Monthly Archives: May 2011

bits of home.

Home is where the heart is. I never realized how true this was until I left good old Minnesota. This past weekend I took a much needed vacation back home to the bike-gay-hipster friendliest state in the Union. I threw a bachelorette party, chased after a job, watched my little sister graduate, and apartment hunted. Whew, what a whirlwind. Here’s a highlight list…:



1) First order of business: Mickey’s Diner! The coolest little spot in Saint Paul.

Maybe not the healthiest fare, but definitely very, very yummy.

2) After planning for months, we finally had Luisa’s bachelorette party! This little lady is getting hitched in August! It’s hard to believe all my friends are getting married off; this must be the first sign of true adulthood. Andra and I put on a very classy affair, of course (minus the chocolate “blow me” cake :)) 

L-R: Jenni, Kristin, Andra, Kayoua, Liz, and Luisa!
3) After a crazy night, I was up early to watch my baby sis graduate college. Now, this is a true sign I’m an adult. Slightly scary, although I’m sure it was much scarier for her! Congrats, Kimmy!

That face says “gimme a job, please thanks”
So proud of our new graduate!
Slickest graduate ever? I think so.
Graduation dinner at a Thai restaurant. Me, Q, Kimmy

Let’s just say I was pretty distraught when I had to hop back on the plane to Mass. Lots of tears were shed. But they were slightly mitigated by this amazing care package that Andra and Luisa put together for me. Check out all those awesome goodies! Soba noodles, quinoa, buckwheat flour, Japanese vermicelli, amongst other delicious Asian delights. I love my friends. And I can’t wait to go home again. For good next time! 
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bits of N.B.

From AHA! night 5/12:

I sure don’t appreciate the beauty of this place enough…

so. close.

These constant homework updates are probably getting monotonous by now, but I am soooo close to being done for good. Today I waged an all-out war on my Spanish paper and am happy to report that I finished it! Finito! Yaaaay. My bum was pretty much glued to this chair all day, but it was absolutely worth it. Now’s it’s just on to the final editing stages of my Portuguese paper and I am DONE! Which also means I’m off to Minnesota! Can’t wait to visit home!


Strenuous study sessions call for lots of comfort food and today’s line-up did not disappoint. Oatmeal and peanut butter, why haven’t I discovered you earlier? Can’t wait until tomorrow morning so I can stage a repeat. 


And introducing the yummiest and probably easiest way to eat a fruit: 



Again, why hadn’t I thought of this before? Half a small (well, sorta small) cantaloupe, honey Greek yogurt, flax seed, and a big ole spoon of almond butter… this heaven in a bowl/rind just might have been the reason I was able to finish my paper. Yumyum.


I’m off to reward myself by watching “The King’s Speech” that was Netflixed to me forever ago. I’ve heard it’s pretty good… :) 

last day.

Today was my last day of actual classes for the semester! Wahoooo! Now it’s just the final dash of papers and exams. But I’ve been buckling down so I only have one paper to finish, one to edit, and just one take-home exam that I’ve been working on already. Hooray for planning. :)

In honor of this awesome day, tonight I made … drumroll… PASTA! 


I haven’t had pasta in months; just haven’t been craving it. The bowl I made tonight though may just become a staple! I put together this “cream” sauce recipe, mixed in spinach, tomato, and onion, then poured over some Yang Chun noodles. So creamy, you wouldn’t even know there was no actual cream involved! Delicious!

happy times.

MY BUTTERS HAVE ARRIVED! (yaaaaaay!)

I snagged a great deal on these bad boys last week and have been anxiously tracking their journey through UPS for the past few days in anticipation of their arrival. And today when I heard a loud knock on the front door, I RAAAN to answer it! I dug into both of them right away and of course also whipped up a fruit salad to enhance my nut-heaven enjoying experience. This is probably one of the yummiest fruit bowls. Ever. It was that epic. 

In the mix:
+medium Granny Smith apple
+tbs. of almond butter
+tbs. of peanut butter (oh, yeah I mixed both!)
+half a blueberry Chobani 
+tbs. flax seed
+drizzle of agave syrup

SO. GOOD. 

Today was an awesome day of good eats, because I also put together a phenomenal dinner. I tried this recipe for white bean burgers since I had some left-over Great Northern white beans already soaked and cooked. I was a little skeptical after blending all the ingredients, because they weren’t sticky at all! I think I must have underblended. But I put it all together anyway, added a teaspoon of olive oil and a bunch of red pepper flakes. Any skepticism I had disappeared once I tried these guys. Super yummy! I ate them with a some peanut sauce for dipping, a ample side of pepper jack cheese, and a raw tomato/onion mix. Very satisfying and filling! (And colorful, too!)

ALSO… Today is Q. and I’s SIXTH year anniversary of dating! Time flies when you’re having fun! Alas, we’re both in finals weeks in different parts of the country (until this Friday!) and can’t spend it together. In any event, cranberry love for life, babycakes. Mando um BEIJÃO!

<3

love my momma.

I’ll be the first to admit it, my Mom drives me crazy quite frequently. She’s a nonstop talker and doesn’t have a censor button, which can be embarrassing at times. But she’s also one of the most quirky, funky, and unabashedly honest people I’ve ever met. And she raised two little people all on her own! I’m so glad she’s my momma. Like Andra said once, “it’s hard to believe Carla is a real person!” After all, how can you not love someone who gives advice like this: 


“Caley, whenever you’re homesick, just make sure you give yourself a big hug and kiss yourself on the arm, like I do when I’m on the toilet.” 


Truly a gem. :) This old family Polaroid I found in a notebook is also a gem:

Me on the left, MOM, and Kimmy; circa 1994?

Check out those eyeglasses! Love! Another love connection? These Carrots ‘n’ Cake vegan cookies! I came across this recipe late yesterday afternoon and I just HAD to make them! I was happy that I had all the ingredients, sans the coconut oil, so I simply substituted canola oil. I also used agave syrup, instead of maple and topped these babies with coconut flakes. The coconut toasted in the oven, giving the cookie a nice nutty-like flavor. Overall, they were super filling (only needed one!) and just slightly sweet. I will definitely be making these guys again. YUM!



They kinda look like little hamburgers, right? But fear not, these are definitely meat free! :) Happy Mother’s Day! 

day three.

Today after another yum-yum banana dough smoothie (day three!), I decided I’d walk to the closest grocery store. I was a little hesitant, because I figured the trek might be a little sketchy. The quickest, most direct route involves going under a bridge and following an old railroad line for a bit, but the road is relatively busy and there are lots of seafood businesses along the way since it follows the water. And I was heading out around noon-time, so I thought there’d be less miscreant-ness, right? Oh, mannnnn. Four male-driven cars honked at me, two (M)assholes yelled from their windows at me, and I came across a used syringe that I almost stepped on. Oh, New Bedsy. It was nice to get in an hour walk and the sun felt beautiful, but there’s no way I’d do it again. I really miss being able to walk around, free from catcalling and y’know, needles. I don’t think I’m asking too much.


Anyways, the bitter taste in my mouth regarding the walk went away because I ran into Serena on the jaunt home and CHECK OUT HER NEW FRIEND!

She was just bringing him home from the pet store! This little guy is super tiny, which means super cute! Still currently name-less, but she’s thinking of a literary character name to go with the current theme around here. Her fish’s name is Kurt Vonnegut and I named my purple beta Gilberto Freyre to accompany Mr. Bennet. I’m a strong advocate of rabbits as pets! They’re super independent and quiet, but lovable, too. This little man’s the cutest. 

yum.

Today I wrote a whole four pages of my final paper! That’s a good deal for me, considering I usually average about a page a day. Once this is out of the way, I’ll be allllmost done and ready to go home next week! So excited!

Also excited about this oatmeal dough boy smoothie which I whipped up last night and gobbled down this morning. Again. I have a feeling I’ll be making this for many mornings to come. So yummy. Today I overdid it on the goodies and the flavor was slightly off. I threw in a tad of espresso dark chocolate, dried cranberries, almonds, a little pumpkin puree, and a chia/flax seed mix. The chocolate-y flavor was not appealing at all to my morning-time taste buds and the chewiness of the cranberries took away from the cozy banana-oat flavor. So tomorrow I’ll know better!


Although I didn’t particularly love this combo, a special little fur-ball did!

Lickin’ ‘er clean.
“Who me?”

Oats are good for rabbits! I promise!

sweet things.

Oatmeal, oatmeal, oatmeal. Can’t get enough. I tried this recipe for an oatmeal Banana doughy smoothie this morning and oh my goodness, was it delicious! I topped mine with a few frozen banana slices, blueberries, cranberry trail mix, and a scoop of peanut butter/jelly mix. Deee-li-cious. I might just have another bowl as a study snack tonight. 

Curling up on my big old chair with a bowl of this next to the cutest bun-bun ever AND a spring shower RAINBOW outside? Domestic heaven… consider me a convert. 

flamingos?

Being the resident snoop around here, I’m easily able to recognize strange cars driving around. So today while huffing and puffing away on the treadmill, I saw a curious car pull up across the street. No biggie, of course. But then the couple driving the car got out, opened their trunk, and preceded to pull out a bunch of pink flamingos. Slightly strange, right? They then set them up haphazardly in my neighbors’ lawn and drove off in a hurry. I wish I could have been there when the neighbors came home. Unless this is some sort of contracted service that I’m in the dark about, this might just be another entry in the New Bed strange phenomenon collection. But I will admit that the flamingos do look sort of cute, in a kitschy sort of way. 

In other not so quirky news, I’ve rekindled my love affair with oatmeal! I came across this homage to oatmeal that included an awesome recipe for good old fashioned oats with whipped banana. My mouth was salivating so I skipped over to the kitchen and put everything together. Pretty sure I actually skipped because I was so excited. The final texture was a tad too goopy for me, since I like my oatmeal really milky/liquidy. So second time around, I think I’ll cook the oats a little less and add more milk. I topped the whole thing off with shredded coconut (which looks a lot like cheese in this pic, but is not!), a splash of coconut milk, and half of a Kashi peanut granola bar. I’m trying to wean myself off my copious sugar intake levels and this recipe was just the perfect amount of sweet. Definitely will be making this again! Yum!