Easter/Birthday Style WIR, WIAW and Survey

Thanks for all of your birthday wishes on Monday! They were very much appreciated and each one brightened my day, especially in the midst of mundane college classes.

Now it’s time for another party hosted by Peas and Crayons. WIAW!

To start, a fun ABC survey that has been circling around the blog-o-sphere for awhile (and I’m sure you are all tired of by now!):

A. Age: As of 8:01 PM Monday… 19 years old!

B. Bed size: Twin loft bed at school. Queen at home.

C. Chore you dislike: There is not really a chore I dislike per say, but the context that it’s in can make a world of difference. For example, ask me to take out the dog during the summer and I’d say OK! Ask me in the winter and I’ll give you the death glare though. 🙂

D. Dogs: Love them. I have two right now, one inside and one outside. Our cairn terrier Lilly is inside, and Riley our mix is outside.

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E. Essential start to your day: My alarm clock, breakfast (no question about that, I would die from hunger without it), and brushing my teeth (<<< I hate going through the day with the feeling of having not brushed my teeth!).

F. Favorite color: Pink.

G. Gold or silver: I’m not much of a jewelry person at all really. I wear the same diamond earring studs everyday which are gold, but most of the time I tend to buy silver pieces because those seem to be younger/more modern.

H. Height: 5’6″

I. Instruments you play(ed): I can play the clarinet fairly well as I was in band for 8 years during school.

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J. Job title: Past job titles: Babysitter, Tutor. Current job title: Student. Future job titles: internist, accountant.

K. Kids: Well, I’m assuming this is asking if I have any kids, to which the answer is a definite NO. However, I love kids. My favorite thing to do at church is volunteer or supervise in the nursery. And every summer since eighth grade (not this year though… *sniff sniff*) I worked in the nursery for Vacation Bible School.

L. Live: Midwest United States. Our house is in the country surrounded by cornfields on some 15 or so acres of land.

M. Mom’s name: Eh, I would rather not share that right now 🙂

N. Nicknames: Maddy is the only nickname that people ever called me.

O. Overnight hospital stays: A few I think… I had jaundice when I was a baby, so I had to stay for awhile because of that.

P. Pet peeves: A few “ranty” ones: people who cheat/lie and get away with it, social media hounds, when someone is constantly on the computer or texting, and when people can’t see how fake some others are.

Q. Quote from a movie: 

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R. Righty or lefty: Righty.

S. Siblings: Brother (16).

T. Time you wake up: Weekdays from 6:00-7:00. Weekends from 5:30-8:30… It really depends.

U. Underwear: ?? Yes. Underwear is nice.

V. Vegetables you don’t like: Radishes and… That’s basically it!

W. What makes you run late: Anything and everything.

X. X-rays you’ve had: Do ultrasounds count? If so, I’ve had two of those.

Y. Yummy food you make: I would like to think that all of the food I make is yummy! 😉

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Monkeys! Before leaving the zoo each time I always begged my mom to buy one of those stuffed monkeys in the gift shop that you could attach around your neck with Velcro. It worked… About half the time.

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And it’s time for another Week in Review!

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  • I posted my usual WIAW last week with my favorite recipe for soup: Kabocha and peas.

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  • On Friday I skipped talking about food for once and wrote about something a little more serious. All of your comments were so supportive and awesome! Look for a response from me soon!
  • As I stated in my Wednesday post, I was rather busy with school last week. Three papers and two exams. I feel pretty good about them all!

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  • On Friday night I stayed in and watched this movie with my mom:

lol

  • Don’t hate on Miley Cyrus or Demi Moore as it was actually rather good!
  • During the day Saturday I did a little shopping and got together a little present for one of my friends whose birthday happens to be the day before mine!

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  • On Saturday night I went with my parents and met up with a few of my friends to the local Opera House to watch Oz: The Great and Powerful. 

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  • Sunday morning I woke up to find this large post-it taped to my door from the Easter Bunny. Yes, it’s extremely childish, but it’s tradition! My mom makes up a small Easter basket for my brother, my dad and I, then she goes and hides it somewhere.  Any guesses where I found mine?

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  • This year my mom was also inspired to do a little Easter egg hunt outside. My dad hid the eggs and my mom wrote down where they were (we’ve had trouble remembering in the past!). My brother and I each had six to find, his were yellow, green and blue, and mine were purple, pink and orange. At the end we were both left with one that we couldn’t find, and funny enough we both knew where each other’s was!

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  • I made my parents some waffles for breakfast from this recipe (I used 1/4 cup acorn squash, only 1 tbsp honey and ghee for the fat options).

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  • That morning we also got dressed up in our springy colors and went to church. Then afterwards we drove to a local Chinese buffet to have lunch with my uncle, cousins, aunts, and grandparents. (I had a bowl of soup on the way over and just a glass of water at the restaurant). 
  • Then when I got home I packed up everything for school and my mom gave me a small birthday present. Next weekend we’ll do our traditional shopping for real so that I can pick up a few things. 

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  • Two episodes of Duck Dynasty were thus consumed rapidly by the family– None of them had ever seen it before!

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  • And for those that worried about my lack of cake… I had some. Sort of. I had to get a little creative and made some flour out of dehydrated peas. Try it. Green pea flour is awesome!
  • To make the “cake” it was quite easy and for those needing nutritionally-dense food on the go, I would say it was rather good. Like a single-serving green monster cake!

Single-Serving Green Monster Cake

High protein, grain/gluten/wheat-free, egg-free, nut-free, dairy-free, paleo/Gaps-friendly

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup green pea flour
  • 1/2 cup mashed acorn squash (banana or another mashed squash would work well too)
  • 1 tbsp organic honey
  • 1 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients well. (I used a food processor- It will be a rather thick batter)
  3. Scoop into a 1-cup sized ramekin. Bake for 25 minutes. Eat warm or cool. This would also be awesome topped with a nut butter!

Hmm… Strange But Good worthy, no?

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  • I took a few bites to satisfy my (green) cake craving, but no more because I didn’t want to be sick on my birthday from deviating from my regular meat and veggie routine! 😉
  • Boring-ness resumed just minutes later as I made my way back to school listening to some audio books in the car.
  • Then April Fool’s Day.

And that’s last week in review. I hope this one goes just as well, and I can’t wait to celebrate my birthday for real this Saturday!

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QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

Share a few ABCs about yourself!

How did you celebrate Easter?

What was the highlight of your week?

Have you seen LOL or Oz yet?

Animal Crackers in my Soup (WIAW and WIR)

Even though it’s not Friday, I have a confession to make:

I almost didn’t post today.

*Gasp* Shocker, right?! I’m not sure that I’ve missed a Wednesday since I’ve started this blog. And as you will be able to tell from my Week in Review portion of today’s post, I’ve been busy up the wazoo.

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So, let’s review (in bullet form of course), shall we? 🙂

  • Last week I published two posts on my usual Wednesday and Friday.
  • I also shared two recipes last week- one for soup, and the other for blueberry muffins. Both grain-free and oh-so-yummy.

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  • Over the weekend I made this lovely pear crisp for my family (recipe will be up soon!):

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  • I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower. What else can I say except that I loved it and want to watch it again soon?! It was a great classic coming of age story, but had many more modern elements which I really liked. The three main characters were fantastic.
  • Also in the past few days I’ve gotten two calls, both about summer internships. One I didn’t get, but the other I did (remember my WIAW trip post for this one?). Still unsure of what to do, but I have until Friday to decide!
  • This week I have two exams, and three papers due, hence the confession above. *Fingers crossed for all five*

And that wraps up my Week in Review portion of this Wednesday post! Thanks Meghan 🙂

Now, the WIAW portion will be a little shorter than normal today, but I couldn’t skip it entirely because I didn’t want to miss out on the last week of GREEN!

Anybody remember this song from when they were younger?

I honestly never watched the movie, but it seemed like every commercial break on TV had an advertisement with Shirley Temple singing this song. Last week I randomly started singing it and I thought that it would be the perfect title for a blog post!

Just exchange the crackers with critters and you’re good to go 😉

Wiaw-soup-veggies-critters

(Picture inspired by Heather’s Springy Dippin.)

Kabocha Squash and Pea Soup

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Egg and Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, GAPS/Paleo-Friendly

1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/2-1 cup kaboca squash (cooked using this method)
  • 1 cup cooked chicken
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cup chicken broth (you could also use water but it wouldn’t be as flavorful)
  • sea salt if desired

Directions:

  1. Put all of the ingredients into a pot and heat on high until boiling.
  2. Once boiling reduce to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Let cool for at least ten minutes, sprinkle with sea salt if desired and enjoy!

wiaw-kabocha-squash-pea-soup

Time to study some more! Happy WIAW everyone!

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What are some highlights from your week so far?

Have you seen Perks of Being a Wallflower? What did you think?

Is it still cold where you’re at? Have you made any soup yet this year?

It’s Never Too Late to Be Green

“I don’t want to run anymore. I’ll tell you everything.”

“I wish you would.”

Great lines. Great Movie. Any idea what they’re from?

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So… I procrastinated, and now I have an excel Personal Budget due in my MIS class tomorrow. It’s mostly done except for some reorganization and minor recalculations. However, this results in me probably being even more scattered (and possibly more chatty?) than usual. I’m especially frustrated because my teacher didn’t really give us a desired format, just shouted out some important parts and told us to “create it from scratch.” Crueler words were never spoken.

 

But alas, at least I have something to smile about. Actually, this is probably my favorite day to post every single week. Does anyone else feel that way about What I Ate Wednesday? No matter what else is going on, I love reading all of the WIAWs and getting to chat with some awesome ladies! Plus, the foodie goodness doesn’t hurt either 😉

I didn’t post any special recipes for last week in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day (I know it’s the cool girl thing to say “St. Patty’s Day” but I’ve never heard it called that before this year, so call me old-fashioned!). There were many great green recipes floating around WIAW world, but since it is still March, I’m not late yet.

I also figured what with Winter being over tomorrow (or today depending on when you read this), what better a time to finally post a recipe for soup? It’s “souper” simple. Baha. And is really rather plain Jane, but I just love the combination of vegetables. It’s probably one of my favorites, second only to a combination with kabocha.

Green, Mean, Fighting Soup Machine

High protein, Allergen-Free, Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Nut/Coconut-Free, Egg-Free, GAPS/Paleo Friendly

1 generous serving

Wiaw-zucchini-pea-soup[2]

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chicken (or beef), cooked
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen or fresh
  • 2 cups homemade chicken (or beef) stock (storebought would work too)
  • Seasonings: sea salt, fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Peel and slice the zucchini. Add all of the ingredients to a small pot and heat on high until boiling. 
  2. Once the soup is boiling, cover and reduce to low to simmer for 20-30 minutes. 
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Pour into bowl and serve with sea salt and fresh rosemary sprinkled on top.

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Note: This recipe has a good combination of fat from the broth, carbohydrates from the vegetables, and protein from the meat. If you use store bought broth, consider drizzling olive oil or coconut oil onto your soup after it is cooked so that you don’t lose out on all of those nutritious fatty acids! Also, I peel my zucchini because the skin is hard for me to digest. If you don’t have digestive issues, keep the skin on and wish it before slicing.

Shared on: Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Real Food WednesdaysWheat-Free Wednesday

Also, in the spirit of everything green, I want to share a few of the cool “green,” eco-friendly diy projects that I’ve spotted on various websites in the past few weeks:

Ombre-Painted Mason Jars for Storing Things:

Spray Painted Cheese Grater = Earring Holder:

More Mason Jar Love with Homemade Soap Dispensers:

Crocheted T-Shirt Rug:

It’s never too late to be green, even if March 17th is past. We still have another week of WIAW to go! 🙂

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Do you know what movie those lines at the beginning are from?

What green food did you concoct to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Have you ever made any eco-friendly projects? Share!

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Look soon for an upcoming recipe that I made this past weekend:

Wiaw-muffins[1]

Wiaw-muffin[1]

Peas Please! (WIAW)

You guys are fantastic, do you know that? There have been literally so many comments in the past few days that I just haven’t been able to answer them all! Plus, I have “life overload” right now. School work, internship applications, summer job applications (What?! There is still snow on the ground for crying out loud!), and lots of things to do when I’m home on the weekends…

Like going to basketball games. And working in the concession stand during varsity basketball games— Let me tell you: it’s crazy! My weekends also involve a lot of fun food stuff:

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Look for a future post on this gluten-free bread sometime soon! My mom and dad cannot say enough good things about it, so I’ll just take their word that it’s amazing 🙂

This WIAW month however is not about bread. It’s about vegetables!

For starters, let’s talk about how amazing peas are.

wiaw-sweet-peas-close

Peas Please!

Just a few fun facts that I found interesting regarding these lovely green seeds (Source): 

  • Peas are relatively high in protein compared to other vegetables (5.4 grams per serving).
  • Two of the most popular types are sugar snap and snow peas.
  • Peas have been around for a very long time. The oldest was found in a cave in Burma dating back 9750 years.

Here are a few of the ways that I have been enjoying this awesome vegetable lately:

Shepherd’s Pie

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Cooked Peas and Beef Pot Roast

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Cauliflower “Rice” Risotto

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I have been eating a lot of other vegetables as well, in the form of Chicken, Carrot and Yellow Squash Soup (with Coconut Oil)

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And Spaghetti!

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I can’t even remember the last time that I had spaghetti. It has probably been almost a year. With wheat allergies and grain sensitives, regular pasta is out. And with an allergy to tomatoes, traditional spaghetti sauce is also not an option. So, I had to get a little creative in the kitchen. It ended up turning out pretty tasty, despite the nontraditional colors!

Tomato and Grain-Free Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Allergy-free, Tomato-Free, Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Egg-Free, Milk-Free, Nut-Free, Low Carb, Paleo, GAPS Diet Friendly

1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spaghetti squash (cooked using the oven method)
  • 1 cup grass-fed ground beef (cooked in beef broth)
  • 2 cups broth (I used beef broth)
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2-2/3 cup squash, raw or cooked (I used butternut squash, but any kind would work)
  • sea salt and other seasonings to taste (black pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic/onion powder, parsley, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Prepare the spaghetti squash and ground beef.
  2. In a medium-sized pan add the broth, zucchini and squash puree. Bring to a boil and cook about 10 minutes or until zucchini is tender (cook longer if the squash is raw as well).
  3. Drain the vegetables and place in a food processor. Blend until well combined and smooth. Mix in the ground beef.
  4. In a serving bowl measure out the cooked spaghetti squash, then top with the meat sauce. Season with sea salt and any other desired seasonings. Enjoy!

Note: After baking the spaghetti squash I like to cook a single serving in more broth to make it tender and more flavorful!

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So far this is as close as I have been able to come in replicating the taste of spaghetti and meat sauce with the restrictions that I have. I’ve heard that carrots can also be a great substitute for tomato in recipes, so I’ll have to try that out next.

I have to say though, that for those without food allergies, this probably seems like a pretty odd recipe. Some may even call it strange.

Yep, that’s right! This spaghetti recipe is going to join the ranks of others in Sprint 2 the Table’s Strange But Good recipe link-up this Friday!

Sprint 2 the Table

And now I must say farewell my blogging friends! I’m off to study some MIS vocabulary for an exam tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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Do you ever get a “life overload”?

Have you eaten any peas lately? What fact surprised you the most about them?

What is your favorite Strange But Good combo for the week?