Strawberry and banana go together like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. At one point in everyone’s childhood, this was their favorite combination, but overtime, we have all slowly put it on the back burner and forgot about it while moving on to bigger and better things, such as banana and peanut butter (the Beyonce and Jay Z). But, hold the phone. Let’s rewind and revisit this childhood love affair. Because we all may have moved on and all, but it is still incredibly delicious and worth talking about again. Try this recipe out, sit back, and take a trip back to the 90s while enjoying your breakfast. (And if this is what it takes for Britney and JT to get back together than I will eat this breakfast every god damn day).
I’m taking advantage of international yoga day to preach about my newfound love for this activity so buckle in for a lengthier non-food related post. Yoga is a recent practice in my life that I for some reason dismissed for the prior 10+ years. My mom has been practicing yoga since I was a small kid but, quite honestly, growing up I never found it interesting. Since then, yoga has obviously become much more popular and has taken a front seat on the recent health and wellness movement. When I graduated college and was forced with the unprecedented need to workout on my own vs simply showing up to lacrosse practices and games, I was a bit lost. No matter how many people recommended yoga to me, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Is it really a workout? It kind of just seems like an hour of stretching. Instead, I turned to distance running and other high intensity workouts that resembled the competition of college sports. As much as I still love these types of workouts, having this as my only sweating outlet became an unsuccessful practice. Here is why… New York City is one beautiful place and it provides so much opportunity that is just right outside your doorstep (after you go down an elevator or flight of stairs and out two more doors to a concrete sidewalk), but there is a reason it is called “the city that never sleeps”. It is a freaking stressful place. As a type-A personality, it can seriously wrap you up in its tornado arms of excitement and force you to believe there is no such thing as calmness. I am someone who does not do well “relaxing”. I cannot lay in bed or on a couch all day doing nothing. Honestly, I cannot last more than 30 minutes without thinking of the thousand other things I should be doing. Between working full time with some pretty lengthy and demanding hours, trying to eat healthy, getting to the gym, maintaining a social life, seeing the people I love, and of course this side project Freckled Foodie, I never took the time to slow down and breathe. It has taken me until recently, when the stress ultimately caused me to get shingles (I know, what the hell. Am I a 70 year old woman? I wonder that pretty often), that I took a step back to acknowledge this. You may be asking yourself, why the hell is she ranting about all of this on a picture of her in a headstand. Because, my friends, yoga is the one main solution I have found. Yoga is more than a workout; it is freaking therapy. When I am on my mat, I am in my own best world. For that hour or so, nothing outside those classroom walls matters. Yoga has taught me how to let go of all of the stress or pressure I may feel and just be myself and flow on my own. It has taught me a newfound confidence and to not give a shit what others think. It has taught me how to breathe and return to that breath in times of stress. I have laughed (mainly when I fall out of inversions Laughing Lotus), cried both tears of joy and sadness in childs pose (thank you Y7 for being candlelit), done headstands on canyons in Moab, and medidated the shit out of shavasana (the best pose that exists). I am so extremely grateful for finding people that have deepened this love, specifically Beth Cooke, and steered me along my yoga journey, and most importantly, for this practice. And to further this national yoga day celebration, I am pumped to flow with Rachel Mansfield and some other yoga loving foodies tonight! Hope you all have an incredible yoga filled day
By now, I don’t think I need to justify or explain my love affair with peanut butter. But in case you are a new Freckled Foodie fan and are unaware, I freaking love it. It is a staple in my kitchen (I have quite the collection) and I believe it serves a purpose in every single meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert. You name it, peanut butter belongs there. One thing I do not love about peanut butter (GASP) is all of the brands that are filled with unnecessary ingredients, specifically sugar. Peanut butter should have one ingredient. You guessed it: PEANUTS. This is one of the many reasons that Crazy Richards has quickly won my heart in the lineup of a thousand different nut butter brands. Continuing my effort to prove that peanut butter serves a purpose in all times of the day, I decided to incorporate this delicious jar into an even tastier sauce to accompany my go-to weeknight zoodle dinner.
Check out more information on Crazy Richards PB and my featured recipe here
When I was growing up my family’s weekends were always jam packed with soccer and lacrosse tournaments. No matter the season, we were packing up Friday morning, jamming in 8 plus games over the span of two days, and returning home late Sunday night only to do it all over again the next weekend. Fortunately for me and my sisters, we had parents who never questioned or complained about this absurdity, but instead got behind the wheel with a smile and a cooler packed with Gatorades and road snacks. Within the blink of an eye my sisters and I would quickly demolish this cooler that probably should have lasted us over 3 days. With full bladders and somehow still hungry stomachs, we would insistently beg our parents to pull over to the nearest rest stop. You’re probably wondering, “why the hell are you telling me about your ever too frequent visits to rest stops?” Because, my friends, no matter how many Nature Valley bars or boxes of Goldfish I had just devoured in our Suburban, as soon as I walked in to any of those rest stops that smell of cinnamon maple glaze hit me like a brick. Immediately, my stomach began growling and I ran as fast as I could to the CinnaBon that was no doubt overpowering all of the nasty scents I would have otherwise smelled. To me, no road trip was complete without CinnaBon. My obsession began at an early age and over time transformed to loving anything cinnamon filled. Now more aware of the ingredients in these things, I’m a bit grossed out by my childhood consumption, but still nonetheless in love. So in an effort to make the meal that a CinnaBon is somehow meant to serve (breakfast) without sending you into a sugar coma, I created these Cinnamon Bun overnight oats. Long story short, enjoy a trip down memory lane.
Ever since starting Freckled Foodie and continuously photographing my meals, I’ve noticed one stand out consistent meal: zucchini noodles and salmon. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bowl of pasta. In no way am I going to tease you to believe that this will replace the hearty, comforting, nap induced bliss you feel after a bowl of hot pasta. However, what I can tell you, is that there are many of nights I actually prefer to have this meal instead (I know, blasphemy). I was always skeptical of “zoodles” for this exact reason. Refusing to accept them as a form of pasta, I changed my mindset to view them as simply another delicious option for a meal, which is exactly what they are. This meal’s pulling force that continues to suck me in on a weekly basis is the place it lands on the taste / effort scale. This meal is exceptionally easy to make, especially if you follow some of my prepping tips below, and requires minimal effort in the kitchen. It also is a refreshing, light, and delicious dinner or lunch option while seemingly impressive to dinner guests. Plus, these zoodles are simply aesthetically pleasing when they so perfectly resemble long ribbons.
Hello everyone! A bit of a different post today; mainly in the sense that it does not contain a recipe, but instead a reflection on my first catering experience. This past Saturday was truly one to remember. While I have always enjoyed cooking for others and prepping for large dinner parties (I find any excuse to feed my friends), I had never considered catering an event. About a month ago my mother was telling me about a brunch she was hosting and asked if I had any ideas to give the caterers. My immediate response? “I have a thousand ideas and would love to BE the caterer”. So, yes, my mom was my first client. But you have to start somewhere! After discussing the purpose and structure of the event, I knew this was going to be the perfect introduction to this new venture. The brunch was over Mothers Day weekend for 20 hardworking, loving, and welcoming females in order to bring awareness to a school that is near and dear to my heart: The Orkeeswa School in Tanzania, Africa. After a yoga session led by an incredible local instructor, Lara Heimann, we sat down for brunch filled with good eats and even better company. We had the opportunity to speak with three current Orkeeswa students about their positive experience at this school, the remarkable opportunities it has provided them with, and the struggles some females are currently facing in their home village, which was further exemplified through a short film they wrote, directed, and stared in. This entire experience was humbling in and of itself and to be able to cook for all of these inspiring women was truly the cherry on top. After a successful event, my mom told me she was surprised how “calm” I seemed throughout the process, but, to be honest, I was scared shitless. All I could think about was the thousand things that could possibly go wrong: not enough of one dish, ruining another, not having something done in time, or people just plain old not enjoying what I cooked. After all of the worry, stress, and hard work, what I felt was that rush of excitement and high that cooking provides me and continues to remind me why I love it so much. So while I may not know what this means for Freckled Foodie and potential next steps, I sure as hell know it was fun. Check out the menu and some pics from the brunch below! And if this is event sounds like something you are interested in hosting or planning, please email me. I would love to discuss potential work together.
Avocado toast with red pepper flakes
Toast with cream cheese, lox, and chives
Yogurt parfaits with yogurt (plain or coconut), chia seed jam, berries, and granola
Banana pancake skewers (gluten, grain, and dairy free)
Vegetable frittata two ways: both with spinach, tomato, pepper and one with the addition of sausage. Both were served 1/2 with cheese and 1/2 dairy free
Hummingbird cupcakes – banana bread / carrot cake hybrid – with cream cheese frosting (gluten free)
To me, no meal is cozier than banana pancakes. Growing up, pancakes encompassed all things “weekend”. Family brunch? Pancakes. Slumber party with an insanely large amount of chatty pre-teen girls? Pancakes. Rainy Sunday morning? You better believe that calls for pancakes. Now that I am grown, no longer living with my parents, and responsible for making my own breakfasts (sigh, why can’t we be kids forever), pancakes bring back all of those warm feelings of home. They exemplify one of the reasons I love food so much: one simple meal is able to spark so many memories and emotions and, even if for just one second, transport you back to a happy past time. So excuse me while I take my plate of banana pancakes back up to bed, get under the covers, and devour this stack way you are supposed to.