Confession: I’m not a cake person.
I’d rather have pie loaded with whip cream; it’s much more nostalgic. However, I recently discovered the downside of pie: it’s not acceptable to eat for breakfast. I mean could you imagine walking into a Starbucks and ordering a slice of French Silk? Here comes the judgy looks.
But coffee cake? Totally cool. Load up my plate at 8am with buttery bliss and give me a shot of espresso.
I think I can totally get down with cake for breakfast thing.
There’s something special about enjoying a slice of coffee cake with your favorite person. In fact, sometimes that is exactly what you need. Trust me on this. I’ve become an expert in wooing people with desserts.
So here’s what I did: I made you a coffee cake that tastes like a moist, fluffy blueberry muffin. The crunchy streusel topping is wonderful and I think you’ll find it perfect served warm with a cup of joe. Plus, it gives you an excuse to brown butter!
Just do it, okay?
This past weekend was tough! I was in the midst of a juice cleanse and could not stop thinking about how much I wanted a salad the size of my face. Or grilled fish with a glass of wine followed by some Fro Yo with major amounts of sprinkles and pink-frosted animal crackers.
Then to make matters worse, I watched The Food Network again. They were playing Red Lobster commercials which nearly caused me to drool on myself. I guess you could say my cravings were pretty ridiculous; then again it was probably my own fault for watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.
There is good news though: I truly feel incredible and since I enjoy sharing my discoveries with you, I journaled my experience with the cleanse. I plan on posting it sometime this week. Perhaps it will inspire you, too!
Okay enough chatting, can we get to the muffins?
There are usually only two things on my mind when I roll out of bed in the morning: coffee and checking emails. However, this morning I woke up with a huge craving for a stack of fluffy blueberry pancakes.
Wait, that’s not a big surprise is it? My Instagram account is populated with pictures of pancakes plus I even had them for dinner last night. Don’t judge, you know Brinner (breakfast for dinner… duh) is pretty much the best thing ever.
My pictures really don’t do the pancakes any justice so I’ll have to annoyingly describe to you just how perfectly good these are. Brace yourself for an overload of adjectives…
Thick. Fluffy. Melt-in-your-mouth. Unbelievable. Crispy edges. Perfectly golden. Outrageous. Awesome. Fantastic. Lick-your-plate good.
There, now do you get my point?
The other day my best friend’s mom asked when I was going to start seriously dating someone that I was just sort-of seeing?
Ummmm I don’t know, I just turned 24? And what is this — an intervention? I mean is there a deadline that I missed out on that says you have be in super serious relationship by a certain age? Can’t it all be casual and cool? I like going on dates, I’m just not on the marriage train. I prefer to live in the reality that love is a fairy tale, you know after I chase down all of my dreams and travel around the globe.
Speaking of romance, Valentine’s Day is coming up! Quick, Let’s eat salads before we overcompensate by shoving heart-shaped Reese’s in our mouths!
Just kidding… Sort of?
Lately, I have been a complete train wreck. Okay not necessarily in a bad way though; I’ve just been focusing on prioritizing my projects for work AND keeping up with the blog. Juggling them can be difficult and most of the time I end up working on the weekends with little time for guzzling my favorite margaritas. Wait, now that I think about it… aren’t margaritas a priority? Hmmmm. I’ll have to ponder that one.
Anyway this whole getting my life organized thing has forced me to become incredibly prepared since I’m always on the go. This includes making my meals ahead of time: oat muffins for the morning, greek yogurt with caramelized almonds for a sweet afternoon snack, and this pretty superfruit and nut salad that I’ve enjoyed chowing down on for lunch.
In my dream world I’d live on the beach, have a Whole Foods salad bar in my kitchen, and eat magical zero calorie banana cream pie every day for dessert.
I’d enjoy every sunrise with a continental breakfast and buy a German Shepard just because I think they’re really cute. I’d visit Machu Picchu, bungee jump daily, and make s’mores for a bedtime snack. I’d own a banana bread only bakery that serves wine. Oh and I certainly would NEVER spill wine on my white jeans (it happened this weekend).
But that’s all just in my dream world.
In real life I’m making big batches of pancakes on Sundays, chasing dogs around the neighborhood when they run away, and convincing myself to exercise daily.
Lately I’ve been testing out recipes. Usually on kids because they never lie to you; they either like it or they don’t.
Here’s Ava testing out a layered cake I made. I think I need to start renting kids for recipe testing.
Next week I’m headed out to California again! From the moment I first visited, I fell in love with it. And now I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll take a million photographs and update my about me page soon. There are so many things that I can’t wait to share with you.
For now, I made you some healthy pancakes. Wait… are they healthy if they have chocolate chips in them? That’s up to you! I try to keep them lower in calories by using egg whites, high protein greek yogurt, and quinoa. I also recommend using whole wheat white flour.
But first let’s just eat some feel-good super romantic and always delicious pancakes.
My only problem with pancakes? Deciding if I want blueberry or chocolate chip. Since I love both, I added them to my quinoa pancake batter. Yeah my brain is pretty weird; however, my taste buds are not. These are a gift from the universe.
Aren’t you a little intrigued? Maybe puzzled with the combination?
Whatever your thought, I assure you that these pancakes are a whole lot of deliciousness. Blueberry chocolate chip pancakes are kind of just an essential life experience. Something you need to try at least once.
Or a million times. Whatever!
Juicy, warm berries plus über creamy chocolate chips packed in a healthy little pancake. Take it over the top by serving them in pure maple syrup (or peanut butter!) and chasing with a glass of ice-cold milk.
It certainly is a little part of my dream world come true.
Makes 8-10 pancakes
1 cup cooked quinoa
3/4 cup all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup plain or vanilla nonfat greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk of your choice (skim, soy, almond, coconut)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Fresh fruit or fruit preserves (optional), for serving
I hope you had a great 4th of July with your friends and family!
I did! Summer cocktails were flowing, potato salad was piled high, burgers were chowed on, cheese and crackers were consumed, and the cake was gone; it was a day full of endless eating. In fact, I caught myself mindless munching all day. And now that my mind realizes what went down, I’m upset about it. Summer BBQs win again!
I know just what I need: some seriously good-for-you, juicing smoothie vegan stuff. With spinach, or kale… Or I don’t know… JUST GIVE ME ANYTHING BUT CHIPS AND CAKE!
Are you feeling the same way? Please say yes.
I’m a HUGE fan of protein shakes. I drink one at least once a day. And no, I do not have muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger, thank you very much. They’re a delicious snack that fills me up and usually keeps me from reaching for Nutter Butters and chips at 3pm.
Now I definitely can’t claim to be a health or nutrition expert, but I do know how to prepare healthy snacks and meals. And since so many of you are interested in eating healthy, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the types of foods I normally eat and give you ideas for some healthy breakfast recipes that can be easily prepared at home.
So what do I normally eat? Usually clean, unprocessed whole foods, including whole grains, lean meats, fish, some dairy, healthy fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables. This means cooking at home, preparing meals ahead of time, and resisting the urge to bake cookies and drink margs. And let me tell you, THAT is super difficult sometimes.
BUT with all of these delicious options below (and in my recipe index), I think you’ll have enough recipes to start your morning off healthy and delicious.
HEALTHY BREAKFAST IDEAS
And what about this protein shake?
Well, this shake packs flavor in a glass. Bananas and blueberries are a great combination together. It will fill you up and takes less than 5 minutes to make.
You really have no excuses to miss breakfast with this delicious little thing staring at you.
My hope is that some of these ideas and recipes will inspire you to get in your kitchen, eat breakfast, and be a little healthier. We all know breakfast is easy to skip, but it’s also the most important meal of the day.
Let me know what your favorite healthy breakfast is in the comments below!
2 cups milk of choice (skim, almond, coconut, soy)
2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (I use whey protein)
1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 large ripe banana, peeled and cut into chunks (best if the banana is frozen)
3/4 cup of ice cubes
I’ve always wondered why I am in love with everything that’s breakfast related…or you know, just obsessed with food in general.
I think I finally found the answer after visiting my Grandmother and spending time in the kitchen cooking with her. I’m now quite convinced that a love for food has been passed down to me. I know that it’s something that will be apart of me forever. In fact, cooking for others is absolutely my favorite thing in the world.
My future husband is one lucky man.
Wait… no I’m not.
My grandmother is Puerto Rican, so much of the food she cooks tends to be Spanish inspired; my Nana (Great Grandmother) taught her how to cook everything from scratch when she was a young girl. Ever since then, it’s been one of her favorite things to do. When my Grandma isn’t making homemade pozole, empanadas, and arroz con pollo, she is usually baking muffins the size of my face or throwing together a ridiculous continental breakfast for my Grandfather. Seriously give her a half hour and she’ll make you an incredible meal, but provide her with a couple of hours and you’ll have a masterpiece to eat.
She treats every meal she makes with affection, putting the utmost love into her creations — it’s an extraordinary quality. She pours her soul into stews and she throws her spice for life into spanish rice. Cooking is like an expression to her, and everything is always made with love.
My Grandma and I are two peas in a pod. I admire her in every way. I love her best though when she’s making me brunch, which often includes her famous buttermilk waffles. Crispy on the outside, warm and perfect on the inside.
When she made these incredible buttermilk waffles my Grandpa and I joked that this was probably the healthiest thing she made for us during my stay. I even specifically remember that she once asked me if I wanted waffles and ice cream for dinner. Another day she tried to feed me this pile of pastries for breakfast.
So wrong, but soooo good.
I think I’m still trying to burn off those calories, but hey, you only live once, right? I just have to teach my Grandma about the term ‘everything in moderation’. I mean, at least for my Grandfather’s sake.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you might remember when I mentioned that he’s had a couple of heart attacks. He’s still going strong though!
Did I mention they love each other like crazy? I mean, they are the ultimate romantics. Here’s a picture of my Grandpa attempting to fix my Grandma’s watch after it suddenly broke while we were out. He made it his mission to repair it immediately himself, walking to every shop nearby to see if they had a special pin for the band. Sure enough, he found one!
They both love and take care of each other. I think that’s pretty incredible to be going strong for nearly 60 years.
As I’m writing this, I’m fondly remembering the morning my Grandmother made these waffles for us, partly because they are the best waffles I’ve ever had. It was Mother’s Day and we all enjoyed a breakfast full of eggs with green chile, pastries (ugh, SO MANY PASTRIES), waffles and of course, coffee. As I was spreading peanut butter on my waffles and drenching them with syrup (best combination ever), I looked around the table and thanked God for my amazing family. They’ve taught me so much: to cook, to be determined, to laugh, to love, and to absolutely never give up!
Now I’m the one pouring my heart and soul into the food I cook: whipping up pancakes with such care, crafting a skillet chicken (with pepperoni sauce) that only kids could adore, and browning lots of butter for the best chocolate chip cookies (the way to win anyone’s heart).
Cooking is my romance and I’m bringing it to you. I hope you’ll stay awhile and eat some ridiculously good waffles with me.
With butter, syrup, and whatever else your heart desires.
Grandma’s Buttermilk Waffles
1 3/4 all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, if desired