Tag Archives: edibles

Cedar Key, Florida

I started Thursday off with a true vacation breakfast: S’mores Oatmeal. Yessss. With peanut butter and banana, of course.

There was a forecast for rain on Thursday, so instead of checking out another spring we headed to the little fishing village of Cedar Key.

We went to lunch at “The Pickled Pelican”. I chatted with a lady on the street and she recommended it, saying the food was fantastic. She told no lies.

I ordered a Caesar salad with grilled shrimp. I almost tried their house special, a heart of palm salad with dates, fruits, a whole bunch of other stuff and to top it off: Peanut butter and ice cream dressing. I decided to play it safe (and I guessed much healthier) by ordering the Caesar. 

I tried some of my mom’s Grouper, which I had never had before. So delicious.

Christian claimed he “HATED SEAFOOD” and ordered a burger. After he actually tried some of our seafood he recalled his former opinion. A gal I talked to in a store we went to told us about this Osprey nest you could go see.

Baby crabs!!

The rain ended up holding off until late that night, so we got to go swimming one last time at “our spring” after we came back to the cabin. Friday morning we got up at 4:15 and headed for home. We arrived yesterday afternoon to chilly Michigan. I’m ready to go back south. For good.

Almonds, Honey and Cinnamon

I took these photos a few days ago and have only just had time to write up a post! I’ve been working… a lot… 14 hours yesterday and up at 5:50am this morning to go to work. I wanted to do an individual ingredient shoot/feature, and chose three favorites of mine:

Almonds, Raw Honey and Cinnamon

They all have wonderful health benefits and taste sooo good. Almonds are a good protein and rich in healthy fats. Raw honey is a wonderful natural sweetener and has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties keeping you healthy and not sick in these winter months! Cinnamon also has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties. And it’s plain tasty in a bowl of oatmeal.

I wanted to keep this shoot clean and simple, focusing on the ingredients and not the props. I set up a white, light-friendly set up and used white linens and wood for backdrops.

We had a nice sunny day so I used the light from my bedroom window without a diffuser, and bounced it off my white foam board and foil reflector.

I started off with the almonds…

A little over excited, I started snapping without fixing the background or moving the orange clamp that holds up the foam board. You can see it in the left top corner.

I added a fresh blue napkin to this one for a little color.

I took the same approach with the cinnamon, putting it into a cute little spice jar and tying it with raffia for a little accent. Don’t be afraid to repackage, rebottle, unpackage, switch containers/label/etc… This cinnamon comes in a large plastic bulk container that is not very photogenic.

I like to pull the ingredients out of the jars or packaging to photograph them. It’s so much more visually interesting. I like the cracking of the cinnamon here, and the contrast agains the white and silver of the teaspoon.

The honey I shot a day after the cinnamon and almonds because of a time constraint. Thankfully we had another sunny day (you have to worry about things like sunshine in Michigan… :( ) and I had the same natural light to work with.

Once I loaded these shots into the computer I saw that my white balance was pretty messed up… The automatic settings on PSE switched some stuff around and it was driving me crazy. I had been shooting on Custom White Balance, set from the day before, and it looked great on the camera but there were some preloaded settings or something that messed it up… Still not sure about that one =/. They still aren’t perfectly balanced…

I used a white linen with a lace accent on my distressed beaded board for a homey, clean, kitchen-y look.

I started off with this little wooden spoon that my grandpa made, but it wasn’t working with the shoot so I switched to a metal teaspoon.

You can’t see it here, but this spoon has a neat little floral pattern. Which reminds me, I still need to go silverware shopping! I want to find some antique silverware to shoot with…

Next post: All three ingredients together!

Erf. 800 ISO and cloudy mornings.

Today’s breakfast shoot was sauteed veggies (broccoli, red onion and sweet peppers) with an egg. There was no sunshine this morning so it was too dark to take good photos, since I don’t have any artificial light setup. I had to shoot at 800 ISO which made the photos a bit grainy… I should have switched to my 1.4 50mm lens, but when you shoot wide open you will have, for example, one piece of broccoli perfectly in focus and the rest a blur… which in most cases doesn’t make for a well composed, appetizing food shot.

These photos were all shot at 1/45 shuttter, f/4.5, 800 ISO. At the focal lengths I was shooting at I couldn’t shoot wide open (3.5) on my Canon EF 28-135mm, so 4.5 it was. I definitely prefer prime lenses, but this one is pretty good.

I picked up a white foam board today and am going to use it like suggested in plate to pixel… only $1 at the Dollar Tree! I snitched, well, politely asked for (and if you are reading this dad skip the next part) and don’t plan on returning, two clamps to hold it up with. Exciting to shoot in the morning!

ABC Food!

A is for Avocado: How do you like yours prepared?

I like my avocado with lot of lemon and a little salt, straight from the peel.

B is for Bread: Regardless of nutrition, what is your favorite type?

A crusty baguette. With a block of cheese. And a jar of evoo with herbs ;) Or mama’s baked whole wheat bread fresh out of the oven with butter and honey.

C is for Chocolate: What is your favorite kind currently?

I like it dark… 70%-80%. Chocolove. And this other brand they sell at Meijier that I forget the name of… I have been making my own as well!

D is for Doughnuts: You might not currently eat them, but what kind do you fancy?

Oh I eat them. I like a glazed cake doughnut from Johan’s…. and a glass of cider or mug of black coffee…mmmm…

E is for Egg(plant): How would you like yours prepared?

Baba Ganoush is the only way I have had it, and I liked it very much!

F is for Falafel: Yay or nay?


G is for Groceries: Where do you purchase yours?

My momma does the shopping. Meijier and Natural Life Coop.

H is for Hot Beverages: What is your favorite hot drink?

Coffee. Dark Roast. With a little freshly whipped cream if I’m feeling decadent.

I is for Ice Cream: Pick a favorite flavor and add a fun topping.

I just had Edy’s Pumpkin Pie with a homemade chocolate shell last week. It was amazingly good.

J is for Jams or Jellies: Do you eat them? If so, what kind and flavor?

Yes M’am. I like our homemade cherry jam. I don’t eat a lot of them though…

K is for Kashi: Name your favorite Kashi product?

erm, cereal? Not into pre-packaged foods so much…

L is for Lunch: What was yours today?

Romaine Salad with apples, grapefruit, rasins, toasted sunflower seeds, feta cheese and balsamic vinegar. And some baked beans. haha.

M is for microwave: What is your favorite microwave meal/snack?

I don’t use a microwave unless I’m making a 5-minute mug cake ;) <shameless self-plug!

N is for nutrients: Do you like carbs, fats, or proteins best?

Can I have it all?

O is for oil: What kind do you like to use?

Extra Virgin Olive and Extra Virgin Coconut for anything non-savory.

P is for protein: How do you get yours?

Meaaaat. Cottage cheese. Cheese. Nuts.

Q is for Quaker: How do you like your oats?

Made with chia seeds, banana, peanut butter and raisins.

R is for roasting: What is your favorite thing to roast?

I have a current obsession with roasted winter squash.

S is for sandwich: What’s your favorite kind?

I don’t play favorites with my food, but I am partial to a beef dip with au jus. Or avocado+sprouts+turkey+tomato. Or grilled cheese. See? I can’t pick favorites!

T is for travel: How do you handle eating while traveling?


U is for unique: What are some of the unique foods that you like?

Spinach smoothies. Romaine lettuce hearts plain. Salt on my ice cream. Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cakes.

V is for vitamins: What kind do you take?

EmergenC and other vitamin C powders, a multi-vitamin when I remember.

W is for Wiener schnitzel: Do you ever recreate this traditional Czech food?

No. But if you take me to the Czech Republic I will try it!

Y is for Youth: What foods remind you of your childhood?

Mashed Potatoes with beef gravy and corn. You are supposed to make little moats and pools with the potatoes and fill them with gravy. Plastic-wrapped square caramels. Huge bowls of ice cream. German Chocolate Cake. Malt-o-meal. Jello with mandarin oranges in it. Fresh baked bread with lots of butter and honey. Fish with lemon over couscous.

Z is for Zucchini: How do you prepare it?

Raw, Roasted, Julianned, Fried, Sauteéd… Just don’t boil it.

A Week of Unordinary Breakfasts: Thursday

Hey folks! I am reposting a series of posts I did last year on another blog that I don’t use anymore. It was called “A Week of Unordinary Breakfasts”. I decided to make something a little unusual each morning for one week to break up the morning yogurt routine =) Enjoy the photos and some tasty recipes! 

Monday Raw Vegan Flaxseed “Oatmeal”
Tuesday Mango and Banana Pancakes
Wednesday Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce
Thursday Huevos Rancheros
Friday Quinoa Cereal with Pomegranate
Saturday Egg and Avocado Wrap
Sunday Pumpkin Oatmeal

I woke up at 6:30 this morning to cram study for a test, read my Bible and…… make Huveos Rancheros! Yummmmmm. Another new favorite breakfast. I loosely followed a recipe I found on Smitten Kitchen, found here.

Mmm, Tony’s Creole. This is a staple at my house.

More deliciousness. I found these peppers at Meijer the other day. Inexpensive and good! From the looks of them they would burn a hole in your mouth bigger than the grand canyon, but they are not hot AT ALL- super sweet and great for breakfast!

Just like in Mexico…. Carbtillas. =P

Black beans, peppers and corn with some chili powder, Tony’s and salt.

After try #3 ( 1 and 2 were conveniently fed to the father ;) ) I finally figured out how to keep the egg ON THE TORTILLA!!

Mmm yummmyyyynesss! Visit the link at the top for the recipe =)

Savory Oats

I will admit it openly. I avoided savory oatmeal for a couple of months. “What could possibly be good about oatmeal fixed without a little sweetness?” I thought. The idea of one of adding olive oil instead of real maple syrup to my breakfast oats was rather appalling.

I claim to be a person who likes almost everything. It’s hard for me to think of a food I don’t like. I’m stalling right now, trying to think of something… Menudo. It’s a Mexican dish that has pork skin in it. Makes me want to puke. It’s not my favorite… Lima beans. Something about chalky, slickly, pale beans doesn’t appeal to me… Fast food burgers… If I thought I could come up with some more… As long as it’s quality food I’m not picky.

Claiming to be an “eater-of-all” while sticking my nose up at the simple idea of “Savory Oats” was starting to whisper “liiiiiiiar” in my ear, so when I saw this post for the infamous savory oats I had to give it a try. (Besides, with good cheese and plenty of olive oil anything can go for bad to edible.)

The results were very edible. So edible in fact, that I will make them again. I can now reclaim my eats-almost-everything title. Don’t be an oatmeal snob like I was and leave this recipe sitting in cyberspace! Try it out and let me know how you LOVE it! ; )

Savory Oats with Asiago

  • Cooked Oatmeal, to suit your appetite.
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, just a little drizzle.
  • Asiago Cheese, chopped in tiny pieces or shredded.
  • Provolone Cheese, a little slice.
  • One Egg, with a runny yolk.
  • Green Onion, chopped.

Cook oats with water. I prefer mine firm, especially with this dish. A good ratio is 1 part oats to 2 parts water. While the oats are cooking, fry or poach and egg, leaving a rich, thick-but-runny yolk. Melt your provolone cheese on top of the oatmeal, then spoon into a bowl and top with asiago, green onion, evoo, egg and S&P to taste.

The silky yolk paired with the hearty oats makes a delicious and satisfying breakfast. I had a side of pan-fried sweet potatoes with mine, leftover from the Quinoa Burgers I made a few days ago.

Light Hummus

If I was only allowed 3 foods for the rest of my life, I think tortilla chips, hummus and salsa might just make the cut. I would really miss peanut butter, though. A lot. And dark chocolate. Good thing I don’t have a 3 food limit for the rest of my life.

Well, I love hummus. It’s rather a staple in my fridge. Simple, quick, easy and healthy, I love to have a jar in the fridge to munch on with a bag of carrots. I have my stand by hummus recipe, but was looking for something with a little less fat. I was reading a magazine and saw plain yogurt used instead of olive oil, and decided to give it a try.

Success. I gave it an olivey-twist, but you could also use the traditional hummus spices.

15.5 oz Can Garbanzo Beans
1/4 c. Plain Low-Fat Yogurt
2 Tsp Lime Juice
1 Lg Clove Garlic
1 Tsp Fresh Thyme
1/4 Tsp Chili Flakes
1/4 Tsp Tony’s Creole Seasoning
8 Green Olives

Put it all, minus the green olives, in the food processor (or blender) and whip it until it’s smooth!  Add the olives at the end, and pulse it a few times to chop them.

Makes: 6 Servings

77 Calories and 1.8 Grams of Fat per Serving

I looked up the Calorie and Fat count for regular hummus, and about.com told me that one cup of regular hummus contains about 435 calories and 21 grams of fat. Although, they also stated….

You have to consider that it is very unlikely that a single person will consume a one cup of hummus in one snack sitting.

Lies. They have not met me at about.com. Another site said 1 TB contains 27 calories and 1.29 grams of fat. Whatever it may be, this is a healthier recipe. =P

Enjoy, give it a try. Let me know if you like it!

Chicken and Quinoa Salad

Mom and I collaborated on dinner tonight. I made a chicken mole the other night, and we had leftover shredded chicken. I was begging for quinoa, (pronounced Keen-wa) and we came up with a Chicken and Quinoa salad served on a bed of lettuce. It was deeeelishiousss. ; ) I had told her I was going to make dinner, but when I came back inside from spending some quality time with the sunshine and Pandora Radio she had already started dinner. So I kicked her out of the kitchen and finished things up while she went out to her natural habit, her veggie garden. She pretty much lives there, and in her flower gardens, in the summer months. ; )

When I cook I am very bad about following recipes, so here are the ingredients I used, with a few approximate measurements. Add and subtract to your tastes!

Quinoa and Chicken Salad

2c Raw Quinoa, rinsed (very important!! If you don’t rinse it it will have a bitter taste.) and cooked with salt
2c. Cooked and Shredded Chicken
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Cucumber, diced
Tomato, diced
Red Pepper, diced
Salt and Pepper
Lime Juice
Green Onions, chopped


Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Fresh and or Dried Thyme
Dried Basil
Green Olive Juice

Serve on a bed of green lettuce with garbanzo beans, freshly chopped thyme, green olives and chopped green onions on top. This made enough for our family of 5 with leftovers. It’s great to store in the fridge for a quick lunch.

8 weeks!

8 weeks of classes down!  8 weeks to go! Time is going by so fast, and slow at the same time. Mostly fast. Headed to Lirio tomorrow around 12:30…. Can’t wait to see everyone again! I missed not being there last weekend. I was supposed to go out to coffee tonight with some new friends, but one of the girls got stuck in traffic and we cancelled. Sooooo I was stuck in the house again. Made myself a bowl of oatmeal, watched CSI, and chatted on FB. My oatmeal wasn’t the same…. I didn’t have any peanut butter =’( I tried to make my own but it wasn’t the same. Fail.

I have a little problem.

I like food an awful lot.

And have an addiction to food blogs.

And fashion blogs, but that’s another topic.

(Yeah, as I sit here in favorite tee shirt and red shorty-shorts, college student style.)

I miss cooking soooo much.

I thought I would share some of the things that had me drooling on my keyboard tonight….Click the photos to go to the original site+recipe. PS you can also make them and send a lil’ package to your favorite Livvy in Chihuahua!

{purple-fleshed sweet potatoes}

{chocolate-peanut butter cupcakes… yes that is a mountain of peanut butter filling on top, and yes I could eat 3 of these right now}

{double chocolate macaroons. macaroons have become quite the popular subject in food blogs lately and i am dying to try them!}

{ratatouille! yes! the movie!}


{scotch eggs}

{jam filled banana cupcakes with PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING!}

{peach bellini cupcakes: moist peachy cupcakes with champagne}


{and as always…..}

Okay. I need to stop stalking food blogs and sleep. And turn the cheesy TV show that has been playing off.

Until Sunday!

[None of these photos are mine. They are all linked to their original owners.]