Monthly Archives: January 2013

orange honey flaxcakes

This week, I decided to start working on my goal of trying a new food once a month. I made this goal because I often find myself eating the same things over and over again. A diverse diet=a healthy diet…plus I think all of us can use some inspiration when it comes to answering that pesky what’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner question. So, once a month I’m going to try to cook with a new type of fruit, veggie, (vegan) protein, or grain. Hopefully I’ll have some really good recipes to share with you. I’ll share my flops, too, and you should feel free to pick up where I leave off if you are inspired as such!

The first food I decided to cook with is flaxseed. Becca and I have been putting flaxseed in our oatmeal at breakfast, but I wanted to try something a little more involved. I woke up in the mood for pancakes this past Saturday, so I went to work with some of the ingredients I had in my pantry and came up with some rather tasty orange honey flaxcakes!

gather:
3/4 cup white flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
the zest of two oranges (I used Cara Cara navels)
3/4 cup fresh orange juice (that’s about 2 medium sized oranges!)
1/4 cup water
the equivalent of 1/2 an egg from Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer
1/4 cup vegetable oil

honey and orange marmalade for drizzling/spreading (optional)

Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, then combine together. Incorporate completely without over mixing. You may need to thin the batter–I added an additional 1/4 cup of water to achieve a normal pancake batter consistency.

Lightly grease your griddle and let your pancakes sizzle!

Here’s some important things I noted:

1. My first two pancakes didn’t produce those tell-tale bubbles that indicate the flapjack is ready to flip. I just had to guesstimate.

2. However, my next two pancakes did in fact bubble away. I can only offer two explanations: either my griddle wasn’t as hot as it should have been for the first two, or the fact that I used more batter for the next two influenced the bubble phenomenon. I’m thinking it had more to do with the griddle temperature.

3. All of my pancakes stayed together–usually, I flip to early and smear batter all over the place. Even the pancakes that didn’t bubble were flipped late enough to stay together.

4. All of the cakes–large and small, bubbles or no bubbles–were a little mushy on the inside. Because of that I’m planning on reducing the amount of oil I use from a 1/4 cup to an 1/8 cup. I’d also like to try this recipe with whole wheat flour instead of white. I’m sure that will play with the moisture factor, too.

Do you have any suggestions? Have you ever baked/cooked with flaxseed?

xoxo, Catherine

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this week in: back to school

School is back in session.

My sister and I have coordinating 2013 planners, and it’s the best.
It has been very, very cold during my morning commute.
I am very glad I found a new winter coat at Target for $40.
I am particularly enjoying learning about children’s literature.
And now I really want to re-read A Wrinkle in Time.
Morning routines are best spent with my sis and a cup of tea.
Blood oranges are now my favorite fruit.
Copious amounts of sunshine make for the best study conditions.
I love having class at the same time every day.
I have been diligently studying for 2+ hours in the afternoon instead of procrastinating.
Driving to school is much more enjoyable in our new Prius C.
But car payments + tuition payments = vanishing money.
I dropped my online psychology class and am so very glad I did.

I think I might make it now.

xoxo Cat

date night: ice skating

Wes is nearly 25 years old and until our most recent double-date, had never been ice-skating. It’s nearly as absurd as the fact that I have never been sledding. (We need to brush up on our winter sports, apparently!) Anyway, our adventure-on-ice was the most fun we’d had on a date in a long time! It helped that our double-date couple, Brittany and Joe, were good sports and equally challenged on the ice.

I asked Wes if we could hold hands while we skated and he said absolutely not. He was sure our skates would clash and he would lose it and take me down with him. And I’m rather graceful on the ice for only being a second-timer, so I couldn’t have him tarnishing my image.

None of us took a tumble, I’m happy to report. All though I think the next time we go it’ll happen as we get more confident…it’s all part of the experience, right?!

xoxo, cat

i’m going to cut all of my hair off…

…and I want your opinion!

Here’s the situation. One of my 2013 goals is to get to the salon and have my hair done. If this seems like a simple goal, well, consider the fact that I typically only get to the salon once a year. I get it cut and then try my best to not mess it up while trimming my bangs here and there. It’s a time and a money thing. (Wes was surprised to find that a good lady-hair-cut runs $30 plus. And of course by good, I mean I don’t run out of the salon crying!)

So yeah. It’s on my list of goals and I am starting to think about fulfilling it. However, instead of heading to the salon and asking for my typical long layers, I am *this close* to committing to a huge change–a pixie cut or a chin-length bob.

I’m considering such a drastic change not because I completely dislike my long hair. I do have a love/hate relationship with it, though. I love how beautiful it looks when styled smooth and straight. It’s so romantic feeling. For the time that my locks have made it to my bra-strap and beyond, I’ve had more good hair days then ever before. I’ve figured out how my hair works and looks best, at least at this length. But I hate how long it takes to style in the mornings–a minimum of 45 minutes when I shower. It gets caught in Wes’ armpits when we sleep. It rips out when it gets wound in my purse strap and I’m not paying attention. It gets caught in my car door. For as beautiful as it is sometimes, it’s equally high-maintenance and frustrating.

High-maintenance. You know what that phrase does not jive with? The fact that Wes and I will be backpacking through Europe for two weeks come May 2013. This long awaited honeymoon will consist of 5 countries in 14ish days, not a second of which I want to waste doing my hair. We worked the numbers: 45 minutes a day (assuming I get to shower, which many not be the case, and the lack of which always results in a big rat’s nest) for 14 days is about a half a day lost to vanity. And here’s the other thing: I hardly want to do my hair stateside, with huge American bathrooms and outlets designed for my blow dryer. I highly doubt I’ll find myself creating those glossy locks every morning. And to be frank, my hair looks terrible at this length if I don’t blow it out. It’s too tangly and too heavy for my natural wave to show through. And gosh–then there’s the bangs that are an entirely separate beast come morning.

Yikes. I need a solution. The only solution I see right now is to chop-it-the-heck off.

(Granted, I do realize that a short ‘do will require some styling too–I’m just trying to eliminate a 30 minute dry time in the AM.)

But I’m scared! My long hair is so safe and comfortable. I need you to help me be bold! I need you to tell me that hair grows and that I’ll love it and that it will be such a fun experience, and that the pixie is the way to go. Or is it the bob? How about this: vote!

Here are examples of each cut I would take to my stylist for inspiration. Check out the poll on this post and vote “The Ginnifer” if you think the pixie is the way to go, or vote “The Katie” if you like bob better.

photo source: Ginnifer/Katie

I’ll keep you updated on the results, and will hopefully be brave enough to stick with whichever ‘do wins!

i do adore: dreaming of a snow day

If I could have a wintery white snow day right this minute, I would…

1. Sport this comfy number.
2. Snuggle under this blanket.
3. Hibernate in a closet with these.
4. Pop in my most beloved film of all time.
5. Attempt to knit this cozy sweater.
6. Listen to this band on repeat.
7. Brave the outdoors with these (but only if I had to.)
8. Venture outside for a warm chai tea, instead of my usual iced.
9. Read anything Jane Austen.

spa day

During winter break, I sometimes forget it’s perfectly okay to lounge around the house and do little towards productivity. Some days are just best spent doing next to nothing. So that’s how I spent my very last Sunday before the Spring semester began.

I bought some iTunes I’d been longing for, scrubbed down the bathroom (fresh bathroom rugs are my most favorite thing EVER), and spent the day bubble bathing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and trimming my bangs. Seriously. It took me 3+ hours to get my bangs decent enough for public display.

My favorite part was this diy body scrub I whipped up with things I had in my pantry. If you don’t have the epsom salt on hand, brown sugar would do just fine. I opted for the coarse salt because my elbows and knees get super crocodile-y in the winter!

xoxo, Catherine

good cook/bad cook

I am a good cook. I really am. At least I think so, and Wes would probably agree. But every now and then I have a recipe flop. And we’re not talking about a little flop. No, no. I flop hard.

Take, for instance, a delicious looking eggplant and zucchini casserole. I promise I followed the directions, but at some point everything in the casserole lost its texture and it turned into a 9×13 full of baby food.

Then there was an attempt at vegan sloppy joes. This was my first time cooking lentils, and I made the mistake of adding more lentils to the pot after the original quantity was about half way through cooking (who DOES that?!). Needless to say we had equal parts lentil mush burgers and crunch burgers. And it pretty much just tasted like paprika.

Next we have my quinoa and orzo pilaf that ended up tasting like ketchup and rice. And it also assumed the shape of any dish you put it in. So it was kind of like a ketchup and rice overcooked risotto soup.

And finally, we have my most recent blunder: a vegan lasagna. I was surprised to find how terrible the first batch turned out, because it was a Food Network recipe! It was just really watery…probably from overly juicy tomatoes from the homemade sauce and not pressing enough water out of the tofu. The second time around, I tried to fix that, but the lasagna still couldn’t stay together. My next attempt will include melty vegan mozzarella throughout the entire dish (absent in the first try, only on top on the second) to try and bind the layers a bit better. Unfortunately, I may have to put that off until next year, because there is still lasagna in our fridge and we are still trying to eat it. And be we I mean Wes. He’s such a trooper.

Anyway, this is all to say that sometimes I just get stuck with a horrible case of the cooking blues! I suppose I should be pleased that for the last two years, the time during which I have begun practicing vegetarianism, I’ve only had four majorly inedible dishes. And the lasagna is edible–It’s just a little floppy and wet.

Meh. Whenever I reattempt a failed dish and fail again, I tend to take a little break from the kitchen. I told Wes to start hitting up the salad bar at the grocery store for lunch. 🙂

365 days of running

I have a lot of goals for 2013 (you can read about them here), and one of them includes training for a half marathon. After doing some research, I’ve decided the best way for me to start–before I even begin worrying about increasing distance and achieving long runs–is to make running a habit. So, I’m excited to share that I began working on a year long goal a couple of weeks ago: my 365 Days of Running challenge. I am really excited and a little bit scared. But I like that. I’m going to need some encouragement, so I thought I’d share what it is I’m doing with this challenge and how you can follow along!

Here are the details:

1. I have to run a distance of at least 1 mile every day.
2. I can run that distance in any length of time.
3. I’ll be utilizing daily running mantras to help inspire my run.
4. You can follow along by checking out my Instagram and my Twitter, hashtag #365daysofrunning.

I had originally planned to get through a whole month with some measure of success before sharing this on GBB. I was afraid the first couple of weeks would be fabulous but that I would tank in the second month, and I didn’t want to be horribly shamed!

But here’s the truth: the first week went amazing. I ran everyday. The 365 Days of Running community I started on Facebook took off, and it felt amazing to stay in touch with friends all over the world in such an easy and uplifting way. That really helped me push my tush that first week! (Push my tush–is that an okay saying? Or super awkward?) The second week, on the other hand…was less than stellar. In fact, I think I only ran once. I was sad because I’m starting to learn that we never get yesterday back–I will never have a chance to achieve my mile on those days ever again.

But the great thing is that today is today and that’s what I can control. Today is today. And today I ran my most amazing mile since beginning 365 Days. I’ve had a few of those runs in my day. They’ve varied in distance and in time but the feelings are always the same. Wholeness. Vibrancy. Happiness. This is why I run.

I hope you follow along…I’ll really will need TONS of encouraging words!

Catherine

lately/1.14.13

I am reading: According to Jane by Marilyn Brant. This is the first book in my 2013 Book Challenge, and although I almost chucked it aside the other day, I really  want to know how it ends, so I’ve decided to finish it.

I have learned: exactly how to make a single crochet.

I am crafting: a precious little baby blanket. It’s coming along quickly now that I know how to do a single crochet!

I am loving: my new bangs that my sister trimmed and reshaped for me.

I am developing: a project to help keep my feet warm for the rest of the winter! More on that soon, I promise.

I am stressing: about my future and whether or not college is the best course for me- there are so many things that I need to consider.

I am watching: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, extended edition. It’s been epic!

xoxo, B.

this week in: before and afters

I just recovered from the Holidays. I tried so so so hard to leave the house tidy before we traveled home for Christmas but we were in the middle of so many projects that it just didn’t happened. This resulted in the Clutter Apocalypse of 2012/2013. And the week spent on getting Goodbye Bernadette up and running didn’t help the (un-)tidiness factor! I purged a lot of stuff, disposed of the Christmas tree Kitty Meow completely demolished while we were gone, and reorganized some closets and cabinets throughout the house. I even have almost all of the holiday decorations put away!

Yay. I can breathe again. My “creative process” can sometimes take over the entire house, but there is always a point where I have to stop, straighten my environment, and then get back to work. Now onto more projects!

Ooh! And I’m so glad I had a tidy little apartment to bring this floral embroidery back to:

It was my only find during a recent flea market trip! I love it.

Oh! And can you spot Kitty Meow in the second picture? She’s there!

xoxo,

Catherine