A Fresh Dille

getting back to it all

Posted in FOOD, MAGAZINES, SHOPPING, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on September 30, 2010

It seems like there is a lot of catching up to do these days. I don’t just mean within the blog world, but also getting back to things I love. I have a pile of unread magazine issues that I am beginning to tackle. It is quite overwhelming.

This morning, I made scottish oats (always make these over steel-cut oats when I want to eat sooner rather than later) my usual way. Miss Mandiee asked me about my cooking method and it is really similar to the method of preparing my steel-cut oats.

First, I add one cup water  and a sprinkling of salt to a small saucepan and cover it to boil on medium high heat. Once boiling, I add 1/4 cup scottish oats and lower the heat to very very low. Then I add in 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or another plant milk like coconut) and cover it for five minutes. Scottish oats take 20 minutes to cook compared to the thirty minutes it takes to prepare steel-cut. I add in thin slices of banana, chia seeds (1 Tablespoon), cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon), and a splash of vanilla extract throughout the twenty minutes. If I feel the oats thicken too much, I add up to 1/4 cup more of water. In the last five minutes of cooking on low heat, I chop the fruit of choice. Today I added 1/4 cup of pumpkin instead of water to my scottish oats and then added some stevia in the last few minutes of cooking. I then poured it into my bowl and topped it with strawberries, a chopped fig, and some raw almond butter. Honestly, oats really are the breakfast that keep me satisfied all morning. On days I go without for fun meals like pancakes and waffles, I become hungry much sooner. At least we can have a little excitement with all the add-ins to our morning bowl (cup, plate, mug) of oats.

I promise I don’t only eat bowls of oatmeal.

Falafel is one of my favorite foods, and I used an epicurious recipe earlier in the week to prepare a lot of mini falafel.

Although they may have baked a little too long, they were still delicious. In the last few days, I have eaten them both in wraps and topped on salads.

The shot above may give you a (big) hint to the movie that took over my man’s life all summer.

I made stuffed peppers utilizing a few leftovers, particularly butternut squash and whole wheat couscous.

One of my favorite blog ladies, miss Ashley at edible perspective has a great looking recipe here for stuffed peppers. I followed her method for the peppers and then stuffed them with cumin, coriander, cayenne spiced scallion couscous, red onion, butternut squash, and tomato paste.

Surprisingly, V doesn’t love peppers and I ate these alone. Even garnishing them with avocado, his favorite food, couldn’t get him to eat one. He did eat these though.

Kale chips are quite addicting and he has been known to eat a whole bunch himself with little to no help from myself. Notice the charming item in the background of that photo? Yes, that is movie “blood”  on our table. We eat on a kitchen island in our apartment but the only place with light after 7 p.m. (other than the roof deck) is the table against the window that has been covered with all our work items.

Rather charming, eh? Really, “blood” is one of the main reasons I say our jobs are far from glamorous. Although I love working with clothing, covering them with blood is one of my least favorite parts. I just did three days as an additional costumer on a horror film and there was a little too much time spent in an incinerator room around “bloody body part” props for my liking.

Getting back to some savory eats…

Last night I made Kathy’s Smoky, Sticky, Sweet BBQ Sauce. This stuff was good, finger-lickin’ good. Although the sun had gone by the time we ate, I managed to shoot one photo of the covered tempeh.

On the side, we had Kathy’s Quick Sweet Potato Mash, switching in our chives for the onion. The cayenne added a lovely kick we both enjoyed. There was a simple salad consumed as well.

Since this is such a photo heavy post, I will show one last meal. Today I made a spinach salad topped with bbq tempeh, our tomatoes, avocado, mung sprouts, leftover butternut squash, and radishes from our neighbors garden.

This is a perfect example of a meal featuring local greens and veggies that will make me miss summer produce so much.

Oh, and one last shot of something I am getting back to…

My fashionable self has definitely gone to the wayside and a few new purchases have been made to make up for the lack of shopping for myself in the last few months. Shoes are definitely one of my fetishes and I apologize if you are not into feet. Wedges are ideal for days I want the height but don’t want the discomfort from wearing heels. I am limited to flat closed toe shoes when on set, so I tend to stray from my flat boots and vans when not working. Yesterday I hit up the mall in these and was felt 100% myself. I got a nice new blazer (by one of my favorite simple lines, T by Alexander Wang) to dress up jeans and my favorite skinny cargos.

Tomorrow I hope to be back after some baking therapy, now that I got in some good ole’ retail therapy.

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autumnal mornings.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on September 26, 2010

Although I have been raving about all the fall produce making its way into farmer’s markets & grocery stores, I must admit the sadness that also comes when I can no longer find some of my favorite summer goods at the market. Of course it is partly my fault that I am holding onto my dear peaches, berries, and sungold tomatoes for fear of finishing them. You see, I didn’t manage to arrive at the farmer’s market on saturday until 15 minutes prior to closing. Fortunately, some stalls weren’t completely closed up and I still made it out with kale, cucumbers, zucchini, and raspberries. After circling a few times, I realized I missed the peaches and apples I was most eager to come home with.

The peaches from the week before are on their last leg, but I’ve been decreasing the quantity in each serving of steel or scottish oats each morning to keep savoring the summer flavor.

One day I made delicious coconut milk steel-cut oats with chia seeds, cinnamon and vanilla topped with peaches and naturally nutty cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter. It has been a few months since I last ate the sweet, frosting-like nut butter, and I was reminded how wonderful it was.

Today, I woke up with ideas of raspberry and peach flecked scottish oats. These were cooked in the usual way, with unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. The raw almond butter, one of my favorites, made it extra tasty.

Although our blueberries are now gone, I can’t forget my summer combo of choice, peach and blueberry topped oats. The only meal I often had time to prepare for work was this combination. Again, raw almond butter made an appearance on the cinnamon-vanilla-chia-almond milk steel-cut oats.

Although I had oats for breakfast hours before, I wanted to make V some pumpkin pancakes to celebrate the end of the movie he has been working on every week night since July.

When finding the trader joe’s pumpkin yesterday, I knew it was going to be a pancake day today. Isn’t that what sunday’s are for (and it just happens to be national pancake day) ?

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

1 cup spelt flour

1 t baking powder

2 T sucanat (or other sweetener)

1 t chia seeds (or flax)

1/2 t pumpkin pie spice

1 cup nut milk (I used a mix of almond and light coconut milk)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 banana, sliced (optional)

-Heat a large pan over medium heat.

-Mix flour, baking powder, sweetener, chia seeds, and spices.

-Add milk to well mixed dry ingredients.

-Stir in pumpkin and add optional nuts and banana slices.

-Coat pan with cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup sized pancakes onto the warm surface. Cook 2-3 minutes each side.

-Serve warm topped with earth balance and maple syrup.

V ate the majority but I was able to steal one away for myself that I topped with some earth balance and real maple syrup. These were some of the best pancakes I’ve ever tasted. Although cooked through, they were still soft in the middle from the pumpkin and the crunchy walnut flavor melded wonderfully.

I hope you enjoyed some of my recent breakfasts. The next post will be dedicated to the more savory dishes I’ve been eating.

Now, it is time to head out for an early dinner at my favorite nearby pub with local produce. Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend.

Other things:

I can’t wait to make this delicious sounding pizza hummus. Do you have a preferred spin on classic hummus flavors?

There is still close to 6 months until my next birthday, but I think I just found my next birthday cake recipe. Peanut butter and chocolate, yes please. What is your cake of choice? Instead of typical fluffy cake, I always opt for a more mousse like dessert with chocolate.

What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin? I think pancakes might just be mine. Yes, the muffins were truly great, but pancakes really do it for me.

so long summer

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on September 22, 2010

This blogging hiatus was never meant to last quite this long but instead of going on about the working days of my summer, instead I want to celebrate the new season. Autumn has always been my season of choice. The cross-country seasons of my life took over most of my Fall in high school and college, and I spent hours each week crunching the leaves as I ran miles on pavement, grass, woodchips, etc. Since my 16 hour day shooting days have come to an end (at least for the time being), I was surprised to realize summer had passed me by yet again. Previous summers have been like this, working in the extreme heat with no time to enjoy the sunshine by the beach. Yes, I am envious of my family and friends who got to do so, but now I am excited for a little life break right as autumn begins.

The perfect start to the season.

Pumpkin baked goods really do it for me. I am sure they do it for you too.

Instead of searching for a recipe I hadn’t previously tried, I stuck with a PPK recipe for cinnamon raisin quick bread I once made into muffins before. The only switches I made to the tasty recipe was swapping the applesauce with organic canned pumpkin and the apple juice with hot water. The hot water plumps up the raisins before mixing them into the thick bread batter. They turned out wonderfully.

Today I realized that the end of summer also means the end of peach season. I can’t tell you how much this saddens me. Peaches have made my painfully early mornings a little more enjoyable each day.

Yesterday I made scottish oats with almond milk, banana, cinnamon, and vanilla that I then topped with almond butter, peaches, and figs.

Todays oats were steel-cut cooked with almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and banana topped with peaches, blueberries, and almond butter. I have four more farmer’s market peaches I picked up on the way to my last filming day on Saturday. I might cry when I finish the last one.

What fruit or vegetable are you sad to see diminishing with the end of the summer season?

What fruit or vegetable are you most excited about for fall?

I promise I won’t be gone so long this time.

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