Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

The Damage Eraser

Speaking of healthy…

When you have had a weekend where your whiskey intake far surpassed that of water, where you were positively forced (pull my arm and leg!!) to eat approximately a million and one snacks in order to keep warm, where you did not go to bed before 4 one night and where nothing you ate had a color other than “off-white” except for those blue M & M’s; yes, I mean the kind of weekend that extracts every ounce of juice from your camera battery and brain and leaves you completely neglecting to charge it [camera battery and brain] as you luxuriate deep in blissful reverie of the weekend fun, you should stop, take a breathah, as we Bostonians say, and do this, STAT.:

1.  Cook up some Black Quinoa

2. Saute chopped snap peas in a little oil, minced ginger and salt until cooked but still crisp.

3. Add cubed oranges and saute a bit to add the orange flavor and bring to room temp (I used Cara Cara Oranges for the deep coral color).

4. Make a vinaigrette with 1 T Sesame Oil, 1 T Rice Wine Vinegar and a splash of soy sauce.

5. Layer in a bowl– quinoa, veggie mix, vinaigrette, add some sesame cashews if you have them, and a few squirts of Sriracha, to taste.

6. Serve warm or room temp.


This was quite delicious and the bright colors made it feel just as special as all the treats I had this weekend.  I think this could become  staple,  swapping out various fruits depending on the time of year.  Can you imagine how tasty it would be with ripe peaches in July?




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Happy (very belated) New Year All! Along with everyone else in the world, this year I vow to lose weight, get in shape, eat better, drink less, yoga more, be nicer blah blah blah. Yeah… somehow I just don’t see that all happening. At least not just by saying it, wiggling my nose and blinking my eyes.

Here is something I vow to actually do – really try at the few goals I have set out for myself. If I want to get in shape I better be doing more than just taking the stairs to my 3rd floor apartment.

For example – One of my goals is to treat treats like treats. Newsflash for Caitlin! If you have beer, pizza, chocolate, wine,  pumpkin spice lattes etc every. single. day. – those aren’t treats! Those are just your eating habits!

Now I’m not saying that I am always unhealthy or that I plan to give up beer or pizza entirely, but I’ve allowed myself to get into a fitness and food funk (that I’m totally blaming on the holidays) and with a clean slate of 2012 right at my finger tips, I’ve figured now is the time to make a few changes.

So, to kick off 2012 here are my top 12 incredibly, super healthy tricks I’ve learned from some of my favorite blogs and websites that I SWEAR taste amazing.

Green Monster from Oh She Glows

  1. Green Monsters – Add spinach to your smoothie and you’ll get a morning salad kick-in-the-pants without tasting it at all.
  2. Mmmm Sauce – A vegan sauce you can add to almost anything. My favorite is millet, roasted butternut squash, chickpeas and Mmm (mmm good) sauce.
  3. Peanut Butter Oatmeal – Didn’t think stick to your ribs oatmeal could get anymore stick to your ribs? Add a spoonful of nut butter on the side!

    Peanut Butter Pumpking Oatmeal from Kath Eats Real Food

  4. Pumpkin Puree in Oatmeal – Another awesome addition to add to your bowl of oatmeal. 1/4 cup per bowl gives it nice bulk without overpowering the taste.
  5. Black Beans & Sweet Potatoes –  Black beans, salsa and greek yogurt. SO good.
  6. Baked Beans & Sweet Potatoes– Vegetarian (or regular) baked beans warmed up and poured on top.

    Kale Chips from Kath Eats Real Food

  7.  Kale Chips – Crispy. Salty. Great with ketchup. Do you need more?
  8. The Breakfast Cookie– With plain greek yogurt and fruit on top. I find it to be too sweet without the plain yogurt, but it really does taste like a cookie for breakfast!

    Blueberry-Flax Smoothie from Whole Living

  9. Every Smoothie Under the Sun – Smoothies rock.
  10. Clean Foods – Dr. Junger’s Clean Food recipes are generally awesome. I am in love with the Tabboulah (page 20) and the Almond Sauce (page 23).

    Chocolate Amazing Grass

  11. Amazing Grass – The original wheatgrass is kind of hard to swallow, but the chocolate tastes really amazing in a peanut butter, banana, almond milk smoothie and it really does give you an energy boost in the morning.
  12. Chia Seeds – Completely tasteless, you can add these seeds to anything. Smoothies, on top of toast, oatmeal, salads, chicken… literally anything.

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Brussel Sprouts 3 Ways

Roasted Brussel Spouts

  • Half brussel sprouts
  • Toss in 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper
  • At 375 degrees, roast for 30 minutes
  • Move sprouts around with a spatula and roast for 5 – 10 more minutes
  • Enjoy! (Especially the crispy leaves that fall off..)


Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Brown Sugar

  • Cook bacon until crispy.  Remove from pan, retaining bacon fat
  • Add Brussels sprouts, S+P  and brown sugar to pan and cook 2 – 4 minutes until the sprouts begin to cook and sugar is melted
  • Transfer sprouts to baking pan and roast for 30 minutes at 375 or until crispy
  • In the meantime, cook onions in the same pan on low heat until caramelized
  • Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook 5 minutes more
  •  Serve Brussels sprouts in a bowl with crumbled bacon and onions
  • Enjoy!

Maple Mustard Brussel Sprouts

  • Saute 1/4 cup of onions in olive oil until softened 3 – 5 minutes
  • Add Brussel Sprouts (cut into halves or quarters depending on size) and saute together for 3 – 5 minutes
  • Add 1/4 cup of water and close cover for 6 – 8 minutes
  • Meanwhile whisk together 1/4 cup of dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • Add maple/mustard mix, steam for an extra few minutes if necessary (you should be able to stick a fork in them easily)
  • Enjoy!

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I have a great friend, Tyler, who is amazing with ingredients. I mean I love to cook, but Tyler loves to cook and isn’t afraid of anything. Pig’s belly? Sure! Lobster tails? Why not!

So, whenever I get to see him I grill him with questions about what he’s concocted last. Last weekend he  was telling me about a cocktail he made for his family at Thanksgiving that sounded so fabulous I had to try it myself.  This cocktail doesn’t use crazy ingredients, but it is crazy good.

Cranberry Simple Syrup

  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 Cups of Cranberries

Simmer all ingredients together for 15 minutes. Let cool. Put all ingredients in a container in the fridge overnight and strain in the morning. You will have a bright red delicious syrup perfect for cocktail experimenting.

Ty’s Cranberry Cocktail

  • Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • Vodka
  • Ginger Ale
  • Sparkling Water
  • Orange, Lemon or Lime Slices (I chose lime to get the red/green theme)

The “skinny” Version

  • Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • Vodka
  • Sparkling Water
  • Orange, Lemon or Lime Slices

Pour. Cheers. Drink. Enjoy. Happy Holiday-ing!

P.S. Lucky for us Tyler has a blog, tyskitchen.com, where he documents the meals he’s made during the week. Check it out!


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‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through DC

Tiny lights were strung among streets lamps, windows and trees

The shops were all buzzing with a last minute rush

I even saw a caroler (or perhaps a mid-day lush)

With three holiday parties and only hours to spare

I needed something quick, but with holiday flair

Away to the market I ran like the wind

White chocolate, cream cheese and Oreos (peppermint!)

I crushed up the oreos and mixed in the cream cheese

(I left a few oreos on the counter as a tease)

I rolled them into balls (smaller than a quarter you’ll see)

With my budget double boiler I melted with glee

With a dip and some sprinkles my hostess gift was all done

Super easy, delicious and festive and fun!

With these cute oreo pops I could pull any fella,

Merry Christmas to all and THANK YOU Bakerella!

Bakerella’s Oreo Truffle Recipe: http://www.bakerella.com/grocery-item-goes-gourmet/

* My budge double boiler is pan with water, a colander and a bowl that is microwave safe, but not stovetop (whoops!)

* When you realize that you can’t let these dry top down, you can dump all your eggs into tupperware (and break 2) and then use the styrofoam egg carton to hold up the sticks

* I used Trader Joes peppermint Joe Joes, Wilton white chocolate disks, Philadelphia Cream Cheese and CakeMate Peppermint Sprinkles I found when I couldn’t find regular candy canes anywhere

* The truffles melt easily in heat, so my advice is to freeze them prior to setting them out so that they melt slower

~ c

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1. Retro striped drinking straws to make drinks a little more fun.

2.  Fleur de Sel-– a nod to one of their semesters in France

3.  CSA membership— because you aren’t you always looking to share a box, and don’t you  need a consult on what to do with that mystery root veggie?

4.  Mulling spices, with some apple cider and a bottle of bourbon– and the hope that you are invited too 🙂

5.  A mix of pretty nail polish colors for roommates to share (because that’s what roommates are for)

6.  Candles for inside (this set looks striking together or separate, at every stage of melting.  For a cheaper version, try these on Etsy)  or tin votives to make their porch feel dreamy

8.  Japanese Washi masking tape– so. fun.

9.  Cheese making kit— A strange new journey for them to embark on together

(*all images via product websites or pinterest)

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Everything Cookies

For me December is filled with friends, parties and holiday cheer, but not everyone looks forward to the start of the holiday season like I do. Now some of those people are just plain Grinchy (with hearts two sizes too small), but the dread is warranted by one group of people – students.

If you are a student then early December means finals, papers, pulling all nighters and lots and lots of coffee. But you want to know what goes great with coffee (and doubles as an incentive to finish 3 more pages of reading)?? COOKIES.


We followed the regular Tollhouse recipe but added some more goodies like chocolate covered toffee bits and pretzels. The great thing about these cookies is that they are nearly impossible to mess up and you can add pretty much anything delicious – peanuts, butterscotch, crushed up potato chips…

Here’s what we used*

If you are one of the lucky “December is full of Christmas lights, champagne and partying” people, take pity on your student friends and send them some of these cookies.

After all, December is the season of giving!

* We did NOT use baking powder…. we took that pic and then realized that the recipe didn’t call for it…

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