National Frozen Yogurt Day

Happy National Frozen Yogurt Day!

National Frozen Yogurt DayHello!

In case you haven’t heard, I’m a massive fan of ice cream and I guess frozen yogurt is okay on occasion too. I have to exercise my newly developed willpower every time I cross the freezer aisle because it’s all too tempting to reach in and fill my arms with Ben & Jerry’s. I even had to throw away my B&J coupons because I would use them as an excuse to talk myself into buying ice cream, get up to the check stand, and then realize that I left the coupon at home. The cycle continued for far too long before I had to be honest and admit that I was playing myself and would never actually remember to bring it. It’s a dangerous game! Lucky for me, I’m not that much of a fan of froyo so walking into Yogurt Extreme wasn’t an enormous risk for this recovering ice cream-aholic. A little bit of cake batter froyo with caramelized walnuts, crushed reeses peanut butter cups, crushed butterfinger, crushed oreo, a dusting of graham cracker, and a drizzle of hot fudge makes a pretty good combination. Don’t be fooled by the blue sky reflected in the door! As soon as I pulled out of the parking lot, it started hailing hard and I was trapped in my car in the driveway, eating my frozen yogurt and listening to the end of a Mahler symphony waiting for a break in the hail and rain. No matter how hard we wish in honor of the holiday, it’s simply not frozen yogurt season yet. Grab a spoon and celebrate! Happy holidays.

Carrie

National Popcorn Day

Happy National Popcorn Day!

National Popcorn DayHello!

Ice cream has always been my favorite, go-to snack growing up. At my parent’s house, you can almost always find a Costco carton of french vanilla ice cream in the freezer. Vanilla is one of my least favorite flavors, but I still ate it as a frequent snack just because it was ice cream and it was available. When I moved out for college and was in charge of my own grocery shopping trips, I kept up the frequent presence of ice cream in my freezer, but made sure to choose the flavors that I really loved. My obsession with ice cream blew up and I realized that I really had to knock it off and find a better snack. A year ago, I decided that I wasn’t going to buy it anymore unless it was for a particular occasion in an effort to cut it out. It turns out, if you don’t have it in the house, you’re less likely to eat it! Go figure! For better or worse, popcorn has become my new snack of choice. If I was really smart, I would be into the zero calorie smart pop version, but that’s just not my style. If it’s not extra butter, then it’s not worth eating! I’ll plant myself down with a wet paper towel and shove handful after handful of buttery popcorn in my mouth to finish the bag before it has cooled. I feel a lot better about eating a bag of popcorn than a heaping bowl of ice cream, even if neither snack is really a healthy option. I just like to remind myself that my usual three scoops would have about 450 more calories than the single bag of microwave popcorn. That’s a yummy win for me! Pop up a bag and celebrate – happy holidays!

Carrie

National Hot Tea Day

Happy National Hot Tea Day!

National Hot Tea DayHello!

Today’s highest temperature is forecasted to be a balmy 32 degrees! I seriously need a cup of hot tea this morning. Last night, Eric and I were in the middle of a fun gaming session when we heard a loud boom outside and the power shut off. Just as soon as I dug out candles and settled on the couch, he had his coat on and decided we still had time to make it for happy hour! I blew out the candles and we left our poor little kitty home in the dark to head out to our favorite local spot. When we couldn’t sit and snack any longer, we headed back home to find that the power situation had not been resolved. A neighbor said the power company’s estimate was to be fixed by 9 PM so we launched into phase two of our coping plan, packed a bag, and headed for my parent’s house. At least they had wifi and a working heater! I’m back home this morning and Eric is off at work, but our house is still a little chillier than normal because the heat was off for so long and the temperature has dropped to ridiculous temperatures. Like I said, I’m really thankful for the reminder to make a cup of hot tea this morning and the blissful opportunity to drink it with Spotify jams blasting and a kitty snuggled on my lap. What’s in your cup this morning?

Carrie

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National Pastry Day

Happy National Pastry Day!

National Pastry DayHello!

Today I went to my first exercise class – ever. Now I’m obviously rewarding myself with a pastry for the holiday on my way home. Outside of obligatory physical education classes in school, this hasn’t ever really been my thing and I definitely haven’t gone seeking it out. I had gym access during college with both the university rec center and small gym facilities in my apartment buildings. I think that I can count on both hands how many times I actually went and worked out over the course of four years. There were a few short, enthusiastic strings of energy, but still nothing that pushes my combined total over 10. As my couch becomes my office and I work more hours on my laptop, I figure it might be time to do some preventative work before my bum grows to be the size of a tanker truck. Eric and I just signed up at a gym, which he gets a discount for through the school, and all of the classes are included in the membership. I have walked their treadmills once and today I figured it’s time to take the plunge. I took heart in the fact that a 9 AM Friday class would mostly be attended by retired women – I was right. I also figured that I wouldn’t die in a class called ‘Bones and Balance’ – I was also right. I knew better than to jump into something like Ab Blaster Extreme Bootcamp. No pastry, no matter how decadent, could bring me back from that one. Celebrate your victories with a sweet treat to get your morning started right. Happy holidays!

Carrie

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National Jerky Day

Happy National Jerky Day!

National Jerky DayHello!

It has been a long, long, long, long, long week. I was very excited to be hired for the ballet pit orchestra again, but driving up to Portland five days this week was a pain in the butt. Not to mention the long hours while I was there that took a lot of thought and attention. Teaching also kicked my booty at the start of the week and it has been a lot of work to keep up with all of my freelance jobs stacked up around this gig too. Throw in the fact that Thursday was essentially taken out for Thanksgiving festivities too and it was a killer week! That is all to say that I am super excited for today’s snack-spiration. Between performances this afternoon, I’m hunkering down to get some serious lesson planning and writing done to prepare for a fresh start to next week. My purse is packed with the ultimate snack stash to keep me energized and on task. Pistachios were on sale so I snatched up a few bags, plus I still have some handfuls of cranberries left from the holiday on Tuesday. Best of all, I’m fueling with the original energy snack. Jerky isn’t just for hiking through rough terrain and nestling by a crackling fire in a rustic log cabin. Right? Well, I’m eating it in downtown Portland anyway. Serious work requires serious snacking. Happy holidays!

Carrie

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National Spicy Guacamole Day

Happy National Spicy Guacamole Day!

National Spicy Guacamole DayHello!

Guacamole is a super trendy food this year, which is a little bit unfortunate because that means the excitement will inevitably fade. We don’t live five blocks from a Chipotle anymore, so long gone are the days of grabbing fresh guacamole and salty lime chips to go with hefty chicken burritos. In fact, we don’t even have a Chipotle in town, so there’s no hope of watching a massive, delicious dollop of guacamole be plopped onto a heaping burrito. Yes, I know that it’s extra and yes, it’s worth it. Our Chipotle obsession was really the thing that kept the guacamole dream alive. I don’t love it as much at other restaurants and it’s so sad to buy a tub of it from the grocery store because unless Eric and I are both starving to death and chowing down at the same time, we don’t finish the tub. You know there’s nothing sadder than a half empty tub of guacamole. The last time we bough guacamole for a snack at the store was about two months ago and I was cleaning out the fridge a week later and saw it tucked in the back, still quite full. Through the sides, it still looked surprisingly fresh and green without the inevitable brown spots so I excitedly took off the top. I nearly wept in horror when under the lid I found a complete covering of fluffy mold. That ruined my hankering for guacamole completely! In honor of the holiday and bringing back the obsession, I made sure to put spicy guacamole on our grocery list. Here’s to finishing it in one sitting when it’s fresh and cheery. Happy holidays!

Carrie

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National Caramel Apple Day

Happy National Caramel Apple Day!

National Caramel Apple DayHello!

I absolutely love caramel apples and obsess over them in the fall. There is nothing better than biting through a rich, chewy layer of caramel to find a slightly sour, extra crispy green apple inside. Sprinkles, crushed candy, marshmallows, and any number of sweet sauce drizzles make the outside even more exciting, but when it really comes down to it, all you need is caramel and an apple. Last year, I dove into an apple that was perfectly rolled and smothered in bright pink sprinkles. I opted for something a little more classic this time. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a fantastic job picking out my caramel apple from the pile of boxes in the bakery cooler at the grocery store. I grabbed the one that looked like it had the most caramel, which was my first mistake. I should know by now, as the caramel apple connoisseur that I pretend to be, that the caramel is only good if it’s also accompanied by tart apple. There’s a delicate yin and yang balance that you have to strike with sweetness. As you can see, there was a massive, hard, gloopy pile of thick caramel at the bottom of this apple that didn’t really belong to anything. I chopped that bit off and left it to melt on the cutting board while I ate my slices. The apple skewer was also totally crooked, so I lost a lot of apple when I had to slice around the core and the stick. It was a little tricky and I definitely had a sugar induced tummy ache by the time I was finished, but all in all, it was the perfect after school snack to prepare for Halloween trick or treaters. Happy holidays!

Carrie

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