I had planned to make March my “makeover Month.” A retooled exercise regimen, healthier eating, fewer cocktails. And that’s still the plan with the “slight” hitch of a stress fracture in my left knee. All impact exercise is out, including any more than minimal walking. Swimming yes, but now I need to find a pool. I’m also going to be fitted for a biodynamic knee brace that I’ll have to wear for the next 6 weeks. (It will not be appearing in any fashion posts, even as a prop!) So…I will be retooling my exercise regimen, just not as expected. And healthier eating and fewer cocktails are going to be non-negotiable.
I love the Blog Probably This. Its adorable food-and-wine-loving creators, Beau and Matt, have great style and great recipes. Inspired by their “Best Banana Bread” but without a key ingredient (Madeira wine??? Not something we typically stock in our bar.) and unwilling to use another (not a fan of canola oil, sorry) but rich in overripe bananas, I decided to try coming up with my own version.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to eat as healthy as I can — work, life, travel permitting. So for me this snack is the perfect answer to combining healthful ingredients …and getting rid of overripe bananas! My ad agency served as guinea pigs, and I can report that these bite-size balls were a huge hit. Best of all, I literally put this snack together while drinking my AM coffee. Super easy, super good.
MP’s Banana Oat Energy Balls
2 (or 3) overripe bananas (prefer organic)
2 cups oatmeal (prefer organic)
1/4 cup mix of chia and flax seeds (prefer organic)
2 tbsp agave syrup (prefer organic)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I LOVE Crunch Time Chunky PB but go with your favorite nut butter)
1/3-1/2 cup choc chips (Your choice! Here I used dark and white, but for my first batch I just went with dark. My favorites are Guittard and Ghiradelli.)
1. Peel and smash Bananas.
2. Mix in oats, chia & flax and agave.
3. Add in chocolate chips.
4. First line a plate or air-tight container with wax paper. Then start rolling your balls! The mixture is kind of sticky, so you will have to work each ball (about the size of an ice cream scoop) in your hands for a bit. Space out on wax paper, layer by layer ( probably 2). I found I had to rinse my hands in-between layers.
5. Place plate or container in refrigerator, preferably overnight.
6. Share…and enjoy! (These will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
All photos by MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.
It’s January 2nd and I don’t know about you but I feel like the year is off to a fast and furious start. I am booked solid on a slew of exciting TV and Digital projects, which as a freelancer is the best start to your year. But I also don’t want to ignore LAS. It will be hard for me for the next month or so, so I hope you’ll hang in there. It means so much that you do!
Brrr. It’s cold outside. So as far as I’m concerned it’s time for soup. “Tasty” inspired this recipe, and since I was missing a few ingredients I ad-libbed a few of my own. What I can say…delicious. Hope you enjoy!
This Curried Butternut Squash Soup is really pretty simple to prepare. I’m giving you proportions so you can adjust to how many you are cooking for. Seriously, it’s so good I suggest you make more than you think you need and refrigerate or freeze. You won’t be sorry!
2-3 Butternut Squash Soup (you will have to adjust other ingredients based on this)
3-5 cups Vegetable Broth
1 Tsp Curry Powder
4 Cardamon Seeds (or 1/2 tsp Powder)
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Ginger
Fresh Ground Pepper Salt (I used Kosher)
For topping: Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I prefer organic).
Wash, dry and peel 2-3 Butternut Squash.
Slice squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, then cut into chunks.
Scatter on parchment lined baking sheet.
Peel scallions, then add to baking sheet.
Sprinkle squash with spices (you can adjust to your preferences) and Olive Oil, then mix together by hand. (Yes…you will need to wash your hands with soap and the blade of a stainless steel knife to get rid of smell!)
If you have Saffron, sprinkle a few threads over squash as well. Great for color!
Drizzle scallions with olive oil.
Sprinkle both with freshly grated pepper and salt.
Bake in oven for @ 30 minutes or until soft when pricked with a fork.
Once ready, let cool for about 10 minutes..so you can handle.
Scrape Squash, Cardamon Seeds and Scallion into blender (or food processor).
Add Vegetable Broth, beginning with 2 cups and then to your desire thickness.
Either transfer to pot and simmer on stove or store and reheat when ready.
If simmering stovetop, lower oven to 350 degrees and put Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds into baking dish and toast for @ 7 minutes. Then sprinkle on hot soup.
I also treated myself to one piece of toasted and buttered sour dour bread. Think this might be my “Go To” winter soup. Hope you enjoy!
Amidst a world that seems pretty off-kilter, it is life-affirming and centering to spend time with those we love, in a place we love. We were lucky to be up at our Adirondack cabin for Thanksgiving 2016. Or at least most of us. Our middle son Spencer, who is working for Oracle in Los Angeles, opted to stay on the West Coast and spend the holiday with his boyfriend Joey’s family in Novato, CA. Then they were off to Sonoma for a weekend of wine tasting. Tough duty. Chris and I hosted Pierre, Pierre’s girlfriend April (celebrating their 3rd Anniversary!) and Chanler. It was a lovely weekend that looked and felt a bit more like Christmas due to 3 days of snow.
When we’re up at our cabin, we just love going to Sugar House Creamery in Upper Jay, NY.
We have a log cabin nestled on 101 mountain acres in the Adirondacks. Dream come true? You bet ya. My husband Chris has been hiking up there since he was 16. I think it was on our second date that he suggested we go up and climb a 46er. Flash forward a few months later to a rainy, cold, almost gale like October, and we were on the way up Gothics — aka pretty damn scary. Chalk it up to being fit, foolish, feisty and 20-something but climb my first 46er I did. And after a hot shower and some craft beer, I fell in love with this most magical spot in the world. We’ve never looked back. Though we’ve kept our Keene Valley Real Estate agents busy for years…and years…as we searched for the perfect property.
It’s been a super busy week day job wise, but as a freelancer I’m not complaining. I’m working on a really fun (top secret) project with a major beauty brand and Google! All good!! But…it’s made it hard to post this week. TGIF.
Here’s the recipe for an easy, elegant dessert that makes any family & friends dinner extra special. This tart is something you can do on a “school night” if you just want to up the ante. Or bring to a Pot Luck and wow everyone. Caveat: there is nothing lo-cal about this, only deliciousness.