2011 in Review

2011 has been an eventful year! This blog only began in the summer but the months prior to the blog’s birth are valuable and deserve a place in the recap of the year!

A Few Firsts

  • Holding an iguana
  • Riding a horse
  • Living/cooking with a friend in an apartment
  • First concert


New Favorites

  • Eggs almost make a daily appearance in my day.
  • Almond Butter! On a spoon, in sandwich, with apples…it could be considered an obsession.
  • HITT intervals! I love being in and out of the gym fast with such a satisfactory feeling. It can’t be beat.
  • Foam Rolling. It’s a self massage, really, is there anything better than a massage? I think not.
Especially when in the Korean dish Bi Bim Bop.
Mixing almond butter and DCD= the best overnight oats.

The Discovery of

  • The show Community. We need to laugh everyday and this show is hilarious!
  • More like the (re)discovery of reading for fun, college makes us forget reading can be fun.
  • Trader Joes. Why was this place kept secret for so long? The Teriyaki baked tofu is amazing, great pre-made pizzas and salads, and great prices.
  • Yoga and pilates. Practicing mindfulness, living in the now, and minimizing constant worries. Plus the great advantage of core strength and flexibility.

    The maiden shopping trip to Safeway,TJ's, and Sundance

This is only the tip of the iceberg from 2011. I had exciting trips across country borders as wells as state and county lines. I made new friends, learned the lay of the land of a new campus, and city. I also spent more time driving in two months than I did in entirety of my life as a driver. This was my first summer not working in over four years and took full advantage of all my free time, but I did miss the extra income. 2012 will be another year full of opportunity and change. It’s time to start thinking about those resolutions and small changes that will make 2012 a fulfilling and fun year.

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Foodie Pen Pals

Thanks to the fabulous Lean Green Bean, I participated in a foodie exchange. This exchange occurs every month, bloggers and readers alike are able to participate, and trust me, when that box arrives it feels like Christmas! Just think–if you choose to participate you can experience “Christmas” every month of the year (without the stress!)

The box arrived the day after I returned from campus, my response to it’s arrival was a high pitched “AHHHHH!!!! IT’S HERE!!!!” [Insert confused parents and questioning looks.] “Ohmygawd, YES!”

The lovely Lindsay sent me 4 great magazines: Whole Living, Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Food and Wine, a shimmering Christmas ornament, mint and dark chocolate chips, homemade banana bread, crystal light to go, and chocolate covered craisins (currently stashed in my car for snacking, no sharing!)

Christmas came early!

It took less than an hour for me to cut into the banana bread. The bread is bursting with banana goodness and is exceedingly moist, a great snack the past few afternoons. Being a mint lover I am in love with these chocolate chips! I made cookies (with the never-ending name) within a few days of this box arriving. The cookies are extremely rich and happen to be vegan- no eggs, butter, or dairy milk and you would never know the difference!

Lindsay, thanks for the goodies!

Since I’ve been home I’ve been eating out and catching up with friends at every occasion! I missed WIAW and was not a diligent photographer, but here are a few pictures of what I’ve been enjoying.

Poached egg and toast
Shrimp Salad
Homemade mega salad with a friend- Candied Pecans, Almonds, Chicken, Grapes, Red Onion and Mozz. Can you say stuffed?

I’ve also been out for Mexican, coffee, and a few bar dates are in my near future.

 

What are you doing with your time off?

 

[Double chocolate-mint chip-raisin-peanut-steel cut oats-cookies] Vegan!

Now say it five times fast.

Uh-huh, more difficult than you thought, right? These cookies are unintentionally vegan and oh, so, decadent. Raise your hand if you enjoy, chocolate, mint, or peanut butter. You like all three? Even better. (Moment of truth: I prefer to eat my mint and dark chocolate chips naked, by the handful.) The recipe yields approximately 24 cookies dropping a tablespoon sized ball on the baking sheet.

Double chocolatey goodness.

Your New Favorite Cookie:

Ingriedients
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup peanut flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (I forgot this, but I’m sure it would make the flavors pop)
3/4 stick of butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons steel-cut oats
mint and dark chocolate chips
golden raisins
2-3 tablespoons almond milk (as needed)

Steps:

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Sift together flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In microwave melt butter almost completely.
3. In separate bowl combine sugars, butter, vanilla, and oats.
4.  Combine flours and sugar. Add in desired amounts of chocolate, raisins, and other goodies.
5. If dough is too dry add almond milk as needed.
6. Bake for 9-10 minutes for a doughier cookie OR 14 minutes for an average cookie like crunch.
7. Let rest and enjoy!

These may be a new favorite, but I may become a chocolate purist next time and only use dark chocolate chips to compliment the peanut flavor. Mint and chocolate are as peanut butter and chocolate, together they create a raucous marriage; it melds but could use some work. Either way there is something about it that makes you keep coming back for more; at cookie number six I bagged them and put them out of sight.

Enjoy your cookies with a cup of hot peppermint tea for the ultimate mint experience or dunk them in a mug of vanilla almond milk. Mmm, go ahead, pull out your baking sheet. I dare you.

What’s your favorite type of cookie?
How do you use peanut flour?

Egg Noggin’ Tea and Hard Cider

4 hours, 1 wrong exit, 1 squash and I finally pulled in to my driveway on Friday afternoon. I believe it may be ironic that I got lost in Portland area, the most familiar large city I was raised near…

Five minutes after parking I proceeded to dump my belongings on the staircase and plopped on the couch in front of the fireplace. The blazing fire lit the room with warm orange and red hues from its flame and I wanted nothing more than to sit *cough* lay on the couch. Who knew driving could be so draining?! Especially driving alone…much to0 solitary for my taste.

In the 48 hours I’ve been home it took my mom and I less than 24 hours to eat at The Sage, our favorite lunch spot, and wander around the local business for quick and easy holiday shopping. We found local tea mixes that have options for the green tea drinker, black, or even Oh my, Chai! (This was my personal favorite, chai is difficult to get wrong!) We then hit up WinCo, (whaddup!) and I discovered Eggnogg’n tea by Bigelow and Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride from Celestial. Oh. My. Goodness. Sugar Cookie SleighRide made my Christmas wish come true! This herbal tea is delightfully sweet and I find it to be the perfect addition to breakfast or for after dinner. I had 4 mugs yesterday, 4 large mugs. (If you need caffeine in the morning I suggest adding a bag of green tea for a boost.) The Eggnoggn’ is also a great seasonal tea but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again.

In addition to my vegging I’ve found time to bake and craft, what more can you ask of a Christmas Break? I hope your answer is “nothing!”-if per chance your opinion differs,  that was a rhetorical question.

My friend and I (who recently joined me in the ranks of legal drinking) made a Safeway run and bought Hard Apple Cider to drink while we crafted and listened to Christmas tunes. If you’ve hesitated to buy the Hard Cider, wait no longer and take the plunge! At $7 (give or take) the cider is worth a try. We both love this adult beverage. Sweet, Crisp, and Bubbly, all of my favorite things! While we sipped we worked on 3-d snowflakes–these.

This isn't mine, but you get the idea--imagine Christmas wrapping paper pattern.

Saying we have an abundance of sweets in our house would be an understatement. We have (well, had–we got snacky hungry.) cookies up the wazoo! What’s a girl to do in this predicament?! Bake more!! My shipment of peanut flour recently arrived and I’ve been dying to use it in cookies. Add in the fact my foodie pen pal box arrived from The Lean Green Bean with mint & dark chocolate chips there was no question I would be baking.

I created a double chocolate-mint chip-raisin-peanut-steel cut oats-cookies. (What a mouthful!)

Tune in next time for the recipe and a look at what the lovely foodie box contained!

What have you been doing this holiday season?

Are you a baker or do you just welcome the baked goods?

Home For Christmas

Good Morning Friends!

It is 6 am and I am raring to get on the road. The only thing stopping me is breakfast plans with a friend that I won’t be seeing for 9 months, too long to wait for a raincheck breakfast (if I skipped.)

20111216-061254.jpg

I am finished with finals and have packed the car. Can I get a woot woot?! I have a 3-4 hour drive ahead of me and that can only mean one thing, quality time with my boy Harry! Harry Potter that is! You better know that I have all 7 books on my iPod and do listen to his adventures in my car.

Today, before the drive I must use up the rest of my dining dollars at breakfast.Mass amounts of Honey Rice Puffins, Luna Bars, and Vitamin water Zero will be purchased to make use of my surplus. The dining hall is also home to the best oatmeal I’ve had. Ever. Sloooow cooked with toppings galore! The texture is creamy and the customizable options extend as far as your imagination. Craisins? Check. Walnuts, almonds, flaxseed? Check. Coconut, brown sugar, 3 different types of milk? Check. Fruit? Check check!
It is fab freaking-tastic. Commence salivating! Countdown till SUB opens: 1 hour. Maybe I’ll nap…

Snackage for the road and an iced Oregon Chai here I come!

I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me!

(the boys will be anxiously awaiting!)
20111216-061832.jpg

1022 South [Bar Review]

For a recent assignment for my school paper a couple of friends and I headed down to a unique bar to review. Here’s the article I wrote. Enjoy!

As you step in the door of 1022 South you are immediately transported out of Tacoma and into a trendy Manhattan style bar.  The room is illuminated by dim overhead lamps that spill over light from the bar itself. A large chalkboard displays happy hour drinks for the evening in a fine cursive script.

For those of you unfamiliar with this hidden treasure, 1022 South is a bar that belongs in a category all its own.

Dana Zillgit, one of my dining companions, described the bar as a “classy hole in the wall with a hip vibe.”

Drinks are infused with jasmine, ginger soda, lavender, coconut and agave to name a few. The drinks are categorized as Literary, Classics and Apothecary.

The Literary list incorporates Drunken Boat (black strap rum, ginger liqueur, home made ginger beer, flamed angostura bitters) and PDX (genever, grapefruit, honey and sparkling wine).

The Classics section includes 1022 Old Fashioned (bourbon, orange oil, saffron/ cardamom bitters) and if you’re adventurous 1022 Corpse Reviver (gin, lemon, honey, Cocchi Americano, cayenne, absinthe.)

The third category, Apothecary, includes a  Lavender Cocktail (vodka, lavender, lemon, coconut) and a Matcha Cocktail (rum agricole, matcha infused agave, M.P. Roux and egg white), just a few of the inventive drinks on the menu.

Small plates ($5), salads ($8), paninis ($8) and sandwiches ($8) are also offered.

 

My dining companions and I opted for a traditional martini, lavender cocktail, White Vulture and Liza Island, the latter two being specials for the evening and offered for a reasonable five dollars.

Although the drinks are largely in the $10 price range, you get what you pay for, and that, my friends, is quality.

My white wine infused with lemongrass and ginger beer was one of the best drinks I have had at a bar. It was bubbly, it was sweet, and it was smooth—need I say more?

The other special of the night was just as spectacular. The Liza Island is concocted with Vodka, liqueur 43, orange and ginger beer. Dana’s drink was just as smooth, faintly sweet and bubbly, a cousin to my own drink.

Our table ordered two entrees to munch on while we chatted, a small plate Winter Caprese salad (fresh mozzarella, beets, fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic reduction) and the roasted red pepper panini (blue rose chevre, roasted red pepper, red onion relish, balsamic reduction, fresh thyme).

The food was just as good, and while not as spectacular as their drinks, still appeasing to the appetite.


This chic bar is small with a single row of tables against one wall that is in addition to the bar seating. The arrangement of  tables provides an intimate atmosphere for a couple on a date or a hot spot for gossiping. Stop in for a quick drink and snacks with your friends next time you plan on going out with friends for a unique Tacoma experience.

1022 South is located on J st.  Open 4-11pm Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday-Thursday, 4-12am  Friday,Saturday,Sunday 4-2am and Happy Hour is everyday 4-8 pm.