Saturday, January 29, 2011

I'm baaack and FAMOUS

I know I said I was gone for good.  But, THIS is something blog worthy.

 




[caption id="attachment_188" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Let the show start!"][/caption]

I went to Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl Night Out in Milwaukee on Thursday night.  It was an amazing show, she explained it as a conversation with the audience.  It was great, I had a massive freak out that I was only 4 rows away from my idol.

[caption id="attachment_191" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="mom said I looked excited"][/caption]

After the show the real fun started.  I bought the tickets with the included meet and greet.  So my mom and I rushed to the signing room and were 20th in line.  The whole time I was freaking out saying "what should I say, I want her to know that she actually means something to me blah blah."  And moms says, "Oh just say whatever comes to your mind no big deal."  Well I must've said something right because Bethenny asked to HUG me.  I watched as so many people went before me with a quick handshake, picture, signed book and I BAM I get a hug.  In addition, to the hug she chatted with me for a good minute when everyone else got probably 15 seconds.


Chatting away.


Oh it's not over.  As we were walking out of the signing room her assistant ran over to my mom and I and asked, "Bethenny told me to come get a video of you!  Would you mind doing a video for the website?  People like you are the reason she does this."  I was still freaking out over hugging her and so I'll let the video explain for itself.







This is the link to the actual page that I'm on on bettheny.com.  I realized yesterday while freaking out seeing myself on BETHENNY FRANKELS WEBSITE, that I am the only video out of all her tour videos that isn't just Bethenny speaking.


My boyfriend has been having a freak out over this just as much as me, because it makes him face "the secret."  I truly give all the credit of this amazing experience to believing in meeting and having Bethenny know me one day.


I AM STILL ON CLOUD 9!


xoxo,


Rachel

Monday, January 24, 2011

For the love of blogs

Because I feel like I have nothing to contribute to the blog world and that blogging is another task that doesn't need to be added to my to do list, I have decided against it.  For now at least.  Maybe I'll post when something REALLY awesome happens.  But, right now my life is slow and boring. I don't have my own kitchen and I have to eat the premade food our chef makes us.  And the food is usually not gluten free, so I eat the same boring salads day in and day out (and who wants to see that?!?!).  So when I can make awesome recipes and do the thing I love most(cook), I will be back in the blogging business.  Maybe I'll be back Fall '11 semester when I move in with my best friend and have a kitchen.  We're fun, she's a journalism major and good at ideas.  We'll see what happens.

 

[caption id="attachment_185" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Twi-hard Die-hards fo life"][/caption]

You never know with a couple of crazy twi-hards.

 

And don't worry I'll still be reading and enjoying my beloved blogs daily.

xoxo,

Rachel

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Progress

We're making progress people!



Messy vision board, calendar, and  shelf set up on the wall!  Also I have a place for my books!  Nobody would believe what my old room looked like and how crammed it was.


Food

I had a big salad for lunch and snapped a pic with my phone.



[caption id="attachment_171" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="NOMS"][/caption]


I had spinach, broccoli, carrots, balsamic, mustard, cottage cheese, and some chips added to a pre-made mix of iceberg and tomato.  It twas noms.  The dinner board says grilled chicken, veggies, salad, and cous cous, so good they named it twice (what movie is that from?!).  I'd love some wheat filled cous cous :(  And I would also like ALL the cookies for dessert.  It's really ok, because I have gluten free ginger snaps in my room!


Exercise

I go 2 days without running and I literally start to feel crazy.  So I got my butt down to the basement (so convenient) of our house and hopped on the treadmill for 5.5 miles.  I did the first 5 in 43 mins!  And finished with walking for 7 minutes to get to 5.5.  It felt so gouda.


School

Maybe I'm posting twice in one day because I don't want to look at school work?!?!  Here is my schedule so you can understand the craziness.

 


Add in 5 hours of miscellaneous office hours throughout the week as a Greek Intern and thats my CLASS schedule.  The meetings I have throughout the week for the student organizations I'm in aren't even shown.  It's cwazy, but I kinda like it that way.


I'm going to do homework now I swear.

xoxo,

Rachel


Dietetics and Nutrition Club

Thank god for the UW Dietetics and Nutrition Club for getting me involved. Going to any one of my student organization meetings after a winter break makes me excited to get back and get involved.  But, DNC is above the rest when it comes to getting involved with the community.  I signed up for a couple of hours of chopping veggies to deliver to 14 local Elementary Schools in Madison as a fresh snack they receive once a week.  I'm also hoping to volunteer with a "Chef in the Classroom" program that teaches kids about nutrition and cooking.  There are so many opportunities through DNC, but I felt so overwhelmed with my schedule last semester that I didn't get very involved at all.

[caption id="attachment_161" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Reppin my new DNC sweatshirt "][/caption]

School

School is slowly starting to pick up I have a couple of assignments due on Monday and Tuesday for Zoo and Chem.  I think my classes shouldn't be as hard as last semester.  I had my first chem lecture yesterday and my professor actually makes sense which gives me lots of hope.

Food

I haven't taken any pictures of my food due to the girls in the house asking questions.  But, I have eaten A LOT since I've been back. I call my hunger "snack attacks."  I eat and then 2 hours later I feel like I need something right then and there.  Its weid.  For breakfast I had spinach tomato eggs with black beans on top.  It was delish, but I was hungry literally 1.5 hours later and had some puffins.  I don't know whats going on with me but I kind of like being hungry more, because then I get to eat more!

I swear I'm going to take some pictures.  Blogs are BORING without pictures.

In other news I have seen 11:11 the past like 5 nights and it makes me feel lucky!

 




[caption id="attachment_163" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Halloween 2010. Pickachu, Unicorn, Glee"][/caption]

I'll leave you with this picture from Halloween.  These are my best friends and I haven't seen them since I've been back to Madison which has been 5 days.  (If you're reading Maggie this is a hint.)  The weekend has officially started in college terms because it's Thursday.  Too bad I have a full day of class on Friday :(

 

xoxo,


Rachel

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

And we're off!

Wooo first day back and already a whirlwind of things to do.  My love for google calendar is such a benefit to my crazy schedule.

Food




[caption id="attachment_151" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="Salad with all the goods"][/caption]

Having fresh salads already prepared is such a plus of living in a sorority house. On the flip side, the sign telling us what is for dinner stating "pasta bar" is a nightmare for me.  It makes me miss being able to eat normally, but I'll make do like I always do.

 

School


Oh man, I already have 2 meetings I didn't know about this week.  And I have a ton of reading and homework problems due for monday.  It is a lot already, but I don't feel as stressed as I usually do.


The one thing I wish I would've finished before classes started was organizing my new room in the house.


 




[caption id="attachment_152" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="Work in Progress"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_153" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="Bare Walls :("][/caption]

 

As you can see it needs a little lot of work.  I might try to live with it for the week and work on it over the weekend.  But, I doubt I will last that long.  Messy rooms make me SO unproductive and crazy.


Wish me luck with my first week back of my FOURTH semester of college!


xoxo,


Rachel

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Welcome Back

Moving back to Madison is so bittersweet.  I'm glad to be back on a schedule.  But, on the other hand I like having a kitchen to cook in, endless hours to watch trashy tv, and relaxation.  The most bittersweet part is that I have to move back into my sorority.  A non-gluten friendly home with lots of loud girls at all hours of the day and night.  I might just be moody today, but moving in 2 hours ago just made me not so excited for the new semester.

I'm not even going out tonight.  I'm actually printing of my syllabus for chem 104 and getting a head start on my least favorite class.  Oh the horror.

On the plus side we had belated family xmas today with lots of good eats like roasted veggies, lamb, and chicken.  I didn't take any pictures because I was enjoying time with my fammy and packing for the move back to madison.

I hope to keep up with blogging this semester!

 




[caption id="attachment_148" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="BFF 4LYFE"][/caption]

 

The one thing that will keep me sane this semester.  My best friend Maggie.


xoxo,


Rachel

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Best 2 days ever.

My lack of posting might have had something to do with:

Cuddling
Lots of cuddling and no makeup faces

Cookie Making




[caption id="attachment_141" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Lemon Cake Cookies"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="478" caption="Lemon Icing and White Chocolate dipped"][/caption]

 



Loving the cookie decorating

Coffee Making




[caption id="attachment_135" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Loving his christmas present!!!"][/caption]

Deep Frying




[caption id="attachment_138" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="ONE Yam cut into fries"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_139" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="First attempt "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_137" align="aligncenter" width="461" caption="Wooo!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_136" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="My crazy idea to make Buttermilk Donuts (Jack's fav and I got 2 thumbs up!)"][/caption]

*****


With all this we both managed to fit in a 4 mile run yesterday.  Jack outside (Brrr) and me on the treadmill.  We watched trashy tv, cooked insane amounts of food (Ribs weren't shown, but they were AWESOME), and most importantly RELAXED.  It was the best two days ever.


Now I'm off to a leadership retreat tomorrow through Sunday.  And I go back to school on Sunday.  So these last 2 days were the end of my winter break and I couldn't imagine having spent them a better way.


xoxo,

Rachel

Monday, January 10, 2011

Meatballs!

Tonight I realized that I couldn't make tamales do the lack of corn husks.  So what is a girl to do?

Make MEATBALLS!  I have this weird really intense love for meatballs....don't judge.

[caption id="attachment_125" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="My Favorite way to enjoy meatballs!"][/caption]

I used the gluten free homemakers recipe to a tee other than subbing in ground turkey instead of beef.  Thanks for the great recipe GF Homemaker! For my gluten free gravy I used this recipe:

  • 1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons minced onion

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions; cook and stir until tender. Add beef broth; simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine water and cornstarch in a small cup; stir into broth. Cook and stir for 1 minute, or until thickened.


I didn't have fresh mushrooms on hand so I used a small can.  It turned out really well. I was so excited to find a good gluten free gravy recipe!

*****


Backtracking to breakfast, I made a protein pancake with blueberries.  It kind of fell apart and looked gross, but it was delish I swear!  I did add a little something special to it homemade greek yogurt!


 



Plain and Vanilla Greek Yogurt!

Making "greek" yogurt is SO simple and SO much cheaper than buying a whole tub.  Before bed last night I took two strainers, lined them with coffee filters, and filled them with Trader Joes Plain European Style yogurt and 365 organic vanilla yogurt.  Put the strainer on a bowl where there is room for the liquid to collect.  In one night you wake up to delicious, thick greek yogurt!  Try it!  I can bet you'll like it!


For lunch I had leftover lentil soup with a few brussel sprouts.


 



Noms

*****


After I digested my meal I hit the treadmill in my basement!  I did 5 miles in 44 minutes.  After my run I found a yogalaties video on Demand and did 30 minutes.  It felt so great to workout after a couple of days of being a complete couch potato!


Now I'm relaxing with mom and princess.  Looking forward to a night of HGTV!


Also this guy is coming tomorrow to stay for 2 nights! woohoo!




[caption id="attachment_129" align="alignnone" width="277" caption=":)"][/caption]

Stay tuned for my culinary adventures with Jack!  He is obsessed with me cooking for him.


xoxo,


Rachel


 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snacky Snacks

To start, I had a blast last night at my friend's birthday party!


This picture sums up the night :)


 


Anddd the results are in on the banana cream cheesecake.....she LOVED it!  She had a bit of a freakout over it actually!  I had a couple bites and I have to agree, delicious!


 




[caption id="attachment_118" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="!!!"][/caption]

I added spray whip cream in between the banana slices and it looked so pretty!  No picture :(

*****


In general I am much more of a snacker than a 3 meals a day kind of girl.  I also don't snack with big things.  I put everything in extremely small bowls.  Today I have been snacking ALL day.  I blame it on my slight hangover and lack of sleep.  I've had small bites of the following:




  • Mcdonalds oatmeal w/o brown sugar or the dried fruit and apples

  • Roasted chicken and potatoes

  • 2 tiny bowls of cereal

  • 1 failed attempt of a spring roll (inspired by love veggies and yoga)

  • a small salad of spinach carrots and tuna

  • And now I think I've finally satisfied myself with a REALLY fluffy green monster.  Too much xanthan gum whoops!



  • [caption id="attachment_108" align="aligncenter" width="307" caption="thick and airy"][/caption]


I was also in the cooking mood all day.



I made pumpkin bread in loaf and muffin form.  I used a simple Libby's pumpkin bread kit, because my  mom wanted to get rid of it. The only change was instead of using oil I used applesauce.  They look and smelled delicious and it was confirmed by my mom that they were!  I need to make a gluten free version STAT!


I did do a little gluten free cooking though!


Gluten Free Chex mix!  I used the standard chex mix recipe but with gluten free ingredients.


Ingredients:




  • 4 cups Corn chex

  • 4 cups Rice chex

  • 1 cup of peanuts

  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder

  • 1.5 tsp season salt

  • 2 tsp worsterchier sauce

  • Sprayed with pam or any cooking spray


Bake for an hour at 250 and shake to mix every 20 mins.

Now I'm relaxing with the family and watching the packer game!  Go PACK!  I'm also sipping this delicious teavana white and samurai chai tea my mom picked up on vacation.

And snuggled up next to me is my Princess!


Dirty, but cute!


I'm planning to make tamales tomorrow to use up the roasted chicken!  See you with the results!


xoxo,


Rachel

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Banana Cream Cheesecake and Mini Gluten Free Cupcakes, Oh My!

This morning has been spent doing one of my favorite things....BAKING!  My beautiful best friend came over last night so I wasn't able to make her surprise cheesecake until this morning.

I fit in a short arm and ab workout before heading to the store to get my ingredients for Banana Cream Cheesecake.

 




[caption id="attachment_95" align="aligncenter" width="608" caption="The Goods"][/caption]

Last night I was thinking of making a plain cheesecake, but I wasn't sure if that was what Kristy would want.  So I asked her what her favorite dessert was and she kept going in between cheesecake and banana cream pie.  And then banana cream cheesecake was born.

I followed this Banana Cream Cheesecake recipe exactly, but I'm adding vanilla pudding, whipped cream, and bananas to make it beautiful!  I'll post a picture of the finished product tomorrow!

I also made a box of Betty Crocker gluten-free Devils Food cake into mini chocolate surprise cupcakes.

 




[caption id="attachment_101" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Little Babycakes"][/caption]

I added 3 eggs, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce to the cake mix.  I poured half the cupcake tray with the cake mixture and then a small dollop of:




  • 4 oz cream cheese

  • 1/2 of 1 egg

  • a couple of packets of stevia

  • chopped chocolate


Then I covered the cream cheese mixture with the rest of the cake batter.  I give you gluten-free chocolate surprise mini cupcakes!




[caption id="attachment_104" align="aligncenter" width="310" caption="Worst picture ever but you can see the inside!"][/caption]

 

 

Happy Birthday Kristy!!! You are the best!!

 




[caption id="attachment_97" align="aligncenter" width="277" caption="Birthday Girl!"][/caption]

See you all tomorrow with an update of Kristy's birthday and the picture of the cheesecake!!!

xoxo,

Rachel

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lentil soup, my love

My day started out with a weird stomach.  So I had small snacks throughout the day that weren't eventful enough for me to take pictures of.


After my 4.5 mile run on the treadmill (while watching Dexter, the best!), I finally felt hunger and there was only one thing I wanted....SOUP!


 


I have craved lentil soup for months and today I made it for the first time. It was also my first time making any type of soup for that matter.  And it was SO good!




[caption id="attachment_83" align="aligncenter" width="502" caption="The loot"][/caption]

I used this recipe because 767 reviews means its GOOD.


Start by chopping your veggies and adding them to 1/4 of a cup olive oil.





[caption id="attachment_84" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="The Base of the soup"][/caption]

 




[caption id="attachment_85" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="Let the onion and veggies soften before adding more ingredients"][/caption]

Add the remaining spices.


 




[caption id="attachment_86" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="Garlic, Bay Leaves, Oregano, and Basil"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_87" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="The soup with lentils, water, and crushed tomatoes"][/caption]

Let simmer for an hour.


 




[caption id="attachment_88" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="The finished product"][/caption]

And viola delicousness!  Seriously the best.  The only alteration to the original recipe was that I blended half of it to thicken it up and added potatoes.

 

 

Ingredients



  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 2 cups dry lentils

  • 8 cups water

  • 1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

  • salt to taste

  • ground black pepper to taste




Directions



  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

  2. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.



Now I'm off to make a cheesecake for my best friends birthday!  I'll be back with the results in the morning!

xoxo,

Rachel

The "Flat Tire" of Bel-Air

Ahhh the last 2 days have been CRAZY.  But I am happy to report I am home in Wisconsin and finally have an internet connection!

My trip from the Desert to LA started with a soy misto!



[caption id="attachment_75" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The start of my drive"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_73" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The amazing view from Pepperdine"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_74" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Reunited after 2 weeks!!!"][/caption]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a pretty laid back night waiting for the boys to get to LA.  They had In and Out Burger for dinner and I had McDonalds oatmeal (which is seriously so good).

The fun started the next day when we looked at Pepperdine and UCLA.  I hit a GIANT(literally 2'X2') pothole on Sunset Blvd.  And boom a flat tire in Bel Air.  It was 4 hours of contacting AAA, getting new tires and then driving back to the desert in RUSH HOUR in LA!  But, it's all over and I'm happy to report I stayed pretty calm because of all of you bloggers who put patience on your goals for 2011.  I decided that would be a good goal for me as well and it has already paid off!

My meals the last 3 days consisted of McDonalds, Taco Bell, and take out Chinese.  That is the reason for the lack of pictures, but now that I'm home I get to start making my own food!  Stay tuned for pictures!

My google reader has 127 new posts under the category of Foodies, so I better get crackin!

xoxo,

Rachel