Saturday, December 10, 2011

Take-It-Easy Saturday

Oh, sweet, sweet Saturday. What wonders you bring! (Was that too dramatic? I'll tone it down.)

Today was a pretty good day, though. I woke up early to run a few miles and knock out some lunges before a breakfast of overnight oats. You might remember my first attempt at overnight oats, which resulted in a texture that Terry and I couldn't quite appreciate. Today's batch was much better. I combined the following last night:
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 heaping tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
  • 6 ounces Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons honey
The consistency was much better than last time, and I loved the ratio of oats to dairy. That peanut butter crunch made it delicious! After breakfast and a shower, I met up with Terry's parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and brother (Terry had work) for lunch at The Hat, a chain pastrami place. I am convinced that The Hat has the best pastrami this side of the Mississippi (<--did you learn a little song to help you remember how to spell Mississippi when you were little? I still sing it when I write it), and their chili cheese fries are incredible. I haven't been there in over a year because it's a very special splurge! We enjoyed a good lunch and some good conversation before I headed back to our part of town for grocery shopping and a solid hour of reading my current book, Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games series. 

Another reason today was good: Scout followed me
around all day and cuddled anytime he got the chance.
Tonight I made two different types of muffins: banana-walnut and lemon-blueberry. For the banana-walnut, I simply followed the exact recipe from Lisa's blog but with muffins.

Banana-Walnut Muffins
For the lemon-blueberry, I got the recipe base from Lisa again, but I made some changes.

Lemon-Blueberry Muffins
Yield: 12

Berries that burst make for beautiful pictures!

  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Mix the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, honey, oil, extract, lemon juice, and zest. Stir well but don't overmix. Stir in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into a greased muffin pan (I use an ice cream scoop to keep them even - a little trick from the Barefoot Contessa). Bake the muffins at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
Adding the blueberries
Scooping the batter into the pan.
Bubbly berries!
These muffins would be much more fitting in the summer, but I've been wanting to try them for awhile now and finally had the lemons and blueberries. The lemon tasted too sour in the batter, but the baking toned down all the flavors. I think the lemon-blueberry combo is a winner! I'm looking forward to trying other variations, like almond-poppyseed!

Yesterday I vowed to squeeze more vegetables into my meals, and I made good on that promise today! Here's what I call a spinach-eggplant bake.

Spinach-Eggplant Bake
Serves 6
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups organic pasta sauce
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mozzarella for topping
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Dice the eggplant into one-inch cubes. On a cookie sheet, toss the eggplant, olive oil, salt, and pepper together. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once. Meanwhile, cook down the spinach in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once cooked down, add the pasta sauce and heat to an easy boil. 

Once the eggplant is done, spray a small casserole dish with cooking spray and spread the eggplant cubes along the bottom. Then spoon the spinach-pasta sauce mixture over the top, covering the eggplant entirely. Add the mozzarella slices on top and bake the dish for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted to your heart's content.

Spinach-Eggplant Bake
This dish tasted delicious. It's similar to the roasted eggplant with tomato sauce recipe, but the spinach adds some nutritional value and tastes great. Next time I might add some cooked pasta to the dish before baking, but tonight I wanted a lighter meal. While I ate, I checked out the new(ish) series Happy Endings on ABC, which seems hilarious and makes me regret not watching sooner! Anyone else a fan?

Hope your Saturday was restful and fun. One more weekend day to savor!


  1. Wow, those berry muffins look amazing! I really wish I were home instead of in rainy, gray, Florida. Miss you and your delicious baking!

  2. Your Lemon and Blueberry Muffins look really tasty! I think this is a recipe I will defiantly have to try out.
    I also use frozen fruit when baking, I feel they hold their shape more. Honey and Raspberry muffins are another tasty variant.

    1. Thanks, Isobel! The muffins were wonderful, and I'm very new at making up my own baking recipes. :-) I love the sound of honey raspberry - I'll add that to my to-bake list!

      Thanks for reading and for the comment!