Thanks!

I’m thankful for a lot of things. Here are just a few of them…

  • Bobby – 4 years on December 3rd (!) and getting married soon (thanks for all the feedback on this picture)
  • Our family
  • Our cats (Couscous and Bo)
  • Almost 2 years of blogging (here’s my first post)
  • My friends (new and old)
  • My new job
  • The future
  • Salad and frozen yogurt (like Bekah)
  • Kabocha (haven’t had any in a while though! must get on that)
  • Cupcakes from Crumbs (from my boss’s wife)
  • Grits for breakfast (instant! not actually from Metro Cafe; their container was handy though)
  • Yoga!
  • Lots of other things that I’m not thinking of right now 😛

nov 25 2009 015

nov 25 2009 014

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for?

Mom’s Matching Green Oat Bran

My mom’s flight finally got in last night around 12:30AM.  It was originally supposed to get in at 9:30PM!  Poor mom.  She went to bed as soon as we got back to our apartment… She’d been up for about 24 hours straight.

I made two batches of green oat bran this morning… Mine was: oat bran, peanut butter, salt & vanilla, and TONS of spinach.  Mom’s was: oat bran (smaller portion), small spoon of peanut butter, small bit of mashed banana, salt & vanilla, and a medium handful of spinach.  She also drizzled a little bit of honey on top.

18-double-green-oat-bran

Mine was much greener than mom’s.  She was so shocked that she really could not taste the spinach.  She tried mine (lots of  spinach) but still said it was really good, even though she could sort of taste it… She’s definitely going for more spinach tomorrow.

Before I made us our green breakfasts, I did 25 minutes of Dave Farmar’s Sun Salutations #2 (yogadownload).  It was… okay.  I like my own flows better.  My flows are a bit more challenging and fun.  I skipped the beginning (child’s pose) and the end (savasana).

Mom and I are off to the mall to get some free Fekkai products (I have some coupons for Sephora) and then I think we’re going to walk around Santana Row and do some shopping.  Anthropologie and Williams Sonoma are definitely on the list.  We might hit up Whole Foods and some of my favorite Asian markets later today too.  I have to make Mom try kabocha soon.  I’m pretty sure she’ll love it (how could you not?).

I think Mom is going to show me how to make seitan today.  She’s awesome like that.

I’m also soaking wheatberries to prep for an experiment.  And to clean out the pantry.  Can’t wait to see how it turns out…

Happy Wednesday!

Spiced Holiday Bread Braid Recipe

Julia, my sister, is going to give our Grammie and Aunt Mattie homemade bread for Christmas this year. Last night we decided to do a run-through to see how it would come out. I found a recipe for a Cardamom braid in Cooking Light, so I modified it (a lot) and came up with my very own. It’s quite simple to make and came out better than any bread I have made in the past.

Spiced Holiday Bread Braid Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Lemon rind from one lemon plus a dash of lemon juice
  • 1.5 teaspoons spices – allspice/pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • 4.5 cups whole wheat flour (separated), plus extra for kneading
  • 2.5 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 egg white
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Directions

  1. Mix together the first 6 ingredients (milk, sugar, butter, lemon, spices, salt) in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. The temperature should be about 120 – 130 F.
  2. Combine 2.5 cups of the flour with the yeast. Then add the milk mixture from the saucepan and mix together. Gradually add the remaining two cups of flour. (You can do this in a mixer – mine was not very cooperative. I think it would be better to try by hand.)
  3. Once you have a ball of dough, knead for about 10 minutes over a floured surface. Continue to add flour as the dough absorbs it; the dough should remain slightly sticky.
  4. Spray the inside of a bowl with cooking spray, then place the ball of dough inside. Cover and keep in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has about doubled in size.
  5. Punch down the dough and let it rest for a few minutes.
  6. Preheat the over to 375F.
  7. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll them into ropes – if you want a long, thin, braid try for about 20 inches; if you want it fatter, try for 15 inches. Pinch together the ropes and then braid them. When you have finished the braid, pinch the other end together.
  8. Place the braid on a sprayed cookie sheet; cover and let it sit for another 25 minutes.
  9. Paint the braid with the egg white and water mixture, then sprinkle the additional sugar over the top. Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove and let it cool.

We had it with butter and that fresh fruit dip I keep raving about.


I really like using almond milk – it’s light and naturally sweet. I’m not a huge regular milk fan anyway (though I do like whole milk and heavy cream).

More posts to come – I expect to make A LOT of cookies over the next day or so.