Sock-It-To-Me Cake

sock-it-to-me-cake-slice2

My newspaper’s bankruptcy filing, mice in kitchen cabinets, snow and days of below-freezing temperatures, a friend’s engagement (!!!), another best friend laid off, being denied an apartment, an interview set up (!!), still not having a firm moving date… This week, you guys, was too much. (In perspective, of course, thankfully everyone is still ok, my family and friends are healthy, everyone has a home.) But still, what a roller coaster few days, on top of this months-long state of upheaval.

Growing up, I’m learning, isn’t so easy. Decisions to make, relationships that change, jobs and homes and money on the forefront.

It wasn’t like this as a teenager with light-hearted responsibilities and few life-changing decisions to make. (Back then, I wasn’t too concerned/conscious about what I ate, either.) Some of my favorite memories are weekend-long camping trips with my small Girl Scout troop. We’d set up our tents at one of Virginia’s many great parks, like Douthat and Fairy Stone, and spend hours on the lakes, sunning and paddle boating, building campfires at the campsite, discovering itty bitty frogs on hikes in the woods, having fun and eating well. Menus stuck to this route–silver turtles in the fire, good ol’ sandwiches, biscuits in the Dutch oven with sausage gravy, and one of my favorites, sock-it-to-me cake. My longtime friend Sarah, would always bring this classic jacked-up cake mix, made by her mom, Ellen, who has baked it for as long as Sarah can remember. Not worried about calories, I could nibble on slice after slice at all times of the day.

Continue reading “Sock-It-To-Me Cake”

Advertisements

Avocado toast with eggs for breakfast

Honey nut cheerios used to be my mainstay. For years, a bowl of this cereal–often topped with sliced banana–would fill me up until it came time for lunch. Little else filled the breakfast role. My mother must have purchased countless boxes of cereal, quickly turning to the larger bags of store brand instead. Occasionally, I’d opt for bowls of yogurt or oatmeal, but before too long, back to the sweetened o’s.

Maybe growing up, I needed consistency; change was bad, cheerios were good. Cereal was never a risky endeavor–there’s no way to go wrong. And back then, avocado never would have been anywhere near a breakfast dish. No way.

But. I didn’t know what I was missing out on. Accepting that change can (sometimes) be good, I vary my breakfast almost every day now. A few minutes spent cooking in the morning keeps my diet interesting, and prevents boredom at the kitchen table. Oatmeal sweetened with maple syrup and topped with almonds and chia seeds one day; peach pancakes the next; a fried egg sandwich later in the week; a veggie and feta filled omelet another day; and plain Stonyfield yogurt topped with local granola to round out the week. Blackberry scones, filled with the remaining (frozen) berries from this summer’s picking, will come up for their turn soon enough.

Of course, I have to say I’m very thankful that I have the time in the morning to cook as I please. Between the sunrise barks (aka the dog wakeup call) and a newsroom that starts the day closer to 10, I’ve got plenty of opportunity to whip up a little something simple, and to sit down to enjoy whatever it may be.

avocadotoast

Continue reading “Avocado toast with eggs for breakfast”

Sunrises, coyotes, and deep thoughts during morning walks; peach & sour cream pancakes

Morning walks are my escape.

sunrise
Every day, my phone starts playing The Weepies’ “Gotta Have You” around 6:15 a.m., well before the sun makes its way into the day. Moments later, Rachel’s barks echo through the house and to my upstairs bedroom, forcing my body to get vertical, dressed and downstairs within seconds, because otherwise, I’m afraid that one day, my housemate may start to fuss. I certainly would.

Glass of water chugged, teeth brushed and sneakers tied, dog and I are out the door around 6:30. She’s always ready to start her day, to sniff and pull, to chase cats and eat mulch, and to pick up chicken bones that I have to pry out of her strong jaws. Me, I’m awake, but just as my body needs to get its blood flowing again, my mind needs its own exercise.

Continue reading “Sunrises, coyotes, and deep thoughts during morning walks; peach & sour cream pancakes”

Scones, scones, scones

I’ve been baking scones a lot lately. I don’t know why, scones have never been something that I was a fan of. I always thought they were kinda dry and boring. When I worked at a bookstore cafe, though a lot of the bake case items were delicious (man I miss those Reese’s cookies so much even though they were probably 2,000 calories each!), the scones just always seemed eh.

20120319-221834.jpg
Breakfast every morning, please!

My mom has made homemade scones though a few times, simple, plain, cream scones, with some citrus zest and plenty of toppings — fresh strawberries, fresh whipped cream, lemon curd, the works. Mmmm.

Continue reading “Scones, scones, scones”