Monthly Archives: January 2011

Dirty Little Secrets

Do you ever do this?  When you’re all alone and no one is watching?  Ever more than one?

I do, I am coming clean right here and now.  I eat peanut butter straight from the jar no celery sticks or toast conveyers.  Just me, a spoon, and a jar of extra crunchy!

And while I’m coming clean, here’s another one of my dirty little secrets…I watch PortlandiaNot only do I watch it I DVR it! 


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On Dieting

I read an interesting article in the paper today.  It said, in part,

“It turns out our obsession with weight and how to lose it dates back at least 150 years. And while now we say “overweight” instead of “corpulent” – and now that obesity has become epidemic – a look back at dieting history shows what hasn’t changed is the quest for an easy fix.

“We grossly, grossly underestimate” the difficulty of changing behaviors that fuel obesity, says Clemson University sociologist Ellen Granberg, who examined archives at the Library of Congress. She believes it’s important to show “we’re not dealing with some brand-new, scary phenomenon we’ve never dealt with before.””

Do you like that word, corpulent, I think it sounds fatter than obese.  The bottom line of the article is that while we have been weight obsessed in the USA for more than 100 years we are continually getting larger and larger.  As someone who has been hyper-aware of my weight since my early teens I’m growing weary of diets and diet plans and diet surgery ad nauseam.  I also understand how complex the relationship to food is.  It’s very easy for someone to pontificate on only using the most pure, unadulterated foods to fuel the body, but the truth is there are many emotional and personal issues that led someone down the road to obesity.  If it was as easy and stopping when you were full, why then no one would have a problem.  In 1903 La Parle made an “obesity soap” that “never fails to reduce flesh; something called “Bile Beans” was nothing more than a laxative.  I’m not sure I would have tried the beans, but I could have gotten behind a bar of soap that washed away my fat.  All that for a dollar that probably took a whole week to earn.  And this was all before we were planted like zombies in front of computers and TV’s. 

How do we change?  If I had the answer to that question I would not be working for Mr. Corporation these days.  I can only continue to try to figure out what works for me…Which brings me to my sandwich lunch today.  Look at me changing up my sandwich filling two days in a row, told you, I live on the edge.  Today it was Three Pepper Hummus.  Normally I like to make my own hummus but this is a tasty alternative, with a pile o’ greens and some tomato.  If only I’d had an avocado it could have been perfect!

I know, it looks suspiciously like yesterdays sandwich, but trust me…

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Packin’ It In (to a sandwich of course)

One of my favorite lunches is a sandwich.  Practically anything tastes better between two slices of bread.  It’s packable, totable, and most of the time doesn’t make a mess (unless it’s one of those really drippy vegan meatball subs with daiya that I’ve been dreaming about lately).  Even now that I work from home I like to make myself a sandwich around noon.  My go to sandwich lately has been Amy’s Bistro Burgers which I dress up with a variety of toppings.  But I needed something new, something to break me out of my burger rut.  I may have mentioned but I get into food ruts frequently.  One year I ate hummus and pita triangles for lunch every day for the entire year…compulsive much???  I have to force myself to mix things up so today I tried some Tofurkey Peppered Deli slices.  I never really cared for deli meats when I was a kid and mom was packing the sandwiches, my preference back then was brown sugar on white bread (no butter please) or Cheez Whiz on white bread.  Yep, I actually ate that for lunch!  So trying these vegan lunch meats was really breaking me out of my comfort zone.  That’s me, living on the wild side every day 🙂 Back to the sandwich itself.  I didn’t go too crazy, just some whole grain mustard, lettuce, and tomatoes on a sandwich thin.  Hmmmm, I liked it, maybe I’ll have it again tomorrow.

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What do you mean there’s only one week left in January?  I am such a procrasinator,  that should have been my New Year’s resolution…QUIT procrastinating.  I am off to an extremely slow start this year and my plans to have my Etsy store up and running by the end of January don’t look like they’re going to materialize!  Ha, that’s kind of a pun because my store s going to sell fabric articles.  The excuse of too much work has been valid what with having actual employees I have to do year-end evaluations and 2011 objective plans for.  Last year it was just me and my excuse was too much time spent on homework.  One day I may run out of excuses but I certainly don’t want that day to be too late.  So I may be more about crafting and less about cooking for a while but it all ties in to a healthy, happy vegan lifestyle, right?

Some cool things I got for Christmas BTW:

From the top, Cutensils from Mod Cloth, mix and match cutlery that really is too cute, biscuit cutters and measuring spoons from Crate and Barrel, no more using a water glass to cut biscuits and I can finally retire my cheap spoons that are bent from being slammed in the drawer. And finally a beautiful Aladdin bowl to transport or store that leftover oatmeal or soup in.  It has bunny art by Kitazawa on top. 

Also two lovely new bird feeders from D.  These will keep my feathered friends fed all winter.

One for the seed eaters

and one for the hummingbirds

Last but not least, a wonderful herb garden pot that I can’t wait to plant.

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Whaddaya Mean More Oatmeal

Come on it’s National Oatmeal month so indulge me in one more post about oatmeal.  This one was so yummy I had to share.  I adapted a recipe that appeared in the USA Weekend magazine that comes in my Sunday paper for use in my rice cooker, because that’s just how I like to make my oatmeal.  If you’ve never tried it and have a programmable rice cooker you must try!  The original recipe for Black Forest Oatmeal appears on the magazine’s website.  It was developed by the author’s of  Three Many Cook’s an awesome blog written by a mom and her two daughter’s who find life revolves around what happens in the kitchen.  You can watch the video demo of the girls making their oatmeal.

Here’s how I changed things up for my rice cooker and cut it down to serve two instead of four:

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate soymilk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 c steel-cut oats (I actually used Pompanoosuc Porridge from King Arthur’s but the main ingredient in that is steel-cut oats
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 c dried cherries
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 2 T toasted chopped almonds

Place milk, water, oats, cocoa powder and cherries in the rice cooker pot.  Set for porridge and go clean the bathroom or shower and get dressed.  When you hear the rice cooker signal it’s done (mine plays a little tune) add the almond extract.  Serve it in a special bowl, top with toasted almonds, and eat with a polka dot spoon.

Ingredients assembled


The spoon is not strictly necessary but if you use it you are guaranteed to have a great day!

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National Oatmeal Month

Did you know it’s National Oatmeal Month?  This was news to me, but then again I lead a sheltered life.  And oddly enough I just learned that McDonald’s is starting to serve oatmeal, alas it is not vegan so I’ll not be partaking.  I’m an oatmeal kind of breakfast person, when I’m not sucking down a smoothie, so this got me thinking about the different ways you can enjoy oatmeal.  Picture me as Bubba saying, “There’s oatmeal hot in a bowl, oatmeal cookies, oatmeal granola, baked oatmeal, pan-seared oatmeal, and the list goes on”.  I chose to make it hot and bubblin’ in my rice cooker this morning.  I added a banana that came home in N’s lunch bag looking a little worse for wear but edible nonetheless.  After the charming cooker played it’s little “I’m all done” melody I topped it with some blueberries, toasted almonds, and a half a packet of Justin’s Maple Almond butter that I had purchased for traveling awhile back.  Just the perfect morning meal.  I’ll have to incorporate oatmeal into more recipes this month since someone felt it was awesome enough to give it it’s very own month.  Here are some other things you can do with oatmeal, and a list of 10 reasons you should eat it to begin with.  Let’s get our oatmeal groove on in January (really, I never say the word groove I don’t know why I thought I could get away with it now)!

The breakfast bowl.  And check out the handle of the cute spoon poking out of it.  The cats got me a set of mismatched silverware called Cutensils (how adorable is that) from ModCloth for Christmas.  They’re quite the excellent on-line shoppers and who cares if they have trouble with fur and tape, it’s the thought that counts, right?


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Time Out

Occasionally the cats are naughty and have to sit in the corner to have a time out.  Today was Dino’s turn:

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