Double Berry Breakfast Parfaits

I accidentally made a perfectly patriotic parfait! (Yay alliteration!)

Double Berry Parfaits

I had an abundance of blueberries and strawberries languishing in my fridge, too much Greek yogurt, and a hankering for something different for breakfast. And I wanted to put something in old mason jars because I though it was very Pinterest-y of me. And I’m obnoxious.

Double Berry Parfaits

These Double Berry Greek Yogurt Parfaits were just the ticket. Super quick to make, full of protein and fiber, and naturally sweet, they are perfect for the morning or an afternoon snack and a wonderful post-workout treat!

Double Berry Parfaits

Double Berry Parfaits (serves 2)

2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1 ½ cups sliced strawberries

1 pint fresh blueberries

Honey, optional

Cinnamon, optional

In mason jars or bowls, begin layers with ¼ cup of Greek yogurt, followed by a layer of strawberries and then blueberries. Repeat layering process until yogurt and berries are gone. If desired, add a drizzle of honey and sprinkling of cinnamon to yogurt layer before adding berries.

Store any uneaten parfaits covered in fridge for up to two days.

Double Berry Parfaits



Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad

Sometimes it is so tempting to not pack a lunch for the office. Sometimes I just want those extra ten minutes to sleep or drink coffee or play with my hair. Sometimes I am uninspired by what I see in my fridge. Sometimes I just plain don’t feel like making lunch.

strawberry and coat cheese salad

So I go out. I zip to the Whole Foods five minutes away and peruse the aisles for something to eat (grocery shopping when hungry may actually be considered some form of torture). I usually end up in the prepared food/salad bar section of the store trying to narrow down my choices. A few weeks ago I found a “Seasonal Selections” salad filled with berries, nuts, and goat cheese. I had to have it! So I did…for about $8. For. A. Salad.

strawberry and coat cheese salad

I am ashamed. It’d be one thing if the dish would stretch to two meals, but let’s be real, I rarely leave leftovers as it is and a salad surely won’t make the cut. It was delicious, just like I thought it would be, but it wasn’t entirely worth it. Plus, I did the math (which in itself is huge!) and realized I could spend about twice that much on ingredients and make the same kind of salad 6 times over!

And that’s exactly what I did. This Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad is light, summery and perfect for on the go lunching or those days when making food is the last thing you want to do. Sweet berries, tangy cheese and filling nuts on a bed of crunchy greens? Yes please!

strawberry and coat cheese salad

Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad (serves 1)

3 cups lettuce blend (I like Spring Mix and Romaine)

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

1 oz.  walnut pieces

balsamic vinegar, optional

Pile lettuce on plate and top with strawberries, nuts and cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.

strawberry and goat cheese salad

Whole Foods, Schmole Foods.

Breadcrumb Stuffed Baked Tomatoes

I’ve had this fascination lately with eating “Brupper.” (That’s “breakfast-for-supper” for the uninformed.) It’s partly due to my love of all things breakfast food and partly due to my laziness. By the time I get home from my internship (and an hour stuck in traffic) all I’m thinking is “FOOD! GET ME FOOD NOW!!!”

Breadcrumb Stuffed Tomatoes

So, eggs and toast have been a staple the past week. I find some veggies to throw in the eggs or on the side and – boom – complete meal.

Not wanting to eat scrambled or fried eggs for the umpteenth night in a row, I decided to get a little creative and put the eggs and toast inside the vegetables.

Breadcrumb Stuffed Tomatoes

With a little ingenuity and a quick round in the oven (my minuscule amount of patience is even thinner by night’s end), these Breadcrumb Stuffed Baked Tomatoes were ready in no time. They’re a healthier take on classic stuffed tomatoes, using egg whites in place of oil and a a full-flavored cheese used sparingly in place of a less flavorful, but more caloric one.

Breadcrumb Stuffed Tomatoes

Breadcrumb Stuffed Baked Tomatoes (makes approx. 6 small or 4 large tomatoes)

6 small tomatoes (about 2 inches around), I used chocolate tomatoes, but regular vine-ripened will work too

3 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted and cooled

2 egg whites

1 tsp. salt

1 TBSP crushed basil leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese

2 TBSP olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Using a paring knife, cut into the tops of the tomatoes at a 45 degree angle and cut a circle around the top. Remove the top and discard. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and seeds of the tomato, being careful not to pierce through the skin.

Arrange the hollowed out tomatoes on the prepared baking dish and set aside.

Roughly rip the toast into the bowl of a food processor and process until they form coarse bread crumbs. Add the egg whites, salt, basil, and cheese and blend until fully incorporated.

Fill the tomatoes with an equal amount of the breadcrumb mixture, pressing filling in firmly. Drizzle stuffed tomatoes with olive oil and bake in preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until flesh is tender.

Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Breadcrumb Stuffed Tomatoes

Brupper of champions.

Roasted Garlic & Broccoli Spread

I am painfully punctual. To the point of being neurotic. Save for me being two weeks late with the whole being born thing, I’ve been an early bird for majority of my life.

Except. Except when it comes to holidays. I just can’t seem to get the timing right for holidays. I always have these grand plans for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and so on. What to make, what to buy, what to DIY (hey, cool, that rhymed).

Anyways…I have all these plans but what I lack is follow-through! I’ll carve a pumpkin like you wouldn’t believe, but it’s going to be on November 1. This does come in handy when shopping though, I have many a holiday-themed napkin/cupcake wrapper/tea towel that I’ve gotten a day or two after on clearance for 75 cents.

So, me posting a recipe that is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day a full FIVE DAYS BEFOREHAND is virtually unheard of. New leaves people, I’m turning them over.

roasted garlic broccoli spread 1

This spread. Oh-ho this spread! Roasted garlic meets steamed broccoli and just a weeeeeeetle bit of olive oil to keep things smooth. It’s a fresher, lighter take on pesto. The secret? White miso! I know, it sounds crazy, but Jenna turned me on to it and you cannot go wrong! It adds body and moisture like olive oil would without all the extra calories or a strong taste.

It’s so versatile too. Add a little grated cheese (I used an amazing aged Dubliner to keep the St. Paddy’s theme going) and slather on bread for a fantastic grilled cheese. A mixture of half spread and half Greek yogurt make an excellent dip for veggies. Or, last but not least, stir a tablespoon or two into scrambled eggs and served with bacon – green eggs and ham, yo! The possibilities are endless, make it yourself and find out!

spread grilled cheese 1

Roasted Garlic and Broccoli Spread (makes about 2 cups)

1 – 16oz. bag of frozen chopped broccoli, steamed

2 heads roasted garlic

3 TBSP olive oil

3 TBSP white miso paste

salt, to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse broccoli and garlic to form a thick paste. Add in miso and olive oil, pulsing again until smooth. Add salt to taste.

Spread will keep in fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

grilled cheese fixins

Roasted Garlic and Broccoli Spread Grilled Cheese (makes 1)

2 pieces hearty bread

3 TBSP spread

¼ cup grated cheese (I used an aged Dubliner, but white cheddar or even provolone would work well too)

butter or butter spread (I lo-ove Brummel & Brown’s whipped yogurt spread)

Heat pan over medium-low heat.

Mix together spread and cheese, spread over one slice of bread and sandwich together. Butter both sides of the sandwich and cook first side in preheated pan until dark golden brown (about 4 minutes). Flip, and cook the other side. Enjoy immediately!

melty cheese

Now this is the luck of the Irish.


Cranberry & Gorgonzola Crostini with Balsamic Drizzle

I knew it would happen eventually. The day was going to come when I ran out of Christmas cookies. Sadly, that day came all too soon this year (or, last year, I guess…since it was 2012. Woa).
I was still on winter break when the last bits of frosting and broken crumbs disappeared. The well had dried up. I was out of cookies. Meaning I was out of breakfast. I needed a new sugar fix, and I needed it fast. I couldn’t just stop consuming unnecessary amounts of sugar first thing in the morning. I’m not a barbarian.
So, I started making cinnamon sugar toast. In massive quantities. Every day. I really and truly was going through bread at an alarming rate.  But somehow, on the day I came back to school, there was still half a loaf of whole wheat French bread sitting on the counter (because the whole wheat goodness totally makes cinnamon sugar toast a health food, it’s science). My dad wasn’t going to eat it, so I brought it back to school.
But now, in my apartment, with no cinnamon sugar shaker premixed or softened butter in a dish next to the toaster, I can’t really justify making cinnamon sugar toast for breakfast every day of the week. So I had to find something else to do with the bread. Something as equally simple and quick as cinnamon sugar toast, but a tad healthier.

Read more »

Pear & Mixed Green Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

“What kind of dressing do you have?”
“Well, we’ve got 1000 island, balsamic vnaigrette, blue cheese, French, ranch, honey mustard, Caesar, parmesan peppercorn, and our house Italian,” I rattle off from memory. Over and over and over again. Inevitably the customer gets 1000 island on their side salad (eww, btw) but only tells me after I’m out of breath from reciting the list. Sometimes, they ask twice before making a decision. Why we don’t have our dressings listed on the menu is beyond me. Drives me bonkers.

And has kind of turned me off of salad dressing. Forget that from the ages of 4 to 14 I assumed any sort of vegetable was just a vehicle for ranch dressing. Now, I normally just do a little balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper on my salads. Sometimes, if I’m feeling funky I’ll do an avocado or salsa.
But, now I’ve got a new go-to salad dressing. And go-to salad. This Pear and Mixed Green Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is filling but fresh, a perfect way to ring in the New Year. A fresh cranberry vinaigrette dresses a simple salad of mixed greens, red onion, bacon crumbles, pear, and blue cheese. Salty, tart, sweet, crunchy, creamy. Phenomenal. 

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Pecan & Cranberry Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

I’ve never been one of those people. The ones who “do lunch.” You know, the fancy people who always seem suuuuuper busy but can always “do lunch” sometime.
Puh-leaz. I do lunch every day. I can’t not do it. I schedule my classes at school around it. I start thinking about lunch as soon as I take my last bite of breakfast.
Lately though, with work and baking and other holidays to-dos, lunch has consisted of cookie dough, cookies, frosting, or some combination thereof. Delicious for a while, but not a sustainable meal plan. Mainly because I have to wear jeans to work. 

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Eggs Fried In Peppers

I eat eggs every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. Eggs are quick, easy, and full of protein. They satisfy me after a tough workout or keep me full during my long shifts at work. While I don’t think it’s excessive (it’s normal to go through two dozen eggs solo in one week, totally normal) it can get a bit boring.
So when a friend sent me a link on Facebook showing me a new way to prepare eggs my first thought was “Man, how come I didn’t think of that!” and my second was “I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow.

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Spinach and Jalapeno Salmon Cakes with Sauteed Kale and Cherry Tomatoes

I’ve been thinking about Baltimore a lot lately. Around this time last year I visited a friend from school there and had one of the best weeks of vacation, bar none. My memory has been able to retrieve the smallest details – the feel of the hardwood floor on my toes early in the morning, the spray of the water coming off the harbor cooling my hot skin, the sound of construction crews as they worked tirelessly on the road outside my friend’s apartment.
I remember my first meal there in vivid detail. Fresh off the plane (or as fresh as one can be after 4 hours of sleep and a nearly missed flight), we went to a Baltimore landmark, Miss Shirley’s, to sample a Baltimore classic, crab cakes.
Having had crab cakes in Wisconsin before and being less than impressed, my taste buds were primed to be disappointed. 
I love when my taste buds are wrong.

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Foil Wrapped Salmon

I can’t even think of a witty story or anecdote to go along with this salmon. I think that’s because it’s nothing particularly special. It’s delicious! Don’t get me wrong, it is a tasty piece of fish. But it’s simple.
It’s the dinner I make for myself when my dad is working nights. He refuses to eat salmon and I refuse to make two separate dinners – so I save this meal for when it’s just me.
Normally I make this in the oven, but yesterday I tried it on the grill with great success.

Foil Wrapped Salmon
Serves: 4
2 – 8oz. filets of salmon, skin on
1 lemon, sliced, divided
1 TBSP Coconut oil (or butter)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Miscellaneous spices/herbs, to taste
Preheat grill over medium-high heat until internal temperature is between 350 – 375 degrees. Alternatively, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a large square of foil with olive oil spray. Lay salmon on foil, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any additional spices or herbs (I use a seafood blend with sage, thyme, and rosemary, among others). Top with pat of coconut oil and lay lemon slices over filet. Wrap foil tightly around salmon to create a packet o’ fish. Repeat with other filet.
Grill (or bake) for 10 – 15 minutes, until fish is medium pink and flakes easily with a fork.
Peel off skin and serve with grilled or steamed veggies for a fast and healthy summer dinner! 
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