Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chocolate and Walnut Covered Banana Pops ........

This is a tease for chocolate and walnut covered banana pops that I made tonight. ;-) They are incredibly easy and you may have all the ingredients on hand.

Where did Friday go? Sorry I didn’t have a chance to get a post up yesterday. I was busy running from place to place and by the time I got home all I wanted to do was kick back and relax. October should be a little more laid back for me which I hope means I will be back to blogging daily.

Dinner Thursday:

As expected Dan worked late so by the time he came home I wasn’t in the mood for a heavy meal. I ended up defrosting some veggie soup from my freezer inventory and topping that with walnut parmesan. We both had a big bowl of soup and called it a night. It is nice to have things like this in the freezer for nights when I am not in the mood to cook. I am also enjoying reducing my freezer inventory to make room for new things.


Thankfully the rain finally stopped during the morning. I was ready to see a little blue sky, which was all we got. However a little blue sky was better than the torrential downpour we had been experiencing so it was fine with me.


Dan had a big bowl of oatmeal with frozen wild blueberries, cinnamon, powdered ginger, and walnuts for his breakfast today.

Since I was going to be running errands I made a smoothie to go. This smoothie contained 1 frozen banana, 3 kale leaves/stems chopped, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, cold processed green tea sufficient to process. I poured this into a mason jar and stored it in the freezer while I got ready to leave.

I drank my smoothie at traffic lights while I was driving from place to place. I wish I had photographed some of the priceless looks I got from people who saw me drinking something bright green out of a jar. The first person caught me off guard so I didn’t have time to react. However I was ready for the second person and winked at them when they stared. I did this every time someone was looking at me strangely. It turned out to be quite a giggle for me. I am sure they thought I was nuts but it amused the heck out of me. LOL

Since Jackie, Nadia and I didn’t make it to Marshall’s in Towson on Thursday due to the rain I decided to start my errands there this morning which was a bad plan. When I got there they were pumping water out of the store and had a sign up that said temporarily closed. Talk about a bummer. That is the closest Marshall’s to me so I was not happy. I hope they reopen soon.

Next I had to stop at the pharmacy and pick up a couple of scripts. Then I needed to drop papers off at two doctors. When you have more than one doctor it is easier to deliver reports and lab results yourself than relay on front office staff to do it for you. Since the offices are on the way to Costco it wasn’t a problem just a diversion.

Since there was also another Marshall’s on the way I stopped there to see what I could find. I ended up with a few nice long sleeved T’s in various solid colors (Talbot’s, Jones of NY, and Liz Claiborne). I also found a pair of black slacks (Dockers) and a funky jacket by Carole Little that is an off-white black ground with black designs. It is wilder than I usually buy but I thought why not. Worn with black pants and a black turtleneck it should be a cute outfit.

Then it was on to Costco. I went in for 6 things on my list and somehow spent $200. Clearly I bought a cart full, far more than I had actually planned to buy. How does that always happen? I also completely forgot that I had the annual rebate check in my purse. *shakes head* Sometimes I think I would forget my head if it weren’t attached. Costco is again carrying organic canned tomatoes if anyone is interested. I also noticed they had pocket hand warmers which I may need to buy on my next trip. There is nothing worse than cold hands in the winter in my opinion.


Since I got home so late from shopping I wasn’t exactly in the mood for anything time consuming for lunch. I ended up having a giant bowl of grapes instead because it was very easy and that was my top criteria once I got home and had everything put away. I am not sure why but 5+ hours of running errands is exhausting. All I really wanted to do when I got home was put my feet up and relax.

After the grapes I had few walnuts, a banana and some leftover soup from last night. I was so tired I didn’t even think about taking any pictures. That was went I knew I was exhausted from all the running around. I think driving is the problem. Why people feel the need to drive so recklessly is a complete mystery to me.

More thoughts on weight:

First I want to say you guys send very insightful comments by email. One of you mentioned gaining weight even though you were eating better and exercising more. This comment made the light bulb go off in my head. Muscle weighs more than fat and if you have stepped up your exercise any weight increase you see is most likely due to adding more muscle than fat lost. Muscle is denser than fat so even though the scale goes up you will lose inches which you will see if you keep track of your measurements. Alternately you could buy a scale that calculates body fat. The body fat scales are much cheaper now than they were 10 years ago when they first hit the market.

Speaking of measurements have you heard that your waist measurement should be no more than ½ your height? In other words, if you are 5’4” (or 64) inches your waist should be 32 inches or less. When I heard this I thought it made a lot of sense since it equates your circumference with your height. This article gets a little more complicated but the math is the same in the end.

I find it interesting that weight is a subject that all women seem to have thoughts on. I suppose this is because we have been ingrained to think we have to be model thin to be beautiful. It is so easy to forget that most pictures we see have been airbrushed and stretched and that the women in those pictures don’t look like that way either.


Since you know who didn’t get home from work until 10pm a heavy dinner was not going to happen. It was so late I wasn’t actually hungry. I made Dan a batch of strawberry banana soft serve since he needs the calories. I had a couple of spoons but that was enough. Going to bed with a full stomach seems to disrupt my sleep so I try not to do it anymore. Do any of you find that eating before bed disrupts your sleep? I seem to need 3 hours to digest before bed in order to sleep well.


Since it is Saturday you all know by now that means no alarm clock today. Woo hoo! This is our one day to sleep in and we take full advantage of it. I woke up around 7:30 to a brisk fall morning. The sky was a beautiful cloudless blue and the temperature was 55 degrees. It was the perfect morning for a nice long walk if you were dressed warmly. Not knowing when Dan was getting up I stayed home so I didn’t miss anytime with him since I knew he needed to work this weekend.

When he got up he told me he really needed to go to the office today since he is more productive there. I wish he could get more done at home but I understand that it is easier to work at the office with all his documents readily at hand. As soon as I know he was going downtown I preheated the oven and cut up a large acorn squash into bite sized cubes and started that roasting in a 350 degree. In the past I would have coated the squash in olive oil but it isn’t necessary. My squash roasted without anything on it and the flavor still concentrated and the squash got tender.


While the squash was roasting I made us both a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Dan gets 3/4 cup oats, 1 ½ cups water, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, 1 ½ cup wild blueberries, a pinch of stevia and ¼ cup of walnuts. This is Dan’s favorite oatmeal combination. I like that it contains a blue food (blueberries) and omega 3 fatty acids (walnuts). It also seems to have enough calories to keep him satisfied until lunch.

My oatmeal serving is smaller. For myself I prepare: ½ cup oats, 1 cup water, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, 1 cup wild blueberries, and 6 walnut halves. This is more than enough to get me going in the morning. I prefer to have smoothies in the morning (for nutritional reasons) but on some cold mornings oatmeal is just more appealing.


Since I had not planned on Dan going downtown today I also defrosted another batch of soup from my freezer inventory. This one was corn, mushroom and potato soup. If you haven’t tried making large batches of soup and freezing them for later I would suggest you give it a try. They are very handy when you don’t feel like cooking and have much less sodium than most canned soup. The soup in the picture above is my lunch serving.

To go with the soup I made a quick salad of edamame (from the freezer), thinly sliced radish, thinly sliced carrot, shredded romaine and chopped walnuts. I tossed the veggies (not the lettuce) this with a quick dressing of Dijon, mirin and red miso and packed the lettuce and nuts separately. I made myself the same thing for lunch which is what is pictured above.

Before Dan left for work we talked about what we were going to do tomorrow. Specifically whether he was going to the office or would be working from his home office. The plan is for him to work from home tomorrow which is always nice. With the cool weather we are having I thought a huge pot of chili was in order. Chili makes great leftovers because you can eat it as chili or use it to make taco salad. I am hoping to have enough chili to be able to freeze some, but we will see if that actually happens since we both like chili so much. ;-) This batch is particularly good. I will post the recipe tomorrow since I think this may be my best chili recipe yet.

Today I have been busy reorganizing my closet and cleaning. Not exactly fun stuff but it needs to be done so it makes sense to do it when Dan is busy working.

Dinner tonight is completely up in the air. I have no idea what we will have since Dan will undoubtedly be late since he didn’t leave for the office until after noon. I suspect salad may be what is for dinner tonight.


I wanted to make Dan a treat for this evening. This is more of method than a recipe. I cut bananas in half and slid the halves onto sticks. I froze them until they were solid. Then I melted dark chocolate (which I flavored with coffee extract) and coated the bananas in chocolate and sprinkled them with chopped nuts when the chocolate was still wet and slid the banana pops back into the freezer so the chocolate would harden.

This is not an original idea. I first saw the basic idea in “Eat Clean Recharged” and knew Dan would love it so I needed to make them sometime when he needed a little something special. I think they will be best when slightly defrosted. I was chatting with Courtney and she gave me a suggestion on how to make them a little differently. Once I have a chance to try her technique I will post that method as well. I suspect this first batch will disappear rapidly so I will be making more soon. ;-)

Signing out:

Sorry I got so far behind again. My week has been a bit hectic with too many errands and time in the car (not my favorite). But it has been a very productive week which is a good thing.

I finished reading two more books from the library that were both very good. I will try to get those reviews posting in the next few days while the books are fresh in my mind.

I hope everyone had a great Saturday. Tomorrow we will be back to the farmers market to load up on my produce. I am hoping we find more fall veggies, like Brussels sprouts on the stalk. Talk to you again soon.


  1. Great post, Ali. First of all, the chocolate and walnut covered banana pops, ummm, SWOON! Shopping and errands are really exhausting for me too--I got tired just reading about your errand day!

    LOL at the winking with the smoothie. LOVE IT!


  2. LJ,

    Thanks, glad you liked it. ;-)

    I somehow knew you would like the chocolate covered bananas, LOL.

    Thanks for letting me know it isn't just me that gets tired running errands. Somehow running from place to place for over 5 hours is just exhausting. I was worried it was just me getting old.

    I really wanted to take pictures of some of the looks I was getting the old men were the best. You would have thought I was drinking "soylent green" LOL. I hope I am not the only one that remembers that movie. Then I will know I am old.


  3. right before you wrote about the strange looks you got for drinking something sooo GREEN i had jsut been thinking that!!!lol i get those looks when im with lilly:) the double takes are the best. even though its not as cold here as it is there, im getting back into soups like you....(its still in the hundreds here except for today was overcast and rainy)ttysoon

  4. Michelle,

    Apparently a woman drinking a green smoothie while driving is quite the spectacle, LOL. I guess I know how you feel swimming with Lily now. ;-)

    It is still in the 100's there? Wow! Today our high was supposed to be 69. I could go for a little more warmth at the moment. I might have to break out the faux fur bedspread tonight.

    hope you are enjoying your weekend,

  5. Sounds like your shopping excursion ended up a success after all. Funny how things just end up in the cart ;-)

  6. Heather,

    Sounds like I am not the only one that has things thrown themselves into the cart. ;-)

    hope you are having a good weekend,

  7. That soup looks so lovely. It is a grey morning hear and I am trying to warm up with lemon ginger tea:) Looking forward to your book reviews! Have a relaxing Sunday, Ali! xo

  8. Aimee,

    It is down right cold here this morning. I am on my second mug of tea and my fingers are still a bit numb. It is my fault for going to the farmers market in a short sleeved T, running pants and sandals when it was 55 degrees outside. ;-)

    I am going to try to get at least one book review up with the chili post later today.

    I hope you have a great Sunday too! :-)

  9. It looks like your banana pops turned out beautifully! I am glad Dan enjoys them...even if they are not as good as the banana soft serve, lol :-) I hope you get to try the other version soon!

    I hope to be able to catch up on your posts today...I missed all of last week--eek!


  10. Courtney,

    Thanks! :-) I made this version first because I thought my chocaholic husband would prefer them. Now I think I should have gone with yours first. Men never seem to do or think what we expect do they? LOL

    You have been busy lately. I hope this week is a little more laid back for you.

    talk to you soon,

  11. So.... what was the different technique for making the banana pops? I'm going to try your recipe, looks delicious.


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