Tag Archives: chocolate

Bananas for the Weekend

Well, it’s back to reality today, eh? Back to the routine . . . work, school, etc. I hope you were as ready as this kiddo.

Get it little guy! I am so going to make one of these for my future kid(s). (I have plenty of time though, don’t you worry. That won’t be for quite a few years).

I hope everyone had a fantastic Labor Day weekend, Mine was pretty good, but most importantly, it was pretty laid back. I spent quite a bit of time preparing for my VACATION! Madre and I leave tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited. Oh, and when I wasn’t packing, I was caching up on lost time with Michael C. Hall:

Who else is addicted? I swear I could watch the entire season in one sitting . . . if I had the time. The mystery, the morbid excitement, and the dark humor are fantastic. I also personally love Deb. I find her foul-mouthed, blunt reactions completely refreshing. She basically tells it how it is, although brutally. There are many times that I wish I could do that, but I don’t have the guts . . . or my conscience takes over. Anyway, if you haven’t experienced the utter brilliance that is Dexter, I am giving you full permission to go indulge. At this very moment. Seriously, go. Rent it. You will thank me later.

Among my packing and TV watching, I had planned to squeeze in a blog post; however, things did not work in my favor. Things meaning my computer. It’s the grandpa of MacBooks I do believe.

I am not even sure how old it is, but it is dying a slow and very painful (for me) death. My Uncle purchased it used off ebay several years ago and made some fixes/adjustments. After lending it to a friend for a period of time, he lent it to me when my Dell crashed during my sophomore year of college. It then turned into a graduation present once I was finished at the U of A in 2011. So, how many years is that? I’m not exactly sure, considering we don’t know how long the previous ebay owner had it. Let’s just say that this baby is a testament of Apple’s products. (My Dell lasted 2.5 years before crashing). However, it is getting to the point where I need to move on . . . if only I had enough money to buy a new MacBook.

(Source)

I’m really not exaggerating about the dying a slow and painful death part. Last night, I went to upload the pictures from my phone . . . it took 2 hours. Then, I got an error message telling me that the photos I supposedly uploaded, well, didn’t. Hmmmmm . . . Oh, and with every other click, I have to wait for an unknown amount of time watching this:

(Source)

What I like to call: The CIRCLE OF DEATH

The two of us are not friends. I have called it a variety of other colorful (no pun intended) names. It seriously takes FOREVER.

(Source) Oh Sandlot! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sometimes, I wait so long that I have no choice left but to force shutdown and restart. And don’t even get me started on how many times I have been filling out job applications and my Mac just freezes, refusing to move. Oy vey. Deep breaths. Very deep breaths.

Thankfully, I did succeed with uploading my pictures this morning. You should be very thankful too. Why? You may ask? Because I did whip up a tasty treat this weekend. Once again, over-ripened naners were calling to me. Begging me to make their lives useful. I couldn’t refuse their pleas.

Go Bananas Whoopie Pies

I have had these tagged in my recipe book ever since they appeared in an issue of Food Network Magazine. Since I had the ingredients, AND since I it would be a great treat for Madre to bring to her non-chocolate-loving coworkers (gasp!), I couldn’t help but call it fate.

I pretty much followed Food Network Magazine’s recipe to the T, except for two minor alterations:

  1. I used reduced fat cream cheese (that’s all I had)
  2. I threw a few chocolate chips in the batter at the very end (for my last pan), because some of us just need a little chocolate in our desserts!

I give these guys a thumbs up! Ummm . . . how can I not? Peanut butter and banana are quite a pair. Although, I was a little surprised at the filling. I expected it to be more fluffy and frosting-like. This filling is definitely more of a thick, peanutty spread. You won’t be disappointed though. No worries!

Go Bananas Whoopie Pies

By: Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C butter, softened
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 C packed brown sugar (I used dark, again it’s all I had on hand)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla ext.
  • 1/2 C mashed very-ripe banana (about 1.5 naners)
  • 1/2 C buttermilk (I put 1.5 tsp white vinegar in a measuring cup and then filled it up with milk up to the 1/2 C mark)
  • 2 C AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 T butter, softened
  • 1 C creamy PB
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla ext.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in egg and vanilla.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine banana and buttermilk.
  • In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • Gradually add dry mixture to creamed mixture, alternating with banana/buttermilk mixture.
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes (or until set).
  • Cool for a few minutes on pan, then transfer to wire rack.
  • For filling, cream peanut butter, cream cheese, and butter until fluffy. (Mine wasn’t that fluffy . . . )
  • Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  • Spread onto bottom of one cookie; top with another cookie.
  • EAT! (Oh, and store in the fridge!)

For the love of peanut butter. Are you drooling yet?

How about now?

Did you know that these are called Gobs in Pennsylvania? I coworker last summer brought chocolate cookie with vanilla filling whoopie pies to a function one time, and when I exclaimed, “Yes! Whoopie Pies!” I was met with a dozen quizzical-faced colleagues. It took awhile for me to live that one down. I’m still calling them whoopie pies though. Gobs sound ugly.

Speaking of oddly-named things. Look what Madre and I found while browsing Kroger yesterday:

Snacks on a Stick Maker

It gets better. Look at all the delicious, high-quality and nutritious food you can make:

That’s steak, corn dogs, OMELETS???, pizza, pancakes, and cookies. On a stick . . .

Madre came up with the product’s new slogan: “You may never have to use silverware again!” I think it’s fitting.

Before I go take care of some other vaca preparations, I will share my workout with you.

Workout:

I began with a nice 40 minutes on the elliptical machine. You know, to get my sweat on. The weight room was pretty packed after I finished, so I headed upstairs to complete a Plyometric workout I found.

I only did the entire circuit one time through, but I was still a sweaty fiend. Loved it! Those Hamstring Sliding Curls and Split Jumps are killer! I will definitely be revisiting this one again, and no worries, I will step it up and go for at least two rounds.

I finished with some random exercises to hit my arms and back:

  • Seated Narrow Grip Cable Rows (3 sets of 10)
  • Inclined Dumbbell Curl (3 sets of 10)
  • Back Extensions (3 sets of 10-using 10 lb. weight)

Told ya it was random!

Well, that’s it for me today. I haven’t decided if I will be lugging my Mac to Mexico with me, so I may not be back until the 11th! Have a great week!

Questions of the Day:

  • If you were to purchase a new laptop, what would you choose?
  • What’s your favorite TV series?

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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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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 onย 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:

  • ย 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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The Unexpected Expected

The last 24 hours have been immensely emotional, to say the least.

As bible study was wrapping up last night, I realized that I had missed a call from my grandmother (aka: Gma). Alarms and sirens immediately began blasting in my head because she had called me earlier that afternoon to tell me that my grandpa (aka: Gpa) was not doing well. He had not gotten out of bed and had been put on antibiotics for congestion. Wait, maybe I should back up a bit, eh?

Over the past few years, Gpa has suffered several strokes, and he is now living in a great 24-hour care facility. He has been quite a trooper though. He has persevered through several falls, illnesses, breathing issues, etc. As Madre says, “he has the constitution of an ox.” However, things have gotten progressively worse over the last month or two. So when Gma called yesterday afternoon, my heart immediately sank to my stomach. I knew this was not a good sign.

When I realized I had missed another call from Gma, I immediately called Madre to get the scoop. (I can’t say why I didn’t just call Gma first. Maybe I was too scared to hear.) Anyway, Madre informed me that Gpa had come down with pneumonia, and the nurses were calling hospice. I am so embarrassed, but tears immediately began streaming down my cheeks as I heard this. In front of EVERYONE. (The HORROR). I couldn’t help it. I mean, I have been preparing myself for this type of news . . . but you never really are ready. You know?ย  Well, once I got back home from bible study, Madre left to make the 2 hour drive to my grandparents’ town. I had to stay at home due to the lack of sleeping room at Gma’s.

As you can imagine, today has been nothing but tense muscles and sad sighs. I actually have a love-hate relationship with my phone at the moment. Every time I hear that swoosh sound that signals a text, I hold my breath. Gahhhhhh.

At the moment, Gpa is holding steady. He is on strong antibiotics, but hospice does not know if he is strong enough to pull through this time. So if you are willing, my family would truly appreciate your prayers (or well-wishes, or thoughts, or whatever you prefer).

Since Madre is comforting Gma and Poppa is working, I had to find ways to keep myself (mostly my mind) preoccupied. So what did I do? (after going to the gym, of course)

I BAKED.

Yup. Definitely my motto today.

The silver lining is that my sugary frenzy produced some purely delicious recipes to share.

The first:

Chocolate Banana Swirl Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Batter:

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 C) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 C sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 C cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 mashed extra-ripe bananas
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder (I like Hershey’s Dutch process)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat butter and sugar until thoroughly combined.
  • Add eggs one at a time.
  • Add vanilla and mix until well combined.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda. Mix well.
  • Divide the batter equally between two bowls.
  • Add the mashed banana to one bowl and the cocoa powder to the other.
  • Place paper liners in a muffin/cupcake pan.
  • Fill one side of each cup with banana batter and the other with cocoa powder.

  • Swirl batter together with toothpick.

  • Bake for about 15 minutes.
  • Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

  • 1 stick (1/2 C) of unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
  • 1/2 C creamy peanut butter (natural pb not recommended)
  • 4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 T milk

Directions:

  • Beat butter until softened.
  • Add cream cheese and whip well.
  • Add peanut butter, whip.
  • Add powdered sugar 1 C at a time.
  • Add milk slowly.
  • Beat on high speed until nice and fluffy.
  • Frost those cupcakes! ๐Ÿ™‚

I even made little mini me cupcakes with my extra banana batter!

This batter was thinner than the cocoa one, so why not make little baby banana cupcakes? Just dollop any leftover bater into a mini muffin tin. Oh! That peanut butter frosting!!!!! Your taste buds will be giddy with glee. SO DE-LISH!

Well, this girl is tired from all that worrying and baking! I will share my second scrumpdidiliumptious recipe tomorrow!

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Chicka Chicka Chickpea Wowow

(Source)

Happy Monday ๐Ÿ™‚

I think all Mondays every day should include a spoonful of peanut butter. Forget Mary Poppins and her sugar. It’s all about the peanut butter!

Even Ellie agrees.

I probably should have treated myself to a heaping spoon of peanut butter this morning. The first thing I had on my agenda was to submit a job application. Joy. There I was: groggy-eyed and messy-haired, trying to successfully compress several files into one attachment . . . not a pretty picture. Technology and I don’t often get along, especially so early in the morning. Thankfully, I did prevail, and my application is sent! Fingers crossed that I get a call for an interview. It’s for a Marketing Communications Specialist position with a great university, and I do believe it would be an excellent fit!

After conquering a few more things, I headed off to the Y to get my sweat on. Starting off with a light 15 minute warm-up on the elliptical, I then headed over to the weight room to complete Day 8 of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer program. So far I am liking the program since it gives me more direction in the gym; however, I am hoping I do not get too bored with the repetition of the exercises. I might research some other programs and come up with a few of my own workouts to sprinkle in with the LiveFit program. Stay tuned! Today was also a spinning day. Bob (our regular teacher) is on vacation, so another student filled-in for him. (Don’t worry, I still looked like a swamp monster after class. I seem to have no trouble working up a sweat whenever I’m spinning away!) Oh, and I might even get to lead the class on Wednesday! We’ll see though. I may chicken out.

With a great work out under my belt, I headed home to try out another recipe.

A supervisor at Madre’s office has a birthday tomorrow, but due to health issues, he has to watch his sugar intake. So a sugary, frosting-topped cake is certainly out of the question. What’s the company’s designated baker (me) to do?

I turned to Chocolate-Covered Katie again. I give you: Deep-Dish Cookie Pie.

Eggs? No. Butter? Nope. Flour? NO! Seriously. I even used Ideal brown sugar blend instead of real sugar.

The base of this baby is simply chickpeas and oats. I know, I know . . . chickpeas? All I can say is don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

Honestly, I was worried. Would it taste diet-y? Would my palette find nothing but the garbanzo-beaniness that is this cookie pie?

Nope.

It. Was. Great! It’s like magic. Bean magic. (And I know what you’re thinking . . . No, I do not mean the musical fruit kind of magic. Really, guys. Get your minds outta the gutter.) But really. You should give this a try.

I also had the pleasure of making dinner for Madre and I tonight. That’s right, I was all “cooking girl” today.

I threw together one of my newish all-time favs: Buffalo Sloppy Joes.

Doesn’t that make your saliva glands twitch in anticipation? Mine do.

And guess what? It’s Eazzeeeeeee!

Buffalo Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. extra lean ground turkey
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (I used about 1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s buffalo sauce
  • 2 T brown sugar (Ideal brown sugar blend)
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 T (plus a bit more) Worcestershire sauce (I love this stuff)
  • dash of pepper

Directions:

  • Saute veggies in large pan (I coated mine with EVOO spray) until soft.
  • Add meat, crumble and brown.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.
  • Once everything is nice and bubbly, turn heat down and let simmer until sauce thickens. (About 10 minutes)

Serve on hamburger buns (or in my case, atop a salad) and top with crumbled blue cheese.

Mmmmm so spicy and delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as Madre and I did.

Well, I am off to watch an episode or two of Smallville with Madre. Speaking of mmmmmmmm . . .

Tom Welling. You’re welcome ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Home is Wherever I’m with You

Days like today remind me that living at home is not really all that bad. Truly. I was not even rolling my eyes as I wrote that.

For starters, after having lived in several different states over the past 6 years, I have come to appreciate the great network of reliable medical professionals in my home town. When I moved to Pennsylvania last summer, I had a difficult time finding a good doctor in the area. This was partially to blame because the town was so small, but the whole getting-to-know you and your entire medical history is pretty exhausting! So, it’s been extremely getting to see the doctors I have had since I was just a wee little bumpkin.

This morning started off with such a visit to my dermatologist. Throughout puberty I was lucky enough to evade the ever-so-embarrassing effects of acne. (Dun, dun, dun!) However, it has caught up with me. Lammme Sauuce. Luckily, my doc believes it is easily fixable. So, after a quick check chat, he sent me off with some fancy medication. I hope it works!ย  Fingers crossed, eh?

The gym was my next stop of the morning. Since I have been missing lifting with Lori, I have started following Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer Program.

So after a quick 30 minute warm-up on the Precor (like an elliptical) machine, I headed off to the weight room to give my legs a run for their money. I have a feeling I will be feeling it tomorrow!

When I got home, I only had one thing on my mind: FOOD! That workout really sparked my appetite! So, lunch together was quickly thrown together with anything I could find in my fridge:

A salad of lettuce, spinach, tomato, pickles (yes, oh yes) and shaved chicken. Not pictures is a side of parmesan dressing. I like to dip my salads in dressing . . . actually, I like to dip about any food I can in some type of sauce. It’s an addiction, really.

Now for one of the creme de la creme of my afternoon:

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

OR as I like to call . . . Buckeye Cups. Hey, I’m from Ohio. We represent.

I have been dreaming of making these puppies ever since I came across the recipe on Iowa Girl Eats. Not only does it combine the best match known to man (uhum. . . women), but it is also crazy simple to make!

Just toss some chocolate chips into mini muffin tins.

Give ’em a little love tap.

Make and top with the peanut butter mixture . . .

Voila! Just pop them in the fridge to harden a bit, and they are ready for you to eat.

*These are best kept in the fridge, but make sure to take them out a few minutes before you plan on trying one (or three). Your teeth will thank you.

Luckily Madre convinced me to join her Step/Cardio Aerobics class tonight. I might have had one six too many spoonfuls of peanut butter mixture while making these heavenly treats. Whoops!

Make sure to check out Kristin’s blog for more great recipes!

Catch you on the flip side!

Question of the day:

  • What is your favorite thing about coming home?

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