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Archive for June, 2010

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With berry season coming into full swing around here, I found myself with some blackberries that needed to be used this weekend or thrown away.

Yes, I know I could freeze them, but our freezer is tiny, I have no room for them…and I just wanted to make something we could eat now.

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I’m always surprised when we’re left with berries that need to be used; we normally go through them so fast that we’re completely out of any kind of fruit before I buy groceries at the end of the week.

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The same goes for peaches! When they’re ripe, you have to eat them. There’s no getting around that.

But I somehow found myself with extra blackberries and peaches this weekend.

And peaches and berries – especially blackberries and raspberries – are meant to be together in cobblers, crisps, and crumbles.

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Peach Blackberry Crisp

  • 2-3 cups blackberries
  • 3 peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2/3 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Toss fruit with 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp flour and pour into greased 8×8 baking dish.
  3. In separate bowl, mix the oats, flour, sugar, oil, salt, and cinnamon together until combined.
  4. Spread crisp topping over the fruit.
  5. Bake 35-45 minutes or until the topping is browned and fruit is bubbling around the edges.
  6. Serve. Preferably with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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I love the mixture of textures in fruit crisps. The baked fruits soften down to a silky sweet syrupy mess, letting the chewy brown-sugar crisped oat topping shine.

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Crisps are so easy to make, too. As long as you have fruit, flour, oats, and a little sugar, you’re set. No need for fancy ingredients or strange spices or crazy kitchen appliances.

They’re the perfect summer dessert because you can make them with any fruit you have on hand.

Maybe I’ll finally show enough restraint to save some raspberries for a dessert this summer…

 

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Typical Tuesday

I hope some of you had exciting days, because mine was about as normal as they come.

Work was the same as always, and dinner was leftovers.

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Brown rice + mixed veggies with a layer of green beans underneath.

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And I’m done for the night!

It’s still light outside, and I have a lot I want to get done before bed:

  • Pack lunch
  • Prep breakfast
  • Read! New magazine and my book
  • Face mask

 

Ever have those days where nothing exciting or out of the norm happens? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

 

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Lunch + Library

Lunch today is courtesy of Trader Joe’s.

This would be one of the items I bought in May and brought back with me since we don’t have one here.

I love the Indian meal packets, but always end up bulking them a little with extra veggies. It just makes it easier to stretch them more, which means I get leftovers for lunch 😉

Of course, I forgot to write down the name/take a picture of the box, but this is the one with chickpeas and a spicy tomato sauce.

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While it was heating up in a skillet, I added in a can of drained/rinsed kidney beans and a tablespoon of tomato paste for a bit more richness.

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I brought the last of the bean mixture along with some couscous and green/yellow beans.

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That little bit of extra tomato paste was a great idea! It gave it a deeper flavor.

 

Dream Homes

Okay, I know everyone has dreams about their perfect house, right?

Maybe yours has a big yard.

Or a closet the size of a bedroom.

Or a kitchen that can hold 50 people at once.

My dream?

The one thing I’ve wanted in my dream home ever since watching Disney’s Beauty and the Beast?

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A library with a rolling ladder.

I want a room to hold all our books, along with a ladder, a fireplace, and big comfy chairs. It also needs to have floor to ceiling windows to let the natural light in and so I can sit and read on stormy days and watch the rain splatter outside while I’m sitting by a roaring fire.

What about you?

What’s in your dream house?

 

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Peachy

Who else is excited for fresh peaches?

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I am so happy that they’re starting to show up at road side stands and farmer’s markets again. We ate so many of them last summer, and I’ve been waiting patiently for them to begin trickling in.

I don’t think anything beats a perfectly ripe peach.

Two summers ago, Nick and I were visiting the farmer’s market in downtown Roanoke and this cute old farmer ripped a white peach in half and gave it to us to sample. They were from his farm, picked that very morning for the market, and he was extremely proud of his peaches. He stood in front of us in his dark denim overalls and white tshirt, watching us and waiting for our reaction.

That peach – that perfect white peach – was the epitome of summer. Fresh. Light. Nick and I both had peach juice dripping down our chins and onto our shirts, but we didn’t care. My hands were sticky for the rest of the afternoon, but the only thing I could think about was eating another one. So we bought an entire basket from him. And every single peach in that basket was just as good.

The peaches I have this week aren’t like those white peaches, but they’re almost as good.

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I made some overnight oats last night to pair with my peach this morning.

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • cinnamon
  • chia seeds
  • pinch of salt (makes the dish! – don’t skip it)

This morning, I added some of my new favorite things:

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Cool and refreshing, and it tastes like summer.

 

What foods taste like summer to you?

 

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Smooth and Spicy

SuperFood to the rescue!

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Amazing Grass sent me some samples, and I needed a smoothie this afternoon. Plus, I just wanted to use my HealthMaster again 😉

Today’s mix:

  • almond milk
  • 1 packet Amazing Grass SuperFood
  • cocoa powder
  • ice

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After Nick and I got back from the chiropractor, I got started on dinner and got to use a new spice mix I got from OpenSky to try out.

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I received this Chef of the Future “Not Your Average Cajun Seasoning” and decided to add a little spice to dinner.

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I’m definitely going to be making some fries soon with it – the seasoning mix is great! 

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It made a really good addition to my brown rice + veggie mixture.

I cooked 2 cups of brown rice and added:

  • 2 bags of frozen veggies (onions, peppers, corn, celery, and okra)
  • Chef of the Future seasoning
  • a little extra garlic powder and salt
  • pinch of crushed red pepper on top

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I love okra! I can’t wait to get some this summer from the market.

 

I’ve got breakfast prepped and just need to pack my lunch before getting back to my book tonight.

Nite!

 

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Mexi-Monday

Today is going to be a great Monday!!! My little sister and her husband come home from Spain today 🙂 I won’t be able to see them when they get in, but I’m so excited that I’ll actually get to see them soon!

Plus, they’ve been traveling all over the place, so I can’t wait to see pictures and hear stories.

And it’s always a good day in my house when I get to make some sort of Mexi-bowl.

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Mexibowl = anything and everything I have that I can turn into a big fiesta of a meal 🙂

That usually means that they happen when we have refried beans in the house.

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You can’t really see it in the pictures, but the base is oatbran.

Oatbran is delicious with savory dishes! Especially with meals like this one.

The layers:

  • Oatbran made with water, salt
  • fat free refried beans
  • sauteed zucchini/yellow squash with salt, garlic, and ancho chile powder
  • diced tomato
  • avocado
  • scallions
  • cilantro

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I love the mix of flavors, textures and temperatures in this bowl.

The oatbran, beans, zucchini and squash were hot. The tomato was room temp, and the avocado was cold.

PS: Maggie knows it’s Monday, too.

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I think she’s still worn out from all her swimming this weekend 😉

 

What’s your favorite cuisine?

I love Mexican, but I wish I could find a restaurant that would make meals like the ones I make at home! It’s hard to find good Mexican that isn’t super greasy.

 

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Weekend Soundtrack

We had a great weekend!

Movie night Friday night.

Lazy morning Saturday, including testing two new appliances 😉

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Reviews coming soon! I’m so excited about them both.

We went out to Glen Alton Farm Saturday afternoon with some friends and their two dogs and had a blast! We all went swimming in the pond in front of the house – Maggie was in dog heaven! She swam more than she ever has and didn’t want to stop.

We came home just in time to watch the end of the USA game and spent a relaxing night at home.

Yesterday was a normal Sunday: breakfast, coffee, church, laundry, and lots of baking! I made a batch of cookie bars to mail for Whit’s bake sale and made a berry crisp for us.

The soundtrack to my weekend?

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That’s right 🙂 I’m a nerd. Nick got me the Sister Act soundtrack and movies for my birthday! I’ve been singing along all weekend and love it.

Breakfast today was back to my White Chocolate Wonderful. I missed it this weekend.

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This might be my favorite bowl with this peanut butter. Simple – banana, cinnamon, pinch of salt, and a big blob of the white chocolate pb.

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I’ve got coffee made (in the syphon this morning) and am ready to work!

 

If you could pick a song/soundtrack for your weekend, what would it be?

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