Thinking out loud #9

Short and sweet [you’ll notice my trouble here in #1] all I’ll say right now is: Let’s get celebrating the randomness with some Thinking out loud. Thanks to Amanda for hosting!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Thinking about myself sitting here and coming up with this post the first thing I can think of is that I have an unusual way of writing. Not only when it comes to blog posts but it’s something that surprised my colleagues at the newspaper, too: I start by writing whatever I’m working on at some random point, just letting my thoughts flow and write the introduction last. Coming up with a headline or post title is usually the very last step for me.

2. Can we just agree that frozen blueberries are a fantastic snack? When I was mentioning them yesterday I wasn’t talking about store-bought frozen blueberries [meh!] but those you buy fresh and freeze yourself. Granted, not a cheap option in winter and requiring that bit more of effort and patience. But so worth it.

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3. It’s the 10th birthday of Facebook this week. I’m not sure if that’s reason to celebrate or the time to join in with certain people’s mourning of a rising loss of privacy. Seeing how pretty handy it is, however [or would you remember everybody else’s birthdays without it?], I think I’d go with neither but just keep up my account. Sue me.

4. Slowly but surely I’m starting to get worried by my current klutz status. First the dangers of vegetable chopping, now hurting my toes while cutting my toe nails. Not so happy feet.

5. Oh, and did I mention dropping a glass two days ago? Luckily not one of my favourites but I still wasn’t too happy about the . Keeping my fingers crossed the old saying’s true and luck is headed my way. Definitely not found on the way to the bathroom, though, because I’ve still seen bits and pieces of broken glass ever since.

6. While I was driving back home “Walking on Sunshine” came on the radio and of all things the first thought that popped up in my head was: SingStar! Was anybody else crazy about this game back in the day? I [unsuccessfully] tried to find a throwback picture of one of my birthdays circa 2007 when all we did was sing more or less successful the whole night. For some reason we didn’t have school the next day but my parents had to get up for work and weren’t that enthusiastic about our lovely little concert. Oh, the good old times …

7. Sometimes I feel like the time I save by not cooking legumes from scratch is lost again when fighting with the can opener. Okay, I’m obviously exaggerating but am I the only one who has a hard time opening those lids? Or am I just missing the secret to using the can opener right??

Can opener

8. If you need some distraction of just want to heart to melt right now: These!

9. And speaking of cuteness I probably wasn’t quite altruistic when choosing to write two articles [with different foci] on midwives that included some work shadowing. Just today I got the chance to meet one the most adorable little men – awwwr. I didn’t even dare touching his tiny hands at first because he looked so tiny and fragile in his crib. Only nine days old …

10. Ending this super random post with a recent random purchase. Aren’t you jealous of my fancy ink erasers?!

ink erasers

… which will hopefully inspire me to get some more letters on their way again after I’ve been slacking a little lately.

Happiness inducing today: Some successful sweet and savoury recipe testing.

Happy Thursday!

 

Tell me something random!

Do you remember playing Singstar? What were your favourite songs?

How do you usually write posts? Does anybody else start randomly and finish with the introduction?

 

 

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Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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WIAW: Why so fluffy?

Would anybody like to let me know what exactly my stomach has been trying to tell me lately? An appetite that’s off the charts? Not exactly my favourite but fine, I can live with that knowing it’ll [usually] ebb off soon. Feeling a bit ‘fluffy’– it happens. But both at the same time with no change in sight? Not cool. Way not cool. However, such is life and instead of sitting around waiting for miracles to happen I pondered any possible recent changes in my life. All I could think of were miniscule amounts of new foods or those I hadn’t eaten before or  at least not in a while. So changing it up again it was and today’s What I ate Wednesday will give a glimpse in some of what I tried. Thanks to Jenn for hosting!

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Breakfast has always been the hardest meal to change up for me. I’m neither exactly creative nor patient in the morning. As a result I end up eating the same thing on end until I get so fed up with it I really feel an urge to change. Under these current circumstances, however, I knew changing this meal up, too, was my only chance to possibly find out what has been [yes, has not had as I’m still not sure] upsetting my stomach.

Baked blueberry pancake_Feb2014

And being the good blogger I decided to go with a common favourite that’s far from my usual breakfast[s]. Okay, another factor playing into my decision was seeing Robyn’s idea of baking any pancake recipe the night before making for a quick breakfast the next morning. The additional bonus: no flipping skills required and one dish less to clean up. Does anybody of you pancake fiends really enjoy cleaning the skillet? I’m okay with pots but skillets – especially those of the non-stick variety that require extra pampering – aren’t my favourites. But back to the pancake: a gluten-free protein oat & coconut flour pancake with fresh blueberries. It was okay. Not life-changing but nothing a bit of both almond and peanut butter [post-photo because I reheated it after snapping the pictures – no cold pancakes for me] couldn’t hide.

Pancake_II

Something I can’t forget to mention is my birthday lunch of choice. By far not the prettiest pictures [ugly, even] but it’s all you can get with impatient parents sitting at the table :(. Delicious nonetheless. Semmelknödel  – bread dumplings – here prepared using whole wheat buns which should excuse the even uglier than usual look – with orientally spiced sauerkraut. Trust me you actually really want to eat these.

Semmelknödel_Geburtstag

Even though I know the fibre in vegetables and legumes causes stomach woes for many people I couldn’t give them up just yet. Going with my cravings again after the not-so-satisfying breakfast I actually thought I was going to end up with a non-mention- or picture-worthy dish.

Giant white bean chiliTaking one bite, however, I knew I had to share it. While it started out as ‘just a chili’ I kept adding a little of this and a little of that ending up with a dish that’s good enough to deserve a mention. Brussels sprouts and giant white beans hadn’t made an appearance in far too long and their comeback had a tasty result. A perfect recipe for a cold day. But for now I’ll add it with my favourite snack [or second after apples and chocolate which share the first place ;)]: blueberries. The awesome deals at the stores continued so I couldn’t say no.

Blueberries

Writing this post Tuesday night I can’t tell if my changes made any difference yet but keeping my fingers crossed for a relaxing night of sleep after two rather uncomfortable ones. If not I’ll keep experimenting and possibly cutting out some other foods to see what works. What better day to get some inspiration in how to change it up than Wednesday?!  And with that I hope it’s a happy one for you!

Happiness inducing today: The many offers on my last post for listening to my rambles next time I need somebody to talk to. Just don’t start complaining once I get back to you ;).

Keep in touch:
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If you’ve ever experienced any discomfort or bloating despite not changing your diet:  how did you identify the triggers?

What is your go-to breakfast? I usually mix it up between a sweet and savoury option depending on what I feel like.

A naturally sweet celebration [Blogiversary giveaway]

Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments and wishes on my first blogiversary! It’s been an amazing time getting to know all of you so here’s to more months and years to come!

So yesterday was all about the most important part of blogging: the community. You! Today is about something else that’s awesome about blogging …

Bread pudding

Food! The second best aspect of blogging was and is broadening my palate with an amazing range of new foods – and talking about them obviously. New foods to me at least. I might have walked past it at the store a million times without noticing [sorry, almond butter]. At other times I had been reading about those foods on blogs forever yet had the hardest time ever finding them. One of those ingredients would be stevia. When I first heard of it I wouldn’t believe people saying it was an all-natural alternative to sugar that tasted just like the real deal. Memories of the artifical sweetener my grandma used for her tea came up … brrrr. Let’s not even get there … thanks, I’ll take my tea unsweetened. Nothing will ever stop my sweet tooth from raging, though, so I was super excited when NuNaturals offered to send me some of their products to try. Only when I picked up the package I was surprised to be spoiled with sweetness.

Stevia

And because a birthday calls for a party that’s what we’re going to have today. Come on, use your imagination. It’s the day between two awesome blogger parties [Marvelous in my Monday and What I ate Wednesday] which I naturally can’t and don’t want to rival. But there are cake and presents nonetheless. Are you in? Great!

Bread pudding

Okay, about that cake … I’m admittedly not the hugest fan of it. Give me ice cream any day but keep the cake – unless we’re talking ice cream cake. But I digress … So no cake but with my previous savoury bread pudding in mind I created a sweet version perfect for dessert, as a snack or even breakfast because – you guesse it! –  there’s no added sugar in it.

Sweet Blueberry Apple Bread Pudding

  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ medium apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3.5 oz silken tofu à blend with three drops each NuNaturals Vanilla and Orange liquid stevia [or use more Vanilla stevia and add 1/2 tsp orange zest]
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ seedy whole-wheat roll, stale or toasted [microwave trick]
  1. Blend the silken tofu with the stevia and spices.
  2. Mix blueberries, apples and silken tofu with about half of the toasted bread cubes.
  3. Pour mixture into a single-serving casserole dish and top with the remaining bread cubes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes at 350 °F until the top looks slighty puffy.
  5. Serve as is or – recommended – with your favourite nut butter.

Sweet

I know you might be thinking “Okay, but where are the presents?!” so there you go. When I told NuNaturals about my blogiversary they offered to let me give four of you one bottle of each of the Lemon, Vanilla Stevia and Peppermint Flavored Stevia Liquids plus a 50pkt. box of their NuStevia White Stevia Powder packets. There are four ways to enter and the giveway will run until next Tuesday. It is open worldwide but NuNaturals can’t ship to PO boxes. Good luck!

Click on the link below to enter! The mandatory entry is to leave a comment telling me your favourite uses for NuNaturals stevia. You need to confirm you commented through the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But even if you don’t win you can still use the they can receive discounts on all orders placed via NuNaturals’ website by using my discount code. Just enter the DISCOUNT CODE ;  BLG1213  when you get to the checkout page and you’ll receive – 15% DISCOUNT on your entire order. This discount remains effective until  December 31, 2013. So birthday presents for everybody, right :)?!

Disclaimer: While NuNaturals sent me their products free of charge all opinions in this post are my own and I wasn’t compensated by the company in any way.

 

Happiness inducing today: Reading all of your comments on yesterday’s post. I knoow … I’ll stop gushing, promise!

Tell me: Cake or ice cream or …? Which flavour?

Have you ever had sweet bread pudding?

What made you happy today?

Cheerily changing palates

Some things never change, some do. One thing that [hopefully] won’t change anytime soon? Wednesdays being synonymous with foodie fun. One thing that has changed for the very best? My palate. Let me explain …

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Do you have any foods that you didn’t like when you were younger and proclaimed you also would never ever in the world eat when growing up? Whatever mum and dad used to tell you about changing tastes was nonsense. Obviously … not. For me, some of those would have been tomatoes. In my memory  they used to be those watery, slimy, rather tasteless vegetables with unpleasant little bits.  These days I can hardly get enough of them. Especially not if they’re from my mum’s garden and taste super sweet and flavourful – almost too good to cook with so most of them get eaten pure.

Mum's tomatoes

Feel free to laugh or be shocked but:  I never liked salad growing up. Never. What was supposed to be appealing about chewing on crunchy, tasteless leaves drowned in acidy, mustard-y dressings? No, thanks. In my defense, though, I wasn’t potato salad’s hugest fan, either – no mayonnaise for  this girl. That being said I was known as the “weird non-salad-eating vegetarian” by just about everybody.

After all I was just meaning to leave more salad for Bugs Bunny. Obviously …

Fun tidbit: Did you know that Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, was supposedly allergic to carrots? [He denied this.] Don’t you think he’d have had a pretty hard time connecting with his role if that was true?

Let’s say I had a life-changing food-preference-changing experience the past weekend. Just four words: Taco salad with guacamole.

Taco Salad_

With my tongue finally allowing me to eat more than yogurt, blended soups and ice cream again this recipe was the first one on my list. How could I not like a dish containing both chickpeas (addicted!) and guacamole?! I’ll admit I cheated on the last part because I have yet to appreciate the taste of cilantro aside from that and a few other minor changes I followed Leanne’s recipe closely.

Taco salad

The next one wasn’t exactly a food I didn’t enjoy. Yet I can’t remember eating a lot of blueberries throughout my childhood as strawberries – once more straight from my mum’s garden – were more abundant. Nowadays? Cant.get.enough. We can finally find local ones for a decent price again – blueberry season was delayed by the too-cold Spring and early Summer this year.

More Blueberries

Ending on a sweet note once more: Mangoes weren’t on my hit list of fruit back in the day, either. I’m glad it changed and am celebrating 😉 by eating my fair share of mango sorbet. We might not have nearly as large a variety of fancy non-dairy ice creams around here but some seriously good sorbets.

Mango sorbet

 Happiness inducing today: The kind librarian helping me to order a book from a library further away so I wouldn’t have to commute there myself.

What’s your favourite non-boring fresh and summery salad? Please feel free to share recipes!

Which foods that you didn’t like growing up are you fond of nowadays?

What I ate … while writing essays

Thank you for all of your sweet birthday wishes! Every single one put a huge smile on my face.

Is it really Wednesday already again? After my birthday time seemed to flow by without me noticing. Well, time for our favourite weekly foodie party hosted by Jenn. Happy WIAW!

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Life lately has been a tad more hectic. I’m not exactly good at time management … Therefore working shifts while actually having a pile of essays to write turned out to be a bad combination. Doesn’t help that I didn’t exactly chose the easiest topics for my essays.

While eating at work isn’t possible I still find it important to nourish my body in a healthy way when coming home. Sure, random snacking on not-so-healthy foods happens but I like to keep it fresh and nutritious most of the time.

Let’s take a look at some of my recent eats!

Baked oatmeal has found its way into my life and I’m embracing it. Blueberry Vanilla protein baked oats to be specific – easy, quick and comforting. Obsessed already.

Crunchy topping, creamy oats cooked with coconut milk - breakfast perfection.

Crunchy topping, creamy oats cooked with coconut milk – breakfast perfection.

 

Carrots and peanut butter have become a new addition to my diet – aka “how to get my veggies in”.

Positively addictive.

Positively addictive.

Can you believe I’d never had baby carrots before? I might still not buy these regularly from now on. But they’re a nice time saver when I don’t feel like peeling a bunch of carrots yet want my vitamin A boost :D. Thanks for the PB and carrots inspiration, Shannon!

Granolaaaa! It had been too long since I bought my last bag of it but I finally got over my ED fears and now can’t get enough. And really, if I’ve been craving it for so long it must have been something I needed, right?!

Crunchy gluten-free almond coconut granola, coconut flour soy yogurt and almond butter – mmmh!

Crunchy gluten-free almond coconut granola, coconut flour soy yogurt and almond butter – mmmh!

Yes, I had way more than what’s in the picture :).

Putting one of my birthday gifts to good use: a julienne peeler! Inspired by other bloggers I asked my mum for one on our little shopping trip after our birthday lunch. Zucchini pasta in multiple combinations has been a go-to lunch when coming home ravenous from work. Whether with peanut sauce, in a cheesy casserole or Italian inspired balsamico tomato sauce with chickpeas – it’s a new favourite.

Does anybody else still enjoy slurping their pasta? It shouldn't be resevered to kids only.

Does anybody else still enjoy slurping their pasta? It shouldn’t be acceptable for kids only!

I’m not usually one supporting unseasonal cravings but as blueberries happened to be on offer for three weeks straight – how could I resist?! Blueberries have been said to be the perfect food to protect your body from the negative aspects of stress thanks to the antioxidants they contain. Whether it’s true or not – they’re delicious and that’s all that matters.

Blueberries

In other news: I’m on Twitter now – and once I’ve figured out Instagram I might join that fun, too :). Anybody care to explain it to me?

I’ll be back with a post on my February goals after handing in my essays later this week.

 

How does your eating style change on busy days?

What is your favourite (baked) oatmeal combination?

And stealing the question of the day: What’s the best thing you ate today?