Monday Happy List: I’m F***ing Freezing Edition

As the temperatures continue to drop and my work load continues to increase, I’ve kind of adopted a certain numbness when it comes to the unpleasant things in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still stopping to smell the roses and all of that good stuff, I’ve just realized the extent to which we as humans have the capacity to get used to pretty much anything.

The ungodly cold used to shock me when I trekked off to work, but now wearing leggings under my pants, a sweater, fleece, parka, two pairs of socks, hat and mittens is a standard I just don’t think twice about.

I used to consider myself “slammed” at work if I had to write three scripts in a day, but now I pump out four in the first half of my work day alone.

Despite this seemingly endless conveyor belt I’m on at work, and being in the midst of the Winter Without End, there’s always a happy list to be found.

  1. A New vegan restaurant just opened up in my hood! It’s called Vive, and it serves absolutely indescribably delicious casual French food. I cannot explain the excitement and general “Willy Wonka” feeling that bubbles up when I’m in an all vegan restaurant. Where most places I dine, I have to significantly alter a vegetarian option or just get a side salad, at vegan restaurants, I have an ENTIRE menu to choose from, something I once took for granted. Anyway, this place is just the bomb. The people were so so friendly, gave me free coffee from their fancy shmancy drip coffee thingy (I’m not up on the coffee lingo) and were so excited to hear that I’m a vegan! My best friend and I both got sandwiches and soups, and left 100 percent satisfied and honestly awed. My soup was a root vegetable with orzo and pesto and came with grilled bread and my sandwich was roasted red pepper with massaged kale and maple vinegarette on ciabatta. The sandwiches come with their homemade chips, made from carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips. TO. DIE. FOR. I think I sense a new go-to place!photo (57)
  2. Homemade Almond Milk & Oatmeal Raisin Cookies! After learning more and more about the harms of consuming carageenan and really trying to commit to making most of my kitchen staples homemade, I decided to give making homemade almond milk a go! Expecting it to be some kind of daunting process, I was pleasantly surprised when it was basically just soak almonds, drain, blend, and strain! You would not BELIEVE the world of difference between homemade and store bought almond milk..unreal! My almond milk is creamy, actually nutty, beautifully white, and rewarding. I’ve always hated cow’s milk even before I was a vegan, and never truly enjoyed a tall glass of ice cold milk until I poured myself a glass of this liquid ecstasy to go with some leftover oatmeal raisin cookies I made last week. I had my nostalgic snack on a sunny Sunday in my cozy apartment and finally let myself slow down from the prior week and remember that it’s the little things, ya feel me??

photo (56)

ALMOND MILK:

  • 2 cups raw almonds, soaked over night
  • 6 cups fresh water
  • Cheesecloth or a nut milk bag (I used cheesecloth)

Once almonds are soaked over night, drain and rinse them well. Put in a blender with the 6 cups of water, and blend on high for 2 minutes or so. Place a fine strainer over a large bowl and pour the milk mixture through. Take whatever pulp is in the strainer and wrap it in cheesecloth, tightly squeezing the liquid into the bowl. Just to be extra careful I got all the grit out of my milk, I strained two more times through the strainer until there were no tiny pieces of almond grit left. Put in mason jars and keep in the fridge. I’m pretty certain it lasts about a week. I use mine for savory dishes as well as sweet, so I didn’t sweeten or flavor mine, but you could use fresh vanilla bean, dates, cinnamon, maple syrup, agave, etc. to make your own flavored milk.

The cookie recipe I got from good ol’ pinterest: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3. Fun Cake Bakin! When i was in high school, I got super into baking cakes and cutting them into cool shapes/designs for special events, bdays, etc. Not gonna lie, I was pretty well known for it…at least in my group of friends who I baked them for. Since I hadn’t made one of my good ol’ fashioned funky cakes in about a year or so, I decided to whip up a cake for my friend Mike’s birthday this past weekend. He’s a huge dead head, jam band loving weirdo (sorry, hate jam bands) so I made him this Phish cake! While my cakes are always just a tiny bit ghetto, they always put a smile on my face and make the recipient happy, so I love to make ’em!

photo (58)

Cheers to a week filled with warmth (yeah right…), relaxation, productivity, and fun.

Happy Monday!

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