First off, I apologize for my 3-week hiatus. Between vacations, visitors and pure laziness I have been neglecting my blog.
About 6 months ago I splurged and bought a VitaMix machine. Honestly it was a spur of the moment/ impulse decision (online shopping), and I initially had serious buyer’s remorse. Who pays $400+ for a blender? This girl. I always see it demonstrated at Costco and Whole Foods and it’s one of those things that has been on my wish list for years. During one of my temporary health kicks I decided that I HAD to have it so I went online in the middle of the night and ordered it. Don’t you just hate how easy Amazon makes it to spend all of your money? That whole one-click shopping thing is dangerous.
Anyway, my guilt went away shortly after receiving the Mercedes Benz of blenders. This thing is seriously worth it. Have you ever watched YouTube videos about it? The thing can blend BRICKS. My lights literally flicker on and off when I use it and my dog always runs under my bed when I turn it on. You can use it for so many different recipes too– soups, dressings, smoothies, shakes, ice cream…the list goes on.
Enough blender talk. I’ve always wanted to find a post-workout protein drink that wouldn’t require me to plug my nose and chug. I can’t believe some of the stuff people force themselves to drink. Most of them make me gag. I set out to find something I could actually tolerate and after reading many reviews and talking to a few experts I decided on About Time 100% All Natural Whey Isolate (chocolate flavor). It was a little more than I wanted to spend ($37 bucks for 32 servings), but I was willing to pay for a better taste. It’s also much more natural than other protein powders out there– it has 5 ingredients and is sweetened with Stevia. For a post-workout drink I would just blend with water, but for a meal replacement shake I made this awesome recipe below.
Active women need on average about 50-60 grams of protein per day and my shake will take care of half your daily protein needs. Even better– one serving of this tasty treat will only set you back about 220 calories.
- 1/2 banana ($.10)
- 1.5 tbs natural creamy peanut butter ($.10)
- 5 ice cubes
- 8 oz water
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder ($1.09)
Put all ingredients in blender and blend 15-20 seconds
My banana pudding brings all the boys to the yard. No, seriously. I challenge you to make this for any boy (or girl) you’re trying to impress and see what happens. Jaws will drop, angels will sing and you will rise to the ranks of Martha Stewart and Paula Deen. The thing I love about this recipe is the shortbread cookie crust. Traditional banana pudding calls for Nilla Wafers, but I think the Chessman cookies add a special touch and a little more substance. This recipe is not for the faint of heart, though. Unlike most of my recipes, I go for full-fat ingredients for this glorious dessert. It just comes out much richer and the consistency is way better. Let’s face it—sometimes we need to indulge, we all deserve it. If you are trying to watch your weight I suggest making individual servings in small ramekin dishes. This is a great way to trick yourself into feeling fuller and maintain some of your will power. Good luck putting the spoon down.
• 1 bag Pepperidge Farm Chessman Cookies ($2.50)
• 3 Bananas, thinly sliced ($.60)
• 1 cup milk ($.50)
• 2.5 oz French vanilla instant pudding powder (I just use half a 5 oz bag) ($.80)
• 7 oz sweetened condensed milk ($1.00)
• 4 oz cream cheese, softened ($.85)
• 7 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed (I use regular old Cool Whip) ($2.00)
Line an 8×8 baking dish with a layer of cookies. Top with sliced bananas. In a mixing bowl, blend milk and pudding powder with beaters for 1 minute. In separate bowl, mix condensed milk and cream cheese. Gradually add the cream cheese mixture to the vanilla pudding. Fold in whipped topping. Add pudding mixture on top of bananas and top with another layer of chessman cookies. The cookies should all be touching each other as pictured.
You know those certain dishes that immediately remind you of home? The ones you take for granted because you’ve had them hundreds of times growing up …but when you move away you miss like crazy? For me, there’s three: my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs, her chocolate “victory” cake with cool whip frosting, and my Great Grandmother’s banana bread. I never actually had the chance to meet my Great Grandma Andersen, but her recipe was passed down to three generations and is definitely a family favorite. Every Christmas my mom makes dozens of loaves, wraps them in decorative cellophane packaging and gives them away as thoughtful little gifts.
There are so many banana bread recipes out there and I can tell you this one deserves a blue ribbon. It’s perfectly moist, sweet but not too sweet, and pretty much foolproof. It can also be frozen and thawed out later… perfect if you choose to double or triple the recipe! Nothing is better than a warm slice of banana bread with a cup of coffee. Enjoy this family secret.
- 1/2 C butter, softened ($.50)
- 2 eggs ($.30)
- 1 1/2 C white sugar ($.25)
- 3 extra ripe bananas (mashed)– they should be black! ($.60)
- 3 cups flour ($.75)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda ($.10)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 C buttermilk ($.50)
- 1/2 C chopped walnuts ($.75)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix butter, sugar and eggs
- Add buttermilk. flour, baking soda and salt
- Mix well then fold in nuts
- Bake in greased loaf pans (3 small or 1 large) for 30-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean