Yellow, my one true love!

Over the past week I scored some sweet deals on the clearance racks of Sur La Table and Target. Have you ever been to Sur La Table? It is amazing. From both stores I bought some great stuff to take out to New York with me! My first finds were kitchen related.

All in all I came away with three kitchen towels, which I hope to use in New York as a backdrop for my food photography, one oven mitt and a lovely yellow ramekin!

At Target I found this canary yellow picnic blanket that folds and zips right up into a handy little bag. I cannot wait to use this when I am hanging out in Central Park!

I also was in Trader Joe’s recently and finally picked up a re-usable grocery bag. I have been meaning to purchase one of these for a long time and I’m glad I finally did!

Now I am off to TJ Maxx now to see what other deals I can find!

Make your own jam,

Sydney

Take Steps Be Heard

This weekend my family and I participated in the Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis Walk in Milwaukee. We walked loud and proud to raise awareness and funds to support an amazing organization whose mission it is to help find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. I was lucky to intern the whole spring semester of my senior year with this organization, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), and help organize the walk. It was great to finally see everything come together!

I had been fundraising all year to reach my goal of $1,000, so thank you to everyone who supported me and helped me reach my goal!  The walk ended up bringing in a total of $55,000!! And this was just one walk. There are Take Steps walks in every state across the country, so I can only imagine how much was raised through this event nationwide.

Here I am with the team. Team Just Water Please! Lookin’ good people, lookin’ good.

Fueling up before the big event!

Our awesome team water bottles!!

Everyone rocked the purple shirts!

Thanks again for joining me. Glad everyone seemed to have a good time!

Enjoy nectarine season!

Sydney

Lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer!

I have to say that I have thoroughly been enjoying my summer thus far. I hope you have been too! West Wing Season 2 has commenced. I have been working on expanding my vocabulary. On my frequent strolls throughout the neighborhood, I have come across an elderly man sitting in his lawn chair on his front porch staring off into eternity (or perhaps just the mesmerizing local GB traffic?).

I have also been doing a lot of cooking and baking, and it is great to experiment now while I have the time so that when the school year rolls around I will have some solid recipes in my repertoire. Recently I’ve made a pizza, a deluxe veggie burger, green smoothie and pumpkin zucchini cookies with chocolate chips!

Let it be known right now that I love pizza. I love making all different sorts of pizza with a variety of flavor combinations. For me pizza= why yes, I’d love to go out with you. Thanks for asking.

Anyway, this pizza is a sweet potato spinach pizza with an olive oil and pomegranate balsamic vinegar sauce. And when I say ‘sauce’ I use the term loosely. I just drizzled some olive oil and pomegranate balsamic vinegar on the pre-made dough, spread it around and voilà! Sauce! I then topped it with spinach, mushrooms, green onions, chopped garlic scapes, and goat cheese. The finishing touches were some sprinkled tarragon and cinnamon on top. Taste.

I also made a deluxe veggie burger. The tangy and smooth goat cheese, sweet cinnamon raisin bread, and burger with a bit of a kick really put this over the top! I ended up using a frozen veggie burger and was pleasantly surprised how much flavor it had. I topped it with spinach and blackberry preserves as well, resulting once again in a simple and delicious meal.

There are so many ways to make a healthy green smoothie. The possibilities really are endless! And if you don’t know what a green smoothie is, don’t fret, it is essentially a smoothie in which you add greens to it (generally spinach). This way you get an amazing, bright green color, and some great nutrients as well! And trust me, you don’t taste the spinach at all. This time I made the smoothie with a very ripe frozen banana, frozen mango, some pineapple Chobani yogurt and some almond milk. Oh, and of course spinach! I put all the ingredients in a blender and blended away. Very refreshing.

Lastly, I recently made pumpkin zucchini cookies with chocolate chips. These turned out to be delightfully moist and chewy!

Add some cucumber to your water!

Sydney

Pumpcakes

That’s right, this morning I made pumpkin pancakes. A.K.A. Pumpcakes. And they were delicious! I’ve only made pancakes a few times before, and never pumpkin pancakes, so I was really pleased with how they turned out. I call the recipe Almost Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes, but you can easily go ahead and make them purely vegan with one simple switch. I’ll put the recipe below. Here are the beauties!

Big. Hearty. Golden Perfection. I only ended up eating two seeing as they were pretty filling, but the rest of the pancakes I will use over the next few days crumbled over my oatmeal, cereal or yogurt. Yum.

Here’s how it all went down:

Chia egg

Finished product:

With organic raw blue agave sweetner,

a bit of pecans,

and to top it off some drizzled natural peanut butter.

Good morning sunshine!

Almost Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1 sprinkle of ground cloves

1 1/4 cups soymilk (I used original Silk)

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

2 tbsp Chobani Apple Cinnamon yogurt (Here is where you can choose to make it vegan by using 2 tbsp of a butter subsitute)

1 chia egg (To make a chia egg you simply add 1 tbsp of chia seeds to 3 tbsp of water. Let sit for about 15 minutes to thicken before adding to the mix.)

Stir together the first eight (dry) ingredients into a bowl, set aside. Then combine the four wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk together. Then heat a sprayed non-stick skillet to medium heat and add 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. I cooked the pancakes for about 4 minutes on each side and ended up with 9 glorious pancakes. They were still a teeny bit doughy in the middle, but enough for the perfect chew. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:  http://momadvice.com/blog/2009/10/fluffy-light-pumpkin-pancakes

Abbreviate food words,

Sydney

Humphrey 611

This weekend I road tripped it to Milwaukee to visit some friends and former roommates! I miss college and how it was so easy to see everyone on a daily basis. Definitely took that for granted. Now we are all moving on to different things, some of us staying local, others of us going across the country. Some of us continuing our education and others of us working full-time jobs! We are growing up so fast, crazy.

It was a beautiful day when I arrived, so we took a trip to the beach for a little sun. I brought a book to read but ended up people watching more than anything.  It really was quite entertaining.  We were surprised to see that there were actually lifeguards on duty, and we enjoyed watching them try to keep people in line by yelling at them through a megaphone. The lifeguard kept shouting at a group of people in the water, but we (who were sitting directly behind the lifeguard) couldn’t even make out what he was saying. I highly doubt the people swimming in the water with waves crashing around them were able to comprehend his muffled commands of “schomish-novy…buoy!!…schmann-lann…swimming area!!…” Well, at least he tried.

In addition to the lovely beach trip we went to some pretty amazing restaurants in Milwaukee. The Comet Cafe and Beans and Barley are awesome! See how happy I am with a vegan Field Roast sandwich!? I’ll definitely have to re-create this at home. Basically a veggie meat sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumbers, cream cheese and a sweet apricot spread on whole grain toast.


We also enjoyed some cocktails and had intentions of gracing a karaoke bar with our presence later that night, but unfortunately as we were leaving to go from one place to the next we were caught in the torrential downpour of the season. We were soaked within five seconds, and along with that our dreams of performing on stage were dashed. The world will just have to wait until next time.

It was Sunday before I knew it and all of the sudden I was saying goodbye to my friends and heading back home. I made it back in time to make dinner, so I decided on a garden veggie salad!

It was made of mixed greens, tomato, green onion, mushrooms, cucumber, avocado, mango, radishes and balsamic vinegar dressing. I also cut up a grilled veggie burger and placed it atop the salad. Simple, delicious, and nutritious. Perfect end to a great weekend!

Try Kombucha,

Sydney

Cucumber, and zucchini, and kohlrabi! Oh my!

I love Thursdays. Especially this summer because every Thursday I get to go pick up a box full of fresh produce from a local farm. The pick-up location happens to be at one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in town, so sometimes I go a bit early to get one of their scrumptious baked goods. This week I tried their vegan chocolate chip peanut butter bar. Yum!

By the time I finished my snack the veggies were ready for pickup, so I happily collected my bounty and headed out the door. I am so glad that my mom found out about this CSA and signed us up. Now all summer while I am home I will be able to go pick up the wonderful box full of veggies!

And each week our box is full of a different variety of produce, which I love, because every time you open it up you are in for a surprise. Nothing like a good old mystery veggie box!

This week we had green onions, a salad mix, radishes, an english cucumber, zucchini, kohlrabi, garlic scapes, green beans and a tomato.  I decided to use the beans, onions, and zucchini to make a stir-fried veggie wrap with peanut sauce. It was delicious!

And for lunch the next day I had a wonderful salad using the salad mix, onions, cucumber and tomato. Then I added a bit of cottage cheese, avocado, some craisins and balsamic vinegar dressing to top it off.  Served with a side of toasted sourdough english muffin. Yum.

If you look close at this picture you can see my kitty’s face poking over the table, she was hungry too!

Have a great day!

Drink some water,

Sydney

I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas

Good afternoon! Just popping in to show you some of the dishes I have made over the past year, hope they will inspire you to get in the kitchen and start cooking!

Sweet Potato Kale Pizza

First Green Smoothie!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Lime Glazed Muffins

Tie-dye Easter Cakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Veggie Stir-Fry over Rice w/ Fruit

Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese w/ Blueberries and Fresh Mint Leaves

Hope you enjoy!

With kale,

Sydney