What Arvay Eats

Was this the longest week ever for anyone else? It felt permanently Tuesday the entire week. Since it was kind of a monotonous week, I tried to mix it up from my usual foods. I found some new recipes that I love and got a lot of inspiration for new recipes, so I’d say that this extra-long week was just more opportunity for success!

Brunch At Home

Mother’s Day on Sunday kicked off the week. Getting a reservation for 6+ people for Sunday brunch can be a headache, let alone on Mother’s Day. For about three years now, I’ve opted to have Mother’s Day Brunch at my house and it is always so fun and refreshing! Last year I had a crepe bar and the year before I made quiches and other brunchy sides. This year, I got major inspiration from Half-Baked Harvest and had a bagel brunch board with a few other sides:

mothers day brunch 2019

  • A bagel assortment from Old School Bagel Cafe in Oklahoma City. By the way, if you’re in OKC and want bagels, go here! It’s the best. They’re actually boiled, which is how a real bagel should be.
  • Some hard-boiled eggs using farm-fresh eggs I got from my coworker who raises chickens (thanks, Robin!).
  • A cherry tomato and mozzarella ball salad. I got the cherry tomato assortment from Sprouts and the mozzarella balls from Aldi.
  • The bagel board, which consisted of: cream cheese, avocados, green onions, cold smoked salmon, lemon wedges, and capers! All of this was from Aldi, except for the jar of capers which I already had on hand.
  • A mixed green salad with crispy prosciutto and roasted figs. I got the greens and the prosciutto from Aldi and the figs from Sprouts. I drizzled it with a quick roasted tomato vinaigrette that I made.
  • Roasted baby potatoes and bacon, which came from Half-Baked Harvest’s brunch board post. 
  • Not pictured: some freshly sliced pineapple and my chocolate strawberry garden cake! I also served iced coffee to drink and had mimosa fixings for those who wanted one.

I loved this brunch board idea and how it came together so easily. It reminded me of how much I love making my own brunch at home instead of fighting the crowds for a table! Since tomorrow is Sunday, I’ll more than likely be making a mini brunch for Claude and I and I’m already thinking about the possibilities (biscuits).

Quick Ramen Bowl

On Tuesday, I had an ovarian cyst burst. Long story short, I have PCOS and have had this happen before. Once the wave of pain came instantly, my abdomen became swollen and tender, and I felt nauseous, I knew exactly what was happening. I have a regimen that makes me feel better when this happens (my hot water bottle, pain medicine, and my couch), but I knew that our original plan of tacos for dinner was not happening no matter how much I wanted them. I needed something light and satisfying, and hopefully using ingredients I already had on hand. I turned to Budget Bytes, one of my favorite recipe blogs, and found Beth’s recipe for quick ramen bowls. I followed the instructions exactly, except I used angel hair instead of ramen noodles and made my own seasoning using chicken bouillon, ginger, crushed red pepper, and my favorite add-ins from the Asian market (oyster sauce, hoisin, hondashi, etc).

quick ramen bowl

If you’re having a sickly day, I highly recommend this recipe. It’s easy, cheap, and yummy while not upsetting my stomach!

Icebox Cake

I fell down the icebox cake rabbit hole while researching Summer desserts. I had never heard of icebox cake, none of my coworkers had heard of icebox cake, my dad had never heard of it – it became quite a mystery to us all! But leave it to my grandma to save the day. She was very familiar with the OG icebox cake using Nabisco chocolate wafers and heavy whipping cream. It was a popular dessert that her mom made during the Summer since it requires no baking, meaning the oven wouldn’t heat up the entire house.

Nabisco originally printed their recipe for icebox cake on the back of the chocolate wafer package, calling for only the wafers and homemade whipped cream. The “cake” was made layering the cookies and whipped cream and then it would then be refrigerated for 8+ hours, then served. The cookies draw moisture from the whipped cream and give them a cake-like texture. Hence the name icebox cake!

My coworker’s birthday was on Friday – perfect timing to try an icebox cake! I found a recipe for a pretty authentic icebox cake online assembled in the style of Magnolia Bakery’s icebox cake. Here’s the deal: the Nabisco chocolate wafers are crazy hard to find at stores in Oklahoma. From what I’ve read online, they’re hard to find elsewhere as well. Apparently they are still in production and sold at some stores, but not any here! So I decided to substitute the wafers for un-sandwiched Oreo cookies. I scraped the cream filling into another bowl and used it in the whipped cream mixture. The result?

Let’s be real here. Is this the best dessert you’ll ever eat? No. But if someone tried to take it from me, would I kill them? Yes. For a light and tasty no-bake dessert, it really is good. By the way, adding the Oreo cream didn’t really affect the texture of the whipped cream but it made it slightly sweeter. But it definitely isn’t overly sweet at all! There are so many occasions that this dessert could work for: Summer BBQs, pool parties, “oh sh!t I forgot I signed up to bring a dessert for *insert event here* and its already 5 p.m.”, “hey mom don’t forget that I need to bring something to class tomorrow for *insert school event here*”. It’s extremely easy, versatile, and so simply good.

There are so many variations of the traditional icebox cake that exist today. More modern recipes add puddings or other layers of fillings. Others call for different types of cookies. In fact, be on the lookout for my own spin on an icebox cake very soon because making this one got me inspired! However, I do think that there’s something about the original that is just so delicious and charming.

This week was pretty delicious, and I had a lot of fun trying new and easy things. I hope you try some new recipes this week that inspire you and make you happy!

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