Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Little Morning Vegetable

My oatmeal obsession is fairly recent; only in the last two years have I truly appreciated its deliciousness and ability to keep me full all morning. In grade school we had oatmeal on cold mornings; Mom made it plain and we were allowed a teaspoon of colored sugar sprinkles on top. The appeal then was the sprinkles, not the oats.

This pumpkin oatmeal is my favorite thing these days and I'd like to share it with you.

My method works great for busy weekday mornings. I have a small pot that is perfect for two portions (1 cup oats); I make it on a morning when I have more time, and save the second portion to reheat when I'm busy.
A spoonula works best for stirring, especially when it's your favorite color. :-)

It's easy to forget you're getting a vegetable when you put pumpkin in sweet oatmeal.
Did you know pumpkin is 90% water?

A few more stats in 1 cup:

  • Calories: 80
  • Carbohydrates: 19 gram
  • Cholesterol: 0
  • Fat: less than 1 gram
  • Potassium: 588 milligrams
  • Protein: 2.4 grams
  • Vitamin A: 310% of RDA
    • Vitamin C: 20% of RDA

    I don't measure pumpkin when I add it to the pot. For two portions I add two heaping tablespoons (1/8 cup?). Add it to your taste.
    Sweetened with cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, and a little Suite Apple Granola,

    (yikes! I'm almost out!),

    and it's like eating pumpkin pie for breakfast!

    Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal for Two

    1 cup old-fashioned oats
    2 cups water
    2 pinches of salt
    sweetener of your choice (I use Splenda)
    5 shakes of cinnamon
    2 shakes of pumpkin pie spice
    splashes of light vanilla soy milk

    Put the oats and water in a pot. Cover, and turn the heat on to medium-low. After about five minutes the mixture should start to bubble lightly. Remove the lid and stir. Add the salt and pumpkin and stir thoroughly.

    Turn the heat down to low and allow to cook for a minute. Add the spices and Splenda/sugar; if the mixture is looking dry add a splash of soy milk. Cook until thickened and the oats are soft, adding more soy milk if desired.
    Portion into two bowls and serve. For a 'pumpkin pie crust' sensation, serve with some crunchy granola on the side.


    Sunday, October 26, 2008

    Roasted Applesauce

    Applesauce is traditionally made on the stove; it's how I've always known it done. Roasting concentrates flavor and requires little attention, so this approach seems obvious and very appealing. I don't want to babysit a pot of apples for this amount of time; I want to throw them in a dish and forget about them until the kitchen timer goes off.

    I wanted to add some apple and lemon juice, but with none in the house I went with some water and skipped the acid. I was a little concerned that it would be missed but my batch is delicious.
    I used some sweet Gala apples, and left the skins on. They are tasty and filled with antioxidants.

    If you don't want the skins you can peel the apples before coring and slicing. Decided later you don't want them? Send the mixture through a food mill.

    Roasted Applesauce

    4 large apples, cored and chopped
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 Tbs brown sugar
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Prepare the apples and toss them in a baking dish. Add the water, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and toss to coat the apples. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the apples are very mushy. Shmoosh (yes, shmoosh) the apples with a spatula or potato ricer to the consistency you desire. Allow to cool completely before storing in the fridge in an airtight container.


    As you can see the volume really shrinks after baking. This is a small batch, and it's so good you may need to make more quickly! Easily doubled or tripled, provided you have a baking dish that will fit.


    Thursday, October 23, 2008


    NH- aka Mr. Suite Apple Pie- does not cook.
    He is proficient with a microwave and toaster, but that is the extent of his skills in the kitchen. Exit the house into the backyard, and this is his domain.

    The women in his family cook, the men grill. His dad is great with the grill and puts it to good use in summer. When we got married NH decided to take ownership of this culinary cooridor; for his birthday he received several grilling utensils, and two cookbooks: one from me and one from his parents. My volume has more information and instruction, while the parental gift, Bobby Flay's Grill It, has more interesting recipes.

    The first recipe he sampled was a winner and has become a household staple. He has perfected his chicken-grilling technique and is confident enough to serve it to guests.

    I do not partake in the chicken but I do assist with the making of the glaze. It smells good and is very simple to put together with basic pantry items. Before this I had no idea apple jelly existed; now it's a permanent fixture in our fridge. If you are anti-meat like I am, this could be nice on a fatty fish like salmon, or as a marinade for tofu.

    Apple Ginger Glaze

    adapted from Grill It! by Bobby Flay

    In a small pot, whisk together 1/2 cup apple jelly, 2 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce, 1 Tbs fresh thyme, finely chopped, 1 Tbs grated fresh ginger, and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer over low heat for a few minutes until the mixture thickens a bit. Set aside to cool slightly before using. Brush on chicken, fish, tofu, or vegetables before grilling.


    In the Words of MFK Fisher. . .

    It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it...and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied...and it is all one.

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Have your Pie, and your Cake Too

    I am an enthusiastic amateur baker, but sometimes enthusiasm cannot overcome intimidation.
    I was intimidated by this recipe. Captivated and awed, but intimidated.
    Apple pie is my First Favorite, hence the name of this beloved collection. You can imagine the sound in my head when I saw this recipe. It was about a year ago, and I was reading Alpineberry's deliciously pretty blog.
    It went something like this: YYYYUUUUMMMMYYYY!!!!!!!!

    The recipe was for Apple Pie Cupcakes. What a glorious idea, cake-pie-apple. I saved the recipe and drooled over the lovely pictures. I was intimidated by the multiple components and not yet ready to take the plunge. But as with all recipes I come across and get excited about, I sent Mom a copy of the recipe.


    If I'm an enthusiastic amateur baker, Mom is an enthusiastic veteran who has been baking mouthwatering creations for 30 years. She doesn't measure, she weighs. She can alter a recipe without much thought because she knows ingredients and recipes so well. She may not be 100% happy with how something new turns out because she seeks perfection, but it will be devoured in moments.


    This weekend she decided to pull out the Apple Pie Cupcake recipe and give it a try. She made a few modifications to the ingredients, (like-mother like-daughter, we both try to cut the fat and sugar without sacrificing flavor), used a square mini cake pan, and was kind enough to send me a few pictures since I could not be there in person.

    As usual, she modestly declares that they didn't come out very well, that they don't look good. As usual, my family declares them delicious and interesting.

    Apple Pie Cupcakes
    adapted from Alpineberry's recipe

    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 1/4 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    4 large eggs
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
    1 cup milk

    Apple Topping
    3 tbsp unsalted butter
    1/3 cup sugar
    3 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

    Cinnamon Frosting
    1 stick butter
    3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease and flour sqaure mini cake pans or cupcake pans.

    For the apple topping: Place the butter and sugar in a large pan over medium low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add apple slices and cook for 10 minutes until lightly caramelized. Allow to cool completely.

    For the cupcakes: In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla and zest. Add the flour mixture slowly until just incorporated. Add the milk and mix until smooth. Fill the pans you are using 2/3 full and top with the apples. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool on racks before icing.

    For the icing: In a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar and cinnamon and beat another 5 minutes until fluffy. Frost the cupcakes with an icing spatula.


    Saturday, October 18, 2008

    Suite 100

    Need some sweet ideas?
    My foodiesister VeggieGirl posted this list last week and I couldn't wait to participate. How fun it is to see what sweets you've sampled and how many you have left to try!
    1.) Copy this list into your site, including the instructions!
    2.) Bold all of the sweets you've eaten, and make them a different type color.
    3.) Cross out any of them that you'd never ever eat.
    4.) Consider anything that is not bold or crossed out your "To Do" List.
    5.) Optional: Post a comment here linking to your results--or just post a comment letting us know how many you've tried, or what you're going to try next!And now, here is

    ~::~ Suite Apple Pie's Sweet 100 List ~::~

    1. Red Velvet Cake- recently, at a wedding shower this summer

    2. Princess Torte- this was my wedding cake

    3. Whoopie Pie- like a glorious homemade Oreo

    4. Apple Pie, either topped or baked with sharp cheddar- My favorite! Topped with crust, with streseul, sharp cheddar, mixed with pumpkin, and more!

    5. Beignet
    A French doughnut popular in New Orleans

    6. Baklava- eaten, and made here

    7. Black and white cookie- a few New York trips ago. . .

    8. Seven Layer Bar (also known as the Magic Bar or Hello Dolly bars) - I know them as Seven Layer Bars; not my favorte but I have tried them

    9. Fried Fruit pie (sometimes called hand pies) - a Peach hand pie

    10. Kringle
    Scandinavian pastry in a pretzel shape

    11. Just-fried (still hot) doughnut- Krispy Kreme donuts in college. You could go into the shop and order them straight off the conveyer belt

    12. Scone with clotted cream- a family classic, I've had more scones with clotted cream than I could count

    13. Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy - Apple Brown Betty, Blueberry Buckle, Apple Pandowdy, Blueberry Slump!

    14. Halvah
    also known as "Turkish Delight," made of starch and sugar and flavored with rosewater

    15. Macaroons - I love these French beauties. Not the heavy coconut American things, but the light and flavorful shell-shaped cookies in pistachio and chocolate

    16. Banana pudding with nilla wafers

    17. Bubble tea (with tapioca “pearls”) - a common treat on the Peninsula, at first I disliked these drinks but they grow on you in a strange (squishy) way

    18. Dixie Cup

    19. Rice Krispie treats - who has not? Mom used to make these with puffed wheat cereal instead, so I'd have the 'authentic' version at friends' houses (I like Mom's better)

    20. Alfajores
    Latin dessert; two sweet biscuits sandwiches with dulce de leche or jam, and covered in powdered sugar

    21. Blondies - mmm yes, but I prefer chocolatey brownies

    22. Croquembouche
    I have yet to try this gorgeous dessert but I can't wait! It's a tower of cream filled puffs and dressed in spun sugar. A traditional French wedding cake

    23. Girl Scout cookies - oi who hasn't? I was a Girl Scout for a few years and have bought them almost every year since. I believe it's the Samoas (chocolate, caramel, and coconut?) I like the best

    24. Moon cake
    rich and dense Chinese pastry filled with lotus seed paste, served during the Mid-Autumn Festival

    25. Candy Apple - I had my first Candy Apple (NH was appalled!) about two years ago at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Several shops sell them along with fudge. It was ok, it was covered in caramel and peanuts. But once the outside is gone it's no good anymore, the apples used are not very good

    26. Baked Alaska (REALLY want to try this!)
    ice cream and sponge cake covered in meringue and baked until golden

    27. Brooklyn Egg Cream
    chocolate syrup, milk, and carbonated water

    28. Nanaimo bar
    Canadian dessert: wafer, vanilla custard, chocolate

    29. Baba au rhum
    yeast cake saturated with rum and topped with whipped cream

    30. King Cake - given to me by a friend at work who is from New Orleans, and wasn't able to travel home for Mardi Gras. Lovely gooey sweet stuff

    31. Sachertorte
    dense Viennese chocolate cake with apricot jam

    32. Pavlova - how I love the light airy marshmallowness of Pavlova! without the cream, and extra berries!

    33. Tres Leches Cake

    34. Trifle- I've had many different trifles in my life. It's a very versatile dessert that can be any flavor, with any number of components. Usually custard, sponge cake, and whipped cream are involved

    35. Shoofly Pie
    Pennsylvania Dutch molasses pie

    36. Key Lime Pie (made with real key lime)

    37. Panna Cotta

    38. New York Cheesecake

    39. Napoleon / mille-fueille - a favorite of my family when purchasing pastries for a Sunday tea

    40. Russian Tea Cake / Mexican Wedding Cake - or Kourabiedes in Cyprus, every culture has a version of this cookie

    41. Anzac biscuits
    Australian sweet biscuit with oats, flour, and sugar

    42. Pizzelle

    43. Kolache
    Central European pastry filled with many things from cheeses to fruit

    44. Buckeyes - Thanks to VeggieGirl! :-)

    45. Malasada
    Portuguese doughnut

    46. Moon Pie
    graham crackers and marshmallow dipped in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or banana

    47. Dutch baby - a lovely fluffy pancake, this is a really special breakfast

    48. Boston Cream Pie - my mother has made a fabulous Boston Cream Pie, AND Boston Cream cupcakes

    49. Homemade chocolate chip cookies

    50. Pralines

    51. Gooey butter cake- NH's mother makes this, I believe it has roots in the Midwest

    52. Rusks
    British hard biscuit

    53. Daifuku- I've had this sweet mochi stuffed with sweet bean paste for dessert after a dim sum lunch

    54. Green tea cake or cookies

    55. Cupcakes from a cupcake shop

    56. Crème brûlée

    57. Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake)

    58. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting

    59. Jelly Roll

    60. Pop Tarts - first time in college!

    61. Charlotte Russe
    cold cream dessert molded with ladyfingers

    62. An “upside down” dessert (Pineapple upside-down cake or Tarte Tatin)

    63. Hummingbird Cake - a Southern favorite
    pecans, bananas, cinnamon, cream cheese frosting

    64. Jell-O from a mold

    65. Black forest cake
    chocolate cake layers with whipped cream and cherries between each

    66. Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie)

    67. Kulfi
    frozen Indian dessert

    68. Linzer torte

    69. Churro

    70. Stollen
    German bread cake

    71. Angel Food Cake

    72. Mincemeat pie

    73. Concha
    Mexican sweet-topped buns

    74. Opera Cake

    75. Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail

    76. Pain au chocolat

    77. A piece of Gingerbread House

    78. Cassata
    Sicilian sponge cake with ricotta, often Grand Marnier, pistachios, espresso, rum. . .

    79. Cannoli - I've had the kind with the traditional ricotta filling as opposed to whipped cream. Not my favorite, but I have sampled

    80. Rainbow cookies- I can't place where I've had these, but one look at a picture online and I remember how they taste. Isn't that funny?

    81. Religieuse
    Choux pastry with blackcurrant and violet custard. French of course.

    82. Petits fours - I love these cute little fondant covered bites of cake. When I was very small we'd have them as a special treat from the fresh market near our house in Cary, NC

    83. Chocolate Souffle - Barracuda makes a fabulous chocolate souffle

    84. Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)
    I saw Rachael Ray eat this from a Sonoma bakery on $40 A Day. Must find this bakery on next trip :-)

    85. Rugelach - look here. As a child we'd buy chocolate rugelach from Harry's

    86. Hamenstashen
    three-cornered Jewish pastry, filled with jam and traditional at Purim

    87. Homemade marshmallows - I have not made them myself though, I need to psych myself up to work with that much sticky gooeyness.

    88. Rigo Janci
    Hungarian chocolate cake

    89. Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc)

    90. Divinity
    meringue candy

    91. Coke or Cola cake

    92. Gateau Basque
    French tart with pastry cream and cherries soaked in brandy

    93. S’mores - mmmmm I've had these by many a campfire, and also prepared on the stove/microwave at home. Try them with cinnamon graham crackers and dark chocolate

    94. Figgy Pudding

    95. Bananas foster or another flaming dessert
    REALLY can't wait to try this dessert of bananas sauteed in butter and rum and flambeed with vanilla ice cream

    96. Joe Froggers - yes! look here if you want to know what these are :-)

    97. Sables
    French butter cookie

    98. Millionaire’s Shortbread
    British shortbread with top layers of caramel and chocolate

    99. Animal crackers - frosted or unfrosted, an essential part of an American childhood. What preschool/kindergarten doesn't stock these for snacktime treats?

    100. Basbousa
    Middle Eastern cake made with semolina and covered with syrup


    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    An Autumn Drop Cookie

    My earliest cookie baking memory is with Mom, making drop cookies.

    She mixed a wonderful chocolate chip cookie batter with a few special ingredients. They were a childhood favorite and still are; they remind me of a time when we were allowed to taste the batter (enter evil salmonella).

    . . . I can't believe I have not made these cookies since I began writing Suite Apple Pie! Must put them on my to-do list. . .
    But, I digress. . .

    Drop cookies are wonderful because they are so easy. They may not be perfectly formed as other cookies, but something delicious doesn't always have to be pretty. As a little girl, Mom would make the batter in her old school KitchenAid mixer, and just before the end I could add the chocolate chips. She would add chopped walnuts to the second half of the batter- the adults liked those, we kids had not yet learned their appeal.

    Mom would line us up (sometimes the brother(s) would join) at the counter with wax papered baking pans and spoons to make the cookies. We used two teaspoons to drop balls of batter onto the pan, always making more than the recipe proclaimed. Three small cookies are always better than one big one!

    I used the same technique for these Pumpkin Cookies.

    I like pumpkin, but in October-November it turns to love and I go through multiple cans of puree making oatmeal, waffles, and breads.
    This is my first cookie; they are tender and flavorful from the cinnamon and nutmeg. Several variations come to mind: try adding pumpkin pie spice, or perhaps some toasted pecans or a glaze.

    Pumpkin Cookies

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup quick cooking oats
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    1 stick butter, softened
    1 cup pumpkin puree
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line several baking sheets with wax or parchment paper.

    Combine the flours, oats, baking soda and powder, spices, and salt in a bowl. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Beat in the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Using two teaspoons, drop small amounts of batter onto the baking sheets.

    Bake for 12-14 minutes, switching oven racks halfway through. Cool on the baking sheets for 4 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

    Makes about 50 cookies


    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Foodbuzz Publisher Community Launches

    What could be better than a global food organization?

    Foodbuzz has officially launched its Foodbuzz Publisher Community, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. It's the only online community exclusively created for and by food bloggers and food eaters.



    San Francisco – October 13, 2008: Foodbuzz, Inc., officially inaugurates its food blogger community with more than 1,000 blog partners, a global food blogging event and an online platform that captures the real-people, real-time power of food publishing in every corner of the world. At launch, the Foodbuzz community ranks as one of the top-10 Internet destinations for food and dining (Quantcast), with bloggers based in 45 countries and 863 cities serving up daily food content.
    “Food bloggers are at the forefront of reality publishing and the dramatic growth of new media has redefined how food enthusiasts access tasty content,” said Doug Collister, Executive Vice President of Foodbuzz, Inc. “Food bloggers are the new breed of local food experts and at any minute of the day, Foodbuzz is there to help capture the immediacy of their hands-on experiences, be it a memorable restaurant meal, a trip to the farmers market, or a special home-cooked meal.”
    Foodbuzz is the only online community with content created exclusively by food bloggers and rated by foodies. The site offers more than 20,000 pieces of new food and dining content weekly, including recipes, photos, blog posts, videos and restaurant reviews. Members decide the “tastiness” of each piece of content by voting and “buzz” the most popular posts to the top of the daily menu of submissions. Foodbuzz currently logs over 13 million monthly page views and over three million monthly unique visitors.
    “Our goal is to be the number-one online source of quality food and dining content by promoting the talent, enthusiasm and knowledge of food bloggers around the globe,” said Ben Dehan, founder and CEO of Foodbuzz, Inc.
    The Foodbuzz blogger community is growing at a rate of 40 percent per month driven by strong growth in existing partner blogs and the addition of over 100 new blogs per month. “The Web site is like the stock of a great soup. The Web site provides the base or backbone for bloggers to interact as a community, contribute content, and have that content buzzed by their peers,” said Mr. Dehan.
    Global Blogging Event
    Demonstrating the talent and scope of the Foodbuzz community, 24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs offered online food enthusiasts an international, virtual street festival of food and diversity. The new feature showcased blog posts from 24 Foodbuzz partner bloggers chronicling events occurring around the globe during a 24 hour period and included:
    · Mid-Autumn Festival Banquest (New York, NY)
    · The "Found on Foodbuzz" 24-Item Tasting Menu (San Francisco, CA)
    · Aussie BBQ Bonanza – Celebrating Diversity (Sydney, Australia)
    · The Four Corners of Carolina BBQ Road Trip (Charleston, SC)
    · Criminal Tastes – An Illegal Supper (Crested Butte, CO)
    · From Matambre to Empanadas: An Argentine Dinner (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
    · A Sweet Trompe l’oeil (Seattle, WA)

    “24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs” captures the quality and unique local perspective of our food bloggers and shared it with the world,” said Ryan Stern, Director of the Foodbuzz Publisher Community. “It illustrates exactly what the future of food publishing is all about – real food, experienced by real people, shared real-time.”
    About Foodbuzz, Inc.
    Based in San Francisco, Foodbuzz, Inc., launched its beta Web site,, in 2007. In less than a year, and its community of over 1,000 exclusive partner food blogs have grown into an extended online property that reaches more than three million users.

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    Acorn Squash

    Isn't this a pretty vegetable?

    I found this organic acorn squash at Whole Foods and made it half of a very delicious dinner.

    With a quarter inch of water in the bottom of the baking dish to prevent drying, I baked it at 350 for 30 minutes. We sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar and a bit of butter. The remaining Suite Pea Bundles were the perfect side dish.


    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Sunday Prep

    Sunday is now Prep Day around here; I did a pretty good job!

    I'm exhausted, but I do have this to show for my efforts.


    A fresh batch of granola and two servings of pumpkin oatmeal

    A large spaghetti squash, baked at 350 for 40 minutes.

    Two baking pans of roasted veggies- mushrooms, broccoli, turnips, yams, butternut squash, and mini bell peppers. All baked at 425 for 40 minutes. Roasted vegetables are never pretty, but who cares? They taste amazing.

    Three varieties of grapes, washed. . .

    . . . and pre-portioned popcorn from one bag.

    Phew, I'm exhausted! But at least I will be well fed and less stressed :-)


    Thursday, October 9, 2008

    Pumpkin Morning

    Any chain of events which leads to this has to be good.

    6:33 AM: In the middle of my morning workout, and thinking about the day's food (I start work at 10:00 AM right now, so I have time to contemplate). I decide I REALLY want to make pumpkin oatmeal, which means opening a can to use a small amount

    6:44 AM: Pumpkin waffles! I have a few recipes to try, I can make a big batch, freeze some, and have the rest for NH's breakfast the next few days.

    6:52 AM: . . . and since I have an early meeting Friday and won't have any time in the morning, I'll make a double batch of pumpkin oatmeal, saving the second serving for tomorrow. I'm so brilliant (and hungry too, how much longer is my workout going to be?)

    7:35 AM: Ok, let's get going!

    This batter came together very easily, a melange of a few recipes I had stashed. The pumpkin and spices made the raw batter smell delicious, and even more so as it cooked in waffle iron. It made six but they are huge! I'd say one is probably equal to four small pancakes, so one should feed a hungry person. One IS going to feed this hungry person Friday at lunch- I'm excited to try them!

    Pumpkin Waffles

    1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    3 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
    1/2 tsp ginger
    a pinch of salt
    2 eggs
    2 Tbs brown sugar
    1 cup canned pure pumpkin
    a mixture of nonfat yogurt and soy milk, to equal 1 2/3 cup (OR 1 2/3 cup buttermilk)
    2 Tbs canola oil

    Preheat a Belgian waffle iron, or whatever waffle iron you have.

    In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. In another bowl, mix the eggs brown sugar, pumpkin, milk/yogurt mixture, and oil. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry with 10 stirs of a whisk, careful not to overmix.

    When the iron is heated, lightly spray with canola cooking spray. Place heaping cups of batter (whatever amount your iron holds- my first few are usually smaller before I get comfortable with the proportions) and close the iron until browned. Place on a rack to cool and continue with the remaining batter, lightly spraying the iron when you deem it necessary to prevent sticking.


    For the pumpkin oatmeal, I made two servings with one cup of oats/2 cups water. I added two heaping tablespoons of pumpkin (I now have about that much leftover from the whole can), some cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla soy milk. And of course, the obligatory Suite Apple Granola on the side.

    I have my second serving all ready to go.

    The first bowl was so good, I think I'll make more with the remaining pumpkin over the weekend.
    Bon Appetit!


    Better. . .

    Leftovers I could eat every day (and have!)

    This was dinner on Monday and Tuesday and lunch on Wednesday:

    Spaghetti squash with fire-roasted tomatoes, diced jalapeno, a pinch of Quattro Formaggi cheese blend, roasted eggplant, roasted bell pepper, capers, roasted carrots, and peas
    To round out lunch, some portioned popcorn (the second for an emergency) and some grapes and figs
    I've never been able to eat dinner food for lunch before. I'm starting to get the hang of this.
    Only problem is I'm still STARVING for dinner. . . . This seems like plenty of food to me, what am I doing wrong? Maybe my tummy just prefers 8:30-5???

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    Lunch Pail, A New Essential

    I am struggling to feed myself during the week.

    Hopefully this guy will help me.

    My former lunch bag is cute and sturdy, but small so I'm limited on volume. I don't want to carry much, but I need to be able to bring more because I'm slowly starving myself. :/

    $1.25 at Whole Foods checkout, and $1.25 well-spent. He is sturdy with lots of room, a velcro flap and a carry handle.

    I filled the bottom with a few snacks to stash in my desk, for the days when I fail to bring adequate provisions.

    I haven't eaten a Luna Bar since college, but they'll sit in my desk drawer for an emergency (Chocolate Pecan Pie and Iced Oatmeal Raisin).
    Also an opportunity to try my first Larabar (Coconut Cream Pie)!
    100-calorie bags of popcorn also do the job of a good snack- quiet my tummy without filling me up.


    Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    Nana Lallies

    How I wish I could make a living by my Pen or my Oven.

    Or my Camera for that matter!

    I'm struggling to write and cook with my current schedule. It's incredible what a hiatus from the things you love can do. I wouldn't think a break can lead to unhappiness. Apparently it can. Being so close and yet so far, withdrawal has set in and I've been a little cranky.



    You can imagine how I felt when I thrust these little babies into the oven today.

    A few stolen moments and some fruit stashed in the freezer gave me a little respite. Those gorgeous berries you see nestled in the batter are olalliberries (oh-la-leh), kept in the freezer from my picking excursion in June.

    These nutritious muffins- whole wheat with no butter or oil- create a heavenly aroma and a toothsome treat. Olallieberries are special, but blueberries or blackberries are an easy substitute.

    Banana-Olallieberry Muffins

    aka Nana-Lallies

    2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1 tsp cinnamon
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 cup mashed ripe banana
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
    a splash of milk
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup olallieberries

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

    In a large bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. In another small bowl, whisk the banana, eggs, yogurt, milk, and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Gently fold in the olallieberries. Spoon batter into muffin pan and bake for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


    Sunday, October 5, 2008

    Birthday Cake

    Chocolate Rum Cake from The Prolific Oven

    sour cream chocolate cake, with dark semi-sweet chocolate frosting in the center

    finished with rum-vanilla cream cheese frosting, more chocolate frosting, and chopped chocolate

    Yes it is even BETTER than it looks


    Friday, October 3, 2008

    I'm Learning

    Lessons Learned So Far:

    1. Lettuce is fab at home but dicey at work. Stick with other veggies in salad form.
    2. Yogurt and cereal is great and satisfying, but not the best for my energy level at 2:30pm. Enjoy this sparingly.

    3. I try to get my carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables only, but just a few crackers really helps with satiety throughout the second half of the day.

    4. Grapes right now are UNBELIEVABLE!! Really crunchy outside and crunchy-sweet inside.

    Today's salad combo includes a rainbow of color with cherry tomatoes, roasted sweet potato, purple cabbage, roasted corn, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, homemade hummus and a tiny bit of fresh goat cheese, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

    This fresh hummus recipe is wonderful for work. I made it almost 2 weeks ago and it's still going strong!
    Leaving out the garlic avoids any dragon breath during meetings :-) The flavors are there while you eat but don't linger after the fact. This time I gave it some Indian flavor with garam masala which I love, but you can substitute cumin or any other spices that you like.
    Fresh Hummus
    1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
    1 Tbs tahini
    2 lemons
    1 teaspoon salt
    black pepper
    1-2 teaspoons garam masala
    In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, yogurt, and tahini. Zest half of one lemon and juice both into the mixture. Add the garam masala, salt and pepper, and puree until smooth. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

    Thursday, October 2, 2008


    Originally submitted at UncommonGoods

    Perfect for your little sweet pea, this set of adorable organic cotton veggies looks straight from the farmer's market. Made and stuffed with 100% organic Egyptian cotton, these veggies are ideal for all ages and will encourage your child to develop a positive attitude towards vegetables. Supe...

    Perfect Baby Shower gift

    By Sarah C. from San Mateo, CA on 10/2/2008


    5out of 5

    Gift: Yes

    Pros: Colorful and Fun

    Best Uses: Playtime, Toddlers, Infants

    Describe Yourself: Cousin of New Mom

    A perfect baby shower gift! My nephew will learn to love his vegetables early in life :-)


    Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    Piggy Back

    Someone misses me as much as I miss them these days :-(

    Peeking over my Shoulder

    Now that I'm gone during the day all week, Padma has taken to piggy-backing me as I eat my breakfast oats. And so excited to see me when I get home! She is like a barnacle these days.

    New Loungey 2

    She rushes to my side and doesn't leave until NH drags her from our bed at night.

    cuddling on sunday

    No new snacking to report, she's sticking to the cheese doodles and popcorn. We can't help indulging her, she's so cute.

    Can you tell my Padma fills the void of a child right now? I dunno, that biological clock . . .