Monthly Archives

May 2011


Pears in Print

May 24, 2011

A few weeks ago the nice people over at Easy Canvas Prints contacted me to see if I would be interested in having one of the photographs on my blog made into an 8×10-inch canvas print. Why yes, Easy Canvas Prints, I would love to sample your product. Of course, I told them I couldn’t guarantee a positive review. Just an honest one.

Thankfully, the canvas print I recieved of my pears with peanut butter and cinnamon exceeded my expectations and makes a beautiful, colorful addition to my mantle. My mom, who dabbles in photography, has used canvas printing many times, so I know how bad things can go when enlarging photos and stretching the canvas over a wood frame.

My photo was all to-scale, the color was true to the original and the process for putting together my print was unbelievably easy. Another bonus was the fact that the print arrived within a few days of ordering it. I always appreciate when shipping is prompt since I’m about as impatient as can be.

Thanks, Easy Canvas Prints! My apartment looks a little brighter thanks to you.


Vegetarian Sloppy Joes for Two and a Winner!

May 23, 2011

First, I want to congratulate Laura who is the winner of the Crate and Barrel Giveaway. Laura said…

E-mail me ( with your address and I’ll get your gift card on it’s merry way!

Secondly, thank you all SO much for your wonderful suggestions about what you would like to see more of on Espresso and Cream. It was helpful to hear directly from you about what types of recipes matter most in your daily lives instead of having to guess what I think you want more of.

The funny thing is, when I was looking over the content on my site while putting together my brand new Recipage (you should check it out!) I realized that without even trying, Espresso and Cream weighs heavily on the baking and desserts side. And although I love to bake desserts, it’s hardly a reflection of what I actually eat on a regular basis or the healthy lifestyle I’m most passionate about.

With that said, I’m going to be making an effort to share more of my everyday passion for healthy, vegetarian meals, smart snacking strategies and the occasional desserts (some healthier than others). And, of course, snippets of my life, maybe even more than before, will continue to pop up as Joey and I march closer towards a wedding a beginning a life together.

Thanks again for inspiring me and helping make this site everything it can be. I’m excited for this mini re-launch! Now, on to dinner…

There are times as a vegetarian that I miss some of the foods I ate before the switch. And although I didn’t eat many sloppy joes when I was little, I found myself with a deep craving for them last week. I absolutely had to have a sloppy joe. Thankfully, with all the sauce and spicy flavor it was a dish that could easily be veg-ified with chopped mushrooms and veggie crumbles.

I was trilled with the similarity in flavor of this sloppy joe compared to the original, and how easy it would be to make half vegetarian and the other half with ground beef or turkey, if desired. The only change in the recipe would be to divide the sauce mixture into two pans before adding the veggie crumbles. Then, you could toss ground meat into one and the veggie crumbles into the other.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of relying heavily on vegetarian soy ‘meat’ products as a vegetarian. However, there are times, like with these sloppy joes, that they come in handy and oh-so-tasty, too.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes for Two
I had a reader write and point out that worcestershire sauce isn’t actually vegetarian because it contains small amounts of anchovies. If you are a stringent vegetarian, leave the worcestershire out or sub a little extra vinegar for it.

*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 cup chopped mushrooms
*2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce (optional)
*1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
*1 tablespoon tomato paste
*1/3 cup water 
*1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
*1/4 cup ketchup (I’ve been using Simply Heintz, which is made without high-fructose corn syrup)
*1 cup Morningstar Meal Starters Veggie Crumbles
*Whole wheat hamburger buns or ciabatta rolls 

*In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add in the mushrooms, worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar water and ketchup. Stir to evenly combine. Bring mixture to a simmer. Add in the veggie crumbles.
*Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until veggie crumbles are heated through and mixture is hot.
*Serve mixture on toasted whole wheat hamburger buns or ciabatta rolls. Serves 2

Happy cooking!



Crate & Barrel Gift Card Giveaway!

May 19, 2011

Happy Thursday, friends!

In honor of the fact that it’s almost the weekend, and that I have a bridal shower on Saturday, and that I’ve been checking things off my to-do list like a mad woman, I’m hosting a giveaway for a $30 gift card to Crate & Barrel.

Pretty awesome, right?

To enter, leave a comment below between now and 10 pm Sunday night answering the following question:

“What type of recipes would you like to see more of on Espresso and Cream?”

Good luck!


Make Your Own: Chewy Granola Bars

May 18, 2011

Even though I love my job, working in an office every day has its drawbacks for anyone active and fitness minded. There’s the hours of sitting every day and the cravings to be outside in the summer sunshine. And then there’s the challenge of planning snacks and lunches to take along each day.

A few times a week I run home over lunch, but many days I take lunch along. And I always, always pack snacks. Granola bars or protein bars are a favorite snack of mine when paired with a piece of fruit in the afternoon, but when I actually take time to look at the ingredient list of many of my favorites, it makes me cringe.

Take, for example, Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars. Snack staple of kids and adults alike. They lure you in with the ‘100 calorie’ burst on the box, but the ingredient list is less than stellar.

I find it hard to believe all these ingredients are necessary, or healthy for that matter. So I set out to make my own, and was more than trilled with the results. Although they fall apart a little easier than their store-bought counterparts, they are bursting with fresh, real flavor thanks to the addition of almond butter, honey and vanilla. And as a bonus, they make your kitchen smell like you’re making waffle cones. Doesn’t get any better than that!

Make Your Own: Chewy Granola Bars

*1/3 cup almond butter
*1/3 cup honey
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
*2 cups Kashi GoLean Crunch! cereal (large pieces broken up slightly)
*2 cups regular rolled oats
*1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

*Line an 8x8x2-inch baking bakin with aluminum foil. Set aside.
*In a small saucepan, combine the almond butter, honey and vanilla extract. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until mixture is hot and well combined. Remove from heat.
*In a large mixing bowl, combine the Kashi cereal and oats. Our almond butter mixture over cereal mixture and stir until evenly combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
*Press mixture into lined baking pan. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove granola bar mixture and foil from baking pan and cut into 8 bars. To store, wrap in aluminum foil or store in a zip-top bag and keep in the refrigerator.

Nutrition information per bar: 195 cal., 9 g fat, 119 mg chol., 180 mg potassium, 28 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein, 13 g sugar

Happy snacking!


Weekly Grocery Trip

May 18, 2011

I got an e-mail a few weeks ago from a reader who asked about how I ‘whip up’ meals from items I already have on hand. To be completely honest, I’m not always so sure myself. However, it usually comes down to good grocery shopping and a little creativity. Of course, having a good block of cheese on hand makes things easier, too.

For me, grocery shopping is the most successful when I take time to shop at more than one store. Namely, Costco and Trader Joe’s. It not only saves money but provides variety. Of course, since I live on my own (and even when Joey and I get married) it’s important to think about how much you can realistically eat, as well as the shelf life of your purchases. Items like cereal, crackers and bread are sensible, since they store well and bread can be frozen. Same goes for fresh berries. Any that I don’t eat during the week I toss in a freezer bag for smoothies.

Here are the items that make sense for me to purchase at Costco…
   -Suzie’s Whole Grain Thin Cakes (similar to a rice cake, great for light snacking)
   -Kashi GoLean Crunch! (my go-to cereal of choice)
   -Green Beans

At Costco, I also got:
   -Thomas Light English Muffins (one package went in the freezer for later)
   -Two packages fresh raspberries (the prices for berries are unbeatable at Costco)

Can you believe I got out of Costco and only spent $36.00?!

 And at Trader Joe’s I rounded out my haul…
   -Two liters of Trader Joe’s Sparkling Spring Water
   -Trader Joe’s California Style Complete Protein Bread (5g protein per slice!)
   -3 Fresh Pears
   -Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala veggie burgers (these are new-to-me)
   -Block of Cheddar-Gruyere cheese
   -3 Cliff Bars
   -Container of Trader Joe’s White Bean and Basil Hummus (the absolute best)
   -Trader Joe’s Organic Baked Tofu (if you don’t like tofu, start with this)
   -2 cartons Fage Total 2% Greek yogurt
   -Trader Joe’s Organic Split Pea Soup 
Grand total: $28.00!
On weeks when I go to Costco, my grocery bill is a bit higher than normal. However, since I got crackers, cereal and english muffins that will last me over two weeks, along with an abundance of fresh berries, I think it was a great trip. 
So there you have it, folks. My grocery haul for the week. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get to working eating all of that broccoli! I may have gotten in over my head. 
Happy Shopping!
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