Saturday, February 22, 2014
Spring is in the air! I was walking around work one morning this past week and smelled cucumbers. It took me back to spring and summer and reminded me of a wonderful salad I had posted on an old food blog a LONG time ago. This salad is such a wonderful mix of flavor and colors, perfectly crisp and delicious. Great for a side salad and I usually make it for Easter gatherings as well! I got the recipe from a co-worker and I've been hooked ever since she took it to the office. Try this out for your next large gathering, it makes a good bit! Enjoy!
P.S. Please excuse the small picture, it was all I had!
1 Head of lettuce, torn into pieces and washed
1 bag of Spring Mix salad (it helps to wash this as well, gets rid of the plastic bag flavor)
1 hothouse cucumber
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 red, 1 green, and 1 yellow bell pepper, all sliced
1 quart of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Croutons (whichever you like)
Ranch or Italian dressing. Either of these dressings seem to be pretty good for this salad.
Toss everything together and enjoy!
Monday, February 17, 2014
Good morning sunshine! Well, okay. I am not a morning person. But I DO love morning food! I woke up this beautiful bright Sunday morning, starving from not eating much the night before, but I can't eat super fast breakfast food (no cereal! wah!) I had to come up with something healthy, but awesome. I am in the middle of doing the Whole Life Challenge, which challenges us to eat unprocessed and healthy foods.
Well here's a little history about "Eggs in a Nest". I had never heard of them until I met my husband. Using a shot glass, he would cut a hole in the middle of a slice of bread, butter up a pan, place the bread in there, and crack an egg over the hole, making sure the yolk landed in the hole. He would then flip them over to cook the tops a bit, but he always made sure the yolk was still runny so he could sop it up with the surrounding "nest". I have to say, it was pretty darned yummy.
This morning, I pulled out my spiralizer and started "noodling" a sweet potato. I usually cook them in a pan with some coconut oil, throw some eggs in, and scramble them. This time, I thought to myself, "Those noodles look like a little nest" - voila! I was inspired! Sweet potato Eggs in a Nest were born. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can probably create the same thing with some shredded sweet potatoes. These got 5 stars PLUS from the hubby. His new favorite! I hope it becomes yours too!
Here's what you need:
1 medium - large sweet potato, peeled and spiralized
5 - 6 large eggs
About 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1.) Heat coconut oil in a non-stick pan until melted and slightly shimmering.
2.) Toss in half of your sweet potato noodles and cook until color changes to a more yellow-orange color and they are slightly crispy.
3.) Separate your noodles in the pan into 2-3 "nests", or do one at a time. Make sure there are some spots open for the egg to permeate the noodles underneath (this will help with more even cooking). Crack your egg(s) and pour over the middle of your sweet potato nest(s).
4.) After the bottom appears cooked, flip over and cook your eggs until the whites are done, but try to make sure your yolk still stays a bit runny if you like it that way. Serve immediately! This went very well paired with some avocado slices and Whole Life Challenge compliant sausage links. Enjoy!
Thank you so much for looking, now go cook something and spread some YUM!
Sunday, February 16, 2014
In honor of my blog turning one, I am happy to be doing a little giveaway to thank you for your support! One giveaway involves a $25 Amazon Gift Card, another giveaway involves a CAKE! I have to keep the cake giveaway local, even though I wish I could ship one somewhere! I don't think it would arrive in perfect condition. ;) The giveaway for the gift card is easy enough. Simply fill out your entries below and I wish you the best of luck! For your comment entry, all you have to do is let me know what your favorite birthday cake is! See? Easy as pie. Piece of... cake.
Giveaway ends Sunday, February 23, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Eating healthy is a challenge. At least it used to be. I am currently doing the Whole Life Challenge with our CrossFit Box, which involves challenging ourselves to eat better, work out more, get healthy in general. We have to remove several things from our diet: dairy, grains, sugar (even HONEY, I was horrified when I heard this!) and have to add more fruits, vegetables, REAL food, nothing processed. You can imagine how hard it is for me to be a *mostly* sweets blogger and not be able to taste test ANYTHING I make, which is okay, since I only made one thing so far for the blog that yes, I broke down and had a piece of. My Cherry Cordial Cake. (Check it out, you know you wanna.) I have made a few party cakes since and they smelled good enough to devour, but I managed to stay away. I am proud to say I have only lost that one point to that piece of cake at the very beginning of the challenge and I have not faltered since! As far as working out... Well, that's another story. One I won't bore you with, but I HAVE lost 6 pounds and I have not been working out much, so eating real food kind of really DOES make a difference! As it is, Larabars appear to be our saving grace at the box for snacks or a sweets attack, so I decided to make my own. I ended up with something else. I knew I wanted coconut and raisins in my bars, to kind of make an "oatmeal raisin" type bar, so I gathered my ingredients:
8 Medjool dates
1/2 cup shredded coconut, plus more for rolling
1 cup raw almonds
2 handfuls of raisins
I just kind of measured these things by the seat of my pants and somehow they worked out.
1.) Place dates in a food processor and process until a "ball" is formed. Remove from food processor and place in a medium bowl.
2.) Add 1 cup of almonds to the food processor and pulse to chop the almonds into small pieces. Make sure you don't pulse enough to create a "meal" type flour, you still want some chunks in there. :)
3.) While the almonds are still a bit chunkier, throw in the 1/2 cup of coconut and 2 handfuls of raisins. Pulse a few times, about 6-8 times.
4.) Pour the almond, coconut, and raisin mixture into the bowl with the dates and "knead" the mix together by hand. Once everything is incorporated, shape into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in the extra coconut. I placed mine in a sandwich bag and refrigerated them for a while before I took a bite. They were delicious! They were even better the next day after sitting in the refrigerator, blending all the flavors together. Try them! You won't be disappointed!
These made approximately one dozen.
Thank you so much for looking! Now go bake something and spread some YUM!
Saturday, February 1, 2014
I had many thoughts about it, stayed awake a few nights thinking about it (it's horrible to be a foodie, especially a blogging one, because once I start with an obsession, I can't stop thinking about it until I make it!) I wondered what kind of frosting I could make it with. Cherry butter cream? Cherry marshmallow fluff? The marshmallow had me worrying about gooey cake slices and getting too firm in the refrigerator. Then, inspiration struck. Swiss meringue butter cream with cherry extract. I actually came up with chopped cherry chunks as I was making the frosting and I am so glad I did! I also added some cherry juice to the mix and that gave it a light pink color. The cake starts with a mix (don't hate, I'm a busy woman!) with the addition of almond extract, easy peasy ganache to pour over the cake, and of course, the cherry Swiss meringue butter cream. I have Sweetapolia to thank for the recipe, with some changes of my own.
Here's what you need for the cake:
1 box yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
+ ingredients needed for cake (oil, eggs, water)
1/2 teaspoon of pure almond extract
For the Swiss meringue buttercream: (Adapted from Sweetapolita's 6 Layer Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Buttercream Cake)
5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups of white granulated sugar
3 sticks of butter, cut into cubes
3-4 tablespoons of maraschino cherry juice
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/4 teaspoon of cherry extract
a pinch of salt
For the ganache:
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I used Baker's Squares)
1.) Make and bake your cake as directed and set aside to cool. I used 2 8" pans for baking.
2.) While your cakes are baking, start working on your Swiss meringue buttercream. Make sure you wipe your mixing bowl, whisk, and flat beater attachments with a paper towel and some lemon juice in order to cut any leftover grease. Add your egg whites and sugar into the bowl, and set over a pot of simmering water, whisking constantly. If you have a thermometer, continue until you reach 160 degrees. If not, keep going until all the sugar is dissolved and your egg whites are hot.
3.) Transfer your bowl back to your mixer and with the whisk attachment, beat until the meringue is glossy, about 10 minutes, and the bowl is cooler to the touch. Switch over to the flat beater and add your butter cubes one by one until well blended and the meringue is smooth.
4.) Add the cherry juice slowly, cherry extract, and pinch of salt until blended.
5.) Chop your chocolate and place in a medium bowl. Simmer your whipping cream in a small saucepan until just before boiling. Take care as you do not want it to scorch! Pour the whipping cream over the chocolate in the bowl and whisk until completely smooth. Set aside and let cool while you frost the cake.
6.) Taking care not to let the ganache cool too much (I made that mistake so mine did not come out as smooth), use a ladle or deep spoon to begin pouring over your cake. With an offset spatula, start spreading the ganache over the sides and let it drip.
7.) Using a large decorator tip, garnish the top of the cake and place a cherry on top!
Enjoy! Thank you so much for looking, now go bake something and spread some YUM!
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Here's what you need:
1 lb of ground beef (I used ground turkey here)
1 small chopped onion
1 cup of your preferred canned enchilada sauce (use more if you want it a bit more saucy!)
1 cup of canned corn kernels, drained
6 bell peppers - I used 2 of each red, yellow, and green. You can just use your favorite color! Cut the tops off and scoop out seeds prior to stuffing.
Kraft Mexican shredded cheese with a Touch of Philly for added gooeyness
Spices to flavor your meat, such as garlic, salt, pepper
What to do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. In the meantime, brown and season your meat and cook it with the chopped onion. I know I did not give measurements on the seasonings, but a lot of people have different tastes, so season to taste!
3. When your meat is browned, pour in the enchilada sauce and corn and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for about 5 minutes to allow flavor to settle in and corn to warm up.
4. Spoon the meat mixture into your peppers evenly and top with about 1/4 cup of cheese.
5. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. I like my peppers a little more crisp than tender, but you can keep them in the oven for a little bit longer if you want a softer pepper.
After baking, I broiled the peppers for a couple of minutes until the cheese bubbled and browned a little. Serve with sour cream, top with sliced black olives or jalapeno slices, your choice! Enjoy!
Thank you so much for looking, now go bake something and spread some YUM!
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Good day everyone! I hope you guys had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year holiday, and it's back to the daily grind for all of us. It was wonderful to be with family, celebrating, relaxing, though the time did fly, a little too fast for my taste. I was only able to take a few days off work and hey! Guess what? I'm back again. While it makes me sad, it's nice to get back into the daily routine.
During the holidays, my husband and I used to stay overnight at his parent's house Christmas Eve, and open gifts Christmas morning after I made breakfast for everyone. Nobody volunteered me, I just decided it was the thing to do one year and it became a nice tradition. I started making egg filled buns and a breakfast pizza, and though the pizza happened for only 2 - 3 years, the egg filled buns continued. This past Christmas, our baby was 2, so we decided we would stay home and do "Santa Claus" and start our own little family tradition on Christmas morning. I had other plans for the day though, so I made our Egg Filled Buns on Christmas Eve morning. These little guys are nice and filling (though it's hard to stop at just one!) and are awesome with a tall glass of orange juice. They are so easy and will be ready in no time! The best thing is, these are so easy to change up according to taste, you just need the biscuit dough and eggs for the base.
What you need:
Pioneer Brand Buttermilk Baking Mix (or any biscuit baking mix of your choice)
2 teaspoons of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of mustard
Shredded cheese of your choice (optional)
Meat of choice: Bacon, pork sausage, chopped ham, or none at all! I used pork.
Salt and pepper to season
2 tablespoons of melted butter for brushing on biscuits
Pictured below is what I used for the main ingredients:
What to do:
1.) Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
2.) Cook the meat you will be adding to your scrambled eggs. Crisp your bacon and crumble it, cook your sausage, or saute your ham in a little bit of real butter for extra flavor. (I never said these were healthy!)
3.) Prepare your scrambled eggs as you like them, adding salt and pepper to taste. I like to melt some butter in my skillet to cook my eggs in. Add your cheese if you will be using cheese and meat to your eggs. When they are ready, allow to cool slightly and fold in your mayonnaise and mustard. These can be completely optional, but they do give the mix a delicious creamy texture and helps the egg mixture stick together better.
4.) Prepare the biscuit mix as directed on the package, roll out, and cut into 8 separate pieces using a pizza cutter. I was in a little bit of a hurry that morning so some of my pieces were smaller than others and I didn't roll the dough out in a rectangle, which would have been a better idea for uniform sized pieces. Using a biscuit cutter might also be a great idea, but the biscuit will have to be flattened a bit more and stretched to accommodate for the egg mixture.
5.) Using a rounded tablespoon (I used a cookie scoop that yields about that much) and place on top of each "biscuit".
6.) Tug the corners and anything you can over the egg mixture to make sure it's all covered. You may have a little bit peeking out, but that's okay. (It was easy for little hands to help too, as you can see, I couldn't keep my little guy's away!)
7.) Brush a little bit of melted butter over the tops and place in your oven.
8.) Bake for 11-13 minutes, and brush some more melted butter over the tops of the biscuits while still hot. Enjoy!
Apologies for not so great photography, I had to use my phone - my Sony had a completely dead battery and my replacement was on the way in the mail!
Hope you enjoy these egg buns as much as my family does, now go bake something and spread some yum!