Brought to You by Orange

First of all, I apologize (again) for all the blog craziness that started yesterday.  As I mentioned in the previous dummy-post, I finally decided to move all of my content over to a private hosting account – that I’ve owned for a while now.

Unfortunately, none of the parties involved make it easy for you.  And as (I like to think) I’m  pretty good with tech & web stuff, there was no way I was going to pay over 100 dollars to get someone else to do the transfer for me.  It took a while, but I’m pretty sure everything is up and running by now – necessary plugins and all.  Nothing got lost, and everything is backed up.

On another note, I had hardly any work to do this weekend since I just finished the bulk of my midterms.  So I had a little bit of time to de-stress, which was quite nice.

Halloweekend, in pictures! [note numerous occurrences of the color orange…]

Starting the morning with green juice! and snow…

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It seems that now is the season for orange! Now starting with a now-to-me fruit: persimmons.  I’m not sure if I had ever tried a persimmon before, but they are easily a new favorite of mine.  I even tried both of the common varieties.  First up, the fuyu. Sliced up in a big bowl of oat groats.

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Next up, the hachiya.  Be careful if you buy these. They cannot be eaten when the are still hard – the astringency will dry out your mouth and make you feel sick, not fun.

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Instead, you have to wait until they are mushy, what would normally be considered over-ripe.  Then you can eat the flesh, but it’s impossible to cut up or bite into.  It comes out something like this:

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There were slices of failed (but tasty) kabocha pie.

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Snacks for solo adventure part 2! (click to see part one, the high line)

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Delicious flavor – I wish they made seasonal flavors all year round!

Dressed up and ready for this un-seasonally cold October.

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Destination…

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I walked around, and admired all the delicious food and pretty things.  I didn’t go to buy or eat anything, I just needed an excuse to get out of the room after the crazy snowstorm.

There was orange aplenty!

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And, I got a hot chocolate on the way out, to help with the cold weather.

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And, what would a free weekend be without some baking?

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Chocolate cupcakes, slightly modified from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, spiced buttercream from OhSheGlows.com.

And instead of buying halloween candy (avoiding crazy addicting processed sugars), I had a few bites of nature’s candy! And maybe a cupcake. Or two.

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Dates = natures candy. Natural sugar for the win.

How was your halloweekend? Was it full of orange?

For self-hosted bloggers – any advice/suggestions for a smooth-running site?

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Priorities?

I have 2 midterm exams, 1 essay (in french?!) and a project all due before Wednesday this week.  And what am I doing? Blogging? Clearly, I have my priorities straight. But in all seriousness, blogging is really the most productive distraction for me.  And it cheers me up 🙂

I loved hearing all your thoughts on food cravings!  And I wanted to say hi to all the new readers out there – Hi!  Thanks for stopping by to comment.  I’m the worst at responding to comments, but every new ‘face’ I see around here makes me smile.

[[also, I now have a blogroll! Click on the tab labeled ‘Blog Love’]]

Now, back in full force:  Discoveries, but on a Saturday!

1. Birdbath (and arm of City Bakery) has Kombucha on tap!

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Jasmine kombucha - light, subtle, flavor

Kombucha on tap is stronger than the bottled stuff, but it tastes ‘fresher’ if that makes any sense.  I may just go out for some more today…

2.  Sunwarrior Warrior Blend – I finally got my sample!

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I signed up on the SW website for a sample weeks ago... and finally got one!

It reminds me more of a whey protein, and has a kind of earth-y taste.  The vanilla flavor as not as strong as the original sun warrior blend, but this stuff still does not taste green.  Quite good!

3. Raw Cashini butter, aka crack.

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current go-to snack: cashini & rice cakes

Probably the most expensive of my current nut butter collection (I wanted to try it!).  It has a very similar texture to peanut butter, and tastes like a lighter tahini with a hint of cashew – which only means you can eat more of it in one sitting…

4.  Peppermint tea.

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tummy loves it!

For a little while now (a few weeks?) I drink a big mug of peppermint tea at night to settle my stomach before bed.  I love it – I can go to sleep without bloating or anything.  After my TJ’s peppermint tea ran out, I splurged on this stuff – and omigosh it’s amazing.  It’s basically pure peppermint leaves – and apparently a UK product? oh well.

5. New Vega Sport Protein Bars!

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chocolate saviseed flavor. protein-filled yum.

This is easily the most filling protein bar I’ve tried.  Yes, it is higher in calories than most, but it’s worth it.  Not too sweet, easily digestible, all natural ingredients, and kept me full for hours.  Now if only I could get my hands on the chocolate coconut flavor…

6. This is not your average bowl of oats.

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cooked with chia and almond milk, sunflower butter, banana & cinna on top

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an attempt to capture the goodness that is whole oat groats.

I decided to try whole oat groats.  The verdict? Amazing.  Yes they take at least 5 times longer to cook than regular rolled oats, but they have the tooth-y texture of slightly undercooked rice – which I love.  And you get the full oat flavor!  I’m a fan.

Study Time!

What did you discover this week? Any awesome new foodie finds?

If you’re a student, what’s your favorite ‘productive’ distraction?

Days Off

I’m not a super social person.  My Sundays are usually spent sleeping in, creating and eating a glorious breakfast, lounging & cleaning, going to dance class, a bit of cooking for the week, and lots of homework.  Today was slightly different – there was no homework involved.  What? Yes.  I still have two more days off school for silly national holidays, so I took the day to just chill a bit.  I wish I could say I went to an awesome party or something, but the things I do aren’t generally that exciting.

Saturday’s fast went rather well (I slept most of the day), and I broke my fast that evening with some Jewish deli food – bagels, etc.  And about an hour after I was hungry again, so a friend and I went to 16 handles, for $8 worth of self-serve froyo.  I wish I had taken a picture!

Today was much of the same Sunday routine, except I decided to go on a little adventure – with or without company.  It was actually really nice to walk just walk around the city by myself.  I didn’t have to worry about timing, or anyone else – and I did some quality people watching and photographing.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

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breakfast - buckwheat blender cereal with walnuts & (the last of) homemade pumpkin butter

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second breakfast? sprouted toast w/ PB and fresh figs

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gear for my little adventure: water, snackage, comfy shoes, lululemon mini-backpack

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I went to the High Line Park! It's an old rail track that's no longer in use, and was converted into an elevated park.

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the standard hotel at the high line - this building is right on it! some great views 🙂

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Of course, I stopped for a green juice, as there was a juice bar right by the stairs to the park. Perfectly refreshing!

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Life on the park, right under the hotel

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14th St. from above

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...quality people watching...

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Gelato on the high line - this place looked so good! But I wasn't in the mood, and didn't have enough cash. Next time.

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the tracks are still in tact, they did the landscaping around them

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more cool buildings

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...and a green elevator?

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the best part - sunset over the Hudson River. Oh hey, New Jersey!

I also did a bit of cooking 🙂  Which recipe to post first… one with squash? or with chocolate…

Did you do / cook / eat anything interesting this weekend?

Do you ever go on solo adventures?

Maker’s Day

Yesterday I went to one of the biggest, most amazing convention/festivals I had been to in a long time – the Maker Faire, in Flushing Meadows Park, in queens.  No, this festival had nothing to do with food or fitness. But so many people – myself included – forget that a healthy is not only about food and workouts.  We need balance, and fun, and that what my Saturday was about.

I forced myself to put aside the massive homework assignment I have due monday, because I would not have made much progress anyway.  Instead, I nerd-ed out all day, at a giant DIY fest.

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they handed out some free healthy snacks!

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I saw the 'Sashimi Tabernacle Choir'! Yes, these fish moved and sang.

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I boarded & toured the BioBus

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saw some awesome DIY contraptions, like this knockoff segway

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ogled at the amazing 3D printers

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so. cool!

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I learned how to pick a lock! ...watch out...

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almost bought a plate of the delicious-looking vegan paella - cooked in HUGE vats!

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yes, there was a fire-breathing dragon.

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does anyone remember Mouse Trap, the board game? This one is Life-Size.

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We also saw some awesome circus students perform

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these guys are so amazing strong!

It was a blast, and I don’t regret doing it.  Yes, I may be slightly more anxious now that I have less time to get my work done, be feel so much less guilt.  If I had stayed in and worked all day, and still not gotten anything done, I would have felt worse.

In the spirit of the Maker Faire, I did a little ‘making’ of my own. In the form of two loaves.

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super moist banana oat-bread

This came out super moist, not too sweet.  I’m not sure if I want to tweak it or not.

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dark chocolate loaf, light and not too sweet

This one was bitter and bread-like, not so much like cake – but the consistency is near perfect, and it cuts like a dream.

So, I’m leaving this one up to you:

Which would you rather see the recipe for first? Banana bread or Dark Chocolate Loaf?

I hope the weekend went well for everyone.  I think we are finally getting some real autumn weather around here.  Now I’m off to finish some homework, and maybe get a little sleep.  I will certainly try 😉

What kinds of festivals to you go to for fun?

Last Minute, Cookies and Fun

I’ve mentioned this before, but I love firsts! Which there were a lot of this week(end), and it was quite fun. I’m fully settled in my dorm, and loving it.  Since there are only two days (where did the time go??) before classes start, I have tried to fit in as many adventures as I could manage.

Christening the new oven with…. Donuts!

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rich and maple-y

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hey, they're glazed!

I used a combo of recipes for these, but I don’t think I like them enough to post.  Next time I’ll get it.

Amazing yogurt bowl combo, with puffed cereal! and figs!

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sigi's, chia gel, fresh figs, puffed cereal, cinnamon, and a drizzle of maple syrup

And, thanks to a last-minute invitation, guess where I finally went – for the first time…

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It was incredibly hot and muggy, but turned out to be an awesome day.

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we rode this guy, on one of the interior swinging cars. so disorienting.

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wave swinger! also really disorienting.

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rode the cyclone, twice. felt like I was going to die, twice. picture taken from the wave swinger.

After I got home from the park, I even had time to make some cookies to bring over to my relatives’ place that night! [recipe at the bottom]

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have I piqued your interest yet?

I followed the trend, and cracked open this season’s first can of pumpkin.  It’s just too good to wait!

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pumpkin oats, oat bran, chia, with spoonfuls of almond butter and sigi's, with cinnamon and a little maple syrup

Went to the best self-serve froyo place I know of…

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sorry for the lack of froyo photos. I was preoccupied with eating it.

And I made millet (!) for the first time.

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so light and fluffy

I followed Ashley’s directions for perfectly cooked millet, and it really was perfect.

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with roasted summer squash, tempeh and mustard sauce

Delicious dinner.  The dressing was an oil-free mustard ‘vinaigrette’:

  • 1T whole grain mustard
  • 1T seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 stevia drops
  • splash of Bragg’s (or soy sauce, or other salt)

No way I forgot about the sweet stuff!!  This recipe was not at all planned – I made it completely on a whim.  And it turned out really good!  I’m not sure how accurate the baking time is, because I used a not-super-reliable dorm oven.  But these are rich. And chocolatey. Just Delicious.

Oatmeal Chocolate Super-Cookies (vegan)

makes about 10-12 cookies, 2″ diameter

  • 1/4 c spelt (or any) flour – GF works too
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 2-4 T sucanat or other dark granulated sugar(depending on how much sweetness you like)
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 flax/chia egg (1T ground seed + 3T water, soaked for 10ish mins)
  • 1/2 c almond butter
  • 3T liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract (I’m using alcohol free, so may need adjustment)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c non-dairy milk
  • optional add-ins, about 1/3 cup: cacao nibs, chopped nuts, seeds

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, making sure there are no clumps.  In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients except the milk.

Add the wet to the dry, and add in the milk a bit at a time until you have a light, sticky dough.  Now add in your mix-ins – I used cacao nibs for that extra rich chocolate-y flavor.

Grease a cookie sheet, and spoon the dough in 1-2T clumps onto the greased sheet.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes at 350, depending on your oven.   Transfer to a cooling rack, let cool for about 10-15 minutes.  Or just eat them piping hot, right off the cookie sheet.

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the dough goes from this...

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... to this 🙂

As of now, I plan to spend my labor day relaxing before I have to switch to full-on school mode.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie? Are you a fan of home-baked, cafe-baked or store bought?