Flower and Sugar

Adventures in Smoothies: Mango Pineapple Coconut

Life in our household has been crazy lately! I feel like we’ve been running from one thing to the next and I’m constantly sprinting to keep up with my deadlines. While I enjoy being busy and productive, I need to work on only saying yes to opportunities that are meaningful or that I enjoy. Matt was in Canada for work earlier this week, so any healthy eating I usually try to maintain went right out the window. We need a bit of a recalibration to increase our healthy eating – so I feel it’s a good thing we stocked up on making our frozen smoothies a few weekends ago!

I loved this smoothie! I used to think I didn’t like mango, but I love the tropical feel the mango, pineapple, and coconut milk give the smoothie. The combo of mango and coconut milk also made the smoothie super creamy. Think tropical milk shake more so than healthy smoothie. Add a handful of spinach to feel healthy and you are set for a busy morning and a (hopefully) productive day!

Recipe

  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 6 oz frozen mango
  • 6 oz frozen pineapple

Makes 2-3

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Chive Egg Sandwich

I’m a HUGE fan of warm breakfasts. Nowadays, unless I’m having Smoothies, I’m fixing up something warm. But – I’m also not much of a morning person. So lately I’ve been trying out new ways to get a warm breakfast put together quickly. This idea was a bit too involved for a workday, but I think it will probably turn into a repeat offender for a weekend breakfast.

I love cream cheese scrambled eggs. They give the eggs a creamy consistency and make them just a bit tangy. I also loved the addition of chives – but I’ve also done this with basil and there are a handful of other herbs this would work well with. I liked adding the spinach before melting the cheese, it wilted the spinach with I preferred for this sandwich. Enjoy!

Recipe

Makes 2

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp milk (I used skim)
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 small handful chives chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp room temperature cream cheese
  • 2 Bagel thins (or bread vehicle of your choice)
  • 2 oz cheese (I used Monterey Jack – it’s a good melting cheese)
  • 1 handful spinach

Whisk the eggs, milk, and salt and pepper together. Cook over low, stirring often, in a smallish non-stick pan. When the eggs are almost set mix in the cream cheese and chopped chives – at this time toast up your bagel thins. Spread the cooked scrambled eggs over the toasted bagel thins and top with the cheese and spinach.

If desired you can bake at 350 for a couple minutes to melt the cheese and wilt the spinach a bit – but this isn’t necessary.

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French Onion Soup With Dunking Croutons

Can you believe making this soup was my idea? I am an adamant non-liker of onions. I used to pick them out of everything! (Even casseroles – that was annoying) I’ve slowly been coming around to onions. I will eat them when cooked; it’s more of a texture thing than anything for me. I actually really really like the sweet broth this French onion soup makes. I only ate about half the onions in the soup – but I didn’t let a drop of that broth go to waste!

I’ve made French onion soup before – but this recipe really lets the onions caramelize before adding the broth which makes the soup nice and sweet. It takes a while to caramelize – but it’s worth it! I’ve also found that I have another texture problem when it comes to those croutons. I don’t like toasting them on top of the soup like you’re supposed to. It soaks up all of my broth!! So I’ve turned to making swiss cheese toasties on the side for dipping – my favorite.

Recipe (Adapted from Melissa on Food Network)

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 large yellow onions
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups beef stock (I used 1 can)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I used 1 box)
  • 4 slices swiss cheese (4 oz)
  • 1 French bread loaf cut into 8 slices

Thinly slice the onion into half moon shapes (about ¼ in thick). In a Dutch oven or soup pot with a lid over medium-low heat, add the butter. Once melted add the onions with a pinch of salt and pepper and cover the pot and cook until caramelized. This will take a while – 1 to 1 ½ hours. Once caramelized to your liking stir in the flour and cook a couple minutes. Add beef and chicken stocks, lemon juice, bay leaf, and thyme bundle. Let cook for at least 10 minutes while you make your toasties. Remove the herbs from the soup before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the soup is finishing up toast your bread on both sides for a few minutes at 400F. During the last 2-3 minutes melt ½ piece of swiss cheese on each piece of bread. Serve your swiss cheese toasties to dip in your soup.

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Flourless Chocolate Cookies

A good friend of mine just had a baby! So it’s probably no surprise that I baked something to go with the meals I took over. They have a family member with a gluten allergy so I wanted to send something gluten free so everyone could have a treat to enjoy. I chose this cookie as it was just flourless and I didn’t need to go purchase special gluten free flours. I think they had a nice texture and I loved the mix-ins. They tasted like a super chocolaty brownie cookie!

A note: I started with three egg whites, as the recipe suggested, but my batter didn’t come together and was crumbly with no way the mix ins were going to be incorporated. Possibly my eggs were on the smaller side? I did use large eggs as suggested. I went ahead and added an extra egg white, bringing the total up to four. This made a nice sticky batter that I went with. That may be why I needed to bake mine on the longer side, but the ones on the longer side had a nicer, more cooked through, texture. I would start with the 8 minutes and check often until they look cooked through and are the same lighter color over the whole cookie.

Recipe (Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

Appx 2 dozen cookies

  • 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

**1 tsp espresso powder, is optional and suggested – but mine had a note that it was processed in a facility with gluten – so I left it out when I made these.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Stir together all of the ingredients, except the extra egg, chocolate chips and walnuts. Mix until smooth and everything is incorporated. If needed, mix in the fourth egg white. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts, if desired.

Drop the sticky batter onto the prepared baking sheets. I used a Tbsp sized cookie scoop. Make sure there is adequate space between the cookies on the sheet. I only baked 8 cookies per sheet. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. They will spread, become somewhat shiny, develop slightly crackly tops, and the color should be uniformly a lighter color. Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool on the pan.

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Bacon Blondies

Happy Valentine’s Day! Bacon Blondies are the way to my husband’s heart!

Matt is an avid bacon lover so I felt these blondies were the perfect treat to share on Valentine’s Day. Matt has no less than three t-shirts professing his love of bacon and his favorite topic of conversation with my brother for a few months was how they could engineer a “bacon bowl”. He also has a bacon cookbook and other bacon novelties.

Many of Matt’s co-workers have a similar crush on bacon – so I sent most of these to work with him. I’m personally not a huge fan of the texture of meat baked into my treats – but to each there own :)

See The Baking Robot for the recipe if you have a loved one as crazy about bacon as Matt!

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