Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Sister The Seal Whisperer and Super Easy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

To beat some winter boredom, Jon and I went to visit my sister at her internship in the Niagara Falls Aquarium. Right now she 's just working to help clean and prepare meals for the animals, but they also let her feed the seals and sea lions sometimes, too!

She was able to take us into the food (i.e., fish) storage fridges and also to where they prepare the meals. It was kind of cool seeing all the behind the scenes workings of a place like that. We learned that each animal needs a certain amount/kind of fish for their particular bucket, each animal had a different feeding time, mixed in with some shows here and there . . . there's so much happening at every moment, it's a wonder all the workers are able to keep a smile and friendly disposition. Props to them!

We were also lucky enough to see a sea lion show and penguin feeding!

We had a ton of fun. The best part was at the end, though, when we got to see my sister feed and get a smooch from a seal (below)!
Smooch! How cute is that?!?!

Here are a few more cool pictures I took from the day:

Before we left for the Aquarium, I had a bit of the baking bug and I've been craving cookies . . .so . . I came up with these easy, fast, healthy, gluten free, and vegan snack cookies!

Oatmeal Raisin Snack Cookies
You'll need:
1 1/3 C rolled oats
1 t cinnamon
1 t chia seeds (optional)
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t sea salt
4 T brown sugar
2 T turbino sugar (white sugar would work fine, too)
4 T raisins
2 T melted earth balance
4 T almond milk

To make:
1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor until mixed. Contents should be somewhat ground up, but take care NOT to grind the whole thing up into a powder. You need to keep some of the oats in tact.
2. Pour your dry mix into a mixing bowl and add the raisins.
3. Next add the melted earth balance and almond milk. Mix all the way through until you have a clumpy 'dough' (it should be like a moist, clumpy granola).
4. Wet hands and form dough into 2'' balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten a bit with your palm or the bottom of a glass. Since these cookies are gluten free, they won't rise/spread like normal cookies would.
5. Bake at 375' for about 15 minutes. Makes about 15 cookies. Let cool and eat!

These cookies are dense, sweet, and will be the perfect snack for an afternoon cookie craving!

Tonight we're going to Allen Street Hardware for dinner. We've never been there before, but it came highly recommended and there were even a few delicious sounding vegetarian options (that were not just a salad!). What a great way to end the weekend. I'll let you  know how it is!

By the way, Stay tuned for a little surprise within the next couple days!

Have you done anything new/different this weekend? Make any delicious snacks?


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