Candied Citrus Slices and a Citrus Fizz Cocktail

Simple, sweet and colorful Candied Citrus Slices and a recipe for a Citrus Fizz Cocktail to kick off these sunny Spring days! 

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I was flipping through magazines and noticing that there was a SURGE of candied citrus everywhere. Citrus slices, citrus peel, whole kumquats…everywhere. They were garnishing every cake, pound cake, oatmeal bowl, yogurt parfait, and cocktail. 

Needless to say, I wanted in. Especially because I’ve always loved those sugar covered citrus slices you can get from the bins in the massive candy stores. Gold. 

So, I busted out my KitchenAid Food Processor, made a million citrus slices in like 2 seconds flat, then candied them! Candied Citrus Slices, done. And…

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The boiling liquid resulted in the means to an easy Citrus Fizz Cocktail! Double points. (What do all of these points mean?! I don’t know. I’m sorry. But aren’t you glad you have them?)

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Ok, so head over to KitchenAid’s blog, Kitchenthusiast, to find the recipes and brighten your Spring! Yum. 

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Cheers!

Disclaimer: In case you couldn’t tell, this was a post sponsored by KitchenAid and Kitchenthusiast. All opinions, recipes, and photos are my own, they were just funded by KitchenAid. Good stuff. 

 

Total side note (i.e. totally random and has nothing to do with my post today) – you may not know this, but I live in an apartment. I’m not accusing anyone of anything…but I can totally tell that my neighbor is smoking pot because now it’s wafting through my vents at random hours (ugh, nasty)…and at this very moment, although it doesn’t smell like skunk I can now tell that they are making mass amounts of blue box mac n’ cheese. I have a sensitive nose. And they are apparently hungry. Time to move. 

Spicy Sweet Honey Barbecue Chex Party Mix

Spicy Sweet Honey Barbecue Chex Party Mix is a new, flavorful spin on the classic spicy mix. This gluten-free snack is full of sweet and heat and will have you munching through those basketball tournaments…or through anything! 

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So my husband is glued to the TV and has made it loud and clear that this his favorite time of year…and that he’s not moving.

In case you didn’t realize, March is a pretty big deal for die-hard basketball fans. My husband is knee deep in brackets. Brackets = bliss. For him.

This time of year always seems to sneak up on me. Didn’t we just do this? Wasn’t I filling out a bracket just weeks ago? Yes, I play along. It’s my only grasp to sanity.

I try to stay positive this time of year. I look up evening classes I meant to take at the gym and I go to them; I signed up for an online art class and bought all the supplies, I borrowed a book series to read from a friend of mine (and am already done with the first one), I plan little solo weekend getaways for myself, I plan complicated baking projects that I was meaning to attempt…

Let’s just say, I could plan a month-long trip to Mexico and he might not notice…maybe…

I think that trying to stay positive is the only way to make it through March (and April). I secretly LOVE my bracket and love when I do better than he does some years. That’s the best. And I love making game snacks. Lots of snacks. That’s the other best. Ok, that’s the real best.

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During football season I make trays of cookies to bring to tailgating, but during basketball season, I love making snack mixes.

This year, I’m making my Spicy Sweet Honey Barbecue Chex Party Mix over and over again. It’s so good. I may have eaten an entire batch in one day. It was totally necessary.

Where most snack mixes are either spicy and zesty OR sweet, mine is both! I use the Honey Nut Chex in the mix for a surprising sweetness that’s not overpowering and I use Frank’s Hot Sauce for a special kick! I also made my entire batch gluten free by buying gluten free pretzels. This was a special nod to my husband who gave up gluten for Lent (and for myself, of course, because I just tend not to eat it).

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I’ll warn you, this is probably the best Chex Party Mix ever. The honey BBQ mix creates a glaze over the mix, not just a zesty coating like typical mixes. This stuff is shellacked. In a good way. And you can totally make it spicier by shaking on more of the Frank’s before the last 10 minutes of baking (super secret tip! A lot of hot sauce heat will burn off during baking, but if you want a really spicy mix, adding more heat towards the end of baking really locks it in there!).

I know you’ll love this stuff as much as we do. We’ve already eaten two batches of it…and final brackets aren’t even due yet! Well, wish me luck! (Isn’t it terrible that I don’t remember any of the teams I picked? Oh well, I tried.)

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Spicy Sweet Honey Barbecue Chex Party Mix
This is the best Chex Party Mix you'll ever make. Honey, BBQ, and spicy Frank's hot sauce collide in this delicious and crunchy gluten-free* snack mix. (makes 6 cups)
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Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup barbeque sauce (your favorite variety)
  2. 2 Tbs. honey
  3. 2 Tbs. canola oil
  4. 2 tsp. Frank’s original hot sauce
  5. 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  6. 1 tsp. paprika
  7. ½ tsp. granulated garlic
  8. ½ tsp. granulated onion
  9. 2 cups Rice Chex cereal
  10. 2 cups Corn Chex cereal
  11. 2 cups Honey Nut Chex cereal
  12. 2 cups pretzels (I used gluten free mini twists and sticks)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or foil, sprayed with nonstick spray.
  2. In a jar, or small bowl, combine the BBQ sauce, honey, oil, Frank’s hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, garlic and onion. Apply the lid (if using a jar) and shake vigorously to combine (if combining in a bowl, just stir very well).
  3. In a large, gallon-sized zip-top bag, combine the cereals and pretzels (you could do this in a very large bowl, but the zip-top bag method is easy and provides for easy cleanup.). Pour the sauce into the bag. Ensure the bag is closed completely then carefully shake and turn the bag until all of the cereal and pretzels are coated with sauce.
  4. Spread the mix over the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 30-35 minutes, using a silicone spatula to stir the mix every 10 minutes (keep an eye on it during the last few minutes because it can become very dark brown very quickly).
  5. When it’s dark brown and glossy, remove the Chex Mix from the oven. Lay paper towels out on the counter and scoop the Chex Mix onto the paper towels to cool (this also helps absorb any excess oils). When it is cooled, transfer to a large bowl to enjoy!
Notes
  1. *Shop for gluten free varieties of your ingredients to ensure a gluten free Party Mix.
  2. Store Spicy-Sweet Honey Barbeque Chex Party Mix in an airtight container or zip-top bag. Mix will keep for 1-2 weeks on the counter, well-sealed.
  3. To add more flavor, try adding honey-roasted peanuts to your mix too!
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
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This recipe and post are sponsored by Chex Cereal and Frank’s Hot Sauce. I wouldn’t publically fawn over a product I don’t love and buy for myself, so trust me when I say you can trust that this review is 100% honest and the opinions are all my own. Cereal lovers unite! 

Fabulously Fit Friday 8/23/2013

Hi All!

You wouldn’t believe the progress we’ve made, wedding-wise, this week. I finished putting together table numbers and ordered them; I ordered our guest “book” (which is really large white-matted frames that our guests will sign); ordered special gifts; we chose songs to dance to at the reception and I even got to practice dancing with my dad, for the first time since I was a little girl; we booked our honeymoon (hooray!); and we’re on our way to go get our marriage license today! I can’t believe it’s almost here!

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[Table 11- I made the table numbers from photos of us over the years!]

Last weekend, we headed to St. Louis for Round 2 of birthday celebrations, this time with my parents! My mom made sure there were plenty of birthday cupcakes to share and candles to wish upon. I felt so special.

We also hit the zoo! The zoo is one of my favorite things to visit in any city (and what we had planned on doing on my actual birthday in Memphis, but it rained), and I hadn’t been to the St. Louis Zoo, so I was so excited to see it! Here are a few of my favorite pictures (They had a penguin exhibit where you could stand inches away from the penguins! So glad we got to see it before the exhibit packed up and moved on.)

Elephant [straight from my Instagram]

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I’m so lucky to have been sent some fun new products to try too! I was sent this new Rye and Hemp seed cereal from Attune foods:

photo (58) I really like that this cereal isn’t sweet, just nutty and toasty. I love to mix it with my other favorite cereals and top it with dried fruit! Yum! 

…and the new Decadence bars from Enjoy Life Foods! I can’t wait to try them all and let you know what I think!

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I love what both of these companies stand for.  I love that they put out good, real food, and they are geared towards anyone who likes to eat healthy, feel good, and not have to worry about what they’re eating if they have food allergies.

 The Treats I made this week:

Cantaloupe Lassi:
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Blueberry Nectarine Coffee Cake:
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And last, but certainly not least, I’ve been doing the 100 Reps Challenge! Have you done any of it? It’s never too late to start! I’m on Day 8 today, which is a Rest day, and I’m really nervous and dreading those 100 Burpees tomorrow! Please do them with me and let me know on Twitter when you’ve done them! Sweat with me!

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Full disclosure: I was sent the cereal and the bars by Attune Foods and Enjoy Life Foods, respectively. I was not monetarily compensated to review these products or even mention them here at all. I did because I wanted to and the opinions stated are my own. I am also not sponsored by the St. Louis Zoo, but wouldn’t that be cool?!

Fabulously Fit Friday and Quest Bar WCR Giveaway

Hey all!

So I had all these plans for today. I was going to tell you about my Spin class and about some awesome food I ate this week. But things happen…

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Like, I happened to go out for a glass of wine before typing this post…and now this post is much shorter…

Anyways! Are you all excited about the new QuestBar flavor?? I am!

It’s absolutely amazing! I posted pictures of me noshing on one when the flavor was just about to come out, and ever since, I’ve been so excited to share these bars with you!!

So! Here it is!

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THREE lucky winners will each win a box of the new White Chocolate Raspberry Quest Bars!!

You can do whatever you want with your pretty box of bars. I made ice cream sandwiches!

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Yes!!

To make your own, simply cut a Quest Bar into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each segment into a thin but wide rectangle. Try to make them all equal in size. Bake at 350 degrees F for 6-8 minutes, or until golden. Take out of the oven and let cool, then use your favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt to sandwich between two of the Quest cookies! Each Quest Bar makes 2 ice cream sandwiches! Wrap in parchment and enjoy or then wrap in plastic wrap and save for another time!
Note: I used homemade Greek frozen yogurt. I combined 6oz of Greek yogurt with 2 Tbs. of over-ripe banana, 1 tsp. granulated Stevia, and a drop of vanilla extract. I placed the mixture in a freezer Ziplock bag for an hour, kneeded the mixture with my fingers, then froze for another hour. I snipped the tip off the bag and piped the “frozen yogurt” onto my Quest Cookies! Tah-dah!!

To win your box of Quest Bars, fill out the Rafflecopter below! Good luck!

**THE WINNERS ARE: TRACIE, LAUREL, AND YULI!! WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The prize boxes are provided by Quest Nutrition. I was not monetarily compensated for this giveaway or use of the product. I am a Quest Affiliate, meaning please click the ad in my sidebar to order boxes of the bars, but I was not paid for this review. The opinions are my own. The winner should reside within the US or Canada and has 48 hours to respond after I have contacted them for their mailing information. 

Take Your Vitamins! A little reminder…

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Vitafusion.

I’ll be honest with you. I tried really hard to take a multivitamin. Several times over the years. I’ve tried a handful of brands, including those expensive GNC packs of vitamins. But they all made me sick, even when I took them with food (before breakfast, during breakfast, after breakfast…I tried everything). I’m talking seriously sick for at least an hour every day. So, I stopped taking a multi.

I switched to supplementing individually with folic acid, fish oil, calcium and probiotics. In fact, I like to keep my vitamins as close to candy-form as possible, so I even switched my calcium to those Calcium (+D+K) Chews. Fun fact: did you know that those calcium chews get melty like caramel if you chop them up and stir them into hot oatmeal? They do. Try it.

photo (48) Remember when I posted this to Instagram? Lemon Cream Pie overnight oats (in a coconut oil jar), my vitamins and coffee.

When I travel or if someone around me is sick, I add in those Vitamin C drink packets. Candy. Yes!

So, when Vitafusion sent me their “MultiVites” to try (as part of a FitFluential partnership), I was over the moon. The gummies taste amazing because they’re made with all natural flavors (I love the dark “berry” ones the best!) and probably most importantly, they DON’T MAKE ME SICK!!

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I could jump for joy!

And I can totally see why “nutrition tastes good” is their slogan!

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I love that there are two gummies per recommended serving, because I’ve always heard you should break up your vitamins into two separate ties of the day. So, I get one with breakfast and one with dinner.

As you can imagine, I’ve spent a fortune on vitamins over the years. Call me cheap, but that’s really upsetting to me. So, although these run $11.50 (for 150 gummies, or a 75 day supply), I’m willing to shell it out. Plus, I’ve seen them at Sam’s Club in an economy-sized bottle, so you can save a bit by buying in bulk (woohoo!). That happens to also be where I buy my calcium candy…I mean chews! One stop shop.

[They’re also available at Costco, Walmart and Target!]

Here’s a look at the label and everything you’re getting in your gummies.

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So, now I don’t take separate folic acid and fish oil, but I do still take my calcium and probiotics (yup, one probiotic pill, the rest “candy”).

photo (49) Straight from my Instagram – my morning vitamins!

Just a little reminder from me to you: take your vitamins!