a cruel April Fool’s Day


What do you do when all of your dreams come true? You sit back, appreciate it and think of what comes next. I think you do the same when your dreams don’t come true, when you are at a loss for words. You give thanks for what good things you still have and you reassess. And then, if you’re me, you bake cookies. I made muffins this morning in anticipation of the impending decision, and managed to screw up my own recipe. The muffins are hideous and a little moist but they are still a muffin thank goodness. Though I do have 24 ‘not quite’ muffins and more batter in the fridge to deal with now. The cookies however, I started yesterday before my nerves got unruly. I knew I would need something in the oven when I learned of my fate – good or bad. And something idiot proof… think scoop & bake. Easy.

My future husband  is a cynic while I am superstitious, he’s not so sure about religion and all while I’m pretty spiritual. Our difference here comes into play during situations like this.  He says try again, just keep pushing whilst I try to figure out the bigger picture and the message within it all. Who’s right? Not a clue. I can’t tell if it’s some higher power telling me that maybe I should reassess my goals or if it’s my hurt pride that doesn’t want to be rejected again. Maybe a bit of both? Only time will tell.

Here’s what I know I am: a wife (close enough), a daughter, a sister, a friend, a two-time internship/grad school reject…. ouch.

What do you make for your first meal after such a heartbreak? Scallops. With brown rice, a touch of bacon, and some green beans. You stay on plan because now isn’t the time to completely jump ship. Now is the time to zero in on priorities. Now is the time to really take care of yourself and what says taking care of yourself better than a healthy dinner with a dose of bacon with a chocolate chip cookie chaser? Not much.

Heart-Break Scallops

  • 10 ounces scallops
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon, quartered
  • Chicken stock
  • Salt, Pepper
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon according to package instructions. Once browned remove to plate with paper towel to drain.
  2. Season scallops with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook until tender and opaque, about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Meanwhile, steam green beans until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes in the microwave.
  4. Remove scallops from pan and let rest with bacon.
  5. Deglaze pan with a splash (about 3 tablespoons) of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Be sure to scrape the browned bits up and let the sauce thicken.
  6. Add scallops, green beans, bacon and tomatoes to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes ensuring all ingredients are coated by the sauce.
  7. Serve over brown rice.

Lumpy Path Cookies

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  1. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients – salt, baking powder, flours, chocolate, oats and coconut; set aside.
  2. Cream butter, applesauce and sugars together on medium speed of electric mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract until light, fluffy and well-combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients to the wet in thirds until just combined.
  4. Let the ingredients marry – allow the mix to chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  5. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper and spraying with non-stick spray.
  6. Bake 16-18 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through cook-time.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe here: http://www.marthastewart.com/344840/soft-and-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 tablespoons egg white substitute
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and ½ of the pumpkin. Next cream the butter/pumpkin with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and egg whites and egg. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. The dough will be slightly dry at this point so you will add in the remaining ½ cup of pumpkin and then stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten the dough slightly with the back of a spoon/scoop.
Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week
Yields about 4 dozen cookies.

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Pancake Breakfast


Something about this weekend just needed pancakes… The base recipe for this was taken from The Breakfast Book. The original recipe was for Buttermilk Pancakes. My changes: I added fruit, sugar and lemon zest, and changed the flour to whole wheat.

Buttermilk Berry Pancakes: I put the batter together the night before I intend to serve them and refrigerate in a sealed container.

In a medium bowl combine 3/4c whole wheat flour, 1t baking soda, 1T sugar, and 1/2t salt. In a large measuring cup combine 3T melted butter (cooled), 1c low-fat buttermilk, 1t lemon zest, and 3 egg whites (or 1 egg). Slowly add the wet ingredients to the flour mix, stiring just to combine. Do not over mix, the batter will be lumpy. (You can either continue on or refrigerate at this point.)

When you are ready to cook the pancakes, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and preheat the oven to 250 F. Spray with non-stick spray. Pour out batter into 3-inch cakes, top with 1t berries and cook about 3 minutes – you are looking for bubbles to appear on the surface of the pancake. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. As you finish batches of the pancakes, transfer them to a cookie sheet and keep them warm in the oven. You will need about 1c mixed berries. This recipe makes 14 3-inch pancakes. 2 cakes/serving. Points Plus: 3.