Gourmet Gab: On the Go – Episode 1

I am so thrilled to share the first episode of the three-part web series I created for my honors thesis project. I developed the series Gourmet Gab: On the Go to educate college students and young adults about cooking and nutrition. Every episode will start with an interview with an expert and then we will move into the kitchen to make at least one recipe that is healthy, easy and inexpensive.

In the first episode, I talk with Sharon Madsen, nutrition consultant, about grocery shopping 101. She teaches people about grocery shopping for a healthier lifestyle and was an amazing resource. If you live in the Phoenix area, you can schedule a one-on-one consultation with her to learn more. Then, my adorable roommate and I head into the kitchen to make 2 breakfasts in about 1 minute each. Bonus: they are made in an item practically every college student has in their household…watch to find out what it is!

Here are the recipes for the PB & Banana Oatmeal and Fruit Parfait I make on the show. They are both easy to take on the go to class, in the car or to work. I recommend buying the large containers of the oatmeal and yogurt to save money! Tweet me selfies with your on-the-go breakfasts at @Gourmet_Gab using the hashtag #ggonthego. Here’s mine! (Also, I literally got ready in 5 minutes this morning…whoops!)

Love food. Love self. Love life.

Peanut Butter & Banana Oatmeal


  • Oatmeal, preferably steel-cut or old-fashioned
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • A dash of cinnamon


  1. Cook oatmeal and water as directed on packaging, depending on your brand.
  2. While oatmeal is cooking, slice banana into a Red Cup or other on-the-go cup. Add peanut butter, agave and cinnamon.
  3. Once oatmeal is done cooking, add to Red Cup. Stir to mix. Enjoy!

Fruit & Granola Parfait


  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons granola, mixed nuts or whole-grain cereal
  • 2 handfuls of berries
  • 1 teaspoon agave


  1. Add yogurt, granola and berries to Red Cup.
  2. Drizzle with agave. Enjoy! 

Bread & Wine Book Review

Good bread and wine are two things I have grown to love over the years. As I become older, I appreciate more and more the simplicity of gathering around the table with friends or family to break bread and drink wine. My roommate Nikki, who knows how much I adore spending time in the kitchen, gave me this book for my birthday and I finally had the time to read it over Spring Break. Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes has now become one of my favorite reads.


In the book, Shauna recalls why her favorite place among all others is being around a table with those she loves. She shares stories–both high and low–about her life and how many things were healed, celebrated and cherished while sitting around the table. She talks about her struggles with pregnancy, her European travels with family, being an author on book tours, and how at the end of the day, all she craves is sharing a meal with people around the table. Shauna writes, “It’s about a spirit or quality of living that rises up when we offer one another life itself, in the form of dinner or soup or breakfast, or bread and wine.”

Some of my favorite parts include her stories about the cooking club she is in with several of her best friends. Their experimentation with recipes and commitment to meeting every month gave me a great inspiration how to continue friendships over time–around the table with great food and great wine. Shauna highlights one recipe at the end of every chapter. These recipes come together at the very end of the book to form menus that can start the beginning of your very own cooking club.

Shauna is a Christian author, so she adds in her own personal stories about faith and how bread and wine are fundamentally tied to Christianity. She writes, “What’s becoming clearer and clearer to me is that the most sacred moments, the one in which I feel God’s presence the most profoundly, when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly, take place at the table.” Shauna’s recollections about spirituality do not overwhelm the book, but are perfectly intertwined with the ups and down of life. I would recommend Bread & Wine to anyone, even those not thoroughly involved in a faith or church, because her stories of food and the way it is such an intricate part of her life are lovely.

I hope you feel inspired to pick up Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes for a quick read. I’m looking forward to cooking one of her recipes soon, but they all look so good I can’t choose one to start with. Comment below if you’ve read the book, or let me know what you think once you begin!

Love food. Love self. Love life.

Breakfast Date at Ncounter


Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal. There’s just something about starting the day off with good food, coffee and someone special. Last week my boyfriend and I had a breakfast date at the restaurant Ncounter in Tempe, Arizona. Ncounter is on Mill Avenue, the popular street for college nightlife at Arizona State, but also home to shops, boutiques and restaurants for daytime adventures. We indulged in drinks to celebrate the beautiful morning and both enjoyed our egg breakfasts.


The Mimosa I ordered hit the spot with fresh squeezed orange juice and champagne. I jokingly told Fernando that I can’t drink plain OJ anymore because I adore the bubbly crispness of a morning mimosa. That joke may or may not have some truth to it. His Bloody Mary was also impressive. Thick tomato base with zesty spices, lemon and just the right about of spiciness.


For breakfast, I chose the Killer Egg Sandwich (literally, that’s the name!) with almost fried eggs, bacon, tomato, gorgonzola cheese and fresh thyme. The combination sounded so intriguing to me and I can say now that I am definitely a fan. While I wished there was more gorgonzola and thyme, I appreciated that the pungent flavors of the gorgonzola weren’t overpowering. Tasting the duo made me want to pair gorgonzola and thyme together more in my own cooking. Sandwiching together this “killer” combination was fresh, warm ciabatta bread that tasted right out of the oven.


Fernando had the Morning Glory omelette with egg whites, marinated Roma tomatoes, cilantro, avocado and red onion. It was light and the toppings really gave flavor to what could have been boring egg whites. I picture this as a great post-workout breakfast, especially since ASU’s famous A Mountain and Tempe Town Lake are both right across the street. Some other favorites of mine at Ncounter include the Farmers Market Eggs Benedict with spinach and avocado, and the indulgent Bananas Foster French Toast loaded with banana slices.



The gorgeous Spring weather in Tempe called for sitting outside on the patio, lingering in conversation because the setting was just right. After we finished our breakfast, Fernando and I ordered coffees to go so we could walk around Mill Avenue before class. Our breakfast date at Ncounter was a great start to the morning and I hope you check it out next time you’re near Mill Avenue!

gab at counter

Love food. Love self. Love life.

Thank you to Awe Collective for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are my own.