Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

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Every Monday night you can find me on the couch watching The Bachelorette. I don’t know what it is about these reality TV shows but they always suck me in. I have to say that Rachel this season is very poised, intelligent and positive. I’m excited to see who she ends up with.

While I’m watching the show, I love to have dessert. I pretty much have dessert every night which isn’t the best decision for my waistline, but I just love having a treat at the end of the day.

One of my go-to desserts are brownies. Most of the time I will just make them from a box since it’s a lot quicker, but the homemade ones are always so much better.

These brownies that I’m sharing with you are pretty dense but they are packed with chocolate flavor. You could also add chocolate chips in to add a bit more chocolate if the following isn’t enough for you.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

Optional chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8×8 inch square pan. In a microwavable bowl melt butter. Remove from microwave, put melted butter into mixing bowl and stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Make sure to add eggs slowly once the mixture has cooled some to avoid getting scrambled eggs. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking powder. If you like chocolate chips in your brownies feel free to mix them in. Spread the batter into greased pan. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Enjoy!

xo

Hillary

Spicy Noodle Salad

Spicy Noodle Salad

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Food often creates a sense of nostalgia for me. I can eat a slice of pie and have the crust remind me of the delicious homemade pies my grandma used to make every summer. Or when I eat a chocolate chip cookie, I always think back to the cookies my mom baked for us growing up.

It’s funny how certain scents, sounds or tastes can really remind us or momentarily transport us to a different time or place. I love how specific pastries and dishes do this for me.

One of my all time favorite meals my mom would make was this Spicy Noodle Salad. She didn’t make it too often, but when she did I knew I was in for a treat. It’s sweet with a dash of heat and is loaded with veggies, noodles and chicken and/or shrimp. Eating it definitely takes me back to my childhood.

I’m excited to share the recipe with you in hopes that you will enjoy it as much as I do. This makes a decent amount of servings, so it’s great if you are meal prepping for the week or need to take a meal to a friend.

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Dressing Ingredients:

14 oz. Thin spaghetti

7 Tablespoons Sesame oil

7 Tablespoons Soy sauce

1 teaspoon Chili oil (or less)

3 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Tablespoon Ginger powder

1 Tablespoon Garlic chopped

Additional Ingredients:

Vegetables

Cilantro

Cooked chicken and/or shrimp

Cook spaghetti and rinse with cold water. Mix dressing ingredients together and toss with the noodles. Blanch vegetables (of choice: julienne carrots, red pepper, pea pods, broccoli, etc.) until their color is bright. Add veggies into the noodles and toss in cooked chicken and/or shrimp. This salad can be served hot or cold. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

xo

Hillary

 

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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I love JIF peanut butter. There I said it. I know, it’s not the most healthy or “cleanest” version of peanut butter. But I’ve tried the natural and organic brands and I just always end up going back to it. I grew up eating it so maybe it’s comforting or a reminder of my childhood, but I will probably always favor it over other nut butters.

Since we are talking about peanut butter, one of my favorite foods to put peanut butter on is waffles! It’s just the best, you should try it! Unfortunately, I have found that waffles aren’t the most filling breakfast and so I’ve been on a mission to find a more filling option.

Every morning I eat breakfast around 8:30am and then by 10:00 or 11:00am I’m always really hungry and end up eating a snack. Well after eating one of these peanut butter oatmeal bars for breakfast, I was set for the morning!

They are really dense, super easy to make and kept great for several days after I baked them. With how busy life is with an infant and trying to keep up with him and everything else, I’m always happy when I can have a ready to go breakfast at my fingertips.

IMG_2293IMG_2299IMG_2303I followed this recipe exactly. And when I make these again, I plant to add in some chocolate chips just to make them a bit more decadent. Enjoy!

xo

Hillary

Shrimp Taco Bites

Shrimp Taco Bites

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I have been on a bit of a Pinterest kick these days. Anytime I’m looking for a new recipe to try I end up on Pinterest. It always seems to be such a great resource for me, and I’ve surprisingly had more successes than fails when it comes to recreating recipes from there. On a side note, my husband somehow finds the best “Pinterest Fails,” you know those before and after photos that end up circulating on social media of how the result looks nothing like the Pinterest photo, and sends them to me and they always make me laugh!

This recipe I’m sharing with you today was created from a photo I saw on Pinterest and I promise this won’t be a Pinterest Fail! The photo inspired an appetizer that I actually took to a New Years Eve party a few months back. I like these appetizers so much because they are simple to make, are bite size and contain a bit of protein so you aren’t just eating empty carbs. And as an added bonus they are gluten-free. I think these would be great for taking to a happy hour event or even at a Cinco de Mayo party.

Depending on what you have in your pantry, these shrimp taco bites could include other ingredients such as salsa, black bean or refried beans. But I kept it pretty simple as they really are quite flavorful by just following my recipe below.

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Ingredients

30 small shrimp (cleaned, deveined & tail removed)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Taco seasoning

Sour cream

Handful of cilantro

2 avocados

Bag of Tostitos Scoops

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium to high heat. Add in shrimp, season with taco seasoning and cook 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. While the shrimp cools, place the individual chip scoops on your serving platter. In each scoop add a piece or two of cilantro and a drop of sour cream to hold the cilantro leafs in place. Cut open the avocado and cut it up into small bite size pieces. Place a piece of avocado on top of the sour cream in each scoop. Then add a shrimp on top of each bite. Makes approximately 30 bites. Enjoy!

xo

Hillary

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

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In sticking with the winter theme that currently is outside my office window, I would have to say that this is a great dish on a cold and snowy day. For whatever reason we have had an abundance of snow, and by abundance I mean like two inches but for Seattle it is a lot, this winter so far. I enjoy it for a few hours but then am ready for our roads to be clear again so I can avoid getting cabin fever.

This roasted butternut squash salad is actually hearty enough that I could eat it as a meal on its own or it works great as a side dish. It does take a bit of prep work with the butternut squash and quinoa but there are some shortcuts you can take. Instead of buying a whole butternut squash like I did, you could purchase the squash pre-cut in chunks from the grocery store. I also cut up romaine lettuce, I had intended to us pre-washed cut up kale, but it had gone bad by the time I needed it, so romaine lettuce substituted just fine. Either green would work well honestly.

This dish is really pretty and makes a nice presentation if you serve it in a clear bowl. However, I ended up tossing it right before we ate it with the dressing so that is an option too.

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Ingredients:

3 cups of cooked quinoa and/or brown rice

1/2 butternut squash roasted in chunks (I put olive oil, salt and pepper on mine and baked it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.)

1/2 cup of craisins

2 cups of kale or romaine lettuce (add more greens if you want a bigger salad)

Add each ingredient into a clear bowl so that you can see the layers individually. Sprinkle with goat cheese and add your favorite balsamic dressing to taste. Toss before serving. Enjoy!

Hillary