Here’s What’s Been Goin’ On…

I am officially the worst food blogger in the history of food blogs. It has been WEEKS since I’ve posted a recipe (let alone had time to think about cooking…) and I AM SO SORRY. Unfortunately, keeping with the theme of things, I have no recipe for you. Sorry again. But I do want to catch you all up on what I’ve been doing that’s been keeping me so busy (and what I’ve been eating while doing it!)

So, first of all, I mentioned a few posts back that I was taking this really exciting “Politics of Food” class. Well, I dropped it. I decided that I didn’t like sitting there listening to information that I already knew and not know how to share my opinions in an intelligent way, and that I am way better off concentrating on my engineering classes.

Now for some background info:

Drexel has a really different schedule than most other schools. Rather than two fifteen-week semesters and a long summer break, Drexel has four ten-week quarters. OH and no summer break. Everyone works for two of the quarters at a co-op internship (that’s why I was hanging out a refinery for six months) and goes to school for the other two quarters. So, I have school every March-September and work every September-March. I am kind of depressed about not having a nice long summer vacation (I have a week off in between terms…) but I know that when I graduate with eighteen months of work experience in my field, it will all be worth it ūüôā

SO because of our short short SHORT terms, we have to cover INSANE amounts of information in insanely short periods of time. For instance: this upcoming week will be week 4 of the term, and I have THREE MIDTERMS.¬†MIDTERMS.¬† I hope that knowing the insane amounts of work that I have been doing will at least excuse me a little from not posting. No? Didn’t think so.

But regardless, let me tell you about what’s been going on with me!

1. Most importantly, MARK COMES HOME IN THREE WEEKS. It may be premature to say this, but I would venture to say that I did indeed successfully make it through these loooooong four months. I may not have accomplished absolutely everything that I set out to do four months ago, but I made a good start and fell in love with cooking along the way (added bonus!)

2. BODYPUMP. If you are not familiar with this insane butt-kicking workout, please click here. My roommate recently got certified as an instructor and after running out of excuses (it’s too hot out, I’m not strong enough, my arm hurts, etc.) I woke up bright and early one Monday morning, headed to her class, and never looked back. I’ve only been going twice a week for three weeks, but I already feel so much stronger.

3. New shoes. Ok, so I am probably the only person who will be excited about this, but after getting bruises on my feet from my old running shoes, I shelled out for a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL new pair of Mizuno sneakers. I have always been pretty loyal to Saucony, but am now a true convert to Mizuno. I went to a local running company and they had me walk around barefoot to check how my feet work before selecting a few pairs for me to try on. LIFE CHANGING, people!

4. I do, in fact, realize that this is a food blog. And thus, I will (I suppose) tell you what it is that I’ve been stuffing my face with recently.

  • Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers
    • When I’m in a huge hurry or too busy to stand over a hot stove for half an hour, I grab one of these amazing frozen goodies. They’re not like other veggie burgers out there– none of that “fake meat” stuff. These are full of REAL VEGETABLES, including whole soy beans and shredded carrots. A frozen dinner you ¬†can actually feel good about.
  • Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread
    • This was one of those things that I’d seen a million times at the grocery store but was always too scared to actually try it, picturing little green sprouts emerging from lumpy bread. But it is SO GOOD. Not lumpy, not sprouty, just healthy tasting delicious bread. I use it to hold my veggie burgers or spread a little jam onto. They’re also great for a peanut butter banana sandwich if I need to take my breakfast with me to class.
  • Curry
    • My roommate makes THE BEST curry known to man. I couldn’t even tell you how she does it, but it goes so well on all my veggies over a bed of brown rice. We eat curry about twice a week.
  • Fresh Local Veggies
    • At Drexel, we are lucky enough to have a weekly farmers market on campus when the weather gets nice. I’ve stopped buying most of my produce at Trader Joes when I go on Saturdays, and instead wait until Tuesday when I can pick up broccoli, squash, strawberries, and asparagus that I can feel good about putting into my body!
  • My Homemade Larabars
    • I’ve been making a cherry variety that holds me over a few hours between lunch and dinner. OBSESSED. And I keep a few of the real thing around just incase I run out of my version.
  • AGUA
    • Ok, so not really a food, but I have been drinking water like it is my JOB lately. I invested (using a student discount) in a camelback water bottle a few weeks ago, and I swear it makes drinking water fun. I probably drink about 15 glasses of water a day ON AVERAGE. Without even thinking about it!!

I’m sure I’ve probably bored you to tears by now, so I’ll end this little rant before it gets¬†ridiculous. ¬†I can’t promise recipes any time soon, but I’ll try to keep up the whole “journaling” aspect of this (just so that I don’t go absolutley insane with school work!)

SINCEREST APOLOGIES.

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Homemade Larabars

Being back in classes has been a huge adjustment. I’m used to the usual three-month summer break between school years, but I just went nine months without being in school. While it’s really nice to have three hours in the middle of the day to do nothing, I’m also up way later than usual doing homework (so much homework…) and getting organized for the next day.

A few things that have been keeping me going and making my transition easier:

1. Candles. I have so many soy candles in my room and I am obsessed with them! I burn them all the time and they really help calm me down when I’m super stressed out. My current favorites? A coconut lime candle that I got from Mark, and a macadamia nut one from my mom!

2. TONS of water. I have been drinking¬†about 12 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. I don’t drink coffee and I try to only drink tea when I¬†really¬†need it, so water is what wakes me up and keeps me energized! In the morning, I’ll usually squeeze half a lemon into my water bottle, and after lunch I’ll either put sliced cucumber or fresh mint in for a little extra flavor!

3. To-Do Lists. I am ¬†the¬†queen¬†of making lists (in case you couldn’t tell from this post…). Especially to-do lists! I’ve been taking blank printing paper and writing out huge to-do lists with everything I need to get done during each week… so helpful!

4. Chocolate Strawberry Shakes. Technically, this is a smoothie (and how I start most of my mornings…) but it tastes so indulgent and decadent that I like to think of it as a shake! I’ve been including frozen banana slices, frozen strawberries, chocolate almond milk, and vegan protein powder in mine!

5. Homemade Larabars:

Since I’m back in classes at Drexel, I needed some really easy snacks (that I wouldn’t get bored with) to take with me to my classes. Last weekend, I made OhSheGlows’ Dark Chocolate Cherry Bites without the chocolate chips, as well as her chia crackers. Once I realized just how easy Larabar-type breakfast bars are to make, I was on a huge bar-making kick!

These keep me full for hours and on top of that, are SO delicious! I have two varieties for you… I would suggest making both ūüėČ

Coconut Cream Pie Breakfast Bars

inspired by OhSheGlows’ Dark Chocolate Cherry Bites & Larabars

Ingredients:

  • 8 Pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1/2 C Unsweeted Shredded Coconut
  • 3/4 C Raw Almonds
  • 1/4 C Raw Cashews
  • 3 tsp (solid) Coconut Oil

In a food processor, process the almonds until completely chopped. You do not, however, want it to be an almond meal.

It is ok if a few larger chunks remain. Once chopped, add the cashews and the dates, and process until completely combined. Add the coconut oil and process until a dough starts to form, about 1 minute. Spoon the mixture between two pieces of wax paper and roll out until the top is smooth and the mixture is at your desired thickness- I usually let mine be about half an inch thick.

Cut to desired size (mine are about half the size of actual Larabars).

Gingersnap Breakfast Bars

Inspired by OhSheGlows’ Dark Chocolate Cherry Bites & Larabars

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C Raw Almonds
  • 1/4 C Raw Pecans
  • 8 Pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1 heaping tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • tiny pinch of ground cloves

In a food processor, process the almonds and pecans until mostly chopped (again– do not let it become a floury meal). Add the dates and process until a dough forms. Finally, add in the spices and process for an additional 30 seconds.

Once again, spoon the mixture between two pieces of wax paper, roll out, and cut to desired thickness.

These bars give me lasting energy– enough to get through seven hours at the library ūüėČ Both varieties are pretty rich, but they’re a perfect pop of flavor to help wake me up early in the morning! ¬†They’re so unbelievably easy to make and absolutely delicious!

A Quick Update…

Sorry I’ve been MIA for¬†so long! A lot has happened in the past week and a half…

  • I finished up at my internship!
  • I started classes at Drexel again
  • and most importantly… I decided that I¬†love¬†engineering and it is absolutely 100% what I’m supposed to do

I’m so happy to be done work– the refinery was awesome experience and I met so many great people and learned so many new things, but I am beyond ready to get back to being a full-time student.

On that note… I am officially done my first week of classes. I kind of forgot how to do homework and generally do school over the past nine months, but I think I’m getting back into the swing of things and getting organized now that it’s had a little time to sink in.

I’m taking a lot of cool classes: Statics (ie: applying all the stuff I learned in physics to real world engineering problems), a materials class, computer aided design, engineering lab, and history of technology. However, one of the classes I was most excited about coming into the term was Politics of Food. It’s an elective and so far it’s kind of neat because I already knew everything we’ve talked about. HOWEVER, the best thing about this class so far is that it has proven to me that I am meant to be an engineer. I don’t like having to explain to people why I hold the opinions that I do, or having to analyze readings and movies. I’d rather solve vector sums and stick to my “veganism solves everything” mindset.

So that’s what’s up with me! Once I get used to the homework load, I’ll be back to my regular blogging habits… until then, look out for a few recipes next week and some more life updates ūüôā