Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

by Sarah on June 24, 2010 · 3 comments

Perhaps it was all that talk of Boyz II Men the other day….or maybe it was the New Kids On the Block (Or should I say NKOTB? Now that they are “mature adults” who just happen to sing and dance in a highly choreographed manner?…And by the way, does anyone else wonder if they ever hung out with J.Lo when she was ‘on the block‘?) music video playing at the gym, but for whatever reason, I had boy bands on the brain.

–Don’t you always have boy bands on the brain? Or at least former members of boy bands? I mean, I can’t even count the number of times you have referenced Justin Timberlake, Hanson, or that genre of music in the past three months.
–Fine. Whatever. Moving on.

Yesterday morning’s overnight oats were inspired by yet another boy band, the much less awesome (although feel free to debate me on that) Backstreet Boys, whose attempts at overcoming the (totally deserved) success of *NSYNC resulted in the album Black & Blue, which, although lacking any true greatness (how can you really move beyond “I Want It That Way”?), at least gave us “Get Another Boyfriend,” and “The Call,” which is about cheating…and perhaps could be a big hit now if they made a music video featuring clips of Jesse James and Tiger Woods.

But I digress. (Again.)

So…I present to you, in honor of those boys from Florida (who, although not nearly as talented as their Philadelphia predecessors, at least could spell boys correctly), Black & Blue Oats!
For these special homage oats, I had a new friend to use! In my wanderings the day before, I had stumbled upon this beautiful mug in Marshalls:
It was just sitting there, on a random shelf, all by its lonesome…and, in much the same way as I feel about orphaned puppies and kittens, I just simply had to take it home. However, I decided it was fate that we met each other…because remember how I told you about those bowls underneath my bed? Well, there were also plates!
Obviously this was a sign I was destined to move here…
A match made in discount department store heaven!

I almost used blueberry yogurt in these boy band oats, as I have seen Lele use fruity yogurt in her oats, but we will save that adventure for another time, since I have tons of the Archer Farms plain deliciousness to use.
To 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/3 cup oats, and 1 Tbsp. oat bran, I added 1/2 of a banana, cinnamon, and nutmeg! Followed by the black(berries)…
…and the blue(berries).
I also love the combo of blueberries and ginger, and what’s a good boy band without the requisite cherubic blonde? In went some ground ginger to substitute!
And then we proceeded to dance some super funky, tight, pop-lock moves choreographed by someone who secretly wished he were in a boy band, and who had more skill than any of us. But we ended up with fabulous overnight oats!
In the morning, I added some dried black currants, which added a nice little kick…but I could have used more. (Less jazz hands, more grapevines?)
I was a little nervous that since I used frozen blueberries, the whole thing would turn purple and I’d end up with Barney overnight oats (something fun for another time?), but they stayed relatively together for me. Perhaps the blackberries beat them into submission, or they just sacrificed their natural soloist leanings for the betterment of the band?

Since I decided to make peace with frozen blueberries, after their excellent performance in my breakfast, I figured I should spend the rest of the day making some new friends. After all, it is the Girl Scout way. [Are visions of meetings in school cafeterias while sitting in a circle and singing about one being silver and the other gold floating through your head right now? Which one would be considered silver, and which one gold, by the way? Technically, I guess your old friends are gold, but what if you lose touch or have a falling out…do you send them in to the “Cash for Gold” businesses? And how can you turn a new, silver friend, into gold without King Midas around to help you?….Just some thoughts I have.]

Let me introduce you!

New Market:
Not the least expensive, of course, but there were some fun finds at Wheatsville…and I do love the ambience and the whole idea of a co-op. I also felt supergreen, because I was able to whip out a reusable bag at the checkout.
What’s inside the “oops” bag from Kath? (since the Great Harvest bread clearly isn’t there anymore) Storemade tahini [looks much better than my homemade attempt, but tastes the same]…
…and a whole lotta bulk bin nuts!
Could there be hummus and Nutty Butter in my future?

New Friend #2: Wickles Relish!
Seriously, this is the most amazing relish I have ever eaten in my life. It was just in the fridge, and you know I can’t resist trying new products. Sweet, yet salty…briny and dilly, but not in an obnoxiously overly pickly way. Oh my goll, y’all, it was good. So good, it needed to go on my lunchtime salad!
(The usual veggies, plus a heap of cottage cheese, topped with some Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning, which has a bunch of stuff including thyme, garlic, pepper, and cayenne in it.)I also finished off another new friend: the HEB Rice & Adzuki Bean Chipotle Cheese Chips. Mmmmmm….

While at Wheatsville, I had received a further push to create something I had been meaning to try for awhile: BBQ Hummus! [My new best hummus friend]
Trust me…you should be counting down the minutes until I give you THIS recipe. For realskis. [I have never said that before, much less thought it, much less wrote it down (or typed it out). Don’t judge me.]

New Frozen Dessert Friend:
I found this bad boy at Sprouts. Made with whey protein and some sort of whey sweetener, Arctic Zero is chemical food manipulation at its finest. At 128 calories for the entire pint, I did, in fact, eat half of it in one sitting (OK, that had nothing to do with the calorie count, as I can easily eat a quart of frozen deliciousness in one sitting if I let myself…but this time, I didn’t feel any guilt.)…and yes, it’s scientifically processed, a fact the makers are proud of actually, and there really are no health benefits. However, with the amount of Wow Cow I ate at Arch’s as an undergrad (Wow Cow being the 10 calorie/oz. soft serve concoction that will clearly result in the entire female student body of the past 10 years at UVA getting cancer), I figure, what’s a little manufactured goodness every now and then? :)

New Breaking-the-Shackles-of-Television Friend:
Yes, the Tivo wireless adapter came in ONE day, rather than the promised TWO. With the help of my favorite brother (who, I hate to say, only receives phone calls when I need technological support), I was able to get the Tivo up and running just in time to record The Next Food Network Star from last week and the new Man v. Food, while watching Top Chef. All of my culinary and home decorating* television dreams can now come true…

*House Hunters, House Hunters International, and Property Virgins also have Season Passes.

While waiting for the programs to load, I cut up a 99 cent (!) cantaloupe.
It was so delicious, I decided to play dentist and make teeth molds. [My sister does this too. Weirdness runs in the family. Like my brother. He only likes hummus when it’s hot…(?)]
Last, but not least, my New 15-Minute-Meal Friend: Arti-chicken & Tomatoes!
So easy. So scrumptious. Here’s what you do.

Arti-chicken & Tomatoes
(Serves 2)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, fresh or frozen (4 oz. each)
1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes (or others of your choice)
4 whole artichoke hearts
1 Tbsp. capers
Black pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder
Fresh basil (optional)

Simply take some diced up chicken (fresh or frozen) and saute it in a pan with a little cooking spray. While it’s cooking, throw on some pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. When it’s almost cooked through, pour on the diced tomatoes, and add extra seasonings. Toss in the capers. Allow to bubble a bit, making sure the chicken is cooked through and the tomatoes are heated and seasoned to your liking.

Serve over pasta, rice, or alone in a bowl.

Or, do what I did, and take the leftover, most delicious sweet potato chunks ever, and eat those alongside!
This literally took me 10 minutes to make. Although I already had a can of tomatoes and artichokes open. So if you have to get out a can opener, it might take you 10 minutes, 45 seconds.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

everydayoriginal June 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm

WOW, I love your site! So many new things flying at my brain all at once!!

And I know this is the wrong post, but a book club sans books + vino = my kinda club! haha


graduategourmande June 26, 2010 at 10:13 am

I am DYING to find Arctic Zero around here! So jealous!


Cathy August 5, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Successfully cooked this for dinner tonight- yummy! I tossed in the artichokes with the tomatoes…hope that was correct!!


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