Sunday, June 29, 2014

Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries

When you go to the grocery store this week, pick up a pint of blueberries. This summer time snack is low in calories, full of fiber, and will provide the extra protein that we all need throughout the day. 


Ingredients
Yogurt-I used Vanilla Greek Yogurt
Blueberries-fresh or frozen

Directions
If using fresh blueberries, wash the ones you will be using and place them on a tin foil lined plate.  

Place a toothpick through the center of each one.
(if you don't have toothpicks on hand, two forks will work)

Using the toothpick, dip the blueberries into the Greek Yogurt you will be using. Just until all the blueberries are liberally coated.

Put the blueberries back onto the plate and remove the toothpicks.

Place the plate into the freezer until the yogurt has had time to fully freeze. 

Transfer the blueberries to a resealable bag and enjoy throughout the day!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Triple Berry Banana Smoothie

The other morning I snapped a picture of my breakfast and posted it to my Twitter.  Now, I've decided to share the recipe of the smoothie I make every morning before my workout.





Ingredients 
1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries-I use strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
1/8 cup Diet V8 Juice-Berry Blend
1/4 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1 whole banana

Directions
Place all the ingredients inside of a blender.  Blend until smooth.


As you can see, I pair this with Belvita Soft Baked Mixed Berry Biscuits. I'm always full until lunch time!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Classic French Bread Pizza

Everybody loves an easy weeknight meal.  After two wonderful days with Hubby home from work, I didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  This is a recipe that I've made in the past for us, and it's been in my recipe book ever since.  

I first got the idea from The Pioneer Woman, but she loaded hers with so many different ingredients. All seemed delicious, but we only had two main ingredients in our refrigerator last night..cheese and pepperoni, for a classic pizza..but without all the fuss. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 

P.S.  The cheese portion of the loaf tastes wonderfully dipped in extra pizza sauce or ranch dressing. Yes, ranch dressing. 


Ingredients
1 loaf of french bread
1 garlic clove
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese, sliced 
1 cup mozzarealla cheese, grated
Toppings you desire-I made one half cheese, and the other pepperoni 
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
parsley 

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Peel and smash garlic. In a microwave safe dish, melt butter and garlic together.  

Slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Brush cut side of each loaf with the melted butter. 

Evenly spread 1/4 cup of pizza sauce on each loaf.  Cover with slices of cheese. Top with any toppings you desire.  Sprinkle each loaf with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese.  Garnish with parsley. 

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and bread is toasted. Slice and serve. 



Monday, June 23, 2014

Better than Panera Cinnamon Rolls

What a weekend it has been.  Saturday, I woke up early with a terrible migraine. Which meant the rest of the day was doomed for. After a morning of napping, I finally decided it was time to get ready, hoping a shower would make me feel better. But, once I started getting ready, the front office called me. Our master bathroom was flooding our downstairs neighbors.  Maintenance had to come in on their day off to determine what the problem was...I felt so bad.  When I worked, I cherished my days off.  He was awesome about it though.  Our complex is very fortunate to have great maintenance men.

Now, sometime today a plumber has to come in and fix the crack in our toilet. What a messy job. Toilets are the one thing in the entire house, I dread cleaning. Thankfully, we have a second bathroom we can use.

Sunday, Hubby went golfing early and I baked cinnamon rolls. A few weeks ago, we stopped at Panera Bread for some breakfast. I decided on a cinnamon roll...it wasn't very good. I knew I could make so much better. So I did.  Hubby and our friends approved, but you can decide for yourself. :)



Dough Ingredients
5 cups all-purpose flour-plus more for kneading
2 packages active dry yeast or 4-1/2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Filling Ingredients
5 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Icing Ingredients
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons hot water

To make dough:
In a stand mixer, mix together 1-3/4 cups flour, yeast, and salt. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat milk, water, butter, and sugar over medium heat until it reaches 120-130 degrees F.

Gently pour milk mixture into the flour mixture. Combine until smooth.

Add in the egg and 1 cup flour. Mix for another 2 minutes.

Gradually add in more flour to make soft dough.  I ended up adding only 2 cups. If you think you need more, feel free to add more.

Flour your hands and turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes.  Form the dough into a disk.

Lightly oil a glass bowl and place the dough inside.  Cover with saran wrap and a towel.  Allow to rise for 20 minutes in a warm area.

In the meantime, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Melt the butter, and set both aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Once the dough has risen, roll it out onto a floured surface.

Roll the dough out into 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Spread the butter over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture on top of the butter.

Gently start rolling the dough, jelly roll style. Making sure to keep it tight.

Pinch the seam closed.

With a non-serrated knife, and a gentle sawing motion, cut the log into even disks.  I was able to make 12 cinnamon rolls.

Place rolls on two greased baking sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, combine all the ingredients for the icing. Drizzle over the cinnamons rolls once they come out of the oven.

Enjoy!










Saturday, June 21, 2014

Angel Hair Pasta in White Wine Sauce


Ingredients
4 oz Angel Hair Pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon parsley
pepper to taste

Directions
Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and set off to the side.

In a saucepan over medium high heat, heat oil and butter for 2-3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low. Add flour to the melted butter and oil.  Stir until a roux forms.  Cook for 1-2 minutes so you aren't left with a strong flour taste. 

Carefully pour in the wine and whisk until the sauce begins to thicken.  Add in parmesan cheese, parsley and pepper.  Cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add in pasta and toss to coat.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Chocolate S'more Cupcakes


Ingredients
1 box of Devils Food Cake, plus the ingredients to make it
marshmallows
graham crackers

Directions
Bake cupcakes according to package directions.

Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, place one on a microwave safe plate and top them with a marshmallow.  Microwave for 5-10 seconds.  

In the meantime, spray the back of a spoon with cooking spray (prevents the marshmallow from sticking to the spoon).  

When the microwave is done, take the back of the spoon and gently spread the melted marshmallow over the top of the cupcake. 

Sprinkle with crumbled graham crackers, and enjoy!





Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Homemade Iced Coffee

We all have our morning routines. Mine consists of...drinking coffee. Coffee has been my need ever since I started beauty school. 7am-5pm Monday thru Friday.  Yeah...7am...it was a rough year. Since then, I can barely get through a day without it. I'm definetly my father's daughter. That man can drink a whole pot of coffee by 9am! 

During beauty school I fell in LOVE with iced coffee drinks at Starbucks. Back then, I didn't care what I spent my money on. Now that I'm married, we had to cut corners somewhere, so Starbucks had to come off the budget.  

Then, International Delight came out with their own iced coffee, all in my favorite flavors. That started adding up also, so it came off the grocery list. It wasn't worth the $8 a week for two cartons.

Lately, I've been missing my iced coffee in the mornings.  I could drink it all day if I could. It's so refreshing! The other afternoon, I got creative with my coffee. The whole morning went by without a sip, and I was starting to feel very, very sleepy.  I roughly had the jist of what went into making iced coffee, so I gave it a try. This recipe is being sipped on as we speak. Well..as I speak...type?

Enjoy!!



Ingredients
6 cups double strength coffee
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup coffee creamer, or half and half if you prefer. (I used Caramel Macchiato coffee creamer...yum!)

Directions
Chill the brewed coffee overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, add in milk and coffee creamer. Give it a good stir. Add ice, and enjoy!

Monday, June 16, 2014

DIY Napkin Rings with Recycled Tin Foil Rolls

Add a pop of color to your summer barbecues with these easy Napkin Rings. Recycled tin foil tubes or saran wrap tubes are the perfect strength when making this craft. 

One cardboard tube will make 8 rings that are 1-1/2 inches wide. But, if you only need 6, like I do, make them a little wider.  These rings are best used with paper napkins and plastic silver.  Fabric napkins can be used, if you don't place the silverware inside, and the fabric is rolled tightly. 

Have fun!

Supplies Needed
Cardboard Tube
(preferably from an empty tinfoil roll, etc.)
Fabric Scraps
(cut into strips)
Hot Glue Gun
Sullivan's Fray Stop 
(found in local craft stores, Joann Fabrics carries it)

With a box cutter, carefully cut rings out of the cardboard roll.
Make sure each ring is even. They can be
as thick or as thin as you want them. 
Place a dab of glue on the inside of the ring
and attach one end of the fabric.
Allow to dry for a few minutes.  
Next, start wrapping the fabric around the roll.
Once you get to the end of the fabric,
glue the end inside of the ring.
Cut off any excess fabric.
Take another strip of fabric and wrap it around the outside
of the ring. Attaching it with glue.
Spray with spray adhesive and allow to dry fully. Cut off any
leftover fraying that might be on the ring. 
Now, you're ready for your next dinner party or summer barbeque!









Thursday, June 12, 2014

DIY Rag Rug

I recently did some spring cleaning in our closet and the bags of clothes have been sitting in the spare bedroom for about a month now.  I've seen people turn their old clothes into new useful items, and thought, why can't I do the same? Our entry way has been so plain and boring since we've moved. The shoes bring in so much dirt from outside, that I'm always cleaning the floors where we put them.  We have one rug there right now, but it isn't enough. So I'm turning my old T-Shirts into a new rag rug by crocheting them together. It's going to add the pop of color that I've been wanting, and hopefully help with all that dirt!



How To
Take your old T-Shirts and cut them into strips.  The strips should be 1/2" to 1" in width. Once all the strips have been cut, tie them together. To opt out of tieing them all together and to save time; cut the strips, but leave one inch at the end and cut back in the opposite direction. Begin crocheting just like you would start a blanket.
If you don't know how to crochet, don't worry. You can knit or even weave the rug. 
In this project I tied the pieces together, and did a single stitch crochet with a 6.00mm hook.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Brown Butter Vegetable Garden Skillet

A few days ago I posted a Farmer's Market Skillet recipe that I made for lunch.  For dinner tonight, I took it a step further with the leftover ingredients I had.  Enjoy!



Ingredients
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
1 zucchini, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 ears of corn, fresh off the cob
2 cups whole wheat pasta
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon parsley, plus some for garnish

Directions
Prepare pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside when finished. 

In a small skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Whisk until bubbly and brown bits form on the bottom, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and red onion. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Next, add in the zucchini and corn.  Cook until zucchini begins to soften and brown.

Remove from heat and add in pasta, tomatoes and parsley. Drizzle in brown butter and parmesan, stir to combine.  

Garnish with extra parsley. 

Serve immediately.







**If desired, sprinkle extra cheese on top when serving. I used mozzarella.**






Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tis' the Season for Farmer's Markets!

For lunch the other day I got a little creative with the vegetables I picked up. Normally I would make this recipe with just the vegetables but I'm trying to add extra protein to my diet each day, so that's why I added the chicken.  Have fun with the recipe and the vegetables--I'm sure any veggies you choose will taste wonderfully.


Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 zucchini, chopped and halved
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
corn off 1 cob
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Roughly dice the chicken breast and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until fully cooked and lightly browned. Remove from skillet.

Reduce heat to medium-low and transfer zucchini to the same skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally to scrap up all the brown bits off the bottom.

Next, add the corn and cook for one minute to heat. Then add the tomatoes, chicken and parsley. Stir to combine. 

Turn off the heat, and let the skillet rest for 1-2 minutes.  This allows the tomatoes to warm without becoming mushy. 


***Double the recipe if you are using it for dinner***


Saturday, June 7, 2014

S'mores Granola Bites

Tonight is movie night in our house. I'm not sure if Hubby will be joining me, but I will be watching The Da Vinci Code---such a great movie! To go with movie night I decided to make a dessert to enjoy.

I will be snacking on these S'mores Granola Bites I made this afternoon. Wait until you see the secret ingredient that makes these so yummy!

For Valentine's Day this year, Hubby bought me a food processor. Today, was the very first time I used it! How sad is that!? As much as I cook and bake, you'd think I would find a use for it before now.  Don't worry, you do not need a food processor to make these. A rolling pin, or your fingers will do just fine!



Ingredients 
1 sleeve graham crackers
1/2 cup granola (I used Nature Valley's Oats and Honey)
1/2 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (yup, that's the secret ingredient!)
1-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cream (milk will do if you don't have cream)
12 marshmallows

Directions
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or tin foil.

Put the chocolate and cream in a heat-safe glass bowl and set it over a pot filled with an inch of water. Place the pot over medium-low heat and gently stir the chocolate until melted.

In a food processor or a large zip lock bag, mix the graham crackers, granola and cereal. Crush until they become small bits. Transfer to a shallow bowl.

Using two forks, dip the marshmallows one at a time into the melted chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip off. Roll in the granola mixture to coat, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Refrigerate on the baking sheet until the chocolate is set.  Roughly 10 to 15 minutes.  Store in an air tight container. Keep in the refrigerator until serving time.







Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pioneer Woman's Spicy Cauliflower Stir-Fry--Put to the Test

What a crazy week it has been. This past weekend Hubby and I moved into a new apartment that has updated appliances, granite counter tops and wood flooring throughout.  We also have a great view of the sunrise coming up each morning, and an outdoor patio that is significantly larger than our last one.

With moving, comes terrible eating.  After moving boxes and furniture up three flights of stairs for two days, pizza sounded absolutely wonderful.  But..the next day I was regretting it.
To get back on track I did a little searching on my Pinterest and found the perfect recipe to make in my brand new kitchen! Plus, I had all the ingredients on hand, so I knew it was meant to be.

This dish was incredibly easy to make. The cauliflower makes for the perfect light lunch and can easily be taken to work and be reheated. The dish made such a large serving, that I saved the rest of mine for a mid afternoon snack the next day. You can also serve this over rice if you're wanting to make this for dinner.

For my personal preference, I omitted a lot of the soy sauce, and hot sauce. I recommend taste testing it while you're adding those ingredients.  A few dashes of each were just perfect for me, while still giving me that spicy kick.

For this recipe and many more, please visit The Pioneer Woman