oh. my. god. there is a safeway close to our apartment, and i never even knew until today. no more paying ridiculous prices (as long as you have a safeway club card) at whole foods! no more combing through aisles of organic, free-range, grass-fed young coconuts! here is a store that's like a NORMAL GROCERY STORE, one where i know where to look for things, where i can find what i need when i need it, where i don't have to pay extra for an extra something i didn't need in the first place!

to be sure, if you don't have a safeway card, you could get stuck paying $15 for a bag of cherries (and i am not making that price up). and we'll still likely use the discount grocery as our first stop. but we were able to get decent fruit (not discount-grocery-style fruit), some other veggies, and our dinners tonight for less than $30! whoohoo!!!

it's the little things in life, really.


we've had another boring week but fun weekend. corey started school. i continued with work. sadie started contributing by doing the dishes and taking out the trash.

there she is, hard at work.

last night we went into the city for indian at masala and to watch the mizzou-illinois game at the 112-year-old little shamrock. at first, the bartender wouldn't change the channel to espn, where the game was, but then he did. corey has a lot of comments on the game. he could be a sports commentator. all i know is that mizzou won and there was somebody on the other team named "juice."

no food pictures with which to regale you at this time. some potato-broccoli crepes/blintzes are on the menu for this week. next week i think it might be indian, and then a repeat of that chile-cornmeal encrusted tofu with perhaps some mashed potatoes. we've got a big old bag of potatoes, so that's what we'll be eating for a while, i suppose. i've decided that the fruit at the discount grocery is generally gross. at least, this has been my experience with apples, plums, peaches, pears, and even some blueberries from there. i'm thinking of going to the farmer's market next weekend just to pick up some good fruit without having to patronize the whole foods. veggies from the discount grocery always seem to be fine.

my deposit from the landlords in columbia should be coming back to me soon. that money should be plenty to buy a new blender - i'm afraid our current one is on its last legs, but i've been using it nearly every day for a while.

today we might go see tropic thunder. or we might wait until tomorrow because the theater might have free popcorn; the web site says it does monday through thursday, but i don't know if labor day will be different. maybe we'll go play frisbee by the lake or something. corey has a lot of reading to do, so who knows?

the doctor thinks i should enroll in martial arts classes. after doing some research, i've settled on aikido. some beginner's special starts next monday at a place near the apartment, so i think i'm going to try to do that. then if i like it, i can get a serious discount on regular sessions.


a day of doctoring

i got to take a half day at work - whoohoo! but i had to go to three doctors in a row as well as get some blood drawn. luckily all the doctors i go to (plus my dentist) are within 0.1 miles of my apartment. therapy was awesome today; i felt like it was really productive and gave me a new tactic of dealing with things that i never thought of before.

i found a new general practitioner. she is really nice, friendly, and talkative. she said we should test for thyroid conditions, nutrient deficiencies, and allergies. would you believe that, despite almost every page of my old medical records saying "allergies" or even "severe allergies," that no one ever thought to test for WHAT i was allergic to so i could avoid it if possible? no, i guess it was easier and more beneficial for everyone involved to shove nasal sprays up my nose or claritin down my throat for years. i think it would have to be something i am around or consume almost every day as i have dealt with this for as long as i can remember, so i hope it's not something like wheat or sugar (can you even BE allergic to sugar?). i'd love to be able to stop taking my claritin. right now i can go about two days without it.

i used coconut oil on my skin last night for the first time, and WOW! what a difference it made, even just overnight! i put it on all over, even my face, let it sit for a minute, and then got in the shower. today i woke up with surprisingly clear and glowing skin, so we'll see how long this goes on before my face is a huge oil slick. the rest of my body, though, will do just wonderfully, i think.

i'm really tired, and i'm watching dr. phil. i should just go to bed, really.


the n train

i haven't updated in a while, mostly because this week was so uneventful. corey had neither school nor work this week, so he did a lot of housework, which was very nice. this weekend, though, was a bit more exciting. we went to outside lands, and it was good. the first night (friday) was somewhat not fun, but saturday was super-cool. we opted out of going sunday.
the first band we saw friday was beck, and we had to leave early. not because we really had to be somewhere but because it sucked. hard.

beck was my first celebrity crush and the musician i credit with turning me on to the alternative music scene (otherwise i might still be listening to the drivel played on the r&b radio station), but post-midnite vultures, i haven't liked much of his music. which, naturally, was all he played. and the songs he chose from the good albums weren't even the good ones ("devil's haircut"? that's the best you could do from odelay? REALLY?!). maybe he played better songs after we left, but i didn't want to stick around long enough to hear them. he also needs a haircut.

then we saw radiohead, and i am now questioning even more how they've managed to get so popular.

listening to them for a short period of time is fine. the music is complex, layered, and challenging. however, it is repetitive beyond belief, and it all melts together so that nothing - melodies, harmonies, vocal line, percussion, etc. - is distinct. i also tire of the "aaaahhhhhhhs" that seem to comprise most of the lyrics. it's like swimming through a 12-foot-deep pool of aural-assault jello.

saturday was much better, including an awesome set by m. ward.

there was also an awesome set by regina spektor and cake. these are not pictured because corey was holding my camera and i forgot to get it from him before he went off to see steve winwood (of "baaack in the hiiiiirgh liiiiirfe agairrrrn" fame, although to his credit he didn't play it that day).

then we saw TOM PETTY! which was a total trip. but none of those pictures turned out. the guy was strung-out like many of the attendees and also way old, but he looked pretty good (i think it's the beard) and played a flawless set.

both nights involved a hellacious commute on the n train. needless to say, all 60,000 concert-goers needed to take the same train at the same time. trains would pass stops without stopping because they were completely full. if anyone tried to get anywhere besides the concert the past two days and probably today, they had a rather rough time. it drove one crotchety old woman to start screaming nonstop and cursing at all of us "teenagers" in a train i was riding on.

so now we are tired, sore, and resting. well, actually, i'm cooking for the week, so i'm not resting that much. still on today's agenda: kasha burgers, fries, and i also need to cut up a pineapple.


the machine

i forgot to post pictures of the pizza we made friday. it was so good that it got eaten right away. but the crust left a little to be desired; next time, i think i'll cook the crust for a while before adding the toppings and sauce.

last night we went into the city for drinks and dinner with mike, gary, and tracy. it was pretty good until we were driving back and got rear-ended by some idiot. luckily no one was hurt.

sadie has started her new indoor cat food. "indoor" is code for "fat and lazy."

look at her, the couch potato.

so she should lose a little weight and be the sprightly young kitty with boundless energy that she used to be.

today i was an un-cooking machine. i made a chocolate pudding. i made a homemade granola with oats, almonds, goji berries, and dates. i made an almond pesto. i made a mushroom pate to wrap up in collard leaves for lunch this week.

i made a zucchini spaghetti with leftover pizza toppings and homemade tomato sauce. oh, and for dinner, i made a veggie stew with kasha (aka toasted buckwheat - you cook it like you'd cook rice).

this was really quite good. it needed some more salt than i expected, but it was summery, light, and delicious. kasha has a flavor and texture that kind of remind me of barley.



so sorry to have been away all week, faithful reader(s). it's just that nothing exciting or photo-worthy has occurred. i cut my hair (looks the same sans split ends), made homemade tortilla chips from leftover corn tortillas (what else do you do when you can only buy packs of 50?), and realized that maybe the cat had put on weight.

tomorrow is corey's last day of his internship, so i hope they will offer him a job straightaway to put an end to any nervousness that exists.

mike has been here and might be here again this weekend. i left my beautiful white coat at his place last time we were there, so i hope he remembers to bring it.

i'm trying to decide what kitchen appliance i want for christmas. i've considered the magic bullet and a blendtec, but i'm leaning toward a juicer, such as the omega 8005. since i've been trying to get more fresh fruits and veggies in my diet, by the end of the day, i'm kind of sick of chewing. so it'd be nice to drink my evening salad instead. i'm getting, like, double the daily recommended amount of fiber, so i wouldn't worry about that.


oh snap, it's low-fat!

i, like many, had a childhood fear of cole slaw. i mean, what WAS it? it looked like something an alien might puke up after eating a jar of miracle whip, a white, goopy mess. my father often wanted it from kfc, and i think he got that from his mother. but kfc has more problems than just the foul taste and appearance of its cole slaw.

anyway, i made my own slaw today. i was very cautious with it at first - i wondered, would it taste anything like my old nemesis? the answer is no. it's tangy and flavorful and mayo-free. all you have to do is smother your shredded cabbage and carrots in apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper, and you can even throw a jalapeno or a red pepper in there, too. and if you put it on a beer-and-chile-marinated tempeh taco with some lime cream (no cream was harmed in the making of this condiment) and a bit of homemade salsa, it is incredible. i was bored with my standard corn-bean-onion combo on tacos, so i went a bit crazy with a recipe from veganomicon.

in the background is refried beans, but i neither fried them nor fried them again. just mashed up. pretty ugly, but they were good as well and will make a nice taco filling once the tempeh is gone.

as you can see, my toughest critic gave tonight's dinner the thumbs-up next to the taco assembly line:

today has been brought to you by my food processor. i used it to shred and chop cabbage, mix up my salsa, mash up my guacamole, and blend my lime crema. i also got the bright idea to strain the salsa to get rid of all the tomato water that usually annoys us after i make it. i'm surprised it took me this long, but better late than never.

but there's
a twist: i made the guacamole - gasp - low-fat! and it is SO GOOD. all you do is mash up as much avocado as you want, then mash the same amount of peas into it. but then you still have to add a little something creamy - i used soft silken tofu, but a lot of recipes call for yogurt or cottage cheese or something like that. a food processor makes this infinitely easier.

this weekend was fun. last night we first went to z cafe, the bar right next door to our apartment, for some beer and garlic fries. then we went out to rockridge, a nice area of town with lots of bars and restaurants around, looking for a sushi restaurant called isobune. we didn't find it, but we did find a sushi restaurant called mitama, which we really liked, as well as a tea/coffee shop caled a'cuppa tea. it was a lovely evening all around.

there's work tomorrow and a long week ahead. dad's coming at the end of september, and i'm pretty excited. i wonder what he wants to do. i guess i need to ask and then start mapping out an itinerary.


sick day!

today i stayed home from work because for some reason i was up nearly all night. my mind just would not stop! songs kept running through my head, or i was thinking about what i was going to eat tomorrow, or i was just thinking about other stupid stuff - not worrying, just thinking. so i finally fell asleep between 4:30 and 5 a.m., which means i got between 2 and 3 hours of sleep. i wouldn't have been able to function at work, so i called in and slept for about four more hours. when i woke up, i actually DID feel like i was coming down with something, which is probably just part of my detox.

i'm detoxing because this week i've been eating raw fruits and vegetables all day until dinner, when i finally cook something. i really like it so far - my cravings occur much less often and with less intensity, and i can eat whatever i want for minimal calories. i've basically been eating a banana, an apple, a mango, and a cup of strawberries (in stages, of course) for breakfast, a fancy-schmancy salad for lunch (this particular one i've been eating this week has watercress and jicama in it), and random other veggies other times.

anyway, so i'm detoxing, which is causing slight headaches, sinus symptoms, extreme energy highs and lows, and a few rashes/breakouts. but i can feel it getting better! once my body gets used to it i'm sure i'll be back to normal.

but tonight for the cooked dinner i made seitan piccatta. instead of using my usual seitan recipe from veganomicon, which calls for a myriad ingredients, i used the faux chicken recipe from la dolce vegan, which is much, much simpler and nearly as good (although not quite). piccatta is basically a white wine-lemon-caper sauce. i poured it over breaded seitan and tofu shirataki noodles, which i have decided are not all that good anymore:

yum! doesn't that look good? corey had his over regular pasta, which i'm sure was even better. he liked it, anyway.

corey has his first grant thornton softball game tomorrow night in the presidio, so i'll be on my own tomorrow night. laundry and cleaning, here i come!



if you are part of my mother's side of the family, you might understand the titular reference. my great-grandma, affectionately nicknamed "nanny," used to talk about how things were spicy or, as she said it, "shpishey." she also used to get in the sharr fer an arr and warsh her harr.

anyway, hot and shpishey describes the day. i got a ridiculous-looking sunburn yesterday - i was wearing knee-length cutoffs and sitting on the ground for several hours, and my legs never tan anyway, so i thought i was fine. turns out i ended up looking like this:

it may be hard to see here, but there are definite, clear lines where the white stops and the red begins.

then i made a hot meal for dinner: jerk tofu topped with sauteed onions and green peppers, dirty rice, and steamed veggies. that was shpishey if i ever tasted it, but it was SO GOOD. corey liked it, too.

last night the apartment was stinky! something smelled bad outside, i think. it was awful, and it came in waves. it smelled like rotten eggs. i also figured out how to make single cupcakes in the microwave! if you've got a little batter left over from a cupcake or muffin endeavor but don't want to break out the muffin tins and turn on the oven for a measly few cupcakes, this is for you. you find a small container that will help your cupcake keep its shape - i used a small circular tupperware. then you place the cupcake liner inside and pour the batter into it as usual. microwave on high for one minute, and voila! a special muffin or cupcake just for you. you could probably even make yourself a small cake using just a container and not bothering with the liner.

nothing exciting happened today. there was laundry and gym-going and errands. there was also much cleaning and cooking.


pizza pizza

so i just ate an entire pizza. by myself. yes, really, a whole goddamn pizza.

it was my favorite frozen pizza in existence, and it was so, so good after a long, hot day in the sun, a gallon of water, and a nap:

the party was a good time. kickball did not, in fact, take place as strangers appeared to have taken over our space even though we had a permit to use the entire lot. oh well, everyone seemed content to stretch out on the blankets and chat. and the cupcakes were a hit. there were only three left out of the 33 i had brought. so the hours spent slaving and the mess may have been worth it.

operation: cupcake 2008

operation: cupcake is complete, but i wouldn't really call it a success. all the cupcakes came out with FLAT tops. they are hideous. they are delicate and falling apart. the lemon curd for the poppyseed flavor came out all wrong, so i had to completely change my course of action here and just use an icing on top instead of the lemon curd filling inside. UGH!

aside from being truly hideous, the cupcakes at least taste good. i made chocolate with vanilla icing, vanilla with strawberry filling and strawberry icing, and lemon poppyseed with lemony icing.

chocolate not shown.

the kitchen looks like a zombie julia child cooked up a brains roulade with a side of pus pilaf and didn't even clean up her dishes.

anyway, i hope these make at least a decent impression! maybe people will be too busy playing kickball and drinking to notice how ugly the cupcakes are.