15 Pounds Later…

…and my home was exploding with a succulent, fresh fruit. But which one? Ohhh, now there’s the cliffhanger! Because some other things happened first.

Like waffles!

Although, on a day off – waffles almost always happen first, don’t they?

I’m trying to wean myself a bit from maple syrup. Not because I’m trying to quit, but because I’m nearing my last couple tablespoons and just like everything else I end up loving, it’s expensive. If only I wasn’t so stubborn and didn’t need to have the real stuff. I hope I’m not the only one who starts using less of something just because they don’t want it to be gone/have to buy more.

Where am I going with this?

Oh, yeah – so that’s what inspired my banana-honey waffles. I even challenged myself to not using any dried figs. I was successful.

I used the same batter as I did Tuesday with the puffed millet and all, though omitted the figs and used honey instead of maple. I think I added a few banana slices and more cinnamon, too.

And then topped with a melted banana (mixed with some cinnamon and golden raisins), sunflower seed butter, earth balance, honey, and honey roasted peanuts. And why yes, I did scorch the first waffle. There were some leprechauns in my cabinet who decided it’d be fun to switch my waffle iron’s toasting level to a 5 (as in, reallyreally dark) rather than the 3 that I typically use.

Luckily, I’ve never been one to discriminate.

Typical Thursday shenanigans ensued, such as yoga, baking, and messing around online. Baking before “barning” is becoming a typical Tuesday and Thursday occurrence. Today I made a batch of Super Charge Me Cookies to bring in to work tomorrow. And to eat when they came out of the oven.

You know, normal stuff.

I used chopped dates for the dried fruit, dark chocolate chips, 1/3 c. white whole wheat (the other 1/3 being the spelt – I ran out after that though) and halved the maple syrup, making up for the rest of the liquid with almond milk. Oh, and finished off the Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee peanut butter that never even got shown on the blog. Mainly because I wasn’t a huge fan of the flavor, so would either use it while baking stuff (granola bars, these cookies, the last cookies) or at night with some pretzels.

Naturally Nutty still has my heart, though. Especially since the completion of that jar meant I could open up my beloved white chocolate coconut peanut butter. Heaven.

I also got a little carried away with a blog makeover. I’m still not certain I like the new look, but I was bored of the old one.

I get bored easily.

Unfortunately, there weren’t any wordpress layouts that knocked my socks off, so I’m a bit stuck.

I cleaned out the horses here and messed with them a bit before throwing together a small sandwich for lunch. Or a really large snack. I’m not sure which. It was only 11:30, but I was mildly hungry and leaving to meet my mom.

I was still feelin’ the PBBH vibe, and opted for a peanut butter, banana chip, honey, and pretzel sammich to meet my every wish and desire. I’d been neglecting this small slice of bread, brushing it off as too small – which ended up being just right for me to be able to pile on the peanut butter.

You will note that not a single veggie made an appearance in this lunch.

Can you tell I need to go shopping?

Either way – this was delicious. The bread was toasted, which made it even more delicious – melty and oozy. That and I’ve been a bit obsessed with putting pretzels in any of my sandwiches lately. You should try it.

What was I leaving to meet my mom for? Well, the barn of course – but also to go strawberry picking! Finally.

Yes – this is what fifteen pounds looks like. It was easily done, considering half the berries are the size of a small meteor.

...er, close anyways.

I think this was the first time we froze instead of baked while picking berries – usually we end up going on the hottest days — but this morning, it was sprinkling off and on, and getting quite windy.

Mix that with how wet the berries are, and we turned the heat on as soon as we got in the car. Our hands were rather frozen.

But, since we’re crazy we still went to that barn.

I drove like I had a 2-day-old child in my back seat.

Any sharp turn or break, and the precious berries would go flying all over my car.

Once we got home from pony play-time, though – I got to work cutting berries while my mom made her biscuits for shortcake. I tried convincing her to mix it up a bit – I saw a recipe for ginger spelt scones somewhere, but she wouldn’t budge from her grandmother’s biscuit recipe.

Some things just can’t be changed, I guess.

I almost made some coconut flour biscuits for myself – but knew I’d want one and then end up just eating the berries, so I didn’t bother.

She did, however – use Xagave!

Robin at Xagave was so kind to send me a bottle of it, along with a cookbook;

I was psyched upon seeing all the goodies – thanks, Robin! Can never have too many cookbooks – and there’s tons of great recipes in here. I’ll be sure to review the XAgave as I use it, too. It’s different than typical agaves because it’s the blend of two organic agave nectars – white and blue – which lends itself to being great to bake with, supposedly.

My mom and I’s observations on the use of it in the biscuits? We split a “sampler” hot out of the oven – She mentioned they weren’t as sweet as they usually are, though I thought they were just fine. That and it’s been two years since I’ve had her biscuits since I wasn’t living at home this time last summer, so I wouldn’t remember something like that anyways. I don’t think she used as much as she was supposed to, she mentioned she wasn’t sure how much to use. Regardless – it wasn’t a complaint. My rationing was that the berries are sweet enough that the biscuit doesn’t need to be.

Additionally, I commented that it was much lighter and moister than usual – a definite plus. She said the same thing. I wouldn’t say this to her, but usually I find biscuits to be too dry, and would rather just the berries and ice cream. Not just her biscuits, but biscuits in general. These were pleasantly soft, moist, almost cake-like – but still flaky. Make sense? Probably not.

Oh, well.

Strawberries had to make a guest appearance in dinner.

Dinner? jess, have you lost your mind?

Ohhh, no, my friends.

In fact – this strawberry sauce took inspiration from tons of different sources. First, my mom – ever since she mentioned that she went to a diner that served their sweet potato fries with a raspberry sauce. And then a cherry balsamic sauce in the Xagave cookbook. And finally, Brandi’s recipe for strawberry basil scones.

Maybe a scone recipe as inspiration for my dinner does make me look a little loco, but just hear me out. It was delicious.

Basil-Strawberry-Fig Sauce;

  • 5 medium sized strawberries, sliced
  • 1 dried fig, diced
  • 2 T. water
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1-2 T. Xagave (to taste)
  • 1/4 t (?) dried basil
  • dash garlic powder
  • freshly choped chive
  • salt and pepper

Simmer the strawberries and figs in the water until beginning to form  a gel-like consistency, about 7 minutes. Stir in the Xagave and seasonings, and continue to stir frequently over low heat, about 5 minutes.

Add in the balsamic, and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, about 5-7 minutes.


It was great over the broccoli and sweet potato fries, and even the butter bean cutlet, much to my surprise. There’s leftover – so expect to be seeing it again soon.

Okay, expect to be seeing mass amounts of strawberries in general over the next couple days. Or weeks. Month, maybe…

Like dessert. Usually I don’t picture my desserts, but this one was too pretty not to.

I used a homemade peanut butter banana bran muffin for my “biscuit,” and the lack of ice cream encouraged the use of cottage cheese. Slice strawberries, cinnamon, walnuts, and agave finished the loveliness.

…and then a beautiful bike ride. It’s nicer out now than it has been all day!


The Teddie Chronicles

You know the feeling of “it’s my day,”? It’s sort of as obvious as when it isn’t your day – you just know it. And that’s how I felt every time I would think about Teddie this morning.

This was our day.

And it was – he was once again, great. I think he’s really starting to remember everything. I only wish I could know what he has to remember! Anyways – we had our first trot undersaddle, and canters in both directions on the lunge. You can tell he’s pretty unbalanced, so for now just a few strides each direction until he builds more muscle is fine. He’s been doing this strange nicker thing, too – I don’t know if it’s a love noise or what he’s trying to say! He’ll always make it as I dismount, and then turns his head to face me – and occasionally as we’re just standing. At first I was worried I’d hurt him somehow, but now I think it’s more of a friendly thing?

I’m thinking I’ll switch to a mullen mouth bit for him, though. I’m wondering if his small pony mouth is uncomfortable with a traditional snaffle. Any equestrians wanna weigh in?

My mom called about the haffie ponies this morning, too. She made a deal with the person, and looks like we’ll be taking them. I should mention that we’re not dealers or people just looking to make money. We saw these ponies when we were just beginning my hunt for a pony, but passed just to find something a little more “broke.” The mare was sort of just yanked out of the pen, thrown a saddle on and bit, and “ridden.” She wasn’t bad, but she wasn’t stellar – and honestly, had probably never been ridden in her life. We were offered a deal for both of them for a song, but passed. My mom kept thinking about them, though, saying they’d still be a fun project – and once she heard about where they were headed had to act after taking costs and time into consideration.

In the nick of time, too – they were going to be shipped out next week. We intend to bring them back to “civilization,” and find good homes for at least one of them.

So – just wanted to get that out there that we’re not just taking in a bunch of horses to make a quick buck.

Night lovelies!



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

27 responses to “15 Pounds Later…

  1. I like the new layout…but I liked the old one too! I did bananas mashed up on my steel cut oats this morning! YUM! I like topping things instead of mixing it in cause you get a little in every bite. I ate 2 gallons of strawberries in a week. Sadly, I ate them mostly by myself. I am kind of embarrassed by that, but then again…I kinda wear it as a badge of honor! I am glad you had a good day. Berry picking is so much fun!

  2. Your waffles look amazing- I love that they’re thin! And your dessert? YUM!!! 🙂

  3. How exciting! Two more ponies?! Hehe.. you are going to have your hands full, no? I would offer my expertise on the bit, however I’ve always kind of just used whatever I had on hand (gasp!). Back when I was training multiple horses, I just used snaffles on everybody!

    Uhm. Your waffles? Look amazing. I know I say that almost everyday, but I seriously can’t get enough of your breakfasts. I think I’m drooling.

    Note to self: By a waffle maker. Pronto.
    ❤ Tat

  4. Those strawberries look so delicious! Fabulous photo!

  5. Katherine: What About Summer?

    Your food pictures have the most amazing patterns. I know that sounds odd but the pictures all have a great checkered motif. My sister just got a horse (way long story) and my parents are not impressed because it is a huge liability. I am happy for her though because there is such a great bond between her and that animal (she’s been riding him for years now)

  6. Mo

    How much does 15 pounds of strawberries cost there? o.O Care to share? 😉

    I think it’s lovely that you took in the ponies. 🙂

  7. Dee

    oh my dear… look at all of that yummy food! Mmm!

  8. whoa blog change! I kind of like it though 🙂 I need to make those muffins. That dessert looks like all of my favorite things 🙂

  9. Baking before barning- I love it! Sounds like a perfect day to me. And I love your pb pretzel sandwich. Such a good idea! Also I think it’s great you’re taking in the ponies. You must show us pics of them! 🙂

  10. Jen

    Absolutely love the new theme! It looks so great! So does your food, as always. 🙂

  11. Hi!!!! Love the new blog theme – its a nice change!!!
    One of my favorite things to do in the summer is strawberry picking – 15 pounds is a whole lot of strawberries – but im sure you’ll put them to good use – plus they are so sweet!!!!! Thanks for posting the strawberry balsalmic recipe – im definately going to try that this weekend!!!
    Glad to hear how well Teddie is doing and i think its wonderful that you and your mom are taking in those horses and are going to find them good homes!!!!!
    Have a great Friday!!!! xoxo aimee

  12. I adore maple syrup- but you’re right- it’s expensive everywhere… ugh!

  13. Tes

    I’ve just got my first subscription fro your blog! It’s the beautiful thing to see in the morning. Those ictures inspire me to cook more and better. I love basil- strawberry-fig sauce. Thank for sharing.

  14. First, let me say I love this new layout!
    Second, OMG I want strawberries! I hope they’re in my CSA this week!

  15. What amazing food! Also, I am sooo glad to hear that it looks like you will be able to save the ponies, what a true life saver for them!

  16. Strawberry picking! Fruit picking is one of my favorite things on the planet. The berries look totally pristine!

  17. I like both your layouts 😀 though the old one was maybe more dramatic?
    OH MY your food today! That lunchtime sandwich – incredible. And the strawberry sauce!! I [for once] have all the ingredients for that so I think I’ll do it tonight 😀 possibly with sweet potato fries too 😛
    LOL I’m the same if I have precious stuf in the car – I drive so gently and slow 😛 it would be a disaster if my berries/sandwich etc fell!!
    As for the bit thing, I think regular snaffles can be quite tough – if they just have a regular link thing (the name escapes me!) the pincer action can be quite harsh. I think my aunt uses straight bars when she breaks some of her youngsters (but I’m not certain), and I know Chika has a French link to make it a bit better. When we had a young pony, she went in a happy mouth, which was a lot kinder 🙂
    Anywsy, sounds like he’s falling in love with you!!

  18. Brandi

    That strawberry sauce sounds fantastic! Yum.

  19. Hahaha I lol’ed at the pretzel sandwich! It reminds of how kids used to put chips on their hotdogs when I was younger.

    Oh my gosh, 15 lbs of fresh strawberries!? That’s pure heaven. I love the sound of that sauce you made with them!

  20. dmcgirl37

    I like the new layout! Your waffles look awesome, so thin and perfect 🙂

    I love strawberries & chocolate. Match made in heaven!

    Dana ❤

  21. The cookies look fantastic as does the basil-strawberry-fig sauce. I love how creative you are, and one can never have too many strawberries!

    Love the new theme – great minds think alike. 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

  22. I can’t wait to go strawberry picking this year! Between strawberries and blueberries, I don’t want any other fruit in the summer (well, that’s not entirely true…I go crazy for peaches and watermelon too. 😀 )

  23. oOoo agave recipes! fun fun!

    omg you and Teddie are adorable. Teddie is your baby and your love ❤

    i wish i knew more about horses to comment about specifics/products/etc.

  24. Pingback: The Baker’s In Da House « Brit Chick Runs – A lone English girls' passion for healthy eating, exercising, and living!

  25. Ohhh I love the plate that you served your dinner with! And dang girl, that’s alot of strawberries! I can probably finish them in two days though 😛

  26. Ohh jess, you never cease to amaze me with your amazing food..

    I am sooo going to try the strawberry sauce..it looks absolutely yummm and strawberries are my favourite – I’m having them everyday at the moment as they’re in season and we bought loads! Same with raspberries and blueberries 🙂 yum yum! And your sandwich, wow, what an amazing combination that sounds like my sort of thing!

    Aww you and Teddie = true love. It is absolutely lovely to hear 🙂


  27. Michelle

    Looks like a day full of fabulous yummy food 🙂

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