A Post From The UK

Today’s Happy Note: Receiving lots of fun things in the mail today, including a sweet stack of magazines from my aunt and uncle!

No, I’m not in the UK.  But I did receive some post from the UK!

The highlight was a special letter from my special friend Sarah. Sarah and I decided to do a little writing exchange about a month back.  We both wrote about our favorite summer memories and then mailed them to each other.  It was the most fun I’ve had in a while; there is something so joyful about writing a letter, knowing someone is writing one to you too.  I loved reading Sarah’s piece — she wrote about childhood trips to a seashore.  I had vacations to Northern Michigan exactly like that!  Crazy to think that two girls, living on different continents, can have such beautiful, shared experiences.  Makes me think that people across the world have more in common than we think, sometimes.

Look how pretty her letter and card are:

It’s Royal Mail!

Thank you Sarah for such a delightful activity!

Workout: Today marks the beginning of marathon training — I am creating a day by day plan for the next 14 weeks, based largely off of this plan from Runner’s World.  I’ll let you know more about the plan as I work through it.  Mondays are actually going to be rest/cross-train days (depending on how I feel).  Obviously, I wasn’t too tired today. I did my usual two mile walk, thirty minutes of yoga, and kickboxing (boxing?) class. I love punching things.  So much.

Tomorrow should be six miles.   Excited!

Today’s Eats:

Frozen blueberries with cereal (kashi H2H) and Ronnybrook Farm milk: heavenly breakfast simplicity.

Lunch: giant salad with refried beans and hummus as a dressing.  More blueberries (fresh this time).

Afternoon snack (also had a few spoonfuls of PB and a chunk of cheese before dinner because I waited too long to start cooking and was super hungry).

An egg (sunny side-up!), a veggie sautee (avocado squash and purple pepper) along with baked eggplant with cheese. Random but yummy.  I love dinners like this, with a few different components that work together really well.

Protein ice cream: milk, chocolate-peanut-caramel protein powder, lots of ice, topped with chocolate and maple PB.   I have been craving chocolate a lot lately.  I blame my screwed up hormones.

Good news: my INR is finally high enough! I will have to get it tested weekly or monthly from now on to make sure it stays high enough (i.e., that my blood is thin enough).  I am kind of afraid I look like an IV drug user right now, so it will be nice not to have IVs so often!  Although I do have two more this week.  Awesome.

Goodnight friends.  Tell me about your weekend!

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Super Saturday Adventures: Swim Sandwich And Seafood Throwdown

Today’s Happy Note: Watching a TV show about giant river fish right now!  I love fish.  Fascinating creatures!  Other animal loves: all birds (especially cardinals), elephants, unicorns, and dinosaurs.  Which are so totally real.

Mental Health Note #1: It’s been a spectacular, head-clearing Saturday!  I love that about summer: Saturday is time for me to do what I want, to be free all day from work and school.  Sometimes I spend it with friends.  Other times I’m content by myself.  I like to do things that I want to do; things that will make me happy; try new things.   Saturday — and all the fun opportunity it holds — is not something that I will ever let depression take away from me!

The morning began with an awesome, “new”  workout.  New in the sense that, while I have done plenty of running and swimming, I’ve never done a real “brick” workout.  Actually, I like to call this a sandwich workout: I wanted to do a long(ish) run and I also wanted to swim (it was terribly hot).  I planned out a fun route to an NYSC with a pool.  I ran 6 miles there (the gym is 4 miles away but I threw in extra bits), swam for 30 minutes, then ran the 4 miles back.  I actually ran the way there wearing my swimsuit under my shirt and shorts.  I carried a small running backpack with my cap, googles, emergency cash, phone, keys, and clean undergarments in it.  It was easy peasy to hop in the pool when I arrived, and I just dried off with the towels there afterwards, put my clothes back on and headed back out the door.  There you have it.  A Run-Swim-Run Sandwich.

After speed showering and inhaling a mango-vanilla-peach smoothie, it was time for an Adventure!  In case you didn’t read yesterday’s post, I have changed Adventure Fridays to Adventure Saturdays for timing purposes.

The Adventure involved the Union Square Greenmarket.  And food.  And cooking:  A Seafood Throwdown! Sounds random, but it also sounded fun and I’m so glad I went.  CENYC and NAMA put together a competition between chefs from Colors and artists from SPURSE (a very random, very strange, spacey arts collective).  The goal of the event was to promote sustainable, local, aware seafood consumption.  We often fret about where our tomatoes come from, but we don’t know so much about our seafood.  The event was literally a throwdown style format — like Bobby Flay, just less formal.  There were even food network judges (although I had NO idea who they were — anyone recognize them from the pictures???).

The Secret Seafood is…Black Sea Bass!

Above right: a seafood paella and sea bass ceviche with strawberry-cucumber salsa from Colors.

Okay, so I’m not showing you all the dishes from the SPURSE team because…well, some of them were a little kooky.  I’m all for holistic living, but these people were a little much.  The guy who talked about them struck me as straight up crazy.  No other way to put it.  He said things like “we try to incorporate the idea of the air and the sea and where they meet into our idea of cooking…and it’s not cooking it’s art.”  They believed in using the entire fish in their cooking.  In theory, I agree with this.  In practice, I don’t: they made a soup out of blood and a stew out of mushrooms and the fish’s tongues, cheeks, and eyes…yeah.  I just wasn’t into it.  I must say, however, that their simpler dishes — like poached sea bass with roasted potatoes and ceviche with fresh sweet peas — seemed great.

Judges judging.  And the winner is….

Okay, so I don’t actually know.  I was near the front and getting really tired from standing in the sun and wanted others to see, so I left to do my greenmarket shopping.  I looked on the website but it didn’t say the winner.  My vote would go to Colors for simplicity, elegance, presentation, and some degree of normalcy.  If this were based entirely on creativity, on the other hand, I might be rooting for SPURSE.

It was really fun to watch the chefs collect local ingredients from the farmers, prepare and cook their dishes, and present and explain them. It was just a fun — if ridiculously hot — event.  It made me feel like I was on food network or something!

The day didn’t end there though; I would have liked to just relax, but had to do some work stuff (GRRRRR MTA bus system) that took forever.  And I meant to do laundry but didn’t.  Crap.

There were loads of fun eats to keep me going through such a busy day!  I was in and out constantly from 8 to 6!  I probably walked another 3 or 4 miles in addition to the workout described above…

Fueled myself with good eats of course!

Greenmarket nibbles!

Plenty of cereal with pb and chocolate (my favorite post-long run snack!).

I knew I wanted loads of veg and some solid protein for dinner.  But for some reason, this just made me feel sick.  Sometimes when I have a lot of veggie servings at once, this happens.  Also, it’s just so hot.  Even warm food wasn’t a good idea.  I’ve been having smoothies for dinner every night for a reason, apparently.

Mental Health Note #2: Adventures are good for me.  Good for all of me.   They make me happy and give me something to focus on and look forward to — sometimes, depression makes me retreat inward.  This tends to make things worse.  Going out and seeing new people and fun things and just exploring the world takes me outside of myself for a little while.  Yes, I come home in the evening and still feel a bit lonely.  Sometimes I long to meet someone on an Adventure.  Like my soul mate might also be having an Adventure too.  But my time will come.  I know that.  For now, I just need to make myself happy.  That’s all I can really do!

Sunday Funday Frienday

Today’s Happy Note: Looking at different gyms for the summer.  It’s fun, but some of them are expensive!

Caronae is a very tired pumpkin seed today.  Lots of walking and time in the sun = one exhausted girl.  I’m going to have to let the pictures do (most of) the talking.

Festivals in Brooklyn with friends are fun.

BAM is fun.

Piles of blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and whip cream are fun.  My friend’s dad invited us over for brunch.  These were divine; I have no idea how he got them so fluffy, but it was like eating a pillow.  A pillow stuffed with mountains of wild blueberries.

Rooftop gardens are spectacularly fun.  New York City in the summertime is fun (when it’s not deathly hot).

Bowls, drums, jewelry. All fun.

Fun fact about Caronae: I love elephants.

Fresh fruit = fun snack (strawberry and pear).

Free new shoes are very fun!  I got these from my friend’s dad’s girlfriend.  I have very few dress shoes so these will be nice for work.

Egg puffs in salads are always fun.

Not obsessing about exercise or precise calorie intake is pretty fun too!  I got in my fair share of walking today too.  I don’t have a picture, but McDonald’s sweet tea is wonderfully fun.  I am aware that it’s mostly sugar and I don’t care.  It is one of the best drinks in the world and is the only thing I go to McDonald’s (or really any fast food place) for.

What was fun for you today?

It’s easy to forget how important  fun is for our mental health.  If you have trouble letting yourself have fun (I think many women, especially, do), make a list of your favorite fun things and try one out when you’re feeling down.

My list includes things from this post and…

  • new swimsuits
  • word games and sudoku puzzles
  • picnics with friends
  • adventures in the park
  • any type of flower, especially orchids
  • collecting bird pins
  • baking
  • frozen fruit in the summer
  • checking out books from the library
  • cooing over fuzzy ducklings
  • reading poems
  • reading blogs
  • finding discounted kitchen appliances
  • wearing dresses

And many more things, of course! 🙂  What does your fun list look like?

Long Run Tips And Eats

Today’s Happy Note: Writing in my journal.  It has a drawing of a vegetable patch  on the cover, with a rooster and flowering plants in the background.  I love it.

Busy day!  Long run, farmer’s market, loads of writing, acquired a plant for my windowsill (!), a few work emails, chatting with family on phone, eating fun dinner, reading, lounging, snuggling.  Perfect things for a mellow Saturday!

Long run: I *think* I ran somewhere between 13 and 14 miles.  I ran for 138 minutes and roughly mapped it out at mapmyrun.com, which is useful but by no means perfectly accurate.  I actually don’t miss my dysfunctional garmin.  I find it kind of freeing to run based on feeling alone.

Caronae’s Long Run Tips:

  • Bring water and a snack — invest in a waist pack or a camel bak (I have this one from amphipod –works perfectly).  If possible, plan your route so you  will run by a few water fountains or public bathrooms so that you can refill or make a pit stop.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop and stretch or walk for a minute or two if you need to.  The heat and humidity right now make long runs that much harder and sometimes just a quick break helps you recharge during the middle of a tough run.
  • It can be fun to pick a destination and run there.  For example, I love planning long runs so that I end up at the farmer’s market and can buy myself a tasty treat.  Just make sure you have a way to get back, or make it a round trip.
  • Make sure you carry a cellphone, keys, ID, and any other important items in a zippered pocket.  Another trick for keys is tying them into your shoe laces.
  • Consume plenty of potassium and magnesium on the day of your run, before and after.  Your body needs these nutrients to replenish lost electrolytes.  They help prevent cramping.
  • Don’t worry about anyone else.  If a long run is 5 miles for you right now, that’s fine.  Build up slowly.  Add a mile or two every week, or every other week if you need more time to adjust.  Eight miles is an accomplishment for anyone.  Before you know it you’ll be able to do a half-marathon.  Just don’t set out to run a half-marathon if the farthest you’ve ever done is 4 miles.
  • The key to long-runs is listening to your body.  Your legs and chest and lungs and muscles and hips will tell you things.  Your legs might say “slow down” or “walk for a minute” or “faster turnover, please!”  Listen.

This morning’s long run ended at the farmer’s market.  One of my most favorite places in the city is the Union Square market on Saturdays.  Busy but in a pleasant sort of way.  I’ve become an expert at weaving in and out of crowds of yuppies wielding Whole Foods bags and reusable tea cups.

I really wanted to bring my camera, but it doesn’t fit in the aforementioned amphipod.  Sad face.  I had a lovely brunch in the Union Square park of Ronnybrook chocolate milk, sumac tea, and a blueberry- cranberry scone from a place called Hudson Valley Farmhouse.  Admittedly, it wasn’t really a scone.  It was light and airy and more muffin-y. But whatever it was, it was amazing.  I might just have to make this a weekly engagement.

Other purchases: Ronnybrook skim milk, mixed baby lettuces, sugar snap peas (fresh local sugar snap peas are indescribably delectable), and a fuschia!  I have a plant for my room now! I am so excited.  I named her Fanny Fuschia and I am going to take such good care of her this summer.  Pictures to come, I promise.  My next plant is going to be a set of herb seedlings.

Long run eats!

This is the boldest color I’ve ever achieved in a smoothie.  I like it!

Dinner might win the random award but if that’s the case then it also deserves a random-but-tasty award.  Sometimes I think random dinners are the best.  This was a wrap filled with a mixture of the following: smashed Dr. Praeger’s tex-mex veggie burger, 1 egg, and white cheddar cheese.  I mixed it all together and microwaved it.  I came out like a souffle.  A tasty tasty souffle meant to be eaten in a wrap alongside a sautee of mushroom, asparagus, and sugar snap peas (with olive oil and poppy seed dressing).  See, I told you it was random.

Okay.  Confession time.  Now that Stephanie mentioned the whole asparagus-urine issue, I feel like it’s my turn to come out of the closet.  Asparagus makes my pee smell.  Very very much.  I know this doesn’t happen to everyone, so I’m just curious: if you feel comfortable answering, I have to know.  When you eat asparagus, does it make your pee smell like asparagus?

Wow, that was incredibly unappetizing.  And yet my dessert was too good not to share!

Sometimes I bring my own fro-yo toppings.  That way I can have exactly what I want in the quantity I want for free.  It’s a win-win situation.  This is semi-sweet chocolate chips, TJ’s PB and A mix, and TJ’s chocolate covered cherries (meh, too sweet).

Eaten in the park with a side of Jhumpa Lahiri.

My legs often cramp up in the evening after a long run so I went for a two-ish mile stroll and then settled into some very tight, but relaxing, pigeon poses.

After writing last night’s post, I realized that I was feeling very anxious, and this was stemming from two sources: feeling upset about therapy (I’ve been thinking about it all week) and feeling lonely (thanks everyone for your soothing comments!).  I decided I could do a few small things to alleviate both of these problems!

I have one friend in the city right now and I asked her if she wanted to do something tomorrow and she actually mentioned there was a music festival she wanted to go to.  Score.  Then, another friend called tonight and said she doesn’t have plans for Memorial Day either, so we’re going to go to CP!  I’m much happier now!  Friends make the world go round.

I also decided that I needed to do a free-write letter to my therapist; not one that I’ll actually send, but just as a way to get my thoughts out.  I’m really happy with what I came up with and I think I’ll read it to her next week and see if she can help me feel comfortable in therapy again.

How do you like to spend your Saturdays in summer?

Summer Projects and TWO Dinners

Today’s Happy Note: Chatting with my dad on the phone and getting excited to go home so that I can visit the bakery!  Is this what normal people get excited about when they get to go home?  Probably not.  But I’m a food blogger, which is mutually exclusive to normal.  And my little town has the best bakery in the entire world.  I want to have an eclair.  And an apple fritter.  I am, of course, also getting very excited to see my crazy but beautiful family!

The no good icky bad mood has lifted! Thank the Lord.  Or hormones.  Or my therapist.  I don’t know who to thank but I do know that it’s gone!  (Insert happy dance here).  I let myself sleep in today, went for a nice (ish…) run, had my favorite mid-week treat breakfast, worked, then came home and relaxed.  No obligations.  I’m really not exactly sure what my work schedule will be like in the evenings (I am working two jobs) this summer.  My guess is that it is going to be crazy busy/late on some days and really chill on others.  But after a week of coming home from work at five fifteen and having not not much to do, I know that I am in some serious need of summer “projects.”  I am not going to start any of these until I have “officially” started my summer schedule and am back in NY, which will be in two weeks.  But I’m making a list now so I can plan and keep myself entertained!

Caronae’s Super Spectacular Fun Summer Project List:

1.  Stay in touch with old friends/family members who don’t live in the city.

2. Make regular plans with school friends who are in the city.

3. Meet new blog friends!

4. Start a planter in windowsill.  I want to grow lavender and maybe some rosemary and thyme.  I would like a flowering plant, but I’m afraid a planter won’t allow its roots the room that they need.

5. Find muffin recipes.  Make said recipes.

6. Cook a few fancy dinners.

7.  Places to visit: museums, aquariums, botanical gardens.

8. Weekly yoga sesh with my cousin.

9. Learn to knit?????

10. Buy a set of pastels and use them (sidenote: I adore pastels; they are my favorite artistic tool by far).

11. Learn more about trees and (geek alert!) take walks around the city identifying different types of trees.

12. See some dance shows.

13: Library.  Books.  Read them.  Last summer I had a “reading project” in which I read as many major Russian authors as I could (Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Pushkin, etc.).  I need a similar project for this summer!  It’s actually really fun if you are a word geek like I am.

14. Expand blog.

So that’s the plan for now!  This doesn’t include everything I’ll be doing, of course (read: running), just some fun and/or new projects.  I don’t really consider running a hobby so much as a part of my life, like eating or working or writing.

What are your favorite hobbies or activities?  Anything I should add to my list?  I’m totally open to suggestions!

Exercise: I did get in my 7.5 mile run today, and it was going really well — my legs were churning pretty fast, I thought — until I had to go to the bathroom about halfway through.  Stat.  Why are public bathrooms in this city so hard to find????  I had to walk for a mile before I found one.  Ick.  I hate when a pit stop derails my run, it’s one of the more annoying things about running.  Other “interesting” things that have happened to me while running: being chased (and almost mauled) by dogs, being stopped by annoying tourists asking for directions to Columbus Circle, getting very very lost in East Harlem, becoming convinced that my mother and sister were eaten by mountain lions, and sneaking into some very sketchy woods (on many different occasions) to go to the bathroom.  Runners have interesting lives and good stories.  You should befriend one 🙂

Eats: I had my special weekday breakfast treat today: a bagel with peanut butter and sweet iced tea from the deli/bakery.  This is one of my favorite things in the world.  I used to think it was so wrong that I would let food make me happy, but life is too short not to feel happy about having your favorite foods once in a while.  I freely admit that toasted cinnamon bagels with peanut butter make me very happy indeed!

I did the whole two dinners thing again today and it worked wonderfully.  No more Hangry Caronae!!!  Yay. 🙂

Dinner #1:

Vanilla-pear protein oatmeal eaten at 5:15.

Dinner #2:

Hodgepodge salad: mesclun base with carrots, steamed broccoli, refried pinto beans, brown rice, and a 2-egg puff.  So nom nom nom nom.

Dessert:

Pineapple chobs with crumbled raspberry chocolate luna bar — I maintain that this is not only the best luna bar flavor but the best bar out there.  Period.  It tastes like a raspberry-infused brownie that you might get for dessert at a fancy restaurant.  For twelve dollars.  I’m  not exaggerating.

Do you have a favorite dessert? I like almost anything with chocolate, especially brownies and homemade bake goods.  I have also been known to eat Ben and Jerry’s (ahem, Phish food) straight from the pint.

Goodnight friends!  Happy almost-weekend!

Caronae’s “Lasagna” Make This.

Today’s Happy Note: I was feeling really unproductive in the morning, but all the sudden I realized “it’s never too late to turn the day around” and ended up getting lots of things done. 🙂

Good evening friends! Yesterday was just one of those days where my energy was zero (yet somehow I felt the need to consume massive amounts of cereal), my output was zero, and well, it was just icky.  I couldn’t seem to do anything.  I went to a performance in the evening with friends and a (boring) academic conference in the morning, so I guess I did some things.  But if I don’t work out, eat healthfully, and get school work done, I feel terribly unproductive.  And a part of me still translates this lack of productivity into worthlessness.  And then another part of me hates that part of me.  And then I feel like I’m at war with myself and I try to solve it by eating cereal (I never really “solve” my problems with other foods, oddly enough).

Lesson? It’s okay to have days where you do nothing.  Productivity is not measured in how much I exercise, precisely how many vegetables I have consumed, or whether or not I spent six hours at the library.  Sometimes it’s valuable to take a nap or rest day or spend an hour lounging in bed with my journal and hot chocolate.  I feel like I keep coming back to this lesson again and again.  I think it’s just something I need to keep telling myself, albeit gently, until I get it.

Somehow that feeling from yesterday began creeping into today, but I turned it around!  I was so proud of myself for this.  Geeky, I know, but when I’m in a bad mood or just a general funk, I tend to consciously keep myself in that place and make myself miserable.  Not today!  I didn’t get everything on the to-do list done, but I covered a lot of ground: I ran, did all readings for one class and am starting a paper for another, called my grandparents, washed clothes, cleaned room, prepped veggies for rest of week, cooked an awesome dinner, chatted with two friends, picked up my class shirt, and blogged.  Sounds like I have actually gotten quite a lot done.

Conclusion: Dear Caronae, please stop being so hard on yourself.  You are enough.  You are beautiful and capable and strong.  Smart and productive and friendly.  Smile!

I may go to the second most stressful college in the country (proven fact), but I don’t need to be stressed all the time!  Although with that said, this week is going to be mighty busy.  My goal is to take that stress and find healthy outlets — not hating on myself, eating emotionally, or moping around!  Here’s what has to get done this week (I’m only talking about schoolwork here):

-outline, research, and write 15 page paper on Arabian Nights

-outline and research 15 page paper on Amartya Sen vs. basic needs

-write prose poem

-read Virginia Woolf book and Foucault book

-read history textbooks

Okay, time to stop boring you all, seeing as this is not a homework blog or a stress blog!  Onto the fun stuff!

Exercise: I did the same workout I did earlier this week — a six mile run with 25 minutes of abs/yoga sandwiched in the middle.  This workout is actually really fun!  It’s nice to have a break in the middle, and I used a bench by the Hudson River to do the abs and yoga, so it was quite scenic.  I got to stare into the water and the coast and the various wooden docks; it seemed to help my focus for the yoga, and made the ab work more enjoyable.

I am looking for more “fun” stuff to do in terms of workouts for the next month or two (or possibly more).  I have no upcoming races or events to train for and I definitely want to cut back on the running a bit.  I have been doing strength and HIIT twice a week which is nice.  I want a class or a new form of exercise though.  I’m getting bored.  Anyone have any ideas or favorite classes or recommendations for stuff in NY (inexpensive)?

Eats: I consumed many delicious things today, as usual, but I will only be sharing one thing with you now.  Why is that?  Because it is the most delicious, fanciest, awesomest dish I have ever cooked and probably in the top five I have ever consumed.  That is why.  And it all started off as an experiment!

Caronae’s “lasagna” (serves one; cannot be easily doubled or tripled because it would probably fall apart) :

Ingredients…

about 10 large stalks of asparagus

about 1.5 C baby bella mushrooms

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

basil (dried or fresh)

spinach

1 egg

1/2 ounce very finely diced or shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash and dry the mushrooms and asparagus.  Cut asparagus spears (horizontally, not lengthwise) into two even pieces.  Thinly slice the mushrooms.  Toss the asparagus and mushrooms with the EVOO and salt.  Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, measure out the rest of your ingredients.  When asparagus and mushrooms are finished, removed from oven.  Using a glass baking dish, make a little “raft” of asparagus — I used about eight half-spears for each layer of the raft.  Top this first layer with mushrooms and then half of the ricotta.  Sprinkle on a bit of basil.  Repeat the process again.  Top the upper layer of ricotta with a few more pieces of asparagus, if desired.  (Sidenote: I realize I should have taken pictures of this process, but it’s pretty much the exact same thing you would do when making a real lasagna). You may have extra veggies, if so, set aside for another day.  Cook this stack for 5-7 minutes.  Meanwhile, crack egg into a bowl and heat in microwave for about 30 seconds.  Remove the egg and, using a spatula or other utensil, carefully work your way underneath the egg so that it is separated from the bowl.  Try not to break the yolk.  Lightly wash the spinach using a damp paper towel.  Do NOT submerge or soak; you need it to become dry and crispy.  When the “stack” is done, remove.  Top with the spinach (it should be pretty thoroughly covered; don’t worry because the spinach shrinks down and dries up), the egg, and the dices/shredded cheddar.  Cook for five more minutes.  Remove and eat.

I can’t really say anything about this dish — you just have to try it.  I don’t know if it was the richness of the ricotta and the EVOO or the combination of the smooth mushrooms with that distinct asparagus flavor.  Or the tiny bits of cheddar melting into the crisped up spinach.  I don’t think any individual component of this dish made it what it is; everything worked together.  That’s why the “stack”/”lasagna” format works so well for these ingredients; they can easily be consumed all in one bite.  I rarely post the recipes for my “experiments”, but this experiment was one serious winner.

Your plate should look like this afterwards (I actually licked mine)…

It’s actually fairly healthy too, probably because it’s made with a vegetable base.  Lots of healthy fats, yummy protein, and plant matter.  Totally fresh.  I might be gushing about this little creation for several days.  You have been forewarned.

This dinner was probably my weekend highlight.  What was yours?