Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Better for You Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

Ever since I shared my first original recipe on Whale & Wishbone for Salted Caramel Espresso Cookies, I've been thinking about what my next cookie concoction would be. Given that the main internal conflict in my life is always my desire to bake versus my desire to be healthy, I knew I wanted to make something that wasn't too high in fat and sugary goodness.  

So I started this cookie creation with a palette idea featuring 4 main "better for you" ingredients. These were PB2 (powdered peanut butter), banana, old fashioned oats and dark chocolate chips. The idea was for these ingredients to act as substitutes for less healthy ones. PB2 is my absolute favorite substitute for regular peanut butter because it has significantly less fat and a less sugary flavor. The PB2 and banana combo also perfectly acts as a healthier base than butter, which you won't find at all in this recipe! 

I get so much satisfaction out of creating peanut butter out of the PB2 powder. What's great is that you can mix it to the exact consistency you like. 

I'm so obsessed with my Anthropologie swan measuring cups. 
Adorably whimsical? Yes. Practical? Questionable at best.   

Yassss chocolate chips. 

These cookies are soft and cake-like in consistency and especially delicious when warm. So delicious, in fact, that I had trouble keeping them from disappearing before I could take final pictures! The chocolate chips inside stay super melty for a surprising long time which was so amazing. I feel like with the banana and oats they would make a perfect breakfast cookie. I'm so looking forward to having one with tea tomorrow morning (the word morning here is being used loosely and really refers to whatever time I get up). 

PB2 Banana Cookies with dark chocolate chips
(makes 24)

1 cup PB2  
1/2 cup cool water
1 mashed banana 
1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup flour
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup old fashioned oats

Preheat the Oven to 350 F

Add water to PB2 until the peanut butter is a creamy consistency
Tip: this may require a little extra water

Throughly mix mashed banana and peanut butter. Combine with brown sugar. Add egg and beat until combined.

Add salt, baking soda, and flour to form dough.

Fold in dark chocolate chips and old fashioned oats.

Drop rough heaping tablespoons of dough onto cookie trays lined with parchment paper.
Tip: the cookies don't spread so they can be placed fairly close

Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are slightly golden. Transfer cookies to cooling rack and allow to cool for 3 minutes.

Cookies are best enjoyed warm. 

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Monday, May 25, 2015

New York in Film

For about a week now, my life has essentially consisted of two things: being sick and watching Netflix, and let me tell you the former gets old really fast. The first day was fine. I mean it's basically an excuse to lay in bed all day sleeping, and watching television, and no, I'm not above having my parents bring soup to my bed. 

Side Note: I've been home in good old Pennsylvania since my graduation. My parents didn't weirdly come to New York because I was sick. That would be excessive. 

Anyway, I steadily felt worse after that first day and now I'm just over the whole being sick thing. So,  sadly, I don't have any fun adventure or outfit to share with you today since I've basically been one of those old people from Willy Wonka who can't leave their communal bed for the past week. 

Instead, get excited because I'm bringing you a list of some of my favorite movies set in New York. This list is evidence that 1. I'm having serious NYC withdrawal and 2. I've watched way too much television over the last week. 

Andddddd here we go:

When Harry Met Sally 
Oh, Nora Ephron. In her films you can pretty much count on New York City being a character in itself. There are strolls through a crisp, orange, Central Park, dinner at the famous Katz Delicatessen, a snowy christmas tree selection on the sidewalk and a day spent at the Met. Of course, this is all surrounding a brilliant, romantic and hilarious story starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. After watching, I promise you'll understand why Ephron's films are often called love letters to the city. 

The Devil Wears Prada
I live to watch Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly tell Anne Hathaway that "it's just drizzling out" during a hurricane while demanding a flight into New York. Ughh it's the best. Also, this movie just feels like New York, from Andy's small apartment to the magazine photo shoot in Central Park. Not to mention the on point New York street style. 

You've Got Mail 
Of course, I'm putting a second Nora Ephron film on this list. This is my absolute favorite movie to watch when I'm sick and also one of my favorite movies of all time. You'll see Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan grocery shopping in Zabar's, ordering coffee in Starbucks, eating Hot Dog's in Gray's Papaya, sipping lattes in Cafe Lalo, and rendezvousing in Riverside Park. When you think about it, they basically just eat their way through the Upper West Side, and it's perfect. 

Eloise at the Plaza
I feel like it would be so much fun to live in any hotel, let alone to live at the Plaza Hotel. Eloise does hotel shenanigans better than any kid (sorry Zack and Cody) and is just so New York City. From shooing pigeons off of her balcony to telling room service to "charge it please and thank you very much," she's an adorable representation of the city's spirited residents.  

Audrey Hepburn is everything in this movie making it my all time favorite. From a mansion on Long Island to the big business sky scrapers of the city, it's all a very glamorous portrayal of New York. As a bonus, there's even an equally glamorous trip to Paris thrown into what's a quite funny and beautiful love story. 

So, If you're longing for a little New York City in your life or you're in New York and just don't feel like going outside, you should probably watch one of these movies. And if you're sick like me, then you should probably watch all of them in bed while eating chicken noodle soup because that's what I'll be doing. 

Also Side Note: I didn't mean to make your life totally difficult but none of these movies are on instant Netflix at the moment. I just own them all. That one was my bad, forgive me. 
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Friday, May 22, 2015

A New Page on Whale & Wishbone

You don't have to look further than my Instagram to realize that I'm a little food obsessed. The good thing is, there's really no better place to feed this obsession (pun intended) than New York City. That's why I've been working for a while now to create a section of Whale & Wishbone solely dedicated to my favorite places to eat in New York. 

So, without further adieu, I'm incredibly excited to finally introduce NYC Restaurants to Whale & Wishbone! 

On the page, you'll find all of my favorite restaurants in the city broken down by meal and borough, as well as if I've ever mentioned it in a post. I've covered coffee, brunch (my personal favorite), lunch, tea, drinks, dinner and dessert. I've even included a section with restaurants still on my list to visit. 

I absolutely can't wait to update the page as I continue to explore the city's restaurant scene.

I hope you take a look and enjoy!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Graduation Style

On Saturday, I ended my undergraduate career at Fordham University in a blur of a day. I can now officially say I have a Bachelors of Science in business administration with concentrations in marketing and accounting, and a minor in visual arts. Although, lets be real, I'm just going to say "business" if anyone asks.  

Anyway, my sister told me a while ago that she wished she had taken pre-graduation day pictures to avoiding stressing about taking perfect ones following the ceremony. I took her advice super seriously and forced my friend Phil to get up early with me on a day during senior week for a photo session.

Also, Side Note: Shout out to our awesome friend, Stephen, who agreed to forego sleeping in to be our photographer! I wanted a picture with him but he refused. 

I think the crane in the background is pretty unfortunate but compared to a bajillion people on the lawn, it's the lesser of two evils. 

We look more like judges than graduates here, but I don't hate it. 

For my graduation dress, I wanted something colorful that would stand out underneath the black robe. I found this floral print dress in Anthropologie back when I was in Denver for Spring Break, and it was just so perfect. My heels are from C. Wonder (RIP), but on the actual day, I did myself a favor and wore sandals. 

In the end I'm so glad we did because graduation day was the predictable hot mess, and there is no way we could have ever gotten photos like these. 

So my advice to anyone who has yet to graduate is to have a pre-graduation photo shoot. Just ignore the awkward looks from people walking by-- we did! 
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Saturday, May 9, 2015

What's Been Happening

Why hello there! 
You may have noticed that posts have been a little few and far between lately, but let's be real, you probably haven't. However, if you were starting to worry that I was abandoning blogging forever or I fell off of a cliff or something, fear not. I'm alive and well and have tons of exciting things planned for Whale & Wishbone. So you can definitely expect more frequent posts in the future, pending I continue to do fun things with my life.  

Anyway, Here's what I've been up to lately:

1. Attempting to Graduate College

Yeah, I still can't believe this is a thing. Finals were the absolute worst this year, but I'm officially finished as of yesterday and it feels incredible. Now it's onto a jam-packed senior week schedule before graduation day on Saturday! 

2. Creating a New Page Addition to Whale and Wishbone

It's nothing too crazy, but I think it will be a fun content addition to the blog. Without giving too much away, I think any fellow foodies out there will enjoy it, especially if they're in New York City!

Anyway, that's actually all I've been up to, unless you count watching Netflix when I should have been studying. Just kidding... I multitasked. 
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