Bored with blogging

To those few folks who still check this periodically, I apologize. Remember the days of daily blogging and decent photography? Those were nice.

Now, unfortunately, I live in an apartment that gets almost no natural light. Pair that with a camera without a flash or decent macro lens and you’ve got yourself a pretty weak food blog situation.

And it is SUCH a bummer, because recently I’ve been cooking my way through Isa’s new vegan cookbook Appetite for Reduction. Falafel, pesto, fake cheese sauce, she does it all. Maybe someday this summer I’ll set up a light box and invest in upgrading my camera, but for now these foods will go unphotographed.

The good news: I lost 3 lbs. since starting veganism. I’m happy with that!

The bad news: I’m taking an indefinite blog hiatus.

Thanks for staying tuned for the past year and a half! I’m not any smaller, but I’m not any bigger either… you are the best support system a gal could ask for. LOVE!

they’re humoring me!

The lovely people I eat with on a regular basis have been so fun to cook and dine with lately.

Friday night grill out at the park:

This meal was followed by a couple hours of serious bluegrass foot stomping at the Trampled by Turtles show… we danced the calories away! Weeeee!

The next morning Nicole gave me a lesson in both Indian cooking (bloom your spices properly!) and tofu scrambles. Sweet potatoes with rosemary and onion:

Curried tofu with kale, onion, zucchini and carrot:

Brunch for two in the sun, with one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had:

Daily workouts:

Friday – Biking and dancing
Saturday – 20+ miles of biking
Today – 60 minutes elliptical
Tomorrow – Chrisanthi Spin class!

Dinner tonight: Beans/Rice/Veggie wraps

Happy Sunday evening to ya! Go Bulls!

VEGAN TAMALES

Last night Mandy and I seriously impressed ourselves with our first shot at tamales. And in sticking with my current vegan diet (loving it, by the way), the tamales had to follow suit. Check out the recipe I used here!

I pretty much want to make these everyday now… Even the non-vegans will love the black bean/sweet potato combo! I served this with a homemade roasted corn salsa and fresh avocado.

Filling station:

Soak your husks!

The beautiful vegan tamale feast:

I think it’s hard for people to wrap their brain around why I’m eating this way for the month. You know how alcoholics have to completely give up booze to kick their habit? Well food addicts can’t do that, because food is obviously necessary for survival. For me, I have to go back to treating this like a sickness that requires drastic limitations. As of late, I’ve really started to feel “normal” and consequently stopped paying attention to what I was eating. “I can eat what she’s eating,” I’d think to myself. Nope. Not the case! So here I am, not eating cheese, meat, eggs, or milk. A minor bummer in the scheme of things, really.

Ok, I’m off on bike to the Peninsula Park Rose Garden to meet Sara for some sunshine!

Happy Mothers Day!

Thanks to Ty I got to play mama myself tonight! Harper ate all her dinner, played nicely, and then went to sleep within five minutes of hitting the sheets. While I run around high-fiving myself on these major victories tonight, I know the job of raising people is not an easy one. You mamas are an inspiring group of people… thank you for taking care of us!

Weekend updates:

I biked all the way up to the Zoo on Friday! (Possibly the hardest climb I’ve ever accomplished.) The giraffe was not impressed:

And to celebrate, I joined the Koza clan for a four-course dinner at Oregon Culinary Institute. Their fixed menu required a momentary lapse in my veganism. Roasted asparagus salad with egg and salmon and gnocchi:

For Mothers Day we surprised our mama with family web cams! Chatting here with Keri and Bree, the goofiest gals I know:

And last night we hit up the Scappoose Moms for some more celebrating (how can anyone possibly lose weight around here!?)… The crew had grilled steaks, and Glenna and I had stuffed mushrooms.

My vegan chocolate cupcakes (Isa’s recipe) and G’s housemade fresh mango/strawberry cocktail:

You probably should make this even if you aren’t vegan.

1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).
Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Enjoy! Love to all the Mamas!

Happy 60th Birthday to my Mama!

I love you so much!

Just found this beautiful picture of you… from another fantastic trip 🙂 Happy hour in Mendocino:

Enjoy your birthday/Mother’s Day weekend with Breezy! See you in a month!

peer pressure

Feeling bored? Just go to happy hour with Mandy Bland so she can talk you into signing up for Reach the Beach. She seems to think the 100 mile ride from Portland to the Pacific Ocean isn’t going to be hell on Earth… I beg to differ.

Honestly, though, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. It was, after all, the goal I set for myself after last year’s Bridge Pedal. Through the winter months, however, I lost ambition (I’m a fair weather biker), and pretty much counted myself out completely. Now I’m biking everyday again and getting daily emails from my 15+ friends who are already signed up for it. SHOULD I DO THIS CRAZY BUSINESS?!? Maybe. But I’ll definitely need to tweak a couple things on my bike first. And maybe lose 25 pounds.

Did I mention the ride is in two weeks?

More on this later…

We’re officially within 48 hours of Mom’s 60th birthday! Check out this fan favorite; during her post-baldness days 🙂 And baby Sami makes it even more perf!

XOXO

Pilot Butte

In the spirit of trying to accomplish something extraordinary, I set out from my hotel this afternoon on bike to tackle Pilot Butte (definitely harder than Tabor). Silly me, I only made it halfway up. And this time I had an audience! I’m sure the serious hill-walkers were laughing at me, but I should have known better as I didn’t see a single cyclist the entire time I was on the darn thing.

Isn’t it grand? You can see it from pretty much every spot in town…

Me + bike:

So you wanna talk about food now? I always want to talk about food! What is my PROBLEM?! As I try to consistently give myself boundaries of acceptable eating behaviors (and usually failing), I’ve decided to try eating vegan until I go back to Wisco in June. Today was my first shot at it, and so far so good! My new vegan addiction? Seaweed salad. 50 calories or so for a cup!

Are we all looking forward to Mother’s Day this weekend? I get so overwhelmed (in a good way) when I think of all the exceptional mothers I know… what a feat to raise human beings! But of course one stands out for me this week, because she birthed me herself. My own mama!!

Wish you were on this trip with me right now — can’t wait to show you Bend one day 🙂

Every now and then, she packs her bags and comes West… here are some fun memories from two of those trips.

Crater Lake!!

And Alaska (we nearly lost to her to a spill down the airport escalator upon arrival!)… but what a trip it was. On the back of a boat off the Kenai Peninsula:

Where we going next, ladies?!

Bend, at last!

Wow, today included a lot of talking and a lot of this:

I probably could have planned these school visits better to minimize my car time, but I’m here now and very happy. When I arrived at 6:30 tonight, I immediately changed into biking attire and rode around for five or six miles in the sunshine… it was absolutely beautiful and the perfect release of energy I needed after all the driving.

Halfway through my ride I had an inspiration! This banner for an upcoming breast cancer walk got me thinking…

…post a tribute to my Mama every day this week! She beat breast cancer fifteen or so years ago, but she admittedly never thought she’d live to see sixty. And honestly, I’m not sure what we would have done without her.

Mom, you are inspiration to Breezy and I of what motherhood is all about. Thank you for continuing to fight for us! We love you.

Crispy

Are there any other Northwesterners feeling a twinge of sunburn today? My skin is still pinky and sore from the super fun outdoor times this past weekend… I think I clocked over thirty miles on my bike from Friday-Sunday. The big burn happened yesterday though, when I pedaled to and fro Sara’s place up in St. Johns. (I awarded myself two tacos straight from the truck… best way to eat ’em!)

It seems like my weekends are trying to one up each other lately… totally great! Other highlights: Singing workshop with Nicole, crazy night of comedy with Cody, delivering homemade tortillas to Trevor, and the Head and the Heart show last night (ticket courtesy of Dana… thanks gal!) What’s better than singing, dancing, laughing, eating and exercising with people you love?

Anyway, I’m on the road now (bike in tow!) and should roll into Bend tomorrow night by 7:00 or so. I’m really trying to not eat out on this trip, as I ate nearly every meal out over the weekend. The weather in Central Oregon should be beautiful and accommodating for a big ride on Wednesday.

Dinner tonight: Lean Cuisine, soup, watermelon, sparkling water

Travel pics on Wednesday, I promise!

And in honor of my Mama (she turns 60 the day before Mother’s Day!), here’s a vintage shot of the two of us… LOVE YOU Ma!!

Dang, let’s hope I’m that skinny when I’m 31!!