Merry Monday

Christmas ends so quickly!

 

So does the dessert.

I took a nice, long blog break last week to enjoy the time with my family.  It was great to take some rest… but I was excited to come back and share, and to read everyone else’s recaps!  Is anyone else still full? ;)

Our Christmas Eve was a little different this year – we went out to dinner!  That was fun, but the best part was our tradition of sharing dessert and drinks at home with some family friends.  I make something different every year.  This year was chocolate-hazelnut martinis and an amazing Sweet & Salty Chocolate Guinness Pie topped with marshmallow meringue.

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Guinness Pie

 

I followed this recipe, with a few adjustments.  I halved everything to make just 1 pie.  Instead of graham crackers I mixed pretzels with ginger snaps in the crust.  I also made a simpler meringue.  Rather than doing it over heat, beat the egg whites into a fluff and slowly added sugar to keep it light. Then, I melted the marshmallows in the microwave before adding them in.  I skipped the Guinness reduction and in favor of bourbon extract.

That meringue was insanely good… I must say this is one of the best desserts to date!

 

Christmas morning was a sure sign we are all grown up – after a late night, we slept until 9am and no one touched a present until almost 10:30!  This is unheard of in my family.

It gave me time to take some pictures of my favorite ornaments.  The one on the bottom right was my great grandmother’s!

Christmas ornaments

 

French press coffee in hand and fire built, we dug into the bounty.  Even Honey (the dog) waited patiently for her turn to explore her stocking.

Mom out did herself, as always.  We are lucky girls!  I got a ton of clothes, a pizza stone, new towels (my only request – another sure sign of being an adult!), some cool glass bottles, make-up, chocolates… and bacon duct tape.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if it was scratch ‘n sniff tape?!

Presents

 

Brunch is the big-deal meal in my family.  So is taking pictures of everything we eat.

Mom staged a shot of the sparkling wine and ambrosia:

 

One of our most-loved traditions is the champagne brunch.  I brought a bottle of sparkling from my Napa trip – a Schramsberg Brut Rosé.

It went well with our smorgasbord.  We had ambrosia, Italian sausage and cabbage saute, local bacon, toast, scrambled eggs, mâché (greens), and mushrooms (so good sautéed in bacon remnants and fresh rosemary).

Christmas champagne brunch

 

Then we lounged.  We Skyped my other sister in Portland.  I napped.  I never nap… bacon and sparkling are to blame!  ;)

But we aren’t total lushes couch potatoes.  A few hours later we took Honey for a 3 mile walk by the river.  It’s pretty close to where my dad is buried, so we made a pit stop to say hi.  Honey jumped right up on the bench there to say hi.  It was really sweet.  And really cold… we hauled it back home for hot tea and to begin dinner.

Honey

 

Dinner was another tradition – my friend Ben and his partner came over.  Ben makes the best chocolate-coated toffee I have ever had, and every year he comes over for a meal and to deliver a bag of crack toffee.  We snacked on a cheese plate, enjoyed some wine, and prepared dinner.

Mom helped me to roast my first whole chicken.  It turned out really well!  We ate that with a spaghetti squash and bacon creation and a salad.  And more wine.  (Read: we slept in again.)

Christmas Dinner

This marvelous Christmas deserves a link up over at Katie’s MIMM!

***

I’m prepping for a NYE pairing dinner I’m co-hosting… and then I must admit I’m excited to get back on the clean eating train.

What is the big holiday meal in your family?

What was the best gift Santa brought you this year?

 

3 Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

This is for those that think my recipes have too many ingredients.

 

Not really, but it should make you happy.

These coconut macaroons are the most requested Christmas cookie I make.  Ironic, since I don’t love coconut.  But if you DO like coconut, you’ll love these.  If you don’t, you’ll still eat a couple because they really are good.  Especially after I had the brilliant idea to dip them in chocolate.

Coconut Macaroons

They technically have 4 ingredients, but I refuse to count vanilla.

When you form balls, you’ll feel like they aren’t sticking together enough.  Don’t be scared.  Just roll them together as best you can.  The sugar will melt and bind with the egg as it bakes – just be sure to let the cookies cool before you touch them.

Coconut Macaroons

I’ve made these for a couple of years sans chocolate.  I have no idea why.  This year I melted chocolate, added some bourbon extract (yes, I put booze in everything), and painted the bottoms.

If you do this, place them in the fridge to harden before you serve them.  It’s good with the gooey chocolate, but extremely messy. ;)

Coconut Macaroons with chocolate

Linking these up to Katie’s MIMM… because cookies are marvelous.

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Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

  • 3 C sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • Melting chocolate (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with (clean) hands until the ingredients are completely combined.

Place tablespoon sized dollops of batter onto a baking sheet making sure cookies are at least an inch apart.  They will feel loose, but don’t worry.  They will bind as the sugar melt during cooking.

Bake, one sheet at a time, for 10-15 minutes or until edges are browned.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

Dip in melting chocolate, if using.  Store up to 1 week in fridge.

***

I may not blog again until after Christmas… resting and enjoying the season is a glorious thing.  Happy Holidays!

What are your favorite Christmas Cookies?

Do you like coconut or chocolate better?  Both?

 

Strange But Good: Mexican Chocolate Cake

Dessert is my favorite part of a fiesta.

 

Christmas counts as a fiesta, no?

I made this for Thanksgiving, but it would be fantastic for a Christmas dinner, too.  Or New Years.  Or just for breakfast.

When you read the ingredients in this cake, you’ll see that it actually wouldn’t be so bad to have at breakfast.  It’s full of healthy fats and protein, and sugar-free!  This brings me to the strange.  The healthy fat in this one is avocado.  It’s good, I swear.

Mexican Chocolate Cake

 

Between the avocado, eggs, and yogurt, this is one of the lightest, moist cakes you’ll ever have.  It’s the perfect end to a heavier dinner.  You could eat half of it without blinking an eye.  Not that I would know.

The almond, cinnamon, and cayenne are the Mexican part.  If you’re concerned about the cayenne, you could leave it out.  It’s not overwhelming; it simple gives the smallest hint of “hmmmm” at the end of a bite.

Mexican Chocolate Cake with Coconut Icing

 

The icing on this cake was yet another healthy fat addition.  I whipped coconut cream into a pillow-y spread for the cake.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem stiff enough at first – it will firm up as it settles.

You can have fun with the flavors here.  I added vanilla and cinnamon, but a liqueur like Frangelico or pie spice would be excellent as well.

I know several of you made these Chocolate Avocado Cookies or these (Vegan) Blood Orange Scones… vouch for me! You really can’t taste the avocado.

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Mexican Chocolate Cake

Mexican Chocolate Cake

  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 C xylitol (or other sugar substitute)
  • 3/4 C Icelandic yogurt (or Greek)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Coconut Icing

 

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a bundt pan.

In a small blender, mix the avocado and eggs until smoother.  Stir in xylitol, yogurt, and extracts until combined.

Whisk together dry ingredients.  Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet.

Once combined, add in milk and beat well.

Pour into bundt pan.  Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10-15 minutes in pan and then transfer to wire rack to completely cool.

Eat as-is, or ice the cake with whipped coconut cream frosting.  I used this recipe for the coconut cream whip, only I subbed more xylitol for the sugar, and added vanilla and cinnamon.

Note: Like most cakes, the flavors improve after that cake has a day to rest.  Do wait to frost it until the day of.

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


***

My mom took home a couple of slices and called the next day (at breakfast) to tell me it had gotten even better!  I think day 2 is the perfect storm for this one.

Avocado.  Would you bake with it? Have you ever?

What is your favorite dessert for the holiday season?

 

Strange But Good: Pumpkin Beer Bread (or Muffins)

My mom should have been a chef.

 

Everyone says that, but this is legit.

Growing up, she used to make the best breakfasts.  Maybe that’ where I get my love of the meal?  One of my favorites was her bread.  She mad it the old-fashioned way from a starter that she had to feed.  When it baked I could smell it all the way upstairs in my room.

As soon as she removed it from the over, mom brushed salted butter over the top, creating the perfect sweet-and salty crust.  The best part was that she brought it to me with coffee as I got ready in the morning… and the next day she used it to make french toast (which she also delivered to me… how spoiled was I?!  Thanks, Mom!)

This post is not that bread.  My mother’s daughter is too lazy for starters.  My bread is baked with pumpkin beer.  Strange… but good.

Anderson Valley Pumpkin Ale Bread

 

I feel a little less ashamed about my bread-laziness because my mom did taste and love this bread.  She even had me send her the recipe the day after I brought it to Thanksgiving!  Maybe it was the beer talking?… 

Read More »

Strange But Good: Whiskey Bacon Brownies

Strange is the new normal.

 

It is with my dessert-making, anyway.

For some reason I can’t get enough whiskey and bacon in my desserts this season.  If you choose a spirit laced with notes of caramel and vanilla, it perfectly compliments a sweet dish.  It also is strangely good with bacon.  Sweet and salty, ftw!

brownie batter

 

These brownies are of the fudgy variety.  I do love a cake-like brownie, but the richness of my add-ins called for a decadent dense chocolate background.

Even if you don’t do bacon or booze, these would be an incredible dessert.  The cocoa powder gives them a deep flavor, and makes them no quite as tooth-achingly sweet as morsels would.  Each bite is thick, rich experience.  Just how I like my dates.

balcones whiskey bacon brownies

Bonus: If you make extra bacon and reserve the fat when cooking, you’re well on your way to making a Whiskey-bacon Apple Pie.

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Whiskey Bacon Brownies

Whiskey Bacon Brownies

  • 1 stick (1/2 C) salted butter
  • 1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 C (200g) sugar
  • 1/2 C (100g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 C plus 2 T (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 C (120g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 C + 1 T good-quality whiskey (I used Balcones Baby Blue)
  • 1/2 lb sliced bacon

 

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Prepare a 9 x 13” pan.

In a medium-sized pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Whisk in the sugars and apple sauce, stirring until fully incorporated.  Remove the pot from the heat, then quickly whisk in the eggs (work fast so they don’t become scrambled egg brownies).  Whisk in vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring just until incorporated.

Stir in 1/4 C of the whiskey then pour the batter into baking pan.  Bang the pan on the counter a couple of times to release some of the air bubbles.

Bake for 20-25 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of your brownies comes out clean.  Brush the top with remaining 1T of whiskey (this is optional, but really brings out the whiskey flavor).

Allow the brownies to cool slightly before cutting.

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How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


***

A word of advice: make these fresh and get them out of the house ASAP.  I couldn't be trusted with them alone!

Do you bake with booze?  How about bacon?

What's your favorite #strangebutgood baking add-in?

 

Thanks for Bacon + Easy Cranberry Kale Salad

I spoke too soon.

 

I’ve often said I need a 5 second delay on my mouth.

This Thanksgiving I ate turkey, and I liked it.  My uncle brought the most deliciously moist (yeah, I said it) smoked turkey.  So partially I take back what I said about not liking Thanksgiving food.  I still passed on the green bean casserole and the stuffing.

First let’s back up.  I headed to my mom’s house on Thanksgiving morning to drive the family to my grandparents house in north GA for the festivities.  They said they were ready to go, but when I got there only the dog, Honey, was ready.

Honey

 

We finally did get on the road and made it the party without incident (I did have to swerve to miss a kitten in the middle of the road).

The good thing about being late everywhere is that everything is ready when you arrive.  We had quite the spread!  The turkey didn’t fit on the counter so it’s off to the side, along with a table this size filled with desserts.  I’m lucky my whole family likes food as much as I do!

Thanksgiving spread

 

After pre-gaming with cheese crackers, I stacked round 1 with my kale salad, turkey, mac ‘n cheese, sweet potato souffle, pumpkin beer bread (recipe coming!), and had a side of my grandmother’s turnips and ham and a glass of rosé wine I brought back from Napa.

Round 2 looked about the same, but with a deviled egg someone had forgotten in the fridge. ;)

Thanksgiving dinner

 

There was PLENTY of dessert too… I brought 4 different desserts, so I’m going to be sharing some fun sweet recipes just in time for Christmas.  Yes, I use Thanksgiving to test desserts for Christmas parties.

Today’s sweet treat is from Gabby’s recipe for a gluten-free Apple-Bacon Crisp.  I followed her recipe, but added a twist… where she sautes the apples in the bacon pan, I also added 2 tablespoons of whiskey.

Whiskey Bacon Apple Crisp

 

The whiskey I used, Balcones Baby Blue, was a smooth addition.  The blue corn whiskey from Texas  is one of my favorites with its slightly sweet vanilla-caramel taste and notes of candied citrus and baking spices.  My other modification was to use hazelnuts in the topping.  The rich taste played well with the coconut flour.

It.  Was.  Awesome.  I am thankful for Gabby and her #strangebutgood bacon idea.  I scooped it on to my dessert plate with glee.

Bacon Whiskey Apple Crisp

The leftover whiskey was great to have on hand for the weekend, too.  I went to the Tech-UGA game with my cousin and friends Kathleen and Matt.  We were all smiles at the tailgate and the first half of the game.

Then the second half happened, and we realized Tech is as bad at football as we feared.  It’s a good thing they’re smart.

Kathleen and Me Tech

Kathleen and I, pre-loss

Whiskey is a good wound heal-er. ;)

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If you’re like me, you need a very short break from the heavy food, so today I’m also sharing the easiest kale salad you’ll ever have.  It’s simply dressed, and you can make it the night before.  It’s pretty marvelous.

This was my healthy contribution to Thanksgiving, but kale salads are also one of my favorite things to make during my weekly food prep.  Their hearty leaves only get more delicious as they soften in the dressing and the flavor soaks in.

Kale Cranberry Salad

This dressing is light, but doesn’t lack in flavor.  It is zesty and garlicky with a little heat on the end.  If you really like it hot, add red pepper flakes to the top.  I did. 

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Cranberry Kale Salad

Cranberry Kale Salad

  • 2 medium bunches destemmed kale, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1-2 handfuls dried sweetened cranberries, for garnish
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste (omit if dairy-free)

 

In a mini food processor, process the garlic, lemon, oil, marjoram, pepper, and cayenne until smooth.  Taste and adjust flavors, if needed.

Pour the dressing onto the kale and massage it into the kale with your hands.  Allow to soften in fridge at least 30 mins, or overnight.

Just before serving, top with cranberries and cheese.

***

I’ve been craving greens after the brown fest that is Thanksgiving!

What was the best dish from your weekend?

Are you punctual, or are you the last to arrive?  I’m trying to get better… but it hasn’t taken yet.

 

Mocha Mint Protein Muffins + Giveaway

M is for Monday.

 

I swear I didn’t plan this.

This weekend had an M theme, which happens to work really well for Katie’s Marvelous Monday link up.  See what I did there? ;)

 

1. Meringues

My company is a cloud-based technology. Rather than handing out boring collateral like pens at the executive meeting, I ordered cloud-like meringue cookies!  Dyed blue and stuffed in pumpkins for Halloween.

Essential Pumpkin

Thanks to Henri’s Bakery for doing a great job on this custom order – I’ve been going there since I was a kid!

NO, I didn’t eat one… 2 weeks to go!

 

2. Muscles

Speaking of 2 weeks to go, I had my second to last posting practice with my trainer before my competitions!  I have never loved posing, but I’m learning to look forward these Saturday sessions – I get to spend the day posing and training with some of the most inspiring competitors around.

This Saturday’s session made me more excited than ever for these next competitions, and for the next year where I’m 100% committed to hardcore BUILDING.  I love lifting.

 

3. Mom

This weekend was my mom’s birthday.  She’s turning 29, once again. ;)

I was really excited to have her over for brunch.  She opened presents  and I made her my jicama nachos with shrimp, pico, yellow tomato, and #yolkporn.  She save this #strangebutgood creation two thumbs up, which means the world since she is the one I have to thank for my love of food and creating in the kitchen.

Mom

 

4. Muffins

Not just any muffins.  I accidentally made Mocha Mint Protein Muffins.

These were going to be a version of my coffee pancakes.  I accidentally added too much egg, so I decided to bake them instead. This is what a Thin Mint would taste like as a muffin.  Talk about an awesome mistake!

I used Dunkin Donuts’ seasonal Mocha Mint coffee, but you could use any flavor and add extracts.  I added peppermint extract because the DD coffee isn’t actually very mint-y.

Mocha Mint Protein Muffins

Mocha Mint Muffins

  • 2 T oats
  • 1 T coconut flour
  • 1 T (10g) chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp no-salt baking powder
  • 1/4 C egg whites
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee (I used mocha mint)
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 6-8 drops vanilla liquid stevia
  • Optional: chocolate chips, cocoa powder, nuts

 

In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir to combine.

Pour into prepared muffin tins and bake ~25 mins.

Makes 2 muffins (or 3 squares in my slightly smaller silicone mold).

Note: I learned that this recipe can be doubled when I made more to have for breakfast this coming week.

This mistake was even sweeter because it gave me a recipe to link up to Heather’s MMAZ.  She told me seeds could count as nuts.

BWV-Round2-October1

5. Munchies

It’s Halloween.  You have candy coming out the you-know-what.

Just in case you want to give your blood sugar a break, I have a giveaway for one of my favorite bars.  One of you will win a whole box of thinkThin High Protein Bars.

thinkThin

 

Normally a “thin” bar wouldn’t appeal to me; however, my dad actually got me into these.  When he was getting chemo, all he wanted where the chocolate fudge bars.  Random craving, right?

I came to love them.  The 20g protein is perfect for a quick fix post-workout or on the run.  It keeps you full, gives you a pop of energy, and has 0g of sugar.  They’re also gluten-free!

My favorites right now are the Cookies ‘n Cream and the Chocolate Toffee Nut, but you can choose your own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***

I am literally back-to-back in meetings all week.  Between that and gym time, blogging may be sporadic.  Does anyone else think of Clueless when they use the word sporadic? 

What is your favorite protein-filled snack to-go?

What was the last happy kitchen accident you had?

 

Plantain Zucchini Muffins

Who has TIME to post negative comments?

 

Not that I don’t speak them from time to time…

It takes a real effort to read a post and formulate a less-than-nice comment.  Why would you go to all this trouble?  Why do you care so much?

Anonymous posted this on my blog yesterday:

Anon

Normally I wouldn’t waste the energy to respond… but I’m feeling feisty this week.

  1. I actually do use a lot of “real” dishes.  Often I eat my breakfast from a coffee mug
  2. I’m such an old lady horder responsible citizen of the world that I will use the same paper plate for every meal I eat a work in a day
  3. You don’t have to read my blog.  If you don’t like what I say/do/eat from, don’t read.  I don’t agree with judgmental, funeral-protesting ass holes, so I steer clear of Westboro Baptist Church.
  4. Anon… I’ve always been curious.  Why go to the effort to comment but not even have the kahunas to use your name?

 

I feel better, Don’t you?  You will after you taste my muffin. ;)

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The plantain craze took me a while to get on board with.  I was too busy with kabocha.

Now that I’ve gotten on the train, I’m putting them in all the things.  I love to just caramelize them for eggs, pizza-creations, and salads.  That  Plantain Ginger Protein Bread rocked.  The natural next step was a muffin.

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you this is one of the best muffins I’ve ever made.  And it was easy.  Half of the ingredients you just toss into a blender!

 

After blending the plantain and the wet ingredients, you just pour it into the dry, give it a quick stir, and fold in the zucchini.

The result of this plantain and zucchini combo is a fantastically moist, satisfying sweet muffin.  Depending on the ripeness of your plantain (it should almost be black) and your preferences, you may not even need that extra bit of sweetener!

Plantain Zucchini Muffins

 

Those of you who know me won’t be surprised that I amped up the protein in these.  I used my favorite Growing Naturals Rice protein.  With that addition, these muffins have more than 6 grams of protein!

The only sugar comes from the plantains, but the fact that these are on the healthy side doesn’t mean they don’t taste like the “real” deal.  Don’t believe me?  Ask my favorite concierge…

Testify!

If you find a Siamese plantain, you can make a double batch!  Have you even seen this before?!  

It has to be good luck or something…

Siamese plantain

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Plantain Zucchini Muffin

Plantain Zucchini Muffins

  • 1/4 C spelt flour
  • 1 scoop (31g) vanilla protein powder
  • 1-2 T Xylitol (or other sweetener, adjust based on sweetness of plantain)
  • 1 tsp no salt baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 large, ripe plantain (~160g)
  • 1 egg (or flax egg)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C zucchini, grated (~120g)

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 6 regular-sized muffin tins with Pam/butter/Earth Balance.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.

In blender (I used the Magic Bullet) bowl, puree plantain until smooth.  Add egg and vanilla, blending again just to combine.

Add the wet mixture to the dry, stirring until just combined.  Fold in grated zucchini.  Pour into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 6 muffins.

Approximate Nutrition Info: 102 calories, 1.2g fat, 18.8g carbohydrates, 20.6g sodium, 1.9g fiber, 4.8g sugar, 6.3g protein

***

I’m pretty excited… this weekend I’m going to take a class to being getting my personal training certification!  I’m baking these muffins for the class. :)

Why do you think people leave negative comments anonymously?  Have you ever done it? 

Have you gotten on the plantain train?  Hee hee… that rhymes.

 

Instagram Love

Instagram has turned into a mini-blog for me.

 

Another opportunity to over-share is always fun.

In keeping with my “trying to cut back and find balance,” this post is short and sweet.  I wanted to pop in quickly today to say thank you.  Thank you for participating in all the blogiversary fun last week.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for constantly inspiring me.

And thank you for braving my recipes.  However #strangebutgood some are.

Instagram Bravery

  1. Laura gave my Tomato Brownies the thumbs up.  With chocolate proyo – great add!
  2. Maren made my Pumpkin Pan-lettes and topped it with a lovely peanut sauce
  3. Allie declared my Thai Peanut Roasted Kabocha genius!
  4. Cheryl tried my Raspberry Baked Oatmeal and reported they were “delicious!”  (Side note: I love making a big batch and stroring them in the freezer for a quick breakfast – same with the Sweet Potato version.)
  5. Megan (who has braved a LOT – thank you!) recently made my Microwave Protein Zucchini Bread and topped it with an almond milk-inspired ice cream
  6. Heather tried the Tomato Brownies too!  These ladies are making me crave another batch!

Show them some love with an Instragram follow.  You will be inspired.  Their feeds are straight up #foodporn.

 

One more “gift”…

The giveaway with the most entries was for Growing Naturals, my favorite vegan protein powder.  They were so excited about the response that they are offering a 30% discount to you guys!

Order via their website and enter code SPRINT30 at checkout.

***

I was telling my trainer last night how much more focused and inspired I am with this prep (finally).  I owe a lot to the comments and support from this community.  Thank YOU again. :) 

Are you sometimes surprised by how much your Internet/blog friends inspire you?

What blogger/Instagram recipes have you tried lately?  Link it up! 

 

Peanut Butter Apple Cinnamon Roll

There are certain smells that make me stop in my tracks.

 

Pleasant smells… the other kind make me RUN.

I spend a good deal of time in the airport.  The Atlanta airport, like many others in the US, has a Cinnabon.  I can walk away from the waffle cone smell at Ben & Jerry, the pizza from Sabrro, the Chick-fil-a chicken biscuits… but the smell of that cinnamon laced sugar bomb makes me pause.

Rather than having a 730 calorie bomb, I decided to make my own.  And one-up them by adding peanut butter and apples.

Making Peanut Butter Apple Cinnamon Roll

 

It takes a couple of steps, but they are steps you’ll be glad you took as soon as you bit into this gooey-chewy cinnamon-laced roll.  Plus, you can make a few to reheat for a quick breakfast throughout the week!

The pic above starts out with the uncooked, apple lined rolls in a ramekin.  Then I baked the egg and cinnamon soaked bread into a hot roll oozing with baked apple deliciousness.  After dumping neatly turning it on to a plate, I topped with peanut sauce.

PB Apple Cinnamon Roll

 

A note on the bread and peanut sauce: I used P28 High Protein Bread to make this a super-high protein treat.  You could use any bread, but know that P28 slices are huge so you may need an additional slice if you use a smaller bread.  For the sauce, I used my beloved peanut flour.  You could easily sub in peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter), or use a vanilla protein powder in the same proportions to make a glaze.

This would be good without the apples too… but it’s fall.  Be festive!  It adds a fresh sweetness to the decadent roll.  And that’s pretty marvelous.

MMIM

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Peanut Butter Apple Cinnamon Roll

Peanut Butter Apple Cinnamon Roll

For the Roll

  • 1/4 C egg whites (or flax egg)
  • 2 tsp sugar-free syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract
  • 1 slice P28 High Protein Bread*
  • 1/4 apple, sliced very thin (plus more, to top)

 

For the Glaze

  • 1 T unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  •  1 T peanut flour (or peanut butter)*
  • 1 tsp sugar-free syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract

 

Instructions for the Roll

Preheat oven to 375.

In a bowl, beat together eggs, syrup, cinnamon, and extract.

Slice the bread into 3 long strips, gently flattening and stretching out.  Soak strips in the egg mixture, as if you were making french toast.  

Line strips with the thin apple slice, roll up like a cinnamon roll, and place in a prepared ramekin.

Bake for 10 mins (until lightly browned).  Allow to cool slightly.  Turn ramekin over onto you plate to remove the roll.  You may need to loosen the edge first.

 

Instructions for the Glaze:

Mixing together milk, peanut flour (or butter), syrup, cinnamon, and extract.  

Slather across your cinnamon rolls.

 

Take a bite.  Have a moment of silence.  Continue to inhale the roll.

Approximate nutritionals: 223 calories, 4.6g fat, 328g sodium, 22.5g carbohydrates, 4.1g fiber, 8.2g sugar, 24.8g protein

 

*Notes:

  • You can use any type of bread.  P28 bread slices are huge – if you use another brand, you may need to use 1/5-2 slices
  • Vanilla protein powder can be used in place of the peanut flour for a more “traditional” glaze. I like using Growing Naturals.

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Thank you all SO MUCH for the kind comments and participation in blogiversary week!  Check back at the Growing Naturals and Favorite Things posts for the last 2 winners!  I’ll have a discount code from the Growing Natural folks tomorrow! 

Is there a “treat” you always have when you travel?  I’m a sucker for Coke Zero and pretzels on the plane.

Have you ever re-created a favorite restaurant meal in a healthier way?  What was it?  Feel free to link up – sharing is caring!