Archives for February 2013

Feel Good Friday.

Isn’t it amazing how good Friday feels?
It’s like a sweet freedom…I’m pretty much sure things are 10x’s better on Friday. My coffee tastes better, my workout is definitely more kick ass than Thursday’s workout, and my all-around personality is just…awesome(er). Friday is an excuse to throw every week-like-thing out the window and give complete attention to the weekend. Today is a “let’s throw those salads out the window and dive into a thick slice of carrot cake with a good slather of cream cheese” Friday. But wait…don’t I make it clear that everyday is for cake? Well, Friday is just EXTRA special. 🙂 
Cake is 100% better on Friday. 
Especially a cake made with Chobani Greek yogurt. 

I pretty much HEART Chobani in a big way because they sent me a huge crate of their delicious new flavors a few weeks back. 
So, I am finding innovative ways to use them. F.Y.I. Greek yogurt in a cake is pure bliss. 

Of course you can’t have yogurt without honey…I think it has something to do with my upbringing in Catholic school…something about the land of milk and honey in the bible. 
Yep, I just imagined a river, rolling with a stream of milk and honey that tasted so sweet you could stand on the side of the river bank and scoop it into your morning coffee cup.

That would be the life. 
Let’s add some blueberries. Because the yogurt has chopped figs and orange zest and well, because

fruits on fruits is a definite go in my world. 
Oh, and healthy too!

Duh.

Now, I don’t know whether to call this a dessert, snack, or side for dinner or lunch…or breakfast?

Let’s just say that this cake is appropriate for any time of day. 
We make our own rules round’ these here parts. 

Like who says you need butter…this cake is super buttery. 
Butter is ALWAYS welcome. But, seriously…this needs homemade blueberry jam (find some at your local supermarket…I bought mine at my local farmer’s market).

GASP!

I cannot even deal right now. 

Sometimes I wish my childhood friend, Mr. Winnie the Pooh Bear, was here to share with me some of my delicious treats made with honey. 

Then again, I’m pretty sure I could expect to see him sitting on top of the kitchen counter with his hand in the honey jar. 

So, yea, it’s Friday…shout it to all the land, make this cake, 

and be golden, capisce?
Fig Yogurt, Blueberry, and Honey Corn Skillet Cake (GF):
Ingredients:
1 c. almond flour
1 c. stone ground cornmeal
1 T. baking powder
1 t. fine sea salt
2 eggs
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 c. (about 3 small containers) Chobani Bite Fig + Orange Zest Greek Yogurt
1/2 c. raw honey
1 c. fresh blueberries
zest of 1 small orange
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 10′ cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the almond flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
4. Add the eggs, evoo, yogurt, and honey to the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is evenly incorporated. 
5. Fold in the blueberries and orange zest and mix well. 
6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared skillet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
7. Let the cake cool slightly before cutting.
8. Serve with homemade blueberry jam, a dollop of fresh Greek yogurt, and a drizzle of honey.
Makes 8 slices.
MANGIA!!!

Thursday Things.

Happy Thursday y’all!
I started my day with a wet and humid 3 mile run through the neighborhood w/ the momma. Just picture me in an over sized Huntington Beach hoodie covering my freshly blow dried hair running down the block. 
That could definitely be dangerous because I’m pretty sure I look like I was stealing something. 
Haha. JK. 
Let’s talk about things that are making my world go round’ lately. 
If you don’t know them, you should definitely check on this. Like NOW! Let’s just talk about how these are the greatest, and I mean GREATEST energy bars of like…pretty much all time. In all the world, even. That’s pretty special. Anyhoo, why are they sooooo amazing? The bars are 100% raw, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and soy-free. What what? Holler! Oh, oh and the icing on the cake…their wrappers are 100% compostable. BEST OF ALL? Few ingredients…all that you can pronounce…unless, well you need to go back to school to get an edumacation. Just saying. Oh, purchase online…or find a location! All of their bars are ahmazing, but I am going to say one thing, and one thing only: Cashew Fig Carrot…just trust me. Head on over to their blog to enter their Energosiacs Giveaway. Today is that last day to enter…but don’t freak b/c for the entire month of February they are offering 25% off purchases of the Cashew Fig Carrot bar when you order online! Boo-yah! Now, that’s what I call love. 
Love on Thunderbird: FB, Twitter
This, well, this speaks for itself. Probably the BEST coconut butter I have tasted in a loooong time. Unless, I make my own of course ;). No, seriously Nikki definitely knows what is up. This is a healthy indulgence so dig in
xoxo: FB, Twitter
I’m pretty sure the name speaks for itself. 
Ummmmm Green Apple Ginger is my fave! Just throwing that out there. 
This is one of the purest kombucha’s out there…meaning no extra ingredients. You can actually taste the Kombucha! That’s what I’m talking about. Also, bonus points go Holy Kombucha for donating 10% of proceeds to Sow the Seed, which helps provide food and housing to children directly affected by human trafficking. If that’s not a reason to purchase, I don’t know you 🙂
Love: FB, Twitter
Paleo lovers rejoice! 
A paleo bread that is gluten-free, grain-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, soy-free, low calorie, high protein, high fiber, low in carbs, and starch free (whew that is a lot of frees!). My favorite flavor is the Coconut Bread. I mean, duh. 
Kisses and Hugs: FB, Twitter
Gluten-free, vegan, raw, non-GMO pure ingredient snack of goodness! No, greatness! Check out their Miracle Tarts…they are seriously miraculous. But seriously, all of their products are worth trying!
Show them some love: FB, Twitter
Also, some reading for your enjoyment: 21 Signs that you are the Sad Single Friend (not that I am, or that you should have any sympathy for me…haha) #13…that is all. 🙂
MANGIA!!!

My Milkshake.

Let’s talk about my newest obsession as of…well, forever ago. Does that even make sense? Probably not. Oh well. It’s coconut butter. I just think that whoever came up with the idea of pulverizing delicious unsweetened, shredded coconut until it reaches a silky coconut river of happiness has got to be the most genius person alive. Like for reals, yo!
 On a second thought it may have been a coconut hater…well a person who hates coconut for the texture, not taste. If you are like me, you will take coconut in any form. Even a milkshake form. Well, at least I can call this a milkshake even though it is sans actual ice cream. Just go with me on this one. Frozen bananas. They are your life…and your new bff.
Let’s take some of this coconut butter and 
pulverize it with some other good stuff: frozen bananas, cinnamon, vanilla, almond milk, and a touch of honey.
I am telling you…coconut butter is the new peanut butter never! 
More of like the new butter…or maybe the new coconut? Just make it. 🙂


Coconut Butter Banana Milkshake (GF/P/V):

Ingredients:
1 T. coconut butter, melted (homemade (add seeds of 1 vanilla bean in) or store bought)
1 banana, cut in half and frozen
1/2 c. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
2 t. raw honey (maple syrup for vegan)
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1 T. coconut flour (you could also try rolled oats, almond flour, or flaxseed)

Instructions:
1. Add all ingredients to a blender and process on high speed until smooth.
2. Pour the smoothie into a mason jar or a glass and serve immediately!

Serves 1.

MANGIA!!!

Real Bananas.

It’s funny how the littlest things in life can really irritate you, but (there is always a but) then you realize that there are greater things in life to focus on. Like yesterday, when I accidentally deleted the most gorgeous photo of mashed bananas on my camera. OMG. Like, I was totally going to show you how scrumptious those mashed bananas looked. As if! But wait…they were mashed bananas! Calm down, Chels. 
Mashed bananas are no biggie. Now, deleting pics of your cousins wedding shower might have been drastic…luckily, I manage to do some things correctly. Winning! Also, I have settled with talking about the mashed bananas because I will not talk about The Bachelor on this blog. I will not talk about the bachelor, I will not talk about the bachelor, I will not talk…Truth is…I don’t know how I get sucked into these “reality” shows. 
The fact that they are more entertaining than my life and that I can watch from the comfort of my own couch while eating a stack of peanut butter cookies is just irrelevant. Totally. I’m pretty sure I have a problem. Like reality t.v. addicts anonymous. Oh, praise the lawd I have weened myself off of anything Kardashian. Seriously, those guys were taking up air space inside my head. 
Let’s talk about muffins. Muffins will make Tuesday look a whole lot better. Is whole lot even a word? Gawd I have no attention span this morning. My family and I lived in Folsom, California for 1 year while I was in high school and every morning on my way to my all-girls Catholic high school (yes, I was in hell…or something like it) my dad and I would stop for breakfast. Now, this was not just any breakfast place…it was a breakfast gem nestled in a lavish Sacramento neighborhood. 
Milazzo’s was a pizzeria/cafe where my dad and I would go, not only to share a delicious bran muffin, but to engage in great conversation with Mr. Milazzo and his daughter. The bran muffin was seriously the icing on the cake, so thick and fluffy. Great with a tall glass of milk and coffee. It was also chock full of raisins and walnuts. I love me a muffin chock full of things and truthfully, I haven’t come across a muffin like that in well…years. Until yesterday, that is. 
Thank goodness I didn’t delete this photo. 

This muffin is a banana muffin…but chock full of cacao nibs

and finely shredded coconut.

Cacao nibs are the new chocolate chips…just go with me.

It was extremely difficult to not lick the bowl clean. 

That is a fantastic problem to have. 

These muffins are perfect for a rainy day, which was also one of my favorite times to share a muffin at Milazzo’s with my dad. 

That may have been every day, seeing as it rained constantly during the winter months in Sacramento.

These muffins are absolutely delicious, with a subtle chocolate flavor from the rustic cacao nibs.

And oh-mah-gawwwwd the coconut just takes these babies off the charts. 

Seriously. 

What are you waiting for? Let’s eat breakfast. 
Coconut and Cacao Nib Banana Muffins (GF/Paleo Option):
Ingredients:
1 c. almond flour
1 c. oat flour (for completely paleo…use almond flour here)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. fine sea salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3 large eggs
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. raw honey
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1 c. finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1 c. cacao nibs
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, and salt. 
3. Mix in the mashed banana, eggs, evoo, honey, and vanilla until the batter is smooth and evenly distributed.
4. Fold in the coconut and cacao nibs.
5. Use a cookie scoop to scoop the muffin batter by 2 teaspoons into each muffin cup.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out clean.
7. Serve warm with a drizzle of honey and a good slather or butter.
Makes 18 muffins.
MANGIA!!! 

Secret Recipe Club.

Happy Monday y’all!
You know what time it is. Duh. Secret Recipe Club time. Once again, my life got a little bit crazy and then I realized this past weekend…oh, yea, I have a SRC post on Monday. Whoops! Luckily, I was given one amazing blog, It’s Yummy to My Tummy, where Heather Kluesner shares delicious recipes that help her “de-stress her life.” Heather, I know exactly what you mean. Cooking and baking is definitely therapeutic for me as well. Now, while I am not a mom like Heather, I can definitely vouch for all of us by saying that quick and delicious recipes are gold. Soooooo ironically, when I was running out of time to bake or cook anything this weekend, Heather had my back. Enter Heather’s 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies.  I mean seriously. This was a no brainer. #1. Peanut Butter. Duh. #2. 3-ingredients. Duh x’s 2! #3. Did I mention Peanut Butter?
Yea.

Peanut Butter.

I was totally sold at Peanut Butter. Duh. 

The chocolate chips are an added bonus for sure.

I love my cookies with coffee. It’s nice to switch things up.

Yes, I drink my coffee with a straw.

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies (GF):
Ingredients:
1 c. peanut butter (chunky or creamy) (I used Peanut Butter Crave Choco Choco Peanut Butter)
1 egg
1 c. white sugar (I used coconut sugar)
*Add-ins: chocolate chips or candy pieces (I added a couple of dark chocolate chips on top of each cookie)
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 
2. Combine all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until smooth. 
3. Use a cookie scoop to drop the dough by rounded teaspoons on to the prepared baking sheet. 
4. You can choose to flatten the cookie with the tines of a fork, or top the cookie with 2-3 chocolate chips each. 
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges.
Makes 12-20 cookies.
MANGIA!!!