Simplicity

Is it really Sunday night already? I am so not ready for this wonderful weekend to be over! At least it ended well, however.

Started out with a plain-jane bowl of banana oats.

gettin' steamy wit' it.

Yep. Just some oat bran, rolled barley flakes, wheat bran, brewed coffee, almondmilk, goji berries, cinnamon, and half a sliced banana.

HAH! Tricked ya'.

You didn’t really think I’d leave it at that, did you?! It may have been a simple bowl of banana oats, but even banana oats like to get dressed up. Since I haven’t been using bananas so much in my oats in the morning, add to that the fact that both my mom bought a bunch and I bought a bunch at the same time, I have a few that are getting really really ripe. Perfect!

Having never made a sauteed banana topping like I’ve been doing lately, I decided to sautee the rest of the banana in some maple syrup with some sliced almonds and raisins. It worked a charm! Brought a whole new life to nanner oats 🙂

In addition to the banana topping, this bowl had flax, chia-acai icing, dates, strawberry-pom jam, and Justin’s Maple AB. This Justin’s Maple Almond Butter has actually really grown on me. I know I didn’t hate it to begin with, but I swear the maple shines through more and more each time – and I’m really starting to quite like it! Definite recommendation 🙂

After breakfast my mom and I went on a super-organizing mission of our cabinets. We don’t really share much food – so it’s gotten a little out of control lately. There’s room, we’ve just been to lazy to organize stuff! So we cleared out cabinets that were just holding stuff we haven’t used in eons, and now there’s plenty of room for everything. We still have an overflow of fruit, but I don’t consider that a problem 😉 We’re good about not wasting food – especially fruit – it’s just comical that it takes up half of the butcher block.

We ran to get a couple groceries I still needed for the night’s dinner, and when I got back I got to the bakin’!

But not after some snackage.

The life of a puffins addict. Organizing and grocery shopping works up an appetite.

For a while I wasn’t sure about dessert – I’m not a huge cake fan, but know it’s kind of traditional. I mean; a birthday dinner without cake? C’mon now. I do love carrot cake, as well as ginger-type or spice cakes, but I’m pretty sure that’s what work is doing for me, so I didn’t necessarily want to make one for home, too. I tinkered with the idea of a honey-spice cake – never had one, but certainly sounded right up my alley! But then I stumbled upon The Witchy Kitchen’s recipe for a mango-coconut cake. Um, hello, do you know who you’re talking to here? It couldn’t get more perfect! I also looked up a few more recipes for a honey cake afterwards, still trying to decide, but while doing that, I happened upon the mango-coconut cake quite a few more times! I figured this had to be a message 🙂 I ended up tweaking teh recipe to fit both my desires! Because, well, I’m that kinda gal. I also decided to make them cupcakes because I really wanted to make them into parfaits! I had too much fun, obvs.

Of course I had to make one up for taste-testing, though! I had to make sure my alterations worked 🙂 Luckily, my sister walked in the door shortly beforehand, and came bearing gifts: some beautifully ripe strawberries! They fit right in, and most importantly, I had a test subject. Of course, I made her wait as I photographed it even though she hadn’t even said hi to my mom yet – but she said it was worth it. Phew! I of course tested it before allowing her to, and I asked her to take it my mom mom for a try, too. I’m pretty sure it got delivered safely, but you never know.

This was far superior to any dessert I have had recently. Well, baked dessert – I mean, I do love my puffins desserts, of course. All thanks to The Witchy Kitchen! I’ll definitely be doing up a post for my version, though. I made some fun subs, and the greek yogurt-chia pudding in between was delish. This received rave reviews! Of course, we didn’t eat them until after dinner, and at this point, I hadn’t even had lunch yet!

speed photography.

Simple egg salad! This photo was snagged super quick – which explains the lack of…well, additional food. We’re having work done on our property, and my mom invited the man in for lunch. I would have felt strange photographing my food in front of him, so while he was washing up in the other room I fired off two shots of this as soon as it was off the grill, haha. We had chips and stuff on the table, and my sister brought some Stacy’s pita chips and Sabra hummus with her, so I had my fair share of those, as well as a kiwi and half an orange. Only because the orange was sub-par.

So glad to see my sister – and it’s funny how she’s picked up some really great eating habits recently! She’s becoming more and more like me – I find this too funny because she used to be the complete opposite.

Need I explain? Thought so. Eh, well. The strawberries an dpoppyseeds were a great addition to this bowl, however 🙂

The afternoon consisted of baking pizza crust, and editing photos.

I was deifnitely sweatin’ a bit with this crust! I chose to use this Bob’s recipe for a spelt pizza crust, and decided to halve it and make individual calzones. I realize pizza is relatively simplistic when I could chose to have anything I wanted – but truth be told, I really just wanted some homemade pizza, and wanted to try making it myself! I think it’s because it’s been the week for pizzas, or something – I’ve seen them on so many of your blogs! Definitely solidified my decision.

My mom and I put them together, which ended up being quite fun. In my head, I worked it out so that each calzone would be the equivalent of two pizza slices, which would end up more than enough for each of us. Hey – leftovers! But next time I think I’d just make the whole recipe and have, say, five ‘zones. Not sure if it was the nature of the flours or driver error, but it didn’t rise a ton so the dough rolled out to be pretty thin. It didn’t turn out bad by any means – but I love Spelt so I would have loved a thicker crust!

I made mine with plum tomato slices, fresh basil, fresh garlic, almond mozzarella, and a bit of the ricotta-mozzarella mixture that I made up for everyone else’s. I didn’t even think of ricotta being in calzones until my sister said something about it. She used to work in a pizza kitchen…and I’m glad she reminded me of this fact because it definitely made it a real calzone, hah. She also reminded me that the outsides should be brushed with garlic butter. She’s a thinker, that one.

My way of giving her proper thanks was to make her the best ‘zone of the night. Buffalo-turkey! I offered her the last of the buffalo turkey meatballs I’d made and frozen a while back, and whipped up a ranch-hot sauce dressing to put in it and for dipping. I also loaded it up on the ricotta-mozz mixture, as well as some plum tomatoes. I stole a bite and it was divine! Not complaining about mine by any means – but I shoulda snagged a photo of hers, too. A little overboard on el chez = oozy cheesiness, heh.

And the funniest thing? The kale was a hot number! I made it because I knew I wouldn’t feel like making up a big salad, and know how much my mom loves them. She was all over the idea. I also thought it’d be fun to introduce it to my sister. She was so weary about trying one. Like, serious gross-out face…she only knew kale to be a garnish. Well, let me tell you – her opinions changed faster than you can say kale! She doesn’t like to admit when she’s wrong, so when I asked her if she wanted seconds, she was kinda trying to hide a grin, sheepishly saying “yes,” but without saying the “YES!!!” she wanted to, haha. Mission accomplished! Kale chips will take over the world. eh?

So, all in all a successful meal 🙂 I ended up saving half of mine – I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish the whole thing, even though I could have had a little more than what I did. I didn’t want to eat most of it, but not have enough worth saving. Anyone else do that? That and – I had a dessert to save room for 🙂

We chatted over coffee for a bit before dessert, and everyone loved it. So happy 🙂 Probably the first baked good I’ve made that my mom actually loves. Granted – usually I make whole wheat, bran muffins, bars, stuff like that – with the intention of eating them not necessarily for a sweet tooth fix, but for a good snack. These are both.

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for…Who’s the big winner?!?!

Aaaand, when I counted down 42 comments, it wassssssss

Emily of Nutritious is Delicious!

Congrats, Emily! Glad you entered – led me to your great blog! E-mail me your top two Woodstock Cookie selections in addition to one or two other ones you wouldn’t mind receiving, and I’ll ship everything out to you ASAP!

BUT! That’s not the end!

I decided this was too fun to only have one lucky winner. Why not two?! So, one more winner is going to receive two woodstock cookies in their choice of flavor. Lucky winner number two?

And who happened to be number 8?

The lovely Pam at A Love for New Recipes! Another great blog found recently – I think maybe even because of this giveaway?! Regardless – send me your two choices as well, and I’ll get those out to you ASAP.

I can’t 100% guarantee you will get your top two flavors, however I should manage it.

This giveaway was so much fun – I found so many cool blogs, and only hope my next one will be even bigger so I can discover even more! Stay tuned for the next one – I’d like to have one more based on the foods you see me blogging about constantly, that sort of thing. Although – the great thing about this one was that I rediscovered some of my own favorites!

But that’s all from me – I hope everyone had an amazing weekend, and has a great night. What was the highlight of it for you?!

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12 Comments

Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

12 responses to “Simplicity

  1. Ok I was totally sold on this post when I saw those mango coconut cupcakes, but then I saw your gooorrrrgggeeeoooouuusss calzone and nearly died!! You are amazing me these days with all your eats! I’m always hungry when I’m done reading your blog! Haha. Love your creativity my dear!
    And I was totally confused when I saw your first “breakfast.” I was like, that’s not her….

  2. hahha i got SO excited when i saw half of my pic on the winner’s comment! hahaha tease!!! LOVE your joke about bfast..even your “simple” oats are like dressed up oats to me! they look aweesome! love yo dinna too! better than restaurants!

  3. haha I looked at your picture and though “simple…but adding the goji makes it semi complex”…I knew you wouldn’t leave it at that! Love the idea of parfaits. I think it’s so funny because I literally was just thinking why birthday cakes are necessary (in fact i blogged about it before seeing your post). It seems like they go hand in hand but cake is not my favorite dessert by any means. HAPPY ALMOST BIRTHDAY!!!! (3 minutes…wow I’m GOOD!)

  4. Pam

    Jess, you are just so darn cute and sweet! Thank you so much! I am so excited to try those cookies. You pick which two would be the best….I trust you girl! You have my address…right…..lol!

    Thanks again for a fun giveaway!

    xoxo

    P.S. happy your birthday was grand and the food turned out so well…..yummy!

  5. I need to spend a day eating with you! Your food always looks unbelivably yummy!!! I really need to start dressing up my oats… yours are so pretty!

  6. Hey Jessica, this meal looks so wonderful. I’m glad you all liked it and that it was a success. And thank you for trying my cake and giving me props! Oh, and I’m glad you did it your way-you look like you know what your doing…
    (p.s.-I’ve got my eye on that spelt dough)

  7. What a great day…u feeling weird snapping pics of the construction guy..hmm I dont see as the shy type..haha-glad you got to spend some time with your family!!

    sweetlife

  8. Confession: your blog was one of the very first I visited now that I have internet access again 🙂 Once again your eats never cease to amaze me! I was a bit shocked when I saw the first bowl of oats….a plain bowl of oats is so NOT you, haha. And those mango coconut cakes look divineeee. I think one of those babies should be a topping for your next bowl of oats. Just sayin’ 😉

  9. haha! That is how my family looks at my kale chips! But they are amazing, aren’t they!?

    LOVE the looks of that calzone..risen or not, if it is some form of pizza, I’m a happpy girl! 😀

    I WON! 😀 woo! Thanks so much! I am so excited to receive the stellar prize pack!

  10. I have to stop reading your blog when I’m hungry. Your pics are too amazing and I am starving and now I want to make everything you have photographed! haha! The parfait looks freakin amazing. Especially with the warm weather we’ve had lately; coconuts should be on the menu. 🙂
    Love spelt dough, made me some spelt dough pizza the other night! Oh, oh! and I also made strawberry pom jam!! 😀 Check out the pics on my blog. So I thinking the pom jam, home made almond butter, and another batch of almond butter jam bran muffins AND (since I am already baking) mango coconut muffins!! Ok I need to eat before I storm the kitchen and start baking like mad.
    Weekend highlight, aside from the pom jam, was having a traditional Japanese dinner at my friends! It was cool. We had this fresh ginger radish sauce, lots of plates of fresh veggies and meat and we cooked them at the table! Everyone took turns manning the cooking plates and doling out food. So much fun.
    Cheers!
    C

  11. I wonder if you were snapping pics of all my food, if it would look as good as yours. between your oats, muffins and calzones I am starving!

  12. oh we’ve been looking for a calzone recipe for a while now, and this one looks great!

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