Friday, March 30, 2012

It ain't always pretty!

When I saw this recipe for 3-Ingredient Apple Cinnamon Pancakes I had to try it. The combo of egg and apple didn't sound right but I couldn't resist the ease of the recipe.  And I'm glad I did.  These were awesome.  I'm not sure if it was the sweetness of the apple or the scent of the cinnamon but when they were cooking Kai said it smelled like syrup!  

Unfortunately it didn't start out very pretty!  My first attempt at flipping it was a complete disaster!

 But the second "pancake" held together.  Yay!!  And on the side were the 2 egg yolks I separated to get the 2 egg whites.  There was no need to throw them out when I could cook them up for a tasty treat for Frodo! :)

For a topping I heated up some frozen strawberries.  Once warmed they were nice and juicy so I added some Chia Seeds to thicken them up!

 I also pulled out some of our homemade Greek Yogurt. :)

See, it may not start out pretty but once it's topped it sure looks inviting!! :D 

Lunch was a very simple potato soup.  I started by sauteing some onion and then adding some chopped potato.

To that I added my veggie stock and some a lot dry basil.

 While it cooked we stopped for some silly photos!

Once the potatoes were soft I used the immersion blender to puree the whole thing.

Ready to eat!

 Then we topped them with more of the Greek Yogurt, Nutritional Yeast, and some Avocado...

For dessert we had a smoothie:  Frozen banana, chia seeds, flax seeds, carob powder, spinach and a lot of finely chopped pecans for a nice nutty flavor.  Boy did it hit the spot!

All that is a recap of Wednesday.  Yesterday was a mess of a day.  I was constantly running late and my phone was nearly dead so it wouldn't take any photos.  For breakfast I had a green (spinach & avocado) smoothie, for lunch I treated my dad to Yats (I got the B&B and he got the Gumbo) since he'd been driving me all over town while I waited for the Hubs car to be finished at the shop and for dinner we had Nachos.  It really is my go-to meal. :)

Now I'm making up the grocery list and Kai and I are going out alone to do the grocery shopping!  I know there are lots of people out there who grocery shop with their kids all the time (shout out to my sis who does it with 2 little girls!) but our shopping is usually a family the Hubs and I do it together so one of us can entertain Kai while the other does the shopping.  This should be interesting!   Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spagetti, Lime Quinoa and Sweet Potato Drink

Yesterday I finished The Scorch Trials.

It was the last paper book I had ordered from the library so now I'm free to start reading off my Kindle. :)

I went to the library to get the final book in the series (although a prequel is coming out in August) but guess what?  There's a wait for the e-book too!  However, when I first got the Kindle I downloaded a free book from Amazon called The Voynich Cypher.  Now all I have to do is get used to reading off the e-reader instead of paper. :)

As for the Scorch Trials...It continued Thomas and the Gladers' trials with WICKED, the post apocalyptic government group.  Instead of being contained in a maze, as in the previous book, they were charged with crossing a dry dessert like place to get to the "Safe Haven".  Of course there are challenges along the way. :)

I actually enjoyed this one more than the first but I"m still not super into it.  I'll continue to read the series, including the prequel when it comes out, but I'm not drawn to it like I was with the Hunger Games. :(

Anyway, on to the eats!

For breakfast I had Steel Cut Oats mixed with Passion Fruit Chobani and some flax seed.  It makes for a BIG bowl of breakfast but YUM!

 After breakfast I realized that I REALLY need to take the compost out!  That ceramic jar is my kitchen compost container and it's full so I started filling a Cuties box and now it's full.  Seriously, the composter is just outside the house.  Maybe 20 steps.  I finally go to it this morning.  I think I was just waiting for it to warm back up. lol!

For lunch I decided to cook up the last of the Soba Noodles from the package I opened when we had the Teriyaki Noodles.  There was one "serving" left but in my opinion one serving easily feeds two!

In the strainer I put our spinach (a cool idea I saw here) so that the boiling water would wilt it when I strained the noodles. :)

 I also nuked some broccoli and edamame and pulled out half a jar of Prego (well a full jar but I only used about half). :)

Once the noodles were drained I mixed everything together...

Kai's was topped with mozzarella and nutritional yeast, and mine with just nutritional yeast.

Dinner was a bit of a mess.  The Hubs is working long hours this week so I'm never sure when he'll get home or if I need to include him in our dinner plans.  On top of that we STILL don't have a pre-planned menu made up so I'm coming up with our meals on the fly.  I've been in a lime mood (hence the lime flavored Hummus the other day) so a lime flavored Quinoa sounded perfect.

I made a batch of Quinoa and added to it: lime juice, basil, nutritional yeast and kale.

It was REALLY limy.  I LOVED it.  Kai did not. lol!  She ended up with a jelly sandwich and I ate her quinoa (I expected this to happen so I made enough for me to eat.  Imagine double the size of the serving on the plate....)

Then for dessert a Sweet Potato smoothie.  1/2 a Seriously LARGE sweet potato (probably equal to 1 normal sweet potato), 1 frozen banana, Chia seeds and almond milk.  It was almost like a sweet potato casserole drink.  Delicious!

When evening came and Kai was in bed I was hungry again.  I really wanted some chips but we're out.  In fact we're about out of bread, eggs, cinnamon and maple syrup.  I'm going to have to be really creative in the next few days!  Anyway, for a late night crunchy snack I finished off the lime hummus with some baby carrots.  It was really good!  

But I still want some chips. lol!

...And as I typed that I remembered I have that fun little microwavable chip maker.  D'Oh!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Wisteria is Growing!!

Look at that...

 That would be my Wisteria growing!!!!!  One of the things I LOVED about our house was this big Wisteria bush/tree/overgrown-mess that was just outside our bedroom window.  When we decided to build our deck I tried and tried to figure out a way to keep it but in the end there was just no way to make room for it.  I was more than a little sad.  We even tried to move it but the root ball was way too big for our amateur skills. :(

Then a year or two ago a pretty significant vine started growing up our fence.  I didn't think much of it but one of the little branches bloomed a little purple flower.  I. WENT. NUTS.  My Wisteria had somehow survived.  I guess it's a pretty strong little plant!  So last year I didn't cut any of it back.  I wanted to see what would happen.  And this my friends is what I now have...

That's not in full bloom but it's already so pretty.  I'm in heaven! :D

On a totally different note this week is Kai's Spring Break....Which means I have no time off.  lol!

If I don't blog at night it's just not going to happen.  So I'm going to try, but I may be a little more MIA this week than usual.   I thought I'd go ahead and give you all a heads up, since I know the majority of you just sit and stare at your computers waiting for my posts to pop up.  -just kidding...or am I? :)

Breakfast this morning was fruit nachos!  I definitely think they're prettier when you have strawberries to top them with but these were tasty non-the-less.  Apple & Pear slices topped with raisins, chia seeds, flax seed, cinnamon, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, rolled oats and Raw Wildflower Honey.

 MMMMM, that's a tasty mess!
 As lunch time rolled around and I realized my Almond Butter jar was pretty much as empty as it could get so I decided to make up some Hummus.  
 1 can of Chickpeas, 2 T Lime Juice, 2 T Tahini, Drizzle of Olive Oil and a whole lot of dried basil...Blended until smooth.
 Once I had the Hummus made up, wraps seemed like the next step...
 That would be Hummus, Carrots, Sweet Pepper, Tomato, Spinach, Mushrooms and Greek Yogurt.  I actually drained the yogurt to the point of almost being a cheese it was so thick...And I LOVED it!

After lunch I whipped up a slip cover for our ottoman.  We bought a new rug over the weekend (the old one had passed the point of dirty and was in gross-mode)  so our red ottoman didn't fit in quite so well.  The plan was to cover it in brown but I didn't have enough brown material so instead I picked a bright yellow...Hey, it's spring.  I like it.  The Hubs said, "Yellow...That's Interesting", i.e. I HATE that color.  BUT he's agreed it fits in with Easter so we're going to leave it for at least two weeks. lol!

 Dinner once again was thrown together, but this time it wasn't my fault.  I took Frodo for his 2 week follow-up and the vet was running REALLY behind.  We were there for an hour and a half for a 20 minute check up.  It turns out he's not improved as much as she'd like and she's worried he messed up his knee.  We're going to give him another two weeks and if he doesn't improve he's going to get sedated and get an x-ray. :(

Anyway, when we got home Kai wanted a Jelly Sandwich so that's what she got, plus a banana and then a hard boiled egg.

I roasted some cabbage, onion & brussel sprouts at 475 for 30 minutes...
 and then topped them with some nutritional yeast.
 That was followed up with the last hard boiled egg for some protein. :)

Now I'm just watching the Pacers whoop the Heat while I snack on some popcorn, raisins, pumpkin seeds and nutritional yeast. :D

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I saw Hunger Games!!

I saw Hunger Games!!! :D

I have to say, it was excellent, but I knew I'd love it.  The previews looked amazing and the movie lived up to them.  I was really interested to see what the Hubs thought since he hasn't read the books at all.  He seemed to like it also.  I mean, it's no alien-vs-people kind of movie like he tends to prefer (unless it's a Teenage Ninja Turtle movie - they should be Mutants, NOT Aliens...I'm talking to you Michael Bay. lol!). But anyway, other than my explaining the background/significance of the Mockingjay the movie pretty much covers everything.  I can't wait to go see it again with the girls on Thursday!

The other day I made some Steel Cut Oats on the stove top (since Kai's getting up so early I have time to actually cook oats on the stove).  Once they were done I added some ground flax seed, chia seeds and a cup of the Chobani Apple and Cinnamon.  I cannot believe how good (and filling) it was!  Mixing the flavored yogurt with the oats was an inspired move.  I will be doing this again. :)

Over the last couple of days there was also some DELICIOUS lentil soup:
veggie stock, onion, carrots, kale, and of course, lentils.

 Plus some nutritional yeast. :)
 Friday night I ordered a pizza.  The Hubs was working late so he asked me to actually order it.  I got 1/2 Veggie and 1/2 Veggie with no Olives (I don't like olives), no cheese and extra sauce.  Then I added nutritional yeast to the cheeseless side.  Unfortunately the Hubs is the one who normally orders the pizza and I didn't realize I had to change the crust from pan to hand tossed.  It was GREASY!
And lets just say it did not sit well with me. :(

Last night before going to the movie the Hubs and I decided we wanted to eat somewhere new.  We drove around and saw Stir Crazy and decided to give them a try.

It was a little intimidating at first but so much fun.  Basically we told our waiter what meat we wanted (the Hub's picked chicken and I picked none) and then what kind of noodle or rice you want and then he brought us our veggie bowl & sauce bowl and we walked up to the buffet to fill the bowls.  There was about 14 different veggies, some garlic & gingers and then about 10 sauces to choose from.

Then we gave our bowls to the chefs and they cooked it up for us...

 My first plate was with noodles....
 My second was with rice....

The noodles were very filling and very good.  I didn't eat hardly any of the rice.  I should have just gotten the veggies minus the rice on my second go-round. :)

Now I'm off to read some more of the Scorch Trials, the sequel to the Maze Runner.  I have to say, I'm already more into this book than the previous.  I'm not sure what's different about it really, it's simply drawing me in better. :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Honey Tour and a Chobani Win

Yesterday was full of a few downs and a whole lot of ups!  Since "Ups" are WAY more fun I'm going to focus on those. lol!

There was a early rise that lead to a fancy breakfast, we went to a Honey Farm, I got a box of Chobani in the the mail, I finished my book and MSU lost.  I know, it's not nice to cheer against a team.  I'm much more in favor of cheering FOR your team and not against another but I'm a Boilermaker and my cousin's a Michigan grad and I just can't get behind MSU.  In our tourney brackets I picked Ohio State to win while the Hubs picked MSU.  hehehe!  I'm now in 2nd place and he's in second to last.  Granted that could change at any moment but I've never been this close to the top before.  Who's at the top you ask...His mom!  That's right - everyone's losing right now to me and my mother-in-law.  How do you like Dem Apples?!?  :D

 I told you yesterday about how early we've been getting up.  That means our breakfasts can be a little more involved.  Not that this really takes much time but it's definitely not as quick as a bowl of cereal. 

We had....

Eggs in Toast.  I'm sure there's a real name for these but I don't know what it is.  Since we've been in an Eastery mood I used a bunny cookie cutter to remove the center of the bread and then cooked an egg in the center for each of us.

Kai's was served with a jelly topped bunny, some cereal and some fruit (she really wanted some more of the strawberry pie but when you're out, you're out).

 I topped my bunny with some blackberry whipped honey and added a side of fruit also. :)

Grammy and Grandpa joined me in picking Kai up from school and the 4 of us headed off for our Honey Farm Tour.  I bought a tour for 4 off Living Social probably a month ago and yesterday was the day we decided to use it!

First we stopped at a Travel America (ie Truck Stop) to eat.  Not the best food by a long shot but it was eatable.  I got the Salad Bar which included soup.  This was no Ruby Tuesday salad bar either.  They had your basics...lettuce, onion, tomato, egg (Kai ate all mine, lol!), and sunflower seeds.  I'm 99% sure the Tomato Soup was Cambell's too.

 I did go up for a second helping along with some pears (which Kai also helped eat).

 Then we got to Hunter's Honey Farm!

It was located among some traditional Ag Farms.  If my parents hadn't been with me I don't know that I would have found it...There were a lot of twisty roads and I probably would have turned back. lol!

Once we got there though we found a little building/warehouse.

 With a little shop up front...

 And then we started our tour.  It was actually REALLY interesting.  We didn't go near any actual bees (I'm NOT disappointed.  I get a little freaked out around stingers).  It started in their warehouse area where the keep a lot of the hive boxes.

We saw some honeycombs...

And a block of fresh bee's wax....

And we walked over to where he explained how the bee's hive functions.  This is where I learned the most.  

(all info is from my memory so some may not be entirely accurate)  For example, a healthy hive consists of about 80,000 bees but there are only about 1500 males (drones).  The Drones do NOTHING but help the queen make the babies.  They don't even feed themselves.  Then in the fall they're kicked out to die in the cold!  

The Queen can live 2-5 years, while the others live only 5-6 weeks!  

The Queen's stinger is smooth but the others are barbed, which means when they sting you they basically rip their bodies apart! YIKES!!  AND a bee's venom is more potent than a Rattle Snake's but the venom is a much lower dose and so doesn't have the same effect.  That's why African Killer Bees are so dangerous...since they swarm they distribute more venom.

Bee's communicate via Pheromones that they can smell.  That's why they use foggers when they take the Honey Combs out.  The fog disrupts the pheromones so they can't communicate with each other.  It's like having a cell phone with no reception.

Here's an example of a honey comb with the Queen's spot...

The dangley cell in the center is where she spends all her time (that she's not laying).  She only eats Royal Jelly - no nectar - which is what helps her live 2-5 years.  There are also capped cells around the top.  Those have the honey in them.  :)

Here's a comb that's fully capped.  They basically run it through a machine that cuts the caps off ....

 Then it's put in this cylinder where it's spun and the honey flies off and is drawn down into an option of vats.

 The wax is made into candles, lip balm, lotions, soups, etc...  Bee's Wax will not burn, it's consumed.  So if you ever buy a bee's wax candle that has liquid wax pooling you know you've been conned. :)

And here is a BIG barrel of  raw honey.  The "extras" float up to the top (that would be wax, bee parts, etc...)

 There are 3 stages of honey:  RAW which is what comes straight out of the barrel - it has the most nutrients but there's the chance you'll get some of those "extras".  Warmed Raw which is slightly warmed (but not cooked) and strained.  You get nearly all the same nutrients but none of the extras. (That's what I bought).  And then there's Processed Honey (which is what you normally see at a grocery store).  That's been cooked and has lost most of it's nutrients.  It's still better for you than processed white sugar but you're not getting the benefits many associate with honey.

Sadly the bee population has dropped by about a 1/3 world wide due to about 19 different diseases.  Without bees to pollinate the agriculture we're going to have a HUGE problem.  No pollination means no new food which means famine.  World Wide!  There are a lot of theories about what's happening but no one knows for sure and there's no solution yet.  It's actually really scary. :(

After the tour was the best part...Tasting!!  I favored the Wild Flower but my mom liked Barely.  Kai liked them all...saying each one was better than the last!

I left with some new honey and some more whipped honey in Apple flavor and Blueberry.  Plus a honey sucker for Kai and a few honey sticks. :D

After we got home I saw the UPS guy walk up to our door!  He had 2 boxes with him!!!

Our new printer (our's has been broken for weeks so I've been e-mailing stuff to my  mom to print for me when needed!) and this....

12 Chobani Yogurts!!!!!

That's right, I WON a box of Chobani from Lindsay's give away on her blog.  I was so excited when I saw I actually won something that I screamed.  Probably not the best move after all the excitement at the door a couple weeks ago.  The Hubs came running in and I was scolded about not screaming if it's not an emergency. lol!  But seriously, I never win anything! 

I unpacked them and one Apple flavor was lost to shipping but the rest were A-OK.  Being a good daughter I gave 1 flavor of each to my parents since they paid for lunch and spent the whole day with us.  Plus I don't know that we can eat ALL of this... I mean we probably could, but should we? lol!

Dinner was another late throw together.  Next week I'll try harder to actually plan a meal.  It's much less stressful and I fell like we get a better "meal" when I do. :)

This time I cut up a package of Tempeh and coated it with a mix of Honey, Tamari, Olive Oil and a splash of Liquid Smoke (ie. Teriyaki Sauce) and then baked it at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

On the side was some 90 second rice, CA Mix Veggies with Nutritional Yeast and some grapes.  The Hubs made himself a turkey sandwich with a side of rice and grapes.

For dessert Kai and I each had a yogurt cup...I had Passion Fruit (my fav) and Kai had Blood Orange. :)

After Kai went to bed I finished my book, Explosive Eighteen.  The latest in the Stephanie Plum Novels by Janet Evanovich.  These are a GREAT light summer read.

And if you saw the movie, One for the Money, don't let that deter you.  The books are WAY better.  Like 1000 times better.  The move was awful and should not be, in any way, an influence on the quality of the  books.  In fact I'd say the movie was a worst version of the book than the Twilight movie was of it's book! :)