The November Recipe Redux
theme is "Adding Merriment to Mixes" and focused on DIY gifts and treats to share, as the holiday season approaches.
One of my new favorite finds has been Protein Plus Peanut Flour
and I have been putting it on EVERYTHING. And eating it was a spoon. Or my fingers. It's also wonderful because it is so easy to transport and so much more versatile than typical peanut butter. I took some with me last week when I went to Georgia to visit my parents and got them hooked, as well.
They are also really into premade Hot Cocoa mixes. We brought a big sampler back from Disney a few years ago and they have been obsessed. Looking at the ingredients made me really sad, though. Lots of artificial ingredients and fillers and sugar and powdery dairy. Ick.
I thought I could combine my love of peanut butter powder with their love of hot chocolate for a treat that could satisfy the comfort of hot chocolate on a cool night and the health benefits of cocoa and peanuts when not loaded up with junk. After a little experimenting, this was the final result. And it is INCREDIBLE. High Protein Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa Ingredients:
2 tbsp high quality cocoa powder (I like Ghirardeli
1 tbsp Protein Plus Peanut Flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Stevia packet, or 1/8 tsp. pure stevia Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a jar or gift bag.
Direct recipient to add ingredients to a saucepan with 1 cup milk of choice and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Whisk over until well-combined, about 1 minute.
Heat mixture over medium high heat, until desired temperature is reached, about 3-4 minutes.
Serve in your favorite mug. For extra fun, top with TruWhip
and sprinkle with Cacao nibs
I'm good at blue sky ideas. I like thinking of things. I'm great at pinning every craft, recipe, home improvement tip, and DIY hair masque I see. But executing? Horrible. I will probably never make 90% of the things I plan to. Probably will never do most of things on my "bucket list" or even my plans for the day.
Cooking is almost always a priority and I will spend days in the kitchen neglecting a million other things I should be doing (like laundry or putting away the horrendous amount of "stuff" I get out. Sorry, David
). When I cook, there are really two things I focus on - healthy food and intricate, challenging recipes. This however, is not even close to either one.
But, when I saw the original recipe, I knew it was something I had to make, though slightly adapted. The first time I tried to make it, we were out of sweetened condensed milk. So I made a special trip to the store. And the second time, I got halfway through before I realized we were out of white chocolate chips AND we had about a combined ounce of sprinkles in various shapes and colors. For some reason, I was absolutely determined to make this (?) and we made do with what we had. I can't vouch for the original recipe, since the butterscotch chips kicked up the flavor drastically, but these are awesome
. Buttery, sweet, dense and colorful. Best of all? They taste like cake batter. WIN!Gooey Funfetti BarsAdapted from Crazy For CrustIngredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
2/3 cup sprinkles, divided
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup butterscotch chipsInstructions
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x9" pan with cooking spray.
2. Add cake mix, butter and egg to a bowl and mix by hand, or in a stand mixer, unti a thick dough forms. Add 1/3 cup sprinkles and stir until incorporated.
3. Press about 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with butterscotch chips and remaining sprinkles. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top, and spread remaining dough over the top.
4. Bake bars around 30 minutes, or until they just begin to brown. I think it is better to take them out a little early than a little late. They are cake batter, after all!
5. Cool completely before slicing.
Law and Order SVU
This is certainly not a new
discovery, but amongst the craziness of the past few years, I seem to have forgotten how much I love this show. Lately, I've had trouble sleeping though and these guys have helped me through some long nights. For the record, I have also seen quite a few informercials for some crazy products, which have me interested in testing out.
I typically make my own by simply blending unsweetened coconut flakes in my blender to come up with a butter. Lately, I've tried the Artisina brand
and really like that too, although even when it's $4 at a discount store, it still seems a lot more expensive than when I make it myself. I don't really care who makes it, though. It is incredibly delicious with a spoon.
L'il Critters Fiber Gummy Bears
I get plenty
of fiber in my diet. So much so that I should really probably start cutting it out, not adding it in. But I am on a gummy candy kick lately and I feel like it is justified to pig out on them if they are somewhat healthy. It has taken me about a week to get through a giant bottle (and the serving size is 2/day. THEYAREDELICIOUS.
There are a lot of other supplements out there, so maybe next time I'll try Omega 3 or Calcium or...whatever. But, if you need more fiber, these are for you.
Philosophy: Purity Made Simple
I have long sung the praises of Olay's Face Wash with Witch Hazel
because I really like my face to feel squeaky clean. In fact, moisturizing cleansers sort of gross me out. My mom swears by Philosophy's Purity Made Simple
and has continually pushed it on me because it is an eye makeup remover and cleanser all in one. In fact, she has given me bottles of the stuff in an attempt to way me to the dark side, so I've been using it as a backup - like when I leave my normal cleanser on the counter and I don't want to get out of the shower to grab it. Life's so hard, right? I still wasn't really impressed, but guess what? Recently I read the instructions (which I never do. Because who has time for that?) and it turns out I've been using it ALL WRONG.
Apparently this is the kind of cleanser you put on dry or only slightly damp skin and I had been attempting to lather it up. I'm embarrassed to admit that now it actually does
work as an eye makeup remover, leaves me feeling clean and smells awesome.
Ever since last Fall, I have been looking forward to the re-release of my favorite tea EVER - Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride
, but I have a confession: I'm really not much of a tea person. I like pretty much any drink that I can add some sort of sweetener to, especially if it's hot. Because I am incredibly cold all. the. time.
But, this is a totally different ballgame. I have no idea how they do it, but this is tea that actually tastes like a sugar cookie. It's like something out of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.Official Description: "This cheerful holiday blend will warm your heart with the inviting aroma and delightfully simple taste of freshly baked sugar cookies straight from the oven. LIke all of our teas, Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride has no refined sweeteners or added sugars - giving you a guilt-free way to partake freely in the pleasures of the season."Ingredients:
Milk thistle, roasted barley, orange peel, natural sugar cookie flavor with other natural flavors and vanilla bean. Naturally caffeine free and Kosher certified.Review:
Obviously, I love this stuff. It really does taste like a sugar cookie (though I am interested in where I can get my hands on "natural sugar cookie flavor"). It is also awesome at room temperature or even cold as the liquid for smoothies or to boost the flavor in anything you are baking or cooking.
Price: $3.00/box of 20.
It's not cheap, but it is certainly less expensive than buying pre-brewed teas from a cafe (I'm looking at you, Teavana
and David's Tea
) and the versatility is amazing. Splurge and give it a shot - if you don't like it, send the rest to me :)
There are so many bizarre food products sweeping the market, so it is exciting to see something so classic from such a well known company hitting the market soon. Read the official press release below to learn about the the Lancaster caramel cremes, coming soon to a store near you!
NEW YORK -- NEW YORK (AP) — Chew this.
The Hershey Co. is launching a new candy brand, its first new brand in 30 years, a soft caramel creme line called Lancaster. And for the first time it is taking a double barreled approach, debuting the candy in the U.S. and China at once.
The move comes as China increasingly becomes a focus for U.S.-based consumer goods companies that are seeking to offset slower growth in developed markets like North America. Hershey, which makes candy such as Kit Kat, Twizzlers and Hershey's Kisses, said its most recent quarter that new products in both the U.S. and overseas helped its net income rise 18 percent.
"China and the U.S. are major focus markets for the company," said Steven Schiller, senior vice president of sweets and refreshment. China is the second largest sweets market behind the U.S., he added.
The Lancaster name stems from founder Milton Hershey's first candy company, The Lancaster Caramel Co. founded in 1886. And the candy comes after two-and-a-half years of research into consumer tastes and the global confectionary market.
A category the company calls "comforting richness" — caramel or milk-based soft candy — was under tapped, Hershey found, even though at $1.5 billion dollars it was big business in China.
Caramel is also a fast-growing category globally, Schiller said, growing faster than chocolate and other non-chocolate candies. "It is one of the fastest growing segments in the food industry," Schiller said.
So Hershey developed caramels that could fit into the niche. The products in each country aren't completely the same, but tailored to their markets. In the U.S., Lancaster caramel's will come in three flavors: caramel, vanilla and caramel, and vanilla and raspberry. In China, where the company already sells Hershey's Kisses, Hershey and Ice Breakers, the candies will be more similar to milk-based candies that are popular in that country.
The target demographic is men and women in their twenties and early thirties. The candy will hit store shelves in January 2014 and come in two sizes for about $4 and $2.50. In China, it has already launched in three cities, with wider distribution set for 2014.
Alright, I missed last Friday, but there is plenty of love to go around. In fact, the reason last weekend was so busy was because we were doing my #1 favorite thing - traveling!
I seriously love taking trips. I'd typically prefer to fly because it's just so much faster, but there is something sweet about spending quality time in the car with David. Our conversations are always ridiculous and this time, we spent the whole time playing silly games that had us both laughing all the way home. Our main purpose for the trip was to attend Countdown to Craziness at Duke and I really enjoyed seeing the famous Cameron Indoor Stadium, Coach K, and the team David is so passionate about. The preseason kickoff was a lot of fun and makes me excited for the real season, now that I've picked out my favorite players.
Being an Adult
There is still a long way to go so I won't get into details, but we have had a lot of fun looking at houses and learning about the entire process. It's overwhelming but so exciting! This week, I also had the opportunity to have my car towed and buy my first brand new battery. $300 later, I feel like I am finally doing all the grown-up things I've been waiting for. It's not as fun as I was expecting.
More on this to come, but I am absolutely obsessed
with winter squash. I love all of it in all shapes and forms but am really beginning to appreciate the numerous varieties for their differences in taste and texture. Canned pumpkin has been my go-to because it's just so easy. And delicious. But this week, I have been into Delicata
I am also still really into California Sweetpotatoes and am thrilled that I am able to substitute all these delicious orange veggies for each other in recipes.
Quest Nutrition Bars
You can check out my review of the Peanut Butter & Jelly flavor here
, but I am pretty obsessed with all the flavors, and should review more of them. I received free samples of the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and new White Chocolate Raspberry flavors and also happened upon a great deal for a box of the Lemon Cream Pie flavor. They're just so convenient for keeping in my car, and when I learned about baking the little nuggets into cookies, my life was forever changed. I can't wait to try Double Chocolate Chunk and Strawberry Cheesecake but I don't know if anything will be able to beat out Coconut Cashew in my book.
Apparently Quest also makes pasta, which I have never seen in real life. Have you? Opinions?
My new kicks - Vibram FiveFingers KMD Sport
I picked these up at the GoFest last weekend, because I've been on the lookout for new shoes for a long, long time. My all-time favorite Asics Gel Kayano 17s
are completely shot, and pretty much obsolete. I love the asymmetrical lacing on them, though, and haven't been able to find another pair of shoes that doesn't hit the nerve on the top of my right food. Since these don't have a tongue or laces, I'm hoping they will fit the bill!
So far, I really love the way they fit and can tell that they are taking my calves for a workout. I feel like I'm wearing (loud!) flippers when I run inside, but they are super comfy for everything else.
The October edition of What's Baking was hosted by Jaida of Sweet Beginnings
. In addition to hosting this month, Jaida is also our fearless leader, making sure everyone is on time with submissions and keeping us in order. I am so thankful for her and her leadership skills and don't know how she does it!
Jaida chose "scones" as this month's theme and sent a link to some sweet & savory scones to get our wheels aturnin'. Ironically, some of David's coworkers also sent him home with a bag of Pumpkin Spice M&Ms and requested that I do something with them so...scones it was!
I love pumpkin ANYTHING (including out-of-the-can-with-a-spoon), so I adapted a tried-and-true pumpkin scone recipe and included the M&Ms for a little chocolate action. The picture doesn't do them justice because, well, I used my phone and the lighting was horrible and let's be honest - brown scones aren't very pretty. But I promise they taste better than than they look!
Pumpkin Spice M&M Scones
This is the story of a girl...is that song stuck in your head now? Good.
Okay, anyways this really is a story. Of a girl who was chronically late. Except once upon a time, she woke up and got her butt in gear. She took a shower, got a lot of work done, did some laundry and kicked off the morning a most delicious peanut butter green smoothie (see: Peanut Protein Flour
. YUM). She was ready to tackle class at noon the gym, and even got everything packed up and in the car long before it was time to leave. Just before she was ready to leave, she ran downstairs for shoes and remembered a very important issue. BAM. Chicken thawed in the fridge. Nothing ready for dinner. ACK!
This is not the end of the story, but the part where I admit this girl was me. Shocking, right? So at the exact time I realized that I was without dinner, I remembered that this month's Recipe ReDux
theme is Crockpot Cookin'. PERFECT.
If you remember, last month
was my first time participating in Recipe ReDux
and I made no-bake German Chocolate Cookies
. The Recipe ReDux is the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians and focused on taking delicious dishes and keeping them delicious but making them better for you. The group was founded on the belief that healthier eating should always taste delicious, and the Latin term, "redux," which means to "revisit" or "reinvent" reflects this as member aspire to reinvent the idea of healthy eating with a taste-first approach. This is right up my alley, and I love making healthy recipes that are also delicious. So, I took advantage of the yummy produce and chicken breasts in my refrigerator to make Crockpot Greek Garlic Chicken.
Crockpot Greek Garlic Chicken Ingredients: 2 large raw chicken breasts, cubed 1 bulb (about 20 cloves) garlic unpeeled 3 large carrots, chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 1 bag frozen peppers & onion mix *or chop your own fresh - this was just convienant for me and I had it onhand. 2 cups kale, washed and roughly chopped 1/2 cup lemon juice Seasonings: to taste (oregano, black pepper, onion powder, parsley, etc.)
Directions: Season chicken with seasonings of choice, rubbing in well.
Pour all ingredients into crockpot and stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until chicken is cooked through.
"...man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
I'm pretty sure that this was not written in reference to my love of bread, and that I am thoroughly opposed to taking Bible verses out of context but...I'm pretty sure I could
live on bread alone. Recently, Udi's Gluten Free Millet-Chia Bread
piqued my attention*, so I had to check it out.Official Description:
Introducing Udi’s Ancient Grain Bread. Amidst the complexities of modern life, we returned to the land for inspiration. Baked with hearty ancient grains, this bread contains a wholesome balance of nutrients, vitamins and deliciously earthy flavors. Naturally gluten free, ancient grains have been providing nutritious happiness to global cultures for centuries, so grab a slice of ancient joy.Ingredients:
WATER, TAPIOCA STARCH, MILLET SEED, BROWN RICE FLOUR, RESISTANT CORN STARCH, EGG WHITES, NON-GMO VEGETABLE OIL (CANOLA OR SUNFLOWER OR SAFFLOWER), CHIA SEED, CANE SYRUP, RICE BRAN, ORGANIC INULIN, EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, CITRUS FIBER, YEAST, FLAX SEED, SALT, GUM (XANTHAN GUM, SODIUM ALGINATE, GUAR GUM, CARRAGEENAN, LOCUST BEAN GUM), PEA PROTEIN, DRY MOLASSES, SODIUM CARBOXYMETHYL CELLULOSE, BAKING POWDER (SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, SODIUM BICARBONATE, CORN STARCH, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), CULTURED CORN SYRUP SOLIDS (NATURAL MOLD INHIBITOR), ENZYMES. CONTAINS EGG.
For the price, this is definitely a splurge for bread, but the nutritional stats are great. If you can't eat gluten, this definitely tastes like "real bread." And if you can eat gluten, this is just plain delicious. I loved all the textures from the millet and chia and how soft the texture of the bread was. I don't have a lot of experience with gluten free products, but I have heard horror stories of gummy or insanely dense breads and this is far from either.
If you can justify the price, either for dietary reasons or just because you like good bread, this is definitely a buy it. If price is an issue, stick with what you know and like.
*for the record, I am not on the gluten free bandwagon. I think gluten is what typically makes bread delicious and I don't seem to have any problems digesting gluten. Oligosaccharides are another story.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink ribbons are everywhere (even the lids of my prescription bottles from Kroger are pink!) and there are events aplenty celebrating survivors and promoting awareness.
Last night I attended my first Junior League
general membership meeting of the year, and we heard touching (and very emotional) first-person accounts of women who were diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer and are now celebrating their four year "cancerversities." The really crazy thing about both of these accounts is how young the women were when they were diagnosed, and how each of their doctors initally told them that the lumps they found were nothing to worry about. The moral of both of their stories was toKnow, and listen to, your body.
A representative from our local Susan G. Komen
shared some interesting breast cancer facts and to-dos in regards to breast cancer. Check these out and download the PDF for a handy print out to have on hand as a reminder, or share with your friends and family (yes, men too!)
|File Size: ||615 kb|
|File Type: || pdf|1. Know your risk
- Talk to both side of your family to learn about your family health history
- Talk to your health care provider about your personal risk of breast cancer
2. Get screened
3. Know what is normal for you and see your health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes (see images
- Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
- New pain in one spot that doesn't go away
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
Breast cancer in the U.S.
Women In 2013, it is estimated that among U.S. women there will be [38
Rates of breast cancer among women vary by:
Men Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen. In 2013, it is estimated that among men in the U.S. there will be [38