Archive | July 2014

Lately & A Protein shake for coffee lovers

Hello, hello! Here we are on the last day of July…can you believe it? I sure can’t! Just 5 more weeks and I move back to Massachusetts with Brandon…eeeek! Where has summer gone? It is FLYING by. Since my schedule has pretty much been all over the place the past few months, it seems like time is going by faster than ever. Some nights I’m in Maine, others I’m in New Hampshire, now-and-then I head to Boston, and I try to get to Cape Cod when I can. On-top of that, there’s been weddings, work every weekend, and apartment searching. Needless to say, life lately has been very busy, but fun too! Lately in the last few weeks I:
…attended a beautiful wedding:
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Our friends Anna and Matt said ‘I do’ in a beautiful outdoor ceremony, filled with heart-felt vows, readings, wonderful people, and so.much.love. I adored every second of it!
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…have spent my days off with my Mom:
Sadly, my time of living back at home with my parents is quickly coming to an end, so I’m trying to soak in as much time with them as possible. My Mom and I have planned an outing each week where we do something together that we both love. Last week, we shopped and had lunch on the water. This week, we worked out together, shopped again, and went blueberry picking.  I couldn’t love this lady more. 
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…have been addicted to making the same breakfast, every day:
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Truthfully, I get into breakfast ruts quite often, meaning I eat the same thing over and over again every day. However, when I decided to do a gluten-free, dairy-free cleanse a few months ago, I began starting my day with a homemade protein shake for breakfast (along with a bowl of fruit) and to this day I am still hooked on this combo, even post-cleanse!  This recipe is just too good not to share. For the coffee lovers out there, I think you’ll love this shake. To me, it tastes just like a Starbuck’s Frappuccino, without the added calories and extra guilt. I literally eat/drink this 6 days a week before work in the morning. It’s delicious, satisfying, gluten-free, dairy-free, gives me the coffee taste I crave AND keeps me full for hours.

Double Coffee Lover’s Protein Shake
Ingredients
1/2 cup reduced sugar Almond Milk (I use Original or Vanilla Almond Breeze brand)
5-6 frozen strawberries (mostly de-thawed)
1 handful of fresh spinach (washed and dried)
2 scoops Arbonne Vanilla Protein powder
1 packet instant coffee (I use Nescafe Taster’s Choice hazelnut flavor)
1 TBSP decaf instant coffee
1/2 cup crushed ice (to start)
2 TBSP cold water
Shake of cinnamon

Directions
1) Add almond milk, thawed strawberries, protein powder, and spinach to blender.
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2) Using a coffee mug, mix instant coffees together with a splash of water and stir for a few seconds until it’s mixed together. Then add this liquid to the blender.
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3)Top with crushed ice, water, and cinnamon.
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4) Blend until mixed well. If the shake is too thin, add more ice. If it’s too thick for your liking, add more water and/ or Almond Milk if desired. Enjoy with a spoon or a straw!
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I can’t get enough of this protein shake. I make mine thick enough to eat with a spoon, but it’s delicious through a straw, too. If you try it, I hope you love it.

What have you been up to lately?
Do you make shakes for breakfast? If so, what’s your go-to recipe?
Do you “eat” your shakes, or am I the only one?  Winking smile

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Lately

Hi there! My oh my, where did June go?  I feel like I blinked and suddenly it’s July! Please slow down, summer. Summertime is always pure craziness with plans, but this summer just seems even crazier. Since I can’t seem to find the time to sit down and blog weekly, I wanted to share a few things going on around these parts lately, and share a recipe too while I had a few minutes.

Lately I’ve…been working constantly
I manage a seasonal ice cream shop, mini-golf, and barbeque restaurant (which I worked at for 7 years growing up), and along with management duties, I’m also the prep cook for the restaurant, so this all keeps me extremely busy. If you’re looking for me Thursday-Sunday, I basically sleep there.  I absolutely love it but I am also absolutely exhausted when Sunday night rolls around.  Monday is the new Friday in my book!

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Ice cream unloading
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Lately I’ve…spent as much time as possible with my Nana
Brandon and I escaped reality for a few days last week and headed down to Cape Cod to spend time with my Nana at her cottage on the water. It was my favorite place as a child and still remains my favorite  place today. The quiet, the serenity, the sound of the ocean,  and having daily cocktails with Nana can’t be beat. Grandparent time is the best time in my book.

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Lately I’ve…been loving ocean-side runs and outdoor workouts
Thanks to my second family living right on the beach and taking me in on a weekly basis, I’ve been enjoying ocean-side runs multiple times a week this summer. It doesn’t get much better  than exercising with a view like this. I will never be able to express my love of the ocean enough.

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Plus, while on the Cape, Brandon and I rode 22 miles on our bikes and it was a blast. Now I want to bring my bike everywhere! Outdoor workouts make sweating so much more fun.
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Lately I’ve…been loving ice cream way too much (no surprise here)
Do I even need to explain? I think not. YOLO.
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A father’s day ice cream cake for my Dad (1/2 for him, 1/2 for me hehehehe)

Lately I’ve…been missing my grandfather
It’s hard to believe a month and a half has passed. I love you, Bop.
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Lately I’ve…been praying for this puppy
Can someone please say a prayer that this puppy comes into my  life soon? Please? I’m begging.
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Lately I’ve….been making these cookies:
I’ve made these 3 times in 3 weeks, so believe me when I say that these are addicting! They are now my absolute favorite gluten-free homemade cookie. Love, love, love. Thanks Sally!
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Gluten Free Almond Butter Choc-Chip Cookies
Inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction
Ingredients
-1 large egg
-1 cup almond butter at room temperature ( I used creamy, but crunchy would work too.)
1/2 cup  light (or dark) brown sugar, lightly packed
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup to 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips  (or any type of chocolate chip you prefer. The chips I used were mini, so I reduced it down to a 1/2 cup amount, which was plenty!).

Directions:
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Then, in a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg.

2) Next spray a 1 cup measure with butter spray, and measure the almond butter accordingly. Then add the almond butter, baking soda, and brown sugar to the bowl with the egg. Mix everything together until thoroughly combined (this may take a few minutes). Then fold in the chocolate chips until combined.
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3) Now form your cookies. Scoop the dough and roll it into cookie formation with your hands, one by one (using about 1.5-2 tablespoons of dough per cookie), placing them onto a parchment-paper covered baking sheet.  Once the cookies are on each sheet, gently press down on the dough mounds with the back of a fork.
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4) Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes (no more than this). The cookies will probably look  under-baked, but they will harden and be completely cooked in the next few minutes during the cooling process. Allow the cookies to cool for  about 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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These are so addicting. I used dairy free chocolate chips, but you could truly put any sort of chocolate chip into these. Plus, I think slivered almonds would be a fantastic addition to this recipe, too. These are simply amazing to eat and so so easy to make. Thanks again for the recipe, Sally!

Have a great rest of the week, friends!

What have you been up to lately?
Have any new recipes to share?
What’s the longest bike ride you’ve taken? 22 was mine!