This weekend, I discovered…

I have the best hermana en el mundo!

(Ok, so maybe I’d realized this at some point prior to this weekend, you know, throughout our 20 years of sisterhood… But this weekend confirmed mi amor.)

¿Por qué?

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No, not because she loves Little Cupcake as much as I do.

(Though having a Little Cupcake Eating Partner In Crime definitely warrants bonus points.)

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No, not because she resembles a cute capuchin monkey—and has endured the nickname Monkey Mel since I came up with it when I was eight.

I have the best sister in the world because she knows me better than anyone else.

She knows the way to my heart.

And she delivers.

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¡Sí! Hermana came home bearing lots of edible gifts!

She knows that I’ve been in withdrawal from my favorite brand of Kettle Corn (they haven’t had it in my local supermarkets for months!), D.C. bin candy and my favorite pretzels (which I’ve also had trouble finding in NYC).

She’d intended to just pick up those items, but she’s the world’s greatest E.P.I.C and decided to surprise me with some of my favorite things.

Like a naughty nut butter trio.

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I’ve never tried any of these, and I can’t wait to dig in!

And calcium gummies! I adore edible calcium supplements.

IMG_2325I’m going to do my best to practice self-control with these l’il critters.

Another hermana discovery:

While la chica knows how to induce elation—by way of goodie-giving—she also knows how to induce nausea…

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…by way of disgusting, legendary bruise-showing.

I got over the nausea thing pretty quickly upon realization that I finally had access to popcorn again!

Wherein I discovered that when a popcorn fiend is deprived of kernel comfort for approximately 2 weeks, polishing off a bag solo is no problemo.

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I only wish I had footage of my carnal consumption of this sweet and salty wonder.

How I’ve missed thee. I am vowing, here and now, that I will never again permit popcorn to go on such a haphazard hiatus.

Another made-possible-by-Melissa discovery:

Godiva Chocolate Truffle Coffee!

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I think this purchase involved some self-interest because she loves chocolate and I, uh, don’t.

That said, I definitely had ~38439848239 cups. IMG_2348

And, actually, I loved it. And she didn’t! It was very strong (not usually a characteristic of flavored coffee)—which I enjoyed, but hermana did not.

And the chocolate sabor… SO GOOD! I think my taste buds are going through puberty or something…

In the way of Oat Discoveries:

Reese’s Oat Bran

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Oat bran cooked in water and cocoa powder; topped with peanut butter and chocolate chips… and a Reese’s cup

I know K’s been on this para siempre, but this was my first foray into cocoa-sweetened oats.

Further proof that my taste buds are in some transitional phase: I LOVED the cocoa oats. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t even recognize my reflection anymore…

Next oat discovery is not so much a discovery, in that I’ve created in many times before. However, it was new to la hermana.

If I recall the conversation correctly, Melissa called to me, with more pride and eagerness than I’ve ever heard in her voice:

“Oh my god! Sarah! You know how I love apples and peanut butter? What if… you made me oatmeal… WITH apples and peanut butter!?!?”

Her zeal and oat-innocence were so endearing that I immediately whipped up her request.

PB and Manzana Oats

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Old-fashioned oats topped with one gala “baked” in maple syrup, cinnamon and almond milk, plus PB chips and a PB spoon.

I am beyond thrilled that Melissa is venturing into more “complex” oat bowls because she usually just requests an instant apple and cinnamon packet. I doubt she’ll concoct oat creations while away at school because she’s the laziest eater ever—but I’ll gladly encourage and facilitate her evolving taste buds when she’s en casa.

But el fin de’s BEST oat creation…

Cheesecake Oat Bran

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I cooked 1/2 cup oat bran in 1 and 1/4 cup water—mixing in cream cheese, a liiiittttle bit of Smart Balance butter, vanilla extract and Truvia when the oat bran was almost done.

(The mix-ins were inspired by the recipe I use for cream cheese frosting.)

After, I topped the cream cheesy mixture with crushed grahams, Truvia, another dollop of cream cheese and cinnamon.

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Ooooooooooh my GAH. This was INCREDIBLE. So ridiculously sweet and cream cheesy.

I’m sorry I don’t have exact measurements for the mix-ins—but if you’d like me to re-create it soon and measure ze goods out, I guess I’d be okay with that…

Check out the under layers of creaminess.

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Not to toot my own trompa, but this is one of my best DPAABS to date.

In the way of super-artificial-but-let’s-be-serious-a-little-won’t-kill-you discoveries…

S’mores Goldfish!!!

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I wasn’t in love with these—but they sounded too interesting not to try. Not to send you mixed signals with my whole I-love-it-I-love-it-not stance on chocolate—but I really was not feeling the chocolate fishies. I sort of just ate the honey graham pescados because that is one flavor I have completely unfaltering favoritism toward.

Sort of like pretzels… which brings me to my next awesomely artificial weekend discovery.

When you find ice cream that features your favorite pretzels… covers them in chocolate…

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and then reminds you that it’s an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D

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And you think to yourself, “Hmm… I’ve had two stress fractures in the past year… I could probably use some extra calcium and vitamin D…”

There is really no excuse not to eat said ice cream.

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Turkey Hill Chocolate Pretzel Ice Cream!

Biggest chocolate pretzels chunks I’ve ever encountered in ice cream! Get it!

Now, onto some Microwave Madness discoveries…

In doing my best to feed my sister the non-college eats she was craving—in a kitchen-less environment—I learned several lessons in make-shiftism.

Microwaved “fried rice” is possible.

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Microwave Uncle Ben’s brown rice. Top with veggies and chicken marinated and microwaved in Soy Vay. Microwave egg whites, “scramble” and add to the bowl. Top with mucho mas Soy Vay.

Uh, this took approximately 10 minutes to make. And it was delicious.

When la hermana requests a Greek egg scramble, the microwave can make it happen.

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Two eggs microwaved. Topped with roasted red peppers, spinach, oil-cured black olives and mucho feta.

When you have an inexplicable love for McGriddles—but haven’t had one for four years after going a little loco with them in high school—you can seek solace in a…

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Kashi waffle toasted and topped with 2 tbsp maple syrup. Topped with two microwaved egg whites, vegan American cheese and ketchup.

I was originally going to sandwich the eggs and cheese between two maple syrupy waffles—a la the real McGriddle—but I didn’t want the innards to get lost in too much waffle. (Melissa and I debated this for about 1/2 hour, ultimately deciding that the creation would taste better open-faced.) So, inspired by Allie’s waffle mountains, a McGriddle mountain was born.

NUEVO OBSESSION.

Onto a random discovery…

I find de-seeding pomegranates strangely therapeutic…

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Fruit affection.

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And a few final familia discoveries, to bring this post full-circle…

Children—especially those who resemble Dora—are hilarious.

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Upon walking into my house and noticing that the kitchen is no longer in existence, Gigi did not ask what happened to the kitchen. Instead, she asked, with utter confusion in her ojos:

Where are all the figs?”

She completely disregarded the absence of, uh, a KITCHEN, and was solely concerned with why she didn’t have access to our usual fig stash. (We have a fig tree, so we always have figs en mi casa.)

Sometimes I wonder how we’re NOT related.

I also learned that when la hermana has to unexpectedly drive back to school early for a sorority cosa, you show your love con comida.

Making use of another weekend discovery, Sabra’s new tzatziki dip (amazing!!)…

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I made Monkey Mel a Greek pita, stuffed with all of her favorite things.

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Feta, oil-cured black olives, chicken coated in Sabra and baked, onions and tzatziki dip.

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Certainly not the most car-friendly food—but necessarily well-rounded in comparison to her road trip snacks of choice…

I mentioned she likes chocolate, right?

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A lot.

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Healthiest snack of the bunch.

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And baked cheetos—which made me laugh because I thought of una amiga’s recent Cheeto rant.

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With the comfort that she’d at least not go hungry, I bid mi hermana adieu.

And just as I was beginning to miss my monkey sis, I received the greatest e-mail from my beautiful cousin Christina.

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She’d just discovered my blog and wrote me an e-mail letting me know she likes it.

An excerpt:

From reading your blog, I now know you are obsessed with:

1.. Oats

2.Coffe

3.Vegan Cheese

4.Apples

5.Cinimon

6.Cream Cheese

7.Hummus

8.Turkey

9.Popchips (What are those anyways?)

10.Popcorn

11Pickles

12.Kitkats

13Froyo

14Almond butter

15Salad

16.Peanut sause

This seriously made my night. So, gracias, Christina!

Also, could she have consolidated the essence of who I am into a 16-point list any more accurately? I think not…

With that, I conclude the longest weekend recap ever.

I hope all of your weeks are off to great start!

-Sarah