Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are able to spend Thanksgiving with family or friends and the loved ones that make this holiday so special to share!

I can't wait to share this very meaningful time with my loved ones and share food, time and a special holiday together.

I am very thankful for a wonderful family, great friends, health, a roof over my head and food.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting Back

Hello friends! It has been awhile since I have gotten back into the swing of things since my big move, about a month ago. It seems like longer than that. I haven't so much picked up a dumbbell in the last month...(or 2). Until today.

I did some personal training with Jackie Warner this morning. It literally kicked my butt- all 40 minutes. My glutes were shaking with fear. And walking up the stairs to get into the shower was a chore. I really need to get back into the habit of working out because when I am I really enjoy it. It is definately hard when you go through a big change (change is good!) to get back to old routines or even sticking with new routines. I find myself organizing and trying to get other things done because I don't feel fully settled into the new place. Either way I am determined to get back to my old self! Also I am not a 5 minute drive to the gym like I used to be. So when I want to work out it's going to have to be planned on the way home or during lunch on work. A minor setback but nothing that I can't handle. Something just irks me about driving 20 minutes to go the gym.

What are your gym habits, workout routines if any?

You know what is finally back in the stores after a 3 month hiatus?
KOMBUCHA how I have missed you!!!!!!! This will definately help me GET BACK!!

I made Averie's Carmelized Chick Peas for a quick afternoon snack.Very easy to make and definately satisfies the sweet tooth.
I think these will make a great topping on salads.

I made another version of my Eggplant Parmsean, this time I breaded it and baked it instead of grilling it. That may have something to do with the tempature change.

For the breading I used:
1 slice of ezekiel bread, toasted
1 teaspoon italian seasoning

(I still marinated the eggplants overnight)
Dipped them into the breadcrumb mixture and brushed with olive oil.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Not a very thick breading but enough for me. I suppose you could get more breadcrumbs on the eggplant but brushing with olive oil beforehand. Topped with Marinan and Daiya Mozzerella cheese this is a HUGE hit in my kitchen again.

Eating some leftovers today...
I actually like this "soup" better, now that it has sat a couple days and I think the flavors have really come out more.

Hope you have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Cold Weather Meals

Happy Friday!

Less than a week until Thanksgiving is here and I can't believe it snuck up so fast this year!

Look what I found in my garage... well actually Kujo found it.
That is a salamander. Didn't think they could survive the winter months in Wisconsin??? Either way I couldn't find myself to put it outside, I actually let it be, not sure if it will live or die?!!?

Moving on to some yummier things....

My favorite meal in the winter...

Vegan Chili, lots of veggies (lunch portion)
Find my Chili Recipe HERE.

I had some sweet potatoes that I needed to use up as well as some other random ingredients that went along very well with Averie's recipe for Savory Pumpkin, Potato & Carrot Soup.

I used what I had on hand and didn't follow her recipe exactly but I am sure it was pretty much the same soup. 

I used 3 Sweet Potatoes (chopped)
1 can of pinto beans
and 1/2 can pumpkin that I had leftover
1 C carrots (chopped)
salt & pepper to taste
Red Pepper flakes
and some other spicy/savory seasonings on hand
4 C of water
1 cup of vegetable broth as well was mixed in

A great cold weather soup. Couldn't taste pumpkin at all.



Monday, November 15, 2010

Why did I wait so long?

To have this sandwich?

I have ordered a lot of salads & soups from the Rochester Deli in Waukesha, WI  in the past. I have always stuck with the same salad and never swayed much because I really love it. I think I have a new favorite over there. It's called "Grilled Vegetable Panini" and it is filled with grilled zucchini, red onion, sweet bell pepper, carrot and portabella mushroom, olive relish with montrachet cheese. So yummy and the flavors really went so well together. I felt a little indulgent but hey it's okay to indulge every now and then ;)

Have a great week! 


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Clean House.

 I have been having so much looking at all the bloggies Food Buzz festival blog posts. Amazing pictures and looks like everyone had an amazing time.

Meanwhile I have been busy busy busy. Does life ever stop and slow down a bit? Not really. At least it hasn't for awhile for me. I have been on the go go go!!!

I am ALMOST ready to rent out the old duplex. Problem is just when I think I am ready I find out something else needs to be done. Something else broke, the basement isn't clean ETC!!!!

So last Friday I designated to cleaning up that old place. I washed walls and sure they looked purty in a picture...
In reality they really need to be painted. This house is old, really old. Built in 1912. One of the original farm houses in the little city, I am sure. When we were remodeling the kitchen we found paperwork in the walls from the 1920's in regards to insuring, refinancing or selling the home. I found that very interesting.
Anyway the walls are plaster. It would be very expensive at this point to have them drywalled so I opted for some "knock down" or texture on the walls. This was done over the weekend and it looks like this..

I am sure 110% better once there is some new paint on the walls. Which I am planning to do tonight. *sigh*
At least everything is taped up and ready for primer and paint!!

Moving on to dinner yesterday... it was a little of this and a little of that. Nothing too exciting.
Re-heated sweet potato fries in the toaster over. A little burnt and crispy.

Salad with spinach, cucumbers, walnuts, cranberries and goat cheese.
SO GOOD! Eating these until the goat cheese is all gone!

Happy HUMP Day!



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hard Vs. Soft WATER

I recently moved into a house with well water. Well water does not taste good to drink (to me anyway) and it has a funky smell... that is why I got one of those "reverse osmosis" systems put in by Culligan. Basically I am renting it out for a little under $25/month. They installed a little faucet in the kitchen so I can use it for drinking water, cooking, cleaning vegetables, etc. There is a previously installed water softener in the home as well so basically everywhere else in the house has "softened water". This is all very confusing and I was determined to figure out some answers on what is best for drinking, cleaning, and washing.

Basically rain water is naturally soft water, when water comes from the ground it picks up minerals and because of this it is supposed to be good to drink (because of the essential minerals). However like I said, it stinks! It has a rotten-egg like smell to it. Basically the water softener takes all the minerals out except sodium. We put "salt" into the tank to clean out the water softener about once a month.

This is great and all but my main concern was the iron in the water. Will it turn my hair orange? Will the toilets, sinks and bathtub be orange and extremely hard to clean? Will all my precious white clothes turn a dingy shade from soaking in iron filled water?

Apparently you can get additional iron filters that are supposed to help prolong the life of your water softener as well as get rid of any trace amounts of iron. Apparently my water softener is doing a great job of getting most of the iron out but will a hint of iron in the water really matter? That is what I am still unsure of.

Thus far showering in softened water has taken sometime to get used to. It kind of leaves a "slimey" feeling on your skin and to me feels like the soap, shampoo and conditioner are not rinsing out of my hair/body. This was hard to adjust to. I moved out of Milwaukee county and was using city water and didn't really have any complaints. I never really drank the water from the tap (I always filtered it with my Brita pitcher, which I just found out only makes it taste better).

So far it has almost been 2 weeks since I moved into the new place and my hair hasn't turned orange (yet) and I have washed 1 load of white clothes with no noticeable iron-y orange color. My hair is soft and very manageable, my skin is not dry either so really - no complaints. I just need to decide if I want the additional iron filter for close to $2,000. I am not sure if it will be worth the cost if the water softener is doing it's job.

Do any of you have well water or a softener at your home? Any advice that you could give would be well appreciated.

For now I will be sticking with the drinking water coming from the reverse osmosis system.

My take everywhere drinking bottle.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hot Bar & Halloween

I was in the area of Good Harvest Market today during the lunch hour, why not stop by for some delicious organic hot bar food????
That was a whole bunch of vegan veggies and I am really stuffed. This was too much for me and almost $12 so next time I think I will get a smaller container when I approach the hot bar, my problem is everything smells so good, and my eyes are bigger than my stomach! ;0

How was everyone's Halloween? I did NOT pass out candy. I just moved into a nice suburban area and they did trick-or-trick from 6-8pm on Saturday night. I was not home to pass out candy but if I would have been I would have loved to see all the kids dressed up!

I, however did dress up and get fancy for Halloween, because I love dressing up!

I was a "rabbit in a hat"
Just missing my bunny ears in this picture
Basically had a top hat as my skirt and a magician's wand in my hand most of the night... haha

My friend Kate as a Greek Goddess
Natalie was a Monarch Butterfly

We had a lot of fun and saw a lot of hilarious costumes.

Can't wait to do it again next year!!!!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Busy as a B

This was a very long week for me. First week in the new house, and a busy week at work left me no time at all to get the new place in order. I was out running errands Thursday evening after work until about 8pm.

I spent about a weeks pay at Bed, Bath & Beyond (my new favorite store). I purchased a down alternative comforter, a duvet cover, some pillows, wall decor and pictures and the price tag was hefty. However the beauty sleep was priceless.

I really enjoyed the down "alternative" comforter, so COMFY! and the Black Leopard matches my room decor very well. I am going with a "Old School Hollywood" type decor. I have a lot of Marilyn Monroe framed pictures as well as James Dean so I think this goes pretty nice.

Being so busy my eats have not been the best lately. Lots of sandwiches and soups.
Grilled Ezekiel bread and Daiya Cheese (Vegan Grilled Cheese) Pretty Tasty!!!!

I wish more of my nights were filled with rest and relaxation, like Kujo enjoying our new fireplace.

    There was a crackle and a pop and he jumped up and started barking... it was pretty funny!

The dogs are enjoying the big yard and I play frisbee with them daily. Here is Kaiya anxiously waiting me to throw the frisbee.
Kujo acts like he wants to run and catch is but is rather slow to actually do anything, while Kaiya leaves him in the dust.

I hope everyone had a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

I had a great weekend with a couple of my besties enjoying some girl time. We dressed up for Halloween and it was a BLAST!!! I will be posting about that soon.