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SKINNY BLUEBERRY LIME GIN COCKTAILS

SKINNY BLUEBERRY LIME GIN COCKTAILS

Skinny blueberry lime gin cocktails

Ever since we returned from Maine I’ve had blueberries on my mind.  First of all, if you haven’t read my Maine Eats blog post make sure you do!  We literally ate our way through the state, and much to my surprise the state isn’t only known for their lobster but also for their blueberries!  I will admit I ate an absurd amount of lobster and I did indulge in a few blueberry desserts but not the blueberry cocktails.

At nearly every restaurant I saw some sort of amazing blueberry cocktail creation, our waitress almost broke me one night but I held out strong!  It’s one thing to eat my way through Maine but once I start slurping 500 calorie blueberry cocktails it’s pretty much over for me.  I may have split some blueberry desserts with Brian, but as much as I wanted to I left those sugary blueberry cocktails alone.  But now cut to a week later and I’m still thinking about them.  So ahem… may I introduce you do my own skinny girl blueberry lime gin cocktail recipe?

Skinny blueberry lime gin cocktails

At just 125 calories per drink and 4 carbs this is my creation of Maine in a cocktail.  These delicious cocktails are purply and pretty, low in sugar. and full of blueberry anti-oxidants!

I cut out the sugar by using my favorite alternative, liquid stevia!  Mixed with a small amount of blueberry juice, there is a perfect balance of sweetness with no awkward aftertaste.  You can find blueberry juice at many grocery stores, this is the one I’m using.  I’m using regular juice but divided into a small portion per drink the calories and carbs are still quite low.

I made Brian do all the calorie and carb math… he loves math, so I often assign him math projects.  He was extra eager for this one because it involved getting a cocktail as a reward afterwards!

Skinny Blueberry Lime Gin Cocktail

Servings: 1
Calories: 125kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 shot Gin
  • 5 drops liquid stevia (add more if you prefer it sweeter)
  • 3 tbs blueberry juice
  • 1/4 lime wedge, squeezed
  • 2-4 oz sparkling water

Instructions

  • In a glass add gin, stevia, blueberry juice, and lime juice and mix together.
  • Add ice and top with 4 oz of sparkling water.
  • Garnish with fresh lime and blueberries.

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g

I did this cocktail recipe the lazy girl way, meaning I mixed all the ingredients in the glass, gave them a swirl and then added ice and sparkling water.  If you’re feeling fancy and want to get out your cocktail shaker you should totally go for it.  I get it… sometimes I feel cocktail fancy too.  Add all the ingredients except the ice and the sparkling water, shake, pour and add the ice and sparkling water while doing a twirl… you are truly fancy!

Skinny blueberry lime gin cocktails

This is the perfect skinny cocktail for a hot summer day!  It’s blueberry deliciousness!  If you try it let me know what you think!

 

KETO STRAWBERRY LIME MINI CHEESECAKES

KETO STRAWBERRY LIME MINI CHEESECAKES

Keto Strawberry Lime Cheesecake

Happy Summer!  Yesterday was a strawberry moon did you see it?  Unfortunately I didn’t get to see it, but yesterday I celebrated the strawberry moon by creating this delicious no bake keto Strawberry Lime Mini Cheesecake.  You know I love posting strawberry desserts… they’re my jam, but this year I’m switching things up with a keto recipe.  I’ve been able to lose some of my 2020 weight gain doing keto and I thought it was time to celebrate with a summer dessert.  These mini cheesecakes are a perfect way to celebrate summer barbecues and the Fourth of July… plus it gave me a reason to use my Le Creuset mini cocottes that I love!

If you’re wondering what makes this recipe keto friendly, that would be the almond flour crust, powdered erythritol sweetener, and high fat content.  Part of the reason why I thrive so well on the keto diet is because I find fat so satiating.

Now let’s talk a little bit about powdered erythritol.  Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that comes in granulated and powdered form but it has 0 net carbs and is considered keto friendly. The best non-nutritive sweeteners are natural ones like stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol.  These natural sugar substitutes contain few or no calories, meaning they won’t raise your blood sugar or impact ketosis.  Having said that I truly believe all keto desserts should be eaten in moderation or on special occasions. 

For this recipe I’m using a powdered blend of erythritol that is blended with monkfruit.  I was able to pick it up at my grocery store, you can purchase the exact brand I’m using HERE.  Although it’s a blend of monkfruit it’s 99% erythritol.

Keto Strawberry Lime Cheesecake

For this recipe you’ll need a hand mixer or a stand mixer.  The majority of the filling is a mixture of softened cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, and of course erythritol.  To make sure this recipe is successful you’ll need to make sure your heavy cream is nice and cold.  Once all the filling ingredients are blended you’ll need to whip the mixture on high until it’s nice and stiff.  I want to stress that if the mixture is runny it will not firm up in the refrigerator.  The firm texture comes from whipping, so make sure it’s nice and thick like the above photo.

To get that great strawberry flavor we blend fresh strawberries together in a mini food processor or a blender.  If you don’t have one you can probably mash them with a fork.  I just love the combo of strawberry and lime, it’s so summery and fresh!  To get that great lime flavor we zest an entire lime and add it to the mixture.  Be sure to save the lime and you can drizzle a squeeze of lime before you eat this delicious dessert!

Keto Strawberry Lime Cheesecake

These delicious treats are just over 4 carbs and so satisfying!  A word about the serving size, the nutrition info is based off dividing this mixture into 10 equal portions and since these are no bake you can easily use any small dish you like… if you don’t have ramekins, little tea cups could work!  Keep in mind if you split the dish up into less than 10 portions the carb count per portion will go up a little and if you make more than 10 portions the carb count goes down.

When it comes to calculating sugar alcohols it can be a little confusing.  Generally speaking, half of the carbs from sugar alcohols can be subtracted from the total carbs listed on the nutrition label.

However, erythritol is an exception. If it’s the only sugar alcohol in the ingredient list, its carbs can be completely subtracted from the total carbs.  

Keto Strawberry Lime Mini Cheesecakes

Servings: 10
Calories: 237kcal

Equipment

  • Mixer

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered erythritol
  • 5 medium sized strawberries
  • 1 lime, zested
  • Optional - extra strawberries & lime zest for garnishing

Instructions

  • In a medium sized bowl mix together melted butter and almond flour with a fork.
  • Divide almond flour mixture into 10 small serving ramekins.
  • Wash strawberries and trim tops off, using a blender or mini food chopper puree the strawberries.
  • With a high speed mixer and whisk attachment, whip the heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, powdered erythritol, strawberries, and lime zest together on low speed until blended.
  • Increase the mixer speed to high and mix until the mixture has thickened. Do not add the mixture to the ramekins unless it has thickened.
  • Spoon the filling evenely on top of the crust and chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  • Add extra strawberries, lime zest, and lime juice for garnish if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 10g | Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 76mg | Fiber: 1.36g | Sugar: 2g

Le Creuset mini cocottes

I hope you love these delicious keto treats as much as I do, it’s strawberry lime love!

 

4 INGREDIENT NO BAKE BIRDS NEST COOKIES

4 INGREDIENT NO BAKE BIRDS NEST COOKIES

It’s officially spring, who else is excited?  I’m sharing one of our favorite family springtime treats that we make every year around the Easter season: birds nest no bake cookies!  One year when my girls were little I made these adorable treats and ever since then they can’t have an Easter without them.  They are now 17 and 19 and still ask for them and get excited when I make them, and they still have fun helping me shape each nest.

These springtime treats are the perfect festive treat and they’re so easy to make!  Just 4 ingredients, a microwave, and some wax or parchment paper.  It’s that easy and really fun making each nest!

In a large microwave safe bowl melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips every 30 seconds, stirring in between until they’re completely melted.  Take care not to microwave them too long so they don’t burn.  Once melted stir until smooth, toss in the chow mein noodles, and mix until blended.  Spoon onto wax or parchment paper and shape into a nest.  Top with candy, let them firm up, and you have the cutest treats!

Easy to make Easter treats

4 Ingredient NO BAKE Birds Nest Cookies

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 ounces butterscotch chips
  • 12 ounces chow mein noodles
  • small candy eggs for decorating
  • wax or parchment paper

Instructions

  • Place the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a large microwave safe bowl.
  • Microwave in 30 second increments, stirrring each time until melted.
  • Stir until smooth and add chow main noodles, stirring until blended.
  • Spoon onto wax or parchment paper, shaping the nest, creating a slight low spot in the center to hold the eggs.
  • Add candy eggs to the center and let set until firm.

Our favorite candies to use are Cadberry candy coated mini eggs, Robin eggs, jelly beans, and Peep marshmallow birds.  Not only are these Easter time treats easy and fun to make, they taste delicious too!   Be sure to follow me on Instagram for my latest seasonal content!  Wishing you a Happy Easter blog friends!

 

THANKSGIVING LEFTOVER STUFFED MUSHROOMS

THANKSGIVING LEFTOVER STUFFED MUSHROOMS

Thanksgiving leftover stuffed mushrooms

Let’s hope you still have some Thanksgiving leftovers hanging around because I MUST share this amazing Thanksgiving leftover stuffed mushroom recipe with you!  I really wish I would have shared this delicious recipe with you sooner, but I just created it last night.  Part of my Thanksgiving joy is having lots of leftovers, not just to eat but to play around with in the kitchen.

As I took my first bite of these stuffed mushrooms last night I knew I had a winner.  Brian very willingly went to the store to get more mushrooms… it was that good.  So today while making my second batch I thought I would share this delicious recipe with you.

Thanksgiving leftover stuffed mushrooms

It’s pretty easy to figure out what to do with leftover turkey, but what about the rest of the sides that you tire of quickly?  Leftover dressing dries out, and the leftover cranberries and gravy probably get shoved to the back of the refrigerator where you find them weeks later.   Being an extreme stuffed mushroom lover I decided to go to work and find a creative way to use leftover dressing or stuffing, cranberries, and gravy.  Not only is this recipe delicious it couldn’t be easier!

Thanksgiving leftover recipes

The ingredients are simple and there is no pre-cooking!  My cornbread dressing dries out quickly so I added a few tablespoons of milk to make the mixture pliable, and then blended it in a mini-food processor.  I also pureed the cranberries and added a little water to those and the gravy to thin them out.  If you don’t have a food processor no worries just mix it by hand.  This should be a fun stress-free recipe.

How to clean mushrooms

Proper cleaning of mushrooms is essential for any good stuffed mushroom recipe.  You see, mushrooms are extremely porous and soak up water like a sponge, so I don’t rinse them in a colander.  After removing the stem I use a damp rag or paper towel to clean the top and sides.  I prefer a rag because the texture helps remove dirt.  From there I scoop out the gills with a spoon or strawberry huller to make room for lots of delicious filling.

Thanksgiving leftover stuffed mushrooms

Once my mushrooms are stuffed I top them with a dollap of gravy and then they’re off to the oven.  By the way I used Tyler Florence’s Carmelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing recipe (cooked separately with a lot more liquid) along with Ina Garten’s Homemade Gravy.  It’s a heavenly stuffed mushroom combination, but I believe any recipe would make a delicious combination.

Find the detailed recipe below.

Thanksgiving leftover stuffed mushrooms

Thanksgiving Leftover Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 2 8 oz pkgs whole white button mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover dressing or stuffing
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup leftover gravy
  • 1/3 cup leftover cranberries, pureed
  • 2-3 tbs water, to thin the cranberries and gravy
  • 1 tbs olive oil

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  • Remove mushroom stems and with a wet paper towel or rag clean the tops and sides of the mushrooms. With a spoon or strawberry huller scoop out the mushroom gills.
  • Place mushrooms in a greased baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.
  • In a bowl or small food processor blend together dressing and milk. If your dressing is really wet you can skip this step. If your dressing is really dry add more milk until its sticks together.
  • Add parmesan cheese and mix together by hand or food processer.
  • Scoop heaping spoonfulls of dressing mixture onto the mushrooms.
  • Thin the gravy with a little water and spoon a little on top of each mushroom.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and the dressing mixture is hot.
  • While the mushrooms are baking, thin the cranberries with water.
  • Remove from oven, drizzle with cranberry sauce, and serve immediately.

Thanksgiving leftover stuffed mushrooms

Thanksgiving leftover stuffed mushrooms

Can we all agree stuffed mushrooms of any kind are just devine?  Every year I play with leftovers, but this recipe is hands down my favorite, and it makes a fresh side to serve along with leftover turkey too.  Up next I’ll be making a turkey and dressing quiche and a turkey bolognese.  If you have your own fun ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers please do share!

 

OLD FASHIONED APPLE CRISP

OLD FASHIONED APPLE CRISP

Old fashioned apple crisp

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I thought I would share my favorite, most scrumptious old fashioned apple crisp recipe.  Honestly I can’t think of anything better than being curled up on the sofa with a warm bowl of apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream.  It’s true happiness!

I love a good apple pie but let’s face it, pie crust isn’t exactly fun to make or work with.  To me, apple crisp will hands down always win because of how easy it is to throw together and the delicious crunchy chewy topping.  It’s happiness in a bowl.  Warm melty good happiness and so worth the calories.

the best apple crisp recipe

When it comes to baking with apples it’s crucial to use the right kind.  You’ll want to choose an apple that holds its texture in the oven and one that isn’t too sweet.  Many apples are great for baking, such as granny smith, braeburn, gala, and honey crisp to name a few.  I’m partial to honey crisp because of their crisp, juicy texture and versatility.  They cost more at the grocery store but they taste delicious, fresh or baked.

How to slice apples

For easy sliced apples start by peeling them and slice into four quarters.  Slice each quarter into slices about 1/4 inch thick.  Sometimes I’ll cut my apples a little thinner or thicker but 1/4 inch is a good rule of thumb.

the best apple crisp recipe

Slicing all the apples can feel tedious but once you’ve sliced all your apples everything comes together fast.  From there I mix the apples in a bowl with a little flour, sugar, and spices.  The crumb topping is also oh so easy because we add melted butter.  Yep, no cutting in cold butter.  Just melt it, pour it into the crumb mixture, and stir until combined.  You’ll know it’s done when the butter starts to clump together with the mixture.  Those clumpy bits taste so good out of the oven.

If you’re wondering why no baking powder or soda that’s a great question.   Many apple crisp recipes will call for baking soda or powder even though there is nothing to rise.  This has always baffled me, so I leave it out.  As I’ve researched why this is done it seems that baking powder or soda can raise the pH level of the topping which can enhance browning, but even that’s debatable.  So I’ve never used it.

Old fashioned apple crisp

Apple Crisp

Ingredients

For the apple filling:

  • 6-7 baking apples, I use honey crisp
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water

For the topping:

  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Peel apples and slice into 4 quarters. Slice each quarter into thin slices.
  • In a bowl large enough to hold the apples, mix together white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the apples and mix until the apples are coated in the mixture.
  • Place the apple mixture into a greased 4-quart baking dish or a deep 9x15 casserole dish.
  • In a seperate bowl combine 2 cups flour, brown sugar, and melted butter. Crumble evenly over the apple slices.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes and cool slightly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Old fashioned apple crisp

You can store the leftovers covered at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.  If you do refrigerate your crisp you can reheat it in the oven, however you may loose a little crispness.  Cover with foil so the top won’t burn and reheat it for 15 minutes at 350.

the best apple crisp recipe

Funny story, a few months ago we had some perfect fall days, so of course I had to make the family an apple crisp.  Not long after the crisp was in the oven I started smelling something that reminded me of enchiladas.  As the apple crisp cooked the smell kept getting stronger and stronger.  To my horror I realized I had accidentally used cumin instead of cinnamon!

My husband the trooper ate a lot of it, but the rest of use couldn’t get past the strong cumin flavor.  So I guess I should say there isn’t anything better than a bowl of warm apple crisp topped with ice cream… unless you put cumin in it!

 

SLOW COOKER BEEF STROGANOFF

SLOW COOKER BEEF STROGANOFF

Slow cooker beef stroganoff recipe

Happy September friends!  On my last blog post I shared with you how every August I just can’t deal with cooking.  Call it end of the hot summer season burn out… I don’t know but like clockwork every August it happens!  The best strategy I’ve learned it to have a pile of easy no brainer recipes that can carry me through the slump.  I recently shared my oh so easy spicy maple salmon recipe and now I’m sharing another oh so easy girl you can do this recipe with my slow cooker beef stroganoff.  It has minimal prep work, you basically just throw everything in the slow cooker and then your free!  Well, you’re free for about 6-8 hours anyway.

Slow cooker beef stroganoff recipe

I love the complete easy laziness that slow cooker or crockpot meals have.  I’m normally NOT a fan of any slow cooked recipe that calls for additional stove top cooking.  When it comes to the slow cooker I want to be the laziest person possible!  Having said that this recipe does call for additional stove top cooking.  What??  I know, but hear me out, we’re just boiling the noodles, and it’s egg noodles, those babies cook fast!  But if noodles aren’t your jam you can skip them altogether and serve with bread.

Easy slow cooker recipes

When  I say this recipe is easy I mean it!  I start with lean pre-chopped stew meat, a little seasoning, add sliced mushrooms, and a rough chopped onion.  That’s it, easy peasy!

8 hours later…..

Easy crockpot recipes

Now the fun starts, building the sauce!  To thicken the sauce a bit I like to ladle out some liquid to a bowl and whisk in some cornstarch until smooth.  With the heat still on the slow cooker I stir the cornstarch mixture back in and let the mixture thicken while I start the noodles.

Slow cooker beef stroganoff recipe

Once the noodles are done right before serving we add sour cream and Dijon mustard to finish the delicious sauce.

Fact: anything with sour cream is incredibly delicious and this sauce certainly doesn’t disappoint.  If you’re not a fan of Dijon don’t let that throw you off, it helps to emulsify the sauce and adds just a hint of tang.  My kids aren’t mustard fans yet they never notice it.  Shh!

Slow cooker beef stroganoff recipe

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Servings: 8

Equipment

  • Slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 lb whole mushrooms, rinsed and sliced in half (or use pre-sliced)
  • 1 tbs worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • cooked egg noodles, for serving
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  • Place beef, onion, mushrooms, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low 8 hours or high 6 hours, until meat is tender.
  • Ladle 1 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker into a medium size bowl. Add the cornstarch and whisk until smooth. With the heat still on pour the cornstarch mixture back in slow cooker and stir until combined.
  • Cook another 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. While the sauce is thickening boil the egg noodles according to the package directions.
  • Turn the slow cooker off, or set it to warm and stir in the sour cream and Dijon mustard.
  • Serve over egg noodles and top with fresh parsley.

Easy slow cooker recipes

There you have it, a family friendly easy meal that takes very little time and effort.  This meal is so hearty and satisfying but what I really like is how it doesn’t scream I’ve been cooked in the slow cooker.  Whether you just can’t deal with cooking or your short on time this recipe is perfect!

Fall is coming, who else is bursting with excitement?  The blog will be turning full on fall soon!  Have a great week my pumpkins!