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Archive for May 29th, 2012

How was everyone’s Memorial Day Weekend?!

My leisurely weekend in the city was lovely, and I look forward to the few more that I have ahead of me this summer! I will certainly relish each and every one.

Before diving into this post, I want to take a moment to reflect on what this holiday truly means, and thank all of the men and women who have served and are serving this country. It is because of your continued sacrifice that I have the freedom to express myself on this forum.

And it is certainly something to celebrate! Which is why I’d guess that healthy food and fitness are just about the LAST two things on your mind right now…

Try to remember us?

Well, great news! The recipe I have for you today is healthy, but it tastes anything but! And isn’t that the best of both worlds?

We’ll get there soon, but I first want to share just a few snippets that encapsulate my wonderful weekend:

Breakfasts always—I decided this weekend that I demand a bit of chew with my Green Monsters. Smoothie: 1 container Raspberry Chobani, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 3 ice cubes, 2 large handfuls spinach; piece of Great Harvest 9-grain toast with butter.

Smoothie: 1 tbs pb, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup almond milk, cinnamon, 1/8 tsp vanilla extract, 2 large handfuls spinach; piece of Publix Breakfast bread toasted with butter.

Even more of these! I’ve perfected my order—medium iced coffee with 3 pumps whole milk, 1 Splenda packet, 1 dash cinnamon, 2 dashes cocoa powder (give or take :)). HITS.THE.SPOT

Views from up close. Nutellin’ what kind of trouble I got into over here 🙂

Views from afar. Taken on the roof of my 37-floor building, overlooking the East River

Eats healthy for my bod! SEASONAL SALAD at Telepan Restaurant:
greens, vegetables & lemon vinaigrette

Eats healthy for my soul :). My favorite ice cream in the city! Grasshopper Pie from Emack and Bolio’s: Creme de Menthe with Chocolate Chips and Oreos (not my picture but same flavor; I had my scoop in a cup)

Greatest of all—many quiet moments in my nest. I adore my room, and cannot stress the value of having a place all your own that you find comfy and aesthetically pleasing!

Looking back through these pictures, this was truly a special weekend, and I love that I feel energized going into the work week  rather than drained!

Thank you for indulging my rerun, and now I shall reward you with an indulgence of your own!

I’m back with an 808 cuz I’m gloss-ay!

CHOCOLATE 1-2-3 CAKE BALLS!!!

You’ve probably heard of cake pops, and you’ve certainly heard of truffles. Well, these bad boys are a happy hybrid of the two!

I made a Chocolate 1-2-3 Cake several weeks ago and decided to freeze half, since I had so many other goodies lying around my pantry. I spied the leftover half this Saturday morning while grabbing some frozen naners and decided I couldn’t let it go to waste!

A coworker of mine made cake pops a while ago, and I remembered her saying that the filling was a mixture of cake and icing…

Well, hey, I thought blithely—I have a healthy chocolate sauce recipe in my repertoire that could easily sub as frosting! And what about the candy coating on the outside?

They don’t add in the PLUS for nothin’!

TJ’s Pound Plus for the win!

Sound a little too easy? A little too convenient? Maybe, but I knew I had a winner before I even rolled up my sleeves.

Chocolate 1-2-3 Cake Balls:

For the Cake: Follow my 1-2-3 Cake recipe HERE, using chocolate cake mix and chocolate sugar-free instant Jell-O pudding. Allow cake to cool completely before using.

For the Balls:

  • 1/2 Chocolate 1-2-3 Cake, approx 2 cups packed with cake
  • 2 tbs coconut oil or canola oil
  • 2 tbs brown rice syrup or honey
  • 8 squares Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% Chocolate Bar, approx. 4.5 oz
  • Optional—topping of choice. I used crushed peanut butter-filled pretzels, but coconut flakes, chopped nuts, crushed peppermints etc. would all be fun—whatever tickles your fancy!

Instructions:

Line a baking tray (small enough to fit in the fridge) with parchment paper. Crumble cake into a large bowl with your fingers. Add oil and sweetener to the cake (melt coconut oil if using) and get to mixin’! Squish and knead all the goodness together until it forms one large sticky ball. Then, form truffle-sized balls from the mama ball, rolling dough between your palms to help create a circular shape. Set balls onto baking tray.

In a microwave-safe dish, nuke chocolate on 30-second intervals until almost completely melted. Stir with a spatula until remaining chunks melt. Add dough balls one by one into the melted chocolate. Roll ball gently around chocolate, nudging with a spoon, until coated. Use spoon to carefully lift balls out of chocolate and back onto the baking tray.

When all of your balls are dipped and lined onto the tray, sprinkle on your toppings (if using), cover tray very loosely with saran wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour before handling. Keep balls refrigerated.

Now dig in! Remember to Chew.

Because this will probably be your only opportunity to see the inside of one if you make them.

The picture above doesn’t begin to do these suckers justice. I’ve shared them with two people thus far, and being the creep that I am, noticed that they BOTH closed their eyes and mmmm’d their way through! Compliment paid, no words needed.

I don’t know their nutritional stats, but I do know that they’re significantly lower in sugar than your average cake pop or truffle, and the bit of fat they have from the coconut (or canola) oil and dark chocolate is the good, heart-healthy kind! Not to mention that they’re super easy to throw together.

So do yourselves and favor and nurse your hangover with something that tastes fabulously sinful, has built-in portion control, and won’t make you feel worse (but easily could improve the situation)!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!

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