Saturday, September 18, 2010

Roasted Garlic Hummus

When my mom was over yesterday, I brought out a plate of Triscuits and Sun Chips with hummus on them for her to try.  As she was eating one, she had to stop and make sure I knew hummus was made from chickpeas...because it's pretty well known that I am not a chickpea/garbanzo bean fan.  She was surprised when I told her I actually liked it!

A few weeks ago, when we were at our local (and favorite) farmer's market I picked up some pitas and a little tub of roasted garlic hummus.  I decided I was going to brave and try it.  It's healthy, right?  I'm all about healthy lately.  The woman at the booth recommended the roasted garlic because most people like that one.  Turns out, I loved it!

Earlier this week, Chad and I had lunch at a cute little cafe where I had a veggie sandwich that had hummus on it instead of any other kind of condiment and it was awesome!  I was so excited.  I knew I had to try and make hummus myself!

Looking online led me to this awesome new-to-me blog that I found!  Food Loves Writing features tons of recipes and they're all made with healthy ingredients.  It's not a vegan site so everyone should check it out!  I followed her recipe for roasted garlic hummus and it turned out so great!  My mom even commented that she wanted the recipe because it tasted way better than any store-bought hummus she's ever had.  This time I used canned chickpeas but I'll try dried chickpeas next time!

Let me know if you try this recipe or if you have a favorite hummus recipe.  Or if you are scared to even try hummus...which you shouldn't be, especially if you try this recipe!  Sorry I don't have any pictures!

Friday, September 17, 2010

1,000 Vegan Recipes

Most Recently Read Book:
1,000 Vegan Recipes
By Robin Robertson

This might have to be a vegan's dream.  When I decided to become vegan there was definitely a pause when Chad asked me exactly what I could eat.  So far my philosophy has been to eat vegan when I'm at home and to attempt to eat vegan when I'm out, in the end if I'm out somewhere and they have an amazing veggie sandwich with hummus and Mediterranean lentil soup how much can I worry about there being eggs in the bread or other hidden foods?  I've been looking up what is vegan when I go out to eat but so far I'm not getting mad at myself if I make a mistake...on the same not, I'm not out there downing cupcakes "pretending" there aren't eggs in those!  

So, when it came to really figuring out what I would be making myself to eat as a vegan, this book was exciting because it has tons of options.  In fact, almost too many options at this point in my life.  There are no pictures but there are pages upon pages of recipes just listed back to back to back to back.  I think it's a great resource, but for now I'm going to stick with some of the other books I've read with vegan recipes just because they don't seem quite as daunting as this one.  I have no doubt in the future I'll be ready for these 1,000 doubtless yum recipes!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Vegan Table

Most Recently Read Book:
The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion
By Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

I first read/heard about Colleen Patrick-Goudreau when I listened to Fat Cat in February/March.  I mostly credit Eating Animals to helping me make the decision to become vegetarian, but I read Fat Cat right around the same time and it definitely had an impact on my decision as well.  At the end of the audiobook there was an interview with author and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.  She is a cool chef who makes vegan food.  She has a whole website and other books besides this one.  I really enjoyed The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion though because it has pictures!!!!!  So many recipe books I've seen don't have pictures and that drives me crazy. She doesn't have a picture for every single recipe, but there are lots of pictures.  I made homemade pizza dough on Friday night; the boys had regular pizza with cheese and veggies and I had a pesto pizza with garlic and tomatoes.  I loved it and can't wait to make it again.  I'm starting to make a list of vegan cookbooks I want to buy to have and this one is definitely going on it!  

American Idol Tour 2010

We almost didn't get tickets to go to the American Idol Tour this year, but at the last minute we were able to get backstage passes from a cousin of a friend so we thought it was so worth it to meet the Idols - especially Lee!!!  It was really the first time Chad and I left both of our boys.  I had to take my pump into the United Center with me.  It's a little bit of an inconvenience but it does crack me up to see the faces of security guards or first aid staff when I tell them I need to pump.

The hubby and me on our way to meet the Idols!
Lee!!!! Definitely deserved to win this year, I love his voice!
(Let's just not talk about the fact that I complained to him about how he tweets and kind of made him feel bad...)
Here we are with all the Idols!  
(This is the part where I apologized profusely for being mean about his tweets...and he said it was okay, then gave me a little arm squeeze AND WINKED AT ME!)
Overall, I can't say that this was anywhere near the best season of Idol, but their performances were good on tour and Lee was as good as ever.  I'm glad we got to go to the concert and have a little time to ourselves AND MEET LEE!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Kind Diet

Most Recently Read Book:

The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet
By Alicia Silverstone

When I first got home from the hospital after having Danny I watched a lot of TV (didn't you know you're supposed to always have background noise on during the day) and, of course, I got some Oprah in.  I saw her interview Alicia Silverstone about her book and I had to check it out.  After becoming a vegetarian, I've been looking for more ways to be healthy.  This book talks about what we're eating kind of like Eating Animals did, but it is written in a little more friendly way and the entire book isn't all about eating animals.  Alicia talks about flirting with being a vegetarian/vegan, being a vegan, and being a superhero.  This book easily convinced me to give being vegan a try.  It's not easy to just go vegan but I've done a pretty good job and I feel great.  I felt like I had a lot more energy when I first gave up meat, but I feel great while also having much softer skin and less sinus problems, believe it or not!  I love how Alicia wrote this book and I love her philosophy about eating.  She encourages people to even just try giving up meat for some meals. She also has lots of different recipes for the different "levels" of eating.  It's not just for vegans or superheroes, it's for everyone!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Random Ramblings About SAHM Life

Yesterday was my first day home with just Danny!  I felt like an official SAHM - stay-at-home least for the next four weeks .  I have always said that I would never want to be a SAHM just because I love being busy and organized and working on projects...but I had never really tried the whole SAHM thing until now...and now I kind of like it!  My life as a teacher is weird because Chad is a teacher, too.  That means that any days I'm off for school Chad is usually off, too...except he gets some Jewish holidays off (lucky).  This is my first go at being home alone with just my little string bean.  Isn't he just a doll?
When Jordan was born, Chad stayed home for two weeks and then I was home with Jordan for 2 or 3 weeks before Chad was off for summer vacation.  After squeezing that ten-pound baby out of me, I basically wanted to just be a lump on the couch.  I did go for a walk around the neighborhood in the mornings and that was about the extent of my day.
Now that I'm home with Danny it's a totally different experience because he's already two months old and I'm feeling much more like myself.  Chad is at work, Jordan is at the sitter, and I'm free to do what I want to do with Danny!  This morning I got a ton of cleaning done while he took a short nap, then after he ate, I loaded him up and made my first shopping excursion to Trader Joe's.  I have to say I felt uber-cool because I had him all snuggled up in the Moby while I shopped (I so wish I had a picture...).  We made it home for lunch and a quick nap before his 2-month doctor appointment.  I seriously got so much accomplished today, even Chad noticed how much I was able to get done around the house.

This baby is 15 pounds!!!!!  That's the 97% for weight...sheesh.
I did have tears in my eyes when Jordan left with Chad because I love spending time with him, too...but I had to tell myself that he would have fun playing with his friends at the sitter's (and he did, of course!).  It's hard to explain the connection I have with Danny.  My love for Jordan grew (and still grows) everyday.  It was hard work having a baby the first time around.  I hated leaving him at the sitter's when I went back to work but I miss him so much more now when he goes to the sitter's because I have such a stronger connection with him now compared to when he was a baby.  It's still hard having a baby the second time around, but it's a different experience.  I'm laid back in so many ways because I've done it before so I feel like I already have such a strong bond with Danny.  It's hard getting up in the middle of the night and being tired during the day but it's not hard as far as knowing what to do and just loving my baby.

Now I just have to NOT get too used to this SAHM business in the next four weeks because I have to go back to work whether I like it or not!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bloggy Friends Forever

This weekend I think I had the most fun I've ever had as a blogger!  I got to meet up with Emily Jane and some of her other bloggy friends downtown.  Emily and I started e-mailing and reading each other's blogs when we found out we both shared a love for The Time Traveler's Wife.  (You know it's my favorite book, so someone else who loves it as much as I do is basically my book soulmate!)    
It was cool to get to meet her in real life and to hang out with new friends, too.  Blogging and e-mailing has been like a new and improved version of having a penpal.  I love the idea of knowing people from other parts of the world and being able to connect with them.  Now though, I realize that it's also a bummer to have friends in other parts of the world who are so far away.  After meeting Emily it's like she's here, but then I have to remember she's not.  It's kind of like when family or friends are in town from far's a blast for a few days...until they leave and then they're just not here any more to hang out with.  I guess if we can't be neighbors at least we can still keep in touch.  Horray for blogs and Facebook and Twitter! 
I have to give a shout-out to Ashley over at Sound of Silent for making Jordan this paper crane!  I somehow managed to keep track of it and not squoosh it on the way home so I could give it to Jordan.  He had fun saying the word "origami"!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cereal Idiosyncracies

Honestly, I never really realized how different two people can be when it comes to eating cereal!  I just have to write about it because it's been cracking me up lately.  I am intrigued by how opposite Chad and I are when it comes to eating cereal and now I'm wondering what other people's tendencies are when they eat cereal.  

Me: I prefer a roundish tall bowl full of cereal.  I then load up on milk, too.  I make sure I start to see the milk coming up over the cereal so the cereal starts to just barely start to float in the milk.  I love a big spoon to eat cereal with.  I gauge how much cereal versus how much milk I have left as I go so when it comes down to the end I usually can finish my cereal at the same time as I finish the milk.  I leave usually a teeny bit of milk in the bottom of the bowl but otherwise (in my opinion) it is cereal-eating perfection.  Waste not, want not.  

Chad: He prefers a wider short bowl full of cereal.  He does load up on cereal but he doesn't like too much milk.  I mean, he barely even wants any milk in his cereal.  He chooses a small spoon.  He doesn't want to really drink the milk, he just wants his cereal to be barely wet from the cereal.  He'll eat the cereal, leaving flakes or krispies or whatever all around the rim of the bowl and a ton of milk in the bowl.  Here's the part that I am most astonished by, he'll use that leftover milk and just add more cereal to his bowl.  (If I'm going back for a second bowl, I need a whole new set of cereal and a whole new pouring of milk.)  

Did you realize it was even possible to cereal so differently?  I honestly, truly, desperately am dying to know how you eat cereal.  Do you eat cereal?  What kind of a bowl do you like?  Big spoon or small spoon?  Lots of milk or some milk...or no milk!!!  (Jordan has been requesting Cocoa Krispies with no milk and he'll use his spoon to eat it but doesn't want milk on it!)  Don't be shy, no judging, I'm just curious about your cereal personality!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Couch to 5k - Day Two!

I just got back from my second workout!  In fact, I should be stretching right now...but I felt more compelled to blog.  I felt great this morning, it might have helped that it was much cooler out and that it was first thing in the morning.  I love working out first thing in the morning, I feel so much stronger.  I'm totally a morning person, though.  Now I can go on with the rest of my day and feel good about having already worked out.  It was drizzling when I went out and raining a tad harder when I got back, but I love running in the rain.  I love even more being able to come home to this sweet boy!  Jordan is off at Papa and Gramma's house being spoiled!  I'm hoping the boys will run with me someday.  Jordan loves to run, I think he could do a kids fun run no problem!
1. Complete the couch to 5k training program 
- one workout at a time!
So far 2 down: 26 to go!
2. Do pilates or strength training on my off days. Love pilates!

3. Register for a 5k on October 31st - I'm going to do one on the 30th, 
I'll post the link soon. 
4. Decide and work on my costume for the race!  Still not sure...ideas?
5. Convince at least one other person to run with me on the 31st! 
Looking good!  So far Laura and Silvia are going to run, too!!!