Getting Motivated

As you know, I have been following Jamie Eason’s LiveFit program for a little while now. In fact, today was slotted to be Day 23- Back and Biceps. However, after I rolled out of bed, I was just not feeling it. I wasn’t actually feeling the gym at all today. With achy, sore muscles, the last thing I felt like doing was “pumping iron.” Vegging on the couch sounded fantastic. I mean, it is officially football season.

(Source)

OSU vs. Miami kicks off game season, baby! Can I get a O-H-I-O!?!?

Even Ellie tried to convince me to stay home today. She crawled on my lap while I was putting my sneakers on, and it took more than just a little coaxing to get her off.

It’s so hard to say no to that sweet little face.

I did manage to get myself moving, though. I am a firm believer that getting going is one of the hardest things about working out. Plus, I can’t say that I’ve ever regretted a workout.

Workout:

I began with a solid 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. I decided to forgo the intervals today, but I did want to work my quads, so I set my machine for a steady climb workout. I know ellipticals vary, but I set my incline at 10 and my resistance at 10-11. I was feeling the burn!

By the time I was ready to lift, I was still not feeling it. I’m not sure if it was the arm soreness or that I am getting a little bored with the repetition of the program, but I just wasn’t excited to do it today. So I did something that did interest me. (Why do something you don’t really want to do, eh? Working out should be fun!)

I stumbled across the blog Back On Pointe the other day, and I found some workouts that look interesting. I gave this one a shot today:

The verdict: I think I might have to complete 2 or 3 rounds of the entire circuit next time to get its full benefit. I was really feeling those Russian twists and planks, but I definitely didn’t get as sweaty as I usually do during circuits. Still, I think you might be seeing a few more of Back On Ponite’s workouts on here in the future.

I finished off with some stretching in the Y’s aerobic studio. I was secretly very excited to see that Yoga was canceled this morning. For once, I finally got to feel like a dancer again. Ballet barre, polished floors (no marley, but I’m not complaining) . . . I felt at home again.

I love that photo. πŸ™‚ I think that’s how I will always feel. Dancing is more fulfilling than walking for me!

The rest of my day was spent getting things done around the house. I vacuumed, mopped, organized, returned emails . . . but I won’t bore you with all of that. However, I did do something that just might strike your fancy.

Muddy Buddy Rice Krispy Treats

We have had marshmallows in our cupboard for ages (and we are not a marshmallow eating family), and since no one has been touching the box of Rice Krispies, I put two and two together: Rice Krispy Treats! Yet, regular ol’ rice krispy treats weren’t gonna cut it today. So, I found the perfect recipe on Pinterest.

Muddy Buddy Rice Krispy Treats

(Source: Cooking Classy)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1 (10.5 oz) pkg. mini marshmallows
  • 6 C Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 C chocolate (I used semi sweet, but milk can also be used)
  • 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 C powdered sugar

Directions:

  • Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium/low heat.
  • Add in marshmallows, stirring constantly until melted.
  • Remove from heat and add in cereal. Stir until well coated.
  • Spread “batter” into prepared baking dish. (Use a buttered spatula to smooth and even everything out).
  • In a microwaveable bowl, combine chocolate and peanut butter. Microwave, stirring every 30 second, until melted.
  • Spread over Krispy Treats.
  • Using a fine mesh sieve, sprinkle powdered sugar over top. (I didn’t do this because I don’t own a sieve. I just threw it on!)
  • Cut into squares and enjoy!

Told ya it would strike your fancy.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

Question of the Day:

  • What do you do to help yourself get motivated to go to the gym?

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Simple Pleasures

I started my day off right today: I met one of my very best friends, Kelly, for a workout at our old high school track. We are both running in the Santa Hustle this December, so we wanted to make sure to pencil in a workout together while she is in town. However, this morning was more than simply running laps on the track. No, no. Kelly’s a power house. We did circuits. I wasn’t complaining, though. I must say I’ve grown to really love circuit workouts in terms of exercise regimens. They are faced paced and really keep me on my toes.

“Circuits are so monotonous and boring,” said NO ONE EVER.

Here’s a recap of our morning wake-up workout:

Spending time with friends and the wonderful endorphin-filled happiness you get following a great workout are just two of the small, rewarding little pleasures in life that I adore.

Speaking of little pleasures, I saw Julie do an “A to Z” survey on her blog awhile ago, where she would use each letter in the alphabet to list something that brought her joy, and I have been wanting to do it for myself for some time now.

So, why not today? It’s Friday. It’s sunny. AND we are all just about to enjoy a nice, long weekend! Why not celebrate the good things, eh?

Here we go!

Simple Pleasures: A to Z

A- Adventure. I love finding adventure in life. It’s what makes life thrilling and interesting. From exploring a new culture to something as small as trying a new food, I want to experience all that the world has to offer.

B- Blogging. Although I only began blogging (regularly) a little while ago, I absolutely love it. It gives me a chance to write (and keep those muscles working!), and it has also become a great way to reflect on my thoughts/random ponderings. Plus, it gives me an excuse to cook and bake! Yuuzzzz!

C- Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. The season just brings me the warm fuzzies! It’s so jolly- the music, the decorations, the cute made-for-TV movies, abcfamily’s 25 Days of Christmas, the family time . . . ahhhh! I’m getting so excited just thinking about it!

D- Dancing. It is my form of self expression, besides writing/blogging, of course. I have always felt at home in a dance studio or on stage. I actually really miss doing it every day.

Look at little me! That’s a dance costume, don’t worry.

E- Ellie. My little goofball princess of a pup. She brightens my day every time I see her. How could she not? As soon as I walk through the door she is wiggling and wagging her little furry body. All she desires in life is affection, and she always returns the favor.

F- Faith. I’m still working on growing in my faith, but it brings me so much comfort to spend time with others who have fully given themselves to God.

G- Gage . . . or gum. No, I’ll have to go with Gage. πŸ˜‰ As different as we are, he is my big bro, and I love him dearly. He has always looked out for me, and he was quite the awesome playmate when we were younger. He would actually play with Barbies with me! (He’s gonna kill me for revealing that . . . I love ya Gage!) Although he doesn’t say it much, I know he loves me back.

We are at a Renaissance fair. Hence, the pirate costume. At least I don’t think he wears this garb everyday . . .

H- Honey Bunches of Oats with Cinnamon Clusters. Best cereal of all time. Enough said.

I- Ice Cream. I think all of you know by now that I have an undying love for ice cream. It is, by far, my all-time favorite dessert. If I am eating it at home, I always opt for Edy’s. My personal specialty is mixing a scoop of cookie dough with double fudge brownie. It’s ALL about the chunks of baked morsels for me. So good. However, Ohio is the bomb diggity for superb ice cream parlors. Ummm, hello: Graeter’s and Jeni’s. Yes, be jealous.

J- Jokes. I love to laugh- it can cure a multitude of things. (Well, that and ice cream)

He he he πŸ™‚

K- Kisses. Some of my favorites come from this little bit:

L- Learning something new. There’s so much out there to learn and so much to explore. As one of my teachers used to say, “If you ever need to humble yourself, go to the library and walk through the aisles.” It just goes to show you how little you know and have read.

M- Madre. She’s my best friend. We get each other’s crazy quirks, and we love each other no matter what. Always and forever.

N- Netflix. I am a big fan of their TV show offerings.

O- Outside. I love the smell of freshly cut grass and the soft, squishy feel of soil beneath my feet. I love the way the sun kisses my face with its warming rays, and I love the sound of rain lightly tapping on my window. Believe it or not, I also love snow and seeing how my breath can hover in the crisp, cold air.

P- Poppa. With a contagious, warm and hearty laugh, my Poppa never fails to make me smile. He has always been one of my greatest support systems and has never stopped believing in me.

Q- Quirky conversations. These are always in full supply whenever I hang around my friends Katie, Sarah, and Emily. I love them. I get an ab workout just from laughing.

R- Recipes. With my love of cooking and baking, I am always down for trying out new recipes. Maybe someday I will begin creating my own!

S- Spinning. I am a spin class addict. I love to feel the burn and work up a sweat!

T- Texting. I’m sorry, but I have to come clean. I am a texting lover. In fact, I am a much better texter than phone talker- I can never sit still and keep my full attention on the conversation. I pace and fidget and doodle . . . Plus, nothing puts a smile on my face like a random, funny text from a friend. πŸ™‚

U- Uncle B. Best uncle EVER. I admire him so much, and he has been such a great support system these past few years. I miss him every day.

V- Vacation! Madre and I leave for Cancun this Wednesday- I’m pumped!

W- Wine. Nothing beats a nice glass of red wine after a long day. Oh, maybe if you add a bubble bath or a chick flick.

Best Riesling ever!

X- uhhhh????? X is such a silly letter. Let’s just go with X-tra comfy sweats and t-shirts. It’s what I wear almost everyday.

Y- Yummy yummy PEANUT BUTTER. Sorry, that one is a stretch, but I couldn’t forget the sheer delight pb brings to my life!

Z- ZONA! As a U of A grad, I have to give a shout out to my alma mater. Bear Down!

(Source)

Questions of the Day:

  • What simple things bring you happiness?
  • Do you have a favorite circuit workout?

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A Busy Bee as of Late

I’m beat. That’s all I can say. This week has been jam-packed for me!

I really can’t complain though. Most of my summer has been on the boring and uneventful side. I suppose life has just decided to make up for some lost time, eh?

I had planned on squeezing in a quick post yesterday, but time quickly got away from me. I actually don’t think I sat down until about 8pm yesterday . . . and that was to eat dinner with some beautiful gals.

Anyway, shall I fill you in a little?

Well, I started off my Wednesday with a bang and hit the pavement for morning run. Yes, it’s been awhile, but I decided I needed to officially get my butt in gear and start conditioning for that half marathon in December. I will give myself a small pat on the back, though. Well, let’s call it a brief tap, because I surprised myself a bit with logging in a good 4 miles. Granted, they were a s-l-o-w 4 miles, but I was running! How does that saying go . . . something about no matter how far or fast you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch. I like that philosophy. πŸ™‚

Ah! Here we go.

Speaking of inspirational poster type images. I saw this one the other day and thought it would be good to share.

After a quick breakfast of oatmeal (made with almond milk and banana, of course), I headed off to work.

Now, I had no clue what event I was working when my manager asked me to work. I just knew I had to be at the cafe at 10am. So I figured, 10am? . . .Β  probably a casual business lunch onsite. Well, guess what? Not the case. I was working a Plated! (not buffet, but assembled plates that you need to serve to all guests in as little amount of time possible) lunch at a historic theatre in town. Holy Guacamole! Oh, and to add to that: there were no cooks in that day. The owner was doing everything himself! I did help him slice some chicken breasts for the salad after I arrived. I felt so honored . . . just kidding!

Oh, but look what I discovered in the kitchen.

Mmmmmmmmm

I did learn another new factoid while I was working: historic theatres do not often have ramps. Thus, I was the designated lifter among the group and had to help my boss carry huge, 7ft. hot boxes up and down grated steps. (Along with the many other quite cumbersome catering equipment). I was sweating by the time we had everything unloaded. However, the plus side: I didn’t need to go lift at the Y afterwards.

Thankfully, the event did not turn out as bad as I first imagined. In fact, it was pretty enjoyable after the rush to serve the guests was over. We quickly solved all the little road bumps that came up, and the guests seemed to really enjoy the food. Gotta love those events.

My day didn’t slow down after work, though. However, this was a good thing: I joined two of my other friends/fellow bridesmaids at Katie’s parents’ house for a bridesmaids dress fitting and dinner soiree. With chicken taco salad and margaritas highlighting the night, you know we had a good time. And the dresses? Beautiful! I think they will look great on any body type and are super comfortable. Perfect for my dancing pleasure! πŸ˜‰ Good pick, Katie.

If you are looking for a dress,ModCloth is where it’s at. Check ’em out!

Okay, now to today’s events.

Well, this morning was an early one. I had a pre-surgery appointment at an out-of-town hospital. Don’t worry. It’s nothing major. I am just having a cyst removed on my left wrist . . . I apologize, that sounds disgusting. At least I didn’t mention an even nastier word. Like goiter. I hate that word. yuuughhhhhhh. Gross. Anyway, I’ve had it for 7+ years now, and it’s time for it to go. So that will be happening on the 13th of next month. (Oooo, I’m glad it’s not a Friday!) I will have to wear a splint for about two weeks though. That will be interesting. I am sure I will be sharing some funny bloopers with y’all involving that thing. I think it might take my klutz factor to the next level . . . not to mention trying to cater events with it. Hmmmm . . . we shall see.

Thankfully, I was able to squeeze in a trip to the gym after my appointment. I completed a 40 minute session on the elliptical machine before heading over to the weights to conquer Day 22 of the LiveFIt program.

Again, I do like this program and love that it gives me direction, but I am starting to get a little bored with the repetition. I really need to get on my fitness research. I will put that on my to-do list Now!

The rest of my afternoon was spent with my Gma. I feel bad that she has been stuck inside the house this week- usually I have tons and tons of free time. I did get her out and about a little, though. First, we ate at good ol’ Arby’s since she loves their reubens. I tried their roasted turkey salad and didn’t think it was too bad. (I know, I keep forgetting to snap pics). Then we headed over to T.J. Maxx to browse a bit before stopping by Primrose (a retirement-type community) to sign her lease! Yes, Gma is moving closer to us. I think it will be a great change for all of us. Primrose looks like it is an exceptional place to live, and it will be so much more comforting to have her (Gma) close by.

I hope to fit in some baking yet tonight, but I still have to make dinner yet! Phew. Ultimately, this girl hopes to relax a little bit AND hit the hay early. I don’t know if it will happen, but it’s my goal.

Until tomorrow!

Questions for the day:

  • What’s your favorite inspirational quote/philosophy?
  • Do you have any words that gross you out or just can’t stand?

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Gonna be a Bright Sun-shining Day

I absolutely love days that turn around for the better. They are precious little morsels of sunshine that should be treasured. They excite the same pleasure as waking up to sun streaming in through your curtains after weeks of drear and drizzle. Or finding you have more ice cream in your freezer when you though you ran out. OR discovering that the shoes you have been eyeing for weeks are on sale . . . for 80% off.

I love those moments.

Thankfully, today was one of those “on the up and up” days for me. Finally. I hate to sound pessimistic, but positive days have been few and far between for me and my family these past few months. (Or more, but I won’t get into THAT). However, I didn’t think that would be the case when I woke up this morning . . . if you can even call it that.

I went to bed last night thinking that I would hit my pillow and be out like a light. Not the case. I think I may have clocked in a good two hours of restless sleep at best, and if you know anything about me, lack of sleep does not a happy Dallas make.

I was surrounded by a groggy fog the entire morning. My visit to the doctor’s office consisted of an occasional mumble and nod, and my morning to-do list was slowly checked off while I fought the urge to crawl back into bed. I couldn’t afford to risk falling asleep and plunging deeper into a hazy daze, because 1) naps only leave me feeling more distraught and out of sorts IF I can even slow my brain down enough to sleep, and 2) I had to go to the gym.

However, as much as my energy was lagging, the gym proved to be my first happy pick-me-up of the day.

Why?

This girl got to lead the class today. And yes, I did kick their butts. It was an absolute blast. I have to admit, I was nervous going into it, but as soon as we started spinning, I really got into it. It was fantastic to see everyone really work and man, they were sweating! They did make fun of me a bit because I guess I can’t call out cues without a smile. What can I say? I’m a smiley girl.

Anyway, after class I got my next bit of exciting news: I have an interview tomorrow.

That’s right! I can’t say that it’s my dream job or anything, but it is something. It’s all about baby steps remember? The interview itself is with a staffing agency, but the agency does all of the hiring (or most of it) for Nationwide Insurance. So I am supposedly talking with them tomorrow about an Administrative/Clerical position. Cross your fingers for me? Maybe your toes, too? πŸ˜‰

I wrapped up my evening by registering for my first half marathon: the Santa Hustle.

It takes place at Cedar Point, and we get to run in Santa beards and hats! What a way to kick off the holiday season! (Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas? I’m pretty much infatuated with the season. So jolly and merry . . . oh, I can’t wait). I am running with my friend Kelly, so that will make it even better. Although, she is a crazy good runner. So I might be left in her dust. But hey, I will be happy as long as I finish. I need to start training!

Oh, and I also squeezed in some therapeutic baking this evening. You’re going to love this recipe folks. Since we had about three huge bags of these hanging around:

I decided to make: Pistachio Shortbread

So buttery and nutty. Ohhhhhh yeeahhhhh. This is one for the books. And so easy!

PHOTO

This recipe comes compliments of King Arthur Flour.

I am a major fan of their flour. Ever since I first tried baking with their flour, I just can’t buy anything else. It’s the best there is. That’s all I can say. Their website and blog also has killer recipes.

Exhibit A:

And there’s more where that came from! So definitely check it out.

Well, I am off to try to catch up on sleep!

Question of the day:

  • What’s the best way you have found to brighten your mood?

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Down and Dirty

So what do I do on a beautiful sunny day? I get down and dirty . . . really DIRTY!

But I’ll get to that in a little bit. First thing’s first. Since I didn’t get a chance to blog yesterday, let me quickly fill you in.

Madre took off in the morning for my grandmother’s house. She wanted to visit a little more with my Uncle B before she had to take him to the airport this morning.

Isn’t he a cute uncle? Ladies, he is unmarried! (Yes, Uncle B . . . I am pimping you out). πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I couldn’t join Madre because I was scheduled to work. I did, however, make it to the gym. Since I knew I had a pretty packed weekend ahead of me, I tried to take it a little easier. After a quick 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, I headed for the weights to complete Day 18 of the LiveFit program. (Oh, and I was right. My arms were feeling that awesome sore-achiness you get after a great workout. Oooo babe you know it hurts so good!)

Saturday gave my arms a break though. This time it was all about the legs:

I love those Single-Leg Barbell Deadlifts. Every time I bend forward I feel like I’m doing a quasi-arabesque. πŸ™‚ I miss dance!

After a salad-stuffing lunch (plus a few handfuls of soy crisps and peanut butter), I headed off to work a wedding at our local art center! I was particularly looking forward to this wedding because I went to high school with the groom. Consequently, I knew quite a few people in the bridal party and in attendance. So, along with taking care of my regular catering duties, I also managed to squeeze in some mingling time. The only downfall was that I couldn’t join everyone in the dancing. THAT is the hardest part for me about working weddings. I often find myself bopping along to the beat of the music and mouthing the words. Hey! You have to find something to make re-racking water goblets interesting, right? Usher always does it for me . . .

I would have to say the wedding was a hit. The only hiccup, however, was the heat! Man, oh, man was it hot! I checked the thermostat around 9pm, and it was 88 degrees! 88! The curator said she had turned the air down . . . but I think I will either assume that she A) didn’t and said she did OR B) the AC was broken. I felt bad for all of the men in suits! I was sweating like mad and only had on black pants and a white blouse. Thankfully, no one passed out. We kept the water handy!

Now on to today. Did I mention that I like it dirty?

Hey! Stop! Get your mind out of the gutter! Sheesh. I meant I like running through the mud.

Warrior Dash

Yes! I have joined the ranks of thrill-seeking warriors. I have been wanting to participate for some time now, but I always have been busy during local-ish event dates. However, when I saw that another dash was going to take place in Ohio this summer, I quickly signed up and made sure to leave that weekend open. And I am so glad I did!

What made it even more fun was that I went with my good friend Lori; her sister, Angie; and a client/friend of Lori’s, April. It’s always a good time when Lori is around- she and I have the same thrill-hungry personality. Plus, she is always positive and encouraging. The good energy can’t help but rub off on everyone else around.

Here’s us pre-muddy mess.

All of us started out running together, but April and I got separated from Lori and Angie after just a half of a mile. Then I lost April after running up a hill. I looked over my shoulder, and she was gone! I didn’t want to stop my momentum, so I decided to keep going. I was a little worried about conquering the obstacles on my own, but I think I held my own.

Take a look at the course:

After looking at this I see that it is not an exact image of the course we ran, but you get the idea.

I think one of the hardest obstacles was one where you had to pull yourself out of the water and onto these heavy, floating rafts. It reminded me of how tired I would get after trying to climb on the giant inner tube while tubing on Lake Erie. (And Poppa always wonders why I would hold on for dear life. It was too hard to get back on once you were thrown off!) I think this one was particularly difficult for women. We aren’t blessed with as much upper body strength as you men!

Another one that I wouldn’t say was hard, per se, but was quite intimidating was “Deadman’s Drop.” It was a large wooden structure you had to climb up (it had beams for footholds like a wide ladder), but the other side was flat like a wall. So once you got to the top and positioned over the other side, you had to use your toes to slide down the face of the wall as you “dropped” to the ground. In reality, most people were only dropping a few feet, but it was a little tricky. I felt so badly for a girl that slide down next to me. She got too close to the wall and ended up scraping her face as she slid to the ground. YIKES!

I have to say though, my favorite obstacle was at the very end: crawling through the mud! Yeah buddy! πŸ™‚ I told you I like it dirty. πŸ˜‰

I ended up finishing quite a bit ahead of the other girls, but once everyone got together we took a celebratory picture!

Look at those girls . . . we’re sexy and we know it!

I even saw my manager afterwards.

She didn’t want to touch me, though. I wonder why?

All I wanted to do when I got home was shower. And shower I did. It was a glorious shower, too. I had to shampoo my hair twice. That was one muddy braid, my friend. Muddy indeed.

It was a great day all in all. I think I will sleep well tonight! And with that, I bid you adieu.

Questions of the day:

  • What is the worst wedding hiccup you have ever experienced?
  • What is your favorite thrill race?

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Hubba Hubba

Happy Friday! Haha! If you’re like me, this is how you feel when Friday night rolls around:

I snuck this picture the other night when my family finally returned home from the Gma’s. Can you tell the week’s events took a lot out of us? Or at least Ellie and Poppa. They are two of a kind . . . Ellie boo sure does love her Poppa Bear.

Well, although it is the end of the week, I can’t say it feels very much like a Friday to me. All my days have blended together this last week. Plus, I have to work tomorrow. At least it will be semi-fun though. I am working a wedding, so I always enjoy scoping out the decor, the bride’s dress, and the cake. (If I am lucky, I may even get to snag a sample!)

Today started off pretty typically for me: woke up, applied for jobs, ate breakfast (nothing too interesting, just egg whites and a bit of cereal) . . . you know, the usual. However, Friday does mean spinning! So I headed off to the YMCA around 10:45 to snag a bike and warm up before class.

My work out started out with a nice 20 minute warm up on the elliptical to get the sweat flowing. I did experiment with changing the resistance a bit here and there, which added some variety to my usually-monotone routine. I highly suggest trying this out for yourself if you find that you get bored easily while using a cardio machine.

I then went on to complete Day 17 of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer program.

I definitely think my chest will feel that tomorrow. That’s a lot of flys!

Then it was spin time. I can’t help it; I am hopelessly addicted.

All that exercise sure did spark my appetite. So when I got home, I threw together a salad and consumed it so fast that I didn’t even remember to take a picture. Oops! In my concoction went: lettuce, spinach, broccoli, pickle, grape tomatoes, and turkey. (Dipped in Parmesan dressing, of course).

While I was eating, I remembered that I had yet another delicious treat to share with y’all! My friend, Katie, threw a party last Friday in honor of her fiance’s graduation from Officer Training School. Since I am the go-to sweets girl, she asked if I would bake something for the event. Since her fiance, Caleb, loves anything chocolate and peanut butter, I made my Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (they were a big hit). However, I didn’t stop there. I threw together something that I have been itching to make for quite some time now:

Chubby Hubby Bars

I, of course, was once again reminded of my naivety in regards to the name of these bars.

As he was eating a bar, a friend joked, “So, does that mean that eating these will make your hubby get chubby?”

I responded, “Haha, I suppose if he ate too many.” You know, I thought he meant that in reference to gaining weight by eating too many . . .

My friend Sarah just looked at me and then burst out laughing. “Dallas, not that kind of chubby . . . A chubby.” She went on to explain that these “chubby” is quite the double entendre. Haha! Whoops! At least my friends got a chuckle at me expense.

Anyway, I think you will really enjoy these bars. Sweet with just the right amount of salty snap!

I found this recipe onΒ Cookies & Cups and pretty much followed the recipe exactly as written. The only thing I changed was that I subbed chopped milk chocolate and peanut butter chips for the Reese’s PB Cups, but that’s only because I did not have any on hand. The result was fantastic though. So if you don’t have any PB cups on hand, this turned out to be a great alternative. Also, I am sure anything that you would like to add would be fantastic! M&M’s, white chocolate chips, Kit Kat bars, etc. You can use your imagination- or just go off what you have in your cabinet.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 C AP flour
  • 1 C butter, room temp.
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp course sea salt
  • 1 1/2 C coarsely chopped pretzels
  • 2 C coarsely chopped Reese’s cups (or 2 C of chopped milk chocolate and pb chips)
  • 1 (14 oz) bag of caramels (make sure to unwrap them!)
  • 2 T water
  • 2 C semi sweet chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray
  • Beat together butter and sugars until fluffy
  • Add eggs and vanilla
  • Slowly add in salt, baking soda, and flour (I combined these in a separate bowl first)
  • Slowly add in Reese’s cups (or alternative) and pretzels. I folded these into the batter with a spatula.
  • Spread batter into pan and bake for about 25 min. (I went for 23)
  • Let cool completely. About 30 min to an hour. (I let mine cool a bit on a wire rack and then stuck it in the fridge for a bit)
  • Melt caramels and 2 T of water in a microwave safe bowl. Stir every minute until melted- mine took about 2 min.
  • Pour caramel over bars.
  • Chill in fridge for about 15 min. (until set)
  • Melt chocolate chips and spread over bars.

  • Put back in fridge for about 30 min. or until chocolate is set.
  • Cut into squares and have at ’em.

Mmmmmm. Look at that ooey gooey caramel. So so so good. These certainly were a highlight at the party. Both the taste of them and their name . . . Yes, were are in our 20’s if you can believe it.

Questions of the Day:

  • Β Have you ever found yourself unknowingly caught in a joke?
  • What’s the best dessert you have made for a party to date?

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Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

As promised, I have yet another scrumptious recipe for you to sink your teeth in to.

Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

These were the result of my anxious baking spree last week. While the circumstances of my baking frenzy were certainly not happy, my bounty of sugary wonderfulness was enjoyed by many. The staff at the nursing home were particularly grateful. Oh, and my Uncle B wasted no time in digging in when he got into town.

I really believe these are some of the best cookies I have ever made. Seriously.

I can’t remember where I found the recipe, but it is a good one! I wish I could call it my own, but alas, it is someone else’s genius.

Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 C unsalted butter- melted and browned
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 C AP Flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp salt (I went in between!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 C toasted coconut (I used sweetened, grated)
  • 1 C dark chocolate chips or chunks (I chopped up Malley’s dark chocolate!)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • On a baking sheet, spread out coconut. Toast for about 6 minutes- until browned and fragrant. Watch closely so that it doesn’t burn. Remove from oven and place in a bowl to cool.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam and crackle. Once the crackling subsides, watch the butter closely. The butter solids will begin to brown quickly. Once it is browned, remove it from heat and pour into a bowl to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside for the moment.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar.
  • Add egg and yolk, beat well.
  • Add vanilla extract.
  • With mixer on low, beat in dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Fold in coconut and chocolate. (Dough should be pretty thick).
  • Spoon tablespoon sized balls of dough onto baking sheets.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes. (I started with 8 minutes and went from there- I like mine on the underdone side).
  • Let cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to cool completely on wire rack.
  • EAT! (Store those you don’t in an airtight container).

You will not be able to stop eating these. Nor will your friends. They might even help you make new ones.

You can thank me later.

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