Friday, February 5, 2010

CAKES and Online Food-Journaling

Alrighty, so I promised some cool info I had gathered this week and have been looking forward to sharing witchu. So here's the first fun tidbit that I found while perusing earlier this week: 31 Unique Birthday Cake Ideas! How FUN and YUM do these look?!?!

How much more could I LOVE cats after seeing this sweet treat?! (answer....none)
Ok, now this is just freakin' adorable. I'm considering having a baby girl right now JUST so I can make this for her


I'm actually thinking about making this for the SuperBowl party I'm going to on Sunday! What do you think? And what flavor??

 Instead of making this cake for a specific party, I think I'm going to make this cake and then throw a shark party for how awesome it is

I'm going to make this cake (gluten-free, of course) for Claire when she finally learns how to keep her room clean!

So there's a bunch more on the website that you should waste some time browsing. Just seeing these neat-o ideas got my creative juices flowin' thinking of unique ones I could come up with! (how great would a flower-pot cake filled with "dirt" cake and gummy worms be?! Definitely gonna have to find time to try that one out...)

On a HEALTHIER note, here's another really interesting and useful link I've been kind of addicted to for the past 3 days. It's called "The Daily Plate", and it's a free website where you can track all of the food and drinks you consume and all of the nutritional information. It's supah detailed, with a huge list of packaged foods (it has in its database the nutritional information for Quaker Oats Maple and Brown Sugar Low Sugar oatmeal, for example) and plain ol' fruits and veggies (like a medium banana's stats).

I'm curious about what I eat, but I don't really wanna know how many calories is in peanut butter...ignorance is bliss in this case. Thanks.

You can even put in how much you weigh and your fitness goals ("I want to lose 1 pound per week" for instance) and it tells you how many calories you can consume in a day!

Anyways, I'm tryin' it for a week because I'm interested in seeing how I eat overall - I've never really kept a food diary or anything, so I just gotta know! :)

So check out these little sites while you're whiling away your time at work or in class waiting for the weekend to officially begin! -Anna

Saltare! ...And a Cupboard Hodgepodge

Happy Friday, friends!!

 I hear ya', pup!

Man, this week, Friday couldn't have come any sooner! It's been one heck of a jam-packed week. I haven't had the chance to get the grocery ONCE! It's kind of good though, because I had some gems in the back of the pantry that I had forgotten about and needed to crack open (today, however, I'm definitely going to Trader Joe's to restock on fresh goodies and new stuff that I've wanted to add to my stash after reading about and imagining up some new combinations this week!).

So sorry I wasn't able to post again yesterday! Even though I didn't have a lot of class, I ended up not having a lot of time somehow...

ANYWHO yesterday I had another batch of my beloved baked pumpkin oatmeal for breakfast accompanied by a hot cup of green tea (check one off my goal for three teas for the day!).

Pumpkin pie cake muffin?! oatmeal! Could've fooled me with how this is!

Greeeeen teeeeeea

This is seriously such an awesome and easy recipizzle.  I've already decided that I'm gonna try making it a cinnamon apple oatmeal goody by substituting applesauce for the pumpkin, apples and spice instant oatmeal for the maple and brown sugah flava, and maybe even add some apple chunks and cinnamon on top!! It SOUNDS incredible, but I'm hoping the texture comes out just like the pumpkin one....maybe it'll happen today for a snack! I'll keep you updated... :)

So since I couldn't even squeeze a second out to get the food sto' this week,  my lunch yesterday was an interesting a suprisingly good way!

It consisted of a toasted Arnold Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin, leftover food-processed avocado and chile sauce, chili beans, and cheddah cheez on top:

I dunno who took that bite before I could take the picture...but it was me

"Gimme the food and nobody gets a claw to the eye."

"Fine, forget about the food...just give me the strap of that thing you're holding and we got a deal."

I also had another cup 'o green tea! It's not so bad keeping up with this goal, which is great, because I feel good about accomplishing something good for mah bod!

Unfortunately, I don't have any pics of dinnah because I was on the run (see below), but it was yumalicious. It included a strawberry Chobani greek yogurt mixed with a packet of maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal and a Subway Spicy Italian 6 inch on Honey 9-Grain bread.  It was quite deeeelishuss.

So last night I was out and about helping my jump rope team with a half-time show for the Duke vs. Georgia Tech men's bball game at Duke University!

Cameron Indoor Stadium with the Cameron Crazies

We've done lots of Duke half-time performances before, and they're always the psycho-est, rowdiest, and most fun crowd we ever perform for.  It was great to go back and be a part of it, especially because it was my best friend Rae's last half-time show to participate in while she still attends Duke!

Rae the Dukie (front right), a few of the group that did the show, and some gangstas on the right

Finally, I have some big, AWESOME news to share with you guys!! Some of very good friends from the jump rope world are on America's Next Best Dance Crew on MTV! Their first "elimination round" was last night and Saltare (the name of their group) was the FIRST group to be selected to go on to the next round!!
Saltare consists of (from top left, clockwise) Chaz Robinson, Lee Reisig, Billy Jackson, Brittany Fortier, Tyler Perez, and Lisa Brown. Woop woop!!
Their performance was freakin' amazing, and Joe, Tim, Ted and I were cheering and jumping around in Ted and Joe's living room after watching them perform because of how excited and proud we were! PLEASE  check them out on MTV's ABDC website and watch them perform Thursdays at 10pm on MTV. 

Here's the full episode, too!

They need all the support they can get! Way to spread the word about the sport and make us proud, Saltare!! :D

Have a great Friday! I'm hoping to squeeze out another post of some interesting stuff that I found this week I've been meaning to share with you, so hopefully you'll hear from me lata on!  Go enjoy your Fri-dizzle!!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A New Favorite Breakfast

Alright, so this is getting ridonkulous. So you know how we had that snow storm over the weekend here in my part of NC and it threw off my class schedule for the beginning of the week? Out of my three classes tomorrow, I only have ONE! (NOT that I'm complaining...believe me, I'm more than happy to not have to go to my 8 am class...) But there's barely any snow left on the streets here! I could hardly believe my little eyes when I read the cancellation email for tomorrow. It's already a good start to tomorrow's day!

But let's back up for a hot sec - what about today? And yesterday?? Well yesterday I was so busy it was like a step up from a busy bee. Like...a busy hornet.

Alright, so I was busy, but I really hope I didn't look like this yesterday to other people...

I just had a ton to do! So SORRY I didn't have time to throw up a post. I did have time to snap a few pics yesterday and today, though!

Soooo rewinding ONE more time to the title of this post...I think I've found a new favorite breakfast! Hooooly guacamole, it's so spankin' good.  I finally tried my long-awaited "baked" pumpkin oatmeal!!

Mmm looks like cake!

The best thing about it (other than it only takes THREE minutes to make) is that it totally makes me feel like I'm eating a really filling mini cake or something for breakfast, but am still getting a really nutritious oatey feast. 

Side note: I tried that yesterday for the first time and adhered to the recipe, and I wanted it today again since it was so good (obviously). This time, however, I accidentally put a whole egg in instead of just the egg white. I decided to just try it before I ditched it, and it really didn't make that much of a difference! Just made it a little more savory, maybe.

Double side note: Kenzie (my roomie) sampled my first one and totally loved it, too, so she decided to make it yesterday. Since she didn't check the recipe again before making it, though, she forgot to put an egg white in and just put a little water instead. It worked out fine, though! So don't fear if you're outta the eggies.

For a snik-snak yesterday, I remembered I had some frozen rasperries that had been chillin' (literally) for a little while and one brown-alicious banana that needed some love - so I introduced them to each other and then chopped them to pieces! the food processor, that is:

A tart and tasty low-cal sweet-toof satisfier. Yum!

Another low-cal and tasty sweet-toof snackaroo that I snarfed as a dessert today is super simple.  I had a can of halved pears sittin' in my cupboard and slipped 'em into a bowl, nuked them in the microwave for about 2 minutes, sprinkled cinnamon on them, and voilĂ ! Almost like hot fruit pie filling!

Cinna, man!

Finally, I thought I'd share with you that I've made it a goal to drink at least 3 cups of tea (decaf, since caffeine makes me feel like I'm on speed...not that I've ever done speed, although I did get my first speeding ticket the other day...alright, back to the post) and 3 cups of water every day this week.

I know you're supposed to drink at least "8 glasses of water a day," but honestly, I just don't ever end up hydrating myself enough. And I've been reading a lot lately about the benefits green tea can provide, so I'm gonna integrate that into mah goal! Plus making half of my hydration for the day something that has a little flavor makes it easier to down that much fluid.

Well I'm guessing that since I don't have much class to get to tomorrow I'll definitely be able to put up a post-izzle! 

Have a grrrreat night kiddos! -Anna

Mexi Micro Meal!

Here's the rezzy I promised!

This is the delicious one-serving recipe that I had the other day! It tastes just like an enchilada and can be healthy! (mine wasn't super healthy...but whatevs, it was delish). It was really nice to have a full meal without the clean-up of baking dishes, etc. just like a microwave meal you might buy (for way more $$).

You'll need:
  • Tortilla chips (I used baked)
  • Salsa
  • Taco sauce
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Sour cream (I used greek yogurt, but whatever works)
Gosh it's so easy! Alright, first, crank some jams! I totally can't cook without music, it makes it a bajillion times more fun! Next, crunch the chips up a bit and put it in the bottom of a microwavable bowl.

See, look! We're already being healthy

Aight, done with that? Pour on salsa (don't be stingy!) and some taco sauce. This tastes just like a good enchilada sauce!

Taco Sauce + Salsa

Pretty easy so far, no? Layer some greek yogurt onto this! Or sour cream -whatever works (the other day I used ranch! Mostly because I was out of everything else, but also because ranch is awesome...)
In the next pic I accidently put corn and beans down first, but I found it's better if the sour cream/greek yogurt goes next.

Pretend the corn/beans aren't B
Noooooow add the beans/corn!


Lastly, add lots 'o cheezzz! Okay not tooooo much, I actually did add too much cheese (who knew this was possible!?) but it was still yummy. Now all that's left to do is microwave it!! I put it in for liiiike 5 minutes. Okay, BUT as a side note: the best one I have had of these is one that I left in the fridge overnight. I made it and decided not to eat it one night, so I left it in there and had it for lunch the next day.  They are good no matter what, but if you want to prepare it ahead it is fabulous (and a super quick cheap microwave meal!)
ENJOY!! With a trashy mag, of course :D
But seriously, I put a lot of cheese on mine...

As a totally unrelated addition, I would just like to say that  :D  is definitely my favorite smiley. I decided this today and I'm very satisfied with this decision. Have a good day! -Claire

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ice Cream and Icy Roads

I'm alive!! Where have I been, you say? Bumming around from house to house getting stuck in snow all over the place is where! Not to mention running out of food and making it to the gym 0 times this weekend! I, like Anna, had an "off-weekend", AKA my breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Sunday consisted of this:
Heaven in a box
This is the best, most addicting, least nutritious thing I could have chosen, probably, but I don't regret any bite of it (except maybe the last ones...)! That being said, I definitely had to make some healthier choices today and yesterday. I got to the gym yesterday and worked it out pretty hard since I was feeling like I needed to be rid of some major toxins. 

Today, though, there was a miracle. Our classes before 11 am got cancelled!! While Anna has been frolicking around in her "bad weather" without class, we have been tramping and driving through snow to get to our classes here in the mountains (just kidding, I'm glad you're being safe! But it sounds more likely for you to die of over-indulgence than icy weather...though who am I to talk?). Anyways, like I said, last night a miracle occurred and the roads iced over like nobody's business. This meant I could sleep until 1 pm, and sleep until 1 pm I did.

I do, however, have errands and work galore which must be completed, unfortunately. And I did have a chance to make a fabulous, healthy, homemade, mexican microwave bowl (I swear that won't be the recipe name...) which was JUST what I needed today to ween myself off of the junk food and get back on track again. The recipe will be posted later, but for now you can drool over this:

Wow, sorry, that is one sucky pic, but there's no turning back the clock because I already ate it...

I also had some other successful creations (cinnabon-inspired oatmeal!!) and cooking experiences that I will update you all with soon! Tonight, in fact, if I can. Hope everybody is staying warm!!! Sorry for being a blogging-slacker! -Claire

Monday, February 1, 2010

Garlicky Cheesy Cauliflower Concoction

Oi! Today was a good day! I didn't have my morning classes due to the snow storm this past weekend, and I was finally able to get a good workout in at the gym! After having hung inside all weekend with Joe, Ted, and Tim (spending my time with 3 guys who can eat whatever they want + not being able to get to the gym + lots of wine = not the healthiest weekend I've ever had...) it felt really good being able to sweat a lot. I feel like if I had tasted my sweat it would've tasted like pizza and wine (is it gross that that makes me hungry right now?...don't tell anyone I said that).

Had a little too much of this recently...but holy junk, it was good.

Anyways, even though today was supposed to be a stretch and strengthen day according to my half-marathon training schedule (I'm on my fourth week! 7 more weeks to go...), I decided to run 4 miles and do some good weight lifting since I had had a break all weekend.  Definitely not gonna beat myself up over my lack of less-than-perfect healthy habits over the past 3 days, but I will try to be consistent in my eating and working out this week to offset them!

So for breakfast, I had a hot bowl of cinnamon raisin Quaker Oats Quick Oats. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm creamy.

After helping Joseph conquer some of his arch-enemy Spanish homework for the morning, I went home to try my first Chobani Greek Yogurt! I threw an Apple Cinnamon flavored instant oatmeal, stirred it up, and it was SO. GOOD.

My big fat greek yogurt

All da mixins

I had a banana and a cup of Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea with a squirt of blue agave nectar to sweeten it, too. YUM. What a fruity tooty lunch.

Hot tea on a snowy day makes me wanna sleep the whole day!

After an afternoon of going to my one class that I had today (why can't they just cancel the whole day if they're gonna cancel some of it?!) and my trip to the gym, I was famished!  I knew I had some veggies in the fridge that had been neglected all weekend, so I needed to eat those suckers before they went bad on me.  So I made this concoction to include all of them: Garlicky Cheesy Cauliflower Concoction (nice name, eh?) It was a giant win!

First, I shredded the whole head of cauliflower I had using a hand held shredder (an extra arm workout for the day, I can assure you! PHEW) and put it all in a microwave-safe bowl.


After covering it with plastic wrap and nukin' it for 6 minutes, I threw 3/4 of it into the food processor with an egg and about 1.5 cups of assorted shredded cheeses I found in my fridge.  I spun that mixture around in the processor for a bit and came up with a "doughy" texture.

Then I took the "dough" and spread it in a greased cake pan.

It's a cauliflower cake!

My other neglected veggies - asparagus and a squash - were crying for attention at this point, so I chopped 'em up to silence them (makes me sound like a member of the vegetable mafia, right?) and threw them on top of the dough. I drizzled a generous amount of olive oil all over everything, added salt, pepper, and minced garlic to the mix, and chucked it in the oven on 450 degrees for about 25 minutes.

"Don't cut us, Anna! HELPPP!!!"

Swimmin' in some oil and ready to go in the oven-ator

It came out with an interesting texture...kind of like the veggies were on top of cous cous. Since I like cous cous and all the flavors in this particular mix, it was AWESOME!

Crispy cous cous-like concoction

YUM! And so veggielicious!! Even better, I have a ton of leftovers! (even though I ate a junk load good amount...)  I will definitely be making this again.

Tomorrow I will FINALLY be trying the "baked" pumpkin oatmeal recipe for breakfast, and I can't wait! I'll be sure to fill you in :)

Sweet dreams, friends! -Anna

Ice Ice Baby

Hello there! I hope everyone is having a wonderful and rest-before-the-crazy-week-starts Sunday.  Fortunately for me, the crazy week this week doesn't start 'til Tuesday, because of the big snow storm we got Friday night! The roads are really messy, and it's gonna be even colder tonight, so it'll turn to ice! Not great conditions for driving = NO CLASS TOMORROW!! Woooo hooooo!

So due to the snow, this weekend has been a super lazy, stay-in-and-chill kinda weekend.  Friday night I was hanging out over at Joseph's house, and by the time I was ready to leave, it was too slippery to drive! So I've been stranded here the entire weekend with my favorite guys: Joe, Ted, and Tim. 
Ted, Tim, and Joe headin' for the hills!

These guys are some of my best friends - I grew up with Ted (who lives with Joe) and Tim because they've been on my jump rope team for even longer than I have. We've known each other forever (13 years now maybe? GAH that makes me feel old...) and I love 'em to death! So it was pretty much an awesome group to be stuck with all weekend :)

We ended up bummin', playing games (Apples to Apples anyone? SO fun!), watching a ton of TV and movies (have you seen "Disturbia" with Shia LaBeouf? I crapped my pants love it), and sledding (childhood memories!) yesterday and today.  

Also, since the last time we were able to really get to the grocery store (and it was a short trip at that...people around here go crazy and stock up like they're getting ready to go into hiding for a month when there's even a forecast for snow) was Friday night, I've had some interesting and new food experiences while cleaning out their cupboards.

Both were a huge success!

The first: microwave-baked cinnamon raisin apples. The PERFECT snow-day snack!

These should be called "sin"-amon raisin apples because of how good they taste...clever, eh? Eh?

These are SO easy-peasy! Check it out:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 tsp. butter or margarine
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar (OR regular sugar - this is what I did since I didn't have brown sugah)
  • 0.5 tsp. cinnamon
  • Handful raisins
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. honey

Quarter the apple, making sure to cut out the core. Place apple in microwave dish. Melt butter in small bowl on maximum power for 12 seconds. Stir in sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Pour mixture over apple and add water to dish. Cook, covered with plastic wrap on high for 4 to 6 minutes. Drizzle honey over the top and enjoy!

You really can't mess 'em up. Seriously, I found this recipe online and totally guesstimated the measurements (you know how I do), and they were still apple-licious! YUM. And even pretty healthy! I bet you could even  substitute a low- or no-calorie sweetener for the sugah and cut the butter/margarine in half and still get a tasty result. Might try it next time!

CAUTION: The next food experiment may not be for everyone

(...that makes it sounds really cool and intense, right?)

Ted and I actually tried kippered herring for the first time! Joe eats kippers and sardines ALL the time as a snack, and even though we always tell him they STANK up the room, they're jam-packed with vitamins and crazy amounts of concentrated fish-oil-goodness.

 Ted, freakin' out really excited to try kippers!
Don't I look pumped to try these things??

Alright, so Ted and I were a little skeptical. But they were actually pretty good! They kind of had a tuna-like texture. Mine were in mustard while Ted's were in hot sauce, so that helped ease us into the super-fishy taste (while Joe, on the other hand, had his in oil, which wasn't all that bad, either...just a little fishier). 

Just another experience that teaches me to keep an open mind!

Anywho, I'm headed to bed to get some rest before my big day tomorrow (of probably sledding some more, watchin' a little TV, maybe reading another magazine, know how stressful these things can be). Have a superb start to your week! -Anna