Water Your Herbs

‘Ello eaters!
How have you enjoyed your 3-day weekend (if you had one)? I surely do hope it was lovely. And full of barbeques and pools and only slight sunburns.
For me, though, it’s been a 4-day weekend. Since there are no classes on Fridays, every weekend of mine is three days. And I must say, after four days of little to no schedule, I’m more than a little ready to get back to the daily grind. And more than a little to get back to the gym, since it’s been closed all weekend.
But with all this extra free time I was able to not only go grocery shopping, but also make two of my more time consuming recipes for this week, so I certainly can’t complain. The recipes will have to wait, though, because first comes Earth Fare.
Organic spinach, peaches, organic pink lady apples, corn, Earth Fare Volcanic salsa, organic free-range eggs, organic cilantro, tofu, organic black beans, Newman’s Own licorice, organic onion.
Is it just me, or does this haul seem huge? It’s mostly to do with the corn (5/$2) and peaches (do I even need to tell you what these are for?), but my pretty large shopping bag was almost overflowing. I certainly don’t mind in the least, though. 
The more the merrier happier my stomach is. And the more jealous my ‘mates are. This summer is the first time they both have to buy and budget for their own food, so there’s quite a bit of Bisquick and potatoes being eaten here. When I walked in with all this food for only $31, both of them were a little shocked.
And I was a proud ‘Baby.
On an unrelated note — do you know the best way to store fresh herbs?
I so rarely buy them because they always seem to go bad before I can use them all, but I needed cilantro for a recipe this week. I didn’t want them to go bad, so I did a little oogling and found that…
They’re best kept in a cup of water. Snip the bottom of the stems and place them in clean water. Cilantro is best kept in the fridge. Parsley can be kept in or out of the fridge. And basil should be kept out of the fridge.
I don’t know how long they’re last, but I’ll be sure to let you know when my cilantro starts to turn (if there’s any left by then, considering I’ve already used half).
Okay, eaters, that’s all I’ve got for now. Despite the fact that I feel like I did absolutely nothing today, I am quite exhausted. An early bed time is most definitely in my future (followed by an early morning workout or two).
Oh yes, I am a wild college kid.

G’night eaters. 

BA Breakfast

Hellooo eaters!
How are you doing on this fine Friday? It may be raining here, but I certainly don’t mind. (It means I still don’t have to turn on the AC!) But that’s not the only reason today has been so fine. It’s because this morning I was treated to breakfast by none other than…
Dede Wilson!
Yes, the very same lady that I’ve been begging you to go see this weekend! I was more than excited when her publicist contacted me to ask if I would like to meet her. So together with Nikki of Nik Snacks and Rachel of Triad Moms on Main, we shared a lovely breakfast at Midtown Café and Dessertery, which started with none other than…
A giant bowl of blueberries. These were the first blueberries of the season for me and m’gosh they were good.
While popping berries, we talked berries, of course, and Dede told me some very interesting things. Such as…
When her grandmother made a classic double-crust blueberry pie she used orange juice as the liquid in the crust.
A food processor is possibly the best way to make pie dough.
Driscoll’s (the company Dede is partnered with) does not have huge berry farms in California like it may appear, but rather they buy from small local farmers. This not only ensures that the berries are as fresh as possible, but also that the berries you buy are (close to, if not actually) local.
None of Driscoll’s berries are ever genetically modified, which is something that I don’t think people pay enough attention to.
Blueberries make great map markers. 
Nikki’s map to a farmers’ market. 
North Carolina is the 5th largest blueberry producing state in the country. (So proud of my adopted state.)
Around this time our food arrived.
A veggie omelet…
And a huge side of hashbrowns.
And since I’m who I am, and Winston-Salem is the headquarters of Texas Pete, you can bet that plenty went all over everything.
With the arrival of food came a shift in conversation from berries to Bon Appetit magazine, for which Dede is the contributing editor.
If you’re an avid reader of the magazine (which Nikki definitely was!) you’ll have noticed the changes that this year has brought. And if you’ve picked up the most recent issue you’re at least a little clued in to the controversy of it.
How is Bon Appetit making waves, you ask?
Because Gwyneth Paltrow is on the cover. If you’re up on your foodie news you’ll know that Gwyneth Paltrow put her name on “wrote” a cookbook. Luckily, I don’t think she ever had the nerve to claim that she actually wrote the book. Because in reality she didn’t do anything more than tell her personal chef to write a cookbook of all of her favorite dishes to have made for her. Yet, she made it on the cover of, what I have always considered to be, a very purist food magazine.
Nikki was peeved. And while Dede didn’t seem too happy about it either, she did have a really good reason for it — readership.
As Rachel Ray and Food Network Magazine flashed all over TV and the magazine racks, BA (Bon Appetit. Bad Ass. Whichever.) started losing readers to the catchphrases (“Because as history shows, the hosts of food shows need a lot of catchphrases” — The Sporkful) and recognizable names.
So they chose to feature Gwyneth because, while I’m sure she would burn water if she was without her kitchen assistant, she does stand for some of the very things BA stands for — local, seasonal food, and lighter, healthier recipes.
But as the letter to the editor stated, celebrities won’t ever be a staple of BA, for which I am very thankful.
All in all, Dede was beyond warm and engaging. She’s a lovely woman and a talented self-taught pastry chef (who advices eating pie for breakfast). And I was beyond honored that I was able to meet her (and the two other bloggers who are doing such impressive things).
And while you may have missed Dede’s first appearance, you can still catch her tomorrow in Winston-Salem. Please do, because I guarantee it’s worth your time (and she has tons of Driscoll coupons!)
So now eaters, I’ve got pie recipes to research. Expect another one sooner rather than later.
G’night eaters. 

Spiced Okra

*This was written EARLY last evening, but once again my internet wasn’t working. It rarely works at night.*

Hello again eaters!
I told you I would be back. So now only did I keep that promise, but I’m being a forwarding thinking ‘Baby by posting early since I’m entertaining tonight and won’t have time before bed.
Aren’t you proud of me, eaters?
You should also be proud of me because I’ve had a recipe that I made and photographed last week and I’m NOT letting it go ignored. So often good recipes of mine get forgotten because I don’t have time to blog about them. But this time I’m making a point of getting it out there, because not only is this a delicious, cheap recipe, but it can also be made ahead of time and stored very well.
So to all the eaters who constantly run around like crazy, who work, who have kids, who workout, and have a social life, I give you…
Spiced Okra and Firm Polenta.
This was inspired by and adapted from two of Isa’s recipes in Appetite for Reduction. (Can you tell it’s the only vegan cookbook I own?) And it was amazing.
Let’s start with the polenta, because that’s where I started.
According to Isa’s ingredients, there exists such a thing as “polenta corn grits.” This substance is still as elusive as actually comfortable high heels, so I use plain old “yellow corn grits.” Use whichever you have.

1 c yellow corn grits
4 c vegetable broth
½ red onion, chopped
1 t graham masala
1 t garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat and sauté onion until it begins to get soft. Add garlic, stir, and cook for another minute or two. Increase heat to medium-high and add broth. Wait another couple of minutes and then slowly add corn grits while stirring with a whisk. Add spices.
Continue to whisk almost continuously. If the mixture begins to bubble and pop, reduce the heat slightly and whisk thoroughly.
Continue doing this until the polenta is firm enough for the whisk to leave momentary marks. 
If you’re going to be serving this immediately, keep cooking for another 2-3 minutes. If you are cooking this ahead of time, stop now. When it comes time to serve this, add a splash of water, heat and whisk until it is warmed through and smooth.

2 c okra, cut into bite sized pieces
2 t fresh ginger, minced
2 t garlic, minced
½ t dried thyme
2 dashes cayenne
1 dash nutmeg
1 dash cinnamon
½ t tumeric
½ t cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a pan to medium high heat. Add the oil and sauté the garlic and ginger until it becomes fragrant. Add a few splashes of water and the thyme. Toss in the chopped okra, the rest of the spices and another few splashes of water (enough to just slightly more than cover the bottom of the pan). Toss okra to mix and coat with spices.
Allow it to cook until the water has evaporated and the okra is tender.
This is best made immediately before it’s first serving. For any leftovers, leave them to cool completely in the pan before transferring to a completely dry container.
Some crusty parts will form on the okra and any moisture (such as collected steam from enclosing it while still warm) will turn it all into mush and will mix with the naturally sticky innards of the okra to create something unpleasant.
Serve up a big scoop of polenta, topped with a healthy serving of okra.
Okra may not be your thing. Polenta may be flavorless and textureless to your taste buds. But this will completely change that.
It’s firm, grainy polenta, soft onions, and spiced and crispy okra, all almost entirely devoid of stickiness. And if that doesn’t quite do it for you, feel free to add a little somethin’ somethin’ of your own.
So how about it eaters? A cheap meal with the possibility of being made almost entirely ahead and stored flawlessly. I think I did pretty well this time. And I hope you think the same, if you ever make this (which you really should).
Okay eaters, now I have a little tidying up to do before my friends come and wreck the place with beer cans and raucous living.
G’night eaters.

PS—Don’t forget out Dede Wilson Friday and Saturday. You won’t be sorry you went. 

WW: Triad-tastic

G’morning eaters!
Surprised to see me? Well I was going to post last night, but my internet decided to completely crap out on me. It was really quite unfortunate for multiple reasons. One of which was that I couldn’t watch any reruns of Law & Order: SVU before bed.
Yes, eaters, I’m one of those people. But in my house, the Law & Order nap reigns supreme so you really can’t expect much else from me.
Okay, this morning’s post is going to be sort of dichotomos. So here goes…
First, I completely forgot to mention something very important to you after my pie post. This is something for the people of the Triad and surrounding areas.
Do you like blueberries? Do you like desserts? Do you like professional food writers?
You should like all of those things. And thus, you should come see Bon Appetit Contributing Editor, cookbook author, and regular on the Early Show and (I think) the Today Show Dede Wilson.
She will be appearing in these parts on Friday and Saturday to show some creative (and I except very drool-worthy) ways to incorporate blueberries (which are apparently a popular crop around here) into more than just muffins. And rumor has it she will have on hand her Blueberry Crème Freche tart with Poppyseed Crust for people to sample.
So, pleasepleaseplease come out and see Dede. The details are:
Lowest Foods, Clemmons
2501 Lewisville Clemmons Rd
Friday, May 27th, 2:00pm-5:00pm

Lowes Foods, Winston-Salem
3372 Robinhood Rd
Saturday, May 28th, noon-3:00pm

Second, it’s time for WW. And this Wednesday Thursday, did you honestly expect me to talk about anything other than my bike? I hope not. You’re smarter than that, eaters.
So…I love my bike! I love riding! I love going fast and going up hills and I’m even starting to be less scared going downhill. 
And I’ve fallen in love with the perfect riding spot. So now I’m going to tell you about it. (Sorry non-NC eaters, this is another Triad-tastic topic.)
When I bought my bike the lovely Revolutionaries gave me a ‘Boro bike map.
I immediately put this up on my completely blank wall.
Since I’m still not ready for riding in traffic I scoped out some bike trails. I tried a few and quickly found the perfect one — the Guilford Courthouse National Park.
This was the site of a Revolutionary War battle where (my ancestor) Gen. Nathaniel Greene fought the British and lost, which the ‘Boro people of yester-year decided to memorialize with an auto/bike tour that leads you past places and things of mention. The path is wide, smoothly paved and there are a lot more walkers than autos.
Are you starting to see why I like this? It gets better.
This route is rarely flat, which means lots of uphills, downhills, turns, curves and straight out fun. It’s a short 3 miles, but it’s fun enough to make doing multiple laps an exciting idea. And if you’re a newbie-Baby like myself, it’s the perfect baptism by fire medium-hot stove.
It’s scary enough to make it impossible to whimp out, but not so scary that you fall over from fear. But I promise that once you take the right angle turn at the bottom of the steepest decline or when you crest the biggest (and last, I think) hill, you’ll forget the scary bits and be completely high on cycling.
I’ve done this route a large handful of times and it never ceases to be exciting. Or a great workout. Or teach my something new about my bike.
So there you have it, eaters. Two worthwhile Triad-tastic things to check out. And I surely hope I didn’t bore the non-NC eaters to death. But these two things just had to come out.
So now I’m off to continue doing homework. I’ll be back tonight with regularly scheduled programming. 
Tata for now, eaters. 

Pie Perfect Summer

Ello eaters!
Oh what a lovely day it has been! How has your day? I hate to say it, but I can hardly imagine it being as lovely as mine. I slept a little later. I went on an ah-maze-ing bike ride where I marveled at how quickly I’m getting comfortable on it. Then after a lovely creative writing class, I spent the afternoon drinking beer and eating pie at a pool with m’friend Jack (Hi, Jack!). After which I ate yummy $1 bean tacos with my lady friends.
See, I told you it was the most lovely day. And while I can’t offer it up to you on a plate (though I wish I could, because I adore you that much) I can offer you pie.
Oh yes eaters! This ‘Baby made her first ever homemade pie crust. Have I mentioned that making the perfect pie crust is my summer project? Yup, I intend to make as much pie as I can possibly buy fruit for until I unlock the key to that perfectly flaky, wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it, pinnacle of any backyard BBQ cust.
And you, m’dear dear eaters, are going to be the beneficiaries of my little project. (Well, you and my ‘mates.)
So here goes pie number one:

I paid my first visit to the Triad Farmer’s Market this past Saturday to scope out the spring offerings. Unfortunately, right now those offerings consist mostly of seedlings and flowers. But I did manage to snag a perfectly ripe quart of organic strawberries.
By perfectly ripe, of course I mean perfect for a pie!
But first, the crust.
Want to see something wonderful?
Earth Balance
You know I normally try to keep my recipes on the lighter side, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and embrace your not so hidden, but probably very repressed love of butter.
I’m not going to share a crust recipe with you today, because unfortunately, my crust was not perfect.
It was wonderful, but not the kind of crust I dream about. Not the kind of crust the idea of which makes me ramble on to a stranger at a party. When I get that crust, I’ll cry of joy. And then tell you.
So for now, I’ll share the filling. Because that, eaters, needs no perfecting.
Sunkissed Strawberry Pie Filling
1 generous qt of strawberries
1 T coconut nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
2 T peanut flour*
1 t lemon zest
Slice a handful of strawberries into little pieces.
Add those pieces to a dry skillet heated to medium heat. Quickly the berries will begin to release juices. These juices will probably cook to the bottom of the pan. Don’t worry. Just keep slicing berries and adding them by the handful to the pan.
Once you have a good bit a juice in the pan (can you tell this isn’t an exact science?) add your flour and sweetener.
When researching recipes I found plenty that called for a cup or more of sugar and I was shocked. You barely need any sweetener when your berries are fresh and plump and beautifully ripe. So buy those and skip the white stuff.
And then keep slicing and adding and stirring, stirring, stirring.
You’ll notice that once you add enough berries their collective juices will deglaze the bottom of the pan and all of that cooked down good stuff will be mixed in.
Once you’ve added all your berries, it’s time to give it a kick.
Zest just a little of a lemon directly into your berries, stir for a minute, and then turn off the heat.
I would suggest waiting a few minutes for the filling to cool slightly before pouring it into a prebaked and cooled pie crust. I didn’t wait for either to cool and my crust got just the slightest bit soft. Though, that certainly didn’t take away from it’s delicious.
Blurry with excitement. 
Letting the pie cool in the fridge until the filling was less runny (another scientific term) didn’t hurt its deliciousness either.
All that anticipation made that first bite of cool,
Juicy berries,
And almost really flaky crust absolutely amazing.
I can proudly say that I made this pie on Sunday…
And it’s all gone now. If that’s not a ringing endorsement I don’t know what is.
*Peanut flour, I used this because I found it cut the flavor of straight strawberry jam just enough to make it complex. If you don’t have any peanut flour, cornstarch or even plain flour would work fine, but you may need to leave out the sweetener.
I really do hope that this recipe finds it’s way into your summer. It screams summer loving so loudly, it really can’t be ignored. And if you were having a less than lovely day, I hope even the idea of this pie brightens it. But if you have a wonderful day (maybe even one that can rival mine), I would lovelovelove to hear about it.
What makes a day lovely to you?
I know that I’m about the cap off my lovely day with a little reading and listening to a thunderstorm. Oh summer…

G’night eaters.

Assisted by TJ

Hiya eaters!
Sorry for being a little late tonight, but it was laundry night. And for a broke ‘Baby like myself that meals hauling my dirty clothes over to my friends’ apartment and using their washing machine instead of paying the $3 to wash a load at my apartment. Call me cheap, but $3 adds up. And it gave me an excuse to hang out with some ladies and drink wine. So, I think it was well worth the effort.
But now I’m tardy for the party, so let’s jump to it.
Have I mentioned that the theme of this summer is “hustling”? Because it certainly is. And with everything being so busy, all those TJ’s goodies that I stocked up on when I was home are really coming in handy. So allow me to show you a perfect typical TJ’s assisted meal.
Twice a week, I get back from class after 8pm. On those days I go to school at 1pm, with whatever random food I can throw in my bag to tide me over. Needless to say, when I get home I’m starving like Marvin (the Martian?) and need dinner to magically appear before me.
And would you look at that — simmer sauce to the rescue.
When I bought this someone (Veronica, maybe?) asked me how to cook with it because directions on these jars are sparse. Frankly, I completely ignore the directions and treat it just like you would any jarred sauce — I dump it on and heat it through. Case in point…
Sautéed some onion and carrot. Added 1/4 c TVP and a few splashes of water. 
Mixed 3 T sauce with 1 T soy sauce and plenty of sriracha (though less than normal because I’m trying to teach myself to appreciate flavors other than fire). I cooked that until everything got mixed, hot and sticky.
And voila!
Dinner faster than it would have taken to microwave a meal.
And believe me, this sauce was ah-maze-ing. It tasted authentic in that perfect savory, unnamable spices kind of way. And the sriracha accented it without being overpowering, which is what I like to call taste bud maturity.
If you’re a long time eater, you know that whenever I eat even mildly spicy food I need something sweet afterward.
Enter dessert.
Mmmm, drippy.
Quite possibly some of the best animal cracker ever. Dipped in a very distinct nut butter.
At first I wasn’t crazy about sunbutter. It eventually grew on me, though, and now I love it’s unique, unmistable taste. And I love how drippy it is.
A handful or two of those strangely delicious little animals and plenty of sunny drips were just the thing to cleanse my Thai-spiced palette and make the stress of 7 hours of schoolwork melt away. A couple of old episodes of “Modern Family” never hurt either.
So with that, eaters, I bid you g’night. I’m far past exhausted and tomorrow promises to be another long day (pool? Yoga? Job search?). Oh how I wish I could survive off minimal sleep at times like these!

Later eaters!

Sunday Funday

Hello m’dear eaters!
I’ve missed you dearly since Thursday. I really do need to get better about writing my posts early so that I don’t leave you hanging when my social life kicks up. Because that’s just not fair to anyone, right?
Despite my long absence, I hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine was hot and busy. And I’m anticipating another busy week ahead. So with that in mind I spent a little bit of time in the kitchen. First, Earth Fare.
Organic, free range eggs, organic zucchini, organic eggplant, organic pears, Ezekiel tortillas, club soda, Earth Balance, whole wheat pastry flour.
With my kitchen thoroughly stocked it was time to do something I’ve never done before — Sunday Funday prep day.
With my schedule as surprisingly hectic as it is this summer, I’ve decided to take a cue from the rest of the working world and do some cooking on Sunday. It was mostly just chopping and little things like that, but hopefully it’ll be enough to make my meals this week a little smoother. And the easier it is for me to cook, the more food porn and recipes you get. Talk about a win-win, right?

G’night eaters. 

Big Day

Hi eaters!
Let’s skip the small talk and get right to the good stuff — the other reason I was so freaking happy on Tuesday.
Ya see eaters, two things happened this week that really got me thinking. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to drag this out between two posts. I promise.)
First, I got the test results from my 3rd check-up since my surgery this summer. Everything was clear and I was never too worried that it wouldn’t be all clear.
At the time that I was dealing with that health scare, though, I was very worried. About everything. It was almost all I could think of.
Yet, here I am less than a year later, and another doctor appointment and another test isn’t even worth a passing mention. And I still have another 16 months before I’m out of the woods. It’s amazing how much had changed in so little time.
The second thing that has been occupying my thoughts this week is my Stepfather’s 54th birthday, which would have been today. All week, every time I’ve turned on my computer I’ve seen that marked on my iCal. At first, I thought about marking the day by making the cake I baked for Bill’s last birthday. But then again, that didn’t really seem like enough. Or it didn’t feel right.
And then I remembered what was happening around this time a year ago — Bill and Mother were shopping for bikes.
I think one of Bill’s doctors had told him that cycling would be good physical therapy because he was gung ho about buying a bike. After researching for a while, he and Mother eventually bought gorgeous bikes to ride together once Bill was healed from surgery.
Unfortunately, I think Bill barely had a chance to ride his bike before passing away.
So once I discounted the cake, that’s all that I could think about — how excited Bill was to start riding his bike. And I think you all know where this thought took me, right?
Triad people — Go to this bike shop. They’re more than awesome.
Over to Revolution Cycles, where I spent over an hour talking with Brian.
He knew which bike would work best for me, so I was immediately set up on a trainer and told to do strange things to get the fit right. Once the fit was right, he informed me that “no helmet ever looks cool” and that “more money gets you bugs guards and big vents.” All words to live by.
And before I knew it, I was forking over my life savings and driving away with a beautiful bike.
See those door knobs? Those are at regular height and thus should give you an idea of how tony my bike is.
But just like me, she may be small but damn is fun.
Though I still don’t understand how I, the least pink-loving ‘Baby around, ends up with a pink bike. Oh well…
I still love waking up to the sight of her every morning.
And this morning, to remember Bill’s birthday and to celebrate my own life and health, I hopped on this beautiful lady and had an ah-maze-ing ride through a park. I discovered my love of riding up hills (cresting a hill might be more satisfying than slicing through firm tofu) and started to overcome my fear of downhills (though I think I’ll get over that once I fall off for the first time).
It was a great morning and I felt more alive than I have in a while, which was my goal.
I’m still smiling. And I think I’ll be smiling for a while longer.
Oh but don’t worry, eaters. Today wasn’t entirely cake-less.
Vegan carrot cake.
It is a birthday, after all.
So on that note, I’ve got some more living to do in the form of time with my friends and a couple of drinks. It’s going to be a good night.

And g’night eaters. 

WW: Support Staff

‘Sup eaters?
How is your humpty dumpty day? Does it feel like you are getting over a hump or is it still too early to think about the weekend?
My writing professor gave us an out of class assignment for tomorrow, so today is sort of my Friday. Jealous?
Oh college, I will miss you when I’m gone.
But enough about my life. Let’s talk about someone else’s life. How about…the life of a triathlete’s support staff (read: Mother and I). Because believe me, eaters, supporting a triathlete is not for the timid.
So here we go, last weekend’s Clemson Triathlon from my perspective.
5:00am — Brother’s alarm went off. Mother and I weren’t due to leave the hotel until at least half an hour after him, but when Brother is up, we’re all up.
6:45am — Check the room to make sure we didn’t forget any unbelievably expensive or borrowed equipment. Carry our luggage, an extra wheel, and a toolbox to the car. Run back into the hotel to grab some of the free continental breakfast food because for once, we didn’t have to leave before it’s set up.
7:45am — We got to the race site, parked in a grassy field, and hoofed it down to the water.
Mother and Brother did their usual pre-race strategizing. This usually means Brother breaks down his times leg-by-leg, and Mother secretly adds a couple of minutes.
8:00am — Brother’s teammates came over to see if he had any Frosted Flakes. And to do their little cheer.
8:03am — Brother’s heat went off and Mother started her clock. We stood around to see the group pass the first buoy, then we ran to our next position…
This is the run up from the beach to transition. Here we count all the people in Brother’s heat (which is distinguished by swim cap color) that came out of the water before him and yell it as he passes. This weekend, Mother also had to give up her shoes because the transition was rocky.
As soon as Brother passed Mother and I ran to our next position…
The mount line, which is without a doubt the most dangerous point of the race. As athletes come out of transition to start their bike leg they have to pass this line before getting on. This is dangerous for a lot of reasons, but the biggest being that since most races start in heats there are a lot of fast athletes with great bike handling skills mounting at the same time as a lot of slower athletes who take an extra few seconds to get on their bikes.
That means I see far too many near crashes as I’m waiting for Brother to come out of transition. But once he does, Mother starts timing again.
At this point, we have a few minutes to kill. And where we go next is different for each race, but this time we walked over to the side of transition. This gave us a prime view of the riders coming into transition, Brother’s gear, and the very beginning of the run.
So we waited, counted athletes as best we could (since none of them were wearing swim caps anymore), and yelled.
Once Brother passed, Mother and I headed to the finish line to wait. We certainly had a few minutes to kill before Brother finished, but it’s always interesting to see the winner cross the line (especially since there had been one dude way out in front the whole time).
8:58am — The winner finished in 57:17, which was not only a new course record, but also the guy’s second course record in two weeks. Yup, he probably wins the crazy award.
9:08am — Brother finished. 
Afterwards he joined the rest of the athletes to eat fruit snacks and Cheez-Its and drink Diet Coke. Yup, their bodies are finely tuned machines. And we went over to the medical tent to check on the tallest Tiger.
That’s his “No DNF’ face.
Justin was in the first heat and one of the first riders out on the bike course, which isn’t always good when the course is put together by non-athletes. In this case, the course supervisors thought that spray painting some potholes was enough to deter riders going through them (despite the fact that the potholes took up the entire bike lane). So as Justin rounded the first corner his bike slipped out from under him and he ended up on the ground. This was before Brother got out of the water, so of course, I ran over to the crash site to check on him. Then I ran back.
Once all the excitement is over it’s time to…wait. It takes a while for the organizers to compile and release the results, at which point it’s my job (as the shortest staffer) to fight the crowds and check Brother’s time and place. His place determines if we start packing up or wait so Brother can get his hardware.
This race, we waited.
11:00am — And then we watched as Brother got first in his age group. 
And then we watched as the Tiger team proceeded to win 5 out of the 6 awards given to the men and women’s collegiate age group.
So while I didn’t end up with any cool road wounds or hardware, I did get a good workout out of it. And Mother got a few more loyalty points from Holiday Inn. So all in all, a more than successful Saturday.

And now, it’s time for a successful night of sleep. I’m more than exhausted because it seems the theme for this summer is going to be “hustling,” and not in the cool blinged out way.
G’night eaters. 

First, a Salad

Hiya eaters!

How are you doing on this lovely night? Well, if you live anywhere near me it’s not exactly so lovely, but I’m in a spectacular mood, so not even cold and rain and lots of homework can keep me down.
What has got me singing such a sweet song?
Two things.
First, I finally cooked a meal in my own kitchen (because sweet potato fries doesn’t count as a meal). And it was tasty!
It all started yesterday when I misjudged my schedule and time management and set some tofu to pressing, thinking I would have a chance to cook. That didn’t happen, so over 24 hours later I had…

The firmest tofu I ever felt. M’gosh eaters, I should have measured how much liquid came out of that slab because it did start out so thick I could barely press the spring down.

Side note — isn’t slicing through firm tofu one of the most satisfying feelings? It’s so much cleaner and more enjoyable than cutting potatoes.
So once I was done getting my jollies with the tofu I started making it pretty (with the help of Appetite for Reduction).
Isa’s Chili-Lime Tofu sounded like the perfect budget- and time-friendly salad topper.
Chili-Lime Salad
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed
2 limes, juiced
1 lime, zest
1 t (~ 2 cloves) garlic
1 t soy sauce
1 t olive oil
1 T chili powder
pinch of salt
1 bundle of kale
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice your tofu into whatever size you want. I chose to cut is into 8 strips widthwise and then 3 lengthwise.
In a shallow dish (read: Tupperware), mix the lime zest, juice, oil, soy sauce and garlic. In a separate bowl mix chili powder and salt.

Now you need to place each piece of tofu in the lime liquid, let both sides soak for a minute, and rub both sides with the spice mixture. You’re smart eaters, so I’ll let you figure out the best way to go about doing this. Repeat your method with all the remaining tofu cubes. At this point you will realize that you have lime-liquid leftover. Don’t toss it.

Pop the tofu into the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, flip, and then bake for another 10 minutes.

While the tofu is cooking, shred your kale however you want.

Once the kale is shredded into perfect little bite-sized pieces, grab your leftover liquid. Are you ready for what’s about to happen next? Hold onto your pants, eaters, because you are going to … pour some on the kale.

Depending on whether you’re making this one giant salad or several smaller salads will dictate how much you pour on, but you’re smart eaters, so I’m confident you can figure it out. Now massage it into the leaves like you would any kale salad, and let it sit.
Take the tofu out of the oven when the time comes and marvel at …

How dinky and burnt it kind of looks. But push past that judgment and arrange some on a big mound of massaged kale, with a generous dollop of salsa in the center.

Dollop? Of who am I kidding! That’s a damn scoop, and there’s no denying it. But then again, who wants to deny their love of salsa? It’s possibly the greatest condiment (tied with mustard…and hot sauce…and hummus).

And this salad was oh so delicious, and more than enough to make me forget about the rain and unseasonable cold outside my window.

So what’s the second thing that is making me fly so high tonight?

Well, eaters, that will just have to wait until Thursday. Because tomorrow I fully intend on actually writing a WW post on Wednesday. But I absolutely promise, this little bit of information is well worth the anticipation.
G’night eaters. 
PS-Please excuse the horrible quality of these photos. Naked bulbs plus rainy weather apparently equals crap photos. Go figure.