Back to the grind?

Happy Tuesday everyone! I am back in California for summer school now, and already miss Austin, my friends, and all of their respective fabulousness. I am even going to miss running in 104 degrees. It is almost impossible for me to sweat, but running in the hottest part of the day finally got me glistening. It felt very hardcore and cleansing. I really tried to loosen up and go with the flow in Austin, which was good for me. During the school year, sometimes I let stress get to me and I get a little tweaky and controlling. I run a tight ship – a captain with no passengers. Ive been working on not taking life so seriously and simply enjoying each day (while still trying to get my most of my shtuff done). In Austin, this meant letting others determine my daily activities instead of having a to-do list, eating out wherever the girls wanted, re-arranging my schedule to accomodate the people I wanted to see, working out if/when/and where it was convenient, and not cooking all my meals exactly to my preferences (and not salting the crap out of all food)! Thus, a lot of chips and queso, Mexican martinis, froyo, and pints of icecream were consumed. I found a pint of Ube icecream at Central market that was so obscenely good I downed it in one sitting. Apparently it is made from Japanese sweet potato?

it is actually that color!

So since getting back, all I have really been craving is super fresh foods. Yesterday’s breakfast was a bit Tex-Mex and a bit Heather-esq.

Buttery corncake with scrambled eggs, onions & avocado

salt, welcome back into my life

In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup cornmeal, 1/4 tsp baking powder, and a dash of salt and mix. Mix in 1/2 an egg (you will use the rest later) and enough milk to make a thin batter, about 1/4 a cup. Grease a pan with 1 tsp butter and place on the stove on medium heat. Pour the batter into the pan and let cook until you see a few bubbles. Flip and cook the other side until lightly browned. Slip the corncake onto a plate.

Add a handful of chopped sweet onion to the pan. Take the other half of the egg and place in a bowl. Add 3 or 4 egg whites and mix. Pour over the onions and cook on the stove top. Once the eggs are cooked and the onions are lightly browned, scrape onto the corncake. Top with 1/3 of an avocado, a dash of salt, and enjoy!

Lunches have included a honey mustard-grilled chicken salad (recipe later in the week!) and a delicious wrap.

Sweet caper & shrimp salad wrap

This seriously takes 5 minutes! Make it!

In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup cooked shrimp, 1 tbsp sweet relish, 1 tbsp mayo, 1 tsp capers, 1-2 tbsp sour cream, 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard, a dash of salt, and pepper. Mix. Spread over 1 whole wheat tortilla and top with greens and sprouts. Roll and enjoy!

only takes 5 minutes.

Last nights dinner was in honor of summer. We grilled and lounged on the hammock in the back. 🙂

Blackberry chicken with basil buttered corn & summer squash

The basil butter stole the show.

If you make nothing else in this post… MAKE THE BASIL BUTTER.

summer is served

For the basil butter: Puree 1 cup fresh basil leaves in a blender. Scrape into a bowl and add 1/4 cup (softened) butter, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

For the blackberry chicken: Mash 1/2 cup blackberries in a bowl and add 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar and a few drops of lemon juice. Massage the mixture into two chicken breasts, sliced into strips. Let marinate for 1 hour. Grill or cook on the stove top.

For blackberry sauce: Mash 1/2 cup blackberries in a bowl and add 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Cook on the stove top on medium-low heat until it has thickened. Scrape into a bowl.

Slice 1 summer squash long ways. Take 2 ears of corn and pull back the husks and remove the silk. Rub on some basil butter and replace the husks. Wrap in tin foil. Cook on the grill with squash and chicken. When the squash is done, chop it up and toss in 1 tbsp basil butter. Divide the corn, squash and chicken between two plates. Top the chicken with blackberry sauce and enjoy!



I have to run bike because I am extremely late for class – but I’ll be back with recipes for blueberry lemon yogurt pops, blackberry pecan muffins, and more… 🙂

20 thoughts on “Back to the grind?

  1. oh dear .. I refuse to even step foot outside if it’s over 100 degrees, let alone run in that kind of heat. More power to ya, sister girl!

    I’ve been having a huge love affair with chicken and raspberries as of late — I wonder if this recipe would work with raspys? or even strawbs? bloooobs? Ohhh, I want to try!

    p.s. I whipped up your blackberry soufflé this morning (using raspberries instead). Will you marry me?!

  2. First of all-I am making that corncake bfast.

    Secondly, How can you not sweat in hot weather? The second I step outside here I start dripping. You need to come to Florida, girl, so you can get your sweat on!

  3. OHMIGOD! I love ube ice cream! That’s a delicacy back home in the Philippines. Where in the world did you find that here in the US?

    I know what you mean about running a tight ship. This summer I’m trying to allow myself to embrace the concept of “relaxing” and “loosening up” so I’m not so uptight next year, but I feel like I’ve always been that way and it’s a little hard to change. That’s what makes me feel like I missed out on a lot of things during my freshman year, though. 😦 Oh well.

    1. I know the feeling, and it is horrible. I was way too busy with the triathlon team freshman year. I wouldnt take it back, but I am glad that I quit sophomore year.I found the Ube at Central Market in Austin, TX! Try googling it?

  4. sounds like you had a great time back home. I think coming back to California from school had that same effect on me – it definitely instigated the desire to loosen up and go with the flow. i think learning to do that is a good thing and will ultimately make you a happier person in the long-run.

    all your meals look delicious. im obsessed with anything that uses cornmeal, so the corncakes look awesome, and so does the basil butter!!!

  5. ohh! I was WONDERING what ube was haha. They have it at a self-serve froyo place close to me and I always get it.. but have no idea what the magical purple soft serve actually is.. thanks for the clarification haha

  6. Summer school?? Awwwwww…
    Purple ice cream and purple chicken? LOOOVE. (Even though I’m picturing purple tofu 😉 )
    Can’t wait for new recipes!!

  7. Your food looks amazing, as usual! I’m glad you enjoyed your time in Austin and let that flexibility kick in. It’s great to go with the flow and really enjoy those moments. I try to do that when I’m traveling although I don’t always succeed! 😉 It’s nice to get back into your own kitchen with all of your favorite ingredients and recipes. Good luck getting back into the swing of things with summer school.

  8. GAH! That corncake loaded with wonderfulness. Looks amazing.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Austin and took some time off from being strict with yourself. That is SOOOOOOOO important. 🙂

    Sweet potato ice cream sounds incredible, by the way. And your blackberry chicken- get out of town. THAT sounds amazing. So creative. Someone found a blackberry bush- that’s an expensive ingredient- which I would LOVE to have more of.

  9. I’m the exact opposite when it comes to sweating…I can just THINK about running and be covered in sweat in SECONDS 😉 It’s gross!

    Your food looks absolutely amazing…Shrimp salad wrap is something on my to make list now! Can’t wait for the blackberry pecan muffin recipe! I love love love pecans!

  10. Does it really take you a long time to sweat? For me there’s a weird speed barrier I have where maybe 5 seconds difference of speed or a tiny improvement in intensity will move me in the “working hard” zone and I start sweating bullets, but before I was dry! Strange. I so miss Austin, I can’t wait to be there the 4th!

    Your food looks awesome, and i am insanely jealous of your use of seafood. Where do you buy yours? Nugget? It’s ridiculously expensive, as is everything in NYC I am so sad without it 😦

  11. Smile. This all looks so good! I should not be reading this BEFORE breakfast. I’m so hungry now! And I’m going to try some of that Ice cream in your honor! Thank you for sharing with me. This was a great way to start my Saturday. I always leave your blog smiling. Have a beautiful and blessed weekend

  12. It can definitely be hard to just LET GO sometimes, especially after living on your own and and doing everything for yourself for so long. going with the flow can be hard work! But kudos to you for doing it!

    All of these meals look so good, I don’t quite know where to begin!

  13. Ube ice cream looks awesome! I’ve never heard of it before, but the color is too cool to resist!
    I am bookmarking this page. The corncake sounds fabulous! I’ve been craving something like that for a while now. It’s perfect timing!

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