Category Archives: Other Desserts

Easy energy balls

The monthly happy hour at my gym again means another healthy snack recipe!

Ready for some super simple energy balls?

Energy Balls
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter of your choice)
1 cup oats (I used quick oats because they’re what I had on hand, but old-fashioned work too)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
3/4 cup add-ins: I used 1/4 each of sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and mini chocolate chips (but shredded coconut, carob chips, other seeds or nuts, etc will all work!)

Directions:
Put honey and peanut butter in a large microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 10-15 seconds, stir to combine. Then dump in everything else and mix! Form into small balls, layer into an airtight container with wax paper separating layers, and refrigerate 4 hours. Makes 20-30 depending on size.

Enjoy!

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Fun foodie day trip to Philly!!

Last weekend I went to visit some friends of mine in Philly for the day and we had all sorts of great food spots planned for the day! The focal point of the day being to get the Donolli — a donut cannoli hybrid. Let me tell you, friends, the whole day was a huge win. So so so so so much yumminess!

At Frangelli’s for the Donolli (or what they call their Franolli)

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We ate them out of the back of the pickup truck and improvised with the only knife available to us as we split up our donuts for a tasting!

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Then onto Federal Donuts for fried chicken and donuts — I sat out on the fried chicken since I was still full but did get a couple of their specialty donuts to go which were breakfast the next day πŸ™‚

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Their trash out front made me laugh πŸ™‚

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Then off to the Italian market area where we started with some olive oil and balsamic tastings!

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Then some cheese sampling! I bought this awesome coconut chocolate bar which they let me try a store sample of and they paired it with an awesome cheese. Also I just loved everyone in this shop – they were so funny and friendly.

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Then to Reading Terminal to browse around. My friend told us we HAD to take a couple Hope’s Cookies home with us because they are the best and most fresh from here. She was right – we absolutely loved them!

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Then last on the list was a little fondue at Max Brenner’s!

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Up, up, and away: a baby shower!

A sweet friend of mine gave me the honor of making the cupcakes and cookie favors for her sister-in-law’s baby shower! I loved her idea of a hot air balloon theme! So cute! Congrats on the new little baby-boy-to-be in their family!

Here are some pics of the finished treats!

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Some of my new favorite things!

Some of my favorite things as of late:

Funny and amusing graphic tank tops for working out. Y’all, my workout wardrobe has gotten out of control over the years, especially heavy on expensive tops. Granted, they always far outlast my cheaper impulse bargain buys from places like Target, but it just gets to be a lot either way. But lately I have been stumbling upon lots of great, lightweight, and inexpensive tanks that make me feel great while wearing them, and also make my wallet happy while buying them. See below for a couple glimpses of my new fave: a cupcake and kettlebell Reebok tank πŸ™‚ I got it just in time to wear to a Crossfit fundraiser workout party. It saw me through a great WOD, a yoga class, and then a free sports massage that day πŸ™‚ if only all workouts were followed by free sports massages….then that would be my favorite

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The new Stella & Dot summer collection! This winter has been such a long and cold one that I think I am craving summer more than ever! Agh, seriously, I want to live inside every beachy photo shoot! Check it: http://www.stelladot.com/brittanyallen

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I discovered this Heaven-sent blessing last week! Cute jars of edible cookie dough available in the fancy grocery store’s refrigerator case! Bless. I love this stuff. Sure I could make it, and probably more cheaply, but I am a sucker for good packaging and convenience. This is everything you could hope for and more!

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We had about 5 days of spring last week/weekend before winter came back with another cold front. But thankfully it was JUST enough time to head out in some new sandals and get a springy pedicure!

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New York weekend!!

I needed time to do this post the justice it deserves, so here is a recap of a fabulous weekend trip to NYC a couple weeks ago!

 

Myself and a few other friends all happened to be hitting the big 3-0 within a couple weeks of each other, and our one friend Andrew was in for a big surprise for his! His sweet wife planned for a big group of us to meet in the Big Apple for the weekend to surprise him, so I took the day off of work on the Friday, several of us planned to get on the same bus from DC, and we hit the road for our 4ish hour trip. Rates at the Double Tree near Times Square were the best we could find and the rooms were super comfy, even if we did have 3 girls squashed into a king size bed for cost saving purposes πŸ™‚ The most exciting part about the Double Tree? Their cookies!! I haven’t had one in YEARS but they were just as delicious as I remembered!

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We checked in the hotel where the other 1/2 of our group had arrived earlier in the day and already checked in, then headed out to a pizza place recommended by the concierge to enjoy a giant slice! Ahhh….soooo yummy!

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We headed back to the hotel to bundle up further before we trekked off to do the big surprise! Andrew and his wife Kristen were staying at a different hotel, so she planned for us to come up to the room, tell Andrew it was room service when we knocked, and then he’d open the door on our sweet and smiling faces. The surprise was a huge success! But also so funny to watch his face process the confusion into excitement. Have you ever been surprised for a birthday? Do you like surprises?

 

Then all of headed out in the bitter cold (it was in the teens with violent whipping winds all weekend!) to get to our dinner reservations. I had never been to or even heard of this place but it was AWESOME! Blue Smoke. YUM! They also had hilarious coasters with various quotes on them. Amen, coaster, amen!

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The interior was an awesome blend of industrial yet warm and cozy. Perfect for an upscale but not snooty BBQ joint!

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Our dinner was amazing, super moist chicken, side of mac and cheese, and then I shared this bacon blue cheese dip with BBQ chips as an app with my friend. Seriously amazing!

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Pretty views walking back to the hotel.

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My friend Laura and I cut out early on the post-dinner bar crawl because we had plans to get up bright and early and head down to Soho to wait in line for the famous cronut!!! I wish I could say we are the only people in the world who want to go try a cronut, but these suckers have been gaining in popularity for awhile now. Many an article have been written, even Buzzfeed covered them with an “Everything you need to know” article. The article is slightly outdated though in that you can only buy 2 per person.

So we got up early, got in line, and waited. And waited. And waited some more. About an hour and 45 minutes of waiting. And honestly I thought I might come back from NYC without my toes because it was absolutely freezing and standing on the sidewalk trying to walk in place just to keep SOME warmth and circulation to your extremities doesn’t actually help much. The only 2 things that kept us from calling it quits were 1) looking at the other people in line and thinking “if they can do it, we can do it!” and 2) imagining the sweet sweet first bite into a cronut.

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Read up on the official Cronuts 101 before you go!

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Once you get inside, you wait more.

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And more. But you get to watch people make stuff while you pretend you aren’t suffering hypothermia.

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Amen. Eyes on the prize, friends.

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Also enjoy looking at all of the other amazing treats they offer. Yes, they do offer more than just cronuts.

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Sweet victory!! We bought our cronuts!!!

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Then as we were about to hurry out we thought, why are we not sitting to eat one of these immediatly?! So we did. And let me tell you, every creamy crunchy sugary flaky bite was worth all 10 of my cold aching toes. If you have a few hours to spare on a trip to NYC then this is absolutely an experience you don’t want to miss!

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Other highlights included The Lion King on Broadway! So incredible!!! A trip to get donuts from The Doughnut Plant, and then stocking up on a week’s worth of bialies. There is truly no more exciting souvenir than a delicious bialy. Yummmmm!!!!!!!
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The annual fall dessert party!

Fall is really here! Driving home is such a delight now that there are colorful leaves everywhere you look and while I hate the time change still I do enjoy seeing the beautiful sunsets each day on my commute home.

Last weekend we had our annual fall dessert party – a chance to gather friends (this time lots of new friends!) and everyone brings a fall flavored dessert and we eat, drink wine, and just have fun! Then we make sure everyone has plenty to take home!

I made pumpkin twinkies this year and they were quite delicious! Here is the recipe I used.

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Enjoying the fall foliage and paying respects at Arlington National Cemetery

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Out in Georgetown on Saturday and we found our Italian vacation favorite!

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Friday I wore my fun new bird sweater from Old Navy and layered up a couple of the new Stella & Dot fall pieces. πŸ™‚

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Sunday already?!

The weeks of summer are flying by! And the weekends are definitely not long enough. This weekend was pretty tiring but I accomplished a lot. Started the day on Saturday with a spur of the moment morning run along the Alexandria waterfront. The humidity made it pretty stifling – it has been sooooo hot all week, but I definitely felt better for having a workout out of the way. Then I spent the afternoon at the pool tanning, relaxing, and getting in a mini pool workout. I found some awesome pool workouts a couple weeks ago and have been trying to integrate them into my routine of the week. Now, the workouts are seriously good, but the execution is a little silly. A few of them require a kickboard and now that stores like Target have cleared summer supplies to make space for back-to-school stuff, the pickins’ were a little slim. Sooooo I had to buy a kid’s one. I bought one for a friend too so that I could talk her into joining me for pool workouts in hopes that I’d look a little less ridiculous, but I think maybe it only looks a little funnier πŸ™‚ oh well!

Check them out!

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Then today I did a donut making class through Living Social – it took place at their offices in DC and was put on by a DC shop called District Doughnut. This was the first time I have ever fried anything!! Such a fun class! And the donuts were amazing!!!!!

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A coworker sent me home with a couple tomatoes on Friday that I have been dying to turn into bruschetta from the moment I saw them. So I diced them up with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, my fresh basil (getting sooooo much use out of it this summer!!!), and garlic. And then had my salad obsession: the watermelon/feta/balsamic.

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