about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Sunbutter Energy Bites (Allergy-Friendly!).

I’ve been meaning to type up this recipe for you guys for weeks now!  I’ve been making these for a while, and have served them at a bunch of our playdates.  They are always a hit, and I am always both amazed and alarmed at how quickly 25 snack balls can disappear.

One of my favorite snacks to make for the kids are the coconut date energy bites I came up with a few years ago.  They are easy to pack and store, and anything bite-sized is usually a hit in my house.  But while there is not necessarily anything bad about them, they aren’t exactly a nutritional powerhouse.  Especially when my three year old wants to eat five of them at a time.

So I set out to make a new variation – one a bit lower in sugar and a bit higher in good stuff like nuts and seeds that I can never get them to eat otherwise.  At the time I was making these, I was getting ready to host my moms group over at our house and I wanted a snack for all the kids.

But there was one catch.  We have a little guy in our group who has a whole host of food allergies.  And while his mom certainly never expects anyone to go out of the way to make snacks especially for him, I always feel sad offering muffins and other delights to the other kids and seeing his big wide eyes full of disappointment when he is offered the grapes. 

I was determined to make something that all the kids could enjoy together.  And so a nut-free, wheat-free, nutrient-dense snack ball was born!  Of course, there might be someone allergic to coconut or oats or something else – so make sure to always check out all the ingredients!  But for the most part, I think these are free of common allergens, and I KNOW that they are delicious.

Sunbutter Energy Bites (Allergy-friendly!)

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (25 bites)

  • 2 cup dry old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 6 to 8 pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sunbutter
  • pinch of salt


Add all dry ingredients to a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds — just enough time to grind the oats and coconut down a bit and mix everything up.

Add the dates, water, melted coconut oil (you want it to be liquid!), and sunbutter, and pulse for another minute or so. The mixture will still seem pretty dry and crumbly — scrape it down a few times with a spatula and pulse in between.

Once it is all mixed together well, scoop a little bit out at a time and form into round balls. I find the best method for this is to wet my hands and form them by hand, but you can also use a cookie scoop if you want to stay clean. Just make sure the balls are well formed so that they hold together.

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That’s it! No cooking, baking, drying, or anything else — they are ready to eat!

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Store in an airtight container in your pantry or in your refrigerator – up to you!  If you store them in the refrigerator, they get a bit firmer due to the coconut oil hardening, but they are still just as good. 

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These have become a regular part of our snack rotation, and they even work as a dessert bribe in our house.  Cullen is much more willing to polish off a plate of lentils and carrots if a sunbutter ball is promised at the end of the meal!

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I also like that I can pack them in his school lunches, since his classroom is nut-free.  And when I ask him after school what was in his lunch he always responds with, “Moooooooooom, you packed it, you already know!”  And then eventually he tells me that the sunbutter ball was the first thing he ate.  And half the time it is also the only thing he ate, so I’m happy to know he at least got a few good bites in his belly before nap time. 

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And I should add that these are definitely not just for kids.  I pop them in between breakfast and lunch, or during that (awful) late afternoon stretch.  And Casey has been using them for running fuel as he finishes up training for the LA Marathon!  Something for everyone and that doesn’t last long in our house.

As always, enjoy – and happy weekend!!

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Afternoon Chatter.

Hi, it’s me!  How have you guys been?  I’m just going to ramble today.  I hope that’s okay!

We’re having such a mild winter this year.  We’ve had so little rain, and what has felt like weeks and weeks of sunshine and temperatures in the 60’s.  It is insanity, and I love every bit of it.  We are out strolling every single day.


I am so grateful for these unseasonable temperatures, as the fresh air has really recharged me these last few weeks.  I feel happier, lighter, and so excited for the seasons that are coming.  Although I will admit, this warm winter has me somewhat scared of what this means for a summer with no air conditioning!  Do they still make those little fans you can wear on a string around your neck?

The boys have reached that pivotal stage I have been working toward for sixteen (!) long months – happily playing together and truly enjoying each other’s company (most of the time).


Now of course, there is still plenty of shoving, shouting over favorite cup choices, and the daily battle of who gets to go down the steps first.  But in between there is a lot of laughter and more opportunities for me to catch my breath, which has been wonderful.

Last summer was fun because – it was summer! – but it was also really challenging because Graham was in that wiggly stage of wanting to move, crawl, climb, eat sand/mulch, and not be held, and it made it really hard for me to get out to the beaches/parks/zoo as much as we have in the past.  These days Graham is sixteen months going on three years old, and he keeps up easily with his big brother.  He is going to be trouble for sure.  I cannot wait to spend sun up to sun down outside, covered in sunscreen, sand, dirt, and everything else we can get our hands into.

This morning I took both boys to the zoo in the wagon, and they absolutely loved it.  It was the first time that I felt like I had two “big” kids, and you know what?  It was awesome.  I love babies because they are squishy and perfect and snuggly.  But bigger kids are so much easier and – in my opinion – more enjoyable because we can DO so much more!


The pups are getting lots of outside time too, which they are loving.  Now that our days are getting longer, I’m able to walk them later and longer into the evening.  I find that I really look forward to those walks, as it’s the only true quiet of my whole day.  I think about how much I focused on them before the kids came along, and of course there is the guilt that now there is just never enough, for anyone really.  But I like our walks because it’s a chance for me to love on the dogs without any other distractions.  Their grey hairs seem to have snuck up on me.  Huey is eleven now, and Indy will be nine next week.  Everyone is growing up too quickly.


The other big THING of life right now is that some of our dearest friends just moved away.  I’ve known it was coming since last September, and I’m not sure if all that time has made it easier or harder to process.  Katie was my “person” – the one I called when I had mastitis and a 103 temperature and couldn’t even hold my own baby, who drove to my house at 5am and picked up Cullen and saw me writhe on the ground in the throws of labor, who invited us to dinner so many times when Casey was away, and the first person to hold Graham besides me or Casey.  She is a dear, dear friend, and while I know she’ll still remain very close, Seattle feels a bit emptier without her.

And while I have dealt with my own sadness and grief over saying goodbye to them, the true heartbreak has been for Cullen.  Of course, I don’t know that he actually feels that yet, or even if he will – kids are so quick to move forward.  But he and his buddy have done so much together, and I love how happy he always is when they are together.


We spent this past weekend helping them move.  All day Saturday was packing and loading the truck.  My job was to keep the kids entertained and out of the path of furniture and boxes.  How fitting that the boys showed up in matching outfits.  I love them so much!

Once the house was all packed up, they came back to our house for their final night in Seattle – and the three year olds had their first sleepover!  They were both so wiped out from a full day of playing with zero naps, and they were asleep within ten minutes.  I didn’t hear a peep until 6am, and then I watched them on the monitor – singing, chatting, trading stuffed animals, and looking through books together until 7am (when Cullen’s blue light turned off).  Total cuteness overload, and it made me really excited for future trips when we go visit!

I have never been good with change or goodbyes.  I’ve thought a lot about this in the past few months and weeks.  In the past, I’ve done a lot of crying, a lot of wallowing, and I’ve been paralyzed with regret and longing.  This time around, although there have still been plenty of tears, I tried really hard to focus on and be grateful for all that I do have – instead of wrapped up in what I was losing.

I have some really amazing friends here in Seattle.  Many moves and many moons ago when we first packed our lives up into a U-Haul and left Cincinnati, I could have never, ever imagined myself loving a life out on the west coast, and surrounded by an incredible group of people I consider to be family.  And while I’m sad to see a few of our good friends go, I am so grateful for all the wonderful people we still have here.  And now we have a new spot in Oregon to go visit!

Speaking of, I’m really hoping to explore a big chunk of the Northwest this year.  We’ve been here almost four years now, and there is still so much outside of Seattle we haven’t seen yet.  This summer, we have trips planned to Lake Chelan, WA, Cannon Beach, OR, and Bend, OR.  At some point I’d love to get to the Olympic Peninsula and British Columbia!

Alright, this nap time stretch is over so that’s enough rambling for today.  I still need to give you some final thoughts on the Barre3 challenge, and tell you about ClassPass – something I’m trying out this month!  Hope you are all having a great week.  Talk soon!

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