Pies Galore!

Happy Pi(e) day!

My department had a pie contest!  I made Peanut Butter Banana Cream pie!

Graham cracker crust.

Layer of dark chocolate.

Layer of Peanut Butter.

Layer of homemade vanilla custard mixed with fresh sliced bananas.

Topped with real whipped cream.

How can you go wrong with PB, Chocolate AND Banana all in one delicious pie!?!?!

I thought it was pretty darn delicious!  I think others liked it too!

I’m not sure who won 😦 I left early to work on my fitness (…Fergie style…), busted out 4 miles on the treadmill and 20mins (I think… short term memory loss I guess…) on the elliptical.  It was great!

Seriously folks, I am all sugared out.  I hadn’t really consumed any refined sugar all week and this weekend I had a ton.  I literally feel a bit ill. Cooling it on the sugar as usual!

So today I was procrastinating and looking at old posts and I realized that it probably seems like I eat a lot of junk.  Haha! I promise, I actually don’t!  Well, I eat a fair amount of sweets but I like to balance it out with vegetables and other healthy eats!

For example, for breakfast today I had a green monster and an egg white omelet:

4 egg whites… the custard in the pie required four egg yolks… No point in throwing the whites away!

For dinner, bok choy, leeks and scallions stir fried in some coconut oil and Ponzu with a Boca patty!  Sooooooo Soooo Soooooo good!  I wanted more! Also had a pear!

Just so you don’t think my hot bod comes from cookies alone… I eat vegetables 🙂  A lot actually!

Just thought I would clarify that!

Ugh tomorrow is Monday… but Thursday is the start of spring break with a class trip to NYC!  WOO!  Then a whole week off!!  And I’ll be seeing the lovely fella AGAIN!  We may or may not go on a mini road trip… any spring break plans for you?  Has spring break already passed for everyone??

Have a great night!


POM Cornmeal Muffins

Hellooo everyone!  I hope your weekend is going well.  I had a super fun time last night, went to a friend’s show then went dancing with some ladies!  Then daylight savings happened and I turned into a pumpkin…

or maybe I kept on being my fine, fierce self an hour later than usual!

In my last post, I made POM Ricotta Muffins… The fact that my POM muffins weren’t so good was bothering me all day yesterday.  So today I decided to give it another try, this time slightly different and sans ricotta.

POM Cornmeal Muffins

inspired by Joy of Baking’s Berry Cornmeal Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped date pieces
1 egg
1 cup POM Wonderful
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Fill lined muffin pan about half way each.  Bake 15-20 minutes.

I feel redeemed!  These were tasty!  I loved the texture, the slight fruity taste from the POM, and the nice chewy sweetness from the dates!  Definitely recommend these!

I enjoyed one with a little Barney Butter spread on it!  DELICIOUS!

Today is Pi(e) day (3.14… 3/14… get it?) and I’m baking for an event!  I’ll be back later with fun pie creations later!

I think after this weekend I’m going to be officially over sweets for a while!

Off to work on some more econ! Have a great Sunday!

POM Ricotta Muffins

Hi everyone! Hope your weekend is starting off fantastically!  Last night I saw, Remember Me (new Robert Pattinson movie)… not what I expected…

It wasn’t terrible.  It was WAY more dramatic and sad than I thought it was going to be.  Don’t see it if you’re expecting something happy go lucky, I wanted to cry for a good while afterward.  But enough about that!

Yesterday, I got a shipment from POM!  They were kind enough to send me some bottles of POM Wonderful to try!  Now I’m not a huge fan of juice (as in I can’t remember the last time I drank some) but I was intrigued at the prospect of cooking with it.

So yesterday, I tried my first creation again in an attempt to make sure my food doesn’t go to waste.

POM Ricotta Muffins

inspired by Joy of Baking’s Cherry Ricotta Muffins
1 cup ricotta
2 eggs
1 cup POM juice (really I used 1/2 cup POM and 1/2 cup buttermilk but I this it would be better just with POM)
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all the wet ingredients in a bowls.  In another bowl combine dry ingredients.  Add dry to wet.  Pour batter into muffin pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes.

I won’t lie.  These weren’t my favorite.  I think it was the ricotta that gave it a weird texture and they weren’t particularly flavorful.  Also, I couldn’t taste the pomegranate so I suggest using a whole cup of POM juice (plus you get extra antioxidants!).

I liked the chocolate ones WAY better, but I guess chocolate makes everything taste good!  I topped them with some pomegranate sauce (combo of greek yogurt and pomegranate juice) just to kick up the flavor.  Honestly, that was the best part…

Oh well, this was only my first shot at a POM creation.  Be prepared for many pomegranate flavored things to come!

Also, sorry I’ve been MIA in the blog world lately.  I’m sort of in a bloggy slump.  I’ve still been reading, just not commenting as much.  Hopefully finishing my take home midterm for econ will make life better.

Have a great day!!

A Little Pop in Your Life

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ve probably realized that I’m a pop culture fiend.

Just to spice up your Friday and start your weekend off with a bang…

Amazing.  Ridiculously weird. Pretty disturbing.

Also… new Robert Pattinson movie comes out today… but I want to see this more:

Looks hilarious! Love America Ferrera!

Be back with fun food later!  Have a great day!!!

Chipotle Homefries

Hellooooo!  Today was another busy day!  My work day plan is working out pretty well.  I got home around 6:00pm and was ready for something quick and easy.

Last week, I baked a few potatoes to eat throughout the week.  Tonight I ended up using them.  The theme was Mexican Breakfast, because I had a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that needed to be used leftover from my Ginormous Chipotle Beans Extravaganza.  Here’s my creation:

Chipotle Homefries

2 potatoes, baked (or cooked in the microwave) and chopped into large chunks
1-2 tsp adobo sauce, from can of peppers
1 chipotle pepper finely chopped, optional or less if you want it less spicy
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix around to coat.  Add some oil (I used about a tsp of coconut oil) to a pan and heat.  Add the potatoes turning every few minutes and cook on medium/high heat til heated and crispy.

Serve with sour cream (or Greek Yogurt like I did) and eggs.

These were picante but delicious and much healthier than any homefries you would get at a restaurant! I bet these would be even better if you let them marinate in the stuff before stir frying.

Perfect meal enjoyed in front of the laptop, catching up on Lost!

I’ve been behind on the blog reading but hopefully I’ll catch up soon!  Hope you’re all having a great week!  It’s half way done!  Have a great night!!

Best Salad Ever

This morning, I did something I haven’t done in a LOOOOONNNGGG time…

Updated my ipod!

Check out the sweet new playlist:

This made my 3 mile treadmill jaunt AMAZING!  I wanted to keep going but had to leave to get ready for class!

New music always gets me excited about a work out.  My current obsession is Jay Sean’s “Do You Remember”
What’s your favorite work out song(s)??

As promised… Here is the Best Salad Ever!

That’s it!!  Just kidding….

Chop up some romaine.  If you’re eating at home, put it in a large bowl.  If you’re taking it to go, cool whip containers work… great conversation starter too!

Add your desired veggie toppings: cucumbers, carrot ribbons and artichoke hearts (ideally this would have tomatoes and bell peppers but I’m out of those)

Add your protein:  1 chopped up string cheese and 1 chopped up veggie patty

And finally… the best part… Barley!!

Remember my obsession with Annie’s Buttermilk Dressing?? I found a homemade replacement!  Prepare to be amazed…

Creamy Lemon Tahini Dressing

adapted from Culinate’s Lemon-Tahini Dressing

2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp water
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, minced
3/4 cup greek yogurt (any fat should work, I used nonfat)
dash of cumin
few shakes of paprika
few shakes of cayenne
sea salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients and be prepared for deliciousness!  Play around with the spices til you find what tastes best to you!

I pack mine in an old garlic container.  No need for fancy tupperware here!

I almost wouldn’t call this a salad!  It’s just intense and delicious!

Well I’m off to class!  Have a fantastic day!  Eat a salad! They’re delicious! What’s the best salad you’ve ever had?

Vegan Coconut Cardamom Oatmeal Cookies

If you recall, one of the girls in the discussion section I TA for is a vegan.  She presented today (I’m having them all do presentations so they all talk.  The point is for them to practice Spanish after all…).  So I thought I should make a vegan treat in her honor.

Vegan Coconut Cardamom Oatmeal Cookies

adapted from Chewy Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup Earthbalance (vegan non-butter) (if non-vegan, just use butter)
1/2 cup (heaping) of sugar
1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened (if non-vegan use 1 egg)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cardamom

Cream together the “butter” and sugar.  Add the applesauce and vanilla.  Then the rest of the ingredients.  Chill in the freezer while you wash dishes and pre-heat the oven.  Roll into tablespoon size balls and place on a greased baking sheet.  Leave A LOT of space between the cookies, they flatten and expand when they bake.  Bake 10-12 minutes.

These turned out REALLY flat.  I would almost venture to say they were a fail but they tasted so darn good!  Next time, I would say freeze the dough and bake to see if that helps.  Or maybe add more baking powder?  Any other suggestions?

You’re not going to believe these but I forgot to give them to my class!  Oh well, I gave them to my next class (not one where I TA, just where I am student).  I think I had mixed reviews… I guess a lot of people don’t really eat cardamom that often?

Oh well!  I liked them! I am a little sweeted out for a while though… then again Pi day is in less than a week 🙂

In other news…

Holey moley today has been the busiest day ever!  I’m applying for an internship, have a ton of reading to do, supposedly a quiz tomorrow and have a presentation on Wednesday!  Tons to do!  For lunch today I had the MOST AMAZING SALAD EVER!  I’m planning on having it again tomorrow so I’ll share the recipe tomorrow 🙂

Until then, have a great night!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

I hate letting food go to waste.  Yesterday’s zucchini was starting to mold and the bok choy was turning yellow but I still used them.

I have a sizable container of ricotta leftover from my Eggplant Parmesan.  I don’t want it to go bad, so I’m trying to figure out ways to incorporate it.  On Friday, I spread some on my sandwich… delicious.  Today, I thought… pancakes… It’s Sunday, why not?  Thus…

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

adapted from Bobby Flay’s Recipe

1/3 cup, heaping of whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cardamom powder, optional
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of ricotta
1/3 cup milk
zest + juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp agave
coconut oil

Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Add some coconut oil to a skillet/griddle/pan, melt on low heat.  Add 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, cover with a lid/foil.  Once you see the pancakes get “holey” on one side, flip them over and cook for a few more minutes (maybe 2).  These pancakes are pretty delicate so low heat is essential.  These are the varying degrees of heat I used… low is best 🙂

I got 8 pancakes out of this recipe.  I immediately froze 4 to be reheated in the toaster oven on a rainy day!

I topped my pancakes with some extra lemon zest, shredded coconut and a mixture of greek yogurt and maple syrup (1/4 cup yogurt + 1 tbsp real maple syrup).  DELICIOUS!


Make these.  Now!

While I say the cardamom is optional on there (Bobby Flay used nutmeg but I thought lemon and cardamom sounded great together), it really makes the recipe that much better.  Cardamom is one of those underused spices in the US that is just amazing in my opinion.  Best ice cream I ever had was Cardamom Ice Cream at Ici in Berkeley. I might venture to say that cardamom is my favorite spice…

Now I’m stuffed and ready to conquer my pile of reading and methods problem set!

Any suggestions on what else to do with my ricotta?

See you next time for Sunday baking!  I’m making a vegan treat tonight!

Have a great Sunday!!


Hi everyone!  Happy Saturday!

I woke up this morning still full from last night!  That African food was dense!  After a Green Monster and some internet perusing, I headed to the gym where I ended up doing 4 miles on the treadmill.  My knees felt fine, probably because I did a run/walk combo (run 2 mins/walk 1 min).

I came home to try something new:


I’ve realized that complex carbs keep me full for longer.  The past two days I’ve come home ravenous after a basically complex carb free lunch!  So I’m going to try to incorporate whole grains and other complex carbohydrates into my lunches to see if that helps keep me from wanting to gnaw my arms off around 4:30pm.

I made a delicious stir fry with a bit of coconut oil, garlic, zucchini, bok choy, scallions and Kikkoman Ponzu. On top of that, I added a chopped up Spicy Chik’n Patty and helping of barley!

Delicious!  Very filling!  Finished off the meal with two cuties and huge cup of green tea!

I basically did nothing today… I went to TJ Maxx to return the fantastic red heels that didn’t fit 😦 and to Target to pick up some cleaning essentials.

Later in the evening, I decided I wanted a labor intensive dinner, because reading wasn’t looking that good…

Pizza!  Using this dough recipe from Eating Well.

Toppings includes: sauce, a layer of finely chopped spinach, fresh mozzarella, chopped artichoke hearts, and grated romano cheese.

Artichokes make everything delicious!  What are your favorite homemade pizza toppings?

I also ventured and made Chocolate Chia Pudding

Sad to say this is the first bloggie recipe that I did not like.  I threw it away 😦  Oh well!  Can’t love them all!

Since today was full of slacking, tomorrow is a study day.  Dreading it already.  The Oscars are on tomorrow!  I can’t wait to see the dresses on the Red Carpet!

Have a fantastic night!!

African Recipe Semi-Fail but Still Delicious

Yesterday my schedule got all turned around!  I intended to go to class then work for an hour, go to an another class and stay on campus to study til 4 then come home a cook.  However, the second class that is usually at 12:20 got moved to 3:00 and went almost til 5:00!  I still managed to get a lot done in between but I was not prepared to stay on campus til past 5!

Anyway, when we last spoke, I was soaking black eyed peas…

Here’s why:  Rhoda, my friend who pops up around here all the time, is moving to Africa!  She threw a Rhoda is going to Africa party, where we all made recipes from her future home, Burkina Faso!

So I made Savory Bean Cakes! Not the healthiest but these could definitely be made healthier while still tasting delicious!

Burkinese Savory Bean Cakes

adapted from Savoury Beancakes

200g dried black eyed peas (I actually ended up using about 220g… not a big deal)
1 carrot, chopped
1/3 onion, chopped
salt to taste
1 egg, beaten
oil for frying

Cook and peel the black eyed peas.  Allow to cool.

Put all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.

At this point, I would allow your dough to cool.  I think this is where mine went wrong.  Form them into ball and flatten, essentially into patties.

Fry for about 10 minutes.

I guess I should also say that I’ve never fried anything before, so I don’t really know how to.  I think of myself as a pretty able cook for the most part but when it comes to frying… oh jeez!

Some were burn (oil too hot).  Some broke apart (should have let the dough cool… I think).

But they tasted great!  Beany and delicious!

Even though they weren’t fabulous looking, I took them to Rhoda’s for our Rhoda is going to Africa celebration.

There was a ton of tasty Burkinese food! Check out the spread:

Rhoda made this DELICIOUS Stew!

Served with cous cous

This stuff was dense!  I was full the entire night! (My two helping of dessert probably had something to do with that too!)

She also made a millet porridge for us to try!  I thought it was tasty!  Rhoda was apprehensive but she’s going to be eating it a lot in the next couple years apparently!

Julie made the same recipe as me!  Coincidence!  Guess there aren’t too many recipes from Burkina Faso out there.  She made hers with black beans.  They were delicious!  Amazing how two different beans can taste so different!

Liz made a tasty mango chutney to complement it all!  I believe she used this recipe.

My plate (definitely had seconds…)

Dessert were Sara’s brownies with fruit and hazelnuts!  Delicious! And Anna’s apple crisp (which I’m bummed I forgot to take a picture of!)

Sooo good! It was really fun to try out these new recipes!  Even if some of them didn’t turn out as expected… Are you a fan of trying to make things you’ve never heard of or do you prefer to have a point of reference (i.e. you’ve eaten it before) when you make something?

After dinner, we headed to a party at Sara’s house.  I danced it up a bit (Beyonce came on and you better believe I was all over it), but pooped out at about 12:30am.

Today is another sunny day!  Any fun weekend plans?

Have a great day!!!!