I’ve been on an oat and flax kick lately — making lots of granola, oatmeal and those no-bake energy balls that you see all over Pinterest. I’ve also played around with some granola bars, including the cherry almond ones that I made a month or so ago. They were delicious, but it’s hard for me to just keep making the same thing over and over, no matter how tasty it is.
So it should come as no surprise that when I saw a recipe in Food & Wine for Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Energy Bars, I decided to give them a go. And if you’ve been reading my blog at all, it should also not come as a surprise that I made some changes to the recipe.
In theory, I love the nicoise salad — I like green beans, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and olives, and I definitely like the idea of a big salad as a meal. However, I am a little weird when it comes to tuna (I really only eat it in tuna salad sandwiches, which I only eat when I make them myself) and I’m a little iffy in general on anchovies. So, considering my fish issues, it’s a little surprising that I even considered making a Nicoise salad for dinner last week.
The classic salad (made even more famous by Julia Child) is no stranger to change — give it a Google and you’ll see what I mean — tons of recipes will pop up. So given the multitude of variations, I didn’t feel bad at all taking liberties with it to create this version.
I am a (in theory) breakfast person. I love eggs, I love crispy bacon and sausage, and of course pancakes, waffles and the like. Heck, even cereal makes me pretty happy. But since I like sleeping in as much as possible, I rarely have more than a granola bar for breakfast during the work week. Which, when I throw in my 8-mile bike ride to work every day, doesn’t ever seem like enough. In fact, usually by 10 am I am staring at my lunch and by noon, I’m starving.
To help my day begin with a bit more giddyup, I finally decided to make a recipe I pinned forever ago — baked oatmeal with berries. The best thing is that it’s easy to make, the second best thing is that it’s easy to reheat. And, considering that I bike my breakfast to work, the fact that it’s easily portable was also a plus. Nothing is worse than finding out your food leaked all over your work clothes. I once had to hose out my backpack when a small container of pickled peppers got loose after a particularly rowdy ride to work.
Anyways…even though it was hellaciously hot last week, I cranked up my oven and made some baked oatmeal.
The temperature has been hovering around 90 degrees (and then some) for the past few days and I absolutely love it. Yes, it is hot. Yes, it makes my bike commute borderline painful. Yes, I can step out into the sun and basically wilt into a puddle of sweat within minutes and yes, I still love it.
But even though I adore the heat, I can definitely appreciate a few things that offer some cool relief — a cold shower, an even colder beer and, of course, an icy refreshing dessert. And while I have been absolutely digging Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt this summer, there is nothing quite like homemade when it comes to frozen treats. And, coincidentally, my husband recently brought home a brand-new ice cream machine that needed to be broken in.
Our first creation was a little different than the usual ones he makes at work (think foie gras ice cream and nutterbutter gelato). I wanted something lighter and slightly healthier, so I convinced him to make a frozen yogurt instead.