Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Obsessions of the February Variety

     Time for the February edition of “obsessions”;  simply the things I’m looovin on right now

-       MaraNatha Almond Butter:  FOUND for HALF the price sold at my regular grocery store at (drumroll) walmart.  A serious money saving steal right there… and I see they have dark chocolate almond butter now.  To purchase or not to purchase – any one tried this (let me guess… fabulous)?  Ps. if you've never had MaraNatha - skip the butter knife & bread... delve in with a spoon.

-       Homemade Bread:  I’ve always loved homemade bread, but have actually been baking it lately.  Warmed in the oven with a little earth balance and sprinkled cinnamon is one of my top fave bed time snacks right now – ahhhh.  Favorite recipe right now (vegan modification of a King Arthur Flour recipe):
   2 3/4 cups whole wheat or unbleached flour
         3/4 teaspoon salt
         1/2 tablespoon agave nectar
         2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
         4 tablespoons softened earth balance
         2/3 to 3/4 cup lukewarm water

1) Combine all of the ingredients, and beat at high speed, using an electric mixer, for 2 minutes. To use your bread machine, put everything in the bucket, and let the dough go through its dough or manual cycle; skip to step 3 below if you're using a bread machine.
2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or rising bucket, cover it, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it's noticeably puffy.
3) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 12 small pieces.
4) Shape the dough into balls, and place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
5) Gently flatten the buns with your hand
6) Cover the buns, and let them rise for another 60 to 90 minutes, until they're noticeably puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
7) Bake the buns for about 20 minutes, until they're a light, golden brown
8) Remove the buns from the oven, transfer them to a rack, allow the buns to cool completely, then store airtight at room temperature.
9) Eat with any of your favorite toppings OR use as a conventional roll for a sandwich, veg burg, etc.

-       Pinkpinkpink: let me clarify, I typically hate pink.  But right now, nail polishes, baked goods, and the everything of the pink lovey dovey variety are totally appealing… it’s the valentine season, c’mon ;)
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-       Tofu Nugs: Dipped in ketchup… aka, the least classy way to eat tofu.  Heres how I’ve been bakin em (I also just like to say “nugs”):

Press tofu 20 mins to 2 hours.  In a small bowl combine 1 TBS worcestshire, splash of lemon juice, 1 tsp rice vingegar, 2 TBS honey mustard, 1 tsp of honey/agave/brown sugar, and a pinch of black pepper.  Stir together.  Slice tofu block thinly (about 1/3 of an inch) into small squares.  Marinate for a minimum of an hour (max time is totally up to you).  Put your oven on broil (high) and broil nugs 5-7 mins on each side (until they start to crisp).  Now dip in your fave super classy sauces!! Ketchup, BBQ, more mustard, however you liiike it!

-       Kashi warm cinnamon heart to heart cereal:  I laaahhhveee cinnamon and again, told ya I was way into the valentine season.  Plus, boxes are only 2.99 right nowww

-       Blueberry Muffin Larabars:  binging on these right now… not sure why

-       Michael Fassbender: this guy is suave, charming, and a little bit creepy.  Totally current crush right now – and I literally just learned his name while perusing an oscar edition of Newsweek.  He's totally the man of the hour, though, popping up in several films (my fave being the newest x-men!!)
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-       Strength Training!:  I have never really understood the ins and outs of this until recently, so I’d do a few basic arm workouts and call it good – I also always steered away from the free weights section of the gym because the giant men in wifebeaters pumpin iron freaked me out.  Now, working with a strength training plan is proving to be an invigorating and intense workout… and guess what?  It makes me feel strong which I totally dig.
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-Upbeat Jams – check out these two songs and pump them up whilst you werk out. 

What are your current obsessions/can'tlivewithout's?

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