Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

It's not officially winter yet, so pumpkin can still be used as a food group right?  In all truth I had some leftover pumpkin from a trial recipe I was making and was in the mood for some pumpkin pancakes.  I adapted this recipe from Weight Watchers and lightened it up with some simple substitutions. I hope you enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
  • 1 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/4 cup 1% Milk (or Coconut Milk)
  • 1 cup Canned Pumpkin 
  • 2 large Egg Whites
  • 3 Tbsp Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil, Melted
  • 2 tsp Powdered Sugar 

  •  In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (except for the brown sugar and powdered sugar) until well combined and set aside. 
  • In another bowl, beat together the milk, pumpkin, egg whites, brown sugar, and melted coconut oil. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold to combine.
  • Coat a nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Spoon batter into pan using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.  Cook until lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes per side and bubbles will start to appear.  
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and you're ready to go!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vanilla Bean Meringue Cookies

I love meringues.  They would probably break into my top five favorite foods I'm that obsessed.  So when I was asked to bring in a food that represented my heritage for my Child Development class I knew right away what I was going to make.  The recipe is really simple but the key to the perfect meringue is to bake them low and slow.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

 Vanilla Bean Meringue Cookies
  • 3 Large Egg Whites at Room Temperature
  • 1/8 tsp Cream of Tarter
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Preheat oven to 200°F.  Next, prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper or non stick silicone pad.
  • In a stand mixer beat the egg whites and cream of tarter together at high speed until soft peaks begin to form.
  • Slowly add the sugar to the mixture and then the vanilla.  If needed scrape the sides of the bowl down so all the sugar is well combined with the egg white mixture.  You'll know the mixture is well ready when it appears nice and glossy.  
  • Spoon mixture onto cookie sheets and bake for an hour.  Once the hour is up turn the oven off and continue to let the meringues dry out in the oven.  Depending on your oven you may need more or less time for the meringues to dry out.  I usually leave them in the oven for another hour.   
  • After you take the meringues out of the oven, move them to a wire rack to continue to cool.  Once completely cool store them in an airtight container.

Feel free to experiment with flavors for these cookies as well.  One of my favorite things to do is add chocolate chips to the recipe! I've even made a mint chocolate chip flavor as well.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pintester Movement Ho Ho Ho Edition: Glittered Dinosaur Ornament

So we had our first official snowfall of the season, which means all things Christmas are acceptable right??  Alright I won't go that far but it is time for another Pintester Movement with a Christmas ornament twist.  If you've never heard of the Pintester you must go check out her blog.  It is an amazing place of awesomeness where Sonja (the Pintester) tests popular pins from Pinterest and then writes about how they turn out.  They usually fail, but the abundance of naughty pictures, "that's what she said" jokes, and overall use of language make up for the failures!

Anyway, this time the theme was Christmas ornaments. I really had no idea what I was going to make and since I decided to send my ornament over to Jodee from the Cheeseblarg I creeped on her Pinterest page to see what ideas she had in mind. This is also her first Christmas tree (she is Jewish) so I wanted to cater to her every whim.  I saw the Glittered Dinosaur Ornament and decided that it looked easy enough and to give it a try.

  • Toy Dinosaur
  • Glitter
  • Glue
  • String
  • Paintbrush
  • Sealer 
  • Douse dinosaur in glue.
  • Cover dinosaur with glitter
  • Get glitter everywhere in the process.
  • Spray dinosaur with sealer so glitter won't fall off.
  • Set dinosaur out of the way to dry.
  • Continue cleaning glitter for 5 days after you've done said craft project.  
I feel like my dinosaur is very surprised to be covered in glitter now.  But I won't lie, I'm actually glad to be getting rid of this thing.  Why you may ask, well for one this dinosaur freaked me out a little, two glitter is evil (I am still trying to get my carpets cleaned), and three tis the season to be giving people "beautiful" handmade gifts. So Jodee I hope my lovely dinosaur finds you well and that it fits in nicely with your tree!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I need to make a confession: I'm obsessed with pumpkin.  Anything that involves pumpkin is added to my must make list.  I've made cinnamon rolls, cookies, soup, and most recently pumpkin bread.  I adapted this recipe from a vintage cookbook I found in my grandmother's house.  It is super easy and you can freeze the leftovers.
   Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
  • Container of vanilla flavored Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups loosely packed brown sugar (or substitute the equivalent of your favorite sweetener)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg whites
  • 16 oz pureed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Make sure to have 2 loaf pans (9x5x3in) greased and ready to go once your batter is mixed. 
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and yogurt.  Once well combined, add the egg, egg whites, pumpkin, water, and vanilla.
  • Next, blend in the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and the spices.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips, I had mini chocolate chips on had so I only used 1/4 of a cup but you could use more depending on what you have on hand.
  • Pour into greased loaf pans and bake for 40-60 minutes or once a wooden toothpick is inserted and it comes out clean.  
  • Let them cool slightly and then remove them from the pans and set on a wire rack to cool.  They are ready to slice once they are cooled completely. 
Again I loved this recipe! Hope you get the chance to try it and love it as much as I did!! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Easy Fluffy Scarf: Pintester Movement

So fall is right around the corner here in western Pennsylvania and if you're anything like me that means sweaters, boots, and scarves. Alright I could probably wear scarves anytime during the year, but not the one that I've recently had my eye on.   I really don't have the time to do a craft project right now with school taking over my life but when I heard that the Pintester  was doing another  Pintester Movement  I decided that school work and real life could wait, I mean this is the Pintester and all.  Seriously though if you haven't checked out her blog you are really missing out, it's the best thing since sliced bread and I love me some sliced bread

I found the original idea for this scarf over at LittleTreasures blog and immediately fell in love with it, the reason being: EASY!! I love anything that involves minimal effort and looks like I spent weeks or hours on it, it makes me look much better at crafts than I really am!  Alright so let's get this party started.

-Fluffy Yarn
-Matching Thread
-Sewing Machine


  • Determine the width you want your scarf to be. Mine is about 5 inches wide.

  • Gather yarn in groups and sew down the center, making sure you hold onto the bundles tightly.  If you don't have a nice bundle your scarf won't be very fluffy which would mean you failed.

  • Keep sewing until you have the desired scarf length and backstitch at the end of the scarf.
  • Wear your scarf like a boss.

Overall, I believe it would be considered a success.  We'll see how it fairs when I wear it out in public.
Like it, love it, want more of it?? Leave me a comment!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mini Bucket Herb Garden

Alright, so it's been a while since I've posted...okay a really long while, I apologize for my failure as a blogger. Work has been a killer with all the overtime but, finally it has been lifted just in time for the nice weather to hit.  So what have I been up to since then? Well, just creating the most awesome herb garden ever!! Okay so maybe it's not the best herb garden out there, but I think it's pretty dang cool.  I can just taste the fresh salsa and mojitos now!

  • Metal Buckets (Lowes)
  • S Hooks
  • Hammer/Nail
  • Plants
  • Potting Soil
  • Clear Protective Spray (RustOleum)
  • Painters Tape (Optional)
  • Rustproof Spray Paint (Optional)
  • Gloves
  1. First add about four or five holes to the bottom of your buckets, this helps the excess water drain so it won't kill your plants.  Depending on the thickness of the metal, you may need to use a drill, but for my buckets it was easier using a hammer and nail. 
  2. If you don't plain on painting your buckets all you need to do is spray each one with a coat of the clear protective spray so the buckets won't rust.  Make sure to get all the nooks, crannies, ups, and downs.  Allow to dry for 24 hours and then you're free to plant.
  3. I wanted to add a little more color to the plain metal and decided to add a little spray paint to the middle.  All you have to do is tape off the pattern you want and go to town.  I also think it would be really cute if the whole bucket was painted a fun color as well!  Really the possibilities are endless. Once the paint is dry, give a good coating of the clear protective spray and let it sit for 24 hours.
  4. Now is time for the fun part, planting.  I used a mixture of mints, herbs, and lettuces all things that I use a lot of during the summer. After all the planting was done, I used S hooks to hang them on my trellis.  I can't wait to use my chocolate mint in a yummy cocktail!
That is all for the moment, and I promise to become a better blogger soon! Are there any fun things you like to plant during the summer? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Healthy Ranch Chips

Lately I've been craving potato chips, but knowing how bad they are for you I've been holding off.  Sometimes you just want something that has that crunchy, salty goodness that we've become so accustomed to, that I needed to find a way to make this happen! I looked up every possible recipe that I could find and only one found its way into my heart and BONUS it's done in the microwave!! Yep you heard me right the microwave!  So once I mastered the art of making the perfect baked potato chip, I started messing around with different flavors and that's where I came up with my homemade ranch seasoning.  In total, it only takes about ten minutes to create this yummy and healthy comfort food.

What You'll Need:
  • 1 Medium Baking Potato, Scrubbed
  • 1/2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Favorite Seasoning or Homemade Ranch Seasoning (Optional)
  • Large Resealable Bag
  • Microwaveable Plate
  • Parchment Paper
*Recipe adapted from Devin Alexander's "I Can't Believe It's Not Fattening"

  1. Slice the potato into very thin rounds; you're looking for about 1/16th of an inch thick. If they are too thick they will not cook evenly.
  2. In a large resealable bag, add the potato rounds and the oil olive. Make sure the bag is sealed and then toss the potatoes until they are coated evenly with the oil.  Add the sea salt to the bag and toss again to coat.
  3. Cover a large microwaveable plate with parchment paper and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Place potato rounds on the plate, making sure that they don't overlap. Depending on the size of your potato you may need to work in batches.  
  4. Microwave the potato chips on high for 5-7 minutes, watching them carefully as they can burn really easily. The thicker the chips, the longer they will have to cook.
  5. In another resealable bag, add the cooked potato chips and the ranch seasoning (or other favorite seasoning). Toss well until chips are nicely coated. 
  6. Sit back, relax, and indulge in a healthy guilty pleasure.
Again I am obsessed with these chips and once I start I can't stop, which doesn't make them that healthy I guess. If you don't want to make your own seasoning, the best ones that I've found so far have been Kernel Season's Popcorn Seasonings, but don't let the name fool you, you can use them on almost anything! I love their white cheddar and barbeque seasonings!! What are some of your favorite potato chip flavors? Don't forget to leave your comment below!