Hi everyone! I hope your week has started off on a good note. I know mine has. Aside from my computer crashing, things have been looking up. After a week of no sun and dreary weather, the weather gods decided to give us the gift of sunshine and warmth. Thank goodness! I think this is just what I needed to reenergize myself for this busy week. Without my computer I will find myself with less distractions. But I’ll do my best to keep you all updated – hence I am sitting in the toasty Fine Arts building’s computer lab. So many computers buzzing!
I’ll start off with my Saturday night. I was going to go to some experimental sound art show, but I wasn’t really in the mood for that. Instead I called up one of my best friends to see what she was up to.
Driving to meet up with them.
Strawberry Street Market's selection of beers. They even had a Honey Basil kind.
We ended up going to our friend's house for a house show.
The band seemed to be cooped up in this one room – I think they should’ve played in the middle. But a friend of mine came out of that room with a bloody nose but the biggest smile on her face!
I tried to capture the crowd surfing that was going on haha
I didn’t want to get back too late because I was planning on going hiking the next day.
So I ended up heading back around 3 in the morning.
Not a bowl of oats!
My tummy wasn’t feeling too well the next day so I wanted to take it easy. I had some leftover okara from when I made soymilk when I got home super late. Yeah, I made soymilk around 3 am… Anyway, I mixed it with pumpkin butter, stevia, and cinnamon. I topped it with a sliced apple, dates, some more pumpkin butter, and the last of the Artisana almond butter.
Aw!!! How can anyone resist?
Some things I packed for my hiking trip!
I made myself a PB&J sandwich using Rudi’s Wheat & Oat bread. Oh my gosh this bread is so good by the way. It’s perfect for sandwiches – especially a classic PB&J. I love how thick the slices make it so much more satisfying to bite into. When I was making my sandwich I had trouble deciding which jam to use. I remembered that Boysenberry jam is one of my favorites, but I currently do not have it in stock.
Well guess what? My computer crashed and I knew that I would have to take care of that before I went on any hiking trip. And the sun was shining so brightly on Sunday I knew I didn’t want to be indoors.
This necklace spoke for my excitement about the weather!
I headed over to my nearest Apple store and I ended up making an appointment for today (Monday). By the time I was done with that, my friends that were going to go with me either a) didn’t want to anymore or b) didn’t answer. But you know what? I still wanted to go hiking so I went. I called up a good friend of mine that is usually up for doing stuff. I didn’t get to go to the Shenandoah Valley like I had planned, but atleast I got to go exploring and get some easy hiking in.
Crossing the bridge to Belle Isle.
The hiking begins!
My shoes along with the wet mud were not a good combination, but it was fun nonetheless. I love adventures!
I think Matilda does too.
I love letting Matilda off the leash so she can sniff around as she pleases. She’s so cute because she never strays too far. When she was walking ahead of us she kept stopping and looking back to make sure we were still there. What would she do if we decided to play hide-n-seek with her?
There's a pond on the isle.
I just thought these pods were beautiful.
The James River is really high right now from all the rain.
Admiring the sky.
I love being out in nature and being amazed by it. Nature is beautiful and it doesn’t have to try.
City skylines can be amazing too.
This time I just sautéed the kale with white cooking wine and seasonings. I also had some of my leftover “meatloaf” I made with the okara. Last but not least I made a recipe inspired by Katie’s mashed cauliflower. I pureed mine with salt & pepper, nutritional yeast, and soymilk. Then I served it with some all-natural butter. Yum!
Then it was time for some homework!
This is a part of what I’m working on for my sculpture project.
I'm not much of a painter, but I think it's fun. I haven't done it in years!
This breakfast was interesting. I wanted to use up the rest of my okara, so I mixed it with a ZenSoy banana pudding cup. By the way, I think the banana pudding flavor is my favorite. I heated that up till it liquified and then dumped on some Aztec Crunch Corn & Amaranth cereal. Excuse my half-eaten apple that I enjoyed with my favorite crunchy peanut butter.
I assembled my sandwich the night before because I knew I would be pressed for time today.
I also sautéed some kale with raisins and toasted pine nuts. I love toasted pine nuts!
I used two slices of French Meadow Bakery’s Woman’s Bread. What’s so special about Woman’s Bread? According to the site, “with 14 grams of protein and 2.6 mg of soy isoflavones per serving, Women’s Bread contains key nutrients for women’s health. Sprouted grains bursting with vital nutrients and vitamins are easy to digest. Dried cranberries provide an antioxidant boost.” I enjoyed the dried cranberries very much! Okay so what’s in between the bread? Portobello mushrooms, basil, red onion, cream cheese, fakin’ bacon bits, and tomato paste + honey.
After my readings in apocalyptic Literature class I wanted to go exploring around Belle Isle some more. Apparently I just couldn’t get enough and the weather was gorgeous! It was so much fun not knowing where I was going but taking random trails that would lead me to who knows where! Afterwards I came home and showered and did some pampering.
Tea tree and spearmint mask - ah so refreshing.
And dinner time rolled around.
I didn’t really feel like cooking tonight. Well, I guess I did cook the cauliflower mash with garlic and herb, but that barely counts! So I just baked some Gardein “chicken” tenders in the oven and seasoned with Old Bay blackened seasoning, and ketchup + curry. Curry ketchup is delicious. All you have to do is mix in some curry powder with ketchup – simple! It reminds me of buying pomme frites on the streets in Germany served with with curry ketchup. Please excuse me toasts for being shy. I promise they are delicious once you meet them. Tonight I wanted to try French Meadow Bakery’s Gluten-Free Multigrain bread. That’s a mouthful! Anyway, the bread was seriously delicious! I just spread on some butter on one slice, and butter and fruit spread on the other. I can’t explain really how tasty this bread was. Just biting into it was awesome and I can’t believe it has no wheat. Can you see the all the little flaxseeds? So good! I highly recommend this bread, even if you don’t have a gluten intolerance.
Lastly, the ever so lovely Brooke tagged me to fill out a little survey she made up! Here goes…
1. favorite variety of apple? Gala
2. apples dipped in? Peanut butter… or caramel! How about both?
3. favorite way to enjoy pumpkin? Pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin and ginger cookies, and pumpkin penne
4. favorite soup? with crackers or bread? My mom’s spinach soup with fresh crusty bread.
5. do you eat orange foods all year round? Not consciously, but the time of year doesn’t stop me from eating them that’s for sure.
6. most used spice in your autumn cooking: Cinnamon and tarragon
7. you are baking some homemade bread, what flavor combination of bread would you like to make? Oh my gosh! Some sort of spiced bread. How about a spiced bread with almonds and cranberries. However, I recently stumbled upon a garlic pull-apart bread recipe.
8. favorite autumn vegetables and ways to eat it? Winter squashes out the wazoo! Recently, I’ve been digging cauliflower and kale
9. hot chocolate, hot cider, coffee or tea? Hot chocolate made with coconut milk. And I love this one tea called Richmond Blend. It’s a black tea with cinnamon, orange peel, and cloves. It’s out of this world and actually has an intense flavor on it’s own. Not to mention the cinnamon helps keep me warm during the cold months.
10. favorite seasonal dessert? I think it’s a tie between double-layer pumpkin cheesecake and sweet potato pie.
11. lets make a fall stew! pick any 6 ingredients to create your one: Sweet potato, onions, carrots, kale, curry, and white truffle oil
12. pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or almonds to snack on? Almonds!!!
13. popcorn flavor/seasoning? Cinnamon & sugar or nutritional yeast
14. bowl of hot cereal you have been wanting to try: A banana rum cake inspired one! I actually just came up with this.
15. post a link to a recipe that you recently bookmarked. April’s pumpkin French toast!
Anyway, I just wanted to fill you all in on how my weekend went and how my week started. I’m going to try to keep up with all you lovely people! I hope you all are doing well and keeping your chins up. Remember, as William James once said “…Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”