a recipe

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Confession: I have what M likes to refer to as a “ballerina fridge”.  In my defense, there are several factors that contribute to the sad state of my fridge on a Friday night.  I blame this mostly on the fact that I live alone.  I’m not a big-meal-prep-on-a-Sunday-night kinda gal. I like my meals fresh and tend to visit the grocery store several times a week as a result.  The shelves of my refrigerator are a constant rotation of items best consumed within 24-48 hours.  It’s just how I roll.

Enter the long weekend.  It’s Monday morning, you’ve slept in considerably.  You are hungry.  There’s a slight autumn chill in the air.  You want pancakes.  You need pancakes.  You fall back on a few freezer/pantry staples, throw in the last of the blueberries, and you are extremely proud of the thick, fluffy results.  You decide to share the “recipe” on yer blog…

Whole Wheat Cornmeal Blueberry Ballerina Pancakes

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tblsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 1/4 cups coconut milk

Sift first 4 ingredients together.  Yes, sift!  This is the secret to fluffy pancakes, promise.  Stir in cornmeal and cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until light and frothy.  Elbow grease. Stir in vanilla and maple syrup.  Combine the wet ingredients into the dry and stir.  Heat a griddle, throw down a slab of butter and ladle out 1/4 cup (ish) piles of batter.  Sprinkle blueberries in, flip after batter has settled and brown the other side.

Note: This recipe makes very thick, cakey pancakes (hehe), so a low-and-slow cooking method is recommended.

Enjoy with maple syrup, cherry preserves, and Wes Anderson.

stove top granola

Today we are treated (hehe) to a recipe from one of my absolute favorite humans, Miss Tegan Rich.  Tegs was my first roomie in Providence when I moved here 5 years ago, and man, was that impulsive cohabitational decision serendipitous.  Not only did we share a desire to live the same strange life (endless hours of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix? destination trips to magical but far less-than-local Whole Foods branches? yes, please), she also taught me how to make (and pronounce) quinoa, how to properly hard boil an egg, and the wonder of Crazy Jane’s salt.  Today she shares one of her most recent kitchen tricks: quick and easy stove top granola…IMG_4379

Stove top granola is great in a pinch when you’ve decided your late night snack, or breakfast is desperately in need of a crunchy, sweet, nutty, hearty goodness.  I make enough to last me through the week and sprinkle it over my yogurt in the morning, my smoothies, and sometimes I just eat it with my fingers straight out of the tupperware (shhhh).IMG_4376Stove top Granola: because everyone loves granola, and sometimes you don’t want to wait 40 mins as you toast up a gigantic batch in your oven.

3/4-1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup nut(s) of your choice
2 tbsp. flax seed
1/4 cup coconut oil
3-4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ginger
as much or as little honey as you like
*the nutmeg and ginger are personal choices.. but they’re especially tasty and apropos for this time of year
**I always use a healthy drizzling of honey… 


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1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, toast the oats in the pan
2. As the oats start to toast up (don’t let them get too brown or toasty) add in the dried coconut.
3. Once the oats and coconut are toasting away, add in the nuts. Let these dry ingredients cook for a little bit, stirring often to avoid burning… you can always lower the heat if the cooking seems to be happening too fast.
4. Before adding the oil, add the pinch of salt and whatever spices you are using
5. Once everything is combined, add in the coconut oil and continue stirring to avoid burning!!!
6. After the oil is just about combined, add in as much or as little honey as you want, stir the ingredients around to combine everything
7. Keep cooking for about a minute or two more. turn off the heat. pour the granola out onto a pan or cookie sheet to let cool down and ENJOY!

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Thank you Tegan for sharing your recipe and drool-worthy photos of that crunchy granola goodness!

have a nice (long) weekend

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It’s been SUCH a long week, but I’m feeling so grateful for time spent with Sandy and Viktor (and Misha, too!).  Headed north this weekend for some autumn adventuring and much needed R&R.  What are you up to these days?  I’d love to hear…

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimised by rond de jambes.

Some beautiful shots at the Koch Theater, from Mr. Edwards.

How do you guys feel about overnight oats?  Thinking of giving them a go…

So sad to hear about the devastating floods in South Carolina, and the effect they have had on Radenko and his school.  Here’s how to help.

A new way of being.

Did anyone watch World Ballet Day? We’ve just started working with Viktor Plotnikov on a swan pas de deux, so this contemporary version of Swan Lake from the Scottish Ballet is feels very inspiring right now.

Understanding understudying.

Incredibly heartbreaking, but worth reading every single one.

monday, monday

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I’ve been busy getting back into shape for my first (pre-season!) performance this Thursday night(!!!) and if the excessive use of exclamation points wasn’t enough of a giveaway, let it be known that I am EXCITED about it.   Here’s some fun from around the web I’m poring over with a side of English Breakfast this morning…

Absolutely love Pittsburgh Ballet Theater’s new season preview video.  Those overhead shots!  Also Clair de lune will never get old.

What do you think of the death of the American Dance Critic?

…on that note, this dance reviewer just articulated exactly how I feel about So You Think You Can Dance. (and pointed out the show’s annoyingly over guided approach to generating an emotional response from its audience.  Amen.)

Did you guys catch this webinar?  It was so inspiring.  Can’t wait to try out Shelby’s recipe for ginger nut butter this afternoon!

Also going to make these, because I have a serious pile of dead bananas at zee moment.

“I want to be a ballet dancer more than anything.” An old 1974 60 Minutes special covering an audition day for the school at American Ballet Theatre.

Goals.

treat yoself

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January is a rough month.  It’s long.  It’s cold.  It’s still fairly dark when your alarm goes off in the morning, and it seems like April is mocking you with its Eastery glow…3 hard months away.

To combat the winter blues, also known as SAD (seriously), a few friends and I have decided to brighten these grey days by initiating a “treats rotation”.  For those of you unaccustomed with this particular institution (I think we made it up?), each day one of us is responsible for bringing in a yummy treat for the rest of the group.  The first week I made everyone a little batch of almond butter and packaged them in mini mason jars with rustic twine bows.  It was pretty adorable.  This week I tried out a new recipe and made these things called “energy balls”, which are apparently extremely delicious, as well as deceivingly simple to make!  Here’s how I did it…

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First combine 2 cups of nuts (I used 1 cup almonds, 1 cup pecans) in a food processor until coarse.  Then add in one cup of dates (I used medjool), and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and process again for about 2-3 minutes.  Then shape into balls and roll in shredded coconut for a shmancy touch.

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Et voila!

Outside the regular treats rotation, I’ve been attempting to cure my cold weather slump by making myself some special snacks, including a homemade granola using Alex’s family recipe, and a delicious muesli, the recipe for which I created as I went along.  Dedicating my Monday nights to the kitchen and surprising my friends with yummy bites has really helped lift my spirits as of late.

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 I’d love to know, how do you boot the winter blues?  Would you ever consider a “treats rotation” with your friends?

keeks in the kitchen: almond butter

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I recently discovered a new health food blog through an old ballet friend on trusty ol’ Instagram.  Naturally Sassy is written by a British ballerina who decided to go vegan a few years back in a (successful) attempt to cure her chronic eczema.  Since making the switch to a diet of everything diary, gluten, meat and sugar free, Saskia has discovered the many benefits of this new lifestyle.  Inflammatory and acidic properties found in these food groups can have short and long terms effects on your health, including weight gain, acne/dry skin, high cholesterol, lowering of the immune system and digestion and stomach problems. Yuck!  Reading the short bit of information on the vegan lifestyle presented on Saksia’s blog, I decided to give up meat, most of the dairy I currently consume, complex sugars, gluten, and all processed foods.  And what better way to kickstart this new lifestyle than by whipping up a batch of Naturally Sassy’s homemade almond butter?!

With just 3 ingredients and a food processor, you too can make your very own delicious, protein-packed almond butter.  I added mine into a smoothie with banana, medjool dates, flaxseed and almond milk and oh.my.god, you guys, it was so scrumptious.  That’s what has me hooked on this blog; Her recipes are so healthy, but also combine a range of flavors that I can totally get on board with.  Roasted sweet potatoes and avocados galore?  Yes, please!

So, granted I have enough time to actually cook and blog about it this season, expect to see a lot more of my kitchen experiments here on STB!  Other recipes I’m dying to try include the perfect kale salad, sweet potato salad with avocado mayonnaise, and the blueberry and baobab pancakes.

morning muffins

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It seems that every year as June rolls around, beach season begins and my desire for a sculpted bikini body directly conflicts with the inevitable decrease in my daily physical activity.  The past two summers in particular (last year I was recovering from an injury, the year before I had surgery on my toe) have been especially slow on the whole work out front, which is perhaps the reason for this year’s boosted motivation.  I’ve been finding some way to sweat every morning (a rotation of ballet class and kickboxing with a few dedicated buds), but sticking to a diet in the summer is about as easy as going to Target for one item and not coming home with a carload of things you never knew you needed (does that happen to anyone else?).

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Just when you’re doing really well and eating right, it’s someone’s birthday and one too many drinks must be had.  Then your friend invites you to your favorite pub on a Wednesday night and how do you not order those garlic fries that just walked by only to stop at the table right behind you?  However, recently I’ve set a goal for myself; Maintain healthy eating during the week, and use weekends as little cheat treat days!

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Breakfast can be a tough meal to stick to.  Some people just skip it altogether (BIG mistake!  Most important meal of the day to kickstart your metabolism!), but I’m one of those freaks who wakes up with a growling tummy, always ravenous for anything with a side of bacon.  Of course, since that’s not exactly time, budget or diet friendly, I decided to whip up a batch of healthy banana-oat muffins to grab and go for breakfast, snack time, or anytime, really.  These guys are packed with tons of good nutrients and don’t use much sugar, so you can start your day out on the right bite.  I used this recipe, but substituted coconut oil for applsauce (just use 1/2 the amount of oil) and added raisins and ground flax seed for added fiber, but next time I’m throwing in some coconut flakes, cinnamon and chopped walnuts, too!  Yum!

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