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Indian Fry Bread

April 9, 2011

An extremely odd situation (my bike lock breaking during a snowstorm, leaving me stuck in my bike shoes, freezing, wondering how I was going to chisel my way through the iron threads) coincidentally brought a very good friend into my life. I clip-clopped my way into the store and just looked around helplessly, randomly saw this man who looked like he might be one of those truck driving guys with tools (don’t judge, i usually don’t stereotype but i was desperate), and I asked him if he might have any tools with him that could break a bike lock.

I was about a mile from home, but not about to walk there in my bike shoes, in the snow, let alone being very under-dressed for the weather. We tried to get it off, but no luck, but he offered to take me home so I could at least change and get some tools. When I told him where I lived, it ended up being that his daughter was the director and he used to cook there-small world! We picked up a few tools, drove back up, hacked the lock off-which was actually quite an ordeal so I highly suggest the bulldog coil locks if you’re looking for a lightweight lock to carry around with you, and we continued on our separate ways.

edited litespeeed yaya, i obviously don’t have photoshop, but look at my litespeed! i miss that bike 😦

Well, since then, we have continued to form a friendship. He has taught me so many things-things I never thought I would learn like leather crafting and such. He also has come and made Indian Fry Bread which is simple, plain, but a very good plain, economical, and all of the residents love it. He was kind enough to share the recipe with me, and since I’m at the parents for the weekend I attempted making it for them, because “fried” “eggs” and “sausage” are three of my step-dad’s favorite words.

I had mixed up the dough the night before so when I woke up I laid the “worm” out to get back to room temp.

P4080055 Then I cut off chunks of the dough and formed little doughnuts and even one very sad looking three leaf clover. Then I just sat and waited. Normally you would be heating your oil and getting everything else ready-but I get up at the crack of dawn and go to bed like a senior citizen.

P4080057 Eventually my parents did finally get up and I started heating the oil, made some sausage patties (which my mother burned :p) and some poached eggs (they have the best egg poacher!) I tested the oil and one by one, in they went-FRY!!!

P4080060The entire breakfast:

P4080061 

Poor sausage :p (blech to me) A lucky clover for a happy saturday!

P4080062

And there are PLENTY of leftovers, so come on by…

P4080063

This recipe is very unique, very economical, has about five ingredients and all are very cheap. I can imagine if I had to feed a big family on a tight budget, this would be a staple. I’m not so into the fry part, but it was fun. I need to make my fried pickles again! Needless to say it was a hit. My parents got their “farmers breakfast” and laid back down for a nap :p

The Blogging Pants have resurfaced!!!

March 28, 2011

My own life has been going through massive changes, and in the back of my mind, I was wondering, gosh darn it, who did have them last. Everyone knows how daily life can get the better of them, and when Ashley posted about all of her major changes and accomplishments (hello wonder woman) she was the recent owner of the pants and finally ready to pass them on. I think next time I feel like giving myself a pity part for all the changes I’ve had to go through, I’m going to look at Ashley-SHE IS AMAZING! All she needs is a cape and we have a woman with super human powers 🙂

blog pants ashely

I am very happy they have resurfaced are are going to be passed along again. After a good dose of travels and comments my hope is to donate them to NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) because their theme each year always plays off the word genes (jeans).  You can currently shop their store for numerous products that also go to support the foundation if you are interested.

neda bracelet

I follow many blogs and am constantly inspired by what people can do and accomplish when they set their mind to it. I can honestly admit, that at this time, I’m relearning self-love, trust, and self-forgiveness, and it’s a hard and bumpy road.

Caitlin is always a constant reminder and encouragement that we are all beautiful no matter what!

alive note

This is from the Operation Beautiful website-definitely check it out if you have not!

Old, New, and a Review!

March 26, 2011

Writing from across the border, yup, good ol’ potato Idaho. One would think ‘taters would be cheaper in a state known for the spud, but when I went shopping for my mother yesterday, two baking potatoes cost more than a 5lb bag…nothing makes sense these days. (Plus the 5lb bag was for those little taters that just don’t make a good baked potato). Anyway, enough spud talk.

monster ingredients Just because it’s a staple to my diet, hasn’t made an appearance in a long time (even though I might consume 2-3 a day) the Green Monster has never left. He has been my loyal, nutritional friend,  even through the freezing winter days when I would have to drink it under ten blankets.

green monster

My current comb0:

2 cups almond milk of choice                          1-2c fresh spinach

1/2 frozen very ripe banana

blob of plain yogurt

1/3c frozen blueberries

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

small sprinkle of  sf vanilla  pudding (secret ingredient)

I love how it gets all thick and foamy, mmmm delicious! Although I can’t imagine how even more delicous it would be with a Vita Mix…sigh…a girl can dream 🙂 Served in a mason jar of course, perfect for travel, easy clean up, and one part of the south I took home with me 🙂

Last night I finally tried making Ashley’s Buckwheat Bake I have been drooling over for quite some time, just like half of her recipes. I can’t wait to get my own kitchen where I can actually cook again!! I have a good portion of her recipes bookmarked, so if you haven’t check out her site, definitely head on over to An Edible Perspective, she is a genius!

buckwheat bakeAs you can tell I don’t have her photography skills or the recipe quite down to it’s perfection yet, but the bake was pretty good, a lot like a very healthy banana bread. I think I’m going to keep playing around with it.

Practically Exactly Ashley’s French Toast Buckwheat Bake-to do the French toast part follow the link)

  • 1/3c buckwheat flour
  • 1T chia seeds [or sub ground flax meal]
  • 2T almond milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana [~1/4-1/3c]
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1.5t vanilla extract
  • 1/4t baking powder
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*
  2. Grease a 4-5” oven safe bowl, really well. [I use a small soup crock]
  3. In a bowl, mash the banana until wet.
  4. Whisk in eggs, almond milk, and vanilla.
  5. Mix in buckwheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and chia seeds.
  6. Pour into greased bowl and bake for 30min.  It will be cracked and brown on top.  The toothpick test method will work here.  Do not overcook!

And last but certainly not least, since we are on the topic of breakfast like items, my mom and I shared my last VEGA sample of the Bodacious Berry Shake and Go Smoothie.  We mixed it with 1c milk, a few chunks frozen banana and a few frozen blueberries. We both liked it a lot, my mom is definitely a berry girl, and it held her over for hours. She was also very impressed with all the nutrient goodness.

If I were to rate the Shake and Go Smoothie’s by favorite flavors I think it would be:

  1. Choc-a-Lot
  2. very close tie, but Vanilla Almondilla (plus that’s just fun to say)
  3. Bodacious Berry
  4. Mango Tango

Honestly I like them all, it’s just a matter of mood I’m in, and I’m usually more in a chocolate or vanilla mood for me to buy an entire pouch. So really it’s just a matter of taste, you can’t go wrong! Thanks again VEGA for letting me sample and share, though we all know I would have caved eventually and found the stuff-on a personal note, I seriously love their stuff. When I started using more of their whole food optimizer and shake mixes, my blood results improved drastically. And, with the shake and go, you literally can take it anywhere….

Yup, that’s silly ol’ me with a Mango Tango pouch out in the Blue Mountain Range of North Carolina. You can make fun of me, it’s okay 🙂

Spokane…ummm…yeah….

March 23, 2011

If you’ve been following lately, you know that I recently relocated from North Carolina to Spokane, Washington.  I lived in Spokane when I was young, from about five to ten, then moved to Seattle, where I think I will always call home. I’m a city girl at heart, liberal, a bit odd, a cyclist, and Seattle just fits me. Spokane is Washington’s second largest city, it definitely has it’s quirks, tries to get a big city feel, but mixed with it’s country bumpkins. Parts of the city are really beautiful, other parts, well, are interesting.

idaho entrance

Another thing is it’s only about 25miles from the Idaho state line which is a completely new territory. You will actually see motorcyclists ride with their helmets on, then take them off as they cross the state line, I will never understand this. Idaho is an entity unto itself…we’re talking a beautiful resort town of Couer d’Alene, but also a small community that still has compounds and KKK parades. Don’t ask me….I just try to lay low. Also, if you have Idaho plates and are driving in Washington, you better be perfect or you will get pulled over, heck, you will probably get pulled over anyway. Vice versa, if you are in Idaho with Washington plates, you will just get pulled over.

manito park

My favorite memories of Spokane are the beautiful carousel in Riverfront Park, running junior Bloomsday (I might just do the adult Bloomsday this year), which is one of the largest races in the nation, and Manito Park where in the winter we would go sledding, the fall collect leaves and make scarecrows, and the summer enjoy the Japanese gardens. My step-dad found these songs that are hilarious, some a bit crass, if you live here you will appreciate them a bit more, but it’s good to start the day out with some laughter, and it’s good to laugh at ourselves. Even so, I think my heart still lies in Seattle.

carosuel

And now, for your laughter, viewing, and entertainment, a few songs about Spokane:

Starting off a little light and with some scenery:

And now for some more hard core, make sure you listen to the words, a bit more crass but hilarious:

The Chocolate Whey to Go: Product Reviews

March 23, 2011

You all know my smoothie obsession, however, I’m happy to say I’m moving into toddler stage and getting to more solid foods 🙂 I just love my smoothies though, great replacement for those McDonald milkshakes that weren’t so good in the past too. (Have you noticed they changed them anyway? Poo on that.) Sorry, I digress.

Anyway, my beloved company VEGA sent me a packet of their Shake and Go Choc-a-Lot to try. As you know, I’m a huge fan of VEGA products, you just can’t beat their nutrition profile. Some of their products I haven’t found as tasty as I hoped for, but this one left was AWESOME! I mixed it up with some frozen bananas, almond milk, ice, and it created a very chocolaty shake with almost a hint of vanilla sweetness. This is certainly going down on my “when i win a million dollars list…” It is worth every penny!

 

Some of the benefits:

  • Two servings of veggies
    2500 mg Omega-3-6-9
    1 g complete protein
    Only 100 calories
    1 billion probiotics cultures
  • 40% iron-which is definitely what I need!
  • 12g protein
  • low in sugar and sodium!
  • 5g fiber
  • completely vegan, no gluten, soy, or whey!

 

The other new chocolate protein powder I tried was Spiru-tein’s Whey chocolate flavor. I normally haven’t done Spiru-tein in the past because I recall trying it once and not liking the flavor, and also I now have to stay away from soy. The positive aspect of Spiru-tein

is it has a much smaller price tag with the addition of some extra healthy ingredient benefits that you don’t usually find in whey powders like Jay Robb and such.  I mixed it with a similar combo, almond milk, yogurt, bananas, bit of ice, dash of sugar free chocolate pudding, and the result was the best consistency-it was like eating a huge bowl of of lightly set chocolate pudding, yet it was full of nutrients, protein, and ingredients I could pronounce vs. a Jello snack pack. It was actually a treat!

Benefits of Spiru-Tein Whey spirutein whey

  • 14g protein
  • extra vitamins and minerals most other whey powders don’t have
  • contains bee pollen, spirulina, chlorophyll, and other good stuff
  • kinder to the pocket book and easier to find

 

 

 

Those are my chocolate adventures of the week. It’s the end of the month, budget is tight, and I’m just praying I have enough spinach to make my green monsters to get me through 🙂 I’ve been packing and crafting this week, if I finally create something decent maybe I’ll get it up here!

Do you use protein powders? If so, what are your favorites? Do you use them as meal replacements, snacks, etc?

A few gratitude’s….

March 15, 2011

  Chaos. That pretty much sums up about the last eight or so years of my life and how my  mother frequently describes me when things get too much to handle. “When are you going to quite living in so much chaos?” Maybe it’s because I started working in a high paced, endorphined rush emergency room positions at the age of sixteen and continued to do so for about the next six years. I’m one of those odd balls that thrive under pressure…well certain pressure. I’ve been through a lot, put my family through a lot, but despite it all, I’ve met some amazing people on the way, and more importantly are the ones that have stuck by me and continued to support me no matter what. Today, I lift my green monster to them and say thank you-even though those two simple words are not enough.  (Also, there are many more, so if you are not here don’t feel left out, I most likely didn’t have a picture and also couldn’t create an epic post :p) So to those un-pictured, I lift my fresh jar of juice in gratitude 🙂

parents american gothic                  american gothic

My parents…I have definitely put them through the ringer. There are definitely no words to express my gratitude towards all they have done. We took this when they moved to rural Idaho as a joke…kind of creepy, eh? It was our modern day version of the American Idaho Retiring Gothic. This is more along the lines:

airport Saying goodbye at the airport before I left for North Carolina for two years…it was bittersweet.

nc gangThis is only part of my wonderful NC buds! I met some of the nicest people down there, probably the highlights. People from where I worked literally became my family. I miss them so much, it was the first time in a long time I could say I had true friends! All of them are long gone from the coffee shop (onto bigger and better things!) and a shout out to my wonderful customers as well.

sam and b waterfallSamantha is like a young twenty year old with the wise mind of a parenting adult. This girl is amazing. Not only is she extremely kind and loyal, but she is responsible and literally follows through with everything she does. I have so much to thank her for. She has definite potential for a prosperous future! I miss you Sam!!

melissa and b xmasMelissa is another long standing friend. We were long time roomies for a few years, I stood in her wedding, she has always been an amazing friend. She really stuck by me through a lot as well and I hope we can reconnect amidst our conflicting schedules now that we are at least back in the same state. Odd fact: we used to have pet rats we let run around our apartment 🙂 Don’t judge, they were awesome!

terry adn meThis is my Aunt Terry-she is wise, strong, perseverant, loyal, and giving amidst many other fine qualities. She really supported my mom through a lot, and I can’t express how much she has helped me since being back. She knows just how to talk to me, change my thoughts around, offer her simple everyday wisdom from resumes and job searches to also dealing with my”chaos.” She loves scrabble and plays every Sunday and a cute little coffee shop and her point values are off the charts. I am so glad she is back in my life to have a growing relationship with her again!

There are so many others-so don’t feel left out. I believe I read you are supposed to keep posts fairly short and I think I’ve broken it in about the last 3-4…oh well, rules are meant to be broken right? (ah, the social deviant comes out!)

I have learned some important lessons these past two weeks:

oregon sunsetEnjoy the simple things.

 

Sometimes you have to let go of the past, and jump into the present with a willingness to change, persevere, have faith, and pursue your hopes and dreams with a decided heart. Each day and challenge is an opportunity to learn.  

jump off tubb hill

 

Pizza! Pizza!

March 14, 2011

You may have to have been born post 1980, and live in a certain part of the US to understand the Little Ceasar logo and their classis “pizza! pizza” chant at the end of each commercial, but everytime I see a pizza place or eat pizza it still rings through my mind. I don’t think I’ve even had Little Ceasar’s since I was about, oh, nine, I remember it being delicious, but I think any pizza is delicious to a nine year old-you know, before I matured to my refined palate (uh-huh…..) 🙂

Anyway, although I said I waved the white flag with yeast, I had one more package of it staring me down on the counter yesterday and recalled the killer calzones my parents and I made on the grill a few summers ago. Ironically, Jenna, had just posted her pizza dough recipe, and VOILA! that had been the one I had used with a few tweaks of course! Thus, yeast and I had our last battle.

Jenna from ELR’s Pizza Dough (my changes noted)

  • 2 cups all purpose flour——–>2c whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour——–>1c ww flour+1/2c AP flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt

In a mixing bowl, combine the warm water and yeast.

Stir in the salt and flour and mix on medium high speed on your KitchenAid for 5 minutes. While the mixer is going, drizzle in the olive oil.

(I had to knead mine more by hand without the mixer, perhaps because of all the whole wheat dough. I also got my hands wet which seemed to help the dough come together.)

When the dough is soft and elastic, take out of the bowl, rub with olive oil and then place back in the bowl, cover with a dish towel and let rise for one hour.

After the dough has doubled in size, cut in half to make two large pizza doughs or make mini doughs. You could also do what I like to do and freeze the dough in a plastic baggie for another time! When you are ready for your pizza, roll out the dough, cover with your toppings and bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes.

**You could also make this dough without an electric mixer…..just knead by hand for about 8 minutes and then follow above steps! I’ve made it by hand many, many times and it always comes out right.

I followed the recipe pretty closely with the exception of using more whole wheat flour than AP flour. I wanted to add some flax, but knew if it looked “birdseed” at all, my step-dad would not eat it. It came together quickly, I rolled it into a ball, set in the bowl, and placed it a chair by the window where the sun was coming in to help it along in the proofing process.  Another bonus? The kitchen, nor I, was not covered in flour-this came together very easily and cleanly.

My mom and I went to run a few errands-Target and Michaels, can’t get better than that! I think we were tired though, we kept walking into each store forgetting why we were there 🙂 Did you know you can print Target coupons online? I ended up getting five packs of my favorite gum for $2! (Major gum chewer here).  Check out Coupon Mom-she is doing some amazing budget stuff!

this will last all of maybe two days, so orbit, feel free to send some my way!

 

We were pretty hungry when we got home.The dough had risen beautifully. My mom made a big pizza for her and my step-dad, I made a small pizza for myself, and we still had some dough to put in the freezer for another medium size pizza maybe?

 

ready to bake!

Oven warmed to 425, we stuck them in and they cooked beautifully, tasted great, and were quite filling! See ya later ceasar and Papa John! This dough was extremely cost effective when I thought about it. We bought the whole wheat flour bulk at 69c/lb, AP flour is cheap (and 1/2c), EVOO may be more expensive but 1T broken down and for the amount this recipe would feed, very economical and tasty. Thanks for bringing back the recipe Jenna!

the parents pizza

 

my pizza

VEGA Vanilla Chai Review

March 13, 2011
tags:

First and foremost, I have to apologize for this crucifying cell phone picture. I love VEGA and it is much more worthy than such a picture but I had to make do with what I had.

I have been wanting to try this flavor for quite sometime, and VEGA was kind enough to send me a sample before I emptied my bank account on an entire tub. I’m sad to say, I didn’t care for this flavor at all. I mixed it with almond milk, plain yogurt, some frozen peaches, and a bit of ice, but it just tasted a bit chalky and off.

Now, this could be for several reasons. 1) Just about everything other than vanilla type stuff is making me nauseous lately. 2) I might have needed to blend it a bit more.

I have loved just about every other VEGA product, so maybe this just isn’t in my flavor profile. I don’t think you’ll find any other product out there that will beat them in their nutrition profile which is AMAZING and why I am always suggesting it to everyone and trying to get it carried at markets closer to me. It would be great if they would come out with a straight vanilla flavor. I did get to try their VanillaAlmondilla Shake and Go smoothie and that was tasty, but a good ol’ plain vanilla would be good.

Other VEGA items I recommend are:

Thanks again VEGA and keep it coming! My doctor who is keeps wanting me to eat a big hamburger was quite impressed with my improved blood results last week, no hamburger needed!

Meet Edward

March 13, 2011

There are certain people that cross your path in life that you just never forget, and Edward is one of them.  For about three years when I lived in public housing in Seattle, dirt poor, isolating and extremely depressed, Edward was about the only person I had daily contact with.

I had seen this man and walked passed him all through my high school years, said hello, but never really given him a second glance. He makes a living selling “Real Change,” which is a newspaper put out by the homeless population in Seattle. His voice is loud, friendly, and clear, he greets everyone he passes, “Real Change, thank you ma’am. Have a good day.” He knows the regulars who frequent the Safeway on 42nd and Brooklyn in the U-District, many people will often even bring him things, and he is out there rain, snow, or shine, which is a lot to say with Seattle weather.

It wasn’t until I was riding my old crappy grocery getter bike that I stopped and finally got to know this man who I now know as “Grandpa Edward.” He loves whole milk and mangoes, and every time I could afford it, I would go in and get him some. We would always share a cigarette and shoot the breeze for at least an hour or so. If I didn’t come by for a few days, he knew something was up and would be worried. We would split double coupons and share the cost of detergent and laundry soap. Sometimes my conversations with him were my only human contact for the entire day.

This man is amazing. How blind was I just walking by him all those years in college? He makes his entire income off of what he makes selling his papers, he doesn’t live off of anything from the state. He is a proud man and if you’re up to no good or need to be put in your place he will tell you so.

I now have a friend taking classes at the university in the area. He lets me know that he is taking care of Edward whenever he goes up there and I am grateful for that. When I was living in NC, my mom even made a special trip down there to see Edward and I got to talk to him on her cell phone. It’s hard to express in words what an impact this man had on my life. He was genuine, giving, and just flat out honest. I miss Edward, I worry about him, and you can be sure he will be one of my first stops when I get back to Seattle.

The Hunchback of Notre Bread

March 12, 2011

If you have been following (thank you to my small group of faithfuls) you will know that yeast and I have been in a bit of a war/challenge.  Well, I was once again lucky enough to have access to my mom’s kitchen, watching over the house while they were out-which meant I could make a second attempt at bread without creating too much chaos. What I have learned so far:

1) bread is incredbily messy to make

2) no matter what you do, flour flies everywhere and you should really not where black

3) do not make bread while you clean freak but very dear mother is at home unless you are able to clean up at lightening speed

So this week I found a few good recipes and ended up with Wholesome Flax Bread contributed to the Bob’s Red Mill site by Anne McIntosh.  I cut the recipe in half and had to make a few changes due to what I had on hand and it came out pretty good, but I think I could have actually made two loaves out of the dough I created once I saw the beast of bread that came out of the oven.


 

The bread is definitely wholesome. The top crust is very hard-I would do some sort of egg wash next time. Once again I cooked it with a pan of water underneath, and the loaf came out very moist and has stayed that way. The nutritional information is pretty good-all the ingredients are straight-forward wholesome foods.  I have one more yeast dough recipe I want to try, then I’m waving the white flag of surrender until I get a bread machine 🙂

Wholesome Flax Bread (adapted by the recipe on Bob’s Red Mill Site)

  • 2.5c warm water
  • 1T honey
  • 1T molasses
  • 1 1/4 T instant yeast
  • 1c AP flour
  • 1c coconut flour
  • 1/2c+1/8c flaxseed meal
  • 1/4c VEGA wholefood optimizer
  • 1/2c rolled oats
  • 1t salt
  • ~4c whole wheat flour

Mix together the water, honey, molasses and yeast. Let stand 3 to 4 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix the oatmeal, unbleached flour, coconut flour,  flaxseed meal, VEGA powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the yeast mixture and mix until well blended. Beat for 5 minutes by hand, then mix in whole wheat flour until dough is quite stiff. Knead. Let rise for 15 minutes, then punch down and let rise 15 minutes again.

Punch down and shape into loaves or rolls. (Special Note: If using a bread-kneading machine, add whole wheat flour and mix on high speed for 5 minutes.) Let the bread rise until double in volume. Bake loaves at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes; rolls at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes.