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Posted on Oct 7, 2011 in Food, Recipes | 29 comments

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Holy cheese on a cracker, guys! I had a sneaking suspicion that the topic of fat acceptance vs. fat glorification would be a conversation starter, but I really had no idea that it would inspire such thoughtful discussion (and imagine my delight at how thoroughly civilized it was!) If you have a few extra minutes today, I highly recommend reading through the comments on the post — there was a vast and varied range of opinions shared (including those of my Dr. Dan, my brother-in-law!) All the thoughtful commentary made me a happy schnauzer bear.

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Good job, friends, good job.

So, now that we’ve made note of your sheer awesomeness, I shall make an observation. Things have been kind of serious on the blog this week (no, my name isn’t Captain Hammer Obvious, why do you ask?) Between revisiting my darker days and yesterday’s post, I’ve been putting out a lot of heavy, thought-provoking (for me, at least) stuff. And aside from my second foray into the world of vlogging, I haven’t exactly been my chipper self. I’m so glad that I have a forum where I can candidly discuss those kinds of things (and that you all feel comfortable sharing your points of view in return!), but c’mon, I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer over here, especially not on a glorious Friday like today!

So! Let’s lighten up! Starting with my first pumpkin oatmeal bowl of the season, which was enjoyed yesterday morning.

Punkin Oats
So Fall-icious.

In the mix, we have:

2/3 cup pre-soaked oats
1/3 cup light soy milk
1 heaping tablespoon pureed pumpkin
1 tablespoon maple syrup
An undetermined amount (read: a lot) of pumpkin pie spice
And a dollop of Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful on top

Oatmeals
Warning: this make ALOT of oatmeal. It carried me from 8:30 AM to 2 PM.

If you’ve read more than like, er, one healthy living blog, you are probably familiar with the concept of overnight oats. If not, well, sucks to be you.

I kid, I kid! Let me elaborate: overnight oats are when, in lieu of taking the time to cook raw oats on the stovetop, you let them soak in water or milk before consuming for a period of time (uh, overnight, possibly?) The oats absorb the liquid and become soft, though admittedly not as soft as they would be if they were cooked, and it’s hugely time-saving in the morning because you can prepare them the night before. Huzzah! Since I’m a good li’l healthy living blogger, you know I love me some oatmeal, hahaha.

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Anyway, a coworker and I have recently been discussing the idea of pre-soaking grains prior to cooking, and she told me she tried it with oatmeal and had great success! So I figured I’d give it a whirl as well. Turns out pre-soaking your oats is essentially the same thing as making overnight oats, only, um, even easier.

Step 1: Put oats in a bowl.
Step 2. Dump a lot of water in the bowl.
Step 3: Cover and, optionally, refrigerate.

No measuring required! In the morning, you strain all of the water from the oats, and then mix up your regular oatmeal ingredients, only you can use way less milk than normal because the oats are already nice and pillowy. THEN you cook ’em, and they become a creamy, smooth, fluffy bowl of morning comfort. Or, if you’re me, you take the bowl to work and zap it in the microwave for 2 minutes because the very idea of turning your stove on at 7 AM makes you want to cry.

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And then you have it alongside a big ol’ glass of iced joe.

I think I’ve made it abundantly clear here that I am not exactly what I would call “a morning person.” So being able to throw together quick but hearty breakfasts and lug ’em to work with me is a definite must in order to keep to my “always eat breakfast” mantra.

All right, I have one last “lighthearted” treat for you guys this Friday. This might not be a huge shock to you if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, but I went crazy the other night and decided to submit an audition tape for The Glee Project! Urk. So please click through and watch me as I make a thorough fool of myself and (GASP!) sing! And then, even if you hate it, please Like it. 😉

So I know you are probably sick of wedding recap posts by now, but this weekend brings on Wedding #3 of 2011 (here’s #1 & #2), with my good friends Abby and JP getting mawwied in Baltimore! Steve is a groomsman again, and Ben is the videographer, so it should be good times all around!

What are your favorite oatmeal toppings/mix-ins? I like pumpkin in the fall, but my all-time favorite combo will probably brown sugar + raisins. The brown sugar melts into the hot oatmeal, and there’s just something about this combination is so, so good!

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Posted on Oct 19, 2010 in Food | 5 comments

Self-Made(ish) Dishware Delights

So just a quick update on yesterday and today. Work has been CRAZY. I work in an external building from where most of our employees are located, and most of my immediate coworkers split their time between here and there. It makes things kind of difficult though, because when you’re trying to get things signed and sent over it all takes a really long time. So I’ve been dealing with a lot of that, and so I’ve been running around like a crazy person all morning. Oh well, at least stressing out burns calories! Hahaha.

I went to the gym yesterday after work (see? Proof of my whole “not letting .4 lbs knock me down” thing) and ran & speed-walked on the treadmill. I did about 10 minutes of each, which ended up being a little over a mile and a half, and 20 minutes all together. Trying to do that whole “keep an elevated heartrate for at least 20 minutes” thing, y’know. I really wasn’t feeling it, but I dragged myself down there anyway. I don’t know, my body just felt sluggish and heavy. I think it’s because I’m about to start my you-know-what (Overshare? Mmmmmaybe… but I’m okay with it.) and I’m just feeling very bloated and physically blah. And today when I woke up I am pretty sore, even though I definitely didn’t do more than I did last week… weird.

I also think I did something weird to my knee because it was bothering me last night and now it’s still feeling kind of funky. Like I need to crack it or something. Hopefully it won’t be like this for long.

Anyway, the title of this post comes from the delightful dinner I enjoyed last night. Well, Second Dinner, at any rate. For my first dinner, I made myself a little stir-fried chicken on a small wheat wrap. But… I ate it at like 5:00. So by the time 7:30 rolled around and all the roomies were starting to poke around in the kitchen, I was hungry again. So I whipped up a little bowl of — you guessed it — oats!

This is 1/2 a cup of oats, 3/4 a cup of unsweeted almond milk, 1/4 cup of water, a dollop of honey, a scoop of milled flaxseed, and some frozen peaches and blueberries added to the mix. 1/2 a cup of oats goes a LONG way! I poured them into my beautiful Cupcake Mug that I made painted at Clay Cafe Studio in Falls Church the summer my sister got married (2008).

And when I was done enjoying this warm, comforting bowl of natural goodness, I uncovered the magic at the bottom of my mug, and the reason it is called the Cupcake Mug:

How cute is that? It’s got a little cupcake at the bottom of the mug. I am simply a dishware genius. 🙂

Anyway, that’s all I have for right now. Must get back to the grind… sigh. ‘Til next time!

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Posted on Oct 9, 2010 in Food, Recipes | 2 comments

Oats Obsession and a Recipe (SHOCK!)

So, I recently became very aware that I am the kind of person who obsesses. Well, let’s not lie. It isn’t a recent realization. I obsess. And my most recent obsession? Oats.

Tuesday.

Wednesday.

Friday.

Today.

What can I say, I know what I like! I made the original batch of overnight oats, and the ones since then I’ve been actually cooking on the stove. The formula is always the same though: oats, vanilla almond milk, almond butter, a squeeze of honey, and frozen blueberries. Yum, yum, yum! It’s so comforting and satisfying, especially as we’ve had some cooler weather this past week. Even though these past couple days have been hooooot. Whew! Regardless, I am officially in love. I’m sure my obsession will peter out eventually (they always do) but for now, I’m just gonna ride the wave.

In other news, I had my Stella & Dot launch party last night! It was a lot of fun, and thanks to everyone who came out! It was good just to have a fun, girly happy hour with some friends. 🙂 Taylor got some pics with Ben’s superfancy camera that I’ll post later, but for now here’s a sneak peek that I snapped on my phone:

The jewelry display – I think everyone had a good time trying pieces on! It’s very misleading though, only about 1/10th of the jewelry there is actually mine. The rest is Kelly’s, my upline (basically my guide/sponsor/Stella superstar!) She was kind enough to bring hers over to add to the sample display, and I definitely picked out some more pieces I need to add to my own collection… 😉

Here’s Daxter showing off the silver La Coco necklace. 😛 We served up some awesome snacks that I’ll need to show off to you guys, too. My roommates Erin and Taylor were the BEST in helping me get everything made and ready, and our menu was pretty beast. Like I said, more pics to come later!

So after my sweet, sweet oats creation for brekky this morning, I wanted to use up some extra butternut squash that we had in the fridge. So I decided to make my Roasted Butternut & Turkey Stew!

Ingredients:

1 package very lean ground turkey
1/2 a large butternut squash, cubed
1 can whole corn (can use frozen if you prefer)
1 can peas  (ditto on the frozen thing)
1 can baked beans
1 can crushed tomatos or tomato sauce
1 huuuuuuge handful of raw spinach
2 tbsp ground/milled flaxseed (optional – gotta healthify!)
salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, or seasonings of choice to taste.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the butternut squash with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 16 – 20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

Cook the turkey in a large stockpot by drizzling a little EVOO on the bottom of the pan and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder.

Add in the corn, peas, and baked beans. If you’re going to add flaxseed, do that now as well.

Add in the tomato sauce / crushed tomatoes and stir together. If you like a runnier consistency, you can add some water or chicken/vegetable stock. Bring the stew to a simmer.

When the butternut squash has finished roasting, just add it on in! You can now remove the stew from the heat, or you can continue to let it simmer on low and allow the flavors to meld further.

Right before you’re ready to serve, add in a biiiiiig bunch of raw spinach and stir it in. It will wilt into the stew and add extra nutrition, as well as some beautiful color!

Serve in an adorable bowl and enjoy!

I’m gonna say it was pretty darn good. 🙂 (Props to Taylor for the bowl – sooooo cute, right?)

Anyway, that’s all for now! Until next time, my loves!

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