Teeny Tiny Roasted Potatoes

I picked up a pound of teeny tiny potatoes (yes, that’s what they’re called) from Trader Joe’s last week to eat with breakfast. I’m not a big fan of hash browns, so I roasted them, and they’re so good.

Teeny Tiny Roasted Potatoes 

IMG_8063Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 18 min
Total time: 23 min
Serving size: Do not skimp on the teeny tiny potato goodness.

1 lb. teeny tiny potatoes (also called fingerling potatoes)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
3 cloves garlic

  1. Preheat the oven to 500° F.
  2. Wash the potatoes, and scrub them if they look dirty.
  3. Crush the garlic.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, and parsley.
  5. Pour the potatoes into the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  6. Spread the potatoes onto a baking sheet (lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper), and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Roast for 18 min, or until tender.

Seven Moments

As we head full-force into October, i’m forced to change into long sleeves and ditch the flip flops for good. I’m working on my layering game and thinking up a few soup recipes. Here’s a few things that kept me sane this week while I coped with 60 degree temps.

  1. Seeing the cast list. I made the show at school and i’m so happy to be back in a production. Total, there’s eleven of us and we have a month and a half to pull this off. The directors have told us they’re going to create a study guide on the history of Ireland for us and help us with dialect and brogues. I don’t know if anyone else is excited about a study guide for a play, but i’m just so in awe of how official and cool and “next level” this show already is.
  2. Keeping some of summer alive while I throw on a sweater. 
  3. Going to Improv Club. Most people in the cast are also in this club. I have yet to participate while I get a feel for the people and the atmosphere, but everyone is super funny and creative. The other day we played a game called “Emotional Rollercoaster” where the audience dictates the emotions of two people playing out a scenario. I wish i’d played, but watching was just as fun.
  4. Coming across this birthday card. 
  5. My first club meeting. My cooking club started up this week and we made smoothies with hemp seeds, protein powder, and chia seeds. Apparently, the mass email I sent out didn’t deliver and we only had three people. This week i’m going to send out an email to individuals and hopefully the smell of pizza will draw others in too.
  6. Reuniting with a friend. It’s only been a month since I last saw Hannah, but i’ve missed her nonetheless. We went out to lunch, then to three different shopping malls for absolutely no reason. At night we went rock climbing and I put two walls (that probably aren’t even hard) on my list to accomplish. And no, we don’t quite know what these are supposed to be either.
  7. Harvesting the cutest carrots and beets from our garden!IMG_8040

Paleo Almond Butter Blueberry Waffles

I usually don’t make fake baked goods. I like to roast veggies and try out new chicken seasonings (I have yet to find the right one). I guess the meals i’ve been making lately are so ordinary that they don’t really need a blog post.

Anyway, I IMG_8036usually don’t even attempt paleo baked goods because I hate the texture and taste of coconut flour and almond flour is usually dry. However, I’m finding that when you make the majority of the ingredients something that isn’t a flour, the result is much better. And putting it into a waffle maker equals a way cooler dish. Who doesn’t like waffles? They’re a lot lighter than waffles made with flour and taste great hot and cold.

This recipe belongs to Ambitious Kitchen but I made two modifications. Instead of 1/4 tsp of almond extract, I used 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and instead of 2/3 c of blueberries, I used 1 c. Here is my recipe.

Paleo Almond Butter Blueberry Waffles

IMG_8032Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Total time: 25 min
Makes 2 Belgian waffles. 1 serving is 1/2 waffle.

2/3 cup natural creamy almond butter
2 eggs
1/2 banana, mashed
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt (only if your almond butter isn’t salted)
2/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

  1. Preheat the waffle iron and spray with nonstick cooking spray (such as coconut oil spray). In a large bowl, combine and whisk together almond butter, eggs, banana, almond extract, coconut oil and almond milk until well combined.
  2. Stir in coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix until well combined. Gently fold in blueberries.
  3. Spoon batter into waffle iron and cook until steam stops and waffles are golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside. If your waffle iron flips, don’t forget to flip halfway through. This will keep the batter from sticking to one side. Repeat with remaining batter.

Seven Moments

I did a lot of things this week that made me pretty happy. Like going to bed early and then sleeping in. Here’s seven moments from this past week:

  1. Getting a haircut. My hair has gotten way too long and the ends split easily. I chopped off about four inches, got some layers, and “texturized” the ends. It feels so much lighter and healthier.  
  2. Returning to voice lessons. After three months of a break, I finally called my voice teacher. I love working on songs and technique with her every week and now that i’m not singing every day at school, I need a way to practice.
  3. Auditioning for the drama. I’m not at, like, The Boston Conservatory. But it is a show and I have caught wind that the shows at RCC are pretty good. I auditioned for The Shadow of a Gunman and the cast list comes out tomorrow. Hopefully i’ll get in and can get back into the swing of doing what I love.
  4. Studying the cell. This is about as nerdy as I can get, but during my lab this week, we studied our cheek cells and some elodea cells. I’ve done this lab before, but it felt good to work the microscope again and test my knowledge (like what a cell wall looks like… not too hard). We also compared indicators for lipids and DNA and what happens when you dissolve either. Biology is my favorite science for a reason. 
  5. Buying new sneakers. They’re New Balance. I am a 45 year old woman that needs ankle support. 
  6. Getting belay certified and going rock climbing. My sister and I have gone rock climbing a few times at our old camp and once with my cousin and his fiancée. Friday night, we got belay certified so now we both know how to work the ropes and don’t need them with us to climb (but sometimes we need their chalk).  
  7. Seeing The Martian. I am game for a sci-fi movie any time, any day. My dad read the book and absolutely loved it. On Saturday, he, my mom, and I ventured out into the raw, windy wilderness to see this movie and it was so good. I was curled into my seat because I thought he was going to die about forty-two times (Spoiler alert: Mars is a little difficult to inhabit). Afterwards, we got takeout from one of our favorite restaurants and watched Doctor Who together.

Seven Moments

One mantra of mine is to do one thing every day that makes me happy. I’ve been on and off with this attitude for years, but this past year made me realize that I need to focus on myself a bit more. I’m super busy, and sometimes my happy moments are the half hour workouts I can get in. Or maybe they’re getting to bed before 12. However small, however seemingly insignificant, these little moments of happiness belong to me. They’re the one thing I do for myself.

These are my seven moments from the past week.

  1. Seeing Les Misérables on Broadway. This was my 18th birthday present, and it was electrifying. The music and the harmonies were unbelievable and the set was outstanding. From the opening to “One Day More” to the barricade to the finale, every minute was amazing. They forgot nothing and i’m surprised I didn’t cry. (This show is on my list of tear-jerkers).
  2. IMG_1570 Making it through doubles week. Every 3rd week, I do two workouts instead of one. Easy peasy, usually. This week I was sick to the point where I couldn’t breathe (thanks s’much, sinuses), I have a blister on my heel the size of my eye, and I burned my left palm, making it hard to hold weights. Nevertheless, I made it through.
  3. Touching my toes. Probably the dumbest thing to celebrate, but I don’t care. I’ve never been able to touch them before and after stretching almost every day since April, I have accomplished the ability to touch them at any angle.
  4. Activating my club. After a month of finding advisors, working with a budget, planning meetings, and recruiting members, I finally was able to activate my nutrition-based cooking club at school. 
  5. Getting the email about the drama at school. I’ve been uninvolved in theatre for nearly five months, and that is five months too many. It’s going to feel really good to stretch my legs a bit and get back on the stage. Plus, the show is about the IRA, and I had to imitate an Irish brogue for a class my junior year, so i’ve got this in the bag (My brogue is actually tragic, so this should be fun).
  6. Starting a tutoring job. Every year for the past three years, i’ve tutored about 4-5 kids for the school year. Some for volunteering, some for money. It’s always kept me busy and helped me learn to communicate with people in different ways. I love the look on a kid’s face when he finally just gets it, especially in math. I only have one this year so far, but that’s enough for now.
  7. Double fisting Doctor Who. I was supposed to watch the season premiere last week, but decided last minute to see The Scorch Trials with my dad (which is like, twelve moments of happiness in itself). So last night, my parents and I made dinner and sat in front of the TV for two hours to watch last week’s and this week’s episodes. It seems like Clara’s going to have a much bigger role for her finale season, and I want to know what Missy’s story is before she goes and kills someone else.

Paleo Skillet Apple Crumble


It’s friday, i’m done with class for the day, and we have half a bushel of apples in our fridge. I need to get a workout in, start studying for my biology exam, and plan the main meals I want to eat next week. Even though I have all day, I need a low maintenance dish that won’t weigh me down.

Diane Sanfillipo, a favorite paleo connoisseur of mine, has a very tempting recipe for skillet peach cobbler on her blog. I studied the recipe, combined it with her blueberry crumble recipe, and added apples. This Paleo Apple Skillet Crumble is light but filling, and completely guilt-free. Sweet enough to be a dessert, but with less than three tablespoons of added sweeteners, it’s a perfect breakfast too.


There are a few swaps you can make with the ingredients here. I used pumpkin pie spice, ghee, and unsweetened coconut milk, but cinnamon, coconut oil, and any kind of milk are fine. I used ghee to give it that buttery, baked-good flavor, but keep it mostly dairy-free. I used coconut milk for the same reason. Don’t try to use coconut flour instead of almond flour because coconut flour absorbs a lot of moisture and the crumble will probably dry out.

Paleo Skillet Apple Crumble

IMG_8011Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 30 min
Total time: 45 min

For the filling:
6 apples, peeled and diced
1/2 c coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

For the topping:
1/2 c almond flour
1 c finely shredded coconut
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c ghee (melted)
2 tbsp honey

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, honey, and (measurements for the filling). Stir lightly to combine.
  3. Add the apples into the bowl and mix them around to thoroughly coat with the mixture. When done, pour the coated apples into the skillet and empty the remaining mixture onto the apples.
  4. In the same bowl, combine the almond flour, shredded coconut, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Combine the ingredients, then add the ghee and honey (all the topping ingredients) and combine.
  5. Pour the topping over the coated apples, and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. The crumble is done when the topping starts to brown.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes.

The crumble is okay to eat once it’s cooled, but the topping won’t harden until it does get a lot colder.

Apple Picking + G’s Restaurant

  Our weekends have been pretty low-key since school started, and we were trying to think of what to do today when I suggested apple picking last night. We’ve gone every September since I was born (kudos to my parents for pushing a stroller through rows of trees and a pumpkin patch). So today we headed to Soons Orchards in New Hampton, our favorite spot of recent years. It’s small compared to the farm we went to when we were younger. There was a petting zoo and hayrides there, and that’s nice if you want to make a day trip out of it. But this place is perfect for a morning, especially since it’s still so hot this late in September (which I am not unhappy about, trust me).


  We decided to go with half a bushel, since that’s enough apples to last us a month or so anyway. Apple picking has gotten expensive, and forget about the places that charge you to park or even to access the orchards. Soons has free parking and a pretty large bag for $25, which is a pretty good price if you’re thinking ratios (You can do the actual math). After glancing at the reference for apple types, we decided to go with gala, lady jean, and golden delicious apples. We actually picked too many of the other two and never got a chance to grab some lady jeans.


  The gala rows were picked almost bare, and it seemed like there were more apples on the ground than in the trees.  Somehow, we found a bunch in the back few trees and filled half the bag (and ate a few too). IMG_7952IMG_7946    Once we finished up, we headed down the street to the Orchard’s Market. It’s like the inside of a barn-turned-country-store, and it’s adorable. They sell all sorts of produce from peppers to zucchini, and of course, apples! They make their own salsas and peanut butters, which I had to sample. The stone fruit salsa was the best.

IMG_7956 IMG_7961

  They also have a wide variety of baked goods and ciders. We always get at least half a dozen of the apple cider donuts and a gallon of cider. And I just had a donut now. Reheated in the oven. And drizzled with honey. (Because this whole thing is about my happiness, too, right?) Along with the donuts, we make sure to grab a jar of honey, which the farm sells for an apiary in Westtown. For some reason, my sister grabbed the largest jar available, on the bottom shelf, which is the size of my head. Eighty ounces of honey. Hopefully it lasts us a long time.

IMG_7957 IMG_7959

  After the sampling and the buying and the lugging things back to the car, we headed into Warwick to get lunch. The town is adorable and if we had more time to window shop, I could have spent a few hours there.

IMG_7963 IMG_7968

  We ended up at G’s Restaurant, which had beautifully painted windows for fall (which I poorly captured in the photo). There was a sign outside advertising pumpkin spice coffee, and I was tempted. I decided to forgo after some miserable attempts with Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte. I’m just not a big fan of nutmeg in hot beverages.


  The restaurant inside was nice and airy, and we sat in a booth. I ordered a house salad with lemon pepper chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. My mom got sweet potato soup and a mesclun salad with balsamic. My dad got a grilled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries and Carly got a burger with fries. The sandwich came with normal fries, so the waitress brought out a plate of sweet potato fries for us for free, which happened to be in the center of the table… Very close to my hands…

IMG_7967 IMG_7966

 After lunch, we headed back to Rockland. The Season 9 premiere of Doctor Who airs tonight and tomorrow, we’re heading into the city to see Les Misérables on Broadway. This is my last week with a vacation day before we head into two straight months of five-day weeks, and i’m putting my energy into enjoying myself while I can.