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3 Things to Make this Weekend

sliced appleHappy Friday! First off, I want to wish a very happy birthday to my younger sister! I’m lucky to have her in my life—she’s an inspiration to me in so many ways, from her style to her patience to her ability to call it like she sees it…To borrow one from my dad’s book of Awkward Things Uttered at Inappropriate Moments: Thanks for making us?

On a completely different note, here are some recipes & things that caught my eye this week. I’ll be working at the hospital all weekend, but you should cook this stuff so I can live vicariously:

Apple Pie. Here are the best apples to use.

ABC Kitchen’s Butternut Squash on Toast.

Gimme Some Oven’s Coconut Oil Pumpkin Bread.

And as a little bonus…I could have used this a few weeks ago: 10 Smart Ways to Use Leftover Pumpkin Puree from the Kitchn.

 What are you up to this weekend? 

Pumpkin Turkey Meatloaf (Gluten-Free)

turkey meatloafSometimes I post a recipe just so I can remember how the hell I made something. This pumpkin meatloaf is an example of exactly that. It was inspired by a recipe I saw on The Coconut Diaries last year after a lot of clicking around the interwebs, but I had some issues with the cooking time. I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget again!

A note on the gluten-free-ness of this recipe: In a perfect world, all oats would be guaranteed gluten-free, as they’re supposed to exist in nature, but for this recipe, I used some Chex gluten-free oats. You can use whatever rolled or instant oats you have. Hell, I’m sure you could use steel-cut oats and end up with something interesting, but I can’t say I’ve tried it.


Serves 4


  • 1 lb raw lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup (gluten-free) oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup liquid egg whites
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a bread loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Mix ingredients together in a bowl, and then place inside the loaf pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for ~60 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Cover with foil and bake another 15 minutes if needed to reach 165 degrees.

3 Things to Make This Weekend: First of Fall

mini pumpkinSo wow, it’s the first weekend of fall. How did that happen? I’m okay with it. Here are a few recipes to try over the next few days.

Enough with all the super-sweet pumpkin spice business. Here are 10 savory pumpkin recipes for those fall-themed parties you’re totally throwing.

This meatless burger from the Pioneer Woman . Her pictures are always so awesome without being “Your food will never look this good.” Since said burger contains both black beans and bread crumbs, I’d suggest eating it over a salad or in lettuce cups instead of on a bun if you’re not in the mood for a carb coma.

This Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bake from Running with Spoons.

Kombucha! This tutorial from the Fitnessista is great. I need to get me a f***ing SCOBY and get on this.

What are you looking forward to this weekend? 

Thinking Out Loud: Distractions

Welcome to another Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party where stream-of-consciousness is the name of the game! Thanks to Amanda for hosting!

Once again, thank you for all the support over the last week as I’ve been going through all the sick-dog drama. Since a lot of people have reached out to me to ask, my puppy Eli was finally well enough to go home Tuesday. They still don’t know exactly what is/was wrong, but after a lot of treatment and tests, his labs are finally normal. Hopefully they will stay normal.

Eli at vet He’s going to be staying with my family for a while so he can just heal and grow and be the happy puppy he is without the stress of my anonymous (to me), intolerant neighbor throwing shade our way. After a few sleepless nights trying to figure out the best thing for Eli, my family and I feel like this is really good for him. I’m going to visit this weekend to hang with the little dude while he settles in. Luckily, I’ll be able to visit a lot.

Thank you for all your support and comments and love the last few days—it’s really helped me through this craziness.

I turned to a lot of things to distract myself when I wasn’t at work.

For example, Friday night I did laundry, roasted vegetables, and cleaned my apartment because it helped me pretend everything was normal.

Monday I went to yoga and then spent the better part of the day  cooking my feelings and binge-watching Orange is the New Black. When my dad opened my freezer on Tuesday, he laughed.

The folks at General Mills sent me a great KERF recipe for toasted oat cereal & coconut snack balls, plus all the ingredients to make them! Making these cheerio balls was a great way to take my mind off of things on Monday while I waited to hear about the little dude’s ultrasound. When I was up at 2 a.m. mulling over the situation, it was good to have balls in the fridge to deal with my growling stomach and help me finally sleep for a couple hours. Hah, balls in the fridge. This reminds me of what my mom says about men whose wives/girlfriends run the show. General Mills KERF bag

Oh yeah, then there’s this last-minute corporate wellness presentation on healthy cooking I’m doing today. Having less than 48 hours to prepare salad for 70 people will definitely get your mind off things!

In some sense, I feel like I just woke up and realized I’ve been sleepwalking for the past week. Either way, I’m up, I’m up! Let’s do this.

What do you do when you need to distract yourself? 





What I Ate Wednesday #181: Weird Weekend

Thank you to everyone who commented on Sunday’s post. In a sense, I feel I’ve been sleep-walking, but somehow it’s What I Ate Wednesday again. For those new to the party, every Wednesday, I link up with a bunch of other bloggers to share a day of food. Here’s a look at my weekend. To distract myself from worrying about the pup, I took lots of photos and made a little extra effort to make sure that every meal and snack was something I really enjoy. A little self-love goes a long way. So here’s a sampling of what was on the menu:

Breakfast: A spinach and feta wrap from feta and a black Americano from Starbucks hit the spot while I screened all the patient floors Saturday morning.


Lunch: I had a salad for lunch Saturday and Sunday. Greens + Roasted Veggies + Grilled Chicken is one of my favorite combos. I added some eggplant dip with goat cheese on the side instead of dressing. IMG_7615

Snacks: Pink Lady apples, dry-roasted edamame kept me going during my shifts at the hospital. Saturday afternoon I enjoyed some pumpkin cheesecake dip with roasted figs and raspberry jam after I got home from visiting Eli at the vet and cleaning the hell out of my apartment. pumpkin cheesecake dip

Sunday I walked home most of the way after the bus driver said that if we wanted to get across town in under two hours, we should make the journey on foot. In an effort to clean out the fridge/freezer, I made a quick smoothie of plain kefir, cocoa powder, 1/2 a frozen banana, xanthan gum, and ice. It was great topped with a spoonful of granola and some coconut chips. kefir banana chocolate smoothie

Dinner: Saturday night my parents took me to see This Is Where I Leave You, and we went to Ocean Grill afterwards. I drank too much prosecco on purpose and ate some salad and sushi and some grilled branzino. This blurry picture looks a little like an “I’m not so sure about this” face. Sunday I ate some pumpkin-and-butternut squash risotto my mom had made. IMG_7601

By Sunday night, I just wanted to pass the f*** out and not think about things like pet insurance or what-if scenarios or lab values, so I started binging on Orange is the New Black instead.

What do you eat when you’re stressed?

To see more WIAW from other bloggers, visit founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.

Cheesecake for Breakfast

cheesecake dipThis recipe was originally inspired by a dip recipe over on Running with Spoons that I basically lost it over. A few minor tweaks and I felt totally justified eating it by the bowl. This high-protein, high-fiber recipe has become one of my go-to desk breakfasts. All you have to do is make the day (or two) before in a portable container so you can enjoy it at your convenience. Oh, and the best part? Totally tastes like cheesecake.

Cheesecake-for-Breakfast Parfait

Serves 2 (or 1, twice)


  • ¾ c cottage cheese
  • ¾ c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 1/ tsp cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • 1-2 tsp sweetener of choice


1.       Combine ingredients in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles cheesecake in consistency.

2.       Serve layered with fruit, nuts, or other toppings.


  • Add ¼ cup pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Sweeten with maple syrup.
  • Add 1 tbsp cocoa powder. Garnish with cacao nibs and coconut flakes.

What’s your favorite breakfast? 

3 Things to Make This Weekend

Photo borrowed from Food 52

Happy Friday! Here’s another short list of ideas and recipes for you to try this weekend!

Egg cooked in avocado: We were drooling over a photo of this in the RD office on Tuesday when it popped up on my Instagram feed and the googling of recipes began. I can’t wait to make it soon on a day I’m working from home.

8 Ideas for Back to School (or work) Lunches from Food 52.  This is probably a good one for Sunday night.

Soup. Here’s one of my favorites.


What are you up to this weekend ? 

Thinking Out Loud: All the Pumpkin

Welcome to another Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party where stream-of-consciousness is the name of the game! Thanks to Amanda for hosting!

Being single definitely has its perks, but one of the things I struggle with sometimes is cooking for one person. If you looked in my fridge or freezer, you would probably think I was feeding a family of four.

IMG_7575Case in point: I made this pumpkin turkey meatloaf the other night (recipe coming soon). It was great, except for the fact that I’d purchased a 29-ounce can of pumpkin from Fresh Direct, when I only actually only needed a ½ cup. Whoops. As you read this, I am still finding ways to incorporate pumpkin into all kinds of things: oatmeal, yogurt, hummus, soup, sauces…

I really hate to overdo it on any one ingredient, especially one that turns my palms orange. I also hate wasting food, so I am determined to use all the goddamn pumpkin. I’ve actually been having a really stressful week, but being aware of the fact that too much pumpkin is a good dilemma to have  keeps things in perspective. If there’s room in my brain for me to be consciously  annoyed about it, I’m  really okay in the grand scheme of things.

For better or worse, when I’m stressed out, I cook, typically things like soup, chili, or staples like roasted vegetables or dried beans. I go into this weird “preparation” mode, though I couldn’t always say quite what I’m preparing for. Stocking the fridge and freezer just makes me feel calmer. It certainly comes in handy when I get home from a crazy day and want to spend my energy on cuddling with the puppy or catching up on reading Glamour instead of on cooking dinner.mushroom lentil soup

Only problem is, I am officially out of freezer space. Guess I’ll have to start cleaning my feelings instead of cooking them for a while. 

What do you do when you’re stressed out? 

5 Reasons to Have Eggs for Dinner Tonight

True story: I thought I disliked eggs until I moved into my own apartment and had to start cooking for myself when I was 20. As a kid I’d eat the whites when my mom made sunny side up, but the yolks totally grossed me out.  Years of sweet breakfast habits had caused me to ignore omelets as an option in favor of things like oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, and waffles.

photo by Jason Hamlin

photo by Jason Hamlin

Sometimes I wonder if I’d have been happier if I’d eaten less sugar in my teens and early twenties. This is a nerdy thing to ponder, but considering the dietary connections between food and mood, it’s totally valid to think a little more healthy fat and a little less frozen yogurt might have upped my quality of life. Then again, ages 16 to 23 are probably a big black hole of “OMG—So many FEELINGS!” no matter what’re you’re eating, so who knows? At least perhaps I’d have been better equipped to handle said feelings.

(Side note: I can’t say the word “equipped” without giggling, remembering a certain boy’s code for “Do you have a condom?” I’m glad nice things happened for him after we drifted apart—he was one of the few good ones.)

Anyway, back to the task at hand: dinner. I was so hopeless in the kitchen when I moved into my first place that I don’t even want to talk about some of the disasters that resulted. One of the early successes, though, was noodle soup, with microwaved frozen veggies mixed in and a fried egg on top. Another was a scrambled egg in a whole wheat wrap with—yep—microwaved frozen veggies on the side.

Since then, I’ve branched out to include poached eggs, omelets, frittatas, and hard boiled eggs. Oh, and fresh vegetables. I’ve even learned how to make some of these in the microwave because sometimes I am still 19 when it comes to relying on the microwave to help me nourish myself. Here are just a few of the many reasons to enjoy eggs for dinner:

1.) They’re a complete protein. Each egg contains all the essential amino acids you need to help keep you satisfied and strong.

2.) They’re high in lots of important nutrients, such as: Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Choline, Selenium, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin.

3.) 1 egg= Instant portion control.

4.) They’re incredibly versatile. The possibilities are basically endless. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Frittata
  • Egg “pizza”
  • Egg White Scambles
  • Poached on top of almost anything, especially if this anything involves lots of vegetables and goat cheese.
  • In or on oatmeal. Or grits. Or pasta. Or…

5.) Eggs also happen to be pretty inexpensive.

Do you eat eggs? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

3 Things to Make This Weekend: Stuff on Toast

Happy Friday! Here’s another short list of ideas and recipes for you to try this weekend!

brie zucchini roasted garlic toastToday’s theme is “Stuff on Toast”—aka comfort food for dummies.

This first one is not a recipe I saw but something I am in fact obsessed with in my real life:

Sprouted Grain Toast with brie (loving the mini ones from Trader Joe’s to make serving size a cinch) and roasted garlic and zucchini.

5 Variations on Avocado Toast  from Food 52

Also by way of Food 52, hardlikearmour’s BEAT Breakfast Sandwich

What are you looking forward to making and/or eating this weekend? 

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