Monday, February 16, 2015

Almond Butter Protein Bites

These protein bites have become our weekday breakfast of choice. They are fast, delicious, and healthy. You can make a batch at the beginning of the week and enjoy them all week long. Add a little fruit and you've got yourself a well-balanced snack to start your day. These fill you up and keep you going until lunchtime!

Almond Butter Protein Bites
1 cup oats (I use quick oats)
2/3 cup coconut
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup creamed honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

Roll about 2-3 tablespoons into balls with 1-inch diameter. I use a small cookie scoop to get a consistent amount. Squeeze the mixture together as you roll into balls.

Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Thai Iced Tea

I think Thai iced tea might be a "love it" or "hate it" kind of drink. I really can't describe its flavor, except to say that it is definitely one of my all-time favorite drinks. It actually has a slightly vanilla hint to it, and when you add milk or cream and some sugar or simple syrup it's simply luscious. Plus it has such a fun orange color!


Thai Iced Tea
4 tablespoons loose leaf Thai tea* or 4 Thai tea bags
8 cups water

sweetened condensed milk
heavy cream
simple syrup (1 cup water + 1 cup sugar brought to a simmer, then cooled)

* I've used two different types of Thai tea. The first is a loose leaf that you should be able to find in Asian markets. 

The other is a Thai tea already in tea bags. Both have great flavor. I use the bag version if I'm just wanting to make a single glass or the loose leaf and a stock pot full of water to make a pitcher.

Fill a large tea bag with the loose leaf tea.

Bring the water to a simmer, then remove from heat. Add the tea bag (or multiple tea bags) and allow to steep for 1 to 2 hours if you are making a pitcher. You only need to allow a singe tea bag to steep for about 5 minutes if you are making only a glass.

Pour over ice. Pour in about a teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk and a teaspoon or two of simple syrup. You can also swap the sweetened condensed milk for cream or add more simple syrup if you prefer a sweeter tea. Play with the quantities until you get the flavor you like best. 


I could drink this every day, but it would be great as the drink to accompany Korean Pork Tacos.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Coconut Pecan Crunch Muffins

These muffins are a delicious morning treat and (relatively) healthy with whole wheat flour, coconut, and pecans. The cake is light and fluffy. The topping is crisp and sweet. Perfect.

Coconut Pecan Crunch Muffins
for the muffins…
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely ground pecans
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup granulated cane sugar
1 large egg
1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

for the coconut-pecan crunch topping...
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, mix together the coconut oil, syrup, sugar, egg, yogurt, and vanilla until well blended. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flours, ground pecans, coconut, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the oil and egg mixture. Stir gently to combine. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Sprinkle topping over each batter-filled muffin cup.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


recipe from

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Crab Cakes with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

Crab cakes sound like a great dinner or appetizer on a warm spring evening… Don't you think? These crab cakes taste so fresh, bursting with a mixture of fresh herbs and lemon. They are divine! Pair them will a little arugula salad and a glass of your favorite white wine.

    Crab Cakes with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette
    for the crab cakes…
    3 tablespoons mayonnaise
    1/4 cup green onions, minced
    2 egg yolks
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon lemon zest
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1 pound cooked crabmeat
    2 cups panko breadcrumbs*
    2 tablespoons butter & 2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking

    *if you're making these crab cakes gluten-free, simply substitute gluten-free bread crumbs, available in most markets now

    for the vinaigrette...
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon fresh dill
    1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
    1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
    1 tablespoon green onion, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

    to make the crab cakes…
    In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, egg yolks, lemon juice, herbs, mustard, lemon zest, and pepper. Carefully stir in the crabmeat and 1 cup of the breadcrumbs. Form the mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the remaining 1 cup of breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and pat each crab cake into the breadcrumbs to coat. Place prepared crab cakes on a waxed paper lined plate or baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. It's important that you not skip the refrigeration step. This helps the crab cakes hold together when you cook them. If you try to cook them right after forming the patties, they will fall apart.

    meanwhile, make the vinaigrette…
    Place all ingredients in a small blender. (I like to use my magic bullet. It's such a useful little tool in the kitchen.) Puree until herbs are chopped and ingredients are well-blended. If you don't have a blender, you could simply chop the herbs and whisk all ingredients in a bowl until well-blended.

    to cook the crab cakes…
    In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil until glistening. Cook the crab cakes until golden on both sides (about 5 or 6 minutes total). You will likely need to cook them in batches. Be sure to leave enough room in the skillet for flipping the cakes over to cook both sides. Place cooked crab cakes on a paper towel lined plate until ready to serve.

    Serve with the vinaigrette drizzled on top. And maybe a little arugula salad too.


    recipe adapted from

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    DIY Refrigerator Deodorizer

    I don't know about you, but I love it when my refrigerator is fresh and clean. I've used the traditional box of baking soda to keep smells in check in the refrigerator before, but I like this do-it-yourself deodorizer better. I think it works better than baking soda too… it uses ground coffee beans. I always loved the smell of coffee. I can remember going to the super market with my mom as a kid and my very favorite aisle to walk down was the coffee aisle. I just loved that smell. The coffee also absorbs unpleasant odors in your refrigerator.

    DIY Refrigerator Deodorizer
    1 small mason jar
    1 coffee filter
    enough ground coffee beans to fill the jar

    I used a small, short mason jar for this project with the widest mouth I could find. This allows maximum area to absorb smells.

    This is so simple… Place coffee in mason jar. Place coffee filter over the mouth of the jar. Twist on the ring portion of the lid only. Trim excess coffee filter. Done!

    Shake the jar every so often to release more of the smell. Replace the ground coffee beans every couple of months.

    Enjoy your fresh and clean refrigerator!

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Gluten-Free Banana Muffins with Pecans & Toffee

    Here's a twist on my go-to banana bread muffin recipe. I decided to try some toasted pecans and toffee bits rather than the mini chocolate chips I typically use. They are a perfect breakfast treat!

    Gluten-Free Banana Muffins with Pecans & Toffee
    1 cup coconut flour
    1 cup oat flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    4 very ripe bananas
    1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
    1/4 cup toffee bits, plus extra for sprinkling on top


    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin pan with paper liners.

    In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Using an electric mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter, canola oil, and sugar together. Add the eggs and bananas and mix. Add the the flour mixture slowly and stir until just combined. Stir in the chopped pecans and toffee bits.

    Evenly divide the batter into the 12 cups of a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Sprinkle extra toffee bits on each muffin before baking.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Enjoy!

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Yogurt

    I've seen a few recipes on Pinterest for cookie dough yogurt, so I decided to give it a try. I used a Yoplait vanilla yogurt because that's what I had in my refrigerator. I think it would work a bit better if you use Greek yogurt because it's typically thicker. You could also substitute peanut butter if you prefer. This is a protein-packed treat that you can enjoy without too much guilt (even for breakfast)!


    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Yogurt
    1 container yogurt (plain or vanilla)
    2 tablespoons almond butter
    pinch salt
    a couple drops of vanilla
    1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

    Stir all ingredients together and enjoy!

    Hint: If you're using plain yogurt (rather than vanilla), add a bit of sugar or honey to sweeten.