Melon Popsicles

I made these yummy popsicles for our twins last summer when San Diego decided to have a heat wave which lasted most of the summer.  Teething babies and heat does not make for a good combo.  Wanting something healthy that would help ease their gums while entertaining them, the light bulb went off and these yummy (not to mention healthy) popsicles were born.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Melon, (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Water

DIRECTIONS:

Cube the melon, add it to your Nutri bullet, baby bullet, blender whatever you use.  Add the water and blend away until smooth.

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Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze.  I found these molds on Amazon for less than $15.

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Keep in mind you can make these popsicles with any fruit and even add veggies.

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Buen Provecho!

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Watermelon & Mint

Who would have thought that such a simple addition to fruit could completely change the taste and most likely how you’ll ever eat it!

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INGREDIENTS: 

  • Watermelon, cubed
  • Fresh mint, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Place cubed watermelon in a bowl and sprinkle the mint on top. Sit back and enjoy, yep…it’s that simple and I promise you’ll never look back!

Measurements were left out intentionally because you can make a small bowl or a giant one for a party!

New Year Goals

When we think about the “New Year” we usually connect it to change; what change we wish to see in ourselves whether they are physical, financial, social etc… Whatever your “change” may be, the biggest one that is promoted is health and fitness.  We see the stores stocked with workout gear and equipment and gym’s offering great enrollment offers.  We begin to tweak our recipes and adjust our eating habits in order to fulfill our goals and achieve what we’ve set-out to accomplish. 

With that in mind, I’m on a quest to find the yummiest, healthiest smoothies both pre and post workout; especially any which the runners out there drink.  I’ve signed up for my first ½ marathon and must have the proper nutrition in order to train and maintain proper energy levels.  Send in all of your smoothie recommendations and suggestions!   

Keep fueling on veggies and lean proteins, set weekly goals and get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.  Keep a journal and track your progress; and most importantly set realistic goals!  We’ll all reach our goals before we know it! 

Bueno Provecho!

Vanilla Berry Cake

Vanilla Berry Cake.

Vanilla Berry Cake

This year for Easter I volunteered to make desserts for our potluck brunch.  I do have quite the sweet tooth (although I contain myself), but from time to time I can’t resist a vanilla pastry, especially vanilla cake with a berry filling  (and brownies, who can resist a brownie)!    This recipe is all about the French Vanilla Cake with Triple Berry Filling.  I must admit, I took a shortcut and used boxed cake mix (shame on me), I did add a few enhancements to give it the homemade touch.  The result, a moist and delicious dessert. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box French Vanilla cake mix (ingredients as listed; eggs, oil, water)
  • 1 Jar triple berry preserves/jam
  • 4oz  Applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • Strawberries (3 whole, about 10 sliced)
  • Butter cream icing

 Directions:

Make the cake as instructed on the box, when adding the water only add 1 cup and add the applesauce in place of the remaining water.  This will add the moistness of the cake.  Bake the cake as instructed on the box.  I used a round 9″ baking pan but feel free to use square, rectangle or cupcakes. 

Once the cake is cooled, using a cake leveler cut the cake into two layers.   Slide the top layer onto a plate or cookie sheet and put to the side.  Using a piping bag and plain tube cake decorating tip (larger one) create a border on the bottom layer (with the butter cream icing).  Once your frosting border is set, spread the preserve/jam onto the bottom layer.  The frosting helps contain the preserves/jam to avoid it from slipping out and mixing when you’re decorating.  Now place the top layer nicely centered on top of the preserves/jam.  You’re now ready to frost your cake, this step I will leave up to you and your comfort/ease with frosting/decorating desserts.  

Once you’ve mastered the frosting process you’re ready to top your cake with the strawberries.  Place the strawberries on the cake when you’re ready to serve, in order to avoid having water on your frosting from the strawberries.  Be creative in your decoration, top your cake with sliced strawberries, place them around the cake, etc…possibilities are endless.  You can also add all the berries found in the preserves/jam.

Strawberry_Cake3   Strawberry_Cake2

My Tips:  Substitute half of the water with half fruit juice in the cake mix; it’ll add another level of flavor and moisture.  This would be a great cake for a 4th of July party, you can use the 9×13 baking pan and place blueberries on the corner as your star section and line the rest with raspberries or chopped strawberries. 

 Mini cupcake verion (also filled with berry preserves/jam). 

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Wilton’s Butter Cream Icing

Ingredients:

Makes:  About 3 cups of icing.

Instructions:

Step 1:  In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

Step 2:  For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

Step 3:  For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.

Step 4:  For Pure White Icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.

http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Buttercream-Icing

My Tips:  Sifting the the powdered sugar is a must, if you skip this step you may end up with clumpy and heavy frosting.  I use regular vanilla extract which gives the frosting a soft cream color, which I personally prefer.  

Nutella and Greek Yogurt Dip

Boy oh boy…the uses for Greek yogurt are never ending!  Which is a great thing; lower calories, zero fat; you can’t go wrong.  Little by little I’m finding more and more uses for Greek yogurt and it’s totally worth it.  I looked through a couple recipes on how to make the dip and ended up using my own measurements.  This is possibly the simplest, tastiest chocolate dip you’ll every make (if there’s a simple one someone tell me!). 

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt

 DIRECTIONS:

Add the Nutella and yogurt and whisk (use an electric it’s faster & easier) until well combined and creamy.  That’s it!  Serve with beautiful in-season strawberries and enjoy!  Feel free to dip other fruits as well, you can’t go wrong 🙂  

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Side Talk: You can add more or less Nutella and yogurt depending on your preference of taste.    

Airport Snacks

Getting ready for a trip and wondering what snacks you could pack which are healthy and easy to transport?  Fill a container with fruit (apples, orange wedges, melons, jicama, etc…) squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice this will keep the apples from turning brown while adding another layer of flavor.  You can also pack veggies such as carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers.  Keep in mind the length of your flight as some fruits/veggies do not hold up as well.  If you’d rather not take chopped fruits/veggies, no worries.  Fill a container with banana, granola bar,  string cheese, peanut butter sandwich, carrots (place in a plastic bag) nuts, raisins, yogurt chips, etc.  Place the loose snacks into a sandwich bag and then into your container.   These snacks will keep you from spending a fortune in the airport and will come in handy if your layover isn’t very long!

Your snacks are packed, get out there and explore the world!  Safe & Happy Travels!

Ice Cubes!

Want to impress your guests while jazzing up their drinks?  Freeze fruits for a cute way to add a kick to your drinks!  Try cucumbers, strawberries, berries, orange slices, lemon/lime slices, edible flowers, pomegranates, kiwi, etc…the list is endless. Post your pics!

Chorizo and Potato Omelet

I am a HUGE breakfast person and anyone who knows me realizes breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! This morning I was in the mood for something delicious, filling…yet healthy. This morning in particular I was cooking for one, so adjust recipe as needed.

I remembered I had purchased “soy” chorizo (it was recommended by a friend). I probably would have never given or thought to give soy chorizo a try. The friend who recommended the chorizo is from Mexico (born and raised) and cooks pretty traditional (as far as I know) Mexican dishes. I figured if she’s recommending this type of chorizo it must be good or comparable to regular chorizo. I must say I’m not a huge fan of regular chorizo because I do find it to be too fatty. When I do cook with chorizo I use turkey chorizo. Enough rambling…onto breakfast!

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

Heat about 1 tbsp grapeseed oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the potatoes and a dash of salt & pepper. Let the potatoes cook on one side till crispy, then add the chorizo. Break up the chorizo into the potatoes (you can add chopped onions and garlic). Once the mixture is cooked (about 7 minutes) take out of the pan and place to the side.

Soy Chorizo and Potato Omelet (3)

In a separate bowl, beat 1 whole egg (I use organic eggs) and 1 egg white and add the tbsp. of milk. Do not add salt because the chorizo has enough salt and you already salted the potatoes. In the same pan you cooked the chorizo and potatoes pour the egg mixture. By cooking the eggs in the same pan they’ll pick up the flavor and the little bit of oil left behind.

Soy Chorizo and Potato Omelet (5)

Once cooked, flip the eggs over and on one half of the egg, add the chorizo, potato mixture and the cheese. Fold the other half over to cover the potato, chorizo & cheese. You should have a half circle. Once cooked plate and top with jalapeños, salsa, sour cream, etc…

Soy Chorizo and Potato Omelet (6)   Soy Chorizo and Potato Omelet (7)

Be sure to add a bit of fruit to your plate for a healthier start to your day! Enjoy your delicious breakfast with a yummy cup of coffe, my choice…Cafe Duran!  Buen Provecho!