Snow Days and Seasons Greetings

I woke up this morning to the snow falling outside and a text from corporate telling us to stay home and stay safe! Yippeeee!snow

Instead of driving through awful weather I am comfortably working from my couch with a lovely view of my Christmas tree. tree

This past weekend we trecked up to Terrain and chose a lush evergreen to decorate our living room and decided to have our Halloween minions stick around for the holidays!

I’ve unfortunately caught a bit of a bug, so instead of kitchen experiments its green tea with lemon, broth, lots of vitamins and some veggies with garlic and cayenne. I’m hoping the extra rest well help me feel better soon so something that could drag on for two weeks will last only a few days – fingers crossed!

For all those in snowy weather: Bundle up if you’re outside, drive safe if you have to drive at all but MOST IMPORTANTLY….Enjoy the snow! 😉


Foodie Friday!

WOOOHOOO!!! Happy Friday! I am in a celebrating kind of mood!

Even though Thanksgiving isn’t for about a week, today marks the unofficial start of the Holiday season…really, Halloween did but that’s besides the point! Out of town family begins traveling home this weekend, friends & family gather for ‘early thanksgiving’ this weekend and the Christmas Village set-up at Love Park in Philadelphia kicks into high gear this weekend…SoOoOo exciting! I can’t say I shop much at Christmas Villiage but I love wandering through and taking in all the holiday merriment – it’s a real mood booster and an unbeatable way to get into the holiday spirit…

…as are these heavenly honey wheat cinnamon rolls!!!cin

These tasty treats were what rounded out mountain weekend as well as supplied the lovely ladies in my office with a baked bite to begin the work day! I can’t say this was entirely my original creation because I used this awesome honey wheat dough recipe I found on HealthyHomemakers but the gooey center and luscious icing are all me!

While the dough may not have any sugar in it, the center and icing are definitely not short on sugar…or butter for that matter, but the recipe yields about 6 8in cake rounds with 8-10 rolls a tin, so one or two dozen wont kill you! 😉

Pick a rainy Sunday, slow Saturday or try to bake these sweet treats – I am sure your family, friends and coworkers wont mind sharing in the fruits of your labor! Did I mention these would be awesome at ANY holiday party or as a special gift  for neighbors and loved ones?!?! Just throwing it out there!



Mountain Recap

Although a day late because I was under the weather yesterday, I wanted to share a quick recap of our mountain weekend! We went on a long walk as soon as we arrived and I kept thinking “I should take some photos! No, don’t be silly, you can take some tomorrow, just enjoy the walk!” and I totally should have listened to my initial instincts because it rained Sunday and the weather was foggy/overcast so I didn’t get the amazing images I had envisioned…sigh! But the walk was lovely and the weather Saturday was just warm enough to enjoy a fire under the slightly cloud covered stars!fire

I will have more food posts from our amazing meals but I wanted to share these tasty treats first! I have had a hankering for coconut lately so I decided to try my hand at coconut macaroons! These bite size bombs are addictive and indulgent, so beware! macaroonCoconut Macaroons: Bake @ 350 for 25 minutes

  • 14oz coconut flakes
  • 120z condensed milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4oz chocolate

I will admit I am not 100% pleased with them but that didn’t stop me from eating SeVeRaL throughout the weekend! Combine the first two ingredients in a bowl with the vanilla extract and mix until will blended. Beat egg whites separately until it forms stiff peaks and then fold into coconut mixture. Spoon onto baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Set in the fridge to cool, melt the chocolate, dip the cooled macaroons into the melted chocolate and return to the fridge to set.

These suckers took no time at all to whip up and they disappeared just as fast!



Grown at home

ImageEver wanted to grow your own garden but don’t have outdoor space or the right year round climate to make it a success?!?!? I know I have! That’s why, when I came across this article, I had to share.

Count on to publish the 16 best edible plants to grow indoors. If I was a little better with technology I would be able to pull some of the images from the article, because they’re awesome, but sadly…not so much!

Anyway, if you click the link above it gives you helpful hints for growing certain fruits, veggies and herbs indoors! Now, I am all for a good farmer’s market run but to be able to grow my own avocados, lemons, greens, etc…would be TOTALLY awesome!

I just need to figure out which window will be best and its on!!

Back at it!

HAPPY MONDAY and beginning of November! Its only been a week of not posting but it feels like forever! I was a little under the weather last week and then catching up with work which made it difficult to carve out blogging time BUT I’m back and happy to be reading and sharing with the word press world!

The weather here has dropped and I am greeted by a frosty breeze each morning! This makes hitting that dreaded snooze button all the more inviting! I guess there is nothing wrong with another 15 minutes snuggled under the warmth and comfort of my bedding!

This week is all about getting back at it – blogging, eating and exercising…though a recent fall at my local Whole Foods has prevented me from doing any of that third agenda item. I slipped on some spilled spinach from the salad bar and smashed up my knee…fingers crossed its nothing serious but needless to say physical activity is an impossibility at the moment!

I am remaining positive, focusing on the things I can do rather that what I can’t and concentrating on diet and healthy habits over exercise this week (lots of sleep, staying hydrated, focusing on anti-inflammatory foods)!

Here’s to getting back at it!

Seasonal Soup

Happy Hump Day! Nothing spells rainy day comfort food like butternut squash soup! This season is about embracing all that fall has to offer, and today’s homemade butternut squash soup with spicy tofu and rosemary toasted walnuts is no exception!


I wish I was better at taking pictures during the cooking process (I’m working on it) because I had a lot of fun coming up with this concoction!

I used butter (2tablespoons), onions(half-minced), shallots(one minced), garlic(3 cloves minced), carrots (1 cup shredded), ginger (1 tablespoon grated), white wine (1 cup), stock (5-6 cups), butternut squash(1 1/2 med-large squash peeled, cubed, lightly roasted), seasonings (1tbsp cumin, 1/2 tbsp coriander, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ginger, 1tsp cinnamon), salt, pepper, and 1% milk (3 cups) for the soup.

Starting with the butter, onion, shallot and garlic until they cooked down a little, then adding the carrots, followed by the white wine and seasonings. After the base was well combined, I added the stock and shortly after the squash. I let this simmer on the stove for an hour before blending the mixture in batches until smooth. I then added it to the 3 cups of warm milk on the stove top, let that simmer for about 30 more minutes, and canned the silky soup into 16oz mason jars.

For the tofu, I dried and cubed a block of extra firm tofu, seasoned it similarly (adding a bit of cayenne, chili powder and paprika), and baked @ 400 for 25-30 minutes. I tossed raw walnuts in some salt, cayenne, ginger, rosemary and olive oil to toast for about 10 minutes @350 after I finished the tofu.

The combo of textures as well as sweet, spicy and savory flavors makes for a delightfully decadent dish! I love playing with textures and flavor compliments and this soup is fun filled as well as nutritionally fortified!

Snag a spoon and sink into some sensational seasonal soup…enjoy!

Let Them Eat Meat

Happy Friday Folks!

As a fun little experiment, I cooked my boyfriend a yummy steak dinner…Image The only reason I have chosen to mention this is because I haven’t eaten meat in over a decade! Yes, this 12+yr vegetarian decided the carnivorous man in her life deserved some meat for keeping a mostly vegetarian diet, without complaint, since we started dating!

Now this isn’t just any steak, no no no…after all the lectures and videos in school I don’t feel right buying anything other than organic, grass fed beef.

And will you look at that PERFECT med/rare…Image

..if you couldn’t tell, I am quite pleased with myself!

Now, I’m not going to stand on my virtual soapbox and go off about how, as a society, we consume way too much animal protein and the methods employed to keep up with the demand are unethical, unimaginably cruel, and harmful for both the consumer and the consumed because I myself am not pure. In a pinch I buy regular eggs, milk and butter which all contribute to the same practices. However, just like anything else, I believe we should enjoy responsibly and in moderation!

Everyone’s body needs something different…what is amazingly delicious nourishment for some if disgusting, deadly poison for others.

Figure out what your body needs and enjoy…

Seasonal Muffins for Monday

Happy Monday wordpress world! In keeping with my pumptastic seasonal sensations I give you my pumpkin protein muffins!ImageIf I could recall the recipe for these magnificently moist morsels I would absolutely share it but I sort of threw some stuff together and crossed my fingers! They’re perfectly pumpkiny with just the right amount of sweet to start your day or treat yourself when the mid-afternoon munchies strike!

In general, I used a can of pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup applesauce, two egg whites, vanilla extract, 1 cup old fashioned oats, a few tablespoons of flax, 1/4 almond meal, 1/4 vanilla protein powder, a few tablespoons of pumpkin spice and somewhere around a tsp of baking power, baking soda and salt. Keep in mind I am guessing at these amounts but next time I whip up a batch (which will likely been soon) I will be sure to write it down! I mixed the wet ingredients in a bowl, mixed the dry ingredients in a bowl and then combined the two…spooned the beautiful batter into my muffin tins and baked for about 20 minutes at 350.

The sweet smell of the fabulously fragrant batter filled my whole apartment and while I might bake them a little longer next time, they turned our terrific!

I hope these muffins get you into the seasonal spirit…enjoy!

Pumpkin Fettuccine

20131012-182707.jpg As promised, some seasonal sensations from my rainy Friday night. Somehow the weather held out today, which made for an amazing farmers market excursion after the gym and some awesome city strolling!

My pumpkin fettuccine experiment started simply as a way to please my boyfriends pumpkin passion and sink myself into some seasonal sensations. I found a recipe in one of the cookbooks I dug out of my basement and while I am not a fan of following recipes, homemade pasta dough can get a little tricky.

The recipe comes from ‘The glorious Pasta of Italy’ by Domenica Marchetti and I adapted it a bit by using whole wheat flour but in general it’s 2+ cups flour, a few tablespoons of semolina, two eggs, 1/3 cup pumpkin purée, nutmeg, salt and a little water. After mixing and kneading for about 30 minutes and letting the dough set for about the same I set to the task of rolling the dough.


And cutting it…


And letting it rest to dry a little…


Which is when I set to the task of poaching then broiling my lovely Halibut filets and mixing up a béchamel to sauce both the pasta and fish.



Now this is not a super healthy recipe by any means but when you’ve had a hard week and it’s been raining for days, decadence is paramount!

The flavors in the pasta and sauce were both subtle and indulgent and the fish was something out of this world!

CAUTION: this dish is known to induce a food coma likened to that of a thanksgiving feast and demands some cardio the morning after to feel normal again….but worth every bite!


Love in the Rain

ImageDay two of whats looking like a four or five day stretch of rain. I can’t say I am the biggest fan of the rain, but I don’t hate it either. I feel like the rain gives me an excuse to stay inside and relieves me of the guilt I sometimes feel when I am not out enjoying the glorious colors of the season!

That being said, I find taking a long walk in the rain, while properly bundled of course, to be truly cathartic. It sounds a little silly but its like you can feel God at work. If you’re not into the whole God thing, that’s cool…you could look at it as nature at work, but its the feeling of being a part of something much larger than oneself. I don’t know why, but I feel it more than ever when it rains…and I love it!


SOOO while I will be whipping up some seasonal sensations like pumpkin fettuccine and carrot ginger soup this weekend, I will also be taking a long walk or two in the rain!

Happy Friday Folks!