Chocolate Cashew Butter

Woo! It’s Friday friends! I’m visiting my mom, brother, and stepdad this weekend so I’m going to make this post short and sweet. I have been wanting to make my own nut butters for a while. I thought about doing a chocolate almond butter, but the Hubs has a thing for cashews so chocolate cashew butter it was! This chocolate cashew butter was super tasty and would perfect to use smeared with some jelly on a sandwich, with apple slices, or in cookies! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

If you haven’t done so yet, don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win an adorable coffee scoop from Uncommon Goods! The giveaway is open until Sunday at 11:59pm (EST)!

Chocolate Cashew Butter

Makes about 2 cups of cashew butter

Ingredients:

– 2 cups unsalted cashews

– 2-3 tbs. vegetable or coconut oil

– pinch of salt (or to taste)

– 2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1/4-1/2 cup honey or agave nectar (optional)

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until the butter reaches your desired consistency. You may want to only add one tablespoon of the oil at at time and only add more if needed. If you want the butter to be smoother, add more oil.

Notes:
– I left mine on the thicker side, but the longer you process, the more smooth it will become!
– Adding the honey or agave nectar is totally optional. If you don’t want your cashew butter to have a sweet taste, then don’t add it!
– Cashews can spoil very quickly, so store your cashew butter in a container in the fridge!

Oh! And before I forget, I want to give a big thanks to Ramona over at Curry and Comfort for passing the Happy Blogger award to me! Thanks so much, Ramona!

Egg Muffins

Good morning, friends!! Today I have prepared a delicious, low-carb, easy breakfast for you all, egg muffins! They are so easy to make and to take on-the-go! I filled mine with cheese, bacon, and spinach, but these are so versatile, you can really fill them with whatever you want!

Starbucks Iced Green Tea

Note: This post was written in 2012 when Starbucks used TAZO teas for their iced tea recipe. They now use Teavana Jade Citrus Mint Tea for their iced green tea. You can still follow the same recipe in regards to making the tea concentrate and simple syrup for sweetener!

When I go to Starbucks, I always order one of the following: 1. soy chai latte, 2. skinny soy cinnamon dolce latte, or 3. sweetened iced green tea. It’s been on the warm side here in Florida the last couple of weeks which means I have been craving iced beverages. Iced green tea season is upon us! Sounds awesome, right? Well, there is one problem. This simple iced tea costs almost $3.00 for a venti size. I refuse to spend $20 a week on iced tea. REFUSE!! Time to figure out how to make it myself! I was pretty hesitant to post this recipe because it’s not really a recipe, but considering the amount of people I know that share my addiction for iced green teas from Starbucks, I thought some of you might also appreciate it. So, rest easy, your wallets are safe! The last few times I have gone in to order my iced tea, I carefully watched the baristas make my drink so I am 98% sure that this is exactly how they make it.

You guys only need to get two ingredients from the store. Yes, 2! First, you need a box of Tazo Zen Green Tea. My grocery store sells it for less than $7 a box. The second ingredient you need is sugar (or the sweetener of your choice). And there is a third ingredient…WATER! But, that’s free, duh! So, for less than $10, you can make your own green tea that will last you about 2-3 weeks. So much better, right?! And after making my own for the last few weeks, I can tell you it tastes exactly the same!

At Starbucks, they simply brew a concentrate with the Tazo Zen tea. They fill your cup only about one third of the way full with the concentrate, add ice and water, and a few pumps of their classic syrup (which is basically just simple syrup), shake it up, and that’s it! I have provided a recipe for creating your own simple syrup at home, but you can also buy your own bottle of their classic syrup if you don’t want to make it yourself. Or, of course, you can just sweeten it with straight sugar or sugar substitute (just note that this might taste exactly the same).

Chicken Pepperoni-Marinara

I’m not sure about you guys, but I am totally exhausted from working in the kitchen all day yesterday prepping for the Super Bowl. Our spread consisted of cheese, cheese, and more cheese! I think we also spent more time watching the Puppy Bowl, which was way more entertaining for me quite frankly!

I made this chicken pepperoni-marinara for dinner a few days ago and it was super super delicious! Hubs and I both had two servings! Whenever I make a new recipe for dinner, I always ask him if it is “a make-again-meal.” We both agreed that this is a dinner we would love to have again! What I really like about this recipe is that it is a mix between Chicken Parmesan and pizza, but without all the carbs! I served mine with a side of low-carb pasta, but veggies and a salad would also be great!

Chicken Pepperoni-Marinara

From Cooking Light – Jan./Feb.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced

– 16 slices pepperoni, chopped plus more for garnish (I used turkey pepperoni)

– 1/4 tsp. dried oregano

– 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (canned or homemade)

– 2 tbs. basil, chopped

– 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

– 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts (If thick, I cut mine in half for faster cooking time)

– salt and pepper to taste

– 1 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:

1. Heat a sauce pan on medium-high heat. Spray the pan with cooking spray. Add the the garlic and pepperoni and cook for 2 minutes until the garlic begins to brown. Add the oregano and stir. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

2. Heat a large oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with some salt and pepper. Cook the chicken on each side about 3-5 minutes until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Spoon the sauce on top of the chicken. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the chicken. Add additional slices of pepperoni on top. Broil for 2 minutes until the cheese melts. Garnish with the basil. Serve with pasta or veggies!

Pretzel Rolls

Pretzel Rolls

I don’t know why, but I have always been a little intimidated by working with yeast. I’ve only made my own breads a few times. And I don’t really know why it freaks me out, I’ve never had it not turn out, but it still makes me nervous. One of my “blog goals” has been to get over my fear of yeast.

I first saw these pretzel rolls on How Sweet It Is last spring and wanted to dive right in to the screen. I must make them! Tina made them into burger buns and the thought of a burger on a pretzel bun sounded too good to be true. Now, mine did not come out nearly as pretty, I think I cooked them about 2 or 3 minutes too long as you can see by how brown my slash marks got, but they still turned out pretty good. And sadly, my grocery store was out of pretzel salt (sigh), so I just sprinkled sea salt on mine.

So, how did they taste? Well, they tasted pretty darn good. But, myself, Hubs, and my brother all agreed that it made for a pretty heavy burger. I could only eat about half of mine and I was totally stuffed. The rolls aren’t as dense as I thought they would be, but they were still more dense than a regular burger bun.

So, I’m not sure I would make these as burger buns again. BUT, I think it’s still a great pretzel dough recipe and I would make these again as a small roll or as a bite to dip in my cheddar swiss fondue! Gah! That would be just amazing!!

So whether you make these into rolls, buns, or bites, if you are a soft pretzel fanatic, you should make these for your Super Bowl party or any fun party you have coming up! :)

Grab the recipe here!

Valentine’s Day Gifts For Foodies

Happy February 1st! I’m going to break up the Super Bowl recipes with a little Valentine’s Day love. Valentine’s Day is a mere 2 weeks away and whether you are looking for gifts for your sweetheart, family, friends, or even yourself, I’ve got you covered! I’ve scoured my favorite websites to find some great Valentine’s gift ideas for the foodies in your life. And best of all, these gifts are all $50 and under! Happy Shopping!
V-Day Gifts for Foodies

1. La Maison Du Chocolat Assorted Chocolates | Williams-Sonoma
$50 – williams-sonoma.com

Um, chocolate. Duh. What foodie wouldn’t love delicious gourmet chocolates?!

2. HEART COFFEE SCOOP | Romantic, Unique, Handmade Pewter Arrow and Heart…
$24 – uncommongoods.com

How about a little somethin’ somethin’ for the coffee lover in your life? I love this great coffee scoop from Uncommon Goods. It’s purty and it’s so much better than those flimsy plastic scoops!

3. Amazon.com: Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique…
$41 – amazon.com

While I would love a box of gourmet chocolates, I’ve also always wanted to learn how to make my own candy. This book is just incredible and is packed with gorgeous photos and tips on making your own candy!

4. Adult Apron | Williams-Sonoma
$30 – williams-sonoma.com

Having a nice apron is essential in the kitchen for me, especially if flour or oil are involved! Williams-Sonoma makes great, high-quality aprons that your loved ones can enjoy year ’round. AND you can get them personalized with your honey’s name!

5. Amazon.com: Tovolo 80-3923 Spatulart Flexible Heart-Shaped Spatula:…
$8.22 – amazon.com

How cute is this spatula?! It’s so perfect for making some delicious pancakes for a special breakfast in bed! You can’t see it very well in the picture above, but it has the word “love” written in different languages. You can find this and other V-Day themed kitchen tools on Amazon.

6. Prep Bowl Set of 3 – Assorted : Target
$15 – target.com

Speaking of breakfast, how about some cute prep bowls so you can mix up that breakfast in bed?! Target has some seriously adorable Valentine’s themed dishware right now. I want it all!!

7.Tote handbag
$9.95 – williams-sonoma.com

I’m loving this cute wine tote from Williams-Sonoma! Stick a nice bottle of wine or champagne in it and you have yourself an excellent gift for the wine lover!!

8.Amazon.com: RSVP International 4-pc. Endurance Heart Measuring Cups:…
$30 – amazon.com

I love measuring cups. I use mine almost daily so having a few extra sets is always a good idea! These little heart measuring cups are not only cute, but also really sturdy. Definitely worth the extra $$!

9. Whoopie Pie Heart Pan in Valentine’s Day & Red Velvet Whoopie Pie Mix| Crate&Barrel
$13 & $8.95 (for the mix) – crateandbarrel.com

Red velvet and Valentine’s Day pretty much go hand-in-hand. The baker in your life can whip up some delicious red velvet whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting with this festive whoopie pie pan and red velvet cake mix from Crate and Barrel.

10. Sweet Heart Large Mug in Valentine’s Day & Belgian Dark Sipping Chocolate | Crate&Barrel
$4.95 (for the mug) & $4.95 (for the mix)- crateandbarrel.com

Snuggle up with your sweetheart with a couple of these lovely mugs and some delicious hot chocolate!

What is on YOUR Valentine’s wishlists?! Feel free to share links in your comments!