Chocolate Strawberry Bark

Chocolate Strawberry Bark

Why do grocery stores have an aisle full of balls, stuffed animals, and other random little toys? Do people really buy that stuff from the grocery store? And why does it have to be down the same aisle as the water, or really, any aisle that I always have to go down? Don’t they know parents hate that aisle? Our store decided to put up all of their Valentine’s Day gifts and bears right after January 1st. And of course, as soon as we started down the aisle, Maddie told me all of the things she needed us to buy for her. They also had a bunch of festive sprinkles and frosting and by some miracle, I managed to squeak out of the aisle with just a small bottle of heart sprinkles and Valentine’s M&M’s. Maddie had been asking me repeatedly over these past few weeks about when she can eat the sprinkles. I have been telling her she has to wait until we bake with them, but since she’s 3, she doesn’t quit!

Chocolate Strawberry Bark

So, I decided I had enough of her nagging and dug through the pantry to find two bags of chocolate chips and made some Valentine’s chocolate bark. This recipe is so simple and you can decorate it with any kind of candy and sprinkles (and for any holiday, really!). While I would personally prefer dark chocolate, I used milk chocolate to appease the rest of the family. And now for the fun part, with the white chocolate, I stirred in a little bit of strawberry extract and a touch of food coloring!

I love how you get just a touch of strawberry flavor in this candy. You can use more or less, depending on how much flavor you want, but I find 1/2 teaspoon is enough for me. If strawberry isn’t your thing, you can also use raspberry extract (or heck, just leave it plain if that is what your little heart desires!

Chocolate Strawberry Bark

Zucchini Cheesy Bread

Zucchini Cheesy Bread

Raise your hand if you are a cheesy bread addict? ::Raises hand as high as possible:: Yes, that’s me. Who doesn’t love cheesy bread? What’s not to love? Cheese and carbs? Count me in. Actually though, I’m not even sure the last time I had cheesy bread as I know how little self-control I would have around it. I’ve recently tested some cauliflower crust recipes and thought I’d try my hand at using one of my most favorite veggies in all the land, zucchini! I love using zucchini in baked goods, but I’ve never tried making something more savory with it.

Zucchini Cheesy Bread

If you have ever made cauliflower pizza crust or cheesy bread, this recipe is really very similar. The only thing I will say about this zucchini version is that zucchini has a much higher water content compared to cauliflower. So, that means you have to be really sure to squuuuuueeeze as much of that water out as you can before baking. You really want to get out as much as possible to avoid sogginess. Just in case, I like to add a little bit of almond flour as it helps soak up additional moisture. If you don’t care about the low-carb aspect of this recipe, you can also use just regular all-purpose or whole wheat flour. I’ve made this with and without the almond flour and I do think the almond flour helps make it a little more stable!

Zucchini Cheesy Bread

Zucchini Cheesy Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Banana Chip Cookies
Maddie and I were feeling seriously cooped up a couple of weeks ago while we were all sick. Maddie was the least sick of all of us and she was going completely nuts one morning, taking every single toy she has (which is A LOT) out and it was making me want to pull out all of my hair. I dragged her into the kitchen to bake and made up these peanut butter banana chip cookies and I am seriously in love!

Peanut Butter Banana Chip Cookies

These cookies have a somewhat muffin-like texture to them which means you can eat them pretty much any time of day! I’ve been adding a touch of cornstarch to a lot of my cookie recipes lately because it makes them extra soft and chewy!

Baked Honey Chipotle Wings

Baked Honey Chipotle Wings

I don’t know why, but the thought of making chicken wings used to totally intimidate me. The very first time I bought them many years ago, I accidentally bought some that were not broken down. I seriously spent a good hour trying to break them apart before giving up and vowing to never again attempt to make them myself. I think I talked to my mom on the phone about it and she was just like, “What the heck did you buy? They come separated!”

Whatever. I still decided to just forget them for years until she finally made them with me and I was like, okay, wow, I’m an idiot. Seriously, making your own wings at home is SO SO easy. Of course, as long as you buy the the wings already broken down ;)

So now that I’ve gotten over my fear of making my own wings, I’ve been whipping them up all the time because they are my husband’s favorite game day snack and they are perfection for pizza nights at home! I made these honey chipotle wings last weekend and they were gone in minutes!

Baked Honey Chipotle Wings

To make these, I simply just bake the wings onto a baking sheet tossed with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. The sauce just requires you to throw everything in the food processor and then brush it on the wings at the end! Bam, you are done! I love the spicy/sweet combo in this sauce. They have a little kick, but it’s not too much and you can always adjust it by adding more or less of the chipotle peppers or honey. I love these for game day because they are really simple and a definite crowd-pleaser!

Baked Honey Chipotle Wings

Avocado Ranch Dip

Avocado Ranch Dip

It’s almost time for that big game where there is a football and a bunch of dudes. You know, that one day where most of us are more excited about the food instead of the actual game, right? Yeah, that’s me.

Who doesn’t love a bunch of delicious eats loaded with cheese, chips, and all other kinds of indulgences? I know I certainly do, but who says everything in your game day spread has to be really heavy? I like to have a mix of things for guests and this Avocado Ranch Dip is my new favorite dip to serve!

Avocado Ranch Dip

This dip is good alternative to guacamole. You got your creamy avocado going on, but this dip also has the awesome kick of ranch seasoning mixed in! I also mixed in nonfat Greek yogurt which helps lend to the creamy texture of the dip and adds some tang that pairs perfectly with the ranch flavors!

The other great thing about this dip is it really couldn’t be easier to make because you literally just toss everything into a food processor until smooth and then transfer it to a bowl to serve! You can double it or triple it if needed. This dip is perfect for a veggie tray, but is also really yummy with pita chips!

Avocado Ranch Dip

Immunity Smoothie

Immunity Smoothie

It has been a couple of REALLY bad weeks in my house. The cold from hell is still around and I can’t believe how long this thing is lasting. We’ve been cooped up in the house and are really starting to go a little nuts, especially the girls. We’ve made a few trips out of the house, but not for very long and I’ve missed so much work.

You’ve probably already heard the flu shot this year was only 10% effective and there are a record number of sick people this winter. I’ve been making these Immunity smoothies on repeat over the past week because I need ALL of the Vitamin C I can get!

Immunity Smoothie

This immunity-boosting smoothie is packed with oranges and believe it or not, even some carrots! Both of these are super high in Vitamin C! I also tossed in a frozen banana which gives the smoothie a dreamy ice cream-like texture, some strawberries, and some Greek yogurt for some protein. I actually didn’t feel the need to add any sweetener, but of course you can add honey, agave, or whatever your sweetener of choice would be!

One quick note about the carrots, I added raw grated baby carrots. The raw carrots do add a pulp-like texture to the smoothie. If you don’t want that, you can steam your carrots first before adding them to the blender and that should help them blend up more smoothly. It’s totally up to you though! I also added about a cup of liquid to the smoothie to thin it. I used a splash of apple juice and milk. You can use water, any kind of milk, or fruit juice for this and just add more until the smoothie reaches your desired thickness!

Immunity Smoothie