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wordful [what-i-ate] wednesday

21 Jun

It’s (basically) time for WIAW! I always post on Tuesday. And let’s be honest this is what I ate over a week ago. And now that I’m writing it up I’ve realized I did not adequately photograph this day, but that’s okay. I’m all about them words. :) (Jason Mraz, anyone?)


Breakfast

This was while my guests were still in town. Actually, it was the day I made those banana-almond muffins.

But before I made those, there was french toast for me (I was up early…)

This is the easiest, most basic french toast ever. Just a couple pieces of bread that I let sit out of the package overnight, dipped in 1/3 cup egg beaters + a couple tablespoons milk + a couple dashes cinnamon & sugar. Cooked in a nonstick pan. Perfection.

Yayyy maple syrup.

Lunch

Not pictured… we went to visit my Microsoft & ate lunch there. I had a massive salad as I am going through serious salad-bar withdrawals.

We also visited a very tall building with a lovely view of Bellevue & Seattle across the lake.

However, it was also incredibly windy. Witness below.

Also, this sign spoke to me… because I am sort of a decrepit old lady about half the time, and my friends make fun of me.

And here’s the three of us patiently waiting to be picked up.

Dinner

I had delicious Thai take out with all of my best girl friends. This also wasn’t pictured. I fail, I’m sorry!

Dessert

Okay, don’t burn me at the stake, but I made cake. From a mix. Angel Food Cake, to be exact.

It’s one my goals in life to bake an Angel Food Cake from scratch but this mix was actually pretty good. Not entirely sure how (nor am I sure that I want to know) but the batter was extremely fluffy and beat-able. Yay chemistry?

This was amazing when paired with heated frozen berries and just a smidge of vanilla ice cream. I’m just sayin’.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?

Have you ever made angel food cake?? Or do you have a favorite cake mix? 

arts, sciences, & banana muffins

15 Jun

I’ve never considered myself to be all that creative. Sure, hand me some kind of problem and I’ll probably come up with some “out-of-the-box” solution (remember my “oven mitt”?). But set a canvas and some paints in front of me and I’ll agonize for years and possibly come up with some deep philosophical justification about the blankness of my soul as portrayed on the blank canvas rather than paint anything. Or I’ll put smiley faces and hearts.

Even photography, which I do enjoy, can be a struggle when I have to fabricate some sort of scene or idea. Candids? Sure. Staged artistic pieces? Not so much. I tend to like working with something that already exists rather than “creating from nothing.”

Enter baking. Combining some semi-scientifically-precise amount of fat, flour, & leavening to yield hopefully-delicious results. Certainly not all of my flavor combinations are unconventional or unique, but there’s still something decidedly gratifying about making up a recipe on a whim and having it work perfectly. Obviously the actual writing of recipes is not exactly creative in and of itself; there are only so many ways to write “bake at 350 until lightly golden”.

So when I was feeling an itch to get a little creative, I found my way into the kitchen and started grabbing things. Banana. Almond extract. Sliced almonds. Whatever I could find in my pantry. The result? Not a particularly outstandingly unique concoction, but decidedly delicious nonetheless, and the perfect marriage of art, science, & sugar. Just my kind of mixture.

Banana-Almond Muffins
Created by moi :)
Makes 6 muffins 

1 over-ripe banana
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (more if desired)
3/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons sliced almond (divided)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a muffin tin (if using a 12-cup tin, put a little bit of water in the empty tins to prevent warping)

In a medium bowl, mash banana and combine with almond milk, oil, almond extract, and sugar. In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients (except almonds). Make a well in the center and pour in wet ingredients; stir until just mixed. Gently stir in 2-3 tablespoons of sliced almonds. Divide batter between 6 muffin tins and top with remaining almonds.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite form of creativity? 

fearful cinnamon rolls

28 May

I’ve mentioned before that I’m kind of a fraidy-cat... remember my story about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?

Obviously I have other fears. Like zombies (my friend somehow talked me into watching The Crazies with him last night… not sure how I managed to sleep). Or my somewhat hypochondriacal fear of stress fractures in my shins (though it’s not a totally unfounded fear, nor did it prevent me from running 6.1 miles on the treadmill today… I’m a slowpoke but I was excited I could run for that long!).

My biggest kitchen fear? Yeast. It’s unpredictable. I usually have to go through two packets to get one to come out right. I’m always afraid it just won’t work.

Luckily Mama Pea is here to help… and thus I made cinnamon rolls.

Admittedly, these are from a few months ago. Admittedly, I wanted to post these either on my brother’s birthday or right after, because he is a cinnamon roll addict and I definitely made these for him. (I’m just kind of behind on… life).

Tell my teachers to stop assigning me papers and tests and then maybe I’ll do half the things I intend. (Aka… sorry for the prolonged silence, I’m alive, I promise! And summer is just around the corner and then you won’t be able to get rid of me).

In the meantime, let’s dream of comforting, carby cinnamon rolls sans fear and copious amounts of homework.

You can find the recipe here. Since my brother is a growing teenage boy I made them with half oil instead of the pumpkin (also because I wanted the pumpkin for myself, let’s be honest) but otherwise I made it by the brillliant recipe by Mama Pea. And they were good. I don’t even like cinnamon rolls and I liked them.

Tell me about your fears, culinary or otherwise. :) And your weekend plans for the long weekend! I’m sleeping. And trying to stay afloat in my last week and a half of school this year… IthinkIcanIthinkIcan!

WIAW: workload wednesday.

18 May

Oh how I love me some alliteration… Here’s a rather brief WIAW, because I want to procrastinate just a little longer.

Before we get started… everybody check out Kate’s raffle over here where you can bid on delicious desserts and support a fabulous cause (she’s fundraising for a hospice she’s running the Chicago Marathon for!)! My cookies are up for bids too. :)

Breakfast

Okay, so I made cooked overnight oats with peanut flour. I am newly obsessed with the stuff and may or may not have gone through a bag in about a week. These oats were SO creamy and peanutty and protein-filled and delicious!

Peanut-Flour Overnight/Voluminous Oats

1/3 cup oats
1 teaspoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons peanut flour
sweetener to taste
a few dashes of cinnamon
~2/3 cup of water or almond milk (possibly more)

Nuke for about two and a half minutes and stir well; cover and leave in fridge overnight. Stir in more liquid in the morning if desired! :)

Lunch

I had me a salad. With some of this salsa on top…

I bought it at the little market my school has and it’s kind of awesome, definitely has a kick to it. But now I have to work on using it all up! So I’m putting it pretty much on everything… Though I’ve always loved salsa on salads. :)

Snack

I went for a run on this day (last Friday)… 3.1 miles! That would be my second run in 6 months. I’m not, however, sharing how fast it was because it was incredibly slow… And my shins are still a little tender which is making me freak out a little bit but we’ll see. I pulled a Matt and refueled with (my very first!) Kombucha and Fage 2%

Um, yeah, this was pre-shower… And the posters in the background are my roommate’s. Just sayin’.

Dinner

I had soup at the lunch room but was hungry again about an hour later (silly running!) so I made some savory oats. Just added some nutritional yeast into the oats and some salsa on top per Heather‘s suggestion.

Oh, and I bought these. They were ridiculously hot and kind of made me cry, so I washed them off a bit which helped… I did like the crunch they added!

**I had more snacks throughout the day that were not photographed!! Just a disclaimer! :) **

Hope you’re all having lovely days… I’m back to hitting the books & learning about the occipital and parietal lobes. Three tests in two days… Oh and a term paper in a week. Whoops.

Eat anything delicious recently? Tell me about it! :) Or go check out my post from yesterday with lots of random facts about me and tell me something about yourself ;)

banana pancakes.

16 May

Pretend like it’s the weekend…

I wish. I also wish it were summer and I were at home where these photos were taken oh-so-long ago.

This week kind of sucks for me. I have 2.5 tests (one’s a “quiz”), 1 review session to plan, 1 small paper, and 1 big paper I really need to get working on. So do excuse me if I’m a little more absent(minded) than usual.

So in lieu of intelligent posts, I will ply you full of photos of treats I made long ago while I stuff myself full of more dietary fiber than a cow probably eats in a day (when I’m stressed, I binge-eat vegetables. It’s perfectly normal, I swear).

And we’ll both look longingly at the pictures & I will hopefully stop looking at them long enough to study…

But fear not, I will be back in full force soon. 13 days of classes left, 24 days of the quarter left, & then I will be free!

This recipe comes from Peanut Butter Boy… check him out if for no other reason than he apparently loves peanut butter a whole hell of a lot which gives us a lot in common. It’s definitely healthy-tasting and is more of a protein pancake than a typically fluffy, light, comforting pancake, but I rather enjoyed them, though I’d be curious to see how a pinch of baking powder would work… and I definitely want to whip up some completely nutritionally devoid banana pancakes in the near future.

Possibly while listening to Jack Johnson. Just for kicks.

Banana Cottage-Cheese Pancakes
from here

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons egg white/egg substitute
1 overripe banana, divided
(possible addition: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon baking powder?)
blueberries, chocolate chips, or desired mix-ins (optional)

Blend together oats, cottage cheese, egg substitute, and half of banana until well mixed; if it’s too thick, add a little bit of milk or water and mix until it reaches the desired consistency. Slice other half of banana into thin slices to put on top of pancakes.

Heat a large skillet and spray with cooking spray (or use butter/oil). Drop about 1/4-cup-fuls of batter and flatten if necessary; press banana slices in gently. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the top starts to set, then flip and cook on other side for about a minute.

Spread with peanut butter, drizzle with maple syrup, coat with chocolate chips, or eat them however you want.

And definitely pretend like it’s the weekend.

What do you eat when you’re stressed?

Any Jack Johnson fans? :) I have a really distinct memory of listening to him on the car ride to crew practice after school… Combo of his crooning + the heat of the car made it VERY difficult to get out of the car and out onto the cold water though!!!

what i ate (last) wednesday [pumpkin-chia pudding]

10 May

Procrastinating studying by getting a head start on WIAW… yay for being proactive? ;)

Breakfast:

I had some pumpkin in my fridge (side note: organic pumpkin is not as good as Libby’s, I’m sorry, it’s true) so I made some pumpkin-chia pudding. This was not my entire breakfast but it was the prettier part so it’s all I’m sharing. ;)

Pumpkin-Chia Pudding

1/4 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup almond milk (maybe a little less or more, I’ve rather forgotten)
1 scoop protein powder (I use Aria)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
dash cinnamon
sweetener to taste

Mix it all up and let it chill for a couple hours until it gets thick and delicious. Top with blueberries if you want to, or just stuff them all in your mouth.

Lunch

It was a gorgeous sunny day, so I opted for a salad. I’ve taken to eating my salads with chopsticks… not entirely sure why. Also, mushrooms are my new bffs. Though my bell peppers may still be turning me orange…

I also had some chocolate milk mostly because it was free, honestly. It was kind of too sweet though.

And I enjoyed this light lunch in the sun while looking at roses. Sorry to bore you to tears with more rose pictures but I just couldn’t resist…

My school is pretty. Come visit me. I’ll bake you cookies…


Snack

One of my snacks was a Fage yogurt with blueberries.

Okay, firstly… I’ve always had Fage 0%. But oh my gosh, 2% is the bomb. I don’t know how or why I deluded myself into thinking 0% was better just because it had fewer calories, because the 2% definitely satisfies me more. Also, the blueberries are awesome. It’s a little too sweet and I wish it didn’t have so much sugar, but it actually tastes like BERRIES. Still prefer plain old fresh berries, but hey.

Sat in the grass while eating it too! Yay sunshine. :)

My school was also having a book sale and this was $1. Somehow I only walked away with two books… Trust me, that’s impressive. I love books. My goal in life is to have a library like Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

Anyone read this? I dunno, it looked possibly interesting…

Dinner

Not photographed, sowwy. I had soup & a sandwich at the cafeteria with my friends. :)

And what I wore… please excuse my hair. I have a hair-washing problem.

Oh, and a face-making problem, & a focus problem. Oh well. I got this dress for $5 at a rummage sale :) (Cheap college student much?)

Tell me about your day! :) Also, get pumped because I have a fab guest post coming up tomorrow… and now it’s back to the books for me! ;)

mother’s-day muffins [cappuccino muffins]

8 May

It seems that most mother’s day gifts I’ve given are things that only a mother could love.

Only a mother could love the paint-spattered excuses for “artwork” I proudly handed to her in the first grade.

Only a mother could love being ordered to return to bed for “breakfast in bed” consisting of lightly-burned toast, yogurt, & cereal.

Only a mother could love mug after painted mug of uncreative, polka-dotted ceramics.

Only a mother could love the “gift” of my high school’s dangerously delicious Cappuccino muffins, conveniently charged to her credit card account.

But anyone could love my at-home replication of those muffins. I searched far and wide, and it took a variety of different recipes, but when I finally stumbled upon this gem in Vegan Brunch by Isa Moskovitz, I knew I’d found my winner.

Perhaps not the greatest sacrifice on my part, but it did take some work… And a few less-than-perfect muffins. ;)

Vegan Cappuccino-Chip Muffins
adapted slightly from Vegan Brunch; also found here

1c almond milk (or your fave non-dairy milk)
1 heaping tablespoon instant coffee crystals
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or more canola oil for a better “crust”)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a muffin tin.
In a small cup, mix coffee granules with half of nondairy milk; add in the rest of the milk and the vinegar, and set aside to thicken.
In a small bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add in oil, applesauce, vanilla, and thickened milk. Stir together until just combined, taking care not to overmix, then gently fold in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake for 22-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in tins for a few minutes before removing and letting cool on a plate.

While I’m not actually at home to make my mom a special breakfast, I’m hoping that sharing her favorite recipe and sending some cyber-carbs will help fill the void until I’m home in a month (!).  I wish I could do more, as this seems like even more of a cop-out than usual.

Only my mother could put up with my incessant chatter, constant whining, the perpetually dirty kitchen & ever-dwindling supply of flour and sugar. Only my mother would make me breakfast in bed almost every day, & make my bed when I “forget” to. Only my mother thinks I’m the coolest thing since sliced bread so I should write a book/open a cookie shop (ah, delusions). Only my mother magically receives telepathic messages when I’m not feeling okay, and knows how to put a smile back on my face.

And most of all, only my mother loves me, hugs me, & listens to me when I need it most.

Love you, mom!

What are you doing for mother’s day? What about you could only your mother love/understand?