Healthy(er) Chocolate Chunk Banana Oat Cookies

Hi! Happy Labor Day Weekend! I have had quite the interesting last few days….

Butter-sugar  Creamed banana and egg

I went to the gym on Thursday after work to run and had a big time treadmill accident 😦 Before you start laughing, it was only half my fault and apparently happens a lot more often than people realize. Or maybe people are just trying to make me feel better by sharing treadmill horror stories? If so, it’s working, keep ’em coming!

wet  mix

In a nutshell, I was waiting for a treadmill (all full of high school kids since one of our local school’s track teams practices there) and a boy jumped off the front of his and jogged away. The treadmills at my gym are all in a row so you can get on/off from either the front (a squeeze) or the back. I saw him hop off, thought “oh good, an open one!” and hopped onto it from the back. I didn’t look down (my mistake) and thus failed to notice that he hadn’t stopped the treadmill, and had instead left it running at a very high speed (his mistake). Needless to say I was immediately flung off the back of the treadmill and skinned both ankles and my knee in the process. The treadmills also back up to a wall with only about a foot of space in between wall/treadmill so once I was flung off, I basically became trapped in a sitting position between the wall and the still running treadmill until I was able to stand up. It was only for a few seconds but it managed to take a lot of skin off several areas of my back and leave some nasty treadmill burns. I would share a photo but it’s pretty yucky and no one really wants to see that. So the moral of the story is… working out is hazardous to your health!

Oat Mixture

Only kidding of course 🙂 The REAL moral of that story is always look down before you hop on a treadmill! And NEVER leave one running when you get off… SO dangerous!

Dark Chocolate  Finished Mix

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Slow Saturday Breakfast: Tropical Baked Oatmeal

And just like that it’s Monday again. They always come back around so quickly don’t they? Robert and I had a great, full weekend. We went on a dinner date Friday night, spent Saturday on the boat with friends and spent Sunday at the beach celebrating the first birthday of a friend’s darling daughter.  It doesn’t get much cuter than a baby at the beach. Except maybe a baby Renly at the beach Smile

 Renly-First-Beach-Trip.jpg

On a serious note, I realized today that summer break is half way over Sad smile Four weeks down, four to go. Most of last summer was so full of wedding craziness that this one has seemed so much more laid back and relaxing. A girl could really get used to this! I am always ready and excited to start the new school year when it is time, but I will definitely miss all the sleeping in extra time in the kitchen.

Sliced bananas  Layered Fruit

During the school year I typically go to the gym in the morning on my way to work. This means waking up VERY early and packing my breakfast to eat at school. I relish weekend breakfasts during the school year because I actually get to take my time making something a little more laborious, and enjoy it with my husband!

Oat Pour  Egg Pour

Baked oatmeal is a great dish to enjoy slowly on the weekend, fresh out of the oven, BUT it is also perfect for the work week because it re-heats beautifully.  Mangoes can be tricky to cut, so if you are struggling (and haven’t youtube’d it yet) let me show you how I do it. The easiest way I have found to cut a mango is to basically slice it into thirds. The pit of a mango is flat and in the middle. You will want to place the mango upright on the cutting board and cut along the sides of the pit (from top to bottom)  so you are left with three pieces. The middle piece which contains the pit, and the two outside halves.

 How to slice a mango

These halves are where you will get your fruit. I then like to score the halves, vertically and horizontally, taking care not to cut all the way through the peel.

 Diced Mango

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Slow Saturday Breakfast: Quinoa Flour Pancakes with Cinnamon Sautéed Bananas

Yum. It’s Sunday and I just ate a delicious egg sandwich, but just typing that title already has my mouth watering from the mere thought of yesterday morning. My love affair with breakfast on the weekends is all encompassing, but it’s hard to dispute that Saturday was made for pancakes. Pancakes scream, “It’s the weekend! Eat me in your pajamas and then go do something FUN! I’m practically dessert…for breakfast!”.

 pancake batter Batter 2

I remember not caring much for pancakes as a child (I know, I was clearly disturbed). I’m not sure what my problem was, but I do know that one fine day in graduate school, I got a craving for whole wheat banana pancakes, which in turn led to me eating them for dinner every night for a month and never looking back. You can do things like that when you are in school. You can also do things like that when you don’t have a meat loving husband who also must be fed nightly. Robert used to play tennis on Tuesday evenings and then go out for wings with the guys afterwards. What did I do with the night off from cooking? If you guessed ate pancakes for dinner and watched trash television you would be 100% correct. Breakfast for dinner and reality television will always hold a special place in my heart.

 Flipped

Over the years my love for whole wheat pancakes has evolved into a mission to turn pancakes into a still delicious, much healthier version of themselves. This has led to me experimenting with all sorts of non-traditional pancake ingredients like cottage cheese, applesauce and even spinach. The great thing about pancakes is that they are pretty hard to screw up. You can mix a lot of weird (read: healthy) things into your batter and they will still taste pretty great…and in the event that they don’t there is this wonderful thing called maple syrup that can save almost any bad pancake.

 Finished pancakes

My most recent foray into griddled breakfast territory has been quinoa flour. I went on a savory quinoa dish bender a while back and then got suddenly very sick of it. I went from quinoa lover to quinoa hater and was left with an expensive bag of it sitting forlornly in my pantry. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, but the thought of eating it again in the near future made me gag. Then one day, while perusing food blogs I came across a recipe for quinoa energy bars. Not only were they sweet rather than savory, but they used uncooked quinoa. These were the opposite of everything that caused me to tire of quinoa the first go round, so I decided to give them a go. They were scrumptious, and filling and made me totally retract my hatred of quinoa. Thank you quinoa energy bars.

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