Archive for June, 2010


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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



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?


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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Who else is excited for fresh peaches?


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.


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:


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!


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


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.


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


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


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


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.



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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.


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.


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


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.


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 😉



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?


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.


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.


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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Another installation of Behind the Blog, coming up!

Let’s welcome Claire – sit back and enjoy…

1. What’s your name and blog address?

Claire, A Fresh Dille (Dille is my middle name),  AFreshDille.wordpress.com

2. How long have you been blogging?

I started the blog in June 2008, but I took a hiatus when I graduated college the next year. I would blog occasionally but just recently got back into it. I definitely was away much too long!
3. What do you love / hate about blogging?
I posted about why “we blog” and I truly feel that it gives me such satisfaction knowing that there are so many others with similar interests. Many times in our personal lives, we feel that we might be missing opportunities to share with individuals who care about the same things we do. This is where the blog comes in for me. It is so refreshing to find a community of people with similar passions. Of course, at times, it can be overwhelming, but I always try to remember that blogging and reading others posts really creates a tremendous amount of motivation.
4.  What’s your favorite color?
GREEN! Mostly moss green and jade green. I have always adored the greyish green hue of moss and here is an interesting fact about jade: In Chinese culture, if one wishes to express one’s love for someone, one gives them something made of the gemstone jade or an object that is colored jade. (wikipedia).
5. Favorite movie?

This is a toughy for me…I currently work in the film industry so feel I should keep my mouth shut…but I love watching Almost Famous. I can recite most of the words and I am pretty much a fan of any film with Philip Seymour Hoffman. I also adore music from the 60’s and 70’s so the soundtrack is one of my favorites.

6. Favorite book?
When I was younger, Swiss Family Robinson and The Secret Garden. Don’t you just want to escape to the wilderness every so often? A recent favorite is The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (it’s quite risqué).
7. Favorite food?
Too hard! Probably dark chocolate. When I was sixteen, I traveled around Italy devouring an incredible amount of chocolate in everything from nutella, cakes, to gelato. My parents told me I should one day compile a list of my favorite chocolate from around the world and publish it. It is never too late, right?
8. Chocolate or vanilla?
Guess I already answered this one…but I also adore vanilla, especially in my morning oats.
9. Favorite tv show NOW and when you were growing up?
Felicity and Friends were two favorites growing up. Being from New York, I always felt connected to Keri Russell’s character who is “finding herself” while at NYU. Now, I hardly have time to watch much television but find myself tuning into many HBO and Showtime shows (True Blood, Big Love, In Treatment, Californication) when possible.
10. Do you like playing sports? Watching sports?
I was one of those children who sat on the field picking dandelions while the rest kicked the soccer ball around me (much to my British father’s dismay). I found out I was a fast runner in my early middle school years and ran Cross Country and Track for years to come. I love running for the mental and physical benefits that come from it. Watching-wise, I favor tennis, soccer (referred as football in my parent’s home), and maybe pretend to understand/enjoy for my boyfriend who was a college player.
11. Are you a coffee or tea person? Or neither?
BOTH! I grew up drinking tea every afternoon and still do to this day. I also make sure to start the day with a delicious french press coffee to get the creative juices flowin’ (photo of me sipping coffee attached!)

12. Do you have tattoos or piercings?

Just the two ears and don’t wish to add any more. I do like tattoos on others, but can’t imagine one for myself.
13. Do you have any special talents?
I can do this weird twist thing with my tongue that isn’t really photo-attractive. I’ll just leave it at that.
14. If you could go anywhere in the world TOMORROW, where would you go?
Guatemala- One of my best friends and her boyfriend recently opened a cruiser bike shop there and I hope to visit soon. From there, I would travel around most of Central America because it is a place I have yet to explore!
15.  Last thing you ate?
English Green Pea soup and a whole grain roll with a side of sautéed broccoli rabe @ Fork in Philadelphia. YUM!
16. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A doctor, until I found out in my pre-teen years that I was too afraid of blood after fainting when my father slammed his finger in the car door while vacationing on Maui. Similar occasions have happened over the years…
17. What was your favorite subject in school?
A few: English, History, and Geography…in college it expanded to Sociology, Anthropology, and Philosophy.
18. What games did you play when you were younger?
Outdoors- Capture the Flag all summer long! Indoors on rainy days- Clue and many card games.
19. Favorite restaurant?
Café Gitane in Soho is my favorite casual and quaint place to eat. Candle Café is my favorite vegetarian place so far, and it doesn’t hurt that my grandmothers apartment was two blocks south in the Upper East Side. I spent too much money there when I was only an intern living in her apartment one summer.
20. Favorite store?
Midnight Farm on Martha’s Vineyard (very similar to Anthropologie) because I spent most summer’s yearning for most things within the walls.
21. Favorite animal?
I had a fascination with the Ocelot when I was young and studying the Rainforest. Since I was always the tiniest in all my classes, I felt close to this cat which was the “smallest cat in the big cat family”. I pretty much am a total animal lover with a certain fondness for my 11 year old yellow lab.

22. Favorite thing to cook/make?

Anything involving chocolate.
23. Most embarrassing guilty pleasure?
The British show now being aired on Showtime, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl”
24. Do you have any nicknames?
I was called Dille (pronounced like DILLY)  in high school, mostly by my running teammates and many boys who got a kick out of the name. Claire bear gets thrown around a lot too.25. List one thing the “blog world” doesn’t know about you but should!
I grew up hating PIZZA! I actually still would choose pasta over pizza any day…with pesto. I do like flatbreads a lot though and often refer to one of my favorite Pizza’s by Amy’s (Roasted Vegetable) as a flatbread. I just found out that they are making a gluten free one too, which I am all for after having some great results from a gluten free week challenge!
Thanks Claire!

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Friday Fun

The day after your birthday is never as much fun 😉

No presents. No candles.

But I did make an awesome breakfast!

I just had to use the HealthMaster.

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I also got some samples from Amazing Grass – perfect timing!

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I made a smooth smoothie!!! No lumps of banana leftover, no ice chunks.

  • almond milk
  • Amazing Grass Amazing Meal – Original
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • ice

This blender is awesome. I never thought I’d have a completely smooth smoothie! Dreams do come true.


Berries. Banana. Greens.

Great cold way to start my day!


What’s your favorite smoothie combination? I need all the ideas I can get 😉


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27 Things

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! Each and every comment made me smile 🙂

I went through 26 things last year and decided 27 would be even more fun – especially when it’s a mix of good things from today and my hopes, dreams, and goals for this year.

1. This HealthMaster is amazing!!!


2. My chocolate cherry smoothie snack this afternoon was awesome. Now I know the fascination of the smoothie-in-a-bowl. I used some almond milk, Amazing Grass kids superfood, frozen cherries, and some Ah!laska chocolate syrup. yum!

3. I need to get some guar gum and xantham gum after hearing so much about it from Heather and Janetha.

4. I’m still addicted to House Hunters.

5. My Dad called me from Guam today. Best phone call of the day, hands down. I miss him.

6. We got tickets for the Virginia Tech / Boise State football game!!! Opening game of the season on Labor Day – I. cannot. wait.

7. Nick and I are just now starting to watch Glee.

8. I love Glee and am wondering why it took me so long to get into it. I think it was on at the same time as LOST, and that’s why we missed it.

9. I’m 27 and still wonder what I’ll be when I grow up.

10. Some days, I have no idea what I’m doing.

11. I would love to have more than 2 closets in our next house. And a pantry.

12. I am in love with everything Modcloth.

13. These two are some of my favorite characters.


14. I wish Maggie was still a little puppy sometimes. She’s so big now!

15. Dinner was awesome!


16. We went to The Palisades, my favorite local restaurant.

17. I had a peach and feta salad to start.


18. My main dish was a red pepper stuffed with Israeli couscous, dates, and pecans with fresh peas and wild rice. Yum!

19. We got their flourless chocolate cake + port as a birthday surprise!


20. I hope to be a stay at home mom one day.

21. I want to write a cookbook.

22. I really want to write a cookbook on sourdough.

23. I’ve got a killer pancake recipe in my head that needs to happen. Soon.

24. My birthday cake of choice every year is a big chocolate chip cookie cake.

25. I had Nick make me a giant whole wheat vegan, dark chocolate cookie cake 🙂


26. I want to have an old farmhouse someday.

27. I hope this year exceeds all my expectations.

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