muddy footsteps

Sundays

Posted in Breakfast, coffee, exercise, Food & Recipes by nicolejanaye on October 30, 2011

Currently the kitchen table is flooded with an assortment of things I’ve stacked on. Multiple water glasses, cup of rooibos tea, a sheet of paper with a few new recipes, a vase full of red roses, a handful of colorful highlighters and my computer.

This morning seemed to follow in the footsteps of my previous morning; good  vibes, delicious food, and friendly conversations. My best friend, Jaclyn, came into town today and headed to my place. We talked, laughed, ate some homemade pizza and discussed our plans for the summer. A road trip is in order and we couldn’t be anymore excited. We began working out some details, but decided to save a majority of the planning for winter vacation. We are still in school right now and that needs to be the focus. Once winter break hits, it’s time  for fun and time for planning.

I woke up this morning, laced up my shoes, and headed out the door for a 3.5 mile run. An hour later I sat in the kitchen, showered and began digging into a fresh grapefruit.  I’ve found myself in a grapefruit craze, trying varieties from all over the city. I’ve tasted ones that I picked right off the tree, I’ve tried ones fresh from the farmers market, ate them from Henry’s grocery store, and sampled from other local growers. They all seem to have a unique flavor in themselves. Some are plump and juicy. Those that are, spray a rainstorm of fruit juice on the countertops. Some are dense, making it difficult to puncture in, even if you are using a serrated spoon. Some are just so perfect that you must go back for seconds.

Music plays on and the sun keeps migrating.  I’ve been drowning myself in tea and water. I ate a small slice of homemade vegetable pizza. The herbs were from the garden, the sauce- homemade, and the pizza cooked with a thin crust. I spent time in Italy this summer and I know when I taste a good pizza. The crust must be thin, the flavors standing strong, the ingredients minimal, and it all must be fresh. A plate and napkin are optional. A hand can do the trick. It’s even okay if some of the sauce drips off the pizza and slides down your hand. Food doesn’t always have to be proper, eaten delicately and wiped up with a crisp, white napkin. Just enjoy it.

The clock ticked and lunch seemed to crawl right on by. I seemed to be too lazy to make a salad, not interested in anything warm or cooked, and had a craving for cucumbers. A sandwich solved the problem. Rich sourdough bread, homemade sun-dried tomatoes, pungent mustard, peeled cucumbers, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a light spread of tofutti completed my sandwich. Nothing too fancy, but just right.

You know those peaceful days where your house is shaded by the large oak trees. Where the wood floors in the living room bring a sense of comfort. When the soundtrack to your day is Bon Iver and artists with similar voices. Where a gentle smoke is rising from a warm, earthy tea steeping in a blue mug. When even though you’ve already ran, showered, and started your day, you end up back in pajamas. When your conversations are nothing but good thoughts, future plans and filling each others lives with hope. When the food is good, homemade and healthy. Today was like this..and I couldn’t be happier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Favorites”

Posted in Dessert, lunch, Uncategorized by nicolejanaye on August 6, 2011

I have tasted good food, great food and food that you possibly want to spoon into the trashcan. While I am in Europe I try to expand my culinary horizons and experience new flavors and meals that I traditionally would not choose to eat. I would not stuff seafood into my folder of “favorites”. However, I am giving it all a green light while I am here. Not to say that this lunch had been anything foreign or extravagant but it would definitely take place in the folder “can I eat this everyday?” It was absolutely mouth-watering, leaving me only to close my eyes and give my palate every opportunity to soak in its goodness. The artisan flavors from the pesto were impeccable. The combination of italian sauces spread out upon a rustic sunflower seed bread from Finland was beautifuly delicious. Not only was I completely satisfied with lunch, but the flavors crawled later into dessert with fresh blueberries in a straccatiela yogurt.

 

I have tasted pesto before. I make sun-dried tomatoes on the regular. But something about this lunch triggered my appetite. It was remarkable and forever remains in my “favorites”.

If you have been up to date on the blog or talking with me in any other social outlet, you would know that my cousin and I are doing a 20 day gelato challenge. 20 days of pure heaven. 20 days of taking our tastebuds on an international culinary ride. A photograph has been taken on each flavor embarkment and there will be a final post at the end of the journey. We have tried great flavors and are having fun experimenting. We always go for the smallest cup which would be shocking to the frozen yogurt stores in the states. You can imagine 20 straight days of pure gelato to your thighs. We are sticking with the small cup.

For today, however, we decided to change our usual routine of walking the streets in search of the best looking and tasting gelato. We are making our own. I always prefer a salted version, but it seems that nobody else is catching on to this incredible combination of sweet and salty flavors for dessert. More for me, I guess. So salted caramel, espresso salted caramel and any other creation I could think of was out of the question. We went with a flavor that nobody can resist. The sweet flavor of sugar and water cooked and simmered together to create an amber syrup, the thick creaminess of the custard that slides its way down your throat is remarkable. Crème Brùleè is magnificent in all its glory. It is also freezing its way to thick gelato consistency at the moment. Pictures and recipe to follow.

conking out, sleeping and some good eating

Posted in Uncategorized by nicolejanaye on April 28, 2011

Some sort of busy bug crept its way under my skin the past couple days and has influenced my brain to get going. I credit my laziness and lack of any ability to accomplish tasks due to exhaustion and sleep deprivation. I’ve always felt sleep is one of the most important things you could obtain. Sleep accounts for so many things that if you miss out on quality snoozes, you could be costing the rest of your day. Eating habits have a direct effect to the quantity and quality of sleep you are getting. Think about the last  time you ruffed up a solid 3 hours of sleep; how were you feeling the next day? I’m sure you weren’t gung-ho on making a spinach and beet juice or eating a crisp, light salad. I’ll put it to the test that a cheesy burger sided with a glop of mile high fries were finding its way to your belly. I’ve never been the college student, let alone high school student, to pull all-nighters for the sake of finishing a homework assignment. You can credit that to laziness and not being determined but in the long run, I will take a good nights rest any day over pumping energy drinks and pinning my eyes open to finish a 12 page paper. Conk out early and set the alarm a couple of hours earlier than you normally would! Finish your homework in the morning or, heck, start working on it when it’s assigned so you’re not waiting till the last-minute. Pshh, forget that. Nobody does that! 

When you feel rested, you are more prepared to take on the day, have a positive attitude and be more health conscious. But in those cases that you are exhausted and are coming back from a busy day, still try to eat something fairly healthy. When I’m feeling a rushed day is behind me, I come home and whip up this quick and easy dish.

Wash a sweet potato and toss it in the oven or microwave. Let it get to the point of sweet tenderness. Pull it out and let it sit on a plate for a minute or so to let it cool down. I like to slit the top with a knife to help cool the potato down and allow some of the steam to release. Sweet potatoes are so convenient with their ability to accept all types of spices and flavors. If your tongue is craving for a little sweetness, bake the tot and slather in some butter/smart balance, sprinkle with brown sugar and topple with a couple mallows of marsh. Or try heading to the East and spice it up with paprika, cumin, and some peppers. Join me in Italy and drip it with olive oil, sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes on top, and delicately place fresh basil leaves along side. Any culture or country you decide to gravitate towards, just grab a fork and dig in! 

Learned my lesson

Posted in Food & Recipes by nicolejanaye on January 14, 2011

Speaking of hypocrites. Sorry folks, but today I took a fat bite out of the hypocritical cake.

On a regular basis it’s important to eat balanced meals so that you are getting plenty of vitamins and nutrients. If you work out on top of your usual routine, it’s imperative to get plenty of protein, calories and electrolytes. Well this past week has been a fun little doozy for me. Last Thursday I had 4 wisdom teeth pulled. Good times.

So this week I’ve been laying off the gym and living off bananas, sweet potatoes, and soy yogurt. I’ve somewhat gotten to a point where I’m tired of eating and making food. I can hardly open my mouth and can only chew with my front chompers. It’s exhausting and I’m sick of not being able to eat properly. Needless to say, I haven’t been getting enough nutrients and calories. I went to bed hungry last night and woke up hungry. Unfortunately bad timing because I had training at the gym at 6:30 AM. I live 2o minutes away and I like to get there early to warm up. This meaning, I have to wake up extra early to be there on time. I managed to shovel down a banana and take literally two sips from a protein drink. Let’s just say the end of the workout wasn’t so swell. I actually managed to do the entire workout pretty well for the mind and body set I was in, but I was somewhat a mess afterwards.

I’ve learned my lesson.

So from this experience I would like to share with you guys this healthy dish. It’s perfect for a post-workout meal and filled with plenty of protein.

When you exercise and work out muscles, you are literally tearing the tissue apart. You NEED protein to help build the muscle back. Each element of this meal has a good source of protein.

Ingredients

  • Quinoa
  • Black beans
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Eggs
  • Salt(Kosher or Sea Salt ONLY)/Pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare the quinoa accordingly to the box. Make them a tad bit undone because they will be cooked further later in the meal.
  2. Cook your own black beans or strain/wash a can of organic black beans. Combine the black beans and quinoa in a medium sauté pan. Add a portion of sun-dried tomatoes with a tablespoon of olive oil to the combination. Sprinkle with salt and crackle some black pepper over top. Once everything has been warmed, transfer your dish to a plate.
  3. Fry up two eggs in the pan and place on top of the black bean/quinoa mixture. I like to cook them just enough so that the yolk is still liquid, so that when you transfer them on top of your mixture, you can slice the yolk and it will run throughout the rest of the food.

I hope this dish seems as appetizing to you as it does for me. Now it’s time to get my butt back into gear and eat plenty of food!