Bring on the Heat (Plus WIAW and Recipe!)

Well, summer is certainly not over yet! That much is clear from the absolutely scorching temperatures that we had today. It’s quite deceiving to wake up in my dorm room to probably 65 degree frigid air and try to decide what to wear. A smart person would in fact check weather.com; however today I had my 8:00 am class so all that I was interested in was breakfast and high-tailing it out of there.

What was my clothing of choice? A blue, long sleeve thermal shirt and skinny jeans. I kid you not.

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It was actually this shirt that I got for Christmas. Just swap the pajama pants for real pants. Now that I think about it, I think this shirt might possibly be meant for nighttime use only… Oh well.

For the sake of clarity it’s not really a thermal shirt as in say, oh I don’t know, long johns… But it sure felt that way from the looks that I was getting as I crossed campus later on. My fellow 8:00 am classmates all apparently missed the memo too so I was blissfully unaware of the lurking heat until I stepped outside after class was over.

That and the fact that my Business Communications teacher declared that we were going to be having a heat index of 100 degrees as she laughed out our choice of pants. Yes. Laughed.

I have to say that during my World Cultures Music class today though it was my turn to laugh as while the rest of the students were cold in their short shorts and tank tops I was just right (minus my uncovered sandal-adorned feet).

If you would like an exhibit of the immense heat that was felt by all in a 100 mile radius, check out this little guy that I snapped a picture of:

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Before you ask NO he is NOT dead. I checked.

He was just one tuckered out dude. I would imagine that he could have really gone for a glass of cold lemonade or a nice Popsicle…

Or perhaps some vegan biscuits?

Is that a nod of your head that I SEE sense?

Glad you agree. 😉

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Grain-Free Vegan Biscuits

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free Option, Sugar-free, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly

Makes 4 ramekins

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (ghee or butter works too)
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (use a seed flour to make nut-free)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, italian seasoning, rosemary (depending on taste preference)
  • 1/2-1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease/oil 4 ramekins (you could also do approximately 6-8 muffin tins).
  2. Mix flaxseed and water in a medium sized bowl. Let set for a few minutes to thicken (or microwave to quicken process).
  3. Add the coconut oil and combine well.
  4. Then add the coconut flour, almond flour, sea salt, and seasonings. Mix thoroughly.
  5. At this point you will need to add in the coconut milk. Add in about 1/2 cup to start and increase by spoonfuls until the mixture is beginning to stick together (it should be very thick, but not crumbly/pourable.
  6. Mix in the baking soda.
  7. Distribute the dough evenly between the ramekins and use a spatula to spread out.
  8. Bake for around 30 minutes or until they are golden brown on top. Slice and serve however you wish.

Note: The biscuits are moist on the inside so for something like a sandwich I sliced the biscuits in half, put them open face on a baking sheet, and baked them for about 10-15 extra minutes will I was preparing the sandwich fillings. This made them much crispier but it all depends on your preference!

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For serving ideas, these biscuits would make great bases for breakfast sandwiches (egg, tofu, bacon, cheese, etc.), topped with gravy for biscuits and gravy, or made into burgers like I did:

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Grass-fed burgers topped with sautéed onions in ghee and paired homemade butternut squash fries on the side.

Thanks to Jenn for hosting this weekly shindig, even though she is obviously super busy with her little bundle of joy (Congrats! 🙂 ). Still, why don’t you head on over and give her a big virtual hug. And check out all of the amazing WIAW food link-ups!

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Questions for you:

How has the temperature been for you recently?

What is your favorite way to eat biscuits?

Are there a lot of friendly little squirrels where you are at?

What recipes/food pictures did you share today?

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Edited to add:

I basically forgot that today was September 11. At first I was really angry with myself in forgetting, but it really made me realize that our country has come so far from that day. It used to be when I was younger that people talked about what happened all of the time. Conspiracy theories especially, which did absolutely no credit to the men and women who lost their lives on those flights, or the brave people who lost their lives trying to save them. I just want to take a second to say how grateful I am to be living in this country, and also how thankful I am to all of those who protect and serve us.

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(Source)

I was in Elementary school when planes went down. I remember my second grade teacher turning on the television to the news footage for just a few minutes. I was young and couldn’t really comprehend what was going on. I had no idea that the twin towers ever existed let alone the fact that they were now just rubble. Maybe that’s why I don’t remember that day in an emotional context for me personally.

What I do remember is the emotions from that day forward however and how much it affected the lives of our country. My heart is with all of those who knew someone affected by the events on September 11.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

Quite the Collection (WIAW)

Okey dokey. Like I said on Friday’s post, I have a lot to share in the upcoming weeks, so let’s just jump right in and get started. Up first are some recent, random pictures from the end of my summer and the beginning of school.

My mom, being a middle school teacher, started class a few days before me, so I helped her with some back-to-school crafts! (Both Pinterest-inspired of course).

The first one was for her open house. We made all of her students these cute pencils… out of Rolos!! My mom did most of this craft in wrapping the candy rolls in the pink/yellow paper and aluminum foil. I went out and picked up some sticky dots at the dollar store to attach the Hershey kisses. I think the turned out adorable and provided that extra boost of excitement to the beginning of the year.

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The next craft we did was for my mom’s fellow teachers. This one was much simpler but extremely useful. Basically she just typed up all of the teacher’s names on her computer in a nice font, printed them out, cut them out, and then I modge-podged the names onto one side of a binder clip. At only $1.00 for a pack, this craft literally cost pennies apiece. As a final precaution I also modge-podged over top of the names to make sure that they didn’t peel off. Within a few hours they were completely dry and ready to go.

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There were a few leftover binder clips so I got to keep them. Instead of putting my name on the clips I just took a black permanent marker and decorated them in cool designs. I didn’t think I’d really use them but I’ve already employed one for holding all of my Astronomy homework assignments together.

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You can also throw in some school and clothes shopping in there as well, but sadly I don’t have many pictures of that. I can say however that I got some excellent deals. For clothes my mom and I went to our favorite thrift store and each walked out with two huge bags full of name brand clothing in great condition. I think I paid around $65 for about 20 or so things (pants, capris, long sleeve shirts, sweaters, skirts…) and my mom paid a little less (she got a boatload of capris- 10 maybe? All Eddie Bauer, Loft, etc.). For shoes we went to the closest outlet mall about 45 minutes away and I found two pairs of shoes. One pair of new tennis shoes for $35 and another pair of slip-ons for around $!5 when it was all said and done (50% second pair!).

Now let’s move on to the bulk of today’s pictures. No recipes today (sorry!) because as soon as I’m done here I’ve got some Accounting and Statistics homework to work on.

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Let’s leave homework out of our minds for just a few more minutes though, okay? I’ve great a great collection here of four things that I’ve made recently and I hope that you all enjoy them!

In order of creation:

Chocolate Pancakes

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Or carob pancakes. Whichever you prefer. I just made these based off of my Unbelievably Grain-Free Berry Pancakes (minus the berries), substituting 1/4 cup of carob powder for the almond flour. They turned out well; however next time I will try adding an additional source of moisture like maybe an avocado or an extra banana (we were out of both when I made these for my parents so I couldn’t experiment).

Grain-Free and Vegan Biscuits

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Along with these biscuits I also made up some great sandwiches so I’ll be sure to post about those soon too.

Strawberry and Carob Chip Pancakes

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I made these pancakes as part of Sarah Pie’s Chopped Kitchen Challenge. I’m linking up today sans recipe but will be sharing it soon and add in the link here for future reference later.

Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

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That’s right! Grain/Gluten-Free Pancakes that are also Vegan.

Alrighty. I know that’s kind of cruel to leave you hanging, but I’ve really got to get a move-on! Pages to read and financial statements to analyze… You know how it is 😉

After you leave a comment here, don’t forget to check out the hundreds of other bloggers who posted their delicious eats today. Thanks Jenn 😀

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Questions for you:

What has been your most successful Pinterest creation thus far? (If you have never made anything off Pinterest, what are you planning to make in the future?)

How has the weather been in your area recently? Last week it was positively steaming over here, but thankfully things have cooled down a bit to the mid 70s. It’s also not rained much yet while I’ve been at school, but it was wet at home over the weekend.

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Happy Wednesday everybody!

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free) WIAW

Gosh, I really should have saved that time meme for today.

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Good thing Pinterest supplies me with an endless stream of pictures.

I guess I just underestimated how busy I would be. Last semester I had one roommate. This semester I have FIVE. That’s five times the people to talk to. And three additional people who are always mulling around when you count some of their boyfriends. So really it’s nine times the people who I have compared to before to talk with.

On Sunday night when I should have been sleeping I instead stayed up until 11:00pm (REAL late, I know! 😉 ). And what was I doing you may ask? Living the college dream? Partying it up? Gorging myself on 5 dollar pizzas and special delivery cookies the size of my head? Um, no, no and no.

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

We played Catch Phrase for about three hours straight.

And that’s what you get when you live with all Honors students. Ha.

With all of that insane “busyness” I haven’t had any time to bake. Actually, being away from home I probably won’t do any baking at college because I’d have no one to eat my grain-free, vegan experiments!

Thankfully I did a whole lot of baking the week before I left though so I have plenty to fill the empty (?) pages of my blog 🙂

Exhibit A: A new take on my Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls!

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, No Refined Sugar, GAPS/Paleo-Friendly

Makes six cinnamon rolls

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Ingredients:

Roll Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed + 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup to be vegan)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (butter/ghee works wonderful here too)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Filling ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (enough to cover the entire dough)
  • 1 large apple or 2 small apples, peeled and shredded

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Topping ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened

* You can use any kind of topping here. Greek yogurt + honey would be a good one. As would applesauce, nut butter, just a plain drizzle of honey or maple syrup. More cinnamon? You can never have too much cinnamon :D

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flax seed and water together in a medium-sized bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until thick.
  3. Add the remaining liquid ingredients stirring well.
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients until well combined. Add more coconut flour if necessary so the dough is not sticky.
  5. Spread out another sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough into a large rectangle (I just used my hands and it worked fine!).
  6. Coat the dough with the 1 tbsp coconut oil and 1 tbsp honey for the filling. Next layer with the shredded apple and sprinkle with the cinnamon.
  7. Roll up the dough and cut into six equal pieces. Place each piece on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Meanwhile make the topping out of the honey and coconut oil.
  9. When the cinnamon rolls are done let cool slightly before topping and enjoying!

Notes: Next time I may use less apple because there may have been just a *little* too much filling. My parents immensely enjoyed the overstuffed rolls though. They just used a fork 🙂

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Have you all ever played Catchphrase before? It’s super fun, almost like another popular game but better because you don’t have to dance around and you can play sitting down. It’s like the lazy man’s charades.

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

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Question for you:

It’s moist, full of a delicious spice, extremely easy to make, and it’s calling your name. What is it? 😉

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Thank you Jenn for another lovely weekly round-up of the best food this blog world has to offer! Check out Peas and Crayons for this week’s top WIAW posts 🙂

What I Read on this Fabulous Wednesday (And a New Recipe)

And so it begins.

Seriously, I knew last semester was too good to be true. Yes, I did have homework, but as expected, I think this semester is going to be much much harder in regards to both in and out of class work. Yay me.

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It’s going great though! I’ve been reading some awesome books. I finished Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead before school even started. Right now I’m in the process of reading Frankenstein and The Search for Meaning, both great in their own right. Frankenstein, of course, is a gothic horror novel written by Mary Shelley. (So far it’s not too scary).What you may not know though is that it is also classified as a romantic piece and has beautiful prose that captures you right from Chapter 1.

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The Search for Meaning is just what it sounds like- a philosophical investigation into thinking about the meaning of life. The author goes through 8 different “worldviews” or approaches in determining your own personal meaning of life. My Great Ideas class is based on us learning about the 8 different worldviews, and reading literature that corresponds with each of them.

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My favorite class as of now may have to be Inquiry into Physics.

Any teacher that references Monty Python to make a point has an A+ in my book!

Other than school, things have been going just alright. Sadly I wasn’t feeling up to posting on Monday, but I sorely missed doing MIMM and reading blogs. Over the weekend I think I may have caught something and felt some ill side effects. I was doing pretty well on GAPS up until that point, but the weekend set me back a bit. Right now I’m trying to add back in some of the things that I had to eliminate, but I’m feeling much better now. I had planned on introducing some of the foods on the next stage of GAPS, but I’m going to wait until the upcoming weekend. I didn’t want to rush anything. Thankfully I was able to try some new vegetables, which you’ll see in my WIAW for this week. There is even a new recipe to share! Big, huge thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons.

Now to my recent eats:

Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Carrots and Yellow Squash “Pasta”

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Frozen Organic Sweet Peas cooked in broth

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Really tasty, but not very exciting, am I right? So, how about a new recipe? I haven’t shared one of those in a while. This is adapted from a recipe that I found on Heart of Cooking, an allergy-free menu planning website. I shared the link and picture on my last Friday Food Finds.

Cauliflower Rice Risotto

Vegan Option, GAPS Diet-Friendly, Allergy-Free, Low Calorie, Paleo

Adapted from Heart of Cooking

Makes 2 Servings

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup broth (any kind will work)
  • 1/2 cup mashed squash (butternut or acorn)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash the cauliflower and cut off the fibrous stem. Then pulse in a food processor until chopped up into small, rice-sized pieces.
  2. Over medium heat add the cauliflower pieces and half of the broth. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the broth is absorbed.
  3. Add the rest of the broth and cover to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Mix in the mashed squash, careful not to mash the cauliflower in the process (it’s supposed to resemble rice, not mashed potatoes!).
  5. Top with parsley and salt to serve. Refrigerate for at least once hour if you prefer cold risotto like me!

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This recipe makes a great side or snack. I had half for supper paired with some crock pot chicken and topped with coconut oil. Later on I ate the rest cold. Fantastic! Now I’m off to read some more Frankenstein, or Life of Pi, or one of the other gazillion books that I have to read. I haven’t decided yet.

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SO TELL ME…

What have you been reading lately?

What is your favorite movie to reference?