Red, White, and Blue Trifle

Holidays lead to excitement…

And excitement leads to thinking…

And thinking leads to awakeness…

And awake I was 2 hours before my alarm this morning!

So were the BOY and Cooper which made falling back asleep next to impossible.




My plan was to start my morning with a 9:30am yoga class at a new studio where my trainer teaches.  As I was deciding what to do with my newly found morning hours and heating up some water for tea, I hopped onto my computer to find directions.  It’s a good thing that I did because I also discovered that the yoga class was at 8am instead of 9:30 due to the holiday schedule.  It was just before 7 so I texted my trainer just to be sure.  When she replied with the 8am start time, I quickly made and gobbled down eggs, threw on some clothes, and waved goodbye to the BOY and Cooper (thanking them for the wake up call) as I dashed out the door.




Holidays typically mean no traffic, so miraculously I was the first to arrive at the yoga studio.  I found a spot to lay down my mat, grab blocks, and get comfortable before class began.




When I reopened my eyes, the initiate room was full and the excitement palpable for this early morning practice.  This teacher is a wonderful guide (and I’m not just saying that because we are friends).  I quickly realized that my shoulders and quads were burning after yesterday morning’s group class and last night’s high school yoga class.  We eased into each pose digging deeper both physically and emotionally as the American themed songs played in the background.




The new setting definitely kept me present and and engaged while also pushing me go deeper or try new things.  Like firefly pose using the two blocks.  This arm balance was super tough for me and I’m guessing my biggest limitation would be the lack of range in my shoulders and super tight hips.  Either way, it was fun to try and exciting to watch others master the pose.  If you’re interested, it could look something like this.  After class, I was asking the teacher about a juice bar I had passed on the way over.  She said that the best juice bar EVER is right next door, which is exactly where I headed finding most of the class already there.




I ordered the Extreme Green and enjoyed every sip on my way back towards home.  I needed to swing by the grocery store which was an even bigger cluster than I could have imagined, but I survived and returned home with meat for lunch and the ingredients to make dessert and fruit salad for tonight’s BBQ with my friends.


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The BOY took a study break to make us lunch, and we ate out back under our brand new umbrella.




Afterwards, he returned to multiple choice questions while Cooper hunted down a fly, and I made a vibrant fruit salad.




Then it was on to desert…

One of my other friends is bringing a chocolate + PB desert tonight, so I spent the week trying to think of something different. This time of year, I am a huge fan of anything No Bake, and during all times of the year, I LOVE a trifle!  My thought was that this would also be kid friendly for the young ones.




I really wanted to use pound cake and was almost disappointed to only find angel food cake at the store.  Until, I remembered that Sara Lee has a fantastic frozen version of this classic cake.  I had a slight idea in my head of how I wanted this to go, and here is how it actually went…


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I’d say that everything came together marvelously and I even had a few bites of cake to snack on while I decorated the top to go along with the red, white, and blue theme.




I had the most wonderful day off, and can’t wait to spend tonight appreciating this gorgeous day and celebrating with my besties and their families.  Wishing ya’ll a happy, safe, and fun rest of your Friday and long holiday weekend!





What did you make for the 4th this year?

Link up your recipes!



Red, White, and Blue Trifle (aka Strawberry Shortcake Trifle)



1 large or 2 small pound cakes, cubed

1 (5 ounce) package of instant vanilla pudding

3 cups of milk (I used 1%)

2 lbs strawberries, rinsed and diced (save some for decorating the top)

1 cup blueberries, rinsed and dried (save some for decorating the top)

1 ginormous container of Cool Whip Lite, thawed not frozen



Cut your pound cake into squares and dice your strawberries.  Have everything ready to go before you begin layering.

Combine milk with pudding, according to directions, whisking well.

In a clear trifle bowl, layer half of your pound cake, half of your pudding, 1/3 of your strawberries, half of your cool whip, and 1 cup of blueberries.

Then, layer on the rest of your cake, the rest of your pudding (whisk it first, it may start to set), 1/3 of your strawberries and using a spatula, gently cover the top of the trifle with whipped cream.

Decorate with extra berries as desired!

Best made day of and store in the refrigerator.  Store leftovers in an airtight container.


Doesn’t it seem like everyone is juicing?!

Pinterest is full of delicious looking concoctions, and I have to say I find it an awesome way to up my intake of greens!




So I don’t actually have a juicer or even a vitamix, but I have a pretty new blender that makes some awesome, healthy drinks.  I’m a huge fan of the green smoothie, and I’ve recently started getting into the juice.




The benefit of juicing in a blender is that you don’t get rid of the pulp.  With a good blender, you barely notice it and it keeps all of the nutrients of your veggies in the drink




This week, I used some of the sweet strawberries from my Costco sized container and a few slices of kiwi.




The rest got packaged up for lunch during the week.  So although juicing isn’t new to everyone, it’s new to my kitchen, and I just might be addicted.




Especially since now that I know I can double my batch and have fresh juice ready for the next morning.




It just needs a shake and then you can grab it and go!





Do you make juice?

Share some ‘recipe’ links!



Strawberry, Kiwi, and Kale Juice



1 cup strawberries

1 kiwi, sliced

1 large handful of spinach or kale

1 cup coconut water or tap water

1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds (optional)

Lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon

Ice cubes



Place water and greens in blender and chop.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend on low for about 1 minute.  Increase to high and blend until smooth.

Add ice and blend well!

Store in water bottle or glass jar.

2 Easy No Bake Summer Deserts

I have seen some mouth watering cookies, cakes, and bars popping up on blogs all week.  Although I love drooling over the pictures, I’m not one who is super motivated to turn on my oven mid summer when my air conditioning is kicking in over time to keep me cool.  For this reason, I found two no bake recipes from the way back of my recipe binder to compliment this weekend’s Mediterranean Feast.




Both are really light and easy and have sugar free options.  I received both recipes from people, but I can’t remember who (because I’ve had them for SO long), so I can’t give proper credit.  The first is a Pistachio Salad, which I have never made before.  It only takes three tasty ingredients and can be made up to a day in advance.




Although we served this for desert, it could also make a sweet summer BBQ side.




So don’t let it get lost in the back of your recipe binder!

The Sugar Free No Bake Strawberry Pie can be made with or without the pie crust.  I’ve made it one or two times years ago and found that the shortbread pie crust tastes the best.  For ease, I bought the crust, but you know you can get creative with any homemade cookie crust that you want.




This is an awesome recipe for fresh strawberries, but you can get crazy with different jello and fruit combinations.




It’s kind of an odd process making pudding without milk and adding in jello, but somehow it all works!






Like the Pistachio Salad, this pie can be made a day in advance.




Prior to serving, you can cover your pie with thawed cool whip or let your guests add their own whipped topping!




It tastes just like a Strawberry Shortcake!




Note: this pie is just as good leftover!  Sitting down with a slice right now : )



Pistachio Salad



1 can (14oz) crushed pineapple in natural juice

1 package (4 oz) sugar free or regular pistachio instant pudding

1 small container Cool Whip Free



Mix together the pineapple and pudding in a medium sized bowl.

Stir in unthawed Cool Whip until well mixed.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or over night.



Sugar Free No Bake Strawberry Pie



1 premade shortbread pie crust

1 (4 oz) package of sugar free cook and serve vanilla pudding

2 cups of water

1 (4 oz) package sugar free strawberry jello

2 1/2-3 cups sliced strawberries



Place sliced strawberries in pie crust.

Using a microwave safe bowl, make the cook and serve pudding per package directions using water instead of milk.  Then stir in the jello powder.  Pour jello mixture over the strawberries in the pie crust.

Refrigerate for ~3 hours or over night.

Serve with whipped topping.

There’s always some Bananas…

Before leaving town, I always try to finish the food that we have left in the house.  Often, I will plan meals around what we have or pack snack bags of veggies or fruit for the plane.  Although this time it is just me heading out, I know the BOY doesn’t eat bananas and therefore, I needed to turn these perfectly ripe bananas into something delicious!




Since we also had some berries, I knew Banana Strawberry Bread was the way to go!




I searched online through a whole bunch of recipes before landing at Joy the Baker.




Her original recipe is made with browned butter.  For time sake, I completely skipped the brown butter step, but I point this out because it will definitely add to your bread.




All of my loaves baked up beautifully!  And I couldn’t wait to slice off a corner for dinner.  My thought is to save the rest for the long plane ride ahead : )




If there’s anything left!




Also on the agenda…catching up on some DVR before my trip.  Hooray for new summer shoes and the next season of Major Crimes!


Love the banana/strawberry combo?

Here is another great summer bread recipe!



Banana Strawberry Bread

Inspired by Joy the Baker

makes 1 9×5-inch loaf (but I made 3 mini loaves)



1/2 cup of butter, melted

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup soy milk

3 medium bananas, mashed

1/2 cup diced strawberries



Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract, and milk.  Whisk in the mashed bananas.  When butter has cooled, whisk in the butter.

Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients.  Fold together until just mixed.  Fold in the diced strawberries and do not overstir!

Spoon batter into prepared pan and top with thinly sliced strawberries.   Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  (40-45 minutes for mini loaves).  Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Note: Freezes well!

Breakfast Again?!

Are you tired of breakfast yet???  I hope not because it really is the most important meal of the day!




I’ve been working on perfecting this muffin bake with Take One and Take Two documented previously.  There is nothing more fun than making and tasting all of these different breakfasts!




Now, it’s time for Take Three, and I ran out of blueberries.




Not to worry because strawberries make an equally enjoyable substitution!




This time I used less flax and more oat bran which gave me a much cake-ier consistency, but still a warm gooey center.




Of note…this breakfast is wonderfully robust and filling.  However, I’m not going to pretend like this is as sweet as a muffin.




I can tell you that I don’t miss the sweetness at all!  Especially when topped with almond butter and a sprinkle of coconut.





Another fantastic, healthy, and satisfying breakfast.  The perfect way to start a sunny winter Sunday!




Don’t have time to bake your breakfast?  I just learned from FitCupcaker that you can make her recipe in the microwave!



A few of my other healthy breakfast faves…

Chia and Flax Breakfast Bowl

Pumpkin Banana Baked Oatmeal Bars

Breakfast Stirfry

Pumpkin Cream Pie Oatbran

Hot Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Cranberry Dough Boy Smoothie




Strawberry Muffins Bake

Adapted from Blueberry Muffin Bake



2 tbsp almond flour

2 tbsp ground flax

2 tbsp oat bran

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tbsp agave

Chopped and quartered strawberries



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stir together flax seed, oat bran, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add in almond milk, vanilla, and agave.

Fold in strawberries.

Bake for 22-24 minutes.

Let cool and then top with your favorite additions!

What Day is it Today?

If you’ve bumped into me at all over the past week (or I slept over at your house), then I’m sure you’ve heard me ask this question.  Why have I been asking such silly questions?  Because as you could tell from this last post, I am a bit out of sorts!  Why am I a bit out of sorts?  Well, I worked last Wednesday…went to class Thursday through Tuesday (I think that is today)…and then am back to work on Wednesday (tomorrow)!  It’s like a week went by and I am back exactly where I started.  What a crazy week!


We got out of class early today, which was fantastic!  I made it home quickly while the sun was still shining and a beautiful evening was emerging.  This was a far cry from this morning’s thunderstorms.  I had more than enough time to pull together a quick bread for this weekend, so I walked in the door and started slicing strawberries.



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I had a few juicy strawberries left in the fridge and some old bananas.  I have been drooling over Averie’s Strawberry Banana Bread since she posted it this spring, and I finally had everything that I needed to make it.  Won’t this be perfect for after this weekend’s triathlon?!




This bread has a few simple ingredients starring this bright red berries.  It is easy to make in only one bowl, which I always love!




I decided to add in some extra banana because one just didn’t sound like enough!


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I also used some extra strawberries, poured the bread into the pan, and covered it with some more sliced strawberries!





I threw the bread into the oven while the BOY and I headed out to the path for a walk.  It was so nice to be outdoors and enjoy some fresh air!





We got back just in time for me to pull my bread out of the oven.


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The BOY and I changed out of our sweaty clothes and headed out the door for dinner.  During our walk, we discussed the plan of BBQ chicken, but quickly abandoned it to try the small, local sushi restaurant instead.  It was a great decision!  We had a fresh and delicious sushi meal.  When we walked back in the door, the house smelled incredible.  Even the BOY, who won’t touch a banana,  commented on it!


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This bread looks and tastes like a sweet and fruity Dutch pancake!  I only had a small bite form the end that fell off, but I can’t wait to dig in!




For now, the bread is heading into the freezer until after the triathlon this weekend.  I’m not sure I can wait that long!!!




How many days until Sunday???




Strawberry Banana Bread

From Averie Cooks

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1-2 medium banana, divided (mash half – about 1/4 cup mashed banana; slice the other half – about 10 thin slices)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg white, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup strawberries, diced


Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a 9×5-inch loaf pan by either lining it with foil, allowing for overhang to easily lift out the bread or by spraying well with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon and stir to combine. Slice a banana in half and mash one half with a fork and slice the other half into thin discs. Add the mashed banana to the dry ingredients and stir. Add the oil, beaten egg white, vanilla and stir until just combined. Gently fold in 3/4 cup strawberries. Pour batter into prepared pan and top with 1/4 cup strawberries and banana slices, pressing them very gently into the surface of the batter. Bake for 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean (Depending on moisture content bananas and berries, cooking times may vary from 40 to 50 minutes). Allow bread to cool before removing it from the pan. Slice and serve as is, or add butter, cream cheese, jelly, or frosting, if desired. Store extra bread in an airtight container on the countertop or store in the freezer for up to three months.


Have you ever seen strawberries so big and beautiful???




These beauties got so many compliments on their way out the door at Costco.  I have never had that happen before, but three separate people stopped me to talk about my berries.




But how could you not stop to appreciate these guys?!




They were just begging to be turned into this tempting Strawberry Bread!



You know you really want to dig into this fresh sweet oatmeal bread!!!  It is the FIRST recipe that popped into my head as I grabbed a package of berries for my cart.  Unfortunately since it is Passover, I will be enjoying some different snacks this week.




So, I topped my salads and pancakes with fresh chopped strawberries.  I swear, they were some of the best strawberries that I have ever eaten!  I even went back to Costco on Monday to get another package, but they were SOLD OUT.  Soo sad!






But YOU should definitely be baking up some of this bread this week!  Or make a Fruit Salsa!


Do you buy berries at Costco?  How do you like to eat your strawberries?




Oatmeal Strawberry Bread

Recipe from



3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

2 cups white sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 1/4 pounds fresh strawberries, sliced

1/4 cup rolled oats



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 7×3 inch loaf pans.

2. Stir together the flour, 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil and eggs; stir into flour mixture until just moistened. Fold in strawberries. Pour into the prepared loaf pans, and sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup of rolled oats.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool the strawberry bread in the pans for 5 minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack.