Beachy keen

Ack, today has gotten away from me — it’s just been action-packed with laziness πŸ˜›

Before I get onto today’s food, though, look at what I found last night hidden in a cabinet behind some dishes!

IMG_0284

This was perfect since we were all pretty stuffed from the big grilled dinner but still in the mood for something sweet. I split the Hershey’s truffle and the Newman’s bar into three pieces so that mom, John, and I could all take part:

IMG_0286

To be honest, though, that chocolate bar was weirdly sweet. I like my dark chocolate to be somewhat bitter — the extra sweetness kind of gave it a fake chocolate taste.

For breakfast this morning, I made us all carrot cake oatmeal:

IMG_0294

For the three of us, I used 3/4 cup dry steel-cut oats, 2 cups water, 1 egg, 2 shredded carrots, 1 shredded apple, 2/3 cup fork-crushed fresh pineapple, and lots of cinnamon. (I put a giant spoonful of freshly ground almond butter on top of mine, too, in case you missed it.) I also made about 1/2 cup each of healthy cream cheese icing for the side to be added on at the last minute possible — I wasn’t trying to have any more chemical reaction disasters taking place in my food!

IMG_0295

Cascading icing:

IMG_0298

After breakfast, we pushed off toward Wareham, a little town near the Cape where my mom bought a marsh-shack (though she calls it the “little house”) a few years ago. It’s just a few teeny rooms, but mom and John are working on completely gutting it and making it liveable — it will be a nice renovation project to keep them busy for, ohhhh, the next 25 years or so. While John did something with tools and ladders and some cementy compound in the “bathroom” (which now boasts a toilet that flushes — yayyyyyy!!) mom and I went for a walk on the “beach.” Here she is looking for pretty rocks:

IMG_0301

More scenery:

IMG_0305

IMG_0306

My dad was nearby on the Cape with my stepmom at my step-grandma’s house, so he came over for a visit post-walk. We had brought some goodies from home for entertaining purposes, so alongside our afternoon tea (unpictured), we each had a slice of random rhubarb pie that my mom made yesterday (with my assistance, of course).

IMG_0307

I’m not going to give a recipe for the pie since it was SO random (part of the fridge clean-out mission), but it included all of the following and more: part-skim ricotta, verrrrrrry iffy fat free ricotta (it was gone enough that I wouldn’t eat it straight, but mom was convinced that it would be fine for cooking), eggs, garden-fresh rhubard, dried Asian dates, a way beyond ripe avocado, 1/2 banana, erythritol (my mom is diabetic-ish, and this is her sweetener of choice because it doesn’t have a wretched aftertaste like splenda), and a crust made of pre-cooked whole grains (a blend of every grain under the sun that mom made last week in hopes of using them for a batch or seven of kitchen sink muffins).

IMG_0314

I wasn’t sure how this pie would be given all of the iffy ingredients (my doubt says a lot because you know how lenient I usually am with food iffiness!), and the taste didn’t knock my socks off when I tried it right out of the oven yesterday. I have to admit, though, that it was pretty tasty today after a night in the fridge! I guess mom knows what she’s doing after all.

IMG_0320

After pie, we also shared a package of Anna’s ginger thins and rye crackers with seed butter I made yesterday:

IMG_0328

The seed butter came about because, during fridge clean-out yesterday, I came across a ramekin full of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and sea salt that my mom had been saving since we made everything bagels together when I was home in March of 2008. Yes, she’d been saving these seeds for 14 months. I just could not handle the thought of them taking up space in the fridge for another 14 (or 28 or 42 or 56, etc.). We soaked the seeds in warm water to dissolve and eliminate the salt and then toasted them, along with some pepitas that mom had around, to dry them out. All grinding took place in the coffee bean grinder, but I think I over-toasted because the finished product was pretty bland. I immersion-blended it with a couple tsp of miso paste and about 3 tbsp of almond butter to add “depth,” and that helped quite a bit. Mom has plans to doctor it further with Ghirardelli cocoa powder — no complaints here!

After tea-time, dad headed back to step grandma’s house, John returned to compounding the bathroom with ladders and tools, mom pretended to do some work paperwork, and I took a nap. When I awoke, it was nearly time for dinner! We droveout to Turk’s Seafood in Mattapoisett. My mom has been raving about this place to me on the phone for months, so I was excited to have the chance to experience it first-hand!

IMG_0331

I love beachy seafood restaurants, and this one fit right into that category. The atmosphere inside was very casual (though, sushi is also available if one feels the need to class it up) and boisterous. The food even came on paper plates! We started with edamame to share:

IMG_0335

I ordered the broiled haddock and crabcake with roasted vegetables:

IMG_0337

It was delicious (even though “thawed in the oven” may have been a better description for the veggies than “roasted”). I chopped the fish and crab cake and mixed it all up with the veggies and that mango salsa (back right) and quite enjoyed every single bite.

IMG_0349

After dinner, dessert was on the agenda, of course. We backtracked slightly to hit up Kool Kone, another fun beachy establishment, for ice cream (and we turned on the heat in the car to get in the mood!).

IMG_0351

I had a small cup with a scoop of black raspberry chocolate chip frozen yogurt on top and a scoop of chocolate peanut butter cup on the bottom.

IMG_0353

Some blurry pb cup chunks:

IMG_0356

Phew, that brings us to the end of this marathon post! It’s been a very exciting food day that somehow involved a lot of doing nothing. Not a bad combination if you ask me πŸ˜›

What is your favorite beach food?

Raw! (sort of)

Before my mom and I headed out for our walk this afternoon, I had the rest of this morning’s fruit salad as an inter-meal snack:

IMG_0213

Along with this carrot “core” dipped in fresh WF almond butter:

IMG_0215

Mom and I set off on a lovely walk for an hour or so, winding our way through the arboretum that leads to a nieghborhood park, chatting with each other, and chatting with neighbors.

Back home, we finally ate “lunch” around 7pm! I’d been working on preparing the various components of Gena’s raw zucchini alfredo over the course of the afternoon, with just a few adjustments.

To make the “noodles,” I used a vegetable peeler on carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash:

IMG_0220

I made a smaller portion of the sauce — 3/4 cup cashews instead of 1.25 cups — than the recipe because this house does not need any more leftovers! We also added some toasted sesame oil (I know that un-raws it, but it tasted good!) and soy sauce:

IMG_0221

My mom was a little bit hesitant about the highly caloric nature of this nut-based sauce, but I reminded her that the nuts were serving as the protein/fat part of the meal. The calories were definitely warranted and necessary!

For the final (and again un-raw) addition, I lightly steamed some broccoli and mixed in a few crushed dried garlic flakes, and that got mixed with the “pasta”:

IMG_0223

Here it is all mixed together with the sauce (and twilight porch-seating — you can see the grass in the background!):

IMG_0231

I honestly wasn’t sure how I would feel about this raw “pasta” — I was thinking it would just be like a refreshing summer salad, but it was delicious! I LOVED the sauce. It tasted like cold sesame noodles. Mom and John cleaned their plates, too. You must try this!

For dessert, I had a couple slices of sweet potato that I found in the fridge (they got treated to some cinnamon post-photo):

IMG_0236

Oh, right, I had more dessert after that, too πŸ˜› My friend Steph (we’ve known each other since we were probably six months old!) and her husband Dan (who also went to high school with us) picked me up, and we headed over to a law school graduation party for Liz, also from high school, at her parents’ house (Congrats, Liz!). I got to chat with a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in years — so fun! I had loads of chips and guac, and then the cake came out:

IMG_0245

I had a small piece of each and then stopped there. I was too busy socializing πŸ™‚

And now it’s time for bed! I’m getting myself psyched for the bird chorus to wake me up at 4:45 am again. I know I complain about morning birds all the time in Brooklyn, but I’ve gotten spoiled. It’s exponentially louder here in MA! I think I will go home next week with a greater appreciation for Brooklyn’s more moderate tweeting. Does leaving town make you appreciate things more at home?

Where the food began

My mom knows how to stock a kitchen.

IMG_0209

She’s been eating healthy and delicious foods that sound scary to most people since before I can remember. Sure I was horrified as a teenager when friends were over and I’d open the freezer only to have about 80 pounds of frozen herbs come cascading out, but I quite appreciate it now!

IMG_0211

With my mom’s kitchen-stocking abilities, I didn’t have to look very far for breakfast fixings this morning. I started by mixing up some yogurt-chia pudding with 3 tbsp 0% Fage (too pricy for me to buy, but mom knows how to splurge for quality), 2 tbsp regular plain nonfat yogurt, 2 tbsp part-skim ricotta, 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/4 cup water, cinnamon, and vanilla. While the chia seeds worked their absorbant magic, I set to work on component #2: fruit!

I chopped a banana, an apple, grapes, kiwi, and pomegranate:

IMG_0195

For mom, I topped about 1.5 cups of the fruit salad with half of the chia-yogurt pudding, Artisana cacao bliss that I brought for her to try, and a bit more cinnamon:

IMG_0199

I only gave myself about 3/4 cup of fruit (I wasn’t overly hungry after last night) with the other half of the chia-yogurt pudding, freshly ground Whole Foods almond butter (again, mom knows how to splurge where it’s worth it!), more cinnamon, and a bit of ground flax:

IMG_0203

I feel healthy and revived πŸ™‚

Mom’s in with clients now (she’s a psychotherapist and sees them in her home office), but we’re planning on a walk once she’s done. It’s already 85 degrees out!

In whose kitchen, other than your own, do you feel most comfortable helping yourself?

Mara has been crafting up a storm! Go check this post to see the cutest thing ever and how you can win it!

Batter up

If only I were talking about cake batter!

IMG_0186

The bus ride took forEVER yesterday! 95 was littered with crashes and accidents the whole way (Mariposa, did you notice this?!). I had exhausted my entire supply of emergency snacks — hard-boiled egg, apple, cashews, and a banana nut odwalla bar — by the time the bus finally pulled into Providence, so that was dinner. John and I swung back to the house to pick up my mom (and grab a couple handfuls of baby carrots!), and then it was off to the PawSox who, incidentally, happened to be playing the Yankees (I’m talking minor leagues here, if anyone is confused) last night. Poor PawSox got totally clobbered, though. We left in the 9th inning, and it was 10-1!

Also, coincidence of all coincidences, about halfway through the game, this really familiar-looking man came and sat in front of us and was talking to the guys sitting beside me. It took me a minute, but then I realized: it was Wife‘s dad!! Wife and I met at NYU of course, but we actually grew up only 30 minutes away from each other. Apparently, last night was the night of her dad’s annual trip to the baseball game with some of the guys from the high school where he works. What are the chances??

So back to the food. I had already eaten my dinner, but somehow, food kept arriving in front of me. Hand modeling credit in the following photos goes to my mom.

I had a small bite of this hot dog, even though I don’t like hot dogs. I was at a baseball game — it was the thing to do.

IMG_0183

A couple handfuls of this popcorn:

IMG_0184

The popcorn was so salty that it made us really need ice cream. So I had three bites of this bar:

IMG_0189

But I guess that was only an appetizer, because this ice cream in a helmet appeared a few moments later:

IMG_0191

Mom (and she’s supposed to be a good influence!) and I shared that one as well as this baggie of grapes from home (to cancel out the ice cream):

IMG_0193

Now that I have all that out of my system, I am fully ready to go produce-crazy on my mama’s fridge, starting this morning!

Cake batter or baseball batter? And who has the best fridge in your family?

P.S. Diana is giving away LOTS of VitaTops. If you live under a rock and don’t know about VitaTops, they are only the best non-homemade snack/dessert ever created. Go enter the giveaway!

Splitsville

As I was contemplating what to make for breakfast that would best use the extra things in my fridge before I leave for the weekend, I read Broccoli Hut‘s comment about healthy banana splits! Just like that, breakfast was born πŸ™‚

IMG_0162

IMG_0152My current batch of yogurt isn’t strained, so I needed something to thicken it up: chia pudding! Two packages from Oh!Nuts and Navitas Naturals came in quite handy. These have to be the jumbo-est Medjool dates I’ve ever seen:

IMG_0153

I followed Kristen’s holiday chia pudding recipe, but I took out the “holiday” (cloves, ginger, lucuma) because I just wanted vanilla. Also, I halved everything except the chia seeds and added 1/2 cup of yogurt. I probably should have taken out the water completely and only used yogurt because it didn’t get as thick as I wanted, but oh well! For today, I just popped it all in the freezer for a bit to get some firmness.

I split the 1/2 banana I had left and decorated it with my three flavors and some extras:

IMG_0174

The vanilla scoop (plain chia pudding-yogurt):

IMG_0160

The chocolate scoop (1/4 mashed avocado, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tbsp chia pudding-yogurt):

IMG_0157

The berry scoop (chia pudding-yogurt mixed with chopped blackberries):

IMG_0158

Topped with flax seeds, hemp seeds (some seem to have sprouted, hence the green), and cereal (and sided with yerba mate):

IMG_0173

Right after breakfast, I’m off to my last class (where I think a last class celebration will be taking place) and, from there, on a bus to Providence. I wonder if Peter Pan will have Internet on the bus again?

What are your three ideal split scoop flavors?

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother Mark!!!!! Yay for May birthdays πŸ˜€