What a wonderful week! It was laid back but I felt like I actually accomplished something. I am not sure what I accomplished but the days felt balanced for the most part.
I had fun picking strawberries with V
I think we have picked over five (sand) buckets full of strawberries in the last week!
Hanging out with her and trying to convince her to play a game or dance with me. She thought that was boring. But as soon as I would need to leave the house she would say: don’t go! She makes me laugh
Do you like the smiley face she created in my hair?
I took a road trip for an interview, got to see my parents and broke in my gift card to the cheesecake factory. I still have some money left on the card and I think I will save it for when I get a job or my birthday. Whichever comes first.
The highlight of my week was going out swing dancing with a friend from church. It was my first time learning how to dance let alone swing dance. Willowbrook Ballroom had a very nice set up and even had lessons an hour before the live band started. The Flat Cats was the band and I really enjoyed the live music. It really added to the atmosphere of the night. I was thankful that I was asked to dance several times throughout the evening. I think I danced close to ten different times throughout the night My dancing was by no means perfect but I enjoyed myself and had some wonderful leaders/teachers. Several of the older gentlemen (aged seventy and up) were especially patient and kind and really knew how to lead and cover any of my mistakes Maybe its because they were raised in the eras where social dancing was taught and a regular occurrence.
How cute is that sticker! I especially the nice touch of having the products individually wrapped in colored tissue paper and embroidery floss!
Looking back at my recent kitchen experiments the last few weeks I realized that they all have one thing in common. Katie. Specifically Chocolate covered Katie!
I first tried her Snickerdoodle Blondies but used ground chia seeds instead of ground flax seeds. This resulted in a slightly darker bar but very tasty! I had to stop myself from eating all of the dough before baking it. I was in disbelief at how much it tasted like a Snickerdoodle!
Next I decided to experiment with the recipe. The goal: Chocolate Banana Blondies (or I guess they would be brownies since I added cocoa). Instead of peanut butter or apple sauce I added one banana. I added 2 Tbs. Hershey’s Cocoa Powder, 1/8 tsp Vanilla and used 1/4 cup ground Chia Seeds. I also reduced the amount of Brown Sugar to 1/8 cup instead of 3/4 cup. Overall I thought it worked. It was a little heavy and had just a hint of sweetness. In the process of mixing it in my food processor I am pretty certain I overworked the dough. Next time I would experiment with a little more cocoa or maybe even chocolate chips and a little more brown sugar.
My parents have a Sunday evening tradition of eating pancakes or waffles. When I was visiting them over Memorial Day weekend I decided to make the Sunday meal. I was in the mood for cinnamon so I made Katie’s Snickerdoodle Pancakes. I had mine with a cinnamon-sugar mixture on top but my parents and friends that were over topped theirs with syrup. I ate the few that were leftover the next day on the road
But that wasn’t all I made that night. I was in the mood to experiment in the kitchen! I also made a variation of Katie’s Raw Cookie Dough Milkshake for everyone. I didn’t have the ingredients for the Raw Cookie Dough Balls but even without them, the milkshake was a success. I actually made it again tonight with the addition of Hershey’s Cocoa Powder for a Chocolate Cookie Dough Milkshake. Three cheers for healthy milkshakes!!!
If you are not convinced that sweets can be healthy then I am not sure what to do with you. The last recipe I tried was Katie’s Raspberry Cobbler Bars. I used spelt four and frozen raspberries and honey instead of maple syrup or agave. The only trouble I had with the recipe was splitting the dough so that there was enough to cover the top. Oh well, I guess there is a reason I am a musician and not a pastry chef I took these to small group and everyone seemed to enjoy them. The few bars that were leftover I quickly froze before I ate the entire pan in the span of a couple of days. I might be slightly obsessed with Katie’s recipes but I don’t care. Healthy recipes that satisfy my sweet tooth, I can’t say no to that!
(sorry for the uninspired picture. I was so excited to eat something with raspberries that I kind of forgot to take a picture until I was ready to freeze the remaining bars. Oops!)
If you are still reading I will briefly update you on how I did this last week with the Plank Challenge. The third week I felt great doing three reps six days a week at thirty seconds for each rep. This fourth week was hard for me. I could not make myself hold the low plank for forty seconds I felt frustrated and did walk away for a day but then I decided to adjust my expectations and work through the wall. I did planks a few days at thirty-five seconds and then moved up to forty seconds. I am not sure what got to me this last week but I am working through it. Maybe the uncertainty of the job hunt finally go to me. This week I am going to continue working in between the thirty-five and fifty second mark and see what my body does. It should be interesting since I have several days of traveling due to job interviews. Due to the different schedule I am aiming at doing Yoga 3 times, Elliptical or Bike 2 times, Arms 2 times, and Planks with arm movement 6 times (I am hoping that adding a little movement to the plank will help with my focus).
I am looking for summer reading suggestions since I got my library card last week! So far I have looked through the cookbook section at the library. It has been awhile since I read a good fiction book so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated