Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dumpster diving hippie

Oh my goodness lovies, I've missed you all!  Sorry I've been MIA for a couple days!

Things are going well here.  I've had a few changes in the last couple days.  Exciting things in the works.  One was a fantastic Reduce, Reuse, Recycle moment.  Hubster was on his way out the door Sunday and returned soon afterward with quite a racket.

He found a treadmill on the curb.  We aren't a home with much disposable income, so we have a long-term wishlist.  A treadmill or elliptical machine has been on the wishlist for a few years now.  He plugged it in and it worked!  A 4 inch part has to be replaced, but according to le google it may just cost us shipping because it's a common flaw.

Another change is that I'm taking the plunge into natural shampoo.  So far, I'm kind of disgruntled.  I've heard that is VERY common.  I also think I know why hippies always looked like they could use a shower.  My hair has been looking like I went without a shower and lived under a bridge for the past couple weeks.  I'm not one to give up easily, though, so I'm still trying to give it a chance.  But if it takes a month for my hair to "change over," I don't think I'll make it.

Food food food...  Irish made me some delicious butternut squash and was even sweet enough to snap a few pics for me.  My plan is to post that tomorrow.  Otherwise, my food has been pretty boring lately.

Exercise... I've been loving the extra daylight in the evening.  It's allowed us to take family walks together after work, which has been great for de-stressing.  And of course I'm super excited about the treadmill!  I can't wait!!  Irish has exercised 2 days in a row now.  That's happy news to me!  Although he sure knows how to drive me nuts sometimes, I love the guy and would like to keep him around for a few more decades.  Oh, and there's also the fringe benefit.  Let's be honest ladies, who would turn down the chance to admire some muscles on their man?!

I don't feel like I'm very exciting today now that I've actually written it all down.  Now I have to go wash my hair.  Literally.  So I don't buzz it all off and start over.  Actually, that's not a bad idea at this point...

Would you ever consider snagging somebody's trash to be your new treasure?  What's the best trash-to-treasure find you've ever had?  Do you feel that health extends into the beauty products you use?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hummus for your face

So the long awaited hummus recipe.  It's tangy and zesty and yum!

As you've probably learned by now, my recipes are generally an ingredient list rather than precise measures.  This one is no different.

Kick You in the Teeth Hummus

  • Hummus (plain, pine nut, or red pepper are probably best)
  • Spicy dijon mustard
  • Dried minced onion
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Basil
  • Savory all purpose
Mix all ingredients together.  (I didn't think to take a pic once it was mixed together because it just looked like hummus.)

    Dear God this is good!  I thought I loved hummus, but you kick it up a few notches and it gets even better.

    This may be my new absolute favorite sauce/condiment.  I slathered it on both sides of the pita from yesterday, and I licked it off my fingers.  There's no shame when it's that good!

    What's your favorite condiment/sauce? Do you like lots of spices?

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Keep it in persepective, pita please!

    Bad play on words, check.  I think it was kinda creative.

    Moving on to the perspective part first.  Then we'll launch into the food.


    So you'll be happy to know that I got a little more sleep last night and I didn't chew through the walls today.  I already felt so much better just not putting all that unnecessary junk into my body.  When you're that exhausted and your tank is low, you don't care what you use to fuel your body as long as it helps you hobble along.  That's not good!

    Perspective is an interesting thing.  Usually when you need it the most is when you lose it all.  This week I have witnessed several people lose all sense of perspective because they have let their priorities get skewed way off kilter.  It's such a pointless waste of energy, and you often neglect something important when you shift priorities because you forget what really mattered.  Keep it in perspective and you're much more prepared to tackle things as they arise and know what matters and what doesn't.  Plus you're way less likely to do a metaphorical face plant.  I'm not trying to be preachy.  This week has just highlighted the importance of keeping perspective, so I thought I'd spread the word.

    Now for the pita portion of this broadcast.

    Sweet fry pita

    What do you do when you have leftover sweet fries, but they've been reheated enough that they're a little tough to eat by themselves?  You blend an idea to make a sweet potato sammich with a salad pita and the existing fries.  Don't worry, this story ends well.  Here's what you'll need:
    • Leftover sweet fries  (This batch included plenty of noochy goodness)
    • Whole grain pita
    •  Spinach
    • Broccoli
    • Carrots
    • Hummus (specific version will be tomorrow's post)
    Grill or oven heat your sweet fries back to a toasty temperature.  While they heat up, break your pita in half to get inside.  If it's brittle like mine are, go ahead and separate the pocket seam to allow plenty of room to pile high.  Spread on the hummus first, since it will help the veggies stick a little.  Then start piling.  I like to chop my broccoli and carrots into little pieces so I can really pack them on.  When you get a big mound of veggies on 2 pita halves, cover them with the sweet fries, hold in place, and put the other sides of the pita over them.

    Oh sweet vegan goodness this stuff is amazing!

    You really have to try this combo, it is so good.  Plus if you want a really amazing souped up hummus, that's coming tomorrow.  The next time I make sweet fries, I will probably set aside a couple pita-fulls just to repeat this sammich.

    Do you like to get creative with leftovers?  Are you good at keeping things in perspective?  What's your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes?

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    Don't eat without sleep.

    So I'm afraid this is going to be a super quick 'n' dirty post.  You'll see why in a sec.

    First, though, I'm so happy to hear that you vicariously enjoyed my spa day!  It really was SOOO nice to relax and have a little "me time."  In case any of you care, the budget meeting between me and Excel was canceled, and the spa day came to a screeching halt by the dreaded....


    phone call from the mother-in-law!!!!  Dum duh duh duh!  Yes, she caught me just before I got to sink my teeth into dinner and I wasn't freed until an hour later.  I think she's learned that she can only catch me by phone if she calls when Irish is out of town.  Otherwise, I always hand the phone to him.

    Anywho, on to today.  Which really started last night.  I had a LAAAAAATE into the night work function, so it was about 1am before bedtime came.  The 6am alarm came way too early and I felt like a school bus ran right over my head.  As the day rolled on, I noticed that I was inhaling any sweet, fatty, junky, unhealthy food that I could grab.  Maybe a year ago that wasn't such a stretch from my daily ways, but now it's so very unlike my daily routine!  I'd heard people say that you eat worse when you're sleep deprived, but now I can attest 100% that it's the honest truth.  And now with that, I need to catch a few Z's.  Tomorrow I should be back to my regular blogging and reading routines.  Looking forward to catching up with you all again! :)

    For you married ladies out there, how is your relationship with your in-laws?  Who else has noticed that they devour half the city when sleep deprived?!

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Spa Day

    I'm coming to you live from the OA Home Spa.

    Yes that's right, ladies and gents, I've enjoyed all the finest spa treatments that my home has to offer!  After a relaxing morning of dawdling, catching portions of edited-for-TV versions of movies, grooming the dog, coaxing the dog to pee in the winter wonderland outside, and watching her work her way through the food puzzle breakfast, it was time for a little me time.

    I started with an ACV hair rinse, followed by a microderm abrasion session.  I was then coated in a luxurious moisturizer from head to toe and enjoyed my home pedicure treatments.  The kitchen staff then allowed me to prepare a large cup of my favorite hot cocoa made with almond milk.  I then moved the seat warmer (BB), and relaxed with my warm mug of liquid chocolate.

    Ahhh, life is grand!  I plan to catch a little light internet reading, then attend the mandatory and less spa-like budget meeting between myself and a spreadsheet.  Dinner at the spa will be a salad pita featuring spinach, broccoli, carrots, hummus, and whole grain pita.  Dessert is leftover chocolate mousse cake with added raspberries for decadence.

    But before I go, I thought I would share the details on the Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse.

    Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

    • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (if it's already diluted), probably 1/2 tbsp if undiluted
    • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
    • 1 cup filtered water
    I placed all the ingredients in a salad dressing glass so I could drizzle it down my scalp and hair easier than if it were just in a glass.  You could also put it in a spray bottle.  Take mixture and a wide tooth comb into the shower.

    Shampoo hair as usual, then comb out hair with wide tooth comb.  Tilt your head back and apply the ACV hair rinse along the scalp line and throughout the hair until everything is soaked (scalp and hair) and the mixture is gone.  Again comb through hair.  After waiting several minutes, quickly rinse hair just a little, and you're done.  Let hair dry naturally.

    This rinse should help your scalp and hair.  You won't need conditioner afterward.  (I was skeptical since I've needed conditioner for my entire life, but you truly don't need it.)

    I took before and after pictures of my hair, although I'm not sure you can really see a difference besides the straightened vs. wild looks.



    Sadly for all of you, the spa is not currently open to the public.  However, if you'd like to partake in the budget meeting sessions on my behalf, I'll be more than happy to allow you to become the pro bono CPA for this organization.  Happy Sunday everyone!

    Does anybody else use pantry products for other purposes? I have several multipurpose items, like vinegar for cleaning produce and the kitchen, ACV and epsom salts are good for a relaxing bath, tea tree oil in the washer for an extra cleaning boost, ACV hair rinse, safflower oil is good for really dry skin... Tons of great uses!  What are your favorite home spa treatments?

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Working out the kinks

    No post yesterday because it was bloggie maintenance time.  Added IntenseDebate and CommentLuv.  Will get back into the groove this afternoon after I work out all the kinks!

    Thursday, March 18, 2010

    My chicks didn't hatch

    So I have to confess something embarrassing.

    My giveaway fell through.

    Sad, I know.  Disappointing.  I counted my chicks before they hatched, and then they never hatched.

    It was going to be a Celestial Seasonings Wellness Kit.  Doubly disappointing to me because I love and adore the company.  I've loved them ever since I was a little kid and had one of their old Sleepytime Tea tins (an actual metal tin!).

    I stored my little junk treasures in it and thought the illustration of the Sleepytime Bear all tuckered out was the most adorable little thing.

    Celestial Seasonings was kind enough to send me a little consolation prize, though.  I get to try some of the teas, but won't have one to share or the book, the mug, etc. that came with the kit.  If I could foot the bill to try duplicating the kit for a giveaway, I would, but times are tight 'round these parts.

    Oh well, we just roll with the punches and move on.  So let's see what goodness the mail brought me today.

    FedEx?  We like FedEx!  Let's see what's inside...

    A tower of teas!  (You could probably tell that was it, right?)  I'd say that's a pretty nice consolation prize.  Look at all the fun flavors.  Goji berry pomegranate?  Sleepytime vanilla?  Yes, please!  That ginseng energy is going to the office to cure a case of the Mondays. (one of the greatest movies ever, seriously.)

    Officially, it's a gluten free kosher tower, which I know may be important to some of you.

    They're environmentally conscious and believe in fair wages and ethical trading, which I know is also important to many of you (especially to me). 

    And always a little fun goodie for you while you wait for your water to heat...

    Inspirational or uplifting quotes on every box.  The little things like this make it seem like the company really puts thought into their products and acts consciously when making decisions.

    While I am disappointed that I will not be able to share a fun giveaway with you, I am still excited to try 5 new flavors of CS.  Hope you all have a wonderful evening!

    Do you like tea?  What flavors and brands are your favorites?  Do those "little touches" from a company ever make you smile?  I think my parents always had at least one box of CS in our kitchen growing up, so I feel comforted any time I fix some for myself.

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    G-edamame while they're hot!

    Thank you all for the great feedback about the garden!  I'm glad to hear that others love gardening as much as us.  It's also a little comforting to hear that we're not the only ones who poured all our blood, sweat, tears, and hopes into our garden only to get a couple measly fruits of our labor.  Here's to hoping that this year will be a bumper crop!
    I came home from a very long day at work tonight   I had hoped to get home in time to go for a walk before dinner, but since it was dark by the time I came home, that wasn't going to happen.  Instead I settled for Irish fixing dinner for us so I could just sit down and relax when I got home. 

    We tried our own made-at-home edamame tonight.  I've had edamame several times at Japanese restaurants, but since Irish avoids sushi (and the restaurants that serve it) like the plague, he's never gotten to try it.  We found a bag of shelled edamame at WF a couple weeks ago, so we bought it to give it a try.  Overall, I would say that it was good.  It kind of tasted like juicier lima beans because we didn't used any seasonings.  Usually they are sprinkled with a savory seasoning like garlic, and I might do that if we make them again.  Since Irish loves lima beans, he was pretty impressed with the edamame.  Even better, we found it in the frozen veggies section at Target for about 1/2 the price.


    The brown rice we ate with the edamame was less of a success.  I came home to a horrific burnt smell.  Clearly something went wrong with the ratio between rice and water, and there was a heaping pot full of burnt rice instead of a lovely side dish.  In case anybody would like a review of burnt brown rice, Irish said it tasted like eating cigarettes.  He spit out the one bite he tried.

    Eh, c'est la vie.  I cannot tell you what a huge improvement I've seen in my mood since we've gotten into spring weather and daylight past 5pm.  I'm practically giddy about spring!

    Do you like edamame?  How much do you think the weather affects your mood?

    Monday, March 15, 2010


    So yesterday we went for a lovely walk in the beautiful weather, then bought some tomatoes, peppers, and other fun stuff at the nursery.  Plant shopping is probably my favorite kind of shopping!

    We've grown our own fruits and veggies for the past few years with mixed results.  Some things didn't grow, some things did, and usually what did grow was eaten first by birds, squirrels, or a certain fruit and veggie-loving pup.  I think I got to eat two tomatoes last year and one pepper.  Not exactly a banner year.

    Who needs Snausages when an apple a day keeps the vet with the thermometer away?!

    So this year, we're going to try something different.  We've been container gardening up until now because we didn't trust the soil that we inherited with the house.  The previous owner was an avid gardener, but seemed to be the king of DIY.  We're pretty sure he rigged up his own wiring to his shed, he kept hundreds of jars of old nails and screws just in case, and we found pesticide laced ant traps and saltines stashed on top of  the fridge.  Kinda made us think twice about what he used on the soil.

    After a couple years of treating everything organically and attempting to grow things in containers with minimal and expensive success, we're ready to test the uncharted waters soils.  Irish is our head gardener, BB is second in line, and I'm the paranoid one scratching because I'm sure a bug bit me.  In other words, Irish and BB enjoy gardening much more without me.  Which is fine.  They garden and report back to me on the progress.  I inspect and supervise as necessary.  At the end of last season, we (meaning Irish) created and prepped several plant beds and corrected soil problems around the yard.  We are now in a good starting position to have a successful year.

    So off to the store we went yesterday to pick out all the yummy sounding food fruits & veggies.  We got bright lights swiss chard, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, onion chives, roman lavender, and strawberries.  I tried several times to convince Irish that we should buy one of the two kale plants left.  He wasn't biting and I was kind of disappointed.  Granted I have no idea what it needs or if it continues to grow after you eat off all the leaves.  But at least we knew it was organic!  We love this local nursery that sells all kinds of plants and is totally organic.  They're often cheaper than the big box stores, they're local grown, and you know that it's safe to eat the food plants because the store didn't pre-poison them for you.

    We will also grow herbs when we're a little more into the season.  Beyond that, we'll have to evaluate if there's space left in the garden for anything else.  Since BB is such a veggie lover, we can't plant certain things that are potentially poisonous to pets.  Two years ago she ate all but one garlic before we caught her!  Thankfully she didn't get sick, but I've read that the poison can accumulate (like mercury for humans), so we're being cautious.

    Do you garden?  What are your favorite things to plant?  What else do you think we should add to our garden (feel free to support my cry for kale!)?  Do you enjoy the outdoorsy goodness that Spring brings? I don't think I ever realized how incredible spring is until this year.  I used to say that summer was my favorite season, but spring is quickly closing in!  I was also thinking that people should wait until spring to start their NY resolutions.  It's the season of growth and renewal, so why not?!

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    Power protein wrap

    We took another family walk today with Irish, BB, and me.  It's so great to enjoy the beautiful weather and exercise together!

    Afterward, I stretched and made up my own little protein wrap.

    Protein Wrap

    • Spinach or whole wheat tortilla
    • Natural nut butter (I used natural PB)
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Little dab of local organic honey
    Pretty self-explanatory here.  Layer the nut butter, sunflower seeds, and honey on one side of the tortilla, then roll into a wrap.

    Open wide!  It tastes delicious, keeps your taste buds interested, and has some chew and crunch to it.  Plus it's naturally got good proteins going on without any powders.

    Well, I'm off to enjoy the rest of the day with my awesome lil' family.  Two days of weekend just aren't enough, but we're going to make the most of it!  Spring is in the air and I'm so excited!

    What's your favorite part of the weekend?  Do you like planning the weekend in advance or just taking it as it comes?

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    Sweet fry

    Irish and I made homemade fries tonight for dinner.  Two sweet potatoes for me, two russets for him.

    Homemade fries are a beautiful thing.  They are baked, not fried.  They are salt-free if you make them that way, which we do.  They pack a lot more flavor than any I've had at a restaurant or commercially made, especially my sweet potato fries.  They're a pretty guilt-free indulgence into a traditionally guilty food.

    So here's the skinny on making them for yourself.

    Sweet Potato Fries

    • 2 average size sweet potatoes, cleaned and peeled
    • Lots of your fave spices.  We used savory all-purpose, garlic pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and dried basil flakes.  Some were also dusted with nutritional yeast (nooch).
    Heat oven to 450*F.  Slice potatoes into wedges and lay onto a baking sheet.  Sprinkle spices over the tray.  Cook for 10 minutes at a time.  The cook time varies based on the thickness of the fries; thicker fries take longer to cook.  In our experience, you'll need at least 25 minutes, but it's wise to check in frequently unless you like burned fries.

    The regular fries are pretty much the same recipe.  We added some red chili pepper flakes and spread the nooch on a little thicker.  In hindsight, we would probably cook the regular fries on a lower heat for longer to get the right crunchiness.

    They were very yummy to munch our way through.  We have a few left to eat with dinner tomorrow too.

    Other updates for this weekend:

    We took a lazy approach to today since it's been a killer busy week.  Then we took a nice long family walk through the neighborhood.  It was so energizing!  I think I get the winter blah's because it's cold, gets dark early, and all I can do is bundle under blankets and wait it out.  Getting out in the sunlight in short sleeves was so awesome!  I came home feeling so much more energetic.  The pup had a little spring in her step too.

    We also tried a food puzzle with BB for dinner tonight.  She doesn't really like playing with toys because she would rather be with people.  She seemed to love the exercise so much during our walk, though, that I figured it might be fun for her to work for her food a little. 

    "Where's my food mommy??"

    So I put her food inside a Kong-style toy, let her smell it, and then made her figure out the rest.  At first she pouted, but she really loves her food so eventually she started working to get the food.  She ended up loving it and got so excited about playing around.  It was awesome to see her having so much fun.

    Do you like healthifying traditional foods?  Do you get the winter blues?  If you have a dog, do you take absolute joy in them? Without a doubt I have the best dog on earth and can't get enough of her!

    P.S. Averie's got a cookbook giveaway going.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Stress response

    So I need a personal post here.  It's time to dish a little.

    Stress has been getting the best of me lately.  In reality, I'm doing pretty good compared to how I used to handle stress.  The former me was a big ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach, getting fed with all my energy, some of my confidence, and a lot of unhealthy foods.  I would come home completely sucked of all energy, feeling like I had run a marathon, and just wanting to flop into bed.  I'd scavenge for sweets, crave sleep, and not even give exercise a passing thought.

    NOW, though, I feel like I do much better.  I am eating better consistently and that doesn't change drastically with stress.  I still seek out sweets, but my sweet tooth has shrunk drastically from what it used to be.  I think I'm avoiding the big anxiety ball, and it's certainly not taking any of my confidence away!  I'm feeling calmer than I have in a long time and that's a great feeling.  I exercise a lot more than before and am still trying to ease into more. 

    I work in a very fast-paced, high stress job, so managing stress is imperative.  Nobody is impervious to stress, and you can see it in any and all of my colleagues at some point in time.  It's just a part of our world and it's not going to go away, so you have to manage the best you can.  As a result, I continually try to handle stress better. It has been more stressful than normal for pretty much all of 2010 so far, so I'm having to fight a little harder than usual to combat it.  Holding strong, though.

    One of the most remarkable things about our bodies is that they are gifted at healing, adapting, and dispersing the good and bad we do to them.  And usually our bodies are much more forgiving than we as people tend to be!  You learn a few ways to adapt and manage stress better, and the whole stress reaction system in your body is suddenly kinder and gentler on you.

    I just heard an interesting way to look at the body today.  There are many doors that can be opened into a medical or physical problem with the body.  Once one door is opened, the healing process can begin and the rest unravels faster.  Big or small, these problems can all be helped by taking the first step.

    What are your biggest stress responses?  What are your biggest stress fixers?  Do you believe all aspects of our bodies are interconnected?

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Ravioli Retrofit

    So I mentioned that when Irish and I went out to eat, I got the mushroom ravioli.  It was less than stellar, and I could only choke down 2 pillows of it.  With 4 remaining, I felt an obligation to try resurrecting the ravioli into something more palatable.

    I am an avid garlic lover, so I added a healthy dose of minced garlic and a few shakes of garlic pepper.  A close second love in the spice department is basil, so I lightly coated the ravioli pillows with basil flakes.  A little savory all-purpose, and careful drizzling of almond milk, and I felt like I did what I could for the ravioli.

    I heated in a small glass casserole dish in the oven at 375* F for 8 minutes.  It doesn't look all that tasty, but that's understandable after the mangling from to-go tin to casserole dish, and the stirring to coat with my ingredients.

    The retrofit on the ravioli was a pretty good success.  I didn't fall in love with them, but they were infinitely better than the original version.  I do try to be resourceful and not let food go to waste when possible, so I figure this was a pretty good result all in all.

    Are you a leftover person or not?  Do you ever try to improve upon a restaurant's version of something?  Who else is SO excited for spring to get here?!?!  I can't wait!!

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Habs and hemp

    I think Irish was trying to kill me tonight.  He made a veggie fajita for me, but chose not to partake because he said he wasn't hungry.  He put a slightly chopped habanero into the mix along with the jalapeno jack almond cheese.  Holy smokes!!!

    It was nothing but painful to eat.   I added rice to the mix to try calming it down a little, but that didn't help.  Two big glasses of almond milk didn't do much for my poor tongue and gums either.  It was all on fire.  I felt like I was breaking a fever sweat (although thankfully I didn't literally start sweating from my dinner!).

    I also think I burnt off the top layer of my lips.  This was the closest I've ever come to wanting to cry from food I've eaten.  I'm going to have to pass on the whole hab for dinner next time.  Sheesh!

    Since Irish made it for me and I would NOT recommend anybody fix it for themselves, I have no picture or recipe for you.

    A quick question for my local WF: Why do you no longer stock the regular or chocolate flavors of Nutiva hemp protein powder?  All I can get is the "berry pomegranate" flavor, and I could get just as much protein in a scoop of PB and have less sugar and $20 more bucks in my pocket that way.  I don't appreciate that.  Please return the regular and chocolate flavors to your shelves so I don't waste my money or abandon the protein powder that helps heal my sore muscles in the mornings.  Thanks!  Sincerely, Trail

    P.S. Actually, thanks WF.  I just checked Amazon, and I can get 2 for the price of 1 from when you used to stock them anyway.  I'll just buy online and get them delivered to my door.  Don't worry, we're still friends.  I like what you represent, just not when my cash disappears through your doors.

    What is your heat tolerance for foods?  Are you a fiery mouthed warrior or a firm believer that food should not be painful?  I try to increase my heat tolerance in foods, but still think food shouldn't hurt.  Do you use protein powder?  What kind, how costly, where do you buy if you partake?  Pre-veggie, I used whey; now I use hemp, but you can see my frustration.  No mainstream grocery store has anything else either, so it's a must to plan ahead.

    Sunday, March 7, 2010

    Ode de mushroom

    This was a much needed day of R&R.  I got to fall asleep early and sleep in late.  It's been a long time since I got enough sleep!  I was craving a lazy weekend with just my hubs and my pup.  It was almost too lazy, but after the stress of this week I was willing to become a vegetable for a day.

    I had my first less-than-stellar attempt to concoct my own recipe.  I guess after this many years of devising my own creations, it was bound to happen sometime.  I think I know how to fix it for any of you who'd like to try it, though.

    Mushroom rice


    • 5 button mushrooms, sliced
    • olive oil, just enough to sautee
    • balsamic vinegar, equal to olive oil
    • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 serving of brown rice (1/2 cup cooked rice)
    • dried minced onion, to taste
    • other spices to taste (I used garlic pepper and a savory salt-free mix)


    Cook rice by stovetop or microwave.  Slice mushrooms and saute in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Once the mixture is sizzling, add the ACV and the spices to taste.

    Once the mushrooms are nice, sizzly, and browned, remove from heat and combine with the rice.  You can add the sauce to it for an added punch, or add just the mushrooms for a milder flavor.

    I used 1/4 cup ACV, and it was much too strong.  I cut the amount in half for the shared recipe so nobody has to choke down the bitter flavor like I did!  Otherwise, it was very good.

    Despite my goof with the ACV, my rice was still 10x better than the mushroom ravioli that I had at a national chain restaurant.  It was bad.  They used cheap mushrooms and must not have fixed them right.  The taste was overwhelming.  Then the sauce was more mushroom and heavy cream.  I ended up eating the portion I did because I was trying to decide what flavor could be added to fix it.  Irish didn't want to tell them it wasn't good because he didn't want any spit added to our food.  I wouldn't have had them replace the meal, but I might have asked for the item that would make it taste a little better.  Sadly, I'm not sure anything could have been added to improve it.

    Never in a million years would I have thought that I'd be developing discriminating tastes or consider changing a restaurant's menu.  I really love this wide open world of food!  I started the Oven Aversion name because I hate to cook.  Now I enjoy fixing foods, dreaming up recipes, and yes, cooking.  Woohoo!!

    Are you a fan of mushrooms?  Do you end up feeling rejuvenated by a lazy day?  Have you ever felt the need to improve upon a restaurant's food?

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Excitement is brewing

    So...... I have something very exciting in the works, and I just cannot wait to share it!

    It's been a couple crazy long days at the 9-5 and I'm still trying to get the laptop daisy fresh again.  But I wanted to share that I've gotten my very first giveaway offer.  It's one that I want to accept from a company that I have supported over many years with my personal hard-earned money.  I love the idea of doing this particular giveaway as my very first one because I love and support this company's products.  A no brainer!

    Bear with me for this because I'm sure there's some lead time to get the products, review them, plan the giveaway, etc., so just know that it's in the works!  Until then, tell everyone to jump on the OA bandwagon so they don't miss their chance!  :)

    In other news:

    I'm sure it's not a big newsflash, but I hate drama.  There's been a lot of it for a variety of reasons lately, and if that doesn't settle down soon, I very well may have to find some medications.  I thank my lucky stars that I changed my eating habits months before this because I truly would have needed a doctor's intervention.  I tend to manage all those stressed out feelings inside my churning stomach so I maintain a cool exterior.  Like a duck looking cool as a cucumber above water, but always paddling under the surface.

    I ate a delicious honkin' salad for lunch today in honor of VT. 

    I've also had more and more people asking me about eating vegetarian and how I made the decision to change my eating habits.  A few also asked how on earth Irish got on board with the idea.  I've enjoyed talking to people about it, and hope that I'm walking on the right side of that fine line to share how great it's been for me and the health benefits that convinced me to give it a try but without sounding preachy in any way.

    People often respond that they respect my ability to make that choice, but could never be able to give up meat.  Maybe more of you seasoned veggies (mmm, tasty!) can help me with that.  I simply respond back that it's actually been very easy for me and that I quickly reached the point where I had no desire to eat meat.  I also share that it's pretty easy to find foods that you can eat in nearly every setting and that I feel better after changing my diet, which is a good motivator to continue.  I certainly am sharing that just as a personal experience and not as a pitch for them to join me, and I hope that comes across.  I don't want to become the "veggie thumper" (you know, the Bible thumper's cousin) because I'm passionate.  I figure to each their own.

    (See? Veggie and fruit lover not thumper.  Except watermelons, but they're meant to be thumped!)

    I'm looking very forward to the weekend.  I want time to relax, rejuvenate, catch up on blogs, sleep, fam time... it's sad how quickly things can get neglected when certain parts of life get off kilter or become time sucks.  That's part of the beauty of weekends.  You can reset your life with a clean slate.  You have the choice to fill it with festivities and friends or keep it open and relaxed.  Love it!

    So I  think that's it for now.  Here's to a productive Friday and straight on to a fab weekend!

    Any suggestions or tips for planning a successful giveaway?  How do you handle (or not handle) drama?  Do you notice physical effects from the stress?  What's your fave part about weekends?

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Strong stomach storytime

    Who'da thunk you'd ever need to use that title for a post?

    Even worse is the reason why.

    So, I know this is a food blog, but I am asking you for your own health to put down any food you may be consuming as you read this post.  It will also explain my extended hiatus for the past several days.

    Read below only after steeling your stomach...

    So this weekend was very much needed.  Lots of drama the week before, and I couldn't WAIT to sink my teeth into a few days off.  I ended up getting called back to work, though.  I only wish that was the reason you needed a strong stomach to read this!

    By the time I got home from work and the errands that were originally planned for the day, Irish was gone for a few days to help his dad.  It was just me and the BabyBear.

    Remember this ridiculously cute mug??
    I decided that I deserved a relaxed night after the not-so-great day back at the 9-5.  I settled in with the laptop and the BB and signed onto the bloggie and my email.  I jotted down a few recipe ideas in a draft that I'd developed in my head on the drive home before I could forget them.  I also started pulling up some of your recipes with the thought that I'd find a great pancake recipe as a base to then create my on flapjacks for the giveaway Katie has arranged.  I remember that I had just grumbled as I realized how involved these pancake recipes were.  Nothing like my old childhood Bisquick 'cakes with their piddly 3 extra ingredients. 

    And then came the horror.

    BB projectiled.  The most vile smelling odor I have ever smelled in my entire life exited that little dog's mouth.  She put forth this nastiness all over my laptop.  What I absolutely would have expected was the entire contents of her stomach was covering my precious, valuable lifeline laptop.  I froze for several seconds in sheer astonishment.  When I sprung into action, I pulled the plug from it, then took a few more seconds to realize that the laptop would have to be hard-powered down to cut the juice.

    I tried to shake off the contents onto our floor (of lesser value to me at that point), but it wasn't coming off without hands-on intervention.  As I placed the laptop upside down onto the floor to go grab paper towels, so projectiled again.  I think she was trying to send me a nasty little message because puke #2 landed squarely onto the couch cushions where I was sitting just a minute before.

    From there, it was a blur.  I was working triage in my own home... I can't even count how many times she puked.  I couldn't track from one spot to the next fast enough.  It was the first time that I didn't feel like a strong independent woman who could conquer anything on my own.  I wanted my husband.  I wanted my mommy.  I wanted a vet in my house ASAP.

    I frantically called Irish and asked his advice.  He said that he would call the vet if she threw up another 3 times.  So 30 seconds later, I called the emergency number.  The vet wasn't exactly pleased to be called.  I don't think I had time to explain to him exactly how precious and important this sweet BB is and how badly he needed to heal her with his words.  Or dispense something calming to her puppy mama at least.

    He said she needed to puke it out and to remove her access to food and water.  Don't you want to rush up to your office to see her pathetic face in person and perform a laying-of-the-hands for her?  Don't you want to inspect the soggy paper towels and truly appreciate the stench that is making me gag on the phone with you to truly weigh the severity of this issue?  (Sidenote:  I fully believe this episode has sealed the fate for my uterus to be my bladder's kindly old maid neighbor rather than an incubator.  However I do realize now that should I ever raise a kid I will be one of those moms.)

    So we resigned ourselves to puke this out.  BB was put into a bare kennel to contain the damage and shot me pathetic "how could you allow bad things to happen to me" looks.  I picked up all the food and water and continued the clean, gag, clean, gag cycle.  Irish called to check back on the situation and requested that I stay in the same room as her until she is all better.  He didn't seem to understand that the barf spanned the whole house.  He also tried to convince me that I should sleep with BB at my side so I would know if she was still puking or if she started to have signs of distress.  I told him that I wouldn't be puked on and that putting the kennel next to the bed was the best that I could do.

    Oh, and I also informed him that BB gifted him with a nice wide swath of puke across his half of the bed.  Suddenly he seemed a little more open to the idea that BB could sleep in the kennel.  It was around midnight that I realized that I hadn't even gotten the chance to eat dinner.  All those delicious recipes swirling around my head just a few hours ago were just vague memories at that point.  All I wanted was to stop smelling puke and get some much needed sleep.

    Apparently it takes a few days for a laptop to dry out sufficiently before you can risk turning it on without shorting out something.

    You may take a deep breath and resume eating when ready.

    Soo.... I thought that I would let you all know where I have been and why I have been gone.  I will have to try the recipes that I dreamed up and report back.  I will have to continue a process that I very dirtily named "suck and blow"-- sucking up the crusty crap from the laptop with the vacuum attachment and blowing out the crud with an air can.  Rinse and repeat.

    What exciting things have you been up to lately?  What has caused you to suffer one of those "I want my mommy" moments as an adult?

    Oh yes, and a food update that wasn't pre-chewed.  I tried raw, un-massaged kale in my lunch today.  It was pretty tasty in the whole mix.  As a plain ol' piece of kale all nekkid and all, I still don't love it.  But how often do you eat nekkid leafy greens anyway?  So all in all I would say that I have embraced kale. OH! I also got to try a few nibblets from a local raw vegan restaurant this weekend, too.  It was d-i-v-i-n-e.  I definitely want to go back and get a full meal.  Soon.  Yu-u-ummmm!