Browsing Tag

avocado

Spinach & Avocado Stuffed Cornmeal Crepes with Curry-Lime Cream

January 5, 2014

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How is your 2014 so far? Are you finally feeling back to normal after a 3 day hangover from all that sugary champagne? I, surprisingly, did not drink that much on New Years this year and woke up feeling recharged and ready to start a fresh new year. My college self would be so bummed at how ‘lame’ I’ve already become at 24 but sometimes a girl just wants to snuggle inside with her dog and boyfriend to watch the ball drop with Carson Daly. Oh wait, or are you a Ryan Seacrest kind-of-person? If so, I feel so so so very sorry for you.

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Just like every American this time a year, I’m taking another stab at eating health[ier]. I’d like to think we don’t eat terrible around here (no heart-clogging meat, minimal processed foods, no sugary drinks) but there is always room for improvement. I’m particularly bad about incorporating fresh vegetables into our diets this time a year – a salad feels very unappetizing (and usually pretty unnatural when its 10 degrees out and the produce was shipped in from 5 states over) so most of our vegetable intake is in the form of stews and soups and curries. And because of that, I can’t help but notice that our leafy green in-take has slowed down to a minimum. So alas, I decided to start the year off with a recipe that could highlight raw vegetables in another form other than smoothies and juice cleanses (since, you know, sometimes it’s so cold outside and the thoughts of downing a ice cold smoothie is about as appetizing as eating yellow snow).

If possible, choose cornmeal that is whole and not degermed to gain as much nutrition of it as possible. Whole cornmeal is chocked full of amino acids, vitamins (b-6, K), minerals (potassium, zinc, copper), and have been linked to benefiting your colon.

These crepes can be stuffed with whatever you are feeling but I highly recommend trying out this savory version and picking a few favorite vegetables to chop up for the insides. I choose spinach because of it’s well known benefits of having a high ratio of nutrients to calories (we are talking vitamin A, K, D, and E as well as omega 3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory antioxidants).

I’ve also been on a curry kick lately but feel free to use whatever sauce you are feeling – perhaps a cilantro sirarcha sauce? Or even a peanut lime sauce for a protein boost?

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Chickpea Cobb Salad Cups

July 21, 2013

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It has been hot hot HOT here in the Midwest. It’s hard to get motivated to eat copious amounts of food (let alone turn your oven on) in this heat. I’m not complaining… this is always the time of year that I start to master my salads. When  you start eating the things three times a day, you are bound to get creative with them. Corn relish, seasoned chickpeas, baked goat cheese, preserved lemons, stuffed tomatoes, polenta croutons…the options with salads are endless!

 

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When imagining these cups, think Americanized lettuce wraps (and not the kind you get at P F Changs). These little cups are filled with a vegetarian Cobb inspired salad. You can fill the cups with goodies before hand or put all the toppings in individual bowls and let people pick and choose how much of everything goes into their cup. Or you could even do it lettuce wrap style and mix the salad ingredients together in one bowl and then let your guests scoop the desired amount into little raddichio leaves.

If you’ve never had raddichio before, it’s a must try (especially for any salad lover). They look like mini red cabbages but have a flavor profile closer to the endive. Raddichio is slightly bitter and is part of the chicories family along with endives and escaroles. You can mellow out the slightly spicy / bitter taste by roasting the vegetable but I personally think it gives the perfect raw edge to this, otherwise pretty tame, Cobb salad.

 

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Homemade Raw Vegan Fudgsicles

June 20, 2013


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Anyone who is familiar with raw “cooking” will find the ingredients in this recipe as no surprise. But for those of you who aren’t, stay with me. I’m looking at people like you, Mother. The kind of people that scoff at green smoothies and kale salads (“Ew. You don’t actually drink those, do you?” my mother ALWAYS says when green smoothies are brought up.) The reason this recipe may seem weird is because the word ‘fudgsicle’ usually congers up images of pre-packed, ice cream laden, milky wonderfulness. But what if I told you that we could achieve that creaminess without the ice cream? Without even the milk. In this recipe, we use avocados as the “cream” base but still load it (of course) with chocolate and [natural] sugar (delicious delicious agave).

The cocoa does a wonderful job of taking over the flavor AND color so you don’t have to worry about trying to force feed your friends a weird greenish looking ice pop. In fact, they probably won’t even be able to taste the avocado at all if you don’t mention it!

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Oh… and did I mention that these little pops are HEALTHY?! Forget that post-dairy bloatedness that often comes with consuming a pint of ice cream. These little pops are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, and vitamin E (just to name a few wonderful things found in avocados). So instead of feeling guilty about reaching for that popsicle in the fridge after dinner, you can get excited about getting an extra punch of nutrients while eating your dessert!

I rolled my popsicles in coconut, chopped pistachios, and sprinkles but feel free to have fun with it. Use whatever nuts you have on hand or roll them in something you know your boyfriend will love (butterscotch chips? chopped hazelnut? dried blueberries? potato chips?).

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Raw Vegan Fudgsicles

Makes 4 large fudgsicles (this will vary depending on the size of your popsicle molds)
  • 2 large ripe avocados (3 if they are small)
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (most are vegan but double check before purchasing)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • ~1/4 cup water

Topping suggestions: 

  • chopped pistachios
  • shredded coconut

Use a mixer to blend together the avocados, cocoa powder, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and water. Blend until light and fluffy – if stiff then add a little more water. Divide among popsicle molds and let set in the freezer for at least 5 hours (I let mine sit overnight… just to be safe).

Enjoy once frozen or roll slightly softened popsicle in nuts, coconut, or both.

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Searchable Saturdays

January 19, 2013

Mixing up the format again for Searchable Saturdays…because I can. Let me know what you think. Cool? Cool.

 

 
     

 

1. I’m constantly looking for inspiration in new forms and ordered this quarterly publication this week. I LOVE low-fi photography and cannot wait to get this in the mail! Ordered their summer issue but the winter one is on sale right now for 11 bucks. Go check it out!

2. I’ve had the worst spring fever this week and it has sparked a lusting for high-waisted shorts and round sunglasses. Check out my spring style board on pinterest for a look into all the fashion lusting I’ve been doing.

3. This picture may have made me drool a little bit. Lettuce, Avocado, Cucumber, and Peanut Sauce?! Yes, please!

4. With spring fever comes a small feeling of stir-crazy. I am SO ready to road trip and go swimming and go canoeing and sleep under the star. Gah!

Well, I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend! I am off to drag Wyatt on a hiking and winter picnic excursion because 50 degrees is warm enough for my stir-crazy to demand an adventure.

Black Bean & Wheatberry Chili

December 3, 2012

 

Morning, Morning. Can you believe it is already December? It sure does not feel like it. I don’t know about where you live but I’m located in the Midwest and we are suppose to have some 70 degree weather today (such a weird introduction to winter…). Not that I’m complaining but I would have considered making something a little more…light and refreshing had I known it was going to be so warm. Ah well, this chili is oh so delicious regardless of the temperature.

I’m not going to lie. I am really proud of this recipe. It’s packed with so much nutrients I can hardly wrap my head around it. We are talking loads of protein, fiber, vitamin C, iron, potassium, vitamin A, etc etc etc. The list goes on and if you make the beans from scratch… this chili is packed full of fresh and non-processed foods as well. I’ve never felt soooo good about gobbling down a bowl of food. And not to mention, it is absolutely delicious. The wheat berries give it slight chewy texture while the cocoa powder (learned that trick thanks to a very good friend of mine) bring a new complexity to the flavor.

Oh and don’t worry! If my over zealous attitude towards super healthy eating is freaking you out – I made some oh so irresistible Corn Cheddar biscuits to go with packed full of two sticks of butter and loads of gooey cheese [recipe on that to follow tomorrow!]

This recipe is vegan (unless you add cheese and sour cream) and makes about six serving. You could even double the recipe and plan to have leftovers for lunch the rest of the week.

 

 

Black Bean & Wheatberry Chili

adapted from Eating Well
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups black beans, cooked (I used dried but feel free to use canned)
  • 1 24 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (I used homemade)
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked wheat berries, cooked*
  • Juice of 1 lime

 

  • Avocado, optional
  • sour cream, optional
  • cilantro for garnish, optional

Heat olive oil over medium in a large pot. Add in the onion, carrots, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes or until all the vegetables has softened. Next, add in the tomatoes, broth, black beans, and cocoa powder. Bring the chili to a bowl, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Add wheat berries and let cook for another two minutes.

Remove from heat and squeeze in lime juice. Serve with garnish options (avocado, sour cream cilantro, plain yogurt, etc).

*To cook 1 1/2 cups of Wheatberries: Rinse 3/4 cup of berries and letting them simmer for 45 minutes or until softened.

 

 

 

 

Baked Potato Chips with Avocado Dip

September 12, 2012

Oh man, it’s only Wednesday? This weekend needs to come sooner so I can spend time browsing the Farmer’s Market, drinking cocktails with my Ma, and making pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

However, with that being said, I am enjoying my week. I’ve been waking up early everyday to do Yoga before work which has been very energizing. And last night we went out to see one of our favorite musicians – Nobunny…which was both amusing and enjoyable. And I have a craft night scheduled tomorrow to finally made those billy buds I’d been thinking about for 4 months now. I must say…not too shabby of a week so far. How is your week coming?

Oh! And…before it becomes too much of old news and pointless, I have pictures that I was going to share from my “birthday hike” last Tuesday. Wyatt, Tuko, and I headed a bit north to check out a state park we had never been to. It was a bit muggy and buggy but none-the-less beautiful and quiet. In fact, we did not come across one person on our whole journey through the park…perhaps this place is a beautiful secret that many people around here have still not yet caught onto!

And we all know that after you go on a several mile hike that you need a post-hiking snack….right? Or is that just me? Anyhow, we whipped up these baked potato chips with avocado dip for an afternoon snack. And let me tell you….damn! I wish that I could spread this avocado dip on EVERYTHING. Think…guacamole but creamier. And dipping crispy, warm chips that were fresh from the oven was a perfect accompaniment.

Baked Potato Chips with Avocado Dip

Adapted from Food For My Family
  • 2 russet potatoes, thinly (and evenly) sliced
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • Salt/pepper

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1 avocado, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chives
  • 1 Tablespoon dill
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together. Place in fridge until ready to serve (the longer it sits the more time this will give the flavors to blend together!).

To make the fries: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the sliced potatoes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush both sides of the slices with oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in 15 minute segments and flip every 15 minutes. It took me about 40 minutes for all the potatoes but I checked frequently and removed the thinner ones that cooked faster.

Enjoy with yummy dipping sauce as a snack! Or enjoy alongside some Veggie Sloppy Joes, Southwestern Sliders, or Black Bean and Goat Cheese Quesedillas!

Dinner Picnic Part 2: Southwestern Veggie Sliders with Avocado Mayo

June 1, 2012

Continuing on with our discussion from Dinner Picnic Part 1, let’s chat about the main course! I don’t know about you guys but for me summer means sangria, grill outs, picnics, and veggie burgers. I love Morningstar’s Black Bean Burgers when I am in a hurry but I find too much processed food to be a big no-no for my diet. This has led me to experimenting loads with veggie burgers and often times ending up with negative outcomes. I mean, I understand what kind of veggie combination I enjoy but getting the correct consistency with a veggie patty is wayyyy harder than you’d think! I’ve made sweet potato burgers which where so mushy that I should have served them as mashed potatoes and I’ve made really damn good chickpea burgers (but I had to have them sit in the fridge overnight to firm up – very time consuming). After many discouraging endeavors, I discovered the perfect ratio between vegetables, beans, and the ingredients that mend everything together (with a bit of help from this recipe).

These sliders are going to be my new go-to burgers when it comes to grilling. Not only is the patty absolutely delicious and stays together firmly, but the avocado mayo is amazing lathered on it them (and on pretty much everything else you happen to be serving!).

Southwestern Veggie Sliders with Avocado Mayo

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drain and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup salsa OR salsa verde
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 12 Hawaiian rolls
  • pepper jack cheese, sliced

For the avocado mayo:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 5 or so minutes or until they start to soften. Add the bell pepper and saute for another two or so minutes.

Remove from heat and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the corn, carrot, black beans, bread crumbs, and cornmeal. Fold in salsa until everything is combined.

Divide the mixture into 12 equal parts and form patties. Heat another 2 Tablespoons of olive over medium heat and cook each side of the patty for about (depending on how hot your skillet gets) 2 minutes on each side.

To make the sauce: mash together the avocado, mayo, garlic, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

To assemble: Slice each roll in half. Lather the avocado mayo on the bottom with a slice of cheese and then stick the patty on. Feel free to top with tomatoes, lettuce, or whatever else you’d like. Enjoy warm and on a beautiful porch or blanket outside!

PS Or feel free to cook these on the grill outside as well!

Nacho Night – Buffet Style

April 27, 2012

We are in the full swing of Spring which means unpredictable weather is upon us! It’s been rather crazy this year…usually I just plan on it raining for 2 months straight but we have been struck with many random sunny warm days followed by cold 50s. It’s a bit out of the norm and makes planning even harder.

When a random cold spell hit us last week, I decided to stay in and have a movie night with a few friends. I love popcorn but sometimes you just have to spice things up! We ended up doing a small ‘nacho bar’ instead because it’s so customizable that you are able to cater to even the pickiest of eaters. The nacho night went over perfectly and it was fun to be able to share food and a movie with people without having to worry about picky eaters or breaking the bank!

Also, at this ‘nacho night’ I discovered Beergaritas for the first, official, time and ooooooh man! I don’t even know where to begin. Expect a post in the next couple of days with a recipe but we made some delicious (and surprisingly simple) Cherry Beergaritas to go with our themed evening. There is just something about adding a little fizz to the traditional Margarita recipe that makes that drink just so darn refreshing!

This was so simple to plan and create that it will definitely be added to my future dinners when I need something quick or am looking to entertain a large group on a budget.

Vegetarian Nacho Buffet:

Nachos should never be an exact science so here are some suggestions to add to your plate:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Doritos
  • cheddar cheese (or dairy free cheese to make vegan!)
  • sour cream
  • jalapeno
  • onions
  • red bell peppers
  • vegetarian meat crumbles + taco seasoning packet (follow packet directions)
  • corn
  • black beans / pinto beans
  • salsa (fresh, store bought, corn salsa, mango salsa, wateverrr)
  • scallions
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • avocados
  • lime juice / lime wedges
  • cilantro
  • tomatoes
  • olives
  • shredded lettuce

Layer it all together in a big bowl and enjoy with a Beergarita!

Vegan Gravy Train [Sandwich]

April 13, 2012

I get it. I totally know what you are thinking. You can’t believe that I am posting about these HUGE breakfast sandwich topped with GRAVY while everyone is all excited about their breakfast juicers and green smoothies. And yeah, both those things will be much much healthier for you. Hell, that is what I usually consume for breakfast (although, I have not gotten my juice out yet this year- can’t wait though!).

Here is the problem with that… I LOOOVE breakfast/brunch food. It’s the best food genre ever to exist. So since I limit myself to healthy energy boosters in the morning, sometimes I like to splurge for dinner. And eating this ridiculously delicious sandwich for dinner hit the spot. I highly recommend you to transform your indulgent breakfast ideas into dinner plans. It’s super fun to mix things up!

Also, this was extra exciting for me to make because it’s the first time I’ve ever poached an egg. I know, crazy! I’ve managed to tackle homemade cheese and DIY pierogies but have never poached an egg… ridiculous, I know. Glad to say it was super easy and I am rather sad that I didn’t tackle poached eggs sooner. Lastly, the gravy is vegan but obviously the egg is not. Feel free to make it vegan by omitting the egg or substituting with tofu.

Breakfast Sandwich

For Two
  • 2 eggs, poached
  • 2 English muffins
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, large slices

Peppered Sage Gravy:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups almond milk (or regular)
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

To poach the eggs: Bring a small saucepan of water to a slight boil. Add a dash of vinegar and put the egg in a small bowl. Drop the egg into the water and turn off the heat immediately. Let sit for 4 minutes in the water and scoop out with a spoon.

To make the gravy:

In a large skillet, whisk the flour, nutritional yeast, and milk together. Once it is a smooth consistency, add all the spices. Place the skillet over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Next, add in the butter and reduce to medium low. This is when you recruit someone to continuously stir the gravy while you start prepping the scramble. Cook the gravy until it is thick and feel free to add more salt/pepper.

Assemble: Toast the muffin. top with butter, tomato, avocado, poached egg, muffin top, and then lather in gravvvvvvyyy. (or as my boyfriend says…”ride the gravy train”…although that has nothing to do with it).

Remedy Quarterly

February 28, 2012

Well I had planned on today’s post being some tales about our trip this weekend but then I got the newest addition of ‘Remedy Quarterly’ in the mail and I was too excited not to share. Remedy Quarterly is a magazine filled with stories of food and recipes. When I say stories…I mean literally each recipe it accompanied by a wonderful story and adorable pictures/layouts. The newest issue is about Adventures and I wrote a story about my travels to South by Southwest last year and shared my recipe for Avocado Fries.

For me, this is particularly exciting because this is my first print publication. I mean I post all over the blog-o-sphere but it is just too much fun to see your writing in print! Here are a few ‘sneak peak’ pictures of the magazine but I encourage everyone to take a look and pick up a copy over at Remedy Quarterly.

Black Bean Chili

January 8, 2012

Whoever said that chili without meat isn’t chili lied to you. The black beans in this recipe make it so filling and the spices make it so flavorful that you might be able to convert a carnivore with this recipe. Well…maybe. Probably not but it’s worth a try, right?

This has been my “go to” chili recipe for years. My former friend (now current roommate) and I originally tackled this guy (guy=recipe) when we were sophomores in college and just getting use to finding our way around the kitchen. This means that it’s a recipe for even the newer cooks. We have made this recipe dozens of times and have been tweaking it to our liking since, so for the experienced cookers, feel free to add/remove and tweak whatever you’d like for this recipe!

Black Bean Chili

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder (use red pepper flakes if you like a kick- I’m a wuss)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3- 15 oz. cans black beans, drained (but liquid reserved)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup liquid reserve from black beans
  • 8 oz. jar salsa
  • 1 can corn

Garnish options:

  • sour cream
  • cheddar cheese
  • cilantro
  • avocado

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.

Saute onions, peppers, and garlic for first ten minutes. Next, mix in chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, beans, reserved liquid, tomatoes, salsa, and corn.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Top with loads of cheese, avocados, cilantro, and anything else scrumptious. Also, serve with cornbread (which I made but we’ll have to save that for a future post!) Soooo simple right? Piece. of. cake. Well…chili cake? Yeah, I’m done.

Plaintain Chips with Guacomole

August 18, 2011

So we all have something that we constantly crave and mine is that salty, fatty green fiesta food that we all know as guac. It’s crazy how I’ve become so obsessed with eating it that almost everything in my daily routine triggers the desire for a taste. Doing my homework reminds me of guacamole. going to the store. showering. laying in bed. etc etc. You get the point. So, as usual, late night munchies [not so surprisingly] snuck up on me the other evening and immediately craved some more avocado in my life.

Also, I’ve been into this thing where I’m determined to add new ingredients into my usual cooking routine (flax seed, jicama, lavender) so I picked up a plantain [at the most amazing foodie store ever to exist - Jungle Jim's] (http://www.junglejims.com/) and I nabbed my inspiration for this recipe from the cutest and most creative blog ever- veganstoner.com (I can only strive to be like this site in the hopes that I will one day be able to draw my food in my own adorable-cartoon-character form).

Side note: munchie food is meant to be as simple as possible so it seems ridiculous that I should even have to post a recipe for these since they are pretty self explanatory (and completely adjustable to what you have around the kitchen!) but I’m here to add my own little tid-bits and suggestions.

Plantain Chips with Guac

  • Plaintain
  • oil
  • salt

           Guacomole

  • Avocado
  • tomato OR salsa

Mix-ins (whatever you prefer, however you like it, what you have on hand- just free form it):

  • chopped onion
  • [lots of] salt
  • pepper
  • garlic [minced, prepackaged, fresh, however you like it]
  • canned corn [or even that Mexican canned corn that comes with pepper chunks!]
  • chopped jalapenos
  • dash of cumin

Okay. So everything is pretty simple. Set your oven to 400 and slice the plantain chips to your liking [big chunks if you like to taste the hint of plantain or thin if you would prefer them to be more crispy-chip like]. Put them on a greased baking sheet and drizzle/paintbrush [love oil brushes- you should invest in one..they are cheap] oil over them and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 3-5 minutes (depending on how thick you made them), flip, reapply the oil/salt on the other side, and put back in the oven for 3-5 more minutes.

While those are cooking prepare the guacamole. Guac is so easy that it is almost insulting to post or attempt to tell you how to make it. My friend taught me the ridiculous simple idea of taking already prepared salsa and mixing it with a mashed avocado (I work at a co-op grocery/deli store and they put a layer of mashed avocado and then a layer of salsa for visual appeal but it all gets combined in the end so it’s whatever you prefer) and than you just add in any mix ins you’d like (more salt, chopped onion, minced garlic, etc).

AND that’s it. Enjoy. Eat while watching The OC. or drawing unicorn pictures. whichever you’d prefer.