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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

{Blueberry Oatmeal Scones}

There are those days when you need the bottomless cup of coffee to get through the day. Then there are those days where you have the bottomless cup of coffee, while snacking on a delicious scone, gathered around your kitchen table chatting and catching up with a few good friends. The later of those two scenarios is the recipe for a perfect Saturday morning (in my opinion).   And these scones are the perfect Saturday morning treat (also in my opinion).  

What I love about these scones is the subtle sweetness and the bright burst of flavor that the fresh blueberries provide.  Oatmeal gives these scones a nice hearty texture without weighing them down and a little sprinkle of cinnamon sugar add a nice sugary crunch to the top!  I lightened up these delicious little treats by subbing in Greek yogurt for half the butter, trust me you will not taste the difference!   Make these for your next brunch or make a batch for yourself!  Enjoy! 

Blueberry Oatmeal Scones 
16 Scones 


1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour (whole wheat works too) 
1 1/2 Cup Oats 
1/3 Cup Sugar 
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon  
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt (I used 2%)
1/4 Cup Butter - Melted 
1/3 Cup Milk of Choice 
1 Egg - beaten 
2 Teaspoons Vanilla 
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon Sugar 
1/3 Cup Fresh Blueberries 

1- In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon).  Whisk together until well combined.  Set aside. 
2- In a medium bowl combine melted butter, greek yogurt, milk, beaten egg and vanilla.
3- Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into the well, mix to create a soft dough.  Carefully stir in blueberries. 
4- Pat dough into a 1/2 inch thick circle.  Place circle of dough on a greased baking dish and sprinkle dough with cinnamon sugar. 
5- Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through in the middle.  Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into individual scones. 

Other delicious scone recipes from around the web:

Monday, September 15, 2014

{Wedding Update; Engagement Photos}

You guys... Derek and I got our engagement photos back, and I am in love with them!

 I am so happy with how they turned out, our photographer did an absolutely amazing job!  If anyone is in the Rochester/Minneapolis area and needs a GREAT photographer I highly recommend checking out Midwest Life Shots!  Anyways, I just had to share a few of my favorites with you today!

I hope you enjoy, less then 7 months till the big day!  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

{Spiced Butternut Squash with Lentils and Cauliflower}

Long weekends sorta throw me off, but they sure are lovely.  In my mind today is a Tuesday when in reality it's Wednesday, heck we are halfway through the week!   Just to paint a little picture for you of how my brain is working listen to this...   Yesterday, I excitedly told Derek that I had successfully completed a "meatless" Monday to which he said "Hilliary, it's Tuesday!"  Whoops!  So I had a meatless Tuesday and feel like I am a day behind, thats ok!  

Anyways, lets talk about this dish!  This dish is packed full of delicious veggies and protein packed lentils.  The sweetness of the squash is played up with a little bit of cinnamon, while cumin, chili powder and curry give the dish great spice and flavor.  I love serving this spiced butternut squash over rice and topping the whole thing with a dab of garlicky hummus, simply amazing!  I buy pre-cut squash so I don't have to go through the hassle of chopping and peeling my own... Call me lazy, but cutting a squash can be hard work!   Make this your next "Meatless" Monday or Tuesday meal!  

Spiced Butternut Squash with Lentils and Cauliflower
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4 

2 Cups Cubed Butternut Squash 
1/2 Medium Onion Chopped 
1 Cup Cooked Lentils (I use Trader Joe's Small Green Lentils)
1 Cup Cauliflower - Chopped 
3 Cloves Garlic Minced 
2 Teaspoons Curry Powder 
1 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin 
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder 
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon 
1 Large Handful Fresh Cilantro 
Salt and Pepper to Taste 
1 1/2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil 

**Rice and your favorite hummus for serving
1 Cup Rice - Prepared according to package directions 
1/4 Cup Hummus 

1- In a large skillet heat 1/2 Teaspoon coconut oil.  Add in onion and saute until translucent, add in garlic and saute until fragrant.  
2- Add squash and cauliflower to skillet and saute for 5 minutes.  
3- In a small bowl melt remaining coconut oil (1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons) and stir in spices.  Pour coconut oil and spices over vegetables in skillet and stir until evenly distributed. 
4- Cook vegetables until tender 10-15 minutes.  Stir in fresh cilantro and serve

**To serve divide rice among four plates and top with squash mixture.  Top each plate with a dollop of your favorite hummus - if desired! 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

{Creamy Polenta with Spicy Tomato Chickpea Sauce}

I love a good impromptu "dinner party" with good friends, good food and great conversation! Cooking for others just makes me happy and is one of those dare I say "tasks" that bring people together.  There is nothing better then sharing a great meal with others!  I could honestly spend hours around my dining room table eating, chatting and drinking good glass of wine.  Seriously those three things make for the perfect night in.  Simply put... food brings people together! 

Monday was one of those such "dinner party" nights and was the best way to kick off the work week!   This simple yet tasty polenta dish was perfect and easy to whip up and made for a pretty impressive presentation!  The spicy tomato chickpea sauce added a kick to the creamy, cheesy polenta and paired perfectly with a full bodied red wine!  Bonus points for this dish... its a great meatless Monday meal!  And yes, I did just say great meatless Monday meal but please note the name of the wine!  

Creamy Polenta with Spicy Tomato Chickpea Sauce
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4 


Creamy Polenta: 
1 -18 oz package Polenta - Cut into chunks
1 Cup + 1/3 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro  
1/3 Cup Cheddar Cheese 
2 Tablespoons Milk 

Spicy Tomato Chickpea Sauce - Adapted From Cooking Light 
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
1/2 Cup Green Pepper Chopped
1 - 15 Oz. Can Diced Tomatoes - Undrained 
1 Cup Canned Chickpeas 
1 Tbs Honey 
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar 
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder 
1 Teaspoon Cumin 
1/4 Teaspoon Salt 
1 Teaspoon Pepper 
1/4 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Large Handful Chopped Cilantro 

1- Heat olive oil in a large skillet add onion and saute until translucent.  Add in green pepper and saute for 4 minutes until tender. 
2- Add in canned tomatoes through pepper and bring to boil.  Once mixture is boil reduce to simmer and add in chicken broth.  Simmer sauce until liquid has reduced by half - start polenta while sauce simmers. 

For the polenta: 
1- In a medium sauce pan bring 1 cup chicken broth to a low boil.  Add polenta and garlic powder to chicken broth.  Cook polenta on the stove until smooth, add remaining 1/3 chicken broth as needed to finish cooking polenta.  
2- Stir cheese, milk and cilantro into polenta. Return back to tomato sauce and stir in cilantro.  Now serve! 

To Serve: 
1- Divide polenta among 4 plates and top with tomato sauce.  


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

{Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal}

 Banana bread, a childhood favorite that I just cannot get enough of!   I go weak in the knees over a good banana bread, especially when peanut butter and possibly chocolate are involved!   I don't know what I love more; the sweet smell that engulfs your home when you bake banana bread, or the memories of spending an afternoon in the kitchen with my mom making delicious banana bread. Both are sweet and make baking banana bread extra special.  

I have taken everything that I love about banana bread and baked it into this delicious baked oatmeal recipe.  Slightly sweet, a touch of spice and a hint of peanut butter make this banana bread baked oatmeal irresistible!  Make this baked oatmeal Sunday night and eat for breakfast all week or enjoy as a sweet afternoon snack!  If your a banana bread lover like me you need to try this recipe... really you need too! 

 Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
8-10 Servings 

2 Bananas Mashed 
3/4 Cup Quick Cook Oats 
1/4 Cup Flour 
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar 
3 Egg Whites 
2 Eggs 
1 Teaspoon Vanilla 
2 Tablespoons Milk of Choice 
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (melted)
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder 
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter 
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon 
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg 

1- In a large bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mix until well combined and set aside. 
2- In a medium bowl combine mashed banana, egg, egg whites, milk, coconut oil and peanut butter.  Mix until well combined. 
3- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir lightly until well combined. 
4- Pour batter into an 8 inch greased round cake pan and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until baked through (toothpick inserted comes out clean).  


Friday, August 22, 2014

{Mexican Sweet Corn Salad}

Sweet corn, one of those summer time staples that I just cannot seem to get enough of!  There is something irresistible about really good sweet corn.  Do I sound like a crazy person rambling about corn?  Maybe, but you know I am right!  

I love cutting fresh sweet corn off the cob and tossing it into salads, or using it as the star ingredient of the salad like I did here!  I combined fresh ingredients and bold flavors together to create this delicious mexican inspired sweet corn "salad."  The spicy green chilies add just the right amount of heat while playing into the sweetness of the corn.  Fresh cilantro adds unique flavor while the simple squirt of fresh lime brightens the whole dish up!  Perfect as a light lunch or dinner salad or the perfect side dish for fajitas or tacos!  

Mexican Sweet Corn Salad
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4-6 

6 Ears of Corn - Shucked and corn cut off the cob 
1/4 Cup Onion Finely Chopped 
1/4 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
1 - 4 oz can green chilies (I used Trader Joe's Fire Roasted Green Chilies) 
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder 
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder 
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin 
1 - 15 oz can chickpeas drained 
1 Large Handful Fresh Chopped Cilantro 

1- In a skillet coated with cooking spray saute onion until translucent.  Add in green pepper and saute until tender (2-3 min). 
2- Add corn into the skillet and saute for 5 minutes.  
3- In a small bowl whisk together chili powder, garlic, cumin and olive oil.  
4- Pour olive oil mixture over corn and saute for another 5 minutes.  Stir in chickpeas. 
5- Top skillet with fresh cilantro and serve. 

**Serve as a salad or as a side dish to grilled meat, fajitas, or tacos.  Delicious topped with a little shredded cheese and avocados!  


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

{Baked Seasoned Kale Chips}

Kale, a green leafy veggie that kinda scared me at first!  Yes, I admit... me the veggie loving queen was scared to try kale at first.  But you know what, kale has truly become one of my favorite leafy greens!  Just check out a few of the delicious kale salads that have been featured on the blog, here and here!  

But kale chips have been my most recent obsession!  Kale chips make the perfect crunch snack or even a delicious side dish to accompany dinner.  These crunchy green chips are effortless to make and are down right tasty!  Just toss chopped kale with a bit of olive oil, seasonings and bake to crispy perfections!  Now go conquer your kale fear (if you have one) and bake these little beauties today! 

Baked Seasoned Kale Chips: 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 2-4

2 Teaspoons Olive Oil 
1 Large Bunch Dinosaur Kale - Roughly Chopped 
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 
1 Teaspoon Garlic 
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin 
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder 

1- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2- In a medium bowl toss chopped kale with olive oil and spices.  Rub kale for 2 minutes to ensure that olive oil and spices are evenly distributed. 
3- Spread kale out on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crunchy and slightly browned.   I usually stir the kale after it has been in the oven for 10 minutes to ensure even browning.