Welcome, I'm Monique! Ambitious Kitchen is a blog devoted to clean eating, healthier baked treats, plus my passion for fitness and nutrition. Bottom line, I love to inspire others in and out of the kitchen! Read more.
I’ve officially been blogging for 3 1/2 years now. I remember when I first started out I didn’t know what I was doing, only that I wanted to share my creations with other people who loved food just as much as I do. Now years later, I feel like I’m focused, more passionate, knowledgeable and creative then I ever was before.
2014 was a huge milestone personally and professionally; I can’t thank you enough for being here reading along as this blog continues to change and grow.
I know today is supposed to be Wellness Wednesday, but I’m taking a small break until the New Year. No worries — I’ll be back next week with a new WW post; I know I’ve been away for a while! I’m guessing we all probably have. This year is such a wonderful time to just kick up your feet, read a new book, and just enjoy family time. And basically every cookie in sight.
That being said, I’ve done my fair share of eating, drinking, and cooking. Tony’s birthday was last week and I had the pleasure of making him a version of King Arthur Flour’s deep dish pizza, then homemade French Silk Pie for dessert. Swear to goodness, it was the best meal I’ve ever made him. The pie was perfect. I really feel awful about not posting the recipe, but it also seems a bit wrong to throw you a dessert full of butter, cream and chocolate when we’re all trying to eat healthy again. What do you think? If you’d like the recipe, I’d be happy to make it again and photograph it. Let me know!
I haven’t made recipes for the blog in about a week. Basically I enjoy relaxing over the holiday break, spending time with loved ones, eating delicious food and really enjoy myself before I make a list of all the things I want to do next year.
Of course I need to stay in touch with all of you, so I thought that I’d share the most viewed recipes on Ambitious Kitchen over the past year. Most of them are tried and true favorites that everyone really loves to make over and over again; if you haven’t made any on the list, I suggest you try them out! Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon with more healthy recipes for the new year.
Do you have a holiday morning tradition? This year I’m celebrating with Tony and his family; we’ll each be bringing a brunch dish on Christmas morning. I haven’t decided what I’ll be making yet: french toast, pancakes, mini cinnamon rolls or banana bread. I’m definitely leaning towards the homemade mini cinnamon rolls; what do you guys think?
After each yoga class I always practice savasana; a complete state of relaxation. It’s simple to do: just lay on your back, palms facing the ceiling and legs relaxed. I love it because it enables me to completely let go after a difficult workout, to reevaluate why I come to my mat and what the practice has given me that day. The pose helps you become aware of your breath, your thoughts, and the hard work you’ve just accomplished. To me it also becomes an appreciation to myself. I think of it as my body saying to my mind – thank you for making it here, thank you for taking care of me and thank you for trying.
Hello, hello! Hopefully I’m not too late in delivering you my favorite Christmas cookies! It seems like many of us are scrambling to figure out what we’ll bake for holiday parties this week so I hand-picked some of my favorites from around the web. I know I’ll be baking a few batches for this weekend and hope you get a chance, too.
How was your weekend? Did you do any holiday baking? I flew back into Chicago on Saturday night then enjoyed a relaxing evening with Tony. We tried to find something to watch on Netflix since we recently finished Breaking Bad, but nothing seemed convincing enough. That and we can’t seem to make a decision ever. What are some of your favorite TV series on Netflix? I thought The Fringe looked really good, mostly because Pacey is in it.
In other news, my birthday is next week (on the 22nd!) and I’ll be turning 26. I don’t know what I want for my birthday treat, usually it’s pumpkin pie but this year I’m kind of feeling a BIG fat doughnut or chocolate mousse. Is it sad that dessert is the most important thing to me on my birthday?
Do you love sugar cookies? I do. Except I’m more of a fan of the soft version from the store. You know the kind that’s loaded with thick frosting and simply melts in your mouth when you take a bite? Gahhh, must resist.
Since I have a few friends and family members who are gluten free, I started thinking about what kind of cookies they’d be enjoying this holiday season. I feel like there aren’t too many festive recipes out there and that’s a real bummer. I know many of my readers are gluten free or love to bake for their GF family/friends, so I thought I’d introduce a gluten free product that I’m loving.
Oh hey Friday! This weekend I still have some Christmas shopping to do but considering the fact that I have 60% done is some sort of miracle. I actually did most of it online, so thank you for existing Amazon!
What’s new: I’ve been in Minnesota this past week and I can’t tell you how quickly the time has flown by. I was able to grab dinner with one of my best friends, see the new Hunger Games movie and do a few yoga classes. I also went to the chiropractor which seemed to help me tremendously. Hopefully I’ll be back in the gym soon lifting weights and running.
Other than that I’ve been craving some sort of vacation. Anything, really! Last year I was planning a trip to Australia and this year I haven’t done much other than stare at reviews on Trip Advisor. I promised myself that I would travel internationally at least once a year so I really do need to get on top of it. My best friend and I are in talks about planning a month long trip to South America or Asia, but haven’t quite decided yet. I’m basically dying to climb Machu Picchu. Anyone done it?
Are Christmas cookies taking over your life? They aren’t for me just yet but I’m right around the corner from a MEGA bake-a-thon and quite honestly, I’m a little frightened by how many I may consume. You know the peanut butter blossoms? MY FAVVVVV. So classic, so peanut-buttery… just give me a few and a big glass of chocolate almond milk. Or hot chocolate with whipped cream. Why must the holiday season be so tempting?
Of course, I’ve really been trying to not go overboard with the sweets. I think I say that almost every Christmas; certainly this year will be better (I hope!).
The number one question I ask myself is: Why is losing weight so hard? Over the course of the past year, I’ve worked out at least 5x a week, ate healthy MOST of the time and am pretty active. So what gives?
Well here’s the thing. I went into the doctor for my yearly physical a month or so ago and of course, had to step on the scale. The scale read 136 pounds. I thought to myself, “I’ve weighed 136 pounds for almost 5 months now, why can’t I just lose weight?” Then when talking with my doctor, she mentioned that I had lost some weight since last year and also added that I looked terrific. I thought she’s probably just saying it to be nice, so I brushed her compliment off. I then asked her how much I weighed a year ago and she told me 151 pounds. I cringed when I heard that number, still dissatisfied with my current weight.