Head start

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Off-topic for a second, look at the spider plant shadow I found on my bedroom wall last night:

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For a moment, I tricked myself into thinking I was somewhere tropical with a palm tree hanging over my head.

Anyway, while I was shuffling around after work yesterday with enough food for a small army battling it out in my stomach, I got a head start on one of my weekend kitchen projects. I chopped several aging apples that I rescued from work and from the roommates and added them to a pot with a splash of water, loads of cinnamon, and a pile of whole cloves. I simmered everything until tender and then immersion-blended to make apple butter. Before and after:

before

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I also acted on a tip I got from Victoria several weeks back and made some vegetable broth. Ever since reading her suggestion, I’ve been collecting veggie scraps — carrot peels, asparagus ends, green been stems, apple cores, slimy roommate-forgotten scallions, etc. — in a bag in the freezer. I simmered them for hours last night in a pot with water and came out with the best veggie stock I’ve ever tasted!  Before, after, after, and after:

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The stock is now relaxing in the freezer to rest up for its next mission:

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For breakfast today, I made overnight oats of sorts. Last night, I mixed together the last 1/2 cup of my pumpkin pie crockpot oats with 1/2 cup of the cranberry cottage cheese yogurt mixture I had with my oats yesterday and some of the above apple butter. It martinated and meshed together all night in the fridge, and I topped it with chopped strawberries and golean crunch this morning:

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Alongside a cup of Tj’s pomegranate white tea from Vani:

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I also did some heavy taste-testing of the “ice cream” concoction I made to bring to bRUNch with the ladies later today.

Some business before I head out:

1. Go visit Megan’s Munchies for info on entering her Banana Nut Cheerios giveaway!

2. Angela at Oh She Glows is giving away one of her awesome hoodies. My fingers are crossed because I need to win this one!

3. I’ve been bag-tagged by Mel at food for fuel. So I have to (1) show you the bag I carry:

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and (2) tell you that it cost $26 at a Kohl’s in Athens, GA when I was visiting my friend “wife” there a couple years ago. The bag and the story that goes with it are both pretty boring I know, but I’m all about functional accessories. This bag fits a book, notepads, keys, a pen, and an extra expandable bag (often used for the free food I tend to find all over the place) in the outer sections and has a zippered center section for my more valuable things (phone, metrocard, wallet, etc).

The final step of bag tag is to (3) tag someone else. I am going to bag-tag my good friend The Professional Vegan, a high-powered lawyer who has committed to replacing every single non-vegan item in her professional wardrobe with one that is fully vegan-compliant and just as sophisticated. Professional Vegan, tell us about your tote-style!

Have a great day!

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