Gluten Free Ginger Snap Crusted Chocolate Mousse Tarts

Ginger Snap Crusted Chocolate Mousse TartsGluten free is looking good. Real good. If you’re looking for an easy peasy dessert you’ve found it. Chocolate mousse is quick and easy and honestly you can eat it by itself if you don’t want to take the extra step and make the crust. I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t. I kinda look forward to keeping the bowl, beaters and spatula to myself. What can I say, you know I have a wicked sweet tooth. I could tell you it’s quality control. Yeah, on second thought let’s go with that.

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Raspberry Nutella Frangipane with Pistachios

Raspberry Nutella Tart
I believe in moderation. So since I’ve been a VERY good girl this week and put in the time with my workouts I’m rewarding myself with a tart. A raspberry Nutella frangipane topped with powdered sugar and pistachios (insert smile and sigh). I’m not going to eat the entire thing (although I could, I really could). If I did that, that would require me to be on the treadmill even more hours of the day than I already am and I’m so not willing to do that, which means one (okay maybe two) slices for me. You know for being so good and all.

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Roasted Curried Cauliflower Soup

Roasted Curried Cauliflower Soup
Have I mentioned lately that one of my new favorite vegetables is cauliflower? ‘Tis true. I might have a problem considering I buy a head of it every time I’m at the market. Every. Single. Time. I kid you not. I guess there are worse things to be enamored with. 9/10 I roast it up with just a simple drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt, pepper and chili pepper flakes. Because spice is nice.  I’ve also heard that spicy foods help to speed up your metabolism. I can use all the help I can get so woot. Winner winner roasted curried cauliflower soup dinner. Okay so maybe that doesn’t exactly rhyme but you know what I mean.

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Spicy Meatball Sliders with Quick Pickled Cabbage

Spicy Meatball Sliders with Quick Pickled Cabbage

I know you’re all familiar with meatball sliders. There’s a good reason for their popularity. They’re GOOD. Really good. I can’t even say the name without wanting one, and now (you guessed it) I want one! I have little to no willpower when it comes to foods that I love. It’s the reason I exercise. The only reason. Because I like to eat. I’m not one of those people who LOVES to exercise. I wish I was but nope I dread it but I suck it up and do it.  I may or may not even think about what I’m going to eat for lunch while I’m doing said exercise. Sad but true.

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Starting off the New Year With #FitTeaDetox

Fit Tea

It’s a New Year. That’s means resolutions right? Did you make any resolutions? I have to tell you I’m not a resolutions girl. I do however like to set GOALS for myself. One of my goals is to MOVE more. To be ACTIVE and often. Which should ultimately give me more energy and help my clothes to loosen up. I’m not alone in my goal if the parking lots at the gym and the sheer amount of workout clothes that are on SPECIAL at every retail store I enter are any indication.

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Chicken with Charred Lemon and Gnocchi

Chicken with Charred Lemon and Gnocchi
I’m not sure about y’all but we eat a lot of chicken. That means a girl has to have a plethora of chicken recipes in her culinary arsenal to keep the family’s taste buds from turning on her.  Her meaning me. Hence, I’m always looking for new inspiration in the chicken department and am willing to try new recipes. Some are definitely better than others if you know what I mean. I get inspiration from ingredients at the market, from flipping through the magazines with all the pretty pictures that make me want to make every recipes in the pages, from restaurants. You name it. Inspiration can come from just about anywhere.

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Mushroom Marsala Chicken Pot Pie

Mushroom Marsala Chicken Pot Pie

P0t pie. It’s a funny name isn’t it. I mean I suppose the initial portion of the recipe is made in a POT. It is a savory PIE. So if we’re going with logic I suppose it makes sense BUT the name still throws me. What can I say. I don’t let the name stop me from eating it though. Oh no. I love me some pot pie. Especially when it’s flipping freezing outside and I need all the help I can to warm up. I love making chicken pot pie after we’ve ROASTED CHICKEN. I typically will roast two at at a time. Why not, you’ve already got the oven on yeah? Then I get the added benefit of a take two meal. You know a meal made using leftovers. It’s a beautiful thing.

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Easy Mirror Make Over

Metallic Painted Bedroom Mirror
I’m not what would you call a cheap skate. At least I don’t think I am. Frugal. That’s a much better word. I like a good deal what can I say. I LOVE saving money as much as the next person. If I can make something (or more accurately if Pinterest makes me think I can make something) save a buck and not pull my hair out in the process I’m all in. I’ve wanted to add a piece of mirrored wall art to our bedroom for a while now. I’ve been smitten with one that I saw at a Gallerie that starts with a Z forever now. Problem? It’s $255. I just couldn’t swipe my card. Couldn’t. I think I found something just as awesome and I spent 1/4 of that making minor modifications myself. Yay me.  I’m always amazed at how quickly you can transform just about anything with a simple can of SPRAY PAINT. I figure if I don’t like something, I’ll just paint it again. No problemo. In other news I might be addicted to metallic spray paint ever since we finished our DIY GLITTER RIMMED MASON JARS . I could be addicted to worse things so I’m thinking it’s no so bad after all.

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Sweet and Spicy Party Meatballs

Sweet and Spicy Party Meatballs
Meatballs. You gotta love them. If not we can’t be friends. Okay well I might make an exception if you’re extraordinarily awesome but I’m just going to be honest and say it’s just weird if you don’t. For the sake of argument, let’s just say you do, even if you don’t m’kay? My favorite MEATBALLS on the planet are made using Johnsonville sausage. I love the flavor that Italian sausage brings to the meatballs. I typically make them with the sweet Italian blend but when I want to shake things up I use the mild or even SPICY. Because sometimes we like a little heat. Especially when it’s cold as all get out.

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Sauteed Mushroom and Brie Bites

Sauteed Mushroom and Brie Puff Pastry Bites

Google tells me that appetizer recipes are all the rage this week. I’m no psychic but I’m guessing it has something to do with New Year’s Eve PARTIES ; ) Personally I’m always a fan of appetizers. I like to have a little something to nosh on before the main event. It keeps my stomach from embarrassing itself from loud and obnoxious noises that have people turning to see what in the world could be making that noise (yep that would be me). You see as much as I always have the best intentions and tell myself hours before to eat a little something before said party or event I NEVER ever seem to actually do it. Getting side tracked by reading my kindle and then realizing I have OH thirty minutes to pull myself together might have something with it. But anyhoo. Appetizers, they’re a good thing.

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Nutella Eggnog

Nutella Eggnog

Tis the season to get our nog on. Eggnog, Egg-nog or Egg Nog go with your preferred spelling. I find that people are firmly in the camp of love it or hate it. Not too many who fall in the meh, I can take it or leave it category. I like mine on the boozy side but that’s no surprise. If you want to add a little something something different to this recipe (say you prefer bourbon over dark rum) I wouldn’t hate you. In fact I’d probably ask you to bring me one over you know for comparison purposes. Our version of eggnog is a twist on the classic. Yes you can totally flavor your nog. Now you know. At first I considered chocolate BUT why go with chocolate when you can use Nutella. Besides it’s been much too long since we’ve shared a recipe using my beloved so this is my gift to my fellow Nutellaholics.

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Mushroom and Leek Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust

Mushroom and Leek Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust
I wish I could properly explain to you how ridiculously good this quiche is. I have made it no less than a dozen times in the past two months and the entire family is coo coo for Coco Puffs over it. I know you might be thinking spaghetti squash crust, say what? Say YES. Just say yes. If you’re looking for a lightened up ish (I’m always hesitant to say words like lighter, lightened or skinny because my definition might be different from my neighbors but anywho in the bell’alimento dictionary this qualifies under that umbrella) quiche without the pastry/pie crust you’ve found it. Besides being vegetarian it’s also gluten free. We’re ticking all kinds of boxes with this beauty.

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Carnival Sunshine: Western Caribbean

Caribbean
I have to tell you cruising is one of our favorite family vacations! This is our second year taking a cruise as a family and it won’t be our last. Why do we all love it? It might be easier to tell you what we don’t like (which is simply that it took a long time to drive to Florida.) There are five people in our family and our kids range from 8 – 17 (how did that happen gah) read they have VERY different ideas of fun. On a Carnival cruise there is literally something for EVERYONE in our family to do to keep us entertained as well as more choices to eat and drink than you can shake a stick at available at all times of the day or night. 24/7 people. I haven’t even talked about the views and the destinations – which are amazing.

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Baked Ziti with Cauliflower

Baked Ziti with Cauliflower
I think cauliflower falls under that category of (somewhat) shunned vegetables in the produce section. You know the ones like eggplant, brussels sprouts, parsnips. They just sit there all sad looking while they get passed by for the broccoli or carrots. Tsk Tsk. It’s really a shame. I think if everyone who thought they didn’t like cauliflower had a taste of this they’d change their tune and become a new found cauliflower advocate cheerleader like me. Maybe next time I’m in the market (which is pretty much Every. Single. Day.) I’ll stand in the produce section telling people they should give it a go. Pass out recipe cards. Toss a head of cauliflower into their baskets while they weren’t looking. Everybody is always in a rush you think they’d even notice? That wouldn’t get me kicked out of the store would it?

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Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

My Mom makes some of the best homemade salsa I’ve ever tasted. I think a lot of that has to do with just about every ingredient that goes into her recipe comes from her garden. She of course changes this recipe every single time she makes it so It’s never the same. I think she does this so she doesn’t have to give me the recipe. Luckily she does share the salsa. When I’m home for visits I swap out my empty mason jars for full jars of homegrown tomatoes and salsa. Lots and lots of salsa.

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Boozy Raisin Apple Turnovers

Boozy Raisin and Apple Turnovers
I absolutely adore turnovers. Apple turnovers to be specific. The way that the puff pastry dough crunches and goes everywhere (I’ve learned to lean over my plate to save myself from getting out the broom afterwards or the sink – what you don’t eat over the sink?) giving way to the sweet, thick apple pie like filling. Yep swoon. Now that I think about it I don’t make them much during the year, usually just around the holidays. I’m not sure exactly why I don’t make them more often being that I love them so much. What am I thinking? I should really rectify that. Maybe I’ll set a turnover weekend date once a month.

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DIY Glitter Rimmed Mason Jars

DIY Glitter Rimmed Mason Jars

We’re getting our GLITTER on today! Literally, it’s in all the places. BUT these jars are so gorgeous I’m going to ignore the fact that I now look like a disco ball. They are absolutely perfect for not only the holidays (these will so be gracing my New Year’s Eve Table) but I can even see these for birthdays, weddings, engagement parties okay pretty much for anything and everything that you want to add a little sparkle to. You do want to sparkle don’t you?

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Rosemary and Caramelized Onion Quick Bread

Caramelized Onion and Rosemary Quick Bread
I have a thing for bread. I’m that girl that will eat the whole basket of bread at the restaurant and then end up being too full to finish off my entree. Every. Single. Time. Will I ever learn? Probably not. Thank goodness for to go boxes. I also love to bake bread. That feeling of having dough between your hands. Yeah, I dig that. It’s therapeutic. I don’t do it often enough. I wish I could say I had the time or patience. That whole sitting around waiting for it to rise to the occasion. The occasion that it’s time to get the show on the road and get into the oven so it can get into my belly. That occasion. It just doesn’t come fast enough for me.

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Parmesan Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Parmesan Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes are a thing of beauty to me.  They’re also something I’m pretty particular about. I like them the way I like them, what can I say. I’m not a fan of texture in my mashed potatoes. I like them creamy and SMOOTH. I get them that way by using my KitchenAid stand mixer. Ruby (my mixer – what, don’t you name your small appliances?) has a permanent spot on my counter top and is used almost daily for this that and the other. Today she’s mashing potatoes. A few spins around using the paddle attachment and you’ll have yourself the smoothest mashed potatoes on the cul-de-sac. I can’t tell you how many of those potato mashing gadgets I’ve broken in my lifetime before I discovered the mixer trick. Did I mention that it also keeps those mashed potatoes piping hot thanks to the stainless steel bowl ; ) Truth. 

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Spicy Dark Chocolate Espresso Roasted Almonds

Spicy Espresso Roasted Almonds
The holidays are here which means we’re all seriously BUSY running around like chickens with our heads cut off.  Between the shopping, the planning, the cleaning the COOKING things are just NUTS. Literally! These spicy dark chocolate espresso roasted nuts are perfect for snacking and YES even holiday gift giving! I don’t know about you but I love edible gifts. I’d much rather have some tasty treat vs. an ugly Christmas sweater that’s never going to see the light of day (well unless there’s an ugly Christmas sweater party to go to). Amen? These chocolatey caffeinated bursts of bliss come together quickly. A few tosses of ingredients and then you’ll just pop them into a low oven for a bit. Before you know it you’ll be getting your snack on.

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