Category Archives: In the Kitchen

Making Healthy Fun

Happy Tuesday!

As I described in my last post, I had an amazing weekend. Typically my fiance and I like to cook new foods together and this weekend was no different. We wanted something simple but tasty.

I bought butternut squash last week because I wanted to start incorporating that in my diet more especially because it is fall.

So we knew we wanted to make the butternut squash in some form and I found the most perfect recipe!

Sauteed butternut squash with bacon! 

All you need for this is:

  • Minced garlic
  • Butternut squash, diced (we used two)
  • Bacon (we used 5 slices)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, on medium heat without any oil, cook your bacon until it is almost done. This is really dependent on how you like your bacon cooked, but remember you’re going to add your bacon to your squash a little later so make sure it isn’t completely done.

Move your bacon to a plate and with the bacon drippings still in the skillet add your diced squash.

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Cooking the squash took a little bit longer, probably around 15 minutes.

While it is cooking add in salt and pepper and break up your bacon in little pieces.

Once the squash is done turn off the heat and add in your bacon pieces.

Now it’s done and it’s amazing and it’s the most delicious dish ever. Honestly though, this was such a simple recipe.

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Even though bacon was added (along with the grease) it is a healthier option and a fun way to incorporate butternut squash.

Next broccoli!

Broccoli is simple for me, I love it with just salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and roasted.

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How you like it depends on how long it’ll be in the oven for, I love broccoli in any way, whether it’s extremely roasted and crispy or still soft and tender.

Next up…. the chicken!

The chicken we marinated it with:

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic (roughly two tablespoons)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried thyme (1 tablespoon)
  • Dried oregano (1 tablespoon)

After about 30 minutes in the marinate we grilled it for about 10 minutes on each side. Once done we waited until after the table was set to cut the chicken into smaller pieces because that helps to not dry it out.

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Overall the whole meal was amazing. It was fun to make with my family and it was good and simple. It’s nice to know that you don’t need all these crazy ingredients or be super talented to cook good meals.

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(Also, my fiance made some amazing guacamole but we’ll save that for another post!)

 

Have a great Tuesday!

Love,

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Peanut Butter Covered Pretzels

Yes! Yes! Yes! This is so easy, so messy and just super fun to make.

All you need is:

  • Mini pretzels
  • Peanut butter
  • White chocolate chips
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Coconut oil

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I’ve looked up recipes for this and several said to microwave the chocolate but let me tell you DO NOT DO THIS. It’s just so easy to burn the chocolate that I’m not trying to risk it.

To start off we double boiled the white chocolate with creamy peanut butter and a spoonful of coconut oil. The amount of chocolate and peanut butter all depends on how much you’re making.

We made such a mess dipping the pretzels in the sauce and then placing them on parchment paper, but the sauce is amazing.

Once you’re done with all the pretzels place them in the freezer (depending on how much peanut butter you added in, it might be hard to get hard).

In the meantime, melt the semi-sweet chocolate the same way you did the white chocolate.

Once the pretzels are done in the freezer take them out and splash as much semi-sweet chocolate as you want!

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This is so easy to make and it’s great to make it when you want to just have fun.

I ate so many of these I got a stomach ache! I never knew I loved the mixture of white chocolate and peanut butter so much!

This is a must try!

If you have any recommendations or any other fun recipes please share!

Love,

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Parmesan and Rosemary Homemade Popcorn 

I’ve never been that big a fan of popcorn but when I started to eat healthy I was looking into healthy snacks and guess what…. homemade popcorn is awesome. It provides fiber, whole grains and antioxidants. I will make a little ziploc bag full of popcorn without any salt or anything on it and it tastes delicious. 

But I did look around to find some recipes and to see what other people were making and I’m about to share the best popcorn recipe: Parmesan and Rosemary  homemade popcorn! 

All you need is:

  • Popcorn (it can be white or yellow)

  • Dry Rosemary (as much as your heart desires)
  • Shredded Parmesan (load it up) 
  • About a 1/2 a teaspoon to a teaspoon of salt, depending on how much you’re making 
  • A tablespoon of melted coconut oil. 


All you have to do is: 

  • heat up coconut oil in a pot
  • pour about 1/2 a cup of kernels in the pot
  • Cover the pot and wait until all the kernels are popped, about 5-10 minutes. 
  • While the popcorn is popping get your seasoning ready. 
  • Get a bowl and combine your Parmesan, rosemary and salt together. 
  • Once the popcorn is cooked, transfer it to a bowl and immediately pour your coconut oil on the popcorn and add your seasoning. 


And bam! You’re done and ready to eat the best popcorn of your life! 
Making your own popcorn beats store bought ANY DAY! 

Try it out and share any other popcorn recipes you have, I’d love to hear about them. 

Have a beautiful Sunday❤️

Yes to Homemade Pickled Jalapenos!

Guys! This is a must!

I have recently discovered that I am obsessed with pickled jalapenos, my family goes through jars like water. So I decided it was time to make some myself. My brother and sister in law were actually raving about how good homemade jalapenos are so it was time to try it out.

Okay so you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • about 8 jalapenos
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Mason jar

Honestly this is the easiest thing I have probably ever made.

All you do is add all of your ingredients except for the jalapenos into a pot and bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling then you can add your jalapenos and remove it from the heat. I left it for about 10 minutes.

And once its cooled you can just add it to your jar. Make sure you first add your jalapenos and then as much of the brine as you can.

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I hope you guys try this out! What I love about this is that you can add anything you want in it like the red pepper flakes, oregano, and sweet peppers.

Enjoy and have a great Monday!

Love,

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Carrot Banana Bread Cake

I am all about making non-conventional food, so when I came across this carrot banana bread cake recipe I was extremely excited. This recipe is easy, I didn’t have to buy anything extra, we had all these ingredients in the pantry! (Always a plus when you don’t have to make a trip to the store.), and it is the best mash up of banana bread and carrot cake. This recipe is NOT mine, I am always on Pinterest and I came across this from http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com I will give credit where credit is due, so thanks Monique!

Ingredients:

  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup of quick oats
  • 2 tablespoons of applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of pecans
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup of almond milk

Seriously this is so easy.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, while that is happening get all your ingredients ready. Simply mix your flour, oats, baking soda and powder, cinnamon and salt together. In another bowl mix together your bananas, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, applesauce, almond milk and carrots. Add all your ingredients together (wet & dry) and fold in about half those pecans. You can use a bread loaf pan, I actually didn’t have one so I just used the pan I usually use for brownies. Once your ingredients are ready and your oven is heated, prepare your pan, I coated mine with coconut oil, and pour your mixture in there and pop it into the oven. It took my bread about 35 minutes to cook completely. But while that was cooking I got my frosting ready. This was honestly my favorite part, I LOVE cream cheese frosting. For this part you just beat all of your frosting ingredients, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and your done with that! Easy right?

Once your bread is done, let it cool before adding your frosting on top (So it doesn’t melt all over the place). When it is cool and you added your frosting throw some chopped pecans on top!

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I hope you guys try this out, it’s a unique take on both banana bread and carrot cake and I am sure you’ll love it!

Let me know what you guys think! I can’t wait to hear your feedback!

Have a great Wednesday!

Love,

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Easiest Apple Tart Ever

I know, I know. It has been months since I have posted on my blog and for that I apologize. I got caught up in other stuff and had no will to do any DIY’s or cook. But thankfully I am ready to give my blog life and get this thing rolling once again.

I decided to make this really easy apple tart that came out surprisingly great.

 

Ingredients:

  • The average frozen puff pastry that you can buy at any grocery store.
  • 5 granny smith apples

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  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • Less than 1/3 a cup of sugar

And that’s it! (Well you can add some love in it, of course)

First you have to let your puff pastry thaw out, give it about 20-30 minutes and it should be done. You will definitely be able to tell when it’s done, you just lightly touch it with your finger and if there is an indentation, guess what, it’s done.

While your puff pastry is thawing out, this is the perfect time for you to cut your apples up. I took the skin off of the apples first then sliced them up in a mandoline, but you can slice them by hand, it just might take a little longer. Once they were all sliced I put them in the bowl and added my cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. I mixed them all up and let them hang out.

In the meantime, why not preheat your oven? It should be preheated at 350 degrees.

Once  your puff pastry is all thawed out, roll it out a little bit so it’s stretched out. Make sure not to really “work” the pastry, we don’t want it to get messed up. Place the pastry on your pan which should be lined with parchment paper. Then working from the outside to the inside place your apples around the puff pastry so they’re overlapping.

Now once your apples are in place you can sprinkle your sugar all over them. Chop up your butter and place it throughout your pastry.

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The pastry took about 30-40 minutes to cook but this will vary so just keep an eye on it. You will definitely smell it once it’s ready.

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It was light, not too sweet and honestly one of the best desserts I’ve made. I placed a spoonful of french vanilla ice cream on mine and it was perfect. ❤

 

I hope you guys try it out! I wanted to make it a little bit different and unique but I figured I should probably try to make it the normal way first.

Let me know if you try it out, I’d love the feedback ❤

Have a great Saturday!

Love,

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Lemon raspberry cupcakes 

Some days I just really want to make something, just anything and yesterday I decided I wanted to make some cupcakes. Let me start by saying I am NOT a baker. If anything I’m a non-baker, really because I suck at it. It’s kind of embarrassing but I don’t know the difference between baking soda, baking powder and cornstarch. (I’m still working on learning!) But I do know how to read and just follow instructions. So I made these cute little cupcakes. They’re lemon cupcakes with raspberry jam filling and lemon “meringue” frosting.

First let me tell you what you’ll need.

Ingredients for the cupcake: MAKES 24 CUPCAKES

  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of room temp. unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • About 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, I didn’t measure this, just eye-balled it.
  • Raspberry jam

I KNOW IT’S A LOT BUT THEYRE WORTH IT.

Ingredients for the lemon “meringue frosting”

  • 4 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • lemon zest
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt

Like with most recipes I mixed the dry ingredients for the cupcakes together, flour, sugar, baking powder, cornstarch, salt. Then all the wet ingredients. EXCEPT FOR THE RASPBERRY JAM, THAT’S AFTER THE CUPCAKES ARE COOKED!! The butter is supposed to be room temperature but I did put it into the microwave for just a little to get it softened. Then fold all the ingredients together.

You have to be careful of over mixing. You don’t need to get all of the bumps out of the mixture, just make sure you can’t obviously see chunks of butter or anything like that.

That’s the easy part.

I had these cute little left over pink ramekins so I just put about a spoonful of the mixture into each.

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I had my oven at 350 degrees and the cupcakes were in there for about 20 minutes or so, until they are lightly brown.

While the cupcakes were baking we started the frosting.

I have never made anything meringue, I don’t think I even ate a lemon meringue pie before. But I wanted to try something new.

For this part get a medium saucepan filled with water onto your stove top on medium-high heat. Get all your frosting ingredients into a bowl. Make sure you have an electric hand mixer ready, if not get a whisk and make sure your arm is ready for some intense whipping.

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This part takes a while and is tiring.

So while your beating the ingredients (on high)  your bowl should definitely be over the simmering water to help cook the egg whites and make your frosting fluff up. You’ll know when its done when it is able to peak just like your traditional lemon meringue pie does. (Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the peaks!) Probably about 5-10 minutes for this to happen.

When the cupcakes were done, I let them cool off before I decided to fill them with the raspberry jam.

I used just your ordinary apple corer (apple core remover) to take out some of the cupcake, then just put some jam into the hole and with the same cupcake that we took out place it on top so  the frosting and the jam doesn’t mix together.

This is very easy to do. You can do it with any cupcake and use any kind of filling you like.

Once the whole raspberry filling was done, just top it off with some frosting.

I did decided to top the cupcakes with just another thing.

In a bowl I took some more lemon zest, just about a couple drops of lemon juice and some sugar to make sugared lemon zest. It tastes just like a lemon head but a lot better.

After I frosted the cupcakes I just put a little bit of the sugared lemon zest on top. You don’t have to do this, I just did it to give the cupcakes a little bit more lemon flavor.

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They were really good and I was proud of myself. I was quite surprised that I didn’t burn them, didn’t mix them right and EXTREMELY surprised that the lemon meringue frosting came out edible.

I hope you guys try this, cupcakes are great for every occasion and every day.

Let me know what you guys think! I’d love to hear some feedback.

Have a great Monday and a beautiful week,

Love,

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