where to start!?

I have a lot to talk about today…imagine that? ;) hehehe

On tabs first – A new twist on apples + cheese + english muffins

Lately, Kath has been raving about apples + cheese.  It is quite the delicious combination but not one that I pair together often…for no specific reason.  Well, yesterday changed this.  For lunch I wanted to finish up the garlicky baked butternut squash but I also wanted an english muffin.  Normally I top my muffins with pnut butter + jelly but that does not really go with a whole pile of garlicky squash.

So…introducing….da dada daaaaa

Melty Apple English Muffin


toasted english muffin + crispy apple slices [I used honey crisp] + melted aged cheddar + black pepper

I savored each + every bite.  Wowowo this was way better than I even anticipated!  This was a small lunch so I consumed a cup of yogurt + puffins about 1hr later :)


Pat + Nat came over for dinner last night.  I made my herb filled baked meatballs, but this time with organic grass-fed beef because it was on sale for $3.99/lb at WF!  Along with it I threw together an easy salad and my easy Fresh Cut Baked Fries.


The fries were super tasty!  I loaded them up with oregano, rosemary, olive oil, s+p, and garlic powder


This was delish, but I think I need another break from meat for awhile!


Bananas are back in my life!  Ohhh banana oatmeal, how you were missed.  I made an oh.so.satisfying. batch of oats today.

  • +1/3c. rolled oats
  • 2/3c. water + 1/3c. vanilla almond milk
  • 1t chia seeds [mixed in while cooking]
  • 1/4-1/2t cinnamon
  • 3/4 banana [smashed and cooked before adding oats]
  • almond butter glob
  • jelly glob
  • pumpkin seed granola
  • organic unsweetened coconut shreds

[fyi - When you add chia seeds while the oats are cooking, they dissolve and help thicken + fluff the oats]


The almond butter is hiding under the granola :)  I also just figured something out.  Recently, I mentioned that I don’t really like AB on my oats.  However, I like FRESH GROUND almond butter on my oats!  The taste is so so so much better.  Check your bulk aisle for the big grinding machines.  They usually will have pnut butter, honey roasted pnut butter, and if you’re lucky almond butter.  I think the taste and texture is much better than out of a jar.  I keep mine in the fridge!


Major topic #2

Do you have a food processor?  I mean, I don’t want to be bossy or anything, but it would be in your best interest to make these asap!!!


I got the idea from a recipe I saw in my Clean Food cookbook.  The recipe was for “Cranberry Coconut Almond Balls.” 

From Clean Food:

  • 1 1/2c toasted pecans
  • 1c dried cranberries
  • 1/2c maple syrup
  • 1/4c dried coconut
  • 1/2c almond butter

It sounded like an awesome flavor combination and such an easy recipe!  All you had to do was put all the ingredients into your food processor [except the coconut] and then roll in the shredded coconut.  Easy + healthy! 

Of course, before trying to original recipe, I already came up with my own version :)

Ashley’s Fruity Nutty Doughballs:

  • 1 1/2c. toasted almonds, chopped
  • 1c. dried cranberries
  • 1/2c maple syrup
  • 3/4c rolled oats
  • 1/4c unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1/4c almond butter
  • 1/4c brown rice syrup
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 2T unrefined organic coconut oil
  • 1/4t salt
  1. Put all of these ingredients in your food processor [I have a 11c processor] and let it blend.  *Next time I would probably split the ingredients in half and let it go in 2 increments and them combine in a bowl.  It worked but is just so so thick…I don’t want my processor to break!
  2. Roll in anything you want or nothing at all.  If you want the dough stiffer for easier rolling, stick it in the refrigerator.  After rolling, store in the fridge for appx 4-7 days.  Makes ~24 balls


I can’t wait to try out more variations and perfect the maple syrup/brown rice syrup amounts.  It was a tinnny bit sweet for me so next time I’m going to cut the maple syrup down a bit and add more brown rice syrup.  Brown rice syrup isn’t as sweet and much easier on your glycemic index level.

Natalie + Chris taste tested them last night and couldn’t believe how good they were!!  I absolutely looove the texture!

Kenna was poking her nose around while I photographed…what a beast!


Nat had the brilliant idea to roll some of them in oats.  I toasted up some oats in a pan and got to rolling :)  These are such a perfect on the go filling + nutrient dense snack.  You could wrap them individually in saran for easy transport. 


Even though I added the coconut to the mixture, I rolled a few in coconut too!  I can’t explain how excited I am about these!!!  Natalie said it’s like an ota.bar doughball!  The addition of oats to the recipe is key!


Speaking of ota.bars, don’t forget to get your bid on over at The Chic Life Online Bake Sale for Haiti!  Tons of amazing sounding treats to bid on and your only chance to try my granola bars!

Topic #3 – I remember now!  Last night I forgot one thing and was hoping to remember and I did :) 

All of you Denver/CO blog readers were super interested in where the Farmers Market was that I went to this past weekend.  Well here is the information!  There is seriously so much good stuff to be found there.  It’s quite impressive for a market in the winter…in dry + cold Colorado!

It’s hidden over in the Baker District – Check it out this Saturday from 9-2 – Maybe I’ll see you there!!??  Come say hi if you see me!

Denver Urban Homesteading               

Topic #4 – I made a silly video of Kelsey and me on our 24, 24, 24 day!  You can check it out here – Kind of lame! haha

Topic #5 – I started the FAQ page!!!  Keep asking questions and I’ll keep updating it with my answers!  If you’ve asked me a question lately, check there for my response :)

Topic #6Allison asked me a fabulous question yesterday, but it is more meant for a blog post than an FAQ page.  After reading about my New Years Resolution about slowing down my pace of life, she asked “What tips do you have for slowing down the day, as well as the meal itself?”  [might I add that I adore Allison’s blog slogan: “Re-awakening the simple pleasures, often overlooked” <3 it!]

My suggestions would be:

  • sit with no distractions, once a day and read for at least 15min [but not on the computer]
  • enjoy your meals at the table [at least dinner!] and keep the TV off
  • make an effort to chew your food more
  • slow down your mind with a yoga session [even just a 20min yoga download!]
  • make your breakfast and sit down to eat it
  • take 3 conscious breaths at random times throughout your day
  • walk somewhere without your ipod/cell phone/etc
  • incorporate a day of rest into your schedule every once in awhile
  • turn off the tv
  • get outside for activity

You must remember that slowing down your day, takes more time, but that is kind of the point!  In the process of slowing things down, your experience time lengthens, which will hopefully create a more calm + relaxed state of mind. 

Let me know if you want to hear more of my thoughts on a slower pace of life.  It is something I try to work on everyday!

Topic #7 – I don’t normally watch Oprah, but today it is all about “where your food comes from!!!”  Michael Pollan [looooove him] is going to be on the show too!  Don’t miss out!!  I’m not sure what time it’s on but if you do miss it, check hulu.com for it or some other source.  I’m excited for Oprah to highlight this since she has such a huuuge influence on SO many people! 

Okay…I’m done…promise! :)