Friday, April 15, 2011

Practical(ly) Hilarious

Isn't she beautiful?  This is the newest foal at the farm Toby the horse lives at.  So cute!

Yesterday afternoon was brilliant.  I took Toby (the girl) to her riding lesson, gawked at this beautiful baby, and relaxed in the sun for over an hour.  No distractions, no responsibility.  Lovely!

After the lesson, I took Mr. Kummerow for a big pasta dinner.  Tomorrow is the big race!  He is going to be brilliant...but I know he is getting nervous so say a prayer for him.

Today's Agenda is short and sweet and oh-so-fun!  Everything on the list is optional which is even better!  If I decide to veg on the couch for the rest of the day, fine.  If I decide to be wildly productive, excellent.  Either way it will be brilliant because I love choosing for myself my schedule each day!

Sleep-in with the hubby (he had a late meeting today!)
Re-try Mochi Waffles and post recipe to below!
Ride my bike to the Christian Mission to volunteer
Lift at the gym (eh...if I feel like it!)
Clean office (ok, that one really should get done, but we shall see...)
Cook a yummy pre-race dinner for Mr. Kummerow

So we can check one and two off the list.  Both were major successes.   Number three, also a huge success.  And now on to number four, five and six.

If I could ride my bike to the gym I might be more motivated to get there...maybe once all the Brawley School Road construction is over!  Number five has been haunting me for weeks.  I need to get it done.  In just a few short weeks our house will be full of guests for Mr. Kummerow's birthday weekend.  I must get the room ready for guests!  And finally, number six: so we ate pasta last night.  I heard that it is important to carb-load 48 hours before a big race.  So are there any good suggestions for an appropriate pre-race dinner for the night before?  Do I do pasta again, more protein, any suggestions?

Back to those Mochi Waffles.  I posted this photo of my breakfast several days ago:
Looks like an ordinary waffle, right?  Well I got this recipe idea from Alicia Silverstone's Kind Diet.  I had never bought mochi before so when I was at the store this week I decided it would be my one new food item to try.  (Every time I grocery shop, I always try to incorporate one new-to-me ingredient.)

Trial 1 wasn't awesome.  I cut the pieces too small and it didn't spread out in the waffle iron.  So I was left with about 1/2 a waffle.  I also did not cook it long enough so the inside was way too difficult to eat.  It was so gooey and sticky.

Trial 2 was much, much better.  After a relaxing sleep-in with Mr. Kummerow, I sliced the mochi (very hard to do!) and arranged on my waffle iron.  I own a very cheap version that makes two small square (Eggo sized) waffles.  It has a green and red light on it. When you plug it in the red light comes on.  You typically pour batter into it, shut the lid and when the green light comes on your waffle is done.  This time, instead of removing the waffle when the green light came on, I let it sit 3-5 minutes longer.  The mochi didn't burn at all, I'm not sure that it will burn for a very long time, so feel free to leave it on even longer to make sure the middle of your waffle is as crispy as the outside.
This version turned out perfect!  There was no weird stickiness on the inside and we were able to eat it with a fork and knife or with our hands.  Topped with banana slices, peanut butter, agave, pecans and chocolate chips.  This breakfast was very filling despite only one waffle per serving.

Before I dive into the recipe...I sort of owe you an explanation of what Mochi is.  Mochi is a typically described as a brown rice cake, but it is compounded into a very thick and dense cake.  You may also see Mochi Icecream in the cooler at Trader Joe's (which I have yet to try, but is vegan!) or you might also see it at Frozen Yogurt establishments where it looks like mini-marshmallows pictured below.
I did a little research just now on google to get a better explanation of the difference between these mochi products and came up short.  What I do know is that these marshmallow-esque mochi (above) are sweet and likely calorie-dense.  The "cake" that I bought at the store to make my waffles with is not sweet.  I bought the plain variety, but they also offer a cinnamon-raisin which I'm sure is sweeter.  When cooked the plain tastes very similar to a typical waffle but the texture is quite a bit different.  It is probably also calorie-dense but provides whole grains in the form of brown rice.  It is a very odd product in deed, but I am slowly falling in love with it.
Because I'm a bad blogger (theme of the week) I did not take a picture of the mochi I purchased, but I did find this picture on the Kind Life website (source).  It is not the same brand I purchased, but it looked just like this.  That is what you are looking for at the store to make these waffles.  It is fairly inexpensive.  I think I paid less than $5.  And there are lots of cool uses for it.  Alicia Silverstone has several in her book the Kind Diet.  You can find it at Whole Foods or Healthy Home Market.  Likely also at EarthFare.  I have never seen it at Trader Joe's.

Mochi Waffles
inspired by the Kind Diet

1 package Mochi
toppings of choice

Preheat a waffle iron.  Cut a package of mochi into 3 large pieces, width-wise.  Slice each piece into long fingerlike pieces, about 3/4” wide (a little shorter than your waffle mold on the waffle iron).  Using 3 to 4 strips for each waffle, place the mochi strips on the hot, ungreased waffle iron and close the to.  It will be difficult to close but as it heats up it will spread out and you can keep pressing until you can clasp the iron shut.   Cook until puffed and slightly crispy but not too hard and dry, about 5 minutes, or until your waffle iron signals that it’s done.  Err on the side of overdone.  Remove the waffle and place on a plate (do not stack the waffles because they will stick together).

You can use maple syrup, agave, brown rice syrup, peanut butter, jelly, etc. to top your waffles.  Eat just like you would normal waffles.   Makes approximately 4 small waffles.

As I mentioned previously, I rode my bike to my volunteer job at the Christian Mission today.  The mission is about 2 1/2 miles from my house and is mostly on roads that either have a bike lane or are in town, so generally safe.  If you follow me on twitter, you already know about my first "practical" bike riding experience...but let me enlighten the rest of you!

It pleases me to no end to be able to use my bike in a practical way.  I can team up a workout with getting somewhere I already need to go.  It is a win-win in my book.  Well, if you read the blog you will know that I am new to this whole bike riding thing and I was very nervous for my first outing on the bike.  Alas, I pulled my "convertible" out of the garage, sucked it up and pedaled out of the driveway.  
It was actually quite fun riding my bike into downtown and to the mission.  I remembered all my bike "rules" my friend Emily taught me and I did well.  I was even becoming a little confident.  I wouldn't say I got "cocky" but I stopped paying attention to what I was doing and as I rolled into the warehouse at the mission I made a major mistake: I forgot to take my feet out of the pedal cages before I stopped.  Try as I might, I could not get them out and I began to teeter to the side...and then...thunk.  I landed on the warehouse floor, bike on top.  Ugh.  I quickly scanned the room to see if anyone was watching.  No one in sight.  Safe.  Or so I thought.  

I picked myself off the ground, leaned the bike against the wall and slowly peered into the office where I found Bubba, anxiously choking down his laughter.  Oh boy.  Now I will forever be "that girl" at the Christian Mission.  We all had a good chuckle and I made sure to concentrate a little harder on the way home this afternoon!

One other problem I found with using the bike for practical rides:
I guess I rub against the greasy chain when I am standing still with the bike at a light or intersection.  I am hoping dish detergent will take this out, but I imagine over time I either need to change my standing habits or I will have permanent stains on my pants.  Maybe I will just designate one pair of jeans as my "bike jeans" and not care.  Any pointers out there?!

Ok, now back to my agenda.  Was lunch on there anywhere?

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