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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Local Crop & Miracle Oats

First of all, thanks so much for the support on my last post.  It really means a lot!

Onto the important stuff – it’s friday!  Which means I get to relax a bit for a day or two.  I finished my first fullybooked week of classes, and I finally feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things.  Unfortunately that also means lots of stress, and many late nights doing homework.  But I tell myself that it will eventually pay off, once I figure out what I want to do with my life.  But that’s a discussion for another time.

I haven’t done any real workout updates lately, so here are some highlights: I ended the week (on thursday evening) with my favorite modern dance class.  We’re working on a dance now that is really fast, and cardio intensive.  It takes serious athleticism, and I love it.  It makes me feel really great to know that I can now push my body to move like that, with precision and speed. We have another 3 classes to work on this choreography, and I love it.  I do miss pilates, though I guess it’s a good trade-off.

Somehow, I managed to get myself to the gym again this morning – by 10:30, haha! I did an awesome-ly sweaty 30 min cardio session, and some heavy lifting for legs, glutes, back and shoulders.  It was glorious.  Tomorrow will be a rest day, and holy sore-quads I’m looking forward to it.

You may be thinking “did she not discover any new loves this week?!” Nope, not the case – this week’s new loves:

1. The local, organic food co-op, only blocks away from my dorm!

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a bunch of collards, fresh ginger, kabocha, bulk nooch, and the best golden apples ever

I got all of this for under $10, and that wasn’t even with the co-op member’s discount.  I don’t know whether I want to pay for the membership.  I could pay less money and work there 2.25 hours a week for a 20% discount, but they already have really great prices for seasonal, local, organic produce.

2. An overnight-oat miracle

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coffee and oatmeal = love

Wednesday night, I decided I wanted oats for breakfast the next morning, but did not want to take the time to make them in the morning.  So I made a batch of voluminous oats on the stove Wednesday night, and covered the pot to let it soak overnight.  Little did I know – it saved my thursday!  I barely woke up in time to make it to class on time, and definitely did not have time to eat or even make coffee before I left!

I tossed the oats into a ball jar, grabbed a snack bar to hold me over and ran to class, still only half-awake.  Longest. Class. Ever!

But, I went to Think Coffee after, and sat down with a soy café-au-lait, and my jar of plain old oats.  Better late than never.

3. The egg bake.

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cooked in my mid-size round glass pyrex, perfectly golden brown

Inspired by Ashley’s recipe.  I threw together some quinoa, egg, random veggies and spices, and baked away!

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smothered in salsa!

Delicious, filling one-dish lunch.

4. Autumn is here, despite the 70+ degree temperatures.

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our kitchen smelled amazing after this. a crisp big enough to feed 8+ people! or 4 really hungry people...

My suite-mate’s mother sent her some sour apples, fresh from their garden in California.  She wanted apple crisp, and asked me to help her make one.  Of course I said yes!  Those apples made for a fantastic crumble.

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I had my serving with a dollop of coconut cream, straight out of the can

Well, that’s it for this week. I don’t really have big plans for the weekend – other than sleeping, relaxing, hanging with some friends, and (*sigh*) doing my homework.

What are your weekend plans?

Have you even unintentionally planned ahead? thank goodness for overnight oats!

Do you shop local/organic/seasonal?

Hey college… mWIAW

I know I probably say this every week, but it’s Wednesday again? Already?  I hate to say that classes are already starting to drain my energy, and if it wasn’t for Jenn hosting this fabulous link party, I probably would not be posting today.  But since I joined the merriment, there’s no way I could skip it.

I’m back to my original non-chronological form.  Far too scatterbrained today!

Breakfast

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big green smoothie! frozen figs, frozen banana, sun warrior, almond milk, maca, spinach

while munching on…

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puffed kamut!

Lunch

I forgot to pack a lunch, so I had to buy.  Or rather, I sat in on an extra class, so I was not anticipating not having time to go home for lunch between classes.

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tofu & veggie combo salad from Quantum Leap. delicious, but I forgot to tell them to leave off the onions

Dinner

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leftover fluffy millet, red pepper & squash purée, baked tofu

Snacks & Sweet Treats

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way too many spoonfuls of this - homemade spiced pumpkin-cashew butter.

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black sesame soy ice cream from Quantum Leap. I couldn't resist, but luckily it was a perfect tiny size!

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pre-workout hydration & carbs. this stuff is crack! better than chocolate milk, easily..

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real pre-workout fuel

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post workout - peanut flour paste burrito. so nutty & awesome!

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latest baking experiment - matcha donut. Using my Rishi Sweet Matcha powder instead of sugar in the recipe!

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they were really tasty, but rather biscuit-y. what to do...

Now I should probably go do something productive.  Write up a plan for the next 2 years of my school-life? Update my calendar?  Start on my class reading? Oh, school, welcome back.

Best thing you ate recently?

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?

Frenzied

I haven’t vanished from the blog world, I promise!

These past few days I’ve been packing to move back to school.  Speaking of which, I’m flying into NYC tonight, and I’m slightly scared – you know, there’s a hurricane coming or something? Ha.  Part of me thinks the city is overreacting a bit, that the storm won’t be as bad as they say.  I have no way of knowing what it will be like, as I’ve never been through a storm like this before.

Traveling in general makes me anxious, especially moving back and forth, which is why I did not post last night.  I had a whole plan to write about my last market day (will come later), but scrapped it in a fit of panic.  I hoped to get to writing when I finished with everything, but last night was one of those times where I just couldn’t manage to calm my nerves so I went to sleep.  Now that it’s a new day and all of my stuff is pretty much together, I’m calmer, but I still don’t have my typical Friday discovery post for you.

Instead, here are some of my ‘lasts’ in Chicago before I head out:

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Last big smoothie - before I get my Magic Bullet! blackberries, banana, sun warrior, maca, almond milk with buckwheat and cacao nibs

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last salad beast in chicago!

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Last home cooked dinner: homemade (delicious, clean) turkey burgers, market portobellos and market purple beans!

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with a side of salad with market peppers, tomatoes and lemon cucumbers

last culinary creation: a modified version of my berry crumble for two!

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suitcase and the doggy. I'm just going to miss this one.

Follow me on twitter if you’re interested in knowing what happens with the Irene in NYC. I’ll be posting tomorrow as well, assuming I have power and internet.  Wish me luck!

Any storm preparation tips (other than stocking up on food, which I’ve already done)?

What do you do to calm yourself down in stressful situations?