Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Pancakes

My oh my…. I have found my new favorite pancake recipe. It is amazing, melt in your mouth good. The best part is that it is not too bad for you! Made with sweet potatoes and whole wheat flour, I don’t even feel half bad eating a couple (errr um 10?) of these hotcakes.

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I found the recipe on Pinterest and changed it up a little bit. I swapped the half white flour for all whole wheat flour and used vanilla almond milk instead of dairy milk. Speaking of substitutions, I have found this amazing conversion chart for Chobani yogurt on Pinterest.  It shows you how to swap fattening oil, sour cream, and mayo for healthy protein packed yogurt.

The original recipe comes from Eat Live Run. An amazing blog that I use all the time for recipes!

Ingredients:

1/2 large sweet potato, baked then mashed with a fork

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 cup vanilla almond milk

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup (heaping) mini dark chocolate chips

butter to grease skillet

maple syrup for serving

Directions:

Grease a large skillet with butter and head over medium high heat.

Combine all ingredients, mixing JUST UNTIL COMBINED and drop by quarter cups onto hot skillet. Cook for about two minutes each side then serve with warm maple syrup.

Time:

10 minutes

Chicken Parmesan

Okay… so normally when I make Chicken Parmesan, I try to make it healthier by baking the breaded chicken instead of frying it. The other night I was not in the mood for healthy. I was in the mood for crispy, tender, chicken smothered in sauce and cheese with a giant piece of garlic bread. The result was a success– crispy breading, tender chicken, and a whole lot of flavor made this comfort food dinner one to remember.

I used the basics from our family recipe but I added my own twist. I did not have Italian style breadcrumbs at home so I used Panko breadcrumbs that I seasoned myself, with lots of Parmesan cheese and herbs. I also made this delicious dish with chicken tenderloin instead of normal thin-cut chicken breast. I have recently discovered the frozen chicken tenderloin from Trader Joe’s. For only $6.50 you can get 2.5 pounds of all natural chicken. It is delicious, convenient, and easy to cook. The bag consists of10 servings of chicken, making the chicken only $0.65 per serving. Not bad :)

Ingredients (Serves 4 hungry mouths):

  • 8 Chicken Breast Tenderloins
  • 1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce (or make your own!)
  • 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • Fresh Basil and Parsley to Taste
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Olive Oil for Cooking

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rub salt and pepper on raw chicken breasts. Wash Hands!
  3. Take out three separate bowls and add the flour to one, two eggs beaten to the second bowl.
  4. In the third bowl make the breadcrumb mixture by combining panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  5. Now, heat a cast iron skillet with about 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat.
  6. Take the raw chicken and first cover it in flour.
  7. Dip the floured chicken in the egg wash.
  8. Cover the egged and floured chicken in breadcrumb mix.
  9. Place chicken in the heated skillet. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. (I cooked four chicken tenderloins at a time).
  10. Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes per side or until browned.
  11. Transfer fried chicken to a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 5 minutes.
  12. Take the chicken out of the oven and switch the oven to broil.
  13. Top the chicken with spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese.
  14. Return chicken to oven and broil for about a minute or until cheese has melted.
  15. Serve with favorite pasta and sauce.

Yet Another Successful Pizza Night

This pizza Jonny and I created together. It has Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough as well as Trader Joe’s four cheese Italian blend. We brushed the crust with garlic infused olive oil and topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

Jonny’s half has bacon and mine has tomatoes, roasted garlic, and ricotta cheese. The fresh ricotta cheese from Trader Joe’s is out of this world amazing! I recommend it for pizzas, lasagna, or even for eating with fresh fruit.

Baked Cod with Arugula Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 2 Fresh or Frozen Cod Fillets
  • 4 Cups Arugula, finely chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Season the fillets well with salt and pepper.
  3. Create a foil pack for the fish using aluminum foil. Place fillets on top of aluminum and loosely wrap the foil around them, creating a pouch.
  4. If using fresh fillets, bake for approximately 25 minutes. If using frozen fillets, bake for 40-50 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  5. While fish is baking, chop arugula into fine pieces.
  6. Mince garlic cloves and mix together with arugula, olive oil, and lemon juice.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste and add red pepper flakes if desired.
  8. Finally, mix in Parmesan cheese.
  9. Once fish has finished cooking, remove from foil wrap and top the fish with the arugula pesto.

Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic

Ingredients:

  • 4 Roma Tomatoes
  • 8 Large Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Dried herbs of choice, salt, and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice tomatoes and arrange on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.
  3. Peal garlic cloves and add to baking sheet with the tomatoes.
  4. Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes and top with salt, pepper, and herbs.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy :)

Sweet Potato Home Fries

Did you make too many sweet potatoes last night? Here is the perfect solution: Sweet Potato Home Fries. They are savory, sweet, nutritious, and easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 baked sweet potato
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp good olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.
  3. Add sweet potatoes and garlic and cook until edges begin to crisp.
  4. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, and parsley.

Acorn Candy

With graduation quickly approaching, I made these little acorn candies in honor of Elon. They are so adorable, delicious, and were a big hit! Elon’s symbol is the acorn, so it was the perfect graduation treat.

Elon’s beautiful campus

There are only three ingredients in this candy: Nutter Butter Bites, Mini Chocolate Chips, and Hershey Kisses.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Nutter Butter Bites
  • 1 bag Hershey Kisses
  • 1 bag mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pour 1/2 bag of mini chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring until the chocolate has melted.
  2. Remove wrapper from Hershey Kiss and dip the flat side into the chocolate.
  3. Adhere onto the nutter butter bite.
  4. Take a mini chocolate chip and dip into the melted chocolate. Place onto the other side of the cookie.

Lattice DIY Dresser

Hello all! I have not written for over two weeks and I apologize… I have been busy finishing up my last year of College. It is a bit bittersweet but I must say, I am excited to be (almost) done!  Lately, I have brought my focus to decorating my bedroom in my new apartment in Raleigh, NC.

Last summer I purchased a rather boring dark brown dresser from Big Lots. It was inexpensive, durable, and could hold a lot of clothes so I figured it was a smart purchase. With my new room, I decided I wanted all white furniture so I set out on the venture of repainting the boring dark dresser. With my first attempt, I thought I wanted a rustic look. I sanded and painted the dresser but was not happy with the results. Unfortunately, I think I bought the wrong paint because it started peeling off.

Attempt #1

With my second attempt, I purchased a beautiful Lattice stencil from Hobby Lobby along with spray paint, spray adhesive, acrylic sealant, and acrylic paint from Michaels. I highly recommend the Martha Stewart craft brand. The stencil spray adhesive worked beautifully. It kept the stencil in place while being repositionable without taking off what I had already painted. I tried it out on one section (above) and decided that it was definitely worth trying with my second painting venture.

Supplies

After a lot of sanding and a couple of coats of spray paint, I stenciled the lattice using a foam brush. It was not difficult to do and only took about an hour in total. I tried to make the paint look like wood to add more of a natural feel. Once the paint dried, I applied two coats of acrylic sealer. I also painted the handles with the same brown paint but I would like to replace them eventually with something more exciting. All in all, I am thrilled with how it turned out!

Attempt #2

Close Up

Feta and Tomato White Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

There is something about the warm weather that pushes me back to craving clean and healthy foods. This salad is so delicious, fresh, and easy to make! The best part about salads is that you can use whatever you have around! I bought these amazing mini heirloom tomatoes from Trader Joe’s. They are so sweet and cute like candy, plus they are multicolored… making one beautiful presentation.

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz can of white beans; drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 can favorite olives
  • 1 cup tomatoes – chopped or halved into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup light Champagne Vinaigrette
  • 10 leaves fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Using a food processor or a knife, chop the fresh basil leaves into small pieces.
  2. Mix the chopped basil with the champagne vinaigrette in a large bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.

Peanut Butter Pie

Rich. Peanut Buttery. Cold. Creamy. Chocolatey. Words can not describe how decadent this pie tastes. It has a creamy texture, a rich flavor, and best of all it is simple to make. It is a no-bake pie  making it really quick and easy to prepare. This is a must try! It might just be my new favorite dessert.

The recipe makes two pies. I brought one over to a dinner party and it was a hit! I used regular graham cracker crust and the simple peanut butter base. The second pie Jonny and I made together. We decided to go with an Oreo crust. We layered Hershey’s Fudge Topping on top of the crust before pouring the rich peanut butter mixture over top.

We decided to add extra fudge to top off the pie. Jonny decorated it, and I must say, I think he did better than I could have done! Doesn’t it look beautiful?

Ingredients (Makes 2 pies)

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts
  • hot fudge topping (optional)

Directions

  1. Beat together cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
  2. If adding fudge, spoon into 2 graham cracker pie shells.
  3. Spoon peanut butter mixture over fudge and graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.