No, I’m not saying goodbye to granola! That would be a tragedy, as it’s practically the reason I get up many mornings. But the reality is, I’m probably saying goodbye to making it myself for a while. In fact, most things I’ll be eating at the dining hall or buying at the grocery store, since I’m going to college next week. So as a way of saying goodbye to baking, as well as to my mom, who love peanut butter and granola, I made this granola today.
It contains chocolate chunks and dried raspberries, a combination that reminds me of Valentine’s Day. I almost coated the oats with cocoa powder, but my mom talked me out of it. And I’m glad she did – she and I both liked this granola just the way it is! Click here for the full recipe.
Earlier this summer, I published a short ebook, People with Fishtails. It was so short, I got to thinking, what would happen if I published this as part of a compilation with other short stories? I’d already been working on a mermaid story from the age of colonization and pirates, and I soon wrote a contemporary one. Along with the futuristic People with Fishtails, these stories make up Three Mermaid Tales. The book is free on Smashwords and coming soon to Barnes and Noble for free. It may take a while to become free on Amazon.
I am so fortunate to have so many supportive family members and friends who helped me through every stage of the writing and publishing process!
In case you’re curious, here’s the ebook synopsis:
In “The Red Siren,” travel back in time to the island of Mystycetii in the days when mermaids ate oysters and were ruled by a mer-king. Follow the journey of the naturalist Dove as he attempts to fall in love with his betrothed, Rowynne, and comes crashing down hard for a local mermaid. Then, fast-forward to the present for “Ocean Girl,” the story of a mermaid named Luna who wants toWIN a human dance contest – will she get up after her fall from the spotlight? Finally, jump into the near future with “People with Fishtails,” the tale of two landlubbers who find themselves on an environmental pirate ship. Gayle is searching for her mother, whom she believes to be a mermaid ,while Sander is on the lookout for unusual marine specimens. Neither of the two knows they’re also looking for love…
Enjoy a journey through the ages with these three tales of mermaids!
It all started as a twinkle in my eye – the idea had struck me to create some flourless chocolate pancakes, using the same method I used here. I brooded on it for a day and a night. This morning, I set to work.
I whipped up some batter that looked like chocolate mousse. It was going to be a good morning.
When the pan and the spatula conspired to mangle my first pancake, I didn’t let myself be discouraged. I turned on the oven and got out a cookie sheet and some aluminum foil.
I am glad I used the foil, as this recipe really sticks to its substrate! But I’m also glad I followed through with my plan. Though I can’t claim she’s a blog-worthy beauty, she’s all mine, and as I’m typing this she’s nourishing me with gluten-free, high-protein, low-fat goodness.
Do you want your own fudgey, deep chocolate disaster? Then follow the recipe below.
Deep Chocolate Greek Yogurt Pancakes
- 1 container raspberry flavor Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Hershey’s cocoa
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbs honey (or increase for more sweetness)
- a handful of something sweet for mix-ins (I used raisins; the obvious variation would be chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda. Beat in egg. Add yogurt and honey, and stir until mixture is wet and whipped-looking. Stir in your mix-ins.
Bake at 350 until a cake tester comes out clean (pancakes will still look wet on top.)
Use a spatula to carefully wrench the pancakes off the foil. Enjoy warm, perhaps with melted chocolate and/or fresh berries.
It has been a bountiful summer as usual! Plums glisten in the produce aisle and strawberries tempt and tease from their little plastic baskets. I decided to combine these two flavors – plus a few more – in an unusual summer smoothie celebrating the harvest with frozen and dried fruits.
Summer Harvest Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup plain almond milk
- 1 container Chobani brand plum flavor Greek yogurt
- 1 packet strawberries and cream flavored instant oatmeal
- 4-8 frozen strawberries
- 1 single-serving box of Sun Maid brand raisins
Place all ingredients in blender except oatmeal and raisins. Blend until smooth. Add oatmeal and raisins and blend for five additional seconds. Pour smoothie into a glass. Enjoy!
The search for the perfect yogurt is a quest that’s been taking place in my house since I knew what yogurt was. My mom used to pack me low fat yogurt for lunch, and my friend and I would play a game where she would guess the flavor before I took it out of my bag. When I discovered that that brand of yogurt used some gross ingredients, I turned to Greek yogurt. There are a million different brands: some taste artificial, others are too sweet, others not fruity enough. I have found the perfect compromise, however: Open Nature Greek Yogurt. It’s the store brand at my grocery store, so it’s never too expensive. But the taste is tremendous! Creamy, perfectly smooth yogurt with delicious fruit on the bottom and no unappetizing ingredients.
When I make my most common breakfast, a yogurt parfait/bowl, I often use Open Nature Greek Yogurt. Here’s a simple example of a part of a balanced breakfast.
Red Fruits Yogurt Bowl
- 4-8 fresh strawberries
- 1 cup Special K with Red Berries
- one container of Open Nature Greek Yogurt, Black Cherry flavor
Wash strawberries. Remove leaves and and slice. Place in a bowl with cereal. Pour yogurt on top. Mix. Devour.
Recently, my family went on an excursion to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro. For a building that looks small on the outside, that place sure packs a lot of information into all its exhibits and I recommend it to all ocean enthusiasts!
The most exciting part of the trip, however, were the nearby tide pools which we explored after the aquarium. Perched on a rock, gazing down at little hermit crabs rushing about and watching the tide roll in and out, I felt very connected to nature.
Sunburns are red, the ocean is blue, and these blueberry pancakes have blue color too!
Sorry for that terrible rhyme. I just couldn’t resist.
And you won’t be able to resist these fluffy, buttery pancakes (which contain no butter and are packed with protein.) Use your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt – I used lemon, but the flavor didn’t really come out. Maybe adding some lemon zest would help?
Overall, these pancakes make a great way to start your day. Enjoy!
Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes
based on recipe from everydaybelle.com
- 5.3 oz Greek yogurt – I used lemon flavor; you couldn’t really taste it
- 1 egg
- scant 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or experiment with your favorite flour)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 tbs peanut butter
Pour yogurt into a medium bowl. Beat in egg. Add flour and baking soda. Mix well. Batter will be lumpy. Stir in blueberries.
Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray.
Pour batter into pan and cook over medium heat. When batter is very bubbly, flip the pancakes. When they are brown on both sides, remove from heat and place on serving plate.