After many different machines and years of purchasing expensive, prepackaged kcups, I have finally ditched Keurig machines and this time for good. My newest coffee companion is a Ninja Hot and Iced Coffee Maker (CM305 model):
So far, I love the versatility of the machine and the ability to do so much more than brew a cup of coffee. I love a hot drink in the morning, but my husband is all about iced coffee and froufrou drinks. My maker came with a detachable frother, measuring cup, and various settings to perfect a cup, tumbler, or carafe of the coffee or drink of choice. It even has the ability to make espresso drinks, lattes, and iced concoctions as well. As I played around with my machine I created my own version of the popular Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso drink from Starbucks. Here is my recipe:
Brown Sugar Oatmilk Iced Coffee–
coffee grounds of your choice (2 Tb), ice, oatmilk, 1 Tb brown sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon
Fill a mug to the top with ice and place on the mug plate under the drip container
Select the settings: Cup and Specialty Make sure there is enough water in the reservoir to fill a cup (this is easily marked)
Use the detachable measuring spoon and add the recommended amount of coffee for a Specialty drink to a #4 cone filter and add to machine (2 large scoops)
After coffee brews over the ice, fill the remainder of the glass with oatmilk and add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
For the past three weeks I’ve been trying to eat a Gluten-Free/Paleo diet. It’s been nice as I’ve been able to notice a difference in aches and pains. I’ve also been working hard to kick processed foods out of my digestive system.
One thing I’ve missed in my journey to Gluten-Free eating is baked goods. I’m a huge fan of bread, cookies, cake, and basically anything you can make with flour. Bread is difficult, but I’ve been able to abstain. My biggest issue (especially as we approach the holiday season) is desserts. I have been trying to minimize my sugar intake and even when I do eat sweets I’ve tried to make sure that the source of sugar is natural and not artificial.
This weekend I completed my first baking project with almond flour and it was a success! Being gluten-free/Paleo doesn’t mean that you have to forego delicious food. It just takes a little more effort and intentionality, but you can still enjoy your food.
Thanks to Elana Amsterdam at Elana’s Pantry I was able to remake a favorite. I followed the recipe below from her website and poured a glass of almond milk to drink along with my cookie. My whole family enjoyed the cookies.
**One note on the recipe, I would recommend using the EXACT ingredients that Elana uses to create the recipe. You can click on the links below for more information on those ingredients. I was unable to find her exact almond flour and so mine had a slightly different texture. It didn’t change the taste, but I would still recommend for you to use the EXACT ingredients.
If your family is anything like mine, every morning there is a struggle to eat breakfast and get through the morning routine. All of my best intentions to be ready on time are often thwarted by the race against the clock. And when required to drop a part of the regimen usually I do the terrible deed of neglecting breakfast. We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Knowing this I’ve started a routine of cooking breakfasts on Sundays and freezing them for the upcoming week. This week I made Sausage Balls and thought I would share the recipe for those of you struggling to grab breakfast in the mornings. Gone are the days of fast food drive thrus when it only takes 40 seconds to cook an on-the-go breakfast.
1 lb. medium ground sausage
2 cups Bisquick
2 Tb melted butter
10 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients by hand in a large glass bowl. Be sure to pull the sausage apart thoroughly to be sure ingredients are evenly distributed.
2. Form small balls of the mixture with your hands. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. (These smell amazing while baking!!)
4. These can be served immediately, but if you are choosing to freeze them wait until they are cool to place in a freezer bag. They keep well for up to two months.
**in order to reheat sausage balls, place them in the microwave wrapped in a napkin or paper towel. Heat for 40 seconds to a minute. Be sure to check that the sausage balls are cooked through before consuming.
This is such a quick and easy recipe that is a favorite in my home. No more neglecting breakfast or stopping at a drive-thru for a greasy breakfast sandwich for this family.
I’ve really been putting in an effort to eat healthier lately. Over the summer I lived a fairly active lifestyle, but my meal options were sometimes quite a pitfall. There were many days that I traded my healthy home cooked meals for a plate of nachos or pizza because they were convenient while we were out and about. Don’t get me started on the amount of fried or greasy foods I consumed while in England. So I am heading back to the healthy basics. I have reread one of my first (and most read) posts from all the way back in February. The post is entitled, No More Fast Food and it discusses why I am taking a stand against fast food and what alternatives I am choosing for my health and my family.
In an effort to get myself off on the right start I am hoping to go on a Clean Eating diet for a couple weeks. I’ve downloaded a list of ingredients that are okay to consume while on this diet and I realize it is really not that difficult. The main foods left off this list are those that are processed, packaged, or contain harmful chemicals for the body. This weekend I plan to go more in depth about this diet so that you can see some of the specifics a little better, but for now I am going to give you a Clean Eating recipe for one-pot Quinoa Salad. This dish is best served warm, however, if you should choose to you may refrigerate it after cooking and eat it chilled. It makes a brilliant lunch item for back-to-school or office lunch packers. So here is a look at this delicious and healthy recipe.
(Also, recipe credit goes to my amazingly creative and beautiful sister, Morgan 🙂 )
One Pot Quinoa Salad
1 Tb EVOO
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green or red bell pepper
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 cup vegetable broth, or reduced sodium chicken broth
1 (15oz) can of black beans
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
Heat EVOO in a large skillet. Add garlic and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for approximately one minute
Stir in quinoa, broth, beans, tomoato, corn, and seasonings. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and smmer until quinoa is cooked through, about twenty minutes.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4-8 servings depending on serving size
This meal is so delicious and very filling. I made a pot and put the leftovers in the refrigerator to pack for lunches this week. My sister is going on a vegan/organic foods kick and so I stole this recipe from her. She’s pretty awesome. Let me know if you have any recipe suggestions for someone who is trying to cut out processed and unhealthy food from my diet.
Since becoming a mother my Crockpot has become my trusted best friend. It allows me to create healthy meals for my family even when my schedule doesn’t allow for much meal time prep. During the school year my Crockpot is a staple to my menu planning and I utilize it a minimum of once a week. Over the past couple of years I have produced my famous Crockpot Gumbo for several friends and/or gatherings. I’ve had quite a few people ask for my recipe so I thought I would publish this recipe here on my blog for any of you that might want to try this one out. What I like most about this meal is its simplicity. The prep time is about ten minutes. This particular recipe calls for more vegetables than most gumbo recipes, but you would never know it in a blind taste test. The flavors blend so well I can never get enough of this one.
2 Tb butter
2 Tb flour
1 green pepper
4 cloves garlic, diced or minced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 quart Chicken broth
2 Tb Cajun seasoning
1 smoked or Polish sausage (we prefer Polish in our house)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups diced okra (optional)
1. In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until the flour is golden brown. Add the pepper, garlic, onion, and carrots. Saute for one minute.
2. Add the mixture to a 4-quart slow cooker. Add the broth, seasoning, sausage, and tomatoes. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
*3. Add the okra the last hour of cooking if you should choose to add it. (I rarely do)
4. Serve over a bed of brown rice.
This recipe is quite mild, but if you want to turn up the heat on your gumbo you can substitute the green pepper for a hotter pepper of your choice. Also, you can add to the amount of Cajun seasoning used as well. It is totally your preference. My two-and-a-half year old loves this dish which is why I keep it pretty mild. She will sit and eat every bite off her plate, and she doesn’t even like carrots. The taste masks that well!
This recipe is a quick and easy soup similar to Italian Wedding Soup as it features meatballs, noodles, and broth. This is a kid-friendly meal (my daughter loves it) and I can whip this up quickly for a busy night. I hope you enjoy!
Italian Meatball Soup:
2 cans low sodium chicken broth (28 oz)
1 cup water
1 cup penne pasta or shell pasta
16 frozen meatballs
1 cup pizza sauce
1. Begin the recipe by cooking the meatballs according to their packaging. Most meatball packages allow for the option of microwave cooking which is the quickest way to speed along the process if you are short on time.
2. Combine the broth and water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
3. Once boiled, add the pasta and meatballs. Return to a boil and cook until the pasta is done. DO NOT DRAIN!
4. Reduce heat and stir in the pizza sauce. Cook an additional two minutes or until thoroughly heated.
5. Top with cheese before serving.
Serve this soup with a crusted bread and fresh romaine salad.
This recipe makes 4-6 servings. We always have leftovers for the lunch the next day or two.