The China Study Cookbook Giveaway (MIMM)

Good morning everyone and happy Monday.

As I mentioned on Friday, I have a special treat for you today. A few weeks ago I was contacted by a marketing associate from BenBella Books wondering if I would like to review one of their more recently published cookbooks. I’ve worked with them in the past on reviewing a copy of Happy Herbivore Abroad last December and that was such a great experience that I didn’t even hesitate to agree again.

Now, some of you may question why I am reviewing a vegan cookbook when some of my blog’s recipes contain animals products. Really it is quite simple. First and foremost my reasoning is that I just plain love cookbooks. I’ve said this before, but I actually read them like novels in bed as I go to sleep, and this one was no exception. Second, I really appreciate the focus on vegetables and fruits that vegan books tend to have, unlike many of my (while still thoroughly enjoyed) dessert cookbooks. Finally, as someone with a dairy and egg allergy, vegan cookbooks offer a host of wonderful recipes and techniques that benefit me and others with allergies greatly.

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With that explained, let me give you a run down of what all you are going to see in this review post of The China Study Cookbook. First I am going to start off with a summary of the book and a little background information of the author. Then we will dive right into the recipes that I have made from the cookbook so far, one being an excerpt that you can try out for yourself. After discussing the recipes I will sum up my final thoughts on the cookbook and give you all of the details on the best part – the giveaway!

Let’s get started.

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Here is the book summary taken right from the publisher’s website:

The China Study, with 850,000 copies sold, has been hailed as one of the most important health and nutrition books ever published. It revealed that the traditional Western diet has led to our modern health crisis and the widespread growth of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Based on the most comprehensive nutrition study ever conducted, the book reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health with the power to halt or reverse many diseases.

The China Study Cookbook takes these scientific findings and puts them to action. Written by LeAnne Campbell, daughter of The China Study author T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and mother of two hungry teenagers, The China Study Cookbook features delicious, easily prepared plant-based recipes with no added fat and minimal sugar and salt that promote optimal health.

From her Breakfast Home-Fry Hash and Fabulous Sweet Potato Enchiladas to No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars and Cheese(less) Cake, all of LeAnne’s recipes follow three important principles:

1. Optimal nutrition is based on eating food rather than nutrient supplements

2. The closer that foods are to their native states—prepared with minimal cooking, salting, and processing—the greater the long-term health benefits of eating them

3. It is best to choose locally and organically grown produce whenever possible

Filled with helpful tips on substitutions, keeping foods nutrient-rich, and transitioning to a plant-based diet, The China Study Cookbook shows how to transform individual health and the health of the entire family.

From inside the back cover here is a little more information about the author:

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Leanne Campbell, PhD, lives in Durham, North Carolina. She has been preparing meals based on a whole food, plant-based diet for almost twenty years. LeAnne has raised two sons—Steven and Nelson, now nineteen and eighteen years of age—on this diet. As a working mother, LeAnne has found ways to prepare quick and easy meals without using animals products or added oils.

These are the recipes that I have tried so far and a further explanation of what the book includes:

The book starts with a nice summary of the author’s personal transition to a plant-based diet and goes on to explain in great detail how to transition to a plant-based diet if you choose, and what essentials you will need to know on that journey. This section was one of my favorite parts of the book. Whether or not you agree with a vegan, plant-based lifestyle, you can’t help but be inspired by LeAnne’s dedication to health for both herself and her family. Also, the Q&A where the author was asked about her sons’ experiences with a plant-based diet really resonated with me since I too have to follow a diet that is out of the norm among my college classmates.

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Still, while I very much enjoyed reading this introduction to the cookbook, the recipes were obviously the main focus for me. They were divided into several sections based on what type of recipe they were (Breakfast Dishes, Soups, Sandwiches, Desserts, etc.) and in each section the recipes were listed in alphabetical order for ease of use which I appreciated.

A few of the recipes that stood out to me were the Sesame Noodle Salad, Tasty Tostados, Veggie Fajita Wraps, African Vegetables, Dominican Beans, Mama’s Kitchen Pasta with Marinara Sauce, Cranberry Applesauce, Vegan Chocolate Cake, Garlic Green Beans and Mushrooms, Quick Butternut Squash, Date Fruit Pie, and Nutty Noodles with Vegetables. Alright, so maybe these were more than a few. There were just so many to pick from!

Ultimately I settled on making two recipes to share in this review.

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The first one was the Vegan Chocolate Cake which I made for my brother in cupcake form. I had to substitute in a few ingredients (pumpkin puree for the applesauce and whole wheat pastry flour for the spelt) but it still came out wonderful. There was also a frosting recipe given that was supposed to be paired along with the vegan cake, however I’ll admit that I didn’t want to push my luck with a tofu frosting on my brother. Instead I just made a basic chocolate glaze. I would encourage you to try out the frosting recipe though because it sounds delicious and probably would fool most (excluding my brother who has had one too many healthy dessert terrors thanks to yours truly).

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The second recipe that I made was the Domincan Beans from the Entrees section of the cookbook. This recipe was so incredibly easy to make. I came home at about 12:00pm from church and by 1:00pm I was plating up the meal for my parents to devour. Once again I had to make some substitutions based on what we had in house, but it turned out fabulous and we will be making the bean portion of the recipe again and again for a quick side to round out future meals.

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Lucky for you all, I have been given permission to share the recipe for the beans with you today straight from the pages of The China Study Cookbook.

Dominican Beans

Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes

Makes 6–8 servings

What really makes this dish is the salad served on top. The crunchy freshness of the vegetables and the tanginess of the dressing make for a perfect combination.

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For the beans

  • ¼ cup vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup diced butternut squash
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • ½ tablespoon Mexican oregano leaves, dried
  • ½ teaspoon thyme, dried
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice, for serving

For the salad

  • 2 cups sliced lettuce
  • 2 cups cabbage, sliced into strips
  • ¾ cup sliced cucumber
  • ¾ cup sliced cooked beets
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Balsamic rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

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 Directions

  1. For the beans, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable broth in a large stock pot and sauté the onion and garlic over medium-high heat until soft. Add green pepper, squash, cilantro, and two more tablespoons vegetable broth. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  2. Add water, tomato paste, beans, oregano, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. If needed, add an additional 1/2 cup water. Season with salt.
  3. While the beans are cooking, make the salad. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
  4. Serve beans over rice and top with salad.

Tip – Black or red beans can be substituted for the pinto beans.

Recipe notes from me: Like I said above, I had to make a few substitutions when making this recipe, so I will include them here. Instead of the fresh garlic and herbs which were not available at my grocery store, I used organic dried replacements. Instead of the pinto beans and tomato paste I used the organic navy beans and tomato puree that we had on hand (increasing the tomato puree to about 1/3 cup). Also, in place of the sliced lettuce and cabbage I just bought a bag of pre-washed organic lettuce mix that included red cabbage. We don’t usually eat rice at home so I just made some cauliflower rice instead. (Oh, and I also forgot to add the tomatoes… Whoops!).

This is my review of the cookbook from GoodReads.com:

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The China Study Cookbook will appeal to both herbivores and carnivores alike. What’s important is its focus on whole foods and the emphasis that it places on including a lot of fresh produce in one’s diet. I really enjoyed the introduction from the author and her personal story of going plant-based as it did a great job of setting the stage and putting me in the right mindset for looking at the vegan recipes. Also, the two recipes that I have tried so far were great. The Vegan Chocolate Cake and Dominican Beans are a must if you buy this cookbook. In the future I hope to also make the Nutty Noodles with Vegetables! (Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book to review but all thoughts and opinions are my own).

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I hope that after this post you are now even more excited to get your own copy of The China Study Cookbook!

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Here is how you can participate in this great giveaway…

There are five ways that you can win a free copy of The China Study Cookbook (for international citizens residing  outside of the U.S. or Canada you will receive an e-book version of the cookbook):

1. Follow Eating 4 Balance via Bloglovin.

2. Follow me on my (very new) Instagram account.

3. Follow me on Pinterest.

4. Share your favorite vegan cookbook/author/blogger.

5. Follow BenBella Books on Twitter to see their latest releases.

Leave a separate comment below for each entry. Make sure to include a valid e-mail address so that I can get a hold of you if (when) you win. This giveaway will last a total of 7 days. It starts on October 14, and ends on October 21 at midnight EST. No entries will be counted after that time.

I will pick the winner randomly, and announce who won here on Monday, October 22 as long as all goes according to plan. The winner will also receive an e-mail from me. If the winner does not respond back with their full name and a viable shipping address (if from the U.S. or Canada) within one week, then I will randomly pick another winner, of which the same rules apply.

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

Is is possible to fail a dentist appointment? After my one hour stint in the dentist’s chair today I am convinced that the answer to that question is in fact yes.

I was pretty positive that after my dental hygienist got through with my gums there would be nothing left. While I may have jumped to conclusions a little too quickly, can you really blame me when every mouth swish into the sink was red with blood, and every prick of her little tools tickled my tear ducts like a sappy tragic movie?

Still, it was a really nice feeling to walk out of the dentist’s office with a plan of action. The next time that I visit I will be a prime patient. No bleeding gums or tears here! This is the list of things that I am going to work on: use a softer toothbrush, work on my brush angling, floss regularly, and drink only filtered water (no more nasty chemical water from my school!).

So that’s basically how my first morning of Fall break went for me today. Very promising.

Instead of sharing another cinnamon roll recipe with you guys today (I bet you are very disappointed on that account because it’s not like I haven’t posted a cinnamon roll recipe with you before…), I am going to give a preview of what’s coming soon to a blog near you 😉

1. Cinnamon Roll Recipe. Duh.

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2. Vegan Chocolate Cake. Grain-Free too of course. And no coconut flour in sight for those of you who can’t eat/don’t like coconut.

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3. My super easy roasted chicken recipe with vegetables. Recipe and instructions.

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4. A cookbook review, recipe excerpt and giveaway on Monday. Get excited because there are some absolutely awesome vegan recipes in here.

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Before I leave I also want to share a few more recipes in the latest version of Friday Food Finds.

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You can read all about Friday Food Finds and my past posts here:

Friday Food Finds #10

Friday Food Finds #11

Friday Food Finds # 12

Egg in a Squash from A Dash of Meg

Basically toad-in-the-hole taken to an entirely new and even more delicious level.

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Giant Baked Paleo Pancake from Pencils and Pancakes

Obviously from the name of her blog you can tell that Andrea knows her stuff.

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Sweet Potato Muffins with Peanut Butter Cheesecake Frosting from Imma Eat That

If I make anything from this post it will definitely be the frosting (it’s only 3 ingredients!).

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Black Forest Paleo Brownies from Fitnessista

Cherries and chocolate just belong together.

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Coconut Banana Pancakes from Kiss My Broccoli

I’ve been eyeing these pancakes for awhile now (I just need to figure out what to do with the leftover egg yolks!)

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As I mentioned on Wednesday, today I made the decision on what magazines that I am going to subscribe to. My final picks were Eating Well, Fitness, Food Network and Entertainment Weekly. Food Network wasn’t available via my brother’s fundraiser at school so I will need to do that separately (but I’m so excited– thanks for the suggestion Heather!)

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Thanks to everyone who left a comment with their suggestions. I looked into each and every one of them. My local library has a sale every few months so I think next time I will have to pick up some back issues of the ones that I didn’t choose. They all sounded so good!

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Have an amazing Friday and an even more wonderful weekend everyone 😀

Questions for you:

Do you have The China Study Cookbook?

What are your “Friday Food Finds”?

How do you achieve an *A* at the dentist?

Life Update

Alright. Time for an update on what’s going on in my life right now! It’s been almost a week since I talked about me at all 🙂

Courtesy of Meghan at Clean Eats Fast Feets.

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  • Last Thursday I attended a band concert. It was outside on the grass lawn of my old high school. My brother and a lot of my friends were in the concert, and it was also the last performance of my old band director before he retired. As a surprise about 80 alumni members came back to play one final song with him. I hadn’t picked up my clarinet in almost a year, but I was amazed out how easy it was to play again.
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A lot of people showed up for the band concert! This photo doesn’t do it justice.

  • After the concert about 20 of us drove into Wendy’s for a little celebration. Of course I didn’t get any food; however that just gave me the excuse to talk even more 😉 I hadn’t realized how much I missed all of my friends. College just can’t compare.
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This is something my friends and I would totally say. Sarcasm at its finest.

  • On Saturday I did a ton of packing and then my parents and brother drove up with me to my apartment for the summer. We packed up two cars (one mine and one theirs) and drove 3 + hours. On the way we encountered a train (again) and had to wait awhile.
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You can’t see it in this picture, but there was some pretty awesome-looking graffiti painted on some of the train cars.

  • That afternoon we unpacked all of my things from the cars and went out to do a little shopping/eating. Since it was so late they all spent the night as well.
  • On Sunday after lunch they headed home and I was left to explore the apartment a bit more on my own!
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This is the only picture of my apartment that you’ll see for awhile. It looks positively PLAIN right now.

  • Monday was the first day of my internship. This week I have been working 8:30AM-5:30PM everyday. However, I actually leave at 7:45AM and don’t get back until around 6:05PM because the traffic is so congested (it should only take 11 minutes to travel to and from the office).
  • A few thoughts on my internship so far:

 

1. There are a total of ten interns. 9 male. 1 female. Guess who the 1 female is?…. 😦

2. Our days are divided up into customer service training as well as training on the tax software that we are going to be supporting. Other times we are learning about the call system that we will be using to log our communication with customers, and sometimes we are sent to our individual cubicles to work on practice exercises.

3. As I mentioned on Wednesday, I am just mentally drained. Other than my lunch break everyday, it’s basically non-stop thinking.

4. It’s actually all really interesting stuff and I think I might (just might! 🙂 ) actually enjoy working in customer support this summer. It kind of seems… fun?

  • I almost forgot to mention, but also last week on Friday I went to see my gastroenterologist again. She asked more questions and I gave more answers. Then she prescribed a bunch of tests! At first I was pretty excited because more tests mean the possibility finally for a diagnosis and a solution.
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In case you don’t know what a hospital table looks like… Funny story: when the doctor had me lay down on the table we realized that there was no way to extend the bottom so basically I had to keep my legs lifted the whole time because I was too long! Haha.

  • Then when I went to get my blood drawn the nurse encountered a little difficulty (like always). I think she collapsed the vessel in my arm because it started burning and she didn’t get much out. Time to call in the professionals! A woman named “Rosa” came over and within 30 seconds had stabbed me and began shoving the needle around. Now, there may have been a few tears and weary glances at my mom, but at least she got the blood flowing!

 

  • And gave me a special pink bandage with smiley faces. The woman who collapsed my vessel just gave me a boring old tan one…
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Excuse my unphotogenic arms that look more like a leg than an arm in this picture!

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Does anyone else just love bandaids?

  • I also have to do a lot of various stool tests (I hate typing that word but there’s nothing better to call it!) to test me for infections, inflammation, parasites, etc. One of these tests is also supposed to measure my ability to absorb fat, but I’m not sure that one’s ever going to get done because I have to eat 100 grams of fat for 6 days straight! Currently I don’t eat much fat at all– the only fat I get is from dark chicken meat. Any skin, fat in broth, oils, nuts, or what have you basically kills my stomach and sends me straight to the bathroom for days on end. So ya… No thanks!
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Oh! And here is a lovely picture of the bruise that formed on my arm from the collapsed vein… Can you kind of see it? Unfortunately it looks more like a strange stain than a bruise.

  • There are some other tests that they are running too, but I’m not able to do those until later this summer when I have off on July 5th. As for the rest of the tests, I’ll let you know what I find out when I get the results. Hopefully sooner rather than later!
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Who else takes awkward pictures in doctor’s offices?

  • Tomorrow is Friday thank goodness!

I’m going to quickly insert some pictures so this post isn’t quite so text-heavy and BORING. Then I’m going to find a nice little book to read before I head off to bed. Besides being Friday, it’s also the day that I get to head home for the weekend since I have three days off due to Memorial Day!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Oh, and a little preview for a new recipe that I have to share. Dairy-Free Chili Chips and Cheese (with Vegan substitutions!)

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Does this really need a caption?

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Are you going to do anything special to celebrate Memorial Day? I’m planning on going to a band parade on Monday depending on the weather!

Do you like going to the hospital?

Are there many train tracks where you live?

What are your plans for the weekend?

Marvelous is One Week Left

As per my title, I am one week down with one week left to go until my internship! This week I’ll be cleaning up all of my stuff from college while simultaneously packing in preparation to move into my new apartment.

Here’s how I spent last week, courtesy of Week in Review with Meghan:

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I wrote a total of four posts in the last week- Marvelous is my First Week Off, WIAW: Simple Homemade Ranch DressingBooks, Blogs, and Baking, and There’s Nothing Like a Mother.

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On my Monday post I shared a recipe for Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash,

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And for WIAW I shared a very simple and clean homemade ranch dressing recipe.

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The weather was so beautiful and warm all week long. Even though I didn’t make it into town much, I made sure to go outside everyday and soak up the sunshine. Some days I went out on our deck to read the two books that I mentioned on Friday (I am actually half way through another book that I’ll share about soon!).

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On Thursday I finally ventured out into the real world to get a much-needed haircut. Here’s a before and after for comparison. Even with a nice trim though, my hair is still quite frizzy from all the heat. (Any tips to combat the humidity that doesn’t involve a full bucket of hair product? 😉 )

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Friday morning I got ready earlier than usual to to attend my brother’s National Honors Society induction ceremony at 8:00 AM.

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Then after I had lunch on Friday I drove into town to hang out with my friends at Taco Bell. We chatted for a little while and I headed to my old high school to help out with a track meet. Unfortunately it was raining so not many people came out for it, but fortunately for me that meant they had plenty of people in the concession stand and didn’t need my assistance!

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I could definitely feel the effects of being cooped up all week in the house so come Saturday when my mom was home we went shopping!… Okay, so it was mostly grocery shopping, but it was still a bunch of fun. Here are a few things that I found at Meijer that I got quite the kick out of:

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Later Saturday we also went looking for Mother’s Day presents for my grandma and aunt at the local nursery. I picked out the bottom purple/white hanging basket and my mom found the top basket full of red/pink/white flowers.

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With my brother gone to a friends house and my dad asleep on the couch, my mom and I were free to pick whatever we wanted to watch on TV. We pulled up our instant cue on Netflix and found a pretty good movie to watch: My Boyfriend’s Girlfriend. Overall it was cute. Nothing spectacular. Just an overall feel-good film (shout out to Alyssa Milano from Charmed— one of my favorite tv shows in Middle School!).

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Come Sunday morning I whipped up a new batch of pancakes for Mother’s Day (my dad got some too 😉 ). They’re really versatile and are great with pretty much any type of fruit!

Grain-Free Coconut Banana Pancakes

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian, High Fiber, No Sugar Added, Paleo, GAPS-Friendly

Makes Two Servings (4-6 small pancakes each)

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Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 5 tbsp coconut flour
  • Optional fruit: blueberries, bananas or apples

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Directions:

  1. Separate the eggs placing the egg whites into a food processor and the yolks into a small bowl.
  2. Whip the egg whites until they are white and stiff. Then add the remaining ingredients (including the yolks) until smooth.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Coat in ghee or coconut oil to prevent sticking.
  4. Using a 1/4 c. measuring cup pour out the batter into the skillet. Cook for approximately 2 minutes until the uncooked side is bubbly. If you want to add blueberries put them on the pancakes now.
  5. Flip the pancake and cook for an addition 1-2 minutes or until done.
  6. Repeat with the remaining batter and top with pan-seared apple slices, fresh banana chunks, and/or a drizzle of honey! Enjoy.

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Shared on Fat Tuesday

After breakfast my dad, mom, brother and I got ready and met up with about 15 other family members to celebrate Mother’s Day at a Chinese buffet again. Then the four of us watched Iron Man 3! If you haven’t seen it, you should. It wasn’t as good as the first Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man, but it was way better than the sequel. Plus, Gwenyth Paltrow’s role as Pepper Pots takes a pretty interesting turn in the movie! (No Spoilers here 🙂 ).

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Now it’s Sunday night and I’m about to hit “Publish.” Tomorrow my plans include some more unpacking and watching The Great Gatsby with some other friends at a matinee.

*Edited to add (because it was late and I forgot…):

I also wasted many (try six) hours this week watching The Voice and American Idol with my fan-girl mother. Here are a few of my thoughts in bullet form:

  • Nikki Minaj just needs to go.

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  • Keith Urban is so cool with his Aussie accent.

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  • The Voice beats out American Idol 10 to 1. No question.
  • Mariah Carey– what kind of music video was that? I didn’t even realize until half way through that she hadn’t even sung a note until my dad commented on it. And then she just flung up her skirt and sang a few lines for the rest of the time. No words.
  • Now I remember why I stopped watching these shows.
  • Please don’t ever bring back Christina or Cee Lo. It’s so refreshing to have genuinely nice people (Usher and Shakira).

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  • Why is Nikki Minaj still here?

Also, we had a momentary freak out when my dog ate a coffee bean last night when as my brother was trying to glue some down to his poster about Brazil for Spanish. A quick search confirmed that yes- coffee beans are toxic to dogs, but alas our puppy is still alive and kicking. All good here 🙂

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Have a Marvelous Monday! 🙂


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1. What was one highlight from your week/weekend?

2. Have you seen any of the movies that I listed. What did you think?

3. How did your Mother’s Day go?