Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Smokin' Snack Pack Pie

Smokin', because when mixing up the "crust" in my mini prep, it started to smoke. Something about sticky dates didn't agree with it, even though it was the recommended tool. I'm not sure what my solution will be for the next time I make it...because I will be making this again.

Snack Pack, because when I first tasted this pie filling, I paused, thought, then excitedly shared for all to hear, "This tastes like a snack pack!" And then I felt dumb for sounding like Nanny from Billy Madison.

Pie, because that's just what it is. Plain and simple.

When I say simple, I mean it. This is pretty much the easiest most delicious tofu filled pie you will ever make. Did I loose you at tofu?


1 c. dates
1/3 c. walnuts
1/3 c. cashews
1/3 c. almonds
1 t. vanilla extract

2 bananas, slice lengthwise

Blend "bottom" ingredients in a food processor until at a sticky consistency, (but before said food processor starts to smoke). Press the blended ingredients into a pie pan.

Lay Bananas on top of the crust and press (don't smash) along the sides.


1 package Silken Lite tofu (firm or extra firm)...(silken tofu comes in a tight box and it not refrigerated)
2 T. cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla extract
1/3 c. sweetener (agave, maple syrup, or honey) (I also added a couple sprinkles of regular sugar)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Pour over crust.

Let chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. But is best if left for several hours or overnight.

Serve up and enjoy with your favorite berries and/or extra bananas

Please bad excuse the camera phone photos, but you get the idea. Also, if you let it sit longer than I did (1 hour) it will set up better and not be so runny.

I got this recipe from The Engine 2 Diet book by Rip Esselstyn.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I have a problem

I guess the first step is admitting it.

I can't seem to be able to stop wearing this blazer or these pants. My closet is woefully short of blazers. But, that is just a lame excuse; I really do love it so.

In addition to my obvious obsession with the blazer and pants, this new shirt and these trendy shoes are working their way onto my favorites list as well.

Its like they say, I found love in this shirt when I least expected.

It was just a little mall outing with Melissa and her boys, a chance to leave the house in February. We popped into Gap (because it's our favorite, duh) to browse. Then at the back of the store I saw a comfy looking shirt. I touched it to see how it felt (I touch every piece of clothing on every rack). An old lady sales woman approach and said, "Isn't that a great shirt?"
"Yeah, it seems nice."(You have to play it cool around these people.)
"You can wear it loose or belt it. It can be worn with jeans or dress it up by tucking it into a nice skirt." (Really giving the hard sell
"Yeah, you're right, really versatile."
I grabbed the shirt to try on, not expecting to like. These kinds of shirts have a way of making me feel large and frumpy.
But by-golly, the old lady was right! I loved the length, the casual yet classic feel. It really was a year round, all purpose piece of clothing. I had to have it.

The only problem now is that it is a year round all purpose garment that is oh so comfortable, so you won't be seeing me in much else, until it wears out. A lot like these jeans and the blazer. I know what I like, what more is there to say.

Then there is this snazzy new headband. Cute and warm, an early birthday present from my sister. She also gave me the awesome pompom scarf for Christmas.

Yeah, I have a pretty rad sister. Don't be jealous.

Gap jeans&shirt (incase you didn't catch that). H&M blazer. Forever 21 belt. Target booties. Gifted scarf and headband.

P.S.: So sorry for the creepy eyes. I really need to remember to edit out the red eyes before uploading. Maybe next time. No promises though.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jake's Two Cents: February Edition

The other day as we were driving to go out to eat, we noticed a new restaurant opened up in LaGrange, and decided to try it out. It was a TOTAL bust, so Jake Yelped about it. Here is his scathing, yet hilarious, yelp review:

Driving through La Grange yesterday, we noticed that Mezza replaced the old Chipotle location. We decided to give it a shot. After walking through the door we should have known it was going to be a somewhat miserable experience when the employees didn't even acknowledge our presence. Not even a hello! Ok, I understand if you don't want to work, but come on.... We ordered the same meal: Vegetarian Kabob with a side of Villagers Salad and red pepper hummus. After ordering the kabob we were informed that they were out of grilled vegetables, and it would be about 10 minutes to prepare the dishes. Alright, we weren't in that big of a hurry, not a problem. So we started with the hummus. It was decent. Kind of runny, but not bad. FYI... They charge extra for more than 1 piece of pita bread. We received our entrées shortly after. The Villagers salad was fresh, and pretty tasty. A tad on the salty side, but palatable. The vegetable kabob on the other hand was horrible! The vegetables where way over cooked, and extremely salty. One would have thought the cook had emptied an entire container of salt on the vegetables. I was able to eat it out of desperation, being that we had been travelling all day, and it was my first meal of the day. My wife on the other hand had one bite and threw in the towel after that. While we were eating several individuals came into the restaurant. We could only assume that they owned the joint, being that they ordered whatever they wanted, and didn't pay for anything. They were very loud, and proceeded to go up to the counter every 5 minutes to order an additional dish. Now, if you own the place fine I understand you can do things like that, but they literally hung their arms over the "protective" glass shield every time they went up to the counter. The thought of someone waving their unwashed hands/arms over the food was gross.

Needless to say we will not be going back! If the employees attitudes don't get any better, and the food continues to be subpar I give the place 6 months.

Click Here for the direct link.

He left out how the owners also got pop with the free water cups. I had to pay for my pop, grrrr.

If you aren't laughing right now, there is something wrong with your funny bone. It is all in the details really, like how he included the bit about our having been traveling that day and set the stage by describing us "driving through LaGrange..."  How, despite that I had to "throw in the towel" due to the incredible amount of salt in the dish. The part where he described the Villagers Salad as "fresh and pretty tasty", had me laughing forever. I hope his fellow Yelpers find this review helpful, or at the very least good for a little chuckle.

When I'm upset about something I am nowhere near being composed or eloquent. If I complain about something, I just end up sounding bitter and petty.  Jake on the other hand turns his frustrations into light-hearted, informative banter. Quite a gift. I hope you enjoyed the review as much as I did.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Washington Trip Wrap-up

Some pairs skating action in the ICU. 

I really want to make this salad again. So, so tasty, and I learned what kamut is and how to cook it. 

I'm the John Mayer of Dance Central. Look at that face: Yikes! 

Have you every been to a Jewelry store and your husband says, "That's cool. Try it on. I like it. Let's buy it for you." And you're like, "What? This is all happening so fast. You're really buying this for me? Awesome!" It's a geode carved into a ring with the sparkly inside as the fancy top. (Don't mind the old lady hands).

 John bought Sally one too. We didn't want Morgan to feel left out (since Buddy didn't get her one), so we let her wear ours for a bit. She was super excited about it.

Richland is uncomfortably proud of it's history. I mean I am all for local pride; but really?!

Yep. Their High School mascot are "bombers", as in Atom bombers. Lets just say, you don't see a lot of Japanese in Richland.

We saw it on the travel channel, so we had to check it out. Donuts made with a bit of potato flour. Get it? Spudnut. So clever and delicious.

Morgan likes to keep buddy under control and close by.

Jake's love for buddy continued. He took a series of photos of Buddy, these are just a few of them.

He is pretty stinkin' cute. Just look at that punim.

A tasty waffle breakfast by Mom. 

Waffles make everyone happy. Especially Mr. Hungry Jack, of the hungry jack syrup empire.

All three of us with our Granny.

Breaking News:
The rest of us together, minus John (he was at work, sad face). 

The End.

This picture makes me want to color my hair. Which is something I've never done before and probably won't do. So breath, Jake and Mom. Just relax. But come on, it would look really good darker!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day Trip to the Middle of Nowhere

While out in Washington we took a day trip to the middle of nowhere. Before we left my brother, Eric, assured us we were heading to a waterfall and that he know where he was going. I guess when you are driving to the middle of nowhere there aren't very many roads to get lost on.

We were just driving through the desert, minding our own business, and this giant waterfall just up and came out of nowhere. 

We had to go and get a closer look. So down the trail we went.

I made sure to get up close and personal with the edge, to ensure optimal viewing. Jake got just as close as I did, but pretty much flipped when I went near the edge.

I took this picture to show my Mom.

But really, this was the scariest part of the walk. I wasn't difficult terrain or anything, just one little trip and off the side you go.

We took a short cut out. It made us feel very 127 hours-esque, with the exception of us keeping our arms and it only taking us about 10 minutes.

We ended up on the wrong side of the fence and had to jump it. What rebels we are!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Day Trip to Walla Walla

We traded our ski trip in for a week in Washington hanging out with my parents and my sister, as my Dad recovered from surgery. One day we took a short trip to the near by town of Walla Walla. 

On the drive, travelers are presented with the unique opportunity of passing a paper mill. If you had never had such an opportunity, let me tell you the smell is anything but lovely.

I case you were wondering, this is what making paper looks like.

There are lots of these "bird cemeteries", as Jake refers to them, along the drive as well. 

We grabbed lunch at a tasty vegan place. Restaurants like this make eating out a pleasure, something to enjoy. Usually eating out and menu reading is more like a sport; requiring a trained eye, a willingness to compromise, and the bravery to be a pain in the butt full of special requests.

Oh, to go to restaurants where you can literally eat EVERTHING on the menu. I can order anything want, not what I can.

Jake's mock tuna sandwich, made out of chickpeas. It actually tasted like tuna salad!
 Not only was the food vegan, and therefore within our lifestyle restrictions, it was super tasty! We ordered the daily soup, sandwiches, a fresh juice, the daily hummus, and salads. It was a lot of food, but  how could we resist?! I mean we literally could have eaten everything on the menu!

If you are a lucky lady like me, you have a guy that cleans up the dishes after a meal.

After lunch we walked around town, popping in and out of all the local shops.

Some building art.

I got a lot of looks with this outfit. Maybe because everyone liked my red pants, was inpressed by my handmade (by my Mom) socks, and loved my trendy Target booties ($12!). Or maybe because they thought I looked like a Witch, (as described by Jake). What do you think?

Some cute tracks winding through town.

My favorite part of the day was walking around a stylish antique store filled with furniture, brooches, and fur (total and trimmed) coats. I tried on about six, or more, of them (fur coats). It was SO. MUCH. FUN! I learned that buying fur vintage is way cheaper than buying new. Also, it is so much more glamorous. Putting on those cozy beauties made me feel like I was walking the red carpet for an old black and white movie. It will also make you want to say things like, "What? This old thing? You are too kind, dahling."

As the store owner and I played dress up, Jake stood outside on the side walk, looking in, wildly gesturing his hand across his throat and shaking his head.

On the drive back we got to enjoy this lovely train snaking through the countryside.