Monday, December 22, 2014

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie

I'll start by saying - not healthy!!  But so good!!!  And a little indulgence every once in awhile is ok.  Plus, it's almost Christmas...and that sort of makes it ok.  You're with family, and you're gonna indulge.  It's only human.  


I make this pie every Thanksgiving and we have it at Christmas too.  I did not add the nuts this time, but usually it's walnuts or pecans.  Pecans more so I think.


So buttery and rich and awesome with whipped cream (yes, from a can!) or ice cream.  You can serve it at room temperature or eat cold right out of the fridge...like for breakfast the next morning.  Shhh...I didn't say that!! ;)


Serves 8-10

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie

1 unbaked deep dish pie shell, thawed if frozen
2 eggs 
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
Whipped cream or ice cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Beat eggs in a large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy.  Beat in flour and the sugars.  Beat in butter.  Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.  Pour mixture into pie shell.  
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted halfway between the edge and center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.  Serve warm or room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.

(Source: recipe from Nestle Toll House)

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

This Crock Pot meal has moved up to our #1 favorite dinner lately.  It is seriously so unbelievably good.  It's a toss up for me whether I like it more in a tortilla like a burrito or just over brown rice.    


One time I didn't have any green onion, so I substituted it with red onion and it was just as good.  Probably about 1/4 cup red onion if you decide to try it.  Be sure to spoon out some of the liquid over rice - really really flavorful.  Use a slotted spoon if you are serving in tortillas or they will get mushy and fall apart!  


It freezes wonderfully too.  If it's just my family eating it, we always have a TON leftover.  Just dump the leftovers plus any juice into a freezer container and into the freezer.  The night before you know you'll eat it again, stick it in the fridge to defrost.  To reheat, just place in a saucepan until simmering!  
Serves 8

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.4 oz) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (14.4 oz) can reduced sodium chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
salt and pepper

Combine chicken broth, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the Crock Pot.  Lay the chicken breasts on top.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high 4-6 hours.  A half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred.  Return chicken to the Crock Pot and stir.  Adjust salt to taste.  Serve over brown rice or in tortillas with extra cilantro, green onions, cheese, sour cream, and/or any of your favorite toppings!

(Source:  from Skinnytaste)

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Mini Pumpkin Banana Oat Muffins

We can't get enough of pumpkin muffins in our house!  I make them a LOT so I've been trying to come up with a couple of variations on them.  The mini versions are perfect for snacks for my preschoolers! 


Good and good for you - no butter, white flour or processed sugars!  My kids gobble these up!  You can make a double batch to keep in the freezer.  I simply throw a bunch of the muffins in a freezer bag and toss them in.  When you are ready to eat them, just let them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours.  They taste like you just baked them!  


This recipe is adapted from my regular Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins.  You could also do those as a mini version - how cute, right?  I do love the little sprinkle of oats on the top of these though.  Hope you enjoy!     

24 mini muffins

Mini Pumpkin Banana Oat Muffins

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup old fashioned oats + more for topping
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs 
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 ripe banana, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt and baking powder.  Add the eggs, honey and applesauce until just combined (do not overmix).  Add the pumpkin puree and banana and mix again.  

Divide the batter equally among the muffins cups (I used a small cookie scoop) to about 3/4 of the way full.  Sprinkle a pinch of oats on top of each muffin.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, 15-18 minutes.  Store at room temperature or freeze.  

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot

Earlier this week I posted a recipe for Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken - and this is the easiest stock you will ever make using the bones and carcass from that same chicken.  I do it EVERY time and at this point, probably never have to buy stock in the carton again (seriously, my freezer is packed with it!!). 


Because of how tender the chicken is when it's done, I literally pull the meat off the bones, leave the carcass in the Crock Pot and after dinner, I make this.


Don't worry if you don't have all of the ingredients.  It still turns out great.  I rarely make it with additional onion and a couple of times I didn't have celery.  The taste difference between homemade and stock or broth in the carton is unbelievable.  And when it's this easy, why not make homemade??

Makes approximately 14 cups 

Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot

Leftover chicken bones and carcass equivalent to one 4-5 pound chicken
1 onion, peeled and loosely chopped
1 rib of celery roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped (no need to peel)
1 bay leaf
1 spring fresh thyme
salt and pepper, to taste

Remove all the edible meat from the chicken and place (or leave) the bones, skin, cooking juices, etc. in the Crock Pot.  If you are using the chicken carcass from "Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken", leave everything single thing that's leftover in the Crock Pot.

Add the onion, celery, carrot and herbs on top of the bones and fill the Crock Pot almost to the top with water (leaving about 1/2 inch at the top).

Turn the slow cooker on low after dinner and cook overnight.  In the morning, turn off the heat and, using a soup ladle, pour the stock through a fine mesh strainer to remove all herbs, bones, etc.

Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze into portions - I use 32-ounce (4 cups) or 16-ounce (2 cups) deli containers.  In the freezer it will keep for about 6 months until it starts to lose flavor.

(Source: adapted from 100 Days of Real Food)

Posts may contain affiliate links.  That means The Art of Comfort Baking will automatically receive a small commission, but your cost will remain the same!  Thanks for your support!

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken

I am addicted to making whole roast chicken in the Crock Pot!  We have it weekly.  Not only does the chicken get so tender that it just falls off the bone, there are always leftovers for sandwiches or salads for the next couple of days.


It's also one of the easiest dinners I make.  Chunk up an onion, make a little spice rub, turn on the Crock Pot and dinner is done in 4 hours.  The spice rub is rubbed on the skin, but also UNDER the skin.  That is what makes this SO good.  A must try.  Of course you could do this in the oven, but I love the fact that you barely have to carve this.  I can literally pull the chicken breast off the bone with a pair of tongs, that's how tender it is.  


Side note - I buy my chickens in a 2-pack from Sam's Club.  They are hormone and antibiotic free and so much cheaper than the organic ones at my regular grocery store.  Be sure to check out your wholesale club next time!  And I use a very basic 6-quart Crock-Pot that you can purchase from Amazon.  Mine is about 10 years old and still kickin'!

Serves 4-6

Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken

1 whole roast chicken, 4-5 pounds
1 medium onion
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt, plus extra for the cavity
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cut the onion in chunks and place in the bottom of the Crock Pot.  Reserve about 1/4 of the onion to place in the cavity of the chicken.  Combine the dried spices in a small bowl and set aside.

Remove the giblets from the chicken and season the inside with salt.  Place the reserved onion chunks in the cavity.  Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin connected to the breast and rub a small amount of the spice mixture directly on the meat.  Rub the remaining spices on the outside of the entire chicken.

Place the prepared chicken on top of the onions in the Crock Pot and turn to high.  Cook for 4-5 hours.

(Source: adapted from 100 Days of Real Food)

Posts may contain affiliate links.  That means The Art of Comfort Baking will automatically receive a small commission, but your cost will remain the same!  Thanks for your support!
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Asking for the Gift of Health and Fitness

I am a Beachbody coach and SO many of you have messaged me this month asking about the cost of programs. Thanksgiving really took it's toll on a lot of us.  For me too!  I was never so eager to jump back into my workout routine than I was after that holiday weekend!  The most common response I got back? 
"I REALLY want to do it, but it's Christmas and I can't selfishly spend money on myself right now."
Look, I GET IT. I asked for Insanity Max:30 for Christmas because of that EXACT reason! Why do we feel weird asking for a fitness program or Shakeology when deep down we know it's something we want and need in order to feel better?  


So here's what I'm offering. I'm going to make it so easy for you to get the program of your choice and Shakeology for Christmas...just in time to start completely fresh after the New Year.  We are going to create a wishlist for me to share with your family!  This is what I need from you:
  1. Fill out the form below, email me at brookegriffin6@gmail.com OR message me on Facebook to tell me the program(s) and flavor of Shakeology you are interested in. 
  2. Tell me who to contact - name and email (or let me know if there is a better way to get in touch with them)
  3. Forget you asked for it and be surprised on Christmas morning! 
So easy!  A very simple way to get what you REALLY want this year.  2015 will be your best year yet.  Fill out this form to get in touch with me, even if it's not for the wishlist.  I would love to chat with you about your own fitness goals! 


Name:

Email *

Message *




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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are the best!  They take all but what, 5 minutes to make?  And then you have them for a super quick breakfast in the morning.  Easy, healthy and yum!!


Not sure it gets much better than that.  And this chocolate peanut butter version is my favorite way to make them (at least for now!).  I'm always a big fan of chocolate...and peanut butter.  It's not often that you'll find an acceptable breakfast option with those flavor combos.  


So rich and peanut buttery.  The chocolate chips I added for a bit of crunch and they are completely optional.  I like to serve mine heated for about 45 seconds, with a added drizzle of maple syrup.  SO good!! 

5 servings

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup plain (or vanilla) Greek yogurt
1 2/3 cup skim milk (or almond milk)
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 
2 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup 
semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional) 

In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, vanilla and salt.  Microwave for 10 seconds, stir, then 10 more seconds.  Add in the yogurt, milk, oats, cocoa powder and maple syrup.  Stir well and make sure the peanut butter is completely melted and mixed throughout.  Evenly distribute the mixture to 5 small mason jars or plastic storage containers (about 1 cup of the mixture per container).  Seal and place in the fridge overnight.  Oats will keep up to 5 days. 

To serve: heat in microwave for approximately 45 seconds, drizzle with additional maple syrup (if desired).  

(Source:  adapted from Chelsea's Messy Apron

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Monday, December 1, 2014

{Healthier} Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok, I'll admit...I didn't set out to make a healthier cookie.  But I use brown and white sugar so rarely now that I didn't even realize I was (almost) out!!  Since I was ready to make cookies, I made do with what I had...and voila!


Honey and coconut sugar were used as the replacement for the refined sugars.  I did use what white sugar I had left, but it was only 1/4 cup.  The coconut sugar is what really gives these cookies that caramel color, and an almost nutty flavor.  I loved them!  And so did the kids and in-laws that were visiting! 


Ok, there are still 2 sticks of butter...I said they were "healthier", not healthy!  I was just glad that substituting with my go-to clean sweeteners produced a great cookie.  Enjoy!

Makes about 4 dozen 

{Healthier} Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat until combined, then add vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet and beat until completely mixed in.  Stir in oats and chocolate chips by hand.  

Using a small cookie scoop, drop dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 14-15 minutes.  Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool.   

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

I had never really heard of a breakfast "cookie" before I was on Pinterest.  I mean, sure I like a good muffin in the morning every once in awhile, but a cookie?  So, I had to see what it was all about.


Well, I'm hooked.  First of all, they are made will all healthier ingredients - no refined sugars.  They are dense and thick and very filling.  A great quick breakfast on-the-go!  


Do not overbake these.  Because once they cool, they will be on the "drier" side any way.  I did mine for exactly 9 minutes but really probably could have done 8 minutes for an even softer middle.  These will be fun to experiment with.  I think I'll try a cinnamon raisin one next! 

Yields 2 dozen 

Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate (or semi-sweet) chocolate chunks (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.  Add the banana, egg, sugar, syrup, honey, yogurt and vanilla.  Mix until everything is incorporated (dough will be very thick).  Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

Roll dough into 2-inch balls and place on baking sheet.  Flatten with the palm of your hand or with the bottom of a glass.  Bake for 9-10 minutes (really no more!!).  They should be slightly soft in the middle.  Cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.  Store in an airtight container for 4 days or in the fridge for up to a week.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

{Clean Eating} Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I've been working on this recipe for a little while and I FINALLY got it!  I used to make banana bread all the time and now, since we've cut out refined sugars, not so much.  Well, I'm pretty pleased with this recipe - you will NOT miss all the sugar that is usually in banana bread.


It is dense but not dried out.  I used dark chocolate chunks, but you could omit them or substitute them for pecans or walnuts as well.  Banana and chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combinations, plus the kids always request chocolate chips in it!    


And it freezes so well too!  I always make two loaves at a time, but if you had to half it, you could, and it turns out great.  To freeze, let it cool, wrap in foil, then place in a freezer bag.  Freeze for up to 3 months (it won't last that long, believe me). 
  
Yields 2 loaves

{Clean Eating} Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup coconut sugar 
4 cups white whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup buttermilk*
6 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using an electric mixer, combine the applesauce, honey and coconut sugar.  Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and add to the sugar mixture.  Add remaining ingredients; mix well.   Stir in the chocolate chips by hand (if using).  Pour into 2 well-greased loaf pans and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

*Buttermilk substitute: 2/3 cup regular milk with ¾ teaspoon of white vinegar added and let sit for 5 minutes before adding

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Homemade pizza has always been a favorite in our house.  We like to do 'Pizza Fridays' (who doesn't?!) so I like to make sure I always have this dough in the fridge or freezer.  And that's the beauty of it, it freezes so well that you literally have pizza whenever you want.  


I have been known to actually double this recipe to get 4 balls of dough - which is what I actually did in these pictures.  Double, half it, it all turns out great.  Can't beat a healthy, delicious pizza dough!

Yields 2 dough balls (1-pound each)

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1 package of Fast Rising Yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, flour, salt and honey.  Turn on mixer and add water while the hook is turning.  Add olive oil and mix again.  Continue mixing the dough with the hook until it completely pulls apart from the sides, about 5 minutes.  Lift the dough out, spray the bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place dough back in bowl, turning to coat the surface.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.  

Divide the dough into 2 equal portions.  Place on cutting board or baking sheet, cover again with towel and let rest for 30 minutes.  If you are not going to use both, wrap one in plastic wrap and put in fridge for no more than 3 days.  To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.  Place in the fridge the night before you want to use it and let come to room temperature before using that day.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Whole Wheat Pancakes

I still can't get enough of pumpkin spice anything.  And don't let the fact that these are NOT made from a box mix turn you off - they are SO easy!!  


This recipe makes the absolute best pancakes - they are light and fluffy and perfect every time.  We use this batter to make banana pancakes, strawberry, blueberry, you name it.  But these?  They just taste like fall and are PERFECT this time of year!

Yields 18 pancakes

Pumpkin Spice Whole Wheat Pancakes

2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey 
2 large eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
butter for frying  

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.  Add the honey, eggs, milk and pumpkin puree and whisk until everything is combined.  Heat a griddle or pan over medium heat.  Add butter to melt and coat the bottom.  Spoon batter onto griddle or pan, using about 1/4 cup.  When bubbles start to form on the top, flip the pancakes and cook on the other side.  Remove from pan, repeat with butter and batter.  Serve with maple syrup.  

To freeze: place pancakes in a freezer bag, layered with pieces of wax paper.  Heat for a minute in the microwave to serve.  

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Peanut Butter Banana & Oat Muffins

I actually posted this recipe a very long time ago (if you want to see how far my picture taking skills have come, check it out here!).   Also I find it funny that I said my old version was healthy, although it was probably close to the "healthiest" thing I was making back then!  Anyway, I had a craving for them and in an effort to "clean" to them up, I revamped the recipe, but only slightly. 


I replaced the brown sugar with coconut sugar and used natural peanut butter (the 'no need to stir' kind).  The only other thing I would have kept, if I had any on hand, would have been wheat germ.  If you have some, add about a 1/4 of a cup, it certainly won't hurt and it will add iron, calcium and lots of vitamins.  


Coconut sugar is not that sweet, I use it all the time as a replacement to white and brown sugar, but let's face it, it's not the same taste AT ALL.  I think between the banana, peanut butter and vanilla, these were sweet enough for me, but you could always do 1/4 cup coconut sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar to sweetened it up slightly.  Although, if you are like me, who is trying to cut out refined sugars all together, I think you'll be fine without it!

Yields 12 muffins

Peanut Butter Banana & Oat Muffins

3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 bananas, mashed
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add the vanilla, milk and eggs.  Stir until everything is combined.  Add the banana, peanut butter and dark chocolate chips (if using).  Using an ice cream scoop, fill each of the muffin cups about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden on top.

Posts may contain affiliate links.  That means The Art of Comfort Baking will automatically receive a small commission, but your cost will remain the same!  Thanks for your support!
  
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Southwestern Quiche

The night I made this was one of those nights where I was scrambling for time and didn't have a clue about what do for dinner (hate that!).  This came together quickly, cooked perfectly and we loved it! 


The thing I love about a quiche is that you can make them all your own.  Whatever ingredients you feel like adding...go for it!  Bell peppers?  Ham, bacon, sausage?  Sure!  The cheese I used was a Mexican blend with spices already added in.  But you can use cheddar, pepper jack, or whatever your preference is.  
  

I love how the black beans sink to the bottom to almost form a crust.  I added cilantro on top for a bit of freshness and it went SO well with the dish.  So the next time you are stumped for dinner, think eggs!  They aren't just for breakfast.  Enjoy!

Serves 6-8

Southwestern Quiche

8 large eggs
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup low-sodium black beans
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, pepper jack or a blend)
Cilantro, for garnish
Salsa, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, water, salt and pepper.  Pour the egg mixture into the pie dish.

Sprinkle the black beans and tomatoes on top of the egg mixture. Top with cheese.  Bake until the egg is set in the center and starting to brown, 30-35 minutes.

Let cool for about 10 minutes, then cut into wedges.  Serve garnished with cilantro and salsa if desired.

(Source:  adapted from Cookin' Canuck)

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Friday, October 24, 2014

No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Bites

Just let me say...OMG.  I made these for the first time a couple of weeks ago...and as soon as I run out, I make them again!  I keep these in the freezer and swear I grab one (or three) every time I'm in the kitchen.



Totally addicting!  A great snack, quick breakfast or dessert.  The chocolate chips are optional and dried fruit such as cranberries or raisins would be a good substitution.


These become very soft at room temperature.  I highly suggest keeping them in the freezer - even then, they don't get too hard to bite into it.  At the very least, keep them in the fridge.  And whatever you do, just MAKE them and keep them around for as long as pumpkin spice is the flavor of the season!    

Yields 24 balls

No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Bites

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or dried fruit, optional)
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 tablespoon flax seeds
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.  Scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with a small cookie scoop or form into 1" balls with your hands.  Place in the freezer for 30 minutes before eating.  Store in the freezer or fridge (will be a little soft). 

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus to me is always just one of those things that I never imagined I would ever make.  I mean store bought is delicious, and I always buy a really good-for-you organic brand so what's the point?  Ok, so that was before I looked at how EASY it was to make and before I tasted what was the best hummus I have ever had!!


The taste is different than store bought, better - fresher.  And there are so many different ways to make it that I can't wait to make more and experiment!  Roasted red pepper has always been my favorite so that's what I decided to start with.  This recipe makes a TON.  If you are not serving it for a party, might I suggest halving it - it only keeps for about 5 days in the fridge (and this recipe yields 3 cups). 


Canned organic chickpeas.  Jarred roasted red peppers.  Tahini paste, which is not as unusual an ingredient as you might think it is.  I found it in my organic section of my grocery store next to soy sauce and other sauces.  Not nearly as daunting a task as I thought it would be!  Seriously easy, folks!!  I would not lead you astray!    

Yields 3 cups

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1/2 cup tahini paste
1/4 olive oil
2 (14 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed and patted dry
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more/less to taste)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
cilantro (optional)

Whisk the tahini paste and olive oil together in a small pourable measuring cup.  Set aside.

Process the chickpeas, red peppers, garlic, salt and cayenne in a food processor until almost completely ground.  Scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  With the machine running, add the lemon juice and process for 1 minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then begin processing again, slowly adding the tahini mixture.  Continue processing until the hummus is smooth and creamy.  Garnish with additional chopped red peppers and cilantro if desired.  

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

(Source:  adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

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Monday, October 20, 2014

My T25 Transformation

I did it!  I just recently completed all 10 weeks of Focus T25 and let me just say, it got me in the best shape of my life.  The workout, plus drinking Shakeology daily, plus eating clean (most of the time!) AND the support from my accountability group is the perfect equation for RESULTS!


Shaun T. (Hip Hop Abs, Insanity) designed T25 for people that are short on time.  You get an hour's worth of results in only 25 minutes!!  You push play and you get it done!  At the same time that I started the exercise program, I also started drinking Shakeology.  What is Shakeology you ask?  Well, that's a whole OTHER blog post waiting to be written, but in the meantime, if you click here, you can go to my site and check it out (or fill out the form at the bottom and I'll be in touch!).

At first I drank Shakeology as my breakfast or after workout recovery.  I'm obsessed with the energy it gives me!  No mid-afternoon crash, no zombie mom!  Now that I've hit my goal weight, I drink it as a mid-morning snack and to maintain my weight.


My results?  Well, let's just say I'm pretty thrilled!  The picture on the left was taken 6 weeks after having baby #3.  I've always been on the thinner side, but never toned.  I didn't exercise, I ate what I wanted and my energy levels reflected that.  I was sick and tired of feeling so...tired!!  Cue an opportunity to become a Beachbody coach - a decision that has changed my life (cliche but SO true!).  T25 was the first workout program that I EVER did.  So if I can do it, so can YOU.  It works for anyone, at any fitness level.   


I share clips of the moves on Instagram and Facebook to show potential challengers how much fun it can be!  It's tough, don't get me wrong, but it's AWESOME!

Let's talk details about the program.  It is 10 weeks long, broken into two 5-week sections, Alpha Focus and Beta Focus.  Alpha is your foundation (the first 5 weeks) and Beta is more dynamic.  Weights or resistance bands (included) are needed for Beta.  But don't sweat it - there is a modifier in all 10 weeks.  It took me at least 3 weeks before I was completely off the modifier!


Are you interested in starting on a fitness journey of your own?  Or have questions about how Shakeology can hep you?  Fill out this form and I will be in touch.  There are programs to suit every lifestyle and fitness level - I can help you find the perfect one! 


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Whole Wheat Strawberry Pancakes

Saturday mornings have become synonymous with making pancakes in our house.  We've stopped using a boxed mix and instead whip up a batch of whole wheat pancakes that are out of this world!  Be sure to check out my banana version.


On this morning, we had some strawberries that were just about to get tossed.  Into the pancake batter they went!  Use any berries you like, blueberries would be fantastic as well.  


They are light and fluffy and fool proof.  Perfect pancakes every time!  We tend to make ours pretty tiny and usually we get about 18 pancakes.  Try them this weekend!!

Yields about 18 pancakes

Whole Wheat Strawberry Pancakes

2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 large eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cup milk
1 cup chopped strawberries
butter for frying 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the honey, eggs, milk and whisk until everything is combined.  Carefully fold in the strawberries.  Heat a griddle or pan over medium heat.  Add butter to melt and coat the bottom.  Spoon batter onto griddle or pan, using about 1/4 cup.  When bubbles start to form on the top, flip the pancakes and cook on the other side.  Remove from pan, repeat with butter and batter.  Serve with maple syrup. 

To freeze: place pancakes in a freezer bag.  Heat for a minute in the microwave to serve!

Posts may contain affiliate links.  That means The Art of Comfort Baking will automatically receive a small commission, but your cost will remain the same!  Thanks for your support!

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I'm a super busy mom of 3 and a Beachbody coach. Follow along as I try to find a balance between eating good food and keeping my family healthy and happy! We eat mostly clean with a few fun treats thrown in every once in awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

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