the art of pancakes

My go to pancake recipe is healthy and packed with protein and goodness, but it’s not your standard pancake. For whatever reason, this past weekend, I decided I needed a standard pancake recipe, so I got mixing.

I wanted to do it from scratch, mostly because I didn’t want to go to the store at the moment and buy a mix, and also, making pancakes is a serious life skill.

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I chose the recipe from Google and it had a 5 star rating with lots of reviews, so I expected I was in good hands. These, the ones on the right, were okay. I made enough for two servings and refrigerated half for another day’s breakfast. The first batch came out looking kind of funky, but the ones I ate immediately looked and tasted better.

The second batch, on the left, looked and tasted a lot better. The trick, I think, is in allowing the batter to rest for about 15 minutes after mixing. I could not tell you the science of why, but it was on the instructions and I listened.

Still, these are not my momma’s pancakes, which, upon reflection, I believe came from Bisquick, but if that is not the case, I’m sure she’ll be ‘quick’ to tell me. And for the record, when I asked her and my sister if they had a go to recipe, she said “no” and my sister didn’t answer at all.

Back to the drawing board this weekend! If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to comment or send me a recipe!

Extra Exciting Weekend Recap

I am posting this early because I’m so excited, but since most of my readers are on the East Coast, you’ll be in bed and won’t even notice.

Welcome to post-weekend life! As usual, the days flew by, but thankfully it was a good one.

Before I go into the mundane, I cannot start this post in any other way. Look what happened!

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You guys!!! That is Sarah Michelle Gellar! Buffy is my favorite show ever and I’ve been a fan for years. She was doing an event with her company, Foodstirs (which for the record, is healthy, features all-natural ingredients, yummy, and Caitlin approved if you are so inclined). As I was waiting for this picture to happen, I kept thinking I should say something poignant, such as, “Thanks for being an inspiration and a kickass woman, both as Buffy and as a innovator of your own company,” but all I said was, “Thank you, I’m such a big fan.”

The whole thing could have gone over a lot worse, so I’ll take it. I also would have liked to imply that one day she would be starring in a show I will write and create, but I didn’t want to push it. We’ll all just have to remember this moment in a few years.

I’ve lived in LA for two and a half weeks now and in that time, I’ve got a job and met my favorite celebrity. I’m accepting these as positive omens and not just a rush job to get me out of here.

And now we’ll go back…

On Friday, I got my butt up for a workout. Shoulders, legs, and core. For whatever reason, even though my legs are obviously stronger, they do not like strength training. The poor things were not happy at 5:50 AM to endure a ton of squats and lunges back to back, but in the end, they felt stronger for it. To top things off, I cycled it out for a few minutes. After work on Friday, I met up with a friend from college for Happy Hour, something we do not have back in Boston. They had a slider with fries option which was really cute so I went with that for my dinner. Back at the apartment, I started watching Kristen Bell’s new show The Good Place, which is adorable.

Saturday morning called for pancakes.

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Lunch was a stir fry. I might have gone overboard on the soyaki.

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Dinner was pasta and salad.

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I don’t think I left my apartment on Saturday. I spent a lot of time watching Arrested Development, which many people have suggested I watch and I just never got around to it. Let’s back track for a moment. I’m certain I have revealed my phobia of Liza Minelli before on the blog, but if not, I’ll regal you now. For many years, that woman stalked me. I don’t mean in the literal sense in that she followed me around (that I know of!), but she’d show up in things like a Baseball Special, SNL, pictures at restaurants, and so many more references I’ve repressed. Since I saw a video of hers in high school drama class, I’ve harbored a fear, and it’s not something I’m proud of, but I’ll point out that she was at least accused of beating up her husband. Back to Saturday, I was mid-binge when this happened:

 

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Destroyed. I’ve been relieved of my Liza curse for years, but she strikes back! I must be on alert.

I was semi-productive in parts of Saturday, reading and writing and whatnot, but mostly, I was completely lazy and I have no shame in that. In my defense, it was raining and cold back in Boston, so my emotions must still be there.

On Sunday, I woke up and had a quick breakfast of eggs and toast. Then it was off to pick up my cousins to head to The Grove. I was going to try and show you my commute from this Snapchat filter the other night:

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But then, I was waiting for my cousins and snapped this real picture.

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Then at The Grove, this happened.

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So basically, that’s all that matters ever. Kidding. But only kind of. I will remind you of my post from the other day when I jokingly complained that instead of meeting any celebrities, including Sarah Michelle Gellar, I saw two guys joking about putting mayonnaise in their coffee. Either I’m psychic or what I put out into the universe comes true, so I’ll test that theory. I’d like a million dollars, thanks much.

After I navigated myself home, I called my friend Bethany and we talked for close to three hours, which seems insane. We didn’t even realize. I was productive throughout the chat: folding laundry, going for a run, food prepping for the week, then making and eating dinner. That’s friendship.

It was only fitting that I wear this shirt out on my run.

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But also impractical because cotton does not absorb sweat gracefully.

Monday comes as Monday does, so I finished up some writing, prepped my things for the day, set the alarm for 5:30 AM, and called it a day.

Weekend Recap and Food Pics

Hello to Monday!

I finally have some food pictures to share- I’ve been so bad about that lately. Let’s start with last night’s veggie heavy dinner.

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This dinner included a huge greek salad, grilled peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini, asparagus, and a delicious piece of salmon that I drizzled with barbecue mustard. Yum!

Now to today’s breakfast!

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My favorite scrambled egg/egg whites with cheese, berries, and waffles. I stopped at Target yesterday to buy myself some new sheets- excellent choice!- and couldn’t help but browse the food department. I found two new pancake/waffle mixes. I’ve had the Kodiak Cake brand before, all-natural and whole grain, but they now have protein-packed versions and I couldn’t help but buy both the buttermilk and the peanut butter variety. I went with buttermilk this morning and was not disappointed!

Yesterday, I found myself on a bit of a shopping spree, buying a few shirts and a cute jacket for the summer at the Loft and my new sheets and an organizer for work at Target. In addition to the mixes, I found my favorite protein bar flavors. Yay!

After, it was time to play some softball! I was feeling a little rusty, but I wasn’t a complete failure. The rain made things a bit on the unpleasant side because it was cold.

Going back to Saturday, I did very little more than sit on the couch for the evening, watching the Red Sox whoop the Yankees. Before that, I did earn my rest with a full morning of training and then a beautiful run outside. I’ve been lifting heavier this week and my limbs are starting to feel it. It pretty much wasn’t my fault that I was couch-ridden on Saturday because I was S-O-R-E, but in the best way. DOMS are real, man. Thanks to increasing my intensity, I actually am cutting down to only five official workouts a week. One day is mostly rest, but the last day will be active rest, like softball, Yoga, hiking, etc. Since we’re now in May, I think it’s the perfect time for it! I also really need to give my body a chance to recover from the strain!

Let’s all have a great week!

Just Call Me Pumpkin Girl

At some point during my kitchen cooking adventures, someone will tell me that I need to use separate bowls and adhere to strict instructions while carefully measuring and mixing ingredients. I’ve found that throwing everything into a bowl from dry to wet and whacking it around until the mixture is smooth and batter-like creates some tasty concoctions. And until that doesn’t work for me, I’ll stick to it.

Maybe one day when I’m not hungry and lazy, I’ll try different techniques and see what the hype’s about. I’m also not making anything uber fancy so…

Ooh! But pumpkin waffles!

I knew I wanted waffles before my eyes even fluttered open. I also knew I had an open can of pumpkin waiting in the fridge. It’s with true satisfaction that I know it’s safe for me to eat apples again (my allergies go from spring to late summer). I also wanted to follow my own recipe, so I didn’t turn to Pinterest or Google in my time of need. I just ran with what I know. Sometimes, that’s the best strategy.

I might not be too selective when it comes to order of ingredients, but I am careful about measuring. First came a fourth of a cup of whole wheat flour. I dropped in two tablespoons of oats, a half teaspoon of baking powder, and a hearty shake of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Two tablespoons of pumpkin followed, as well as half of a mashed banana with a splash of vanilla. With a fourth of a cup of almond milk and an egg, I had my mixture. I stirred everything up into this orange-tinted mix.

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Once my waffle iron was heated and waffle was cooking, I chopped up an apple and started to assemble my meal. Here’s how the waffles turned out. Based on the amount of ingredients and appetite of the eater, this recipe is meant to serve one. I have a shallow waffle maker.

I really wish I could incorporate smell on my blog because these waffles wafted with deliciousness! And look how nice they look. I’d take these waffles home to meet mom and dad.

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A little crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside.

I topped these bad boys with the chopped apple, a tablespoon of chopped walnuts, and a handful of blueberries. Maple syrup sweetened everything up. A steaming cup of pumpkin spice coffee wasn’t bad either.

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I’m kind of proud of myself on this one. I liked my French toast, a lot, but a little more effort and creativity went into making these waffles. It didn’t take too much time at all however. I would say, and I must emphasize how terrible I am at estimating time (my brother-in-law calls my sister a time optimist because she always thinks she has more than she does and we like to lovingly mock her for it, but the truth is I’m the same way), but these waffles went from the bowl to my stomach in about twenty minutes time.

I also used zilch on the sugar. Yes, maple syrup sweetened things up in the long run, but TRUST ME when I tell you of the powers of banana. They sweeten any and everything. Applesauce works wonders too. The best part, they don’t necessarily taste banana or apple-like, unless of course you want them too in which case you can elevate the banana taste. Try not to use sugar or especially sugar substitutes in baking, especially a meal, if you can. A combination of cinnamon, banana, and vanilla hold magical powers. I tell ya!

Meals from yesterday also included a lunch of leftovers: grilled swordfish, cauliflower au gratin, broccoli, and a few nachos.

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And a huge salad for dinner with the sweetest tomatoes from my garden!

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What a well fed girl I’ve been!

Spring Cleaning- It’s Time

Green chocolate chip cookies! I just took my mom’s regular chocolate chip cookie recipe and threw in some green dye. I wanted to make them minty, but I didn’t have the extract and I wasn’t going to over exert myself by running to the store.

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The alarm blared unexpectedly this morning, but regardless if I could believe that it couldn’t possibly be time already, it certainly was. I tore myself away from my warm, comfortable bed, chugged water, and dug into a peanut butter tortilla. One of my favorites to get me up in the morning! It was almost rude to have had to brush SNOW off of my car because I thought we had left all that behind, but alas, it had to be done.

At the gym, I ran through a kettlebell circuit of alternating swings, goblet squats, alternating shoulder presses, tricep pushbacks, and high pulls. After, I was able to hold a plank for a minute and a half and side planks for a minute on each side. I tried to squeeze in a few more strength moves using the barbell, but my arms must have been tired because my sets weren’t as strong as I’ve grown accustomed. I also had a difficult time on the treadmill with my legs being sore, which seems odd since I had two consecutive rest days. I think traveling and sitting for long periods of time is counterproductive in terms of building strength. I did get some walking in, but when you’re on the road for seven hours, it can be tiring in the not so good way. I’ve also been battling through a bit of a cold that hasn’t materialized into much yet- knock on wood- but it can still tire the body. I made it through and was happy to have just gotten through my routine. I always feel much more refreshed having started the day with a workout!

My tastebuds were feeling a bit eclectic this morning, so I settled on an egg with a buttered piece of toast and peanut butter toast on the other slice. Paired with some fresh, juicy strawberries and sweet blackberries and I had myself an excellent Monday morning meal!

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Lunch composed of a delicious miso soup my sister made the evening before. Soup was just what I needed and went so well with the fresh crispness of my salad. Someone actually complimented my salad at work and all I could say is, “It’s kinda my thing.” I take great pleasure in chopping up all the veggies and tossing them together. Except for whatever reason, I hate washing lettuce. Most times I just use baby spinach anyways.

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Now that the winter weather is hopefully disintegrating- despite snow in the early morning, it was DIVINE outside this afternoon- we had our first potpie of the season just last night. Chicken, veggies, creamy sauce smothered together in a crispy, buttery crust served with mashed potatoes and spinach. Can’t get much better than that goodness for a Monday evening.

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To welcome Spring a little faster, I decided to paint my nails a nice and bright pink. After so much travel and disruption to routine- trust me, I’m not complaining!- this week is all about spring cleaning. I’m organizing my room, clothes, and all things I do and don’t need/use anymore. Last night focused on the loads of laundry I needed to wash, fold, and put away.  I may not love cleaning, but I love the aftermath! And well, part of me does love the cleaning. Sometimes. I think I just like to feel productive. We also got the bridal shower invitations completed and sent out into the mail, which is far more exciting than any cleaning. This is getting real!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Caitlin Gets Baking

I am so proud of myself, I couldn’t wait until Monday to share. I came up with a pancake recipe all on my own! There are probably other versions similar to this one because honestly there always are, but I came up with this idea without following a recipe. It’s all about my intuition.

This morning, I woke up craving apples and cinnamon. Good news! I can eat apples again without worrying about allergy symptoms, so I’ve been inhaling them like crazy. Apples in the fall are like peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, or Caitlin and chocolate. They just work and taste incredible.

At first, I thought I would heat up the waffle iron I kind of forgot about in my excitement over the new kitchen. Once it was all mixed together in the bowl, I realized it may have been too much liquid for the iron to contain, so I made pancakes instead. Huge sacrifice, I know.

It’s interesting with cooking because you have a little more lee-way with creativity to toss things together and see what you make. I’m not saying that cooking is easy, but I have better instincts when it comes to these kinds of meals. Baking proves to be more complicated for me and it’s rare that I can come up with any quality dish without following a recipe. The more practice and experience I’ve gotten, the better I’ve become at learning how things work, especially when it comes to healthy baking.

Without further ado, here are my apple cinnamon pancakes! My recipe serves one, but I assume you could double or triple or work any magic you have up your sleeve.

Dry Ingredients:
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
generous sprinkling of cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:
1 egg white or egg
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce

Extra:
1 tbsp chopped walnuts or however much you want!

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I learned that I don’t have to heat my stove very far in advance or otherwise my cakes will burn. After throwing them on the griddle, I was happy that they looked edible and was even more surprised when they were delicious!

After taking a bite, the only thing that sprung to mind was that it needed some maple. As I discussed yesterday, I’m not a huge fan of maple syrup on pancakes, however I had my maple PEANUT BUTTER and the combination was divine. Served with an assortment of fruit and I had myself a delightful breakfast on a rainy day.

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Hope you try it out and enjoy!

Dear Eve, Yes That Eve: I Feel Your Plight, Girl

Though it would be funny just to leave you hanging and unaware of what my blog title means today, it is seriously relevant to my current problems.

If you know me, then you probably know about my FORMER allergy to pitted fruit and the entirety of spring. Well, I was magically healed about a year or so ago, I don’t know why or how, I’m just glad I was fine.

And even this spring, I was totally fine. Some itchy eyes and runny nose, but not deathly!

That is, until a week ago when I started having difficulty breathing during an outside workout. We thought it was just because the air was so humid and the allergies seem to be raging for a lot of people. My mom suspected it could have been the apple I had just eaten, but I denied it.

And for the record, I had an apple later that night and was totally fine. Except for, um, the next day when I kind of couldn’t breathe all that well right after I ate an apple and I was home alone and couldn’t find any benadryl so I had to call my neighbor who basically saved my life. So now I’m banned from apples at least for a few weeks unless I take an allergy pill every day, which I always forget. And I have to be supervised by my mom. I’m almost 23 years old and just because I’m back in Kindergarten (more on that in a moment), doesn’t mean I’m five years old again.

My mom by the apples after banishing me to the corner of the grocery store. Forbidden, but oh so good. I LOVE APPLES.

So, like I said, I’m back in Kindergarten working as a teacher’s assistant and it’s pretty much amazing. Though it appears I might need to pay really close attention to the lesson on scissors because I cut myself today making my lunch for tomorrow.

For the record, I’m giving you my pointy finger, not the middle. I swear. At least for these purposes.

Don’t ask questions.

I’m kind of bummed though because Fall kicks off the baking season and I can’t make them anything! Like when I made these delicious Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pecan Pumpkin muffins made with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, and flaxseed, and NO butter or oil. They were deliciously moist and healthy!

I’m a good baker(ess?)

This weekend, I had to get a new Yoga mat because someone (below) has taken a liking to it after I was using it in my room and won’t let me put it away. He bats at it if it’s rolled up and even ripped it a little with his claws so he can be assured I’d have to get my own! The problem is, he’s very sneaky so I can turn around at any moment and he’s just sitting there, on my mat, staring at me. I mean, I love you Bandit, but you need to stop acting like an assassin. I already gave you the Yoga mat.

Bandit creeping, creeping real good.

But guess what this means………

I GOT A PINK YOGA MAT!!!

See? Bandit just loves reading my blog and wanted me to get my heart’s desire.

Bandit does Yoga too.

Sorry for all the pictures. OH AND JK ROWLING’S NEW BOOK COMES OUT THIS MONTH!!!!!!!