Another One

Today was another one of those “not-so-much-day-of-rest” Sundays.

This is the first time I’ve managed to sit down on the couch all day!

Good thing I had a hearty breakfast to fuel me through the numerous things on my to-do list.

Breakfast

Since my sister spent the night, I wanted her to wake up to a yummy breakfast.

I decided to make walnut Greek yogurt pancakes, which I made by following this simple recipe and adding 1/3 c. chopped walnuts to the batter.

In no time at all, we had pancakes hot off the griddle.

Addin' the Syrup

I topped three pancakes with syrup and dug in!

I think this is my favorite pancake recipe ever. Though I absolutely love fluffy pancakes, there’s something about the doughy, eggy flavor of these ‘cakes that I just adore.

'Cakes

Take a Bite

Since I had a little extra time before we had to head out the door for church, I made a batch of scones using Stonewall Kitchen traditional scone mix that I received from my friend Merri who got it from her boss who told her the mix was the “best scone mix in the world.”

He wasn’t lying!

Stonewall Kitchen Scone Mix

These scones were unbelieveable.

Scones

Before baking, I brushed the top of the scones with egg whites and sprinkled them with sugar for a sweet effect.

My sister, Ryan and I all enjoyed a hot scone fresh from the oven and agreed that the scones were wonderfully moist.

I don’t typically enjoy scones too much because I find them rather bland and dry, but these were totally different. They were buttery, moist and slightly sweet. YUM.

Church + Errands

With full bellies, my sister Leslie and I headed off to church while Ryan headed to soccer practice.

After the service, Leslie and I drove to the outlet malls and did some serious damage at Banana Republic.

I am in love with the Banana Republic outlet! I cannot afford 95 percent of the stuff in a normal Banana Republic, but at the outlet, I can almost always find shirts for less than $15 and bottoms or dresses for less than $40. It’s a steal!

Upon our arrival back home, Sadie was quite curious about my purchases.

"What did ya get me, Mama?"

Lunch

After dropping off our finds at the apartment and picking up Ryan, we headed out to Chipotle for lunch.

Chipotle

Leslie & Ryan - Wasting Time in Line

Me & Les - Wasting More Time

Chipotle was slammed, but the wait gave us a chance to decide what we wanted to order.

I opted for a vegetarian burrito bowl with guacamole.

Chipotle Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

Guac

I love Chipotle’s mild salsa and guacamole. I think I could eat an entire salad made of just those two ingredients!

Along with my burrito bowl, I had several helpings of Ryan’s chips and guacamole as well.

Once we were done eating, we came back to our place and said goodbye to Leslie as she headed back to her apartment in Gainesville. I miss my lil’ sis already!

Before Leslie left, we tried to log onto my computer and had no luck because the charger thingy (that is its professional name 😉 ) wasn’t working. When I tried to adjust it, the thing broke in half!

Unexpected trip to Best Buy!

Once I had a new charger, I ran a couple more errands and brought home a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ to make Ryan smile.

When I revealed my surprise purchase of a box of funfetti cake mix to him, a big smile appeared on his face. You see, Ryan has a serious obsession with the funfetti cookie dough that I make when I bake a batch of funfetti cake mix cookies.

Naturally I got to work in the kitchen making a batch for us to enjoy immediately.

Funfetti Cookies

I had two fresh outta the oven (as well as an inordinate amount of cookie dough).

Colors of Tastiness

I absolutely love baking. Cooking is fun and I adore making yummy meals, but my heart truly lies with baking.

Do you prefer cooking or baking… or take out? 😉

Pretty ‘n’ Pink

I really don’t consider myself an extreme girly-girl, though Ryan may disagree with this statement entirely. I do love clothes, shopping, weddings and babies. However,  I’m not a huge fan of doing my hair or putting on make-up and can be found lounging in my Victoria’s Secret Pink sweats with my hair in a ponytail (or a nice high bun that Ryan likes to call my “poof“) most of the time.

Beloved Victoria's Secret Pink Sweatpants

Beloved Victoria's Secret Pink Sweatpants

One thing that I do share with typical girly-girls is my love for the color pink. Last night I made a delicious snack to bring to work today that resulted in the most brilliantly colored pink puff of tastiness.

After reading rave reviews of this concoction hailed by the women of Oxygen, I decided to try the recipe known as “Pink Fluff.”

To begin, simply prepare a packet of sugar-free jello, but only use one cup of hot water to stir into the packet. Do not pour in the other cup of cold water like the directions on the box indicate.

Put the jello in the fridge for an hour or two until it has set and become firm, then top the Jello with one cup of cottage cheese and blend baby, blend!

Strawberry Jello and Cottage Cheese

Strawberry Jello and Cottage Cheese

BLEND AWAY!

Blended Cottage Cheese and Jello

Blended Cottage Cheese and Jello

What a beautiful puff of pink fluff!

I topped mine with freshly sliced strawberries, almonds and walnuts.

Pink Poof

Pink Poof

The consistency was like a hardened mousse. It was definitely creamy, light and fluffy. For you cottage cheese haters, this is a fantastic way to use the curds because you would never know cottage cheese was in this bad boy.

This recipe was so simple and so tasty. I cannot wait to try it with sugar-free lemon jello. I think it might taste like lemon meringue pie. Drool…

Pretty AND Yummy

Pretty AND Yummy

Question: Do you consider yourself a girly-girl? Why or why not?

Key Lime Birthday

Today is my fiance‘s birthday! I can’t believe the man I’ve called my boyfriend for more than five years is now officially my fiance. 🙂

Woohoo!

Woohoo!

After my morning workout I got down to birthday business, decorating the apartment with birthday cheer while the birthday boy was already at work. (He only checks the blog once I’m done with my evening post, so this is our lil’ secret. 😉 )

Ryan's Birthday Spread

Ryan's Birthday Spread

Birthday Signs

Birthday Signs

I love celebrating birthdays and can’t wait to spend a special night celebrating Ryan’s 26th!

I was pretty darn hungry by the time I finally sat down to my breakfast. Yesterday I bought white chocolate key lime meringues and was anxious to incorporate them into my first meal of the day.

Key Lime Meringues

Key Lime Meringues

After eating a few straight from the box (yum!), I crumbled several of the fluffy cookies on top of my Greek yogurt and sprinkled the mixture with walnuts.

Key Lime Yogurt

Key Lime Yogurt

Yummy

Yummy

What a great way to start the day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN!

Runner’s Fuel: Homemade Granola

Before (and after) setting out on a morning five mile run with Sadie, I fueled up on homemade nutty apricot granola.

My Runnin' Buddy

My Runnin' Buddy

I actually made the granola with the intention of using it as a topping on yogurt or oatmeal throughout the week, but considering the amount I already ate this morning and how delicious it is, I don’t know if it’ll make it to Monday.

I began by chopping dried apricots  until I had a full quarter cup of the fruit.

Sliced Apricot

Sliced Apricot

Overflowing 1/4 c. Apricot

Overflowing 1/4 c. Apricot

You can easily use a combination of any type of dried fruits: raisins, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, pineapple…

I love all kinds of nutsand conveniently had slivered almonds and walnuts onhand so I added a quarter cup of each to the bowl with the apricots.

Slivered Almonds

Slivered Almonds

Chopped Walnuts

Chopped Walnuts

Fruit and Nuts

Fruit and Nuts

I poured one and one third cups of overflowing old fashioned oats (not the quick-cooking kind) in with the dried fruit and nuts.

Oats, Apricots, Nuts

Oats, Apricots, Nuts

To moisten the oat mixture and add sweetness, I combined a quarter cup of honey with three tablespoons of melted butter and drizzled the liquid over the oats, tossing to coat the mixture.

The Sweetness of Honey

The Sweetness of Honey

Honey Butter

Honey Butter

Coated Oat Mixture

Coated Oat Mixture

After tasting the granola, I decided it needed a little extra oomph and added a liberal amount of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to the mix.

I spread the granola on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray and baked it at 350 for 12 minutes. I then stirred the mixture and baked it for an additional eight minutes (or until lightly browned).

Nutty Apricot Granola

Nutty Apricot Granola

Cinnamon and Spice and Everything Nice

Cinnamon and Spice and Everything Nice

When I took the granola out of the oven it didn’t have the crunchy consistency  that I associate with granola, so I put it in some Tupperware and stuck it in the fridge to harden. Perfect!
 
The spices and nuts really took the granola to the next level. I think I’ll go have some more… Yeah, it’s definitely not going to make it to Monday!