I’ve Got a Good One For You…

But don’t’ be mad at me!

Although I am sharing a recipe, it is neither hearty nor healthy but instead a sinfully delicious dessert!  I probably should have stared with a confession…I LOVE cake batter and could binge on it all day long!  Okay, maybe not super surprising based on the amount of cake mix recipes this blog has on it, but still not easy to say type out loud.

Life for the BOY, Cooper, and I continues to be super busy and super amazing!!!

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Cooper love all the city has to offer, especially the food.

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Here he is attempting to hone in on our biscuits from Bang Bang!

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The BOY is also adjusting well to city life.  Last weekend, we celebrating his birthday with dinner at Bavette’s followed by cocktails at Band of Bohemia.

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This past week, the weather was incredible and I took full advantage by biking to work on Thursday.

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It takes a lot of planning, but is totally worth it!  I am thankful to have a job where you can show up and work in your ‘active ware’ straight off your bike.  This Thursday, we did a work potluck.  Although I signed up for an ap, I was craving something sweet and happy.

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Wednesday night, I walked over to Mariano’s and came back with the ingredients to make one of the many Cake Batter Dips on my Pinterest board.

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First I threw a batch of 2 Ingredient Muffins (with chocolate cake mix) into the oven and then pulled out my handheld mixer for work on the dip.

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If I told you this dip was good, you probably wouldn’t be surprised but downright bingeable, you might accuse me of exaggerations…

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But trust me, the BOY, and my coworkers when I tell you that this recipe is nothing shy of divine!

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I served it with graham sticks which were the perfect vehicle and compliment to this sweet dip!

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This dip is great to make the night before and travels well (even in a backpack on a bike).

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After work on Thursday, I met up with the BOY and my SIL for date night at Big Star.  We had the BEST night eating dinner outside appreciating the 70 degree evening (and the pitcher of margaritas)!

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Overall, it was a day of delcioiusness!

Enjoy!

Cake Batter Dip

From Fresh April Flours

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • Half of a box of Funfetti Cake Mix (approximately 1 ½ cups dry)
  • 6 Tablespoons milk (any milk is fine…I happened to have whole in the house)
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup sprinkles plus more for decorating

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and no lumps remain.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the Funfetti mix. Add half of the milk and and mix until combined. Add remaining Funfetti mix and milk and increase mixer to medium speed to blend.
  3. Again, reduce mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar. Increase mixer to medium speed and blend until completely combined.
  4. Stir in sprinkles with a spatula. Serve with pretzels, graham crackers, cookies, or your favorite crunchy treat. Cake batter dip will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
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A Chocolate Problem…

What’s worse than a sunshine problem…clearly a chocolate problem!  Ha ha!

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I mean…it’s much better than focusing on any real life problems.  Right?!

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I am a huge fan of mouse and have made a few different recipes.  You may remember that I tried once to do it with coconut milk and it was a major fail.  I put that behind me and decided to try again last weekend when we hosted friends for Sunday night dinner.

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This recipe was simple enough but I bought some amazing store-made fudge as a back up.

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The fudge was appreciated and enjoyed but certainly not necessary sine this mousse/pudding turned out delicious!

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The BOY and our guests enjoyed it, even with the missing dairy.

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And I LOVED every chocolately bite!

 

Other Life Updates…

-To combat my chocolate problem and in appreciation of the sunshine problem, I have exploring new routes in my running shoes lately, which feels amazing!

-We celebrated the BOY’s birthday this past weekend starting Friday night with dinner at home and the Indiana game.  I made Chrissy Teigen’s meatloaf and I highly recommend it!

-Last night we went to Bavette’s for dinner, and I highly recommend that as well!

-I have been trying a bunch of yoga studios and classes trying to find the right fit…I’ll keep you posted!

-My crockpot has been super busy as always.  This week I went to the archives to make Crockpot Chicken Caccitore.

-We are super excited to host Thanksgiving again this year…can’t believe it’s less than 2 weeks away!

 

Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding

From Stupid Easy Paleo

Ingredients

  • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 100 g of 85% to 90% dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces (I used Godiva)
  • 1 tbsp high-quality gelatin
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Heat the coconut milk on medium-low in a heavy-bottomed pot. You want to warm it enough to dissolve the gelatin but not boil. Add the chocolate and whisk constantly until it melts.
  2. Once the chocolate has melted, whisk in the gelatin by slowly pouring as you whisk. If you just dump the whole tablespoon in, it’ll get clumpy.
  3. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
  4. Pour into your desired glasses or cups and chill for at least 2 hours or until set.

Slowing Down {Not By Choice}

Life has been busy, hence my lack of recent blog posts.  I have been committing to my yoga practice, trying to enjoy some outside bike rides and fires, working hard on a few different projects, and enjoying time with my new roommates.

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I have been drinking wine, teaching kids yoga, attending donut club, playing on the 606, reading like crazy, drinking a ton of espresso, and this past weekend we did a family trip up to Green Lake, Wisconsin.

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What I haven’t been doing much off…cooking, baking, and blogging.  I’ve been lucky enough to have some help in the kitchen and of course my BBQ master.  Plus, with new roommates, there are more of us to help out with all of the meal planning.  Last weekend was so super busy, I never even made it to the grocery store!  So that being said, it was very clear when about 2 weeks ago I was playing tennis with my dad, went to shag down a run away ball, and fell in a hole, rolling my left ankle to the sounds of cracking and popping that perhaps the universe was encouraging me to slow down.

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I iced and taped my ankle and focused on rest throughout the weekend.  I took a night off from yoga teacher training and an easy bike ride throughout town (see picture above).  At a time when my yoga practice was escalating and getting more intense, I too a step back.  It wasn’t easy but I listened to my body.  Luckily, the 5k I was supposed to run the next weekend got cancelled and by this weekend, I was feeling 85% better with only mild amounts of pain with lateral movements and Warrior II.  Last Friday, I even went out for a pain free run and Saturday morning did a fun yoga session on the dock with my mom in Wisconsin.

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However, Saturday took a sad turn when my right big toe got sliced by a sliding doggie gate.  It didn’t look good for my nail but didn’t look bad enough for a trip to the rural Wisconsin ER.  We bandaged up my toe and the weekend proceeded on with boat rides, food, crazy doggies, sunsets, and wine!

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It was a wonderful weekend get away and we all appreciated the sunshine and stories.

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Yesterday, I decided to have my toe checked out by the podiatrist.  All the funny walking had my left ankle acting up again and I wasn’t sure what to do with the wound.  The good news…no signs of infection.  The bad news…my big toe nail was coming off.  Somehow I made it through 2 marathons with all 10 toe nails and here after a casual weekend in Wisconsin, I was losing my first one.

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I was instructed to rest and so rest I did.  I spent last night off my feet, but didn’t sleep so well last night.  I took today off of work, figuring my right toe and now sore left ankle weren’t ready for the ball pit at work.  After a mid morning nap and a bandage change, my toe was feeling much better.  So much so that I got a bit antsy.  Since yoga, running, and biking were on the ‘No’ list, I took advantage of a yoga glo meditation.  And then whipped up 2 new raw recipes for snacks for the week.

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Which means after a quiet few months, I actually have some recipes to share.  The first one, I modified a bit using a little almond milk instead of extra honey to help the dough come together.  Both recipes below are as written without my modifications.

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These protein bites are super delicious and won’t last long in your house!  I was so successful that I decided to try one more with dates and peanut butter since we had both in the house.

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For this recipe, I added a little extra chia and because I didn’t have peanuts, I used a mix of nuts from a trail mix.

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I had to try a tiny bite before putting the bars into the fridge…

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And they are also super delish!  After all of the activity, I was ready to retreat back to my chair with a little more rest and some ice.

Because clearly, someone, somewhere is telling me to rest and slow down.  My plan for the week is to let pain be my guide and build up my activity level slowly as able each day.  I know that I will be back in my gym shoes and on my mat soon enough.  And within the next year, I’ll even have a brand new toe nail!

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Until then, I’ll be hanging with my new nurse!

How do you know when you need to slow down?

Have you ever lost a toe nail?

 

No Bake Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bites

From Cotter Crunch

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (around 65-75grams) Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey ·
  • ½ cup almond meal or peanut flour (you can also just finely grind raw almonds) ·
  • ¼ cup nut butter (creamy no stir works best)
  • ¾ cup of gluten free quick oats or gluten free cereal of choice
  • Vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Grind up your oats or cereal in a food processor and transfer into a mixing bowl. This is optional. You can keep them whole as well and adjust the addition of honey.
  2. Add your almond meal, protein powder, cinnamon, and nut butter. Stir ingredients all together.  Add in your honey and vanilla then mix again well with hands.
  3. Roll into 1-1.5 inch balls and place on cookie tray or plastic ware with parchment paper underneath.
  4. Dust with additional cinnamon and vanilla protein if desired.
  5. Keep in fridge or freezer for up to 6 weeks (if they last that long).

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Bars

From My Sequined Life

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted, whole dates
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds (or 2x as much)

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to food processor and process until the ingredients break down and become a mostly cohesive mixture. You will still have little pieces of peanuts remaining, and the consistency of the mixture should hold together when you press it together.
  2. Line a rimmed dish with parchment paper and press mixture into it, leaving your desired thickness.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before slicing. Store bars in the refrigerator.

Energy Snack Bites {x 2}

It’s going to be a crazy week, I think!

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We are recovering from sinus infections AND post wedding fun!  Sunday was nice and calm…perhaps the calm before the storm.  This is my last week at my job, so I anticipate some emotion.  Plus, I am prepping for my new job and had to go into the city for an all day class on Monday (my usual day off).  Ugh!  So I dragged myself to the grocery store on Sunday, which was a mess because I wore my Px sunglasses and forgot my regular glasses and then spent my time alternating between being the girl indoors with sunglasses and not being able to see so good.  And then I got charged for 122 lemons : )  All ended well and I came home with some options for food this week although I am way more unorganized than usual.

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Oh I’m sorry Cooper…am I boring you?!  I guess he’s tired too…LOL!

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In between napping and folding laundry, I whipped up a few batches of energy balls on Sunday.  I went totally lazy and busted out the food processor even though that’s not how the recipes were written.

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Interestingly, this recipe used almond milk to pull everything together.  I’ve never used that before in a raw no bake recipe, but I liked it so much that I did it again with recipe number 2!

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The texture of these bites was spot on (if I do say so myself) and even the BOY was raving about their flavor.

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This recipe didn’t make as many as I thought we would both need to survive the week, so I found another recipe, similar but different, cleaned out my food processor and stated adding in the healthy stuff.

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It worked out well that I had the perfect Dutch chocolate powder to use from The Spice House!

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Like the recipe before, I blended with my food processor (instead of my hands) and because everything looked a bit dry, I even added in some almond milk.

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Another tasty treat complete and we were all set for the week.  Even if we don’t have meals planned out, we won’t starve!

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Mmm! Love having homemade snacks to eat!  I’m sure I will be living on these all summer long!

 

What is your favorite snack bite recipe?

 

Protein Peanut Butter Energy Bites

From The Healthy Maven (but modified a bit)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder (about 2 scoops)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 3 T natural honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-4 T liquid (almond milk)

Directions

  1. Add oats, protein powder, cinnamon and chia seeds to food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. Add in peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract. Combine again in processor.  Mixture should be slightly sticky but still crumbly.
  3. Slowly add in liquid 1 tablespoon at a time (I did this while processing).  Combine until it comes together in a sticky ball that holds together. If mixture is too dry, add in more liquid but not so much that it won’t hold shape.
  4. Roll into balls using hands.
  5. Place in a container to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Store in fridge until ready to eat.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites

From Chef Savvy

Ingredients

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate protein powder (I only had vanilla so that’s what I used)
  • 2 tablespoons water (or almond milk)

Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in food processor. Mix to combine. If mixture looks too try add a bit more water (or almond milk).
  2. Place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes so they are easier to roll.
  3. Roll into 8 bites and store in the fridge for up to a week.

So Much Sunday to Share!

Hey ya’ll! How ya been?

Coming to you from the comfort of my couch after a gorgeous (and windy) bike ride, followed by an indulgently warm shower.

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I know it’s been awhile…we had a super busy week!  I started off a little slow recovering from our weekend away.  But still sporting my party nails : )

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But by Thursday, I was up early for a run and Friday, I made it to a 6am yoga class.

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We made it through the week and celebrated Friday night with wine!  Saturday morning, I was at the gym alone since the BOY had a bachelor party.  My trainer worked me HARD using heavy weights and lots of reps.  I ran a few errands after the gym and then headed back home.

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Although I would have much rather been playing with my friends, I had a long list of things that needed to get done on Saturday. I spent the day doing laundry, decluttering our house, finishing some computer based learning, and making progress on my anatomy power points.  At 4pm, the BOY returned home and we took an hour long nap before heading back out.  He was off to finish up the bachelor party (of his sister’s fiancé) and I was going to hang out with my sister in law while the guys were out being guys.

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We ended up at a bar watching a Boy Band cover band which was pretty hilarious and brought back a lot of college memories!  Then went back to her house to have some more wine and cuddle with the kitties!  They are seriously so much fun!

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The BOY returned back around 2am and back home we went where we immediately crashed!  We didn’t sleep as late as we wanted this morning and I woke up with a sore throat, fearing that I had caught the BOY’s cold from last week.  Since we were up, we did our weekly grocery store run.  As you saw on Instagram, there are many benefits of Sunday morning shopping including TONS of cheese samples.

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I sipped a green smoothie as we shopped hoping to take in some immunity boosting nutrients.  After the store, we came home and made bacon and eggs for brekkie.  Since I wasn’t feeling well, we didn’t make any plans for the day. I took a Musinex and finished up my last computer learning module.  I know that I haven’t been sharing recipes recently, but it’s not because we haven’t been cooking and baking.  We’ve just been sticking with some basics and old favorites.  I made brownies and knew that they needed some home made ice cream to go with them.  Typically, the BOY makes the ice cream so I don’t get many pictures.

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But this time, I did the work, including chopping up all the birthday cake Oreos.

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Which, FYI are amazing!!!  I stirred them into the ice cream which was soft and smooth and tasted like a fresh made blizzard.

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It took a lot of restraint not to dive head first into the bowl of ice cream, so I settled with a few bites before hiding it in the freezer.  During this time, Cooper was no where to be found.  Weird right?! Considering he is usually ALL over the ice cream maker!  I searched everywhere high and low but couldn’t lure him out of hiding.  We had to run out, so we left and I was thinking that he was probably napping after our late night out.  I grabbed some Whole Foods deliciousness for lunch and the BOY came home and heard a noise in the garage.  Turns out…Cooper was stuck with his paw caught under a bucket in our garage all morning.  The BOY said that he ran upstairs immediately to the litter box and that his paw seemed just fine.  I was relieved to hear it, but we still can’t figure out how and when he made his way into the garage?!

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After lunch, the BOY  (and Cooper) took a nap…it had been an emotional day for him…and I decided to break a sweat outside with a bike ride.

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It was way windier than I realized and sadly our path was flooded so I did more of a back and forth ride than my typical loop.  It felt wonderful to be out in the sunshine, even though it was not nearly as warm as I thought it would be.

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You’ll note my amazing new sunglasses.  They say ‘I heart Boy Bands’ on the side and were a freebie from last night’s concert.  We are spending Sunday night in BBQing for dinner and watching a movie (while I continue to pack and work on slides).  I definitely need an early bed time if I want to turn this cold around!  So much to share this Sunday!!!

 

What are you sharing this Sunday?

 

Meal Planning 5/15/16

Monday: Crockpot Chili

Tuesday: Hotdogs and Chicken Burgers

Wednesday: Steak + Salmon

Thursday: Pasta Night

No French Fry Bars

The bad news is when you play all weekend, there is a lot of work to do on Monday.  And I don’t mean work, work because it is still the weekend (for me), but house work!  I would have loved to have spent Monday on my couch, cuddled with Cooper, and catching up on Scandal.  Instead, I woke up and immediately started creating laundry piles. 

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Saturday morning, the BOY and I woke up to snow.  Not a lot of it, but more than anyone wants to see in April!

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The BOY and I went to the gym for our training sessions and then quickly packed up before driving downtown.  My sister in law has been wanting to try Soul Cycle and I was more than  happy to accompany here to the Old Rihanna vs. New Rihanna class.

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We had a lot of fun working up a sweat.  Then the guys met us for lunch and beer at Corridor.  The weather was odd, alternating between hail and sunshine, but we managed to walk around and shop before making our way back to their house.  We had a little bit of down time before getting ready for our family friend’s wedding.  My mom, SIL, and I drank bubbles while we got our hair done at the dry bar, and then everyone got all dressed up for the wedding.

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We danced the night away and had a great time together!  Sunday was another fun family day, but this time the weather was gorgeous!

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We walked all over the city, racking up close to 7 miles.  Along the way, we discovered an amazing little bakery and fueled up with cupcakes (and a not pictured cookie sandwich that was consumed during the walk)!

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The BOY and I didn’t get home until late Sunday night, and we stopped and picked up Thai for dinner on our way home.  I was feeling exhilarated with the excitement of the weekend and crashed for a good 10 hours Sunday night.  Which brings me back to this morning.  After getting a few loads of laundry going, I grabbed leftovers for breakfast and debated if I wanted to go to the 9:30am yoga class.  A run would have been ideal, but after yesterday’s 60 degree weather, this morning was chilly.

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So off to yoga I went!  And then came back home to get myself organized for the day while sipping on a Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Smoothie.  I made my grocery list and our meal plan. 

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With the cold weather, chili was top on my list…Mmm!

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So I had the opportunity to bump into an old coworker of the BOY’s last week.  She mentioned that she saw him eating one of the protein balls I had made.  When she asked him what was with the healthy fare, he said that I made them so that he doesn’t eat French Fries (LOL!).  I actually make them so that we have healthy snack options throughout the day, but the French Fry comment had me cracking up.

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On that note, I made another batch of bars this week and we can just call them ‘No French Fry’ bars!

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These are actually a Luna bar knock off and absolutely delicious!

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You’ll have to make a batch and let me know if they keep you away from the drive through : )

 

What is your favorite mid afternoon snack?

 

Meal Planning 4/04/16

Monday: Chili

Tuesday: Sesame Honey Chicken

Wednesday: Burgers and Veggies

Thursday: TBD

 

(Homemade) Peanut Butter

Chocolate Chip Luna Bars

From Lauren’s Latest

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 24 oz. pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • pinch sea salt

Directions

  1. Place peanuts into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop into fine pieces without turning into a paste. Add in dates, chocolate chips and salt. Continue pulsing until one large mass comes together in the bowl. Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper or plastic wrap and press date mixture evenly into the dish. Dip your fingers into water to prevent sticking. Place into freezer or fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove completely from pan using excess plastic wrap as help and cut into 10 even pieces. Wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Brackets and Bars

It has been a bit of an odd week!  The time change, full moon, and impending spring break have had the kids (my patients) in a mood!  In our house, Cooper has been falling asleep in my arms each night, and the BOY has been super busy at work.

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Basketball has returned (my bracket has my cortisol levels rising!) and so have the energy bites.  Except this week, we are leaving the world of bites and bringing on the bars!

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A healthier option than the amazing Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies, I made earlier this week, both the BOY and I have been chowing down on these bars!  Ok, we have been devouring the brownies too : )

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With the ingredients as written, my bars didn’t come together into a dough.  Luckily, I am no rookie when it comes to these things, and so I knew that I could add honey, agave, or maple syrup.  I went the syrup route and my bars pulled together quickly.

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I tell you this in case you have the same problem when you make them, and I highly recommend that you do!

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I love the mixture of coconut and almond butter, and they will power you through even the craziest of days…don’t ask me how I know this!  Thankfully, I got out of work early on Wednesday and instead of going home to clean my house and do responsible adult stuff, I went to a hot yoga class.

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It was a new-to-me instructor, and the class was absolutely incredible!  None of my bracket teams are winning by enough tonight for me to sleep sound, but I might as well give it a try since I have an early morning of work tomorrow.  Looking for more ‘raw’ recipes, check out my very busy Pinterest board!

Do you have a favorite raw recipe?

Who are you cheering for in the NCAA tournament?

Almond Coconut Energy Bars

From My Sequined Life

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of whole pitted dates (approx. 12 dates)
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter 
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • Maple Syrup (if needed)

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend for one to two minutes, or until everything is evenly combined and just about smooth. You may still have little crunchy pieces of almonds remaining.   If a dough does not form, then add in maple syrup (or another sticky ingredient like honey) and continue to process.
  2. Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan (or a small dish) with parchment paper or cooking spray and press bar mixture evenly into about half of the pan. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes so the mixture sets. Once chilled, cut into bars and store in the fridge