Monthly Archives: March 2013

Friday Favorite: Spotify

If you ever workout… or go for walks outside… or drive a car… or leave your house… you may be missing out on something seriously awesome.  It’s called Spotify, and it’s today’s Friday Favorite!  Remember, I don’t get paid for these reviews.  I don’t get free stuff.  I just love finding awesome treasures and sharing the news!

So, chances are, you’ve heard of Spotify.  It’s a program that allows you access to basically any song or album you can imagine on your desktop or laptop for FREE.  The new Justin Timberlake record?  Check.  And it was available live steaming the day it was released.  Frank Sinatra’s remastered classics?  Check.  All those guilty pleasures from the early ’90s?  Check.  The soundtrack to The Little Mermaid?  Yeah, it’s there.   Don’t ask me why I know.  I just do.  The interface is almost identical to iTunes, which makes it extremely user-friendly.  I’m not sure how they get away with it, but they do.

SPOTIFY INTERFACE

The basic version of Spotify, as I mentioned, is free.  But there’s also a premium membership available.  For $9.99 a month, it allows you to take Spotify on the go.  All you have to do is install the app on your smart phone or tablet, and you can take your music with you EVERYWHERE.  To the gym.  On the train.  In the car.  On long runs outside.  Simply put, it has changed my life… and I’m not exaggerating.  If I only had $10 left forever, and I had to choose between Spotify and a sandwich, let’s just say the decision would be tough.  I’ve had a subscription for about a year and a half now, and I still haven’t had one single problem or regret.  I’ve blabbed about it to everyone I know, and some that I don’t.  And, because I can play requests instantly, my phone and I become the life of any party.  Just add iPod speakers.  Exhibit A:

BOAT PARTY

Yep, Spotify was in use when THAT happened.  So was The Horse Lover’s Camera app.

Spotify Premium not only allows you to make playlists.  It has a radio, too that’s just like Pandora… only better!  Set the radio to a genre or your favorite artist, and if you happen to hear a song you like and want to come back to later, all you have to do is give it a “thumbs up”.  The songs you “liked” from radio will automatically go to their own playlist for future enjoyment.  Such a fun and easy way to discover new music!

SPOTIFY RADIOSPOTIFY THUMBS UP

One final thing to note.  If you’re worried about accessing the rest of your music library hiding on your hard drive, don’t be.  Spotify makes it easy to sync all the music you’ve downloaded and purchased on your computer to your Spotify profile, essentially merging your iTunes life with your new Spotify life.  Whoop, there it is.

Do you use Spotify?  Maybe you have your own Friday Favorite.  If you do, let me know!  We can chat in the comments section below, or you can e-mail me at thehungrytortoise@gmail.com.

Have a healthy Easter weekend!

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Daily Dexter

The Easter Bunny come early.

Dexter Bunny

Thirsty Thursday: Boston Cream Pie Martini

What are the two things people give up MOST for Lent?  My two guesses would be: A) alcohol and B) desserts.  So I can’t think of anything more exciting than blowing the 40 day fast… with both!  No judgement if you decide to enjoy this as a breakfast drink after Easter brunch.  What Grandma doesn’t know won’t hurt her.  In fact, ask her.  She might want one, too.

SIDE NOTE:  This is a health-focused blog, but don’t get it twisted.  This is clearly not a health drink.  I believe there is a time and a place for a splurge.  Easter may indeed be that time.  And hey, if you’re going to have something sweet, it might as well get you drunk, too.  That’s what we call multi-tasking.

Boston Cream Pie Martini

Make One Large Serving

Calories: About 500

BOSTON CREAM PIE MARTINI

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2.5 oz. vanilla vodka (or plain vodka with 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract added)
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 tbsp chocolate syrup (or the lower calorie homemade version below)
  • maraschino cherries

Directions:

  1. Drizzle inside of martini glass with chocolate syrup.  As mentioned above, you can use store-bought syrup, or simply combine cacao or cocoa powder with a few drops of the warm milk of your choice and a little bit of stevia to taste.  Homemade won’t dissolve quite like store-bought, but it’ll save you about 100 calories (making it 400 instead of 500).
  2. Combine the Bailey’s and vodka together in a cocktail shaker.  Add ice.  Shake just enough so everything is evenly mixed.  If you don’t have a shaker, just use a mason jar.  It worked for me!
  3. Carefully strain the liquid into the martini glass.  You don’t want the ice.  It’ll water down the drink.  Garnish with maraschino cherries.
  4. Enjoy responsibly!  Martinis are meant to be strong… and this one definitely is.  Technically speaking, the ingredients are equal to about four servings of alcohol.  So… yeah.  Just sayin’.

Did you give anything up for Lent?  How do you plan on blowing your fast?  Don’t act like you’re not already thinking about it.  Let me know!  Either comment in the section below, or e-mail me at thehungrytortoise@gmail.com.

Cheers!

Workout Wednesday: Three-A-Day Abs

Each mini-workout only takes about 5 minutes!  Start by going through each set just once a day.  As you get stronger, double or triple up on the sets.  Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!  Listen to your body, and make it hurt!

WORKOUT THREE-A-DAY ABS

Recipe: Copycat Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs

Besides that whole rising from the dead thing, it’s the best part of Easter – the Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg.

REESE'S EGGS ORIGINAL

I’m a grown-ass adult, so I don’t really get an Easter basket anymore, but if I did, I’d want nothing in it but these.  About four dozen of them.  I’d eat them all in one sitting like a starved animal, I’d make myself sick, and vow to never touch them again… until next year.  I’m not too proud to say that yes, a version of this has happened, and I’m not sorry.

We can have Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups all year-round, sure, but the EGG!  THE EGG is so so so much better, right?  I think what’s so incredible about the Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg is the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter.  It couldn’t be more perfect.  So, with a little help from one of my favorite blogs, Chocolate-Covered Katie, I concocted my own copycat version of the chocolate peanut butter egg that is just a little bit healthier than the one you’d buy in the store. The recipe is super easy, it’s 100% vegan, and you guys… I really think the final product tastes 1,000 times better than the one from Mr. Reese.  I’m serious.  Make the eggs as small or as large as you wish. I broke the recipe below into 10 medium-sized eggs.

Copycat Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs

Servings: 10 Eggs

Calories: About 150 Per Egg


REESE EGGS THREE

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 c. cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c. organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp & 1 tsp. or 2 packets of stevia

Directions:

  1. Mix the peanut butter and confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl until you achieve a dough-like consistency.  Divide dough into ten balls.  Shape into eggs.  Freeze until hard, about one hour.
  2. Melt coconut oil together with the cocoa and stevia either in the microwave or on the stove top.  Make sure to use low heat.  Then, using a toothpick, dip each egg into the chocolate mixture until covered.  It should harden almost instantly.  Return eggs to freezer for a few minutes.  Then… you saw this coming… dip eggs in chocolate a second time.  Obviously.  When it’s all said and done, you should still have a little chocolate leftover.  Save it.  Toss it.  Drink it.  It’s your call.
  3. Once again, return eggs to the freezer and store them there.  The chocolate shell will melt above room temperature, and it will crack like a real egg-shell, so be careful when transporting to Grandma’s!

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Music Monday

These days, it seems like all the best music comes from England. Adele. Mumford and Sons. Florence Welch. And now, Carrot Top’s son (not really), Ed Sheeran. What gives?
ED SHEERAN

This song makes me all emo and stuff. It’s called “Give Me Love”. Check it out!

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