Cake Batter Popsicles

Something about popsicles is the greatest thing ever.

cake batter popsicles 1

I’m not sure if it’s the endless possibilities or biting into something frozen on 95°F summer days or what, but I’m obsessed.

Working at the nursing home, it gets hot. I have this little meat thermometer in my chef’s coat pocket and it reads about 90°F+ consistently. So coming home after an 8-hour work day in 90°F heat, I’m ready for something to cool me down.

cake batter popsicles 2

Hence, popsicles. Now, you might’ve seen my other popsicles but I have to say. These are better. They’re both good, but cake batter trumps fruit any day.

Next up: creamy chocolate chip popsicles with a special surprise [undecided, hence 'special'].

Cake Batter Popsicles
Adapted from Girlichef

1 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk
1/2 c vanilla cake mix
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c sprinkles

1. Over medium heat in a saucepan, combine the almond milk, brown sugar, and vanilla until brown sugar has melted.
2. In a bowl, combine cake mix and brown sugar milk.
3. Pour some sprinkles into the bottom of the popsicle molds, then pour the mixture into the molds halfway up. Repeat by adding sprinkles and mixture.
4. Freeze overnight and serve by running hot water over molds until popsicles pop out.

Red Velvet Smoothie

It was one of those days.

red velvet smoothies 1

I woke up and went to turn off a light, kept on for the new kitten, and there was a SPIDER right next to the lamp light switch. omg. dead.

So, I promptly called J, who was inconveniently working 30min away, and he suggested taking the lamp outside. UH NO. What if it fell on me? more death. It crawled into the bowl of the lamp, so I put not one but two binders on top of it. NOPE. It crawled out of the one tiny crevice. J suggests vacuuming it up. Sounds reasonable. Actually, sounds hilarious, but I got on the couch and had the extension vacuum thing in my hand and had a mental break down. SO FREAKING BIG.

red velvet smoothies 2

I just cried hysterically until 9am when my apartment complex office opened. They sent maintenance. Totally worth what I pay in rent.

THEN I had to take my wailing, screaming, pissed off kitten to the vet. He was sad in the cat carrier and antsy in my lap. It was a long 40min each direction but he’s a healthy baby. Yay! And his vaccination made him sleepy, which was exactly what I needed since usually he’s a level 12 [out of 10] energy.

red velvet smoothies 3

So what do you do when life hands you spiders and screaming kittens? Make dessert smoothies. Duh. I saw this on Pinterest and pinned it immediately. A little drool might have been involved, too. Actually, this smart lady is the reason I put cottage cheese in my smoothies now. Can you say protein boost?

I am on this ridiculous smoothie kick but something about having dessert for breakfast (did you know that’s better? dessert for breakfast instead of after dinner? because you burn those calories off throughout the day! win!) is even better. Almost counteracts the tarantula in my apartment. Almost.

red velvet smoothies 4

Red Velvet Smoothie
Adapted slightly from Dashing Dish

1/2 c cottage cheese
1 scoop rocky road (or any chocolate) protein powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3-5 drops red food coloring
2 tbsp fat free cream cheese
1 tbsp vanilla pudding mix
10 ice cubes
1/2 c water
2 packets stevia

Blend all. Top with sprinkles if desired [or whipped cream!].

4th of July Cookies

I work at a place that serves healthy, prepackaged, pre-portioned meals. There are no desserts there. Only healthy foods.

4th of july cookies 5

But holidays REQUIRE desserts. They just do. So, I made cookies. I made them for my mom and my boyfriend and some extras for my friends, but I made them predominantly for The Fit Station. Because healthy customers need cheat days.

4th of july cookies 6

These cookies are fool proof. They are Picky Palate’s cookies and this is the second time I have made them. Both times, they turned out perfectly. And I am a terrible cookie baker.

4th of july cookies 4

No 4th of July dessert is complete without red, white, and blue. Duh. So, I added some sprinkles. Little sprinkles with little stars.

4th of july cookies 7

Just in case you want some healthy 4th of July options, you can check out my strawberries and parfait. Or for breakfast, you could have some strawberry shortcake pancakes. Or, you could have a salad before gorging on cookies.

4th of july cookies 8

4th of July Chocolate Chip Cookies
I doubled Picky Palate’s recipe for work, but the recipe below makes approximately 24 cookies.

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
3 tbsp vanilla pudding mix
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c chocolate chips
Can of favorite frosting
Sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and combine.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Add into the mixing bowl. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Roll cookie dough into balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, and let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

Sometimes in life, you just need to word-vom.

strawberry lemonade popsicles 1

1. J got a Pinterest so that I can send him funny pins and so that he can pin things on a board that he wants me to make. It’s a win win.

2. I created a new Instagram account! @skinnymuffin_tiu! It’s my Tone It Up account so the people who follow me and don’t want to hear about all my fitnessy stuff can just look at kitten pictures all.day.long.

strawberry lemonade popsicles 2

3. I went to Boston! It was 14 hours in the car up there and a little over 12 hours back. But totally worth it. Roadtrips are both grueling and amazing because you get to bond with whoever you’re stuck in the car with. Also: read Dane Cook and Barney’s Get Psyched Mix from How I Met Your Mother.

strawberry lemonade popsicles 3

4. That little precious nugget that I adopted? He’s a scoundrel. He RUNS out the door – like, the door to the outside – any time I open it. Uh, talk about panic attack. The other night, J was making dinner and all of a sudden Caribou went UNDERNEATH the counter. Like, underneath the counter and the cabinets and all that madness. J was about to get his tools out, I was cursing and about to put a work order in (WHY IS THIS THING BROKEN SO MY CAT CAN GET IN?!) when Caribou casually waltzed back out. There is currently a mug sitting where that little crevice is to keep the scoundrel out. Talk about life as a cat mom: stressful.

strawberry lemonade popsicles 4

5. I have a new obsession with popsicles. Today I had a ’tilt table test’ to see if my random passing out could be related to my heart (it’s not – woo!) and I was completely bored during the 30min where you stand there and do nothing, in silence. So, I thought about popsicle flavors. Up soon: cake batter, brownie batter, 4th of July, tropical, peach… Requests?

strawberry lemonade popsicle 2

PS: Popsicles + kittens = winning.

Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
Adapted slightly from Elephantine

1 c frozen strawberries, slightly thawed
2 packets Stevia
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c plain Greek yogurt

1. Mix the sugar and strawberries, then mix the strawberries in a bowl with yogurt and lemon juice.
2. Pour (scoop) into popsicle molds – mine made 3 popsicles – and freeze overnight.

Meet Caribou

Warning: The following content contains many kitten photos and ‘kitten selfies.’

caribou 1

So… you might have noticed I haven’t blogged in, well… way too long.

caribou 4

I’m juggling three jobs and now I have added on a new addition: a kitten. Caribou is approximately 5 weeks old. We aren’t completely sure but somewhere between 4 and 8 weeks? Probably closer to the lower end.

caribou 2

He’s a cutie pie. He holds my heart a little bit. He was going to be my mom’s but ended up being mine. Don’t worry, she visits to get her ‘grandkitty’ fix.

caribou 3

Isn’t he adorable? And let me just tell you. Being a kitty mom is hard. Scooping litter boxes all the time (don’t even get me started on litter box training because he’s only about 89% there), microwaving his food 5 seconds so it isn’t cold from the fridge (apparently cold food can upset their stomachs?), playing with him CONSTANTLY when he is outside of the bathroom and in the living room so he doesn’t have any ‘accidents,’ holding him and not being able to do anything else because he only likes to cuddle when I am lying on the floor, getting up early enough and feeding him fast enough that he doesn’t starve, and trying to not feel guilty when I leave him and go to work [he cries! breaks my heart].

photo 2-19

But meet Caribou. He is completely adorable and getting better by the day. He was a little bit sick when we got him but I think he will be an amazing study buddy next semester.

photo 1-22

photo 3-17

photo 3-16

Now you understand the lack of recipes. Can’t put him down.