Keep the Holiday Spirit Alive with This Signature Drink!

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We love soaking up as much holiday spirit as humanly possible! That’s why we’re keeping the spirit alive with this delicious eggnog drink. While some consider eggnog more of a Christmas beverage, we think that you can (and should) enjoy it all winter long! That being said, we love this drink and it’s perfect for large gatherings -- think New Years Eve and beyond. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Stout Eggnog

  • 3 quarts Eggnog

  • 1 quart Chocolate Stout (we recommend Samuel Smith)

  • ¼ cup Chocolate Syrup, or to taste

  • 6 oz Bourbon

  • Chocolate shavings for garnish

If you’re looking to go really fancy, try making your own eggnog instead of using store bought! We love this recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch! Cheers!

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 Funky with These S'mores Twists!

S’mores are a traditional staple of summertime. You can never go wrong with the choice to make some, but it never hurts to experiment with different options. Here’s some new twists on the classic s’more!

Peanut Butter Cup S’more 

Instead of using chocolate between your marshmallow and graham crackers, put a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup instead!


Chocolate Chip Cookie S’more 

Use some yummy chocolate chip cookies to hold your s’more together!


Caramel Apple S’more 

For a “healthier” alternative, use two cored thinly cut Granny Smith apples slices in the place of graham crackers. Take one slice, add your chocolate, marshmallows, and drizzle a bit caramel before placing the second apple slice on top!

If you have a little more time on your hands and want to branch out more, here are some other s’more inspired treats!


S’more Pizza

Mind blown, right? For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cup mini marshmallows

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. In bowl mix all your dry ingredients.

In mixer, mix the butter and sugars until they are well incorporated (around 2 minutes). Next, add the vanilla and egg into the mixer and mix them well. Scrape down sides of the mixer, then add in dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined. Take this dough out of the mixer and place it onto a pizza pan and press it out. Bake this for 12 minutes until it’s golden brown. After it’s done, sprinkle the chocolate chips on the hot crust and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

In the meantime turn the oven to broil. Then spread melted chocolate chips over crust like a sauce and top with marshmallows. Finally, broil for 5 mins until marshmallows are just browned. Make sure it eat it right away and enjoy! 

S’mores Bark

Who said bark is just for the wintertime? For this you’ll need melted milk chocolate, melted white chocolate, graham crackers, mini marshmallows, and chocolate bars!

Start by placing wax paper in a pan, make sure it completely covers the bottom and sides of the pan. Next, pour in the melted milk chocolate and tilt the pan around to make sure it covers the whole bottom. Then drizzle a bit of the melted white chocolate on top and use a toothpick to marble the two chocolates together. Break off bits of graham crackers and scatter it throughout the chocolate. Repeat this step with the mini marshmallows and bits of chocolate bar. Refrigerate this for an hour and you’re bark is ready!

Cocktails To Beat The Summer Heat

IMAGE SOURCE: @TWOLOVESSTUDIO

IMAGE SOURCE: @TWOLOVESSTUDIO

With July just around the corner, the dreaded summer heat and humidity is about to reach an all time high. To help you cool down, we are sharing some of the tastiest and thirst quenching summer cocktail recipes we know. So sit back, relax, and sip!


Lemon Thyme Bourbon Tonics

IMAGE SOURCE: JUNIPER RYE

IMAGE SOURCE: JUNIPER RYE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 oz. bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. Amontillado sherry
  • 3/4 oz. Thyme & Honey Syrup
  • 1/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 dash bitters
  • 1 large piece fresh thyme (with at least 5 branches)
  • 1 cup hot water (near simmering temperature)
  • 1 cup honey
  • Garnish – lemon wedges/thyme sprigs

For the syrup: In a small bowl, combine the thyme and hot water and let stand for 15 minutes. Next, stir in the honey until it dissolves completely. Let stand 5 minutes, then remove the sprigs of thyme. The remaining mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.

For the cocktail: With the syrup prepared, add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and lemon wedge.


Guava Kombucha Cocktail

IMAGE SOURCE: @THEGAYANDTHEGAL

IMAGE SOURCE: @THEGAYANDTHEGAL

INGREDIENTS:

  • fresh ginger
  • 1 shot vodka
  • guava kombucha

For the cocktail: Muddle ginger with a mortar and pestle. Add to glass with 1 shot of your choice vodka and fill with guava kombucha. Enjoy!


Blood Orange Rose Floats

IMAGE SOURCE: GREEN WEDDING SHOES

IMAGE SOURCE: GREEN WEDDING SHOES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bottle of Sparkling Rosé
  • blood orange gelato, such as Talenti
  • Fresh Rosemary

For the float: Add a few scoops of gelato in your glass. Then add the sparkling Rose to the glass. Top with a sprig of rosemary and you are good to go!


Blue Margarita

IMAGE SOURCE: @COCKTAILSNG

IMAGE SOURCE: @COCKTAILSNG

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup tequila
  • 1/3 cup blue curacao
  • 1/3 cup triple sec
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, about 8 limes
  • crushed ice

For the cocktail: In a pitcher combine all ingredients, but the ice, and mix until combines. Add ice to individual glasses and pour drinks over ice!


Spiked Lavender Lemonade

IMAGE SOURCE: CITRUS ON MAIN

IMAGE SOURCE: CITRUS ON MAIN

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces Sonoma Syrup Co. lavender simple syrup
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • Lemon wheels and a sprig of fresh lavender for garnish (optional)

For the cocktail: Fill a highball (or large rocks) glass with ice. If using garnishes, tuck lemon wheels into the sides of the glass using the ice to hold them in place. Add vodka, lavender simple syrup and lemon juice to glass and stir gently. Top with club soda and garnish with fresh lavender sprig, if desired.


Coconut Biscotti Is The Yummy Treat You Need With Your Morning Coffee

IMAGE SOURCE: KING ARTHUR FLOUR

IMAGE SOURCE: KING ARTHUR FLOUR

Almost everyone has one or two cups of coffee in the morning. Sometimes we pair it with a croissant or scone, other times a classic donut. But, what about biscotti?! Biscotti is a delicious sweet cookie that is breakfast approved, and tastes even better dipped in your morning caffeine boost. We want to share with you an amazing coconut biscotti recipe that is sure to replace any other breakfast desserts you treat yourself to. 


Recipe Courtesy of King Arthur Flour. Recipe yields 30-40 biscotti.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one large (about 18" x 13") baking sheet.
  2. Combine the 1/2 cup sifted coconut flour and 1 1/2 cups AP flour, and 1/2 cup toasted shredded or flaked coconut (optional), stirring until well blended. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together 6 tbsp. butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 salt, 2 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 tsp. coconut extract or flavor (optional), and 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  4. Beat in 3 large eggs until well incorporated. The batter will slightly curdled, but it will smooth out when you add the flours.
  5. With your mixer running at low speed, add the flours and coconut, stirring until blended and the dough is sticky.
  6. Plop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Divide it in half, and shape it into two 9 1/2" x 2" logs, about 3/4" tall. Straighten the logs, and smooth their tops and sides; a wet spatula or wet bowl scraper works well here. Sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired, pressing it in gently.
  7. Bake the dough for 25 minutes, then remove it from the oven.
  8. Using a spray bottle filled with room-temperature water, lightly but thoroughly spritz the logs, making sure to cover the sides as well as the top. Softening the crust just this little bit will make slicing the biscotti much easier. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
  9. Wait 5 minutes, then use a sharp chef's knife or serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1/2" to 3/4" slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal, for fewer, longer biscotti. As you're slicing, be sure to cut straight up and down, perpendicular to the pan; if you cut unevenly, biscotti may be thicker at the top than the bottom, and they'll topple over during their second bake.
  10. Set the biscotti on edge on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, until they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden. They'll still feel a tiny bit moist in the very center, if you break off a piece; but they'll continue to dry out as they cool.
  11. Remove the biscotti from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool. Store airtight at room temperature; they'll stay good for weeks.

You Can't Eat Just One Of These Yummy Lemon Squares

IMAGE SOURCE: @CHATELAINEMAG

IMAGE SOURCE: @CHATELAINEMAG

These sweet and zesty lemon bars are an all time favorite summer dessert for us at Parsimony Inspired and we are so excited to share the recipe with you! With a quick prep time you can make them in the morning, then enjoy after they have set when you come home from work or running errands. If sharing with friends be prepared to make 2 batches; every crumb will be gone before you know it!


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • pinch of salt
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil (by placing a sheet length and width wise to create a "sling" so the bars can easily be pulled out), and lightly coat with veggie spray.

Process the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Sprinkle 8 tbsp. of butter over the top and pulse until the mixture is pale and resembles course cornmeal, about 8 pulses.

Sprinkle mixture into prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer using your fingers. Bake until the crust starts to brown, about 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, whisk the yolks and whole eggs together in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Whisk in the granulated sugar until combined, then whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Add the remaining 4 tbsp. butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thee mixture thickens slightly and registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.

Strain the mixture immediately into a nonreactive bowls and stir in the cream. Pour the warm lemon curd over the hot crust. Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center jiggles slightly when shaken, 10-15 minutes.

Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours, before removing the bars from the pan using the foil (lift up the edges of the foil) and cutting into squares. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.


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 Healthier Alternatives To Your Favorite Foods

IMAGE SOURCE: @LIFE.OF.CHA

IMAGE SOURCE: @LIFE.OF.CHA

Our favorite foods tend to be full of unhealthy sugars, fats, and carbs, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are tons of healthier alternatives to our favorite foods that taste as good and are full of the nutrients we need. To help you lead a healthier lifestyle, we are sharing our favorite alternatives to otherwise unhealthy foods that you can implement into your every day routine!


Pasta Alternatives

Most pastas are made of starchy grains with low nutrition value, and it takes more than the recommended portion size to fill you up. So, to make sure you are eating more vitamins and minerals, we love using zoodles (zucchini noodles), spiraled beets, or spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Zucchini is full of vitamins A and C, is low in calories, and has many essential minerals. Beets are full of folate and vitamin C, and is known for its anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. Spaghetti squash is high in Vitamins A and B-6 and is very low in carbs and calories. Click the images below for our favorite zoodle, beet spiral, and spaghetti squash recipes!


Red & Fatty Meat Alternatives

Red meats are high in iron, B-12, and protein; however, too much red meat can lead to heart disease because of it's fat high content. To help reduce the amount of red meat you consume, we have come up with three delicious alternatives! Tofu is a staple in the vegetarian world. Tofu is made of soybeans and contains all the essential amino acids you need! It soaks up the flavors of sauces extremely well and can be used in many different ways. Jackfruit is used heavily in vegan recipes and is native to India. It's texture is similar to cooked chicken, and is readily available in canned form. Fish is our favorite alternative to red meat for those of you who are not vegetarian. Fish is full of healthy fats, is tasty, and there are so many different kinds and ways to prepare it!


Sugar & Sweetener Alternatives

Refined sugars, such as sugar from cane or sugar beets, are high in calories and can become extremely addictive. Limiting the amounts of refined sugars we eat can help boost metabolism, burn more fat, and lower risk of sugar related diseases like diabetes. Our favorite alternatives to refined sugars are natural sugars such as coconut sugar, stevia, maple syrup, honey, or dates! Next time you reach for a sugar packet to put in your coffee, try adding coconut sugar or honey instead. Dates are perfect for sweetening soups and sauces, just puree a few and add to your recipe while cooking!


Rice Alternatives

Like pasta, rice is healthy when eaten in correct portion sizes, but in excess is high in calories and carbohydrates. To add more nutrition to your rice-based dishes, we want to introduce you to the growingly popular alternatives: cauliflower rice and quinoa. Cauliflower rice can be tedious to make at home, so for on the go or quick meals pick up a bag of frozen cauliflower rice at your local grocery store. Cauliflower rice is great at absorbing liquids such as curry and adds lots of nutrients to your dish like vitamin C and K, folate, and omega-3. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and fiber. It comes in a few varieties and colors and is super easy to make. You can even make a large batch and store in the refrigerator!


Those Pesky Sweet Cravings Alternatives

Sweet cravings are wrench in anyone's healthy lifestyle. We all get them and we all cave. To help you make healthier decisions when it comes to your sweet cravings, we have a few alternatives that will kick cravings in the butt! Pickles, believe it or not, are a great craving quencher. Pickles, an other fermented foods, increase the immune system which helps regulate appetite and reduce sugar cravings. And at 5 calories per pickle, you can manage to indulge a little. Try to buy pickles with little added sugars (look near the deli refrigerators instead of down the condiment aisle). Fruit is an obvious alternative, because it is naturally sweet (think natural sugars over processed sugars), and is full of antioxidants and vitamins. If you want chocolate, try eating a few pieces of dark chocolate. Most dark chocolate bars have yummy and healthier flavor options such as orange or ginger! Got soda cravings? Try zero calorie seltzers. Seltzers satisfy your carbonation craving and come in a variety of sweet, but no sugar added, flavors.


Spoil Your Mom with This Delish Mother's Day Brunch Line Up

It’s hard to believe that Mother’s Day is right around the corner! While everyone celebrates in different ways, we love to host a good brunch. After all, who doesn’t love brunch?! This year, we’re serving up a nice variety of sweet and savory, with Lemonade and Blood Orange Mimosas, a Parfait Bar, a Frittata Bar, and some sweet Blueberry Cake to finish things off.

Blood Orange Mimosas

Image & Recipe Source: Sugar and Charm

Image & Recipe Source: Sugar and Charm

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar or a sugar substitute (You can add more or less depending on how you like it!)

  • 6 cups water

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blood orange juice

How to Make it:

Pour equal parts blood orange lemonade and Champagne into each glass. Garnish with a blood orange slice.


Your Parfait Bar

Image Source: Mols Designs

Image Source: Mols Designs

What You’ll Need:

  • Various fruits, our picks are:
    • Strawberries
    • Blueberries
    • Raspberries
    • Blackberries
    • Bananas
    • Cherries
  • Granola
  • Yogurt (flavor and kind of your choosing)

How to Make it:

Provide bowls and spoons for everyone and let them go to town layering their yogurt and fruit for a light and healthy option.


Your Frittata Bar

Image & Recipe Source: Family Fresh Meals

Image & Recipe Source: Family Fresh Meals

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 eggs (or for a lighter version – 6 eggs and 4 egg whites)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (optional)
  • A variety of add-ins such as:
    • Diced Bacon
    • Sausage
    • Broccoli
    • Peppers
    • Spinach
    • Cheese
    • Tomatoes
    • Onions
  • Non-stick Spray

How to Make Them:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prep any add-ins you are going to use. Make sure all meat is already cooked. It’s also best to cut things into small pieces so you don’t have huge chunks sitting in your frittata.
  2. Whisk together eggs, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray. Fill each muffin tin 2/3 the way full with beaten eggs. Add in a couple teaspoons of your favorite add-ins.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 20 - 22 minutes (check them at 20 and then keep an eye on them) The frittatas should look puffed up, but set in the middle. Once you remove them from the oven to cool, they will flatten out.
  5. Note: These can be stored in the fridge for 3 days to be reheated for breakfast later in the week!

Your Blueberry Cake

What You’ll Need:

Image & Recipe Source: A Spicy Perspective

Image & Recipe Source: A Spicy Perspective

For the Blueberry Cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose Gold Medal Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 pound fresh blueberries

For the Buttermilk Glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

For the Oat Crumble Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Image & Recipe Source: A Spicy Perspective

Image & Recipe Source: A Spicy Perspective

How to Make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a standard 12-cup bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with flour.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla.

  3. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour and buttermilk, alternating each, until all incorporated.

  4. Finally beat in the lemon zest before turning the mixer off. Use a spoon the stir in half the blueberries.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and sprinkle the remaining blueberries over the top. Bake for 60-80 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. DO NOT try flipping the cake any earlier than 20 minutes, or the cake will stick. Promise! Waiting 30+ minutes is safer.

  7. Once the cake is cooling on the rack, mix the oat crumble. Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and pinch with your fingers to blend the ingredients and break into small pieces.

  8. Sprinkle the mixture over a baking sheet and bake in the heated oven for 5-10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet before proceeding.

  9. For the glaze, whisk the buttermilk and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and immediately sprinkle the oat crumble over the top of the cake before the glaze dries.

Your New Go-To Spring Dinner Recipe!

IMAGE SOURCE: HALF BAKED HARVEST

IMAGE SOURCE: HALF BAKED HARVEST

With the change from winter to spring, our pantries change too! Say goodbye to hearty soups and hello to fresh spring veggies and light sauces. To start your spring off right, we wanted to share a light, but filling, dinner recipe you and your family will love. It's time to make Lemon Ricotta Asparagus Ravioli with a white wine sauce your go-to spring dinner!

(recipe and images courtesy of Half Baked Harvest)


Total Time: 1 hour; Servings: 6

INGREDIENTS

For the White Wine Butter Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • pinch of crushed red pepper

For the Pasta:

  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, shelled
  • juice + zest of 2 lemons
  • kosher salt + pepper
  • 40-50 circle or square wonton wrappers

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and blanch until just tender, about 1-2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

2. In a food processor, combine 3/4 of the asparagus (reserve the remaining for serving), the basil, ricotta, parmesan, pistachios, lemon zest and juice, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Pulse until combined and smooth.

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3. Lay out about 6 wrappers. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of each wrapper. Brush the edges with water. Lay a second wrapper on top of each ravioli. Press down the edges to seal, pressing out all the air. Crimp the edges with a fork. Alternately you can create triangles with the square wrappers if desired. Be sure to keep the ravioli's covered as you work to prevent them from drying out.

3.jpg

4. To make the butter sauce. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chives and thyme and cook 30 seconds to a minute or until fragrant. Pour in the wine and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly.

4.jpg

5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the ravioli in batches for 1-2 minutes or until they float. Drain.

6. Divide the ravioli among bowls and ladle the sauce over the ravioli. Top with the remaining asparagus!

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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

chzcake 3.jpg

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!

chzcake 2.jpg

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!

chzcake 1.jpg

Recipe & Image Source: The Kitchy Kitchen


Spanish Paella is the Valentine's Day Dinner You'll Love

IMAGE SOURCE: STYLE ME PRETTY

IMAGE SOURCE: STYLE ME PRETTY

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and you probably have no idea what you and your man should do for dinner. This year, opt for a satisfying and intimate meal at home instead of a fancy and overpriced restaurant! We wanted to stay away from the stereotypical spaghetti and meatballs or steak dinner, so we chose a dinner that is just as delicious and rich-- paella! This Spanish paella dish is spicy, flavorful, and bold! Cook it together or surprise him with a romantic dinner, either way you both will love it! (Recipe adapted from Food Network)


RECIPE

Servings: 2

Total Time: 2.5 hours

Combine ½ tbsp. smoked paprika and 1 tsp. oregano in a small bowl. Rub over 1 lb. of cubed chicken breast and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

IMAGE SOURCE: SAINSBURY'S

IMAGE SOURCE: SAINSBURY'S

Heat 4 tbsp. oil in a paella pan, or large skillet, over medium heat, and sauté 1 chorizo sausage (thickly sliced) until browned. Remove and reserve. Add the marinated chicken, a pinch of salt and pepper, and brown until cooked through. Remove and reserve. In the same pan sauté ½  diced yellow onion, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, and a bunch of chopped fresh parsley for 2-3 minutes.

Add ½ can (7-8 oz.) crushed tomatoes and 2 tsp. smoked paprika to the skillet and cook until the flavors combine. Fold in 1 ½ cup short grain Spanish rice and add 2 cups broth (chicken or lobster are our choices!) and juice from half a lemon; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. If the rice has absorbed the liquid too quickly feel free to add more broth ¼ cup at a time.

Add the chicken, chorizo, and a generous pinch of saffron threads to the skillet. Tuck ½ dozen scrubbed mussels and ½ lb. jumbo peeled shrimp into the rice mixture and let simmer until the mussels open and the shrimp cook (about 5 minutes). Add ¼ cup sweet peas (frozen and thawed) to the skillet, mix, and take off the heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

Add more salt, pepper, fresh parsley, and lemon juice to taste! Enjoy!