In The Kitchen with Kate: Wordless Wednesday Edition

I saw this recipe on Pinterest the other day and couldn’t wait to try it. Homemade Veggie Nuggets!

Homemade Veggie Nuggets at Did That Just Happen Blog

That looks neat, right? Vegetarian chicken nuggets! And the ingredient list really was simple: Carrots, parsnips, potato, broccoli – and then some oil, egg and breadcrumbs.

The reality:

Homemade veggie nuggets, sort of, at Did That Just Happen Blog

So, mine is a different color… I can work with that… but it was also a totally different texture… well, let’s try it anyway, so what if the cookie cutter didn’t work and I pulled out the melon baller… It could still work!

Pinterest Fail Homemade veggie nuggets at Did That Just Happen Blog

Yeah.  No.

Apparently My Profile Picture Sucks

Drunk people, children and leggings always tell the truth at Did That Just Happen Blog

And thank goodness for that! We were hanging out in the concession stand Saturday night, working a very slow playoff game, and I’m not sure exactly how it happened, all I know is all of the sudden one of the teenagers was going through my photos to pick a new profile picture.  Because mine wasn’t very flattering.

So I’m looking around at everyone – what do you mean? I love that picture! It’s an awesome picture!!

And I got “you know, kudos to you for using natural light.”

whaaaat? Did That Just Happen Blog

All I know is that more people should speak up when a profile picture isn’t good!

But, do it in a nice way! And that teenager really was so sweet!  Later that night I tagged her on Instagram and asked if the one I picked was better – she agreed, so whew, I have a replacement! I’ve been trying to figure out where all I have the old picture so I can replace it! 🙂

Okay, I have two replacements.  I’m pretty much afraid to make any decisions on my own at this point!

Oh! You want to know what is not my profile picture? At the start line of my first 5k! Did That Just Happen Blog

That is me at the start line of my very first 5k run!  It was a last minute decision… like 3 days before the race I decided to do it!  I’ve never run that far before, it is 3.1 miles and I run about 2.7 most mornings.  I had no clue what I was doing.  At all.

And, I am so shy that I was in line and these two girls were talking and included me in the conversation, and I ended up scooting a bit out of it, cause nerves and insecurity!

At the end of their conversation, they introduced themselves.  To each other!  They didn’t know each other, they were just there in a shared experience!

AGH! I have got to learn how to do that!!

But that’s not the point!  Spoiler alert, I lived to tell about my race!

Finished my first 5k and lived to tell the tale at Did That Just Happen Blog

I finished!

Not only that, I finished in the top 5 of my group!  I was pretty darn proud of myself and now I think I’ll have to do another one!

Of course, if you follow any runners at all, it’s all about the meals.  The meals leading up to the race, and naturally the post race meal.  And boy was I thinking about a post race meal!

And then I remembered that I didn’t run but less than 1/2 a mile more than usual – LOL, it’s not like I burned an extra 1,000 calories that day!

So, I compromised.

Starbucks and Running Shoes, pretty much sums up my life at Did That Just Happen Blog

I’m a Prepper

I’m a Prepper!

Well, not that kind of Prepper, although, you should check out my Zombie Attack board on Pinterest!

This weekend I did some meal prep.  When I was younger, I did a lot of advance meal making, and recently you’ve heard me talk about my love of freezer and crock pot meals; however, since I became vegetarian and have made an effort to minimize the processed food I eat, I haven’t figured out the meal prep just yet – but that changed this weekend!

Fridge full of easy meal prep at Did That Just Happen Blog

My friend Melissa introduced me to a raw broccoli salad that Mr. T and I both just love (which is rare, he’s not near as happy with me being a vegetarian as I am!) but I try and keep a bowl of that in the fridge every other week for some easy meals.

I cut up a mini watermelon.

I discovered I have expired eggs in my fridge.  Don’t judge.

As I was chopping up the broccoli for the salad, I knew I was going to have baked potatoes for a few meals… but my mom was making potato soup… so, I got soup going, diced the broccoli stems and a couple carrots and threw them in with the potatoes and onions.  Once it was cooked and cooled, I portioned those suckers up and today for lunch I grabbed a container and 2 minutes and 22 seconds later my lunch was ready! (Is anyone else so lazy that they will just punch in the same number instead of moving their finger? No? It’s just me?)

I made a 2nd batch of homemade Lara bars.  Now, I’ve never had a real Lara bar, so I don’t know how they compare, but it is so easy! I’ve included the YouTube from Colin at Hip to Save as you must watch this and then go make these.  They are my favorite snack.  They are my favorite breakfast.  They are my favorite!

Lastly, I am in love with the Sargento’s Balanced Breaks…

Homemade Sargento Balanced Breaks at Did That Just Happen blog

but I already had almonds, raisins and string cheese on hand… so I made my own! Those are the little things you see in the cheese drawer.  I grabbed one of those for my morning snack, and it was perfect.

All together, I spent less than an hour in the kitchen and have breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks all ready to go at a moments notice! Yes, there is some repetition in the meals, but with broccoli salad, baked potato with steamed broccoli on top and then potato soup, I am not eating the same thing 2 days in a row; and with my fruits and veggies cut up, it has made eating so much easier on me this week!

Yes, I hear you crying out to the computer, “but what about Mr. T? What will he eat?”.  3 days a week he goes from school, to cheer, to work, and he gets a free meal at work, so he’s being feed at school and work.  On game days, I’ve paid and he gets food delivered at school.  So that leaves one night a week I have to worry about feeding him, and well, my mom took care of that.  When she does her meal prep, she will portion out an individual serving for Mr. T! My fridge and freezer both have meals she’s sent home for him!

What about you? Are you a prepper?

Back in My Day

I read an article on Yahoo! Food the other day about Secret Menus, and how many restaurants have secret menus and not so secret menus.  It spoke on the evolution of those menus and the franchises that have pulled them off brilliantly (In-and-Out Burger) and those that have failed dismally (Panera).  It was interesting; however, my favorite part of the article was the social impact that secret menus have and why they have such a strong appeal to Generation X.

In the middle of Generation X, we were thought to be slackers, flannel wearing coffee drinkers… and well, while that is true, studies have shown that we are the most education, the most focused on family, and we have the highest percentage of voters and volunteers.  Gen X’ers played the first video game, we are the masters at creating the perfect mix tape and we value honesty and fairness.

bert-ernie-eyes-funny-Favim.com-2355467

The “X” in Gen X came from the fact that our generation feels (felt) disconnected, alienated, we aren’t like the generation before us, and we really aren’t like the generation after us! As such, the ability to be “in the know” and have special knowledge about something gives us a sense of belonging. The secret menu has played into the common characteristic of the generation, that we just want a connection.

Brian Wansink, author of Slim By Design and founder of Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab, which studies consumer behavior related to food, agrees that people have a psychological draw to secret menus. “Some people really value fine dining because they feel like they’re part of an exclusive club,” Wansink says. These hard-to-get (or afford) experiences are a symbol of that person’s uniqueness. “The secret menu does that,” Wansink says, “but it’s a whole lot cheaper to spend eight dollars on a burger than it is to join the Philadelphia Country Club.” Though secret menus can appeal to people in any age group, Wansink sees it as a “Generation X Thing,” adding: “They’ve been told all their life that they’re unique. This is one way of reinforcing that.”

You can read the entire article here: Yahoo! Food Secret Burger Menus, Explained

It’s an interesting article, but you follow that up and realize that Generation Y is in the work force now and Millennials dominant traits are those of narcissism and a sense of entitlement.

Millennial-entitlement | Did That Just Happen Blog

Alas, all hope is not lost as we get to the point of the blog post today.  James Harrison.

James Harrison trophy post

The post reads:

I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy. #harrisonfamilyvalues

What do you think? Are “secret menus” an exclusive club? Should we have participation trophies? I’m not sure what the answer is, all I know is that I’m looking forward to the day what I get to be the one saying “In my day, we had to walk to school.  Up hill.  Both Ways. With no shoes.  In snow.”

Aliens, Pudding and Pink Socks

I’ve so much to share that I don’t know where to start!

Tell the story you want to live

I want to blog about a phrase I used in my post about Mr. T’s pedicure: “The person I want to be”.  My friend Erica and I were on the phone and supposed to be working but got side tracked on the internet and a really cool discount shopping site… and as we kept Skyping links to products back and forth to each other, at one point we both said “I know it’s not me, but it’s who I want to be”.  And, you know what? We both bought pieces that represent the transition we want to make as people! I love that I have people in my life that understand me when I say weird things like “it represents who I WANT to be”

I’ll find time to share that once my new piece comes in and you can see what I felt was a physical manifestation of the person I want to be!

Oh my gosh! I swear I saw a UFO the other night!

UFO 1 UFO 2 UFO 3 UFO 4 UFO 5

What do you think? It was really low to the ground and there isn’t an airport anywhere by where I was!  And, there should be red and green lights on it if it’s a plane… and those are clearly not red or green!

Aliens.

Crawfish boil 01a56e20f3be677ff4167fa6c07c29784a86004ed5

Speaking of aliens… Yesterday I was a work “meeting”.  Annual crawfish boil put on by one of the local rep groups.

While I was eating my custom made vegetarian pizza my son was several towns away with the school theatre troupe doing a UIL clinic… and he sent me this picture:

Mr. T sprained ankle

I thought he tucked his pants into his pink socks and was being silly… and so I responded that he had too much time on his hands.

Why are you laughing, I sprained my ankle, it hurts bad

Of course he did! I’m two hours away from where he is.

And it’s in moments like that when I begin to wonder why I don’t have a head full of grey hair.  I mean, seriously, he couldn’t hurt himself when he’s at school and I’m down the street, no, it has to happen when we both happen to be out of town!

No, he didn’t need me to come pick him up.  He happened to have an ankle brace with him (which tells you so much about our lives!), and he used that while the troupe stopped for lunch, then he went and saw the trainer when he got back to school and they confirmed sprain and not a break, and released him with limited restrictions.  He then when to Cheer practice and then onto Work.  I eventually got to see him late that night!

He’ll survive.

Oh! And I have had such issues with pudding lately!! I can’t wait to tell you about the “healthy” cupcakes I made the other day…

homemade cupcakes

Okay, so I needed instant pudding for the icing.  And wouldn’t you know it, I didn’t buy instant!  I made them anyway, and we ate them, but there is a whole story behind it!

And then it gets worse! I bought ingredients to make a special St. Patrick’s Day trifle treat and it involved pudding, too – that I was supposed to dye green! And, after the cup cake “incident”, I was so very careful to find the Instant pudding… and I came home with Instant pudding… but in LEMON flavor!!!

AGH!!!

I can’t win!

We still ate the trifle anyway.  🙂

I hope all is well in you world!  Make it a great day!

PS, tell me I’m not the only one that’s seen a UFO or has issues buying the right pudding!! Please! I’m feeling insecure about my life choices right now!

🙂

In The Kitchen with Kate: Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I recently posted about my Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blender Muffins and how they were inspired by my friend Erica making a batch of flourless cookies.

Well, Kendall asked how to make flourless cookies – and I had to admit, I had no idea! I stopped looking for a recipe for those when I found the muffin recipe!

But, Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way came to the rescue – and because Kendall asked:

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies were made! 

You can follow the link straight to Nancy’s site for the full recipe; and I swear, if any of you ever tell Mr. T these were made with chickpeas I will disown you; however, let’s dive right in!

Flourless chickpea peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Start by gathering your ingredients, this recipe calls for raw peanuts.  Like that’s happening at my house, I subbed in a jar of already mushed up raw peanuts, frequently known as “peanut butter”.

Also good to note that while this recipe calls for a food processor, you had such success with your Magic Bullet, that hey – why not try it again?

mixing chickpeas for flourless choc chip cookies

Then discover that no matter how much liquid you add, those chickpeas aren’t going to become the desired consistency.

Oh that’s right, you used the blender attachment last time!  Pull that sucker out!

Magic bullet blender for chickpea choc chip cookiesTransfer all of the ingredients.

Take the time to discover that the blender isn’t going to work.

Now it’s time to pull out the big guns!

mini food processorTransfer all to the mini food processor in your kitchen because at this point, you just want those darn chickpeas pulverized!!

I’d like to point out, I have a brand new food processor sitting in my garage.  I got it for Christmas, but since I hadn’t had a need for it, and hadn’t made space for it in my kitchen, it’s still safe and sound in my garage.  Most normal people would have pulled that sucker out to start with.  You should know by now, I’m not like most people!

Once you’ve pulverized the chick peas in about three batches, then it’s time to mix in the rest of the ingredients. all natural chocolate chipsI just had to take a picture, I used “all natural” chocolate chips, because somehow in my mind, that made them better.

The reality, those are generic chips I pulled from my freezer!

But, now that you’ve effectively wasted more time than it would have taken to just go get the darn food processor out of the garage, it’s time to roll little balls of dough and flatten them out with a fork!

8-12 minutes later – you have Flourless Chickpea Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Flourless chickpea peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

And, like Nancy admits in her post – these aren’t Tollhouse, but they are really good!  I’ll be making them again.

As soon as I’ve opened my food processor!    

P.S. I should probably also point out that because I was sharing with Mr. T,I did use vanilla instead of rum.

P.P.S. Okay, I totally missed the fact that Nancy H’s post linked back to Nancy T’s post When Chickpeas and Chocolate Chips Collide!  So, go check out NancyTex’s post! She actually used natural peanut butter, not the oily gross store bought one I did 🙂

P.P.P.S. I love that the three of us have all made the same recipe, and we all made it a bit different – that to me is what our trip around the sun is all about!!

16 Ways to Know you Have a Teenage Boy

In honor of my son, Mr. T, who turned 16 on Monday, I thought I would bring you

16 Ways to Know you have a Teenage Boy

  1. Your water bill has gone up.  This is due to extended showers.  I fully believe that this is due to a sudden interest in cleanliness.  This is the story.  This is the truth.  I refuse to believe anything else.
  2. The fact that there must be a force-field around all of your laundry hampers is a genuine concern.
  3. You understand what Snapchat is, how it works and yes, you are worried.
  4. Food disappears.  Like overnight.  Like if you wash a bunch of grapes and lovingly pluck them from the stems and put them in a bowl in the fridge, make sure you eat all you want right then.  They won’t be there in the morning.
  5. Serving sizes become meaningless. The note that says “Serves Four” becomes “Serves a mom, a teenage son and 3 tablespoons will be left over.  Too little to save for tomorrows lunch but too much apparently for the human garbage disposal to eat.”
  6. You’ve heard the perks of living at home, and they don’t include love, they include Food, Shelter and Wi-fi.
  7. You start to wonder if eyes really can roll back into a head, and if so – is it worth a trip to the emergency room? Didn’t you warn them when they were younger that “If you keep making that face it will stick that way?”
  8. You’ve had a conversation and then had to sneak onto the internet to translate what was actually said.
  9. You know what Kk, Bae, Molly and Poppin’ Tags all stand for.
  10. You’ve had a complete conversation where all of the answers you received were in the form of sighs and grunts.
  11. There have been days when you communicate via Twitter and Text more than you talk in person.
  12. “Can I drive?” Is the most common phrase in your house.  You even start hearing it in your sleep.
  13. You have to troll Twitter to find out what is going on in your kids life. #StalkerMom
  14. Mysterious phone calls start coming in.  Sometimes these phone calls require hanging out in the back yard.
  15. Clouds of aftershave/deodorant/cologne is becoming a permanent feature in the bathroom.
  16. You have heard the “Mom, I need my space” talk.

If any of the above has happened to you, you might be raising a teenage boy!

And you know what?

I wouldn’t change it for the world.

019842da38dd9f72e26fc0e50215250e20c5aa4010 010284279aa22c69600c8fc3f0eb4443585ba21bc2 011f6e8b3dfb33fbf9b4935ffb462e5d53323edb26 Mr. T new sunglasses