Saturday, July 28, 2012

My morning in the kitchen…

I feel like “little miss homemaker” today!  All for a good cause, of course!  My brother-in-law and his crew have been working hard over the past couple of weeks at making our side yard into something much more pleasant to look at, not to mention more functional.  The guys arrived at the house bright and early this morning to pour the concrete, which forced me out of bed and got me moving out the door to do my run before it got too hot!  After arriving back home from a great run (compared to yesterday’s fail), I was feeling refreshed, so I thought I’d show my “thanks” to those hard working gentlemen with a little something sweet. 

DSCN4902 They gladly accepted “Almond Joy Bars” and a few slices of a “Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie” with open arms (and the hubs is wondering where his portion is!)

DSCN4898 Both recipes were adapted from “Mama Pea” over at Peas and Thank You.  I’ve made both of these treats many times before with variations of gluten free flours, but this time I went with Pamela’s Baking Mix just to make life easy on myself (and because I wanted the guys to enjoy their treats on their break, so I had to make it fast)!  For the Almond Joy Bars I subbed in Pamela’s Baking Mix for the whole wheat flour, which means I had to take out the baking soda.  I use gluten free rolled oats, used 1/4 cup raw sliced almonds instead of roasted and used crunchy almond butter with flax seeds instead of regular almond butter.  I also swapped out the organic sugar for a 1/2 cup of raw coconut crystals and I didn’t have coconut extract, so I just used vanilla.

DSCN4901For the cookie pie, I also used Pamela’s Baking Mix in place of the whole wheat flour and subbed in gluten free oat flour for the all-purpose.  If you use Pamela’s Baking Mix you need to take out the baking soda and powder because it’s already in the mix.  And again, I subbed in raw coconut crystals for the organic sugar.  I think the only thing missing was a cold glass of milk to go with their slice of ooey-gooey chocolatey goodness!

A beautiful work in progress…

DSCN4914 DSCN4915 DSCN4912 The hubs is most excited about the “fire pit”…he’s going to have to wait awhile to put it to good use because it’s way too hot right now!  I’m looking forward to planting plants in my flower boxes!

So now the house smells wonderfully delicious and the hubs walks in from graciously helping some friends of ours move all morning and I have nothing to offer him…oops!  No worries, nothing that a batch of Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies can’t smooth over!  I’m on it!

DSCN3750 I wish I could bottle up this wonderful baked goods smell, it’s so warm and comforting…I would so use it as air freshener!

While the hubs is enjoying his freshly baked cookies, I’m loving the refreshing taste of “cucumber water” on this hot summer day!DSCN4906 DSCN4910

And what better to go with it than a cool, refreshing salad.  This is my new favorite, at least for this week!  There’s a lot to this salad, but it is so worth the effort and you’ll have A LOT to last you the entire week.DSCN4894 Kale Power Salad (aka “detox salad”)

(inspired by Oh She Glows)

Yields 6-8 servings


2 broccoli crowns

1 head cauliflower

1 medium carrot, grated

2 cups finely chopped kale ( I used curly kale)

1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raw sliced almonds

1/2 cup dried organic cranberries

1/2 cup dried organic cherries, chopped

juice of one lemon

2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

salt and pepper to taste


Wash and rinse all vegetables, then cut the broccoli and cauliflower into florets.  In a food processor, process the broccoli and cauliflower until fine and add them to a large mixing bowl.  This made need to be done in batches depending on the size of your processor.

Add grated carrots, kale, parsley, sunflower seeds, almonds,  and dried fruit to the bowl.  Stir all ingredients to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar and maple syrup until well blended.  Pour dressing over all the ingredients in the bowl and toss well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well again.  Enjoy and feel rejuvenated!

DSCN4895 A perfect super food packed salad for those weeks where you need to get your body back on track.

refreshing quote (source)

Praying that you are finding ways to feel refreshed this summer!



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