I think I need an intervention.
I made the wonderful mistake of purchasing this lovely treat the other day.
It’s supposed to be an “alternative to peanut butter.” Let me just tell you. The main ingredient is cookies. It is in no way healthy. But it is in every way delicious. It took me less than a week to demolish this jar.
Mixed with marshmallow fluff on a sandwich, it’s divine. Atop homemade rice krispie treats? Even better. But you know the best way to have this delicious spread?
In puff pastry. This. is. to.die.for. I’m just thankful I wasn’t put in a puff pastry coma from overindulgence.
I was in World Market today (when am I not in WM? Oh, right. When I’m in Whole Foods.) and spotted Biscoff cookies. Apparently they are supposed to be hard to find? World Market has everything.
Alas, I didn’t get any. Too much of a good thing ends up being a bad thing.
Also, the folks from intervention just showed up.
Grilled cheese is really hard to photograph. But it is freaking tasty.
For the past week or so, I’ve been inhaling grilled cheese by the metric ton. And neglecting my vegetables. Unless you count olives as vegetables. Eh.. it happens.
My panini press has been feeling neglected these past few months, and especially since I’ve become a vegetarian. Since the weather is getting cooler ’round here, I figured it was time to break out the melty masterpiece maker.
Some unique combinations I’ve been experiencing:
Havarti with Dill + Cheddar + Sundried Tomatoes + Artichoke
Cream Cheese + Black & Green Olives + Cheddar
and my personal favorite so far: Goat Gouda + Sliced Pear + a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
All masterpieces were enjoyed on Publix White Mountain Bread or Publix Italian 5-Grain. Bread is KEY to creating a delicious grilled cheese. Seriously. If nothing else, splurge on the bread.
Also, I found it ironic that I used non-dairy butter on a grilled cheese sandwich.
What’s your favorite grilled cheese combination?
Today, I found this saved in the depths of my computer and I wanted to share it. Hopefully it will bring a smile to your face, if nothing else.
Advice written by: Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune 1997
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience… I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth – oh, never mind, you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future; or, worry. But know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind….the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Remember the compliments you receive, and forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life… the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40. Maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do NOT read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle – because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York city once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise, politicians will philander, and you too will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair; or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.
What do you do when you’re craving macaroni and cheese but have no cheese?
Vegan mac + “cheese”. Easy. Fast. Nutritious. Somehow I didn’t have cheese but I did have Angela’s cheese sauce. I had made a huge batch a few weeks ago so I tossed it together with some noodles. I threw some breadcrumbs on top and baked it for a few minutes. Crispy, southern perfection.
I do enjoy my real cheese though, as evidenced by the multiple grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve eaten this week. More on that later.
I’ve also been obsessed with these little delectable treats. Pumpernickel + onion pretzel twists. I’ve always preferred savory over sweet, and these hit the spot. MMmmm. They’re almost gone.
For some reason it’s always freezing in my office, so I brought a sweatshirt to work, even though it was 95 degrees outside. I love this fun Mickey sweatshirt! It’s warm too. Y’all think I should wear it during the marathon? Don’t forget we’re raising money to benefit my SLOS and you can donate here! Every dollar counts!
Also, I think I need some new sunglasses.
Do you remember where you were ten years ago?
The events that took place on 9/11/01 were too massive for my then-13 year old brain to fathom. Terrorism wasn’t even a blip on my radar usually consumed with boys, nail polish and the mall. I was a freshman in high school. Newly thrust into the world of public school, stumbling out of a very Catholic world. I remember hearing murmurs of something terrible that day. Sirens were constantly blaring outside. Kids getting called out of school. I lived in New Jersey, and so many of my classmate’s parents worked in the city.
Social Studies was my last period, and I remember so vividly what was said during those short 45 minutes. Someone posed a question about New York, about planes, about terror. The teacher, new to the field and no doubt fresh out of school, confirmed our suspicions. She calmly told us that the World Trade Center was gone. Terrorists flew hijacked planes into the towers and the Pentagon. A plane crash in Pennsylvania. Thousands and thousands of people were presumed dead.
I came home from school, knowing what happened, and was met with the images on TV. Every channel had the same scene, over and over. A plane flying into the first building. Explosion. Fire. Smoke. Destruction. A few minutes later, same thing. Second building. The buildings collapse. I was glued to the TV. There was nothing else on. I look back at my journal at the time and read my melodramatic entry from 9/11/01.
“THE TWIN TOWERS ARE GONE! Some terrorists flew hi-jacked planes into both of them, they both fell down and they also crashed into the Pentagon, it’s the only thing on the TV. There’s like 40,000 people that work in the twin towers and we think they’re dead, there’s no number yet, but it was pretty bad. I learned it in school 2day, we talked about the attack + stuff. All the debris is like 50 blocks away and you would see the smoke in the sky from our house. It was really sad.”
Hopefully my writing skills have improved just a bit from then.
The next day, 9/12, was another day of school, and I remember stepping outside my front door and looking toward the north. A thick band of grey smoke-cloud tore across the sky. My journal tells me “today you could smell burning and dust and stuff outside.”
Ten years later, I am very able to comprehend the scope of the events that unfolded on that morning.
Twelve miles were on my training schedule today, and I set out as usual on the swamp rabbit trail. Today, the entire trail was lined with miniature American flags. I listened to NYC NPR on my run (thanks to the Public Radio App!) and ran, ran, ran. They observed the moments of silence, had people call in to honor lost loved ones, and talked about speeches and musical performances given by people in New York today.
It was a beautiful broadcast. Peaceful. Calming. Reverent. I passed Furman during the second moment of silence and they were ringing the bells.
New York has a special place in my heart. It was home to my mom and brother for two years as he battled cancer. We would visit frequently as it was only about an hour away from my house. I had taken class trips to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Several of my uncles worked in the city. Many of our neighbors and friends were there on that very day.
America, to me, completely embodies freedom. Our nation was so unified after the tragedy of 9/11. People came together to help others. To give of themselves. To offer love, support and hope in a time of great need. And that’s something no terrorist can ever take away from us.
Hi. It’s been awhile!
I took a little break from cooking this holiday weekend to craft. Sometimes I like to switch it up.
I made this nifty shirt. Inspired by this post.
And this rockin’ framed art, handmade using rolled up bits of Runner’s World magazine.
Sometimes I forget how much I love to craft. Pinterest has been not-so-gently reminding me. I swear, that website is such a time suck. There truly are some impossibly cute ideas on there. My want-to-make list is now out of control!
I have been obsessed with a culinary creation lately. It’s easy. And tasty!
Hummus plates. Throw a bit of this and a bit of that on a dish and you have a fast, (mostly) nutritious dinner. I’m all about the Mediterranean lately. Essentials include hummus, olives, tomatoes, tabbouli, feta and pita. Switch ups include cucumber and artichoke hearts.
Plates inspired by the one and only Pita House. I figure I was spending too much money there. Oops?
Also, I’m pretty much obsessed with Words with Friends.
Last random thought for the hour. I totally can’t get this song out of my head.
What did anyone do before blogs?
How did people keep track of workouts, recipes, articles, nutrition & fitness advice?
Well, I don’t know about you, but I had a binder.
A huge binder where I would shove random food and workout notes. Most of the bits and pieces came from magazines, but I also found some hand written notes from a nutrition textbook. Nerd!
I’ve always been interested in food and nutrition. For as long as I can remember. I think it’s so fascinating, the way people eat.
My binder was packed full of nutrition-related articles and recipes…
workout tips and tricks…
and articles from all different sources. This particular one came from Furman’s fitness center!
Who all remembers this outdated thing!?
At the back of the binder was this section I labeled “skinny bitches.” They were intended to inspire me to stop eating and be skinny. My college roommate can attest to the fact that I had a whole bunch of them up on my closet door at one point.
Looking back, this appears so ridiculous. I don’t have a model body. Putting up these pictures ultimately only made me feel bad about myself and did not help in the long run. I know nothing about these women! I have no idea what they’ve done to look the way they do. Who knows if they eat breakfast? Who knows if they’re able to run long distances? Are they happy with their lives? Who knows?
I am thankful that my values have shifted from becoming thin to becoming healthy. It’s interesting to compare my inspiration then (magazines) to my inspiration now (blogs) and find that now, I’m the most healthy, active and fit I’ve ever been in my life. I read real posts from real people about real food every day. Not fake, contrived models spotted in magazines. The inspiration on my wall today is an article about the Disney marathon. Real goals.
While it was fun/interesting to reminisce and leaf through my paper-packed binder, I think I’ll leave it on my shelf, where it has been for several years.
I don’t need the skinny bitches. I have real inspiration.
I am obsessed.
I bought a jar of marshmallow fluff the other day thinking it would be an innocent little snack.
No. I’ve demolished over half this jar already.
Why oh why is it so good?
Also, guess what? Today is National Toasted Marshmallow Day!! Of course I celebrated with my beloved jar of fluff.
I’ve been eating the stuff atop peanut butter filled pretzels. And sidenote? Peanut butter pretzels are pretty much the greatest invention ever.
Dinner tonight was the simple combination of peanut butter + fluff + sliced banana on a bun. Simple. Delicious.
I may have walked around at work today for a good 30 minutes with fluff on my face.
Okay, I did.
I give the rest of the jar two days. Max.
Living in the south, I’m constantly surrounded by delicious dishes like pulled pork and shrimp and grits.
Honestly, before I went vegetarian, those were two of my favorite foods. I let the craving for pulled pork get to me tonight and indulged.
Vegetarian, of course!
Vegetarian Pulled “Pork”Sammies
1 block extra firm tofu
additional toppings; slaw is highly recommended
- Slice the tofu into long strips. Bake at 350F until it just starts to brown. You don’t need to press the tofu if you’re baking it this way. It usually takes about 30-40 minutes to bake.
- Put the tofu in a food processor. Gently pulse 3-4 times, until the tofu crumbled but isn’t pulverized.
- Mix the tofu crumbles with your desired amount of barbecue sauce. If you like it saucy, slather it on. If you’re a bit more conservative, use a little less. It’s up to you!
- Spoon tofu + barbecue mixture onto hamburger buns, dress with toppings and enjoy your sloppy southern meal.
I used store bought light barbecue dressing and it was freaking delicious. I had Annie’s organic barbecue the other day and while it was good, there was something a bit off. This version hit the spot and wasn’t too terrible on the ingredient list.
While I was researching vegetarian pulled pork, I found this ridiculous thing called a jackfruit, which apparently makes a pretty decent substitute? It’s supposed to have a mild taste and a similar texture to pulled pork. I’m a little skeptical but Greenville does have an Asian market, where I can supposedly find said jackfruit. I might need to take a little gander and see if I can whip up a better version.
I’ve also seen some versions made with seitan, which I have yet to try (!!).
Now if someone could just figure out how to veg-ize low country boil and shrimp & grits, I’d pretty much love you forever.