Tag Archives: donuts

Sweet Coconut Nights

So sorry to have disappeared last night! I was so enraptured with Betty White in The Proposal that before I knew it, it was time for bed.   I don’t usually like doing massive, two-day catch-up posts, but if I don’t, I’ll be living in the past for a while and we can’t have that.


My new peanut butter was calling my name from the pantry.

Peanut Butter w/ Flax

How could I incorporate it into my breakfast?

PB w/ Flax

I decided to make eggs-in-a-basket (or “toad-in-the-hole”, as my grandmother calls it) which I’ve seen all over the blogs recently.  I used Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread and cut a hole in the middle with my water bottle.  The “hole” was the perfect size to to test the peanut butter out on.

PB w/ Flax on bread

I melted a slice of Jarlsberg cheese on another piece of bread, and put a little pumpkin butter on top of the flax hole.

Toad In The Hole

I love getting as many tastes as possible out of a meal!

After waiting a couple hours to digest, I laced up my sneakers, stretched, loaded my ipod with a new playlist (thanks to Maya for turning me on to this site) and hit the pavement.  This was my third run in a month, and I wanted to make it count.  I ran slowly but easily, and before I knew it I was bake at home with 4.5 miles under my belt.  I wasn’t even out of breath!  To be honest, I was worried I would have lost my stamina and wouldn’t even be able to make it half that far.  This is a good sign 🙂

I went into the city to meet my mom at Macy’s to go coat shopping.  It was exhausting.  Although I’d brought kale chips and an apple, we didn’t end up eating until 3:30.

Kale Chips


If there’s one thing I know about my mother’s side of the family, it’s that we get c-r-a-n-k-y when we get hungry.  Au Bon Pain was the only option for us at Macy’s (the rest of the fast food joints didn’t have any vegetarian options), and I quickly made a salad with spinach, artichoke hearts, green beans, roasted red peppers, tuna and Thai peanut dressing.

Au Bon Pain salad

The only memorable aspect of this salad was how quickly I ate it.  My mom got us a bag of mini chocolate chip cookies, and I had one somewhere in the lingerie department while searching for Hollywood Tape.

Au Bon Pain cookies

Three stores and one successful purchase later, we fond ourselves sitting at the old wood bar in DiFiore Marquet.  This was only my second time coming here, but it’s one of my favorite spots in the city.  It’s charming and quirky, quiet, inexpensive, and the staff is so knowledgeable about their wine list.

DiFiore Marquet wine list

Last time we went, I tried my first glass of Vouvray.  This time, I went for the Alsatian Pinot Gris (I get this whenever I see it on a menu), and my mom got the Torrontes, which is a fruity white similar to a Pinot Grigio.

The Pinot Gris is on the left, the Torrontes on the right.

DiFiore Marquet wine

On our way home, we made a pit stop at The Donut Pub.

The Donut Pub

My mom and George both think these are the best donuts in the city.

The Donut Pub

My mom and I did a taste-test with a glazed and a sugar ring (I had tiny bites of each); glazed won.  I got a marble cake donut hole for myself.

Donut Hole

I don’t even remember the last time I had a donut!  Oh wait… it was almost exactly a year ago!

We finally did get home, where we met my dad for a takeout pasta dinner from La Parmigiana in Southampton.  We started with salad… I thought all “Italian” dressings would taste like this when I was younger, and was sadly disappointed when I learned this was not the case.

Parmigiana Salad

Their pasta is hard to beat.  I had a plate with half linguine with clams, half linguine with broccoli rabe and sundried tomatoes.   I gobbled up all of the former, but had had my fill and didn’t quite finish the broccoli rabe pasta.

Parmigiana pasta

My mom and I split a Criterion apple that my parents picked last weekend…

Criterion Apple

… and, later, I had three chocolate snowballs.  They were even better the second day!

Chocolate Snowballs

I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping recently… rather I normally have a hard time falling asleep, but have been enjoying a nice respite from that and have been nodding off quite easily.  No sleep aids required!  The last few nights, however, it’s been hard for me to fall and stay asleep, so that by the time morning comes around it just seems like a mean joke.  Needless to say, my breakfasts have had to be pretty darn good to make up for it.

These Berry Mango bran muffins from Trader Joe’s came recommended by both Lauryn and Caroline, and I knew I had to try them.  I’m not a huge muffin lover, but bran is a whole ‘nother story.  Love it!

TJ's Berry Bran Muffins

I popped half a muffin in the oven to warm it up, and while it was toasting got out the container of almond butter my parents had picked up for me at the Co-Op.

Co-Op Almond Butter

Beat that, Maranatha!

Co-Op Almond Butter 2

I slathered some on my muffin, and used the nut-buttery-spoon to scoop my banana/cinnamon/honey-filled Oikos.  How’s that for a complete breakfast?

Muffin & Yogurt breakfast

My physical therapy appointment was scheduled for 11, and although I left with plenty of time to spare, my subway line is all messed up and is skipping my stop due to track work.  So I had to ride all the way to the end of the line and back down again, and by the time I got off at the appropriate stop only had five minutes to spare.  I ran all the way there with a shoddy umbrella, dodging raindrops and praying my waterlogged Chucks wouldn’t trip me up.  I didn’t fall, but was still five minutes late.  Not a problem… I still got quite the workout in.

My left thigh was been really sore for the past few days… I don’t know if it’s because of the exercises I’ve been doing or just freak tightness, but my therapist worked it out for a good ten minutes.  I also did some calf, core and quad work on the Proform (which I am really feeling today!), then got iced down and strapped with electrodes.  Who knew therapy could be so fun?

I packed my lunch to take with me to eat in transit:

Lunch Salad

In the mix:

  • mixed greens
  • grape tomatoes
  • frozen pineapple
  • broccoli slaw
  • Dr. Praeger’s California veggie burger (like other Dr. P. burgers, this is very mushy and doesn’t have a real “burger” texture. I really like the taste and chunks of veggies, though)
  • kale chip “dressing”/hummus

Because it was cold and rainy out, there wasn’t really anywhere to sit and enjoy a leisurely lunch.  So I ate LVP-style: standing up and shoveling food into my mouth in the middle of the sidewalk.

Eating On The Go

Also had a Pink Lady apple… wonder if there is a T-Bird variety apple as well?

Pink Lady

After I finished my dignified lunch, I walked across town and went up to meet Greg at Starbucks.  I got the coupon in the mail for my free birthday drink (if you have a Starbucks card, register it!), which I used for a Grande Skim Dirty Hippie (Chai with two shots of espresso).

Dirty Hippie

Two sample trays came by while we were chatting: Peppermint Mocha and Crème Brulée.

Peppermint Mocha Crème Brulée

I remember when I used to get so excited for Peppermint Mocha-season… now I found this – and the crème brulée- way too sweet.  The only sweet coffee drinks I like are Chai lattes and the occasional Mocha or Frappuccino; I tend to stick to lightly sweetened cappuccinos and black coffee.

The rest of the afternoon was spent running errands (found the perfect pair of jeans on sale).  I was in four different areas of the city in under four hours, and let me tell you: it gives you an appetite! It was the kind of day where I felt hungry all the time.   I dug into my bag and found this Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola bar that Bear Naked sent me as a sample and ate it on the subway.

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar Nutrition

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar Ingredients

Review: This was way too sweet for me, and the ingredients list (and 18g of sugars) explains it.  Why does the fruit need to be dried with sugar on top of the additional tapioca syrup, honey and maple syrup that gets thrown into the mix? It was also very, very greasy.

Would I buy this? Thanks, but no thanks.

When I got home, I started making this recipe for Coconut Barley Pilaf.

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn

My dad had made it a few weeks ago and recommended it to me, so I decided to give it a go.  I substituted shrimp for chicken, light coconut milk for regular, and chili flakes for jalepeño.

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn 2

I didn’t know how many people would be around for dinner so I made the full recipe… we’ll just have a lot of leftovers!

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn 3

I really liked this. The sweet barley, salty cashews, chewy shrimp and fresh mint were in such harmony!  I would definitely make this again (although I think I can get another 3 meals out of this batch).  Ari didn’t like it as much… he prefers chickpeas and mushrooms.

We also had some Sauvignon Blanc…

Sauvignon Blanc

… and I finished off the snowballs.  Nom.


We’re off to Connecticut for a wedding this weekend.  What are your plans?


Graduate Katie?

Or, The Inner Workings of A College Graduate, Pt. II?  Yeah, I’m sure I’m not the first one to make that joke! The last two days have been a whirlwind… I graduated yesterday (!) and have been having a really nice time seeing my family.

Yesterday we all went to brunch on campus before the commencement ceremony.  I knew we were going to be there for a couple hours as we waited for all my family members to arrive, so I started off with fruit salad and a copious amount of coffee.


An hour or so later, I had a waffle (the only one I’ve hever had on campus, in all four years!) with plain yogurt and berries.


Right before I left, I grabbed a piece of carrot bread.  Didn’t need it, but it was going to be a long day!


The proud mama:


My dad was prepared for every photo op.


My grandmother wanted my uncle’s tray to be photographed… he had a little bit of everything!


The graduation itself was really nice.  We got to choose who we sat with, the speeches weren’t too long, and I didn’t fall on my face! (I didn’t end up wearing my new shoes 😦 ) The only bummer was it was cold and windy… there were a couple fur coats in the crowd.  Our president pointed out that it was only fitting that our last official day in Minnesota should be spent in the cold! My high school graduation was blazingly hot, so I guess it evened out.

After the ceremony they set some dessert and coffee out for the reception; I was hungrier for real food, but I had a chocolate chip cookie.


“Graduation dinner” was another special one.  We went to Cafe Brenda; I’d been looking forward to it for months!

We started off with some wine:


Cafe Brenda’s entire wine list is organic.  I chose the Pinot Gris from Oregon from the table.


We ordered the Caspian (Two Dips — Asian Hummus Dip and a Sweet Red Pepper, Walnut, Pomegranate Dip. Served with Pita Bread, Vegetables and Olives) to share.  The walnut pomegranate dip was so interesting.  I have to recreate this!


We also got some shrimp quesadillas (Grilled Shrimp Tortilla with Sauteed Shrimp, Roasted Poblano Pepper, Tomatillo Sauce and Cheese. Served with a Coconut, Mint, Cilantro Salsa), which were so. freaking. good.  (George and I decided we have to go to La Palapa in New York as soon as possible.)


My portion (plus a little more hummus):


I also had half a piece of cornbread.


For my entrée, I ordered the Ginger Glazed Mock Duck Salad.


Warm Organic Mock Duck in a Maple Glaze on a Bed of Mixed Greens, Chinese Noodles and Vegetables in a Peanut, Lemongrass Dressing. This was just what I didn’t know I wanted. So good! It was massive, though, and because I enjoyed my tasting rights and freeloaded from my parents’ meals, I probably ate about 2/3- 3/4.


My mom ordered a special cake and arranged with Brenda’s to plate it for us.  The cake was beautiful, and came from one of Minneapolis’ best bakeries, Yum. It was called a patti cake (chocolate cake with buttercream frosting).  Check out the server’s tattoo!


I’m not usually a buttercream fan, but this was amazing.  It was sort of a cross between traditional buttercream and marshmallow fluff. The restaurant cut me the biggest piece, and as much as I wanted to, I honestly could not finish it without getting sick!


I left the restaurant completely bedazzled with new jewels.


I decided to stay overnight at my grandparents’ house since I don’t know the next time I’ll be out here again. I also didn’t have to worry about driving then, and happily left my car at home!  I brought my exercise clothes so I could take advantage of their treadmill this morning.  I only had a few minutes so I just ran a mile and did some floor exercises.  (I forgot my heart rate monitor at home so I don’t have any stats for you, sorry!)

My grandmother arranged for a beautiful private brunch for us at the country club this morning.


The table was lovely.


My Granny ordered dishes “in my honor” that she knew I would like:


I filled my plate with fruit salad, dry green salad, a slice of artichoke and sundried tomato quiche, toast with jam, and some of the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had.



More fruit:


A small cinnamon roll:


More toast with strawberry jelly:


My dad and uncle were such a help to me today; we got everything all packed up and the car is completely loaded so tomorrow all I’ll have to do is shower and leave.

I finally threw away my bag of bar wrappers: this is the accumulation since October, minus the ones I’ve eaten outside of Minnesota.  I read about a recycling program that collects used wrappers, but I think it’s now defunct.  Too bad… look how many I have!


Cranky McCrankerstein came out this afternoon while I was packing, hauling, and not paying attention to my hunger.  My dad and uncle took me to Whole Foods at 5, at which point it was all I could do not to stuff down my hot bar meal before checking out.


I had an avocado crack wrap for late my dinner/snack; there were a lot of other bitelets that didn’t make it onto the camera, but everything’s been pretty chaotic around the house.  I had to eat this off a paper plate with a plastic knife because everything else is packed!


I went over to Sarah’s to say goodbye to some of my friends, and arrived armed with Holey Donuts.  I had a Coconut Cream.


We’re all watching a cheesy 80s horror movie called Happy Birthday To Me. There’s a lot of strangling, screaming and slicing.  I’ve been in sort of a sugar coma all week, so I have a feeling I won’t have any trouble falling asleep tonight.  I’m meeting my dad and grandparents (everyone else went home) at Hell’s Kitchen for breakfast tomorrow, and then my dad and I are starting our long drive to New York.  I’ve been wanting to go to this restaurant for over a year, so it’ll be a nice way to leave.

I hope you’re having a great night.  Congratulations to all the graduates and their families!

Hol(e)y donuts, Batman!

Good late-night, lovepies! I hope you had (or are out having!) a fabulous Friday.  I had another lovely day with my family.

It was cold when I woke up, so I started the day with a delicious hot breakfast.


  • 1/4 cup 10 grain hot cereal
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup water
  • cinnamon
  • brown sugar
  • scoop PB

For some reason it was a little watery, so I added a touch more peanut butter. Problem solved!

I enjoyed my breakfast with a side of a Gracie masterpiece.  Gorgeous, no? I love that baby Picasso and her sister (and her mommy, duh) so much!


I snacked on an apple.


My parents, George, Judy and I had lunch at Coffee News.


I ordered a Greek omelet with spinach, feta, tomatoes and olives.


I’m not usually a huge home-fry/breakfast potato kind of girl, but these are so garlicky and delicious.


I ate half the bread, about 2/3 of the omelet and a few potatoes.  I was saving up for a double chocolate chip biscotti, which I spied on the counter when I ordered my lunch! Too bad I didn’t know how good these were before today.


We went to the student post office because I knew a special package was coming…


Holey Donuts! I hit the jackpot in an An Apple A Day contest.


I’d been wondering how these were going to survive FedEx ground shipping…

Coconut cream pie, banana cream Oreo cookie, raspberry graham cracker.


Coconut cream pie (one whole box!), low fat chocolate.


Low fat classic vanilla fosted


Have you ever seen such pretty donuts? An average Holey Donut has less than 200 calories and 3-4 grams of fat, compared to 200-400 calories and 10-20 grams of fat in regular chain-store and supermarket donuts. They’re also not fried, so you can give your arteries a break. Here’s some of the Holey Donut story, written by Frank Dilullo, founder of the company.

Back in 1958, my father was literally one of the first franchisees with what is today the world’s most successful donut chain. Spending my childhood in the back of a donut shop eventually led to me running and owning my own donut shops. Always having a love for donuts, I set out to create a donut like no other; something that would elevate donuts to a new level; something more high-end, more gourmet, and really just the best donut you could make. Then one day, I walked away from the deep fat fryer and began to actually cook my donuts in a different way. Then at first bite, I said “HOLY $#!%, these are really good!” Thus, the name Holey Donuts!

Having a feeling that these donuts had to be very low in fat, we sent samples off to an FDA approved lab for testing… low and behold, they had less than 3 grams of fat. Wow, we were just amazed at the light, fluffy taste, texture and light color (which is the way donuts actually look before they are fried in that same dirty oil over and over again). From there, it was a story of dedication and perseverance to do whatever it took to succeed and bring these great tasting, guilt free treats to the world. After all, the Wall Street Journal put it best when they said “Food companies have been able to take most of the fat out of everything from cheese to Twinkies. But no one has succeeded in designing a marketable low-fat doughnut.”

I couldn’t wait to try these guys!

After lunch, I went on a great “mental health” run.  I ran all around the neighborhoods, twisting around the roundabouts (it’s amazing I didn’t get lost) to look at all the pretty houses.  I had to stop for traffic a few times (including one 5-minute stoplight I always get stuck at), and ended up running about 3.5 miles. I also did 8-minute abs when I got home.  My heart rate monitor was blinking zero for the beginning of my run so my stats may be a little off.

Total time: 43:40 minutes

Maximum heart rate: 195 (98%)

Average heart rate: 167 (84%)

Calories burned: 464

After showering and making myself presentable, my parents and I went to the English and French department receptions (yeah, we party hop like that). I had a plate of fruit and a slice of pepper jack cheese.


Then we all headed back to my grandparents’ house (I wore shoes this time 🙂 ) for dinner.  We really must be related… they’d set out some pretzel thins! I could eat these all day long.


My grandmother set a lovely dinner table, as usual.



She was nice enough to arrange for a special vegetarian meal for me although everyone else was having shrimp and sausage jambalaya.


I had a delicious vegetable and tofu dish with some rice.


We also had a very nice mixed greens and vegetable salad, which I eagerly helped myself to seconds of.


My grandfather had really nice wine… I only had about half a glass.  For some reason I wasn’t really in a wine mood! Shocking, I know.  Plus, I had to drive myself back to St. Paul in the dark.


For dessert, I made a tasting platter of Holey Donuts for everyone to try.  All you have to do is plop a frozen donut in the microwave, and voila! Hot gooey deliciousness.  You can even put the entire box in! (Which, you know, I might do if I was in private… ANYway…) We sampled the coconut cream pie, banana oreo cream pie, raspberry graham cracker and low fat classic vanilla frosted.


I have to say, we were all blown away.  My mom and George are huge donut snobs (see The Donut Pub), and for George to give it a thumbs up really says something.  (He did, however, not see what “the point” of eating a low fat donut was.)  When I’m craving a sweet treat, I usually go the cake/ice cream route, but these were top rate.  The coconut cream pie is Holey Donut’s top seller; it was really good, as was the plain ole vanilla frosted. I went back for second samplings of the coconut cream pie and the raspberry graham cracker (tastes like a jelly donut).  These are going to be dangerous to have in the house…

I also had a scoop of fat free vanilla frozen yogurt with my grandmother’s famous chocolate syrup and raspberries. Nomnomnom.


My tongue is hurting from the sugar, but it was all pretty guilt-free! (Hmm… I see a Donut Diet in my future…)

I’m going to try to get to bed early(ish).  Our graduation commencement ceremony is tomorrow, and I want to be bright eyed and bushytailed.  Hope you are having a lovely week… I’m terribly behind on my Google Reader but as you know, you’re always in my heart 🙂

For 30 FREE donut holes with a Holey Donut purchase, enter code AWNY at checkout.

Bonne nuit!

Starry Eyes

Hello hello!  How did the weekend go by so fast?  I still have tons of reading to do, but all I want to do is cozy up in bed and watch movies.  What a hard life I have.

My grandparents and I ended up going to Volnay, formerly known as Patrick’s but is so new that they don’t even have their own website yet!  It was… okay.  I left satisfied and having had a nice time with my family, which is the most important thing! But, the service was not so great (and as a member of the service industry myself, I’m pretty forgiving) and our orders were a little messed up.  Oh well!

I got a Salade Niçoise with the dressing and anchovies on the side (I hate anchovies, but they’re high in iron, so I forced myself to eat two). They seem to have tossed half of my salad with oil, then remembered that I didn’t want it, so they then added more greens on top.   Interesting.  It was still pretty good though…


Golden chai tea…


My grandparents were nice enough to take me to the grocery store to buy fruit.  When I was younger, I used to visit them every summer and besides going to Camp Snoopy, grocery shopping with my Granny was pretty much my favorite thing to do.  It’s still a great way to spend a Sunday, especially because they have… samples!

That’s a little wedge of a cake donut with chocolate frosting.


I’m taking off from the gym today… I’m just not feeling it.  I might do a little yoga before bed, but that’s all.

See you later!