Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dialectic:  Have you heard of it?

Life is full of paradoxes and balancing them is something that I constantly strive for.  It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.  I think that’s why I love yoga so much; it’s chock full of paradoxes.  I’m going through yoga teacher training this summer and last weekend we learned about something called dialectic, which is the “inquiry into metaphysical contradictions,” or that constant internal debate in your head.  eg: You want safety, but you also want freedom.  You want friends but you also want to be alone.  You want to be healthy, but you also want an entire box of cookies.  I’m fascinated with it because I think it completely embodies the human experience and how we make things so difficult.    

I’m currently experiencing my own dialectic:  I want a high paying job that utilizes my degree, but I also want the freedom to follow my passions uninhibitedly. I recently got rejected for a job that I was really invested in and now I’m questioning myself…what do I really want to do with my life?  Honestly, I have no clue.

I’m the same person as I was before I got the rejection email, but now I’m suddenly plagued with self doubt. Not in a bad way, but in a “what the hell do I do next” kind of way.  It’s crazy to me how one small thing can happen and completely rock your world.  It just goes to show that contentment is a product of thoughts.

If you’re in the same boat as me, just know: no decision is the wrong decision and the worst thing you can do is nothing.  I really like this quote by Deepak Chopra:

“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.

The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.

If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign- body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.”
Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life

I don’t know if it’s a mid-twenties dilemma, but figuring out life right now is hard. It’s like going to a restaurant with too many options.  I get overwhelmed and then I can’t pick anything, but I guess that’s the beauty of life in America.


Are you struggling or have you struggled with a dialectic before?  What’s your experience? I’d love to hear them!

Baked Marinara Eggs

I love Italian food (I am Italian), but I’m vegetarian and it’s kind of a meaty class of food.  I like to look for variations and this is one of them.  However, my dad is 100% Italian and when I told him about these, he sounded disgusted.  Sooo… I originally called these “Baked Italian Eggs,” but I suppose they’re not a “true” traditional Italian dish.

They are incredibly delicious, though.  I tossed some broccoli in olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice and then sprinkled it with Parmesan and baked it for about 30 minutes to pair with the eggs.  Oh, and some garlic bread, too.  Oh my gosh… such an amazing meal.  Highly recommend!  Plus, it’s effortless!

(Sorry, the pictures I took of these were all terrible because I was eager to eat them, but I had to post the recipe. For fantastic pictures of the recipe, check out Damn Delicious.)

Baked Marinara Eggs
From:  Damn Delicious


  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/8 cup shredded or grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/8 cup basil leaves, chiffonade (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a 10-ounce ramekin or coat with nonstick spray.
  • Divide marinara sauce evenly into the ramekins. Top with eggs, milk, and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place into oven and bake until egg whites are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with basil leaves, if desired.

Easy Brownie Sandwiches

I’m not typically a fan of box mixes, but they can be made into so many other desserts than the box mentions and sometimes I just want to whip something up with little effort. If you visit the website of your boxed cake mix of choice, you’ll find tons of recipes.  This recipe is from Duncan Hines.

I’m a huge fan of brownies and a huge fan of frosting and I have an out of control sweet tooth, so these are perfect for me, but may be too sweet for some. 

Brownie Sandwiches

Straight from Duncan Hines



  1. Preheat oven to 375 ºF. Grease cookie sheet.
  2. Combine brownie mix, egg, water and oil in large bowl. Stir until well blended and soft dough forms. Drop by level measuring tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 375 ºF for 7 to 8 minutes or until cookies are set in center. Do not over bake. Cool for 1 minute before removing to cooling rack. Cool completely before assembling.
  4. Spread frosting on half the cookies. Top each frosted cookie with another cookie. Gently press together.

Roasted Beet Salad

I went to a wonderful local cooking class the other day and was inspired!! I’ve eaten beets prepared by other people, but I’ll be honest… this was my first time buying and cooking them myself. 

Paige, from For Love of the Table, showed us how to make so many awesome recipes, but this beet salad was one of my favorites.  If you don’t really like beets, I think this recipe is a game changer for you.


Roasted Beet Salad
Recipe from:  For Love of the Table

3 or 4 beets
½ cup plain greek yogurt
lemon juice

1. Roast the beets. Trim off the tops, leaving about an inch of stem, scrub them and place them in a roasting pan with about a quarter inch of water in the bottom. Cover the pan with foil and roast at 375° to 400° until tender, about 40 minutes.
2. When they are cool enough to handle, trim the top and the root and rub the skins off with a paper towel. Slice them and dress them with lemon juice to taste. (Acidity accentuates the sweetness). Season with salt and pepper and toss with olive oil.  
3.  Make the Greek yogurt topping:  mix the yogurt with garlic and salt to taste.  Drizzle over beets and top with walnuts and mint.  

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Peanut butter and jelly jogs so many childhood memories for me.  Lunchtime was one of my favorite times of the day during elementary school.  I brought my lunch every day and so did my best friend, so we were always able to sit together.  I made my own lunch a lot of the time and when I did, I always had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because, duh, I was 6-10 when I made them.  

I work at an elementary school now and I love watching the kids in the lunch room because I remember what a good time that was for me.

Anyway, these are some fancified PB&Js in bar form (with more sugar) and they are fantastic.

What’s your favorite childhood lunch?


1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
¾ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of jelly of your choice


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with heavy-duty foil,
leaving 2-inch overhang around edges and pressing firmly into corners and up
sides of pan. Coat foil with nonstick spray. 
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt in small bowl. 
4. Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter, sugar, and butter in large bowl
until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; beat on low-speed until smooth.
5. Add flour mixture; beat on low-speed just to blend. 
6. Transfer half of dough to prepared pan (about scant 1 ½ cups). Place
remaining dough in freezer for 10 minutes. 
7. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto bottom of pan. Spread jelly over
in even layer. 
8. Remove dough from freezer; using fingertips, break into grape-size pieces
and scatter over jelly layer.
9. Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool bars completely
in pan on rack.
10. Using foil overhang as an aid, lift bars from pan. Gently peel foil from
edges. Cut into 16 squares.

Meatless Taco Salad

When I first became a vegetarian, I didn’t realize how broad my food choices were.  There are tons of ideas all over the internet and also tons of meat substitutions.  One of my favorites is Morningstar’s Grillers Recipe Crumbles.  I use them in tons of stuff: omelettes, burritos, chili, etc.  Anything that requires “ground beef” can be substituted with their veggie crumbles.

My favorite thing to make with them is this amazing taco salad.  It’s packed with veggies and it’s super healthy and delicious.

Meatless Taco Salad


2 cups spinach/lettuce
½ avocado, cut into small pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup shredded cheese
½ cup Morningstar Grillers Recipe Crumbles, cooked


1. Cook the veggie crumbles according to the back of the package. Layer the lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, and veggie crumbles in a bowl. Top with salsa (and maybe Doritos).  Enjoy!

Lemon Cookie Cheesecake Bars

I absolutely love springy, lemony recipes.  I’d been looking for a good one and when I found Pillsbury’s Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bar recipe, I knew it would be perfect with lemon flavoring.  I’m a huge cheesecake fan and an even bigger lemon cheesecake fan.  Who doesn’t love creamy lemon desserts?

So, here’s my version of the delicious chocolate chip cheesecake bars:

Recipe from:  Pillsbury and Let’s Dish

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg

Cookie dough:
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1-½ cups flour
1 cup white chocolate chips


Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Cookie dough: Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add in the egg and continue beating.  Next, add the rest of the ingredients and slowly mix until it’s all thoroughly combined. 
3. Cheesecake: In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and egg until smooth.

4.  In an 8×8 inch pan, break up half of cookie dough. Press dough evenly in the bottom of the pan to make the crust. Spread cream cheese mixture over dough. Crumble the remaining half of the dough over the cream cheese mixture.


Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool 30 minutes. Chill and store in refrigerator.

Numi Organic Tea

I LOVE tea.  I got to sample Numi Organic’s Moroccan Mint, Orange Spice, and White Rose tea.  

I’ve never met a tea that I don’t like, but these are extra fantastic and so perfect for spring.  I love that they are all organic; because of this, they dont have that disgusting artificial aftertaste.  They all go down smoothly.

Orange Spice:
Spicy, sweet, citrusy and perfect for iced tea.

Numi’s sublime blend of organic smooth white tea and real orange peel, schizandra berries and lemongrass balances complex citrus notes with luxurious spice. All make for the most divine cup.

Moroccan Mint:  

So refreshing and sweet and doesn’t have that “fake” mint bitter aftertaste.  It’s perfect for waking you up in the morning!

Numi’s organic Moroccan Mint, known as “nana mint,” flourishes in North Africa. With a flavor as light and lively as a newly picked leaf, it has a sweet spearmint flavor that is refreshing and soothing any time of the day.

White Rose:  Tastes like spring in a cup.  It’s so light and smells just like roses.  

Numi’s enchanted White Rose blends the smoothness of delicate, organic white tea with whole organic rose buds. This sweet and fragrant liaison is as exquisite as it is healthy.  Numi’s white teas are hand-picked early in the spring and carefully blended with organic ingredients to complement the delicate flavors.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Hand Pies

Happy extremely belated Pi Day.  That’s how I roll, always behind on the national food holidays.  I celebrate them promptly, but forget to post about them on time. #slacker

Okay, have you ever had Uncrustables?  I’m sure you’ve heard of them, but they’re peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without the crust (obviously) and they’re perfect when you’re on the go.  I used to eat them all. the. time. when I was a kid. 

I sort of tried to recreate the Uncrustables with pie crust instead and they turned out pretty well.  My only complaint is that there isn’t much filling in each one, but I guess that just means you’ll have to eat more or make them bigger.

What was your favorite snack as a kid?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Hand Pies


1 serving of your favorite pie crust, unbaked
¼ cup peanut butter, smooth
¼ cup jelly
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon egg whites


1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Roll out dough as thin as you can get it without tearing, or as thick as you want it.
3.  Using a round cookie cutter, cut circles out of your dough.
4.  Fill each circle with 1 teaspoon peanut butter and 1 teaspoon jelly.  Fold in half and pinch off the edges.
5.  Brush each folded hand pie with egg whites and sprinkle with sugar.
6.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until the edges start to slightly turn brown.