Recipes

Acai Bowls and Why Social Media Is Not Bad

running

Run # 2 this week, followed by the “worst thing ever for my leg” long drive, and I am feeling ok. Fingers crossed. I did have the best acai bowl after my run, so maybe that helped. I am trying really hard to keep my nutrition the best it can be to get past this. If you haven’t had an acai bowl yet, you should try one.

Acai bowl

Acai (ah-sigh-ee) berries are small purple berries that look similar to blueberries and come from the acai palm tree. They are considered a superfood because they are packed with antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids. The only problem is that they grow mostly in the Brazilian amazon rain forest so they are not easy to find. You can get a bunch of your friends together and get 60 3.5 ounce bags of frozen pureed berries from Amazon. Or you can go to the Sambazon website and find a local store to buy smaller quantities.

Acai berries

Ok, so once you have the pureed acai berries, what do you do with them? They are delicious in shakes, smoothies, over yogurt. But I think one of the best ways to try them is in an acai bowl. An acai bowl is kind of like pudding where the main ingredient is acai berries. Then you add pretty much any other ingredient that you like. Some of the most popular additions are bananas and granola. Here are some recipes to get you started.

Acai bowl recipes

 

Simple Acai Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small banana
  • 1 3.5 ounce pack of frozen unsweetened acai berry pulp, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

Instructions

  1. 1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend.
  2. 2. Top with granola, banana, etc.
http://cashmeremiles.com/acai-bowls-and-why-social-media-is-not-bad/

Pumpkin Acai Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small can pumpkin puree
  • 1 3.5 ounce frozen acai berry puree, thawed
  • 2/3 small banana
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup almond milk

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend
  2. Top with granola or topping of your choice.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Acai Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small banana
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3.5 ounce frozen acai berry puree, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients in blender.
  2. Top with granola, peanut butter, coconut, banana.

Hope you love them as much as I do! Speaking of things to love, I can’t stop listening to this song lately.

 

A parting thought about social media. It gets a bad wrap pretty often. You may hear of teenagers abusing it or about the “annoying” posts your friends put up. But overall, social media is a positive way to share what is good in our lives. That may be something simple like a great new recipe you tried or a workout you accomplished, or something major like overcoming a health issue. Seeing our friends’ accomplishments posted pushes us to be better as well. I’ll take a community of inspiration and support any day over the dramatic, negative reporting of traditional media. Just saying.

Jaybird Review and Fighting Back

I finally found a great pair of running headphones. jaybird bluebuds on Music is super important to me when I run. Sometimes I listen to a running coach and sometimes just music with a good pace. Either way, I need music to have a great run. Plus, I love runkeeper keeping me updated on my stats. Basically, headphones are essential. Unfortunately for me, I can’t even tell you how many pairs I have broken in the last few years. So I went on a quest for the perfect headphones.

The answer? There are no perfect headphones for running. Womp Womp. The good news? You can create the perfect pair. Here is what I need in a pair of headphones:

  • Wireless. I have wasted a ton of money replacing headphones when the wire breaks at the jack. I have also wasted a ton of running time fidgeting with broken wires when I forget to replace them.
  • Great Sound. To me this means overall sound quality. I don’t need crazy bass in headphones. I mean, they are directly in my ears! But a good crisp sound really enhances everything.
  • No Bulk. Most wireless earbuds are bulky at the ear where the battery pack is. This is uncomfortable and honestly just looks strange.
  • Stays In My Ear. Kind of important for obvious reasons. I also don’t want to waste time readjusting them or losing quality because they are falling out.

The solution? Jaybird Bluebuds with Comply foam tips. Thousands of people can’t be wrong, right? But I had to try out other wireless headphones before returning them with the realization that I was just wasting money. Most of them are way too bulky and just don’t stay in your ear. The over ear wire hurts, especially on longer runs. Most importantly, the sound quality doesn’t even come close to the Bluebuds. jaybird bluebuds I wear mine over the ear with the wire shortened around back. This is great because you really don’t even feel that they are there. Other brands I tried hung on your neck. This is fine unless you turn your head to talk to someone or look for cars. Then the wire pulls the earbud out of your ear. Not a problem with the Bluebuds. I tried them on a run without the Comply tips and they fell out. I spent too much time dealing with it and ordered the Comply tips. Now they are perfect. Here is a video review with more detail on the sound quality. If you decide to go with these, shop around. You can find them on ebay and other places for a much more reasonable price.

 

The boys and I saw the most beautiful lake today. It’s still frozen, but we decided we have to come back during the summer. It would be a great place to paddleboard. boys at the lake

 

I have decided to fight hard this week to get back to running. I was pretty sure I did all of the things listed here before I started running again. I am a little confused and extremely frustrated that after almost 2 months of running again I am having problems. So it’s time to take it further and look more closely at nutrition. These articles about ways to help a broken bone heal, how to speed fracture healing, and research for faster fracture healing seem to agree that having the right amount of protein, calcium, and certain amino acids is vital to healing. I can take care of that. fight a stress fracture I’m also making sure that basically anything else I eat has antioxidant qualities, like my Shakeology (which has a ton of protein as a bonus!) and these delicious pumpkins muffins. Let’s hope it works. Spring race season starts this weekend and unbelievably, I am missing my first race. pumpkin muffin recipe

Pumpkin Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream oil, sugar and eggs together. Mix until fluffy and lighter in color. Add dry ingredients alternately with water. Mix well. Add pumpkin. Fill mini muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes.
http://cashmeremiles.com/jaybird-review-and-fighting-back/

So, I am wondering, do you take a multivitamin?

Nerf War Party Time

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Remember birthday parties when you were a kid?  The anticipation, the excitement, the friends, the presents? My kids absolutely love planning their birthday parties. Whatever was the last most fun party they attended is usually their starting point. This year, however, we had the debate over the age that birthday parties should stop. Both boys have had a party every year since their first birthday. The “being a kid” factor won out and Aidan had an 11th birthday party. We just decided to keep it smaller than other parties, which was actually really hard. I’m so glad we had the party!

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Nerf wars have been very popular with Aidan and his friends this year, but the winter weather has made them hard. They were all pretty excited to get together for one again.

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This gym has a good amount of space for the boys to chase each other, plus it has hiding places. Perfect.

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It was almost impossible to get them all to stay still at the same time for a picture, which I guess means they were having fun.

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Add in a few trampolines and you know this crew slept well that night!

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They must be getting to the age where they start eating us all out of house and home because we went through a crazy amount of pizza afterwards. Of course, there is always room for cake.

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Aidan had a wonderful birthday. Thanks to all of his friends who made it special for him.

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For Aidan’s Nerf War cake and cupcakes, I decided to go camouflage. Since yellow is not the most boyish color, it seemed like a good idea.

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The cake was pretty obvious with the iconic Nerf sign in fondant and a dart.

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The cupcakes were not as easy for me though. I finally decided to make a target out of chocolate using my cookie molds.

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Aidan was pretty happy with the results.

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Hay Ride

This weekend we went on a night hayride with the Scouts.  We love this event and we had the perfect weather for it.

hayride

It is so much fun to be at a farm at night. The corn maze is much harder in the dark!  Last year one group actually could not find their way out! They called us on their cell phones and the owner of the farm had to go in and get them. 😉  So glad I wasn’t with them. I “let” the boys go in with our friends again this year.  The kids all love the hay pit. I think it is their favorite part, although it is tough to get good pictures of them in there.

hay pit

I love sitting by the fire with my boys and our friends and roasting marshmallows. Definitely the epitome of fall.

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You can’t beat smores!

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By then end of the night we were ready to fall asleep on the hay ride.

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Can’t wait for next year already. Thanks for organizing this Lisa!

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Here is a quick treat that my guys love. Cookie dough bites.

cookie dough bites

So, I am wondering, have you been on a hayride this year?

Ice Cream In A Bag

ice cream

This weekend we were working on the cooking outdoors achievement with our Cub Scouts and Loren came up with some great ideas. Ice cream in a bag and grilled smores bananas. What kid doesn’t love ice cream? Especially when making it involves running through the house shaking it! It was a hit, as expected.

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Homemade ice cream is surprisingly easy to make and it tastes great too.

Ice Cream In A Bag

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 cups of ice
  • 6 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 quart size Ziplock bags
  • 1 gallon size Ziplock bag

Instructions

  1. Mix the milk, vanilla extract and sugar together in one of the quart sized Ziplock bags. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag. Put this bag inside the second quart sized Ziplock bag. Double bagging will prevent your ice cream mixture from leaking into the ice bag. If this happens, you will have salty ice cream!
  2. Put the ice and salt inside the gallon sized freezer bag. Put the ice cream mixture bag inside the freezer bag as well and seal it closed. Time to Shake! You might want to hold the bag with a towel. Shake it until the mixture freezes into ice cream, approximately 5 - 8 minutes.
http://cashmeremiles.com/ice-cream-in-a-bag/

ice cream bag

Take a hint from us and make sure you double bag the ice cream before shaking! The smores bananas were great too and made yummy banana splits.

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For this recipe, you need bananas, miniature chocolate chips and miniature marshmallows.  Open one peel of the banana and cut a “slice” out of the entire length. Put the chocolate chips and marshmallows in the space and recover the banana peel.  Wrap the banana in foil and grill it. You will be surprised at how delicious this is!

Kid food is fun. I wish adults could eat as much of it as the kids can! Here is another fun one to make with your kids.

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Remember, don’t wait for tomorrow to do the things you love or the things that are important to you.

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So, I am wondering, what is your favorite “kid food”?

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

The weather is finally starting to feel like fall and we all seem to be in the mood for fall food.  One of the benefits of the changing seasons is seasonal food, and fall is one of my favorites.  It’s time for apple and pumpkin pie, squash and sweet potatoes and soups.

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This weekend we kicked the season off with a Thanksgiving menu and a fun day with family.  We laughed and had a great time.  I’m so glad we all live in the same neighborhood!  We miss the rest of you who live farther away though.  We’ll do it again on actual Thanksgiving day with everyone.

The boys and I love pumpkin and this time of year we include it in everything.  Today I added it to my oatmeal cookies and it is a hit.  As a bonus, they make a great breakfast.  I just hope the boys don’t go to school and tell their teachers I let them have cookies for breakfast!  :)

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 3 cups oatmeal

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar and oil. Add pumpkin, eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.
http://cashmeremiles.com/pumpkin-oatmeal-cookies/

These cookies have more of a cake consistency than my regular oatmeal cookies.  We are loving them.  They probably won’t last long.  Hope you enjoy them too!

Throwback

Look what Dane found tonight!  His trading card from his first soccer team!

dane card front

He was such a cutie!  Aidan and Dane were actually on this team together with a bunch of their best friends.  Dane swears he was the goalkeeper for this team too.  ; )

Dane card back

Tomorrow is our last game of the season.  I hope it goes well!

The girls and I managed to get together this morning for a run even though we all thought we had too much going on at first.  One by one we all arrived at Jeannette’s house (even crazy Jeannette who was at the gym first!).

run girls

I’m so glad we made it.  Tara – we missed you though!  The kids will be out of school soon and it will be harder to get together.  It was so humid this morning!  It was not easy to breathe!  But we managed 6 good miles anyway.  I’m happy to report my knee is feeling better too.  Sometimes one good day off is all it takes.

runkeeper

You know what they say…

run bib

Eileen and I owe everyone at BJ’s an apology.  We went there straight from our extremely hot run – because that is just how busy the last couple of weeks of school/sports is!  It was not pretty though.  It is really the only place that sells produce in big enough containers.  The boys and I will go through the regular size of raspberries/blueberries in one sitting.  And you know how I feel about these tomatoes!  I bought two this trip so there is no pressure to conserve them!

BJs

Yes, those are plantains you see.  Have you had them?  Fried plantains are one of my favorites.  Also known as tostones, they are easy to make.  Here is a recipe if you want to try them yourself.  I skip dipping them in water, but make sure you buy ripe (not green) plantains.  They won’t taste good otherwise.

plantains

Hope you have a good weekend!

So, I am wondering, what is your favorite type of food?

Cookies and Outings

I have found a cookie recipe that lured me back into baking.  After all of those cookies last Christmas, I was done for a while.  But I am pretty sure you are going to love Hot Chocolate Cookies!

hot chocolate cookies

I know its not winter anymore, but trust me these are worth baking anyway.  I am considering adding graham cracker crumbs to the bottom and calling them S’mores Cookies to make them more summery.  😉  Here is the recipe.

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons store bought hot chocolate mix
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cream the butter, oil and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, hot chocolate mix, baking soda and salt. Once combined, add the chocolate chips. Add the wet ingredients until combined.
  4. Bake cookies for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, remove the cookies from the oven and quickly add 5 mini marshmallows to the top of each cookie. Return cookies to the oven and continue baking for 3 more minutes (marshmallows should puff up, but not burn).
  5. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheets for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  6. Adapted from Baked Bree.
http://cashmeremiles.com/cookies-and-outings/

Today I had to make a trip to the Apple Store.  Have you gone there?  The boys love it because they test out new games on all of the devices.  I love it because they can fix pretty much anything at the genius bar.  And if they can’t, they will replace your device for a fraction of the cost.  Also, I just like to say I was hanging out at the “genius bar”.

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This Apple store is in Atlantic City, so I walked around the boardwalk a bit.

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On my travels I picked up cards for this weekend.  I didn’t realize I needed 11 cards!  I’m sure you can imagine how long it took to choose 11 cards!

cards

I found these again while I was out.  Have you had them?  They are so good!  And healthy… right?

nuts

Tonight we had a super fun soccer practice in the rain.  Well, I had fun anyway!  I’m pretty sure the boys did too.  There is something very liberating about being allowed to play in the rain!   Then Aidan had a baseball playoff game.  It was a nail biter!  Extra innings!  Unfortunately it ended with Aidan’s team taking third place in their division.  But they had a great season.  Aidan is already sad that it is over.

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So, I am wondering,  did you enjoy playing sports in the rain when you were a kid?

When Life Hands You Lemons

Another beautiful day in California!  Sorry about that snow, New Jersey friends.  I started off the day with a scenic 8 mile run in tribute to the Boston Marathon survivors of last year’s bombings.  The running community changed that day.  We got stronger.  More closely knit.  And we are reminded of that terrible day at every race when we contemplate security and bag check – and we run harder – for those who no longer can.  

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So I ran harder today.  It was a scenic route and fun to be somewhere new.

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We have been visiting with family this week.  The boys love hanging out with their cousin, Aunt and Uncles and Grandparents.  

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It was cute to see them read books to him and play with him.  I wish we could see these guys more often!

The boys had a great time playing in the pool while I learned their grandmother’s signature pie recipe.

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This creamy lemon pie is absolutely delicious!  It is a family favorite and we will definitely be making it at home now.  How convenient is it to have a lemon tree in your backyard when the recipe calls for lemons?

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Here are some of the stages of pie making.  This pie is perfect on a hot day!  Cool and refreshing.

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And here are the pies completed – with Grandma – whom we will always think of when we make this at home.

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So, I am wondering, do you have a special family recipe?

No Commitments

 

Today was supposed to be a day with no commitments.  No appointments, no sports, no scouts.  That didn’t last long though!  At least I got to start the day off with a run.  The trail was a bit slippery and it was a bit cold (23 degrees), but it was fun anyway.  Along the way Eileen and I passed a couple of crazy girls from our running club training for a spring marathon.  Now that is crazy!  It makes me feel much better about signing up for a half marathon in February.  Thanks Dawn and Kim!

trail

I got to spend some quality time with Dane today after a doctor’s appointment.  It is so rare that I get time with just one of my boys.  I am thankful for it!

Dane cake pop

Not long afterwards another commitment popped up.  Oh well.  At least we are never bored!  I still got to make Butternut Squash Black Bean Burritos for dinner.  Mmm.  And they fit in nicely with our quest to eat more healthy.  I adapted this recipe from one posted on www.twopeasandtheirpod.com.

butternut squash burrito

[yumprint-recipe id=’1′]So, I am wondering, what did you have for dinner tonight?

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