Link Love

Today’s Tuesday..which means it’s exactly 2 weeks until Christmas day! yay! 😀 I can’t believe it’s so close and to say I’m organized would be a lie. Uh-oh.. but- this Friday I shall finally dive head first into the crowds and buy most, if not all, presents in one go. For today though, I thought I’d share some links to carefully selected sites with you 🙂

Here we go..

Something to decorate cupcakes & co
Sprinkles

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How to Make Sprinkles for Cupcakes

a boredom busting cardio workout
hiit-and-steady

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Fitnessista’s HIIT and Steady Cardio workout from October

delicious Holiday Brunch ideas.. especially this tasty-looking Kale salad
kale-salad-with-dates-parmesan-and-almonds-foss431

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Kale Salad with Dates, Parmesan and Almonds and other Holiday Brunch Recipes

super cute workout tees
eatcleantraindirty

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Eat Clean Train Dirty and other awesome workout tanks and tees from FiredaughterClothing

a protein pancake recipe…mmmh
shineorsetproteinpancake

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Shine Or Set’s Protein Pancake recipe

Tips on mastering the most daunting (for some) workout moves
0905-pullup

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Tips on How to Master Any Workout Move

 

Enjoy!♥

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Thursday Happenings

Yesterday was one of those days.. not in the mood for work, but I still got pleasure out of the little things in life.   Case in point

mowgli blanket

add a workout

goddess_workout_printable_tone_it_up_katrina_karena_livestrong_woman

Source

Some baking

whitechocolate chocolatechip cake

..sushi

Photo0448

and another one of my cuddly munchkin at the end of the day 🙂

mowgli lap

TGIF! 🙂

laters..

Bake It Better

A bit of an odd title for a post, but hey..it kinda makes sense…

You see, I put my back out again, last Sunday as I was getting ready for work. Even though I was seeing a Chiropractor for about 8 months (which was great, but not very affordable in the long run) and I was more than ok for a while, it came to bite me in the back (pun intended 😉 ). So, I still went to work, in agony – poor me whatever, blah blah.. – bought a T.E.N.S machine (I basically swapped my Garmin for the T.E.N.S 😦 )on Monday, applied copious amounts of DeepHeat coupled with hot water bottles at night and on my day off yesterday, I just couldn’t hold back any longer – I just had to BAKE!!! Some of the motivation came in the form of some overly ripe Raspberries, the rest from feeling hungry as the fridge is sparsely stocked at the moment.

Here’s the recipe, which can be altered and adapted to your own liking.. hooray! 😀

Raspberry Madeira Cake/Muffins/?

Image

Yield : 6 large Muffins + 1x20cm round cake

Ingredients:

  • 300ml Water
  • 150g Apple Puree (unsweetened Apple Sauce)
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil (I used mild Olive Oil)
  • 500g dry Cake Mix
  • 100g Wholemeal Flour
  • 1.5 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tbsp Xantham Gum
  • 35g Oats
  • 10g Splenda (granulated)
  • 15g milled Flax/Linseed
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Extract
  • 15g mixed, chopped Nuts
  • 70g White Chocolate Chips
  • 170g Raspberries

(I really went to town with the added extras..you could leave out/swap the nuts, chocolate chips, even the flax and oats, but they turned out perfect!)

Anyway..

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C/ 356° F
  2. Measure water, apple puree and oil into a large mixing bowl. Add the next 7 dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Add the lemon extract, chopped nuts and white chocolate chips and fold in the raspberries afterwards.
  4. Grease (e.g.) a 6 cup muffin tin, dust with plain flour and repeat with the round (20cm) cake tin.
  5. Fill pans with batter and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Enjoy warm, served with custard, fro yo, ice cream,… 😛

Have a great Saturday and Weekend!

When Life Gives You Lemons

Sooooo…it’s been a while.. a month to be exact! One month that has been jet-packed with my – gulp – 30th birthday, a big night out for the same :D, work and many interval and few strength sessions. But mainly it felt like all I was wearing was either my work uniform, workout clothes or pjs..well except for that certain night out. I got lucky in the sale at Oasis and found not one but two outfits..

 

 

The winner was the beaded navy dress, only because I had a feeling that the jumpsuit would have meant too much hassle after a few too many drinks. All in all, our group of friends had a fantastic night, or so I’m told ;). It only took me a day and a half to feel up to scratch for a run.

I won’t bore you with the more or less monotonous weeks since then and jump straight to today. The plan for today didn’t quite as I’d imagined, partly because I couldn’t drag myself out of bed early enough to go to the gym without having breakfast, and therefore spent what was left of the morning and afternoon catching up on such exciting things like laundry and cleaning.. whoopdeedoo. So I thought I’d go the gym this evening, although earlier than I’d usual, during the after-work-rush-hour to be precise. Biiiiig mistake!

I gave it a chance and hopped on a bike for 10 minutes, no one was budging, not a cooldown in sight. Instead of waiting around a bit longer and with a delicous dinner awaiting me at home, I gave in. After dinner there was one thing I couldn’t get outta my mind – Lemon Meringue Pie!

My camera’s batteries gave up on me, hence no photographic evidence, but I also made a modification – I felt like more of a cakey(?)-spongy texture rather than a pastry one. Well, I mixed together some Madeira cake mix with wholemeal flour, added an egg, vanilla extract, baking powder and some water, poured it into a springform cake tin, and let it bake for about ten minutes. While the unconventional base was baking, I whisked a can of Nestle Light Condensed Milk and two egg yolkes together, before adding the juice of two and half lemons. A couple of minutes later, the base was done and I poured the condensed milk/egg/lemon mix over it, popped it back into the oven and for a further five minutes. Meanwhile, my old reliable handmixer came out to play to do it’s magic with a couple of egg whites :). Finally, I folded in a few (ahem, I didn’t measure anything,except for the obvious, i.e. eggs, can of condensed milk,once I perfect this I’ll make sure to measure everything out) spoons of sugar, spooned the meringue over the rest of the cake and let it bake for five additional minutes. The result was deliciously moreish, if I do say so myself. The boyfriend loved it too!

The moral of today – even if your day doesn’t turn out quite as planned, there still might be some cake at then end of it! 😀

Baked

So on my last day off work before Christmas, after running around trying to remember a few bits and bobs I’d forgotten about again and again, like gift tags, wrapping paper and a Living Social coupon (which had been resting in my account for about 6 months), I made it to my Chiropractor appointment just in time and home to continue the task at hand..baking!

Whoop! 😀

Here, slightly super late, are the goodies- “Chocolate covered Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies” and “Austrian Vanilla Crescents

Chocolate-Covered-Hazelnut / Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Servings: A lot of cookies about 40 cookies, depending on size

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 60 minutes for the dough to chill

Time spent in oven at 170°C/340°F: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F
  2. Weigh flour or spoon into measuring cups. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/2 tsp of salt and baking powder with a wisk or wooden spoon. Then, measure butter and sugar into a seperate bowl and beat with a handmixer until well combined. Add the egg and combine until well blended. Next you can mix in vanilla extract. Finally, add the flour mixture to the butter mix and beat until combined.
  3. Shape the dough (slightly dampening your hands will prevent the dough from sticking to much) into a round ball, cover in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour.
  4. Unwrap dough, and roll small bits of dough into balls (which should fit anything between a teaspoon and tablespoon). Place balls an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper
    • For the Cherry Cookie – lightly press a glacé cherry into the middle of each ball.
    •  For the Hazelnut Cookie – lightly press a hazelnut into the middle of each dough ball.

    .

  5. Bake at 170°C/ 340°F for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottoms. Keep checking – you definitely don’t wanna overcook these. 🙂
  6. Cool on wire rack before melting dark and milk chocolate over a simmering pan of water. Drizzle chocolate over Hazelnuts and leave to cool. My choice of covering for the cherry thumbprints is white chocolate, but you can use whatever you like 🙂

 

Austrian Vanilla Crescents

Servings: 30 cookies

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes + 30 minutes in fridge to chill

Time spent in oven baking at 200°C/400°F: 10 – 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 265g Plain Flour
  • 1g Salt
  • 200g Butter
  • 60g Icing/Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 15g Vanilla Sugar
  • 180g Ground Almonds

Preparation:

  1. Combine the flour with the salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and mix into flour with your hands.
  2. Then, add icing sugar, egg, vanilla sugar and ground almonds to the flour-butter mix. Combine well, shape dough into ball and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Seperate dough into about 3 parts and make rolls that are about 1 inch thick. Cut these into 1 inch pieces.
  4. Shape the 1 inch pieces into the shape of a crescent and place on baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake at 200°C/400°F for 10 t 15 minutes or until slightly golden underneath. Remove them carefully from tray. Dip the crecents carefully into a mix of icing and vanilla sugar while they are still warm and leave to cool. Alternatively, you can dip half the cookie in melted chocolate.

 

Laters 😀

Twas the day of baking gifts

Today is my last day off before Christmas Day! Not bad, considering I work in retail and it’s utter mayhem in every shop, no matter how big or small, right now. A day off work doesn’t equate to a day of rest for though – oh no, for today is the day I’m baking dozen of cookies which shall be passed on as gifts to co-workers and ‘grown-up’ family members.

On the menu : Sugar Cookie Recipe-made-into-Hazelnut-Thumbprint-covered-in-Chocolate Cookies 😀 and Austrian Vanilla Crescents

Before I can get to that, I have an appointment with my Chiropractor, which hasn’t only been part of a series of appointments ever since I put my back out for the 2nd time in a matter of 5 months earlier this year, but is also coming quite handy-dandy today as I felt that familiar jolt of pain in my lower back two days ago… meh. :/

So, I haven’t been to the gym since Monday, though I’m yearning for the treadmill, as strange as that may sound to some. Anyway, I’m hoping to be able to hop back on the ‘moving pavement’ (<– huh!?) by wednesday next week, which would also coincide with my gym reopening after the festivities. Happy days!

Wish me luck..