Tag Archive | no-bake treats

small victories, big victories

Hi there, happy Monday and happy March! I know I’m a few days late, but I am still ecstatic that the calendar is no longer on February.  I kid-you-not I did a happy dance on March 1st. To me, March symbolizes the start of sunshine, spring air, tulips, brighter evenings, and most importantly, one month closer to Brandon coming home. Hooray!

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Anyway, February was a crazy month for me and I know March will be even crazier. My sister’s wedding is less than 3 months away, my classes are full-swing, and I start working weekends again verrrry soon.  For that reason, I’m making a diligent effort to take things day-by-day rather than looking ahead,  and I’m making sure to recognize each task accomplished off of my to-do list as an individual victory, even if it’s just a small one. I am a strong believer in recognizing accomplishments because my parents have always been big on this.  Growing up, whether we lost a tooth, learned the capitals of the USA, or scored in our basketball game;  every achievement was recognized, big or small. I remember those moments specifically because they made a point to celebrate them! It really helped me to slow down and live in the moment. Currently, if I think about the months ahead as a whole,  I start stressing out in a bad way. In order to start March off on the right foot, small victories are going to be big victories in my book. 

Recent victories:
-Aced my Chemistry 2 test = victory
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-Bought my bridal shower dress = victory

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…. just giving you a sneak-peek! : –)

-Attended Kimmie and Jimmy’s planning meeting/cake tasting and made some big decisions = victory
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(I helped taste, obviously!)

-Picked the bridal shower menu with Mom = victory
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-Concocted a delicious low-sugar no-bake dessert =  victory
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This recipe was too good not to share. I adapted the recipe to make it gluten-free (using gluten-free oats), dairy-free (using almond milk), and very low-in sugar, too. Plus, these are incredibly easy to make. Enjoy these for a healthy, Monday treat!

No Bake Low-Sugar Chocolate Nut Butter and Oat Cookies
Adapted from Sugar-Free Mom

Ingredients
½ cup peanut butter (almond butter or any sun-butter would work too)
4 tablespoons butter ( I used Earth Balance)
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips (sugar-free or regular would work, too)
2 cups rolled oats (I used gluten-free)
½ cup milk (I used almond.  Any milk would work)
powdered stevia packets ( I used 2)
0ptional topping: ⅓ cup sugar free chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

1. Add the nut butter, butter and chocolate chips to a small sauce pan and heat on low, stirring until melted.
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2. In a large mixing bowl add the oats and milk. Then pour the chocolate nut-butter mixture into the oats.
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3. Taste the mixture, and if you think it’s sweet enough, skip the stevia. I wanted it sweeter, so I added it in.  Mix well.

4. Using a small cookie scoop, form the dough into balls and place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
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5. You can leave them in a ball formation and refrigerate them to harden, or flatten them into small discs. I flattened mine with a fork and I loved that they looked like a cookie but had a more substantial thickness to them! You could also drizzle melted chocolate over them if you choose to. (I skipped this step because I ran out of chips.)
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6. Refrigerate until hardened.

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A few of these are going into my lunch bag as I type! Have a great Monday, all!

Were your parents big on celebrating accomplishments?
Did you have any big/small victories this week?
What’s your favorite no-bake cookie combination?
Mine is chocolate and peanut-butter, no question!

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Cocoa, Peanut Butter & Oat No-Bake Treats

Hey there, happy almost-weekend to all! I have the day off from class today, so I am psyched. I love having Friday as my study day. This way, I can do less studying come Saturday and Sunday, when it is the last thing I want to do. This morning I opted to sleep for a few extra hours and take a 9:00 a.m. rpm(spinning) class rather than attend 5:30 a.m. boot-camp, and it felt great to get some extra shut-eye. It also felt great to sweat…but when doesn’t it? I’m loving my new Australia work-out gear (the brand is Lorna Jane and it’s really similar to Lulu Lemon back home). Brandon gave it to me for Christmas, and I adore the thick waist band of the spandex capris, the bright colors, and the length of the tank. Basically, Lorna Jane rules!
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Like our American flag in the background?  It is safe to say we are missing home!

Anyway,  this weekend, I plan on doing some baking, or should I say no-baking, in the form of cocoa, peanut butter, and oat no-bake treats. I made these a few weeks ago when we had a friend over for a barbeque, and it was extremely humid that night. It was definitely WAY to humid to bake, but of course I was craving dessert.  I’m pretty sure the guys both thought I was crazy, but I was determined to produce some-sort of chocolate treat without turning on the oven. Then I remembered a dessert I used to make with my Mom when I was younger: no-bake cookies. Voila, I knew what I was making! These are in no way healthy, but they sure are delicious, and they produce a lot of cookies with minimal effort. I don’t recommend making the mistake I made of leaving “extra” dough in a container. Me+cookie dough=disaster. I was in there with a spoon on a daily basis!
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Cocoa, Peanut Butter & Oat No-Bake Treats
Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp. cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3 cups oats (I used whole oats, but quick oats will work too)
1/2 cup reduced fat creamy peanut butter (Any peanut-butter would work)
1 tsp vanilla extract
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Directions
1)Lay out a large sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet. Set aside.  Combine the sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa in a large saucepan on the stove and bring it to a boil for about 1 minute.
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2) Remove this from the heat and add in the remaining ingredients (oats, peanut butter, and vanilla). Stir the mixture and mix well.
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3) Drop the mixture by teaspoons onto your wax paper. (I prefer to use a scooper to make them as round as possible, but I unfortunately don’t have one here!) Then place them in the fridge for about 30 minutes, until cooled.

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These may not look very pretty, but they are truly delicious. Plus, with the inclusion of oats and peanut-butter, they are super filling, so you’ll  satisfy your sweet tooth with one or two.

Do you have a favorite no-bake dessert? Please share!