Good Bites

December 17, 2012

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We focused all day yesterday on family, from start to finish. Stories and ELF. Pumpkin, fun lunch in a pocket, and cookies. A 5 mile run (post-baby distance record!). New toys. A neighborhood Christmas gathering.

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Pumpkin whipped banana oatmeal topped with peanut butter (Trader Joe’s crunchy) and the last of my homemade buckwheat granola. Must make more!

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Matt and I read while Mazen napped. I decided to pick up some of my cookbooks to meal plan. People often ask me what my favorite cookbooks are, but I honestly don’t use cookbooks that much. I sometimes use them for a specific kind of recipe (like scones – I wouldn’t necessarily know how to throw them together), but I generally use the internet and blogs for meal planning cravings and then come up with our own twist when the night arrives. But today I browsed my cookbooks.

If I had to choose a favorite cookbook of the ones I own, this would be it: Good Bite Weeknight Meals

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It’s a cookbook I contributed to a few years ago along with all of these other amazing bloggers:

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I don’t have any incentives tied to the book; I just think it’s really well put together and features very approachable recipes from categories like poultry to seafood to vegetarian to desserts. Because bloggers are real people, the recipes speak to me more than some of the more professional cookbooks. And with photography from Matt Bites, everything looks good!

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For lunch we made smoked trout and tuna pita pockets. I picked the pitas up at TJ’s for the party tonight and we filled them with a salad made with mayonnaise, spicy brown mustard, lemon pepper, lemon juice, finely minced celery and carrots. Brought me back to the days of Lu-E-G’s in Hillsborough!

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Salad on the side with the TJ’s rosemary marcona almonds (yes Lindsey they are good!), olive oil, a few walnuts and greens.

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And a pear!

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Peek-a-boo Pumpkin!

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Remember Pero? It’s a malted barley/chicory/rye powder that turns into somewhat of a coffee-like beverage (coffee-like because it’s roasty not because it’s like coffee.) I had a mug made with milk and some stevia in the raw this afternoon that was super tasty!

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Plus two pumpkin balls for a snack.

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This evening we walked to our neighborhood’s holiday party. There were tons of cookies and sweets and delicious food to eat.

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I brought a veggie platter with hummus + pita. I had “bring something you would want to eat” in mind, and I was glad to have something green to munch on for dinner. The Mexican bean dip went well with the veggies too!

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It was nice to spend the day together <3

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio December 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

mmm! I love using pita bread for bread.

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2 Amanda @flecksofgreen December 17, 2012 at 9:39 am

Wow that food spread looks amazingly delicious! I also have the idea to do a flatbread/pita bread, but it never happens!

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3 lisa fine December 17, 2012 at 9:41 am

Sounds fun and cozy. I love family-filled days like that, which makes me excited to see my family for New Year’s.

I made a batch of granola yesterday!

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4 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries December 17, 2012 at 9:45 am

Family days are always the best! Especially when they involve some tasty food. ;) Glad you guys had a great day all together!

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5 Stefanie @ Thin Vegetarian December 17, 2012 at 9:53 am

Always a good idea to bring what you want to eat!

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6 Juliet Grossman December 17, 2012 at 10:05 am

I like Pero and also a similar product that I like a little better – Cafix. I like to foam milk for the top (a “latte”) with a shake of cinnamon.

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7 Ali @ Peaches and Football December 17, 2012 at 10:07 am

I love Christmas parties with large spreads and fun decor! I agree, with so many recipes online and on blogs now, my cookbooks aren’t used as much as when I was a kid. Growing up, I remember paging through cookbooks for HOURS looking for fun recipes to try. :)

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8 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh December 17, 2012 at 10:07 am

Ahh, you just reminded me I have pitas in there (I never do) so I’m going to do a little meal planning myself thanks to you!

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9 Robyn December 17, 2012 at 10:13 am

trader joes has THEE drippiest PB ever. So good.

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10 Averie @ Averie Cooks December 17, 2012 at 10:24 am

I remember when that book came out – feels like a lifetime ago already :) Glad to hear it’s a go-to #1 fave! I love Matt’s work and he is so amazingly talented!

I want a pumpkin ball (or a bourbon ball from your other post!)

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11 Lindsey @ Pas de Deux December 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

Glad you found and liked the marcona almonds :-) I bought a tin of smoked trout at Trader Joe’s knowing you say it is your favorite, but I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet… I’ll have to try your salad mix for lunch this week. Happy Monday!

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12 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Sounds like the perfect day. And I agree, I prefer recipes by bloggers because I feel like they’re more realistic. Bloggers just tell you the food they actually make for themselves and their families and aren’t trying to impress anyone.

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13 Kristen @ Change of Pace December 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I have to bring a dish on Friday so I think I’m going to steal your veggie plate and hummus idea. It’s a great idea to add the little pita triangles too!

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14 Annette @FitnessPerks December 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Pitas are always so yummy!

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15 Kaci December 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm

This is a little off topic but wanted to ask my fellow KERF readers any insights on getting off of added sugar. These cravings for cookies, sweets, etc. is all I can think about so I’m trying to go cold turkey. Any thoughts on what has worked for others to cut out/down on sugar in your diet?

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16 KathEats December 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I always think cold turkey is easier than trying to keep portions small. Makes me feel better mentally too to skip altogether. But many other people find having just a little of something works better for them long term.

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17 Grace December 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I did a cold turkey refined sugar cut-out last summer. What really helped me were dates (with no added sugar–just the date) and the Good Earth Sweet/Spicy herbal tea. When I would get a mid-afternoon or post-dinner craving for something sweet, I’d have a few dates with a small glass or milk or a cup of tea (or both!) and found both to be pretty satisfying, actually. There’s also a great tea called Mayan Cocoa Spice from Yumi teas, I think, that can go a long way toward satisfying a chocolate craving. Neither of those teas have added sweetner, just herb/spices that taste sweet. I think the Cocoa Spice actually has cocoa bean in it.

I do agree that learning to take smaller portions of sweets is probably a better long-term strategy. But cold turkey did make me feel physically amazing for those 8 weeks! And also I was proud of myself for doing it, and that’s a good feeling.

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18 Ella P December 19, 2012 at 5:02 am

The “zero tolerance” approach works best for me. I started it a looong time ago. It was not easy, I admit it. Believe me, after a while your taste buds will think an apple is too sweet. The times I REALLY needed something sweet a opted for a carrot (raw) or tiny apple. Portion size matters when talking about GI. Dates and raisins did not play the trick for me, since their GI is very high and eating them with nuts (in order to lower the GL) would make the snack too caloric.

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19 Ashlee December 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Your pumpkin pictures always make me laugh! I think because I am never expecting it, but today’s totally cracked me up!

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20 Shel@PeachyPalate December 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Perfect family day! Love pitta pockets, no sandwich spillage :) Well done on the 5 miles!!!

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21 Lauren December 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Ooooh, the smoked trout and tuna pita pockets sound so good! I tried the TJ’s smoked trout after seeing it on your blog and it was delicious. I just mashed it up a bit and dumped the whole thing on a kale salad. So. Good.

And I totally understand the “bring something you would want to eat” mindset! I’m always worried there won’t be anything to my liking when I attend potluck style parties :/

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22 Daphna December 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Kath, how do you plan and shop for and construct your salads? Is it just a matter of having greens, veggies, nuts/cheese on hand and throwing it all together? Thanks!

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23 KathEats December 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Yep! Greens for a base, veggies to add, quick proteins (eggs, burgers, beans) and garnishes (cheese, nuts, avocado)

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24 Sara @ sarasmiles December 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Congrats on your post-baby 5 mile run! I bet that felt good…

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25 Karlee December 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

i love how you cut the cucumber!!

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26 Steph @ Steph Stays Slim December 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Pumpkin oats is my plan for breakfast tomorrow, can’t wait! I recently posted a Skinny Black Bean Dip that I love to make, and some ‘Tips for Surviving the Holiday Bulge, check it out :) I totally understand how easy it is to fall into the cooke trap at parties.

I also still have great giveaways leading up to Christmas…too much fun stuff!!

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27 Cait's Plate December 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Oooh – good to know! I may just have to pick that one up :) I LOVE his photography so I can only imagine how much it enhances the book!

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28 Megan @ MegGoesNomNom December 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Those stuffed pitas look FAB! I am intrigued by the smoked trout I frequently see in your blog – I’ll have to be on the lookout for it!

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29 Allison@commitcomplete December 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm

That dinner spread looks amazing! You can’t go wrong with veggies and pita.

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30 lynn @ the actor's diet December 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm

i need more weekday holiday get-togethers. cookie me, please.

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31 Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey December 18, 2012 at 5:12 am

Congratulations on the 5-mile run! I think I will be making vegetable salad on our annual family Christmas gathering. Thanks for the idea!

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32 Jodie December 18, 2012 at 6:39 am

The book looks good, the best recipes are always the ones that have Ben passed on be she they wrk & are good !!! I googled it already to have a look!

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33 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope December 18, 2012 at 7:01 am

The holiday dinner looks beautiful! :) I love holiday parties.

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34 Janina Locascio December 18, 2012 at 7:31 am

Mmmm… the smoked trout and tuna wraps look awesome. Especially with the TJ’s pita pockets. They’re the perfect size for lunch. Love the fresh mix of colors and will definitely have to try this!

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35 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn December 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

Miss you lady!! Hope to visit the c-ville again this spring and meet the baby!

Perfect day. Especially the holiday cookies. Every year, some close family friends of ours have a cookie exchange party — that’s a LOT of cookies. We all come home with two plates full. Merry almost Christmas! ;)

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36 Molly @ RDexposed December 18, 2012 at 8:10 am

I feel like we’re always the couple showing up to parties with the vegetables!

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37 Liz December 18, 2012 at 9:13 am

No baby pictures!!!??? :( :( :(

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38 Taylor December 18, 2012 at 9:16 am

Kath, I really wanted to order some Cville cluster but I see you do not mail to all zip codes in New York! Is there any way I can still get it?

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39 KathEats December 18, 2012 at 9:23 am

Hmmm…is the shipping calculator telling you it’s not available in your zip? If you call the store (434-202-7813) Matt may be able to use another shipping provider that does ship to you. Are you a PO Box? That could be the problem

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40 Taylor December 18, 2012 at 9:55 am

Yes it just gives me a list of possible zip codes. Ok, thanks so much!! Nope, just a college student trying to send some goodies home for the holidays :)

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41 Jun December 18, 2012 at 9:41 am

I wonder how are you run these days? What are your thoughts about it and how do you find running now? :)

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42 KathEats December 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

It’s going great, and I feel back to my old self. I’m not nearly as fast as I used to be, but that’s probably just from taking a year off. It’s also not priority at the moment : ) But I’m really enjoying running again, as I have always loved it

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43 Hannah December 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Kath! I attempted to make your pumpkin oatmeal and it was a disaster. You gotta tell me how exactly you get yours so beautiful and, more importantly, tasty. Do you use pumpkin puree?

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44 KathEats December 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Oh no!! Was this the baked pumpkin or the whipped banana oatmeal with pumpkin stirred in? Can you give me specifics on how you made it so I can troubleshoot?

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45 Hannah December 19, 2012 at 10:49 am

I tried making it with overnight oats. Not sure what it was, but when I tried it the next day and it was awful! I feel like I must have purchased the wrong type of pumpkin puree (if that’s possible?). I have been making your original overnight and stovetop oats for a while now and LOVE them, but somehow adding pumpkin did not work so well for me. Do you think pumpkin works better with whipped, stovetop oats? I haven’t tried it that way yet.

Thanks for the help!!

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46 KathEats December 19, 2012 at 10:57 am

I do use plain pumpkin, which can be kind of gourd-y. If you don’t like pumpkin straight from the can, you might want to sweeten it a little next time. And use less pumpkin.

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47 Gina @HealthLoveandChocolate December 18, 2012 at 11:20 pm

So great that you were able to take the day to focus on family. Tragedy really makes us remember what is important. Veggie/hummus platter is my go-to to bring to parties as well!

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