Homemade Scones Recipe

I was feeling crafty and was itching to bake, so what says I'm crafty more than a big batch of scones? Nothing, that's what. I was also feeling lazy, so I bought a delicious box mix. I conveniently took a picture of the back of the box (you're welcome). I substituted half&half for the heavy cream to give this recipe a healthier edge.

I loved this recipe because it was a blank slate to whatever flavor I wanted to create. I made two batches of scones, cranberry orange and vanilla chocolate-chip. Nom, nom, nom.


For the cranberry orange dough, I threw in fresh cranberries and ground orange peel. The chocolate-chip batch included mini chips and a few dashes of vanilla extract.

Warning #1: Scone batter is addictive and tastes way too delicious for its own good. I was contemplating not cooking them and just eating the dough but realized Dough Boy is not a sexiest of looks.

Warning #2: The batter is also very sticky when diving it up into triangular scone shapes. 
Be patient and eat dough when frustrated :)


Voila! Homemade scones.... kinda. 

Happy New Years!


Healthy Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Dip

Merry Christmas! I'm so happy to be on break from school aka I have time to blog! I also have time to bake again which I always try so hard to do at school, but graduate school had increased my liking for frozen meals and anything microwaveable. So even more reason to indulge myself in yummy home cooked holiday meals. 

I have a small family, but we cook like we're the Duggars. My mom and aunt are constantly wanting to make and buy more food. We should change Merry Christmas to Merry Eating Olympics. I'm always hearing "ah but don't you think we should make another pie" (no, we already have 5) and "do you think we'll have enough food (there's only 7 of us, mom, and we have enough food to feed a small country)." We eat well to put it simply. I try to keep up with my exercise so my body doesn't go into a temporary food coma, but sometimes it is inevitable.

Anyways, this year I have taken it upon myself to help with the cooking. So, after careful consideration from Chef Aunt Ree Ree (her name is Laurie, but I could never say it as a child so she has been dubbed "Ree Ree") I have been graciously assigned.... dip (and also the breakfast basket which I'll elaborate in my next post!) I will make the greatest dip of all man kind. 

I have been dying to make this chocolate-chip cookie dough dip which is made from chickpeas. It's simple and healthy and I'm all excited to lick the spoon.

     What you'll need:
  • A 15-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup milk (or soy milk)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (or Stevia.... I actually didn't use either because the dip was sweet enough)
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.... I used Minis, they are the perfect size for this recipe!

     What to do:
1. Combine all ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) in a food processor or blender. Process until the mixture is smooth and reaches a texture that is similar to cookie dough. 
2. Stir in the chocolate chips. 
3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. This dip goes great with graham crackers or fruit!


CasiNO or CasiYES?

Merry Christmas! 

I have a trivia question for you.

Q: What does a casino and this holiday season have in common?

A: Blinking lights and disappearing money, ahhhhh haha!

My dad and I had a bonding day yesterday which consisted of a fun-filled bus trip to a casino. We left bright and early, and I found my father and I to be the only ones on the bus without a walker or oxygen tank. Nevertheless, our fellow bus goers were a rowdy bunch and ready to party. I was hoping to win back some cash that I spent on gifts for my boyfriend and family. Come on, big money!

I can count the amount of times I have been to a casino on one hand, but I can definitely see how people get addicted. The lights. The sounds. The whole place is filled with dollar-eyed individuals looking to get lucky.... most who park their wheelchairs in front of slot machines for hours on end. I swear, when I'm old and immobile I hope the epitome of a good time isn't a blinking slot machine.

Fun fact, not to be gross, but casinos have really impressive toilets. These things have a sanitary plastic cover that changes for each user. Spiffy.

Anyways, I was feeling lucky. Every machine looked the same and my dad and I had no idea what we were doing. My first game of choice is shown below... for some reason I was drawn to it.

Here goes nothing. Another thing I learned, losing money works up an appetite! Luckily, casinos like to adorn themselves with great restaurants. I was happy to find that the menu had some healthier options; I ordered the grilled veggie wrap, nom nom nom! It was fantastic!

Luck Lady finally caught up with us and......

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I didn't know what I was doing, but hey, I'll more than take it. 

This trip definitely helped take me out of Christmas shopping debt. Gambling is always more fun when you're winning, but I could never allow myself to do it on a regular basis. More than anything, it was a fun experience to have with my dad. 

I love winter break and how it allows me to spend time with those I love the most.

Enjoy the holidays everyone! Recipes are coming soon, let me know if you're cooking/baking anything yummy! Guest posts are always welcomed! Merry Christmas :)


DO YOU, TOFU?: About Tofu & How-to Cook it

Repost! I just love tofu and want you to, too (you just said tu-tu, ha!).... even if you don't like it, I'm happy you tried it. Substitute it into your holiday menu and say ho-ho-ho to to-fu-fu-fu!

Though it doesn't feel like it, Christmas season is upon us and I have been super duper busy. I have a ton of recipes that I'm eager to share this week, too! So stay tuned and enjoy this wonderful season!

A year ago if you'd say tofu, I'd say no thanks. It's white, jiggly, and kinda mysterious (I mean how do they make that stuff anyways?). Well, I decided to get over my judgmental attitude and give it a try. Tofu is a great low-fat meatless alternative. It's made from soybeans, so it's packed with protein, iron, calcium and other health benefits. Yay for tofu!

I don't have any fancy tofu recipes, so I thought I'd keep it simple and saute it with some fresh vegetables. Below is the brand of tofu I used; I like that it's a lighter version so it cuts some calories while still keeping all the flavor (well, as much flavor as tofu can have). I'm going to jack-up the tofu with spices to revamp its plain reputation. 

I picked a zucchini, some tomatoes and onions from my garden and sauteed them in a separate pan. Note: Instead of slicing the zucchini, I used a potato cutter to make zucchini ribbons; I cut until I reached the seeded and then threw the core away. It give the zucchini a linguine/noodle look. Its a fun way to change up textures especially at the end of the summer when I have sliced up more zucchinis than I can count. I cut the tofu in cubes and sprinkled it with oregano, basil, and black pepper. I cooked the tofu on high so it would acquire a nice crisp.

I kept flipping the tofu until it turned a nice brown and sauteed the veggies until cooked. My dad said the kitchen smelled pretty darn good,...especially since it was, gasp, tofu (he isn't ready yet to trade in his juicy steak for jiggly tofu but, he did try it!...there's still time to convert him).

Once cooked, plate and eat! So simple and, yet, so good. Congrats tofu, you've overcome your plain stereotype and proved yourself a tasty, meat substitute. I say don't judge a book by its cover, or in this case...a tofu by its tofu-ness. Give it a try and it may surprise you. Team Tofu!

Happy Holidays!


The Organic Industry Structure

As I was chipping away at my 2 year IMC capstone (I'm using Stonyfield Farm as my topic, yay!), 
I came across this chart. Veryyyyy interesting my dear Watson... check it out! 

I promise I'll be posting more after finals week is complete! 

Good luck to all who are enduring this stressful week, hang in there!


Pumpkin Pie Yogurt

Hello all. I apologize for the lack of posts. Undergraduate and graduate work has been consuming my every minute; and, sadly, my creative juices recently have been sucked right through a bendy straw. However, today is a wonderful day because it's December 1st without a flake of snow on the ground and I can finally take a breath and relax. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Turkey Day and enjoyed time with their loved ones. I was feeling reminiscent of the holidays and craving some pumpkin pie this morning. Well, I didn't have pie and it was terribly sad; however, I did have yogurt. Hmm. Can I make yogurt taste like pie? Probably not but I can try, dammit. 

I'm adding: pumpkin seeds  
                  + cinnamon 
                  + chia seeds 
                  + flax seeds 
                  + agave nectar to my vanilla Greek yogurt
                  = a whole cup of yummy

The seeds give it a pumpkin feel , the cinnamon enhances its pie-like taste, the seeds add a crust-like crunch and the agave gives it an umph of sweetness! Plus it's way healthier than indulging in half a pie (not that I would, ahem, do such a thing....)

Cha...cha...chia! Yes, these are the same seeds that have been used to grow hair on Chia Pets. You're probably thinking ew and wondering why they're on my yogurt. Yes, they are edible and surprisingly packed with nutritional benefits. For a visual, they are the little black rounded seeds below.  These little guys are provide a huge kick of fiber and can keep you full for hours. They also have more Omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds. They'll have you doing the cha-cha all the way down the health food aisle.

Spice up your bland yogurt and you'll be satified until Christmas dinner--- then I highly encourage digging into the real thing, I will.



Cider-Cinnamon Brussels Sprouts Recipe

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I was able to share it with my loving family and boyfriend. It was a beautiful day and, as always, we had enough leftovers to feed Occupy Wall Street. 

This year, I upgraded from sous-chef to executive chef in the kitchen. I made some mean mashed sweet potatoes and I stuffed my first turkey. It was magical. But, the one dish I'm most proud of is my cider-cinnamon brussels sprouts. These aren't the mushy brussels sprouts that haunt your childhood memories. No, these little guys are the A-team of sprouts and pack a flavorful punch. 

I've never had brussels sprouts until today. Raw, they taste like broccoli. Cider-Cinnamon-y, they taste like a choir of angels singing Hallelujah in my mouth.

I just got an iPhone, so I will be illustrating my post with step-by-step pictures instead of words. I'm too stuffed to type about food and the pictures are clear as crystal and bootyful. Below is a snapshot of the recipe. Enjoy!

Happy BLACK Friday!


Eat like a Caveman this Thanksgiving

Turkey Day is a time to surround ourselves with loved ones and appreciate all the good things that fill our lives. Thanksgiving is also an opportunity to stuff our faces while wearing our favorite stretch pants. Being one of the biggest meat-eating days of the year, it is a perfect opportunity to channel our inner-nethanderals.

The "Paleo Diet" is also known as the "Caveman Diet" because it mimics the eating habits of our Paleolithic ancestors. It supposed to be extremely healthy and it won't starve you to the bone. Plus it's great for the environment. I'm not a fan of diets in general, but I'll look into anything that encourages eating more turkey and helping the Earth. This is what I found:

This diet is composed of high protein and low carbohydrates (no grains, dairy, soy, or refined sugar). Here are some pros and cons to consider:

  • Clearer skin
  • Improves sleeping habits
  • Decreased sickness
  • Greater weight loss
  • Stable energy
  • Helps to build lean muscle and, in combo with exercise, can reduce the % of body fat
  • If you don't watch portion size, the Paleo Diet can be high in calories. Portion control and exercise is important!
  • The food (organic, grass-fed, free-range) can be pricey.
  • It can be difficult to eat out and still maintain the diet (but not impossible!)

Why the Paleo Diet and the Environment are Friends
  • Though soy is a staple among vegetarians, it has been responsible for intense deforestation in countries like Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. A lot of soy products are also processed---*sad face*
  • Dairy foods may be worse for than environment than pork and chicken
  • Farm animals that thrive  on grass are a part of sustainable agriculture because grazing = happy plant growth
  • Paleo-based foods are healthier compared to non-Paleo foods like cereals because processed foods produce more greenhouse gas emissions

So far, this concept has gotten my attention and roused my tastebuds. I like that it focuses on high grass-fed proteins and low processed grains. I don't portray this is a diet per say but a great lifestyle. I think diets are only successful in the short-term but a healthy lifestyle brings long term benefits.

Try it out this out for the upcoming holidays, but incorporate healthy eating habits into your every day routine! As for tomorrow, bring on the turkey!


Seep Yourself Healthy: Hot Tea Guide & Benefits

Hello all.
Long time no talk.
I apologize 
(college has been consuming all my free time, how rude).

I love tea. 
Not only is it tasty, but it helps fix everything
... bad moods, low motivation, sicknesses, etc ... 
basically there's a tea for every occasion, 
except one that helps you win the lottery 
(I'm conducting research now). 

I was reading an article in my Self magazine,

and there was an article about 6 teas that provide certain health perks. 
I wanted to share, so I made an easy guide to selecting the perfect tea. 
Seep your way to a healthier you!

Which tea is right for you?

Want to slim down? 

Black tea may help you do that. Black tea may prevent your body from absorbing fat from food, but consume it plain because milk or cream may counteract the fat fighting effects. 

Try Bigelow's Organic Ceylon (plus it's fair trade certified!):


Chamomile calms allergies (plus it's a great pre-sleep remedy). Flavonoids in this tea act like antihistamines, but you'll need to drink it daily to get its full effect.

Try Traditional Medicinals' (this brand rocks, they have a tea for everything) Organic Chamomile:

Hate goopy sunscreen?

Green tea may help protect against harmful UV rays, but pair with a non-sticky sun screen to stay well guarded against Mr. Sun.

Got a Keurig?, try Celestial's green tea K-Cups:

Need to lower your blood pressure?

Hibiscus tea may help lower blood pressure. A study showed that people who drank three 8 oz. cups of crimson tea a day saw their BP drop by 7.2 points!

Try Celestial's Red Zinger:

Have no gym motivation?

Peppermint tea helps increase athletic performance. The smell of the mint leaves help kick your gym motivation into high gear! I also drink peppermint tea after meals to help digestion!

Try Twinings' Pure Peppermint:

Need to lower your cholesterol?

Rooibus tea may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. It's like magic.

Try Tazo's African Red Bush:

Try all 6 to turbo boost your health benefits!
Seep yourself healthy! Enjoy!


Bubble Tea...health friend or foe?

Oh no she didn't. 
Yes, I did.

I'm re-posting one of my most popular posts.


Bubble tea always seems to attract the same initial reaction from those who have never experienced it. Here's a typical dialogue between an experienced bubble tea drinker and a newbie.

Newbie: What is that? 
Expert: A bubble tea.
Newbie: Uh, what's a bubble tea? 
Expert: *Ahem* ..well it's a milk based or flavored, usually fruity, tea that contains tapioca balls.
Newbie: Hm okay, well, what are tapioca balls?
Expert: They kinda look like black, slimy fish eggs.
Newbie: Uh ew, no way are those going any where near my mouth. *Walks away*
The End.

I agree that tapioca balls are not super appealing and, sadly, have no physical relation to the pudding. They're chewy and contain no true flavor...are you drooling yet? I'm sure you're craving a big bowl of tapioca balls, mhmm. The straws are extra wide in diameter to fit more balls per sip. Need a laugh?, witness a person's first bubble tea. The initial shock of someone sucking tea followed by these chewy, slimy tapioca pearls is priceless.

I am Team Bubble Tea. My friends and I get it all the time. With that being said--I don't wanna kill your bubbly high and turn into Healthy Helga (but I will), but I was curious on how healthy bubble tea really was. I mean, tea is calorie-free and how bad can fish eggs be? I was sad about my findings.

My bubble tea of choice? Pineapple or apple green tea with tapioca balls. I don't get a milk based tea, but if ordered the milk (or non-dairy creamer) is usually not low in fat or calories. Then if you choose a fun flavoring (pineapple!) they are way high sugar content. Now the most depressing part: the "bubbles" are pure starch, they are made from cassava roots (looked that one up). Maybe their starchiness was common knowledge but for some reason I thought these balls would be made of some magical, low-calorie ingredient.  Tapioca pearls can have over 200 calories per serving (yikes!), and the tea houses I've been to are not light on the balls. They are actually pretty generous with their balls, so beware. So what was once thought of as an innocent, fun loving tea (see picture above) can rack up to over 500 calories depending on size, flavoring, and ball count.

Sigh. So another disappointing experience where something so delicious isn't so healthy. To have your tea and drink it, too?, opt out of the tapioca pearls. If you really can't part from them (and who wants ball-less tea?), then resist adding a sugar flavoring and keep it plain and simple...or just decrease your size from a medium to a small. Too attached and can't make any modifications to your bubble tea order? Well, just like everything else that isn't technically good for you, it's okay in moderation. You may not get a full serving of fruit (sorry V8), but I don't see an issue with an occasional bubble tea, I actually support it. Go balls out (or in?). 


Woman's Best Friend: Part II

Unconditional love isn't limited to humans.

Hi everyone, I've been MIA lately due to a loss in my family. Heidi, my 15 year old miniature schnauzer, passed away last week (Here's my post about her several months ago).  We've been anticipating this day because of her old age, but it's something I'd never be fully prepared for. I was away at school, so I wasn't there when she passed (which I'm partly thankful for); I know she died peacefully in my dad's arms and had a burial fit for a pharaoh. I miss her more than I can express but she couldn't of been loved more than she was. 

Love your pets. It's amazing when they're here but so hard when they leave. Heidi has given me 15 wonderful years of memories; I will hold on to those for the rest of my life.


Sunny Side-Up Pizza for a Rainy Day

Rain, rain, go away. Come again...neverrrr. Ugh. There's puddles outside my front door the size of kiddie pools, and I somehow always park my car right next to them. My optimistic side is thanking the Heavens that it's not snow, but I'm never a fan of grey skies and roads adorned with slimy worms that never made it to the other side. Lets have a moment of silence for the worms....... okay, that was nice.

Well, on a positive note... I'm feeling creative and I'm starving. I am a subscriber to Whole Living magazine and it's pretty fantastic. It's filled with dozen of scrumptious recipes and health living tips, hence right up my ally.

In the last issue, it featured a ton of pizza recipe ideas. I adore pizza, but being lactose intolerant has stripped the best part: cheese. Sigh. So I never really bother making it unless I can get my family to indulge in my "special" cheese (I give them credit, they're good sports). But anyways, the point I'm trying to make is that I'm in pizza denial...until I was inspired by the picture below.

Do not adjust your monitors.. what looks like cheese is really a few fried eggs. I have been on an egg kick for the past couple weeks, so this has been God-sent. People put eggs on toast, steak, and even hamburgers so why not pizza. This is breakfast pizza with an edge, and since I'm making it for lunch we'll call it lunch pizza. Sunny side up lunch pizza for a cold and rainy day. I like it.

I'm making a few modifications since this foodie epiphany just daunted upon me, and I'm too hungry to make a run to the grocery store.

What you'll need:
A large whole wheat tortilla
2 eggs
Tomato sauce
Olive oil

I preheated the oven at 400 degrees. I drizzled my tortilla with olive oil so it crisps in the oven, and don't forget to cook it on aluminum foil to avoid sticking. Spray the aluminum with non-stick spray, too!

Crack the 2 eggs on top of the spinach. Try to avoid breaking the yolks and letting them slide off the pizza; they're slippery little guys. Throw the pizza in the oven and watch carefully. It should be ready in about 20 minutes or less.

Drum roll please.....

This brightened my day...well at least my stomach since it just started snowing outside. The pizza was so delicious! I definately recommend trying this recipe and experienmenting with different toppings. The eggs add a nice touch with huge flavor!

Enjoy! and go away snow!


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