Healthy Banana Chip Bites

My roommate and I have been obsessed with these little things!

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Fortunately for us they are super healthy snacks.

I’ve had bananas for over a week and wouldn’t you know it, they are extremely, extremely ripe. Extremely.

Bananas

I wanted to make banana muffins, but I need something healthy since I’m still doing this weight loss challenge with a group of friends. And I’m always in DIRE need of dessert after dinner, so these things are seriously perfect.

On Monday nights, you can find my roommate, Jess, and I watching The Following on FOX. We’re always munching on something while watching, perhaps the show is so stressful we’re calming ourselves with snacks! Whew, so glad I found a healthy option for watching this show. Every few minutes, I spy Jess going to the kitchen to grab these cookies. She LOVES them. She takes them to work and tries to hide them at her desk so she can save it for an afternoon snack, but I think that plan always fails.

4 ingredients & 3 steps. No sugar. No flour. Done in 15 minutes. Here we go!

Healthy Banana Chip Bites
makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1.5 tablespoons of chia

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Mash up the ripe bananas in a bowl. Add oats, chocolate chips, and chia. Mix it all together until well blended.
3. Drop in tablespoons of mix on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes.

Can these be any easier? The sweetness comes primarily from the bananas. The chocolate chips are optional but also gives the cookie some sweetness. I love the crunch of the chia too! If you’re really craving something sweet, add some honey to the cookie.

Mix

Done

Bite-sized

What do you think? Is this something you can try?

With age comes eating healthier right? What are some of your favorite healthy, homemade snacks?

Muncha buncha cruncha muncha (this song is always stuck in my head),
Jay
—-
Adapted from Skinny Taste

  

Cran-Orange Cookies

This is my favorite cookie recipe of all time! 

And the recipe calls for:

Oranges

Yup, oranges. This is a fruity cookie!

The cookie is a bit tart, zesty, and just the right amount of sweetness. The tartness balances well with the sugar. If you’re one of those that cannot eat super sweet, decadent desserts, this cookie is perfect for you. I can’t just eat one of these, and I have to stop myself if I’ve had half a dozen. I make them for friends, and they gobble them up!

Recently I made these cookies for my sister’s boyfriend’s family (Hi Luus!). They told me that the cookies were delicious, and I’ve been reminded, more than once, to post the recipe on my blog. So here you go! I dedicate this post to you.

Cookie

Cran-Orange Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature and softened
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat the over to 375° F.
2. Prepare your orange zest and orange juice. Grate the entire orange so that you have 1 1/2 teaspoons of zest. Then juice the orange so you have 5 tablespoons of orange juice. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl or with your mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until smooth. Beat in the egg, 1 teaspoon of orange zest, and 2 tablespoons of orange juice until well blended.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix the dry and wet ingredients together.
5. Mix in cranberries and walnuts until evenly distributed.
6. Drop tablespoons of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. Then let cookies cool on a rack.
7. Finally the icing – in a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon or orange zest, 3 tablespoons of orange juice, and confectioners’ sugar until it has a smooth consistency. Drizzle over the tops of cooled cookies. Let it set for 5-10 minutes.

And you’ll get these things!

Baked

Delicious

I present to you, Cran-Orange cookies!

Presenting...
^^^ My younger sister <3

Have you ever had these cookies? Like or love? What other recipes do you enjoy that have fruit involved? Fruit makes sweets healthy right…

Fruity Tutti,
Jay

  

Ooey-Gooey Cookie Recipe

It’s Valentine’s Day this Friday! I’m sure you already have something planned for your snuggle muffin (yep, that’s what I call MG). But do you have something prepared for your friends and coworkers?

Remember in elementary school when you decorated your brown paper bag so that your friends could give you Valentine’s Day cards? I picked out the best ones for your best friends (Don’t lie, you did this too). Maybe even add a piece of candy here and there. Those were the days… when your biggest decision was “which card to give whom?”

For this Valentine’s Day, remember what this day is really about – showing people that you love them. I don’t know what that means to you, maybe it’s a nice dinner to set aside time to catch up apart from your busy lives. That’s definitely the case for MG and I. He’s been really busy with work, so we’ll be going out to dinner on Monday for a date night. It will be time well spent, and I’m looking forward to a special date night out.

Another way to show love is to bring treats to work on Valentine’s Day. It’s such a nice way to give someone something without having to spend too much money. My go-to treat, cookies! Simple recipe, you can make them in bulk so it won’t take a lot of time, and they are easy to carry to work.

Cookies

This chocolate and caramel cookie is one of my favorite recipes! The chewiness of caramel makes for a delicious cookie. Crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle with bits of chewy caramel, and melty gooey chocolate throughout.

Ooey-Gooey Cookie Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup and 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of caramel bits (I use Kraft)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat the eggs, then add the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
  4. Mix the granulated sugar and brown sugar together. Then blend the butter into the sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Blend the eggs and vanilla into the sugar mixture. Add in the dry ingredients.
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips and caramel bits.
  7. Form dough balls onto a baking sheet. I like to make bite-sized cookies, so I use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to help me form the dough balls.
  8. When the oven is ready, put the tray into the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Dough balls
Whenever I have extra dough, I freeze it. You never know when you might have guests so prepped homemade cookies is the perfect sweet!

Displayed
Got this sweet stand as a wedding gift – from the Royal Albert collection at Macy’s 

Cookies
I can easily eat a dozen of these! Though I must’nt

Yum
Ready for Valentine’s Day with my red nails and pink lips!

Do you bring goodies to your friends and colleagues for Valentine’s Day? What will you be bringing this year? What are some other items you like to give?

All my love,
Jay

  

Weekend Feasts

How was your weekend? Did anyone have amazing feasts, especially asking those that celebrated Chinese New Year?

I did!

A week ago, I joined my friend’s biggest loser challenge. I should have joined after Chinese New Year and Super Bowl weekend… fail. We’re competing in teams, and MG is my partner. We have until April to lose weight and achieve our desired weight goal. The initial fee is $50, but halfway through the challenge, if you lose a certain percentage, you get half your money back. I somehow feel like I’ll lose my entire $50… Okay, good thoughts. Good thoughts!

But this weekend I ate like I’ve been starved for a week. I ate so much I needed to change into fat pants when my guests were gone. I ate so much that I’m definitely going to gain at this next weigh in. It was worth it!

On Saturday, I hosted dinner for my in-laws. We had an epic hot pot meal, basically it was a hot pot buffet at home. I prefer hot pot over shabu shabu any day. The difference is one is Chinese style, the other is Japanese. Chinese is a bit saltier, and the Japanese version has a sweeter taste. If you’ve been reading along, you know I have a savory tooth! We had two burners going, one vegetarian with miso based soup, and another with Little Sheep flavoring. I purchased lots of veggies, an abundance of seafood, beef, and lamb.

Hot Pot
Tofu, fish paste, imitation crab meat, shrimp, salmon and various fish balls!

Hot Pot Dinner
Look at all that meat and those veggies!

My favorite sauce to use is the BBQ/satay sauce. It makes hot pot perfect! All this food for 7 people. Did we have leftovers? Yup, and that’s why my in-laws are coming back on Monday to feast again!

For dessert, I made malt ice cream, ginger ice cream, and Japanese cheesecake. It was the perfect dinner for the day after New Years!

Now I have a question for you: hot pot or shabu shabu? What are your favorite things to eat at hot pot?

Then another epic weekend day – Super Bowl Sunday! MG and I decided to host a last minute party for a few of our friends. We have LOTS of sliced cheese because, for some reason, we bought cheese from Costco. To make use of the cheese, we made grown up grilled cheese sandwiches, along with a side of meatballs and roasted chicken drumsticks. For dessert we had homemade chocolate chip & caramel cookies. Probably paid about $30 to have 8 people come watch the game at our place – that’s under $4 a person! Though this was the most uninteresting game on record, we had a good time feasting!

Superbowl Sunday

Chicken
^^^ Looks like they are glowing 

Grilled Cheese
Fancy grilled cheese – recipe to come soon!

Did you host a party? What did you make? If you went to a party, what did you eat? I want to know!

Am I losing that $50 or what? Okay, back to eating healthy! And running! Yay…

What did you do this weekend?
Jay

  

Reece’s Pieces & More Pieces

Candies

Cleaning is fun when you find random surprises. The best is when you find money! Though I didn’t come across any cash, I did find a 25lb box of Reece’s Pieces. You might not be so lucky, unless you had a roommate that owns a yogurt shop. Because that’s what happened to us and fortunately winner, winner, chicken dinner… err Reece’s Pieces, you know what I mean.

25lb box

Obviously snacking is a good choice for these little, circular goodies. Also baking!!!

If you don’t bake often, here are a few helpful tips.

  • Mix the dry ingredients separate from the wet ingredients.
  • Butter and eggs should always be at room temperature.
  • In case you’ve forgotten to take the butter and eggs out to sit, you can heat the butter in the microwave in 5 second bursts until it’s softened. You can also submerge the eggs in warm water for 5 minutes for room temperature.
  • Freeze the dough if there’s too much! That way you can always bake cookies when guests come over or if you’re craving freshly baked cookies.

Onward to two delicious cookie recipes for you to try.

CookiesRegular Reece’s Pieces cookies on the left. Reece’s Pieces Muesli Cookies on the right (I call them my healthy cookies).

Reece’s Pieces Cookies
(makes 4 dozen large cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup and 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups Reece’s Pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat the eggs, then add the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
  4. Mix the granulated sugar and brown sugar together. Then blend the butter into the sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Blend the eggs and vanilla into the sugar mixture. Add in the dry ingredients.
  6. Mix in the Reece’s Pieces.
  7. Form dough balls onto a baking sheet. I like to make bite-sized cookies, so I use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to help me form the dough balls.
  8. When the oven is ready, put the tray into the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Eat them!

Reece’s Pieces Muesli Cookies
(makes 2 dozen large cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of muesli
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1.5 cups of Reece’s Pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg (at room temperature)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Beat the eggs, then add the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
  4. Mix the granulated sugar and brown sugar together. Then blend the butter into the sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Blend the eggs and vanilla into the sugar mixture. Add in the dry ingredients.
  6. Mix in the muesli and Reece’s Pieces.
  7. Form dough balls onto a baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

These recipes are amazing. When I make them, my husband can eat a dozen in a sitting, and people are always grabbing for more!

With so many Reece’s Pieces, I had to make a Reece’s Pieces cake too.  I baked chocolate cake from the box, put on frosting, and then places the Reece’s Pieces on top. This is going to be such a hit for Fall.

CakeIsn’t it so pretty?

Cake

What else should I make with Reece’s Pieces? Any ideas?

Get in my belly,
Jay