Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin choc chip cookies

It seems that I try a different pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe every year (thanks to Pinterest) and I tried a recipe last week that is calling me, begging me, to make a second batch very soon. Like today. Or tomorrow...I'm also waiting for a baby, so whichever one comes first.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
{my new favorite}

Slightly adapted from this delicious recipe.

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1/4 cup sugar (instead of this, I used 4 drops liquid stevia and 2 T coconut flour...weird, I know :) 
1/2 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips (I used a combo of semi-sweet and Hershey's milk chocolate chunks). 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted these)

Instructions:

Mix wet ingredients (including pumpkin) in large bowl.  Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda in smaller bowl. Add dry ingredients slowly to wet ingredients & mix well.  Add chocolate chips and stir until well combined. 

  1. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350* for 9-10 minutes. Let cool on pan for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool entirely. Store in a sealed container...if they last that long :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Puffed Wheat Squares



If you like rice krispy treats (or even if you don't...like my husband!), chances are that you'll like these puffed wheat squares. I made them a couple of times over the summer and they are a perfect sweet snack/treat. Whether it's a breakfast munchie, lunch box treat, or tide-you-over until dinnertime snack, these always seem to hit the spot.

Puffed Wheat Squares 
Adapted from this recipe
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder (use more or less depending on how chocolatey you prefer them)
  • 1/2 cup honey or corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 8 cups puffed wheat cereal


Butter a 9X13″ baking pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey/corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa and butter and stir until combined and butter is melted.

In a large greased bowl, measure out the puffed wheat cereal.

Bring chocolate sauce to a boil, lower the heat, and let bubble and boil for 1 minute. Stir in vanilla.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the puffed wheat and stir until coated.

Pour into the buttered pan and using a wet hand, pat the puffed wheat down firmly in the pan (or pat with parchment paper). Let cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.


YUM.




Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm back...with news!

Well hello there.  It's only been, what....6 months since my last post?  Here's why I decided to take a little break from the hobby blog:


and BOOM. I'm suddenly very pregnant :) It wasn't really a decision to stop blogging; it just sort of happened. Unfortunately for this Balance Blog, here's where it lies on the totem pole of priorities:

1)  Take care of Little C and her hard working daddy (make meals, clean house, errands, etc.)
2)  Write on the family blog (documentation--gotta do it!)
3) Fitness Fridays (yes, I've still been able to run the Friday workouts with my ladies! woot). 
4) Be lazy in first trimester...and second trimester. 
5) BALANCE BLOG! 

So, #5 it is. I'm finally getting back into the swing of writing on here now that I'm in the 3rd trimester (33 weeks!), but I have a feeling that it won't last when a newborn (another baby girl!) joins us shortly (end of October!).  In fact, I have several projects to finish before she arrives, so I will just do my best to add a little snippet of something exciting here on the Balance Blog every now and then. 

Just for kicks, here are some tid-bits from my pregnancy journey thus far: 

I announced my pregnancy around Easter, like this:


and when we found out the gender of the baby, we had a good friend bake us "surprise" cupcakes (she knew the 20 week ultrasound results and we didn't!):

Pink for another GIRL! <3
Needless to say, we are very excited :) 

I hope to keep the posts rolling over the next few weeks along with managing the other (and higher!) life priorities!








Thursday, March 20, 2014

Light & Crispy Waffles



Do you find yourself saying "L'eggo my Eggo"? Do they even use that slogan anymore? Then these are the waffles for you! They are reminiscent of breakfast at Pa & Nana's (grandparents on my dad's side) when I was a kid because they always had frozen waffles on hand that we could pop into the toaster at our pleasure (my parents didn't buy them, so it was a real treat for us). Of course I prefer the real deal made from scratch...now that my palate is so mature ;)  

Inspired by this recipe.

Light & Crispy Waffles 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 C almond milk (or whatever milk you have on hand)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 T oil (I used rice bran)
1. Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl.

2. Whisk egg whites in separate larger bowl until frothy (30 seconds or so).

3. Add milk and oil to egg whites and mix together.

4. Then add dry ingredients to wet until well combined.

5. Cook in your waffle maker!

Hot and fresh out of the waffle maker!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Workout Stations



This is basically a circuit rotation. Here are the exercise "stations" we had with 30-60 second intervals:

1. Mat - Abs

2. Squat to press with 5lb dumbbells

3. Mat w/ foam roller - SMR (self-myofacial release, i.e. massage) or plank push-ups on foam roller

4. 10lb Kettlebell squat swings

5. Mat - stretch or more ab-work

6. Jump rope

7. Lunges with 5lb bicep curls

8. Rows with resistance band (interlaced through top door hinge :)

9. 8lb Medicine Ball: torso twist with lunge steps or tricep curls...or use on next station (mat) for ab-work


Superior Smoothie

REALLY tasty smoothie I concocted this morning: coconut milk & water, watermelon, frozen banana, frozen spinach, whey protein powder and a little honey.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Yoga

Today we did yoga...aaah. I have been decently sore these past couple of days from a "powerball" class I went to earlier in the week, so yoga was just what my body needed.
Here's more-or-less the routine we did :

-Stretches
-Chair pose
-Quad stretch --> dancer pose and other balance poses
-Plank/abs/side plank
-Cat/cow, child's pose, shoulder stretches
-Vinyasa --> down dog calf stretches
-Vinyasa --> leg raises (open hip)
-Vinyasa --> crescent pulses
-Warrior Dance Series
     -warrior 1
     -warrior 2
     -reverse warrior
     -extended side angle
Repeat for 3 or 4 cycles while front knee stays at ninety degree angle.
-Triangle pose/airplane hamstring stretch/twisted triangle
Mat:
-Rock and roll back massage
-Happy baby
- Bridge
-Seated hamstring stretch (extension at ankles)
-Crossover-leg glute stretch
Namaste!