Happy Sunday everyone! I hope everyone's week was fantastic! Mine was loooong because of my independent analysis paper that I'm writing for my AP Lit and Comp class. But come Monday, it will be turned in and all my hard work will have paid off!
So today, I have another recap from my big Europe trip this past summer! I also have a simple yet yummy recipe, but I'll probably post it next week.
I've always considered myself a country girl at heart. I love openness and enjoy being able to cross roads in single file, not in a mob like some cities (New York City, I'm looking at you). I've never had a desire to live in a big city, however, I do enjoy visiting them. Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, London, Edinburgh, New York City (for no more than a day)... these are all cities that I've been to (many more than once), and I've loved them all. After returning from Europe, Helsinki, Reykjavik (not exactly a city, but it is the capital of Iceland, so I consider it a city), and Copenhagen were added to the list. So, let's take a little tour of one of those exciting cities, shall we?
Warning: Overload of pictures ahead.
Upon arriving in Copenhagen, my family and I set out for some food! We were huuuungry from the plane ride! We came upon a Mediterranean lunch buffet, and, for me, we need not look any further. :P I don't remember what everything was, but I do remember that it was delicious!
Plate 1: taste tester
Plate 2: favorites!
After lunch, we set out to explore the city. Little did we know that it would end up being a five to six mile expedition, round trip. Our goal was to find The Little Mermaid and, well, we did, but it took hours because it was such a long way from our hotel. Yes, there were cabs, but I decided to ignore my family's request to take one because.... it didn't look very far on the map! By the time we were running home in the pouring rain, I realized I should have listened. But, oh well - it was part of the experience! ;)
I'm getting ahead of myself here... first, the trip to The Little Mermaid!
There were tons of these elephants all over the city (each with a different design)! I tried to take a picture of all of them, but don't worry, I won't post all of them. :)
Talk about advertising to draw customers...
Apparently I was too fascinated by the headless man to pose for a picture...
Just a few more elephants. :)
Wait! Where's her red hair??!! Heehee. ;) It was neat to see what the epic fairy tale evolved from. And yes, I do still watch that epic fairy tale. I have no shame.
By the time we got there, our feet were killing us. But we decided to trek back anyway. Even though I was the first to suggest a cab, we couldn't find one - well, not until we were almost back!
The next day, we went to Tivoli! My dad and brother hit the rides while my mom and I explored the gardens. Now, I love roller-coasters, but they make me feel nauseous these days. :( I did end up riding one though...
The roller-coaster in the background is the one I went on.
My mom and I went on this little kido ride - little carts that floated on water and explored a mine. There were 3D cartoon miners and the dragon (giraffe?) pictured. It was so fun. Yes, I AM a five year old at heart.
I loved this tree/bush!
More roller-coaster pictures! I actually felt fine after it - so much fun! :D
Behold, the BEST sandwich. EVER.
Sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic mayo, and seasonings on a fantastic bread. Seriously. Best. Ever.
If you go Tivoli, go to George's Cafe and get that sandwich!! You won't be sorry. I think it was the only vegetarian meal at the park, but its taste completely made up for the fact.
Yeah, it rained on us AGAIN!!! Down poured actually. It ended up being one of the hardest rains in Denmark in over 30 years. Even the train stations were closed because they were so flooded. We were honored to be a part of it. ;)
Dry is seriously overrated.
Well, that's it for our Copenhagen adventures! Next time, it might be Finland, Hamlet's castle, Iceland, or even Newfoundland. Well, my next post will be garlic bread. Nom, nom.
Do you like big cities?
Do you enjoy little kido rides?
I'll probably be back within the next few days, but if not, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!
My mom is thinking about calling a psychologist. She is convinced that my obsession with squash is not normal. Maybe she's right, but I think she forgot to take into account that I'm not normal and thus my abnormal thoughts are actually normal, for me. But I guess that depends on you definition of normal, and since I consider myself abnormal, my definition of normal maybe someone else's definition of abnormal thus making me normal. Normal or not, I'm moving on to the point of today's post...
Yesterday's squash haul.
Spanish class is inspirational. At least it was this past Monday. I was sitting with a few minutes left in class, and I began thinking of a burrito. Of course, I knew I had no tortillas at home. Major dilemma? No, because I also knew I had english muffins. And thus Mexican English Muffin Pizza was born during passing period.
Monday's dinner, eaten with a pile of raw green beans.
Recipe? Oh right, let me run and get me notebook. (*Scrambles to backpack, pulls it open, yanks the notebook from the tight row of other notebooks, textbooks, an empty lunch bag, Beloved
, and In Cold Blood
-- my current literature class reads, and flips through Spanish notes, this weekends homework assignment, notes for my paper in lit class, dance vocabulary and the warm-up that I created, and then, at last, the recipe. Rambles back to the computer.*)Mexican English Muffin PizzaThe ingredient list may be long, but it actually comes together rather quickly! Even though it may not be quite as quick as frozen pizza, the unique taste will make you glad that you took the extra time.
- 1 english muffin, split in half
- 2 tablespoons salsa of choice
- 1/4 cup black beans (if using canned, drain and rinse)
- A small handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons corn, fresh or thawed frozen
- A handful of fresh cilantro leaves, lightly chopped (I actually didn't have any, but I think it would be a wonderful addition!)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 oz shredded cheese of choice (I used mozzarella because it was what I had, but I think any kind would work)
- 1/2 a small avocado, sliced (optional)
- A spoonful of Greek yogurt or sour cream (optional)
- Cover a small baking sheet with aluminum or parchment paper. Set your oven to broil.
- Spread each english muffin half with a tablespoon of salsa, and place the english muffin halves on the prepared pan.
- In a small bowl, mix the black beans, tomatoes, onion, corn, cilantro, and spices. Spoon half the mixture onto one english muffin half and the remaining mixture onto the other muffin half.
- Evenly sprinkle the cheese on the muffin halves.
- Place the pan in the oven and broil for about five minutes -- until the cheese melts and begins to brown.
- Transfer the pizza to a plate and top with the avocado and sour cream. Enjoy!
And now I want to share a couple of random meals from the past week! There's no such thing as to many food pictures, right? Right? ;)
Let's see, above we have steamed brussel sprouts, delicata squash (think candy, only better), Whole Foods avocado sushi, and Katie's One Minute Chocolate Cake
. Who says you can't have cake for lunch? I tried the cake with just stevia to see how it would turn out, but I think I would use some real sugar next time (yes, there will definitely
be a next time :P). It's so nice be able to have chocolate cake only a minute away!
Sorry for the lighting! I was hungry and didn't want to go all the way downstairs to my light box! So instead, I snapped a quick picture and then dug into steamed corn, steamed brussel sprouts, roasted kabocha (my first stab at my newly acquired squash collection), and a whole wheat english muffin topped with a mixture of Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and peanut butter. And no, I couldn't possibly limit myself to that little amount of squash... kabocha was also my appetizer and dessert. ;) And along with dinner, I had my first kombucha:
It was quite yummy! Definitely something I would get again.
Do you ever get recipe inspirations from class?
Do you have an obsession with squash?
Also, thank you for the compliments on my new header! I'm so glad you guys like it!
Let's do a little comparison game, shall we? Pizza is round, pancakes are round. (Well, my pancakes at least slightly resemble a round shape. Most of the time they're more squarish or jagged on the edges. Character. Yes, it gives them character. ;) Pizza has toppings, pancakes have toppings. True, the toppings are quite different... pizza has tomato sauce and cheese, maybe veggies, pepperoni for many while pancakes have butter and maple syrup, or Greek yogurt and peanut butter (!!), possibly coconut butter (!!)... but still, a topping is a topping. Pizza is eaten for dinner, pancakes are eaten for dinner. Who wants to wait until the next morning for pancakes when you can have them that night? Um, not me. Now the most obvious similarity is, of course, the taste. Pizza is delicious, pancakes are delicious. And these two recipes are nothing less.
Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto English Muffin Pizza
1 english muffin, cut in half (I used Rudi's whole wheat english muffins)
1-2 tablespoons basil pesto
About 3 sun-dried tomatoes, torn into small pieces (if using dried, soak in water for a few hours prior to making the pizza)
1 oz shredded mozzarella
Cover a small baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set your oven to broil. Spread each muffin half with half to a full tablespoon of pesto (depending on how pesto-y you want it). Arrange the tomato pieces evenly on top of the pesto, and evenly sprinkle on the cheese. Make sure the tomatoes are under the cheese or your tomato pieces will burn. Put the pizzas on the baking sheet, and put the baking sheet in the oven. Broil for about five minutes or until the the cheese melts and begins to brown. Enjoy!
The pizzas are so easy to make but are extremely yummy! You could even make lots of them and then arrange the pizzas on a big plate and take them to a party!
Side note: I ate the pizzas above with some raw snap peas and a package of spinach, steamed and then mixed with balsamic vinegar and garlic powder. Got my greens for sure!
Now for the pancake recipe. These aren't your basic light and fluffy pancake - they're much softer and denser. But as we've previously discussed, different pancakes are actually good! As long as they're cooked in a pan, I think they qualify as pancakes.
With coconut butter!
Double Banana Pancakes
1/4 cup brown rice flour (or other flour of choice)
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon chia seeds, ground (measure first and then grind) mixed with 3-4 tablespoons of water
1 banana, half mashed and half sliced
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sweeter, to taste (sugar, agave, maple syrup, or stevia - I used 2 drops stevia)
In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, and cinnamon (and dry sweetener, if using). In a separate bowl, combine the chia mixture, mashed banana, almond milk, and vanilla (and liquid sweetener, if using). Stir the wet mixture into the dry until well combined, but don't over mix. Spoon the mixture onto a pre-heated, non-stick skillet. Arrange the banana slices on top of the pancakes. Cook until both sides are lightly browned, flipping once half-way through. Enjoy!
Okay, so today I was down town with my mom (we went to this amazing Indian place for lunch <3), and we stopped at this cute little kitchen store called The Cupboard. I found the perfect cup in the sale section.
What I live by.
Just wanted to share that!
What's you favorite variety of pizza? Of pancakes?