I did in fact make myself a batch of apple cider pancakes on Tuesday morning. I felt like there was need for celebration. Being engaged on Thursday and then finding out about getting a new job on Monday calls for celebration. I perfected the apple cider pancakes by leaving out the chunks of apple that I had added to the batch I made for Stephen and I.
I still miss butter though. Greasing a pan with butter is by far the best method. I just realized I could have gotten some lard but then everything would taste a bit porky and it is only a few more days before I add dairy back into my diet. I find coconut oil makes the pancakes extremely dark and ghee leaves an aftertaste.
A little solo batch of pancakes for just me! I sat at the table and ate this stack of pancakes with a big smile on my face. I am very excited to be starting a new job. It will be a nice change to get away from the corporate and very routine days at Starbucks. I will miss all the partners I work with but this is a really good thing for me. I start for a few hours today, there will be more to come on this in the future weeks while I am transitioning away from sbux.
Yesterday was a pretty awesome day as well. I was able to see my friend Claire who I have not seen since maybe March? It was so awesome to see her and chat with her about things that I didn’t think I could chat with anyone else about. Things that I feel sometimes make me an outsider, to be able to talk to a friend about these things was like an awakening. It felt so nice not to feel like an outsider anymore and to feel comfortable and understood…… It was a really awesome visit. : )
My brother also stopped by yesterday. It is always nice to see him. He and I live pretty different lives but it is really important to me that we stay in contact and connected. Good thing he was here because a technician was coming to replace my windshield but upon arriving told me he couldn’t do it. When I called and made the appointment they didn’t say anything about needing off street parking. We fight for spots in front of the house. No driveway here. So Andy followed me down to the shop where they could replace the windshield and brought me home. It really wasn’t that much of a problem. I just like to have a plan. Andy left after that and it was time for me to get cracking on dinner.
I guess this dinner could be considered celebratory. Stephen and I are on a mission to cook pork well. It is not my strongest point. But this meal was a winner.
Apples and Pork Chops:
I set the oven to 425 and chopped the apples and the onions. I threw them in a bowl with a bit of dried sage and thyme and a little salt and pepper. I sprinkled both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper and brushed them with olive oil. I put the remainder of the olive oil in with the apples and onions and tossed it around. I spread this mixture on the bottom of a cast iron skillet, you could use a baking dish, and placed the pork chops on top. This went in the oven for 15 minutes. Then I sprinkled the sucanat on top of the apples and onions as I flipped the pork chops over and cooked them for another 35-40 minutes.
YUM! The apples and onions with the dried spices were really wonderful. They complimented the pork super well. I think Steve and I are still learning to like pork. I don’t know if we will ever love it. Needless to say we were very full after. Which didn’t help the fact that I had asked Steve if he wanted to take a ride to the mall and help me pick out a few new shirts. It might have been more of a problem if I was looking for pants because I was stuffed. Stephen was very helpful in our quest for shirts. I am VERY picky and I just don’t understand the styles. Plus most of the stores I go in the music is obnoxiously loud and the sales people are always hounding you and following you around. If I knew it would fit I would just sit on my couch and order clothes online. I guess I am at a strange age. All the young adult type clothing is geared towards what I consider kids or the clubbing crowd. What do normal people wear? Where do they shop? I don’t want to prance around in spandex and big sweaters or jeans that are so tight if I sit the seams might burst. But I also don’t need to look like an executive and I do not want to be in sweatpants all the time. I am a lady! Not a mom, or a pre-teen or a dancer in a night club. What do I wear? We were able to find some shirts at h&m and I hope to find some pants at the Wrentham Outlets this weekend. Thats the other problem, I will not spend $45 on a top or $63 on a pair of pants. Generally I buy all my clothes second hand. I had stopped at Savers earlier in the day and remembered why I generally do not go in there at this time of year. All of their Halloween attire is all over the place. It stressed me out so I left.
Anyways, hope everyone finds sunshine on this rainy day. At least it is rainy here!
It is no secret that I have a mild obsession with all things pumpkin! But let me fill you in on another little secret…..APPLE! I have an even bigger obsession with all things apple. This weekend was a big hit for apple in our house! It started when Stephen and I went out to buy a gallon of cider from Dartmouth Orchards. This is the first cider we have had all year! I had been looking forward to the weekend they would start pressing. And it was finally here. I had ideas flowing through my head before this day came. While out with my Mom on Saturday I picked up some local maple syrup to accompany the apple cider pancakes (gf of course) I would make on Sunday. Sure to be a big hit with Stephen.
And a hit they were. The only thing I would have changed is not putting the apple chunks in the pancakes. Then it would have been a more consistent pancake and more like the thin crunchy pancake Stephen says he loves.
Apple Cider Pancakes:
Mix all the dries and all the wets together. Start with the lower amount of apple cider. Combine the wets and dries but don’t over mix. If the batter is too dry add more cider. I feel like I always end up adding more. Then you are set to go ahead and cook pancakes how you usually do.
They were very tasty. Especially with the maple syrup.
Later for dinner we had yet another dish with apple.
I know you can’t really tell what’s in there. But it is the most delicious and simple dinner using all seasonal and local ingredients.
After the potatoes had boiled a bit we took them out and added them to a pan of cooking onion and apple and breakfast sausage. This had to cook for quite some time. We were hungry and wanted to speed up the process. Part of the problem was surely that we overloaded our pan. Oh well. This was very very tasty.
We were especially full after paring this with the leftovers on Sunday night. This squash was our favorite so far this season. Very sweet like an acorn but not as starchy as the last one we baked. YUM…
This morning of course it was apple cider oats. Very simple cook your oats in apple cider instead of water or milk. I also added some cinnamon and nutmeg. So delicious. Way better than those little packages of apple oatmeal.
Stephen and I also went for a run yesterday. Steve used to run for UMASS Dartmouth so he knows a lot of trails and paths in the area. It was so nice to be outside working out with him. I know that I slowed him down in the beginning. I usually give myself more of a warm-up than he gave us. But it was really encouraging to be running next to him. I did the first mile with him. That is my goal these days. Starting slow! And then he went off on another path to finish his run and I alternated running and walking back to the car. I was sweaty when I finished. It was nice to run outside though. Really cool to feel the coolness of the ground under your feet. I hope we do this more.
My awesome parents sent me home with these beautiful flowers Saturday. You know because I am engaged and all now. To keep you up to date. I think we have officially set a date. September 22, 2012. We have our fingers crossed for a place but we won’t know for sure for a few weeks when we get some other news. I know that was vague. We have a working guest list. I think it is done plus or minus a few names. And I have started working on a menu and looking at dresses and invitations. I know it has been less than a week but I do not want to be one of those crazy brides stressing over the next year. There are alot of things planned for 2012. A new baby in the family (YAY amanda and aj), hopefully we will be moving to a more country setting, the whole growing season, and then our wedding. It will be here before we know it. Plus we need to get through the holidays. All a lot of fun. But I want to be prepared especially because we plan on doing a lot of it by ourselves.
I will leave it at that. Hope you all have a stress free Monday!
Last night when I came home from work it seemed like any old night when I come home from work. Stephen was listening to music and reading on his computer as I disassembled my lunch box and entered the bathroom to brush my chompers. We had talked the night before about if we were romantic. Neither of us thought we were a very romantic couple. Although let me point out many friends would argue with this considering we lay in bed holding hands and listening to This American Life and often leave notes around the house for each other. We had planned on trying to be romantic when I got home from work. Whatever that means. I sat down in my usual chair and Stephen in his usual rolling chair. He rolled over to me and gave me a big hug, then backed up and said “what are you thinking about”. This is very normal for Stephen to ask me. He generally asks me this a few times a day. I responded my usual “oh nothing” and smiled. He backed up a little more and said “well I have a question.” He rose from his rolling chair got down on one knee and said “will you marry me?”. It was so casual, so genuine, so normal, so us! No glitz and glamour and nothing extreme. I was confused, shocked, caught so off guard. I obviously asked him if he was serious, he gave me the ring that I had been obsessing over online for a while now and told me to put it on. “Yes” I said and put the ring on. We hugged for a bit and smiled a lot. He asked if there was someone I needed to call. My Mom of course, is that what you do in this situation. I half wished she was here so I could give her a giant hug. I am sure if she was here I would have been balling my eyes out! The whole proposal was so simple and fit to us so well. It was perfect and romantic. So, we are getting married!
I am getting more and more excited as time passes because it is becoming more real and I am realizing what just happened. A little on my ring. The pattern on the band is sunflower! The ring was bought off etsy from Down to the Wire Designs. It is lined with rose gold. The whole reason behind the gold being on the inside of the ring rather than the outside for all too see is because well the 4th finger on the left hand is believed to have a direct connection to the heart. Our love is not for everyone else, it is just for us, hence the precious gold on the inside! I am getting so excited just writing this post, I almost can’t finish my oatmeal! Needless to say, exciting things to come.
I treated myself this morning to Pumpkin oatmeal with sucanat sprinkled on top and almond milk and some crofters jam. Much more sweet than I am used to in a bowl of oatmeal. But still delicious!
Just to recap on the cleanse:
Hope everyone has an excellent day! Make sure you tell someone you love them today!
I had very high hopes yesterday. I woke up early and went to the gym. I did my usual cardio machine and then thought to myself, “I can do anything, I can do anything, yes I am going to run a whole mile.” Running is not my strong point. But I have been trying to keep the attitude that, yes, I can do anything. So I got on the treadmill and I ran a mile. I kept telling myself that I could do it. And I did it. So that made me pretty happy. I went on with my day and arrived home remembering I had a giant zucchini in the fridge that I should make into zucchini bread before it is too late. I was almost high with excitement for this zucchini bread to come out of the oven. Right after putting it in Stephen came home earlier than expected. I was now even happier and even more excited. Finally it was time to sit down and eat lunch and enjoy this zucchini bread that I expected to be perfect. When I cut into it….MUSH. I was crushed. All over this silly loaf of zucchini bread. I was letting it ruin my whole day. Looking back on it I am embarrassed about how I acted.
Acceptance is sometimes very difficult. Especially when you have such high expectations for something. But acceptance is also very important in living a happy and healthy life. The simple fact is that I know better than to put such high expectations on any GF baking. The chances of an imperfect outcome are very high. GF baking is not easy. Sometimes things just do not work out, and I must accept that! And today I have.
I also need to accept that just because one dang loaf of bread does not come out right does not mean I am never allowed to try again, never allowed to step foot in the kitchen or that Stephen will cook all our meals for the rest of our lives. It just means one loaf was not stellar. There are things I am really good at in the kitchen. One mistake does not equal failure. (ps. if it wasn’t for Steve’s sincere dedication and encouraging words to me yesterday I might still be fuming over this silly zucchini bread) I still can experience victories in the kitchen even with the one imperfect product.
And so, I ground my own grains yesterday! Yes I ground whole buckwheat groats and whole rolled oats into buckwheat and oat flour. I just used my simple “non-fancy” blender and voila!
Those are the oats turning into oat flour.
And the buckwheat flour that I ground. I thought I would have needed a very expensive blender to grind my own grains. No way! I have a cheap blender we bought at Target when we moved and it worked like a charm.
Since lunch didn’t really work out the way I had planned, Stephen requested oatmeal. This is something I rock at! I have never been disappointed in my ability to make oatmeal. I cooked a few apples with cinnamon and sucanat and added them to our oatmeal with pecans and dried cranberries. Stephen was proud of me and so was I.
The apples are hiding under the cereal. After lunch we walked to the health food store and picked up some pumpkin and other goodies. We walked back with our groceries and listened to some radio shows and talked about what we would be discussing at our meeting later that evening (more on this in the future). We cooked a winter squash, split it in half and each had a bratwurst link for dinner. It was very tasty.
This morning was yet another victory in the kitchen. Peach Pumpkin Oatmeal.
Peach Pumpkin Oatmeal:
Add everything but the peach to a small saucepan and cook until desired consistency. The peach I added just as I turned off the heat on the stove. It was very tasty. I might have eaten it a bit too fast. I just enjoyed it so much!
Words of Wisdom for the Day: Make sure you congratulate yourself on all of todays victories; big and small. Move past yesterdays mistakes and look forward to the success of tomorrow!
Today is the 6th day of the detox. Here is the low-down on how I am feeling…
On another note…. who doesn’t love this fall air! I absolutely love waking up in the morning and breathing in the cool air! I hope this stays around for a while!
On to a recap because I know it has been a few days since my last post!
Roasted carrots and beets and Portobella mushrooms with onions. These were made with the intention of topping a salad but I just didn’t have room for salad too. A nice clean meal that filled me right up. Usually I might get bored with something so simple. But these veggies did the trick.
I have promised Steve that I give up on pumpkin pancakes. They just don’t seem to come out the way that I want them too. I am totally content with just eating pumpkin in oatmeal and smoothies as far as breakfast goes. These might look good and they were edible, but no my fav!
See Stephen’s purplish thumb? He made a bunch of red kraut and I made a few jars of dilly beans on Saturday. We will have lots of fermented veggies in a matter of weeks. No better way to give back to your gut than feeding it some beneficial bacteria!
We enjoyed a delicious tuna salad for lunch! And decided to just relax and watch a few movies. Due Date and Little Fockers. Not as funny as I wished they had been. But it was nice to cuddle up on the couch and spend time with Stephen. If you are wondering, YES, Steve did bring all the salad ingredients home from work! They are beautiful and the carrots just keep getting better and better.
And a delicious Pumpkin Green Smoothie to go along with lunch! This was not very sweet. If I was not watching my added sugar intake during this detox I might have added some local honey on the top! I liked it. Stephen added some chocolate syrup to his which is usually a sign that he doesn’t like something. He adds chocolate chips or syrup to them…
I am pretty excited about these! Sweet potatoes! All I did was slice them pretty thick and bake them at 350 for 20 minutes, then flip and bake them at 400 for 15 minutes. I did brush the top with a little olive oil and salt. They taste just like mashed sweet potatoes. So sweet and I melted a little coconut butter on top as well. Coconut butter is like coconut oil but the fiber is included. Yumm. I just made my 3rd batch of these to bring to work for dinner!
Which brings us up to this morning. I had a great 45 minute sweat session at the gym today. It is funny to watch all the senior men socializing with each other. No different than a room full of high school boys really. It felt good to get it done and out of the way. Followed by a wonderful bowl of pumpkin oats and I think I can call that a great morning!
Yumm, topped with a little pb and some jelly!
Have a good day friends!
Today I felt more of the headacheyness that I have been waiting for. No coffee for this barista and I can feel it. I feel a bit sluggish. Maybe even cranky? I miss Stephen. I want him to come home now, but I know it is just a matter of hours. I should take a quick nap before he gets home so I am in great spirits!
I learned something super cool today!
Do you know what this is?
Popped Amaranth Grain! I saw this done on another blog that I follow daily and knew it would be a great breakfast option. Knowing I have a rare open shift tomorrow at work I popped some up to take as cereal. It is really neat! I am not going to say this was easy. It did take a few test runs to get it right. I popped about a 1/4 cup. All you have to do it get your saucepan pretty hot pour about 1-2T in the pan and get ready with the lid! Like popcorn it flies out of control! Shake the pan around on the heat while covered just like Jiffypop. Within 20 or so seconds it should be ready to pour into a bowl.
You could add all types of things to this cereal. Nuts, fresh fruit, yogurt… the list goes on. I added freeze dried strawberries and bananas just like you get in a box of cereal. I am excited to see how it tastes tomorrow at work.
I will top it with a little vanilla unsweetened rice milk (thats what I have open).
I have also made two killer smoothies since starting the cleanse.
Strawberry Coconut Smoothie:
The amounts are not what is important here. Its creamy and delicious and since I turned on the oven to roast some carrots and beets for our salad tonight the house got pretty warm. This smoothie was exactly what I needed to cheer me up! And of course a hot dog with mustard and kraut!
I ate it with a spoon to make it last longer. Very refreshing!
These are the items I have in the works for tonights dinner:
Overall I feel pretty good today. I am tired and cranky but that could be because of a whole number of things. My body feels great. I haven’t noticed the uncomfortable bloat or belly feelings that I have gotten used to. The hives I will give more time to go away. And the deodorant is totally working! Yay, Here’s to never having to buy deodorant that is loaded with nasty chemicals again! I just need to make some for Stephen now….
Off to drink some water and take a cat nap before Stephen comes home :)
So a day started in my detox journey. I think I am mostly excited all day because I am embarking on something new. Knowing myself all too well, this will wear off by the end of the week and then I may become cranky and irritated. But thinking positive, I feel good today.
I woke up feeling like I wanted to sleep in. But I knew my work schedule would be a little different this week and I had to get to the YMCA in case I didn’t get it in for a few days. During my detox I am planning on making an effort to get exercise in. Even if I do not go to the YMCA I might ask Stephen to join me in a walk, especially since these beautiful nights won’t be around for long. If you are wondering, I did start the day with a glass of water with 1/2 a juiced lemon. It is not something to be enjoyed. I drank it very fast to get it all in.
I had a usual bowl of oatmeal for breakfast with a delicious local peach. This was very filling and clearly not as fancy as some of the oatmeal I usually make. Tomorrow night I think I am going to experiment with the puffed amaranth cereal.
I dry brushed before my shower which was a little exhilarating. Rubbing that slightly coarse brush across your skin and really waking your skin up. Feels good. If you don’t know about dry brushing but are interested in detoxing or how to do it there are some great videos on youtube! I also put on my homemade deodorant today. Will let you know how it stands up to a day at starbucks!
I am currently working on a massive salad for my lunch at work tonight. Greens, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, boiled egg, bacon, tomato, mushrooms and a little vinaigrette I threw together. I wanted to make sure it would be very filling. I keep sneaking little pieces of radish and cucumber off the salad while I wait for the boiled eggs to finish and cool. I also packed my detox tea bag and 2 clementines.
Yum! Can’t wait to chow down later! I will probably also pack ingredients to make a smoothie for my short break at work as well. I am trying to be more aware of the fluids I am taking in. I love my h20! But I dislike how often I have to use the bathroom when drinking so much of it. I suppose this is better than not having to go and drinking a ton of water.
Tomorrow will be an interesting day because I am working a short morning shift. I will have the whole after noon ahead of me and most likely a very delicious dinner for Stephen and I. By the way if you didn’t see the post on the baked beans, they were really delicious! They were not as sweet and syrupy as the kind from a can but they were more natural sweet tasting and smelled awesome! I feel like they will be my pot luck staple from now on.
My body and I are preparing for a little bit of a cleanse. I want to run a little detox on myself and eliminate some popular allergens from my diet and then add them back in and see how my body reacts. I am hoping to come to some conclusions on my reoccurring hives and stomach acheyness/bloating. So starting tomorrow I am temporarily cutting out soy, dairy and continuing to not consume gluten. After 3 or 4 weeks I am going to add each allergen back in individually and see how my body feels. I hope you are all as excited as I am to read about this journey! Of course this will call for some inventiveness in the kitchen. Maybe I will even inspire a few friends to join in as well! If so, I would love to hear about your experience.
So naturally I went grocery shopping to prepare for this endeavor! My favorite thing!
A few quick facts about my cleanse:
Here are some things I am looking forward to making:
In an effort to be more natural in all aspects of life during this cleanse I also made homemade deodorant!
I am hesitant to post the recipe until I have tested it out on myself! So look forward to this! It smells super nice though!
They FINALY arrived! I wore them to the gym for the first time today. I didn’t go as hard as I might had liked to. I know you have to break these in, I also forgot my headphones and the book I am reading on homesteading really doesn’t compare to an angry eminem song or something like rihanna. It was probably a good thing because even just wearing them for 40 minutes today I could feel something going on with my hips later on in the day. I love them though! I almost wish I had gotten a second pair. They will be great when Stephen and I go to Vermont and do lots of trail walking!
Yes, I sarahb. ate this bowl of fruity cereal for breakfast today. It was Puffins so not full of sugar like say Trix (which it tastes just like). But it was not my usual hearty bowl of delicious oats. I was in a bit of a rush to see my mom this morning and get errands done and be home in a timely fashion. I tend to lose track of time in the grocery store and wander out an hour later. Plus I thought I should try and use up some of the food I have in the house that I won’t want to eat after tomorrow.
Lastly, we are having our friend Kelly over tonight for a chit chat. More on this soon. Anyways I am making hot dogs and baked beans. You know what happens when you have beans???? No not that! The house smells freakin’ awesome! I can smell the beans in every room of the house and they smell so wonderful!
Crock Pot Baked Beans:
I covered the beans in water the night before and left them in the fridge. In the morning I sliced the bacon and placed half on the bottom of the crock pot. Then I poured half the beans in. I topped this with all the onion and then the last of the beans and the bacon. I mixed the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and poured them over the top. Set the timer for about 8 hours on low and went on with the rest of my day. The house seriously smells amazing. I can not wait to eat these tonight. I did notice they “juice” is not as thick as baked beans from a can typically are but I can also pronounce all the ingredients in this recipe soo……
Also as a note, I have been rushing with my pictures. I have been lazy and not charged the battery in my camera and just keep quickly flashing shots so it doesn’t die. This will hopefully be better soon!
Does anyone else have this problem? I go into the cabinet to take out the peanut butter or raisins or chocolate syrup and realize it says refrigerate after opening and I have been using it for weeks. Most of the time there is no problem with the product so I just toss it in the fridge upon noticing it. I used to always blame this on Steve because I thought I was the queen of knowing what goes in the fridge and what doesn’t. I was wrong. I have this problem too. Really thought, who puts their raisins in the fridge?
This morning I had every intention of getting out of bed by 6am and heading to the gym. I decided that if my body wanted me to sleep longer I would allow myself to sleep longer. I had time to make a few batches of pesto with the bunches of basil that Stephen brought home!
Not the most beautiful of photos, but this is the way Steve told me to freeze the pesto so we could later transfer it to a plastic bag and take out only what we need through the season! I topped my quinoa and eggplant with some or dinner tonight at work. It smells delicious.
There are so many ways to make pesto, this is how I made this batch. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend! I didn’t use pine nuts because they are so dang expensive and I can use walnuts in other dishes. I don’t think I would use pine nuts very often in my kitchen.
Yum! I cannot wait to try this tonight!
I also had time to “burp” my cucumbers I had started about 3 days ago. This simply means I loosen the cap and let some of the gas out of the jar. I did not try the pickles yet, I think they taste better after at least a week. Possibly this weekend we will give them a try.
Finally, for breakfast…. more pumpkin. Today I used apple sauce in place of bananas because I didn’t have any defrosted bananas. I also used the GF hot cereal mix instead of oats. I can’t decide which I like better. I topped this one with pb and raisins again, and some walnuts!
The peanut butter really doesn’t look to pretty in this picture, but it tasted very good!
On another very exciting note Stephen and I are going on our first vacation together in October! Burlington, Vermont here we come! Secretly I picked this place so he would fall in love with it and want to move there someday! Sneaky me, anyways we are both very excited and I booked a super cute bed and breakfast for us for the week with a full kitchen so we will be able to just relax and eat really awesome food and enjoy the beautiful landscapes. More to come on this!