What I'm Making For Thanksgiving

Hey, friends! I hope that you had a wonderful day :) I'm stopping by to share with you what I'll be making for Thanksgiving. Is anyone else's mind blown that Thanksgiving is NEXT week? Time is flying right on by, no matter how many times we ask it to slow down. As Stephanie Tanner from Full House would say: How rude! ;P

This year we'll be going to my Aunt's for Thanksgiving and she'll be taking care of the turkey. I love cooking/baking though, so I knew I wanted to make some side dishes and desserts! For me, holidays are a time where I don't worry about how much butter is going in a dish I'm making. If I'm eating healthy all of the other days of the year, you can bet I'm going to be making some mean mashed potatoes and eating them on Thanksgiving day! 

If I'm keeping it real, I'm actually trying out new recipes this year (besides the pumpkin pie), but I mean, they got repinned on Pinterest about 15,000 times so I'm feeling pretty okay about not testing them out. All hail Pinterest! Let's hope for my family's sake that I don't regret not testing them out... 

So, I'll be making homemade stuffing and mashed potatoes as side dishes. I'll also be making a homemade pumpkin pie, and some of my yummy vanilla almond sugar cookies! If you haven't made these sugar cookies yet, this is the time to make them. Guys, you will be the most loved person at Thanksgiving. The cookies are that good. Anyways, it's safe to say if you're looking for me next week on Tuesday or Wednesday, you'll be able to find me in the kitchen!

So, since I have yet to make these recipes and don't have pretty pictures of them to show you, I'm posting the links to them below, with pictures from the original website. Check them out if you're looking to try a new recipe for Thanksgiving! PS: Pumpkin pie is possibly one of the easiest things to make, no need to spend the money on a premade one at the grocery store!

Homemade Stuffing Recipe: 

image via www.averiecooks.com

image via www.averiecooks.com

Averie's recipe has a few fresh herbs incorporated that I think will make this stuffing a real winner! Fresh herbs always taste (and smell) so good - dried ones just aren't the same. This recipe is simple, but sometimes simple recipes are the best ones, right? Right. Click HERE to get the recipe. 

Homemade Mashed Potato Recipe

image via lacremedelacrumb.com

image via lacremedelacrumb.com

Mashed potatoes are probably my favorite thing about Thanksgiving, and I'm so excited to give this recipe a try. I love that it's made in the crockpot, and that it doesn't involve peeling all of the potatoes! Click HERE to get the recipe. 

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

image via www.simplyrecipes.com

image via www.simplyrecipes.com

What's Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie? I made this pie about a month ago, and I'll never buy a store bought pie again! This recipe is so easy and it turns out so, so well. One thing I learned making it last time - invest in a pie crust protectorClick HERE to get the recipe.

I hope that this post was helpful if you were looking for some recipes! I'll be sure to let you guys know how they turn out.

Happy cooking!

Easy, Delicious, and Quick Banana Oat Muffin Recipe

Goooood morning, beautiful friends! How's your Wednesday so far? Hopefully it's off to a good start :) 

Did you guys watch The Voice on Monday night? It was the first round of blind auditions and they were awesome in my opinion! I love watching The Voice and seeing new artists get discovered. I especially fell in love with Riley Elmore's blind audition of The Way You Look Tonight. If you know me, you know that I LOVE Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and older music in general (I'm totally an old soul when it comes to music). So, when Riley Elmore totally killed The Way You Look Tonight I melted a little (a lot). If you missed the blind auditions HERE's the link to Riley Elmore's audition. It's amazing. Anyways, enough of me rambling about my crush on a 16 year old who can sing like Frank Sinatra...

As we transition into Fall, I've been craving some warm, gooey, delicious baked goods. BUT ya can't indulge in the real deal all of the time. You don't want to treat yourself each time your sweet tooth hits and negate all of your hard work in the gym and in your eating habits, so what's a gal (or a guy) supposed to do? Well, of course I headed over to Pinterest and browsed around some healthy recipes and alas, I found Banana Oat Muffins that looked absolutely delicious and easy. I mean, you make the muffin batter in the blender. You throw all of the ingredients in there, (minus the nuts or chocolate chips) blend it on up, throw in your nuts or chocolate chips and voila! You're ready to load 'em on up into your muffin tin and stick them into the oven. Very easy, extremely fast, and not much clean-up - that's my kinda recipe! 

muffin_recipe

This recipe comes from Well Plated and it sure is a good one! One of these yummy muffins clocks in around only 120 calories. How many calories is your favorite muffin over at Starbucks you ask? Welp, that one clocks in at about 440 calories, which is about four of these equally delicious banana oat muffins. 

What else makes these banana oatmeal muffins special? This recipe is flourless, free from refined sugars and added fats, and I mean, did I mention that it's delicious? The greek yogurt in these babies provides you with a punch of protein and the "flour" of ground up oats is fiber-rich, leaving you feeling full and satisfied. PS: For those of you who are gluten free, these muffins are a great option! 

Alright, pals, let's get into how to make this recipe! First, things first, here are the ingredients you'll need: 

blender_muffin_ingredients
  • 2 cups oats (quick cooking or old fashioned) 
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Up to 1/2 cup mix-ins (chocolate chips, nuts, dried cranberries, blueberries, etc.)

Keep in mind that the more honey you add, the sweeter the muffins will be. So, since these muffins don't have any actual sugar added, if you enjoy a sweeter muffin, go for the 3 tablespoons of honey. For me, I went for closer to 2 tablespoons, but it's just personal preference! 

So, now that you have all of your ingredients let's get into how you actually make these muffins. 

  1. First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. 
  2. Place all ingredients but the mix-ins (chocolate chips) in a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade: oats, bananas, eggs, Greek yogurt, honey, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend or process on high for about three minutes, or until the oats have completely broken down. You'll have to stop once or twice to scrape the sides of the blender to ensure the oats are getting broken down and mixing with the other goodies.
  3. Once you have the ingredients well-blended, go ahead and add in your mix-in of choice (for me, dark chocolate chips). Keep in mind that the batter may be warm from being in the blender, which could cause your chocolate chips to melt a bit. If this bothers you, wait about ten minutes until your batter cools off before adding your mix-ins. 
  4. Go ahead and divide your batter between the prepared muffin cups. Fill each cup no more than 3/4 full. Sprinkle with additional mix-ins, because chocolate = delicious 
  5. Place the muffins into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Once they're done, allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and enjoying! 
muffins_milk

If you love these muffins as much as I do, you can make a few batches and wrap them up in plastic wrap to freeze for up to two months! If you choose not to freeze them these muffins are best enjoyed (and most delicious) within four days. 

muffins_recipe

I hope that you'll give this recipe a shot, it's a good one, guys! Happy baking :) 

Question of the Day: What's your favorite type of muffin? Leave the recipe in the comments if you have it! 

Xo,

Jenna

*This post contains affiliate links, within the Amazon and Target affiliate programs. I will receive a small percentage of the sale if you choose to purchase the product through the link. I never will link to a product that I do not fully support or believe in. I appreciate you supporting my blog!

Crockpot Chex Mix Recipe

Hello, hello, party people and happy Hump Day! You're halfway through the week, woohoo! I hope that your week has gone well so far. Mine has been spent looking for more jobs to apply for, spending time on applications, and prepping for my guest lecture on Thursday. My research advisor asked me to lecture his two classes since he'll be away on business on Thursday, so I've been tweaking the presentation and practicing that a good amount! Wish me luck :)

In Monday's post I had told you that I was heading to hang with my sister and Mike to watch some football, and guys, for me football means one thing: snacks. To be honest, I'm not a huge football girl, but I do love the food that surrounds Football Sundays. Anyone else with me on this?? So, naturally I had to whip up some type of snack to bring along on Sunday! I was craving something salty and that's when Chex Mix came to mind. 

chex_mix_recipe

I made this Chex Mix recipe one other time during a snow storm last year, and it's extremely easy! If you've never made homemade Chex Mix before, you're missing out. It's much better than the store bought stuff flavor wise, and you can pick and choose what you put in it, which means if you leave all of the dark wheat chex in the Chex Mix bag usually (hi, that's me), you can choose not to put those in or include less of them!

I followed Gimme Some Oven's crockpot Chex Mix recipe as my general guideline, and made some tweaks here and there. Here are the ingredients you'll need:

  • 9 cups Chex cereal (I used 3 1/2 cups corn, 3 1/2 cups rice, and 2 cups wheat) 
  • 2 - 3 cups pretzels (I erred on the side of 3 cups)
  • 1 cup cheerios 
  • 1 - 2 cups peanuts (again, I was closer to 2 cups, the more the better, right?)
  • 1/3 cup (6 tablespoons) butter, melted and hot
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt 
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (can we talk about how I can never say that right?)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

You can really be creative with your ingredients - only have honey nut cheerios on hand, use 'em up! Want to add in some bagel chips instead of pretzels? Sub out almonds for peanuts? Be my guest! You can even add in some chocolate chips or festive m&ms (halloween colors, woo!) once the Chex Mix is done and cooled for a nice salty and sweet snack. Let's not get ahead ourselves thought - first things first, you'll want to pull out your trusty crockpot. We have THIS crockpot and really like it, so, if you're in the market for a crockpot you may want to check it out.

Alright, so don't turn your crockpot on yet. You'll just be dumping ingredients in for now. Start by throwing in your Chex, pretzels, cheerios, and peanuts. 

chex_mix_ingredients

Then, you'll want to melt your 6 tablespoons of butter in a bowl. Once it's melted you can add in your seasoned salt, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Whisk the ingredients together. 

Once you have it well mixed, you can pour the liquid over the your dry ingredients. Use a spatula (or your hands, just avoid hard wooden spoons since they could crush some of the ingredients) to mix up the ingredients to ensure the liquid has coated most of the cereals, nuts, and pretzels. After that go ahead and put the crockpot lid on, and set the it on low for 3 hours. You'll want to stir the Chex Mix once during the first two hours and then in the last hour you'll want to stir it two to three times to prevent burning. 

Once three hours have passed, you'll go ahead and dump your Chex Mix onto baking sheets or parchment paper to dry out (and maybe you'll snack on a handful in the process - I won't tell anyone!). 

chex_mix

After it's dried out, dig right in! Bring this recipe to your next get together with your friends, a football party, or pack it in your kid's school lunch. This also would make a great little teacher's gift, or a gift for anyone in your life. Like I said before, put some festive candies in their like orange and black m&ms for halloween, pour some into a mason jar, screw on the lid, and tie some ribbon. Voila, a cute, thoughtful, and homemade gift!

I hope you guys will try out this easy and yummy recipe! I think it's the perfect snack for Fall, and it doesn't hurt that it makes your house smell pretty delicious while it cooks in the crockpot :) 

Question of The Day: What's your go-to salty snack?

See ya guys next time!

 

Egg Muffins: The Perfect On-The-Go Breakfast

These eggs muffins are the perfect on-the-go breakfast for those mornings when you may have hit snooze one too many times. They're protein-packed, delicious, and also sneak in some veggies that will help to kickstart your morning. 

on_the_go_breakfast

 

Why helllo there, Monday! We meet again. I hope that your weekend was a good one! 

During my time in grad school I also worked towards achieving my graduate certificate in health coaching, which involved me completing a health coaching practicum. Basically, I had to complete a certain amount of health coaching hours at my set practicum site. A common theme I noticed from my clients during my practicum was that a lot of people don't eat breakfast (or don't eat a healthy breakfast) due to lack of time or lack of ideas. It can be so easy to just grab a slice of toast or a bowl of cereal on the way out the door, but is that really giving your body the fuel it needs to start the day off? Chances are, probably not. 

So, my clients and I worked together to try find what kind of breakfast foods would work for them, and egg muffins were one of the ideas we came up with. Egg muffins are extremely easy to make and they're the perfect on-the-go breakfast when you may have pressed snooze one too many times ;P

These "muffins" are packed with protein from the eggs as well as the sausage, and also sneak in some veggies too! Honestly, these taste like little mini omelets - yum!

Whip these up one night this week or wait until Sunday to make them for the upcoming week. I promise you these will be a total game-changer if you're someone who struggles to find time for breakfast in the morning.  

So, what will you need for this oh-so-yummy recipe? 

egg_muffin_ingredients
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers (I used about two bell peppers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 cup roughly chopped breakfast sausage 
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper 

Not too many ingredients, right? Let's get into how you make your egg muffins...

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Get all of your chopping out of the way - chop up your peppers, onions, sausage, and spinach so it's all ready to go.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and then add the bell peppers and onions. You want to allow the peppers and onions to stay in the pan by themselves for a good 2-3 minutes.
egg_muffins_pan

 

4. Next, grab your sausage and spinach and add it to the pan. Allow all of the ingredients to hang out together for another 2-3 minutes. 

egg_muffins_pan_2

5. Alright, time to grab that muffin pan. You'll want to scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the mixture you just cooked up and place it in the bottom of each muffin cup. 

egg-muffin-tray

6. Once you've done that, you're going to whisk your eggs.

whiskeggs

7. Now, take your eggs (it's easiest to put them in a bowl that has a spout on it to make it easy to pour) and pour them into each muffin tin, leaving 1/4 inch from the top. PS: Excuse our pans, they're old and have been baked in quite a few times :)

eggsintray

8. You're ready to stick those muffins in the oven! They should take about 20-23 minutes. You'll know that they're done when they start to puff up, or if a toothpick comes out clean. 

eggmuffinsfinished

Enjoy them hot right out of the oven, or stick them in an airtight container to enjoy throughout the week (keep in mind, these will go bad after 5 days). I suggest heating them up in the toaster :) 

I hope that you guys will give this recipe a try! It's great for those busy mornings, especially now that kids are back in school. 

Before I sign off, I thought it would be fun to start having a "Question of the Day" on my posts. I would love for you to answer the question in the comments :) 

Question of the Day: What's your go-to healthy breakfast for those mornings when you're on the run? 

Catch ya next time!

Homemade Brownie Batter Froyo

Hellooooo, you lovely people! I was hoping to have this post up for you guys yesterday, but things have been kind of crazy around here with Lola. Here she is mid yawn (which I think is how all of us at the Ferguson household have been feeling lately: tired). 

lola_yawn_pug

We're still keeping the dogs separated for now because both of them are kind of on edge still, and we don't want to take the chance of either of them getting hurt obviously! As you read this, Miss Lola is spending the day at the vet to get a blood glucose curve done. Basically, they'll be testing her blood sugar levels every two hours. I hate the fact that we have to leave her there for the day by herself, but I know it's for her own good so that we can get her diabetes under control. Since Lo will be at the vet for the majority of the day it means that Munchie will get some time to roam the house by herself which I'm sure she'll love!

munch_pug_lawn

Anyways, a few weeks ago I discovered Chocolate Covered Katie's Brownie Batter Frozen Yogurt recipe. For those of you who know me, you know I love, LOVE, LOVE brownies so I needed to try out this recipe! Fudgy, chewy, and warm brownies - oh my gosh, my favorite things ever. So, when I was perusing Pinterest for a dessert recipe that would satisfy my sweet tooth and was still somewhat healthy and found this Brownie Batter Frozen Yogurt recipe I was PUMPED, to say the least. Let me tell ya, it didn't disappoint me and it's the perfect treat in this late August heat. 

brownie_batter_froyo

First things first, you'll need an ice cream maker for this recipe. I have the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt/Ice Cream Maker and it works great. It's also affordable, so if you don't have an ice cream maker definitely check out the Cuisinart model. You'll also need:

  • 3 cups plain or vanilla yogurt of choice (I used Wallaby Organic Greek Vanilla Bean Whole Milk yogurt to get a creamier result)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp cocoa powder (you can also try dutch cocoa for even more of a "brownie" flavor)
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 3-4 tbsp sugar (I used 3 tbsp, just keep in mind that the frozen result will be less sweet than the batter)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar or 1/16 tsp pure stevia 
  • Optional (are they really though?): handful of chocolate chips 
  • Chocolate sprinkles to throw on top

Before you start mixing the ingredients, make sure to follow the directions for your ice cream maker. For mine, I needed to put the bowl in the freezer for 16-24 hours so the liquid inside of it would freeze up. Once you're ice cream maker is ready, you'll want to go ahead and pull out a large mixing bowl. From there, you're just going to add all of the ingredients (minus the chocolate sprinkles - save those babies for when your froyo is done).

froyo_ingredients

Like I said, one of the easiest recipes ever! After that, you'll just want to stir until all of the ingredients are well-blended. 

froyo_blended

Alright, once you've blended your ingredients. You'll just want to follow your ice cream maker instructions, which should be super simple! After about 25 minutes I transferred my frozen yogurt to a glass pyrex container, covered it with saran wrap and the pyrex lid, and then I placed it in the freezer over night. This allowed the brownie batter froyo to take on more of an ice cream texture, rather than a softer froyo texture. 

froyo_cup

Guys, you need to try this before this summer heat goes away. It's the perfect treat on a warm summer night! You can top it with whatever your little heart desires: crumbled graham crackers, slivered almonds, walnuts, sliced strawberries, crushed oreos...I mean, the list could go on and on. AND since it's made with greek yogurt, it's a healthier option than going out for ice cream. Ya know what the best part of it is? You won't miss the regular ice cream because it's THAT good. I promise.  

Do you have a favorite homemade frozen yogurt or ice cream recipe? I would love to have the recipe! Let me know in the comments :)

Jenna