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)

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

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

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. 

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. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Cauli Crust Skillet Pizza with Sausage, Mushrooms + Peppers

Pizza is our FAVORITE. Normally, I'm all about eating the real thing and just going all in on Fridays when we either make homemade pizza or venture out to one of our favorite local spots. But sometimes, I just can't wait until Friday and the craving hits hard. I'm all about clean and healthy eating but I've never really been into healthy pizza alternatives. If I'm going to eat pizza, I'd rather EAT PIZZA. 

I did, however, have a change of heart last week when my friend posted a picture of her cauliflower pizza crust on Instagram. My mouth was seriously watering and I saved the recipe. I've had cauli crust on my radar for quite some time and I was eager to give it a whirl. 

This cauliflower crust is AMAZING! I'm not saying that this should replace your weekly (real) pizza night, but I am saying that you should give this a try for when the pizza craving hits but you're trying to stay healthy. Mark was a skeptic and I totally won him over with this! If you're expecting this crust to hold it's own and act like a real pizza, it just doesn't do that. Know that you'll be eating it with a fork and just load on the toppings. 

Now, you can make this crust as easy or as complicated as you want. I ended up pulsing mine in the food processor and cooking for 15-20 minutes, then squeezing out some of the liquid, but I certainly don't think it's necessary. Next time I'm going to try just pulsing and mixing it raw, then cooking it in the oven before topping with my toppings. Skp the cheese (in the crust and on top) to make this Paleo and Whole 30 friendly! 

Make your Monday taste like a Friday. Kind of.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
recipe adapted from

1 small head cauliflower
1 egg
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Wash and chop cauliflower into florets. Place in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is finer than you would when making cauliflower rice.

In a bowl, combine cauliflower, egg, cheese and seasonings. Mix until combined. 

Form "dough" in a cast iron skillet or on a baking sheet, pressing it together. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Top with toppings of choice. (I did Italian sausage, peppers and mushrooms with marinara and mozzarella) Bake until cheese is nice and bubbled. Cut and serve!