Monthly Archives: March 2014

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3 Ingredient Energy Bars

Welcome to healthy recipe Monday brought to you by Fitness For Mommies.

Please don’t run away and think I’m crazy!!!  But what is crazy is how good these energy bars are!  I eat some sort of energy or protein bar every morning for breakfast and I have no idea what too me so long to make one at home.

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See only three ingredients!!!! Plop everything in the food processor and give it a whirl.

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Then either push it into a 9×13 baking dish or roll it into balls.  I think next time I will try rolling it.

On a side note, am I the only one who thinks that dates look a little like cockroaches?  But please don’t let that deter you from making this recipe.

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I also added hemp seeds to my energy bars.  Partially for the added protein and partially to use up the huge bag of hemp seeds I bought at Costco.

I also added chocolate chips, because chocolate makes everything better.

These two ingredients are totally optional though and your bars will still be great without them.

My 6 year old loves these, no really she does.  She claims that she scored in her softball game because of these energy bars.

5.0 from 1 reviews
3 Ingredient Energy Bars
 
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3 Ingredient Energy Bars
Author:
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dates (I used Deglet Noor)
  • 2 cups almonds (whole, roasted)
  • 1½ cups dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds (optional)
  • ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place dates, almonds, and dried cranberries in a food processor and turn it on.  Process until a thick dough forms.  It takes about 3-4 minutes.
  2. If adding optional ingredients, stir them in by hand.  If you try to process the chocolate chips they will melt.
  3. Press in to a 9x13 baking dish or roll into balls (you should get about 36) using a scant tablespoon per ball.  Refrigerate until firm.
  4. Eat!

Nutrition Facts without the optional add ins:

Calories 121, Fat 5.5 g, Carbs 18 g, Protein 2.8 g

Nutrition Facts with the add ins:

Calories 144, Fat 7 g, Carbs 20 g, Protein 3.4 g

 

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Things to Love

Welcome to a new feature here on With Love from the Vine! Every so often I will feature things that I am currently obsessing over, and I think you will love them too!

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$1.99 Daffodil days at Trader Joe’s.  They brighten up even the gloomiest of days!

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Reduce Sugar Almond Milk.  Only 40 calories for a whole cup???? And its delicious.

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I love this stuff. Crio Bru is coarse ground cocoa beans that you brew like coffee.  I am not a coffee drinker, but I do love a hot drink in the morning and this hits the spot.  Plus it has tons of antioxidants and its good for you!  Yes! I find it at my local health food store or you can order it thru their website.  You brew it in a french press and then I like to add some stevia and sugar free vanilla creamer to mine.  Yes, it’s that good.

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Ummm yeah.  I can’t say enough good things about this brownie brittle.  Sheila G’s really hit it on the head with this product. It’s a thin cookie that tastes just like the crispy part of a brownie. Who’s for me using it instead of graham crackers as a crust of some sort?  Yes, I must do that.  Plus, at only 120 calories a serving it won’t kill your diet. I got mine at Costco, or you can order it thru their website.  Do it now. You won’t be sorry.  I’ve only had the chocolate chip but I must say all of the flavors look divine! (Especially the salted caramel! YUM!)

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Freeze dried blueberries from Trader Joe’s.  These little suckers make for a great quick snack. Love them.

There you have it!  Things to love!!!

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Orange Scented Ricotta Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Strawberry season is in full swing!  I am buying strawberries by the case and finding all sorts of awesome ways to use them up!
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These stuffed strawberries are little lighter than the average ones, because of the use of ricotta cheese.  It makes the stuffing almost cloud like.

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Betcha can’t eat just one.

Orange Scented Ricotta Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
 
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Orange Scented Ricotta Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 quart strawberries
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl beat together all ingredients, except strawberries, until smooth.
  2. Using a small paring knife cut a little bit off the tip of the berry so it will stand up straight.  Cut the top off and using a small spoon or melon baller scoop out some of the middle of the strawberry.  Fill each strawberry with a small spoon or place filling in a pipping bag and fill that way.  Garnish with fresh mint if desired.
  3. Eat!

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Mexican Quinoa Bowls

Wanna know the best way to eat mexican quinoa?

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This way.  No recipe needed. Just mix together some mexican quinoa, black beans (I like the cuban style ones from Trader Joe’s), finely chopped onion and cilantro, and feta cheese. (Then if you are like me, douse the whole thing in Lindy’s hot sauce but it has to be green).

I seriously think I’ve eaten this every day for the past 8 days at least.

To make vegan, just leave out the cheese or use a vegan alternative.

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100 Calorie Yogurt Bowl

Welcome to healthy recipe Monday brought to you by Fitness For Mommies.

So recently I lost about 30 pounds.

Everyday I have to make smart food choices and work really hard to keep it off.

One of the ways I do that is with this little snack.

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Start with half a cup of fat free greek yogurt.  Be sure to use greek yogurt, since it has the protein to help keep you fuller longer, and stretch you to your next meal. I like Fage, obviously since that huge container in the picture is empty.  No really it is.  I had to pull it out of the trash to take a picture.

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Then, these are my secret ingredient.  Sugar free flavored syrups.  I think I have about 10 different flavors, but the ones I like with this are the raspberry, vanilla, and brown sugar cinnamon.

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Stir about 2 tablespoons of the syrup into the yogurt (in the one pictured I used raspberry, that’s why it is pink!), then top with 1/4 cup each of blueberries and blackberries.

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This totally cures a sweet tooth while giving you some protein, and really fills you up.

100 Calorie Yogurt Snack
 
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100 Calorie Yogurt Bowl
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ½ cup fat free greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar free flavored syrup
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup blackberries
Instructions
  1. Stir together the yogurt and the syrup. Top with the berries.
  2. Eat!

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Crepes Four Ways

A few weeks ago when I made this, I had some left over crepes.

What a shame.

Here’s a few ideas on what you can do if you are ever in that situation.

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Top with lemon curd.

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Or top with lemon curd and strawberries.

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Or top with lemon curd, strawberries, and whipped cream.

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That one deserved a close up.

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Or top with the lemon whipped cream, from here.

So if you are ever in the predicament I was, I’ve got you covered.

Plus, you can totally eat this for breakfast right?  I mean it has fruit and everything.

(I won’t tell anyone if you just to decide to smear them with Nutella and call it day.)

Perfect for spring time and Easter!

P.S. Loving the strawberries right now! I get mine picked fresh that day from Buoye Farms!  You can’t beat them!

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Billionaire Bars

My friend’s invited me to dinner the other night (and they let me bring the rug rats!), so one of the best ways I could thank them is by bringing them dessert!

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And, man is this dessert killer.

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It takes a little time and effort, but boy is it worth it.

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See that?  That is a layer of buttery shortbread, then gooey caramel, and finally luscious chocolate.

To die for.

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And they don’t last long either!

On a side note, happy birthday Dad!!! You are the best father and opa ever! Muah!

Billionaire Bars
 
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Billionaire Bars
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • For the shortbread:
  • 1 stick cold butter
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ⅓ sugar
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For the caramel:
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • For the chocolate layer:
  • 9 oz dark chocolate
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 8x8 baking dish with foil, leaving an overhang. Spray foil with cooking spray. (I used a 7x11 pan)
  3. For the shortbread: Place all shortbread ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a dough forms.  About 2 minuts. Press the dough evenly into the pan and cook for about 25 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool completely.
  4. For the caramel: Melt together the butter, cream, and salt in a small saucepan.  Keep warm.  In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium high heat, without stirring, until a golden caramel forms. Pour in the warm cream (it will bubble up) continue cooking, stirring constantly, until it reaches 230 degree on a candy thermometer or about 3 minutes.  Pour over cooled shortbread, and let cool completely. About an hour.
  5. For the chocolate layer: Finely chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.  Heat the cream just to simmer, then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth.  Pour over the caramel layer and spread evenly.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
  6. When ready to serve, lift the bars out of the pan by the foil.  Cut into squares.
  7. Eat!

While the chocolate is still warm try topping with:

-sea salt

-crushed pretzels

-white chocolate chips

-marshmallows

-any kind of chopped nuts

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine Magazine March 2014

 

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Mexican Quinoa

Welcome to healthy recipe Monday brought to you by Fitness For Mommies.

So, who has tried my Mexican rice?  It’s good huh?

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Well, I bought one of the huge bags of quinoa from Costco and have been trying to use it up ever since.

So I had this crazy idea, what if I used quinoa instead of rice?

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And you know what?  I like it even better.  But please don’t tell the rice, it might get its feelings hurt.

Mexican Quinoa
 
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Mexican Quinoa
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil, (I like to use extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 2 cans of vegetable stock
Instructions
  1. Cook the onions and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the quinoa and cook for 3 more minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the stock, 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.
  6. Fluff with a fork.
  7. Eat!

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St. Patrick’s Day Pistachio Cake

Back in my previous life, when I taught special education, we would make this cake every year for St. Patrick’s Day.

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The students would love it, because it looks like a normal bundt cake until,

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you cut into it and it’s green!

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This cake is so moist and delicious.  The original recipe calls for a full cup of oil, but I used half a cup of oil and half a cup of applesauce.  Partially because I ran out of oil and I’m lazy and partially because I wanted to be a little healthier!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day my internet friends!

St. Patrick's Day Pistachio Cake
 
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St. Patrick's Day Pistachio Cake
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 small box instant pistachio pudding
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 cup club soda
  • green food coloring, if desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan very well.
  2. Mix together the cake mix and pudding mix. Add the eggs, oil, applesauce, and club soda. Mix well. Stir in food coloring if using.
  3. Pour into prepared pan and cook for 45-50 minute or until the cake tests done.
  4. Eat!

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Cake Batter Oreo Cookies

I really can not believe that March is almost halfway over!  This year has really been flying by!

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My kids are already on spring break, and I kid you not I was taken aback when by daughter told me on Friday that they didn’t have school for two weeks.  It really snuck up on me!

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One thing we can do over the break is make these cookies!  They are super easy and so yummy! They can really be customizable for any holiday, just change up the sprinkles.  I found these cute shamrocks at my local cake store.

I do have grip about the sprinkles you can find at the local box stores.  Why do they go right from Valentine’s Day to Easter?  Doesn’t St. Patricks Day deserve some love?  I think so.

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Anywho, make these cookies.  You will be glad you did.

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St. Patrick's Day Cake Batter Oreo Cookies
 
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St. Patrick's Day Cake Batter Oreo Cookies
Author:
Serves: 18-20
Ingredients
  • 1 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and ¼ cups yellow or vanilla boxed cake mix
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup sprinkles
  • 10 Oreos, crushed into pieces
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cake  mix, and baking soda
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. About 1 minute.  Add in the egg and mix well. Add the vanilla and mix again.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently stir in the chocolate chips, Oreos, and sprinkles.
  4. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, but up to 3 days.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat your over to 350 degrees. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of  the cookie dough onto the baking sheet and use your hands to form it into a ball. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just starting to turn light brown.
  6. Cool for  few minutes on the baking sheet, then place on a cooling rack and continue to cool to room temperature.
  7. Eat!

Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction and can be found here.