Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Keepin' It on the Low

I have been having a bit of a "situation" lately.

But seriously, people, since I've moved into my new apartment, my blood sugar has been hanging out on the low end of things. In fact, I think I have more lows in the last two weeks then I have in the last two months. It's really quite peculiar. Initially, I had just chalked it up to the additional exercise of moving things to and fro. Yes, to and fro.

However, the majority of my belongings have been unpacked and moving to and fro has been brought back down into normal range. Yet, I'm still finding this increase in lows. Maybe it's a reduction in stress since I am no longer living out of my car and know exactly where I am going to sleep each night. Maybe it's just being back into a regular routine, cooking for myself, eating the way I usually do.

Whatever it is, it couldn't have come soon enough since I'm scheduled to see my endocrinologist (so dreamy) to get a new a1c result on Valentine's Day. Coincidence?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Grab and Go

I'm not sure when it happened, but I have suddenly become an over-sleeper. Never before has this been a problem in my life, but suddenly, at 30, I've decided to act like a 16-year-old avoiding first period gym class by over-sleeping.

Which is fine if you're 16 and offer to bring your gym teacher McDonald's breakfast if he lets you slide (which he would). Bosses, on the other hand, are not so easily swayed by fast food meals. If only it were a perfect world. The excuse "I stupidly turned off my alarm this morning, rolled over and went to sleep for another hour" isn't really one that flies. At least not in my experience.

So, for those mornings when I have visions of hash browns dancing in my head, I created this grab-and-go Orange-Oatmeal Cupcake. They are easy to make ahead, can be stored in the fridge or freezer, and quickly reheat in the microwave should you have time to shower.

Which, amazing, becomes optional when you're an over-sleeper. Score!

Grab & Go Orange Oatmeal Cupcakes

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: bake breakfast cinnamon oats
Ingredients (12 cakes)
  • 2 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c apple sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 tsp sugar (or three Truvia packets)
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 1/3 - 1/2 c honey
  • 2 - 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • optional add-ins: chocolate chops, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, ground flax or wheat germ, raisins or other dried fruit, etc.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 cupcake tins.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir very well.
3. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients.
4. Mix wet into dry, then pour into the cupcake liners and bake 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, you can also broil the tops of 2 - 3 minutes.
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Seven Turns

There is a Navajo belief that there are seven times in your life where you must make a great decision. If you make a wrong turn, you end up in a dead end. You can either stay there or turn back to find the right path. 

I believe I have just turned back.

I guess one can't say that for sure, right? I mean, if it was so easy to identify our missteps, I'm sure we wouldn't have so many of them. But I was thinking about these seven turns the other day. Thinking about how one turns back and I had to snicker.

Here I am. Back in Astoria. Literally around the corner from my old apartment. How can I not take that as the universe bringing me back to where I need to continue my journey? Bringing me back to where, maybe, I got off track before.

I'm not expecting this turn to be easy. Is anything ever? But I am looking forward to it, content in knowing that this is where I am suppose to be.

Now check out my new kitchen! :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ashamed No More

Remember the days when Ramen was its own food group? It could be eaten at any point in the day, but was usually consumed at 3 AM after you realized the $1 pizza shop's line was too long.

Ah, Ramen. It was glorious.

Until you "grew up" and realized that Ramen is probably one of the worst things you can ever possibly eat. You might has well take shots straight up from your salt shaker with a chaser of MSG. While you would never admit to actually eating Ramen as a mature adult, we all know you have a packet of it hiding in the back of your pantry closet. No need to be ashamed. There's a way of classin' up that 49 cent square.

By tossing the seasoning packet altogether and making your own flavorful broth, you can enjoy that Ramen any time of day. Though if you wanted to try it out at 3 AM, I wouldn't hold it against you.

DIY Ramen

by Bonnie Graham
Cook Time: >20 minutes
Keywords: soup/stew ginger sriracha eggs spinach

Ingredients (2 servings)
  • 1 packet of ramen, any flavor
  • 3 - 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sriracha, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 12 shrimp, optional
  • 2 cups baby spinach or kale
  • 2 - 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
1. Heat the garlic and ginger in a pot over medium heat until fragrant and slightly brown.
2. Add sriracha, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and broth. Allow to come to a boil.
3. Begin to preheat a frying pan for your eggs over medium heat. Fry your eggs to your desired doneness.
4. Once the broth has come to a boil, add your noodles and spinach. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the noodles are tender.
5. As the noodles come to the end of their cooking time, add your shrimp and cook until the shrimp are curled and pink, approximately 2 - 3 minutes.
6. Once everything is cooked, fill your bowl with the ramen mixture. Top with an egg and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Over Yet?

I know what you're thinking. This whole pumpkin thing was over, wasn't it? It's not fall. Pumpkins aren't infiltrating every part of our minds anymore. What the hell am I doing posting a pumpkin recipe?

Well, when you have a half dozen cans of pumpkin just sitting in your pantry and they continue to be sold for $1.25/ can, how can you not continue to indulge in pumpkin? How can you not still be craving little mini pumpkin pies in cupcake form? Do you hate puppies and kittens too? Come on!

These are essentially mini-pies in cupcake form. They are best eaten after being chilled, but can definitely be gobbled up at room temperature. They were pretty quick to come together and are relatively low in sugar compared to regular cupcakes and pies.

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

by Bonnie Graham
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert pumpkin pie

Ingredients (12 mini pies!)
  • 2/3 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 c sugar (or a Truvia/sugar mix) - you can add more sugar if that's your preference
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c evaporated milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice
3. Add pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and evaporated milk until well combined.
4. Fill each muffin cup with approximately 1/2 cup of batter.
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan. They will sink as they cool.
6. Chill cupcakes before serving.
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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Favorites of 2012

I am such a follower.

Most of the blogs I read have put up "Best of 2012" posts. Which, of course, means I have to do one too. Except I don't really have enough readers to be able to gauge which recipes have been my most popular ones. In addition to being a follower, I am also self-absorbed. Which means that my "Best of 2012" posts are of the recipes that I liked best each month. It was tough to decide some months while others it was clear.

Here is the yearly roundup.

1. Curried Ketchup - Proclaimed as the "best thing I have ever made!" Seriously. It's delicious and the simplest thing I have ever made.

2. Crustless Apple Pie - I make this over and over again, especially since it is something I can put into the slow cooker.

3. Sweet Potato, Apple, and Celery Salad - One of the many positive things to come out of last year's many detoxes is this awesome salad.

4. Buttermilk Quick Bread with 10 Variations - This recipe made it on the list simply because of its many variations. It is one of those great recipes that you can adapt to any flavor, whip up quickly, and bring to a potluck.

5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip - This dip is seriously awesome. Despite its bean-i-ness, I have yet to serve this dip to someone and them not love it.

6. Chicken Meatball Soup - It is not often I eat, make, or post a recipe containing meat, but this turned out to be a pretty good soup recipe.

7. Zucchini Pancakes with Sauteed Corn - How could this one not make it to the list given my affinity for farmer's markets? This is the quintessential summer time recipe.

8. Chocolate Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal - Chocolate and peanut butter for breakfast? Yes, please. 

9. Warm Summer Vegetable Slaw - Another great farmer's market recipe!

10. Moroccan-Inspired Butternut Squash Quinoa - This is one recipe that I swore would go on repeat. I have yet to make it again, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. It was delicious!

11. Peppermint Patty Bars - This recipe uses this year's most favorite new ingredient, dates! It tastes indulgent, but is quite healthy. 

12. Tofu Nuggets - Nuggets dipped in BBQ sauce. Need I say more?

Shout Outs to:
Black Bean Brownies
Slow Cooker Bread
Galettes Two Ways

Thursday, January 3, 2013


What is a new year if you don't put down some resolutions, right?

Deciding on my new year's resolutions was a slightly different experience this year. Usually, my resolutions are a laundry list of judgments on things that I could be doing more of or less of or better. Meh, I skipping that shit this year. This year, my resolutions are going to have a slightly different tone to them (I hope).

Put your seat belts on, kiddos. This is going to be a hippie-dippy love fest.

I want to deepen my meditation and yoga practice. These are two things that I have grown such a great appreciation for. They are two of the best ways to take care of myself, not just physically, but emotionally and spirituality.  I know. I just referred to my spirituality. Tie-dyed t-shirts, here I come! Yoga and meditation are two things that I want to invest more time in this coming year.

I want to be conscious of complacency and fear. I see how complacency and fear left me feeling stuck, unsatisfied, and disappointed these last few years. It kept me from taking chances. I want to be mindful of getting out of my own way and of taking more chances. This will be especially important as a I finish up my yoga teacher training and will need to find clients/classes to teach.

I want to be more accepting. I am really friggin' hard on myself sometimes. In fact, it can be so bad that I end up not liking myself. This year, I want to focus on accepting me, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I also want to accept where I am in the present moment instead of focusing on mistakes that have already been made or problems that may arise in the future. Neither of those are things that I can change. But, what's right here and now...well, that's a different story.

I want to be more organized. Here's a familiar looking one, right? While I have managed to be a somewhat organized person, you need to look no further then my car to see that it could still use some work. This also includes things like finances, which I'm pretty good at, but will need to improve even further as I approach the new experience of living alone for the first time.

I want to allow myself to heal. While I haven't gone into any great detail, this year did not end the way I thought it would. Even though I am excited about all of the new and impending ventures, my heart has been through a lot this year. So often, I try to hurry up and get through with whatever mending process is needed. I get up and run before I've really gotten use to walking. I see now that it just leaves me with a limp. No more limping this year.

I want to travel. Duh. Who doesn't want to travel? I'm writing this down simply because I want the Universe to know that this is on my agenda. Are you picking up what I'm laying down, Universe?

I'm sure this is an ever-changing and expanding list.  But for now....that'll do, pig. That'll do. :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hey, 2013!

Hey 2013,

I am actually pretty excited about you. I get the feeling that you're going to be a year that brings good things. I'm not sure if it's just the residual of my NYE celebrations or this strange sense of The Universe that has suddenly pervaded my psyche, but this year, I have faith.

Faith that things may not be easy, but they are going to be worth it. Faith that I have started on a path that is going to bring me to great (and some challenging) experiences. Faith that I will have some choices to make, both big and small, both straightforward and difficult, but it is all going to lead me to the place I need to be.
I'm not sure where this optimism has come from. I'm usually too snarky and sarcastic to believe in such things. But for some reason, 2013, I believe it now.

Better not disappoint!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Oh, 2012

Oh 2012,

What an interesting year you were!

You brought with you some changes, challenges, and stumbling blocks. There were moments of great happiness mixed with some sad. You haven't been easy, but then again, most good things never really are.

Despite the stumbling blocks along the way, I am definitely grateful to have had a year like you, 2012.

For once in a really long while, I feel like I am starting down the right path, that I have arrived to a point in my life where I get the sense that big things are going to happen. It was you that brought me to this point. And, for that, I thank you. Even for the struggles, because it is in those moments that there is growth.

So, thanks 2012. I owe you one.