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Homemade Applesauce (a.k.a awesome-sauce)

Summer vacation.

Filled with sunshine, ocean waves, sleeping in, making food, diy-ing, camping trips, book reading, thrifting, recipe making, family game nights, and general bliss. Something so wonderful must come to an inevitable close, I guess. I will be back to the daily college grind far too soon for my own liking. I DON’T WANNA.

I’m now currently in a scramble to create, make, and bake as many things as I possibly can before I go back..since, ya know, classes take away my free time. One of my favorite things to eat is…drum roll please…….homemade applesauce. TADA! Impressed? Well, you should be. That’s some fine tasting sauce. And it’s so ridiculously easy to make I can hardly call it a recipe..but I will anyway 🙂 It’s really simple; I’m not really sure why I don’t make it more often when I’m at school. The most time consuming part of the recipe is peeling the apples which can be fun if you like to eat apple peels…just me?

Once you’ve had applesauce, of the homemade variety, there’s no going back. Yes, I know that applesauce is pretty cheap to buy at the store. But if you look on the back of that nice lookin’ jar on the shelf, you will see that many brands add ingredients that are totally unnecessary, plus if I make it myself I’ll know how it’s handled/made. *cough-controlfreak-cough* For some reason, commercial applesauce makers like to pour in sugar, but apples are sweet all by themselves… This recipe has no added sugar and contains 4 (yes only 4!)
ingredients!
That being said let’s commence with the applesauce making!

Homemade Applesauce Continue reading

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Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

So it was my birthday on Saturday and it was ah-mazing. I never like to have big birthday celebrations, probably due to the fact that I’m a homebody who doesn’t like to be the center of attention. Anyway, it was absolutely perfect!

I  had breakfast at this little beach cafe (it’s literally part of the boardwalk next to the beach) with my family. It was so GOOD. I got to hear the waves, feel the ocean breeze, and look out at nothing but endless sea while in the best company possible.
Then we went for a long walk by the water, did some shelling, took pictures, basked in the sun. AH, sweet perfection.
When we got home it was lunch time, but we were all still ridiculously full from breakfast. Therefore, my mom and I did the only sensible thing to do…we went shopping. TAX FREE WEEKEND, y’all! I do love a good bargain 🙂

For lunch: cake. Hey, it’s my birthday and that’s what I wanted. I feel like that is definitely an acceptable meal on one’s birthday. I sort of just threw caution to the wind because I certainly don’t celebrate my birthday every day!
Back to the cake. It’s my favorite cake (in the whole world) that my mother, the ever-fantastic-baker, made for me ❤

It is fudge-y, chocolate-y, gloriously delicious, birthday-perfection. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
It has so much flavor, and so much depth. The combination of chocolate and espresso is one of the finest inventions on Earth, if I may say so myself. This cake is like the love child between a decadent fudge brownie and fluffy chocolate cake.

You may be chastising me in your mind “I thought this was a healthy food blog.” You would be correct, it most certainly is. And would I ever lead you astray? Most certainly not! This cake is what I deem a “healthy cake.” However, it is not sugar, dairy, or gluten free, but it is pretty darn healthy as far as cake goes! So do read on and brace yourself to behold the perfection that is this cake.

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Scrum-dalium-ptious carrot-y cake-ish oatmeal

Oh, breakfast. It’s one of my favorite meals of the day. Probably due, in part, to the fact that I usually eat dessert. Crazy, you say? Preposterous? Well, no actually.

I’ve learned that if I eat dessert for breakfast I am:
#1 In a great mood. [I would much rather eat a Chocolate raspberry filled lava cake-oatmeal (coming soon) then a piece of toast.]
#2 I don’t crave sugar later in the day.
#3 I actually eat more fruits/vegetables. Dessert + fruits/vegetables = best breakfast ever. You’ll understand as blog time goes on.

Don’t get me wrong. Some mornings, I just feel like a piece of toast with peanut butter on it, or a big bowl of plain cereal and almond milk. buuuuut..usually I crave dessert. Rise and shine.
You may be thinking that I am crazy and that I must get up super early to get my breakfast together. On the contrary my good readers, I make sure it is fast, simple, and (of course) the outcome is so worth the minuscule amount of time it actually takes to make (which you would have spent making your toast and such, anyway.)

Enter: One of my favorite desserts..breakfasts..foods, of all time. I may consider this a food group all its own. Carrot cake!
When I think about carrot cake, I think about homey, cozy, dense, super moist, delicious cake. And a carrot piped on top, in icing, of course.

I’ve been in love with carrot cake for as long as I can remember. I will always remember eating carrot cake with my grandma on her birthdays. I never seemed to eat carrot cake any other time, so I guess I associate it with her. Hence, the cozy/homey feelings, probably. ❤

Sometimes, I just get into a carrot cake mood and I, reasonably, want it for breakfast. So I invented a carrot cake oatmeal to indulge myself while retaining my healthful persona.

carrot cake oatmeal
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Blissful Blueberry Muffins

When I was getting ready to write this post I did some research on the history of the blueberry muffin. I thought it might be interesting…I’m a nerd.

Among many blueberry muffin recipes, chacha answers, and ‘can my –insert animal- eat blueberries?’ inquiries, was a site about Minnesota and their official muffin. Did you know a state could have an official muffin? It said that a group of 3rd graders convinced the State Legislature to give Minnesota a state muffin. Since blueberries grow there in abundance, they decided on the blueberry muffin.

The blueberry muffin is probably my favorite type of muffin. I like it not too sweet, moist, and fresh…straight from the oven. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find a blueberry muffin, nowadays, that’s not packed with preservatives, GMO ingredients, and tons of processed/refined sugar. Looking at the ingredients list for a blueberry muffin on one very famous coffee shop’s website, I found that it contained 29 grams of sugar (3rd on the ingredient list), modified corn starch, natural flavors, and cellulose gum (eat wood pulp? no, thanks.) I don’t even want to go into what I found in other bakery’s websites.

This, and the fact that we just got a huge carton of fresh blueberries yesterday, had me craving a nice, safe, homemade blueberry muffin. I’m a little bit of a control freak.

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Chia seed jam: Strawberry and Blueberry

Have you every been jammin’ at work to your favorite tunes and someone walks in? It’s awkward. I have a summer job where I work in an office all by my lonesome, so I play music to help pass the time.
I was playing some Paolo Nutini (if you don’t know who that is, go look up his music ❤ ) and my favorite part came on. Naturally, I started dancing while taking a file to the filing cabinet…and someone walked in. They stared. Oh the awkward, it burns. I guess that all comes with the territory of being a great dancer…HA. When I was contemplating the jam session, I got to thinking. (Never a good thing) Somehow, my brain made a leap from jammin’ out to ‘New Shoes’ to actual jam. Yes, my brain works in strange and mysterious ways. It baffles even me sometimes. ANYWAY. I was thinking about how I never get to make jam when I’m at school because it takes forever with all that mashing, boiling, sterilizing, and waiting. Patience is a virtue I lack. After some research on the internet I saw lots of people talking about chia seed jam. pure. genius. I decided to just wing it and try to make it on the fly. IT’S SO GOOD. Blend. Let sit. Eat. both jams Adapted from several internet posts
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Healthy, Happy, Homemade Pop Tarts

We’ve never had a lot of Pop Tarts in my house. And when we did have them…none of us ever ate them for breakfast. It always seemed to be an ‘I’m hungry right before bed so I’ll sneak out and try to open that stupid silver, ridiculously loud, package and eat my delicious Pop Tart without getting caught’ kind of thing…at least it was for me. It had to be strawberry and I had to toast it. Is there any other way? Well, that was until my mom saw Pumpkin pie Pop Tarts, and knowing me oh-so-well, got me a package. Let’s just say, they didn’t last long.

Here’s the scary part. Pop Tarts, among many other ingredients, are made with enriched flour, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sunflower oil, palm oil, modified corn starch, caramel color, soy lecithin, and food coloring. What?? Those pastries you see on TV with huge grins, are filled with garbage?

Needless to say, I don’t eat Pop Tarts anymore. RIP Pumpkin Pie Pop Tart.

But never fear! I have created my own version to bring toasty goodness and smiles back to the people again. Now you can be rest assured that your Healthy and Happy Pop Tarts are good for your body and your taste buds. You can thank me later 🙂

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Asian BBQ Meatballs

This recipe blossomed from my mom outwardly wondering what we were going to have for dinner. I told her that I would make dinner, so she could just relax a little. [She certainly doesn’t have many chances to do that!] I started thinking what I could make that would make my whole family happy (not all are as taste-adventurous as yours truly)..
We had ground chicken in the fridge and my recipe-creator gears started whirring in my head, attempting to create something unique and relatively simple to make.
You may be thinking..meatballs..unique? Not very. BUT I put a bit of a twist on these little round shaped balls of meat. I created an ‘Asian BBQ’ sauce to top them and give them a bit of a kick.
I don’t actually know if this would be considered Asian, but that was my inspiration for the flavor palate. They were easier to make than I thought!
The whole family loved it and said it was definitely a keeper. I know it’s just my family and they would never shun me for a bad recipe, but I always get nervous to see how they like something I created. It’s a thought-baby you want everyone to think is cute. Weird comparison.
After dinner, my mom started naming all of these things she’d like to put the sauce on…I think that means she liked it a little bit.
There aren’t very many ingredients and they are most likely all ingredients you have on hand. It’s perfect for a quick throw together meal for those I-have-to-run-to-rehearsal, or I’m-too-tired kind of night. Enjoy your chels-ified Asian BBQ Meatballs.

Asian BBQ meatballs chopsticks
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Peanut butter chocolate sauce

I used to hate chocolate and peanut butter. BLASPHEMY, I know. But now I absolutely loveee that combination. Reeses were a bit of a problem for a while because I couldn’t stop eating them. When I started to pay attention to what I put in my in my body, though, Reeses were not on the ‘okay’ list. That was a sad day.

My fellow peanut butter and chocolate lovers, you understand addiction to that combo and how difficult it would be to give it up. Well, I’ve found a quick fix for that undeniable craving for a Reeses. I discovered this from mixing some ingredients for an oatmeal recipe and was overjoyed  by the result. Literally overjoyed..I may have jumped for a joy a couple of times…
It only has 2 ingredients and takes a mere 30 seconds to make. A miracle you say?

peanut butter chocolate sauce

 

Mmmmm, look at that positively scrumptious peanut-y chocolate-y goodness….
The sauce is pictured here a-top my Minute Magic Muffin. But I have also poured it on pancakes, waffles, spread it on toast, and covered my oatmeal with it.
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Minute Magic Muffin

So I have a MAJOR sweet tooth. And I crave said sweets, oh so conveniently, right before I go to bed. The images of monstrous chocolate cake slices, soft ball sized sprinkle sugar cookies, and huge pumpkin swirl brownie muffins, parade across my closed eyelids.
With that image before you, you may realize why I was in dire need of a quick, healthy, and super easy dessert recipe to allow my mind to succumb to the should-be-normal sleep patterns.
I’m sure glad the microwave was invented. Maybe Percy Spencer (fun fact: Percy Spencer invented the microwave) was plagued with a similar problem of sweet-tooth-mania…
If you have a microwave, a mug, some oats, an egg, and a very ripe banana, you are golden!
Of course you can add other things to liven it up, but if it’s 11:30 at night and you’re hankerin’ for a sweet little muffin you may just want to stick with simplicity.

minute magic muffin1
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Homemade Taco Seasoning

Everybody loves tacos, right?
You can pile loads of toppings on that taco meat and either eat them in a crunchy shell or a soft tortilla (or both).. Most of the time my tacos are a little too piled and I end up eating them as crunchy shell nachos or with a knife and a fork. It would probably be much easier if I just put the tortilla on the side and ate my taco like a burrito bowl, but I digress.

Making taco meat is so easy, you just cook the meat in the pan, add pre-made taco seasoning and water then let it finish cooking. DONE.
Have you ever taken a second to look on the back of that taco seasoning bottle to find out what you are pouring all over your meat? No?
I did and I was baffled that it could be more than just the normal spices I have in my spice drawer. They put things like caramel coloring, corn meal (most likely GMO), sugar (what?), and some put dairy based powders in there.
Well, that just won’t do for me. So I decided to make my own and it’s so simple. You can make a huge batch, pour it in a spice bottle, and then you’re set for a good long while.
Now you can crunch down on that taco like nobody’s business! Success 🙂
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