Recipes

Oatmeal Energy Bites

Hi friends! How is your week so far? I hope it’s a good one plus a short week is always nice right?! Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

oatmeal energy bites

The other day, I was browsing Pinterest to find an energy ball recipe. I found a lot but most of them called for ingredients that I don’t have on hand or a food processor which I don’t own #SmallKitchenProblems. Personally, my pantry does not contain flax seed, protein powders or dates. If yours does then more power to you! I find it’s easiest to stock what I know I’ll use than buy things just for one recipe that I’m not sure I’ll enjoy. Due to this, I didn’t want to buy something that I wouldn’t use regularly.

I still wanted to make some energy balls to have as a healthy pre and post workout snack. I looked at a lot of recipes to get the ratio of the main ingredients then decided just to make my own. They came together super quick and involved minimal work. Plus they taste like cookies thanks to the addition of some chocolate chips. You can even think of them as a semi healthy dessert since they have chia seeds and minimal ingredients.

Ingredients:

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1 cup old fashioned oats

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon chia seeds (for protein but can be made without them)

1/4-1/3 cup of chocolate chips (depending on how much chocolate you would like!)

Directions:

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Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined.

Cover and store in the fridge for 30 minutes. This allows the oats to soak up a little moisture and make the dough easier to work with.

Use a spoon to get out a small amount of dough and roll into golf ball sized pieces. If the dough is too sticky, place back in fridge to let it harden a bit more.

Place in a closed container and store in the fridge.

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Question of the day: Have you ever had energy bites?

Daily Happenings, Recipes, Running

Easiest Salsa Ever

Happy Friday! Did this week seem to have an extra day in it or what? I think with last week being a day short from the holiday and trying to play catch up, this week just felt really long. Oh well, the weekend is just a few hours away! Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

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For whatever reason, my brain would not turn off Wednesday night so I didn’t fall asleep until 1 am. And my alarm was not a welcome sound 4 short hours later. I felt like a zombie in the shower. Luckily a big mug of tea helped to perk me up once I was ready to go. As like always, a plate of scrambled eggs and toast was eaten before heading to work.

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Can you see the bandaid on my knee from when I fell two weeks ago?! (Yeah it’s still not healed…)

Since I wasn’t 100% sure on the weather, I pulled out two potential options for my run. I am happy to report that I got to go with shorts! Yes, you read that correctly. I wore shorts on my run last night and I was so happy. I think my legs were shocked to see the sun lol. New Jersey is getting a heat wave and it was the low 50s yesterday. It felt weird to be wearing shorts with snow still on the ground though. I got a nice 4 miles while the sun was still up. Shorts in January and finishing my run in daylight = happy Maureen ๐Ÿ™‚

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When I got home, I was dying for some chips and salsa. The salsa container was empty so I whipped up another batch. If you guys wants the easiest salsa recipe ever it’s right here. The only thing that needs to be chopped up is the jalepeno and there isn’t even any measuring involved. You’ll maybe need to buy two ingredients max. I haven’t done the math but I think it works out to a bowl of salsa for under $2. Everything is listed below.

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If I don’t sleep well at night then I crave junk food. I’m pretty sure that’s a fairly normal thing based on articles I’ve seen about how not getting enough sleep affects you. Anyway, the cravings hit hard yesterday (as seen by the post run chips and salsa) so leftovers for dinner was not appealing at all. Instead of forcing food into my body, Alex and I got takeout instead. Sometimes your mental health is better for your physical health! I’m not a doctor but that seems like a statement a medical professional would say right? Mentally I wanted buffalo chicken fingers and I’ll tell you that they really hit the spot.

I spent the rest of the night just hanging out on the couch with Alex. We chatted a bit and watched “The Office”. Since I wanted to get back on track, I headed to bed fairly early. I’m pretty sure I was asleep before Alex had even turned the light off.

Easiest Salsa Ever

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Ingredients:

Jalepeno

Can of Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chiles (I prefer the Chipotle option)

Onion powder

Minced garlic (or a clove if you have it)

Ground cumin

Black pepper

Salt

Directions:

Open the can of tomatoes and drain the liquid. The more liquid in the can, the more liquid the salsa will be. Personally, I prefer as little liquid as possible but the best thing about this recipe is it’s all based on your preferences.

Roughly chop the jalepeno (and clove of garlic if that’s what you’re using). Place everything in a blender. I have this Ninja one and LOVE it.

Put in as much of each spice and you prefer. The more cumin added, the spicier the salsa will be.

Blender for about 30 seconds to get everything chopped up and mixed.

Pour into tupperware and store in fridge.

 

Question of the day: Do you have a go to easy recipe that barely even counts as a recipe?

Recipes, Restaurant, Tips

Blue Apron First Impression

Hello friends! Over the weekend Alex and I tried out Blue Apron for the first time. I wanted to review it for anyone who has never tried it as well as give my opinion of it. Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

A few weeks (month?) ago,ย Erinnย was talking about Blue Apron. She said she had a week of free meals and whoever commented about it first could have it. I guess I was first because a few days later I received and email from Blue Apron. So I did not pay for the box we got but all opinions are my own.

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When Alex and I were talking about which size to get we ended up going with the family plan which feeds 4 people. Now you’re probably thinking why would you get that if there’s only 2 of you which is totally fair. Leftovers are the way I keep my sanity on weeknights so by going with the option with more food, some weekday dinners would be taken care of already. Since the power was being weird Monday and Alex had a late work event Wednesday, I ended up not having to cook at all. That’s a win in my book!

I opted to get the box delivered on a Friday. Unfortunately that ended up being the Friday right after Winter Storm Grayson which meant no mail was being delivered and FedEx was closed. So instead of getting it on Friday the box arrived on Saturday instead. I was a little concerned only because there was meat involved with one of the meals so I wasn’t sure how long the box would keep it cold. Well the worry was unnecessary because the box came and everything was still cold. There was a giant hunk of ice in the bottom that the meat was packed on top of.

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The first meal we tried was broccoli and mozzarella calzones on Saturday night. I had never had calzones before but I like pizza so why wouldn’t I like calzones. The recipe card was so detailed and all of the ingredients were labels so it was so easy to find what I needed once it was all in the fridge. Everything was so detailed and there was nothing I was confused about at all. Alex helped me by working the pizza dough. If you have a rolling pin then it would’ve been easier but he kind of man handled it. It got the job done though!

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When I put the pan in the oven to cook, I was shocked at the size of the calzones. They were honestly as big as my head. I wish I had a picture but it was either risk breaking the dough before baking or touching something that had just come out of the 475 degree oven… The dish was to be served with a Caesar salad. Making the dressing was so easy and delicious. We split a single calzone in half and it was filling without making us stuffed to the max. The salad was the perfect side and so light compared to the heavier main dish. Meal 1 was a success!

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Sunday night, we made the second meal which was hoisin glazed pork chops with wonton noodles and vegetables. This recipe allowed me to work with a new to me ingredient – ginger! To my knowledge I’ve never had ginger and definitely have never cooked with it. I peeled it with a spoon which made it so easy (thank you Google for that tip). Again, the recipe card was detailed and it was very easy to follow. Nothing was incredibly hard to make or prep and I was able to complete multiple steps while certain parts cooked.

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The vegetables were cabbage and carrots. I wasn’t sure how I would like this meal because I’m not a cabbage fan. Well with the sauce and all of the flavors, I was converted to a cabbage person, at least for this meal ;). Like with the calzones, Alex and I kept commenting on how good the food was while we were eating it. Everything worked so well together and it was all so delicious.

Overall we had a fantastic first experience with Blue Apron! It’s something we both said we would buy again although it will not be a regular purchase for us. The only reason it won’t be a regular thing for us is for budget reasons. It’s definitely a great way to get new recipes and learn new techniques or make you work with certain ingredients. Blue Apron does offer some recipes online in their cookbook and I will definitely be checking it out for recipes ideas in the future.

Thank you again Erinn for sending this to us! We both give it to thumbs up!

Question of the day: Have you ever tried a meal delivery service?

Holiday, Recipes

Homemade Chocolate Truffles

Happy hump day! How is your week so far? I’m halfway done with my truck following trip and I’m surviving. Being at work before 5 am is rough to say the least. Have a wonderful day ๐Ÿ™‚

On Thanksgiving, Alex’s mom asked if I could bring a chocolate dessert. I set the bar pretty high for myself with the cake I made so I knew I had to do something good. Since I knew there would also be two pies, I wanted something small but good. I opted to try my hand at homemade truffles! The amount of recipes I looked at was unreal. I didn’t find one I was in love with so I took a little bit from a few and created this recipe. It’s much easier than I thought but does take a little bit of time as the chocolate sets so just keep that in mind.

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Ingredients

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8 ounces semi sweet chocolate (a little 2/3 cup of chocolate chips)

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, I used 60% cocoa

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon prepared coffe3

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

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Put all of the chocolate into a bowl.

In a saucepan, warm the heavy cream until it starts to boil. Stir to avoid any film developing on top.

When it starts to boil, remove from heat for 20 seconds. Pour over chocolate.

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Stir until the chocolate completely melts. It will look clumpy at first but keep stirring.

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Place in fridge for 1 hour to harden and cool once completely melted and smooth.

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Once hardened, take out and roll into bowls. I found it easiest to use a spoon then roll with my hands.

Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to harden.

At this point, you can serve them as is or top them. I chose to dip them in chocolate and top with sea salt. But you can really do whatever you think is best: powdered sugar, cocoa powder, sprinkles, use what you want!

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Note: I also made a batch that were mint. For the I took out the coffee and vanilla extract and used mint extract instead. The consistency was a little different but they were still delicious.

Question of the day: Have you ever made homemade truffles?

Daily Happenings, Recipes, Running, Weekend

Knocking Off Christmas Movies

Happy Sunday! How is your weekend so far? Yesterday was fairly relaxing which is just what I wanted. I hope you have a wonderful day ๐Ÿ™‚

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Saturday started off with a 6 mile run. I unintentionally turned it into a progression run and got faster every mile (oops!). With an average pace of 9:47 (the goal was 9:45-10:30) I did fairly well. The last two miles were a 9:37 and 9:34 pace which is awesome. Slowly making the long runs get faster, woohoo! Side note, does anyone else skip gloves and just pull their long sleeve over their hands to keep them warm?

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When I got home, Alex was still in bed so I stretched and foam rolled while we chatted. Apparently I stuck (tmi?) because Alex said I should shower. Ya know, because I totally planned on going around in my sweaty running clothes all day ๐Ÿ˜‰ After getting dressed, I got some food in my belly that Alex cooked for us. Bacon, eggs, tea and a glass of milk was the perfect fuel to get me ready for the day.

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I basically ran out the door after eating to make it to the nail salon on time. For Alex and his twins birthday, her gift was that I would take her to get a manicure as my treat. This was the first time the three of us (their brother’s fiance joined us) were able to go. His sister was so excited to have a mini girls day and it was a great way to relax and chat without his parents or brothers around. I opted for a semi-dark purple from CND. I don’t know the name of it since the salon I go to just numbers them, sorry!

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Afterwards, I came back to clean up from breakfast and tidy the apartment. Alex was out getting his car reregistered and once that was all complete we were both hungry. We headed out for lunch and planned on getting Subway but somehow ended up at a pizza place. Any guesses on who was driving?! None of the specialty pizzas were up my alley (picky eater problems) and they had no plain cheese (how?) so I just got a slice of pepperoni and a slice of sausage. Long story short I should’ve just gotten a side salad instead of the sausage…Apparently it’s easy to mess up a simple slice, even if I’ve had it before and it was good.

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After lunch, I headed to Target. We needed some more hot sauce for dinner and Christmas gift bags. I found a ton in the dollar section that were in packs of two for $1 and super cute! I picked some of those up then came home to wrap Alex’s family’s gifts. Now we have actual presents under the tree instead of fake ones.

Once wrapping was all done, I got on the couch to read more ofย “They Both Die at the End”. I’m liking it a lot so far and am curious how the plot thickens. Random characters are getting added in and I have a feeling a bunch of these small people’s stories are going to converge.

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For dinner I made buffalo chicken dip! I noticed on the Frank’s Red Hot bottle there was a recipe. Alex and I figured it would be good and decided that would be dinner. I didn’t have all the ingredients so I modified it to fit what we did have. The recipe is below if you’re interested ๐Ÿ™‚

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After dinner, we knocked another movie off our list! Alex had never seenย “A Christmas Story”ย all the way through so that’s what we watched. Such a classic movie that everyone needs to see. When the movie was over, Alex asked if I wanted to play a video game so I said yes. We spent the rest of our night listening to Christmas music and killing zombies.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients:

1 package (8 oz.) of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce (or hot sauce of your choosing)

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup shredded chicken

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In bowl, mix together all of the ingredients with a fork. If you want, add some extra hot sauce and/or shredded cheese.

Place in a 1 quart baking dish and cook for 20 minutes.

Let cool slightly (so you don’t burn your tongue) and serve.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite Christmas movie?