There’s pretty much nothing better on a Saturday morning than a warm batch of muffins. Last weekend I had bought a ton of fruit, and I wanted to find something to make with the most perfect ruby red raspberries I picked up. Since I love oats in pretty much every baked good, I went with raspberry-oat muffins; can’t get much more creative than that. These are fairly guilt-free, made with mostly oats instead of flower and non-fat greek yogurt. They were super light and fluffy, and great to grab and go in the morning. (They also come in handy Sunday morning when you have friends crash at your place after a late Saturday night!). For some reason I pretty much only make miniature muffins and cupcakes. I’m not really sure why, but I think I just find them cuter and more convenient when you don’t want to eat a whole muffin. Either way, large or small, these muffins are delicious (and somewhat nutritious).
Mini Raspberry Oat Muffins (Recipe from Clever Muffin)
2 Cups Fresh Raspberries
1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Rolled Oats
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Almond Milk
2 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Non-fat Greek Yogurt
2 Egg Whites
Pre-heat oven to 250 Deg F. Grease mini muffin tray (makes around 36 mini muffins).
Mix flour, brown sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, canola oil, vanilla extract, greek yogurt and egg whites until fully combined. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring lightly as you go. Stir until just combined, and slowly fold in raspberries.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of batter into the muffin tray for each muffin. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly golden.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But when Trader Joe’s runs out of lemons and offers you limes, you’ve got to improvise.
For the last few weeks, LA’s been bright, sunny and in the mid-80s, providing a lot of opportunities to play outside and leaving me with quite a lovely farmer’s tan and a craving for homemade popsicles. Making popsicles is one of those things that takes me back to my childhood. Nothing can really compare to the excitement I used to get from opening up a box of Hi-C, carefully pouring the juice into the mold and impatiently waiting for the popsicles to take shape. So when I saw these popsicle molds last weekend at the Daiso near my brother’s place, I knew this was my chance to relive my childhood. (Daiso is a Japanese chain where you can find almost anything–mostly things you don’t need but want anyways–for only $1.50).
Rather than revert to the orange flavored, processed drink of my youth (though Marta just jokingly stated, “it’s full of vitamin C!”), I decided to make a healthy and guilt-free version instead. Marta recently came home with a beautiful bundle of cooking lavender that I promptly started imagining up recipes for. And, what better way to put it to use than in a lavender and lime popsicle?
Lavender & Lime Popsicles
6 Cups of Water
1 Cup of Sugar
1/4 Cup of Cooking Lavender, rinsed and chopped
Squeeze limes into a large pitcher, making sure to remove any seeds. Mix in water, sugar and lavender until sugar completely dissolves. Pour liquid into popsicle forms and freeze for at least 6 hours.
Makes 4-6 servings.
A couple months ago I was lucky enough to spend a lovely weekend with one of my good friends from home in Washington, D.C. Washington is one of those cities in which I can easily see myself living. I’m obsessed with the Georgetown area and the embassy houses, and I feel like it is a pretty manageable city. We spent an entire day basking in the sun on the lawn by the Lincoln Memorial, walking around Georgetown, people watching in parks and munching on delicious eats; it was a glorious day and the weather was impeccable. We started off our day with a decent walk to brunch from the Ritz Carlton Georgetown to Founding Farmers.
I’d heard a lot about Founding Farmers from friends who have lived in or visited D.C. over the years, and it certainly lives up to the hype. I had to spend about a half hour looking at the menu because I simply couldn’t decide what to get! I needed to load up because I was running my half marathon the next day and didn’t want to eat much the night before, so I went with something heavy: Fried chicken, eggs and waffles. It was the classic chicken and waffles with the added twist that solved my dilema of choosing between eggs and something sweet at breakfast. The waffle was so airy and light that it actually didn’t weigh me down as much as I imagined. Krissi got the bananas forster stuffed french toast. Both were outrageous, but so delicious. Highly recommended.
1925 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. 20006
What to Order:
Drink: Scratch Sodas, Farmers’ Custom Blend Coffee
Main: Fried Chicken, Eggs and Waffles, Bananas Foster French Toast, Cast Iron Skillet Eggs
To Share: Uncle Buck’s Beignets
Tips: Make a reservation, or there could be up to an hour wait!
Growing up, I always had access to a ton of fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables. In fact, we usually grew more than my family of four could consume on a daily basis. My dad’s green thumb had transformed into more than just a weekend gardening hobby, leaving us with over 20 varieties of fruit trees, grape vines, a sizable vegetable garden and approximately half a dozen barrels of berries. If I ever discovered a new fruit (guavas for instance), the plant would end up in our garden the next season.
Even though we ended up giving bags and bags of fresh produce away, we usually found unique ways to consume all of the food we grew. Thus enters the original Jack LaLanne Juicer. (If the juice cleanse is the new popular kid in Los Angeles, I guess that makes my old school juicer the hipster of of the block). I’m pretty sure my parents bought it on a whim–a way to get rid of the extra apple produce one season. Little did they know that over a decade later I would “borrow” it for new blog creations.
Actually, Hailey and I started playing around with this juicer long before we started this blog, learning some of the following tips the hard way… (There may or may not be a burn mark on my kitchen counter).
- Make sure you thoroughly clean and prep all of your fruits and vegetables before you juice. It might seem like common sense, but juicers cannot peel an orange, remove seeds from a lemon, or wash your spinach.
- You should alternate juicing leafy produce with dense produce to help ensure you get the most nutrients out of your leafy greens.
- If you are planning on making a lot of juice (maybe for a three day cleanse), prepare your juice bottles in advance. Hailey and I had a hard time gathering enough bottles for our three day cleanse adventure.
- If you have the time, juice only one night in advance. If your juicer is anything like mine, it isn’t made to run for long juicing sessions. Your juicer will overheat, shut down and possibly burn the veneer off your kitchen counter.
The recipe below is sort of a product of my imagination and love for Persian cucumbers.
Fresh Pressed Cucumber-Kale Juice
4 Persian Cucumbers
12 oz bag of Shredded Kale, pre-washed
2 Granny Smith Apples
4 Stalks of Celery
Wash and dry your cucumbers, apples and celery. Core and quarter the apples. Juice produce. Squeeze a lemon through a strainer into the juice, stir and serve chilled.
Makes approximately 2 servings.
While I like so many things about summer, you really can’t beat the seasonal fruit. I went to the Brentwood Farmers’ Market this past Sunday after a somewhat lengthy hiatus, and the transformation was heavenly. All of a sudden there were heaps of juicy white peaches, nectarines, doughnut peaches, beautiful blackberries…thank god for free samples! I pretty much ate an entire meal of fruit samples from local Southern California growers. I couldn’t resist getting a bunch of yellow nectarines, since they were one of my favorites after trying pretty much everything.
In fact, I bought so many that I didn’t think I could eat them all without some going bad. So I decided to make a fresh nectarine tart. I’m a huge fan of stone fruit pies and crumbles, but these nectarines were too good that they just had to be left fresh. My trusty blog obsession Smitten Kitchen had a beautiful nectarine ginger snap tart (btw I LOVE that her blog categorizes by season) and I decided to give it a try.
Fresh Nectarine Ginger Snap Tart (Recipe from Smitten Kitchen)
37 Ginger Snap Cookies
6 Oz Unsalted Butter, melted
8 Oz Mascarpone Cheese
6 Oz Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Medium Nectarines
1/4 Cup Apricot Jam, warmed
Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F. Crush gingersnaps into a fine powdery substance in a food processor or blender. Mix gingersnap crumbs with melted butter until completely combined. Press mixture evenly into a 9″ tart pan. (I used the back of a metal spoon). Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
Whisk together mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and sugar in a medium bowl. Add in vanilla extract. Pour mixture into the cooled tart crust and refrigerate, loosely covered, for 1-2 hours.
Layer finely sliced nectarines in concentric circles on top of the tart filling. Warm the apricot jam and spread over nectarines with a brush.