Welcome back foodments!

Hello there, Fall friends! It has been kinda crazy here at COTR. Lots of new and exciting changes are coming my way (hint: big move, anyone?) For now, my lips are sealed.

we're moving, mah!!

we’re moving, mah!!

In the meantime, here are a few special “foodments” (food moments) from the last two months:

1. Quinoa Rice Bars. Hello, future dinner of mine. These babies are easy to freeze and easy to devour.

perfection

perfection

Packed with protein and goodies: quinoa, rice, egg, tomato, spinach, swiss cheese, and any other veggies you’d like to add. Don’t forget to salt and pepper these biddies. Add a touch of red pepper flakes. Magical.

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1a. Quinoa Rice Patties Leftover. Holy heaven in a hand basket. Well, not really, but you catch the drift. I had a ton of leftover rice and quinoa from making delicious #1. So, I used the same ingredients, made small balls, and smushed them into patties while frying beautifully in the saute pan. Seriously. Best brunch idea ever. Healthy. Delicious. Savory. Mouth watering. Recipe to come soon.

#idie #sogood

#idie #sogood

2. Coffee…in a new Keurig. I belong to this cool review site called Influenster. The nice people there sent me a brand new Keurig on the market to test. WOW.

#HelloKeurig

#HelloKeurig

It was great and I’m not just saying that because they sent it to me. The Keurig 2.0 makes single servings, but now comes with a carafe! I wasn’t a huge fan of the plastic carafe that the Keurig 2.0 comes with, but you can buy a stainless steal version separately. The touch screen is an added plus!

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3. Almond Chocolate Chip “Crack” Cookies. Okay, so I don’t really know what crack is like, but I’d imagine that it makes you feel like these cookies do. They’re like macaroons…with chocolate chips and a slight hint of salt.

#ahhell #crackcookies

#ahhell #crackcookies

Just out of control goodness. Recipe coming soon!

4. Kombucha in training. I’ve been attempting to make kombucha from scratch over the past two months. I’ve failed…twice! Making SCOBY followed by kombucha is HARD!

SCOBY

SCOBY

hey there scoby - #youlooklikeabooger

hey there scoby – #youlooklikeabooger

 

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You have to be really careful not to contaminate the fermentation process. I may not have succeeded, but I’m not giving up. Once I find the easiest and best way to make it, I’ll share amazing kombucha here on COTR.

5. MY BROTHER GOT MARRIED. I couldn’t be prouder of my brother and his lovely new wife. I hope the man I marry someday looks at me the way Justin looked at Kelly.

Justin and Kelly <3

Justin and Kelly <3

A beautiful day for two beautiful people – congrats guys!

6. Paleo-Friendly Buffalo Chicken Chili. I hit the motherload with the one.

#healthy #chili #paleo

#healthy #chili #paleo

I can’t take credit for the beauty of this recipe – that goes to my fellow blogger at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. I removed the corn and green pepper from this recipe and used chickpeas instead of cannelini. Delicious. Add a dollop of plan greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute and/or have it on the side with some chopped celery sticks. I’m not going to lie, this recipe is HOT. If you’re not huge on taking the heat, cut back on the 1/2 cup hot sauce. I liked the heat and when you heat this up as a leftover, it becomes more of a smoky hot than having it fresh off the stove. Stick with the 1/2 cup and be a champ! 🙂

Be on the lookout for more exciting things to come from COTR very soon!

oh hai :)

oh hai 🙂

 

Raspy yogi

This has been one bizarre week. I attended a work conference in NYC. I lost my voice completely. Brett left for work with his slippers on and Fred decided to eat a bar of soap. Good thing I don’t need to talk during yoga.

Unfortunately, grandma voice aside, I had no excuse for skipping my yoga class this morning. Voice or no voice, I was going to downward dog until  I couldn’t downward dog anymore.

When I first started taking yoga classes (not good ones, mind you), I was so bored. I remember saying to Brett after our first class:

Me: “I get more of a workout while sleeping…”

Brett: “Please don’t make me do that again.”

Well, we’re not quitters. After trying a few different classes, we found our yoga mojo. It’s all about the instructor and how invested you are in the practice. Most instructors will give you three options for poses, so it’s really up to you how hard you push yourself. That being said, don’t try to do something you’re not ready for. You’ll wind up like Brett after attempting the Happy Baby pose the first time. He still hates that pose. He’s a Happy Baby hater for life.

Good thing I made him a fruit smoothie for breakfast. He’s less cranky after eating 😉

Chocolate Almond Berry Smoothie

1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 Tbs cacao nibs (If you don’t have cacao nibs, try cocoa powder)

2 Tbs unsweetened coconut

1/2 or 1 frozen banana (We usually freeze ours since we mostly use them in smoothies)

1/2 cup each, raspberries and strawberries (Feel free to use whatever berries you like)

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Use a mason jar if you’re on the go. It works nicely! Otherwise, sip and enjoy 🙂

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Raspy goodness

 

Find your strong

In two weeks, Brett will run 50 miles. 50 MILES. It’s amazing how quickly time passes once you sign up for a big race. It’s a physical challenge, but as all runners know, the real challenge is an uphill mental battle. He’s been one tired guy lately and though he’ll tell you differently, I think he’s a little nervous. I would be, too. So, this morning we had a chat.

Brett and I always wear two bracelets on our right hands.

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we never take these off

After attending an inspiring Saucony event a few years ago, we wear one colored bracelet that reads “Find your strong.” We were going through a rough patch at the time and made a promise to one another. Whenever we felt as though we were struggling, we would look to each other. As corny as it sounds, Brett is “my strong” when I’m going through a tough time and vice versa. The other bracelet is for Homes for our Troops – to remind us that we’re a part of a bigger cause – building seriously injured veterans new homes. This morning, I reminded Brett of our promise. “I’m your strong and I’ll be right there on the sidelines waiting for you. You can do it. I believe in you.” I never saw a bigger smile 🙂

Sometimes we all need that reminder from someone we love.

To top off the day, I made him a brand new smoothie. It combined some of his favorites: Blueberries, avocado and unfiltered apple juice. Great for some post workout sustenance!

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

1 bunch spinach

1 cup unfiltered apple juice

1 Tbs chia seeds

1 frozen banana

Half of an avocado

1 cup frozen blueberries

A few Tbs unsweetened coconut 

Add water if needed

Blend the spinach, juice and chia seeds for at least two minutes until completely smooth.

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Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until fully combined. If the smoothie is too thick for you, just add some water and continue blending. Brett “likes to be able to drink his smoothie.” I, on the other hand, like a thicker smoothie. It reminds me of a frozen dessert. So sue me. Enjoy your preference!

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The day after…

Well, date day was a big success. On the way home, Brett and I bickered about who was going to write about it:

Brett: “I planned it! I get to blog about it!”

Me: “Will you write about it tonight?! If not, I’m writing about it.”

Brett: “No, you won’t! I need to tell everyone that you’re a thief!!”

*silence*

1) I plead not guilty.

2) Brett will be sharing our adventures from yesterday in a later post.

So, how do you follow up a day of trails, apple picking, apple eating and vineyards?

You make a killer breakfast…for yourself…while you know who is still sleeping so he can’t have any 🙂

I’ll preface this recipe by saying…wow. Brett and I used to eat oatmeal with frozen fruit and a soft-boiled or hard-boiled egg on most mornings. That grows old really fast. Needless to say, we’ve been on an oatmeal hiatus for some time. With the weather getting cooler and a growling belly, I decided to make it the oatmeal champion way: on the stove. If you’re not a huge oatmeal fan, you’ll have a change of heart making it this way. The almond milk makes it creamy, broken pecans give it a subtle crunch and of course, who can deny some frozen blueberries oozing over the top? Heavenly.

Almond Oatmeal with Pecans and Blueberries (Serves 1)

40g oatmeal (If you don’t have a food scale, we would recommend that you get one. “One scoop” comes out different in weight. We measure a lot of our food including oatmeal, granola, protein powder, nuts, etc. by using grams and ounces as our guides.)

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40g of rolled oats

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or Brett’s homemade almond milk)

Small handful dried cranberries (optional)

1/2 oz broken pecan pieces

A sprinkle of dried coconut flakes (optional)

1/3 up frozen blueberries

Using a small saucepan, add oatmeal and almond milk over medium heat.

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Note: When using spatulas, be sure to designate your “savory” spatulas from your “sweet” spatulas. We have caught ourselves in a pickle on many occasion where our oatmeal has had a subtle garlic or pesto flavor. The oils tend to seep into the rubber. Take a quick whiff if you don’t believe me. Gross. Keep ’em separate, people.

Stir occasionally until the milk starts to thicken. Then, you’ll want to keep a constant stir. Once you notice that the mixture starts to bubble, I leave it to you to decide what your favorite consistency is for the oatmeal. Brett tends to like his oatmeal more soupy, where I prefer it thicker. Be sure that the oatmeal is cooked through. Pour into a bowl.

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oh, sweet, creamy goodness

Top with pecans and frozen blueberries.

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I say that the dried cranberries and coconut are optional because to be honest, you don’t need them. The almond milk gives the oatmeal a creamy/nutty flavor that will leave you grinning a sleepy weekend grin and giving a loud food “ohmmmm.” It’s that good.

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with genmaicha tea. Hi, Sunday 🙂

Better than Store Bought Granola Bars

For a long time, I was buying box after box of granola and/or protein bars from the grocery store…every week. This is a snack that I refused to give up because it’s so simple to take on the go. Once Brett moved to Boston and we started sharing grocery bills, he said: “Hey, why don’t you start making granola bars instead? I bet it’s cheaper.” Thanks, pain in the butt love of my life. Easier said than done. Initially, I was worried about having the spare time to do something like this on a weekly basis. A little while later when my pockets needed a mula break, I decided to give it a shot. Now every Sunday I spend less than 10 minutes putting these babies together and let them work their magic in the oven for an hour. Wahlah!

Better than Store Bought Granola Bars

What you need:

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal ( I never use quick oats. Believe me, there’s a difference!)

1 cup unsweetened coconut 
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 cup mixed nuts (pumpkin, sunflower, pecans, almonds – you name it! I usually stick with broken pecan pieces and a handful of almonds, but choose what you like best)
1 can organic sweetened condensed milk
Optional: dark chocolate morsels (1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on preference)

    What to do:

    • Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees.
    • Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl like so.

    • In a small pan, heat and stir the sweetened condensed milk on low until it becomes less thick (a minute or two)
    • Pour milk over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
    • Pack tightly into a baking dish – when I say pack tightly, get an arm workout by pushing down on those bars! This ensures that they won’t fall apart and be crumbly after they bake.
    • Let them bake for one hour.

     And there you have it. I usually let them cool for 15 minutes and then cut into bars. Wrap them up and take them on the go to work. My favorite part of these bars is I know EXACTLY what is in them. Every week I play by mix and matching the ingredients. We often get compliments or curious questions about what we’re eating while at work. We’ve thought about trying to sell these puppies at a local farmer’s market or local store. What say you?