Recipes

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower

Happy Wednesday friends! I’m currently counting down the minutes until the work day is over. Alex has been at a conference out of town for work since Sunday afternoon and I’ve missed him so much. I picture a family walk later and some cuddles on the couch.

Quick plug for the giveaway I’m doing to celebrate Maureen Gets Real turning 1. Check out Monday’s post for the details 🙂

On Sunday I started to feel like I wanted boneless chicken wings for dinner. I didn’t have boneless chicken wings in the freezer or chicken breasts that were defrosted and takeout didn’t sound that good to me. There was still cauliflower in the fridge though so I thought why not turn that into buffalo cauliflower. To get the crunch I just made a quick batter with water and flour then let it roast in the over. I tossed it in buffalo sauce and BOOM dinner was served!

Now I’m not going to come out and say I’ll never get buffalo chicken wings again but it was definitely healthier than ordering takeout and I will make it for dinner for sure. I could also picture myself making this early in the week but not tossing them in sauce until I’m ready to serve as a fun side dish.

Ingredients:

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1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon garlic powder – you can definitely use less, I just love the flavor it gives!

Half a head of cauliflower

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup hot sauce – Frank’s is my favorite but use whatever one you prefer

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut up the head of cauliflower.

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In a bowl, mix together the flour, water, garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste. The batter will be thick but you may add more water if it’s too thick.

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Toss the cauliflower in the batter.

When transferring the cauliflower to a baking sheet, tap off any excess batter on the side of the bowl. I did this with tongs and it worked well!

Bake for 40-50 minutes until it has a golden color. Rotate the pieces halfway through for even cooking.

When there’s about 10 minutes left on the oven timer, heat the butter and hot sauce in a sauce pan. Remove from heat once melted and stir.

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Toss the cauliflower in the sauce mixture and enjoy!

Question of the day: Boneless or bone in chicken wings?

Daily Happenings, Recipes

5 Easy Last Minute Meals

Hi hello! How are you all doing today? If you live in the Northeast I hope the storm didn’t hit you too badly. Last night we ended up losing power for 7 hours! Luckily we started a fire before it went out so we still had a heat source. We ended up moving our mattress in front of it when we went to sleep for a little camp out. Now my car is currently stuck in our parking lot from the snow and I’m working from home. Oh the joys of winter! Hopefully none of you are dealing with the same things I am currently.

Alex had a change of plans on Tuesday so he ended up being home for dinner. When we planned meals for the week, we originally thought leftover enchiladas would be on Wednesday. Then we ended up having those Tuesday night and it left me scratching my head on what to have last night. Granted we ended up having ham sandwiches but I planned on having ground turkey and spaghetti but not having power threw that plan out the window. I thought about something that’s easy to make but also healthy and filling. Since I can’t be the only one finds themselves thrown off their meal plan at some point, I put together 5 of our favorite go to easy meals when we find ourselves in that situation.

Turkey and Spaghetti

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Both Alex and I are new to having ground turkey. By new I mean it’s only be consumed twice for us. But we both enjoy it! It’s healthier than ground beef and since it’s good to limit the amount of red meat you eat turkey is a great option. Pasta is always something in our cabinet and I try to always buy whole wheat so it’s healthier. Cook the turkey while the spaghetti cooks and you can even add in extra veggies you have lying around in the fridge or freezer to add extra nutrients. Top it with some marinara sauce once complete and you’re all set.

Burrito Bowls

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Burrito bowls are amazing because it can be a catch all for whatever you have on hand. You can quickly cook up chicken, ground beef or turkey with some taco seasoning while rice is simmering away. If you have beans on hand then you can heat those up, cook some corn to add in. Personally I love topping mine with lettuce, black or refried beans, cheese, a little sour cream and salsa but they are so customizable and work with whatever you have in your fridge and cabinets.

Pizza

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It’s rare that there is not a jar of Trader Joe’s pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and pizza crust in the freezer. All of the ingredients take so little time to defrost which is perfect when you’re in a rush. If you have some pepperoni then you can put that on (it’s Alex’s favorite) or load it up with a bunch of veggies. It takes me 15 minutes from starting the oven to cutting the pizza to have a meal on the table. Perfect for last minute dinners.

Tortellini, Veggies and Pesto

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Tortellini is a delicious pasta and it’s a rare day we don’t have some in the freezer. Plus pesto is delicious so again we always have some in the freezer (do you see a theme here 😉 On it’s own you have a great dinner but if you want some more bang to it add in some chicken or veggies. I love peas with pesto and highly recommend you try that out. It couldn’t be easier because to cook the peas just put them in the strainer and dump the hot pasta on top when you drain it. Less dishes for the win!

Grilled Cheese

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When all else fails, bread and cheese is there for you. My favorite cheese to use is White American and it will change the game for you. If you really want to treat yourself add some bacon to the sandwich as well. Bacon is always good right? To make it more substantial, add some cut up carrot and hummus and you’ve got yourself a meal.

Question of the day: What’s one of your favorite go to last minute meals?

Holiday, Recipes

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

Hi friends! We’re halfway through the week so I figured the best way to get over the midweek hump is to share a delicious cupcake recipe. These would be perfect for Valentine’s Day next week with the pink frosting 🙂

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Who else loves a good chocolate covered strawberry?? I can’t possibly be the only one with their hand in the air and waving it around like I just don’t care. Now if you’re like me somehow the chocolate on the strawberry cracks when I bite into it. Then I’m left with broken chocolate in my hand on the plate.

This is where these cupcakes come in! The cupcakes are incredibly easy to make from scratch. The moist chocolate cupcake’s flavor goes perfectly with the strawberry buttercream. To get the strawberry flavor, I used frozen strawberries to get a really fresh flavor to it even though berries aren’t currently in season. Nothing fake is in these bad boys! These are perfect for Valentine’s Day next week or just anytime because who doesn’t love cupcakes?

Make a btach and bring them to your office to show some love to coworkers. I brought some of these into work and everyone loved them! Or keep them for yourself and hide them from everyone, no shame in that!

Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe adopted from the peanut butter truffle cupcake recipe in the Taste of Home Baking book.

Ingredients:

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1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup 2% milk (if you don’t drink 2% then whatever you have should be okay)

1/2 cup strong brewed coffee

Directions:

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition before mixing in vanilla.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture. Alternate adding dry ingredients with milk and coffee. Mix well.

Line muffin tin and fill 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes in pan than transfer to cooling rack.

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*Note – somehow I got 14 cupcakes out of this recipe so keep that in mind*

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

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1 cup frozen strawberries

6 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

3 tablespoons half & half (or milk)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

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Place the frozen strawberries into a blender. Blend until there are no big chunks 30 seconds to 1 minute. It’ll look a little powdery and that’s okay!

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In a saucepan, bring the blended strawberries to a boil. Stir regularly until it has been reduced to half. I did this before I even started the cupcakes. This needs to be completely cool before you can make the frosting.

Take off heat and cool completely.

In a bowl, cream the butter. Trade off adding in 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of half and half. Blend completely after each addition.

Once fully blended, add in vanilla and blend.

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Slowly add in the strawberry reduction. I recommend starting with 2 teaspoons and go from there. Blend after each addition. Stop when the strawberry flavor is as strong as you want it to be.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

Once that is all done frost the cupcakes and enjoy! I stored them wrapped on a plate in the refrigerator for a few days. Sometimes I ate them directly from the fridge and it was equally as delicious as when they were on the counter for a while. Any leftovers can be put in the freezer in a freezer bag to enjoy at a later date.

Question of the day: Are you a fan of chocolate and strawberry together?

Books, Daily Happenings, Recipes, Running, Weekend

7 Miles + An Easy Dinner Recipe

Happy Sunday! What did you do yesterday? Personally I enjoyed my Saturday. Since today is the Super Bowl, I tried to eat extra fruits and veggies yesterday since I know I won’t be eating many today. Are you excited for the game? Who are you cheering on and or are you just a commercial/half time show watcher? Either way, I hope you have a lovely day 🙂

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Saturday started out with a nice 7 mile run. Real talk right now, the first two miles sucked. It was a nice easy pace for it (10-10:30) and it felt like I was trying to run 6 minute miles. Luckily, I finally got into my groove and the rest of my run went smoothly. It was cold though. Safe to say I was not ready for the feels like of 7 degrees when I left the apartment. At a certain point, the wind was really blowing and my lips went numb from it. After running a tempo on Friday night and completing 7 miles barely 13 hours later, I was really happy with an easy 10:11 pace for them.

When I got home, I did some push ups and squats before stretching and foam rolling. Alex was up and said how hungry he was so we whipped together bacon and scrambled eggs. I tried making the bacon in the oven this time and it came out much better. I set it to 365 degrees and let it cook for about 20 minutes. When it was done, I let the bacon rest on the pan while the eggs cooked. I found it to be the perfect amount of chewiness and crispness that bacon should have.

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I showered and headed out to run some errands and hit up the grocery store. If you need an oil change, I recommend checking out a company called Valvoline, they do oil changes while you wait in your car. You don’t need an appointment and I waited maybe 2 minutes yesterday. The reason I’m mentioning this is because I had the BEST service ever at it! I’ve been to it twice and each time I get treated so well. Not something that always happens to a young female when needing a car servicing. So I wanted to share with you all 🙂 By the time I got home I was hungry so I roasted brussel sprouts and added that to leftover brown rice pasta. I topped it with some parmesan and it was delicious.

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Once I cleaned up, I got comfy and finished reading Wonder. I loved this book. I don’t even care that my library had it in the kids section. Not even the teen section, straight up children’s section. It was such a good story. It’s told from 6 different children’s perspectives which I found really enjoyable as it shows how some people react to a physical difference that one person has. If anything shows how much I enjoyed it, there were some tears in my eyes at one point. Now I just need to get my hands on the movie!

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I started to get a little hungry so I cute up and orange and made a mug of tea to sip on. I’m still very much loving oranges right now. The best part of oranges is that peak season is in the middle of winter. Winter is a season that I find really hard to eat fruit, anyone else? After my snack, I started this post and worked on one for later in the week.

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I rounded out the afternoon by grabbing the next book from my pile. The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller was a book that I added to my reading list and grabbed last time I was at the library. Naturally Alex started to make fun of me since he didn’t realize I was a city baker. Oh the joys of living with your boyfriend 😉 It’s the story of Olivia who sets her previous place of employment in Boston on fire and is hired as the bakery chef at an inn in Vermont.

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For dinner, I threw together the easiest meal ever! It’s similar to one my mom made for my siblings and I growing up. Instead of giardiniera, I used bell peppers for added flavor and some color. While everything cooked, I warmed up a can of corn and then dinner was served. Super simple but filling and delicious as well.

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Saturday ended on a low key note which was perfect for me! Alex was finishing up some work so I kept on reading. Then I grabbed another 312 from Goose Island and got comfy on the couch. We continued watching Dirty Money on Netflix. I recommend this show! Each episode is really interesting and makes you think about what companies are doing. It’s nice to since the episodes don’t relate so if one story doesn’t interest you then you can skip it no problem.

Sausage, Peppers and Potato

Ingredients:

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4 potatoes

2 bell peppers – any color

6 Italian sausage links (I used hot)

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Directions:

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut up all of the ingredients into roughly 1/2 inch chunks.

Place all ingredients in 13″ x 9″ dish. Drizzle with olive oil (max. 1 tablespoon) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix together before placing in the oven.

Cook for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Everything is cooked when the sausage is lightly browned and potatoes are fork tender.

Question of the day: What was your Saturday workout?

Recipes

Oatmeal Energy Bites

Hi friends! How is your week so far? I hope it’s a good one plus a short week is always nice right?! Have a great day 🙂

oatmeal energy bites

The other day, I was browsing Pinterest to find an energy ball recipe. I found a lot but most of them called for ingredients that I don’t have on hand or a food processor which I don’t own #SmallKitchenProblems. Personally, my pantry does not contain flax seed, protein powders or dates. If yours does then more power to you! I find it’s easiest to stock what I know I’ll use than buy things just for one recipe that I’m not sure I’ll enjoy. Due to this, I didn’t want to buy something that I wouldn’t use regularly.

I still wanted to make some energy balls to have as a healthy pre and post workout snack. I looked at a lot of recipes to get the ratio of the main ingredients then decided just to make my own. They came together super quick and involved minimal work. Plus they taste like cookies thanks to the addition of some chocolate chips. You can even think of them as a semi healthy dessert since they have chia seeds and minimal ingredients.

Ingredients:

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1 cup old fashioned oats

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon chia seeds (for protein but can be made without them)

1/4-1/3 cup of chocolate chips (depending on how much chocolate you would like!)

Directions:

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Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined.

Cover and store in the fridge for 30 minutes. This allows the oats to soak up a little moisture and make the dough easier to work with.

Use a spoon to get out a small amount of dough and roll into golf ball sized pieces. If the dough is too sticky, place back in fridge to let it harden a bit more.

Place in a closed container and store in the fridge.

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Question of the day: Have you ever had energy bites?