how do I top thee?

I made bread today. Well, my bread maker did while I was viewing online lectures for my summer class.

I chose whole wheat cinnamon bread with apples and raisins, a combo I’ve been thinking about for awhile now. To heck with the fact that it’s not ideal meat-and-cheese sandwich bread! Or is it? (I’m betting it’s fantastic, but then, I’m an adventurous eater surrounded by wimps. Humph.)

Andrew’s out biking in the sunshine, so I was in my own for dinner tonight. This is what happened:

My textbook (I couldn’t run the risk of cracking the third Hunger Games book open; I’m too close to the end to stop!), two slices of bread (I couldn’t bear to waste the heel after I cut myself a piece, so I decided I’d just eat it, too), and fruit and veggies with homemade ranch dip. I use ‘homemade’ loosely, since it’s just the last of the cream cheese and the last of the ranch dressing mixing together, but whatever.

My quandary? What do I put atop my bread? Will plain butter allow the bread’s own taste to shine best? What about the classic strawberry jam? Or my usual, a nut butter? And what about this craving for honey, I’m having…?

Here they are people, in order or appearance:

Strawberry jam, blueberry nut-flavored honey, crunchy almond butter, and plain butter.

The verdict? On toasted bread, I’m going to go with plain butter, and a pb&j sandwich would be excellent as well. The flavored honey was way too sweet, but the jam was nice.

Can’t wait for toast tomorrow!

all stocked up

(An alternate title to this blog could read: ‘On why I might make an OK mother after all’)

Andrew and I are flying to DC this weekend to spend the holiday with my family, and we enlisted Abigail to come stay with Hadrian instead of kenneling him.

My first thought was of all the goodies I could have out for our houseguest.  I can’t help it.  It’s the pineapple in me.

(Hadrian is also all stocked up on toys, too.)

However, between all of the Layers being on ‘diets’ (some more strict than others), and my unwillingness to buy what I call ‘crap,’ (gosh, that sounds harsh) you won’t find Combos or Cheetos or anything of that nature lurking around here!

Bananas, apples and oranges, as well as a selection of pseudo-healthy cereal bars and things (just about anything is ‘healthy’ in moderation, I think), and some crunchy things like Quakes and multigrain tortilla chips.

In the fridge Abigail will find celery and baby carrot sticks, as well as strawberry yogurts and 100% juice boxes.

There are even goodies in the freezer!

I walked down the frozen section in search of acceptable popsicles, when I came across all these Skinny Cow treats ON SALE.  I tell you, it was like the White Mint bars were CALLING to me.  And I know one of Abigail’s favorite flavors is cookies and cream, so I had to get both.  Of course.  I threw in some lemon sorbet bars thinking Andrew would like that flavor as well.

And, not to out-do myself or anything, I included a selection of the things I’ve made with the abundance of overripe bananas we’ve had on hand: strawberry-banana muffins, my banana bread with coconut and walnuts turned into muffins, and King Arthur Flour’s Chocolate-Chip Banana Squares.

In making my favorite banana bread into muffins, I decided it needed to be even healthier!  One and a half cups of sugar just seemed WAY. TOO. MUCH–even for two loaves–so I slashed away…again.  Here is my updated page with the recipe.  The muffins baked up nice and high; this is, hands down, the BEST banana bread recipe EVER.

I’ll also be putting out some of Andrew’s butter-flavored microwave popcorn bags, some of my favorite mac and cheese in a box (Annie’s!) and coffee pods.

I’m sure Hadrian will have a ball with Aunt Abigail (she calls him ‘horsey’), and we’re happy to have her come stay and keep the animals company.  I just hope she doesn’t think all my ‘health food’ is too weird…

i had an idea…

…and it was a yummy one!

A couple days ago, as I was packing Andrew’s lunch (yes, just one of the gazillion things I said I’d never do) all I had left in the bottom of the Julio’s chips bag was a bunch of crumbs.

And immediately, I thought of a mexican breakfast/egg dish kind of thing.  Why?  No idea.

I held onto the bag of crumbs and finally made my concoction this morning, sauteeing onion and red bell pepper with the eggs, and added leftover chorizo (score!), some salsa, avocado, green onion and monterey jack cheese.  All this atop Julio’s seasoned chips.  Just delightful.

I kept it light be serving just these on the side:

Strawberries and half an orange.  Just delightful 🙂

Happy Wednesday afternoon!  I’m making some King Arthur Flour’s Banana Chocolate Chip Squares (another blogger was nice enough to type up the recipe) to bring to the co-op‘s first annual meeting (!!!!) tomorrow night, and will be continuing The Hunger Games.

Oh, and do any of you like radishes?  I admit I’m not a huge fan, but after writing my latest ‘Eat This’ column for the co-op’s blog, I think I might give them another try.

Does life get better than an afternoon of baking and reading, all after having had a great workout and painting my toes?