Category: Recipes + Food

Another weekend of DOING ALL THE THINGZ!!!

By , February 19, 2018 12:59 pm

While I was sad my parents had to leave late yesterday morning (I wanted to hang out more!) it was a blessing in disguise because Steven and I were worn the f*ck out from our weekend of doing all the things, and needed a day to be sloths. It felt good to do almost nothing after two and a half busy days!

And I am still feeling lazy so I am going to bullet this shiz up, ha!

On Thursday

  • Mom and Dad arrived at 6:30 pm and we ate homemade vegan alfredo sauce on pasta! And dessert was a vegan apple pie sent from my mom’s mom!

  • After dinner, Steven and Dad went to Menards to get the beam and other wood for the basement project, while Mom and I watched the Olympics, then screwed around in the basement gym for a bit.

On Friday

  • I taught class at 5:00 am, and Dad and I went for a run (me)/bike (him) when I got back.

  • Then Mom, Dad, and I went to the 10:15 showing of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. I laughed so much, and we all liked it. I usually do NOT like Jack Black (except in The Holiday) but his character cracked me the hell up in Jumanji!!!

  • We went to Aldi after that (where we picked up a Kringle for Mom and Dad to try!), the came home and made lunch (salads and couscous). Steven came home from work and ate with us, then he and Dad got to work in the basement.
  • And Mom and I got to work shopping at the outlet mall! I live so close to the outlet mall – it’s less than a ten minute drive, and I even run through there and fill up my water bottle on long runs. We found a few deals, and made sure to send my snister photos of the clothes we were trying on.


Sample photo we sent Christina, ha


I only got two soaps and a new PocketBac at B&BW. Restraint FTW!!!

  • We went to Woodman’s (a grocery store) after to get ingredients so Mom could make a cake she wanted to try vegan for me (and to get some things I needed).
  • Then we went home and made chili and cornbread for dinner (and had pie and Kringle for dessert!). Steven and Dad kept working until we ate, then went back in to the basement to work more, after. I’ll do a separate post about the project, but it was structural, so there were parts of the night we were told not to be in certain parts of the house (on the stair landing or in the kitchen). Mom and I were playing Blokus in the kitchen when we were told we needed to move (they were putting a beam in underneath us, so I understand why!), so we went to the living room, but they had turned the power off, so we played Blokus by candle light. Ha.

On Saturday

  • Dad came to my Indoor Cycling class (then went back home to work in the basement with Steven after)!

  • And Mom came to my Fitness Boxing class!

  • After class, Mom and I went to the Holcomb Hollow grand opening, then ran errands at the mall. I hate going to the mall (and shopping, in general) so it was nice to have Mom with me! I got my rings cleaned, and did an exchange.
  • Then we picked up everyone’s favorite El Famous Burrito for a late lunch! (Seriously, most people who visit us want to go there!)

  • The boys ate a late lunch with us, sampled some of the Holcomb Hollow treats (and had more Kringle) then got back to work. Mom and I went for a swim (we swam for about ten minutes then used the hot tub for forty!). When we came back, I helped her book a hotel for her March trip with her mom to Mount Rushmore.
  • I made a stir fry type dish for dinner, and the boys ate with us, then, you guessed it – got back to work. I helped them clean out one (huge) duct and later, hold some ducts in place. That is basically all I did on that project. <— so helpful (they didn’t care, but I feel a smidge guilty to be entertaining my mom and not helping much)
  • After dinner, mom got to work on the cake she wanted to make. It was called a Hummingbird Cake (recipe here), and the main flavorings were banana and pineapple. She decided to make it in to cupcakes. It turned out AMAZING! We all liked it, and had some close to 11:00 pm. Oops. SO MUCH SUGAR ON THIS VISIT AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

  • The boys finished up the project around 10:30/11:00!

On Sunday

  • Dad and I went on a run in the morning, then I finished up this dishcloth real quick for Mom to take with her.

Ha, it’s obviously NOT blocked

  • Then they packed up and were off! We took a quick usie since, of course, we got no photos of all four of us throughout the weekend.

We’re extremely grateful my parents visited to help us with this basement project. My dad is so helpful with house projects (or any project). Steven and I were impressed that they got it done in one and a half days of work, and I know that wouldn’t be the case if I was the one helping him with it (because I have way less experience)!

And I appreciate my mom running errands with me and helping me out with other things around the house! And being up for doing anything I suggest, ha.

I really do hope though, on the next visit, all FOUR of us can do something fun, like go to a movie, or bowling, or out for a meal!!! I bet we can make it happen!

Surprise vegan donuts!

By , February 17, 2018 9:36 pm

We had a surprise stop on the vegan donut tour today!

Holcomb Hollow is a gluten free, vegan, and dairy free bakery that sells in a few retail locations in our county. Steven recently picked up some of their cookies and a muffin from a coffee shop, then happened to see they were having a grand opening (at their own location!) with free coffee, muffins, and an oatmeal bar this week. He didn’t have to tell me twice – I immediately put it on my calendar! I liked their muffin and cookies, and I knew Mom would love checking it out with me.

What I didn’t know until I got there was that they were going to have donuts too. WHUUUUUUUUUUT.

And, guys, you could take as many donuts as you wanted off of these trays to try.

AS MANY DONUTS AS YOU WANTED. TO TRY. FOR FREE. 

Um, say whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut.

Each donut had a vanilla or chocolate base, and was baked. We tried the lemon frosting, berry frosting, and coffee frosting. We liked lemon the best!

Sigh, I have to report that the donuts didn’t really do it for me, though. The frosting flavors were well done, but the donut base was a bit too spongy and just not… donut-y enough. Fun to try though!

State Date Name Flavor Rating (0-4) Photo
Kansas 1/15/18 Mud Pie Cake Chocolate Frosted
Illinois 2/7/18 Do-Rite Chai Maple
Illinois 2/17/18 Holcomb Hollow Lemon Vanilla

Their muffins are AMAZING though. We tried chocolate, chocolate chip, banana, carrot cake, and blueberry lemon.

And came home with (purchased) berry crumble, blueberry lemon, and banana. Yummmmm. Their muffins are where it’s at! I’ll definitely be going back for those!

Second stop in the vegan donut tour

By , February 9, 2018 6:19 am

Silly me! In my 2018 quest to eat a vegan donut, I had somehow forgotten there is a Do-Rite Donuts (somewhat) near my office that I could pick one up from, if I took the time to walk there! WHUT?! Kim, you so sil. I know.

So on Tuesday, I swung by on my lunch walk to see if they had any vegan donuts left. Nope. Okay, got it. Go earlier in the day.

The next day, I lengthened my walk to work to stop by, and they had three vegan donuts to choose from. Horray! I went with Chai Maple and it did NOT disappoint.

The vegan flavors were in the top left shelf.  They have gluten free donuts too (in the cabinet on the counter).

What a treat!

I now feel better about how I accomplished my main goal for the year. It was purposeful and planned, and I did not rely on someone else (like I did when my snister took me to a vegan bakery in Kansas).

And I’m ready to expand on this goal for the rest of the calendar year, and make it my 2018 Vegan Donut Tour! Let’s see how many states I can eat a vegan donut in.

So far I’ve done:

State Date Name Flavor Rating (1-4) Photo
Kansas 1/15/18 Mud Pie Cake Chocolate Frosted
Illinois 2/7/18 Do-Rite Chai Maple

Potential states include: Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Ohio, and California (we’re really hoping to get out there this year). Now, I just have to make sure I plan my travel around finding a vegan donut, ha!

Quiet weekend!

By , January 29, 2018 6:27 am

I’d been looking forward to this weekend for a long time – I had no social plans and wasn’t teaching! Laziness, here I come!!!

Okay, that’s sort of a lie. I had ONE plan, to get my nails done with my friend Kim Friday night. It was time to get the gel nails removed that I had put on in KC, and I decided to get new ones put on. They’re doing a good job protecting my nails, and it’s nice not to have them chip (too much, anyway… the left hand started to chip 1.5 weeks in). I wonder how long I’ll keep this maintenance up! So fance. Much self care. Very pamper.

Color is OPI “We Seafood and Eat It.” I love OPI! Background is Data. 

On Saturday, I ran, did errands (at an earlier time that I usually do, which was great because there were less people out), then assisted Steven with installing the antenna in the attic (this is the second antenna we’ve tried, with a stronger signal). My job was very important – I handed Steven tools, and sat on the couch and pressed buttons to see what the signal strength was and let him know, while he messed around with mounting it in the attic.

YOU GUYS. I made a major realization this week – now that we have an antenna we can watch things like awards show (the Oscars!), and sports games (the Superbowl), and Saturday Night Live (if I EVER stay up that late). EXCITING!!! We only got an antenna so I could watch the Olympics, so all of that seems like a bonus!

(Note: we can’t get cable on our street, and we didn’t get an antenna before because it wasn’t important and we doubted it would work with being too far from signals in Chicago and Milwaukee. But this super strength antenna seems to be working! Yay!)

On Saturday night, we had a “date night” in Milwaukee, and tried Beerline Cafe, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant. The food was delicious! It’s a treat to go to a restaurant where I can order almost anything off the menu!

Yay, I satisfied my nachos craving!

But the restaurant was in a super quiet residential area and I couldn’t come up with anything to do after! I suck at finding things to do OTHER than food, in any town. We don’t drink much, so going to bars and breweries is often out. I was looking for shows, and movies, etc., but it was too last minute. I need to work on that!

Sunday was another quiet day. More exercising, a few chores, knitting, short napping (Saturday too!), and relaxing. Yay! My next quiet weekend isn’t until March (if I get one!) so I am glad I had this one!

Random Thoughts Thursday 165

By , January 25, 2018 5:33 am
  • I got more information yesterday about what’s going on at work. I’m still disappointed, but I understand it better now. I’ll share more when it’s all done (in a few months).
  • The RAGBRAI route announcement party is this Saturday! We streamed it last year and it was horribly painful to watch – way too drawn out. This year, I’ll just look up the course before I go to bed. My guess is that it will go through the far south of Iowa.
  • Shutterfly had an offer for a “free” (you pay for shipping) custom notebook. I love this photo of me and Steven, so I used it. It doesn’t really go with the message I put on the cover though. Ha!

  • For those of you who saw the film It, what did you think of it? I was expecting it to be better, and scarier (note: I haven’t read the book or seen the mini-series). I typically don’t like movies with kids as the main characters, so that didn’t help. Eh. At least I could sleep after watching it! (Except for my usual wake up to use the bathroom then feeling wide awake happening.)
  • Ha, we got this flier for the Frosty Footrace in the mail yesterday. The caption on the front page cracks me up (especially the typo). A lot of us must have complained when they changed the format last year. I’m glad they’ve changed it back! (Brief history – I’ve been doing this 5K since 2009 as a goal 5K and they changed it (after I registered) to a “2 miler” last year and the race sucked.)

  • Snow has been coming in some nights to spend the night inside. He LOVES the bed. And is SOOOOO cuddly.

  • It looks like I am going to be blogging for another two years – I just renewed my hosting until March 2020. I hate that I have to negotiate the rates each year. Blah.
  • And now for the COMPLETELY random. I’ve been talking about nachos a lot lately. I should probably make some soon, so I shut up about them. Nachos… droooooool…

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 164

It’s healthy cause FRUIT

By , April 25, 2016 6:09 pm

A special dessert

160425fruitpizza

to celebrate a special fifth birthday!

160425Lucabirthday

We’ve had such a fun trip in Texas with our otra familia! More to come… when I am not eating fruit pizza, nom nom nom.

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands

By , March 22, 2016 6:12 am

Like when Target stops selling your favorite vegan peanut butter cups… you naturally buy 100 of them…

160318unrealcups

Because asking the store to start carrying them again would be much too difficult!

And hey, since I am paying for shipping, why not get these, too?!

160318coconutPBcups

Someone please check in with me in a few weeks and make sure I haven’t already eaten all of these!!!

(I have a piece of chocolate – either one of these or a Ghirardelli square – after lunch each day, and sometimes (often) after dinner. For a few months I didn’t have any of these peanut butter cups because Target seemed to stop carrying them, and I didn’t want to place the order until we moved to the new house and were a bit settled. Long story long, I was CRAVING these. I love plain dark chocolate, but I need my chocolate and peanut butter fix* from time to time (and peanuts and chocolate chips weren’t cutting it!).)

*This reminds me of the summer I lived in Rome and traveled to London to visit a friend doing a summer internship there. We were talking about the things we couldn’t wait to eat when we got back to the states, and I told him the first thing I wanted was a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Then asked him if he thought that sounded good… completely forgetting about his severe peanut allergy. Oops. Ha ha. That was not the thing he was looking forward to eating!

Don’t preach it!

By , March 1, 2016 6:23 am

Awhile ago, a vegetarian asked me “what do you do for cheese?” (I’m vegan and don’t eat cheese.)

I didn’t know what they meant. I tried to ask – “Do you mean cheese substitutes? Or what I eat instead of cheese to get calcium? Or how to make vegan cheese?”

Oh no. They didn’t want to discuss it at all. They just wanted to preach to me about how they stopped eating cheese and how much better they feel and how you don’t need cheese* and so on and so on.

141121Datapizza

Data says “Don’t even try giving me one of those BS pieces without cheese.”

Um, yes. You are preaching to the choir. I feel great on a vegan diet. You don’t have to convince me… I’ve eaten this way for many years.

But it was ANNOYING. Annoying enough, that I actually said to this person “the vegan diet doesn’t work for everyone – some people, like you and me, feel great on it – but not everyone does.” (I strongly believe that about the vegan diet.)

Dude. SHUT. UP.

Ha ha.

It’s pretty bad when you are preaching to someone who more or less eats the same way as you**, or does anything the same as you, and they want you to shut it.

There is NOT a thin line between being passionate about something, and preaching about it, if you pay attention to your audience. It is not difficult to NOT go too far when you are talking to someone about something you care about. DON’T preach it. Discuss it.

(And in that occasion where someone is telling you something they are passionate about and not preaching it… but you don’t really GAF? Be nice. Ask questions. Don’t judge them because they have different interests than you.)

I don’t have the personality type to push my interests and way of living on other people, but we can all think of people who are like this. And wonder, why do they care so much how I live my life?! It’s not that they care that much – they just want more people to be like them.

Odd. So odd.

And yes, I see the hypocrisy in my preachy post about not preaching!!!!! I guess I do have the personality type to say how I think people should behave! Ha ha!

*You don’t have to comment with how you couldn’t live without cheese – I know many people feel this way, ha ha. It’s never been something I care for, so it’s not a big deal for me.
**I won’t say “believes the same as you” since they said “I am not doing this for the animals,” which is why I do it. 

Quick and easy chocolate pudding

By , January 16, 2016 8:38 am

My mom’s mom is a sweetie and always makes me a vegan dessert when I’ll be at her home. When she has the time, she makes chocolate cake. When she wants to whip something up quick, she makes chocolate pudding (and apologizes that it’s not more elaborate! oh, Grandma! I don’t care – it’s delicious!).

I got the recipe from her a few years ago, and holy cow, is it ever quick and easy to make! Seriously, it takes less than 10 minutes!

160111veganchocolatepudding

Here’s the recipe so you can try it!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup soymilk (we use vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Combine cocoa powder, corn starch, salt, soymilk and honey in a 1 quart saucepan, add just enough milk to make smooth paste. Gradually stir in remaining milk and honey.
  2. Cook over med heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.
  4. Pour in to serving dishes (4) and chill (or eat hot, if you can’t wait)

This is my go to pudding for chocolate pudding pie – it holds up well enough to be cut. I usually make the pie with a graham cracker pie crust, then put sliced bananas on the crust, then pour the pudding over them. At Christmas though, we went nutso with that peppermint Oreo crust (basically 28 oreos with 5 tablespoons margarine… yeah…) and skipped the bananas. We didn’t want anything resembling healthy in there. Ha!

151224chocolatepuddingpie

Random Thoughts Thursday 72

By , May 14, 2015 6:22 am
  • Knitting update! I am finished with the washcloth order for my Grandma! I started on Friday May 1st and finished yesterday, May 13th. At first I was getting one done a day (they take about three hours each) then I slowed down at the end (which means I was sitting around less, and not knitting, ha ha). Next up: more washcloths (my mom requested some, and I’ll do some more monogrammed ones for my Grandma), a new scarf pattern, cactus push pin holders for Christina, a request for something from Gina, and that laptop sleeve (oops, that’s been in the queue awhile).

150313washcloths

  • More knitting news! My mom received the scarf I made her for Mother’s Day and loved it! She wore it to work and said she was excited to show it to a coworker who knits all the time. Errr… how about let’s not show it to someone who will see all the mistakes in it? Ha ha… sorta kidding. When I see my mom (tomorrow!) I’ll have to ask her what that coworker said!

150504MomScarf

  • I’m CPR/AED recertified! Yay! What a long day though – I was in training at work from 8-4, then rode the train to the CPR training and rushed to get there for the 6-9 class. I slept well last night!

150313CPR

  • Who else ate macaroni and cheese with hot dogs as a child? Who else still craves it from time to time, now? Me! And guilty! We have some vegan mac n’ chreese (<— not a typo) mixes from FakeMeats at home, and when I saw the vegan hot dogs at Target I knew the combo needed to happen. It was so good. I think it will hold me over from craving it for another year, though.

150512macnchreese

  • I keep looking at my bird books but can’t figure out these species visiting our feeders. Fail.

150518squirrel

Ha, I will forever recognize red-winged black birds, though!

150512chipmunk

150321ducks

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 71

Panorama Theme by Themocracy

86 ‘queries’.