Breakfast Chocolate Protein Smoothie (minus the powder)

I really like getting my nutrition from food as much as possible (although I do take supplements as well).  I eat so many protein-rich foods, I've never bothered with protein powder in my smoothies.  Just protein food, and other nutrient-rich foods.  Worse thing in this smoothie?  Honey.  

So these days my go-to breakfast is a thick, chocolatey protein smoothie.  Almost every morning.  Fills me up and holds me until lunchtime (probably because I drink about almost 30 oz - yes, you read that right).

You will want to adjust this recipe to your own taste.  Here's what I do (more or less):

Chocolate Protein Smoothie

  • 3/4 - 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 3 - 4 oz low-fat plain greek yogurt (greek yogurt is much higher in protein than regular yogurt)
  • 1 banana (I use them just barely ripe, before they develop all that sugar)
  • 1 - 2 Tbs organic peanut butter or almond butter (don't like nut butters?  No worries. Use 1 Tbs and you won't taste it).
  • a handful of organic blueberries or strawberries
  • a handful of organic baby spinach (can't taste it)
  • 1 - 2 Tbs organic chia seeds and/or ground flax seed
  • 1 rounded Tbs unsweetened cocoa
  • 1-2 tsp organic honey
  • 5 ice cubes
Add the milk to your blender.  Then add everything else.  Blend until ...well.... blended (30 seconds if you're lucky enough to have a Vitamix).

Tastes like a chocolate smoothie.  I think this makes about 32 oz.  Probably plenty for two people.  Unless you're me.

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Sharing My Heart (s)

It's just about Pumpkin time... and I'm ready to bake some yummy fall treats.  But I've had these heart macaron pictures since the early summer, waiting to make their debut.  Problem is I couldn't get a really good picture, so I held back from posting.

I decided today before I move on with the season, I must post the pictures anyway, and explain how they came to be.  These are vanilla macarons with a lemon swiss buttercream filling.  Yeah - they taste really good.  You can use this or this macaron recipes, or any of the hundreds of other recipes online.  The lemon swiss buttercream recipe is from my favorite food blogger, Stella at Bravetart.  Absolutely yummy!

I haven't been making macarons for very long, but once I started I quickly got obsessed.  So I was making them pretty regularly, for no real reason other than to make them (by the way,  macarons  freeze wonderfully unfilled, and thaw quickly).

So a very good friend who was getting married soon was trying to figure out the wedding cake thing - how do you feed 150 people without breaking the bank?  Have you seen the price of wedding cakes?!

Having watched me in the kitchen baking away at these cute little macarons, she wondered if it was possible to make them into a heart shape?  She had an idea.  Of course I said, 'Nope."  Can't possibly.  I can barely make them round.  But the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would be a fun thing to try; another way to feed my obsession.  So I said I would try.

And before I knew it, I was knocking these little hearts out like nobody's business.  This is before they were baked.  They are about 1 1/2" at the widest point, and about 1 1/4" in height.

Here are some out of the oven.  As you can see, they don't all come out quite like hearts.  Some of them have a Mickey Mouse style to them. And some of them were simply blobs. 

 Oh - and then there was this one.  I like to think of it as "art."  (I don't know how it happened, honest)

So by the end, I had a freezer filled with hundreds and hundreds of little pink hearts ready to be matched up and filled with lemony goodness.  The plan was to have a small traditional wedding cake, and then have a sheet cake (filled with lemon swiss buttercream) to be served to the masses at the wedding.  Each slice of the sheet cake would have a swirl of buttercream, and the heart would be tucked into the swirl.  It was really lovely.  Unfortunately - I don't have a good picture, but this will give you an idea.

And of course, by the end of the evening, we all broke into the 'macaron conga dance.'

And they lived happily ever after...  XOXO

Now onward to Fall  ..bring  on the pumpkin and fresh cranberries!

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