Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Tis the Season!

Tis the season for Holiday treats and looking forward to the New Year!

First, look what I found:


A picture of the yummers banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. My mom still thinks they sound gross, but I promise they're amazing.

It's been a cookie-baking kind of month. I made these yummy monster cookies and used Christmas M&Ms to make them more festive.


Word to the wise: this recipe makes A LOT of cookies. Like 6 dozen. It may have had something to do with my increasing the chocolate chips and candies to 1 cup apiece, but I figured the more goodies the merrier. The overabundance of treats made them fall apart a little more easily while transferring from bowl to baking sheet, so I think next time I'll use 3/4 c of each. I also decided to make the cookies regular rather than monster size so that they were a little more manageable.


Soooooo good. Thanks, Leslie for introducing me to this recipe!

I also found the perfect Chocolate Crinkle Cookie recipe (sorry the photo is terrible). These have always been one of my faves and they're soooo easy and tasty. Slightly undercooked with a scoop of peppermint ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce makes them perfect holiday dessert.

*I only added 1 c of melted chocolate chips and skipped adding the additional 1 c of unmelted chips at the end. I don't think they need them. I really want to try this recipe with the mint chocolate chips- I think they would be so tasty!


Granted, there's nothing healthy about either the monster or crinkle cookie recipe, but a little cookie indulgence never killed anyone. That's what New Years resolutions are for, right?

Speaking of resolutions, I'm really excited about this cleanse I'll be doing in January. It's designed by Spark!Wellness and Choosing Raw. When I first started getting healthy I made a conscious effort to cut way back on the processed and fake foods in my diet, but I will admit that I've fallen back on some bad habits. I know I've come leaps and bounds from where I was before starting this journey, but I think the detox/cleanse will be a great opportunity for me to learn some new healthier habits and get rid of the unnecessary junk that sometimes sneaks into my mouth. Both websites are such fantastic sources of healthy and sound nutritional advice I know I'll be in great hands and can't wait to learn more about making smarter food choices. I'm also looking forward to doing the cleanse in a "group" setting so that if there's questions or concerns I won't be figuring things out on my own. The program starts January 18th with an informational call on January 6th, so don't worry- I still have a few days of holiday overindulgence left. ;)

Hope you enjoy the cookie recipes! Any plans for healthy New Years resolutions?

Friday, December 18, 2009

'Tis the Season!

This list is too funny: http://ohsheglows.com/2009/12/18/easy-vegan-holiday-party-appetizers-take-3/

Also I can't wait to try the vegan peppermint cookies!

I'll be posting recipes for chocolate crinkle cookies, Christmas monster cookies, and banana blueberry muffins within the next few days.

Hope you're having a fantastic Friday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Amazing Cookies

I saw these delicious looking Banana Oatmeal Chip cookies a few weeks ago on Carrots N Cake and decided to give the recipe a try. They did not disappoint! I didn't have agave so substituted 1/4 c honey and 1 tbsp brown sugar. Sorry for not having a photo- my camera ate it :(

This is a great, quick and easy recipe- let me know if you give them a try!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Food for Thought

Happy Tuesday! It's a gorgeous day here in Big Sky Country! What an amazing gift that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it was nearly 60 degrees today. As my grandpa always says about the weather, "You better like it because there's nothing you can do about it." I not only like days like these, I love them!

As batty as I think Oprah can be, she can be quite inspired and profound. So, from Miss O, here's a little food for thought on a Tuesday afternoon. Maybe even a little nourishment for the spirit (we all need some every now and then).

Apologies for being such a delinquent flogger (food blogger) lately. Times, they are a changin'. I've decided to go back to school and work on earning my masters degree in Public Relations. I'll be taking (mostly online) classes at the local university (hopefully) starting in January, 2010. I find that I thrive when things are busier and I'm in the midst of a challenge, and I think pursuing my masters will be a great opportunity to re-engage my brain in an academic setting and acquire a skill set that will work nicely with my career as a real estate broker and developer.

Sooo.... I spent a lot of time studying for the GRE. In the midst of that, my meal planning sort of went out the window. Now that the GRE is over (thank goodness- that exam is horrendous and designed exclusively for torture) I've settled into a lovely, though changed routine. Instead of planning a whole week, I buy a ton of produce on the weekend and plan each day according to what sounds satisfying and needs to be eaten. With the shift in priorities, this day to day approach is much less daunting. I've also relied upon tried and true recipes with a few updates rather than scouring through cookbooks on the weekends with the ambition of trying to create new meals multiple times a week. And I'm alright with that. Now that I eat less meat (almost none) and less dairy (though I still love cheese and yogurt, I sub nut milk and soy when possible) I find myself reinventing the meals that I've found reliable and comforting for years.

Things change, priorities shift, and a healthy lifestyle looks different for each individual and may even vary from month to month or week to week. Embrace the changes, find some stability, and keep taking care of yourself! Even though it requires a little extra effort, the return is well worth the additional time and consideration.

I promise I'll be back with new recipes and old favorites soon! Thanks for bearing with me during the transition. :)

Hope you're having a fantastic day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Apple Oats

After squeezing apples for cider at a friend's house last month I had some beautiful apples that were begging to be used.


My dad with our friend Henry who was visiting from Oregon.


When the weather cools off a little I always crave oats, and I figured I could make the homemade version of the oatmeal packets with those skimpy little dried apples.

Voila! Apple Oats!


I followed the oatmeal directions on the package and added a chopped apple as the oats were cooking. I mixed cinnamon to tastse into the oats and sprinkled brown sugar on top. So delicious!


Definitely my new favorite fall breakfast! Based on Rhodey Girl's suggestion I made a big batch on the weekend and reheated them for breakfast during the week. It saved time in the morning and they were just as delicious reheated in the microwave with a little almond milk. Take that instant oats! ;)

Hope you're having a beautiful Thursday!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins


  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 c nonfat, plain yogurt
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1.) Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2.) Beat together butter and sugar until smooth; Add the egg and combine; Add the pumpkin, yogurt, honey and vanilla and combine until smooth.

3.) In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Fold the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and combine until smooth.

4.) Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and place in the center of the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the muffin tops begin to turn golden brown.

Makes approx 12 delicious muffins!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

I am not a fan of eggplant. I know, I know, gasp! I had eggplant Parmesan at a friend's house when I was in middle school and I think it scarred me for life. I remember it being so mushy, slimy and well, gross. However, in an attempt to broaden my vegetable horizons, I purchased an eggplant at the store. P was a bit stupefied. "I thought you didn't like eggplant...." he mentioned when he saw it sitting forlornly in the vegetable bowl. Well, all good things must come to an end- my spiteful relationship with eggplant included. I can now officially say that I am an eggplant fan. Well, alright, that might be a little extreme, but I think I'm finally on my way there!

Something about Autumn seems to require meals involving roasted vegetables. I had an abundance of them in the kitchen, and chopped them all up and spread them ac cross large baking sheet with a thin spray of Pam along with salt, pepper, and a little Cayenne cumin. I baked everything at 425, flipped the veggies when they started to brown, and removed them from the oven when everything looked sufficiently squishy and browned (I really need to get better about paying attention to how long I bake things!).


From left to right: Eggplant (no skin- I'm not quite there yet), onion, acorn squash, red and orange bell pepper. I also added a zucchini and some mushrooms one everything else started to soften up.

I then boiled some rosemary pasta and threw a few stalks of asparagus into the hot water when the noodles were almost finished. I used about a cup of pasta and put tons of the roasted vegetables on top (I promise there's some pasta under there!).


Over the whole lot went some organic spaghetti sauce and goat cheese. Yum!


It was great to have leftover roasted vegetables and pasta for lunch the next day as well. And I'll admit, the eggplant was my favorite part of the whole meal. Any other good eggplant recipe suggestions?

Hope you're having a Happy Friday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Amanda's Ice Cream Sandwiches


As a belated birthday present to Ryan, we gathered with the Kabearys for a homemade pizza dinner. Amanda and Ryan graciously offered to bring dessert and wine, so I was immediately excited for some of Amanda's famous homemade cupcakes. She's such an amazing baker and always comes up with the most creative recipes so I couldn't wait to see what she had whipped up for all of us. I was even more excited to learn that Amanda had baked homemade molasses cookies to stuff with vanilla ice cream to make.... homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches! The cookies were soft and delicious but not overly sweet- a perfect taste of fall!

Here's the wonderful cookie recipe from Amanda:

soft molasses spice cookies

1/3 c sugar + more for dipping2
1/4c. all purpose flour- i use Pillsbury
1t baking soda1
1/2t cinnamon
1/2t cloves
1 1/2t ginger
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter- softened but still cool
1/3 c dark brown sugar
1 egg yolk1 t vanilla extract- it's worth it to buy a high quality vanilla.
1/2 c. molasses

preheat oven to 375.
whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt until combined in bowl (use paddle attachment if using a stand mixer) cream butter, white sugar, brown sugar on medium high until light and fluffy. about 3 min. reduce speed to med. low.
add yolk and vanilla. beat until well incorporated. add molasses and beat until mixed. scrape sides of bowl.
w/ mixer on lowest setting add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined- do not over mix!stir dough w/ rubber spatula to make sure no flour remains unmixed.place 1/2 c sugar in a bowl
form dough into 1 T size balls and roll in sugar before placing on baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
bake 1 sheet at a time about 11 min until cookies are brown and puffy. (cookies will look undercooked between the cracks)cool 5 minutes and enjoy immediately or...wait until cooled completely and scoop 1/4 vanilla ice cream, (or peach or ginger or whatever you feel like) on flat side of 1 cookie- top w/ another cookie and enjoy your ice cream sandwich!

Thank you Kabearys for a wonderful evening and the yummy treats!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time Flies

Another week and a half has flown by and I've been a delinquent blogger!
For the past month or two I've eaten little to no meat. I think reading "Skinny Bitch" scared the bajesus out of me and the idea of buying meat at the store just creeps me out now. Likewise eating meat at restaurants. So on Monday night I planned on making one of my new favorite veggies recipes: Sloppy Janes. Then I started craving meat. Weird, since that hasn't happened at all in my meat-free adventure. However, I am a firm believer that when your body is craving something you should listen. This doesn't always mean you should give in (my body often craves ice cream- I have learned to say no at least once in awhile), but it's worth evaluating to see if the craving has any merit. This craving seemed reasonable and I figured the perfect way to satiate my appetite. Granted, this task was made far easier by the fact that I grew up on a working cattle ranch. My parents still live on the ranch and we preg test, brand, bangs vaccinate, the whole nine yards. My "payment" for this grunt work is a freezer full of beef. Natural, local beef from an overly-familiar origin. The reason I stopped eating meat was because wondering where it came from freaked me out. Having access to our own beef removes all the guesswork, allowing me to enjoy a delicious, meaty meal every once in awhile. So, in a moment of sheer genius, I decided simply to add ground beef to the meal I had already planned for the night. Triumphant in my resourceful and creative solution I browned a lb of hamburger along with a sweet onion and then added a can of kidney beans along with two cans of diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne. And then I realized.... I made chili. OK, so I'm not the culinary genius I fancy myself to be, but it was pretty darn good.
Here's my plate along with baked sweet potato "fries" and steamed broccoli:
I also had some BBQ sauce with my fries and broccoli. Who knew steamed broccoli and BBQ sauce would be such a delicious combination?
Here's the calorie break down:
Ground beef (about 2 oz): 100 cals
Kidney beans (1/4 c): 50 cals
Diced tomatoes (1/2 c): 25 cals
Sweet potato (3/4 medium, no skin): about 80 cals
Broccoli (1 c): 50 cals
BBQ sauce (1 tbsp): 30 cals
Grand total: Just under 350- (my) perfect dinner size!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quick Lunch

Butternut squash soup*
Carrots and broccoli with red pepper hummus*
*Pacific Brand Butternut squash soup- good, not amazing, a little sprinkle of cayenne added a nice kick
*Sabra hummus- the best!

Autumn Squash

One of my favorite things about fall is acorn squash.
Inspired by Rhodey Girl's Recipe, I came up with this variation for a quick weeknight to enjoy one of Autumn's best treats.
The biggest hassle is prepping the squash, but it's well worth the effort. I think the easiest way is to quarter the squash, scoop out the seeds, and then remove the skin with a vegetable peeler. I then cut the squash into approximately 1 inch cubes. I baked them on a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and cumin at 425 until tender (about 20 minutes?). I'm used to eating acorn squash with butter and brown sugar, but this simple preparation was much tastier (not to mention guilt free!). I ate about 1/3 for dinner and reheated some of the leftovers in the microwave the next day and they were equally delicious.
Baked Acorn Squash
Definitely a new fall favorite!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Long Overdue

Have two weeks really flown by so quickly? It's been such a whirlwind lately that I've been a delinquent blogger. I always think of fall as being a time when things slow down in preparation for the dormancy of winter, but this fall has been anything but slow.
This Wednesday we cruised up to Bozeman for the Jason Mraz concert. What an amazing show! Despite my losing our front row seats due to a near fainting spell, the show was amazing. Mr. Mraz is a hippie if there ever was one, and his message of spreading love and joy radiated through the crowd as everyone danced, sang, and soaked up the fantastic music. The impact of a positive mental outlook simply cannot be overrated, and if his joy spilled into listeners and continues to spread to those around us it's a beautiful thing. Hmmm, maybe hippie is contagious?
Last night I tried my new favorite pizza dough with exclusively wheat flour and I'm thrilled to report it was just as delicious as the versions I've tried with half white and half wheat flour. One more way to health-ify an already great recipe. I topped it with carmelized onions, dates, gorgonzola, tomatoes, mushrooms, and fresh basil. It was reminiscent of the Mom Naan and nearly as tasty. Sorry I forgot to take photos- it went from the pizza stone to our tummies very quickly!
Apologies for taking so long to share this fantastic recipe. It's perfect for this time of year when the leaves begin to change and there's a little bite in the air.
The original Corn and Potato Chowder recipe is from Cookinglight, but of course I didn't stick to it exactly. We don't have a grill (well, we have one, but it's currently residing in our overgrown backyard. That's a project for next summer...) and I couldn't find any small sweet corn (I hate the starchy late summer variety) so I simply used a bag of frozen corn. Though Parker was a bit dismayed at my choice to cut this particular corner of the recipe, I think it turned out just as well. Canned corn would work nicely, or of course fresh if it's available and you're ambitious. I also skipped the milk and half and half and substituted almond milk. It was just as delicious and the food processed corn added the necessary creaminess. I used 1 tbsp of butter total since I didn't need any to grill the corn, but next time I'll leave it out entirely- makig this a great, easy vegan recipe. I forgot the chives and thyme from my grocery list and simply relied on salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes for seasoning.
Corn and Potato Chowder
The recipe made four servings, and I quickly ate 1 1/2 and Parker chowded down the rest. Though I love having leftovers, when an entire batch of soup is consumed in one sitting, I consider the recipe a success. I'm looking forward to making this one again. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Happy Sunday :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall."
~ Confucius

Monday, September 14, 2009


For my birthday P not only gave me a beautiful wine rack, but also a SPIRALIZER!!! Or, a noodleizer as we call it around here :) It is fan-flippin-tastic!
Here's the little guy in action:
The first photo is of freshly noodleized raw zucchini- yum!
Dinner tonight was homemade pasta sauce with spiralized zucchini alongside stuffed mushrooms. Pretty darn good for made up recipes!
Pasta sauce:
  • About a dozen fresh tomatoes, chopped (about the size of canned diced tomatoes)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, slivered
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • a few red pepper flakes
  • 3 random peppers from my parents' neighbors' garden chopped into small pieces; sorry I have no idea what kind they were but here's a photo:


I threw everything into a medium sized sauce pan on fairly high heat- about an 8 on my little burner :) I cooked it all for about an hour, reducing the heat as the sauce cooked down, eventually letting it simmer for the last 20-30 minutes, depending on how much liquid is remaining. When we were just about ready to eat I threw the zucchini in with the sauce to heat up. The spiralized zucc tasted almost like pasta and the angel hair noodle consistency was amazing. I can't wait to try the noodleizer with other veggies!

I made up this stuffed mushroom recipe after reading a bunch of others from cookbooks. I wanted to use things I had in the house and simplify the recipe along with making it healthier. Here's the mixture I used to stuff the mushrooms:

  • 1/2 pack frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 3 tbsp low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 c bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp pesto

I combined everything in the food processor and scooped it into 16 (give or take- I could have easily filled 20) mushrooms with the stem removed placed top down on a cookie sheet sprayed with pam. I scooped the mixture into the mushrooms and then topped with a little fresh Romano cheese. They baked for about 20 minutes- or until golden brown on the top- at 400 degrees.


They were surprisingly filling and tasty. I'm not always a huge spinach fan so I'm always trying to find new ways to incorporate the green stuff into recipes without having the taste overpower everything else. Parker declared it a "repeater." If only the Bills had won, it would have been a perfect evening ;)

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~John F. Kennedy
~homemade birthday thank you cards~


"If you want to know your experiences from the past look at your body now. If you want to change our body change your experiences now." ~ Deepak Chopra

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Variations on a Theme

We've been on a pizza-making kick lately. I think it's because I'm so excited that I can make homemade ww crust and the topping possibilities are endless. Last week I made a batch of dough for dinner one night and froze the rest to use this week. Half a batch of dough was more than enough for dinner for the two of us and some leftovers for lunch the next day.

Here's the pizza pie I whipped up last week:


His (right side):
Homemade sauce, fresh sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and a sprinkle of fresh basil (added after baking)

Here are the ingredients for the homemade sauce:
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar

I dumped everything into a saucepan and reduced until it was the right thickness. Since it's fresh tomato season I'll use about 5 chopped tomatoes next time. I don't bother removing the skin or seeds because I don't even notice them (and I'm too lazy to mess with all that!).

Hers (left side):

Caramelized onions, blue cheese crumbles, fresh sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle of fresh basil (added after)

Here's a link to the original post that includes the crust recipe.

And here's the pizza I made this week using half of the leftover ball of dough (1/4 of the original recipe):


My pizza toppings were a thin, thin layer of pesto, fresh tomato slices, goat cheese and mushrooms. I also added fresh mozzarella after baking. Parker got his own pizza topped with the leftover sauce (the recipe last week made enough for two or three pizzas so I froze the rest), fresh sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella, and tons of sliced mushrooms. Unfortunately the photos didn't turn out :(

The pizzas were extra good this week because of a fantastic birthday present from the Blakeslees- A PIZZA PADDLE! Mom gave me a stone for Christmas and I'd used it for crisping pitas, tortillas, etc, but hadn't had a chance to use it for fresh homemade pizza. It was so much fun to roll out the dough so it was extra thin and then transfer it from the paddle to the stone. I loved how the crust got extra crispy and the stone gave it much better flavor than just using a cookie sheet. Thanks Matt and Kate for the great gift!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Zucchini Chips

This time of year always seems to offer an overabundance of produce- zucchini included. I found this recipe at cookinglight.com and gave it a shot last week. Tasty, crispy, delicious. I decided to recreate the "chips" tonight with a few changes.

The following steps yeiled baked, crunchy, flavorful fall zucchini:

1.) Slice zuccs into approx 1/4 in thick "chips"
2.) Dip into milk (I used almond milk) so the breading sticks. I put the zucc chips in a tupperware, poured in a little almond milk, adhered the top and shook the whole mix so the zuccs were coated
3.) Mix together approx 1/2 c bread crumbs, dash of salt/pepper, and lemon pepper (or a "flavor packet" of your choice). Last time I used cayanne but I wanted a more acidic flavor this time
4.) Move zucc chips from milk to breading mixture and toss a few at a time so they're evenly coated
5.) Spread chips on a baking sheet coated with Pam
6.) Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes
7.) Remove from oven, turn chips, and sprinkle with a little fresh grated parm
8.) Return to oven and bake an additional 15 minutes or until lightly brown

The end result:


They're such a great side dish. We enjoyed them this evening along with sloppy janes (with fresh tomatos- yum!) and sweet corn. I'm not sure late summer meals get much better!

Hope you enjoy! :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009


So I have a wee confession to make: when cooking, I RARELY follow recipes. When I bake, I measure everything, use the right ingredients, and follow directions. When cooking, however, all bets are off. I use cookbooks, cooking magazines, and other flogs as a huge source of inspiration, but it's seldom that I use the exact ingredients and methods described. I like using what I have around the house or know I can easily buy and adapting recipes to make them quick and easy. Sometimes, this is disastrous (Sorry again about dinner on Monday P!) and other times it's amazing.

Case in point: I found this recipe for black bean burgers with mango salsa at http://testkitchenette.wordpress.com/. The little wheels in my head started to churn as I realized I has almost all the ingredients in my kitchen and mangoes that needed to be used much sooner than later. After previously trying this recipe from 101cookbooks.com with moderate success, I figured I'd blend the two together and see what happened.

The results? Amazing.


Here's a big bowl of the delicious salsa:


  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 small tomatoes
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper

I assembled my burgers much differently and stuck with the more traditional approach suggested in 101 cookbooks and used an egg as the "glue." I also skipped slicing the "burger" in half and just piled all the salsa on top. I was hungry :) The fresh corn and asparagus rounded out a perfect summer meal.

Just because a recipe seems odd or looks intimidating doesn't mean it's not worth a try ;)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Lunch Munch

Last week I met Bruce at home for a quick lunch. She (yes, her name is Bruce. Bruce Lee Brown to be very specific) baked in the sun while I threw together a quick quesadilla and salad.


"Quesadilla" Ingredients
  • Whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 tbsp red pepper hummus
  • 2 tbsp homemade guac

By request... Quesadilla Cals: 150 + 40 + 80 = 270

Salad Ingredients

  • Romaine
  • Fresh tomato from Mom's garden (does it get any better?)
  • Tons of salsa
  • 2 tbsp light sour cream

(I rarely count vegetable calories unless it's something substantial. Lettuce and tomatoes are freebies in my book. The salsa was "fresh" from Costco)

Salad: 20 + 50 = 70

So the whole lunch was about 340. I usually shoot for about 350 cals at lunch time and then have a 150-200 cal snack at 3:00 or 3:30.


Rediculously simple, and the most satisfying lunch I've had in a long time. Definitely worth a reapeat.


Happy Monday :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

My first attempt...

I've been lusting over the delicious-looking food and beautiful photos in Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking since purchasing the cookbook last month.

Last night I made "Otsu," and it was even tastier than I hoped. A must-read/cook/taste.


We didn't have the suggested noodles so I used some rice noodles that were stashed in the cupboard and they worked quite well. Next time I'll remember to add the cilantro and toasted sesame garnish. It's hard to imagine this dish being any better, but those finishing touches might just be the icing on the cake.


My new favorite breakfast


  • 1/2 container honey Oikos
  • Heaping tsp ground golden flax seeds
  • Generous handfull of blueberries (raspberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup granola

Even better in the lovely cherry blossom bowls from Parker's mom.

A delicious way to start the day :)

Quick Weeknight Pasta

Parker and I stopped by City Vineyard last weekend in search of Organic wine and got sidetracked by some of their new food offerings. I purchased some rosemary flavored whole wheat pasta along with some artichoke hearts and threw together a quick pasta when we got home.


I combined the following ingredients and the finished product made about 3-5 servings:

  • 2 cups rosemary pasta
  • 5 sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 10-12 small brown mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • sprinkle of red pepper flakes

After chopping the 1/2 onion finely, I warmed a medium frying pan over medium-high heat with a splash of olive oil. While letting the onion cook down I occasionally added a splash of water to prevent the onion from sticking to the bottom of the pan. When the onions became transparent I added the chopped sun dried tomatoes and let the mix continue to cook (while adding more water) until the liquid had evaporated, the tomatoes were rehydrated, and the onions were caramelized. I then added the chopped bell pepper, chopped zucchini, and seasoning. When the pasta finished cooking I stirred in the mushrooms into the mixture. To serve, I put about 2 cups of the mixture over about 3/4 cup pasta and topped with 2-3 quartered artichoke hearts. Delicious dinner, even better leftovers.



After receiving a huge bag of fresh apples from a friend, I decided to try this recipe for WW Apple Muffins from Suite Apple Pie. I had small apples rather than large ones so I added five, along with a splash of vanilla and about 1/2 tsp each of allspice and cinnamon. They were the perfect snack yesterday and a delicious breakfast this morning.


I can't wait to try some of the other recipes from Sarah's great blog.

I'm having a lovely Monday- hope you are as well :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Veggies

Happy Tuesday!

I am so excited that the lovely Ms. Molly gave the Sloppy Jane recipe a try and it was a success! When I saw this recipe at Itzy's Kitchen I was so excited to give it a try and it turned out even better than I hoped- I'm thrilled that Molly and Ryan loved it, too!

Last night I was excited to make dinner with tons of fresh summer veggies. We stopped at the health food store after work to pick up some staples for the week:
  • Ezekial Muffins
  • Oikos Yogurt (the honey flavor is amazing!)
  • Ginger Beer for P
  • Bananas
  • Quinoa for Zucchini boats

We also buzzed by City Vineyard and I decided to try a new bottle of wine made with organic grapes:


It was sooooo tasty! Just what the doctor ordered after a very long Monday :) I used a little self-restraint and only had a glass (plus a little splash) but it is definitely one I'll buy again.

For dinner, I chopped up some fresh new potatoes my mom bought at the farmers market and tossed them in the juice of one lemon, salt, pepper, herbs de provence, and a little olive oil. I poured the whole mix onto a baking sheet and popped them in the oven at 425. I think they baked for about 40 minutes but I didn't pay too much attention. I stirred them around a few times and pulled them out of the oven when they looked nice and crispy. A delicious late summer treat!

Along with that I made a "glop" that Parker said looked like barf. And then he ate a giant plate of said barf ;) It used the following ingredients and added them to a saucepan on medium high heat in this order:

  • splash of olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion cooked thoroughly
  • 5 chopped carrots
  • fresh peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 10 sliced mushrooms
  • lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp low fat sour cream
  • about 1/4 c fresh grated Romano cheese

I cooked the onion for about 15 minutes before adding the carrots, waiting until those started to soften before adding the peas, and then threw in the mushrooms and lemon juice after the peas softened. I put a lid on for a little bit so the peas would steam and threw in the sour cream and Romano at the last minute before serving.

My plate:


It was a great, fairly quick, very easy and fresh summer meal!

Hope you're having a lovely week!

Friday, August 14, 2009


I'm back in the real world this week after an amazing vacation with my incredible family in one of the the most beautiful places I've ever been.



We are so incredibly fortunate so have a place to reunite every year that remains so unchanged.


At the lake, we all take turns cooking meals so this week has been a slow start getting back into the practice of making my own food every day- I was so spoiled having delicious meals prepared every day and not having to worry about anything other than overeating!

I finally worked up the courage to make my own pizza crust using this recipe. Miracle of all miracles, it worked! Parker and I made his and hers sides on the same large crust:


My side (on the left) was topped with a little pesto, fresh tomato slices, a sprinkle of goat cheese, and then I added fresh basil after it came out of the oven.

Parker's side (on the right) was topped with homemade tomato sauce (his own creation of diced tomatoes simmered with whole garlic cloves- so good!), fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh tomato slices. He also added fresh basil after the pizza finished baking.

I took a note from the Mom Naan and pre-baked the crust until it just started to turn golden brown before adding the toppings. I think that helped the crust stay crunchier and allowed the dough to fully cook without overcooking the toppings.

Here was my plate (well, my first plate- I ended up eating this x 2!):


The dough made enough for two large pizzas so I refrigerated the rest to use the following night. I'm so thrilled that I finally had success making my own pizza dough and can't wait to try other toppings.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm outta here!

This week has been such a whirlwind! Although it feels like I say that every week over the course of the summer, this week it has been especially true!

My meals this week were all just.... meh. Hence the lack of photos. It didn't make sense to take pictures and post recipes for things that were just alright. I made pad Thai that was missing the flavor packet, curried veggies that were a complete sogfest, and then just gave up and ordered Thai takeout last night. Fresh spring rolls made my tummy very happy!

The only true culinary success was the oatmeal cookies I made for a friend on Monday night. But it was a Paula Dean recipe. Healthy? Not so much. Delicious? Absolutely!

Tomorrow morning I leave to go visit my family in Ontario for 2 1/2 weeks, so I'll be out of the loop until August 11th. In the mean time, I will be reading, eating, soaking up the sun (covered in screen, of course) and laughing like crazy.

Until then, hope you have a wonderful couple weeks!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Salsa, Sloppy Janes and Goat Cheese

Happy Monday! Hope everyone is recovering from a great weekend and that your week is off to a wonderful start!

Last week I made a quick black bean and corn salsa in the evening so that we'd have ingredients for lunch the next day.

In a big bowl I mixed together:
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can sweet corn (I'll use fresh next time but I was going for convenience!)
  • 1 large handful grape tomatos, halved
  • 1 yellow bell pepper chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 c chopped cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • Sea salt and pepper


I stirred everything together and let it sit overnight so the flavors would blend together. The next day for lunch I scooped a couple huge spoonfuls over a whole wheat tortilla, cheddar cheese and avocado quesadilla.


It was a great lunch and the salsa recipe made a TON! This would be a good party recipe but it was almost too much for just the two of us to eat. I love leftovers for a couple meals but after that I get sick of them. Luckily Parker is a human garbage disposal :)

Reading Itzy's Kitchen last week I was inspired to fix some Sloppy Janes for dinner. Such a wonderful recipe idea and I just made a few modifications.

I started with a large sweet onion and sauteed it until the stank was cooked off. I love onions but if they are even a little raw I'm not a big fan. Stinky breath = bad news! When the onion was cooked down I added a chopped red bell pepper and let that cook down a little. I then added a can of diced tomatos, a can of kidney beans, 1 tbsp brown sugar, a few dashes of chili powder and cumin, some Frank's hot sauce, and salt and pepper. There was a lot of liquid so I brought it all to a boil and then reduced the heat to let the mix cook into a sloppy joe-type consistency.


Along with that I made (actually burnt!) some sweet potato fries and roasted zucchini. I added a little bbq sauce to dip the fries and some fresh romano cheese on top of the bean mix and zucchs.


Parker had his jane over whole wheat bread to make it more like the real deal. We both LOVED this recipe and it was a great way to satisfy a craving for a "meaty" meal without having to eat meat. We've both made the switch to veggie for the most part and it's been a great transition to encourage the healthy eating path we've been on.

I wasn't feeling up for cooking much of anything on Friday night, but was craving pasty after Rhodey Girl's salad pasta creation last week.

My version made enough to serve 4 and contained the following:

  • 1/2 box Barilla rotini
  • large handful grape tomatos, halved
  • 2 c broccoli
  • 1 c cauliflower
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped

After the pasta water boiled, I added the rotini and let them cook for about 4 minutes, then added the carrots and about a minute later added the cauliflower and broccoli. Zucchini went in last and I just stirred in the tomatos at the end. It was a great easy way to make a fresh, quick and delicious one pot dinner. Before serving I added salt and pepper and sprinkled some goat cheese on top. Goat cheese makes everything better.


Hope you're having a great day!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Perfect Weekend

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

I'm not sure mine could have been any better.

Thursday's pre-weekend activities involved lounging with Brucer:

After peeling myself off the couch I took my first crack at making black bean "burgers."
The patties included

  • 1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed

  • 1 egg

  • bread crumbs (I started with 1/2 c and ended up adding more to get the right consistency)

  • Sauteed onion (the fajita leftovers mysteriously vanished (cough- Parker!- cough) so I quickly cooked some more

  • 3/4 fresh yellow pepper chopped into small pieces

  • chili powder, salt and pepper to taste

I put the beans, egg and bread crumbs into the food processor until it looked like thick hummus, then stirred in the remaining ingredients. We cooked the patties up in a fry pan and served them with avocado and tomato. Dinner also included some roasted sweet potatoes with cumin (and BBQ sauce- yum!) and zucchini with a little fresh parm and too much paprika:


Such a delicious, fresh, (spicy!) summer meal!

I also used one of the leftover bb burgers to throw together a quick salad for dinner on Friday night before heading out to meet the girls.

The salad included

  • Spring mix lettuce

  • Black bean burger

  • 1/4 avocado smushed up with s and p and a little lime juice to make a quick guac

  • A drizzle of soy ginger salad dressing

Since Tami loves my salad pictures so much, here goes ;)


It was a great, light dinner followed by a wonderful evening with lovely friends.


Saturday we headed up to the cabin. Mom and Pattie made a delicious curry dinner, and we all consumed way too much wine followed by a game of Cranium. Verdict- I am terrible at the 'Humdinger" clues. My dancing didn't seem to help. Thank goodness there aren't any photos.

The next morning we woke up bright and early for Kathleen's "32 minute scrambled eggs" and homemade bread. I can't imagine a better way to start the day! After that, we headed out for a hike up to the waterfall. We were excited to see the river:


Of course we posed for the required touristy shot. When travelling with an out-of-stater you're allowed to do such things :)


The hike was absolutely gorgeous and the scenery was accompanied by wonderful friends and a beautiful sunshine filled day. I can't wait to go back!

Hope you had a lovely weekend and your week is off to a great start!