Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

As the school year is approaching, I am stocking up on desk snacks. I LOVE food, and tend to graze throughout the day instead of solid meals. This doesn’t usually work for teachers, but thankfully I have an awesome schedule that will allow me to do just that throughout my school day. Along with Goldfish, Nutella, chocolate chip muffins, and popcorn, I wanted something with a bit more substance. I’ve made these chocolate peanut butter balls before, but these have the added benefit of whey protein. The particular kind that I use also has added energy- B12, caffeine etc.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

1 cup oats

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/4 honey

1 1/2 10g scoops of protein- I use whey protein and use a flavor that goes with this recipe- vanilla or chocolate

  1. In a bowl, warm peanut butter and honey in the microwave until it is a bit runny so that it will mix easier.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine your protein, oats and mini chocolate chips
  3. Once the peanut butter and honey are warmed, pour into the other ingredients and fold in. If the mixture still seems dry and crumbly, add a bit more warmed peanut butter. It should form a nice ball and hold together well.
  4. Using a 1 inch ice cream scoop, or teaspoons, scoop out the mix onto wax paper.
  5. Allow to set for about an hour. Keep in an air tight container or separate into snack bags for a quick grab.

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This recipe made 34 small protein balls. 3 or 4 is just enough so they will make it a week! It took me less than 20 minutes to make!!!! I am going to keep a bag of these guys in my desk for a great afternoon pick me up! Happy snacking! 

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Terra Cotta Pot Pen Holder

There is a battle going on in my brain. I am preparing to enter the world of student teaching. I have a bajillion things going on in my brain and so many questions. What should I bring? Can I bring decorative things? Should I bring my own pens, pencils and markers? Am I going to look crazy walking into school with an entire cardboard box of unit binders? Can I be too organized? What should I wear the first day of school? Do I have enough grading stickers? Are my pens going to be as useful as I think they’re going to be?

Well, now that you’ve seen a glimpse of the crazy in my brain: I bought myself pens, pencils, white board markers and good ole crayolas. I have my Groot,  Dumbledoore, and Flyers Gnome packed. I’m wearing an apple dress, yes it’s a thing. I DO have a box of 3 ring binders full of unit plans. I do have labeled binder clips that go with my matching accordion binder/file folder set. I have over 2,000 A+, Great Job!, 100% and apple stickers. My Ink Joy Pens are FREAKING AWESOME.

Walking around Michaels I wanted to bring something to store all of those pens, pencils, and markers that I had bought myself. I came across the terra cotta pot section. I found one on the small side, but it’s not very squat, it’s a bit on the tall and thin side, AKA, writing utensil sized. I stood staring at it for a moment as I thought about my pile of acrylic paints at home and how I could paint it and put it on my desk for myself. BOOM. With my coupon, I paid under $2 for the pot and the rest I already had sitting at home.

  1. I painted the entire pot a single color. I LOVE pink.   
  2. Using different sized widths of wash tape, I created a geometric spider web.     
  3. I then painted within the shapes randomly.       
  4. After allowing the paint to dry, I went through and painted some sparkle here and there. Life needs a little glitz.
  5. I was going to leave the inside but the terra cotta didn’t match so I went with a purple.   
  6. I went back through and touched up color here and there that had dried uneven etc and allowed it to dry. 
  7. I removed the washi tapes from all around the pot. I was left with a pretty neato pot as it was, but I can’t leave well enough alone. 
  8. Using a Sharpi, on the side that will face the class I am going to write,  “Miss Swenda.” On the side that will face me I will do “Called Equipped Prepared.” It has become my motivation, my mantra, and my constant reminder that if God has Called me, He has Equipped me, and He will  Prepare me. So when the days get tough, when nobody does their homework, when they’re too busy on their phones to listen, when I am swamped with grading and sleep deprived, I will be able to look up and remember that God has put me in this position for a purpose and with His strength I will be successful.

I now have a super cute, totally personalized, motivational and all around awesome piece to hold my junk! This would make a perfect teacher gift, and even with buying a few paints, it can easily cost under $10 to do a few of these guys! I plan on making another one for my binder clip collection!    

    

 

Antietam Valley Farmers and Artists Market

A very lovely friend of mine recently moved to the Antietam area. She discovered and shared with me that they have an awesome farmers market on Saturday mornings. Their grand grand opening for the season was earlier this summer. The event is usually all outdoors but because of the rain they moved it into the rec center there at the park. This alone was super awesome.

We first did a circle to see everything. The worst thing to do at a farmers market is to buy at the first stand you see. You must walk around, see what everyone has and THEN go around and purchase.

My first purchase came from Conebella Farm. They are a dairy farm that has been owned by the same family since 1923, a whopping 5 generations. They have AMAZING cheese. After trying a few samples I was HOOKED and left with a 10oz block of Hickory Smoked Colby Jack. I purchased the Old Bay cheese  spread the last time I was there. It’s so good with pretzels. The prices are great for a local, fresh cheese!

Next came HONEY! Griesemer Beekeeping has fresh honey made out of Wernersville. I did not buy a jar of honey this time, but couldn’t resist a few honey sticks 5/$1. They have a variety of flavors and it was hard to pick just a few! Fun fact- buying local honey is also great for allergies!

Grow Your Own Freedom was my next stop. I am addicted to this stand. I’m just going to leave their website right HERE! I’ve been using their bug sprays all summer. At least once a year like this because of bites-IMG_7001

I usually swell and hurt and throb, it’s a nightmare. This year, I got ONE bug bite on my hand because I forgot to spray once. Even with working in the garden. Even in the middle of a swamp in North Carolina on vacation. NO BUG BITES. Seriously. This stuff is MIRACLE spray. The last time I was at the market I got their Vanilla Mocha chapstick. Uh. Holy. Moly. I can’t even. Or odd. So yummy. It leaves my lips nice and soft without being sticky. I am in LOVE. They make soaps, salves, scrubs- tons of all natural and locally grown/made stuff. Garden care is also a service that they provide and help with. Seriously. I think I’m in LOVE. 

We bought a few other goodies, but I will write about those in a later post. For now, enjoy this picture of me with a purple tongue from eating a pint of black raspberries all by myself.

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Puppy Power

Everyone talks about crazy cat people….but very rarely do you hear about the crazy dog people. We have 3. May, our 14 year old Jack Russell, Molly, our 4 year old Beagle/Springer, and Mikey, our 3 year old Basset/Dachshund mix. The rescue that we work with, Recycled Tails, where we got Mikey from, had a litter of black lab puppies come up from South Carolina. Well….uh….we kind of got one! We now have a black lab puppy, making our 3, 4. Of course, he had to have an “M” name to go with the rest of the crew. After some trial names and back and forth, we landed on Murphy, Murphy George to be exact. In true Swenda fashion, Murphy has turned into “Mur,” “Murph,” “Murphle,” and “Derp.” Our dogs will never have normal names.

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He is exceptionally smart and is taking to potty training very well. Murphy is the happiest little puppy. He is the best little cuddle bug and I am soaking in all of the love and affection and the ability to carry him around while he is still so little.

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Sooo, we didn’t get chickens this summer, but we did end up with another dog!

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If you are interested in adopting a new friend, volunteering, fostering, or just helping out, you can see my interview with Heidi Evans, founder of Recycled Tails HERE! The application to foster/adopt can be found HERE! You can follow them on Facebook HERE!

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Strawberry Blueberry Pie

Guys. I am sooooooo far behind. Summer is usually my time of frequent posts, desserts, gardening, and all of the fun things. I have spent my summer doing all of the usual things, with the exception of working a full time teaching job and a part time job at a craft store- yeah, cuz I need that temptation. SO, between the two things, I have had no life and blogging has sadly fallen to the wayside. BUT alas, I am FINALLY able to find time to blog again. In the next 2 weeks, I will catch up on my summer. By the time that is done, I will be starting my student teaching!!! Along with my regular foodie posts, I will be posting about activities and fun! Oh yeah, not to mention WEDDING THINGS! Not for me, but I’ve got plenty of them coming up to blog about! Woo Hoo!

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, now it is time for me to finally post my recipe for my strawberry blueberry pie that I made for the 4th of July….yeah. I’m way behind. But, it’s PERFECT for a picnic and even boasts red, white and blue!

To start, you will make a double crust pie crust. I always use the tried and true Betty Crocker recipe. You can find that HERE! I do add a tablespoon or 2 of sugar to the dough when making a sweet/fruit pie. But it’s not a necessity.

Filling-

1 qt strawberries cut

1 pint blueberries

1 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

2-3 tablespoons flour.

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

  1. Rinse and cut strawberries into smaller pieces. Rinse blueberries.
  2. In a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, combine strawberries, blueberries, flour, sugar, and water.
  3. Stir regularly to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It will begin to thicken and break down. Mine too about 20 minutes. While this is cooking, roll out the pie crust into the bottom of a pie tin/glass. Poke holes in the bottom and bake for 15 minutes to prevent the bottom from getting soggy.
  4. Pour the strawberry/blueberry mixture in to partially baked pie crust.
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  6. Roll out the rest of the crust, using a cookie cutter, I used a star, cut out pieces. Lay out your cutouts on top of the pie. I tried to do mine in some kind of circular pattern that allowed you to see the fruit underneath.
  7. Bake until the top crust is browned and the fruit is bubbling. Mine took 20 minutes.

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Sadly, this was eaten so quickly I was unable to get a picture of what it looked like done. Serve warm with nice cold vanilla ice cream!