Brown Butter Chocolate Cake

Need I say more? The brown butter takes this to the next nutty, salty level. If it sounds yummy, i promise, it tastes even better!

I used my 2 ingredient chocolate sweet tater frosting in the middle. I also went with a simple sugar toasted coconut top in lieu of frosting, but you could easily put more frosting on top! Your cake, your choice! Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?!

Ok. Here’s what you need:

6tbsp grass fed butter (i used kerrygold)

1+3/4c white whole wheat flour (i used King Arthur organic)

1/2c cacao powder (unsweetened!)

1/2c packed dark brown sugar

1+3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1tsp kosher or pink himalaya sea salt

1/2c+1tbsp organic granulated sugar

1+3/4c whole buttermilk

2lg eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

2tbsp coconut oil

1/2c unswt coconut flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Spray 2, 9” pans

3. The Brown Butter: Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan and leave it there until butter turns foamy and starts to sizzle and pop a bit. That’s the moisture escaping! Give the pan a few good swirls then let it rest. Once the butter looks brownish and you can see little crispy bits on the bottom, remove the pan from heat and let it cool. You could remove the crispy bits if you want, but i like to leave ‘em in there.

4. Mix next 6 ingredients (dry) together until well incorporated

5. Mix next 3 ingredients (wet) until you can’t see the egg any more (good rule of thumb for the wet ingredients)

6. Add wet to dry, ya brown butter and coconut oil.

7. Pour batter into 2 pans (it will not full the pans). Sprinkle the top one with coconut flakes and sprinkle with 1tbsp sugar.

8. Bake at 350 for 35 min

Allow cake to cool. Spread the top of the bottom cake with the 2 ingredient frosting, then add the coconut topped cake to that! Phew! That was a mouthful. Now go take a mouthful of that cake you’re now dying to bake!!

Easiest Pumpkin Spice Muffins and Chocolate Sweet Potato Frosting You’ll Ever Makek

Say whaaaa?! So easy, but so tasty. Not super redeeming, but hey, there still decently healthy and we’re all in a pinch sometimes-right?!

I’m about to blow your mind with these. Or at least I think I am. Again, this recipe came about pretty randomly after me tinkering around in the kitchen for hours, but it was fun. And the kids and I ate them ALL. I’m starting to notice an “we ate the whole batch” theme to this blog. Oh well. Not too upset about it.

These are so easy, I had to put fancy papers on there, just so that it looked like they were harder… cheating, I know. But we’re all in a pinch sometimes right?!

And this chocolate frosting made out of sweet taters is a game changer. You would NOT KNOW if I brought these to a party unless I told you. I promise.

For this, all you need is:

1 box spice cake mix

1 can canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!!!!!)

1 c milk of choice

1 large sweet potato, preferably freshly baked, but definitely warm

1/2 c chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*. Mix the first 3 ingredients until it resembles muffin batter. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for about 30 minutes or so.

While those are baking, whip out the ol’ food processor. Put the sweet tater in that and pulse. Add your chocolate chips process it (is that the right verb for that?!?!…) until the mixture resembles frosting. Feel free to adjust your sweet potato/chocolate ratio to accommodate your palate/flavor profile. I use bittersweet chocolate because I love a not-to-sweet, rich chocolate frosting, but I use milk chocolate chips for the kiddos. Allow it to cool a bit before spooning it into a piping/plastic bag.

By now your muffins should be done! Go ahead and try one to see if you like the consistency. Sometimes they’re still a little gooey in the middle and need a few more minutes.

Let the muffins cool completely. Frost and enjoy! You could even have these for breakfast and not really be cheating!

Lemongrass Chicken Bone Broth Soup

This recipe came about randomly, as most of mine tend to do, but it was unreal.

The Lemongrass combo realllllly took it to the next salty savory tangy level. AND the broth was packed with anti-inflammatory goodness like collagen since I just used my leftover home-made bone broth as the base. I know I use turmeric in the recipe for that, but it still worked really well with this soup.

Ingredients:

2 stalks of lemongrass (only the white and yellow parts, smashed. Or lemongrass paste to taste)

1 onion, chopped

1, 1″ piece of ginger minced or about 1/2 tsp powdered ginger

1 tbsp fish sauce

1/2 the chicken on an organic rotisserie chicken

6 cups bone broth, made from the rotisserie chicken bones

4 carrots, cut into coins

4 stalks celery, chopped

Corn from 1 corn on the cob

I started by sautéing the first 3 ingredients together in a little grassed butter until the smell really came through, about 2 minutes. Then I added the fish sauce, stirred for about 10 seconds. Then I added the chicken and bone broth and let that come to a quick boil. I reduced that to a simmer and added the rest of my ingredients and let the whole pot simmer for about 4 hours. Thats it! You could totally let it simmer for less time, but when I’m making soup, I tend to knock it out earlier in the day because soup is just one of those things that can’t really simmer for TOO long, ya know?!

Pair this with a delicious panini or grilled sandwich and BAM. You’ve got a pretty nutrition packed, family friendly, belly filling, crud fight, crowd pleasing supper!

Turmeric Cauliflower Rice Skillet with Roasted Tomatoes

Here’s another INSANELY delicious dish that I can’t really take credit for. Alison Wu of WuHaus is the genius behind this one. Only she does it WAY better, with WAY more fresh herbs and deliciousness. Mine is more, well the product of 3 kids in the house who end up putting your freshly prepared herbs in their “mud potions…” 🙄

Anyhoo. Still came out absolutely delicious… Alison Wu’s version calls for lots and lots of fresh dill, which I must admit, I am not a huge fan of. There… I said it! Oh- also if you want to see WAYYYY better/more professional pics of the dish that will make your mouth water, head on over to her blog. It’s amazing. Here- I’ll even like it to make it that much easier for you ;).

Ok, for this you will need:

Ingredients:

1/2 head of cauliflower, riced

1 pint fresh cherry tomatoes

2- 3 eggs

1 tsp turmeric

Ok, first thing. Preheat your oven to 225*. I know I know, I almost NEVER set it that low, but believe me… it makes a HUGE difference in the flavor profile of your cherry tomatoes. Halve your cherry tomatoes (the bigger the better) and place them seed side up on a baking sheet. I sprayed them with a little avocado oil and sprinkled pink himalaya salt over them and a little cracked black pepper. 

Roast those bad boys for about 90-120 minutes. I know. Long time, but it’s all passive cooking. You can do all sorts of things in that time. You can do anything… but don’t forget about them! They’ll shrivel up into little nasty tomato raisins. Trust me…

Ok, so when those are almost done, go ahead and sauté your cauliflower rice in some avocado oil, salt, pepper and turmeric. I like to make a cauliflower layer over the avocado oil and let it sit there over medium high heat for a hot minute (about 5) so that the bottom pieces get all crispy. 

When your cauli rice is done, go ahead and make 2-3 small holes in your cauli skillet. Crack an egg into each hole and let it sit over medium heat until the eggs are cooked through to your liking. 

Top with the sweet, roasted, delicious tomato jewels and devour it. I ate the whole skillet last time I made this. But I have some self control issues. hehehe

Probiotic Coconut Yogurt

Not nearly as good as Coconut Cult, buuuuut it’ll fill the gaps I suppose. And it is still yummy! And I can eat more of it 🤤… I’m still only in the 2tbsp/day of the real Coconut Cult club!

Definitely copied Minimalist Bakers recipe for this one, with only one tweak and that’s because I couldn’t find the Whole Foods brand coconut milk, so I just made my own from a big ol’ coconut 🤣. Result was pretty delish and I now keep a jar on hand in the fridge for smoothies, parfaits and nibbles here and there.

To make the coconut milk, I just took a coconut. Poked a hole where the “eyes” are. Drank the water. Mmmmm.

 

Then I just baked it in a 350* oven for about 30 mintes. Took it out. Let it cool. Then let my 6 year old whack at it with a hammer until it broke open. Then I harvested the pieces. Put them in my blender. Added 2 cups of water. Blended on high for a HOT minute. And strained with a cheese cloth. It took a little doing, but it was mostly passive work. And my son had loads of fun cracking that thing open. Cooking+entertainment. Win win.

Oh! And I saved the shreddy bits and made coconut flour. So many uses, so little time. So many purposes, 1 little item. I also bake a couple at a time and freeze some of the meat for smoothies. But I digress.

After I had the milk made, I just added 2 renew Life (50billion) capsules, stirred, covered with a cheese cloth and let it sit for about 48 hours. Bam! Coconut yogurt.

I also tried this with the PB2 strains and got a decently thick yogurt, but in the fridge it transformed into more of a kefir like consistency.

 

I ate it plain, in smoothies, but by far my favorite way is atop these pancakes with figs!

No Whey Pancakes!

Sooo I’ve began a love affair with ricotta cheese. Not just any ricotta cheese, but home made ricotta. I’m new to it and never knew how easy or delicious it could be! I just always thought it was that gross spongy stuff you added to lasagna to give it its density. Turns out, it’s amazeballs. If you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend it. Here’s the post to help you out.

Ok ok ok… why all this talk of ricotta cheese on a pancake post?! Well, there’s a WHEY you can make pancakes with a cheese bi-product. Hehehe, get it? The whey! When you make even a little ricotta, you get a lot of all natural, no fat, high protein liquid whey! I just save it in a jar and use it in smoothies and pancakes etc. And you can’t even tell. Here’s the pancake recipe I use:

Dry Ingredients:

2.5 c flour of choice* (I’m always playing around with my flours, but I’m a huge nerd that way. I typically grind up a mixture of whole wheat, steel cut oat, flax, almond and chia in my Vitamix, but you can use any flour)

1tsp baking soda

*except coconut flour… that would be one DENSE pancake

** Feel free to also add protein powders here. I don’t for these pancakes because I use the whey in the liquid base!

 

Wet Ingredients:

3 medjool dates, pureed with about 2 tsp warm water and

¼ c Coconut oil (I just LOVE the way coconut oil tastes, but you could use any oil)

½ banana (optional, for a little added sweetness)

2 eggs

½ c Cottage Cheese*

1 tsp ACV

3/4c Liquid Whey

*Could also sub greek yogurt, but I like the way the cottage cheese reacts with the baking soda and ACV and makes them a little bit fluffier

Blend/mix all the dry ingredients.

Blend the first two ingredients until pasty. Add the rest and blend until well incorporated. Pour wet into dry. Fold until all the batter is well mixed.

Spray and heat a large skillet. I use Trader Joes sprayable coconut oil. When pan is hot, use a 1/4c to pour batter onto skillet. Flip after about 30sec-1min.

 

These were so tasty my kids didn’t even eat these with syrup. Just hot off the plate, just about as fast as I could make them for a while. I topped mine with figs and Coconut Cult yogurt and HAD to go back for seconds. I absolutely could NOT help myself.

They’re also really tasty topped with an egg!

Wait for it…

It’s a hearty, but delicious pancake. Gives you energy for family hikes like these:

And shenanigans like these:

Ringing in 3 with a Tea (party)

I know this is primarily a Health and Fitness type blog buuuuut it’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to LOL.

And this was just way too much fun NOT to write about. Plus I’ve had fantasies about a little girl Tea party since, well as long as I can remember. And I’ve been dreaming about it since I found out I was pregnant with our sweet Lils 🤗

I don’t really know where to start so I’ll start with what I did first- and that was buying all.the.THINGS! I went to one of those antique/small business booth shops and found my teacups/tea pots. I wanted a little whimsy and a little elegance, so here’s what I came up with. I spent about $114 total, but I admittedly went a little overboard, bought a few things impulsively and I do plan to use them all again. And the little tea set was Lily’s gift 😃.

I just couldn’t pass up this tea pot and matching plate. Or these plates for the sandwiches. 

They were just so fun and completely fulfilled the whimsical requirement!

The tiny teacups below I bought as a set of 8. I wanted the teacups to be cute, but more on the elegant side and I just loved these.


I bought a few other teapots/creamers and things, but those were more impulse buys because I was so excited 🤣.

But seriously, all of this was less than it costs to rent one of those big bouncy things you see at kids parties everywhere!

Anyhoo… Next I focused on the petit fours because I knew those would take the most time and I wanted to make sure I got them right!! I made 3 varieties: white chocolate, butterscotch and pink vanilla. 

Oh and look- there’s another teapot there too🤣. 

For the Petit Fours I just made 2 pound cakes. Froze them. Then cut them into little squares and poured/dipped them into a pourable fondant icing made of 4c powdered sugar, 1/4c water and corn syrup and 1c melted white chocolate and butterscotch chips.

Once I was confident in my ability to make those, I focused on the favors. I really really wanted a unique tea favor and decided on mini mismatched tea cups and saucers each girl could take home. I figured it would be a nice piece of memorabilia and something they could all play with again on future play dates!!

Once all those things were done, it was time to focus on the decorating! Not going to lie, this is my MILs gift and she did most of it, but I wanted to model it after the High Tea we had been to together in Victoria. 

It was so simple and elegant. I loved the tiered approach for the petit fours and little sandwiches and the little sugar cubes were a MUST!! I just thought they were so cute! Everything else we just kind of winged according to what sounded/tasted tea-ish; which ended up being lady fingers, pastry creams and some croissants. Oh! And we had to start with Strawberries and Cream! 

Oh! And the Lady Fingers ended up looking really cute on the plates too 🤗

I mean, can you tell I just had no fun doing this and putting this together…

It was a bit of effort, but it really wasn’t too bad. I would say you definitely need an idea in mind and it’s helpful to prioritize and focus on each thing individually, but it really was a complete blast! Don’t know if it qualifies as a “High Tea” experience, but our little princesses had fun. 

Roasted Sweet Tater Salad

So I have never liked Potato Salad. Like ever. Don’t know what it is. I’ve tried loads: German, American, with mustard, without mustard. I was no expert because, well, I didn’t like it! But I’ve done my best, tried lots of kinds and gave it a fair chance.

But there I found myself one day, with the assignment of “potato salad” staring me in the face to bring to a potluck lunch. But this time, I thought dangit- I’m going to make a potato salad that I like!

So I started off by roasting some sweet taters because I know I love those. Then just kept adding things and flavors that I liked- avocado for healthy fats and richness, peppers for lightness crunch and mild sweetness, herbs de Provence, goat cheese for more richness and tang… and BAM! Came up with a nutrient dense potato salad that I LOVED. 


Came home with an empty dish too, which always makes me smile.

Anyhoo- here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

4 sweet taters, 2white 2 regular, cubed

2tbsp avocado oil (I used Primal Kitchens)

1tbsp Herbs de Provence + dash S&P

1/4c avocado oil (also Primal Kitchens)

1 avocado, cubed and splashed with lime juice S&P

1/3 c diced colored peppers

1/8 c goat cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425. Shake sweet taters in avo oil, S, P and herbs. Place on 2 baking sheets and roast for 35 min. Remove from oven and allow them to cool to warm or room temp. Transfer gently to a bowl and add avo mayo, for healthy non canolaoily fats! Gently mix, trying not to break up the sweet taters. Add sweet peppers and toss gently again. You can add your avocado here, but that tends to get busted up a lot easier, so if you’re not going for presentation- go for it! If you want it to look pretty, add it on top with the goat cheese 😃😃

Tocos-Zucchini Bread Muffins

Tocos; or rice bran solubles. My latest discovery. Great for your skin 


1/2c tocos or rice bran solubles (I used Bobs Redmill)

1+1/2c whole wheat flour or 1+1/2c following flour mixture (whole wheat flour, oat fiber, almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husk, arrowroot)

1/4c organic cane sugar 

1tsp baking powder

1tsp baking soda

1tsp cinnamon

1 whole zucchini, chopped 

1 whole roasted carrot

1c milk

2 eggs

1/2c applesauce

1/4c honey 

2tbsp grass fed butter


Preheat oven to 400*. Line muffin tin with muffin liners. Mix dry (first 6) ingredients together until well incorporated. Blend wet (remaining 7) ingredients. Pour wet into dry and fold until well incorporated (draw a line down the center and fold over until all batter is mixed). Pour into a 12 muffin pan. Bake for 25-30min

Four or 400 ingredient Chocolate

Four or 400 ingredient chocolate- you decide! This base recipe is just coconut oil, cacao powder, honey and a little vanilla. Heat it all up in a pot, pour it and cool it. Voila. Little chocolate melties that are SO yummy. So yummy and so versatile. You can dip stuff in it, fill it, top it… I myself have done almond butter cups, coconut cups, topped it with various nuts, made almond butter sammies (shown here), dipped bananas in there… I don’t think I can name all the ways!! Not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed 🤔

Ingredients:

2/3 c coconut oil

2/3 c cacao powder

3tbsp honey

1tsp vanilla

Heat coconut oil until melted. Add remaining ingredients and stir until they are all incorporated. Pour into your cooking vessel and put them into the fridge/freezer until hard. Top with whatever you like!