Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NAUGHTY: Best Pumpkin Cake EVER


I'm a HUGE fan of all things pumpkin. And Pinterest. Put them together and we've got one awesome idea. 

http://www.cleverhousewife.com/2012/10/pumpkin-better-than-sex-cake/

Now... this pinner called it something different. I will leave that to you. 

If you haven't checked out my Pinterest, please do :) lots of great ideas from tons of people. And it's pretty well organized, if I do say so myself. 

http://www.pinterest.com/LauraNealTV/

This recipe is so incredibly easy. Does take some wait time, but it's worth it. Would be a great addition to your holiday feast!

You Will Need:

1 box yellow cake mix
1 – 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 – 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz. cool whip
½ bag Heath Bits
jar of caramel sauce



Mix together the cake mix, spice and pumpkin puree until a smooth batter forms. It will be very thick. Pour batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish, and bake at 350ยบ, according to the directions on the cake mix box.



Remove cake from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes after baking.

Using the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake.


Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake. 



This should fill in the holes and soak into the cake. The cake needs to be warm for this!


Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove cake from refrigerator and spread cool whip over top of cake. Sprinkle on the heath bits, and drizzle caramel over top. You won't need the whole jar of caramel. Warm it up some in the microwave to get it flowing!


Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight (best).


Of course, you could make some of these things from scratch and try it... but the point is quick and easy! 

QUESTION FOR YOU:

What's your favorite holiday dessert?


xoxo

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NICE: No-Bake Pumpkin Peanut Butter Power Balls

I know what you're thinking. Pumpkin and PB?? Yeah. I thought that too. But they are delicious! You could always swap something out - maybe banana, apple sauce or pureed sweet potato. You really can't taste the pumpkin and it easily comes out of a can. Just sayin'.


This inspiration came from a good friend of mine who is difficult to give gifts to. So, when he mentions a healthy treat he'd like to make -- I typically beg to take the reigns! This one is for you, Jeff!

Here's what he sent me:


 But I changed it up a bit.

You Will Need:
1 cup PB2 (or any other peanut butter powder)
1/2 cup peanut butter/ nut butter (I went with organic crunchy PB for texture)
1/2 cup pumpkin (about 1/3 of a can)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup dry oats
1 tbs flax seed
cinnamon for sprinkling



Mix all of the dry ingredients then start working in the pumpkin and nut butter. If they are too sticky, put in more oats, if they are too crumbly you could add more of that pumpkin or some more nut butter. I used a small ice cream scoop (gelato scoop) to portion them out. Roll them into balls, sprinkle with cinnamon and pop them in the freezer. They are good immediately, but keep better in the freezer for an extended period of time.

I opted out of the sugar. Peanut butter already has sugar in it and protein powder is sweet already. Mix everything up, try a taste and decide for yourself if you need the extra sugar. I added chia seeds to one batch for extra crunch, omega 3, fiber... etc. :)


Divided mine by those with chia and those without :)

ENJOY!

Question for you:

What's your favorite power snack? Do you eat anything before a workout? 

xoxo!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NICE: Crock-Pot Cashew Chicken

It's all about fast and easy meals. This time of year is always hectic and if you're like me, it's ALWAYS nice to come home to a hot home cooked meal!


I like crock-pot meals SO much I've started a Pinterest Board dedicated just to the cause. It's getting a little ridiculous! Also, spent a lot of time moving around some items on the Pinterest into different "Naughty & Nice" boards. We're organized now, y'all!

This recipe came from the below blog.


Very yummy and so easy. You could bag it up raw and put it in the freezer for a throw together meal on a tough and busy day.


You Will Need: 

2 chicken breasts, cut into smaller pieces (about a pound)
1-2 cups broccoli, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 cup cashews (unsalted works best so as not to over salt the recipe)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup water or chicken broth

Layer chicken, cashews and vegetables in the crock pot. 


Combine remaining ingredients except water and pour over chicken in crock pot. 


Add water or broth if necessary so mixture is almost completely covered. Cook for 2-4 hours on high or 4-8 hours on low. 

If you don't have lunch put together for the next day, you can always cook this over night and box it up in the morning on the way to work or school. Brilliant. I know! 




You could serve this with brown rice, bulgur wheat, quinoa... whatever you can think up! 

Enjoy! 

xoxo

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

NICE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

I've learned this week you either LOVE pumpkin or you're not a fan. Whatsoever. It did not occur to me these people exist. I digress. 



This week I'm trying to save some $$ by avoiding the grocery store. This had me pantry surfing last night. What did I find? Chocolate chips, canned pumpkin and oats. The trifecta. 

One of my favorite sites for all things healthy desserts and oatmeal is ChocolateCoveredKatie.com

I found this recipe inspiration here: 

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2010/10/20/how-much-do-you-love-pumpkin-more-than-artisana-coconut-butter/

You Will Need:

1/2 c. milk of choice (I used coconut milk)
- 1/2 c. water or more milk of choice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 c. rolled oats
- 1/4 c. canned pumpkin
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- sweetener as desired 
- 1/4 c. chocolate chips or white chocolate chips
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- cinnamon! Mix some in, and sprinkle more on top

Combine all ingredients on the stove top and bring to a boil. Stir over medium heat until desired thickness. You could pop this in the microwave depending on your oats. 
I quadrupled the recipe so as not to use a partial can of pumpkin and froze or refrigerated the rest. 
The big question... 
Are you a pumpkin fan?? 

xoxo

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

NICE: Coffee Protein Shake

Every morning I make coffee and I make some form of breakfast. As someone who rises when a lot of people are still getting in bed (2AM) time is of the essence. Two and one?? Nutrients and caffeine?? Say it's so. It's so.



I have this pin under "Desserts" on my Pinterest page. 

Here is the original pin:

http://pinterest.com/pin/82331499410600497/

This is super easy and with the help of a magic bullet - easy to assemble a ton at one time.

You Will Need:

1 cup of coffee - cooled
1/2 cup milk of your choosing (I like coconut milk)
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1/2 frozen banana

optional - one scoop of peanut butter powder.

With the PB 2 powder, this packs less than 200 calories and 19 grams of protein. Without the PB it's 175 calories and 16 grams of protein. Talk about a powerful breakfast!

Here's what you do. Pre-freeze your half bananas in bags. With the magic bullet, you can prep your breakfast days ahead.

 Because there are 5 containers. It helps!

In a quick Google search, you can buy them just about anywhere. Here's Target's.

First, add your chilled coffee, milk and powders and mix. Store in refrigerator until you are ready to dine. Morning of, throw in the frozen half banana....


And mix thoroughly:


You could blend with more ice, but I don't think you need any. Yogi choice.


So easy. So good. So good for you. You could throw in some fresh spinach or kale in to green up your breakfast to get even more nutrients in you morning brew.

Mmmmm

Question for you:

What is your breakfast routine? 

xoxo


Monday, August 5, 2013

NICE: Cheesy, Chicken and Veggie Quinoa



Sunday is a fun day for COOKING ahead! This dish was inspired by a Pinterest post. By the way, follow our Pinterest board here:

http://pinterest.com/ktulchannel8/meals-naughty-and-nice/

The original recipe is here:

http://reallyfrompinterest.blogspot.com/2012/07/quinoa-mac-cheese.html

But you know I can't make anything without changing it up a bit.

You Will Need:

2 tsp. Olive Oil
1 lb ground chicken (could use turkey or a lean beef)
2 cups chopped kale
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 clove garlic minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups chopped asparagus
2 large eggs
1 cup milk of choice (coconut milk for me)
2 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese divided

Starting off - preheat your oven to 350 degrees and heat up two pans with olive oil. Light saute on kale and mushrooms. Brown meat completely, set aside. 

In the veggie pan, pour in quinoa, garlic and chicken broth. Bring to a boil then cover and lower heat to simmer 15-20 minutes until quinoa starts to get a little translucent and most of the broth is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. 


Spray casserole dish with oil. In a large bowl, mix together eggs and milk. 


Stir in chopped asparagus, 2 cups of your cheese, quinoa mixture and chicken. Pour everything in to the casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. It will be runny, no worries. It will all get soaked up while baking. 


Bake for 25-35 minutes. Serve!!

This makes a ton of food. Half of mine is in my freezer as my own "frozen lunches" for later. 


Question for you:

What's your favorite "take it to work" lunch?

xoxo



Friday, August 2, 2013

NAUGHTY: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Man are these good!

I've been craving sweets and needed to break in my new kitchen. Oh yeah, I moved. Not far, still in Tulsa. More room and I'm addicted to the gas stove. Addicted.

When I want to make something, I do some research. OK, I Google. "best chocolate chip cookies" "good chocolate chip cookies" etc. A common note: best when dough chills 24 hours before cooking. Noted.

You Will Need:
1 cup of butter, softened (I like salted organic)
1 cup raw sugar (organic)
1 cup packed light brown sugar (organic)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. beat in eggs one at a time then add vanilla. Mix together flour, salt, baking soda. Add slowly to batter. Once well mixed, carefully add chocolate and white chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate over night.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a small ice cream scoop to make cookie dough balls. Bake for about 12 minutes until top and sides of cookies are cooked - I leave mine kind of raw to cool and stay soft! Enjoy!


I shared some with work friends and neighbors and put a few in the freezer. And by sharing some at work I still ate a few while I was here. That's what happens on the AM shift!

How do you make your favorite cookie?

xoxo