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Apparently, some of you have made resolutions for the new year. I don’t approve, but I’ll play along.
I’ve gone on for quite a while about how I believe in healthy balance and moderation all year long, and I find January 1st to be quite arbitrary a date to start getting healthy. But hey, who am I to discourage people from being healthier? After all, I’m a fitness junkie. I do barre workouts with religious zeal and fuel up with protein afterward. And this is one of my favorite ways to do it.
Three ingredients: peanut butter, tofu and powdered sugar. Blend. Chill. I’m done! Now can we start talking about the barre again?
Two years ago, I joined the cult of the barre via Physique 57, a super-ritzy program that is nothing short of addictive. If you don’t believe me, head to my basement. You’ll find a healthy assortment of free weights, a so-called “playground ball” that I squeeze between my thighs as I squat and cry, and an actual barre. Yep. I own a barre. Kenny makes endless fun of me for my barre, but I betcha he can’t stand up on the ball of one foot while lifting the other leg in the air and pulsing it endlessly and not falling over.
Last week, Physique 57 was offering a free trial week of their online streaming workouts, so of course, I signed up. I spent my free week grunting and stretching out sore muscles, which is my idea of a good time. But then, my free week ended. And I can’t quite bring myself to pay the $57 monthly fee to online stream the workouts, so I’m back to the land of the DVD. Why does it cost so much? Why, P57?
In the meantime, Kenny has taken up P90X, and his monthly streaming bills are a lot cheaper, so he gets to build his six-pack without guilt. I’m jealous, but not enough to ever leave the barre. Try it sometime! The DVDs are a lot more economically sound than the streaming. But you can stream my videos for free. See?
I’m on YouTube as Just About Baked. Go ahead and subscribe! But don’t be like me. I accidentally hit the “dislike” button on a video I made.
After my long workout (they can go anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the barre DVD I’m using any given day), I need protein. Quickly. Because if you have protein within an hour of strength training, those long and lean muscles can pop out even more!
This pudding is almost pure protein, minus the sugar. It’s made of silken tofu, which liquefies very easily, along with creamy peanut butter and the aforementioned powdered sugar. You pulse those three simple ingredients for less than a minute, and there you have it. Well, after the chilling. The pudding must be chilled.
I’m not gonna lie here; you can taste a trace of tofu in this, but if you like the taste of tofu (which isn’t exactly a taste anyway), it works fine. And the peanut butter is a strong enough flavor to be the main focus. Plus, adding garnish makes the experience more fun. I added chocolate chips in the video above, but you can do whatever. Chopped peanuts, a cocoa powder dusting, or for decadence, chopped peanut butter cups or peanut butter chips. Anything will work!
Make the resolutions you want, and be happy. Just be sure that you already love who you are, and that you aim for balance and not deprivation. I might log in a lot of barre time, but that gives me the strength to get through the day and bake brownies, too. And that’s a goal worth striving for!
I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner.
This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker.
Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.
You’d think I would’ve learned by now. You know, how to stand upright and walk without incident. Turns out, it ain’t so easy.
A year ago, I was running. But then a weird fluke fall led to a hip break, and then a foot break, so I’ve been cross-training and strength training for several months. The one day I tried running again I fell over. Again. Yes, it’s definitely me. Can’t blame the even suburban terrain on this one!
So the other day I was just walking, heading calmly to my weekly voice lesson, and down I went. I gotta tell you, I was pretty embarrassed. Especially because I wiped out right in front of a whole group of ballet dancers. Nothing is more humiliating then falling over in front of a group of stick-thin, graceful women who have body coordination. So as soon as my lesson ended, I ran home and made this fro yo shake to recover my sense of equilibrium.
Ah, the gluten-free life. It comes with so many challenges. My husband eats a mainly gluten-free diet, and he tends to try some baked good or other and then say, “It’s missing…something.”
To which I reply, “Um…wheat?”
Yep, it’s hard to make him forget just how great that gluten is. Which is why I’m so grateful that along with the recipes I make for him from scratch, there are people out there who make really good gluten-free refrigerated cookie dough. The Immaculate Baking brand is his (and my) favorite. The ingredients are free of chemicals and the cookies are nice and chewy. If you can’t find that brand at your local store, you can substitute two packages of your favorite gluten-free refrigerated cookie dough in this recipe.
Well, the week marches on. Today was Primary Election day in my state, and I watched a lot of people agonize over which terrible candidate to vote for. Yay for democracy!
Ideally, the voting process should be nothing but exciting, but it’s harder this year than usual. Looking toward November is a worrisome occupation, at least for me. I want to believe that everything will turn out okay, but I’m in a negative frame of mind these days.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I bake. There’s a mindful mindlessness about baking that lets my brain fall away a bit as I make ganache or press tart dough into a pan. The motions are repetitive, soothing, and exactly what I need sometimes. When the result is this mind-blowing linzer tart smothered in ganache and almonds, I can banish all the negativity and just think about the rich flavors exploding in my mouth.