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I’ve started a new blog focusing on running. Enjoy!

http://betsyagogo.wordpress.com

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VOTE

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I think my oatmeal is telling me something…(that’s an O for Obama…if you couldn’t tell).

I have no qualms expressing my political views on my blog. I voted (yay absentee ballot!) proudly for Obama and hope beyond all hope that he is elected today.

However, I will never put down anyone if they have opposing view points, as long as they understand why they are voting for that candidate-Republican and Democrat alike. I hate people who vote for someone because someone told them to and they didn’t think for themselves. Therefore, I respect anyone who gets out there and votes today, knows why they’re voting for their candidate and stands by them.

So….please VOTE today. It’s a great right of ours…exercise it. And I would prefer you to vote for Obama 😉 I don’t want to cry again. Yup…I cried in 2004.

It’s An Unknown Mish Mosh

A mish mosh of random recipes, that is.

When going through all my photos, I realized I had several pics of foods and recipes that I made during my hiatus that I am never ever (ever) going to get around writing an individual post about. First, I don’t have that much time (working full time, writing grad school apps, sleeping, watching 30 Rock-I have priorities), and second, cause I don’t really remember what went into each of these. The descriptions are going to be a crapshoot. If you can figure it out and think something might taste good, go ahead and make one of these! If not, don’t!

Now…let’s see what I have…

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Actually, this one isn’t too old, maybe a month. And I know what I put in it! It’s just a butternut squash that I chopped up and baked and mixed with a can of black beans. I wasn’t sure how the black beans were going to taste with the butternut squash, but it actually ended up being a really good combo. But the best part that when I baked the squash, I added a bunch of ground sage, which made it extra good. And it made it smell like Thanksgiving. I love sage. My mom hates it. It’s a good thing my mom doesn’t live with me.

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Ooooo-this one was from a loooong time ago. I honestly have no idea what’s in it besides white beans on top of a sweet potato, but I know there’s more to it. I remember that I wanted to mix up my normal black beans on top of a baked sweet potato so I threw some white beans (probably cannolini beans) in a skillet, mashed them a bit and simmered them in some water and….other stuff. I’m sure spices and herbs were involved, but which, I have no idea. I’m sure if you wanted to try it, you could use whatever combo of spices and herbs you so desire if you want to try this, cause I think I remember this being good. I think…

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Now this one was fantastic. I have no idea where I got this idea, but I remember reading about it somewhere. Sometime over the summer, during peak veggie season (mmmmm), I decided to dress up an average salad by making ribbons out of a fresh, raw zucchini and a carrot (or two). I then combined the ribbons with lemon juice and fresh tarragon, which is one of my favorite herbs. It was maybe the simplest thing I made all summer, but it was so fantastic and soooo refreshing. And the ribbons were crazy fun to eat. When is it going to be summer again? I miss it…

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Well, here is the most mysterious of all. I know that the idea for this came from two places: the recipe for Goddess Garbanzos from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan and a chickpea salad in the salad bar at Whole Foods (one of my favorite places for recipe inspirations. I love walking around the salad and hot food bar when I’m bored to give myself ideas of kitchen concoctions. Always a winner-not winer, which I just typed). So, I made a chickpea salad with chickpeas (who would have thought of that ingredient!), carrots, edamame, and dried cranberries. The cranberries seem like an odd choice and that definitely came from the Whole Foods salad. I think I remember it being like a good addition (there’s a lot of “I think’s” in this post…hmmm), so I’d say keep it in if you decide to make this (ha!). The real question is what went in the dressing. I remember Annie’s Goddess dressing (I still have basically the entire bottle in the fridge, I’m not a big dressing person) and tahini. Anything else? I have no fricking clue, but I’m sure what wasn’t all. I do, however, remember that this was on the bland side. I think I’m going to revisit this again soon. Or you can (ha).

And that’s it, for random things I’ve made in the past few months that are never going to get their own post because I don’t really remember how I made them. Good luck. Have fun. Play around with one of these.

Until then, I’m going to peace out on the couch, watching iCarly (quality TV), relaxing after a busy and exhausting day marathon cheering uptown. Cause cheering for a marathon is almost as exhausting as running a marathon. I think…

She Said They Were The Best Cookies She’s Ever Eaten

And that constitutes a blog post. I can’t deny these from my readers.
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The title came from Ari, who really did say that after biting into my delectable cookies last night. And I think she was telling the truth. I made them for a little get together at her apartment with Kate and Jaclyn for dinner, lots of wine and fun times with Jack.

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When I knew this soiree was happening, I knew that cookies were in my plans. I mean, me, go to a party, and not bring cookies? Ridiculous! Any occasion out of the ordinary day to day routine requires some baking on my part. Birthday? Cookies. Promotion? Cookies. Your boss sitting with you in the emergency room for 8 hours when you have a broken toe? LOTS of cookies. Yeah-when I had my little toe incident my boss sat with my in the emergency all afternoon and night and missed a huge benefit because of it. She definitely deserved cookies. Well, I decided for dinner with some healthy food bloggers that my I had to make cookies that were healthy. Just a little bit. Maybe. Ok, I don’t think they were actually healthy, but they had yogurt in them, only a half stick of butter and no eggs! Let’s just pretend they’re healthy. I found this fabulous recipe about 7 months ago on Orangette that just sounded too good (I linked to the recipe on her site). All chocolate. I’m a chocolate fiend, so I knew I had to make them. I first made them in April or May or some time in the past for my friend Jen and they were a hit. Chocolatey, rich but not super sweet because of the yogurt. These need to be made again for the ladies. And make them I did.

The problem with the recipe, however, and with any chocolate cookie recipe is that it is hard to know when they are done because they don’t get brown like non-chocolate cookies. I think I need to invite a tool that automatically tells you when cookies are done. Cause it’s always a guessing game! Especially with these. I left them in the oven for the allotted 11 minutes but couldn’t tell in the slightest if they were done. Speak to me cookies! Are you raw? Are you cooked? Let’s just say that it’s a good thing that they had no eggs because they were pretty undercooked on the inside. I definitely took them out of the oven too early. When I made them the first time, they were cooked fully and were a little chewy and a little crispy-a good combo. This time, they were totally fudge on the inside with a hard shell. But, that was ok because they were kind of like brownie cookies. And why doesn’t like brownies. I sure don’t know anyone who does. Well, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like brownies, please don’t show yourself. Just keep that to yourself. Thanks.

Anyway, I warned the girls that the cookies were undercooked (I HAD to try one beforehand to make sure they weren’t poison, of course) but they still dug in. And after Ari’s first bite, she declared the title to this post. And doggonit, I believe her. I brought a large tupperware full of cookies (I made some candy corn cookies too-those were a dud) and it was empty save for two within about 8 minutes of opening it up.

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We were all trying to be girls and not eat the last cookie. A couple more glasses of wine though and those two were gone. Well, the chocolate one was, but that other one somehow ended up in a glass of wine but no one noticed. So I went to take a sip of wine and there was a cookie in it. It was nasty. We dubbed it cookie wine. Don’t ever make cookie wine. Every time someone tried to drink it (which happened a lot), we would yell “cookie wine!” and it was immediately dropped.
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The last time it was dropped on the couch. Whoops.
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All in all, a good time was had by all. Maybe a little too much wine. Yummy food cooked to perfection by Ari, Kate getting caught in a hurricane, attempting to play pick-up sticks with skewers, oooing and aaahing over my toe, blogging. Let’s just say the night ended with all of us squeezed on the couch arms around each other, dozing on each other’s heads, mumbling about who knows what while Jack was trying to be a 5th wheel.
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And I’m gonna declare that I think those cookies had something to do with it. Cause they were the best cookies ever, goddammit.
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Cranberry Beans Vs. My Life

Which is more exciting? Read on to find out…

Previously on the “Betsy Cooks Healthy Food” show, I left you with news of a broken toe and the looming GREs. I was planning on taking the GREs on the 4th and get back to blogging again right after. That didn’t happen so much. The week before, I realized I was in no state to take an incredibly important and LONG standardized test…my toe was still hurting, bleeding (yeah-2 weeks after the fact) and I was pretty sure they weren’t going to give me a chair to put my foot up while taking the test. So, I made an executive decision…pushing them back 2 weeks. As much as I really really really really (really) wanted to get them over with, I had no choice, so the 18th was my day-exactly 1 month after the toe incident as a matter of fact. But wait…wasn’t the 18th yesterday? Why yes it was. But Betsy…does that mean you’re done with the GREs and can make a bonfire with flashcards to heat all of Manhattan? Why yes it does! That’s right folks…The GREs are out of my life. We’re through. Ciao. Behold my study materials.
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Yeah…that’s a lot of flashcards and I don’t think that’s all of them. (I learned a billion words-well worth it I must say-and decided I’m going to write a post all in GRE hard words. Keep an eye out.) And I’m missing two books. I think it’s safe to say that they took over my life.

Regardless, it feels pretty amazing to be done. I’ve been thinking about them for a year and a half now and every time I was being lazy or watching TV, I felt guilty for not studying flashcards or learning math. No more GRE guilt. Now I’m going to have grad school app guilt! Yep-the next step has already started. But, this step is a lot different than studying for the GREs, and I’m more looking forward to it cause it’s totally focussed on what I’ll be doing at grad school, something I’m totally excited for!

And my toe? Oy. Well, like I said before, it took 2 weeks to stop bleeding! It was one intense cut (which was more severe than the actual break) and because it’s on my foot, it just makes everything worse. However, I got the stitches out (after a very desperate attempt to find a doctor when my orthopedist canceled and I was sure it was infected), I only have a bandage around my toe, not my entire foot and I can exercise again! That’s such a relief…true, it’s only lots of time on the recumbant bike but it’s better than nothing. I’m very ready, however, for it to be all better and to get running again! I’m looking at spring marathons, so hopefully I will be running soon. I’m still a gimp with a limp for now though!

And about those cranberry beans. What’s a cranberry bean you might ask? This is a cranberry bean.
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Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s like a long flat green bean but it isn’t green and it isn’t flat. It’s brilliantly colored with magenta and green and it’s full of fresh beans. I’ve never ever cooked one before or eaten one, so this was a new experience for me, as well as, I’m assuming, my readers. I had seen them around the Farmer’s Market so I decided to take a risk (whoa-living on the edge) and buy a big ‘ol bag. They’re just too pretty to pass up! Oh, FYI, I did this a long time ago-I remember eating them sometime during the Olympics, so I’m going to do my best to remember exactly how I made this. Ok…when I got home I did a little research online about how to cook them. Shell them and boil until tender (about 45 minutes). I, uh, kinda did that. I decided to play around a little.

So I shelled them and was hoping for something gorgeous on the inside. This is what I got:
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Meh. I was hoping that they were going to be all swirly and colorful like their shells, not so much. They were very smooth though and shiny and had a soft green color-think of them like the fresh version of dried beans. I’m not saying they were ugly, they just weren’t POW like the shells. To cook them up, I wanted to infuse them with flavor to make them taste as exciting as they looked (pre-shelling), so I first sauteed some onion and garlic in a saute pan and added the beans along dried thyme, a bay leaf and enough water to cover the beans and then topping it off with a lid. I “boiled” the beans in the pan, and continually added water till I decided they were done.
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How long that was? I don’t really remember. Maybe 25 minutes? Gosh-who knows. Remember this was back when was sleep deprived because I had to stay up to see if Michael Phelps was going to lose. Let’s go with 25. And this is what I got:
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Again…not the prettiest. But that’s okay, because beauty isn’t everything (well, maybe if you’re the shell to a cranberry bean). However, it smelled good with all that thyme and bay and garlic and onions…and cranberry beans. And the taste? Another meh. Just like the women’s olympic marathon. Underwhelming. Bland. Boring. I don’t really know what I was excepting, but they had no flavor and the herbs and such I added didn’t do anything. Sure, I ate it all, cause that’s how I roll, but cranberry beans were not a winner and they didn’t live up to their outer shell. At least this time around. Maybe I need to try a different method and follow an actual recipe. Has anyone made cranberry beans before? Until then, I’ll just keep staring at the shells. They’re so pretty. Well, just the picture, cause those shells are now decomposing somewhere.
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So, which is more exciting? The cranberry beans or my life? As mundane as it is, I’ve got to say my life. The prospect of grad school and the ongoing drama of my life are keeping things exciting and unpredictable. All the cranberry beans have going for them is some impressive makeup.

8 days before the GRE’s…an update

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I can’t really study while watching the debate tonight, so I thought I would throw in a little update (my mom’s begging for it).

I’m taking the GRE’s a week from Saturday and am scared sh*tless. Yup. I have studied so many goddamn vocab cards, relearned how to do any math I learned in elementary and middle school and learned how to write an essay that only someone at the ETS would love. I’m ready to be done. So ready.

On another front-that marathon. Oh yeah-remember when I said I was training for a marathon-the Marine Corps Marathon to be specific? Well I was, up until last Thursday, the 18th (the day after my birthday, mind you). Let’s see…I got in a little mishap at work. A sign fell on my right big toe causing some serious damage. I ended up with a broken toe, a cut under my toe nail near the bed where I needed several stitches and my toe nail was removed. When I saw a doctor on Monday as a check up I mentioned to him that I was training for the marathon. He didn’t even give me false hope-just said that there were always more marathons. And one week later, all I have done is sit on my bum for 8 days because I can’t walk anywhere. UGH. I’m very frustrated by this whole situation and am ready to be able to walk again and be active. Being inactive is hell to me. I have another appointment next Tuesday with hopefully good news. Forget running a marathon-all I want to do is be able to do 10 minutes on a fricking elliptical machine!

Ok. I’m done. Back to the debate (does anyone else find Obama’s voice soothing? I have no problem announcing who my presidential candidate is). Hopefully I’ll be back next Saturday when I can throw my copious flash cards out the window. Peace.

Temporary Hiatus…Don’t Blame Me!

Hi Friends.
It’s gotta happen-temporary blogging hiatus. I’m in the midst of some intense GRE studying. I’m getting ready to apply for grad school for Fall of 2009 and am taking the GRE’s in the beginning of October. Therefore, every free second that I have where I’m not at work, the gym, running or sleeping is devoted to studying. So, until then…blogging is being put on the back burner. But, I’ll be back!! I promise I’ll be back when they’re all done. Until then…peace out.