Today is such a beautiful day. The sun’s out and it’s a slightly breezy 65 degrees. As I look out my living room window I see the ducks are enjoying the sun and swimming around the lake. Flowers are starting to bloom and the grass and leaves are turning green again, Spring is here!
It’s been a long while since I last posted a recipe. Time just flies by these days. I’m 28 weeks pregnant and only have 12 weeks to go before we get to meet our little baby boy!
This pregnancy has given me a major sweet tooth so naturally I had to bake me up something sweet to eat. And since baked donuts have been all over Pinterest it was high time to give them a try.
I chose these Baked Chocolate Donuts with Powdered Sugar Glaze because you can’t go wrong with chocolate. They were really easy to make and while not quite as good as the full on fried version they were satisfying…especially dipped in a generous layer of sugar glaze. Sugar on sugar, give me more!
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, nutmeg, salt and sugar in a bowl.
In another bowl stir together the melted butter, egg and yogurt. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
On a well floured surface, knead the dough a few times.
Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Using a doughnut cutter, or cookie cutters, cut out doughnuts and place on your lined baking sheet. Place the doughnut hole centers on the 2nd lined baking sheet.
Bake the doughnuts for about 10 minutes and then bake the doughnut holes for 4-5 minutes. Cool slightly.
For the Sugar Glaze
While the doughnuts are baking in the oven, mix together the powdered sugar, milk and the vanilla extract. Add more milk a little at a time until you have the desired consistency. (More milk=thinner, more powdered sugar=thicker)
Dip the top of each doughnut and doughnut hole into the glaze and allow to dry completely before storing.
While grocery shopping the other day my eyes landed on the fresh strawberries they had placed near the entrance of the store. They looked too good to pass up and they had a special deal if you bought 2 packages. I loaded 2 packages into my cart and continued on with my shopping.
I had been craving strawberries and also wanted to make a special Valentine’s day treat so I got to work. I knew I wanted to pair the fresh strawberries with a creamy filling and so these Strawberry “Cheesecake” Bites were born.
Back at home, I washed and dried the strawberries and cut the tops off. I also cut off a small portion of the bottom so they would stand up on their own and then I used a small spoon to hollow out the centers. I reserved the bottoms and the centers of the strawberries and sliced them into very small pieces which I later added to the filling.
To make the filling I combined cream cheese, powdered sugar, a splash of milk and vanilla in a bowl using a handheld blender. I crushed up one graham cracker and mixed that into the cream cheese mixture along with the reserved strawberry pieces. Using a small spoon I filled each strawberry with a heaping amount of the “cheesecake” filling.
A sprinkle of more graham cracker crumbs finished off the sweet treats.
Of course I taste tested a few of these right away before taking photos and they were divine.
The perfect blend of sweet, juicy and creamy all in one bite. Try ’em out and let me know what you think!
Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
Fresh strawberries filled with a creamy "cheesecake" center.
Cut of a small amount from the bottom so they sit up on a plate and then use a small spoon or melon baller to hollow out the centers of the strawberries. Reserve the pieces you cut from the bottoms and the hollowed out centers for the filling.
In a bowl add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Place the 2 Graham cracker sheets in a zip top bag and use the bottom of a measuring cup to crush them up into small crumbs.
Divide the crumbs into 2 equal portions and add 1 of the portions to the cream cheese mixture.
Reserve the 2nd portion for topping the strawberries.
Slice or chop the reserved strawberry pieces from earlier into very small chunks and stir into the filling mixture.
Spoon some of the filling mixture into the middle of each strawberry and top with the remaining Graham cracker crumbs.
You can also use regular Graham crackers but cinnamon Graham crackers add a little extra flavor.
Only a small amount of milk is needed for the filling. Just enough to help mix everything through and to thin out the mixture a little.
The weather has turned chilly so what’s a girl to do on a cold Fall night? Make Minestrone soup for dinner and enjoy it in front of the roaring fire.
I actually eat soup quite often not just on cold nights, but I have to admit it’s usually pretty satisfying to have a warm bowl to cozy up with when its cold outside. It gives you that warmth from the inside out.
One reason I eat soup often is because its so quick and easy to make. Even on the busiest nights I can throw together some veggies, protein and/or carbs add in some broth and seasonings and dinner is served in no time. It’s a great way to use up leftovers, it’s low in calories and soup provides a balanced meal that comes together in one pot.
Tonight’s menu: Minestrone soup with a healthy sprinkle of fresh Romano or Parmesan cheese. Get your spoons ready!
I was daydreaming the other day about cookies…specifically coconut cookies. I’ve made these coconut meringue cookies before which are great by themselves, but then I had the idea to add in dry roasted almonds and top them with chocolate to make a cookie that tastes similar to an Almond Joy.
Almond Joy Cookies! Perfectly sized bites filled with coconut, chocolate and almond flavors.
What’s better than chocolate and coconut together in a chewy cookie? Well, maybe the fact that they have about half the fat, sugar and calories than an Almond Joy candy bar. Here’s the nutritional breakdown I got for each Almond Joy Cookie when I entered the recipe into a recipe calculator:
Calories: 48 Calories
Fat: 2.5 g
Sugar: 4.2 g
Hard to beat those numbers when it comes to a delicious cookie. I’ll take 2 please!
Almond Joy Cookies
What's better than chocolate and coconut together in a chewy cookie with a crunchy almond center? These cookies taste similar to an almond joy but have less sugar and are made with just a few ingredients.
Isn’t it great when you have all the right ingredients in your fridge and pantry to make what you are craving and at the same time use up leftovers?
That’s what happened last week when I was craving vegetable fried rice. The stars aligned and I had all I needed to put together this quick dish that’s way better than takeout (not to mention healthier too!)
I remember making fried rice for the first time way back in high school when I took a Food Production class.
Food Production was one of my favorite classes. It was always fun to cook and then get to eat our creations while in school! The classroom was split into 5 or 6 groups and each group had their own kitchen. Sometimes we would have competitions like Iron Chef where our teacher would give us a tray with various ingredients and each kitchen had to come up with a different dish using those ingredients. Other times we would all have to make a specified dish following the same recipe. Vegetable Fried rice was one of the dishes where we followed a recipe but it was so easy to make!
Start by cooking your rice (or better yet, grab leftover rice from the fridge if you have it). In the meantime chop up the celery, carrots and cabbage and place a skillet on the stove to heat up. Add the veggies to the hot oil and cook until softened. Next add in all the spices, soy sauce, vinegar and rice. Mix all that up and make a well in the middle for the egg. Once the egg is scrambled, that’s it, time to eat!
Vegetable Fried Rice
An easy fried rice recipe. Made with brown rice, celery, carrots, cabbage and an egg.
You know Fall is near when pumpkin flavored everything takes over Pinterest.
Growing up I never really cared for pumpkin much. Of course, the only pumpkin thing I remember trying was a piece of Pumpkin Pie and it was okay, but not my favorite. I’d much rather have chocolate. As I’ve gotten older my taste buds have changed and I enjoy pumpkin more. Or maybe it’s just the spices that go with pumpkin that I like?!
It just so happens to be that time of year when Starbuck’s rolls out their tasty Fall inspired Lattes too, but after reading this article about the Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, it shot down my cravings real quick. I decided to try making my own pumpkin spice coffee. We have a Keurig coffee maker and use the refillable coffee pod so I first attempted to add the spices along with the coffee grounds but it clogged the filter and the water couldn’t get through. Next, I just added pumpkin pie spices to my coffee. It tasted good but it’s a little weird to have the spices floating around as they never really dissolve. Next time I’m going to try to infuse the spices in the creamer and hope it yields better results…
After all my pumpkin spice coffee escapades , I was really hungry and it was time to make dinner. I guess I was in the Fall spirit (even though it’s still hot as heck outside!) and decided to make a Tuscan White Bean Vegetable Soup.
Lots of veggies, white beans and Italian style spices went into the pot for a nice big bowl of goodness. And since this white bean soup is low in calories, I offset that by adding a healthy amount of mozzarella cheese and a piece of bread on the side ;-).
Maybe I will try Pumpkin soup next time I make soup…and hopefully I will have a Pumpkin Spice Coffee Recipe to share with y’all soon!
Tuscan White Bean Soup
A hearty white bean soup made with Great Northern Beans, carrots, onion, celery and spinach.
With our new grill setup in the backyard, there’s been a lot of grilling going on around here. It’s nice to keep the heat outside and since things cook up quick on the grill we have more time to work on our home improvement projects.
Currently, we are putting the finishing touches on our new pantry. We replaced the old wire shelves with stained wood shelves. I can’t wait to give the big pantry reveal but before I can do that I have to touch up a few spots. I want to cover the screws with wood putty and stain them to match the shelves and there’s a few scuff marks on the wall from the drill that I need to cover up. Then, we will be moving on to one of our next projects -the master bedroom closet. I have big plans for that (like a sparkle concrete floor!). I’m looking forward to that project and also to having a place to hang my clothes again!
All this home improvement work sure makes a girl hungry :). And if you saw my last post for Avocado Egg Salad, I told you about how much I am in love with avocados right now. So naturally, I came up with another avocado recipe. I made these turkey burgers the other day and was happy with how well they came out. Perfectly flavored with a little cajun spice and topped with melty mozzarella cheese! Adding the avocado into the turkey burgers is a good way to add flavor and healthy fat so they come out nice and juicy.
Grilled Cajun spiced turkey burgers stuffed with avocado and topped with mozzarella cheese.
I don’t know what triggered my new found love of Avocados but I began buying them every week at the grocery store a few months ago and have since used them in all kinds of ways.
Avocados make a great (and healthier) alternative to butter or mayo and taste just as good, if not better. I enjoy avocados for breakfast, using them in sauces or dressings, as a topping for salad, even in desserts.
I came up with this easy avocado egg salad creation by substituting creamy avocado in place of the mayo and I don’t miss the mayo one bit!
So simple, with just a few ingredients and yet so tasty!
Avocado Egg Salad
Egg Salad Sandwich using creamy avocado instead of mayo!
Whoever came up with this Watermelon Cake idea is genius! Ever since I saw a picture of this on Pinterest I have been thinking about making it.
A watermelon is cut into the shape of a cake and then iced with fresh whipped cream. I was skeptical of how the whipped cream would stay on the cake since watermelon has a lot of water in it but just patting off the top and sides with a paper towel got it dry enough for the whipped cream to stick to the cake. I slightly over-whipped my cream as it looks a little grainy but it still tasted great and it held its shape with no problem.
It’s so refreshing to bite into this cake. The juicy melon combined with the cream, is the perfect summertime treat. The watermelon cake would make a great addition to summertime get togethers, BBQs, 4th of July…or anytime!
Any melon – cantaloupe or honeydew, I bet even pineapple could be used instead of watermelon. You could even make a layer cake by alternating the different melons and stacking them up with a layer of whipped cream in between! Any way you stack it or cut it, this cake is a winner!
Red White and Blue Watermelon Cake
Watermelon is cut into the shape of a cake, iced with fresh whipped cream and decorated with strawberries and blueberries.