Hooray for the Weekend!

Oh my goodness, it’s FINALLY Friday!!

So, I couldn’t tell you all yesterday because Ryan reads this blog everyday, but I had been planning a surprise! 😉 I drove home last night after work to surprise Ryan by midnight on Valentine’s Day!!!! I was sooo tired after work but it was totally worth it because he was so excited! I walked in at about 11:40 (with 20 minutes to spare!) with a huge box of vegan chocolate chip cookies…he loved it! I had the whole thing planned perfectly.. I packed my car early yesterday and then after I got off work, I stopped at Starbucks for my new favorite drink (a misto with half steamed soy milk and half decaf vanilla tea) and was on the road by 10:30! Amazing, since work was absolutely insane last night. I couldn’t even feel my feet at the end of the night. I guess that’s what I get for wearing heels to work!

So today’s plan include relaxing! Ryan is going to work soon and I’m going to lounge about for the morning then meet my mom for lunch. This afternoon I’m going to lay by the pool if its nice and run errands…then Ryan and I are having our Valentine’s dinner tonight! I believe we are going out for sushi—my favorite!

For breakfast this morning I had 1.5 packets of Nature’s Path Flax and Oats oatmeal with a sliced banana. Ryan bought me lots of fruit for the weekend, including strawberries! I know what I’ll be snacking on later!


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  • Kelly
    February 15, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Good Morning Jenna! What a nice surprise for Ryan! I hope you enjoy your day and have a wonderful evening tonight.

    Oh, do you know of any good distance trackers for running (not on the computer). I am thinking of something like that nike chip you put in your shoe. I just want to see how far my 20-45 min runs are. I am not interested in calculating calories burned. Like you, I just run for the endorphins and health benefits. Thanks Jenna!

  • Natalie
    February 15, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    How cute Jenna! Enjoy date night and the sushi!

    Kelly, I use Google Pedometer. Here is the link:

    You just create your map, and go from there.

  • pinklilly
    February 15, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Hi and welcome back to Tampa, Jenna!

    I’m not sure if you and Ryan have already decided on any sushi spots for dinner tonight, but some of my favorites include: SoHo Sushi, Yokos, Jacksons and the cute little sushi spot tucked away in a corner at International Plaza’s Bay Street. I also really like sushi from The Rack – but that’s probably not the best environment for your Valentine’s dinner!

    Also – I ate at Roys last night and loved it!

    Have a happy Friday!

  • Brianne
    February 15, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    A misto! Aren’t they so good?

  • blueberrybabe
    February 15, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    good morning jenna! i have a question about what you did for breakfast this morning because i am often self conscious about the fine line between being overly food obsessed and just simply taking care of my body and nourishment. i assume you ate breakfast at ryans? so does that mean you packed your oatmeal packets/flax/etc last night to bring to his house for the morning? or do you keep food at his house that you like? or how does that work? anyone else feel free to chime in with what they do in these situations…. happy friday!

  • JennS
    February 15, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Jenna! I made the shrimp and olive oil cake last night and they were P.H.E.N.O.M.E.N.A.L it was a huge hit and was one of the better recipes Ive tried… seriously ladies, if you haven’t done it yet you MUST! My fiancee said if we were not already engaged he would have proposed! did you see my questions about the the body washes etc from yesterday’s lunch post? thanks!

  • Courtney
    February 15, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Jenna! I know you’ve answered many questions about cooking steel cut oats before, but mine is specific to the serving size. On the back of McCann’s Steel Cut Oats it only gives directions for cooking a whole cup of oats. I would like to only make the 1/4 cup serving on the stove, but I have no idea what measurements to use! Have you made only one serving before? If you have, what did you use/what were your measurements? And if not, if you made the whole cup of oats on the stove, how do you divide the cooked oats into servings? What would one serving measure out to be cooked? THANK YOU, I know this is a question you’ve probably come across, but I’m so stuck! Enjoy your Valentine’s dinner tonight 🙂

  • jenna
    February 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm


    I thought others might be interested in the answers to those so I answered them in the FAQ section 🙂 So glad you liked the recipes!


    Ryan is really good about keeping breakfast stuff I like at his apartment because he knows that I will just harass him to take me out to breakfast if not! haha!!! He bought me some steel cut oats, kashi cereal and bananas to keep here. Usually when I go home for the weekend I do take with me some snacks like nut bars and oatmeal packets though. I don’t think its being obsessive! Ryan and I really don’t eat the same things, as much as we love each other we just can’t agree!!! He likes to make a big smoothie with protein powder, fruit and yogurt for breakfast and I like oatmeal. He’s used to my strange food ways by now…haha


    I usually make 2 servings at a time…I boil 1/2 cup dry steel cut oats with 1.5 cups water on the stove for 15 minutes…when its cool I just divide it in half and refrigerate the servings separately in tupperware!

  • Lori- the pleasantly plump vegan
    February 15, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Hey Jenna- how cute are you with surprise vegan cookies. YUM! Hope you have fun tonight eating sushi. Sushi (vegan of course) is one of favorite things!
    Okay, you asked me a very difficult question on my blog. What is my favorite vegan cookbook? I don’t have one favorite, but I can tell you my top 5.
    (1) The 1st vegan cookbook I got was Vegan with a Vengeance. I love the simple (and punk) way of cooking.
    (2) My 2nd cookbook I got was La Dolce Vegan. This is a good cookbook for beginners to veganism (I think).
    (3) If you want a complete vegan cookbook, I love Vegan Plant. It reminds me of the Joy of Cooking for vegans.
    (4) For baking, I adore The Damn Tasty Vegan Baking Guide. She’s a genius at baking!
    (5) My latest addiction has been with Yellow Rose Recipes. I keep going back to this cookbook because she uses a LOT of the ingredients that I love.
    Hopes this helps!

  • jenna
    February 15, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    I’m addicted!! I’m drinking another as we speak!!! So yummy and creamy!!!

  • jenna
    February 15, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks, Lori!!! I’ll look up some of those at the bookstore. I’ve seen Vegan with a Vengeance and it looks fun…I’m in awe that vegan baked good taste so good! (i guess I thought they would taste gross without dairy!) WOW, was I ever wrong!! Now I’m addicted and love this new way of cooking..its like opening up a whole new world to me! I especially love your blog though because you make all the “down-home” favorites vegan-style! I love those southern comfort foods!!

    Were you a full fledged meat eater before going vegan? What made you change your ways?

    ps- super excited for sushi! I LOVE seaweed salad and veggie rolls!!

  • Megs
    February 15, 2008 at 2:43 pm


    You are too cute and Ryan is lucky to have such a sweet girl!

    About the peanut butter at Whole Foods. Is it hard to spread? I have gotten fresh ground before and it is nto as smooth (best word I could think of) and so you need alot more on a sandwich because it doesnt spread…….


  • Kath
    February 15, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Your day sounds divine – relaxing, lunch with mom, pool time. I’m so jealous of FL weather!

  • jenna
    February 15, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I don’t refrigerate my PB so maybe that’s why I never have a problem with it spreading…try that!

  • Kristie
    February 15, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    That is such a sweet surprise for Ryan, Jenna! I hope you have a great weekend with him 🙂

  • Kristin
    February 15, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    On the PB topic- I’m curious, what kind of peanut butter do you grind at Whole Foods? And how long does yours last without refridgeration? I heard natural PB needs to be refrigerated… is that only the shelf bought kind?

    Thanks! =)

  • JennS
    February 15, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Jenna, one question, not food related but reading about France brought the question to my mind and made me nostolgic. Did you ever go to Cassis in the south while you were there? mon pere is from there. 🙂

  • jenna
    February 15, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    i really dont know about the whole refrigeration thing…i have NEVER refrigerated mine because I dont like it to be so firm and cold. it always lasts til I use it up–about 2 weeks I would say? The shelf kind with the oil on top that says “must be refrigerated” might need to be..but I prefer the taste of the kind that I grind at the store.

  • Allison
    February 15, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that I tried the Olive Oil cake last was a big hit with my husband! I haven’t yet told him that there was olive oil in it, instead of his beloved pound of butter…..
    Seriously, everyone try the cake recipe!

  • Clarissa
    February 15, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Could it be possible that the tsp of ground flax I add to my morning oatmeal is making my stomach turn all day??

  • Rhodeygirl
    February 15, 2008 at 3:17 pm


    I use 1/4 cup steel cut oats dry with 1 cup of liquid (water/milk) or sometimes a little bit more, and I cook mine for about 45 minutes. I had to play around with the amount of liquid to use/time to cook it because I have found that different brands cook a little bit differently.

    You are best off starting with less liquid and as it cooks increase it as needed until it reaches the consistency you like.. and eventually you will find the exact amount you need.

  • kay
    February 15, 2008 at 3:23 pm


    You are super sweet! I am glad Ryan was not secretly driving to you at the same time to suprise YOU!!

    Jenna, VeggieGirl and everyone:
    Do you have a good recipe for chocolate pie using tofu? I had a wonderful one at a restaurant one time but I can’t seem to make a good one yet! 🙁

    By the way I had this recipe:
    Overnight Swiss Oatmeal
    serves 1
    1/2 cup oats
    2 ounces skim milk
    2 ounces water
    1 ounce organic dried cherries
    10 grams walnuts (about 5 whole walnuts, crumbled)
    4 ounces greek nonfat yogurt
    1 sliced banana
    1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
    1. The night before, combine the oats, milk, water, walnuts and dried cherries in a bowl. Cover with wax paper and set in the fridge.
    2. The next morning, stir the oats, add some cinnamon and mix in the yogurt and sliced banana. Top with maple syrup! yum!
    502 calories, 10 grams of fat (this is including 1/2 tbsp maple syrup)

  • pinklilly
    February 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Blueberrybabe –

    I thought I’d chime in on your post. I usually always bring a stash of Kashi bars, oatmeal, fruit, etc with me if I’m going somewhere for a trip or long amount of time. I don’t necessarily always use it, but I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry and it can always go right back into my pantry! I don’t see it as being food obsessed as much as I do prepared with keeping a healthy diet. I like to save my splurges for nights out to dinner! Hope that answered your question.

    Happy Friday!

  • Lisa
    February 15, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    so so so cute!! What a great surprise! Hope you have a great day of relaxing and just running around today!

  • Tina
    February 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I love mistos too, but I usually get mine with coffee. Tea is a great idea– I’m going to give it a try.

    Enjoy your sushi tonight! We had it last night for our sushi dinner! 🙂

  • Courtney
    February 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    thank you everyone!

  • Ashley H
    February 15, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    I have always considered going vegetarian but tofu well scaries me. I try to eat the most unprocessed as possible but tofu just seems so processed to me. So what is tofu? And it is completely natural?

    I have always wondered what the difference between a misto and a latte was they have the same description on the board of starbucks. 🙂


  • VeggieGirl
    February 15, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Jenna, that is so brilliant and lovely of you to surprise Ryan like that, on Valentine’s Day – and with vegan cookies, no less!! Love it!! :0D Sounds like your holiday was quite special and enjoyable – you deserve to rest and relax, for sure!! Enjoy your Friday, girl :0)


    For a chocolate pie using tofu, try these recipes out:

  • VeggieGirl
    February 15, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    **Ashley H:

    This gives a GREAT description about tofu (what it is, its health profile, how to consume it, etc.):

  • TC
    February 15, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    aww, that’s so sweet! i don’t know if i would have been able to keep that a surprise! hope you have a relaxing day–you surely deserve it after such a crazy week!!

  • ryan
    February 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Jenna gave me a great surprise and I know I am lucky to have found her, despite her eating quirks!

    Pinklily, is the sushi restaurant at International good? hwo does it compare to Samurai Blue in Ybor, I hate Ybor so was interested in trying a new place tonight since we practically live at Yokos and Jenna doesnt like Soho sushi even though its the same chef.

    Jenna you need to post the peanutbutter & chocolate ice cream recipe, that will blow the olive oil cake away

  • Erica
    February 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    my mouth is drooling already! jenna, you must post that recipe!!!

  • pinklilly
    February 15, 2008 at 5:28 pm


    Ahhh, Yokos is delicious! The sushi spot at International doesn’t have as many eclectic/funky rolls as Samurai Blue does in Ybor, but I enjoy the selection they have. It’s called Cafe Japon and it’s located in between Starbucks and Champps. It’s a nice atmosphere and there’s a gelatto shop a few store fronts down for a sweet treat after dinner! Seeing as though I’m a girl, I’m always partial to eating somewhere close to shopping!

    Have fun tonight!

  • VeggieGirl
    February 15, 2008 at 5:35 pm


    I answered your question about the chocolate tofu pie here, in the comments section, but because I included the links to the sites, the comment is awaiting moderation – look out for the comment when it’s approved!! :0)

  • Amy C.
    February 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    What a sweet surprise! 🙂

    I just have to say thanks again for the vanilla hempmilk suggestion. I had it this morning and it was delicious. I just blended it with some frozen berries and it was the best smoothie I’ve ever had. Seriously! Next I’ll have to try some of the recipes. I got Quorn yesterday so maybe I’ll give your “chicken” salad a try.

  • erica
    February 15, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Amy C. –
    You’re going to love the chicken salad! I made it two nights ago, and I had it for lunch yesterday, and will have it again for lunch today.. it’s amazing!

  • rachel
    February 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    has anyone tried making greek yogurt? i LOVE fage, but it is too expensive for my budget. i know i probably wont be able to acquire the same consistency with homemade yogurt, but i’d like to try to come up with something similar.

    does anyone think this recipe would work?

  • pinklilly
    February 15, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    I’m eating the chicken salad right now – except I substitute mustard instead of mayo. I put it all on top of spinach leaves and strawberries – it’s wonderful!

  • Megs
    February 15, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    About natural PB. The kind on shelves that says “needs to be refridgerated” doesnt really need to be ( ingredients are only peanuts)unless you have it at home for a long time. It’s the oil that can spoil in it. I have never out mine in the fridge b/c like Jenna I dont like it hard and cold! If you dont finish a jar in about 6 months, you might want to stick in the fridge.

    I am pretty sure Jenna uses the grinder at WF near the bulk section.

  • Kristin
    February 15, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    For any of you who have made the olive oil recipe, what size pan do you use? 13X9 inch or 8″ round?? Thanks!

  • JennS
    February 15, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    i used a 8in round and it was perfect

  • Amy C.
    February 15, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Erica, I’m glad for your review. I can’t wait to try it! I think I’ll have it for dinner tomorrow night.

    Pinklilly I’ll probably use mustard too. Mayo and mayo-substitutes make me gag (so does Greek yogurt which makes me sad because so many people love it). 🙁

    Megs, that’s so good to know. I have the same problem with my PB. I buy Teddy organic peanut butter and it gets so hard in there. I use it up far too quickly so I’ll try keeping it in the cabinet. Thanks for the tip!

  • pinklilly
    February 15, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Amy C,

    I can’t handle the Greek yogurt either! The mustard with the chicken salad was great – it gave it a little kick! I hope you like it!