Cheers! : Caramel Apple Sangria Recipe

Insert the infamous Caramel Apple Sangria. Amongst the many flavors that I associate with this season, caramel apple has got to be one of my favorites. It took me 3 liquor stores and a whole lot of questions before I got this recipe right.

I was looking for some version of caramel liqueur (a nonalcoholic flavoring syrup), only not ONE liquor store had anything in stock….in Atlanta…go figure. So I had to improvise and use buttershots instead. Now before you turn your nose up and say “eew”, trust me it’s AMAZE! – and it tastes nothing like butter.

Caramel Apple Sangria

1 cup Smirnoff Vanilla
1 cup Smirnoff Caramel Kiss
1/3 cup Dekuyper Buttershots
2 cups white wine (Moscato if you want it sweet, Pinot Grigio if you want it dryer)
2 cups Sparkling Apple Cider
A splash of Apple Cider
A Dash of Cinnamon
Diced Apples

Mix all ingredients together, adding the apples last. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours and serve chilled, garnish with apple slices. Enjoy!

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Happy Friday!

What is your favorite fall flavor?

Recipe Box: The Best Tasting KALE Salad Ever

In my quest to live and ever so healthy life, I realized that salads were always my go-to “health kick” meal. I have always been a fan of salads, only, not the super green health machine kind…more of the “give-me-any-and-every-fix-in” kind.

My typical salads are usually loaded up on heavy cheeses, fatty dressings, and you can’t forget that good old iceberg lettuce. Only, iceberg lettuce isn’t really good for you, not that its bad or anything…its just not GOOD for you.

Its the dark green leafy “lettuces” that pack the health power. Compared to the (at least) 20 other salad leaves iceberg has close to zero nutrients, literally very close to zero nutrients. Kale has been somewhat of a popular leaf lately due to it being rich in vitamins A & C.

But Kale…it sounds so…blah…right? At least I thought so. My grocery store had a sale on kale (lol you see what I did there?) So I decided to put my touch on it and try not to unhealthy it up!

Now I just HAD to have my fix-ins, (because without those, a salad is just a plate of trees) but I used all healthy versions. I used crumbled blu cheese (instead of shredded american), bacon bits, fresh tomatoes, ground black pepper, grilled chicken, and baked croutons (because I needed a little bit of fun to remember who I really am).  I did actually add red onions too, only I remembered that I don’t eat onions, so I picked them out before the picture.

I topped everything off with balsamic vinaigrette dressing and ate honestly, the best salad that I have ever had in my life! I actually added red onions too, only then I remembered that I don’t actually eat onions, so I picked them out before the picture.

You don’t have to follow the recipe mix in whatever it is that YOU like; mozzarella cheese, cucumbers, fish, raisins, fish, or even onions! Try it and let me know what you think!
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Recipe Box: Shrimp Scampi

Am I the only one who feels like I am consistently making the same things? If its not chicken with rice and string beans (which happens to be a family favorite), then its meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn (which also happens to be a family favorite) or spaghetti and meatballs.

As London has grown I’ve realized that I don’t really have much of a choice BUT to meal plan at this point. My days are so busy that if I don’t already know what it is that I plan to cook AND have all of my ingredients by 12 pm, there is a 98% chance that we are eating out that day (the other 2% is considering that there is leftovers from the night before).

In comes Pinterest. I’ve been “pinning” yummy dinner ideas for years now so now that I have an actual “meal plan”, I figure I’d might as well get a little adventurous.

Now- on to this Shrimp Scampi


It was absolutely delicious!

This Shrimp Scampi was very quick and easy to make- not to mention super cheap at just $10! I bought my shrimp pre cooked, peeled, and deveined so it only only took 15 minutes from start to finish. Perfect for last minute meal!

Ingredients

8 ounces linguine
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 bag of large cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup pinot grigio
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
 salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to directions on the package.
  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and shrimp. Sauté over medium heat for 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in lemon juice and wine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
  • Stir in pasta and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top (I mixed mines into the pasta but it’s totally optional)

And voila! Easy peasy meal that everyone will love 🙂

Enjoy!

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Recipe Box: Cinnamon Roll Casserole

When I hear the word “casserole” I cannot help but to think of my grandmothers rice, broccoli, chicken, and cheese dish that found its way into every family gathering. This, my friends, is NOT your average casserole. As a matter of fact I don’t consider it a casserole at all..more like a dish of warm yummy cinnamon-y goodness, too bad they don’t have a word for that yet.

One Friday night my persistent sweet tooth was craving something sweet and sticky, yet a little bit more complex than a typical cinnamon roll.

I came across this recipe over on good ole’ Pinterest and decided to give it a try.

OH Boy! Not only was this sweet treat delicious, no like really lick-your-fingers-and-not-even-care-about-lookin-fat good! There was enough for my entire family to enjoy for a few days (not that I was particularly thrilled about sharing *side-eye*).

This dish is great to serve when your entertaining, holiday’s, or even brunch! It only takes about 15-20 minutes to whip up and reheats well too which is a plus.

I listed the recipe below. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

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Sweet Treats: 15 Irresistible Fall Treat Recipes

Autumn is my absolute FAVORITE time of year! I love the smell of pumpkin, cinnamon spices, and apples. That whole fall aura just gives me so much LIFE!

As the cool weather creeps in & the scenery changes from green to auburn, fall is the perfect time to cozy up and indulge in some irresistibly sweet treats. I have a ton of yummy recipes in my box but I wanted to share my favorite-est fall food picks with you. I hope you’ll enjoy these just as much as I do!

1. Chocolate Covered Strawberry “Pumpkins”

This delicious spin on chocolate covered strawberries over at MomLovesBaking are super cute! Their healthy and really easy to make with just 3 ingredients.

2. Candy Corn Cupcakes from TheGirlWhoAteEverything

Although these cupcakes don’t actually taste like candy corn I still think that they are such a cute treat for the fall.

3. Cinnamon Apple Rings over at FortuneGoodies

This is such a healthy treat!

4. Pumpkin Waffles from CookingClassy

I’m such a sucker for homemade waffles, I mean like I could literally eat them for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. Pair that with pumpkin spice and you have pure heaven!

5. Candy Corn and White Chocolate Blondies from AverieCooks

I have never been a huge fan of brownies but it’s something about white chocolate that tickles my sweet tooth! These beautiful blondes are made with real candy corn, making them am instant fall favorite.

6. Pumpkin Angel Food Cake from JuliesEatsAndTreats

The light and airy texture of angel food cake makes it a perfect match for French vanilla ice cream. Infuse a box of angel food cake mix with pumpkin & cinnamon flavors for a yummy spin on this classic treat.

7. Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Caramel Sauce from TasteAndTellBlog

I think the picture pretty much explains it all, don’t you think?

8. Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Oh-my-goodness! My favorite fall indulgence would have to be Apple Cider Donuts. It’s like a battle trying to swipe a decent box of theses delectable treats at the farm near me. This recipe from TheFauxMartha looks great, I think that I might be giving this a try!

9. Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls from DietHood

I mean just look at them…do they really need an introduction?

10. Apple Crisp

This crunchy alternative to apple pie over at TastesBetterFromScratch looks amazing! I can’t wait to try this for Thanksgiving.
I really do want to make them all, I just hope I don’t gain too much weight this fall! If you decide to try any of these irresistible sweets please post pictures & links! I would love to see them. Also, don’t forget to comment on the original recipe’s post too!




Do you have a favorite fall recipe that you’d like to share? Comment below!

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Smoothie Challenge Day 5: Protein Packed Peanut Butter Vanilla Smoothie!

Today’s Smoothie is inspired by the healthy lifestyle that I so long to live. haha. Every morning Occasionally, I like to get up at 6:30 am and do a light morning workout, a combination of yoga and toning. Today for some reason I felt pretty lightheaded after i was done burning calories, so I thought that it would be a great idea to do a post workout smoothie beverage/ breakfast.

Recipe

3 tbs of peanut butter
1 cup of vanilla soy milk
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of vanilla granola
1/2 cup of blueberries (frozen)

Combine all ingredients into your blender and pulse until smooth. Even though I did use frozen blueberries, I still added a bit of crushed ice while I was blending because I wanted a thicker texture.

The recipe originally found here uses bananas but I didn’t have any left 🙁 so I decided to use frozen blueberries instead. Blueberries are amazing antioxidants, they give your immune system a boost, banish belly fat, and help the digestive system just to name a few of their many beneficial properties.

*REVIEW*

This is honestly one of the BEST smoothies that I have ever tasted. Its  No joke, its amazing, even London loves it!

                           What do you think about this recipe?

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30 Day Smoothie Challenge!

Smoothies are an excellent source of energy and nutrition especially for people always on the go like me. Buying these power packed purees while out can really add up! The DIY Princess in me always wanted to try making my own smoothies at home but I dreaded the thought of pulling my bulky blender  out everyday.
So I’m searching the internet one day (I have no idea what I was looking for but I can bet you it wasn’t a Nutribullet *side eye*); anyway, I came across a very well priced version of the personal sized blender and decided to give it a try. I debated on wether or not I wanted to buy the Nutribullet but the price was a little to steep for me to spend on something that I barely knew how to use.
                                                        You can find them here and here
By the time I get my little London up, dressed, fed, changed, and down for a nap, its already 1pm and mommy has missed breakfast AND almost lunch. There were times where I’d literally forget to eat; no breakfast, no lunch, and maybe dinner, but then thats not too healthy is it? To stay in shape I definitely need to stay healthy! So, instead of skipping meals all together I decided to find a way to condense them. 
I’ve done my research and found a plethora of recipes both nutritious and tasty. All ingredients are super affordable and interchangeable. There’s a smoothie for pretty much everything, energy, stress,  sleep, breakfast, all types of flavors, the possibilities are endless! For the next 30 days I will be finding and posting new smoothie recipes and letting you know which ones are worth trying. 
My General Recipe:
* Yogurt (my favs are vanilla and toasted coconut)
* Fruit (frozen and fresh)
* Vegetables (mostly spinach and kale)
* Honey (just because its an awesome natural low calorie sweetener)
* Ice (optional, can substitute for frozen fruit)
* Liquid
        – Orange Juice
        – Apple Juice
        – Coconut Milk
        – Almond Milk
        – Soy Milk
 Stay Tuned!



How do you make your smoothies at home?
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