Chocolate Covered Apple Wedges

You had me at chocolate covered ________.

Yes, I’m the one with the salty tooth, but sometimes a gal just needs her chocolate and red wine. I’ve never made a pie before, so I needed something to do with apples this fall that didn’t involve some complicated baking recipe.

Did you know that dark chocolate is actually good for you? That means I must have a lot of dark chocolate to lower my blood pressure. (Pretend I actually know what my blood pressure reading is.)

These chocolate covered apple wedges are just what the doctor ordered!

This recipe was adapted from Cooking Light.

Serving size: 2 wedges. Recipe makes 16 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain granola
  • 2 large apples

Directions:

Slice each apple into 16 wedges.

Microwave chocolate in a bowl  for 1 to 2 minutes until the chocolate melts. Make sure to stir every 15 seconds.

Dip apple wedges into melted chocolate, skin side up. Allow any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.

Pour granola on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Dip the chocolate covered wedges into the granola.

Refrigerate finished wedges for at least five minutes before serving. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve them.

Thanks as always to Jenn for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

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How did you get your pumpkins?

Tuna and I spent Saturday afternoon with my four year old cousin at a sweet pumpkin patch.

My cuz was appalled because Tuna had never been to a pumpkin patch before.
“But, but – how did you get your pumpkins?” she gasped. When Tuna said most some  people buy pumpkins at the grocery store, she was horrified.

We started out the trip with legit country hayride.

The hayride stopped after half a mile or so at the field where did our pumpkin picking. We kept trying to get my cousin to pick a small pumpkin by exclaiming each small pumpkin was the shiniest or the best color, but of course she would only settle for the biggest pumpkin of all!

Tuna and I took turns lugging it around. Arm workout!

Good job taking a picture, cuz! Ridiculous that a four year old can work a iPhone just fine.

Next we were on to the animals.

There was a very grumpy, very old emaciated cow.

There were multiple goats too. My cuz and Tuna fed the baby goats. This one was their favorite.

The piggies were my favorite. My apartment doesn’t allow cats or dogs, but do you think they would allow a pig? Honey Boo Boo had one.

They were adorable and made me not want to eat bacon. After I saw the movie Babe when I was eight, I boycotted bacon for years. I do love my BLTs though….

We ended the afternoon with caramel apples (the clear winner!) and Apples Maureen, which consisted of sponge cake and baked cinnamon apples with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Later that night Tuna and I spiked the apple cider we bought. It made a good after-dinner treat!

How did you spend your Saturday afternoon?

Have you ever been to a pumpkin patch or on a hayride? It was Tuna’s first hayride too!

An Ode to Diet Coke

My dear Diet Coke,

You taste so delicious;

so refreshing and so bubbly.

You seem like a necessity,

whether with a salad for lunch

or alongside french fries and junk.

You were always there for me too,

when I was sleepy, studying for a test,

or taking a fun road trip.

But I feel like you lied to me,

or at least didn’t tell me the truth

about the risk of heart disease, diabetes,

and having a stroke.

If I keep you around, it won’t be good

for my health nor my waistline. 

Though I’ll love you forever,

I have to let you go;

so goodbye, good riddance to you:

Diet Coke!

Quinoa Pizza Bites

What’s one of your favorite foods that you feel like you need to give up when you’re trying to be healthy?

My mind immediately goes to pizza. Whether I’m hungover, having a movie marathon, or just finished a hard workout, I want pizza. Sometimes ordering a pizza is just an automatic response when you don’t have anything in the pantry for dinner.

Once in awhile, it won’t kill to you indulge and eat an entire pizza by yourself. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could have your pizza and eat it too?

Enter: Quinoa Pizza Bites. These bites are great on their own as an appetizer or atop a spinach salad garnished with tomato and mozzarella.

This recipe was adapted from Fit Sugar.

Makes 30 bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pizza sauce for dipping

Directions:

Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a covered pot. Turn town the burner to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Mix all of the ingredients together (excluding the pizza sauce) in a mixing bowl.

Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tin. Fill each cup to the top and press down gently to compact.

Bake for 20 minutes. Make sure to cool for at least ten 10 minutes before removing from the pan. I used one muffin tin and made several batches.

Thanks as always to Jenn for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

I’m Not Complaining!

This past weekend was spent catching up with old friends and staring at pretty colored trees.

Friday night I headed down to Fredericksburg to visit my college roomie and go to the UVA football game in Charlottesville on Saturday. Luckily, I was scarred from my ineptitude to take blog photos a few weeks ago, so I overcompensated by taking pictures of everything. Saturday morning started off early – with pretty much the only thing that would get me out of bed on the weekend before 9:00AM: mimosas.

We lucked out with a perfect fall day!

Ahhhh, I forgot how much I love the smell of Virginia boxwood.

It was great to drink beer get some fresh air in the gardens.

We wandered to the game at the end of the second quarter (whoops) and made it just in time for a touchdown! Let’s be honest, all I care about anyways is getting to sing The Good Old Song and watch a massive amount of people sway at the same time.

We stayed at the game for approximately the same amount of time that we did in college – 20 minutes. It gets like, hot and stuff.

On Sunday, I got to see another friend of mine. I’ve known B since I was 6 years old! We got – what else – self serve fro yo. We’re so trendy.

B got angel food cake with strawberries.

I got dark chocolate, pumpkin, and chocolate sprinkles! This was probably the only time I’ve ever gotten chocolate sprinkles – I’m usually a rainbow girl all the way.

As the weekend wound down, Tuna surprised me with, “fall themed flowers.”

I’m starting to think Tuna is just buying me flowers so that I post them on here…

But I’m not complaining!

Are the trees changing colors where you live?

Very important question: chocolate sprinkles or rainbow sprinkles?

FitKit Guest Post: Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

What is FitKit?

FitKit is  a place where nutrition is made personal for everyone. Their mission is to build a community around making health and fitness transparent.

                                                  https://fitkit.me/

FitKit also has a sweet blog that features awesome recipes, workouts, and healthy living tips.

                                                                   http://fitkit.me/blog/

Want to know how to make delish Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps?

Check out my guest post on the FitKit Community Blog!

It Really is a Joke

This morning I was quite proud of myself because I woke up for The Dreaded Morning Run.

And you know what? It wasn’t that bad. It was pretty much just like running at night – who would’ve thought? 😉  It only took a few minutes of running to get warmed up from the chilly November morning.

It really is a joke how I can’t wake up early for things – I even woke up late for graduation! My family knows it, too. I think they were just as curious as I was to see if I would really wake up.

Tuna’s text:

Yes, I did get up, surprisingly. I think I’m 1/47 this year.

My Mom sent me a link to this article in Shape Magazine:

I think for this to work repeatedly for me I would have to go to bed at about 5:30 pm. So, right when I get home from work. Perf.

My Nana, who I probably get my night-owlness from, e-mailed me, “Reminded me of when I used to run in the mornings (really!). Did 2 miles most mornings, 3 or 5 on Saturdays. I laid out my clothes and shoes the night before, set an alarm, threw on the clothes…..and one morning, I swear, I WOKE up about a block from my house (down near the pool on Forest and Roberts) and wondered how I got there. Even looked down to see if I’d tied my shoes!”

Do you have any early morning running stories? 

If you run in the morning, what time do you usually go to bed the night before?

10-K Goal and the Dreaded Morning Run

Guess what two things are back this week?

1. Bananas

Solely back because of their cheapness.

2. Running

Dummy me – I got my weeks wrong! Last week was actually week 5, not week 4. This race is soon. 

Unlike my 5-K, I’m not going to make a goal time for the 10-K. The first time you race a new distance, it’s a PR as long as you finish – that should be enough to warrant a celebration in itself. I didn’t have fun during the 5-K because I was so stressed about making my goal time that I went out wayyy to fast, and had to walk a little bit at the end! #lame

My only goal (besides finishing) the 10-K is to run the entire time. No walking allowed! If that means trotting along at a snail’s pace, I’m cool with that.

The weather was gorg on Saturday and I did a 4.25 mi run outside on my favorite trail.

Bambi(es) showed up again.

This is my favorite spot on the trail – it’s like running under a tree canopied cathedral arch.

Since this week is busy with after-work obligations, I don’t really have time to do my runs at night, like I usually do. That means I have no choice but to prepare for:

The Dreaded Morning Run.

I attempt The Dreaded Morning Run at least once a week and always end up snoozing for two hours and waking up even more frazzled (if that’s even possible.)

But now that running is officially back this week, I hereby swear I will do The Dreaded Morning Run.

I hereby swear to:

  • lay out my running clothes tonight
  • go to bed early
  • set my alarm to Gangnam Style
  • get the eff up out of bed

Anyone want to take bets? Kidding……..

How do you wake up for morning runs? It is so hard to get out of my comfy bed!

Me Either

source

Me either, Honey Boo Boo.

May your weekend be healthy and happy! Though – I fear there may be some dirty eating and drinking on my agenda.

What are your plans for this weekend? I’m going to relax this weekend and hopefully go for a run outside on Saturday!

Ready, go!

Last night I ventured to my gym for the first time since before Tough Mudder in early September.

Whaaat.

I’ve run outside a few times, but I really want to get back into having the gym as a regular installment in my daily weekly routine. While driving to the gym, I decided to do 4 miles on the treadmill and try for 5 miles if I was feeling good. I need to get back in shape for my 10K on November 4th.

Um…I didn’t realize that when you don’t really run for a month, you pretty much lose your endurance! Welp, looks like I’ve got a lot of work to do in the next 4.5 weeks.

Starting from week 4, mid-week – ready, go!

I huffed and puffed through a 3.1 mi treadmill run and waddled over to my long-lost friend. (Please ignore my sweaty knees.)

Thanks for my new running spandex, Mom!

Oh, how I’ve missed you, foam roller.

After I got a good workout in, I promptly ate an entire bag of gummi bears.

I needed to refuel…

Do you ever take breaks from running? How long does it take you to get back into shape?