Sunday, November 21, 2010


This morning I woke up to a light dusting of snow. What can be better than that? Nothing!

My day has been the perfect Sunday. Lounge around in my pajamas, make pancakes and sausage patties for breakfast, knit while watching the Seahawks lose, play a little Team Fortress 2 with Tim, all while watching the snow fall.

My aunt said that she woke up to an inch and a half of snow on Orcas Island. I wish we had that much!

But a little snow is better than no snow! And the ski passes are going to be opening soon, which really make everything better!

Can't you tell I love snow??

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Deconstructed Fruit and Nut Parfait

When it comes to making breakfast in the morning, I definitely reach for something easy and quick to get me out the door. I mostly eat my breakfast either in my car or once I get to work. My cat hates me for that since he so badly wants my attention after patiently waiting for 8 hours.

Most days, it's toast and some tea. Not the best breakfast. Some mornings (when I get enough sleep so my brain cells actually work soon after getting up at 5 in the morning) I can actually put together a pretty healthy breakfast. One of my favorites that I got to constantly is a deconstructed fruit and nut parfait. It's super easy and I like to tell myself it's healthy. I mean it's got lots of fruit, nuts and yogurt. What's not healthy about that?

Ok, I should fess up. I add chocolate to my parfait. And honey. What can I say? I need a little sweetness in the morning. I usually pair this with tea and some toast. I just can't get rid of that darn slice of toast with apple butter on it!

The great thing about this recipe is that it's so flexible. Don't have fresh fruit? Add in dried fruit. Don't have walnuts? Add pecans or peanuts or what ever nut you have on hand. The only thing you really need is yogurt.

I love to use seasonal fruits, no matter if they are fresh or dried. My favorite seasonal combinations are below the recipe, which I hope you will find some inspiration that will make your mornings better.

Deconstructed Fruit and Nut Parfait

Serves 1

1 c. yogurt (I prefer Greek, but plain is fine)
1/4 c. walnuts
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. fresh pomegranate seeds
1/4 c. dark chocolate chips (the best part!)
1 tbsp honey

Spoon yogurt into bowl and layer fruits, nuts and chocolate on top. Drizzle with honey. Serve with (or without) toast.

My favorite combinations:

Fall: Apples cubes, pecans and dried cranberries
Winter: Pear cubes, walnuts and raisins
Spring: Strawberry halves, pistachios and dried apricots
Summer: Peach cubes, walnuts and dried pineapple

Have fun and make up your own combinations!



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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall's Flavors

Fall and winter are my two favorite seasons. Well, and spring. Basically I just don't like summer.

I love roaring fires, comfy blankets, hot cocoa, and snow. They all come in every season except summer. So you get my reasoning, right?

But one of the best reasons I love fall is the food. I absolutely adore roasting, braising, stewing. The melding of the flavors, the sweet smell that perfumes the house (or apartment). Everything about it just makes me feel warm and cozy. Comfortable.

It's really too bad that my schedule doesn't allow me to make time consuming dishes except on the spare Saturday or Sunday that I don't have anything planned. I would love to make something that is complicated or just takes a long time everyday. Oh well.

So now that I've been talking all about long, slow meals, I'm gonna give you a recipe that takes only about 15 minutes. And it's a side dish. Kinda lame, huh?

Can you tell I'm in a cooking rut? And a picture-taking rut?

Now that daylight savings time is over, I am driving home in the dark and cooking in the dark,  so it's a little hard for me to take a picture of my food, in the dark. I'm working on building a light box, but as I'm not that creative, I'm going to have to hire some help. As in my fiance, the engineer. But he doesn't know about it yet, so that's kinda hard to make it happen, huh?

So you will have to bare with me as I change things around and figure stuff out. I apologize in advance.

Buttered Green Beans

1 lb. green beans, trimmed and washed
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp of your favorite herb (preferably fresh), chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Fill a large stockpot with water to about 2/3 of the way up the sides. Bring to a rapid boil, then add 2 tbsp salt along with the beans. Cook for about 4-5 min or until as cooked as you prefer. Drain and let finish cooking in colander. 
2. Heat butter over low heat in a 10-in skillet until melted. Add herbs and swirl to mix. Add green beans to coat and reheat. Serve with mashed potatoes and some chicken sausages. 


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Monday, November 8, 2010

My Health List

Have you ever seen the movie Wish Upon a Star, starring Katherine Heigl and Danielle Harris? It was my all-time favorite movie in junior high. I would watch it almost every weekend. It drove my parents crazy and they could never figure out why I wanted to watch it so often. I now think it was because I was dying to be like Alexia (Katherine’s character) when in real life I was definitely more like Hayley (Danielle’s character).

Wish upon a Star is a feel-good movie with a great moral for teens (that I obviously didn’t get!). The moral of the story is that just because you are beautiful doesn’t mean you have to act dumb and if you are smart, you shouldn’t feel like you have to be ugly, because you can be pretty too! Oh and the other thing about the grass is always greener on the other side, when most often it’s not. Either way, it’s a great movie. Go watch it!

On to the point of this post! In the movie, Alexia and her friends make up this list of things they have to do everyday. Most of the things are silly, like shaving their legs everyday and never wearing the same outfit two days in a row. I always wanted to have a list like theirs, but I just never could find one that stuck. I tried the whole “focus on my looks” list, I focused on lists that other people made, but none worked! I have now decided to make a list focused on inner beauty. Well, rather inner health. Health of my body, health of my soul. I believe that if you take care of those two, outer beauty will follow.

So I’ve been slowly compiling a list of things to do everyday (or for some, once or twice a week). Here is what I have so far:

  1. Drink 1 cup of green tea everyday (or more!)
  2. Eat as many fruits and veggies as I can.
  3. Spend a moment to think of all the things I’m thankful for.
  4. Close my eyes for at least 5 minutes a day to clear my mind of all the clutter.
  5. Get to bed at a reasonable hour, even on weekends!
  6. Get up when my alarm is calling me out of my warm, cozy bed.
  7. Smile!
  8. Swim twice a week, or more.
  9. Ski once or twice a week once it starts to snow. (Skiing is great mental and physical therapy for me. I can just focus on the hill and my technique and nothing else.)
  10. Drink lots of water.
  11. Be happy! Find happiness in the smaller things in life.
That’s it so far.

What would you add to your list?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Potatoes, Cauliflower, Onions and Brats.. yum!

My morning routine is usually rather hectic. I sleep late, then try to hurry around, making up for lost time, but I still leave late. I usually don't have time (or the brain capacity at 5:30am) to figure out what I'm going to make for dinner that night. On the weekends, I try to make a meal plan for the week, but yesterday morning, I forgot to write down what groceries I needed. As I was leaving work, I realized, I don't know what's for dinner!
Thanks to

Now, that's a big deal for me. Food is a big deal for me. But no fear! I whipped something up that was delicious and used up my leftover cauliflower!

Thanks to

Enter Roasted Cauliflower, Onions and Sweet Potatoes with Bratwursts. Om nom nom delicious!

I don't have any proof (i.e. pictures) since we were hungry, we scarfed our food. So I will instead have to substitute pictures from someone else...

Thanks to Fir0002

Roasted Cauliflower, Onions and Sweet Potatoes with Bratwursts

3 sweet potatoes (or yams), cut into wedges or your favorite shape
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 onion, cut into 1/2 in. wedges
4 bratwursts
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 to 1 c. of grated Parmesan cheese (depending on how cheesy you like your veggies)

Set the oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp canola oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add brats and sear, 5 min on each side or until nicely browned. Add a 1/4 c. of water to pan and cover. Steam until done, about 7-10 minutes. 

When oven is heated, add the vegetable to a sheet pan (or two if necessary, but rotate and swap half way through cooking) and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 25-30 min. As each vegetable finishes, remove from oven and keep warm in a foil covered bowl. When the veggies are all fork-tender, return to sheet pan, sprinkle with 1/2 the cheese and roast in the oven for 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.



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