New Year's Resolutions: A City Girl's Tip for Healthy Breakfast

How was your New Year?! Oh my gosh I can't believe what a whirlwind 2015 was. Between moving to a brand new city, starting a brand new job, and two eighty minute commutes a day, the months really got away from me. This year my close friend has encouraged me to not focus on one resolution for the whole year, but instead choose a new one each month.

In January, I have two: run at least 40 miles this month and make healthier eating decisions every day. That means I have to say farewell to my daily donuts for breakfast and ice cream for dinner and find a few alternatives. Luckily, right at the end of 2015, I was introduced to Modern Oats.

Easy healthy breakfast

So what is Modern Oats? It's easy oatmeal. Literally, so easy. They come in the mail in a pack of four or six and run about $3.50 per cup. Cheaper than a breakfast burrito 😉. You can buy them here. Each little cup is a perfect serving size. All you need to do is add hot water, put the top back on, and go about life for three minutes. Then, dig in. 

Things I love about Modern Oats:

  • It fits in my purse (I know because I brought 4 back with me from Ohio after Christmas).
  • It travels well (see above).
  • I can use the hot water spout at my office.
  • It's so much healthier than the donuts or breakfast burritos at the cafe downstairs.
  • Yum.

Usually, my New Years Resolutions stay strong for about a week. But with products like this, I might actually be able to stick to it.... for January at least. Maybe longer now that I've told you all about it. You can hold me accountable. We'll talk about it later, because my Modern Oats are done & I'm starving. xox

Easy healthy breakfasts
Easy healthy breakfast
Easy healthy breakfast
Easy healthy breakfast

I received free product while writing this post. 
Photography: Nikon D3200 35mm / Edits: Adobe Lightroom

Northern Maine Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Homemade pumpkin muffins

It might be really basic of me to post this. But, if "basic" leaves me on Caltrain eating a chocolate chip pumpkin muffin on the way to work every morning.. bring it.

I once showed you these super easy three ingredient pumpkin muffins. They were a delightful staple in my childhood home. But, last year my sister Katie sent me the recipe for Northern Maine Pumpkin Bread, and since most of the ingredients were things I already had in the kitchen, I decided one lazy fall morning to give it a whirl. Di-vine. This fall, in SF, I wanted to bring the comforts of home to my little studio apartment. So here you have it, modified from bread to muffins, for the freezer-friendly single life ;D

I now know, the recipe Katie initially sent me from called this "Down-East Maine Pumpkin Bread." But all this time, it's been Northern Maine in my head... so, call it what you will, but I'm sticking with Northern for Ida Street :D

Northern Maine chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.
Elsewhere known as: Annie's breakfast for the past two weeks.

Main Ingredient: 1/2 cup 60% cocoa ghirardelli chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients
1 can of pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups sugar

Dry Ingredients
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons (t) baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
1/4 t ginger


Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, mix together wet ingredients until blended. In separate (equally large) bowl, whisk dry ingredients. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Pour into lined muffins tins and bake approximately 20 minutes (or until a fork comes out clean).

This recipe makes a TON (over 2 dozen muffins). Freeze what you don't eat right away. They are so, so good in ice cream. Or for breakfast. Or both ;D

Photo: Nikond3200 / Edits: VSCO Filters for Lightroom

Pumpkin recipe round-up

Last year I went  a little crazy with pumpkin recipes the last week of October. So I thought this year I'd knock it all out early, and in one post. Here's a round up of all the pumpkin recipes you'll find in the Ida Street archives & below that, a list of what I'll be cooking up here in SF this year :D

That was last year. But, I have a love for pumpkin that just won't quit, so up for this year...

Pumpkin french toast (what?!?)
Pumpkin bread
or pumpkin chocolate chip bread (yes.)
Pumpkin baked oatmeal
Pumpkin beer biscuits
Pumpkin grilled cheese

& apparently.. the best pumpkin beer in SF? Jury is out until I get my hands on this to compare to Mad Tree's Great Pumcan... all hail the Great PumKING!

Making Coffee Popsicles

Welcome, welcome, welcome!! To the very first blog post from my new apartment! It seemed only fitting that while my entire life (read: the few things I brought with me from Cincy during my trial vacation that turned into a full time life + few things I picked up at the thrift store since I've been here + few things I carried home from Target, Bed Bath & Beyond & Ikea on the Bart) lay in boxes around me, I should get to know the local coffee brands. 

I've been trying to buy locally to get familiar with my new part of the country & this bag of beans came from the boutique (yes, boutique) grocery store down the street: Real Food Co. I'm a sucker for good coffee, but, sometimes, even I have extra. I've tried coffee ice cubes & cold pressed coffee alternatives, but when I saw this Buzz Feed video, I knew immediately there was going to be a new type of iced coffee in my life:


Making Coffee Popsicles

You will need:

  • Chocolate Chips
  • Condensed Milk
  • Wooden Coffee Stir
  • Freezer
  • Shot Glasses
  • Tinfoil
  • Coffee


One of my first purchases for the new place was shot glasses, specifically with this post in mind. BUT, If you'd like to learn about ManMosas, give me a shout and I can use them again! Teaser: beer + shot + oj = very delish. Interestingly these shot glasses were $1.50 at the thrift store and only $2 at the hardware store. So glad I invested the extra fifty cents. I'm sure, Matt and Alyssa had a lovely wedding here in SF three years ago, but I don't need the memorabilia myself;D 

Anyway, here we go! Pour your extra coffee into the shot glasses, don't fill it up all the way - we will be adding a few things.

Making Coffee Popsicles
Making Coffee Popsicles

Use your wooden coffee stir (I picked up three at a local coffee shop -- after I bought a cup of coffee, of course!) to stir in a bit of condensed milk to the shot glass. This gives the popsicle a more creamy, dessert like consistency.

Making Coffee Popsicles
Making Coffee Popsicles

Drop in a few chocolate chips to each!

Making Coffee Popsicles

Use the tinfoil to position your coffee stir in the middle of the popsicle. Freeze for two+ hours (I think I did six hours).

Making Coffee Popsicles

Remove from the freezer and run under warm water to loosen your popsicle. Andddddd.... ENJOY a jolt of energy with this low guilt dessert :D

Coffee Popsicles

Photos: Nikon D3200
Edits: VSCO filters for Lightroom

Oreo Banana Ice Cream

My Grammie is a very wise woman. She encourages we eat a small dessert every night after dinner… & sometimes after lunch. Many years ago, after one such lunch in my grandparent's kitchen on Lake Keowee, my Grammie introduced me to the wonderful world of frozen bananas. Not the kind you get at Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Stand, but a kind that incredibly resembled ice cream. 

It's simple, really:
Peel, cut & freeze a banana.
Blend it in the mixer. 
Magically it will take on the consistency of ice cream. 

Nowadays I see banana "ice cream" all across the internet.  Emma made it on A Beautiful Mess & then a few days later I subscribed to Buzz Feed's youtube channel & found it here (completely obsessed with these helpful & hilarious ninety second tutorials).

Apparently there are a LOT of different ways to make Banana Ice Cream, & in honor of my Grammie, & my favorite month-long holiday of the year, I figured we should get blendin on Ida Street. 

So you need: frozen banana slices & mixins. 

First: blend it. I wish I had a blender, but I don't. I used a mini food processor. It took a lot longer, but still worked. You're going to be really confused by the consistency. It looks like nothing, nothing, nothing... & then suddenly: icecream. Magic.

After you have the right consistency, add in your mixins. Yea. I went with oreos. & it was absolutely amazing. It probably also took away any of the "healthy" aspect you get by blending bananas and calling it ice cream, but, com'on...

Of course, my Grammie did not add oreos to our banana ice cream. We always ate it plain, which is wonderfully delicious. Cocoa powder is my other consistent fave. You have endless options, really :D

After you've blended in the mixins, freeze the whole thing. I waited two hours, but overnight is likely best. That would be agony though, so....  

Whenever you decide it is frozen solid enough: scoop & serve. 
I'll tell my Grammie you said thanks :D

Photos: Annie and Jackie Butler / Nikon D3200/ Edited with VSCO Filters for Ligthroom