Monthly Archives: October 2012

Chilly? Chili!


Hurricane Sandy and her shitty attitude inspired me to make my favorite vegetarian Crock Pot chili for dinner Tuesday night. It has more canned ingredients than it does fresh, but it’s simple and delicious, and as my mom would say, “it sticks to your ribs!”

Here’s what you’ll need if you’d like to make the recipe my mom created:

about 1 C Boca burger crumbles
1/3 C diced vidalia onion
8.5 oz. can of whole kernel yellow corn
8 oz. can of tomato soup
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream and “sprinkly cheese,” if desired

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.

I’m a big fan of the designated Healthy Request soups and veggies because they have much lower sodium content.

Spray Crock Pot with non-stick cooking spray. I’m also a huge fan of my Crock Pot because it makes meals so easy!

Allow chili to cook on “warm” or “low” setting for 3 hours or so. Serves 2 people, or one heartily with leftovers. Enjoy! 🙂

P.S. Do you like to try out recipes from different types of diets (e.g. vegan, PALEO, gluten-free)?
P.P.S. Happy Halloween! 🙂


Love Thyself


Yesterday afternoon, I was a bit of a Debbie Downer, as I tweeted:

One of my sorority sisters, Colleen, reminded me to take a break, turn off the TV, and do something fun in the name of self-care. And ya know what?

She’s exactly right.

I had been glued to the boob tube all. day. long. Watching the flood warnings, highway closings, and waves lapping at homes and businesses was fascinating, of course, but I wasn’t doing myself any favors. Somehow, I slipped from watching for “updates” to watching for the sake of watching. I also slid from a carefree state about the impending storm to a state of filling every large container I could find with water, and rushing around in pursuit of D batteries.

That’s when I knew it was time to get up and get moving. I dragged my butt from the couch to the gym and hit the elliptical. Not only did I feel great physically afterward, I cleared my head of stress and anxiety.

Later, because, you know, I wanted to revisit that stressful state, I ventured out in the rain and frenzied traffic because I “needed” wine. Karma is legit, my blends; I stood clutching my wine as the panicked woman in line in front of me narrated her life story — in storm survival tales — as she unloaded an unnecessary number of loaves of garlic bread from her cart. I suppose Kroger wasn’t enough of a challenge for me, because I drove out to one of the city’s busiest roads for Chick-Fil-A.

The take-home lesson from yesterday’s adventures: it is apparent that Hurricane Sandy could not have been weathered without a Chick’n Strips Salad, Barefoot, or the company of a great friend 🙂

The second take-home lesson: Colleen was exactly right. Self-care cannot be neglected. Do something for you today. Read a chapter of a book. Light a fire in the fireplace and enjoy a quiet cup of cocoa. Complete a workout circuit you enjoy. Fill the tub up with scenty bubbles and relax.  Work on a craft or project you haven’t had time for. Whatever you do today, make sure you include self-care!

P.S. I hope y’all stayed safe and dry during Sandy’s wrath!

Hurricane Sandy Thoughts


This is one of those rare, few-and-far-between times I wish I had a roommate. Last night, I was lackadaisically watching a movie and sipping tea. I enjoyed a chapter of a new book, watched the idiotic undergrads playing football in the pouring rain until the police ran them off, and made a mental to-do list. This morning, I filled every large container I could find with water. “Just in case.” Did three loads of laundry. Kept my laptop and cell charged. Rearranged my porch furniture in the event of high winds and/or paranoia. All of this last-minute hurricane prep would be much more exciting if I didn’t live alone.

Every school on the East Coast cancelled classes today. Oh, wait… not mine. In the past 48 hours, I have received no fewer than nine emails from various personnel. If none of you are delivering exciting news, please stop blowing up my inbox.

If Kroger runs out of wine, I can’t be held accountable for my actions. In the event of a natural disaster, it is scientifically proven that texting a nearby sorority sister, “If classes are cancelled or we lose power, expect wine and me on your doorstep,” will reduce chronic boredom. Now, I just need to pray that the wine selection holds out until I can arrive at said sister’s apartment…

The Jersey Shore hotspots may be wiped off the map. I don’t know whether to be upset or to laugh maniacally. Somehow, I got sucked into six seasons of utter ridiculousness. I guess now that JS is over and everybody’s old married people, Karma doesn’t serve a purpose?

Loss of power = loss of sanity. Enough said.

I keep wavering between “this is pathetic” and “this is too exciting” when it comes to the news. I’ve been glued to the boob tube all. damn. day. Maybe it’s the swirly colors on the “Sandygrams” CNN keeps looping. Honestly, it’s 2:30 p.m. and not a thing has happened in this area.

P.S. How are you coping with Sandy and the effects of the storm(s)? Stay safe and dry out there!

“Frankenstorm” Weekend


I can’t say I’ve done a lot to prepare for the dreaded Hurricane Sandy. Maybe I’m taking a laissez-faire approach, but I’m not one of these Doomsdayers who feels it necessary to literally run through the grocery store as though the last gallon of water or the last ten boxes of saltines will evaporate in nanoseconds. I did stock up on some essentials — non-perishable sandwich-making materials, bottled water, non-dairy milk, TP — though I seriously regret my decision to try Kroger at 5 p.m.

In other news… Friday was pretty dull around these parts. The most exciting part of my day included a glass of moscato and tucking into bed at 11:00 after reading a chapter of a new book.

Saturday was a different story…

I met my sister and two of her sorority sisters in Farmville to grab some lunch before the Hampden-Sydney football game. I am truly ashamed of the amount of fast-food I consumed this weekend. It may not appear that way…

…but Sheetz, McDonald’s (where I found a literal fly in an ice cube), and Taco Bell don’t sit as well with me anymore. It’s not that fast-food joints don’t offer healthy-ish alternatives; it’s that I eat fast-food so rarely, I don’t usually choose a salad with light dressing over a crispy chicken club. Ya dig?

The game was an absolute blowout against Guilford, with the final score being 68-24. We celebrated heartily, my blends.

“What the hell is a ‘sorority squat’?!”

This morning, after little more than 5 hours of sleep, I was reminded that perhaps graduating from college should include not returning to your pseudo-alma mater in order to partake in fraternal activities. Alas, it seems I may never learn 😉

As soon as I stuffed a pumpkin doughnut and a Shmuffin in my face and drove home, my agenda read like this:
1. Nap
2. End of agenda

The rest of my afternoon pretty much consisted of sipping tea, sucking on cough drops, and half-heartedly watching a movie. As Sandy approaches, I guess it’s time to put my Big Girl Pants back on and act like a grown-up.

I hope your weekend was spectacular! I’d love your suggestions, comments, and questions about the new site! I’m still adjusting the layout and some of the content, so please feel free.

P.S. Have you done any hurricane prep? I’ve gathered my flashlights and my candles, which is about as prepared as I can be in an apartment building.

Fall Recipe Favorite: Quinoa Bowls


Wednesday night was the first quinoa bowl of the season. I vowed to take pictures, but I was too ravenous. Thursday afternoon, I made a bowl with the leftovers, and I thought ahead enough to snap a few photos.

I shared quinoa bowls with you on my previous site, Girl Emerging, but I’ll share them again because they’re one of my favorite vegetarian recipes. Even though I’m an omnivore now, I still relish a lot of my vegetarian faves.

This recipe serves two heartily. You’ll need: boxed stovetop quinoa (or about 2 C), a bag of shredded lettuce, fresh salsa–you know, from the nice part of the store–or pico de gallo, a medium-sized can of black or pinto beans, sour cream, and cilantro (if desired).

First, I start with a generous helping of shredded lettuce.

I top it with a half-cup or so of quinoa. Or in this case, my quinoa and rice blend. I’m a big fan of Far East products from Kroger. I’ve really been trying to steer clear of processed foods, but boxed quinoa products are so manageable and sensible for me.

From there, I add a half-cup or so of black or pinto beans.

Lastly, I top the bowl with whatever my heart desires. Usually that means fat-free sour cream, fresh salsa or pico de gallo, and “sprinkly cheese.” Today, that meant sour cream and diced organic tomato.

How can you go wrong with a dish so deliciously full of fun, flavor, and nutrition?!