Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Daily Navy Wife, Volume 7

While Jason is out to sea, I frequently e-mail him pictures of home. More specifically, I send him pictures of myself--one every day, without fail. I want him to have a daily reminder that I love him, that I think about him constantly, and that he is my reason to smile.
Another month, another parade of my vast collection of t-shirts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This is a 20-minute workout, there's no stopping.

So what have I been doing lately? Usually one of the following:

  • Doing my job.
  • Watching playoff hockey.
  • Sweating my ass off at the gym or in my living room doing 30 Day Shred.

My sister's wedding is now less than two months away, and I have a bridesmaid dress hanging in my closet waiting to be taken in--it's just a matter of how much it needs to be taken in. I'm hoping for several inches, and I'm well on my way. I've lost 10.5 pounds so far this year and 17.5 pounds since my highest weight ever one year ago, and I'm back into some jeans that haven't fit since 2009. I have a long, long way to go to reach my goal (the weight I was at when I met Jason in 2005), but I know what I have to do to get there, and I am getting there, one Jillian Michaels walking pushup at a time.

Something that might complicate matters is my mom's visit starting next week. I have a slew of tasty foods that I want to feed ma maman, and they're not necessarily diet-friendly. We'll just have to go for lots of walks, and maybe I can even talk her into shredding with me.

I mentioned last week that I saw Wicked, and I also scheduled another one of the things on my 2011 to do list: an NKOTBSB concert! Yes indeed, I'm dragging Jason to our THIRD New Kids concert.

This might just be our best summer ever.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Foodie Friday: I am a hummus machine

It's Foodie Friday! Foodie Friday is my weekly feature that gives you a window into my kitchen. I love to cook, I love to eat, I love to read cookbooks, and I love to inspire people to give vegan food a chance. Thus, Foodie Friday was whipped up and baked to perfection.
I made batches of pita chips and white bean and dill hummus tonight, but since I already told you about that hummus recipe, let's talk about another one that I made a while ago, sun-dried tomato and basil hummus. This is based on a recipe from 1,000 Vegan Recipes, but I feel like I really made it my own.

It's colorful! I enjoyed mine with homemade whole wheat tortilla chips.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Hummus

6 garlic cloves
1 6.5 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil
2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tahini
2 tsp. water
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt

Process garlic, chickpeas, tahini, and the entire jar of tomatoes (including the oil) in a food processor until smooth. Add the water, olive oil, lemon juice, basil, and salt and process again. Seasonings and liquids can be adjusted to achieve your desired texture and flavor--the next time I make this I'm going to use even more basil. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What is this about your daughter marrying my husband?

Things are moving along nicely here. I got a whole bunch of good news this week that is definitely going to carry me through the last couple of innings of Jason's deployment.

First, I got a nice little raise at work and some solid praise from my manager. I get to be a housewife and bring in a respectable salary--it's really the best of both worlds.

Second, and even more importantly, I found out that Jason will be returning in time for my sister's wedding! I have had a perma-grin on my face for the past few days. Even shelling out $800 for plane tickets home made me feel gleeful, because I was buying two tickets instead of one.

Then, my bridesmaid dress arrived this morning! Of course I had to rip it out of the plastic and have a fashion show. I guess I've lost some weight and inches since I was measured for it last year (woohoo!), because it was practically falling off of me, but it's nothing that a little taking in can't fix.

To make this week even better, today I went to see Wicked. It was every bit as good as I had hoped, and it even had an animal rights twist to the storyline that made my inner activist jump up and down in her seat. Furthermore, seeing a green lady flying in a harness made me think back to my own performing days, when I was the green lady in the harness--as Fruma Sarah in Fiddler on the Roof my senior year of high school. I didn't look half bad with green skin, either:

Video or it never happened (my part starts at 3:40 into the video):

Friday, April 15, 2011

Foodie Friday: Daiya, Dayummmmm

It's Foodie Friday! Foodie Friday is my weekly feature that gives you a window into my kitchen. I love to cook, I love to eat, I love to read cookbooks, and I love to inspire people to give vegan food a chance. Thus, Foodie Friday was whipped up and baked to perfection.
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Daiya vegan cheese. Our nearest Whole Foods is an hour away in Fresno, so I buy it 5 and 10 bags at a time and keep it in the freezer. When I want to use it I just pop a bag into the fridge in the afternoon, and it's ready to go by dinner time.

A while back I made pizza from scratch using dough and sauce recipes from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. On top, I piled on mushrooms, green peppers, Yves veggie pepperoni, and Daiya mozzarella-style shreds, which I had never tried before because it only recently made its way to my Whole Foods' shelves. Like the cheddar shreds that I've tried before, the mozzarella scratched that cheese itch.

The pizza turned out so well that I decided to test out the mozzarella shreds on another recipe--red chard and baby spinach lasagna from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. The recipe didn't actually call for a cheese topping, but I decided to take the liberty. No surprise, Daiya rose to the occasion once again! The top layer was the best part:

I'm heading back to Fresno tomorrow, and I'm hoping that my Whole Foods has begun carrying Daiya's newest flavor, pepper jack. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

best bus EVER

It was a sad day on base today. An F/A-18 Super Hornet jet went down during a routine training exercise this afternoon, killing both men aboard. I don't know either of the sailors or their families, but when a tragedy like this happens, the entire community grieves, and an accident on the home front is particularly jarring.

In better news, I'm getting ready to head home to Michigan on Friday for my sister's bridal shower. I'll only be there for the weekend, but considering that I haven't been in the mitten since 2009, I'll take what I can get. I might even kiss the ground (but I'll probably just stick to kissing my parents' cats).

I've been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. I'm also looking forward to some awesome little details that sissy dearest is planning for her wedding day, which I am going to spill the beans on because SHE doesn't have a blog:

The bridal party's ride! I am probably more excited about this than she is.

Our super-awesome bridesmaid necklaces from Love Salt Jewelry by the lovely Salt! These are going to look perfect with our dresses and shoes.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Foodie Friday: From Food Network magazine

It's Foodie Friday! Foodie Friday is my weekly feature that gives you a window into my kitchen. I love to cook, I love to eat, I love to read cookbooks, and I love to inspire people to give vegan food a chance. Thus, Foodie Friday was whipped up and baked to perfection.
Today's recipes came from a copy of Food Network magazine that my sister gave me. Although I am a huge Food Network fan, I don't usually read the magazine. Luckily for me, this issue had two already-vegan recipes!

First, a way to fancy up your ramen without breaking the bank: ramen cake!

Soak three 3-ounce packages ramen noodles in hot water, 5 minutes. Drain; pat dry. In a bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Heat 3 tablespoons peanut oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spread the noodles in the pan and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Top with scallions and/or cilantro.

The next recipe, golden sesame roll-ups, definitely took more work than the ramen. Click through if you want to see the recipe, but I'll summarize: There's rolling, freezing, slicing, freezing again, and then (finally) baking. Yeah, these are a labor-intensive little cookie. But they are good, and they're unique--they're made with puff pastry rather than a traditional dough. My favorite part about them was that the cinnamon, sesame seed, and sugar mixture melted onto the baking pan and hardened into little bits of cinnamon sesame brittle... which I had no problem in picking off piece by piece to savor every last bit.

I had some of the sugar mixture left over from the cookies, so one morning I decided to see how it was on toast slathered with Smart Balance. It was delicious, and is my new breakfast addiction. I used the last of it today. I guess it's time to make the pastry roll-ups again!