I’m baaaack. I mean, technically I was back on Thursday but just kept my vacation rolling a bit and it was absolutely wonderful. I have to say I totally recommend Carnival Cruises to anyone looking for a reasonable vacation. They have excellent customer service, and we really enjoyed the food, shows and sunbathing. I think I ate enough soft serve to last a lifetime…oops. But it was a blast! We had fun celebrating Andrew’s birthday on board, especially at their piano bar (my fav). Unfortunately we came home a bit sunburnt, but also a bit tan and definitely refreshed. Oh and, not to brag or anything, but I won the Friends trivia challenge and Andrew won Harry Potter trivia, so we both won 24 carat gold plastic ships on a stick. It’s OK to be jealous 😉
We stopped in Catalina and Ensenada, and the views on Catalina are breathtaking, but Ensenada was another story. I’ve been to both before, but I wouldn’t go to Ensenada again unless I had money to do some kind of cool activity like horseback riding or ATVs or something. Next time I’m in Catalina, parasailing is definitely on my bucket list. We tried to keep our spending low during this trip, so we didn’t buy food off the ship or do any of the extra activities, just sightseeing, which was fine with me. After several days away, it’s nice to be home.
PS – I finally read #GIRLBOSS on the cruise and it was as awesome as everyone says it is! If you’re an aspiring businesswoman (a.k.a a #GIRLBOSS in the making) you should definitely consider reading it. Plus, Sophia Amoruso is quite entertaining, not to mention brilliant.
Anyway, it’s back to the real world today. Resounding sobs all the way around…and to top it off I am starting work in my new office today, which means spending an extra hour a day in a car. Yeah, I’m not happy about that but fingers crossed for a good first day!
Let’s celebrate another Monday with a super easy recipe for homemade Mounds bars using only five ingredients, and only three of them are truly essential. Easy peasy! Normally I’m not a huge coconut fan, but I do really like coconut and chocolate together, and because these Mounds bars are so sweet, I’m in chocolate heaven with one bite.
The great thing about these candy bars is that they’re semi-healthy. OK, that’s probably subjective, but look at those ingredients! They’re made with coconut oil and honey, which keeps them really healthy, and at least dark chocolate is the best chocolate for you. No need to feel guilty about eating one!
Now, let’s make some Mounds!
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips or baking chocolate (high quality)
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (sweetened is ok)
- 6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
First, line a square pan with parchment paper. This recipe won’t fill your entire pan, and you don’t need it to because it’s easy to shape.
Melt the coconut oil in the microwave, which will only take a couple seconds, especially because coconut oil is a liquid when above a certain temperature. Since it’s hot right now, you won’t have to worry about melting it much. In a bowl, combine the coconut shavings, coconut oil, honey and vanilla and mix with your hands or a spoon. With your hands, press the coconut mixture into the pan as you would if you were making rice krispie treats. It probably won’t take up your entire pan and that’s fine. Just press your coconut until the end is straight.
While the coconut chills, melt the chocolate on defrost mode in 30-second increments until it’s completely melted. The chocolate should be a thin dippable consistency, but you can add a little bit of vegetable oil or coconut oil to smooth it out until it’s ready for dipping. I like to add oil to thin out my chocolate because it makes dipping much easier.
Take the coconut out of the fridge and pull out the parchment. With a sharp knife, cut the coconut into bars, about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long. Use a fork or dipping tool to cover them in dark chocolate and set back on the parchment. While still wet, I sprinkled on a little more coconut. Keep them on the counter to harden naturally (this will take a long time) or leave them in the fridge to speed up the process.
Eat and enjoy! Remember, no need to feel guilty about these!