Cookies and Blooms

Cherry BlossomsIt could not have been a more gorgeous day to see the cherry blossoms. It was sunny, yesterday’s crazy wind had blown out of town, and the temperature was just right! I decided to make the 10+ mile roundtrip jaunt by foot (walking and running) to see the cherry blossoms rather than fighting the crowds on the metro, and I got a good workout during my day of playing tourist in my own back yard. It was quite a day. 

I fueled my excursion with this chocolate breakfast cookie:

Chocolate Breakfast CookieI was hoping it would taste like a “no bake” cookie. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, we used to make cookies with chocolate, peanut butter, oats, tons of butter and tons of sugar that didn’t require baking. Have you had them? Did you call them something else? Anyway, this was good, but not as much like my old “no bake” cookie as I’d hoped. I used some chopped roasted peanuts, reduced fat Jif, Jay Robb’s vanilla whey protein powder, unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, and a spoonful of cocoa powder. I’m having fun experimenting with the b’fast cookies, but I have to say that yesterday’s is my favorite so far. 

For lunch, I had some more of the soup I made yesterday along with one of my favorite little sandwiches:

LunchyI had some Alexia breads in the freezer, and decided it was time to get them out and bake them up. I had one piece of ciabatta left, which is what you see above. I topped it with some Trader Joe’s Bruschetta topping, smoked mozzarella and avocado. I hit upon this combination last summer, and it has become one of my favorites! This little sandwich packs a ton of yum! The soup was even better the second day. I love when that happens!

Before I struck out on my trek, I decided to use some more things from the freezer and make a batch of cookies. I was looking for a recipe involving banana, because goodness knows I have plenty of frozen bananas. I also used some of my coconut stockpile and some of the walnuts I keep in the freezer. I’m making progress! I got invited to a cookout later in the afternoon, and was happy to have a batch of cookies just waiting for an outing. I found a recipe on Cooking Light and changed it just a bit. The recipe made me laugh when I saw it. One of the ingredients is light mayonnaise. I think that any good southern cook who has taken foods to a church potluck probably has a chocolate cake recipe in the arsenal that involves mayo. I’d never seen it in a cookie recipe, and, of course, I had to try it! The original recipe is here. This is my version:

Coconut Banana and Apricot Cookies

Coconut Banana and Apricot Cookies

Ingredients:

2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 medium sized banana, mashed (I used an 80 gram banana from the freezer)

1/2 cup reduced fat mayo (I used Hellman’s light mayo)

1 tsp. rum (I couldn’t tell it was in there so I’d just skip it and use coconut or vanilla extract the next time)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

8 Tbsp. (90 grams) of flaked sweetened coconut

1/2 cup chopped dried apricot

1 ounce of chopped walnuts

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

a dash of ginger

a grate or seven of nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and the remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

This made about two dozen cookies.

I have eaten SEVERAL of these today. I really like them a lot. My friends helped to make a dent in them, but I like them so much that the leftovers are either going to work tomorrow or into the freezer ASAP! In case you are wondering, I did use the sparkpeople recipe calculator to figure out the calories, and I’m counting them. I just figure that woman can’t live on cookies alone, and I’d be tempted to try it with these! 🙂 

Ok, so back to the cherry blossoms. Here are a few more photos from my afternoon:

The JeffersonSee all the people on the steps of the Jefferson? It was really crowded, but I’m happy that so many people got to enjoy the day.

Close upThese were ready for their close-up! Here’s one more of the Washington Monument:

The Washington MonumentI was in the shade for the photos of the Jefferson and the Washington, and you can definitely tell a difference in the colors. It was a beautiful and busy day, and it ended nicely with dinner at my friends’ house. I had grilled chicken breast with Stubb’s BBQ sauce, corn on the cob (also grilled), potatoes and salad. Yum and yum. It was so good! My friends are always great at hosting, and I always love seeing them and their awesome dog. 

After all of my walking and running, it is definitely time for me to hit the hay. I do long jaunts like that when the weather is nice, but I can tell that I haven’t done it in awhile. I was tired by the time I got home. I’m going to go and mix up a breakfast cookie, and then I’m calling it a night. 

Here’s wishing you all an excellent week!! Ciao for now!

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15 Comments

Filed under Baking, Cookies, cooking, Cooking Light, D.C., diet, Fitness, Food, Recipes, Uncategorized, Washington, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

15 responses to “Cookies and Blooms

  1. OH those cherry blossoms are amazing!!! I can’t wait for Spring to actually spring here!

  2. Oh my gosh, such beautiful cherry blossoms, and oh my, those cookies look great!

  3. those flowers are gorgeous!!! and so does that breakfast cookie.. sheesh!!! now im hungry!

  4. beautiful day! those cookies look really good.

  5. Yes!! I love no bake cookies. I used to eat the little drips off of the wax paper…mmmmm

    Yay for spring!

  6. Was fortunate enough to visit DC once during their Cherry Blossom Festival … sights & smells I will never forget! Beautiful city. And my money is on that ciabatta sandwich … I can taste the “yum factor” in there, for sure!

  7. Erin

    No bake cookies were the first thing I ever learned to make! I have a special place in my heart for them. And they really are so delicious! Your b-fast cookie really looks like one! But it would probably need about a pound of sugar to make it taste right 🙂
    The Cherry Blossoms are so beautiful, you really took a major walk!
    I’m visiting soon, and I hope the Cherry Blossoms are still around!

  8. Haha… we had the same cherry blossom idea in our heads so it seems! Don’t you just love spring!!

  9. Wow! Nice trek!! I live in Chicago and we had snow again yesterday!! My poor tulips are trying to come up and the leaves were covered with snow! I hope they’ll make it.

    Those cookies sound great!

  10. Oh those cookies sound amazing! Mayo–so unconventional but I bet it adds creaminess.

    What’s the secret to the breakfast cookie? I made my first one last night and it was still moist in the morning 😦

  11. P.S. Thanks for the oat bran tips!

  12. Gorgeous pictures of the cherry blossoms!

    Cool sandwich combo! I’ll have to try that!

    The cookies look so good! Haha, love that they have mayonaisse in them! That’s awesome 🙂

  13. I’ve been really interested in these brekkie cookies you’ve been making, and I can’t seem to find the recipe anywhere on your blog. Am I just missing it?

    Can you post how you make them? It seems like a great thing to have in the morning.

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