Bagels + Gnocchi Encore

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Hubby and I had a busy day today.

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We took Bailey for a walk first thing this morning to enjoy the beautiful sun.

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The weather was gorgeous, though still a bit cold.

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Hubby and I did another breakfast date for bagels.

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Hubby and I split an egg and cheese on rosemary olive oil and got coffee. I tried the French Toast coffee and it was really tasty.

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We also got doughnuts!

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We hit up lots of grocery stores today. Notable picks: TJ’s organic tempeh, fontina cheese, yerba mate tea.

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We picked up more Great Harvest bread – honey whole wheat rolls and cinnamon swirl (WW).

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I fiiinally made it to the Fresh Market go get their most-delicious Spring Blend! It may be their best one. I also stocked up on Barney Butter.

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We also got Bailey some new dog treats: Sojos Natural dog treats in peanut butter honey and Barbara’s Canine Catering Training bits in Vegetarian Bacon.

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Since I’ve been trying to avoid artificial and overly processed foods as much as possible, I figure I should do the same for Bailey. I am starting to read the labels on his food too now.

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I love how both the treats I picked up today have readable ingredient lists. And for an added benefit the latter was made locally! Support Local!

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I grabbed a veggie juice while we were out shopping: celery, cucumber, pineapple juice. I thought it would be more pineapple-y, but it was very veggie. I didn’t love it, but it was pretty good and definitely good for me.

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Hubby and I had a simple lunch…

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Tomato, basil, mozzarella salads with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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Hubby and I busted into our cinnamon swirl bread for lunch-dessert. We burned the bread a wee bit on the thin parts. Doh!

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I snacked on a Chic Energy Bite, too.

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After lunch, I went with hubby to meet up with some of his friends to catch some basketball games on TV.

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Hubby ordered some nachos (sans meat) to snack on. They were covered in liquidy processed cheese. Now, there are some melty cheeses (think dips) that I still like, but this wasn’t one of them. It tasted sort of like plastic or something. I was not a fan and it didn’t sit well on my stomach. Blech! :(

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I picked out a Deakin Estate Moscato to sip on for the night.

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Tough Top Tidbit: I had a hard time getting the screw-off top undone. So, I applied my rubber band trick (can’t remember where I learned this one). For any containers you’re having trouble opening (like jars of pickles, etc), place a thick rubber band on the lid/top and use it gain traction. Works like a charm.

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I started with an organic romaine salad with yellow bell peppers, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds and Drew’s Rosemary Balsamic dressing .

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For dinner, I re-heated the leftover gnocchi I had from Friday night. I placed the leftovers in an oven safe dish, topped with some fresh mozzarella and baked at 350 degrees F till heated through – about 20 minutes.

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I topped the gnocchi with some fresh basil and served it with a Great Harvest WW toasted roll with real butter.

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I enjoyed dinner while watching No Reservations. Cute movie! I loved how much of it took place in a restaurant. Ooh all the cooking and food!

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This was pretty good the second time around. I really love re-heating leftovers in the oven. I think the flavors are so much better. Though it does take longer than the microwave, I think it’s the way to go!

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Anywho, I tried, but I still couldn’t finish the gnocchi! I wrapped up the leftovers. Maybe hubby can finish them?

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I did save some room for dessert. I couldn’t turn down another piece of fresh-baked cinnamon swirl. This stuff is sooo good – especially when it’s fresh! I did manage to slightly burn this piece, too. Doh!

Reader question: What’s your favorite dried fruit?

Chic Energy Bites – Currant Crave

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As promised yesterday, here’s my recipe for some Larabar-inspired, no-bake snack bites.

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I bring you…

Chic Energy Bites – Currant Crave

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried black currants
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp chia seed (ok to omit if you don’t have any on hand)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor.
  2. Process mixture until ingredients are chopped into tiny bits and the mixture starts to stick together. (At first the mixture will appear very dry. As you keep going, the mixture will become more sticky, though it won’t come together like a ball of dough). Start/stop and use the pulse as you go. Check it often if you’re unsure about consistency. Also, before you start forming discs, you can make a mini ball to test the mixture holds together ok.
  3. Carefully remove blade from food processor.
  4. Pick up about 1tbsp worth of mixture, roll into a ball and flatten slightly to a disc shape.
  5. Enjoy!

NOTE: Makes about 20 bites. Store in an airtight container.

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Yummy dried black currants.

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All ingredients into the food processor.

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All blended up and ready to form into discs.

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I made a mini test-ball to make sure the consistency was ok.

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Form into discs.

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So simple, so good.

The combination of fruit and nuts make these great for a pre-workout or general energy boost snack.

To enjoy:

  • Eat them straight up (for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert)
  • Use them as an oatmeal topping
  • Chop them up over Power Toast
  • Make a dried fruit and nut sammie by placing on a whole wheat dinner roll

Look for more great Chic Energy Bites coming soon! I have a bunch of good ideas in the works!

Bagels + Birthdays + From-Scratch Gnocchi

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Hubby and I made a quick breakfast date trip to grab bagels.

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I normally get coffee with bagels, but I couldn’t resist a tea latte fusion in Black Thai.

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I celebrated Bagel Day Friday with a blueberry bagel and strawberry cream cheese. I ended up wiping off most of the cream cheese, but I still liked the flavor.

Since I’ve focused more on the quality of the foods I eat (i.e. whole grains vs refined, etc), I find that I have a harder time eating bagels. They just don’t seem to have any nutritional benefit. When I can enjoy a big bowl of oatmeal or a slice of Power Toast just as much, it’s like why bother eating the bagel? I guess I bother because I still think bagels are tasty and like to eat them once in awhile, whole grains or not.

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I had two cups of hot tea today – 1st a tulsi chai masala and 2nd a cup of strawberry amanzi tea. Mmm…that strawberry tea is so good!

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I re-heated my leftovers from last night – Spicy Thai Cashew Tempeh – a Clean Food recipe. The smell of tamari was intoxicating! Yuuuum!

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I even had some leftover chopped scallion yesterday.

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The leftovers tasted great (and you guys know I dont like leftovers). Even hubby asked for a bite.

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organic navel orange.

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I busted out my Martha Stewart blue food processor for a kitchen experiment, after work today.

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I busted out some fun Larabar-inspired snack bites. Details and recipe going up tomorrow. Tonight was pretty busy. *update* recipe posted – click to see my Chic Energy Bites in Currant Crave. :) So easy – so tasty – so good for you!

I did manage to taste test 3…to make sure they were good before I posted the recipe of course. ;)

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As soon as work ended, I put together my experiment, then packed up a birthday present (including some of my goodies), changed and hit the road.

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Love this turquoise wrapping and simple sparkly topper. The sparkles make the simple wrapping shine.

I met up with friends to celebrate Megan’s birthday. We hit up a local Italian restaurant.

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Pinot grigio

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Salad – with house tomato dressing

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Bread basket

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I love my carbs. I love bread – especially fresh bread served at restaurants – when it’s crispy on the outside and doughy in the middle as though it just same out of the oven. Mmm….

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Our table ordered cheese sticks to share. I had to indulge.

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My friend Kat ordered a dish I was considering – pasta with fresh tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.

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She even traded a bite of her food for a bite of mine. Thanks friend!

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I got the gnocchi. The restaurant makes their gnocchi from scratch in-house, so I had to try it out. So chewy and tender with a lovely tomato/mozzarella sauce. I wish they would have topped the dish with some fresh basil or something but overall it was quite tasty.

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A tiramisu for the birthday girl and our table.

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I had a bite – it was suuuper tasty!

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Our beautiful birthday girl.

Happy birthday Megan!!!

(yes again :lol:)

Reader question: What’s your favorite thing to do to celebrate a friend’s birthday?

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