The Girl of Sandwich or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bread.

That’s one very long title. But I think it works. I’ve been digging the sandwiches lately. Nature’s Pride (I keep wanting to call them Nature’s Path, but that is a different company that was kind enough to send me goodies!) sent me a bunch of bread the other week and I’ve been dutifully eating it up. (I say “dutifully” as though it’s a chore; it is not! I love this bread.)

I discovered this fantastic lunch sandwich that is filling and probably the most delicious sandwich I have ever eaten. It is so simple and yum:

  • whole wheat bun (ideally from Nature’s Pride)
  • 1 laughing cow spreadable swiss cheese
  • tomato slices
  • lots of lettuce

I have had 6 of them I think and I am still not sick of the combo! I only have one more whole wheat bun left and that’s for tomorrow (Bobby had one of the 8 original buns for a PB sammy but then I told him to eat the white buns since I don’t like those as much and he has been polishing those off instead).

The other thing I have been making white the big rolly buns is my breakfast. I spread a bun with peanut butter and top it with coconut flakes.

How can you not love this? I make breakfast and lunch at the same time (in the morning before work), then I take my breakfast over to the couch and savor it before I leave for work. This big white poofy carb is the perfect brain food to get me through the day. I do love white carbs sometimes. Totally necessary.

Exercise of the day (free again): Exercise TV’s 6-Round Slimdown with Stephanie Vitorino. It’s a 40-minute strength/cardio/abs workout consisting of 6 5-minute rounds that each incorporate strength, cardio, and abs. You do need weights, which I don’t have. You’re also supposed to have a medicine ball, but I used a circular glass candle holder thing and it worked for me. I got pretty sweaty and I was only slightly terrified that I would hurt myself the the candle holder. The only odd thing is that some “5-minute” rounds are 3 minutes; others are 6-7 minutes. But it didn’t bug me.

Hump day’s over. Time to get ready for the weekend… Do you have plans for the long weekend? I am going to do WEDDING PLANNING and get brunch with Bobby and a friend on Sunday.

P.S. Did you notice I switched back to “Say Yes to Salad“? If you want to change your blogrolls back that would be lovely. The vote came in and I decided to go with what the people said.

Homemade Ketchup Fun & Nature’s Pride Bread

I’m a big ketchup fan. Especially when it’s homemade. I first made my own ketchup last spring (with Sagan’s recipe). But I haven’t made it since before I moved to New York (back in November) and I definitely miss it. I am tired of the HFCS-filled stuff that I eat in restaurants! Anyway, I am getting off topic. I used my homemade ketchup recipe this weekend (the only difference was that I added a few teaspoons of sugar this time) to make a yummy ketchup dip. (Click here for recipe!)

Okay I used way more than pictured. I used it first for omelettes. My omelette was 5 egg whites with a fresh chopped tomato and sauteed greens (in peanut oil) that my dad gave me this weekend. (We were down in NJ doing wedding plans Friday-Saturday.) I cooked the omelette in olive oil. Bobby’s omelette was 3 eggs with tomato and no greens (but lots of ketchup) cooked in olive oil. (Not pictured.)

Omelettes are so good.

The other thing I used the ketchup for was Bobby’s hot dog. As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a bunch of Nature’s Pride rolls. So excited for these! I cooked up a nitrate/nitrite-free turkey dog for him and spread the roll with ketchup and mustard.

He loved it. I have been having these rolls for breakfast but I’ll share that later.

In other news, I’m still keeping up with my tv-exercise routine. I did this Kendell Hogan routine this morning. It’s a 30-minute dance routine from Exercise TV and it’s free! I used to do this one a lot back when we were in California. So fun. I highly recommend it.

Work has been busy and I can’t wait to plop down tonight with my book (finally going to finish Lipstick Jungle) and maybe a Bones episode (or 2 or 3). I also have a kabocha roasting in the oven. Sometimes it’s really nice to just *not* do anything productive at all. Anyone agree with me? What’s your favorite totally lazy thing to do?

Guest Post: Substituting Ingredients

Yesterday I reviewed Becky Epstein’s new book, Substituting Ingredients… And now here is a guest post from Becky herself!


When I originally wrote the first draft for Substituting Ingredients, I was working with a friend, in her big kitchen in Santa Barbara. As I recall, it was a sunny weekend morning and there were lots of people around. We decided to test out pancake recipes with and without eggs, to see how the substitutes would work. We made several versions be cooking involves chemical reactions like leavening (rising) and proportions of liquids and solids.


When we felt we had it down, we invited people to taste. I think we made them try each one without syrup first, which wasn’t exactly what they wanted. But after they made their choice of favorites, we let them pour on the syrup. Surprisingly, most people’s favorite was the pancakes we made without the eggs.

That gave us a lot of courage, to keep trying more and more substitutes. It was also a signal to our families that they were going to have to try a lot of strange things before the book was finished.

The simplest thing is to take your favorite pancake recipe and if you don’t have an egg, add:

  • 2 tablespoons milk or juice
  • 2 tablespoons flour (not packed down)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

The pancakes will be nice and fluffy!

Thanks again, Becky. Can’t wait to try out more of your substitutions!

If you haven’t seen it already, here is my dad’s buttermilk pancake recipe. It’s awesome… but I don’t always have the right ingredients. Perhaps I should use some of Becky’s subs 🙂

This weekend we are headed into New Jersey for lots of wedding errands. What are your weekend plans?


What are the most common ingredient substitutions that you do?

Review: Substituting Ingredients

I was recently sent a complimentary copy of Becky Sue Epstein’s new book: Substituting Ingredients.

I’m always substituting ingredients myself, so I do know a lot of options already, but I’m always up for learning new things. (Speaking of learning new things, my linguistics class just ended and I am sad! It was really fun.) Becky’s book is a comprehensive reference book. It’s broken into a few parts:

  • Substituting Ingredients A to Z (the bulk of the book; it’s an alphabetical listing of ingredients and their possible substitutes)
  • Herbs and Spices (which definitely deserve their own section)
  • Measurement equivalents (useful!)
  • Remedies for common kitchen disasters (I can definitely see myself using this)
  • Household formulas (recipes for household cleaning supplies – all natural – like air freshener, bathroom cleaner, drain cleaner, mouthwash, and more)

The section of the book that I hope to get the most use out of is actually that last one – “Household Formulas“. I have never made my own cleaning supplies but have always wanted to. I really hate the fact that I claim to be environmentally friendly yet I pour chemicals all over my house! I can’t wait to try these out.

So I really like the book. It’s a shame it doesn’t come with her favorite recipes, but aside from that, it’s great. Thanks for the sneak peak, Becky! If you want to order it you can order Substituting Ingredients on Amazon.


I am off to watch Bones and then maybe read. I just finished Three Cups of Tea (Clare read this recently too) so I have to figure out what to read next. I have a few things on my shelf but none are jumping out at me. What are you reading right now?

Some Fun (Free) Exercise Routines (Videos)

My bachelorette weekend was great 🙂

I haven’t mentioned (or updated about) my whole “Operation Wedding” routine in a while, but I have been keeping up with it. I’ve definitely noticed changes in my body that I am happy with! Here are some exercise videos that will (quickly) get you lean and toned:

  • Bootcamp Calorie Burn (with Kendell Hogan – a dude). I know I’ve mentioned this one before. I just did it this morning. It’s 30 minutes and it’s a killer workout if you don’t have much time. All cardio, very sweaty, awesome encouraging instructor. Definitely check it out.
  • Crunch: Fat-Burning Pilates (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). This routine is about 40 minutes total. It has 2 parts – standing and mat work. I usually just do the standing bit (just under 30 minutes) which is basically cardio pilates. I am sweaty by the end, but not panting. Definitely good for getting the perfect body shape – long, lean muscles; sculpted tummy; lean arms, etc…
  • Crunch: Super Slimdown (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). Another Ellen Barrett! This is a mix of pilates and yoga; it’s very dynamic yoga (not many long holds). It’s around 40 minutes. I usually do the first part (more yoga-oriented and kind of cario-ish). I think this is my favorite of all the videos I’ve done recently.
  • Pick Your Level: Weight Loss Pilates (free streaming from Netflix; with Ellen Barrett). This is just over 30 minutes. If you’ve ever done a “pick your level” workout before, you’ll know they’re all similar. Ellen demonstrates each move at 3 different levels. I usually do level 3 to make it hard. This is another workout that’s great for toning – it’s a little bit of cardio, but not that much. Some is standing and some is mat work. I really like this because of Ellen Barrett – she is my new favorite instructor.

There are a few other Netflix videos that I’ve done, but these are the ones that are actually worth mentioning. I will recommend against 10-minutes solution: Kickbox Bootcamp – this will give you weirdly shaped muscles in all the wrong places.

My focus recently has been on a combo of cardio, pilates, and yoga. And not too much – I never do more than 45 minutes in a day and I don’t do them every day. I don’t know why this works so well for me! I also try to get in 1-2 miles of walking each day.

The other thing that’s helped me (a lot) is Bran Crispbread. I snack on them after dinner. They satisfy my urge to munch without compromising my waistline. They are definitely what I would call “diet food” (cardboard) but they are not that bad. They have just 12 calories a piece (they’re the size of a notecard).

I like them with guacamole or spreadable cheese. They’re also good topped with cream cheese and jam. And they have free shipping right now if you want to order some. They’re a little pricy but I am always down to try anything and I will probably even order more.

What’s your favorite workout video? Have you ever had bran crispbread?