An Apple a Day, Vegan Potlucks, and More!

Woo hoo, it’s Friday!!  Gotta love a shortened work week.  I’ve also been extremely productive this week, both in the office and out, which for me always makes time go by more quickly.

Also I have lots of fun stuff coming up!  Tomorrow is the Virtual Vegan Potluck and I am bringing an appetizer which incorporates the featured ingredient, beets!  Be sure to check in tomorrow to see what I made, and to check out all of the other incredible vegan goodness being brought by bloggers all over the world.

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On Sunday, H and I are going to a real-life potluck at Sunny Meadow Sanctuary, an animal sanctuary in Central Mass.  It’s actually a “work day” and potluck, which means that we will be going over in the early afternoon to volunteer around the farm as needed for a few hours, followed by feasting.  I have been wanting to do this for SO long but something always comes up.  As for this weekend, the stars aligned: H and I are not out of town for the first time in months, and the Patriots aren’t playing on Sunday, so I’m finally going and am super-excited!!  I’ll try to get some good pictures while I’m there.  Now I just have to figure out what to bring…

I have a few other projects in the works that I’ll reveal in the next week or two.  But for now I just wanted to share a confession, which is that I’ve recently been eating an unholy amount of apples.

We may not be able to have avocados growing in our backyards (SoCal = SoJealous), but Massachusetts does manage produce apples that are absurdly delicious and plentiful all autumn long.  On the last day of our local farmer’s market, October 29, I bought around 20 lbs. of them.  My original intent was to wait until early December, then slow-cook them down into apple butter (Vanilla Rum Apple Butter, to be exact) to give to neighbors and co-workers as holiday gifts.  But…now I’m not sure that’s going to happen, because I’ve already eaten like half of them.

Mostly at breakfast time as Apple Butterballs (as I call them):
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This involves slicing open an apple, scooping out the seeds, and then filling the remaining little well with raw almond butter (or any other kind of nut/seed butter).  Then you sprinkle it with cinnamon, put the apple back together, and wrap it in tin foil to bring to work for breakfast.

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Sometimes when you unwrap the apple, you’ll find that the almond butter got a little gooey and melted out the end, but I don’t mind this.  I just scoop it off the tin foil and put it back on the apple when eating it. 🙂

I find the apple butterballs very filling, but for something even heartier, I go for an Apple Breakfast Sandwich:
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You’ve got a toasted whole wheat English muffin, spread with raw almond butter and topped with hemp seeds and apple slices.

Sprinkle on cinnamon (always cinnamon. Always.):
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And add a drizzle of agave, if you dare:
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Try to tell me there’s something wrong with this and I’ll call you a liar!  At least I know I’m getting my apple a day. 🙂

Pile on the Miles Update: I hit my goal of 10 miles this week, but at this point I’m below where I should be at the halfway mark of the month (goal is 43 miles during this 30-day month and I’m at 17.25 as of the 15th), so I’ll probably try to get another 4-5 miles in tomorrow.  Yay for having a weekend where I’m not traveling and can stay home and actually do stuff I want to do!!!

Also, by some miracle, my running fitness has returned relatively quickly.  I did a really fun four-miler last night and it felt great the entire time.  That’s not to say I didn’t have some precarious moments.  As with many small New England towns founded in the 17th century, mine has a lot of trees.  Old trees.  With big roots that grow underneath and ripple the sidewalks.  Being accustomed to running and training in the spring/summer (read: with daylight), I didn’t realize how dark and poorly-lit parts of my town actually are, and how difficult that makes it to avoid the tree roots!  I might have to start wearing one of those silly-looking head lanterns, Ragnar-style:
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(Just now realizing I wore that exact white longsleeve and reflective vest combo last night.  The headlamp would just totally complete the look.)

What should I bring to the Sunny Meadow potluck on Sunday? Any fun plans for the weekend?? Let me know in the comments!

Fall Festivities

Well, there is no question that fall has arrived in New England. The thermostat in H’s car this morning read 37 degrees. Yikes!

We also carved our jack-o-lantern on Sunday.
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GO PATS!!!

We celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary on Tuesday, which snuck up on us amazingly fast.
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(No, I’m not pregnant. I had just eaten the biggest veggie burger of all time at the Cheesecake Factory.)

Finally, my parents, brother, and grandparents are coming to visit this weekend and I am so excited! I am also glad that the famous fall foliage has arrived just in time for them.
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My family will be here through next Wednesday, and on Tuesday night we are all going out to a nice dinner, after which H and I will be hosting dessert and coffee at our house. What to bake, what to bake??

Two weekends ago I made the East Coast Coffee Cake from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I made the banana and jam swirl version, using my mother-in-law’s homemade raspberry jam.

Here it is unbaked, without the crumbs:
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Unbaked, with crumbs:
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Finished product:
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It was delicious. And beautiful (if I do say so myself)!

This week, though, an obvious choice would be something with pumpkin.

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The Best Pumpkin Muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Or apples. I do have 20 lbs. of those from apple picking last weekend.
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No matter what I go with, I am looking forward to serving everything on my wedding china!! Fall is definitely a time for celebration!