Friday, May 20, 2011

This and that

My office has a casual Friday policy, technically, but I have a standing Friday 7am committee meeting (horrible I know) which kind of throws a wrench in casual Friday. When I first started my job in October I always wore business attire on those days. But over time I have found ways to dress it down and still maintain a professional appearance. This is mainly thanks to a truly inspired purchase over the holidays. For a mere $30 on final clearance I got a dark navy blazer that is actually made of felt, at least that's what it looks like. It is comfy lightweight and wonderfully tailored. I wish I had a picture but it's long gone from J-Crews website. Now I frequently pair it with jeans and heals either over a sweater, blouse or tee and call it good. Best Friday outfit ever!

Last night our power went out for 6 hours. It turned off just as I was finishing dinner and stayed off until just after midnight. It was crazy. We ate dinner outside and then hung out in our cul-de-sac chatting with neighbors. Since every one's power was out people were all outside and kids were running around playing, it was really fun. Our new house is in a cul-de-sac and we really love it. There's hardly any traffic, it's really quite, and it's so fun watching the kids play outside together. The lady who lives across the street never mows her lawn. It's currently about 2 feet high. At first I found it really irritating but lately I've noticed how much the kids from the neighborhood play in it and it's really funny. The other day they were playing jungle. Their constantly hiding in it or losing balls in it. It provides a lot of entertainment from our office window.

I'm feeling really frustrated with our weather right now. While much of the county already has 80 degree weather. Here it has been so rainy and cold. The newspaper said that it was the 5th coldest month of April since 1880. The paper also said not to expect warm summer weather until mid July. Horrible. Although it was beautiful yesterday and looks nice today the next 10 days in the forecast all have rain in them. After last years very disappointing summer this is just not cool.

Well despite the weather it is almost the weekend which is a good thing...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

breakfast delights in minutes

I haven't blogged in a while...needless to say I've been busy.

We eat breakfast everyday at home. Every great once in a while when we have early meetings we skip it and I always end up having to go out and get something which I then regret eating.

To ensure a healthy breakfast at home we have a rotation of healthy fast meals (oatmeal, kasha, polenta, Cheddar grits, scrambled eggs and toast, rice cereal and so on) Lately my favorite has been pancakes. Recently, I realized that it's just as quick to make homemade pancakes from scratch as it is to make most of our other morning meals and they are so delicious. We have two varieties that are great for a weekday morning and are much more healthy than your standard pancake full of white flour.

Cornmeal Pancakes

one egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup of milk
1 TB molasses (molasses is so good for you, it's full of vitamins and minerals especially iron)
2 TB oil or melted lard
3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

beat egg until fluffy. add remaining ingredients and cook in butter. you can add some blueberries or blackberries once batter has been poured into skillet. serve with butter and REAL maple syrup.

Blueberry buckwheat pancakes

one egg

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup milk

2 TB oil

1 TB sugar, agave syrup, real maple syrup or honey

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup blueberries

again beat egg until fluffy add remaining ingredients. cook in butter. once pancake has been poured add a few blueberries.

We only use real maple syrup. It is more expensive but unlike conventional syrup it is natural and a little goes a long way. We also use it to sweeten oatmeal and other hot breakfast cereals. If you run out of milk in the am you can used canned milk, rice milk or almond milk instead. I always keep one of those on hand in the pantry just in case. We freeze a lot of blueberries over the summer to eat all year round in muffins, pancakes and cereal. If you freeze them flat on a sheet pan before putting them in containers it's easy to just pull out a handful in the morning. Just run them under hot water for a minute or two and you're good to go.

What is your favorite weekday morning breakfast?