Thursday, December 27, 2012

WIAW: Christmas Edition!

It feels like Christmas never happened. It's all a blur! But here are some of the eats we enjoyed Christmas day with my family :)


Friday, December 21, 2012

Ideal Friday Evening

If it was up to me, I would be in my pjs by 7pm tonight baking Christmas cookies with Elf playing in the background. It still doesn't reallyyy feel like Christmas yet to me, so I want to do everything in my power this weekend to make that happen. We have family flying in early tomorrow morning from the west coast, so my mom is feverishly running all around town trying to "get the house ready" for them. She always gets super stressed....and pretty pissed off during this time. Talk about a Holiday Scrooge! ;) So, instead of my dreamy hot coffee, sugar cookie, Will Ferrell filled evening....I will most likely be vacuuming the basement, laying out clean linens, and cleaning my room. Woof.

I shouldn't complain, really. I have a wonderful loving family, uncles, aunts, and cousins coming in from out of town to spend Christmas with us, enough money in my pocket to buy decent gifts this year, a nutso pupp, and a warm place to call home. There are too many people out there that can't say as much. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones recently and whose days are filled with grief, instead of joy, this Holiday season. I can't fathom experiencing such loss, especially at this time of year. So, as much as I complain and go on and on, I truly am thankful for the blessings in my life.

That being said...if I do get the chance to enjoy some Christmas quiet time, I would like to bake some of these treats. Some are new finds across the blogosphere, and some are oldies but goodies :)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cookies (... I know sounds pretty similar to the other cookie, but doesn't mean I'm not still very interested)

 Holiday Sweets: Low Calorie Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies (these sound AMAZING.)

healthy sugar cookies

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

WIAW: TJoe's and On the Go's

Happy Wednesday!! This has been a weird week for me thus far, but I'm going to roll with it. I was out sick on Monday because of an allergic reaction to walnuts that I had on Sunday night that landed me in the hospital... just a typical day in the life of me, but more on that another day. Let's talk WIAW! As always and forever, thank yous to Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for hosting the bloggy partayyy.

What I Ate Wednesday Healthy Holiday Recipes

I wish I could stick to theme this week and post tons of awesome healthy Holiday recipes, but I just haven't felt in the Christmas spirit for a while...anyone else feeling that way? Maybe it's the weird weather...who knows. I did, however, whip up some super easy Holiday treats Monday night for the girls at work.

Check out this quicky how-to, so you can make them for your friends and family this Holiday season. I've been on the hunt for a simple but delicious Holiday cookie to make for my managers, but chances are I will just make my favorite go-to cookie/bar recipe Healthy Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Bars made vegan with a chia egg instead of a regular egg. They're just so good and easy to make, they're hard to pass up.

In other news, I should not be allowed to go to Trader Joe's...ever. My mom asked me if I wanted to take a ride with her to the store... $70 later we barely made it out of there.

You're welcome Madre. You're welcome. Doubt I will be invited for a grocery run anytime soon, but that's not discouraging me from sharing these awesome goodies with all of you! Favorite call outs from this foodie stock pile: Luna Bars (the only way I get a breakfast some days), edamame (super easy protein source to throw onto salads or have on the side with dumplings or sushi), Multigrain Pita Bite Crackers (they're just plain good), Organic Pumpkin (always need a can on never know when you may need some), and a few more....

Chicken-Less Pulled Chicken- ummmm AMAZING. BBQ Pulled Pork is the ONE SINGLE DISH that I crave as a vegetarian. I know it's absurd and random, but I just can't smell that sweet barbeque-y goodness without wanting to dive right on in. You can imagine my excitement when I found this gem of a dish in the prepared vegetarian foods section of my local TJ's. And it's delishhh. Better than I expected :)

And with 240 Calories, 4 grams of Fat, and 34 grams of Protein to boot....where can you go wrong? Make it a meal with a slice of multigrain sourdough and a side salad, and call it a night.

Mini Cafe Twists- A hidden gem in TJ's if you ask me. No dairy, no butter, no eggs... whaaat? A deliciously decadent vegan treat?! Yes my friends, these flaky, cinnamony, sugary treats are vegan and absolutely divine. I have to display some serious self restraint when it comes to these bad boys. It is difficult NOT to eat the entire box in one sitting.

So this is a totally random WIAW post, but I wanted to share some of my recent essentials slash obsessions have been. First of all, when it comes to Holiday shopping you need to have energy (and lots of it), and you need to stay hydrated. This photo was taken before an Urban Outfitters sample sale that my cousin and I went to recently. Believe me, we needed it all. Cliff bars give you a boost of energy and keep you full for a good amount of time since they are packed with protein and fiber. They are always my go to breakfast/snack if I am on the go.

And coffee, of course. Literally I do not think I could make it through a single day without some form of caffeine. My latest obsession has been a cup of regular coffee with one shot of espresso, unsweetened soy milk, a dash of pumpkin pie spice, and a sprinkle of truvia. Divine comfort in a mug.

I've also been very much obsessed with brussel sprouts. Check out my Friendsgiving post to see my favorite way to cook these bad boys (hint...lotsa gah-lickkk!)

Bulmer got to visit with Santa this past Sunday and tell him everything that he wants for Christmas. Though I didn't hear his wishes I'm guessing....sneakers to chew on, fluffy toys to rip stuffing out of, black lacey thongs (his favorite these days...), and some good ole' yak bones. But those are just guesses, who knows what's goin on in that little pup's head :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Easiest Holiday Dessert Ever: M&M Rolo Pretzels

As Christmas draws near, I have found myself searching through all of my cookbooks for a new cookie recipe to make as gifts for colleagues and friends. Though that search is still ongoing (I have less than 24 hours to figure that out...), I decided to throw together one of the easiest Holiday desserts that my mom and I have been making for over 5 years.

M&M Rolo Pretzels
What do you need? ...literally M&Ms, Rolos, and Pretzels... and an oven, a cookie sheet, and some parchment paper.

The first thing I always do is unwrap all of the rolos in the bag and put them into a bowl. This is the most time consuming task of the whole process. Usually takes about 10 minutes to unwrap them all, so I plop myself in front of the tv and watch a Christmas special...or catch up on Up All Night :) When you're ready to start, preheat your oven to Broil. Leave the oven open a crack, so it doesn't get too hot in there.

Next lay out the pretzels on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Be sure to lay them out so that they are not overlapping and are all lying flat. This year I chose to use Christmas themed pretzels, but regular pretzels work just as well!

Once all of the pretzels are spread out on your parchment paper, place the Rolos neatly on each individual pretzel. Make sure the Rolo is steady because they have a tendency to tip over in the oven.

Once all of your Rolos are standing tall, place the cookie sheet in the oven and set the timer for 2 minutes. Don't forget to keep the oven door ajar. Be warned...these bad boys melt QUICKLY. I literally stand in front of the oven and watch to make sure that nothing is burning or caramelizing. A tell tale sign is when one or two of the Rolos start to tip over. That means they are melty enough not to stand on their own. You don't want the Rolos to get crispy on the top, so pull the tray out if you notice that starting to occur.


...After. As you can see, a few of the Rolos did tip over, but that's ok! It's super easy to use an M&M to push the melty Rolo back onto the pretzel. You need to act pretty quickly pushing M&Ms into each individual Rolo before the candies start to harden back up.

Melty goodness.

And that's it! You now have a tray full of chocolatey, caramely, salty deliciousness to share with your family and friends. Let these little morsels set over night on your kitchen counter, or for a quicker set, you can pop these into the fridge for a few hours. I wouldn't recommend taking them off of the parchment paper until they are entirely set, as you will most likely leave some of that gooey chocolate behind, and believe won't want to do that.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pupdate :)

I haven't posted about Bulmer the puggle pup in awhile...I haven't posted at all in awhile... so I decided to post a Pupdate! Here is a slew of recent pics of my nutso pup.