Wednesday, August 31, 2011

what i ate wednesday? i'm apparently [not on] a roll...

so i intended to try that foodie blogger trend 'what i ate wednesday' where bloggers snap pictures of everything they eat every wednesday and most about it. i intended to try it, i really did. and did did fine at breakfast...

coffee (duh) with lots of half && half 

a carton of strawberries.

an organic gala, eaten sliced with cinnamon

Ezikel bread, toasted, with chunky peanut butter and honey drizzle &&  half a banana while the bread was toasting. 
no, i didn't put the banana slices on top of the toast, for reasons i currently can't explain.

breakfast was going along swimmingly until this happened...


now, i know one is not supposed to cry over spilled milk, but what about spilled half & half?

sadness. also sad, i totally forgot to snap photos of my lunch. which tells me if i can't keep up with WIAW once, i'll probably not be very consistent at it in the future (i am adhd after all...) 
but oh well. if you are wondering, it involved a small slice of the homemade granola bars i made yesterday, half a cantaloupe i wanted to finish up before moving (no complaints), and almost an entire 17.6 ounce fage greek yogurt (yup..) mixed with cocoa powder..what? it's just so addictive !

then, in the afternoon, i was packing kitchen stuff and found some medjool dates and dried figs in my cupboard. wanting to use them up, i whipped up some:

simple date/fig coconut balls

the goodies:
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup figs, chopped
  • honey (optional)
  • unsweetened shredded coconut (for rolling)

1. chop & pit dates & figs and toss them in a food processor or blender

2. whirl.

3. roll into a log that looks like, well, you know.

4. cut the log into even chunks, roll into balls.

5. put your shreds in a rolling-friendly bowl

6. [optional] drizzle with honey and roll balls in palms; sticky hands may result.

7. roll in coconut and enjoy! sweet, sticky, and tastier than most candy...i swear!

after whipping up these babies, i took my lovely pup for some frozen yogurt at the shop i worked at all summer. sasha enjoyed some peach-mango tart yogurt as well as some very-berry sorbet. 

as for me, i really wasn't planning on getting any (i HATE spoiling my dinner with dessert right before...yet i  consider no meal complete without dessert after...go figure). but my mom wanted some yogurt and they had dulche du leche flavored froyo (which i have a soft spot for..) so we split a medium cup of dulche du leche, cappuccino, and alpine vanilla yogurts with blackberries, raspberries, and crushed health on top. we then sat with sasha and enjoyed some quality outside afternoon time in the sunshine :)

i wasn't all that hungry for dinner, but felt like i should get something nutritious in me (i crave veggies if i go more than 24 hours without them) so i whipped up some stuff from our fridge we are trying to get rid of before we move:

random chopped salad: broccoli, shrooms, heirloom tomatoes, garlic powder, olive oil, 18-year old aged balsamic & nutritional yeast (which i was craving)

we are fresh out of veggie burgers :( so i ate um...these. morningstar farms vegetarian sausages. they were fine, just not my thing. they tasted too...meaty...or me. i don't eat meat because i don't like it. thus, these were a mild fail. but i'm using up stuff that needs to go so they did their job.
highlight of this nasty-looking plate: curried catsup. if you've never married the wonderful combination of curry powder and simply must. now. bomb. sweet, spicy, earthy...crazy delicious.

after i started eating, i started getting hungry (this often happens to me...) so i also made some Ezikel toast and topped it with cream cheese, sliced dates, and drizzled honey. this was enjoyed in my room paging through an exciting new cookbook. goodtimes.

the night was capped off by watching top chef just desserts with my sister & nibbling on the lemon-blueberry cupcake she bought at honeypie, which, i may dare say, has better cupcakes than magnolia bakery nyc. but maybe that's my hometown bias.

hope you enjoyed my semi-fail at this 'wiaw' stuff! i enjoy seeing other people's for ideas/inspiration but am not sure i can keep up with it myself! 
time will tell. 
til then, 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

lemon-rosemarry roasted chickpeas && homemade granola bars

today was icky weather so i was feelin' some oven lovin'...
so i whipped up these two snacks and thought i'd share the recipes :) 

lemon-rosemary roasted chickpeas

the goodies:
  • 1 15 oz can of chick peas, drained & rinsed
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil (i used melted coconut butter, but olive oil would work nicely as well)
  • juice from 1/2 to 1 fresh lemon, depending on your tastes
  • rosemary (as much or as little as you care for)

  1. preheat oven to 4325 degrees. then place all ingredients in a bowl and give them a whirl.

     2.  spread on a lined baking sheet and pop in the oven for about 25 minutes, until the liquid is nearly all absorbed and the chickpeas are golden.

3. let cool. they will harden and get crunchy as they cool.

 4. enjoy as a fiber-protein rich yummy snack, sprinkle on salads, or add as a garnish to hummus to be fancy. 

these can also be made with whatever flavors you want -- curry, cumin, chili powder -- make them anyway you want ! yumm.

homemade granola bars:

the goodies - wet:
  •  2-3 tablespoons butter (i used coconut, but regular also works swimmingly)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey (you can play with the two liquid sweeteners to your liking)

the goodies - dry:
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds or flakes
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flower, wheat germ, or protein powder
  • cinnamon, to taste (i like a lot - probably about 2 teaspoons)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup nuts of your choice 
  • 3/4 to 1 1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice


  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. in a saucepan, combine wet ingredients. it will like, um, really tastey..

     2. allow to simmer on low heat until reaches a soft boil. boil for about a minute, stirring constantly, and remove from heat. meanwhile,,,combine the first four dry goodies in a large mixing bowl:

     3.  then add your dried fruit and nuts. (today i had dried cherries, cranberries, and raisins)...

... and slivered almonds and chopped walnuts...


 proceed by mixing it up!

4. next, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix again:

5. press into a greased baking dish and bake for 20-30 minutes, until lightly fragrant and slightly browned. 

6. let them cool for a few hours before enjoying

enjoy ! you can twist these any way you choose. i sometimes add dark chocolate chunks and/or yogurt chips, nut butters...really anything i have around and am in the mood for. 
no matter how you alter them, these are really yummy.  and healthy too! chewy bar ain't got nothin on these babies.

happy / healthy snacking !

a wee little milwaukee time

because my flight back to school was on the same day as irene's little outburst on the big apple, i'm home for a few more days. which honestly, is i wasn't mentally prepared to leave home yet, and wasn't really packed either. as i spent like, all summer working and/or taking chem 2, some time off to actually enjoy milwaukee has been great. 

so yesterday, my mom and i went to the milwaukee art museum to see the China exhibit :) 
and oh my. yesterday's weather was perfect and i was just so pumped to be outside enjoying the weather and the beauty of milwaukee. it was recently named one of america's five most underrated cities and i couldn't agree more.

even though the wings were closed (boo) it was still a gorgeous day

 corny, yes.

view from the museum to downtown.

the milwaukee art museum is truly a hidden gem. in fact, it was recently featured in transformer's 3, AND was the set of last year's victoria's secret holiday commercial

photographs were not allowed in the exhibit (boooo) but it was pretty cool and i enjoyed the chinese art and furniture. in fact, it may have just inspired some decorating for my apartment...
afterwords, mommy was hungry, so we grabbed a late (second for me..) lunch at another one of milwaukee's finest places...alterra coffee, lakefront location. umm, gorgeous/tastey...


my favorite thing at alterra for lunch/dinner is the grilled vegetable burrito:
sweet potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, black & refried beans, manchego cheese, and roasted corn poblano salsa with chipotle rice

umm....need i say more? it is SO so delicious. warm, tender, slightly spicy veggies grilled to perfection, juxaposed with melty, tangy, just-enough-without-overpowering gooey-cheesy rice & black beans, all tucked in a flaky, crispy tortilla served with homemade, fresh salsa (i always ask for two..) && fresh seasonal fruit. all for $6.55. major win.

the anticipation....

 when the food came, i dove in instead of snapping  a pic, but here's one from my iphone that i've previously taken of a GVB. mmmmmmmmm. my fav. 

and that was a lovely afternoon in the good old MKE. hope your day was as enjoyable as mine !

Monday, August 29, 2011

Under Construction!

Hello :)

I decided I didn't like my blog lay-out or title one bit. So I'm re-vamping!

Pardon if it changes 18 times over the next 3 days; decisiveness has never been my strength.

Anyways, here's a daily dose of Sasha to make your day:

squee !

Sunday, August 28, 2011

One of the Cool Kidz

As I'm home for a few days longer than expected due to the hurricane out east, I picked up a shift at work tonight. 

Did I need the money? No.

So why did I volunteer to work this last precious week of summer in possibly city's busiest dessert-spot?

Because I like the people who work there.

They are funny, sassy, and make work interesting and enjoyable.
I recall on my second day being handed my new nametag by my manager and being told, "You're one of the cool kids now."


lolz melodramatic foto.

It also made me think of why I've been hesitant to blog.
I feel like I have tons of great ideas/recipes but I want to "save" them for when I have like, one follower, at least. But I realized, just like at work, I have to start putting myself out there before anyone will like/want to interact with me. 

So no more hesitating !

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie.

By Request.

This recipe was inspired by Honeypie Cafe in Bayview, WI. 

After meeting my sister and her boyfriend at a local favorite, Honeypie, I had a less-than-pleasant dinner experience. I LOVE Honeypie and still do; on this particular night I just happened to order a special that wasn't my thing. Not bad food, just not something I'd order again (it was a zucchini-based dish, which I didn't realize, and zuch is my least favorite veg/fruit)
I was slightly dissapointed, not because I disliked my meal, simply because I spent more on a special than sticking to my favorites which are all cheap and delicious every time.

Because of my mood I ALMOST did not get dessert. I'm telling you. The waitress asked several times. I turned her down. We paid. 

But then, on the way out...I walked by the dessert case and impulsively purchased a slice of chocolate coconut pie.

I was heading to dinner at my sister's boyfriend's parents house two days later, and wanted to bring something as a nice gesture.

Of course, that pie came to mind, so I decided to try to recreate it.

And I'm happy to say it was a success. 

Here is the (loose, since I just kind of did it as I went) recipe:

The Goodies...
1. Crust:
  • 8 graham crackers
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4-6 tablespoons melted coconut butter or spread (or butter, if you don't have coconut butter) 
2. Filling:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • 6 oz semi-sweet baker's chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (I used whole, but 2% would also work)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or coconut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3. Cream Topping:
    •  1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 2-4 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4. Garnishes:
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)
  • 1 bar Lindt Coconut White Chocolate, chopped (optional)


  1. Grease your pie pan.

2. Using a food processor or a mallet, crush your grahamys into a loose powder (not too small). Add the sugar and mix. Then pour in melted (coconut) butter until the mixture gets lumpy and sticks together. Yum.

3. Press the crust mixture into your pie pan. If you'd like, you can blind-bake the crust for 6-10 minutes at 350. But this could easily be skipped.

4. Choppy your chocolate. And try your best not to nibble.

...which is very difficult.
[I admit..I often purposely bake with one extra ounce baker's chocolate to make up for the amount I nibble while baking. teehee.] 

5. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar + corn starch

...and then add the chopped chocolate. 

6. In a separate bowl, whisk together your egg yolk + milk. 
this mixture looks/probably tastes icky to me

7. Add milky mixture to saucepan and fire-up the burner on medium heat. Prepare for arm workout.

 8. Mix constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Then cook for about one minute more. This whole process will take about 10-15 minutes. And the thickening will happen suddenly.

9. Toss in the butta and vanilla and give it one more good crank.

10. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate pudding filling over the crust. Lick bowl clean.

11. For a little extra crunch, cover chocolate layer with slivered almonds.

 ...and about a half cup coconut (again, optional)

...but why would you not...

12. Using a stand-mixer or electric beaters (or hand beaters, if you're REALLY feeling ambitious), add the powder sugar and vanilla to the heavy cream and whip until those glorious glorious 'stiff peaks' form). Welcome to heaven.

13. Generously spread that goodness all ova the pie. MmMMM.

and then..

14. Cover with another layer of shredded coconut. 

15. Chop this baby up, if you've got him...

and add your final touch !


Yum. I normally don't like to compliment my own cooking skillz but dayum..this was a winner. Obviously I'm bound to love my four things (graham cracker crusts, chocolate pudding, whipped cream + coconut) when they are layered lusciously together.

So there you have it.
Make it. Eat it. Eat more. Pretend you won't eat even more and then do.

Enjoy your Saturdays, nonexistant readers. And stay safe NYC !