Banana Coconut Protein Oats

Oh, oatmeal. I kind of like you, kind of don’t.

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Oatmeal is one of those foods that I am just “eh” about. Yes it is really good for you and helps to lower cholesterol, has a lot of fiber, and is one of those unprocessed carbohydrates straight from the earth (WIN).

But it can also be very plain Jane. Ya know?

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The other issue I have with oatmeal is that it’s like this big ball of carbs in the morning and I am someone who likes a little protein to round it all out and keep me going throughout the first few hours of my day.

If you can relate to any of these “eh” feelings about oatmeal, fear no more. I have some solutions.

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First, let’s discuss the boring issue. Nobody should have a plain Jane breakfast. Breakfast should be delicious, exciting and sexy.

The great thing about oatmeal is that you can dress it up big time. Here, I’ve added in cinnamon, vanilla almond milk, a banana, coconut, and some new-to-me AMAZING peanut butter called “Coconut and Peanut Spread” by Earth Balance. Have you guys seen this before? It caught my eye at the grocery story and I was transported to another place when I tried it. It is SO good and will make you feel like you’re in the tropics. Really.

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Next, let’s discuss the protein issue. To get in some extra protein, I stirred in about 1/4 cup of egg whites at the last second while cooking the oats. This not only gave me a protein boost but it made my oats super FLUFFY. Yum.

Additionally, adding a spoonful of peanut butter also adds in some protein. Sounds like a rounded out bowl of oats to me.

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This oatmeal was neither plain Jane nor a heavy bowl of carbs. It was smooth, sweet, hearty, fluffy, well-rounded, and totally satisfying.

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What are your thoughts on oats? Love them? Hate them? “Eh”?

See these other oatmeal recipes for more ideas:

Strawberry Overnight Oats

Mango Coconut Oats

Banana Coconut Protein Oats (serves 1)

  • 1/2 cup dry oats- old fashioned or instant
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 small banana, sliced
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • spoonful of nut butter
  • 1 T unsweetened coconut
  • dashes of cinnamon

1. In a small sauce pan, add in the oats, water, milk, cinnamon and sliced banana pieces. Allow to come to a boil, then stir over medium/low heat until oats cook and absorb the liquid to your desired consistency. By adding in the banana in the beginning, it gives it time to break down and get really sweet.

2. Add in the egg white, and keep stirring for another minute or so while they cook into the oatmeal, making it fluffy!

3. Add to a bowl and top with coconut and nut butter. Additional cinnamon if you’d like!

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Brunch with Friends and an Egg White, Veggie and Herb Frittata

This weekend I had two my of best gal pals over for some catching up . The three of us hadn’t had the chance to actually talk in weeks, which was unusual for us considering that we usually talk almost every day. I sent out a cute little Evite about two weeks ago and we all committed to a homemade brunch at my place.

After a fun night out on Saturday night, I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed and excited to see my girls. Even more excited to cook for them.

First things first, the studio needed a bit of a tune up. She was lookin’ a little sleepy and was not ready for guests.

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Just a few minutes later, we were ready:

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Much better.

Now, on to the food. I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute ingredients, and then got cooking.

First up, ‘taters. One of my friends is Gluten Free so I designed the menu to have zero gluten. Potatoes were therefore the carb of choice, and I decided to keep them simple by roasting them with some garlic, spices, and herbs.

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Popped these babies into the oven and moved on.

Next up was the star of the day, an egg white and loaded veggie frittata that I had on my mind. These girls like to keep it healthy, as do I, and I will find any way to sneak my friends some extra veggies without them even noticing. I am only looking out for their best interest and health ya know?

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Oh yes, this turned out so well! I was very very happy with the result and will be making this one again, for sure.

I also chopped up some fruit for a colorful fruit salad. Plums, banana, strawberries, blueberries and pear.

One of my friends, Amanda, is in culinary school at ICE and just finished up “baked goods” week. HA, how convenient. Lucky for us, she brought over many, many of her leftover treats. The perfect complement to a healthy brunch.

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We loaded up on coffee and sat around finally catching up for a few hours. You know how it goes… we could have talked forever and literally lost track of time. A girls brunch success!

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We didn’t get a good picture of us (we tried the selfie thing a few times and pretty much failed) but here is a pic of us from last year:

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What I loved most about the frittata was the fresh herbs. If you do make this, I would say don’t skimp on the herbs! They added such a fresh, garden taste to the eggs. This can also be made at the start of a week and cut into slices that can be used for a pre-made breakfast throughout the week. This morning, I had leftovers and just heated the slice for about 30 seconds in the microwave, added some hot sauce, and avocado toast on the side. It was great having this made ahead of the time and not having to think about it.

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Roasted Potatoes

  • several red and brown potatoes, of any kind
  • parsley
  • salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika
  • olive oil
  • garlic

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil

2. Chop a few garlic cloves into tiny pieces, set aside.

3. Chop potatoes into bite sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Top with garlic, a couple tablespoons of EVOO, salt, pepper, and a generous helping of cayenne and paprika, depending on how spicy you like it. Top with parsley. Mix with hands and then spread out on baking sheet.

4. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring once.

Egg White, Veggie and Herb Frittata

(serves 5 or 6)

  • About 1 cup of egg whites (I used the ones in the carton)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 large mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup assorted bell pepper, chopped
  • handful or two of kale, chopped
  • 2 T fresh dill
  • 2 T fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • EVOO, S&P

1. Add a couple tablespoons of EVOO to a skillet. Add chopped garlic and let it cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat.

2. Add sliced onions and let them caramelize for about 10 minutes while you are chopping everything else up. Stir them occasionally and season with S&P.

3. Add mushrooms and peppers and let them cook until soft. Finally, add Kale and herbs. Allow everything to cook for a few more minutes. Season with additional S&P if desired.

4. Line a quiche dish or pie dish (or you can just keep it in the skillet) with some cooking spray.

5. Add your cooked veggies to the pie dish and then top with the cup of egg whites. Feel free to use real eggs and adjust the amount of eggs/egg whites so that the frittata is as thick as you’d like.

6. Top with a sprinkle of feta, salt and pepper.

7. Pop into a 350 degree oven. Once the egg whites are mainly cooked (after about 20 minutes), put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn! You just want the top to get slightly brown and crusty.

8. Cut and serve! Top with hot sauce if you like a kick.

Whole Wheat Fresh Berry and Ginger Scones

Oh, scones. There is something just so quaint and homey about you.

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I love scones because they are not overly sweet. In fact, these scones have hardly any sugar in them.

They are made from simple and wholesome ingredients: fresh berries, crystalized ginger, whole wheat flour, greek yogurt, milk, a little bit of butter, and a touch of sugar in the raw.

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These were really simple to make. I mixed together the dry ingredients, then worked in the butter (I learned out to “cut butter” into the flour by watching a quick YouTube video), milk, and greek yogurt. Finally, I added the berries and ginger, a touch of lemon and lemon zest, and rolled it all out in a random blob.

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I tried to make “scone-like” shapes out of it, and ended up with a whole bunch of different sized slices. But hey, that’s what homemade is supposed to look like, right?

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These came out delicious. I LOVE the fresh berries. So many recipes called for using dried fruit, but I would highly recommend using fresh fruit. The sweetness of the berries heightened with the heat of the oven, and the berries were sweet and melty when they were done cooking.

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I brought a few of these over to my brother and his fiance that night, saved a couple for myself in my fridge for breakfast, and individually wrapped the rest and froze them for future mornings. And obviously ate one straight out of the oven for an afternoon snack.

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These scones would be perfect alongside a cup of coffee in the morning with some berries on the side, paired with a couple of eggs, or used for a mid afternoon snack with a cup of tea. They are simple, made with wholesome ingredients, and incredibly satisfying.

Enjoy! 🙂

Whole Wheat Fresh Berry and Ginger Scones 

(adapted from this recipe)

makes about 14 scones

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • .5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 T baking power
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 4 T turbinado (raw) sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 5 T butter
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used 0%, fat free)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh berries
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger
  • 1 T lemon juice + 1 T lemon zest
  • dash of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine yogurt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. This will turn the yogurt in a light, fluffy, meringue-type texture.

3. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together.

4. Cut the butter into bite sized pieces and then add it in to the flour mixture. Use your hands to coat the butter with the flours and to mix it all together. Or, use this video to learn more about “cutting” the butter into the flour with knives. 

5. Add in the greek yogurt and milk. Mix well.

6. Add in the chopped berries and chopped ginger. Add in lemon zest, and squeeze of lemon juice.

7. Mix well together. On a floured surface, lay out the dough and spread until it is a 1/2 inch thick. Cut into triangles and lay out on baking sheets. I lined the baking sheets with a tiny bit of butter, but you can use parchment paper instead.

8. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly brown on edges.

A Little Known Fact and Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes

These pancakes have a story behind them, and in order to tell you that story, you’ll need to know a little known fact about me:

I am an outdoorsy freak.

I’ve done some really weird stuff in my day, including but not limited to spending a month in the Alaskan mountains hiking, camping each night, and hangin’ out with the bears. I also spent that same month without a single shower, a toilet, a mirror, and barely a change of clothes. I told you… weird.

I can put on heels and a dress, but I am just as happy in hiking boots with a super cool waterproof Timex watch strapped to my wrist.

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That’s part of my group in Alaska. I did a NOLS trip after my freshman year of college. It was by far the most intense experience of my life. If I had known how crazy it was going to be, I don’t think I ever would have done it. In fact, my ankles were so ruined after the month, that the doctor told me I couldn’t workout for 6 weeks. And see that tape on my ears? That’s because we all got some weird skin rashes throughout our time there, so you know, we just threw on some masking tape and life went on.

I’ll never forget the first day when they went through my backpack that I had brought. I thought I had brought very limited clothing according to the packing list. But they quickly started tossing half of my stuff out.

“you won’t be needing this, or this, or this, or this”

Let’s just say they left me with two pairs of underwear and one sports bra for an entire month. I know, gross. The whole experience was absolutely insane, but one of those experiences I will never ever forget.

I’ve never worked my body or my mind so hard.

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I’ve also done a crazy amount of hiking.

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This is me in my happy place. Exhausted after a hike.

My Dad and I have a goal to hike a part of the Appalachian Trail in each of the states it passes through. We’ve done about 5 or 6 at this point (out of 14), and have created so many incredible memories along the way.

Put me on a trail with a backpack, some trail mix, a couple water bottles, good hiking shoes, plenty of blister bandaids, a fleece, and I am one happy camper… literally.

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I’ve also been convinced to go ice climbing. For someone who hates the cold, this was not my ideal sport, but I have to say it was REALLY cool. Being able to jam your spikes into some ice and literally climb up it was a very cool feeling.

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I’ve also played around a lot on ropes courses and taught the ropes course at my camp a few summers ago:

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And done my fair share of rock climbing, both indoors and outdoors:

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I think I have my very first boyfriend to thank for a lot of this. He was the kind of boyfriend who bought me a climbing harness as a birthday present and was SOOO excited about it. I guess he saw a little adventurer in me at a ripe age of 16, and for the past 10 years, that spark has never died. I am in love with the outdoors.

So what does this have to do with pancakes, you may be asking?

WELL, in Alaska, during that month that still makes me shudder, we had to cook all of our own food.  A plane would come each week and literally drop us bags of food. Looking back on how ridiculous this was now makes me laugh!

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And of course, being the foodie I am, some of my most vivid memories from the trip are of the food we ate. One of my favorite meals was these cornmeal pancakes that we made.

We had to eat a ridiculous amount of calories when we were there. I probably ate between 3000 and 4000 calories each day just to keep up with the rigor of the hiking. We spent our entire days climbing mountains, paving our own trails, and wading through rivers flowing with glacier water.

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The rivers were my favorite part. I loved the challenge of slowly getting from one side to the other, knowing that at any moment you could be easily swept away. The adrenaline rush was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

Anywho, back to the pancakes!

So, we made these cornmeal pancakes and coated them in TONS of butter because, well, we needed all of the calories we could get. We had to get creative in our cooking because we were given basic materials (flour, oats, cornmeal, dried milk, etc.) and had to just come up with our food.

I’ve actually never made cornmeal pancakes for myself before, but it’s always been in the back of my mind that I’ve wanted to recreate these. Yesterday was the day. These taste a little like cornbread in pancake form, but don’t have all of the unhealthy butter that cornbread has.

I used a little bit of butter to coat the pan, and used whole wheat flour with the cornmeal.

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Aside from the butter, these are vegan. I made them with almond milk and didn’t use any eggs.

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The experience of eating these in my pajamas was a little different than out on the mountains as we geared up for another 8 hour hike straight up a mountain while doing bear calls to avoid getting eaten alive.

But other than that, the experience was pretty similar 🙂

Whole Wheat Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup + 2 T almond milk or regular milk
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 t lemon rind (optional)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1/2 T butter

1. Mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder. Add lemon rind, honey, salt, and milk. Mix all together.

2. Heat up a skillet and use butter to coat. Pour mixture onto pan, flip the pancakes once they’re bubbling slightly.

3. Add a little more butter when done, and syrup on the side.

Enjoy! 🙂

Are you an outdoor lover? What do you like to do??

My 100th Post and a Give Away!

This is the 100th Post that I’ve written for StudioEats. Hard to believe that a little idea a year ago turned into a whole lot more– you guys know more about me than I ever would have thought I’d share, and the support has been incredible. Thank you so much for continuing to read. This is so fun for me and I love connecting with all of you.

SO, since it’s my 100th post, I thought I’d do a little Give Away. I’ve been waiting to do this one for a while now, and I figure I might as well today.

So I have to admit, I am really picky about what cereal I eat. I don’t like to eat a lot of processed food, and to be honest, most cereals are pretty processed. But there are a couple of cereals that I love, that are made with just a few whole ingredients, and that I can trust. Erewhon brand is thankfully a brand I have found that makes cereals that I actually love to keep on hand.

A common breakfast for me these days… Buckwheat and Hemp Cereal with Blackberries and Banana:

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Check out the ingredients in the Buckwheat and Hemp Cereal:

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(sourced from Attune Foods Website)

You really can’t get more simple and straightforward than that. All of the cereals from Erewhon are JUST like this. Very simple, easy to pronounce, wholesome ingredients.

I first tried Erewhon cereals with the Buckwheat and Hemp variety when we were sent home from the Healthy Living Summit with a box to try out. Immediately, I emailed Attune Foods (the parent company to Erewhon) to see if they would be willing to send me a few boxes as a Give Away and also let me try a couple of new kinds. Since I hardly ever find cereal that I really like, I was SO excited about this one.

They were happy to send me a few items, so here we are today!

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So what do I have for ya?

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  • 1 box of Buckwheat and Hemp (this one is New, and it’s simply amazing. It’s the one in all of my pictures above)
  • 1 box of Strawberry Crisp (haven’t tried this one myself, but I trust that it is equally as good!)
  • 1 box of Crispy Brown Rice, No Salt Added (<– I tried this one out and I loved having it to add volume to a lot of different concoctions that I threw together. It’s really light (think Rice Krispies), but made from brown rice!)
  • 1 coupon for ANOTHER free box of Buckwheat and Hemp cereal

I’d also like to add that these are ALL Gluten Free. I don’t keep a GF diet, but I know some of you guys do, so it’s just nice to know that these all are.

So there you go! 4 things in 1 Giveaway.

And to enter, just leave a comment below telling me how you like to enjoy your cereal. With fruit? Straight up with milk? In yogurt? Lemme know yo! I’ll keep the Giveaway open until next Monday, 12/24 and will choose a winner then.

WIAW {12.12.2012} My Friends Feed Me Well

Yesterday was a good day. And a GREAT food day. Added bonus– my friends cooked me 90% of my food, which makes it that much better. I am one lucky girl.

I ate some really really delicious stuff, so let’s get right to it. If you follow me on Instagram or my Facebook Page, you’ve already seen most of this, but here we go anyway.  Thanks, Jenn for some more WIAW love.

Starting off on the right foot, I headed to Amanda’s for brunch. She knows exactly what I like and served me my favorite breakfast in the entire world. Toast, soft poached eggs, smoked salmon, fruit, and french press coffee. I mean, what else do you need?

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We chatted for a few hours while slowly eating and drinking a couple cups of coffee.

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My situation:

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I then headed to my first class. At around 4:00, I had some time to kill before my second class so I stopped in to a cafe to get something decadent. Mmmm hmmm, decadent. I was in the mood for some tea and a dessert, so I went for it.

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This is the house cheesecake from Cafe Angelique. Holy guacamole.

As I was debating with the waiter about what I should order, the lady sitting next to me was like “you should really order that cheesecake. It is SO good. And it’s pretty light.” Oh really? It’s light? Perfect.

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After the first half a bite, I knew that this cheesecake was not light, no it was not light at all. But it was one of the better things I have eaten in a while and I enjoyed every second of it. Along with Ginger tea. On my way out I asked the waiter, “do you guys ALWAYS have that cheesecake here?”. Thankfully, they do. I shall return.

After my second class, I got home at around 7:45 and headed to Katie’s where Nana’s Mac & Cheese awaited me. My friends rock.

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She even fed me vegetables. Thank god, because If I go a day without vegetables, I slightly freak out.

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I ate this times three. You don’t mess around with Nana’s mac & cheese:

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This is Katie’s grandmother’s famous Mac and Cheese, hence the name “Nana’s mac”. it is the one thing Katie knows how to cook and man, she does it well. She said she would leave the recipe in the comments section below so you guys all have it. It’s made with pure, simple ingredients and hits the spot every single time. I grew up going to Katie’s for Nana’s mac all the time during middle school and high school. This dish has been around forever, and never lets us down.

I ended the night with a couple squares of peppermint dark chocolate.

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The day was decadent, delicious and I feel so grateful to have friends who cook for me. Although I love cooking, it’s the best feeling to sit back and just enjoy something someone else made for you.

And now it’s Wednesday! Time to kick off the day. Have a good one 🙂

Moving From Ordinary to Special: Egg White,Veggie,Goat Cheese Frittata

This post is all about taking something rather ordinary and adding some fairy dust to it to make it something special. Something NOT ordinary. It’s about sprucing up the little things in your day-to-day to make the little moments feel even better.

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Like adding a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to your water. With some ice, and a straw, and you’ve got yourself sippin’ on a special glass of water. I know it sounds like nothing, but oo- la- la it can be so refreshing! Serving it in a cool mason jar, even better.

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Or adding some cinnamon and nutmeg to your morning cup of coffee. Served in your favorite mug.

Or downloading some of your favorite music to listen to during your morning commute. Christmas music perhaps? Some old school Beyonce? One of those DJ’s that you all know but that I don’t know? A Podcast?

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Or taking 10 extra minutes in the morning to get ready. To shower longer, to make yourself breakfast, to watch the Today show, to put on some fun jewelry.

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Or having so much fun doing laundry. Okay… this one stumps me. I don’t have any answers here. I HATE doing laundry!!

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Or taking time for yourself during your lunch break to call a friend and laugh about something silly and totally brain-less.

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I love trying to take something simple and “boring” and make it more interesting and fun. That’s all this recipe is about, really. I was in the mood for an omelette with veggies, but didn’t want just another omelette. I wanted it to be special.

So all I did was slowly sauté the veggies (I used onion, red pepper, zucchini, spinach and corn), add in some egg whites, some clumps of goat cheese, and let it cook on low for a few minutes until the whites were mainly cooked through. I didn’t stir it or anything, I just let it sit. I then stuck it in the oven and under the broiler and watched the edges and the top lightly brown and the cheese get all perfectly melty. It took about 5 minutes.

It took a few extra minutes than an ordinary omelette would have, but it came out looking beautiful, and tasting amazing. It felt good to put a little bit of extra love into my breakfast.

What’s funny is that when you continuously add some fairy dust to the little moments, all of those moments add up to an amazing day.

How are you going to make this seemingly ordinary Monday special??

WIAW {12.5.2012} and some Excitement

Morning! Before I get to my What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) eats, I have some really exciting news. Last night, I finally hit publish and launched the Health Coaching page on my blog. Check it out! I will have more information about this coming in the next week or so, but in a nutshell, I’ve decided that I want to put my Health Coaching degree to full use and start coaching people on attaining a healthier relationship with food, their own bodies, and their weight. I talked about my entire Health Journey here, and my struggle with weight and emotional eating, and now want to help others free themselves of the burden this can have on their life. More to come on this! Much more.

ANYWAY, on to things equally as important… Breakfast! Thanks again to Jenn for hosting WIAW.

Rye toast, egg whites, melted American cheese. An orange, and coffee.

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Must I remind you about how much I love my egg and cheeses? 😉

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Lots of work was done in the morning, then a stroll through Central Park for about 45 minutes, and then Lunch.

Spinach base, chopped up cucumbers, carrots and red pepper. About a third of an avocado, 2 Black Bean Lentil Veggie Burgers, and roasted sweet potatoes. Drizzle of balsamic vinegar, truffle olive oil, and salt.


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Sooo, because of the 2 hours of prep I did on Sunday, this whole salad took me literally 3 minutes to throw together! The veggies were already chopped, the burgers and the ‘taters were already cooked…this was so nice and easy! The prep really does pay off- I never would have had the patience to put this salad together if it took more than a few minutes.

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So colorful 🙂

In between two of my classes, I had a little bit of a break so I found a coffee shop, VBar, down by NYU and stopped in to get a few things done. I hardly ever have a second cup of coffee, but I needed it yesterday.

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Then it was off to my second class at Columbia. How pretty are the lights around their entrance gate??

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Right before my 5:00 class started, I had a snack to hold me over.

A juicy pear and cheddar cheese slices.

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Dinner was eaten on the late side and was also really quick and easy.

Chopped up Grilled Chicken, Whole Wheat Couscous, Sautéed Mushrooms, Slivered Almonds. Again, all things I made on Sunday during my massive prep session.

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And finally, a cookie (recipe coming soon) and almond butter to finish off the night.

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And that’s a wrap! Have a great Wednesday.

Apple Gingerbread Loaf

Yesterday, this happened:

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A hot loaf of gingerbread filled with warm, soft apples came out of my oven.

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A couple of pieces were immediately cut while the loaf was still hot, exactly what you are not supposed to do. Impatience wins.

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Thin slices of real butter were spread on top, and a fork was brought out to try to eat this in a civilized fashion.

Divine.

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Apple Gingerbread Loaf

(makes 10 servings)

Adapted from this recipe, but with several adjustments to make it **healthier** (win!)

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 T butter
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups white flour
  • 1.5 t baking soda
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 large apple or 2 small apples, chopped into bite sized pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Melt butter in microwave. Beat it together with sugar. Add milk and molasses. Stir it all together.

3. In a large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients (flour through salt). Add in the butter/sugar/molasses/milk mixture. Add in hot water. Stir all together.

4. Add in chopped apples.

5. Spread out in a greased 9 in loaf pan (I just sprayed mine with cooking spray).

6. Cook in oven for about 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

This is great for a snack, dessert, or even breakfast. Because I reduced the sugar quite a bit, it’s not too sweet. I suggest slicing up any leftovers and freezing the slices in individual bags. Perfect for an anytime treat.

WIAW {11.28.2012}: Wine Night First Timer

Oh man, am I feeling groggy right now. I had the hardest time sleeping last night! But we will get to that in a second. First, let’s back up. Thanks to Jenn for hosting the WIAW tradition.

My day started yesterday with some Starbucks and a trip to the grocery store in the early hours. I love strolling around the grocery store with coffee while the store is still empty. It’s so peaceful 🙂

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I picked up a loaf of fresh rye bread from the bakery and wanted to use it for breakfast immediately. This may look like a strange combo, and it is, but it totally worked. Rye toast with avocado and raspberry jam:

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I headed to a meeting at around 11:15 and then quickly met up with Amanda for some chit chat before heading to class. I packed a quick lunch filled with sautéed veggies (spinach, carrots, zucchini, yellow pepper, green beans, mushrooms), marinara sauce, and a generous helping of goat cheese. Topped with slivered almonds.

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Mmm goat cheese!

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I ended up coming home in between classes and having an unexpected break. Since it was SNOWING in NYC yesterday, a warm snack was definitely needed. I warmed up a granny smith apple, drizzled with almond butter, and paired it with tea.

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Ohhhh yea.

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Then I picked myself up, got all bundled, and headed back out to class at around 4:30. Another cup of tea was picked up from Starbucks to keep me warm during the commute. It was a nasty weather day here in the city!

Vanilla Roobois Tea:

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And then, I commuted from the Upper West Side downtown and met up with a bunch of lovely ladies for my first appearance at their monthly wine night!

When I was in Cape Cod with Mara (my brother’s fiancé) and her friends a couple of months ago, they invited me to start coming to their monthly wine nights. Their group of friends rotates the responsibility of hosting wine night each month. Each girl brings over a bottle of the wine of the month and the host provides some appetizers or whatever they’d like to cook. Sounds like my kinda thannng!

Leah was, as expected, an awesome host. She had been talking to me about things she wanted to cook for wine night since we hung out at the Cape a couple months ago and she really impressed us all. She even took pictures of the set up before everyone got there so that she could send them to me for the blog. What a pal!!

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About 2/3 of the girls:
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Some stars of the night included her pumpkin cupcakes with dairy-free cream cheese frosting (Leah tries to stay away from too much dairy):

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And a Tart made with butternut squash, pancetta, shiitake mushrooms, onion and vegan cheddar cheese:

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Both were SO delicious. Leah, maybe you can post the recipes in the comment section??

I had about one and a half glasses of wine (the wine of the month was Malbec), the above picture of the Tart, some cheese and crackers, some veggies and dip, and half a cupcake. I had so much fun hanging out with these girls, mostly a crew who met at Cornell and went to college together, and love the concept of this wine night. Thanks, Leah, for being such a great host and cooking up a storm!

And THEN. I got home at around 11, got ready for bed, and just could. not. sleep. My stomach was grumbling, probably because I didn’t eat a real dinner, and I knew I couldn’t go to bed hungry. My stomach literally felt like it hadn’t eaten in days, I was so hungry! It was strange.

After an hour or so of stirring in bed, I finally gave in. I got up and made a snack…Raisin Bran to the rescue. I love this brand of cereal. The ingredients could not be simpler.

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I also had a couple small slices of rye bread + almond butter. Finally I was full and could fall asleep, but man those couple hours are always so frustrating!

So that’s my day! How was yours? Do you ever have trouble sleeping? Can you fall asleep hungry? What are your fav pre-bedtime snacks? So many questions!! 🙂