Afternoon Snack Attack

Every work day at 3pm, I have a snack.  It is just the way my work eating schedule works and it is about an hour and a half before I get to the gym.  For awhile I fell into the patterns of buying granola bars because they are easy to grab and go, but they always had so much sugar and many contain soy for some odd reason.  I took it upon myself to create a healthy afternoon snack that would get me through the gym and to dinner (to be honest, sometimes my lunch it too small and I have to eat two of these suckers to make it up dinner).

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I based my recipe on a combination of The Super Charge me Cookie from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan and the Walnut and Dried Cherry Bar from Healthy Appetite by Ellie Krieger.

LilyBean’s Afternoon Snack Attacks

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 2 TBS flax meal
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • 1/4 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP vanilla extra or almond extra depending on flavor profile
  • 1/3 cup honey or real maple syrup – depending on what flavor you are going for
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg (you could make a flax or chia “egg” to make these vegan)
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried fruit of choice – I have used guava, apricots and cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts – I have been using pecans because that is what I have on hand
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Mix vanilla, egg, honey/maple, applesauce in small bowl.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Add wet to dry.
  5. Scoop out with 1/4 cup measuring spoon to achieve 9 cookies onto either a silpat or a sprayed cookie sheet.  Flatten to cookie shape.
  6. Bake for 12-15min, flipping after 10min.

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The thing I like best about these are all of the different combinations you can make.  You could also add coconut or even cacao nibs or chocolate chips.  The possibilities are endless!

I even broke down the nutrition of an apricot-pecan cookie for those interested.

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Let me know if you try them!IMG_1451

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Sweet Potatoes for a Picky Crowd

Every time we have an office party when we are asked to bring something for the crowd, I get worried.  Most of the people I work with are not fans of vegetables (I know I am generalizing here but overall I would say they are a meat and potatoes group).  I always want to bring something healthy to show them that healthy doesn’t mean tasteless.  Today was our deputy directors going away party and I made my best recipe yet!

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Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Salad.  I got this idea from our wedding actually and added some chickpeas for some veg protein.Warner-9659

Above from wedding.

This recipe was seriously simple and I got a ton of compliments on it.  The only thing you have to cook are the sweet potatoes and they take 20-25min.

Chipotle, Lime, Sweet Potato Salad

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup frozen corn (I used sweet white)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 finely diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – can add more peppers for more heat
  • juice of 3 limes
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp olive oil – divided into 1 tbsp and 2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large clove of garlic pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 bunch of cilantro chopped fine
  1. Toss peeled and cubed sweet potatoes in 1 tbsp of olive oil and bake at 400 for approximately 20-25min until fork tender.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking whisk together remaining ingredients minus the corn and chickpeas.
  3. Mix in the chickpeas and corn.
  4. Add potatoes while warm to lime mixture and fold in to get the potatoes fully coated.
  5. The longer you can marinate, the better. (It is good hot out of the over too!)

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Deeeeelicious!


Springfield Farm Dinner

Sometimes I still eat meat.  Sometimes I still make a delicious well balanced meal off the top of my head.  Most of these times N is in town.  This past weekend all three stars aligned!

N and I took a trip up to Springfield Farm to visit the geese, get some eggs and pick up some meats to freeze and have for dinner.

The white wine, garlic and herb chicken sausage made it into Saturday night’s dinner.

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I cooked up some millet (long lost seed) to add to a sautéed onion, garlic and 1 giant sausage mix.  To finish I mixed in some fresh chopped parsley and put the entire mixed onto of a baked portabella mushroom top.

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This sausage was amazing!  SO much flavor to it and given their size we can probably get about 8 (4-6oz) servings out of a pack of 4.  Along with our bangin’ sausage I made salad of spinach topped with crispy parsnips and a balsamic mustard dressing.IMG_1445

This was a awesome meal.  Hands down best Saturday night meal in a long time!

Side note:  When I cut back on my meat intake to maybe once a week, I was worried that my system would react poorly to meat occasionally making an appearance.  I had heard stories about people’s bodies freaking going in both directions (veg->meat, meat->veg).  I am happy to say so far, so good!  Knock on wood.


Digital Ephemera

I feel bad.  I said I was going to write reviews of my wedding vendors, and I did write about our PLANNER and CATERER, but I have been delayed on giving a HUGE shout out to our amazing photographers.

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We found Matt and Jess through a PA photographer who was already booked on our wedding day.  As luck would have it Matt and Jess were free and totally fit our style.  I wanted wedding pictures that were more journalistic rather than formal (which is actually really hard to do when you are are staging photos btw) and I wanted both Nick and I to jive with them.  If your photographer does not get you as a couple, how can they capture the day you spent months planning?  Matt and Jess also hold down full time jobs while they try and pursue their true passion of photography.  Some might become uneasy with this idea but to me it meant that they truly enjoy photography with their souls instead of just happening to be good at snapping pictures.  Oh, and they also love Maine! 🙂
IMG_8578Over the months leading up to our wedding Jess and I crafted the best package for our day.  Through multiple e-mails, I added a couple of hours to our day and we created photo credits instead of the original print sizes that came with the package.  I’m not sure how many photographers are this flexible, but I liked the ability to take a bit of the pressure off.  Jess even kept my updated when there was serious flooding happening in PA and the road to our venue was shut down on the day of our final walk through.  If not for her we would have driven over an hour in nasty weather only to turn around.

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Finally on our wedding day Matt and Jess were relaxed, there was no shouting of orders, just letting the day progress while keeping time in mind.  They were open to hearing any of our photo ideas and gave the clueless couple some great shots.  Looking through the pictures reminds me of funny things that were going on at the time of the shot, like how I cannot pull of that looking serious at the camera without looking angry, smiling or laughing. 

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Oh and I really wanted pictures with the fish at the B&B, while no one thought it was a good idea for me to be near a pond in my wedding dress, Matt cautiously snapped away.Warner-9288
Throughout the night they were super helpful and let me ask them to take pictures of a million people I had forgot to mention before.  They even pulled Nick and I outside as the sun was finally coming out during the “magic light” hour to take some pretty cool shots (one of which I blew up and had printed on canvas).
Honestly I could go on and on about how great our experience with Matt and Jess was.  They were seriously a perfect fit for our wedding.  They even stop by the blog!

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If you are looking for a photographer in the York, Lancaster, maybe even Baltimore area (?), please check out Digital Ephemera.


Getting Creative and Crafty

This year I am trying to get a little crafty with my gifts.  Thanks to getting married a few months ago, I have a ton of pictures!  I think the hardest part of having over 300 pictures to sort through is trying to figure out which ones to print and how to frame/use them without our entire apartment becoming a wedding showcase. We had the barn where we got married blow up and professionally framed, but getting things framed gets expensive so I came up with a few other ideas (two of which I cannot show because they are presents!).

One way to preserve our wedding memories was in a picture box.

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I got this door hinged photo box from Home Goods for $15 and printed the pictures from shutterfly with 3 coupons – I have mastered that website this holiday season.  I picked pictures that were more of “background” to the day and I really wanted the barn (top middle pic, also the one we got blown up) and the “H” and “N” on the rafters.  In the center I put our wedding invitation and envelope, showcasing all of the hand stamped hard work.  Lastly I pinned in Nick’s boutonniere (the silk flowers worked out really well).

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Now all I need is a house with a wall to hang it on…all in good time.

Another project I tackled was making ornaments.

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We have two magnolia trees outside and I collected their pods (free), spray painted them with oil rubbed bronze ($8), then glitter ($3) and I finished them off by painted all of the point with red craft paint leftover from the wedding.  I hung them with twine also leftover from the wedding.  I love how the glitter sparkles off of the tree lights.

Are you getting craft this holiday season?  What is your favorite way to display photographs?


Horse Meat

So I know I haven’t written a post in a very long time, but I really haven’t had much to write about.  I try and type for a reason not just to get some words up there.  Thankfully some really exciting things should be happening before the end of the year and I shall report them back once they are official for those of you out there still reading!

Before that can happen there was one news article that caught my attention yesterday about horse meat becoming available in the US for human consumption.

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At first I was angry because I grew up riding horses and there is no way I would ever eat Sunny, but then I remember the book Eating Animals and the concept of why we can eat certain animals over others.  The article explains that the horses that were previously slaughtered in the US are now just being shipped north and south to Canada and Mexico, thus causing the farmers to actually lose money and the horses still die in the end.

According the the USA Today article, horse meat is top shelf in Europe and Asia, so why to Americans hold them higher on the totem pole then the cow, pig, or chicken?  According to Eating Animals it is because we humanize them.  We give them a name, make them a friend and a pet.  I am pretty sure if you were the owner of a potbelly pig you would be less likely to eat him and his cousins.

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The article and idea really make you think.  Why would you eat Bessy the cow over Fido the dog?  What is it about domesticated animals that make them deserve to live over their barnyard kin?  It makes me think of the movie Babe where the cat tells Pig every animals place on the farm.

My personal stance on meat is not so much the kind of animal (although I would have a mental problem eating dog or horse), rather it is the way the animal was treated during its life and how it was slaughtered.  Whether you are a horse or a cow going through a factory farm, the kill floor is a very sad place.  I could go into detail, but I am sure you get the idea and just head over to PETA if you need a visual.  I follow the rules of Michael Pollen because they make sense to me.  I support local meat products, from small farms, and I pay the premium for meat I can celebrate eating (about once a week) without feeling bad for the animal that died.

Whether it is horse meat or cow meat, I think we need to become more aware of our food system.  I hope that this new “meat on the market” will make people see how all animals killed for consumption are treat instead of just pretending animal cruelty doesn’t exist and picking up the next mangers special.

I would love to hear your thought! Even if you do not agree with me, I love a good debate!