When Life Gives You…

Hey everybody! Thanks so much for the compliments on the blue… dress? I forgot to say that it’s actually a blouse haha, but that doesn’t really matter! But finding some matching bottoms does, and I’m on the hunt for some. Oh, and Matilda says thank you as well. She knows she’s a little cutie-patootie, but she never minds being reminded by others. Also, I found an unused notebook sitting around the house so I’ve already been compiling some things for my cookbook. I’ll definitely keep you posted on how it’s coming along!

A new grain for breakfast?

My mom recently came down with a stomach virus–uh oh–so she had to have things that were easier on the tummy for her. That’s when we realized we had a bag of Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain cereal. This is made with stone ground high protein hard red wheat, rye, triticale, oat bran, oats, corn, barley, soy beans, brown rice, millet, and flaxseed. I really liked it! The flavor that stood out to me the most was the corn. I thought about what fruits would go well with this. I opted for a sliced banana, and dried fruits like dates, golden raisins, and cranberries. Then I decided to put a big spoonful of my favorite crunchy peanut butter on top!

And what could this be?

The other day when perusing through Whole Food’s bulk bins I spotted Toffee Almond granola. Uh… what else is there to do besides fill a baggie up with it? Well, besides taste-testing it first, nothing! It is so so SO yummy, especially with Greek yogurt, sliced banana + dried dates, and chocolate almond butter. I also picked up another granola, but I’ll save that for another time!


Last weekend I went to a belly dancing party hosted by my mom’s friend.

Pulling out some moves I learned from belly dancing classes.
This furry little friend made lots of photo opts!
Doh! Too cute to be real!
She is one of my favorite people that I’ve met at our family friends’ house.
The wonderful hostess herself!
The decorations were awesome.
And some of the yummy food.
The princess woke up!
And we made a toast–laheim!
Oh hi!
Then the belly dancer came!

Only a few of us were filled in on the secret. And the people who weren’t in the know were definitely surprised!

In awe
And then the rest of us joined in.
Then the dancers took a break to pose for the camera hehe.

The party was so much fun, and themed parties are my favorite! My friends and I use to throw themed parties a lot when we were in high school. One party we never got to throw was one called the “Dream Team” party. Basically, we’d go as whoever we thought was the coolest person dead or alive. Maybe it should’ve been called “The Impossible Cool”.

The next day was Father’s Day I had something in mind.

I saw this as the perfect opportunity to give a shot at grilling. I have definitely eaten grilled things, but I’ve never been the one behind the heat. This was also a chance to try some goodies sent to me courtesy of Foodbuzz and Nature’s Pride. They sent me their new Premium Harvest line: country white bakery buns and deli rolls, and whole wheat bakery buns.

It was father-daughter bonding time.
Yum yum
The veggie spread…

Grilled eggplant with mango chutney, grilled key lime ginger glazed chayote, and the famous parsnip fries. Wow, the fries were delicious and everyone fell in love. We loved them so much that we actually asked “who gets the last one?”

“Okay okay.. I guess you can have it since it’s Father’s Day”
My plate

I made a batch of snobby joe lentilsΒ and grilled sun-dried tomatoes and onions to go with the country white deli rolls, and all of the veggies plus some goat cheese. I thought the deli rolls smelled sweet so I wanted to try them ASAP. They went on the grill as well, and they did not disappoint.

None of the meal disappointed!
And look! I picked a pocket-sized papaya the other day!

The tree has produced papayas of all shapes and sizes!

The country white bakery bun with a homemade backyard black bean burger.

I was intrigued by the use of cornmeal in this recipe, which turned out to be delicious. It was kind of freaky though how much this bean burger resembled an actual hamburger. Topped with avocado, baby spinach, and ketchup in a bun it was ready to be eaten! This Nature’s Pride bun wasn’t bad, but nothing really stood out about it. Since I didn’t want to waste these buns, I looked up different ways that I could make use of them and I got lots of results! There were suggestions like bread pudding and French toast. I opted for a very simple solution…

Enter the incredibly easy croutons!

You know what? I would buy these bakery buns just to make these croutons because they are addicting!

Leftover Bakery Bun Croutons

-Three bakery buns

-6 Tbl Olive oil

-1/2 tsp sea salt

-1/2 tsp dried oregano

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1/2 tsp onion powder

-1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F.

2. Take the three bakery buns and slice them into cubes.

3. Mix the olive oil with the seasonings. Then toss the bread cubes in the mix, making sure they’re coated.

4. Put into the oven for 15 minutes, turning them over half way through.

Then just see how long these croutons will last before they disappear. Afterwards I thought of trying them with parmesan next.

Another bun, hun.

Last but not least, I tried Nature’s Pride whole wheat bakery buns. I liked these better than the country white actually. I usually prefer things that taste grainier, but my favorite from all three were the country white deli rolls. Although they weren’t grainy, they were sweet and had sesame seeds on top. The country white bakery buns didn’t have anything special like that. Maybe they can try adding sesame seeds to the buns as well?

And another bean burger.

Having all these buns in the house, got me looking at bean burger recipes. So I made another variation. These vegan bean burgers caught my eye when they were featured on Kath’s blog. You should definitely give these a try! I loved how some of the beans were kept whole which gave them a great texture. The spices also included cinnamon (which is one of my favorites), coriander, and cumin. I would say that this bean burger recipe is creative, and those are usually the types of recipes I’m drawn to… something with a twist! Also, read the comments on that page for suggestions on adding and substituting ingredients.

These may look pretty...

But I kind of messed up!

I stumbled upon Katie’s Banana Chip Muffin recipe, and changed some things around. I added sesame seeds and used oat flour and brown sugar instead of what was originally called for. Because I over-baked them the white chocolate chips melted into oblivion–oops. I also thought these were mini-muffins, but I only had a regular muffin tin so I tried to spread the batter out more. I knew it looked like too little batter for each muffin, but I went ahead with it anyway. Later on I found out that they were indeed suppose to be regular-sized muffins. Oh well!

When life gives you bad muffins... make toasted crumbs?

29 thoughts on “When Life Gives You…

  1. A belly dancing party sounds amazing! Ahh why are you so awesome? Haha I’m serious! And I’ve been wanting to try Bob’s Red Mill stuff. It’s expensive but sounds like it’s worth it!

  2. You’ve found your calling = belly dancer extraordinaire πŸ˜€ Make lots of tips, hahahahaha.

    Oh my, that dog really DOESN’T look real!! Way too cute!!

    Toasted muffin crumbs = genius fix, my soul sista.

  3. The belly dancing party sounds like lots of fun! When I was little, I actually used to take belly dancing classes with my mom. I know it sounds a little strange for a kid to do that, but it was actually a great time and a total confidence-builder. It’s hard not to love your body and feel strong with belly dancing!

    The cute little dog (which seriously looks like a stuffed animal) was definitely a bonus to the party. What breed was he/she?

    Thanks for the links to veggie burger recipes. Summer totally calls for lots of grilled veggies and veggie burgers. My favorite remains as Gena’s Sunshine Burgers. They’re too good to be true.

    Oh, and I just thought you should know that you’re amazing :). Not only do all your meals look and sound fab, but you definitely know how to make lemonade out of lemons… err make delicious bread crumbs out of meh bread/muffin crumbles out of teeny muffins.

    Have a lovely day!

  4. I went to a belly dancing class once and it was so much fun! not sure why i didn’t go back!! when i first glanced at that picture, i thought the belly dancer was Tyra Banks!!!! Got a bit of a shock…then realised it wasn’t!

    That toffee almond granola sounds gorgeous..mind you, anything with toffee flavour is! x

  5. Serious yum’s all over this post lady! I also adore theme parties but have yet to try belly dancing….it must have been so much fun. The veggie burgers all look and sound delicious…gotta love black bean burgers right!

    Oh, and I won some bob’s red mill 10 grain cereal way back and loved it too!

  6. I love hearing of all your adventures – looks like you’ve been having a ton of fun ones lately, and good food and company to go along with it πŸ™‚
    The last bean burgers you posted are my fav black bean burgers yet, too. Must be the cinnamon!

  7. haha, belly dancing!! i can totally see you doing that, like professionally. you look the part for sure!!

    and um…WAY CUTE DOG!!

    i love black bean burgers. i have yet to try making them again since the last ones i made fell apart. soon though.

    looks like you have been having a good time these past few days gorgeous!!

  8. Hey There! I LOVE the belly dancing party….SO MUCH FUN!!! You look so pretty! Haven’t made black bean burgers yet…but I need to try them out soon!!! Thank you SO much for stopping back and responding…I’m in the burbs, so there are not as many choices..I hear city life is much more veg-friendly…even though it’s only 20 mins from me..it’s traffic, parking (20 bucks to park anywhere), and hassles…so not worth it, unless it’s a night out!!! I think I need to just open one in the suburbs, haha….in my dreams!

    Glad to see you’re having so much fun! xoxo

  9. Mini or not..they look wonderful! πŸ™‚ How did your variations taste thats the real question! πŸ™‚

    Your too cute btw..and so is your too cute little furry friend! πŸ™‚

  10. What a FUN party! I have always wanted to take belly dancing lessons but I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that until now! πŸ˜‰

    I bet you rocked it girl. You just look like you could be a belly dancer. You must have been a natural.

    I love that you are making croutons out of all of the buns. Such a great idea! I do this a lot too, or I try to make something like a strata or a bread salad to use it up. I hate wasting but if worst comes to worst, I will just feed it to the birds.

    Hope your week is going so well my darling! πŸ™‚

  11. OH MY JEEZE I want that puppy!! What a fluff-ball!! And that party totally makes the one I am throwing saturday so lame!! In my defense though, it is at my in laws house, so I cant really decorate. I am such a horrid belly dancer, I would have ran away if they made me do it!!

  12. okay now im speechless!!!

    well not quite.. im gonna comment lol

    im just mostly in AWE of how amazing the decorations and your costume looked for the belly dancing night. okay how many people do i know have belly dancing parties being hosted intheir homes!! ummm exactly! this is so fabulous! i love how everyone sitting on the couch has the best facial expressions.. theyre so inquisitive about whats going on hehe πŸ˜›

    give you momma a huge hug for me and all of us <3 im so sorry she's feeling crappy!

    i have bob's creamy rice hot cereal.. the gluten-free brown rice one and its really good. it doesnt cook up really thick but the texture and flavor aint to bad.

    btw. how cool that u made your own croutons!!! <3 geez i just realized how much i love ur blog.. i feel like one of those celeb fans who stalk fan pages looking for the new photo updates haha πŸ™‚

    and thank you too btw for ur comment on my wisdom teeth. my dentist called me in today to make sure i didnt have dry socket! luckily i dont, but it sounds incredibly painful. and oops i actually drank my smoothie with a straw, but no more of that now, thanks!! <3

    have a wonderful night! xoxo

  13. Hope your mommy will feel a 100% better soon- Gute Besserung!! Parsnip fries sounds awesome, must try these asap πŸ™‚ yumm! And IΒ΄m a huge fan of bean burgers, unfortunately mine always turn out a tad too dry πŸ™

    Have a lovely day

    xoxo Mel

    P.S.: Deutschland-Ghana 1:0 … letΒ΄s see what will happen on sunday…

  14. OK, I’m convinced. If you just happen to have the perfect top for belly dancing in your closet, you MUST have the most amazing wardrobe ever. I thought it all along, but this just confirms it.

  15. A belly dancing party, that is so cool! I love the costumes and DECOR. I wish someone I knew hosted something like that! Loving that puppy too, I think I might have to steal him!

  16. I can never get over how fun and exciting your life always looks! It’s always full of such delicious looking food and such fun parties πŸ™‚ And speaking of parties, that belly dancing one looks like SO much fun. I took a few belly dancing classes before, and it’s definitely a good workout. And I must say that you make one good looking belly dancer πŸ˜‰

  17. I am coming to the next belly dancing party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love it!! How cool!!

    U should be a professional belly dancer girl, you looked beautiful!!!! I love how she decorated for the party too!!!!

    I hope your weekend is going amazing!!!!!!!! Love ya to pieces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  18. Belly dancing party!!!! I would be SO in! I have don’t pole dancing parties, but never belly dancing! Did you have to go buy that perfect top, or was is just something you had laying around?? The decorations were gorgeous too!
    That dog (what was a dog, right?) was ADORABLE! So so cute, even if it wasn’t actually a dog.
    You are so creative with your food too! I would never think to make croutons! And definitely not muffin crumbs! (How were they, by the way?)

  19. lots of bun action in this post- love it πŸ™‚ there is nothing better than a big piece of bread. I agree with you, i love the grainy taste.
    You are a stunning person, inside & out, and i love seeing these pictures where you are so clearly happy! & those belly dancing pictures are awesome. Cute outfits too!!!


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