Friday, February 6, 2015

Coffee Energy Bites and Friday Faves

Favorite Bite:

These are addicting.  Perfect little gems to throw into your gym bag for a pre- or post-workout pick-me-up, take them in your backpack for that mid-hike treat, eat them for breakfast if you're running late, whatever!  Well, I probably wouldn't eat them for a bedtime snack, but other than that....

I don't know who figured out that coffee and chocolate were a perfect marriage, but thank you.  I first learned about the effect coffee has on chocolate from my beloved Ina, but I doubt it was her discovery.  Maybe it was.  Coffee really enhances the flavor of chocolate, so a little espresso powder in your favorite brownie or cookie recipe totally ups the ante.  And don't worry about your coffee hating friends.....they most likely won't know exactly what it is that makes your brownies so damn good.

These aren't just chocolate and coffee, however.  These little guys are actually good for you.  Full of protein and fiber, they're a perfect little bite to tide you over.  And you only have to dirty one bowl to make them!  This makes my resident dishwasher very happy.

Coffee Energy Bites
adapted from

 1 cup dry whole grain oatmeal 
1/2 cup ground flaxseed 
2 tblsp fresh ground UN-brewed coffee beans * 
1/2 cup creamy almond butter * 
1/4 cup of honey 
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 cup chocolate chips 

Peanut butter also works in place of the almond butter, however both MUST be creamy, and preferably store bought jars. Ground nut butters are much too dry for this recipe. When I say coffee grounds I mean take fresh beans, grind them, and use those grounds in the recipe. DO NOT brew them, and make sure your coffee is FRESH, old coffee will result in minimal coffee flavor. 

 Stir your oatmeal, flaxseed, and coffee granules together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed, then add your almond butter, honey, and vanilla. Once well combined fold in your chocolate chips. Stir well! Let chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like, I usually make 10-12 balls. Store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

Favorite Music:

Did you watch the finale of Parenthood last week?  I finally got around to it last weekend and for the most part, I loved it.  They had "teased" me so many times regarding Zeke's death that by the time it actually happened I was a tad immune.  And that baseball game was torturous....the acting seemed so forced that it made me uncomfortable.   But because I loved the series so much, I'll forgive these tiny transgressions.  What I did love about the finale, and what I've loved consistently through the years, is the soundtrack of every episode.  Music can make or break a moment, and I don't think anyone did it better than Parenthood (maybe Grey's..??).  So the music from the final episode get's my nod this week:

And if you're still in withdrawal, maybe this will help.

Favorite Wine Tip:

This handy dandy little chart for your next wine and cheese party.  Mr. B and I don't need a and cheese is our dinner way too I can see myself making a laminated copy of this for my purse!


Favorite Reads:

I stayed up way to late two nights in a row devouring this book that I mentioned a few weeks ago.  Such a great thriller and I can totally see this being the buzz book this year.  I highly recommend.

I started this Jodi Picoult book right after and can't put it down either.  I've always loved her books.  You totally know what you're going to get with her, but I just don't care.  They're always a great read.

Favorite Links:

This is both terrifying and beautiful.  National Geographic photographers are the best in the business.  If you don't follow them on instagram, start.  Oh and Charlotte're not going to want to watch the video, but they rest of your definitely should.

Fifty-seven things you can do right now to become a better cook.  It took many years in the kitchen for me to learn most of these're welcome.

Thirty-nine deliciously unexpected healthy avocado recipes.  

What type of cooking oil you should use for every occasion.

The science behind the perfect cookie.

Don't mess with Texas....Beans DO NOT belong in chili.  This will make my bean-hating BFF (the one that actually reads this blog) very happy.

This guy is really good on the fly.....

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