Orange & Sichuan Peppercorn Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

Orange & Sichuan Peppercorn Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

I cannot believe that it’s already Thursday. I attribute the seeming disappearance of the week to the fact that I traveled to NY on Sunday, to house-sit while my parents are away for the next week. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I do this fairly often. It is, in fact, one of my favorite things. My parents take vacations to see family and go to things, and that means me, here in upstate NY, doing the exact opposite. Which is pretty much my ideal vacation. I make a mess of my mother’s usually pristine kitchen on a daily basis. I pick a ton of flowers from the gardens, then quell bouts of paranoia about some of them being poisonous because I think my throat feels funny, and maybe my face feels a little tingly too. (I read weird non-fiction medical books. This is the result.) I don’t answer the house phone. I barely look in the mirror. I wear the same comfy sundress until it actually feels dirty. In short, I have a grand ol’ time. Just me, nature, and a couple of cats.

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Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

These pancakes — they’re problem solvers. Of course pancakes, by nature, are pretty good at solving things. I’m pretty sure they have healing powers, especially when they’re stacked high and smothered in maple syrup and bits of bacon. But these particular pancakes solve a few specific problems for me. Before I get into that, let me explain a little bit more about these things. They are, in their simplest form, made with only two ingredients: bananas and eggs. “Whaaa?” you say? Yep. That’s what I said when I saw Izy’s post back in January. Mashed bananas + eggs = pancakes. Pretty healthy pancakes, at that.

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Savory Baked Oatmeal Skillet

Savory Baked Oatmeal Skillet with Spinach & Bacon

That’s right, oatmeal!

OK you guys, here’s the deal. After giving oatmeal a serious trash-talking in this post last month, I felt kind of bad. Because, let’s be honest, is it oatmeal’s fault that I dislike it so much every time I eat it? Or is it maybe mine for not figuring out how to prepare it in a way that I will actually enjoy? As much as I hate to admit it, I think it might be the latter. And so, after acknowledging my own shortcomings, I set out on a mission. A mission to make oatmeal that I would actually enjoy. And I succeeded. Mega big time.

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Veggie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

There are times when magical things are created out of desperation. When a lack of the usual ingredients leads to the unearthing of dusty jars and bottles buried in the depths of cupboards or stored on the highest shelves. Sniffing and tasting lead to modest, then less modest additions, followed by a dash of this and that, until a perfect balance is achieved. The end result is a new, inspiring dish. A reminder that creating food for yourself and others is an amazing, empowering experience.

And then there are the days when I eat oatmeal.

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Beet Hash Breakfast Wrap

Happy New Year, everyone!

The start of a new year is an interesting thing. In the past, I’ve found this time a little……annoying. There’s all this talk of resolutions and exercise and salads, to the point where it can seem pushy, and perhaps a little deluded. But this year, I don’t really mind it so much, and I’m not even sure why. Maybe it’s because this year, I have some serious goals. Ones that will require focus, sacrifice, and, dare I say, resolve. Or perhaps I’ve come to appreciate this cyclical experience we all seem to share — one which becomes increasingly apparent as our calendar year ends and a new one begins. After the chaos and glitz and indulgence of the holidays has faded away, it seems only natural to take a moment to reflect and detox (physically and mentally), and ponder what the next cycle might bring. Perhaps I’ve come to appreciate how comforting it can be to know that — though our reflections on the past and hopes for the future may differ — we are all still looking both backward and forward together. Or maybe I just really need a salad. (Scratch that last “maybe” — I could definitely use a salad. Many salads.)

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