I am sure you have all heard me mention how I chug my G’s Oatmeal Smoothie every morning and love it. It’s just so healthy and such an incredible start to my day that I can’t get myself to move on to one of my many (yet to be posted) other smoothie recipes. However, on the weekends I sometimes need a change. A break from the berries if you will! I am a massive fan of anything peanut butter and banana or peanut butter and chocolate. I find those combinations to be unbeatable in my sweet tooth world. Like I’ve said before, I don’t particularly have a sweet tooth, as I’d choose a bagel, potato chip, slice of pizza etc any day over chocolate or other sweets, however, those are the loves of the small sweet tooth within me. I have really been enjoying my Creamy Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie for weekends now! My lil’ man, G, loves them as well. Double delight! Honestly, you could throw in some cocoa powder for a chocolate effect, add some spinach for the fiber (I always do), and use any kind of nut butter you’d like! I’m never strict with a recipe so I most certainly don’t expect the same from my readers. In Beijing, it is very difficult to find natural peanut butter, and when you do, it costs oodles of moola. I have taken to buying the “mixed sesame” butter (a variety of what I think is sesame seeds, peanuts, and probably something else), as it is completely natural, delicious, and costs a mere $1.00! Now, you cannot beat that. These are the things in China that I will truly miss… well, a part of some of the things I will miss. I am leaving after 5 long years in 7 weeks and it will be extremely bitter sweet! I am starting to feel the reality now… I digress, back to smoothie speak! I drink them all year long but I know that they’re even bigger hits in the summer time. Bring on the beach, the sun, and the great outdoors. I am beyond ready and am sure you are, too! Enjoy your Creamy Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie in the summer, spring, winter, or fall… at the beach, in the morning, afternoon, or at the mall. Okay, I had to do it. The Dr. Seuss in me insisted. Enjoy it even as a light dinner or dessert. It knows no bounds! Slurp up this deliciously satisfying and healthy Creamy Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie and I promise you, you’ll be on the road to a healthier you!
- 2 bananas
- 3-4 large spoonfuls of peanut butter
- 1/2 a ripe avocado
- 2 cups oats
- Dash of vanilla extract
- 1 can coconut milk
- Coconut water (use your desired amount for thickness/thinness)
- Large handful of spinach (optional but recommended- I always use this)
- Put a splash of coconut water in the bottom of your blender and add the oats
- Top with coconut milk
- Add bananas, peanut butter, avocado, vanilla
- Top with spinach if using
- Add your desired amount of coconut water
- *I put this in the refrigerator overnight and blend in the morning for a cold smoothie!
- This yields 3 large glasses.
- Add cocoa powder for a chocolate flavor
- Add spinach or kale for some awesome fiber/vitamins. You won't taste it if you're concerned about this.
- Use any kind of milk (almond, soy - plain, vanilla, chocolate -, cow's milk etc)
- Use any kind of nut butter
Well, it’s official. I’ve finally decided that to make my goal weight by mid-June I am officially going to have to kind of… err… sort of… uugghh… maybe diet a bit! Yuck! That tasted bad evening writing down that hateful “d” word. I made it 6 months while staying on target or even getting ahead of my chart and have hit the longest of plateaus over the past 3 months. If I plan on “making it” to the finish line I have to actually cut back a bit. I’ve also just revamped my workout. In previous posts I had mentioned the glory of Jillian Michael’s Shred It Level 1. Well, now it’s Level 2 in addition to her 6 Weeks to 6 Pack Abs (if you want to die a painful workout death… do this. It’s killer! But amazing), and I am taking hour long Latin dance classes every Friday. I feel the combo should get me to where I need to be in the short bit of time I seem to have left. Sigh, sigh, and sigh again… however, I feel great! So, that’s the silver lining, and the hope for total “svelte-ness” is my dangling carrot. In my mind it’s super model status, however, reality strikes in the form of a possible thinner thigh, arm, and a true dream of 50% of Jillian Michael’s abs. We dream big here my friends. I mean BIG. I do indeed, dare to dream.
I start every morning with my G’s Oatmeal Smoothie recipe. My little man (Greyson) LOVES them, as do my husband and myself. Berries mixed with oatmeal, coconut milk, and yes, spinach! Don’t let this scare you! The spinach is masked by the coconut and the sweet fruit. An incredibly healthy and satisfying start to your day. Not to mention, I make it the night before so the oats have been fully soaked, it will be cold without having to add ice, and let’s face it, one less step to slow down your morning. Sold! Next, I arrive at work and have a small snack of almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and a clementine. I love all of them and they keep my belly content until a later snack or early lunch. I swallow this down with a cup of chrysanthemum tea with a dash of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and an ever-so-small squeeze of agave. This is incredibly refreshing and easy to drink. After this, I return to the caffeine with a Jasmine Green Tea (I have a black coffee as soon as I arrive at work). For a small lunch or hefty snack, I have a whole wheat slice of bakery bread loaded with all kinds of delicious seeds, and I smother it in my homemade Classic Hummus after smashing some avocado on the bread (sometimes with a tomato or some cheese as well-all depends on how crazy I feel that day!). If I want to make this more of a lunch, I will have a heftier slice of my bread and it’s toppings plus I’ll tack on a salad or soup, like my Pesto Mushroom Salad or my Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup. I’m not trying to pack the calories in but I definitely want to feel satisfied and really enjoy my food. What’s eating if we don’t love it?! My goal is to fuel my body with the “best” and enjoy it in the making. Simple, happy, delicious. Join me in my not-so-new morning mantra!
*As featured on foodgawker.com!
Warm & Delicious Spiked Choco-Coffee will definitely warm your winter soul with some special fuzzy feelings! Amarula, vodka, Grand Marnier, hot chocolate, and coffee. Top it with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and a sprinkle of hot chocolate for your extra fancy self! It’s guaranteed to kick your booty, send you smilin’ to the stars, and is simply incredibly tasty. Bored of your typical spiked coffees? Give this one a whirl and I promise you’ll be going for round 2! How was this cocktail created? IKEA. Yes, that is my answer. Whatever do I mean? Well, let the tale begin…
Since I’ve had a baby and the air quality in Beijing can ruin weekends, I don’t really go out anymore. If you are reading this and you know me I have no doubt you’re in total and utter disbelief! 😉 I got super excited when I made plans with my Beijing bestie, Alana. What were we going to do on this fine Saturday afternoon? Go to IKEA together. Seriously, I was teeming with excitement for 2 weeks leading up to this Saturday. We both needed to stock up on supplies. Also, I have always wanted to go back to IKEA with my camera (not just my iPhone) to take pictures of the countless individuals sleeping, yes, full out sleeping, on the display beds at this fine establishment. Once, there was even a family eating their own noodles in an IKEA kitchen display. I sh#% you not. Last year, a rumor went around stating IKEA had banned people in China from sleeping on their furniture. However, it was just that, a rumor. Learning that the thrill of a good nap was still alive & kickin’, I told Alana we had to go there with my Canon and a super yummy and strong cocktail to further our entertainment value. We did it, and it was AWESOME! We walked around, took pics, drank our Warm & Delicious Spiked Choco-Coffee, got pretty toasted, pretended to sleep on beds, and shopped. The two of us definitely came home with more than a few unnecessary items and a bit of a stumble!
If you want to have an amazing day at a Chinese IKEA, I strongly suggest drinking a Warm & Delicious Spiked Choco-Coffee. Obviously, many of you reading this blog do not live in China, so for you, I strongly suggest this tasty libation next time you have a nice cold day with a friend over. Perhaps Google people sleeping in beds at IKEA for your entertainment as well. Sip, slurp, get your buzz on, pink up those cheeks, and enjoy!
The first set of pictures below are the ones of the lovely IKEA adventure. Please keep scrolling to see the Warm & Delicious Spiked Choco-Coffee pictures and recipe!
- 1/4 tsp Grand Marnier
- 1-2 ounces Amarula (or Bailey's)
- 1 ounce vodka
- 1 tsp hot chocolate powder (more for a garnish if you'd like)
- Hot coffee
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Chocolate Shavings (optional)
- Fill your mug of choice with coffee - about 3/4 full
- Pour in your 3 liquors and hot chocolate powder - stir well
- Optional: Garnish with a nice heaping of whipped cream, top with chocolate shavings, and sprinkle with hot coco powder
- I truly prefer Amarula to Bailey's for this drink. Do not operate heavy machinery while drinking or soon afterwards!
Oh, Rosemary! What a gal! Beautiful, sweet, seductive, makes you feel oh so good… what a catch! In the words of Shakespeare: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” It does indeed in this case. This delicious and fragrant bourbon drink is something a bit different for your collection of cocktails. I love bourbon but usually drink it neat. I wanted a unique and interesting libation, so my friend introduced me to something similar to dear, Rosemary. Naturally, I went home and the following week came up with this rendition of her cocktail. I’d like to think this would’ve made Romeo & Juliet proud! Perhaps, consuming enough of these could’ve cured the feud between the Montagues and Capulets. Alright, enough of this literature speak. The moral of my story is that this is a cocktail not to be missed, I’d befriend this Rosemary any day. Shakespeare or no Shakespeare. Again, I wish I had a current picture from my sweet new camera with my slowly growing photography skills but alas, this is what we’re stuck with for now. Drink and be merry with thy friends!
- Approximately 1/4 C Bourbon (I like it a bit strong so I use 1/4)
- 1/2 a lemon - squeezed
- 3 diced peach wedges (no skin) - grilled (preferably if you can)
- 3 Tbl diced plum (no skin)
- 2 Tbl real maple simple syrup
- 3 ripe red cherries (diced) - optional but delicious!
- Sprig rosemary
- Top with soda water or San Pellegrino Limonata
- 2 Pint glass
- 1/4 c water
- 1/4 c REAL maple syrup
- 1/3 c fresh rosemary
- 1/4 tsp fresh chopped sage
- For the maple simple syrup: (This should be made prior so it can cool before you add it to drink)
- Put all ingredients in a small pot & bring to a simmer for 5 minutes
- Cover & let sit for an additional 5-10 minutes for the flavor to fully develop
- Pour the simple syrup through a strainer to get rid of the rosemary and sage pieces
- In a pint glass add all fruit, simple syrup, lemon, bourbon, ice, and pour back & forth between both pint glasses to mix well
- Fill one pint glass with ice and pour the contents of the other glass into the pint with ice
- Top with soda water or Limonata, stir, and garnish with a sprig of rosemary
- 1 1/2 cups gin
- 6 ripe fresh strawberries - diced
- 1/4 cup cucumbers -diced
- 1 large handful of mint - chopped
- 4 lime wedges
- Approximately 4 twelve oz cans of soda water
- Mint or regular simple syrup - approximately 1/4- 1/2 cup depending on your desired level of sweetness
- Place a very small amount of crushed ice in the bottom of all 4 pint glasses
- Equally distribute the strawberry, cucumber, and mint into all four glasses, squeeze one lime wedge in each glass as well - now muddle away!
- Fill up the glasses with ice and add gin, simple syrup, and soda water
- Take an additional and empty pint glass and pour each drink back and forth about 2-3 times to fully mix all ingredients