Holiday Travel Snacks

With the holidays upon us, I know I’m not the only one with travel plans. I’ll be driving everywhere this year, as opposed to flying. The most important part of a road trip, besides gas in the car, is an assortment of SNACKS! I suppose these are all great for airplane travel too (just make sure to buy the liquids after you get through security, but you already know that).

Here are my favorites.

Peanut Butter Puffins
I discovered Puffins a few years ago while babysitting for a family who always kept them stocked in the pantry. I don’t eat cereal often, but when I saw these a couple of months ago on sale at Target, I figured I’d switch up my morning routine with something new. They have original and peanut butter. The PB is divine. Perfectly crunchy and if you ask me, best eaten dry by the handful – no milk required!

I love scooping a cup into a plastic baggy to take on the go.

Clif Bars
Oh look! More peanut butter. I am usually not fond of protein or nutrition bars like this, mostly because I’d rather consume 200-400 calories differently. I just have never found a bar that is really “worth it.” I still have to be in the right mood, but when I am, Clif Bars are my go-to bar. I have only tried a few flavors, but the Crunchy Peanut Butter has been my favorite.

Fresh fruit like apples and bananas
Light, healthy and guilt-free. Need I say more?

Frosted Animal Cookies
Okay, these are going to be the death of me. I have such a love-hate relationship with this giant bear jug. Another Target gem, I could eat these things forever. They are dangerously addicting. There is no such thing as “just one” with these. Portion control is key and road trips allow you to practice that control. By only packing a small handful in a ziplock bag, when they’re gone, they’re gone. No sneaking back to the pantry for more when you are hundreds of miles away speeding down the highway.

Bottled Water
Stay hydrated! Water is my best friend. So are bathroom breaks.

Gas station coffee is nice and cheap (the gas station by my house sells any size cup for just 60 cents!). But it’s also nice to treat yourself to something special on the road with Starbucks.

Why, yes. I found the most tempting picture I could 😉 I never get whipped cream on my lattes, but when the barista accidentally put it on my peppermint mocha this weekend, I was not about to complain. It didn’t quite look like that picture though. Sigh.

Sugar Free Red Bull.
When it’s the middle of the night and coffee doesn’t sound good, I resort to Sugar Free Red Bull. I know it’s not good for me, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It does the trick, no denying that.

There you have it.

What are your road trip or airline must-haves?

Veggie Nachos and a Blueberry Crumble Pie

Vacation is calling my name. This time next week I will be in an airplane on my way to St. Kitts for an entire week.

Coincidentally, Greg just found this article that ranks St. Kitts #3 on the list of top 10 islands… IN THE WORLD!

I seriously get to go there? Is it too early to say this will be the best vacation I’ve ever had?

But first, Greg and I are taking a short weekend trip today and tomorrow to North Carolina for his brother’s graduation from UNC.

I have to hurry up and pack my bag so I’ll leave you with this quick look at some of my favorite meals this week.

I have been craving pancakes like crazy. Earlier this week I whipped up a small batch of banana oatmeal pancakes. They may not look like anything special, but trust me when I say they were perfect. My pancake craving was more than satisfied.

Starbucks is doing Happy Hour from 3-5pm this week with half price Frappaccinos. I actually never ever get Frappaccinos. But you can bet I was going to take advantage of trying one while they were cheap! I wasn’t sure which flavor to get, but the barista recommend the new Mocha Cookie Crumble. I requested skim milk to keep my guilt to a minimum, but opted to stick with a bit of the chocolate whipped cream. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t life-changing.
Next up was Daniel Island Grille for dinner on Thursday night. It was such a beautiful evening outside and Greg and I had a nice casual date outside on their patio. Urban Meyer Vegetable Wrap for me. Sweet potato fries on the side. Never gets old!
For dinner last night, I was still tasting those sweet potato fries from DIG and made my own modified version. Then I made one of my new homemade favorites- Vegetable Nachos! 
Vegetable Nachos

Makes 1-2 servings

About 8-10 tortilla chips
1/4 cup shredded cheese (I have used both Mexican blend and mozzarella)
1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2-3 tablespoons salsa

1. Lay chips on large plate in an even layer. Top with half of the shredded cheese.
2. Heat skillet over medium heat and add butter/margarine. Once hot, add chopped vegetables. Let cook about 2 minutes. Add chili powder and stir. Continue to cook about 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender and brown. Remove from heat.
3. Add vegetables directly on top of chips. Top with remaining cheese and salsa. 
Finally…dessert! A quick and easy Individual Blueberry Crumble Pie ended my night week on a sweet note. 
Individual Blueberry Crumble Pie

Makes 1 serving
1/8 refrigerated pie crust
1/2 cup blueberries
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1-2 tablespoons rolled oats or granola
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 5-inch tart pan. 
2. Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut out 5-6 inch circle from pie crust. Lay in bottom of tart pan. 
3. In a small bowl, add blueberries and sugar. Lightly crush berries with fork and stir thoroughly. Pour into tart pan. Top with oats/granola. 
4. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Sunday Blessings – Drinks for the Holidays

Hey there! I know everyone else is getting just as anxious as I am for Thanksgiving this week. The food always gets the most attention, but I am really just excited to see my family. My mom, step dad Thom, Brooke and grandparents will be coming to have Thanksgiving with me in Charleston.

This Bible verse makes me happy too:

“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.”
-Ecclesiastes 8:15

As I always say, moderation is key to just about everything in life. While sometimes I do feel like eating and drinking (and my occasional obsessiveness about what I’m eating and drinking) can get in the way of my relationship with God, I think this verse helps put it in perspective. I don’t want to ever seem like I worship food, although I admit I do give it a little too much love at times. But when it comes down to it, God wants us to enjoy life. And eating and drinking really can be so enjoyable. Remember this? What about these? And THIS!?

The important thing is to make sure we take the time to thank Him for the food that he has put in front of us that we indulge ourselves in. It is easy to remember this during the holidays, but I am challenging myself to take more time out of each day to tell Him thank you. I know I can definitely afford to spend a little more time on my relationship with God than my relationship with food.

So before I tell you about how “glad” I am because of certain food and drinks, I just want to say I am so thankful and blessed to have a God to provide me with these things.

Now, have you heard of this?

I have heard of it, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. I bought this handle yesterday and can’t wait to try it. The cashier told me it is great in orange juice and tastes like a creamsicle! Yes please. I also have seen all kinds of recipes using it in hot chocolate, root beer/root beer floats and fruit-flavored soda. I will be taste-testing later today and coming up with a great drink to show off to my family during Thanksgiving this week! If you have any suggestions, send them my way please 🙂
Another fun purchase I made yesterday was this Skinny Peppermint Mocha from no other than Starbucks. Or “S-bucks” as we like to call it around here. Ok, Greg actually bought it for me, but he needed me to order one becauseeee…..

Starbucks is running a promotion through today for their holiday drinks. From 2-5pm their holiday drinks are buy one, get one free! The menu is limited to Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulee and Eggnog lattes. I am always a freak when it comes to checking calories of these drinks before I order, because I know some of them are reee-diculous. I was happy I could get the Peppermint Mocha in “skinny” mode to make it only 130 cals in a grande! Now go get yourself a holiday treat before this deal is over!
Skipping ahead to this morning: We went to church then picked up some groceries for lunch.

I made myself a turkey sandwich on Italian bread with lettuce, banana peppers and some red pepper hummus. No day is complete for me without an apple, so I sliced one to have on the side. 

I will be spending my Day of Rest putting finishing touches on our Thanksgiving menu planning! I have some exciting things in store 🙂

Have a good one!