14 November 2012

Fall Weekend Recap

Happy hump day! My week is all thrown off because of the long weekend...Busy loooooong weekend - so for once it really did feel long.

On Saturday, the Sailor and I went for a hike. It turned out to be a gorgeous day- 60 degrees in November- I'll take it!!! We didn't hike all summer, so it was just heaven to be out in the fresh air and sunshine.

A few months ago, we went to a fundraiser for the Lake George Land Conservancy, and the President of the organization spoke about Cat and Thomas Mountains not too far from us. Usually, when we hike, we make it a day trip and head somewhere up toward Lake Placid. But on Saturday, we went just 15 minutes up the road and hit the trail.

The trail we took started out along an old logging road for about a mile and a half. Then we ascended the 736 feet to the summit of Cat Mountain. What a spectacular view! We've hiked quite a few mountains in the Adirondacks, but I think that Cat provides one of the best panoramic views of the lake.

It was 6 miles round trip and took just about 3 miles.

I also tried a couple of new recipes...

Earlier this week, the Sailor and I made Butternut squash, spinach and carmelized onion lasagna using this recipe. It took forever. Or three hours, just as the recipe said. But for someone who's not patient (understatement of the year), it seemed like an eternity.

It was worth making again though if/when I have that kind of time to spend in the kitchen. Next time, I'd just add some sausage and not try substituting 'fat-free' or 'skim' anything. The leftovers were better after the flavors blended a little, but it still lacked a little creaminess that the fat would have given it and a little spice that the sausage would offer.

via Kitchy Kitchen

His and Hers Chocolate Chip Cookies
More adventures in cooking. I was curious when I saw these Grain Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls-  no flour, no oil, no sugar- on pinterest. Anything with peanut butter piques my interest. Add in chocolate and I'm all ears!

The link to the recipe had over 400 comments, so I figured, hey, why not give them a try? In fact, they turned out so much better than I could have imagined! They are honestly irresistible. I am absolutely making these again.

The recipe calls for:

1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) natural peanut butter
1/4 cup (80 grams) honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn't have salt in it
1/2 cup (90 grams) chocolate chips

I added 1 T. brown sugar and 1/2 t. cinnamon. We also didn't have 'natural' peanut butter, but Peter Pan worked just fine. The recipe warns that they'll be oily if you use regular peanut butter, but I found that the cookies just fall apart more easily than regular chocolate chip cookies.

I did, however, end up making the Sailor his own batch of real chocolate chip cookies. Despite the fact that I think the peanut butter concoction was pretty darn good for being healthy, I'm quite certain he wouldn't have thought so!

I've also wanted to try making a Green Monster. There are tons of different recipes out there that include everything from chia seeds to protein powder to fresh tropical fruits that one definitely can't get in Upstate New York in the fall/winter.

The Green Monster usually gets rave reviews, so this is one recipe I will have to attempt again. The Sailor is a master smoothie-maker, and he said it needed a banana. But I threw what we had on hand in the blender, which included:

6 oz. Chiobani mango greek yogurt
1 1/2 c. fat free milk
2 1/2 c. spinach
1/2 blood orange
2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
3 ice cubes

It didn't taste like spinach, which I sort of expected. The mango and orange flavors were more pronounced than the spinach, and it was pretty creamy. Next time, I'd add more ice and a banana...So much for improvising and trying to use what we had in the fridge.

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