“Life” Is A Funny Thing

Posted on February 12, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

That’s actually a huge understatement; life is more like the craziest thing you’ll ever attempt to know. That’s what has been on my mind most of today. A few things that sparked that:

  • Someone in my year was struck and killed by a car on a road I’ve crossed 100’s of times this year. I could have had a class with him, lived in the dorms with him, or at least knew him, but I didn’t. I went to his Facebook page when the email was sent out to get a sense of what he looked like. Not 24 hours ago, he was “making friends” on Facebook.
  • While on Facebook, I noticed someone I went to middle school with remark that 5 years ago today, we left off on what would be 10 tough days of community service in Costa Rica. This was one of those trips that breaks you down and builds you completely anew; my eyes were opened in so many ways, good friendships were made better, and it gave me a completely new experience to look back to.
  • Sunday’s Valentines Day. Facebook reminded me(nothing I didn’t already remember) that it also would have been the 18th birthday of a girl I went to high school with and knew very very well, who died from cardiac arrest on a school trip 2 1/2 years ago. She was 15.
  • On a much lighter note, some guy on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire won $250000 answering movie trivia. That’s probably the kind of stuff people told him all his life “would never be useful”, and now look at him. I’ve picked up tons of information like that(hell, it’s my major! haha).

What’s the takeaway from all these doses of “life”? For me, it’s that I’m now looking forward to going home Sunday to be with my extended family. At first, this seemed like such an imposition; could I really give a day away from work? Now I’m thinking, could I really not for family? I don’t think so.

Green Peppers And Savory Breakfast Chicken Sausages

After getting the first bit of news barraged at me, I needed a lunch that would “wow!” me and take my mind of things, but didn’t feel like doing much. I looked at the Al Fresco website to get some ideas for something simple, and found I could make this recipe pretty easily.

Kitchen Sign

I like to adhere to all the rules while cooking; I especially try and remember to take pizza out of the box before putting it in the oven. But that one always trips me up 😛 Anybody care to make a kitchen confession? I’ve done the foil in the microwave thing when I was younger(actually, it was probably my dad’s bad. It was a pancake syrup container from McDonalds on a night my mom was gone from the house). And a note on the last one: The fan doesn’t even work, haha 🙂

Egg And Sausage Frittata, Broccoli With Cayenne Parma

I changed the recipe by using 1 egg and the rest of my egg white container, and microwaved it for a minute afterwards rather than the traditional bake to finish off the top egg. On the side, I had simply steamed broccoli with cayenne parma. I pretty much loved this, licked my plate–the whole shebang. These sausage can do no wrong; I remember thinking that the first time I ate them when I snuck them into the dining hall as my protein. Expect to see this again(hopefully a lot!).

Banana Whip With Maple Syrup

I was pretty awful at getting work done this afternoon; I blame twitter friends and other blogs on my reader 😛 I decided a cool treat was necessary while I had time. I blended up some bananas and drizzled the top with maple syrup. Surprisingly, the syrup didn’t taste awfully sweet with the banana 😦 It was really only sweet the whole spoonfuls I got. Oh well, they were each good on their own part. It always amazes me how something so natural and raw can be so satisfying(technically, maple syrup isn’t raw. But from a New England and New Hampshire standpoint, it’s more natural than breathing).

Peanut Sweet & Salty Odwalla Bar

Later on I wanted some peanuts(not surprising). I realized so few bars I have actually have peanuts in them :-O I think it must be so that companies can boast a peanut-free facility. I remembered grabbing this one from a campus store last semester and went for it. It was way more sweet than salty(I actually had to pour a little salt on). I also convinced myself to go out for the 2nd time today and grabbed some yogurt; 1 vanilla chobani could not last me through Sunday morning.

Bacon Tempeh, Marinated Brussels Sprouts And Tempeh Cubes, Honey

Dinner was flavorful and–better yet–taken care of much earlier. At 3, I marinated brussels sprouts and tempeh with soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke. I roasted them for 45 minutes and then added some cooked tempeh bacon and honey for a more-or-less savory BBQ flavor. I think this has sparked a new craving for honey in me; I forgot how sweet and pure the real stuff tastes; I’ll grab a local one at a farmer’s market when those rise up again.

On the other side of life, there are happy, tame points that make you smile. I could ask myself every night before going to bed if I lived life that day the way I wanted to and the answer would almost always be “yes”. I love my family and friends and couldn’t be happier with my readership. It’s no secret I like to network with all of you through this blog, both influencing and being influenced. I’m happy to have influenced Freya who made my raw vegan brownies with chocolate frosting here.

And here’s an iHerb giveaway you could win and live life to the fullest with online shopping!

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Too Cold For Anything Else

Posted on January 29, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today has just been too cold for anything other than what I did and was done. My hands are recirculating, and my jeans have been long swapped for PJ’s by now. I suppose that when they announce an “Extreme Cold Advisory” on the news, they mean business. Backing up, I had some weird cravings for lunch. It was just too cold to want something real or excited. I managed to reign back my cravings a bit and make a semi-normal lunch.

Root Beer Zevia, Turkey With Mighty Maple, Hickory Honey BBQ Baked Kettle Chips, Steamed Broccoli

Turkey With Mighty Maple, Hickory Honey BBQ Baked Kettle Chips, Steamed Broccoli

Did maple peanut butter jump out of the jar onto my turkey? It just might of… with a little help. I prefer dark meat, so if I’m going to have white meat turkey I better stick some fat in there somehow; the sweet maple was pure craving, but at least it worked well with these chips.

To-Do List

I probably should have heeded the weather warning and stayed indoors just because I could but I had a bit of a list to work on. At least while I was out I managed to get it all done. I’m officially on a lower meal plan, trading 110 meals and 125 flex points for about $240 dollars;It’d definitely be a “better bargain” to have stayed on but what’s the use if it goes to wast? Nada.

Books And Notebooks

I ended up returning 2 of my books and buying them new; I try to buy used when possible but these were a little too used and they’re books I’ll be looking at for a while so I figured the extra money was worth it. The final total for the semester was around $350–not bad considering the majority of the books are in my concentration and I’ll need beyond this semester.

Tazo Calm Tea

It was too cold not to get tea while I was near a campus convenience store. I threw everything on the bed and considered making a snack, but wanted to get to a dining hall right at 4 to grab things for dinner and get in for the night before it got colder. Or so I thought. I got there at 4:10. They opened at 4:30. But unless I wanted to go back into the cold(absolutely not), I would just have to wait there. So I did. I didn’t end up getting back to my room until 4:45.

Cooked Vegetables, Raw Broccoli, Sandwich Lettuce, Apples

At least it was a productive shopping trip. I don’t know if you’re supposed to load up two large take out containers with vegetables, but no one particularly stops you if you do. You might get odd looks, but no words. I was starving and just threw together the best thing I could think of.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With Mighty Maple

It was too cold not to eat pumpkin oats with maple peanut butter. Nothing would have made this better, unless it were made in the jar; I think that’s a principal of life. Instead of eating more after this, which definitely would have spoiled my appetite for dinner, I just decided to invest a little time and “make something” that’d be nice. Since I was craving Indian, I mixed 2/3 a can of chickpeas, 1/3 cup pumpkin, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon steak sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons indian spice, and enough watter to thin it. Normally I’d prefer a tomato based sauce but it was too cold not to utilize pumpkin(and that’s all I had on hand). That made about 3 servings, so I took 1 and saved 2.

Vegetable Melange, Pumpkin Indian Chickpeas, Raw Vegan Brownie

Pumpkin Indian Chickpeas Wit Full Fat Greek Yogurt

Raw Vegan Brownie With Raw Chocolate Frosting

This was pretty darn good. The chickpeas came out nice and spicy, with the pumpkin to add some savor factor. A dollop of full fat yogurt, though, really made the whole thing come alive; the dish needed fat and depth. Speaking of fat, the raw vegan brownies are still just as delicious. It was too cold not to have something sweet to finish of dinner. Do other people eat the best part of their meal at the end, too? I always did this as a kid, but people would confuse this for me not liking something and picking it off my plate before I would get to it. Not cool. No one got my brownie.

Don’t think having chocolate with dinner meant there won’t be some for dessert; it would just be too cold to ignore chocolate like that. I do feel somewhat bad on skipping out on a friend’s birthday party tonight. But if I went–and in this cold–I wouldn’t be enjoying myself, and I’m not convinced she’d notice me there amongst the other 100 facebook friends attending. So after all I don’t feel bad about ditching it for some light and humorous reads.

Homework

Wow are there a lot of giveaways going on now. Here’s one for a bread machine. Here’s another for coconut oil! Here’s one for some delicious bars. And here’s one for iHerb shopping spree! Here’s one for chocolate. And how about one last one for chocolate, here!

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Meals And Moving

Posted on January 24, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Woo, I am beat. So much for a somple Sunday. Can I fall asleep now? Maybe a post(and dessert) first. For lunch we ewre roasting half of an all-natural turkey, which raised a little dilemma in my head. I knew I didn’t want meat, but I hated the idea of not eating good meat when it was cooked. In the end, I decided I knew what I knew and I should make my own meat-free lunch if that’s the way it should be.

Fakin' Bacon Marinated Tempeh Cubes

I did some research and found the generic ingredients for something bacon-like in flavor. After toying around I came up with this combo:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

This was much more marinade than I needed for 1 serving of tempeh, but the flavor came out great–very bacon-like! I’ll make an actual recipe page for this soon enough. I ended up skewering and grilling the tempeh, which also really helped out the flavor.

Fakin' Bacon Tempeh, Sweet Yam With Cinnamon, Roasted Brussels With Nutritional Yeast

Fakin' Bacon Tempeh, Sweet Yam With Cinnamon, Roasted Brussels With Nutritional Yeast

Like I said, the tempeh came out delicious. My grandmother made me give her a piece even though she had no clue what it was, and approved of it highly. Well that should be all the convincing you need 😉 Apparently the “sweet yam” was marketed as different from a sweet potato. It got really caramelized from roasting for an hour and definitely tasted sweeter than normal.

After lunch, I kind of knew what had to be done even though I didn’t want to admit it: We had to start moving things back into my dorm. A pain? Majorly. But if we didn’t do this today, we’d either need to make an even bigger trip down Tuesday or 2 trips. Yeah, there was no winning here, so we went with plan A. We loaded up the car, drove down, and got to Providence quick. I made us stop at Whole Foods because I was hungry.

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

The perfect snack. I had to get this to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day. It was also 50% off so it was only 1.50, eats like a complete meal, and has a great(though tasteless) green body to it. We also found nutritional yeast at the bulk bins!! This was excellent, since I was thinking we’d need to go to Dedham again to get more. When we got to my room, it looked so sad 😦

Bare Room

The athletes who had lived there left a little present: some champagne stoppers on the floor. Joy. Besides that, it was all pretty well clean, and the closet hadn’t been broken in to. We de-iced the fridge/freezer, set up the TV and microwave, made the bed, put away some food, clothes, and books, and 75 minutes later it looked more lively.

Half Moved In

Ignore the sketchy pillow on the floor; I just didn’t want it touching my bed since it’s the random pillow the school provides and had hair all over it. Now, I don’t really believe in New Years Resolutions mainly because I’m constantly changing my mindset/prerogative. I like this, though, because it lets me make many “mini” resolutions throughout the year. One of these resolutions will be to make better use of my dorm’s kitchen.

Basement Kitchen

It may be small. It may be ugly. And it may definitely smells like too many bottles of Bud Light have spilled on the floor. But it’s a hell of a lot more functionable than my little microwave, and I do want to get away from the dining hall as much as possible this new semester for several reasons. So hopefully I’ll be able to make friends with these burners. Hopefully.

On the way home, we just stopped at a local grocery store quickly because, once again, I was hungry.

Cortland Apple

I don’t understand how I eat the most out of my family; they need to start shoveling it in to compete! This Cortland wasn’t organic, or even washed because I just needed to get it in me. That being said, I’d still argue it was a better decision than 90% of things in any standard grocery store–just saying. This didn’t have to last me long, anyway, because it was about dinner time.

Vegan Meatloaf, Butternut Squash With Black Pepper

And now I’m full, tired, and lounging on my couch at home. This meatloaf never fails to get better with age; if you go to the recipe page you’ll see I included the full nutritional info for a slice! It’s quite a balanced portion of protein, fat, and fiber for something began. It might change with the rice you use(I use a brown rice medley from Trader Joe’s with some seeds in it), but it should come out similar enough. Since dinner, we’ve been arguing about my meal plan, how much I ate first semester off of it, and what to do with the new year. Is it possible that I used over $450 in flex points in 3 months? I don’t really think so, but they do charge 2.69 for 1 freakin‘ Chobani, so who knows. If that’s the case, I’m screwed. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

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