Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sweet Tea and a Sweet Tooth

I cannot stop eating Lindt Sea Salt dark chocolate. Yeah, it's a little on the pricey side but Rite Aid has them on sale right now for 1.99/bar. Mmmm-mm! If you like chocolate covered pretzels you'll love this. My grandma sent me a sweet care package and almost instantly my friend Hailey and went out and bought more.

Also on a sweet tooth note, I'm still in my sweet tea phase. What's your favorite tea concoction? Mines 1/4 a squeeze of lemon, 1 black tea bag, and about a tablespoon of agave nectar.

Guess What? I've been a little hesitant to tell everyone what's been going on in my professional life. Because, who knows who's actually reading this?

I am the new accounting assistant for the Department of Biology here at CSU! How exciting is that?! It's my first step into the field that I want to work in. <3

Since everything else is starting to fall into place, I better pick up my room. It looks like I was robbed, but really my room is just messy every other day (hey now, I can't clean every day)!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Literary Leech

I can't stop reading.

In the past week I've read/finished:
-Left Neglect by Lisa Genova
-Rancine's Phaedra
-Monkey by Wu Cheng-en
-The Hunger Games by the well known Suzanne Collins
-Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan
-Sor Juana's Reply to Sor Filotea 

Left Neglect, as I have said, is such a touching story. Lisa Genova spends years preparing for her novels. Her next one is going to be about a family connected by an autistic child. I can't wait to read that heartwarming tale.

I can't believe it took me a year on my kindle to start reading The Hunger Games! Did anybody else feel like they were watching a movie? I certainly did. In fact, that will be the first book we read at the book club I just started.

That's right! I've taken my love of reading to a whole knew level. I was sick of not having anyone here in Colorado to discuss my latest findings with. I think there are about ten girls that will be attending, and hopefully I will help us 11 girls find a wonderful new group of friends.

When I picture our meeting, I imagine us knitting quilts and sipping tea. I feel so old fashioned.

Commencement was rather interesting. Pinterest sparked my interest for this book, as it was on many of my peer's boards. But let me tell you...

I was certainly out of my comfort zone on this book due to a few sex scenes and strange references, but never the less you get to love the characters like they are your own friends. Despite the uncomfortable-ness, I finished the book in two nights' reading.

The others I had to read for my literature class. Monkey was an excerpt from Wu Cheng-en's The Journey to the West. It's a tale of a buddhist monk that has a "stone" monkey lead him on his journey to the buddha to gain scriptures. It has characters that stick close to your heart and make you feel like you're reading a grown up rendition of a childhood fable. Phaedra and I on the other hand, didn't get along very well. I'm not a huge fan of Greek Mythology.

Oh shoot! This is a food blog isn't it? Sorry for the lack of food. I'll post my enchiladas recipe up tomorrow eventually :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

S-S-So Yummy!

Currently, my three food obsessions all happen to begin with the letter S. 

#1: Salmon. While this fish and I didn't get along when I was younger, I fell in love with it over the summer in California. Not only was it usually the cheapest entree at the many restaurants that my boyfriend's family took me to, it was impossible not to get the amazingly fresh fish every single time. During that time I also fell in love with béarnaise sauce over asparagus. Mmm-mm!
From that amazing Summer of 2011 California Trip
I apologize for my digression. I'm so landlocked and pale that I'm dying to get myself to a sunny, warm place. All I can think about is laying in a raft on the Salt River in AZ or reading a book on the beach.


Every sunday my dining hall ships salmon in from a "fresh" source (I pray not a farm though it probably is) and last night, it was the best I've had yet! They had originally grilled it with lemon-pepper seasoning. In turn, I added a local cayenne pepper hot sauce on top and extra seasoning.

#2: Sweet tea. While I've always been in-touch with my southern self (i.e. my beloved cowboy boots, die-hard football fan, southern comfort food, country music, an obsession with Chevy Silverados and cowgirl hats), I have never really been that big of a fan of sweet tea.

Until I discovered that sweet tea was just that....sweet tea. Suddenly I realized I didn't have to stand for the insane amounts of sugar that Cane's or McDonalds put in their sweet tea. So I started my age old favorite: A palm of sugar and a dab of lemon juice. Me and my sweet tea have a friend....his name is Arnold Palmer. :)

#3: Siracha! This fiery goodness and I have been long lost lovers my whole life! I used to stare at this in my fridge when I was younger, bewildered by its presentation. Why in god's name does hot sauce have a rooster on it? Convinced that it contained remnants of a rooster's gobbly-gook, I wrote Siracha off like a girl spewing snide comments.

But we all know that first impressions are generally wrong. After hearing everyone rave about Siracha, I attempted to put it in my soup. Boy, did I fall in love. Soup. Salad. Salmon. Stir-frys. Today I went Siracha-crazy and added it to my mongolian stir fry.
I had broccoli, baby corn, tofu, water chestnuts,  and miracle "zero-calorie" noodles for lunch today. 

 Well, off to figure out the best recipe for a Black & White cake! Have a great day y'all! 

I'm not very ladle-like.

Like my witty puns? *Giggles to self*

The truth is, I ain't no southern belle. . .but I sure love traditional domestic qualities that I have. I can't wait for the day I'm able to race home from work and cook my future husband a delicious meal every night. That being said...here are five recipes I want to tackle in my lifetime.

  • Sourdough Bread. I want to be able to make the starter myself, as I've heard it's extremely difficult.
  • Baked Alaska
  • Beef Wellington
  • Coq Au Vin ( a casserole of chicken pieces cooked in red wine)
  • A Croissant 
Sorry for the short post, back to studying!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Comfortable Core

When I hear the word core, I think of an apple core. How we keep biting in to a luscious apple only to reach the center, its inner support that takes forever to get to, but when you do you're satisfied that you've finished an entire apple. Or you're pissed and you grab another apple. I'm slowly getting the mindset of eating an apple. I keep wanting to make choices/ bite a bit of the apple off that would cause me to get to my core...my optimal weight.

So this morning I went off to yoga class, thinking I would read on the stair machine afterwards. Little did I know that my yoga class would be taught by the yoga equivalent of Jillian Michaels. I have to admit, in the middle of forward pose-something or other-downdog-updog-giving-birth pose plus push ups and sit ups and triceps reverse push ups, squats, planks, and sumo wrestler moves, *takes a big breath*.... I felt like I was going to puke.

I'm pretty sure I did more squats today than what my boyfriend used to in football class (sans the weights).

For Lunch, I had two hearty bowls of minestrone soup + an extremely thin slice of freshly made whole grain bread. Mmmm-mm! I put Siracha in my soup and it gave it the perfect flavor.

A few tidbits: 

Yesterday, I made my first ever caramel macchiato by myself! It was extremely delicious, seeing as I'm not normally a hot coffee fan. I used 1 tsp of caramel Torani syrup + 1/2 cup of organic vanilla soy milk + 2 shots of espresso. While the espresso was brewing, I added the tsp of caramel syrup and kept swishing the cup around, so that the espresso would instantly blend with the syrup. Afterwards, I let it sit for about a minute while I frothed 1/2 a cup of vanilla soy milk from a fresh thing of shelf stable vanilla soy milk. This way, it heated up correctly and within 30 seconds. I pored it into my espresso and created an eyeball rolling drink for almost 200 calories. 

Last night my kindle was mysteriously hiding behind my pillow. How creepy! Has this ever happened to you, kindle owners? I'm beginning to think my kindle is going to develop the power to take on the life form of one of the characters embedded within its memory.

Yesterday, I was admiring the lampshade I made prior to coming up to school. While I don't necessarily like the girly girl feel that it has to it...I'm pretty much insanely proud that I managed to make a lampshade for under $10! 

I'm reading this book called Left Neglect by Lisa Genova. It's going on my list of favorite books. It's about a lady who loses the ability to see the left side of everything. It's the same author as my favorite book, Still Alice. I wish I had a book club. All I have is a gruesome world literature class with thirty people I don't know. For any of you readers out there, please leave comments with book suggestions or recipe suggestions on any post you desire!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How Flaming Hot Cheetos Ruined My Life (and my digestive track)

At some point in all of the blogs that I make, I advertise this Cheetos essay I wrote in high school. Now I know it isn't the most grammatically correct story, but it's my journey through one of my many food addictions and I'd like to share it with any new followers I may have.  Currently I'm working on a Starbucks addiction essay...can't wait to show everyone!

How Flaming Hot Cheetos Ruined My Life: True Story

Hiding out in the depths of a plastic bag are dozens of scrumptious scorching starchy sticks. These malicious sticks have a keen sense for susceptible mouths; they suck people into a horrid, dirty, spicy habit. Unlike any other Frito-Lay, they are fueled by hot peppers that ignite their incentive to kill taste buds. Among every person there is a hidden desire for the fire inviting Flaming Hot Cheetos. They do not suddenly appear in a shopping cart, but they inconspicuously hide behind other chips on the junk food isle, waiting to creep into a customer’s view when the time is right. Be aware: they are really just waiting for the perfect person to stumble upon their packaging. Once they have convinced the unsuspecting victim to purchase them, they initiate their plan to stain fingertips forever, through thousands of accomplices. They are not as innocent as they sound; they are a nasty, dirty, god-forsaken, bowel-destroying addiction that can lead to the destruction of the indulgent’s life, as well as digestive system. I should know; I was that unsuspecting victim two years prior to the record of this addiction.

In the beginning Flaming Hot Cheetos are not posed as a threat; but a mere addition to any home’s junk food shelf. For me, it started with the simple task of craving a light, fluffy, airy snack, and attempting to satisfy that craving with a little spice. At first my taste buds rejected them, knowing that the Cheetos were up to no good yet I continued to have a few more here and there, when I wanted to spice up my meal. A handful once a week was all I believed necessary, but it was equivalent to a jailbird’s first civil tort. At first I only noticed little difference in the regulatory movements of my bowel, but I figured that was only temporary. I told my rectum to relax, it was only a one time thing.

After that first bag, a craving for another is apparent: Flaming Hot Cheetos are on the grocery list for good at this stage in their evil plan to take over the victim‘s digestive system. No longer are the Cheetos at the level of a civil tort; they are creeping into the category of a criminal, but they are not yet on any ‘Wanted’ lists, as they have not become a threat to society. The only thing that can be tracked at this point in the addiction is their fingerprints-red, greasy, and smudged in various places. I had yet to experience any real problem socially until the time they secreted a mass amount of their secret spicy ingredient into my gastrointestinal system. I did not know true pain until one day, after a week of constant indulging of the Cheetos, I was out with my boyfriend on Valentines day. We had just finished dinner when I suddenly felt the effects of the Cheetos linger low in my intestines. Without saying a word, I clenched my butt cheeks and made way for the nearest restroom. What was once a simple snack was becoming a menace to not only my digestive track, but my love life. Obviously after that all romance of the night was lost (I was not so attractive after all of that grunting). Instead of glaring at the Cheetos for ruining my anticipated romantic evening, I grabbed the bag and ate until my fingers were red with Valentines day spirit.

After the first encounter with the consequences of Flaming Hot Cheeto addiction, the indulgent no longer regards the complications-instead, they become blind to the problems that are arising in their life. I should know, I experienced this from Valentines day forth, when Flaming Hot Cheetos took a toll on more than just my love life. My little brother had become addicted at a faster rate than I had. Being the older sister, my parents blamed his problem entirely on me. I wanted to turn the Cheetos in to the police, but I was in denial. They were not the criminal, no, not at all. My brother and I were simply innocent bystanders to a false accusation. I was no longer alone in this battle; my little brother and I went through two bags a day. We were on a taste bud killing spree. One day my boyfriend came over unexpectedly, catching me in the act of placing a Cheeto in my mouth, and snatched the bag from me. He threw them into the old chandelier in my entry way, unreachable to anyone. I tried to resist the urge for a week, but went in to full blown relapse one day after running on an empty stomach. Not only did I retrieve the bag by drastically jumping off of my staircase, grabbing the Cheetos, and landing on the couch with perfect form, I rescued the Cheetos from imprisonment. This should have been a sure sign that I was an addict at my peak, but I mindlessly inhaled the entire bag. Instead of having a irritating reaction in my rectum, the very beginning of the GI system rejected the Cheetos: regurgitation occurred. Of course, after this I had to get the funky taste out of my mouth. Luckily there was a bag of Cheetos nearby.

After Flaming Hot Cheetos successfully destroy the indulgent’s GI system and personal relationships, they either continue their path to complete and utter destruction or they are found guilty on many counts and thrown forever into a garbage can. After my little brother was sent home from school for having diarrhea in his pants, he swore it upon himself to never have another Flaming Hot Cheeto in his life. Though I was twice his age, I agreed completely. I made it my summer goal to extinguish the fiery addiction. At first, I had trouble eating regular foods. Thanks to my caring doctor, I obtained a daily dose of a drug that would restore proper acidic levels in my stomach. By the end of the summer I had regained the nutritional trust of my family and my boyfriend finally forgave me for ruining so many dates with my excessive bathroom visits. Now, I cannot say that I have not had the urge to purchase a bag, but I find that when I have a relapse, I quickly lock the Cheetos up in a little jail I call my handy garbage can when I realize what I am getting myself into. It’s been a long time since I had my last bag, and I have no desire to indulge in such a criminal of a Cheeto ever again, I think my butt would personally throw me in jail.

The account of becoming and kicking the addiction of Flaming Hot Cheetos has helped me realize the extent of what my addiction truly was. Luckily, the Cheetos are guilty as charged and remain behind bars under the surveillance of local grocery store cameras. My gastrointestinal system is back and functioning better than ever-I recently wrote a letter to my rectum apologizing for all of the damage I must have caused it during my addiction. If ever I find myself craving just one little nibble of such a fiery snack ever again, I will be sure to take a few Exlax, just to remember what it was like. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Are you there Beano? It's Me, Morgan.

Forgive me for the title, but I must say I should NOT have had so much pizza last night. I know what you're thinking. Wasn't she on a diet? Well, yes. Yes I am. But when you wake up at 5am for a flight and that flight doesn't land until 9am and you decide to buy a rather interesting gluten-free burrito at the healthiest place in the airport....

then you have a stale soyjoy protein bar before a cold nap...

Trust me. I needed some comfort food.

Today I woke up lazily at eleven a.m. to a wonderful text from my boyfriend. It's hard being 900 miles away for months at a time, but modern technology makes it so much easier. We chatted on and off, he informed me he broke his chair and thought he might need to go on a diet (this is a perfectly normal day in our lives...lots of humor!).

Instead of going to the dining hall with the girls I remained in my room and had a rather interesting protein bar. I was feeling a little achey throughout my [nonexistent] muscles and decided, since I haven't had any meat in the past few days, that I needed protein. Promax (in Cake flavor) had a whopping 20 grams of protein!! It tasted extremely grainy and chewy, but I quite liked the so-called "healthy" icing on it. I'm not really a protein bar kind of gal...but I am forcing myself to stop skipping breakfast.

+ about 200 calories (I only finished 2/3 of the bar)
After this I trotted off with my girls to the bookstore. I found all of my books on Amazon, so all I needed were some notebooks and binders. What did you do to keep organized in college? I'm slowly trying to figure it out but lack a perfect system. Seems like everything nowadays is electronic. 

Around four p.m. we piled seven people in an extended cab truck and went off to the supermarket. I love grocery hauls! Especially when you're starting fresh. This is what I got: 
Peanut butter, two kinds of soup, black beans, Ohgave nectar, wheat crackers, organic peanut butter (almond butter was $9!! *tear*), wheat pasta, baked cheddar ruffles, oatmeal, dates, and protein bars. 

Eggs, greek yogurt, kale, light mayo, lemon juice, light balsamic salad dressing, spinach, ginger root, frozen strawberries, broccoli, goat cheese and tofu cream cheese.  

I HATE budgeting. But I got all of the above plus laundry detergent, hangers, and school supplies for $60. Whole foods had everything on sale and extremely cheap local produce. That's a plus of living near farmland! 

Last night we all exchanged belated christmas gifts. My friend Jen's parents found a Jack Daniels dark roast coffee. Man, does she know me well! Dark Roast is my absolute favorite. Can't wait to make it in the morning :) She also gave me three very much needed coffee cups. 
Of course, nothing beats the espresso I bought back from home! 
I can't wait to make my famous white chocolate mochas...I mean Hava Java's.... :D 
2 shots of freshly brewed espresso
1 tablespoon of white chocolate Torani syrup *has to be Torani*
1 cup of 2% milk 

Within 10 seconds of the espresso being done brewing, pour it into a cup that has your pre-measured syrup (honestly, I had to try it over 20 times before I figured out how much syrup I personally desired). Swish the cup around. Pour in your milk and add ice to the top :) Enjoy

Another Recipe
2 shots of freshly brewed espresso
1 cup of Vanilla soy milk 

Pour freshly brewed espresso into a cup. Add soy milk, stir, and ice! How simple is that?

Please note that I am estimating measurements. Coffee flavorings are truly tricky because everyone has a different taste that they desire. For example, my best friend hailey uses two tablespoons of white chocolate syrup in her coffee, because she likes it extra sweet. I, on the other hand, am not a huge sweet coffee gal. I wouldn't mind mine with only 1/2 a tablespoon. 

After I got back from the grocery store I had a slice of ricotta tomato pizza and sparkling water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for a bitter detox drink. 

My other best friend, Hailey, had purchased ingredients to make pesto Alfredo. Naturally I was summoned to cook it for her. Originally I had planned on having a little alfredo over a cup of Quinoa....but I, once again, failed to cook Quinoa properly. Something about it always goes wrong. They turned out decent enough to add to my yogurt + nuts in the morning, but did not sound pleasant in place of pasta. So I had about 3/4 a cup full of artery-clogging Alfredo. SO GOOD. 

My pesto Alfredo recipe: 
1 pint of heavy cream
3 tablespoons of butter
1/2-1 cup freshly shaven parmesan cheese (don't use grated!)
1 cup of a white cheese blend
1 tsp garlic salt
A packet of make-it-yourself pesto
1 box of angel hair spaghetti

Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, pour in the heavy whipping cream and soon after add the pesto mix. Once it has barely started boiling (don't scald milk!), add the parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese has fully melted. Add garlic salt and let simmer. Once it seems to be somewhat thin despite the parmesan cheese, add a cup of the cheese blend. Once that melts, taste the sauce. Sometimes I add up to an extra 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. White pepper works best and can be found for about 50 cents an ounce at local indian markets, opposed to $7 a bottle at the grocery. 

Serve over fresh angel hair. It will taste like you've bit into an angel. 

Goodbye y'all! Have a wonderful day, organize a little, do some grocery shopping, and relax. I rearranged my dresser to create a little bit of a hippie space: 

Beloved Books

Wow. I haven't made a blog post in a week! Just a week ago I was sleepily on my living room couch, mindlessly watching the Kardashians and their shenanigans. Now I've traveled 900 miles to lovely Fort Collins, CO, where I will be landlocked for close to three months until I break free for a sunny spring break. I'll miss everyone at home so dearly and I'm already dying to go back...but the friends I have here are so wonderful, genuine, and refreshing that it makes me feel like I need to live in two worlds at once!

That being said, for all of y'all back home...this blog will help you keep a close eye on me as my days blend together like a sweet black-raspberry smoothie (I'm obsessed!). I have an action-packed semester that will need my undivided attention as well as a complex workout plan to get in the best shape of my life. You wouldn't believe the determination that I feel pumping throughout my body. Seven months. Forty pounds. Pumping my fist in the air saying, "I can do it!" 

I know last week I said I would give you a list of my lifetime favorite books. I've picked a set of my modern favorite books as my list of favorite classics are not typically what my friends like.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
 For any of you out there in a nursing major...this one is for you! It's about a prof. at Harvard that is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. I don't want to say its cool to see behind the scenes of someone with Alzheimer's disease, but it certainly gives you a new perspective on life and cherishing time. As does the novel I love below...

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
(see my previous post for the description)

 The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
This novel is in the perspective of a dog! Can you fathom what it would be like to be a dog? Would you poop on your neighbor's lawn just to make them mad (not that I would...)? Or would you eat everything in sight because you don't have to worry about fitting in to any clothes? This is about a dog named Enzo who dreams of being reincarnated as a race car driver. It's a story of love, sadness, and struggle. With an awesome twist...it's hilarious!!!! If you have yet to read this, you must download it on your computer's kindle app, on your kindle, or go to the book store or library IMMEDIATELY. :D I read it during Saturday school detention in high school (in my defense it was because I had bronchitis and the swine flu which made me absent for 12 days...1 over the allotment).

Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz
Alexandra is a cognitive scientist who explains the mind of a dog, where the dog possibly evolved from, how they utilize parts of their body, and more. It's one of the most interesting books I've ever read...because of the footnotes. You cannot skip over them as they tell little stories that take your breath away. They're little interesting tidbits. For example...one of them spoke of how a dog was able to detect an epilepsy attack just moments before a child had one and would NOT allow the child upstairs. Isn't that amazing? This one is quite the read...but worth it if you're an animal lover like me :)

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
Have you seen the previews for the new show?! I just watched the pilot on hulu and it was hilarious. Now, let it be known that I have a very little boyish sexual humor and find Chelsea's obsession with midgets hilarious. Out of her four books, this one was my favorite. The moment when I'm a mother and my daughter turns 16, I'm buying her all of Chelsea's books as a way of telling her what NOT to do.

-I must interrupt-

It's TWENTY EIGHT degrees outside right now. My Arizona butt is NOT used to this.

 Wow, I guess I should charge my phone! 

Well, there are some great books for you to boogie on over to the library for. I'll be back after I grocery shop! Back in Colorado with an empty fridge. 

Sunday, January 08, 2012

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Remember not too long ago the commercial that the girl sang so gracefully, "These are a few of my favorite things"? I used to fall asleep and have dreams about swimming in the area the girl in the video did. But I wouldn't be able to sing. I was rejected from my second grade talent show. That's one of the first things I tell people when I meet them, strangely.

Number One: Going out with my boyfriend, Will. At this dinner I ended up getting a veggie burger of about equal size. Needless to say, I had leftovers! But of course, he ate the whole 1Lb "Denver Mile High Burger" in one sitting.

 #2: Cute tote bags! This was a gift that I received yesterday as a late christmas from my boyfriend's parents. Thank you <3. This is what I want my kitchen to look like when I'm older. Reminds me of www.etsy.com

 Numero trois: Coffee + A good book (that's my kindle) + Health food magazines = A day full of inspiration.

El Numero Cuatro: A vast array of multicolored pens. Nine times out of ten these are always in my purse. I had to devise a system of memorizing lecture notes as well as make it fun for me to record the notes. I'm still in third grade at heart. 

Nummer Fünf: My Camelbak (I usually misspell Camelbak because I live right by Camelback mountain) water bottle. With a straw so conveniently built in, I don't look like an idiot tipping my cup back in class. Without it, I never drink any water. Fortunately the water in Colorado is delicious, which inspires me to drink it more often as well. Right now I'm home for break in AZ and having a hard time hitting my daily intake goal. 
Numero Kuusi: Hot-sizzity-sauce! I even put it in soup (remember how I made soup this morning? Accidentally put worcestershire sauce in it instead of the hot sauce I thought I grabbed and RUINED it...it's still good but pre-worcestershire it was great). 

Nombor Tujuh:  My scarves, oh how I love these babies! I wear them at every possible moment, even when I am in sweats (all of you fashionistas are probably shaking your heads). 

EIGHT: <---thank god she's using English again. Books. My next post will be a list of my lifetime favorites :) 

I'll leave you with eight of my favorite things.  Have a wonderful Sunday!

Citrus & Spice...and Everything Nice!

Let's face it: we've all been there at some point. When we keep relapsing into old dietary habits only to get mad at oneself at the sight of greasy fingertips. I should incarcerate myself for my nutritional deviations. I guess I have to admit it: I ate a handful of Hot N' Spicy Cheez-Its this morning. Prior to the offending act, I had half a small bowl of peach activia with granola. Seeing as I didn't want to have any dairy today, I was already mad at myself. Making matters worse, I ruined my detox with those spicy delectables. So I did the only thing any seemingly sane person would do...

Start cooking MORE dishes.

I baked pumpkin steel oats and then started a pot of day-long simmering spicy vegetable soup. This is a hidden treasure for dieting that I forgot about. My only challenge will be trying NOT to add sour cream and cheese. Good thing it's been banished from my fridge.

I'm not having any dairy the rest of this week. I just read a swaying Vegan's blog that had a whopping TEN facts on why dairy isn't good for you. Her #1 reason was something like think about it...you're drinking milk from a gross, lactating cow. Would you really drink from your lactating dog or cat?

No! I wouldn't. But then again I LOVE cheese. Goat cheese. Feta Cheese. Extra Sharp Cheddar.....See I even capitalize cheese in my vocabulary because I love it so much.

As for the citrus in my pot of detox, I have been having hot lemon tea every morning as per the instructions of Whole Living. I've definitely noticed a difference in my skin. It's smooth, clear, and shiny(from being so clean, not from oil)!

I forgot to take a food porn picture for you today, so I'll just show you my kitty!

This is Anakin. Despite his reluctance to take a picture, he's extra soft and cuddly today! Isn't that nice?

P.s. Sorry for the eye bags. I didn't sleep last night because my boyfriend's family and I told ghost stories for hours upon end. The worst part was they were mostly from experiences that we've all had. Either we are a bunch of nuts, or we just happen to live in semi-haunted houses.

Friday, January 06, 2012

School on the Mind, A Book in the Bind

I feel like Thomas the Train when it comes to this blog. I have to keep on typin', keep on cookin', and keep on trying to sway myself to continue a blog that has so few readers. But, like any challenge, I am not going to back down.

Lately I had been questioning my choice of being a Business Management and Accounting major and English Minor. That was, until a few words fell out of my mouth as I was casually speaking to my boyfriend. "I guess, if I graduate and end up in a job that I am unhappy with...I can always go to culinary school."

I cannot explain the feeling that passed over me at that moment. It felt something like having a great bowl of comfort food (mashed taters!) and being wrapped up in your favorite warm blanket.

Speaking of warm blankets, I have been cuddled up on the couch reading for the past few hours. I just finished a book called Still Alice  that was featured on the Eat Live Run blog.

I have a book I am begging you all to read called What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. Whether you have to run out to the bookstore, order it on Amazon, or buy it on your kindle or nook...do it! My boyfriend's sister suggested the book to me over the summer and I absolutely fell in love. It's about a 40 year old woman who falls off of her stationed bike at the gym and wakes up thinking she's only 30! I will leave the rest of the story for you to stumble upon...


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Excuse Me, Paula Deen...

Make way for the new gal in town!

Alright, so maybe I cheated on my "diet"  new way of living...again. But I truly don't care! The scale said I was two pounds down, so I threw some flower down on the countertops and began expanding my cooking skills.

There could be many readers out there that don't know that I have absolutely no cooking experience. Sure, I worked in a bowling alley snack bar-but that only required knowledge of how to drop a fry basket in some old oil.

Because I live in a dorm with only a griddle, a crockpot, and a portable cupcake maker...I don't get to cook that often. So far this winter break I've made:

  • Chicken Alfredo
  • Biscuits and Gravy
  • Capellini alla Puttanesca (hold the anchovies)
  • Gluten-Free Brownies
  • Mediterranean Bruschetta (many times!)
  • Brat-worsts
  • Homemade Ravioli (three times) with my Pesto-Alfredo-Marinara
  • Those cheese stuffed burgers you saw
  • Phyllo dough stuffed cream cheese/goat cheese appetizers with honey, brown sugar, and walnuts (thanks to my boyfriend's sister)
  • Raw Brownies from My New Roots
Tonight I added: 
  • Buttercrust rolls from Jenna's Blog
  • Jenna's home-made (from scratch!) chocolate chip cookies
I felt like I didn't know some cut and dry basics in the cooking world. Now I know how to make the most delicious, moist cookies. Actually, I'm pretty sure these are the best homemade cookies I've ever had. I also know how to make some interesting rolls. Now, I'm not sure if they tasted like soft pretzels because I lacked actual buttermilk, or because they are supposed to taste like that. Sometimes it's difficult to recreate other bloggers' recipes when you don't know what it's supposed to taste like. 

Today I woke up at a whopping 12:38 PM....

*Round of applause for your bum blogger*

because I know that I won't get any sleep when school picks back up.

When I woke up, I made up for missing lunch by adding it to my breakfast of steel cut oats and fresh granola, berries, nuts, and yogurt. My lunch addition was merely leftovers from last night's dinner that I was unable to photograph for you.

After lunch I carted my old clothes off to Buffalo Exchange, a thrift store that gives you cash in exchange for your old clothes. I was granted almost $50 for a few pairs of old designer jeans that I most likely got at Buffalo Exchange in the first place. Afterwards I went to Victoria Secret's because of their annual PINK sale. Now, if you don't know me, you don't know that I despise the color pink. But I love comfy sweats! As I went in to the "PINK" store...I discovered two pairs of sweats that were each half off! Instead of that dreadful highlighter pink that consumed every shelf, I bought a pair of black sweats and a cute velvety pair of dark blue pants. Oh, how I love feeling so comfy!

Per the usual, I wore the most unsuitable outfit in the kitchen. My new black sweats and a white tank top. As I washed all of my dishes prior to cooking, I soaked the shirt. Unfortunately there were no judges for the wet t-shirt contest. Just my two kitties secretly snickering at me on the bar.

After I started my baking process, I accidentally added sugar to FIVE cups of flower when I was supposed to caramelize it. UGH. I ran outside, chucked the flower out of the bowl, and then stomped my way back to the kitchen. As I stomped, little puffs of white followed my each and every foot-stomp. I looked down to find my new pants covered in white. Smart move, me. After a while I giggled, reminded of how, like me, my grandmother always wears a white shirt when she makes a dish containing red sauce. She always ends up changing for dinner only to splatter it on herself once again at the dinner table. Like grandmother like granddaughter.

All of these ingredients (and homemade buttermilk) turned into the dough-balls below after an hour and a half...

After almost another hour (and lots of N64 time in between):

I finally resided to the couch to get some much-needed studying in after I packaged up the rolls. As I tapped my fingers on the boring pages of my textbook, I realized that I itched to make something else. Without thinking, I headed to the kitchen and began making the soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe I had seen earlier on Jenna's blog. It yielded well over 3 dozen cookies, so I decided to keep a giant bag of cookie dough to make fresh cookies next time my boyfriend comes over. 

 Truly the best cookies I've ever had. Now my tired eyes are going to focus on my Kindle and I'm curling up into my comfy fuzzy blanket.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Feeling Aloe-t Better About my Determination

Like my corny food words? Yeah I get it. I need to stop.

Today I woke up determined to stick to my new years resolutions of eating healthy. I may still have yet to go running, but that doesn't mean I didn't work out. I did some serious shopping today at the grocery store. Thousands of steps were recorded on my pedometer.

Crap. I think I just revealed to you guys that I'm a nerd. I bought as many healthy things as I could think of that could make a number of interesting dishes. I wish I had taken pictures for y'all, but I was a little embarrassed by my messy kitchen. So here comes the old fashioned bullet list.

  • Steel Oats
  • Organic Quinoa 
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Black Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
  • Vine Tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Frozen Blackberries
  • Frozen Strawberries
  • Frozen Blueberries
  • Blueberry Activia
  • Peach Activia 
  • Diet Peach Snapple
  • Diet Green Tea with Citrus 
  • Seltzer Water in a variety of flavors
  • Organic raspberry granola
  • Sandwich-thins
  • Honey Turkey sliced extremely thin
  • Fat-Free cottage cheese
  • "All Natural" cola soda (for those unruly cravings) 
  • Brown Sugar (to caramelize onions)
  • Green Beans (canned and fresh)
Sorry for my inability to keep my grocery list in a categorized fashion. I get SO excited to go to the grocery that I am there for hours, browsing the many varieties of each type of food. It took me a good five minutes to pick out an apple. My friend, Hailey, takes about twenty minutes to pick out the ice cream that she so desires...and then puts it back and gets her original choice that she made right off the bat. 

This morning (rather almost afternoon because I stayed up until almost 5am addicted to finding new food blogs) I made an open faced turkey sandwich with goat cheese and asparagus with parmesan cheese. I tried this new drink called "Alo: Exposed." It's merely Honey, Aloe pulp and Aloe juice. I don't much care for the pulp but overall it's a decent drink. If it causes rejuvenation and a refreshed feeling post-drink, I'll buy it! 

I decided that I deserved a dessert, so I made an apple nut salad. I used walnuts, sunflower seeds, yogurt-covered raisins, sliced almonds, and honey. I sliced a half of an avocado and sprinkled fresh ground pepper over it. Even my kitties were trying to eat my delicious dessert!

As for dinner, it was ABSOLUTELY amazing! Unfortunately my fat ass forgot to take a picture of it. I sautéed onions, tomatoes, black beans, corn, and spicy taco flavors in a pan and then added brown rice. It was my rendition of a mexican fried rice. I added cheese and then stuffed it into a wing of butter lettuce. For dessert I made an amazing yogurt + granola dish with frozen blackberries, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. 

I'm finally proud to tell my readers (rather my friends that are so nicely reading this) what I ate today. Paula Deen's habits have left my kitchen! 

I'm slacking and my cat's crapping

Alright (0) followers (though this is a pity, I do have hope that I will eventually get one person that finds me the least bit interesting), I have failed to follow my new years resolution to "eat healthy." Well, I haven't been that bad. I spent the last two days with my carnivorous football playing boyfriend whom eats like the grocery stores might run out of food.

I love him though, he's my food critic. Tonight I made "mini" cheese stuffed burgers. I made his list of best burgers he's ever had at a whopping #2. His number one remains a prime burger at Houston's (an exquisite restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona). I can live with this.

Now, before you comment on my lack of picture quality and fresh spinach garnish...remember that I am a broke college student. 

Maybe they don't photograph like Carmen Electra, but they were definitely just as juicy. Filled with sharp cheddar and havarti cheese, they were absolutely mouth watering. Scroll down to find the recipe. 

I'll tell you a little bit more about my night: Will (my boyfriend) and I watched Bad Teacher. Usually he refuses to watch any sort of movie with a chick as the main character, but the guy at Blockbuster insisted it was hilarious. It was a riot, I'd recommend it to anyone with a good sense of crude humor. 

Afterwards we broke out the childhood games and played a round of Battleship. Well, it sort of turned into battleshi.....you know where this is going.  

For all of you cat owners, maybe you have experienced a situation like so. My male kitty, Anakin, never liked Will. He used to take steamy dumps on all surfaces that he detected Will's scent on. After a year and a half of knowing Will, he began to like him. The dumps subsided and only the occasional diarrhea after a catnip trip would show up. Tonight I was blog surfing and thought it was sweet that Annabelle, my girl kitty, jumped up on the couch to hang out with me. With the white computer screen contrasting against the surrounding darkness, I couldn't see much of what she was doing. 

I'm sure you know what's coming.

After about five minutes I began to smell a foul odor enveloping the room. She had taken a shit while sitting next to me. Wow, did I feel like an idiot! My cat has mastered the art of ninja shitting. It was in the exact spot that my boyfriend had resided for the past four hours. With him finally gone, she must have felt like she needed to get my attention. Now that I think about it, we cuddled all day yesterday until Will picked me up for a movie night at his house. This is why I'm a dog person.

Now I know I won't get any readers. I have taken my inability to converse with normal topics to a whole new level....

The Burgers (if you still have an appetite after my story)

1.5lbs of all natural 20% fat ground beef

1/4 of an onion, minced

About 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce

Fresh ground pepper

A pinch of salt 

Garlic powder

**To add some spice, we added a round of chili spices from a Dave's insanity spice set 

A slice of havarti cheese

About a cup of freshly shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

Roma tomatoes 

Fresh pickles (thinly sliced)

For the amazingly unhealthy but savory buns:

A package of hawaiian sweet dinner roles (if they have the hamburger style ones...get those!) 


Mozzarella cheese 


Mince the onions and add them to the ground beef to your liking. Combine Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, ground pepper, and salt with the ground beef in a bowl. Make sure it is evenly distributed and then begin making burger patties thick enough to make wells in for the cheese. 

Once you have made six bottom patties, place the cheese in the wells. I sliced up the havarti cheese into small squares and layered about two to three squares in each burger. I filled them the rest of the way with the sharp cheddar. Feel free to add any cheese to your liking. These were just the cheeses that I had on hand. 

After you have filled the wells, make thin patties to layer over the top. Press down around the patties and mold the sides into one another until you cannot see a fine difference between top and bottom. 

Before you cook the burgers, prepare the buns. If you were able to get the hamburger buns, lucky you! I could only find the small dinner rolls. For the big burgers that we made, I didn't pull four dinner rolls apart and cut them in half with a bread knife. First you put a slab of mayo on each side and then lay them open-faced on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella cheese on top. Put them in the oven on low broil and MAKE SURE TO KEEP AN EYE ON THEM!

Because of my broke college state, my grill has no gas. Thus, we had to cook the burgers in a skillet. They are much worse for you this way because they have no way of draining. Nevertheless, they turned out DELICIOUS! I garnished each burger with diced roma tomatoes, pickles, ketchup, and mustard.