Catching Up…and a recipe!

So let’s do a life catch up. Mainly just stuff that’s happened in the past few days.

-Saturday morning we headed over to the beer/wine supply place to buy a new kit to brew some raspberry ale. To our surprise, the guy gave us quite a few generously poured samples of various wines he had made at his house. They were all fantastic. But he was pouring them fast, so we had to drink faster. Awesome, I got buzzed for free. PS: so excited to try our first home-brewed fruit beer! They’re my fave.

– We then headed over to check out the grand opening of Community Natural Foods in our neighborhood. There, we lucked out with some free sausage samples, so it helped with the wine consumption.

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My opinion of the store? Definitely better than the other local natural foods store, but still not even CLOSE to a Whole Foods or TJ’s.

-Saturday night was a long-planned date night. First stop: Saltlik for dinner. I had been to the location in Banff a few times, but we found that the downtown location had a different menu/ambiance/etc. Not as spectacular (only because the downtown spot doesn’t have scalloped potatoes! ha) but the steak was still fantastic.

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We finished dinner a bit early, so we walked over to another pub and had a few drinks. Then..

– Cirque De Soleil! The tent in Calgary was for the show Amaluna. Tyler had never been to a Cirque show before, but I have seen some in both California and Vegas. I didn’t care for this show as much, but it was still entertaining!

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– We concluded the night with a stupid scary movie that I thankfully didn’t get any nightmares from.

-Sunday, we added a new member to the family- Reggie!

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Reggie is a 4.5 year old Beagle (maybe half pocket beagle). He wasn’t ever in a foster home or shelter, but his doggy mama had to find a new home for him since her son was allergic. We totally lucked out because it is super good- potty trained, obedient, friendly, no health problems. His mama even gave us all his beds and toys and leashes and food and treats.

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So far, so good. He only barks when people are out front or the doorbell rings (same as Layla). And they have been getting along really well. Lots of quiet play, lots of lounging on the patio, and lots of cuddles and treats. Of course, both dogs now have their designated spots on the bed which just so happen to be immediately on either side of me. I was mummified in the sheets last night!

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Only catch is his love of sitting on top of the couch. Still need to figure out the best solution of covering the leather so he doesn’t wear or tear anything.

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I told Layla to blink once if he can stay in the house with us. This was her response:

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I think that’s a yes.

Ok, now onto a really yummy recipe.

SO..I knew I wanted to bake something this morning, but the challenge was to figure out what exactly I could make that didn’t include chocolate or brown sugar as an ingredient (I was fresh out of both and didn’t couldn’t jet to the store since I was in between 2 phone interviews). I fuddy-duddied around the kitchen for a few minutes before deciding on this delicious concoction:

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Peanut Butter Banana Oat Bars (adapted from this recipe)

They’re great because they contain all good ingredients, they’re quick and easy to make, and they keep pretty well (in freezer). Not only that, but the ingredients are substantial, so each bar will satisfy any hunger craving. This really yields about 8 bars, but since it was my initial go with the recipe, I played with the edges before I took any pictures.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 bananasĀ 
  • 1 c oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (I made a mixture of walnuts, macadamia nuts and cashews and pulsed in the food processor a few times)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • dash of salt

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Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper

2. In a bowl, mash bananas. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.

3. Place mixture in baking dish. Evenly spread and press down.

4. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow dish to fully cool before cutting.

5. For additional convenience as a quick snack, cut squares and individually wrap in plastic wrap.

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This recipe is definitely a keeper. I almost always have all the ingredients on hand, plus it’s a satisfying and handy snack!

Question: Have a go-to handy snack? Is it something you make or buy??