Challah Bread French Toast with Lemon Mascarpone

Challah Bread French Toast with Lemon Mascarpone

When my husband and I got married almost 2 years ago in beautiful Sonoma, California, we had our wedding at a gorgeous hotel that had some serious delicious food. Honestly, everything we ate in Sonoma was just amazing. For reals. It might have been all the wine tasting, but everything there is so fresh and delicious. Anyway, the morning of our wedding, my husband, who usually has a very sensitive stomach decided to order himself a nice breakfast. I was surprised to hear that he ate anything that morning as I knew he was dreading the day ahead and probably wouldn’t want to eat much. And no, it was not because he didn’t want to marry me. He wanted to marry me so hard. But, he was freaking out about the fact that people were going to be looking at him…all day long…Don’t worry, he survived the torture of being the center of attention. I asked him what he ordered for breakfast that morning. He told me that he ordered some delicious french toast that was topped with some lemon mascarpone. Um, WHAT?! Lemon mascarpone. On french toast. I want to eat that. Now! I told myself that I needed to try to make it at home as we love having french toast. But, then I totally forgot about it. Until now…it was finally time for challah bread french toast with lemon mascarpone topping.

You can use any bread you want for this, but I chose a pretty loaf of challah bread that I picked up from Fresh Market. I love the light sweet flavor and texture of the bread. You can also use brioche bread.

Ok, now let’s talk about this:

Challah Bread French Toast with Lemon Mascarpone

Actually, I can’t even talk about it. So simple. Mascarpone with lemon juice and zest, and a touch of confectioner’s sugar. I just wanted to eat it by the spoonful (and um, it’s possible I did…like a few times…maybe…). When placed on top of the warm french toast, it melts and it’s even more amazing! My brain is already reeling thinking about what else I can put lemon mascarpone on. For now, I might just keep eating with a spoon. I might need a lemon mascarpone intervention. I also tossed some mixed berries on top.

Buttermilk Dill Pasta Salad

Buttermilk Dill Pasta Salad

Oh, hi Summer! It’s nice to see you. Kind of. I have to admit that I REALLY hate Florida summers. The humidity just totally disgusts me! You can break a sweat just walking to the mailbox. And don’t even get me started on my hair. Thick and wavy hair does not work well in humidity. I don’t even know why I bother straightening my hair.

One thing I do enjoy about summer is food. Duh. Summertime makes me think of great picnic and BBQ foods. Pasta and potato salads are a summer favorite. I have some serious standards when it comes to pasta salads. If there is a ton of mayo, you can forget it! I also like my pasta salads to filled with other great ingredients like lots of fresh veggies for added texture and flavor.

THIS pasta salad! This pasta salad is an exception to my pasta salad rule. There isn’t a ton of mayo. The buttermilk gives it a nice tang and the dill just adds even more great flavor! The other thing I love about this pasta salad is how versatile it is. I added peas, corn, and bacon to mine as that is what I had on hand at home, but you could really add so many different things to this pasta salad! Maybe some cherry tomatoes, broccoli, or carrots. I think some chicken or shrimp would also be nice!

SlimKicker Fitness App and a Giveaway!

Happy Memorial Day, friends! Hope you all have some fun plans today filled with delicious munchies! We have a tropical storm headed our way! I think we’ll be doing some indoor grilling today!

Today, I’m excited to tell you about a fun, new fitness app that I recently discovered called SlimKicker!

When it comes to dieting, I find that I usually have the best results when I keep track of what and how much I eat. There’s a lot of sites and apps that track your food and exercise these days. While SlimKicker can track both food and exercise, one of my favorite things about the app is that they make getting healthy a game! We all have certain challenges when it comes to dieting and exercise. For example, are you a soda addict? Then you can sign up for the ‘replace soda’ challenge! You can also chat with other folks who are also completing the same challenge for support. When you complete a challenge, you earn points that you are encouraged to put towards rewarding yourself. Maybe get that hot pair of shoes you have been yearning for or go pamper yourself at the spa for a day! Some of the challenges on SlimKicker can also earn you some great prizes! If you have an iPhone, you can download the App. If not, you can also access the site online.

If nutrition is not where you struggle with meeting your health goals, they also have challenges for willpower, fitness, and even emotional challenges like relieving stress and getting more sleep.

I was recently contacted by the lovely folks at SlimKicker and they are challenging YOU to share your own ideas for a challenge! The person with the best challenge idea is going to receive this awesome Ozeri digital food scale!

In order to enter this giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment sharing your idea for a health challenge! For example, no dessert for a week. Or 50 sit ups a day for one week.

If you want to see some examples of other challenges on SlimKicker, click here. In order to win this giveaway, you must come up with a new challenge idea that is not already listed on their site.

– This giveaway will be open until next Sunday, June 2nd at 11:59pm EST.
– This giveaway is open to US residents only.
– The winner will be chosen by the folks at SlimKicker.


Disclaimer: I was contacted by SlimKicker to host this giveaway. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

What? Memorial Day weekend? Where did you come from?! I only just remembered you were coming yesterday. I am not prepared for grilling out goodness and fun in the sun.

Although summer doesn’t officially start for a few more weeks, I think Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer for most people. Summer means grilling out, hanging with friends and family, and yummy summer drinks.

Lemonade screams summer to me. I remember having lemonade stands when I was younger. When I was little, we lived on a small cul-de-sac and so I think I only got like 3 customers. But, whatever, I took that 50 cents I made and probably bought some candy. Put that money to good use!

This sparkling strawberry lemonade is refreshing and is a nice twist to plain ol’ lemonade. The only thing I might do different next time is add more strawberry as the flavor was pretty subtle. But, still delicious! You can sweeten this lemonade in two ways. The first way is to use some simple syrup which is made with water and sugar. The other way is to use agave nectar. If you want to make this more grown-up, swap the water for some sparkling wine! Yay summer!

Chewy Granola Bars

Chewy Granola Bars

After making my own protein bars last month, I have been really wanting to have a go at making some homemade granola bars. Yesterday was the first part of my dissertation defense. And yes, I passed! Yay! Now to just finish my analyses and writing the results up, and then one more final defense and I will be D.O.N.E.! So anyway, when you do a defense, it’s wise to bring some snacks for your committee members. A hungry committee member is not a good thing, folks. My defense was at 10am so I didn’t want to bring anything that was too sweet. Homemade granola bars it was!

I loooooove these bars! Like, I am never going to buy them again. I love that these bars do not contain any added sugar or corn syrup. They are also no-bake! Gotta always love that!

Unfortunately because I was busy prepping for my defense the day before, I didn’t get around to making these until late and wanted to slice them up before bed so I didn’t have to worry about it in the morning. So, I attempted to cut my bars after about 3 hours and I think that was too soon as some kind of fell apart. Doh! So, I recommend letting them set for a good 4 hours or overnight before slicing them up.

Buttermilk Spice Muffins

Buttermilk Spice Muffins

Writing my dissertation is slowly turning me into a hermit. Every day is starting to look the same. Get out of bed, try to get a work out in, shower, and straight to the computer I go. I have been living in yoga pants. I can’t even remember the last time I wore real pants. Occasional trips to the grocery store and Chipotle have been my only exposure to the outside world. Poor husband, I’m being so neglectful and I look like a crazy person every day. At least I put a little make up on. I think that hides some of the craziness.

But, look, I took a little break to make you these muffins! If you’ve ever been to Mimi’s Cafe, you know that they have some seriously awesome muffins. One of my faves is their buttermilk spice muffin. So simple, yet so delicious. I love all the cinnamon and nutmeg. Lucky for me, Mimi’s shared their recipe on their website. Of course, in typical Stephanie fashion, I lightened up their recipe for y’all by cutting the fat and sugar. I think these muffins are pretty fab. The crunchy walnut topping is so delicious and gives the muffin some texture. Take that, Mimi’s!