Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Faves: Five on Friday

Linking up with April and the Five on Friday girls this week for my Friday faves! 




March 23 has come and gone and as it seems every year, each birthday is better than the last. I slept in a little and started my day with my family (and a giant cup of coffee). I enjoyed my favorite ever latte with a favorite friend and our little ones, a visit from the one who brought me into this world (my wonderful mom) and a nice long run in the gorgeous weather WITHOUT a stroller. My little family had dinner at Ilios Noche and we came home and celebrated with birthday cupcakes from Gigi's. Everyday should be a celebration but yesterday was extra special. And Will thinks we are going to Target so that he can buy me a new Paw Patrol pup...he said he's going to share with me! Ha! Oh little buddy, birthdays are way more fun with you and your sister.  
               
                 

How cute is this stationery!? Check out Perfect Peanut Cards on Etsy. Ashley is one of my oldest and best friends and one of the most creative people I know. Her designs are one of a kind and just the cutest! 




This Everything Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe's is, well, everything. I cannot get enough and may need to start stock piling. It's great on eggs, avocado, roasted vegetables and most recently roasted chicken that we added to Mediterranean Kale Bowls the other night. The addiction is real. Will even loves it sprinkled on top of his hummus



I'm super late to the Podcast life but now I see what all the obsession is about. I just finished Making Oprah and loooooved it. The end of her show was the end of an era and I loved listening to how it all evolved. 


And closing out with a picture of my two little lovies because I'm so glad I snapped this before our gorgeous Azaleas died. The wonky weather totally ruined our bushes before they were in full bloom. Our neighborhood is gorgeous when all of the azaleas are in full bloom and it doesn't look like it is happening this year- womp womp. 



Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash


Veggie noodles are all the rage right now and we love this healthier way to enjoy our favorite pasta sauces and dishes. We've been eating spaghetti squash on the regular over here and and it's been a nice change from all of the zoodles we normally have. These squashes can seem hard to prepare but I've finally found the perfect, fail-proof method that ends in deliciously cooked spaghetti squash EVERY. SINGLE. Time. I will never prep it another way. 

With a quick 5-10 minutes of prep, you can cook this ahead of time, or while you're making your dinner. 



Roasted Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
olive oil
salt + pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut spaghetti squash in half vertically. Scoop out all of the seeds and clean out any straggly strings. Drizzle each half with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place with the seasoned side DOWN on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until insides can be scooped out and is a nice 'al dente' consistency.

Top with your favorite sauce, meat, veggies- whatever! 


Here are a few of my favorite sauces:



My family's Al'Amatriciana sauce



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Arugula Pesto



I'm having a moment with Pesto. It's always been my favorite of all the condiments and lately I CANNOT STOP. We always, always, always had homemade pesto on hand growing up and I used to find the small spoons out of the silverware drawer and sneak tastes.

Pesto for breakfast, pesto for lunch and pesto for dinner please. 

For breakfast on eggs and avocado, for lunch on a lettuce wrap and for dinner on naked burgers with a giant slice of ripe tomato and fresh mozzarella. The main components are something green, something nutty (NUTS), a little garlic and a lot of olive oil. Many recipes call for grated parmesan but I've been leaving that out and not missing it one bit- making it Paleo and Whole30 friendly, too! This also makes it better for freezing if you make a bigger batch and don't sneak it by the spoonful straight from the fridge. 

Arugula gives this pesto a spicy and nutty punch alongside the usual suspects of basil and olive oil. I opted for walnuts and added fresh lemon juice to brighten it all up. Pesto forever!

Arugula Pesto

1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 cups baby arugula
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
olive oil
juice of 1/2 large lemon
salt + pepper to taste. 

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the garlic and nuts until finely chopped. Add the arugula and basil. While the processor is going, add the olive oil in a slow drizzle, until you reach the desired consistency. Finish with fresh lemon juice and pulse a few more times. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

#EatMooreDinner


My meal planning game has been strong lately! I've tried a lot of new recipes recently- many of which I cannot wait to make again. I have said it a hundred times before here, but meal planning really does keep us on track around here. When I meal plan, I usually plan for 4-5 dinners. We almost aways eat out at least one night each weekend, do leftovers another night and have a randomly put together meal based on what I have on hand in the kitchen. With two little ones in our house, too, I like to make things that can be easily "deconstructed" for them if need be. I also add in a few "extras". Egg muffins, paleo bites, healthy muffins for the little ones- plenty of extra things to have on hand.

Another rule I try to stick to is aside from pizza night, if I'm cooking at home, we are eating mostly Paleo friendly meals. This ensures that our weeknight meals are clean and healthy, leaving room for a few weekend splurges to enjoy.

I am LOVING cooking from the new Skinnytaste cookbook, Fast & Slow. Two of my recipes this week are out of this book! Everything I've made out of here so far has been DELICIOUS. We had the Cold Peanut Sesame Chicken and Cucumber Noodle Salad last night and it was beyond good. The dressing was drinkable and because we had ZERO leftovers, I whipped up a quick batch of it for my lunch salad today. 

Here's what's on our menu this week:

Cold Peanut Sesame Chicken + Spiralized Cucumber Noodle Salad (from Skinnytaste Fast & Slow

Salmon + Roasted Baby Potatoes + Grilled Caprese Vegetables (also from Skinnytaste)



For more dinner ideas, search @ninanmoore/#eatmooredinner on Instagram for my food photos!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Banana Muffins


Starting this Monday morning early with a giant cup of coffee and these muffins! Who doesn't want Chocolate for breakfast? And because the 3pm snack break is almost always inevitable, these also make the perfect mid-afternoon sweet treat.

Whole wheat flour makes these feel a little less guilty for me and with agave in place of refined white sugar, I'm calling these healthy-ish. Surprisingly, the coconut oil doesn't hide in this recipe and gives these muffins a little nutty kick. Using super ripe bananas take these muffins from great to best ever. I love them and so did the tiny humans in this house. 

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

3 very ripe bananas
1/3 cup organic blue agave 
2 large egg, at room temp
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with liners. (these silicone liners are my FAVORITE and I don't know how I ever lived without them)

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas up with a fork. Mash them well! Once they are nice and smooth, whisk in the agave, egg, coconut oil and vanilla until combined.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until everything is combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. 

Spoon the batter into the liners, filling them all the way to the top. Top each one with a few chocolate chips. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425 degrees. Then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. 

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Faves



Where the heck is Winter!? I love Spring and I loooove sunshine, but I wouldn't mind if it were just a tad bit colder. Usually we see some sort of Winter activity here in February so I'm still holding out for a few snowflakes. But with March less than a week away, I'm not sure it will even happen. With all of that said, make no mistake! I am LOVING these warm February runs, being outside with my tiny sweethearts and soaking in all the sunshine. 


These Carrot Cake Energy Bites taste just like their name! So so good. 

Meet my newest cold brew coffee obsession. It's slightly sweet and does have a little bit of sugar so it's a treat but seriously this stuff is SO GOOD. The XX Espresso is my favorite. 

This Paleo Chicken Pot Pie came highly recommended and was TO DIE FOR. A perfect meal for these balmy Winter days. Really, though. A guilt free comfort food is something I can always get on board with. 

I made a similar version to these Whole 30 Chicken Tenders on Tuesday night and both of my kids LOVED them! 

THIS TEA. I cannot get enough and I'm in love. I even have the decaf version as well to enjoy at night before bed. 

Ever wondered how to cook spaghetti squash? This method is by far the best and easiest and yields perfect squash "noodles" EVERY SINGLE TIME. 

The jury is still out for me on this rose hip oil but I've added it to my winter skin routine with hopes to reap its anti-aging benefits. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Butter Cupcakes + Salted Caramel Buttercream


Moving on from the healthiest pizza recipe I've ever posted to these morsels of heaven. Because, balance, right!? And HELLO! Sprinkles and unicorns.

You just cannot beat a good cupcake. With the perfect cake base and a delicious frosting topper, it's the perfect hand held dessert. It's taken me a long time to get my proportions right, but I have finally learned how to properly fill each liner so that each cupcake comes out the same. 3/4 of the way full works every sing time. 

These cupcakes are a little bit of magic and so much more. My family has been making this cake recipe for awhile now and last week I halved the batter to make a batch of cupcakes for a birthday celebration. The salted caramel buttercream is everything. 

Use your patience when making this frosting, but know that the end result will be worth it. It's taken me a few times to get it right! Don't give up. And if you want to make the full cake, you can find the recipe HERE. It's perfection.



Butter Cake Cupcakes + Salted Caramel Buttercream 
recipe adapted from Add a Pinch (makes 10-12 cupcakes)

BUTTER CAKE
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla

SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
Stage 1:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Stage 2:
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup confectioner's sugar, plus more if needed


CUPCAKES
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake tin with liners.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy, then add sugar. Cream together for about 8 minutes, scraping the sides down occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time and cream after each one. 

Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Combine each addition of flour then turn the mixer on high to incorporate air into the batter. 

Add vanilla and mix well. Turn the mixer on high one last time for about 10 seconds to lighten the batter. 

Using an ice cream or batter scoop, fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
Add all ingredients from stage one to a 3-4 quart pot. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat. 

Using a candy thermometer, cook to a softball stage (235-245 degrees). I have found that the closer to 235 the better. 

Remove from heat and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer to let cool. To quicken the cooling process, beat it with the whisk attachment for a few minutes. 

Once the caramel has cooled, add the butter and salt from the second stage of the recipe and and whip. Add the confectioner's sugar in 1/4 cup increments, whipping after each one. Since you will be frosting cupcakes, you may need to add more to get the frosting to stiffen and hold its shape. 

Transfer frosting to a piping bag and frost. Top with sprinkles, lots of sprinkles.