Monday, December 31, 2012

Gooooodbye 2012


No, really; HOW? Where did the year go? WHERE? I don't remember much of the year, to be honest (and no, I wasn't high, drunk, or in a coma, I swear). 
It feels like the older you get (and I'm really not that old. honest.), the less you remember. Or maybe the faster time goes? Or maybe all of the above?

Inserting a big self-suffering sigh here.  Because of this 'revelation', I've determined that in 2013, I need to make more delicious and messy food.  Also, maybe finally figure out how to walk in high heels for longer than 3 minutes and somewhere that's not my home. And possibly discover the secret of taming my lion's mane hair? 
Any tips? Maybe something that doesn't include mayonnaise? (which, I'm sorry to say, has already been tried. As in, taking a jar of mayo and lathering into my hair because my mother claimed it was a good idea and then just resulted in me sitting for 20 minutes with mayo-covered hair, rinsing with shampoo, drying, and finally ending up with mayo-scented hair that smells as unappetizing as it sounds).

So, please people, anything besides mayo?

Anyway, my goal for this year has been to watch 2012 before 2013 (if that makes sense to anyone). This film was an obsession of mine when it came out in 2009. It honestly made me excited for 12/21/12.

2012 Poster

 Of course, when the day actually came and went, I was slightly depressed, but also sorta kinda happy because, let's be honest, I definitely would NOT be one of those people who made it onto the arcs and survived. I'd probably be the person running to the supermarket and buying up all the non-perishable foods (ie: dark chocolate, cookie butter, and pretzels) and then attempt to bribe the officers in charge of those crafty Noah's-Arc-Copy-Cats with my goodies.

Pathetic? Yes.
 True? Sadly.

So, let's hope for a new year full of food, laughter, and most importantly, mayo-free hair.


Friday, December 28, 2012


So today I discovered I'm slightly addicted to Arizona Arnold Palmer's Half & Half Iced Tea Lemonade. Now normally I detest iced tea with a capital D, but this time I made an exception since there was lemonade involved.
 I've determined it can only be drunk from a goblet because it reminds me of the Goblet of Fire (or what my mind thinks a goblet of fire looks like) from Harry Potter. I've read all the Harry Potter books and honestly believed I'd get an admissions letter when I was 11. Turns out I'm a muggle.
 And yes, I thought all of this while drinking my iced tea lemonade. I don't know why.
 Ask my brain.

On a random note, my cat apparently has appointed himself the hunter of the house. He spends his days hunting food crumbs and taking pleasure in stabbing them with his paws in addition to eating, drinking and sleeping his days away.
 Tough life.

Hunting until I took a picture and he decided to glare at me. 
(please excuse the cracked, dirty floors..someday they'll get washed)

A few weeks ago I was at Whole Foods (the closest to my house is 40 minutes away, so I go twice a year because I can't bring myself to drive that far) and discovered the new love of my life (it changes every week or so..I KNOW, I KNOW, I fall in and out of love too easily these days...) :

This, my friends is PB Crave: Cookie Nookie Peanut Butter, AKA, the love of my life (for a week). Imagine a reese's peanut butter cup smashed up into a butter form. Oh my. Cookie Nookie just makes you want to curl up on a couch and hug this jar, doesn't it? No? Just me? Right then...

I made sure to stock up on this, so I have enough jars to last me until...mmm... February?


WELL. WELL. WELL. WELL. (Did you know that if you stare at a word to long, it starts to look weird?) 

Tonight I decided to make hummus. Peanut butter hummus to be specific. Cookie Nookie Peanut Butter hummus if you want to be really specific. 

Mmm. mmm. MMMMMM. It's good. It' really good. Like.....GOOD. If you don't have the famous PB CRAVE COOKIE NOOKIE PEANUT BUTTER, that's okay. Really. It's going to be all right. Deep breaths.  Now here's what you do; 

- Take regular generic peanut butter (if you're a texture-ish person, get some crunchy peanut butter)
- Take chocolate chips. Melt chocolate chips. Pour chocolate chips into peanut butter. STIR TOGETHER.
-Voila. There you go. You can even take once step further and throw some whole chocolate chips into the mix. Be a rebel. 

So, here's what you do for the hummus:


Get out your food processor. Pour rinsed & drained a 15 oz. can of chickpeas, 2 tbs. milk (I used vanilla soy milk), about a teaspoon of vanilla, 3 TBS OF THE COOKIE NOOKIE PEANUT BUTTER (key ingredient here, people), and 1/4 cup sweetener of choice (I used sugar free maple syrup). Next, process. Process until mixture is smooth and chunk-free (because, really, who wants a big chunk of pea? No thanks, I'm good.). 

Then, if you want , add a sprinkle of cinnamon for a kick. But only if you want.

Dump into a cereal bowl (for optimal eating) and top with chocolate chips or raisins. I love to eat it with pretzel sticks, maybe some apple slices, on top of cereal..YUM. :)

NOTE: I WOULD HIGHLY ADVISE YOU TO NOT, I REPEAT NOT EAT THE WHOLE DIP IN ONE SITTING. Now, normal, rational people probably would not, but I just thought you should all be warned.

 Because, let's all be honest here;
 the majority of us are not normal, rational people.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vacation & MY Homemade Version of Cookie Butter

Hello again!
 I sincerely hope everyone has had a happy holidays the past few days!
 Personally, I've spent the past week thanking the heavens for not ending the world last Friday, celebrating the renewal of the Earth by making (and eating) desserts like my life has depended on it (because, you see, I thought the world was ending at the time so I was preparing myself. Don't judge.), spending copious amounts of time with family, and running my little heart out. 

I have to tell you, Christmas desserts make for wonderful fuel for 9-10 mile runs<---personal distance records, thankyouverymuch.
 Especially  for long runs. Especially with homemade cookie butter. Oh yes. I went there.  You've all heard of cookie butter, right?  (and if you haven't, well then I'm truly sorry for your loss. Truly.)

This past weekend I bought Biscoff cookies( at Big Lots!; they have this foreign food aisle that I've recently discovered and am thoroughly obsessed with. I kid you not.) because, well, THEY'RE BISCOFF COOKIES. If you haven't had these cookies yet, that's okay. I forgive you. Trader Joes has this Speculoos cookie butter spread that is OHMYCOOKIE AMAZING. 
Out of this world.

 Heaven in your mouth. 

Healthy crack. <---er...what?

Right, well, it's just really really gobsmack'n good. I wanted to try to create my own version of it with somewhat healthier ingredients. I used  coconut cookies and BISCOFF cookies (yes, yes, I know. These aren't exactly "healthy", but IT'S CALLED COOKIE BUTTER for a reason, right?) I basically threw some cookies in my food processor (okay, well technically it's my Mom's, but I use it WAY MORE than she does and she'll tell you that it's hers and if she reads this she'll make a point of telling me it's NOT mine and how I use it too much and will probably break it one of these days and then I'll have to buy her a new one.) along with some flavored soy milk, molasses, spices, and some peanut butter / cashew butter.

  Let me just say (type), that this has been my favorite thing to eat for the past week. I slather it on anything and everything sweet.
 (I tried it with savory foods, and, well... let's just not talk it about, okay?)

It doesn't taste EXACTLY like the Trader Joes's version but similar, I'll be honest. BUT, it IS 
very tasty and  and addicting AND slightly healthier because there's no added oil to it. So, really, it could be called a health food.

At least, that's what I tell myself.

Homemade Cookie Butter
inspired by Trader Joes Speculoos Cookie Butter

1/3 pkg. Biscoff Cookies
1 1/2 cup cookies of choice
2 big dashes of ground cloves, nutmeg, & ginger
1 heaping tbs. cinnamon
1 1/2 tbs. molasses
1/2 cup nut butter of choice (I used peanut & cashew butter)
1/2 -3/4 cup vanilla soy milk 

1. Get out your food processor
2. Add in cookies,spices, & molasses; process until fairly smooth
3. Pour in milk and turn on processor. Continue adding milk and consistency is like that of nut butter.
4.Add in nut butter and continue to process until smooth.
5. Taste. If you believe the cookie butter is not tasty enough, add in more of the spices used until taste is satisfactory to YOUR palate. 
6. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!

NOTE: This is absolutely delicious with pretzels, apple slices, bananas, or (my personal favorite) with a spoon.   :P

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

meet Cy & Row

So, lately I've been mildly fascinated by this machine at my gym that's been there for god-knows-how long. Every time I go to the gym, I get on this machine that I call Cy (the brand name is Cybex). He (Cy) and I have been together going on a 3 years and 3 months so far. And we haven't gotten tired of each other.

Meet Cy.


Anyway, so the rowing machine is positioned almost in front of Cy, so it's been staring at me for a long time. Like, A LONG TIME. Well, a week or so ago I decided to cut my time with Cy short and head over to introduce my self to Row.  And my gosh it was love at first pull. I didn't think I'd love this little guy more than Cy, but I think it's just about neck-and-neck. Row takes care of your WHOLE ENTIRE BODY. 
Who does that? 
 Definitely NOT Cy (no offense, buddy)

My new found love; Row.

 I'll tell ya, he's a wonder, that Row. 
However, I think Cy may be getting jealous because he has had his time cut short ever since last Sunday.

Don't tell him this, but I have a date with Row tomorrow.

Monday, December 17, 2012

OBSESSIONS #1 & #2 (of many more to come): COCONUT & CHOCOLATE; IN FUDGE FORM

Do you ever get a craving for something? Something that you can't quite put your finger (or in this case, mouth) on? 
Sometimes I'll be standing in the kitchen, spoon in hand and a good fifteen different types of food just layed out on the counter.
 Sweet...salty...sweet & salty...I don't care, you pick.


Saturday night I had this intense urge for coconut.  And chocolate. But mostly coconut.
 Have you ever tried these two together? OOOOOHHHH MY GOBSTOPPER is this combo good!
                       (yes I know this looks like something unappetizing, but MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER PEOPLE!)

 It's like a match made in heaven. 
Yin and yang. 
Brown and white. <---what?

Well. My point is that this combination is AMAZINGLY good together. Also, in case you haven't noticed, I have a slight obsession with coconut. Case in point, the last two recipes have been centered around C-O-C-O-N-U-T.
 Coconut oil, coconut flakes, coconut shower gel, coconut chap stick  (yes, it exists. Go buy it.) coconut flour (SO SO GOOD, I just bought it for the first time and AHHH!I think I'm in love! But more on that some other time..), coconut cream, coconut sparkling water, coconut greek yogurt (this is like crack. No seriously. I think there's something in the ingredients that makes you eat one a day and buy more every time you're at the grocery store even though you have a huge pile at home sitting on the top shelf of your fridge because you're afraid that at any moment their going to be recalled by those big food distributors and they'll be forever gone from your life so you just HAVE to stock up while they're there.

 Also, I love chocolate. To the point where I HAVE to have chocolate, even if it's just a little bit EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.  There's no way out if it. It's like it's calling to me. Controlling my mind. Forcing me to reach for the chocolate...
"just a tiny that was too more sliver...what? where'd it go?...just another small taste..really, after this you'll be done, I swear.."

I think I need psychological help. 

Chocolate Coconut Fudge
adapted from here

1 15 oz. can coconut milk (light or regular)
1 8 oz. pkg. Bakers baking chocolate squares (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sweetener of choice (brown sugar, maples sryup, agave, honey, splenda, etc.)
Note: If using unsweetened chocolate, sweetener is necesary as the taste of the fudge will be very bitter. Also, if using sweetened chocolate, sweetener may not be necessary <taste to make your own decision>)
Optional: Add in coconut flakes, more chocolate (in the form of chips because YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE), dried fruit, nuts.

-Turn stove top on to medium heat and place a medium sized sauce pan on top. Unwrap chocolate squares and place in sauce pan.
- Using a spoon, stir chocolate squares until fully melted. Add in coconut milk and continue stirring.
- 2 minutes before removing sauce pan from heat, add in sweetener (if using) and vanilla. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and add in the add-ins (if using). 
-Pour fudge into an 8 x 8 baking pan and either store in freezer to harden completely, or store in fridge until cool.
 Be warned; the fudge mixture will be VERY hard if stored in freezer, and VERY soft  if stored in the fridge.

Also, it's very tasty. And messy. So bring some extra napkins, K?

Friday, December 14, 2012

The amazing GOOEYNESS of Coconut Jam Fruit Nut Roll

(Let's all just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful and amazing the above piece of amazingness looks, shall we?)
  Last weekend my Mom and I were attempting to make baklava the way my YiaYia (grandmother) did for so many years.

Key word: attempt

Let's just say we accidentally measured out more cinnamon that was necessary and the ending product was um, shall we say pure cinnamon-y?


There was oh so many leftover walnuts from the filling, I decided, what the heck.

What do you have when you take 4 phyllo sheets, ground up walnuts, coconut, coconut oil, apricot & raspberry jam, and chopped dates?

I feel like we have to take one more moment  just to appreciate this beautiful glory in all of its mess <--(get it? "mess", as in 'messy eater'...HAHAHAHA...)

Sigh. How I love thee.  ^^   
(this is as big as the pictures would get, trust me; if I could get it any larger, I would :))

LOOK AT THAT GOOEYNESS<----yes, that is a word.
(at least since I added it to auto correct it is)

I mean, really, how could you say no to this glorious mess of a food?

Coconut Jam Fruit Nut Roll

4 phyllo sheets
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup ground nuts (I used walnuts)
1 tbs. cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup jam (I used raspberry & apricot, but feel free to use any other combo!)
3 tbs. coconut flakes, sweetened or unsweetened

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take out a cookie baking sheet.
-Process nuts and cinnamon in food processor until chunky, not nut butter.
-Melt coconut oil using microwave or stove top (whichever you prefer).
-Lay out first phyllo sheet on a flat surface. Take melted coconut oil and a pastry brush (if you have one). Dip brush into oil and lightly brush over the edges and center of sheet of phyllo. Gently take remaining sheets of phyllo and repeat. BE VERY GENTLE because the phyllo is of the up most fragility.
- Once the 4th sheet of phyllo is on top, take cinnamony ground nuts and scatter across the length of the middle of the phyllo sheet, avoiding the edges. Do the same with chopped dates, jam (may be in clumps; that's okay!), and coconut flakes. Lightly coat the edges of the phyllo sheet with coconut oil.
- Gently, (VERY GENTLY) take top of phyllo sheet, lift the edge, and roll the layers of phyllo towards you, until all parts of the sheets are rolled up. VERY GENTLY lift the rolled up phyllo GOOEYNESS and place on to cookie sheet. Take remainder coconut oil and brush over outside of phyllo roll.
- Put into oven and bake for AT LEAST 25 minutes or until golden brown. 
-Let cool for AT LEAST one hour or (even better) over night for optimum taste and for all the flavors to set in. 

NOTE: I WOULD HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND WAITING OVER NIGHT TO EAT THIS just because it tastes best then. Honestly. I'm serious here. I don't joke about something this amazing.

SECOND NOTE:  The use of the word GENTLE. Phyllo is a very fragile pastry. Think of it as a newborn. Just don't sing to it.

SECOND NOTE: Um, nothing really..I just wanted to have third note :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Coconut Lemon Bars & quite possibly the end of the world

So, I figured since today's supposed to be lucky and all because of 12.12.12., I might as well continue this EVEN THOUGH I took a year and a half break. This blog and I had a bit of a break up last year, but I think we're getting back together.
We haven't decided yet.
ANYWAY, the world's supposed to end next Friday and I decided, what the heck;
 Why not blog up until the end?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

I was thinking about food and um, well food while watching Cupcake Wars because, well, you just can't watch that show without having something in your mouth because it just seems wrong.


So while I was watching this magnificent show and seeing them make a hot dog cupcake with cheese in the middle, I had a light bulb moment.

Lemon Square Cupcake.

You know, at the time, it seemed to make sense. Now that I think about it though, I'm starting to 

realize it may not to others. 

My mind, at one point, got lemon squares out of hot dogs. 

Then again, this was pretty late at night(think 7:30pm, I KNOW, so late, right?) and my mind 

might have been corrupted by the exorbitant amount of chocolate chips and dates( <----- good combo, really) I was shoving into my mouth. 

Then again, I still don't know how I went from

 hot dog cupcakes---> lemon bar cupcakes ---> lemon bars

Oh well.

Coconut Lemon Bars

adapted from Mom's Best Desserts


1 cup almond meal
1 cup oat flour (oats ground up in food processer)
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 cup greek yogurt
2 tbs. coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350. 

Mix all ingredients together in medium mixing bowl.
Press dough into 13 x 9in baking pan.
Bake for 20 min.
Take out and immediately pour lemon filling (below) on top.

Lemon Filling

5 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar of choice
1 tbs. coconut oil
1 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup corn starch
1 packet lemon jello (<--strange? Yes. Tasty? YES!)
1 tsp. baking powders
1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes (optional)

Beat egg whites til stiff white peaks form with blender.

Combine remaining ingredients together and mix by hand.
Fold in egg whites and stir gently.
Pour mixture over still hot crust and return to oven for 20-25 minutes, until top is slightly golden brown.
NOTE: Lemon Filling will be expanded and risen upon removal from oven. Let lemon bars sit for at least 30 minutes in order for the filling to deflate and set.