Feb
01

I don’t have much time these days, but I’m still looking out for your best interest. This milkshake is especially for you.

See, I know you are probably pinning things on Pinterest in your free time. It’s my favorite too! But it totally makes you hungry.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

A healthy milkshake should tide you over until the Healthy Coconut Banana Bread comes out of the oven. In fact, that banana bread was ranked as one of the best reader photos of 2011 by YumSugar.

That makes me happy. Milkshake please.

Did I mention that this milkshake is made with coconut milk and greek yogurt? That means it’s extra thick, super delicious, and oh yes, protein packed for your cute self. (Yes, you!)

Whip cream is advised. Obviously.

There are no time for questions!

What are you waiting for? Stop your pinning, and make this!

 

Chocolate-Banana Coconut Milkshakes

By Monique of Ambitious Kitchen

2 cups of coconut milk

1 cup of nonfat vanilla greek yogurt

1 tablespoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ripe banana, sliced and preferrably somewhat frozen

6-7 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour evenly into two glasses and top with whip cream if desired

Serves 2


Jan
29

Finding what you believe in is important. Diving into things that make you joyful is essential. Beauty is what you make it.

There’s no doubt that the things I find beautiful are different from you. What makes me laugh you may find absurd. The fact that I could spend an entire day in a grocery store baffles some. In fact, I could live off banana bread for a week straight. I call that a gift people!

How we spend our days and lives is what make us each unique. Paula Deen’s made herself so unique that her veins now operate on butter. She sure is special.

But really, the older I get, the more I realize that you choose your own path. Your choices make your journey.

Stay with me here.

Read more.


Jan
22

 

I’ve learned a couple of things lately. Always take the road less traveled. Always sign up for an adventure. Always appreciate what you have. And always say yes to donuts!

Valentine’s day be next month but I’ve already been planning on falling in love with my life all over again. This consists of activities and things I’ve never done before. I’ve got a trip to Boston planned, a food tour booked, and reservations at Mike Isabella’s restaurant (that’s love right there)! Living young,wild, free and single.

Of course, a benefit of calling someone mine would be making ridiculously good breakfasts for them. Basically what I’m saying is boyfriends need to be willing to eat everything I make. There are no exceptions. So, until I have time to quiz dates on their pancake flipping style and favorite morning muffin, it’s just me and my spatula this Valentine’s Day.

How about you?

Read more.


Jan
21

Because of my general lack of time these days, I haven’t been in my kitchen in a week. The truth is, although I’d love to bring you recipes, I can’t bear myself to take pictures in the dark.
 
Don’t worry! I can’t be away for too long. Baking and cooking is in my soul, it’s just what I do. Making pies for hunnys. I’ll be back soon with some sweet delights and healthy bites. I’ve also been working on developing a Pinterest site, a tailored newsletter for all of you, plus Valentine’s day goodies!
 
Today, I’m having a guest blogger for the first time ever. She made Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies. Crazy awesome, I know! I hope you enjoy her healthy recipe.
Take it away Carly!

Jan
15

I don’t know why but drinking a large cup of hot cocoa before bed makes me incredibly happy. Just one of my newfound obsessions. Other things I’m into lately consist of cinnamon roasted almonds, smiling at everyone I see, working out to this song, and avoiding traffic at all times. At one point this week I was contemplating buying a bus so I could ride the shoulder. It was the only solution I could think of until I discovered the DC Metro. Good news: since I won’t be purchasing a bus, you are still safe on the road.

Besides that I’ve been mega busy! Meeting fabulous new friends, working out at 5am (it has to be done), and working on my 23 things list. I’ve got a couple checked off.

It’s restaurant week in DC as well, which means I finally got to experience lobster for the first time. Baklava too! Finally the world makes sense to me.

…I went on a date too. But that’s a different story for a different time.

We’re here to focus on Burgers people. Simply good and totally dreamy! I’m just looking out for you. 

Read more.


Jan
09

I’m finally in DC for good.

I made it here yesterday afternoon after about 20 hours worth of driving.  I did stop in both Chicago and Pittsburgh overnight. It was quite a drive. I do have to say that Maryland and Virginia are incredibly beautiful states. 

I simply adore Chicago though. It has everything a girl could want: Michigan Avenue, deep-dish pizza, cute men, and the Navy Pier. Hello romance waiting to happen! It’s my mission to get back there soon.

After eating Subway for three days straight on the road, it’s time for Brûlée people! And not the kind made with creme! 

Read more.


Jan
05

The moment is finally here. It’s time to say goodbye to Minnesota for good.

Eating Teddy Grahams is a bit comparable to leaving home really. Bittersweet. I can’t think of any other way to describe it.

Teddy Grahams are adorable, and yet so delicious! Even though devouring their cute little bear bodies is a little devastating, the incredible taste and satisfaction makes it all worth it.

Okay so that’s a stretch, but you get what I mean right? I’m completely weird.

Read more.


Jan
02

Welcome to the New Year. Another new beginning! Sure to be the start of something wonderful.

Did the sunrise look different this morning? Was your day a little brighter? I bet you looked good.

I woke up, threw my sunglasses on, and put my hair in a messy ponytail. I worked out and it felt phenomenal. I chowed down on veggie stir fry for lunch then came home and made a pineapple upside down gingerbread pumpkin cake. I listened to Florence and the Machine and danced like a mad woman while mixing it all together. Seriously caramelized pineapple, pumpkin and gingerbread. Let’s be real… that cake could make anyone fall in love.

I served it warm, topped it with real whip cream and gave it to someone special. At least I hope they felt special, because damn that cake was incredible.

Simply put, I’m smiling like I’ve never smiled before. I’m quite ready for an extraordinary 2012, how about you?

Read more.


Dec
28

The cookies are gone.

The pie has been eaten.

The Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread can no longer be made into french toast for breakfast. Tragic!

Now that the holidays are almost over, we’ve got to get our skinny on. Let’s get obsessed with oats, nuts, and fruit!

Granola is the picture of health, right?

Before we put our skinny jeans on, let’s laugh over Christmas stories.

Read more.


Dec
22

It’s my special day today.  Twenty-three years ago my parents didn’t know what to name me.

They finally settled on Monique Noella. 

It’s feminine version of my Grandfather’s name. He’s a pretty cool guy!

Noella, is a combination of Noel in the spirit of Christmas, and Ella, my great grandmother’s name.

Just some birthday facts.

This past year has been completely amazing! To make the next year just as great, I’ve thought up 23 new things to do.

23 things to add a little more spice in my life.

Take a look at my list.

1. Remind myself that it’s okay to be a kid sometimes and bake more things with excessive frosting and sprinkles. Watch out, donuts are next.

2. Take a vacation with my best girl friends. Asians, Gingers, and Blondes have way too much fun. Obviously.

3. Buy a stranger coffee everyday for a week. It might just make someone’s day. Plus, it’s good karma.

4. Become a Yoga instructor. Namaste.

5. Go to a baseball game. Drink beer and eat a ballpark hot dog.  I don’t drink beer or eat beef, so this will be new!

6. Bungee jump! This scares me like no other. Thinking about it is making me sweat.

7. Go camping! Like real camping. But only if I get to make these babies.

8. Start a food business. I’m not sure how I’ll find time for this… but it’s my dream.

9. Be active everyday somehow. I say power shopping counts!

10. Take the train to New York or Boston all by myself. Visit amazing friends from Australia. I miss you all.

11. Meet someone who has been on Top Chef. I’m leaning towards Spike or those cute twin brothers.

12. Bake a unique banana bread every month for someone new. Totes best idea ever.

13. Go see Beauty and the Beast 3D.  This is serious!

14. Try every new cereal that comes out. Multigrain Peanut Butter Cheerios… I love you.

15. Stay up all night and watch the sun come up at least 10 times. Preferably on an exotic beach or mountain.

16. Go out and pretend I’m turning twenty-one again. Great idea. Period.

17. Try karaoke again. Even though I know I’ll more than likely be awful at it.

18. Have conversations with random people everywhere I go. Listen to their experiences. Learn from their stories.

19. Go surfing more often. Take lessons if needed.

20. Read at least 17 books. Find something unique, don’t read everything on the bestseller list.

21. Go to the ballet. Watching Black Swan doesn’t count.

22. Order dessert more! Life is short and should be sweet. I know you agree.

23. Look around, smile, and genuinely appreciate everything in my life. Every single day.

 

This birthday girl is happy. It’s been a phenomenal year full of opportunities.  The older I get, the wiser I become.

I’m excited to be 23 and to see what the next year brings.

May you live all the days of your life.

As always, thanks for reading.

 

 
 
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