices, I just decided to buy them. Some of the used ones I picked up, though, are pretty skanky, so I’m going to exchange them for better copies Friday.

11. They only cost $305. Yes. I said “only” there, knowingly. But, while I was complaining about the cost, some good science-majoring friends reminded me that 1 chem or bio book can easily top $200 used. Meanwhile, I’m getting things I could potentially use for 40+ years, like a full Greek lexicon*nerd squeal*. I shut up after that.

12. My first class went great! It was the one I got into just this morning. Someone from my Latin class last semester is also taking it, so I’m glad to know a face. The professor seems nice, the work reasonable, and topic interesting.

13. I’m making raw vegan brownies with raw chocolate frosting for the class in 2 weeks. Don’t ask how this came up 😀

Coconut Oil Peanut Fudge

14. I packed a snack which turned out to be decent–1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons defatter peanut flour.  It just tasted OK, but it would be a lot better if I used a peanut flour with a higher fat percentage. This did a good job of holding me over through my 2 1/2 hour class.

Cafeteria Hummus

15. I now have A LOT of free hummus. I emailed “the right person to ask” about what type of hummus they use on the salad bar. Turns out it’s a homemade hummus. After some further prying, I got the ingredients: Garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, tahini, salt. Soooo not only is it homemade, but it’s even better than the store brands because it has no canola oil or preservatives? HELLO HUMMUS.

Red Delicious Apple

16. This apple was not mealy at all but rather fresh and crisp, and held me over doing “internet things” until dinner.

17. I won another contest, this time for Oikos.

Vegan Meatloaf And Green Beans With Vegan Cheeze Sauce, Hummus, Ketchup

18. Dinner was easy, cheesy, and oh-so vegan. I heated up some leftover vegan meatloaf, took green beans from the dining hall, and made Meagan’s “cheeze” sauce to go with them; I think that sauce is more proof of nutritional yeasts greatness. On the side, I added a blob of my new hummus, just because I could 🙂

19. Plenty of good behind the scenes stuff got done today, too, that I’m excited for for the blog.

20. Chocolate is on the menu for dessert, because I say so.

Enter to win Barney Butter here

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The Worst Thing About New Years…

Posted on January 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The worst thing about New Years is dating everything 2009 for the next 2 months and having to cross it out. Seriously, I’m going to be doing that into March. But if that’s the worst thing about 2010, I’m guessing it’s going to be a good year 🙂

Isn’t it the case that whenever you’re hosting you forget something? For us, it was good parmesan cheese.

Parmesan Cheese

My dad and I ran to the store(in a snow storm) to grab a hunk. I also quickly looked for nutritional yeast while we were there but couldn’t find any 😦 I guess that’ll be one new thing to try in 2010! I also may have been convinced to come along by a McDonalds’ coffee–just saying.

Our guests called to say they’d be here more 5-ish because of the snow, so I definitely needed some snacks before party food.

Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

Red Delicious Apple

Oatmeal and peanut butter will still be a theme in the New Year; please, nobody fret. We laid out the appetizers…

Apricot Glazed Baked Brie

Savory Cheeseball

Whole Wheat Red Pepper Foccaccia

…and soon they were here. Can I just say that we demolished these? I think there was 3 slices of foccaccia left, 1/2 of the hummus, and 1/3 the cheeseball and… that was about it.

Whole Wheat Red Pepper Foccaccia, Apricot Brie, Dr. Kracker Hummus Maximus Crackers

I ate this times about 2 because I went back for seconds on them all. The bread was so good! It was a Food Network recipe–just store bought whole wheat pizza dough brushed with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper and topped with onion and parmesan. Could it get much simpler? I also really liked the Hummus Maximus crackers; I don’t know that there was anything specific about the flavor I could pinpoint as chickpea, but it was definitely unique and worked well with the hummuses. We did a very early toast.

Toasting Glass

Everyone had champagne except for me and their 4 year old boy, who had milk. Can you guess what was in my glass?… Black Cherry Zevia 🙂 And I wouldn’t have had it any other way(This, naturally, led in to the conversation of how something could be natural and diet soda and why my shirt matched my beverage ;-)). Once we were done with appetizers, we moved on to the main course.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Homemade Meatballs

Roasted Carrots And Turnips, Sirloin Roast, Roasted Broccoli, Homemade Whole Wheat Potato Gnocchi

Our guests were Korean and love their vegetables and red meat; can you tell we tried to accomodate that 😉 Everyone seemed to love everything, and there was nothing bad here. Our guest’s husband was soooo happy that the gnocchi was whole wheat because that meant “his wife would let him eat it”. Haha! Have I mentioned how much I love these people?

Roasted Brussels And Broccoli, Homemade Whole Wheat Gnocchi With Meatballs

This was my plate; I chose the 3 or 4 things I wanted and made a more-or-less normal dinner. I knew I’d be seeing this all for leftovers next year, anyway. You can pretty much assume I at 4 times the brussels and broccoli as pictured because that’s what I kept going back for more of. For the first time, my mom made her meatballs with all-natural ingredients so I made those my main course instead of the sirloin roast that the rest of the table had. They were so soft and moist they melted in my mouth! The gnocchi were also very good, too.

After dinner, we laid out the desserts.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Gluten Free Brownies, Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscotti, Italian Bakery Bought Cookies, Tiramisu, Wine, And Newman's Organic Decaf Coffee

At first I was honestly too stuffed for anything but coffee. After a few cups and about 30 minutes of sitting and talking, I had room.

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Gluten Free Brownie, Tiramisu

This was my dessert plate. Oh My God, did these gluten free brownies turn out good! They didn’t even stick to the pan and were super super fudgy. I was worried 3 tablespoons peanut butter chips wouldn’t make a difference but you totally got the peanut butter flavor. Our guests brought a homemade tiramisu made with hazelnut liqueur. It was good! I appreciate that they made the cake bottom instead of using HFCS-laden ladyfingers. We’re not sure what happened with the top layer, which was rather thin, but overall the flavor was there.

Our dessert conversation ran through everything from my bacon milk chocolate bar to beliefs in God. The good thing about good friends and family is you can argue and disagree and everything and it won’t matter 10 minutes later 🙂

Our guests left around 9:45 to go home, put the little one to sleep, and spend time with their grandparents. Within 30 minutes, we had the house back to spick and span and our PJ’s on. We actually got a call from our neighbors to come over to their house but we were exhausted and did not want to think about leaving the house. Oh well, we’ll see them sometime this year.

Tiramisu, Peanut Butter And Chocolate Gluten Free Brownie

I made a snack plate. Seriously, these brownies are addicting! I’ll be making another batch before I know it. We watched Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin since we’re such fans of hers and wanted to see what she’d say. Good thing no drinking games around here because there are a ton with her and we’d all had been wasted.

Tiramisu

At 11:58 I unapologetically went back for another scoop of this dessert. It was last year, so it totally doesn’t count anymore, right 😉 And, of course, we watched the ball drop. After that, though, we pretty much went straight to different rooms and crashed. Midnight is a stretch for me!

So far, the New Year has been filled with laziness, not-working out, and baking. Excellent 😀 How long can I reasonably keep this up? We shall see… Actually, I did wake up at 7, but since no one else was alive I felt free to sleep for another 90 minutes. After coffee and a shower, I decided that my banana goodness bread would be my first dish of the decade. Whether it’s a new home or a new decade, I think homemade bread just says “welcome”. I mushed bananas, sifted flour, and stuck it in the oven. While it was baking I had my first breakfast of the decade.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Vanilla Almond Butter And Strawberry Yogurt Frosting

See? Things don’t change overnight! That’s partially why I haven’t made any resolutions: I do that enough day-by-day that I feel no pressure to do it year-by-year. Anyway, I wasn’t too hungry and this was late so I kept it simple with delicious, Springtime flavors. I love my salty sweet 🙂 Eventually the bread was done.

Banana Goodness Bread

Another perfect loaf 🙂 This time I swapped out the flaxseed for wheat germ and sprinkled vanilla sugar over the top for some crispness–beautiful. Then my grandmother came over for a New Years lunch. It used to be our tradition when I was a little kid to have chinese take out every new Years day with my grandparents. Instead, we had leftovers, which were 10 times tastier anyway.

Roasted Vegetable Medley, Sirloin Roast, Banana Goodness Bread

Was I supposed to hold off on slicing into that bread? I’m sorry; I think I missed that message 😉 I portioned out 3oz of meat and then loaded up on bread and veggies.Yum! I kind of wish I had the sirloin last night when it was freshly cooked and dripping red but oh well–that’ll happen again in my life sometime. The bread was simply perfect. The key to a crispy stop is a little sprinkling of sugar and it is sooo worth it. Today it sounds like we’re “getting out” because it’s going to snow for 3 straight days, so I’ll be curious to see where we wind up.

A coconut bliss ice cream giveaway! Never tried this but it sounds delicious.

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Spick And Span

Posted on December 31, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That’s the most ridiculous phrase, if you ask me. Does anyone actually know what it means? I feel like I could do some funky research with my linguistics background but–meh–it’s a holiday and I’d rather be lazy 🙂 Anyway, that’s what we’re doing right now: Making everything “spick and span” for our guests soon to arrive. That’s as opposed to last night when I was throwing pillows everywhere, emptying salt containers on the counter, and rustling the leaves from out Christmas tree just for fun. JK! But I was in a mood to try something new.

Dark Chocolate Q.Bel Wafer Rolls In Raspberry Chobani

Correction: I tried 2 new things. To get some more probiotics in my day, I gave the raspberry Chobani a try. Yum! I am soooo excited for this flavor to hit shelves. I would grab the pomegranate one soley because it reminded me of raspberry. However, I’m majorly depressed sugar beats out raspberry on the ingredient list 😦 That’s not the case on any other Chobani fruit flavors, so I can’t help but wonder why here?

The other thing I tried was Q.bel‘s dark chocolate wafer roll. Again, yum! But then again, what dark chocolate isn’t? I liked how this was more sweet than bitter, but only because of the wafer part. In my mind, I was hoping for more of a hard chocolate coating but a soft, flowing syrupy center(I can dream, can’t I?). That wasn’t really the case, but it was still good. After that I was exhausted and wanted to go to bed early. My mind, however, had other plans.

Vegan Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll With Smart Balance Peanut Butter

I really think they’re lying on the ingredients or the nutritional info here because these are simply too good. Is cinnamon roll envy a viable reason to spark an investigation against a company? I think so, and I’m not above that. To make it more “night time appropriate”, I slathered on some healthy nut butter and picked out all the raisins.

Leftover Raisins

Definitely didn’t need that sugar before going to bed. I’m actually not a big raisin fan at all(hence leaving them out of my cinnamon roll recipe). That is unless we’re talking about Rum Raisin Gelato, in which case all bets are off 🙂 I thought I was waking up earlier this morning after listening to a few songs on the radio and shutting my alarm off but as it turned out I woke up at 7:40, again. Oh well, I’ll save that change for the new year. Eventually I got around to drinking more coffee than I’d care to mention and making a breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Pumpkin Cream Cheese And Walnut Butter, Fat Free Greek Yogurt With Banana Pineapple Rum Jam

My last breakfast of 2009, to be exact(I really hate always thinking about that “last” thing). I didn’t have any pumpkin yesterday so clearly that erupted into my bowl of oatmeal. I love the pumpkin cream cheese/walnut butter combo because the cream cheese has speckles of walnuts in it. I was soooo happy to have something other than 2% yogurt after 2 weeks. Even “plain” as a flavor can get old. Fast. Afterwards I got spick and span myself in the shower and started the party plating.

Pad Thai Hummus And Sunny Hummus

My two hummuses I made yesterday. I’m predicting the Pad Thai Hummus to go over really well with this crowd. I also baked, of course.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter And Chocolate Brownies

Since one of the people coming is perhaps the biggest chocolate fan I know I decided to make gluten free chocolate mint brownies. This time, however, I made the chocolate and peanut butter by swapping out vanilla extract for mint and using 2 tablespoons chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons peanut butter chips. The peanut butter chips weren’t gluten-free certified but none of the ingredients should have gluten. And since it’s not a genuine health concern of anybody, I figured it’d be fine. I decided I was hungry for lunch at 12 and ended up spending 45 minutes making a meal. I think that’s a new record for me. Oh well, it was worth it!

Pad Thai Hummus With Green Pepper, Brussels With Steak Sauce And Tempeh Bacon

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

I caved on the hummus a little early because I’m not much of a snacker at parties and like to just eat things in meals. Now I can recommend it and have had my full 🙂 I was looking for a more smoky flavor with the brussels than the steak sauce has so I added a strip of pan-heated tempeh bacon and plenty of salt. Really, though, the pudding was entirely what I wanted; and it was sooo good! I pureed 3oz avocado with 2 tablespoons cocoa in my food processor. After that I used a fork to add 3 tablespoons coconut milk kefir, stevia, and vanilla powder. The result could not have been more perfect. All it is(besides delicious) is fat and fiber. And look how nicely the day is turning out!

Snow

I was dreaming of a white Christmas New Years and it looks like we’re getting one! I can’t bellieve it. I also can’t believe that a) my mom hasn’t been stressed out by company being here in a few hours and started yelling yet and b) that the decade is now almost over. After listening to the DJ’s on the radio reminisce and think back myself, I think this decade was best for two things: American Idol and Survivor. I hardly ever voted for American Idol these days, but who can deny that it has given us so many great artists? Besides that, Survivor is just my favorite show on television, and I imagine the same for others since it’s going into its 20th season. It totally built the world of reality television. What will you remember the decade for?

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I Don’t Do Semi-Homemade, Sandra Lee

Posted on December 30, 2009. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don’t do “semi”; I go full throttle or cop-out entirely.

Acorn Squash With Baked Beans And Brussels

Have I ever made baked beans from scratch? No. Do I have any plans to? Not at all. I’m fine with these organic ones from Whole Foods. I threw together this lunch and then literally threw it in the car to get to finishing things. Good thing I’m not the driver 🙂 First we stopped off at the natural food store near me where I bought this foodie find with Christmas money.

Almond Amaretto Herbal Coffee

This isn’t really “coffee”(or “cawfee” because I’m a New Englander). It’s actually dried carob, figs, almond, and other natural ingredients for an herbal drink very similar to coffee. I was a little disappointed when I forgot to add coffee to my x-mas list because I’m such an addict, but in hindsight that was probably a good call because I don’t know how anyone in my family would have found this. I can’t wait to see if it really tastes like amaretto 😉

After the natural store, we went to get the last items on the lsit for New Years from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods–mainly the meat which we didn’t want sitting in our fridge. I’m so excited because my favorite candy bar protein bar is $1 off the entire month! Expect a lot of those for green snacking 😉 I was parched by the time we finished Whole Foods so I broke out a new soda I found on sale to try.

Steaz Orange Green Tea

I wasn’t aware that there was another stevia sweetened beverage on the market, but these in 4-packs were 3/$8 so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m sure it had caffeine even though it doesn’t say, but that was OK with e at the tie. I liked the flavor; it was a little subtle but I think tea is all about subtlety so I can understand not over-sweetening it. While I was at Whole Foods I also made another purchase with my Christmas money.

Vegan Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

Like I said, i don’t do semi. I’ve made my cinnamon rolls, and now I’m buying these cinnamon rolls 🙂 I still don’t know how they can make these with just whole wheat flour, flour, water, grape juice, canola oil, yeast, salt, and cinnamon! Soo good. After we unpacked, I got working on cooking projects 4 and 5.

Thai Peanut Hummus

When it comes to having company, I never phone it in; I do homemade. In this case, I was making hummus for our guests tomorrow. The first one was my own concoction, with 1 can of chickpeas(drained), 2 tablespoons The Heat Is On, 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce and lime juice, salt, and 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts stirred in in the end.

Sunny Tomato Hummus

The second one was a recipe from The Broccoli Hut. Apparently, food processors have no problems with nuts, but sundried tomatoes are touch cookies veggies. From the itty bits I snacked on from the scoopula, I can tell I loved the first recipe and didn’t care too much for the tomato flavor. After nibbling through these, I decided to eat something real.

Oatmeal With An Egg And The Heat Is On Peanut Butter

I guess this is “homemade”? Hard to get much simpler. I figured while the peanut butter was out I’d use it and have a spicy afternoon snack. The albumen(or egg whites if you aren’t feeling pretentious) were cooked to the perfect runniness. But after this was done I quickly got working on dinner(my thing for the 3rd night in a row).

Al Fresco Buffalo Style Sausage

I went store bought on the main protein. Actually, this was part of the large array of flavors Karen from Al Fresco sent to me a while ago. As a family, we used to always get greasy pizza and buffalo chicken wings on Tuesday nights(real healthy, right? ;-)) so this flavor was right up our alley. I did, however, do something homemade.

Killer Cornbread

Like I mentioned this morning, I had a killer craving for cornbread(say that 5 times fast). After looking at some recipes, I combined them to make my own and hoped it would come out all right.

Killer Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup whole grain cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sweetener
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, sift together the first 5 ingredients(unless using a liquid sweetener like honey or agave in which case just the first 4). Beat in the egg, milk, and any liquid sweetener if using. Add in the greek yogurt and butter and mix until blended. Move into an 8×8 baking pan and bake until browning on the outside(about 20 minutes).

Green Beans With Hot Sauce, Killer Cornbread With Cream Cheese, Buffalo Style Chicken Sausage

The cornbread was, in a word, killer. It came out perfectly grainy. I definitely had an extra 1/2 a square, and as a family we polished off 7 of the 12 servings. I think that recipe is a keeper! I also really loved this flavor sausage. It was super spicy and didn’t need a hit of hot sauce at all. Watching Paula Dean definitely had me craving cream cheese, which topped the fresh-out-of-the-oven cornbread perfectly.

Where has the day gone? What about the year?! It’s too much to think about. Instead I think I’ll figure out what foodiness is for dessert once all this darn cornbread digests.

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