Category Archives: Breakfast

Gram Loves Hugh Jackman

Yesterday’s Breakfast: Egg sandwich with tomato sauce and feta, and a banana with plain greek yogurt and some blueberry jam.

For dinner last night, I met my cousin Trevor (a freshman at Springfield college who drove home yesterday for break) to have dinner at our Gram’s house.

I brought down a salad I threw together and Mom’s chicken parm.

We used the rooster plates that my sister found a few years ago.  She was scouring the attic for apartment furnishings and brought down the rooster set that my grandparents got for their wedding.  Gram decided they were “in” 5 decades later, and now uses them as her everyday dishes.

Gram supplied rolls and cookies.

Then Trev and I taught her how to play words with friends… she wasn’t having it.

And then we talked about Hugh Jackman.  And his children, and his wife, and his accent, and his Oprah appearances, and his hair, and his kindness, and how we should invite him over for dinner sometime.  Then we cozied up for some stories about Gramps (and his movie star crush, Doris Day.. who coincidentally was in the movie he took Gram to watch on their first date) and the two hour finale of Dancing with the Stars. Trev LOVED IT.

Before I left for Gram’s, I threw a bunch of stuff in a crock pot: chicken stock, fire roasted tomatoes, lots of chili powder, bay leaves, pepper, red pepper, onion, zucchini, button mushrooms, carrots, eggplant, and a 15-bean mix.  Then I let it cook away for about 7 hours.

Mom’s one request for my week off  was to make soup.  Good thing she didn’t request something intricate. (Hey, and that’s Sam Adams pumpkin hiding in the fridge.  Dad knows me too well).

Time to watch some more Food Network’s “Thanksgiving Live” and get going on the cornbread for the stuffing.


Just Dandy

Woops, I slept through my alarm this morning.

After a slightly longer than expected sleep, I had toast with jam and pumpkin seeds then apple slices with almond butter sandwiched in between and a mug of earl grey.

For dinner, I used Pellicano’s Dandelion pasta sauce.  I’m not lying when I say I bought it because the label is pretty.

The ingredients list is slim… also a bonus: Tomato puree, dandelion greens, olive oil, salt, sugar, garlic, onion, citric acide, black pepper, basil, parsley.

The label has a cute little write up too: “When I was a kid, my grandmother used to pick dandelion and use it in her cooking.  Legend has said that it helps indigestion and keeps the plumbing running smooth, if you know what I mean.”  I’ll uhhh… let you know how it goes.

I cooked up some lentils and whole wheat shells.  Then mixed diced red pepper in a bowl with tuna.  Then I layered the two, threw some cheese on top and heated it up under the broiler.  It looks ugly.  Sorry.

And for dessert I made cookie dough dip (that beany dessert that’s blowing up the internet).


It consists of beans, baking powder, oats, milk, chocolate, sweetener of choice, nut butter of choice (I used almond), salt and vanilla extract.

Weird that it’s a bean base but its super versatile.  There are a bunch of pumpkin versions online too.

Meanwhile, Miss Susie Homemaker (Liz) is whipping up some peanut butter thumbprint cookies.

Today was a day

Tragedy struck today when I bit my lip.

For breakfast I wanted to make an egg bake… then realized we had no small oven-safe vessels for this endeavor.  Tragic.

So instead I did this:


I sauteed some onions and orange pepper until they softened up into a layer on the bottom of a small pan.  Then I cracked two eggs over it, topped it with some cheddar and tomato slices and put a lid on it to cook the top.  I ate it over some warmed up greens.

Then I misplaced my memory card — also tragic — and had to use my phone’s camera instead.

Over breakfast in bed (this has proven dangerous and messy for me in the recent past) I checked out some links my father graced my inbox with this fine Sunday morning:


Turkey Tutorial

World’s Hottest Pepper

That pepper looks heinous.  Not for me.

And I’m not on turkey duty for Thanksgiving, but I’ll hang onto this one until the task is in my hands.  And as far as the ginger goes… this one is most pertinent to me because every time I buy fresh ginger it gets moldy before I use it all.  Thanks, Dad!

Counting down til turkey and pumpkin pie.



Happy Veterans Day and Happy 27th anniversary, Mom & Dad!

Banana chia oats with peanut butter and yesterday’s pumpkin chocolate bar crumbled on top.


Happy Friday!


After my recent scone misfortune, I luckily had some kitchen success today…starting with this morning’s omelet.

I figured out a better omelet making plan, because normally mine suck.  They taste just fine but they look horrendous (broken, gooey messes).  This morning I sauteed diced onion in some olive oil for a minute or two, then added some orange pepper for another minute, then finally added diced tomato and some mixed greens.  Then in a bigger pan I poured an egg and two whites (whisked with some milk and a grind of salt) and threw a cover on it until it looked crepe like.  This could be an extremely wrong way of omelet making, but it worked for me.  I will say that it wasn’t big and fluffy, and really did turn out a bit crepe like since there wasn’t a whole lot of scrambling.  I also melted some cheddar in there too.

Thank goodness this turned out well, because before breakfast, I spent five minutes scraping chewed gum out of a machine at the gym  to realize the tv on it didn’t work.  Lesson learned: bring an ipod.  Speaking of ipods…  there was a girl at the gym today that blasted her music (awful song choices to boot) from her phone so the entire gym had to listen to it.  Why. no. headphones.?

I hadn’t used the food processor in a while, so I went crazy with it today.

For lunch I made an entirely processed meal.  We’ll call it preparation for when I get my tonsils out next month.

I topped some greens with a couple of lemon wedges, some edamame hummus, carrots, celery and a red bean hummusy dressing (really technical lingo here) that consisted of red beans, greek yogurt, dijon, parsley, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  No real dressing needed.

Later I had an artichoke.  Artichokes are super bizarre.  I don’t care what anyone says.

When we were little, Dad used to cook us up artichokes with lemon butter … there was something so fun about the process of eating them.  Now it seems like a pain in the arse.

THEN… more processing.

My mom’s cousin Rhonda dropped off 3 sugar pumpkins the other night, and I decided to bake them up and make my own puree.  It proved to be a lot easier than I thought it would.  I chopped the pumpkins in half and put them in a 400 degree oven for about an hour in an inch of water (face down).

Make sure to scrape out the goo! Then process away.

Maybe I’ll put it under Anna’s pillow.

While Anna was at work doing real people things, Liz and I did tandem laundry and baking.

Liz made her classic chocolate chip cookies.

And I made pumpkin oat bars… with chocolate!

Wooo. Wooo. Success!  It even got the coveted Liz seal of approval.

Thankfully, I got this baking endeavor right.

Here’s the rough (seriously estimating) recipe:

-2 Tsp. vanilla

-1 egg

-1 cup sugar

-3/4 cup pumpkin puree (fresh!)

-1/4 promise

-1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

-3/4 cup steel cut oats (any oats would do)

-2 Tsp. baking powder

-1 Tsp. cinnamon

-1 Tsp. Pumpkin pie spice

-1/8 Tsp. salt

Topped with processed almonds (probably 1/2 cup?) and dark chocolate kisses (12 of them?)

Baked for who even knows how long at about 350.  Sorry I don’t do precise.

Cakey, sweet, remotely healthy.  I would definitely make this one again.


So excited for all of our visitors this weekend!


Here’s the latest signature: Siena’s Chicken Riggies

Tomorrow morning: interview at a fish market.  This should be interesting.

Royally Blown Scones

When my parents stay in hotels up here, they like to smuggle out individual tea bags, bananas, oatmeal packets and individual peanut butters for me.  So with my insane amount of massive hotel bananas (for some reason they look more like plantains), yesterday morning I had an almond butter and banana sandwich for breakfast.  On the side I had one of the smuggled yogurts with more banana and chia seeds.

Before dinner I did an interview about a death by chocolate cake at a “dessert and wine bar” downtown called Bittersweet.  It’s starting to become a little comical asking an extensive amount of questions about a singular food item like it’s a celebrity and I’m speaking with their PR person, but I don’t hate it.

I’d love to go back to Bittersweet after dinner downtown sometime… If we’re really feeling classy.

Check out their menu: Bittersweet Eats

Since the interview ran pretty short, I met up with a friend for tea at Recess.  They were out of my go-to lemon ginger, but I had some sort of fruity-something that was still great.  Plus we were there for coffee bean roasting time (which oddly smelled a little bit like popcorn).

Before I left to go downtown, I marinated some salmon in a mango-coconut sauce that I just bought.  Sooooo goooood.   On the side a salad topped with pepper, apple and carrot.

Post dinner I had some Greek yogurt with pumpkin puree, pumpkin butter, cinnamon and graham bumpers (and some chocolate too, duh).  Speaking of the Greek stuff, last night I interviewed Michael Sansolo, a retail food industry consultant, about Greek yogurt.  He essentially solidified the fact that Greek yogurt isn’t just a fad, and that even though it’s pricier than standard yogurt, consumers buy it for it’s more “vibrant taste” and health attributes.  Interesting.

And later last night, in true senioritis style, I chose to bake instead of do work.  My kind of productivity.

Here’s the lovely mess I created.

So I had some problems.  Here’s where I admit to my sister that I do in fact screw up when I don’t use recipes.

Let me tell you about my scone woes.

The first speed bump I hit was my “fresh” cranberries.  Admittedly, I don’t even remember when I bought them.  When I took them out of the bag, they didn’t feel, smell or taste right.  I think they fermented.  Gross.

So much for pumpkin cranberry scones.  Fine.  Instead I chopped up an apple.

May I also inform you that I have never made scones.

Second speed bump, okay so it’s no secret that I try to “healthitize” recipes.  Sometimes this works beautifully, other times it fails miserably.

Here’s a rough estimate of what went in that giant glass mixing bowl:

-a scant amount of almond milk

-an egg white

-1/2 cup pumpkin puree

-1 diced apple

-dash of salt

teaspoon of baking powder

-teaspoon pumpkin butter

-1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

-2 teaspoons coconut oil

-some greek yogurt (see I don’t even know how much)


-some lemon zest and juice

-pumpkin pie spice

Sidenote: This ingredients list also shows my haphazard kitchen approach in that normal recipes list ingredients with dry first and then wet.  I just threw things together.  It failed.

My pumpkin apple “scones” baked into bland pumpkin apple bread.  Ooops.  I had a triangle last night, trying to convince myself with each bite that the taste was growing on me.  Nope.

This morning I saw the dopey circle sadly residing on the stove top and attempted to reinvent a section.  One last attempt.

Faux Scone French Toast:

Better, but dammit… still pretty sucky.  I ate it anyway so it wouldn’t feel bad.

Next time: Sugar! Real sugar! more salt and real butter.

Full Fridge

There’s nothing better than those first few meals post grocery store visit.  Except I generally don’t know where to start.

Here’s one.

Cheddar, Turkey, Apple Samich.

And another.

Sick of frozen veggies, I piled as many fresh ones on a plate as possible last night.

Mixed greens with funny little mini squash and zucchini, tomato, very roughly chopped almonds, lemon wedges (like Gram does), parsley, edamame hummus, and goat cheese.  I used to hate goat cheese and now I can’t get enough of it.  All topped with raspberry walnut dressing.

This morning I scrambled up an egg and some whites, topped toast with strawberry jam and threw a few red potatoes in a skillet with tomatoes, peppers, s&p, chili powder and red hot.  I wilted some greens, too.

And last night when I was avoiding writing a paper, I prepped some slow cooker chicken noodle soup.

May I interrupt your regularly scheduled programing for a snippet of the paper — a personal essay for my magazine class. Made me miss Australia, even though our house got pretty disgusting.

…Sand coated the floating wood floors along with a stratum of glass shards.  The boys blew out a window with a rugby ball just days before — the same rugby ball that left peacock blue and green smudges along the white walls of our bowling-ball-alley of a hallway.  Mike’s Shakeweight and men’s Ugg slippers served as our resident trip hazard in the way of the door.  Onionskin thin rolling paper lay scattered along the coffee table next to a small plastic pouch of pot, pursed open with its contents spilling into a neat little mound.

I gazed at the army of cereal bowls containing small pools of rancid milk and oversaturated puffs, situated between empty metallic wine sacks, and silently prayed the mess concealed the illegal sight that would easily pass for an anti-drug PSA with the slogan, “Pot depletes your cereal supply.”

Our hexagonal 5-gallon fish tank, the one Garrett snatched from the side of the road, sat fish-less on the corner of our clutter-ridden kitchen table.  Directly in front of the tank, our goldfish Skippy hovered along the surface of a murky-water filled jar.  Dead.

And having just traversed the Uggs, the owners of our beachfront home stood inside, taking in the damage of the 8 filthy mongrels that occupied it.

Their eyes darted from my sweaty face to Liz’s beet red one, back to the dead fish, and then across to the busted window.  The Aussie Carmen Sandiego look a like, with her shiny blown out dark hair, black pumps and red lipsticked lips, rattled off a series of questions about the property, while the significantly shorter man kept his eyes glued on Skippy, who had clearly been belly-up for days.

Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner popped by unexpectedly to check on the alleged leaky roof.  They claimed they “were in the area.”   We had no choice but to grace them with our sweaty, smelly post-run bodies, in our smelly, dirty home, that was really theirs.

They asked to see the kitchen.  Above the sink, laden with crusty dishes and stagnant water housing scrambled egg buoys and cooked pasta boats, hung a sign reading “Thank you for keeping this kitchen spotless at all times.”

Artificially colored pre-workout powder dusted the top of the microwave.  Strands of spaghetti that Garrett flung at the wall weeks before dried into the plaster.  Wet grass and mud sat in clumps along the gray tiled floor, tracked in from Marcos’s rugby cleats.

Miss Glamazon and her debonair counterpart scanned the indecent warzone.  “May we see the bedrooms?”….

Back to beach-less Syracuse.

Here’s my funny crock pot I got for free by transporting a friend’s friend’s furniture in my old truck.

Last night I tossed cut up chicken breasts, onion, carrots, celery, parsley, dill, meyer lemon wedges and an insane amount of pepper into some chicken broth and water, and popped the vat in the fridge overnight.  Then this morning I let it sit on the counter while I went to the gym before I put it on heat (I’m always afraid I’ll blow something up or break something if I stick extreme cold next to extreme hot).  It cooked on low for about 6 hours.  Once I got home I cooked up some noodles to toss in.

Panera “you pick two” style, I had a salad with red beans, mustard and goat cheese with a bowl (or two) of soup.

Then for dessert I melted down some hershey’s dark chocolate and almond butter and topped it with cereal.  Odd but fantastic.

Tomorrow I HAVE to eat CAKE for work.  (We’ll pretend I didn’t ask my editor if we could feature a dessert in the paper).  Death by chocolate in mah belly.

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