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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Recollections

Weekend's over already, back to work tomorrow :( Fast weekend. Seems like they always are lately.

I spent the rest of my afternoon going through old photos, remembering "the good old days".
yep. I was an avid horseback rider from just about the time I could walk up until a couple of years ago, when life got in the way.
I would spend my summers working all day in order to get a ride in, or to help pay off board for my horse. There's no better feeling than bringing a young or green horse along, and successfully competing in their first show. The bond is an amazing feeling, but then of course the time comes to start over with a new one, yet rather than feel sadness at selling your old friend, it's just pride as you watch your "baby" show a new rider the ropes, and watch a new bond form.
Don't get me wrong - there's also those horses that you keep with you forever, both of you learning together rather than one educating the other. I was fortunate enough to be able to partake in both of these roles.


I got so busy senior year of highschool, with school, working whenever I wasn't in school, and college stuff. Then I worked 9-5:30 all summer, and then started school. 
Whenever I wasn't busy, I would try to divide my time between "me" time, family time, friend time, and horse time, but it just got to be too much, and horse time ended up taking the backburner.


My horse at the time, Burly, the first horse in this post, ended up sitting in a pasture for the better part of the summer. Of course he was still fed and cared for - he was at a boarding barn - but it killed me that he wasn't getting the love and attention he deserved, from one person (me) rather than the usual come-and-go of other boarders and lesson students passing through the barn. Burly was the horse I had finally settled on, who I had purchased using the money I had saved up from prior resale projects. He had the best personality, and every time I stopped to see him he would still give me just as much love as a family member would, regardless of the fact that it didn't seem like I was giving it back. You could tell how proud and happy he was after each successful ride we'd squeeze in, and it seemed like the more time off he'd get, the more heart he'd give me. Usually, it's the opposite.


I couldn't sell him, but I knew I needed to find someone for him.
Luckily, I am able to lease him out to a place where he is getting all the love and attention he truly deserves. Hopefully, within the next couple of years, I'll be able to dedicate a larger portion of my time to horses, and possibly bring him home. But who knows if I'll have the heart to take him back from where he is now?

Burly - Summer 2008


Lately, I really miss it, and am hoping to find time to ride for at least one day a week.

But, enough babbling. Just thought I'd offer a small peak into my life. I feel like you guys hardly know me!
Back to food. And stuff. haha.


It's no secret that I love polenta. And it seems like lately, polenta is sweeping the food-blogger world! After seeing so many recipes pop up for polenta casseroles, I couldn't hold off any longer and had to make one myself. Strangely, I started off with the inkling for a Mexican Polenta Casserole, but like most everything I do, changed my mind last minute to incorporate scallops. 
No, I don't all of a sudden have a scallop obsession - see last night's meal - in fact, I could take or leave scallops, really. But these scallops have followed me from my last apartment, and they need to be consumed. That's a couple months. I mean, they're fine in the freezer and everything, but really now.


Sorry for the poor photos. I wanted to leave it in that cute little personal casserole dish - kept it nice and warm! - rather than plop it all out onto a plate. It's fitting because I coincidentally, accidentally stole that mini casserole dish from my last roomates. It's the perfect size for one! anyways, you can't really see the layers, but here's how it went down:
For the scallop layer: Sautee ~10-15 Bay Scallops in minced garlic, lemon juice, dijon mustard, chopped onion, and chopped red pepper. Season with paprika, salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and chili powder. Set aside once done.
For the Veggie Layer: Sautee veggies of choice (I used broccoli, red pepper, tomato, onion, and carrot) in minced garlic. Season with same as above, or just some salt and pepper.
For the Polenta: Bring 1 cup water to a boil, and slowly whisk in 1/4 c. yellow cornmeal. Season with salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and garlic.

Layer in casserole dish - I went veggies, polenta, scallops, and then topped with tomato slices, parmesan cheese, real bacon bits, and red peppers. Bake for about 20m. at 400 degrees.

If you're in a hurry, baking isn't totally necessary since everything is cooked - but it's definitely worth it. Gives the polenta a nice crust!

The scallops actually went really nicely with the polenta. Get a bit of everything! I liked the lemony flavor carrying through everything, but the chili powder gave it just the right mild kick.

Finish with:

a lime poppyseed oatmeal cookie and banana-raspberry-vanilla greek yogurt with dates, crystallized ginger, and total!

mmmm :)

Have you had to force a favorite pastime to the backburner in order to make room for other responsibilities?

Productively Unsuccessful

Figured I'd break today up into two posts, even though I'll probably be eating dinner in like...2 hours anyway. I'm bored. Just busted out my last paper and got a mock-portfolio together, as well as went into town earlier this morning to clean my office. And managed to find a cool run-down barn long the way that I snapped a couple photos of! Film though, so they'll have to wait to be seen :) For a while there I was feeling really lazy and unproductive...but I guess I did get some stuff done today after all! hah.
This morning started off with an amazing yet severely unphotogenic mix!

1 Tbs each of: Yellow Cornmeal, Bulgur Wheat with Soy, Wheat Bran, and TVP, with 3/4 c. brewed coffee, 1/4c. soy milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, Truvia, and 1/2 thinly sliced banana stirred in quickly. Topped with 1/2 nanner, red raspberry preserves, and a portion of my Barney Butter sample! 

What did I think of the Barney Butter? Um, yum. Hello. It is definitely way different than the Full Circle 100% Almond Butter kind I purchased recently (which, by the way, has definitely grown on me.) but in a good way! While I've come to love the Full Circle kind, it's not something I enjoy by itself, necessarily, whereas the Barney Butter is sweetened and is actually, to me, more like a different sort of peanut butter! And let me just say...even though I'm way behind on realizing this...it is amazing in a hot breakfast cereal concoction! I don't know why it took me so long to hop on the nut-butter-in-oatmeal train. I don't know if I was even living then, apparently! So, definitely scurry on over and see if Barney Butter is still giving away some free samples! Mine came super fast - I don't think it even took two weeks - which is pretty unique when it comes to samples. Definitely a good company. And where would I be if Karla hadn't given me the heads up about it? Pretty sure I'd still be under a rock.


Last night while I was surfin' the web I started looking into breakfast polenta! Since polenta is just yellow cornmeal which is very similar to grits, I figured it's had to have been done. And my oh my, it has! There's tons of sugary concoctions out there, so I decided to incorporate it into what is becoming my morning mish-mosh of grains! Since cornmeal doesn't have anywhere near the nutritional value of Bulgur or TVP, I decided to just replace one of the tablespoons of TVP with yellow cornmeal to see what the outcome would be. Not a huge difference, really. But worth experimenting with more! This breakfast makes me so full! Which is sort of sad since it all adds up to a normal portion size. I'm not sure if I want to cut it back a bit and maybe add a little more fruit or not. I know I should at least be eating that much for breakfast, so I'd like to leave it, haha. Why is my stomach so small?! I'm such a grazer. 

P.S. I apologize for how unappetizing this breakfast combination looks. I know Bulgur has a brown color already, but the coffee instead of water makes it even more brown...resulting in...well, you can imagine. Hopefully the delicious bananas, jam, and Barney Butter disguise it a little bit?

This is going to turn into a very review-y post, I can tell!haha.
Afterwards, I got ready to go into town and clean the office & see if I couldn't find some cool old barns. I like getting the office out of the way early in the day, and usually don't leave it for Sundays. I was just not in the mood yesterday. I knew I'd have some papers to finish and wanted to work on getting some photos together for a portfolio, as well, so I hustled in and out.
Since it's a good drive, by the time I was done it was almost noon and I was ready for a snack, so I tried one of those SoyJoy bars I'd tried a while back. Initial reaction? hmm. Interesting.... 
First I thought it almost had a chemically, artifically taste, but an intriguing taste, so of course I tried more. And whaddya know, it grew on me. Halfway through though, I became interested in the ingredients and discovered it has parmesan cheese in it. Uh, what? I admit, I must have been in a rush because checking ingredients in foods is usually a given before I buy it. But after that, I kept tasting a Parmesan cheese after-taste. No joke. I'm not sure if it's psychological or legitimate...but I think that's what I tasted at first too. I just...wouldn't have thought in my wildest dreams it was parmesan cheese.

Anyway, cutting to the chase: Raisin Almond SoyJoy=okay. Not bad. Not sure I'd buy it again, though, due to how many bars are out there that I do love. HOWEVER! I have a bunch of other flavors to try, and only some of them have parm cheese! So I'll definitely let you guys know what the dealio is with the others.
What are your thoughts on the Parmesan Cheese and SoyJoy bars? 
haha, sorry...gotta ask.

MOVING on.
Heaven.
Oh, how I love wraps.
Oh, how I love Cedar's Hummus wraps. (Or should I say Hommus? Why is there such a discrepency in the spelling of hummus, anyway?
In La Tortilla: Roasted Red Pepper Cedar's Hummus, dijonnaise, red pepper, 2 fried egg whites, romaine, red onion, President Mediterrnean Herb Feta Cheese, and tomatoes.
Holy yum. I love feta cheese...and was ecstatic to see a new President flavor! 

Only thing that coulda made this better was some beans!
Or if I'd remembered the pickle...ah well.

And this may come as a shock, but I'm currently enjoying some of the delicious frozen greek yogurt :)
What's your favorite wrap or sandwich? And what should I make for dinner?

Hah. Kidding. Except not really...
Catch ya' later!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Chill Factor

It.Is.So.Cold.Here.
Even though I always talk about how much I love winter, I also really love to be warm. And you know how they say it won't snow if it's too cold? It's definitely true. And today is certainly one of those days. Lets hope we get some of that snow storm that everyone else is getting!
Breakfast was a slight remedy...golden french toast!

psych! hehe...
Does anyone else adore Green Mountain Coffee as much as I do? What's your favorite flavor?
I know flavored coffee & coffee in general is a very picky subject but I love my coffee - and the right flavor is just divine! We won't talk about a bad one, though...that's a morning ruiner right there ;) Namely, fruity or intensely chocolatey flavors. Blech! This Golden French Toast specialty flavor hits the spot, however.
The rest of my breakfast also hit the spot...

The usual mix of 2 T TVP, 1 T. Bulgur with Soy, 1 T. Wheat Bran, 1/4 c. soy milk, 1/2 c. + brewed coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stevia.

I actually cut it back to just 1 T. of Bulgur since 2 T. is almost too filling. I knew I was just going to be chilling around home for the day, anyway. Add ins for the day was 1 chopped Pinata apple (boiled & prepared with the mix), raspberry preserves, almond buttah, raisins, and reserved apple slices.


This brekkie sure is divine!

I spent the majority of the morning trying to figure out how to make a Facebook page for my photography. Let me tell you, Facebook does not make this an easy task. Once I thought I'd made some lee-way I set to work on pumping out paper #1 for Criminal Justice, and then, as you may very well know, started baking! Granted, just searching for a recipe took up at least half an hour, and it ended up being all for nothing. These muffins did not end up being "all for nothing," however.

Seriously nommer-ful.

It was while I was baking that I realized I was ravenous! I snacked away on some crack
in efforts to tide me over until lunch, but then I realized it was already lunch time anyway! So I threw together another divine meal of falafel! Big enough for two, but I polished it off without a problem. Seriously good lunch right here.

In Joseph's Flax Pita: falafel, tomatoes, romaine, onion, dijonnaise.

So simple. So good. Enjoyed in two parts, due to the fact that muffins were baking and needed some lovin' in the middle. Gave me time to digest and polish off the rest ;)

nom-nom-nom

Heh, sorry for the tease.
ANYwho. After that I retreated to la computadora and finished off the first paper, bloggied, and went back to Facebook. This is when I realized I actually made myself another facebook account, and instead of friending everyone through my photo account, which was my intent, I was friending people through my alter-ego. Embarrassing. I think I've got it straight now, but it's very frustrating that I can't friend people on my photo account if I'm not friends with them on my personal account. I guess it makes sense, because I know I don't want to be bombarded by fan requests from businesses, but I don't necessarily need customers seeing/being friends of my personal account. Ya dig?

There was a particular snackage that was off-da-ropez today, that was worthy of a photo-op. Check it!
So simple. So addicting.
Brown Cow, vanilla pudding mix, raspberry preserves mixed up with some chopped dates and oatmeal, frozen for 30m. or so, and topped with a bit o' Kashi and crystallized ginger. Seriously. Try this. Maybe it's not breaking new ground, but it is.so.good.
And look who received their Barney Butter free samples already! They send two - kudos to them for not being stingy!

Set to work on paper #2 for my Family Violence class (everyone laughs when I say that...it's not a laughing matter by any means, but I guess they could have named it something different.) and broke halfway through for dinner. It's another comical story just because I was planning all day on Chik'n Satay with Peanut Sauce and Shirataki Noodles, but then when I went to make it I saw something (I can't even remember what) that made me say "Alfredo!" and a new plan was born:
Shirataki Noodles with Veggies and Chik'n: 1 pkg. Fettuccine Noodles, broccoli florets, red pepper, onion, minced garlic, Quorn Chik'n Tenders, and Bay Scallops in a sauce consisting of 1 Parmesan Peppercorn Sonoma Jack Cheese Wedge, Imagine Cream of Broccoli Soup, and Parmesan. Threw in a spoonful or so of some random pasta sauce in the fridge, too. Oh! And of course dijon mustard! Seasoned with basil, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and garlic salt with parsley.

Gosh, sometimes I feel like these dinners are make are so random because there is so much in them, but they work, I promise! And hey, my mom liked it, too. Which is strange...because most people don't care for the Shirataki Noodles even though I adore them. Go figure. She wasn't a fan of the muffins, though. I can't get her to like whole wheat or bran anything. It's kind of a bummer.

Anyways. Just finished up some more of that heavenly Greek yogurt in addition to an oatmeal quick cookie. You guys must think I live on cookies. I swear I eat healthy things during the day, too, haha. Although broken down, what's so bad about oatmeal, wheat bran, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, and egg substitute, anyway? And Greek yogurt isn't hurting anybody, even though it tastes better than anything at Dairy Queen :P

Two out of three pages done for paper #2...thinking I'll leave the rest for tomorrow and/or Monday. I love getting everything done on the weekends though. Sounds so lame, but then I don't have to worry about it until classtime on Tuesday!
Are you a procrastinator, or do you like to get things done and out of the way right away?

I hope everyone had a lovely Saturday, and is having a great night! If it's snowing where you are, send it on up!

Recipe: Carrot-Maple Bran Muffins

I'm a random baker. I can browse the internet, foodbuzz, tastespotting, read blog, etc. for hours every night and see & save tons of recipes that I decide I WILL, soon, make.
But then when it comes time to bake...I can't pick out a recipe to save my soul, and feel like all the ones I've saved just aren't what I feel like making! So then I go on hour-long hunts to find just the right recipe before giving up and combining favorites with some flavors I'm craving.
I blame part of this on my terrible recipe-organizing skills, but mostly I blame it on being quirky.

So, this brings us to today. I've finally almost eaten through all of my Christmas baked goodies. And by finally I mean there's still three mini-loafs of Banana Oat Bran Bread in the freezer, rather than 10. Luckily, I love oat bran bread...and was sort of what I wanted to make again!
...except different. 
But what was it I wanted?
Cinnamon Buns? mmm...tasty, but not enough nutritional value.
Supercharge Me Cookies? nutritious, but I prefer breads or muffins.
Pumpkin Spelt Scones? ooh, getting warmer!
But what about Bran? Oh, yes! Bran!
Carrot Bran? 
Carrot Oat Bran?
So the search began for recipes. I came up unsuccessful for a Carrot Bran Muffin recipe that met my "requirements" and finally decided to take my beloved oat-bran bread recipe and a generic bran muffin recipe, and combine them and modify it to my liking.
When I say requirements, I mean tasty and nutritious. I'm not really one for just munching away on sugar-laden cookies all day...Ideally, I'd like to be getting some form of nutrition. And when it comes to muffins and breads, bran is by far my favorite, be it oat or wheat. 

Let's see what I came up with, shall we? I feel it was a large success, and I hope you do too!

Carrot-Maple Bran Muffins 
yields approx. 12 muffins
See notes after recipe.



Ingredients:
-1.5 c. Wheat Bran
-1/2 c. Oat Bran
-1/4 c. Rolled Oats
-1/4 c. Spelt Flour
-2 T. A.P. Flour
-1.5 t. Baking Powder
-1 t. Baking Soda
-1/4 t. salt
-1/3 c. Stevia [or sweetener of your choice]
-cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg [i didn't measure. heh...]
-vanilla extract [i was pretty liberal with it.]
-1 c. soy milk
-1/2 T. vinegar
-1/3 c. unsweetened apple sauce
-1/3 c. maple syrup
-1/4 c. egg substitute
-1/2 - 3/4 c. grated carrots
-crystalized ginger, dates, raisins, additional oats [optional - for mix-ins or topping]

Notes on Ingredients:
1. Ratio of brans & oats not exact - I am fairly confident this is close to what I used, but may be a hair off. Additionally, you could use more wheat bran and less oat, and vice versa. The oat bran gives it a great texture, however.
2. WW Flour could likely be used in place of A.P, as well as the Spelt. I wanted to incorporate Spelt flour, and added in some A.P. just because I wasn't sure if WW would encourage it to be too dense. Baby steps!
3. If you don't have/dislike maple syrup, I am sure these would rock just as hard with molasses or honey - especially molasses. But, I'm from Vermont. You know how we do.
4. I used between 1/2 c. and 3/4 c. grated carrots...but I think next time I'll up the ante and use a whole cup.
5. Next time, I think I'll try to "soup them up" a bit more and play with the ratios of brans - taking some out and adding flax or wheat germ. I was hoping I could experiment with Chia seeds this weekend as well, but I have not received my delivery...

Lets start baking, shall we?
1. Preheat oven to 375*. In a liquid measuring cup, add vinegar to milk. Let sit 5 minutes while measuring and combining wheat bran, oat bran, and oats.

2. Add milk & vinegar mixture to bran and oat mixture. Let sit while mixing together applesauce, stevia, egg, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Pour this mixture into bran & milk mixture.


3. Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in seperate bowl. Then add this and grated carrots to the master bowl.



4. Mix just until moistened. Do not overmix! You can also add in raisins or dates at this point.


5. Think to self "well dang, at least this smells delicious...will it taste this delicious?"
Spoon into greased [okay, sprayed] tins of choice.

I happen to have the cutest little mini loaf pan...I made 8 mini-loafs (which probably equate to a very large muffin?) and had batter remaining for 2 average-sized muffins.

5. Pray to the baking gods that you crafted something successful.
Bake for about 20m. It is very easy to underbake these, so be careful and cut one in half before taking them out. I find that the with the oat bran, it actually get s a really nice "crust" when done for a couple minutes longer than completely necessary, anyways!

6. Remove and Cool!


(...but, you should probably enjoy one while they're warm! or, maybe more than one...)



So, yeah. Really happy  with how these came out! Give them a shot!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Rekindled

This morning was definitely one of those mornings that were made for curling up under your down blanket in your big comfy bed...however, that wasn't exactly a choice if I want to remain happily employed! Flipping on the local news I was informed that with the wind chill, it was only -15* out! After cringing at just the thought, I knew it was time to re-introduce warm, comfort breakfasts into my life:
Breakfast TVP/Bulgur: 2 Tbs Bob's Red Mill TVP, 2 Tbs Bulgur Wheat with Soy, 1 Tbs. Wheat Bran, 1/4 c. Soy Milk, 1/4 c. water, 1/4 c. brewed coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, and Truvia. I also "whipped" in 1/4 sliced banana. Topped with 1/2 serving Kashi H2H, 1/4 sliced banana, wheat germ, and 1.5 tsp Full Circle Organic Almond Butter.

This is way more appetizing than it looks! Sorry about that :P Definitely hit the spot. It's definitely different than oatmeal, but a similar concept. I find I really like the texture the bulgur & TVP combination provides. And it packs a ton of protein! It really kept me satiated for hours - I do way better with a lot of protein in the morning, I think.

I was curious as to whether I could still "whip' sliced banana into it similar as I would oatbran or oatmeal, and it sort of worked! My banana wasn't very ripe, which made it difficult, but I think it can definitely be done! also: huge fan of almond butter with this! I'd never had it with oats before - just never interested me. So glad I hopped on the bandwagon, though! I think my love for warm breakfast cereals has been rekindled - especially if this frigid weather continues!

After making sure I picked out some super-warm clothing for the day, I put together a wonderful but not-so-new lunch:
In La Tortilla = chick pea salad & romaine, accompanied by veggie crisps, remaining nanner, and a Blueberry Clif Z-Bar.
I've said it once, but I'll say it again: love these Z Bars! I think Blueberry and Apple Cinnamon are my favorites :) And besides being a little bit higher in sugar than is really necessary (but hey, at least it's real sugar?) they've got some good stats!

Today was pretty much an all-around great day...beautiful weather (from the inside I mean...sunny and beautiful, but deceiving - as soon as you stepped outside the wind chill made you gasp for your breath!), a great vibe at work, and it flew by! Maybe I should credit the mean breakfast?

Before I knew it, it was time to come home and utilize leftovers! As usual...have you all noticed how I always seem to drastically overestimate how much I am capable of eating? haha.
Fish Tacos a-la Bulgur & Veggie Stir-Fry:
Leftover Tilapia and Veggies from These Tacos combined with a bulgur stir-fry with 2 egg whites and other miscellaneous veggies.

'twas wonderful, really...
...and salsa.

Caught up on some blogs and whipped up some greek fro-yo and a simple quick-cookie:
Fro-Yo: Greek Yogurt, Graham Cracker pieces, vanilla pudding mix, cinnamon, and truvia. Left in the freezer for 30m.
Cookie: 1.5 tsp. rolled oats, 1 tsp. wheat bran, 1/8 t. baking powder, truvia, cinnamon, vanilla, 1 t. egg beaters. Nuked for 45 secs.
Topped with Apricot-Mango preserves.

Is everyone enjoying this beautiful moon?! Last night was so light out that I thought I overslept when I woke up at 2am!
Does anyone have any exciting weekend plans?
I'm trying to get a photography page put together on Facebook, and also have some papers to do, as well as some shooting! Nothing exciting! Well, besides the shooting. Hoping to squeeze in some baking too, or at least make a real dinner! We'll see how it all falls into place.

But for now, I'm off to blog-read and munch my way through the night :) I should probably point out that I really only document a portion of what I eat a day. I don't bother so much with the random munchies. Not to mention I love random snacks like applesauce with bread. Who needs to see applesauce and bread? haha.
What's your favorite "random" snack?

Over and out!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Absolutely Fantastic

"Absolutely Fantastic."
This is what a man on a BBQ ribs show just deemed his recipe, but it also fits my day, and that includes my eats for the day :)
This probably looks vaguely familiar. BUT! If you thought this was a repeat of some Blueberry-Lime Buckwheat Pancakes, then you would be incorrect. Instead, we have Lime Poppyseed English Muffin French Toast! I guess we should start airing a few of my breakfast obsessions:
1. Poppyseeds - Essentially, lemon or lime poppyseed flavored baked goods
2. bananas, blueberries, FRUIT!
3. greek yogurt. 
4. really good jam or preserves
A month ago, this list would have consisted primarily of oat bran or oatmeal. I still love me some oat bran and oatmeal, but I have been shifting my tastes, I guess! This list will only get longer.
To make this lovely french toast breakfast yourself, simply combine ~1/4 c. egg beaters, 1 egg white, splash soy milk, vanilla extract, nutmeg, poppyseeds, zest of 1 lime, juice of 1/2 lime, and stevia or your sweetener of choice. Halve a whole-wheat english muffin, and poke each side with a fork (well, the "hard" side of each half). I've found it helps if you nuke it for a couple seconds first, too. Start pre-heating your pan, and then dip halves in egg mixture and allow to soak up some of the liquid. Throw on your pan and cook to your liking! Towards the last half of their cooking time, I threw in some frozen blueberries, and when they were all done I topped with some greek yogurt, strawberry preserves, some more poppyseeds, and the remaining lime zest. Loffly!

After happily beginning my day with a sure-fire brekkie, I got everything together for classes, which involved organizing all of my camera gear into one bag. This proved to be much more difficult than one would think, given the ridiculously large size of my camera bag. This also included lunch-packing:
nom-nom-nom.

Drove to school in a beautiful wintry mix as the weatherman would say...and it was! Love it when it snows. It is so comforting! Morning classes flew by, and so I flew into Hannafords to pick up some goods! It's the only convenient time for me to go there, really. They have a couple things that the local P.Chop doesn't, so I figured it was a good way to kill the two hours I had before my next class...I needed more o' deese:
Oh, yeah...enough veggie chips to get me by for oh, a couple days I Suppose. My mom asked me if I left any for the other Hannaford's Nature's Place hippies. Also got some more quorn chik'n tenders. 
And check out these mustards!
Not sure how "right" it is for a Vermont chickie (a.k.a. me) to pick up Maine Maple, but how could I pass it up? Can't wait to try them. I'm so lame.
Lunch Obsessions:
1. mustard. of all shapes flavors and forms.
2. Anything in a wrap. Anything that can be thrown in a wrap. La Tortilla Wraps. Sandwich Thins.
3. Panini Presses
4. beans.
5. hummus & veggie sandwiches.
to be continued...

Photo was fun today! We got to shoot a little in a lightbox. Pretty sure my teacher has a vendetta against me though because, for some strange reason, she dislikes the lab I work at? 
Has anyone had a teacher where you get the impression that they are threatened by your knowledge of the subject? I still have so much to learn about photography, don't get me wrong. But we're starting with really basic stuff, so of course I answer, or ask more questions out of curiosity...and I always get these strange responses that are sort of "well...you're right, but..." and some nonsensical answer that includes why it could be wrong. I don't know.

Anyways. It apparently snowed like crazy for the two hours I was in there! There weren't any windows so I was shocked to leave the building and see slippery sidewalks & roads, and mas fresh snow coating the ground. Love snow!
Came home and threw together fish tacos!
My first ever, no less. Granted, these are fish tacos in a pita. But shh. It's pretty darn similar, no?
These were definitely holy-yum though! To make them I browned 1 tilapia filet seasoned with pepper, garlic salt, and chili powder in minced garlic, lime zest and juice, onion, cilantro, and chipotle salsa. In a separate pan, I threw together some julienned carrots, red pepper, chopped tomato, and salsa and seasoned with salt, pepper, chili powder, and lime juice. Added in some parmesan cheese and franks, and then stuffed a toasted Joseph's Flax Pita with chopped romaine, the veggie mix, and the fish mix (which got treated with some Frank's!). And a blob of greek yogurt "sour cream" on the side!
Soo nommer-ful. Love fish! Pretty sure I could be a vegetarian if I didn't love fish so much. I could care less whether I ate real meat again, but I love fish.
Dinner Obsessions:
1. mustard. still.
2. veggies of all shapes flavors and forms. 
3. wraps. still. beans. still.
4. tilapia. salmon. crab. shrimp. FISH.
5. Quorn Chik'n
6. Polenta.
to be continued...

So, that's about it! I'm off to enjoy some dessert :) But, I want to know...what are some of your food obsessions?!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

F-A-I-L.

...spells FAIL! But we'll get to the comedy act a little later :)
First, as usual:

Brekk'ist! At least breakfast never fails me. I don't think you can ever go wrong with breakfast foods - they're good no matter what! Unless you have runny egg yolks. blech! Sorry Karla, for always having to see my gross crusty eggs :P

Gotta rep the school, of course.
Today was 1 Whole Wheat English Muffin topped with all-natural Almond Buttah & Strawberry jam, 2 Fried Egg Whites con Montreal Steak seasoning, half a nanner, and Green Mountain Hazelnut Coffee. I'm trying a new creamer! I used to love coffeemate and the like, but sadly know there's a whole bunch of junk in them :(

Busted - this photo is obvi. from yesterday.
So, I'm giving Silk Creamer a try! Although I'm not too sure it's that much "healthier" when it comes down to it, hah. It's not so bad, put I still prefer my Vanilla coffeemate. I think that's one thing I can't give up :\ Ah well. I don't even use the serving size because I don't like my coffee really sweet anyways. Sometimes I'll just want it black. So, I think my Nalgene bottle will kill me first.
How do you like your coffee?


Work went by pretty quickly today! One of my bosses is out with vertigo so I kept pretty busy. A peak at the eats:

Seriously love this chick pea salad. Garbanzo beans = love. And kidney beans. And butter beans. And pretty much any other kind of bean. But enough about me - what's your favorite bean?
Does anyone else think this wrap looks mini in this photo, though? It's kind of comical, really. It's a normal wrap, I swear! haha.

Carrots, Kashi Raspberry-Choco Granola Bar, Nanner, Crack  (aka dried veggie crisps), wrap, coffee, chips, and wadah.
Not a big chip fan, not really sure what I was thinking. I think chips are one of those foods I feel like I should like, though. So I keep trying them. All to no avail. Needless to say, they came home -1, and are all mom's now. haha. Additionally: Kashi, I love you, but your Raspberry Chocolate TLC bars taste very artificial. Not a fan. Pumpkin Pie and Coconut are impressive though, so I guess I can forgive you.

After 8 hours of diligently goofing around in the lab and smiling like a schoolgirl every time I looked outside and saw beautiful snow once again gracing Vermont, it was time to come home and make a beautiful polenta pizza! Because, well, I like pizza, and I love polenta, and I had leftover ingredients to use up that were made to be polenta pizza.
Not only that, but while it was baking I could get either a shower or some quick schoolwork out of the way. Perfect! I assembled the perfect pizza with basil polenta (pre-prepared - I admit it works better when it's homemade polenta, but I had this kind I needed to use still), tomatoes, feta, red pepper, chicken sausage, and red onion. Popped it in the oven and accomplished a quick assignment and a shower while it was baking. Score! Can relax for the night!

Here's where the trouble starts.
Pizza's ready and as I am trying to get it free of the pan, start to think spraying the sheet would have definitely been a good choice. At this point I almost snap a "pretty" photo of it, while it's still pretty, of course - before just dumping it in a blob in a bowl. Then I finally get it free and it still looks relatively pizza-like. Phew, that was a close one.
But oh, no. I wasn't out of the woods yet!
I grab the garlic salt because just like mustard, everything is better with more garlic.
I unhinge the top, and reach over to sprinkle some over my pizza while looking away and reaching for my camera.
I get the feeling of slight alarm when it seems the salt came out way easier than it usually does, and look over at my plate.
I had successfully emptied half the contents of the garlic salt all over my pizza.

It was slightly comical because all I could really do was stare down at it in silent mourning. Usually someone would vocalize some sort of displeasure, but I was just too amazed at my idiocy, and had a slight spark of hope that I could just scrape it off.
Newsflash: You can't scrape off salt when it's all over an absorbent surface.


Le Sigh. So, after a disgusting taste-test to make sure it was really ruined, the garbage earned a what was once delicious dinner, and I just started pulling everything out of the fridge that was "leftover", and came up with this:

Mish-Mash of Morningstar Farms Mealstarters crumbles, broccoli, tomato, carrots, corn, laughing cow, and cubed polenta, sauteed in balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard.
Because when all else fails, I resort to my beloved veggies and mustard.
Actually, this didn't taste as funky as the picture suggests. I do love veggies. But it was no polenta pizza. I'm one of those people that when I get a food idea planted in my head, come hell or highwater, that's what I'm gonna have. I actually though "Oh. OK. Well, I'll make a stove-top version of my polenta pizza, then." But I quickly realized I had no patience for that. haha. There were tons of things I could have made, really, but I was just at a loss for ideas and sought comfort from broccoli and mustard.
Oh well! You win some, you lose some.
And, this dessert more than made up for it:

Cookie: 1 tsp Almond Butter, 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, stevia, 1 tsp wheat bran, 1/4 tsp jam, 1 tsp egg beaters. Combined and nuked for 1 minute.
Along with Strawberry Shortcake Greek Fro-Yo: Greek Yogurt, Vanilla Pudding mix, strawberry jam - freeze for 30m.
and butterscotch hot cocoa.



Sometimes, there's nothing wrong with eating your emotions.
So tell me, what's your biggest kitchen blunder?


I hope everyone's had a good day - catch you all tomorrow!