Hot Polka Dot

The Cleanse.

One slice of tart never made anyone fat. One day of exercise never made anyone fit. The magic happens somewhere in between.

I am a firm believer in eating the foods that you love in moderation while balancing it with exercise. No cutting out carbs, no avoiding pizza like the plague, no cabbage soup, no meal replacements, no swearing off cookies, no pills. Just good old fashioned eat your dang food groups! And make sure to indulge every once in a while!

Eating is easy, exercise isn't. We only ever have time to work, cook and clean anyway so why not work exercise in there somewhere?

Forget Jillian Michaels, forget Ab-Doer, forget Bow-flex! Just clean!

Jiggly arm fat? Try some bathtub scrub pushups and dish brush bicep curls.

Mummy tummy? Bust out the Pledge and do some floor wax planks and silver polishing sit ups.

Thunder thighs? Do some laundry lunges and Windex squats.

Throw in some vacuum cardio for good measure and finish it all off with duster stretches.

You'll look fabulous and so will your house! Your thighs will thank you and so will your floors!

While you bask in the glittery glow of your immaculate house and soak your tired feet, why not indulge a little? Slice yourself off a piece of this Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Tart. A crumbly salty pretzel cookie crust with a rich chocolate ganache filling swirled with smooth peanut butter.

Come on. You deserve it.


Raise A Glass!

I've never been the sort of person who surrounds herself with hundreds of friends. But the few close friends that I do have, that stood the test of time and trials of distance, I will treasure always.

If you're lucky in life, you have that one person who really gets you. That one person who can make a five hour marathon video chat seem like minutes. That one person who makes sure you're up to date on all the prettiest songs. That one person you know you can call when you need to gush about Downton Abbey. That one person who curiously and unknowingly buys exactly the same sweater as you from over three thousand kilometres away. That one person who not only isn't afraid to make the funniest faces with you, but also doesn't object to posting the photos on facebook. That one person who would never criticize you for eating an entire bag of Nibs. That one person who knows when to laugh with you and when to cry. That one person who never judges you.

And if, like me, you're truly blessed, you might have more than one person like that in your life, but it's important to have at least one.

Today's recipe is inspired by my person, my best friend, Cornelia. When she introduced me to this smoothie my head exploded. It has the cool sweetness of frozen banana, the bitterness of cocoa, the floral notes of honey, all grounded by the smooth bite of peanut butter.

And get this...

...It's actually good for you!

I think this might be a Hot Polka Dot first. So let's raise a glass! Preferably a glass filled with chocolate peanut butter banana goodness.



The Cupboard Was Bare.

Maybe I ran out of ideas.

Maybe I neglected to plan anything this week.

Maybe I'm a genius...

...Or maybe I just stood gape-mouthed in front of the open refrigerator until it hit me.

A peanut butter and jam sandwich in cookie form. Could there be anything better? That would be a no.

I think my favourite recipes are the kind you can just whip up using leftover things you have laying around in the back of your fridge or pantry. I mean everyone has peanut butter and jam somewhere in their house right? You better. Otherwise our friendship is on shaky ground.

One egg? No problem. A bit of butter? That's cool. Some flour? Sure thing. Oodles of sugar? Yes please.

Slap it all together and you have yourself 2 dozen pretty simple but dang impressive cookies. When you bite into one you'll not only be surprised there's jam shoved in there, but you'll also be surprised you even had the ingredients to make cookies. Everybody likes surprises.



There are a few specific types of food that it is considered absolutely criminal to dislike. Corn on the cob, for example. It's in season and it's on sale at the supermarket by the bin-fulls. I casually yet efficiently weave my cart around that bin and the greedy patrons digging through it all the while carelessly tossing husks on the floor. I have all summer to look forward to awkward social situations where I have to politely say no thank you when they pass the plate of corn on the cob my way. I have all summer to look forward to the shocked and hurt faces around the table when I explain I don't like corn on the cob. Professing your hate for corn on the cob is like admitting you eat puppies for breakfast.

And then the question. Oh, the question. But why don't you like corn on the cob, Lindsey? Why does anyone dislike any type of food? Because they don't like the taste! What do they expect me to say? When I was five my family and I were carjacked at gunpoint by a gang of corn on the cob and ever since then I can't even look at the stuff without bursting into tears. That's what I should say. That would catch them off guard. Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.

Then there's lobster. But why don't you like lobster, Lindsey? Oh I'm sorry if my personal choice offends you, but I prefer not to look my dinner in the eye while I viciously crack open it's exoskeleton and eat out it's insides. Seriously? Is it that hard to understand? It's like eating an overgrown bug! Then you add insult to injury and dip the poor thing in garlic butter. You know what I think? I think eating lobster is just an excuse to eat an entire stick of butter. That's all it ever ends up tasting like anyways. Would you like some lobster with your butter? I like my butter on bread, thank you very much.

But then there's things like these Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting. I would personally be shocked and offended if you told me you hated them. That's where I draw the line on criminal food aversions. Banana and peanut butter is a match made in heaven. The saltiness of the peanut butter brings out the sweetness of the banana. You bite into one and you just let the flavours combine and compliment in your mouth. Then you swoon and eat another. It's just that simple.


The Pros and Cons of Food Blogging.

Sure it seems glamourous with all the chocolate, lemon curd and brown butter, but I'm here today to expose to you the hidden reality of food blogging. I present the pros and cons. It's a delicate balance maintained only by the most unbalanced of people.

Pro: There's always an impressive supply of tasty treats in the house to satisfy your cravings.

Con: You tend to have to exercise more to compensate for said cravings.

Pro: You have an overwhelming urge to make everything pretty and who doesn't like to be surrounded by pretty things?

Con: Another urge that seems to go hand and hand with this one is the need to photograph all the pretty things before they leave your kitchen or, at least, before it enters your mouth. Just ignore the obsessive lady in the apron with the camera securely attached to her face and wait patiently for your cookie.

Pro: Your Kitchen Aid mixer gets quite a lot of use and, I mean let's face it, inspires a sense of childish glee whenever you turn it on. I seriously squealed the first time it creamed butter and sugar together.

Con: You need to do at least two loads of dishes everyday. I have a tiny dishwasher, but I suppose I should be grateful I have one at all.

Pro: You always have a chance to try new things and experiment in the kitchen.

Con: Sometimes those new things become unsuccessful things and your experiments go awry.

Be assured that these Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies were not one of those. They turned out quite thin and crispy which would normally not be preferable, but the satisfying crunch surprise of the candied honey roasted peanuts was a unique way to reinvent a trusted family recipe.


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