Nope, I Don’t Eat Meat. NOT the Same Thing as Gluten-Free, Sorry. Thanks For Trying Though…

Yesterday was a very busy day.  After getting the troops off to work/school, it was time for me to head out for my day of meeting fun.  I had meetings at 3 different locations yesterday, so I probably spent more time in my car than my office!  That’s okay though, because they were all pretty good (for the most part).  Two were even conference calls, so I could combine meetings and driving.  How’s THAT for productive?!

Because of the snow last week, M’s band concert was moved to Monday night.  I was thrilled because I would have missed it otherwise.  It was a nice concert, and it’s amazing how much these kids have progressed the past couple of years.

He’s the one actually looking at the camera!

After the show, we did a quick stop at Subway and Target.  I was making gift bags for my team with some homemade goodness, and needed bags and tags. 

We all went to bed pretty early.  A and D seem both to be coming down with something, and I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in a few weeks now, so we were all toast by 930.  With today being the last day of school for the kids until after the New Year, it was nice to hit the hay early.

D and I woke up earlier than normal, so that made for a non-rushed morning…which is highly unusual for us!

I made black bean taco’s on corn tortillas and topped with Daiya vegan cheddar shreds for breakfast.  The recipe is adapted from this awesome blog.  I used black beans instead of black eyed peas, and doubled the siracha.  Fabulous.

R had pancakes.  Surprise surprise.

Before eating breakfast, I whipped up a batch of spicy chocolate muffins for my gift bags (I wanted them to be fresh).  Vegan of course, they had cocoa powder, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne pepper.  The recipe is from The Joy of Vegan Baking.  One of the first things I think a vegan “gives up” is desserts.  Don’t get me wrong – I don’t feel I’ve lost ANYTHING by becoming vegan.  In fact, I think quite the opposite.  I am healthy and happy, and probably for the first time in my life, I experience foods from so many cultures and can really taste it all.  I’m more adventurous in the kitchen, and am always making I think a wider world opened up to me, and I absolutely new stuff up. I love how I eat.  With that said – it’s tough to find a dessert that doesn’t have eggs, butter, cream, etc.  Once we were aware of R’s severe nut allergy, we pretty much stopped having sweets in the house unless I baked them (and Oreos.  My family LOVES Oreos, and they’re safe for R).  I don’t typically have much of a sweet tooth, so it didn’t bother me TOO much, but sometimes a girl wants dessert.  Just before last Christmas, I saw a review in VegNews magazine for this book.  Of course I bought it, and have really had a whole world of baking opened up to me.  I’ve always been a cook, but never really enjoyed baking, so it’s been fun.  I’ve picked up two or three vegan baking books since then, but this is still my favorite, and is very informative. 

When they were cooling, I took a bath and got ready for work.  I put together my gift bags (the canned cranberry/apple chutney, cream cheese – my friends are omni’s – pretzels, a muffin, the recipe for the muffin, and an ornament from Disney World).  No big deal really, but it felt good to make something to give.  I even got a text from C tonight about the muffin.  She’s getting the 6 left over tomorrow!

Once the bags were done, I hit the road for my first meeting of the day.  After that, I was off to a farewell lunch for one of my staff.  She’s moving to the DC area and transferring to our hospital up there.  Good for her.  Sad for us.

Lunch spot was her choice, and she picked Abuelos, which is a newer chain Mexican restaurant at the mall.  I wasn’t going to complain, but I was there once with D about a year ago (we stayed 10 minutes).  NOTHING on their menu is vegan friendly.  Their beans are all made with bacon, and their rice is made with chicken stock.  Oh well, I can work around pretty much anything.

After we were all there and the waitress came, I asked if she could have a meat and cheese-less salad thrown together for me.  She mentioned that they have a separate vegetarian menu, and would I care to look at it?  Nice – maybe I could get something from that without cheese.  She breezes past the table and hands me a binder and leaves.  I open the binder…and it’s an employee manual!  I found it interesting that they’re not allowed to wear earrings…but it had nothing to do with food.  I did see a sheet of paper shoved in the pocket portion of a list of gluten free foods – which is all the meat – but nothing about vegetarians.  I’ve never had anyone confuse the difference between someone on a gluten-free diet, and someone who didn’t eat meat.  My first thought was “moron”, but really…if you’ve grown up on a typical American diet and don’t know anyone who eats a specialized diet (either by choice of allergy), how’s she really supposed to know the difference?  Oh well.  She came back, took our order, and had the salad made 🙂

My salad, which was actually quite tasty.  Lettuce, avocado, tomato, onion, raisins, oranges, broccoli – I think they threw in every veggie or fruit they had – and I appreciated it.  With a tasty raspberry vinaigrette, I was a happy diner.

I went back to the office after lunch for an afternoon meeting (which was actually very pleasant) and then headed out.  I stopped at the grocery on the way home to pick up a few more things for baking bonanza!  We’re having a girls Wine Wednesday tomorrow, and I’m making up gift boxes of baked joy.  So far I’ve made brownies, pumpkin muffins, bread, and some cookies.  I want to bake a few more types of cookies, and then I’ll package those up for the group tomorrow.

On a totally unrelated topic…
I’ve noticed something strange about my dog.  For those that know Sammie, she’s just strange anyway, but it turns out she’s clever and sneaky too.  She has her bed in a designated part of the kitchen (it’s really where an eat-in dining room would be, but we have a dining room and eat there….so it’s a big space in the kitchen reserved pretty much just for her).  I keep her bed between the bathroom/laundry room door and the wall.

Where Sammie’s bed is SUPPOSED to be.  This is where I put it..

Every time I come into the kitchen, THIS is where I find her bed. 

Do you see the difference???  I keep moving her bed off of the vent where nice cold air comes in the summer and nice hot air in the winter.  I couldn’t figure out why it kept moving…so I spied on her after moving it to see what the deal was….

My sneaky pups is MOVING the bed from where I think it should be to where she thinks it should be!  My guess, is she wants the heat billowing up through her bed and onto her belly when she’s sleeping.  She’s making her own electric blanket.  Sneaky, clever little girl….

And here she is.  Don’t let the cute exterior fool you.  She’s a cunning little monster. 

Today was my last day in the office until after the holiday.  I’m working from home tomorrow and Thursday, and then it’s family fun time for the rest of the year.  Even D is getting a few days off next week, so that’ll be nice.  I doubt we’ll do anything, but I’m looking forward to having as little to do as possible!


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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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