Monthly Archives: October 2010

Rangers + Raw Roons

The Rangers lost again yesterday….the situation is looking bleak…

So, towards the 6th inning, I started making some raw macaroons.  I don’t know whether that was a logical next step but it sure was yummy!

I started out like this:

Then it turned to this:

I’d say this is somewhere in the middle of almond pieces and nut butter.  Where in the middle – I’m not quite sure!

Then, I mixed it with this, that, the other and then its mother, and got this:

Why my pinky finger sticks out and can’t join the rest of my other fingers?  I have no idea!  (I really did try to smush them all together – but no go.)

Eyes on the prize – the raw macaroon was DELICIOSO!  Will definitely make again!

*Note: I do not have a dehydrator so I put my sheet of macaroons in the oven with the light on.

Well, this morning when I went back to the apartment for lunch, I was walking up the stairs to our third floor and noticed that there was a strong burning smell wafting in the general area.

My first thought and impulse – OMG the apartment is on fire because the oven light must have gotten too hot and started burning!  So I rushed up the stairs (really it was just the same pace, but in my head it felt like I was flying up the stairs), and looked inside to nothing but dehydrated macaroons in a not-on-fire apartment and oven!

With that said, my neighbor needs to stop burning her popcorn.


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What ya’ll know about them Texas boys?

Well…the Rangers didn’t win the game yesterday…but there’s always TODAY!

After my run yesterday (Day 2, Week 1 of C25K!), I came home to my fantastic Binks making his game-time meal – chips and salsa.

One thing that Binks love more than anything (well next to pizza and Chipotle) is salsa!  He has spent the last 5 years looking for the perfect salsa.  He has tried every (and I really do believe it) salsa he can get his hands on!  We sample everything at Central Market, Whole Foods, etc. – you name it – we have tried it!

We thought he found the one with Clint’s (here).  It’s fabulous!  I love it and he did too.  Until he started noticing that the HOT (the only version we have tried) was not tasting the same and didn’t have the bite as previous jars (he did experiments – believe you me).

So, he started to look again.

Frustrated with his lack of finding something that suited his needs (i.e., spicy as hell, not ‘vinegar-y’, not too tomato-y), I said – “go make your own then!”  I’m so nice, aren’t I? 🙂 

So, he did.

For the past year, Binks has been making his own salsa and now refuses to buy anything else.  I would like to tell you that it tastes the same every single time – but it doesn’t.  But, there are some things that are guaranteed:

1.  It’s not too tomato-y.

2.  There is no vinegar in the recipe.

3.  It will light your ass on fire!

4.  It is one of the best salsas I have ever had – ever!

Well, as I was saying – he made it again yesterday.  And, I have to say – DELICIOUSSpicy and delicious.

Do I know his recipe?  No.  Does he?  Sometimes. 🙂  The proportions vary each time but it has the same taste.

Here’s how it starts!  (It’s like a garden threw up on my counter.)

Where do I begin?  Clockwise from left: cilantro, tomato, habanero (it’s Texas – go big or go home!), lime, jalapeno, serrano, garlic, onions.

Then, he processes in batches:

Plop goes the first batch! (Probably not the best way to describe this!)

Then he starts on the second batch…

After the batches are done, he adds the lime juice.  You most certainly cannot have salsa without lime!

And then he squeezes!


Did I make an effort to make the salsa look nice (i.e. clean up the edges, stir things more)?  NO

Should I have?  Well…yes…I’m sorry!

You have to take my word when I say that this bowl is the size of the base of my blender!

What am I going to do with all this salsa?  Any advice?


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Give me some chocolate or I’ll cut you!

In the beginning I hated Glee – but something happened with the Britney episode that got me hooked!  Now, while I may not admit so readily that I love it, I do find myself looking forward to it every Tuesday!

Brittany and Sue make me LOL.

Between getting home at 6:15 p.m. and the show, I had time to make a delicious and healthy meal!

In the beginning, I didn’t know kale. Now, I LOVE LOVE LOVE kale.  I began by using it in smoothies and have moved onto sides.

I love the taste – not too bitter (like spinach can be sometimes) and offers a crunch even after cooked!

This combo for some reason worked fabulously.


–  1 chicken breast

–  1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

–  salt and pepper, to taste

–  1/8 tsp garlic powder

–  1/8 tsp onion powder

–  Saute in pan with some olive oil until cooked through and through.

–  Remove the chicken from pan and set aside – keep warm.

Warm Chickpea Kale Salad

–  1 can (14 oz) chickpeas

–  5 pieces of kale, chopped (use more or less – I wanted to save some for this morning’s smoothie!)

–  salt and pepper, to taste

–  1 tbsp parsley, chopped

–  1/2 of lemon’s juice

–  1/4 cup onion

–  2 cloves garlic

–  1 tbsp olive oil

–  Using the chicken pan, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic on medium heat.

–  Scrape up any chicken goodness left on the pan and incorporate with the onion and garlic.

–  Saute for approx 3 minutes – until onion has softened and browned slightly.

–  Add chickpeas and stir for 1-2 minutes.

–  Add kale and juice from lemon, stir, and cover for 7  minutes, until kale has wilted.

–  Uncover and add parsley.

–  Stir for another 4 minutes to incorporate everything.

–  Serve with chicken!


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Ya Herrdd!!!

I have officially started the C25K program!!!!!  Yay!

I have to admit that I attempted this once before.  My friends and I signed up for a 5K in Dallas (Go Rangers!  WOOP WOOP!) and used that as a motivation to keep up with the C25K.  I always read articles that say to run with a partner or a friend.  Well, as much as I love my friends – these two were not the most motivated to do the 5K! I think they were just in different places in their life and they were more than content to walk it.  We would arrange several meetings during the week to run per the program, and we would always fail and just eat dinner instead.  It was a bad bad habit!

Well, I went to that 5K and ran for about 3 minutes (TOTAL – for shame!) and walked the rest of the way.  I was pretty unhappy with myself – I didn’t put in any effort to get any of the results I wanted.

Then came Monday, October 25, 2010. I had a sloppy weekend with too much eating and I realized that I’m just heading down the same path as always – being really strict and then loosening up too much.  So, I decided to run.  But, not without support!!!

First, I downloaded this App. And let me tell you – TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!  I ran once before (a month ago) and I had my iPhone in my shirt (yes, I’m ghetto and I stuff it in my shirt – I feel dirty just admitting that!  Sorry!), a stop watch, and a dog to run with.  It all got a little too much.  I was constantly fidgeting and it all got a bit hectic.  Then came the APP!!

This App tells you when to run and walk in the middle while you listen to your music – think airplane announcements in the middle of your in-flight movie!  I loved it!! Took any and all guess-work out of my run and kept me from frantically looking at the clock for the end!

Second, I got a new running partner! The best kind (well, for me).  He’s a Doberman/Boxer mix and he loves to run!  He keeps my pace (poor thing probably wants to run 10x faster) and he runs at my side.  He is always available, always excited about running and never will quit on me! 🙂

Third, I put together a bad a$$ mamma jamma playlist of the following:

1.  Jamie Foxx – Blame It

2.  Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll  (Love this woman!)

3.  Twista (feat. Pitbull) – Hit The Floor

4.  M.I.A. – Paper Planes (I ❤ M.I.A.!!)

5.  Bee Gees – Staying Alive

6.  Peaches – Talk to Me (LOVES!)

7.  Timbaland – The Way I Are

8.  Matisyahu – One Day

9.  Coldplay – Fix You

Let me tell you – the run yesterday was nothing short of INVIGORATING!  I have been stressed and anxious about things lately and that run was just what I needed to decompress.

At the end, I was so proud of myself.  Every part of me wanted to quit early but I thought – take it a minute at a time (literally)!

And, I did – and I DID IT!!



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Timing Is Everything

My husband (Binks) and I have our routine down when it comes to the morning and afternoon.

Typically what happens is that Binks walks our puppy in the morning while I prepare breakfast, and walks him in the afternoon while I prepare lunch (we try to come home for lunch to avoid going out to eat – it’s about a 5 min drive).

The walk typically lasts for 20 minutes in the morning (perfect time to prepare oatmeal or a smoothie and a coffee) and 10 minutes in the afternoon (perfect for a sandwich or reheating last night’s dinner).

Today, we both had hearings at the same time (different courts).  And, last night’s dinner consisted of chicken curry and chole.  Reheating would be a breeze.

Note:  I have been trying to cut down my carbs as I have noticed that I merely use them as a platform for the actual stuff I’m wanting to eat – the veggie or the meat.  So, I’m avoiding the filler and just filling up on the good stuff.

I, however, thought to myself – you know what would go fabulously with this?  The ‘salad’!  Not just any ol’ salad – the perfect ‘salad’ to accompany my Indian dishes.   Once the idea came – it stayed!

So enter lemon:

and now….SQUEEZE

Finish with tomato + onion + peppers + salt

I eat plenty of this with my food and I do not feel guilty about it!

Binks, on the other hand, eats it out of the bowl and slurps down the rest.  Hardcore much?

So, because I took time to assemble this salad – our whole schedule got back tracked by about 10 minutes and arrived to the hearing late, with the slightest smell of onion on my hands and I’m sure on my breath (my sincerest apologies prosecutor).

Was it worth it? Absolutely!


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The Inevitable Mistakes

I swear – I always make some kinda asinine error!!!!  Whether it be work, cooking, cleaning, you name it – I’ve messed it up in some random a$$ way or another!

I think I do thing too fast or I don’t take the time to just focus prior to doing something.  Most people (it appears to me), when running on auto pilot seem to be flying the ‘right’ way and doing the ‘right’ things.

I on the other hand, when running on auto pilot put the tea kettle in the refrigerator, forgets to keep her mouth closed while brushing and has toothpaste dripping down my shirt (unfortunately this is so unfortunately true), and drives miles and miles before realizing her right turn to get home happened 2 miles ago!  Argh seems appropriate right now.


Well, now that you know what happened to me yesterday, here’s what happened this morning!

This would be the birds-eye view into my blender.  I love kale.  I just started incorporating it into my menus and has only been used for breakfast.

(Need to try these soon!)

The final product?  The BEST ever smoothie I have made to date!


Inside you can find the following:

–  1 frozen banana

–  2 big leaves of kale

–  2 tbsp of almonds

–  1 tbsp flax seed

–  1 tbsp chia seeds

–  1/2 cup frozen blueberries

–  1/4 cup rolled oats

–  1/2 cup almond milk

–  1 small scoop Amazing Grass – Berry

Gave it a whirl and added:

–  Homemade coconut butter

–  Honey almond granola

Here is to less mistakes both on auto-pilot and manual! 😉 Happy Hump Day!


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Almost Perfect Birthday Cake

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to bake!!!!  Of course, I have been trying to lay off lately because I need to get my bum into shape and eating butter, sugar, and flour (the holy trinity) ain’t gonna work for me!  But, sometimes there comes an exception.

When a friend asks – will you bake for me?  The answer is always – without a doubt – YES!!!  Then I ask for details:

–  Chocolate?

–  Layers?  Sheet? Cupcakes?

– Nuts?

–  Fruit?

Well, this past weekend – this scenario happened.  And my friend provided the following answers for her perfect birthday cake idea:

–  Chocolate?   NO

–  Layers?  Sheet? Cupcakes?   Layers

– Nuts?     NO

–  Fruit?    YES!

I have to say that when I ask these questions, I always invitably expect to hear (chocolate, layers, no nuts, no fruit).  This time – it was fruit all the way!

After little research (namely because the answer came so fast!), I found the ANSWER!  Hailed as the PERFECT party cake – I knew I had to try.  Now enter – Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake.  You can find the recipe here, here, and many other places.  Dorie even gives tips here.

The cake took me a while to prepare.  Total time (with cooling of layers in between) was about 4 hours.

And here is the final result:  (I’m not the best decorator but I am practicing!!)

Did I take pictures of the inside? No.  Why?  Two reasons: (1) I’m not very bright and (2) Everyone (about 9 people) finished the cake in 10 minutes!  By the time I even picked up a camera, I was done with my slice and others were too.  Drat the luck!

Final opinion:  I loved the cake.  Very light, moist and had an excellent crumb.  The lemon and raspberry worked excellently together.  I, however, was not the biggest fan of the butter cream frosting – which seems to be a bit of an issue with others that have reviewed it, as well.  I would definitely make this cake again – but am still searching for the perfect butter cream frosting recipe!

And, I suppose most importantly – the birthday girl was very very happy!


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One Of Those Days

I own my own business.

Every single day feels like a battle – at least it feels like that today.  A battle of the administrative issues and substantive issues.  A battle between me and opposing parties and the rest of the world.

How will I handle the plethora of phone calls, e-mails, letters, faxes, motions, hearings, and depositions that come my way? One phone call, e-mail, letter, fax, motion, hearing and deposition at a time. 🙂

Well there is always the option of running for my life to Europe and hiding out as a baker/apprentice in a small cafe in Paris – gobbling up croissants at every opportunity. Another day I suppose…

Nothing better to battle it out than a good smoothie in a bowl as inspired by Kath.

What’s in there?

–  1 frozen banana

–  handful of kale

–  1 scoop amazing grass

–  1 tbsp ground flax seed

–  1 tbsp chia seeds

–  1/2 cup strawberries

–  2 tbsp almonds

–  1/2 cup ice

–  1 packet of Stevia (Whole Foods was giving out samples)

Gave it a whirl in my blender and topped it with the following:

–  Granola

–  Homemade coconut butter

Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe it.  Totally hit the spot and here I am throwing in some punches!  Take that you!

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Back at Monday

Weekends go fast don’t they?!  The weekdays are so frantic these days that I never find time to cook dinners or lunches for the next day that we either grab something (pizza inevitably) and I always end up regretting my choice.

So, this weekend, I took time to cook an Indian meal complete with chicken tikka masala, channa masala, raita, and paratha.  Enough to be a satisfying dinner through the middle of the week.

Of course prior to any of this, I had to start with inspiration – an awesome and energy-filled breakfast.  Enter Overnight Oats!! Also to prelude my Indian meal, I had to have vegan chai to accompany breakfast.  Traditionally, chai is made where the tea is steeped in the milk itself – not the steep-in-water-and-then-add-milk-later.

This recipe is my quick version.  Traditionally – instead of ground ginger, pieces of ginger are used; instead of ground cinnamon, sticks are used; instead of ground cardamom, pods are used.  But, this was a quick tea, and it just as much hit the spot as the real ingredient version!

Quick Vegan Chai – Serves 2


–  2 cups almond milk

–  1/8 tsp ground ginger

–  1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

–  1/8 tsp ground cardamom

–  3 cloves

–  3 peppercorn

–  2 tsp black tea (I use loose leaf black tea that I got from the Indian store, but I have used Lipton before and it turned out just fine)

–  Sugar, to taste (I thought I would end up using turbinado sugar – pictured – but the almond milk was more than sweet enough for me, so I didn’t end up using any)


–  In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients together.

–  Turn the heat to medium.  Bring the tea to a slow boil.  Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for approx. 5-10 minutes depending on the strength of the tea you want (I like it strong!).

–  Strain into cups and serve!

My delicious breakfast!  My overnight oats were topped with granola, almonds, and chocolate peanut butter. Totally held me over while I began my Indian menu.

My favorite Indian dish is chicken tikka masala.  Something about this combination of spices brings it all home!

Here is how I started:

First, get your spices together for the marina-tion!!!

Here you see, clockwise from left: cayenne pepper, pepper, ginger/garlic paste, salt, turmeric, cumin and cinnamon.  Then, you add lemon juice and yogurt and mix the chicken to get this:

Not the prettiest thing in the world but, hey – but it’s nice to witness the mawwiage of flavors!

While marinading, I cut up things that will be cooked later – saves tons of time!

First, we have the initial garlic/peppers/onions to sauté:

Do I suggest that you use this many peppers?  NO!  Did I? YES!  Why?  1. I’m insane.  2.  My Binks loves loves spicy food (and loves his meat dishes to be spicy).  3.  I like it too.  🙂

After marinading, you cook the garlic/pepper/onion mix:

I sauté this until the onions are transparent.  Then, comes the chicken:

After simmering on medium heat for about 15 minutes, add cream and fresh tomatoes.

Glorious cream!

I am telling you – this recipe is quick and truly competes with any restaurant chicken tikka masala!

Recipe – Serves 6


–  3 chicken breasts

–  1 cup yogurt

–  juice from 1/2 small lemon

–  1 tsp salt

–  2 tsp cumin

–  1 tsp ground cinnamon

–  1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

–  1 tbsp garlic/ginger paste

–  1 tsp pepper

–  2 tbsp olive oil

–  2 cloves garlic

–  1/4 cup onions

–  1 jalapeno pepper (adjust based on your spice requirements)

–  1 tsp cumin

–  2 tsp paprika

–  1 – 4 oz can tomato paste

–  2 medium tomatoes

–  1/2 cup heavy cream


–  Combine chicken with yogurt, turmeric, lemon juice, salt, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, garlic/ginger paste, and pepper.

–  Marinade for 1 hour.

–  In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.

–  Sauté garlic, jalapeno pepper and onions until onion is translucent (about 2 minutes).

–  Add 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp paprika and cook for 1 minute.

–  Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

–  Add chicken mixture and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked.

–  After the chicken and the sauce have combined, add the cream and diced tomatoes and simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

–  Plate and serve piping hot with rice and/or roti – in my case paratha!

Source:  adapted from

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Jazz Waffles

If you asked me 5 years ago what my favorite meal of the day was – I would have said dinner a big drawn out dinner.  It makes sense considering that I come from an Indian family and dinners are typically eaten later in the night (9:00 p.m. ish), and it was a time that my family sat around and talked over a hot meal with several dishes.  To this day, I still find myself wanting these dinners.

If you ask me today, my answer is without a doubt breakfast!  I never understood it when I was younger, but the first meal is really the most important and could make or break your day.  When I first got married, I wanted to make elaborate breakfasts (and lunches and dinners) for us.  Oh man – thinking back – our breakfasts included eggs, bacon, pancakes/biscuits, fake syrup, coffee, juice – all on a weekday mind you!  While delicious,  (runny eggs and toast is still a favorite!) after 2 hours, I would feel tired and dragging.  I guess the caffeine had run its course and the heavy food was setting in – as was the weight!

The food that we eat in the morning provides the fuel for the rest of the day.  So nowadays I’m whipping up some mamma jamma recipes for breakfasts in my kitchen – oatmeal (overnight and stove top varieties) and smoothies and bears – oh my – well not bears!

What did I eat today, you ask?  Well let me tell you!

Today was waffle day.  I deemed it Waffle Day considering tis Friday and I felt like a hot meal on a fall-ish day (it’s as fall as it gets here in Texas)!

First, we got the basics of my favorite way to eat waffles – waffles, frozen blueberries and a giant banana!

I love frozen blueberries.  Just a quick warm up and these become the best fruity syrup eva!!!

I love adding toppings to my waffles.  No room for plain waffles here!

Look how lonely it looks!!

I usually opt for some Earth Balance peanut butter topping, but alas – upon entering my pantry, I found that some husband thought it okay to pretty much scrape every morsel of peanut butter out of the jar and leave it back in the pantry!  Kudos for no wastage though!

Luckily I had some homemade chocolate peanut butter on hand!  Topped it off with some blueberries and accompanying syrup, chia seeds,  sliced almonds and a touch of pure grade B maple syrup!  Voila!

I ended up putting sliced bananas on top as well but for some reason didn’t take the picture.  Go figure.  Love love this breakfast.

Now….if I could only figure out how to change my lunch and dinner habits…any advice is much appreciated and encouraged! 🙂



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