Never Miss Another Breakfast with These On the Go Recipes!

Breakfast is one of the most skipped meals of the day. Sometimes you’re running late, or you have nothing to make, or any numbers of excuses. Luckily, there are tons of amazing on the go recipes you can prep over the weekend and have ready to go for your hectic mornings! A little bit of prep will make all the difference through the week. Start your day with something yummy and avoid that mid-morning hanger. Here are some of our favorites:

Image Source: The Wholesome Dish

Image Source: The Wholesome Dish

Baked Oatmeal

Via The Wholesome Dish

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • ¼ cups of canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups of your choice of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
  • Optional: toppings of nuts, chocolate chips, fruit, etc.

Start by preheating your oven to 350° and line a muffin tin with muffin liners. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, brown sugar, and oil together until the sugar dissolves. Then add the milk, cinnamon,  vanilla, applesauce, and salt and whisk until everything is combined. Stir in the oats and baking powder. Fill each muffin cup in the muffin tin with ¼ cup of the oat mixture. If you want to add toppings, place them on top and push them into the oat mixture with a spoon. Bake for 30 minutes, let them cool for around 5 minutes and then enjoy!

Image Source: Show Me the Yummy

Image Source: Show Me the Yummy

Grab-N-Go Omelettes

Via Show Me the Yummy

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup red pepper measured after chopping
  • 1 cup green pepper measured after chopping
  • 1 cup yellow onion measured after chopping
  • 2 cups baby spinach - roughly chopped measured/packed before chopping
  • 1 cup mushrooms measured before chopping
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  •  salt to taste
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard non stick 12-slot muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in oil, red pepper, green pepper, and onion. Saute 5-7 minutes, or until peppers are tender. Add in spinach and mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes. In the last 30 seconds, add in minced garlic. Season with salt and remove from heat. Crack eggs/egg whites into a large 4 cup measuring cup and whisk together. Stir in cooked veggies. Pour the egg/veggie mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and eggs are cooked. Cool slightly and serve immediately!

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. These may also be frozen. To reheat, pop them in the microwave until warm.

Get Your Grub on with Some Patriotic Flair This 4th of July

We’re officially less than a week away from the Fourth of July! Time to start planning and prepping for your holiday BBQ. We’ve rounded up some fun and festive treats to really embrace the patriotic spirit of the holiday and leave your guests with a smile across their faces. Bring on the stars, stripes, red, white, and blue!

Appetizers

We’re big on having a good variety for your appetizers. A little something for everyone! We love dips, fruit, veggies, the works. These firework fruit kabobs are super cute. Add a little pop to your usual chips and dip by picking tri-colored chips or even custom cutting your pita chips into stars! Swap out traditional salsa for some fun and patriotic fruit salsa instead. Pretty much put anything in stars or firework shape and you’re good to go.

Main Dishes

The star of the show (no pun intended). Spice up your usual BBQ favorites with some simple tricks! For example, we love having star shaped cheese on our burgers. It’s really easy and just adds a fun little touch of whimsy to your usual burger. Create a fun little toppings bar for your burgers and dogs. We love the idea of having tri-colored potatoes as a side dish, too! If you’re not a BBQ person, try these fun star shaped pizzas instead.

Desserts

Dessert… our favorite! There are so many things you can do for a patriotic dessert. You can pretty much dip anything in frosting and add some sprinkles to make it match the theme. Oreos are an American classic, and we love this fun twist to add a pop of color and added flavor. Once again, kabobs work for anything! Give a healthy option with a fun fruit platter and a lighter option with some multi-colored rice krispies.

Drinks

Every party needs a signature drink! When it comes to the fourth, you have plenty of options for festive drinks. Whether you opt for a sparkling sangria or some firecracker jello shots, make sure you have a non-alcoholic option too. Even if it’s something as simple as

Mango Chicken Curry Is The Perfect Summer Dish For Your Next Get Together

IMAGE SOURCE:  @CURRYMERZESZOW

IMAGE SOURCE: @CURRYMERZESZOW

If you're looking to add a little spice to your weekly dinner routine you need to try our favorite mango chicken curry recipe! The curry adds that touch of spice you crave, while cooling you down with the sweet addition of mangoes and coconut milk. Ready in only 45 minutes, this curry is perfect for those late work nights and makes plenty of leftovers for you to enjoy the rest of the week! (Recipe courtesy of Genius Kitchen)


DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a deep frying pan or Dutch oven heat 1/3 cups of vegetable or peanut oil over medium heat until hot. Add 3-4 tbsp. of red curry paste (or yellow curry paste for more spice) and 2 cloves of crushed garlic until the garlic becomes fragrant, approximately 30 seconds. 
  2. Slowly stir in 2, 14 oz. cans of full fat coconut milk and 1 cup of chicken broth. Reduce heat to simmer, add 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast (cut into bite size pieces), and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, discard the garlic. Add 1 inch of fresh ginger cut in thick slices, 1 large onion coarsely chopped, and 1 red bell pepper sliced into strips. Cook until tender, about 7 minutes.
  4. Add 1 large mango (peeled, pitted, and cut into strips), 1, 14 oz. can of straw mushrooms (drained), 6 tbsp. fish sauce, and 3 tbsp. of brown sugar.
  5. When heated through, serve over individual plates of hot rice. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

The Basic Pantry Ingredients Every Girl Must Have

IMAGE SOURE: @LITTLE_LABEL_CO

IMAGE SOURE: @LITTLE_LABEL_CO

As a boss lady, you know how to rule the workforce and let your independent flag fly, but do know how to stock your pantry for success? A boss lady should be able to do it all, including cook (even if its a simple, staple meal)! We are sharing the basic pantry ingredients your kitchen should be stocked with in order to make yummy and healthy meals at any time of day!


seasonings & dried herbs and blends

  • Seasonings: Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Dried Herbs: oregano, basil, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, ground coriander, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, nutmeg
  • Spice Blends: chili powder, curry powder, Italian seasoning
  • Extracts: vanilla

oils, vinegars, & condiments

  • Oils: canola oil, extra-virgin olive oil, toasted sesame oil
  • Vinegars: balsamic, distilled white, rice, red wine
  • Condiments: ketchup, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, low sodium soy sauce, chili paste, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce

baking goods

  • All purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cornstarch

canned & bottled goods

  • Beans: black and chickpeas
  • Tomato paste
  • Low sodium chicken or veggie stock
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Peanut butter
  • Preserves or jelly
  • Tuna
  • Olives

frozen foods

  • Veggies: broccoli, peas, corn, carrots, spinach
  • Fruit: bananas, strawberries, blueberries, peaches (any fruit mixes you like)

grains & legumes

  • Grains: bread crumbs, rice, pasta, couscous, rolled oats, quinoa
  • Legumes: lentils

produce

  • Onions: red and yellow
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Nuts and Seeds: almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds (your fave nuts and seeds!)
  • Dried Fruit: raisins, cranberries, apricots, apples (mix with nuts and seeds for quick trail mix for on the go!)

How To Create the Perfect Smoothie

IMAGE SOURCE: @SMOOTHIE_PLANET

IMAGE SOURCE: @SMOOTHIE_PLANET

Smoothies are a delicious and easy go-to snack, post workout meal, or even breakfast;  but creating a healthy and balanced smoothie can be difficult! To have a healthy smoothie, you need the perfect balance of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fats. We are going to break down what each of these are, how much you need, and what foods will help you maintain balance!


NECESSARY NUTRIENTS

VITAMINS are substances your body needs in order to grow normally. You can meet your daily vitamin requirements by simply eating vitamin rich foods! The exception is vitamin D, which you obtain from the sun! The vitamins you need are A, B (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate), C, D, E, and K. Each vitamin is responsible for different bodily functions. In a nutshell, vitamin A keeps your immune system, vision, and cellular communication healthy; vitamin B keeps your blood and genetic material healthy; vitamin C helps repair tissue, aids in the absorption of iron, and helps decrease bad cholesterol (LDL); vitamin D keeps your digestive system and skeletal system healthy; vitamin E helps boost your immune system; and vitamin K regulates blood clotting.

MINERALS are compounds found in nature required to keep the body functioning healthily. Mineral functions include, but are not limited to, bone health, heart health, muscle health, organ health, and enzyme and hormone production. There are two types of minerals: macrominerals and microminerals. Your body requires more amounts of macrominerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur) and small amounts of trace minerals (iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium).

PROTEIN is found everywhere in the body and makes up the enzymes responsible for carrying out all bodily functions. Proteins are made of amino acids (the building blocks of tissue, muscle, organs, hair, and skin, and are responsible for all metabolic functions), and amino acids are either made in the body or must be consumed. Essential amino acids are those we must consume through foods such as meat, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and grains; however, only meat contains all essential amino acids. Vegetarians must eat a variety of these other foods to get all of the amino acids they need.

FAT is essential to have a healthy body, though some fats are healthier than others. Healthy fats, or unsaturated fats, help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats can be divided into two categories: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats include both omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Both are healthy, but increasing your omega-3:omega-6 ratio is recommended. A great way to know if a fat is unsaturated is if it’s liquid at room temperature! Bad fats, or saturated fats, are found in dairy, fatty meats, coconut, palm oil, and most manufactured and packaged foods. Trans fats, another bad fat, are unsaturated fats that have been processed to behave like saturated fats. They are found in processed and packaged foods. Both of these types of fats should be avoided or eaten on occasion. Also, saturated fats are solid at room temperature!



CREATING THE PERFECT SMOOTHIE

BASE (½-1 cup) The base of your smoothie is essentially the liquid ingredient in your smoothie. Great options include 100% fruit juice, milk (regular, almond, soy, rice), coconut water, brewed tea, etc. Try to use a base with no or low sugar content. If your smoothie is too thick, try adding more base!

FRUIT (1-1½ cups) Choose complimentary fruits for both flavor and sugar content. Almost all fruits contain vitamins A-C (remember you get vitamin D from the sun!), and a mix of minerals. We add fruit to our smoothies for both yummy flavors but mostly for the vitamin content! Be cautious of the sugar content in the fruit you are adding. If using a fruit juice as a base, or fruit high in sugar (bananas, apples, pineapple), try balancing with another fruit lower in sugar such as berries! If using frozen fruit make sure there is no added sugar.

VEGGIE (1-2 cups) Veggies are the greatest source of minerals for your smoothie! Go-to veggies should be kale or spinach. Both are high in iron, calcium, and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, E, and K! Carrots, squash (butternut and pumpkin), and sweet potatoes are also amazing sources of vitamins and minerals. We love spinach in our smoothies because it is essentially flavorless compared to all of the other ingredients and blends into tiny pieces that don’t thicken up the smoothie! You can also use veggie juices (no added sugars), to smooth out your smoothie and add more flavor!

PROTEIN (varies) The amount of protein you need in your smoothie depends on why you are drinking one. If it is just a snack, you do not need more than 10 grams of protein, just enough to fill you until your next meal. If your smoothie is for breakfast you need between 15-25 grams of protein. If it is a post workout meal, your protein intake should be much higher, between 20-40 grams to help build and maintain muscle mass. Great sources of protein are cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, silken tofu (vegetarian), or protein powder. For breakfast or a snack, Greek yogurt is our protein of choice! For a post workout meal, we like using both protein powder and Greek yogurt; the yogurt plays a huge role in the smooth and thick consistency of the smoothie! Again be wary of the sugar and fat content in your protein. Choose a protein low in fat and with no added sugar.

HEALTHY FAT (varies) Healthy fats are often forgotten when making a smoothie but they are equally important as any other ingredient! Great healthy fats include ¼ avocado, 1-2 tbsp. seeds (chia, flax, hemp), or 1 tbsp. nut butter. Our favorite fat to add is chia seeds. Chia seeds are packed with omega-3’s, and are additionally full of protein, fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, and calcium!

EXTRAS (varies) Give your smoothie some extra flavor with cocoa powder (80%+ dark), extracts (vanilla, almond, mint), herbs and spices, fish oil, etc. Make sure these extras are low in sugar and only add flavor or more nutrients!


Our Favorite One Pan Dinners

IMAGE SOURCE: @DAENO_GIBBSFIT

IMAGE SOURCE: @DAENO_GIBBSFIT

The worst part about making dinner is the cleanup. Who wants to wash multiple pots and pans after cooking and eating a big meal--no one! Our favorite solution is one pan dinners! One pan dinners are exactly as they sound; your whole meal is cooked in one pan (that means only one pan, plus prep bowl/cutting board, to wash)! To start you on your one pan cooking journey, here are 4 recipes that we love--including a vegetarian option!


SHEET PAN STEAK FAJITAS

IMAGE SOURCE: NUMBER 2 PENCIL

IMAGE SOURCE: NUMBER 2 PENCIL

Preheat the oven to 450℉. In a small bowl combine 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. each of pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika, 1 tbsp. chili powder, and ½ tsp. cumin and divide the mixture in half.

In a large plastic storage bag combine 1 tbsp. olive oil and lime juice, and ½ of the spice mixture. Add a 2 lb. flank steak to the bag, shake to coat, and let sit while preparing the veggies. Slice 3 bell peppers and 1 small red onion into ¼ inch slices and add to a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and the remaining spice mixture, and turn to coat. Push the veggies to the outer edges of the pan and place the steak in the center.

Cook for 12-15 minutes, then broil on high for 2 minutes. The steak should read 145℉. Let the steak rest at room temp for 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with cilantro and fresh lime juice.

Warm tortillas in foil in the oven while the steak rests.


ONE PAN LEMON BUTTER GARLIC SHRIMP WITH ASPARAGUS

IMAGE SOURCE: CARLSBAD CRAVINGS

IMAGE SOURCE: CARLSBAD CRAVINGS

Preheat the oven to 400℉. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Add 1 lb. asparagus (ends trimmed) to the sheet and drizzle with oil. Add 1 tbsp. minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, and toss until evenly coated. Arrange asparagus in an even layer and cook for 4-6 minutes.

While the asparagus is cooking, de-vine and remove the tails from 1½ lbs. of raw shrimp. Remove the pan from the oven, push the asparagus to the side, and add the shrimp. Drizzle with olive oil; more salt, pepper, and garlic to taste;  ¼ tsp. paprika and red chili flakes; and 3 tbsp. fresh parsley. Toss until evenly coated, arrange in a single layer, and cook for 6 minutes until shrimp are just opaque. Garnish with lemon juice.


SHEET PAN CHICKEN AND ROASTED HARVEST VEGGIES

IMAGE SOURCE: FLAVOUR AND SAVOUR

IMAGE SOURCE: FLAVOUR AND SAVOUR

Preheat the oven to 425℉. In a small bowl whisk together the marinade: ¼ cup EVOO, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp. each dried thyme and red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pat 8-9 bone in, skin on, chicken thighs dry and place in a Ziplock bag. Pour in marinade, shake to mix, and set aside while preparing the veggies. Chop all veggies into uniform size: 10 baby potatoes, 1-2 medium sweet potatoes, 3 shallots, 2 zucchini, 1 honeycrisp apple (skin on).

Prepare a large sheet pan by lining with foil or spraying with cooking spray. Add veggies to the sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 tsp. each dried thyme and rosemary, and mix until evenly coated. Place chicken slices on top of the veggies and drizzle with remaining marinade. Cook for 30 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165℉. Garnish with fresh herbs.


SHEET PAN HONEY-SESAME TOFU AND GREEN BEANS

IMAGE SOURCE: KITCHN

IMAGE SOURCE: KITCHN

Preheat the oven to 400℉ and prepare a baking sheet. In a small bowl whisk 2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp. each of honey and grated fresh ginger, and 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil.

Cut 12 oz. extra firm tofu (drained and patted dry), into triangles and place in a single layer on one side of the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the soy sauce mixture and bake until golden brown on the bottom (about 12 minutes).

Flip the tofu and add 1 lb. trimmed green beans to the sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste. Return the sheet to the oven and continue to cook until the other side of the tofu is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.


Our Favorite Food Combos

IMAGE SOURCE: HALF BAKED HARVEST

IMAGE SOURCE: HALF BAKED HARVEST

There are hundreds of classic, and not so mainstreamed, food pairings we all love; and knowing some of these combinations can set you up to create amazing dishes! To help inspire you in the kitchen, we are sharing our favorite food combo recipes guaranteed to make your mouth water!


BREAKFAST COMBOS

AVOCADO & RADISHES

AVOCADO & RADISHES

SAUSAGE & SWEET POTATO

SAUSAGE & SWEET POTATO

PEANUT BUTTER & BANANAS

PEANUT BUTTER & BANANAS

EGGS & BACON

EGGS & BACON


LUNCH COMBOS

TUNA & DILL

TUNA & DILL

HAM & CHEESE

HAM & CHEESE

FISH & CHIPS

FISH & CHIPS

EGGS & BEETS

EGGS & BEETS


DINNER COMBOS

CAULIFLOWER & CURRY

CAULIFLOWER & CURRY

PORK & APPLES

PORK & APPLES

STEAK & POTATOES

STEAK & POTATOES

SALMON & PISTACHIOS

SALMON & PISTACHIOS


DESSERT COMBOS

DARK CHOCOLATE & ORANGE

DARK CHOCOLATE & ORANGE

PEACHES & CREAM

PEACHES & CREAM

MILK & COOKIES

MILK & COOKIES

STRAWBERRIES & BALSAMIC VINEGAR

STRAWBERRIES & BALSAMIC VINEGAR


Valentine's Day Dessert

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The perfect way to end your homemade Valentine’s Day dinner is, of course, a homemade dessert! We wanted to again stray from the traditional and bring you a cake that is easy to make, but also takes time and love! This New York Cheesecake with Graham Cracker/Pretzel Crust and Salted Caramel Sour Cream Top is sure to wow and satisfy!


INSTRUCTIONS

Adjust a center rack and preheat the oven to 325℉. Line the bottom of an 8” round spring form pan with parchment paper.

FOR THE CRUST Pulse enough pretzels in a food processor to get 1 cup of course pretzel crumbs and remove the pretzel crumbs. Pulse enough graham crackers in the food processor to get another cup of crumbs. Put the pretzel crumbs back into the food processor along with 12 tbsp. cold butter (chopped in tbsp. sized pieces) and ½ cup granulated sugar. We used vanilla sugar from our leftover crème brûleé recipe! Put on high until combined, about 30 seconds. Pour crust into the pan and push flat (use the bottom of a measuring cup to get the edges!). Slightly toast the crust in the oven for 10 minutes.

FOR THE FILLING While your crust is toasting, make your filling. In the food processor cream 1½ lbs. (3, 8 oz. packages) of room temperature cream cheese on high until smooth. Add ¾ cups granulated sugar and mix until combined. Slowly add your 5 eggs, one at a time, and 1 tsp. vanilla  (or ½ tsp. vanilla if using vanilla sugar) until combined. With the food processor on low, slowly pour in 1½ cups of heavy cream. This will completely fill your food processor so just be careful the lid is on tight!

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Scrape the edges of the processor to make sure there are no lumps and mix for 30 seconds more. If your filling still has lumps, strain through a wire mesh strainer. Pour the filling into the warm pan with the toasted crust. Bake for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and cool in the oven to room temperature with the oven door cracked slightly. This prevents the cheesecake from splitting. Once at room temp store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

FOR THE TOPPING To make the caramel sauce, heat 1 cup granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it turns just golden in color. Stir until all the sugar is melted and turns amber in color. Turn the heat to low and add stir in 4 oz. unsalted butter until melted. Add ¾ cup heavy cream 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt and mix until it all comes together, about 8 minutes. Don’t stop stirring! Pour the caramel sauce into a glass jar and let come to room temperature before refrigerating. It can be kept up to two weeks! When the cheesecake is ready to serve, mix ¾ cup sour cream and the salted caramel together and spread on top!

FOR THE GARNISH If you would like to garnish your cheesecake, line the top edge with pretzels! If you feel like you’re missing some color, feel free to serve with a raspberry sauce! Simply combine ½ cup sugar and 6 oz. raspberries in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the raspberries are a liquid like consistency. Mix often. Strain the raspberry mixture through a mesh strainer into a small cup or pitcher. Serve warm for a more liquid texture, or refrigerate until cool for a thicker texture!

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Recipe & Image Source: The Kitchy Kitchen


Keep Your New Year's Resolution With This Healthy Pizza Alternative!

IMAGE SOURCE: OUR BEST BITES

IMAGE SOURCE: OUR BEST BITES

Everyone love pizza, but if you have been successfully sticking to your New Year’s resolutions it probably isn’t on the menu. Lucky for you, we have a delicious healthy alternative to that pizza you are craving! This recipe uses cauliflower as a crust and yummy veggies and low fat meat as toppings! So get cooking!


CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA

FOR THE CRUST Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse the florets from 1 medium sized cauliflower in a food processor to a fine snowy powder (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Transfer the processed cauliflower to a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a clean, dry kitchen towel and allow to cool.

When cool enough to handle, wrap the cauliflower in the towel and wring out as much moisture as possible, transferring to a second towel if necessary. In a large bowl, stir together the cauliflower, ¼ cup of Parmesan, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp. of salt, 1 egg, and 1 cup of mozzarella until well combined. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and press into a 10-inch round. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

FOR THE SAUCE Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a saucepan. Add 1 large minced garlic clove and saute just until fragrant (about 20 seconds). Add in 3 cups of tomato puree; 1 tsp. each of dried oregano, basil, fennel seed, and sugar; ½ tsp. of dried thyme and salt; and ¼ tsp. of red pepper flakes. Bring to a low bubble, and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar.

CONSTRUCT THE PIZZA Ladle the sauce on to the hot pizza crust leaving ¼ inch of crust on the end. Layer the pizza with a blend of mozzarella, parmesan, and cheddar cheese. Use as much or as little as you like! To keep your pizza healthier, use low fat cheese.

Top the pizza off with your favorite veggies and low fat meat! We love bell peppers, onions, spinach, and ground turkey (cooked) or turkey pepperoni! Bake the pizza until the cheese is bubbly, about 8 minutes. Cut into 8 slices and enjoy!!

SOURCES Crust Recipe: Food Network; Sauce Recipe: Oatmeal with a Fork


We've Already Planned Your Date Night At Home Menu!

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We all love date night! We have our man to ourselves with no interruptions from the outside world. But, sometimes we are too tired, or our wallets are too thin, to have a fancy dinner at our favorite spot. Instead, try cooking together and have dinner at home where you are comfortable! Cooking is just as sexy as that new restaurant downtown! To inspire your date night, we are sharing our fish tacos with mango salsa and corn and black bean salad recipes, along with our favorite crème brûleé recipe from the Food Network! These recipes make 4 tacos and 3 crème brûleés.


FISH TACOS

Choose a white fish that flakes easily; for this recipe we chose a wild caught cod. The amount of fish you will need varies on how much fish you want in your tacos. We recommend about 1 lb.

FOR THE FISH  Preheat the oven to 350℉ and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly brush both sides of the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes until it easily flakes with a fork.

FOR THE MANGO SALSA In a medium bowl mix ¼ cup finely chopped red pepper, ¼ cup finely chopped yellow pepper, ¾ cup roughly chopped red cabbage, 1 diced mango, 1 diced tomato (seeded), ½ diced avocado, juice from half a lime, and salt, pepper, and fresh cilantro to taste.

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ASSEMBLE THE TACOS For this recipe, we used small round wheat tortillas, but feel free to use your choice of tortilla! With a cast iron skillet on low-med heat, gently toast the tortillas on each side to give some char and crunch. Place a quarter of the fish in the center of the taco and top with as much mango salsa as you like. We did not create a sauce for this recipe because the salsa brightens up the taco and we didn’t want to lose the fish flavor; however, dress up your taco any way you like!


CORN AND BLACK BEAN SALSA

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FOR THE SALSA In a cast iron skillet on medium heat, slightly char ½ cup corn (we used frozen). Once the corn starts to char, turn the heat off and add ⅓ cup of finely chopped red peppers, ½ can rinsed black beans, 1 finely chopped jalapeño, and 1 tbsp. cilantro stir in paste. Mix ingredients together and season with zest from 1 lime and salt, pepper, lime juice, and fresh cilantro to taste. Serve warm with the tacos.


CRÈME BRÛLEÉ

This delicious dessert takes half an afternoon to complete but is definitely worth it! If you don’t have a cooking torch, you can find one at your local Walmart! Vanilla sugar can be used in place of granulated sugar if on hand. If not, make your own for next time!  

FOR THE CRÈME BRÛLEÉ Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place ½ quart heavy cream and ½ vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use (such as vanilla sugar- bury the dried vanilla bean in granulated sugar in an airtight container for 2 weeks for sugar that tastes like vanilla!)

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In a medium bowl, whisk together ¼ cup sugar and 3 egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 3 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the crème brûleé is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. Remove the crème brûleé from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining ¼  cup sugar equally among the 3 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top (aim for an amber color). Allow the crème brûleé to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.


Best Activities to Fight Off the Winter Blues

IMAGE SOURCE: GAL MEETS GLAM

IMAGE SOURCE: GAL MEETS GLAM

After the excitement of the holidays disappears, we find ourselves fighting off boredom and the winter blues. It is easy to fall into a routine of watching movies on your warm and cozy couch instead of socializing and bathing in the sun (which requires you to face the freezing cold wind). To help you battle the blues, we’ve created a list of our favorite activities to boost your mood and reconnect with yourself and the world around you.


BEAUTY & HEALTH ACTIVITIES

IMAGE SOURCE: GLITTER GUIDE

IMAGE SOURCE: GLITTER GUIDE

EXERCISE Exercise is the best way to boost your mood! It has been proven that exercise can make you exponentially happier and more motivated. Go do your favorite winter outdoor activity or do a quick 10 minute workout in your home! See our fitness guide for some easy moves you can do in your living room!

TREAT YOURSELF TO A MANI-PEDI Let’s be honest, your hands and feet could use some TLC this winter. Grab a girlfriend, or enjoy some me time, and get your nails done.

GET A MASSAGE & FACIAL A massage is a sure way to make you relaxed and feeling great! Allow yourself a spa day and opt for that facial you always pass on. Your face will be glowing, and you'll have the perfect excuse to post a selfie of your beautiful self!

IMAGE SOURCE: INSTAGRAM (@DISAGNA)

IMAGE SOURCE: INSTAGRAM (@DISAGNA)

MEDITATE We cannot think of a better way to expel stress than to close your eyes and think about nothing. Go to that yoga class you haven’t    had time for, or set up a cozy spot in your home and find a class on YouTube.

SOAK UP THE SUN Bundle up, go for a walk, and get your daily dose of vitamin D. It’s a simple way to ease your bad mood and put some color on your cheeks.


ME TIME ACTIVITIES

IMAGE SOURCE: ISTOCKPHOTO/PETRUNJELA

IMAGE SOURCE: ISTOCKPHOTO/PETRUNJELA

READ A BOOK Escape the cold and windy world outside, and get lost in a book that takes you far away from your stress and problems. Your mind will feel refreshed, and you will be more willing to do your work and crush those goals with a clear head. Need a book suggestion? Try one of the National Book Award Winners from this year!

DANCE IT OUT Dance by yourself, in your bedroom, with the volume all the way up. Channel your inner Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang. Dancing is perfect for shaking away winter blues and boosting your confidence.

IMAGE SOURCE: INSTAGRAM (@AMAZING.BATHS)

IMAGE SOURCE: INSTAGRAM (@AMAZING.BATHS)

TAKE A LUXURIOUS BUBBLE BATH Buy a million scented candles, bath bombs, and oils and make yourself a luxurious bubble bath. Turn off your phone and listen to music, read a book or magazine, and sip some wine while relaxing.

REARRANGE YOUR FURNITURE Give your living space a fresh and cozy makeover. Move furniture around for some new flow or cozy up your place with a few simple but effective details like candles and blankets.


FOOD & DRINK ACTIVITIES

IMAGE SOURCE: COOK REPUBLIC

IMAGE SOURCE: COOK REPUBLIC

BAKE SOME GOODIES Bake a cake or cookies to share with your friends and family. Make something winter themed like gingerbread, snickerdoodles, or try our amazing figgy pudding recipe. Your home will smell like warm sugar and cake, yum!

COOK Cook that meal you’ve always wanted but were too afraid to try. Or make that family recipe that brings you comfort. Food is a guaranteed way to make you happy, and making something from scratch will give you a sense of pride and fulfillment.

IMAGE SOURCE: ANTRHOPOLOGIE

IMAGE SOURCE: ANTRHOPOLOGIE

GET COFFEE Try the new coffee shop down the road with a few friends. Be sure to order that extravagant drink and enjoy it!

HOST AN INTIMATE DINNER PARTY Invite a few of your closest friends over for a fancy dinner party. Cook a three course meal, set up your china that’s gathering dust, and drink champagne!


OUT ON THE TOWN ACTIVITIES

IMAGE SOURCE: STYLE ME PRETTY

IMAGE SOURCE: STYLE ME PRETTY

SIP & PAINT Sign you and a few friends up for a sip and paint class. Enjoy some good drinks and company, and be creative at the same time! It’s a great way to let your guard down and just have fun!

SEE A COMEDY SHOW Buy tickets to a comedy show in your area, or enjoy stand up at a local dive bar. Laughing is the perfect way to cheer you up, and a comedy show is much more fun than the movies.

PLAN A STAYCATION Book a hotel, grab a fancy dinner, and enjoy the night out all while staying in town. Make it a girls weekend and escape from the hectic work week or a romantic “getaway” for you and your guy.


Our Best Healthy Eating Tips to Stay on Track this Winter

PHOTO: The Modern Proper

PHOTO: The Modern Proper

Eating healthier is one of the top New Year’s resolutions on everybody’s list. So, today we are going to focus on ways to make that resolution stick! Here are our best tips on how to begin and maintain a healthy eating lifestyle!


BEFORE YOU BEGIN...

Before you start on your health food journey you should know what “healthy foods” are. The best foods for your body are natural foods such as fruits, veggies, meat, and limited natural sugars (honey, maple syrup) and grains. You should eliminate as much processed food as you can, and avoid products with MSG, carrageenan, or sulfites. Throw away all processed food when beginning your journey so you have no temptations!

Junk food and desserts should not be a common staple in your diet, treating yourself once and awhile is OK and good for your mental health. Treat yourself as a reward for finishing a big project or reaching a new goal; it should be a positive reinforcement. Never treat yourself when having a bad day or for a negative circumstance.


OUR TIPS:

  • Eat organically
  • Eat grass-fed and cage free meat/eggs/dairy
  • Buy locally from farms or markets (fresh food is good food!)
  • Meal plan for the week and stick to it
  • Meal prep
  • Always have chopped veggies and fresh fruit to snack on
  • Cook from scratch
  • Make bone broth and keep it in the freezer for quick soups or when needed in recipes
  • Invest in a few good kitchen tools (crockpot, blender, cast iron pan, veggie noodler, and knife sharpener)
  • Buy a few cookbooks and learn a few staple dishes
  • Make your own salad dressings and condiments (it’s easier than you think!)
  • Don’t be afraid to try new food
  • Learn some easy food substitutes such as coco aminos for soy sauce, olive oil for butter, zoodles or spaghetti squash for pasta, and seltzer for soda
  • Eat protein with every meal so you stay fuller longer
  • Use nuts instead of croutons in salads
  • Eat correct portion sizes
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit your juice intake, and replace juice with water infused with citrus, herbs, and fruit.
  • If you are craving something sweet eat fruit, coconut, or even pickles (yes, pickles!) instead
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Stock up your spice cabinet. It is the best way to add flavor to your food with fewer calories.
  • Learn to say no to fast food or any bad foods
  • Limit your sodium intake
  • Stock your freezer with frozen fruit and veggies! It’s great for smoothies, oatmeal, and even cooking!
  • Stock your pantry with canned fruits and veggies, as long as it is canned in its natural juices or water
  • Try to eat fish 2-3 times a week for an easy way to add omega-3 to your diet
  • Learn how to read nutrition labels
  • Use fresh herbs
PHOTO: The Glitter Guide

PHOTO: The Glitter Guide

PHOTO: The Modern Proper

PHOTO: The Modern Proper


Warm Sticky Figgy Pudding

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This holiday season we wanted to recreate a classic (and normally unfavorable) dessert into modern and delicious dish, so we are bringing you some figgy pudding! Dating back to 16th century England, figgy pudding is traditionally a cake filled with raisins, currants, and brandy! To give this dessert a modern twist, the raisins are substituted with figs and a warm sticky caramel sauce is poured over the cake to make it resemble a (bread) pudding by today's standards. This dessert is sweet, savory, and most importantly delightful!


WARM STICKY FIGGY PUDDING


Total Time: 2 hours

Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients:

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 14 tbsp. unsalted butter

For the Pudding:

  • 1 ½ cups dried & pitted dates, chopped
  • ½ cup dried figs, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 7 tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups self rising flour
  • 2 ½ oz. dark chocolate, grated
  • Butter for coating ramekins
  • Ice cream or whipped cream for garnish
  • Fresh figs, quartered for garnish
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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Add dates, dried figs, and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat and stir in baking soda. Let cool for 5 minutes, then puree in a blender.

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Fold in the four, chocolate, and pureed date mixture.

Put the mixture into  buttered ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Prepare the sauce by stirring sugar and heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated.

Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. They may be served in the ramekins or unmolded onto a serving plate. With a paring knife cut a cross into the top of the puddings for the sauce.

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Pour sauce into the cross in the center of the puddings, then pour more sauce over the puddings and allow to soak in slightly. Garnish with fresh figs, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes & Tips:

Create your own superfine sugar by placing granulated sugar in a food processor and pulsing until sugar becomes fine.

Create your own self rising flour: for each cup of flour add 1 ½ tsp. baking powder and ¼ tsp. salt and whisk until combined. For this recipe add 3 ¾ tsp. baking powder and ¾ tsp. salt to the 2 ½ cups of AP flour.

If you don’t have ramekins, you can make the puddings in a greased Bundt or muffin pan!

To add a little adult flair to your figgy pudding, add 1-2 tbsp. rum extract to your batter in the same step as adding your eggs.


Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Girls Night In Food Guide

Image Source: Inspired By This

Image Source: Inspired By This

You deserve a fun girls night in with your friends this weekend! To help your last minute planning be stress free, we’ve created a menu for the night! Complete with drinks, appetizer, dinner, and dessert, your friends will be begging you for the recipes! And each recipe takes thirty minutes or less!


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Here are two amazing drink options, one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic, so everyone can enjoy!

Apple Cider Margarita (serves 2)

For the Salted Rim: in a shallow dish mix ⅛ tsp. of each ground cinnamon and ground ginger, and ½ tsp. coarse salt. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of each glass, and turn glass upside down into the salt mixture to coat. Fill glasses with ice.

For the Margarita: add 3 oz. tequila, 2 oz. fresh lime juice, and 3 oz. of apple cider to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the glasses. Top drinks with ginger beer (about 1.5 oz. each) and garnish with apple slices!

 

Sparkling Blood Orange Mocktail (serves 2)

In a medium bowl whisk 1 cup of blood orange juice, and ½ tsp. each of ginger powder and turmeric powder.

Add ice, half of the juice mixture, and ½ cup of club soda to each glass. Add sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave) if desired.

Garnish with mint and rosemary leave, and an orange slice!


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Appetizer

These pear and prosciutto triangles with triple cream brie are the perfect appetizer. They are cheesy (yum!), sweet, savory, and finger food! (makes 9 triangles)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a non-stick surface, or the parchment paper, cut 1 sheet of thawed  puff pastry into 9 equal squares. Spread ½ tbsp. of fig jam in the center of each square, and place 1 slice of pear (cut to fit if needed) and 1 slice of prosciutto on top of the jam. Equally divide 3 oz. of Brie amongst the 9 squares, and carefully pull and fold one edge of each of the squares across to form triangles. Gently press the edges of the triangles together to seal.

Brush each triangle with the egg wash, from 1 egg, and evenly sprinkle 2 tbsp. of fresh pistachios and 2 tsp. of fresh thyme, if using, overtop. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly then drizzle with the honey. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Dinner

A light spaghetti dinner cures your carbohydrate cravings and helps you save room for dessert! This spaghetti with sun-dried tomatoes and pecorino romano is delicious and only takes 20 minutes! (serves 4) Pair it with a side caesar or caprese salad!

Instructions:

Boil a well salted pot of water. Cook 16 oz. of spaghetti slightly al dente. While the pasta cooks, start the rest of the dish. Make sure to reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water!

Place ½ cup of olive oil and 2 sliced garlic cloves in a cold skillet over low heat. Cook gently for about 5 minutes to infuse the oil with the garlic. Do not burn the garlic or your oil will taste bitter! Add 14 sliced sun-dried tomatoes to the pan with garlic and olive oil and evenly spread out tomatoes.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, along with a pinch of chili flakes, and toss to combine. Add the pasta water and increase the heat. Cook until the water is gone - about one minute. Stir in ½ cup of pecorino romano, and serve, topped with a bit more pecorino romano, black pepper, and julienned basil. Enjoy!


Dessert

Dessert is the best part of the night, and these mini cinnamon rolls will make you cry with happiness. They are cute, gooey, sweet, and only take ten minutes to make! (makes 16 mini rolls)

For the rolls: preheat the oven to 350℉. Lay out half of an 8 oz. tube of crescent roll dough (four triangles) and pinch the seams together. Flip over and repeat. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a ¼" thick square.

Brush with 1 tbsp. of melted butter and sprinkle with as much brown sugar and cinnamon as you desire. Roll into a log and cut into 8 pieces. Repeat with the other half of the dough, and place pieces into a greased non-stick mini muffin tin. Bake for about 8 minutes until the dough is slightly brown. Cool on a wire rack.

For the icing: whisk 1 tsp. maple syrup, 1 tbsp. milk, and ¾ cup powdered sugar in a bowl and drizzle over cooled mini cinnamon rolls!