Tag Archives: healthy treats

It’s March 26th Already?

26 Mar

I hate when bloggers disappear for months or years and then make excuses for not blogging.

So, I will pretend I’ve been blogging all along, with no hiatus to speak of – because you don’t deserve to listen to excuses and I shouldn’t be making them!

So what’s up in the world of Blue Bin and Hardtack today?


  • Spring is here, but it’s not. We’ve had a fire in the fireplace 2 of the last 4 nights.
  • We’re coming up on 6 months married (amazing!).




  • I’m working on a travel bucket list for 2015.
  • We’re both in physical therapy for separate injuries (he’s recovering from surgery like a champ).
  • We took up cross country skiing this winter, and loved it (but have not yet purchased gear).



  • We have been cooking less than we should – let this be a public proclamation of intention to improve upon that.


So – look for some throwback posts over the next couple months as I share things worth sharing that I may have missed (our honeymoon!!!), some future planning posts to keep the fires of excitement burning for new adventures and new travels (island kayak camping with old friends!), and hopefully some guest posts (ahem, Portland cousin who shall not be named)!





Good to be back (not that I was ever away).

Blue Bin Signature


HIKE & EAT: Bear Mt. & Birthday Treats

4 Mar


Hikes taken with HT are a little hardcore, always fast-paced and embody our “Hike the Hard Way” mentality. I like that, usually.

This weekend was different.

To my delight, my sis and some close girlfriends ventured ALL THE WAY out to the country from Manhattan and Brooklyn to celebrate my birthday with a girls-only hike on Saturday. For their lack of trail names, let’s call them (in order) Brooklyn, Blondie and Bells (Blue Bin Barbie fits right in!). No one made me the cake, above, but it does embody our day. Sweet and outdoorsy.

Brooklyn, Blondie, Bells, BBB

So they took the train to Peekskill (easy!), we awkwardly stopped at a really enthusiastic tea room in Peekskill for a pit stop and herbal tea (I had a bad cold) and headed toward a favorite hike HT had suggested up Storm King Mountain.  The city girls wore sneakers and even outfitted in my trusty Merrells, we quickly deemed the trail too icy to be safe or fun.


We re-routed and decided to go for a sure-thing hike up Bear Mountain, just over the Bear Mountain Bridge in Bear Mountain State Park. The girls were impressed by the pretty buildings in the park and we all loved the smell of wood stove in the air as we passed the outdoor skating rink full of happy, chilly kids. I’d say the one drawback of this hike is that ANY time of year, they charge $8 per car for parking. As we were forking over the cash I remembered why HT and I usually park across the bridge along the road and walk to the park. C’est la vie, this time. At least there were public bathrooms.

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We Eat Treats: PB Cookies (with Whole Wheat & Flax)

10 Jan


Ever on the lookout for great recipes in need of doctoring and always open to trying out those recipes that look “healthy” from the start…this week I got a craving for peanut butter cookies and went in search of a “healthier” recipe. I didn’t find much that grabbed me, so I found a basic recipe and gave it a bit of a BB makeover. Here’s the original recipe…

Minutes to Cook: 10
Number of Servings: 65


1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla

And here is my version

(substitutions highlighted):

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup white flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla

I followed the directions as noted in the original recipe:
1. Mix ingredients in order.
2. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough between your hands to make balls.
3. Place dough balls on greased cookie sheet.
4. Press traditional PB cookie pattern into the top of each cookie by gently flattening the balls with the back of a fork.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
I had only one cookie sheet at the time (this would only happen at HT’s place). This meant I had to do about 4 separate 10-minute batches in the oven.
After the cookies cooled, we tested and tasted and deemed them better than usual for a “healthy” cookie makeover attempt.
True confessions, I ate two for breakfast today too, and didn’t feel bad about it in the least.  
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