Thesis Eggs

Holy mole-y, eaters!

I just finished my thesis. My 106-page, sweat, tears, and butter-filled work of foodie, neurotic passion is done.

Last night I edited out the last typos and checked all the margins and now I’m done. It’s bizarre that this thing that I’ve been thinking about and scratching out for almost a year now is finally complete. It feels too easy.

And since I know that I have been dangling this vague project in front of you for months, peppering my posts with off-handed references and talk of my “thesis recipes,” I have decided to give you a little taste of what has consumed so much of my time for months.

This is the first story in my thesis. Please excuse me if this is self-indulgent of me. If you’re not interested, check back on Wednesday when I will actually be doing a WIAW.

—————————————————————

scrambled eggs1

“What if I don’t make it,” I often asked myself in the days after I graduated high school, when graduation and getting into college were no longer gleaming gems floating over my head like in a video game.

“What if I screw up? What if I can’t do it? What if… What if… What if… What if…”

All the probable, improbable, awkward, terrifying, and fantastical possibilities that could/would become the life I was creating for myself in that 11’ by 10’ off-white cinderblock dorm room that I would share with one other girl who I’d never met, circled in my head like water that won’t go down a drain. No number of self-help, college survival books that I read while trying to fill that last, hot, endless summer gave me answers to sink my teeth into.

“Be outgoing.” “Don’t steal your roommate’s food and confront them if they steal yours.” “Join clubs.” “Take whatever classes interest you.” “Don’t feel bad if you don’t know your major the first day.”

All of it rang more phony and cheap than the Ramen noodles they encouraged me to buy by the boxful.

I wanted to know that I was going to be okay. I wanted to know that this new life that I had purposely chosen to make so far away from everyone and every thing I had ever known was going to be a good one. I wanted to know that I wouldn’t look back on College — that weighty and oft-recalled time in so many people’s lives — and regret anything, while also not looking back and thinking they were the best days of my life.

I wanted to know.

But I didn’t, so I set about preparing myself for everything that could happen by buying a wireless printer and a new backpack with lots of pockets and a duvet cover that matched the little rugs I bought and several eclectic-looking plates and bowls and a rice cooker and a decorative trunk for my shoes and and and and and and and. Until I was sure not a single thing else could fit in my half of the 10’ by 11’ off-white cinderblock room that I was going to be sharing with another girl that I’d never met, who ended up bringing a black light and a chair and few other things.

Somewhere between buying two sets of cream colored twin extra long sheet sets and picking out the extra large mini-fridge, I started to know I knew something.

I knew how to feed myself. I knew how to do my own laundry. I knew how to get myself up for class in the morning. I knew how to write papers with appropriate MLA citations. I had a car and I knew how to fill it up with gas and when to get an oil change.

These things I deemed the basic, fundamental life skills that I would need to survive. Because of these things, I convinced myself that I wouldn’t die or in any other way totally fuck up College.

I knew that even though I’d never met the other girl with whom I was to share the 10’ by 11’ room, I had talked to her online and she seemed nice enough. So I knew I was going to be friends with her and eat in the dining hall with her, at least until I had found other friends. I knew that I wanted to write for the newspaper and that someone could help me figure out how to do that. I knew that I had enough money to not have to turn down social invitations for dinners and lunches out or movies on rainy days or shopping trips. I knew that I could offer to drive and that people would like that. I knew that I was showing up to College with a small amount of liquor, so I didn’t have to worry about finding someone of age immediately.

These things I deemed less basic and fundamental, but almost equally important in my pursuit of not screwing up College.

So whenever the “What if…” started circling and circling, but refusing to drain, I poured these facts that “I knew” in like Drain-o. I poured and poured and repeated and rephrased until the “I knew”s so far out-measured the “What if…”s that the crippling, anxiety-producing, all consuming blockage was forced out and the drain could drain and the sink emptied and I could breathe.

Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale.

Feed. Myself.

Inhale. Exhale.

Feed. Myself.

Feed. Myself.

Inhale. Exhale.

Feed. Myself.

 

Scrambled Eggs

Yields 1 serving

Scrambled eggs were the first thing I ever learned to cook. Before I could do anything I could scramble an egg. And while the method I use to make scrambled eggs has changed pretty drastically over the years, it still remains one of my most made, most fundamental recipes.

Ingredients:

2 whole, fresh eggs

salt and pepper

oil/non-stick cooking spray

Heat a (teflon) pan to medium-low heat. Crack both eggs into the pan, wiping out the inside of the shells to detach all of the whites from the membrane.

Quickly break the yolks and whisk the eggs together using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Whisk quickly, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan, every 30 seconds or so, until the eggs start to set up.

Turn off the heat of the stove, leaving the pan on the burner. Add salt and pepper and whisk continually until the eggs have reached the desired consistency.

——————————————————————————–

Thanks for indulging me. You’re wonderful, eaters.

Pastrami

Hiya eaters!

I think North Carolina’s three week spring is over and we are in full on summer mode.

I even have the sunburn to prove it.

I have been waiting for summer to start for so long. In my head I have a running bucket list of all the things I’m really excited to do this summer.

Walking down to Best Way, the extraordinary beer grocery store in my neighborhood (on Walker Ave in Greensboro, for all you natives), with Leon and Charlie to buy expensive, hoppy beers and drink them in the kitchen while we snack.

Going to Virginia Beach for a weekend of big, comfy couches and washers and dryers and beer on the beach and Charlie digging in the sand and crab cakes and fish tacos.

Improving my Toms tan.

Wearing sundresses and eating froyo with extra gummy worms (because cold gummies are the best thing ever).

Going to Georgia for Brady, my brother, and my graduation party where we’re going to get my mother to drink out of a keg.

Buying lots and lots of fresh fruit and making pies and cobblers.

The list goes on and on. And Sunday, on a gorgeous sunny day that was supposed to be cloudy, Leon helped me cross another thing off my list — barbecue.

A few weeks ago Leon snagged a cheap beef brisket and decided to smoke it. Of course, I’m always up for a big hunk of smoked meat.

So we set up camp on the front lawn.

pastrami05

pastrami06

Charlie played in the grass. Leon sunbathed.pastrami02

I sat in the shade and tried to do homework.pastrami04

And we smoked a big hunk of meat.pastrami01

It was supposed to be pastrami. It’s been a while since I’ve eaten pastrami, so I don’t know how spot on it was. But I do know that after a few solid hours on the smoker this hunk of meat had a gorgeous crust. It was absolutely dripping juice between the cracks in the crust.pastrami07

pastrami08

In a word: it was meat perfection.pastrami09

Leon sliced a bunch off and we stacked it high on homemade bread with provolone cheese, sauerkraut, and lots of brown mustard.

This stack created a sandwich of amazingly epic proportions. And while I normally would never leave any part of a sandwich behind, even I couldn’t finish this giant beast.pastrami10

pastrami11

And while normally I would consider not finishing a sandwich to be a sign of failure (c’mon, my blog is called FoodBaby for a reason), I know that having a quarter of it in the fridge just means I get a midnight snack. And that there’s still a whole summer of big hunks of smoked meat ahead of me.

Barbecue chicken is on the menu for this weekend.

Your turn, eaters:

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?

Later eaters!

Science and Beans

G’day eaters!

How have your lives been?

It still feels a bit weird to me that I only post once or twice a week now. But now that I have cut back I marvel at the fact that I used to come up with things to post about 5 days a week.

But then again, I’m doing a lot less experimenting and recipe creating these days. I’ve gotten busier and dinner has to be on the table every night, so playing and picture taking has taken a back seat.

I did get to play a little yesterday, though, which was…interesting.

Actually, the words I used to describe dinner when I texted Leon was that it was a “science experiment.”

Doesn’t that sound appetizing?

Yeah…

My plan was to make a big pot of black beans similar to these delicious ones and serve them along side some tofu tacos.

Doesn’t that sound like a really great dinner? I sure thought so. And I’d been excited for it since I planned it out on Sunday.

Unfortunately, I had a little bean hubris.

As I was draining and rinsing my soaked beans I kept thinking to myself, “Wow, I’m so glad I cook my own beans. I don’t know why everybody doesn’t cook their own beans. It’s so easy.”acid and alkaline beans1

I totally jinxed myself, because at 6 o’clock (we eat around 8 o’clock), after literally multiple hours of boiling my beans, the beans were still hard.

They weren’t little rocks, but they were far from the soft pillows that these black beans are supposed to be.

So I Googled. And here’s where the science comes in.

Did you know that adding acidity to beans stops them from tenderizing? You’re supposed to fully cook beans and then add wine or lime or vinegar or whatever acid you’re adding.

Did you know that adding something alkaline (like a pinch of baking soda) to the cooking water speeds up the tenderizing of your beans?acid and alkaline beans2

Did you know that if you totally screw up your beans by adding the juice of a whole lime after only boiling them for a few minutes you can add a couple of pinches of baking soda and it will help (but not totally save) your beans?

Did you know that since I learned this I have been obsessively looking up the alkaline levels of foods? And doing that has confused me a lot, which is just one of the many reasons I’m not a scientist. (Another reason is that I got a 25/100 on the botany exam I was studying for in that original black beans post.)

Yeah…

Now we know!

And luckily, Leon claims to like his beans a little crunchy.

Isn’t he sweet?

Your turn, eaters:

What was the last cooking trick you learned?

Are you any good at science?

Later eaters!

A Berry Vibrant Glaze

O’m’gah eaters!

I kinda feel like my head is about to explode.

School and work are kicking my ass — three huge assignments all due the same week and 25 boxes of shoes we don’t sell and weren’t expecting arriving after I gave the stock guy the day off.

Yeah, I’m a wee bit stressed.

But there will be a time, soon, when I’m not stressed. And there was a time, not too long ago at all when I wasn’t stressed.

And during that time when I wasn’t stressed I hosted a little dinner party.coconut pound cake with berry glaze3

And there were appetizers and festive napkins.coconut pound cake with berry glaze4

And there were fresh flowers (as opposed to the half dead ones I have now).

And there was cake.

Isn’t that cake gorgeous?coconut pound cake with berry glaze1

Oh, and it was so delicious.

And while the prudent thing would have been to make a recipe from my thesis (though I did make my version of engagement chicken, which is from my thesis) because I have a couple of cake recipes that need testing and never feel like having a whole damn cake around the house, I decided not to.

I decided not to stress about making a two-layer vegan chocolate maple cake or a big peach cobbler or…um…any of the other dessert recipes I wrote.

I decided to keep it amazingly simple instead. And amazingly vibrant.

Because there is nothing that makes you feel more capable and accomplished, more like a sexier, less khaki Martha Stewart than uncovering a cake that took you no time at all to make and having a handful of grown ass men “wow.”

So while I’m literally pulling my hair out and charting out (and then ignoring) my days in 10 minute increments on post-its, at least I know that in the not so distant future, there will be more cake.

(Or in this real life situation, beer. And Jell-o shots. And a rock wall and inflatables.)

Coconut Pound Cake with A Berry Vibrant Glaze

Cake

1 c butter, softened

1 ½ c sugar

1 t vanilla extract

5 eggs

1 ½ whole wheat pastry flour

1 c AP flour

1 t baking powder

½ t salt

1 c canned coconut milk

Put the butter, sugar, and vanilla into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low until smooth. Continue beating on low while you add each egg separately.

In a mixing bowl quickly whisk together the flours, salt, and baking powder.

Add half the dry mixture to the bowl with the wet and, using a rubber spatula, gently mix in the flour until mostly incorporated.

Add the coconut milk and fold everything together.

Add the remaining flour and mix gently until there are no clumps.

Pour the batter into a well greased bundt cake pan. Bake in a 325^F for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan.

Glaze

1 c frozen mixed berries

1 T sugar

1 c water

½ t lemon juice

½ t vanilla extract

1 ½ c powdered sugar

Put everything except the powdered sugar into a sauce pan over low heat. Stir slowly until the mixture forms a kind of sauce.

Once the berries have broken down strain the mixture through a fine strainer or a cheese cloth to remove seeds. Mix the seedless sauce in with the powdered sugar until all the clumps are gone and a smooth glaze forms.

Drizzle the glaze generously over the top of the cake. Serve any remaining glaze in a bowl on the side.

Trust me, people will want more of this sauce.coconut pound cake with berry glaze2

Your turn, eaters:

Got any tips for handling stress? I’m sure we could all use some.

What are you looking forward to?

Later eaters!

Queen of the Stubborn Masses

Alright eaters,

Real talk time.

I’m a stubborn ass. And you’re probably a stubborn ass, too.

Here’s why:

We’re fighting our bodies and we freaking need to stop.

We all get injured. We pull a muscle. We push too hard. We rip calluses. We twist ankles and knock things out of whack and do a number of other things to hurt our bodies.

And that’s fine. When you work hard on your fitness that’s kinda the name of the game.

BUT there’s a big rule in that game that says that if you get injured you need to slow down, take it easy, even go as far as to take a couple of full rest days.

Unfortunately, no one does that like they should. I know I’m guilty of trying to fight through an injury and even thinking that working out will heal the injury. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that. Ahem ahem.

This is us fighting our bodies. And it’s stupid.

You workout to better your body.

Sure, the endorphins and body confidence you get are pretty damn nice. But the root of it all is that we workout to better our bodies.

So if your body is injured in any way, shape, or form and needs rest, but you don’t give it that much needed rest, you’re negating the whole point of the workout.rest day

Are you picking up what I’m putting down, eaters?

Let’s take it up another notch: professional athletes.

If you follow sports at all (or watch The League, which might be my favorite show ever, though it’s pretty vulgar, fyi) you know that athletes are constantly missing games or taking days off from practice for sprained fingers and pulled muscles and turf toe.

Of course we’re not getting paid millions of dollars for our workouts, but we can still take a lesson from professional athletes, because (aside from all the concussions) they take amazing care of their bodies because their bodies make the money. (And without our healthy bodies we couldn’t make the money or take care of our families or do just about anything, so…)

Take rest days! Baby your body! Don’t injure your finger while throwing out your gum!

And before you think I’m standing on a soapbox preaching to the stubborn masses, this spiel was spurred by my own stupidity.

My bad back and hip have been acting up something nasty because I was hobbling around (and putting all my weight on my bad side) for days after getting another chunk cut out of my leg (which I also didn’t rest enough after).

So yeah, just call me Queen of the Stubborn Masses.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you fight through an injury?

What do you do on your rest days?

Later eaters!

It’s Hard to Fall In Love Online

Hokai eaters!

I need your help.

This is a really weird request because it has nothing to do with food, fitness, or health.

I need you to help me pick out my next purse.

Ya see eaters, I have been carrying the same purse since January 2010. I fell in love with it at the mall before I went off to college and then after getting Dean’s List my first semester my mom surprised me with it.crossbody lucky31

I love my kinda slouchy, fold over cross body bag. It fits everything I need. It has held up amazingly well to being used absolutely every single day for over three years. And it fits my style perfectly.

Unfortunately, my bag is a little worse for wear now. It’s not completely down for the count, but some internal seams are breaking and the strap is cracked.

And frankly, as I begin to think about entering the career world, I would like a slightly more polished, less water-stained bag.

I’ve narrowed it down to three finalists and would LOVELOVELOVE any and all advice on the matter.

First up, the Frye Campus Crossbody in brown.

crossbody frye1

 

 

crossbody frye2Pros: It’s Frye, so I know it’ll last forever. It’s slightly smaller than my current bag, which is good.

Cons: Does it look a little like a mom-bag to anyone else?

The second finalist is this Chocolate Brown Raw Edge Leather Cross Body bag.crossbody etsy1

Source.

 

crossbody etsy2Pros: It’s gorgeous! The style is very similar to my current bag, but it’s just a step closer to sophisticated. It’s also a little smaller than my current bag.

Cons: I have no clue about the quality. I’m looking for another multi-year, everyday bag and I’m worried that this one looks a little…delicate.

And third, which is really more like a sub-choice of the second, is this Chocolate Brown Raw Edge Leather Cross Body Purse.crossbody etsy3

Source.

 

(This is the exact same design as #2, except it’s a tad smaller and has an external slide pocket.)

Pros: The same as #2 PLUS that external slide pocket seems perfect for my phone.

Cons: The same as #2. And is this a bit too small for me? That’s a full 6” shorter than my current bag.

Also, a big con for all of these bags is that I can’t see them in person until I buy them.

This is like meeting someone online and committing to a 3 year relationship after only a couple of emails.

It’s torture!

But really, what do you think, eaters:

Which bag should I choose?

Do you have any helpful insight?

Do you have a hard time making big purchasing decisions like this?

Thanks eaters! 

Cowfish and Dropkick

Hellooooo eaters!

Boy, have I got a great night to tell you about.

Last night Leon and I had tickets to a Dropkick Murphys show in Charlotte. Leon introduced me to Dropkick when we were first dating so I was jazzed to finally get to see them with him.

Also, there’s a chance Leon and I are moving to Charlotte at the end of the summer so we were jazzed (correction: I was jazzed, Leon was excited) to spend a little time in our prospective future home.

First stop: dinner!

I had heard about Cowfish from Caitlyn’s blog forever ago and I’ve wanted to go ever since.

Come on, it’s a restaurant that serves burgers, sushi, and burgushi. How could that not be awesome?!

Well, it was!

To start we split a spider crab roll.charlotte nc1

I haven’t had sushi in more than a hot minute and this was pretty good. I could have gone for a little less rice and a little more tempura, but who couldn’t all the time, so it was fine.

To eat I took the waiter’s suggestion and went with one of their bento boxes.charlotte nc3

This came with a double stack of the featured mini burger (which had pimento cheese and some kind of peppers), Thai cucumbers, sweet potato fries, edemame, and a blackened tuna roll.

A massive mini burger.

A massive mini burger.

Can we talk about this blackened tuna roll?

It.Was.Stellar!

It was like this awesome, creamy orgasm in my mouth.

(Let’s not talk about how awkwardly sexual that was, okay? Okay.)

Also, those cucumbers were oddly perfect. It was like your traditional vinegar cucumber salad, but it had this sweetness that kept the vinegar from being overpowering. They were pretty magical.

Leon got the Stringin’ the Blues burger.charlotte nc4

It was massive and awesome. The blue cheese was really balanced (and I don’t like blue cheese), but it could have used a slice of bacon to even out the flavors.

Oh also, Cowfish is in South Park mall and I really kinda want to live there. It’s fancy.

After dinner (and getting a little lost) we ran through the rain and made it to the Filmore.

The venue was pretty great with big crystal chandeliers all over the place and not too big.

Oh, and a women took off her pants (and maybe her underwear) in the ladies room. That’s fun, right?

Dropkick took the stage at 10 sharp and they were great.charlotte nc6

They played a really nice balance of their old favorites and stuff off their new CD and I only had to kick one guy in the knee (because he elbowed me in the boobs, asshole).

And when they played “Kiss Me I’m Shitfaced,” which is when they let ladies come on stage, I did not get on stage and look trashy.

#Winning!

So yeah, a beyond awesome night.

I can’t wait to go back to Charlotte and explore some more (and take Leon to Ikea).

Your turn, eaters:

What was the greatest concert you’ve ever been to?

Sushi or burgers?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Magical Mexican Soup

G’day eaters!

I want to start off by saying a big ole Congratulations to Jenn, the host of WIAW, for getting knocked up!

Everyone around me seems to be getting pregnant. It’s awesome and all, but…

I really hope it’s not contagious.


Pre Crossfit:

Half an apple. A lot of pb. A vanilla whey protein shake.

Crossfit:

#PROOF of my 105# floor press PR!

#PROOF of my 105# floor press PR!

PRs are my favorite.

Breakfast:

Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and avocado, and a pair of cuties.

Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and avocado, and a pair of cuties.

This is my new typical breakfast.

Yup, I’m still on the scrambled eggs and cooked veg breakfast.

Side note — these are the smallest, cutest clementines I’ve ever seen. I finally feel like I’m getting “cuties,” not like those small-ish oranges I’ve been calling “cuties” all these years.

Lunch:

A Cobb salad of sorts — bib lettuce (my favorite!), rotisserie chicken, bacon, bell pepper, cheddar, avocado, and balsamic dressing.

A Cobb salad of sorts — bib lettuce (my favorite!), rotisserie chicken, bacon, bell pepper, cheddar, avocado, and balsamic dressing.

Look! I did something “healthy living blogger”-like and made my lunch the night before while I was making breakfast. Let’s ignore the fact that I ate it at home.

Another pair of cuties.

Another pair of cuties.

Having it ready was still mighty handy.

Snack:

Let’s play the game where you don’t scold me for buying a giant bag of Twizzlers because it was $1 and I won’t pretend I only ate one serving.

Dinner:

This meal knocked my socks off! That’s real talk, eaters. Real talk.

A pork tamales and a pair of salsas, because I was indecisive.

A pork tamales and a pair of salsas, because I was indecisive.

First, I made the pork tamales over the weekend as part of my thesis. And while they were good on the day I made them, they were so much better a few days later when the exhaustion of making them had worn off.

Second, this soup was pure magic. I wanted to make some sort of lazy tortilla soup so I mixed a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and then leftover “broth” from the tamale meat (which was the pork cooking water pureed with cooked garlic and cooked onion). I added a little bit of spice and pureed the whole deal again.

The most magical of all Mexican soups, topped with cheddar and tortilla chip crumbles.

The most magical of all Mexican soups, topped with cheddar and tortilla chip crumbles.

And by the grace of the Mexican food gods (who I imagine have heads made out of grilled cheese sandwiches) it ab-so-freaking-lutely rocked!

The end.

Your turn, eaters:

What was the last winging-it meal that turned out magical for you?

What’s your favorite candy?

Later eaters!

Multi Purpose Dough

G’day eaters!

So…I know I said I’d pick the GoodBelly probiotic giveaway winner on Wednesday or Thursday, but that, obviously, didn’t happen. Other things happened and now suddenly it’s Sunday.

So here goes:

Georgiana, you are the winner of a 12 day supply of GoodBelly shots! Email me your mailing address at kara_h_thomas @ yahoo.com.

And another thing that I said I would do, but haven’t yet is to share a recipe I created for my thesis. And since I have my first full draft due in a week or so, my mind is thoroughly saturated with thesis things.

So here goes:

Do you know the crappy pizza buffet restaurant CiCi’s Pizza?

When my brother and I were much younger my mom used to take us there a lot. We all loved pizza. It was cheap. And there was a huge TV that always played cartoons. So understandably, it was the perfect place for my mom to take us kids when she didn’t feel like cooking.

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been to CiCi’s, but for some reason I remember them having these really great cinnamon rolls on their dessert buffet. They also had some kind of goopy chocolate dessert pizza and maybe something with apples, if I remember. But for some reason the idea of cinnamon rolls really stuck out to me.

More importantly, the idea of cinnamon rolls made out of pizza dough really stuck with me. Because, ya know, I’m positive that if there were cinnamon rolls they were made out of the same dough at the pizzas.

So with that in mind…

One Dough Two Ways

1 packet (2 ½ t) dry active yeast

1 ½ c warm water

2 T honey

2 T oil, plus a little extra

2 t salt

2 ½ c whole wheat pastry flour

1-2 c all purpose flour

Mix the honey into the warm water and then add the yeast, giving it a quick stir to break up any big clumps. Let this mixture proof for 5-10 minutes, or until there is at least an inch of foam at the top.

In a large mixing bowl stir together the whole wheat flour and 1 c of the AP flour with the salt. Once the yeast has proofed add in the oil and then pour all the liquid into the bowl with the flour. Stir the mixture a few times until it starts to form a ball and them use your hands to mix it until it forms a cohesive ball. Add more flour, about ¼ c at a time, as needed.

Once the dough has become a slightly sticky ball, remove it from the bowl and place it on a well-floured surface. Begin kneading the dough, adding flour as needed to keep it from sticking, for 10 minutes.

Line a bowl with a piece of plastic wrap. Drizzle a little oil into the plastic wrap. Place the ball of dough into the bowl and cover with a towel. Leave the dough to proof in a warm spot for 1-2 hours, or until it has about doubled in size.

Pizza

The pizza part, which is made using half of the dough you just made, is pretty self-explanatory. Make it and then bake it at 500^F, on a pizza stone if you have it, for 10-13 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls

½ batch of dough

¼ c butter, melted

3 – 4 T sugar

1 ½ T cinnamon

Bring the dough to room temperature. Lightly flour a big, open surface and a rolling pin and roll out the dough into a rectangle. Pour the butter onto the dough and, using the back of a spoon, spread it evenly over the rectangle. Sprinkle the sugar and the cinnamon evenly over rectangle.

Then roll the dough by slowly and evenly rolling the long end furthest away towards you. Once the two long ends meet, gently pinch the seam closed. Them using a sharp knife cut the roll into ~2” segments and place an inch or so apart in a buttered cake pan.

Let the pan of rolls proof for an hour in a warm spot, until the rolls are touching.

Bake at 375^F for 7-9 minutes, or until the tops are just barely golden brown and the outsides are firm, but not hard.cinnamon rolls1

I ate a few of these rolls plain, but then Leon suggested they needed a glaze. So I whisked up some powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, a glaze similar to the one I made for my pumpkin donuts, which is why I didn’t write down any measurements.

But glaze or no glaze, these were really good cinnamon rolls. They become amazingly good when you consider how complicated normal cinnamon rolls are — lots of scalding milk and excess sugar — and how simple these were.cinnamon rolls2

The trick in these rolls really is to not over bake them. A minute or two too long and you’ve got cinnamon-y dinner rolls.

And then eat them within a day or two.

And eat them warm.

Maybe with a side of bacon. Or after pizza.

Or just eat them at every meal, like I did for a day or two.cinnamon rolls3

Your turn, eaters:

Do you have an unconventional way of making something?

What’s a meal you remember loving when you were a kid?

Later eaters!

GoodBelly Probiotic Shots Review

G’day eaters!

Are you still feeling that Monday/end of a weekend where you were lazy and ate too much junk push to be healthy?

Yes? Good!

Because I’ve got a health product to talk about and I like us all being on the same page.

So…

How do you feel about probiotics?

If you’re reading you’re probably tuned in enough to the “healthy living community” to know that probiotics are a bacteria that keep your gut healthy (and you pooing regularly) and that yogurt is a good source of them.

And frankly, that’s about all that I know about probiotics aside from a rumor that adding honey to yogurt helps boost the amount of probiotics you can get.

Yeah, I’ve still got no clue if that’s true. If you know, please tell me. Until then I’m going to continue adding it to my yogurt because it’s tasty.

But I digress.

Of course we know that probiotics are good for us and we should probably take some kind of probiotic supplement. But we should probably do a lot of other things everyday that most people don’t.

I’ll be the first to admit — I don’t take any vitamins or supplements. I dislike the act of swallowing vitamins. It’s also hard for me to justify spending a lot of money on oils and pills that don’t provide me tangible results.

Sure, they’re doing good things for me on the inside, but if I don’t see results I’m not going to continue.

With that being said, when GoodBelly, a probiotic juice/supplement company, reached out to me to take their 12 Day Challenge I was skeptical. But, let’s be honest, I’m almost never going to turn down a free sample.goodbelly3

So I picked up three packs — a 12 day supply — of GoodBelly shots and committed to tossing one back everyday. Even if I didn’t see any results.

Luckily, these babies were little and tasty, so it wasn’t a painful process in the least.

And even more luckily, about halfway through the 12 Day Challenge I actually started to notice a difference: less bloating.

We all know that probiotics play an important role in poop, but poop…ahem…isn’t a problem for me. Bloating is, though, and before this little Challenge I had no idea that probiotics could help with that.

So I was very happily surprised when I started to notice my stomach retaining its flatter form long and longer into the day. The probiotics didn’t completely erase all my bloating, but I got a ton of bloat-reducing bang for my effort-buck.

I’ve been without these little probiotic shots for about a week now and I can definitely tell a difference. I’m bloated all over again and constantly trying to suck my gut in. And I miss my fruity little shots already.

But all of this good stuff doesn’t mean a darn thing if it’s not worth the money. So the million dollar question: Would I spend my own money on them?

You bet!

It’s about $4 (I think) for a 4-pack of shots. And each pack has a coupon on the inside for 50¢ off 2 4-packs. And it’s worth every penny.

But don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself!goodbelly collage

GoodBelly has generously offered to give away a 12 day supply of their probiotic shots to one lucky eater.

To enter:

1) Leave a comment below telling me about one vitamin/supplement you know you should take, but don’t.

2) Tweet something about wanting to win free @GoodBellyDrink probiotic shots from @KaraHadley.

I’ll pick a winner later this week (probably Wednesday or Thursday), so be sure to check back.

Later eaters!

PS — GoodBelly did provide me the products for free, but all the opinions are my own.