Tag Archive: Recipes

SodaStream Review + 2 Cocktail Recipes

SodaStream Review

Sometimes when you try something new it takes a while to warm up to it. Other times it’s love at first sight. This was closer to love at first sip.

I’ve been to parties where people have SodaStreams but I’ve never owned one until SodaStream sent me their Source machine along with plenty of flavorings to review. I only drink soda usually when it’s with a cocktail but I’ll drink seltzer every day. If it wasn’t for seltzer I probably wouldn’t be half as hydrated.

By far my favorite advantage of using a SodaStream to make drinks is adjusting sweetness and flavor. I’ve always found most sodas too sweet, or sometimes you’ll get a pack of flavored seltzer and it tastes totally plain. You never have that problem when you’re making your own drink. They give you suggested portions of mix for each liter but I’ve been using 2/3rds of the suggested amount and it’s just the right sweetness.

For that reason I didn’t really like the caps or samplers that are designed to be just for a 1 Liter bottle but I could understand those being convenient for people who want to use just that amount or plan on using it on the go. 

Berry Vodka Soda Recipe

The MyWaters have been great for adding natural flavor without calories to seltzer. I could see myself going through a LOT of those tiny bottles. I’ve also been using them to make really simple vodka sodas that pack a lot of flavor. One of my favorite tricks is using frozen berries instead of ice cubes in clear drinks for extra flavor and extra color.

Berry Vodka Soda

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 drink):

Method:

  1. Mix the club soda and vodka delicately in a cocktail shaker.

  2. Pour over a handful of frozen berries in a short glass.

Of course there’s also a TON of flavors of soda for the SodaStream. I admit I’ve started drinking more of it since I got the machine. The diet orange mango and diet pink grapefruit are too good to pass up after dinner.

Blue Whale Recipe

If you’re trying to have less sugar or less chemical sweeteners I still think this is a good product. Like I mentioned, I’ll usually use 2/3rds the amount of mix suggested to cut the sweetness and sugar. It’s especially useful when mixing cocktails with sweet liqueurs like this version of a blue whale.

Fizzy Blue Whale

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 drink):

Method:

    1. Gently shake all of the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker.

    2. Pour into old-fashioned glasses. Garnish with a fresh lemon wedge.

Of course another huge advantage of using a SodaStream has been reducing bottles and cans and saving money. I never have 1/2 a flat bottle of Coke or recycling building up. It’s also very easy to clean which I definitely appreciate.

Have you ever played around with a SodaStream before? What kind of fizzy cocktail recipes would you want to try? 

4 Egg-Filled Easter Brunch Recipes

4 Egg-Filled Easter Brunch Recipes

Easter doesn’t make a lot of sense when you think about it. There’s a bunny but bunnies don’t lay eggs, so why are you searching for them? And where does the candy come in?

Assuming you’re not having plastic eggs filled with dollar bills and chocolate candies, you might want to have something a little more satisfying. Maybe for a brunch crowd–maybe for just yourself. Here are 4 of my favorite egg-cellent(I’m already sorry I made that pun) brunch recipes for you. 

For something traditional…

Easy Broccoli Frittata Serving

Easy Broccoli Frittata is a great way to feed a crowd something healthy and satisfying. I’m a big fan of frittatas for breakfast or dinner. Even as just one person, they’re good to make on the weekend and heat up through the week. Add some potatoes or toast and you’re golden.

For just two(or one—no judging)…

Mushroom and Herb Cheese Omelette

I’d never make omelettes for a crowd because they’re hard to keep warm while the rest cook, and if you have other distractions going on in the kitchen they’re a nightmare. But a Mushroom and Herb Cheese Omelette is satisfying and just the right amount of food for one or two people and goes great with just about any side. 

For something spicy…

Thai Deviled Eggs

Thai Deviled Eggs have just the right amount of flavor and kick mixed with tradition to please just about anyone. I assumed I didn’t like deviled eggs until I toughened up and tried some. Hopefully the peanut butter and kick of these will get a few deviled egg nay-sayers to bite. 

For something sweet…

Gluten Free Chobani Pancakes

Chobani Pancakes may not be egg-filled but the egg helps to make almond flour and greek yogurt into a delicious, hearty, and gluten-free breakfast. It’s a much better option than the white flour pre-made pancake mixes. And at the end of the day who doesn’t like pancakes for brunch?

Happy Easter!

3 Irish Cream Dessert Recipes

St. Patricks Day has never been a favorite holiday. Perhaps because my birthday’s right around the corner, or Easter which is centered around chocolate eggs filled with candy(I mean, what’s not to love?). Potatoes, beer, and colcannon just don’t do it for me. But there’s one Irish food I can get down with.

Irish cream is made with just about everything bad for you, so naturally it’s one of my favorites. There’s nothing better than making a dessert with it and then sitting down to enjoy it with an ice-cold glass on the side. These are 3 of my favorite recipes with Irish cream you can enjoy this weekend(after the potatoes and beer, of course).

Bailey's Frosted Brownies

Bailey’s Frosted Brownies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 8 x 8 pan):

For the brownies:

  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4oz bittersweet baking chocolate
  • 1/3 cup Irish cream

For the frosting:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Irish cream

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the oat flour, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, melt together the chocolate and butter.
  4. While the chocolate is melting, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and Irish cream.
  5. Slowly pour the melted chocolate and butter into the egg/sugar mixture while whisking until fully incorporated. Don’t go too fast so that the raw eggs don’t cook upon contact.
  6. Add the chocolate mixture in with the dry ingredients and mix completely.
  7. Pour the batter in a greased 8 x 8 pan.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let these cool completely before frosting.
  9. To make the buttercream, beat the powdered sugar, butter, and Irish cream heavily until it’s entirely mixed. Add a touch more buttercream if it’s too dry at first.

Bailey's Hot Chocolate Truffles Yield

Bailey’s Hot Chocolate Truffles

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup(8.5oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 Tablespoons Irish cream
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered hot chocolate mix*

*I wouldn’t recommend using a mix that is overly processed or full of chemicals. You could also mix 6 Tablespoons of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder for a nearly identical coating.

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips and butter together in a microwave or over a double boiler.
  2. Mix the Irish cream into the melted chocolate until it’s smooth and shiny.
  3. Refrigerate or freeze the chocolate until it’s semi-soft and doesn’t stick to your hands. You want it to be a little colder than you think it should be since your hands will warm it over time.
  4. Pour the hot chocolate mix into a small bowl or onto a small plate.
  5. With a melon-baller or a spoon, carve out pieces of chocolate about 1-inch in width. Roll the chocolate into as round a ball as you can and drop it into the hot chocolate mix.
  6. Roll the ball around in the hot chocolate mix until the sides are all covered and move it to an air-tight container.
  7. Refrigerate the truffles for 30 minutes for the right consistency before eating.  Keep them refrigerated when not enjoying.

Hot Amaretto Mocha

Hot Amaretto Mochas

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

  • 6oz fresh brewed coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon hot cocoa mix
  • 1 1/2oz Irish cream
  • 1/2oz amaretto

Method:

  1. Make sure the coffee you’re using is steaming hot. If not, heat it up gently.
  2. Stir in the hot cocoa mix until it’s completely dissolved.
  3. Pour in the Irish cream and almond liqueur and stir well until blended.
  4. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate if desired. Serve hot.

4 Easy Nutella Recipes

I have two half-eaten jars of Nutella in my kitchen. I think I have a problem. (I need more Nutella.)

There’s a store near me that sells imported European jars for less than $4($3 each if you buy 3). At that price it’s hard not to turn into an addict. Not that Nutella on oatmeal or bagels could ever get old, but using it in recipes helps mix it up from time to time.

Here are 4 recipes that take about as much time to make as it does to eat an entire jar. Also, all of these recipes are 4 ingredients or less, so there’s no reason not to enjoy them all. Maybe even in one day.

Easy Nutella Brownies

Easy Nutella Brownies are exactly what they sound like. You can instantly make any brownie mix into Nutella brownies with just Nutella and eggs. There’s no reason to make any other kind.

Nutella Cheesecake Strawberries

Nutella Cheesecake Strawberries impressed everyone the last time I made them, which isn’t bad for something with just 4 ingredients. The hardest part is slicing and stuffing the strawberries, but it’s fine if you have a little patience.

Nutella Yogurt Dip

Nutella Yogurt Dip will make you feel a little better about eating Nutella by the spoonful. It’s just as tasty but a little more healthy. I like it with fruit and veggies but graham crackers and pretzel sticks work just as well.

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Gluten-Free Nutella Cookies have been my afternoon snack since I made them. Since they’re crispy and chewy when they’re done I like to break them up and add it to yogurt. That practically makes them a health food, right? 

4 Healthy New Year’s Recipes

New Year’s resolutions are hard. It’s easy to shoot to high and make resolutions impossible to keep up with; the best kind are little changes you can work into your everyday routine and maintain without even thinking about it.

I didn’t make a food or fitness resolution this year. Mine is to get whiter teeth, so I bought special toothpaste and mouthwash. We’ll see how that goes with the horde of coffee and chocolate I eat.

If you did make a resolution to eat healthier, here are 4 simple recipes you can work into your every week to hit that goal. All of them have common, simple ingredients and are probably foods you already eat, so working them into your diet should be a breeze.

Breakfast:

LowFatCinnamonBrownSugarGranola_thumb

Low-Fat Cinnamon Raisin Granola is a great quick and filling alternative to heftier breakfasts like bagels and cream cheese or a donut. You can make a big batch on the weekend and portion out servings for the weekday mornings to grab and go.

Snack:

Fruity-Peanut-Butter-Yogurt-Dip-Yield-807x1024

Fruity Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip will satisfy your sweet tooth in the afternoon and still be tasty enough to enjoy. It’s a simple mix of yogurt, peanut butter, and sweetener that’s good for kids or grown-ups.

Entree:

EasyBroccoliFrittata_thumb

Easy Broccoli Frittata is another recipe you can make in bulk over the weekend and reheat throughout the week whenever you’re less than motivated to make a meal. The eggs and cheese are full of protein while the broccoli adds a boost of healthy nutrients, too. Add a simple side and you’ve got a whole dinner.

Dessert:

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cake proves that you can still have dessert even when you’re eating healthy. The bulk of this “cake” is dates and hazelnuts, making for a delicious and nutritious end to a meal.

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? What was it?

12 Months Of Recipes: 2013

“Oh God, not another list!” is admittedly what I think whenever someone posts one of these year-end roundups. Bear with me if you feel the same.

Last year I had gone through all my posts from 2012 and picked my favorites from each month. I liked the idea a lot and wanted to do it again. Most months were a struggle to pick just one recipe—a good problem to have I imagine.

Here are all of my favorite recipes from each month of 2013. I hope you browse through them and find a favorite, too.

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January: Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip

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February: White Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

MapleHazelnutGranola_thumb

March: Maple Hazelnut Granola

HomemadeStrawberrySyrupBoiled_thumb

April: Homemade Strawberry Sauce

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May: Red, White, and Blue Stuffed Strawberries

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June: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

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July: Reese’s Lovers Bark

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August: Gluten-Free Cornbread

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September: Coconut Caramel Muffins

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October: Low-Fat Butternut Squash Casserole

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November: Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

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December: Hot Amaretto Mochas

Here’s to another delicious year of recipes!

Last Minute Christmas Desserts

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T’was the day before Christmas

When all through the house

Not a stove pot was stirring

So I went and grabbed my mouse.

 

Click after click,

Page after page

I searched for a dessert

That’d be all the rage.

Chubby-Hubby-Cheesecake_thumb

Chocolate or Nutella,

Peanut butter or not,

I just needed something quick

I could make on the spot.

 

I found a list

With time to spare

And blogged about it

For all to share.

EasyNutellaBrownies_thumb

Easy Nutella Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Coconut Pistachio Bark

Bailey’s Hot Chocolate Truffles

Chubby Hubby Cheesecake

No-Bake Peanut Butter S’mores Bars

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

No-Bake-Peanut-Butter-Smores-Bars-Close-Up-1024x698

8 Healthier Thanksgiving Side Dishes

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It’s already November and Thanksgiving is quickly creeping up. Not quite as quickly as I thought evidently with my bus tickets booked for the wrong weekend, but quickly nevertheless.

I’m not someone who thinks eating healthy during the holidays has to be tough, especially if you’re the chef. It’s all about finding and making recipes that are satisfyingly delicious but also good for you and your family. Here are a few recipes to try that break out of the mold of white bread and buttery foods that will still fit in at the Thanksgiving table.

And I’ll apologize in advanced for some of the terrible photos these recipes have, especially the ones from 2 years ago. They’re in desperate need of a holiday makeover.

Instead Of Buttery Vegetables Try…

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts are a perfect sweet side dish with a lot of nutrients and fiber included.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Red Wine have a tangier taste that adults will love. They’re especially good paired with the wine they’re cooked with.

Instead Of Traditional Stuffing Try…

Quinoa Stuffing(gluten-free/vegan) tastes just like traditional stuffing with all of the fixins but without the bread and empty carbs. It’s a great healthier option on the Thanksgiving table but even better heated up the next week for leftovers.

Roasted Broccoli Quinoa would be the health-nuts version of stuffing. It’s full of good carbs and a nutty flavor to satisfy.

Roasted-Broccoli-Quinoa-Broccoli_thumb

Instead Of Mashed Potatoes Try…

Low-Fat Butternut Squash Casserole uses squash instead of potatoes but still has a creamy mouth-feel and savory taste to it.

Low-Fat Garlic & Herb Mashed Potatoes are a great substitution for regular mashed potatoes. The garlic and herbs add enough flavor that you’ll never know they’re made with Stonyfield yogurt.

Try Making Yourself…

Cranberry Sauce is a favorite of mine whether it’s homemade and intricately flavored or just from a can. This recipe’s for any cranberry connoisseur out there.

Vegetarian Buffalo “Chicken” Dip is something I recommend for any get together, holiday or not. It will always get eaten up.

Got a favorite holiday recipe with a healthy twist? Share it in the comments below to help inspire other readers.

10 Sweet October Recipes

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October is one of my favorite months because it’s filled with chocolate and candy and unreasonably sugar-filled drinks. November is another favorite month because it has chocolate and candy at 50% off but we’re not quite there yet.

Whether it’s using pumpkin or chocolate or candy corn, there are tons of recipes out there to make October a little sweeter and add a personal touch to the season. Here are a few of my favorites from this blog.

Snacks

Homemade-Pumpkin-Granola_thumb

Pumpkin granola is full of Autumn flavor without too much added sugar. It’s a great topping to yogurt or smoothies on a Fall morning or even all on its own.

Sweet & salty Halloween Chex mix is the perfect party snack for kids or adults. With pretzel sticks and candy corn, it’s too addictive to have just one handful.

Homemade pumpkin cream cheese beats the flavored cream cheese you get at a bagel store in flavor and price. It’s a great way to spice up breakfast on-the-go in the morning.

Cookies

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Spiced almond butter cookies are as good as any 4-ingredient cookie gets. It’s deeply nutty and slightly spicy with cinnamon and nutmeg to round out the flavor. Have a few next to your favorite cup of tea.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a seasonal way to make a classic cookie recipe. The pumpkin in them makes the softer and puffier so cakey cookie lovers should take note.

Candy

Homemade-Peanut-Butter-Pumpkins_thumb

Peanut butter pumpkins are the tastier, homemade counterpart to Reese’s pumpkins. They’re a lot easier to make than you’d imagine and a killer dessert to bring to a party or give out as a Halloween gift.

Homemade chocolate turtles are another crowd-pleasing homemade candy to impress your guests. They’re addictive so definitely make these for a crowd or you’ll be eating one after the other.

White chocolate candy corn bark is a simple, kid-friendly recipes with just a few ingredients but totally fun and seasonal.

Cakes & Bread

GrainFreePumpkinBread_thumb

Gluten-free pumpkin bread is good any time of year(obviously, because I made this back in June), but especially good on an Autumn morning with a cup of hot dark roasted coffee.

Chocolate-pumpkin baked custard is not your typical dessert and great to make for a group of people who want something different. It’s reminiscent of a flourless chocolate cake but lightened up a little with the addition of pumpkin.

Vegetarian Labor Day Recipes

Labor Day is a week from today. As someone who usually whips something up last minute and thinks to make holiday posts only in hindsight I’m amazed I’m posting this a week early; and I hope someone out there finds a useful recipe from the bunch.

Whether you’re a vegetarian yourself, entertaining vegetarian friends or just need some Labor Day recipe ideas, I picked out a few of my favorites that would be perfect for an outdoor barbeque. Most of these recipes don’t scream “vegetarian” and won’t have you running to the store to pick up new ingredients; they’re just darn good recipes that happen to be vegetarian.

Vegetarian-Buffalo-Chicken-Dip_thumb

Vegetarian buffalo “chicken” dip is still one of my favorite things to eat. If you love buffalo dip you won’t even notice the simple substitution of beans for chicken. Just buy some tortilla chips and you’re good to go for a party.

Grilled tofu is surprisingly simple whether you’re a longtime vegetarian or just hosting some. All you need is a 3-ingredient marinade and a spot on the grill. This recipe has enough flavor to make anyone happy.

 

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Gluten-free cornbread is essential for any cookout. The cornbread is delicious on its own but even better next to some sloppy sides. Remember to leave out some extra butter and honey and serve it hot!

Spicy maple baked beans taste better than any beans you’ll get from a can. They’re spicy, smoky, sweet, salty and savory all in one. Making your own vegetarian worcstershire sauce is ten times easier than it sounds and adds a whole new dimension of flavor to the dish. Everyone will love these.

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Gluten-free flag cake definitely would steal the show. A rich chocolate sheet cake with smooth vanilla buttercream and decorative berries is a perfect way to celebrate the end of Summer and please some hungry mouths.

Stuffed strawberries is another great patriotic dessert, and it comes already portioned! Slicing and stuffing fresh strawberries might take a little extra time but you’ll definitely get asked for the recipe. And this recipe naturally avoids most of the common food allergies(except dairy).