From Cupcakes to Traditional Korean Food and Everything in Between

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Why not have cookies for breakfast?  I know for me, the thought of enjoying dessert first thing in the morning has always motivated me to get out of the bed without hitting the snooze button for the millionth time.  These breakfast cookies are soft, chewy, and gently sweet, filled with some of my favorite things for an interesting bite every time.  The best part is that these are half the guilt with good-for-you ingredients that won’t make your crash and burn later.

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Healthy Breakfast Cookies
 
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Author:
Serves: 2 Dozen
Ingredients
  • ¼ c coconut oil
  • ¼ c ripe banana
  • ¼ c brown sugar
  • ¼ c raw honey
  • 1 ts vanilla extract
  • 1 room temperature egg
  • ¼ c grated apple
  • ¼ c grated carrot
  • ¾ c spelt flour
  • ½ ts baking soda
  • ¼ ts fine salt
  • ¾ ts cinnamon
  • 1 ts ground flax
  • 1 ts hemp seed
  • ¼ c chopped nuts
  • ¼ c dried fruit
  • 1½ c quick oats
Instructions
  1. Cream together the coconut oil and banana {you can also use the same amount in avocado} until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Blend in the brown sugar, honey, vanilla, and egg.
  3. Next, add the apple and carrot. This is your wet bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, flax and hemp. This is your dry bowl.
  5. In thirds, combine the wet and dry bowls together.
  6. Fold in the nuts, fruit, and lastly, the oats.
  7. Scoop and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Let’s talk about some of those good-for-you ingredients.

  • Coconut oil and bananas vs a stick of butter.  Coconut oil is my miracle balm.  I use it for health and beauty purposes as well as for cooking and baking.  It’s high smoke point is great for any stir fry and can easily be substituted for butter in baked goods.  It’s one of the richest sources of “good fat” with heart healthy fatty acids {but of course, use good sense and moderation}.  Bananas are my go to for creamy smoothies, face masks, and in these cookies.  Just one serving {1 banana} has 450 mg of potassium.
  • Flax is a great source of fiber, lignans, and omega 3’s.  Both flax and hemp are my favorite add ins for my daily smoothie. Did you know that hemp contains all the essential amino acids?  It’s also dense in protein and contains a specific omega-6 fatty acid not found in any other food.
  • The natural sweeteners I used in these cookies include honey, apples, carrots, and dried fruit.  This allowed me to scale back the amount of refined sugar.
  • Oats and nuts.  You can always use soaked steel cut oats but quick oats are just fine for me.  As for the nuts, feel free to use whatever nuts you like.  Walnuts are unique in that they contain the highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid, the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Easy Microwave Mac and Cheese

MacAndCheese

The fact that I don’t have a walk-in closet is the norm for me-that, and the fact that even if I did, I wouldn’t care to fill it.  Likewise, I realize that not having a full kitchen might be the norm for others-that, and the fact that even if they had one, they wouldn’t use it.  Needless to say, some of my top viewer requests are for quick and easy recipes.  You can’t get as quick and comforting as a piping hot pile of buttered, cheesy noodles that takes less than 10 minutes and minimal effort.

 

 

 

5.0 from 5 reviews
Easy Microwave Mac and Cheese
 
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Author:
Serves: 1 Serving
Ingredients
  • ½ c pasta
  • ¾ c whole milk
  • ½ tb butter
  • Salt
  • 1 tb cream/goat cheese
  • ½ c - 1 c shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. In a large heat safe vessel, {the larger the better to control overflow} combine the pasta, milk, butter, and salt.
  2. In my 1.58 kw microwave, it took me a total of 6 minutes in short bursts to cook the pasta through.
  3. Carefully take it out and stir in the cheeses. Microwave for an additional 30-60 seconds to allow the cheeses to melt and cover the pasta in the creamy, cheesy sauce.
  4. Let stand to cool slightly then enjoy.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Homemade Pizza From Scratch

I feel like pizza can save most problems.  Sound crazy?  Perhaps.  However, I speak from experience.  Whether I’m feeling happy or sad, I almost always want pizza.  It highlights celebrations, makes a simple Friday in feel more special, or lifts me out of a blue mood with each cheesy bite so for me, it’s a necessary staple in our house.  Recently, I discovered that I could assemble homemade pizzas in bulk and store them in my freezer  to enjoy at a moments notice the next time a craving would strike.  I can’t tell you how awesome and convenient this has been.  The topping possibilities are endless and you can get really creative with them too.

 

 

5.0 from 5 reviews
Homemade Pizza From Scratch
 
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Serves: 1 10" Pizza*
Ingredients
Dough
  • 1 ts yeast + ⅔ c warm water {at about 110-120*}
  • 1½ c unbleached flour
  • ½ ts fine salt
  • 1 ts sugar
  • 1 tb oil
Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tb olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, grated
  • ¼ onion, grated
  • ½ tb dried oregano
  • 1 c unsalted tomato sauce
  • ½ ts sugar
  • ¼-1/2 ts red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 ts sweet balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Parmigiana bones {optional}
Desired Toppings
Instructions
  1. Stir the yeast with the water and set aside,
  2. Using either your hands or a mixer, knead everything together. It is ready when the surface is smooth and the dough comes together.
  3. Cover in a greased bowl for an hour or until it doubles in size. Make sure to place in a dark/undisturbed place.
  4. Press the dough out onto silpat/parchment then cover and rest for 1-2 hours. This will further develop the flavor of the dough.
  5. Finally, lightly flour and roll out the dough to your desired thickness. Par-bake at 450* for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Top with toppings of choice then finish baking for 10-15 more minutes
Notes
Size depends on how thin or thick you like/roll out your dough.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

IMG_7557

People ask me all the time how I’m not a million pounds.  Simple.  I eat what I want but in moderation.  I never restrict and lately, I’ve been exercising to strengthen my core.  But let’s be real here guys.  What’s the point of living without dessert?  Sometimes, fresh fruit with greek yogurt and honey can do the trick but other times, lush deep chocolate just calls to me like a siren song.  In my heart, the queen of all warm pure chocolate goodness is the seductive molten chocolate lava cake.  Its hot fudge like center wrapped in soft luscious chocolate cake will make you fall in love with your first melt-in-your-mouth bite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 6 reviews
Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • ½ c soft, unsalted butter
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • ⅛ ts instant espresso powder
  • 3 room temperature eggs
  • ⅓ c sugar
  • 2 tb unbleached flour
  • ¼ ts fine salt
Instructions
  1. Using either a double boiler or microwave, melt the butter and chocolate together low and slow. Stir to combine and cool.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and foamy.
  3. Pour the cooled chocolate into the egg/sugar mixture and blend thoroughly.
  4. Lastly, stir in the flour and salt until just combined- don't over mix.
  5. Using either greased ramekins or lined cupcake tins, pour in batter and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. When in doubt, slightly under-bake rather than risk over-baking. The edges should be set but the center should be very jiggly.
  6. Important: allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before attempting to plate.
  7. Serve warm with berries, mint, powdered sugar, whipped cream or ice cream.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Maraschino Cherries and White Chocolate Cookies

Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Cookies

Soft and buttery almond scented cookies bursting with maraschino cherries, cut into hearts and drizzled with white chocolate, these are sure to charm your friends and family this Valentine’s day.

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Maraschino Cherries and White Chocolate Cookies
 
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Author:
Serves: 2-3 dozen
Ingredients
  • 3 c unbleached flour
  • 2 ts baking powder
  • ¼ ts fine salt
  • 2 sticks soft, unsalted butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 room temperature eggs
  • 2 tb almond extract
  • 2-4 tb maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 c chopped maraschino cherries
  • ½ c melted white chocolate
Instructions
  1. In the first bowl, sift/whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. In the second bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for 3-5 minutes or until soft and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, extract, and juice.
  4. Toss the chopped cherries in the first {dry} bowl to coat.
  5. In thirds, combine the first and second bowls together, taking care not to over mix.
  6. Wrap in plastic and flatten to chill evenly in the fridge for 1 hour.
  7. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface, moving the dough around so it doesn't stick. Try not to use too much flour as it will make the cookies dry.
  8. Cut into desired shapes and chill for an additional 15 minutes.
  9. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
  10. Cool and drizzle with melted chocolate.
Notes
Prep does not include chilling time.

{Luxardo cherries aren’t necessary for this recipe but please use maraschino cherries with natural flavors/colors.  This may not impart the brightest hue but if that’s desired, you can always use food coloring, if necessary.  The splash of juice here is to lightly flavor the dough with a blend of almond and cherry flavor.}

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

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