Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Flu

Hey bloggies~

It's happened, my awesome immune system finally went down and I've been hit with the flu! Within the last 48 hours I've probably slept 40 hours and have only been able to hold down saltine crackers, veggie broth, ginger ale, and some jelly beans (random I know, but I wanted something sweet). This morning I woke with a fierce grumble in my tummy and my appetite returned so I scrambled some eggs along with toast, hopefully light enough that it doesn't cause me harm.

The entire thing came so abruptly! As of Thursday night I was feeling a bit achy, but I attributed the pains to lunges from the prior day and or the run/spin class I had taken earlier in the day. By 4:30 Friday morning, my head was throbbing and I was nauseous. A few hours later the thought of any food had me sick and a fever had the hairs on my arm standing up.

At the moment my back is still pretty achy but hopefully I can get out for a short walk to get some fresh air.

While laying in bed yesterday I came across the documentary "Beer Wars" directed by Anat Baron who became involved in the brewing industry after a few years of managing Mike's Hard Lemonade. Although I did find Anat's voice to be a bit iritationg at times, the overall documentary was pretty interesting, for if nothing else, bringing the scale of corporate domination of beer to light.

I was shocked to find out that the US had more than 1,400 microbreweries, more than any other country; however, they struggle to get their product to the consumers who have been entrained to drink the cheaper, lighter, beers produced by Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. These larger companies have thought about nearly every mean to keep small breweries out of the market from shelf space allotment to the 3 tier delivery method put in place after prohibition.

If you enjoy the true craftsmanship of beer this movie is worth checking out.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time to Shop!

Guys, I made the best baked tofu this week! It was so good I was eating the pieces as a snack :)

For the tofu, I simply pressed out the liquid of a firm block of tofu between a few pieces of paper towel and a hand towel then cut into chunks. I tossed the chunks in a mixture of olive oil, honey, cayenne pepper, chili powder, maybe some garlic powder?, I can't recall. Then I baked at 400 for 20 minutes flipping halfway through.

And with that, I really need to go grocery shopping. Last week was so good with eating all the leftovers in the refrigerator but now...I need to go! Tonight's dinner of spaghetti squash didn't cut my hunger and then I ate way too much cereal. Thankfully I'm meeting my friend Dana tomorrow evening for some much needed girl talk downtown and will hit up Trader Joe's before returning home.

I was also originally planning on going home this weekend and picking up cheap groceries during the trip, but now it looks like more snow is heading to the Philly area so my trip might have to be delayed :(

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hey all~

Long time no post, sorry about that, but with project clean out the fridge there was no exciting cooking or baking going on.

I did, however, get some pretty cool swag from the Rachel Ray show on Wednesday! Thanks to my friend Sarah who invited me along, I was able to attend a morning taping of the Rachel Ray show, and sat 3rd row!! In addition to the snack of the day, Glow Gluten Free cookies, which were delicious, she also gave out all the goods from her Kitchen Essentials segment (will most likely air sometime next week).
The goodies included 2 microplanes:
Rachel's new self sharpening knife:
Look at the cool criss cross action of the sharpener:
Love everything about this knife-perfect weight, size, and sharp!
Today I moved from cleaning out the refrigerator to the cabinets. As a result I came up with a pretty simple but yummy dinner.

Into the sauce pan went-
1 cup onions
1/2 package frozen corn
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 can 15 oz black beans
1 can 15 oz canned tomatoes
1 garlic clove

I started by sauteing the onions, threw in the frozen corn and when it began to warm I added the seasonings and the remaining ingredients, brought to a boil, and simmered for about 25 minutes.
Originally I was going to make cornbread to go with this dish but opted to try out cornmeal pancakes. I went with a vegan recipe but left out the sugar since I was making it for a savory dish and the end product was more of a crepe (very thin).
But it worked out okay and still tasted pretty good.
I ended up throwing in a handful of spinach into my serving and allowed it to wilt:
Also topped with salsa after taking this photo:
Off to watch speed skating!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Relaxing end

Hey all~

Today turned out to be a pretty relaxing but productive end to my 3 day weekend. Right before going to bed last night I received an invite to a brunch my friend was throwing at 10 am. Just what I needed, the motivation to get going early in the morning.

Which is exactly what I did! I woke at 6:30, had a snack, read for an hour, did 3 loads of laundry, and baked a coffee cake! Originally I was planning on running to the grocery store to pick up fruit, but I would really like to start saving a bit more money and I really need to work on eating through the leftovers currently in the after a quick search on the web I came up with Pilsbury's Golden Pineapple Carrot Coffee Cake. I had all the ingredients on hand and since it used juice for most of the moisture it only called for 3 tablespoons of oil. The only change to Pilsbury's recipe was 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of all purpose rather than all, all purpose.

Look how beautiful the wet ingredients come together:

Sprinkled with sugar and peacans on top:
25 minutes later:

While the cake was cooking I also ground up some fresh coffee beans. While in general I would say I'm a tea drinker, since accidently buying whole beans and having to grind them myself, I've been drinking coffee each morning. The flavor is out of this world! Someone should have shared the wonders of fresh beans with me :)

The brunch itself was amazing! My friend did a superb job cooking up eggs benedict and my cake was super moist. I'm pretty sure everyone went back for seconds :)

After brunch I went into lab and stayed until 3:30ish, came home, put away all the laundry, thought about working out but decided to call today a rest day and did some reading and caught up on a few TV shows instead. How did you spend your President's Day?

Have a great week,


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's!

Hope everyone had a great day no matter how you spent your time.

I've had a pretty wonderful day, thanks in part to these lovelies delivered to my apartment from my wonderful mother!
Since I had my Valentine's date last night, Amanda and I decided to get together and whip up waffles for brunch.
While out this morning I picked up some Pom juice so we could make Pom mocktails:
We also had tea from a tea bulb, they grow so beautifully:
And of course the main star, the waffles:
Topped with lots of fresh fruit, a dollop of plain yogurt, and a drizzle of agave:
So yummy!!

Off to sweat a little and debating if I want to do laundry now or in the morning. I'm leaning towards the morning and going into lab late morning...mmm we will see.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pre-Valentine's Date

Hey all~

The weekends just fly by don't they, don't know where the day has gone! For some reason I think because it's a Saturday the time will be endless. You know, somehow I'll be able to sleep until 9am, have a leisurely morning, go into lab for a few hours, squeeze in a workout and meet up with a friend for hot chocolate and dinner. Well, I did get it all in but up until dinner I was constantly aware of the time and somewhat rushing to get it all done, I hate that!

All the same, to the eats!

My friend and I decided to have a valentine dinner date, and in order to avoid crowded restaurants and overly priced food we opted on a pre-valentines dinner. We began at the The City Bakery for their Hot Chocolate Festival. This stuff is thick but absolutely heaven so we split a cup. Today's flavor was Milk Chocolate, not particularly unique, but delish all the same!
Afterwards we headed to Qi Asian Eatery. I had read several good reviews on the place raving about their vegetarian/vegan options so I decided to try it out. The prices were very reasonable and the food was so the place was decked out! I mean this figure was in the bathroom:
For dinner I ordered the Lemongrass Tom Yum soup with tofu:
Then this huge boy came out!
I ended up eating a little more than half. It actually was quite reasonable once I realized it was basically a salad inside-fresh spinach, asparagus, and avocado.
My friend had the spicy thai basal with a side of heart shaped rice:
More bathroom decorations:

Happy Valentine's Day,


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vegan Carrot Cake Scones

After a few more scones and other people giving them a try as well I realized they are pretty good so I'll unveil the recipe-

For my base I used the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance.

In addition I added 1 1/4 cup carrots
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c pecans
1 tsp vanilla

Before popping them into the over I sprinkled with a bit of sugar.

Sorry, didn't snap of photo of scones coming out of the oven.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Surprise surprise

Hey all~

Look what my roommate found in our birds' cage yesterday! I had looked earlier in the day to add more food and thought they were grapes, it was dark don't judge me ;). We're going to let her sit on them for a bit and see if they hatch. Not sure if the eggs are fertilized or not...
Sunday seems like my most exciting day in terms of new eats. Amanda and I went to Sacred Chow yesterday for lunch.
Amanda created her own bowl with tempeh, greens, and rice:
I had a colorful huge salad:
With Orange BBQ Seitan:
It was so good!

Across the street was PB & Co. so of course we had to go inside!
Mmm chocolate peanut butter :)
I'm also getting back into the habit of cooking parts, at least, of my weekly meals on Sunday so I can try to eat balanced meals during the week while also fitting in enough lab hours, the gym, and relaxation.

First up, vegan carrot cake scones. This was my own creation and I'm not ready to unveil the recipe, need to play around with it a bit more.

Then I planned on roasting a bunch of veggies...but I only got to the brussels sprouts.
Because it was Super bowl time! Actually that exclamation point was not necessary because I didn't even know who was playing this year. Usually I follow football rather closely, but with Eagles out so early in the season, my interest quickly began to wane.

In any case my roommate ended up having a few people over which meant pizza time! I grabbed some ready made whole wheat dough from Trader Joe's, we broke them into individual sections for make your own pizza.
I forgot to photograph this after it came out, but on my pizza I included peppers, mushrooms, onions, and a bit of mozzarella.
So, I'm going to be honest for a minute, the make it sweat challenge was a bit of a bust. Only in the sense that I took 1 day off last week and am doing the same this week. I'm not going to sweat it though, lab work has picked up and I need to work a few extra hours some days which makes it hard to get to gym classes.

In my lab, I have a bench that's kinda in the corner. People always comment how I'm so hidden, as if that were a bad thing!?! I've been taking advantage lately by playing my music somewhat loud, since no one else can really hear it anyway. I have been alternating between my music and itunes radio today and end up hearing "I Wish" by Skee-Lo. Do you remember that song?! I can't believe it came out 15 years ago.

I also can't believe that I will be 24 in 3 months and 1 day, I want to give myself some other kind of challenge along with make it sweat for the next 3 months. Something that will make that birthday feel more special. Mmm need to sleep on that one...


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Smoothie Queen

This week has been all about the return of the smoothie! Maybe it's my way of trying to think warm and spring?!?
Actually the smoothie drinking comes at the same time that I try to get back into a better gym routine. While I always workout to some degree 5-6 x a week, whether it's a long walk, yoga, weights, cardio, etc., they were being pushed back later and later in the evening, like starting at 8 or 9 at night. As I result I wouldn't get to sleep until 1am, but would still turn around and be in lab by 9 am, hence not get enough rest.

I also want to continue to incorporate strength training and yoga into my routine which I can get lazy about, yoga because it's time consuming, and weights because of all the muscle men using the machines. The latter is silly though because I can kick any of their butts the moment they step in one of ultimate conditioning classes or even a spin class :)

Now theat I have my goals set, I just need to form a good habit. It takes about 2 months for something to become a habit. Since February is a short month I have it pretty easy and as a result am giving myself a 28 day sweat challenge. As I said earlier, I usually give myself 1-2 days of rest per week. During the challenge my day of rest will consist of decreased cardio in favor of pilates or yoga, ideally at Crunch, but if classes do not fit my schedule I will use a pod class from Yoga to the People.

Back to the smoothies...the gym classes I usually take began anywhere from 5:45 to 7:15 on weeknights. For the later classes I can usually squeeze in dinner and allow it to settle, but I still get hungry when I get home. For the earlier classes it's pretty close to dinner and a smaller snack will not hold off my hunger. walks the protein smoothie!
In this huge glass is relatively few ingredients-1 cup soy milk, half a banana, 1/2 packet of the below vanilla rice protein, and ice. Or for some extra nutrients throw in a handful of spinach, a.k.a. a green monster!

Perfect snack for before or after a hard workout!

Also, check this out sounds of science that a lab at my school put together. DJ earwarm better watch out!