Muesli and the neighborhood watchbaby

Free food time! Every six months or so, Bob’s Red Mill sends me a box of awesome as part of their Heroes of the Mill program. I think my membership in this program is a remnant from when I was a serious food blogger, and I am definitely not complaining.

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Continue reading!

Chopped out

I’m not even going to try to be witty tonight because all I can hear running through my head is a repeating loop of chop this, chop this, chop this. I never want to see another knife or another veggie again. (I will probably change my mind tomorrow, though.)

Anyway, we had steak salads for lunch made with leftover steak from Saturday night’s grilling:

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Also in the salads: arugula from the garden (10 million times better than from the store — it’s super super hot and spicy), green onions from the garden, chives from the garden, romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, feta, and drizzles of balsamic and herby olive oil.

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Dessert was a teeny bit (like 2 tbsp) of leftover carrot cake oatmeal with extra pineapple, apple, cinnamon, and cardamom:

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Mom and I forged on throughout the afternoon to make enough food for 30 armies to send to my dad’s house: chicken cacciatore, beef-kielbasa-barley stew, and pumpkin grapenut pudding. Mom was in charge. I followed her commands. Chop this, chop this, chop this. At some point, I had a minor breakdown and abandoned the kitchen in favor of a nap on the porch bench. I am not made to be a sous-chef, nor am I made for large-scale food prep.

My dad came over around 7pm to collect the goods, and mom gave him detailed serving and reheating instructions. Dad, I expect a full report as you eat these things!

Sarah Whiting (aka Ting) and her friend Nora came over for dinner. I completely forgot to take people pictures, grrrrr. But I did take food pics. I made chips from the stale whole wheat roll-ups and guacamole from two avocados, black bean and corn salsa, fresh tomato, fat free sour cream, fresh lime juice, and cayenne.

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We ate it all very quickly (a significant portion is sitting in my belly now). We also enjoyed more Golden Star sparkling white jasmine tea spritzers (1/3 tea, 2/3 plain seltzer).

The main course was chicken-pineapple-onion-green pepper-kielbasa skewers. I’m pretty sure I spent hours skewering these things. John started them off in the stone grill outside, but they weren’t cooking fast enough, so we finished the job inside with a quick broil in the oven. Ting and Nora brought an awesome pesto-bean salad with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. The plate:

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The skewers may not have been able to finish outside, but the sweet potatoes did, however, do quite well in the stone grill with perfect char.

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Dessert was fresh watermelon:

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And pizelle cookies:

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Dinner with the girls was so fun — Ting and I needed the chance to catch up, and we had some very interesting conversations, not the least of which was my mom’s recounting of her competitive bodybuilding days. And like I said, I’m exhausted. And stuffed. I’m heading back to NY at some point tomorrow, though I don’t know my exact schedule. And I’m too tired to deal with the bus schedule right now!

I can’t think of a question. What question would you ask now, and how would you answer?

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!

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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:

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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:

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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!

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Cascading icing:

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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:

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More scenery:

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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).

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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).

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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.

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

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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!

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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:

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I ordered the broiled haddock and crabcake with roasted vegetables:

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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.

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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!).

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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.

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Some blurry pb cup chunks:

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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?

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?

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?