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Plans, plans, plans

Published on April 26, 2013, by in Update.

I have been planning on updating my blog since last weekend. But those plans got blown out of the water by plans to spend more time at the gym. I am currently planning on throwing at least 2 new posts your way in the next 24 hours. One for takeout fakeout Rama Chicken. Seriously, go buy a potato, broccoli, chicken(or tofu) and peanut butter right now so you can make it this weekend. I’ve made it twice for us in the past two weeks, with extra for leftovers to pack in our lunches. It’s so good. And what goes well with peanut butter? Chocolate. Yep, the other is a recipe for vegan chocolate brownies that are super fudgey. And since they are vegan, there is no guilt in licking the batter off the spatula. Mmm mmm mm. Today, I am planning out this next week’s meal plan. Last week I

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Delightful things

Published on March 14, 2013, by in Update.

Here are a few things that I have found absolutely delightful lately. My favorite shampoo and conditioner from high school has been brought back! Hallelujah!! I’ve even gotten compliments on my hair this week. Iced green tea while shopping at Target: Roasted acorn squash topped with coconut butter: This lip gloss: Healthy comfort food( steak, mashed cauliflower, roasted mushrooms, and grilled asparagus): And these little gems from the bulk bins at Whole foods. Dates(ground up) then rolled in unsweetened coconut. They are my new favorite sweet treat. At 40 calories a piece, they have more potassium than one banana. Perfect post workout snack. I’m going to try my hand at making them this weekend. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make me happy.

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Update from the garden

Published on August 8, 2011, by in Update.

My potted plants have really taken off from all the rain over the past week. Look at their progress! The cherry tomatoes are starting to turn: I still don’t have an heirloom tomato growing(frown) but this puppy is going to taste great on a turkey bacon BLT soon: This pepper needs to grow a little more and turn bright red before I can slice it up and dip it in homemade hummus: Fortunately, this pepper has a few friends ready to grow with it: Eggplant parmesan is going to be such a great comfort food on the first chilly days of fall: AND… LOOK AT MY NEW WATERING CAN! There was an unfortunate occurence where I almost launched my other watering can off the patio because it got more water outside of the pots than on them, so I had to buy this cutie:

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Goodbye July

Published on July 31, 2011, by in Update.

July was a great month at Spatoola. It started out with my boyfriend and I moving in together. We love our new place. Here he is at Bed Bath and Beyond picking out a new bath towel for himself that, as he proclaims, is “soft as a baby lamb”. It ended with a visit from my college friend Mel. We went to breakfast at one of my favorite’s, Glenn’s Diner. We split crab cakes eggs Benedict and fresh blueberry pancakes. Their crab cakes are to die for. We spent our afternoon at the pool with our fellow Hawkeye alum, Katie: Then we headed over to the world-famous Newberry Library’s book sale where they had over 120,000 books for sale.  It was super busy and we had to have Mel jump out of the car and go stand in a parking spot so we could park. We are serious about our

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Pots and plants

Published on July 27, 2011, by in Update.

A few Home Depots runs were made when we moved. I went to get a few things and ended up coming home with four more plants. A cherry tomato, a patio tomato, red bell pepper and an eggplant. Yes, I am now up to 4 different types of tomato plants and Brian doesn’t even eat tomatoes! Here’s the storm brewing overhead as I went out to take pictures: Look at the start of my first little eggplant! My poor basil nearly drowned in the storm the other day. There was over an inch of water sitting on the top of the dirt when I got to it, but it’s still growing. Remember big beef and the windowsill gang? They have grown into quite the jungle but have yet to produce a blossom or fruit. I want some heirloom tomatoes! I have some blossoms on my red pepper plant.  A few

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Peeps freezer pops

Published on April 4, 2011, by in Update.

Just when you thought “sugar-free” Peeps were too good to be true and they couldn’t find another way to market their marshmallow chicks, they came out with Peeps freezer pops.   My boyfriend Brian picked up a box of 10 at the bargain price of $1 at Walgrens. A sucker for anything sweet and fearless at trying new foods, he popped them in his freezer and waited for them to firm up. Apparently they were frozen today, as I got an email saying, “FROZEN PEEPS ARE VERY GOOD!” Yes, in caps lock and all. I am quite skeptical of trying them. Every time I think of how sweet and sugary they could be, I have flashbacks to the time I made a catastrophic decision and ordered a cotton candy blizzard at Dairy Queen. I’m sure my curiosity will get the best of me and a Peeps popsicle will be in my near future…

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Candied ginger and ginger simple syrup

Published on January 4, 2011, by in Recipes.

Instructions: The only thing you have to bring to New Year’s Eve is a bottle of top shelf alcohol and the ingredients to make a signature drink. If you know my friends and their level of creativity, that is a tall order. After searching several food blogs, food magazine and top shelf liquor websites, I combined a few recipes and created the Ginger Smash. Also inspired by the incredible Whiskey Smashes I had on Christmas at NoMI with Brock. The first thing I needed to do was to make candied ginger so that I would end up with ginger simple syrup to put in the drink. I mostly followed David Lebovitz’s recipe. I started out with a pound of ginger. Yes, that’s a lot of ginger. Then I peeled the pound of ginger. I used a knife, not the suggested back of the spoon method that was recommended. Next up, I hauled

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A marathon of a brunch

Published on October 27, 2010, by in Recipes.

10-10-10. The Chicago Marathon. While thousands of people were busy running 26.2 miles through the streets of Chicago, I sat back, relaxed and had mimosas and bunch on my patio. Ok, so I got up and ran 4 miles before making brunch…and got passed by the Kenyan’s twice. On the menu was: artichoke quiche red potatoes with bacon grease accidentally candied bacon MCMC‘s apple bacon and cheddar scones I’m going to have to ATTEMPT to do the scones justice and give them their very own post. For today, you’ll have to settle for the quiche and candied bacon. Artichoke quiche taken from weightwatchers.com: Ingredients 1 spray(s) cooking spray 2 tsp olive oil 1 medium onion(s), red, thinly sliced 13 3/4 oz canned artichoke hearts, without oil 1/2 tsp dried tarragon 1 cup(s) regular soy milk 2 large egg(s), lightly beaten 2 large egg white(s), lightly beaten 3 oz regular soy

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Melted leeks and poached disappointment

Published on October 3, 2010, by in Recipes.

I had been excited about making this recipe for a long time. I had found it this summer and stuck it away waiting to make it for one of the first chilly nights, causing my expectations to rise. Well, they rose and they rose and I thought about this recipe day after day. One day, the temperature dropped and so did my love for this recipe. I had already decided it was a keeper and would be great to make as a starter for dinner parties. I was wrong. These are the quantities per person: 1/3 cup melted leeks(about 2 cups uncooked)  1/2 cup cooked quinoa 1/2 cup simmering chicken stock a handful of Parmesan or other hard cheese, grated as finely as possible (about 1/2 oz) 1 large egg( and a tsp or 2 of vinegar to poach) 2 Tbs butter Use mostly white part and a little bit

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Some like it hot…

Published on August 16, 2010, by in Update.

A few highlights from the month of August: Brian and I ran the Elvis 5K at the beginning of August. While neither of us are where we want to be with our running yet, our times had improved from the previous 5K. After the 5K, we showered and got ready to met Aaron who was in town for some meetings. The meeting of Aaron and Brian turned into a draw-off. A Justin Bieber draw-off to be exact.