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Thursday Thoughts, XXVI

1. Am I the only one fascinated by what other people eat? Apparently not.

My latest fascination is this website, The Grub Street Diet. Basically, someone semi-famous documents five days worth of eating and the results are super interesting. Dorie Greenspan drinks Starbucks coffee? Compelling stuff.

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And if you care what I ate for lunch yesterday, it was crepe day in the cafe. Enough said.

2. For whatever reason, I’m running faster these days.

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I used to run an irritatingly consistent 10 minute mile. Now I’ve miraculously (consistently) cut about 30 seconds from that time. I don’t know why. But I am documenting exactly what I ate/did/wore on those days so I can mirror it before the Race for the Roses.

3. Recipes I want to try:

Cinnamon Chocolate Babka Muffins

Cinnamon Sugar Popovers

Chocolate Almond Spread (maybe I could add cinnamon?)

4. We just got back from “Space Night,” hosted by Miss Rae’s preschool.

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It was pretty epic with black lights (thus my kinda weird pictures), glow in the dark bracelets, star cookies and tons of space games and activities.

5. Love the hair.

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Love the girl.

Lavender Shortbread

Kind of amazing things happen when you don’t have wifi.

An explanation will follow, but first, a story.

We’re not big TV people, but I love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and, you know, football. So, from a few days before Thanksgiving until a few days after the Super Bowl, we have cable. Once the big game is over, we discontinue for the remainder of the year until it’s turkey time again. Who needs TV during the summer? Not us.

Anyway, as according to plan, we cancelled cable, but in the process of this, something went wrong with our wifi. Something so wrong that we haven’t had wifi at home for 3 days.

Something happened in those three days that doesn’t happen as often as it should.

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I read a book. Ok, ok, it was a cookbook, but still!

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Reading a book inspired me to make lavender shortbread.

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Remembering that Miss Rae’s “Space” party is coming up inspired me to make them into star shapes.

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With sparkly sugar crystals. Obviously.

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And I’d like to believe that smelling the delicious buttery shortbread smells coming from my oven might have inspired the Charter dudes to fix our wifi faster.

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I did offer to share.

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They did accept the offer.

And kind of amazing things happen when you don’t have wifi.

P.S. The wifi is fixed.

P.P.S. I’m really happy.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

If we built a fire tonight, were we early or late?

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I mean, are we late for fall camping, or early for spring camping? (And do soy hot dogs on the back patio qualifiy as “camping”?)

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But I’m tired of winter. I’m tired of seeing my breath when I run. I’m tired of packing and repacking hats and gloves in the the kiddo’s backpacks. I’m tired of using my space heater at work (ok, that’s a lie. I love my space heater) and I’m tired of runny noses (mine and others).

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So I consider this a “Please Spring, come out and play!” fire.

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We were gonna have s’mores. But we didn’t have marshmallows or chocolate and graham crackers by themselves just didn’t seem special enough.

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So I made these fat, fluffy, snickerdoodles. I doubled the salt (accidentally) and omitted the milk because the dough was plenty soft without it.

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And the new tradition is warm cookies by a campfire.

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And let’s be real, while I say I’m pining for spring, it’s really summer that I’m looking for…

Maple Citrus Marinade

I was going to tell you about soy sauce today.

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I was going to tell you that soy sauce does awesome things to controversial veggies like Brussels sprouts and kale and asparagus.

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I was going to tell you that soy sauce shaken with maple syrup, orange juice, olive oil, garlic, and ginger makes the best marinade ever.

Shake well. Very well.

I was going to tell you how awesome this dinner (with roasted tofu) made me feel as I’m still recovering from Valentine gluttony.

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Instead I’m going to tell you that even though people say soy sauce helps with burns, it doesn’t!

It’s a classic kitchen mistake. Pan with hot oil. Hastily trying to get dinner on the table. Tossing a handful of cubed tofu into the hot oil.

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Scalding oil splashed onto my arm and burned me. Bad.

I immediately ran the burn under cold water and then Matty B brought me the soy sauce.

Maybe I was supposed to put the soy sauce on first, before the cold water.

Maybe I didn’t leave it on long enough.

Maybe soy sauce is an old wives tale and I should’ve used burn ointment like a normal person.

Needless to say, I’m currently icing three burn blisters.

Soy sauce is good. Use it on vegetables.

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Don’t use it on burns.

Thankfully, the marinade was good enough that I wasn’t burned out on dinner. See what I did there?

Ok, ok, sorry.

My apology is a marinade recipe.

Maple Citrus Marinade

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Shake shake shake.

Combine with veg of your choice in a ziplock and let marinate. Mine only sat for 30 minutes. Dump contents of bag onto a baking sheet and roast at 400 for 45-60 minutes.

Thursday Thoughts, XXV

1. This is what a cup of tea looks like in 22 different countries.

Fascinating! Also, this is what my cup of tea looks like.

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Keurig black tea with a splash of coconut almond milk.

2. So, J Man is desperately trying to learn how to tie his shoes. For school days, his shoes are still Velcro so we don’t have any problems M-F, but Saturday is a different story.

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This is what he ended up with last weekend (after 15 painful minutes of me saying “need help?” and getting his huffy no reply).

Apparently they came untied at church because he got help from Dr. Carpenter who tells the nature story.

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HOW DO YOU TEACH KIDS HOW TO TIE THEIR SHOES???

3. Miss Rae informed me today that she no longer eats bread. What?!?! To be clear, she told me a few days ago that she doesn’t like the color pink anymore either which is a boldfaced lie. But if she holds on to this bread fast, I may introduce this Fairy Toast. What 3 year old wannabe princess would turn down toast with sprinkles?

4. I celebrated President’s Day with my two favorite presidents: Jackson and Reagan.

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We named them as such because we have high political aspirations for their future.

5. Chocolate covered nutter butter for the win!

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Go to Alexander’s Chocolates in Pendleton. Buy one of everything.

Steel Cut Quick Oats

More than ever before, time is valuable.

And my actions as of late seem to echo this sentiment.

Like today, when I totally forgot that I promised to make cookies for J Man’s school. 30 minute lunch break. 1 cup of sugar. 1 cup of peanut butter. 1 egg.
350 degrees for 10 minutes. Done and done.

Or last weekend when we used a cookie mix to make valentine dessert.

Or a couple of weeks ago when dinner was waffles from a mix.

Or what about my Seahawks cupcakes…from a mix.

It seems that the Holley who used to shun Sandra Lee and her semi-homemade ways, has now embraced the concept of Bisquick and quick oats.

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However, even Sandra Lee has her standards and I’m happy to report that these Steel Cut quick oats are pretty good!

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I’ve always been a fan of steel cut oats, but they really truly take forever to cook. My typical solution to this is an overnight crockpot scenario, but sometimes my breakfast mood changes overnight and I don’t want the thing in the crockpot.

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My regular rolled oats cook for five minutes. These new steel cut oats cook for five minutes. No time wasted and I like these oats so much better. Especially topped with raspberries, bananas and…

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Honey Sunflower Butter. Everyone has time for that!

P.S. Quaker didn’t pay me in money or oatmeal to write this post, but they should…

Homemade Corndogs

Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real.

A perfect example is most celebrities. Not much real going on there. Unless you’re talking about Brian Williams and I adore him and believe that every word he’s ever said is true! Come back to NBC, Brian! says the girl who doesn’t have cable and hasn’t watched TV since the Super Bowl.

Another example of blurring the lines between real and fake is sitting on my dining room table.

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That, my friends, is a plastic plant sitting in a mason jar of water. All the credit, of course, goes to J Man and Miss Rae. They’ve got their mommy’s green black thumb.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real.

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I grew up on soy products. There’s no ill-will involved in this statement. I feed my children soy products. I have no guilt. But the other day I looked at the ingredients on these corn dogs.

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Why is there Blue #1 in these corn dogs? Nothing about them is close to blue? Also, what is hydrolyzed torula?

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So I took matters into my own hands.

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Caveat: there’s probably some questionable material in these soy hot dogs too, but my batter/breading was made of things like milk (which contains milk), cornmeal (which contains corn) and honey (which contains honey…and maybe bee legs. Whatever.)

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I used this recipe for homemade corndogs and not only do they use real ingredients, they’re baked, not fried, which makes me feel somewhat virtuous.

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Other than adding an additional tablespoon of flour to the dough (it seemed a little too soft to wrap around the hotdogs and maintain shape), I followed the recipe exactly.

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The consensus? Matty B and I actually really liked them. The kids didn’t. I don’t know why.

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Don’t trust them. These are the same people who are still waiting for the plastic plant in the dining room to bloom.

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