Quick + easy meal prep!

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate packing lunches for the week. I procrastinate doing it the night before and then find myself rushing through packing a lunch the following morning. Nine times out of ten, I barely remember what even made it into my lunch bag by the time my break rolls around, and then I am highly disappointed with my choices!

Behold – an easy, tasty and filling lunch prep!

It’s no secret that 1) I hate cooking and 2) I can’t really cook, so the thought of meal prepping was always somewhat of a turn-off to me, as I didn’t want to be stuck in front of a stove or an oven stressing out over whether or not I would succeed at making a delicious lunch. Most recently, however, I have been looking into easy prep, no-cook meal preps that anyone in the world could handle making, myself included.

Not only do I like the way this lunch tastes, but I love the bright colors included in each meal – a huge turn from a drab, boring peanut butter sandwich and whatnot.

So, if you’re looking for a change and looking to eliminate rushing through making a lunch at 5:30am before work, stick around a little longer and check out the “recipe” below. I promise you’ll be a fan!

Turkey Spinach Pinwheels Meal Prep

Ingredients 

  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 1 (8-inch) spinach tortilla
  • 6 baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup grapes
  • 5 cucumber slices

Directions:

  • Place cheese, turkey, and spinach in center of tortilla. Bring bottom edge of the tortilla tightly over the spinach, folding in the sides. Continue rolling until the top of the tortilla is reached. Cut in sixths.
  • Place wraps, carrots, grapes, and cucumber into meal prep containers.
  • Enjoy!

Since I am a beginner, I’d love to hear from you! Do you meal prep? If so, what are some meals you swear by! xoxo.

Sweet tooth Tuesday?!

As some of you may remember, I wrote up a blog post about some treats I found on Pinterest that I was debating making for Thanksgiving. Well, this newest blog post is to reveal which recipe I picked, lay it out for you, and let you hear about the results!

With an over-abundance of pies and cookies, I decided on making the Fall Oreo Acorn Balls. Easy enough for someone like me who has slim-to-no talent in the kitchen, cute and festive enough for the holiday, and tasty enough for anyone of any age to enjoy. So, once I narrowed my choice down, I headed on over to the supermarket, picked up my ingredients, and headed straight to the kitchen to start “baking.”

The process at times seemed extremely tedious, as my OCD wanted every “acorn” to look as identical as possible, and be covered in the same amount of chocolate and sprinkles, etc. However, the turn out was amazing! They looked adorable, tasted great, and seemed to be a huge hit!

If you’re interested in trying this recipe, today is your lucky day, because you will find the recipe below! Everything that I did differently from the original recipe is highlighted with italics text.

Fall Oreo Acorn Balls 

Yield: 30-40 balls

Total Time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of peanut butter Oreos (15.25oz), pulsed in a food processor
  • 1 package of regular cream cheese (8oz), softened
  • Nestle milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. Crisco vegetable shortening
  • Brown sprinkles
  • Pretzel sticks, broken into small pieces

Directions:

  1. Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature.
  2. Put half of the Oreos in the food processor and pulse until you have Oreo crumbs. Add the other half of the Oreos into the food processor and pulse again, until all the Oreos are fine crumbs.
  3. Once the cream cheese is soft, mix the Oreos and cream cheese together, making sure the mixture is very well blended.
  4. Use a tablespoon to measure the Oreo mixture and form it into acorn shapes. I used a bit more than 1 tbsp. for each acorn – to make an acorn, I formed the mixture into an elongated oval, pinching one end to make it slightly tapered and flattening the other.
  5. Place the acorns on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and place them in the freezer for 1 hour. I left mine overnight. 
  6. After the acorns are hard, begin to melt the Nestle chocolate chips with the Crisco in a double broiler. You will need a double broiler to keep the chocolate warm while dipping all of the acorns.
  7. Once pencil sticks are broken into small pieces, push/twist into the hardened Oreo ball. You will then be able to dip the Oreo ball into the chocolate while holding onto the pretzel stick “stem.”
  8. To dip, place 1 acorn in the saucepan with melted chocolate. Use a spoon to spoon chocolate on top of the acorn, if needed. To remove the acorn use a fork to lift it out of the chocolate. Move the acorn to another baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  9. Cover the top portion of the acorn with sprinkles.
  10. Continue this process until all of the acorns are dipped. Allow them to harden at room temperature.
  11. After they set, serve and enjoy!
  12. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

What were some of your favorite Thanksgiving desserts? xoxo.

October recipes | Pinterest edition

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I’ve been going pin-crazy on Pinterest with all things fall before the season even began. So, imagine me now that we are right in the midst of my favorite season of the year! Between home-decor inspo, costume ideas for Halloween, desserts, and other fall recipes, I have found enough to last me through every fall for the rest of my life!

Some of my favorite recipes that I am dying to try this fall, I have included below in this blog post to, both, share with you, and to motivate myself to actually make these within the next 31 days! I’ve taken my top 10 most desirable – here you go:

  1. Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
  2. Maple Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
  3. Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
  4. Autumn Roasted Veggies with Apples and Pecans
  5. Oktoberfest Sheet Pan Brats with Roasted Vegetables
  6. The World’s Best Baked Honeycrisp Apples
  7. No Bake Peanut Butter Pumpkins
  8. Smoked Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup
  9. Slow Cooker Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate
  10. Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

If you’re interested in seeing all of the other fun things I find, follow me on Pinterest, here.

What are some recipes you love making in the fall? xoxo.

This sh*t is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

*SPOILER ALERT* Read the post below to find out why the title choice of those 2004 Gwen Stefani lyrics goes absolutely perfectly.

In my last post I made a slight mention about stopping at Wegmans to grab supplies for a dessert to make to bring to my family reunion. Once a year, my super extended family gets together to have an all day reunion / BBQ at a local town park. Since I am now of the appropriate age, aka not at the age to be bouncing on the bounce house or participating in the children’s activities, I could partake in bringing my own dessert.

Knowing me, you know I strive for simplicity. I am not, by any means, the greatest cook, or the greatest baker, so simplicity tends to be key for me. It’s not so much the lazy-factor, but the the-less-ingredients-involved-the-less-likely-I-am-to-mess-this-up factor. So, surprise, surprise I made my way over to trusty ol’ Pinterest and dove into finding a nice and easy summer BBQ dessert. The options were absolutely endless and I was forced to choose from a list of millions of mouthwatering recipes. After some deliberation, I landed amongst a Banana Split Fluff Salad.

When I tell you this was the easiest thing ever to make, this was literally the easiest thing ever to make. And it was delicious. Not only that, but it was a hit with everyone [my grandma had even eaten it for breakfast!].

I prepared the dessert the night before, letting it chill and settle in the fridge. I did not, however, add in the bananas until the next morning, as I did not want them to get mushy and brown. I also did not add the walnuts to this recipe due to my dad’s nut allergy. I also doubled the recipe, as it said it only makes 8 cups. But, let me tell you, it was way more generous than I expected, so plan accordingly!

banana split fluff salad

You can find the recipe for this dessert below:

Banana Split Fluff Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 – 3.4 ounce box instant banana pudding
  • 1 – 20 ounce can crushed pineapple [do not drain]
  • 1 – 8 ounce container Cool Whip
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts + 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 2 – 10 ounce jars maraschino cherries, halved

Instructions

  1. Stir together the pudding mix and pineapple until dissolved and thickened.
  2. Fold in the Cool Whip with a spatula.
  3. Gently stir in the marshmallows, nuts, chocolate chips, bananas, and cherries.
  4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to chill.

Notes

  • Stir in the bananas right before serving, or dip the banana slices in lemon juice to keep them from browning too quickly.
  • The recipe states this will make about 8 cups of salad – I got way more than 8 cups. It is very generous!

Slow cookin’ 101.

After some crazy days of job training, studying for SCIP certifications, writing papers, and trying to breathe, I had a second to sit back and unwind a bit from all the madness.

I turned to my trusty CrockPot and made some dinner and a little dessert for my boyfriend and I. Today’s recipe, Slow Cooker Creamy White Chicken Chili. I found this recipe on Pinterest, of course, and could not resist. It just sounded soooo good. Plus, the weather has been quite cool, so what better to eat than a nice, hot bowl of chili?!

I got everything I needed for this recipe (not including the chicken, I already had some of that in the fridge) for $17! You can’t beat it. Check out the recipe below.

I also put together some brownies with Resee’s peanut butter cups. What more could you want out of life, honestly? And then I wonder why I can’t seem to lose any weight as fast as I’d like.

brownies

Slow Cooker Creamy White Chicken Chili

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 5 minutes
  • Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24oz can low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 15oz cans great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 4oz cans diced green chiles
  • 1 15oz can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 tsp talk
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup half and half

Toppings

  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Sliced avocados
  • Dollop of sour cream
  • Minced fresh cilantro
  • Tortilla strips
  • Shredded Monterey jack or Mexican cheese

Instructions:

  1. Add chicken breasts to bottom of slow cooker. Top with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Top with diced onion, minced garlic, great Northern beans, green chiles, corn, chicken broth, cilantro. Stir.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours, or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  4. Remove chicken to large mixing bowl, shred, then return to slow cooker.
  5. Add cream cheese and half and half. Stir, then cover and cook on HIGH for 15 minutes, or until chili is creamy and slightly thickened.
  6. Stir well and serve with desired toppings.

Enjoy! xoxo.

 

Celebration for two!

So, back in January, I made it a goal to step outside my comfort zone and try some new recipes/actually cook a decent meal every once in a while.

My boyfriend and I just had a semi-chill Valentine’s celebration yesterday, and today my boyfriend had his yearly review at work, [which he killed, by the way!], so I decided that today would be a good day to do something a little special for dinner tonight.

We had been going back and forth about buying a Crock-Pot for the apartment, but never really came around to it. Well, today, I got a notification that Target had Crock-Pots on sale for 15 bucks [!!!!!], so naturally, I made my little merry way to Target to buy one! Added bonus, look how stinkin’ cute it is!

crockpot.jpg

I found a recipe for Slow Cooker Orange Chicken and decided to try it out, [I’ll attach the recipe below], and let me tell you that it is so easy to make! You literally only need 4 ingredients to make this dish so bonus, it’s affordable too!

I also decided to throw together some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies because, hey, I was feeling pretty adventurous today. Who would’ve thought!?

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup BBQ sauce [I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce]
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup sweet orange marmalade [I used Smuckers]

Instructions:

  • Cut 3-4 thawed chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks, and cook them in your slow cooker on medium heat for about 1.5 hours [for best results, stir halfway through]. There is no need to add anything, the chicken cooks well in its own juices.
  • While the chicken is cooking, mix together 3/4 cup BBQ sauce, 3/4 cup orange marmalade, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce until well blended.
  • After 1.5 hours, drain the chicken juices from the slow cooker – be sure the juices are drained well, as the sauce will become watery otherwise.
  • Pour your mixture in with the chicken. Be sure that the chicken is well coated and mixed in with the sauce. Cook on medium for an additional 2 hours [you may need to add more time if the chicken is not done]. The sauce may appear runny at first, but it thickens as time goes on/it cools.

Tips:

  • Add red pepper flakes and/or Sriracha sauce to the mixture to turn up the heat – I used red pepper flakes.
  • I added chopped onion and bell peppers at the same time I added the sauce mixture.
  • This chicken is wonderful served with rice.
  • Broccoli and carrots are also a great side for this dish.
  • You may also top the chicken with sesame seeds – I did not.
  • The chicken can be cooked on low, just add more time. Every slow cooker varies, do what is best for you.

Can we also just take a quick second to admire the gorgeous flowers he bought me yesterday for Valentine’s Day, because I can’t stop looking at them throughout everything I’m doing today! xoxo.

valentine flowers .jpg

 

 

Lil’ balls of heaven!

pb-balls

Hi guys! My lack of posting yesterday stems from the fact that I worked all morning and then spent the rest of the night with my boyfriend and his family because it’s his birthday weekend! They live in Rochester and we don’t see them often, so the blog was put on the back burner. But, don’t worry! I am back.

As we know from one of my previous blog posts How does the oven work, again?, we all know by now that I literally fail at everything kitchen-related. However, due to the special occasion that is Jon’s birthday, I decided to man up and get my little self in the kitchen and make him some type of dessert to bring over yesterday as part of his birthday gift.

He is suuuuuper picky when it comes to desserts – doesn’t like cake, doesn’t like cupcakes, doesn’t like any cookie other than chocolate chip, kind of likes pie – so I, being the uneducated baker that I am, was stuck on what the heck to make this kid. But Pinterest didn’t let me down! [but really, does it ever??]

I had my brain churning and remembered, oh, he likes Reese’s cups. Reese’s cups….peanut butter….chocolate…hmmm. So, I came across a recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter M&M Balls. And let me tell you, not only are they soooo easy to make, they taste like heaven.

So here you go, peeps. Read it. Make it. Enjoy it. xoxo.

Chocolate Peanut Butter M&M Balls

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter [I just used Wegmans brand creamy peanut butter]
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Some chocolate chips [I got the giant bag – you will definitely need it] 
  • Some M&M’s [It called for regular M&M’s, but I used Mini M&M’s instead]  

    In a large bowl, mix butter, peanut butter, M&M’s, and powdered sugar until well blended. [More or less powdered sugar can be used to make mixture more or less dry]. Roll in your hand to make 1 inch balls, place on baking sheet, and freeze for about 20 minutes/until they are firm.

    Microwave chocolate chips for 60 seconds, stopping every 15 seconds to check and stir. [Tip: Adding some vegetable shortening can make the chocolate thinner and easier work with].

    Remove balls from freezer and dip into the chocolate. Place on wax paper, top with M&M’s and allow to harden. Refrigerate if needed. Enjoy!