Friday, February 10, 2017

Valentine's Love Ding Dongs

If you have some time on your hands - make these amazingly delicious Valentine's Ding Dongs! They take a while but were worth it in the end. I have not had a piece of cake in over a month and these little guys gave me a headache - but were worth it! Happy Valentine's Day!

Cake Ingredients

- 1 oz. chocolate chopped (I used dark chocolate chips)
- 1/2 cup coffee, hot
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa, unsweetened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla


- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1/8 c. corn syrup
- 1 tbsp. water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- dash of salt


- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. butter, unsalted
- 6 oz. chocolate, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13"x8" or an 8"x11" cake pan with cooking spray.
2. Melt 1 oz. of chocolate in hot coffee, mix completely.
3. In your Kitchenaide mixer beat your egg. Slowly add sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, coffee mixture, and vegetable oil.
4. In a medium bowl mix all your dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet mixture.
5. Pour batter into cake pan and cook for 30-35 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, make your frosting by combining all ingredients and whisking together with your whisk attachment on your Kitchenaid Mixer. Mix on high for 5 minutes until thickened. Place in a small sandwich bag and place in the refrigerator.
7. When cake is cooled completely, cut our hearts with a heart cookie cutter. With a knife, cut out a little piece of cake from the middle, you will pour frosting inside it.
8. Make your ganache by placing your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Boil your cream and butter on the stovetop, quickly add to chocolate. Let cool for 5 minutes and stir chocolate and cream together.

Assemble Cakes

1. Place frosting in the middle of each cake.
2. Allow to chill for 10 minutes in the fridge.
3. Place ganache on top of each cake and spread thinly, place back in the fridge for 20 minutes.
4. Flip cakes over and repeat the ganache on the other side. Place back in the fridge for 20 minutes.
5. Snip a small hole in the corner of your frosting bag and pipe "Love" on your cakes. Keep in refrigerator until ready to eat!

 Cooled cake with heart cookie cutter

 Heart Cakes

 Hole cut our of cake middles and filled with frosting

 Cakes covered in ganache

 Cakes covered in ganache on other side and "love" icing

 Valentine's Ding Dong

Frosting in the middle


Thursday, February 9, 2017

French Onion Pot Roast

Looking for something to make that is hearty and easy on a cold day? Well this pot roast is amazing! It only takes about 10 minutes to prepare and then you let your oven do the rest. We are getting ready for some fun Valentine's Day activities, which I hope to share with you this weekend!

French Onion Pot Roast

- 2 lb. chuck roast
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 tbsp. oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 onions, sliced thinly
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/3 cup water

1. Pat down your roast and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet and add your butter and oil. Once butter is crackling, sear the roast for 2-3 minutes on each side.
2. Remove roast to a plate.
3. Add a little more oil and add your onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Add your roast and all ingredients accept cornstarch/water to your dutch oven. Cover your dutch oven and place in oven. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
5. Remove meat from the oven. Mix your cornstarch and water together. Place your dutch oven on the stove top and heat to a simmer. Add your cornstarch mixture and allow gravy to thicken.
6. Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles.

Pot Roast in Gravy


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sugar Free New Year

Happy New Year! After a month of Christmas cookies and a relaxing week at St. Kitts in the West Indies, I felt like I needed to get ahold of my diet. I did a Sugar Free diet for the past week and a half and have noticed a difference! I feel better, I look slimmer and have really enjoyed eating healthy! I will include what I ate below - I found a daily diet on Pinterest that I referenced. I really stuck to only a few of the meal recommendations and just repeated them. I really have enjoyed this way of eating and plan to stick to it for now.

Breakfast - Smoothies! Green juice (bought Naked "Green Machine") or made an 8 oz. almond milk (unsweetened), 1 tbsp. cocoa powder (unsweetened) and 1 banana blended in a blender.

Lunch - 1) 1 cup spinach with 2 scrambled eggs and half an avocado sliced on top with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar dressing. 2) 2 pieces of bacon, half an avocado, sliced tomato in a tortilla. 3) 2-3 cups of vegetables with 1/2 cup of hummus.

Dinner - 1) Cabbage Detox Soup, recipe here. 2) Burrito bowl: brown rice, avocado, 1 tbsp. cheese, tomato, black beans and a squirt of hot sauce. 3) Tuna salad on a bed of spinach. 4) Grilled salmon with roasted cauliflower.

Snacks - Larabars, nuts/seeds, raw veggies with hummus.

*Dessert - Sugar Free Mug Cake: 1 banana, 1 egg, 1 tbsp. cocoa powder blended. Bake at 350 in a mug for 15-20 minutes.

 Spinach, scrambled eggs, avocado

 Burrito Bowl

Mug Cake


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Gluhwein Gift

Merry Christmas Eve! If you are headed somewhere to celebrate and need to take a gift, this Gluhwein/mulled wine idea is great to take! Below is a gift idea I took to a close friend. Besides- you can't go wrong gifting someone alcohol around the holidays!


- 1 bottle of red wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 orange, peels only
- 1 lemon, peeks only 
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 6 whole cloves

Heat all ingredients on a simmer for 30 minutes and serve hot. 

Gluhwein ingredients!



Saturday, December 17, 2016

Make Gingerbread Pancakes

I am obsessed with the Christmas scent gingerbread has in my house. We made gingerbread cookies earlier this week and I thought I would find a good recipe for Gingerbread Pancakes, which happens to be kid-friendly. They turned out so well and do not taste super cake-like, but more like a regular pancake. They are delicious! It is ice raining out and there is snow on the ground, so staying inside eating pancakes and hot cocoa sounds good to me (and my kids)!

Gingerbread Pancakes

- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp. molasses
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted

1. In a medium bowl mix up your dry ingredients.
2. In another medium bowl whisk your wet ingredients together.
3. Add your dry ingredients to the wet and mix well together. Allow mixture to thicken for 5-10 minutes.
4. Heat up your griddle and use about 1/4 cup of batter to make your pancakes.

 Pancake batter on a hot griddle

 Gingerbread Pancakes

Pancakes are served!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

ARMY WON!!! So excited to have witnessed an Army win this weekend against Navy! What a wonderful end to a great week. We went to a tailgate and I made these amazing, taste of Christmas in your mouth, Gingerbread Cookie Bars. They were a big hit! They are also easy to make and make a great addition to any holiday party. Here is the recipe as promised!

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/3 cup molassses
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

- 1 x 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8"x13" baking pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream your butter, sugars, vanilla and molasses together.
3. Once incorporated thoroughly add your egg.
4. In a separate bowl mix your dry ingredients together: flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt.
5. Slowly add your dry mixture to the wet mixture. Mix well.
6. Pour your gingerbread mixture into your baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for 15-20 min. Allow to cool completely.
7. Cream your ingredients together for your cream cheese frosting and spread evenly on your gingerbread bars. Add sprinkles if desired.

 Baked gingerbread bars before adding cream cheese frosting

 Finished bars!

Gingerbread Cookie Bars


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Spiced Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Happy Holidays! Wow! I can not believe how fast this year is flying by! I have been very busy with end of year events and hosting Mom's Night's Out and a kid Holiday Party. I have been making a lot of recipes out of the cookbook Run Fast Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. They are Olympic athletes and runners who made this amazing cookbook filled with nourishing recipes! You can purchase it here on Amazon, I strongly recommend it. *all opinions are my own*

I have started to make holiday cookies and tried a new one this year! Spiced Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are gooey and have a dash of cayenne pepper that add to it's festive flavor. I have been eying a Gingerbread Bar recipe that I hope to try out next week and share - so stay tuned!

Spiced Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 4 oz. baking chocolate
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup baking cocoa

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Melt your butter and baking chocolate on low heat. Set aside to cool.
3. In a mixing bowl mix your flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cayenne pepper.
4. In another bowl mix your eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla together. Add your chocolate mixture and mix well.
5. Add your flour mixture until fully incorporated.
6. Place dough in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up if needed (my dough turned out very sticky).
7. Form 1-2 inch balls of dough and roll in powdered sugar.
8. Bake cookies for 8 minutes.

 Snickers the Elf approves of these Spiced Chocolate Crinkle Cookies!

Happy Holidays!