Friday, November 30, 2012

Foodie Penpals: Keep Moving Forward With Me

This is my fourth month in a row participating in the foodie pen pal program that was created by the wonderful Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted at this point. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

I sent a package to newbie, Gina Hartley, who is just a reader for now. She informed me that she loved chocolate/peanut butter anything so I went with chocolate/peanut butter themed box for her. Hopefully she enjoyed everything I put together for her.

Taralyn Parker @ Keep Moving Forward With Me sent me my package from Utah!
She emailed me a well-thought out questionnaire, and here is what she sent me!

Lightly Roasted Almonds, Pomegranate flavored Oatmeal, Perfectly Simple* Peanut Crunch Bar, Lindt* Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar, Caramel Apple Delight Granola and a recipe for Baked Apple Oatmeal.

In her questionnaire, Taralyn asked me what I enjoy snacking on. I got exactly what I told her. Nuts, oatmeal, and nutrition bars! I love combining an apple and a handful of almonds together as a snack. It just.. feels right. The pomegranate oatmeal intrigued me. I usually add peanut butter, nuts or some fruit to plain oatmeal to give it that “unf” if you know what I mean. But I wanted to experience what this tasted like on its own, so for lunch one day I tried it and..was pleasantly surprised. The pomegranate flavor was very nice and I didn’t feel that I had to add anything to it. I’ve never tried a perfectly simple bar before but I have heard a lot of raves about them. So I was excited I got one in my package. All I can say is.. perfectly simple bars are now on my grocery list. The bar was delicious and with 10g of protein.. it satisfied my hunger for hours.

As for the dark chocolate and local granola.. I haven’t gotten around to try them. I already have a dark chocolate bar in the fridge that I want to finish off before opening up a new one. According to my grandmother though, Lindt chocolate is really good. Her first words when I showed her my package.. “Ooooooo, Linnnnndt.” So I know I’m in for a real treat when I get around to eating it. For now.. it’s at home in my dark chocolate stash. (Yes, I have a dark chocolate stash.) Well, it’s not necessarily just a “dark chocolate” stash. It’s really just a box were I hoard all my treats so no one else will bother them in my room. Trust me, if I were to leave such treats out in the open.. my family would attack them and I would never see them again. The reason I haven’t dug into the granola is because, well, I just can’t. As much as it pains me to say.. heavy cream was used in the making of the granola. Foodies, I know it can be a pain.. but if your shopping for a vegan, or anyone who has a diet restriction. Make sure you double check all the ingredients on the items your sending just so your sure the person your sending them to can actually enjoy them. It’s a downer when we can’t. Obviously I know Taralyn didn’t mean to send me something that has dairy in it. I’m just giving you all a friendly reminder.

Nevertheless, this was another successful month. Thank you so much Taralyn! I look forward to making that recipe soon. I love me some baked oatmeal.

Next month is a little different. Instead of sending packages to other fellow foodies.. you have the opportunity to donate the money you would have spent on your foodie to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Click here to read more about it/sign up to donate to someone who truly needs it in this difficult time.

Sign ups for January start back up on Dec. 18th, so go on over to The Lean Green Bean then if you’d like to participate in Foodie Pen pals in January.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Scenes From The Weekend: Cousin of Chaos.

Cousin of chaos may seem a little harsh. Unfortunately, it’s far from an exaggeration. My cousin, Emma, is a little hell raiser. Somebody who asks you non-stop questions just to get “dirt” on you so she can then tell what you said to others and twist your words around to make what you said seem like you said something far from what you had originally said. In the past, I had not known this. My cousin had asked me a question regarding sex and drugs. I answered her question, she twisted my words, which caused some of my family members to believe that I was a sex-crazed, drug addicted, 13 year old girl back in the day. I’ve received apologizes since then when Emma had confessed that she was only “joking” but let me just say, she wasn’t “joking”. When you joke with someone it should be funny, not hurtful. Unless your joking in a way that the person who your “joking with” knows it’s all in good fun. What she had said was a flat out lie. Not a joke. A lie I honestly have never gotten over because even though my relatives have apologized. I still have an uneasy feeling around them and I feel insanely uncomfortable. It also doesn’t help that I’m different from most of my relatives. I have my own identity, views, and beliefs. My family.. is pretty normal and old-fashioned. (Aside from my mother. My mother and I are basically the black sheep of the family. We’re tolerated but that’s really it. We’re happy to be the different the ones.) I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be 100% comfortable around my relatives other than my grandparents, mother, and uncle Rhett again, just because my cousin wanted to have a little fun which turned ugly. I’ve never forgotten it and I’ve learned to answer her questions in a way that she can’t turn my own words against me.
I’m one to forgive, though. Even if I can’t forget. So after her coming over a few times since I’ve been back and rekindling lost time, she has been asking me unstop if she can spend a weekend with me. I’ve turned her down each time just for the simple fact I know how she is and I know how obnoxious she can be. But I decided to let her come just so she would stop asking and since Thomas is sick, I figured let’s just get this over with. I have nothing better to do. One weekend. I can do this. (maybe)


  1. I asked Emma if she wanted anything special from the grocery store since she would be staying a couple nights with me. That’s everything she wanted. Obviously, Emma and I, have totally different eating habits/diet.
  2. When I drove over to Kokomo to pick her up, she gave me my belated birthday presents. (A ton of tea(seriously, look at it all.), a water balloon yo-yo, this knitted bracelet, and $10.)
  3. I have a lot of clothes that I no longer wear or have never worn plus a few random items that I’m in need of selling. So I had Emma look through to see if she wanted to buy anything. I sold her those two shirts, and an Avril Lavigne CD for $30 dollars. Not bad.
  4. As soon as we walked through the door, Emma went straight to the freezer and pulled out a Magnum. Her face says.. “Touch my Magnum and I kill you.” (Achmed styled voice.)
  5. After eating her desert before her dinner. She insisted she was hungry. I told her to look through the food I bought for her. Her choice: Bagel Bites. The whole box. I’m not kidding.
  6. Emma showed me this app on her Ipod that’s called Fail Funny Pics. As she was browsing through enormous pictures I saw this one and laughed. Sexy Santa, I love it.
  7. As the day was turning to night. Emma insisted we go walking in 30 degree weather. Joy. As we were walking around I saw one house that was already ready for Christmas time. I don’t understand people who put up Christmas decorations when Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I also don’t understand why “pumpkin spice” seasonal items are only for the month of October. In my opinion “pumpkin spice” should be here for Oct-Nov. Then bring in the peppermint/egg nog seasonal items in Dec. To me, that makes more sense.
  8. Emma decided she wanted to “make me prettier than I already am”. (Her words not mine.) So she put a bow in my hair.
  9. The rest of the night consisted of Emma and I watching American Dad, 1000 Ways to Die, and Ben and Kate.. until we both passed out.

  1. I woke up at/around 9 in the morning. I tried to get up quietly so I wouldn’t wake up Emma, so I could have a few minutes to myself while drinking my coffee. My fur-daughter, Lilly, had other plans and woke Emma for me. Then went back to bed after her mission was accomplished.
  2. I never eat in the morning. It takes a few hours after waking up for me to feel hungry. My cousin, though, is a breakfast eater. Whole wheat sandwich with Nutella inside and on top. Breakfast of champions in her book. A few minutes later.. bring on the strawberry banana sherbet.
  3. Since Emma is a constant go-go child. My grandfather and I took her to the Salamonie Dam. I haven’t been since I was child so it was cool to relive a childhood memory of mine. We swang on the swings, hiked around the forest, and even rolled down that huge hill which left me with scratches up and down my sides and stomach. Emma insisted we come back in winter and sled down that huge hill.. when clearly there was a sign advising not to. That’s Emma for you, though I can’t say I wouldn’t do it. There was signs in the woods telling people with horses to not ride them down by the dam which they clearly didn’t follow. We had to hike around a ton of horse-caused muddy tracks and horse.. “leavings”. If you know what I mean. 
Sunday wasn’t anything special. I wasn’t feeling well, so I opted to stay home while my grandparents took Emma to Fort Wayne so she could spend her money at the mall. If only I could blow money like she does. I haven’t bought myself anything new in months just because I’ve been saving all the money I get strictly for tattoo college. It’s funny.. when I was a kid all I wanted was to grow up. Now that I’m an adult I wish I could have my childhood back. I want to be the carefree little girl I once was. Instead of this stressed-out adult concerned about paying for college and finding a job. Growing up isn’t fun. These 18 years have gone by so fast.

All in all, the weekend wasn't terrible. Definitely not as bad as I was expecting but still a bit of an annoyance when you have someone on your butt 24/7. Who constantly is wanting to do things that involve knocking on other people's doors, then taking off running. I wanted nothing to do with that. I'm not a ding-dong ditch type of person. My cousin, like I said, is a hell-raiser who likes to stir up trouble. I let her have her fun.. but I kept a distance. A very far away distance.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This post has nothing to do with food or veganism.

I'm sitting here, alone, in a church that grandmother attends.. waiting for 7:45am to hit so I can then pursue to walk up to Bowen which is only about 2-3 blocks or so away. My grandmother has an eye appointment in Fort Wayne, and since I'm car-less and only have my permit at the moment. I'm pretty much stuck with either having to do what I'm doing now or have my grandmother ask my aunt Cheryl if she could take me to Bowen. My aunt lives way out in the country on the other side of town so I'm obviously not going to have her use up her gas(especially since gas prices are outrageous) just to take me to Bowen when I could easily just wait at this church for 2 1/2 hours and walk up myself. Besides, I'm technically an adult now. (My birthday was on the 9th.) So I feel that the adult thing to do would just be independent and do it myself. The only thing that I'm really not looking forward to is having to walk in this freezing weather. I'm from California, so Indiana's fall weather and I don't get along. I can only imagine what winter will bring. Let me just tell you, I'm NOT looking forward to it. Cold weather + me = no beuno.


You know when your alone, noises seem much scarier than what they really are? Especially loud ones. Like a banging noise that in all reality is just the heater, but in your imagination its a guy in a leather mask in the basement trying to get you to come down to check it out? Because you know.. in those scary movies the people are stupid enough TO check it out instead of doing what I'm doing which is ignoring it to the best of my abilities.
(I imagine, though, he'd look like this guy.)


The wind is rattling the door but your mind plays tricks on you and makes you want to believe that you truly aren't really alone.

Okay, I need to quit before I start to think too much about it. Though it's not helping that the elevator keeps opening and closing..

Just 15 more minutes, then I can leave. I will survive!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Macoroni & Cheeze!

Everyone has those days.. when the thought of comfort food attacks your mind and you can't help but to give into the craving. Well, my friends, I'm going to give you the ultimate vegan comfort food recipe.

  • Box of whole grain /or/ whole wheat pasta.
  • Package of Daiya* Cheddar Style Shreds.
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond /or/ soy milk.
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balence* Soy free Buttery Spread.
  • 2 tbsp flour.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make the pasta according to the instructions on the box.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat a small sauce pan on low/medium heat.
  4. Add the vegan butter, once melted, add the flour. Whisk until smooth, cook for 1 minute.
  5. Whisk while adding in the almond/soy milk, then add in the shreds. Continue whisking until melted. [Optional: Add 1/4 cup of onion into the cheeze sauce while it's melting.]
  6. Once melted, take sauce pan off the heat, drain the pasta.
  7. Take a 1 1/2 quart baking dish or a 9x9 pyrex* dish and add in the pasta, and the cheeze sauce. Mix well.
  8. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.