Tag Archives: Baltimore

Peaches ‘N Cream Barbie and a Summer Peach Parfait

19 Jul

Every summer when I was growing up in New Jersey, my parents would take my sister and brother and me on a road trip down to Maryland to see our cousins. We loved spending time with our cousins in Baltimore! They were the only cousins we grew up seeing regularly, and we were all fairly close in age. Spending time with my cousins was typically the highlight of my summer. Oftentimes, they’d come back with us and spend some time at our house too.

My cousin who is three years older than me was the coolest! I idolized her. She knew about makeup and hair and french kissing. I wasn’t as into Barbies as my sister was — I was more of a homemaker Cabbage Kids type than sexy Barbie type — but we both were obsessed with our cousin’s Peaches ‘n Cream Barbie. I loved the diaphanous peach dress she wore with the white sparkly top. It was pastel perfection. We spent hours in my basement playing with the Peaches ‘N Cream Barbie. She was the best out of all the Barbies — reigning over even Mika, the beautiful Hawai’ian Barbie, after my little sister had chopped Mika’s bangs off!

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Pinterest proves I’m not the only one who associates this Barbie with childhood

This summer I’ve been eating a delightful peach parfait for breakfast that is so super creamy and delicious!

It’s easy to make too!

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1. Scoop a bit of your favorite vanilla yogurt into a bowl. My favorite is the Brown Cow cream top vanilla.

2. Wash and slice fresh peaches. Leave the skin on. The skin is packed with nutrients:::

Peach skin is full of nutrients and contains both vitamin C and A. Some people think that the skin can irritate the GI track because of the fuzzy/hairy texture of the skin, but this is not true. Peach skin has antioxidants and it is anti-inflammatory. But as mentioned above, avoid the pit as it contains trace amounts of cyanide.

Also, I think it probably is good for your fiber intake.

3. Top with your favorite granola. This will add some crunch and keep you full longer. I’m partial to the Purely Elizabeth and Bear Naked brands.

Voilà! A peach parfait perfect for lazy summer mornings but also quick enough to make if you’re no longer playing Barbies but scrambling to get to work.

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If you like this, you might want to try my other delicious yogurt recipes:::

 

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Peach Picking

5 Jul

Every summer when I was a child, my family would spend time with my cousins in Baltimore. Usually on the way to Baltimore or from Baltimore, my family would stop and go peach picking. My father would reach high into the trees to get the best, untouched fruit. We’d bring home barrels and barrels of fuzzy, squishy peaches. The fruit was so fresh and so juicy! I can remember the juices dripping down my chin and down the length of my arm toward my elbow. I remember the sticky feeling of peach juice clinging to my fingers. The peaches we picked tasted better than any fruit we bought in the sterile grocery store. But we had to eat it fast! The peaches went bad quickly, and our eyes had been bigger than our stomachs as we picked a million peaches.

Peaches are one of the fruits I most connect to summertime. These precious memories of peach picking with my family float through my head when I pick fresh produce in the grocery store as an adult and sometimes I even have the chance to go peach picking with friends.

I try to eat a lot of peaches in the summer. It’s fun to eat seasonally. I know a lot of people do it for health reasons and for the environment and because of the costs, but there’s also something special about knowing that there’s only a limited time you can enjoy something. It makes you savor it all the more.

Last summer I went peach picking at Alstede Farms in the adorable town of Chester, New Jersey, and I recently went back to the farm just to get pie and visit with the adorable farm animals. Here are some pictures from Alstede Farm. I highly recommend picking your own fruit this summer! It’s a great inspiration for eating healthier foods.

 

 

Tasty Tuesday: Memories of Orzo

11 Oct

When I was a kid, I loved going to Baltimore to visit my cousins.  We’d pile into the Volvo station wagon and drive the three or four hours from New Jersey to Maryland.  Along the way, we’d stop at McDonald’s.  Nowadays, most McDonald’s have a playground but back then in the 1980s, we didn’t have one like that near where I grew up, so it was always super exciting that we got to make a stop at a McDonald’s that had a playground outside of it on our trip down to Baltimore.  We almost never ate McDonald’s when I was growing up.  My mom said it was “disgusting,” and my dad called it “plastic food.”  But we always got to have McDonald’s on our way to visit our cousins.

When we got to Baltimore, my aunt would always have dinner ready for us.  It was always the same thing that first night: orzo and meat.  My mom isn’t Greek and never cooked with orzo, so this meal always stuck out to me.  I wasn’t sure what orzo even was.  Was it rice or was it pasta?  It turns out it’s a rice-shaped pasta.  Now I know.

My aunt still makes orzo when I visit.  Sometimes it’s orzo in a tomato sauce, like the kind I remember her making when I was a kid; other times it’s spanikorizo, Greek spinach orzo.

I’ve never made orzo before.  Strange, isn’t it, how a food that has such a strong memory attached to it can be something you’ve never even attempted to make?  I think it would be an easy, filling dish to make in bulk so I don’t have to worry about cooking in the beginning of the week when I have both work and grad school.

I looked up a few recipes:

Epicurious’ Orzo with Feta, Tomatoes, and Dill

Holy Apostle Orthodox Church’s Spanikorizo

Light of the World

18 Apr

I think there’s probably a law against carrying an open flame in the subway.  I’m not sure.  But it’s a pretty safe bet.  This threw my Easter celebrations into flux last year.

Usually I spend Easter with my family in Baltimore.  Last year, though, Greek Orthodox Easter fell on the same Sunday as “American” (i.e., Protestant and Catholic) Easter, so I decided to stay in New York rather than deal with holiday traffic.

At the Cathedral, we lit candles to signify that now that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God in heaven, we, the believers, are to be to the light to the world.  We carry our lit candles out of the church with us at the midnight Easter service, and shine them for all the world to see on our way home.  Up until last year, that had always meant carrying our lit candles into my uncle’s van.

Last year, though, I took the subway to the Easter service.  When I left the Cathedral, lit candle in hand, I realized I was more than twenty blocks from my apartment.  How could I get home with my candle still lit?

Surely, I’d get stopped if I tried to go in the subway.

What cabbie wouldn’t object?

I can never figure out the bus system, and it certainly wouldn’t be the solution anyway.

So, I hoofed it.  I got a lot of stares from passersby on my walk home.  At first, the masses coming from the Cathedral looked like we’d attended a vigil.  Or, maybe we were part of a weird cult.  As the crowd dispersed—east, west, uptown, downtown—we began to look like solitary candle holders.  Who were we?  Why were we carrying candles across city sidewalks in the middle of the night?

I’m glad you asked.