Monthly Archives: May 2011

golden.

My Memorial Day was blessed by a series of golden delights:


The first golden delight? French toasttttt. This morning I made a French Toast “sandwich” again. This time with apples and bananas mashed between a peanut buttered bread slice, battered in eggs and coconut milk. Cooked to golden perrrrfection and topped with walnuts and whipped cream. 

Pretty delicious, ifIdosaysomyself.
Oh, hai there, bun bun.
My second little ray of golden sunshine? Mr. B! Mr. Bennet put on his model face today and showed the camera some serious bunny attitude. He’s my favorite golden-hued delight. When he’s being nice, of course. 


And finally to escape the home doldrums, I packed up my lunch and drove to the beach. I was almost able to walk to the whole stretch, which took me about two hours! Lots of golden sunshine and sand. 


Oh, happy (golden) days of summer. 

signs of summer.

Today I was blessed with the first official sign of summer! Gorgeous succulents!



Last August, I had a replanting party on my fire escape and during the festivities, a few buds of my Hens and Chicks succulent blew out of my reach. Today I opened my window to see that they were growing and gorgeous despite no soil or water and a contact influx of harsh sun! Talk about hearty plants! So I celebrated their tenacity by replanting them in a new pot. So purrr-dy and a true sign of summer. 

Other signs of summer? Good, juicy peaches. Today I whipped up a peach bread pudding/cobbler for one. Topped with walnuts, whipped cream, and a splash of coconut milk. So. yum. 


And the ultimate sign of summer? SKIRTS! 

Even Mr. B approves! 
Even though I’m not a fan of the mugginess that follows the arrival of summer and the influx of bugs (yuck!), summer so far has been bee-yoo-tiful. And that’s got me feeling like this… 

HAPPY face!
Haaaapy Memorial Day weekend! 

tips…

for a great Saturday! Follow in order to ensure a totally awesome Saturday experience. 



Step #1) Prepare Blackberry Walnut French Toast for breakfast! I was dreaming of these babies the night before and they didn’t disappoint. 

I whipped up a blackberry and blueberry compote mix with a little blueberry Chobani + fresh berries in the food processor. Spread over some French bread with almond butter, flax seed, and walnuts. All dipped in two eggs, a little almond milk, and cinnamon, then toasted to a gooey perfection.


Step #2) After devouring the blackberry goodness, curl up with a good book in the afternoon sunshine. 

I’m currently reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. This monster of a novel is 600 pages, which I thought would be a challenge but I’m already half way done! Can’t put it down! 


Step #3) Veg out on some sushi for dinner with the coolest mother & daughter duo.

Aren’t they cute?
So, there you have it! The three perfect steps for a perfectly great Saturday. Guaranteeeeed! Repeat as necessary… like tomorrow.

beach.

I’ve been wanting to get out to the beach for the past couple of weeks now. It’s crazy how when things are so close by (like the beach!) you tend to put them off. But today Sarah and I went to Gooseberry Beach. Can’t believe I waited this long! 




New England beaches are definitely a different feel than Brazilian beaches (of course), but have their charm, too. Sarah bought me crab rolls afterwards (my first) and they were delicious! Other delicious goodies? My breakfast…



Recipe found here! I wanted to like this more than I actually did. A little too yeast tasting for me. But it sure looked pretty in my bowl! Served with a good book of poetry for my morning.


And in other news, I’M GOING HOME FOR THE SUMMER! Wahooooo! Happy Friday!

muffins.

This bun-bun smells something yummy…

Pretty sure this guy does, too… 



Those cocked ears say “I smell me a carrot muffin!” Rabbits love carrots and so do I. I stumbled across this recipe for Coconut Carrot muffins and I just had to make them. I made a few adjustments to the recipe and they tuned out deeeee-licious. 



Coconut Carrot Muffins

1/2c. oat flour (old fashioned oats in the food processor)
1/4c. buckwheat flour
1/4c. all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. flax seed
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. agave syrup
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. almond butter (optional)
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 ripe mashed banana
1/2c. shredded carrot
1/4c. shredded coconut flakes
1/4c. + 1 tbsp. So Delicious coconut milk


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together wet ingredients + chia seeds and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Mix together dry ingredients. Fold wet and dry ingredients together. Spoon batter into muffin liners or a greased muffin tin. Bake 18-20 minutes. 



Not the prettiest lookin’ muffins but they sure taste yummy. I might just eat them all for breakfast. Worse things have happened, I s’pose! 

bits of wednesday.

Coffee and a good book.

13-bean mix; so colorful!
Big vegetable-laden dinner.

Not much “hump” to get over this hump-day. Happy Wednesday!

carrots and quinoa.

Breakfast is just the best meal of the day. 



Carrot cake oats for breakfast. 

Aaaaaand, for lunch! I heated up the second batch on the stove, which thickened everything up a bit. Added frozen banana, almonds, and peanut butter. Oatmeal is the new sandwich. 



My lovely friends pawned off a bag of organic quinoa on me that I’ve been wanting to get creative with for awhile. I came across a Quinoa Muffin recipe that I used as a jumping board. I didn’t have muffin liners (or a muffin tin!) so I decided to turn this recipe into a bread-y bar treat. Presenting… Very Berry Buckwheat Quinoa Bars! 

In the mix:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries 
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 large egg (or a flax egg)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately. Fold wet ingredients into dry and pour into tin-foil lined 9×9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 


These guys were surprisingly not too heavy, considering all the quinoa and flour, with just the right amount of sweet. I topped with a little whip cream. Success!

grub.

Some days are just bad food days. Nothing seems to taste like I hope it will and I’m always left craving something better. I haven’t had much of an appetite lately, so when Serena suggested we check out a new restaurant as part of our whatthehelldowedotoday session, I was a little uneasy. We tried out this dive bar/casino/mom&pop restaurant in Fairhaven that had $5 Sunday specials. This probably should have been my first sign that the food might be rough on my tum-tum.


The place itself was pretty cute, in that insular, borderline-hickish sort of way. Check out the menu!

Yep, that was the whole thing! I chose the fried shrimp with a baked potato and coleslaw, which seemed like an OK bet. Being a true Midwesterner, I’m usually really hesitant trying out seafood because I can’t stand that fishy, unfresh flavor that characterizes most fish in the Midwest, sans Sunnies that were just scooped out of a lake. My fried shrimp didn’t have that fishy aftertaste, which was good, but it was really heavy and sunk to the bottom of my stomach. 

So, when I came home, I was hoping I could whip up something light and sweet to counter my lunch. I tried a new twist on a vegan cookie recipe and the results were… pretty unsatisfactory. I won’t go into details. The visual on these bad boys says it all:

Very dry, not sweet enough (even for me), and just sorta carboard-y tasting. 

*sigh* Guess you can’t win ’em all. 


bunnies, walks, and treats.

Is there anything cuter than baby animals? For me, baby bunnies are definitely near the top of the cutest little critters list. Serena came over today with Zeeky Bandido and we had a bunny play date. Because that’s what aspiring academics do on their down time, of course! 


Cutest thing ever.
We followed up our play session by checking out a potential apartment for Serena west of downtown. On our walk, we also just happened to stumble upon a gem of a little East Coast neighborhood. Coming from where we live, walking around this place felt like we were zapped into some sort of a third dimension ala Pleasantville. 



We passed a yard with FOUR (!) Border Collies all super excited to see us. 
Our walk took us about two hours, which felt sooo good in the evening sun. My feet were aching for rest when I got home and my tummy was craving sweets so I heated up a vegan, BEAN brownie that I made a few nights ago. I altered the recipe a bit from Katie’s Genius Blondies, subbing Nutella for the Peanut Butter and adding coconut to the top. These are seriously amazing and you really can’t taste the beans at all! I tried them out on Michelle last night and she was stunned they were beans! So yum!

Topped with a little vanilla ice cream and an extra dollop of Nutella.
I need a longggg shower after all that sun. Happy Saturday night! 

books!

I love books. Most of all I love cheap books. Which naturally means I also love used bookstores! Today Serena and I checked out a hidden used bookstore in downtown N.B. This place was everything a gem of a used bookstore should be: floor to ceiling shelves with books all out of order, bright yellow walls with lots of vintage-looking artwork, and the cutest little man with tortoise-shell glasses who seemed to know everything about every book ever written (really) and who’s been running the place for the last thirty years (!)

See how cute?

And of course the books were ridiculously cheap! I scored three books for $7! I’m so excited to hit up this place all summer. Nothing’s better than cheap reads. The stack I went home with:


+ The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, Haruki Murakami (author of Norwegian Wood, one of my favorites)
+ The Sea, John Banville (won the Man Booker for this novel, a good sign of a good read!)
+ The History of Danish Dreams, Peter Hoeg (author of my favorite book, Borderliners)


Here’s how we spent the rest of the afternoon… 


Oscar Wilde, Izzy soda, and SUNSHINE? Yes, please, thankyouverymuch. Yaaay, for being done with classes and wide-open dog days of summer whimsy nothingness.