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Posts from the ‘irrational love of parentheses’ Category

Hot, Hotter, Hottest

This is hot.

Really hot.

101 degrees

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Noosa – Funny Name, Delicious Yoghurt

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I had my first taste of Noosa Yoghurt this morning, and I am already raving about it. I found it at The Fresh Market earlier this week, and snapped two of the three available flavors right up. I purchased Raspberry (which I enjoyed this morning) and Strawberry Rhubarb. There was also a Blueberry flavor there, which I’ll buy next time; but they didn’t have the Honey flavor that Ashley has raved about. Thanks to her, I knew what Noosa was, and that I wanted to try it. I’m so glad I did!

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I never buy flavored yogurt… for me it’s Greek plain (Fage 2%), all the way. However, this was a nice treat to have. I can see eating one of these once-a-week, and hope to keep them in my rotation.

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The fruit puree was beautiful, simple, and natural. You could see the raspberry seeds… nothing fake or artificial here.

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This yogurt reminded me of the yogurt that I fell in love with while living in England a decade ago. I have never found anything here in the States that comes close to the yogurt I ate in England – until now!! (Can you tell how excited I am?!?! Dork!)

Technically this container is supposed to be 2 servings – which would work great as a snack or dessert. However, seeing as how this was my breakfast, I ate this whole container. It’s only 8 oz (which in my mind is a serving of yogurt anyways), and was very satisfying with 260 calories, 12 grams of fat and 18 grams of protein, total, for both servings.

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I would like to research the company more. All I know is that it is a Colorado based company, using a culture from Australia. I wonder if the cows are grass-fed? That would make this yogurt PERFECT.

Noosa, I’m so happy to have found you here in Charlotte!

Have you ever tried Noosa products??

~

Masala Pancakes

Well, not exactly.

This past weekend I made two of my most favorite things to eat…  my classic (whole wheat) pancakes, and what I like to call Chana Spinach Masala. (Which is, incidentally, the best Indian food I have ever made at home, to date. And I have made a lot! Holy yum).

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Chana Spinach Masala

 

The pancakes have been a favorite for a while now, and are only made better by the addition of pumpkin puree, blueberries, or chocolate chips… etc. This batch was just straight up basic-style, with maple syrup, raw sliced almonds and unsweetened coconut on top. Divine!

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My Favorite Pancakes

 

Recipes to come, for these and more, so check back! (By Monday, hopefully).

I am working hard on my recipe page, and plan to post:

  • English Muffins
  • My Favorite Pancakes
  • Chana Spinach Masala
  • Cilantro Lime Dressing
  • Granola Muffin Bars
  • Broccoli Salad with Yogurt Dressing
  • Beany Tuna Salad

… and much more!

Has anyone ever frozen sautéed greens before? I still have collards galore, and have reached the time where I MUST take them out of my garden, to make room for spring/summer crops. I was thinking I could cook them up, and freeze them to use later in quiches and casseroles, at the very least. Think it would work?

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Collards from my garden

 

I think it’s supposed to be a nice spring weekend… and I hope to get a lot accomplished outside. Tristan and I have dubbed Thursday, “Crap-Friday”, and I am thrilled that it is Crap-Friday no longer! Tomorrow I’m off to the Farmer’s Markets, as per usual… and plan to fit in plenty of playtime with this one here, too…

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My little monkey

 

~

Snoozefest

I can’t seem to get into the swing of things, these days. I swear, Daylight Savings Time is STILL kicking my butt. I  have “snoozed” my alarm(s) for 45 minutes more than once in the past couple of weeks. Luckily I got my butt in gear once I finally dragged myself out of bed, and wasn’t ever late for work – but I absolutely hate to be rushed. 45 minutes?? Eeeks.

I am the crazy person that can sleep through alarms, and thus sets many, many alarms for the morning. I have my bedside alarm clock * (which I’ve had for half my life! Also – Tristan has the exact same alarm clock. We came into our first apartment 5 years ago with matching alarm clocks. How cute is that?)…

big alarm

… and I also use not one, but TWO old mobile phones with alarms… I’ve got my ancient clunky Nokia from when I lived in England (24 hr clock,baby!)…

phone alarms

… and my still old yet more recently retired flip phone…

The flip phone is awesome because it has THREE alarms that I can set. And I do. The old British phone is awesome because it is SUPER loud and vibrates at the same time. Buzz, buzz, clunk, clunk on my nightstand. It works pretty well. But NONE of them are foolproof.

I’ve used this mixture of alarms for many years… but lately, it’s just not cutting it. I’ve been on the hunt for the ‘perfect’ alarm clock for a long time… something that will MAKE me get out of bed.

Have you ever heard of “Clocky“??!? He is super-cute, and quite annoying. He is also now residing on my nightstand, as well.

meet clocky

He sounds like R2D2 on crack, and jumps down from your nightstand to ROLL AWAY FROM YOU!!! You have to hunt him down. I’m just getting the hang of using him, and can’t solely rely on him yet… but we’ll see. Maybe he will solve all of my snoozing problems!

Although it is definitely taking me a while (weeks!) to get into the swing of things with the time change, I am absolutely loving  that it is still light outside when I get home after 6pm. I love that I can go outside and play with Lilly. I love that soon, I will be able to tend to my garden after work.

However, the real problem here is this… I don’t get enough sleep. (who does?!?!). I love our bed. I love to sleep. Looooove. I usually get about 6 hours, or mayyyybe 6.5 (if I SNOOZE!) on weeknights. Is this enough sleep? No. I know that it isn’t. But, it’s the way things are. I work long, hard hours; like to cook dinner, and can’t get to bed any earlier. So, in the interest of productivity and not wanting to rushed in the a.m., I tend to set my alarm(s) for earlier than I “HAVE” to be up. As I said, I despise rushing around before work (it makes me feel flustered for the whole day!) – and I like to have time to check email, hop on the treadmill, etc. But knowing that I have that time” cushion”, sometimes makes me think “Well, I can just sleep a few more minutes and check email on my phone later”… etc, etc. And thus, I snooze. And snooze.

Have I met my match in Clocky? I certainly hope so.

Is anyone else a snooze-aholic?

~

Cooking up and taking down…

Now that I’m amongst the land of the living again, I have been enjoying some pretty flowers…

spring flowers

… playtime outside with puppies…

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Tug of wubba

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They never stop!

… and being a busy bee in my kitchen…

Granola (of course!)… I make a big batch of this every 3-4 weeks.

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Spiced Vanilla Granola

English muffins… I make several batches of these at a time, split them and freeze them for easy breakfast and snacks. They are so wonderfully delicious! English muffins are something that I’ve really missed since cutting processed food out. I am so happy to be able to make my own whole-grain English muffins with minimal ingredients.

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Whole-grain English Muffins

Coconut Butter! This is so easy, it is ridiculous. Really. And, this 8 oz jar only cost me $2.79, to make.

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Coconut Butter

My favorite Almond Butter!! It was definitely time to make more! We’ll see how long this jar lasts. 🙂

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Heaven in a jar

Simple Broccoli salad with yogurt dressing…

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Fresh broccoli salad with yogurt dressing

Carrot Pumpkin Muffins…

pumpkin carrot muffin

How could you go wrong with this?

Emily’s Vegetable Masala burgers

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Delicious with avocado on top!

Collards. Lots of collards. (My “fall garden” exploded with them, all of a sudden).

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Sweet & Spicy Collards

Panang Curry

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Panang Tofu Curry

Dolsot Bibimbap and Kimchi

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Dolsot Bibimbap

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Spicy!

And of course… Lilly’s favorite Crunchy Peanut Butter dog treats!

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World's greatest (and healthiest) dog treats!

On the cookbook front, I recently purchased Mark Bittman’s Food Matters, and am in love. (shhh, don’t tell Tristan). I’ve made several recipes out of it already… Brothy Vegetable and Lentil Soup (with some modifications), Skillet Tamales (w/local grass fed beef), Refried Black Beans, Arroz Con Pollo – and then some (with local pastured chicken), and Cauliflower Mac & Cheese.  I have dozens more pages bookmarked to try .

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Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

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Lentil Soup

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Skillet Tamales and Refried Black Beans

As for outside of the kitchen, we’ve had a very rainy and chilly week here… Spring? Not so much. I actually love rainy days as a rule, but I have to say – I much prefer the dry days now with Lilly around. Mud sucks. Mud on paws, sucks even more. And mud on my carpet? Don’t get me started.

Also making me long for sunnier days? The fact that our beautiful gazebo took a cartwheeling tumble about a month ago, and now resembles something a 2 year old would make with Tinker Toys, rather than an attractive and useful addition to our backyard.

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Anyone know what to do with 145 lbs of crumpled steel?

We’ve bitten the bullet and purchased a new one (ooh, it’s even bigger!) and can’t wait to put it up. However, it is far too soggy out there right now.

So I’m uncharacteristically ready for the sun. Spring. Not summer. Do you hear me, universe? NOT. Summer.

~

Bigger than your stomach!

Holy cow.

No, really. It would take a cow to fill this monstrosity with milk.

Have you seen this?

Starbucks has created a new size of drink called the Trenta. It will be available for iced drinks only (hot drinks would never STAY hot enough in that giant cup in the time it would take you to finish them, I imagine!)

Yowza.

Now, I love coffee. Looooooove coffee. And caffeine in general. I drink unsweetened iced tea every day (yes, even in winter!) for my midday/afternoon caffeine fix. I have a latte (also unsweetened) every weekday morning, and pots of French Press coffee on the weekends. I LOVE coffee. (All of these things, I might add, I make at home). I do occasionally go to Starbucks (they ARE convenient, there is no denying that), for lattes or chai tea (I am NOT a fan of their coffee – disgusting sludge, if you ask me) – in fact, I went by there this afternoon for a Tall Chai Tea Latte. Tall. As in 12 ounces. Plenty. More than enough even, as I didn’t quite finish it.

Tell me, WHY do we need 31 ounces of Starbucks at one sitting?!?! And just HOW would you ever leave the bathroom after drinking one?

Will YOU try a Trenta?

~

Couch to 5K!

I have convinced Tristan to start the “Couch to 5k” program with me! This is something that I had heard of a couple of years ago, but the idea of actually doing this program wormed it’s way into my brain this week. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that we HAD to do it!

I don’t consider myself a couch-potato, but I am certainly not a runner! I have never been interested in running – until recently. (I was a shy, rather busty teenager, and I hated P.E. class in high school, and all the running that it required. ALWAYS). However, now that I am in my thirties and have embarked on this new life plan (and have several good sports bras!) … running seems more than mildly interesting. 

Like most ideas and plans that I come up with, I wanted to have started this YESTERDAY! (Impatient? Who? Me?).  I popped on Amazon on Wednesday night and ordered us a stopwatch, that is supposed to arrive today. (Gotta love that Amazon Prime!). 

Tomorrow I am going to download the plan, make note cards and a music mix for us… and then… Sunday, we start!!

 ~