leftover chicken noodle soup!

Even though I love to cook, some days, all I want is to have someone cook for me. It’s nice to just be able to sit down and have food ready to eat. There was a time where all I ever did was go out to eat or order take out. These days, it’s just too expensive for us to live like that, plus, I’m pretty into this whole being domestic thing – enter the rotisserie chicken. I haven’t bought a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store in years, but the other day I was feeling like I needed food to just magically appear on my plate, and that it did. Benny and I enjoyed our pre-cooked chicken with avocado and tortillas and it was easy and fantastic. I put the leftover chicken in foil to eat the next day as sandwiches or on a salad but the next day when I woke up, I had a bit of a sore throat. I saw the chicken in the fridge and decided to make a noodle soup with it to ease my cold. It was perfect, and almost as easy as dinner was the night before. Rotisserie chickens for the win!

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What you need

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 leftover whole chicken
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup small pasta (I used ditalini)
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 12 baby carrots, halved
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook your pasta. Set aside. (Can be done simultaneously with the rest in a separate saucepan.)

Place water and broth in a medium saucepan over high heat, bring to a simmer. In the meantime, separate meat from bones and set aside. Throw bones and skin into saucepan, partially cover and turn heat to low and simmer for 20 mins. After 20, pour broth over a strainer into a bowl and set aside. Return pan to burner on medium high heat. Add olive oil, onions, carrots and celery and cook for about 10 minutes. Add your chicken, broth and thyme and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add your pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY!

peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars!

Last week at my 25 week check up, my OB tested me for gestational diabetes. The test consisted of me drinking a SUPER sugary drink (I picked orange at the suggestion of a woman in the waiting room) and then having my blood drawn exactly one hour later. The first sip of the drink was yummy, like a melted otter pop, but all subsequent sips were disgusting and I felt weird and gross for hours after my appointment. When I got home, I felt like making a snack to bring with me to work, but the thought of anymore sweets was pretty revolting to me, so I decided to make some granola bars! Yes, I added chocolate chips, and yes, I know they contain sugar – but overall, this treat was significantly less sweet than anything I normally make and it was fast and easy and no baking was required! It was a perfect snack!

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What you need:

  • 1 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (or raisins if you want to be healthier)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, dry roasted
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (I used adams, creamy)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • pinch of salt

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper with a 1″ border sticking up.

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and stir together until combined.

Press mixture into loaf pan. Place plastic wrap on top and press down until flat. Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. Remove from fridge, lift out of pan and cut into bars.

ENJOY!

chocolate chip cookie dough cookie sandwiches!

Sometimes, when I bake, I have the hardest time keeping my hands out of my mouth. Doughs and batters taste so good raw, and what better (yet totally gross) way to clean up my hands?! Being pregnant, I’ve had to be extra careful about consuming raw eggs, so my finger licking habit has disappeared, but my cravings for raw cookie dough absolutely have not. I wanted to make some chocolate chip cookies the other day and as I was mixing the dough, I was looking at it, longingly. “If only I could eat this dough” I thought. And the cookie dough filled cookie sandwiches were born. I simply modified my cookie recipe to make more of a cookie dough frosting, rather than a dough – more butter, no eggs. I made a small batch of the frosting because I knew these cookies were trouble and only used about 3/4 of my cookie dough. I saved the rest in my fridge to make fresh baked cookies individually, because nothing beats a warm cookie. I ended up with 7 cookie sandwiches and  If wanting more, double the recipe for the frosting and use all of your cookie dough!

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What you need:

COOKIES

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

FILLING

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 and 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet, mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon out cookies onto baking sheet using spoonfulls no larger than a tablespoon (smaller could be more fun).

Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

While cookies are baking, put butter for frosting in a stand mixer and beat until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until combined. Turn mixer speed down to low and add salt, flour and vanilla. Beat until everything is combined, then add your milk and beat for an additional 2 mins on high speed. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.

Once cookies are cool, match cookies up in pairs. Scoop rounded teaspoons of frosting onto one side of each pair, and sandwich closed. Repeat until no more frosting is left.

ENJOY!

banana chocolate chip muffins!

Taking the time at night to make muffins makes the next morning’s breakfast so much better. Make some coffee, grab a muffin, maybe even boil an egg and you’ve got yourself a nice little meal. Not all muffins are created equal, however, and some of them are LOADED with fat and sugar. Bananas have a high sugar content to begin with, then for a muffin, you add some sugar and butter and everything else, and you’ve got yourself a breakfast that is very high in fat. With these muffins, I decided to replace the butter and oil with an extra banana (I just added a little oil so that the muffins wouldn’t stick to the wrappers) and what I ended up with was a delicious, moist, healthy(er) muffin!! Go ahead, treat yourself 🙂

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WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, mash your bananas with a fork. Whisk in eggs, milk, oil and sugars. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to your wet mixture. Once combined, stir in chocolate chips. Spoon equal amounts of batter into muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.

ENJOY!

cream of brussels sprout soup!!

These past couple days in Portland have been so beautiful! The sun has been shining and the air has been nice and crisp. It’s weird, for me, when the sun is out, I automatically want to be more productive and today, that is exactly what I did. I woke up, made some breakfast, did my household chores and then set out to run some errands. I made the mistake of not wearing a jacket, however, and when I got home a few hours later, I was still feeling a little chilled. Nothing beats soup when you’re feeling chilly, but for some reason, the sunshine made me feel as if making soup was inappropriate. Maybe I’m crazy. I opened my fridge to see what I had to make for lunch, and saw that I had a surplus of brussels sprouts and decided that a nice green soup didn’t seem wrong on a sunny day, in fact, it seemed oh so right. The soup I made, although loaded with veggies, isn’t the healthiest, so I made a small batch – 2 portions – and served it with some saltines. It was perfect.

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What you need:

  • 1/2 lb brussels sprouts, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbs shallot
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/8 cup heavy cream
  • Pepper, to taste

In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until transparent, about 3 mins. Add in brussels sprouts and salt and cook until sprouts turn bright green, about 2 mins. Pour in your chicken stock, add shallots and bring to a boil. Partially cover and reduce heat to keep a steady simmer for about 10 mins or until sprouts are super soft. Transfer soup from saucepan into blender and beat until smooth. Add heavy cream. Portion out into bowls and top with pepper, to taste and crackers on the side.

ENJOY!

coconut caramels!

I recently lost my candy thermometer and decided to grab one while I was at the market the other day. When I got home I absolutely NEEDED to use it. I thought about different candies I like and checked my pantry for ingredients I had on hand – you know me, one trip to the store is about all I can handle a day – there is no second trip. I saw that I had some shredded coconut and decided that coconut caramels would be a good treat. The caramels I ended up making were smooth and milky and the coconut on top added a little punch of texture and sweetness that was absolutely fantastic. I shared these with a lot of friends and everyone agreed that they were a hit! You really do need a candy thermometer to make these, don’t try to wing it because it won’t work out well.

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What you need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbs water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup shredded coconut

Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with oiled parchment paper (cut to fit with about an inch leeway on all sides).

Pour heavy cream into a microwave safe bowl and add butter in small pieces. Microwave until butter is melted completely, about 1-2 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine corn syrup and water. Add sugar and stir to moisten, but be careful not to splash sugar all over your pan. Place over medium heat until sugar begins to boil, cover for 1 minute. Remove lid and attach candy thermometer to the side of your pan. Cook until your sugar mixture reaches 320 degrees. Pour in your butter and cream mixture slowly – it will cause bubbling – I would recommend pouring it in 4 or 5 increments, stirring with your thermometer as you go. Once all is incorporated, the temperature will have dropped. Allow it to come back up to 240 degrees and then remove from heat and pour into prepared pan.

Cool for 30 minutes and then top with shredded coconut. Cool for another 3 hours before cutting.

ENJOY!

mini reeses cookies!

As most of you know, my recent sugar addiction has been over taking my life. In a recent sugar bender, I took a trip to the mini mart and bought some mini reeses and mini rolos. The rolos didn’t make it past the first night, but I was really savoring the reeses. Whenever I would walk to the kitchen, I’d sneak myself one mini reeses before I grabbed whatever else I needed. It was bad. A few days later when Benny and I decided to have our friends over for dinner, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to get rid of my remaining reeses and I made reeses cookies! I modified a recipe for reeses thumbprint cups because I didn’t have enough flour at the house, and what I was left with was a not too sweet, chewy cookie. We all really loved them!

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What you need:

  • 24 mini reeses
  • 1 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugars. Add egg and beat well. Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to your wet mixture. Mix until combined.

Scoop dough in rounded teaspoons onto baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and stick one peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie and return to oven for another 2-3 minutes until the cookies edges are golden brown.

ENJOY!

blueberry muffins!

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I make breakfast for my husband and I pretty much everyday, with maybe one or two “cereal days” a month. Something about the routine helps me wake up – some people take a nice long shower, some people go for a run, I cook breakfast and clean the kitchen – to each their own, right? Over the last few days, I have been feeling extra tired. I am assuming it has something to do with my pregnancy because nothing has changed in my day to day that would account for my sleepy/laziness. These last few days, I don’t want to make a big breakfast – hell – my husband has been lucky to get a boiled egg and berries and to be honest, it’s making me feel down! I love waking my man up with a nice, hearty, delicious meal. I was home the other night and got to thinking, “what if I made breakfast now, while I’m feeling alert?” and then BOOM! LIGHTBULB! I grabbed some blueberries from the fridge and whipped us up a small batch of blueberry muffins. The next day, that boiled egg didn’t seem so boring paired with a delicious muffin! Problem solved – at least for a few days!! This recipe will make you 8 muffins.

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What you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tbs for muffin tops
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen OK, just don’t thaw first if frozen)

Preheat oven to 400. Line a muffin tray with papers. (This recipe only makes 8 muffins, so only line 8 cups).

Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl – mix together using a whisk or fork to make sure all ingredients are combined. In a separate bowl, combine, vegetable oil, egg, milk and vanilla – whisk together. Pour your wet ingredients into dry and mix with a fork until just combined. The batter should still look chunky. Add blueberries and gently combine. DO NOT OVER MIX.

Spoon mixture into muffin tin. Bake 15-20 mins until tops are golden brown.

ENJOY!

strawberry cream cheese crepes!

When I eat sweets in the morning, I am grumpy for the rest of the day. Because of this, I’ve always been more of an “eggs and toast” kind of girl, but this particular morning – crepes were what I was craving so I sacrificed the rest of my day to enjoy a plate of crepes with strawberry cream cheese filling. Was it worth it? You tell me.

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What you need:

CREPES

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt

FILLING

  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour and eggs. Add milk and water, stir. Add salt and butter, beat until smooth.

Heat an oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto pan and spread across by rotating your wrist in a circular motion. Cook about a minute and flip to cook other side. Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, zest and vanilla with a hand mixer until it’s light and fluffy. Spoon into crepes. Top with strawberries and roll. Top with extra powedered sugar or whipped cream!

ENJOY!

double chocolate marshmallow cookies!

Marshmallows happen to be one of my absolute favorite things since I have been pregnant with my daughter. I have always liked marshmallows, but not in the same way that I do now. Some days, I take multiple walks to the pantry to sneak a few, other days, I bake with them, which I think is the better option. My latest marshmallow inspired cookie is a perfect little bite of heaven. They are almost like brownie bites and in each bite is delicious chocolate chips and marshmallows. I ate a few with a nice cold glass of almond milk and for those few moments, I could’ve sworn I’d been taken to heaven!!

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What you need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream together butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and then add to your butter mixture. Mix until combined. Add in chocolate chips and marshmallows and stir by hand.

Scoop onto baking sheet using a teaspoon. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

ENJOY!