Two of my favorite dips coming together as one. In a delicious, savory, creamy union. Ok well that might sound a little bit vulgar but you get the point. This dip is awesome. I originally found it packaged in Trader Joes and LOVED it. Unfortunately we don’t have a TJ’s in Peoria so I decided to try it for myself. SO glad I made the effort. YUM.
This is packed with healthy fat and protein. It’s super easy and cheap to make. In the last few days we have eaten it on tacos, with crackers, and straight off the spoon. This may become a regular in our fridge. So without further ado, here it is!
How do I name a soup to convey its deliciousness? The title of this post isn’t all that enticing but wowza this soup is amazing. It’s fresh, flavorful, and surprisingly filling. I was starving so I made a batch of this stuff and threw a couple of pieces of toast on my plate. I got so wrapped up in the soup that I forgot the toast! I ate two bowls and couldn’t have fit anything else in my belly. Plus, it’s really EASY.
I don’t make soup often but I never regret it. I made a big batch in half an hour. I probably could have eaten it all in one sitting but then I would have to roll myself to bed. So I froze half of it and now we have dinner for another night.
Side note: I will have a recipe today, so as not to satisfy a terrorists hunger to be the center of attention. But, please see the bottom of this post for my thoughts…
And now, on to the frosting! Mike is out of town for a couple of weeks 😦 so I have been ultra productive in his absence. It’s amazing how a lack of company will get me motivated. So I made a chocolate fudge cake and had no idea what to use as frosting. The packaged stuff is so full of sugar that it makes me nauseas. So I made my own! And holy bajolies it is delicious.
When warm, it’s melt on your tongue chocolatey goodness. When cold, it hardens into pure chocolate bliss on top of your cake. Also, because I use coconut sugar, it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Sweet!
Happy Tuesday! In an effort to cut back on our grocery bill, I’m only buying produce for the entire month of April. It seems that it’s really the organic, natural packaged crap that’s expensive, so we’re doing a lot of fruit and veg this month. In that vain, I had no idea what to pair with the salmon I cooked the other night, so I made it up … sweet potato home fries! These babies keep great in the fridge. They’re delicious warm and really yummy cold too.
Sweet Potato Home Fries (serves: 4, cook time: 30 minutes)
2 large sweet potatoes
1 cup mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup high heat oil
sea salt and ground pepper
Chop the potatoes, mushrooms, and onion into bite-sized chunks. Mince the garlic on top of the potatoes.
Heat the skillet to medium first, THEN add half the oil. Coat the bottom of your skillet.
Add sweet potatoes, garlic, and onions and spread in an even layer in the skillet. Cook on medium-high heat, uncovered until potatoes are browned and onions are caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the oil, slowly, as needed. Take care not to mess with them too much, flip potatoes once or twice in the entire 10-ish minutes.
When your mix is pretty well cooked, add the mushrooms. These are already soft so they don’t take much cooking. Cook for a few more minutes to heat up the mushrooms.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
Ashley Life Update: I had a wonderful weekend at a friend’s wedding in Louisiana. Got to hang out with my immediate family (see my sister’s and I above) and a lot of friends I haven’t seen in a long time. And the 13 hour drive there and back wasn’t too bad. We set up a bed in the back of the car and then whoever was driving listened to books on tape. Man those things pass the time!
We also stopped at an epic Country Buffet in Arkansas (the best in the state). I swear I had no idea that America had areas like that. Just VERY southern. That’s why I love road trips, you see cultures you never would have explored otherwise.
AND, another plus, we finally got some communication from Mike’s job. We should be finding out our next stop in the next couple weeks and the options are looking good!
I hope you all had great weekends too! Love and hugs – Ash
What do you cook when the entire meal will be appetizers? I knew that most people wouldn’t be hungry for a full meal so I planned out four appetizers instead. They all worked perfectly, except for this one. This took two tries but it was SO worth it. I got the original recipe from Sammie Kennedy. This stuff melts in your mouth. It’s gooey and chewy and crunchy. Salty AND sweet. YUM
I still had the microwave at this point but I was trying to wean myself off it. Turns out popping popcorn on the stove can be kind of tricky. This is where the first attempt failed. When I tried again the next day I was significantly less distracted and followed the instructions below to a tee. And of course it worked.
In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and coconut sugar. Stir in the vanilla, honey, and cinnamon. Stir frequently. When it reaches a boil, remove from heat.
Pour the liquid mixture over the popped popcorn. Add the salt on top. Mix gently with a wooden or plastic spoon so you don’t crush the kernels.
Lay popcorn out on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until hardened.
Break off the sheet and serve. Enjoy! It will keep a couple of days until the popcorn goes stale.
Ashley Life Update:
We went and got the Vitamix last night! I’m so flippin’ excited. My week is insane so I won’t have much time to experiment but I’ll be using it whenever possible and I’m sure you’ll all be hearing about it. Also, we found a fantastic deal on Stainless Steel cookware. 20% off and a rebate for a Cuisinart bowl set. It’s gonna take a little bit of saving to bounce back but I am SO excited to use this stuff. This night was better than Christmas. YAY!
We had some people over on Saturday. A melting pot of people from all the different areas of our life. We ladies had some fun with makeup (more on that Friday) while the guys watched basketball. Then we all went line dancing! I’m getting pretty good at it by now.
So for the get together at our place, I decided that I would cook appetizers. I settled on 4 relatively simple recipes. When people started arriving and I was only half done cooking, I realized I may have been a bit ambitious. BUT, I did discover this amazing recipe. It took a total of 3 minutes and was one of the tastiest things on the table.
Honey Yogurt Dip
1 cup plain yogurt (organic and/or goat is better, raw is best)
2 Tbsp honey (local is best)
1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
Any fruit that’s in season
Cut up your fruit into bite-sized pieces.
Mix remaining ingredients together and serve!
Also, it snowed here again! About 5 inches in 24 hours. I had the day off and managed to catch the flu so it was the perfect weather to snuggle up on the couch, watch marathon TV, and drink pots of tea. But just to prove how amazing the Midwest is, a random, kindly citizen cleaned off my car! There is no way for me to know who did it so they just did it from the kindness of their heart. Peoria really isn’t so bad 🙂
I hope you’re having a happy day. Love and hugs – Ash
This bread is delicious. Really, really good. It’s moist and naturally sweet; and the texture is like butter in your mouth. Yummy. It can take up to 45 minutes to prepare and an hour to cook so do it on a Sunday and make a big batch. It freezes really well so leftovers are a good thing!
I found the recipe on another blog (Skinny Ms) and then tweaked it a bit. I took out the stevia and oat bran and added gluten-free oats and walnuts.
Because it’s high in protein, sugar-free, and very low in grains, you can eat it any time of day. We had it last night for dessert and this morning for breakfast. Toast it for a few minutes for an even more satisfying experience.
Banana Nut Bread
2 granny smith apples
3 very ripe bananas
8 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup almond milk
1 cup almond meal/ almond flour
1 cup whole, gluten-free oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180°F. Lightly coat loaf pan with 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil.
Peel, core, and dice apples into small pieces. Sauté with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon on medium heat until brown (about 5 minutes).
In a large bowl mix together the almond meal, oats, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In another bowl mix olive oil, eggs, almond milk, and vanilla.
Slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture (in about 4 batches).
In the now empty liquid mixture bowl, mash all 3 bananas.
Fold bananas and apples into the large bowl mixture.
Spoon into the loaf pan. Cook for about 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer or toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in pan and then enjoy!
I highly recommend this one. It really is delicious. Let me know how it goes! A big hug and a smile. – Ash