Thursday, December 10, 2015

Easiest Appetizer Ever: Mexican Dip Cups

So.  I needed a tailgating snack.  I didn't want to have to heat up anything but I wanted something fun.

I had toyed with 7 layer dip, though to be honest I'm super picky and don't love everything in it.  And then I saw on Pinterest single serve cups of dip.  And an idea was born.

These are portable, easy, and totally customizable.  The recipe I used made about 17 small plastic cups, and I brought along a bag of Tostitos to accompany them.  Make sure to get the wide mouthed plastic cups though, so it's easier to dip!

Mexican Dip Cups 
Makes 17 Cups

2 cans fat free refried beans
2 containers of Wholly Guacamole
1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning
one bag of 2% Mexican blend shredded cheese (I didn't use the whole bag)
1 1/2 jars pineapple salsa (or salsa of choice)
2 small containers of lowfat sour cream

In a bowl, mix the beans and the taco seasoning.  In a separate bowl, combine the two containers of guacamole.

Then just start layering!

I did a layer of beans, then guacamole, then salsa, then sour cream, and then cheese.

Tip: Have all your ingredients set up in a line - I had these done in about 20 minutes!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Easiest "Bar Cookies" You Will EVER Make!

Tis the season for cookies.

Lots and lots of cookies.

I, myself, have always been a fan of the bar cookie.  So when I found this recipe for Cake Mix Cookie Bars, I had to try it out.

I wouldn't exactly say they are cookies in the strictest sense of the word.  More like a cross between a cookie and a cake.  But absolutely delicious!

And the best thing about them is that you can really do any kind of flavor combination and add ins!

Cookie Cakes (From

1 box cake mix
1 box pudding (same flavor as cake mix, only use the powder, don't make it!)
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup add ins of choice

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.  Combine all ingredients and spread evenly in pan (batter will be thick!).  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.

Combinations I Did

1 box devil's food cake, 1 box of sugar free / fat free chocolate pudding, 1 cup of Andes mint baking bits

1 box of devil's food cake, 1 box of sugar free / fat free chocolate pudding, 1 cup white chocolate chips

1 box of yellow cake mix, 1 box of sugar free / fat free vanilla pudding, 1 cup holiday chocolate chips

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Yes, it's yet more pumpkin.  But I can't help it.  I'm addicted.

This is a delicious and healthy smoothie that's like fall in a cup.   It also features one of my favorite tricks - using half a frozen banana instead of ice.  Makes the smoothie super thick and creamy.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
(serves 1)

1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond cashew)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice

Blend and enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fabulous Finds: Cosmos Creations

For the savory snack lover in all of us.

You guys.  These are SO GOOD.

If you like Pirate Booty, you will love these.

They come in a bunch of different flavors.  I LOVE the above one, and my other favorite is Spicy Siracha.  I've also had the butter and sea salt, which was also delish.   Oh!  And I can't forget the sea salt and vinegar!  Mmmmm.  There are also some sweet variations, but I have yet to try those.

I got a package of the single serve bags and it was a great midday pick me up.  They are gluten free and use non-GMO corn.  I ordered them online through Amazon but they also have a website!

Cosmos Creations

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blog Bites: Pumpkin Parmesan Quinoa

And the pumpkin obsession continues.

However, this dish from ifoodreal is on the savory side of the pumpkin, and it's really really delicious.  A perfect fall dinner or lunch!

It's very simple to make - took about a half hour.  I will came out a little thinner sauce wise than hers (next time I might reduce the amount of broth a bit) but it was still absolutely amazing.

Makes about 4 servings so it's a perfect dish that will have plenty of leftovers for lunch!

Pumpkin Parmesan Quinoa

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cobbler

So, I'm sure it's no secret by this point that I love me some pumpkin.

But I'm also pretty seasonal, and we are heading into gingerbread territory pretty soon.

So why not combine the two?

This cobbler was adapted from this Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Cobbler.  I made a few changes, and I have to say it turned out delicious. I served it at room temperature but I've seen warmed up leftovers and it's a great fall night dessert!

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cobbler

1 can pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag of gingerbread cookie mix (I didn't use the whole bag, probably around 3/4)
1/4 cup butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, sugar and salt.  Pour into a sprayed 11x7 dish.  Top with the 3/4 bag of gingerbread cookie mix and place the cubed butter evenly around the cookie mix.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Blog Bites: Spinach and Artichoke Egg Casserole

I'm all about brunch.  And anything I can make ahead.

When I had my family over for brunch recently, I was looking for something easy and that I could make ahead of time, but also a little bit different.

Enter this casserole I found on Two Peas and Their Pod. Sounds strange, because let's face it, you think spinach and artichoke, you think dip.  But these flavors worked deliciously in this casserole!  The only change I made was I used half egg white and half eggs.

Easy and delicious!  Definitely check it out!

Spinach and Artichoke Egg Casserole

Monday, November 2, 2015

Fabulous Find: Think Thin Oatmeal

Another healthy find from 7-11!  (And other places I'm sure but this is where I found it).

I was running late one morning and didn't have time to make my normal protein smoothie, so I figured I'd pick something up when I stopped to get my coffee.  Found this and it's an new favorite!

This particular flavor is Farmer's Market Berry Crumble and it's absolutely delicious.  Takes about a minute in the microwave, but then I let it sit a few more minutes.  The fruit plumps up and it's definitely a filling breakfast coupled with some fruit or I actually had a hard boiled egg along with it for some extra protein.

Nice stats:  10g protein, 5g fiver and 190 calories for the cup.

Also, 100% non GMO!

I actually really love their protein bars too (the pumpkin spice and dark chocolate peppermint are seasonal flavors that are to die for!).  Link below to the website!

Think Thin Products

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Kelly's Kitchen on Instagram!

Apologies for the lack of posting of late.  I blame grad school!

I'm hoping to have a more consistent schedule in the next couple of weeks however.

In the meantime, I've set up an Instagram dedicated to Kelly's Kitchen - check it out!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Crockpot Pumpkin Latte

This basically combines two of my favorite things.  Okay, three.

Pumpkin.  Coffee.  Crockpot.

I found this recipe on the Thriving Home blog and made a few adjustments.  It was absolutely delicious!  Perfect for a fall or winter brunch or holiday morning.

The added dash of Salted Caramel Bailey's didn't really hurt either (not in the crockpot, in the individual mugs :)).

This is super simple to make. Throw everything in the crockpot and let it go on high for 2 hours. After that, I turned it down to warm and let everyone serve themselves!

Crockpot Pumpkin Latte

6 cups 2% milk
5 cups coffee (I just used 5 regular K-Cups!)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 cinnamon sticks

Pour coffee and milk into crockpot. Mix pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice into in a separate bowl until combined.  Add to crockpot and stir well.  Toss in 3 cinnamon sticks and cook on high for about 2 hours.  I stirred it about every half hour.

Top with whipped cream or add some Bailey's and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Spice Squares

So a few years ago, I remember that Weight Watchers trick of mixing a boxed cake mix with pumpkin being all the rage.  It cut the calories significantly.

And while I certainly did it (and ate it), I wasn't a fan of the texture.  Though I liked the idea of having the health benefits of pumpkin in the cake.

So what's a cook to do?  Improvise!

This only has a few added ingredients (and a few toppings), but the texture is so much better than just using the cake mix and the pumpkin.  I made this in my Pampered Chef brownie pan so they came out as individual squares, but I'm sure they'd work as either cupcakes or a whole 9x13 cake - just adjust the cooking time!

I served mine with some lite Cool Whip mixed with about a teaspoon of pure maple syrup and a drizzle of caramel.  Delicious!

And P.S. - these are only about 83 calories per square.  Score!

Spice Squares
(Makes about 18 squares)

1 box spice cake mix
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
1 cup water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Combine all ingredients and pour into sprayed baking pan.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (depending on the size pan you use!)


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fabulous Find: Pumpkin Seed Tortilla Chips

In case it isn't already obvious, I have a thing for pumpkin.

It is seasonal, however.  After Thanksgiving, gingerbread and egg nog take over!

I found these chips at Stop & Shop and was super intrigued.

Love the ingredients, love the stats.

Be aware, this isn't a super savory chip.  There's a hint of sweetness but it's not TOO sweet.  They don't taste really pumpkin-y, so if you aren't a huge pumpkin fan, I'd still give them a shot.

They were absolutely delicious paired with both black bean hummus and a medium heat salsa.

They are seasonal, so get them while they last!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Apple and Goat Cheese Frittata for One

I know.  Sounds weird.  Apples and eggs.

And yet, it's super tasty!

This is a recipe for one (so you would need a smaller oven safe pan) but you could certainly double or triple it to make it for a few!

It's a quick and easy breakfast / lunch / dinner and makes great use of the delicious fall apples everywhere right now!

Apple and Goat Cheese Frittata for One

1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large apple, chopped
2 eggs
3 tbsp. egg whites
1/8 tsp. thyme
1 oz. crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

In oven safe skillet, heat oil.  Saute apples for 5 min. over medium high heat.  

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, and thyme.  

Reduce heat and add egg mixture.  

Allow the eggs to set around the edges, then gently push in towards the center of the pan with a rubber spatula, allowing more liquid to the outside of the pan.  Continue this until the eggs are just about set.

Sprinkle with goat cheese and transfer to the oven.

Bake about 10 minutes or until eggs are set.

Serve immediately!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Blog Bites: Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

I'm mildly obsessed with the Skinnytaste blog and cookbook.  Who isn't?

And it's football season.  So of course I had to peruse her snacks to see if I could find something fun and football-ish for Sunday Funday.

This spicy cauliflower bites are DELICIOUS.  I actually used a combo of broccoli and cauliflower.  The broccoli worked great because the florets really held the batter and sauce.

These are super easy and perfect for gameday!

Skinnytaste:  Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fabulous Find: Jif Peanut Powder

True fact.  I love peanut butter (and yet I hate actual peanuts, go figure).

I will legit put peanut butter on or in anything I can. 

Unfortunately, while it does have it's protein benefits, it's also got a lot of fat. 

There have been several brands of peanut powders on the market, yet they all seem pretty pricey.  Not that I didn't buy them, I did.  But in the interest of saving money, this new one caught my eye.

So at first I was skeptical.  But the price was a good 3 dollars less than my favorite, PB2, so I figured, what did I have to lose?

And then I looked at the back.

The ONLY ingredient is roasted peanuts.  In three tablespoons, there are 8 grams of protein and only 2 grams of fat.

Consider me sold.

But....does it taste good?

So far I've added 2 tablespoons to a chocolate smoothie and 1 tablespoon to a half cup of Greek yogurt, and I have to say, I'm impressed.  The price is right, the ingredients are right, and the taste is right.

Keep an eye out!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fave YouTubers: Healthy Grocery Girl

So I'm searching for healthy recipes towards the end of the summer and I come across this Back to School series.  And I fell down the rabbit hole.  Hours.

But it was worth it!  Healthy Grocery Girl, aka Megan Roosevelt, is a registered dietician who has some fabulous healthy, plant based recipes.  I've already tried a few and just love them!  Her videos are quick (unless, like me, you watch hours of them!) and her recipes are super easy.

Check out her blog here.

And this is one of the recipes I've tried!  Apple Almond Butter Overnight Oats!

Make sure to subscribe to her channel!

Avocado Corn Salad

Because let's face it, avocado makes everything better!

This is a quick and easy salad that's perfect for outdoor functions because there is no mayo.  It's light and delicious with a good dose of protein.

For good measure, I roasted the corn.  It made the corn a bit sweeter and deeper in flavor and really added to the flavor of the salad.

Corn and Avocado Salad

2 cans of corn, drained + salt and pepper
29 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
4 basil leaves, torn
1 tsp. olive oil
1 avocado, diced
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Juice of one lime
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 400.  Spread corn in single layer on large baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast for 9 minutes, toss, and then roast for about 9 more minutes (keep and eye so it doesn't burn).    Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Once corn in cool, combine corn, black beans, avocado, goat cheese, basil, and salt and pepper in large bowl.  Add olive oil and toss to combine.    Finish off with the fresh lime juice, salt and pepper.  May be served at room temperature or cold!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Blog Bites: Maple Bacon Breakfast Muffins

Ah, football.  Welcome back!  I'm a HUGE Jets fan, and had some tickets to the home opener with some friends.  I was looking for something fun and easy that wouldn't necessarily need to be heated up. 

When I saw these muffins on Mystery Lover's Kitchen, I knew these were the ticket.  On the blog, there is a from scratch version as well as a version using a pancake mix.  I used the one with the pancake mix and they were delicious!

I only made a couple of modifications to this recipe.  One is I made mini muffins.  I doubled the batter and it made about 32 mini muffins.  I also used maple flavored bacon to up the maple factor.

Maple Bacon Breakfast Muffins from Mystery Lover's Kitchen

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sunshine Smoothie

I am a big fan of the smoothie.  It's quick, easy, and when you make it at home and can control the ingredients, it's delicious.

I do have a small blender, but for this bad boy I used my Ninja because I had some whole fruits and wanted a really high quality blender to do the work.  As a word of warning, the smoothie itself wasn't completely smooth, but it was definitely enjoyable!

This smoothie is bright and citrusy and perfect for summer (or when you need a summer boost in the dead of winter!).

As a tip, whenever I use bananas in my smoothies, I use frozen ones.  It eliminates the need for ice and it makes the smoothie super thick and creamy!

Sunshine Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1/2 seedless orange, peeled and sectioned
1 cup chopped pineapple
1 small container 0% Greek yogurt
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)

Throw all the ingredients in blender and mix until smooth!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Chocolate Coconut Raspberry Overnight Oats

I am kind of sort of obsessed with overnight oats.  I absolutely love them for breakfast, but have also found they are a great make ahead lunch for the week!  And oats are pretty much a blank canvas, so you can really choose the flavors that work for you.

For me?  That's always chocolate.  And I had found these delicious raspberries at the store and so the wheels started spinning.

You can make these the night before or a couple of nights before and either way?  Delicious!

Chocolate Coconut Raspberry Overnight Oats

1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
2 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet Stevia or sweeter of choice
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

In a bowl, combine oats, yogurt, milk, extract, cocoa powder, and Stevia.

Spoon half of the oats mixture into a mason jar.  Layer half the raspberries.  Spoon the rest of the oat mixture and top with the rest of the raspberries.

Let sit overnight and enjoy!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fabulous Find: Plenti Greek Yogurt

I am a huge Greek yogurt fan.  No lie.  But I like "stuff" in my yogurt.  Real fruit, seeds, granola, etc.  The yogurt on its own just isn't quite filling enough for me.

So I was intrigued when I saw this new find in the grocery store.

Greek yogurt?  Check.  Oats?  Check.  Flax?  Check. Pumpkin Seeds?  Yes please.

And bonus, no nuts!  I, for one am not a fan (love the flavor, cringe at the texture).

The label is pretty good too!

Now, I will warn you.  If you expect crunch, forget it.  The oats and seeds have been in the yogurt so it's not at all crunchy.  However, if you are looking for a filling snack with a chewy texture and full of goodness?  This is for you!

I have had the black cherry and blueberry flavors and both are wonderful!  I believe there is also vanilla and strawberry as well!

Definitely keep an eye out for it!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fabulous Find: Quest Protein Bars

There are so many protein bars out there at this point.  It's really hard to choose!

Add in that I'm not a fan of nuts (I love peanut butter but not actual peanuts, go figure), and my options in protein bars are severely limited.

Plus, I don't love some of the ingredients I'm finding in these bars.

That changed when I stumbled upon Quest bars in, of all places, 7-11. 

What I love most about these bars is that they don't taste "protein-y".  They actually taste like a candy bar!  And the ingredient list is far better than most I've seen. 

I haven't tried all of them, because some do have nuts, but some favorites are mint chocolate chunk (pictured above), S'mores, and cookies and cream.

They run about 170 calories a bar and are super filling.  One of my pre-gym favorites!

I've seen them sparingly, in 7-11 and in King's, but they are also available online!

For more information:  Quest Nutrition

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Blog Bites: S'Mores Bars

 First of all, apologies for the lack of posts.  I recently moved and am getting ready to go on vacation, but I have lots of stuff coming up in mid-August!

Now back to the good stuff.

Who doesn't love a good S'More in the summer time?

These bars from Fabulously Frugal were easy, if a bit messy, to make.  I cheated a bit and just used pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs.  They were gooey and delicious and probably could be eaten with a fork to avoid getting marshmallow all over you!

S'Mores Cookie Bars from Fabulously Frugal

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Let's face it, who doesn't love french fries?

Though, I'd also venture to say, most of us don't love all of the grease and fat that goes along with them.

Enter the roasted potato.

I've struggled for a while getting roasted potatoes exactly right - crispy on the outside, but creamy on the inside.  And with this recipe, I finally did!

You can really use any small potato for this.  I bought a bag at the store that had a mix of red, gold, and purple and those were delicious!

This is a super easy and delicious side dish for any meal!

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

1 1/2 lbs. small potatoes, cut into small wedges
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 450.  Once potatoes are cut into wedges, put in a large bowl and add olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Stir until the potatoes are coated.

Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir.  Bake for another 15 minutes.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Sweet Chili Chicken Tostadas

If you checked out my recipe for Crockpot Sweet Chili Chicken, then this one is for you!  Because pulled chicken is great, but what do you DO with it?

Make tostadas!

These tostadas are sweet and spicy, with a nice crunch from the broccoli slaw and a bit of tank from the goat cheese.  The measurements on this are for one serving but could easily be doubled and tripled for a group!

Sweet Chili Chicken Tostadas
(Serves 1)

1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups broccoli slaw
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
3/4 cup Crockpot Sweet Chili Chicken
1 oz. crumbled goat cheese
2 corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add broccoli slaw and cook for 2 minutes.  Add sesame seeds and cook for four more minutes.

Top each tortilla with the cooked broccoli slaw, the chicken, and the goat cheese (divide evenly among both tortillas).

For crunchy tortillas, bake in the oven for 15 minutes.  For a little less crunch and little more chewy soft taco texture, bake for 10.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Blog Bites: Spinach and Artichoke Pizza

I mean, who doesn't love spinach and artichoke dip?

On one of my many Pinterest black holes, I stumbled across this pizza from Sally's Baking Addiction and had pinned it.  Yesterday, when I was looking for pizza ideas, I decided to give it a go.


First of all, it's incredibly easy.  Truth, though, I didn't make the dough like she did.  I used a ready made whole wheat pizza crust (in an attempt to make it a tad healthier), and it was great.  Though I'm sure her crust recipe is fabulous!

Most importantly, it's absolutely delicious.  If you are looking to change up your pizza game, give it a try!

Spinach and Artichoke Pizza

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lemon Roasted Vegetables

Easy.  Light.  Perfect for summer.

I love roasted veggies as a rule, I just think the roasting brings out a fantastic flavor.  I decided to try and spice things up with a little lemon and loved the results!

I used broccoli and yellow squash but this could really be done with any vegetables you like!  The recipe made about 4 servings, but it could certainly be adjusted up or down as needed!

Lemon Roasted Vegetables

4 cups chopped vegetables
Juice / rind of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

In a large bowl, combine vegetables, lemon juice, rind, sea salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Stir to combine.

Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast for 10 minutes.  Take out and stir vegetables, and continue cooking for 15 minutes (keep an eye, if you like them a little less done!).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer Sangria

 A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to meet a few friends at the Jersey Shore Wine Festival in Lakewood, New Jersey.

If you like wine, do yourself a favor and go to this event next year!

For $20, you get tastings of many different Jersey wineries.  There are also vendors, food, and music.  It's a great way to spend a Saturday!

One of the wineries was Monroeville, where I bought 3 bottles.  Clearly, I liked their wine!  One of the wines I was surprised I liked was their Apple wine.  I thought it would be overly sweet, but it really wasn't. 

So, the wheels started turning, and I started thinking about how it would make a great sangria.

Now, you could use any fruit infused wine for this, or even just a reisling for moscato.  But it was super easy and really delicious and refreshing for a hot summer day!

Summer Sangria
1 bottle Apple wine (or sweet wine of your choice)
1/4 cup Triple Sec
1 bag of mixed frozen fruit (I used mango, raspberry, pineapple and strawberry)
Club soda

In a large pitcher, combine wine, Triple Sec and fruit.  Refrigerate for about a half hour to let the fruit begin to thaw in the wine. 

Pour into glasses and top with a splash of club soda.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fabulous Find: 7-11 Go Smart! Corn Tortilla Chips

Color me shocked that I found such a healthy snack find at a convenience store, branded by said convenience store!

My 7-11 had several different flavors.  I got the Sweet Chili and the Siracha flavors.  These are non-GMO as well as certified gluten free with a terrific ingredient list!   1 bag is 170 calories, and I loved them as a mid-morning snack boost!

I really enjoyed both the flavors I tried, with a slight edge to the Siracha, which were spicy without being overly hot.  The chips were crunchy and delicious and the portion was great!

Definitely check these out if you can find them!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Out of the Kitchen: Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Eye Patches

Because who doesn't need a little relaxing?

I got a 2 pack sample of these in my May Ipsy bag and was intrigued.  See, I suffer from luggage eyes.  School, tutoring, more school, and a cat who likes to wake me up at the crack of dawn even on the weekends.

So I gave these a shot.  And I really really liked them!

Each envelope had two eye patches in it.

They fit perfectly under each eye, you simply press them on and leave for 15 minutes.  They are so cool and refreshing, a perfect eye treatment for summer.  After I took them off, I definitely noticed less baggage, and my eyes definitely felt more 'rested'.

Also found them on Amazon!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fantastic Friday Four

A few things making me smile big this week!

A gorgeous taste of spring and summer.  The colors were so gorgeous!

One of my favorite apps, Countdown!  Whenever I get stressed out, I open it up and see these things coming up and the stress melts away.

I got myself a Zoku ice pop maker (the one that makes just one pop at a time) and I am LOVING it.  Expect some recipes coming up!

A Pampered Chef haul that I had bought a few months ago.  I'm moving soon so putting off on unpacking it but when I do, I'll be sure to share!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Crockpot Sweet Chili Pulled Chicken

Who isn't a sucker for the crockpot?  Throw something in in the morning and dinner is served hours later with no fuss, no muss.   It's one of my favorite meal prep techniques - throw something in on a Sunday and have lunches or dinners for the week!

I had this bottle of sweet chili sauce and wanted to experiment with that instead of using a more traditional BBQ sauce.  What came out was a little bit sweet with a nice kick, with a hint of sesame in the background.  And super easy!

Crockpot Sweet Chili Pulled Chicken

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup sweet chili sauce, divided
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. dark sesame oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced

Spray crockpot with a nonstick cooking spray.  Mix 3/4 cup of the sweet chili sauce, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the dark sesame oil, and water in the crockpot.   Place chicken breasts in crockpot, and spoon some of the sauce over the tops of the chicken breasts.  Cover and cook on low for 3/12 hours.

After 3 1/2 hours, take 2 forks and shred the chicken.  Add 1/4 more cup and 1/2 tsp. more of the sesame oil to the shredded chicken, and mix well.  Cover and cook for another 1/2 hour.

(Stay tuned for a few recipes using this chicken!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fabulous Find: Weight Watchers Frozen Smoothies

I'm always on the lookout for new snacks.

I spotted these in the frozen section of my store and was intrigued, but I bypassed them at first.  I'm not big on stocking up on frozen foods, I have a few on hand in case of a late night or needing a quick lunch, but I'm really trying to stay away from the more processed things.

So, it took me a few times to take a real look at these, but when I did, I was pleasantly surprised.

For a frozen, prepackaged item, that's a pretty good ingredient list!

But how would they taste?

I've tried two of the flavors - the tropical one, which is pineapple and mango, and the strawberry / banana one and I found both to be really quite good.  There are chunks of real fruit and they are a really good portion.  Perfect for a mid-morning snack!

I also love the ease of them.  I take it out in the morning before work and leave it in the fridge at school until snack time, and it's a really terrific consistency.

Definitely check these out!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Turkey Meatball and Goat Cheese Cups

First of all, shout out to mom for the inspiration for these. She made these with regular meatballs and bleu cheese, and they were delicious.

So I decided to change it up a bit, because my love for goat cheese is pretty much unparalleled.

This is a great, easy, and quick appetizer.  It literally takes like 10 minutes to put together, and another 10-15 to bake.  When I served these at a dinner party, they disappeared in minutes!

Turkey Meatball and Goat Cheese Cups


24 premade mini phyllo shells
12 fully cooked turkey meatballs, sliced in half
Goat cheese crumbles
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce

Preheat oven to 350.  Place phyllo cups in baking sheet.

In a large bowl, toss the sliced turkey meatballs in the sweet chili sauce.

Then, place a 1/2 tsp. of goat cheese crumbles in each cup.  Top with a slice of the turkey meatball.

Bake for 10-15 minutes (or until heated through). 

Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Snack Attack

I am a snacker. I've always been a snacker.  Which sometimes can be an issue, but in the last few years I've really made the effort to make my snacks of the healthy variety.

I'm also an elementary school teacher, and snack time is still a time honored tradition there, thankfully.  I eat breakfast right when I get up at 5:45 and lunch is at 11:45.  That's a long stretch, and around 10, I find myself needing a bit of a pick me up.

So I thought I'd share a few of my go-tos, things that are easy to pack and bring along as well as being healthy!

1.  Hummus - I love this protein packed snack so much, and I really haven't found a flavor I don't like.  I recently tried this one and really like bit of a spicy kick.  I generally have it with vegetables, like cucumbers or carrots, but sometimes, especially if I am gearing up for a longer workout or run, I'll dip a few pretzels in it.

2. Popcorn - this particular brand is a recent fave, but really any kind of portion controlled bag (important!) works for me.  If I'm bringing it to school, I will pop it in the morning, so it won't be hot, but it's still crunchy and that works for me.

3.  Hardboiled Egg - I love whipping up a batch on the weekends and having them for snacks throughout the week.  I have been trying to get more protein into my diet as a whole, as well as my snacks, and this is a perfect fit!

4.  Fresh Fruit - I'm not too picky when it comes to fruit, I pretty much will go with what's on sale and create my own little cup of fresh fruit salad.  When I eat fruit, I do need to pair it with a protein, so I either pack one of those hardboiled eggs or....

5.  Cheese Sticks - I've never made a cheese I didn't like.  Thank goodness for portion controlled sticks.  Again, that bump of protein is a great addition to fruit or veggies!

6.  Skim Latte - A caffeine boost with some skim dairy in one.  Some days you just need it.

Have any favorite snacks?  Comment below!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fabulous Find: Premium Slicer

I've been very intrigued by all the recipes I've seen online and in cookbooks using "veggie" noodles. 

However, I'd never made them. I thought it would be super complicated.

As it turns out?  Not so much.

I took a gamble and got this Premium Slicer on Amazon

It was really affordable and came with storage bag, a cleaning brush, and a top that also doubles as a way to push smaller vegetables into the slicer.

I have used it with zucchini and it was fast and simple!  In less than a minute, I had turned a medium zucchini into noodles!

I ended up using them in a recipe (to be posted soon), but these would be delicious just sauteed up in some coconut oil!

I'm excited to try out some other veggies and even some fruits with this!  Definitely a great tool to add to the healthy cooking arsenal!