Monthly Archives: January 2011

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Finishing Crusade

I finally got to see my dentist today.  Since my toothache went away along with my cold, I guess it really was the TMJ.  Which kind of sucks, because, well, I don’t want to have to deal with that!  I get to have a mouth guard.  Sex-ay.  Actually, the only reason I’m willing to deal with that is because I’m terrified of inheriting my mom’s dental genes.  I like my teeth just fine in my head, thank you very much.

Yesterday I mentioned some kitchen failures.  Since I have no shame, I will show you what I meant.

Not that you would know from looking at it, but that was meant to be a batch of bagels.  I’ve made bagels before — using this recipe — and they turned out fine.  I guess I just played around a little too much this time, because the dough was way too sticky for me to deal with it; and this was after it rose, so I wasn’t about to add more flour!  I felt bad tossing it all, so I just stuck the hunk in the oven, which was in use anyway, and waited to see what would happen.

It’s edible, at least.  It tastes a little weird — faintly bagel-y, but not really — but I would be surprised if it didn’t.  Next time, I am going to stick to the recipe!

The reason why the oven was already in use?  Well, I decided to speed along the “finish the coconut milk kefir before it expires” campaign by making banana oatmeal muffins.

They look fine, right?… Yeah, I thought so, too.  Until I tried to remove them from the pan.  Apparently, I was a bit overzealous in my eagerness to finish the kefir, and I added too much liquid.  This spent forever in the oven, and I still had to pry the somewhat wet muffins out of there.  I put them back in the oven for a while on a cookie sheet.  They still looked rather damp, but it was getting a bit ridiculous, so that was all the oven time they were going to see.

But they tasted amazing!  Ugly, yes; but that belies the flavor.  I’m not going to share the recipe, because I obviously have to get the measurements down, but seriously… I loved these.  (As ugly as that muffin is, the ones I left in the refrigerator at home are really ugly, since these lovely guests plopped a bunch of takeout containers right on top of them.  They were fragile in the first place; now they’re just squashed.  And in case you were wondering, the hair dryer has not yet been returned to me.)

Unfortunately, I can’t try this again right away … because, ignoring the fact that I still have some, I am, yet again, banana-less.  Actually, that’s not entirely true, since I made it my business to pick up a couple on my way home.  (It wasn’t on my way home, but it became on my way home.)  Because tonight is the night I was supposed to see my nutritionist + go to the supermarket, but all of this stupid snow is proving quite the hassle.  Apparently, if my dad takes the car to drive six blocks, finding parking is not a problem; but if my mom or I have an appointment that is not within walking distance, we need to cancel it because we won’t be able to find a space when we get back.  Men and their laziness really annoy me, you know that??

So I’m guessing that means I probably won’t be able to go swimming tomorrow.  Hmph.  That’s not as big a deal, I guess, as missing my appointment, because even though I hate to admit it, I think I really do need that accountability.  I have no idea what’s going on lately that’s screwing up my mind so much, and if I devote too much mental space to trying to figure it out, I am really going to go crazy.  So I’m just playing dumb and hoping it goes away soon, before anything drastic happens.  Especially since considering the snow situation, it might be weeks before I actually get to see her again.

At least I’ve been getting some pancake loving, though.

I did not do that on purpose.  My pancakes sometimes take on very strange shapes.

Speaking of pancakes, I’ve been using my mini food chopper to whip up the batter for these (mainly whey protein powder, egg whites, and mashed banana), but lately it hasn’t been cooperating. I think it’s nearing its end — I’ve had it for nearly two years, and it only cost about ten bucks, so I really can’t complain. I picked up a new one at Target the other day, but then I came home and read the reviews of it on Amazon, and at least 90% of them were negative, so I am going to return it. I think I’m going to just pay a little bit more and get this Cuisinart… as soon as the next random Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon shows up in my mailbox!

I’ve been making quite a bit of progress in my crusade against the expiring grains.  In fact, I (sadly) did not have enough barley to soak overnight in the last of my soy yogurt.

So I mixed in some buckwheat, too. It was nice to have a variety of textures!

On a sort of related note, does anyone know where I can get millet?? (Not just any millet — I want the Eden Organic millet, and I can’t find it anywhere; nor can I remember where I bought my last package.)

Four pitas down, two to go:

Topped with pasta sauce, red onion, baby peppers, baby bellas, and Daiya.  It is an eternal mystery how I can like Daiya when I absolutely abhor cheese.

There are some things that I seldom eat, even though I love them.  And then when I do eat them, I think, Why don’t I eat this more often?  Edamame in the pod is one of those things.

Sprinkled with freshly ground Himalayan pink salt crystals.  I love popping these out of the pod; it’s like the grown-up version of playing with your food!  My brother insists that you’re supposed to actually eat the pod.  Um… it has fuzz on it, so no thank you.

I hate to be the bearer of shocking news, but guess what?  We’re expecting more of this.

My feet can’t take it.  Seriously; I love my wellies, and all, but they’re only okay for a day or two.  After wearing them for weeks on end, I have blisters on the backs of my heels.  Like, legitimate need-to-apply-ointment-and-bandages blisters.  Not.  Fun.  I’m wondering what sort of boots I’m supposed to wear tomorrow…

And I’m also wondering why I’m so insensible that I am not taking advantage of this unexpected, albeit unwelcome, time at home to get some schoolwork done.

Question: Do you eat the edamame pod??

Happy Tuesday.

“Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them.” 
~Andrew V. Mason


Whole Foods owes me a dollar.

Does this look like a pattypan squash to you?!

I didn’t think so.

The bar mitzvah was… a bar mitzvah.  It was actually buffet style, which is rather unusual, and which I should have known, but did not.  It totally threw me for a loop.  But having a camera around my neck always makes things better…

It also makes people I apparently should know, but do not, ask me to play photographer and take pictures of them with their wives / daughters / whoever these people are.  Um… there is a paid photographer here.  If he takes your picture, you’re far more likely to actually see said picture.  I couldn’t possibly give you the picture since I don’t know who you are.

This morning, I went to Trader Joe’s, even though I hadn’t been planning to go this week… because I got wind of some dreadful, dreadful news.

The peanut flour is being discontinued!!!  😦  (The sea salt is just in the picture because I’ve been wanting to buy it for weeks, and they finally had it in stock again.)  This makes me very, very sad indeed.  The cashier suggested I try almond flour.  Not exactly the same thing… and TJ’s almond flour isn’t kosher.  The brand that is kosher is also insanely expensive.

As I’ve mentioned, my house is full of people right now.  They are strangers.  Maybe I’m just a selfish bitch, but my skin kind of crawls at the thought of someone else — especially some random person I don’t even know — using my hair dryer, even more so because it has a diffuser attached.  So when these people asked my mom for a hair dryer last week and she told them they could use mine, I did not exactly appreciate it.  When I told her that, she said that it was not believable that “a house with a teenager” does not have a hair dryer.

First of all, I am not a teenager, even though these people thought I was sixteen.  (Yeah, I look younger than I am; but come on, can we at least make me legal?!)  Second of all, I never used a hair dryer before I went to Ouidad, so if they had been here when I actually was a teenager, I would not have been able to help them.

Anyway, I did not want to give them mine.  I actually have two — the one I use regularly and a compact one for travel — but the point wasn’t that I’d be out a dryer, it’s that I was grossed out at the thought.  Because I am a pack rat, I thought I had my sister’s old hair dryer buried in my closet somewhere.  It’s probably older than I am, but that’s what I gave them.  And you know what?  That was last Wednesday, and they still haven’t given it back.  Exactly how am I supposed to be drying my hair, if that were my dryer?!  Gah!!  I hate it when my house is invaded!!

I went to that school performance, thanking the heavens that I am no longer in high school, and taking pictures of my nieces because my sisters seem to think I am a photographer as well.  (Actually, it’s just that I have a better camera.  But whatever.)

Then I tried out this new-to-me product I picked up at Whole Foods recently:

Spicy?  Okay, I like hot and spicy.  Let’s see.

I added a couple of teaspoons to this creation: baby bellas, baby peppers, snow peas, tofu, and udon noodles stir-fried in a bit of peanut oil.  It was spicy, but not unbearably so.  I actually quite liked it.  Ditto the sea salt pictured above, which I ground over this.

And then, out of desperation to finish my kefir before it expires, this followed.

That would be plain protein powder, peanut flour, baking powder, Truvia, and kefir… microwaved for about three minutes, I think.  It tasted like peanuts.  Shocker.  😉

There’s another finish-the-kefir creation in the oven right now — I should probably go check on that — and a failed attempt at bagels.  Don’t ask.

Since I am feeling very persnickety (is that even a word?) right now, I will be quiet and go sulk somewhere else.

Have a lovely start to your week.

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.” 
~Abraham Lincoln

No Day

These are the earrings I wore today, which are somewhat appropriate.  (Recycled photo.)

Only somewhat, because while I was greeted with this…

…and this…

…and the news that the public schools were closed, which never, ever happens, I still had to go to work.  *insert barrage of colorful language here*

Let’s back up.  Last night, I told my mom that this is what would happen: my dental appointment would be canceled, my acupuncture appointment would be canceled, the gym would be closed, and I would have to go to work.  Three out of four ain’t bad… the gym was, surprisingly, open.  But my dentist’s secretary called to say that they would only be in during the morning — and that train was still down, so I couldn’t get there.  I’ve re-scheduled for Monday, but, really… what a pain.  And my acupuncturist texted me to say that he’d be in around 11.00, but then that turned into 12.30, which did not fit into my schedule at all, so there went that.  A pity, since I could have used the nap: I was so on edge about not knowing what morning would bring that I slept horribly.


But.  Gastronomically speaking, the day was surprisingly pretty pleasant.

For starters, I had one of the best breakfasts I have had in recent memory:

Whole wheat hot cereal, which I cooked last night with cinnamon, Truvia, and shredded carrots in extra water; once it was mostly absorbed, I stirred in a quarter cup of original coconut milk kefir and refrigerated it overnight.  This morning I added some more cinnamon, and heated it up on the stove, but only added enough water to prevent it from sticking to the pot.  Topped it all off with some coconut milk kefir “icing” … and, to be honest, at first bite I was not enamored of this, because it had a somewhat “sour” taste from the kefir.  But it totally grew on me, and I loved it in the end.

Then we have the lunch I would have had to eat at home, since letting it sit in the refrigerator until Monday isn’t a very appealing thought… I guess that’s one good thing about my being at work today??

romaine, cucumber, tofu (roasted with sweet paprika, garlic powder, and turmeric), baby peppers

This made me happy because A) it is colorful and B) it has tofu in it, which, as we know, I am sort of addicted to at the moment.  But what came alongside this salad was equally awesome:

Cinnamon sugar pita chips!  (Okay, cinnamon Truvia, if you want to nitpick.)  I cut one of the whole wheat pitas (three down, three to go) into triangles, put them on a sprayed baking sheet, misted them with some more spray, and sprinkled cinnamon and Truvia over them.  For the record, cinnamon on a baking sheet will smoke.  But these?  They were so good that I think I’d buy pitas just so that I can make them again!

Brief interlude to mention that I went on a little walk today, during which I wandered into a Borders… and saw this.

I loved these when I was younger!  My orthodonist’s daughter had a subscription to it, so he had stacks of them in his office.  He used to let me take them home to read because otherwise he could never get any work done, what with the book in my face.

As for that kale dish I mentioned yesterday? It’s delicata squash salad with kale and cranberry beans.  I’m upset about the cranberry beans, actually; I was having trouble finding them, so I bought a bag of dried beans.  Then I found a can, and I was feeling lazy about cooking the beans, so I bought it… only to find that the beans inside don’t resemble the photo on the label, or the dried beans, at all!  They just look like kidney beans.  Boo.

But this was so. dang. good!  And I’m not the biggest kale fan in the world, so it must be true.  I don’t think the cranberry beans were really necessary, since they’re not any prettier than kidney beans, and they taste pretty much the same!  I didn’t re-heat this, in the end… apparently, feeling congested doesn’t put me in the mood of hot things — not that I should be eating hot food anyway — so I just let it sit at room temperature for a bit.

I also shouldn’t be eating citrus.  But Minneola tangelos are on sale at Whole Foods, and I’ve never tried them!

Ouch.  Ouch.  Ouch.  Holy agony.  And now my hands smell like citrus, and there was a seed in there.  I don’t like seeds.  The apple is a new-to-me variety: Stayman.  It was okay, but I prefer my apples crispier than that.

Small verbal vomit, a question, and then I must get some schoolwork done…

It’s that time of year again, so I need to go see my nieces perform on Sunday.  Totally my idea of an awesome time.  (Not.)  I seriously don’t think any of them give a crap whether or not I go, but I feel like I have to!  And also, the hotel (um, my house) is filling up again.  There are a lot of people here, some of whom will be eating with us on Friday night… which means my mom is cooking enough for ten times the amount of people expected.  And it also means that every time I open the refrigerator, I can pretty much expect something to come crashing down on the floor…

And my nephew’s bar mitzvah is on Saturday night.  Way to pack everything into one weekend, huh?!

None of that was the verbal vomit I intended, but I guess it’s called that for a reason.  I just don’t feel like getting into some other things.

So, the question: would you rather have someone tell you they don’t like you, or have to figure it out on your own based on the way they act towards you?  (Personally, I’d go with the former.  Don’t drive me crazy playing with my head like that, please.  I’m a big girl, and I’m used to this.  I can take it.)

Have a great weekend!

“Winter is nature’s way of saying, ‘Up yours.'” 
~Robert Byrne

My Poor Back

Yep… here we go again.

I am so, so, so sick of this weather!!  My professor let us out early from my last class “so that everyone can get home safely,” but she has this illusion in her mind that for the rest of the semester, we’re going to start class fifteen minutes early to make up for the lost time.  Uh, yeah.  Right.  Whatever.

I finally got around to making this so that I could figure out what on earth it was…

…except that I still don’t know!!  For one thing, the title seems to be a total misnomer — there is no “crunch” involved whatsoever.  I just used an egg white, four packets of Truvia, half a teaspoon of peanut oil (which was totally unnecessary, if you ask me — it was greasy), three tablespoons of white whole wheat flour, a tablespoon of soy flour, and I doubled the cinnamon.  I baked it for about half an hour before I deemed it “done,” since given the crazy measurements (half an egg?!), I assume this was scaled down from the original version.

It resembled a carrot muffin more than anything else!  After leaving it in the refrigerator overnight, I couldn’t decide if it was meant to be eaten hot or cold, or with a fork or a spoon… I compromised and microwaved it for a minute before using a fork.  It tasted like… carrots.

I met a friend for lunch today, which worked out quite nicely because my back is already killing me from lugging this laptop around — having to bring lunch too would have been pure and utter torture.  (I spoke with my professor about this, and it turns out that I might be able to use a netbook anyway.  Nice to know…)  Anyway, going to lunch pisses me off a bit.  Not that I don’t like the company (it was lovely seeing you, Tammy!), but to overpay for this…

…when I could make a better salad myself?  Yeah, that annoys me.  And yep, I am a skinflint.  I can’t believe I used to buy my lunch every day.  What was I thinking?!

One pita down, four to go:

hommus and pea shoots in a whole wheat pita

Yup, I actually took something other than PB&J to school.  Primarily because I needed to use up the pea shoots.  It sort of feels like I’m always rushing to “finish up” something or other.

One of the things that my doctor told me at my 1.30 AM visit was that I ought to “Make sure your teeth are not touching unless you are eating.”  (Yeah, this is the same guy who told me to “splint it in your mind” when I went to see him about the RSI in my wrist.)  Um… isn’t that, like, always?!  (No verbal vomit on that topic today because of the late hour.)  Anyway, I am a very tense person, and I tend to clench my teeth a lot.  This is old news — I’ve been like that since I was a kid, when I ground my teeth like crazy at night.  Which is probably why I had such headaches, and maybe even why I get migraines.  It’s not quite as simple as “keeping [my] teeth apart”!  Either way, my appointment with the dentist is tomorrow.

That is, if the snow doesn’t get in the way; I need to take an elevated train to get there, and those tend to go haywire along with the weather.

And, yet again, I won’t know until 6.00 AM tomorrow whether or not I have to go to work.  I hate that.  So I had to make lunch and dinner for tomorrow, because I don’t know what’s happening… and I just realized that I did something very dumb in making something with kale that is meant to be eaten warm, and refrigerating it.  Guess it’s going to be eaten cold now, unless I fancy eating a blob of completely wilted (instead of slightly wilted) kale.  Which I don’t.  If you know of any way to re-heat kale without having that happen, please enlighten me!!

Just so it can’t be said that all I do is complain: Mr. J called me today (because it’s less strenuous than walking around the corner to my office ;)) to ask when I am graduating, since they are putting together next year’s budget and they need to factor in the raise I am getting once I complete my degree.  Thank goodness, because I was not looking forward to the “I demand a raise” talk.

Bedtime!  Have a great Thursday.

“Men weary as much of not doing the things they want to do as of doing the things they do not want to do.” 
~Eric Hoffer

My Face Hurts

Yep, you read that right.  My entire face hurts.  I don’t even know what hurts and what doesn’t, because it all feels the same!  It sort of feels like I’ve been punched in the face.  Not that I’ve ever actually been punched in the face, but I have been hit in the face with a baseball a couple of times, and come to think of it, that felt remarkably similar to how it feels now!  I’m not complaining, per se, because I definitely feel better than I did last Tuesday… but still.  I can’t figure out if I have a toothache or if it’s just the TMJ!  So… I’m going to see my dentist.  His associate, actually, who is the one in the office who deals with TMJ cases, but I would have had to see him anyway, since my dentist is on vacation.

I did, however, have a salad today that did not consist of cauliflower, tofu, and sugar snap peas.  Largely because I just didn’t have time to cook any of it yesterday.

romaine, baby bellas, Lightlife Italian style sausage, pea shoots

Yeah, good luck tossing this with the dressing… why must I pack the container so?!  And it took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to eat this, because chewing hurts, and I can only take little baby bites.  I’m like an old lady, truly.

There is much to be done tonight before I can get to some sleep, which I need desperately — but I am currently sitting on my bedroom floor in all my chlorinated glory, because after I returned from a lovely, long-awaited swim, I found that my brother was in the shower.  I am not even joking when I say that the guy takes longer showers than I do!!  So blogging it is…

Since I’ve determined that the sprouted quinoa bread needs some added sweetness, I processed an egg white with some sugar-free apricot preserves, dipped the bread slices in them, and made French toast.

It was a pretty messy affair; I’ve found that whipping the egg whites until they’re nearly stiff makes for a coating that will separate from the bread (onto the pan) once cooked!  But I prevailed, and this was actually pretty good.  Not that I’m going to go through the hassle of making sprouted quinoa bread just for this, but it’s nice to know.

Because I have coconut milk kefir again, I decided to make some raita to have with falafel in a pita… not a pocket-less pita, this time.  (I still don’t understand the whole concept of that, by the way.)

The only problem is that now I have another five pitas to use, and I refuse to freeze them, because then they’ll just stay in the freezer forever.  What do I do with the rest of them?!…

You have just been spared a verbal vomit because the shower is now free!  So I will say instead that I am really, really ticked off that I need to take my laptop to school tomorrow.  And that I need to give a presentation, and I’m totally not prepared for it.  And this “banana bread protein cupcake” blew up to twice its size in the microwave, which I found hysterical, except that you can’t really see that in the picture.

Right, where was I?… shower.  I actually like the smell of chlorine, but I shudder to think of what it’s doing to my hair.  Off I go!

Do you like the smell of chlorine?

…And what do I do with five pitas?!

Happy Hump Day!

“The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it. “
~Woodrow T. Wilson


At 2.30 AM, I woke up and randomly decided to check the weather.

Seriously??  I’ve had enough of this.

In my haste to get to sleep last night, I forgot to include the frozen review in my post.

That might be related to the fact that it doesn’t really need a review, per se; it’s basically raspberry coconut water sorbet on a stick!  Except that the bars had apparently melted and re-frozen, so the stick was pretty useless, and the texture was somewhat icy instead of creamy.  I thought that it would be an easy way to get the wonderful flavor of the sorbet without the hassle of washing out a scoop and bowls, but I guess not.  😉

I also didn’t include this, because the post was just getting way too long:

My love affair with tofu is still going strong. I dry-fried cubed tofu, then tossed it with a quarter cup of Whole Foods’ chunky salsa and let it chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.  Alongside, to help make some progress on my inexplicable pasta stock, we have baby bellas and shredded carrots sautéed in a bit of peanut oil, garlic powder, and onion powder. At the very end, I added some baby spinach and the cooked shells, and stirred it over a very low flame until the spinach was just wilted. All of this, of course, was later covered with a healthy sprinkle of garlic salt.

About those shredded carrots… now that I have them, I can make some sense of this paper.

It seems to be in my handwriting.  (Well, duh — who else would list water as a replacement for oil?!)  But I have no idea what this is, and I am too lazy to grate my own carrots, because I don’t want to wash out the food processor… so I never got around to making this, which is probably the only way I’ll figure it out.

And, yes, even though I hate washing it, I did use my food processor yesterday, didn’t I?…

That turned into this:

Sprouted quinoa bread. I made it the same way as the sprouted wheat berry bread, but this is nowhere near as good.  For one thing, I think I soaked the quinoa for too long, so it’s a bit bitter.  Nothing some sugar-free raspberry jam can’t fix, though.

For another thing, the batter never really formed a dough that I could knead; I just had to pour it into the pans to bake.  It didn’t rise much after that, either.  It tastes okay, I guess, but I’m not rushing to repeat this one.

The security guard, by the way, was not at the desk when I arrived this morning.  I finally decided to speak up about it, because this is getting ridiculous.  Apparently, I opened a can of worms… aren’t workplace politics so much fun?

New bar:

Raw Revolution Lemon Dew

It was… interesting.  Sometimes lemon-flavored things are too tangy, even though I like lemon.  This wasn’t, but it had a pretty “green” taste.

And also … salad rut, anyone?

romaine, roasted cauliflower, roasted tofu, sugar snap peas

I like it, and all, but I feel myself getting stuck here.  Help?!

Speaking of getting stuck, what about this?…

You’re probably thinking, You’ve shown such a photo dozens of times!  Well, yes, except that you would be wrong.  That yellow stuff sprinkled on top is not nooch — it’s Parma!

I had been looking fruitlessly for a kosher, non-dairy parmesan cheese substitute, and I was so excited to find this online.  I contacted Shannon from Eat in the Raw and asked for a sample, before I drove myself nuts trying to find it here.  I totally did not expect a full-sized bottle!  Thank you, Shannon!  It was fantastic.  I couldn’t really say whether it actually resembles real parmesan cheese, since I don’t think I’ve ever had it… 😉  But it suits my purposes just fine.

And, of course, I had to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day.

Now I must venture out into this…

…because I have a whole bunch of things to do tonight.  None of which, unfortunately, include sleeping.  😦

Happy Tuesday.

“I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.”
~Oscar Wilde