Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Cookout- The Verdict

After all of the prep work for the Memorial Day Cookout- how did everything turn out, you ask?  Well....  here are my thoughts.

We made absolutely DELICIOUS veggie kabobs.  Look at all the veggie yummies!!!

Our kabobs and tempeh before it went on the grill

Aaron (my brother-in-law) did a GREAT job of keeping the meat separate from our non-meat selves.  Compliments to the grill-master!!  Gotta love the ove glove!

Once grilled.... ohhh it all looked fabulous, no?!?!!

Next time I'll cut the tempeh into smaller pieces and marinate all of the sides.  The part that was marinated was very good- nice and smoky with a little bit of heat from the BBQ Sauce.  The parts that were not were bland, but after dipping it into the sauce it all came together very nicely.  My sister-in-law did say that my corn was the best corn that she had ever had, so that's a keeper!!!!  Oh and the veggies?  FANTASTIC.  Smoky and perfectly grilled.  Again, good job Aaron!!

I couldn't write about a cookout at my brother and sister-in-law's house without showing pictures of the cutest little darling in the world.

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day Cookout- The Prep

Happy Monday, everyone!  This is a 2-part bloggie about the BBQ yesterday!  In the morning, I marinated some tempeh with a spicy and fabulous BBQ sauce!  Annie's Naturals Hot Chipotle BBQ sauce.  SO GOOD.

Like the technique?!

Then I wrapped it in plastic wrap and foil to let it marinate for a few hours in the fridge. 

On to the peppers and onions!!  I chopped up 2 peppers and an onion and topped with salt and pepper.  Made another foil packet, ready to be plopped on the grill.  TOO EASY!

On to the corn!  Shuck shuck shuck....

7 ears, ready to be seasoned!

For my seasoning, I used salt, pepper, and a little bit of coconut oil so it would stick.

Somewhat of a messy process, but really easy.  I put a little bit of coconut oil on, then sprinkled the salt and pepper.  Rolled them all up in foil and they too were ready to be plopped on the grill!!  10 min one side, 5 min on the other.

I also wanted to bring some raw-ish cookies, so I proceeded to make up a recipe!  ( I do).  In the food processor I threw in 3 pitted dates, 1/2 c dry oats, 1/4 c raisins, cinnamon (about a Tbsp), dash of ginger, and dash of salt.  After it started going a little bit, I added a teeny tiny bit of water to smooth things out.

Process until well mixed and dough-like...

All rolled into balls!  DONE!

Stay tuned for part 2-  the results!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Out in the Woods

Hi everyone!  Hope you're enjoying your weekend so far!

Yesterday, Brenton and I had quite a productive day!!  We started out at Kohl's, trying to find Brenton some new clothes that actually fit him (he's been swimming in his outfits for a while now...).  He made out pretty well- got some new pants, shorts, shirts and shoes!  ...and as I sit here typing to you I hear him in the basement putting new holes in his belts.... we should have gotten him a belt or two while we were out.  Oh well.  The "incredible shrinking man" is what I call him.  Actually, it's not so incredible.  We eat right and exercise...and that's what happens.

Anywho, after shopping, we drove to the cemetery to put some flowers down.  On the way, I snacked on a Larabar (PB&J, my FAVORITE!!) and a bottle of water.  I needed to gear up for our long trek through the woods!


Once we got to the cemetery, I noticed that my parents had already been there (sww the peonies from their garden that they had planted ?)

After spending a little bit of time there, we were off for a hike!  The last time we went to Highbanks Metro Park  was somewhere around 6 months ago, so it was due time!!
This is my favorite place to go in central Ohio.  Here is the welcome center right at the entrance of the park.

Isn't he cuuuute?!  After soaking in as much AC as we could, we were off!

I took a TON more pictures, but you get the idea (hehe).  It was a very nice walk.  There are a lot of areas where it's very steep, so we were huffing and puffing....and dripping by the time we were done.  The trail that we take is the 'woodpecker' trail, which is about 2.5 miles up and down hills. Great workout, beautiful day, and I didn't see any snakes like I did last time (OMG).  Next summer we're going to be hiking through Yellowstone, so we better start training now, right?!  

After all of the fun, we came back to reality and this is what I was faced with:



Ok, don't judge me (LOL).  I did a TON of laundry in the afternoon, and put it all away...

Phew....that's better.  

Chores, shopping, hiking... a great day was had.  Now I'm off to prepare for this afternoon's BBQ.  I'm so excited- BBQ Tempeh, veggies, corn on the cob....all on the grill...YUM!!!!

Have a fantastic day, everyone!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Weeknd

HAPPY FREAKY FRIDAY AND LONG WEEKEND TO YOU ALL!!!  (dance dance shimmy twiiiiirrrrrllll)  In light of Memorial Day, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on gratitute and what this day means to me, but first, the food!

Yesterday was full of whole-food deliciousness!!

I started the day off right with my favorite YUMMMY oatmeal

This baby had 1/2 C of Oats, 1 C of Water, a heaping T of Apple Pie spice, and 1/2 C frozen Blueberries.   YUM.  I'd like some oatmeal with my blueberries, please.  ...mmmmMMM

For lunch I had a big salad (LOL did you see that Seinfeld episode?) with guac dressing.

Guac dressing: 1/2 mashed Avocado, 1 T Vinegar, 1/4 C Water, pinch of Garlic Powder, pinch of Salt

...and a juicy organic apple

Geepers, look how long my nails are!  They're growing like weeds!!!  mmm Pink Lady apples- my FAVORITE.

Then for dinner I made (up) Chickpea Tacos!

So fast and easy to make (flying by the seat of my pants)! In a pan I combined 3/4 C Chickpeas (leftovers from lunch!), 1 sliced Pepper, 1 small Onion, 1/2 C Frozen Spinach, dash of Tabasco, and Salt and Pepper to taste. I then mashed up an Avocado and spread it on a TJ's Whole Wheat Tortilla and topped it with the Chickpea mixture. OOOOHHHHhhhhhh soooooo nummy. Nom Nom Nom.

So, I wanted to share something about myself that not a whole lot of people know. Back in 1979, my older sister was born, and then in 1981, my older brother was born. My parents, who wanted two children, made the decision to have my mom's tubes tied a few weeks after the birth of my brother, and mande an appointment. A week or two before my mom's appointment (if even that long), my brother passed away of heart trouble. She decided to cancel her appointment, and it wasn't until 1984 that I was born. If my bother hadn't have passed away, WHEN he did, I would not be here today, typing to you.

I always seem to forget how much of a gift that LIFE is until Memorial Day rolls around (which is sad, isn't it?). I completely believe that everything happens for a reason, and there is a reason that I AM here. I have been put on this earth to do something, and so have you. What is it? Well, I'm still trying to figure that out. We may never know what our life's PURPOSE is, but as long as we try to make a difference somehow, every day, we're one step closer.

Who are you grateful for? I am grateful for my brother, for our military men and women who fight every day for our freedom, for those who put their lives on the line so that we can stay safe (police, fire fighters, etc.), for my family and those people that are like family to me, for those toxic people that brought me down that are now out of my life, and for every single situation that has shaped me into who I am today. 

Don't get caught up in your BBQ's and pools this weekend. Take time to show appreciation for everything and everyone that has impacted your life, whether it be directly or indirectly. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sweet Treat- Chocolate Covered Raisins

Hi everybody!   Happy almost TGIF!  AND it's almost TGIF of a LONG WEEKEND!  Woot woot!!   Just a quickie post about my brand new favorite sweet treat!  I got inspired to make some chocolate covered raisins the other day (remember having those chemical-laden ones as a kid?!...gross). 

Check it out!

They look pretty good, no?  All I did was melt a square of Trader Joe's dark chocolate with a pinch of coconut oil over the stove (you could use the microwave if you wanted), and threw in a handful of raisins.  Stir stir stir and plopped on some aluminum foil.  I stuck them in the freezer to harden for a minute or two, and devoured them in about the same amount of time.  Brenton didn't like that I used dark chocolate.  He said "Eww... that's that bitter chocolate you eat.  Milk would be much better".  and then continued to eat a few more (hahaha)

Did you win anything on Angela's Shop 4 A Cause yesterday??  I was out-bid at the veeeeery last second!!!  Just when I thought I was going to win- BANG!- a higher bid.  Oh well.  She raised a TON of money for Cancer research, and THAT'S what's most important.

Any big plans for the long weekend?  I have some teaching to do on Saturday, and then I think we're going to go to the cemetery and then take a walk at Highbanks Metro Park to enjoy the weather a little bit. Then on Sunday I think we're having a BBQ cookout at my brother and sister-in-law's house... thinking of making BBQ Tempeh 'Ribs' and grilled veggies.  We'll see what inspires me!!  My goal for my day off on Monday is to do as little 'work' as possible and really enjoy the day.  (I say that now, but you KNOW I'll be knee deep in laundry or something)

Have a fantastic-o Thursday!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday! Real Cake!

So we've made it to Wednesday, huh?  What a a BEAUTIFUL day in Central Ohio!   The sun is shining, no clouds in the sky, about 86 degrees for the high- LOVELY! 

Speaking of lovely, my mom's birthday was this weekend!  I decided to try a newb birthday cake recipe!  My version of the recipes is not (gasp) RAW or VEGAN (I know... that's so not like me, right?!), but the original recipe IS vegan.  It all depends on the sweetener you use.

Whole Wheat Applesauce Cake


1/2 c. oil (I used olive oil, about 1/4 of a cup)

3/4 c. granulated brown sugar (I used 1/2 of a cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of honey)

1 c. unsweetened applesauce (I used 1 1/4 cups to make up for the 1/4 cup of oil I left out)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 c. unsifted whole wheat flour

1 tsp. cinnamon (I also added a dash of vanilla and a dash of apple pie spice)

Pre-heat the oven to 375
Grese and flour an 8x8 baking dish.

Mix together the applesauce, oil, and sugar in a large bowl.  Then add the spices and baking soda and mix well.  Add in the flour and mix until you get a thick batter.  Pour into the baking dish.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Ta-da!!  Before serving, I drizzled a little bit of cinnamon, powdered sugar, vanilla and water glaze to give it a little something extra.

Blowing out the candles.

I WOULD SO MAKE THIS CAKE AGAIN.  Next time, I want to try no oil at all and instead use 1 1/2 cups of applesauce.  I bet it would work!
Enjoy your Wednesday!

OH!  Don't forget to check out  for the Shop 4 A Cause II- bid bid bid!!