My Neighbor is Awesome!

The past few days have been filled with work.  While I’ve managed to get a lot done, my fridge is looking pretty bare.  Consequently, I’ve been eating a lot grains and random frozen vegetables left over.

Just in time to save the day, my neighbor (who we lovingly call Slick Rick) invited a few friends over for dinner. He had an amazing spread of vegetables to grill.

Ladies, he’s single (I think…)  🙂

All sorts of amazing!

I contributed a less than exciting salad compared to all the grilled goodies.

Now I’m stuffed and ready for bed.  Next week, I’m making the neighbors dinner!  What should I make?  I feel like it has to be amazing too!  Suggestions?

Have a great night!!

M.I.A.

Hi Friends!

Next week is the last week of classes! Woo! That means the next few weeks I will be

or rather

Consequently this is the extent of the vegetables in my produce drawer:

Thus lunch has to be

Had this for a few days now.  Not sure how tomorrow’s going to pan out since I’m out of bread and cheese.  I’ll figure it out.

Also…

WTF, Ithaca!??! It’s practically May!!

Off to class I go!

Pear Cardamom Cupcakes with Sweet Rose Frosting

It’s that day again (you know the one…), but I’m going to ignore it and just be a happy camper, because really that’s the best way to be.  I’m generally a happy person.  I smile a lot and can laugh at pretty much anything (i.e. when I fell down the stairs on campus a few weeks ago).

Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother doing serious things in life.

While I figure that out, I’ll stick to my hobby and potentially only real skill in life: baking.

Pear Cardamom Cupcakes

1 very ripe pear, peeled and finely chopped/mashed
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 pinches of baking soda
1 tsp cardamom
1/3 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 350. Combine mashed pear, oil, vanilla and sugar.  Add one egg at a time until blended together.  Add dry ingredients, mix until just combined.  Gradually add milk, stir until well blended.

Pour batter into paper lined cupcake pan.  Bake 15-20 mins.  Makes 12 cupcakes.  Once completely cooled, frost with Sweet Rose Frosting:

Sweet Rose Frosting

1/4 cup butter, softened
1-2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp rose water

Whip together all ingredients.  Frost cupcakes.  Enjoy!

I love rose flavored sweets. They make me want to smile.

Enjoy your Sunday!  Hope you have better weather than we do here!

Bagels!

Happy Friday!

I wish I could be more excited that it’s the weekend but I have a ton of work to do.  However, tonight is the Grad Prom Ball!  I have a ridiculous bright yellow dress!  (Pictures to come)

Let’s back track to last night… After an intense class, I needed to bake.  Thus, Bagels…

2 kinds: Multi-grain and Cinnamon Raisin

For the multi-grain bagels, I used this recipe. For the cinnamon raisin bagels, I used my go to bagel recipe but added about a tablespoon of cinnamon and a box of raisins.

The cinnamon raisin looked prettier:

But the Multi-grain tasted amazing!

It is my mission to perfect these multi-grain bagels!  You may see them again in the near future!

I should probably go get ready… Have a great night!!

This there a recipe you’re trying to perfect? I will conquer these bagels!

Double Down

Don’t you love it when you wake up after having had the most amazing dream ever?  You just know it has to be a good day.

Today was a bit of a doozy but it all turned out well.

I started with an intense work out (oh goodness I was a sweaty mess). Then had a green monster for breakfast featuring the only protein powder I’ve tried so far that I’ve liked.

So you’re probably wondering about the title, right?  You guessed it.

Some friends and I drove to Cortland to KFC (because Ithaca doesn’t have one) so they could try the double down.

I had some biscuits and sides.

You’re probably not going to believe this but the franchise we went to stopped selling the grilled version because they weren’t selling enough!  Isn’t that nuts?!

There were mixed reviews.

Ugh NEED to do stuff tonight! Have a good one!

Have you tried the Double Down?  Been curious to do so?

Do you think it’ll last?

No Go…

I spent the better part of my day avoiding work.  I’m not sure what’s wrong with me.  Usually on Mondays I’m ready to go, but today was a no go!

I woke up at 6:30am hoping to be at the gym by the time it opened at 7:00am.  Didn’t end up getting there til 7:30am.  Intended to spend 45 minutes on the treadmill doing a variety of intervals.  Ended up doing 22 mins on the treadmill and 23 minutes on the elliptical.  Not feeling the gym today.

After the gym, I got ready for class, lost track of time, missed a few buses and never made it to class… instead I went to the library where I attempted to read only to end up taking a nap! What’s wrong with me?!?

I was definitely feeling a little off today.

When I got home this evening, I decided dinner and cooking would cheer me up.  I enjoyed two bowls of homemade black bean soup with greek yogurt mixed in.

I also made some pasta sauce.

And some vegan pear muffins

Random… I know…

They were an experiment, not sure they were good enough to post the recipe.

Then I took an almost 2 hour nap…

I need Monday to be over.  I’m ready for bed.

My goal for tomorrow is to smile at least 10 times and get work done!  Who’s with me?

I Hate Sunday

Sunday is my least favorite day of those days that we consider “the weekend.”

Let’s be realistic.  Sunday is a jerk.

Friday is exciting.  It’s the beginning of the weekend, and you’re ready to relax.   He’s like the cute boy you have a crush on and can’t wait to see.

Saturday is great.  You can sleep in, go to the farmer’s market, watch shows you’ve been waiting all week to catch up on, stay up late with friends knowing that it doesn’t really matter what time you wake up the next day. He’s the boy that takes you on fun dates.

Then Sunday… There’s the expectation that you were lazy all weekend and should probably get something done.  The lazy lounging around that makes Saturday so blissful is replaced by the guilt that you should be getting work done while your brain tells you that it’s still the weekend. He’s the boy you’ve been with far too long for your own good and should probably break up with to maintain your sanity.

This specific Sunday, today, was particularly unproductive. I opened readings, read the first paragraph and got distracted.  I went to the computer lab and got little done.  I lost my student ID and didn’t go to the gym.  I ate about 15 oreos… maybe more.

I managed to redeem myself with dinner, featuring pee’s best friend: asparagus.

Open faced cheese, egg and asparagus sandwich.

1 sliced of multigrain bread, toasted with cheddar cheese.

Topped with roasted asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper

and poached egg.

Nothing makes up for Sunday’s jerk like tendencies like a runny yolk.  That and the potential of having strawberries grow in my window.

Now these little guys are sitting on my window sill soaking up the sun chillin’ like it’s Saturday.

I, on the other hand, must get to reading because pretty soon it’ll be Monday, everyone’s favorite day.

Hope you all had a nice weekend.

What’s your favorite day of the week?

Cupcakes and Shoes! What a Hoot!

I woke up this morning feeling like P.Diddy pretty good.  The weather is gross, but all is well in the world.  I hung out with friends and may have done a bit of shopping.

What girl doesn’t need another pair of shoes?

Basically I’m ready for summer.  All I need is somewhere to go in these shoes… and a tan! (Note: No flash was used in this picture.  I hope this is a lighting issue and I’m not actually that pale!)

I also made cupcakes!  I’m dying to get a cake decorating set (any secret admirers out there want to shower me with gifts? ), but in the mean time I’ll make due with a knife, a zip loc bag and my trusty cupcake book.

I cheated.

I used box mix and canned frosting.

After not using box mix/canned frosting for so long, I realized how much better my homemade frosting is!

I hope my friends enjoy them!  Maybe I’ll get to work some of it off by dancing the night away with the chicas!  Who knows? Either way, I’ll probably have a fun time.

Have a great night!!

Random Question:  Favorite type of dog?  or are you a cat person?

Switching It Up

The past few days I’ve been in a little big of a bloggy slump.  I’ve taken pictures of things, but sadly have been unmotivated to write anything.  Perhaps because I wrote a good sized term paper or maybe my current frustrations with health food blogs.  This morning, while watching CNN on the elliptical, I heard a ridiculous news story related to food/dieting.  I started formulating a post in my head and was pretty excited to share it, but then stopped myself.

Will I offend someone?  Might this hurt a reading struggling from an eating disorder?

I don’t want either of those things to be the case.  I want this to be fun, not stressful.

So I’ve decided, at least for now, to post my healthy meals and usual fatty treats that I pawn off to my friends and stop talking about health, weight, fitness, etc.

I like food.  I’m sticking to it.

So without further delay:

Today was rainy, which meant that something warm was in order.

Black Bean “Tamale” Pie

adapted from Eggs on Sunday’s Black Bean Tamale Pie

1-3 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 cup black beans, cooked
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes with liquid
A few shakes of cinnamon
A few shakes of Cayenne
few ounces of cheese (I used 1 or 2 oz)
1 cup cornmeal
2 1/2 cups water
salt to taste
1 egg beaten
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar

In a skilled heat the oil and cook the onions and garlic for a few minutes.  Add peppers, cook for a few more minutes.  Add spices, tomatoes, beans and corn.  Bring to a boil, transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium sauce pan, combine water, salt and cornmeal.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, keep stirring until cornmeal is thick (about 5 minutes).  Turn off heat.  Add beaten egg, baking powder and sugar.  Top the bean mixture with the cornmeal mixture and bake for about 40 minutes.

Pretty tasty.  The “tamale” part formed a weird crust that I wasn’t a fan of, but other than that it was delicious!  It sort of reminded me of the Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake that I’m obsessed with.  I bought a plantain that is taking far too long to ripen.  As soon as that puppy is black, I’m trying to conquer the Mayan Harvest Bake!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Taco Flavored Kisses

You’re probably all too refined to watch South Park, but my lunch reminded me of that episode.

Taco Salad!  (But way healthier and probably more delicious!)

Started with:

  • Romaine (~ 3 cups)
  • Red Pepper (1/4 of a pepper)
  • Black beans (1/2 cup)
  • Cheddar Cheese (about an ounce)
  • 1 Packet of Wholly Guacamole!

Then topped it with my amazing homemade creamy salsa dressing: 1/4 cup salsa + 1 tbsp greek yogurt! That’s it!

Doesn’t look that tasty but trust me, it is!

Delicious! I considered having it again for dinner but decided I should probably vary my daily nutrient consumption (not that soup and toast was a better option… but oh well).

After lunch, I couldn’t resist a cupcake.  So I had a huge cat mug of tea with a cupcake.

Delightful!

Stress Eating:

So yesterday and today, I’ve been stress eating a bit, okay maybe more than a bit.  Honestly, I’m trying not to worry about it too much.  Everything will be turned in and done by Thursday.  I figure if I overeat a little too much these days, it’s not going to kill me.  I’m not going to let a little bit of overeating stress me out even more.  There are more important things for me to stress about right now.  I’ve realized this month that once my stress levels drop, I eat significantly less.  So the moral of the story is, sometimes stress eating happens and while I do all I can to curb it, sometimes I just have to give in, get my work done and move on to maintain my sanity.  What are your thoughts?

Guess I should get back to paper writing since I won’t be watching Lost 😦

Lastly, here’s a link to a hilarious blog post from NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me where they try the KFC Double Down Sandwich. Have a great night!!