Friday, June 28, 2013


I hadn't done of these posts in awhile so thought I would give you a few random thoughts, obsessions and likes on this Friday morning.

I'm loving this denim chambray shirt from Target...I'm pretty much obsessed with anything chambray right now, but who isn't?

Merona Chambray Shirt Dress - Target

Also loving this maxiskirt, would be perfect for the 4th of July or for an upcoming girls trip I have to Santa Fe, hmmm should I make it mine? Decisions decisions...

Tie Dye Print Maxi Skirt - Warehouse

I'm still making these week after week for breakfast, so obsessed, pretty healthy AND I've found that if you put a wee bit of maple syrup on them they are even better.

I also tried to make these a healthier way, subbing WW flour for the AP, and subbing applesauce for the sugar, UMMM don't do this, they tasted WAY to healthy and really not even that edible, stick with the posted recipe.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, get pumped for many new recipes next week as I'm cooking for my sweet SIL's baby shower this weekend and have some new yummies.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Zesty Shrimp and Quinoa Salad

Here is your next perfect thing to serve at a girls dinner! This shrimp and quinoa salad was delicious. The shrimp has an awesome kick to it which really gives this dish a TON of flavor. I'm having the leftovers for lunch today, yumm yumm.

Also, if you have access to a Trader Joe's I would use their frozen roasted corn for the corn in this dish, it's delicious.

Zesty Shrimp and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette - Ellie Hickey

Zesty Shrimp and Quinoa Salad slightly adapted from Ellie Hickey


for the shrimp:

1 tablespoon cumin
3/4 tablespoon ground red pepper
3/4 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp

for the salad:

1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 whole jalapeno, minced, seeds removed
salt & pepper

for the lemon vinaigrette:

2 lemons, juiced (need 1/4 cup juice)
2 garlic cloves, microplaned or finely minced
dash of sweetener (like honey)
6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper


Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

Preheat broiler.

For the shrimp: combine first 5 ingredients in a small prep bowl. Combine oil and shrimp in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Sprinkle spice mixture over shrimp until evenly coated. Place shrimp on a foil-lined baking sheet and place in oven; broil 7-8 minutes or until done, turning once.

For the lemon vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Combine cooled quinoa with bell peppers, avocado, beans, corn, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Top with shrimp.

Pour lemon vinaigrette over the salad and stir to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

P.S. - As you can see from the picture, I left out a few ingredients from the original recipe like the cilantro and red onion!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies

Today is a special day and special days call for blondies. Not just any old blondies, but chocolate chip peanut butter ones, I mean is there really ANY better combo? I think not. Today is special because one of my sweet BIL's and SIL's are celebrating their two year wedding anniversary. I love to bake treats for my nearest and dearest on their anniversary and these two were lucky enough to receive a batch of these blondies this morning.

These are a stand by recipe of mine and I couldn't believe I hadn't posted them yet. You can never go wrong with one of Jenna's recipes and these are a cinch to whip up.

Enjoy! And happy happy to A&A!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies slightly adapted from Eat, Live, Run


1 stick butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 and spray a 8-inch square pan with non-stick spray.

Brown your butter by melting it over medium heat on the stove until it becomes a golden caramel color  Be careful not to burn the butter—you only want to brown it.

Pour the browned butter into the bowl of a kitchen aid and add the brown sugar. Beat for about four minutes, until creamy. Add the egg and beat again. Then, add the flour, salt and vanilla extract. Beat until combined, then add peanut butter and mix.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread out mixture in your greased pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Let cool before slicing into squares.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Chocolate Oat Bites

Happy Monday! Did everyone have a good weekend? We did so much relaxing it was ridiculous, but was so nice. I had a more productive day yesterday which included baking these healthy treats for the week and they are yummy.

Mine didn't turn out to be in perfectly shaped balls like the original recipes picture showed, but more like clumps, however, they are still delicious.

This was my first time baking with coconut oil too. I got mine from Trader Joe's and melted it in the microwave, it was beyond easy.


Chocolate Oat Bites

Chocolate Oat Bites from Texanerin Baking


1 banana, mashed
½ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup cocoa powder
1½ cups old fashioned oats
¼ cup peanut butter chips


In a bowl mix together the mashed banana, coconut oil, honey and vanilla.
Mix in cocoa powder until well combined.
Add oats, mixing until everything is evenly coated.
Fold in the peanut butter chips.
Scoop golf ball sized balls of dough, place on a baking sheet.
Place in fridge for 1 hour to harden.
Store in an air tight container.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars

Yes, you read that correctly. Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars, it's happening. So decadent, so delicious. While mine didn't cut as neatly as these pictured below even though I followed the recipe to a T and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight. However, that doesn't just change how delicious these were, just be ready for a wee bit of mess.


Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars - Averie Cooks

Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars from Averie Cooks


For the shortbread crust:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, extremely soft (1 stick)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the peanut butter filling:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter 
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the caramel layer:

about 8 ounces caramel sauce

For the chocolate layer:

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening


Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.

For the shortbread crust:

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter, wooden spoon, or your fingers until until a sandy, crumbly mixture forms. Transfer crumbly mixture to prepared pan and using your fingertips, press crumbs down to form an even flat layer of crust. Pierce crust with a fork haphazardly in a dozen places so steam can escape while it bakes. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until crust has just barely set. It should not be golden or browned at all, it should still be white, but crusted over and set. While crust bakes, make the filling.

For the peanut butter filling:

Melt the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl, about 1 minute. Add the 3 remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Spread over crust. Crust does not have to be cool, and spreading it while crust is still warm is beneficial. The filling is thick and resists being spread, but take your time and either push it into place with your fingers, use a spatula, or knife, taking care not to rip the crust while spreading the filling.

For the caramel layer:

Pour caramel sauce over peanut butter. It should smooth out on its own but if necessary, spread it into corners and sides of pan with a knife.

For the chocolate layer:

Combine the 2 ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat to melt, about 1 minute. Stop to stir and heat in 15-second bursts until mixture can be stirred smooth. Pour chocolate over caramel layer and if desired, smooth it very, very lightly with an offset spatula or knife.

Cover pan with aluminum foil (to prevent fridge smells), and place pan in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight, before lifting out with foil overhang, and slicing and serving.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Watermelon, Strawberry and Basil Skewers

Let the baby shower food continue! Monday I showcased the delicious brie bites, yesterday was the zucchini stuffed muffins and today are these light, but yummy skewers. Aren't these precious? Perfect for a girly baby shower right?

My big change from the original recipe was that I used mozzarella in place of goat cheese, mainly because mozzarella is easier to handle than goat cheese and I thought it would transport better.


Watermelon Strawberry Basil Skewers - Edible Perspective

Watermelon Strawberry Basil Skewers slightly adapted from Edible Perspective

Watermelon, cubed ~1-1 1/2-inch in size
Strawberries, hulled and quartered
Basil leaves, 1 small leaf per skewer

Layer the watermelon cube, basil leaf [if the leaves are large cut in half], mozzarella, strawberry, then skewer together with a toothpick.

Top with a drizzle of honey just before serving.  Best served immediately.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ham and Manchego Stuffed Zucchini Muffins

Ummmm wow is all I have to say about this combo. Ya ya ya ya I know another muffin, but have you all ever had zucchini muffins?! They are delicious. This was my first time to make and/or have a zucchini muffin and I'm already planning on baking a second batch this week. This was another item I made for the baby shower this past weekend (See yesterday's post for another item we served.) and I loved that it was a small bite, but with a little extra something something because of the ham and manchego.

Feel free to make the muffins ahead of time, I made mine the day before. You also could even make way in advance and freeze.

When I make these again (most likely later this week) I want to replace the brown sugar with applesauce and use whole-wheat flour in place of the all-purpose, I'll report back on how this works.

Ham and Manchego Stuffed Zucchini Muffins - Fitness Magazine

Ham-and-Manchego-Stuffed Zucchini Muffins - Fitness Magazine

Makes 24 servings


Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup  packed dark brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups  grated zucchini
1/3 cup  olive oil
2 tablespoons  butter, melted
1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon  baking soda
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon  cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
3/4 cup  chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 pound  thinly sliced ham
1/4 pound  thinly sliced Manchego

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, egg and vanilla; whisk until frothy and slightly thick. Stir in the zucchini, oil and butter. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts; stir into the zucchini mixture. Pour 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup. 

Bake on the middle rack until golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove pan from oven, raise the rack to the top and set oven to broil.

Cool muffins on a wire rack 5 minutes; remove from pan and let cool completely. Cut the top off each and set aside. Divide the ham and Manchego evenly among the muffin bottoms. Broil on a baking sheet until cheese is slightly melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and top with the muffin tops. Serve warm.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Brie Bites

So I normally never post recipes that I didn't in fact try because what would be the point of that, however, I had such glowing reviews from these Brie Bites that I had to post. I helped host a baby shower on Saturday and these were the favorite from our spread by far. These precious popsicle sticks made them extra cute!

A few tips with these...definitely use parchment paper, allow yourself enough time to make these and I put my puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight to thaw, but still remain cold and that worked perfectly.

Bite-sized Baked Brie - Joy the Baker

Bite-sized Baked Brie from Joy the Baker
makes 24 squares
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed but still cold
1/2 wedge of brie (about 4 ounces), cold
1/3 cup fruit jam 
1 large egg, beaten
splash of milk
coarse sea salt
24 popsicle sticks
All-butter, store bought puff pastry  usually comes frozen and folded into thirds. Cut the puff pastry into thirds along the creases. Cut each panel into four pieces. They’ll be 2 1/4-inch tall and 3-inches wide.  One sheet of puff pastry will yield 12 rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half. You’ll have 24 little rectangles that will create 12 little rectangle pockets.
Combine beaten egg and splash of milk. Brush 12 of the small rectangles with egg wash. Place a popsicle stick halfway up the puff pastry and press in gently. Place a small sliver of brie (rind and all) on top of the egg wash (and stick). Top with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Take another square of puff pastry and press between your fingers to make the rectangle slightly bigger. Place puff pastry on top of the cheese and jam. Use a fork to press the edges together. The egg wash will act as  glue. Make sure to seal the edges well by crimping with the fork. Prick the top lightly with a fork.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place prepared brie bites on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with a touch of coarsely ground sea salt.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Muffins

Yeppp it's been awhile since I've posted a muffin recipe so here is another yummy one. I had some raspberries that were about to bite the bullet and so I searched Pinteret for a raspberry muffin, but then decided I wanted oatmeal and chocolate chips in them and found this recipe to go off of. They are delicious! I had one last night as a treat after our dinner and was very happy with the outcome.


Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Muffins - Pastry Affair

Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Muffins adapted from Pastry Affair
Yields 12 muffins
3/4 cups milk
3/4 teaspoons white (or apple cider) vinegar
3/4 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 large egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cups fresh (or frozen) raspberries
1/3 cup chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and let batter sit in the refrigerator for an hour for the oats to soften. Do not overmix.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease your muffin tins.
Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the tops are a light golden brown and spring back when touched. Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the tins for easy removable, enjoy!

Monday, June 10, 2013

No Bake Flax Energy Bites

After having such luck with these gems, I'm on to my next healthy treat. These no bake flax energy bites are soooo delicious. I whipped these up in about 20 minutes, making them quick and easy too. I'm keeping mine in the fridge as I prefer them cold, but you could store at room temp, however, with the TX heat I would be nervous the chocolate chips would melt. Enjoy!

No Bake Flax Energy Bites - Miss Renaissance

No Bake Flax Energy Bites adapted from Miss Renaissance

1/3 cup oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup coconut flakes (plus 2 T for topping)
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 T honey

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Scoop bite-sized portions out with your hands and roll into balls, roll the balls in the 2 T of coconut if desired and set on plate. Set plate in fridge if desired!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Kale Salad

This was one of those throw together recipes that turned out amazing. Last night was girls night and we decided on a kale salad. We basically threw together what sounded good and LUCKILY it turned out awesome.

A few notes, for the kale I had some FRESH as in grown in my girlfriends backyard fresh, so having that was amazing. I also had a bag of kale from Trader Joe's that we used too. The coconut was an idea that I got from this recipe, and I was apprehensive about it, but it worked out great. For the chicken I grilled some boneless skinless chicken tenders coated with some olive oil, lemon pepper and a garlic and herb seasoning on my indoor grill pan and then sliced.

The key to this salad is to assemble and dress it all ahead of time and then let it sit in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes. With kale being a heartier green it can really stand to soak up the dressing.

Kale Salad

- Kale
- Small handful shredded coconut
- Small handful pistachios
- Small handful dried cranberries
- Honey Goat Cheese
- Chicken
- My Dressing


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dannijo Fall Reveal

As most of you know I LOVE a statement earring, and while I don't have a pair from Dannijo (hint, hint hubs) I adore their pieces. Their fall line is now showcased on their website and I'm obsessing over many a pretty pair of earrings, just like I was earlier this year when their Spring/Summer line was released.

I had to showcase my absolute favorite first...please come live with me.

Dannijo - Cher

Dannijo - Selma

Dannijo - Collin

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pesto Orzo with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Chicken Sausage

Ummmmm this recipe was sooo delicious. I think I had four helpings as did one of our good friends that was over for dinner last night. I wouldn't say the hubs was OBSESSED with it, but eh you can't win them all right? I still will definitely be making this again.

I made many changes from the original recipe so please realize if you follow what I did that yours will not come out looking like what is pictured below.

via Gimme Some Oven

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Brussel Sprouts adapted from Gimme Some Oven

  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then quartered
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup orzo (uncooked)
  • 5 chicken sausage links (I used spicy Italian)
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup pesto (I used some leftover pistachio pesto, from this recipe)

  • Method
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.
Prepare a baking sheet, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.
Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water, and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts.


Oh Monday, we meet again! Did everyone have a good weekend? Mine was the absolute perfect mix of fun, friends and chill time.

I made these again, this time in a mini-muffin pan. You would think that this would be a recipe for successful portion control, however, you would think wrong.

I did a Target run on Saturday and was taking a looksie at the Sam & Libby shoe collection and these came home with me. I love that I can wear these loafers now, but they will take me right into fall too. Side note, these are MUCH cuter in person than in the picture.

Target - Sam & Libby Adley Tuxedo Flat

I'm making a new recipe tonight, using this leftover pistachio pesto from this chicken, third time (I also used it in this last week.) to use the leftover pesto, love that.

What's on your agenda this week friends?