Tag Archives: biscotti

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

I had a lot of decisions to make today.

Now before you go getting all concerned, relax! Relax. Fortunately for me, the hardest decision I have on days like today is what I’m going to have for dinner. Before you laugh, that’s a pretty big decision. I mean, it can make or break your day! …or maybe I’m just a little dramatic.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s snowing all over the northeast.

I’m guessing you’ve heard.

My first decision I faced was whether I wanted to call in to work or not. I’m guessing you can figure out pretty quickly that I called in.

Which meant that I decided sauteed apples were in the forecast for breakfast this morning. I was awed when I saw that my beloved Gala apples were on sale at Hannaford’s. Unless they’re fresh picked from the farm down the road, they’re the only apples I truly enjoy. (okay, so I probably prefer them over the local McIntosh apples, but I fear that might be un-Vermontan of me to admit, so I won’t. We have maple laws for Pete’s sake, I wouldn’t put it past us to have an apple law, too)

My, oh my, how I’d forgotten how amazing sauteed apples are.

I polished off the last of my bread yesterday, and knew I had to make more today. The decision?

Do I keep it as the original inventor intended, or mix it up again?

I kept it as intended, and think this loaf is a bit prettier (re: less embarrassing) and so won’t withhold the name of the kind woman who shared her recipe with me this time – it was the lovely Sarena, of course! I don’t think there is anything she can’t do in the kitchen. And if you don’t want to see really delicious looking pancakes with a beautiful pour of maple syrup, definitely don’t go to her blog right now.

While that rose, I faced another decision: strength or cardio?

Cardio won.

But these things can only keep me entertained for so long. It was 9:00 and I was already looking for my next project.

Biscotti or granola bars?

Biscotti, says mother – who also had a snowday.

Orange chocolate chip or cranberry almond?

Orange chocolate chip. Best biscotti I’ve ever made all thanks to Veganomicon. No I can’t share the recipe and no I can’t find it either. Buy the book. The biscotti and the chickpea-quinoa pilaf are worth that $15.

…but do I want peanut butter, jelly or maple cream on my hot-from the oven bread?!

Maple cream.

But what kind of nut butter do I want smothered into my date?!

It doesn’t matter because I’ll have another one in five minutes.

If I have hot cocoa in my Easter mug, will it be Spring tomorrow?

probably not, but you can try.

I love this Dagoba hot cocoa!

Should I shovel multiple times so that I only shovel a couple inches at a time, or once so that I’m shoveling more than a foot – but only one time?

Uhhh, well, I banked on multiple times, but this so-called “storm of the century” fizzled out, and I didn’t need to shovel after the once.

As it is, though, the snowbank to the side of our front porch is taller than the front porch, and if I venture off the beaten path I am up to my waist in the fluffy powder.

I hope I can go to the barn tomorrow so I can ride Teddie in it! Hopefully he won’t be like my Corona pony and decide it’s more fun to roll in said snow than it is to play in it. I’m not worried about getting rolled on, I’m worried about my saddle getting saturated. I paid more for the saddle than I did for the pony.

Do I make buffalo tempeh or barbecue tempeh?

Both! Sorry, guys – but I think I’m getting tempeh burnout. I’m sort of bored with it. When this block is done, I need to bid goodbye for a couple weeks. Needless to say, I do adore buffalo tempeh! Especially with the last of my caesar dressing and red onion (I heart red onion + buffalo + caesar)

I think I struggle making the decision between sweet potato fries or whole-baked sweet potatoes more than I struggle with the decision about what to wear.

It takes me a while to figure out what to wear in the morning. It’s too early to think clear, so I just stare into my closet for at least five minutes as if it’s some other-worldly realm.

And in case you were wondering, a whole baked sweet potato won, but I didn’t get to use this picture yesterday and was pretty proud of how perfectly baked and cut those fries are. Not to toot my own horn or anything.

Dinner was a big decision today, but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

I knew I should use the eggplant I had in the fridge, but nothing was particularly speaking to me.

Yes, when I flip through recipes certain ones call to me. I can plan “ooh I want to make that!” until I’m blue in the face but I can never decide what I want for dinner until 3:00 that day.

What did speak to me was Chickpea Piccata. (< Lucky for you guys, Isa has the recipe for this one on her website!)

But what to have it with?


But how?

My new favorite way ever, of course!

I was flipping through my binder of recipes,and saw this very plain-jane recipe for roasting eggplant originally from Cooking Light. I was a bit apprehensive that it would be all that great – it is basically eggplant straight up, after all – but combined with the absolutely amazing piccata, this meal was enough to make me fall head over heels in love with…well, everything in site. It turned me into a hippie peace-love flower-girl.

For the eggplant, though:

Roasted Eggplant

slightly modified from cooking light, for one eggplant:

  • 1 medium eggplant, about 1 lb.
  • olive oil for brushing (I used basil oil)
  • pinch salt, pepper and herbs de provence

Preheat oven to 450*. Carefully slice your eggplant the “long way” into 1/4″ slices, leaving the end in-tact. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and fan out the eggplant. Brush with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly tender. Remove from oven, press down to fan out more, and brush again with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Bake 15-20 minutes more or until tender and skin is beginning to crisp.

My mom: “are you going to eat that whole eggplant?”

Don’t mind if I do!

Decisions – do you find yourself sometimes having a terrible time deciding over the silliest of things, too?! Please say yes so I’m not alone. And don’t ask me who you should marry. I’ll just say “everyone! peace and love!”


Filed under apple, baking, bread, breakfast, chickpeas, cookie, cooking, dates, dinner, eggplant, food, food blog, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, snack, snow, sweet potato, tempeh, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies



Sometimes, I love creating my own recipes. Playing with different ingredients. Starting with one idea, yet ending up with something entirely different. Wondering if I’m really clever or just really weird.


And then there’s other times, where I just want a recipe to follow. Lately, I’ve been I the follow the recipe mood. I think following recipes encourages my creativity, though. I begin to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Not only that, but I am no chef. I have no “skill” to speak of. Following directions is good for me.


I am currently crazy for ED&BV’s cornmeal pancakes. I moved from my first attempt – peach cornmeal pancakes – to banana cornmeal pancakes with maple cream and almonds. That was so good, I did it twice. But this morning was a little different. DSC_3737

While I was blog-reading last night, Gail reminded me of my love for cranberries. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you are seriously missing out. Every post I see, I cannot stop admiring her skill with the camera. Every exposure she creates is a pure masterpiece, and the cranberry pancakes she posted were no exception. It goes without saying that I had to have banana-cranberry cornmeal pancakes once I saw her photos.

My creation was not anywhere near as flawless. In fact, opening up a brand new baking powder container yielded me one gigantic pancake that was not able to be flipped in one fell swoop, unlike previous mornings. Oh, well – the results were still delicious.




My next project: biscotti. For whatever reason, I’ve been craving biscotti lately.

Oh, who am I kidding. I know exactly why I’m craving biscotti – because tea has been to me as the bottle is to Lindsay Lohan.

And now I just need some nice dunking material. I could throw in another Lindsay joke about what she likes with her alcohol, but I won’t go there. Get it together, girl. I loved you back when we were both wee ones.




I did get a little inventive in my biscotti process, however. I based it off of Anja’s recipe – one I’d tried in the past and trusted. To start with, I veganized it by using a flax egg…and also used graham flour instead of whole wheat, used maple syrup rather than agave and cut back on the maple syrup while using more molasses, more cinnamon and nutmeg and no ginger. Oh, and pecans instead of almonds.




I was going for a bit of a graham-crackery feel and sprinkled some cane sugar and cinnamon on top, too.

I love them. I do.


And…well, similar to how sometimes I like to just follow recipes – sometimes, I just like to have things that are easy. I’m in one of those moods, too. Usually I appreciate weekends and Tuesdays and Thursdays to get all intricate in the kitchen…but lately, I’m a little bit obsessed with low and slow sweet potatoes.


I’ve just been loving big plates of roasted veg…but nothing compares to the slow-roasted sweet potato. I had this on Sunday (with a different protein and grain) and couldn’t deny my cravings for it again today.

I also discovered…I loved hummus with sweet potatoes. I was a bit…well, repulsed…by the idea of having a sweet potato with hummus when I first saw it. But now that I’ve tried it? Never going back.

And yes, that’s another buffalo-tempeh bulgur salad. I told you…simple is how I’m rollin’ lately!

Do you prefer to follow recipes, or create your own?

Would you rather a simple dinner, or intricate?

And I’ve gotta ask…Hummus on sweet potatoes: yay or nay?


Filed under baking, breakfast, dinner, pancakes, sweet potato

Just Call Me Suzie

Stick a fork in me, I’m done! No more food, please! Haha. Okay, so it’s not that bad – I’m actually quite content, but today certainly had the potential to be too much!

Unless it's oats. I can always have more oats.

I kicked off the morning with some delicious pear oats. I’m giving up on summoning spring, even though I had intentions to have mango-coconut oats this morning. When I got out of the shower, all I wanted was a bowl that would perfectly complement warm, melty peanut butter and lucky for me – pears are back to being 99 cents a pound! I love pears – and they are quickly becoming one of my go-to’s for a comfort bowl of oats.

Anything with this color palette calls for comfort.

Don’t you love those browns?! I know I do – call me crazy! I definitely took its’ far share of portraits this morning.

The base for today was…

oat bran, Bob’s 5 grain Rolled Cereal, wheat bran

-brewed coffee & So Delicious Coconut Milk

-1/2 diced pear

trail power

-vanilla, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves

-1/2 T. chia seeds

Another rainy day...

The toppings for this already-spectacular  bowl included…

chia-acai icing, milled golden flax

-chopped mixed nuts, crystallized ginger

-Dundee’s ginger preserves, PB & Co Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

and of course, a compote of the rest of the diced pear and golden raisins in Coconut Milk and Pumpkin Butter.

I don’t know if I’ve ever pointed out how in love I am with that cinnamon raisin peanut butter. It just gets so incredibly perfect & melty into the oats, even though you can’t tell it from the photo. It is, hands down, pure bliss.

And to drank? Green Mountain Golden French Toast. I desperately need to order more K-Cups! I’ve only got a couple left!

I’ve decided I do, in fact, prefer Silk PureAlmond over the So Delicious, incase you didn’t catch in my cookie post. The coconut milk isn’t so good in my coffee! And the more I have it, it’s almost got a watered-down taste to it? I don’t know…I was hoping to really love it, but I guess I’ll save some money, at least! I should say it’s not awful, I just prefer my Silk I guess! I am super excited to try the other So Delicious products, however – helloooo, Purely Decadent! And, their creamer isn’t bad, either.

You guys already know how my day went, I’m sure. I mean, who makes these and these, and doesn’t help themselves a time or two? Or…ten… that being said, the pictures got relatively repetitive, so I won’t bore you with them all. Just know I am a happy camper even if I may not be the picture of perfect eating for the day.

Just doing my duties!

The Last Berry.

…and this was just one of them. I love those “cookies” crumbled! Yummy! Even lunch was something sweet, though I made sure to get in at least someee veggies, too.

Tempeh, Jam, and Rumi's - Spinach Salad with Humnut Dressing

I loooove taking advantage of the stovetop when I’m home 🙂 Usually I’d go for a sweet potato panini, right? Well – I knew I’d meet my sweet potato quote with dinner tonight, so I passed.

Instead? Re-introducing Rumi! It’s been a while – but I have not forgotten about this amazing seasme-pistachio nut butter. It pairs so nicely with this Sarabeth Blueberry Cherry Jam I have, and so I decided – why not try with Tempeh, too?!

Unfortunately, this sandwich finished off my Sarabeth's 😦

And with that price tag, it may be a while before it's replaced.

This jam was definitely an impulse buy – I didn’t even realize it was seven dollars until I was looking over my receipt!! I guess I just assumed it couldn’t be more than a couple bucks – right?! Uh, no. I will say, it was damn good jam, however. That and, I guess it’s a pretty big jar compared to what you’d usually buy!

As usual, this was not disappointing.

Love the Tempeh, PB, and Jam on a toasted pita – and it was even more killer with the Rumi’s Hempspread. To. Die. For.

The spinach salad certainly didn’t disappoint, either – some of that amazing feta, red onion, carrot, and sundried tomatoes gave it some flavah-flav,  but the true stunner was the humnut dressing made with that sent-from-heaven Cedar’s garlic lover’s hummus. Soooo creamy. Sooo delicious.

Here’s a lesson for you all, from an experience I traumatically endured last night: When you make your mom hummus, egg, and veggie wraps for her to take to lunch, put your spoon in the sink when you’re done spreading the hummus. Do not leave it on the counter. You are likely to accidentally grab it thinking it was your spoon from your tea and use it to eat your nightly bowl of oats or cottage cheese or yogurt or something sweet that does not lend itself well to garlic hummus.

Not that I would ever do something so silly. And yes, I made my mom lunch. Just call me little Suzy Homemaker. She also loves the biscotti 🙂

Ain't no sunshine...

Bill Withers anyone? Anyone?

Not my idea of comfortable...but whatever floats her boat.

Laaaazy rainy days. It’s so nice not having class again tonight, though I do feel terrible for my professor. He’s had to be in Arizona for a while due to a family member with cancer. I will say, I was shocked to see him lighting up a cigarette the second he got out of the building after class one night. Moving on.

This happened often.

I implore you to make these biscotti. Unless you hate gingerbread, you will be so happy you did. They are a bite of heaven. I should have doubled the recipe. Just my  mom and I have polished off half, and that’s practicing some restraint.

I was a food junkie today, and I don’t just mean eating-wise. All I wanted to do was cook, cook, cook! I also wanted to make flourless brownies but I had to stop somewhere. We are but three people. I’m too intimidated to bake stuff for other people! But – I was excited to make dinner. Helllooo, Kath’s sweet potato gnocchi. I was so excited, I called my mom at work and asked about her dinner plans. Here’s the conversation after the reply that there were no dinner plans:

Me: “Can I make dinner then?!”

Her: (skeptical) “What are you making?”

Me: “Sweet potato gnocchi!”

*conversation about what gnocchi actually is goes here. Neither of us had ever had it before. Neither of us really knew. But it’s a sweet potato so it must be good!*

her: “Sure, we have leftovers if it doesn’t work out.”

Ahaha. Lovely, right? Although, I will say – I was nervous too! I didn’t even know if I’d like gnocchi, and it seemed like quite the process, and here I was making it for us all for dinner! No photos of the process, but I followed the recipe almost exactly – but added some curry powder and cut back on cinnamon. I also read the comments and one mentioned putting the dough in a plastic bag and “piping” it into the boiling water, rather than rolling out a log. While not as pretty, this is what I did. Otherwise I only foresaw a huge mess.

The  most tedious part was waiting for the water to boil! Ugh. So then I started to get impatient and didn’t sautee them for as long as I should have – but they still tasted great! At first I was unsure I liked the doughiness, but they definitely grew on me fast! I think they’ll be even better left over – because I’ll brown them more. My only problem with meals like this, though – is how filling they are, so fast! I prefer lighter meals, but – these were good so I’m not complaining 🙂

I also sauteed up some kale, broccoli, and chopped apple in some maine maple dijon mustard, lemon pepper, and salt. My mom loved the veggies. She also liked the gnocchi, but we both wished there was something to dip them in. I said I should have just combined the veggies & gnocchi – the maple-dijon mixed with the juice from the apple complemented them quite nicely, which is what I ended up “dipping” them in. Anyone have any ideas, though?

Sorry for just the one photo – snapped it quick so I could manja!

Oh yeah! Giveaway winners!!

#1 comment is Nicole! Who is enjoying beautiful Costa Rica right now – uhm, jealous! Send me some sun along with your address, please thanks 🙂

Aaand, my tempeh, PB, and jam homegirl, Susan, was comment #15! Not sure where I’d be without her – my lunch today certainly would have been different!!

When you’re home, or when you were growing up, did you often eat as a family, or separately? We discussed this a while back in Family Vio class, and I was shocked at how many families statistics say don’t eat dinners together. I always did growing up! It’s truly a time to bond. I remember being really confused by the concept that some families didn’t always diner together if I ever heard my friends talking about eating solo. Even now, I may eat something different, or make  myself something to have alongside the main meal, but if we’re all home at dinner time, I definitely try to eat with them.


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

I’m Still Baking.

I know, I know. Me again. What can I say? After this whoopsie (and knowing they were’nt going to be well-received!) I had to think of something else to make. That and, I just wanted to keep baking.

…and I’m a biscotti lover. So is my mom. Perfect! However…I’ve not been known to successfully bake biscotti. I last made Lemon Poppyseed Biscotti, which tasted fantastic the first day – but then got strangely soft the next day, and molded quite quickly? I dunno. But anyways – I was quite intrigued by this recipe by Anja.

We all know I love ginger. We all know I love almonds. We all know I love gingerbread/molasses-ish things. And I don’t care for super-sweet things. Given my love for all of these things in addition to my love for biscotti, what could go wrong? Not only that – but it’s a butter-less biscotti recipe. Oooh, even more interesting!

I take absolutely no credit for this amazing recipe!! And so that’s why I’ not posting the whole thing. I’ll just mention what I switched 🙂

I once again, pretty much followed the recipe to a T, except chose to (almost!) veganify it. I think. So – peep the recipe! It is ahhh.maaa.zingggg.

flax egg, molasses, vanilla, agave, & honey.

I wanted to try the recipe with a flax egg! I’ve never really baked using a flax egg, and figured why not give it a go? In addition to that, I didn’t want to finish my bottle of agave, so I used 1/4 cup agave and a small drizzle (half a tablespoon?) of honey. I figured I would cut back on the sweetness anyway – so it worked out well.

If I had thought about it at the time, I probably should have slightly cut back on the dry ingredients. For some reason, the dough was still far from too dry.

dry ingreds

I also chose to use white whole wheat flour rather than whole wheat, in hopes that my mom’s complaint wouldn’t be “they’re too wheat-y.” I also think I used more like 3/4 cups slivered almonds. I didn’t feel like chopping the whole almonds I had. Aaand, I doubled the amount of ginger and nutmeg – which came to 1/2 tsp for all the spices (though – nutmeg was closer to a scant 1/2 tsp)

This is definitely visually pleasing, right?

I had to bake the log for closer to thirty minutes…

Sliced after first bake, ready for round two!

And baked them again for about 15 minutes standing as seen above, 5 minutes on one side, and 5 minutes on the other side. The recipe didn’t really specify, but this is how my mom’s always done it successfully, and it worked well.

These are to.die.for. They have such an awesome molasses flavor and just the perfect level of subtle sweetness. Will definitely be making these again!! I think I’d leave the sweetener at 1/4 cup, too. And – I’d love to add some chopped crystallized ginger next time! I almost did this time, but held back. I wanted to challenge myself and mostly stick with the recipe, haha.

Make sure oyu enjoy some fresh from the oven – even better with a bit of warmed milk! Okay, okay – coffee is standard, but coconut milk is more fun 🙂 Here’s a hint – the nubby ends are the best parts!


Filed under breakfast, cooking, foodblog, health, healthy living, recipe