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Things That Got Me Through The Week

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Another week over, we are very ready for the weekend over here. We’re heading up to see Seth’s parents for the weekend and keep his dad company as he continues to recover from surgery.

Here are some of my favorite posts from this week that you should definitely check out because I think you will like them too.

  • Favorite new-to-me blog: The Diva Dish. I love the outlook on life that Ari has and she posts so many amazing recipes and tips for healthy living-like these homemade ding dongs. Or ho-hos. Or whatever other inappropriate name you call these. And “baby boo” is awfully cute as well :)

    (Photo from Diva Dish)
  • Favorite healthy food post: Apple Sage Chickpea Burgers. I love the flavor of apple in any burger or meatball recipe and these burgers look amazing and they are vegetarian! But really, the lemon ginger yogurt sauce is what convinced me that these need to be made and consumed ASAP.

    (Photo from Edible Perspectives)
  • Best fitness post: Julie’s Interview with Dr. Travis Stork. She got to interview Dr. Travis Stork from the show The Doctors, which is really very cool. He shared with her tips for living a healthy life on the go and what his typical diet looks like, which is surprisingly lacking in meat most of the time.
  • Best wedding post: This Chicago engagement shoot from Style Me Pretty. How cute is that s’mores pit?

    (Photos from Style Me Pretty)

  • Best YouTube Video: This video of the dog talking. It’s seriously hilarious, I dare you to watch this and not smile.

    Have a great weekend!

Pork, Cheddar and Apple Meatballs

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Tonight is a girl’s night, and it couldn’t be more necessary. I am going out to dinner with three of my best friends from high school and I can’t wait to spend the night with them and catch up. We were very close growing up and went to all different places for college (including New Orleans!) but now three of us are back in Philadelphia-with hopefully the last one coming soon! :)

For those of you who aren’t going to be served dinner tonight at a restaraunt, I give you: Pork, Cheddar and Apple Meatballs.

Ground pork really doesn’t get enough credit, in my opinion. We always think to use ground beef, or if we are trying to be good, ground turkey. But ground pork has so much flavor and is right in between beef and turkey on the nutritional scale; give it a try, it won’t let you down!

To make these meatballs, you’ll want to cut up a small apple (I used Gala) and a half of an onion into very small pieces. Add this to the pork along with some cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs, an egg and parsley. Salt and pepper to season!

Once the meatball mixture is all combined, use a cookie dough scoop to scoop uniform size meatballs onto a tray lined with tin foil. Can I just tell you how much I love my cookie dough scoop? It’s so versatile, I use it for cookies (obvi), meatballs, biscoff bites, when I’m putting cupcake batter into the liners, when I want uniform size pancakes, etc. It’s an excellent kitchen tool!

Once you have your cookie sheet all filled, broil them on the top rack of your oven for about 8-10 minutes. If you have an old, bad oven, it may take 15 minutes. They will look nice and golden brown when they are done.

These meatballs are so moist and flavorful! They have a tiny bit of sweetness from the apple, saltiness from the cheese, and lots of rich flavor from the pork. They can be served with pasta, or if you’re obsessed with quinoa like us, the two pair well together :)

These reheat really well too, just ask Seth; he ate them several days in a row for lunch.

 

Pork, Cheddar and Apple Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • 1 cup of reduced fat grated cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 small apple, peeled and cut into very small pieces
  • 1/2 an union, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Turn on oven broiler
  2. Peel and dice the apple and add to a bowl with the diced onion
  3. Add in breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese and chopped parsley
  4. Lightly beat one egg and pour over above ingredients
  5. Add ground pork and season with salt and pepper
  6. Using your hands, thoroughly combine all ingredients-this should take about 3-4 minutes
  7. With a cookie dough scoop (or spoon), scoop balls onto a tray lined with tin foil and sprayed lightly with cooking spray
  8. Broil the meatballs for about 10 minutes, longer if your oven is old like mine. The meatballs should be browned on top

 

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine

Food Temptations

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When I walked into my office’s break room this morning, this is what I was confronted with:

Only the bag was full. I took this picture at the end of the day, after the ten people on my floor managed to eat all fifty pretzels. I’m still not really sure how that happened.

Anyway, I resisted the pretzels which I typically don’t do because they are one of my major temptations in life. They are in the category of food that I physically cannot prevent myself from eating even when I’ve just had a weekend of non-stop sugar and carb induced binging in the middle of swimsuit season. You get the point-they are a weakness, and we all have them. And when I saw the pretzels this morning, for some reason it led me to think of every single other food that exists that I have an equally hard time resisting. For instance:

Caramel popcorn. Or Moose Munch. Or Caramel Popcorn with chocolate and peanut butter drizzled on top.

Pita chips. Specifically of the cinnamon sugar variety. Particularly when it’s the bottom of the bag-those little pieces just seem to have so much more cinnamon sugary goodness.

Guacamole. There’s just something about the tangy creaminess of guac that I can’t resist. When Lori posted this today, I immediately added it to my list to make for the superbowl.

Trail mix. Specifically the gourmet mixes that Target puts out. The name “trial mix” tricks you into believing it’s a good snack choice, but it’s not. At least not for me-I’m so addicted, I will eat the entire bag and not think twice. On several occasions, I’ve yelled at my mom for simply buying it and having it in the house because I’m completely incapable of resisting the stuff.

Brownies. Really any kind, but my favorites have some type of peanut butter on top of them, inside of them, or all around them. There are actually very few baked goods that I like straight out of the oven, but brownies are one of them. I just can’t say no.

I’m sure I’m missing others but these are just what popped into my head in the first ten seconds after I saw the soft pretzels. And now I’m starving.

Question: What are your “temptation foods” that you just can’t say no to??

 

Whole Wheat Chia Banana Bread Pancakes

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Something really disturbing happened this weekend. A mouse was spotted. In the kitchen. On the stove.

EW.

We live in a very old house and earlier in the fall, a very tiny mouse was spotted (and later killed) by Lucy. Since then, there haven’t been any sightings….until now. I mean the NERVE of this thing, traveling to the top of the stove to investigate pancake crumbs that hadn’t been cleaned up yet. The mouse definitely thought it had hit the jackpot; food, on top of the stove where the cat can’t reach it. Well I screamed as soon as I saw it and it hasn’t shown its ugly face since, but Lucy isn’t helping much either.

That’s a heated blanket that she’s laying on. And I don’t think she’ll be moving unless the mouse runs right in front of her nose.

Anyway, before the mouse incident, I made these healthy, delicious banana bread pancakes. They have whole wheat flour, chia seeds, no oil and they taste like cake. Win.

I made the batter the night before so that we could eat these as soon as we got home from the gym, so feel free to make it ahead of time as well. The dry ingredients include whole wheat flour, oat flour (made in the blender again), baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. The wet ingredients include milk (1%), egg, applesauce, mashed banana and chia seeds.

Once the batter is mixed up and poured into the pan, I added some cinnamon chips. This was a great decision and I highly recommend it.

See those bubbles on that pancake? That means it’s ready to flip. Seth taught me that.

These pancakes are so moist and flavorful, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since Sunday.

Since the pancakes were totally healthy, we decided they needed a very unhealthy glaze poured all over the top to really take them over the edge. A cinnamon cream cheese glaze was in order!

Looking at this picture again makes me want to add a breakfast for dinner night to this week’s menu. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

 

Whole Wheat Chia Banana Bread Pancakes

Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

  • 1 Cup of oats, processed into oat flour
  • 1 3/4 Cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Cups of milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of applesauce
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Mashed bananas
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Chia seeds
For the glaze:
  • 4 ounces of 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese
  • 8 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Add chia seeds to wet ingredients
  2. Combine the two and mix
  3. Let stand for 30 minutes (or overnight is fine)
  4. Heat a skillet on medium heat and using a 1/3 dry measuring cup, pour batter into pan
  5. Add cinnamon chips and cook about 3 minutes on each side
  6. To make the glaze, microwave the cream cheese and butter about 30 seconds, stirring until smooth and runny
  7. Whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon
  8. Drizzle generously on top of pancakes!

Biscoff Pretzel Bites

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Since I had to work today while many of you had off, I’m pretty bitter. And the only thing that will fix this is chocolate.

But really, chocolate isn’t even the star ingredient in this recipe. It’s the Biscoff spread.

I want you all to run, not walk, to the nearest Wegman’s and buy as many jars of Biscoff spread as they have stocked on the shelves. Or if you don’t have a Wegman’s, click here to find a store near you that has it. Or order it off of Amazon. This stuff is unbelievably good, dangerously addicting and annoyingly hard to find. It’s probably best that the Acme up the street doesn’t carry this or else I would have to start going to the gym twice a day.

It has a creamy, peanut butter-like texture and appearance but it tastes like a delicious butter cookie in spreadable form. It tastes great on crackers, pretzels, bread, bananas, apples, fingers—you get the picture.

These Biscoff bites are so simple to make and the batter is to.die.for so the only downfall is that it’s extra hard to stop eating the mixture right then and there with a spoon.

To make these, you simply combine the Biscoff spread with crushed pretzels, powdered sugar, melted butter, a little brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.

Using a cookie dough scoop, you scoop balls of the mixture and roll them uniformly in your hands.
Then you let them harden a little in the refrigerator (about a half hour). To form the chocolate coating, you melt some chocolate chips with a tiny bit of vegetable oil in the microwave and coat each ball one at a time.
Then you let them harden (again) in the fridge. This time period can be agonizing, but be patient.
And voila! These were seriously so so good. We brought them to Seth’s dad in the hospital this past weekend and he declared them the best thing he had eaten in five days. Disregard the fact that he has been eating hospital food :)

Biscoff Pretzel Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Biscoff spread
  • 3 Cups of crushed pretzels
  • 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 6 Tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 2 Cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon of canola oil

Directions

  1. Measure 3 cups of pretzels and crush them either in a food processor or in a plastic bag; you don’t want them to be ground into a powder, just broken into small chunks
  2. Combine the Biscoff, crushed pretzels, butter, brown sugar, salt, and powdered sugar. Gently stir to combine all ingredients
  3. Using a cookie dough scoop or a spoon, form balls with the mixture. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper
  4. Refrigerate the balls for at least 30 minutes
  5. Melt the chocolate chips and oil together in a bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between
  6. Using two forks, place each Biscoff ball in the chocolate and roll to coat. Place back on the wax paper
  7. Refrigerate again for 30 more minutes or until chocolate hardens
  8. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Weekend Happenings

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I hope everyone had a good weekend, ours was busy and went by quickly, as always! Saturday was spent at the hospital visiting Seth’s dad, who is doing great! The day ended with dinner at Whole Foods, which is one of my top five favorite places to wander aimlessly/eat. They have the best, most fresh food, ever. Period.

For example, fresh pasta bar anyone?

And this superfoods salad was ah-may-zing.

But the highlight of the meal was definitely this chocolate hazelnut sticky bun that we shared for dessert. It tasted like a warm chocolate chip cookie combined with a sticky bun. Seriously delicious.

Today we spent some time at another of my top five favorite places: Barnes and Noble. I seriously would love to just move in to this place. Seth did some “homework”…this is a rare photo of him reading, one that you will likely never see again here on this blog.

And I did some serious honeymoon research. It’s time to start planning!!

Now we are relaxing and watching some football, and I’m telepathically telling Seth to please take care of this:

 

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend everyone, see you tomorrow with a recipe using one of the greatest food items ever invented: Biscoff.

Things That Got Me Through The Week

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Thankfully, this week went pretty quickly. This weekend, we are going to spend some time with Seth’s dad and family and hopefully stay inside as much as possible since the high on Sunday is 29 degrees!

Here are some of the great things I came across this week that helped put a smile on my face (or a growl in my stomach!)

  • Best Healthy Dish: This Edamame Dip with Smoked Paprika and Garlic. Dara from Cookin’ Canuck has had some great healthy recipes out since the new year but this one got me especially excited. Perfect Super Bowl food!

    (Picture from Cookin’ Canuck)

  • Best Fitness Post: The Benefits of Supersets at Life of Blyss. This girl always inspires me when it comes to working out and she wrote a great post about the benefits of working supersets into your routine and even gave a great example of a workout. I mean lets face it, no one wants to spend a ton of time in the gym, we have better things to do (like eat). Supersets are where it’s at.
  • Best Inspirational Post: Madison’s resolution to give up “fat talk” in 2012. I’ve read alot of blog posts about resolutions but this one was the best I’ve seen. She is resolving to stop telling herself that she feels or looks fat and instead embrace the body she has and take the best care of it that she can. I know my girlfriends and I spend alot of time talking about how “fat” we feel, so I give Madison credit for coming up with this great idea!
  • And finally, if you made this far, this is my favorite funny youtube video from this week. Pittsburgh Dad: Snow. Even if you didn’t grow up in western PA, I’m sure many of you can relate to this Dad’s phrases of “Take your shoes off before you come inside, you know how much your mom hates when her socks get wet”. And “Make sure you close the garage door when you come in, I ain’t tryin’ to heat the whole neighborhood”. :)

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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