Friday, December 31, 2010


I try not to stress myself out with resolutions. I feel that putting a lot of pressure on myself either goes really well or really badly. This year, I'm setting some goals for myself, with mini goals to help me attain them.

1. Get back to this weight.
 (at the beach in march 2007)

This is something I've been working on since October, and I know I can do this. I got down to that weight from far heavier than where I'm at now! Mini goals: eat healthy, unprocessed foods and cut back on drinking. Which leads me to this:

2. Cut back on drinking.
I just found this old photo and it cracks me up because one, the bottle was empty when I did that and two, I was the one who emptied the bottle. My problem with drinking is I tend to overdo it - not in the hopes of getting drunk, rather I'm just having a good time. And then I pay for it with headaches, bloating, upset tummy. I'm going to cut down to just a couple of beers (or drinks) a week. I did this a couple of months ago and could feel a difference in my mood and how I was feeling overall. But, I should say, I really, REALLY love beer. Good beer. Local beer. I love the experience of sitting in the brewpub with a good beer.

3. Exercise.

I really don't want to become one of those that starts out at the gym all pumped up and slowly tapers off. I've done it before. I want to break that cycle. I want to exercise because it makes me feel good, not because I have to. I have a plan for this: my classes are every Tuesday and Thursday and I have a 2 hour break in between two of them. No reason for me not to go!!

4. Connect.

I miss all of my friends and spent a lot of this year reconnecting with them and meeting new ones. I'm going to scale up my efforts to keep in touch. Meet ups, mini road trips to Seattle, written letters.

5. Read.

With school, this could be a little harder. I would like to read at least one new to me book a month, more if possible. Over the summer I went through the Harry Potter series, the Hunger Games series and more and I loved it. I realized how much I missed reading for pleasure.

6. Germany, Austria and Italy.

I WILL go in June. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Last night, rice saved my life.

I swear the song goes something like that.

The other night, the redhead and I went to dinner. He had a stir-fried rice & veggie bowl with the fluffiest rice I have ever tasted. My own rice is usually ok, but I wanted that rice for my own. So last night I set out to recreate it.

I read up on several different methods but ultimately chose this one, which I will recreate for you!

First, put your rice into a bowl. Run some water over it, swirling the rice around with your fingers until the water gets cloudy. Carefully pour the water out and repeat the process about 4 times or until the water stays clear.

Next, fill the bowl with water again, but don't drain. Let the rice soak about 30 minutes.

Drain the rice after soaking and cook however you normally cook it with the ratio being 1 cup rice to 1.5 cups water. I used a rice cooker that I've had for years and years. Stovetop method for the uninformed is boil water, add rice, simmer for 15 minutes with a tight lid - no peeking!

Devour fluffy rice and praise the rice deities.

I like pepper. What?

p.s. for those on WW Points Plus, the refried beans in Viva Vegan! are 2 pp when you make the recipe with one tablespoon of oil and figure it would serve 8!

Monday, December 27, 2010


I have an amazing opportunity to go to Germany, Austria and Rome on the super cheap in June.

How in the world does this happen to an incredibly broke student? My father. This man quit his day job 6 years ago to build tracks and lead motorcycle expeditions to Mexico. He got a cheap flight to Austria last year to see the Erzburg Rodeo (some giant motorcycle event) and wandered all over the cute little towns in Germany and Austria. The only planning he did ahead of time? I had to force him to buy a train ticket from Frankfurt to Munich so that he could meet up with a friend! He's offering to buy our (standby, blergh) tickets if we get the rental car and food.

Obviously, this is a HUGE deal for me. The trip would knock off about half of our wishlist of places we're dying to see. If we are actually able to get over via standby, the trip would cost us next to nothing. Also, I really, REALLY want to drink beer in Germany.

I'm suffering from a little trepidation that this will actually happen, though.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Love, Steff, Jeff and the Catz

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cookie Monster

The other day, my mother-in-law asked me if I could bring dessert to Christmas dinner. She asked because she "knew I liked making desserts."

Well, it's not just because I like making them. Sure, I'll make people cookies for no reason, bring baked goods to an event and always have dessert on hand when people come over. But, it's for selfish reasons, really. I have a baked goods tooth. This tooth only got bigger when I went vegan, resulting in unwanted pounds and a new found appreciation for Oreos. I get excited for thick clouds of frosting and soft, fresh from the oven cookies. None of this goes well with my WW plan, of course, but I've been careful.

I only had to think for a minute about the dessert I'm bringing. Ever since a blogger posted a picture of a pumpkin roll, all I can think about is that creamy, delicious filling. Christmas Dessert will be a vegan conglomeration of:

 A holiday tradition - the yule log

A childhood favorite, the Swiss roll
I used to LOVE Swiss rolls. Seriously. For the construction, I'll use the Fauxtess cupcake recipe for both the cake and filling and then cover it in a chocolate ganache and add Christmasy accoutrements. I feel the need to do a test run, right now.

Finally, I share a photo of my Christmas tree.

My late grandmother used to use these trees for all kinds of holidays. I didn't want to drag in a dead one and then deal with it after the holidays, so I improvised. I have a giant box of Christmas ornaments that didn't make the cut and are jealous.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm Here! I'm Alive!

Hello gentle readers. I have not abandoned you, although I did abandon the end of MoFo. I think I got into the "fuck it" mentality and took a break.

Also, I got this all this learning stuff going on.
The majority of that stack is for my final paper on Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" in case you couldn't tell. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Oscar Wilde now, and I wish that I had known about him (at least, more than a name) when we were in Pere Lachaise. I am starstruck. I am so thankful to have landed a professor that did her dissertation on him and just exudes so much excitement to her students. I have one last final paper other than this one and then fall quarter is done!

Something new also happened this week: Weight Watchers unveiled their new PointsPlus plan. I like to think that I accept change readily and with open arms and this is no exception. There are some members that are up in arms about the "free" fruit values, about the higher daily point values and the higher values on their processed foods. I think WW took a huge step in the right direction. The plan encourages members to reach for fruit or vegetables or other healthy unprocessed foods and how is that a bad thing, exactly? Look, here I am enjoying a snack with homework:
And you know what? It was delicious. I love the idea that I can reach for a banana or frozen blueberries (my favorite frozen fruit! It's like candy!) when I'm low or empty of points. When I take stuff like this to work or school, I'm not spending money or points on some Luna or Lara bar (which are delicious, don't get me wrong!) and I'm not starving, either. I think that the members that are upset about the change aren't realizing that yeah, you can eat 5 bananas, but you WILL hurt later. I know it wasn't fruit that put me in the position of having to re-join WW, and I'm sure the majority of members will have to agree with me.

Now I think I will go make some Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles (and eat only a couple!) and work on these blasted papers.