Easy, Clean Eating Fudge Recipe

Today Britney is back with us sharing her favorite, healthy fudge recipe for the holiday season. Enjoy! Thanks, Britney! :) xoxo, Stacia

Clean Eating Fudge Recipe - Paper Swallow Events

Fudge. 

When asked what my favorite Christmas treat is, I always say fudge. 

There is just something about biting into a soft, gooey, creamy, chocolaty piece of fudge that makes everything right in the world. And while original dark is my absolute favorite, there are so many ways to get creative with each batch! A splash of peppermint extract? Sure! Crushed candy canes? Absolutely. Swirls of rich peanut butter? Why not? Personally I draw the line at crunchy walnuts interrupting my bites of rich, creamy fudge, but those are a classic option as well.

Clean Eating Fudge Recipe - Paper Swallow Events

When my husband and I first got married, we decided that we wanted to make healthy eating a priority in our home. Food should be a source of nourishment, not a stress reliever. 

And for the most part, we have stuck to our clean eating guidelines. We eat real food, made with real ingredients. No white sugar or flour, minimal meat, and no extra preservatives. It’s been a long journey, but one that I can honestly say has improved our life and health.

But that doesn't leave much room for fudge - what with its whole sticks of butter and pounds of sugar. 

Clean Eating Fudge Recipe - Paper Swallow Events

Until this recipe. Simple, full of healthy fats, and the perfect holiday treat to bring to all those Ugly Sweater parties that are so popular. (I mean, am I just supposed to have a closet full of ugly Christmas sweaters simply for this purpose?) 

So anyways, the easiest clean eating fudge you will ever make. I mean it. Just throw it all in a saucepan to simmer for a couple quick minutes and pour into a pan to chill. 

It’s as easy as… fudge.

Clean Eating Fudge Recipe - Paper Swallow Events

Clean Eating Fudge
makes 1 6x6 pan

½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup canned coconut milk
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla
pinch of salt

Additional mix-ins: crushed candy canes, nuts, peppermint extract, dried fruit

Directions: Add coconut oil, syrup, coconut milk, cocoa powder, and salt to a saucepan on medium low heat. Stir until oil is melted and mixture comes to a slight boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and stir in any mix-ins. Line a 6x6 baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Pour fudge into pan and chill 4 hours or overnight. Will keep for up to one week in the fridge in an airtight container.

Clean Eating Fudge Recipe - Paper Swallow Events

Want more ideas for healthy, clean eating? Like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/britneylynneammen.

Britney is an independent health and fitness coach with Beachbody. To find out more about how you can join one of her online fitness accountability groups, visit www.beachbodycoach.com/britneyammen or email her at britney.ammen@gmail.com 

Mid-Month Check In

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Hello there! It seems like forever since I popped into this space! I didn't mean to go MIA last week; life busy with other business and personal projects and I couldn't seem to find any spare energy to blog.  Last week also made me reevaluate my December blogging plans. I think I'm going to be pulling back a little bit on frequency and sharing a few more personal posts for the rest of the month. 

For starters, today I stopped in to share my mid-month check in where I let you know a bit of what's been going on in my life behind the scenes. Ready?

So far, December has been equally crazy and relaxing. Michael and I are having a grand time with our advent calendar. So far we've made a wreath, silly danced to Christmas music (so much laughter!), watched some of our favorite Christmas movies, and decorated his family's Christmas tree. I love the method of counting down the days and creating new, tiny memories together. 

A few weeks ago, Michael + I went to a friend's house warming party. She made bacon wrapped dates and they were amazing.  Have you ever had them? If not, you must, because they are to. die. for. 

Last week I coordinated the receptions for 4 different community music school Christmas concerts. In years past the teachers have run back and forth between their students' performances to get everything set up. This year they all got to enjoy the concerts stress-free since I handled all the reception details. It was a joy to be able to do that for them! From what I could hear, the students did a marvelous job with their performances, too. 

I've been listening to Pentatonix's Christmas album almost non-stop this past week. I think my favorite song is White Winter Hymnal, even though it is a bit darker than a lot of Christmas songs. What Christmas music is currently your jam?

Other than these slightly notable moments, the beginning of this month has been a lot of work and running around finishing purchasing Christmas gifts. I'm excited to give the gifts to their recipients and to take the second half of this month a bit slower. Treasuring moments with people is one of the most important parts of this month for me! I'm planning to snag some moments this week to set more of my business and personal goals for 2015. 

What about you? What has been going on in your life recently? 

xoxo, Stacia

My Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving - Paper Swallow Events

Hello lovelies! Are all of you recovered from your Thanksgiving coma yet? Our Thanksgiving was far from traditional this year since Michael had to work on Thanksgiving Day itself, but we still managed to relax and enjoy ourselves. Sunday evening-Wednesday morning of Thanksgiving week we got to spend some time with the rest of Michael's extended family at his Grandparents' lake house in North Georgia. It's always such a fun and relaxing time, which makes it a highlight of our year. This year, in an attempt to truly relax and connect, I didn't bring our nice camera, so all of these photos are from my iPhone. The pictures I got are good glimpses of our time there, and it was nice to not worry about lugging the camera around.

My Thanksgiving - Paper Swallow Events

We did a lot of sitting around, talking, and playing with the new puppy. He was seriously so gangling and adorable! As the cousins get older, it's amusing to see how the ways they interact change and which ones slowly migrate to the adult table. I was happily surprised with how warm it was during our visit. It was actually pleasant enough to spend time both indoors and out.

My Thanksgiving - Paper Swallow Events

One night the uncles made a fire and we all sat around talking and roasting marshmallows. It was funny to see which cousins liked burning them and which ones wanted to learn Michael's techniques for a perfect, crispy yet melted marshmallow. After a while they all located some cardboard and charred the ends of sticks to make drawing utensils. I thought it was rather ingenious of them! There was a small group of us that stayed out around the fire until almost 4 AM laughing til our sides hurt. I think that was the highlight of the trip for me. :)

My Thanksgiving - Paper Swallow Events

One amusing part of our trip was going to a thrift store that was located in an old outdoor store (like Bass Pro Shop, but smaller.) They still had koi fish and a waterfall inside. It was by far the fanciest thrift store I've ever been to! haha. Michael was also his adorable cheesy self and brought me a Coke that had "Soulmate" as the person to share it with. He always makes me smile. :) 

The rest of the week I worked hard  getting this blog and business ready for December, and Michael worked hard at his job. I'm so thankful that, even though we didn't get Thanksgiving Day, we got a Thanksgiving of a different kind and spent some quality time connecting with our family. That's what's most important about the holiday for me.

How was your Thanksgiving?

xoxo, Stacia

An Activity-Filled Advent Calendar to Help You Enjoy the Christmas Season

Envelope Advent Calendar - Paper Swallow Events

Hello lovelies!

How is your December going?! This time of year (between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve) is my very favorite. My mom was great at creating traditions while my siblings and I were growing up, so I have a lot of sentimental memories of this time of year. White those memories and traditions are still super special, one new adventure in my life is learning to create traditions specific to Michael + me. One thing we're trying this year that I'm SUPER excited about is a more "grown up" advent calendar. 

Envelope Advent Calendar - Paper Swallow Events

Michael + I sat down and brainstormed a list of 24 things we really wanted to do between December 1st and December 24th. We then wrote those items on slips of paper, shuffled them up, and put them in envelopes labels 1-24. This way each day will be a surprise, but it will also be something that we really want to do between now and Christmas. I think this kind of advent calendar is so much better than the chocolate ones I got growing up, because these memories Michael + I will make together will last so much longer than a piece of chocolate. (Even though I do adore chocolate!)

Envelope Advent Calendar - Paper Swallow Events

Want some ideas of what you could include in your activity filled advent calendar? Here are some of the things we included!

  • Try making eggnog
  • Invent a recipe together
  • Watch a Christmas movie (we shuffled in about 5 of these)
  • Go to a bookstore and read each other our favorite Christmas stories from our childhoods
  • Make a wreath for the front door
  • Make a garland
  • Make a washi tape Christmas tree for the wall
  • Take silly "family" Christmas photos (and find a Santa hat for Maximus)
  • Make Nutella hot chocolate
  • Bake and decorate Christmas cookies
  • Have friends over for a game night (this one is planned in advance)
  • Go see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Make hot chocolate and drive around looking at Christmas lights
  • Go get and decorate a Christmas tree
  • Have a silly dance party of two to Christmas music
  • Go ornament shopping
  • Have a Christmas present wrapping party
  • Invent new words to a favorite Christmas carol

What would you put in your activity-filled advent calendar?

xoxo, Stacia

Recent Reads: The Essential Bar Book

The Essential Bar Book Review - Paper Swallow Events

If you're not beginning to gather it by now, I'm a bit of a book nerd. I like to know a little bit about everything and spend a lot of my spare time reading about all kinds of topics. I believe that the more I know about more areas of life, the more awesome people I can talk to and the more help I can be to my clients. My most recent read The Essential Bar Book by Jennifer Fiedler definitely fed into my nerd side!

Michael and I don't drink very often, but I am fascinated by the amount of skill and knowledge that exists in the production of alcohol and mixing cocktails. It's truely a culture of its own full of lingo and skill that most people never recognize when they go out for drinks with friends. After reading this book, I can now explain to you what noble rot is or where the term nog (a famous example is eggnog) came from.

This book functions as a a dictionary. It starts with terms and beverages that start with A and continues all the way through Z. I love that each definition is short, easily digested, and yet full of rich knowledge and the quirky traditions that brought on the creation of the different drinks. Besides being a dictionary, there are 115 recipes sprinkled throughout (also alphabetized.) At the beginning of each recipe the book provides a brief history of the drinks origins, which I think is super fun. 

The Essential Bar Book Review - Paper Swallow Events

Even if I'll never drink most of these beverages, I found this book an enjoyable and enlightening read. The back cover boasts that the book is "perfect for any home or professional bar" and I can easily see the truth in that statement. It's relateable and easy-to-use. If you have friends getting married who enjoy hosting cocktail parties, I can see this book being a very fun and practical wedding present for them. Why not take giving them a book of recipes a step further and give them a book of recipes that also equips them with the knowledge to start coming up with their own?

What kinds of books bring out the nerd in you? Would you ever read a dictionary that focuses on a particular subject?

xoxo, Stacia

This book was provided to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own, as always.