04/13/14
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peanut butter sesame no bake bars

Last week Hunter and I joined our friends Megan and Mabel for a trip to the Oregon zoo.  It was such a gorgeous day for it.  Hunter had a blast seeing all the animals and stomping around the zoo with his bestie Mabel.

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It was actually his first time going to the zoo.  Zoe’s too, but she slept through pretty much the whole thing.

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I made a big batch of no bake oatmeal bars to take along.  We didn’t end up eating them while at the zoo, instead we had them as a snack on the drive home.  Food is always a good trick for keeping the kid awake when it’s getting close to nap time and we’re in the car.

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We both loved these bars.  The little crunch from the sesame seeds is a great addition.  I have to admit, there may have been more than one time where I stood in front of the fridge eating ‘just one more bite’.  They’re quite addictive!

The recipe came from my Secret Recipe Club pick Mostly Food and Crafts, a fun little blog written by Danielle a SAHM to two girls.  She has such an extensive list of crafts that I can’t wait to search through!  I modified the recipe just a bit based on the ingredients I had on hand.  They are best straight out of the fridge, since they soften up when warm.

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Peanut Butter Sesame No Bake Bars

adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Mix the oats, raisins and sesame seeds together in a large bowl.  Next, whisk together the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and salt in a small pan over medium heat.  Once warmed and combined, pour into the oat mixture and stir to combine (use a spoon or hands).
  2. Press this mixture into a shallow baking dish (lined with plastic wrap), muffin tins or roll into balls.  Refrigerate for about 4 hours.  Cut into shapes if needed and keep in the fridge.

What’s your favorite zoo animal to see?  I love watching the gorillas.  Sadly, there were none around for us to see during this trip.  Maybe next time.

Have an awesome day!

Heather

PS: Love no bakes?  Check out these peanut butter coconut no bake oat bars!

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04/9/14
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how to make thick greek yogurt

I’m continuing to go strong with my at-home yogurt making.  It’s seriously so easy you guys!  Crockpot yogurt making is where it’s at.  From my yogurt making post I’ve received questions about the thickness of the yogurt.  While it isn’t super thick (like greek yogurt) straight out of the crockpot, with just one simple step you can make that happen.

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First, follow the steps on how to make yogurt in your crockpot.

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Next, grab a large bowl, strainer and a cheese cloth.  Put the cheese cloth (folded up a couple times) over the strainer (with excess hanging over), then the strainer in the bowl.  Pour the yogurt into the cheese cloth-strainer and allow it to sit in the fridge overnight, or at least for 3-4 hours.  You’ll notice the liquid (whey) filling up the bowl, leaving you with super thick yogurt.

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Scrape the greek yogurt out of the cheese cloth into another bowl and whisk it to smoothen it out (I skipped this step but recommend it).  Put into desired containers and enjoy!

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The one downside is that the amount of yogurt you are left with is basically halved.  A big plus – it’s MUCH less messy when your toddler feeds it to himself.

I want to use the left over whey somehow to lessen the waste.  Any suggestions?

How thick do you like your yogurt to be?

Heather

04/7/14
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food and fitness week 10

Hello!  Adjusting back to the week?  How was your weekend?  We had a jam packed fun filled couple days.  Hunter went to his first lil kickers soccer Saturday morning.  It was SOOO much fun to watch and participate with him.  He had a blast and still talks about it.  They started out with some stretches…

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… then got to the fun!  Running, kicking soccer balls and squishy balls, scoring goals (like in the video below), stacking cones and so much more.  I can’t wait to go back again!

We celebrated my neice’s first birthday party, had friends over for dinner, went to breakfast with family in town and were wiped out by Sunday afternoon.  So much fun, but defintely more than we normally do over the weekend.  Let’s take a look at last week’s food & fitness!

Food

Monday – leftover sausage and mushroom cheesy pasta bake + roasted asparagus

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Tuesday – beef burgers + roasted sweet potato fries

Wednesday – leftover burgers + salad + grapes

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Thursday – veggie lentil mac n cheese (two out of three thumbs up)

Friday – at home date night! cheese plate with sausage, crusty bread and pear

Saturday – jambalaya (so good, will make again!) + apples

Sunday – sausage and onion strata (used up the leftover bread, sausage and cheese from Friday) + pears

I made a big effort to include more vegetables in my meals, and I feel like I did a better job at it.  Closer to the weekend it putters out, but I started out strong!

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Fitness

Monday – evening family walk

Tuesday – went to a body pump class

Wednesday – evening family walk

Thursday – rest

Friday – went to a body combat class + an hour walk with my mom

Saturday – go-go-go all day

Sunday – rested… recovering from the busy day before

I felt like it was a good week of fitness.  Went to two classes and got lots of walking in.  I return to teaching on Thursday!

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Isn’t she such a doll?  Love.so.much.

This afternoon I’m alternating my time into 15 minutes increments while the kids nap… something I want to do then something around the house (that I don’t really want to do).  My ‘fun 15 minutes’ is up and now 3 loads of laundry are calling my name.

Tell me something you did this past weekend.  Do you ever break time up like that to force yourself to get things done around the house?

Heather