Real Flavor, Real Fast: Banh Mi Sandwiches



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As y’all know I often make meatless recipes (no, I am not vegetarian, but simply it’s less time consuming after I get home from work). Honestly, sometimes a girl needs meat. And if I’m going to eat meat, it’s going to be pork because, let’s be real – pork is the most tender, juicy and flavorful.


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I went to Safeway and bought Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork to make one of my new favorite recipes… Banh Mi sandwiches! This recipe can be made in 30 minutes or LESS! Especially if you prep the night before. Perfect for any night of the week or weekends… or both!


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Whether you’re asking yourself “What’s for dinner?” or your kids, spouse, or parents ask the question, you won’t have to dread it because there is an easy and flavorful option with Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork. #RealFlavorRealFast

Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 10-20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Sandwich Fixings (can be prepped a day ahead if desired):

+ 3/4-1 cup of carrots, grated
+ 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
+ 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced or julienned
+ Cilantro, to taste
+ Basil, to taste
+ Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
+ Buns or a baguette

Sandwich Spread (can be prepped a day ahead if desired):

+ 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
+ 2 green onions, finely chopped
+ 1 tablespoon sriracha or chili garlic sauce


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Meat:

+ Smithfield Marinated Roasted Garlic & Cracked Black Pepper Pork Tenderloin, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick rounds, then cut into thin strips
+ 1/4 cup soy sauce
+ 2 tablespoons sesame oil
+ 2 tablespoons honey
+ 2 tablespoons fish sauce
+ 2 tablespoons sriracha or chili garlic sauce
+ Juice of 1/2 lime
+ 1 tablespoon lemongrass, finely chopped

Directions

+ Prep sandwich fixings and spread if you did not do it ahead of time.
+ Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, fish sauce, sriracha/chili garlic sauce, lime juice, and lemongrass in a small bowl.
+ Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in large non-stick skillet over medium to high heat.
+ Add pork strips and sauté until pork is brown and cooked through.
+ Add sauce to the skillet and toss pork strips until all are fully coated.
+ Reduce to medium heat and cook until some of the sauce is absorbed.
+ Begin assembling sandwiches, starting with your baguette/bun. (I highly recommend toasting or grilling it if you have time!)
+ Add sandwich spread to lightly coat the bottom half of the baguette/bun.
+ Add pork, carrots, cucumber, radishes. Garnish with cilantro and basil to taste, and finish it off with a sprinkling of sesame seeds if desired.

If you’ve been hesitant about hopping on the pork train, give Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork a try. They have a variety of flavors (Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet, Steakhouse Mushroom Pork Loin Filet and more!) and cuts (tenderloins, loin filets, and roasts) and can be purchased at Safeway. Perfect for grilling, roasting, or sautéing.

For more delicious Smithfield Fresh Pork recipes, visit:

http://www.smithfield.com/meal-ideas/real-flavor-real-fast/

Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. The opinions and text are all mine.

As y’all know I often make meatless recipes (no, I am not vegetarian, but simply it’s less time consuming after I get home from work). Honestly, sometimes a girl needs meat. And if I’m going to eat meat, it’s going to be pork because, let’s be real – pork is the most tender, juicy and flavorful.

I went to Safeway and bought Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork to make one of my new favorite recipes… Banh Mi sandwiches! This recipe can be made in 30 minutes or LESS! Especially if you prep the night before. Perfect for any night of the week or weekends… or both!

Whether you’re asking yourself “What’s for dinner?” or your kids, spouse, or parents ask the question, you won’t have to dread it because there is an easy and flavorful option with Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork. #RealFlavorRealFast

Serves: 2-4

Prep Time: 10-20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Sandwich Fixings (can be prepped a day ahead if desired):

  • 3/4-1 cup of carrots, grated
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced or julienned
  • Cilantro, to taste
  • Basil, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Buns or a baguette

Sandwich Spread (can be prepped a day ahead if desired):

  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha or chili garlic sauce

Meat:

  • Smithfield Marinated Roasted Garlic & Cracked Black Pepper Pork Tenderloin, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick rounds, then cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha or chili garlic sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass, finely chopped

Directions

  • Prep sandwich fixings and spread if you did not do it ahead of time.
  • Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, fish sauce, sriracha/chili garlic sauce, lime juice, and lemongrass in a small bowl.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in large non-stick skillet over medium to high heat.
  • Add pork strips and sauté until pork is brown and almost cooked through.
  • Add sauce to the skillet and toss pork strips until all are fully coated.
  • Reduce to medium heat and cook until some of the sauce is absorbed and the pork is brown and slightly crispy on the edges.
  • Begin assembling sandwiches, starting with your baguette/bun. (I highly recommend toasting or grilling it if you have time!)
  • Add sandwich spread to lightly coat the bottom half of the baguette/bun.
  • Add pork, carrots, cucumber, radishes. Garnish with cilantro and basil to taste, and finish it off with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

If you’ve been hesitant about hopping on the pork train, give Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork a try. They have a variety of flavors (Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet, Steakhouse Mushroom Pork Loin Filet and more!) and cuts (tenderloins, loin filets, and roasts) and can be purchased at Safeway. Perfect for grilling, roasting, or sautéing.

For more delicious Smithfield Fresh Pork recipes, visit:

http://www.smithfield.com/meal-ideas/real-flavor-real-fast/

Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Smithfield®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Not-So-Skinny Carrot Cake Whoopies with Cream Cheese Frosting



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With Trey coming home in 7 days, 7 days, 7 DAYS GUYS (!) I wanted to make something super tasty that he’ll drool over. Afterall, he hasn’t had my cooking or baking in three whole months! Okay, that’s a lie – I’ve sent him a few care packages full of baked goods. His favorite dessert is carrot cake, and normally I’d make a healthy version of carrot cake but this time I went all out on the naughty ingredients. It’s a celebration bitches! He deserves all the granulated sugar these contain! YOLO, and all that jazz.

But I will say these contain zero butter, just coconut oil so that counts for something. And the spices in these babies are to die. If you like the traditional spices of carrot cake – nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, then you won’t be disappointed. They deliver on the flavor. The flavor is so on point that you don’t need the cream cheese. But who am I kidding, a whoopie pie ain’t a whoopie pie without the cream filling.

I got this recipe from Serena of Domesticate Me. These would be excellent for an Easter brunch, and if you’re looking for something for St. Patty’s Day, swap out the carrots with zucchini for some festive green fun!



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INGREDS
Pies
+ 2 cups grated carrots
+ 2 cups flour
+ 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
+ 1 teaspoon baking powder
+ 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
+ 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
+ 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
+ 1/2 teaspoon salt
+ 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
+ 3/4 cup granulated cane sugar
+ 2 eggs
+ 2 1/2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
+ 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
+ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting
+ 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
+ 1 cup powdered sugar
+ 3 tablespoons maple syrup

DIRECTIONS
+ Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
+ Using a food processor, shred carrots on course setting. If you don’t have a food processor, a a box grater works just fine. Use the largest holes.
+ In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
+ In another bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cane sugar, and eggs until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow in color. Whisk in coconut oil apple sauce, and vanilla extract.
+ Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
+ Fold in carrots and refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour.
+ Prepare your frosting. Using a hand held mixer, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and maple syrup until smooth.
+ Using a round tablespoon, scoop batter onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Use your fingers to form into even circles if needed.
+ Bake for 10 minutes, one sheet at a time. Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely for 10 minutes.
+ Spread a tablespoon or so of frosting onto the bottom side of a cake and top with another cake, bottom side down.
+ Eat immediately or store in refrigerator then dig in for a firmer whoopie.

Hurry home honey! I’ve got some sweet whoopie waiting for ya! 😉



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Cast Iron Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie (A V-Day Dessert for the Rough and Rugged Manly Man)



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I know there are a ton of cutesy festive Valentine’s Day recipes out there right now, like the heart-shaped this and that, the red and pink food coloring, sprinkles, and more hearts! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the detailed desserts that require you to go to the grocery store. I actually enjoy getting odds and ends like sprinkles and marshmallows for a random recipe. It’s all about the details right?

But realistically speaking, sometimes I just want to make a simple dessert where ALL ingredients are already in my pantry. And ladies, men aren’t hard to please. They’ll be happy with a classic dessert sans hearts and sprinkles. So for this Valentine’s Day I’m giving you a recipe that is sure to please your man, your woman, your gal pal, and most importantly, your own palate.

Oh, and if your man is like, super manly, burly, outdoorsy, Patagonia-y, rough and rugged like my sweetheart, this dessert is super fitting. It gives off that “I-made-this-over-the-campfire-right-after-I-hiked-28-miles” vibe.

Without further ado, I give you… CAST IRON SKILLET CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE. No butter, just coconut oil. Thank you to Ali from Gimme Some Oven for this delicious treat. I followed this recipe almost exactly; I replaced the butter with coconut oil and used a 12 inch cast iron skillet instead of a 9 incher since that’s the only one I’ve got.

I paired this cookie with my all-time favorite ice cream. Or “nice cream” I should say. NadaMoo! non-dairy coconut milk ice cream is everything. If you scream for ice cream like I do, this is a great, healthy option that has the SAME creamy texture of regular ice cream. Not that gross, chalky consistency of most healthy ice creams. Plus it’s only got 120 calories for a 1/2 cup! I chose to pair this with the Chocolate Almond Chip, but you can’t go wrong with any of the flavors. The Lotta Mint Chip has the perfect amount of mint and lots of mini chocolate chips! Their other flavors include: Cookies & Creme, Creamy Coconut, Bananas for PB & Chocolate, Gotta Do Chocolate, Vanilla Cha-Cha-Chai, Mmm… Maple Pecan, Vanilla…Ahhh, Sweet Cherry Lime, and Java Crunch. So there’s something for everybody! Click here to see if NadaMoo! is in your area.


Nadamoo






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INGREDS
+ 10 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
+ 1/2 cup granulated cane sugar
+ 1/2 cup brown or coconut sugar
+ 1 egg
+ 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
+ 1 1/4 cup flour
+ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
+ 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
+ 1/2-1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (1 cup makes it pretty chocolate-y, so keep that in mind)

DIRECTIONS
+ Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 12 (or 9) inch cast iron skillet with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
+ If your coconut oil is super hardened, you can soften it by keeping it out in room temp for 20 minutes or simply using a ‘soften’ setting on your microwave. BUT: DO NOT MELT. If you end up using melted coconut oil, your cookie won’t rise at all.
+ Combine the softened coconut oil and sugars in a mixing bowl and beat with either a handheld electric mixer or stand alone mixer. Beat util fluffy consistency.
+ Add egg and vanilla extract until well combined.
+ Combine flour, baking soda, salt in another bowl. Add dry ingredients to the coconut oil/sugar mixture and beat on low. Add chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
+ If you have willpower and don’t eat all the raw cookie dough, transfer to cast iron skillet and gently press with fingers until even.
+ Bake for 20 minutes or so until the edges are golden brown. Do not overbake. Even if it looks slightly underdone, it will bake more in the skillet. With that said, I HIGHLY recommend low-balling the time in the oven. Especially because this cookie tends to get crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. You want to maintain that soft inside right?
+ Serve with Nadamoo non-dairy coconut milk ice cream. I recommend pairing this cookie with the Chocolate Almond Chip flavor!



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A Classic Reinvented: Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars



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I like to consider myself pretty decently disciplined when it comes to what I eat. EXCEPT when it comes to peanut butter and jelly. “I put that sh*t on everything” … gluten free bread, rice cakes, Glutino crackers, in oatmeal. In all honestly, I’ve never met a PB&J I didn’t like. These bars are quite addicting, so beware. You may find yourself shoveling a few in your mouth after a long day at work. The best part of this recipe may be up for debate. Some say it’s peanut butter (duh), but others, like myself, say the grape jelly! Grape will always be my all-time favorite. It’s the ultimate classic kid kind.

ALSO – while these babies are delicious straight out of the oven, they’re even better chilled – so keep them in the fridge… TRUST me. Plus the chilling will keep them from crumbling because you do need to consume every last crumb of the nutty crust!

These bars are sure to please this holiday season… especially with the kiddos! You’re guaranteed to become the “cool” aunt/uncle with these delicious little nuggets!

I’d like to thank Dana of the Minimalist Baker for this recipe inspiration.



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INGREDS
Crust
+ 1 cup rolled oats
+ 1 cup pecans
+ 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
+ 2 tablespoons cane sugar
+ 4.5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Filling
+ 3/4 cup concord grape jelly ( I used Trader Joe’s Organic Concord Grape Jelly but if you really wanna feel like a kid and pretend sugar and calories don’t matter, feel free to go with the classic Welches Squeezable Grape 😉 )
+ 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
+ 2 tablespoons natural salted peanut butter

DIRECTIONS
+ Preheat oven to 350.
+ Add oats, pecans, salt and sugar to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fine meal consistency.
+ Transfer to a mixing bowl and add melted coconut oil. Stir and use your hands to incorporate until it looks like wet sand. Spread into 8×8 inch pan lined with parchment paper. Use your fingers to press down until crust is in an even layer.
+ Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Increase oven temp to 375 and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
+ While that’s baking, add jelly and frozen mixed berries to saucepan and heat over medium-low for 20 minutes or until hot and pourable. Set aside.
+ Remove crust from oven and add jelly/fruit mixture. Spread until even and dollop peanut butter all over in 1 teaspoon amounts.
+ Use a skewer or something similar to swirl the filling together.
+ Decrease oven temp to 350 and bake for 15 minutes, ensuring the top is bubbly and looking delicious.
+ Cut into squares and store in the fridge.


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I see you eyeing those, Sawyer!

Look and Feel Hot this Winter: Scarves that Keep You Comfy Cozy



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I am so excited to be writing this right now because I love seeing my friends and family succeed. Selena is what many call a modern-day Renaissance woman: she’s a woman of many talents and accomplishments. When Selena’s not crafting, she works full time as a Physical Therapist at a hospital specializing in providing therapy for individuals with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. PT is her dream job, but making scarves, sewing, and knitting allows her to “exercise” her brain in a different and exciting way. She’s always been in love with soft fabrics and believes that clothes should be both comfortable and stylish.

Needless to say, I was honored when she asked me to be her model for the upcoming website. Now that fall and winter are in full swing here in Colorado, I have been rocking the scarves non-stop. Who doesn’t love a plaid scarf, am I right? So versatile. I love dressing up a casual graphic tee or adding a pop of color to a business professional work shirt. Her crochet pieces add dimension and texture to any outfit. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you have to dress all frumpy dumpy! You can look hawt The best part? Her scarves are affordable! Check them out a her Etsy Shop here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ComfyCozyScarf ( Use promo code LINDSEY to get 15% off any item! She sells coffee sleeves too! )



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Christmas is almost here, makes for great gifts! https://www.etsy.com/shop/ComfyCozyScarf ( Use promo code LINDSEY to get 15% off any item! )

Check out ComfyCozyScarf on Instie. Post a pic of you in your scarf, tag @comfycozyscarf, hashtag #comfycozyscarf and there’s a very good chance your photo will be reposted!

All photos by Kayla Lawson

LET’S GET READY TO CRUMBLLLLE!



Berry Crumble




Sorry I’m not sorry for the pun… it’s so bad it’s good, am I right?

What are you planning on serving for dessert for Thanksgiving/Thanksliving/Friendsgiving?

Did someone already call dibs on bringing apple and/or pumpkin pie to your Thanksgiving feast? Have no fear, BERRY CRUMBLE is here! Seriously guys, after I made this I was in pure berry crumble heaven. I decided to test out this recipe for my step sister Hannah’s Sunday birthday dinner. I asked her what her favorite dessert was (I knew for sure it wasn’t cake – and I can’t blame her for that one – cake ain’t my favorite either). She told me cobbler/crumbles tickle her fancy the most and I was pumped. Because let’s face it – baking/cooking something that YOU like too makes it that much more fun! While there wasn’t more than a serving leftover, that one little serving made a delicious breakfast.

Don’t be basic this Thanksgiving and bring over a pumpkin pie, jazz it up with some crumble! These berries are the perfect combo of sweet and tart. If you’re feeling really wild and crazy, add some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Berry crumble



I adapted this recipe from Heidi Swanson’s cookbook Super Natural Every Day – “Tutti-Frutti Cumble.”

INGREDS
Topping
+ 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
+ 4 tablespoons poppy seeds
+ 1 cup rolled oats
+ 1 cup natural cane sugar
+ 1 teaspoon salt
+ 2/3 cup Kerrygold butter, melted

Filling
+ 2 tablespoons cornstarch
+ 2/3 cup natural cane sugar
+ 6 cups frozen mixed berries (I used Kirkland Signature Nature’s Three Berries from Costco)
+ 3 cups Frozen tart cherries (I used Townsend Farms Organic Dark Tart Cherries from Costco)
+ 1/2 cup dried cranberries
+ 1/2 cup apple cider (I used Trader Joe’s 100% Honey Crisp Apple Cider)

DIRECTIONS
+ Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a 9×13 glass Pyrex pan with coconut cooking spray.
+ In a large bowl, combine flour, poppy seeds, oats, sugar, and salt.
+ Stir in melted butter with a fork.
+ Using your hands, carefully form six patties and place patties in a bowl that will fit in your freezer. Freeze until ready to bake.
+ Whisk cornstarch and sugar in large bowl and add the frozen fruit and dried cranberries. Toss until coated. Let sit for 5 minutes, then add the apple cider and toss again.
+ Transfer filling into prepared baking pan.
+ Remove topping from the freezer and crumble it over the filling. Be sure to have large and small pieces to give it dimension and to make it purty 🙂
+ Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. The juices should be bubbling too!

Happy baking ya’ll!


Berry crumble




The aftermath…

A ’90s Breakfast Hybrid: Brown-Sugar Cinnamon Toaster Pop Strudel Tarts



Homemade Toaster Pop Strudel Tarts






Homemade Toaster Pop Strudel Tarts




My long time friend Molly is coming to town in two weeks! She’s a flight attendant for Delta Airlines and lucky for me, has a long layover here in Denver. We grew up in Grosse Pointe, Michigan but she’s lived in NYC, Texas, and has traveled the world! She’s a girl about town to say the least. Molly, my sis Kelsey and I were childhood besties growing up. Molly and Kelsey are the same age, I am a couple years younger. Despite them being WAY cooler than me as kiddos, they never failed to include me (the “little sister”) in all of their ’90s adventures.

To prepare for Molls’ visit, I know I want to make something nostalgic. Something that would bring us both back to those good old days. The days of sleepovers, Beanie Babies, eating Gushers after school, playing Sega Genesis, and Olly Olly Oxen Free. PS: Does anybody feel me with Olly Olly Oxen Free or am I hearing a bunch of crickets?

Speaking of sleepovers, if you got to sleep at Molly’s consider yourself #winning. I don’t want to brag, but Kelsey and I always had sleepovers with Molly. Our little tripod was on point. In this day and age it’d be considered #squadgoals. Molly’s house never failed to have the breakfast treats that every ’90s kid loved: Pop Tarts AND Toaster Strudels. To decide on one vs. another was the ultimate challenge. The struggle is/was all too real. With that said, I decided to test out a breakfast “hybrid” using original Pillsbury® Crescents. Let me introduce to you…

HOMEMADE BROWN-SUGAR CINNAMON TOASTER POP STRUDEL TARTS

Jeez, that was a mouthful. But you get the gist. A Pop Tart and Toaster Strudel rolled up into one delicious, breakfast pastry.

I made a first batch of these the other night to make sure they turned out just as I’d imagine. And they did. This goes without saying that I WILL be making these the day before her arrival. I decided on a “brown-sugar cinnamon” flavor because as kids, it was everything. Always the favorite flavor. Thank you Pillsbury® for helping us relive our tradition in a new and delicious way! (And thank you Walmart for the great deals on Pillsbury® Crescents. Stocking up for the holidays!) Do you have old traditions with old friends you’re looking to relive? What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

(Makes 8 breakfast pastries)
INGREDS
+ 1 egg
+ 2 teaspoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
+ 1/2 cup light brown sugar
+ 2 teaspoons cinnamon
+ 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
+ 2 cans Pillsbury® Crescents

DIRECTIONS
+ Preheat oven to 350.
+ Prepare egg wash by whisking egg and almond milk. Set aside.
+ Prepare filling by whisking together brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
+ Open 1 can of Pillsbury® Crescents and unroll/roll out completely on a floured surface.
+ It’s already perforated, so just carefully pull apart until it’s in two equal halves.
+ Using culinary scissors or a knife, cut equally until you have 8 rectangles dough pieces.
+ Place all 8 rectangle dough pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet.
+ Brush each with egg wash. This will help the the pieces stick together.
+ Place two tablespoons of the filling onto the center of each rectangle, carefully spreading to cover the entire surface.
+ Top with their corresponding rectangles, egg wash side down.
+ Using a fork, crimp the edges to seal.
+ Brush the tops with the egg wash and bake for 16-20 minutes or until flaky and golden brown. Halfway through baking, rotate baking sheet.
+ Let cool on pan for 10 minutes then transfer to another surface.
+ Repeat with the other can of Pillsbury® Crescents.

I topped mine with a special brown sugar cinnamon glaze. SUPER easy recipe! Can be used on pastries, cookies, sweetbreads. Who wants the recipe?


Homemade Toaster Pop Strudel Tarts




#warmtraditions

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pillsbury. The opinions and text are all mine.

Glazed Gingerbread for Your Autumn Brunch



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A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.

Nope.

A Sunday well spent (with BRUNCH) brings a week of content.

Brunch is one of my favorite things. Some weekends it’s my everything. Food, friends, and sometimes (always) libations, what’s there to hate? Brunching in the fall is the best time to brunch when the air is cool and crisp but the food is warm and the clothes are cozy.

Sweet breads are my weakness – and for good reason: they’re sweet (duh) and moist and oh-so-tasty whether served plain or with jam or nut butter or honey. You can’t really go wrong. The moist-ness is what gets me. I mean seriously, who doesn’t like a moist bread? Unfortunately, moist breads are usually a result of butter. Lots and lots of butter.

With that said, I am proud to say that my sweet bread secret ingredient is…

Yoplait™ Greek 100 yogurt! PS: I’ve found that Walmart consistently has great deals on yogurt, so stock up this season for all your future baking needs!


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For this past’s Sunday brunch I made Gingerbread that had the same rich, moistness as traditional sweet bread… sans butter. Plus, I made a Greek yogurt glaze to fancy it up a bit.

Yoplait™ Greek 100 yogurt is fantastic and vital substitute for fatty ingreds like butter and shortening and sour cream. It also adds a bit of protein and calcium and gives your baked goods a softer texture. Yogurt doesn’t have to be just a snack you take for lunch on the go. You can bake with it too! Using ingredients in innovative and alternative ways is so rewarding, especially when it makes for a (secretly) healthier treat.

INGREDS
Bread
+ 1.5 cups flour
+ 1/4 teaspoon salt
+ 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
+ 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
+ 2 teaspoons ground ginger
+ 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
+ 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
+ 1/2 cup coconut oil
+ 3/4 cup cane sugar
+ 1/4 cup light brown sugar
+ 1/4 cup molasses
+ 3 eggs
+ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
+ 1 5.3 oz. cup Yoplait™ Greek 100 vanilla yogurt

Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Glaze
+ 2 tablespoons Yoplait™ Greek 100 vanilla yogurt
+ 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
+ Two pinches or so brown sugar
+ A few hefty shakes of cinnamon (to taste)

DIRECTIONS
+ Preheat oven to 325°.
+ In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
+ Add coconut oil to a large mixing bowl and cream using a hand mixer on low for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the cane sugar and brown sugar and continue to cream for 3-4 minutes.
+ Add molasses and continue to mix on low. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and fully combined.
+ Alternate adding dry ingredients and Yoplait™ Greek 100 vanilla yogurt to butter/sugar mixture and mix on low until incorporated.
+ Pour batter in a 9×5 loaf pan (greased with coconut oil).
+ Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then using a dull butter knife, carefully scrape the sides to loosen the loaf and transfer to a cutting board. Let cool.
+ Prepare the glaze by combining all ingredients in a small glass or jelly jar. Stir until fully combined and drizzle on cooled bread.

Recipe inspired by Ali from Gimme Some Oven

***I HIGHLY recommend heating gingerbread slices in the microwave. Creates an even softer, more moist texture believe it or not! And it’s all thanks to the Greek yogurt!


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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.

These Spicy Peanut “Noodles” are Everything



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As much as I love carbs, I try to avoid them when possible – particularly for dishes that use traditional pasta or spaghetti. And honestly I LIKE the taste and texture of vegetable noodles better whether it be spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, beet noodles, and sweet potato noodles, etc, etc etc. I know what you’re thinking… “lies! no one likes veggie noodles better than Barilla the OG!” But I do – I intentionally under cook my “zoodles” if you will because I adore a good crunch!

If you’re looking for a nice and light but FILLING meal, you’re in for a real treat. This can be made super ahead of time because you serve it cold. As for the peanut butter, you can make your own if you’re feeling adventurous, but if you’re going to use store-bought like I did, please do yourself a favor and use the naughty-er creamy kind (JIF, Skippy, etc). If you try and go with the healthier natural butters, you will not end up with a creamy sauce. I’ve tried using the natural Costco Kirkland brand that you have to refrigerate and the result was no bueno. Capische?

I made this for dinner and it was a hit with my main squeeze, and myself! Leftovers made for a fantastic lunch the next day. By the way, do you like our lunchboxes? Can you guess whose is whose? It’s safe to say that we are still kids at heart. My adorable robot lunch box is made by an even more adorable company called SoYoung. They are based out of Toronto, Canada and sell lunch boxes, cooler bags, backpacks and diaper bags. Their modern, elevated designs make the products both kid- and adult-appropriate. In 2014, SoYoung partnered with Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company on a limited edition lunch box which sold out in less than 8 days! Their lunch box designs include: sharks, bicycles, elephants, giraffes, dinosaurs, seahorses, starfish, and even Russian dolls (remember those from back in the day? LOVE!). And their cooler bags? To die. Those designs include pink peonies (WANT), beets (WANT), artichoke, and dandelions. They’re in select Nordstrom and Whole Foods stores, and 500 other specialty retailers.

Recipe inspired by the one and only Jaclyn from Cooking Classy.

INGREDS

Sauce
+ 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
+ 1/4 cup warm water
+ 3 tablespoons soy sauce
+ 2 tablespoons honey
+ 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
+ 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
+ 1.5 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
+ 1 tablespoon minced garlic
+ 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

+ 2 chicken breasts (cooked and sliced thin)
+ 1 spaghetti squash (cooked and shredded into spaghetti strings)
+ 6 mini “cocktail” cucumbers (sliced)
+ 1/2 cup chopped green onion, and some to garnish
+ Chopped cilantro, (1/2 to 1 cup, depending on taste) and some to garnish
+ Sesame seeds for garnish
+ Bean sprouts for garnish

DIRECTIONS
+ Preheat oven to 350°.
+ Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Season with salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Place on baking sheet, flesh side up and cook for 30 minutes. Please note I like my strings on the crunchier side, so if you like yours softer, cook longer. When done, set aside, let cool, and string into noodles with a fork.
+ Prepare sauce. Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Store in fridge until ready to use.
+ Cook chicken using this fool-proof recipe. Slice thin.
+ Similar to making your own tacos, allow all eaters to make their own bowl. Start with spaghetti squash, add sliced cucumber, chicken slices, sauce to taste, and toss to combine. Top with green onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, and sesame seeds.

x Lindsey


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Skinny S’mores Overnight Oatmeal



Smores Oatmeal




I am obsessed with oatmeal lately. Overnight oatmeal that is. It’s my jam. It’s been my go-to breakfast for the past few months because it’s so damn easy guys! It’s pretty much fool proof too. It’s like that little black dress in your closet. You can dress it up or dress it down – either way you will end up satisfied.

“I don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning.”
“I’m too busy at night to make breakfast the night before…”
“I can’t eat first thing in the morning! Makes me nauseous!”
Are YOU one of these people?

Well I have some news for you non-breakfast-eaters! There is absolutely no reason not to make this. I have a solution for all of the above excuses:

1. You can’t make this in the morning because it needs time to set – so this recipe forces you to make breakfast the night before!
2. If you have FIVE spare minutes in the evening, you can make this the night before. That’s just FIVE less minutes you’ll have to scroll through your Insta feed.
3. If you’re one of those people that feels sick if they eat first thing in the morning, then take it to go and eat it later in the morning when you have an appetite. It’s a perfect ‘to-go’ breakfast. Can be eaten cold, room temp, or heated (I highly recommend this heated – melted ‘mallows are the best ‘mallows – am I right?)

This dime of a recipe doesn’t even make you feel guilty afterward. Containing mostly healthy ingredients, and the more “naughty” ones in moderation, these oaty-oat-oats will keep you full and satisfied without giving you a sugar crash like those nasty ass, sugar-filled oatmeal packets. I avoid the dairy bloat by using almond milk and chocolate chips that are dairy free, like these from Enjoy Life!

Makes 4 servings, ish?
INGREDS
+ 1 cup rolled or steel cut oats
+ 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
+ 2 tablespoons almond or peanut butter
+ 1.5 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
+ 5-6 teaspoons 100% pure grade A maple syrup
+ 1/4 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
+ 1/4 cup + a palm full of mini marshmallows (divided)
+ 4 graham crackers (divided)

DIRECTIONS
+ Combine oats, chia seeds, nut butter, almond milk and maple syrup in a small mixing bowl (if it has a lid, that’s a plus!) using a fork, making sure to break up the nut butter and evenly mix.
+ Add the chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of marshmallows and stir.
+ Place 2 of the 4 graham crackers in a plastic Ziplock bag and crush with your fist until you get fine-course crumbs.
+ Add crumb mixture to oatmeal and stir to combine.
+ Reserve the 2 remaining graham crackers for serving.
+ Refrigerate, covered overnight or for at least 3 hours.
+ When ready to serve, place in microwaveable-safe bowl and top with a few of the remaining marshmallows. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the marshmallows and chocolate chips melt without scalding.
+ Crush one of the remaining graham crackers and sprinkle on top, using the other to garnish.
+ Keeps well in the fridge for few days! Can you say, breakfast for the week?!

Happy Breakfast-ing!

xLindsey


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