Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Little Christmas Baking

Hello bloggie friends!  How is your Christmas week going?  Is everyone a little giddy with holiday cheer?  I know we are looking forward to relaxing with family and enjoying our first Christmas with a little one.

In honor of the holiday season, and having my parents visit, I actually did some baking!  (If you haven’t followed my blog for very long, I hate to bake.  I am not into the preciseness that baking requires.  It reminds me to much of chemistry labs.)  However, I do love sweet treats.  I also want Ava to grow up with the tradition of some holiday baking and the house smelling of vanilla, chocolate and all good things sweet. 

I began the baking ventures the other day with Maple Date Bars.  It is an old Cooking Light recipe that I modified a bit more by using half whole wheat pastry flour and half all purpose.  I also substituted half of the sugar with NuStevia Baking Blend.  The results were just as amazing as the original recipe.  

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Mmm, mmm..good.  And healthy right, oatmeal and dates? haha

Next up was Magic Bars, or 7 Layer Bars depending on your area.  No picture yet, as they were baked last night and it was dark and I was tired when we took them out of the oven.  Stay tuned, as I will post those and the sugar cookie cutouts later today.  

Between all the baking and overeating of sweets quality control nibbling, I’ve also managed to fit in some tasty healthy eats.  Lunch yesterday featured leftover grilled veggies. 

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Eggplant, carrots, zucchini, brussel sprouts, and half of an acorn squash

Accompanied by some red quinoa with a few orange lentils for a protein boost.  Whoever says they don’t like vegetables hasn’t had them grilled! 

Activity:

Amongst the extra baking and present wrapping, I’ve managed to keep my pretty regular routine of exercise.  It makes me feel balanced and less stressed to keep some routine during busy times.  Yesterday I did another amazing hot yoga class.  Today, Scott and I took advantage of the nursery at our gym, and worked out together.  It’s so much fun to have a workout buddy.  We did our own sort of “bootcamp.”   40 minutes of alternating cardio and strength training.  We utilized weights, jump ropes, resistance bands and medicine balls.  It was fun and made the time fly.  Love that!  Not to mention, Peanut had fun having all the nursery aids to herself. 

Speaking of the peanut, last night our gym had Santa there for the usual Monday night happy hour they put on.  Here she is sitting on Santa’s lap.  We’re still not sure what she told him she wanted for Christmas.  ;-)

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Today’s baking adventures will be sugar cookie cutouts (with the help of my mom) and chocolate bittersweets.  I will post pictures and recipes later.  I also hope to get in a quick swim now that the babysitters, my parents are here. 

Are you already for Christmas

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