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Monday, August 31, 2015

Low Fat Fudgy Brownies

I'm always on the hunt for foods that taste like they have lots of calories but really don't.   When I stumbled across these brownies on Instagram at "Mind Over Munch" I couldn't resist trying them.  I did make a lot of alterations from the original recipe, but they turned out awesome.  Mine are gluten free (not an issue for me but thats just how it happened) and could be made vegan too.  They turned out really well and quite decadent although not too sweet.  There should be about 90 calories per piece if you cut them into 9 squares, way less than regular brownies! Enjoy!


3/4 cup Non-fat plain Greek yogurt
4 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk (I used Silk)
1/2 cup oat flour (I just put oats in the food processor)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sweetener (I used Truvia)
2 eggs
1/3 cup applesauce
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp dark chocolate chips (These are optional but I recommend them!  I used Tollhouse Delightfulls Dark Chocolate with Cherry filling)
Coconut oil or coconut oil spray for the pan


Preheat oven to 400F
Mix together all ingredients well except chocolate chips
Transfer batter to the greased 8x8 baking dish.
Top with the chocolate chips


Bake 20-25 minutes (check at 20 mins if a toothpick comes out clean)
Allow to cool before cutting into squares.  (I cut in to 9 pieces)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fab Friday Faves 8.28.15

Happy Friday my friends!  I hope it finds you all happy and healthy and excited for the weekend!  Josh and I had a great trip into Brooklyn on Saturday, it was Josh's first time walking across the bridge, so it was a must do before we leave.  The rest of my week was pretty quiet with just a couple short trips into Manhattan just to wander.  I hope you all have amazing weekends, but don't wear yourselves out, save it for the long weekend!  

1. On Wednesday I went into Manhattan to Battery Park to the new Seaglass Carousel that just opened last week.  It is breathtaking in the day time but I really want to see it at night too!

2. Last Friday, I went for a wander in SoHo to pick up some Nespresso pods and happened to stop in at my favorite store, Birchbox.  I hadn't planned on getting anything but when I saw they had S'Well Bottles and also that I had 356 birch box points, I decided to use my points to get a bottle because i have wanted one for ages.  It ended up being pretty much free so I was happy.  These bottles aren't just water bottles but keep things hot for 12 hours and cold for 24!

3. I got my "Jinx" album back from Mixbook.  I spent one whole day making the book a few days after we lost him and it came very quickly in the mail which I was happy about.  I went a little overboard maybe (it has 86 pages and 266 pictures) but it is worth it and now I have all my favorite pictures of him in one spot instead of all over different computers and photo albums.

4. Josh and I went to try a Sushi place in Jersey City that we had never been to before, which is sad because it was amazing!  It's called Honshu Sushi over by Exchange Place and not only was the Sushi top notch, the presentation was fantastic and the staff was so friendly (which is super rare here!).

While I have used "Paula's Choice" skin care for almost the last year and absolutely love it, I was looking on the Birchbox website and saw "Michael Todd True Organics."  It has absolutely rave reviews so I thought I would give it a try and it really lives up to the hype.  It smells, amazing, is super gentle but effective.  They have quite a large line and it's mid range price which is great.  I had a 21% coupon from Birchbox (have I mentioned I love Birchbox?) so I used that and was able to get both these bottles for just under $30.

Today I'm linking up with:

Jennie @ The Diary of A Real Housewife

Lauren @ Style Elixir
Tif @ Bright on a Budget
Amy @ {The Farmer's Wife}
April @ A. Liz Adventures
Nicole @ Adventures of a Wild Sunflower

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Greenwich Village Food Tour With Kim and Kristen

Back in June, I got a Facebook message from an old friend of mine with some exciting news, she was going to be camping down at Saskatchewan Landing one of the weekends that I was going to be.  We quickly made plans for a visit and it turned out that they were camping right beside us.   Kim and I were university room mates and actually hadn't seen each other in probably at least 11 years so it would be a great opportunity to catch up (even though there was a lot to catch up on!).  During our visit, she mentioned that here and her sister Kristen would be coming to NYC for a girls weekend in August so again we made plans to get together.  A few days before they arrived, Kim sent me a message saying they planned to do the Greenwich Village Food Tour on the Friday that they were going to be there and wondered if i wanted to come along. Of course I can never say no to food or a tour, and I was super excited to see some familiar faces from home, so I quickly signed up.

When the day finally arrived to meet up with the girls at Murray's Cheese, it could not have come at a better time.  I hadn't been out much in a week and I needed some distraction.  We started the tour at Murrray's but didn't get to go in there yet.  I was a little sad because I love that place!

We walked down to Joe's Pizza a short walk away.  I had never had pizza but I knew it was pretty famous and I never turn down a NY Pizza!  It turned out the pizza was okay, not awesome BUT the pizza slices that were actually being eaten in the shop looked amazing!  I think we got the shaft a little bit because we weren't exactly customers.  In any case, it was pizza... hard to go wrong!  

Our next stop was O&Co., a fantastic little Olive Oil and specialty stop.  We got to try some french bread with delicious olive oil and popcorn with truffle salt (some of you will know of my truffle obsession).  We ended up going back after the tour for me to do some shopping.  The staff here is also so great!

Next up was Fiacco's, a famous Italian Delicatessen that I have walked by before but never really paid much attention to.  They have the most delicious rice balls EVER. If you have never had a rice ball it is a delicious little deep fried ball of Italian rice, bread crumbs, mozza and parmesan.  We also got a piece of yummy Italian Salami.  

Palma was next and  by far the the most beautiful restaurant on the tour and actually one of the nicest I have been inside in NYC.   It looks rather unassuming from the front but inside was filled with amazing fresh flowers (the most beautiful roses I have ever seen) and a adorable courtyard with a glass ceiling so it can be enjoyed in the winter as well.  Beyond that is a little room that can hold about 20 people for a private event, also filled to the brim with fresh flowers and a staircase that takes you to the second floor library.  We got to sample their famous Cavolfiore; a mix of sautéed cauliflower, pine nuts, caramelized onion, currants and breadcrumbs.  Delicious!

Up next was Rafele Bar and Ristorante.  This was our stop for a drink and bite to eat.  This place is also gorgeous and the Eggplant Rollatini (wrapped up layers of eggplant, ricotta, and their homemade tomato sauce) was so delicious I forgot to even take a picture of it!  Kim and I got some Sangria that really hit the spot because it was scorching out.  This would be a great dinner spot for some authentic Italian and drinks.

Rollatini photo courtesy

We also got to learn some history on our little walk.  Somehow after walking by this key cutting and locksmith shop dozens of times, I never noticed it is basically made of keys haha.  We walked by the Cherry lane theater, an off Broadway theater hidden in the Village.  Many famous actors have been in shows there and Jerry Seinfeld's "The new York Story" starring Colin Quinn will start its second showing in October.  Around this area we also got to see some of the oldest and most famous homes in NYC.  You would never guess that most of them got for millions of dollars just by looking at them.

After a little walk to digest and learn some history, we got to go to Milk and Cookies Bakery for one of the best chocolate chip cookies ever.  No messing around here, amazing.

The cookies were massive and filling, but I still had room in my tummy for more!  Next was finally Murray's Cheese a NYC institution that literally has anything you could ever want.  Cheese, meats, crackers, drink mixes, honey, olives.  EVERYTHING and it is all to die for.  It is either locally made or imported from fancy places in Italy.  We got to try some delicious in store made cheese and cheese bread.

Our last stop, across the street was Pasticceria Rocco another famous pastry shop in the city.  We got to try some cannolis that are supposed to be THE BEST.  I was a little worried, I was scared I would be ruined from any other Cannoli because I will really only eat them from Carlo's Bakery (CakeBoss) in Hoboken.  turns out they were almost identical and just as yummy!  Thank goodness.

In the most delicious and NYC style way we ended the tour.  Kim and Kristen again invited me along with them for a couple more hours to tour around SoHo.  You can't beat the beautiful cobblestone streets and old buildings in this part of town!

I found this and thought it was pretty cool haha.

I was totally going to buy the face dress on the right but I didn't have a spare $3000 on me.

Our end to the day was pizza at my favorite place in the world, Lombardi's.  We didn't have to wait and line and everything was as usual unbelievable.  The best pizza in the world!  We said our goodnights with plans to meet up for a bit the next day and I made my way home, stuffed to the gills, fat and happy.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer in SK '15 pt. Two

Here is is, I'm back with part two of my trip to Saskatchewan!  I guess I will just pick up where I left off, so enjoy!  If you missed part one here it is.

On our first real big rain day, like the kind were it gets really cold and pours the entire day, Miranda and I had set up a beach day date.  Obviously this wasn't possible so we sat in the trailer and played Skipbo for a few hours.  I just love spending time with my bestie regardless of what it is so we had a great time.

Once the rain had slowed a bit we headed into Kyle for the Walleye Derby Boat Parade.  This is an annual event held in town on the Friday before the fishing derby at the Landing.

My favorite part is the candy :)

Bright and early Saturday morning the whole family and went over to the Marina for a long time family tradition, the Pancake breakfast.  We have done this almost every year since the Walleye Derby started.  Yummy!

My view on the walk back to the campsite.

We played a lot of mini golf while I was there... Jimmy is a pro putter.

We got to celebrate Shirley's birthday.  Shirley is a neighbor and long time friend/babysitter/honorary grandma.

A couple pictures of doe seagulls eating grasshoppers out of a field and off the road out by Sanctuary.

More mini-Golf with the fam.

We used one of those color packs in the fire.  You can see some green but it would have shown better in a pic at night.

This was one of the neighbors we had at the campsite.  He got left with the little baby while everyone else went to the beach for the day.  Things were very quiet so I peaked over to see what was going on.  He had rigged up this contraption to swing the baby from the tree....

Saskatchewan Express, a group of teens from SK that sing and dance.  They were amazing this year.

The prettiest sunset ever.

This is the smallest baby on the farm.  Such a sweetie!

A field over by one of our farms.

On the last week of my trip (well it was supposed to be my last week)  I returned to Rabbit Hill Teahouse and B&B.  This time with my Auntie Lorri.  We stayed overnight in the cutest little cottage and had the most amazing breakfast!  Check out my blog on Rabbit Hill here.

A field of Spring Wheat across from Rabbit Hill.  it has been so long since I have seen golden fields I had to take a million pictures.

Another pretty sunset.

Getting ready for breakfast in the Teahouse.

Waffles with homemade Saskatchewan Cherry syrup and Saskatoon Berry topping.

The ducks in the pond.

The two of us!

The valley on the way home.

Later that day, Jesse and I decided to go for a cruise and do some Geocaching.  We always find interesting things.  I also took a tumble through some thistles and barbed wire.  That was fun haha.

A lawnmower in a tree.

The most difficult cache of the day.  A hollowed log with the cache inside plugged with a cork.  It was laying it's side and I kicked it few times before I realized.

The pipeline road.  The hilliest road in the area!

We came across a really cool old farmstead.  The sign for it and everything else was overgrown but it was pretty neat when we actually started looking around.  We found the old house, a hole I assumed was the cold cellar, a fallen over windmill and some farm implements.

We also took a cruise down to Beaver Flat for cache.  Such a cute little town.  Loved this sign.

Look at those eyes.  Miss them so much!

Finally after ages of saying we were going to, Jim and I went to the Fish Fry at the Clubhouse.  No kidding this was some of the best fish I have ever eaten!

Bright and early the next morning Gerry had Jesse haul a load of lentils to Kindersley.  So I tagged along for some company.  I slept half the way there but it was actually pretty fun.

Have to show off the new BBQ my parents got.  Its a John Deere edition Weber Q2000.  Not kidding this is the best grill in the world.

Another Brown Eyed Susan picture on the shore of the river.  So pretty.

Finally Miranda and I got our beach day!  We are so cute!

A gorgeous rainbow up at the Hilltop after another White Bear wing night.

On our way up to another breakfast (this one for the Archery Shoot) a mama and her fawn.

The breakfast!  yum!

I found another Canola field and knew this might be the last nice one I saw so had to get a pic.

Finnally after almost a month the hiking trails reopened at the Landing (they had been closed due to fire hazard.  Gorgeous views.

Mr. Jinx enjoying the great outdoors again.

One last time mini golfing and this storm hit us with a vengeance for about 15 minutes.

Girls day in Swift Current, Pedicure and some gambling.

Favorite picture ever!

Another sunset.

A delicious breakfast I made with some leftover steak.

The last few days we were there, Jinx decided his favorite bird watching spot was the hood of the Jetta.

One last view of the Landing.  I'll miss this place!

Had to get some selfies with my favorite puppies, Ticker and Willow.

One last sunset!


Retard with her sweet little baby.

Motley and Hoot.

Mr. man Patrick my other baby!  I wish I could bring him to love with us here but he loves being outside too.  Is there a cuter face than that?

Mom and Mean Jean pitting cherries while I took pictures and played with the cats.

A standoff between Jinx and Retard with baby in the background.  This is the last picture ever of Jinx.

A last selfie with Jesse, sort of.

The cherries that mom and grandma pitted made an amazing dessert!

Jimmy rocking the pink Oakleys.

Thats it, I stayed 5 weeks this year, longer than ever.  Jinx and I had a great time and I was so happy to have him with me for his last days playing outside and enjoying life to the fullest.  Thanks to everyone that I got to see, since I wasn't able to go to far!

My last pic of SK.

Toronto Skyline, you can see the CN tower in the background.