Saturday Seven: Do the Kale Hail

Heeeeeeeeeeeey guys! So did you make it through the week? Honestly, I almost thought I wouldn’t! I had a 4-day week because I played hooky from classes on Monday since I was still at home, so that was nice, but it was kind of hard diving right into things on Tuesday. Especially because I had two tests this week, a huge essay to write and all the usual assignments, plus a random floor meeting and a meeting for work both on the same day. Needless to say, I was super happy for this week to finally be over. Next week isn’t looking too crazy, which will be great, plus I’m headed home again next weekend and it’ll be busy busy but fun. I’ll let you all know what’s going down latah!

For now, let’s get right into another edition of Saturday Seven. I’m on a roll with these lately–I’ve done one every weekend I’ve been on campus since December!

1. Homemade is better than store-bought

You were delicious, but too expensive!

At least when it comes to kale chips. I mentioned that I ordered some Brad’s Raw Leafy Kale chips a couple of weeks back, and I finally got them a week ago. I also happened to make my first batch of baked kale chips that same day. Verdict? I loved my homemade ones more (even though they still need some tweaking). I’m blaming in on the particular flavor I got of the chips–they’re natural nacho, and they’re a little too strongly “cheezy” for me, especially since I haven’t had real cheese in a few years. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t bad, just not quite what I was expecting. I love their crunch though. I would like to try another variety, like the Vampire Killer or Nasty Hot, but for now, I’ll be sticking with homemade. They’re so addicting!

2. T-minus 3 weeks…

I met Dory last year on my spring break...

Til spring break, of course! I don’t have any huge plans, but getting a 9 day break from school will be ah-mazing! Last year, I did end up doing a few fun things, like playing tennis, going to the aquarium, shopping and recipe experimentation (like a delicious vegan Philly “cheesesteak” sandwich) so hopefully I can do some of those things and more this time around. Actually, I really want to make at least one new recipe every day of break, so we’ll see how that goes down!

3. Small things are the cutest

These are brand new, and they look delicious!

I’m a huge fan of Gardein products because they’re quick and easy, pretty healthy for faux meat, yummy and vegan! When I saw these little guys on their website, I was sold. I’m not even that big on products that imitate beef, but their beefless veggie burgers are one of my favorites. Plus sliders are just adorable, and each one has 9 grams of protein–score!

4. Apparently I like to recycle…

More than just a holder for delicious coffee.

I liked my Starbucks Valentine’s cup so much that I washed it out and decided to use it as a pencil holder on my desk. Way to get creative while being green, right? Plus it just looks cute.

5. I’m still learning how to text on my new phone

I absolutely love the case though!

I got my new phone at the beginning of January (a T-Mobile MyTouch, in case you were wondering) and I’m still struggling with the texting. I had a touch screen before this one and I also have an iPod Touch, so I thought it would be easy to learn, but not so much. I guess I’m trying to text as fast as I used to so I end up hitting the wrong keys. I’ll get it eventually though, and besides, I really love the phone. It’s an Android so it has web service, so I can check my email/the weather/Twitter during class. Oops, did I just say that? 😉

6. A hair waver can work as a straightener

Wavy one day, straight the next...all with one tool!

I usually either straighten my hair or use my hair waver to enhance my natural waves. The other day I discovered that I can do both with the hair waver. Who knew? Now I don’t have to lug home both appliances on the weekend!

7. I’m so done with winter

It may look pretty, but I'm sick of it!

This winter has been pretty sucky here. At least compared to recent winters. January was actually alright and unseasonably warm for most of the month, but February hit and well, it’s been awful. For one thing, it’s been cloudy a lot, and that is really not normal for Colorado. I’m so used to sunshine year-round that it’s been kinda depressing. The cold and snow are another story altogether. February is usually in the 40s and sometimes 50s, but it’s been in the 30s and 20s most of the month, which is freaking freezing! I know some parts of the country have it worse, but I feel like we’ve just gotten the worst of the winter weather this year. I cannot wait until March and I’m hoping it comes in like a lamb, aka warm weather and sunshine! I miss my sandals, shorts and dresses!

What’s something you prefer homemade over store-bought? Are you looking forward to spring?

Rawsome Sauce

Hi guys, how have you been? I can’t believe it’s almost the weekend again–my winter break has practically flown by! Luckily, I still have about a week and half left of it before it’s back to school time again.

It’s only been a couple of days and I’ve already accomplished some of my goals! I was honestly not anticipating that at all but it feels awesome to have already made some progress.

First of all…I got a Twitter! I really liked what you all had to say about it, so I decided to get one of my own. You can follow me @fashion_ash, and I will definitely follow you back!

This wasn’t one of my goals, but I also got a brand new phone. It’s my first real smart phone and I’m already in love with it! The only thing I don’t like is how quickly the battery dies, but I guess that’s pretty normal. Oh, and it’s a Droid phone, so any of you out there with Droids–do you have any suggestions for apps I should get?

I love my new myTouch, aka my baby 😉

Speaking of my phone, if you look in the screen shot above, you’ll see that the temperature was 62 degrees today. Say what? Yes, Colorado is being crazy with the warm weather. It actually got to 65 today at my house, and we live in a forested area that’s pretty shaded, so that’s saying a lot! I’m not complaining though, because I’m sure more snow is right around the corner.

At lunch today, I came up with something new–mango softserve! Only it was more like mango Dip-n-Dots 😀 Mango isn’t as great for blending as bananas are but I didn’t break the food processor so that’s a plus.

Simple, quick lunch of mango softserve, plain Greek yogurt and peanut flour sauce.

The other goal I accomplished was making yet another raw recipe! It’s officially my fifth raw recipe, and one of the best so far–the raw brownies do hold a special place in my heart though 😛 I based them basically off my raw blondies, except using plain almonds, no protein powder and no added sweeteners, plus the necessary ‘carrot cake’ ingredients. They turned out really delicious, and I think I’m gonna enjoy my first one tonight with a frosting of peanut flour sauce. So it won’t be totally raw, but still yummy!

Awww, how cute are these tiny carrot cakes?

Mini Raw Carrot Cakes (vegan, raw)

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup dates (I used about 8 California pitted)

3/4 cup grated carrots

1/2 t cinnamon

pinch sea salt

3 T raisins

Process dates and almonds until mostly combined. Add a little water to thin things out if necessary (about 2 T). Grate carrots and squeeze out any excess moisture. Add carrots, cinnamon and salt to food processor and pulse until it forms a smooth dough. Add in raisins until combined. Pack carrot cakes into muffin liners (makes 5 small, or 3 larger cakes) and keep in fridge. Frost with raw cashew ‘cream cheese’, peanut flour sauce, nut butter or enjoy plain. 

I also have another recipe for you guys…not raw, but still completely delicious. I decided to create a homemade version of cookie butter! I know a lot of you with TJs close by rave about this stuff. I don’t have one near me sadly, plus I know it’s definitely not the healthiest thing, so I set out to create a much healthier, simpler version. And I think I rocked it! I’ve never had cookie butter or Biscoff or whatever, so I can’t tell you how it compares, but let’s just say mine tastes like cookie dough in nut butter form!

I think I may have found a new favorite spread...

Healthier Homemade Cookie Butter (vegan, no cook)

3 T nut butter (I would suggest using a raw, lightly-flavored kind like cashew or walnut, so it doesn’t overpower the cookie flavor)

1 serving cookies of choice (I used 30 Annie’s bunny friends bunny grahams)

water, to thin (about 2 T)

sweetener, to taste (I used 1 packet stevia)

Mix nut butter and cookies together until it forms a crumbly paste, adding in water and sweetener as needed. Makes about 1/4 cup. Store in a jar in the fridge and enjoy as an oats topper, toast spread or fruit dip.

I’m already thinking of more variations, like using peanut flour in place of the nut butter for a peanut-buttery cookie butter!

What’s the weather like where you are? Have you ever tried cookie butter or Biscoff?