Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies

 

Hey hey I made something tasty! Since my recipes are a bit fewer and far between…I thought I’d come at you with a doozey. These barssssssss.

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How beautiful is that jelly swirl? I love peanut butter as all of you know and I am a giant fan of peanut butter and jelly as well. Like, had 2 of them a day in high school. My Mom packed my lunch (spoiled) and I always wanted pb&j or a fluffernutter (those were the good ole days).

Now I have kale salad for lunch…

But I balance that out with eating pans of bars for dessert while sitting on the opposite side of the couch so Mikey can’t hear me snorting between bites.

These bars are blondies so they are packed with butter and brown sugar, two of my best friends. They are sooo good and sadly way too easy to eat. Add a glass of milk and, boom, they’ll be gone. At least they have peanut butter chips in them…protein?

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Thanks for being the better half of this relationship and sticking with me when I am lazy/busy/out of touch. I miss you all and promise I think about MIMK and the community alllll the time!

In the mean time, make these yummy bars and enjoy the weather because it’s IN THE 60’S HERE!!!! If you need me I’ll be at the dog park/walking everywhere possible! LOVE YOU!!!

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Maple Bourbon Smash

Monday’s call for bourbon.

I don’t know about you…but I think maple syrup makes just about anything and everything better. Buddy the Elf, I am on the same page my friend.

Today was crazy beautiful and warm in the Chi. Yet somehow I was in the mood for something maple-y and wintery and delicious. This seems like the perfect cocktail for all those things. Also, you can make it more or less sweet with your amount of maple syrup you add (I like more, duh).

I’ve recently become a big fan of Monday. It’s like my old Friday in that I get all caught up on life/the things I put off over the weekend. I work on my blogs/photos, clean and organize my life, get groceries and go for lots of walks with the pup. I always feel so accomplished at the end of the day and when Mikey gets home I’m ready for some dinner, a drink and the bachelor (that’s so embarrassing).

Side note for Mikey’s sake: I will usually record The Bachelor and watch it when Mikey is gone..but sometimes if he’s home he watches sports on the iPad and I catch him watching way more often than he would ever admit. I think he’s secretly entertained.

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We had such a great weekend. I think we have become  one of those couples though. Those people who would rather stay in and make dinner and drink wine and binge watch Oscar movies. We watched 3…Whoops. BUT, do not fret, we did venture out for a bit on Saturday with some friends which was super fun! We were home by 10 (I know, crazy)…ahhhhhhh such a relaxing weekend spending time with the kids (Norm and Badger).

I’m looking forward to next weekend too! My Mom is coming to town for her “Christmas present” weekend. We are going to see Beautiful, the musical about Carol King. We are going to eat, drink, laugh, (probably cry, ahem Donna) and most definitely do some shopping and perhaps pampering. I am so excited! First though, we have to get through the week because alas, it is only Monday.

But what makes Monday better? Bourbon. And the fact that it’s 5 o’clock here and happy hours has begun at the Evon’s. Come on by and I’ll make you a bourbon. And the best part is that you most definitely have all the ingredients for this tasty cocktail in your pantry/fridge already!

Cheers!

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Maple Bourbon Smash

  • Time: 3 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1/2 Ounce Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 Ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1/2 Orange Wheel
2 Ounces Bourbon
Ice
1 1/2 Ounces Chilled Seltzer

Directions:
Combine maple syrup, lemon juice, bitters and orange wheel into a glass. Muddle together lightly and add bourbon. Stir well. Fill glass with ice and finish off with chilled seltzer. garnish with an orange rind, lemon rind or citrus slice and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine

 

Roasted Vegetable & Wheat Berry Salad

Guyyyssssss I’m baaaackkkkkk (said in a whiny voice like a mom calling their kids in for dinner). Wow does it feel good! I MISS YOU SO MUCH!

Also, I sadly made something healthy. I ended 2015 like a chubby whale and have been avoiding sugar and basically anything processed ever since (minus last weekend and the weekend before that…). But don’t you fret. I have got some major things planned and can’t wait to bake up a storm in the next few weeks! But for now, lets be healthy. Also, adding roasted vegetables to anything makes me happy and doesn’t necessarily taste super healthy to me. Call me crazy.

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This salad is filled with roasty toasty wintery goodness and you may want to eat the whole bowl by yourself at 3:30 ruining your appetite for dinner (at least it was a veggie dish this time and not half a pan of S’More bars like last time).

Wheat berries are soooo yummy and the chewy texture they add makes the soft roasted vegetables so much more interesting!

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Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip

I know what you’re thinking. Why would you ever make something SO delicious (ingredients include: mayo, cheese for days, butter, etc) into a “skinny” version? How does the saying go? “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”…

I know I can’t be the only one who feels that if I consume one more mayo-heavy/cheese based dip I might die. It’s the Holidays which means parties and dips on dips on dips. Don’t get me wrong. I want to consume a TON of delicious, gooey dip. But I would also love an option for something healthy.

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I am a dip fanatic. Just ask Mikey. My favorite dinner consists of at least 4 types of dip and allllll the dippers you can imagine. And for me, my dips are usually mayo/cheese based…accept guacamole. That’s a vegetable and therefore I can have an entire bucket of it (right?).

I made this dip for a family dinner over Thanksgiving and was very nervous about serving it. I had a super strong feeling Mikey’s family would detect the “healthy” version of our favorite dip and surprisingly everyone loved it. The yogurt gives it a teeny bit of a tart flavor but you can mask that with extra salt or a little garlic powder and pepper!

Although this won’t replace my full-fat version of spin-art dip, it is a great way to add something a bit lighter to the fatty spread’s that fill the Holiday table!

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It’s so funny how I thought I would have more time for blogging once I was a yoga teacher. That was reality for about a month and then we got a puppy and BAM, blogging got super difficult. I’m doing a couple blog-jobs on the side now which makes my blog even MORE difficult to make time for. Once I’m done working I just don’t want to edit any more pictures or write any more.

But then I look at my blog and feel sad and miss all of you!!! I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel though. As this pup gets bigger I am beginning to get my life back!! I can spend more time doing things around the house. Can actually go to the grocery store and even have time to do work AND my fun blog! YAYYYYYY!!!!!

With the Holiday’s in full swing the schedule is PACKED. I don’t know that I would have it any other way though. I love to see friends and family this time of year. I have done nearly all my Christmas shopping online and the next order of business is the cookie baking (yikes!).

I hope you’re all doing so so well and getting into the Christmas spirit. I know I have covered almost every surface with either lights, candles or some type of green. I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS.

I love you too and hope you’re finding sanity in the season of crazy 🙂

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Honey Pumpkin Buiscuits

It’s getting close to crunch time.

Thanksgiving is in 2 days and you and I both know you’re feeling the pressure. YOU GOT THIS! I promise no matter what you forget, no matter what goes wrong, you will still have an amazing time with friends and family.

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If you’re still stressing about breakfast/rolls…I have your answer. Seriously. These little biscuits are so surprisingly delicious. They are just a teeny teeny sweet from the honey and the pumpkin flavor is just so subtle with a dash of spices…it’s the perfect Holiday biscuit. Served warm with a hefty amount of butter and a drizzle of honey, I think it’s the perfect way to start your Thanksgiving! Adding carbs first thing in the morning is always a good idea because it sets the base for the day, stretching your stomach and making room for what’s to come!

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I made this a couple weeks ago for a family party and my nieces and nephews were the ones who couldn’t wait to get their paws on these “muffins”. I would actually make these year round since they are soooo light and fluffy and have a beautiful spice from the ginger, cinnamon and clove.

I don’t know about you but I am SO excited for the short week and the long weekend of Thanksgiving. We have managed to pack in so much time with family starting tomorrow as we’re driving up to WI for a night with my family and then lunch with my entire Dad’s side. We will then reload the car and head back down to IL to celebrate with Mikey’s entire family (and watch the Packers). We have Mikey’s 10 year high school reunion on Friday (WE ARE OLD) and then plan on spending time with his brother and girlfriend who are in from Denver. Needless to say, we won’t be bored…

As another year begins to close and the Holidays are here yet again I always love to look back at the year. What a crazy year of change for us! I am SO grateful and blessed by the life, love, friends and family I have and I can’t wait for another season of thankfulness, celebration, giving and love!

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