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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Butterfly Snacks for Children (and children at heart!)

I made these for my students (they're pre-kindergarten age) last month and thought they were too cute (and tasty!) not to share on the blog.

These kid friendly treats are super easy to make: You just decorate a clothes pin however you like (I drew a smiley face with an extra fine sharpie and then used glitter glue to add a little sparkle to the body). Fill a snack baggie (sandwich baggies work too)  with healthy goodies, twist the snack baggie in the center and pin into the clothes pin. For antennae I used a pipe cleaner cut in half, shaped it into a "V" and added a little twist on the ends. 

I even put one in my hubby's lunch. He absolutely loves animal crackers as much as I do so I don't think he was too embarrassed. 

If you don't want to use animal crackers there are plenty of snack ideas that work well with this such as grapes, berries, crackers, nuts, raisins and other dried fruits, trail mix, and dry cereal to name a few. 

Is it just me or are animal crackers so addicting? 

And no, you're never too old to have animal crackers or butterfly bags in your lunch. 

Do you have other fun ideas for kid-friendly snacks? I'm already on the search for a cute (and hopefully relatively healthy) snack/treat to give my class for Valentine's Day. If you have an idea leave me a comment and let me know! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

{Healthy} Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Healthy desserts so often seem like a cliche. I mean dessert isn't healthy...if it was healthy it wouldn't be dessert right? 

Enter my new favorite food love...chocolate chip cookie bars. They're vegan and gluten free, full of fiber and protein, low in fat, inexpensive to make and super easy. They're practically the perfect cookie bar. I based them off this vegan cookie pie recipe from my favorite vegan dessert blog. I cut the recipe in half, made a couple small changes, and made them into cookie bars instead. Since you're probably already wondering what ingredients could possibly concoct a healthy dessert I'll jump right to the recipe...

- 1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas) drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup quick oats
-  2 tablespoons Very Vanilla Soymilk (or other vanilla flavored milk substitute)
- 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 generous teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- scant 3/4 cups brown sugar
- scant 1/2 cup chocolate chunks

- Blend all ingredients except chocolate chunks in a food processor until well mixed. 
Spray a baking dish (I used a small glass casserole dish) with cooking spray and pour mixture (including chocolate chunks) into dish. Bake on 350 for around 18 minutes. 

Tip: I think theses treats are best when they're warm and the chocolate is melted so I microwave them for a few seconds every time I enjoy them. 

What are your favorite traditional treats turned healthy? 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Look Back at the Year That Was {in photos}...

College friends bid goodbye at Class Day. 

Bald Head Island for 4th of July weekend.  

Shoal's Club on a summer afternoon.

Our favorite summer dessert, yogurt pie

Saturday mornings spent sipping vanilla truffle black tea and catching up on favorite blogs. 

Discovering the unique vibe of the Downtown Durham Farmer's Market. Buying potatoes and carrots and baking pot pies. 

Dates night out. Our favorites included a special anniversary trip to Vivace's at North Hills, frozen yogurt at TCBY on warm summer nights, and Nantucket Grille where Greek inspired gyros were our entree of choice. 

My best friend's wedding, Matron of Honor. My first friend to wed. One of the best experiences and memories of the year. Standing by her honor. 

I began shooting portrait photography when the opportunities arose and discovered a new passion. 

Thanksgiving with my husband's relatives in the Chicago suburbs.

Trip to South Carolina to visit cousins and enjoy the sights of downtown Greenville. 

In 2012 I'm looking forward to lots more photo worthy memories with this guy...