my current favorite breakfast

Black walnuts remind me of my paternal grandfather. He and the rest of my family lived in a precious house in a small town in Illinois. It was surrounded by corn fields, and like most midwestern homes, had a large basement. In the back corner of the basement was his nut cracking station. It was a wrap-around desk that had a large, stationary nut cracker, hand picks, a radio, a magnifying glass, and boxes and boxes of nuts. The family favorite was and still is black walnuts. They are more abundant and large in the midwest than in California. Here, they are tiny and don’t have much meat, so farmers don’t bother growing them because they don’t want to put in the effort to pick out the little bits of walnut from its hard shell. At the farmers market, I have been harrasing all the nut vendors about black walnuts. They all say the same thing, they aren’t worth it. Finally, one of them surprised me last weekend with a plastic baggy of 8 ounces of black walnuts. It was worth the 8$, easily. English or “Chandler” walnuts can’t hold a candle to the complex and deep flavor of black walnuts. Good luck trying to find them, but I guarantee they are worth the effort.

so filling and satisfying

Maple Β bacon and whole grain waffles with cream cheese and black walnuts

Recipe: Serves 1

4 slices turkey bacon (I adore Trader Joes’)

two whole wheat frozen waffles

~3 tbsp full fat, whipped cream cheese

~2 tbsp black walnuts, chopped

maple syrup (I use Josephs sugar free)

Directions – Microwave the turkey bacon for 3.5 minutes, covered with a paper towel. Check it at the end and if you want it to be crispier, blot the grease and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Meanwhile, toast the waffles according to the package’s directions. Smother in cream cheese. Top with black walnuts. Drizzle the waffles and turkey bacon with maple syrup. Enjoy!


Turkey bacon * a great source of B vitamins and lean protein. Make sure you find a brand that has about 30 calories and 6 grams of protein per slice! NOT JENNY O.

Walnuts * a fabulous source of 0mega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts have been found to decrease LDL cholesterol, decrease inflammation, improve endothelial cell function, and decrease risk of excessive blood clotting, all of which decrease heart disease risk. They may also help reduce metabolic syndrome symptoms and decrease tummy fat. They are rich in antioxidants and may help protect against some cancers.


I went to a “What’s Your Fantasy” party last Thursday. Any guesses as to what my costume is?


I went to Foodbuzz Fest this weekend (recap soon) and was convinced by Bobby McCormick that I need a Twitter. I caved. If you want me to follow you, tell me your name! And if you want to hear me say minimal things that are hopefully but doubtfully entertaining, follow me…


41 thoughts on “my current favorite breakfast

      1. LOL this is too funny!! oh mannn I was like, “nahhhh that can’t be Lauren….” πŸ˜› You did a great job disguising yourself. And I’m so grateful to have met you too Lauren! You’re such a sweetheart, and so genuine at that. ❀

  1. Black walnuts I’ve never seen these before at the shops or at the markets!
    lol love the costume πŸ™‚

      1. haha thanks. But seriously you have the best recipes. I’m ready to attempt a whole heap of them next month once I’m on summer holidays!

  2. i remember you telling me about the black walnuts when we were at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market! i love that little bit you included about your grandfather at the beginning of this post. The combination of maple syrup, walnuts, and cream cheese seems so complementary – I love how hearty this breakfast is!

    I want to try black walnuts!

    Also I thought you were V for Vendetta for a sec because of the goatee but I see from above you’re Johnny Depp and that makes much more sense for fantasy, haha.

    I’m on twitter! @natalieso or @cinnamonbums

  3. Hi! I just found your blog as I was surfing the blogosphere and noticed that you go to UCD! I’m a freshman here and I LOVE all of your recipes. I’ll need to try some of them out soon :-). Thanks and go ags!

  4. Looks like…Johnny Depp?

    Also, I haven’t bought Jennie O Turkey Bacon Slices…but why would you not recommend it? Are the protein grams actually different brand to brand?

  5. Yay for you joining the realm of twitter! I’m @joanneeatswell πŸ™‚

    YOu make for an awesome ludacris. Like seriously awesome.

    How have I never heard of black walnuts? I need them and those waffles. Now.

    SO SAD I didn’t know you were at foodbuzz! Ack. This is why you need to be on twitter…so that we can chat in real life!

  6. That looks so damn good! Minus turkey bacon. Whyyyyy!?! Nothing compares to the real deal. I hope you don’t microwave real bacon haha. I use that fat on everything so I cook it slow and low to get as much outta my bacon. And what small town in Illinois do you speak of, Mr. Depp?

    1. You need to shut it before I stuff some turkey bacon down your gullet! It’s deliciousss. But yes, real bacon is fabulous as well- but less protein per slice! But many recipes require the real thing- its true. And geneseo!

      Sent from my iPhone

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