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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

{Double Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies}

Hi, Friends! 

My it has been a while since I have posted... like almost a month!  Can you believe that Christmas is next week?  I am still trying to wrap my head around that... I don't even know where the time has gone!  

I feel like Christmas has snuck up on me and I am not prepared at all!  I haven't put up a Christmas tree haven't baked any Christmas cookies and Derek and I just started and finished all of our Christmas shopping last Saturday... Yea, I am a bit behind with the whole Christmas thing this year! 

Ok now lets segue into talking about what these cookies have to do with my lack of preparedness for the Christmas season!  Well, I decided last night that I needed to do a little holiday baking (you know because I haven't done any), which turned into baking about 2 1/2 batches of cookies.  These Double Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies (that's a mouthful to say) are the outcome of that said impromptu backing extravaganza!  I think the itch to bake came on after seeing the 6 million mouth watering holiday treats that kept flooding my Instagram news feed yesterday.  Or maybe the itch to bake was because I wanted to get into the holiday mind set!  Who knows!  I do know however that these double chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies are delicious, and I think you should make them!

Double Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Makes 21 Cookies 

1 1/2 Cup Oatmeal 
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder 
1 Cup Peanut Butter 
1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1 Egg Beaten
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips 
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

1- In a large bowl combine oats and baking powder.  Stir to combine. 
2- In a small bowl mix together egg, maple syrup, vanilla and peanut butter until smooth and well combined. 
3- Pour peanut butter mixture into the oat mixture and stir until cookie dough has formed. 
4- Stir Chocolate Chips and dried cranberries into cookie dough. 
5- Roll cookie dough into about 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.  Slightly smash each of the balls.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown! Allow cookies to cook on pan before removing.

Check out these other delicious cookie recipes from around the web: 

Enjoy and Happy Holidays! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

{Baked Veggie Egg Cups}

Hi, Friends... I am back! 
Did everyone have a relaxing Thanksgiving?  Anyone shop on Black Friday?

My family and I had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  My sister and I ran our first Turkey Trot (it was freezing, like 0 degrees freezing), and we feasted on some fabulous food!  But my Thanksgiving didn't end on Thursday... nope I feasted again on Saturday with Derek's family, it was lovely!   This time of year is truly my favorite!  I love getting together with family, Holiday Music, Traditions the whole nine yards! 

 I realized it had been a long time since I  had shared a recipe with all of you!  I felt this recipe was perfect to share with you the week after Thanksgiving!  Why?  Well, because these Egg Cups are easy to make (because who wants to cook more after cooking all week for Thanksgiving), packed full of veggies,  and hands down delicious!  These Egg Cups make a great dinner, grab and go breakfast or can even be packed for lunch!  Customize them with any veggies you have on hand! 

Baked Veggie Egg Cups
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4 

6 Large Egg Whites 
4 Large Eggs 
1/2 a Medium Onion Chopped
1 Cup Broccoli Florets 
1/2 Cup Green Pepper Chopped 
1/2 Cup Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese 
1 Teaspoon Course Ground Pepper 
1/4 Teaspoon Salt 
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt 

1- In a skillet coated with cooking spray saute onions until tender.  Add green pepper and broccoli florets and cook until tender - 7-10 minutes.  
2- In a large bowl whisk together egg whites, eggs, Greek Yogurt and Salt and Pepper. 
3- Stir veggies and cheddar cheese into egg mixture. 
4- Grease muffin tin with cooking spray and divide egg mixture between 12 muffin cups.  
5- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until egg has set. 
6- Serve immediately with your favorite egg toppings - Avocado, Salsa Etc. 

Check out these other delicious egg bake recipes from around the web: 
Enjoy !

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

{Mexican Lasagna}

Oh. My. Goodness!

I think it is time to move to the South!  I cannot deal with how cold it has gotten here in Minnesota!  Don’t get me wrong the snow is beautiful, and I love cozy sweaters and scarves… but my body just cannot handle the bitter cold!   Ok… I am done whining about the cold… for now!

Before we start talking about this dish I have to give my friend Shannon at work a shout out as this recipe was inspired by her!  She had brought in Mexican Lasagna for lunch a few weeks ago and ever since that lunch I knew I had to try my hand at Mexican Lasagna!    Anyways, this delicious Mexican Lasagna is sure to warm you up! This lasagna is spicy (sub in mild salsa  and leave out the jalapeno if you don't like heat) and is packed full of protein from the ground turkey and beans.  Whole wheat tortillas are subbed in for lasagna noodles and the entire dish is smothered in salsa!  This dish is comforting and just down right delicious!   Make it tonight... You won't be sorry you did! 

Mexican Lasagna 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 8 

6 Whole Wheat Tortillas
2 Cups Salsa of Choice 
1 1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt 
1 Cup Reduced Fat Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Cup Black Beans 
1 Lb Lean Ground Turkey 
2 Teaspoons Dried Cilantro 
2 Teaspoons Cumin 
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 Large Onion Chopped 
3/4 Cup Red Pepper Chopped 
1 Small Jalapeno Pepper - Chopped (Optional)

1- In a large skillet coated with cooking spray saute onions until translucent.  Add in jalapeno and red pepper, cook till tender.  
2- Add ground turkey to the skillet along with chili powder, cumin and cilantro.  Cook until turkey is no longer pink.  Set turkey aside ones cooked through. 
3- Spread 1/2 Cup Salsa in the bottom of 9x13 pan.  Place 2 whole wheat tortillas over salsa. 
4- Spread spread 1/3 of the Greek yogurt over the whole wheat tortillas top with 1/4 cup salsa followed by 1/3 of the turkey mixture and and 1/4 cup cheese. 
5- Repeat layering two more times. Top with Remaining 1/2 Cup Cheese. 
6- Bake in a 350 Degree Oven for 30 minutes! 


Check out these other delicious spins on the classic lasagna! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

{Crock Pot Beer Can Chicken}

You guys… guess what I did?  I roasted an entire chicken!  And you know what?  It was absolutely delicious and way easier than I thought it would ever be! 

I did a little (ok… a lot) of research before actually roasting the chicken because I wanted to make sure I was going about cooking the bird in the right way!  A few cooking methods roasted the chicken in the oven, others used a slow cookers, some even had veggies in it.  I opted for the easy way out… the slow cooker!  I figured if I used the slow cooker to “roast” the chicken there would or should be a low risk of failure!

I rubbed the bird down with a little olive oil, seasoned it up with my favorite herbs and then plopped it in the slow cooker with some beer.  Yes, I said beer (keeps the chicken nice and tender)!  End results… flavorful tender chicken that isn’t dried out!  Literally the chicken was so tender it fell off the bone… I actually struggled getting the entire bird out of the slow cooker in one piece!  I went ahead and removed the meat from the bone before serving and served up the meat with some simple steamed veggies!  Easy, quick, healthy and oh so good!

Crock Pot Beer Can Chicken
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 6 
1 Whole Roasting Chicken (2-3 Pounds)
1 Can Favorite Beer (I just used a light beer, but I bet a seasonal pumpkin beer would be delicious)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
¼ Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Rosemary
2 Teaspoons Basil,
2 Teaspoons Garlic
2 Teaspoons Chili Powder

1- Remove chicken from package.  Rinse off and pat dry.  Remove any excess fat that you do not want on the chicken.
2- Rub chicken with olive oil.  Combine seasonings in a small bowl and rub over chicken.  Make sure you get every inch of the bird.  Run out of seasoning?  Just add another teaspoon of rosemary, basil and garlic.
 Place chicken in a slow cooker that has been coated with cooking spray.  Carefully pour can of beer around chicken.  Be careful not to rinse the seasoning away.
3- Cook bird on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4.

** To serve – remove meat from bones if desired and serve with simple steamed veggies or a simple salad. 

Worried you won’t be able to eat up a whole chicken?  Check out these delicious chicken recipes to use up all the meat!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

{Crock Pot Lentil Soup}

Before jumping into this post I want to say Happy Veterans Day to all those who have served or who are currently serving in the military!   Thank you for all you have done!  

 While it was beautiful to wake up to a fresh dusting of snow I can safely say that I was not prepared physically or mentally for it!  

I will admit I am not adjusting well to the days growing shorter and colder.  As I begin to face the reality that Winter is finally coming I find myself reaching for a second cup of hot coffee, a warm wooly sweater and hot soup for comfort!  This soup was exactly what I needed at the end of a long cold day!  Throw all the ingredients into the crock pot the night before, turn the crock pot on in the morning and voila dinner is served!  Perfect ending to a blustery cold day! 

Crock Pot Lentil Soup
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 6-8 

1 - 15 Ounce Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes - Undrained 
6 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth 
1 Cup Onion - Roughly Chopped 
1 1/2 Cups Mushrooms Chopped 
3 Chicken Sausage Links - Chopped 
2/3 Cup Green Lentils 
2 Teaspoons Dried Basil 
2 Teaspoons All Purpose Seasoning (Like Mrs. Dash or Trader Joe's)

1- Place all ingredients into crock pot.  Stir until combined. 
2- Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on High for 3-4. 

I served this soup with a huge scoop of brown rice.  Crusty bread and crackers would be delicious too! 


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

{Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps}

I have a love for spicy food... there is no denying that!  In fact I am known for by my friends for my extra spicy salsa that leaves everyone searching for water... or milk to cool their mouth down!  There have also been times where Miranda and Derek have told me to lay of the spice when I have been cooking!  Usually I don't listen! 

My dad thinks I get my love for spice from my mom (apparently she could eat salsa by the jar when she was pregnant with me) but I think its a mix of both of them (my dad loves spicy food too)!  These buffalo chicken lettuce wraps pack the heat and cater to my love for spicy food!  

The spicy buffalo sauce gets a cool kick from the creamy blue cheese yogurt dressing and the lettuce wrap gives the whole dish a nice crunch!  These lettuce wraps are perfect for a quick weeknight meal or make a great game day snack!  Whip them up at your own risk... they are spicy! 

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4-6 

2-3 Chicken Breast 
1/2  a Large Onion - Chopped 
1/2 Cup Red Pepper - Chopped 
1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Favorite Buffalo Wing Sauce 
1 Tablespoon Bolt House Blue Cheese Yogurt Dressing 
6-8 Iceberg lettuce leaves for serving 
**Additional Buffalo Sauce and Blue Cheese Yogurt Dressing for dipping and drizzling

1- Toss cubed chicken with 2 tablespoons buffalo sauce and set aside for 30 minutes to marinade. 
2- While chicken is marinading sauté the peppers and onions in a large skillet coated with cooking spray.  
3- Once chicken has set for 30 minute add into hot skillet with the peppers and onions.  Sautee until chicken is cooked through. 
4 - Combine blue cheese yogurt dressing and remaining buffalo sauce in a small bowl.  Pour over chicken in the skillet and stir until chicken is evenly coated.  Cook for 2 minutes and then serve. 

**Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves, additional buffalo sauce and blue cheese yogurt dressing for dipping and drizzling! 


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

{Banana Pumpkin Muffins}

Oh. My. Goodness!

Halloween is this Friday and November is right around the corner.  Seriously where has the time gone?  I feel like Christmas will be here before we know it!  Now,  don’t get me wrong I love that time is flying (because I want my wedding to be here) but at the same time I don’t want to just wish time away!  I guess I cannot have it both ways can I?

I whipped these Banana Pumpkin Muffins up the other night to get me in the Fall spirit!  Hard to remember we are nearing the end of October when we are experiencing abnormally warm weather for Minnesota (60-70 degrees)!  Seriously, it is so crazy!  Ok, anyways, I these muffins are a spin on classic banana bread (good old comfort food) with a seasonal twist!  They are just delicious!  

I highly recommend that you make these muffins as soon as possible.  Then grab a cup of tea, a cozy blanket and your favorite Halloween movie (Hocus Pocus, anyone?) and enjoy!  

Banana Pumpkin Muffins 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Makes 12 Muffins 

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar 
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour 
1 1/2 Cup Oats (Quick Cooking) 
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder and Baking Soda 
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon and Pumpkin Pie Spice 

Wet Ingredients:
1 Egg 
2 Ripe Bananas Mashed
1/2 Cup Almond Milk or Milk of Choice 
1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin 
1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla 

1- Preheat oven to 350 and grease muffin pan. 
2- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, excluding the pecans.  Mix until well combined and set aside. 
3- In a separate smaller bowl combine all wet ingredients.  Mix until ingredients are well combined.
4- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until smooth and well combined.  Stir in pecans.  
5- Grab greased muffin pan and fill 12 muffin cups.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 min or until golden brown.  Allow muffins to cook in muffin pan until cool.