[Don’t] Cycle Like Mary Poppins

“We don’t cycle like Mary Poppins.  Show me some good form.”  That could be my all time favorite cycle instructor quote.

Mary Poppins was one of my favorite childhood movies.  I watched it over and over back when you had to rewind tapes and can probably sing along perform my attempt-to-sing-but-really-just-bad-talking melody I’ve mastered, to the scenes.  Anyway this quote got me thinking… how did Mary Poppins ride her bike?  Well picture a humble lady in a big dress with a big hat floating aimlessly down the street… that’s exactly how Mary Poppins traveled when she wasn’t traveling by umbrella and that’s NOT how you should cycle!

Every Wednesday at the Y there is an awesome so-intense-yet-great cycle class.  It’s probably the best 50 minutes of my week.  Best way to end hump day and it helps push me forward to the rest of the week before the weekend.

Since I broke a HUGE sweat during cycle, I decided to stay on track and made zucchini boats for dinner.

However, this good track didn’t last long…. I found M&Ms in the pantry and had 1 thing on my mind… M&M and White Chocolate Cookies!

m&m candies

So back to the measuring cups I go!

Directions:    Cream 1 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a large bowl.  Add 1 egg and 2 tsp vanilla.

m&m sugar

In a small bowl, mix 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/8 tsp salt.  Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Stir in 1 1/2 cups red M&Ms and 1 cup white morsels.  Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Don’t overbake.

m&m mix m&m dough

What’s the best part about baking?  Licking the bowl!!  So that’s not lady like but when you have yummy batter that will go to waste… the rest is history, including the batter!

m&m empty bowl

This is just a little pre-Valentine’s Day dessert.  These cookies are super quick and easy and you can change the colors of M&Ms to match any holiday.

As I write this blog, Bride Wars is on TV.  Every time I watch this movie I find something else that cracks me up.  Like when Marion St. Claire says “we need to find you a MOH and fast…  Who says it has to be a friend?”  I am SO incredibly thankful for all my friends.  🙂

But we can’t forget about the movie Bridesmaids.  Now this IS my favorite comedy.  Hands down.  Enough said.

m&m and milk

So tonight is a cookies, milk and a movie kind of night!  Last night – cocktails then book club kind of night.  I know.  Random. Girl. Here.

What’s your favorite bride/wedding movie?  Do you have any fun Valentine’s Day plans?   

Love, the Italian Way

italian love cake

Yes, this is about love and Italians… but it’s probably not what you’re thinking anyway.  This is about my love for cake and the Italian Love Cake I made in honor of Valentine’s day. ❤ (note: I will make anything in honor of everything, anytime)

This is another all time favorite dessert.  It looks harder to make than it really is. It’s tastes amazing and has a fun name!  This is a recipe I got from family and it’s one worth sharing!  There are 3 easy parts for this recipe.

Italian Love Cake: Part 1 – Cake Mixture

Mix 1 box of marble fudge cake mix as directed on the box. Separate out 1 cup of the yellow mixture and combine with the chocolate pouch.  Pour yellow mixture in a 13 x 9 inch pan.  Spoon chocolate mixture on top and swirl with a butter knife.  (easy enough, right!?)

italian cakeitalian cake2

Italian Love Cake: Part 2 – Cheese Mixture

Mix 2 lbs ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, 4 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla in a bowl.

italian cheese

Spoon the cheese mixture on the top of the cake mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Remove from the oven and chill immediately.  When the cake has chilled, top with frosting (below).

italian cheese cake combo

The fun part about this recipe is that the cheese mixture will sink to the bottom and the cake will rise to the top!

italian bake

Italian Love Cake: Part 3 – Chocolate Frosting

Mix 1 box instant chocolate pudding and 1 cup of milk until combined and thick.  Mix in 9 oz cool whip.  Spread on top of chilled cake.  Keep refrigerated and enjoy!  What I really like about this recipe is that you can cut calories VERY easily without compromising taste: egg whites in lieu of whole eggs, reduced fat/fat free ricotta cheese, fat free/sugar free cool whip and pudding, skim milk. I’m really glad I chose to experiment with healthy alternatives because when I got home from work, half the cake was gone!!

italian frosting italian after bake

Bon Appetit!

What are your favorite valentine’s day recipes?