dems the breks

who can pick what their favorite meal of the day is? i'd bet that for most people it's a toss up between lunch & dinner. oh, the lovely parade of sandwiches (cold & hot), sushi, soups, or steaming plates of grains and veggies and proteins that marches through our minds when we imagine mid-day or sun-down supping.

while i have a very hard time choosing my favorite (depends on the day, my mood, and what's in the fridge, i guess...), breakfast was never really in the running. brunch, yes, but that's really just breakfast for lunch with some soothing boozy beverages thrown in, right?

but lately, breakfast - real and true breakfast - has just been so pleasing to me. there's something quite grounding about a morning routine because, honestly, waking up is very often a major bummer. whether you are fighting to shrug off the dark cloak of a lingering dream or are bright eyed as the sun, the moment you swing your legs over the edge of the bed and go from horizontal to vertical - it just kind of sucks. if you have a cozy bedfellow who gets to sleep in every day, and the hardwood floor is newly cold under your toes, it can be even worse! but the promise of strong coffee, a bowl of cereal, a nice piece of fruit...these small bites ease my pain each morning before i hustle out of the house, work-bound.

unlike most of my habits, i eat almost the same thing for breakfast every day: first, a glass of homebrewed kombucha (best on an empty stomach), a small bowl of plain organic yogurt w/ kashi cereal or granola, and a piece of toast with jam, peanut butter, or both. a pear, banana, or a little bunch of grapes usually rounds this out alongside a cup of coffee or black tea. i don't always enjoy repetition, but for breakfast i find it absolutely necessary.

my dad was in town this weekend (yay!), and we had him over for a little brunch on sunday morning. instead of going the eggs/tofu scramble-potatoes-toast route, i decided to steer it back toward my usual AM fare - but with a few extra flourishes, because weekend mornings (especially a beautifully clear fall sunday morning, when one of your parents is coming to visit) deserve a little more luxury than the monday-to-friday treatment...

quartered muti-grain and cornbread muffins (thanks whole foods...didn't have time to make my own), cranberry bread toast (not pictured), sliced nectarines, apples and bananas, ginger granola, 4-fruit jam and cream cheese, and of course COFFEE!!!! comprised this lovely breks. filling, hearty and healthy it was an excellent way to start our day together. we sat in the backyard and grazed and chatted, and (despite a stubborn little hangover on my part), all was as it should be. that is the power of breakfast!




just a quick follow up on the dinner lauren and i made on wednesday. between mouthfuls of this super hearty and excellent southern inspired meal, we cheered on pitching wonderboy roy hallady and the rest of our boys as they soundly beat the saggy pants off the reds.

i'm typing this with my fingers crossed that they can do it again tonight! i'll just be eating leftovers instead of a killer home cooked meal, but there's only so much time in the day...

salt & pepper polenta topped with spicy beans, tempeh bacon & collard greens, and sweet potato fries

Spicy Beans
makes 2-4 servings~
~takes about 15 minutes~

1 can of beans (almost any kind will do, we used roman beans), drained and rinsed
1-2 cloves of garlic, diced
1-2 hot peppers, chopped finely (we used sweet habaneros, but jalepeno or long hots would be great, too!)
1 tomato, chopped (no need to peel, or de-seed or any of that fancy stuff)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp chili powder or cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want it...)
1 tsp oil
hot sauce and/or bbq sauce to taste
salt to taste

- in a small saucepan over medium heat, warm up 1 tsp veggie, olive, safflower, or whatever kind of oil you like.

- add the diced garlic and peppers. sautee gently for about 5 minutes, then dust with the chili powder or cayenne.

- add the beans and bring to a brisk simmer.

- add the veggie stock, and turn the heat down to low.

- simmer until most of the stock has absorbed (1o mins), and the beans are starting to break down. stir in the tomatoes.

- taste it. how spicy is it? how much spicier do you want to make it? that will determine how much bbq sauce or hot sauce you want to add. if you're not sure, add slowly, tasting in between. that's basically it!

you can customize this recipe by adding other veggies in step 2 (carrots, bell peppers, onions, etc), by tailoring the spices to your likes (some chipolte is nice), or by stirring in some grated cheese instead of bbq/hot sauce at the end. then go ahead and put these frijoles all up in some tacos, on a sandwich w/ avocado, or atop some fluffy grains like we did. bang!



i can't fight this feeling

tonight is the first game of the NLDS, our beloved Phillies vs. the Reds. sissy and i are meeting up after work to make dinner (she's been texting me with some talk of collards, tempeh bacon and polenta - perfect early october meal!), catch up, and watch the game together. i expect there to be lots of of cheering, hugging and occasional cursing at the TV.

while we're not the sportiest gals, lauren and i have both really gotten into the Phillies over the past few years. could it have something to do with the joint crush we've both developed on lil Carlos Ruiz? who in their right mind wouldn't want to go on a dream date with this babe?

daaaaamn, chooch

seriously though, i think i'm beginning to truly grasp how people become unconditionally devoted to their home team, and even how a win or loss can affect their mood for the next day or two. what can i say? the Phillies are a kick ass team with a lot of balls and a lot of heart, and it has been a real pleasure to support them throughout the season. on a different level, it's also pretty cool to feel connected to other Philadelphians through our mutual love of this team. why, just last night i was having a few pints in a cozy neighborhood spot, when i laid eyes on this incredible homemade gigantic cap adorning the fridge:

when i spotted this sublime creation, i felt the embodiment of the expression "oh, hell yeah." i love banding together with strangers! so go Phils, and remember ya'll, yelling at umpires while simultaneously high-fiving your bros and jamming beers doesn't necessarily make you a jock.



pupusas - my new favorite thing to eat

how have i not had these before? how can i not find these ANYWHERE in philly? new york, why do you have to be so awesome all the time? (down with the yankees, btw)

pupusas are an el salvadorian delicacy consisting of a thick hand-made corn tortilla (think a tortilla with a pancake thickness) with cheese, beans, veggies or meat mixed into the batter. wikipedia says: pupusas are typically served with curtido (lightly fermented cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar) and a watery tomato salsa. add some weird sort of thin sour cream and jalapenos and I'M SO IN. i got one with beans and cheese and one with loroco and cheese. loroco is sort of like a spinachy green but is actually unopened flower buds. i have to find this stuff in philly.

we went to the red hook mercado, a little hole in the fence joint, fashioned after latin american open air markets. a lovely garden away from it all vibe, picnic tables, lush greenery and all - pair it with insanely good mexican food stands and a cupcake merchant, what more do you need on a saturday afternoon?

well if you throw in a pie at steve's key lime, and a ferry ride out to governor's island to see an art show in the old naval barracks, i guess that would certainly round it out.

oh, we don't "do" slices

outdoor art installation

view from governor's island

weird/creepy/cool art

i watched this little animatronic skeleton move around
for about 5 minutes straight

then we put our bikes on the ferry and it was back to the city!

more pics soon of: farmer's market! the tiniest waffles! roller derby!