Pin It Party #2

Before we get to anything today, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your heartfelt comments, emails, texts, phone calls and messages on yesterday’s post. They mean so much to my family and I.

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Lindsay is once again hosting a PIN IT PARTY, I joined in on the fun for the second one and I can’t wait to join the second. A pin it party is where we write a post with five posts (of our own) that we’d love to see pinned on pinterest. Then link up on Lindsay’s blog and see some other posts!

Without further ado, here are my 5 posts:

Designer Whey Chocolate PB & Jelly Protein Smoothie

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I still think this is my favorite smoothie!

Sweet Potato Bread

The best picture I ever got, sorry! I guess I will just have to make it again.

The best picture I ever got, sorry! I guess I will just have to make it again.

 

Joy the Baker’s Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate

The perfect cup.

The perfect cup.

Flour’s Oatmeal Maple Scone

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I’ve never made the glaze, but it is still wonderful!

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Not pretty, but very tasty.

Not pretty, but very tasty.

Did any of these recipes strike your fancy? I can’t wait to see what you all linked up!

Pin It! Party #1

Lindsay had this wonderful idea for a PIN IT PARTY, that alone sounds fun, where we write a post with five posts (of our own) that we’d love to see pinned on pinterest. Then link up on Lindsay’s blog and see some other posts!

Here are my 5

Flour’s Lemon Lust Bars

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Hands down the best lemon bar I have ever had or made.

Bake it in a Cake’s  Ultimate Birthday Cupcake

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This cupcake was labor intensive but the outcome was awesome and I loved everyone’s reaction.

Joy the Baker’s Cream Cheese Pound Cake

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I am not a fan of traditional angel food cake or bundt cake and I love that this can replace those items for a summer strawberry short cake

Mocha Protein Smoothie

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This smoothie is the perfect afternoon pick me up; cold, creamy and a little caffeine.

Gifts for runners under $100

 

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This was originally a Christmas post, but with lots of new runners starting in the spring and summer months, I thought this would be a helpful list!

Did you link up with the Pin It Party? What’s your favorite post lately?

 

Year of Baking: Joy the Baker’s Cream Cheese Poundcake

After fasting and Greek Easter and a birthday/mother’s day weekend, I feel like I am 100% back on track again!

I’ve been back to my post-workout Oats with Designer Whey protein powder!

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pre-mixing

I accompany that with some water and coffee!

For lunches I always have some leftover roasted veggies, or recently, sautéed spinach with a turkey burger, egg, avocado and roasted broccoli!

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I wolfed down the broccoli before I took the pic, whoops.

I’ve also had hard-boiled eggs at the ready and sliced fruit for snacking.

Before I got back to my clean eats, I made a poundcake for Greek Easter, from the Joy the Baker cookbook – Cream Cheese Poundcake!

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Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1.5 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Instructions

1. Preheat oven at 325F, making sure a rack is in the center
2. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan for later
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside
4. Beat cream cheese until soft and pliable
5. Add butter and sugar and beat until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes
6. Add the vanilla and stir until blended, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating at medium for 1 minute each
7. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated
8. Stop your mixer at that point and fold together the batter with a spatula
9. Spoon into your prepared pan
10. Bake for 30 minutes. After that, rotate the cake, and if it’s browning too quickly, move to an upper rack (I did not have this problem)
11. Bake for another 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
12. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

It should last for up to 4 days at room temperature, well wrapped.

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Notes
I LOVED this recipe. I needed something easy and simple to pull together for Easter and this fit the bill.

While we didn’t eat a ton of it at Easter, Nick and I took it home, I popped it in tupperware and put it in the fridge, and it is even more delicious a little chilled, my favorite is a small slice topped with Dark Chocolate Dreams from PB&Co.

Nick also might have stuffed a piece in his mouth when he came home starving after a night out, might have.

I definitely plan on making this again, I think it would be a great base for summer strawberry shortcakes!

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Check out more recipes and daily eats at Jenn’s link up for WIAW!


Do you like pound cake? What’s your favorite summer dessert?

Year of Baking: Joy the Baker’s Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate

I am pretty sure this weeks recipe doesn’t necessarily qualify as baking, but last week was crazy so I didn’t get a chance to really plan, prep and bake something.

I did however have a perfect reason to make the perfect cup of hot chocolate.

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Last week Nick, B and I headed up to Killington, VT for a mini-ski trip with my sister & her boyfriend and my dad, his girlfriend and her kids.

It’s weird to me to stay in a hotel for a ski trip. I grew up about 45 minutes away from Killington and any time we went skiing it was always a day trip. I didn’t take many photos because we weren’t there for that long Monday – Wednesday morning. I did however take a few. We stayed at the Killington Grand Resort and had dinner there on Monday night.

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I had this amazing seared ahi tuna, I can’t find the menu online, but for VT it was pretty tasty!

Nick, B and I have also been adding extra veggies and fruits in with smoothies, and they are perfect for B when he is sick!

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Tuesday, Dad and I took a little father-daughter time to ski. Nick can’t and my sister doesn’t do well on the slopes so they stayed back to watch the little man.

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Um, even the kids snow pants were to tall for me.

We spent three hours out on the slopes, and I have to say I was terrified, I hadn’t been downhill skiing in almost 20 years. I have cross-country skied but that is most certainly not the same. I will say though, I get my ski legs back pretty quickly.

You know what goes great with an afternoon of skiing? A piping hot mug of homemade hot cocoa. I took my recipe from Joy the Baker‘s cookbook and it was a hit.

Ingredients
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 heaping tablespoons of white chocolate chips
2 cups of milk (any fat content)
1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee powder (optional)
pinch of salt

Instructions

1. Pour 2 inches of water into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat
2. Place dark and white chocolate in a heatproof bowl
3. When the water has come to a boil, place the bowl of chocolate on top but not touching the simmering water
4. Stir chocolate until melted
5. As you put your water on to boil, heat the milk in a small saucepan until almost boiling
6. Whisk the melted chocolate, coffee powder, and salt into the heating milk and whisk until smooth and incorporated
7. Pour into 2 cups and enjoy with marshmallows or your favorite cookie

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Notes

I don’t like white chocolate so I never have any on hand – I used extra semi-sweet but in the future I might use peanut butter chips or even butterscotch. At the holidays, I will definitely be using mint chips.

I used espresso powder and only a 1/4 teaspoon, that was definitely enough.

We enjoyed ours plain but I know Nick would’ve loved some marshmallows.

The hot chocolate was perfectly creamy, but because of the chocolate I used it was a bit too sweet for me. We also only had whole milk so I would definitely use something different for me in the future.

Link up with Jenn for more tasty treats on WIAW!


Year of Baking: Joy the Baker’s Chocolate Bourbon Banana Bread

I hope you got the opportunity to read my first week of baking in 2013!

For week two I have switched gears, another cookbook that I love is Joy the Baker. Blogger turned cookbook author, perfect.

So I decided to bake her Chocolate Bourbon Banana Bread, I am not going to post the recipe, but in addition to the book she has many banana bread variations on her blog.

I picked this recipe because Nick loves Bourbon and I love chocolate

My first issue, I think, was that it was a tad undercooked and the bread ended up fallen in once it cooled. Sad.

The other issue, for me, was that I don’t really like bourbon, and the bourbon flavor in this bread is strong. Not you are going to get drunk strong, more like the flavors will come out strong, so make sure you use a good bourbon, oh and make sure you like bourbon.

I obviously only had Nick taste-test this bread, sorry B, and while he liked it, it wasn’t a stand out dish. I think I will try it again, but without the bourbon, maybe I will try a different liquor, an irish cream perhaps?

Have you ever baked a boozy bread? Did you like it?

Make sure you check out other daily eats and recipes with Jenn’s WIAW Link-up