Friday favorites 7/10

I’ve been slacking a bit on the blog front as July has been surprisingly busy between work, family, the usual adult things and whatever semblance of a social life I try to maintain. So I’m linking up with Katie, Heather and Clare for another round of Friday favorites in an attempt to get the blog juices flowing again!

Here’s what I’ve been loving lately:

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My apartment is coming together so well! Just need to find a second sofa for that wall…

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Family reunion with the newest addition (my big sister’s hubby-to-be!)

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The Band Perry concert with my family at Pier Six in Baltimore. Kimberly Perry is officially my new girl crush. That girl can sing! ❤

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Lazy rainy nights with this cutie pie.

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Fourth of July festivities on the water with the best friend a girl could ask for!

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This chocolate zucchini bread (recipe coming soon!). Such a tasty snack at the office.

And finally to leave you with a little inspiration:

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Cinnamon roll oatmeal muffins [gluten free recipe]

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If there’s one thing I’m really bad at, it’s cooking oatmeal. I don’t care what I do, I can never get it right.

I’m the girl who always makes a mess in the microwave at work because my bowl overflowed. It seems that no matter how big or small my oats to water to bowl size ratio is, I can’t win!

But the problem is I love oatmeal. I just can’t cook it.

So I was very excited to come across this recipe at Crazy for Crust that involves baking oatmeal in a muffin tin for easy, on-the-go oatmeal “cups”. Perhaps I can’t use a microwave or a stove top, but I can definitely use an oven. Problem solved!

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These little muffins are perfect for a mid-morning snack at the office and even more perfect that I can just grab one or two as I run out the door in the morning. They’re delicious without being too sweet and a good way to add some fiber and protein to my day.

I did adapt this recipe to my own liking.  I didn’t make the icing drizzle (probably what gives it the real cinnamon roll taste) because I don’t like my oatmeal too sweet. Instead I just sprinkled on some powdered sugar. It worked for me but if you have a big sweet tooth, definitely try out the frosting.

PS… I also found that toasting two halves with melted butter is PHENOMENAL. 🙂

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Cinnamon roll oatmeal muffins

Adapted from this recipe at Crazy for Crust

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup natural applesauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Stir first 6 ingredients together until combined in large bowl. Then add in oats and milk.

3. Pour batter into greased muffin tin, filling each cup about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set.

4. Remove, let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. These would also be good with peanut butter or honey drizzled over top. Enjoy!

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Friday favorites 6/26

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And another week in the books. I’m linking up with Katie, Heather and Clare for this week’s Friday favorites. Today is actually a super special day for me (besides the fact that it’s Friday)… it’s my two year anniversary at my first “grown-up” job! The time has really flown by. I cannot believe it has been two years since college. Talk about feeling old! 😉

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Me on my very first day of work vs. two years later today!

I also FINALLY got onto my forearms in wheel pose. I’ve been working towards this for like 8 months so I was kinda freaking out when I did it the other evening. Nothing makes me happier than progress in my yoga practice!

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Baked cinnamon roll oatmeal muffins last night (stay tuned for the recipe this weekend!)

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Spent quality time with the best kitty in the world. Love my furball.

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Exactly one month until the Tarlton family annual OBX trip!! Absolutely cannot wait. It’s always the highlight of my year!

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And finally, a couple of quotes to leave you feeling inspired 🙂

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Gluten free, paleo plantain bread [recipe]

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We had the craziest weather here in Baltimore yesterday evening. The sky went from sunny and blue to a super creepy yellow-gray color and a tornado warning. And then it poured. Like REALLY poured. It made rush hour traffic all the more enjoyable…

I’m never one to complain about a stormy summer evening though. I love being curled up in my apartment hearing the rain on the roof and watching the lightning through the window. Not to mention that being all cozy stuck inside is the perfect excuse to do some baking!

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The other day I had just been wandering through the produce section of the grocery store and saw a bunch of plantains next to the bananas. I’d seen a bunch of different recipes on Pinterest for plantain-based recipes so I thought “what the hell” and threw one in my basket.

So rainy evening + lonely plantain in my fruit bowl = plantain bread! With only three ingredients! And it’s paleo, gluten free and sugar free! TRIPLE THREAT, GUYS.

Not to mention it uses my new favorite ingredient… coconut oil!

This bread was so so easy and ended up being delicious. It has a sponge-y, almost quiche like texture and isn’t too sweet at all. You might like to add in some cinnamon to the batter for some extra spice.

The recipe below makes enough for two people so I’d recommend sharing with a friend for a tasty & healthy breakfast idea. I’d ALSO recommend smearing a little a lot of peanut butter on top. Or your nut butter of choice. Or some jam. Or Nutella. Or all three. 🙂

Really though. This is ridiculously quick and easy and the outcome was awesome. Try it out and let me know how it goes! Do you have any other good plantain recipe suggestions?

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Paleo plantain bread

Serves 2

*Original recipe from Purely Twins

Ingredients:

  • 1 plantain
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil, liquid form

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Blend the plantain, eggs and oil in blender.

3. Pour into greased bread pan and bake for 20 minutes or until set.

4. Enjoy!

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Homemade Oreos [recipe]

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My dad’s favorite cookie is Oreos. Especially if they’re dipped in chocolate. So, in honor of Father’s Day yesterday, I decided to try my hand at making a homemade version of the snack cookie specially for my papa.

The recipe I decided to use from Mommy’s Kitchen called for coconut oil. And if you all read my last post, you know that I finally lost my coconut oil-cooking virginity and had tremendous success! I was very excited to be able to use coconut oil as a substitute for regular oil or butter again. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite ingredients!

Also, as evidenced by the picture below… the primary reason I bake is so I have an excuse to eat the batter. I mean, we can’t let the extra dough go to waste right?? That would just be irresponsible 😉

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These little cookie sandwiches turned out so delicious! They weren’t crunchy like Oreos but if you really want that crunch, I’m sure making your cookies flatter/smaller would make them crispier. I liked the chewy dough though and the filling… OH YES. So sweet and rich and just the perfect complement to the dark chocolate cookie.

My dad’s review: “Even better than Oreos!”

And that’s saying a lot coming from him. Try this recipe out for yourself. I think you will be pleasantly surprised! And while they may not taste exactly like the cookies in the blue bag you love so much, I’m pretty confident they will win a spot in your recipe box. A perfect, easy homemade dessert to take you right back to your childhood.

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Homemade Oreos

Original recipe from Mommy’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

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For the cookies…

  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (liquid)

*For the filling…

  • 1/2 8 oz. package neufchatel or cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix cake mix, eggs and oil together. Roll the dough into small balls. Place on greased cookie sheet and press into circles. (I followed the blog instructions and used a drinking glass to press down the dough. Note: I would spray the bottom of the glass before doing this to avoid the dough getting stuck!)

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3. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, remove from sheet and let cool.

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4. Cream the neufchatel cheese and butter together; then fold in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract. Spread the filling on one cookie then press another of similar size on top.

 

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5. Let the cookies and filling firm up in the fridge, and enjoy!

*The original recipe calls for 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese and 1 stick of butter. However, this made way too much filling, at least for me! I cut it in half for this variation but feel free to double it if you enjoy the creamy inside 🙂

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Have you ever tried to make homemade Oreos before?

What’s your favorite Oreo flavor?

And most importantly, how do you eat your Oreos?

 

 

Friday favorites

Happy Friday!! Only 7.25 more hours til the weekend (not that I’m counting 😉 ). I’m linking up with Katie for today’s Friday favorites. Here are a few things I’m loving right now:

1) Got my hair cut because apparently “lobs” are all the rage now? Anyways, it’s growing on me! (pun absolutely intended).

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2) Signed up for a summer Bocce league in Baltimore. As someone who is horrible at organized sports, this should be interesting. Sorry in advance to whatever team I end up on.

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3) These gluten-free, vegan cookie packs I randomly found at TJ Maxx. So crunchy and delicious… perfect for mid afternoon at the office.

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4) I WANT THESE WEDGES. Saw them at DSW the other day and I’m obsessed. Anyone feeling generous? 😉

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5) Clean apartments make for a happy Andie. Can’t wait to get some new curtains and a rug and paint the walls hopefully this weekend.

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5) And two quotes I enjoyed this week (one serious, one not so serious). Hope you all have wonderful weekends!!

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Apple carrot quick bread with coconut oil [recipe]

Last night I was searching for a carrot cake type quick bread to use up the bag of baby carrots in the fridge and came across a recipe from a blogger I’ve been following for awhile now, Averie. Her recipe substitutes coconut oil for butter to make for a slightly healthier bread.

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In keeping with the latest trend, I had recently bought a jar of coconut oil from Trader Joe’s. I never planned on using it for cooking because I’m not a huge coconut fan but instead used it for my hair and skin (which by the way, works wonders! If you haven’t tried it for beauty purposes, I highly recommend it).

So when I stumbled across Averie’s recipe, I figured it would be a perfect way to test baking with coconut oil. I was really skeptical and honestly didn’t have high expectations at all for the bread. But as soon as I licked the batter from the bowl, I knew I was in for a treat. It tasted EXACTLY like carrot cake batter. I could hardly wait for it to come out of the oven! An added bonus was the delicious aroma that spread through my apartment. Nothing like the smells of apple and cinnamon on a rainy evening.

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Apple carrot quick bread

Recipe originally on Averie Cooks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted in liquid form
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • grated carrots (I used about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium apple, diced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix together the first 7 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a large bowl. Then stir in flour, baking powder and baking soda.

3. Fold in the grated carrots and diced apple.*

4. Pour batter in a greased loaf pan and bake 30 minutes or until golden brown on the top and cooked through.

5. Enjoy it warm right out of the oven!

*Averie’s recipe calls for grated apple. However, I either have a very cheap grater or absolutely no arm strength because I could not grate the apple for the life of me! I like the way the diced apple added chunks of yumminess though. 🙂

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The bread turned out so delicious despite my initial concerns. I cannot taste the difference in using coconut oil vs. butter at all. It’s just like carrot cake but heartier and less sweet. I imagine this will be perfect in the afternoons with a cup of warm coffee!

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