This Week’s Eats {and a recipe}

OMG! I found the most amazing cashew butter at the store on Monday. I was actually looking for almond butter (my jar was almost empty) but there weren’t many options and they were CRAZY expensive.  I decided this would do…

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I, of course, tried it immediately when I got home.  Just to check that it was worth the money.  Now, I don’t even have to tell you how delish this is alone on a spoon but even better smothered over a dark chocolate square…Mmm! 

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Wednesday morning, I went to another incredible yoga class.  It’s been a good week for those!  I will have an entire phone of post yoga glow selfies before this week is over.  On a whim, the BOY and I ditched meal planning and ate Wednesday night dinner cuddled in a booth at Coopers Hawk.

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We had an incredible dinner and a macadamia nut truffle for dessert…

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Thursday mornings breakfast looked a lot like this…espresso + whipped cream + cinnamon = a new FAVORITE!!!

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And of course, I devoured a Pancake a la Jen.  This one includes 1 banana, 1 egg, egg whites, 2 tbsp flax, and cinnamon.

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Needless to say, I made it to Friday with another delicious espresso bevvie this morning : )  I brought an oldie back for breakfast.  The occasion…an almost empty jar of almond butter, of course!

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And although it’s a bit late, here is this week’s latest recipe.  I discover recipes in all different places, but this one came via Instagram.  Kind of random, but I am adding to my following of friends and yoga gurus some foodies.  Hence this Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken recipe from The Cookie Rookie.

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I added in a big bag of frozen broccoli because it’s one of my fave veggies in stir fry and I thought it needed some greens.  This recipe was easy and tasty and reheated perfectly for lunch this week.

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What were your favorite eats this week?

Who do you follow on Instagram?

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

From The Cookie Rookie

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. bonesless skinless chicken tenders, sliced into small strips
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup cashews

Directions

  1. Heat oil on medium high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook each side for 2 minutes until browned.
  2. Place chicken in the slow cooker and top with soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Stir to combine and add in broccoli.
  4. Cook for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low.
  5. 30 minutes before done, stir in cashews.
  6. Enjoy topped over rice or quinoa!
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A Taste of Door County

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Whenever we travel to Door County, we return home with a car full of tasty goodies.  There are annual favorites (we bring my dad a pie from Bea’s and I love Koepsel’s Pumpkin Butter and Jellies) and there are recent additions (spaghetti sauce from Sammy Rae’s) and this year’s newest find…Island Orchard Cider and farm fresh apples.

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One thing I always pick up is a big bag of dried cherries.  I like to say that I will put them in salads like my local favorite at Wild Tomato, full of goat cheese and cherries, but ultimately I just love to bake with them.  When I was searching for recipes to make this past weekend, it was the cherries that caught my eye.  Add in the chocolate and oatmeal and the page was bookmarked!

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Although the point of this book is to make BIG cookies, I decided to keep these ‘normal’ sized.

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These cookies are a soft oatmeal cookie with the addition of chocolate.

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And in case that is not enough…more chocolate chips and tart dried cherries make these cookies unbelievably addictive!

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Once baked, these cookies needed to hide out in the laundry room…so silly…I know, but it’s the only way to keep Cooper’s nosy nose out of them.  Then, they will be packaged up and sent off to New York for Thanksgiving.  I did bring a few to work, where they were a HUGE hit, and the BOY and I have been snacking on them all week.

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We have been enjoying all of our DC goodies.  Can’t wait to go back and stock up on more!

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Do you bring home food when you travel?

Some of my best finds were tea and spices from Israel and chocolate (and of course wine) from Napa!

 

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

From Big Fat Cookies by Elinor Klivans

 

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract (I just did 1 teaspoons of vanilla)

2 1/2 cups oatmeal (not quick cooking or a mixture of quick and not quick)

1 cup dried cherries

2 cups milk chocolate chips (I think semi-sweet worked really well too)

Directions

Position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or Silpats).

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a medium bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute scrapping the sides as needed.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until blended, about 1 minute.  The mixture may look curdled.  On low speed, add the flour mixture and oatmeal, mixing just until the flour is incorporated and the dough looks smooth again.  Mix in the dried cherries and chocolate chips.

Using a regular sized scoop or 1/4 cup measure, scoop the dough onto the prepared making sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart (if making big cookies).  Bake the cookies one sheet at a time (I did not do this) until the tops feel firm and look dull rather than shiny, about 22 minutes.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer to a cooling rack.

Store in airtight container for 4 days or freeze.

BINGE

This past week…

I BINGE watched Scandal

I BINGE drank lattes

I BINGE read The Boston Girl

I BINGE watched March Madness

And…

I BINGE listened to Serial (finally crawled out from under the podcast rock!)

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What are you BINGING on?

With all of this talk about binging, it’s only fair to share a recipe.  I had a brunch potluck date with a few of my friends this morning.  As we divided up food, I volunteered to make a baked oatmeal.  One of my friends doesn’t like eggs, so I went in search of an egg free baked oatmeal recipe, and actually found quite a few.

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This one full of apples, walnuts, and cinnamon looked so good that I had to make it!

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I made a few changes to the recipe (what…brown sugar expires?!  I’m out of cloves?!) and crossed my fingers that it was going to turn out.  I’m always so nervous bringing a new recipe to a friend’s house, so I also made a HUGE fruit salad.

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Needless to say, Cooper was no help at all!

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I had a fantastic day catching up with old friends over mimosas!  And the baked oatmeal was delicious…like super duper make again good!  After brunch, I headed downtown for some wedding stuff.

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I caught the most gorgeous sunset on my drive home and after a super busy weekend, I was thrilled to be back home to BINGE on more Scandal.

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And maybe BINGE on sleep : )

 

Baked Apple Spice Oatmeal

Adapted from The Curvy Carrot

Ingredients

4 cups milk (I used almond coconut milk)

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

2 teaspoons butter

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 cups old-fashioned oats

2 cups chopped apples (variety of your choice)

1/2 cup walnuts

1 cup golden raisins

1/4 teaspoon allspice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar, butter, and cinnamon.  Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and the mixture is well combined.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir until mixed.

Lightly spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.  Pour the oatmeal into the casserole dish, cover, and bake, about 45 minutes or so.

Top with fresh apple slices and raisins (if desired).

Once I Finally Left the Couch

By January 2nd, I was ready to leave the couch.  The BOY and Cooper…well that’s another story : )

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I slept over 10 hours and started my day with some detox green tea.  I got a David’s Tea sampler as a holiday gift and it is fun to try a different tea each day.  It looked brutally cold outside, so I bundled up for a grocery store run.  It was surprisingly warmer than I expected, so after the store, I decided to tackle an easy 30 minute run on the path.  I had enough time to come home and shower, eat leftover chili for lunch, no bake some bars (recipe below), and was back on the road…this time heading out for my New Year Facial!

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My skin desperately needed some TLC and I was looking for some moisturizing suggestions.  I left glowing and since my Mom was the facial after me, they scheduled some tea time for us in between.  It was sweet to catch up in front of the fire!  A huge bonus of my facial was that it came with a blow out. When the stylist asked how I usually do my hair, I told her that she should just do what she wanted, which of course turned out way cuter than I can do!

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It made me look all dressed up for the Shabbat dinner the BOY and I hosted for his sister and her boyfriend. 

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We feasted on chicken parm and roasted broccoli as we caught up on life.  We had warm, gooey, leftover caramel brownies for dessert.  They are definitely good enough to have 100 two nights in a row.  We also had the peanut butter bars, which I have had pinned for months.  They are very quick and easy and taste delicious!  I think made with a natural peanut butter, these would make the perfect power bar for long bike rides!

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Sadly, I crashed early last night (it was a long day) and slept another 10+ hours.  I slept through my workout time and confirmed this was the best idea when I saw the freezing rain and ‘wintery’ mix outside our windows (and covering our cars).  Today, we had a busy day of driving to a study session for me and wedding planning for both of us.  At 3:00, we were both thrilled to be back inside our warm house with a cold beer and college basketball (followed by a Law&Order marathon…woo woo!).  Tomorrow’s big adventure…lunch with the girls!!!

What have you been doing this year?  On the couch or on the go?

3 ingredient No Bake PB Oat Bars

From Cookies & Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 cups rolled oats

Directions

  1. Line a 9×9 pan with foil. Spray lightly with non-stick spray.
  2. Melt the peanut butter and honey together until smooth, either in the microwave or stove top. Combine mixture with oats.
  3. Press into prepared pan. Place in refrigerator until set. Cut into squares.

Strength followed by Steel Cut Oats

I am committed to strength training and just starting to remember what I used to like about strength training back when I used to be committed to it.  I guess this makes me RE committed to strength training then : )

 

Anyways, I know that I am committed because even though I had to be at work early one morning last week, I still got up, went to the gym, and did my own strength routine.  It was shorter than my usual AM workout, but I made it work and using the jump rope in between sets, made the most of my time.  I still haven’t mastered the strength training selfie, so I don’t have a good photo to accompany this post.  Mostly, I haven’t mastered it because I typically leave my phone in the car or in the locker room because I’m always embarrassed to get caught taking photos of myself.  Unless I’m upside down in an aerial yoga class that is…there I did just fine.

 

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So after my workout, I had a quick turn around time to get myself ready for work and on the road.  And had to fit in breakfast.  I didn’t have any bread for almond butter toast and only had steel cut oats. I also happened to have yogurt from a previous recipe.  Although I don’t typically eat a lot of dairy, I wanted to use the yogurt before it spoiled.  I knew there was a way to do overnight oats with steel cut oats and thought just maybe the yogurt could work too.

 

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I was able to find a recipe for inspiration and came up with my own concoction.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out and was thrilled with my breakfast when I sat down to eat it before drying my hair.

 

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So excited that I even took a few pictures to share the recipe with ya’ll!

 

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I ate my oats with an apple and was truly satisfied with the thick mousse like texture.

I liked this breakfast so much, that I made it again this morning after spin class!

 

 

What do you eat at the gym?

 

 

Here are a few of my other favorite On-The-Go breakfasts…

Baked Oatmeal

Banana Chia Breakfast Bowl with Flax

Banana Quinoa Baked Breakfast Oats

Crockpot Breakfast Porridge

Eat Clean Oatmeal Pancakes

Hot Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Overnight Oats in a Jar

 

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I know last week was kind of a bust with my messed up meatballs, so I’m excited to have lots of recipes for you guys this week!

Starting with these incredible cookies

 

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Steel Cut Overnight Oats (in Yogurt)

Adapted from The Lemon Bowl

 

Ingredients

20 g steel cut oats

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (optional depending on desired consistency)

10 tsp ground flax

10 tsp chia seeds

1/2 tsp vanilla

 

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a tupperware or glass jar.

Place in refrigerator over night until set.

In the morning, cover oats with your favorite toppings, like nut butter and fruit, and enjoy!

 

Note: this is not a sweet breakfast.  If you are looking for something sweeter, add in some agave or honey the night before or drizzle with your favorite sweetener before eating.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

I teased you with a picture last week and then never got around to sharing the recipe.  That was mean, and I am sorry!

Nothing says spring like cookies!

 

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Well, not really!  But with a relaxing day, the breeze flowing through our open windows, I really wanted to bake cookies last week!  I pulled out butter before going to the gym and hid it on top of the fridge where Cooper (hopefully) wouldn’t find it.

 

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The BOY is a big oatmeal cookie fan, so I decided to make these Loaded Oatmeal Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Her cookies are always the BEST!  For my add ins, I went to the pantry to see what I had open and leftover.  I came up with the diverse but mouth watering combination of raisins, butterscotch chips, and chocolate chips.

 

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The combination was AMAZEBALLS!

 

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Don’t judge me for using the term AMAZEBALLS : )

These cookies are soft, chewy, and perfect for sharing!

 

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Which is what I did!  And they were a huge hit with everyone!

 

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Happy Spring Baking!

 

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

From Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar

1/4 cup  (50g) granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon (20g) dark molasses

1 and 2/3 cups (140g) old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cups add-ins (I used butterscotch morsels, raisins, and chocolate chips)

 

Directions

Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and molasses and mix on high until combined. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, toss the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Fold in the add-ins. Dough will be thick. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Roll balls of dough (about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cover cookies and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Baked cookies and rolled cookie dough freeze well, up to 3 months.

Steel Cut Banana Oatmeal {Crockpot Recipe}

It seems like I haven’t posted as many recipes these last few weeks, but that’s not because I haven’t been cooking.  I took a lot of your advise and have been working to keep my meal plans simple and easy.  That combined with early morning workouts and less social media has kept my stress levels a little lower these last few weeks.  And I like it!

 

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But I also really like trying new recipes and so this week is full of them.  Which basically means, I spent Monday cooking and baking up a storm and will spread the recipe love throughout the week.

 

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Starting with breakfast!  I’ve got an entire bunch of brown bananas and have been wanting to make oats in my crockpot.  Since I also had steel cut oatmeal and almond milk in the house, this recipe was a great place to begin.

 

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Instead of overnight, I made my oats this morning, while I was grocery shopping and working out.

 

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When I got home, the house smelled fantastic.  I love all of the spices (I added a few more).  My pictures aren’t so pretty as I just packaged up my oats in 4 pyrex’s for the weak ahead.  I plan on covering them fruit, nuts, and other clean toppings.  As for this week’s meal plan, I’m sure you’re noticing a trend.  Monday is crockpot day.  Tuesday is the BOY’s day.  Wednesday is the BOY’s late night, so I’ve been making salmon, and Thursday is perfect for leftovers : )  Nice and Simple!

 

When my oats were done, I quickly washed out my crockpot and got ready for tonight’s dinner.

More Recipes to Come…

 

 

Meal Plan 2/24/14

Monday: Crockpot Thai Peanut Chicken from Rachel Schultz

 

Tuesday: Pork Chops

 

Wednesday: Salmon and Veggies

 

Thursday: Leftovers

 

Breakfast: Slow Cooker Banana Oatmeal

 

 

Slow Cooker Banana Oatmeal

Adapted Slightly From The Lemon Bowl

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

1 cup steel cut oats

1 ripe banana – mashed

2 cups almond milk

2 cups water

4 tablespoons flax seed meal

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cloves

Optional Toppings: banana slices, walnuts, coconut, chocolate chips or brown sugar

 

Directions

Place all ingredients in slow cooker* and stir until well combined.

Cook overnight or all day on Low for 8-10 hours.  (It only took me 4-5 hours while cooking on low.)

Stir oatmeal with a fork to loosen the steel cut oats and make sure everything is fully incorporated.

Serve warm with toppings.

Store in fridge in airtight containers or freeze.

 

NOTE: I probably should have used a crockpot liner for easy clean up with this recipe!