Thursday, December 22, 2011

Best Brussels EVER!!!

If you are new to the blog, you will not know that my family and I LOVE Brussels Sprouts! I have made different recipes, which we all love and you can find them on the blog! 

This past week while visiting our local Trader's Joe, a worker and I were discussing different ways to cook them! I love how helpful and knowledgeable Trader Joe's employees are!!! 

Anyway, he asked me if I had ever tried soaking the Brussels Sprouts in Olive Oil prior to baking them. I hadn't. I always just mix Olive Oil and spice and pour on the Sprouts and baked, never soaked them and was so excited to try it out!!!!
The Ingredients:
Brussels Sprouts
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Mozzarella or Parmesan

The Directions:
Cut Brussels Sprouts into forths. In a large bowl mix Olive Oil and Brussels Sprouts. Let soak for 20 - 30 minutes. Pour extra Olive Oil out of bowl and add seasonings. Spread the Sprouts out on cookie sheet and bake for 25 - 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Take Sprouts out and add cheese and more parsley. Bake for another 15 - 20 minutes. Cheese will get crispy. 

Cheese is optional! 

Enjoy!!! These are now our favorite way to cook Brussels Sprouts!!! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Broccoli and Cauliflower Stew

This soup turned into an unload the fridge stew! I had 1/2 a head of broccoli, a whole head of cauliflower, 3 carrots, 1/2 smaller zucchini, 1/2 onion, and a can of tomatoes.

With the right seasonings and the tender meat those vegetables were turned into a delicious stew that my boys enjoyed!

The Ingredients:
1 lb stew meat
1/2 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
3 carrots, chopped
1/2 zucchini, diced
1/2 onion, minced
a can of diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
a 1/2 can of tomato sauce
garlic powder
chili powder

The Directions:
In a large pot start browning the stew meat. Once all the sides are browned add the onion, garlic powder and nutmeg and continue to cook. After 5 minutes add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Add all the vegetables and seasonings. If the liquid does not cover all the vegetables add more broth or add more water. Boil until vegetables are tender. Then serve and ENJOY!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Salmon Chowder

This soup was really tasty but please do not smell the soup before eating!  Hubby and I were both nervous to try the soup because of the EXTREME fish smell but really were glad that we decided to give it a try. It tasted WONDERFUL!!! 

The Ingredients:
1 lb turkey bacon, diced (Regular bacon would do, but I don't eat PIG!)
1 lb of salmon fillets (skin and bones removed)
1 ½ cups leeks, sliced
2 cups carrots, diced into small pieces
3 cups chicken stock
1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh or dried dill
black pepper to taste
The Directions:
In a large soup pot, cook the diced turkey bacon until browned and crispy.  Add the leeks and continue to saute until the leeks are tender.  Add the carrots and cook for another 3-4 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, dill, and black pepper and bring to a simmer.  Add the salmon filets to the soup, make sure they are covered with the soup, and let simmer until the filets are easy to break apart.  Stir well, breaking apart the salmon and cook until all the pieces of salmon are tender.  

Part of: Monday Mania

Friday, December 9, 2011

Peppermint Coconut Blondies

Last year, I made Peppermint Blondies and they were Ah-MAZING and a huge hit!!! I did not post the recipe because the ingredients were not the best. They had some goods but lots of bads! I wanted to alter the recipe last year but just ran out of time! 

Many people that had the blondies last year have been requesting me to make some and quickly! After a few weeks of playing around with the recipe, I have come up with a good one and one that worked on the first time!!! :) BONUS!!!! 

Might I add that these are my FAVORITE gluten free, sugar (white or brown sugar) free dessert

The Ingredients:

1 cup Coconut Butter or Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate (same thing!)
3 eggs
6 Medjool dates
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (I did not toast but toasted would be yummy!)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I found dairy free soy free at whole foods)
1 1/2 tsp all natural vanilla extract
3 drops liquid stevia extract
2 tsp pure peppermint extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 candy canes smashed

For the date mixture:
6 Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 tsp all natural vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut oil

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, blend eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda together with a hand mixer. Add in one cup coconut cream concentrate and mix batter with a spatula until creamy.
Add in date mixture (*see above). Add in three drops of liquid stevia (we prefer the whole foods brand) and pure peppermint extract. While stirring the batter, add in the coconut, chocolate chips and chopped walnuts and continue to mix until evenly distributed.

Lightly grease a 9x9 pyrex baking dish with coconut oil. Pour batter into baking dish. Top with smashed candy cane chunks (*see below) and bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes, test center with a tooth pick.

The blondies would be just as good without the chocolate if you choose to leave them out but sure does add just a little treat! Same with the Candy Canes. Hubby is not a fan so he picks them off! 

*** CANDY CANES --- When adding the Candy Canes on top DO NOT add the loose powder. It will create a melted crust that is real sticky. Just sift through and keep the chunks! :) 

Part of: Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Veggie-full Meatloaf

I made a delicious veggie filled meatloaf! If you have been following my blog for awhile you know that I love sneaking veggies into dishes, even though my boys love vegetables! 

This recipe has 1 cup of carrots, 1 cup of Trader Joe's Harvest blend, 1 cup celery, 1/2 onion minced, 2 garlic cloves. Then I went and added another veggie to the side - Green beans!!! 

Hubby was a HUGE fan of this meatloaf and said the flavor was unreal! :) Thanks babe!

The Ingredients:
1 - 1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 cup minced carrots
1 cup minced celery
1/2 onion, minced
1 - 2 cloves garlic
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
2 eggs
1 can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup of Almond Meal (optional)

The Directions:
Mince all the vegetables in the food processor and add to large mixing bowl. In a small bowl add eggs and mix until the yolk and white are mixed evenly. Add egg to the vegetables and also add the meat. Mix well. Add Almond Meal and seasonings and 3/4 tomato sauce. Mix well. 

In a greased pan add the meatloaf to the pan and form the meat. Top the meatloaf with the remaining 1/4 tomato sauce. 

Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Take off cover and bake for another 20 minutes or until the meat is completely cooked. 


Please note - I have a VERY hot and quick cooking oven. Times may need to be adjusted. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

German Apple Muffins

Several weeks ago Civilized Caveman posted this wonderful picture and recipe for German Apple Pancakes! I knew that it was a must try since hubby and I love German Apple Pancakes.

Don't those just look amazing?

The day finally came where I had energy and all the ingredients to make these beauties... But mine did not turn out as fluffy or pancake like. Mine were more like muffins but that might be my fault since I changed just a few things to the recipe. I think that my Baking Soda has gone bad and did not allow the pancakes to rise like the above picture but WOW were they still good!!! 

They were still a sweet treat that everyone enjoyed!!! 


  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tsp date mixture (2 dates microwaved in water and mushed)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/8 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Apples, cored and diced
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Raw Organic Honey
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Handful of crushed pecans or walnuts
    The Directions:
    1. Preheat Oven to 425 Degrees Fahrenheit
    2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and Date Mixture
    3. In a small bowl, stir coconut flour, nutmeg, and baking soda
    4. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients and beat well to combine, set aside while you prepare the apples
    5. In a small frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil and raw organic honey  
    6. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg and juice of 1/2 Lemon and cook for 1 minute
    7. Add in your apples and sauté until all your apples are nicely coated
    8. Evenly divide your apple mixture between 8 Ramekins greased with coconut oil and then evenly divide your egg mixture on top of the apples between the 8 Ramekins
    9. Place your Ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 20 Minutes at 425 and then reduce heat to 375 and cook for an additional 20 Minutes
    10. Sprinkle with Pecans when removed from the oven
    11. Enjoy

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats

    Winter is here!!!! :) We had snow yesterday and I love it!!! It is mostly melted now but still, snow falling is one of my favorite things!!! It is just so beautiful!!! :) 

    Good news -- Yesterday was my first alone day with the kiddos. That is right, no help and I made it without any contractions!!! I even prepared a delicious meal that everyone enjoyed! Yesterday was a good day!!! 

    Towards the end of each pregnancy I begin to crave cheeseburgers. I think mainly the burger and cheese! :) Yesterday was a craving day and I came up with this take! 
    Don't those good yummy!!! Much better than a bun or even lettuce!!!

    The Ingredients:
    2 medium sized zucchinis - center scooped out
    1 small onion, diced
    1 lb ground beef
    1 can of tomato sauce (homemade or store bought)
    basil, nutmeg, garlic

    EXTRAS - black beans, olives, tomatoes, green peppers or even jalapenos.

    The Directions:
    Scoop out the middle of the zucchini. Cut zucchini inside into smaller pieces and set aside.
    Brown meat and diced onion until the meat is completely browned. Drain grease.
    Add zucchini pieces and any extras to pan and begin to cook. After 2 minutes add the meat back to the pan and mix together. Add tomato sauce and seasonings.

    Scoop meat mixture into zucchini boats and top with cheese.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered or until the zucchini boat is tender.


    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    Small Business Saturday!!!

    Just another quick posts to share a few of my favorite small business companies!!! 

     These are my family’s “medicine cabinet”.  I particularly like Theives Oil to stave off winter infections and various ickiness, RC to relieve congestion, Lavender for relaxation and skin irritations and Peppermint for headaches, upset tummy and cough.
    For more information, go here!!!

    Another family favorite:

    Hubby and I love candles and room sprays. We enjoy a great smelling house and love trying out new scents! Last year, I was introduced to Scentsy!!! Last year, I threw a party around the Christmas and a friend of mine decided to join the Scentsy team and my addition has grown. 

    For those of you who do not know, Scentsy is a wickless candle, called a Scentsy Bar or a Scentsy Brick, is a highly fragrant wax bar that is warmed to release fragrance into the air. Because the wax is gently warmed rather than burned, it can hold more fragrance oil than a traditional candle. And, because there is no flame, there is no smoke, soot, or lead. Scentsy wickless candles are a safer alternative to traditional candles.

    I love Scentsy more than candles because they are safe with my little ones. My 4 year old has touched the wax, completely melted and it did not burn him. It is more of a paraffin dip type wax. I love that Scentsy has so many different warmers to choose from and they can go with the decor of the room vs just a plain glass jar a candle comes in... (warmer pictured above!)

    If you would like to check out Scentsy a little further and help support a small business this Holiday, go here. Be prepared to stay at the site awhile because there is A LOT of great products and amazing scents!!!

    Another product that I will be getting my family this year is Arbonne Arbonne is committed to the development of unparalleled products free of harmful ingredients, using a combination of botanical principles and scientific discover. Arbonne personal care and nutrition products are vegan-certified: Our formulas are never tested on animals and do not contain animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

    I have been using Arbonne for my boys ever since 4 year old was born. I was given some as a gift and just ordered for them. 

    The past 9 months, I have been solely using Arbonne face, body and hair products. Yes, I am young and have to develop many fine lines and wrinkles but I have noticed that the small amount of wear my face did have, has gone diminished and I am very happy with the results that I have seen. 

    October, I purchased SKY, the men's cologne for Hubby and LOVE IT! It amazing!!! Hubby also uses Arbonne products. They have a great shaving cream that he has been using for 6 months. He really likes it because it leaves his shave close and smooth with no irritations. 

    For more information and to look at the product lines, go here

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    There is something about PUMPKIN and CHOCOLATE -- I LOVE THEM TOGETHER!!! I have mixed the two in several recipes but not since limiting the grains in our house. I have made bread, cake, cookies and pie with them!!! This year I had not had the chance to work with the two to create a yummy cookie, until now!!! 

    Let me tell you --- 
    It is not too late to make these easy grain-free delicious cookies!!!! 

    It is a simple recipe and luckily I had everything on hand!
     I love when that happens!!!

    These cookies were so yummy I could have eaten them all myself! :) 
    The Ingredients:
    1 cup almond flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 TBSP cinnamon
    1 egg
    3 TBSP pure maple syrup
    1/4 cup coconut milk
    1/3 cup crushed dark chocolate pieces (I used some 85% and some 65%, both dairy and soy free)
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup pumpkin puree 

    Preheat oven to 400. In a mixing bowl combine the almond flour, baking powder and cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, maple syrup, vanilla and coconut milk. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the pumpkin and chocolate pieces. Spoon onto a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Enjoy the sweet, moist, chocolatey-ness! 

    ENJOY!!! I think I am off to create a pumpkin and chocolate bread for tomorrow morning!!! :) Hello, late pumpkin and chocolate late kick! :) 

    Day after Thanksgiving Turkey Bone Soup

    My mother-in-law made a delicious day after Thanksgiving soup with the left over bones and some turkey! 

    I love using the bones from chicken, beef or turkey to create a delicious soup! There is just so much flavor left and the broth is WONDERFUL!!!! There are many ways this soup can be made and it all depends on you and your families preferences.

    The Ingredients:
    Turkey bones
    water to cover bones
    leftover turkey
    celery chunks
    pea, carrot, green bean mixed bag
    seasonings - chicken bouillon cube, soup base, salt, pepper, basil (whatever you want!)

    *you can add rice or noodles
    ** you can add more vegetables

    The Directions:
    Add bones to a large soup pot. Cover bones with water and add onion and celery chunks. Add seasonings and cover and let cook on low for several hours. Take bones out and pick off all the extra meat from the bones. Cut the celery into smaller pieces. Add turkey pieces back to pot along with all the other ingredients. Boil until the carrots are tender.


    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Thanksgiving Turkey

    Sunday, we celebrated Thanksgiving with Hubby's family. I was in charge of the turkey and some sides.

    I did not take any pictures but the turkey and the food was amazing and so delicious!!! I have found that seasoning turkey can be real simple.

    The Ingredients:
    22 lb turkey
    3 TBSP Butter (Olive Oil works well too)
    Salt and Pepper
    Basil and Parsley

    The Directions:
    I cut small holes in the turkey and stuff butter inside. Rub 1 TBSP on the outside of the turkey. I also stick all the extra butter inside the bird. Season the outside of the bird with all the seasonings.

    Cook the Turkey according to the weight.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Tiny Prints

    Since cooking has been lacking, I thought it would be fun to show you a few Holiday favorites... From Cards to gift ideas to kid projects to desserts (already have made) and much much more.. 

    First up --- TINY PRINTS

    Tiny Prints is running an offer for bloggers!
    Head on over to Tiny Prints Christmas Card Selection to see their awesome cards.
    Here is the one I really like.

    Christmas Cards Merry-Making - Front : White
    I like that card design because it allows you to have a lot of photos all in one space but keeps it looking simple. 

    But I also like this one.

    I guess I will just have to wait and see what the pictures from our family shoot look like then choose a card!!!

    Are you a blogger? Sign up here to receive 50 free cards through Tiny Prints! Awesome!!!!

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

    Pumpkin Cupcakes just in time for Thanksgiving!!! These bad boys were so delicious!

    The Ingredients:
    1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
    6 omega 3 eggs
    1/4 cup coconut oil
    4 dates, 1 tsp water 1 tsp vanilla (date mixture)
    1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
    1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon pumpkin spice blend

    The Directions:
    Preheat oven to 350.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
    Add dates to microwave safe glass bowl. Add water and vanilla. Microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute. Mash mixture with fork until the dates are a evenly mashed.
    In a medium mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients and blend with a hand mixer.
    Pour wet ingredients into dry and blend with a hand mixer until evenly combined.
    Lightly grease mini cake or loaf pans with coconut oil.
    Pour batter into mini cake pans, or mini loaf pans.
    Bake for 25-30 minutes, check with a toothpick.

    Cinnamon Frosting
    The Ingredients:
    1 cup palm shortening
    1 tablespoon raw honey
    1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
    2 tsp cinnamon

    The Directions:
    Blend all ingredients with a hand mixer until fluffy.
    Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to a week.

    My hubby wanted the frosting a little more sweet tasting, so I added 4 drops of Stevia and a little more vanilla. 

    I sprinkled the iced cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice. 

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Guayaki Tea

    Several years ago a coworker introduced me to Guayaki Tea when he started drinking the tea everyday! :) I was curios on the tea so I googled them and the information about the company made me love them even more!

    Did you know that Guayaki employs their market driven restoration business model which works to protect and restore the South American Atlantic Rainforest where farmers grow and harvest Guayaki in its natural habitat. Guayaki’s stated mission is to steward and restore 200,000 acres of forest and create 1000 living wage jobs.

    Did you also know that on Guayaki site they have a great caffeine meter that tells you how much caffeine is in each drink.
    VERY COOL and helpful for someone trying to cut down or limit the caffeine intake! 

    Guayaki needs your help!!!! They have been nominated in the BBC World Challenge, a competition that recognizes innovative businesses working towards sustainable and green causes. Guayaki needs votes to win and we would love your help! The competition closes on 11/11.

    If you have yet to try their tea, it is a must!!! The flavors are great!!!! 

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    I often state that I love soups!!! I think a new reason is because you can enjoy leftovers all week! :) A few weeks ago a friend of mine brought my family and I dinner while I was on my strict bed rest. She made a delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup. We enjoyed it so much and are so grateful for wonderful friends!!! 

    I have been wanting some more! I came up with this little mixture that was amazing! Feel free to leave out or add more ingredients! This was our treat night dinner!!!! 

     I love that you can add as much vegetable as you want in this soup and it will still be so delicious!!!!

    The Ingredients:
    4 - 5 chicken breast
    taco seasoning packet (chill powder, garlic, cumin and a little sea salt)
    1 green bell pepper, diced
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    1/2 yellow onion, diced
    1 medium zucchini, cut into little pieces
    *if you want to add a can of black beans or corn feel free too!
    1 can diced tomato and green chili
    1 box trader joes chicken broth
    3 TBSP tomato paste
    *corn or flour tortillas if you want to 

    The Directions:
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
    Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.
    Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and zucchini and stir. 
    Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
    Check seasonings, adding more if needed---add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. 

    ** IF you are adding the tortilla strips add five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips. The soup is good with or without the strips!!! 
    Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and grated cheese, if you have it! (The garnishes really make the soup delicious.)

    I love that you can add and take away any ingredient you want and this soup will be so tasty and delicious!!! ENJOY!!!!
    Related Posts with Thumbnails