Today was just one of those days. I was sad that my friends were gone, the festivities I had been looking forward to for weeks are over, and my stomach was cramping because that just how it rolls. I really needed an attitude adjustment. I took the weekend off from the gym, so I knew it was in the cards after work, but the thought of going straight home was too enticing. The couch won. Usually, once I go home for the day, I can never go back out to the gym, but today, I had an epiphany. I could have my cake and eat it too. So, in the spirit of Taking Back my Twenties, I decided I would have my couch time and then go to the gym. And the best part – there was a spinning class at 5:15 and I got into it at the last minute. As soon as I mounted that bike and heard the ‘Club Can’t Handle Me’ in that dark room, I was full of energy and I sprinted away from my bad attitude.
And then, on the way home, I got a peanut butter birthday package from my sister who just happens to be turning 28! HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kath!!!
The positive trend continued with a bagel fresh from New York (Thanks Liz!) and an awesome dinner salad made with leftover kidney, black, and pinto beans, blue cheese, peach salsa, and yogurt dip.
And, for those of you who requested recipes, I’ve posted them below. Enjoy.
I actually got this recipe from Real Simple magazine, but the original called for white chocolate, which I couldn’t find soy-free. You can obviously use any chocolate you like, but I swear the soy-free chips taste more incredible than regular chocolate chips.
- semi-sweet chocolate chips
- candy corn
- dried cranberries
- mini pretzels
I think the easiest way to make this is just to melt the chocolate chips (slowly in a few rounds, stirring in between) in the microwave in a bowl lined with parchment paper. This way, you can just transfer the parchment paper with melted chocolate directly to a pan without losing a lot of chocolate on the side on the bowl. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate out in a square pan and top it with the goodies. You’ll want to press the pretzels into the chocolate a bit or they will fall off when you break the bark into pieces. After refrigerating for a couple of hours, you’ll probably want to let the chocolate warm back up to room temperature before breaking it up so you don’t hurt your hands like I did!
- kidney, pinto, and black beans (I used about 1/2 to 3/4 of a can of each type)
- frozen corn (~1 cup)
- handful of cilantro
- tsp cumin
- diced dried apricots ~10?
- diced jalapeno
- jar of peach or other fruit salsa
- lime juice
Be careful if you make this brie dip, because you will NOT be able to resist it if you like sweets. I’ll have to ask Matt’s mom where she found the recipe because it actually came with the dish below, which I received as a Christmas present last year.
- candied pecans (1/2 cup, I found these at TJ’s)
- brown sugar (1/2 cup)
- orange liqueur (1 TBSP, Triple sec)
- brie wedge