Biscotti Giveaway Winners

lucky you

The two winners of my Nonni’s Biscotti giveaway are # 6 and 18 –

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David and Deb, please e-mail me with your mailing addresses so we can get out your prizes.

unlucky me

I had an absolutely fabulous time back home… until I got struck with a not-so-fabulous case of food poisoning!  You guys, I was the sickest I’ve ever been.  It was insane.  I’m not recapping my vacation because I can’t even begin to think about reliving those meals.  But it really was a great trip before the puking started!

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Chocolate Marshmallow Love {Recipe Redux}

This is my first post for The Recipe Redux, the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians.  “The Redux is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you.  [It aims] to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover.”

I will be posting my Recipe Redux entry on the 22nd of each month.  Click on the link at the bottom of this post to see what others posted.

Each month has a prompt/theme, and this month, because most people probably still have Valentine’s candy hanging around, we were prompted to share our favorite chocolate matches.  I know that most people will go with peanut butter.  Some fringe folks will adore chocolate and mint.  I’ll be shocked if one of the healthier bloggers doesn’t go with chocolate-dipped fruit.  For me, it’s all about the s’more – my favorite thing to pair with chocolate is marshmallow.

Clearly s’mores creations are near and dear to my heart (Over the past few years I have created recipes for s’mores brownies, cups, snack balls, pies, cupcakes, and more – check out my recipes in the right sidebar!), but one recipe – My S’mores Monster Cookies – is a bit healthier than the others.  The monster cookies use peanut butter and only a little bit of butter.  Plus they are loaded with rolled oats.  Even better, the s’mores monster cookies are my Valentine’s favorite recipe, so this month was the perfect time to whip up a batch for him.

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S’mores Monster Cookies

Yield: 12 monster-sized cookies; Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 15 minutes

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Jet Puffed Vanilla Mallow Bits or mini marshmallows
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Line 2 ungreased baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
  2. In a large bowl, use a mixer to beat the egg.  In order – add sugars, vanilla, baking soda, butter, and peanut butter, mixing well.
  3. Use a spatula to fold in oats, chocolate chips, and mallow bits.
  4. Scoop dough with a 1/4 cup measuring cup and roll into balls.  Evenly space six balls per baking sheet.
  5. Bake 13 – 15 minutes until browned.

Notes:

  • You can also use a Tbsp of dough per cookie to create a larger batch of smaller, less monstrous cookies and they will turn out fine
  • I prefer to use natural, no-added salt peanut butter for this recipe – just be sure to stir the top layer of oil into the jar before you measure out your peanut butter
  • If you want to sneak in a little more fiber, swap out half of the chocolate chips with 1/3 cup dried fruit such as dried cranberries

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What is your favorite flavor to pair with chocolate?

This Week I Loved…

This week I loved:

Baking

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I made a batch of my Buttered Rum Raisin Cookies for a birthday and work and my coworkers all gave rave reviews.

Sia

When it comes to all things pop-culture – including but not limited to music, Netflix-exclusive tv shows, memes, and modern slang – Adam is usually a month or two behind the other American 20-30 year olds.  This past week, I’ve gotten him up to speed on Sia and now we’re both obsessed.  Her sound is unique, the work she’s showcased of Maddie Ziegler’s is breathtaking, and when you compare her artist persona to someone like Kanye she seems like a dream.  I for one adore the mega-bangs; the focus is on her art instead of her looks and they are somehow just not as douchetastic as the Daft Punk helmets.  Sidenote – to be fair to Adam, he actually has been listening to Sia for the past 5 years, even if he wasn’t aware of it, ever since we loved her music in “Dollhouse.”

Spiced iced coffee

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I cold-pressed a big batch of espresso blend with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.  This was delicious; I want to add some spice to all of my future brews.

Turkey sandwiches

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An onion roll with turkey, lettuce, red pepper, pickles, pepperjack, and mayo from the cafeteria.  And turkey sandwiched between whole-wheat bread that was oven-toasted with butter and gouda at home.  The toasted sandwich was divine; I almost considered making myself a second round when I was finished eating!

Weight Watchers commercials

I think that these commercials are amazing; they manage – in a quick, funny! way – to really get at a lot of the social and emotional factors that contribute to overeating.

Minta

minta mint soda flavored with cane sugar

Minta – a mint flavored soda line made with fruit juice and cane sugar – recently sent me a box of Original, Strawberry, and Lemon to sample for the blog.  I am not exactly looking to add a non-diet soda to my daily life, but I love that these use cane sugar instead of HFCS and I think they are definitely a great treat.  The Original and Strawberry have 100 calories and 25 grams of sugar per 10 oz can (Lemon has only 80 calories because it has less sugar, 19 grams).  They are freaking delicious; like the best mojito you’ve ever had!  Adam was expecting to hate them – “mint soda?  that sounds disgusting” – but he was smitten after his first sip.

Berry chia yogurt bowls

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Fage with fresh blackberries, white chia seeds, and Heritage Flakes was my lunch order this week.  The tablespoon of chia really helped to make these more filling than my past yogurt bowls.

Yes Please

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I finished Amy Poehler’s book and I loved it even more than I had anticipated.  She managed to make me laugh, cry, and seriously take stock of what I want out of myself and my life.

The new menu at Bare Burger

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I had a turkey burger with pimento cheese, duck bacon, stout onions, and horseradish remoulade.  It was delish.

The anticipation of a mini tropical vacation!

If the weather cooperates, I will be on a plane by the time you are reading this post.  It’s my mom’s birthday this Sunday and I surprised her by booking a ticket home for a long weekend.  St. Thomas, here I come!

 

Love From Nonni’s Biscotti {Giveaway}

I know that Valentine’s Day has passed, but I still have a little love to share with you guys.  Nonni’s Biscotti reached out to me and offered to send freebie coupons to two readers.

They recently sent me the Cioccolati and Salted Caramel flavors to try, and Adam and I highly recommend them.

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All of the flavors have between 90 – 110 calories per cookie and go great with coffee.

The chocolate ones were good, because duh, but the salted caramel?  They were incredible.  Look at the freaking pockets of caramel!

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Ridiculous.

Want a chance to try them on your own?  Simply leave a comment on this post before 6 pm EST on Saturday, February 21st.  Two winners will be randomly selected.

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Valentine’s Weekend

Did everyone have a good Valentine’s Day?  I hope you got a kiss from your sweetheart, or even better – ate some chocolate kisses and conversation hearts!

Adam and I had a fabulous weekend.  Thank goodness for Presidents’ Day off, even though he worked a 30-hour shift on Sunday – and I spent the day sans pants, in bed, eating Thai take-out – we still had two days to have fun in the city.  The best part of the weekend was probably Monday night though, we cuddled on the couch eating Chipotle and watching the SNL 40th anniversary show.  I’m typing this post up while we watch but so far I am in absolute nostalgia heaven!  Here are some of the weekend highlights…

We were not grumpy about getting coffee.

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Adam is obsessed with their flat whites.

We made pink Valentine’s Day smoothies.

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Frozen raspberries, plain Greek yogurt, fresh dates, and Hint of Honey Almond Breeze.  Perfect blend (get it?? blend) of sweet and sour.

We checked out the Cupcake ATM from Sprinkles.

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So cool, Adam loooved it.  We tried the Cuban Coffee, “Belgian light chocolate cake topped with powerful dark roast coffee frosting and subtle notes of cinnamon and cocoa.”

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I didn’t care for the cake but the frosting was wonderful.

We went out for a very romantic Valentine’s dinner of beer and Thai food.  First Left Hand Milk Stout on draft.

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Then we checked out the highly recommended Pure Thai Cookhouse.  My Pad See Ew was tasty,

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but for “Thai spicy” it could have packed a lot more heat.  I did not even need this Thai iced tea.

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We did try to get ice cream afterwards though.

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Try being the operative word.  I had such high expectations for Ben & Jerry’s new Speculoos (aka Biscoff!) flavor but it ended up being inedible; terribly ginger-spicy.  Instead we made amazing sundaes at home.

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Talenti cookie dough gelato, Girl & the Fig salted fig caramel, and chocolate-covered cocoa nibs.

We went to Serendipity.

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I’ve never strayed, I always order the Summer Bries sandwich which comes with turkey, apple, sprouts, brie, and Russian dressing on raisin pumpernickel.

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We tried something new for dessert, the Insanity Sundae.

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Pecan pie, butter pecan ice cream, wet walnuts, whipped cream, and hot fudge.  It was insane, we could barely make a dent in it.

Speaking of sweets and love – check back in this afternoon, I’ve got a giveaway coming!

Weekly Wrap-Up? Yes Please!

happenings

As promised, here is a picture of my gaudy new cell phone –

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I’m liking it more now that I’ve gotten used to the new system.

This week I gave an hour-long nutrition presentation at a women’s shelter near the hospital.  We talked primarily about added sugars, reading nutrition labels, and the plate method.

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I opened with an activity where we compared the sugar content of different beverages.

I started reading Amy Poehler’s memoir, Yes Please.  I am halfway through and completely smitten.

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It is just as hilarious and inspiring as you’d expect it to be.  And her relationship with Seth Meyers – he guest writes a chapter – makes me love both of them more if that’s even possible.

breakfast

Coffee and a chocolate coconut water.

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Latte and an Opal apple.

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Stumptown cold-brew box with turkey jerky and dates.

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Coffee (duh!) and yummy hot chocolate with marshmallows that the hospital administration had for employee appreciation day.

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They also had a bunch of cookies out, but it was 9 o’clock in the morning and one of the midwives brought in bagels for the clinic so I went with one of those instead.

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I definitely made the right choice, my pumpernickel bagel was splendidly chewy.  Also – I poured my marshmallow cocoa into my coffee after it had cooled down and it was ridiculous.

lunch

From home – yogurt bowl.

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Blueberries, Heritage Flakes, and a Dannon butterscotch Greek yogurt.

From the cafeteria – a turkey sandwich and baked fries.

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My sandwich had turkey, provolone, mayo, mustard, lettuce and red peppers and my fries had a side of blue cheese.

From home – another yogurt bowl.

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An Opal apple and plain Fage with amazing 18 Rabbits Caramel Apple Granola.

From the cafeteria – a giant chicken quesadilla.

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With cheese, chopped bell peppers, and sour cream and guacamole on the side.  I planned on only eating half because it was quite big, but it was so good I ended up demolishing the whole thing.

Dinner leftovers (see the scrambled egg night) on top of spinach with ranch, chopped carrot, and cucumber from the cafeteria.

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The salad bar packed lunch mash-up was perfect, I’ll have to remember to repeat it the next time I’m getting tired of my yogurt bowls.

snack

Adorable gummies from last weekend.

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Baby carrots and dip.

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I made an oatmeal chocolate chip mug cookie.  It was quite enjoyable but basically raw so not a recipe for sharing.

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Jarlsberg mini cheese.

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Chocolate milk.

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Coffee with almond milk.

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Sundaes that Adam and I made with this dream team:

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Girl & The Fig’s salted fig caramel is perfect.

dinner

Bibimbap bowls.  I couldn’t get a great picture, but these were sooo good.  Runny egg yolk goes wonderfully with spice.

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Jasmine rice with rice vinegar // baked tofu cubes // broccoli and baby kale sautéed with canola oil, a bit of sugar, and tons of Sriracha // chopped sesame seaweed // and a sunny side up egg.

We used the leftovers the next day for another Asian-ish dinner.

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Leftover rice and veggies stir-fried with sautéed onion, eggs, fish sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.

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Plus “beef and broccoli” aka chicken with broccoli and cauliflower.

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I way overcooked the chicken and this was not very good.

I guess the next day was pretty similar as well.  I sautéed chopped seitan, corn, and spinach in evoo and Sriracha and then scrambled in eggs and part-skim mozzarella.

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It tasted so much better than it looked.

Chipotle in front of the tv on Friday.  We were supposed to go into Brooklyn but it was terrifically cold outside and changing into pajamas just sounded too good.

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Chicken rice bowl with sautéed veggies, three types of salsa, cheese, sour cream, and lettuce.  Plus chips.  There’s a giant diet coke just to the right of that photo <3

Have you read any actor memoirs that you loved?  I was a HUGE fan of Mindy Kaling’s too and I’m excited for Tina Fey’s next.

What I’m Loving Around The Web

A mash-up of my lists of blog posts/jokes that I think are great and my rambling posts about things that are rocking my world.  In list format, unorganized, and in no particular order, 10 things from the recent internets that give me good feels…

{1} Farrah of Fairyburger, a third year medical student, wrote a guest post on Hypertension Prevention.  {via Zen & Spice}

{2} I don’t know if this is true, but I hope with all of my heart that it is.  {source}

lunar pun

{3} Raise Healthy Eaters lists Five Popular Pieces of Nutrition Advice That Fall Short.  She updates these old-standbys to help them more realistically apply to your life.

{4}  Everyone knows that the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird is maybe coming out this summer, right??  This book was actually written first, and I really hope that Lee actually consents to its release because TKM is one of my all-time favorite books and I so want to be excited.  Buzzfeed published a round-up of some important TKM quotes.

to kill a mockingbird

{5} I cannot think of a better way to describe my life in twenty words; this is me –  {source}

i hate myself a little bit less than i hate everyone else

{6} This is also me – {source}

the only honest excuse

{7} Meals for Miles explains why Dietitians hate Diets That Are “Free” of Something.  Instead she recommends foods to add to your diet.

{8} On a related note, A House in the Hills posted a tongue-in-check Definitive Guide to Healthy Eating.  I love the way she showcases all of the conflicting, confusing, “healthy eating” advice.

{9} This is so true!  Mine’s a tie between the stegosaurs and the pterodactyl, fyi.  {source}

growing up sucks

{10} Buzzfeed posted Neil Degrasse Tyson giving an epic explanation of the meaning of life.