The Happiest Place on Earth is Home!

FOOD

Still mostly eating in vs going out to eat (with the exception of the last week where I was traveling).  I’ve been largely batch cooking on the weekends and eating leftovers through the week.

I’m still doing a lot of the Happy Herbivore meals, but have had a few fun ones thrown in.  Like this one!

Crissie’s Kitchen Sink Red Thai Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 packaged extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 4 carrots, diced large
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 onion, diced large
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder or paste (brand of your choosing, I order from The Spice House)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger root

Directions

  • Line a large skillet with a small amount of water and heat on medium high
  • add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Sautee for 3-4 minutes, until soft
  • add carrots and bell pepper.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add can of coconut milk + 1/2 can of water, tofu, and broccoli, and peas
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes

Serve over rice, quinoa, or any other grain of choice (or plain, like I had it!  More soup than stir fry).

I used up all the veggies I had lying around (I was heading out on a week-long trip, so that was important), and the fun thing with curries, is you can use whatever you have.  Cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, corn, etc.  Doesn’t matter – it’s all yummy!

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I ate leftovers over quinoa I had batched cooked over the weekend

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Some other homemade eats

D is the total grill master!  He marinated portabellos and pineapple  in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun.  OH MY GOSH.  So tasty!  And a side of grilled veggies.
D is the total grill master! He marinated portabellos and pineapple in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun. OH MY GOSH. So tasty! And a side of grilled veggies.

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Tofurky night!
Tofurky night!

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batch cooking chowder
batch cooking chowder

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And my awesome eats from Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando, Epcot, and Florida in general!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep's pie!
a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep’s pie!
potato broccoli soup
potato broccoli soup
BBQ Chikun Empanadas
BBQ Chikun Empanadas

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from a little place near my hotel where I'd stop for some fresh juice.  This was my favorite
from a little place near my hotel where I’d stop for some fresh juice. This was my favorite
smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!
smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!
of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once!  Wasn't as good as my place at home :)
of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once! Wasn’t as good as my place at home 🙂

FITNESS

Well, after finally reading about it for months, I broke down and bought Beach Body on Demand.  It’s honestly been awesome.  I’m working out every day either in my bedroom or my hotel.  Plus runs of course!

after a nice run outside in FL one morning
after a nice run outside in FL one morning

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after a long bike ride last weekend before I left - me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day
after a long bike ride last weekend before I left – me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day
looking sweaty and unamused.  5am is EARLY for exercise
looking sweaty and unamused. 5am is EARLY for exercise
lame attempt at a smile
lame attempt at a smile

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LIFE

Been a busy, but great two weeks.  New (and final) term for grad school started!  Lot’s of focus on entrepreneurial  processes, and it’s been really interesting so far.  As much an art as a business science.

R had her second peanut flour updose!  She’s now at 6% of 1 peanut.  Words cannot express how proud I am of her for doing this.  Her bravery shocks me – she knows how life threatening her peanut allergy is, yet this treatment protocol, if successful, will forever alter her life and take away that fear.  The process is a bit anxiety producing though.

before and during her does
before and during her does
and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor
and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

I went to a conference for work in Orlando.  It was a really good show, but my favorite is always the volunteer work with military veterans who have recently or are soon to be transitioning.  It’s less about healthcare IT specifically and more about the culture shock.  For those in a long time, it’s learning to STOP using some language and terminology that doesn’t translate into the corporate world and to understand leadership nuance differences (such as people don’t do what you tell them just because you tell them!).  Nothing like that existed when I transitioned out of the Navy, so I love doing this for others.

I also took a side trip to Epcot and had a great time.  And while it was a great trip, the happiest place on earth is really just being back home!

they legit had a DJ!
they legit had a DJ!
how well they know us!
how well they know us!

Other than that, it’s been pretty typical.  Family, work, school, rinse, repeat.

And some extra pics of stuff, morning pictures, and fluffy buddies!

Ginny wrapped up in her toy
Ginny wrapped up in her toy
Bumble wrapped up in her blankets
Bumble wrapped up in her blankets
Kuma deciding Bumble's idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant
Kuma deciding Bumble’s idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

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she just misses my suitcase...
she just misses my suitcase…

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I'm fairly obsessed with palm trees
I’m fairly obsessed with palm trees
Kuma put her toy against D's foot to use as a pillow
Kuma put her toy against D’s foot to use as a pillow
pure genius
pure genius
after a wet night out in Orlando
after a wet night out in Orlando
when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they're very curious as to why....they made me this button!
when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they’re very curious as to why….they made me this button!
what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself!  Glorious.
what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself! Glorious.

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cold morning walk
cold morning walk

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Have a great weekend!!

Au Revoir, Paris! Guten Tag, Berlin!

FOOD

All I can say is – I’m definitely not traveling for the eats.  Ugh.  Vegan options here are just too heavy for the way I’d like to eat.  Honestly, my best meals are makeshift eats from the local market, and I find myself eating very little otherwise.  And I’m getting kind of sick of bananas.  But alas – I can’t complain because the trip has been awesome.

One thing I love the French for is a yummy Dijon beet salad.   Germany has yet to impress me much, but it’s early yet 🙂

do love me some ginger ale!
do love me some ginger ale!
best meal! Grocery store eats are just fine with me
best meal! Grocery store eats are just fine with me
closest thing to a veg juice I could find. Quite good though!
closest thing to a veg juice I could find. Quite good though!
I love that Dijon mustard is a regular condiment with the salt & pepper!
I love that Dijon mustard is a regular condiment with the salt & pepper!
more beets!
more beets!
my entree at the Eiffel Tower!
my entrée at the Eiffel Tower!
my last morning, took off to a little cafe down the road from my hotel to enjoy some quiet and coffee
my last morning, took off to a little café down the road from my hotel to enjoy some quiet and coffee
Starbucks in Berlin!
Starbucks in Berlin!  Because it’s universal
today's lunch. Okay, but too heavy. Rice pilaf, roasted onion, and cabbage.
today’s lunch. Okay, but too heavy. Rice pilaf, roasted onion, and cabbage.

One of the grocery stores I went to (we actually did a case about them a year ago!)

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FITNESS

A couple short runs (1 outside, 2 on the hotel treadmill) and some in-room yoga.  And hiked up a ton of the Eiffel Tower, so there’s that…

ran through this park one morning. Had to snap this pic because I GO TO HIS UNIVERSITY!!!
ran through this park one morning. Had to snap this pic because I GO TO HIS UNIVERSITY!!!

I am excited that I found a hot yoga studio just down the block from my hotel here in Berlin.  It’ll be interesting because I don’t know diddly about the German language, but I figure I’ve been doing yoga long enough that I’ll be able to follow along just fine!

LIFE

Okay, busy few days!!  I may just tell it in pictures!

Disneyland Paris headquarters, where we spent the afternoon with their Investor Relations dept and VP of Marketing!
Disneyland Paris headquarters, where we spent the afternoon with their Investor Relations dept and VP of Marketing!
and after...another bit of fun in the park
and after…another bit of fun in the park
me and J after the parade!
me and J after the parade!
walking back to the hotel
walking back to the hotel

Thursday night was spent at the Eiffel Tower, including having dinner at one of the restaurants.  We then went to the very top (a combo of a TON of stairs and elevators that move in a diagonal), and had just an incredible view.

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goofy face, and my "photobomber" is actually one of my classmates, MS!
goofy face, and my “photo bomber” is actually one of my classmates, MS!

 

restaurant menu
restaurant menu
not photobombing this time...
not photobombing this time…
The Seine and the city!
The Seine and the city!

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After our last class in Paris Friday, and we celebrated with a lovely champagne lunch.

me and B and champagne!
me and B and champagne!

Then, me, NS (HUGE Liverpool fan), and WB left the group to hit up a local bar called Lush to watch the Chelsea v. Liverpool game.  Being the ONLY one in a Chelsea shirt (and only 1 of 2 supporters in the place), it was a bit unfriendly at first.  That vanished quickly when they realized I was a good sport.  The evening was a blast, and we hung out for a long time talking politics with the locals!  (They find our situation in the US both hilarious and troubling…pretty much like the rest of us to!).  Beyond that, I met some wonderful people, exchanged contact info, and hope to come back soon!  (and actually have Chelsea win…).

yum!
yum!
pre-Lush bar shot (WB, me, NS)
pre-Lush bar shot (WB, me, NS)
my forehead, but basically meant to be a shot of the bar where everyone just stands and watches the game!
my forehead, but basically meant to be a shot of the bar where everyone just stands and watches the game!
on the metro back!
on the metro back!

By the way, NS sang annoying Liverpool songs at me for 2 days.  I figure he ought to enjoy it now, because despite Liverpool’s win, Chelsea is still beating them in the EPL standings….

Did pick up a magazine for those rare non-school reading moments…

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Yesterday was traveling to Berlin (flight was delayed), but the hotel is freaking amazing!  Oh – did I mention that during my stay in Paris a Saudi royal Princess was at my hotel with her entourage?  Yeah – there’s that.  And the Berlin digs are even better!

setting up camp at the airport in Paris to get some studying done before our flight.
setting up camp at the airport in Paris to get some studying done before our flight.

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Of course D is at home holding down the fort.  I missed R’s 13th bday 😦  However, A and M went to her school and took her for lunch in a little picnic – and then Skyped me so we could sing and I could see them.  The 6 hr. time difference is probably the worst so far in being able to talk to my family regularly.

fell asleep 12, woke up 13!
fell asleep 12, woke up 13!

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me taking a pic of my laptop when we all skyped!
me taking a pic of my laptop when we all skyped!

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2 days of morning pictures!
2 days of morning pictures!

So goodnight from Berlin!

Bonjour Paris!

Well, I’m coming to you from Paris as my first stop in a 3-city trip! 

FOOD

I will forever believe that the best vegan food I can get is in my kitchen.  Traveling (especially global travels) really nails that home!  What I wouldn’t do for a flat with a kitchen instead of a hotel room!

It’s certainly not all bad though, and I’ve honestly had some lovely eats in the past several days.

First – things I ate before hopping my flight last Thursday…

smoothies, of course!
smoothies, of course!

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I was in a hurry.  Baked spud with chickpeas and hot sauce
I was in a hurry. Baked spud with chickpeas and hot sauce

And since arriving in Paris…

my first Paris meal at a pretty fameous cafe on Champs Elysee
my first Paris meal at a pretty fameous cafe on Champs Elysee
out for Thai food for dinner with some classmates!
out for Thai food for dinner with some classmates!
no green curry :(  so sad
no green curry 😦 so sad
I've been obsessed with Orangina since I started studying French as a little girl
I’ve been obsessed with Orangina since I started studying French as a little girl
FUN meal with wine pairings and lessons at Le Foodist.  My menu was custom made :)
FUN meal with wine pairings and lessons at Le Foodist. My menu was custom made 🙂
simple breakfast eats
simple breakfast eats
room service.  Only bleh, to be honest.  Plain pasta w/olive oil and a side of mushrooms and celery.
room service. Only bleh, to be honest. Plain pasta w/olive oil and a side of mushrooms and celery.
soy yogurt (along w/a banana were today's bfast)
soy yogurt (along w/a banana were today’s bfast)

Overall, being a vegan in Paris isn’t the easiest.  I try to keep bread to a minimum (causes inflammation and irritates the RA).  Veggies and fruits aren’t hard to find, but to not have everything swimming in cheese is….

FITNESS

Before heading to Paris late last week, it was runs and yoga.

Since getting here, it’s been walks, hikes, and one run so far.

LIFE

Last week was the start of the school year!  Seems so strange to have only one of my kids left in regular school (as in, not college where the other two are!).

And it was all about spending time together before my nearly 3-wk trip out of the country.  That and wrapping up all loose ends at work and trying as hard as I could to prep for my residency and all the cases I had to do!

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after nearly missing my connection in Philly, I ended up with a whole row to myself!
after nearly missing my connection in Philly, I ended up with a whole row to myself!
and here I am.  36 hours of being awake later (I had a red-eye), checked into my room, and not looking as delieriously tired as I actually was!
and here I am. 36 hours of being awake later (I had a red-eye), checked into my room, and not looking as deliriously tired as I actually was!

Paris is beautiful (of course), though I will say that the city reminds me very much of Washington DC.

Day 1 was walking around with a friend until our hotel rooms were ready.

Le Ard de Triomphe
Le Ard de Triomphe
lunch with M
lunch with M
courtyard view from my hotel
courtyard view from my hotel
a quick pic of the Eiffel Tower near my hotel
a quick pic of the Eiffel Tower near my hotel

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Notre Dame
Notre Dame
through a cab window :)
through a cab window 🙂

Day 2 I went to Disneyland Paris by myself!  Being a theme-park junkie, it was awesome.

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And then classes started, so it’s all studying, all the time, with the exception of company visits, guest speakers, and some school-sponsored fun thrown in (like Le Foodist, a walking tour of Paris, and a visit to Champagne).

D and me on the walking tour
D and me on the walking tour
N & A bonked heads right as we to this at the Four Seasons George V Palace hotel in Paris -> where we were meeting with a couple leaders
N & A bonked heads right as we to this at the Four Seasons George V Palace hotel in Paris -> where we were meeting with a couple leaders

The rest of the pics are non-Europe shots 🙂  My standard morningpictures (now that school is back in!), cats, dog, and general mayhem.

first day of 8th grade!!!
first day of 8th grade!!!

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And now – going back to my studies!!  Au revoir (for now!)

Doofus

That’s me.  Blogging doofus.  I appreciate the understanding that life is just so hectic that I’m struggling with the blog regularly.  It’s not that I don’t think about it.  But when I do, it usually means I’d have to skip studying (which, sorry, but hell no) or sleeping (oh HELL no).  So – I’ll keep trying, but until I finish this whole grad school thing, I may continue to be a doofus.

FOOD

Happy to say that eats have been more at home and bringing to work from home than dining out.  D and I get into a pretty regular (and terrible) habit of eating out too much.  This is largely thanks to summer, because D can satisfy his urge to cook outdoors – and ends up doing most of the cooking!

first time ever actually having a veggie hot dog. Pretty darn good!
first time ever actually having a veggie hot dog. Pretty darn good!

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grilled tofu, asparagus, and corn!
grilled tofu, asparagus, and corn!

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And aside from that, lots of smoothies (current fav is vanilla, mixed berry, and fresh basil!), salads, and simple and quick meals like baked potato tacos (baked potatoes topped with beans and hot sauce), tofu stir fries, and pasta dishes.  Also – D and I are making #smoothieselfies a thing.  And yes – we actually text each other these.  He almost never reads my blog, so he has no idea you now know this 🙂

the morning of our anniversary on 6/25 as we were heading out of town
the morning of our anniversary on 6/25 as we were heading out of town

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made too thick so it became almost an ice cream breakfast!
made too thick so it became almost an ice cream breakfast!

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Of course I eat more than smoothies!  I made some pistou (similar to pesto, but no cheese or nuts and much heavier on the basil).  I used that pistou in a few dishes – my fav was just blending up about 1/2 a cup with a box of silken tofu and some nutritional yeast.  Made a creamy basil-flavored alfredo I mixed into veggies and pasta.

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I even made homemade tofu green curry for the first time!   It came out great!  Not as good as my fav Thai places, but definitely better than some I’ve had!

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notice - only pic of a meal out! Lentil soup and a vegan falafel wrap.
notice – only pic of a meal out! Lentil soup and a vegan falafel wrap.

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FITNESS

Typical mixture of running, workout DVD’s, the gym, and yoga.  To be honest, the RA is has been flaring a bit since China so the running has been less than I’d like, but I’m feeling much better and lacing up more!

I will say – I should start running in my bathing suit (or at least, having that as a base layer.  It’s been HOT and on Sunday afternoon – no kidding – I jumped into the pool in my running clothes.

just before hitting the pool in all this glory. At least I took my shoes off!
just before hitting the pool in all this glory. At least I took my shoes off!

And because I’m on a group that does post-working “prove-it” selfies, here are a couple more.  Because I know you always want to see me sweaty.

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And my little yoga spot in my bedroom.

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LIFE

Well, when you last left your heroine (okay, I’m not likely anyone’s heroine, but roll with me on this!)…

D and I celebrated our anniversary with a weekend in Williamsburg.  We had a blast and it was nice to get away (even though that was the weekend exams opened, which means I did NO studying at all).  It was worth it.

on our way home after a very good weekend
on our way home after a very good weekend

I then had 2 weeks to finish all my end of term exams, papers, and other deliverables, so I was literally in the office until 9-10 pm every day and all day all weekend after that.  Term wrapped on 7/9 and the new term immediately started.  Our school has no breaks – it’s 21 months of full time crazy!  But don’t let me fool you – I absolutely love it.  Hardest thing I’ve ever done, but everything I’m doing is exciting in some way.  And my family is so amazing that they understand why I go MIA for hours every day just to study.  Here’s the end of a chapter after a particular crazy chapter.  The first two sentences in the summary section made it all worth it though!

I went with a vodka cranberry only because I didn't have tonic water. Otherwise I'd have been all over that gin and tonic!
I went with a vodka cranberry only because I didn’t have tonic water. Otherwise I’d have been all over that gin and tonic!

R went to camp for a week and had (as usual) a total blast.  We took Kuma with us to drop her off and she promptly became the camp puppy.  D picked her up (I had class so couldn’t go), and the two of them passed out on the way home.  R and the dog.  Not D.  He was driving.

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pulling into camp!
pulling into camp!
the day before she left was just me and her having a great day together!
the day before she left was just me and her having a great day together!

And I always have to end with gratuitous pics of Bumble, Ginny, and Kuma.

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all 3. in the same space. at the same time. Ginny captivated by the ceiling, Bumble ignoring Kuma, and Kuma realizing she's being completely ignored by the two she wants to play with the most
all 3. in the same space. at the same time. Ginny captivated by the ceiling, Bumble ignoring Kuma, and Kuma realizing she’s being completely ignored by the two she wants to play with the most
rough life of a puppy.
rough life of a puppy.

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outside away from the other beasties, asleep on the porch sofa
outside away from the other beasties, asleep on the porch sofa
puppy kisses!
puppy kisses!
it was hot. I can relate.
it was hot. I can relate.
first beach trip! We couldn't walk 5 feel without people swarming her.
first beach trip! We couldn’t walk 5 feel without people swarming her.

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#fluffystudybuddy
#fluffystudybuddy
waiting for me to finally come to bed!
waiting for me to finally come to bed!

Pizza Fun, Ticket Bonanza, & Practical (ish) Meal Planning

FOOD

Yesterday was all about the tofu pot pie.  Seriously, I had it for breakfast AND lunch.  You know.  Need to clear out the space in the fridge because I was going grocery shopping…

Dinner was nothing fancy – the leftover boozy beans from the other night over a bowl of romaine, onion, and quinoa.  No pics.  My bad.

This morning was a smoothie (though NOT a green one!).  This one is from one of my fav smoothie books ever – 365 Vegan Smoothies.  This is the Strawberry-Chia Synergy one.  By the way, great book if you’re new to smoothies.  I’ve bought it as a gift a few times now!

pre-blend before heading to the office
pre-blend before heading to the office

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Lunch was a to-go salad I brought to work.  Romaine with scallions in the big section, sliced beets and cubed herbed tofu in the smaller ones.  I brought and used up the rest of the dressing I made the other day (balsamic/orange/champagne).

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Dinner was homemade pizza!  I’ve modified a dough recipe through the years, and here’s what I’m currently using.

Crissie’s Pizza Dough (makes 4 good sized pizzas)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar (we use the raw sugar, but any sweetener would do)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (I use an infused olive oil with Italian seasoning.  If using regular olive oil, add 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7-8 cups flour
  • any toppings that tickle your fancy

Directions for Dough

*I use a kitchen aid stand mixer so it’s ridiculously easy, but you can do this by hand too

  • put the warm water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl and let it proof for about 10 minutes (it should get a bit bubbly)
  • add the salt and olive oil
  • turn the mixer on the lowest setting and add 1/2 cup of flour at a time until you get a nice dough (or do this with a wooden spoon and call if your bicep workout for the day)
  • if doing by hand, you’ll likely have to hand knead in the last 1 – 1 1/2 cups
  • let sit until doubled.  At least an hour, but can let it go all day if you want

Directions for Cooking

  • preheat oven to 450
  • spray your pizza pan and sprinkle with cornmeal if you have it or flour if you don’t
  •  turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Knead in any dough you need to make it easy to work with
  • cut into 4 sections
  • roll each out and place on the pan
  • top with a bit of olive oil – I also sprinkle with garlic salt and extra Italian seasoning.  For those who like spice, crushed red pepper is a great add here.  Cooking it mellows the heat out a bit, but retains a good bite
  • top with a sauce of your choosing (tomato, prepared pizza, BBQ, white sauce, pesto…you get the idea)
  • add any other toppings you dig
  • cook!  Set timer for 15.  That usually does the trick – but if you’re extra loaded you may want another minute or two.

Dig in!

some of the veggies
some of the veggies
decorating the pizzas (yes, we call it decorating...)
decorating the pizzas (yes, we call it decorating…)

FITNESS

Holy soreness, batman.  I don’t know if it’s the daily running after NOT running as much, or the yoga class that stretched my hamstrings in the other direction, but it’s all sore.

I did a light walk/jog yesterday to work out some kinks and yoga today.

LIFE

Yesterday morning was meal planning, grocery shopping, and studying.  For meal planning I use One Note.  That way I can share the grocery list with D if he does the shopping (usually so I can study!).  Here’s the plan for this week.  Knowing it’s more of a guideline than a plan!

 

12/27 – 1/2

Day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

Sunday

Green Smoothie – Sassy Green Kick-Start p. 81

Colin’s Blueberry Muffins (PPN)

BAS

Homemade Pizza (normal dough & PPN dough)

Monday

Green Smoothie – Strawberry Chia Synergy p 82

BAS

Mac No Cheese

Snobby Joes/Misc Sammich Fun

Tuesday

Green Smoothie Super Blue Recharge p. 85

BAS

Taco Tuesday!

Rice

Wednesday

Green Smoothie – Green Chia Monster p. 93

BAS

Baked Tofu

Sautéed mushrooms

Salad

Roasted potatoes or mashers

Thursday

Green Smoothie – whatever I have!

BAS

Leftovers & Snacks

Friday

Green Smoothie

BAS

NEW YEARS!

Saturday

Green Smoothie

BAS

Build-A-Bowl Asian Style

https://runcrissierun.com/2015/09/

 BAS Stuff:

  • Roasted Chickpeas (PPN p. 83)
  • Tofu Feta (PPN p. 113)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice

Misc Stuff for Lunches

  • Egg-less Tofu Salad
  • Hummus w/veggies
  • Wraps
  • Buffalo Tofu (PPN p. 154)
  • PPK red Thai soup
  • Marinated cucumber slices (Asian style -> Ani Phyo)
  • Caribbean Quinoa Bowl
  • Kale chips

To give you and idea of how it’s just a guideline – totally didn’t make pizza last night.  Ended up going to Busch Gardens with the young one and letting everyone else fend for themselves.  But…because pizza night is so much fun, moved it to today and am totally skipping the snobby Joe night (lentil based sloppy joes).  I typically put a bunch of extra recipes or items I want to prep so there’s always food on hand for lunches, snacks etc.  They don’t all get made, but it’s the basis for the grocery list.  The goal is no one starves when the week gets into full swing and we’re all so busy, we end up ordering take out.  Also, I try to have a BAS most days (Big A$$ Salad) since they’re fun, yummy, and good for me too.

Oh, and for reference, PPN is Plant Pure Nation – another book I love.

So, hello novel.  After meal planning and all the associated fun, I asked R if she wanted to go to Busch Gardens for Christmas Town.  Because nothing says Christmas like 80 degree weather…..

D was at the office, A was with a friend, and M had no interest.  So just R and I went and had a blast.  We spent much of the time in an arcade (rides weren’t going for the most part), and she hit some mega jackpot and was buried in tickets by the time we were done.  It was awesome.

as we got to the park
as we got to the park

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getting my you-know-what handed to me in air hockey
getting my you-know-what handed to me in air hockey
skee ball
skee ball
jackpot!!
jackpot!!

Today was back to the office where I sorted through 1200 emails!  It took me almost 7 hours to clear out my inbox and catch up, but it was great.

I got home at a good time, spent about 4 hours studying, made dinner, and am not getting ready for bed!

So good night all (oh, and Chelsea managed to not lose today.  Not exactly stellar, but it beats getting our butts kicked…).

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun, Working Hard, and Ridiculously Busy!

FOOD

This past month has been all over the map!  Thankfully there hasn’t been much travel for me, other than the first week, so it’s been a pretty typical blend of elaborate eats, simple meals, and going out.

I met up with a classmate of mine, KS, up in DC for lunch.  I had this awesome wrap at a place in Georgetown she picked out.
I met up with a classmate of mine, KS, up in DC for lunch. I had this awesome wrap at a place in Georgetown she picked out.
Build a bowl meal of risotto, chickpeas, and roasted squash
Build a bowl meal of risotto, chickpeas, and roasted squash.  Another Zsu Dever genius dish from Vegan Bowls
Leftover lentil, rice, and peas over shredded lettuce
Leftover lentil, rice, and peas over shredded lettuce
Can't have Fall without lotsa pumpkin bread
Can’t have Fall without lotsa pumpkin bread
That moment when you know you have to go grocery shopping because you toss everything you have in a sauce pan to make stewp!  It was quite good though.
That moment when you know you have to go grocery shopping because you toss everything you have in a sauce pan to make stewp! It was quite good though.
Mango/pineapple/tofu stir fry leftovers for lunch
Mango/pineapple/tofu stir fry leftovers for lunch
Preparations for a big Italian dinner night when my friend SC came up to visit!
Preparations for a big Italian dinner night when my friend SC came up to visit!
My big Italian plate!
My big Italian plate!

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Oatmeal with banana and topped with homemade tangy soy yogurt
Oatmeal with banana and topped with homemade tangy soy yogurt
My birthday sushi!
My birthday sushi!

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FITNESS

Once again, sporadic at best.  I’ve gone to a boot camp class a few times that I actually really enjoy.  I’m having a hard time allowing myself the free time to go workout though – which is something I hope to work on.

Truth is, with full time (and very demanding) school, work, and family – the first thing I always sacrifice are the things I do solo – like working out.  It’s lame and I know I’d be a better mom/employee/student if I just invest that time, but I can’t get over the feeling that it’s selfish for me to do so.

LIFE

Well, October has come and gone since we last visited with each other!  It’s been a busy one, that’s for sure.  Not that my life is ever anything else though, right??

So let’s see – I went to DC for a few days for work and managed to get in a nice lunch (despite the pouring rain) in Georgetown with KS.  We go to school together and immediately clicked when we met.  She’s a great person, and it was nice to be able to see her between residencies.

Speaking of classmates, I went up to Richmond to have a study session with JG and SH also.  Exams are starting (actually, started yesterday), so it was nice to get together to review the hardest class of them all.

School in general is going very well.  It’s intense and I spent a lot of time studying, but I really do love it.  It’s challenging and exciting as much as it is exhausting!  About one day a week I will take “off” from class work to do something fun or nothing at all!

One of those "off" nights involved taking R out to learn how to play pool!  She loves it - and is pretty darn good already!
One of those “off” nights involved taking R out to learn how to play pool! She loves it – and is pretty darn good already!

My birthday was this month!  The Saturday before hand, we went to Busch Gardens for Howl-O-Scream fun.  Had a great time!  On my birthday itself (a Monday), M and I went to the movies in the middle of the day, and then we all went out to my favorite b’day place – Geisha – for hibachi, veggie sushi and my “un-cake” which is 1/4 of a pineapple with other fruits on it.

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So a merry go round becomes a horror-go-round with the addition of red lights and spooky music!
So a merry go round becomes a horror-go-round with the addition of red lights and spooky music!

A friend of R’s spent the weekend with us, and we took the girls to Busch Gardens and let them do whatever they wanted.  N (R’s friend) isn’t a big fan of spooky, so we got through one haunted house only.  Didn’t matter though – the girls had plenty of fun on rides and goofing off like 12 yr olds do.

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SC came up from North Carolina for an evening of cooking wine, and relaxing.  We’d been trying to get together since May, but one thing or another kept coming up.  He brought wine and the two of us cooked half the night away.  After dinner, he and I and R took a long walk around the neighborhood and had an overall great night.

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D and I played in the United Way Nerd Golf tournament again this year with ABD and her husband JD.  It was a great time!  Oh, and it’s called Nerd Golf because it’s all our IT department that does it.

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The next two weeks are my exam period for the end of my first term!  I’m budgeting my non-work time to prep and organize for them, with the intent to knock them all out Fri-Sun next weekend.  That will give me a full week to take it easy before Term 2 starts and I head off to Brazil!  My passport was returned this week with my visa, so I’m good to go!

Until then, I leave you with the normal random pictures and morning pictures!

D, R, and I were texting each other goofy pictures where we tried to look bored.  R was in her robotics club meeting, D was in his car waiting for her to come out of school, and I was at the dining room table studying
D, R, and I were texting each other goofy pictures where we tried to look bored. R was in her robotics club meeting, D was in his car waiting for her to come out of school, and I was at the dining room table studying
R and I hit up the pumpkin patch one day after school
R and I hit up the pumpkin patch one day after school
Found this to be a bizarre sign at the restaurant/bar where we were playing pool
Found this to be a bizarre sign at the restaurant/bar where we were playing pool
I love Virginia Beach :)
I love Virginia Beach 🙂
Starting to get too cold for my favorite room - but I enjoy it when I can
Starting to get too cold for my favorite room – but I enjoy it when I can
Ginny interrupting my studies for a belly rub
Ginny interrupting my studies for a belly rub

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Ginny interrupting R's studies too!
Ginny interrupting R’s studies too!

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Another study session interrupted by the fluffball
Another study session interrupted by the fluffball
Don't bother us.... we're sleeping
Don’t bother us…. we’re sleeping

And the morningpictures and selfie!

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