Crystal Clear

by jenna on May 25, 2009

Hi guys!

I’ve had a pretty productive Memorial Day while the boy was out of the house. I got to thinking about baked beans to go with our hot dogs and I was going to buy some at the store, but then I was like well why don’t I just make them myself?! So I did. And they turned out fab-u-lous. If I do say so myself. I used my recipe for Homemade Baked Beans that you can find here and the only drawback is that they do take an hour to bake! But during that hour they develop such a deep caramelized flavor almost….I just can’t get enough. This recipe freezes beautifully as well so I always double it. I like to have leftover homemade baked beans on whole wheat toast for lunch sometimes—try it!

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To get my groceries I did go to heaven Whole Foods again. Sigh. But I did figure out a good strategy! I’ll go to Target and get stuff like cereal, beans, honey, cheese…..and then go downstairs to Whole Foods to just get the good stuff like organic produce and specialty ingredients. Genius, no? Now that I’ve been drinking so many green monsters and juicing my veggies, I do like them to be organic because the thought of drinking pesticides really scares me!

Here’s the loot:

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  • Zucchini
  • Summer squash
  • naners
  • cherries!
  • carrots
  • a HUGE container of spinach because now that Ryan has gotten on the Green Monster kick too, we just can’t get enough of it!
  • pears
  • kale
  • bell pepper
  • red onion

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  • Beans
  • almond milk
  • lasagna noodles (can you guess what I’m making this week?!)
  • pumpkin seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • primal strips
  • another red onion
  • kalamata olives
  • Ezekiel hot dog buns
  • Hemp bagels (19 grams of protein per bagel!)
  • 2 vegan chocolate chip cookies :)

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  • *jumbo* veggie dogs
  • beef hot dogs
  • salmon burgers
  • part skim ricotta cheese

I put everything away, got the beans started and in the oven and then finally got to make what I’ve been dying to try for quite some time now: Angela’s Raw Granola Bars!

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Well they aren’t exactly “raw” (rolled oats have been steamed and I heated the mixture of honey, almond butter and coconut oil on the stove prior to mixing), but Ange was right when she said “they might be the best tasting granola bars we’ve ever had!” Seriously. Its a pretty bold statement but I’m not messing around. These freakin’ rocked! They tasted so amazing and were a breeze to throw together. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever buy store-bought bars again. This recipe saved my life (and my debit card)!

They are pretty nutrient dense and each bar comes out to about 240 calories and 5 grams of protein. Perfect for an afternoon snack!

Around 5:30 I went over to my parent’s house to have a glass of wine since Ryan wasn’t due back until 7. When I got there I found a big surprise! My parents gave me my birthday present early—a new camera!!! I am THRILLED because it is a huge step up from what I’ve been using for the first year and a half of blogging and my old one was really on its last leg. My birthday is in two weeks and I guess my parents didn’t think my camera would last even that long!  ;) So all the pictures from here on out are with the new camera, a Canon SD780 is powershot. I love it!!!! Thanks mom and dad!

I got home right as Ryan was pulling in and since we both were starving we made dinner quickly! Here’s my dinner with a veggie dog, homemade baked beans and cherries!

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I loved these veggie dogs—good thing ’cause I have to eat the entire pack in 3-5 days so I don’t waste food! The Lightlife brand is, in my opinion, much tastier than the Tofurky brand. I really couldn’t tell that these were soy! SO yummy! :)

Dessert was equally fun.

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A vegan chocolate chip cookie from Whole Foods! I LOVE these but rarely buy them. They are huge and I told myself I was going to eat half and save the other half for tomorrow but don’t you know I wolfed the whole thing down faster than you could even say chocolate. A delightful splurge for sure!

Some of you have asked to see the “finished” living room. Well its not exactly finished because I’m in the process of ordering new bamboo blinds instead of those white ones and we are getting a different chair for the high top table but here it is! That comfy couch is my favorite blogging location :)

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I love my new camera!! Can you believe that coffee table was only $49.99?! Love it.

We are watching an oldie but a goodie—Dances with Wolves. I’m about to make Ryan a “treat” with his chocolate chip cookie. I heat up the cookie and then layer it with vanilla ice cream (or coconut milk ice cream in our case) and chocolate sauce. Its his favorite dessert :)

See you tomorrow!

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Joy May 25, 2009 at 6:38 pm

is that Dexter on the table? haha he looks so mysterious. i’m definitely trying your baked bean recipe next time!

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jenna May 25, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Joy,

Yep! That’s our furry son!

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Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) May 25, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Oh wow…look at that difference between the pictures before your new camera and after. So jealous! :D I’m going to have to remember that model name and number when it’s time for me to get a new one too.

And the homemade beans look DELISH! I love, love, love baked beans. I usually eat mine with pancakes and eggs. It sounds like a weird combo, but I love it. :D

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Jocelyn May 25, 2009 at 6:38 pm

ohhh snazzy camera..the pictures are coming out GREAT ..and those beans look so good!!!!

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healthy ashley May 25, 2009 at 6:39 pm

I love those WF cookies!

And you can totally freeze the veggie dogs. I do it with mine and they turn out great.

Congrats on the camera! I love Canons sooo much :)

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Meredith (Pursuing Balance) May 25, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I love WF’s vegan chocolate chip cookies too!

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Michelle May 25, 2009 at 6:47 pm

how much was the cat? jk. cute room.

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Erin May 25, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Aw, yay for Applegate Farms! I’m a huge fan of their philosophy. Great pics and a supa cute living room. :)

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hk May 25, 2009 at 6:49 pm

looks like an awesome dinner– and obviously you can’t go wrong with WF’s chocolate chip cookies :)

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Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) May 25, 2009 at 6:52 pm

What a fun day! The pics with the new camera looks FABULOUS! So exciting!!

Glad you had such a great Memorial Day. Have a good night!

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Recipes for Creativity May 25, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Dexter looks perfect in the room, he must love the new coffee table, too!

Okay, you writing about preparing things for Ryan makes me miss my boyfriend SO MUCH! I haven’t seen him in almost seven weeks…I miss baking stuff for him! Oh well, soon enough.

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nicole May 25, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I love WF cookies! and bamboo blinds would be an awesome touch in the room! hope you are having fun decorating.

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Rachel May 25, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Whole Foods is absolutely Heaven to me. Looks like you got some great items! I also had some cherries the other day, delicious!

Much love,
Rachel

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Alison May 25, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Wow…sprouted hot dog buns. I’ve never seen those.
I haven’t seen Dances w/Wolves in years. We actually watched it in my h.s. English class. I remember really liking it. The book was good too.

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lesley May 25, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Those hemp bagels sound so good! We love that brand of hemp bread but I’ve never tried to bagels … I’m lovin’ all that protein! : )

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Angela May 25, 2009 at 7:24 pm

So glad you enjoyed the granola bars! They are my fav addiction! :) Thanks for the shout-out.

Mmm your Whole Foods shop makes me want to go back again! A 40 minute drive for me to get there is well worth it, I’d say :)

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Gloria May 25, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Your living room looks great! Definitely freeze the veggie dogs.. they taste just as good and last forever. I love them!

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Meghan May 25, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Hey Jenna,

I’m a new reader (you probably saw that I skipped back a couple of pages). I lost my dad to a very sudden aortic aneurysm last September. He was only 54. I am touched to read how you are working the through the tragic loss of your little brother and I’m so sorry for your loss. Obviously everyone’s situation is different but please know that I understand those good and bad days, and I understand that feeling that you sometimes get of almost forgetting what’s happened. It’s this strange denial that I feel is the soul’s way of protecting itself sometimes. It will get easier but those tough days will still present themselves from time to time. You’re lucky you’ve created such a wonderful job/hobby to occupy your time and bring you close to your family and boyfriend.

I will definitely continue to read, and I want to pick up that Melody Beattie book, maybe send a copy to my mom. And I’m really looking forward to trying one of those green smoothies.

Best wishes,
Meghan

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Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) May 25, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Wow! I love your living room! We have that same coffee table but our living room isn’t nearly as nice looking!

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Nicole May 25, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Oooh fun!!! A new camera is such a great surprise :)

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Lisa May 25, 2009 at 7:48 pm

hey, I have a quick question… I’m not sure if you answer these types of questions in comments, but I was wondering, how do you cook your veggie hot dogs? In the microwave, or stovetop? I tried them about a year ago in the microwave and didn’t really care for the taste, but I’m wondering if they taste better cooked a different way (and maybe my tastes have evolved, so I should try them again…).

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Megan (Runner's Kitchen) May 25, 2009 at 8:08 pm

I love Whole Foods cookies! And I can hardly ever eat just half – they’re too good :-)

I highly recommend “City Girl, Country Girl” brand cookies – they might be just a local/NY product – but look for them in your WF because they are delish! And most varieties are vegan.

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Tanya May 25, 2009 at 8:08 pm

I use my cellphone camera to take my blogging pics of all things :-) I’m stealing my brother’s Cannon when he leaves tomorrow.

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Michelle @ Find Your Balance May 25, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Congrats on the new camera! Fun! And your beans look great. Homemade is always best, right?

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Adi (oatonomy.com - repaired!) May 25, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Your camera takes GREAT photos! That’s awesome!
I’ll have to check out the granola bar recipe – thanks Jenna.
Hope your week is off to a good start. :)

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emily May 25, 2009 at 8:34 pm

what an exciting day, Whole Foods AND a new camera?!?!

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Julia (Jogging My Memory) May 25, 2009 at 8:41 pm

The living room looks fantastic! I must say my favorite part is the kitty on the living room table. I bet he just makes the room!

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Help Meghan Run May 25, 2009 at 8:48 pm

What a lovely Memorial Day dinner! :) Those hot dog buns look great, as do the baked beans…those are going on the to-bake list.

www. HelpMeghanRun .com

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Bec May 25, 2009 at 9:01 pm

look at you making beans from scratch! I need to try making those granola bars

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spicygranola May 25, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Baked beans on toast, yum! I have many happy memories of that meal because it is the only thing my dad could (would is the right word) cook, but his beans were from a can.The homemade ones look much better.

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courtney May 25, 2009 at 9:22 pm

I had the strangest craving for baked beans today (could have been the almost identical dinner of veggie dogs that graced our table..!) but have difficultly finding yummy vegetarian ones. Jenna to the rescue!!! Thanks for the great recipe, I am definitely keeping it at the top of my list for next time (with grilled corn on the cob- SO yum!). Such a cute kitty, btw :)

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Donna May 25, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Hi, don’t you love IKEA? And you’re right…never go on a weekend. It’s a zoo! Since I’ve been an editor for many years, and only want great things for you…could you start using the correct it’s (with the apostrophe) for the contraction “it is” in your sentences rather than its? Potential employers/freelance writing services notice that stuff, plus it is the correct grammatical use of the word.

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kristi (sweet cheeks) May 25, 2009 at 9:26 pm

YEAH new camera!! Nice!
I want to try that baked beans recipe. They look and sound awesome!

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Caroline May 25, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Veggie dog & baked beans? Can’t get any more Memorial Day than that!
I’ve been going through spinach at a rapid rate too–I buy the big containers of Newman’s Organic spinach at Sam’s every week!

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Amanda May 25, 2009 at 10:39 pm

yay for a new camera! a canon!

your living room looks great! and now i’m craving cherries. how come more people don’t eat them?

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lee May 25, 2009 at 11:08 pm

the difference in photos is IMPECCABLE! Love it, cant waiiiit for tomorrow’s am post :-)

*you are what i wake up to in the AM!!*

seeya jenna! goooodnight!

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Stef May 26, 2009 at 12:02 am

Yay new camera! That’s so exciting! Glad you had a good Memorial Day, loving the new furniture!

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Leah @ Simply Fabulous Now May 26, 2009 at 2:20 am

I am going to try making those baked beans. I’ll let you know how it goes!!

Love the loot from Whole Foods!! You are so lucky you have one nearby.. (well, it depends how you look at it I guess haha!).

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Matt (No Meat Athlete) May 26, 2009 at 3:47 am

The baked beans look great; I saved the recipe and can’t wait to make them. I freakin’ love baked beans. Also very nice grocery list. I hear people talk about Ezekiel stuff a lot; is that a brand? Do they do something special or is it just whole wheat stuff?

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MizFit May 26, 2009 at 4:06 am

jealous of the camera—now Im rethinking my I WANT A KINDLE request for my bday (few months away).

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kailey May 26, 2009 at 5:28 am

aww congrats on the new camera! thats sooo exciting!
thanks for telling us that you like light life better – i can never decide between the two brands. can’t wait to see how you like the hemp bagels!

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Michelle Hisae May 26, 2009 at 5:30 am

I love the Canon Powershot! I have one version myself and it never fails! Very high quality photos!

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Rachel May 26, 2009 at 6:43 am

Those beans look soooo good! So does your living room :)

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Hyedi May 26, 2009 at 7:28 am

I think I just heard about you on NPR!

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Sarah May 26, 2009 at 7:48 am

Love the living room, it looks so peaceful, great place for blogging :)

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Sheri May 26, 2009 at 8:08 am

I was going to BBQ some hot dogs this weekend and I will be making some of those baked beans to go with them! They look so yummy! Your pictures from you new camera look great! Love your living room so cute and cozy :)

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Stacey May 26, 2009 at 9:02 am

the city of Charlotte has been contemplating on getting a Whole Foods! Oh how I hope they do!!! And quite ironically, they are talking about putting it in the open space under the Target we have here!

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Tracy May 26, 2009 at 4:47 pm

I LOVE Whole Foods Salmon Burgers, especially when you grill them! I also love the Mahi Mahi burgers. You should try those, too!

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Anais May 31, 2009 at 11:20 am

I love your plate!!! And with the crumbs on it it makes it even cuter :)

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