Running [out of space], my fall must-have + pizza craziness

What do you do when a) Thursday arrives before you actually got acquainted with the new [or not so new anymore] week and b) your brain is technically not out of post ideas but rather jumping from one to another, leaving you with about half a dozen semi-written posts? Well, you thank Amanda for inventing Thinking out loud Thursdays and make lemonade from life’s lemons. Or just a post from random thoughts.

Thinking-Out-Loud

  1. Rather than running with spoons I have been running out of space lately. Everywhere. On my blog [hello, limited data]. On my laptop  [that state has been a ‘current’ for, ahem, months] and my phone. The latter issue will hopefully find a good end soon with the memory card I ordered earlier today. The laptop situation? Trickier yet. Not because I wasn’t ready to buy a new one after having this one for about seven years. It’s my incredible indecisiveness causing the biggest trouble. If you have any awesome laptop recommendations [think: fast, neither too huge nor so small it makes typing for longer a pain and (!) a good battery duration]. The blog situation is a story for another day, really, but at least my phone will hopefully be running smoothy again soon.

Tone-in-tone_phone

2. As I only thought to add it very last minute I didn’t say much at all about the song I included in Monday’s post. What I did mention, though, was that it’s not my usual taste of music. It was only this past weekend when it played on the radio while I was driving that I started to like it. Actually, I probably wouldn’t have had it not been for the moderator introducing it as a song about mobbing and using the hatred of your ‘adversaries’ if you will as fuel to the fire that is your strength. Or at least that’s how I interpreted his words. That made me give the song a chance and yes, it’s been on repeat since.
This also rings true regarding other songs for me. Many times I won’t like a song upon first hearing it but only after finding out the story or deeper meaning behind them. Or when I can connect a memory to a certain tune. Love takes over by Kelly Rowland? I thought it was terrible and would quickly switch radio stations when it came on. Until I made that one memory of what Meg would possibly paraphrase with ‘wink, wink, nudge, nudge’ that I happily recall. Do you have any songs that you only started enjoying at second ‘look’/listen?

3. It’s the season again! So I’m one of – so it seems – the few bloggers that aren’t super excited about the start of fall [or autumn as I prefer]. The daylight fading way sooner? Not a fan. Cozy sweaters? Sound nice in theory but in reality I  feel about them the same way I do about pants. Yes. What I do like a LOT, though? Scented candles! Granted, I’ve been lighting one every now and then in summer, too. Yet it’s only now they’re a daily necessity and coming to their full coziness potential.y favourite? Since I’ve yet to find the famed Yankee candles I’m still fond of my lovely – and reasonably priced! – IKEA vanilla ice cream ones. Honestly, they’re so good!

Vanilla candle IKEA

4. While everybody in the US is running to the stores to stock up on canned pumpkin – which you will not find over here at all – vegans here are currently searching high and low for this pizza.

Lidl released the first ever grocery store brand and very affordable – think: less than 1.50 $ – vegan pizza a while ago, sold out immediately  or even the day before offical sales started in most stores, causing uproar among vegans. Hence the store bringing it back once again. Me? Not buying it. For one, I just enjoy cooking myself  too much and then I also rarely buy limited time only items for fear of liking them too much. Yes, I mean that. Feel free to laugh – I know I have my quirks.

5. If I usually comment on your blog and haven’t in a while: the WordPress spell continues. I’m still unable to comment on the majority of blogs out there – including Amanda’s –  and it’s not cool.

6. Okay., not ending on a bad note here. In good news my sister and the little one visiting us again this weekend. The ‘bad’ part is that she expects me to have some new delicious goods at hand and my mum has been demanding another batch of her new favourite cookies. Which might just mean I’m in for quite some baking today. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to leave work in time/earlier today!

Happy Thursday!

Happiness-inducing today: A calmer day after the week started out rather stressfully.

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That’s it from me today. Tell me your random thoughts on music preferences, candles or whatever comes to your mind!

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Would you like some kabocha with your kabocha?

Alternative title: Trying to eat all the kabocha around while it’s in season and working on that pumpkin glow.

Okay, okay, I can’t deny that Fall’s offically taking over with leaves changing, the need to wear scarves again … and – to see the upsides as usual – the most amazing of Fall produce. Let’s celebrate What I ate Wednesday with the best vegetable of the season [and some really good sidekicks]. Thanks for hosting despite having your little one to care for, Jenn!

wiaw fall_Kabocha

Not to bug you too much with them but haven’t been able to get enough of my truffles lately. So if I’m supposed to show you what I’ve been eating the past week I have to include them. Sorry. Pre-breakfast chocolate? Can’t say I didn’t like it.

Truffle

Truffles aside, though, I’ve been having a lot of fun finally not only saving recipes to Pinterest  countless documents on my laptop but actually making them. And as you might guess from the post title there has been a lot of kabocha.

It's all about finding the perfect one  - and this one didn't disappoint.

It’s all about finding the perfect one – and this one didn’t disappoint.

First off was the Banana Kabocha Stew from my link post on Sunday.  Playing around with the recipe as usual I subbed my favourite legume for the black beans. Because I had a can to use up and to make up for last week’s chickpea-less WIAW – sorry I forgot to celebrate the birth of your little chickpea in style, Jenn! The pictures don’t do Carolyn’s delicious recipe any justice. If you had a look at the recipe you’ll notice that, yes, there’s something missing. I decided to do you a favour and take the picture before adding the cocoa – don’t leave it out. So back to the pot it was after the quick photoshoot because if the dish was great before the cocoa powder took it to the next level. Rich, flavourful and satisfying.

Kabocha Banana Stew

Keeping up with my goal of trying new recipes I opted against a repeat the next day [which actually happened to be yesterday] and spontaneously decided to have these Kabocha Squash Rancheros I’d been eyeing for a while. Or better yet: a modified version suiting the ingredients I had on hand and fulfilling my “I’m ready to chew my arm off” need. That’s why I steamed the kabocha [I know – roasting would have been ten times more flavourful and I’ll keep it in mind for non-hangry days] and used kidney beans instead of black ones once again. To be fair, though, black beans aren’t as readily available around here so I didn’t have any more on hand after my truffle-making.

Kabocha Rancheros

Inspired by this girl I also bought the first figs in a long time. Previously I couldn’t warm up to this fruit considering it – sorry! – watery, tasteless and a waste of money. However, while there might be some bad ones it’s really about how you prepare them. And Amy’s idea of using them as a pizza topping was absolutely amazing. Neither eating eggs nor having almond flour on hand I used my go-to pizza recipe changing up the toppings.

Fig Pizza

To end on a sweet note here’s my second batch of Jenn’s Banana Bread. Once more my pictures can’t hold a candle to hers but I’ll just repeat my mantra: it’s the taste that counts in then end – and that got a thumbs up once again.

Banana Bread

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: The best run in a while after listening to my intuition and taking several rest days in a row.

Which were some of the last blogger-inspired recipes or foods you tried?

Are you good at sticking with recipe or put your own spin on them? However good my intentions might be: I can’t help but play around with just about every recipe I try.

Fellow kabocha fans: How do you pick the best kabocha at the store?  Any advice on what to look for? I’ve found there to be immense differences in taste and consistency – it’s a bummer whenever I get a ‘bad’ one.

WIAW: Slow-roasted and sweet spontaneity

With it being Wednesday again that means two things: the blog world’s favourite [food] party is about to start and I’m looking for a theme in my recent meals again – actually finding one this time. But let’s begin at the beginning: Thanks for hosting and inspiring me to get creative in the kitchen, Jenn!

WIAWbutton_1

As I mentioned in my last post already the past weekend included my first experience with slow-roasted tomatoes. Even though I’d deemed it a waste of (oven) energy when first reading about them I was still too curious not to give the idea a try.

Slow-roasted_1

I’ll admittedly say I was tempted to turn off the oven earlier because a several-hour wait just doesn’t work well with me and my impatience. In the end, though, it was well worth the extra time because these flavourful little gems made their way into more than one meal. First up was Michelle’s slow-roasted tomato pesto.

Pesto pasta I

While I wish I could say I wasn’t it’s a simple fact: I’m a volume eater so I bulked up the dish with garlic-roasted vegetables and – not surprisingly – chickpeas. It might not look like much but this dish was a success for me in a two-fold way: first up due to the flavourful tomatoes but secondly, it was my first time having pasta in a long while. Not counting the nibbles of pasta I had somewhere in between.

With a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast …

With a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast …

Not usually a spontaneous person I came home ravenous after an appointment and running some errands yesterday. That would have usually made me throw together a highly voluminous yet not actually satisfying lunch in a hurry. The “fill me up as quickly as possible” logic I still can’t quite shake off despite regretting it afterwards. Yet somehow I was determined not to go down that route but change things – maybe peer pressure helped?!

slow-roasted tomato pizza

Just a short time ago pizza would have been the very last meal I’d have prepared when hungry and looking for a fast meal. It makes me laugh to think about it and happy to see this as yet another step forward. If [edible] motivation for recovery comes topped with slow-roasted tomatoes,  fresh vegetables, chickpeas (yes, I know) and Daiya cheddar I’ll gladly take it more often.

tomato pizza

Spontaneity was the name of the game once more when – after finishing our very last class in university! – friends of mine suggested getting ice cream. With how carefully they asked it was apparent they weren’t sure I’d agree. And – as sad as it is – in the past I might have cancelled out with it being way too short notice. A decision that would have taken me planning ahead in terms of food in the past – now all it took me was a simple yes.

Ice cream_July

Flavours of choice: Raspberry-Peach and Lemon.

As much as I wish I had been all comfortable in this situation already it did let feelings of regret and guilt arise later. But were they worth it? Absolutely. Once again it was about the people  more than the food and my company was well worth ever twinge of regret – and there was less of it overall than previously. A sweet success in my book :).

Happy Wednesday!

 

Happiness inducing today: Taking a walk with a friend of mine who’s about to move soon. It’s all about making the most of these moments I have left with my friends right now.

 

What was your most memorable meal from the past week?

How spontaneous are you?

What are your favourite ice cream flavours?

Positive peer pressure with pizza and [kale] krunch

Peer pressure.  I’m sure you’ve felt it before, too – and likely wish you could ignore it. Especially as bloggers or blog readers we’re constantly exposed to other people’s lives and their diets offering even more opportunity for comparison and pressure in daily life. While there’s a negative side of this peer pressure or influence, too, I’ll keep this post light and look at the bright side. Which better day would there be to take a look at this than What I ate Wednesday as a day dedicated to sharing delicious eats?

WIAWbutton_1

It usually takes me a long time to implement changes – especially in the food department. Being a creature of habit and still having a number of food fears I often find myself stick with the same meals and snacks over and over again. With the peer pressure or – using a less harsh term – inspiration by other bloggers I’ve been making progress in this part of life, though. Simply having a proper lunch every day is a habit I had dropped sometime during my ED and only picked up after being inspired by the blog world. No more lusting over other people’s dishes only but creating delicious midday meals myself.

Packed lunch for classes - isn't tupperware really classy ;)?

Packed lunch for classes – isn’t tupperware really classy ;)?

Some dishes are still fear foods for me, though. Pizza hadn’t been on the menu for me for a long time and I wasn’t likely to change it. Living on my own it was easy enough to come up with one excuse after the other: preparation is too elaborate for a single serving only, it won’t be saturating enough, not voluminous enough …  With many bloggers having pizza regularly, though – be it homemade or store-bought –  the [positive] peer pressure rose steadily. It still took me a while but in a burst of spontaneity I finally made it happen on Sunday. An almost empty vegetable drawer didn’t make for a voluminous or colourful choice of toppings. Nothing a little creativity couldn’t solve and must say I was pretty pleased with the final result. Unusual? Maybe. Delicious? Definitely.

Pizza

Mushrooms, chickpeas, corn and melty vegan Daiya cheese – simple pizza pleasure.

Another positive bit[e] of peer pressure? Kale chips. Not something I’d have been likely to try again after failed experiences with fat-free homemade ones. These, however? Incredibly similar to the cheesy “real” chips, flavourful and crunchy. I wish we were able to find them in Germany but right now a big thanks goes out to Sara for mailing me several bags and getting me addicted :).

Kale Krunch

However hard it is for me to imagine life without them now: nut butters didn’t make an appearance before I saw them all over the blog world. It wasn’t just fear here, though, but also unawareness about the existence of more than all-natural plain peanut butter which had been present all throughout my childhood.  Cashew butter was the first non-peanut variety I tried years ago and many followed since. Sunflower seed butter being the latest one after I picked it up at Veganz recently.

Sunflower seed butter

It might not seem like much but to me this kind of peer pressure has truly made an impact on my food choices and daringness. Blogging itself is a way to keep myself accountable of sticking to goals I set [for the most part] and keep me motivated in recovery. Peer pressure in the best way, really.

Happiness inducing today: Friends who make me laugh during a boring class.

In which positive ways has blogging influenced your life – food-wise or else?

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

How many different nut or seed butters do you currently have in rotation? Just from the top of my head I can think of six open jars in my pantry: almond, cashew, coconut (not much left, though), hazelnut, peanut and sunflower seed butter. All of them are plain as there aren’t any fancy flavoured ones available.