Recent Meals + Yummy Chocolate Covered Strawberries


It’s Wednesday already! I love three-day weekends! Although it’s technically a holiday week here in New York.

Schools in New York close all week, not just for President’s Day. I don’t really notice as much anymore though since my son is a senior in high school. He doesn’t need me for his plans and doesn’t need me to take him anywhere since he can take himself.

Should we discuss that I stopped working on this post because I got caught up with college decisions this week? No, let’s not talk about it. I’m tired of talking about it. Big decisions taking place though! I feel like I was just a kid deciding on a college. Not sure where the time goes.

Instead, let’s jump right into the food I did manage to put together for this post.

My son wanted baked ziti the other night so I used it as our opportunity to take out from Mother Kelly’s. Sure, we could have made baked ziti at home but I wasn’t in the mood for the mess OR the extra ingredients my son would have bought while buying more cheese. That’s the thing right now — he can go grocery shopping without me now that he drives. So, if I send him to the store for one or two things, he comes home with five bags of groceries. No, I am not exaggerating. I usually need to tell him not to be a marketer’s dream by purchasing what’s at the register and to skip items that are strategically placed in center displays. 

I had the grilled eggplant over spaghetti squash (all covered in mozzarella cheese) which I haven’t had in a really long time. It was so good but my stomach doesn’t love spaghetti squash.

I can eat every vegetable pretty much with ease except for spaghetti squash. Not sure why.

mother Kellys

I ate this salad from Chopt in the car while talking on the phone with Heather.

I’m not sure what was in my salad because I just get the same salad on repeat that’s in the Chopt app from the last time I ordered. The Chopt app makes things so convenient. I ordered my salad using the app while waiting in line to pay for groceries at Whole Foods. Very convenient.


I always say this about whole wheat vegetable pizza but I’ll say it again. Vegetable pizza, especially the whole wheat variety, is my idea of a perfectly healthy and balanced meal.

Look at those vegetables! Monte really packs the vegetables on the slice like no other pizza place around.

vegetable pizza

I also always say that chocolate-covered strawberries are a perfectly balanced snack. I’ve been enjoying these yummy chocolate-covered strawberries all week.

chocolate covered strawberries

And that’s all I’ve got for today. I think I may be able to run outdoors this morning and actually, I should force myself to do so as long as the ice is minimal because we are getting more snow tomorrow and Friday. Lovely. Who else has had enough of the snow at this point?! I just heard on the news that 76% of the country has snow on the ground.

I miss sweating during my summer runs.

Thought Per Picture (August 2017)



Starting the week off with a thought per picture!

My son was in Toronto last week with his teen tour. He was kind enough to send me a picture from Niagara Falls. I remember doing the Maid of the Mist attraction thing at Niagara Falls when I was his age!

Niagara Falls

I was craving chocolate on Friday so I stopped into Carlo’s Bakery for two dark chocolate covered strawberries. Totally hit the spot.

dark chocolate covered strawberries

We went to the Mets game on Saturday. All I could think about during Saturday morning’s progression run on the treadmill was this Margherita pizza from Citifield. As soon as we got to the game, I headed straight to the pizza stand like a girl on a mission.

margherita pizza

This Margherita pizza satisfied my long run craving until it was time for dessert.

While I briefly contemplated an ice cream sundae in a helmet, I went with cookie dough again because it seemed more appealing. They only have orange and blue sprinkles for the ice cream which really annoys me. I like chocolate sprinkles. 

cookie dough nbc

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s workout recap post that I ALWAYS warm up on the treadmill with my easy run on the treadmill workout.

Have you tried it yet? If not, please check out the post for the full details and let me know what you think. This workout really warms me up so well! If I start too fast on the treadmill, my feet/legs used to tense up but that never happens anymore.

easy run treadmill workout

Continuing with my mission to find the best onion rings in New York, I had onion rings with dinner last night. These onion rings were from Zorn’s. I didn’t even know that Zorn’s had onion rings! They were very good for sure but not as crunchy of a breading as the onion rings I had from Jackson Hole recently.

onion rings

Who else is annoyed that Love Songs radio was replaced with Yacht Rock Radio this summer on SiriusXM Radio?! The only thing saving me from being annoyed about it yesterday was hearing Kokomo! I haven’t heard Kokomo in forever!


So I am totally dating myself here but Kokomo was THE SONG back in like 5th grade. And remember when the Beach Boys made an appearance on Full House to sing Kokomo with everyone?! Ah, the memories. They still need to replace this Yacht Rock radio thing though. I miss the Love Songs station.

Have a great Monday! 🙂

[bctt tweet=”Thought Per Picture! #niagrafalls #pizza #metsgame #cookiedonyc #onionrings #zorns #siriusxm #kokomo #weekend” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Best thing you ate over the weekend?

Are you a dark chocolate, white chocolate or milk chocolate fan when it comes to chocolate covered strawberries?

Do you like a classic Margherita pizza or do you prefer more toppings?

Who else listens to SiriusXm radio? Which stations are your favorite?


Finding Balance Between Eating Clean And Living





My excitement surrounding the sale price of strawberries led me back to the grocery store which meant we had plenty on hand for making a quick round of chocolate-covered berries last night.

chocolate covered strawberries

Chocolate-covered strawberries take two minutes to make and don’t need to look like they came from Godiva to taste amazing.

When my son finished his plate, he asked for a handful of chocolate chips trying to convince me that the extra dose of chocolate would strengthen his brain because chocolate is brain food.

I told him that I think he meant blueberries but he insisted that he meant chocolate so I decided he meant dark chocolate, appreciated his debate and gave him a handful because I didn’t want to deny his brain.



The other night I enjoyed sharing jumbo shrimp cocktail and a delicious hummus dip as appetizers while out for dinner.

My partner in good food crime was sure to inform me that the restaurant we were at uses Whole Foods as their shrimp supplier so I didn’t have to worry about the quality.

As touched and amused as I was to hear this information (which I am sure wasn’t even true), it didn’t really matter to me.

I do the best that I can in terms of my food shopping and cooking at home.

I seek out organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free everything, I find the least processed foods, avoid artificial and preservatives where possible and live as plant-based as I can BUT…

I refuse to let it control my life.

By the way, I usually refer to my diet as vegetarian and have been meatless for three years.

Eliminating animal protein sources from my diet such as meat and poultry changed my life and health for the better.

We really can argue that since I will enjoy a shrimp cocktail or sushi roll on rare occasion that I should immediately call myself a pescatarian but here’s why I don’t:

#1- most people who ask me don’t even know what a pescatarian is (it means you are vegetarian but will eat fish) and #2- I often forget that I even consume fish at all because it doesn’t happen often.

I didn’t eat any kind of fish until I was 31 and only eat shrimp and spicy tuna in sushi rolls if I am out for dinner.

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh right. So here’s the thing —

When I am out enjoying a good meal, I try not to let what I know about the food supply or questioning how the food is prepared get the best of me.

Is it very possible that the shrimp I was eating was farm-raised? Yes.

Is it possible that the dairy in my favorite chocolate desserts is far from organic and that the ingredients contain loads of GMO’s?  For sure.

Is the animal protein served to my son in restaurants organic or of the same quality I serve him at home? Probably not.

But I need to live and part of me living is going out to eat with the people I like spending time with — without stressing about eating clean all of the time.

If I were to start focusing on where the restaurants are receiving their deliveries from or exactly how they were cooking the dishes, if I gave up sharing sushi rolls (because part of the fun of sushi is sharing it) I would be ruining my life in what would be for me, a path towards disordered eating.

I can control what comes into my house but I don’t need to control everything when I am out.

For example, my morning cup of coffee will contain organic skim milk.

coffee with skim milk

I am allergic to almonds therefore I cannot drink almond milk. I buy only organic skim but can’t worry too much about the type of milk used when I order my coffee at Starbucks or Panera.

panera coffee

Of course I hope one day they will get on board with offering organic but until then, the one drop of milk won’t hurt me.

I haven’t shown you my oats in a jar lately.

oats in a jar

Sometimes I consider cutting back further on dairy but then I realize how satisfied I feel from adding a little greek yogurt to my oatmeal after my run.

I don’t eat it every single day, I go through phases, but I don’t think I will ever phase it out completely.

I make sure to buy organic greek yogurt these days but if I am out for breakfast or brunch, I will order the yogurt if I feel like it, not allowing the thought of what kind is it, is it hormone free and organic overtake me.

I still love Red Mango.

red mango

Maybe that’s why I can never be vegan – I would have to give up my frozen yogurt and that would be a sad day.

A parfait has lots of berries (which are probably not organic) with pumpkin flax granola, chocolate chips (brain food!) and yogurt. I know it’s the frozen kind, I know it’s not the same as fresh but I like it and that counts for something too.

You know I eat a ton of vegetables and lots of salads but sometimes I do not want that for lunch. Sometimes my sweet tooth takes over and that’s fine. I like to eat what I am in the mood for rather than what society thinks lunch should look like.

I love cooking dinner at home.

I can make as much as I want. I can combine whatever vegetables I feel like seasoned according to my mood, add a giant sweet potato diced up with lots of avocado and pick a plant-based protein of choice to round out my meal.

plant based power plate

I like knowing how I cook my quinoa and that I am in control of what I may add to it.

lentils and quinoa

Lentils and tri-color quinoa cooked together in low-sodium vegetable broth. I make a few servings at once and then eat it throughout the week.

But if the opportunity randomly presents itself to dine out, I am so there. Even if I haven’t a clue where the food is from, if the dish I order is cooked in a broth I would never use, I try not to care.

I feel like this way of eating gives me a really nice balance. I am super clean about my diet a majority of the time but will never let that become all of the time.

By the way, do you know I can’t remember exactly the last time I had chocolate cake at The Cheesecake Factory? That means it has been too many weeks and dare I say at least a month. How did that happen?

Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating today!


Anyone else allergic to almonds?

What type of greek yogurt do you buy?

How do you find balance in your eating?



You Better Have Godiva


Awww. How sweet is my little 9 year old making his mommy a card all by himself.


Can you read the post script at the bottom? I know, not easy to read right? I battle him every day not to rush through his school work and homework because rushing makes his handwriting illegible. Ugh boys…Or perhaps a future doctor in the making – one can hope!

Anyway, if you can’t read his chicken scratch, it says, “You better have gotten me Godiva.”

Such a way with words he is…was this a card to profess his love for his mommy or simply an avenue to send a  passive aggressive threat?

Either way, as if I would ever disappoint on a holiday based upon chocolate. Does he not know me by now? Geez.


Of course I got the Godiva. I waited in the crazy long line just so I could hand pick the best truffles.

If that doesn’t make me mother of the year, perhaps this does:


Valentine’s Day Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cocoa Oatmeal


1/2 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

*1 cup water (you can omit the water if you want to use all milk or just mix the two depending upon desired consistency)

*1/4 to 1/2 cup skim milk (or milk of choice) – add more/less milk depending upon desired consistency

1/2 mashed banana

sprinkle of cinnamon

Trader Joe’s Midnight Moo (or other chocolate syrup) – amount varies upon how chocolately you want your oatmeal


*optional – chocolate chips and additional mix ins of choice (I would have added more berries!)

Heat water and some of the milk in a pot on the stove until boiling. Add in oats and mix until almost all of liquid is absorbed. Add in banana, cinnamon and desired amount of chocolate syrup.

Keep mixing and add in more milk. Let stand. Oats will absorb all remaining liquid.

I had some chocolate  covered strawberries on hand so that is what I used this morning as the topping. If you do not have chocolate covered berries in your fridge (and most people don’t), simply melt a handful of chocolate chips in the microwave and dip berries in the melted chocolate.

Place berries on wax paper or aluminum foil until the chocolate hardens.

If you are pressed for time, I am sure anyone would be just as thrilled if you coat strawberries with some of the chocolate syrup and place on top of the oatmeal. 

I know most recipes for chocolate oatmeal call for cocoa powder. I am not a big fan. I am not big on measuring my ingredients and if you don’t get the ratio correct between the cocoa powder and sweetener (be it sugar or a substitute) it just won’t taste yummy.

I am all about yummy.

So why not use chocolate syrup? Especially Midnight Moo from Trader Joe’s?

You could even cook the oatmeal using chocolate milk.

I swear it tasted just like my  Cocoa Pebbles from when I was a kid. Oh how I loved when the pebbles would mush with the milk and leave chocolately milk at the bottom.

Even smelled just like my Cocoa Pebbles. Geez i just loved that cereal back then. It was never filling and left me hungry 30 minutes after I consumed 3 bowls of it but oh how I loved it.

Tonight I am taking my little Valentine to our favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory. Now, most people share a dessert there and can’t finish it. Not us. In fact, we can’t even share a dessert. At all. Ever.

I take my dessert very seriously. I like to order my Mud Pie (the Blackout Cake with mounds of ice cream, whip cream, hot fudge and chocolate chips).

It’s not on the menu anymore but you can still order it! Tell them I sent you.

I like to eat my dessert a certain way and start with the rich fudge icing swirl on top. I have a method and I do not wish to deviate. Or to share.

And it seems I have taught him well on the seriousness of dessert. So well that he feels he has the right to the best parts of my cake but never a bite from anything of his. Ever.

So to keep from arguing, we order separate desserts.

And that is just fine by me. I don’t need anyone’s fork invading my space.

To be honest, I am thrilled to have a child who takes dessert almost as seriously as  do. I am thrilled that he can appreciate a good piece of chocolate and not expect me to buy the run of mill box of chocolate from the seasonal aisle of Target. And I am thrilled to always have a date to accompany me out for dinner and dessert.

Good thing the treadmill and I have been getting along these days. I will need a good run in the morning after this chocolate filled Valentine’s Day.

Hope you are all having a great Valentine’s Day!

What type of chocolate did you eat today? Do you share your desserts?

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