A Little Extra Spice

Well, I was going to get up and go on a run this morning before work but I decided to take a rest day because I actually had to leave school early last night because of a migraine! These really need to stop happening…now. I feel okay now but last night I was really hurtin’. I made it long enough to produce all my products though: I made a tarte tatin, tiny napoleons and a pithiver (almond filled puff pastry cake) that sort of exploded in the oven because I cut the top too deep and the almond filling oozed out the top. Not really the effect I was going for. I know it effected my grade that I left at 10:00 (my chef made a point to tell me it would effect my grade) but I just had to get out and into a darker room with no banging pots and pans. I came home, took a bubble bath then passed out! So….I’m letting myself relax this morning a little before going to work…takin’ it easy and enjoying my oats.


Tarte TatinΒ 


Mini Napoleons


My poor Pithiver that exploded in the oven…I’m actually embarrassed to share this picture with you! It was so bad!

Speaking of oats, I had steel cut this morning! Yesterday afternoon I finished off the bag of steel cut oats and made enough for today and tomorrow, but unfortunately two odd things happened while I was cooking them. The first was that when I added the cinnamon the top wasn’t screwed on properly and about a tablespoon of cinnamon all went into my pot. The water was literally brown! The second thing that happened was that I forgot to add salt and DEF. noticed that this morning! Salt makes a HUGE difference…a little goes a long way. Oh well, my oats were still okay…they were just extra cinnamony and sort of bland. I spiced it up with some peanut butter, almond milk, maple syrup and a huge banana.


Off to work now! Have a good Thursday yall!

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  • erica
    March 13, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    to the unexperienced eye, your pithiver looks absolutely perfect to me! as do all of your other pastries, especially that tarte tatin.. mmmm!

    i’m sorry your oats were disappointing! i made the hot cereal this morning in almond breeze, and it turned out SO creamy!

    i was wondering, when you add pb to your oats, do you actually taste it? i find when i add my tbsp of pb, the taste kind of gets lost in the oats, and i feel it pointless to add for that reason. how do you get the pb flavor to resonate throughout the oats?

    anyway jenna, i hope you have a great day, and feel better! πŸ™‚

  • Lindsay
    March 13, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Jenna ~ I agree, all of your desserts look FABULOUS! they make me crave sweets every morning πŸ™‚ I love tons of cinnamon in my oats, tons of health benefits πŸ™‚

    Erica ~ I dont know if you read Kath’s blog but she takes a spoonful and lets it sit on there so she gets a little bit of the PB taste with every bite… What I do is I take a spoonful and put it on the side of the bowl and just take a itsy bit of the “pile” with every bite… hope this helps!

  • VeggieGirl
    March 13, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I agree with Erica – considering I have NEVER seen a Pithiver before, I’d say that it still looks beautiful!! And of COURSE the tarte tatin and nepoleons look wonderful – and delectable!! :0)

    Yikes, I’m so sorry that you’re suffering a migraine – definitely rest today, and get well soon!! I hope that work isn’t too stressful for you today!! Hang in there – the weekend is on it’s way!

  • erica
    March 13, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    thanks for your sugestion lindsay. i actually did that today, but i felt that leaving it on the spoon made my first bites a little too peanut buttery. i guess i’m just picky!

  • Kath
    March 13, 2008 at 1:18 pm


    So I gotta ask – how much salt do you add? Kosher? Regular salt? I have definitely heard that before (that salt makes oats taste SO much better) but I haven’t been adding it to mine. I will tomorrow though!


  • Susan
    March 13, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Jenna, I really hope you feel better! My college room mate got a migraine once, they really are so much worse than headaches which are bad enough πŸ™

    p.s. I have never heard of adding salt to oatmeal, what does it do for it?

  • Leigh
    March 13, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Veggiegirl (or maybe someone else knows),

    Thanks for all the hummus advice. I would like to try to make my own. Do you know if it’s possible to buy a really small bottle or just a small portion of tahini?

    The only size I saw at the grocery store was the size of pb, and in case it doesn’t work out, I don’t want a whole bottle! Thanks

  • Leigh
    March 13, 2008 at 1:25 pm


    Taking a note from your blog, I tried making oatmeal the night before. This morning, even with adding more milk, it was hard as a rock and didn’t work. How do you get it to still look soft and mushy?

    Feel better! That was so mean of your teacher!

  • Lisa
    March 13, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    I made steel cut oats over the weekend so I could eat them this week for breakfast and I didn’t add any salt. I noticed this morning that they were a bit bland also. I normally add a pinch of salt or so but must have forgot this time! oh well!

  • Romina
    March 13, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve never added salt to any oats, even though it is recommended. I willl try it now though if it really does make that much of a difference.

    Beautiful pastries! I love the mini napoleons. =)

  • Betsy
    March 13, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    it sure looks pretty and tasty to me!!! i would never know it is messed up unless you said something!!!

    i hope you’re able to relax today!!! and maybe do some yoga πŸ™‚

  • Rachel
    March 13, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Hey Jenna!

    I know exactly what you’re going through with the migraines. I tried tons of natural remedies at first but when nothing seemed to work long term, I went to a doctor and got on preventative meds. I know its not ideal, but I’m 100% happier (and 98% migraine free) now. Think about it!

  • Cara
    March 13, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I hope you can get rid of those migraines! Sounds pretty terrible.

  • Nadia
    March 13, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Hey Jenny,

    I think you asked a question earlier about Tasti-d-lite…I used to eat them once or twice a week while in college but stopped after reading a story about the inaccuracy of their calorie count – I don’t remember exactly what the numbers were but apparently the actual number of calories is 3 to 4 times what they claim! I admit that a big reason why I was eating them was because I thought they were low calorie and not necessarily because the taste was that great. You’re better off just getting a regular low fat ice cream or enjoying the real thing once in a while. Now I only eat the tofutti variety since I stopped eating dairy….they’re really good πŸ™‚

  • Mel H
    March 13, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Hey Jenna!! Your pastries look beautiful! I’ve never heard of adding salt to my oats either..I usually like them sweet with a banana and sometimes a tbs of brown sugar!! I ate eggs, fruit and and english muffin this often do you eat eggs, or have you given them up? Thanks so much! Have a great thursday
    Mel H

  • Katers
    March 13, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Rachel, what’s the brand of preventative migraine medication are you on, if you don’t mind me asking?

  • Beans
    March 13, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I am so sorry you had a migraine last night. I used to get terrible ones that impaired my vision and caused nausea and vomiting so I know staying at school was not an option last night. Don’t worry about missing school, you have to take care of yourself first. Consider seeing a neurologist because they have some new medications available. Some things that help me :
    1-Sticking to a regular sleep/wake schedule. I know you blogged about sleeping problems, this could be a trigger.

    2- Taking time to relax- w/ yoga.

    3- I also find that if I take an excedrine migraine at the first sign that I’m getting one, I am okay but if I wait too long I get it anyway. I know you don’t like to take meds but you shouldn’t have to suffer. Try keeping a bottle of excedrine with you in case you get another one while you are in class or at work.

    Take care and feel better!

  • arimcg
    March 13, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I agree, salt does help oats! It brings out the flavor of anything sweet you add (like brown sugar, etc.), too.

    Your Pithiver (yes, I had to copy and paste the word so I didn’t get it wrong) looks beautiful to me. I’d never know the difference!

  • Rachel
    March 13, 2008 at 3:41 pm


    I’m on a calcium blocker, Verapamil. Its actually a blood pressure med that also had great success with migraine sufferers. It stabilizes the blood vessels in your brain so they dont expand and constrict as much causing migraines. My doctor suggested it, I take it once a day right before bed (since it makes you alittle lightheaded for the first few hours) but other than that I’ve had zero side effects. It sounds corny but it changed my life (I was getting them up to 4 times a week). Of course it won’t be right for everyone, but its had a large success rate and worth looking into if you get them too!

  • Eliza
    March 13, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    wow, can I just say how healthy and great I feel today after eating so healthy πŸ™‚

    i love it!!

    Thanks Jenna youve really helped me make some great Healthy choices over the past 3 months nutritionally!!

  • Serena
    March 13, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Hey guys, The most commonly prescribed migraine medication is Imitrex. I know a lot of people would rather try natural options, myself included, but as a sometimes sufferer of migraines, I know how debilitating they can be, so it may be worth talking to a dr about getting a rx just in case. You take the pill when you start to feel the headache coming on and it works wonders.

  • Amy
    March 13, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    I know what you mean about the salt. It makes a big difference!! I forgot it the first time I made steel cut oats a couple weeks ago. They were good….but I made steel cut oats again this week with salt….and they were so much better!!!!

  • 530tracker
    March 13, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Jenna, do you ever put red raspberry preserves in your oatmeal? YUM!

  • Rachel
    March 13, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Hey Serena,

    I take Imitrex as well. It’s actually an abortive med that stops a migraine once it starts. I think Jenna actually already has this or had tried it, most migraine sufferers do. Preventive migraine meds (such as calcium blockers) are taken daily and stop migraines from happening in the first place.

  • Katherine
    March 13, 2008 at 6:23 pm


    Your pastries look fabulous! Great job!

    In response to your migraines yoga or accupuncture (although accupuncture works wonders for migraines it is expensive – not ideal for a student on a budget! And time-consuming) Have you tried yoga tapes? Maybe doing some calm yoga before bed or in the morning would help to relax your brain. I really wonder WHY no one has come up with a CURE for migraines!

    The weekend awaits!

  • Serena
    March 13, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks Rachel – I didn’t realize that about the abortive/preventative meds. I don’t get migraines that often anymore so I guess that’s why the Imitrex works well for me. Sounds like Jenna needs something to prevent.

    On an unrelated subject, I just tried the Kind bars for the first time, and I LOVE them! So tasty. I guess they’re not considered vegan b/c of the honey (I’m not vegan so it’s okay to me but I wondered about that), but they are so good. I tried the Date and Walnut and Fruit and Nut medley. Best bar ever, I think.

  • Meghan
    March 13, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Hey all! I take a mild anti-depressant for my migraines because my blood pressure is too low to take a blood pressure medication. I also have tablets for if I get a migraine. Anyways, I hate taking drugs too and thinking what it does to my body makes me uncomfortable, but it’s seriously life changing. Now I can go about as normal instead of laying down in a dark room with me eyes closed all the time…

  • Laurie
    March 13, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Jenna- I’m with the others who have said they wanted to treat migraines naturally but had to turn to drugs to help them once and for all. My life is 100x better since taking preventative meds. I saw a neurologist and I’m really glad I did- she did all sorts of tests to rule out scary serious problems and was really able to help me.

  • SDF
    March 13, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Hey-can anyone explain to me why vegans don’t eat honey? I know there are a few of you on here, and it’s always confused me. Isn’t veganism about not causing anything to die/be harmed in order for you to eat it? Or is it just the idea behind it? Of a bug making something that you’re consuming? Because really, most bugs pollinate flowers/trees that then grow into the fruit that you eat, so what’s the difference? I’m not trying to be offensive at all-I’m really just curious about it.

  • jenny
    March 13, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    thanks for he info nadia =]. I was gonna buy the ice cream cake for my birthday since it is coming up. Well since Tasti D-lite was not so good, does anybody have any recommendations for some good bakeries in new york, preferably queens?

  • jenna
    March 13, 2008 at 8:32 pm


    I just add a pinch of sea salt! It makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD! My oats tasted sooo bland today without it! Try it and let me know what you think!


    Hmm…I add about 1/4 cup almond or hemp or soy milk then I mush the oats together with the milk, add a banana and micro for 45 seconds…stir…then another 45. I’ve never had a problem with it being hard! Perhaps you aren’t adding enough milk?


    I haven’t given up eggs (or cheese either) but I eat them more sparingly. I never was a huge egg breakfast person anyways because I perfer carbs in the morning but I like to make french toast with egg whites. I don’t really buy eggs just because they would probably sit in my fridge and rot because I don’t eat them often…if I’m out for breakfast though I would order an egg white omelet. I don’t think eggs are “bad” you just need to be aware of how many you consume.

    530 tracker,

    i’ve never done that but I might try soon! That sounds delish!!

    Thank you ALL for such helpful anti-migraine tips!!!! I will be def. trying them!!!

  • Nadia
    March 13, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    lol. i live in queens…yea there are some pretty good bakeries around here….one of my faves is Yeh’s bakery for birthday cakes. It’s on Main Street in Flushing. It’s a hole in the wall bakery…they’re always the best though. As far as bakeries in manhattan there are obviously tons of good ones…Once Upon A Tart, Veniero’s, Billy’s Bakery to name a few.

  • Leigh
    March 13, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Actually, I add tons of milk. Do you cook your oats all the way the night before? Or is it still very liquidy?


  • jenna
    March 13, 2008 at 9:13 pm


    I cook my steel cut oats completely through the night before.

  • Bev
    March 14, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Sorry about your migraine I thought you got something from whole foods that helped ? Your pastries look so good.