Summer lovin’

Hi Friends,

This weekend has been full of good summer food.  I seriously love this time of year.  And not just for the culinary delights, everyone seems content to hang out a little longer, soak up the sun, and generally chill out a bit longer.  After months of being homebound and having mild cases of seasonal affective disorder, Minnesotans love summer time.  Is it like this in other states too?

I had a coupon for Border’s Books and used some birthday money to treat myself to Clean Food by Terry Walters.  LOVE this cook book.  I’ve got about ten recipes marked to try.  Yesterday afternoon I threw together the Cucumber, Mango, and Chickpea Salad.  I was too cheap to buy dried apricots and currants so I used some blueberry Craisins that I had in my cupboard.  The start ingredient of the salad was fresh mint that I GREW in my pot garden!

I served it over some baby lettuce that I GREW for Saturday lunch.  I finished off my box of Barbara’s Shredded Oats for my dose of carbs and sipped on Emily’s Iced Tea and Lemonade creation.  Simple, summery, satisfying lunch.

Breakfast – Day 16  

Banana Corn Cakes

I think Art has been enjoying my breakfast challenge the most.  We used to have simple cereal when he would spend the night.  I’ve the challenge as an excuse to make something “fancier” for our little sleep over breakfasts. 

Today’s pancakes were really good!  I mashed together 3/4 a medium ripe banana, 1 egg, 2 TBs almond Milk, 1/2 TBs canola oil and 1 TBs honey.  I then stirred in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup corn meal, and 1 tsp baking soda.  After cooking on a warm griddle, we were left with four big pancakes and two smaller ones.

Fresh blueberries and maple syrup made the perfect toppings.  The banana, honey and cornmeal played together to make a unique flavor and really nice texture.  I would definitely recommend trying this recipe.  

There are still two more full days of weekend left!  YEHAW!  Enjoy it friends,

Kate

I might be getting dumber

Hi Friends,

I’ve felt a little scattered brained lately.  I am attributing it to the fact that I don’t have any school work to focus on.  I am without anything to learn or produce as a result of that learning.  My main tasks most days are glorified babysitting and steaming milk.  I think such mundane tasks are making me slightly stupid.

I don’t like this feeling so I think I need to give myself a little summer project.  I know I am working on the breakfast challenge but I need something more than that to keep me occupied.  I am envisioning something with cooking.  Make at least two recipes from one of my cookbooks each week?  Create at home a grocery store staple I would usually purchase (ie: hummus, tortillas…)?  Any ideas or input?

I am also going to try to read a new book every two weeks.  I love reading but am a bit slow at it.  Last weekend I finished Candy Girl by Diablo Cody.  The book chronicled her time working as a stripper in Minneapolis pre Juno fame.  It was super light reading but enjoyable.  Art had it on his bookshelf so I decided to check it out :)  I finally started The Color Purple last night.  So far so good. 

I’ve also toyed with the idea of taking a photography class but most of those are a bit pricey.  And my camera is a slightly crappy point and shoot and I can’t afford an upgrade.  Maybe I could look into so other type of cheaper Community Ed art class?  Oh the ideas are flowing now!

Breakfast – Day 14 and 15

Creamy, Dreamy Smoothie

I wanted my Friday breakfast smoothie to be intensely creamy.  I’ve read about folks putting avocado in their smoothies and was a bit grossed out at first but my curiosity (and the need for a new breakfast combination!) got the better of me.  Into the blender went 1/4 a medium avocado, 4 large frozen strawberries, 1/2 a frozen banana, 2 BIG handfuls of spinach, 1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 scoop Aria Protein Powder, two big spoonful of vanilla yogurt, and 4 ice cubes. 

Creamy and dreamy!  Couldn’t taste the avocado at all.  The vanilla was the most prevalent flavor with a hint of strawberry coming through too.  Topped everything off with some Barbara’s Shredded Oats.  The smoothie held me thru my shift at the coffee shop which is always good.  I attribute this to the healthy fat in the avocado.

Strawberry Lemonade Overnight Oats

Divine inspiration on this one!  I had some lemonade sitting around in my fridge after making a batch of Emily’s  Iced Tea and Lemonade for memorial day weekend festivities.  Why not do something with the left overs for breakfast? 

I combined 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup low fat Vanilla Stonyfield, 1/3 cup Santa Cruz Organic Lemon Aid, and 5 big frozen strawberries and let them sit in the fridge overnight.  This morning I topped with a sprinkle of ground flax and unsweetened coconut.

It was just sweet enough with a little bit of that lemonadey tang.  It probably would have been better with fresh strawberries as the frozen one had the weird “thawed frozen fruit” texture.  Other than that, I would definitely repeat this recipe.

Have the lovely LONG weekend friends!  Anyone doing anything exciting?   My plans include a little outdoor trot, live music, cooking with friends, and hopefully a visit with the parents.  All things I enjoy :)

Later

Kate

breakfast and recipe help

Hi Friends,

Just have my breakfast and a recipe request for you today.

Breakfast – Day 13

Berry Banana Butter

I popped a few frozen black berries, half a frozen banana, and a blob or peanut butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  Post microwaving I smooshed everything together and spread it on two pieces of Cinnamon Raising Ezekiel toast.  Yum!  I love microwaving peanut butter and banana together.  The addition of the blackberries made it that much more enjoyable.  Most definitely something that I would eat again.

Does anyone have any good vegan brunch recipes?  My mom and I are having a wedding shower for my cousins and I volunteered to bring a vegan dish for another one of my cousins who is vegan.  My google searches are not proving to be fruitful.  The weekend of the shower is going to be a little busy for me so it would be ideal if this recipe could be prepped in advance and brought to my parents house the day of to finish cooking.  Bonus points if it is a gluten-free recipe too!  I’ve got another cousin with Celiacs.

Later

Kate

I just felt like running

Hi friends,

In all the birthday and breakfasty posts, I totally forgot to share with my fun running news.  Per my May goals, on Saturday morning I ran ALL THE WAY around Lake Calhoun which is a like 3.2 mile loop!  I was about 4/5 of the way through when I really really wanted to walk but it started lightning out so I figured I better kick my tail in gear and finish up before I got stormed on.  I was very proud of myself.

I have never been much of a runner.  Even now I like to think of myself as a trotter :)  I am pretty slow and plunk a long at an easy pace.  Running always used to be something that I thought I should do but never really enjoyed. 

In the words of dear Forest Gump, this spring I just felt like running.  Using the good old “slow and steady wins the race” theory, I set off on a few short runs and would take walk breaks when I wanted.  I’ve gradually increased the distance that I am able to go and decreased the frequency of my walking.  My speed is still slow, but I am fine with that. 

I uses my runs as a time to be present and notice nature.  (ok, there isn’t much “nature” in the middle of the city but you know what I mean)  I carefully select a play list on my i pod and set off for a 30-40 mins of alone time.  I can honestly say that I have started to crave my little trots.  I come home SWEATY and relaxed.  It is a very nice feeling!

Breakfast – Day 12

Peachy Green Smoothie and Toast

Into the blender went 2/3 cup frozen peaches, 3/4 cup Organic Valley Live Vanilla Yogurt, 2 big handfuls of spinach and 4 ice cubes.  Not so wild about this combo.  This was the first time I could taste the spinach in the smoothie.  I toasted a piece of Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread and spread a little pb on top to round out the meal.  It was a very “meh” kind of breaky :(

My plea for the day:  please stop talking on your cell it is your turn to order your coffee in a busy coffee shop. :)

Later

Kate

Hola 28

Hi friends,

My first two days of 28 have been very nice despite the ridiculous heat we’ve been having in Minneapolis.  I literally go outside and feel that oh so attractive under boob sweat start to form.  Ish!

Breakfast – Day 10 and 11

Fruit and Toast

My birthday breakfast was enjoyed at my parents house.  Sunday night we had an awesome dinner at Pescara.  The food was excellent, the atmosphere enjoyable, and servers friendly.  Plus, there wasn’t any weirdness with my grandparents which was very good. 

I woke up on Monday not super hungry or in the mood for anything fancy so I went with some berries topped with a blob of greek yogurt and a toasted sandwich thin with some pb.  My mom had Greek Gods Strawberry and Honey Yogurt which I hadn’t tried before.  The strawberry flavor was subtle which was nice but I still think I have to give it Oikos in the best greek yogurt category.

Fridge Dump Smoothie

I got home late last night after birthday dinner with Art and wasn’t in the mood to think too much about breakfast.  I dumped some cantaloupe and strawberries that I cut on Sunday morning into the blender with some Unsweetened Almond Breeze, Aria protein powder, spinach, half a frozen banana and 4 ice cubes.  I topped it off with Buckwheat Krispies.  This was my first time using cantaloupe in a smoothie and I’m not sure I would do it again.  It over powered everything else.

Zooming out you notice my awesome birthday present behind my breakfast!  My parents, who are so generous, got me a Kitchen Aid :) yay!  I told this to my friend Seth and he responded with “I thought those were only for married people.”  I am really excited to use it.  Apparently you can buy an ice cream maker attachment to go on it.  I know what my next purchase is!

Is anyone else excited for the Lady Gaga Glee episode tonight? PUMPED!

Kate

Adios 27

Hi Friends,

The birthday celebrations have been very enjoyable thus far.  I had dindin with the brother yesterday and I nice little celebration with some friends last night. 

It was my friend Becca’s birthday yesterday so we tag teamed our celebrations.  We had a bonding moment last night when we discovered that we both have food blogs but haven’t shared it with each other.  It was a super random realization.  So now we’ve got to exchange blog addresses!

Breakfast – Day 9

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

 To bid my last day as a 27 year old farewell, I made french toast, fruit and coffee for Art and I this morning.

I mixed together two eggs, Almond Breeze, a splash of vanilla and maple syrup, and some cinnamon.  This provided enough eggy goodness to coat four pieces of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread.  I cooked them in a warm skillet and was left with yummy french toast.

I topped mine with Organic Valley Live Vanilla Yogurt and a swirl of maple syrup.  It looked so pretty with the yogurt and maple swirls that I just had to photograph it again :)

Welp, I am headed to parents house in a few.  We are going to an “alternative fish restaurant” for dinner tonight according to my mother.  I am curious as to what that means but we shall see I guess.  I am also a bit antsy as my grandparents will be joining us for dinner.  After all the drama earlier in the week with their decision to move, I am not quite sure what the vibe will be.

Later friends.  I shall return to post tomorrow as 28 year old :)

Kate

Birthday Weekend Of Fun

Hi Friends!

Today officially begins my birthday weekend shenanigans.  So my birthday isn’t actually until Monday.  But why keep your birthday celebrations to just one day when you can stretch it out across three?! 

This morning I plan on working out and stopping at the grocery store or farmers market depending on my mood.  I may or may not swing by Ben and Jerry’s later today to pick up my free scoop of birthday ice cream!  Tonight I’ll head out with some friends for a bit of drinking.  My goal is to not get too drunk so I can head to parents house a little after noon tomorrow for a nice dinner and over night visit.  Monday (after massages with my momma!) I’ll head home for a nice dinner with Art.  Doesn’t that sound like a lovely way to celebrate your 28th year on the planet?

Breakfast – Day 7 and 8

Banana Split Overnight Oats

Shout to Holly for the inspiration!  I have been drooling over this recipe for few weeks and decided that it would be the prefect Friday blogger shout out breakfast.  Freaking delicious :)  My crappy little Gladware container does not do the glory of this creation justice.  It needs to be nestled in a lovely bowl to appropriately display its splendor.

Mixed up 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze, 1/2 cup of oats, 1 TBs cocoa powder, and a splash of vanilla and let it sit overnight in the fridge. 

I added half a sliced banana, two big sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut for good measure.  Super creamy and yummy.  Most importantly, it held me all morning through my six hour shift at the coffee shop.  Holly, you are a genius!

Cool, Creamy, and Crunchy Bowl

This morning I woke up intending to a make a warm breakfast that I could sit and enjoy at a my table.  It is such a treat to get to do that after eating in the car all week.  But my body was craving something cool and creamy.  I remembered that I had a bottle of Organic Valley Live Vanilla Yogurt in the fridge that I have barely touched since I bought it last Saturday.  Why not use it in my breakfast today?

Into the bowl went Barbara’s Shredded Oats cereal, Danielle’s Buckwheat Krispies, ground flax, sliced strawberries and about 3/4 cup of Organic Valley Live Vanilla Yogurt.  I really like the yogurt.  It is liquidier than a regular yogurt but still has a hint of the creaminess.  Plus it has the protein and probiotic benefits of regular yogurt.  It satisfied my craving perfectly.

On to birthday weekend celebrations!

Kate

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