Friday, September 30, 2011


I really fell for Fall this morning.
Like literally, down a flight of stairs... in front of a few poor people who had absolutely no idea whether to laugh or help me up.

Scene: I'm walking to class, listening to my Ipod and maybe singing a bit. I was walking up a flight of stairs when my foot got caught on the top stair... then, when I tried to catch myself with my other foot... I missed a stair entirely.  I fell forward and faceplanted... then proceeded to roll back down the stairs.. as the contents of my purse went flying.


The poor person who was trying to help me up assured me that it happens all the time and I shouldn't be embarrassed (his sympathetic tone makes me even more embarrassed). THEN, another passerby rushes over and says, "Wow I totally saw that.  I thought you were going to recover... but then you just went down hard."


Anyways, after my fall... after a discussion section and a lecture...
Someone from my Arabic class bought me another free sandwich!!! This is quickly becoming my new favorite Friday tradition!

Veggie, feta cheese, and hummus sub on honey wheat bread.

Is it just me, or does that sandwich look bigger that I thought?? 
I mean, I had no problem devouring the whole thing during one commercial break... but it seems like quite a doozy.

Anyways, off to nap and explore the Bay a bit before dinner with my girls!
Hope you're enjoying your Friday, with your feet firmly planted on the ground!

Pancakes and Prancing Around

Okay, I'm a liar... I was really dancing around, but the double P alliteration was too tempting.

I woke up without my alarm (which makes waking up way more enjoyable!) and headed to the kitchen for some strong coffee!

After about ohhh 4 minutes, I was ready for breakfast :) I put on this song -- don't worry, my roommates were either gone or asleep... -- danced around a bit and got to work on my pumpkin pancake batter!

This song kind of screams "morning person," so if you're not one of the chosen ones... then I suggest saving the song for an afternoon pick-me-up!

It's my mission to find the perfect combination of mix-ins to go with my doughy pumpkin pancakes!
I've tried raisins... and that's about it.

So, this morning I went for some fresh blueberries: 

Pumpkin pie pancakes with fresh blueberries and maple syrup

and my attempt to catch a picture while I eat:

Yes, the washed out quality of the photos really bring the dish to life.

I was a big fan of the blueberries - it's like pumpkin bread/muffins with fresh blueberries.
Yes? Sign me up.
Anyways, 5 minutes later, after literally licking my plate because there was leftover maple syrup and blueberry innards....

I said a sad goodbye to my best friend in the entire world: the jug of maple syrup.
And got ready for the day.

Hope you have a great day, guys :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Small Dose of Culture

Newest obsession:

I needed to share this song with someone because it's so beautiful!

My professor for International Human Rights played this song for us during lecture, in order to show us the beauty of indigenous cultures that often get overshadowed by mainstream culture.  What I got out of this lesson?  stay true to yourself, don't let the majority dictate who you are!!

So, in an effort to stay true to myself.... (alright, I'm stretching it a little too far)
I cooked up one of my favorite dishes: spaghetti squash!
 Creamy Mushroom and Garlic Spaghetti Squash:

I used up the other half of my spaghetti squash which was prepared (baked and scraped out) but not seasoned :) ready for some experimenting --

- 1/2 a spaghetti squash (or the full thing!)
- 1 chicken sausage (I used TJoes Sweet Italian)
- 1/2 of a yellow onion
- 1 cup of broccoli
- chopped baby bella mushrooms
- 1-1.5 tbsp of minced garlic
- can of creamy soup (Campbell's cream of mushroom and chicken work really well)
- 1/4 cup of non-fat mozzarella cheese
- salt, pepper!

How to: start by sauteing your sausage and your onion with some non-stick cooking spray.  Add in your garlic and your broccoli, and after about 2 minutes, add in your mushrooms and your squash.  Add some salt and pepper!! Then, top with a creamy soup (like Campbell's cream of mushroom) and non-fat mozzarella cheese!

Enjoy immensely and go back for 2nds... and thirds if you have no sense of "hungry" or "full."

Midway through my dinner, I got a text from one of my girls, politely asking if I could accompany her on a much-needed froyo date.... she was having mental issues due to excessive studying.

My response? HELL YEAH, SEE YOU IN 15!!!!

Pajama bottoms? Check.
Scarf because it's annoyingly cold? Check.
The company of two great girls? Check.
Now all that's missing is....

Mounds bar and french vanilla frozen yogurt topped with oreos, waffle cone, and graham cracker bits.

My moments of bliss lasted all of 5 minutes... until I hit the bottom of the cup :(
Snuck a few bites from my roommates froyo (Sorry, Matt.. if you're reading this... I can't be trusted with such valuables)

Curled up with hot cocoa and Grey's Anatomy!!!
Now I have to go be a productive member of society -- and study. Ugh.

Ps. Birthday cake may make an appearance around midnight tonight... be ready.


Yeah if I could somehow put my annoyance into words it would come out like a pathetic attempt to growl... IT IS COLD OUTSIDE!!!!

And, in all honesty, I love cold weather!! I love the fall.  I love the winter (....and it's not a coincidence that both seasons are home to the best all-you-can-eat holidays of the year!  )

BUT, it's been so hot recently, that my fall mojo has been thrown off.  I've been in tank tops and shorts, downing froyo like it's going out of business because it's been summer weather for the past week.

So, this morning -- I thought I was prepared. I woke up and said "hot weather, bring it on!"

I grabbed a handful of almonds, some strong as all-get-out coffee, and headed out for a 6.5 mile run before class :) Thursdays are super busy for me, so I try to get my workout in early.

My entire run, I was contemplating what summery breakfast I was going to whip up, since I couldn't possibly have oatmeal or pumpkin pancakes on another hot day.

Creamy strawberry protein smoothie with candied walnuts. 

See how gigantic that is!?? I didn't even get to eat it before class, so I packed it up and ate it in my lecture hall -- eliciting weird glances from people who have obviously never seen a smoothie in a bowl in the middle of class.

I also packed up my typical lunch!
However, it was too cold to eat outside!!

FALL WEATHER, you're killing me.

Honey wheat bread, french onion laughing cow cheese, guacamole, slice roma tomatoes, and romaine lettuce.

Unfortunately, I was a cold, frozen zombie for the rest of my morning.
It was cold.
I was ready for my hot weather: tank top, sandals, and shorts.
I was a little tired from my early morning run.

So, when the time came for a warm blanket and a quick nap, I was more than ready :)
Rachel Ray kept me company as I snoozed!

I woke up to make a snack before class (I have two back-to-backs... meaning, I get extremely hungry and angry by the time I finally get back home!).

Multigrain english muffin with honey and half a Granny Smith apple -- and some nuts!

Okay.... I'm going to go change into boots and pants and my NorthFace
Cold weather, bring it on!

See you all for dinnnnaa :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Will Scream For Ice CREAM!

Okay, let's be honest... I would pretty much do anything for ice cream.  I've seriously been on the look out for some running gear that features food sayings like "will run for ice cream" orrr "will run if I can eat my weight in donut holes without being judged..." 

You know... just something along those lines.

Anyways, dinner was served courtesy of the Delta Gamma house -- and it was ENCHILADA NIGHT! mmmm :)  Of course, it was still 80 degrees by the time we got our food, but I'm down to sweat a little bit if it means some delicious mexican food.

I didn't snap a picture (wouldn't want to freak out all the girls who probably had me under a microscope...), but my meal looked exactly like this:

Chopped salad with feta, olives, mushrooms, edamame, tomatoes, and cilantro lime vinaigrette topped with two chicken enchiladas and mexican rice!

Thoughts about sorority life -- day two:
Honestly, I'm still up in the air.  I'm glad I got to see what life is really like in the Greek system, as opposed to all the tv show dramas that might have given me a negative view of sororities prior to these past few days.  The girls are all really nice, which I love.  AND it feels good to be a part of something again -- kind of reminiscent of team dinners (complete with huge plates of foooood!)

However, tonight felt more sorority-esque than last night.  People were fluttering around, trying to introduce themselves and ask the usual round of questions like "what's your major" "where are you from"... and it felt less sincere.  So, I'm still unsure. 

PLUS, if I decided to join, I'd basically have to sacrifice my monthly food budget in favor of the dues that we have to pay the house -- which includes meals.  Basically, I choose you guys or the sorority!?!?!?!  we all know who would win that battle.

Anyways, after our dinner and tour, I headed out to meet my lady friends/fellow ice cream connoisseurs -- Lisa and Annie -- to celebrate our friend's belated birthday!

Ice cream of choice? Ici Ice Cream!!!

check out the flavors of the day and try not to drool.

I sampled mint chocolate chip, coffee fudge swirl, creme fraiche, and milk chocolate-candied peanut.
However, my love for molasses gingersnap won out in the end:

Molasses gingersnap in a homemade waffle cone with chocolate inside. 

Can you see the real chunks of gingersnap cookies?!?! It's like two desserts in one!

Obviously, if you couldn't tell, I would pretty much trade in my future life-as-a-sorority girl for a night out for ice cream with my besties.  Plus... if I had to choose where my money would be spent... ice cream trumps all
To wrap up a perfect evening, we watched the latest episode of Glee, youtubed some ridiculous Miley Cyrus videos, and talked about the recent dramas in our lives (midterms, boys, boys, midterms.. etc.)

I'm off to go adrose (study, in Arabic)!!!!
Hope you have a great night!! filled with ice cream, perhaps?


.... it's hot hot hot outside.

I hinted at the weird summer weather we were having this morning, while I was chowing down on some pumpkin pancakes, but when I headed out on my run - all my suspicions were confirmed:

After my pumpkin feast, I laced up the sneaks and headed out on a quick 4.5 mile run before heading to my favorite abs class :)

Why do I look so excited? Because....
1. I just had pancakes
2. I didn't have class till noon
3. I got a 92.5 on my Arabic test!!

I came home and i was actually hungry !! Weird... I thought my pancakes would have held me over.  I guess running + biking + abs = an appetite?

I'm not complaining. 

I made one of my "dump salads," where I combine all the delicious leftovers in my fridge, stir fry some veggies, and throw them on top of a bed of lettuce!

Spaghetti squash, broccoli, pepper strips with marinara sauce on top of romaine lettuce and feta.

and for some carbs:

Toasted multi-grain english muffin with honey!

 I had to get my booty to class, which involved walking faster-than-a-snails pace ---- which led to some unnecessary sweating -- which led to day-dreaming about frozen yogurt --
Do you see where this is going??

I called up my favorite yogurt place ( since I have them on speed dial) to check their flavors:
pumpkin pecan, chocolate mounds bar, cookies and cream?!?!?

After my staff meeting, I booked it over there!

Pumpkin pecan, mounds bar, and french vanilla froyo topped/filled with raisins, waffle cone, and graham crackers!

Sorry for the crappy picture....
I had to rush to take a picture and eat my froyo as fast as I could before it melted - duh.

Nappppp time then class time then dinner time!!
Catch you later :)

Pumpkin Pancakes, Take Two!

I told you I'd be back with some more punkin' pancakes for ya :) -- by the way did any of you guys say "punkin'" when you were little? .... or was that just another weird Casey thing??

I swear the weather in the Bay Area just doesn't like to cooperate with me!
I woke up all ready for fall (crispy leaves, cool air, snuggly sweaters... and PUMPKIN!)... however, I woke up and it was already starting to heat up outside (suns out, temps up... damn).

Did that stop me from my fall-filled pumpkin pancakes? Not a chance. 

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes with raisins, topped with warm maple syrup!

The raisins were a seriously great addition!! It tasted like pumpkin bread in the form of pancakes -- all before 8 AM!  sign me up?

So, I made a serious effort to try to capture the doughy denseness of these babies -- mid bite.
Of course, taking photos insides is not my forte, so use your imagination :)

By the way -- can you spot the jug of maple syrup in the background?  On top of my Arabic book... story of my life: food > foreign language studying!!

Warning: these pancakes are not light and fluffy -- they are fill-you-up, dense, deliciousness wrapped up in the form of pumpkin pie-inspired 'cakes.  Deal?

I'm off for my favorite Monday/Wednesday run & abs class!!
AND I swear I won't have a sandwich for lunch (goodbye guac and cheese combo....)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Night of New Things

Tonight was filled with new things for me -- and I have zero complaints !!
It involved a ridiculous amount of cliches, like stepping out of my comfort zone, breaking down barriers, and overcoming stereotypes.

Yes, I had quite an evening...

But, a few things happened before my night of newbies :)
Starting with my typical to-go lunch, which I packed shortly after whipping up those delicious pumpkin pancakes for breakfast!! 

I finally ran out of provolone! So, I used my Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb cheese -- and it was heavenly with the creamy guacamole! New fave.

Honey wheat bread, laughing cow wedge, guacamole, slice roma tomatoes, and romaine lettuce!

And of course -- my dessert, fiber one brownie!!

I cut my lunch break short today and headed to office hours to catch up on some more Arabic before our exam.  The test was okaaaayy, as in I didn't feel the need to drown my sorrows in froyo or cookie dough (although, that did happen over the course of the day's festivities...)

I came home and broke one of my exercise rules!!
I forced myself to go out on a run, when my legs and my mind did not want to move at all!! So, about 25 minutes into my run I decided to cut my losses and save myself from months of "I hate running mentality" by run-walking another 2 miles back to my apartment.

My muscles are still super sore from my runs this past weekend -- so, I decided to do some yoga/stretching before hopping in the shower and grabbing a quick snack at the computer.

Something about crisp Granny Smith apples and nuts tastes like fall!!

For once, I headed to class without thinking about what I was going to make for dinner...
I had some fancy plans for the night!


After my International Human Rights class, I headed over to....
Delta Gamma. Yes, a sorority house.

For those of you who know me (and I mean knowwww me) you probably are shocked by this!  I have never considered myself a sorority girl.  I've always been more of a "guy's girl," enjoying things like outdoor sports and football > anything stereotypical of a sorority!

But, I have a lot of friends who are in DG and I was always surprised that I was friends with girls who are supposed to be "nothing like me."  I've watching Greek on ABC Family, I've seen all the movies, and I've had my run-ins with the Greek life on campus -- this is kind of where my negative view of Greek life originated.

Yesterday, I was invited to a few dinners for, what they call, "Open bidding," where I have a chance to meet the house and see what it's all about, without going through the dreaded rush process.  I've always been curious.. so, why not?

I headed over to dinner and I had a blast. Everyone was genuinely nice (I can see right through those fakers! ) and I actually found that I had a lot in common with the girls -- many were athletes, there were tons of SoCal girls, a few polsci majors, and the most important thing -- they all loved to eat!!!

I didn't snap a picture of dinner, but this is pretty much what it looked like:
Salad bar with tons of fixings, cilantro lime vinaigrette, cajun shrimp, and spaghetti with marinara: Alll mixed into one bowl! 

I had a great time, and I'll be back at the house for dinner again tomorrow night.  Hmmmm.....

I called up a friend - LISA - and we headed for some post-dinner FroYo!!
We've been wanting to go all week (I know, you've missed the beautiful froyo photos) because rumor has it, they have Hawaiian Coconut!

French vanilla and Hawaiian Coconut froyo mixed with oreos, coconut flakes, graham crackers, and waffle cone!!

What is that?? A picture of Casey with her eyes resembling something close to normal size?!
I know... I told you tonight was all new to me!

I wasn't originally planning on going to my next adventure, but Lisa suckered me in :)
Yes, there exists a club for all kinds -- including fellow Foodies!

We walked in, and they started off the first meeting by introducing us to this amazing pastry chef who owns a bakery in the bay area.... oh my GOODNESS.  He taught us how to make sponge mouse cake and then passed out these babies:

Blackberry mouse and sponge cake with peach french macarons!

Hey, did you know I went back for seconds?
It doesn't feel like you're eating cake when it's so light and fluffy :)

So, tonight was new to me -- and I kinda liked it!
I'm off to do something not-so-new to me.... studyinggggg

Have a great night!! See you and some pumpkin pancakes tomorrow!

Doughy & Delicious Pumpkin Pancakes

I'm officially in love.

I first encountered pumpkin pancakes at Ihop - many moons ago - and whenever I spot them on a menu, there's no doubt that they will soon be consumed!!

However, nobody likes the fact that IHOP is...
1. filled with a scary amount of discretionary calories
2. usually not in walking distance :(

SO, I decided to make my own version of those amazing pumpkin pancakes this morning, at home, in the comfort of my own kitchen!!

Doughy and Delicious Pumpkin Pancakes 

- 1/3 cup of flour (I used whole wheat)
- 2-3 tablespoons of pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/4 cup of liquid (I used almond milk)
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of extract (I used maple! vanilla would taste great too)
- 2 1/2 packets of sweetener (I use PureVia)
- dash of salt
- dashes of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice

Instructions: these are super easy!! and fast! Mix all of them together. Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Spoon the batter (kind of thick batter - not like usual pancakes) onto the pan and flip when ready :)

Makes 4 delicious, dense, doughy, filling, fall-inspired pancakes!!!!

Off to take my Arabic test!! But I had to start my day off right :)
Plus I couldn't wait to share this with you!!

go make pancakes

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall-filled Day!

Warning: I have approximately 5 minutes to write this post before I have to high-tail it to an Arabic study group!!!

But... I just have so much to say!
Let me catch you up on last night before I tell you all about my fall-filled day :)

I had a staff meeting to go to, which usually means snooooze fest! I typically pass the time texting under the table and thinking up new oatmeal combos (for real...) BUT THAT ALL CHANGED because I work with two of the coolest people in the universe -- my sexy roommates.

1. Nachos were consumed (like three plates full...)
2. Reeses and Kit Kats were consumes (like three plates full....)
3. Friends were made :) roommates bonded!  It was a good time.

I came home. Crashed. And woke up with the startling realization that it was finally time...
Time for my first pumpkin oatmeal bowl of the season!!

Creamy pumpkin oats topped with raisins and candied walnuts!

I had to eat and run to work (ugggh, I miss my lazy mornings!)
So, I packed up my typical lunch-time favorite:

Honey wheat bread, provolone cheese, guacamole (x10), tomatoes, and romaine lettuce!

This was another one of those fork-and-knife sandwiches...
Unfortunately, I ate in the company of another human being (shocker, I know) and I had to explain my weird obsession with eating sandwiches with utensils.

Came home after class. 

Grabbed a snack:
Granny smith apple, candied walnuts, and raw almonds.

And decided I wanted to go for a quick recovery run!! I was determined/forced to run a short, slow run today because I had approximately 45 minutes before I had to go to class.... 3.5 miles later -- I was off (without a shower) to class.  The person next to me (LISA) assured me I didn't smell...

But she's 1) really nice 2) sick as all-get-out 3) can't smell for sheeeeit.

Stopped at Walgreens.
Cursed (audibly) at the person in front of me who must have been buying the entire pharmaceutical supply in the store....
and came home to make this wonderful dinner!!

Spaghetti squash topped with mushrooms, onions, soy crumbles, tomato & basic sauce, and MOZZARELLA CHEESE!!

I love "portion control".... mostly because I don't believe in such a myth.

Just made myself a pumpkin spice coffee :)
To take to the coffee house..... where I'm meeting my study group.
I'm such a freak!

SEE YOU TOMORRRRROW!! Hopefully I won't be as rushed and I will bore you with my endless and incredibly pointless anecdotes.  Deal?