Chocolate Fondue

Ok, I have been so bad with posting lately! I am currently out-of-state visiting family for the week, but I didn’t want to go a whole week without any updates!

It was my good friend, Amanda’s, birthday last week and I wanted to celebrate with a special treat, but I didn’t want to do cake or cupcakes. Chocolate fondue was the perfect choice because it’s perfectly decadent and easy to make! This is my go-to chocolate fondue recipe that I always use for our fondue feasts! It’s great because you can easily change up the ingredients, for example, the chocolate. You can use semi-sweet chips, but you can also use milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips! If you want to make this fondue extra special, try adding in some melted peanut butter or some seedless raspberry jam!

When it comes to choosing what to dip, I like to do pound cake, strawberries, and bananas. But, if you want to do it up Melting Pot style, add some brownies, cheesecake, and rice krispie treats!

Chocolate Fondue

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

– 1 12-ounce bag chocolate chips (you can use semi-sweet, milk, or dark chocolate chips!)

– 2 tsp. vanilla extract

– 1 tsp. cinnamon

– 3/4 cup heavy cream (or half and half)

– For Dipping: pound cake, strawberries, sliced bananas, brownies, rice krispie treats, etc.!

Directions:

1. Heat fondue pot to high heat. Add the cream and stir in the vanilla extract and cinnamon. Once heated, add about half the bag of chocolate chips and stir until melted. Add rest of the bag and continue stirring until smooth. Lower heat and enjoy!

Banana Maple Breakfast Quinoa

Meet my new best friend, quinoa. As someone who is trying to limit their carb and sugar intake, quinoa and I have become close friends. If you have never had quinoa before, it is basically a grain that is similar to rice. However, quinoa is different from rice in that it is a complete protein and is very high in fiber and it releases sugar into the blood more slowly than rice.

I’ve been using quinoa as a rice substitute with my dinners, but I recently heard about cooking quinoa for breakfast and I was very intrigued. I decided to give it a shot and I was very happy with the results! The quinoa was sweet and filling just like oatmeal. I loved the mashed banana that I mixed in with it along with some sugar-free maple syrup, and then I topped it off with some fresh blueberries! If you are short on time in the morning, cook the quinoa the night before and just re-heat it in the microwave in the morning! So easy!

Banana Maple Breakfast Quinoa

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 1 c. uncooked quinoa
– 1 c. water
– 1 c. skim milk
– 1 banana, mashed
– sugar-free maple syrup
– Optional: 1 tbs. ground flaxseed meal, blueberries, strawberries, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Directions:

1. In a medium sauce pan, bring milk and water to a boil, add quinoa. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed (add a little more liquid and cook longer if needed).

1. Stir in mashed banana. Add maple syrup (however much you prefer), and top with fresh fruit!

Mango Salsa

Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa. You might thinking that title sounds familiar if you read my blog regularly. One of the first recipes I posted was my grilled salmon with PEACH salsa recipe. It’s one of my favorites and this summer, the hubster and I have been on a salmon kick and I find myself making it once a week. As I was prepping some salmon last month, I looked into our fruit bowl and in the freezer and realized I was fresh out of peaches. However, I did have mangoes. So mango salsa it was. And mango salsa it has been for the last month. I used the same recipe that I used for the peach salsa, but this time, I just swapped the mangoes for the peaches. I didn’t have red pepper on hand, but the mango salsa tasted great without it!

Don’t get me wrong, the peach salsa is fantastic, but I am really loving this mango salsa. It kind of rocks my world, but don’t tell the peaches that….

Mango Salsa

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 3 c. of chopped mango
– 1/4 c. chopped red onion
– 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
– 1 1/2 tbs. rice vinegar
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– Optional: 3/4 c. finely chopped red pepper

Directions:

1. In a medium-sized bowl, chop all ingredients for the salsa and put into bowl. Add vinegar and mix well. Set bowl aside.

Notes:
– You can find my recipe for the peach salsa and my go-to recipe for cooking salmon here.
– Not a fan of salmon or seafood? No problem! This salsa is also great served over grilled chicken or pork!

Low-Fat Choco Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie


Sorry I haven’t posted in a while! The last week and the next two weeks are so crazy for me with a conference and out-of-state travels to visit family! But for now, it’s time for me to tell you about this awesome smoothie I have been making!

The name of this recipe is quite a mouthful, isn’t it?! I probably could have thought of something shorter and more creative, but I’m too dang tired! I had a craving for a smoothie the other day, but I didn’t want my usual fruit smoothie. I wanted something chocolatey, more like a milkshake, but without all the fat and sugar. And though my husband (the milkshake connoisseur) would disagree, I think this is a great substitute for a milkshake. This smoothie is rich and filling because of the peanut butter and banana. Not only is this smoothie low in fat, but it also low in sugar if you use the natural peanut butter.

Low-Fat Choco Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

– 2 cups ice

– 1 cup skim milk

– 1 medium banana, quartered

– 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1 tbs. all natural peanut butter

– Optional: 1 tbs. ground flaxseed

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Easy Blueberry Strawberry Cobbler

I had a major hankering for a fruit cobbler last week. Like major. And since it was the 4th of July, I wanted to make a dessert that was red, white, and blue! I’ve actually never made a cobbler before so I wasn’t sure how this recipe would turn out, but it was really REALLY good and really REALLY easy to make. I decided to use fresh blueberries and strawberries. And for that delicious cake topping, I used boxed cake mix. Super easy! This cobbler was pretty sweet for me, in fact, I had trouble getting through my bowl. If you don’t like super sweet desserts, I recommend maybe cutting down the sugar just a tad.

Easy Blueberry Strawberry Cobbler

Serves 6

Ingredients:

– 1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed

– 2 cups strawberries (about 3/4 of a package), rinsed and hulled

– 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1/4 cup water

– 2 tbs. flour

– 1/2 boxed yellow or vanilla cake mix (though, you can use all of it if you want the cobbler to be extra cakey :) )

– 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish. In a saucepan, combine flour and sugar. Add water and lemon juice and combine. Stir in the blueberries and strawberries. Turn on the heat to medium high, continue mixing and bring to a boil. Pour mixture into baking disk.

2. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the fruit until it is well-covered, drizzle melted butter evenly over the top of the cake mix, making sure the cake mix is well-covered in the butter. Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the cake has browned and the fruit starts to bubble over the cake mix. Serve warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Southwest Burgers

Ok, so I am kind of obsessed with guacamole. I think I could eat it every day whether it is with tortilla chips, tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, veggies, grilled chicken, and now, these Southwest Burgers. Yeah, sure, I tried to infuse a “southwest” flavor into the meat, but really, all I wanted to do is slather copious amounts of guacamole on this burger. I was trying to think about what I was going to make for the 4th of July and figured I would make some sort of burger so after day-dreaming about guacamole, I decided to make these southwest burgers that I topped with some of my Best Dang Guacamole.

Southwest Burgers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (or turkey, or black beans!)

– 2 tsp. taco seasoning

– 1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

– 1 tsp. onion powder

– 4 slices of pepper jack cheese

– Toppings: guacamole and salsa

– Optional: If you want the burgers to be moister, try adding 1/3 cup of salsa into the meat. You can also add 2 tsp. of hot sauce if you want these burgers to have a kick to them!

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine beef, taco seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder. Form into 4 patties.

2. Heat grill or grill pan (spray with cooking spray first) to medium high heat. Cook burgers approximately 5 minutes on each side or until burgers are cooked to your desire. Add cheese slices on top of the burgers about 2 minutes before you remove them from the grill. Top burger with the best dang guacamole, salsa, and serve!