Strawberry-Peach Smoothie

When I did my three-day raw cleanse this summer (read about it here!), I seriously got into smoothies. I don’t have a juicer and certainly didn’t have $350 to spend on the one I want (I’ll save that for the wedding registry). Since I couldn’t prepare any kind of green juice, I decided smoothies were the next best thing and have continued enjoying them for breakfast or lunch (and tweaking my recipe) all summer.

You will notice that the recipe calls for frozen berries and peaches – I want to point out that I do not buy frozen fruit at the grocery store. You totally could, but I prefer farmer’s market produce.

To freeze the fruit, I wash and core (strawberries) or roughly chop (peaches) and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with saran wrap. I let them freeze in a single layer overnight, and them move them to a big ziplock. This keeps them from sticking together.

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Rosemary Cous Cous with a Poached Egg

This certainly felt like a fancy breakfast! Runny egg yolk, fluffy cous cous – very decadent. The best part is, it took less than ten minutes to make, start to finish!

Poached eggs are the best breakfast. They seem so decadent and special, but once you get the hang of them it is quick and easy. The other plus about eating an egg is that they have good fats, only 70 calories, and paired with the right type of carbs they fill you up for hours.

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Crêpes

The only true downfall about living in a small town is the lack of a variety of restaurants. Paso Robles has a few fabulous restaurants and the variety is ever-improving, but there is only so much demand and I imagine it will be a while before someone opens a the things big cities have, like a vegan restaurant, mozzarella bar, East-Coast-style deli, or a crêperie….which brings me to the origins of this post. When I was craving crêpes the other morning, I had to make my own. Luckily, they were quick and easy and tasted just as good as the ones I remember eating in Paris.

Besides, Wine Country can be every bit as romantic as Paris!

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Poached Egg and Avocado on Toast

I used to be afraid of poached eggs. A, because they seemed impossible, and B, I didn’t even like egg yolks, ever (if you recall). Well, out of nowhere, poached eggs started to look amazing, so I figured out how to make one (got it right on my first try!) and I’ve been making them at least a few times a week since. …great story, I know.

You should make this. It’s healthy, filling, delicious, and a truly good start to your day.

If you’re afraid to poach an egg, check out my step-by-step directions below, and leave a comment if you have questions!

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German Pancakes

This past week was incredible! I took my first long solo drive (four hours to Sacramento) to stand beside my best friend as she got married on Saturday (I was the Maid of Honor!). The wedding took place at Rock-n-Water in Coloma, California, where Heidi and Kyle met in 2004. It was the most beautiful place for a wedding! The weather was perfect, Heidi looked beautiful, she and Kyle were so happy and adorable, Tim was able to come and he looked incredibly handsome, and I cried during my entire Maid of Honor speech. I LOVE weddings! Wow.

Unfortunately, upon returning home I came down with the worst fever I’ve had since I was a little kid. I was out of commission on Monday, but on Tuesday I managed to drag myself out of bed to throw these German Pancakes together (following which I crashed right back into bed). Also known as Dutch Babies, these are like a cross between a crepe, a popover, and a pancake. They puff up beautifully in the oven and are so much fun to cook! I loved them so much I made them again on Wednesday before work.

You can watch them bubble up in the oven, and they deflate slightly when you take them out.

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Eggadilla

Some people go through food phases. When my friend Lauren was little, she decided she liked cucumbers…until her parents gave her so many that, to this day, cucumbers are definitely not her first choice. I have pizza-and-wine-for-dinner phases that can last a week, but then I won’t have another slice for a month or more. When I started eating egg whites, I thought it would be another food phase…but I’ve had them almost every day for about three years now.

I remember dying Easter eggs with my mom in preschool. It might have been the first time I tried a hard-boiled egg. She told me to take a big bite of the whole egg, because the yellow part in the middle is the best. Umm…not so much for me, even at age four. I keep trying them, but egg yolks are just not something that I like. I’ve eaten regular scrambled eggs twice in my adult life, to be polite at breakfast gatherings (thank goodness they were covered in cheese both times!!).

Since we’re going on three years of egg whites here, I have found lots of ways to keep it interesting. Egg whites and cheese on an English muffin, egg white breakfast burritos, egg white omelets of many kinds, egg whites with different cheeses…the list goes on. Recently inspired by this post at Dine and Dish, which I discovered on The Kitchn, I created a very tasty eggadilla…featuring egg whites, of course.

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Perfect Hash Browns

I found the secret to the crispiest, most delicious home fries.

It all started with a late night binge. I was still hungry (or maybe just bored…) after dinner one night, so I decided to make a baked potato. While I was waiting, I snacked on about a million other things, and when my potato was ready, I wasn’t hungry anymore. The potato spent the night in the fridge.

While I was thinking about breakfast the next morning, I decided to see what I could whip up with the potato…and wow, if you want a quick and easy breakfast side, this is the way to go!

Serve alongside your favorite breakfast!

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Maple-y Pumpkin Loaf

pumpkin loaf

So the last week of October is upon us, and I just realized I have not baked a single pumpkin creation yet! I blame the 80 degree weather…oh, California, how I love thee.

Anyway, in honor of Halloween, and autumn, and my birthday (which is today!) I give you my first pumpkin recipe of the season: Maple-y pumpkin loaf!  I have always been a huge fan of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Loaf, splurging on all those calories once or twice a year. This year, I decided to make my own homemade version, with the addition of maple syrup, a fabulous fall flavor. This loaf is moist and delicious, with a subtle maple flavor. So fall!

Happy Birthday to me!

drips

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Curried Tofu Scramble

tofu scramble

Did you know that the more times you try a certain food, the more likely you are to develop a taste for it?  It’s true – that’s why it’s important to keep putting foods that your kids hate on their plate.  If they try it every time, one day it won’t be so bad.  Later, it will be kinda good.  One day, they just might love it.  It’s true.

Knowing this scientific information, I try things I think I don’t like over and over.  One day, I found out I liked artichoke.  Salmon on the other hand…now salmon and I have yet to develop a relationship.  I’ve tried it smoked, raw, baked, grilled, you name it…blechhhh.

Tofu is one of those things I am in the process of liking, if you will.

So I tried something new.  I made a tofu scramble.  Tofu is something I didn’t grow up with, and I haven’t fully acquired a taste for it yet, but it’s doable.  The first time I had it, I was thirteen years old and it was on an airplane…not really a great idea.  Since then, we have developing a relationship.

I liked this tofu scramble…I didn’t love it.  You might love it love it though, especially if you and tofu already have a good thing going.  Bonus! It made the house smell like delicious curry for the whole morning…yum!

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Buttermilk Pancakes

aerial pancakes

After making delicious dark chocolate cupcakes, I was left with an almost a full carton of buttermilk in my fridge.  I try not to let things go to waste – especially things that are a main ingredient in delicious pancakes!  The kids had Zoo Camp this week, so I didn’t start nannying until 11:45 – the perfect time to make pancakes from scratch!

I searched through many recipes, looking for the “best” – I settled on Martha Stewarts’.  Cliche, I know, but she knows her stuff…and the recipe uses 3 cups of buttermilk, so I was able to use all my leftovers!

In my opinion, they were delicious – but not the best.  They were really, really soft and I think I prefer my pancakes a little less so – a bit drier, perhaps, and lighter.  This isn’t to say that I didn’t eat about six of them.

fluffy layers

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