No-Bake Paleo + Vegan Date Squares {Drool Time}

It is a chilly 68* in my neck of the woods, today, and I am snugging in bed, wanting to much on something healthy, warm & Oh so good for you, but it is too cold to get up out of bed, and do it…

  So I have decided to post this for ya’ll, and drool at the pictures…

If anyone wants to mail me a “Goodie Care Package” I will love you long time!!

Prepare to Drool…. in: 3,.. 2,.. 1,…  GO!

No-Bake Paleo + Vegan Date Squares

Allergens: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Egg-free

Cook time: 12 hours

Prep time: 20 mins

Serves: 16

Vegan and paleo no bake date squares made with fruit and nuts. The ultimate sinless dessert! Ingredients Crust 1 cup brazil nuts, soaked and dried ⅓ cup macadamia nuts, soaked and dried 1¼ cups shredded coconut 8 medjool dates, pitted ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract ⅛ teaspoon sea salt Date Filling 2 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped roughly 1 cup dried mission figs, hulled and chopped roughly Zest from a medium orange 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ⅛ teaspoon sea salt ¼ cup water Instructions To make the crust Add brazil nuts and macadamia nuts to the bowl of your food processor. Blend to small pieces.

Add remaining crust ingredients and pulse until everything is well mixed and the dough begins to form into a ball.

Press ⅔ of the crust into an 8X8-inch cake pan. Set remaining dough aside.

To make the date filling Add all ingredients but water to a large bowl, mix until fully incorporated.

Transfer half of the date mix to your food processor. Add water and blend until smooth.

Transfer back to the bowl with chopped fruits and mix thoroughly.

Drop date mixture onto prepared crust, smoothing out with the back of a spoon. Then, crumble remaining crust on top.

Cover and transfer to the freezer to chill overnight. This will help the bars form nicely and avoiding breaking when you’re cutting.

When ready to serve, cut into 16 bars.

Keeps for 10 days in the fridge or 4 months in the freezer.

Notes Soaked and dried nuts – you can make this recipe with regular raw nuts. Medjool dates – I made this recipe with medjool dates because they are softer and more pliable than honey dates. If you want to use honey dates for this recipe, you may have to soak them before hand.

Here’s a picture to give you an example of the size you should be going for for the ground nuts. It doesn’t have to be perfect, this recipe is very forgiving!

Once the crust is complete, firmly press it into your prepared pan. There’s quite a bit of natural oils so you shouldn’t have to worry about the dessert sticking to the pan. If you’re concerned with this, feel free to drape parchment paper over the sides of the pan.

Once the crust is in, add the date mixture.

Crumble the remaining crust over top and chill these babies for at least 12 hours!

– The Two Sisters –

Sweet Green Smoothie Making {{Borrowed}}

Post borrowed from: http://theglitterguide.com/2011/07/15/healthy-and-delicious-smoothie-recipes/   #HealthyEveryDamnDay
– Ami
Hey Glitter Girls! Crystalin from In the City with Crystalin here to share some healthy and delicious smoothies with you! Blending up favorite fruits and vegetables is one of my go-to afternoon snacks. Not only do they fill me up, but they’re also loaded with a ton of nutrients. They almost always satisfy my sweet tooth! The best part about making smoothies? Every recipe is adaptable to your personal taste and what you may have on hand at home. My current favorite: frozen strawberries, almond milk, and dates. Smoothielicious!

Give these healthy concoctions a whirl, and sip your way through summer. Enjoy!

Refresh:

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Mango Ginger — 2 cups frozen Mango, 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1 banana, ¼ cup chopped ginger, squeeze of lime, yogurt.

Savory:

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Strawberry Date — 1 date, 1 ½ cup frozen strawberries, 1 cup almond milk. Optional: 1 scoop protein powder or 1 TBL of flaxseed oil.

Indulge (guilt-free):

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Chocolate Peanut Butter – 2 TBL unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 TBL peanut butter, ½ banana, 1 cup almond milk, ice. 320 calories total.

Detox:

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Green Smoothie — 1 cup baby spinach, 1 cup kale, 1 pear, 1 ½ cup of orange juice, and 1 frozen banana.

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Cooking is relaxing

Oh, how I love rest days. I have not done anything today, no a thing. Well, except sleep. And for once, I don’t care. So, I am sitting here, watching a movie in the den… and tinkering around on Pintrest…. Which, by the way, is where I got the following recipe. There’s more to the recipe, than what I have posted below, and you can find it and all of the YUMMY details, @ the link to follow. . . http://cookiesandcups.com/brown-sugar-banana-bread/#_pg_pin=515803

  I hope all of you have had a very enjoyable weekend, and a memorable July 4th! -Ami

Brown Sugar Banana Bread with Brown Sugar Glaze

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas) 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (or sour cream) 2 eggs 6 Tbsp butter, melted 2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 2 Tbsp heavy cream 1 Tbsp honey 2 1/2 Tbsp butter

How to Make

1. Preheat oven to 350° 2. Spray 9×5 loaf pan with with cooking spray liberally, set aside 3. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. 4. In another bowl mix together mashed banana, sour cream, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. 5. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined. 6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. 7. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run knife around the edges of pan to release any parts that might be sticking and then remove from pan, transferring t o a wire rack to cool.

8. In small sauce pan, combine all ingredients, heat over medium until mixture reaches a full boil. Boil for 2 minutes and then remove from heat. 9. Let mixture cool for 5-10 minutes and then pour over banana bread. Glaze will set up and then cut into slices.

Notes
Store airtight for up to 2 days.

Recipe adapted from Back in the Day Bakery

Posted from my Android ~ Ami

Less than a Month to go, before we start a new chapter in our busy lives.

Have you ever found yourself in such a tangled mess, that you can’t find the way you came in, not to mention the door outta there?
  Well this week has been mess, no. Scratch that, the past few weeks have been a total mess!! I don’t mean mess, as in a ‘bad’ mess, just Good, Bad, Hectic, Exciting, and extremely exhausting, and we all know what comes with weeks of exhausting, messy messes….. The good, the bad, & the ugly – as far as emotions go.
>>  Ok, so the events…
  We got an above ground #pool – Its not the Ritz, but it will keep us cool when need be… We filled it up, and I had fun tanning in it as it filled up, until we noticed AFTER it was completely full, that it had sunk into the ground a good two feet!! A serious bummer to say the least. We had to drain it, which took about 3X longer than It did to fill it. My awesome Dad came over one day last week, and helped me level it out… It looks pretty good, now – I just hope its dosen’t sink more.  Now, since we are getting all of these massive storm cells, and monsoons, we are leaving the task of filling up the pool to good ole’ Mother Nature. 
  And, YES!! I have already gotten a 4 hour BURN… so much for covering up those tan lines. I look like a Chamellion!! Yeah, yeah – Laugh it up. ^.^
  I was moving plants around in my torched Greenhouse, the day before yesterday, when I found a #Tiny #Diamondback #Snake in the top of one of my Rosemary bushes. Now, hear me out. . . I don’t like to purposely hurt or kill anything, unless it could hurt me. This little guy was about six inches, maybe eight inches at the most, and had already struck at me twice, when I decided to put him in a box, and make him chill out a while. Now, maybe, If I can find a lid for am old aquarium of mine, I could keep it in the house… JUST KIDDING!! He’s long dead. I checked on him today, and he’s a gonner, the Greenhouse ants are having a feast. That’s what he gets for taking up shop in MY Greenhouse, and trying to bite me. He should just be glad I didn’t have a lighter nearby, I have been known to be a bit of a Pyro.
  I have had one scheduled shoot after another these past few days. (Hey! I’m not complaining!!) Mostly Maternity & Newborn shoots, I love these types of shoots. You get to see the family’s at their most romantic times; love is such a beautiful thing.  
As you already know, my husband is a Law Enforcement Officer, or a Copper, as I like to say. He has been in Law Enforcement for nearly 19 years, and his last day is August 1st. That is prime time, he will no longer be a full time Copper, but a Reserve Law Enforcement Officer. The beginning of August he is good to Virginia, to visit family (I am staying put, its cheaper), but when he gets back, he will be attending a local (and highly rated) CDL School.


  Now, this is breaking point for both of us. I am doing my best to keep us afloat, as far as finances and bills go. I am pushing both of my Photography businesses to the next level (JFox’C Photography TM & Voluptuous Volpe TM Photography) I have a LOT planned for both of them, as well as a possible third. With that being said, I am currently looking for sponsoring; business to helpus out with articles for our shoots; and models between the ages of 18-37 (Size, Race, Height – are not an issue).


  I have already begun to build my team of experts. It can be a daunting task, but it is so #Rewarding in the end!!
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On a closing note:: I had a late lunch with a close friend of mine. We just talked about the stuff we love, recent happenings, the crazy Georgia weather, all awhile munching in Chick-Fil-a.  I miss spending time with my closest friends; something about catching up that just puts me at ease.
I hope all of you have enjoyed reading this post; I apologize for neglecting my Blog and you as my followers so. It is not intentional.

Posted from my Android ~ Ami

Simply Perfect Add-in to any Cookout

Asparagus Pasta with Pan Fried Garlic & Lemon Cold Tomato Zucchini Pasta Salad with Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette

I created this pasta salad for my brother Steve’s Independence Day barbecue. I needed to bring a side dish that could sit out safely in the hot sun for several hours, and also fit in well with an American style cookout. An additional benefit is it gave guests a vegan option, and me an excuse to eat lots of cold pasta salad.

The vinegar base in this recipe would pair well with homemade buttermilk fried chicken, or even a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/4 cup Sherry Vinegar 1 Shallot, chopped 1/ 2 clove Garlic, chopped 1/2 teaspoon Salt Lots of fresh ground black pepper to taste

Puree the ingredients together in a small processor or blender. Set aside.

Tomato Zucchini Pasta 1 pound riccioli shaped pasta, or any favorite shape 2 medium sized zucchini, or 1 large thinly sliced into half moons 1 cup chopped scallions 3-4 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped 1 tablespoon dried parsley 1 recipe Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil the pasta according to the package directions in heavily salted water. Drain and rinse in cold water.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette.

3. Toss the pasta together in a large bowl with the dressing and the rest of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until chilled.

Notes: Next time I might throw in some dried or fresh parmesan, and a handful of sliced olives to add another element of flavor. Shredded asiago cheese might also work well.

Posted from my Android ~ Ami