What I’ve Been Eating: Buzzfeed Video Edition

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Today I want to share one of the most decadent desserts that I have eaten recently. I mentioned that one of my friends came over this weekend to watch Christmas movies and she decided that we just had to make this dessert. Well, if you show up with baking ingredients, I’m not going to fight ya!

We originally saw this recipe posted on Facebook in a Buzzfeed video. You can watch the 20 second version of the baking here. 🙂

Ingredients

2 packages of break-apart chocolate chip cookie dough
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 bag of caramels

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350*F.

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Take one pack of break apart cookie dough and flatten it out in a baking pan of your choice.

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Unwrap the caramels in a separate dish. Melt the caramels in the microwave for 45 seconds. Then, pour the now liquid caramel on top of the cookie dough. Note: it can be difficult to spread out! It is most “spreadable” the moment it comes out of the microwave.

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Add chocolate chips to your caramel layer.

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Take the second pack of cookie dough and flatten it on top of the first three layers.

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Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes! Note: check at 25 minutes. My edges (or crust) were a little more golden brown than I would have liked.

The video showed a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the “pie” or whatever you would like to call this dish, but we felt like it was delicious enough sans ice cream. 😉

A note about this dessert: it is best served warm. If you have leftovers (which you will), just pop a scoop in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it before eating.

I don’t even want to begin to guess the nutrition facts behind this dish, but I know that there is a 100% chance you will enjoy this if you make it! It was fun to finally see a video and put it into action. It’s like those pins we have on our boards on Pinterest that we NEVER do. Will I make this again? Possibly! It was fun to make for a random girls night and I’m sure those at your holiday parties this season would enjoy it, too. Even sharing it with a friend, my roommate, and her boyfriend, we still had leftovers, so it definitely makes a ton of dessert. You will have to let me know if you try it!

Have you ever made one of the recipes from a Buzzfeed Food Video?

What’s your favorite dessert?

5 Minute Pumpkin Oatmeal

My very favorite breakfast in all the land is oatmeal. I like to say that I get excited to go to bed because I know when I wake up, I get to have oatmeal. 😉 My favorite “recipe” is simply quick cooking oats with water, 1 teaspoon coconut oil, a splash of vanilla extract, a dash of cinnamon, and some PB2. I just cook everything in the microwave for two minutes and then add the PB2 right before I eat it! The possibilities for ingredients are endless. Really, you just need the base of oats and water (or milk) and then you can add any nut butter, spice, or fruit that you like!

If you take my above advice, you’ll have yourself a yummy breakfast in two minutes. Today, I’m extending your cook time to five whole minutes. 🙂 This oatmeal recipe includes pumpkin…because doesn’t September 1 mean that it is fall?! Before you roll your eyes at me, look at this graphic below:

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Pumpkin is actually really good for you! My other fall love…candy corn…well, that has about as many negative health benefits as pumpkin has positive health benefits haha!
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5 minutes to Pumpkin Oatmeal. Ready?!

Ingredients

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1 cup water
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup milk [of your choice] for thickness
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon truvia [or sweetener of your choice]
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dark chocolate almonds [optional]

Directions

Combine 1 cup water + 1/2 cup oats in a bowl. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes.

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Add 1/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon truvia, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir it up!

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I topped it off with dark chocolate almonds because there is never a BAD time to eat chocolate. Am I right?!

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Another way to simplify the cooking process and STILL get your Pumpkin Oatmeal fix would be to add Jif Pumpkin Pie Spice peanut butter to your oats! I haven’t seen this flavor out at Target YET, but I hope to see it soon. 🙂

Happy breakfast eating!


Grocery Shopping + Meal Prep

Thinking out loud about food…because duh. If I’m not eating food, I’m thinking about food. 🙂

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I may or may not love shopping for groceries more than I love shopping for clothes. It’s a close competition. 😉 There is just nothing like strolling up and down the aisles of the grocery store with a cup of coffee in your hand. Ah. My happy place.

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My go-to store is Trader Joe’s because I love their prices and I love their “specialty” foods and snacks. You know, those things you may not find at the regular grocery store. However, I am name brand specific about some things, like ketchup, toilet paper, and KCups, so that will send me to Target or Giant on occasion. In DC and northern Virginia, Safeway and Harris Teeter are also big names, but I have found their prices to be more expensive overall. Of course, sometimes I like to change it up and go to one of those other places or even venture to Wegmans in the suburbs. Because grocery shopping is my favorite activity, so I do things like that. 😉

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So what exactly do I buy at the grocery store? Well, if you’ve been reading this blog for a little while, you may notice that I tend to eat a pretty healthy diet and I tend to eat the same meals on repeat. Exhibit A: my beloved oats with cinnamon, PB2, and coconut oil, and my egg white omelette also cooked in coconut oil with spinach and cheese. And ketchup. We can’t forget the ketchup. 🙂

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So it may not LOOK like I need to buy much at the store, but every time I shop, I wonder if the cashier knows that I live alone or wonders if I’m feeding a family of four. Haha! My roommate and I don’t share food (except for maybe condiments) so I really do shop for one. This makes me question how I will ACTUALLY shop for a family of four one day in the future because I feel like I eat a lot all by myself!

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A typical grocery haul looks like this. The Trader Joe’s cooler bag is fairly large, and I also have one from Whole Foods. On this particular trip, I only had one bag in my car, so I had to make do. In this area, they charge an extra five to ten cents for plastic bags. This was news to me when I moved here last year, so I am just NOW getting in the habit of remembering to take my own bags with me! Of course five or ten cents won’t break the bank, but if I have nice bags to use and I can save the environment a liiiiiittle bit, why not?! Catch me on a day when I forget my own bags and get all plastic…it’s me, my two arms, and ten bags fighting to get up the elevator. I do NOT make more than one trip. I do not. 🙂

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Back to the food! This is a pretty typical grocery haul for me:

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There are four major categories that I consider when buying food: protein, carbs, vegetables, and snacks.

– Protein –

I eat one source of protein with every meal. I have always read how important protein is in a healthy diet and I know that it is supposed to satisfy your hunger and keep you feeling full, but I really learned how to incorporate protein into every meal when I did the 21 Day Fix Extreme program. On this particular grocery trip, I bought egg whites (breakfast), a half dozen eggs (if I run out of egg whites or bake dessert), Applegate pepperoni (for snacking), yogurt (for snacking), and chicken sausage (for dinner). Often, I will have chicken or turkey in the freezer and I don’t need to buy “dinner” protein every week since I am only feeding myself, but it’s still nice to mix things up. 🙂

– Carbohydrates –

We need carbs even though there are many diets out there that tell us to avoid carbs like the plague. Carbs are one of the main nutrients that your body needs and they give you energy (source)! For a long time, I was in the school of thought that said bread and pasta and cereal and basically all carbs were the devil. There ARE some carbs that are better for you than others. For example, steel cut oats are probably a better choice than cereal. But that’s another subject for another day. 😉 My uncle delivers baked goods and supplies for a bakery in the Pittsburgh area and he always brings back big bags of steel cut oats from the one farm that he visits. In the oatmeal department, I am always stocked up! And that is my favorite breakfast, as you know. So since I don’t have to buy my oats, the carbs that I DO buy include sweet potatoes and some kind of cracker to snack on. I usually have bread or wraps in my freezer because I never go through an entire loaf or package in a week!

– Vegetables –

I always buy a bag of spinach. I use spinach in omelettes and in protein shakes. You can’t taste the spinach in either and it’s a great way to get an extra veggie in my meals! Not pictured: broccoli slaw. This is an easy topping for a spinach salad! I usually have two vegetables in the fridge to snack on: this week, I had half a bag of carrots left, so I didn’t buy those, but I did buy a cucumber. Both of those I cut/put in Ziploc bags to have ready to snack on with hummus. Also, I always buy two vegetables to choose as my side dish with dinner…here, broccoli and asparagus. I have been buying lots of zucchini this summer because it’s in season and I love using my spiralizer to make Zoodles! Zoodles are just noodles made out of zucchini. I am not going to lie to you and pretend that they taste like REAL noodles, but they are a healthy alternative. I love them, so that is why you will notice a jar of spaghetti sauce in the above photo. 🙂 My mom bought my spiralizer at Bed Bath and Beyond, but I just saw it this weekend at Marshalls if you are in the market for one!

– Snacks –

Fruit is one of my favorite snacks. I always buy bananas, but my second or sometimes third choice of fruit varies from week to week depending on the season. Watermelon won out this week! I also bought hummus, as I mentioned above, and snack packs of guacamole. This makes guac easy to pack in my lunch and makes it much more likely that I will eat the correct serving size. 😉 Give me a big container of guacamole (or salsa) and it’s all over!

This might not seem like a lot of food, but again, I am only feeding myself. Also, there are always things that you don’t have to buy every week and things left over from the week before. For example, my jar of salsa, pancake mix, frozen fruit, and snacks like pretzel thins or popcorn. Some of my favorite snacks, like Quest bars, I have to buy somewhere else because not all stores carry them. Although recently, Quest bars have been popping up in more “regular” grocery stores. This makes me happy because I’m pretty sure the guy at GNC knows my name. Hahaha

In college, I was pretty good at making one “big” meal that would last all week long. My mom used to do this often when I was younger. She would make soup or a casserole of some kind that would give us lots of leftovers. I want to get back into the routine of doing this once school starts because from my grocery trip, you can see that my meals are very predictable. That is something you kind of have to get used to when you are just buying food for yourself. Otherwise, it all goes bad! On the flip side, I personally like knowing what I’m eating for almost every meal because then I know that I am making pretty good choices most of the time. But making one big meal on Sunday to last all week would be a good way to mix it up a little bit during the week!

One last thing to share with you: I mentioned cutting up or putting vegetables in Ziplocs as soon as I buy them. I do this on purpose. When I’m starving, there is no way I have the patience to stand in the kitchen and chop something up. It sounds crazy, but it’s reality! Similarly, I have zero desire to stand in my kitchen every night and make a salad for lunch the next day. Salad is usually what I eat when I am packing lunch for work, but you can apply this technique to anything you are packing. For vegetables to snack on: decide if they are better stored in Tupperware or Ziplocs. If I’m going to eat carrots as a snack every day, they go in Ziplocs. Then I just throw an already measured bag in my lunchbox! If you’re going to cook with the vegetable, then put it in Tupperware. Now it’s just already chopped for you. 🙂 Salad making –> Set out five Tupperware containers and make your salads on Sunday night. I use spinach and broccoli slaw as my “base” in my salads. These sit in the fridge all week and I add toppings (like chicken, cheese, etc.) the night before I eat the salad. Dressing is stored in a separate tiny container so my salad isn’t soggy at lunch time.

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But the most important note of all in cutting and storing vegetables ahead of time is this: paper towels.

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Check that out! Believe it or not, paper towels are your savior. Vegetables tend to get soggy in the fridge, even if they’re in the crisp drawer in the fridge, so put a paper towel in your Tupperware or Ziploc to soak up the moisture. Take the paper towel out right before you eat that snack or salad and it will seem as fresh as the day you made it! Of course, vegetables do have a shelf life, so be mindful of that, too! The paper towel trick doesn’t make them last LONGER, but it does make them stay fresh for their designated amount of time. 🙂

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Have you ever put this much thought into your grocery shopping or food prep habits…ever?! I hope you learned a new tip or trick. 🙂

Banana Oat Cake [Amigo’s 2nd Birthday]

I like to talk food around here on Wednesdays, do I not? Well, today I’m sharing a very different kind of recipe. The kind of recipe you will want to share with your favorite four-legged friend.

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The recipe only includes ingredients that are considered “people food”, so I suppose you could try a taste, too. 😉 Our family has a Golden Retriever and my brother, Alex, has a Staffordshire Pitbull Terrier named Amigo. Yesterday, he turned 2! My mom and I looked to our friend Pinterest for dog cake inspiration. We have had lots of success with dog treats and dog cakes in the past…on my Timehop yesterday, there was a picture of Amigo celebrating his 1st birthday.

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If you’ve never baked a cake for your pup, you should give it a try! I guarantee you have all of the ingredients you need in your kitchen already.

Find the original recipe here.

Ingredients

Cake

2 bananas, mashed
4 tbsp honey
1 egg
1 cup water
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup peanut butter
1 can chicken broth

Toppings

Dog treats of choice
Peanut butter (for icing)

*Note: your dog cannot eat this in one sitting. The original recipe says it serves 24, and I don’t know about your dog, but mine doesn’t have 24 friends. 🙂

 Directions

Cook time = 1 hour @ 350*F.

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Preheat your oven to 350*F. Mash bananas and add to oats and honey mixture.

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Add peanut butter and flour to the mix and continue combining the ingredients.

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It should look something like this! Where the original recipe called for 2 cups of water, my mom decided we should add 1 cup of water and 1 can of chicken broth…for flavor. I was all for taste testing this cake until we added chicken broth. I’m sure the dogs loved the extra “flavor”…but I don’t know what I think about banana peanut butter oatmeal with chicken broth. 🙂

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Grease baking pans of your choice. You could choose one deeper dish or two smaller ones, as we did. We just had to use the hearts. 🙂

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Bake until your cake passes the toothpick test! When the toothpick comes out clean, your cake has baked all the way through. Transfer to a cooling rack and use peanut butter as your icing.

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We lined the edge with peanut butter and mini Milk Bones and then layered the two cakes!

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Then of course, you can choose to write your dog’s name on the cake and add candles. We did both. 🙂

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You should probably also sing “Happy Birthday” (and yes, Amigo is sitting on a chair)…

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…and let your dog have the first piece of cake, as is birthday custom.

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Then, he can share with his friends. 🙂 And he or she better have a lot of dog friends because you will have LOTS of leftover cake!

Obviously, we like birthdays around here. Jake (my youngest brother) joked that his birthday cake wasn’t even this nice. He was joking…and in my mom’s defense, he requested chocolate chip cookie cake, so it’s hard to make that fancy haha! Besides Amigo’s fancy fancy cake, he was spoiled with peanut butter toast for breakfast, lots of tennis ball throwing in the backyard, and presents that included a squeaky toy, which comes in second on his list of favorite toys (tennis balls take first).

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This was actually funny. The second piece of toast was for Colby and I was taking a video when we had the dogs come over to eat their breakfast. Amigo must have breathed at just the right moment because he looks like he is blowing out the candle in the video! Haha

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And here was our evening game of tennis balls. The dogs got a tennis ball gun for Christmas one year and it was the best present ever…for everyone in the family. The neon green object that I am holding is the gun. You point it at the ground and just grab the tennis ball in the very end of the gun, then pull back on the trigger and it shoots across the yard. Those tennis balls get some serious air and the dogs get so much exercise! Amigo actually really loves chasing the ball and bringing it back to you. Colby really likes getting the ball just so that Amigo can’t have it and then he never brings it back. Worst Golden Retriever ever. Hahaha

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It was getting dark, but here’s an action shot of them chasing the ball I just shot! The orange orb in the middle of this picture is the tennis ball. 😉

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Amigo turned 2, but his presents make him look like he turned 72, because he got Hip & Joint treats along with a bone and a squeaky toy. Reason: he sits like a frog 100% of the time.

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Usually, Amigo looks like this…dropping tennis balls on your lap and giving you puppy eyes so you play with him. But last night after we played in the backyard, he looked like this! We could not stop laughing at his face. He NEVER looks like this! He needed water and a nap ASAP. 🙂 Also, check out his frog legs. Haha!

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He has grown so much!

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Happy Birthday, Baby Migo. 🙂 We love you!!!

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So now that you’ve seen me be a crazy dog aunt, tell me…are you a crazy dog person, too?!

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats

When I make dessert, I like to give it to friends and family.

You might be thinking, Oh, that’s so sweet of her!

But truthfully, it’s for my own good. If I didn’t give it away, I would likely eat all of it myself. And I only have one other roommate, so I’m not exactly baking for an army at any given time. 😉

One of my favorite desserts and/or snacks is a Rice Krispy treat. When I was in elementary school, the brand actually made snack size peanut butter Rice Krispy treats with a layer of chocolate on the bottom. I am proud to say that was my breakfast many mornings before school. Ha! I haven’t seen that flavor in stores for years, so naturally when I saw Mix and Match Mama post this recipe for Peanut Butter Rice Krispies, I was excited and intrigued! I knew this would be the next dessert I whipped up.

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It all started with this jar of peanut butter last weekend. If I was already going to add peanut butter to my recipe, why not make it an even more delicious peanut butter?! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE peanut butter and salted caramel speaks to me. Have you ever had Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate? Go get one, then come back and finish reading this post. 🙂

Ingredients

Note: I followed the Original Rice Krispies Recipe found here.

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6 cups Rice Krispies
10 oz marshmallows
3 T butter
1 cup peanut butter of choice

Directions
1. Melt 3 T of butter in a large pot.
2. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
3. Remove from heat and add Rice Krispies. Stir until well coated.
4. Add 1 cup peanut butter. Stir until mixture is smooth.

Note: I recommend adding the peanut butter to the marshmallow mixture and THEN adding the Rice Krispies last. That is what I will do next time I bake these treats!

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I was on the phone with my aunt while I was making these treats so I’m just going to go ahead and tell you that yours will look different because a) I never removed the mixture from the heat and b) I added Rice Krispies before I added marshmallows. I WILL tell you that regardless of the mistakes you make while baking, your treats will be absolutely delicious. 🙂

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Press your mix into a 9×13 baking pan…or if you are me, press your mix into a large Tupperware container and a smaller square container. My friend recently moved to the area so these treats were her and her roommate’s housewarming gift. I didn’t tell her the mistakes I made in baking and she LOVED them!
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And I would like to take a moment of silence for the Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Rice Krispy treats that still exist in my kitchen. I haven’t demolished them and it’s been five whole days. Willpower, I tell ya. 😉

Happy baking!

Are you a peanut butter lover like myself?

What did you eat for breakfast as a kid?

Mashed Cauliflower Sweet Potatoes

Today is FLYING by! I can’t wait to get back into my regular schedule where my posts magically appear at 7 AM. 🙂 This is being typed in real time as I stand at my kitchen counter and watch my bed get assembled by the furniture company. I also went to work today with no makeup on because I can’t find my makeup bag. And they say moving is fun. 😉

I like to talk about what I’m eating on Wednesdays and I like to share a new recipe because 1) I love reading new recipes and 2) It forces me to get creative in the kitchen. If you’ve read this blog for more than five minutes, you know I am the self-proclaimed “five ingredients or less” queen of the kitchen. I am also the self-proclaimed “quick and easy” queen of the kitchen. This is partly because I don’t have the pantry of a professional chef and partly because I usually wait until I am hungry to start cooking. And nobody wants to cook when they are STARVING.

So today, I am sharing mashed cauliflower sweet potatoes with you. I am the kind of person who is fine eating chicken, vegetables, and a sweet potato for dinner. It might sound plain to you, but I love all of those things and cook them up pretty quickly. So in an effort to branch out of my comfort zone, while still eating my favorite foods of sweet potatoes and vegetables, Pinterest helped me find this recipe (follow me here). Isn’t it pretty?!

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Just kidding. Mine looked like this. But it was just as tasty. 🙂

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Find the original recipe here.

Ingredients

1 medium sized sweet potato
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Splash of milk
Garlic powder (to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

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Directions

– Chop your sweet potato (and cauliflower, if needed) into bite sized pieces.
– Boil sweet potato and cauliflower in one inch of water on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until tender with a fork.

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– Drain your vegetables and move them to a medium sized bowl.

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– Mash the vegetables. Add Greek yogurt, milk, and spices.

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– Serve with your main dish of choice! I chose chicken because I am predictable. 😉

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I made MANY modifications to this recipe. First, I was cooking for one, so I changed the measurements a great deal. Again, to see the original recipe, click here. I also used garlic salt in place of garlic powder and salt…mostly because I didn’t have garlic powder in my pantry. The nutrition facts on this dish were great! I entered the ingredients into MyFitnessPal and found that it was 119 calories, 0.3 g of fat, 24 g of carbs, and 4.2 g of protein for the entire serving! It was delicious and I will definitely be making this side dish again.

Time for honesty hour: I was so excited to find chopped cauliflower at the grocery store because that means less work for me in the kitchen! But then while I was trying to open the bag, this happened.

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Picture yourself cooking with a five-year-old who has no attention span and creates a mess. That’s me. Hahaha! I try to clean as I go, but then things like this happen. I was honestly picking the tiny pieces out of the burners on my stove BY HAND! So share with me: are you a master chef or are you a little bit disastrous like me? I would love to know! 🙂

Happy cooking!

Previous cauliflower recipes:
Vanilla Pound Cake

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

We’re baking on the blog today. And my favorite part of baking is licking the spoon. 🙂
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The next best thing besides licking the spoon is the flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter. And the next best thing after that is a peanut butter cup that is only 25 calories. Nope, not too good to be true! It also follows my personal kitchen rule of 5 ingredients or less. 😉

Find the original recipe here.

Ingredients

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Chocolate Layer
1/4 c unsweetened almond milk (or skim milk) –> Cashew milk worked well here too!
1/4 c plain low fat Greek yogurt
1/4 c + 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T baking Stevia (or 2 T sweetener of choice)

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Peanut Butter Layer
1/4 c peanut flour (or PB2)
1/4 c + 1 T water
1 T baking Stevia

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Directions

1. Locate two small bowls. Combine ingredients for the chocolate layer in one bowl and combine ingredients for the peanut butter layer in the second bowl.

2. Mix each bowl until ingredients are well combined. The consistency should creamy.
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3. Fill a mini muffin tin with muffin/cupcake liners. I only had the larger size, so I cut parchment paper to fit in the smaller sections of the muffin tin. Pour 1 teaspoon of chocolate on the bottom, 1 teaspoon of peanut butter in the middle, and 1 teaspoon of chocolate on the top.

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Or if you’re like me, don’t measure your ingredients and just pour chocolate/peanut butter/chocolate until the wrapper is full. 😉

4. Freeze for 1-2 hours.

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These peanut butter cups must be stored in the freezer, so take one out about 5-10 minutes before you want to eat it so it can thaw a bit!

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Enjoy! 🙂

Pancake Party

My love for pancakes and waffles knows no bounds. When I was younger, friends who slept over would always get so excited for breakfast because my mom was known for doing something like this:

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Pancakes are a fun breakfast to begin with…but when they spell your name?! The best!

The love for any breakfast dish with syrup (pronounced seer-up;)) continued in college where, freshman year, I was the queen of Belgium waffles on Sunday mornings. After struggling with my weight and an “I-can’t-eat-that” attitude, I brought the pancakes and waffles back into my breakfast rotation…but not without some healthy modifications first. 😉 That’s not to say I don’t enjoy sugar-filled pancakes or waffles if I’m out at a restaurant, but when I cook for myself, I try to make as many healthy modifications as possible!

Today, I have four pancake options to share with you. Two that you can buy at the store and simply add water, and two that require a little more work. All four are worth it. 🙂

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If you wear this when you eat pancakes, it makes it all better. 🙂

Store Bought Options

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The first is P28 Pancake Mix. I purchased mine at Wegmans, but I will probably order my next container from Amazon or the P28 website. You have your choice of buttermilk buckwheat or white chocolate. Can you guess which flavor I purchased?! I am a fan of this brand because it is high in protein and low in sugar. Protein is good for you and it makes you feel “full”, which I need because I am not afraid to ask for seconds or thirds. Ha! It is a little pricier than your average pancake mix, but I think it is worth it because it is not something I cook every day and I am only cooking for one. All you have to do is add water to this mix and you have the perfect pancake batter. How easy is that?!

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The second is Kodiak Cakes Flapjack and Waffle Mix. I found it at Target and not only is the price point much better, but you get more of the powdered mix! Nutritionally, this brand doesn’t have as much protein as P28, so if that’s what you are thinking about when you purchase, I would go with P28. Flavor choices: whole wheat oat and honey or buttermilk and honey, which is the one I chose! Combine mix with water and you are good to go. These were also delicious!

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Now, it’s time for some recipes! One I have made before and it is so good, but the second was brand new to me and a little unique. You’ll see what I mean!

Egg White Oatmeal Protein Pancake
*Original recipe here.

Ingredients

1 c liquid egg whites
1/3 c oats
1 packet sweetener of choice (I used Truvia)
Cinnamon (to taste)

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Directions

1. Grease and heat pan (I used coconut oil).
2. Combine egg whites, oats, sweetener, and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix well.
*I have found the oats tend to “sink” and the cinnamon tends to “rise” or stay on the surface of your mixture. As long as you combine the ingredients and stir, I think it works well!
3. Pour mixture into frying pan.
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4. Cook until slightly browned on both sides!
*I use a utensil to even spread the oats around once the mixture is in the pan.IMG_9322

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Enjoy with fruit preserves or syrup! I first saw this recipe on Julie’s blog, Peanut Butter Fingers, and I have made it several times in the past few years. It’s always a good one! It’s the perfect balance of protein and carbs…but Julie once made this pancake and included spinach to get some veggies in with her breakfast. I’ve tried it this way too…it makes your pancake green, but I promise if you can look past the color, you can’t taste it! 🙂

Now for the unique pancake recipe…this was an interesting one to make! On Pinterest (follow me here), there are a ton of “healthy” pancake recipes using just a banana and eggs. I have made this recipe before, and I have to be honest, while it was tasty, it did nothing to fill me up. I hoped that swapping a banana for a sweet potato would do the trick and keep the hunger pains away!

Easy Sweet Potato Pancakes
*Original recipe here.

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 medium sweet potato
Cinnamon (to taste)
Honey (to taste)

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Directions

1. Make a baked potato. I poked holes in my sweet potato and put it in the microwave for 4 minutes. Time may vary for you, and you might have another preference about how to cook the potato.

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2. Slice your baked sweet potato and use a fork to scrape out the mashed potato into a bowl.

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3. Add 1 egg at a time and start to mix your “batter”. Once the sweet potato and eggs are combined, add cinnamon and honey to your liking. This adds some sweetness to the savory flavor!

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4. Grease and heat a frying pan and pour batter, just as you would with regular pancakes!

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5. Add your toppings of choice. I chose syrup!

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The sweet potato pancakes are not as sweet as say, my white chocolate P28 pancakes, but they have a great flavor and I didn’t feel like I was eating a sweet potato! Give them a try. 🙂

– Are you a breakfast person?

– Pancakes or waffles?

Summer Broccoli Salad

If I had to choose one word to describe me in the kitchen, it would be simple. I don’t like to mess with a bunch of ingredients and this sometimes means that when reading a recipe, I skip out on seasonings or other flavors because I don’t feel like it’s a necessary addition. I’m pretty sure that goes against every chef’s philosophy, ever. They love their flavors!

I love vegetables and I have a side with almost every meal. However, because I am so “simple”, I often steam my vegetables in coconut oil or…sigh…nothing. Hot water and maybe some pepper or red pepper flakes. Plain is just a-okay with me! Maybe I will add some hot sauce. In any case, I don’t go above and beyond to dress up my vegetables. After all, I am only cooking for one and if I like them plain, why not eat them that way, too?

On Thursday nights, my roommate and I take turns cooking dinner for each other. Sometimes we end up eating together on other nights of the week, but we usually just cook for ourselves and happen to eat at the same time. Setting aside one night a week to eat together makes me 1) be more intentional about spending time with my roommate and 2) branch out of my normal eating habits. I can’t very well serve her plain, boring veggies, can I?!

Last week was probably our last dinner together as roommates! She is in Israel right now on a trip and I am going on vacation and moving to Virginia pretty close to the time she gets back. For our “last supper”, I had turkey burgers and broccoli in mind. But, I decided to dress up that side of broccoli, so Pinterest came to the rescue. 🙂 I have tasted broccoli salads that incorporate bacon before, but I am not a huge bacon fan, so I loved that this recipe had some other “extras”. Bacon is a popular broccoli salad ingredient, though!

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Original recipe here.

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Add balsamic vinegar and honey to this photo and you have your complete list of ingredients. 😉 The outtakes I have from my past few blog recipes all have beautifully arranged ingredients and then I never ended up posting the picture because I always forget to set out SOMETHING! Here, you get what you get. Just don’t forget balsamic vinegar and honey!

Ingredients

8-10 cups chopped broccoli
2/3 cup smoked almonds, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
12 oz fat free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T honey
2 t onion powder
2 t sea salt
Black pepper (to taste)

Directions

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This recipe was fun to make because it required no cooking…just lots of chopping. My Slap Chop is still my favorite kitchen tool for chopping things like almonds! Chop and add together dry ingredients: broccoli, almonds, cranberries, and cheese.

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In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, vinegar, honey, onion powder, salt and pepper.

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Add your “dressing” to the dry ingredients and mix evenly.

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Now you are ready to serve! It tastes even better after its been in the fridge all night. Yay for leftovers! Enjoy. 🙂

– What’s your favorite vegetable?

– Have you ever had broccoli salad?

Vanilla Pound Cake

When is the last time you ate cauliflower for dessert?

No?

Just me?

Well, your answer to that question is about to change because I have a recipe for you that is filled with totally random, yet nutritious ingredients! And you will be able to say that you ate and enjoyed cauliflower for dessert. 😉 This weekend, I was craving something sweet, and while I can’t say I have ever eaten pound cake in the past, Pinterest came to the rescue here. I wasn’t sure how the combination of these ingredients would turn out, but aren’t the Pinterest “fails” just as much fun as the Pinterest successes?! I think so! Ultimately, this Vanilla Pound Cake was easy to make, required few ingredients (my kitchen rule of thumb!) and tasted delicious!

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Original recipe here.

Ingredients

1/2 cup steamed cauliflower
1/2 cup egg whites
1 cup vanilla protein powder
2 eggs
4 drops vanilla extract
Cinnamon (to taste)

How To

First, preheat your oven to 325*. Steam your cauliflower (I used the microwave) and get your electric mixer or blender ready to go!

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Combine eggs, egg whites, and vanilla in a bowl. Add steamed cauliflower, then add protein powder. Finally, drop in some vanilla extract and cinnamon!

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I used my hand mixer and it worked really well! One thing to note: the “batter” is very thin in consistency at this stage of cooking. I kept checking the recipe to make sure I didn’t forget anything, but I didn’t, and you didn’t either! It is just very thin. Grease your bread pan (I used Coconut Spray Oil) and set your timer for 30 to 40 minutes.

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At the 30 minute mark, start checking your pound cake. The top should be slightly browned and the consistency should be much more firm to the touch.

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I was able to slice this loaf into 8 pieces, and using MyFitnessPal, I found that each piece of pound cake was about 75 calories! I ate it plain, but you could add honey for a touch of sweetness, too. Word to the wonderers: you cannot taste the cauliflower. 😉

Enjoy!

– Do you like cauliflower?

– Have you ever tasted pound cake?