Things I’m Diggin’ Lately 2014/12/10

20141210 Things I'm Diggin Lately

  1. Work out like a Victoria Secret model. I mean, if you’re in to that kind of thing… (self.com)
  2. Spread a little holiday cheer with these funny Christmas cards. (huffingtonpost.com)
  3. I can’t wait to serve this hot rum punch at my next party. (nytimes.com)
  4. For anyone who has struggled through a long run or any workout of the sorts, here are some great tips. (womensrunning.com)
  5. Because everyone has that special best friend who deserves a rad holiday gift. (joannagoddard.blogspot.com)
  6. Chewy molasses cookies. Yes please. (epicurious.com)

Holiday Gifting for Health Enthusiasts

 

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Holiday Shopping Picture

  1. A blender that can hold up like the professionals. ($200)
  2. The chicest bracelet for sporting a Fitbit. ($195)
  3. You can’t beat these lightweight wireless bluetooth earbuds when your workout needs some jams. ($40)
  4. This heavy duty cast iron skillet will be a kitchen favorite because of its versatility. ($33)
  5. A chef’s best friend – this high quality chef’s knife. ($30)
  6. Super cute workout leggings. ($69)
  7. Smart running gloves that keep you warm and connected. ($45)
  8. A slouchy knit beanine in a great color. ($30)
  9. A sling water bottle carrier that allows you to stay hydrated hands free. ($12)
  10. A year membership to the best workout mixes with unlimited streaming and access to every single mix. ($36)

 

Candy Cane Brownie Cupcakes

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Yup, that’s right. Three magical things all mixed together in one happy baked good.  If you’re not in the holiday spirit yet, you HAVE to taste these.  One of my friends from grad school passed on her top secret brownie recipe to me.  And it’s good….

Cupcakes 2
BUT….seeing as it’s top secret….I have used her original recipe to create my own (healthier) version for you.  If you like your brownies chewy on the inside, and crunchy on the outside, cupcakes are the way to go.  If you like more of a traditional style brownie…aka you only eat the middle pieces….just use a 9 x 13 pan and bake a little longer.  These will not disappoint.  Oh, and major bonus – if you need to blow off steam for any reason, you get to smash candy canes with a mallet (or meat tenderizer) and it doesn’t suck!

Candy Cane Brownie Cupcakes
Yields 18
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter softened
  2. 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  3. 1 cup coconut sugar
  4. 1/2 cup splenda
  5. 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  6. 4 tsp vanilla
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 4 large egg whites
  9. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  10. 1 cup cocoa powder
  11. 1 tsp salt
  12. 12 candy canes (crushed)
Instructions
  1. 1. Mix butter, applesauce, and sugars until well blended.
  2. 2. Add in vanilla and eggs.
  3. 3. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and salt until no flour streaks remain.
  4. 4. Add in half of the crushed candy cane.
  5. 5. Fill cupcake liners or greased muffin tins almost to the top.
  6. 6. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes until a toothpick is ALMOST clean. Note: about 7 minutes in, sprinkle crushed candy cane on top of each cupcake.
  7. 7. Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to continue baking in pan for a couple of minutes.
  8. 8. Remove cupcakes from pan and let them cool.
Notes
  1. Enjoy!
  2. www.playingforeats.com
Playing For Eats http://playingforeats.com/

Mac & Cheese Please

Mac & Cheese Header

Mac & Cheese…oh the comfort foods of comfort foods….

I don’t know about you, but if I’m at a restaurant, and mac & cheese is on the menu, there’s about a 99% chance that I’m going order it.  I usually try to convince whichever poor soul that has agreed to share a meal with me that macaroni and cheese is the only appropriate side for whatever else we’re eating…it’s shameful.

I’ve only made a legit homemade mac & cheese one time before, and it was a magical recipe from the Pioneer Woman.  You know what that means…bacon, cream, the whole shebang…
So, I was super thrilled to find this recipe for a lighter version of the magical meal.  I made it last night as the first official meal in my new apartment (wooohooo!), and it was the perfect way to de-virginize my oven.  Hubba hubba.

Mac & Cheese 1

Next time, I’ll probably use a sharper cheddar cheese, and pepper jack cheese + Monterrey jack cheese.  Also, I used nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and it had a bit of the tangy Greek yogurt flavor, so I’d probably use 2% plain instead.  But honestly, I can’t wait to eat these leftovers….they are taunting me every time I open the fridge.

Mac & Cheese 2
Mac & Cheese 3

Enjoy!

 

Things I’m Diggin’ Lately 2014/12/3

 20141203 Things I'm Diggin Lately

  1. Who doesn’t love a good cooking fight? Especially when it’s over Christmas cookies…. (nytimes.com)
  2. Storage tips for a small kitchen.  Because there’s just never enough space, right? (apartmenttherapy.com)
  3. If you haven’t tried a barre workout, you’re missing out.  Don’t worry, you can do these moves at home. (self.com)
  4. The struggle to peel an orange is real.  This technique will make your life MUCH easier. (tablespoon.com)
  5. Need a quick pick me up? Follow these adorable pets on instagram to brighten your day. (vogue.com)
  6. Buh-bye pumpkin, this month it’s all about peppermint.  Mallowmint cupcakes, yes please. (cieradesign.com)

Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving

Q of the Week: Let’s Talk Superfoods

Q: I always hear people refer to certain foods as superfoods.  What does that really mean? (Carole, CO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a question for Q of the Week?  Email me or leave a comment!

Things I’m Diggin’ Lately 2014/11/25

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  1. Build a better Thanksgiving leftover sandwich (bonappetit.com)
  2. Kitchen cleaning tips for anyone who wants to keep their kitchen tools clean AND in great shape (thekitchn.com)
  3. A tip on gallery walls – inspiration for anyone looking to redecorate (honestlywtf.com)
  4. Why our favorite fitness spots smell the way they do (self.com)
  5. The 15 hottest US cities for 2015 (businessinsider.com)
  6. Take more impressive photos using your PHONE by adding these accessories (apartmenttherapy.com)

Break It Down Now

Break It Down Now 2A couple of days ago I saw an idea via @oiselle on Twitter that got me super pumped!  The concept is motivation to take your workouts outside even during the nasty (almost) winter weather….

Go Funning!

I love love love this because I can’t tell you how tempted I am to hop on a treadmill each time I feel even the slightest gust of wind.  In Texas you really never know what you’re going to get when you step outside your door every day (hint: I spent yesterday afternoon at the pool, and today I’m shivering in my North Face), so this is my attempt to be a little more brave when embracing the chilly outdoors.

Break It Down Now 4My challenge to you is to take extra care to make your workouts fun each day.  Especially when you’ve got Thanksgiving stuffing/sweet potatoes/pecan pie creeping around the corner….

One of my favorite tips from the Go Funning article was the Camera Camaraderie, so I’m starting a theme for all of you…hooray…

#BreakItDownNow

Break It Down Now represents anything you see while you’re outside running, walking, biking, skipping (you see where I’m going with this), that you consider the perfect reason to take a quick break from your workout.  Get it?

Here’s mine for today:

BreakItDownNowHashTag
So head outside and get moving!  When you find something worthy of breaking it down, snap a picture and add the hashtag #BreakItDownNow!

Happy funning!

Creamy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

Creamy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip HeaderWhy is it that food just tastes better when it’s served with a dip?  Chips + salsa.  Bread + olive oil.  Fruit + creamy peanut butter dip…..

This is the perfect party dip if you’re serving a fruit plate because (hooray!!) it tastes great AND it’s healthy.  You’ve probably noticed that most fruit dips contain powdered sugar, cream cheese, marshmallow cream, or other super high calorie, high sugar ingredients.  In my opinion,  dips should complement foods, not overwhelm them.

If you don’t already know how crazy I am about Greek yogurt, read this.  It should be no surprise that Greek yogurt is the base of this extra creamy dip.  It’s naturally rich in protein and low in fat, and honestly, it’s just so dang good.  Oh, and major bonus – it’s the easiest thing I’ve created in my kitchen in a very long time.

Are you sold yet?  Fantastic.
Creamy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip 3

Creamy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip
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Total Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage Total 2%)
  2. 2 tbsp PB2 (or peanut butter if you prefer)
  3. 1 tsp honey
  4. 1-2 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together and serve with your favorite fruits.
Notes
  1. Enjoy!
  2. www.playingforeats.com
Playing For Eats http://playingforeats.com/