Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing and Other Delicious Eats

I baked last night! I used Pioneer Woman‘s Recipe for Yellow Cupcakes with Sticky Chocolate Icing.

Oh

My

Goodness

These may be the best things I’ve ever made, solely based on the icing.  I messed it up a little and used too much sweetened condensed milk and not enough chocolate so it ended up a bit saucy.   Which meant it was perfect for drizzling on popcorn…

My roommate enjoyed!

Along with splitting one with me.  Need to make sure they’re safe to eat after all.

This morning after a rockin’ workout, I dug through the fridge looking for breakfast.  I wasn’t in the mood for oatmeal (gasp) since it was 71 degrees this morning!  Instead, I found some quinoa that needed to be consumed and decided to experiment:

Greek Yogurt + Banana + Quinoa + Ground Flax + Cinnamon = Delicious!

It was particularly amazing with sips of coffee, which leads me to believe it would be delicious to try this but cooking the quinoa in coffee to give it that flavor.  I’ll give that a try at some point and let you know how it goes.

Then I went to class and got my study on.  Remember my to do list from yesterday?  Here’s my progress:

  • Finish Reading Good Governance in the Tropics (self imposed deadline: today… hmm might not happen, 90 50 pgs left)
  • Reading for Urban Transformations in the Global South (need to be done tonight, 3 of 5 readings done so far… Africa makes me sad…)
  • Reading response for above mentioned readings (by tonight at midnight)
  • Readings for Urban Spatial Theory (err… might not get to these)
  • Term Paper on Good Governance book mentioned above (due Tuesday Thursday, no idea what to write about… good governance?)
  • Econ problem set due Thursday (luckily almost done)
  • Methods problem set (basically kicking my butt, spent 4 hours on it Sunday only to do 1.5 questions out of 5… meeting with study group tonight, due Monday)

4 out of 7 things done!  Woo!  Also my paper has been extended and is now due Thursday! Super excited!  I’m actually surprised at how much lower my stress level is now as compared to a month ago.  I guess the changes I’ve made in life have been really helpful!   How are you all holding up with stress?

Back to food…

I came home after class and was pretty much starving.  While this morning I had planned to make a peanut stew (a la stew in a jar), all I really wanted was a HUGE salad.  So I started with a layer of spinach and romaine mixed together, added some sliced cucumber, one piece of artichoke heart and some wheatberries and topped it with some dressing.

Then, the exciting part…

I added a poached egg, because let’s be realistic, everything tastes better with a good runny yolk.

My meal ended with another amazing combo: toast + cottage cheese + jam + flax

Aaaamazing!

Now I’m ready to read more, catch up on blogland (don’t think I’ve looked at the internet today!) and watch the episode of Lost that I missed last night!  Hope you all have a fab night!

P.S.  I was sent this NY Times Article about people who take pictures of food by at least 3 people today… I thought it was cute that some friends thought of me when they saw food photography.  Anyone else see this article and smile?

April Will be AAAAmazing!

Happy April Everyone!

I hate April Fool’s Day!  Sorry to be a scrooge (what? wrong holiday?), but I won’t even pretend to be pregnant or dropping out of school or anything of that shocking sort.  Are you a fan of April Fool’s Day??

Today has starting out wonderfully!!

Reason #1: It’s SUNNY out and there is going to be a high of 78!!!!

Check out the sunshine radiating from my fire escape!!

See Lauren‘s post on Vitamin D

Reason #2: Amazing oats in my new bowl! Isn’t it cute?

My oats may not be as fancy as some, but my oat + banana +yogurt + almond butter combo is the best thing on Earth to me!  Case in point:

Reason #3:  Delicious lunch!

At Allie‘s suggestion I had a tempeh + pumpkin butter + spinach sandwich.  Yes there is tempeh and pumpkin butter amongst that mountain of spinach.

OMG delicious!  Try it!  Even better than yesterday’s sandwich!

Reason #4: Yesterday I got Mad Men season 3 arrived in the mail.  Thus I can continue my love/hate relationship with Don Draper.

Reason #5: Class was outside today!  I got to argue with someone, which is fun because usually it’s a huge group of people sitting around agreeing with each other.

Reason #6: Fantastic work out this morning!  It flew by!  I did 4 miles on the T-Mill while watching Tyra Banks’ E! True Hollywood Story.  I love trash TV!

So I’m posting this later than expected but today has been a great day so far!  To be honest, I’m not sure how much work I’m going to get done the rest of the day, but I’m a happy camper!

Hope your day has been as pleasant as mine!!

Tomorrow is Friday!!! WOO!

Let’s Go Streaking!

Ok actually you can and should do this with your clothes on!

My brother-in-law started a fun facebook group called The Running Streak Group.

Basically the idea is to run (at least) 1 mile everyday, never missing a day.  You can see the United States Running Streak Association for more info!

Starting April 1st, I’m going to try to run at least 1 mile everyday!  Sounds kind of fun right?  Anyone want to join me?  Feel free to join the facebook group!  Good way to make sure you get moving at least a little bit everyday!

I wish I had more exciting eats to show you all, but unfortunately I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off for the past few days!   I’m trying to get together school work, apply for internships and be the overall rockstar that I am!

This morning I made a green monster for breakfast and in my rush out the door, forgot it.  That was upsetting… luckily I wasn’t hungry this morning.

But I’m pretty excited for lunch. I’m trying something new!

Tempeh with jam and spinach! (Note my super bread slicing skills aka super uneven!) Ready to go…

Sounds like an interesting combo!  I’ve seen it around the blog world!  I’ll let you know how it is. Have you ever had the tempeh/preserve/sweet combo?  Did you like it?

EDIT: OMG THIS IS AMAZING!!!

In other news, my Stress-Less March idea is working really well.  While it sucks to have to take everything with me and lug it around campus all day, it’s really nice to get so much done and come home and sort of relax for a bit.

I’m in the library so I should probably get to work.  Hope you have a great day!!

Stressless March

This morning I woke up with a terrible headache and a sore throat.  Instead of moping around about it, I decided a trip to the gym would help make me feel better.  The whole time the lovely fella was here the past week, I only went to the gym twice.  Not a huge deal, but it was nice to go back.

Upon returning and the sore throat still going strong, I thought a green monster would be a good cold prevention device.

Breakfast: Green Monster with 3/4 banana+ 2 handfuls of spinach + 5 frozen strawberries + 2 ice cubes + cold water, toast + Naturally Nutty + 1/4 banana and coffee.

Delicious.  The only downside to Naturally Nutty is that it doesn’t really melt or spread that easily.  Most nut butters melt on oatmeal or hot toast, this really doesn’t.  Oh well.  Still delicious!

So I’ve decided to make March less stressful than February. Why March?  The last week of March is Spring Break, which should be the ultimate relaxation, but I also don’t want to get myself so frazzled in the time leading up to Spring Break that I’m too exhausted to enjoy it.  So I’m instating a 9-5 work day for myself.

Here’s the idea: since I’m a student, I lack a strict schedule.  I have classes at different times at on different days, and I’m sort of just all over the place.  So for this month (and beyond?) I’m testing out a “work day.”  I’ll leave the house and go to my 10:00am class then stay on campus until 5 or 6 or even 7 pm, 5 days a week.  In between classes, instead of coming home claiming to get reading done while actually fooling around on the internet, I will go to the library or computer lab to get things done, as I tend to be more productive there. That should give me ample time to get everything done.  Then I can come home and have minimal work to do.

This will take a little more planning with regard to meals but it’s totally do-able.  My hope is that with this schedule, I’ll be more productive and therefore less stressed.  I want home to be a place of relaxation, not frustration which leads to overeating.

So today is day one!

Lunch is packed (extra vitamin C since I feel a cold coming on!):

Cucumber slices and carrot sticks with hummus for dipping, sliced kiwi and a cutie!

A sweet potato baked earlier this week and a veggie patty.

All together, ready to go!

See you tonight!  (I’m hoping to finally get around to make an eggplant dish I bought ingredients for about a week ago! They’re starting to go bad!!)

Have a fantastic Wednesday!  2 days til Friday!

P.S. Don’t forget to go to Mara‘s blog and vote for my penguin olives for the Cuteiversary Contest!

GINORMOUS Bean Chipotle Extravaganza!

Hi friends!

I hope you’ve all have a great day!  Mine has been busy and sadly not very productive but oh well!  As I mentioned before, I’m trying to have more complete, balanced meals.  Today was a success!

Oats for breakfast, sandwich and soup for lunch, cantaloupe for a snack and dinner…

Just plain delicious!  I found this recipe on 101 Cookbooks a long time ago and bookmarked it for future making. I finally got around to doing so.  Of course I tweeked the recipe (quite a bit actually) but it still turned out delicious!

Ginormous Bean Chipotles Extravaganza

adapted from 101 Cookbooks Giant Chipotle White Beans

1/2 lb dried lima beans, cooked in salty water
1 tbsp olive oil
few dashes of cayenne, more for more heat
salt
1 tsp chopped garlic
14oz can of diced tomatoes (I only had whole tomatoes so I chopped them up myself, works fine)
2 tsp dried oregano (more if you use fresh)
1 tbsp of adobo from a can of chipotle peppers
1-2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1-2 handfuls of kale, chopped
1-2oz crumbled feta (or other crumbly cheese like cotija… which apparently doesn’t exist in Upstate NY…)

Heat the oil (about medium heat) in a pot, add the garlic and the cayenne, cook for about a minute.  Add tomatoes, salt and oregano.  Cook for a few minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the cooked beans and adobo sauce.  Stir in the kale and cilantro.  Transfer to a baking dish, bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

I had mine with red quinoa!

and a huge salad!

You should definitely try this recipe!  It was soooo good!  If you’re one of those people who hates lima beans (don’t get this by the way) you can probably use any other bean, maybe cannellini?  That being said, I thought the lima beans were the perfect bean for this dish!  So big and “meaty”!  Delicious!!

I seriously loved this flavor combo!  Chipotle, feta and cilantro!  What could be better!?!

Try it!  I bet following the original recipe would be even more delicious!  She makes a cilantro pesto that I was just too lazy to make 🙂 Hence I just stirred in some chopped cilantro…

This is also a great make-ahead dish!  I actually prepared it all on Sunday, and today I just stuck it in the oven while my quinoa cooked.  Healthy and Delicious dinner in 15 minutes!  Voila!

Anyway, now I’m off to read before Lost!!  Anyone else as obsessed as I am?!?

Have a fantastic night!!

Game Face

Hi all!  Happy Monday!

Thanks for all your supportive comment about my last post!  I really appreciate it.

This morning I woke up feeling on the ball.  I was up at 6:20, had some coffee, packed a lunch and headed to the gym 20 minutes before I usually do.

It felt great to get my work out over with earlier than usual… even though a ridiculous girl kicked me off the elliptical because she had signed up for the one was on after me.  There were 6 other ellipticals open… ridiculous!  Oh well, I didn’t let her get to me!

I wanted a change from plain old oatmeal so this morning I had Oats in a Jar using Bob’s Red Mill Hot Cereal! Delish!

My lunch is packed and ready to go:

Flatbread sandwich with a Morningstar veggie patty, hummus, tomato and kale

Along with some cantaloupe, an apple and a granola bar.

I’ve got my game face on to conquer the work load!

Another tip I didn’t mention: just do it! Get work done and stress will be reduced.  So that’s my goal for today.

Have a wonderful Monday!

P.S. Lovely Fella will be here in 2 days!!!!

Happy February!

So the January Recipe Challenge was somewhat of a failure.  I ended up making recipes from 4 of the 7 continents!

I missed Australia, Antactica (which doesn’t really have civilization) and North America (which basically should constitute everything I eat everyday).

Overall, this was a very fun challenge!  Even though I didn’t make it through all the continents, I discovered some great recipes and had fun in the process!

I was pondering the idea of a February Challenge; however, I’ve decided against it.  In February, I’m going to concentrate on healthy eating/living and getting back into the swing of school.  That doesn’t mean I won’t try fantastic new recipes and share them with you all!  Do you have a February Challenge?

But on to today…  I started February off with some spice!

Not that kind of spice!

I give you, Mexican Chocolate Oats!

In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • Chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Dash of Cayenne
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 oz greek yogurt (for added creaminess and protein! stirred in at the end)
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter

Pretty delicious!  The cayenne gave it a nice kick to jump start my morning.

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods (anyone else love this site???), Cayenne has many health benefits!

Not only does is make your meals more exciting, but it also fights inflammation, reduces blood cholesterol, boosts immunity, helps prevent stomach ulcers and even helps in weight loss by raising your body temperature which uses more energy! (source)

Eat your Mexican Chocolate Oats! Basically any plain chocolate recipe can be made “Mexican” by adding cinnamon and cayenne.  Try adding some to plain chocolate cupcakes!  Sooo good!

Today is my first discussion section as a TA!  Wish me luck!!

Hope your February is starting out well!  Have a fantastic day!!

What’s your goal for February??

Stocking up + New Thing!

Yesterday was all about getting settled back into my apartment.  I was so exhausted when I got back on Friday that I fell asleep at 8:00pm.  Needless to say I saw up early on Sunday (6:30am, I slept a ton!).  I lounged around for a bit (aka watched Ugly Betty and Mad Men), cleaned the apartment then finally got around to going to the grocery store.

I love grocery shopping, but I always get a little flustered when the grocery store is crowded.  I like shopping on a weekday better, but oh well!

Anyway, so I loaded up on a ton of stuff.  Somehow it managed to all fit in my handy DSW bag!

Do you use reusable bags? They were very common in Berkeley and to some extent here as well.  In Berkeley, I kind of felt like I was getting a glare if I didn’t have one and the cashiers were all smiles when you had a reusable bag!

I loaded up on tons of healthy things.

I also bought a few new things to try out.  The first is almond milk (almond non-dairy beverage?).  Ordinarily I buy lactaid to use in coffee and cereal.  I’ve realized that since I have to take lactaid I probably shouldn’t be drinking milk… It also kind of scares me that lactaid lasts for so long and doesn’t go bad as regular milk does.  So I decided to try out something new.

This morning I had almond milk in my coffee and I’ll say it was pretty good.  I could definitely get used to it.  It doesn’t have the same amount of protein as milk/lactaid but the amount of milk/lactaid that I drank was so small that I feel like it’s not really significant.

While I was visiting the lovely fella in the Bay Area last week, we went to Whole Foods one day.  In the bulk food section, I came across Chia seeds, which I had been seeing on about 8394002779 million blogs. Yes this kind…

I got a very small amount ($0.35 worth) and have been waiting to try it ever since.

I added some to my oats this morning.  Honestly, it didn’t really change the flavor but made the texture slightly different, a little more gel-like.

I’m going to look around for these in Ithaca.  I liked the texture and the health benefits sound great!

  • 15g (2 tbsp) has about 75 calories.  (I added 5g to my oatmeal)
  • Chia is richer in omega-3 fatty acids than flax (source)
  • Chia is rich in antioxidants and vitamins (source)

Are you a chia fan?

New Leaf Update:

In case you missed it, I’m turning over a new leaf.

Day 1 went well!  Starting on the right foot is always a good sign!  I stocked up so I’m ready to go!  I went to the gym for a short work out since I’m sick I took it easy.    If you’re curious about what I ate all day, check out my sparkpage and click “Shared Food & Fitness Trackers” on the right to see it all!

Anyway, the rest of today will be spent unpacking and cleaning up… probably watching a few episodes of Mad Men too because apparently I’m obsessed!

Happy MLK Day!

Just curious… Anyone doing a day of service?

Reaching My Goals

I made it back to LA tonight.  I spent the evening watching the news with the madre.  She then informed me that she had something for me.  This is quite strange in my family… not the buying things but the surprise aspect…

Example: The past few Christmases/Birthdays I’ve been buying my presents and wrapping them myself then signing the card “Mami y Papi” or “Santa”… get the idea?

What was this surprise?

A fantastic sparkly, leopard print sweater that I saw at Macy’s last week when we went shopping.  This will come in handy as one of my goals for 2010 is to dress better (or really just get dressed everyday…).  I love sweaters!  Thanks, Madre!

The next exciting thing is this: the Madre’s make up drawer (my mom is a sassy one in case you haven’t noticed)

Eye shadow and lip gloss.

I’ve decided to start wearing lip gloss.  How does this fit into my goals for 2010?

One of my goals was to stop talking about the things I don’t like about myself and accept myself the way I am (if not fix it).

Well, I’m going to do that.  I never wear lip gloss or lipstick (with the exception of Halloween or themed parties) because I don’t like my lips.  Certain things can’t be changed.  I can’t make my lips smaller.  So instead I’m learning to accept myself.  My brother can tease me all he wants but I’m embracing the bigness/fullness/voluptuousness of my lips and rocking some pink lip gloss from now on!

Is there anything you have learned to embrace about yourself?  Any works in progress?

P.S. Another step toward reaching my 2010 goals will be revealed as I get back to Ithaca on Saturday!  Stay Tuned!