Three Ingredient Pancakes with Homemade Jam

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There is nothing better than satisfying your sweet tooth by tricking your taste buds into thinking you’re eating something sugary and bad, but really, it’s just pure health and deliciousness. When I’m craving chocolate or candy, but I don’t want to give in to my devil-side telling me to reach for the fatty cookie or carb-filled homemade pancakes, I often look to The Skinny Confidential’s recipe guide. Lauren has the best collection of very simple, easy to make and mostly healthy dishes that are so fun to experiment with. This is one that I stole from her list, and I love it so much that I make it at least 4 times a week. I introduce to you “Three ingredient pancakes with homemade jam”!

This recipe is so simple and so good, I actually prefer it to regular pancakes. The texture is gooey and delicious, while the homemade jam adds the perfect amount of sweetness. Not only is it flavorful and mouthwatering, the serving size that I prepare has barely any calories. You could even double the serving size in this recipe and it will still be a healthy and fulfilling snack. Find the recipe below…

Serving Size: About 6 small pancakes 

Pancake Ingredients:

  1. 1 egg
  2. 1/2 banana
  3. About 2 TB chia seeds

Jam Ingredients:

  1. Handful of raspberries (or any of your favorite berries)
  2. Alternative: Add a drizzle of agave to sweeten it up or add a sprinkle of chia seeds for more texture

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Directions

  1. Blend all pancake ingredients in a food processor or blender
  2. Heat frying pan on medium-low heat, spray with Pan
  3. Pour small amount of pancake mix onto pan and let it cook for a couple of minutes on each side, or until golden brown
  4. Once previous step is repeated until all pancakes are cooked, heat up the handful of fruit (for the jam) for about 10 seconds in the microwave
  5. Add in alternative ingredients, and mash up until they form a more liquid texture
  6. Place cooked pancakes and homemade jam on a plate, add some of your favorite berries to go with it

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Voila! So healthy, sweet, and delicious

Xx,

Tash

DIY Protein Shake

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Last spring, I became addicted to the protein shakes at the little cafe at my local Equinox. I would pick one up after each workout, and they were the perfect post workout snack—so delicious and replenishing for your body. However, if you add the price of one week’s worth of protein shakes all together, they can get pretty expensive. So, to be cost effective, I started making my own! The recipes were so simple that I thought it was almost easier to make them in my own kitchen. Also, I could incorporate my favorite ingredients and create personal recipes, instead of having to pick one off of the cafe’s menu.

Here is a recipe that is one of my all time favorites: it’s simple, delicious, milk-shake like, home-made, and FULL of protein. What makes it a little different (and better!) is the added chocolate flavored protein-coconut water, which gives it an extra chocolatey flavor, extra protein, and extra hydration.

Recipe:

1/2 banana (or a whole, for a thicker consistency)

1/2 cup strawberries

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1/2 carton of Coco Libre chocolate protein-coconut water

1 cup ice

&&& sometimes for an extra energy kick, I add a little bit of coffee too!

Blend until all the ice has been crushed and the consistency is smooth.

Xx,

Tash

Pre and Post Workout Fuel

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photo by @teatanandtoned

You’ve probably heard it a million and one times, but when trying to get into shape, what you eat is just as important as your workout itself. In fact, pre and post-workout meals are crucial if you are looking to seek results— whether your goal is weight loss or muscle definition. Your body needs to fuel up before and then recharge after any workout. Waking up and heading straight to the gym on an empty stomach is not ideal, and will bring you minimal results. Not to mention, this routine will most likely lead you to a sugar craving or binge when the clock strikes 4pm.

I’m no expert on this topic, and I’m no certified nutritionist or health trainer, but I would say I have a pretty good sense of the do’s and dont’s when it comes to fitness. I will spill to you what has worked for me, and what I believe will bring max results. I think it’s important to be sure to eat your pre-workout snack at least 45 minutes before your workout, and refuel at most 45 minutes post-workout. In general, carbs are what you need to energize you before a workout, and proteins are your BFFS when it comes to muscle growth after leaving the gym. However, if you are looking for a whole meal (not just a quick snack), try to incorporate both protein and carbs with veggies for some hydration and an antioxidant boost.

It’s often hard to find a yummy, quick snack to fit into a busy schedule, so here are a few ideas for pre and post workout snacks that will maximize your workout as well as your results:

Before

  1. Whole wheat toast with sliced bananas and almond butter: Both types of carbs, raised potassium levels, lots of energy and protein
  2. Greek Yogurt and granola or fruit: Easily digestible, gives you good fat and protein
  3. Fruit smoothie: Make it with Greek yoghurt and any fruit: Lots of protein, energy, and time efficient!
  4. Oatmeal with fruit (bananas or berries work well): Slowly digestible, so you will have energy continuously released during your workout
  5. Apple and almond butter: Fills you up on vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, with fat that will amp up energy levels

After

  1. Grilled Chicken with veggies: Lots of lean protein and carbs, will fill you up and replenish your muscles
  2. Veggie and Avocado Omelet: A perfect mix of protein, fats, and good carbs, with lots of nutrients
  3. Chocolate Milk: Who woulda thought?! Chocolate milk is great as it rehydrates and provides your body with protein and carbs
  4. Protein Shake: Quick, easy, replenishing, and not to mention deeeelish! (will to a post on my fav recipe later this week)
  5. Quest Bar: The best protein bar on the market. Heat this baby up for 30 seconds and it’s literally heaven for your taste buds (I usually eat one a day, chocolate chip and smores flavors are to die for)

Xx,

Tash

The Liebster Award

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Exciting news! I was nominated for the Liebster Award by one of my fellow bloggers, Katie Nichole. She has an amazing blog called Typewriterial (Check it out here!!!!).

So, I’m a total newby to all of this but here is how it works:

  1. Mention, thank and link the blog who nominated you (see above)
  2. Answer the nominator’s 11 questions (see below)
  3. Create 11 questions of your own for your nominated bloggers to answer
  4. Notify your nominees via social media

Here are the 11 questions that I was asked:

1. Where did you grow up?

New York

2. What is your favorite song at the moment?

I don’t have a favorite- but love anything Tay Swift or Beyonce

3. Why did you start your blog?

I love to write and spent so much time reading other people’s blogs— I thought why not write my own!?

4. Do you eat breakfast?

Always!!! Never skip breakfast, people.

5. Morning person or night owl?

Definitely a morning person

6. Favorite makeup brand?

I like to mix it up, but most of my products are Bobbi Brown or Maybelline 

7. Who is someone that you admire?

My parents 

8. What is your favorite television show?

Hmm… Anything reality. I would have to narrow it down to KUWTK and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills 

9. What is something you’ve never told anyone?

Lips are sealed!! 

10. If you had to eat the same thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

Call me a health freak, but probably fruits and veggies 

11. What is a blog post you would like to see me do?

Easy DIY Recipes! 

And here are the 11 questions of my own:

  1. What is your dream job?
  2. Who inspires you the most?
  3. Favorite Beyonce song ever?
  4. What’s the last thing you binge watched on Netflix?
  5. What’s your favorite topic to blog about?
  6. Favorite clothing brand?
  7. What’s your most used emoji?
  8. Who is your guilty celebrity crush?
  9. Where do you gain the most inspiration for your blog?
  10. How long have you been blogging for?
  11. What’s your favorite city?

Lastly, here are the bloggers that I nominate:

coffeeandcurls with kiki

hey han

one girls obsessions

abroad and local

StilStyle

Everything Nadia

you.theworld.wandering

Xx,

Tash

 

LA Getaway

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Malibu

 

Last week, over my spring break, my family and I (with the exception of my older brother) took a trip to LA. My dad was going out there for work, so my mom, younger brother and I thought we’d tag along for the ride. I had never been to LA, and had always dreamed of strolling down Rodeo Drive and dining at the celebrity hot spots. As you can guess, I was super excited and had a very lengthy list of things to do and places to eat (based on celebrity Instagrams, duh!). We were there for 7 days and 7 nights, and stayed at a hotel in Santa Monica. I won’t go into the trip in too much detail, because I could honestly write a novel about how much I loved every little detail, but I’ll talk about the things and areas that stood out in particular. Also, I’ll mention the really amazing restaurants and cafes that I highly recommend.

I started each morning with a fun workout at Soul Cycle Santa Monica which just happened to be across the street from my hotel. Therefore, I was up bright and early each day before 8am. You might be thinking, no way that’s a relaxing vacation! But I was determined to see as much of LA as I could in the short time that I was there, so there was absolutely no time for sleeping in!

The first day we arrived we headed out to Malibu. And what a great first impression of California! Clear skies, bright blue waters, and swarms of surfers, I loved the city (and state) from the start. We drove around the residential area, dined at Malibu Farm (yum…!), and took a pit stop at Zuma Beach. Later, we headed back to Santa Monica for some delicious Mexican cuisine at Mercado.

On day two or three (I forget- they all kind of jumbled together), we spent the day in our temporary backyard, the Santa Monica Pier. My brother and I decided to let out our inner-child, and rode the roller coaster and the ferris wheel- SO much fun. When we were dizzy enough from all the rides, we left the peer and had another amazing lunch right across from the pier at Ivy at the Shore.

The Wednesday (midway through our trip) was spent window-shopping on Rodeo Drive and awing and ooing at all of the possible items I could never afford. It was so beautiful and the nicest day. After getting a little bit lost and starstruck around the streets in Beverly Hills, I was on a mission to find Urth Cafe (thank you, Kylie Jenner!). We arrived, we waited (yes, very long lines), we ate, and WOW was it amazing. No words to describe it, actually. The next day we went back to the same Urth, and got it as take out, eating it in a beautiful courtyard just off of Rodeo Drive.

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Nobu Malibu

 

To foster the greatest hunger for Nobu Malibu (so we could try all of the artistically crafted delicacies), my mom, brother, and I headed up to Runyon Canyon for the day. We completed a hike on one of the paths (not very long), and I was pretty satisfied as the view from the top consisted of the one and only Hollywood sign (could I be any more of a tourist)! Post fun-celebrity-seeking hike, we headed to Urth for lunch for the third time (I swear, it’s an addiction).

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To end our trip on a high note, and to truly lose my Los Angeles virginity, the family spent the night at the Staples Center, to cheer on the Lakers! I wouldn’t say I was at the edge of my seat the whole time, but it was still so fun.

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Lakers Game

 

So basically, I don’t think I’ve ever had so much good food in such a short amount of time. Literally, I was never disappointed with anything I ate that whole week. Here are a few of the top places that I’m still craving, days later:

 

Soho House Restaurant

Katsuya (Brentwood)— Brussel Sprout Salad. Enough said

Malibu Farm— Vegetable scrambled eggs and any juice

Nobu Malibu— ANYTHING and EVERYTHING (But isn’t that obvious?!)

Urth Cafe— Went there not once, not twice, but three times. (would go every day for the rest of my life if I could)

Fig Restaurant (in the Fairmont Hotel Santa Monica)

Ivy at the Shore (Santa Monica)

Primo Cafe (Santa Monica)

Mercado (Santa Monica)

Xx,

Tash

Homemade Guacamole

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As I already mentioned in a previous post, one activity that my mom and I get up to when I’m home is cooking. We have fun experimenting with a variety of different ingredients and looking into our selection of cookbooks. It gets really exciting when we think of something extra crafty. But on this occasion, we had no choice but to use up all of the avocados that she had bought before they went all gross and brown. With that said, we went with a simple and quick guacamole recipe that, when my dad tried it, thought we bought it because it was so delicious! I like my guacamole more chunky than smooth ~ I think it gives it a fresher taste, bringing it a more home-made feel. But, this is totally up to you ~ if you like it smoother, just be sure to mix it up more thoroughly and chop your ingredients into smaller pieces. The quantity of all your ingredients is totally your preference, so test things out until you get it just right!

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Ingredients                                                                                     Amount

(Ripe) Avocados                                                                           3

Tomatoes                                                                                       I used about 6 cherry tomatoes

A little bit of garlic                                                                       About 1TB

Onion                                                                                               About 3TB

Sea Salt                                                                                           Sprinkle to taste

Cayenne Pepper                                                                         Sprinkle to taste

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Directions

  1. Peel and cut avocados into slices, then mix until it’s as smooth as you like
  2. Chop tomatoes into small chunks
  3. Cut onion and garlic into small pieces
  4. Mix the tomatoes, onion, and garlic in with the avocado
  5. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  6. Grab yourself a bowl of chips (or carrots if you’re feeling healthy!) and snack up!

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Xx,

Tash

Cinnamon Raisin Nutella French Toast

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This past weekend, I took a four day trip back home to New York. I was in need of some fun and relaxing family time, and that’s just what I got. The weekend was filled with warm weather (finally!), lots of down time, and even more delicious food. On Sunday morning, my mom and I decided to create a big brunch for my whole family. It was such an exciting and fun affair because at school I’m deprived of good, home cooked meals, as well as being able to cook for myself and my family (which I lovvvvvve to do!). To make up for my deprivation, every time I’m home my mom and I like to do some fun cooking: The day before was guacamole (post coming soon), and last trip was a hazelnut-white chocolate cheese cake (absolutely amazing).

So, Sunday morning came around and my mom and I made a trip to the local A&P and got our fair share of groceries. We whipped up eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast, fruit salad, and yoghurt. I don’t think we had enough food (ha). You name it, we had it.

The most exciting recipe on the menu was my own Cinnamon Raisin Nutella French Toast. I told my younger brother that I would come up with something ultra creative for him, and this is what came to mind. I stole a bite of his portion, and wow was I impressed with my skills. Here’s the super simple recipe:

Ingredients

French toast-

  • Cinnamon raison bread slices
  • whisked egg
  • Nutella

Toppings-

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Assorted Berries

Directions

1. Start heating a frying pan at medium-low heat, and spray with Pan.

2. Soak (basically drown) the bread slice(s) in whisked egg. The longer they soak, the more soggy they get (which I prefer- so I do about 5 minutes- but this is up to you).

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3. Place the bread slice(s) onto the frying pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side.

4. Take a scoop of Nutella and smother it on top of the bread (again- you choose how much).

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5. Once the Nutella has melted a bit, place the french toast onto a plate.

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6. Sprinkle powdered sugar, and add your assorted berries.

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And there you have it, the perfect Cinnamon Raisin Nutella French Toast!

Xx,

Tash

DIY Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap

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My favorite type of food has always been (and probably always will be) Asian cuisine. I love it so much that I crave the infusion and smell of eastern culture and delicatessens. I used to stick to the sushi menu, and adventure off from there (jk I would get the California roll every time). However, as my palette has expanded, so have my dinner orders. After trying many things on different menus, all of them being i-want-seconds kind of amazing, one dish that always excites me is the chicken lettuce wrap. A rather generic option, it is usually very similar no matter what restaurant you order it from. The peanutty yet soy sauce suffused dish is so yummy, and it’s also so fun to create your own little wraps (it makes it really satisfying when biting into also, lol). Not only that, but it’s definitely a healthier option than the go-to Asian noodles or fried dumplings.

I could not stop craving this dish, and thought that there must be recipes out there for a DIY chicken lettuce wrap as it is such a simple concept. And, yes, yes, I was correct. There are many recipes out there, however many are way more technical than they should be. After lots of hard recipe-book searching, I think I found the most delicious and the easiest recipe out there, for the perfect Asian infused chicken and lettuce wraps.

I know at first glance this recipe looks like way too many ingredients and way too complicated, but I promise it’s actually very simple and quick. Take a look, try it out, and tell me what ya think!

Servings: 8 wraps (About people, depending on hunger levels!)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 6 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 Boston lettuce leaves (about 1 head)
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves (about 10 oz)
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts (about 2 oz)
  • Chopped peanuts

Preparation

  1. Combine first nine ingredients into a bowl as marinade, and whisk
  2. Marinate chicken breast with marinade and add 2 tablespoons of oil in a zip-lock for one hour in the fridge
  3. After one hour, remove chicken breast, and discard the marinade
  4. Heat a large nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat, spray it with cooking spray
  5. Grill chicken for about 12 minutes, or until fully cooked
  6. Cut chicken thinly, and divide between the lettuce leaves
  7. Top each lettuce leaf with 2 tablespoons mint, 1 tablespoon sprouts, and 1 teaspoon of reserved oil mixture
  8. Garnish with chopped peanuts

Personal Tip: I love veggies, so I prefer adding other greens into my wrap (shredded carrot, water chestnut, chopped pepper, and cilantro all work well)

Recipe courtesy of myrecipes.com 

Xx,

Tash

The White Zombie

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I’m pretty much a coffee addict. But not the kind of coffee addict who gets cranky and a roaring headache when they are deprived of their morning cup. I love coffee not for the hype, but for the taste. I just love the nutty flavor, and can’t get enough! And not to mention the foam that floats atop a cappuccino (my go-to coffee drink). Literally heaven in a cup.

There is a really quaint coffee shop called CoffeeBytes a block away from my dorm, where I spend the majority of my time doing “work” (or watching Netflix..) Kidding, I actually love getting my homework done there. Anyways, at the beginning of the year, I decided to rear away from my standard Cappuccino, and explore the menu a little bit since I was there so often. So, I tried a drink called the White Zombie. I had never heard of it before, but let me tell you, this White Zombie is a game changer. The secret to its success is that it uses white coffee beans, which are baked rather than roasted. These beans are cooked at a dry heat for a longer period of time at a lower temperature. It gives off a sweet, nutty flavor that is more subtle than a roasted bean. Honestly, first sip, you wouldn’t even believe that it is coffee. But, it for sure gives you the coffee- hype as white beans contain more caffeine than the classic roasted bean.

As the taste of a White Zombie is subtle, I like to add a flavor. Again, I’ve done my experimenting with an array of flavors: hazelnut, caramel, vanilla… But for sure the hazelnut flavor is my favorite. Every time I have a sip I float to Cloud 9 (well it feels like it, anyways). Definitely a hidden gem, the White Zombie is not found in many coffee shops. But, next time you’re hitting up your favorite spot for your daly dose, ask if they carry this unique bean, and you’ll probably become just as hooked as I am.

Xx,

Tash

Cinnamon Baked Apple Chips

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? I like to believe it. There is nothing better than the first bite out of a perfectly mixed sweet yet sour, juicy Granny Smith apple. These are definitely my go-to snack, and I always have a few in my fridge for when I get a sweet tooth craving and am looking for something to munch on. But, since I eat one basically every day, now they’re getting kind of boring. I would switch to say a Honey Crisp or a Pacific Rose apple, but (as weird as it sounds) I’m too attached to my Granny Smiths. Sooo, I decided to experiment a little with these delicious and colorful wonders.

Here’s what I came up with, and its actually really really delicious! I like to call them “Cinnamon Baked Apple Chips”. Here’s what you do…

  1. Cut the apple into thin slices (however thin you prefer. The thinner the cut, the softer they’ll turn out)
  2. Lay them on a baking pan
  3. Shake cinnamon spice (or I’ve also tried cocoa powder) on top
  4. Drizzle atop a little bit of all natural honey
  5. Stick ‘em in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 365F
  6. Let them cool for about 5 minutes

There you have it! The cinnamon baked apple chips, cooked to perfection (if I do say so myself)! Super sweet, but you also get the slightly sour taste of a classic Granny Smith. It sort of reminds me of a healthy version of Apple Crisp.

Xx,

Tash