It 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:
I 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:
I 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
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
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:
See 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.
These were ready for their close-up! Here’s one more of the Washington Monument:
I 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!