Valentine’s Treats! And Sprinkles!

Sup eaters?

I’m going to make this a quick one because it’s all about Valentine’s Day, which means you have roughly 48 hours to make these before they become unseasonable.

First, I f’ing love Valentine’s Day! Seriously, it’s great.

You give people candy/flowers/stuffed animals/cards. You get candy/flowers/stuffed animals/cards.

And I’m not just talking about trading gifts with your better half. Until this year I’ve only given treats to my friends and that hasn’t made it any less fun.

It’s a not-so-subtle reminder to tell people you appreciate them (and to feel appreciated!) because chances are you don’t tell them enough and who gives a crap if you’re telling them on the same day as everyone else in the world.

And seriously…did I mention the cutesy, girly treats? And the sprinkles?!

valentines candy5

Sorry for the poor photos. I was too impatient to eat them to wait until the morning.

Oh the sprinkles!

So if you’re not the V-Day equivalent of a Scrooge, I HIGHLY suggest you take the less than 2 hours it took me to whip up about 5 dozen peanut butter cups and about 3 dozen pretzel bites.

I used this awesome little tutorial to make the peanut butter cups.valentines candy1

A few little fyi-s about the recipe:

A whole bag of Wilton chocolate melts will yield roughly 5 dozen chocolates.

I only used ½ c powdered sugar and used coconut oil instead of butter, which worked great.

Also, I definitely suggest you buy two candy molds.

And beyond that, make sure you let the chocolate in the bottom of the mold harden a little before you put the peanut butter in or else it’ll show through the bottom.

Oh, and don’t forget to add sprinkles as soon as you put the top layer of chocolate on.

valentines candy3The white chocolate pretzel bites are even easier than that.

All I did was crush up some pretzels in my grubby little hands and put a few pieces in the bottom of the mold. Then I spooned a bag-worth of melted white chocolate over the pretzels and added sprinkles!valentines candy2

Have I mentioned that I love sprinkles?

Because I really do.

I made all of these little cuties on Saturday and then passed most of them out that night. And while it did take me about two hours from start to finish it certainly wasn’t a grueling two hours.

You could easily do this after a day at work when you brain is a little mushy. Which means…you have no excuse not to make something cute for Valentine’s Day.valentines candy4

But if for some crazy reason you actually have other things to do — like cleaning or having a social life — and you don’t make these little cuties by Thursday then just swap the sprinkles for something more all-occasion and you’re golden.

Like Willy Wonka’s chocolate.

(That worked in my head. Just go with it.)

Your turn, eaters:

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?

Which chocolate will you keep for yourself — peanut butter cups or pretzel bites?

Later eaters!

Paleo Cookie Cake

Hiya eaters!

I could talk about how terrible the massacre in Connecticut was. I could talk about how unbelievably gut wrenching the idea of someone killing dozens of completely innocent children is. But, I’m not going to.

I’m much more of a fan of doing extra living in times of tragedy.

And luckily, this weekend I got to do lots of living because a bunch of friends rented a lake house for the weekend.

We ate lots of pizza.

Drank far too much.

Lounged in a hot tub.

It was fantastic!

And now I’m detoxing from all the fun by drinking liters of water and eating a massive salad.

Mmmmweekend.

But if you aren’t detoxing from beer Olympics and eating two pizzas in one day or if you’re still looking for some festive living, here’s that paleo (I think) cookie cake recipe I teased you with on Wednesday.

Possibly Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

First, is agave paleo? I’ve got no clue. Second, this can definitely be paleo if you want to splurge on egg protein instead of the more common whey protein. I know GNC has AWESOME egg protein.

Also, this was adapted from this Purely Twins recipe.

1 ½ c almond flour

½ c vanilla protein

½ t salt

2 eggs

3 T agave

½ c coconut oil

½ c apple sauce

1 T vanilla extract

large handful of chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or carob chips

a few shakes of rainbow sprinkles

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix all the ingredients together.

Grease an 8”-9” cake pan and bake in a 350F oven for 20-23 minutes.

Once the cake has cooled slice it up and dig it.

I suggest slicing it into 6 pieces because this cookie cake just happens to be perfectly Zone balanced at 12 total blocks, meaning that you can easily enjoy a 2 block slice.

And if you’re feeling extra festive I suggest mixing a little bit of honey and vanilla with some Greek yogurt to make icing.

Because what’s cookie cake without icing?

So here’s to living a little more in the face of realizing just how lucky we all are to be living.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your favorite style of cake — cookie, traditional, or ice cream?

What’s your favorite part of the cake — cake or icing?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Squat Tabatas

Hiya eaters!

So I had a realization today: I’m bored.

My homework is done. I didn’t work today. I don’t have errands or crafts to do.

So you know what I did to fill my time? I did lots of dishes.

This is what it has come to.


Breakfast:

Two sunny side up eggs, a clementine, and a slice of Irish soda bread with a healthy schmear of butter.

Leon made corned beef and soda bread on Monday night, so I just had to have some leftover soda bread for breakfast. Schmeared with a thick pat of really good local butter, of course.

Dog walk:

Charlie is getting progressively crazier on his walks. His new trick yesterday was running up the side of a hill and then body surfing down it.

Charlie the body surfer.

I would probably be annoyed if he wasn’t the cutest little dummy.

Lunch:

I forgot to take a picture because I didn’t eat until something like 3:30. But it was a salad of red leaf lettuce topped with orange bell pepper, avocado, bacon, cheddar cheese, and steamed broccoli.

It was delicious. But then, when isn’t bacon on a salad a good thing?

Crossfit:

Last night’s class was a lower body killer!

Warm up: 3 rounds

Run ½ mile

10 empty barbell (which is 30#) behind the head overhead presses

15 empty barbell good mornings

10 empty barbell overhead squats

Yup, it’s the warmest warm up in town!

(That’s what we all say whenever the warm up is especially hard.)

WOD:

#HoorayCrossfit!

O’m’gah! Those squats killed me. I seriously almost couldn’t walk after each tabata. But, despite feeling like a cripple turtle on the run, I was able to run an 8:50 mile. Sure, that’s 28 seconds slower than my PR, but I’ll take it.

Appetizer:

Lay's, you will be the death of me.

Why do I buy chips? It never ends well.

Dinner:

Blackened catfish and roasted broccoli and brussels sprouts.

Sometimes Leon and I pretend to be healthy by eating fish and vegetables.

After dinner snack:

A slice of the cookie bar-cake thing I made yesterday.

Following my manifesto beliefs, this is not dessert because it’s actually almost healthy. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s the hardest workout you’ve done lately?

When do you normally eat lunch?

G’night eaters!

A Food Manifesto

‘Ello eaters!

I hope you enjoyed my pictures from last night. As you can tell, I’ve very proud.

Hell, I’m very proud anytime I can do something on the computer. I’m a bit of a Luddite, don’t ya know.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about my views on food. They’ve obviously changed over the years, especially since I’ve had this blog. And while I’m absolutely positive they will change more over the years, I figured it was worth tacking them down as they as now.

Kind of like a manifesto time capsule, if that makes sense.

So, without further ado, here’s my food manifesto as it stands today, December 11, 2012.

Sprinkles don’t have calories. Or carbs.

Eat one serving of fruits or vegetables at every meal.

Bacon should be thick cut and crispy.

Food becomes exponentially better when you eat it with your hands.

Condiments make food exponentially better.

Any cut of BBQ pork is the right cut as long as it’s saucy.

The more colorful the food the healthier it is, with regards to fruits and vegetables.

Tofu is not just for vegetarians.

Salads are the best packed lunches.

Eat at least one snack a day.

Dessert isn’t healthy. If it’s healthy than it’s not dessert, it’s an after dinner snack.

Never skip meals.

Nuts should be roasted and salted.

Donuts are a perfect food.

When you don’t know what to say, bake a cake.

Smoked paprika is the best spice, second only to pepper.

Cheese.

Strawberry banana is a very over used flavor combination.

It’s always worth it to make it from scratch. At least once in your life.

Eat locally and seasonally; it’s cheaper, among other things.

Never turn down crusty bread.

Pizza is also a perfect food.

Sausage is not just for ball games and barbeques.

Wine should be dry and shared.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things that I have lots of other views on food, those are all I can think of.

Your turn, eaters:

What are some of your views on food?

Any of my views that you disagree with?

G’night eaters! 

Two Tips Tuesday

G’evening eaters!

I’m fading fast, despite the fact that I really didn’t do anything today. But you’ll hear about all that tomorrow.

I promised you two tips/tricks from my Thanksgiving and here they are. (Oh, and this isn’t going to become a regular thing. I just like alliteration and triplets so I added “Tuesday” to the title.)

1) Everyone loves risotto, right? It’s thick and creamy and unbelievably comforting.

Unfortunately, the way it’s usually made require lots of milk and cream and butter and cheese. Now if you know me at all, you know that I don’t have a problem with any of those things, but they can be the kind of specialty ingredient that go bad after you’ve used the splash or two a recipe calls for. And they’re not super flavorful on their own, so you have to add extra ingredients. And if you’re cooking for a crowd then chances are at least one person is going to be vegan, lactose intolerant, or doesn’t like cow’s milk.

That’s a whole lot of reasons not to make risotto.

Or it could be a whole lot of reasons to make risotto with broth and pureed soup!

Yup, that’s my risotto trick. I forgo the dairy and alternate splashes of broth (chicken or vegetable, depending on the crowd you’re serving) and pureed soup.

For Thanksgiving I used some butternut squash soup and vegetable broth to accommodate my vegan guest. And just for funsies I chopped up a mix of dried wild mushrooms and tossed them in dry. They soaked up the liquid and added a little mushroomy background without adding lots of blah tasting water, like if you soak them before hand.

That mushroom bit is another trick I use often, but that’s not the second trick for tonight. Nope…

2) Does your chocolate ever seize up when you’re trying to melt it? It happens to me about half the time and, honestly, I’ve got no clue why. Here’s what happened on Thanksgiving in case any of you can tell me:

I was melting dark chocolate chips with coconut oil in a crock pot. Everything was melting just fine. I decided to thin out the chocolate a bit with coconut milk. And immediately it seized up into an angry little ball.

Like I said, I’ve got no clue why that happened. Chocolate is a mystery to me.

But now, at least I know that adding a little room temperature brewed coffee helps smooth out seized chocolate. Luckily I had some on hand and after a little stirring the chocolate was almost as good as new. It wasn’t perfect, but it certainly wasn’t an angry little ball of fucked up-ness like it was before.

And that’s all I’ve got for you tonight. I’m sure at least one of these tips will eventually come in handy. Heck, if I was better at this whole internet thing I could make some awesome pinterest-able graphic.

But if I was better at this whole internet thing I probably wouldn’t cuss so much, so I’ll call it a draw.

Your turn, eaters:

Got any good little tips for me?

What’s something you wish you had a magic tip for?

G’night eaters!

Pre-Thanksgiving Feast

Hi eaters.

It’s been a long and slightly painful day, thanks to a visit to the chiropractor.

But Leon bought me pie for dinner dessert and now my dog is lying on top of my leg (yes, just the one leg) so I’m pretty happy.

Now let’s talk Thanksgiving, shall we?!

Dinner was set for 3pm on Saturday, so the cooking started on Thursday. And the bulk of it was done of Friday. But we still had plenty of cooking to do Saturday morning.

I'm in my cooking crevice.

So while Leon and I cooked, Mother set the table.

Light and airy, just like I like it.

As you can see, I kept it all very simple. I fell in love with the idea of butcher paper and crayons, so that’s exactly what we did.

Crayons in reused jars, because they're classier than the crayon box.

And then I went around and wrote everyone’s name above his or her plate. (Fyi, “his or her” is the proper pronoun here, not “their.” #WordNerd)

While everyone was mingling we snacked on a little appetizer plate of cheese and crackers and dips and a bowl of candied almonds that Leon made.

Three cheeses. Three spreads. Two crackers.

Please don’t confuse the three cheeses and three dips as any sort of pairing. The only thing that was even slightly paired was the goat’s milk brie and mixed berry jam.

And finally, after a long morning and one last frantic cooking spree, dinner was served.

The most beautiful bird I've ever seen.

On the menu:

Guinness roasted turkey, sausage and cornbread stuffing, Eureka Paprika split pea soup, mashed potatoes, balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts, wild mushroom and butternut squash risotto, cranberry chutney (a simpler version than the recipe I posted here), a massaged kale salad with roasted acorn squash, 1/3 whole wheat rolls, gravy, and maple butter.

Yes, that is our unused flat sheet used as a tablecloth.

I think that’s it. I’ll be posting recipes for a lot of those dishes this week, so stay tuned.

I piled my plate high and ate every bite. And surprisingly, I didn’t feel grossly full. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that everything save for the turkey, stuffing, and gravy was vegan.

So.Freaking.Good.

Mother’s boyfriend is vegan and I certainly don’t mind vegan food, obviously. And once Leon agreed to make mashed potatoes with Earth Balance and coconut milk we were set.

Anyway, everything turned out really, surprisingly well. The Brussels sprouts were a touch underdone, but that was the only glitch so I was beyond thrilled.

I was so thrilled by how well everything went that all day I was walking around punching the air and yelling “O’Doyles rule!” (Two points if you can tell me what movie that’s from.)

Everyone retired to the RV for a while (Did I mention that Mother and her boyfriend drove up in his giant RV?) to watch the NC State vs Clemson game. I took a little nap first. And then we had dessert.

Dippables.

I know I was talking in my earlier post about bourbon sweet potato casserole and vegan coconut nutmeg pudding. But when I thought about it, I really didn’t need another complicated thing to the list of things to cook. So I went easy. Really easy.

Thanks to this fondue, I've got a really awesome chocolate tip to post about.

And it doesn’t get easier than chocolate fondue in a crockpot, let me tell you.

The only problem with chocolate fondue is that there are no leftovers, hence the pie for dinner tonight.

Possibly the best part of the whole day, though, was that Mother did ALL the dishes. But then, Charlie’s bow tie is a close second.

Isn't he handsome?

What do you think, eaters:

Could you vegan-ize or mostly vegan-ize your Thanksgiving feast? What wouldn’t you compromise on?

What would be the best thing a house guest could give you/do for you?

G’night eaters!

PS — Seriously, get ready for as many Thanksgiving recipes as I can cram in before Thanksgiving.

WIAW: Lots of Candy

Hiya eaters!

I hope last night wasn’t too heavy for you. Sometimes I just get in a mood.

But right now, I’m in the mood to celebrate. I just finished making the hat for my costume. I’ve eaten a lot of candy. I’m about to go out and drink free beer from a bar. (How this bar is making money having a free keg of beer almost every week is beyond me, but that’s irrelevant.)

So let’s go.


Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats
Breakfast #1:

365 creamy pb and an apple.

I skipped Crossfit on Monday to further recover from Saturday’s WOD, so I was ready and raring to go yesterday.

Also, someone once told me that if you store oil separating nut butter upside down after the initial stir you won’t have to stir it again. So far it’s worked for me.

Crossfit:

Strength WOD.

Yesterday’s WOD was good and bad.

Good, because I reached a new deadlift PR of 133#.

Bad, because my right lower back started hurting really bad (and it is definitely still hurting now). my coach thinks it might be my sacrum. Any stretching/healing recommendations?

Breakfast #2:

Savory oats with swiss chard and black bean dip topped with two fried eggs and avocado.

You can’t tell, but under those eggs are a 1/3 c serving of savory oats made with lots of swiss chard and a spoonful of Trader Joe’s black bean dip.

Walk:

Later I took Charlie, my dog, on his long walk for the day. During this walk he sniffed and lunged after almost every leaf we passed.

I love fall leaves and ivy hills.

Which was a lot.

And then he proceed to freak the eff out over this rabbit statue. We’ve passed it plenty of times before, but this time he just did not like it.

The object of my dog's fear.

He had his butt hair up and everything, which is how you know when he’s really upset.

Notice the raised neck AND butt hair.

I, of course, thought it was hilarious.

Lunch:

Pork roast with baked apples.

Oh, I love leftovers. I heated the pork and apples up with some of their juices plus a little butter and it was delicious. Then I let Charlie lick the plate, because it would have been impolite if I’d licked the plate.

Snack:

Reese's and Almond Joy.

I made the mistake of, a couple of days BEFORE Halloween, buying a 125-piece assorted bag with Almond Joy, Cookies & Crème, Whoppers, Reese’s, and plain Hershey’s.

And now, since my ferocious guard dog has scared off the two sets of trick-or-treaters we’ve gotten all night, I’m probably going to end up eating it all.

Wish me luck.

Dinner:

Baked potato soup with all the fixins'.

Kath’s post yesterday really got me craving potato soup, so that was dinner last night.

Dessert:

4 mini packages of Whoppers, totaling 12 Whoppers.

These were eaten in an attempt to procrastinate cleaning the kitchen. It didn’t work.

And that’s all she wrote, folks.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you buy trick-or-treater candy that you like or the things you don’t like so you won’t eat it all?

How do you like your eggs?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Model Muffin

G’day eaters!

Today has been a bit of a whirlwind and I feel like I haven’t got much of anything done. So I should probably do something productive before I go out to a bar and drink and eat my face off.

Ready…Set…GO!


Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats
Breakfast:

Half a honey crisp and pb.

I decided to fully embrace this unexpected leisure time and go to the 10:00am Crossfit class, which meant a real, whole breakfast before hand.

Swiss chard and scrambled eggs.

Yup, this is my idea of leisure.

Crossfit:

We did “Collin,” which is:

6 rounds

400m run carrying a 20 lbs wall ball

12 push presses with 53 lbs

12 box jumps with a 20” box

12 sumo deadlift high pulls with 45 lbs

This damn benchmark nearly killed me. It wouldn’t have been half as bad were it not for that damn wall ball. It was so awkward to carry that I couldn’t really run at all. I spent every round of “running” thinking about how much easier it would have been if I were carrying almost anything else — a 20 lbs kettlebell, 2 10-lbs weight plates, a 20 lbs weighted vest.

I joked about that with my coach after I finished and then he pointed out that that was the point — it was supposed to be the hardest possible version of everything. That’s what makes it a hero WOD.

Duh!

Lunch:

Pork, cheddar cheese, apple, bell pepper, spicy salad mix, and BBQ sauce.

Apple, cheese, and BBQ is one of my favorite food combinations. And surprisingly, I even liked the “spicy” lettuce mix that I got from my CSA in this combination.

Fun fact: I really kind of hate arugula and, as of about a year ago, raw spinach makes me gaggy.

Snack:

Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese.

So much muffin batter. And some cheese.

Almost Paleo Apple Almond Muffin with pb.

And then the model muffin, because it already had pb on it.

Dinner:

Bak choy, eggplant, and pork stir fry with Trader Joe's green curry simmer sauce over rice.

Neither Leon and I were feeling overly ambitious and we had a ton of bok choy to use up, so a stir fry sounded perfect.

Dessert:

I poured some of the chocolate chips that now live on my nightstand directly into my mouth.

Have I mentioned that my life is awesome? Because it is.

What do you think, eaters:

What food lives in your bedroom?

How do you feel about “heroic” workouts?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Heavy Cream for Survival

Hiya eaters!

As you read this I will either be speeding down the highway (but not more than 5 miles above the speed limit because speeding is bad, right Papa?) on my way to the Dirty Dirty (AKA my hometown of Macon, Georgia) or I’ll be sitting at the kitchen counter, eating chips and salsa with my mom while some crappy Bravo TV show plays in the background.

Either way, I’ll be super freaking happy!

I haven’t been home since April and I haven’t seen my mom since…the very end of May when she drove up to drop off furniture.

And then on Saturday I’m going to have fun times with my absolute best friend, Coco!

Can you tell I’m super freaking jazzed?

Because I am!

But since I’m writing this at my kitchen counter wearing my dry workout clothes (because I was too slow to make it to Crossfit on time) with a very empty suitcase waiting for me in my bedroom, I’m going to make this snappy!


Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats
Breakfast #1:

Carrot and pb.

Duh.

Crossfit:

As I mentioned yesterday, Crossfit sucked. BUT I worked hard the entire 30 minutes of the AMRAP, so I can’t be too upset.

Breakfast #2:

Scrambled eggs with Swiss chard and "spicy salad mix" with cheese, and a Clementine.

I know I said I was getting sick of this breakfast, but it was almost good yesterday with a switch in greens and a little cheese.

Also, first Clementine of the season.

Lunch/Snack:

A Pure Protein bar I swiped from Papa. (Thanks!)

I ate breakfast late and had work from 1-5, so there was never a good time to eat again. I grabbed this bar and ate it at work.

Snack #2:

A cheese-stuffed burger patty with A1 sauce wrapped in a Swiss chard leaf, and a few animal crackers.

My stepmom gave Leon and I a big bag of leftover cheese-stuffed burger patties from the party and I have been loving them in these little greens wrap/glove.

Dinner:

A half eaten "tostada" thing — blue corn tortillas, Trader Joe's black bean dip, peppers and onions and hot peppers, ground beef, and Wholly Guacamole.

This dinner ended up being rather traumatic because I apparently got the vast majority of the hot peppers. That would have been fine back in the day, but my heat tolerance has dropped dramatically. And then a big hunk of hot pepper hit me right in the back of the throat and I was almost down for the count.

But then I remember that we had some heavy cream in the fridge, so I chugged a bit of that. (Which was gross, especially after having not drank straight dairy in close to a decade.)

A shot glass for heavy cream.

I thought I was fine after that, but the peppers kept coming so I ended up with a shot glass of heavy cream to sip on.

Yup, I am in fact winning at life. Thanks for asking.

Dessert:

I shoveled some chocolate chips straight into my mouth. They were tasty.

The end.

Your turn, eaters:

How high is your heat tolerance?

What’s your favorite kind of green?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Cheesy

Hellooo eaters!

I’m smack dab in the middle of another busy day and I’m trying to keep myself pumped up and going.

Ya know, #SoProductiveItHurts.

So let’s do this…


Breakfast #1:

Self explanatory.

Do you know what this means?

It means I finally bit the bullet and went to Crossfit at 6:30am on a day when I worked 10am-3pm and then went to class from 4pm-8pm. And I’m so glad I did because…

Crossfit:

I don’t remember anything about Crossfit yesterday except for the fact that I DID KIPPING PULL UPS!

I did several pairs of kipping pull ups. And I was so shocked and excited when I got that first one that I almost jumped down off the bar.

It was freaking awesome!

Breakfast #2:

Savory oats with spinach, cheese, chia seeds, and a fried egg.

Can you tell that my fridge is getting bare?

Oh well, this was tasty and pretty darn close to Zone balanced.

Snack #1:

A carrot with sunflower seed butter. Half a cheese on rye sandwich. Assorted Jelly Bellys.

I didn’t get to take my break and eat my snack until much later than I had hoped, so I went with the carrot and sunflower seed butter and DIDN’T scrape the container clean in hopes of not ruining my appetite for lunch.

Lunch:

Leftover seitan chili with cheese.

Leftovers are my favorite, especially when I can use someone’s microwave to heat them up.

Ya, I don’t have a microwave.

Snack #2:

After my second cup of coffee and my first class I scarfed down my mini cheese on rye sandwich with a side of Jelly Belly. Then I spent two hours playing with text on Photoshop.

Dinner:

Baked chicken breast stuffed with balsamic Swiss chard, and roasted red and sweet potatoes.

This was already in the oven by the time I got home from school, which was beyond wonderful.

Dessert:

A sliver of cake and an extra hot cup of tea ended my night and warmed me up a bit in my extra cold house.

Did I mention the gas for our heat isn’t getting turned on until Monday? Yeah, this cold business is getting old.

Side note — Did you see how I managed to work cheese into most of my meals/snacks yesterday? I only missed breakfast #1, snack #1, and dinner. Oh, and dessert. Does that make me a winner?

Your turn, eaters:

Do you eat dessert at home?

How many cups of coffee do you drink a day? How many is too many? Same question about cheese.

Later eaters!