the KIND of day that…

…makes you realize homemade is always better than store bought!!

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I finally got to try out Mama Pea’s homemade version of KIND bars.  My mom absolutely loves KIND bars and we squeezed in the time to make them, literally in the last hour before heading to the airport.

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This recipe used 6 ingredients.  How much easier could it get?

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The hardest part was knowing when they were ready to cut.  Like MP says, you can’t wait until they fully cool or you will have to chisel them out.  However, if you cut too soon they will not hold together.

I have a few future ideas for how to overcome this problem:

  1. Line the pan with parchment paper.  When they’re done baking, let them cool about 15min.  Then, pop out the parchment paper + bars and let cool for another 30min-1hr.  Use a LARGE chefs knife to chop them into bar-size pieces.  I haven’t tried this but am pretty sure it will work! ;)
  2. Possibly use a thickening agent, such as tapioca starch or agar [a natural gelatin] to help hold the bars together.  Not sure if this is necessary or not.  I’ll have to experiment more.

I cut them too soon, but then left them in the pan to harden, hoping they would be easier to pop out.  They were honestly 100% delicious.  I LOVE the combo of almonds + apricots and the coconut just topped everything off.  They were not too sweet and definitely a healthy filling snack.

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…makes you realize just how lucky you are to have such amazing friends + family!

I arrived back in Denver at about 8:30pm.  By the time I got my luggage and got to my car it was already 9:45.  The Denver airport is HUGE and I had to walk realllly far through the airport with all of my bags to get to the shuttle.  Not a big deal, but just makes for a long day.  Then I headed over to Pat + Natalie’s to pick up the puppers.  We were so lucky they could watch them for us!  Then I drove the dogs back to Denver and stopped at Ann + Kurtz’s house.  Kurtz is currently in Ecuador with my huz, so we are both on our own for the week!

She was way too kind and bought me this little mini chocolate cheesecake from Whole Foods.  The best cheesecake I’ve ever had!  The graham crust was perfect and the consistency/texture of the cheesecake was perfect.  Surprisingly it wasn’t too sweet, the chocolate flavor was spot on and you could still taste the creamy cream cheese.  I am savoring this by eating it one bite at a time throughout the next day or two :)

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She also bought me my favorite flowers and a bottle of wine that we’re going to share on Wednesday!

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The dogs were pooooooped!

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Depressed?  Tired?  Or both?  I’m not sure!

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I got home around 11pm.  I’m glad to have the dogs around in the empty house.  It was weird coming home at night with no one home!

This morning I didn’t feel like hot oats or making a smoothie.  I checked the freezer and remembered that I just bought Nature’s Path waffles, which I love.

…makes me remember I can turn something very plain into something very creative!

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But how to jazz them up?

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I whipped up some cherry banana soft serve and topped the waffles with that along with ~1T peanut butter and Love Grown Foods granola.  THIS was deeeelicious!

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…makes me remember just how much I’m missin’ the huz!

When I got home last night I walked in to a cute arrangement of anniversary gifts and a card.  I was so so excited but the best part was the card.  It was fun to read something from Chris while being apart!  He picked out the perfect little foodie gifts for me :)

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In the card he wrote…”I even got you the fancy wine that comes in a box!!!”  Funny thing though, that boxed wine from Target, is really pretty good!!

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Got a few other cards from Pat + Nat and Melissa + Matt + Jake! 

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I enjoyed another bite after breakfast…mmmm

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I also had THREE packages waiting for me when I arrived home.  One was from Lundberg.  I love this company.  Their products are top notch and they guarantee their products to be Monsanto free.  Their rice products have all exceeded my expectations and I love their brown rice syrup.  I use it constantly!

The offered to send me their new couscous products to try out and then offer a giveaway to you all!!  I can’t wait to dig in and let you know my thoughts.  The giveaway will be coming up soon!  Thanks Lundberg!

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I had another package full of goodies I picked out from the giveaway I won a few weeks ago!!  I stocked up on some pricey ingredients that I love.  I have never tried Maca powder before but have heard good things.  I LOVE hemp + chia seeds, so it was nice to restock these items.  The Borage lotion is I’ve ever used.  I had to find something pretty intensive to help get my hands through the rough CO winter and this did the trick.  THANKS iherb!!!

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My last package was a new barefoot running book!!!  The author, Jason Robillard, emailed recently to see if I would be interested in reviewing his book.  I am more than excited read + review this for the blog! 

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It probably won’t be for a few weeks, since I am currently reading two other books.  You can find this book on amazon if you’re interested in checking it out before I review it!

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…makes me remember I am craving a good workout!!  It’s been far too long.  Back on the bike today!!! :)

Wedding recap part II will be ready for you in the AM!