How to Pack Lunch and Eat Breakfast Simultaneously

March 9, 2009

Ingredients in order of appearance: water, oatmeal, milk, dried apricots, apple, blue cheese, couscous, walnuts, almonds, carrots, Brazil nuts, grapes, orange.

Technique (aka cooking with your mouth full):

Put a pot of water on to boil. Better yet, switch on the electric teapot.

Pour some oatmeal and milk in a bowl. Microwave it for a minute.

Start chopping up a bunch of dried apricots and an apple.

Microwave the oatmeal for another minute. For some reason, this keeps my microwave from turning my oatmeal into a volcano.

Finish chopping up fruit. Chop up a wedge of blue cheese.

When the water boils, pour it over a bowl of couscous, and cover the bowl with a plate. You want a one-to-one ratio of couscous and boiling water, but I usually just eyeball it.

Dump the apples on top of the oatmeal, add some walnuts, and eat it while rummaging through the fridge for carrots and grapes. Put the carrots and grapes in a ziploc bag with some Brazil nuts. Make sure the grapes are on top.

Keep eating while you rummage around for an orange.

Check to see if the couscous has absorbed all the water. Couscous cooks in about five minutes, so it should be done by the time you’ve had half your oatmeal.

Scrape the couscous into a tupperware container, add the apricots and blue cheese, and top it off with a bunch of almonds.

Keep eating. Deposit all lunch items (couscous, carrots & nuts, orange) in backpack.

Scarf the last bite of oatmeal while tying shoes. Run for train.


Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Almonds and Raisins

February 24, 2009

banana-muffin-mosaic

Photo credit: 1. spotted banana 2. golden raisins 3. almonds 4. eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

3-4 very ripe mashed bananas

3 tablespoons yogurt (you can use plain or vanilla – I like to use Greek yogurt)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup white flour

1-2 handfuls of slivered almonds

1-2 handfuls of raisins

Beat the sugar and oil together. Beat in the eggs. (If you don’t have an electric mixer, beat the eggs in a glass first, then stir them in.)Add the mashed bananas. Stir in all the flour. Stir in the almonds and raisins.

Spoon the batter into a greased muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. This will make somewhere between 12 and 15 muffins, depending on how big you make them.


Six Things to do Before Breakfast

February 17, 2009

When I lived at home with my parents, I practiced the piano every morning. I’d start with scales or Czerny around 5:30, work through a Chopin etude, then play the last few chords of a Beethoven sonata around 6:30 or 7:00. In college, I rolled out of bed at seven, started jogging, and woke up to admire the sunrise half a mile later. These days, I use the time for writing and running. If I have something major to accomplish, it usually gets done before breakfast.

I adhere to the practice of doing something significant before breakfast every morning because it is the best way to achieve long term goals. Building a blog, writing a thesis, learning an instrument, or training your body requires steady practice. Practicing before breakfast yields steady progress.

Knowing that you have done something worthwhile before nine o’clock in the morning is tremendously powerful. It is the ultimate confidence booster.

And besides, there are so many delightful things you can do before breakfast! Here are six things you might try:

1. Go running and admire the sunrise.

2. Write 500 words. Make steady progress on your dissertation, start your novel, or finish your thank-you notes.

3. Draw a self-portrait. If it’s nice outside, go out to your garden or a park and draw the ducks or the day lilies.

4. Sing or practice an instrument.

5. Practice yoga on your rooftop.

6. Go outside with your camera, and take five beautiful photographs before breakfast.


How to Make a Giant Cinnamon Toast

January 19, 2009

This is what I make for my adopted family in Michigan. It’s basically the focaccia recipe covered in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. You can use butter and jam for a more grown-up version.

Recipe after the jump.

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