Monday, April 30, 2012

Healthy Cookie Fix

What's your favorite kind of cookie? Mine, chocolate chip, yep that's right chocolate chip. My absolute favorite go to cookie. Mmm, that smell, that taste, even the cookie dough is good---probably why I grew muffin tops. Well, guess what muffin tops? Healthy cookie is gonna move you out! (I hope) So I used to make chocolate chip cookies at least once a month. I was so addicted to the dough that by the time said cookies were done baking I didn't want any because I had had too much dough. When I think of this now I'm like of course I'm not a Victoria's Secret model, they don't eat cookie dough do they? If they do I hate them. No, not hate that's a bad word...I despise them. Anyhoo, I was totally craving some chocolate after dinner and I've been doing a lot better w/ not gorging out on chocolate every day so I decided you know what I deserve a healthier version of a chocolate chip cookie! I stumbled upon these beauties on Pinterest and noticed I had all the ingredients. Even better. They are also quick to make. While making them I thought to myself, now I will totally be making these when I have crazy pregnancy cravings. No I'm not pregnant. :) Sorry Mom. How did I start talking about babies, I thought this post was about cookies?! Okay, so cookies...this recipe came from Lux Hippie, vegan blog..great! Check her out. I love her header..or title or whatever you want to call it. Hmm, speaking of header I need to get on that. Or should I say have my Mom get on that? ;) She's amazing, she makes my life easier. Oh, man these cookies are good. I keep side tracking! Okay, so these cookies are amaze! You need to go make them now if you love chocolate chip cookies as much as I do. Life is better with cookies. Yes, I've been focusing on weight loss lately and hitting the gym hard. I am also human and a girl needs her cookies. Whatever! :) So I'll give you the recipe now and you choose to do what you want with it. I only hope you go make! Or I'll send  you some, if I don't eat them all first.

Healthy...(healthier) Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 ripe bananas mashed
1 tblsp vanilla
1/2c to 1c peanut butter (depending on taste) I used a little less than a 1/2 cup
4 tblsp honey or agave nectar to make vegan
2 c rolled oats
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c vegan chocolate chips ( I used about 3/4c ;) )

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix bananas, vanilla, peanut butter and syrup until consistent. Lux Hippie says to use a mixer, I just used my fork that I used to mash my nanners, yeah I was a little lazy! She also says to mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl as well, what do you think I did? Yeah, I just used one bowl it worked out fine. Like I said I was lazy! :) and hungry for a darn cookie. Okay, so bake for about 15 minutes.I baked mine for 14. I always like my cookies a little under baked. I ate these pretty much right out of the oven and loooved them! Please go make them, they are super easy and way healthier than other cookies. I would advise you to not eat the dough as the oats are not yet cooked. Don't worry I didn't eat any! I do hope you enjoy this. My heart is happy! it still healthy if I ate four?..why I don't make cookies anymore!

 Before I baked these little puppies...

 You know you want to get your fingers on that....

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Best Vegan Granola

I love granola, don't you? My boss made some granola and it was amazing and I decided I needed to make some as well and make it vegan! It's seriously so delicious, so much better than store bought..and you know what's going into it. You can do so much with granola. I like mine pretty plain, I don't mess around with adding a bunch of dried fruits or coconut or stuff like that, but that's what's great about granola you can make it according to your taste! It's also super easy to make and it's good for when I'm craving some chocolate or something sweet.

Vegan Granola
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds (I cut mine up a bit)
1/2 cup walnuts (I cut these up too)
4 tblsp earth balance
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbslp agave nectar (if it's too dry add a little more)
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all dry ingredients. Melt butter, add both sugars to butter mix and pour over granola. Mix up and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on pan and crisp up. Enjoy! Wasn't that easy? ;) You can add really anything to this granola, dried fruit, more nuts..chocolate chips!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Snow White

A couple weeks ago a lady from my Mom's work asked me to make her granddaughters cake and cupcakes. Well, I shouldn't say just a lady..she's very sweet and friendly! She is the receptionist where my Mom works and my best friend also worked with her at a golf course. I was honored when she asked me to do the cake. At first when she told me she needed a snow white cake I was thinking Disney Princess, pink..but she sent me a few pics and I was so excited because it looked really creative and fun! No pink! :) I also had to make apple cupcakes. I delivered the cake and the party looked adorable, I wish I would've taken more pictures of the party, and I apologize but my pictures aren't the greatest.

 Cake and this cake stand!
 How cute is the birthday girl?

 Apple cupcakes

 She is just too cute, I love this photo opp she had too!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

More Changes and More Motivation

I have to apologize again for the lack of blogging around here lately. I've really fallen behind. I've been so busy with my new lifestyle that I don't find a lot of down time for blogging, picture taking, and even my photography class I signed up for I don't know how many weeks ago. It's a good thing I can do it whenever I want, but I've forgotten about it. I can say I am really enjoying everything I have been doing lately. I haven't lost any weight yet..although I'm not even sure how much I want to lose because I also want to gain muscle..which equals weight. So I guess I should say I haven't lost any fat yet. Many people say are you crazy? You are tiny! Yes, I'm skinny, but I do have excess fat that I am not wanting on my body anymore. If I continue down the road I'm on I know I will finally be confident in my body and how I look. I'll post some motivational pics..speaking of motivation. There are days where I really crave bad foods, and by bad foods I mean peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ice cream, chocolate, and processed foods. Some people might say those aren't that bad..but to me they are. I am trying to eat a whole foods plant based diet, which equals none of the things previously listed. A lot of the times I give in, but I have been trying to stop those cravings lately. So sometimes when this happens I look up new workouts or check out my health and fitness board via Pinterest. Then I start looking at all these amazing bodies and people working out and tell myself, no you don't need that, you don't want that, and that will do nothing for you. Now I'm not saying I totally deprive myself, yes I still eat a few bad things here and there but it does and should not happen every day. :) Ice cream will not make me skinny lets face it. I'm getting better and as I've said before it's a work in progress and I can only get better. The other day when I was running I thought to myself, how nice it would be to run my half marathon in shorts and a sports would be nice and I will try but I don't want to set an unrealistic goal at the same time, and I know for women the hardest place to lose fat is in the belly area. After changing my diet and working out more I feel amazing. I can really tell a difference. I eat 5-6 times a day, drink a ton of water, and for the most part eat pretty healthy. I would love to hire a personal trainer, but they are sooo expensive. I do know it would help me to reach my goal a little faster and push me harder. A trainer at the gym noticed my knees buckle in when I bend which is not good but something I can fix. Another thing that would be nice to have a trainer for! I think I've finally reached the point where I want to be physically fit and have an awesome body and be able to tell people, yes I do work really hard for this! I'm so happy to be running again, I had to take off almost three weeks due to an injury. Hip flexor/IT band..I thought it would never go away! I want to run this half marathon so bad, and I will! :) Fitness has really become part of my life and I'm hoping to start going to the gym even more..talking 5-6 days a week instead of 3-4. Anyways I'll stop boring you with my fitness rant..which seems to be most of my posts these days! I will have a Snow White cake post later this week! I haven't been having many food posts only because I usually throw some rice together with veggies or have a salad or it just doesn't look pretty! My bad. Here are some of my motivators/what I want to look like one day..
Ever heard of her or seen her? She's got a killer body, she's my motivation and she has some great videos out there. Like her on facebook visit her blog, she's all things amazing! She's a Pilates instructor and has plenty of videos online you can do! She makes it look so easy! 

 I'm looking for that flat stomach!
 Great muscle tone!
These are all my motivators when I'm craving bad foods, I want what a lot of girls call that "bikini body" I also want to tone and build muscle! It's my new goal and I will make it happen! All these sources came from my Pinterest Board where you can find many workouts and many good recipes!

Another change I'd like to add, I was thinking of cutting my hair. I just can't decide though. I go back and forth a lot, I change my hair a lot, I get bored..I love short hair because it's super easy to take care of but I love long hair because it's pretty. I just don't like mine long unless it's curled which takes time. When it's straight it's so flat and boring. What to do what to are some hairstyles I have pinned lately..

 Okay, I really love this cut and color on her, I love funky hair!
 Here's a short pixie, now this is really short but how  cute..just not sure how I'd look in it.
 Love this cut too, might have it a little longer though
 This one I love as well, I love curly hair!
 I'm not sure how she styled her hair but very cute!
 This is one of my favorites, almost like a pixie but longer..possibly could get this cut and work my way into a pixie? I don't want to look like a boy though. :/
 I love this color and this is usually what my hair looks like curled but it's not that long yet..
 Love this cut!
This cut is cute too but very very short! But super manageable...what do you guys think? Do I chop it off?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It's finally time for a cake post!!! I used to work at a few bakeries makin' cakes after graduating from Pastry Arts school. I stopped the cake making for awhile and started nannying. I do still make cakes for friends and family. I don't know what it is, maybe the season but I'm pretty excited about the next few cakes I have to make. The most recent cake I made is a Sesame Street cake. A friend from high school has the cutest twins, Jay and Kelly. Well Jay and Kelly's mama asked me to make them their first birthday cake. I was honored to! I don't know what it is but not doing cakes everyday, and then making one for a special occasion always gets me nervous. Maybe it's just the fact that I feel a little rusty? I don't know..but I will say I was very happy with my end results. I'm also working on a casino cake with an old Target friend this weekend, I have a very cute Snow White cake and cupcakes to make for this weekend, and last but not least I have a cake to make for a special boy named Case. He is adorable and I've made both his sister's birthdays cakes. I'm very excited for all these cakes and will have pictures soon! For now I have your Sesame Street cake! I miss making them so it's nice when I get to make them on the side, and of course it's nice to have a little extra cash in my pocket too! Thanks to all my family and friends for their support and belief in me. I will finally be able to show off some of my cake making talents!

 Twins smash cakes!

 I really do love this cake! :) Happy Birthday Jay and Kelly!!

 Okay, how adorable is this?! I love the idea of putting the cake on the deck, easy clean up!
 These two are so adorable! Love the chubby cheeks! Congrats to the parents as they are having their third soon! :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spicy Mexican Quinoa Soup

I found this soup on Pinterest  via Forgiving Martha and it looked really yummy! I also had never had quinoa before and really wanted to try it. It's packed with protein and fiber! I made this soup two weeks in a row for lunch it was that good. It makes a lot, which is nice because I can eat it for lunch all week..yes, it's that good that I don't get sick of it. Matt and Ava (the lovely couple I nanny for) really enjoyed it too. I'd say the only bad thing was that the quinoa sucked up a lot of the broth. I told myself I was going to not add as much quinoa the second time but I guess I forgot. I just add a little more water each time I reheat it. Don't worry about it watering down at all because it doesn't. I served my soup with some avocado and cilantro, yum! I highly recommend this soup. It's very tasty! It's also super easy to make and great for a fast healthy lunch! It's also vegan and gluten free, score!

Slightly adapted from: Forgiving Martha
Spicy Mexican Quinoa Soup
4 C Vegetable stock or broth
1 (28oz) can Muir Glen fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1/2 white or yellow onion chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 poblano pepper chopped
1 jalepeno pepper chopped
1tblsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder, or more if you like it spicy like me!
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 avocado
cilantro, chopped for garnish

Saute onions and garlic over medium heat with a bit of olive oil until translucent and fragrant.  Add vegetable stock or broth, crushed tomatoes, quinoa, peppers, and spices. Cook on medium heat for about 40 minutes or until quinoa is cooked. It may not look like you are adding a lot of quinoa at first, but once it's cooked it doubles in size and becomes soft, like rice. You'll know when it's done! :) If you need to add more water or broth feel free to do so. Ladle into dishes and top w/ cilantro and avocado and enjoy!

Sorry this picture is kind of blurry

 Mmm doesn't it look delish?!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Crafts, Food, Movies, and Books!

I'm pretty excited about a new DIY craft me and hubby are making, yes it's finally gonna get crafty up in this b**ch! :) I will be posting pics later! My Mom over at Town and Country Living has been inspiring me to be more crafty, and did I mention the hubby is a carpenter? I have many projects I want to do that he can help me with. I'd also love to update my boring old white Ikea dresser. It's pretty cheap but right now I don't have money to buy a new one..and it just needs a little snazzing up!

So I've been loading my brain with lots of information on plant based/vegan diets lately. More information equals more motivation. I am beating myself up a little bit this past weekend..I didn't do to well. I was bad and ate french fries and a small amount of cheese. I also had an ice cream cone! :O Ah, yikes! Well, I guess I need to move on and not make that mistake again. Although the ice cream always seems to get me. Grr! I just need to make the stuff at home (vegan) and not get it when I'm out. Being vegetarian is real easy, occasionally I get craving for some chicken..mostly when I go out to eat, gotta stop that! Usually, if I go out to eat I try to go to Asian, stir fry places..they seem to have tofu dishes with lots of veggies and rice! So I just need to stay away from the bad chain places. I also bought these Brachs Malted Milk Fiesta Eggs they always sell around Easter while at Menards today. Ugh, why did I do that? My Mom got me hooked on these things a few years ago. They're amazing. I need to get rid of them! I told my husband he needs to be better and not let me do those bad things. :/  I'm learning from my bad habits. I'll get there, it just might take awhile. I'd have to say I'm doing okay, it has only been a month! I just have to keep supporting myself and making healthy choices. :) I also have to keep telling myself I will look really good one day! Bikini body here I come. ;) I've decided to try this 21 day Vegan Kickstart Program. I'm not going to follow each meal strictly, I would probably sub some of the soups and oatmeals for my own, that I know are just as healthy. Maybe this plan will help me be more plant strong? We'll see! I also want a juicer really, really, really bad. They are super expensive though and I'd really like to go to Mexico for our one year anniversary. I know I'd use this juicer a lot though. It's just hard to go and drop $300 on a juicer. So if anyone wants to buy me one, I'd gladly accept.

As I said before I'm educating myself a lot more with veganism and plant based diets. I feel like it's popping up all over the place. Eat a vegan/plant based diet and you'll lose weight, have increased energy, lower your cholesterol, won't get sick, reverse heart disease and other diseases..the list goes on! I don't currently have any ailments..other than the fact that yes I'm probably not getting all my nutrients and vitamins..and I'd like to lose some fat! I recently watched Forks Over Knives, great movie on eating a plant based diet. I also watched and read The China Study another book about a plant based diet..also a study that Dr. T Colin Campbell, did in China about heart health and reversing diseases. I've read Skinny Bitch and Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps. The first book I read that led me to read the rest of these books was The Beginners Guide to Natural Living. I highly recommend all these books! They are packed with great information and they'll make you open your eyes to what is in our food and how messed up the FDA really is. This last book, Natural Cures is a little intense. Most of the information to me is useful but I skipped through some parts as it seems to repeat itself in certain spots. I'd say read with caution. Everyone has their own opinion and I chose to believe what I want. I'm not saying you have to read any of these books, but if you're looking to get more knowledge on what you eat and what goes into your body give these books/documentaries a try.

This was more like a diary entry..well I guess that can be okay right? Have a great week everyone, super excited to share some yummy recipes I've made today! :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Caramelized Bananas

Did I ever tell you how much I enjoy and love chocolate chip pancakes? Yum! I have been craving them the past few Sundays, no I'm not pregnant! :) You'll all have to wait awhile for that! Sundays are my days for being lazy and catching up on things I didn't get to do over the week. Or just sitting on the couch and blogging. Sunday is also my day I dedicate to my long runs. I will not be doing that this Sunday! Mom thinks I have bursitis and should take the next few days off from cardio. Not cool! I need my cardio, but my leg/hip has been killing me for the past week and I really just want to feel better, so rest it is! The husband and I might go on a motorcycle ride later today to Starved Rock. We shall see, right now it's wet and gloomy! So back to my pancakes! Do you enjoy pancakes? What are your usual Sunday plans?

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancakes
1 C flour (your choice) I've used whole wheat pastry flour and King Arthur Organic Whole Wheat Flour
2 tblsp baking powder
1 1/2-2 C soy or almond milk (if you're not vegan feel free to use regular milk)
2 tblsp vegetable oil
vegan chocolate chips

Place skillet on stove and let heat up over medium heat. While skillet is heating up mix all ingredients except for chocolate chips together. Whisk until smooth. If you like your pancakes a little thicker use less milk, if you like them a little thinner add more milk. Once your batter is mixed and skillet is heated add oil or spray to your pan and start making your pancakes! I add my chocolate chips to my pancakes while they are in the pan. Not many people have chocolate chips in their pancakes so feel free to omit them!

Caramelized Bananas
1 banana
2tbslp organic brown sugar
1tbslp earth balance (or butter if you're not vegan)
1 tblsp soy milk or almond milk (heavy cream if not vegan)

Slice and sear bananas over medium heat in a large skillet for about 1 minute. Once seared push aside and add brown sugar, earth balance, and milk. Heat and mix up until thickened. Reincorporate bananas to the sugar mixture and cook for another couple minutes. Volia! You have caramelized bananas! Simply add these to your pancakes and serve! Again I ate mine with out syrup for less sugar and other icky things. :) Enjoy!

 Now, don't those just look delicious?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...