Tag Archives: Cranberry

Popcorn Cookies and Clockwork Abs

Yesterday I told you that I was working on a clockwork abs workout and here you go! The whole time I was actually doing the workout I was trying to come up with a clever name for it…Like “Rockin Abs Around the Clock” or “Rock Hard Abs Around the Clock” but I couldn’t come up with something that just seemed to roll off the tongue. Sooo Clockwork Abs it is.

For this workout, you simply go down the list of exercises and do each for a minute straight, except for the ab circles clockwise and counter clockwise, do each for 30 seconds. If you get to the point where you can complete them for a minute straight each…that’s amazing. I have included some videos to go along with the exercises to clarify what I’m talking about but couldn’t find a few…so I have described them. If you have trouble understanding…let me know I will try to clarify ๐Ÿ™‚

Clockwork Abs

Leg Lifts

Side to Side Pendulum

Ab Circles Clockwise and Counterclockwise: Lie on your back and lift your legs a few inches off the ground. ย With your legs completely straight the entire time, begin drawing a large circle with your feet in either a clockwise or counter clockwise manner. Your arms should be placed in the same position as the Side to Side Pendulum.

Ab Circles Alternating: Staring with your feet at the top most position in the ab circles, move your feet in a clockwise motion. When you reach the top mot position again, pause and move them back in a counter-clockwise motion. Continue pausing at the top and alternating between clockwise and counter-clockwise.

V-Crunch

V-Crunch Alternating Sides: Get into your starting V-Crunch position with your knees pulled in and your shoulders off the ground. Instead of extending your legs straight out, twist your body onto your left hip and extend your legs out to the right side. Bring them back to the middle with your body centered. Then twist your body onto the right hip and extend your legs out to the left side. Bring the back to the middle with your body centered.

Please let me know if any of this is confusing. I will keep looking for the appropriate videos if the description is confusing.

I had Maggie do this workout with me yesterday and she loved it. You don’t have to count how many you are completing, just push yourself through each minute and get as many reps in as you can. The workout is also going to target every muscle in your abs. We are both feeling sore today and looooove it.

Popcorn Cookies

A little while ago I can up with the idea of putting popcorn into cookies. I know this isn’t an original idea but it was in my head ๐Ÿ™‚ I added some white chocolate chips and cranberries to the mix because I am really a big fan of cranberries in cookies (if you couldn’t tell). They are extremely healthy and packed with flavor. When my family was eating them, they at first weren’t really sure what to make of them because they have such a different texture in comparison to a typical cookie. My mom thought they should be cut into bars and be called a snack cookie or something to the effect. They are extremely crunchy is what I’m getting at. But delicious. I really recommend you give them a try if you are looking for something that is sweet but on the healthy side. Because they are so crunchy, it takes you a little longer to eat…which isn’t a bad thing if you are looking to cut down on the number of cookies you are eating ๐Ÿ™‚

Cranberry Popcorn Cookies

Ingredients:

1 Stick of Butter, Softened 1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/4 Cups Flour 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Salt to Taste 3/4 Cup Popcorn Kernals
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips

Directions:

1. In a sauce pan, add in a tablespoon of canola oil and the popcorn kernals. Over medium heat, heat until popcorn popping has slowed down. Make sure you put a cover on the sauce pan or your will have oil and popcorn EVERYWHERE!

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2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

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3. Add in the egg and vanilla.

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4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Then gradually add it into the wet mixture. Top it off with the lightly CRUSHED popcorn, chocolate chips and cranberries.

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5. Spoon dough onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake them at 350 degrees for approximately 14 minutes. You want them to be slightly browned.

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Just let them cool before you start tasting them, but I was really happy with the way that they came out. Such a different take on a cookie. They were sweet and healthy at the same time.

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And just a little update on the Oreo, my little problem child. She is doing much better. She is walking around and has a ton more energy. She still won’t attempt going up stairs but in just a few days she will be as good as new ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you ever tried to combine two of your favorite snacks to see if you can make a better one?!

 

Baked Cranberry Almond Oatmeal

Yesterday I woke up before everyone else. So I took Oreo out for a quick walk, and started to make some breakfast for everyone. I decided to get a bit adventurous and BAKE some oatmeal. I started by putting some oatmeal in a bowl…and just kind of went from there. The result was a low sugar, healthy breakfast bread that everyone just tore into. I ended up making a second loaf because the first one was eaten so quickly.

Cranberry Almond Oatmeal

Ingredients:

2 Cups Oats 1/2 Cup Chopped Almonds
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Vanilla Yogurt 12 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Milk 1/2 Cup Cranberries
2 Tablespoon Honey 1 Egg

Directions:

1. In a bowl, mix the oats, almonds, chia seeds, baking soda and cranberries.

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2. Add in the egg, honey, yogurt, milk and honey. Stir until consistent throughout.

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3. Bake it at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes in a greased bread pan.

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When the edges are browned and the center is just cooked, it is finito. I thought it was delicious with some raspberry jam on top but some of my other family members really just enjoyed the flavor of it. It is only slightly sweet and really healthy!

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On the side, Maggie made some yummy lattes. She has been working about a week to perfect it and she is pretty darn good at making them now. She had shown me about a week ago and I burnt my hand in two different places. They still haven’t healed all the way.

As a little “Thank you for being an awesome Latte Maker and giving me some” Gift, I bought some cups and saucers. So while munching on the Cranberry Walnut Baked Oatmeal, we sipped on some lattes flavored with Irish Cream. OHH Yeeaaaa. Fantastic way to start off a Sunday.

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Sometimes I just like the feeling of having the coffee shop at home. I just find it so comforting to have some unique little pastries, muffins or breads with a nice warm latte. Especially when it’s such a treat.

What is something that you enjoy going out to do that you have brought home to you??

Nemo Had Me Baking

For everyone out here in New England, you all know about Nemo. Nemo ended up leaving us with 30 inches of snow between Friday and yesterday. Yes…we measured ๐Ÿ™‚

After playing out in the snow with the puppies for a while, I whipped up some breakfast for the fam with Maggie. There are 7 of us, so it’s never a simple task. I don’t know how Mama C ever did it for this many years.

For breakfast, Maggie and I made some Whole Wheat Cranberry Pancakes with an Apple Topping.

Apple Topping

You all know by now that I’m a big fan of the fruit toppings on pancakes. This, was delicious. I ended up making two different kinds, anย Apple Cinnamon and anย Apple Cocoa Cinnamon.

Ingredients:ย Apple Cinnamon

3 Apples, peeled and chopped 1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon 1/3 Cup Water

Ingredients:ย Apple Cocoa Cinnamon

3 Apples, peeled and chopped 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon 1/3 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder

Directions:

1. Heat all ingredients in a small pot until apples are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir to keep it from burning.

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Easy Peasy!

We made some Cranberry Gluten Free Pancakes for my sister, which I got much better at making this time! Whole Wheat Cranberry Pancakes for everyone else, and some whole wheat waffles! We all topped it with either the Cocoa or the Cinnamon Topping. Yummmm.

After Breakfast, we headed to tackle some of the snow that was still building up. This is just a view from inside the garage:

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Brent helped clean off the roof because our heat wasn’t working yet and they were trying to get at the vent.

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Brent is 6 foot 5…just to give you an idea…

It took a solid 2 hours for us to just clear the driveway and we had 6 people working on it. Slightly ridiculous. After shoveling for so long, we headed in and grabbed some lunch. We also sipped on some hot chocolate that Brent’s family had sent us for christmas. Candy Cane Hot Chocolate. YUM.

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Can’t beat that when you need to warm up.

What is your favorite drink after shoveling snow??

Cranberry Muffin Top Christmas Cookies

Christmas Eve I went cookie crazy and made a whole bunch of different types of cookies. The most popular being the Cranberry Walnut Cookies. They were described as having the texture of a muffin top. Ergo, a Cranberry Walnut Muffin Top Cookie!

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Ingredients:

1 Cup Shortening 1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cups Flour 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 2 Cups Chopped Frozen Cranberries
1 Cup Chocolate Chips 3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1 Tablespoon Shortening

Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg and vanilla.

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2. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Then add it into the sugar mix.

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3. Lastly, add in the chopped cranberries and the walnuts.

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Pretty!!

4. Spoon out a tablespoon scooper to measure out the batter and placed them on parchment paper to put into the oven. Bake it at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. You want the cookie to turn slightly brown on the edges.

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When the cookies are out of the oven and cooled, microwave the chocolate chips and the shortening for 30 seconds to melt the chips. Then dip the cookies, or drizzle the chocolate on top. I also used confectioners sugar to top the cookies and all three were fantastic!

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This made about 4 dozen cookies and we are still making our way through them. They are delicious and stay really well. You can also freeze them easily to keep them even longer. I found this recipe in a book and modified it a bit to turn it into these delicious bites. The cranberry idea really jumped out at me.

Enjoy!!

A Saturday Baking Project

This was supposed to publish last night (Saturday) WHOOPS! So here you go!!

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I am STILL, trying to put a dent in my baking supplies, and I honestly can’t believe the amount of food that I have been able to make without buying anything, but butter. I don’t really have tons and tons of sticks of butter laying around, so that was the only thing on the shopping list lately.

This morning, I ended up taking on the project of making some Granola Bars. Surprise, surprise, I made them chocolate chip and dried cranberry granola bars. I don’t know what it is with this combo, but I LOVE it. I’ve always been a bit nervous about making these, simply because I thought there was a lot to it…or that it was complicated. But after making them, they couldnt’ have been easier. I would absolutely say they are easier than making rice crispy treats (I have some trouble with making those).

Chocolate, Cranberry Granola Bars

Ingredients:

1/3 Cup Honey 1 Stick Butter
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts 1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/3 Cup Chocolate Chips

Directions:

1. In a medium sized sauce pan, on low heat, melt the butter, sugars and honey together. Do not boil the mixture.

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2. Stir in the oats, cranberries, almonds, and walnuts. Then take the pan off the heat, and stir in the chocolate chips.

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3. Line a smaller baking dish with parchment paper and press the granola mix into the pan. I used a 9 by 11 pan and ended up scrunching it to the end because it would have resulted in really thin bars that wouldn’t stay together well.

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4. Lastly, bake the bars for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. You want the top to be golden brown.

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Let it COMPLETELY cool before taking it out of the pan and cutting it. While it is hot the bars will not stick together. You can pull the whole parchment paper out and lay it on the counter to slice easily. Use a sharp knife to cut the bars.

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I am actually going to bring these bars with me to Naples. Brent and I are celebrating Christmas with his family and I thought it would be fun to bring some treats. I was trying to come up with a good way to bring them without the bars falling apart or sticking to each other and decided to wrap them individually in parchment paper. This way you can actually just throw them in a bag while you are on the run and don’t have to worry about a mess! GENIUS!

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I know this isn’t really an original idea, but afterwards, I kind of felt really smart. Haha, no puzzle is to difficult for THIS one to solve! Just don’t give me a rubix cube and completely kill my smarty pants ego.

Have you ever come up with a solution that just made you feel really, really smart??