Category Archives: Recipes

I’m sorry…

I recently realized I committed a huge no-no. I noticed when I was looking up recipes that some bloggers didn’t include the recipe in the blog post but simply a link to the original recipe. I didn’t really think anything about it until I stumbled upon this post on Recipe Posting Etiquette from Jenna at That Wife . I urge you to go read this post if you have any questions on the topic. Jenna also includes some great links to other helpful sites.

So, oops. I was always careful about linking back to the original recipe but didn’t think twice about posting the recipe word for word. Over the next few days I’ll be going through the recipes I previously posted and adjusting them properly and in the future I will only be posting the recipe directly on my site if I’ve made significant changes or if it’s an original (or family) recipe.

Please bear with me as I make these changes and hopefully some more exciting ones (blog design, anyone?) in the near future!

Happy Wednesday!

Love,
Jess

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

The first time I had fruit salsa was at my baby shower last summer and I fell in love! I wanted to make it so I asked my friend Amy for the recipe. What did she say? “Oh, just cut up the fruit and add brown sugar.” Uhh…

Fast forward to now. I had pinned a couple of fruit salsa recipes on Pinterest but everytime I pulled them up to make it I didn’t have something. They all called for preservatives and sugar and brown sugar or lime and exactly two apples.

Yesterday I had enough. I was at work and brainstorming for snack ideas and thought, “well, we’ll do it Amy’s way.”

Thank you, Amy.

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This happened.

So seriously, pull out the fruit you have on hand and go for it.

Here’s what I ended up using:

4 large strawberries
1/2 apple
Handful of grapes
Handful of blueberries
1/2 a mango

Chop it all up and mix with a tablespoonish of brown sugar.

You’re done.

This probably made 3-5 servings depending on how quickly you can stop eating it.

For the cinnamon chips I looked up several recipes and consulted Amy. In the end, this is what I did:

Brush tortilla with butter (or baking spray).
Coat with cinnamon/sugar mixture (1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon).
Shake off excess.
Use pizza cutter to cut into 8 chips.
Bake at 375 for 4-6 minutes.

And there you have it. Enjoy!

Bonus! Do you ever have one of those days where everything you eat makes you weak in the knees? That was yesterday and lucky for you I like to photograph my food. A lot.

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Mexican crockpot chicken. Recipe coming soon.

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Toast with scrambled egg, cheddar cheese, and ketchup. I know I’m gross. I don’t care. It was delicious.

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Dark chocolate Guinness cookies. Recipe coming soon!

Mmmmm…

Have a great Tuesday!

Love,
Jess

P.S. Mandatory cute baby photo…

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I think he was trying to hide under my bed because it was Monday.

Sunday Surprise- Fake Alfredo Sauce

So, I love all things involving cheese. It could be (is) the reason why I haven’t lost the last few pregnancy pounds.

I do not care for cauliflower. I’ll eat it if it comes in a veggie mix; but never, in my 27 years of life, have I ever purchased this pasty broccoli wannabe.

Until now.

You see, last year I stumbled upon this wonderful website called Pinch of Yum. You might recall the Healthy Sweet Potato Skins I posted about last year from this site. Anyway, I basically stalk this blog and drool over the recipes and even pin a few (or like all of them) that I want to try. When Lindsay posted the recipe for this Creamy Cauliflower Sauce I was a little turned off…until I continued reading. She compared it to…Alfredo sauce. Gasp. So this is my adventure into Fake Alfredo Sauce land.

First step, gather ingredients and uninterested sous chef:

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Then, saute your garlic and butter:

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After that, cook your cauliflower:

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Next, toss ingredients in blender and purée:

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Then, guess what? You’re done. Eat up!

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Here’s the recipe:

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
Author: Pinch of Yum
Serves: makes about 5 cups

Ingredients
8 large cloves garlic, minced I cheated and used canned minced garlic.
2 tablespoons butter
5-6 cups cauliflower florets
6-7 cups vegetable broth or water I used 4 cups of chicken broth (because the store I was at didn’t have low sodium vegetable broth) and 2 cups of water.
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
½ teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
½ cup milk (more to taste)

Instructions
Garlic: Saute the minced garlic with the butter in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Cook for several minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not browned (browned or burnt garlic will taste bitter). Remove from heat and set aside.
Cauliflower: Bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the cauliflower and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain.
Puree: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower pieces to the blender. Add 1 cup vegetable broth or cooking liquid, sauteed garlic/butter, salt, pepper, and milk. Blend or puree for several minutes until the sauce is very smooth, adding more broth or milk depending on how thick you want the sauce. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender. Serve hot! If the sauce starts to look dry, add a few drops of water, milk, or olive oil.

Lindsay’s Notes
I like to add a little bit of olive oil for the flavor and to help keep the sauce really smooth. Several other readers have mentioned that they really liked the addition of Parmesan cheese as well.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I hope that you’ll visit Pinch of Yum for more tasty treats!

Love,
Jess

What I Ate (devoured) Wednesday- Salted Caramel Brownies

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…sorry that What I Ate Wednesday is two days late. I was a little busy falling in love with Salted Caramel Brownies.

Before I even get into the recipe, I’m going to need for you to do a few of things: 1) decide where these brownies are going when they’re done because if you keep them around you will eat ALL of them; 2) put on your fat pants. Even if they have a destination, you’re gonna want to eat a few; 3) be patient. This isn’t a quick recipe and it involves a lot of waiting. Maybe use the waiting time to get in some good cardio time so you don’t feel bad later? Hahaha.

Okay, are you ready?

I would like to interject here to apologize for the lack of photos. I got so caught up in the baking and eating (and having a mild panic attack trying to figure out how to get rid of them) that I forgot to take any photos.

If your from Charlotte you’ve (I hope) heard of or been to Amelie’s. If not, Amelie’s is this cute French bakery that sells the most delicious pastries and chai tea lattes. My (and many people’s) favorite is their Salted Caramel Brownie. Need proof? Google “Amelie’s Salted Caramel Brownie.” They even sell bumper stickers that say SCB on them. Yes, it’s that good.

A few weeks ago I decided to brave making my own salted caramel brownies. I searched on Pinterest for the perfect recipe for HOURS. I eventually happened on the legit Amelie’s recipe. (Note: had I used the brain God gave me, I would have googled “Amelie’s Salted Caramel Brownie and been instantly taken to their website, where they share the recipe).

Anyway, I was immediately discouraged. The recipe called for GELATIN! The only gelatin I was familiar with was red and jiggled and went by the name Jello (j-e-l-l-o). Don’t judge, you know you just sang the jingle too. At first I debated just skipping the gelatin all together after reading comments saying that it made their caramel too gummy. Finally I decided, “hey, if this is how Amelie’s does it, then so will I!” The only thing I changed is that I used half the amount called for , and afterwards realized I should have used all of it so my caramel would set better.

Well, you’ve had enough of me blabbing so here’s the recipe:

again, I’m so sorry for the lack of photos!

​Amélie’s Signature Salted Caramel Brownies, Home Version

Yields 24 brownies

Ingredients
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup salted caramel glaze (see below)

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with butter or cooking spray.

In the top of a double boiler over medium heat, melt chocolate and butter, being sure the water in the bottom of the double boiler does not touch the top pan. Stir chocolate and butter until completely melted. Then stir in sugar. Blend well. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk eggs. Stir eggs into chocolate mixture. Then add flour, stirring until completely blended. Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes

Completely cool brownies in pan. Pour caramel glaze over brownies and cool until caramel sets. Slice into bars, about 2 inches square

Salted Caramel Glaze
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 tablespoons powdered gelatin, combined with 1/4 cup cold water

In a small saucepan over low heat, warm heavy cream until hot, but not boiling. In a separate tall saucepan, combine sugar and water. Place over medium-high heat. Do not stir as sugar dissolves and mixture reaches a dark amber stage. Add cream, butter, and salt. Stir gently until mixture is smooth and well combined. Remove from heat and add gelatin, stirring to combine. Use immediately.

Note: I covered these and put them in the fridge overnight to let the caramel set well before I cut them. If you don’t, your caramel will be VERY hard to deal with.

Enjoy!

Love,
Jess

What I Ate Wednesday- Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter. My love. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I went a day without eating it. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy peanut butter include: on toast with honey, a classic pb&j, with vanilla ice cream, on a spoon, with apples or bananas, and peanut butter cookies! My mom has been making these cookies as long as I can remember and I’m so excited to share the recipe with you. These are actually the cookies that I took to the hospital when Clay was born for everyone to enjoy (yes, I took a treat for everyone)!

Here ya go:

Ingredients
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all ingredients in bowl.
Mix well.
Roll into ball & press with fork.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Enjoy!

Notes
I mix these together with my hands (after thoroughly washing my hands) because they just mix so much better that way!
You can change a couple things up: add chocolate chips (!) or use chunky peanut butter!

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Easy peasy.

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With chocolate chips.

Let me know how these work for you!

Love,
Jess

What I Ate Wednesday- Polenta!

I have a confession to make. I’ve recently fallen in love. With polenta.

I was inspired to try a polenta recipe after seeing THIS recipe over at Pinch of Yum. At first I was going to make that recipe then realized I had practically none of the ingredients so I thought I would go about making up my own recipe using polenta. I’ve made two dishes in the past week with polenta and loved them! I used premade polenta in both of these recipes to cut down on time by you can easily make your own.

Easy Peasy Chili Polenta Pie

Note: I also have an obsession with canned chili, but you can easily substitute your own chili recipe.

2 cans of chili
1 tube of polenta
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

-preheat oven to 350 degrees
-spray pie dish with cooking spray
-layer in dish one can of chili, half of the cheese, other can of chili
-cut polenta in slices and place on top
-top with remaining cheese
-cook 15 minutes (or until cheese is melted and dish is heated through)
-enjoy!

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Taco Polenta Pie

Basically any dish I make with polenta will end with “pie” just because I like the way it sounds.

1 pack of chicken breasts
1 onion
salt
pepper
1/2 package of frozen corn
taco seasoning
tube of polenta
1 1/2 cups of Mexican style shredded cheese
taco toppings of your choice

-place chicken and chopped onion in crockpot and salt and pepper to taste
-cook on low for 8-10 hours
later…
-preheat oven to 350 degrees
-spray dish with cooking spray
-shred chicken (this is SUPER easy after the chicken has been in the crockpot all day)
-mix chicken with cooked corn and taco seasoning and place in dish
-cut polenta into slices and place on top of chicken
-top with cheese
-cook for 15 minutes (or until cheese is melted and dish is heated through)
-top with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy!

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Notes:
This dish is super customizable. Change up the meat! Change up the toppings! Put it on top of salad! Add peppers to the crockpot!
Trader Joe’s sells a kit to make your own fresh guacamole. It tastes REALLY good on this dish!

I hope you enjoy!

Love,
Jess

What I Ate Wednesday- Sweet Potato Fries

In an attempt to revamp my blog, Food Friday has now become What I Ate Wednesday! I hope you enjoy this and all the other posts that will be coming your way!

Last week I was discussing sweet potatoes with the girl that I nanny for (really, this wasn’t the weirdest topic we’ve ever had), and we discovered that we both LOVED sweet potato fries so I promised I would make them for a (healthy!) snack the next day. I’ve made sweet potato fries before but it’s been awhile and I couldn’t remember what temperature, how long, what to season with, so I went on the Internet to search. There are a hundred different ways to make sweet potato fries. Garlic salt, oregano, paprika, and on and on. Finally I decided to go basic and they were a huge hit!

Here’s what I did:

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Start with fresh sweet potatoes. Clean, peel, and cut into fries according to preference.

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I cut these up during the day while the kids were at school to cut down on prep time after school.

I didn’t get a photo of the next step (sorry!), but here’s what I did:
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
-Line baking sheet with wax paper.
-Toss fries with a LITTLE olive oil and spread out on sheet.
-Salt and pepper according to preference.
-Bake for 20 minutes turning the fries once halfway through.
-Let cool and enjoy!

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What are some healthy snacks that you make?

Love,
Jess