Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Before the Clock Strikes Twelve

Summer feels a bit like Cinderella. Not because Cinderella had step sisters and was practically a slave, nor because she married a prince because neither of these situations correspond to my life in any way. The part of Cinderella's story I can relate to is limited time. She only had until midnight which seems to be a lengthy amount of time, but before she realized it she needed to go and was frantically running to get on her way. This summarizes my summer quite well. At the beginning I felt like I had a hefty amount of time to be able to relax and accomplish a lot of things. (For example work on this blog.) Before I could even realized it, it is the last full week of summer and I am left with a long list of things I need to blog about. I've beenthinking that maybe if i show you the list of ideas for different posts there will be a bit of accountability in it somehow. Just maybe I will force myself to get all tasks completed versus leaving pieces out on the princes steps, leaving you hanging.

Future Posts to Look For 
***Note: Some posts already have titles but just need some body editing and some are still just thoughts or ideas and have not been thought through

-Bananas… argh funny
-Ultimate brownies
-Eggs for Vegetarians
-Puff! And Then There Was Pastry
-Bird in a Coffin
-Restraunt reviews 
        -Pizza Bells
          -Figtree Cafe
         -Eden Alley
      -The Mixx
                 -The Whistle Stop
-Throw Together Go-To Meals
-Nut Butters
-Protein and Granola Bars
-Salad Pizzas
-Chard of Many Colors
-The Muffin Method vs. the Creaming Method
-Grilled Chipotle Chicken
-Lunch Sack Packs

These are just the ones that I have already started to some degree so be on the look out for even more to come! 

Popeye Would Be Green With Envy

Or maybe he would already be green from all that spinach that he ate. Spinach is such a wonderful super food but it seems to get a bad rap. While I don't think that spinach in a can is super delicious, adding fresh spinach to dishes can add some variety. (In manicotti, dips, salads, etc.) But I am not writing this post to try and get you to enjoy the flavor of spinach. No on the contrary this is about how you can eat your spinach and not taste it. How might you ask? Well put it in a smoothie, that's how! I know that the thought of drinking spinach might sound unappetizing but you can't taste the spinach at all. All you taste is a nutty sweet milkshake flavor, but you still get all the nutrition of the spinach. So you get to eat your veggies and not taste them too! That would make even Popeye a little jealous.

Green Smoothie
1 Banana that has been sliced and frozen
5.3 oz of greek yogurt (I use an 1 individual cup of dannon's plain greek yogurt)
1 tbs of peanut butter or my personal favorite, almond butter
1/2 cup of almond milk (or soy milk or cow's milk)
Lots of Spinach (approx 3ish cups)
Optional: Throw in 1/2 cup of blueberries or cherries into the blender for some added sweetness. If you are eating this as a source for a quick breakfast on the go, try throwing in a scoop of protein powder to beef it up.

This recipe isn't very set in stone so just play around with it! I place the banana, yogurt almond butter and almond milk in the blender and then fill it up to the top with spinach. Blend until smooth and enjoy!
***Note: If using plain yogurt and no fruit, you might be lacking some sweetness so I suggest adding in a few teaspoons of honey.
***Note: I like almond milk and soy milk over cow's milk because cow's milk lacks the depth of flavor that i enjoy from the other two milks.

Chocolate Fix

  • Double Chocolate Chip Mocha Cookies
  • Need i say more? These are my favorite cookies hands down. They have a chewy moist center with a crisp edge. When you are craving chocolate this is the recipe to turn to. 

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of flour


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. In another large bowl beat together butter and both sugars for several minutes until lighter in color and fluffy. (Use your stand up KitchenAid or hand held mixer) Add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Mix the coffee granules with the vanilla until they begin to dissolve. Add to the batter. Next add the cocoa. Scrape down the edge of the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Gradually stir the flour mixture into butter mixture and mix until combined. Mix chocolate chips with the 1/4 cup of remaining flour. (This will help the chips not fall to the bottom of the batter. Add the chips in and stir. 
Baking the Cookies
I like to use a large ice cream scoop and make mega sized cookies. If you do it with the ice cream scoop make sure to press a little indention into the middle of the cookies before baking so you don't end up with just a big scoop of cookie. MAking them this way will take about 15 minutes at 365 (yes I do mean 365 not 375).
You could also bake these in a 9 in square pan for 25 mins and you would have some delicious chocolate bars.
Or you can just spoon them on to a pan and bake for 10 minutes at 375. (Unless of course you are using a dark metal or non stick pan to cook them on and in that case you might want to lower the temperature by 10 or 15 degrees.)