Fancy Pants Rice Crispy Squares

I got into a Facebook fight today, and I’m only mildly ashamed.

With whom? Another blogger.  She posted something about how the Ban Bossy campaign was ridiculous.

If you haven’t heard of Ban Bossy, it’s a campaign by Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In organization and the Girl Scouts.  The whole idea is to stop using the word ‘Bossy’ to describe an assertive girl.   An assertive little boy is a ‘leader,’ but an assertive little girl is ‘bossy,’ and this affects the way girls develop in leadership roles.  The campaign really aims at developing leadership among girls and young women.

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I don’t think this campaign is ridiculous.  I actually think it’s a great idea.

That said, sure, the choice of marketing for this campaign is a bit silly (I love Beyonce, but she sort of sucks in the video).  The word bossy is just dumb, but I recognize its power.  Because of that, I was bothered by this bloggers comment and the subsequent comments to her post.  Mostly, they were people saying that being called bossy is a good thing, or examples of when their little boys are bossier than their daughters and how the word doesn’t mean anything.  Sure, I get all that.  To an adult, being called bossy is fine, but when you’re little things are different.  By the time we’re grown ass women, we know we’re more awesome than what some jerk says.  But let’s not forget that words have power.

So, Facebook “fight” ensued.  I argued that words are important and empowering girls is essential.  She argued that the campaigns message was clouded by bad marketing.

The feminist in me took over (p.s. I hate that to so many the word feminist is negative).  But then I just let it go, because if there’s one thing I hate more than people putting down people’s efforts to empower women, it’s women hating on other women.  Can we get a little female solidarity?

Overall, I get it.  Criticizing is easier than making a positive change, and as I emphasized  in my comments: everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  If you hate the Ban Bossy campaign, that’s fine.  But can you give me another way that we can start empowering girls to be leaders?

Regardless of how you feel about the Ban Bossy campaign, I genuinely hope we can all agree that empowering girls to be leaders is a cause worth talking about.  If only our Facebook interactions could be dialogues instead of arguments, we’d all be a tiny bit better off.

But in the meantime, before society progresses to that point, when someone tells you what you support is ridiculous, it’s my belief that you should kill them with kindness… the marshmallowy kind.  So ladies keep your bossy pants on and make yourself some fancy pants rice crispy squares.

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Fancy Pants Rice Crispy Squares

1/4 cup butter
4 cups mini marshmallows
3 cups puffed rice cereal
2 cups puffed millet
2 cups puffed quinoa
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1-2 tsp canola oil

Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside. In a large pot, met together butter and mini marshmallows.  Stir until well combined.  Add rice cereal, millet, quinoa and coconut.  Stir to combine.  Press mixture into 9×13 dish and allow to cool for an hour or two (you can put it in the fridge to speed up the process).  Once cooled, cut into squares using a large chef knife.

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Place chocolate chips in a bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir and microwave another 30 seconds.  Repeat until chocolate is melted.  Stir in 1-2 tsp of oil or enough for the chocolate to be runny.  Drizzle chocolate over squares and allow to harden.  Once chocolate is firm, serve and enjoy!

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Why are they fancy pants?  Millet is fancy.  Quinoa is like the black diamond of grains.  Coconut makes everything a little more exotic.  Also because I said so.

What are your thoughts on #BanBossy?  Feel free to give your actual opinion (even if you disagree with me, that’s cool!).

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Salted Almond Joy Bark

With Christmas and the New Year on the horizon, I have two goals for today:

1. Clean out my closet/dresser of unwanted garments

I have too much stuff.  I have clothing I don’t wear and even more that doesn’t fit.  One of the fantastic things about lifting weights is that my body shrank.  It’s great! But it means that I don’t own any pants that fit me.  So I want to clear out the stuff that doesn’t fit me any more, because there’s no room in my shoebox of an apartment for clothing that is too big or old.
2. Bake Christmas Cookies for gifts

I love baking and Christmas is the perfect time to bake treats and give them away.  So today and tomorrow will consist of Christmas baking.  I had my recipes all planned out, but then yesterday when I arrived to Crossfit, Allison told me she had something for me.  She handed me a lovely tin filled with homemade salted chocolate coconut almond bark.

At this point it was nearly 6am and not an appropriate time to eat chocolate.  So I put it in my car, got my butt kicked during the WOD and went to work.  I have this rule during the holidays (since there are so many treats floating around) that I’m allowed to have a sweet treat AFTER lunch.

This means waiting til I have a nutritious (or semi-nutritious because yesterday my boss took us to Umami Burger for lunch and that’s clearly NOT nutritious) before enjoying goodies and also cutting down on how much I eat.  I have a hard time stopping once I start, so I found it’s better for me to just start later.  But anyway…

So I waited until after lunch and had a piece of Allison’s delicious bark.

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It was awesome.  Let me just tell you, I gave some to co-workers and to Jesse, but the reality is I ate it mostly myself.  Today, as of 2pm… the bark is gone.  As in, I finished it all after lunch today.

Because this bark was so amazing I wanted to try to make it on my own and give it to my loved ones.  I’ve decided to rename it Salted Almond Joy Bark, because that’s sort of what it reminded me of.

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Salted Almond Joy Bark

from Sweet Potato Bites

10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips  (or chocolate chunks)
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
1/2 cup Roasted Coconut Chips*
Coarse Sea Salt

First, prepare your pan by lining a cookie sheet with parchment.  Set aside.

Next, pour chocolate into a microwave safe bowl.

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Microwave 30 seconds then stir.  Microwave another 30 seconds and stir, repeat until chocolate is melted and smooth. You can also do this in a pan or double boiler, but I’ll be honest, the microwave is a million times easier.  It’s also idiot-proof.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my chocolate seize when using a double boiler, because water in chocolate (steam included!) might cause it to seize.

Because of this, I take the easy route and use the microwave.  Once your chocolate is melted and smooth, pour about 3/4 of the chocolate into the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Using a spatula, smooth until it’s a tiny bit thick (if you like your bark thicker, leave it thicker, if you want it thinner, spread it more).  It doesn’t have to be perfect because you’re going to cover it with stuff anyway…

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Sprinkle chocolate with coconut and almonds.  Take the remaining chocolate and drizzle it overs the coconut and almonds.

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Sprinkle with sea salt (be generous! That’s seriously the best part!) and refrigerate or freeze until firm.

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Once the chocolate is completely hardened (it took about an hour for me, if not it’ll start to melt when you touch it), break the bark into pieces.

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Store in an air tight container in a cool spot for up to a week.

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*I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips, but if there’s no Trader Joe’s near you, you can just use toasted coconut.

This stuff was seriously amazing.  The salt really takes this from normal tasty chocolate bark to something out of this world.  Everyone that tried it loved it.  I’m really excited to share this with others along with Orange-Pistachio Biscotti, Molasses Cookies, Chocolate Mint Cookies and maybe another cookie or two.  Any suggestions?

Are you giving Christmas Cookies this season?  If so, what are your top cookies or treats to gift?

Peanut Butter Bacon Rice Crispies

I’m going to go ahead and let you know that after this post, all you’re going to want in life is a rice crispy treat.  If there’s bacon in it, that’s going to be an added bonus.  But rice crispies are going to be on your brain and I’m not even sorry.

The past few weeks have been the most insufferably hot weeks ever.  It’s like I forgot that I grew up in a desert-like region where 100F+ is normal during the summer.  100F in Costa Mesa is hell (without AC).  As a result, I refused to turn on the oven.

Frying bacon on the other hand, no heat could stop that.

When I was trying to think of what to make for dessert for a potluck, I could only think of making something that did not involve turning on the oven.  So of course I had a brilliant idea, and I made it a reality

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The world can pretty much thank me for this.

Peanut Butter Bacon Rice Crispies

3 slices of thick cut bacon
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Company Crunch Time)

4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups puffed rice cereal

In a large pot, fry bacon.  Once cripsy, remove from pan and pour off the majority of the grease (it’s ok if some stays on there).  Allow bacon to cool completely, then chop.  Add peanut butter and marshmallows to pot and melt on low heat.  Once melted together, add rice cereal and bacon.  Stir to combine.  Press into a 9×13 baking dish lined with parchment paper.  Allow to cool completely, slice and serve!

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These were tasty.  Next time, I’ll drizzle some chocolate on them, because I’m intense like that.  Also because peanut butter, bacon and chocolate are an awesome combination.   Did you forget about the Chocolate Pudding with Peanut Butter Mousse and Maple Candied Bacon?  In case you did, here’s a reminder…

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Peanut Butter and Bacon is absolutely a thing.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you should.  And seriously, this couldn’t be an easier way to do so.  No baking, just a bit of stirring, pressing and slicing.

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Get on it.

What’s your favorite sweet bacon combo??

White Chocolate Wonderful Ice Cream

This week has included a lot of eating.  Jesse and I have our birthdays within a week of each others, which means a lot of celebrations happen at one time.  Now I like to think of birthdays as more than just your birthday.  It really should be a week long celebration.

We started on Monday with an outdoor movie at the Segerstrom Center.  Like any good girlfriend/foodie, I had to pack a picnic…

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I tried to include healthy things, because sometimes we all need some balance.  But see that PB&J chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s.  OMG delicious.  Also, those mason jars are filled with wine (the movie was Mulan, adult grape juice is totally acceptable).  Wondering about the sandwich…

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Turkey and Cheddar with spinach on a pretzel roll with lots of dijon mustard.  Epic.

Wednesday was Jesse’s birthday for real (you probably remember my ridiculously cheesy blog post.  You’re welcome.).  We went to the Boiling Crab for dinner, where I ate an entire pound of shrimp on my own.  I also made him a creamy pumpkin pie

creamypumpkinpieBecause on your birthday you should get what you want, even if it means pumpkin pie in July.

So as you can tell, there’s been a lot of eating.  But while I’ve been busy eating and celebrating, I’ve also been doing other types of photographing.  Did you know sometimes I take pictures of people?

IMG_0568Needless to say, I haven’t had a lot of time to make things and photograph them for blogging purposes.  So while I take a break before making more exciting new things that I can blog about, let me tell you about something I made a while ago… Remember the Peanut Butter Throwdown?  Oh yeah you still have a few more days to enter the giveaway

Well I was super excited to made dessert for that gathering.  And thus this was born:

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White Chocolate Wonderful Ice Cream

1 cup White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy (a few minutes).  Add half and half and whisk until combined.  Transfer to a saucepan, turn flame on to medium/low.  Continue to stir until mixtures starts to thicken (about 10 minutes).  Lastly, stir in white chocolate wonderful peanut butter and stir until combined.

Keep stirring until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Then chill for bit until mixture is cold.  Put in your ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.    Just before ice cream is done, drop in white chocolate chips.  Freeze for a few more hours to set, then serve!

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I had to give this away for fear that I would eat the whole thing in a day.  True story.   It doesn’t matter how sugar loaded I am, there’s always room for ice cream.  Don’t you think?

So go ahead and make this.  Think of me and the fact that my birthday is on Tuesday.

Also, Don’t forget to enter the Peanut Butter & Co. Giveaway to win 6 free jars of Peanut Butter!  Click here to enter!  Don’t be a meany! Share it with your friends so they can get some peanut butter love too!