Running, Rambles and Raves: Summer Favorites 2014

So, how is summer running going for you? My husband and I were just talking about how much easier it is to run in the cooler, less humid weather. It’s so much easier to breathe in that cool, crisp air! But, since that isn’t going to happen anytime soon, we’re trying to make summer running as comfortable as possible! Since I figured some of you are in the same situation, I created a list of a few of my summer essentials.

Running Rambles and Raves: Summer Favorites 2014

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Insulated Hand Held Water Bottle: I just got this SpeedDraw Plus from Nathan. I love the fact that they finally came out with an insulated bottle. That means no more super warm water by the middle of your run! Plus, the pocket is large enough to hold an iphone that has a larger case on it.

Running Rambles and Raves: Summer Favorites 2014

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Tifosi Wisp Interchangeable Sunglasses: I have had these sunglasses for about a year now and wear them all the time! The different lenses are perfect for hazy days that are still bright or running in the woods to protects your eyes from bugs. Also, it doesn’t break the bank to own a pair of these! :) (If you like a little larger sunglasses, my husband has the Tifosi Slip and really likes them.)

Running Rambles and Raves: Summer Favorites 2014

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Asics Core Singlet: I picked up a couple of these recently for less than $10 dollars each. Love them.  They are super light weight and are fitted while still being breathable. A lot of sporting good stores carry these and they come in a variety of colors! Asics also makes a core tank top that is more like a sleeveless shirt in this same material.

Running Rambles and Raves

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 Garmin Forerunner 15  Garmin recently came out with a new watch between the Garmin 10 and 220. I’ve heard some good reviews about this watch and it seems like a good option for those who want a decent running watch without spending a lot of money. (I still have the 210 and like it.)

Running Rambles and Raves: Summer Favorites 2014

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 Women’s UA Shadow Cap: I just recently started wearing a hat when I run. I’m still more of a fan of not wearing one, but I do like knowing that I’m keeping the sun off my face/scalp. This hat is super lightweight and is UPF 30+. It comes in a variety of colors, so you are sure to find one that matches your running wardrobe!

Running Rambles and Raves

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Polar Bottle Insulated Bottle: So, this water bottle isn’t specifically running related, but we use these all. the. time. I think we have four of them and they all get used on a regular basis. I love the fact that you can freeze them. Before a run, hike, bike ride, etc. I’ll fill them half full with water and throw them in the freezer. Then we can enjoy cold water the entire time we’re active. Plus, it takes a lot for them to start “sweating” making them perfect for throwing them in your bag without worrying about them getting your things wet. Oh, and they are easy to clean (another important aspect that we look for in a water bottle!).

These are just a handful of my summer running essentials. What items can’t you live without in the summer? I want to know if I’m missing something important! Links welcome! 

This post contains affiliate links.

And if you’re looking for a laugh, check out this video from a local news station:  Not only do I have to worry about the weather and traffic when I run, I now have to watch out for dive-bombing birds!

Lemon Crumb Ice Cream

Rich, Creamy Lemon Crumb Ice Cream Recipe l

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I took a last minute quick trip to St. Louis. While we enjoyed our couple of day stay a lot, it was hot. As in really hot. With high humidity. It didn’t take long for us to start seeking air conditioning or a huge glass of ice water after being outdoors for any length of time. When air conditioning and ice water weren’t an option, there was frozen custard. Not just any frozen custard, Ted Drewes frozen custard. So good.

Lemon Crumb Ice Cream Recipe l

Since it was so hot out, I strayed from my usual chocolate or peanut butter options and went for something citrusy. I settled on a creamy lemon custard with graham crackers. After my first bite, I knew I had to recreate it at home. It was light and tangy with just the right amount of sweetness. Just what you want on a hot, summer afternoon!

Rich, Creamy Lemon Crumb Ice Cream Recipe l

I know a lot of people are wary of making custard because of the eggs involved, or they don’t like the extra time it takes. So I made my version a lemon crumb ice cream. I still wanted that rich, creamy texture of frozen custard, so I decided to try adding pudding mix. I mixed up the base like you would a pudding, whisking it until the mixture thickened. It worked beautifully. The ice cream came out rich, creamy, and smooth.

For the graham cracker crumbs I decided to give them a little extra flavor. I love the flavor of a simple graham cracker pie crust. Since I didn’t want to have to turn the oven on, I just made a quick, smaller version of a no-bake pie crust with larger pieces of crushed graham crackers. The sweet, salty, buttery pieces were just the addition that the lemon ice cream needed to make it truly addictive!

5.0 from 2 reviews

Lemon Crumb Ice Cream
Serves: 1½ quarts ice cream
For the Crumb
  • 1 C crushed graham crackers
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
For the Ice Cream
  • 1½ C half & half
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • ¼ C fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ C sugar
  • 1 (3.4 oz) pkg lemon pudding mix
  1. In a small bowl, stir together crushed graham crackers, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Spread mixture on a paper towel to dry.
  2. Begin preparing ice cream base by carefully whisking together half & half, heavy cream, lemon juice, vanilla extract, sugar, and pudding mix in a large bowl. Whisk for about 4-5 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken (like pudding).
  3. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is soft-set, add graham cracker mixture. (It is okay if graham cracker crumbs are not completely dry.) Finish churning.
  4. Enjoy or pour into a freezer-safe container to freeze until hard.

 Lemon Crumb Ice Cream Recipe l

Lighter Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole + $100 Visa Gift Card Sweepstakes

Lighter Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole Recipe from

There’s something about warm weather that inspires people to want to eat healthy and start up that exercise routine again. Whether it’s the thought of the beach or the abundance of fruits and veggies, this time of year seems to promote healthy living. If you’ve read this blog for very long (or follow along on Instagram), you know that my husband and I love running and being active outdoors. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, you can usually find us out for a run together in the evenings. Not only do we try to have a healthy lifestyle that involves regular exercise, we also strive to eat healthy on a regular basis. Sure, we have “unhealthy” food sometimes, but we try to make healthy eating a habit. While we aren’t vegetarians, my husband and I usually end up eating a meatless meal at least once a week. Now with MorningStar Farms, it’s even easier to swap in a meatless meal more regularly since their burgers and patties are all a good source of protein.

Lighter Sausage and Veggie Breakfast Casserole Recipe {Vegetarian} l MorningStar Farms has over 30 products, and you can find over 600 recipes on their site for inspiration on how to enjoy their food. You don’t just have to eat them as patties or burgers. If you’re worried about the same flavors getting old, that isn’t a concern with MorningStar Farms! They are always creating new flavors and products. Some of their newest include the Roasted Garlic & Quinoa Burger, Buffalo Chik Patty, Parmesan Garlic Wings, Mediterranean Chickpea Pizza, and Baja Black Bean Pizza! No boring flavors here! (Be sure to read to the bottom of the post where you can enter for your chance to win a $100 Visa gift card so you can try out some MorningStar Farms products for yourself!)

Lighter Sausage and Veggie Breakfast Casserole Recipe {Vegetarian} from A Kitchen Addiction

We recently tried the Roasted Garlic & Quinoa Burgers, the Buffalo Chik Patties, and, because we’d never had MorningStar Farms products before, the Original Veggie Sausage patties. Honestly, we were skeptical before taking the first bites, but were surprised by the great flavor these foods had. The burgers and patties were loaded with great taste that can make you forget that you aren’t eating meat. We especially liked the Original Veggie Sausage. They tasted just like sausage, just without the extra grease (which I didn’t miss at all!). Since we enjoyed it so much, I decided the sausage would be a great addition to one of our favorite breakfast casseroles without ruining flavor and nutrition.

Lighter Sausage and Veggie Breakfast Casserole Recipe {Vegetarian} from We weren’t disappointed. I cut up the sausage patties into bite sized pieces and added them to the egg bake that was already filled with other great veggies. I was a little worried about the texture of the sausage changing when it was baked, but the breakfast casserole baked up perfectly. It was moist, cheesy, and flavorful without any strange textures. We now have another great healthy option to add to our menu!

5.0 from 4 reviews

Lighter Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole
Serves: 12
  • 1 (8 oz) package MorningStar Farms Original Sausage Patties
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1½ C fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ C tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ C onion, chopped
  • 1 C shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ½ C shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a saucepan, add frozen veggie patties (you will use 6 patties). Turn heat to medium and cook covered for 8-10 minutes. Flip halfway through cooking time to get even browning. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, cut into bite size pieces.
  3. Whisk together eggs, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt. Stir in cookied veggie sausage, spinach, bell pepper, tomato, onion, and ¾ cup mozzarella.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve warm.
  6. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Lighter Sausage and Veggie Breakfast Casserole Recipe {Vegetarian} from A Kitchen Addiction

Be sure to check out the MorningStar Farms website for more information on products and recipes! MorningStar Farms wants to make it easier for you to eat smart by giving away a $100 Visa gift card to one (1) lucky reader!

To enter: Leave a comment on this post telling me what MorningStar Farms product you would like to try.

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 7/7-8/10/2014.

Be sure to visit the MorningStar Farms brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Root Beer Float Pie

No Bake Root Beer Float Pie Recipe from A Kitchen Addiction

Back in February, I had the opportunity to finally meet Dorothy, Ashton, and Trish (If you haven’t visited any of their sites, go now!) at a blog conference. While discussing where to go for dinner, we were also talking (and probably eating!) about other food, because that’s what food bloggers do. The topic of root beer milkshakes came up. I had to admit that I had never had a root beer milkshake. Root beer float? Yes. Milkshake? No. They quickly told me that I needed to change that because root beer milkshakes were amazing! I can now say that I have had one (and you guys were right, so good!). I can also say that I have made a root beer float pie!

Root Beer Float Pie Recipe from A Kitchen Addiction

It is a lot like a root beer milkshake that has been thoroughly stirred together, poured into a graham cracker pie crust, chilled, and topped with whipped cream. Minus the maraschino cherry, because neither my husband nor I like them. If you ever see us get shakes (and we’ve forgotten to have them hold the cherry), just watch, we’ll be dumping the cherry in the closest trash can. But if you are a fan of them and think they make the authentic milkshake or float, feel free to add them.

No Bake Root Beer Float Pie Recipe l

If you are still in need of a desert idea for this 4th of July weekend, make it this pie! It takes hardly any time to throw together and it’s great for hot weather. The flavor is light and refreshing. If it’s going to be really warm where you are, you may want to freeze the pie. As you can tell from the pictures, the whipped cream started to melt after being in my warm kitchen for pictures. Frozen or chilled this root beer float pie is just what you need to enjoy summer even more!

5.0 from 5 reviews

Root Beer Float Pie
Serves: 8
For the Crust
  • 1½ C crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ C sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
For the Pie
  • 1 (8 oz) container lite frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • ¾ C cold root beer (regular or diet)
  • ⅓ C non-fat milk
  • 1 (1 oz) package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 tsp Root Beer concentrate, optional
  • whipped cream, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9 inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add in melted butter and stir until graham cracker mixture is coated. Press mixture into prepared pie plate.
  3. Bake for 8 minutes or until crust just starts to turn light golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together root beer, milk, pudding mix, and root beer concentrate for about 5 minutes, or until mixture starts to thicken. Carefully fold in whipped topping until combined.
  5. Pour mixture into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
  6. Top with whipped cream and serve.

This recipe is adapted from Taste of Home.

Root Beer Float Pie Recipe l

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Breakfast Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Breakfast Bars Recipe from A Kitchen Addiction

This month has flown by! I have no idea how it is already the last week in June! My husband and I were talking this weekend about how every summer seems to get really busy. Even if we go into it with hardly any plans, it seems to fill up and time flies. Since we get so busy, it’s important that we make sure we’re eating healthy whether at home or on the go. It’s also important to watch what we’re drinking. One of my favorite nutritious drinks to keep on hand is almond milk. I love drinking it plain or in smoothies for an easy meal.

I already drink Silk Almondmilk on a regular basis, so when Silk came out with their new Silk Almond Blends, I was eager to give them a try! I tried the vanilla flavored Silk Protein+Fiber Almondmilk and loved that you can’t taste a difference from the regular vanilla flavored Silk Almond milk. It had the same creamy, delicious taste!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Breakfast Bars Recipe l

Silk Protein+Fiber Almondmilk is a great way to incorporate more protein and fiber into your diet with something as simple as a glass of milk. A lot of us are looking for easy ways that we can up the nutritional value of our meals and snacks. It’s easy with this almond milk. Each 8 ounce serving gives you 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. One of my favorite post-run drinks is a glass of chocolate almond milk because of how quick and easy it is to refuel. Now with the Silk Protein+Fiber Almondmilk, I can get even more protein and extra fiber!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Breakfast Bars Recipe l

You can do more with almond milk than just drink it or use it in a smoothie, you can also bake with it. Give your favorite baked good an extra boost of protein and fiber by switching out dairy milk for Silk Protein+Fiber Almondmilk. I often use almond milk in place of dairy milk in my baking because it is the only thing I have in the house. One thing I make a lot of is breakfast bars. Easy to throw together and easy to take with you on the go, these peanut butter chocolate chips protein breakfast bars are a great way to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle this summer!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Breakfast Bars Recipe l

Oats, wheat flour, and flaxseed are the base of these healthy bars. Honey acts as the sweetener and the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate chips gives the breakfast bars a sweet and satisfying flavor. And of course, Silk Protein+Fiber Almondmilk helps tie everything together. Not only does it give the moisture needed, but it also gives great flavor and an easy boost of protein and fiber!

Want to try new Silk Almond Blends for yourself? Head on over to Silk’s Facebook page and grab a coupon!

Soft Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Breakfast Bars
Serves: 9
  • 1½ C regular or quick oats
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • ¼ C flaxseed
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 C Silk Almond Protein + Fiber
  • ⅓ C no-stir natural creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ C honey
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or olive/canola oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ C mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, wheat flour, flaxseed, baking power, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, carefully whisk together almond milk, peanut butter, honey, egg, and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
  4. Spread batter into prepared baking dish. Batter will be thick. Sprinkle with additional mini chips if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove dish to a wire rack to allow to cool before cutting into bars.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Breakfast Bars Recipe l

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

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