Oakland to SF Ferry Boat Adventure

Playing tourist is one of my favorite things to do when I go home to the Bay Area. I’ve been gone for 13 years living in other parts of California (Humboldt and Sacramento), and now Michigan, so even old familiar places sometimes feel new.

I wasn’t sure how much exploring we’d be able to do with Ziva being just 3 months old on our trip this spring. When my Dad and his girlfriend Stephanie suggested taking the ferry from Jack London Square in Oakland to the Ferry Building in San Francisco, it sounded like a great idea, just maybe not with a baby… but, as I’ve said before, I waaaay underestimated my little Ziva. I’m so glad they convinced me to give it a go!

Once the decision was made that we were headed to SF by ferry, it was a mad dash to get from El Cerrito to Jack London square in time for the afternoon boat. We made it with just minutes to spare. The boat wasn’t too crowded and there was plenty of room for us to all sit together in the front with a great view of the ship yards and the slowly approaching San Francisco skyline.

It was a much shorter ride than I’d expected and before long we were pulling up under the bay bridge.

 First stop was the Ferry Building. We were a bit too late for the Saturday Farmers Market, but all the vendors and booths inside the ferry building are worth the visit on their own.

My favorite stop is always the Mariposa Bakery booth. They have absolutely Devine gluten free baked goods. I’ve never gotten something from them that wasn’t delicious, and the loaf of facacia bread I picked up this time didn’t disappoint.

We walked around inside for a while before heading out to the water front to enjoy our treats and coffee. The sky that day was impressively blue.  

We brought a stroller for Stella, and Ziva road most of the afternoon in he Baby Bjorn since she LOVES forward facing. Our next carrier is going to have to be the Ergo 360 (though she is starting to like her inward facing carriers more recently). Ziva was enthralled by all of the people and new things to see. She just took it all in, looking around until she eventually fell asleep.

Next we crossed the street to check out the makers fair and all of their goods. My sister ended up getting a beautiful necklace and I picked up some earrings.

We decided to walk the Embarcadero past the tourist filled Pier 39 to catch the ferry boat back to Oakland at Pier 41. Along the way both babies began to get a little restless, so we stopped to nurse them. The girls ended up switching for the remainder of the walk so that Ziva could ride in the stroller (and give my back a break) and Stella could ride in the Bjorn (satisfying her need for mama-snuggles)! She was just weeks shy of 1 year old, but she is never to old for baby wearing!

If you know San Francisco, than you know how once that fog rolls in it can make a sunny day grey and chilly. By the time we reached the pier it had gotten cooler and the wind was blowing in. Perfect timing to cross back over to the sunny side of the bay.

We ended up beating the fog across the bay and were able to enjoy almost another hour of sunshine in Jack London square. There is a wine tasting room right next to the doc were the ferry lets you off and my dad and Stephanie are members and had a case to pick up, so we stopped in for some tasting (Ziva enjoyed a tasting from the boobie bar while I enjoyed some tasty water). Surprisingly, we weren’t the only group with babies enjoying some wine and sunshine that afternoon on the patio of Rosenblum Cellars tasting room, there was what looked like a mom and baby group a few tables away too!


So, somewhat surprisingly this ambitious adventure across the bay and back turned out to be one of my favorite memories from this last trip home. Ziva loved taking in all of the sites, she happily napped in the carrier (yay baby-wearing), and I loved every moment of the bay breezes and California sunshine. Grandpa Gilbert for the win :0)

Recipe Review Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge Part 1

I’m falling in love with eating this way. Even just 5 days in I’m starting to worry what am I gonna do when the meal plan runs out!

Challenge Tip: If you need to pack your lunches and snacks as well as make dinner, at first be prepared to spend about 2 hours prepping food at night… make this a week you don’t have plans! It get’s faster but unless you are already a pro at this be prepared to spend time on it. You can find the Challenge details here, and here is a link to the printable version of the full challenge instructions and recipes (I found it helpful to print it out and put in a binder. You can read more here about my prep). Links to each day’s menu and recipe are included in the title, “Day #” below.

*Review Key: Eat it= Delicious. Skip it= you guessed it, I don’t prefer this item.

Day 1:
Other than the morning shake, all of the meals seemed more bland than I would have hoped. I could definitely feel myself detoxing from sugar and coffee. The Asparagus salad tasted a bit gross after being in the fridge overnight (Skip it). Perhaps my lemon was too big and made it too “lemony”. Since this is supposed to be a Sunday meal I’m guessing it’s not meant to be made in advance. Dinner wasn’t bad, just nothing to write home about. I think this is really the “cleanse” day… if you know what I mean. I felt great the next day and was all cleared out. I definitely recommend starting Day 1 on Sunday not Monday to see if these meals are better fresh.

Kale Smoothie, Day 1
Kale Smoothie, Day 1

Day 2:

  • Overnight oats with blueberries and chia seeds– Eat it. This is a huge breakfast portion! I kept double checking that I hadn’t over done the ingredients (when I usually make it it’s about half as much). After the light meals of yesterday this seemed like a TON. It was good too. I would absolutely make all three meals again. So satisfying.
  • Kale, Chickpea, and fennel salad with orange Vinaigrette– Eat it. hearty and tasty. I was totally satisfied.
  • Sliced tomato with basil, feta, and balsamic– Eat it. Who doesn’t like a caprese type salad? With just 1 ounce of feta, this is still a filling and yummy snack.
  • Napa Cabbage wraps with chicken, mango, and avocado and lime-basil vinaigrette– Eat it. I was skeptical about dinner, lettuce wraps can be bland, but this was DELICIOUS! The basil and mango and avocado were a great mix of flavors and balanced well with the crisp napa cabbage wrap.
Kale, Chickpea and Fennel Salad, Day 2
Kale, Chickpea and Fennel Salad, Day 2

Day 3: 
Lunch was easy to prep in advance. I was worried about not prepping breakfast in advance since I can be slow in the mornings… I managed to get it all prepped in time, though the traffic still made me late :-(.

  • Blackberry-Yogurt Parfait-Skip it. The parfait was alright. Only alright. The ground flax seed flavor was a bit over powering and I decided to “cheat” and add  a pack of Stevia sweetener. After that cheat and a long drive to work, I found we were out of green tea at the office, so I cheated again with a mug of decaff coffee. It didn’t taste very good though, so it wasn’t worth the cheat.

Both lunch and dinner on day 3 are SO GOOD.

  • Asian Chicken Salad with Tamari-Lime Vinaigrette Eat it. I would absolutely make this salad again. The Napa cabbage from Whole Foods was flavorful and crisp and the dressing was perfect.

Last night we went to a free, preview showing of the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore movie Blended. They are always a cute pair and the film was funnier than I had expected. We got home really late but I was determined to stick to the challenge! I whipped up the Big Batch Cooked Lentils and Cauliflower steaks as swiftly as I could

  • Cauliflower Steaks with LentilsEat it. The lentils. OMG, the lentils. I have made lentil soup before, but other than that I don’t usually work much with lentils. THIS RECIPE is AMAZING. I used red lentils (that’s what I had in the house already), and the paprika and Tamari seasoning are a perfect combo with the shallots and garlic. I can’t wait to eat this again. The cauliflower steak is good, but I could have skipped it for more lentils (I didn’t). I was so full from the lentils and cauliflower that I wasn’t even hungry for the night time snack (and I figured chocolate that close to bedtime was a bad plan). My cauliflower head must be bigger than theirs though, cause there was enough left over for 3 omelets, not just the 1 we make on day 5.
Asian Chicken Salad, Day 3
Asian Chicken Salad, Day 3

Day 4

  • Scallion, Feta Omelette Eat it. It’s worth it. Again, super flavorful and filling. I’m definitely liking this meal plan despite the work. I wouldn’t have known to cook the white part of the scallion first and then add the green part. This method cooked it up perfectly and the salty creamy feta just topped it off.
  • Greek Salad with Lentils and Lime VinaigretteEat it. It’s very good. I’m adding this salad to my lunch repertoire. I don’t prefer red bell peppers so I swapped it out for an orange one, it still worked with the flavors and the lentils. I could see making a big batch of these lentils regularly to eat with many meals. I was skeptical about adding it to the salad, but it really works with the other flavors.
  • Mango-Banana Smoothie with Chia SeedsEat it. This is a really great combination for a smoothie. I will definitely make it again. The chia seeds completely break down and make it a thick smoothie full of flavor. I’d use a more-ripe banana though. Mine were pretty greenish-yellow when I put the smoothie mix in the freezer and I think that effected the flavor. I had to add a little bit of Stevia to sweeten it up.
  • Roasted Chicken Breast with Fennel and Spinach– Eat it. Fennel is my new favorite vegetable. I am going to be cooking with fennel regularly from now on. Seriously, roasted fennel is absolutely incredible. It almost didn’t mater what was in the salad with it, the fennel stole my heart and tummy. I can’t wait to eat the rest on day 5.
Roasted Chicken Salad with Fennel and Spinach, Day 4
Roasted Chicken Salad with Fennel and Spinach, Day 4

Challenge Tip: If you need to eat dinner later like I do (because of my commute I can’t start prepping dinners until about 7pm most nights), you might want to consider taking your night time snack as an afternoon snack for between lunch and dinner. I’ve found that I’m really hungry around 3-4pm and need something to hold me over so I’m eating my morning snack


Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge Prep

Week 1 haul

I’ll admit, when I saw the headline for the Buzzfeed Food Clean Eating Challenge I thought it was satire. I didn’t even click through. Later a friend mentioned that the recipes actually looked pretty good, so I gave it a second look.

Though the lengthy shopping lists and daily instructions seem a bit daunting at first, I was glad to see every detail of how to logistically follow the challenge laid out in full (i.e. prep this today, defrost that, etc.).

Be prepared to spend A LOT up front ($160+). We had many expensive ingredients already on hand, like chia seeds and flax seeds, and it still cost an arm and a leg.
Clean out your fridge in advance because you are going to need the room. I wish I’d taken a pick of the packed shelves before I started the meal prep!

I did most of my shopping at Trader Joe’s (that’s our usual store so we were headed there anyways). I ended up making a separate trip to Whole Foods and Meijer for the remaining vegetables that either were not available, didn’t look good or were too much in quantity at TJ’s ( I had to go to Meijer’s because Whole Foods was out of Arugala, apparently that’s a hot item on Mother’s day). If you don’t mind the price tag, you could do your full shopping trip at Whole Foods and avoid the running around. We also had a number of ingredients already in the house. Be sure to take stock before you leave to save yourself the money (and space!).

There is a bit of extra food prep on day 1 to get all of the smoothies frozen ingredients bagged up, and if you are going to need to pack your next day lunches to take with you, I recommend you start earlier in the day to prep, not 9pm. If you have any evening plans during the week you may want to pre-make or prep the ingredients for those as well.

The plan-

  • The full plan and links to each day and the printables here
  • Printable plan with instructions and recipes here

Shopping lists-

  • Week 1 shopping list here
  • Week 2 Shopping list here

Daily Instructions (instructions without images are included in the printable plan as well)-

I started on Monday (the plan starts on Sunday) so I’m just shifting each day forward one. So far so good!

Wish me luck! After just shopping and prepping I’m already a little nervous about what I’ve gotten myself into. If you’ve tried a challenge like this before or are doing it now too, or eat like this on a regular basis (look at you, super star!!), please comment with any tips or tricks for staying on top of it all.

Now let’s just see if I can go two weeks cranking meals out like this. The eating isn’t the hard part, it’s definitely the prep time.


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Northern Michigan Day 2 in Petoskey

To capitalize on my recent urge to write, I figured I’d go back and complete the series of posts about our little family trip up north this February. We spent 3 cold but fabulous days in Traverse City exploring the region with my mom. Read about day 1 here.

We woke up to a partly sunny second day in Traverse City, the wind was heavy but the sun was shining so we decided it was safe to make the trek up to Petoskey. First things first, we needed coffee.

Our original plan had been to go snow shoeing in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. They offer guided snow shoeing tours in the winter that sound pretty awesome. We called too late to book the tour for Saturday (they were already full), and we decided we that was probably for the better since we lacked adequate snow gear.  If you haven’t been to the Sleeping Bear Dunes, I highly recommend a trip. The views are incredible and there are plenty of great hikes in the warmer months. I can only imagine the snowshoeing is awesome too.

Crow about it
According to Yelp, the only coffee joint near the Traverse Bay Inn is a local shop called Crow About It Coffee and Cakes. From the outside (strip mall) we weren’t sure what to expect, but we were impressed by the quality and thoughtfulness they put into their their coffees and treats. While ordering we got into conversation with the barista about their sugar-free flavor syrups. They have a TON of sugar free flavor options. Turns out all of the syrups they use have no dye in them, and the sugar free is sweetened with Stevia! They get their syrup from a local source who worked with them to remove all the dye and artificial sweeteners from the syrup they buy. The sugar flavors are made with organic sugar, too! You can taste the difference in the drinks, in a very good way. If you stay at any of the resorts along hwy 31 just east of Traverse City, this is a great little coffee shop for breakfast pastries and tasty drinks.

The drive up 31 took about an hour (it’s around 60 miles northeast around Lake Michigan). We drove through Charlevoix and planned to go back on the way home. Next time I would love to show my mom some of our favorite little shops there.

Roast & Toast
We rolled into Petoskey just in time for lunch. We spent New Year  last year in Petoskey and had some of the best gluten-free sandwiches at a place called Roast & Toast. My mom is GF too and I couldn’t wait for her to try it. Their menu is HUGE. So many sandwiches!!!

Roast and Toast in Petoskey
Roast and Toast in Petoskey
Gluten-free Sandwich at Roast & Toast
Gluten-free Sandwich at Roast & Toast

I had the Peppered turkey with Swiss on Udi’s gluten-free bread. Mom had the  grilled barbecue chicken sandwich on Udi’s, and Brian got a chicken ranch wrap and creamy chicken noodle soup (not GF). We loved our lunch, and it’s been packed with people both times I’ve been here, I’m guessing others love it too.

It started snowing while we were eating lunch, but that didn’t stop us from poking around all the little shops in Petoskey. I had to restrain myself from buying my niece “Bean” (due in June) every little adorable baby item I saw. At Grandpa Shorter’s I fell in love with an adorable pair of Minnetonka Mocassins, but I couldn’t convince my mom to buy’em.

Minnetonka Kids in Hot Pink (Image from Zappos)
Minnetonka Kids in Hot Pink (Image from Zappos)

American Spoon is a northern Michigan staple like Cherry Republic. So, of course, we had to take mom there to taste all of the delicious preserves and jams! While there we took advantage of the many samples. SO GOOD.

American Spoon samples
American Spoon samples

We brought home some Blueberry Cherry preserve, and my mom bought a cherry salsa to give to my aunt and uncle in New York. The shopkeeper gave her a recipe to make a chicken dish with the Cherry Peach Salsa, which I since have heard was DELICIOUS! The recipe was from their website here.

We stopped in a few more shops, including the adorable general store (pics below), before heading to Kilwin’s for some Michigan fudge.

Quaint shopping streets and small town charm in Petoskey
Quaint shopping streets and small town charm in Petoskey
Petoskey General Store
Petoskey General Store
Petoskey General Store
Petoskey General Store

Scariest Drive Ever
It was pretty clear out, but the icy roads and high winds gave us cause for worry so we headed home while it was still light. Highway 31 on the way into Petoskey was pretty icy and treacherous, so we opted for the inland route back to Traverse City. Though it was plenty sunny, the high winds and tall snow drifts on the roadside made it the most terrifying drive EVER. There were moments when it looked like we were driving through an ocean of snow. By the time we made it back to Traverse City I was a bit rattled and felt lucky we had made it back safely. The sunset at the other end of the drive made it well worth it!

Traverse City sunset outside our friends home
Traverse City sunset outside our friends home

Om Cafe dinner
Tired from the long day of exploring and driving, we opted for a low-key dinner. Om Cafe was the perfect, cozy, low-key choice. There is an Om Cafe in Ferndale just a few miles from where we live, but we haven’t made it there yet. After our yummy dinner in Traverse City I will definitely be trying the Ferndale location. My mom and I split the mushroom burger and stir fry noodles. We absolutely loved the mushroom burger. My mom swapped the cheese for goat cheese and it was sooooo good. Would absolutely get  it again. We all shared the Cherry “cobbler” for dessert. The tart cherries and the nutty crumble topping were a great pair. It would have been incredible with a small scoop of vanilla rice dream ice cream!

Dinner at Om Cafe
Dinner at Om Cafe

April (Bridal) Showers 2013

Last year was one busy year. So busy that I hardly had a chance to share about all of our wedding festivities and preparation. Thinking back on happy memories is a great way to lift ones spirits, so I thought I’d begin the process of looking back and sharing our wedding journey :-).

We started with an engagement BBQ party hosted by my parents, and then another joint engagement party hosted by Brian’s parents celebrating his sister’s and our engagement. The coolest part: Brian’s parent rented an ice cream truck for the engagement party! We were so caught up in the excitement that I never got a single picture of the fun. If you are looking for engagement party ideas, I highly recommend a summer party with an ice cream truck, it was a hit!

California Shower

Brian and I went on our first date April 6th, 2010. Three years later, on April 6th 2013 my best friend Micah and a close family friend hosted my first of 3 wedding showers. It was a gorgeous, sunny, California day. Sitting out in the bright mid-day sunshine, sipping on mimosas, surrounded by women I love, we celebrated our love and future! My favorite part: copious sunshine and my closest friends 🙂

Me and one of the beautiful hostesses, my bestie Micah!
Bridesmaids shot!
My mom with my best friends mom. They're the cutest.
My mom with my best friend’s mom. They’re the cutest.

Michigan Shower

A little later in April my mother-law’s friends got together to throw us another lovely wedding shower! They rented a space at a golf course and hosted a lovely lunch. Though we got some actual April showers that day, it was a really nice gathering and we were really grateful to have the chance to celebrate with Brian’s family. My favorite part? The AMAZING gluten-free cakes from Rumi’s Passion Gluten-Free Bakery in Plymouth Michigan. The hostesses were so thoughtful and even picked up some of Rumi’s Passion’s gluten-free dinner rolls for me to have with our lunch. I love this bakery, it is a fully gluten-free bakery with a ton of sweet and savory specialties.

My friends at the Michigan Shower.
My work friends at the Michigan Shower.
My in-laws. I <3 them.
My in-laws. I ❤ them.
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake from Rumi's Passion Bakery.
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake from Rumi’s Passion Bakery.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake from Rumi's Passion Bakery.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake from Rumi’s Passion Bakery.


Work Wedding Shower Tea Party

At my old job I worked with an amazing group of women who became great friends (and luckily, I think this will be true for my new job as well). These lovely women put together an adorable tea party themed bridal shower at the office and I was happy as can be. One of my colleagues formerly worked at a home for aging nuns. There she met many older nuns who have a LARGE collection of assorted tea cups and saucers, and they were kind enough to loan them to her for the party. Each cup was unique and had that feminine delicate prettiness that makes tea parties so adorable. It was really a special day, I felt so loved and cared for with my work family around me, I will always be grateful!

Tea party gluten-free cupcakes!
Tea party gluten-free cucumber sandwiches and gluten-free cupcakes!
One of the many pretty tea cup sets loaned by the nuns.
One of the many pretty tea-cup sets loaned by the nuns.

Garden Shower/Bachelorette!

At the beginning of June, Brian and his best friends headed up north to a rented home on Torch lake for a weekend of Bachelor party debauchery. To keep my mind of things, and as a loving gesture, one of my bridesmaids (the Best Man’s wife and amazing hostess-with-the-mostess, Jes) hosted a garden shower/bachelorette celebration that was absolutely divine! Jes has incredible taste and throws great parties. She pays attention to every detail and it always comes out beautifully. We started the afternoon with a backyard brunch. We all had a fair share of  delicious (and strong) champagne punch, and were soon dancing away! We ended the night out on the town. We didn’t get into too much trouble though ;-).

The garden party settings.
The garden party settings.
Beautiful table setting.
Beautiful table setting.
The spread, it was all delicious.
The spread, it was all delicious.


Lox (smoked Salmon) for the bagels.
Lox (smoked Salmon) for the bagels.
Cucumber appetizers.
Cucumber appetizers.
Gorgeous, gigantic home grown peonies.
Gorgeous, gigantic home grown peonies.
My favorite flowers. Pretty, pretty peonies!
My favorite flowers. Pretty, pretty peonies!


The lovely hostess
The lovely hostess
Ladies night on the town.
Ladies night on the town.

Northern Michigan Adventure Day 1

My mother came to town last weekend and we took a little get away to Traverse City and Petoskey!

We drove from here to here!
We drove from here to here!

The Ride Up
On the way up north there were occasional snow flurries at first, but once we got past the cement and clutter of suburbia it was an enjoyable pastoral scene. We made a few rest stops, and as we got further north the blustering winds really started to pick up.

My patient husband, holding on tight to the wheel, navigated us through as the snow got heavier and the wind stronger. At points where there were open fields along the roadside, the wind, uninterrupted by barns or tree banks, whipped up over the road blinding and tossing us about.
Snowy ride. (image by readysetsarah)
Snowy ride. (image by readysetsarah)
Lunch in Traverse City
After hours of white knuckle driving, we arrived in Traverse City safe and sound. Brian has a good friend who lives in town with his wife and toddler and he recommended we dine at Amical on Front Street.
Front Street Traverse City (image by ReadySetSarah)
Front Street, Traverse City (image by ReadySetSarah)
Like most adorable vacation towns, Traverse City has a great walkable downtown district, with the main drag along Front Street, just off of the lake. In the summer all of the Northern Michigan vacation towns are crawling with people, but this time of year it’s easy to get a table pretty much anywhere. Yelp rated Amical as $$$, but had we not gotten drinks with our lunches it would have been reasonably priced. It was certainly delicious. Brian ranked the Amical Reuben among his favorites he’s had, and thought the pasta salad it came with was a great match. I had the chicken Caesar. As far as Caesar salads go, it was good. The dressing  was tasty and had a bit more mustard flavor than usual (I use mustard powder in my Caesar dressing, but this had a strong mustard flavor). My mom got the special pumpkin seed encrusted whitefish on a bed of wild rice with arugula salad. We all cleared our plates and seemed to really enjoy it. Amical had a sweet atmosphere, good food, and a nice location. I would definitely recommend it!
After lunch we went for a brief, blustery stroll on front street. Even covered in snow and whipped by wind this place has the charm. We popped into Cherry Republic (for those who don’t know, cherry republic is a staple of northern Michigan offering a bevy of tart cherry products ranging from chocolate covered cherries, to cherry salsa and barbecue sauce). We chatted a bit with the shopkeeper, I was so pleased by his good nature and welcoming attitude. He explained to us about how Northern Michigan produces about a 3rd of the tart cherries either nationally or globally (check that), and about how 2 crops ago the early thaw and re-freeze led to loss of crops. Polish cherries came to the rescue, which is why a sign of gratitude to Poland hangs in the shop. We left with a bag of dark chocolate cherries and a jar of original cherry salsa (two of my favorites).
Next we stopped into a clothing shop, Glicks, which I had been in when we visited Frankfurt, Michigan a few years ago (link to post). Glicks is a trendy but sort of funky-cool boutique with reasonable prices and some great finds. The young woman tending shop was also a great personality and fun to talk to. My mom and I both picked up some fleece lined leggings, and I got some uber cool patterned leggings.
Crazy pants. Literally, the softest leggings ever.
Crazy pants. Literally, the softest leggings ever.
Overall, the shop keepers were all super nice, friendly, and funny (unlike the snobbish treatment I’ve received in some California vacation towns). Even the barista at a local coffee shop we ducked into to use the restroom was all smiles and conversation. This has been my experience in most of the shops we’ve gone to in Northern Michigan towns over the last few years. I love it up here! It’s beautiful, and the people are awesome.
Filling Station
We checked into the townhouse at the Traverse Bay Inn in the late afternoon ready for a nap. For the price, you can’t go wrong with this place. Our room had a small entry/lounging area with a studio style kitchen. The upstairs bedroom was cozy with two full size beds. And the downstairs bedroom had a queen and quaint view of snow-covered trees.
We met up with Brian’s buddy Dave, and is family for dinner at the  at the Filling Station Microbrewery. The restaurant is cozy, and in what looks like an old train station. My mom and I were delighted to find that they had great gluten-free pizza. We shared on with basil oil, and an out of control sweet s’mores desert pizza  (minus the graham cracker crumble. It’s not  a gf kitchen, but we did ok (no cross contamination sickness). The pizza was really good, Brian enjoyed his regular (non-gf) pizza too. Good prices, “very good” beer (according to Brian), delicious food and a creative menu. Again, the staff was friendly. For how cold it is up here, Up North is warming on me.
Old Friends
Old Friends
The Filling Station
The Filling Station

Filling Station2

Breakfast Egg “Muffins”

Another delicious grab and go breakfast experiment!

We’ve been eating Banana Oat breakfast muffins in different variations for a few weeks so I decided to try another high protein option for those rushed weekday mornings. I’ve seen a few different “egg muffins” on Pinterest and I thought it might be fun to give them a try. Most of the Pinterest versions include a lot of dairy (cheese, milk, etc) and pig products (ham muffin liners, bacon bits, etc), but since Brian and I are cutting back on dairy and I don’t eat any pork products I made up my own version.

Here’s what I put in (makes twelve muffins):

  • 6 whole eggs
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour or other flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (My favorite is Trader Joe’s Vanilla Unsweetened in the refrigerator section)
  • 1 chicken apple sausage (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 large green jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/2 zucchini squash
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 package Applegate herb roasted turkey slices (there are less than twelve so I cut them up to line all of the cups)
  • Coconut oil pan spray (Trader Joe’s)

1) Chop up the veggies and sausage into small pieces and mix together.

2) In a separate bowl use six whole eggs and with the other 6 separate out the egg white and yolk and use only the egg white. Add the almond milk and rice flour and whisk until mixed thoroughly.

3) Sprayed the muffin tin with coconut oil pan spray and lay about a half a slice of  turkey into the tin as a liner.

4) Fill the cups of the muffin tin with a scoop of the veggie/sausage mix each. I filled them up pretty high since the egg mix filled in around it all. Pour the eggs, almond milk and rice flour mix over it.

5) I baked these for about 25 minutes at 350 (checking back until the center of the cups were solid and not liquidy).

6) Let them cool and enjoy!

Egg Muffins. Image by Ready Set Sarah

I didn’t freeze any because I wasn’t sure how well they would thaw… a friend told me they thaw better with dairy in them. It didn’t matter though because between Brian and I we went through them in one work week. We’d pop them in the microwave for about 40 seconds in the morning. Super fast, satisfying and easy.

I put the ingredients into the My Fitness Pal recipe builder on the app and this is the nutritional information it gave me for this recipe. This is for a serving of one Muffin. Not a bad breakfast!

Nutritional info for 1 egg muffin (From MyFitnessPal)

Muffins, Mimosas & Football

Weekends, the best of days.

What more are Sundays for than long walks with your pup, baking, and watching football? It may be early fall (or technically late summer) but we are settling in to Michigan’s finest season in style. Yesterday my alma mater #BeatND while we watched from my sister-in-laws birthday dinner celebration. Today, we are watching our Detroit Lions in style while enjoying delicious healthy muffins and even more delicious Mimosas. Ah weekends, I love you so.

Cockapoo Brinkley Says GO BLUE! (image by Ready Set Sarah)
Cockapoo Brinkley Says GO BLUE! (image by Ready Set Sarah)

Before the game today we took Brinkley for a long walk around the neighborhood. We had planned on putting her in her Lions jersey, but discovered that she is nearly twice the size she was last football season and will definitely need a new Jersey this year. I mean, a girl needs a jersey if she is going to watch football with her daddy, right?

Baby Brinkley in her Lions Jersey

Sunday’s are usually my meal prep day for the week (when I’m being good). So I spent the beginning of todays game making Banana Oatmeal Breakfast muffins that I discovered on  Pinterest (here). I’ve made them once before and they taste and smell amazing! Full disclosure they stick to the muffin liners but are delicious enough that I don’t really mind. I used Trader Joe’s Gluten Free rolled oats and I added pecan pieces and some cocoa powder to personalize the recipe. They are serious yum.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins (Image by Ready Set Sarah)
Banana Oatmeal Muffins (Image by Ready Set Sarah)

To top off this relaxing afternoon, Brian suggested we pop open some wedding celebratory Champaign and make Mimosas. I’m telling you, these muffins pair very well with orange juice and Champaign. Happy Sunday and Happy Football day!