Weekend Breakfast Catch Up

Hi Friends,

Oy!  We had spotty internet service this morning but it appears to be working again.  If you haven’t done so yet, check out all the baking my mom and I did over the weekend!  And I updated the link to Lindsay’s Scothabrownies.  I’ve got some breakfasts to catch up on!

Day 11 – Instant Oats with Lots of Stuff

My parents had instant oats.  Sorry mom and dad but instant oats always taste like lumpy paste to me.  Perhaps I don’t cook them correctly?  I microwaved 1/2 cup instant oats with 1 cup water and a pinch of salt.  I added a half a chopped honeycrisp, chopped dates, chopped walnuts, and vanilla almond syrup.  The toppings made the bowl and totally made up for the instant oat texture. 

Don’t you love the cute Christmas decorations!  The are little bells and have been a staple in our family christmas display. 

Day 12 – Classic Yogurt Bowl

Nothing can beat the simplicity of vanilla yogurt, blueberries, Quaker Toasted Oat Squares and a blob of chunky Skippy.  I buy the all natural peanut butter but a visit to the parents’ house wouldn’t be complete without some chunky Skippy.

Day 13 – Orange Spice Waffles

We got so much snow over the weekend that the city of St Paul decided to re-declare the snow emergency in order to clear all the snow.  This means an extra day of parking restrictions.  BOOOO!  Art went out and took care of moving my car again which meant I owed him waffles this morning.

I added some orange zest, cinnamon, and a dash of cloves to the gluten-free waffle mix this morning.  I simmered 1/3 cup cranberries, 1 small orange chopped into small pieces, cinnamon and water until the cranberries popped and cooked down a bit.  This was a nice flavor combination and tasted very Christmasy.

We found out early this morning that St Paul Schools are closed for the day.  The side streets didn’t get all get plowed so buses couldn’t pick up kids.  St Paul hardly ever cancels school so this is a pretty big deal.  Art was excited to get the day off.  After work this morning, I hope to start my Christmas shopping.  I feel so behind!



Baking Day

Hi Friends,

I closed at the store yesterday which meant I had the morning to bake!  YEHAW!  My parents are hosting a holiday party this weekend and they asked me to make some cookies.  I jumped on the request and started researching fun holiday treats to share.   I made two yesterday

Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

I love the whole spicy chocolate thing so when I saw the recipe for these on the PPK (I forget how much I like this blog!) I knew I would have to give them a try.  I doubled the recipe and only added a small pinch of cayenne as I wasn’t sure how adventurous the palates of my parents friends would be.  I also added a chopped Mayan Gold bar from Black & Green as you can never have too much chocolate.

I think for the first time ever, I actually got as many cookies as the recipe said it would make.  I taste tested the cookie that was the most burnt around the edges and was very satisfied with how they turned out.  I would definitely add more cayenne the next time I make these and maybe a little orange zest too. 

Chocolate Coconut Truffles

I spotted these guys on Lori’s blog and followed her links to Alisa’s blog.  The recipe seemed so simple and yummy that I couldn’t not try it.  I subbed the peppermint extract for coconut and rolled the truffles in unsweetened flaked coconut.  The co-op had the vegan chocolate chips on sale so the recipe is also vegan. 

I made one and half batches and ended up with 30 truffles.  After rolling all the cookies, my desire to roll things into balls was a bit low.  Some of the truffles got a bit large in order to finish the task.  Again, for the purpose of quality control I samples one.  It was good :)  How can you go wrong with chocolate and coconut.

Breakfast Day 9 – Breakfast Double Apple Crisp

I sautéed a small chopped apple in some water, cinnamon and a squeeze of buckwheat honey.  Once it was soft, I mixed the last two spoonfuls of homemade applesauce into 1/2 cup of plain yogurt.  I layered the two and topped ground flax and cinnamon pecan granola.  A super yummy, dessert like breakfast :)

Day 10 – Coconut Chai Smoothie

I wanted to do something with the leftover coconut milk for breakfast this morning.  Enter the creamiest smoothie I have made to date.  Into the blender went one small frozen banana, 1/2 vanilla protein powder, three ice cubes, a little over 1/4 cup of coconut milk, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom.  I topped with some Go Lean Crunch and a pinch of unsweetened coconut.  YUMMMMMMMMM!  Hello medium chain fatty acid smoothie of deliciousness.  If you like coconut and chai spice, I highly recommend this combo.

I am about to hit up the gym and head down to my parents.  I talked to my mom this morning and they are predicting a big old snow storm for the weekend so the party may be much smaller than originally anticipated.  Oh well!  I am excited to finish my baking and chill out with them for a few days.



Weekend Breakfasts

Hi Friends,

Last night I slept for a solid 10.5 hours.  I was wiped out after three long days of work plus there was a little street fair going on yesterday so we were ultra busy.  Being on your feet for 8 hours is tough!  Art and I had planned on going to see the new Harry Potter but ended up going to Chipolte and crashing on the couch.  It was a good thing I had friends over for dinner on Friday otherwise the weekend would have been nothing but work.

Anyway on to the weekend breakfasts!

Day 4 – Cherry Cardamom Smoothie

Technically I had this for exact combo for breakfast before the challenge started so I can have it again :)  Hehe!

Day 5 – Caramel Apple Waffles 

I promised Art waffles if he got up and moved my car off the snow emergency route this morning.  I followed the directions on the gluten free waffle mix but cut the water and oil in half and subbed in applesauce.  I also added a big pinch of ginger to the batter.  For waffle topper, I sautéed chopped apples in a snot load of butter and brown sugar.  Butter and brown sugar are a delightful combination.   I figured the desserty topping on the waffles was necessary since there was less fat in the waffles ;)

Gearing for another long day at the store. Happy Sunday!


New Month = New Challenge

Hi Friends,

I am  not going to lie, I got into a bit of a rut in early November and had a hard time getting myself out.  Classes were going well, work was fine, living with Art was great, things to be grateful for were easy to find.  Despite all this I was in a bit of funk.  I had just gone through all that change and was left feeling a little restless.  I couldn’t shake this feeling for most of the month and didn’t enjoy it.  I knew nothing was super wrong which made me feel worse about feeling bad.  Does that make sense?!

Anyway, after a bit of pondering, I decided that creativity and kids were missing from my life.  I put out a few offers to babysit and came up with a little creativity challenge for myself.    I am pleased to announce 30 Days of Breakfast Round 2!  I did this back in May and had great fun with it.  It is an easy way to be creative each morning and celebrates my favorite meal at the same time.  

For the next 30 days I shall make something different for breakfast each day and post about it.  As an added bonus bit, I am going to post about at least one holiday baking adventure a week too.  Look for special blogger shout out breakfasts along the way.  You guys make some super drool worthy things and I am excited to feature them throughout the month.

With that I give you breakfast on Day 1!  Apple Cinnamon Oats

As a kid, I did not care for the apple cinnamon oatmeal packets at all but for some reason it sounded like the way to go for breakfast this morning.  Into the pot went 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup unsweetened soymilk, pinch of sea salt, a boatload of cinnamon and one small apple finely chopped.  After cooking, I stirred in some ground flax and topped with plain yogurt and a bit of buckwheat honey.  Simple and satisfying. 

No takers on the babysitting yet.  Sigh.  I have thought about volunteering somewhere but my work schedule is varied so I don’t know if that will work.  I shall just have to get ultra creative with the breakfasts to make up for the lack of kid time :)




Hi Friends!

Note the exclamation behind the “Hi Friends” today.  I was so excited to read what you guys wrote about gratitude yesterday.  I was even more pleased to see gratitude nugget posts from Mary and Lori on their blogs.  How cool!  I would love to make one of those cute little challenge badges to give to people who want to participate but I have no idea how to make those.    So instead I will just link to those playing along :)

Gratitude Nugget 2

My Extended Family.  One of my aunts who lives alone went into the hospital last night not feeling well and having trouble breathing.  Within the hour some of my cousins were with her.  My aunts were on the phone and email circuit making sure that someone was with their sister.  It was really cool to read about the support they are giving.  We are still waiting to hear what is going on with Aunt Betty’s health so any extra thoughts you could spare would be appreciated.   

Per my earlier post, I have been very intentional about making good meals to take to class and work.  On Tuesday morning I made two big salads to have for lunches.

Excuse the lovely, holiday Gladware, but the contents are super yummy!  Under the giant pile of chopped apple and cottage cheese some raw cabbage and chopped carrot are hiding.  I sprinkle a bit of maple pepper on top from the work sample stash and cut myself a piece of day old rustic bread.  Very satisfying, easy, portable lunch.

Happy Hump Day!


Rawish Relish and Cookies

Hi Friends,

My free day yesterday was ridiculously nice.  It was a rainy, gray day in St Paul which was perfect for homeworking and kitchen experimenting. 

On Friday I went to the apple orchard to pick up some things for the store.  I got a bag of apples for myself and wanted to make something new with them.  The co-op had the most beautiful looking fresh cranberries and since I love cranberries, I came up with this super easy, super yummy relish recipe.

Rawish Cran Apple Relish

1 1/4 cups cranberries

– 1 large apple, peeled

– 1 small knob of fresh ginger, peeled

– 2 tsp buckwheat honey

– Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until combine but still slightly chunky.

The mix of tart cranberry and spicy ginger speaks of fall to me.  The apple and honey sweeten the relish up enough to make it palatable for those who can’t handle chomping on raw cranberries like I do :)  I had a big spoonful on top of  a chopped apple, greek yogurt, and Kashi Go Lean for breakfast.

After researching the effects of food dyes in children’s behavior all morning, I decided to make some cookies with seasonal M&Ms for the party Art and I are having this weekend.  We will mostly have adults in attendance so the food dyes shouldn’t cause us to exhibit ADHD symptoms, right?!

I followed my fool proof monster cookie recipe.  I think the peanut butter was more liquidy so I added another 1/3 cup of oats to get the batter to the right consistancy.  Mix ins included 1 cup raisins, 1 1/4 cup fall M&Ms, 1/2 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut.  I got 40 cookies and have set some aside for us to enjoy throughout the week but the majority went in the freezer for your guests.  These cookies always go over well at parties.

Have a lovely Tuesday!


Calcium Quest

Hi Friends,

At my physical on Friday, my doctor ran a test to check my bone density.  While I was in the normal range for a woman my age, I was on the lower end of the spectrum.  She recommended taking a supplement.  After standing in front of them at Whole Foods for  about 15min, I decided against buying a supplement.  I would much prefer to try to add additional sources of calcium into my diet.

After a google search and consultation with my nutrition textbook, I am fully prepped with a list of calcium rich foods to try to incorporate more into my diet.  Beyond dairy products, kelp and other seaweeds, dark leafy greens, fortified tofu, salmon, sardines, almonds, sesame seeds, and broccoli are all good sources of calcium. 

I was solo for dinner last night so I made “crazy  food.”  I roasted a carnival squash and stuffed a bunch of steamed, calcium rich kale and goat cheese into the middle.  I attempted an over easy to go on top but it didn’t go so well.  This was very tasty and I have another squash half roasted and ready to use later this week.

This morning felt like an oatmeal morning so I challenged myself to incorporate more calcium into my regular bowl.  For two people, I combined 2/3 cup rolled oats, 1 1/3 cup Almond Breeze, 1 banana, and a pinch of salt.  I topped my portion with a blob of plain low-fat yogurt and some apple sautéed in brown sugar and butter.  The oats were creamier than usual which can be attributed to using all Almond Breeze rather than a mix of Almond Breeze and water.  Creamier = better=more calcium!

In the course of my research, I discovered that caffeine consumption causes you to excrete calcium in your urine.  I drink A LOT of coffee each day!  At least two full mugs in the morning and sometimes a decaf in the afternoon.  So could definitely be something to take into consideration too.  I have successfully weened myself from coffee in the past, but I just enjoy it so much!  I am going to try to slowly work myself down to one mug (which is probably around 12oz) in the morning.  Baby steps.

Anyone had the bone density test done?  What are your favorite sources of calcium?  Any one know more about this that I am missing?

Happy Tuesday!



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