I Don’t Just Want To Be Fed Information

My legs are so ready for this tropical vacation coming up.

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Julianna shared a photo of her burpee knees the day before on Snapchat

At least the chlorine from pool therapy is keeping my legs smooth. The chemicals are basically burning off the [already minimal amount of] leg hair that I have.

This week has been hectic, a little weird, but really great overall.

  • Hectic because of work and domestic duties (miss you, Madre).
  • Weird because of earlier wake-ups and seeing a severed squirrel on the ground one day.
  • Really great because of the little laughs/blessings that all add up. Also, SUNSHINE!

Food scenes from the week:

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nectarine banana overnight oats in a peanut butter jar

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classic ♥︎ 

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roasted green beans (olive oil, salt, pepper, and lots of garlic @400F for 25-30 min)

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overnight oat smoothie with greens added in the morning before blending

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a gigantic bag of kale cooked down into four servings (sautéed in olive oil with onions + tossed in spicy mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper — my favorite kale recipe!)

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impromptu baked chicken thighs (half a jar of Victoria’s tomato basil sauce, fresh basil, lots of garlic, baby carrots @ 400F for 30 min, topped with freshly grated parmesan and broiled for 5 minutes)

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leftovers for lunch

Favorite moves and grooves this week:

This Blogilates ab workout. You will be cussing her out in your head, it’s that hard. My abs don’t usually get sore, but this made my abs sore for two days. And this 16 minute workout (4 rounds, 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest):

  • burpee tuck jump
  • up down planks
  • goblet squats
  • staggered pushups
  • burpees
  • side lunge with twist

Bonus: I got ONE strict toes to bar last night right before going to bed! It made all my muscles hurt.

The busyness and weirdness this week were dampened by the fact that my family is leaving for a tropical vacation, as mentioned above. We’re celebrating my parents’ 25th anniversary and my brother’s graduation from college. I’m obviously just along for the ride.

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I won’t have wifi, since we’ll be on a cruise in the middle of the ocean, but I’ll be sure to share the shenanigans when we return. Please pray that we have safe travels! The cruise company contacted us about the possibility of contracting the Zika virus, so *thumbs up*.

I’ll pray for you too if you have any travel plans coming up 🙂

Lastly, I have a Five Minute Friday vlog today! It’s about how I am trying to more actively stay connected with current events and worldwide issues.

link to video!

p.s. here’s one of Demi’s rant tweets:

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and happy July!! Happy 4th to all my American friends too! (I was about to say, “May the fourth be with you,” but that’s two months off.)

Goodbye for a week or so. I’ll miss you!

So tell me:

Do you find that you let information/news/opinions be fed to you, rather than read up and formulate your own opinions?

What is your favorite way to eat kale?

What are you doing this weekend?

 

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Oatmeal Two Ways

Oatmeal used to be “grandma” food to me.

(NOT that there is anything wrong with grandmothers; they are the coolest!)

Until 4 years ago. I came across a blog called Kath Eats, and her “tribute to oatmeal” page. I had never seen anyone make oatmeal look so sexy in my life.

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[from Kath Eats]

Ever since that day, I have been loving on oatmeal like it’s the only grain grown in America. It was her “whipped banana oatmeal” technique that really changed the game.

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Gina’s cookie dough oatmeal cereal is also a big favorite

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And then there was this idea of “overnight oats.” Oats soaked in dairy products overnight sounded ludicrous, but someone thought to soak bread in eggs to make French toast, so..

I posted my overnight oats recipe (based off Kath Eats’ recipe) when I first started this blog.

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But I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit. The main change is no Greek yogurt (inspired by my dairy dilemma, which btw is no longer an issue) + more chia seeds. Check it out.

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Overnight Oats (based on Kath Eats’ recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled or quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 very rude (← real autocorrect) ripe banana, sliced
  • ~1/4 c. other fruit, chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp. nut butter

Step 1: For that “end of the jar” vibe (if you don’t have an almost-empty jar of nut butter, which would be ideal), scoop that nut butter into the bottom of your container (bowl-mug preferable, but anything will do).

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Add your dry ingredients (oats, spices, and chia seeds) and mix ’em together (don’t touch the nut butter).

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Add your milk and fruit, mix it all together (only scraping some of that nut butter from the bottom to mix with the rest).

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Let it sit in the fridge overnight, and wake up the next morning with excitement, knowing that a BOMB breakfast is already made and ready to eat.

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optional: top with granola for crunch

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special day when it’s overnight oats in a jar

Onto the hot oats.

I’ve been loving this oatmeal that is a hybrid of Kath’s whipped banana oatmeal + Jen’s egg white banana oatmeal. I made a video!

  • 1/2 c. rolled oats (or quick)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 very ripe banana, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 egg white
  • any other fruits and/or toppings (*cough* nut butter)!

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It’s 11:00 pm, and I would like some oatmeal now.

So tell me:

What is your favorite way to eat oatmeal?

What is your favorite oatmeal recipe?

Did you always like oatmeal? I used to only eat those sickeningly sweet Quaker oatmeal packets, but now those taste like dessert to me!

A Grand Ol’ Weekend Recap

Instead of thinking of a title for this post, I’ll just l start typing as I belt out “No One” by Alicia Keys (← quality song).

There’s so much to share today, so let’s nix a proper intro and catch up!

Thursday

On June 9th, 2015, I chopped my hair to shoulder length. On June 16th, 2016, I chopped my hair to chin length. Who knows what June 2017 will bring? #pixiecut?

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even the same shirt color as the emoji

My hair was shoulder length all year, but it was starting to flip outwards like Betty Rubble from the Flintstone’s, which is not the look that I’m personally going for.

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Just like last year, I’ve gotten mixed reactions to my new ‘do, but most people have been in support of the short locks (thanks, friends)! One of my friends from work said I look 10 years old though…

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Ya know, I’d rather look like Dora than Betty Rubble, so I’d say it’s a step up.

After a long day of work, Pop and I came home to a KILLER dinner made my Madre. She made sushi hand rolls + delicious chicken drumsticks. *jaw drop*

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leftover brown rice + roasted broccoli on the side (pro tip from Madre: cut the meat off the bone a little bit before cooking if you want the drumsticks to cook more quickly. it’ll still be juicy!)

Spoiled.

Friday

Banana and mango overnight oats to start the day— my forever favorite ♥︎ (p.s. post about how to make oatmeal two ways coming soon!)

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Dinner was simple and light because I was planning on working out soonish afterwards.

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sunny egg on avocado toast with sriracha + salad with homemade honey mustard dressing

But then I rebelled against my dairy cutdown and also ate cheesy jalapeño Popcorners. And then Pop came home and I decided that I really wanted Greek yogurt with dried figs.

“Sureeee. Go wild. But you might pay for it later.” – Pop

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I was totally fine later. Actually, my digestion this week might be the best it’s been in a while! Hmmm.

AFTER I ate dinner and dessert, I worked out at 10 pm in the basement. I needed 5 hours to decompress from work and nourish myself before working out, I guess.

A video posted by Alison (@alison_grooves) on Jun 17, 2016 at 7:52pm PDT

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Saturday

A weekend breakfast favorite:

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Kylie’s simple paleo pancake + peach + peanut butter + glass o’ milk

I really wanted to put Greek yogurt on this, but I think having too much dairy still wouldn’t be great for me.

Madre and I went on a couple errands including grocery shopping and clothes shopping. Productivity, I say!

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didn’t buy this, but LOL I am a mother from the 50s

Moves and grooves of the day: 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

After Mass, Madre wanted to take Pop out to pre-Fathers’ Day dinner, so we went to a place called The Iron Tomato. It’s a casual Italian marketplace, so we each ordered something at different stations and reconvened.

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I got chicken meatloaf + artichokes, beets, and broccoli rabe to share with mom

We digested for a couple hours before I made a beloved classic for Pop and myself:

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Peanut butter banana soft serve!!! For two people: 3-4 frozen overripe bananas blended with peanut butter in a food processor, topped with granola.

Sunday (Father’s Day!)

My dad just made a good point (as a good father does): I FaceTimed a lot of people from Europe yesterday.

  1. Rachel in Ireland.
  2. My brother in Spain.
  3. My uncle, who is a priest in Rome.

What a great day already!

I made breakfast for Pop (and myself) in the morn’.

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made him a chorizo, onion, spinach egg white omelette + banana oatmeal

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banana, mango, chia oatmeal for moi

He opened his gift while eating. Peep the Sephora-bag-turned-“man-bag”.

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He loves Under Armor shirts!

After some more FaceTiming and relaxing, we all got started on our late afternoon BBQ! Pop requested that he grill on his special day. Madre and I went shopping and marinaded/skewered everything, and he and Madre split the grilling job. Teamwork!

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Madre’s incredible ribs, smothered in Stubb’s sticky sweet BBQ sauce (thanks so much to my pal for sending us this— you know who you are 🙂 )

To think that I used to not like ribs… So naive.

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our favorite Moroccan chicken!

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We ate everything in lettuce wraps, Asian style — with Thai basil, cilantro, fresh backyard mint, cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts, and Madre’s fantastic peanut sauce. None of us could choose a favorite meat that we cooked (maybe the ribs though).

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don’t ask me what I’m doing because I could not tell you

We cooked way too much food for three people, but hooray for leftovers for work lunches this week!

We ended “dinner” at 5 pm (talk to Europeans, eat like Europeans), after which we chilled out and digested. Pop and I went on a 2 mile walk around the ‘hood in the evening, and the weather was absolutely perfect. Cool and comfortable.

I got started on dessert when we got back home. We had weird peaches that were ripening but not softening. Like, we had them for a week, and they were starting to taste overripe (read: kinda alcoholic), but they were still hard. So I tried this recipe for individual peach crisps to put them to use.

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Pop and I had one each, topped with Talenti pistachio gelato. I ate the peach first (it was still hard and weird even after baking) and then ate the gelato. And then went back for a little more gelato.

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I just proceeded to do the 7 minute workout with Madre shortly after finishing dessert. Ice cream and squats is not an ideal combo, but I’ll survive.

I might do some late night stretching before turning in. My legs are super tight (I was a bad girl/PT student and didn’t stretch after working out on Saturday).

Happy Fathers’ Day to all fathers out there— of children or of souls! 🙂 You are so loved and appreciated.

Hope you all have one heck of a good Monday! Strike a silly pose when no one’s looking, but someone could be looking.

So tell me:

Did you do anything notable for Fathers’ Day/the weekend?

Do you like ribs?

What is the best thing you ate this weekend?

What is the worst hairstyle you’ve ever had? Honestly, my “bangs” in middle school were pretty painful.

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seriously WTF is happening with that

Strawberries and Cream for Wimbledon

Jury duty day #2 is ahead of me today!

I added the exclamation point for motivation and positive vibes, because I’m so not looking forward to it. It’s a blessing and a curse to be young and open minded. Mostly a blessing though.

I wish I could tell you guys about the case, but alas, I would be tracked down and killed if I shared anything. (Joking about getting killed, but seriously, I cannot share!)

In other news, Wimbledon (one of the grand slam tennis tournaments) is happening. I haven’t been watching, but I plan on catching as many matches as possible from here on out. I love watching tennis. I’ve never even played, but it’s one of the only sports I actually enjoy watching (others include gymnastics, figure skating, hockey [in person at Boston University only], and soccer [World Cup only…I’m a fake fan]).

I’ve been to the US Open for tennis before, but I think it would be amazing to attend Wimbledon for two reasons:

1) It’s in England.

2) Strawberries and cream is the signature food to eat at the event.

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According to this website, the recipe for Wimbledon strawberries and cream is super simple: strawberries with sweet, soft-peaked whipped cream. Classic England being classy.

Today I have a more substantial version of strawberries and cream for you in the form of a smooooothie.

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A company called MyProtein kindly sent me a bag of their strawberries and cream protein powder to try, along with a mega jar (40 oz/2.5 lb!) of peanut butter (the way to my heart).

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Funny enough, MyProtein is the biggest sports nutrition brand in the UK and Europe. It’s slowly growing in the United States though! In addition to protein powders and nut butters, they sell protein cookies, bars, oats, and supplements.

Now, I am definitely not one to use amino acid supplements or anything like that at all right now (they kinda scare me, tbh). I mostly just use protein powder to make foods like Arman’s cake batter oatmeal, Gina’s cookie dough cereal, energy balls, or substantial smoothies— like this one! Protein powder helps to add calories and satiety to my smoothies.

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The strawberries and cream protein powder is sweet, but not sickeningly sweet. However, it does have quite an artificial flavor. Think Nesquick strawberry milk or Starbucks’ strawberry cream frappuccino. Luckily, I love that flavor, so this was good stuff. Also, the addition of real strawberries to the smoothie helps to liven up the strawberry flavor a bit.

Strawberries and Cream Protein Smoothie

  • 1/2 c. milk (the fattier the better!)
  • 4-5 fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop strawberries and cream protein powder*
  • 3-5 ice cubes

Blend, baby, blend.

*Can sub vanilla protein powder, just add a couple more strawberries.

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Of course, if you’re not into protein powder, you could always just do strawberries with vanilla ice cream too, which is what I ate last night 🙂

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Along with a whole lot of drippings from the newly opened and stirred MyProtein peanut butter:

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The verdict? DELICIOUS. It is 100% peanuts, just how I like it (although I’m wondering if it’s lightly salted, because it tastes just as good as salted peanut butter!). All the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth goodness.

I would compare the taste of this peanut butter to Trader Joe’s natural pb, Teddie’s, or Costco natural pb. Maybe a combination of all three.

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waterfall of pb fell off the side of the jar as this photo was taken

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PSA/BREAKING NEWS: If you mix vanilla ice cream with some cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg (key!), it tastes like EGGNOG. Oh my goodness.

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I’m so excited about this. Eggnog in summer form.

So tell me:

What is your favorite sport to watch? Do you like watching tennis?

Have you ever eaten strawberries and cream (in any form)?

Will you try this eggnog ice cream life hack!?

Disclaimer: MyProtein sent me the protein powder and peanut butter for a review in return. All opinions and content are my own.

I’m Bad at Creating Recipes

I have two quasi-recipes for you today!

They’re both sweet, both freaking delicious, and…both lacking in measurements.

You see, when I cook anything new (this does not apply to baking), I either follow someone else’s recipe or I just make my own recipe by eyeballing the ingredients. I don’t measure or write down how much of an ingredient I put into it. I just throw things into the cooking vessel like a mad scientist until I think:

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Upon tasting, if the recipe leaves something to be desired, then I add that desirable something if possible. It’s usually one of three things that need to be added: salt, sugar, or liquid. For cooking, those things can often be added at the end of the cooking process somehow.

Thus, I suck at creating recipes, because I never have anything exact to share with you.

Nevertheless, I’m going to share two foods I made recently! They’re flexible recipes anyway, so you just be your own mad scientist and do what you will.

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Sweet and Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

(aka the best roasted sweet potatoes I’ve ever eaten if I’m tootin’ my own horn, which I am.)

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  • 3-4 medium/large sweet potatoes, washed and chopped into 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups after chopping)
  • enough oil to lightly coat the potatoes (olive, avocado, or melted coconut oil works)
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want your taters)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you want a bigger kick in the taste buds)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. Place the washed and chopped sweet potatoes on a sheet pan (lined with foil if you want easy cleanup).
  3. Pour/dump/sprinkle all the remaining ingredients over the potatoes. Try to distribute evenly.
  4. Use your hands to toss around the seasoned potatoes to make sure all they are coated with the flavorful goodness.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Baking time depends on your oven, the size of your chopped potatoes, and how roasty you like ’em.

Serves 2, with leftovers. Actually serves 4-5.

Note: All measurements are estimates. Follow recipe exactly at your own risk. Temperature and times are accurate.

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Strawberry Banana Almond Butter “Ice Cream”

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  • 3 frozen very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1.5 tbsp almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • milk as needed
  1. Place frozen fruit and almond butter into a food processor or high speed blender with a small splash of milk (maybe 2 tbsp).
  2. Blend. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. Continue to blend and add small splashes of milk as needed to get the blender rollin’. Make sure not to add too much that the mixture becomes a smoothie.
  4. Be patient. The ice cream texture will happen.
  5. Serve up your creamy, dreamy, cold treat with a cookie, granola, more nut butter, muffin, chocolate chips, etc.

Serves 2.

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I understand that a lot of you are advanced-enough chefs to not need these recipes, but for those of you who need a little inspiration, I hope these sparked your interest!

This is why I say “nay” when my friends and family refer to me as a food blogger. That suggests that I know what I’m doing in the kitchen, but in fact, I just pretend that I do. I mostly make other people’s recipes and kinda make my own.

I like it this way though. Let the wind take you to where it blows! Or something like that.

P.S. banana soft serve checked off the food bucket list! 🙂

So tell me:

Are you an “eyeballer” when it comes to cooking, or do you like to measure everything?

What’s the best recipe you’ve created or tried recently? Please share!