What I Ate Wednesday: Fall Comfort Food 10/7/15

Oh my goodness. I know it’s not even that cold yet but brrr! It’s only the third week of fall and we are piled under every blanket we own and wearing multiple socks at a time. My toesies are cold! We tried to turn on our heat over the weekend as we live in a very poorly insulated apartment (and we are weenies) but we found out our heater is broken. So double socks it is! The one good thing about finding out our heat isn’t working now is that once the real cold and snow kicks in it will (hopefully) be fixed. Since we were shivering away we needed some comfort food. Read below to see what we ate to warm us up.

Oatmeal bowlBreakfast: Oatmeal with cinnamon, apples, bananas, and blueberries. There is nothing like a nice warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning when it is colder outside. I sliced my apples and heated them up with the oatmeal so they were slightly cooked. It tasted like an apple pie!

Starbucks LatteSnack: Starbucks graham latte. Okay I am a fan. I don’t like the pumpkin spice latte, but this one YUM. Has anyone else had it yet? We were out doing our weekly grocery shop and finally decided to try it. I’m already craving another one..

Sweet Green's saladLunch: Sweetgreen’s seasonal apple, pear, and cheddar salad. We grabbed lunch after we went grocery shopping because we were avoiding heading back to our cold apartment. We both tried the new seasonal salad at Sweetgreen and loved it!

Apple chipsSnack: Apple chips! We were baking some things in our kitchen and decided to try and make some apple chips from some apples we still have leftover from apple picking. We tossed some in cinnamon and some in nutritional yeast for a cheddar flavor. Yum!

ChiliDinner: Soup, of course! The best way to warm up is to have a big bowl of soup. Also in an effort to use up some of our apples we made this autumn chicken apple cider chili. We modified the recipe a little bit because we weren’t using a crockpot. We also added some carrots and celery. It came out delicious and definitely hit the spot!

Wine and popcornDessert: Wine and popcorn. My favorite pairing – well and a little bit of chocolate in there too 😉

Sorry about some of the not so great iphone pictures. I also just realized every picture is taken in a different location… not sure how that happened but oh well! Hope you enjoyed this post and if you want to see other what I ate Wednesday posts check out this post. Thanks Peas And Crayons and Clean Eats, Fast Feets for hosting the link party!

What I Ate Wednesday 9/30/15

Well hello my friends! I hope everyone is having a pleasant hump day. To help get you through the day take a quick break from your work and enjoy what I ate today (spoiler: more weird tasty grapes).

Oatmeal WIAW breakfast | popcorn & chocolate

Breakfast: A big ol’ bowl of oatmeal with banana, strawberries, coconut, and a big dollop of Nikki’s Coconut in Vanilla Cake Batter. This coconut butter is seriously the reason I woke up in the morning. It is too good! It may or may not have been a birthday present to Rose last year that I have almost eaten the whole jar of… oops!

Snack: Handful of nuts to tide me over from breakfast to lunch. I always keep some nuts or tidbits to snack on in my desk in case I can’t make it to lunch with out a little munch of something.

lunch WIAW | popcorn and chocolate

Sandwich WIAW lunch | popcorn and chocolate

Lunch: BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) sandwich with some leftover veggies and moon drop grapes. So you remember last WIAW when I had cotton candy grapes?? Well just call me the crazy grape lady because now I have these super amazing moon drop grapes. The taste sort of like a cross between blueberries and grapes but so much better.

Luna bar

Snack #2: Luna protein bar. You know me and my protein bars – I cannot do without them. What can I say, they keep the hanger at bay. And hey, now I’m crazy rhyming grape lady…

Lettuce wraps WIAW dinner | popcorn and chocolate

Dinner: Spicy Thai lettuce wraps. These wraps were spicy, sweet, delicious and surprisingly easy to make! Anything quick and easy on a weeknight = my bff (sorry Rose).

Tea & Oreo's

Dessert: Tea with Oreo’s, or more precisely, Newman O’s. I am on such an Oreo kick right now. I cannot get enough of them. They are so good dipped in hot tea! We just bought some pumpkin spice Oreo’s over the weekend and I cannot wait to try them. I will report back to you how delicious they are.

Well there you have it – another Wednesday, another unusual grape to go try. I hope you all power through the rest of the week and have a wonderful weekend! And if you need a little extra nudge, go out and buy some pumpkin spice Oreo’s and tell me how they are 😉

Thanks to Peas and Crayons and  The Big Man’s World for hosting this WIAW! If you liked this post then make sure to check out their blog to see what everyone else ate!

Watermelon Mint Mojito

Watermelon mint mojito

As Queen B so nicely put it in her Drunk in Love song, I’ve been drinking watermelon. I don’t quite know what Beyonce was referring to when she said she has been drinking watermelon (should I know these things?), but we have created our own watermelon drink to get drunk in love off of.

Watermelon mojito

This alcoholic drink is light, summery, refreshing, and packs a lot of flavor for just a few ingredients. Plus, it doesn’t require any fancy shmancy tools (hello make-shift wooden spoon muddler), which means you can enjoy it at your beach house this summer vacation, which is exactly what we plan to do!

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We’ve been sipping on this classic mojito with a twist for the past few weeks, so much so that we had to feature it in our June favorites. Once you splurge for a whole bunch of mint at the food store then you have no excuse but to make this drink every single night until you run out of mint.. or limes.. or watermelon.

Watermelon mojito

Funny lime story that is slightly off-topic but I will share anyways. When we were buying ingredients for this we were at Whole Foods and looking for limes, but the only ones we could find were wicked expensive and hello I know limes should only be like 50 cents but we really needed them so we carried them around the store for a few minutes until we decided to drop everything and go to a different grocery store for cheaper limes #firstjobproblems. Well we got some more reasonable priced limes at Trader Joe’s and were happy about that and brought them home and then once we opened up the bag there was a huge moldy lime sitting there like it was king of the jungle or something. Ew. We couldn’t use those for our precious mojitos! 3 grocery stores later and we finally had a useable bag of limes. That was our limescapade.

Lime and mint

And now back to the drink at hand, our wonderful watermelon mint mojito! What you need for this delicious cocktail other than limes is mint, watermelon (duh!), white rum, seltzer, and some raw sugar (we prefer turbinado sugar).

Mojito

To make 1 cocktail:

  • 3-4 mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime cut into wedges
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (or more to taste)
  • 4 watermelon cubes
  • 1 shot of rum
  • 1 cup of seltzer

1. Muddle in the bottom of your cup the mint, lime, and sugar.

Muddle mint

2. We don’t own a muddler so we improvised and use the handle of a wooden spoon, which actually worked wonders. The key is to press the oils and minty flavor out of the mint without really tearing it up. Once those ingredients are muddled together, add in the watermelon and gently mash that a few times, but not too much.

Watermelon mojito

3. Add the rum and the seltzer, give it a nice stir and enjoy!

Watermelon mojito

And there you have it, the I’ve been drinking watermelon mint mojito. Perfect for any summer night to cool you down.

What We Ate 6/14/15 – 6/20/15

Hello all! We are back sharing what we ate for dinner last week. We had a lot of amazing meals full of fresh vegetables – just what I love best!

Sunday: Leftovers from the Beat Hotel. We went out to dinner on Saturday night at the Beat Hotel and had quite a bit of leftovers so we doggy-bagged them and had them the next night for dinner.

Monday: Dinner out at Canary Square in Jamaica Plain. We got burgers and fries, which were both just what we were craving.

brussel sprout taco

Tuesday: Mexican Brussels Sprout Slaw from Feasting At Home. This meal was delicious! We substituted wild rice for quinoa as Rose is allergic and it still came out great.

kale pesto

Wednesday: Kale and Avocado Pesto Pasta from Ciao Veggie. Yum this was another amazing meal. I could not stop eating this pesto!

Thursday: Leftovers from the Mexican Brussels Sprout Slaw. Still so good!

taco boats

Friday: Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats from The Fit Housewife. I feel like all of our meals were spot on this week because this dinner was so good as well.

Saturday: Leftover Kale & Avocado Pesto Pasta. I’m glad we got to eat more of this pesto!

Hiking in the Blue Hills

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The past two weekends we have been enjoying the nice Spring weather by hiking in the Blue Hills Reservation. Growing up in New Hampshire I would hike all the time, okay maybe all the time is stretching it a bit, but I would go fairly often as there are a lot of mountains there. I love climbing and climbing and then once you are completely exhausted and can’t possibly go up any more rocks, you turn around and see a breathtaking view. Rose and I both agree that it is such a calming activity. We thought we would show you some of the few pictures we took on our hikes and maybe encourage you guys to get out there too!

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Things still haven’t started to bloom yet so we can’t wait to go back when all of these trees will be bright green. That is the view from the top of the tower. In the far distance you can see the skyline of Boston. It looks so tiny from up there!

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We enjoyed some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the top. Neither of us had had one for a few years and were overly excited to bite into those deliciously gooey peanut buttery messes of a sandwich!

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Hiking is so different from our typical high intensity workouts that we do. With hiking you can slow down and go at your own pace and just enjoy your surroundings. Or enjoy Rose telling some random story the enter way! IMG_0829

We had a blast hiking, even though we might have gotten a little bit lost and had to back track about a mile up a steep hill. It was well worth it and we will definitely be going back, possibly next weekend again!

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Of course since hiking is strenuous on your muscles, we did some “stretching” once we got home, i.e. Rose fell asleep!

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

This past year seemed to fly by, but don’t we say that about every year? I don’t know if it was because there was a lot of changes and new things happening to us, but this year in particular seemed to fly by. It started off with our very last semester at college, where both Rose and I somehow ended up only taking 1 class and then working on research instead of more classes. The semester was an easy one, but a good conclusion to our college years. Then all of a sudden we were running, literally running, to our graduation where we were given our diplomas and sent off into the real world.

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Summer lasted all of a few weeks, even less for Rose who started her job not long after graduation. I started my job a few weeks later.

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Haley and her dad when she found out she got her job!

We then moved into our apartment and started this blog. Since the summer we have been busy bees working during the week and trying to have the most relaxed weekends as possible. It’s been a crazy year full of lots of new things. Much has changed and I am glad to say that we have survived it all. Somedays I look back forlornly on our college years and how easy it was, but other times I am glad to be pushed and setting my own goals in life.

Moving in...

Moving in…

Speaking of goals, as it is the New Year, Rose and I have both decided to come up with a couple of New Year’s resolutions. Normally, I kind of think these are rubbish, and why wait for a whole New Year to start something? But at the same time, it is nice to start out the year with a goal, something to work towards and believe in.

Our main resolution this year is to try and cut out any unnecessary (I say unnecessary as chocolate is definitely necessary) sugar. By this we mean we are going to try to avoid eating any refined sugar. Refined sugar is sugar has been processed to the point so the nutrients naturally found in the raw food have been eliminated. This is compared to unrefined sugar, which has only slightly been processed so it still holds some nutritional benefits. Raw honey and maple syrup or two types of unrefined, or raw sugars.

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Haley in Mexico, 2014

Now I’m not going to go into too much detail about how bad too much sugar can be for you, but I will state some of the reasons why we are choosing to eliminate refined sugar. One being that we seem to be stuck on a path where we continuously crave sweets because we are eating them. Since Halloween we seemed to have acquired a bit of candy in our household, which has led to both of us eating it without thinking about how bad it can be. Neither of us particularly want to be reaching for sweets all the time, so we hope to try and stop this craving. Another reason we are doing this is just for our overall mood and health. I can’t speak for Rose, but my mood tends to fluctuate a lot and I am curious if eating too much sugar has anything to do with it. We both are very healthy people, or at least try to be; we work out around 5 days a week, and generally cook our own meals and pack our own lunches. We are conscious of what we are eating, but somewhere along the lines our cravings got the best of us and we started eating a bit too many after dinner sweets. We don’t want to mess up all the good we did during the day by ending it with eating a handful of Oreos.

Which brings me to my next point, we are not cutting out all sugar from our diet. Instead we are just trying to eliminate this “bad” or processed sugar. We are still going to eat foods that have natural sugar in them, such as fruits. We are also allowing ourselves to eat foods sweetened with any unrefined sugar, such as honey and maple syrup. Since we don’t want to set ourselves up for failure, we also are allowing ourselves a few sneaky items that we will deem acceptable. This is just something for us, as we know we would be rather grumpy if we had to completely cut out everything. This is our own goal and we’re choosing a method we think will work for us and allow us to succeed. With that being said, we have decided to still allow alcohol. We are young and still enjoy going out on the weekends, now this would come to a screeching halt if we were to completely eliminate refined sugar as most alcoholic drinks are quite high in sugar. As a compromise we are going to do a bit of research and start ordering drinks that might be slightly lower in sugar than our typical rum and coke.

Rose in Mexico, 2014

Rose in Mexico, 2014

One final stipulation we have is the length of this resolution. We have decided come January 1st that we are going to eliminate refined sugar for a period of 5 weeks. Five weeks you might ask, well a major factor in this decision, albeit a bit of a selfish one, is that my birthday is at the end of January. When a birthday comes to the Popcorn and Chocolate crew, we tend to celebrate like it is both our birthdays, and we like to have cake and ice cream as well. Therefore, we thought it an appropriate time to at least check in and see how we are doing and maybe allow ourselves a moment of birthday cake bliss. We also are unsure how this is all going to work on our busy schedules and didn’t want to set up the impossible goal of trying to cut refined sugar out all year. But, we are hoping that by cutting it out for a month that we will lose some of those cravings and see that we can survive with less sugar. If at the end of the month we feel good and confident, we will continue to try and keep the amount of refine sugar we eat to a minimum.

We wanted to share this New Year’s resolution with you incase any of you are interested in doing the same thing or just learning more about it. We will be trying to post some recipes and updates along the way for any of you interested in trying them out. Keep checking back at our blog throughout the month of January to see how we are doing! Also, we are interested in hearing some of your New Year’s resolutions so post them in the comments below and maybe we can help each other achieve them!

A Fall Weekened in New Hampshire

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As we mentioned in a previous post, Rose and I were in Hanover at my house over the weekend. It was a perfect fall weekend with a little bit of rain and a lot of cozy sweatpants and fun activities. We were surrounded by the changing leaves and couldn’t help but snap a bunch of pictures.

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We left from Boston right after lunch on Friday afternoon. As we drove from city to countryside, the view became breathtaking. From all the color-changing trees to the roaring mountains in the background, it was a sight to see. We tried to take some photos in the car, but I don’t think they quite captured how pretty it truly was.

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Once we arrived at my house we were greeted by my horse-dog Olive, who was happy and a little bit confused to see us.

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While my Mom cooked us a yummy dinner of taco pasta Rose and I grabbed our cameras and went out to explore my backyard. There is a huge tree that I used to climb when I was younger that had the most amazing colors on it.

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Eventually Olive joined us so we tried to engage her in a game of fetch but she grew bored and wanted to go back inside.

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After our delicious homemade dinner, my Dad came back from his run, and somehow we got on the topic of how I can’t skip in place. This soon lead to both my parents (attempting to) skip in place as well; needless-to-say I now know where my inability to skip and dance comes from. Rose got a good old laugh out of the whole situation. After the whole who skipping routine, Rose and I wondered into town. It was homecoming weekend for Dartmouth College and they had a huge bonfire going on the green. We stayed and watched as it collapsed in on itself and then decided to head back home for what we really came to Hanover for – carving some pumpkins.

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Saturday we woke up early and had a slow morning, just enjoying the cool weather and the view from my kitchen window. We had planned to go on a big hike but it was supposed to rain off and on all day so we weren’t sure we wanted to drive an hour to hike in the rain. Instead we loaded up Olive in our truck and went to a place that wasn’t too far away, Gile Mountain.

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Gile Mountain is known for its fire tour that you can climb up and get a pretty good view of Vermont. Unfortunately it was really foggy and started to rain half-way through the hike, so there wasn’t much of a view. But it was still fun regardless.

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We made it to the top! Olive tried to climb up the stairs of the fire tour, but we had to barricade her off because she wouldn’t have been able to get back down.

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The rain started to pick up as we hiked back down.

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Olive gets a little wild when she gets wet…

After the hike Rose and I had some lunch and then went to my local food store to pick up ingredients to make some cookies and dinner for my family. Since we were both chilled from being out in the rain we were craving soup and decided to make a hamburger soup. We kind of lost track of time in the grocery store and spent a bit longer then we had planned just pursuing the chocolate and popcorn selections (we came back with a delicious Angies dark chocolate drizzles popcorn). Once we were back home we started on the soup right away and prepared the cookies once it was simmering. We will make a separate post for these cookies because they were a bit tricky to make but very delicious to eat, my whole family approved.

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After dinner it was time to carve again. We spent some time figuring out which patterns we wanted to do and then poured ourselves some wine and a grabbed some popcorn and a cookie or two (or three) and then hunkered down to carve all night.

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On Sunday we took it slow and just hung out with my Mom and Olive until we decided we should get back on the road. We then loaded up Rose’s car and headed back to Boston. It was the perfect fall weekend spent at home full of beautiful foliage, lots of laughs, delicious food, and dog cuddles. Until next time, Hanover.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Hello!
We are back with yet another delicious dessert recipe for you.This one involves one of our (or Haley’s) favorite ingredient.. peanut butter! Lots and lots of peanut butter. These cookies are soft and gooey and they just melt in your mouth, plus they are made using healthy ingredients. We followed Making Thyme for Health‘s recipe for Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter – or any nut butter you prefer
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips + a little extra for good measure 😉

Directions:IMG_1737

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Measure out and mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).

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3. Measure out and mix all the wet ingredients into a separate, slightly bigger bowl (peanut butter, vanilla extract, honey, applesauce, oil).

 

 

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4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix together until a uniform dough is formed.

 

 

 

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5. Add the chocolate chips to the mixture.

 

 

 

IMG_17706. Roll dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on a parchment paper on top of a baking sheet.

 

 

IMG_17907. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookie is golden brown. The cookies will feel fluffy to the touch.

8. Let cool and enjoy with your favorite nighttime beverage!

 

IMG_1807We hope you try and make these cookies, they are truly delicious! We are currently snacking on some with a glass of wine and a good movie!

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Rose eying the cookies…

Rose holding the cookies...

Rose holding the cookies…

Rose stealing the cookies!

Rose stealing the cookies!