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These past few weeks have really been a whirlwind of change. (You can totally skip the next few paragraphs if you don’t care, there’s a really awesome recipe down there.) On the more serious, life-update front, Marco graduated from law school (“Congratulations! But you’re not really done, go study for the bar!”) and I got a new job (I start in just under two weeks AAAAHHHH!!). And on the less serious, more fun side of life, I won my second round of dessert competition and have been released from my Jell-o mold! (If you’re confused: I entered a dessert bracket competition, was given Jell-o as my category, won 2 rounds so far with a Strawberry Jell-o Shot Cake and a White Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Gelee, now moving on to the third round and I’ve been given new options to choose from for my category of dessert.) But now, I’m torn. Do I stick with Jell-o, staying true to my category and hoping that creativity continues to propel me forward? Or do I go for the obvious, and switch to chocolate cake? Decisions, decisions….

Another update: I’ve been trying REALLY hard to get in shape, not so much for extreme weight loss or anything but I am looking to really tune up and tone up. And it has REALLY SUCKED. Well, some days, I think “This is awesome, that was a great workout!” but mostly it’s screaming “WWWHHHYYY am I doing this to myself??” But I’ve kept at it for some reason. I just started my third month of serious conditioning, mostly through different kinds of circuit training and NO running because I hate running. I’ve definitely noticed some changes in my body (like I have biceps for the first time ever), but I haven’t fully met my goals yet, and I’m finally realizing why: because I’ve set a high bar, so high it doesn’t even really exist. I’ll skip the whole rant on women’s bodies and self-image and media et cetera, but I’m bringing it up now because I think we all need a little reminder sometimes. It’s ok. We’re not perfect. We need to learn to accept ourselves. I need to learn to accept myself. Insert rant here. There, you’ve been reminded.

Now, on a lighter note, I’ve also started a 10-day (modified) smoothie detox, and on day 4 I can now happily write about my progress, which I shall sum up for you as such:

Day 1. This smoothie is not nearly as delicious as the ones I normally make. And it made too much, geez. Here, Marco, have this one, I don’t need it, I just need 2. Hours pass. I’m so huuuungry. Actually reads pages from smoothie detox book. Damnit! I was supposed to have 3 smoothies, one every 3 to 4 hours! Too late. Marco has already finished the gifted smoothie.

Day 2. This isn’t going to work. I’m too hungry. Eats carrots next to Marco eating ice cream. Silently cries.

Day 3. Worst gas I’ve ever had. Like, I said out loud, “I wish I could run away from myself right now.” Like, I imagine plants dying in my wake, bad. Just bad.

Day 4. Ok, maybe this isn’t so bad. The smoothies are starting to satisfy me more, the cravings for candy and chips are subsiding, I feel like I have more energy. I think I might actually be able to do this.

First-world problems.

Ill be sure to update you on the rest. 🙂

Ok, so there really is a recipe here (one that I did a while ago, and now writing about it is kind of making me sad. Maybe this was a bad idea…)

Unfortunately, I am not the genius behind this idea. I found this recipe originally through Pinterest (obviously). But I ended up searching around for other macaroon recipes, so modified that one slightly, and I really loved the result. I made this whole batch but did half macaroon tartlets in a mini-muffin pan, and then used the other half for actual macaroons (dipped in and drizzled with chocolate). I’ve since used this recipe as a pie crust and for other tartlets, it really is so versatile. (I just recommend that you use truly non-stick pans for this, or else you’ll never get them out. Trust me.)

Ingredients:
3 egg whites
1 14 oz bag of sweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of gluten-free all purpose flour (or rice flour or corn starch)
Lemon curd (store bought or homemade)
Raspberry jam (or any fresh berries)

So simple. Preheat oven to 350 or 325.

Mix together coconut flakes, egg whites, sugar, extracts and salt in a large bowl. Scoop a large spoonful into each cup of a greased mini-muffin tin, and then press the coconut down and up the sides to make a little “nest.”

macaroon tartlets

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the bottoms are starting to brown as well. If the tops of the crusts look like they’re getting too dark, you can cover it in tin foil.

Remove and let cool. And then put in whatever filling you want! I stuck with the lemon curd and a little homemade raspberry jam on top, but anything creamy and delicious will work just as well. 🙂

lemon curd macaroon tartlets

And if you want to just make macaroons, use an ice cream scoop to shape them, tightly, place on parchment paper on a baking sheet, and bake the same way.

macaroons

I added a little chocolate to mine.

photo 4 (15)

Both were a HUGE hit at the office!

Hope you’re enjoying warm weather wherever you are, and that summer transformations are headed your way, no matter what they look like or what shape they come in, as long they’re good and making life better for you in any small way.

Take care.

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