Archive for June, 2010

Sidetrack: Hair evolution & a small Jersey crisis.

Through the years I’ve gone through many, many hair changes.  For me it’s fun and a way to change things up and express myself.  I’ve done it all and only a few have lasted for more than a year.

I’ve stayed natural and ashy:

lightened up the front:

went blonde:

brown:

black:

and red in an effort to get back to the beginning:

Yesterday when I went in to get my hair highlighted, I was hoping for a blonde look with soft red undertones. I left with a hole in my wallet and as the Jersey Girl poster child:

D’s response? He said it looked “fine” and at least it was “just hair” and not boobs or a nose.  Thank you for your support.

Following an affair of tears (intertwined with laughter coupled with “THIS IS MY NIGHTMARE”), multiple phone calls to the mom, sister, and bff for advice, I took to the sheets and woke up this morning ready to make a phone call.  I’m going to skip all the awkward, uncomfortable details, but I returned to my hair dresser and left much happier than I entered. That’s really all that matters.

I made a yummy dinner tonight – but the past 24 hour events have just left me whipped.  I’ll save that for tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled for some Mediterranean Pasta!

Do you change your hair often?  Any hair catastrophes?  Please share and make me feel less insane!! 🙂

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June 30, 2010 at 9:24 pm 17 comments

Going mid-America for dinner.

Welcome to my first official at-home breakfast of the season.  I think I’ll be able to squeeze in two of these per work-week and for that I rejoice.  I love to sit in the sun, with my breakfast [above: strawberry muffin, vanilla soy yogurt, yummy fruits] and coffee, no t.v. on, and just watch the birds (or read blogs) as I eat breakfast.  It’s really all about the morning silence, because after that it’s all down hill from there.

Last night after dinner I asked D if he wanted me to make more breakfast muffins, which I had done for two week consecutively and he and I both enjoyed the goods tremendously.  The fact that he’ll eat a vegan muffin without persuasion makes me more apt to offer on 10:00 pm on a Monday.  So strawberry muffins were reborn – and may or may not have exploded in the oven – still good!

Back in the day I would make a mean turkey meatloaf (we’re talking 5 years ago people).  I was never a meatloaf person, but at that time in my life it was considered “healthy” I was going to try my damnest to eat it.  A year later I was eating vegetarian and strangely felt a need to vegetarianize my meatloaf recipe.  I successfully was able to do so and although it didn’t wow D to any extent, it met my needs for a quality comfort-food meal.  Enter: today.   Sifting through my recipes and freezer to continue my pantry cleanse, I encounter my make-shift vegetarian meat loaf recipe and a bag of Boca crumbles.  Are things getting clearer for you?

I veganized my vegetarian meatloaf and I think it’s worth sharing and trying.

Ingredients:

  • Boca Crumbles, entire bag
  • 1/2 medium onion grated
  • .4cup Panko bread crumbs (plain)
  • 1 Carrots, medium grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • EnerG Egg Replacer, 1.5 tsp + 2 T water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp. vegan grated parmesan

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except for 1/3 c of ketchup (pre-whip the egg replacer together before adding to mixture). Place mixture into oil sprayed loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes, remove and cover with remaining ketchup and bake another 15 minutes.  Let stand about 10 minutes before serving so it doesn’t fall apart.

I think this was fantastic – the flavors were spot spot spot on! I haven’t had a real meatloaf in like 15 years so I can’t attest to how “true” it tasted, but it tasted good and that’s what matters most to me.  To the point that I would recommend a meatloaf recipe, which is so uncharacteristic for me. D wouldn’t even tried it.  See, real meatloaf even scares him, let alone a vegan one. I served this up some buttered noodles (how mid-western of me, am I right?).  While this meal has most odds stacked against it – I wanted to jump up and down at my success!  Whip up some mashed potatoes and this will make grand-maw proud!

To boot – it makes four hunking servings each less than 250 calories and jam-packed with protein. HOLLA!  Let me know if this recipe doesn’t scare you and you try it! It’s my new baby!

What recipe have you vegetarianized/veganized that seems scary at first but tastes pretty damn good? Do share!

June 29, 2010 at 6:32 pm 12 comments

Refreshing Veggie Orzotto!

While my Boston indulgences are yet to be unveiled, I needed to share this fabulous recipe I whipped up for dinner tonight.  It was the last day of school (a scorching hot one at that) until summer school starts next week, so I desperately wanted to get off my 2-week no-cooking hiatus and bring some vegan flavor back into our lives.

The last time I made this dish was 2 years ago when I was preparing to move from San Diego back to New Jersey and I needed to clean out my pantry.  After an expensive weekend in Boston, I had a similar task at hand: spend as little as possible on food this week.  I went through the cabinets, compiled a list of veggies, grains, and starches that could easily be churned into a recipe, and made a list of meals for the week.  So keep your eyes peeled this week for a new recipe that is simple and cheap – I have four meals for under $20!!!

So let’s start with tonight’s meal: Veggie Orzotto.

Pantry Items:

  • a bag of frozen peppper/onion medley strips [chopped – in it’s frozen form]
  • a 8.5 oz can of corn [drained]
  • garlic [needed 3-4 cloves minced]
  • a box of orzo [cooked per box directions]
  • half a bottle of white wine [need 1/4 cup]
  • olive oil [1/4 cup]
  • Earth Balance [2 tbsp.]

Needed Items:

  • 1 large tomato [chopped]

What to do? Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and pepper medley. Pour in white wine and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato, corn and garlic. Cook 10-15 minutes or until most liquid is reduced. Meanwhile, cook orzo according to package directions. Drain, and toss orzo with sauteed vegetables. Stir hot or cold, it’s delicious both ways!

This meal is perfect for the summer.  It is delicious hot, reheated, or chilled.  I deemed it “orzotto” because it is as creamy as risotto, but with orzo!  The white wine really takes the flavor over the top, and coupled with the sauteed garlic & onions it is absolutely divine.

D was slightly apprehensive about the whole thing [he doesn’t understand why corn is involved in pasta] but loved it! He went back for seconds! ! !  And said it was “really good”.  I haven’t really heard these words from his lips in awhile, so you can imagine the pleasure it brought me.

So do yourself a favor and bookmark this recipe – it is all about simplicity (less than 30-minutes) and being a cheapass.  And no one would know. It also makes about 2-pounds worth of food so expect a LOT of leftovers for basically nothing.  I’m eating this for lunch all week, happily!

After a series of mishaps with my clients after work, I found myself at Barnes and Noble waiting out a rainstorm and pouring over the vegan cookbooks.  A mother of two children was sprawled out on the floor with a pile of books.  Considering we were both in front of the same shelf and selection, I couldn’t help hear her say to her son that she found a non-dairy cheese book and that they were on the right track!  I asked if he had a dairy allergy and she responded exasperated, yes! She shared that it was making him incredibly ill and now that they finally pinpointed the cause she was trying to unravel 8-years of pizza and ice cream – and that life has thus been rough recently. I felt elated that I was able to impart some of my dairy-free knowledge with her.  I shared some dairy substitutes that I approve of for taste and quality, as well as some books that I have found helpful.  She seemed grateful, most especially for the Daiya recommendation. And even if she was moderately creeped out, I hope that my positive attitude toward going dairy-free helped put her at ease a little.

Have you ever had an encounter like this? How did it go? Two weeks ago at the mall I also ran into an elderly couple (we’re talking 80+).  The gentleman was wearing a shirt that said something like “Go Vegan for Life” and I gave him a smile and a sly thumbs up.  That sparked his attention and we talked for 5-minutes about how he and his wife had been vegetarian for 20 years before going vegan, which they have been for 20 years.  The encounter just made my heart sing.

June 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm 10 comments

Wedding Wonders.

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a wedding of a high school friend up in Boston.  It was lovely – take a peek!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a little peek of Boston and some … indulgences. Yes.

June 27, 2010 at 8:26 pm 9 comments

New Layout!!

Hello Friends!!  I’d like to take the time to share with you that Amanda’s Domestic Adventures has officially unveiled it’s new layout!  I really love it and hope it sends out some new positive vibes toward my blog future. If you are so inclined please feel free to check out the fabulous new layout by clicking here and letting me know what you think/how it views on your page.

Being that this is the last week of work, don’t expect to see any pretty pictures of dinner tonight or tomorrow.  It was straight up southwestern salad night sans photo tonight – we were hot sweaty hungry beasts. I spent tonight updating my Yelp reviews since I haven’t updated about some restaurants I visited way back in November (how I love love love yelp – it was the sole form of therapy I had when I moved across the country alone).

That’s pretty much it tonight. Just checking in.  I ran 3-miles tonight using the walk 1-minute run 2-minutes method and so far my knees are still my friend, so that makes my heart sing in a big way!

I leave you with me, bending over to take a picture.  Because I know I need as much encouragement as possible to get my highlights done.

Question: Do you recommend any must see/do/eat locations in Boston?  I have one day to take D around and eat my way through town this weekend!! That’s a lot of pressure!

June 23, 2010 at 10:10 pm 3 comments

Cupcake Warriors

Word has begun to spread that I enjoy all things cupcakes.  A woman at work who is a friend of a friend asked me to make her son’s rehearsal dinner cupcakes.  She had two requirements: (1) a bride and groom, (2) bridesmaids and groomsmen whatever I thought would look nice.  We decided to go with the bridal party flowers: hydrangeas and white roses. I’ll save the verbal drama and share the goods:

My friend Sarah came up to help me – I couldn’t have done it all without her, especially with my outrageous OCD.  Here she is hard at work on the tuxedo.

After all of our hard work Friday night, you’d think I would have fulfilled my baking needs for the weekend.  But then it was Father’s Day Sunday morning and I woke up, went for a run, and realized I had a pint of strawberries that were slightly beyond their ripest. They were just begging for a cupcake.  So fluffy strawberry shortcake cupcakes it was!

Suffice it to say, there will be no cupcakes baked this weekend, only those that are to be consumed.

June 21, 2010 at 9:44 pm 13 comments

End of Year Dinner Slump & Giveaway Winner

Happy Post-Father’s Day!  As soon as this posts I’ll be swapping over to read all about everyone’s weekends.  I spent mine baking cupcakes, relaxing, and spending some time with family and these cutie patooties:

Anyone who works in a school knows that the last 1-2 weeks are pretty sloppy.  I have a stack as high as my waist of paperwork that “needs to get done” in addition to picking up my kids throughout the day.  As a result the quality of cooking and dinners has diminished severely and we’ve been living off of frozen goods and leftovers for as far as the eyes can stretch.  Fear not!  This weekend was met with many cupcake creations, which are for another time and place (maybe in a few hours).

For instance tonight’s dinner.  When Whole Foods re-organizes or expands my local store, I have no choice but to spend a few extra minutes perusing the aisles and calculating all the ways to spend my money on edibles. When I lived in New York and San Diego, Whole Foods pre-cooked tofu and salads were my lifeline and now that I am paying off my loans and no longer living off them I had to back off a lot.  In any case, tonight was a summer splurge that reminds me of meals a la Cynthia, except seitan panini-less.

On the Menu: Sesame Glazed Tofu, Grilled Vegetables, and Pearl Couscous salad.  This meal probably cost me $6.00 which isn’t terrible considering where it came from.  Of course it was delicious as almost anything that resides inside Whole Foods most definitely is. And for another $6.00 expect to see some leftovers as my snack of choice tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am going to be attending Y@GLYoga at the Great Lawn (in Central Park). Essentially, it’s a class for 10,000 yogis in the middle of Central Park. Or in their words: On June 22, 2010, Flavorpill and JetBlue’s TrueBlue will host the world’s largest yoga event ever as 10,000 people of all backgrounds, sizes, and skill levels will simultaneously practice on the Great Lawn in Central Park, NYC.

After work a coworker and I are booking it to the bus station and high-tailing it uptown.  I’ll be sure to report on the grooviness that ensues – I’m pretty excited!

Remember my Soy Candles by Phebes Reivew & Giveaway?  I know I’m about 3 days late in revealing the winner, but better late than never!

The winner: Danielle, who said:  “I’m curious about the “butt naked” scent – sounds fun! :)“.

Danielle please e-mail me your information so I can get you in touch with Phebes for your free scent (you didn’t leave your e-mail on your comment)!

Everyone else: Even though you didn’t win one free scent today – Mike at Soy Candles by Phebes has generously extended this offer that I encourage you to check out: “

Come to www.soycandlesbyphebes.com and buy three candles and get a fourth free!  Simply mention that you found us on Amanda’s Domestic Adventures and indicate what scent you’d like for the free candle and you’re in!”

June 21, 2010 at 7:50 pm 2 comments

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