Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Itchin' to do some Stitchin'

Just before the holidays, I got super obsessed with stitching silly little phrases into embroidery hoops. This new hobby often leaves be hoping for a debilitating flu that strands me on the sofa with my Netflix and my embroidery floss. 

I have a whole notebook full of ideas—here's a few that have managed to escape the pages. A couple I was able to do on the flight for my last vacation. Good thing I have another international flight coming up!
As these are completed, I will continue to post them to my Etsy page. Recommendations welcome. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Burger of the Week #202

Smartest burgers on the internet! Check out these awesome
Burger-centric infographics. Now those are some tasty stats!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Burger of the Week #201

I don't know clustercuss, but judging from her Instagram posts... we're kindred spirits.*
*at the time when I saw this instagram post, I was eating ice cream (from the container), binge watching Netflix and doing embroidery.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Candy for Adults

For those of us who choose to hibernate during winter months, we can get through cold days by satisfying our sweet tooth with homemade imitations of the childhood foods we crave.

I fattened myself up the last few weekends with two very successful recipes— Homemade Snickers Bars and S'mores Bites. Using ingredients that I had on hand (it's true... I may keep more in the house than most! However, I did substitute the peanuts in the Snickers with almonds and pecans, because that's what I had) I was able to, quite quickly make some sugar-filled knock-offs.
Look at all that preservative-filled sugar! The basis for the Snickers bars, these cavity instigators are delightfully rich, and they lack that lingering, chemically after-taste of pre-packaged candy bars.
The s'mores were wickedly delicious and it was so hard to stop eating them (much like real campfire s'mores!) The marshmallow stayed soft and and the chocolate relatively melted. The trick is to cook the crust thoroughly to make popping them out of the muffin trays easier (I did both mini and regular sized in silicon trays – the minis are great for sharing, the larger great for gorging...)
Both of these are recipes that I will totally visit again. Each took about 30 minutes and tasted just as a good a few days later. 

It's one of the great things about being a grown-up—our candy is more "sophisticated" and we're allowed to eat as much of it as we want! And I recommend eating it all!

*Recipes: Homemade Snickers from Imperial Sugar / S'more Bites from the First Year Blog

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Diet of Nuts and Kale?

So I realize my diet may be a mystery to some. Let me explain. I am in fact a vegetarian. I eat a hamburger every 100 weeks for the interest of BOTW on this blog. And I eat a tiny bit of meat when I travel internationally— when I feel it's an important part of experience the culture of the places I'm visiting. The rest of my days, as in 98.7% of my life, I'm a fairly strict veg-fiend. 

I've recently decided to back off cow's milk, and try to source eggs from a local farmer. I am not, however, going vegan, as I will never give up Cheese. 

I bring this up now, because moments ago I finished Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. It was a quick read, one meant to motivate you by scaring the cookies right out of your cupboards. 

I found this book to be: 
20% common sense
20% over-the-top organic label pushing
20% written by psychotic drill sergents
40% reaffirming in my position as a vegetarian

If the World followed their advice, we'd be an army of anorexics eating nothing but nuts and kale. The most frustrating part was, that in their obsession with get skinny, get skinny, get skinny (being skinny is the best, you guys), they never mention exercise (aside from one small paragraph on page 188—and apparently if everyone did yoga, we'd achieve world peace).

Basically what they do, is pressure you to replace your current diet with expensive organic name brands. If it doesn't meet Skinny Bitch approval, don't put it in your mouth. Health is Wealth Chicken-free Nuggets, Now&Zen UnSteak, Amy's Organic Tofu Scramble, or LightLife Smart Bacon. MmmmMmm, now doesn't that sound yummy?

I have been a vegetarian for 5 years, and I have never found a need to imitate meat, I simply don't eat it. No tofu, no seitan, no tempeh, no pressed faux chicken patties. Why fake it? It's not going to taste nearly as good—in fact, it's likely to taste like paste. Instead I replace meat with beans, mushrooms or potatoes. 

I don't think Skinny Bitch was a wasted read. Like I said, it reminded me of the reasons I decided not to eat meat in the first place, and it urged me to be more conscious about the things I do eat. If you're unfamiliar with the meat industry, the unethical motivations of the USDA, and the basic distinctions between phrases like "all natural" or "organic", then I do highly recommend. It is important to know that all food is NOT created equal. 

I do agree with Freedman and Barnouin, you should know what you're putting in your body. But there's smart and there's extreme. And we want to be skinny bitches, not crazy bitches. And only crazy bitches give up cheese.

***If you looking for really great reads on what you should eat, and reasons why you should support the American meat industry, I recommend Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. Both are great as audio backs. Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. is a good rule to start with. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Burger of the Week #200

Week #200... another milestone for BOTW... For Burger #100, I went to Graydon's Crossing and had a grass fed hamburger (this is a big deal since I'm a vegetarian...)

I wanted to do something different for #200, so I had my friend Matt make me a burger using pre-approved beef from Montello Meat Market at the Downtown Market.

Matt hand-ground the meat and made simple patties with just salt and olive oil as seasoning. He fried them (breifly) on a cast iron skillet and served them with Shed's BBQ, Kraft Cheddar singles and sautéed onions.
I couldn't eat this burger fast enough. It was unbelievable. Cooked fully through, with a seared outside and juicy middle, it has me seriously questioning my vegetarian status. Now that is some serious beef. 
So if you're looking to invest in a small burger joint let me know and I'll hook you up with a master chef!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Burger of the Week #199

This puzzle was insanely hard. And I feel like it shouldn't have been. But the grease and glare made it difficult to determine what was actually on a piece. A little determination and a few 3 am nights got it done. Happy birthday me.*
*There was birthday retribution to the gift giver. A mosaiced Yoda puzzle turned out to be his downfall.