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Saturday, February 20, 2010

I've MOVED!

I've MOVED!!
everyone walk on over here to keep up to date. In fact, there's already a new recipe up!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Threepeat

Did everyone make it to Friday okay? I sure did - now it's home free for a whole week!
The funny thing for me when I'm on break from school, though, is that not much changes! I still work MWF, and if it wasn't winter I'd be working all week!

This morning had some new guests - and a good thing, because otherwise it would have been very repetitive! Not that I'm complaining, but you guys might get a little bored ;)


Ironically, not one of the jams from yesterday. This one's been chillin' out in my cupboard for a while. It was time to break out that and Cinnamon Raisin Swirl for my Coconut Plum Brekkie Bowl.


In the Mix: 2 T. Spelt Hot Cereal, 2 T. TVP, 1 T. Wheat Bran, 1/2 c. brewed coffee, 1/4 c. almondmilk, goji berries, cinnamon, vanilla, 3/4 diced plum, 1/2 pkt. sun crystals
On the Top: the same yogurt-chia seed icing from yesterday, plum jam, cinnamon raisin swirl PB, flax, raisins, and caramelized plum & coconut.

deeee-vine.


I think the plums I picked up still need a couple more days to get nice & juicy-ripe, though. 

I've had a couple questions on the so-called yogurt chia seed "icing," and realized I never really addressed it.
Basically, I prepare approximately equal parts almond milk and plain greek yogurt, mix it together, and then add in chia seeds, allowing the chia seeds to soak up some of the mixture, but not so much that it gets to the consistency of normal pudding or yogurt. I love the texture of the chia seeds prepared this way - and find normal yogurt too thick and...well, weird...on top of oats.
If I'm making a large batch to get me through a couple mornings (and bites throughout the day!) I just do a basic mix of the yogurt, milk, chia seeds, and then some vanilla and/or maple syrup or jam for sweetener, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and sometimes acai powder.
It's also really good with pumpkin puree, mashed banana, anything!

What are your favorite uses for Chia seeds?


This was a really good batch - but I say that all the time!
I love the Spelt, and the PB was amazing, too! I was expecting it to be more raisin-y, but I just realized a few minutes ago after I was helping myself to more that they're mostly on the bottom - so next time I use it I need to be sure to stir!


Self explanitory leftovers. I meant to grab half a sweet potato I had left or make the last naan dough up to go with it, but totally forgot. As it was, as much as it looks, it was not enough and I was ravenous by the time the day was done!
An Apple Walnut SoyJoy bar was broken into on my drive home. Always prepared with the snackage! The apple walnut flavor is actually really good. My first soyjoy bar was raisin almond, and some of you may remember my on-the-fence opinion on it. The parmesan cheese really weirded me out, too. But this apple-walnut one didn't have a strange after-taste at all, and the apple flavor was naturally apple-y, not artificially at all, like some bars can be. Overall - I recommend! 

I came home and prepared a three-peat dinner:


The last of the noodles, last of the sugar snap peas, last piece of naan dough, and half of a leftover sweet potato. And some almond mozzarella on top for fun and because it is so dang delicious.
I think that is my favorite shirataki recipe thus far. And I loved having that naan dough at my disposal! I will have to be making more soon :)

Does anyone have any fun plans for the weekend?
I may need to bake up some of my carrot-bran muffins. I'm all out! I like having them with my nightime snack. That or I may try my hand at some sort of raw cookie. I've never made them before. I usually just help myself to a handful of dates :P

And also, a question for other bloggies: I've been hearing lots about wordpress being much more beneficial in the long run versus blogspot. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Those of you who have gone from one to the other, or have thought about it as well? Would love some opinions :)

I'm thinking about doing a fun giveaway soon, too! Any thoughts? I realize I'm far from a "big" blog, - but I think a fun little "vermont pride" giveaway will be fun - especially since I really appreciate you guys who do read on a daily basis. Even when I'm boring, like today :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Got Issues.

Uh, so, can anybody else hardly believe it's Thursday already?!
It snuck up on me - and I'd almost forgotten that I'm on break from classes all of next week! My college goes on break every 5 weeks (or 6?) so that kids don't get depressed. They always come at jussst the right time - whenever I get the thoughts of "hmmm..do I really need to go to class today...?" I can tell there's a break coming up :)

Yes - believe it or not, there's oats under there!

As I've mentioned before, I've never been a huge chocolate fan. Even growing up I'd opt for the skittles or gummy bears, if I had to chose a candy. Exceptions were if coconut and/or almonds were in the chocolate, of course :) Go figure - now that dark chocolate is discovered to be good for your health, right? hah. But anyways - sometimes I get the urge for some chocolatey goodness, and this morning was a prime example.
Yep - under that mess is a good ol' batch of banana-almond chocolate spelt & tvp cereal!


It's no secret how much I love spelt bread - so I couldn't wait to try this Rolled Spelt hot cereal! Unfortunately, I should not have used them in such a "flavor-masking" bowl such as  this - I couldn't detect the differences of flavor between spelt and oats. Oh well - tomorrow!


In the Mix: 2 T. TVP, 2 T. Rolled Spelt, 1 T. wheat bran, 1/4 sliced nanner, goji berries, almond extract, 1.5 t. organic unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 packet sun crystals.
For the "Icing": Greek yogurt, chia seeds, acai powder, dollop honey, vanilla extract, almondmilk
On the Top: sliced nanner, icing, toasted coconut, toasted almonds, flax, strawberry-pom jam, white choco coconut PB

Yum-o! I lovelove the combo of almond, coconut, banana, and chocolate!

This morning I actually didn't go to my first two classes - but only because it was a make up day! Teachers kinda "get" that kids hate showing up when break is so close I guess, haha. So - I scheduled to shoot a senior portrait and then thought I'd run into town to Bed Bath & Beyond, and Hannaford. (rut roh - now you have an idea what the title of this post alludes to, huh?)
Anyways - still packed a lunch and snacks!

Simple Bulgur wrap with spinach - that bulgur from last night is a great wrap filler! Would have been better pressed on the 'nini maker, of course ;)


naranja, trail mix, veggie crisps, wrap, tea, nanner, spelt toast with dates, pb, and jam.
and of course coffee and agua!

After a very cold but good shoot, I hit up Bed, Bath & Beyond in search of cute bowls and plates. I've been getting so bored photographing the same old ones, I'm not gonna lie. Is that bad? haha. 
That and, I adore browsing through all those kitchen appliances - I could have a hay-day in there! I found some super cool bowls and plates - you'll see! Next up? Hannafords. Oh, heavens. Why am I allowed in there? I've got serious issues. All I needed were some shirataki noodles! But of course I had to browse the peanut butter and jam aisle and wound up with two new PB & Co PB's and two new jams. And trust me - I almost had far more jams! Luckily, I shied away from the mustard aisle, but only because there was another woman blocking the whole shelf. I silently thanked her. Although - I have been dying to find PB&Co around here - and the jams were on sale :)

After making it back to campus and nomming on my lunch while surfing the web in my mom's office [the only other place to eat without freezing or looking strange is the dining hall - and you can't get in without paying or swiping ID. Since I commute, I don't have a meal plan, so would have to pay.] I had our first photo critique. It went much better than I thought! Still not sure what the teacher thinks, but there were good critiques and some really nice work from the other students, too. I was surprised, though - for once, I was the talkative one! Usually, I listen to everyone else and chime in when really necessary or I have something I really want to say. This is a really quiet group, however!

It was also a very fast critique. I made it home in time to edit some of the senior portraits & snack on some spelt bread (with, of course, pb, jam, and dates & a vanilla latte) before making possibly the best dinner of the week. Hmm...lemon...sensing a new pattern, here...

I can't help it - I love shirataki noodles! Maybe it's in my blood - my mom loves them, too. 

Creamy Lemon-Garlic Noodles with Tuna, Bacon, & Veggies

Ingredients For the Noodles:
-1 pkg Shirataki noodles/pasta, rinsed & microwaved 1 m.
-1 can chunk tuna
- 2-3 T. olive oil
-1/4 c. diced red onion
-1/2 carrot, diced
-1 T. minced garlic
-3/4 c. sugar snap peas
-2 slices cooked turkey bacon, diced
-salt, pepper 

For the Sauce:
-1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
-1 T. lemon juice
-lemon pepper
-crushed red pepper
-basil
-scant 1/4 c. almondmilk/milk/cream
-1 T. BBQ sauce
-1 T. dijon mustard

Sautee minced garlic, red onion, carrot, peas, and bacon in olive oil until soft. Add in tuna, and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the sauce, seasoning to taste.
Add noodles to veggie mixture and combine, followed by the sauce. 

Serve with lemon-pepper naan (naan dough prepared in lemon pepper-covered iron skillet) and parmesan cheese.


Delish! Seriously loving having that naan dough on hand, and it is so. darn. good. with the lemon pepper!
Whatcha think of new plate #1, btw?! I think it's pretty neat - though I do wish it wasn't so flat!


Honestly - I think the shirataki noodles are perfect for this. I don't look at them as a sub for pasta - I look at them as jazzy ramen noodles! haha.

Lately, my "unpictured evening snacks" have often been consisting of heated applesauce and/or greek yogurt, with jam, pb or ab, dates or raisins, and some kashi (and sometimes some of those butterscotch chips!) or a slice of spelt toast with pb or ab, jam, and dates, also heated. Can you tell I seriously adore dates? 

What's your favorite unusual snack?
I guess toast isn't unusual - what's unusual is that I love something so simple! haha.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just Take My Word for it...

Happy Humpday! The week's almost over already...can you believe it?
I woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow, and was ready to play with a [small] portion of my Bob's order that I received yesterday. 


I actually ordered a ridiculous amount of grain-y things...but I decided to start here! I've got to pace myself, though - unfortunately, I can't open them all at once! I have a "thing" about that, hah.
What better way to try them with a new "combo," too?


How about some plum oats?!
The Mix: 2 T. Barley Flakes, 2 T. TVP, 1/4 c. almondmilk, 1/2 c. brewed coffee, goji berries, majority of a chopped plum, cinnamon
On the Top: caramelized plum, pineapple chia seed "icing," dates, toasted coconut, toasted almonds, ground flax, pom. strawberry jam, and white choco. coconut PB.


mmm! quite good :)I just wish the plum was a bit more ripe. The slices I warmed up in a skillet with some maple syrup were okay, but the chunks in with the cereal were a bit tart. This was my first bowl in eons that didn't have banana!

Verdict on the barley flakes? Good! I still combined them with TVP because I really like to get a lot of protein at breakfast. That's why I do it with normal oatmeal, too. Hey, it's what works for me! These were quite voluminous - my bowl was almost too small! And I liked their chewy texture. Not too much of a taste difference, really. But that's okay! I love experimenting with new grains.


Lunch: carrot sticks and a panini wrap consisting of hummus, two fried eggs, spinach, red onion, red pepper, dill pickle, and a dash of the cheesy ranch sauce leftover from last night's dinner.
Snackage during work: homemade "trail mix" [kashi H2H, total, Snyder's butter snaps, dates, raisins, walnuts, crumbled mate bar, crumbled kashi bar. basically, the whole cupboard.] huuuuuge orange, and that white container is some almondmilk for coffee 
Snackage on the drive in: spelt toast with PB, jam & dates, nanner.

good foodage.

The mac at work finally got up and running around noon today. Luckily, nothing was lost and it was something I don't understand and can't even recite back to you all because I am terrible at understanding computer dynamics. lol! But, it was just mr. mac's time to have a freak out. He just chose me as the crash dummy :)

I had dinner ideas involving a sweet potato, an apple, and chicken or chik'n planned, just wasn't sure what exactly, so thoughts were rolling around in my head for the afternoon. Eventually, my beloved bulgur came into play, and I decided I'd try a lemony bulgur salad with sweet potato, apple, and chicken.

It sort of held true...
[disclaimer: i sincerely apologize for the poor quality of my dinner photos lately! I feel like they all look the same lately, and not very appetizing. I really can't wait until it's light out both morning and night! that will be a huge help. So, until then, take my word for it: I'm not just eating a bunch of gross stuff! haha]


(I realized I forgot dressing for my spinach shortly after these pictures. I didn't feel like re-shooting just for that)

Anyways! Now that those disclaimers are out of the way, this was really good. Promise
I ended up just hoping it'd turn out good and made extra, thinking it'd be a really good wrap filler. I definitely am glad I made that call! Here's what I did - just use the seasonings to your taste - that's what I did, so don't have exact measurements.

Creamy Sweet Potato and Bulgur Salad
-1/2 c. cracked bulgur wheat [I use hodgson mill's bulgur with soy]
-1 c. water + 2 T as needed
-diced red onion, about 1/4 c.
-dab of butter
-handful baby spinach, torn
-diced carrot
-1 small sweet potato, or 3/4 med., cooked and cubed
-1/4 c. raisins
-1/4 c. walnuts or almonds, opt.
-minced garlic
- salt and pepper
-lemon pepper
-dash nutmeg
-dash curry powder (opt)
-dried basil
-1/4 c. greek yogurt
-1 t. raspberry dijon mustard
-2 T. unsweetened applesauce
-1 T. lemon juice

Toast the bulgur and red onion in small amount of butter and minced garlic until fragrant - about 10 m. Season with salt, pepper, lemon pepper, basil, and nutmeg.Add water and spinach and carrots and simmer until tender / water is soaked up. Add in raisins.
Meanwhile, mix together greek yogurt, applesauce, lemon juice, mustard, basil, lemon pepper, and curry powder (if desired). 
Once bulgur mixture is ready, add your cooked and cubed sweet potato. Allow to cool for a bit before combining the dressing and bulgur. Mix in nuts, if desired.

I didn't end up using all of the dressing - use your judgement! And hopefully I remembered everything...heh.
I had it with a naan cooked in lemon pepper. I just sprayed the cast iron skillet, sprinkled it with lemon pepper, and then slapped the naan bread down. The lemon pepper really added to it, I must say! (both the naan and the salad)


I was too lazy to  roll my naan dough out. I guess it's not very naan-like, but I'll still call it that.
Hopefully I haven't made everyone lose their appetites! I promise it was quite satisfying, however! Creamy, refreshing goodness. I eat a lot of spicy foods - as you all well know - and sometimes forget how much I enjoy food that isn't spicy, as well. For some reason it seems more satisfying and healthy, lol.

I think I've gotten so distracted so many times throughout the course of this posting, that I really hope it makes sense. I've got a lot running through my head - shooting a senior portrait tomorrow, and need to get my photos ready for our first critique, too. And need to take advantage of a bunch of BOGO sales at price chopper! Food is always a priority, ya know ;)

Anyways - that is all from my end. 
What's your favorite Bob's Red Mill product? Or, what's a grain you love, or one you really want to try?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Extremes

First of all, thank you guys so much for your kind words after yesterday's post. You're all too sweet! I hope I didn't sound like too much of a Debbie Downer - in all honesty, days like that, I can't help but to laugh a little! Keeps ya from crying, ya know? But in all reality, nothing seriously catastrophic happened (okay, well, the computer crashing stinks, but it really wasn't my fault, lol) but how often does everything happen all at once like that? haha.

Secondly, I don't think I can ever ask what your favorite ______ is ever again! Why? I'm way too jealous of all the awesome jams you guys can find in your areas! Fig? Creme of Dates with Almond? Ginger? Vanilla chestnut? Seriously - every single suggestion about had my mouth watering! I think I would especially kill for Creme of Dates with Almond ;)

But anyways - on to today!
Lets just say...it was the extreme opposite of yesterday!


In the Base: bulgur, oats, TVP, and wheat bran mix, with cinnamon, nutmeg, goji berries, 1/4 banana, and orange zest.
In the "Icing": greek yogurt, chia seeds, sliced pineapple, and almondmilk.
On the Top: flax, toasted coconut, toasted macadamia nuts, 1/4 banana, orange zest & wedges, pomegranate strawberry jam, Naturally Nutty White Chocolate Coconut PB, and poppyseeds - just because!

Holy Yum! Sometimes there's no such thing as too much of a good thing, I guess!


I realized that this PB will still last a year if I don't refrigerate it. Safe to say - it won't last that long, so I'm leaving it out now! It gets too hard in the fridge. I like it to melt in! And with the new knowledge - I'm not so afraid to open the others *gasp*at the same time. For some reason I thought they went bad way faster.


This peanut butter is seriously amazing. I love that it's not very chocolatey, and the coconut is allowed to take center stage :) Probably because it's white chocolate, not dark. Which, I actually just realized this morning as I was thinking to myself how glad I was that it wasn't overly chocolatey. Uh, duh, Jess....just read the label. lol...

floating oats!

Yes - these were taken outside.
It was cold. But they look so much pretty outside, don't you agree?


Sorry - I got a little photo happy this morning, I'd say. 

Before I left for my first classes I threw together some "overnight oats" consisting of plain oikos, almond milk, chia seeds, oats, goji berries, maple sizzurp, and a crumbled mate energy bar. I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it home for lunch like usual because there was a possibility - weather permitting - that I would be shooting someone's senior portrait. It was supposed to start snowing right around noon - when I get out of class - and we were supposed to shoot then, too. 

Well, the shoot got rescheduled because she was too sick - and good thing, too! It's finally storming pretty darn good! Started right when I got off the phone with her. So, I [slowly!] made it home - the snow really started sticking to the roads, and fast.
And, with the wintery weather, couldn't decide if I still wanted cold "over morning" oats! So I opted for the best of both worlds:

In the Pita Panini: turkey bacon, spinach, roma tomato slices, red onion, almond mozzarella, and maple-dijon mustard.
On the side: sundried tomato hummus, Schneiders butter bites pretzels, carrot, and Suzie's spelt multi-seed flatbreads.


This. Was. Perfect. I think I'm in love with just about every component. That almond mozzarella is pretty awesome, as ws my first turkey bacon experience! 
It was made even better that I could see this every time I looked out the door...


I love the peaceful beauty of snow when it falls like this :) Isn't it gorgeous?
Are you a snow lover or hater?
It's funny - I've never gone snowboarding or skiing a day in my life, and hate being cold. But I love, love, love, watching the snow fall.

Lunch was followed shortly with my dessert, something probably only appetizing-looking to me, but oh well!


Some seriously good oats. Everyone must put dried goji berries in their next batch of overnight oats. They get deliciously moist and...delicious. haha. Same as rehydrating them while your oatmeal boils. So good! I don't really care for them dry...


It was about this time that I decided I would not be driving back for my night class! The roads were much too sloppy already - and even if the commute in wasn't bad, I only knew the one home would be awful. I hate driving at  night in snow storms. It's like driving in a tunnel - and really exhausts your eyes! Not to mention the conditions in general.


This is a really nice professor, though - so hopefully he's relatively understanding. I feel bad because I hate looking like I'm copping out!

With this information, I could have ditched my plans for a quick, easy dinner since had I gone to class I'd be getting home quite late. But, I'd grown rather fond of my idea and decided to roll with it. It incorporated two new finds - one from my co-op trip the other day, and one from my Bob's Red Mill order I received today!


I knew the hot dogs would come in handy, and have pretty good nutritionals, and have been dying to try out nutritional yeast since reading Mae's blog.

So, I decided on Turkeys in a Blanket!


Okay, so this dun' look so hot.
It. was. so. good.
There's just something so great about comfort food made quasi-healthy, don't you agree?


What's the "blanket" you ask?
Oh, you know...just the Naan I made up the other day!
Crafty.
Turkey dogs all cozy in a Naan dough with sundried tomatoes and a cheesy ranch sauce?
And burnt broccoli?
Yes, please!
And, verdict on the turkey dogs? Oh my goodness. So quick, so convenient, and so good! They're really moist - I was kind of expecting...I duunno. Dry weirdness? haha. But really. They're quite good!

But that's about it from me!
What's your favorite "comfort food"? Whether you healthify it or not!


Also! Is everyone familiar with Tastespotting? It's a relatively addictive website, and where a lot of my ideas stem from - it's picture and one-liner based, so it's easy to grab an idea and run, rather than follow a recipe. And, if you're a recipe-follower, the recipe is provided via a blog link.
Well anyways! There's a new website similar - but just for desserts! It's called Dessertspotting, and Donalyn is looking for more participants, photos, recipes - be it a healthy recipe or not! Breakfasts, sweets, etc. I know even though I try to healthify many things, I view websites like these on a daily basis because it's not forcing a recipe on you before seeing a photo or one-liner description. You can pretty much take the flavors and idea and adapt it to your nutritional needs and desires! That and - I know tons of you dear readers have beautiful and delicious recipes that are certainly deserving of a feature. So go ahead, get on the boat and start submitting to this wonderful community!

Monday, February 15, 2010

One of those Days...

Today was kinda  one of those days that just remind you we're all human :)
You know...everything's going great for a couple weeks, and then you get a day where it seems like nearly everything that can go wrong, does? Ehhhh, well. 
It started out fair enough:


It was kinda like a trip to the tropics, actually!
Mixed in with the oatmeal was banana, sliced pineapple, and goji berries.
And on the top?  Flax, toasted coconut, toasted macadamia nuts, sliced banana, raisins, chia-seed yogurt "icing," pomegranate-strawberry jam, and Naturally Nutty Choco Coconut P.B.
Yum!


It was quite colorful underneath, too - I took a photo but it was blurry. Should have taken that as a hint...

Afterwards, packed up a lunch consisting of a sweet potato & tomato pita panini, an orange, sugar snap peas, carrot sticks, and homemade trailmix.


The rest of my morning banana and a half a slice of bakery spelt bread with A.B. and pomegranate-strawberry jam for the car ride in, too. Why half? For some strange reason, the other half got stuck in the toaster and started smoking. Uh, whaaa? I guess I sliced it a bit uneven. Oh well. I wasn't hungry, I just wanted it. lol. An added boost to my day, if you will.

Work started out okay...I shot an artist reproduction all by myself (involved a lot of light fidgeting and I've only done it twice before) so I was pretty proud, even though someone came in looking to have their passport taken while I was right in the middle of shooting, so of course I had to hurriedly disassemble the repro-lighting set-up to get the lighting right for a portrait/passport to shoot that. Shoot the passport, re-assemble the lighting, shoot the painting, and again disassemble the repro lighting to re-assemble the passport/portrait lighting. Oi. It's good practice.
I guess. haha.
So that wasn't too bad. But then it happened.
It? you ask?
Well. I seem to have a knack for being the one using technology when it decides to finally...uh...kaput.

I was happily retouching and printing photos from the Mac, when I turn around to grab a print off the printer to put on the dry-rack. Next thing you know, I turn around and there is a message saying "You need to restart your computer now." In about five different languages, and unlike any message I have ever seen before.
My "project" boss had just left for the day because his sister-in-law was having a baby. (the one who kinda oversees digital/tech-y jobs and gives me the stuff to work on)
I was going it alone. (well, with my other boss - runs the business, but not as UTD with the digital projects & such)

After much googling, I discover it is a kernel panic, which has to do with incompatible RAM or software, or a severely corrupt hard-drive. Cool, right? Well, let me tell you, I was in a kernel panic for the better part of the day. When I left it was still a very unhappy Mac, so I guess we'll find out Wednesday what the word is.

To make matters worse: An order came through that needed to be printed off of that Mac that the customer needed tonight. Unfortunately, that wouldn't be happening. I had a feeling that would happen.

But hey - dinner would make everything better, right? Salmon tonight. I love salmon! And I'd do a Maple-Ginger glaze. Mmmm! I love maple! and Ginger!


Uhh, okay...I love ginger in moderation. Unfortunately, I had a minor accident with the ginger shaker and added way too much. Like, a nearly unbearable amount. Pretty sure I only kept eating in efforts to convince myself that it wasn't that bad. But...it really wasn't that great. The good part of this meal? The orange slices. And the salmon was okay when I scraped the glaze off. heh...

However, I think my "hey you're human" day is turning around after all. I just found another bag of butterscotch chips in the cupboard. And I made a piece of Spelt toast without burning it. You'd best believe I'm enjoying a bowl of warmed-up applesauce with P.B. and butterscotch chips, and some spelt toast with PB & J :) Pretty sure I'll be nomming my way through the night, though - I tend to do that when I'm unhappy with my dinner because I feel like i was ripped off, food-wise. lol.

Pretty excited to be watching the downhill skiing now - these guys are crazy! Did anyone else catch the men's moguls last night? My knees hurt just watching. Pretty insane, pretty awesome.

AND! We're finally supposed to get a minor snow storm tomorrow! It's been far too long since Vermont's seen snow...you guys in the South are hogging it all this year!

On a relatively unrelated note:What's your favorite jam, jelly, or preserve?
Brand or flavor :)
I love finding interesting new jams and preserves...kind of like a nut-butter obsession but different...though I'm pretty sure I'm beginning a nut-butter obsession, too!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What a Buffalo

Happy Valentine's Day, beautiful people!
Did you all treat yourselves to Valentine's goodies, I hope?

My day actually started with a real cookie - and I'm not talking about another crazy oatmeal concoction! Part of my valentine's gift to my mom was some Cherry-Almond Ginger Cookies from a local bakery. We each started our mornings off with one. Hey, we've gotta do what we've gotta do, right? It was so delicious that I'm sure its' flavors will appear in a future oatmeal bowl.

But this morning's was to die for, as well:


I didn't want this bowl to end.
Remember when I used to have blueberries non-stop with my breakfast? Well, I still have some from that craze, and they may be coming back after this delicious-ness!

In the bowl: The usual mix (including banana) with frozen blueberries and ground ginger. Obsessed with ginger lately! I also have been putting goji berries in with the mix while it boils. They get deliciously soft. Does anyone know if this affects their benefits, though?


Toppings of the morning: ground golden flax, toasted coconut & macadamia nuts, chia-seed yogurt icing, sliced banana, blueberry-cherry jam, and Naturally Nutty Chocolate Coconut PB.
Heaven in a bowl. But when don't I say that lately?! I only wish the Naturally Nutty didn't get so solid in the fridge. I like when PB or AB gets all melty :)

Most of my morning was spent typing a paper for my family violence class (I hope new readers don't get the wrong impression when they read that...lol) and getting photos together for our first photo critique. I'm actually not really sure what the teacher is looking for because she won't answer my e-mail, and I definitely feel like I'm missing something. But I guess I'll just march to the beat of my own drum?


So, I'm doing a couple comps, with two pictures - including the black and white portraits I posted the other day...


And a couple just as-is. These look kind of bland on here since they're being res'd down so much, I apologize. They are HDR photos - High Dynamic Range - so they are really quite vibrant in their original forms. I need to upload some to my flickr.
HDR photos are the compilations of at least three different photos, of varying exposures. So, I would shoot each image at the correct exposure, then one image 2 "stops" under, and another 2 "stops" over. This allows you to capture the details in what would otherwise be overexposed highlights (i.e. the sky) and underexposed shadows (i.e. the windows). It's really quite fun! I think the reason I enjoy this moreso than regular digital captures is because I like film so much - but this is something that you can't do with film. I guess I'm still of the belief that film is superior, so if I'm going to shoot digitally, I might as well be doing something I can't do with analog.

But, I'll stop with the photo-geekery. That's my little knowledge tid-bit of the day rather than a foodie one :) If you're interested in HDR photography, check out the blog link above. Definitely some good explanations there.

Breaking for lunch, I did something new that I initially found to be a very odd idea indeed:


A sweet potato on a sandwich?! But...but...aren't those textures too similar?
I guess it just never occured to me that a sweet potato - already a starchy, carb-y food, would  really fit in on more bread. But after seeing this panini I decided it was worth a try. And I mean really. How can you go wrong with a sweet potato? Worse comes to worse, just dismantle it and eat everything separately, right?

Well, it was fantastic, and you should go make a sweet potato panini right now.


I didn't quite follow the recipe - I dislike avocados quite a bit, actually - but did attempt to mimic the dressing, and the idea in general, of course.
I first panini'd half a sweet potato cut into rounds and seasoned with salt, pepper, and curry powder until soft. Meanwhile, on a pita, I spread a mixture of dijon mustard, greek yogurt, poppyseeds, and maple dijon mustard. On top of this I layered baby spinach, red onion, roma tomato slices, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and curry powder. Placed the sweet potato rounds, folded, and pressed the whole sandwich in half. Oh. So. Good.
My intentions were to use feta cheese, but before opening the container, I noticed it had a feb.28 use-by date and decided I'd rather bring it back to the store considering it was just purchased yesterday, lol. Ah well. 

I also decided to try baking the rest of the butter beans! I loved making curried baked chick-peas so I decided to do the same thing with these butter beans - rinsed and patted them dry before shaking in a bag with curry powder and french fry seasoning. French fry seasoning = bad idea, baked butter beans = good idea.
They were good, but I guess I didn't realize how salty the french fry seasoning is, and it became overbearable halfway through :( This from the girl who is relatively liberal with salt, too.

I had one of the best snacks today, too:


Okay, looks simple. But have you ever heated up applesauce with butterscotch chips before? Before this, I hadn't either. After this, I will be doing it often. Once the butterscotch chips are replaced. Who leaves four butterscotch chips in a bag? I think it must have been my mom. I've noticed she'll think she's doing a nice thing by just taking a small nibble of something, which just results in leaving a small nibble. Or, as I say, tease. Just eat the whole thing! I'd rather not know what I'm missing, I guess. haha.
What's your take - do you want to be left a tiny little "tease" of something and wish there was more, or not even know it existed in the first place?
It's funny, because just that morning I made fun of her for doing it with some of my leftover banana, haha.
Anyways; in addition: homemade trail mix [kashi, total, crumbled mate energy bar, walnuts, and goji berries], raisins, Spelt bread toast with PB & Blueberry-Cherry jam & a Choco-Mint Yerba Mate Latte! Well, quasi-latte.

Naan also made an appearance again tonight! I just put all of the dough balls in the fridge so I could make them as I wanted them. Sooo handy!


Has anyone else noticed my food tends to have an orange-y hue to it lately? With all this curry, sweet potatoes, pumpkin puree, and Franks, I think I'll be orange soon!

Buffalo-BBQ Chik'n Naan Pizza!
The Naan recipe makes the perfect size for one slice. I was afraid it'd be way too small, but my eyes are also way larger than my stomach.

For the chik'n mixture, I simply sauteed 1 c. chik'n tenders in minced garlic, added half a cooked sweet potato, chopped (leftover from lunch!) and then 1 T. Honey-BBQ sauce and 3T. Frank's Red Hot. Meanwhile, I rolled out and made the Naan in a cast-iron skillet. Assembled by layering baby spinach, mozzarella, slices roma tomato, red onion, chik'n mixture, and more mozzarella (actually, I used the almond mozzarella - so good! just looks a lil funny) and then baked in the oven until the cheese was melty. Next time, I'll just cover it in the skillet. I think it'd be easier than turning the oven on just to melt some cheese!

Served with some delicious homemade ranch dressing on the side :)

Question of the Day: Is there anything better than buffalo anything?
haha, okay, besides that, did anyone do anything special for Valentine's Day?

p.s. loved reading everyone's favorite indian dishes. I wish we had a real indian restaraunt around here. I want to try more indian food!