Peach Blueberry Breakfast Crisp + Reid’s Preview

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I didn’t get a lot of movie suggestions on my previous post (Liv did say: Love and Other Impossible Pursuits), but I keep hearing (via the blog, Facebook, twitter and friends) that the Something Borrowed book series is really good. It must be if everyone keeps saying that! Maybe I need to read them next?!

On to Sunday…

***

I’ve been having fun cooking for my sister since she keeps requesting things she’s seen on the blog. Yay for family reading your blog!

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On Sunday, she requested a breakfast crisp.

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Since I had just picked up some fresh peaches at the farmer’s market, I decided to do one of my fave combos – peach/blueberry!

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Peach Blueberry Individual Breakfast Crisp

Peach Blueberry Crisp taste just like summer! I love using farmer’s market fruits in this simple breakfast dish. Unlike dessert crisps, this one is lighter on sugar and oil/butter. It’s also heavy on the oats so you get a decent grain serving. And did I mention this is an easy way to work fruits into your daily eats? Oh yes. I do this for you, dear reader. ;) Bake this for breakfast tomorrow! The dish mixes together quickly and you can finish getting ready for the day while it bakes away.

*Vegan if you use vegan substitute for the butter*

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 peach – cleaned, pitted, and chopped (I used fresh, but frozen should work)
  • 1-2 tablespoons blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp sucanat (or brown sugar – optional if you want your fruit mixture sweeter than the natural sweetness of the fruits)
  • 1/4 tsp tapioca starch (or corn starch)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp flour (I used spelt, but any will do)
  • 1 tsp sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • pinch salt
  • dash cinnamon (optional)
  • bit of butter (about 1/4 tsp – optional)
  • sprinkling of chopped pecans (about 1 tbsp)
  • non-stick spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prep baking dish with non-stick spray (I used a 4″ round ramekin).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix peaches, blueberries, sucanat (if using) and tapioca starch. Pour into baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix oats, flour, sucanat, oil, salt, cinnamon (I rinsed out my mixing bowl and reused it for the topping – one less dish = easier clean up!). Pour topping over berries.
  4. If you’re using it, dab small pieces of butter over topping and sprinkle nuts over topping.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until top is lightly browned and peach/berry mixture just bubbles at the sides.
  6. Enjoy!

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Breakfast Crisps are a great and delicious way to get fruit and whole grains in your breakfast.

By the way, here’s a recipe for a mixed berry version!

***

After breakfast, my sister and I headed out to meet some girlfriends at the pool. It was glorious soaking up the sun, enjoying the cool pool water, chatting it up with the girls, and just relaxing. I forgot to take photos, though…doh!

I did manage to take some iPhone photos of our next couple of adventures – lunch at a must-see Charlotte restaurant and a preview of a not-so-new “grocery store.” Read on for dets…

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I took my sister to The Cowfish since it’s awesome and I had a Living Social deal for the place that was about to expire.

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Sis and I both got unsweetened mango teas and they were perfectly refreshing since we were dining al fresco.

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We also tried the chicken satay. The app was great, but if you’re visiting Cowfish, I suggest getting one of their more unique appetizers. You can get chicken satay almost anywhere! But you can’t get ahi tuna tacos or deconstructed crab rangoons as dip.

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I got my usual – the bento box.

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I never thought I’d like sushi and burgers in the same meal so much, but it’s a match made in heaven.

As always, lunch and service were wonderful.

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And for dessert on the hot Sunday, we hit up Yoforia. I got tart and pomegranate with strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, coconut and my now must-have topping – mochi!

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And since we were in the neighborhood, I thought I’d pay a visit to the newly opened Reid’s Fine Foods. Reid’s used to be open uptown, but closed awhile back. Everyone was very sad as the place was a beloved establishment for the locals. But now, it’s back in business!

Inside, they had lots of fresh produce, a small frozen foods section, a small refrigerated foods section, plenty of locally made products and fancy imports.

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They still have their famous butcher shop (I spotted Grateful Growers products in there!).

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Plus, they have a nice selection of prepared foods.

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They also have a large selection of cheeses and wines.

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And they now have a wine bar. You can order wines by the glass here. They have half off glasses on a couple days of the week (I think Monday and Thursday, but don’t quote me!). In addition, they have wine tastings and cooking classes!

I’m so glad to see Reid’s back in busines, and I hope they and other small, local businesses continue to thrive. Go local!

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While we were waiting for our lunch table to be ready, sis and I visited Crate and Barrel. Sis bought me these 2 mini bowls. Aren’t they cute?

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She also got me a fun new food ingredient – Sweet Potato Butter! I’m thinking this is going to get mixed into some oats pretty soon. Yum-ee!!

***

Inspirational quote of the day:

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” ~Oprah Winfrey

***

Next time on The Chic Life – homemade BBQ sauce experimenting, Bailey and the “sprinkler”, and a June Challenge preview!! :)

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Like this post? Please consider clicking the Facebook-Like button to let me know! ;) Thanks doll-face!

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Reader question #1: How do you support local businesses?

Reader question #2: What’s your favorite fruit to eat for breakfast? Do you think it would taste good in a Breakfast Crisp?

Easy Sunday Afternoon

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After our fantabuloso brunch today, hubby and I felt like we had the rest of the day pretty wide open. It was truly the first time in a long time (maybe years?) that I felt like the house was put together enough that I didn’t need to worry about it. And not only that, but I felt like I had some free time. The concept of free time typically escapes me, but today, hubby and I had an easy, stress-free afternoon and it was lovely.

I have a million things I’d like to do for the blog…for the house…but, I decided to just realx.

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I got comfy in some PJ’s and a big sweatshirt and watched the Hot Tub Time Machine with hubby and Bailey. Pretty funny movie!

We noshed on some leftovers from the brunch party, pretzels and cookies. Those chick peas are going to be like my new popcorn! They’re so fun for snacking!

***

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Hubby and I decided to do breakfast for dinner. We had Whole Grain Goodness toast with a dab of real butter and some steamed broccoli with a bit of real butter.

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And the star of the show – a broccoli-cheddar omelet. I’ve forgotten how delicious broccoli and cheddar taste together! This omelet was divine!

We got to enjoy dinner whilst catching up on a DVR’ed Cold Case. I never get to clear out my DVR because I never have time to watch anything! Every time I actually get to watch something I’ve recorded, it’s like a special treat.

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We just haaaad to incorporate leftovers into dinner somehow. Twist my arm why don’t-cha

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We had the rest of Britney’s blueberry pie and a Vegan Green Monster muffin each. Yummmmers!

Potentially big week ahead for me. Hopefully some fun fitness news and definitely a wedding this weekend. You know what that means, right? ;)

Think I’m going to try to catch up on another Cold Case. Gosh I love that show!

Have a great week everyone!

Who Wears Short-Shorts?

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Not me…not yet at least…I’ll explain in a minute.

First off…how fabulous were everyone’s comments yesterday on my post about using clothes for weight loss goals?! If you haven’t seen them yet, take a looksie – lots of great opinions in there (and if you haven’t weighed in yet I’d love to hear yours)! Click here to view them.

There were great POVs on why using clothes for weight loss goals can be good and bad and tips for how to do it the right way, if you think the idea meshes with your style in a positive way.

Let me fast-forward to breakfast quickly and we’ll return to the fun clothes talk.

***

I wanted another one of these for breakfast, but instead, I went with oatmeal:

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Blueberry oatmeal, that is!

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Oh yes, blueberry oatmeal with the fabulous, giant, plump, fresh blueberries picked up from the Farmers Market this past weekend. Yummers! I made mine this morning with almond milk and added flaxseed meal and coconut flakes on top.

I’d go into more eats, but it’s midnight and I’m sleepy…

***

I often find myself using clothes for weight loss goals or measurements in general.

When it comes to clothes and weight loss, I’ve had:

  • Fat jeans
  • Skinny jeans
  • “Goal” pants
  • Short-shorts
  • and probably numerous other things I can’t think of at this time…

As for those short shorts…Around January of last year, when I was in my exercise rut and 15 pounds heavier and trying to work my way back to my happy weight, I thought…how wonderful would it be if I could pull off wearing short-shorts to zumba class.

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I don’t mean like those soffe shorts…I mean, short, tight, bicycle-shorts-style short-shorts!

I mean…if I could comfortably and confidently wear short-shorts to class…that would be something, wouldn’t it?!

Pictured above is the pair I purchased last week. I haven’t worn them yet.

My goal to wear the short-shorts is amplified now by the fact that I’m an instructor-in-training and am announced as such in the beginning and end of each zumba class. Translation – I am often finding myself at the front of the classroom with half or more of the class staring at me (and potentially…my short-shorts).

EEEEEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!

The truth is…though I am now 15 lbs lighter and at a great place with my weight, size, and health…these shorts still terrify the living daylights out of me! So, why buy them, right?! I actually got them to wear under that skirt in case I ever want to go punk-rock-style to my friend Megan’s class again (or for future events). The white tennis shorts weren’t cutting it. :lol: So, to wear these tiny shorts under a skirt is pretty safe, but to wear them all alone…that says something! That I’m crazy? Maybe. But, I’m hoping that whenever I find the courage to wear these short-shorts to class, it says, at least to myself, that I’m confident! :)

Have you ever had clothes you were afraid to wear? Tell me your story – what the clothes were, why you were afraid of them. Did you ever wear them!? Why or why not?

I Can’t Believe I Like Eating This Now!

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I LOVED reading everyone’s “I Can’t Believe I Used to Eat That!” foods. I think I was guilty of most of the same. lol

Here are some examples:

  • Diet Sodas
  • Chicken fingers (with a soup terrine of honey mustard!)
  • Fast Food
  • Hot Dogs
  • Ramen
  • Spagettios
  • Livermush
  • Snickers Ice cream
  • Fake parmesan

We’re much better off nowadays, right?! *high five*

I was thinking today, the opposite of “I Can’t Believe I Used to Eat That!” foods would be “I Can’t Believe I LIKE Eating This Now!” foods. Sure you used to love your diet Dr. Pepper, but did you ever think you’d LOVE brussels sprouts?! If you had told me 10 years ago that today I’d really look forward to eating a big plate of brussels sprouts, or kale chips, or tempeh, I probably would have laughed in your face. But here I am, and I’m eating healthy foods and finding them delicious!

I’m surprised I now like:

  • vegetables in general (I really do love them now but could care less for them when I was a kiddo)
  • tofu
  • tempeh (didn’t even know what this was until a couple years ago)
  • kale chips
  • spelt flour
  • quinoa
  • vegan and vegetarian entrees (I used to think I had to have meat in a meal for it to be complete – now I just want a protein)
  • non-dairy milks (almond, soy, hemp)
  • chia seeds
  • goji berries
  • veggie juices

What are your “I Can’t Believe I Like Eating This Now!” foods?

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I started today with a big bowl of banana oats in my gorgey light turquoise handmade bowl.

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The bowl also contained chia seeds, almond milk, coconut flakes, flaxseed meal and White Chocolate Dreams.

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I used my last 2 farm-fresh eggs (from my first carton – I have a new one already!) to make lunch today.

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On the menu: Toasted Wraps with Sloppy Scrambled (aka Hubby Scrambled) Eggs.

Where might the name come from? Well, one of the first things hubby ever cooked for me was scrambled eggs. They were easy and safe. I like scrambled eggs. I have fond memories of making scrambled eggs with my family. My parents would carefully crack eggs into a large bowl, add salt and pepper, and a dab of milk, then whisk everything together till the yolks and whites were well-mixed. Imagine my surprise when I saw hubby cracking the eggs directly into the pan! The horror! How would the yolks and whites incorporate properly? Turns out they wouldn’t…but I kind of liked it that way. There was something to that mix of yellow and white in separate, distinguishable colors and textures. I really enjoyed it.

These days, I switch between scrambling my eggs in a bowl or directly in the pan. I think each style has its own pros and cons, but the Hubby Scramble definitely means easier clean-up with one less dish to wash. (probably why I lean towards his method when I’m feeling lazy…heehee).

Sloppy Scramble How-To:

Step 1. Crack the eggs into a prepped pan (I spray non-stick in the pan) – don’t worry if the yolks break.

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Step 2. Lightly stir the eggs so the whites and yolks are evenly distributed but not well-mixed.

Step 3. Continue cooking as you would regular scrambled eggs, flipping etc to ensure the eggs are cooked through.

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Today I also used the same pan to saute some baby spinach.

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I spread the egg onto two small WW tortillas, then added spinach, feta, and a wee bit of tomato juice. I think sun-dried tomato pesto or tomato paste would have been better, but I had the juice leftover from Sunday’s brisket so it seemed like a good idea. It turned out to be a bit watery…oops!

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I wiped out the saute pan and used it to toast my wraps. I love that lightly crispy outside.

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Beautiful colors inside! Tasty too! I loved the tender/crispy tortilla/wrap outside with the warm eggs and spinach. I think a cheese that melted better may have been more up my alley, but it’s nice to change up my flavors…I almost always do a more cheddar-type cheese with my eggs.

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Nice and crispy and tasty dipped in ketchup.

***
This must have been a longer week than I thought. I ended up falling asleep on the couch for about an hour. I usually don’t nap unless I’m really stressed or sick/getting sick. I hope it’s not the latter!

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My impromptu nap + an impromptu thunderstorm outside got me craving comfort food. I turned to some of mom’s soup stashed away in the freezer – Beef + Bean. I freshened up my bowl with some parsley from my herb garden. The soup was hot and cozy and hit the spot with brothy bites of tender beef and beans. So delish!

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Plus a piece of buttered WW toast on the side. I love great bread with my soup. It’s so superior to crackers!

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I decided dessert would be a good idea, too. Keeping with my comfort food theme, I thought a lovely berry crisp would be perfection.

I chopped up the last of my organic strawberries for tonight’s dessert. They were not as ripe as the others I’ve already eaten and weren’t looking their freshest. I figured baking them would help make them taste their best.

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I busted out some Organic Tapioca starch to try out in place of corn starch.

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Ingredients.

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Fresh out of the oven. Gosh it smelled like heaven!

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I enjoyed a big piece whilst catching the end of Part 1 of the Real Housewives of NY reunion. I can’t believe they have 3 parts! It must be juicy!

Mixed Berry Crisp/Crumble

Note: I like a lot of crumbly topping so I went a little heavy on the toppings. Serves 2. (vegan) (can be gluten free too if you ensure the oats and spelt are GF)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups mixed berries (I used fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries)
  • 1/2 tsp tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup oats (I used rolled oats)
  • 1/4 cup spelt flour (or use whatever flour you have)
  • heaping 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup EarthBalance (or butter)
  • dash cinnamon (or 1/4 tsp)
  • pinch salt

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and prep a small baking dish (mine was 4 1/2″ x 7″) with non-stick spray.
  • In a medium bowl, mix berries, tapioca starch, and sugar. Pour into baking dish.
  • In another medium bowl, mix oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Use fingers to mix EarthBalance into the dry ingredients. Pour the topping over the fruit and use fingers to spread evenly.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is just browning and the sides are starting to bubble.
  • Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Remember to tell me your “I Can’t Believe I Like Eating This Now!” foods.

Can’t wait to see what you guys have to say about this one! :)

Sunday Brisket

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Compared to the rest of this weekend, Sunday was boooring.

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Breakfast was no-cook thanks to Kath who gave me a remnant tea loaf in Carrot Raisin. I ate most of the raisins but not quite all of them. I had a lovely slice with some hot coffee.

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For lunch, I made stuff from the pantry/freezer plus some of the fresh veg we picked up yesterday at the farmer’s market.

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Amy’s all American veggie burger, WW roll (also thanks to Kath), Annie’s mac and cheese, steamed organic broccoli with a drizzle of real butter, plus pickles, romaine, ketchup and mustard.

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Organic cantaloupe for lunch-dessert. So refreshing on a hot day like today!

Hubby and spent most of the day doing things around the house and yard. I tied up my tomato plants (boy they’re getting BIG!), we planted some hydrangeas, did laundry, cleaned up around the house and other typical housework stuff.

We even made time for a special Sunday dinner:

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Ina’s Beef Brisket.

This is one of our fave dishes. We’ve probably repeated this one more than any other from Food TV. For tonight, we used the grass-fed beef brisket we got at the market yesterday.

To go with dinner, we had some brown rice and more KW Collards. Everything was fabulous!

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We even had leftovers of dessert from last night – Berry Shortcakes. I tried to make more whipped cream using half and half but it didn’t ever fluff up! So, I turned my Amaretto-scented cream into a sauce instead, sort of like Tres Leches style. I still prefer whipped cream, but it was good to make some lemonade out of tonight’s lemon.

No Prep Day Sunday for me tonight. I was thinking of making my marinated kale (I still owe you guys the recipe!) but I’m out of sesame seeds and it just doesn’t seem the same without them.

Do you have a traditional Sunday dinner? What makes your Sunday dinner special?

Sweet Potato Tempeh Recipe + Vega Berry Health Optimizer

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Organic Garden

So, sorry for the delay posting those garden project photos, but it got so dark so quickly last night!

I’m hell-bent on keeping my garden organic, so I’ve been reading a lot about companion planting. The concept is that you want to work with nature to maintain your garden by:

  • attracting good pests
  • deterring bad pests

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I’m planning to place some pots of good companion plants around the garden, rather than adding a border, so I can move the pots in case I need to get to the inner boxes. My plan was to place a bunch of pots so there would be about 4 on each corner and 1 in between the corner pots along each side.

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Plants and all the other stuff you need for them are expensive! So we’re just starting with two.

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I caved and got plastic pots. Maybe I’ll upgrade them next year, but these will do for now. I think they’re pretty attractive, especially for plastic.

In the pots: geraniums, parsley, and creeping Jenny.

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I like the parsley because it seems to attract these guys – baby lady bugs. They are kind of scary looking, but apparently they eat aphids, which are common garden pests.

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The green beans are really popping up! Look at em go!

Eats

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I really, really wanted to get Flying Biscuit pancakes this morning, but especially since I already went there last night, I decided to stay in.

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I made oats with 1/2 milk, 1/2 water, blueberries, goji berries, and coconut (plus flaxseed meal and chia seeds).

Since I had a big workout planned for after work, I decided to try a meat-free lunch in an attempt to sort-of follow the Thrive diet. I decided to whip up something using ingredients I already had on hand since I didn’t really have time to go to the grocery store, even though I was WFH today.

Sweet Potato + Tempeh

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Sweet potatoes + tempeh were my bases.

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Sweet Potato Tempeh Stir-Fry

Vegetarian / Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 1 package tempeh, cut into small pieces, about 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled, chopped into small pieces, about 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup green beans, frozen
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped (I used some I had stowed away in my freezer)
  • 1/3 cup OJ
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp roasted thai chili sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • dash pepper
  • dash garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp EVOO

Directions:

  • Steam tempeh 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, boil sweet potato about 4-6 minutes, or until fork-tender, remove from water with a strainer (leave water in pot) and set aside. Add beans to pot and cook 4-5 minutes until cooked and just tender. Remove from heat, chop into bite-size pieces.
  • Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add EVOO, add onions, saute till onions translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add tempeh and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix OJ, tamari, chili sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl. Add sauce to pan. Cook to combine flavors, stirring, for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add green beans, peas, cook till flavors combined and sauce evenly distributed, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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Not too shabby – tempeh experiment WIN!! :)

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Seconds

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Tea = Mate vana + Rooibos Caramel

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Bailey was a sleepy puppy all afternoon. Cute little sleeper!

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I had a mini bag of Food Should Taste Good chips (*) in Multigrain for an afternoon snack.

Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer – Berry – Review

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I broke into one of the Vega samples I recently received – the Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer in Berry (*). I’ve reviewed this product before in the Vanilla Chai flavor (click) and this one has all the awesome properties, features, and benefits, just in a different flavor.

I made up a smoothie with this berry health optimizer, strawberries, and almond milk. While I thought the flavor of berry-on-berry tasted really good, I actually prefer the Vanilla Chai for some reason. I think the berry flavor would be a nice addition to the Vanilla Chai in case you wanted to have more than one flavor. Especially for the times when you mix the health optimizer with just water…the berry would be a nice flavor to have on hand. But, if I had to pick one, I’d stick with the Vanilla Chai – it seems more versatile to me. :)

I think I drank the smoothie too close to my workout because I was a little more tired during the workout then I expected. I had a BURST of energy right after, though! :lol: Guess I should have had the smoothie more than 1 hour beforehand.

Zumba was fabulous, though! I had a great workout and we even got a special guest appearance from one of old instructors, Sara, who moved away a couple months ago. It was so good seeing her. :)

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Post-workout, a few of us went out to Big Daddy’s for dinner. Three of us split the adult cookies and cream milk shake, made with Kahlua.

Or so we thought…turns out the first shake was ordered Virgin. We thought they only had one cookies and cream on the menu, but it turns out there is a normal one and a spiked one. Oops!

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Smoothie take #2. Much better! ;)

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My friends let me sample their fried pickles with ranch sauce. They are so tasty!

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For my dinner, I split a patty melt burger and the black bean burger and got sweet potato fries. I almost managed to eat all the burgers, but I only managed roughly half of the sweet potato fries.

Anywho, I lucked out splitting my food with Alex who let me give him larger portions than mine. I mean, guys eat more, right? I probably served myself roughly 1/3 of each burger and him 2/3. Much better portions for me.

Now if I could only order off the kid’s menu everywhere! :lol:

Breakup Recovery Tips

Our last break-up recovery tips! If I left your comment/tweet/email off, please let me know! I’m sorry if I missed it, but it’s midnight and I was ready for bed about an hour ago! haha

  • Rachel – I throw myself back in the fray headfirst with fun things that I couldn’t do while dating such as speed dating or other ways to meet someone. I find the best way to get over someone is to meet that next someone!
  • Ashley – I always allowed myself one day to stay home, cry my eyes out, stay in my pjs, watch sappy movies and eat whatever I wanted. I found it therapeutic to get it all out. However, the next day the pity party was over. I had to pick myself up and resume my life. It was easier said then done sometimes. I found one of the really helpful things to do was reconnect with activities I once loved, but I might not have done so much with my ex around. Bubble baths with a good book, marathon Starbucks sessions with friends. They were little things that helped me feel more, well, me. I can remember once curling up in bed with a stack of new magazines and just reading until I feel asleep. I was so relaxed the next morning. I remember thinking how I had not done something that I loved for so long. Friends are key and family got me through a lot. It helps to be able to pick up the phone and pour your heart out when needed.

Thanks everyone for your tips! I know my friend has been reading each one!

Do you have a garden? Do you use pesticides?

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