Tag Archives: 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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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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Blueberry Crumble

So one of my good friends (Kat) A Sample of Alex texted yesterday asking if I’ve ever made a blueberry crumble and I haven’t (Or at least I can’t remember ever making one). She told me I should make one or some blueberry pancakes. I was confused, it was out of the blue (haha) that she’s telling me to make some blueberry thing and she told me I needed to update my blog, and well she was right. So thank you Kat!

Anyway, I made this pretty cool crumble that I actually really like.

Just so you guys know, I don’t really have a sweet tooth, rarely do I crave sweets. I’m more of a savory girl. So this dish is not super sweet, of course you guys can fix the recipe to your liking but I’ll tell you guys how my crumble went.

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
    • You can use any kind of nuts, I only had walnuts. But almonds would probably be incredible in this.
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  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/4 of maple syrup + honey
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 pint of blueberries
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  • juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
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This is probably is one of the easiest, if not the easiest dish I’ve ever made.

Step 1: Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Coat your pan with coconut oil.

Step 3: Put your blueberries and lemon juice into pan.

Step 4: Mix all your other ingredients in a bowl and place on top of the blueberries.

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Step 5: Place in oven.

And after about 25-30 minutes it’ll be done!

I scooped myself a spoonful and drizzled some extra maple syrup over it.

It was nice, light and refreshing.

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If you guys try this out let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear all about it!

I hope you guys have a great Tuesday!

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See & Sew

Since I’ve moved to Georgia I have been spending a lot of time with my mother, a woman who loves going to antique and boutique shops. I recently went to this beautiful antique shop in Augusta, Georgia and I fell in love with the place. It’s filled with beautiful furniture and tons of knick-knacks. There is this one area that has the quirkiest aprons and skirts that I’ve ever seen. And I got the brightest idea that I could do that too. So I went to the store to buy some fabric and the little outline packet.

Once I came home I realized I was in over my head. But I was determined to accomplish it.

It took me about two days to do it and if you haven’t already guessed this was my first sewing project and I had to youtube sewing 101. And let me tell you, those videos are extremely helpful. I have a hard time reading instructions and just “getting it”. I have to read it out loud and watch videos on how it’s done. Once I watched the youtube videos I felt really confident. IMG_8392

Once I was done I put it on and showed my parents. They were proud and told me what I could work on and things of that nature.

I will definitely try this again and make different patterns and styles.

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I urge you guys to try new things and push the envelope a little!

While I was sewing this I kept thinking about how most women used to know how to sew, they made their children’s clothes and how far we are now from that. I think sewing is just a nice hobby to do.

Let me know about hobbies you guys are  doing, I’d love to know and possibly try it too!

Healthy Lemon Bars

When my grandmother would come visit when I was younger she would bring tons of cookies from her little Italian cookies to fudges to lemon bars. They were absolutely heaven. Sometimes during the holidays she would mail us tons of cookies and let me tell you, they did not last. For most of us, grandmothers cooking is always the best and nothing could compare. (I hope one day my grandchild feel the same about my cooking)

I decided to give lemon bars a try. I googled and looked over tons of recipes for lemon bars and it’s really simple but honestly it’s sugar on sugar on sugar. It’s like I couldn’t escape it. The closest thing to a non super sugary recipe I found was this “paleo” lemon bar thing and it just wasn’t what I wanted. Finally I decided to pick and choose ingredients that I wanted to use. Disclaimer: Unfortunately these are not your grandmothers lemon bars.

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 2 cups of ground oats (I used my nutri-bullet to ground them)
  • 1/2 the amount of zest from those same lemons
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick of room temperature butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • The rest of your lemon zest
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of ground oats
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice (About 3-4 lemons)

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-Preheat oven to 350 degrees-

To start I grounded my oats in the nutri-bullet, it look only about 5 seconds. In my blender I added all my crust ingredients and blended it on low. Then I placed it on my pan, padded it down and placed it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to cool it down.

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While the crust was cooling I decided to make my filling. Literally it’s just placing all the ingredients in the blender and mixing it. But I always have a problem with over mixing so I put the blender on low and slowly add in the eggs.

Once the 10 minutes of cooling down is over for the crust, I placed the crust in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is lightly brown.

After the crust was done, I placed it back into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to cool down before I placed the filling on it. The filling has eggs in it and I did not want to risk possibly cooking the filling by putting it on the crust as soon as it came out of the oven.

Once it was cooled down I placed the filling on it and popped it into the oven. It took probably only 15 minutes, at most, to be ready. After it was done, I took it out to cool. The last step is to powder confectioners sugar over it and it needs to be cool or else the sugar would melt.

All you need is patience.

Once it was finally cooled down I powdered the sugar over it and I swear using this sugar on anything seriously transforms it.

Despite them not being the traditional lemon bar, they were good and I am actually very proud of them.

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I hope you guys can try these out and if you guys have any comments or questions let me know!

Hope you guys have a great Friday afternoon,

-Love Nicole ❤