No Sense Crying Over Moldy Chocolate

FOOD

When one doesn't blog for 10 days, it seems silly (and relatively impossible) to document everything eaten in that time frame! I will do my best in a montage of pictures, but rest assured, it's pretty Crissie-typical fare. Smoothies, soups, salads, a vegan pizza, taco-related things, tofu pot-pie, etc.

Not all my meals were wonderful, as noted Friday night. JC, AC, D and I went out for the evening – art gallery, dinner, and drinks. Art gallery – fun. Drinks – always good. Dinner – sucked. Turns out the restaurant we went to (and had been to many times) is closing mid-March. They had nothing for me to eat – they were actually OUT of rice and pasta. So crazy. So…I was given a plate of green beans, asparagus, and sliced tomato. It wasn't awful, but certainly not a filling meal either.

I'm attaching here a recipe for one of my fav tofu snacks, on request. These are awesome just to snack on, but are equally good on sammiches or in wraps.

Crissie's Baked Tofu Snack

Ingredients

*1 block tofu pressed and sliced

*1/4 cup OJ

*1 tbsp mirin

*1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

*2 garlic cloves, minced

*1/2 tbsp minced ginger

*a couple shakes of cayenne pepper

Directions

*combine all the ingredients except the tofu into a marinade.

*place tofu slices in a shallow dish so they don't overlap, and pour the marinade over it.

*Let marinade as long as possible, flipping the tofu slices half way. I usually like to do this overnight if making on a week night, or all day if a weekend.

*Bake at 375 in the same dish for 40 minutes.

FITNESS

Well, it's been a very active 10 days, so that's good!

I will admit that all of my runs have been on the treadmill – even after the snow thawed. I just really hate winter.

I will also admit that I almost fell off my treadmill…twice…when the urge to dance struck at the wrong time. That's what I get for downloading the new Crystal Method album I guess 🙂

I've also been doing some workout DVD's, yoga (of course), and even hit up a new (to me) class at the gym. Kettlebells. I've heard plenty about them, but figured I'd check it out for myself. The class is so popular, I had to get there early enough to get a ticket.

So here's my summary – I wasn't impressed. I took the 15 minute technique class before, and was hoping for a tough strength training workout. Instead, this was…I think…meant to be a cardio workout. But here everyone is throwing these bells around while doing lunges, squats, etc – and all I kept thinking was how everyone was going to get injured. The moves didn't seem safe, and I don't think I'll be hitting that class up again. Apparently being ticket #13 was NOT my lucky number!

LIFE

In a word, busy. I've had some overwhelming moments in the past two weeks – where I think I felt like I was on the verge of cracking. Nearly crying at my keyboard at work when I discovered my chocolate coconut milk yogurt was moldy was my first clue. I don't want sweet food often, but Tuesday was a rough day, and finding my healthy chocolate yogurt inedible left me nearly hysteric. Thankfully I had backup chocolate in my desk drawer.

My days nearly all week started at 530 am and didn't end until midnight. In a word, I've been just simply exhausted.

Thankfully this weekend was planned with some fun things, and it's been just what I needed. It started Friday night with AC and JC. We went to a small glass exhibit opening, then went to dinner and out for a few drinks.

D took this pic of me while I was looking at some of the art!

Saturday was a basketball game! I've only been to one game before – last March at a conference. It was amazing, but I realize a totally unrealistic experience. It was New Orleans v. the LA Lakers…in a box with unlimited food and alcohol…and Robert DeNiro was at the game! Last night's game was a college ball game here, but it was still fun. I didn't understand some of what was going on, and at times it moved too fast for me to figure stuff out. The ref's seemed to have been bribed by the other team, we watched several rambunctious fans get ejected during the second half, and all the ref's were escorted immediately off the court surrounded by security as soon as the game ended. I'm not sure if any of that is normal, but it certainly made for an interesting evening. Oh, and we lost, so that was a bummer. We were lucky to have VIP tickets from a co-worker who couldn't be at the game, so that was really cool.

Today was work and cooking to get prepped for the week! Two soups, stuff for salads, trail mix, and, of course, cookies.

So here's to a new week which is sure to be as crazy as the last…but I will do my best to not have moldy chocolate, so it should turn out okay!

 

Not a Yoga Snob

FOOD

Well, this weekend was awesome on the food front. Friday night was a fun evening of making Indian food with my girl S. We decided on a girls night in at her house, cooked up a wicked storm, had wine, and hung out.

On the menu? Red lentil dahl, spicy mashed eggplant and potato, basmati rice with cumin and cardamom, and cauliflower and potatoes. And wine (S belongs to some wine club, so that was awesome).

Saturday was green smoothies and mac n peas. GF elbow pasta, peas, cheddar Teeze, and some fresh ground pepper. Comfort food without the gluten, fat, or calories!

I was supposed to host the vegan meet-up event, but with illness and house tradgedies, I had to cancel. Since I was perfectly healthy, I hung out at H's house. She was going to come to the party, so it was nice we still got to spend the evening together. She had a beautiful spread of fruits, hummus, crackers, tortilla chips, guacamole, and veggies. With a couple glass of chianti and her pups becoming my total snuggle muffin, it was another wonderful girl's night in.

Sunday was my normal day of grocery shopping and food prep. I ended up making Indian for dinner again, this time with tandoori veggies and garlic naan in addition to the red lentil dahl.

Today I had green smoothies twice (one as a normal breakfast and one for dinner because I was too tired to eat anything that required effort). Lunch was some kale with garlic-tahini.

 

FITNESS

I went to the best yoga class yesterday! And what's even more awesome, is that I went to the Y and took advantage of my membership there.

For the past several years, I've paid extra to go to my hot yoga studios in the area. At $17-20 per class, it certainly isn't cheap. I don't want to do a membership to any one studio, because my work takes me all over the area and some days I can be near one place, but other days closer to home. Anyway, with us paying more attention to budgets and spending, I thought I'd go to a class at the Y (we have 16 Y's in our area, and I can go to any Y in the world with my membership, my family goes to the Y almost every day for one reason or another, I may as well use what I have!).

I will admit, I went into thinking that it would be sub-standard somehow. It's not a hot class. It's at a regular fitness place and not somewhere “dedicated” to yoga. Blah blah blah. I was so happy to be wrong. S met me for the class, and while it was not a hot class, it was not easy either. The instructor was as quality and experienced as any yoga studio I've been to in the last 10 years, and I will definitely take her class again.

LIFE

Well, what can I say…it's been busy. Friday was a normal workday, and ended up being a really productive one. Even a late afternoon meeting ended up being totally awesome, so no complaints here.

M sent another post card from camp, and he's apparently having an amazing time. It's hard having him gone for so long, but he's happy, so I can't complain.

A has been going through all her check lists (mainly because D and I are making her) of everything she needs done before she heads off for University next month. I'm in denial and we'll talk about how my baby girl is leaving home later when I actually have to deal with it.

S's husband was out of town this past weekend, so she and I were thinking a girls night would be fun. We originally talked about the Outer Banks (if you're an East Coaster, otherwise known as the OBX) – Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Hatteras, NC. Not too far from us (a little over an hour), but we decided that the weather was too poopy and we weren't willing to spend the $$ for a night away, so we did a sleep over at her house. Indian food, wine, catching up….couldn't ask for a better evening.

Saturday I took a nap when I got home, made some lunch, and lazed about until going to H's house. D wasn't feeling hot (not as sick as A was, but definitely fighting it off), so he was mostly resting.

H's pup is the cutest little thing. He's very snuggly and small, so we became fast friends lying on the sofa. I seriously couldn't imagine Sammie lying in my lap on the couch!

Sunday was house work, laundry, grocery shopping (actually paying attention to sales!), prepping food for the week (dinners and lunches), and hanging out at home.

For some reason, I ended up with major insomnia last night, and it was past 2 when I fell asleep. Getting up this morning was rougher than normal, but once at work, I mostly wake up anyway. This evening has been chill, D took R to swim team practice, I did dishes, chatted with my Uncle in FL, and I am now heading to bed!

 

Time Flies and The Dinner That Wasn’t

FOOD

It’s been a fairly typical food scene around here the last two days, with the exception of dinners.

Dinner yesterday didn’t happen, and I ended up going to bed with a wicked headache.   Dinner today was supposed to be grilled fun – tofu, broccoli, and a salad…but my kids decided to sprout social lives, so it ended up being a quesadilla, baked spud, and a sunflower butter/banana sammich.  I feel a bit cheated!

Juice ingredients!  Romaine, apple, lemon, cuc, ginger.
Juice ingredients! Romaine, apple, lemon, cuc, ginger.
green juice for breakfast Thursday morning
green juice for breakfast Thursday morning
watermelon snack because...well because I had it and I love watermelon.
watermelon snack because…well because I had it and I love watermelon.
mac n peas for lunch!  Quinoa shell noodles with Teeze (GF, vegan, nut free).
mac n peas for lunch! Quinoa shell noodles with Teeze (GF, vegan, nut free).
breakfast this morning.  Because I really, really love watermelon. To which my sister commented that it's really just water and she'd still be hungry!
breakfast this morning. Because I really, really love watermelon. To which my sister commented that it’s really just water and she’d still be hungry!
quick snack when I got home tonight and realized I wasn't having grilled tofu for dinner!  Corn tortillas with a little Daiya.
quick snack when I got home tonight and realized I wasn’t having grilled tofu for dinner! Corn tortillas with a little Daiya.
a GF flatbread topped with sunflower butter and sliced bananas.  Not a glorious and creative dinner, but it'll do on a Friday night.
a GF flatbread topped with sunflower butter and sliced bananas. Not a glorious and creative dinner, but it’ll do on a Friday night.

FITNESS

Yesterday I didn’t work out.  Way to busy, and didn’t get the chance after work – and frankly, after all the travel drama and little sleep, I sure as heck wasn’t going to get up early!

Today though, I was sure to pack a gym bag before leaving the house.  An after work jaunt to the gym was in order, and I did some HIIT on the elliptical and some full-body weight training.  One of these days I want to like going to the gym.  I dislike workout DVD’s though, and I’m back to pouting about just wanting to run and not being able to.  Driving to and from the gym and parking takes time I don’t have to waste if I could just lace up and walk out my front door.  So here I am, feeling whiny again, sorry.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll finally get the spiders off my bike and go for a ride.

LIFE

Last night my son had a play.  It was called Time Flies, and it’s about 2 mayflies who meet, flirt heavily (that was hard to watch as his mom while one may fly grabbed his butt), and then learn by watching a TV special that mayflies only live 24 hours.  It was pretty hilarious and he’s up for an award for his performance!

IMG_4331 (Small) IMG_4342 (Small) IMG_4348 (Small) IMG_4358 (Small)

The night went much later than planned, so we didn’t get home until late.

Today was all meetings, all day.  I do feel like a lot was accomplished regarding one of my projects, so I certainly am not complaining about meeting hell or anything 😉

My oldest child was called and offered a shift at work tonight, and my son was invited to an overnight bowling party-thing, so we ended up not doing the dinner we had planned.  We did all sit outside and goof off for a while (basketball, soccer, beer…well…beer for just D and I…but still).  I’ve been rejoicing in the ridiculously hot weather and spending as much time as possible sitting on the deck under the big umbrella.

my view from my chair
my view from my chair

Tomorrow I have two things planned, though one may not happen.  My daughter and I (the oldest daughter) signed up for a Chesapeake Clean the Bay Day – which is a VA and MD-wide effort to clean up the waterways.  I signed us up online and the local coordinator was supposed to email me with details on where to go (I have no idea where I’d been “assigned”, other than my city), so unless it comes by the morning, I may not be volunteering after all.  Which has me really bummed out…getting more involved in things that are important to me; animal rights, social justice issues, and environmental initiatives, is something that I took home with me from VVC (Vida Vegan Con in case you didn’t know).  I won’t let this keep me from becoming involved in (or starting) activism in my area, but it still bugs me.

Tomorrow evening I’m going to our Vegan Dinner Social and Pleasure Club meet-up group!  We’re doing a Wine and Cheeze Garden party.  Since most vegan cheezes are nut based, I’m bringing a fruit plate, flax crackers, and possibly a sunflower seed spread.

Sunday, if the weather holds, D and I are going golfing.  Real golfing – not lessons or driving range.  I’m hopeful that we go.

Until then, random pics of Sammie the happy pooch and Bumble, the Ruler of the House.

she may be Ruler of the House, but she's scared to death of the great outdoors.  Too fraidy-cat to leave the deck.
she may be Ruler of the House, but she’s scared to death of the great outdoors. Too fraidy-cat to leave the deck.
my sleepyheads
my sleepyheads

 

I Dip, You Dip, We Dip

If you don’t remember that late 90’s gem of a song Da Dip, I’m sorry. It’s kind of catchy!

FOOD

If you haven’t guessed it yet, today’s Vegan MoFo 2012 snack is one of my favorite dips! It’s easy, and who doesn’t love a good dip? It’s another reason to eat food with my hands instead of silverware, and that always makes me happy.

This simple dipping snack has only two ingredients, but has possible endless combinations depending on your fancy at the moment. Spicy? Done. Sweet? Why not! My favorite is this spicy one right here.

Crissie’s Spicy Snack Dip

Ingredients

*1 tub of vegan cream cheese

*1 1/2 cups of pepper jelly (or any other jelly, or pumpkin butter, apple butter, cranberry chutney…you get the idea).

Directions

*scoop the cream cheese out of the tub and put it into a microwave safe dish.

*nuke for about 30 seconds to soften

*mix in the jelly

two ingredient snack! Couldn’t be simpler!

Yep. That simple folks. D’s favorite way to eat this is with pretzels. I like that or some yummy flax crackers. You can eat it warm or not…depends on how much willpower you have after mixing it. I put it into small containers and pop it into my purse with some crackers, and snack whenever the urge hits.

DIP!!!

FITNESS

All I managed today was yoga. Yesterday I was overly jet-lagged and tired and whiny. I did a hell of a number on my right foot in Vegas by hiking all over in (really cute) heels. Didn’t notice it at the time, but tore the skin right off. Shoes suck (yay for warm weather and flip-flops).

I seriously need to travel with more comfortable shoes. Or band-aids. Or the ability to self-administer a skin graft….

I must deal though, since I have a workout scheduled tomorrow that I just can’t put off anymore without feeling like a slug. I need a good run, even if it hurts!

LIFE

I had a great night’s sleep yesterday and didn’t oversleep today (that’s progress, baby!). I actually woke up 15 minutes early when I heard Sammie walking around downstairs. I freaked – woke D up to check it out – who reported that the dog woke up when the coffee pot started (15 min before scheduled alarm going off), and was waiting for someone to feed her. Oops.

Also, I clearly haven’t finished unpacking yet. Just enough for Bumble to stake her claim for a place to sleep….and to ensure I don’t leave without her yet again.

Today was a conference day and all regularly scheduled meetings were canceled. Woo hoo!

Tonight will be a late one (R’s swim practice time has been pushed out a half hour due to moving to the indoor pool and scheduling lanes). That’s okay though. It’s still awesome to be home.

MoFo is BACK! And You’re Gonna Love It :)

FOOD

Okay party people, it’s October.  The best month of the year!  Why???  Well there are a lot of reasons (my birthday, Halloween, cooler temps)…but what I’m talking about here is the kick off of Vegan MoFo 2012!!!

This is my second year participating, and I’m totally excited.  If you’re a new reader….get your head out of the gutter.  Mo Fo stands for MOnth of FOod.  So buckle up and get ready for 30 days of MoFo food fun.

This year, I’ve decided to go with a theme.  All my MoFo related posts (at least 20 in the month of October) will be snacks!  Yes, you heard that right.  Because I love snacks and eating with my hands.  Nothing is more fun than portable food.

Your first snack of the month is an Indian-inspired potato pot pie.  You’re welcome.

Crissie’s Samosa Snack Pie

Ingredients

*2 pre-made

*4-5 sm-med russet potatoes, peeled and chunked

*1 tbsp veggie or canola oil

*1/2 yellow onion

*1 tsp fresh ginger root (ground, minced, etc – I put it pureed already in a jar)

*1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds

*1/2 tsp ground fenugreek seeds

*1 tsp turmeric

*1 tsp Baharat spice

*1 tsp Vadouvan spice

*1 tsp hot curry powder

*1/2 c silken lite tofu (the tofu is really optional, but I like the nutritional kick it gives.  If you skip the tofu, you’ll need to add a bit of soymilk, broth, or water for added moisture)

*1 cup peas

*1 tsp salt

Directions for Filling

*boil potatoes in water for about 20 minutes until soft.  Drain

*(using the same pot) heat the oil over medium.  Add onions and begin to stir fry

*add the mustard seeds and stir until the seeds start to pop.  Add the garlic, and continue to stir fry for 2-3 minutes, until soft, translucent, and maybe starting to brown a little.

*add the fenugreek seed, turmeric, baharat spice, vadouvan spice, and hot curry powder.  Mix well, and stir fry for one more minute.

*remove from heat, add potatoes back to the pot, the salt, and the tofu.  Mash the hell out of it (I use a kitchen mixer)

*Stir in the peas.  Try not to eat all the filling at this point.

Directions for Pies

*you can certainly make your own pie crusts if that type of thing amuses you.  Me?  Not so much.  I buy in bulk at Sam’s Club, and they’re vegan and easy.  You can cheat on this and still feel good about yourself.

*open the crust and spread it out.  Cut into circles to either fit in a muffin or (my personal favorite) a Babycakes muffin maker.

*put the bottom into the muffin tin.  Scoop filling until level.  Add another circle of crust and seal the top.

*if using Babycakes like I did…plug it in for 8 minutes and you’re done.

*if cooking in a muffin tin, bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 min, until golden brown.

You will use about half of the filling to make 8 pies.  I put the rest of the filling in the fridge to make wraps or really just eat with a spoon when the urge hits.

But seriously…splurge the $45 on the Babycakes because it’s the coolest, and I can just bet many of this month’s snacktastic recipes will be made in a Babycakes!

Do not be overwhelmed by the steps.  It looks like a lot, but it’s not.  You’re basically making mashed potatoes and sticking it in pie dough.

Also don’t be discouraged by the type of spices.  You can use whatever Indian-inspired spices you may have.  Everything I used is available online (or store front if you’re lucky enough to live in Milwaukee) at The Spice House.  Check it out and become a spice snob like me.

Babycakes mini-muffin maker. Makes more than desserts, as today’s recipe clearly shows. Get one…they’re fun and easy to clean.
cheater pie crusts
SPICES
Penzy’s has some of these too (but not all), and is a store more widely available across that US.
final mashed filling
pie crusts! Oh, and the babycakes maker comes with a little form thingy, so there’s really no effort here.
put one circle down, and fill it with potato fun….
add the top circle
all 8 ready to go in no time!
golden cakes in 8 minutes FLAT
SNACK TIME

LIFE

I’m seriously going to try to keep this short since the food section was so gloriously long.  And admit it…it made you just a little bit hungry, right?

We left Vegas yesterday.  The airport was shut down a bit for Pres Obama’s arrival, so we took off about an hour late.  Still made it to Baltimore in plenty of time to catch out connector.  So we thought….we had “tons” of time, stopped for some Mexican food and a beer, and was suddenly being paged overhead to hustle our you-know-what’s to the gate or miss our plane.  At least we ran off the guacamole.

Got home around 1130ish, and while I wanted to go to bed, in my head it was only 830 pm Vegas time, and I should be putting on make up and getting ready to go out with the girls!  Alas…I slept eventually and was highly grateful today was a work from home 1/2 day.