Archive | May, 2013

cookies cookies and coconut

9 May

photo 1You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.

Wow. Those words are so true. That quote is from the late, great, amazingly great, Steve Jobs. What a motivator. Not only did he make the RADDEST computers, phones, what have you, on the planet, with the most efficient processing features that last forever, but he was smart. He basically came form nothing, and then was even kicked out of his own company for a little while, but overcame all of it, to achieve greatness. There are so many amazing things he has said, you should check some of his other quotes out.

This quote was sent to me at the perfect time. I’ve been really struggling with not being in control of my future. In searching for internship placement, a new apartment, figuring out how I will still work and intern and just determining how to get through my last year of graduate school, I’ve been so focused on that, and my future, that I haven’t taken not only time for myself, but time to enjoy the things I love to do again. I’ve been so overwhelmed by making others happy, that I have forgotten about myself. So it’s nice to know that not all the dots are connecting now, but they will. It’s all about faith. Faith and Grace, as my Auntie Jeannie would put it….and a little chocolate and wine…. I mean those two never hurt!

So. In terms of chocolate, I have TWO cookie recipes for you, but the first one, chocolate whoopie pies, aren’t done yet. I still need to frost them. It’s been SUCH a long time since I have posted a sweet recipe! It’s amazing how much I don’t bake anymore. Not only is is extremely challenging to bake gluten free, but there are so many flops! I have flopped so many recipes, what a waste! I have cut sugar out, a lot, so it’s rare I want something sweet! Which is HUGE since my family calls me “the Cupcake Queen.” Haha! I went to a gluten free bakery the other day and ordered a lemon tart. AMAZING. BUT, I ate like two bites and was done! One small step for Natalie, a huge step for my waistline!

COCONUT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted or coconut oil (I uses coconut oil, melted)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix coconut oil or butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste, the link to an AMAZING homemade vanillaphoto 2 company is below), eggs, and salt together. Then add your coconut flour and mix really well. You can do all of this with a hand mixer if you’d like. Next take a wooden spoon and add all of your chocolate chips. I used the mini ones from the bulk department at Whole Foods.

Next take your dough and roll it into about golf ball sized dough balls. These cookies do not spread, so as you put them on your cookies sheet, line it with a silpat or parchment paper, they can be fairly close. Then smash them down with your hand. Place them in the oven and after about 5 minutes, take your spatula and smash them down a bit further. This is a very dense dough. Let them cook until you can see that the edges are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

 

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protein protein protein and a life lesson

2 May

photoTrust. It’s something we all battle with. Trusting, caring for and loving people. I know I have issues with it, not the caring for and loving part, but the trusting part. People come in and our of our lives for a reason. They either teach us something, take a piece of our heart with them, give us a life lesson, or leave us with a life lesson. At 30, I’ve had people come in and out of my life constantly, but learning to trust the next person is what is most important. OR even learning to re-trust the person that comes in and out.

I have a couple people that like to pop in and out of my life every couple months. I still am not 100% sure why, I assume its because I am awesome, but I never truly know. Hopefully they can figure out in what aspect they would like me in their lives. I know what I want, it’s their turn to figure out what they want.

But this is what life is all about, right? Trusting, loving, caring and growing. I don’t think it’s about our career paths, how much money we do or do not make, the clothes we own, the cars we drive, the mundane things that fill up our lives, but I think it’s about relationships and friendships. I know that when I grow old, I want my friends and family there by my side, not my school books, job, or material things. I want relationships. There are many people in my life who have yet to learn that, and I hope I can teach them how special humans can be. Or maybe how special I can be. I know that someday I’ll make someone happy, until then, I have to keep wadding through the mucky water to find that person.

But that goes without saying about friendships as well. I am VERY lucky for the friendships in my life, even if I only have 2-3 really close friends. We all sometimes take our friendships for granted. I’ve learned that a great deal lately as well. That sometimes, we need to step back and appreciate each other. Friends are important to me. I consider my friends my family since my family is all over the United States. We all are so constantly going after our dreams and what we want, we forget about the people that make that happen. The people that support us. I mean if I lived in my own personal dream, I’d own my farm to table children’s cooking school right now. BUT, that hasn’t happened yet. So I need to keep growing and dreaming and make sure the people that are growing with me are acknowledged, always. I am one of those people that wears my heart on my sleeve, so maybe you should too every once in awhile. So if you have time, and I know this isn’t my normal humorous post, take a second and tell someone how much you care about them, you’ll thank me later.

Completely unrelated, or maybe more related, I’m learning to love myself again. My body doesn’t like it though, that’s for sure. I’m definitely working out more, but we can’t change what our bodies want to do, or have control over it, but if we can take the reigns and eat healthy and workout, well, that’s half the battle, our body does the rest, and if you know me, as a Virgo, not having control over something drives me nuts. But, I’m learning to finally live with my curves, and the fact I have a booty….I mean this is the only body I’ll ever have. I’m working to make it the best it can be, but like most women, I need to accept it as it is as well. I’ll always be a short, petite, curvy, muscly girl, just the way life is. Genetics, damn those genetics. Haha!

Here’s where this recipe comes in.

In trying to eat healthy, I am trying to be more cognizant about the protein I put in my body. If any of you know me, you know that I am a veggie lover. Fruits and vegetables have always been my thing. And carbs…damn those carbs, but since I barely eat gluten anymore, if any, the carbs have pretty much ceased to exist. I found out I should, at 5 feet tall, 133 lbs, be getting 92 grams of protein a day! Well there’s no way I get that! So this breakfast is an easy, yummy, and good way to get it, and curb your sweet tooth a little bit! Enjoy! This is so super easy!

PROTEIN PANCAKE WITH PLAIN GREEK YOGURT AND BERRIES

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 scoops of your favorite protein. I use JAI performance plant power repair formula, it’s free of corn, yeast, wheat, soy, gluten, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. ARIA protein powder isn’t bad either and you can find that anywhere
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon organic, local honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • greek yogurt
  • nut butter of your choice
  • berries of your choice

Heat your skillet, I like to use a small skillet that is “pancake” sized, on medium/low heat. this pancake is fragile, so it could burn quickly on the bottom without the top cooking. Mash your banana REALLY good and mix it with your whisked eggs, honey, cinnamon and vanilla. In a bowl, scoop your protein powder, 1 large scoop or 2 small scoops, add your almond milk, and egg/banana/spice mixture. Now, if your mixture if too thick, add more almond milk until you get it to a thick, but still a little sloppy, pancake batter thickness.

Pour your “pancake” in your skillet. It will most likely fill the entire skillet, that’s why I use a small skillet. Once you see it bubble and the edges look cooked, flip it. NOTE: If it doesn’t flip and falls apart, that’s ok! That’s happened to me before, just starts mashing it all up in the pan like you make scrambled eggs, you’ll then have almost a banana bread-like tasting oatmeal that you can eat the same way!

Once it’s cooked, flip it on your plate, and top it with greek yogurt and berries! Yum! You can  eat this SO many ways. You could add raw cocoa powder and a little more honey to make a chocolately pancake for dessert, you could top it with PB&J, almond butter and more bananas….the options are endless and you are getting a ridiculous amount of protein! EAT UP, lovelies!

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