Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Humpday and Graham Cracker Ice Cream Sandwiches

    So it's Hump day, I've finally decided to get over the hump and commit to this blog.  I don't know why but I've been dragging my heels about getting it started, even though I have so many things I want to share.  Maybe because it seems like another task to add to my day, but then again sitting here writing this doesn't feel much like a task! So as you've read from my first posts, a little over 2 years ago I had jaw surgery, but that isn't all that defines me; so here is a little bit about what does.  
     I am in my late 20's, I am a health nut, I love to be creative in the kitchen, and I am in the dance studio, pool, weight room, or on a running trail 6 out of 7 days a week- I don't really exist without cooking and exercising!  I wasn't always as active in as many sports as I am now, from elementary school to college I was solely a swimmer.  I never felt confident in gym class, and the pool seemed to be the only place I did. About 10 years ago or so I signed myself up to run in the annual Turkey trot in my town.  It was a 5k and I was petrified of running it, I didn't even like people seeing me run because I thought I looked weird doing it. Once I ran that first race I haven't stopped (well until my recent knee surgery- I apparently can't get enough surgeries!).  Running gave me a new found happiness - the same empowering feeling swimming did, and with it a boost of confidence in my athletic abilities. Now I'm not saying I feel like I'm on cloud nine every time I run, it hurts and it's hard, but I love challenging myself and the awesome feeling you get at the end of accomplishing a race or a distance you never have. So when I moved to Boston 7 years ago, I had running going for me but no pool was close and I tried spinning but I just didn't love being a gym rat.  Two years into living in the city I decided I wanted to get back into dance which was also a big part of my childhood.  I happened upon the greatest studio one could ever happen upon, and have been there ever since! 
     When it comes to cooking ever since I mixed the most awful concoctions in bowls sitting on my grandmother's kitchen floor and made everyone try them I have loved stepping outside of a recipe and seeing what I can create. When I first began cooking with my mom she always used to yell at me about following the recipe as I often threw in a little of this and a bit of that, and rarely measured correctly. This doesn't always work, especially in baking but I invite you to experiment- worst case scenario? You have to throw it out and start over. . .or give it to the dog J!

.    My cooking skills have continued to grow and have been a great asset in the past few years as I've done a 180 with my diet and have found a true love for all foods that are whole and free of process and preservatives. It was a slow transition, and while I was never extremely unhealthy and always had a balance of lean protein, veggies and a starch on my plate, my cabinet and fridge were full of more boxes and processed yogurts and cheeses than I care to admit. I started slowly, buying more organic fruits and vegetables (only the organic for ones that I eat the skin), organic whole grain breads and crackers, and I purchased a lot of all natural frozen meals like Amy's or Blake's for nights when I would get home late from work and the gym. A few years passed and I realized I had almost stopped cooking except when I invited friends over, the frozen meals became my go to because I just wanted to relax and watch tv- how classically American! This past year I slowly phased out the frozen meals and began prepping for a few hours on Sunday so that I would have fresh meals cooked and stored in the freezer at the ready. 
     Enter in Pinterest and a few great bloggers I follow. I've started making EVERYTHING I would normally buy.  Tonight I even made my own graham crackers! It's pretty awesome to be eating crackers and know that you made them, and even better that you know EXACTLY what's in them.  If I ever do buy something, my new rule is it has to have 5 ingredients or less. Well I won't ramble on any more, but I will try to post regularly, and hopefully you will enjoy reading and recreating the recipes I post in your own kitchen. Happy Humpday!

Homemade gluten-free graham cracker
PB Banana “ice-cream” sandwiches

More about why they're gluten free next time!

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