Self Care & Good Fare

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I recently reformatted my blog and added the tagline “Self care & good fare” to describe my values for this space. Over the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to balance recipe posts with lifestyle posts, so I’ve decided to let my blog follow it’s heart and evolve into more of a food blog. Making up recipes is so much fun and it fits really well with my lifestyle right now.

As far as food values, I don’t follow any particular diet, and I believe a healthy lifestyle means enjoying all foods in moderation. I do believe in eating plant based foods as much as possible, as I do not support the practices of factory farming, but I also realize diets such as veganism and vegetarianism are not possible for everyone. I plan to post recipes that will suit a range of diets, and I firmly believe in experimenting to figure out what works best for you. I have so much fun trying new products (can I please live at Whole Foods?) and playing around in the kitchen, so I’m beyond thrilled I get to continue sharing my passion with you all.

At the same time, I think many people, myself included, can easily become overly fixated on food. We get too bogged down worrying we’re eating “too much of this” of “not enough of that” and we stop enjoying the process of cooking, eating, and sharing food. Food is awesome. It’s delicious and fun and fuel for our busy lives. I am so excited to create good fare for myself, my family, and all of you. However, balance is still essential.

So in an effort to remind myself (and any of you if you need it) that food is not everything, this blog is also about self care. I’ll be sharing how I take care of myself, from organization to relaxation, especially when life gets busy and stressful, and I’d be happy to receive input from you all about the kinds of self care advice you need. If there’s anything you’d like me to post about, please fill out the form on my contact page or message me on Instagram.

 

Much love,

K

Honey Lemon Pancakes

I am officially a pancake convert. I’ve never been anti-pancake, per-say, but I am definitely someone who would choose waffles/avocado toast/yogurt and granola/oatmeal over pancakes every time. (Can you tell I’m a breakfast person?)

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Fortunately, this all changed when these slightly sweet, light, tender, perfect pancakes fell onto my plate, covered in a cascade of fresh, ripe, end of summer strawberries. They fit my checklist of a perfect pancake in every way. The nutty whole wheat flavor I love is definitely present, but somehow the pancakes still retain an airy tenderness. The pancakes are protein packed (12 grams for the recipe!), but without any of the odd flavor I find “protein pancakes” sometimes have. The honey-lemon flavor is subtle but essential, making these pancakes the perfect last hurrah for summer flavors.

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Considering I basically just wrote an ode to pancakes, I think it’s pretty obvious how much I adore them. These pancakes come together in no time, so while they are the quintessential slow, lazy weekend breakfast, I’m sure you could also whip some up when you want something special before work/school. And yes, I would absolutely wake up early to make these. They’re THAT GOOD.

If you do any one thing for yourself this weekend, it should definitely be making these pancakes (preferably in your bathrobe, while playing your favorite peaceful music/podcast, after sleeping in for a couple extra hours).

Honey Lemon Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tbs greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp honey
  • ¼ cup wheat flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbs sparkling water

Directions

  1. Combine egg and yogurt in a small bowl and mix until smooth and custard-like in appearance.
  2. Add in lemon juice and honey, then stir until incorporated completely.
  3. Gently fold in flour until mixture is smooth and uniform.
  4. Combine sparkling water and baking soda in a separate bowl. Once the mixture begins to fizz, stir it into the pancake batter.
  5. Set greased pan over high heat
  6. After about 30 seconds, begin adding ¼ cup batter to pan until all the batter has been used. (Should make four medium sized pancakes)
  7. Cloak with strawberries, drizzle with syrup, and enjoy!

Now that my love for pancakes has been activated, I’d love to hear all your favorite recipes! And if you make these, I’d love to hear about that too! Basically, just share all your pancake adventures with me on  Instagram or in the comments. Have a great weekend <3

White Bean Salad

When I was little, I LOVED egg salad. I’m not totally sure why, because now I’m not really a fan, but I think something about the bright color and unusual texture was intriguing to 5 year old me. In preschool I could eat whatever I wanted for lunch, because I was only in school for half the day, so egg salad sandwiches were a common occurrence.

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However, when I started kindergarten, I immediately felt the pressure to have more socially acceptable (read: not stinky as heck) lunches. Thus began the year of the PB&J. I swear on my favorite fuzzy socks that I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every single day of kindergarten, and for years after I couldn’t even look at one.

By now, my love of PB&J has returned, but my quest for the perfect school lunch continues. I’ve found a few that I like (and plan to share with you soon), but, as they say, variety is the spice of the lunchbox. Or is that the spice of life? Same thing.

Anyways, this white bean salad is one of my favorite ways to spice up a bland, boring lunch routine. With a color and texture reminiscent of egg salad, but without mayo or an egg-y odor, this salad is an easy, fun addition to any lunch.

I love serving it as a dip with crackers, or as part of a bowl style lunch, but I’m sure it would also be great in a sandwich or on top of a green salad.

White Bean Salad

Serves 4

Ready in: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 15 ounce cans white beans
  • ¼ avocado, mashed
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • ½ cup grated baby carrot
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse white beans
  2. Pour 1.5 cans of beans into medium mixing bowl and mash
  3. Stir in mustard, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, and mashed avocado until completely combined
  4. Add in remaining half can of beans, red onion, and grated carrot, then mix until just combined.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. 

Notes:

Can refrigerate in airtight container for 3-5 days.

Get Excited for Fall

For me, loving summer is so easy. Being happy and having fun comes naturally when I’m surrounded by sun and friends, without a single essay to write or math problem to complete. In the summer, I’m a more fun, more relaxed version of myself.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed how stressed and uptight I’ve become since going back to school. I having a feeling being so preoccupied and tense makes me less pleasant to be around, and it certainly diminishes the amount of fun I have in my day to day life.

To remedy my autumn blues, I’ve created a list of all the fun things I can do in fall. I can’t wait to reconnect with my relaxed, spontaneous side as I work my way through this list, and I hope it inspires you too!

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  • 1st up, fall food!! Personally, I think the warm, cozy vibes of fall make it the best season for food. Hell yes to pumpkin spice everything!
    • Visit your favorite coffee shop whenever possible. Honestly, I don’t even like coffee (tea lattes all the way), but as the weather gets colder there’s nothing like a hot drink and the comfy atmosphere of your favorite café.
    • Buy yourself some fancy tea. For those days when you’re craving something hot and comforting, but don’t have the time/motivation/money to go get one, having a box of luxurious, fall flavored tea on hand is essential. I have a weakness for chai teas, so those are a fall staple, but I’ve also been wanting to try out an apple cinnamon tea to mix it up a little. And if you’re more of a classic tea person, you can never go wrong with a good Earl Grey.
    • I adore pumpkin bread, and love testing out new recipes. This year I’m planning to try Cookie and Kate’s Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread, which sneaks in a little nutrition to help keep us warm through those frigid fall days.
    • For those moments when one is a bit overwhelmed by the pumpkin-ness of fall, but still craving a seasonal treat, Pinch of Yum’s Gingerbread Mini Donuts are there to save the day. I have a donut pan that I haven’t used in ages, and I can’t wait to make these for a Sunday brunch with family or friends.
    • I’m not sure I’m a skilled enough baker to try this recipe, but I’ve been intrigued by the idea of homemade bagels for ages, and Inquiring Chef’s Pumpkin Spice Bagels look divine. If you’re able to pull this off, please send me some! (Until then I’ll be counting the days until pumpkin bagels become available at my local bakery.)
  • Fall style is awesome style. Easy and comfy are the way to go, and everyone looks adorable in a big sweater (yes, you definitely do. this is a fact).
    • Fuzzy socks are so important. When I’m feeling down, pulling on a soft, oversized, colorful pair of socks always makes me feel better.
    • When I want to feel cute but don’t have the time or energy to put together a complicated outfit, oversized sweaters are my go-tos.
sweaters
Zara/J. Crew/Banana Republic
    • Boots!! I have way too many pairs, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting more. I buy most of my boots at thrift stores, but I also love the styles from Steve Madden and Cole Haan.
  • Trying to incorporate new experiences and adventures into my routine helps keep life fun and exciting. Involving other people in these activities is also a great way to reconnect with old friends or create new relationships. This is my “bucket list” for fall!
    • Pick apples
    • Complete a school/work project you’re really proud of
    • Go for a walk and try to capture something quintessentially fall in a photo, a drawing, or in writing.
    • In the spirit of back to school, try a new workout/art/language/cooking class.
    • Watch your favorite childhood movie
    • Carve a pumpkin
    • Create an awesome DIY Halloween costume
    • Prioritize self care. When life starts moving quickly, it can be hard to remember to take time for yourself. Practice mindfulness and relaxation with the strategies from De-stress in 15 Minutes or Less (my first blog post!)

If any of these ideas inspire you, share your adventures with me on Instagram @16goingon60. Have a great beginning of fall!

Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Quick and easy desserts tend to be the name of the game in my world. Between running from school to volunteering to sports practices, no one in my family has the time to bake homemade treats. All of us kids definitely have a sweet tooth, however, and I think it’s really important to satisfy dessert cravings with simple, whole foods.

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The other night my little siblings kept asking for ice cream Drumsticks after dinner, and after a while I could tell my dad was getting really tired of denying their pleas. (I know I was tired of listening to the whining.) At the same time, I totally sympathized with the feeling of desperately craving a treat and not being able to have it.

I feel like that’s one of the hard parts about being a kid. Most kids seem to intuitively know what their bodies want, but they have so little control over what they can eat. Living by your own rules is definitely one of the perks of growing up.

Anyways, I’d had a recipe for a peanut butter mug cake on hand for a while and I was in need of taste testers. I offered to make them this healthier treat (without revealing the healthy part, of course) and it was a total hit! My dad loved the fact that the mini cakes were packed with nutritious, unprocessed ingredients, and my siblings loved that they were fluffy, sweet, and easily customizable. My favorite is the peanut butter recipe, but if you omit the peanut butter, the cake could easily be a canvas for any of your favorite flavors.

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Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Serves 1

Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ tablespoon peanut butter

Directions

  1. Stir together flours and baking powder in a ramekin or mug.
  2. Add in milk, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and peanut butter, stirring between each addition.
  3. Mix the batter thoroughly until it is completely smooth (unless, of course you’re using chunky peanut butter, which is a decision I would fully support).
  4. Microwave for 1 minute, watching carefully to make sure the cake doesn’t overflow your mug.
  5. Give the cake a couple moments to cool, garnish with toppings, and dig in!

 

As I think atmosphere is very important, I’ve included a few serving suggestions. In my opinion, taking a moment to slow down and treat ourselves on a regular basis is key to a healthy lifestyle, and these suggestions truly embody that idea. I highly recommend all of these, and I promise there is not a single side salad involved:)

Serving suggestions:

  1. Serve along with a warm blanket and a good book.
  2. Prepare during a study break to help brighten your mood.
  3. Whip up an extra to share with a friend/sibling/partner and make their life a little bit sweeter.
  4. Enjoy while treating yourself to an episode of your favorite tv show.
  5. Get snacking while listening to music and drawing in an adult coloring book (you can see how much I love mine on Instagram)

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10 Steps to Wardrobe Bliss

A step by step guide to awesome style

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  1. Sort. Remove all your clothes from your closet/dresser and sort them into the piles: clothes you love, clothes you hate, and practical-but-uninspiring.
  2. Test drive. Try on the clothes you love and make sure they fit well and are relatively versatile. Also try on the practical-but-uninspiring clothes and see if you can find a fun new way to style something you thought was boring. After you try on the clothes, reassess your piles and make changes if needed.
  3. Be discerning. Go through the “love” clothes one last time and make sure you would truly feel good in any of those items.
  4. Cleanse. Donate the clothes you hate, pack away the practical-but-uninspiring clothes, and return the items you love to your dresser in organized piles.
  5. Organize. Sort your remaining tops into piles of sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, and tank tops. Sort your bottoms into piles of skirts, shorts, leggings, and jeans. Ideally, each pile should have about the same number of clothes (anywhere from 3-5 items per pile is ideal)
  6. Swap. Ask a parent, sibling, or friend if they have any clothes they’re planning on giving away and suggest you shop through each other’s “donate” piles.
  7. Budget. If you still find yourself in need of a mall trip (or online shopping splurge), create a shopping list based on what you feel your wardrobe is missing and specify how much you intend to spend on each item.
  8. List. Once you have all the clothes you need, make a list of every item of clothing in your wardrobe, including dresses, jackets and shoes.
  9. Plan. Every weekend, look through the list and create an outfit for each day of the week. Make sure that everything you’ll need (including socks + underwear) is clean and in your closet before Monday morning.
  10. Prep. Before bed, lay out every item of clothing you intend to wear the next day.

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I used this system to get my wardrobe into shape recently, and I’ve been loving the results. I feel more confident in my clothes, I get more compliments on my outfits, and there is waaaayy less hassle involved in getting out the door. I really hope you try this, it’s life changing! And if you have any style tips of your own to share, by all means PLEASE send them my way. (I really need them)

xo,

K

Kind Bar Baked Oatmeal

Have you ever tried one of those special chai Kind Bars they only sell at Starbucks? If not, do it ASAP. If you have, you probably get my intense frustration about not being able to buy them at the grocery store.

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My love for all Kind Bars is intense and infamous. Not even kidding. It’s at the point where my parents gave me boxes of my favorite flavors (peanut butter chocolate and chocolate coconut) for my birthday. And it wasn’t anything like getting socks or underwear or some other practical-yet-boring gift. I was absolutely thrilled.  

Anyway, I digress. The point is, cashew chai Kind Bars are even better than peanut butter Kind Bars, and therefore it was absolutely necessary for me to find a way to get them into my life on a regular basis. Thus, Cashew Chai Baked Oatmeal was born.

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I’ve been wanting to make baked oatmeal for a while, but I could never find the perfect recipe Fortunately, when I was trying to decide what to prep for breakfast this week, I was inspired to customize my own baked oatmeal in the image of my favorite granola bar.

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I included aquafaba (chickpea/white bean canning liquid)  in the recipe in the place of the eggs/egg whites you would find in a traditional baked oatmeal because I had some on hand and wanted to test it out. I promise it doesn’t taste bean-y at all, but you can definitely sub eggs or flax eggs if you prefer.

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Ingredients:

  • Wet ingredients:
    • 1 cup nut milk
    • ½ banana (~ ¼ cup mashed)
    • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Dry ingredients:
    • 1 ½ cup oats
    • ½ cup quinoa
    • ⅓ cup cashews
  • Chai Spices
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • ½ tsp nutmeg
    • ½ tsp ground cloves
    • ½ tsp ground ginger
    • ½ tsp ground allspice

Directions:

  1. Line 9×9 baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350ºF
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk.
  3. Stir in oats and chai spices
  4. Toast quinoa and nuts on stovetop until golden brown and fragrant (should take about 1 minute)
  5. Mix in quinoa and nuts, then pour batter into baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 1o minutes (when done oatmeal will be golden brown and firm.)

Enjoy!

Kick Butt Morning Routine

For as long as I can remember, my family has struggled with getting out the door on time. If we decide to go to the park at 12, we’ll end up leaving at 1:30. Going out for dinner at 6? Yeah right. I know I won’t be eating until 7:30. While this tendency is mildly irritating when it comes to day trips or dinner plans, the place where it’s really an issue is school.

Surprisingly, I’m rarely late to school, but most days I do sprint through the doors at the last possible second. Not a great start to the day. This year, in search of a more relaxed morning, I tried to identify what tends to make me late and see what I could do to solve those issues.

I realized the main reason I was always late was that I didn’t have a schedule to keep me focused and on track. I get distracted ridiculously easily, and I often find myself needing to leave for school in 10 minutes with no idea where all the time went.

If any of this sounds even a little familiar, you should definitely try this plan. I’ve been using it for the past week, and I swear it has been world-changing. Instead of beginning my days with a mad rush out the door, my morning routine sets a productive, relaxed, and organized tone for the day.

My Morning Routine

6:00 wake up, put on workout gear (or sleep in athletic shorts + t-shirt for a crazy efficient morning)

6:00 – 6:30 your favorite half hour workout! I suggest this one or a Nike Training Club workout. I like working out in the mornings because that’s when I have the most time and energy, but if it’s not for you I’d suggest using the extra time to catch up/get a head start on work for the day or one of those personal projects you never have time for (like blogging!).

6:30 – 6:45 Rinse off, brush teeth, wash face

6:45 – 7:00 Hair and makeup – Honestly, I’m so clueless here, but I’m on a mission to learn as much as possible and I’ll be sure to report back with my findings soon.

7:00 – 7:15 Get dressed – looking your best in 15 minutes may seem like quite a challenge, but I’ll be posting my favorite style strategies this week, so stay tuned!

7:15 Did you think I forgot about breakfast? No way.  It is an essential part of my day, so I’d definitely recommend taking an easy grab and go option for the road. Some of my favorite easy breakfasts are smoothies, overnight oats (my favorite recipe!), and avocado toast.

 

I have to be out the door by 7:15 every day, and the times I include reflect that. However, I think this plan could suit anyone looking for a low maintenance morning routine. I would simply adjust for your needs by waking up an hour and 15 minutes before you need to be out the door.

If you try this, let me know how it goes on Instagram (@16goingon60) using #16kicksbutt