Monday, June 24, 2013

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Six Years.

Yesterday was our dating anniversary and today is our wedding anniversary. Our dating anniversary is particularly special because it marks ten years of being together. All I have been able to think about over the past few days is that while our story isn't a fairytale, it is a love story nonetheless. I've also thought about how perfect our first dance song has been for us (John Legend's "Stay With You"). The past year has been full of ups and downs, heartaches and pains, and friends who have come and gone, but through it all, we have stuck together.

In six years of marriage, we've lived in Boston and Miami and we've had two kids. In ten years together we've gone from singlehood, couplehood, marriagehood, and parenthood. Here's to many more years together and a happy, quiet, and uneventful year seven!

Friday, June 14, 2013

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Running for Charity & Cookies!

It's summer break! I am simultaneously excited about and overwhelmed by spending all summer long with both girls at home. In the last week alone, we have  gone to the zoo once, the beach once, and the seaquarium twice. The playground has become an almost daily occurrence. I'm exhausted by the end of the day and, needless to say, so are the girls. But, oh are they having fun. My brain can't keep up in its efforts to record into memory all the funny, sweet, and cute things the girls are doing.

To help combat the long days and give us a healthier sweet snack, I came up with this Whole Wheat Protein Chocolate Chip Cookie. I've made these cookies twice in as many weeks and everyone in the house loves them. Well, almost everyone because Alex says "they taste healthy." These cookies fall on the thick-and-chewy spectrum of chocolate chip cookies. I don't taste healthy like Alex does, but I do taste deliciousness, especially when they are eaten straight out of the oven.


In other news, I decided to run for charity for next year's Disney Princess Half Marathon. I'll be doing the Glass Slipper Challenge, which is a 10k (6.2 miles) on Saturday and the half-marathon (13.1 miles) on Sunday and I am really excited. I've never ran that much in back-to-back runs so the training is going to be fun. My goal is to raise $3,000 for Give Kids The World so if you can make a donation, please do so! And please feel free to share. This is my Fundraising Page. I'm nervous about running for a cause this time around and really hope I am able to meet my fundraising goals. Talk about giving myself an extra challenge! Now all my training runs will have much more meaning. 

Protein Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Me! 
Yields: 12 Cookies
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat
1/4 cup protein powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbs unsalted butter, softened 
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

1- to 3/4-cup  semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine with the flours, protein powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. 

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for a minute.

Mix in the dry ingredients until combined and then stir in the chocolate chips. (The dough may appear sandy but it comes together once packed into the cookie scoop.)

Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough and place on the cookie sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool some before eating. 


Sunday, June 2, 2013

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Whole Wheat Banana Bread

banana bread3
We're in a bit of a transition period in my household. I'm slowly trying to get us all to eat healthier and am transitioning us to more whole grain-based products. The girls have been great about eating things made from whole grain, but Alex has been the difficult one. Things with whole grain taste "healthy" to him and, thus, don't excite him as much. Take this Whole Wheat Banana Bread, for example. I said I was going to make banana bread and his response was "Ooohhhh!!" But when I followed-up with, "it's going to be a whole wheat banana bread," his response turned to "oohhh...?" The excitement was gone. It also doesn't help that he seems to have this superhero power of detecting when something is made with "healthy" ingredients so he can taste when I've secretly switched out ingredients to make something healthier. Regardless, I went ahead and made this bread and it turned out to be a huge success. The girls loved it and Alex ate it without any "but it tastes healthy" comments.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread
Source: Breadtopia

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups mashed ripe banana (3-4 medium to large bananas)
¼ cup honey 
2 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat 

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Beat together the butter, sugar, baking soda, salt, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the banana, honey and eggs, beating until smooth. Add the flour, stirring until smooth.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake the bread for 50 minutes. Lay a piece of foil gently across the top and bake until a cake tester (like a toothpick) inserted into the center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

Enjoy with a glass of milk. Yum!