Recipes

Easy Energy Balls

These days it seems like my teenager is never, ever full. So I’ve been trying to find filling but healthier after school snacks as well as quick breakfast ideas. I used to make these super easy energy balls and can’t believe I forgot about them until now.

The recipe that I have makes a small batch which is perfect for myself and the boy, but it can be easily doubled to make more for a larger family. I’m not sure if it’s the oatmeal flakes or not, but I find that they tend to dry out a bit after a day or so, so it’s good to consume them within a day or two.

You only need a handful of ingredients and you probably already have most of them on hand.

Easy Energy Balls – makes about 12 balls
1/3 cup of creamy peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter of choice)
3/4 cup of rolled oats
2 tablespoons of honey
1/2 cups of mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup of crushed peanuts

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Let chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. After chilled roll into small bite size balls. Makes approximately 12. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Modifications:
* If you use crunchy peanut butter, you can omit the additional crushed peanuts.
* Chia or flax seeds can be used instead of the crushed peanuts for a nut free option.
* Raisins could be added in place of chocolate chips

There are so many recipes out there for energy balls but this is the one I have found that the boy likes the best.

Enjoy!

Parenting/Life

A Curly Hair Journey

I am going on a journey….with my hair (again). After attempting to embrace my grey, I just didn’t feel myself so I went back to dying it. Now, after almost 50 years, I am going to try and embrace my curls. What I would like is to have beautiful, bouncy curls, instead of the frizzy, lifeless mess I have been living with for years.

I’ve heard so much about and seen some pretty fantastic results with people using the “Curly Girl Method”. So this my journey and hoping to finally love my curls.

I’ve done a lot of reading and there is no one way and one set of products to use. I wish it was that easy. I almost think my Grade 13 calculus class was easier than this.

The Curly Girl method is a set of suggested steps and products to use based on your hair type. And within hair types, you need to determine the curl shape, porosity, elasticity and curl variance. Yes, my head is spinning with all this new lingo.

I am still learning about all of these variables and I know that I am not even close yet . But once I get a better handle on them, knowing these can give me different suggested of products to use and how to use them.

And with everyone’s hair their own unique combination, the Curly Girl Method is a lot of trial and error. Even only a week or so in, I have already had a few things that just didn’t work.

Then how is this a “Method” you ask? As I said before it’s a recommended sequence of steps and products. Steps involving washing my hair, applying products and styling. Most products are determined by ingredients you should look for or avoid. And it’s different for everyone.

For some, they get the hair they have been looking for in just a few months. Others have said they took a year or even longer.

They also say, that sometimes your hair may get worse before it gets better. It’s scary to think about but it’s just your hair’s way of getting used to the new care routine. So if you see me out and about soon and my hair looks worse than usual, you’ll understand why.

I’ve already ready realized somethings that I have been doing wrong all these years. After washing my hair, I always used a regular towel and tried to get to a damp/dry state before applying any products. This is a big no no. Hair should be soaking wet when you apply the products. And then they recommend using a tshirt or microfibre towel to get rid of some of the moisture by scrunching the hair. I totally understand now why I had so much frizz but styling wet is definitely taking some getting used to.

Even just doing that, I am already noticing a bit of a difference. I’ve never been one to blow dry my hair or use straightener all that much (which is something they say to avoid) but this new way seems to take a lot longer to air dry. I’m sure I’ll get used to it all.

So what is my biggest goal? I hear women talking about going on day 3 or 4 without a real wash, with a bit of refresh each day and their hair looks great. At this point I don’t like my Day 2 hair and have always been in the habit of washing my hair almost daily.

So although this seems all so very vague, I admit it is. As I learn things, I’ll be posting more of what methods and products work and anything that isn’t working for me.

So hopefully you’ll follow along my journey and see what the results are.

Recipes

Crockpot Chicken Chili

It’s getting to be that time of year where the weather gets cold and rainy (and soon snowy) and I start breaking out the crockpot more often. In fall/winter, I am a big fan of warm, stick to your ribs soups, stews and chili’s. And with a lot of these recipes, it’s pretty much a dump, cook and serve, so it makes the prep work all the more easier.

This recipe for Chicken Chili is super easy and full of flavor. What I also like about it, is it is pretty much set it and forget it so I can make it in the morning and by dinner time, it will be piping hot and ready to serve.

Not everyone likes a lot of spice, so you can easily adjust to your liking and can easily accommodate any food sensitivity. This is a recipe that could quickly become a family favorite. And on the plus side, it is WW friendly which makes it even better in my books.

Crock Pot Chicken Chili
Servings: 8

1 onion, chopped
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can tomato sauce (used a 16 oz can)
2 small cans of corn kernels)
2 cans Rotel (use the Mild for less spice)
1 packet chili seasoning
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper (to taste)
chopped fresh cilantro

 Combine beans, onion, Rotel, corn, tomato sauce, and chili seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken is no longer pink inside. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.

When serving you can top with fresh cilantro, a dollop of sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt). I like to pair it with a fresh baguette as well.

This is a great recipe to warm up the kids after they come home from school, or playing outside.

ENJOY!