Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Hamantaschen!

I am quite proud of myself. My first ever attempt at making hamantaschen was pretty successful, if I do say so myself. These also got a thumbs up from a few samplers and I hope to share them with others because I do not need all of this temptation sitting in my apartment!

I used a recipe from a great gluten free blogger. Her recipes always sound delicious and this was my first time to try one of her recipes. I did make a couple of swaps for these cookies: 1 cup of gf baking mix and 1 cup of almond meal (instead of blanched almond flour), and 1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce and 1 tbsp grapeseed oil instead of 2 tbsp of oil.

Making the cookies was a fun process. I used a wine glass instead of a cookie cutter and found that wetting the rim of the cup (and my fingers) made the process of rolling and cutting the dough and shaping the cookies much easier since the dough was pretty sticky.

I made 3 flavors - fig, berry, and dark chocolate peanut butter and have sampled 2 of the 3 so far. They are delicious! Light, not crumbly, and a nice hint of almond flavor.  I had 1 for an "appetizer" and one for dessert at lunch and was never really hungry for a proper dinner. The almond meal and no added sugar help make these a healthier treat than most cookies.

I finished off a half serving of tomato soup with a Gone Cracker crumbled in plus some beets, and spaghetti squash for lunch - I was in desperate need of some vegetables.

I managed to run a couple of errands before meeting up with friends for Purim celebrations. At a happy hour, I enjoyed a glass of merlot and a few tortilla chips with salsa.

I must have been tired because I got 11 hours of sleep last night and am just about ready to start my day. I had another egg sandwich and pear, with about 1/4c frozen blueberries on the side.

The sun is shining and I'm going to peruse the farmers market, see a friend who's in town, and spend some serious time with Jillian Michaels for some weight lifting!

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A berry good day so far

My to-do list for today looks a little something like this:
  • bake muffins
  • lift weights / go to the gym (I'm trying to stay fit somehow with the toe thing)
  • make hamantaschen
So when I woke up this morning I knew a few things: a savory breakfast was in order, the sun is shining so I have no excuse to not go to the gym and run errands, and I only wanted to watch the super nerd cool documentary on Pearl Harbor on the History Channel.

So far, it's been a great day!  Breakfast was another egg sandwich (I wonder what my body's trying to tell me here) with 1 egg white and a pear drizzled with cinnamon and about 1/4 tablespoon of PB.

I soon got started with baking project #1 of the day: blueberry muffins! I assembled my ingredients, and used the recipe provided on the box of the gluten free muffin mix I purchased. I made a few changes to the recipe though. I used egg whites instead of whole eggs. Instead of 6 tbsp of butter, I used about 5.5 tbsp unsweetened applesauce and 1/2 tbsp of grapeseed oil. I added 1/2 tsp flax seed and 1 tbsp chia seeds for some extra nutrients and fiber since the mix was pretty "white."

First I combined the egg whites, applesauce / oil, and vanilla.Then I stirred in the flour and almond milk. Next came 3/4c thawed frozen blueberries (including about ~1/8c chopped strawberries that I needed to use or lose), flax, and chia, and then into muffin tins for baking.

The recipe yielded 16 muffins and I was excited to sample one for my morning snack!  These dairy-free beauties weigh in at: 115 calories, .75g fat, .75g fiber each. A pretty great treat to have! They are a bit gummier than a glutinous muffin but moist and delicious nonetheless.

After cleaning up a bit, I got started on project #2: hamantaschen. I followed the first part of this recipe and am now chilling the dough. About to lift some weights and get ready to finish these cookies up so I can get outside for a bit.

See ya later!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fabulous Friday

All around, I'd say that today was a fantastic day. It can't be anything but great when new cookware is involved!

Let's rewind though to recap the day.

I was anxious to give my almond milk a fair try this morning in my hot cereal. In the mix:
  • 1/4c mix of BRM hot cereal and buckwheat
  • 3/4c water
  • 1/4c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4c thawed frozen blueberries
  • 1/2T chia seeds
  • drops of sugar-free syrup
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2T mix of PB and AB

It was a pretty delicious bowl of grains. The consistency was fluffier and creamier than they normally are and I was pretty satisfied when I finished the bowl. I have noticed that my cereal with the sweet potato holds me over until lunch much better than without.

I had a quick morning with a couple of meetings that all went well. I munched on an apple in between and treated myself to lunch at Java Green. It might look like pond scum but this Green Soup was actually fantastic. It's been cold and extremely windy and hot soup sounded like the perfect remedy. The soup had kale, broccoli, kimchi, edamame beans, and rice in a spirulina (seaweed) broth. it was warm, flavorful, and nourishing. No shame in finishing off the whole thing 9this bowl x2.5!


And a special, Harry Potter-esque finish: the spirulina in my  bowl reminded me of divination class where he had to read his tea leaves.

The afternoon went by quickly and I treated myself to these as a fun little snack. Not such a filling pick but it's what I was craving.

After work I met up with my friend, R, for drinks before another gathering we were supposed to go to. We both had a glass of Cabernet Savignon but I only drank about half of my glass. Wine and pain medications don't mix so well. We also had a mini photo shoot at the bar. I'll spare you details and just share the highlights:

Our other gathering turned out to be a major fail so instead, I dragged R with my to buy some new cookware (I guess technically baking...) for a couple of projects I have planned for tomorrow. We managed to entertain ourselves, quoting Old School along the way and having ourselves a grand old time.

My foot really began to throb so it was time to head home for some more meds and ice, with dinner thrown in. The only thing that sounded good was an egg sandwich, which I had alongside the last 1/4c of baked beans and a pear drizzled with chocolate PB.

I also picked up an amazing package from my front desk today. A couple of weeks ago I won a contest on Facebook and was awarded cereal for a week from Nature's Path. I tore open the box to discover these treasures inside:

I am so excited to try all of these different cereals, and share my feedback with you too!

Good food, good friends, new cookware, and new treats = fantastic Friday if I do say so myself. Here's to a great weekend!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Popsicle toes

When I was a kid, I used to crawl into bed on the weekends with my parents and wake them up. What I didn't realize until I was a few years older was that my mom woke up and got out of bed because my toes were always so cold she couldn't stand it! She even made up a little tune that she used to sing about my toes. That's definitely been playing in my head all day as I continued to ice my foot for a good part of every hour today. The good news - I am starting to be able to see the tendons in my foot again, aka a lot less swelling! This is what my bandaging looks like:



I worked from the comforts of my couch right up until 5:30. I then did some exercising just to move a little bit. I grabbed my trusty purple 5lb weights and did some arms, chest, shoulder, and abs exercises. Something's better than nothing, right? And I didn't need to be on my feet to do them.

Lunch was a vegetable plate with spaghetti squash and peas, some roasted carrots, a few bites of baked tofu, and a serving of Alexia oven bake fries, dipped in ketchup. Also a small salad on the side.

Before my "workout" I munched on an apple and a new gluten free cracker spread with some tomato basil hummus.


Dinner was a salad topped with bell pepper, beets, and the last drop of feta cheese plus tofu, baked beans, and roasted broccoli.



I just finished dessert which was a pear with chocolate PB drizzled on top and some cereal.

It's time for one last round of icing and then I'm calling it an early night.

Frozen Foot

As ordered by my doctor, I am working from home today to keep my foot iced and elevated. I'm alternating between bags of frozen peas and strawberries (much better and cheaper than a regular ice pack) and if nothing else, a numb foot can't hurt :-D

I woke up with one thing on my mind, hot cereal ("oats") in a jar! I only had about 1/2T left in the jar and was saving it for a morning that I didn't have to rush out the door. I cooked my cereal on the stovetop before adding it to the jar:
  • 1/4 mix of Bob's Red Mill GF hot cereal and buckwheat
  • 1 c water
  • 1/4c frozen blueberries (added when the cereal was almost cooked)
  • 1/2 T chia seeds
  • cinnamon and a few drops of syrup
  • splash of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze

This was my first time adding almond milk to my cereal and I couldn't really detect any difference in taste. The cereal did seem a bit creamier though which I liked. The taste and idea of milk (in addition to being allergic to it) really weirds me out but I bought the almond milk for a muffin recipe and want to try to put it to good use. I also had my usual egg white.

It's been a busy work morning so I'm going to get back to it. Hope you're having a great Thursday!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Whoa, Wednesday already?!

I can't believe there are only 2 days left in the week. The days have been flying by so far! I kind of feel like I've abandoned my blog responsibilities but I have good reasons, I promise!

Flashing back to Sunday night (ahh, the weekend...) I really didn't do anything too exciting except for cook and prep for meals for the workweek. While at the store last week, I picked up this soup mix which I cooked following the recipe on the package. Since I didn't want to eat bean soup all week, I halved the recipe  and also added some frozen spinach for some color and nutrients. I also omitted the ham and used 2 cups of vegetable broth and 4 cups water for my liquids.

This was my first time soaking and cooking beans (busy girls <3 canned beans) and if planned and times correctly, it's really easy. I was very pleased with the taste, texture, and consistency of the soup. I ate a bowl along with some kale chips and then it was time for Olympics watching and snacking on an apple and my custom granola.

Monday my camera broke and the day was crazy busy from start to late finish (I had to work a program) but lucky for you, my eats on Tuesday were almost identical!  I started my day with an egg white and a cozy bowl of hot cereal with: smashed ~1/8c sweet potato, splash of vanilla and maple syrup, cinnamon, 1/4c blueberries (stirred in at the end), 1/2 T chia seeds, 1/2 T PB.

Lunch was leftover soup with a light sprinkle of rice and parmesan cheese and kale chips. I also had some roasted carrots and parsnips that I whipped up on Monday night.


I used my lunch break for a trip to the podiatrist for my achy foot. I mentioned over the weekend that it was hurting and giving me trouble and when it kept getting worse instead of better, I figured it was time to check it out. The doctor was able to see me the same day that I called for an appointment! I definitely lucked out!  The prognosis? I cracked a bone at the base of my big toe :(  This is officially my first broken bone and I'm a little bummed about not being able to work out (run or elliptical) for a bit.  I did get my first ever doctor's note to wear sneakers (which are the only thing this barefoot-loving grazer is allowed to wear) so I'll be rocking the Asics with everything in the coming weeks! I guess this will give me time to work on my arms and abs now.

I worked through the afternoon and then met up with some friends for coffee. We were all part of a professional development program last year and one of our Cali friends was in town! The night's eats included a pear, drizzled with my new favorite purchase - Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter, spaghetti squash with peas and baked beans, and chocolate soy ice cream topped with some almonds and berries.


And just to spare you from even more pictures of the same, breakfast and lunch were identical to yesterday. I did mix it up a bit for dinner with ... a homemade Chipotle bowl! I heated up 1/3c brown rice, 1/2c black beans, some chicken breast with a bit of garlic powder, lime juice, and bbq sauce. I topped the bowl with salsa and lettuce. Yum! I also had a salad alongside to make the meal more filling.


I had a pear and some toast for dessert and its off to ice my foot.  Have a good night!