Triple Layer Cookies and Cream Crunch Bars

One of the blogs I read regularly is How Sweet Eats.  Jessica, the blogger, always has amazingly different dessert and dinner recipes, and her pictures seem to capture all the tastes and textures perfectly.  I sometimes have to refrain from licking the computer screen.

While I check the blog every day, I had yet to try to recreate one of her amazing creations.  Partly because I just can not be trusted with a whole batch of cookies/brownies/breads/etc.  I have zero self control.

When she posted the recipe for her Triple Layer Cookies and Cream Crunch Bars back in March I knew immediately they were a must make, but timing is everything folks, and I needed to be sure I wouldn’t be the only one with access to these gooey, crunchy, chocolately, peanut buttery bars.

They have been on my mind for a full month.  Easter is tomorrow and there is no time like the present.

Triple Layer Cookies and Cream Crunch Bars

From: How Sweet Eats

Brownie batter spread into pan.
Sink in 9 Oreos and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Remaining Oreos
Take out some aggression and crush those babies.
Spread over baked brownie with a 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Melt remaining chocolate chips with 1/2 cup peanut butter.
Spread over layer bars.
Refridgerate 2 hours.
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 20 Oreo cookies
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Butter and flour an 8 x 8 cake pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add remaining teaspoon of vanilla. Add in cocoa powder and mix until combined. Add flour and salt, mixing well until batter is smooth and comes together. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Spread in the 8 x 8 pan. Sink 9 Oreo cookies into the batter and press gently. Bake for 25-30 minutes. While baking, crush the remaining Oreos in a ziplock bag. When brownies are finished baking, remove from the oven and sprinkle with 1/2 cup chocolate chips and crush Oreos. Place back in the oven for about 2-3 minutes. During this time, melt remaining chocolate chips and peanut butter together. Remove brownies from oven and pour melted chocolate mixture over top, spreading with a spatula. Make sure chocolate gets down into the Oreo crevices, as it is the “glue” that holds the top to the bottom. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Let brownies sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before cutting.

Easter Monday?!

I feel like today should be a holiday 🙂  I mean I get the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas off, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, and Veteran’s Day…ooooo..and St. Patrick’s Evacuation Day and Columbus Day.  I might as well get the day after Easter off too.

I forgot how much working the day after a holiday stinks!

That is why today I am extremely grateful that my mom and day host every holiday.  I can’t imagine how it feels to clean and cook and eat and drink, AND get up the next day for work.  Kudos especially to my mom for doing all the cooking every holiday!

I started my Easter with a protein blast smoothie from Zumes.  It had whey protein, peaches, vanilla yogurt, and strawberries.

Then I headed to see my grandparents. They have a bird- a very bright, loud bird.  We listened to him squack away for the entire visit.

Check out the pictures behind the bird’s cage.  Old school Lisa circa preschool and 5th grade?!  Sweet feathered bangs, huh?

I brought some of these babies to my parent’s house (recipe coming soon) and sent the dirt with Jack to his fam.  It was A LOT of chocolate I’ll tell ya.

To take advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday (it felt 60 and sunny) I went for an Easter run.  It was 3 torturous miles where my lead legs felt like they were defying every step I tried to take.  I was bumming hardcore because I wanted to try to bang out at least 4 miles.

I got to get a move on with my half marathon training this week.  I have only 4 weeks until the big race!

After a crazy-busy today I was feeling drained but made it to Avalon Crossfit.  Go me!

AVALON CROSSFIT WOD:

5 x 5 back squats (maxed out at 85lbs)

4 rounds for time (15:30)

  • 10 kettlebell swings, 16kg
  • 10 good mornings (25lbs)
  • 10 KB swings
  • 20 ab mat sit ups
  • 10 KB swings
  • 10 lateral plate jumps
What a great workout!  I never regret when I go, no matter how hard it is.  I was exhausted and made it home just in time to plop on my couch with a french fry in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other.
Well, thats all I got for ya tonight.  Goals for this week include:
  • fitting in three runs to start building my mileage up
  • figure out the pre-run hydration thing
  • not eat pizza for dinner again (at least not until the weekend)
How was your Easter?
~L

Dirt

Dirt.

Worms.

Oreos.

Whipped Cream.

Vanilla pudding.

True definition of “cookies and cream”.

Super simple.

Conversation piece.

Kid friendly recipe.

Oreos….

I already said that.

Enough said.

Dirt

Recipe from: my Auntie Eileen and cousin Casey

2 packages of Oreo cookies, crushed

2- 8oz packages of room temperature cream cheese

2- 8oz containers of Cool Whip

2 tblsp vanilla extract

2 boxes prepared instant vanilla pudding

2 cups Confectionary sugar

1 package gummy worms (optional)

Flower pot

bunch of fake flowers

1) In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, Cool Whip, prepared pudding, confectionary sugar, and vanilla extract.

2) In an un-used planter, alternate layers of crushed Oreo cookie and above mixture.  Be sure to end with crushed Oreo on top (for that “dirt” look, get it?!).

3) Before serving, place fake flowers in center and top with gummy worms (optional).

Another Rainy Day

Hey there!  I wanted to start off for apologizing the bomb of blog posts I published yesterday.  I felt the motivation to write and went with it!  If you missed them, check them out here, here, and here.  I am really trying to post more regularly but sometimes I feel lazy uninspired.

I had a rough time sleeping last night.  I think I woke up around 5 a.m. and tossed and turned thinking about how vacation is basically over, I haven’t correct a single paper I brought home, and our math MCAS is 11 teaching days upon our return to school Monday.  I still have a ton of math to cram down my fifth graders throats teach and it is freaking me out.  Believe me, MCAS causes a lot more stress on teachers and staff than politicians and the general public would think.  I mean, in Massachusetts the education commissioner is actually proposing using test results as the “central” tool in evaluating the effectiveness of teachers (see article here).  Ugh.  That is another story for another day.


(SOURCE)

But I can’t let that ruin the last two days of vacation I have now can I?

After tossing and turning, and watching TV, I fell back asleep around 8, for my alarm to go off at 9:30 for bootcamp.  It boggles my mind how fast an hour and a half of sleep can go by!  Literally I felt like I had just closed my eyes.  I debated skipping but my body was telling me I could definitely handle class this morning.

And rainy Saturday afternoons are made for naps, right?!

I was a little sore from yesterday’s WOD but I decided to push through and give at the very least 90% of what I had to give.  There were a lot of new faces in class today, which is great to not be so much of an Avalon Crossfit newbie see membership expanding.

BOOTCAMP 3/23

1 minute, AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

4 rounds

  • walking lunges
  • wall ball shots
  • push-ups (I wussed out and did them on my knees, even though I said I was going to tough out “real” ones)
  • jump rope singles
  • shuttle runs
  • rower
  • ab mat sit ups
We did 3 rounds and Marc, the trainer, decided to switch the last round to 2 minutes of burpees and 2 minutes of mountain climbers.
What a crazy decision, though I did appreciate the surprise element of the switch.  I didn’t get to dread the burpees until literally 30 seconds before having to do them.  And for the record, 2 minutes of burpees is not half as bad as 2 minutes of mountain climbers.
Good workout.
It was pouring out after and I decided getting a hot latte would be a good decision.  I stopped into Zumes and got a caramel latte with skim milk.  Yum.
Then I did some more baking for Easter.
Oh ya, I have a couple of dessert posts coming up!
Must. get. some. lunch.
Later,
~L

Take it to the Track Baby

I had an extremely productive day today.  I bought new sneakers, made Dirt for Easter (recipe post to follow), did 2 loads of laundry, AND made a last minute decision to attend an Avalon Crossfit class.

I hadn’t intended on working out today but when I saw the Workout of the Day (WOD) I knew I had to do it!

First, it was outside on the track.  Well, it was kind of cold out (obviously the snowy-winter turned me into a wuss because I didn’t always HATE working out in the cold), but I knew that once I was warmed up I’d be OK.

(SOURCE)

Second, it involved a 2 mile  run, split into 5-400m loops around the track.  Hey, I wanted to try out my new sneakers! (The were fantastic by the way!  I am in love with them!)

WOD: Take it to the Track

  • 400m run
  • 50 sit ups
  • 400m run
  • 50 push-ups (modified on knees)
  • 400m run
  • 50 air-squats
  • 400m run
  • 50 ledge jumps (think box jumps on a ledge)
  • 400m run
  • 50 ledge dips

and DONE!  in 21:20

It was NOT easy running after doing 50 squats- or 50 ledge jumps, but I did it and I had an incredible “ruuner’s high” after finishing!

I also decided that I need to start rocking out some real push=ups.  I think I could probably stick with the modification forever and it won’t necesarily help me progress to “real” ones.  The next WOD that calls for 10 push ups each round I will make myself do real ones.  I know it may take longer, which is tough when you are doing the WOD for time, but it is the only way I can start being stronger.

After I master push ups, I’ll take on the pull-ups, but that is another story for another day.

Regina’s Pizza + red wine= best post-workout meal ever.

What are you looking forward to doing most outside as the weather gets warmer?  I can’t wait to get back into running 3/4 days a week!

~L

Currently Loving: South End Athletic Company

As I said in my previous post, I didn’t work out too much this week.  I did make it to Tristan’s class on Wednesday morning and I LOVED being there so early in the day (class started at 11).  Not only did I not have it “hanging” over my head all day but there were only 2 other people in the class.  The night classes, especially on Monday, usually fill up with 10-12 people so having only 3 was a treat.

I tend to quickly fall out of routine the second I do not have to be up with my alarm for school so this week was no different.

By this morning though I was craving a sweat session.

But instead of going for a run I found myself heading over the the South End to get a new pair of kicks.  You are supposed to change running shoes every 6 months/400 miles and since I got my Asics in October for my birthday, it is time for a new pair.  However, I refused to buy a THIRD pair of the same shoe.  Previously I had gone to Marathon Sports to get fitted for shoes, and while I loved their service, I wanted to check out another store and see what they thought of my foot.

The South End Athletic Company is a small, local business on Treamont Street in Boston’s South End.  I happened upon their Facebook page while perusing marathon websites.  I loved them immediately because of their cool merchandise.  Their website describes the store as follows:

“SEAC was founded on the idea that fitness, fashion and fun should coexist. SEAC’s product mix will keep you at peak performance with the best technical footwear, apparel and accessories while also offering a fun selection of sport heritage lifestyle wear. It’s a place where hardcore fitness and style finally meet!”


It is a running store owned by runners nonetheless!  I got to chatting with Justin, who is a co-founder, about my half marathon coming up and he offered some tips and suggestions.  I could talk to runners all day long!  He informed me that they do free group runs from the store on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings.  Some of the runs include drills and speed work, while others are just long distance runs.  It definitely sounds great, and it is really fun to run with a group, so I am hoping to try it out soon.

Interestingly enough, upon walking in the store I felt the immediate need to own one of their t-shirts.  Each simply say: South End Athletic Company” on the front, but each gave off the vibe of being a part of secret club (that anyone could be a part of for $25).  Of course I bought an ash grey one with purple writing (and yes I am wearing it to Avalon Crossfit tonight).

the lower back

I brought in my old pair of shoes and explained that while I love the fit, I did not love the style.  Of course I understand you can not always have the coolest, brightest, most fun pair when you need a stable shoe like I do, but there had to be more than my boring Asics.  Justin, one of the co-founders of SEAC, helped me try on three or four different pairs of shoes.  He watched me run in one of them to get a feel for what my stride looked like.  My right leg and foot look great, while my left turns out (hey, they both turn out, yes like a duck, when I walk!)  Bummer 😉

Though I really, really, REALLY wanted the cool purple pair that fit me OK, I decided on the ugly (at least I think they are ugly) Saucony Progrid Guide 3.  I was proud I did not sacrifice a good run for a cooler pair of shoes.

I also bought a black polka-dotted no-slip headband by Sweaty Bands to hold back the little whispy hairs that NEVER stay put while working out.  It actually is cool enough to wear regularly too.  It was $15 so unfortunately I could only buy one, but I will wear it until it falls apart!

I got lots of goodies today and tried each of them tonight.  Nothing like buying new clothes and wearing them all in the same day, huh?

Hey, whatever works!

~L

My April Vacation..in as few words as possible

Wedding

P.s. Photobooths at a wedding are NEVER a bad idea….

Marathon Monday

Good times….

Little bit of painting…

Then into Boston to the Girls on the Run meet and greet.

Tried out Max Brenner’s new restaurant on a whim…it was heavenly!


South End Athletic Company for new sneakers (even though I didn’t do much exercising this week).

Now I am spending the rest of my Friday preparing to get my bake on for Easter Sunday.

For the record I did not go to Regina’s ONCE during this week.  One would think with this much time off I would’ve glued myself in a booth for the week.  Actually, I guess the week isn’t over yet…

What did you do this week?

~L