weekend stuff and the best pancakes ever



Need a new light pink nail polish color combo for your nails? Try one coat of Essie’s Petal Pink with one coat Hi Maintenance, it’s a good one!

essie nail polish

When you find yourself taking pictures of cauliflower displays because you find them to be pretty, you know you are either a vegetarian or healthy living blogger. Or both.


But seriously, these cauliflowers were beautiful at Stew Leonard’s and not wrapped up in plastic! I bought one giant head of cauliflower and plan to use it in a new recipe or two since I am all inspired again thanks to our recipe challenge.

When your friend/next door neighbor/partner in divorced mom life texts you to come over ASAP because an Edible Arrangment arrived at her house, you stop what you are doing and run through her front door.

Edible Arrangement

Dinner Saturday night was up to my son since it was his last evening before leaving for camp on Sunday. After careful consideration, family fun night occurred at Vincent’s Clam Bar. We really like it there (last recap from Vincent’s here) so it was a great choice.

The last several times we have eaten at Vincent’s, I have ordered the Zucchini Primavera (that’s what I call it but not sure if that’s the name on the menu). 

zucchini primavera

Yesterday morning we went for breakfast to our favorite Premier Diner. We normally reserve our favorite special breakfast at the Premier Diner for Mother’s Day but I think my baby leaving for sleep away camp counts as a super special occasion worthy of breaking typical tradition.

I didn’t want the baked oatmeal so I went with my alternate favorite which I think took over the top spot for me as the best diner breakfast.

Blueberry walnut whole wheat pancakes topped with bananas and egg whites <- the best!

The Premier Diner has an extensive pancakes list on their breakfast menu and these pancakes are made for me. I think I need to take my long run in this direction or drive here after my next race because these blueberry walnut pancakes with the bananas and the egg whites are perfect as a post run meal.

premiere diner pancakes

Other great times at the Premier Diner:

Lunch with Michele

Giant Greek Salad

Mother’s Day 2013 & 2014

So my baby left for camp.

He may be taller than me and he may have walked on to that coach bus like no big deal but he’s still my baby so this is big deal! I am so super proud of him and so happy that he will have the time of his life these next few weeks.

Summer has always meant camp for me and until now, summer has meant camp for my son too, just not sleep away camp. But he decided last summer that sleep away camp was something he wanted to try so I agreed.

I am grateful I could give him this experience and equally grateful that I have a serious stash of Hello Kitty stationary just waiting to be used.

I mean, it’s only been sitting in a drawer for like 30 years so I think it’s time I stopped saving it and use it to write to my son every day.

hello kitty stationary

Do you think it will embarrass him to receive letters on my Hello Kitty stationary? Maybe I will leave off the stickers that seal the envelope. 🙂

I can technically run whenever I want this morning since my mom duties won’t be needed but I have a feeling I will stay on usual schedule. We are in the middle of a heat wave so running later is not the best idea! My car read 108 degrees over the weekend. I know it wasn’t actually that hot but trust me, it’s hot out there!

[bctt tweet=”weekend stuff and the best pancakes ever #diner #pancakes #weekend #camp #hellokitty” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Anyone else collect stationary as a kid?

Best thing you ate over the weekend?

Favorite type of pancakes or other favorite breakfast when you dine out?

my favorite pizza to make at home & recipes of interest


A quick stop at Trader Joe’s the other afternoon for some necessities. We didn’t need that much this week. Well, at least I didn’t think we needed much this week which usually turns into I forgot six things/we just ran out of something else and now I have to go back to the grocery store.

Trader Joe's groceries

That’s a new avocado you see, by the way, that isn’t broken! I am telling you, the other avocado, no matter what I was going to do to it, was never going to ripen. Broken.

One of the food highlights of my week (aside from the Godiva brownie sundae of course) was that Trader Joe’s had giant cauliflowers in stock. Am I the only one who hates buying small cauliflowers?

The first (and smartest) thing I did with my cauliflower was roast it and then use it as a topping for my whole wheat pizza. Like really, roasted cauliflower just makes everything even better.

I can’t begin to tell you how delicious this whole wheat pizza for one was the other night for dinner.

whole wheat pizza

I love the Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough from the refrigerated section of the store. The crust gets so nice and crispy yet still chewy. My son prefers the Trader Joe’s frozen organic pizza crust but this whole wheat pizza dough is my favorite! I just break off the amount of dough that I wish to use rather than make the entire pizza dough at once.

Meal Planning:

Next week is a little bit busier than normal. I have a few work events at various times that will mostly likely interfere with typical weeknight dinners combined with my son’s baseball schedule which currently includes two evening games and oh, Passover begins on Friday.

Weeks like this usual involve easy to throw together meals, pizzas like the above (before matzoh pizza begins), or, if I feel like planning a little bit in advance, this spicy black bean and lentil chili recipe has been on my mind. I like to add quinoa to it as well.

Of course I compiled a few good-looking recipes of interest this week to share though!

Recipes of Interest:

12 Paleo Recipes Using Sweet Potato

Garlic Bread Pizza With Roasted Vegetables

Spring Vegetable Frittata

Sushi Burrito Bowls

Green Bean Fries

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts Subzi with Cumin and Mustard Seeds

Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Chickpea Pepperoni

25 Vegetarian Kosher For Passover Recipes

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Crumb Coffee Cake

Mini Frosted Chocolate Chip Biscuits

Have a great weekend!

[bctt tweet=”my favorite pizza to make at home & recipes of interest #traderjoes #mealprep #recipes #pizza” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

3 things you are doing this weekend?

Favorite type of pizza to make at home?

thinking out loud June 18, 2015


When you find a pair of sandals in your closet that you completely forgot you owned, you feel as though your wardrobe has been reinvented.


I have been wearing these gold sandals all week, including yesterday morning when I had to sit and wait for my car’s oil change and inspection.

I really don’t mind waiting because I enjoy their coffee selection and free wifi.


When my car was ready for me, my son and I went to the East Bay diner. Did I mention that school is basically over aside from a few random final exams?

salad from diner

He ordered breakfast for lunch and I went with the giant Portobello mushroom and avocado salad. Whenever I have this salad, I wonder why I am not buying Portobello mushroom caps to make at home more often.

So the other day I went to Trader Joe’s hoping to buy some new stuff but of course I ended up with the same old stuff.

Trader Joes

I did see the new frozen roasted cauliflower and got all excited for a brief second about it.


But then I said why pay three dollars for them to roast my cauliflower when I can easily do it myself.

Although, now that I think about it, cooking frozen cauliflower is much easier on my stomach than the fresh kind.


I also didn’t like that they added salt. Not that I don’t need salt but I don’t like adding salt to my vegetables because I rarely feel that they need it.

Did you see they are selling frozen riced cauliflower now? You must have seen this circulating the internet this week but I saw it in person.

riced cauliflower

I didn’t buy it. The package was so small that I didn’t feel it was worth it since again, I can do it myself.

And again, they added salt.

I made these roasted potato wedges the other night without salt and let me just say, somehow they still tasted salty.


You know that my sweet tooth overpowers my cravings. It has always been this way.

I never craved or cared for chips or anything salty. On rare occasion, maybe I reach for something salty but I can’t recall when that was and if it happened, it probably involved a chocolate covered pretzel to make sure my sweet tooth didn’t get insulted.

Did you see my yummy peanut butter and blueberry english muffin on instagram the other day?

english muffin with peanut butter

I honestly don’t know most of my instagram followers so I got all excited when a friend of mine texted me after seeing my post.


I really need to make those blueberry muffins again that she is referring to, they were a real hit.

And check out this text too that I received this week — Not so much about inspiring someone to eat an apple with peanut butter but the part about the price.


I should set up an apple and peanut butter stand on the corner. These stores are making a killing on my favorite snack!

Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!

[bctt tweet=”Thinking Out Loud @ #runwithspoons #traderjoes #cauliflower #diner #thinkingoutloud “]


Are your taste buds more salty or more sweet?

How often do you overpay on snacks because you didn’t have time to make them yourself at home?

Did you try the new cauliflowers from Trader Joe’s yet? Is it worth it?


Long Run, Donuts, Red Mango and Whole Foods Food Bar Fun


I know you spent your weekend wondering if I found time to make the donuts.

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Oh…You bet I did. I actually squeezed in some baking time late Saturday afternoon before I went out for dinner. Sushi. Amazing. Sorry. No Pictures.

I really wasn’t in the mood to bake but I felt that the activity would keep me moving around a bit which is key after running 13.13 miles.

Let’s back up a bit to those miles:

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I was up bright and early Saturday morning for my long run. I bundled up in my layers and I am loving this Nike vest that I scored on sale for $31. As you can tell, my eyes were half-opened when I started my day.

My plan after running those 13.13 miles (funny number to finish at, yes?) was to take a shower, put my pajamas back on, eat, and go back to bed.

Now, going back to bed is not something I normally do but I decided I needed and deserved a mental health morning.

I must say, rest is something special. I should do it more often. It doesn’t come naturally to me to lay around all morning but man, I could get used to it.

I did finally get myself up just in time for lunch.


Red Mango of course. And look what I got:

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The owner gave me this discount key chain because I am a special customer. Actually, the only reason I received this special discount key chain is because I went calmly wild in the store after seeing the price of my parfait.

My pretty parfait cost me $11. Eleven Dollars. Insane? Insane.

They have once again raised the price per ounce and I felt the need to notify the staff of my displeasure.

Their peace-offering after listening to me plead my case was a discount key chain. I will take it.

Anyway, let’s discuss the donuts.

I came home later in the day really tired but didn’t want to sit down. Once I sit, that’s it. And, as I said, sitting only causes stiffness.

I can’t begin to tell you how fast and easy these donuts were to make.


And yes, that is a bite. I couldn’t wait.  I have little dessert patience.

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I followed Amanda’s recipe exactly (only using skim milk instead of almond. Have I mentioned I am allergic to almonds? Yeah, slightly. And sometimes not so slightly. Just like the walnuts).

This is the beginning of the most beautiful of relationships. My donut pan and me.

I have already gone pin crazy on pinterest in my quest to review some additional donut recipes to develop ideas on what to make next.


Go ahead, click the pretty picture and follow me. I even created a board dedicated to donuts.

You would think making donuts or receiving a special Red Mango discount key chain is the most exciting thing in my life at the moment.

It isn’t:

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Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt is ON SALE. Have you ever tried their greek yogurt? In my opinion, it is absolutely the best tasting, but the MOST EXPENSIVE.

I don’t buy it often, as in I don’t buy it unless it is on sale, which is basically never. It normally costs a dollar more per container than Chobani or Fage and as much as I love it, I can’t justify spending so much more. All of those dollars add up.

I would rather save those dollars for the Whole Foods Food Bar:

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When I saw the roasted vegetable variety yesterday when I met my friend at Whole Foods for lunch, I didn’t know what to do first. It took great restraint to not sample my way through the food bar. OK, I admit to sampling the roasted cauliflower. A few times.

But come on, how could you not?


If someone had told me when I was a teenager that eating a box of roasted broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, squash, eggplant and mushrooms topped with beets and tofu would excite me one day, I never would have believed it.

So here we are at Monday. I have a bit of a busy week ahead, especially today with the little boy off from school. Routine doctor appointments, a playdate and weekly sports class.

And of course, a chilly morning run before all of the fun begins.

Have a happy Monday!


Do you find that your frozen yogurt creations are costing you more and more these days?

Which greek yogurt is your favorite? Do you choose which brand you buy based upon the price?

What do you go for at the Whole Foods Food Bar?




Cookies and Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I want to thank you all for the comments yesterday – even though I knew I wasn’t alone in my feelings regarding motherhood and life’s struggles, it is always great to hear everyone else’s experiences and approaches to difficult situations.

Everyone has their coping mechanisms and ways they handle day-to-day stress; we all know I love to run and always say that exercise plays a key role in giving you the opportunity to clear your mind, organize your thoughts, channel nervous energy and offers you a chance to put situations in perspective.

Lately it seems I also like to clean and organize closets as a way to organize my mind. The truth is, any which hobby you have will offer you a therapeutic escape.

Some people shop, paint, follow their favorite sports teams, clean, play ball, or knit.

Others may bake.

I could always be found in the kitchen creating some type of cookie or dessert, especially during the years of my divorce.

There is something so soothing to me about the whole baking process.

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Last night was no exception; I randomly decided to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

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If the process of making them isn’t soothing, the smell coming from the oven sure is.


You know what else I whipped up this week?


Not only did I buy the cauliflower with the intention of attempting the infamous cauliflower pizza crust, I actually followed through and made it!

After my FitnessCrEATures friends had success making the crust last week, I decided right then and there it was time for me to take the plunge and make my own.

You should know that I really don’t like to follow recipes.

Maybe it is the only child in me, but I always liked to do my own thing. I don’t follow training plans with my running, I don’t like to plan out and adhere to weekly meal plans and I prefer to make up my own recipes for cooking and baking.

The cauliflower crust however required a little bit of research and recipe guidance in order for me to create a palatable meal.

There are tons of versions for this recipe so after perusing the internet, I ended up following the recipe posted last week over at the blog, How Sweet It Is. For the complete step by step instructions and recipe, click here.

I must say I pretty much followed this recipe in its entirety. I did add crushed garlic to the dough, left out the salt and added Italian seasoning.

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Impressive, right?  I probably could have left the crust in longer but I was afraid of burning it.

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I topped the crust with tomato sauce and then half with veggies such as peppers, onions, asparagus and some broccoli, more mozzarella cheese and parmesan and placed it back in the oven.

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Looks professional, yes?

I loved every bite and can’t wait to make it again. The flavor was incredible and I enjoyed the texture combined with cheese.

It is by no means a replacement for a pizzeria slice of pizza but it sure is tasty and a great way to get your veggies in.

Please try it and let me know what you think!


What hobbies do you enjoy that also help relieve your stress?

Do you follow recipes?

Do you bake from scratch or use cookie/cake/brownie mixes?

Have you made the cauliflower crust yet? If so, what did you think?


March 1st!!

Happy March 1st! Not only am I excited that it is Friday, March 1st signifies that Spring is on the way.

In fact, my friend and I refer to March 1st as our unofficial “first day of Spring.”

Now, an egg won’t stand on its head for us or anything as it does for the actual Vernal Equinox, but calling March 1st Spring allows us to wear flip flops should the temperature allow it.


Please don’t judge me on this. We all have our little quirks now don’t we?

Speaking of quirks, I was recently reading an article that lists ways to know you are a runner. You can see the list by clicking here.

It is rather funny and some of the things listed apply to me but definitely not all.

Which started to concern me. I am now trying to pay close attention to my mannerisms to determine if in fact I can consider myself a real runner.

My run yesterday  by the way was just OK. As happy as I was to be outside on the pavement, I wasn’t feeling as fabulous as I did during Monday’s glorious run. I think the intensity of Spin Tuesday caught up with me a bit.

Instead of pushing myself harder, I chose to make it a fun run, by shutting off the Pandora and catching  up with some phone calls for a little over 4 miles.

Possible indication one is a runner = length of time is not determined by minutes, it is determined by miles.

Wait. Hold up. I cannot believe I didn’t tell you the most exciting news. (Another possible indication one is a runner = running discussion trumps all other discussion?)

Something amazing occurred last night at my dinner table.


Let me set the scene. My son and I are both sitting down for dinner at my cute new dinner table (oops don’t tell him I called it “mine”- he likes to think it is his. He feels some form of ownership over the house. I think it is a man thing).

His dinner:


Original dinner plan for him was an omelette with roasted potato wedges (I make a mean roasted potato wedge). He calls them “potato fries”. At the last minute, he decided he wanted his omelette on a toasted bialy.


With the abundance of cauliflower in my fridge (remember 98 cents/head) I roasted a good amount and threw it all into a stir fry with other vegetables, chick peas and avocado for myself with roasted sweet potato wedges.


OK, so are you ready for the amazing part?

He says, “can I try one of those?” pointing to my plate.

For a brief moment I really had no clue what he wanted.

“I want to try the cauliflower”. 

BE STILL MY BEATING HEART (which beats much slower than the target heart rate of the average 34 year old female by the way – another indication I might be a runner).

I almost fell out of my brand new kitchen chair.

Do you hear this people? He wanted to try the cauliflower. He took a bite and said, “this is good”.

And then he said, “I think I like broccoli, can I have a piece?”

I would have turned over my entire plate to him. And we know I am not good at sharing. We know I have “rules” for sharing dessert.

I don’t even have rules for sharing my meals because I would NEVER dream of sharing a main course as I am way too hungry to spare a morsel.

It is possible my inability to share stems from “only child syndrome” which may lead to selfish tendencies.

Or, it may be due to being a hungry runner (hmm, another sign I am a real a runner – unable to share food due to ravenous appetite).

While he only took a bite of the cauliflower and broccoli, he did ask to try it. He also allowed it to remain on his plate.

This is big people. This is exactly what I am talking about regarding exposing kids to healthy foods. They say it takes repeated exposure to new foods until one is truly able to decide if they like something or not.

5 a day

And like I always say, if we as parents don’t buy the produce, don’t eat healthy, nutrient dense foods on a regular basis for our children to see, how can they learn to try cauliflower and broccoli and determine if they like it?

Kids learn by example from their parents and home environment. Hmm. I hope he doesn’t go into school telling the class today is the first day of Spring.

I have big plans now for Sunday. No, it is not to attend the Chocolate Expo (which is from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm) about 10 minutes from my house with unlimited vendors of every kind of chocolate available to sample.

Oh no, I have big plans in my kitchen with my (98 cent/head) cauliflower.


My son will be at his dad’s this weekend so by the time he comes home (from possibly another 48-hour carnival), he is ready for a  DINNER DETOX.

Nothing says dinner detox like cauliflower.

With the rest of my spare time this weekend, I may treat myself to a manicure.

I had a pedicure recently which looks lovely but I think the manicurist cut my big-toenail a little short. The last thing I need is my toe to get more irritated from running.


I have debated putting a band-aid on to protect it but I have been on the fence on this issue.

Do I risk ruining a pedicure with a band-aid sticking to the polish? Or do I risk my irritated toe hurting while I run?

Since it is my version of Spring, I may need to wear an opened toe shoe, keep this in mind!

I think a real runner would aim to protect the toe.


I  need to know:

Do you consider yourself a runner?

Do you like cauliflower? How do you most often make it?

Are you ready for Spring?


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