Basic Granola

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I looooove granola, but I feel like the ones we buy in the store are so full of sugar, and are SO expensive. So I decided to attempt my own, and I have to say, I’m pretty happy with the results! It’s not nearly as sweet, and has a great nutty flavor overall. I don’t know about you, but when something is so sweet, it’s easy to overeat it. So here you go, my homemade granola!

Ingredients
4 cups of oats
1 1/2 cup pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
handful of almond slivers / nuts of your choosing
1/2 cup of oil (I used olive but coconut would be REALLY good)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
extra add ins once it’s cooled: shredded coconut (add halfway through baking for toasted coconut), dried fruit, chocolate chips, and just about anything else you can think of.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liners.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, cinnamon, and salt. Add in oil, syrup, and vanilla and mix until everything is coated. Pour mixture out onto your prepared pan.

3. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir. Bake for another 8-10. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before breaking it into pieces. Once it’s cool, add in anything else you’d like, such as dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.

Enjoy!! I love this with a good greek yogurt. Happy summering!

FlapJacked {Review}

Sometimes, I shop a tad bit impulsively online. It’s not always on clothes – it’s often on random fitness things or jewelry or whatever random thing I think is JUST SO CLEVER.

Recently, I did just such a thing on the website FlapJacked. As my husband can attest, I often am trying new muffin and bar recipes, trying to make them healthier and full of protein. They don’t usually taste very good…so when I stumbled on FlapJacked, I decided to try it! I bought the buttermilk pancake mix (which you can actually make a lot of recipes from) as well as a four-pack with their two types of protein muffins – apple cinnamon and chocolate.

THEY ARE SO GOOD. I mean, granted, if you are familiar with the flavor of protein powder, you can taste it a bit, but seriously these pack such a nutritional punch and seriously curb my muffin cravings.

IMG_8560 This weekend, I finally got around to trying the pancake mix. I added cinnamon, and sprinkled each pancake with unsweetened coconut and a few banana slices. Topped it all off with a few walnuts. I was seriously full for such a long time. And again, totally fulfilled my Sunday morning pancake craving. I highly recommend trying it – I certainly will try their other mixes down the road!IMG_8563

Because Brunch.

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Y’all know I love a good brunch. I ESPECIALLY love hosting a good brunch! Recently, I hosted a Sunday brunch for the ladies of my small group at church. Eight of us around my hubs’ grandmother’s table just makes me so happy!

IMG_7792I turned the usual “bar” area of the dining room into a coffee and juice bar, which really worked out well. See the flowers? Those were sent to me at work the week before by my hubby and they are still going strong and are a beautiful addition to the house!!IMG_7793

If you’ve been around my blog a while, you’ve probably also noticed my love of baby’s breath. It kind of works out that it’s one of the cheapest flowers out there, so comes in very handy when sprucing up the place for a little event like this. Sunflowers also happened to be my absolute childhood favorite – my dad and stepmom can attest to my bedroom that included a sunflower comforter, yellow walls and dresser drawers, and sunflowers stenciled EVERYWHERE.

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It was a potluck brunch, but as the host I really wanted to be sure to have some main courses ready to roll. Eight people = quiche. Perfect! I made my usual recipe with a few veggies swaps, and added these mini bell pepper slices on top for a little visual prettiness.

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And also bacon. And sausage.

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Everyone brought AMAZING dishes, and we had such a great time just chatting about jobs, marriages, babies, etc. A very happy Sunday for all of us!

Peanut Butter Banana Blender Muffins

Happy Monday, and happy “I took all my photos on my phone” day…sorry about the lack of prettiness!

Super easy and super clean, these little muffins will probably become your go to when you want a little baked good. It’s as easy as blending a few ingredients, throwing in any extras you want to have, and baking them up!

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Peanut Butter Banana Blender Muffins

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 cup natural peanut butter
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional mix-ins: chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, raisins, dried fruit
optional topping: equal parts oats, unsweetened coconut, and brown sugar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Blend all ingredients together, and then stir in any extras you’d like. Divvy the batter up among your muffin tins. It should fill about 36 of them. If you want to add a topping, just sprinkle a little on each one and gently press down.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through. Enjoy!

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Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

AKA Super Easy Quiche that you can fill with any ingredients you want! YAY!

This weekend, a couple of my girlfriends gathered for a bunch at a friend’s house. Let’s just say we were there for about five hours, and it was glorious, girly time. And my hands-down favorite brunchy food is quiche (well really, anything with eggs, but quiche definitely covers that). There are a million recipes out there, so I kind of just made one up, and I’d say it turned out quite nice.

First off, I pretty much ALWAYS use a store-bought crust. They are delicious, and let’s be real…no one cares. I recommend a frozen deep-dish pie crust…you know, the kind you buy that’s already in the foil tin, and usually you have to buy two which means WOOPS more quiche next weekend please!!

Anyway, here you go. You can always substitute any meat or veggie you want, but I was really happy with the flavor on this one…enjoy!

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Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I use skim, but I suppose higher fat might be even more delicious)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
  • 1 8oz package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • CHEESE. Optional, and the amount/type is totally adjustable.
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any other seasonings you are partial to. Thyme would be good, but I did not have any on hand.
  • Olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute onion in olive oil until it begins to brown and become slightly translucent. Add mushrooms, and cook for a few more minutes until they begin to brown as well. Add in spinach and mix well. Take off heat and let it cool off a bit.

2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, and seasonings: Beat well. Also add in about 2-4 oz of cheese. I had a bit of feta left in my fridge, so I threw that in with a little shredded cheddar.

3. Stir about 1/2 of your onion, mushroom, and spinach mixture into your eggs. Pour this into your pie crust, and then slowly add as much of the remaining vegetable mixture as you can. You may have a little left over, but I think it’s more important to get all the eggs in there.

4. Bake for about 40 minutes before checking it. It will likely still jiggle a little in the middle. Add a sprinkle of cheese across the top, and bake another 10 minutes, or until the middle no longer jiggles. I also recommend placing your quiche onto a sheet tray, since you’ll likely get a little overflow, and you don’t want to bother cleaning your oven later!

5. Let rest at least 20 minutes. You can serve at room temperature, or even cold. I’m a fan of warm/room temperature…To each his own!

Enjoy BRUNCH!! Because mimosas.

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My Favorite Every Day Smoothie

I’ve posted about a few of my favorite protein shakes, but I really do have one go-to that’s my favorite. My base is ALWAYS frozen banana (either a half or whole one), almond milk, and protein powder. Beyond that, the options are endless. But here is my FAVORITE daily one…

And it happens to be green-ish! Just one day after St. Patrick’s. SORRY FOR THE BAD PHOTO. I was trying to get out the door!

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Ingredients:

1/2 banana

1/4 cup blueberries

1 cup spinach

2 slices of pineapple

1 serving protein powder

1 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)

Directions:

1. Prep first four items in advance by slicing, bagging, and freezing. I make several baggies at once.

2. Combine frozen ingredients with your favorite vanilla or chocolate protein powder plus almond milk.

Buffalo Chicken Egg Cups

I could eat hard boiled eggs for breakfast everyday and never get sick of them. Seriously. But I know it never hurts to switch things up a little bit. I have made a lot of egg cups in the past – usually with some combination of veggies and meat. They make a perfect microwaveable, quick weekday breakfast. Plus my hubby really likes them, which is a win. This week, I’ll be eating these with a little side of diced, roasted sweet potatoes and a piece of fruit. Protein, fat, and carbs for breakfast, people! It’s what will get you through to lunch!

Buffalo Chicken Egg Cups

Buffalo Chicken Egg Cups

 

Buffalo Chicken Egg Cups

Ingredients

8 eggs
1/4 cup buffalo sauce
salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes (really any combo of spices you like in your eggs)
one large chicken breast, cooked and shredded (about 5-6 oz)
3 green onions

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12 muffin tins with nonstick spray

2. Whisk together eggs, sauce, and seasonings in a large bowl. Pour evenly into the 12 muffin tins.

3. Divvy up the chicken and onions among the muffin tins.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they appear set. Allow to cool, remove from muffin tins, and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to reheat and eat.

Enjoy! And eat your breakfast!!