JUMP for cookies

Get ready to rock your socks {…}

These cookies are amazing, and contain no butter or eggs. A ‘healthy’ chocolate chip cookie if you will. But to me it tastes like a brown sugar, peanut butter, maple, dark chocolate, sea salt, cookie of goodness.  🙂

The recipe is amazingly simple to go along with these tasty treats. Mix your dry, mix your not dry, then combine and bake.  You have no excuse not to make these and feel awesome about yourself. {recipe at end of post}

First mix together the dry:

Mix together the not dry:

Make sure you mash and mix up the peanut butter so all the wet ingredients are completely combined.

Then combine and mix. When everything is blended throw in the chocolate chips and form into balls.  Place on a sprayed cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

You can flatten slightly for a thicker cookie or flatten completely for a much thinner cookie. I chose a happy place in-between the two.

If you like before baking the cookies sprinkle a little sea salt and/or brown sugar on the tops of the cookies.  Salt especially is such a good flavor addition to a sweet snack.

These were absolutely delicious right out of the oven, which is when most of my desserts are eaten…, but if you can save a few they are even better the next day.

Recipe for JUMP cookies ~

1 and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

about 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1.5 tbsp chunky peanut butter {or nut butter of choice, any will work}

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup maple syrup

3.5 tbsp canola oil

as much CHOCOLATE as your heart desires

Hamantaschens!

The one tradition my family has kept once a year is making hamantaschen cookies from scratch

These beauties have a light sweet dough and endless filling possibilities.  The true test is trying not to eat all the fillings up while your trying to make them…

For the dough mix 2 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp orange peel, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl.  Add in one stick of cut butter, canola oil, and water.  Then mix in 2 beaten eggs and 2 tbsp of milk.  Once the dough binds together knead until smooth.  Divide the dough in half and wrap both portions in wax paper.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before baking or overnight.

When your ready to bake flour your surfaces, or entire kitchen table, to allow for plenty of rolling pin room.

Roll up your sleeves, flour your hands, and get down to business.  Roll out the dough, you might want to knead it for a quick second first, then with a 3 inch round cookie cutter cut out as many circles as you can.

Take the leftover dough, knead it back into a ball, then start all over again.  Making as many hamantaschens as you can.

You can fill a hamantaschen with almost anything, which is the pure beauty of this tasty cookie.  A traditional filling is poppy seed, but we also use an array of fruit spreads, peanut butter, and chocolate chips.  Next year I’m throwing nutella into the mix, I smile just thinking about it!

To fold the hamantaschen you fold three sides of the circle as shown, making sure to pinch the ends.

When your ready to bake preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place hamantaschens on a greased or lined baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes then take out and let cool.

A perfect example of what happens when your corners are not properly pinched…

Dough Recipe:

2 3/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp grated orange peel

1/2 tsp salt

1 stick of butter

1/4 cup canola oil

1 1/2 tsp water

2 eggs

2 tbsp milk

Fillings:

assorted jellies, nut spreads, and chocolates.  Get creative and make up something new!

Click here for the history behind the treat.

Enjoy ~

Chocolate PB Salty Squares

At the very last minute a dessert was needed…

So I introduce to you the ~ Chocolate PB Salty Squares

Chocolate PB Salty Squares
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar  [regular or brown]
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 tbsp chunky peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup local honey
3.5 tbsp canola oil
handful of chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt.  In a seperate smaller bowl combine chunky peanut butter, honey, canola oil, and vanilla extract.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until well combined.  The gently stir in chocolate chips.

My batter was very crumbly, not like a cookie dough at all.  Maybe my oil measured in wrong but with wet hands I preceeded to dump everything onto a sprayed rimmed cookie sheet and flatten it out with my hands.

bake for 10-13 minutes, until the edges are a dark brown.  Remove from oven, with a knife slice into squares and then leave to cool for a few minutes.

The dough set after cooking and made for a marvelous after dinner treat.  We ate ours hot and straight from the oven.  If left to completley cool they become a crunchier cookie.

😉

Banana Sandwich [wrap]

Banana.  Sandwich.  I mean wrap.

I don’t know why I haven’t tried one of these before..but have no fear, I am now on the flat banana bandwagon.  While perusing the grocery store isles the other day [I proudly admit that this is a favorite pastime of mine.  No shame]  I was glancing at dried fruit:  raisins, cranberries, apricots….and saw these. They are almost like banana tortillas.  Filled with creamy peanut butter and broken up pieces of salty dark chocolate.  A little dance was being done for this to say the least.

So this is my last weekend in Atlanta.  A friend of mine arrives wednesday evening.  I pack up.  And am then off for a quick hiking escapade in North Carolina before finally going home.  Needless to say there is a lot to be done and not much time for it to be done in.  The fact that I’m doing all this and leaving myself about a week to prepare for my 3 month stay in southern France should be a true adventure.

Number one on my to-do list is finishing a painting commission – from the moment I awoke I painted.  Painted.  Painted.  I didn’t leave my tiny room till 6 o’clock.  To not see sunlight or breathe fresh air till this time of day is criminal.  Ahhh.  Only a few more days…..

~

What’s your best solution to deal with stress/pressure/work-overload?

Balsamic Chickpea Avocado Tomato Salad

While at the store the other day I spotted a crate of bright local tomatoes, and I thought cold summer salad!  The fact that I am kitchen-less has nothing to do with it.  Honestly.  It has been a while since I’ve had a good avocado as well so I decided to marry the two in a union of epic proportions.  Chickpeas were thrown in for protein and a balsamic vinegar sauce went on top.  The combination of crunchy, creamy, smooth, tang was good enough to knock your socks off.

~ A very affordable and tasty dish for the financially troubled college student ~

Chickpeas.  Rinsed and Drained.

The best thing about fresh local tomatoes are the crazy and whacky shapes they tend to come in.  When every tomato is different the possibilities are endless…. This one had a swirl on it’s backside resembling the top of a soft serve ice cream cone.  Tomatoes trying to be like ice cream?  -Okay in my book any day of the week.

If you can picture it, I have my makeshift paper towel ‘cutting board’ on a stool in the middle of my 15 x 15 dorm room.  Get ready mom, I am going to take complete control of your kitchen in 7 days time, and I won’t be looking back.

I have a love and hate relationship with avocados.  Normally you have to let them sit out for a few days till they are ready to eat.  My problem, I can never tell when that day is.  The worst is to cut open an avocado ready for its smooth and scrumptious interior and find 70% of it still hard as a rock.  You can put it in the fridge, and wait for it to ripen.  But it will never be the same.  Resulting in a wasted avocado and a disgruntled cook.

This avocado, however, was perfect.  Perfect as perfect can be.  I picked out one that was ready to eat immediately, leaving no room for error.

If this is not the avocado king I would please like you to correct me.

[<3]

Next came the sauce.

The first thing that came to mind while constructing this was how lovely some fresh ground black pepper would be.  Hand in hand with tomatoes and an avocado, no?  …And I didn’t have any.  Once I got over the shock and got on myself for having no pepper but plenty of concentrated canned panang curry paste imported from Thai Land.  Why I have this over pepper when the only cooking appliance I own at the moment is a blender is beyond me.  I dug around and found a bottle of aged red wine vinegar.  I’ll take it.  Mixed with salt and some garlic grape seed sesame oil.  The vinegar provided the perfect tang for this dish that I promptly forgot about my lack of pepper.

Poured over top.  This would be great paired with a crusty baguette and a good glass of red wine.  On a porch somewhere far away from the city 😉

~ Balsamic Chickpea Avocado Tomato Salad ~

1 can of chickpeas [drained & rinsed]
1 large tomato [chopped]
1 avocado [chopped]
~ Dressing ~
2-3 tbsp aged balsamic vinager
garlic grape seed sesame oil and salt [to taste]
Chop.  Mix.  Plate.  Done.

Afterwards fruit, peanut butter, and graham crackers commenced.

I don’t think there is anything better then a thick, almost chewy yet still crunchy, graham cracker, topped with a large smear of natural peanut butter and then sprinkled with dried fruit.  Dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries, and golden raisins to be exact.

So good I went back for another.

~ Happy weekend everyone ~

Pom-Spin Smoothie/Sushi/Cutest Pup Ever/Makin’ Dinner!

Return of the pomegranate – spinach smoothie.  It has been too long.

I took pics step by step as I made it 😉

– First 1 tbsp chia seeds –

– Then lots of cinnamon (you can’t ever have too much)

– 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach –

– Frozen B-nana –

– spoonful of peanut butter 🙂 –

– 4-6 ounces of pomegranate kefir (the more you use the more liquid consistency you will get) –

– THEN blenddddd –  [top with more cinnamon]

– And a sprinkle of cacao bits –

My morning was filled with puppy love. [<3]

A co-workers 8 week old boston terrier.

Asleep every other ten minutes! 🙂

Cutest thing in the world.  She took everyone’s attention.

And looked fabulous atop my red purse 😉

🙂

Lunch was a quick trip to trader joe’s

Organic carrot juice.  amazing.

And brown rice california rolls

brown rice and seaweed with avocado, crab, and carrot.

Then rolled in toasted sesame seed good-ness.

Yum

For dinner tonight I was invited to cook at a friends house.  I was so pumped, being cooped up with only a dorm fridge and blender can make you go a little crazy after a while.

I decided to adapt a recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  Sausage filled potatoes, with sides of lightly sautéed zucchini and tossed arugula salad.  It Turned out divine!

The original recipe can be found here.

First we mixed up a sauce for the potato filling and later for the salad dressing.

A bit of mayo, tomato paste, anchovey paste [I had to search for this, sounds gross, but makes the dish.  Like fish sauce is to Thai food]  And trader joe’s dijon mustard which was heavenly.  I have a new love in the condiment category.

MIX

Onion – Chopped

To save on time, the potatoes went into the microwave first then were halved and scooped out.

amounts of cider and trader joe’s olive tapenade were consumed in the process 😉

Onion then went on the stove with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt

Zucchini was washed and then chopped.  In a food processor with a chopping attachment.  I have never used one of these before and felt like a little kid at a candy store, for the very first time.  Out of this world.  If I owned one of these I would be chopping everything and anything all day long for no apparent reason, maybe it’s a good thing I’m not in possession of one yet 😉

Beautiful

Zucchini chopped – and into the pan on light heat with olive oil and sprinkles of salt and pepper.  With a bit of parmesan cheese at the end.

water, more dijon, and lemon juice was added to some of the previous made sauce and tossed with fresh arugula

The potatoes were filled, baked, topped with more dijon mixture, broiled, then set on a plate.

Dessert was a homemade blueberry crumble, made by the host, with fresh blueberries from their back yard.  I don’t think there is anything better.

Topped with vanilla ice cream [the authentic kind….with the black dots] 🙂

What a night.

🙂

This weekend is Southern Belle Swing Dance here in Atlanta, GA.

A weekend of great dancing and amazing performances.

Question – What is your favorite summer dessert??

Puff. Rice. Crunch.

So I have a new obsession.  wait for it.  Puffed Brown Rice. 🙂  It’s so airy and care free that I find myself wanting to include it with everything!  Not to mention the crunch, and who doesn’t like a good crunch now and again?

Today’s Breakfast was another Pomegranate Spinach Smoothie..with a side cup of puffed rice 😀

Pomegranate Spinach Smoothie
Ingredients:
1 tbsp of ground flax
lots of cinnamon
1 frozen banana
two large handfuls of fresh spinach
4-6 ounces pomegranate kefir
spoonful of peanut butter
and blenddd.
Topped with some cacao nibs and copious amounts of puffed brown rice.  Delish.

Lunch today was another trip to metro fresh, where I had a divine sugar plum salad.  TONS of fresh chopped plums with walnuts, celery, and basil in an orange maple vinaigrette.  omg.  This deserves the honored title of party in your mouth.  A glorious fruit salad!

This was followed by a chicken and farfalle pasta salad in a basil pesto with corn and peas.  This was good but very skimpy on the pasta with way too much chicken.  Ah well.  The basil infused meal was pretty good and I even had some left for dinner 😉

Before Monday night dancing [it’s called Hot Jam on Monday nights(!)]  Their was an array of snack-mania.

Peanut Butter and the new addition to my fridge, the godly raspberry jam, on a cinnamon TJ graham cracker.  This Jelly is like a drug, no joke.

Then I decided to use the last of my pomegranate kefir [tear] on a bowl of surreal awesome-ness.

Base: A broken TJ cinnamon graham cracker, then piles of puffed brown rice, a tbsp of peanut butter, a sprinkle of chia seeds, a dash of cacao nibs (can you dash cacao nibs?) and the biggest spoonful of raspberry jam.  This resulted in the biggest food induced smile ever.  Beautiful.

– Jam of the gods –

Jam before Hot Jam 😀

Then their was some Trader Joe’s Roasted rosemary pecans and cranberries.  I bought this after seeing a sale ad for it online and it is quite good to say the least.

There are actually sprigs of rosemary all throughout this trail mix which makes it quite intoxicating.  It reminds me of the fish my mom would always marinate with rosemary from her garden growing up.  <3.

This would be even more fabulous if made in my own kitchen, can you imagine the smell of roasting nuts and rosemary wafting out of your oven as the cooler days are looming ever closer?

Alas when I am reunited with a kitchen this can be a reality.

Before running of to dance I grabbed one of these sample bags I snagged at whole foods this past weekend.

Great, as always.  I wasn’t expecting them to be as spicy as they were, but a lovely kick 😉

Song of the day – “Help I’m Alive” by Metric.

This band is my new obsession.

Question: Since PP & J is one of my favorite foods, does anyone have a specific way they enjoy this combo?  Anything out of the ordinary?

Pomegranate~Oat B-fast. a.k.a. Dessert.

This mornings Breakfast was so heavenly it shouldn’t be allowed … or should more often maybe 🙂

Pomegranate~Oats

You better bet I had a frozen banana ready and waiting for this mornings breakfast.  I even put my normal ‘lazi-ness’ aside and removed the soft serve from the blending cup and into a stylish mug.  A result of Saturday I dare say.  This was an amazing combo, the graham crackers were from Trader Joe’s and are a bit thicker then normal ones, which is for the better 🙂

Pomegranate~Oats
4-8 ounces pomegranate kefir [up to you on consistency]
1 frozen banana
splash of vanilla extract
lots of cinnamon
1/3-1/2 cup raw rolled oats
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 cinnamon graham crackers [broken into pieces]
Blend banana with cinnamon and splash of vanilla extract, empty into dish.  Top with kefir, oats, graham cracker pieces, and chia seeds.  Then garnish with a bit of shredded coconut, cacao nibs, and more cinnamon, it is up to you 😉
Mix ~ Enjoy

After running some errands I decided to stop by whole foods.  Again.  I blame this on not having access to one till last month so I’m trying to make up for lost time.  ALSO there are samples galore on the weekends, a college girl on a budgets dream.  Everything from wild caught breaded fish with organic ketchup and raw granola to locally made yogurt and a frozen chili chocolate cheesecake that should be illegal.

After perusing for an hour or so the salad bar lured me to its never ending variety and I ended up coming home with dinner B-)

Mixed greens and spinach….

Roasted Sweet Potato things = God these were good.  Has anyone ever had sweet potatoes that they haven’t liked?

Chili tofu and balsamic tofu

Roasted garlic cloves, edemame, shredded squash and zucchini, some spinach and orzo, some asian cabbage with sesame

Who knew tofu was so camera friendly?

Green and kalamata olives galore ❤

I swear this salad bowl was not the size of China, I have a bad time resisting putting one of everything in there though – crazy combinations result.

Tonight I wanted to try some new booty from my recent grocery trip.

Apple.  Sliced thin and wonderful.

Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter.  I bought some individual packets of this brand because if truth be told…I have way to many open nut butters right now but have never tried Justin’s before.  If only there were sample sized packets like these of everything!  A solo eaters dream…..

Next up was a new Jam.  Having just used up the jar of apricot I purchased Raspberry today.  Probably one of my favorite flavors.  A spoonful on top of 4 oz of brown rice crisp [another of today’s purchases I can’t wait to have fun with] and a splash of pomegranate kefir.  I love to use splash as a measurement… anyways this hit the spot.  I swoon for raspberries of all forms. 🙂

Too much flash

Seeds are always a plus in jam…

Song of the day: “An Honest Mistake” – by The Bravery

One of my favorite songs by them.

And Keep Posted!!! – I will be having a giveaway coming up 😉 so don’t miss out.

LazZzY Weekend

Happy August 1st!!!

August always makes me think of Autumn, which makes me think of Fall.  I am not ready for summer to end…it just started.  What’s new.  But this also means only 5 more weeks till France.  Autumn in France :p I could live with that.

This weekend was very laid back, let’s just say I didn’t sleep much this past week and made up for it during the past two days.  SATURDAY – Saturday I stayed in bed till…………….four…………It was awesome.  Enough said.  I just snacked on cereal, popcorn, and dried cranberries and caught up on some reading.  I finally finished the fourth book in the Outlander series and am excited to begin the fifth.  Around 5 I got dressed and drove over to whole foods, where I enjoyed perusing the aisles then dining on Indian food from the hot bar for dinner.  Does anyone else find extreme joy in walking through the grocery store?  I could probably spend all day doing it…..

After this I returned to my bed 😀 and read some more.  This is a rare occurrence I swear.  Around 9:30 a friend talked me into finally leaving my room and get out for a bit.  What did we go do??  We went and saw a movie.  A huge leap in the activity department.

This theater was HUGE though.  Biggest movie theater I have ever been in.  It was the size of 6 normal theaters…took two pictures to get it all in.  I saw Dinner for Schmucks, which had a few rather stupid moments but was on the whole a rather funny and enjoyable movie.  I would recommend see it, you’ll have a good laugh.

SUNDAY – Sunday I was a bit better 😉  I slept in, read.  While at Whole Foods yesterday I picked up two of the new larabar flavors.  Chocolate chip brownie and Chocolate chip cookie dough.  I unwrapped a chocolate chip cookie dough bar and stuck it in the freezer last night.  It made for an amazing pre-workout breakfast this morning [by morning I mean 12:30pm].  After a 45 min workout I made an amazing green monster smoothie.  Recipe below.  I started making these cups of joy after finding out about them on the blog Oh She Glows.  Some amazing recipes on there, you should take a look 😉

This GM had such an amazing array of flavors!

Coconut Spice Green Monster:
1-2 tbsp chia seeds
Lots of cinnamon
2 heaping handfuls of fresh spinach
a chopped frozen banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
4-8 ounces Coconut milk kefir
splash of vanilla extract
This was topped with more cinnamon, some unsweetened shredded coconut, and cacao nibs.

Especially after a workout these are a party in your mouth 😉

After this I decided to get out and enjoy the rest of my day off walking around downtown before hitting up this brewery for dinner with a friend.

A salad with hummus and pita ensued and it was godly.

Hummus, Pita, …… and Goat cheese.  words can’t express this combination properly.

What is your favorite, go to lazy day activity?

Green Monster :)

It’s the weekend……..Finally!

I have not been sleeping enough this week, going to bed between 2 and 3 am then rising at 8 makes for a very grumpy, sleep deprived girl.  This morning I remedied what I could with a green monster 😀

This was the best green monster I’ve had in a while 😉

containing:
1 tbsp chia seeds
lots of cinnamon
handfulls of fresh spinach (whatever is your fancy)
1 frozen banana
large spoonful of peanut butter
almond milk, I ran short so I subbed some coconut milk kefir 🙂

This was so good, spinach GM’s are definitely my favorite so far.

Lunch was one of Moe’s new tofu veggie bowls.  It was good, though I still prefer chipotle.  And my camera evaded me!  oops :/

I started work on a video today for maestro, I’m excited to have new stuff for my site!

Dinner was with the fam, again!  My Aunt and Uncle own a Mediterranean restaurant about 20 mins from me, and it’s REALLY good.  It’s called Cafe Sababa and this wasn’t my first time there 😉

I ordered the Greek salad: Romaine with cucumber, tomatoes, Israeli olives, chick peas, feta cheese herbs, onions ………. and freshly mad Falafel!!!! Hot and fresh, straight from the kitchen.  It was divine.  I spent about two weeks in Israel 2 yrs ago and had some amazing Falafel, nothing in the States has ever come close.  Except these.  They were that good.

This was followed with warm pita, homemade hummus, and baklava.

and now SLEEP.  Thank the lord high above for sleeping in.