April 16, 2014

avocado chickpea salad

In my quest to eat one vegan meal a day [I mentioned it in passing in my GYST: Food/Diet post] I'm trying new recipes and this one came up. 
I'm in love with it after putting one tiny bite in my mouth. Holy cow.

The original was from Two Peas & Their Pod, but of course I changed a few things. I'm not a big bread eater, so I nixed the whole "sandwich" thing. Instead I made the chickpea [do you say "garbanzo" or "chickpea"?] and avocado mixture and plopped it on a bed of baby greens. Today I ate it with a couple of Wasa crackers for some crunch.

Let's talk about avocados. A few years ago my friends, Jess & Jake told me their trick to always having perfectly ripe avocados. Now I shall share it with you: buy the rock-hard avocados a few days before you're going to want to use them and let those babies sit out on your counter until they're ripe. Once they've ripened you can either a) eat them or b) put them in your refrigerator for up to a week. That last part is my own little addendum. These avocados have been ready since last Thursday and they're still *perfect* because the refrigeration stopped the ripening process and they didn't get beaten against anything to give them bruises after they ripened.
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These six weeks of classes, I'm eating on the go out of plastic containers more often than not, so I've been trying to prepare foods that can travel with me. I don't particularly like to eat out at the fast, cheap places [I definitely like to eat out at the expensive, sit-down places] on a daily basis. This is one of my made-for-the-week meals. You could totally cut this in half really easily. 

Avocado Chickpea Salad
-2 cans (15oz) Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans, drained
-2 Avocados
-Lime Juice (fresh is better of course, but I used about 2 Tbsp of a prepared lime juice)
-Cilantro
-1 tsp Salt
-1 tsp Onion Powder
-1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

Smash the chickpeas, avocados, and lime juice together. Chop the cilantro and add the spices and mix it. Give it a taste and see if you need more of anything. (-: 

April 13, 2014

ten things

Shocking, right?

1. If you went to see Divergent and didn't think this the entire time then we probably can't be friends anymore. 
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2. SPRRRRRRRRRRRRRING!!! I'm trilling my R's. Are you as excited about this as I am? SPRING. FLOWERS. SUNSHINE. WARMTH. OUTSIDE TIME! eeeep! 

3. Pandora stations. My friend Kate introduced me to Pitch Slapped. If you love a cappella covers of songs ["we're just a bunch of dudes singing covers of songs, don't get weird"] then listen to this station. 

4. Speaking of music, I recently got on the Spotify. I don't know why it took me so long. I made a playlist called "that's my jam." It's my jam.
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5. Mostly Nonsense 365 is about to have her fifth birthday. I've got to decide how to celebrate. June's going to be big y'all. What should we do? #idonthavechildrenihaveablog

6. I ran up to the Fort for my cousin's musicale this weekend. Since the Vera Bradley sale was happening, I also had to stop by [obvi]. My mom wanted things and she's basically the most difficult person to purchase gifts for so I did some gift-shopping. Of course she didn't know what she wanted so I had to send a ton of pictures to get her opinion.

7. I have a haircut this week since things above my neck are getting a little mullet-ish. Do I keep the asymmetry or not? Don't worry, I made a poll for y'all because having a blog means that I don't have to make any decisions on my own.


8. If you want to see my Pinterest board of all my hair-inspiration [because I'm very focused on my hair right now for some reason], feel free to check it out.

9. Am I the only person who still can't get enough of the Frozen soundtrack?

10. I started watching Believe during spring break. Does anyone else watch it? Can we have a discussion?

April 8, 2014

Tam's Monster Cookies

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Back when I was a resident director living with the college students [you know, because I wasn't a college student at the time] I held a "Cookies with Amy" party weekly where we'd eat cookies and watch a movie or TV show or play a game. This was two part, 1. I was seducing these "grown-up" 18-year-olds to come and socialize with me thus building relationships and 2. I wanted to bake and not eat everything [shall I remind you of the Employee 40?]. I'm not sure which was the deciding factor, but they both stand equally important in my memory.

At times certain students would come to me to ask for a special cookie because their birthday was coming up or they were hungry for it or it was one their mom made. This is a mom recipe. Tam's daughter and son were both at MC when I was there, and they were counselors when I worked at camp as well. We're all kinds of connected and you can join the web by making this killer cookie.
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The original recipe was for the camp batch I think. It makes enough cookies that you could drown in dough. Not that I would ever complain of such a thing because the dough is totes delicious.
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This is just a basic peanut butter oatmeal cookie, make ridiculous by a plethora of candy.
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A plethora.

I didn't grow up eating monster cookies. WHY, Mom, whyyyyyy? My SIL is the Monster Cookie Queen and brought them into my life on a regular basis via the younger brother. I don't have her recipe, but I suspect it is similar to this one.
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Tam's Monster Cookies
-1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter
-1 cup Sugar
-1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
-1 1/2 cups Peanut Butter (the non-natural kind. I like generic PB for baking, strange but true.)
-3 Eggs
-1 tsp Vanilla (I used Vanilla Bean Paste which is why it looks all dark and weird)
-2 tsp Baking Soda
-4 1/2 cups Quick-cooking Oats
-1 1/2 cups m&m's
-3/4 cup Reese's Pieces 
-3/4 cup Chocolate Chips
**If you look at the recipe card, you'll notice I left out the Corn Syrup. I didn't have any on hand, but I didn't find that it made any difference in the final cookies. These aren't healthy in any way, shape, or form, but I believe they are gluten free if you purchase GF oats. I didn't check all the candy, but I think you could accommodate a gluten intolerance easily with this recipe. (-: 

If you're mixing by hand get ready for a forearm workout. Cream the butter, sugars, and peanut butter. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the oats and baking soda. Mix in the oats with the wet mixture then add the candy. Drop by rounded scoop [the original directions say to make 2" balls and flatten them slightly] onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until sliiiiiiiightly brown [these cookies don't get very brown, but you want to make sure they're actually cooked and not just warm dough]. This makes about 3 dozen cookies and doubles easily for a huge crowd!

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Have I told y'all about my love for baked m&m's? What is it about baking those little chocolate treats that makes them 100000% tastier than they were in original form? SO.GOOD.

Is there a recipe from your mom that I should try? Holla at me on the facebook!
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