Tag Archives: Strawberry

Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes and Weekend Festivities!

This weekend was FUN. It was the perfect combination of relaxing and going crazy. The best kind of weekend. I ended up working in the morning on Friday and then heading home due to Sandy. All of the offices were closed on the east coast. There were also school closings  for the hurricane. A HURRICATION!

Sandy is now hitting aiming itself at the north and people are starting to prepare for the worst. I am glad that we didn’t really see much of the storm, just a bunch of wind. It’s a bit funny that people up north are getting a little hurrication, but I have to say, the best day off from school that I got when I was up there was a Cold Day. For Cereal. It was sub-zero temps and we were still going to school. When it was forecasted to be -20 they decided to call school. It ended up being warmer than the previous day and we had a fantastic day off from school ūüôā

Anyways, I went out with some¬† friends for Halloween on Friday. I was dressed as the Black Widow and the other two girls were super girls too. the boys went as the most¬† terrifying¬†clowns. When Brent put on his mask, Oreo went¬† from happy puppy to the most terrified puppy in the world. She wouldn’t even go near him.

In the morning, I really wanted something terrible for me. Sometimes, I just need that. Haha. However, I still found a way for it to be healthy. MER. BUT DELICIOUS! Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes! Ohhh YEaaa Baby.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Pancake Mix 1 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Cocoa Mix 1/3 Cup Sliced Strawberries
3 Eggs 1/3 Cup Almond Milk

Directions:

1. In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients. Heat up a skillet to medium heat. Spray it with a non-stick spray and place a 1/4 cup of batter on the skillet. When bubbles surface on the pancake, flip it.

And FINITO! I topped it off with some frozen strawberries that I melted in the microwave and a bit of syrup. You can use pancake syrup, honey or agave. Any of them work out fantastically. I spent the day putzing around, and not doing too much. I met up with Brent and we went out to Wekiwa Springs Campground to watch the Gator vs Bulldog game. A friend of ours had a blow up big screen projecting the game out on the camp ground. SO MUCH FUN! the night was perfect for sitting outside and enjoying the game with some friends. The pups even got to enjoy the afternoon and come with us.

Sunday was full of more putzing. I took it slow getting up. Eventually went for a 4 mile run, which was way more difficult than it should have been. Seriously, I don’t think I am ever going to take that long of a break from running again. It was brutal. When I got back, I was sitting outside in the backyard and two pretty little butterflies caught my eye. THEN, all of the spiders death traps awaiting the poor little guys. Tons and tons of spider webs were on the top of the screened in area. I saw a butterfly get caught the other day in one, and it killed me to watch the little guy go…so I ripped down all the spider webs. I have to show you what these spiders look like…

I have never seen anything like them. There is nothing like these guys up north. It is a spiny back orb weaver. They do make really cool looking webs and apparently they will bite you. But, I’m not going to lie, the Banana Spider¬†that I came across last time I was hiking in Wekiwa¬†Springs was definitely a little creepier looking.

After making my backyard a safer place for the pretty little butterflies, I made  a Salmon Salad Sandwich on an Everything Flat Bagel. So good. I forgot how much I like the canned salmon and it definitely tastes better to me than the tuna salads. I feel like there is more flavor to the salmon.

Last, but not least, I FINIALLY¬†GOT TO GO TO JEREMIAH’S! I was so excited to give it a go. I’ve been hearing such good things about it that I’ve just been looking for the opportunity to go. Jeremiah’s is an Italian Ice place that makes all of their italian ice daily. YUP. They change up their flavors everyday.

I’m the weirdo that asks what the best flavors are and¬† holds up the line. After literally quizzing this poor woman on all of their flavors, I decided on Peanut Butter and Cookies and Cream.


The cookies and cream tasted like they mashed up Oreos and mixed it into italian ice. So freaking good. The peanut butter was also phenomenal. They are much¬† creamier than I expected because when I think of Italian ice I think of that Lemon Italian Ice that we all had growing up. It’s tart and has more of an ice base I guess. This was more of a cross between italian ice and ice cream to me. But I loved it! Definitely going back!

This is getting crazy long for a post so I’ll leave you with that! YUMMMM.

What’s your craziest vacation day?? Hot Day?? Cold Day?? Northeastern?! Sandy?!

Mine was definitely the cold day. Who even knew that existed!

Berry Overnight Oats and Wekiwa Springs

Yesterday morning, I took the pups for a 2 mile walk just to tire them out before I ventured off to work. By the time I got back, I was DYING for some breakfast. I had whipped up some overnight oats the previous night and pulled that out of the fridge. As a rule of thumb for making them quickly, sin recipe, I use:

  • 1/3 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/3 Cup Yogurt
  • 1/3 Cup Milk

For this one, I used Almond Milk and Silk Vanilla Yogurt. Vegan Friendly ūüôā

In the morning I topped it off with frozen strawberries that had been warmed in the microwave, 1/2 Banana and my Homemade Granola¬†(I’m not kidding that it made a TON).

I added some cinnamon and Chia seeds to the mix the previous night. I LOVE adding the frozen berries that are heated up on the oats because it adds a natural sweetness and gives it a ton of flavor. I didn’t add any sweetener to this and it really doesn’t need it.

This is just a second example of a berry Overnight Oats. It has the same base as the previous one, but on top are previously frozen blueberries and fresh raspberries. Yum. Yum.

Work was cut short at the office today because it was the docs birthday, so I left a little early and got the chance to FINALLY go to Wekiwa Springs. I have never been but have been dying to give it a try.

Wekiwa Springs is a National Park located just north of Orlando. So if you are in the area, you are talking a 20 minute ride. It is absolutely beautiful. They have a whole bunch of things that you can do in the park, including Hiking, Swimming, Kayaking, Horse Back Riding, Mountain Biking, Camping and I’m sure I’m missing much more. It is $6.00 per car to enter the grounds but once you enter, there are no other fees.

They have tons of maps to grab on your way to prevent you from getting lost, THANK YOU. The trails range from under a mile to over 13 miles. We chose the Orange trail, which was 5.3 miles considering we only had a short amount of time before the park closed and it was dark.

To get on the trail, you pass one of the springs, which was so pretty.

I could definitely spend a dat here. They also have a lazy river that you can just float along all day. Rough life. Next time, the lazy river.

The trail was covered in sand the majority of the way. But the trees and grasses changed just about every half mile. Drastically.

Anyone feel like a movie??

At some points, I really felt like Jurassic park could have been filmed here…picture a dino peeping it’s head over this…

Right??! Maybe?!

On the hike, we saw TONS of deer. We saw a few doe, and 1 MASSIVE BUCK. He was so close to us too! I have never seen one that up close, with massive antlers. I’m from the north and saw deer all the time, but it was actually really cool to be standing 10 feet away from them. The only deer I caught a picture of was this little doe hiding in the bushes.

See it?? Haha, not really the greatest picture of a deer, but what can I say…

There were tons of grasshoppers, squirrels and the usual things you would expect. AND THEN THIS THING:

That…you couldn’t miss. It was MASSIVE. I had trouble getting a picture of it because my camera kept focusing on the trees behind it…but Brent said it was a Banana Spider. Normally, I don’t believe him right away because he has a habit of just saying things so matter of fact that he really sounds like he knows what he is talking about. I have found, that my friend, is not always the case.

In this case, he was completely correct. That is EXACTLY what it was. Apparently they aren’t poisonous but will bite you. Mer.

Overall, the hike was FANTASTIC. I was great cross training for the half marathon and was a great time. The pups were exhausted by the end of it, which is never a bad thing. Just be careful with the ticks. They are definitely out in full force.

Low Fat Mini Cheesecakes

Who’s excited that it’s National Cheesecake Day?! MEEEEE. Today is also Brent’s birthday and I knew I had to make something for the occasion. I was trying to figure out what kind of cake to make that would fit into the Easy and Healthy baking style, and when I found out that it was National Cheesecake Day, the decision was made. Mini cheesecakes that you don’t have to feel guilty about.

The BEST thing about these little guys, besides the fact that they aren’t going to kill your diet, is that you can really put anything on them. If you are in a chocolate mood, throw something chocolately on them. If it’s a fruity deal that will satisfy your taste bugs, that’s obviously easy to do as well.

The recipe to make these is unbelievably simple and fast. So even if you have a pot luck, or a function to go to, these would be perfect to put together and they look like they take a long time to make. I am in love with how they came out and how easy they were to make.

Low Fat Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients:

12 Vanilla Wafers, Reduced Fat                                           2 Eggs

2 (8 ounce) packages of Non Fat Cream Cheese               1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

3/4 Cup Sugar                                                                      1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

1. Add cream cheese, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and sugar to a large bowl. Beat with a hand held mixer or with a counter top mixer until it is creamy.

 

2. Place a foil liner into each muffin cup. And add a wafer to the bottom of each, flat side down.

3. Fill each cup 3/4 of the way with the batter.

4. Bake is at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until the tops are golden.

5. Let them cool and store in the refrigerator. Just before you are going to serve them add your toppings!

There are so many ways to decorate these it’s fantastic. Whatever your favorite type of cheesecake is, go for those toppings first. I chose to do a berry and chocolate topping. So I obviously sliced up some strawberries and grabbed a couple blueberries, but for a berry glaze, just take your favorite jelly (I used Polaner’s Raspberry) and put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. It will liquify the jelly and you will be able to drizzle it over your cheesecake.

For the chocolate topping, I took Baker’s chocolate, which wraps two chunks separately, and melted one square and shaved the other.

To shave the chocolate, I just used a cheese cutter and ran it along the chunk of choclate. It looks fancy, but it’s really simple. From there, I just mixed up all my toppings to get a bit of a variety going:

 

They are delicious and hopefully Brent thinks so too when he gets off work. I’m just sticking a candle in these and BOOM, a birthday mini cheesecake.

There is also, NO NEED TO FEEL GUILTY. One of these guys will only run you 120 to 150 calories, depending on your toppings. Great isn’t it? I definitely recommend putting these in the freezer for when you feel like you need something sweet. It’s really not a bad option and cheesecake really does freeze well.

Definitely let me know what kind of topping you throw on them! The options are endless. I’m thinking a little caramelized pecans might hit the spot here.

Happy Eating!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups!

This is maybe one of the easiest things that you could make, and there are so many things that you can do with it. Fruit Roll Ups, or just dehydrated fruit sounds like it would be really difficult to make, but in reality, it’s unbelievably EASY and is a way for you to use up that fruit that isn’t quite bad, but isn’t fresh enough for you to get a crisp bite out of. You can do this with any fruit that you have sitting around.

I made mine with strawberries, and only strawberries to show how simple this really is.

Strawberry Fruit Roll Ups

 

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Strawberries                                              1/4 Teaspoon Ground CInnamon

Directions:

1. Chop up your strawberries into chunks and remove the tops.

2. Put the strawberries into a blender and add the cinnamon.

 

3. Blend until smooth. Pour the puree into a baking sheet that is lined with wax paper or parchment paper. (I used tin foil, and found that the parchment would be easier to peel the roll ups off of).

 

4. Put it in the oven, set at the lowest setting ~ 100, and leave it in there until you can peel the fruit roll up off the parchment paper. Depending on your oven, 5-8 hours.

 

I know the amount of time that it is sitting in the oven is daunting, but this is a perfect thing to do while you are cleaning your house, running quick, local errands or just hanging around the house. I had left mine in the oven a bit longer than it should have been, which made it a bit crisper than a fruit roll up. It was perfect to crunch up into smaller pieces and add to granola as a fruity, tarter flavor.

You can add sugar to this, but know that by dehydrating the fruit you are already increasing it’s flavor tremendously. So when you add sugar, add less than you think you need. It will taste much sweeter with just a bit of sugar.

Definitely try this with ANY fruits that you have lying around. Chop them up into pieces and don’t puree them to get a yummy, healthy snack. The options are endless here. Especially when you are the one controlling what’s going into these snacks.

Let me know what you think!

Happy Eating!

 

Whipped Strawberry Smoothie

This morning I woke up feeling dehydrated and full from a pot luck BBQ with a couple of friends. However amazing the whole night was, the next morning you crawl out of bed with 2-3 hours of lost sleep, a cotton mouth because of the two generous glasses of wine you had and a full stomach..still.

So this is where I’m at. For breakfast I was looking for something on the lighter side, just to get the metabolism going for the day, and maybe work on this hydration thing. This is where I came to decide on a smoothie. You can throw whatever you like into them and they are quick and nutritious.

The Whipped Strawberry smoothie actually has a bit of a citrus flavor to it, even thought there is no citrus fruit in it. The mint that is added actually steers the strawberry flavor to resemble a grapefruit. Weird, I know. But that’s what happened!

Ingredients:

8 Fresh Strawberries with the greens removed

1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar (or Honey)                      4 Ice Cubes

4 Mint Leaves

 

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients into blender.

2. Blend until smooth!

 

I served it with a mint garnish. I just think it looks nice. The texture of this smoothie is what makes it unique. Its very very light and you can taste how light it is. Some other things to experiment with are:

1. Adding lemon juice to play off of the citrus flavor that is already there. A few tablespoons would do it.

2. Adding seltzer water to play off the already light texture of the smoothie. Adding seltzer water will make the smoothie feel more full while adding a bit of carbonation.

Perfect for a snack, desert, or Breakfast! Give it a try and mix it up! Let me know what else you find to add to this.