Christmas Vacation (Coconut and Ginger Granola Recipe)

coconut ginger granola

Growing up, my family referred to ourselves as the Griswolds when it came to family vacations. Like the movie family, we were (and still are) a goofy, loving bunch who set out on vacations with the best intentions but often met with some hilariously disastrous events along the way. We even drove around in a sweet station wagon that we nicknamed the Family Truckster. We’ve gotten lost in a state park and on a bridge. We’ve left the tailgate down on the truck with all of our luggage in the truck bed, running over a suitcase and scattering fishing poles along the highway before realizing our mistake. We’ve stayed in a house infested with bats and (possibly) ghosts, which my uncle still swears weren’t there before we arrived. While staying in that same house, my little brother had a fall in the bathroom that resulted in a fairly serious dental injury and my other uncle ended up in the ER for a whole bunch of stitches after cutting his wrist open. Needless to say, we weren’t invited back there for a few years.

Now that I’ve long ago moved out of my parents’ house and no longer take vacations with the whole family, I was pretty certain I had left the vacation bloopers behind me. Ah, but doesn’t life tend to surprise us? As I found out this Christmas, I still have a little bit of Griswold left in me: About half way through the four-hour drive to my parents’ house on Christmas morning I had a sudden thought that I wasn’t sure if I had remembered to put my overnight bag in the car when I was loading up the trunk. As it turns out, I had remembered to pack absolutely everything except for my bag. It was way too late to turn around at that point, so I spent our two-and-a-half day trip wearing my Christmas outfit and borrowing whatever else I needed from my mom and my sister-in-law. Oh, the fun never ends! (more…)

Off to the Races Again (Tropical Smoothie Recipe)

running fuel

Last weekend I ran my first road race in about 3 and a half years. Not only was this my first race in quite some time, but it was also the first race I’ve competed in since moving here to the Great White North. During my previous life as a desk jockey in sunny Sacramento, I spent a lot of my free time training and racing. But with the wacky schedule we’ve been living since the day we arrived here, I had quickly given up any hope of being able to wake up early enough to make an 8am race start, let alone find enough time to properly train for an event. It actually took a morning spent watching Chris compete as a last-minute member of a triathlon relay team to realize that, while I certainly won’t be able to compete the way I used to, I can certainly squeeze in an event or two during the racing season. Not being one to waste any time, I signed myself up for a 14K the morning after Chris’s race. Six weeks later I crossed the finish line faster than expected and with a huge smile on my face. It feels so good to be back! (more…)

Summer Lovin’ (Grilled Fruit Crisp Recipe)

peaches

This right here, this is summer. A crazy simple fruit crisp cooked outdoors on the grill. Ideally it should be eaten outside, either for dessert or for breakfast, and you should be wearing a sundress or shorts or a swimsuit while you eat. You should devour the entire thing yourself without a bit of guilt, or share it with someone you love straight out of the baking dish. You should top it with a little yogurt, or maybe a little ice cream. You should savor every last drop of sweet, juicy fruit with a smile on your face and the warm sun on your skin. Because this is summer. (more…)

In the Dog House (Peanut Butter Swirled Banana Bread Recipe)

peanut butter swirled banana bread

Yesterday was our sweet baby girl Zoey’s birthday. She turned two. We had a wonderful day full of play time, yummy treats, and lots of love. We did have to cancel the run in the woods that we had originally planned due to the lake effect snow that pummeled us for most of the day, but I promised Zoey we’d reschedule for later in the week. Oh, and don’t worry; I haven’t been taking a toddler trail running in the middle of a central NY winter. Our little girl is of the furry, four-legged variety.

Being an only child, Zoey gets pretty spoiled. Not quite spoiled rotten, but pretty close. And one of my favorite ways to spoil her is to cook up some tasty dog treats for her to enjoy. I know, what a surprise! For an extra special day like a birthday, I like to make something that we can enjoy together as a family, because as much as Zoey loves her parsley and buckwheat “cookies”, Chris and I just don’t really share her enthusiasm. Fortunately for all of us, I’ve found this peanut butter swirled banana bread to be just the thing to satisfy both dog and human taste buds. (more…)

It’s All Greek to Me (Raspberry Almond Yogurt Bowl Recipe)

20120811-195148.jpg I have a confession to make.  I only discovered Greek yogurt about 6 months ago.  I know what you’re thinking: How could I possibly have overlooked this deliciousness?  It’s not even as if I didn’t eat yogurt at all, because I did.  Plain yogurt, too.  Lots of it.  I had just always assumed that Greek yogurt was a marketing ploy to get me to pay more money for fancy yogurt and I wasn’t about to fall for it.  But one day while grocery shopping, they were out of my usual Stoneyfield Farms plain yogurt and I was left to decide between buying presweetened, flavored yogurt or finally giving in and giving Greek yogurt a try.  As it turns out, I’ve never been so happy to see the grocery store out of something I wanted.  For the few of you who may still be Greek yogurt holdouts, it is so much better than regular yogurt.  Give it a try even if you don’t particularly like regular yogurt.  Its so rich and creamy that it seems more like a decadent dessert than a healthy breakfast food.  So much so that even my yogurt-hating sweetie, Chris, kind of likes it. And believe me that’s saying something, as I’ve spent a fair amount of kitchen time experimenting with just how much of a recipe’s  sour cream I can replace with yogurt before he notices. (more…)

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