I am having a love affair with Zac Efron. Not like an actual affair, just one that lives in my mind. He’s just SO ridiculously good-looking! I feel like if I baked him chicken he’d feel the same way about me.
Anyway this whole Zac Efron thing stemmed from watching The Lucky One for the second time. I know, poor movie choice. The only excuse I can come up with is that Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I just so happen to be a sucker for anything romantic. So sue me!
Besides good-looking men, my other obsessions this week include peanut butter and jelly chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s, lentil soup, and green beans with garlic. Yum, yum, yummmmmm. Seriously I could write a book about the intricacies of garlic and how I slather it in and on just about anything you can imagine.
I have a few foods that I have fond memories of. They continue to be my favorites throughout the years.
This got me thinking… what makes food memorable? It is simply the taste of it? Or more of what we associate with our food experiences?
Every time I have hot chocolate I’m taken back to when I used to ice skate with my girlfriends. We’d grab a cup of rich creamy hot cocoa with excessive jumbo marshmallows, whole milk, and all things that fitness magazines say we shouldn’t have.
When I want to indulge in things like that, I remind myself that I’m just living life. You know, enjoying those simple moments filled with laughter, good food and friendship. In fact, those moments are building memories. So damn right, I’m having that hot chocolate!
With extra whip cream thank you very much.
Often times I wonder why I find pumpkin pie to be the best dessert on the planet. I mean, it’s so simple! But eating pumpkin pie reminds me of the first time I made a pie by all by myself. How I crafted the crust with such determination. In that very moment, I was discovering my passion and creativity for baking. So really it’s not the dessert itself, it’s the memories that come with each bite.
Now it’s my soul food; it feeds me happiness in the form of good memories.
To date, one of my favorite meals was scallops with spaghetti squash, roasted red peppers, with this incredible creamy sauce. It was finished with a chocolate soufflé and rich chocolate ice cream. Which of course I devoured. I think it’s memorable to me specifically because of the person I was with.
Time spent with good people can make food special. This I know to be true. Just think about some of your favorite foods. Or the best meal you’ve ever had. It was probably more of an experience and memory rather just based on taste alone.
Hi! It’s been a while and I apologize for not blogging as frequent. My site has been having issues lately, but just know that we’re working hard to get all of the kinks fixed, so hopefully it will be running faster soon!
Besides that I think we should catch up. You know, just chat about life and such.
Lately I’ve been trying to get back into eating oatmeal for breakfast (I act like it takes effort to eat healthy?), working up to a faster mile, teaching myself new cooking techniques, baking fall goodies, and of course, organizing my life. I’ve been really wanting to get better at blogging more and I have a million recipes written down; it’s just that writing and editing tends to always take up more time then I expect it to.
Anyway this recipe has been just waiting for you, begging to be cooked. Like for an entire week! I mean, now that it’s October, I feel like I can really break out the pumpkin recipes, comfort food, and oh my goodness… all of the delicious treats involving brown butter just scribbled on my chocolate-stained notebook.
Last week I was craving comfort; warm; ooey-gooey goodness that would make me sink into a food coma in a very good way. But what was it going to be?
I searched around the kitchen. There was a roasted chicken in the fridge, canned pumpkin that was begging to be used, and those million dollar mexican spices (garlic, cumin, chili powder, etc).
It’s a bit obvious what happened, right?
I shredded the chicken to bits and pieces.
Everything about Fall is lovely. Warm sweaters, over the knee boots, sipping hot cider, apple picking, pumpkin pie (!!!!), soups, winter squash, lasgana…. I could go on forever. And yes, I understand that it may still be August but I’m already pulling out the fall recipes to share with you.
Out of all winter squash varieties, I’d have to say that acorn squash is probably my favorite. It’s creamy, slightly sweet, and incredibly good for you. Often times on Sundays I’ll roast a couple of squashes in my oven, and then enjoy them throughout the week for my meals. I especially LOVE eating it for breakfast with a little bit of honey and cinnamon and greek yogurt; you’d be surprised by how filling and delicious it can be. Sometimes I’ll even mash the squash and throw it in quesadillas with goat cheese.
Of course, stuffing them with southwest flavors is pretty incredible too.
These are probably one of my favorite dinners I’ve made in a while. The creaminess of the squash combined with the southwest black bean and corn filling and the tangy melted goat cheese is out of this world. And of course it’s healthy, easily vegan (take out the cheese) and gluten-free.
Let’s catch up. How have you been?
This week I joined a new gym, where I’m quite certain my trainer is either Big Foot, a marine, or a professional wrestler. He teaches my Nike Training Camp classes, which are a mix of plyometrics, military drills, cardio, and weights. Literally sweating waterfalls every time I walk out of there; it’s very similar to the Insanity videos! I just think he’s trying to kill me. But who knows.
I’ve also been enjoying living next to the ocean as much as possible. Every day I try and make it down to the beach. I don’t mean to make you jealous BUT look at this view from my rooftop! Amazing.
I’m not even prepared for Summer to end or these sunny days that seem to never cease. I’m dropping my roommate off at the airport in a few hours, where she’ll head to Greece for a vacation… on a yacht. WHAT! I can’t even talk about it because I’m so jealous. My weekend plans consist of more cooking, maybe a little surfing, and most likely a dinner with these mushroom + kale quesadillas and probably a couple of roasted blueberry basil margaritas to drown in my sorrows. Only kidding, I’ll be fine.
Maybe my trainer would chill out if I offered him a margarita? But then again, he’s there to push me to help me get in great shape; that’s why I made these skinny! I can’t go around eating pie and doing jump squats; those two activities would not mix well.
These strawberries are a great party appetizer or summer treat for anyone. The filling is made with reduced-fat cream cheese, nonfat vanilla greek yogurt (protein!), key lime juice and zest. All you have to do is hollow out the strawberries then fill them with this mix.
I topped my strawberries with sliced toasted almonds, but I think that crushed graham crackers would add a lovely texture and be more reminiscent of a true key lime pie or cheesecake.
After I filled the strawberries, I froze them for about an hour. I think they would be also delicious if you froze them before filling, but that’s up to you. I also found that I had a bit of the filling left over… UM, thank goodness because I spooned that on top of everything. And when I mean EVERYTHING I mean granola, bananas, almonds, in a smoothie, on a muffin, AND on top of graham crackers. My crazy drill sargent trainer would not be proud that all these things, but you act like I could resist putting this dip on everything in sight. It’s called recipe testing!
So really the filling can act as a dip, too! A creamy, healthy key lime cheesecake flavored dip perfect enough to serve to guests at a party, give your kids, or just to distract you from real pie.
Well until next week when pie takes over this blog and I throw pictures of oreos, bananas, peanut butter, and whip cream in your face. So just trust me, eat skinny things while you still can.