Posted in Recipes

Creamy Tomato & Spinach Pasta

Creamy Tomato & Spinach Pasta

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Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional, I did not add)
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 box of penne pasta
  • 1/2 bag (4 oz.) fresh spinach
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, add the pasta and cook until tender (7-10 minutes). Drain.
  2. While waiting for pasta to cook, dice the onion and mince garlic. Cook both in a Large skillet with the olive oil over medium- low (i did more medium) heat until softened and transparent (5 minutes, mine took about 8).
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juice), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes (optional), salt, and freshly cracked pepper to the onions and garlic. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the tomato paste and a 1/2 cup of water to the skillet and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.
  5. Turn the heat down to low, cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and then add them to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Use a whisk (I used a fork) to stir the sauce until the cream cheese has fully melted in and the sauce is creamy.
  6. Add the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it had wilted (3-5 minutes). Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated in the creamy tomato sauce.
  7. Set the pasta/ sauce mixture aside, and begin cooking the chicken in separate skillet.
  8. Cook chicken on Medium heat until white in center. (4 minutes on each side).
  9. Cut up chicken and add to tomato sauce in skillet.
  10. Mix in chicken, on medium heat until warm.
  11. Enjoy!

 

xo,

Lauren

 


Dark Chocolate Spinach Cupcakes

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I’m back with the festive (somewhat) healthy valentines treat I told you about on Friday. I teamed up with my friend Lauren from Lauren Lives Healthy to bring you a recipe with a favorite green of mine (Spinach!). I will be sharing with you guys a healthy Chocolate cupcake recipe that I found on Pinterest, and she has a delicious post workout green smoothie for you guys. So after you read on here, go check her blog out for some smoothie inspiration! Now on to the recipe.

Dark Chocolate Spinach Cupcakes with Vanilla Chai Buttercream

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces (2 tablespoons) semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (room temp.)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup spinach

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cupcake pan with cupcake liners. set aside.
Melt the butter and semisweet baking chocolate together in the microwave. Microwave for 30 second increments, stirring between each time. Mine took 90 seconds to melt.

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In a medium sized bowl, toss the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda. baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined. set aside.

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In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the butter/ chocolate mixture and combine until smooth.

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Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat until everything is added. Then add the spinach. Make sure to stir only until just combined, do not over mix. Also the batter will be very thick, almost like pudding.

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Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners in the pan. Bake for 18 minutes, let cool.
Frost with Chai Butter Cream.

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Incase any of you are wondering I got the cute little sugar LOVE letters at Target in the valentines candy section for $2!

Chai Buttercream Ingredients

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter melted
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Beat butter salt, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Add the cardamom (optional), cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg and mix until well combined.
Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating after each cup added.
Beat until light and fluffy.
Pipe onto cupcakes.
I hope you all enjoyed this recipe, and my collaboration with Lauren, don’t forget to go check out her smoothie recipe! Let me know  if you end up making the cupcakes and how you like them in the comments section. I love to hear from you guys 🙂
Don’t forget to come back on Friday for Things I’m Loving Friday as well.
Live Blissfully!
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Mouthwatering Monday

Happy Monday everyone! I don’t know about any of you but I could not get out of bed today. Here in New Hampshire we got a snow storm on Saturday and ever since then I have only been wanting to curl up (in my fleece sheets) and watch endless movies. It looks like this won’t be getting any easier either because theres talk of another huge snowstorm coming on Wednesday…Thats January in New England for you :). Given this weather I have been longing for delicious hot foods to keep me warm, so that is where the inspiration for this Mouthwatering Monday recipe came from. I even went to the extent of getting Panera take out because I was in need of some soup!

Mouthwatering Monday Recipe

Homemade Pancakes

homemade pancakes

Ingredients
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tbs. cooking oil
  • dash of vanilla
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients (flour,baking powder, sugar, salt).
  2. in a separate smaller bowl, mix together eggs, milk, and oil.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened.
  4. Bake on a little below Medium heat, until pancakes begin to bubble (or until golden brown) on both sides.
  5. Enjoy with (my little trick) warmed up syrup with a slab of butter, and fruit!
OH and on a side note Chris’ Graduation present is finally finished! I love the way it came out. I would post a picture on here but I’m a little afraid he may look and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I will add it into my Thing’s I’m Loving Friday post this week.
Oh and also Happy Birthday to my Mom! she’s the big 42 today… such an old lady haha 😉 Love you Mom
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Live Blissfully!

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Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Fresh Spinach Artichoke Dip

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I found this recipe off Pinterest, on ThePinningMama.com I am so thankful for Pinterest because I have fallen in love with this womens’ website, and all the great recipes she has. My favorites are her copycat recipes like copycat Panera Tomato Basil soup, or her copycat Panera Chocolate Chip Cookies! DELICIOUS! I will for sure be using her website for Mouthwatering Monday’s to come!
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Onion finely chopped
  • 12 oz Mozzarella Cheese Finely Grated
  • 6 oz Freshly grated Parmesean
  • 1 Can of Artichoke Heart, Drained and Diced
  • 10 oz Bag of Fresh Spinach Coarsely Chopped
  • 1 Bag of Pita Bread, or Tortilla Chips for serving
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F.
2. In a large bowl mix the Mayo, Mustard, sour cream, and onion.
3. Add the cheeses, reserving about 1/8 of the cheese to cover the top, Mix.
4.Stir in the diced artichoke hearts.
5. Mix in the fresh spinach and stir well until the mixture is well combined and everything is evenly coated.
6. Scrape mixture (I would use a spatula) into large casserole dish and cover with remaining cheese.
7.Bake for 45-50 minutes, then if desired cook for additional 1-3 minutes on broil to brown the cheese.
8. Let sit for 15 minutes to set before serving.
9. ENJOY!

 

Live Blissfully!
xo,
Lauren


No Bake Granola Bars

No Bake Granola Bar

 Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans)
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (goji berries)
Directions
1. Microwave nut butter and honey until warm, approximately 30 seconds. Stir together.
2. Stir oatmeal into the nut butter and honey mixture.
3. Add coconut, dried fruit, and chopped pecans. Stir in the ground flax seed.
4.Press the mixture into a pan sprayed with cooking spray. Freeze for 45 minutes.
5. Cut into bars and enjoy! Store remaining bars in the refrigerator.

I can’t wait to try these with some of my favorites like Craisins, almonds, and dark chocolate bits! or peanuts, pretzels, and dark chocolate bits! There are so many combinations that can be made thats why I love this recipe, it really turns into many different recipes.
xo,

Lauren


Snowman Oreo Truffles

Snowman Oreo Truffles

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Ingredients

  • 1 package of Oreo cookies (finely crushed)
  • 1 8 oz block of cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 12 oz packages of white chocolate chips
  • 2 small containers of mini individual oreo cookies
  • decorations: decorative icing (colors orange, blue, and black)

Directions

First I started by crushing the Oreos. A food processor would be ideal to crush them, but I didn’t have one so I resorted to a makeshift plastic bag, with plastic wrap. I laid one down on the counter, put the oreos on top of it, and then sealed them in with another piece on top.

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After the Oreo’s were crushed, I put them in a large bowl, with the softened cream cheese, and mixed them until well blended.
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After this I stuck the blended oreo cream cheese mixture in the freezer for 20 minutes to harden before molding into 1 inch balls. This was a step that was not in the original recipe, but the cream cheese oreo mixture was too soft, to roll into balls right after mixing it, and it kept sticking to my hands, so I hardened it for a while.

 

 After the dough was hardened I rolled the balls in 1 inch balls, and placed them on a cookie sheet, covered with parchment paper.

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This dough made 40 Oreo balls, that I then froze for another 20 minutes. After that I warmed the white chocolate chips for a minute and a half, and dunked the oreo balls in the white chocolate.

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This is the final product of all the Oreo balls covered in white chocolate, I then put them in the Freezer for one hour.

chocolate covered oreos

Last but not least decorate your snowmen! To get the mini Oreo to stick to the top, as a hat, I put a dot of white chocolate on top, and then placed the mini oreo on top of that and let it harden. An easier way would have been to place the mini oreo on top, right after you rolled the Oreo ball in the white chocolate.

Enjoy your Oreo Truffles!

 

Live Blissfully!
xo,

Lauren


Chai Cupcakes With Chai Buttercream

Homemade Chai Cupcakes with Chai Buttercream

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This recipe is completely homemade, but is surprisingly very easy. It does require a good amount of different ingredients, but they can easily be found at your local grocery store. I hadn’t ever made homemade cupcakes, and this was very easy for me to recreate.
Ingredients:

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

  •  3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Chai Spice Mix

  • 3 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional! I did not use this, and they still taste delicious!)
  • 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Directions:
Combine the chai spice mix ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

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Line cupcake tin with paper liners, and lightly spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl cream together the butter, and sugar until very light and fluffy.

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Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg added. Add the vanilla extract and mix.

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In separate large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and half of the chai spice mix.
Slowly add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the batter. Mix until just combined.
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Fill muffin liners 2/3 full, and bake for 24 minutes.

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Cool completely and frost with Chai Buttercream!

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Ingredients:

Chai Spiced Buttercream
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (Truth: I left my butter in the microwave too long trying to soften it and it was more melted butter, It made the buttercream so! soft and delicious)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 batch of chai spice mix
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
Directions:
Beat butter, salt, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the chai spice mix until combined. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating after each cup added. Beat until light and fluffy.

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I hope you all enjoy this delicious cupcake recipe!
Live Blissfully!
xo,
Lauren


Shrimp Piccata Recipe

shrimp picatta

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of uncooked angel hair pasta
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped (I made it without cause I forgot them)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 pound of uncooked large shrimp, peeled, and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 4 teaspoons of corn starch
  • 1/3 of a cup of lemon juice ( i used fresh squeezed lemons)
  • 1/4 of a cup of capers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons of minced fresh parsley

Directions

1. Cook pasta according to package directions (around 6 minutes for angel hair pasta)
2. While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet sautee garlic (and shallots) in oil for one minute on low heat.
3. Add the shrimp, oregano, and salt, cook and stir on medium heat until shrimp turn pink.
4. In small bowl combine the broth, wine, and corn starch, gradually stir into pan.
5. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. remove from heat.
6. Drain Pasta.
7. Add the pasta lemon juice, capers, and parsley to the skillet, toss to coat.

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 Finished Product :). This piccata is so yummy! I always have made chicken piccata, and have never tried shrimp piccata, but wanted to make something different. I’m glad I switched it up because the shrimp added some extra saltiness to the dish that I loved.

On a side note! how cute is this house??

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On my morning walk I passed by this house and fell in love with it! It’s on the road that Chris and I live on now, but I haven’t really noticed it until this morning. It’s for sale, and is so cute inside, new granite counter tops, and all stainless steel appliances, and even has a cute little closed in porch off the back of the house oh and has four bedrooms! that tiny little house has four whole cute bedrooms in it!…Ok i need to stop talking about it/ being obsessed with it because buying a house is not in my near future haha…Hey a girl can dream right??

I Hope you’re all having a wonderful start to your week!

Live Blissfully!
xo,
Lauren


Mango Fruit Smoothie

This morning started with an early workout! I made my way to the gym at around 8 am to do a circuit workout, and loved every minute of it. It’s usually so hard for me to wake up in the morning but for some reason I sprang right out of bed. I love how a morning workout sets me up for a great day, and wakes me up. I was craving something sweet after to I opted for a fruit smoothie!

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My shoes are kind of hard to see in this picture but I am in love with them! If you’re looking for new sneakers for running, or outdoor activities the Nike Free’s are great!. They’re really light, and airy. Mine are a few years old, but the new ones look even better, and have great patterns and colors!

I was starving when I got home from the gym and started my breakfast off with a smoothie, and finished it off with some scrambled eggs! Heres the recipe for my favorite morning smoothie.

Mango fruit Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Chobani Mango Yogurt
  •  1/4 cup Silk Almond Milk
  • A handful of Strawberries
  • A handful of Raspberries
  •  1 cup Frozen Fruit Salad Delight

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Directions:

1. Combine the yogurt, almond milk, strawberries, raspberries, and frozen fruit.
2. Blend
3.Serve

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Live Blissfully!
xo,
Lauren


Lemon Mint Pasta Salad

My morning yesterday started out with some cooking! I woke up and was motivated to cook up the pasta salad recipe that one of my coworkers had given me, and was amazed when it came out so well! I usually tend to over cook pasta but it ended up being just right!

So heres the recipe!

Lemon Mint Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
1 whole cucumber
1/2 red onion
1 tbls mint
1 whole lemon
salt and pepper
* 1 tomato can be added (I just dislike tomatoes)Directions:

  • cook pasta for 8-10 minutes or until soft
  • chop cucumber, onion, and tomato (if desired)
  • mince the mint
  • combine vegetables and mint in large bowl
  • drain cooked pasta let cool
  • once pasta is cooled add pasta to large bowl
  • add olive oil to pasta
  • squeeze lemon onto pasta
  • add salt and pepper to taste

Makes about four generous servings or 8 small servings

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By the way how awesome is the contrast between the turquoise bowl, and my marble counter tops?

I never took a picture of the pasta after it was all thrown together because my phone died, but basically just throw in the cooked and cooled pasta, tomato if desired mint, olive oil, and lemon, and toss until combined!

 

xo,
Lauren


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