Keeping Resolutions: A Strong Start

Ah—starting the New Year off right.

Last Sunday, I knocked out some catch-up work for my actual job, and spent the day shuffling around the kitchen whipping up goodies to start the week off on the right foot. Can’t roll into a new year with a new mindset if I’m carrying with me old habits!

I’m personally not a huge maple fan—it tends to remind me of overstuffing myself on too-sweet maple cream bars as a kid. I love the smell and the cozy feeling good maple syrup gives, but by itself, maple tends to be too sweet for me. Literally, good maple syrup is richly flavored liquid sugar. The men in my life, however, love it. My father has been known to dip marshmallows in maple syrup when he has an impossible-to-cure sweet tooth, and for Christmas a few years back, I once gifted my brother a large 64oz pitcher of pure Michigan maple syrup I ventured north to pick up from the farm it’s made.

I once made a maple cake for a special someone’s birthday, and Sunday, to pass the afternoon quietly, I moseyed through and found a wonderful recipe for vegan maple cupcakes with a stiff vegan-friendly cream frosting. Guess what I put together? Yup. Those surprisingly fluffy, super aromatic cupcakes bound with flax meal and sweetened solely with nothing other than pure maple syrup.

If you’re interested in giving it a try, you can find the recipe here. I can’t take credit for these beauties that received two thumbs up from the omnivores around me, but I can say double the recipe! Making what the recipe called for on the batter, alone, only gave me enough for 7 cupcake tins full on my standard muffin tin. I hurried and made a second batch of the batter, and filled in all of the empty spots. As they were cooling, one got plucked out of the tin before being frosted and I gotta say, they didn’t get frosted after that—maybe next round. They’re a delicious vanilla maple that held together extremely well. No crumbly cake!

As much as I gush over these delicious cupcakes, I can’t go without mentioning the rest of the feast I whipped up through Wednesday. Sunday was delicious chia and berry pancakes, chili with avocado over rice, and enough orange chicken/tofu to last the next month. Monday was avocado toast on a plain bagel for breakfast, a rustic spaghetti with carrots, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms in the sauce for lunch, and dinner was a mix of the rest of the pasta (eaten right before a food coma) and homemade pizza—BBQ Chik’n for me, and pepperoni, red onions & olives for the mister. Right after ringing in the new year, it was straight to bed, only to wake up to the vanilla maple cupcakes with coffee for breakfast, and a snacking lunch while preparing a proper new year’s dinner. Ham for the company, with vegan mashed potatoes, stuffing, and the traditional sauerkraut with a hoppy spin. Of course, a few glasses of wine hit the table, along with a discussion of aspirations, resolutions, and plans for 2019 and beyond.

With all the pre-prepped left-overs, I didn’t have to worry about cooking for the rest of the week, which left time for me to focus on the dogs, and me.

I know I’m hitting a new era of age when the part I dread the most about returning from work is that I work night shift…well, that, and the field of work I’m in, but that’s a story you are all well familiar with. In terms of night shift, Sunday morning coming home from work was the only day I actually made it without being super sleepy and/or dozing off. Reason mainly being, Tesla switched it’s coffee from burnt tar to Peet’s, so my 2:30a lunch included a sampling round of the new brews. Having weened off the midnight caffeine, a few sips of Joe had me rolling until nearly 10a. Saturday morning included a 1h30m power nap in a parking lot about two miles from home, a necessity after completely dozing off behind the wheel. Aside from constantly playing sleep catch-up, I had good run last week of waking up, taking the dogs for about a mile hike, and sinking into about 40-50min of vinyasa yoga before work. Include pre-packed home cooked food, and it was a pretty solid work week.

In terms of resolutions, I think I can say food is a check so far. Yoga is a check. And as of yesterday, I’m making progress in forming the first yoga event for TS.

Sunday was a day for the birds—sleeping until 8:30p, dinner was a mess of leftovers and snacking sweets. Yesterday, we were up relatively early, hitting the ground running with errands and chores. The apartment is tidied, lunch was a treat at Grateful Gardens, we root caused more issues with the old Nissan, and again with the resolutions, we explored some more of Midtown’s offerings. The biggest positive of yesterday came around with discovering the perfect location for the first wine & yoga event. There was a solid selection of wine and craft beers on tap, plus there’s room for the mats to unroll in a lounge area in the front of the floor space. They have an awesome atmosphere (and even better bathrooms), and are in a pretty central location. Comfortably fitting 8-10 people side-by-side, I think we’re looking good for the first event of the year. Now, it’s just waiting to hear back from them on pricing & availability.

I’m shooting to have blog postings up by Tuesdays/Wednesdays every week. Given that I sleep Sundays and Wednesday’s are alternated with work, I think that’s about the best time for consistent uploads.

Anyways—after I practice today, I’ll start working on dinner and creating a video space in the apartment. Tomorrow, the plan is to hit NorthStar in the morning for a day on the slopes, so I’d like to have everything finished today while I have the apartment to myself (no dogs!!).

I know this was highly centered on food, but that’s been just about the center of my life for the last week and a half :) If you’re interested in any of the recipes, or have any suggestions for what I should make next week, drop the suggestions in the comments below!!