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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.
Is it just me, or have women engineered our lives so that we have no time at all?
See, we have rights and we can work and vote and do all those great things. Super! I’m excited to be alive in this time, really I am. But why does having permission to be considered equal to men translate into women suddenly being superheroes?
Because I am, ya know. Sometimes I lie back against my fluffy pillows at the end of the day and just sit there, dazed at how much I could pack into a day. And I’m not bragging, because I’m not pretending to do it well or anything. But somehow, it’s totally legit for women to figure out how to pack in work, family time, exercise, errands, logistics (don’t get me started on how much we plan), general hygiene, and oh so much more in one day. Every day. Relentlessly.
I’m not necessarily complaining, mainly because I’m lazy and tired and don’t feel like opening that can of worms right now. I’ll open it next week. I’m just trying to explain how I wound up baking when I had no time. These bars, to be exact.
Ahhhh…TGIF. Almost. Before I breeze through the last day of the week, it’s time to make some serious bread.
Challah, that is.
Challah is too awesome to fly so much under the radar. It’s traditionally an egg bread made with white flour and sugar, kind of like brioche. It makes amazing French toast. There are also water versions, calling for no egg, as well as challahs filled with anything from raisins to chocolate chips.
And lately, whole wheat challah has begun to pop up in bakeries with more frequency, though it’s often put down by challah traditionalists, and who can blame them? Challah is an indulgence, a bread so good that spreading butter or jam on a slice can actually take away from the yeasty, fresh-out-of-the-oven perfection of the bread itself.
I was pretty hestitant to give the whole wheat thing a try. Why fix what ain’t broke? But in a world where whole grains are healthier and white bread is just an occasional indulgence, I wanted to have my challah and eat it too.
You know how much I love peanut butter by now, right? Because I really, really, reallyreally need that fix every day. Preferably in some kind of peanut butter cup, but I’ll take the stuff straight up as well. Stirred, not shaken. With a spoon!
Years ago, I was part of a tour group in a foreign country. We stopped in a grocery store, and there on the shelf was a jar of Peter Pan, imported and outrageously marked up in price. I bought it immediately and without any hesitation, despite the fact that everyone in my group was mocking me for spending so much on a jar of peanut butter.
Well, folks, the laugh was on them. I sat on the tour bus, opened the jar, inhaled the sweet aroma and looked up, only to realize that the entire bus was eyeing my Peter Pan with what can only be described as mad lust. And for the rest of the trip, people kept asking if they could have a taste. They missed it so much, you see, and I was the smart one. I was also nice and shared, but not after a whole lotta “I told you so” lectures.