Monthly Archives

January 2011


Weekend Giveaway Winner

January 31, 2011
  {Emily and Brian who are getting married in May!}
Happy Monday, everyone! Have I told you all how much I love you? You seriously rock. I now have a whole lot of ‘fun homework’ ahead of me this week, checking out the blogs and magazines you all recommended, and I have a feeling my Google Reader is going to get lots of fun, new additions!
And while we’re on the subject of giveaway entries, let’s get to the real good news….

Congratulations to Saf Mohsin! Please e-mail me ( with your name and address and I’ll get your Silpat baking mat in the mail right away!

In other news, this weekend I had a full apartment! Joey arrived on Friday night and my friend Emily and her fiancée Brian showed up on Saturday morning. Emily, who is the maid of honor in my wedding, has been my best friend since freshmen year of college, and although we are now separated by about four hours, every time we get together it feels as if no time has passed since I last saw her. I’ve been pushing for her to start a fashion blog and will make sure to let you know if she does.

We drank plenty of coffee, took a trip to the mall so Joey could make a long-awaited purchase and ate plenty of delicious grub. A personal highlight for me was dinner Saturday night at a place in the East Village of Des Moines called Open Sesame. The Falafel Salad was to die for. Remind me that I must recreate this at home soon.
I’ve got a healthy little dessert coming your way tomorrow, so stay tuned! 
{Can you tell he’s excited about his new iPad?}

Silpat Giveaway!

January 28, 2011

For Christmas I got many beautiful, useful gifts, but none have been used as often as my new favorite kitchen mate. My Silpat baking mat. You may have noticed that I have been calling for the use of a Silpat in many of my recipes, and for good reason. This thin, silicone baking mat that is used in many professional kitchens.

In its simplest form, the Silpat frees you from having to use parchment paper or nonstick cooking spray when you bake. Which, if you’re anything like me, will save you a bunch of money in the long run and will result in a whole lot of perfect cookies.

So today, because I love you all and because I feel guilty about calling for a Silpat in my recipes without giving you the opportunity to cook with one of your own, I’m giving away a Silpat Petit Jelly Roll Mat! 

To enter, leave a comment below telling me about either a new blog you have discovered (I’m looking for things to add to my Google Reader) or a magazine you can’t live without by Sunday, January 30 at 10 p.m.! 

I will announce the winner on Monday morning and ship the Silpat to its new home.

Happy Friday!


Pizza Hummus

January 27, 2011

 I would like you to meet someone. Her name is Morgan and she’s pretty much my best friend. (Hi Morgan!) We met for the first time at Joey’s family vacation last summer in Indiana and became the best of buds right away. She’s energetic, adorable, smart and loves salad. Seriously.

This past fall we met up with Morgan and her family in Minnesota to watch Joey’s brother play football. I arrived at the hotel late on Friday night, went swimming with everyone, and completely forgot about how hungry I was until 10 pm, when most of the usual restaurant options were closed. So Joey, Morgan and I headed to the grocery store in search of grub. What we ended up with was a bag of whole wheat pitas and a container of pizza hummus.

And while the pizza hummus didn’t get Joey all that excited, Morgan and I couldn’t get enough. I’m not ashamed to say we finished of the entire container in under ten minutes. But it wasn’t until this week, when I picked up a container of Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Hummus that I realized I could make something similar at home for a whole lot less.

Pizza Hummus

*1 (8.5-oz.) jar sun dried tomatoes in oil
*1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
*2 Tablespoons marinara sauce
*Olive oil 
*1 tsp. Italian seasoning
*Salt and black pepper
*Additional olive oil (optional)

*Place sun dried tomatoes and oil into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in the chickpeas, marinara sauce and a long drizzle of olive oil (about 2 to 3 tablespoons), Italian seasoning and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.
*Continue to process for another 5 to 6 minutes, until hummus is well blended and smooth, adding additional olive oil as necessary. Transfer to a resealable container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Happy Cooking!



A Day in the Life: Monday’s Eats

January 25, 2011

More often than not, I get asked about what I eat. Sometimes the question comes from ardent meat-eaters who can’t fathom going an entire day without consuming animal protein of some sort. Other days it’s simply from those who are serious about health, eating well and cutting out processed food from their daily routine.

In both cases, I am by no means an expert, and I don’t intend to start blogging every meal I eat. However, I thought it might be fun to document meals every now and again, if nothing more than to provide a bit of ordinary inspiration.

*1 large (1/2 cup batter) Buttermilk Blueberry-Lemon Pancake drizzled with 1/2 tablespoon of natural peanut butter and a 1/4 cup light pancake syrup
*4 oz. of 2% Fage Greek Yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon
*2 cups of dark roast coffee with a dash of 2% milk

*2 slices of Trader Joe’s Sprouted Grain Bread, toasted, with 1 oz. cheddar cheese topped with sliced cucumber, tomatoes, Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Hummus and lettuce
*1 medium pear, sliced, drizzled with 1/2 tablespoon of natural peanut butter, sprinkled with cinnamon and a dollop of 2% Fage Greek Yogurt
*Glass of water

*A couple bites of a cheesy broccoli-pasta bake at a recipe taste panel
*More water and a cup of peppermint tea

*1 Trader Joe’s Bean and Rice Burrito
*2 cups roasted broccoli, drizzled with olive oil and topped with chopped shallots and kosher salt
*More water

Post-Workout Snack
*Fruit smoothie made with 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 1/2 cup Naked Juice Berry Veggie Machine, 1/2 cup water and 3 ice cubes
*A handful of Trader Joe’s Cat Cookies

Happy Tuesday, everyone!


Buttermilk Bluberry-Lemon Pancakes

January 24, 2011

Some of you may be issuing a sigh of frustration upon the realization that I’m posting yet another pancake recipe. But if you’re anything like me, there is never such a thing as too many ways to fry up a breakfast cake.

Up until this summer, I wouldn’t have given a second thought to pancakes. They didn’t interest me, seemed unhealthy, and couldn’t hold a candle to a bowl of Greek yogurt or oatmeal. But at some point in the last few months my indifference toward the pancake shifted to like and then full-blown love.

And while I typically fall head over heels for dense, hearty hot cakes, this time I was drooling over a softer, fluffier cake. Speckled with blueberries, brightened with lemon juice and buttermilk, these little babies are enough to make even the biggest pancake skeptic take another look at breakfast.

Buttermilk Blueberry-Lemon Pancakes
*1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat flour
*1/3 cup self-rising flour
*1/2 tsp. baking soda
*3 tsp. stevia
*1 1/3 cups buttermilk
*1 tsp. lemon juice
*1 large egg
*1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
*1/2 cup fresh blueberries
*Maple syrup 

*In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat four, self-rising flour, baking soda and stevia.
*In a second bowl, combine the buttermilk, lemon juice, egg and nutmeg. Beat until well-combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
*Lightly grease a nonstick skillet with butter. Heat over medium heat. Add batter, a 1/4 cup at a time, to the skillet. Sprinkle with some of the blueberries. When bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes, flip and continue to cook for about 2 minutes more.
*Serve with maple syrup.

Happy Cooking!