Days 9, 10, & 11 – Photos and Lentil Burgers

I got a few days behind. I did something creative each day. Posting, not quite.

Day 9

Day 10

I’ve made these lentil burgers and posted the recipe before. Last time I made them I had the hardest time getting them to stick together to form actual patties. Since then I’ve read a few other lentil burger recipes. The trick? Blend or food process about half of the burger mixture to a puree. I’ve updated the recipe, so just click on the link above! Also, this time I used red pepper flakes instead of a jalapeno, one chopped up carrot, two mini sweet peppers, and homemade pesto (with basil from my garden!) instead of the sour cream sauce.

Day 11

We went to Bloomington for the day on Saturday to meet up with three of my friends from my days on the IU Equestrian Team. We’re kind of spread out through the midwest these days, but something about spending three or four years together working to make a tiny team into one who competed at Nationals, forms a …. bond … keeps you close. We spent the day drinking (I promise I did not drive back to Indy drunk that night! I would never.) and Meredith ordered this pretty drink with a popsicle in it.

I’m making lots of things in the kitchen today! Can’t wait to share them with you!

Muffins, Races, and BFFs galore!

I got an iPhone about a month ago. God it’s worlds better than the LG Ally I had. And universes better than the HTC Eris before that. I can confidently say that I am an Apple girl all the way! I’ve been snapping lots of pictures with my iPhone. It’s not the world’s greatest quality (like I won’t be taking tons of pictures with it when we go to SPAIN! More later.), but it’s so nice to take photos when I’m out and about.

So here is a brief tour of the last week in my life via photos.

Two weekends ago we went to Chicago for the Shamrock Shuffle, an 8K that starts and ends in Grant Park. This was my first race since I’ve gotten serious about running. Marnie and her boyfriend Jannson have done it the past two years I believe. The weather was perfect on race day. I ran the 5 miles in 44 minutes. So proud of myself!

The 717 totally tore it up!

Coffee always tastes better with two of your best friends. Especially after steak dinner at 11pm the night before! This was one of my favorite trips to Chicago yet.

One of my visiting people rules is Never Show Up to a Friend’s House Without a Baked Good in Hand. This weekend we were runners, so I picked a healthful baked good that would give us fuel.

These ginger-cranberry oatmeal muffins from Everybody Likes Sandwiches were perfect. Made with only whole-wheat flour, oats, and no butter or oil, I really felt OK about eating these muffins. And they were not heavy or dense. Nicely the opposite in fact. I think my favorite part was the chewy candied ginger bits and tangy cranberries. Click over to Jeanette’s blog for the recipe. The only thing I did different was replace the oil/melted butter with a mashed up and very ripe banana, per Jeanette’s suggestion.

This past weekend my bff Bette came up from Charlotte to visit. Bette and I have been friends for 16 years. I have been down to North Carolina to visit her (in a non-working-at-camp visit) about five times in the last three years. Oh and plenty of times before that too. Bette, on the other hand, had visited me in Indiana twice in the past 16 years. Granted, North Carolina is like 20 times cooler than Indiana. But I was ecstatic when she finally bought a plane ticket to see my city.

We ate crepes, drank local beer,  went to Luna Music for National Record Day (OMG The Head and the Heart album is to die for!), hung out in Zionsville, and ate cupcakes, despite less than ideal weather on Friday and Saturday.

We even found some sunshine time to take Mira to 100 Acres at the Indianapolis Art Museum.

I hope she comes back sooner than 11 years from now!! I do love the girl.

And in news that I cannot yet document in photographs, Michael and I are going to Spain for 10 days in May. In fact, we leave in 2 1/2 weeks!! We’ll be staying six days in Granada and two days in Madrid. Hopefully there will be some site seeing, beach going, hiking in the Sierra Nevadas, lots of delicious food and wine consuming, and merriment!

Have you been to Spain? I’d love to hear favorite places, recommendations, and general input.

A Lemony White Chocolate Birthday Cake

When one of your best friends turns 27, you throw down in the cake department. At least that’s what my friends and I do.

So I started planning for Samantha’s birthday cake weeks in advance. Sam’s birthday is in the beginning of April, right when Spring starts to tease you with a few warm, sunny days. So a cake that says Spring! She doesn’t really like chocolate in an obsessive way, which is OK because in my book this time of year rings in the beginning of fruit-baking season.

So when I saw a white chocolate cake filled with lemon curd, I figured I’d found my cake. I like white chocolate in certain situations, where you don’t want a chocolate flavor perse, but you want a nice, sweet cake. I looooove lemon curd. Have you ever had it? Seriously, it’s worthy of eating all by itself with a spoon. Creamy, tangy, delicious. Balances out the white chocolate perfectly. I was completely inspired by the original cake’s pretty pastel-colored frosting and polka dots, but not so much the fact that it was cream cheese based. Too heavy. So I opted for whipped cream. I felt really good about giving this cake to Sam to celebrate her life.

Also, a note. I’m normally terrible at assembling layer cakes. As in they end up lopsided, the icing melting down the sides, and the layers sliding apart. This cake was supposed to be four layers (bake two layers, slice each in half). The idea of four layers scared the shit out of me. I went with two. I also think the whipped cream as icing really helped. It slathered on easily and I didn’t have to do a lot of smoothing. The pink and yellow really helped the whole thing look nice, too I think. Sam said the yellow dots looked like popcorn. I’ll let you decide!

I did use some layer cake tricks that I’ve picked up on various blogs. I’ll bold them in the directions below. I did do the cake over two days. Actual cake (and curd if you make your own) day one, whipped cream and assemblage day two.

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Thankful # I’m not sure

Haven’t done a thankful in awhile. But I have a lot to be thankful for right now. Namely my amazing friends and family. I would be lost without you guys. Seriously. Thank you for being there for me when I need you the most!

Everyone should take a second to think about the amazing support systems they have. I hope you guys all have amazing support systems. I think we tend to take them for granted when things are good. Anyway, I’m incredibly lucky.

Up and Moved!

After three lovely years using Blogger for all my blogging needs, I decided it was time to move on. After exploring WordPress a bit and reading really great things about it from other bloggers, I made the move here. So far so good, I think. This feels….more grownup somehow? I suppose I’ve made a natural progression from LiveJournal to Blogger to WordPress. So anyway, look around, tell me what you think, I like feedback!!!

As my first official post, I’d like to recognize some of my amazing friends who have recently started their own blogs. Check them out. They’re great writers and very insightful.

Some Restrictions Apply
I met Heather through work. She’s hilarious and has serious willpower. Read her blog and you’ll understand. She’s trying out different diets, just to see how it would be to live as, say, a vegetarian, or on a gluten-free diet, because she’s curious. Heather also shares my love of cupcakes.

I’m the Dandy Highway Man
Samantha and I have known each other since sixth grade, though we really became very good friends in college. She’s one-third of the 717 and one of my best friends. These are her observations on life in general I would say. Get inside her head.

Cold As Ice Cream But Still As Sweet

I know Jen through Samantha. They are not entirely sure how they met, but it might have something to do with Bloomington. Jen has become one of my close friends since I moved back to Indianapolis. She’s a baker, too, and we’ve made a few cakes together. They’re always tasty, and not always pretty. She blogs about culture, art, fashion, Indianapolis, and maybe food.

My thankfuls

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope you had a lovely day filled with food, family and friends. We spent the afternoon at the Coffin house and the evening at the Goodman house. I have not eaten that much in quite some time.

I have a lot going for me right now. Just thought a list could be appropriate.

I am thankful for…
…my family and that we are all healthy this year.
…our store and that it’s still making it through tougher times.
…Adam, who never ceases to amaze me in how wonderful he is.
…my girlfriends, without whom I would be so lost.
…my wigglebutt Mira and her unconditional and irrational love for me.
…my job. To have one right now and to enjoy it on most days.
…my kitchen. As tiny as it is, I’ve cooked a lot of food in there this year.
…downtown, which is a lot more fun than I could have imagined.
…the new friends I have made this past year and how easily they have accepted me into their circle.

I’m a lucky girl:)

the prettiest Pretty Pretty Princesses at Thanksgiving!

So far away, doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?

It would be so fine to see your face at my door
Doesn’t help to know that you’re just time away
Long ago I reached for you and there you stood
Holding you again could only do me good
How I wish I could, but you’re so far away.

I think there’s some kind of saying that says having friends in far away places makes the world seem smaller. I disagree. I hate having my friends so spread out. Even Marnie and Meredith, who are just in Chicago, seem lightyears away. And that’s not even counting anyone in North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, California, freaking Ireland. I know that far away friends give me prime excuses to go on mini vacations and long weekends to visit people but I what I really want is to be able to go have drinks with them in the middle of the week or play in the summer weather with them.

I remember when I was little and my friends lived in the same city as me. Ian’s friends lived right up the street. I was so incredibly jealous that he could walk or ride his bike to their houses. In middle school I became friends with a girl who lived a few streets away and I thought my life was complete. Mostly though my friends were a car ride away. I hated that. I thought driving to the other side of the north side of Indianapolis was a tragedy. 20 minutes? I wanted 2 minutes! I lived in a tiny circle back then. Between my friends, the barn, school, temple, the JCC, my Indianapolis grandparents, Blockbuster and ice cream nothing was farther than 20 minutes away.
What I wouldn’t give for that right now. My circle has expanded considerably these days. Oh wells, guess you can’t always get what you want right?