Friendship & Fall

My birthday was last Tuesday and I got the sweetest care package from my good friend, Clare. She sent me homemade stevia-sweetened jam, which I promptly mixed with some Greek yogurt, granola, and almond butter:

02 yogurt jam granola ab

I also ate it plain – yes, it was that good, and it’s gone now. She sent me Wonderful Salsa, which was enjoyed with organic tortilla chips:

04 salsa chips

Delicious (and now gone as well). And she sent me Yogi teas! Here are the ones I have tried so far…

01 mayan cocoa spice tea
03 ginger tea
05 gingko tea

06 licorice tea

  • Mayan Cocoa Spice – “let your manner speak for you”
  • Ginger – “old age needs wisdom and grace”
  • Ginkgo IQ – “to be great, feel great and act great”
  • Egyptian Licorice – “the power of love is infinte”

These teas are delicious, and most are organic. Thank you so much Clare! I can’t wait to bust into the rest of the package.

Today is the first day of fall, my favorite season. I love the leaves, the smells, the foods (pumpkin, squash, apples), the holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving), the atmosphere: it’s just a fantastic time of year. Fall is a good time to be thankful, and I really am for so many things. I’m thankful for my friends, my family, my kitties, my life, my future, and everything that has happened recently to push me towards the career I want…

What are you thankful for?

Ch-ch-ch-chia: some oat bran ideas

Afterthought: I really need a new camera. My old one just doesn’t cut it.

On Friday night we had Miwa and Armand (cousins) over for dinner. I made these Apple’d Brussels Sprouts (Brussels, apples, onions) and I also made a new recipe from cooking light: Singapore-Style Noodles. The recipe was okay… I had to change it a bit and I used the wrong kind of noodles because we couldn’t find vermicelli. But I don’t like noodles to begin with. The Brussels sprouts were delicious, in my opinion.

17 singapore noodles

I was on a mission for a few days to make myself like noodles/pasta, but I don’t think I’m going to do it anymore. I just don’t like them. I never have. Bobby and the cousins actually did like the recipe a lot; I guess I’m just being picky. It was nice and spicy. The ingredients: thick rice noodles, shrimp, green pepper, spices (cumin, cinnamon, chili flakes, soy sauce, sriracha chili sauce, rice vinegar, salt and pepper, hoisin sauce, garlic powder, ginger), some oil, and fake veggie bacon.

Something I have been loving is oat bran. I made pureed broccoli oat bran (steamed broccoli, oat bran, protein powder, almond butter, salt):

18 broccoli oat bran

It was alright. Not that great, to be honest. I won’t make it again. I’ve had a lot of this green oat bran though (oat bran, protein powder, amazing grass green superfood, salt):

19 green oat bran

This rocks. And so does this chia oat bran (oat bran, protein powder, chia seeds, salt, almond butter):

20 chia oat bran

That last one is my favorite. I really really like chia seeds. All of these bowls are usually stuck in the freezer for about 15 minutes after cooking; then gel up quite nicely.

My other trick for oat bran is salt. You must must must add salt, otherwise it tastes like… well, it’s bad. It gets thrown out if I forget the salt.

Do you have any little tricks for dishes you make often?

Link Love:

Be Beautiful!

You may have noticed that I changed my layout (again). I’m very indecisive and I can never stick to one thing for an extended period of time. I like changing wordpress themes into styles that I like. (If you have a blog and ever want help, just let me know – I used to do this for a living.)

I have a new favorite product, and I have no idea where to get it.

goji_L

Heather sent me this for my birthday and now I’m addicted. It’s a Vosges Goji Bar. I’ve been trying to savor it slowly, but I think it’s doomed to be finished today. I made it last almost a week, which is good. I’m going to check Whole Foods and Cost Plus first. I hear it’s also sold at Nieman Marcus, so next time I’m in the city (San Francisco) I might try to find it there.

The bar has a hint of salt, which brings out the amazing goji berry flavor. Vosges seems like a pretty cool company; they have other crazy flavors like bacon (!), oaxaca, ginger & wasabi (called black pearl), and woolloomooloo (hemp, macademia nuts). I love it. Thank you Heather!

Another thing I’ve been loving recently is Bare Minerals makeup. I’ve been making an effort to feel great about my appearance ever since my birthday and my abandonment of raw foodism. This includes wearing makeup, wearing clothes that make me feel cute, and eating things that I love. I got the starter kit ($60) and I’m so glad I did. I know that Bare Minerals is not the best natural makeup (it does have a few scary chemicals), but it has been working for me. It even came with a DVD that explains how to put it on! This is my new prep station:

15 bare minerals

My skin is generally quite problematic, but I’ve seen a dramatic improvement over the last few days due to half a dozen things I’m trying: MSM supplements, Maca powder, new makeup, Origins oil-free thing (in picture), not touching/picking at my face, and no more detoxing (see, I really did mean half a dozen = 6 things). I don’t know which one of these things fixed my skin, so I guess I’ll have to keep doing all of them.

I mentioned cleaning and organizing a few days ago (I spent my birthday night cleaning – by choice). A clean and clutter-free house makes for a very happy Maggie. I have a few bags in the back of Bobby’s Saab to take to Goodwill and I made this jewelry box so that I can access my jewelry quickly and easily. Organization makes me happy.

16 jewelry

This was so simple to make. I took a cardboard box (I think it was from freeze-dried apple chips; yum), and stapled tissue paper on it. I save tissue paper from my purchases (Anthropologie has the best). I hung my dangly earrings on the sides and put the other stuff in the middle (I made that brown dish in ceramics).

Bobby has a class all day today, so I’m on my own. I’m gonna work out, drop off an application, eat some Greek yogurt (yes, dairy is back), and chill out. I’m also going to listen to songs from this website. Heather’s brother started this awesome site (Start My Song) where songwriters can upload their new songs – a lot of them are really good. I’m listening to the Country station now.

Enjoy your Saturday! What was the last thing you did to make yourself feel beautiful?

Sealeg Salad (imitation crab meat)

This is actually a dairy-free recipe! I used canola-oil vegan mayo from Whole Foods.

10 seafood salad

Ingredients

  • 1 package of imitation crab meat (2.5 servings)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 small pickles, chopped (I used Chinese pickles)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • other spices (chili powder, dried onion, whatever else you like)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (vegan canola oil mayo)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2-3 tablespoons rice vinegar

09 unmixed seafood salad

Directions

Break apart the crab meat. Mix everything well. EAT.

08 unmixed seafood salad

Bobby liked his on fresh toasty bread; I liked mine plain. I think I had this with some roasted squash on the side.

I’ve been roasting squash a la Clare: cut up in pieces at 425F for 25 minutes. Here was delicata:

13 roasted delicata squash

And kabocha (duh):

14 roasted kabocha

I just sprinkle some salt, oregano/dill, and cinnamon on them. I’ve heard you can use stevia, but I’m not a fan. Squash is sweet enough. I like to top them with organic, fruit-sweetened (or unsweetened) ketchup. My recipe is here.

Now have a sweet weekend! What are your plans?

(Words of the day here.)

More Froyo, Sweet Potatoes, and Fruit!

I continued the froyo-for-breakfast theme yesterday with a tart cup from Quickly:

11 frozen yogurt quickly

Bobby and I also split these sweet potato fries and he got a crispy chicken rice bowl.

12 quickly fries chicken

As of the last few days, I’m really happy with what I’m eating. Yes, there are times that I eat too much fruit… many many times – but I’m a work in progress (aren’t we all?). One of the ways I’ve been enjoying (copious amounts of) fruit is with a fun kick.

07 nectarine dill

This is a fresh farmer’s market nectarine, sea salt & pepper, and dill! Now mix it up and multiply by 5 or so, and you have my nightly dessert.

I’ve also been taking a (temporary) step back from yoga. I think I want to try something new – possibly Tai chi? I don’t know where to start, so any suggestions would be welcomed. In Chinese, Tai chi chuan means supreme ultimate fist. YEAH.

Link love:

I’m up early today! I couldn’t sleep. But I’m being very productive. What is your best time of day to get work done?