Gah!

So…Blogger says that I’m over my photo allotment. Effing boo, is what I say. Double effing boo, because I just spent far too long writing a very delicious, very sensual post. 
Oh yeah, dirty talk is involved.
Unfortunately, though, dirty talk without pictures is just boring. So I’ll try and work some magic and get photo capabilities tonight. But if I’m not as magical as I think I am (I never could get those two rings to interlock), the post will be up tomorrow. 
So think of this as…foreplay? Teasing? Whatever you want to call it, make sure you come back for the main event. Because while I do hate to wait, this is certainly worth it.
Catch you sooner rather than later (I hope), eaters. G’night.

WW: Someone is Watching You

Hiya eaters!
I’m still trying my best to look on the bright side. It’s working mildly well, though I’m still having a little bit of a pity party for myself over here. So in order to cheer myself up, and to easy you smilingly over the Hump of today, here’s a FoodBaby first:

A guest post! 

Never once has someone else written to you guys. And frankly, it is a bit tough to introduce you to someone else. I’m worried you’ll like her better. I’m worried you’ll think I’m abandoning you.
Is this how parents feel on the first day of kindergarten?
Well, just like kindergarten, you know I’m not abandoning you. And you know that while it’ll be a little strange at first, you’ll quickly start having fun.
Because honestly, how could you not have fun with my favorite gingery friend Marisa?!

Remember her from my Big Apple-ventures last fall? Well, she’s here to tell you all about her job.

—————-

Greetings “eaters.”

Kara has asked me to write a guest post on her blog for you all. A sort of “celeb shot”, if you are familiar with beer pong terminology. The reason for my requested presence here is stemmed from my current job occupation. I work in our school gym. And my job description is basically to sit behind a desk and stare at people.
Easy money right? During this exhilarating time, I am the witness to quite a few amusing occurrences.
Every shift I work, there are always at least a few people that almost fall off the treadmill. I’m sure many have you have done this, and if you haven’t, you probably will at some point. And when you do, just remember that I will be laughing at you in spirit. Feel that comfort and/or humiliation. Bask in it.
For those of you that already have done this – whether you want to admit it or not – I’m sure you’re familiar with the overpowering urge to try and cover up your obvious lack of coordination. We all do it. Try and play it off as if no one else saw how ridiculously awkward we were, and consequently end up looking even MORE awkward in the attempts to smoothly get back in the rhythm of our previously interrupted running.
Whenever I’m not having a laugh at the expense of some poor treadmiller, I focus my attention towards the weight lifting area.
I don’t know if any of you have ever notice this, but whenever people lift weights in the gym, they are usually in front of a wall sized mirror. In said mirror, they tend to make a variety of faces at themselves when they are lifting weights of whatever size. Let’s call them, motivational faces. These motivational faces often represent the kinds one would make when experiencing a heavy duty bowel movement, or very aggressive intercourse.

My point of all this is to basically say, everyone looks stupid at the gym. Everyone. This is coming from someone who does nothing but stare at those people when she works. So I know what I’m talking about. And by making the point that everyone looks stupid in the gym, no matter the activity, is to emphasize that you shouldn’t let the fear of looking silly inhibit you from going. Go work out! Get healthy! I promise you, you’ll look just as stupid as everyone else, but if everyone else looks stupid, no one’s going to notice if you do too.
————————-
So there you have it, eaters, absolute proof that you will almost definitely do something to make you look like an idiot at the gym. Isn’t it comforting?
I think so. Now I won’t be afraid to try all those weird looking exercises the magazines always tell me will help me lose my baby weight, get a butt like a 10 year old boy, and increase my breast size to FF, or whatever else it is they promise will happen in just 3 set of 2.5 reps per week. 
But I won’t get to the gym until tomorrow. So until then, I sleep. 
G’night eaters.

Happy Things

G’evening eaters!
How are you doing on this fine fine day?
Oh yes, it’s been a fine here. Because despite the fact that I fell asleep during a French quiz and either might be homeless or sharing another kitchen-less room with the college equivalent of an AV Club nerd next year, I’m trying to be positive. I’m trying to keep things in perspective.
This is new for me, but right now I’m not having a break down or eating my feelings, so I think it’s working. (Though I am now a little hungry, which is strange.)
So in honor of looking on the bright side, here’s a little post of things I’m loving right now:
Green Monsters
Ever since my first one back in January, I’ve been hooked. I mean, who wouldn’t love starting the day off with a serving of fruit and a serving of vegetables? I certainly do! So much, in fact, that I eat one almost every day. Food rut much? No, food relationship!
Bulk Bins
I rarely go a week without a bag or two full of bulk bin goods. And I definitely took great pride and amusement in Burke’s first encounter with Earth Fare’s aisle-o-bins. He was slightly overwhelmed and more than slightly impressed (and not just because some of the bins were gummy worms and jelly beans). Which brings me to…
Starburst Jelly Beans
These are tied for my number 1 favorite jelly bean, but I only find these at Easter, which is right around the corner. And as luck would have it, they’ve beeswax free. Hip hop hooray, Easter bunny!
Chips
Or really, basically anything crunchy and salty (that’s not popcorn). I pretty much always crave something salty, though due to the fact that I can’t restrain myself around crunchy, salty snacks, I rarely buy them. While I definitely love a good ole’ fashioned potato chip (Kettle Brand Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper, to be exact), (Food Should Taste Good) tortilla chips (with salsa or guacamole) is my true kryptonite. You’ll notice I’ve bought a couple of avocados the last few weeks, right? Yeah, it’s been torture.
Target
I haven’t been in a while, but I can feel in my bones that they’ve got a new seasonal line of cheap, pretty, plastic dishes just begging me to buy them. I know I won’t be able to resist. And frankly, I can’t wait.
So there you have it, eaters, five things that make me happy; five things that help me look on the bright side. What are some things that you’re loving right now? Do we have anything in common?
I surely hope we do.

G’night eaters.

Oh Joy!

Hi eaters!
Sorry I’m a little late. Somehow my nearly empty To-Do list tripled in size tonight, so after my usual Monday meetings I decided to knock a couple of things off. Productivity seems to be my drug of choice lately, not that I mind a bit.
And you know what else I don’t mind — snow, when my dorm has heat.
Ya see eaters, over the last couple of weeks the weather has been progressively warming up. So it makes perfect sense that my school would switch over from heat to air conditioning. No problem, right?
Well, this weekend things got progressively colder. Last night I went to bed in a room with no heat. And today I woke up to snow, with the promise of similar weather for the rest of the week.
Oh joy!
So when it came time to make lunch I wanted something that would warm me up. I wasn’t feeling soup. Instead I wanted a different kind of warm. The kind that comes from sweet onions, tangy mustard, and warming spices. The kind of warmth that comes from simple meals, eaten in bed.
So here it is, my almost 5 Ingredient Fix meal
Warm Beans and Kinda Caramelized Onions
1 – 1 ½ lbs fresh sting beans, timed
1 red onion, chopped
~1/2 c water
3 T balsamic vinaigrette
1 t brown mustard
¾ t cumin
oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Chop the string beans into roughly bite-sized pieces. Heat a pan to medium heat, toss in the string beans, a pinch of salt and water, then cover. Once the water is cooked off and the beans are tender enough, move them into a bowl.
I wish I knew how to cut onions.
Lower the heat on the pan slightly, then add some oil and your onion. Toss until all the pretty onion bits are glistening in oil.
Then walk away.
Come back a few minutes later, stir, and walk away again.
Repeat that a couple of times.
Once the onions start to get extra soft, but not yet caramelized, add your cumin and stir again. Leave the onions to cook for just another minute or two more, then add your string beans back in. Cook everything until warm then transfer back into the bowl.
Pour in your vinaigrette and mustard, then toss until everything is coated.
Doesn’t that look good? 
So what makes this an almost 5 ingredient fix?
The crunchy topping.
With so many soft and softer vegetables going on I felt like a little textural surprise was needed.
So with the addition of a couple of chopped almonds this lovely bowl of warm vegetables, cooked in my favorite warming spice, and dressed in my beloved warm-spicy mustard, was complete.
And I ate it in bed. Under all the covers. While wearing my winter coat.
Oh joy!

G’night eaters.

Silly Vegans

Ello eaters!
How are you doing right now? Hopefully you’re curled up and comfy, recharging for the week ahead. Right now I’m curled up, but not terribly comfy.
Oh the joys of living in a dorm that turns off the heat the week before a freak cold snap!
But luckily I don’t have any homework to do for tomorrow, so laying under the covers most of the day hasn’t been so bad. Because despite the fact that I barely actually got dressed today, I did leave my room. To go to Earth Fare, of course!
This trip was a special one. Not only did I get to see that it didn’t burn down, but I got to take my Earth Fare virgin, new vegan friend, Burke, with me. As we were walking through the store, I explained various vegan staples — seitan, TVP, nutritional yeast, non-dairy cheese. Talking about all of these things really made me giggle at some of the strange, generally unappealing things vegans eat.
Boy we are a strange bunch.
Despite all the weird things I’ve been known to eat, my haul this week was pretty tame.
Loot:
Organic pink lady apples, Maranatha chunky peanut butter, organic spinach, texturized vegetable protein, Stubb’s hickory bourbon BBQ sauce, Seeds of Change cherry and almond dark chocolate, seltzer, green beans, dry roasted almonds, Rudi’s multigrain with flax English muffins.
Nothing too too crazy, right?
Unlike dear Burke, who bought both TVP and nutritional yeast. I had to warn him not to smell the yeast too closely before cooking with it because it smells…well…like moldy fish food. But boy is it good!
And my after shopping snack was also good.
Pretty pink lady.
No one needs to know how much of that fresh jar of peanut butter was eaten. Or how many episodes of Scrubs I’ve watched on Netflix today. Or how long it’s been since I took out the trash.
I’ve had a rough weekend (which will soon be Mused about). So you go check that in a few while I get back to watching bad TV and downloading pointless apps. (I’m still looking for recommendations for some less pointless apps.)

G’night eaters.

Big ‘Baby Cupcakes

Wowza eaters!
Talk about sucky timing to ditch you, huh? I tell you I know very little, demand a bunch of answers from you, and then don’t show up like I should. Bad ‘Baby!
But in my defense, I was writing a monster paper until the wee hours of the morning. And if that’s not good enough, I come baring cupcakes.
And whiskey.
Aren’t I grand?
Originally I was going to make these cupcakes on St. Patrick’s Day, but the recipe failed miserably. I’m talking no rising action and they tasted like metal. But this second batch…whoa boy!
Irish Coffee Cupcakes
1 1/5 c whole wheat flour
1 c sugar
1 scant c soy milk
2 T instant coffee granules
1/3 c cocoa powder
1/3 c olive oil
1 T vanilla extract
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix soy milk and vinegar and set aside. In a large bowl mix dry ingredients. Add remaining wet ingredients to bowl with soy milk, mix, and pour into dry ingredient bowl. Mix until fully combined.
Scoop mixture into 12 muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a fork comes out clean.
Lots of Whiskey Frosting
1/3 c whiskey
….
2 c powdered sugar
1/3 c barely melted Earth Balance
¼ c whiskey
While the cupcakes are cooling poke the tops with a fork. Then slowly spoon the straight whiskey over the cupcakes into the holes.
Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, melt the Earth Balance. Whisk in the powered sugar and whiskey. If the frosting is too watery, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too dry, add more whiskey.
Spoon the frosting over the cupcakes and spread to the edges. Then add a little more frosting.
These cupcakes are quite an experience.
The coffee flavor is present, but yet it doesn’t compete with the whiskey.
Whoa boy, the whiskey.
Because if you don’t like whiskey, you really shouldn’t make these.
These are big ‘Baby cupcakes.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to eat a couple and start my night.

G’night eaters. 

WW: Question and No Answer

Oh boy o berto, eaters!
I am dead like you wouldn’t believe. Three days of working straight from 8am-at least 10pm, which including plenty of running around like a crazy headless chicken and plenty of time flattening my butt behind a desk, have left me drooling into a cup. Not quite literally, but I did find myself completely forgetting what I was writing my paper on while I was planning the outline for it.
I think that’s about as close to drooling in a cup as an adult should get.
All of this brain stretching and melting has got me thinking about other things that I don’t know. Because, in case you were unaware, I’m not a total genius.
Shocker, I know!
So I’m throwing this WW to you, with all of my questions.
Ha! Bet you weren’t expecting that, right? Gotcha, eaters.
Q1- I know I said my v-necks didn’t stink of sweat. And they don’t, I promise. But my pants and Bikram towel — the things I use ONLY for working out — might not be so rosy. Is there any kind of special sport laundry detergent I can use?
Q2- Beyond waiting for my shoes to literally fall apart in my hands, I don’t tend to retire them until Mother tells me to. (She really is the one who forces me to constantly have two usable pairs in rotation.) What are the signs your running shoes are worn out?
Q3- Bench-press is an awesome move (and not just to impress guys), but I’m a solo sweater and therefore never have anyone around to spot me, which I hear is a good idea. 
Is it safe to bench without a spotter or should I muster the courage and ask that cute guy that’s been eyeing me for weeks to spot me (even though I’ll be benching at most 60lbs)?
Q4- I workout first thing in the morning. Normally, I wake up early and enjoy a leisurely bowl of smoothie while listening to NPR. I do this partially because I enjoy my personal time and like to ensure that I can eat quietly and leisurely, and partially because I think workouts need fuel. But so many people seem to wait until after their morning workouts to eat. What are the benefits of waiting? Is one better than the other?
Q5- I got nothing.
I was going to make this a nice round 5 questions, but I’m too dead to rack my brain and think of one. But I think I’ve given you enough homework as is. So pleasepleaseplease do get back to me with your facts, opinions, or hunches. I’ll take with whatever I can get.

Please, thank-you and g’night eaters!

Battle of the Bars

G’evening eaters!
It’s been another long ass day on my end. But I knew this week was going to be a killer, so I can’t complain.
How are you doing? Better than I, hopefully.
But enough small talk. I’ve got a whole boatload of information to throw at you. Ready?
You better be!
Recently two fun companies contacted me about sampling their products. What makes them fun, you ask?
They’re both customizable bar companies! And honestly, who doesn’t love customizing their own bars? It’s like making your own from scratch without actually having to make them from scratch.
You know this ‘Baby jumped all over that chance (despite the fact that I have absolutely no self-control around bars of any kind).
So I got a package from YouBar:
With some of their most popular bars.
I also got a package from Element Bars:
With a small mountain of dangerous delicious looking bars, both their regular line and their new Endurance line.
With two companies so seemingly simple, I really have no other choice but to have a
Battle of the Bars!
Rawr grrr gah!
(That was supposed to sound intimidating and cool.)
These two boxes of bars will face off to see which bar is worthy of your mouth.
Round 1: Gooey bars
Both companies sent me a date-based bar, which normally, I’m not a fan of. Date bars usually don’t have enough texture for me.
YouBar: Great Date with Chocolate
This was like a gooey brownie. Not much texture, but oh boy did I love licking it off my fingers.
Element Bar: The Cherry Dates Nuts
This was a lot like a Larabar — a mix of dates and nuts. It was good, but not great, simply because I’m not a huge Larabar fan. (Please don’t tar and feather me now.)
So, round 1 goes to YouBar.
Round 2: Crunchy bars
YouBar: Honey Cashew
This was the only bar they sent me with any cereal so it was my only chance to see their base : cereal ratio. And frankly…it wasn’t on target for me. There was a little too much cashew butter and not quite enough “nutty rice cereal” for my taste.
Element Bar: Cranberry Crunch
This bar was made with their “little crunch” base, and whoa boy that was a lot of texture! It was like a Luna Bar (which I LOVE) though not nearly as sweet.
Needless to say, round 2 goes to Element.
Round 3: Breakfast bars
YouBar: Breakfast Bar
Unfortunately, this bar had egg white powder, so I gave the sampling to a friend. According to them it was tasty, with a good hint of coffee without being bitter.  Frankly, I think the cinnamon is a bit out of place, but that’s just me. And based on the look, you can tell it’s another gooey one.
Element Bar: Blueberry Repair
Okay, this one isn’t specifically a breakfast bar, but the name makes me think of a blueberry muffin, so let’s go with it. The chewy base boasted plenty of blueberries and crunchy almonds. It didn’t taste like a blueberry muffin, but I wouldn’t mind waking up to it.  
It might be unfair to call this round, since I didn’t actually eat both, but I think I can safely say that Element Bar would have taken it for me.
Round 4: Face off.
I created a bar on each website using each sites equivalent offerings to see how they stacked up.
The bar — peanut butter and “crispy” base with dried apricots, dried blueberries, flax seeds, cashews, brown rice syrup, and soy protein.
YouBar: Offered organic peanut butter, flax seeds, and brown rice syrup. Nutrition stats — 224 cals, 12 g fats, 18 g carbs, 11 g protein. They’re sold in boxes of 13 for $38.87, which comes to $2.99 each bar.
Element Bar:
Offered organic apricots and flax seeds. Nutrition stats — 215 cals, 8.4 g fat, 24.6 g carbs, 11.8 g protein. They’re sold in boxes of 12 for $35.88, which comes to $2.99 each bar.
While I like the higher number of organic offerings (and more variety in general) from YouBar, I do like the lower calories from Element Bar, simply because I like lighter snacks. But a measly 10 calories isn’t enough to win the round (even though I do much prefer their packaging).
Therefore round 4 goes to YouBar.
So there you have it, eaters, a draw. I know, I know, not much of a blood bath. But even if I had declared a winner it would simply be on my bias towards crunch over chew. And I know that there are lots of Larabar lovers out there, so you probably wouldn’t agree with me anyway.
Instead, try them for yourself. (And if you do decide to try YouBar, enter “FBB10” during checkout to receive 10% off your order.) Or make your own. Or come eat what I have left. Because these bars are dangerously calling my name right now. But so is my bathing suit.
And that, eaters, is a real battle to the death.
G’night, eaters.

Fire?!

Hi eaters!

What did you get up to this weekend? Anything wildly fun?
I clocked a lot of time in the woods, a good bit of time with the manly friend, and some new earrings.

Creepy elf ears, anyone?

And I had a traumatic experience yesterday at Earth Fare. (Though if you follow me on the ole’ Twatter, you already know this.)
So there I was leisurely moseying up and down the aisles of my favorite grocery store. I had my list, meal plan and coupons in hand. And I was feeling good.
I came up with my meal plan in record time. And I think my budget is becoming second nature, because upon the first calculation I found I was perfectly on budget without a single thing to be cut.
I had all but two things on my list. I was standing in the bread aisle comparing prices and nutrition for a package of Rudi’s English muffins and Udi’s gluten free bread. (Once Fooducate comes out on Android that will be so much easier.) And all of a sudden…I heard a loud screech! A second later, it happened again!
I looked around to try to figure out the source, but saw nothing. I raised my eyebrows at the woman a few feet away from me at the deli counter. She shook her head in confusion as well.
Finally, a clerk came up to me and told me that the noise was the fire alarm and that I needed to grab my bag, leave my groceries and move outside. So both the woman at the deli counter and I grabbed our bags, left our almost full carts, and followed the crowd of people outside.
Eventually the fire department came, dressed in full suits and yielding big axes, and searched the store. Nothing was found.
So the alarm was reset and we were allowed to resume our shopping. I should have done what so many others did and high tailed it to the check out line, but instead I resumed my bread comparisons. Then I slowly meandered to go put something back. And then…
The damn alarm went off again!
Once again, I raised my eyebrows at the nearest person. But this time instead of a middle-aged woman with a son, it was a cute, young clerk. He told me that we probably had to evacuate again. And we flirted chatted about the wonders of peanut butter all the way to the door.
So once again, there we all were, waiting outside. After about five minutes I think all the other shoppers were gone. But I was so close, damn it! All I had to do was pay!
I was not giving up my cart full of delicious, wholeness food without a fight.
So I fought waited.
A handful of minutes later, the manager came out and told us that they were closed until they could find a technician to come fix the mysterious problem. And with that, I walked away from Earth Fare with an empty reusable shopping bag and a slightly broken heart.
Knowing full well that I wouldn’t have time to go shopping again today, I headed to the closest grocery store — Harris Teeter.
Now the ole’ HT is a fine grocery store. They have cookies for kids of all ages and a good amount of healthier food. But it’s not Earth Fare! There are no bulk bins, but there is a small selection of over-priced organic produce.
So I did what any ‘Baby would do — I meandered around aimlessly, bought weird things and I may or may not have taken the organic labels off my green peppers.

Loot:
Organic fuji apples, organic avocado, Wasa flatbread crackers, Amy’s black bean burritos, extra firm tofu, organic green bell peppers, organic spinach, Chocolove dark chocolate and ginger bar, red onion, organic canned corn.

Told you it was weird.
Hopefully this will get me through the week. If not, who knows. Luckily, my straight up impulse shopping brought me in a good bit under budget (thank-you BOGOFree Amy’s burritos) so if need be I’ll…figure something out.
G’night eaters.

Pressure Cooking Pro

TGIF eaters!
How did your St. Patrick’s Day go? Did you sip on your green beer? Eat corned beef and cabbage?
I did neither of those things, but I did hit up a few bars with some friends. I really wasn’t planning on doing much, but when you date an Irishman who’s room is decked out in Guinness paraphernalia, I guess there’s no avoiding it, right?
Despite my general avoidance of going out on weekdays, I ended up having a pretty great night. I didn’t get creeped on. I went to a bar in the back of a Laundromat. I got a few free drinks. And I got to watch a few biddies throw themselves at some of my friends.
Yup, it was a successful night!
And now it’s time to talk about another success — I successfully used my pressure cooker!
It’s been sitting on my shelf, staring at me, for weeks now. When I first got it I was thrilled to death to use it…but then I started reading about them.
Everything I read made it seem like I was either going to ruin the food if I left it cooking for even a minute too long or that it was going to explode.
But I finally bit the bullet thanks to a craving for black bean soup.
I tried to satisfy it with a can of Amy’s, but it didn’t scratch my itch.
So I bought a big bag of black beans…
And started soaking.
I left these overnight on my counter. And by lunch time the next day this is what I found.
With my beans primed and ready I had no choice but to take the plunge.
My Oh Mexican Black Bean Soup
¾ lbs (roughly 2 cups) dried black beans
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 ½ t cayenne pepper
2 ½ t cumin
5-6 c vegetable broth
1 lime, juiced
¼ c chopped cilantro
¼ t salt
4 c water
oil
Soak your beans overnight.
General rule — When soaking beans use a 2:1 water to bean ratio because they do expand.
Rinse and drain your beans until the water is clear. Heat your pressure cooker to medium heat, drizzle in a little oil, and briefly sauté the onion and pepper. Once the veg is barely soft, crank the heat to high and add in your vegetable broth, beans, spices (except salt) and some of the cilantro.
Give it a stir and lock on your top. Now don’t be afraid when the pressure indicator starts spewing a little lot of steam.
And don’t worry when the pressure valve starts “rocking gently.”
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv7BwCLT2FQ?hl=en]
Does that count as gently? Or vigorously? Because I sure don’t know.
Cook for 12 minutes (timing from when the pressure valve starts rocking “gently”) and then remove the pot from heat. Allow the pressure to regulate on its own. While that’s happening, make some guacamole!
Mash a wonderfully ripe avocado with salt, hot sauce, chopped cilantro and lemon juice, to taste.
Fact — Due to a Fear Factor-style eating contest in elementary school I used to gag at the site of guacamole and tomato soup.
Once the little pressure indicator drops it’s time to unveil your soup.
Perfectly cooked beans? Why yes, yes they are!
Squeeze the lime into the pot, along with the remaining cilantro and salt. Place about a third of the soup into a blender, puree, and mix it back in.
Garnish with a big dollop of guacamole and a few chips.
And in no time flat you’ve got a damn good pot of soup.
Soup full of flavor, protein, and homemade goodness.
In only 12 minutes of cooking time. The pressure cooker may be scary, but boy is it effective.
G’night eaters.