It feels a bit like cheating, sharing this with you and calling it a recipe. These bites are so simple, I think it’s better to call it guidelines. Regardless, these peanut butter chocolate chip apple bites are a perfect mid-afternoon energizer for any age.
Finding delicious but healthy snacks that are also filling can sometimes be a struggle around these parts. In a quick hangry rush, grabbing a bowlful of chips or a handful of Chex Mix often takes the cake over a more suitable snack. It’s definitely something I want to remedy. This snack is ideal, since it comes together fast, packs on the protein to keep us full and has just enough chocolate to satisfy my ridiculous sweet tooth. Let’s be honest, that sweet tooth is raging and will never go away. The mini chocolate chips here do just the trick.
I pack these in plastic containers and toss them into lunch boxes in the morning. They last until lunch, when I promptly shovel them into my giant mouth. And then, I go back to work full, satisfied and light instead of weighted down by 50 pounds of potato chips and gobs of delicious but rich and heavy onion dip. Surprisingly, I’ll take the apples over the chips, thank you.
The new year signifies a time when we can make changes, start fresh and begin anew. Often times, that means starting to practice healthier choices. Spaghetti squash shrimp alfredo is definitely a healthier choice that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
Well, that was one long, sweet holiday season. I’ve had more than my fair share of cookies, candies, sweets and drinks. I loved every last bite, nibble and sip and honestly, I’m a little sad to give it all up. Just a little sad, because giving up the sweets means I have more room in my belly for things like this spaghetti squash shrimp alfredo.
Have you tried spaghetti squash yet? If not, you should. Don’t expect it to ever taste like actual spaghetti. It won’t. If you go into it thinking it will, you’ll resent that yellow beauty forever. It has a different flavor, very earthy. And a bit crispy, crunchy. I’ve used it before and adore it with all of my heart. When I started thinking of classic comfort foods that I could make healthier, shrimp alfredo was at the top of my list. And when subbing out the pasta for spaghetti squash, you are guaranteed a healthy eating win!
The other great part of this meal is the ease of it, the quickness with which is comes together. One of my goals for this new year is to start using shrimp more often. A hot pan and 7 minutes is all you need to have them cooked and ready to go. The squash takes a bit more time, but roast it beforehand and toss the threats into your sauce when you are ready to eat. I’ve started keeping a bunch of squash on hand, just for good measure. In this dish, it is cheesy, velvety and perfect. A healthy meal fit for the queen.
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for topping
salt and pepper to taste
Begin by roasting your spaghetti squash for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Once finished, set aside and allow to cool. Once completely cool, use a fork to pull the flesh of the squash out. It will look like spaghetti. Set aside the squash skin if you want to use it for serving.
Melt 1 tsp. butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the shrimp and cook until pink and cooked throughout. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in the pan and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant. Whisk in flour and cook 30 seconds.
Slowly stir in milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk in half and half until combined and smooth. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
Mix in the squash and the shrimp and toss until both are fully coated. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese.
Cocktails are customary for holidays and special occasions. I wanted to share something really special with you. And so I present these blood orange sorbetto champagne cocktails.
Sometimes, I think about New Year’s Eve and all the people going out and partying. My step-dad always used to call it amateur’s night. People who don’t normally drink head out and binge on cheap beers and it is just not pretty. I don’t go out on New Year’s Eve, more because I’m not confident I could make it until midnight. But also, I’d rather be home, enjoying a good cocktail.
This year, I will be whipping up some of these blood orange sorbet champagne cocktails. It is customary to sip champagne on New Year’s, isn’t it? That is all fine and dandy and I know champagne is top. But I honestly would rather jazz it up a little, make it just a bit more special for ringing things in.
In this cocktail, I added a bit of blood orange Talenti sorbetto. I first grabbed a pint of Talenti last year at the grocery store. Honestly, the sleek packaging and interesting flavors caught my eye. I believe it was some sort of salted caramel chocolate chip that did me in and since then, I cannot. stop. eating. it. When I pictured a champagne cocktail with pizzazz, I immediately thought to add sorbet and knew Talenti would have a great flavor for me. I played with the idea of a raspberry or a strawberry, something a bit classic. But the blood orange has a great zing to it. It really doesn’t get much better than this!
For now, we’ll be taking a break until after New Year’s. I leave you with this cocktail for now. Wishing all of you a safe, happy New Year! See you on Monday, January 5 with some great, healthier recipes!
This is not a sponsored post. I just happen to really, really like Talenti!
Pot pie is basically my love language. I love trying new twists and variations on it. These veggie pot pie hand pies are perfect for your Meatless Monday meals or for any time of the week when comfort food is needed.
I have yet to meet a pot pie that I didn’t immediately love and want to marry. Pot pie is my thing, be it in actual pie form or with biscuit toppings. I could eat it any time of year, any time of day. But my one beef with pot pie has always been the heaviness of it. I ate pot pie once for lunch and then promptly went into a food coma at the office. This pot pie was heavenly, let me tell you. It had mashed potatoes lining the bottom, topped with the traditional chicken veggie filling. And on top, the flakiest of flaky pie crusts. I gorged myself, died and basically sat useless for two hours while I recovered.
For Weekday Supper this month, I knew it had to be pot pie. It’s my change to show my favorite dish in a new rendition. And since it is Monday and some people subscribe the notion of Meatless Mondays (or maybe you prefer More Veggies Monday), I thought it’d be fun to try my hand at a meatless pot pie. To put the new spin on it, I skipped out on the idea of a bowl of filling topped with a pie crust. Instead, think of this as sort of a large savory poptart. Who doesn’t love poptarts, right?
I’m really excited about sharing this one with the Weekday Supper family. Weekday Supper, as I’ve mentioned before, is all about encouraging family time and sit-down meals despite the hectic work week. I can honestly say, with pride, that this is one dish my entire family ate without complaint. We are big pot pie people around here.
*Note, if you want you could add a handful of frozen peas while cooking the filling. If I added peas to this, I’d be met with scowls and face a most certain death of peace and quiet. I opted to skip the peas.
Gingerbread is a classic holiday flavor. Jazz it up a little by adding some white chocolate and throwing together these gingerbread white chocolate thumbprints.
This is the first year that Santa won’t be coming to our house. Not that presents won’t be there, but Santa is more of an “in the heart” presence than someone who drops gifts. And you’d think that since I don’t have to leave out a special plate of cookies for the big guy, I’d be less pressed to make cookies. That, however, is not the case. For some reason, the pressure is on even more than normal. I have to make. all. the. cookies. I’ve woken up at 6:30 both Saturday and Sunday to get in a little extra baking time. Don’t ask me why but I can’t stop.
And while I’ve made some of the classic Christmasrecipes, I’m also branching out and changing things up a bit as well. That means putting new spins on some of the old classics. Gingerbread is so standard for the holiday season. We all flip when the gingerbread latte comes out and love to decorate those adorable gingerbread men. I thought about those but really, I adore the idea of the thumbprint cookie. And the idea of something sweet paired with the spiciness of the ginger. Enter, white chocolate. It gives these cookies just a kick of sweet. I think they will really be the star of my office cookie platter. What about you? What’s your star cookie? I think you’d have a hard time keeping these around long enough to give out to family and friends!
In a large bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
Cream butter, brown sugar and sugar in the bowl of a mixer until fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix on low until well combined. Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, wrap into a disc and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Use a cookie scoop and scoop out the dough, rolling it into a ball and placing it on the parchment. Using your thumb, a spoon or a wine cork, press a circle into the cookie dough.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes until cookies are set and browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on a baking rack.
Once completely cool, melt the chocolate in a bowl in 30 second increments until fully melted. Use a spoon and spoon white chocolate into the well of each cookie. Use a knife to smooth it out. Allow to harden.