Vegas and Cookies

Alright body. I give up. You want to be sick for two weeks? You want to be full of aches, pains, mysterious bruises and a deep, aching lethargy that requires 10 hours of sleep a night? Fine. You win.

With lymph nodes the size of grapefruits, bruises the size of texas and one too many, “You look so TIRED!” comments I have given in to whatever is raging inside of my body.

I can’t run. I can’t bike. I feel all my muscle slowly turning to jello. A month ago, I was feeling strong and ready to take on the world. This evening I feel like a visitor trapped in a weak, tired, unhealthy hot mess.

This shit is the worse.

Pity party for me.

In all fairness, my illness is pretty real AND somewhat of a mystery, which makes it that much more terrifying.

However, I did just get back from four days of 78 degree weather and the hot Nevada sun, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain .

My trip to Nevada was supposed to be filled with bad decisions, too much tequila and my bestie. Instead it was filled with my attempting to rally, crawling into bed at midnight on the one night I was on the Strip and then spending the rest of the vacation popping ibuprofen like it was candy, taking pre-natal vitamins (there is a theory behind it), and reading one too many murder mystery novels.

I also decided to eat cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. Reason number one: I felt like crap. Reason number two: these cookies are like crack. Reason number three: if I can’t exercise and feel like myself, I might as well drown my sorrows in coconut milk ice cream and cookies… right? (this is when I fall off the wagon and end up at 300 pounds. Se la vie)

Whatever the reason for my cookie consumption, these cookies are damn good. And you can almost justify eating 13 in one day because they are made with maple syrup, olive oil and whole wheat flour… healthy, right? My step mom spiced it up by adding chocolate chips, which was incredible. Took down the level of health, but also tasted awesome in my mouth.

Like I said, I feel like shit… I’m compensating by eating an exuberant amount of peanut butter cookies. Deal with it.

Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 cup natural, chunky peanut butter

1 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place racks in the top third.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. in a separate larger bowl combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Pour the flour mixture over the peanut butter mixture and stir until barely combined – still a bit dusty looking. Let sit for five minutes, give one more quick stir, just a stroke or two. Now drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Press down on each one gently with the back of a fork. It’s a loose batter, so if you’re set on doing criss-crosses, go ahead and chill the batter for an hour or so before this step. Bake for 10, maybe 11 minutes – but don’t over bake or they will be dry. Let cool five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Make 2 – 3 dozen cookies. 

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Friendsgiving

I love the holidays.

No no. You don’t get it. I LOVE the holidays. I’m annoying about it. I am the kind of person most people want to punch in the face when they think about over zealous christmas freaks. Yeah, I have six boxes full of decorations– what of it? Yeah, I start listening to holiday music on Thanksgiving. And yes, I will go to Starbucks (gasp!) and get a holiday drink in a PAPER CUP just for the seasonal drink.

Deal with it.

Here is the thing: I have never gone through a holiday season as a vegan. Vegetarian? Absolutely. As a vegetarian, I was able to eat an entire block of cheese, topped with some eggnog, swirled in some peppermint ice cream. Now, I have to search and hunt for a coffee shop that has vegan chocolate so I can get a peppermint mocha at least once. And yes, I have considered bringing my own soy nog to a barista– but I fear their judgement.

As the holidays approach, and I’m coming to terms with not enjoying my grandmas cheese platter, I am getting crafty with my vegan menus.

My friends and I just threw a Friendsgiving. 30 people crammed into my living room, drinking whipped cream flavored vodka (I did not partake), and eating an 18 pound turkey. What did I do? Well, I rallied with my three other vegan friends and made a feast of epic proportions.

Knowing we would be the odd ones out, I spent my morning at the farmers market. Making eyes at the cute market boy. I may have purchased more brussels sprouts from him then necessary, but those eyes! I can’t resist. With my tote bag full of goodies (local cranberries… what? delightful), I headed home to prepare.

Here is the menu:

Maple Glazed Tempeh, Brussel Sprout and Apple Salad, Wild Rice and Kale Salad, Broccoli Crunch Salad, Cornbread and Cranberry Compote.

I was feeling ambitious. Heidi Swanson does that to you. 101 cookbooks vegan thanksgiving menu? Yes please.

It was all perfect. The tempeh even had the turkey loving folks admitting it was delicious. (take THAT meat industry)

There is nothing better than farmers market/slaving away in the kitchen/succesful dinner parties to kick-start the holiday season.

Just a FYI– get ready for the CHRISTMAS EXPLOSION that will dominate this blog.

Think I can’t make yoga about christmas? Well sir/madam, I whole heartedly accept that challenge.