Cajun Chicken & Cheddar Zucchini Skillet

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There are so many resources out there to inspire delicious, homemade meals. Between the internet, social media, magazines and cookbooks,¬†I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to make all the things I want to. But man, I am going to try ūüôā

I can spend hours just looking at recipes and often get sucked in when I should be doing something that really needs my attention, like laundry. Life is short though, and laundry happens every day. So what if we don’t have socks,¬†isn’t that why they made sandals? I believe so!

While cruising along Pinterest one night, I stumbled across this recipe for White Cheddar Chicken and Zucchini, and immediately I knew I had to make it. Like all other recipes I find, I needed to make it and in doing so, make it my own. Hands down, I give all recognition for the inspiration of this dish to the original blogger, but I made some changes to better suit our tastes and current eating habits.

Which means, I added some spice, garlic and the almighty food that makes every recipe better- BACON! I also omitted the panko bread crumbs due to our low carb lifestyle.

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This dish has so much flavor, and is easy to make! I hope you try it!

Cajun Chicken & Cheddar Zucchini Skillet

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • 1-2 tbsp of Cajun seasoning {depending on taste}
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 ¬†tsp black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, divided
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced into rounds
  • 4 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices of cooked bacon, diced

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare zucchini and onions but cutting them first.

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In a bowl, season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Add Cajun seasoning to your liking, between 1-2 tablespoons.

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.

Saute chicken on each side for 4-5 minutes until browned. Remove from skillet and place in a separate dish.

To the same skillet, add diced onions and sauté for 2 minutes until starting to soften. Add minced garlic, and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

Then add zucchini and yellow squash to skillet, season with remaining salt, pepper and garlic powder. Combine zucchini and onions well. Place chicken on top of the zucchini and squash and place into the oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and zucchini is tender. Then top with shredded cheddar and bacon. Place back into the oven and broil on high until cheese is melted and bubbling.

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This is a meal full of amazing flavors and I highly recommend you try it!

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There is something spectacular to be said about dinners made entirely in one pan because who likes to wash dishes after dinner?! Nobody.

Happy Eating!!

Menu Plan Monday #2

Happy Monday!!

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! My weekend was spent working, but it was a good one and it passed by in a flash! Despite some long days, we still were able to enjoy a little excitement at a family party, and it’s just another reminder as to how grateful I am for this season in life.

I don’t know if it is my age, or where I ¬†currently am in life, but I just find such joy in little simple things. Friday morning I looked out the window and saw a sunbeam shining through my favorite willow tree. It made my heart so happy! I just had to take a picture!

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I’m also grateful that we are surrounded by such beautiful people who we love dearly, like these two! My momma and nephew ::swoon::

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I hope you feel the same, and if for some reason you don’t- always remember you can make changes, and find the ones who are meant to be in your lives!

With that said, I hope you also were able to enjoy some good eats last week! Our week was busy, so quick meals were on the menu.

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**Menu Plan Monday was inspired by my constant need to know what everyone is eating. Whether it be the blogs I love reading, or the people in my real life who I enjoy thoroughly.¬†¬†I try to make two new recipes a week while rotating the other days with our favorite go to meals, one leftover day and one free for all day. Free for all days could mean leftovers, a quick easy meal, or just eating whatever we fancy (breakfast foods always win for me). Here’s a look at last week….

Monday

Who doesn’t enjoy an easy meal that comes together with loads of flavor? For some reason, I had been craving Beef Stroganoff in a bad way, so we made it happen! Served over ¬†this¬†low carb pasta¬†that I have been enjoying from time to time, so I don’t detour from my own personal goals.

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Tuesday

Late work day, so leftovers of meal mentioned above were consumed

Wednesday

New recipe of the week, Bacon Ranch Chicken Рwe enjoyed this as a quick easy meal.

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Thursday

Creamy Salsa Chicken – I made mine into a very ugly “bowl” but hey, this is real life, right? We also never eat corn but had leftovers so it’s what got thrown in! No waste household over here ūüôā

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Friday

Free for All- the mister had leftover Creamy Salsa Chicken and I had a Low Carb Cheese Quesadilla for a quick treat after work

Saturday

Family party

Sunday

Summer comfort right here. Hotdogs, and low carb onion rings made by my mister. He does love me, haha. I sent him this recipe, and he made it happen! They were tasty!

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Life is all about moderation and sometimes I do plan easy meals that we can just throw together in minutes, because it’s better than going out to eat when you are busy! Meal planning allows me to always figure out what is best for us, for a particular week.

I’m thinking this next week needs to include a better variety of vegetables, and I have it all planned out! Until next week..

Happy Eating!

Low Carb Magic Bars

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Is there anything you distinctly remember about your childhood? Something that when one of your senses is heightened, it brings back instant nostalgia? I have many and I am so grateful that our brains do the involuntary magic that they do.

While a lot of my memories are of things we did, places we went and who we enjoyed these moments with, it is no surprise that some of them completely involve food. Because food = life, right?

My mom always use to make seven layer bars when we were growing up. Ooey, gooey, chocolate, coconut filled mounds of delicious joy. It’s been so long since I’ve had one, but I still recall the kitchen I grew up with, the counter where all the treats sat and the warmth my mom always provided us with. Whether it be her love, her cooking, or her thoughtfulness, she has always been the best mom. We are very grateful for her and her seven layer bars.

For they inspired these….

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I am a firm believer in ending the day with a little something sweet and with changes to my diet over the past few years, I have loved experimenting with new sweet treats that everyone can enjoy!

Low Carb Magic Bars

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup of full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup swerve sweetener
  • 1/4 coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Magic Bars

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour (measured to 66 grams), sifted
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp of swerve sweetener
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup slivered or chopped almonds
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips, chopped

Directions

To make the caramel sauce, place coconut milk, swerve sweetener, coconut sugar and salt into a sauce pan. Heat slowly and bring to a simmer on medium low heat. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the caramel is a nice golden color and has started to thicken. The sauce will thicken more as you remove it from heat and allow to cool. Add vanilla extract when you have removed pan from heat. (I doubled the caramel sauce recipe and saved half in the refrigerator for future use, which meant another batch, haha)

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, add the coconut oil and 3 tbsp of swerve sweetener and mix well. Add the sifted coconut flour and mix until fully combined. You will have a wet dough.

Take an 8X8 baking dish (or comparable dish) and line with parchment paper for nonstick and easy clean up. Pour dough into dish and press evenly throughout. It will be a thin crust, but don’t worry.

Place into oven and bake for 7-8 minutes until the edges are starting to get golden brown. The dough will still be somewhat soft.

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Next, you will place the almonds and pecans on top of crust. Press down softly so that the nuts are slight pushed into the crust. Add the chocolate chips evenly, then the coconut flakes.

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Last, pour the caramel sauce over all the delicious ingredients. Gently shake the pan so that the caramel sauce can sink between the layers.

Place into oven and bake for 27-28 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

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Place the bars into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

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When ready, cut into bars and enjoy!

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The first time I made these, I brought them to a family birthday party and they were a hit!

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Just look at the layers of delicious goodness.

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Try to stop at just one, because it’s not possible.

Happy Eating!

Menu Plan Monday

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If there is one thing I love reading in the blogs I enjoy, it’s their weekly meal plans. Call me a creeper for finding pleasure in knowing what others are eating, but I just do! I often find myself asking everyone I care about this very¬†important question, “What’s for dinner?”

I know that one of the ways I show my husband that I care for him, as well as everyone I care for, is by cooking them good food that entices their palettes! Part of me needs to know that they are feeding their bodies with delicious food and the other part is just plain nosey! I admit it. I won’t stop though.

So to jump on a bandwagon that was started a long time ago, I’m excited to share what we eat during the week!

I have been meal planning for four years now and I rotate depending on my mood, between planning for 2 weeks or 4 weeks at a time. I know that four weeks seems like a lot, but it works for me. It does not make me the meal planning goddess (although I wouldn’t mind a crack at the title!) I just enjoy planning out the month between work schedules, parties, holidays, date nights, etc. It’s something that makes me happy, and we all should stick to doing just that, making ourselves happy!

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I have tried to make two new recipes a week while rotating the other days with our favorite go to meals, one leftover day and one free for all day. Free for all days could mean leftovers, a quick easy meal, or just eating whatever we fancy (breakfast foods always win for me).

Now that I’ve taken entirely too much of your time, I’ll just get to the good stuff. This is a recap of our meals last week. Typically, we have a more diverse selection of protein but I was trying to use what I had in the freezer and refridgerator so chicken is what we had!

Meal Plan Monday #1

Monday- Cheesy Honey Mustard Chicken with Bacon & Salad

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Tuesday- Leftovers

Wednesday- Chicken & Vegetable Stir-fry

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Thursday- Roasted Chicken Thighs with Vegetables and Parmesan Garlic Cream Sauce

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Friday- Date Night after work

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Texas Roadhouse¬†was the answer to a few individuals that had no desire to cook after the work week was done! This is my favorite salad of theirs, Chicken Critter Salad. I eat half & save half for another meal, like Saturday free for all night! It’s a cheat meal that I’m not afraid of eating, if that makes sense.

Saturday- Free for All Night

Sunday- Grilled Chicken, Corn on the Cob & Salad

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The mister will only eat corn on the cob with these little trays and holders. I don’t buy corn often as our vegetable side, but it screams summer!

Until next time, when hopefully I’ve added some beef, fish or pork into the mix!

Happy Eating all!

A Weekend in Boston- Day 2

A Weekend in Boston ‚Äď Day 1¬†– if you missed it!

Day two started bright and early, thanks in part to an internal clock that thinks we are always going to work! Since there was no work to be had, we got ready and met our travel buddies downstairs to explore!

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Our first stop was to get some delicious coffee at Thinking Cup. They do an awesome job living up to their personal philosophy to provide delicious coffee, pastries and food in a cozy and enjoyable environment. I could get use to starting my day this way!

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After feeding our bellies with some fuel, we decided to start walking the Freedom Trail, went to Quincy and enjoyed the sunshine on our faces! Nothing makes me happier than being around family, having sun on my face and just feeling content. There is something spectacular to be said for just going away for the weekend. Leaving all your responsibilities for a few days, and soaking up life! Life is fleeting, you need to truly enjoy it while you can!

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After some browsing in shops, we ventured to the North End, Boston’s Little Italy. We went to Europe for the first time last year, and what I loved about this part of Boston, was it gave you such a nostalgic feeling. With its perfect old character paired with modern accents, the beautiful cobblestone streets and most importantly, the local older Italian men who sat on the sidewalks barking at each other from across the street, it was just a joy to experience.

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At the recommendation of a family member, we decided to have lunch at Antico Forno. It was one of the our best dining experiences of the weekend and in the future, we would definitely go back for dinner!

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Their entire menu looks delicious but true to this Italian girls heart, I just can’t pass up chicken parmigiana!

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Parmigiana di pollo- breaded chicken, fontina cheese, basil, San Marzano tomato sauce with a mixed green salad

I should have asked for no bread, but I took it off and a lovely mister in the our party decided to take it off my hands, the perks of family!

The hubby had one of his favorites as well!

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Polpette- homemade meatballs, parmigiana cheese, roasted peppers, basil, San Marzano tomato sauce with a mixed green salad

After a fantastic lunch it was back to walking around our favorite city, and no good day in the books ever forgets dessert.

We stopped to get gelato and honestly, I just can’t stop with the coconut. I want it every day, all the time, in everything. Yum!

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Then we retired to our hotel rooms for a mid-day break to get ready for our night activities!

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When we were ready in our evening fancy attire, we stopped at the bar to get a drink. I just love my sister! Baby blues forever!

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Then we walked down to where the theater was and stopped into an awesome restaurant/bar which I have no recollection of the name. I will find it though, because it is the coolest atmosphere. I felt like such a modern-day woman in that place!

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After a few drinks and an appetizer we headed to the Charles Playhouse to see The Blue Man Group!

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That was so much fun! I love going to shows and creating new experiences, so it was definitely one of my favorite moments! If you haven’t seen them yet, find a show and enjoy it!

When the show was over we headed back to where our hotel was and stopped into The Beantown Pub for a drink and some grub. What is a weekend away without good eats?! Nothing, absolutely nothing.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day or travel buddies than these! It was a great little trip and I am so looking forward to our next adventure. Where will that be?!

Boston, we miss you already- but you are only a hop, skip and a jump away. So until next time, much love!

Low Carb Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

 

How is it July already?! The time is sure flying and we are embracing our summer as much as we can! I hope you are too!

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There have been holidays, weekend projects, parties, concerts and lots of fun filling these days. It is no wonder that I haven’t taken the time to share a new and delicious dessert for you all to try! You will have to wait no longer, well maybe a little….

I hope you all were able to enjoy the 4th of July with the ones you love, doing something that made your heart happy. That is what life is about. Living it to the fullest every day you can and embracing as many moments possible.

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I was blessed with a lovely five day weekend over the 4th and I cannot put into words how wonderful it was! It was full of family, friends, good food, laughter and another home project to put down in the books. We redid our front porch! It still needs railings put on, but that will hopefully happen this weekend! I am loving it so far!

I will not hold you in suspense any longer! Here is what I’d describe as delicious, soft, pillows of¬†chocolate chip cookie that will leave you asking for just one more. They are easy to make and worth every minute of the small effort. Happy baking!

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Low Carb Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients

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  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup swerve sweetener (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 3 oz of dark chocolate, cut into pieces

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl or stand up mixer, combine eggs, sweetener, and vanilla. Then add coconut oil.

 

Add the peanut butter to the wet ingredients and combine.

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In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine dry ingredients- almond flour, coconut flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Combine well, breaking up any big lumps from the almond flour.

Next add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients, mixing on medium speed until combined.

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Then add your dark chocolate.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (for non stick and easy clean up)

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Using a spoon or a cookie scooper, make 18 cookies and place spread out evenly on baking sheet.

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Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes until edges golden brown.

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Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes.

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Then enjoy!

 

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Just the right amount of sweet chocolate, coconut and peanut butter. My favorite flavors married together to make the perfect cookie, with no guilt. If that isn’t winning, I don’t know what is.

Until next time! Happy eating!

Baked Pepperoni & Bacon Pizza Chicken

Life lately has been full of some wonderful but busy moments. We laugh quite often how just a few months ago we were talking about how bored we were. That is certainly not the case now.

Much hard work, fun, good eats and happiness have been going on around these parts, and I hope you all are enjoying this current season in your lives, just as much.

I thought I’d share some random things today, that have made my heart happy. This life is short, so no matter what it is, do what you enjoy!

Recent Eats

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Doggie approved treats! Made with whole wheat flour, carrots, applesauce, peanut butter and coconut oil. Healthy fats for my little pups!

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Those ears! Be still my beating heart. Now on to some people food!

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Memorial Day weekend was spent sweating and doing manual labor with an outdoor project, so easy meals was the plan. A glimpse into our weekend of food- Grilled chicken and steak with a delicious, simple vegetable side. Red onions, red bell peppers and zucchini always taste amazing with some garlic and italian seasonings. Not pictured was the other days of hotdogs, hamburgers, antipasto salad, BBQ pulled pork and spaghetti squash au gratin. So good!

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Oh sunny days, how we all love thee. More grilling goodness = less mess in the kitchen! I needed some Mexican flavors in our lives so this dish completely satisfied my mister. Grilled Carne Asada with Spicy Pico de Gallo, Cheesy Green Chile Cauliflower Rice and Roasted Onions, Peppers and Corn. Oh my, was this delicious.

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Last week, I was craving pizza in a big way. Pizza doesn’t agree with me though. I always feel like I have eaten the whole thing, even if it’s only been two slices. So this low carb alternative was made and it was a huge hit with the family!

This recipe is so versatile, I am hesitant to even write out a real recipe so this is what I did.

I marinated chicken breasts in 1/4 cup italian dressing, olive oil, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and italian seasonings for about four hours.

Then I took two shallow dishes, added two beaten eggs to one and grated parmesan cheese to the other. Dip the chicken in egg, then in parmesan cheese to coat. When all chicken was coated, I heated olive oil in a large sauté pan and sautéed for about 4-5 minutes on each side just so the coating was a crisp golden brown. Place chicken into baking dish.

You can use your favorite homemade or jar sauce for this dish. If you have some leftover from a previous meal, even better!

I love sauce mixed with onions and peppers, so I sautéed some up and added a tomato basil flavored marinara that was low in carbs. I topped each parmesan chicken breast with about 1/2 cup sauce mixture.

Then I layered with a mix of shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese. I ended my creativity with pepperoni and bacon.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until internal temperature of chicken is 160 degrees. Broil on high to add some nice bubbling color to the top.

The things you could do with this dish- different vegetables, cheese, meats, and sauces. I look forward to experimenting with different ingredients!

Made Me Smile

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My new friends. I just love animals and we talk about moving to the woods with a lot of land all the time. Just watching them enjoying their day, munching and hanging in the water, really made my day.

My new health journal. I am always on a mission to better myself. I always want to be the best version of myself and I love reflecting on each day. It makes me think of all the wonderful things I am grateful for, allows me to be positive towards myself and inspires me to keep motivated toward my goals!

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I will end this very long post with these beautiful yellow flowers I am loving! I can’t wait for all the flowers to open up! Fresh flowers are a must in my house! They seem to brighten up every day!

Wishing happy, sunny and beautiful days to you all!

A Weekend in Boston – Day 1

I cannot say it enough, I heart Boston. Everything about it, just makes me feel calm, happy and excited all at the same time.

There is just always something to do, see, eat, drink…. and be merry about!

I thought I’d share a little about our weekend away, because it is something I want to always remember. It will always be etched into memory but writing it out to look back on, just seems right.

We ventured up to Boston on a Friday afternoon. The weather was quite dreary but that didn’t stop our anticipation to meet up with two of our favorite people.

We arrived at the¬†Omni Parker House¬†around 3:30 pm where we were delighted to be gifted valet service right at the doorway. We don’t typically do valet so we already were feeling like a King and Queen!

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We checked in and went straight up to our gorgeous room where we were greeted with another surprise! Our weekend dates were spoiling us even before we got there, and we appreciate it all!

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After settling in, we met these beautiful people downstairs!

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Then it was time to take a nice stroll through Boston to get our feet wet (no pun intended, for it was raining!) What I loved most about this hotel besides it’s perfect description “A classic soul with a modern twist”¬†was how close we were to everything. It is right on the Freedom Trail, and so close to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. It made walking around the city, so very lovely!

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We ended up walking to dinner which was at Mast. It was kind of a weird experience all around in the dining world but our company was spot on, so despite the vibe that was throughout, we enjoyed ourselves.

Why must dinner always be served with this scrumptious but evil food? Mmm, bread.

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We started with sharing the Calamari, a family favorite for sure!

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Sadly, all we could taste was the salt! I’ve never had such salty calamari but we don’t waste food, so….. it was obviously still eaten!

My sister and I shared two small plates and one of them stole the show! The cauliflower was tasty!

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Polpettine Trio- a meatball trio of angus beef al ragu

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Roasted Cauliflower- with a spicy chile goat cheese and baked four cheese spread

The men stayed true to their roots, one enjoying a pasta dish (Italian man through and through!) and my hubby sticking with a roasted chicken.

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Orecchiete Baresi- Orecchiete pasta, friarelli (sauteed broccoli rabe), fennel sausage, pecorino romano

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Pollo al Mattone Sette Spezia- half all natural chicken, grilled, smoked seven spice rub, Borretane onion agrodolce

We ate, we talked, we laughed, and were in the best company!

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After dinner we walked back to our hotel for a drink and dessert!

The hotel has a famed whiskey bar called the Last Hurrah. We sat down at one of their tables, each getting a drink of choice and we shared their famous Boston Cream Pie!

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After, we called it a night! ¬†We needed our rest for Saturday and it seriously was the best day! Stay tuned…..

Low Carb Pudding Parfaits

I don’t know about you guys, but some of my favorite sweet treats include cake, chocolate and pudding. If only I could eat my favorites everyday…. okay maybe that’s a little too indulgent.

What if we all could enjoy our favorites knowing that they aren’t as bad for you? That is my mission in this life and I truly enjoy sharing these creations with you.

A few months ago, I was craving my favorite chocolate cake. Costco’s chocolate cake, to be more specific. Layers of rich, dark, moist chocolate cake with sweet, creamy and decadent chocolate frosting, covered in delicious chocolate shavings. That is really what dreams are made of. I never looked up how much sugar is in that cake, although I know it’s probably right on the label. I didn’t want to cry after eating it.

So instead of venturing out to buy a huge cake that would leave me with a million servings (exaggerating, it’s probably more like 30ish), I tried my best to make a lower carb chocolate dessert that would kick the craving and leave our stomachs happy.

That’s when these were born. Yummy, healthier,¬†chocolate,¬†delicious parfaits. Layers of low carb chocolate cake, sugar-free pudding and whipped cream have completed my life. A dessert that is very versatile, for you can mix it with whatever flavors you like.

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In the words of Guy Fieri, “this is money”.

Low Carb Pudding Parfaits

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Ingredients for Cake

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup swerve sweetener**
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup water

**You can substitute your favorite sweetener- 1/2 cup swerve = 1/2 cup of regular sugar. So use according to that ratio.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, breaking up any lumps in the flour.

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In a mixing bowl, add eggs, sweetener and vanilla. Mix together until combined.

Add dry ingredients into the egg mixture. You will have a thick batter at this point.

Mix in cocoa powder.

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Add melted butter and water, allowing for all ingredients to blend and batter to thin out.

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Pour batter into a 8 X 8 inch baking pan either greased or with covered with parchment paper. Spread evenly into pan.

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Bake for approximately 22 minutes or until the top is set, but cake feels moist. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

 

You could stop here, top with your favorite frosting, whipped topping, ice cream…the possibilities are endless. I took it a step further.

Ingredients for Parfait

  • Chocolate cake, recipe above
  • 1 box of sugar-free instant pudding (or regular pudding), any flavor
  • 2 cups of preferred milk (skim, whole, almond, coconut, cream etc)
  • 1 large container of cool whip (or make your own)

Directions

In a bowl, if using instant pudding, mix milk and pudding for 2 minutes using a whisk. Place into refrigerator for at least 5 minutes to allow to set.

Cut the chocolate cake into cubes.

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Using whichever cup, dish or bowl that you prefer, being to layer your parfaits.

First add cake, then pudding, then whipped topping, making three layers.

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Try not to put spoonfuls of pudding or cool whip into your mouth during this process. It can be difficult.

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You can make ahead and place back into refrigerator or enjoy right away!

 

Happy eating!

Disclaimer: This cake is meant to be light and easily crumbles for this parfait. If you are looking for a more dense cake, come back when I create that *wink wink*

The Best Turkey Sloppy Joes

These past few weeks have just flown by! They were full of wonderful moments, people and love. This gal turned another year older too! Hello to the new 21 plus some *wink wink*

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There have been birthday celebrations, dining out, dinners made for me and basically no actual cooking by me for the past two weeks! The break was amazing but I did miss the kitchen.

I was spoiled beyond words with beautiful messages, time spent with my favorite people and the most amazing gifts (that were not necessary but completely appreciated!)

A burger bar seemed to be a hit at my sister’s and my birthday bash, I just wish I had some photos to show. Maybe next time!

Later in the week, my sister, momma and I went to Cure for a mother-daughter lunch and it did not disappoint!

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The whole experience of the restaurant is rustic, beautiful and centered around farm-fresh ingredients. The menu offers a variety of delicious choices from amazing appetizers, their own varieties of smoked bacon, unique sandwiches and main dishes, to tasty desserts and cocktails.

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We started with a birthday drink and this Sangria was amazing! It had just the right amount of rose wine and peach flavors. I should have these more!

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Our waiter was the cutest boy there ever was!

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We shared calamari as our appetizer, made with banana peppers, lemon and a wonderful sweet chili sauce.

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I wasn’t feeling like being fancy for our birthday lunch so the burger with BBQ seasoned fries sounded tasty. It was a celebratory occasion so there was no guilt with the fries! They were worth it!

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We ended our lunch with the best dessert ever- frozen yogurt! I will never say no to that. Ever.

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We are a silly family ūüôā

I feel so blessed with how the past two weeks have gone and look forward to whatever this next year of life brings my way!

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After living in a birthday bubble, it was time to get back into my normal role and I couldn’t think of a better meal to start with than my Turkey Sloppy Joes. This is an easy, flavorful dish that you can serve on your favorite roll, on top of zucchini noodles, pasta or enjoy with a side salad. I’ve eaten it in a bowl with a spoon before, it’s that delicious.¬†Don’t judge.

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

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  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of onions, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 jalape√Īos, diced (ribs and seeds removed)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp spicy montreal steak seasoning (or regular montreal steak seasoning for less spicy)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar**
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp black pepper

** I will use truvia brown sugar blend to reduce my sugar intake. If using, only use 1/4 cup due to the increased sweetness.

Directions

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, red and jalape√Īo peppers to pan and saut√© for about 5 minutes until slightly tender.

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When vegetables tender, add ground turkey and season with montreal steak seasoning (spicy or regular). Sauce turkey until browned and cooked thoroughly.

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Next, add all remaining seasonings to ground turkey including chili powder, ground mustard, garlic powder, and brown sugar. Mix well.

Then add worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar.

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste and season with black pepper.

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Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes for flavors to combine and sauce to thicken.

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Then serve whichever way you like! The mister can’t seem to live without his carbs. It may not be the prettiest meal, but you won’t deny how amazing this tastes!

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Happy eating!