Saturday, February 27, 2016

Banana Bread Overnight Oats

I am not a huge fan of bananas.

Never really have been.  However, there are a few exceptions!  I love banana bread, and banana cake. So basically, I like it when my bananas are mashed and mixed with sugar...yep!

There's just something so warm, comforting, and special about a moist slice of freshly baked banana bread.  So when we ended up with a couple overripe bananas this week, I knew I had to do something with them.  But since I am trying to watch my sugar intake, I knew that banana bread was out of the question.

So I decided to make these banana bread overnight oats instead!  I used just the natural sweetness of the bananas to sweeten the oats, but you can add up to a tablespoon of honey to the batch if it's not to your liking.  I love the taste of these, and it makes me feel like I am indulging for breakfast, even though I am not.  Adding a tablespoon of walnuts also adds a nice crunch to my morning portion as well!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sensational Steak Soup

My husband and I have made meal plans each month for the last 14 months, and we only go grocery shopping once a month, but somehow, this month didn't really happen.  We didn't make a meal plan, and we didn't go grocery shopping.  As a result, our dinners have been a little haphazard.  At least I feel like they have been, and we have been slowly using up the items in the fridge and freezer, some of which have been there for a while.

Today's dinner was the result of some creative finagling with some leftover beef broth, potatoes and carrots.  This soup is savory, hearty, but not heavy.  The steak is tender and delicious and the vegetables are colorful and fresh.  This soup pairs well with a nice, crusty bread or roll and a crisp salad, to make it a whole meal.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Overnight Oats with Lemon Blueberry Compote

Breakfast is one of those things that I often forget about, that is, unless I am super excited abut what it is that I get to eat.  Which is why I stocked up on oats, yogurt, and milk a couple weeks ago.  Now, I just put together some batches of overnight oats a couple times a week, and then I have a tasty and filling breakfast every morning.

Today's version consists of vanilla oats, with lemon blueberry compote layered on top.  The oats are great just by themselves, but the compote is the perfect blend of juicy berries and lemon flavor, which pair wonderfully with the creamy oats!

I make the compote ahead and store it separately in the refrigerator, then I add a couple spoonfuls to my oats in the morning.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Blueberry Filled Chocolates

Valentine's Day is coming up soon, and the stores are overflowing with hearts, cupids, and candy.  We don't really buy into the big candy overhaul that goes on this time of year, but I did want to make something fun and special for my husband.

Since he loves blueberries, I decided it would be fun to make some filled chocolates by making a blueberry ganache, and use a cute heart-shaped candy mold to top it off!

These make a tasty sweet treat for your sweetheart!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dirty Thirty...and Better than Sex Cake

Today is my 30th birthday, finally!

Many of you may be thinking to yourselves; "Finally?  Why finally?  Don't most women dread turning 30?"  And while that may be true for most people, I have actually never cared about getting older, and birthdays aren't a big deal for me.

However, I have always looked at the age of 30 as "finally being an adult", which is a little silly, since technically you become an adult at 18 (which, holy crazy young...).  And it isn't that I haven't acted like an adult for the last...many years, but I feel like at 30, even other adults tend to take you more seriously, while when you are in your 20's they still think of you as being young and naive.

So here I am, officially 30, and no longer young and naive!  Or at least I like to pretend.

One thing I don't have to pretend about, is how amazingly delicious today's recipe is.  The first time I had Better than Sex Cake was actually for my 21st birthday.  My friend Heidi threw me my first-ever big group birthday party, and since she knew I didn't like frosting (and because she's an angel), she made this cake.

This version is completely homemade, but you can substitute store bought caramel, whipped cream, and chocolate fudge sauce if you don't want to make those from scratch, however, homemade really makes a world of difference, and it doesn't take super long to make either!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Banana Muffins

I bought bananas for some chocolate fondue we did last week, but I didn't really need 6 bananas for the fondue, so I decided that some tasty muffins would be the perfect new life for the extra fruit.

They made perfect little muffins with a lovely streusel topping, and I didn't even need to wait for the bananas to age and turn brown to use them!  My bananas were just out of the green stage, so I whipped them in my KitchenAid with the whisk attachment for a few minutes until they expanded in size, which made them work just as well as browned bananas.

Whip up a batch for the week, and have tasty banana muffins for breakfast each morning!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Oatmeal Cookie Dough Truffles

Earlier this week, I was struck with inspiration to create these Oatmeal Cookie Dough Truffles.  Well, more accurately, I was struck with a craving for Oatmeal Cookies...and since I have a tendency to turn just about everything in our house into truffles, these little buddies were born!  Welcome to the World, Truffles!

If you like oatmeal cookies, you will love these truffles!  So easy to make, and so tasty!  I put mini chocolate chips in mine, but you can use chopped raisins or butterscotch chips as well, whatever you like in your usual oatmeal cookies!  You can also leave the add-ins out completely, if that is more your style.

I also topped some of the truffles with granola, dusted some with cinnamon, and left some plain.  I personally like the crunch of the granola, but my husband preferred the ones without granola.  So that bit is up to you!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

White Chocolate Blueberry Muffins

Happy New Year!

The busy holidays are now behind us, and the beginning of 2016 lies ahead, full of possibilities and excitement.  Many people make resolutions for the beginning of the year, which is great, I however, haven't participated in that tradition for well over a decade.

I am just not good at making resolutions at the beginning of the year.  I do, however, make goals throughout the year on a continual basis, so I figure all hope isn't lost on me.

For example, my goal this morning was to eat breakfast (something I haven't been doing habitually since Christmas).  And while I was pondering what to do, inspiration struck as my eyes scanned over my cupboards, and fell upon dried blueberries and white chocolate chips.

The result was a recipe for White Chocolate Blueberry Muffins, which gave me, not only something to eat for breakfast, but will make my husband happy when he gets home from work, since blueberries are his favorite.

While I used dried blueberries, since they were what I had on hand, you can also use fresh or frozen berries if you have them.

The tart little berries pair wonderfully with the smooth white chocolate chips, and create a colorful dance party for your taste buds.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Andes Mint Cookie Dough Truffles

I love when the holiday Andes mints go on sale, because it means that Christmas is almost here. I bought a box of the peppermint crunch variety, and the regular mint variety back in November, and have been snacking on them for a while, but not before I whipped up some of these tasty truffles.

I love mint truffles, but you really can't go wrong with cookie dough, so I decided that a mint cookie dough truffle was certainly in order.

I love how the flecks of red and white pop through the dark, chocolatey cookie dough, don't you?

Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies

Sometimes you just need to shake things up a bit.  And apparently at Christmas, that means making chocolate variations of things that aren't typically chocolate.

Bruce wanted to give plates of cookies so some of our friends and neighbors this year, and we needed one more addition to the festive cookie plate.  I had been tinkering with this recipe for a few months, but had never quite succeeded, but thankfully, they finally came together in a way that I loved!

These cookies are soft, even if you roll out the dough thinly, and they pair wonderfully with festive frostings or glazes, like my Eggnog Frosting or Peppermint Frosting.