Recipes

My favorite color

Green has always been my favorite color. I think I can trace it back to when I was about 3 or 4 years old. My father’s favorite color has always been green, I think, in part, because he was a huge JETS fan. I had heard him say it before so, naturally, when someone asked me what my favorite color was, I shrieked “Green!” before I even had time to think about it. I was so easily influenced as a child…

Anyway, green now symbolizes a lot more than the color that makes me happy. In our society, green represents health and wellbeing and an overall feeling of positivity. Even though it’s always been a fave of mine, I’ve never been one to be eager to try a green drink. I think that I had one too many bad juicing experiences, and the fact that I’m not a fan of cucumbers or celery was not very helpful for my attempts at being a green goddess.

Cut to a few months ago. I was in a new smoothie bar and decided to take a chance on the green smoothie. One sip in, I was hooked. It wasn’t at all like the green juices I had held my breath while chugging in the past. This was nutty and refreshing, and made me full in the best way. The only thing that wasn’t a fan of this smoothie, was my wallet. If you’ll recall a few posts ago I shared that my blender had broken. I decided that it was time for a new one, and used my credit card reward points to order a pretty standard blender. Nothing fancy, just practical. I know, shocking for me. Practical? Amanda? But yes, a super simple blender with an option for making smoothies is really all you need for this simple recipe.

Here’s the skinny on my new favorite lunch.

Going Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 handful (or two, if you really want to up your green intake) organic spinach
  • 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood (chocolate flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon (or 2 if you really want the peanut butter flavor) PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 (or 1 depending on preference) frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk

Step 1:

Put your spinach in the blender.

 

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Step 2: Throw your banana in on top.

 

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Step 3: Put in one level scoop of Amazing Grass Green Superfood (I got mine at Target). I’m sure another superfood powder would work fine as well. I just love the boost this one gives me and the fact that it comes in chocolate really works nicely with this recipe.

 

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Step 4: Put in a tablespoon (or more if you’d like) of PB2 powdered peanut butter.

 

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Step 5: Pour in one cup of unsweetened almond milk.

 

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Step 6: Blend, blend, blend!

 

The great thing about this smoothie is that you can feel free to put in as much or as little of something as you’d like. Make it to fit your taste. You can add in other fruits such as frozen blueberries or strawberries if you’d like to change it up. Throw some matcha in for added benefits or take out the PB2 if you’re not a fan. The possibilities are pretty endless but the finished product is sure to be great. The calories in the recipe above total about 240, and if you were to break down the price per smoothie, it’s closer to $2 than $10. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely going to continue to splurge once in awhile and go pick one up at the nearest smoothie/juice bar, but making them at home is something that is fun, quick and easy. So why not give it a shot, right?

Happy smoothie making!

 

XOXO
Amanda

 

 

Recipes

How to win Valentine’s Day

I love spending time in the kitchen. Some of my favorite moments include music, a glass of wine and turning on the oven…oooo yeah! And the way to a man’s…eh let’s call it like it is…anyone’s heart is no real mystery.

Food.

It’s such a universal language. If you love people, you want to provide delicious meals for them. Plain and simple. You want to serve them hearty dishes and make their tummies so happy they burst (figuratively, of course). And one of the sweetest ways to feed someone on the day o’ love? By baking up a few treats, of course!

Usually, the only time I make cookies is during the holidays, but I recently had a change of heart. My original Valentine’s blog post was going to be on a deeper topic (think, the evolution of our definition of a relationship), but somewhere along the way I changed my mind and decided to just have fun with it. So, I was recently on a mission to find a yummy cookie to make that would be perfect for the occasion. Cue the harp and Cupid’s arrow and all that good stuff. Here is pure love in a bite!

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I found this recipe on Something Swanky, but it was originally printed in the book Red Velvet Lovers by Deborah Haroun. I made a few minor tweaks, but they came out pretty well regardless! Make some and share with your loves, they will be thankful, I promise you =)

Recipe yields approx. 2 dozen

You will need the following for the cookies…

  1. 1 cup butter, softened
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 egg yolk*
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 4 tsp red food coloring
  7. 2 tsp cocoa powder
  8. 1/2 cup granulated sugar or sanding sugar*

You will need the following for the filling…

  1. 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  2. 1 egg yolk*
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/8 tsp salt
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla

You will have to…

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (I had just run out of parchment paper and don’t own a baking mat, so I just lightly sprayed my pan with some coconut oil baking spray and hoped for the best – it worked out fine!)
  2. Beat together the butter, brown sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour, food coloring, and cocoa powder until soft dough forms. (I had to get a bit down and dirty with the dough because my mixer was not up to snuff. Don’t be afraid to get your hands a little messy!)
  3. Scoop out the dough by heaping tablespoons and roll them in the sugar before placing on the prepared baking sheet (about 2 inches apart). Use the back of a round teaspoon to make a small indentation in the cookie dough.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the filling: using an electric mixer or small food processor, beat together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, salt, and vanilla until smooth.
  6. After the first 10 minutes of baking, use the back of a round teaspoon to deepen the indentation in the cookies. Spoon a teaspoon of the filling into each indentation. Bake for an additional 12 minutes, until filling is set.
  7. *Amanda’s tip* Sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on top once the cookies are done baking.
  8. Let cool completely before serving. Store covered and chilled.

 

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy them.

XOXO
Amanda