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adventures in breadmaking

This past Wednesday, Boston was hit with a big snowstorm, which meant a snow day!  It was a perfect day to stay inside and bake. 🙂

I started the chilly, snowy day off with a bowl of warm oatbran.

I cooked the oatbran with milk, a mashed banana, a dash of vanilla and a shake of cinnamon.  It came out great!

I stirred in some dried blueberries towards the end and topped it with chocolate peanut butter, cranberry almond butter and a sprinkle of coconut.

A great breakfast on such a chilly morning.

Next on my list for the day was to try out my new breadmaker that we got for Christmas!

I had been dying to try it out.  So, I looked up some recipes and got started with some Cranberry Almond Apricot bread.

It is extremely important that you put the ingredients into the breadmaker in the order shown.  Wet ingredients must be first, then dry on top.

Then, place the pan into the breadmaker.

Close the lid and make your selections.  For this bread, I used the White Bread setting for a 1lb. loaf on light (next time, I would do medium).

Three hours and 21 minutes later, out came the perfect loaf of bread. 🙂

A crust formed on the outside, and when you sliced into the bread it was soft and doughy.  Just the way I like it.

A little while later, I sliced up a piece of the warm bread spread on a little butter and served it with a smoothie for my afternoon snack. 🙂

A chocolate cherry bomb smoothie!

Yum!

Now, I know not everyone has a breadmaker…and you could definitely make this bread without one and bake it in the oven.  It just takes a little more work because you are waiting for the dough to rise, etc.  But, I’m sure the bread would come out just as good!

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eastern market & le pain quotidien

Don’t forget to check out my post on Living Harvest about Staying Healthy, Active and Motivated All Winter!

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Before heading the the airport, we had some breakfast and checked out the famous Eastern Market which features a flea market, farmer’s market and craft fair!

Breakfast was first..at Le Pain Quotidien.

The restaurant is all over the world in various countries, including the USA.  I have been to the NYC location before, so I was excited to see it directly across from our hotel.

They use all local and sustainable ingredients in their meals.

Everything on the menu looked great, but I decided on the Harvest Porridge and some toast.

Farro with almond milk, cranberries, mixed nuts and garnished with strawberries.

And, a side of toast with their amazing hazelnut spread and jam!

A bit later, I ordered a Hot Chocolate while waiting for others to finish up breakfast.

Oh my gosh!  Delicious!

My hot chocolate was served as a cup of steamed organic milk and a side of melted chocolate.

I poured in the chocolate to get the best hot chocolate yet!

Once we were fueled for the day, we headed to Eastern Market.

If you haven’t noticed recently, my favorite thing to do while travelling is to check out the local farmer’s markets. 🙂

This one had a variety of produce.

And, holiday vendors.

We strolled through the neighborhood eyeing the adorable houses.

And, our view of the Capital.

And like that, I was off to catch my flight…

It was a wonderful few days in Washington DC!

a grumbling tummy

The day started off like most days do these days…I woke up starving!!!  In fact, my grumbling tummy sometimes actually wakes me up!  So, I headed straight to the kitchen for breakfast.

Oat bran cooked in milk with a crumbled slice of banana bread and a scoop of caramel peanut butter.

With my favorite Ginger Peach tea (that I found in decaf!!).

Happy Holidays 🙂

I also made up a smoothie to bring with me to work because it seemed like today was going to be one of those days when I needed a second breakfast.

Cherry Almond Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein powder
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 cup coconut water

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and mix well.  Serve chilled.

I was right…around 10:30 it was time for my smoothie!

Which made lunch a little last today, but still just as good.  Leftover Mac & Cheese from last night, a yogurt and a green apple.

Due to my late lunch, I didn’t get hungry for too much mid-afternoon.  But, I did feel like something, so I snacked on some dried fruit and hot tea.

I’m off to dinner…have a great night!

my favorite veggie

I can honestly say that brussels sprouts might be my favorite vegetable.  People either love or hate brussels sprouts, I don’t think that there is anything in between.  They can have a bitter taste if not cooked properly, but they are yummy and crunchy is cooked well!

Last night we made another dish from 101cookbooks.com with some substitutions.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Apples (recipe here)

Since the recipe can be found from Heidi at 101cookbooks.com, I will just let you know what we changed:

  • 2 herb chicken sausages instead of tofu
  • 1/3 cup pepitas instead of pine nuts
  • chopped brussels sprouts instead of shredded
  • added shredded parmesan cheese on top

I don’t think that these changes/substitutions changed the flavor of the recipe at all.  If was super quick to make and delicious!  We both kept saying “Mmmmm…” after each bite. 🙂

The chicken/tofu and apples are sauteed with maple syrup giving the a subtle sweetness.

And, the brussels sprouts are cooked until browned and caramelized.

Everything mixed together was delicious!

We served this over a bed of quinoa (cooked, then mixed with 1 tbsp maple syrup, salt and pepper) and sprinkled it with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Backing up to breakfast, which was a yummy bowl of oatbran cooked with 1/2 banana, vanilla and cinnamon.

Topped with chocolate almond butter, banana slices and coconut.

Lunch was a tuna fish sandwich mixed with dijon mustard, relish and stuffed into a pita.  With an apple on the side.

Before dinner I snacked on a Luna Bar…

…and headed out for a 45 minute jog.  It was chilly, but felt great to be active outside in the cool weather.

i’m pregnant, week 18

Now that everyone knows that my husband and I are expanding our family and adding a little one to the bunch, I thought it would be fun for me to document my pregnancy on the blog.  This will mostly be for my own benefit, but hopefully some of you will enjoy it as well. 🙂

My plan is to recap every so often, just to give a little update, post some pictures and document my pregnancy.

It is crazy to me that I am already 18 weeks!  That first trimester did seem to drag a bit with feeling sick, but since then, it has flown by!  I have been feeling great!  I have more of an appetite and much more energy than those first few months.

Week 15 belly shot:

My belly is definitely growing…and my pants don’t fit!  At first, this was definitely hard for me to deal with, but now I feel great!

Week 17 belly shot:

With each doctor’s appointment, we get more and more excited.  Hearing the heartbeat, seeing the ultrasounds and talking about the next few months!

Sleeping the last week or so has already been a little harder.  I can no longer sleep on my stomach, so every time I move, I basically wake up.  I can’t imagine what it will be like in a few months. 🙂

I have been eating similar meal sizes, but seem to snack a bit more now.  My favorites this month have been oatmeal and chocolate milk!

As you’ve seen in my last few posts, I am eating a lot of protein and also making sure to get ample amounts of fats, carbs and other important nutrients.  The baby is growing!

I am almost halfway through! 🙂

breakfast & lunch

Wow!  I have been slacking on blogging this week!  Really, it’s because I have been so busy and tired with other things, that the blog had to take a backseat.  So, I thought I’d show you what I have been munching on for breakfast and lunch the past few days.  (Dinner’s have been a little sub-par, mostly because i’m just plain tired when I get home!)

Since I am pregnant, I am making more of an effort to make my meals well balanced and contain ample protein, fat, nutrients, amongst other things.  It is really important to get the baby the nutrients it needs, and I want to do my part to get those to him or her. 🙂

When I am deciding on what to have for breakfast or lunch, the first thing that goes through my head now is whether or not it has enough protein.  I have been adding protein powder to my smoothies to give them an extra boost and have just been more conscious about my protein intake overall.

For breakfast, I have been alternating between my usual oatmeal and smoothies.  Some days I crave something warm, while others I want something cold and refreshing!

Yesterday, I started the day with steaming steel-cut oats!

I added a lot to the mix, so I kept the toppings simple.

In the mix:

  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup homemade applesauce
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Topped with Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and Crofter’s Raspberry Jam (my favorite combination!) and a sprinkle of shredded coconut for looks. 🙂

It was delicious, as usual, and contained ample protein, fat and carbs for my morning meal.

This morning, I started with a smoothie and toast.

Two slices of Cinnamon Date Manna Bread with a smear of butter.

And, a Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie!

  • 1 cup hemp milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp unsalted peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp chocolate hemp protein powder
  • 2 tbsp flaxseeds

It filled me up, and contained the nutrients this baby needs!

I have been trying to get a little creative with lunches, since lately lunch seems to be the meal where I most want to eat!  By dinner, I am never really hungry…

Yesterday, I mixed up some leftover cooked sweet potato orzo, arugula, a fresh tomato and cheddar cheese.  Heated for about 1 minute in the microwave to take the chill off.

YUM!

With, 3/4 cup plain yogurt and frozen (defrosted) fruit.

It was a super yummy meal!

Today, I made up a pita sandwich with hummus, avocado and spinach.

With cheddar cracker from one lucky duck and an apple.

Perfect!

To me, my breakfast and lunch seem to be well rounded, which makes me feel better and happier in general.

I have been snacking on lots greek yogurt.  I can’t get enough!

Hopefully, I can keep this up!

snack-a-thon

Yesterday morning was another day for oats!  I kept these more simple, still cooked in the rice cooker, because I wanted to add a few fun toppings.

Into the rice cooker went the following:

  • 1/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 chopped banana
  • 1/2 diced apple
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1 cup of water

They came out as creamy as ever!  I topped this bowl with peanut butter, rolled dates and a shake of cinnamon.

This breakfast didn’t hold me over as well as it usually does.  Maybe because of my morning run?

I feel like I snacked throughout the day on small-ish, but delicious, meals.

First up, vanilla yogurt with cinnamon and granola and a pear.

It was a crazy day at work, so the next thing I knew, it was 4 o’clock and I had missed lunch and my afternoon snack!

So, I ran out to pick up some soup – Broccoli Cheddar with a Baguette from Panera Bread.

This soup is really good, but very rich!  I need to try to make a batch at home for the winter.

Once home for dinner, I had a small serving of leftover pasta from Tuesday night.  I just wasn’t very hungry due to the late soup!

Still delicious after reheating!

After dinner, I whipped up some Super Charge Me cookies.  My sweet tooth was calling.  Served warm with milk. 🙂

These cookies are a great treat filled with healthy ingredients including, rolled oats, almond butter, raisins, spelt flour, shredded coconut, etc.

I have a yummy dinner planned for tonight. 🙂