Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes!!!

So, I figured it was time to take a short break from all the super healthy posts.  If that’s why you follow my blog…please don’t throw me out cause of this one! I just figure…you gotta have cheat days now and then, and even if you don’t indulge there’s gonna be someone in your life that will brighten up when they see this super fun recipe!  But just so you know, this is definitely NOT a Perfect Weight America meal…it is sugary and gluteny like you cannot imagine!! But also simple, delicious, and perfect for parties!!!  I think I might make them again for a girls night next week 🙂

So here’s what you need:

  • 1 Box of your favorite cake mix (or a homemade recipe would probably be great too!)
  • Whatever else the box calls for (eggs, oil, water?)
  • A box of 24 cake cones (the kiddie cones with FLAT BOTTOMS)
  • Toppings (optional)
  • Super duper cute little helpers (optional)

I am a nanny, and I had the kids for this entire past weekend.  When the oldest asked me if we could bake something, I knew it would be perfect…and they LOVED IT!!

So here’s how you start the party:

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Then simply mix up the cupcakes according to the directions; simple enough!!!!  Then lick the beaters of course!!!  Unless…you have raw egg issues…or slime-ing chocolatey goodness all over your face issues…  This nanny has neither, so the little ones indulged:

Cupcakes 1Aren’t they super cute?! Gosh I love them!!!

Next, pour your batter into the cake cones about 2/3 of the way full.  I let the kids hold the cones so they still felt like they were helping 🙂

Cupcakes 2Yeah, buddy!!!! My mouth is watering!!

Now set them on a pan where they will be sturdy…an actual muffin pan with one in each cup works the best, unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of that one! But here is my other pan!

Cupcakes 3

Then, bake ’em!!!  I would start with the amount of minutes instructed by the box mix! However mine baked for about 20 minutes before the toothpick came out clean 🙂

Cupcakes 5

So pretty!! See the muffin tin now?  Gosh I wanna bite into one of those right now!! I just love it that there is cake allllll the way down to the bottom!!!  After you let them cool, the instructions get even more simple!

Decorate (preferably while being goofy)

Cupcakes 6

Devour.

Cupcakes 7Admire your sweet new mustache!!!

Cupcakes 8

And smile big at a job well done, and because you sooo love ice cream cone cupcakes!!!!

Cupcakes 9

Okay, now that all your hearts have melted…go try the recipe and let me know what you think 🙂

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Seared Salmon with Warm Lentil Salad

photo (1)

I never realized that healthy food can be comfort food.  Warm.  Tasty.  Fills up the tummy and makes you wanna curl up on the couch and just…be still.  That’s what this was for me!! And so very, very simple!!

This was my first experience with lentils! And I must say, I very much enjoyed it! Pleasantly surprised.  We ate leftovers for days and were happy about it!! 😉

This IS a Perfect Weight America recommended meal, so…if you are going for super health, try and get all your ingredients fresh and organic.

So, here’s what you need 🙂

  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 C Chicken Stock (Preferably free range!)
  • 3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 1 lb Lentils
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme, leaves stripped
  • 24 oz Wild Caught Salmon Fillets (Fresh or frozen…but fresh will taste better and probably be more moist!!) cut into 4 even pieces!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Bring 6 Cups of water to a boil.  Add lentils and remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.  Set your timer and continue prep!! But don’t forget to drain them after 20 minutes!  This was so interesting to me…I had never heard of this technique…kinda like a fast-soak! Who knew?!
  3. In a nice big pot, heat up 2 Tbsps of  your coconut oil.  Saute your onions, thyme, salt and pepper for about 8 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute.
  5.  Add carrots, lentils, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Stir it all together, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  6. Heat a large, oven safe pan to high heat.  The original recipe says to rub the last 1 Tbsp of coconut oil on the salmon fillets.  I found that…icky and not-working-y.  So I took a couple Tbsps of coconut oil, melted it and drizzled it over one side of the fillets.  Then gave it a nice shaking of salt and pepper.
  7. Toss the fillets in the hot pan.  If you are using the melted coconut oil method, put it coated side down, then drizzle the rest of the coconut oil on the other sides of the salmon while it cooks and sprinkle salt and pepper on it! You’re going for a sear here, so just cook them about 3 minutes.  Flip them, then transfer immediately to the hot oven in the pan.  Cook 4-6 additional minutes, or until its done to whatever degree you desire 🙂  I didn’t have a big enough pan, so I had to cook my fish in shifts…I had a casserole dish heating up in the oven, so when it came time to transfer it to the oven, I set it straight into the 450 degree casserole dish while I seared the next shift.  It worked pretty good!
  8. Take out and serve with your warm lentil salad.  SOOOO warm and wonderful!

Credit to Perfectweightamerica.com for this beauty! I barely changed anything!! I hope you enjoy!

Rack of Lamb with Garlicy Pesto

I know I just posted a recipe on Saturday…I usually try to wait a few days between posts…BUT I JUST COULDN’T WAIT!! Look what I made last night!!! I’m so proud of me!! And my helper, Mr. Hottie McHotterson!Rack of Lamb close up

I am so PUMPED right now!!! HOLY COW!!  I’ve always been so afraid to make rack-of-anything…cause they make it look so fancy on the cooking shows!!  Well guess what…my final product looked fancy too…BUT IT WAS SO EASY!  And so delicious that my husband and I were both freaking out.  I’m not exaggerating.  Jason kept looking and me and saying “this is SOOOO good” in between satisfied, happy moans.  Crispy crunch on the outside…warm tender, medium-rare middle, and a dynamite pesto on top; an explosion of flavor! Mmmm!  This could be the happiest a recipe has ever made me.  For serious.  The last few nights I have been discouraged and not wanted to make dinner.  NO MORE! I wanna cook every minute of every day!!!  Watch out Iron Chef, here I come! Haha!

And to think…something this tasty is wonderfully healthy and Perfectweightamerica.com recommended!  Which, by the way, is working fantastically! Can we take a moment and applaud the best man on earth…Mr. Rodgers…for his decision to commit to health? Today we weighed in, and I cannot believe it because we still stuff our faces with delicious things…he’s dropped 16 pounds in one week!!  I’m so proud!!!

Here he is now, helping with the pesto!

Rack of Lamb 2

He’s sexy and I know it!! He works out!!!

So, without further a do….Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 C Basil Leaves
  • 1 C Parsley Leaves
  • 1 C Mint Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano Leaves
  • 1 C Pine Nuts
  • 1 C Olive Oil
  • 3 lb Rack of Lamb (Confession…I was going to do half the recipe so I only got 1.6 lbs…then forgot and we made a full recipe of pesto, haha!! But I love the pesto so much….that I’m glad we did!! I was wiping extra on every bite!)

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil in a grill pan or skillet over high heat.  This is what is going to give you your nice crisp char.  Yummy.  Generously salt and pepper both sides of the rack and brown about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to a baking dish, plop it in your oven, and set your timer for 20 minutes if you like medium rare.  We DEFINITELY liked it medium rare.  Add some time if you want it more well done.
  3. Mealwhile, put all your herbs, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor…or blender if you’re cool like me and don’t yet own a food processor. Pulse and blend (stirring occasionally if needed) until everything is chopped small.
  4. While your machine is still running, pour in 1/4 C olive oil and blend until smooth-ish.  You all probably know what pesto is supposed to look like.  If needed, add more olive oil until it is your desired consistency.
  5. When the lamb is done cooking, take it out and set it aside for about 10 minutes. Take a knife and cut between the bones so you get nice individual chops
  6. Put your pretty little chops on a plate, top with a generous blob of pesto, garnish with some extra herbs if you want it to look pretty, then dive in.  You can be all elegant and polite and use a fork and knife, like my husband tried to do.  Or you can be a caveman like me, pick it up and yank off some meat with your chompers!!! SO GOOOOOD!  Wanna see my pictures?

Rack of Lamb 1 light

Isn’t it pretty? I used a cast iron skillet cause apparently non stick is no bueno for you…and it seems like a good choice if you want a nice char and lots of flavor! However…it did smoke up the house a bit!

Rack of Lamb 3Mmmmm, pesto sauce!!

Rack of Lamb midSo pretty!!! The sauteed veggie recipe is soon to come!!

Try it out, and give me some feedback! And thanks again to perfectweightamerica.com for another beauty!!

Spicy Miso Veggies

I love grilled vegetables! Really! Especially when it includes zucchini and summer squash.

Miso Vegetables 6

My mouth is watering! Call me a newbie…but I didn’t even know that Miso was something more than a kind of soup at SushiLand.  Ha!  Apparently it’s something you can buy! And it’s yummy! This is another little gem that we got from perfectweightamerica.com.  It’s allowed on our cleanse! YEAH!  This recipe requires a little marinating, so give yourself an extra 30 minute jump start at least 😉  And just a repeat note…because of the cleanse we are doing, everything is supposed to be organic.   If you’re not into that, it works perfectly well with non-organic veggies 🙂 Oh, and its a big batch…so if you don’t want leftovers, or to feed quite a few…I’d halve it 😉

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil, melted
  • 4 Tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce or Braggs Amino Acids
  • 4 Zucchini, organic
  • 4 Yellow Squash, organic
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, organic
  • 2 Tbsp Miso
  • 3 Tbsp Tomato Sauce, organic
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 Medium Red Onion

Side note….I JUST realized that I forgot the onion.  I love grilled onion.  My heart just cracked a little… Whelp, no biggie… I’ll just have to make this recipe again!!  YES!!!

Here’s how you do it 🙂

  1. Slice your veggies and put them in a bowl, or a big Ziploc if they fit.  
  2. Combine the Coconut Oil, Soy Sauce/Amino Acids, Vinegar, Miso, Tomato Sauce, Sesame Oil, and Chili Flakes.
  3. Pour the mixture over your veggies, toss so they’re all coated, and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.  The longer they sit, the spicier they will be 🙂
  4. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium heat.  Grill veggies about 5 minutes per side.  Remove them.  Eat them.  Be surprised.  Eat some more.  Sigh.  Be happy!

Wanna See it in pictures?

Miso Vegetables 1

VEGGIES!!!

Miso Vegetables 2Special sauce being poured over said veggies…

Miso Vegetables 3Veggies stirred up and marinating…look at those pretty colors!

Miso Vegetables 4Grill them, 5 minutes per side! I LOVE GRILL LINES! Like seriously.  I love them.  So pretty…

Miso Vegetables 5Giant pile o’veggies!!!

Miso Vegetables 6Yummmmy!

Tasty Grilled Yellow Squash and Potatoes!

Tasty Grilled Summer Squash and Potatoes last

Wow.  Just looking at that makes me SO hungry!!! I think you guys are gonna like this one.  And believe it or not…this one came completely from me! Well…that and Kirkwood family tradition.  That’s right Mamma K, holla!! Most of the seasonings I used were in almost every dish I ate growing up, especially when it came to grilled veggies!!!! These veggies work greet as a side, or if you take the “add kielbasa” option, it’s a perfect lunch full of flavor!!! And summer squashies are pretty good for you too 🙂

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Medium Summer Squash or Zucchini
  • 1 Small Potato
  • 1/2 a Turkey Kielbasa (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp onion powder (I like lots of onion and garlic!)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sprinkle of thyme, or your favorite herb

Here’s how ya do it!! It’s pretty simple!

  1. Slice your squash into rounds. Slice your potato into thinner rounds (they took longer to cook)! I then sliced my potatoes into half-rounds so they looked like wedges.  That probably wasn’t necessary.  But potato wedges make happy!  Here, I’ll show you!Tasty Grilled Summer Squash and Potatoes
  2. Put your veggies in a big bowl, add the olive oil and give ’em a toss.  Make sure all the pieces are coated! You can add some oil if you need to 🙂
  3. Sprinkle on your seasonings.  Give them another toss…so everything is coated in all the delicious seasonings now 🙂
  4. Heat your grill or grill pan to medium high.  I used my little pan of course 🙂
  5. If you are wanting kielbasa too…slice it up!
  6. Place the veggies (and meat) on the grill, or in the pan, and grill for about 4 minutes per side. Look at their pretty grill lines!Tasty Grilled Summer Squash and Potatoes 2Tasty Grilled Summer Squash and Potatoes 3
  7. Prick them to make sure they are soft in the middle.  Now, eat them!! Watch the kielbasa, it might cook faster than the veggies and you don’t want it to shrivel too much so its still kinda juicy.  Yummy yummy, enjoy!

CocoGinger Chicken Soup!

So, my husband has been reading this book called Perfect Weight America by Jordan Rubin.  I’m learning so much just from the little things he has shared with me! And it has just confirmed my feelings that health is not based on a number, but instead what you are putting in your body and how you are taking care of yourself!!

So, feeling much inspired, we have gotten a free membership on http://perfectweightamerica.com (you should check out the website!) and as of yesterday started a 16 week detox diet plan. At first I was devastated that my blogging career would end so quickly, since I would have to be eating gross pre-planned food.  Then last night I ate this meal.  And changed my mind.  SO YUM!! And perfect to eat after trudging through piles of snow to get in our car and gather groceries! Mmmm.  Let me share this gem with you!

CocoGinger Soup 2

These flavor combinations are stinking fantastic! It hits you in waves of warm coconut, lime, ginger, and rich green onion!! Ah! I’m getting too excited, so I’ll just tell you how to make it so you can share my enthusiasm!

Just one note before you move on: the Perfect Weight America plan has you eating organic, seeing as everything else ends up with chemicals in it.  Because of this I labeled everything organic, but if you are an average Joe like us Rodgers’, organic may be out of the price range.  Just do what you can and get as much organic as possible, that’s what we did!!

What you need:

  • 3-4 free range chicken breasts, depending on size or just how “meaty” you like your soups, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, organic, sliced
  • 1 T ginger, organic, paste or peeled and chopped (I used the paste that you can get in the produce section by the herbs…its easier to deal with and is made with organic ginger!)
  • 3 jalapenos, or 2 serranos, organic, seeded and chopped real small
  • 6 Cups Organic, Free Range Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 C coconut milk, organic
  • 4 T lime juice, organic
  • 1 C cilantro, organic, chopped

Here’s what to do:

  1. Get your big soup pot, and put it over medium heat! Melt your coconut oil.
  2. Add in your onions and saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  It should start smelling real good before too long!
  3. Toss in your chicken and brown it slightly.  This isn’t 100% necessary but I usually brown my meat before letting it simmer and cook in soups!
  4. Add the ginger and jalapenos/serranos and give it a good stir to get everything evenly coated.
  5. Add lime juice, coconut milk, and chicken broth.  Stir it up and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and let it simmer for an hour or so, letting the chicken cook and the flavors meld together!
  7. Top with cilantro! Yummy! Enjoy a guilt free evening knowing that you satisfied your taste buds and your body isn’t in distress cause of your meal 🙂