Delicious No Bake Cookies

Ok, so this might not be the healthiest recipe.  But sometimes an athlete has to splurge.  I love this recipe for a few different reasons.  One, it is a no bake recipe which means no hot oven in the heat of summer.  Two, there are just a few simple ingredients and with some quick changes you can make these gluten free.

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Rock is a huge fan of these.  I made a quick batch before he got home on Friday night and when we had an impromptu gathering for the Blackhawks game on Saturday night I threw together a second batch so we could send our company home with some dessert.  You have got to love a recipe that allows you to make dessert in about 5 minutes!  I am pretty certain this is a Midwestern dessert staple for all of these reasons.

Ingredients:

3 cups oatmeal

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup milk (I use almond but you can use any kind you like)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup peanut butter (plus a bit more if you are like me)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Bring the sugar, milk, and butter to a boil for at least one full minute.  I aim for about 2 minutes because if you do not bring it to a full boil and wait long enough these bad boys won’t set and you will be left with oatmeal mush.  Remove from heat and add in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla.  Stir well.

Drop by spoonfuls onto tinfoil or wax paper lined baking sheets and let set for approximately 30 minutes to an hour.  Enjoy!

Make them chocolate!  Add in 2 tablespoons of unsweetened baking cocoa in the last step and these turn into delicious chocolate oatmeal cookies.  You seriously can’t go wrong either way.  In fact, make two batches; one of each!

Key Lime Pie

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  I apologize for being out of touch the past few days.  I was up in Northern Wisconsin and my internet connection was spotty.  I was also just having too much fun doing all sorts of activities and that is probably the true reason for my blog neglect.

One of the highlights of my week was getting to skate with the Camp Deerhorn boys during their summer hockey camp.  I have taught thousands of kids over the past two decades and I have to give a special shout out to these boys and the camp because they were an absolute blast to work with.  The entire group consisted of courteous young gentleman who made my week fly by.

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Another highlight of my week occurred when I found out that the Muscular Dystrophy Association was doing their Fill The Boot fundraiser up in Rhinelander Wisconsin where I happened to be.  Many of you know that I am the marathon coach here in Chicago for the MDA’s new Team Momentum and this is a charity that is very special to me.  I was honored to have the chance to stop by and meet Robbie and Carrie Ivey who were there helping fundraise.  I could have spent the entire day with Robbie and his mom.  This is one sweet guy who also happens to be a Red Wing fan, which made me adore him even more!  If you want to learn more about how you can help the MDA send me a message.

Sorry Robbie, I am a terrible selfie taker!

Sorry Robbie, I am a terrible selfie taker!

Summer is finally here, although this past week in Wisconsin was chilly, and with the warmer weather comes new cravings.  One of my husband’s favorite summer desserts is a key lime pie recipe that my mom makes.  When I found out how easy and relatively light this recipe was, I started making it several times during the summer and even a few other times throughout the year.

This is a great recipe to whip up right before guests come over or as a treat for a hot summer day.  It only takes a few ingredients and requires minimal labor.

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I found key limes at the grocery store but in the past I have simply used regular old limes and if you are in a crunch you can do half lime and half lemon and still get good results.  If you can find key limes go for it because the taste is definitely extraordinary.

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On a side note, I typically take recipes and then work to whittle down the fat and calories.  Usually you will see me using lighter versions of ingredients for a recipe.  However when I was at the grocery store I was comparing fat and calories in the ingredients and the difference was pretty minimal.  Looking at the low fat version of the crust, I noticed that both had the same calorie content and only 1.5 grams of fat difference between the two.  I used to fall for the fat free and low fat mania but I have since noticed that most of those products have a ton of added sugar or other ingredients to make up for the reduced fat content.  The same held true for all of the other ingredients.  Each one had the same calorie content in the regular fat and reduced fat versions.  Seeing as this is a dessert and you should have nice small portions of it anyway, I opted for the regular version for all of the ingredients.  This allowed me to maintain the great taste of the recipe and keep the same calorie content I would have ended up with had I gone the low fat route.  And truth be told, there isn’t a lot of fat content in this to begin with.

Another great thing about this recipe is that there you won’t find any artificial coloring or flavors.  That means this won’t come out with that green gelatinous look you might be used to.  Instead you will find a pretty white and fluffy dessert.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: NONE!

Ingredients:

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1 graham cracker crumb crust

1/2 cup key lime juice

14 ounce can of condensed milk

1 container of Cool Whip

Zest of a lime

Directions:

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Mix together the lime juice and can of condensed milk for 30 seconds or until fluffy.  Add in 3/4 of the Cool Whip container and blend.  Set aside the remaining 1/4 container of Cool Whip.  Take your blended lime mixture and pour evenly into pie crust.  Use a spoon to stir the remaining Cool Whip until it is fluffy.  Lightly smooth over the lime mixture to make a “meringue.”  Zest a lime over the meringue.  Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes or in the fridge for an hour before serving.

A big congrats and great job to everyone who ran the Festival of Races at the Cherry Festival this weekend.  A special shout out to Team Momentum members Patrick and Jen who rocked the inaugural half marathon.  Way to represent!!

 

A Kick in the (Bourbon) Balls

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I love the holidays and one of my favorite things to do during this time of year is cook and bake treats for friends and family. What I love most is finding savory recipes and finding a way to make them just a tad healthier.  This one isn’t changed too much, but it is simple enough that I think it is a great treat to make for yourself or to share.  These small treats are also so packed full of chocolate goodness, one small bite will likely cure your sweet tooth.  I found this recipe last week watching The Chew, credit goes to Carla Hall for making this delicious concoction.  I did change it around a bit, but more so to fit my own preferences.

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Prep and cook time: 10 minutes or less

Ingredients:

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chopped into small pieces

½ stick of butter

¼ cup of bourbon

1 ¾ cup powdered sugar

Dash of salt to taste

Sprinkles, baking cocoa, shredded coconut or any other fun things to roll your balls in.

Directions:

Cook bourbon in a pan over high heat until it cooks down to 1/8 cup or half the amount in the pan, and then remove from heat.  In another pan, or preferably a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate until it is smooth over medium high heat.  Be careful not to cook the chocolate over too high of a heat because it can go from melting to burnt before you know it!  Remove from heat.  Pour bourbon into the pan with chocolate and add in the powdered sugar and salt.  Stir and let sit until it cools to room temperature.

Once the mixture has cooled, scoop out small spoon sized balls and roll to make smooth.  You can then roll them in candies, sprinkles, or any other fun treat to make them look fun.

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I like to keep these cool in the fridge or freezer until just before ready to serve.  These are super easy to make a batch or few ahead of time and pull them out for hostess treats or holidays gifts when you need them.  They keep well in the freezer for several weeks in a sealed container or ziplock.

A few other notes about ingredients:  You can use any liquor you prefer.  My mother-in-law likes these made with rum.  You can add in 1/4 cup  chopped nuts, almonds, walnuts etc., just put in 1/4 cup less powdered sugar.  Also, when I make these I foot the extra few cents for a higher quality chocolate.  It tastes so much better and if you are going to do dessert, don’t skimp on the flavor!

My theory with this one is that if chocolate can help your recovery process, then this is a great recovery food.  Totally kidding, but enjoy them nonetheless!

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