Breaksert

Inspired by Hangry Heather, I decided to try my hand at a breakfast sundae this morning.

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For the “cone” I put together an overnight breakfast cookie mix of 1/4 cup extra thick rolled oats, 1 tbsp ground flax, 1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1/4 mashed banana, and 1 tbsp Artisana cacao bliss. Rather than flattening the cookie on a plate, I pressed it into a ramekin to make a bowl shape and left it in the fridge overnight. This morning, I popped the cone, ramekin and all, into the freezer because I wanted to be able to extract the cone from the ramekin intact.

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For the “ice cream,” I mixed 1/2 cup yogurt with 1 tbsp lucuma powder, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp honey, 1/4 mashed banana, dash vanilla, and a few peanut pieces. That went into the freezer for the 20-stir-20-stir method.

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After extracting the cone from its ramekin, I filled it with the ice cream and decorated with berries, cinnamon, more peanuts, coconut, and a plummy gummy πŸ™‚

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This was so so fun to eat and a lovely post-gym treat (with my yerba mate on the side, mmm)!

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This afternoon, I’m off to a work event. We’re having a “mission retreat” from 12-5, and even though I’m on vacation, it seems like an important thing to attend!

How do you feel about dessert for breakfast?

Blame it on the men

I went for a run this afternoon. Oops! It wasn’t my fault, though. The firemen made me do it.

Post-run, I was inspired by Abbie to make a modified (aka quick) raw Snickers bar.

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But before I get into the raw Snickers details, back to the run. I was lazing on my couch this afternoon (very busy doing nothing, mind you) when my buzzer buzzed. I found five firemen on the other side needing to come in and do some sort of fire escape inspection.

I did not mind inviting five firemen into my home, as I do not encounter manly men often (or ever) for two reasons: (1) I live in NYC, where men tend to be, err, more “cultured” than most and (2) I am a social worker specializing in infant and parent development. For these reasons, I enjoy the FDNY. They’re good at keeping me safe and, hmmm, putting out fires. Of course, when the men arrived, I was still in my pajamas and surrounded by used tissues since I’ve been plagued by either allergies or a nasty cold (not sure which) since the moment I finished my last paper.

Anyway, one of the men came in and checked my balcony and roof while the others waited outside. After the inspection, all the firemen and their truck were still hanging around outside (I think they were trying to get into the basement apartment) for a long long time. And the urge to go for a run so I could run by them (in running clothes and not schlumpy pjs) and soak up some man energy came over me! Crazy, right? But I’m telling you, it is so rare that I get this chance! I did a rapid-fire costume change and flew out the door like I had somewhere to go, exchanging a few pleasantries with the men on my way before I took off. Seriously, I felt like I was running on clouds. It was amazing. I need to start hanging out by the firehouse.

I had planned to just run off down the block and then re-route to the gym so that I could stick to my no-running plan, but it was so nice out that I kept going for a full 4-mile loop around the park. I left my apartment so fast that I didn’t have time to bother with the HRM, but I felt like I was actually running an 11- or 12-minute mile, as opposed to the 15 that has been standard for me lately. The run wasn’t pain-free, but the pain was very consistent and dull and of the sort that I could imagine handling for, say, 13.1 miles on May 30th, assuming it doesn’t escalate. We’ll see! Anyway, now I’m really not going to run again before the half.

OK, if you’ve made it this far, your reward is that you get to see my raw Snickers again:

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My short-cut candy involved a plump Medjool date stuffed with Artisana cacao bliss and some peanut pieces. Oh man, it was so good! Really. Try this.

IMG_0072I’m also pretty sure that there was an Oh!Nuts whole strawberry in dark chocolate involved in the post-run desserting, but who really knows since they’re not all that photogenic (yet delicious enough that you NEED to try them as well).

OK, another day has flown by so fast! I’ve actually felt really busy all day, but I’m not quite sure what I’ve accomplished. Vacation is so strange. Anyway, my stepdad is in town for work, so we’re off to dinner in a bit. I’ll be back with the report later!

Have you done any accidental exercise today? And how do you feel about firemen? And the combination of fruit + chocolate?

Something new

I woke up super late today (10:00!!) for the third morning in a row — I think my mind is finally recovering from racing all semester long! I’m not sure if this is a good thing, though, since it is going to need to resume racing faster than ever in June.

Because it was so late, I put together a different and very simple breakfast:

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I sliced an apple in half, cored it, and baked it covered in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes:

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The apple got transferred to a plate, and I filled its core with a tsp or so of Artisana almond butter (which, strangely, tasted sort of chemically to me, even though almonds are the only ingredient. Maybe it’s the rawness?) and then sprinkled unsweetened coconut and cinnamon over the top:

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It was sooo yummy and did the trick to hold me over for the hour or so I needed until lunch.

Sadly, I’m out of greens (I ate them all yesterday!) and don’t want to buy more since I’m tentatively planning to go visit my parents in MA this Thursday night through Tuesday. I put together a fun snacky plate on a cutting board so I could transfer it to the couch with me for TV time (oh, this is the life!) post-photo.

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The spread included carrot sticks with humbecuemole (2 tbsp my hummus, 1 tsp Country Bob’s BBQ, and 1/8 mashed avocado):

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An Eggland’s Best peeled and hard-boiled egg, heated and topped with spray butter andΒ  freshly ground black pepper:

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And a contribution from these new finds:

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Last week, my roommate Tara alerted me to this new fruit called Peppadew that she had discovered in the course of researching catering options for a work event. I found it a little strange that this fruit is actually owned, but I still had to test it out regardless. For now, I think Peppadew is only available from the online store, though the Chop’t restaurants in NY have a salad with it.

Spicy and sweet (just like me, haaaaaaa):

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They were both pretty tasty — kind of a pickle-y sweet pepper taste with more of an apricot texture. The spicy one had a yummy zing to it, but I wouldn’t call it hot-spicy. I got adventurous with a sweet peppadew and added it to my yogurt:

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But it looked lonely with that hole, so I stuffed it with some Artisana cacao bliss πŸ™‚

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The yogurt also had lucuma powder, goji berries, 1/3 sliced banana, blackberries and BRM hulled hemp seeds:

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Before this, I had never tried hemp seeds. I was pleasantly surprised. They had a toasty (probably because I toasted them in a dry pan first!) and nutty flavor that I loved. I hope I can get around to some baking experiments with them soon.

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What is the latest produce item you’ve tried for the first time?

Missy’s got free bread on her hands! Go check it out πŸ™‚

And Coconutgal has free Coconut Bliss ice cream, YUMMMMMM!

Ruuuuuude

This morning’s breakfast was a powerful breakfast cookie full of all sorts of things to make me healthy and alert.

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In the overnight mix: 1/4 cup BRM extra thick rolled oats, 1 tbsp ground flax, the last tbsp (sad) of pineapple-coconut-ginger peanut butter, 1 tbsp goji berries, and 1/3 mashed banana.

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In the frosting: 2 tbsp plain yogurt, 1 tsp lucuma power, and 1 tsp Artisana Cacao Bliss.

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And on top: small handful blackerries, 1 chopped plummy gummy from my sister’s birthday package, a few more goji berries, and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

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This cookie reminded me of the beach — I think it was the goji starfish, the icing sand, and the plate ocean.

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IMG_9847And on the side, I had a tall glass of yerba mate.

Breakfast was delicious, and I really needed the power boost since I slept horrendously last night. From about 1:30 to 2:00 in the morning, there were dogs howling sooooo loud outside my bedroom window. I live in Brooklyn (not the wilderness), and this is ridiculous! My bedroom window faces a backyard area that houses the yards of a whole block of apartment buildings, so it’s impossible to know where the noise was coming from, especially in the dark. I almost called the police to make a noise complaint! Not only was it keeping me awake, but it was painful to listen to because one dog was howling/screaming in this hyperventilating, panicked, scared-out-of-its-mind way — it kind of sounded human!

I can’t believe that the owners would just leave him outside and ignore that sad sad pleading … especially in the middle of the night when there are at least 100 people trying to sleep within a 10-foot radius! Again, this is Brooklyn and not a mountain town where no one has neighbors. I closed my window, and it didn’t help at all. The dog moaning eventually stopped, but it kept coming back here and there throughout the rest of the night. And the birds woke me up at 7am! Where the heck am I? Arkansas? I need to get new ear plugs!

Anyway, I think I’m about to go take a nap!

What wakes you in the middle of the night?

Souvenirs

Ohh my goodness, I have so much to talk about today!

First, I ate the last serving of muffin-cauliflower oat bran for breakfast.

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This was not, however, any regular old cauliflower-muffin oat bran. Something special (and I’m not even talking about the cauliflower or the muffins here) was hidden inside the creamy depths.

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Lucuma powder!

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Lucuma is a fruit that grows in the South American highlands. Everything was lucuma-flavored when I lived in Peru last summer: yogurt, ice cream, cookies. Proof:

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(Yes, I saved all my cookie/candy/ice cream wrappers from the trip. Obviously.)

It took me a while when I was in Peru to even figure out what lucuma was. A spice? A candy? Its flavor is not particularly fruity. I finally asked my host family, as I was chowing down on my 15th lucuma cream-filled sandwich cookie, What the heck is this stuff? When I found out it was a fruit, I wanted to go hunt it down so I could see it in person, but they explained that it wasn’t really sold fresh because it’s kind of hard and inedible in its fresh form. So I have still never come across a live lucuma. However, I was super-excited when I found out that Navitas Naturals had a lucuma powder, and I immediately put in a request. And I was so happy to see such Peruvian love all over the packaging!

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While lucuma is not my favorite flavor in the world, tasting it brings me back to my perfect Peruvian summer. It’s a worthy sacrifice.

I mixed 1 tbsp of the powder into the muffin-cauliflower oatbran and enjoyed it atop 1/2 cup yogurt decorated with re-hydrated goji berries. I added the last 2 tsp of Artisana madademic-cashew butter as icing for my lucuma mountain.

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Ohh, memories. Dear Peru: I will be back.

After breakfast, I did some bedroom organizing/spring cleaning and then threw on my gym clothes (I plan to exercise eventually today) and went out for errands, some of which were food-related. I stopped at the grocery store because I read on Soap & Chocolate that blackberry sales in the city were in full swing. Diana was right! I got two bigger-than-normal (but still pretty small) containers for $4. I also hit up the post office to pick up some belated birthday treats from my sisters!!

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They know me so well πŸ˜€ Emily sent me running sleeves (those crazy-colored things spilling out of the “sister present ball”) that I can roll up or roll down depending on the weather, and Allie sent a bunch of tasty goodies: cherry pie and cashew cookie larabars, plum-flavored gummy candies, and yerba mate. Plus this perfect birthday card:

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I tried a plum gummy right away:

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Yummmmmmmm.

Followed by yerba mate, which I prepared with soy milk and honey as per the recommendation on the package (gotta follow instructions, right?).

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Delicious! Smoky and sweet — I love it. Thank you, amazing sisters!

Side note: the honey I used for the tea came from some Smuckers sample honey packets that my mom collected for me from various hotel breakfast buffets (like mother, like daughter). But, the point of this side note is that the baby Artisana nut butter jars are perfect holders from the honey, since I rarely use a whole packet in one go. My five packets of honey perfectly filled up two little jars, and now I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to finish that honey packet before it spills all over everything in the fridge.

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This just in: Look how green the mate turns as it cools!

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Also, you can get free chocolate today if you hurry (Thanks to Erin Gunn for the tip!)

What’s the craziest “souvenir” you’ve saved from a trip?