Down South: 3 Easy Mexican Food Recipes

Mexico is home to over 130 million people, and experts believe that number will grow in the coming decades. Mexico is also the birthplace of a vibrant culture and fascinating history.

One of the key aspects of any culture is its food, and Mexico created some great dishes over the years. It’s important to note that preparing Mexican food ranges in difficulty depending on what you’re making.

This means that there are plenty of great Mexican food recipes you can make even if you aren’t too confident in your cooking skills. We’ll discuss a few of these tasty and easy-to-make recipes in this article.

1. Southwestern Salad

A salad may not seem like Mexican food, and technically it isn’t. However, salads are somewhat of a chameleon when it comes to food. Salads are old enough to appear in Roman records and the word salad comes from the Latin word for salt. It’s also likely that the Romans were just the first to write down a salad recipe, and the dish predates them.

Whatever the case, salad has stood the test of time and showed up in almost every culture in the world. The Southwestern salad differs from other salads because it adds cilantro dressing. You can also add other ingredients, such as corn and beans.

2. Seafood Tacos

Something a lot of people don’t think of as Mexican food is seafood, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Mexico borders the ocean on two sides, so seafood is an important component of Mexican food, especially in coastal regions. You have several different options when preparing tacos, and one is to make seafood tacos. Some people prefer to put shrimp in their seafood tacos, while others substitute fish of various kinds. If you’re having trouble choosing, there’s no rule that says you can’t do both.

You could even go the experimental route and add calamari, crab meat, or any other type of seafood you can think of. It might be fun to do a seafood taco that mixes many types of seafood.

3. Burritos

Much like tacos, burritos offer limitless possibilities. Burritos are often made with ground beef, but you could change things up and use Carne picada (minced beef) as well. Though beef is traditional, burritos aren’t restricted to beef.

For instance, there’s a type of burrito commonly known as a “hapa.” Truly a clash of two worlds, a “hapa” is a fusion of Mexican and Asian flavors into one unique food. Some “hapas” use meat prepared in an Asian style, such as sweet and sour or Korean barbecue while others add seafood.

You can even make vegetarian burritos by substituting tempeh or vegetables for the beef.

Easy-to-Make Mexican Food Recipes

You don’t have to be a renowned chef to make decent Mexican food. There are many excellent Mexican food recipes out there for everyone regardless of cooking experience.

We’ve discussed a few simple recipes in this article, but there are too many unique variations and twists on traditional Mexican dishes for us to cover in one go.

If you want more delicious recipes and healthy lifestyle advice, please explore the rest of our site.

How do you make chocolate?

Chocolate is one of the UK’s favourite sweet treats. You can drink, eat and even display it. Our favourite chocolate inventions date back to hundreds of years ago, such as honeycomb and hot chocolate.

As the festive season approaches, millions of people will eat chocolate from their advent calendars. We share chocolate hampers with loved ones and sneakily grab an extra sweet treat at night. However – despite our love of the sweet treat, many of us don’t know how chocolate is made.

It starts with the beans

First up, the cocoa beans are harvested from the tropical cacao tree – also known as the “food of the gods.” The fruit is in vibrant red, purple, green and yellow pods that change colour as they start to ripen. If the pod is still green, it needs more time to ripen before you can pick it. The pods are cut between May and December each year, and the beans are collected. The beans are covered in banana leaves to help them ferment for around four to nine days. Once they go dark brown, you can start to smell the delicious cocoa.

Roast and winnow

Once you have the beans, it’s time to roast them. Roasting the cocoa beans helps to bring out their colour and flavour. After the roasting process, they are put in a machine that cracks them open and separates them into two parts. The husks are thrown away, and the delicious centres, also known as the nibs, are passed to the next stage.

The nibs are ground into a pulp with butter. They are combined with sugar and milk powder and ground further to make the cocoa finer.

Conch and temper

Conching is a refining process that removes all the unwanted flavours through heating. The chocolatey mixture is constantly stirred, and different flavours are added. Once the conching process is complete, the chocolate should have a fully developed flavour and smooth texture. Delicious.

The chocolate is then cooled from 45 degrees Celsius to 28. It is raised again to 30 degrees Celsius to crystalise the butter and give it a firm, glossy texture.

It’s then turned into chocolates and sold around the world.

Chocolate facts

Europe accounts for more than half of the entire world’s chocolate consumption. We are obsessed with the stuff. Switzerland, Germany and Ireland are the largest chocolate consuming countries in the world.

You might not know that a cocoa tree takes almost a year to produce enough beans for ten Hershey bars. Just imagine how many cocoa beans you have eaten in this year alone.

No-Bake Butterscotch Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Cheesecakes are the quintessential comfort food; they’re moist and compact, silken smooth and just sweet enough to make you smile. Cheesecakes, though, come in all shapes and sizes, they’re a blank canvas for creativity, and you can turn a regular cheesecake into an extraordinary dessert with little effort.

Below you’ll find a tried and tested recipe for a fantastic no-bake butterscotch cheesecake, and we’re topping it with the most decadent layer of homemade chocolate ganache. What’s not to love? And after long consideration with friends, we’ve decided this is one of the tastiest cheesecakes we’ve all had!

Sharing is Caring.

Talking about sharing delicious, sweet treats with your loved ones, I’d like to invite you to show your loved ones how much you care through food, particularly chocolatey treats. 

The best desserts I’ve had, including today’s cheesecake, have been much more enjoyable in good company, and let’s say it out loud. We don’t show our affection to those around us as often as we should.

A slice of cheesecake might be hard to carry around, but you can also send those close to you a chocolate hamper. Nothing says ‘I care’ like chocolate!

The Perfect Butterscotch Sauce

To make the perfect cheesecake, you first need some butterscotch sauce, and if you want the best, you have to make it from scratch. Actually, making butterscotch sauce is not all that hard, and it’s immensely satisfying. Besides, your home smells lovely while the sauce browns to golden perfection on the stovetop. 

To make the butterscotch sauce, you’ll need three readily available ingredients: butter, brown sugar and double cream. A pinch of salt and a few drops of vanilla extract make all the difference. 

Never buy butterscotch sauce again! Make it instead. Butterscotch sauce is a lovely addition to your baking repertoire. 

What You Need for the Perfect Butterscotch Cheesecake

Back to our cheesecake recipe, you’ll need homemade butterscotch sauce, of course, but also full-fat cream cheese, icing sugar and double cream. With so few ingredients, quality matters, so get the good stuff!

You definitely want to make the biscuit base yourself as well, as it’s as easy that you can get your kids to help you with that. 

Finally, we’ll bring home the cheesecake with a thick layer of homemade chocolate ganache, and we’re using crispy milk chocolate butterscotch discs and double cream. 

Did I mention this is a no-bake recipe? Now, things really can’t get any better than that, don’t you agree? 

How Long Does It Take to Make a Butterscotch Cheesecake?

I know what you’re thinking; there are many elements in this recipe, so how long does it really take to put the cheesecake together? Less than you think. The butterscotch sauce takes five minutes on the stovetop. Then you can let it cool down and thicken while you work on the other elements. 

The biscuit base is also ready in minutes — we’re just melting the butter in the microwave and blitzing some Biscoff biscuits into powder. Then it all comes together in a spring-form tin as you press the biscuit base with your thumbs.

Since this is a no-bake recipe, the cheesecake filling is all about whipping the ingredients until fully incorporated, so it’s no biggie either. You want to leave the chocolate ganache last, as you want it nice and melty to cover the cheesecake. You’ll have to wait a few hours for the cheesecake to set in the fridge, though, but that’s the easy part!

When to Make Butterscotch Cheesecake?

You can surely imagine this fudgy cheesecake is quite versatile. Still, unlike other cheesecakes that you can serve on any weeknight, this one has a more celebratory feel. 

If you’re looking for a unique birthday or anniversary cake, butterscotch cheesecake is for you. If you want to impress someone or your boss is coming over for dinner, then this is the recipe you were looking for. 

Yes, butterscotch cheesecakes are utterly comforting and crowd-pleasing, but they can undoubtedly turn any reunion into a memorable occasion. After all, it’s all homemade from scratch, and it has so many layers of flavour! 

And just wait until you see it assembled with those crispy butterscotch discs on top and drizzled with butterscotch. Did I mention this is a lovely looking cheesecake as well?

No-Bake Butterscotch Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Recipe

Butterscotch Sauce

  • 115g Unsalted Butter
  • 100g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 125ml Double Cream
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract

Biscuit Base

  • 300g Biscoff Biscuits
  • 150g Unsalted Butter

Cheesecake Filling

  • 500g Full-Fat Cream Cheese
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • Butterscotch Sauce (above recipe)
  • 300ml Double Cream

Chocolate Ganache


Butterscotch Sauce (reserved from above)

To make the Butterscotch Sauce

  1. Place the butter in a pan and melt over medium heat.
  2. Add the sugar into the pan along with the cream and salt and boil on medium to high heat for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Tip the mixture into a bowl to cool fully and thicken.

To make the biscuit base

  1. Use a food processor to blitz the biscuits or use the end of a rolling pin to crush them into a fine crumb in a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a microwave for 20 seconds and combine it with the biscuit crumbs.
  3. Transfer the mixture to an 8″/20cm deep spring-form tin and press down into an even layer across the bottom.

To make the cheesecake filling

  1. In a stand mixer, add the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla and whisk until just smooth.
  2. Add 150g of the butterscotch sauce (make sure you leave some for the topping) and combine the ingredients.
  3. Add the double cream and whisk up until the mixture is nice and thick but not over-mixed.
  4. Spoon the mixture over the biscuit base and spread evenly with the back of a spoon or spatula.
  5. Put the cheesecake into the refrigerator whilst you make the ganache.

To make the chocolate ganache

  1. Roughly chop the chocolate discs and place them in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl.
  2. Pour the double cream into a small pan and heat over medium heat until it just begins to simmer, then remove from the heat. 
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. Let this stand for a few minutes, and then pour the ganache mixture over the cheesecake filling. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight to achieve a really good set.

For the decoration

  1. Use your remaining chocolate discs to decorate the centre of your cheesecake, and then drizzle the remaining butterscotch sauce over the top, letting some drip down the sides.
  2. Will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days or is suitable for freezing up to 6 months.

7 Tips When Making Asian Stir-Fry Dishes At Home

asian stir fried noodles with beef peppers and onions panorama

Stir-frying is a quick option to cook tiny portions of food in a wok or hot pan. The food is continuously stirred while cooking. One can prepare a variety of meat, vegetable, poultry, and seafood using this technique. Not only is stir-frying simple and quick, but it’s also a healthy diet. It produces soft and crisp vegetables which contain more nutrients compared to when they’re boiled.

Stir-frying doesn’t only involve rice and vegetables as it can include noodles too. If you have a limited time to prepare for a three-course meal, surprise them with delicious noodles that are easy to make. In less than 45 minutes, you’ll have it cooked and prepared.  But if you’re in a hurry you can visit Chinese food takeaway and order their utterly delicious noodles.’

How To Make A Stir-Fry

If you need stir-fried meals, you can try various dishes such as Pad Thai since stir as a technique is applicable in several forms. Below are easy yet important tips to guide you in preparing:

Prepare The Wok

A wok is a bowl-shaped cooking utensil used when making a stir-fry. Because of its shape, it can distribute heat evenly, making sure all ingredients are cooked at the same time. If you don’t have one, use a substantially superficial pan with a handle. A spatula that’s heat resistant or a broad spoon is required for stirring too.

Have All Ingredients Needed 

It’s easy to make Pad Thai. But before the cooking process starts, let your ingredients be ready. Put them in bowls and place them near the cooktop to allow you to focus on stir-frying. The heat is usually high, and this leaves no time to move around looking for ingredients.

Use Appropriate Cooking Oil

Stir fry is prepared at elevated temperatures. Consequently, oil characterized by a lofty smoke point is preferred. This is to ensure neither smoke nor unpleasant flavors are emitted. The following is a list of oils defined by a higher smoke point you can use:







If you can get a stir-frying oil infused with chili, ginger, and garlic, make use of it for additional flavor. Stir-fry dishes usually have a strong flavor, so apply the ingredients in moderation if you’re not used to eating spicy and flavorful foods.

Add Protein

Heat the oil. Once it’s hot, put in your best choice of meat or tofu, shrimp, salmon, lean pork, and chicken breast. But before this, the meat should be in slim strips to ensure it cooks evenly and quickly. Once it’s ready, take it out and use a thermometer to measure if it’s cooked to a steady internal temperature.

When you choose to use turkey and chicken in stir-frying, go for boneless thighs instead of breast meat. Thigh meat has more fat and extra flavor. But if you choose breast meat, marinate it first in a mixture of stock and soy sauce to get an extra juicy result to ensure it doesn’t overcook.

For the protein, singe it first and allow it to cook for three minutes without frequent stirring. To ensure it doesn’t overcook, remove the meat from the wok, fry the vegetables, and toward the end, return the meat before the sauce is added.

Man cooks noodles on the fire

Cook The Vegetables

Ensure your vegetables are cut to tiny sizes of about the same size. Some take longer to cook, so if you plan to use hard vegetables, add them ahead or chop them to matchsticks size, so they’d be cooked at the same time.

Add oil to the wok. When it sizzles, add garlic, stir, and put the vegetables. Cook until they’re tender-crisp.

Add Flavor To The Mixture

Most stir fry dressings have plenty of sodium. For a healthy result, you can flavor your stir-fry with the following:

Coriander, cumin, and cardamon

Oregano, basil, and cilantro

Fresh ginger, garlic, or lemongrass

Citrus zest

Soy sauces with reduced sodium

Pure. fruit juice


The best accompaniments for the food are quinoa, brown rice, and grain noodles. You can add citrus and soy for added flavor. Make sure to serve while hot. 


There are precautions to take while stir-frying for one’s safety. Make sure to dry the wok and spatula. While pouring oil, do it carefully to ensure it doesn’t split and cause burns. 

Stir-frying is a quick and healthy way to cook a variety of dishes. If you need your vegetables to retain the color, nutrients, and crunchiness after cooking, then stir-frying is the secret. For other fishes, follow the steps mentioned above to prepare a quick, delicious, and nutritious stir-fried meal.


The Best Weird and Wonderful Food Combinations

If you love cooking and experimenting with food, you have probably invented some, let’s say, less-than-tasty recipes in the past. If you experiment, sometimes wonderful things happen, and sometimes things go awry. Despite the fact that most of us usually pair our foods with well-known matches – balancing acid with fat, creating the perfect lightness of sugar and butter in baking – there are some food combinations which you might imagine are disgusting, but are actually delicious. Creating recipes with surprising combinations might sound risky, but in actual fact, when you start practising with new flavors and exploring the weird and wonderful food combinations you read about in this blog, you’ll soon discover that there is more to cooking than pairing meat with veggies. So tuck your napkin in, put your judgements aside, and read on to find out the most wonderfully weird food combinations out there. Let’s go!

Image credit.

  1. Chocolate, and…

Chocolate goes well with many things: fruit, nuts, cream, and, well, more chocolate. But one thing that many people wouldn’t expect is that chocolate also can be paired with bitter or typically savory foods which don’t necessarily sound like a delicious combination. Here are just a couple of the weird and wacky flavors which will surprise you when you combine them with chocolate. 


  • Sesame. When you think of chocolate and nuts, you might think of peanut butter in Reese’s Cups or hazelnuts when you spread Nutella on your toast in the morning. Nevertheless, sesame seeds, which have a rich, nutty, sweet flavor and are typically found on meat dishes, go fantastically well with chocolate. Dip your chocolate covered strawberries in some sesame seeds for a surprisingly gorgeous texture and flavor combination. 
  • Chilli. You may have seen chilli chocolate flavored bonbons in the store, rolled your eyes and backed away slowly, but the phrase “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it!” definitely applies here. Chilli, with its spicy, hot, surprising flavors works wonderfully with the creamy yet acidic tones of chocolate. If you want to spice up your life while still getting a chocolate fix, this is the answer to your prayers.
  • Goat’s cheese. If you love cheese and love chocolate, get ready for your mind to be blown. The richness of the cheese combined with the cocoa flavors of the chocolate will make you a very happy person. You might have a few frightened faces at your party, but don’t be fooled, your goat’s cheese and chocolate combination will be a hit before you know it. 
  • Soy sauce. Soy sauce is very typically used on Asian foods such as sushi to add perfect umami to a dish. However, this salty sauce works amazingly with chocolate. Try adding a splash of soy sauce to your next chocolate ganache, and experience an amazing taste explosion. 

Image credit.


  1. Lemon, and…

Lemon – the saving grace of any salad, fish dish or gin and tonic. A horribly sour taste on its own, lemon compliments and draws flavors out of many different food combinations. Some unlikely combinations you will love with lemon are:


  • Black pepper. Whether you crack some into your gin and tonic or add it to a lemon salad dressing, you would be surprised that the spiciness of black pepper doesn’t make lemon more intolerable, but rather more palatable. Try it – you won’t regret it.
  • Cinnamon. When garnishing baked goods or making a funky new iced tea, try cinnamon and lemon together. The wholesome notes of the cinnamon and the slicing citrus tones of lemon work brilliantly together. For a summery, delicious combination, don’t miss this simple trick!
  • Nuts. Whether it is pine nuts in a pesto, peanuts on a dessert or hazelnuts in a smoothie, you can add lemon to nuts to balance the fatty, whole textures and flavors that nuts bring.
  • Cheese. A squeeze of lemon on a cheesy pasta bake, a lovely cheese board or even in a cheese sauce will help offset the dairy overload feeling that comes with eating a lot of cheese. Lemon’s sharpness is a surprisingly excellent combination with most dairy dishes; try it next time you’re considering putting your dinner party guests in a cheese coma!


5 Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipes You Will Love

Preparing a cookie dough ice cream is tricky and the FDA, who has banned all homemade preparations, declaring them unsafe to eat, emphasizes this fact. Luckily, they have approved the ones where commercial manufacturers use pasteurized eggs and treated flour.  

To prepare an acceptable homemade cookie dough ice cream, you will need some professional coaching. What better way to upgrade your skills than to start with a few critical questions.

Are you ready to take your cooking to the next level? Ready to become a pastry pro? Check out the classes offered at Culinary Lab School.

To help you decide whether you need to join a culinary class, here are five cookie dough ice cream recipes to try out. If you love them, then it is a positive sign.

An Eggless Cookie Dough Ice Cream

If you follow the recipe correctly, then this will be the best homemade variety you will ever put together. The preferred flavor is vanilla, but you can use your favorite. 

Firstly, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Two full tablespoons of water.
  • An eighth of vanilla extract.
  • Softened butter in two tablespoons.
  • Use half a cup of all-purpose flour.
  • Two half-filled tablespoons of brown sugar.
  • White sugar in three tablespoons.

Use a medium-sized bowl, to mix the butter, the white sugar, and the brown sugar. When this mixture is smooth, add water and stirs with vanilla. Then add the flour and mix until it feels blended. After which you will shape into a log and freeze for two hours and an hour minimum.

Make small chunks before mixing with softened ice cream. Then freeze them until they feel firm or for at least 15 minutes. You can now enjoy your eggless cookie dough ice cream.

The Irresistible Chocolate Chip Dough Ice Cream Pie

The preparation of this tasty dessert involves making three things, the piecrust, the pie fillings, and the cookie dough itself.  

To start with the piecrust, use a food processor to crush the Oreos until they become fine crumbs. Melt butter, then add into the crumbs and mix well. Then press the mixture into a greased pie pan, which should be about 10 inches. Lastly, place in the freezer. 

For the cookie dough start by making a cream out of the white and brown sugar together with butter. Add vanilla and mix well. Then mix in the milk and flour. When the dough is thick enough, add chocolate chips and mix them. Then make balls of about half to three-quarters of an inch in diameter out of the dough before freezing them.

Mix white and brown sugar in cream cheese until they become smooth. As you mix throw in some cool whip and stir in a quarter cup of mini chocolate chips along with a three-quarter cup of the frozen balls you made earlier. Pour the mixture onto the piecrust and top with about a quarter cup of mini chocolate chips. After they have frozen completely you can serve.

The Delicious Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

For this, you will have to prepare the ice cream and then the cookie dough. Even though there are plenty of preparation methods available online, you will require four large egg yolks, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a pinch of some fine salt and a cup of whole milk. In addition, you will need half a cup of light brown sugar and about a quarter cup of dark brown sugar.

To prepare the cookie dough, here is what is needed. 

  • A quarter cup of granulated sugar
  • A tablespoon of cream or you can use milk
  • About five ounces of all-purpose flour
  • Half a cup of chocolate chips
  • Half a tablespoon of fine sea salt
  • A teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Two tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • Three-quarter cup of light brown sugar
  • A dozen tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature

The Trifle Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

You will get about four servings from this delightful ice cream dessert and making it is as easy as consuming it. For ingredients, you will require some whipped cream, crushed chocolate chip cookies about four or six of them, four brownies, and two pints of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough. Make sure to cut the brownies so they fit into a serving bowl.

Place a scoop of ice cream in a trifle bowl or better yet a cocktail glass, then place a brownie on top of it. Place another scoop on the brownie and sprinkle a layer of the crushed chocolate cookie chips on top of that. Repeat the processes until the serving bowl is filled and then garnish with some whipped cream and the crushed cookies before enjoying the serving. 

The Ultimate Vegetarian Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

This will require the following ingredients

  • Four cups of oat flour
  • A teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Two cups of vegan chocolate chips
  • The third cup of powdered sugar
  • Half a cup of unsalted vegan butter, which is softened, 
  • A pint of divided non-dairy chocolate chip cookie dough
  • A third cup of light brown sugar. 
  • Adding vegan buttercream for frosting is an optional choice.

Place parchment paper in a square eight-inch baking dish then reserves the non-dairy chocolate chip cookie dough. In another bowl, mix brown sugar, powdered sugar, and butter by hand until they become fluffy. Add oat flour and a cup of chocolate chips. Spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish before freezing.

For the topping, melt a cup of chocolate chips along with the non-dairy for 30 seconds in the microwave. Spread the ganache over the freezing mixture and freeze for another two hours. When the mixture becomes firm, cut into about 16 bars, then place vegetarian buttercream frosting along with some sprinkles, now you can enjoy your homemade cookie dough ice cream.  


For a quick and easy to make dessert, a cookie dough ice cream is the preference for many food enthusiasts. Try the above recipes and happily scoop away!

If you wish to spice things up even more, add a dollop of your favourite nut butters to any of the 5 yummy recipes. You can’t go wrong with more nutty, creamy indulgence of chocolate and nuts in a dessert. Of course, peanut butter is the popular choice – however if you want that nuttier, slightly richer taste, go for almond butter everytime.

How to Smoke a Turkey: Tutorial, Tips, and a Sauce Recipe

Disclosure: Today’s post is sponsored by We Love Fire. The opinions are my own.

With Halloween coming up this week, Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  Today I’m getting ahead of the game and sharing a tutorial on how to smoke a turkey.  At our house, we cook a lot of meats.  We only do turkey 2 or 3 times a year, and at this point we have cooked it by smoking/grilling, baking, and frying.  Today we are going to specifically talk about smoking a turkey.  I’ve got tips to help you get a moist and flavorful turkey, and I’ve also got a recipe for Southern White Sauce, which is MUST have item in our house when we are having smoked turkey or chicken.

If you are looking for a new grill or smoker this holiday season I Love Fire has a fantastic guide for you.

[Read more…]

Banana Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins

When you have a one year old, mealtime is an adventure, and it definitely takes a little planning, if you want to give your toddler the most nutritious meals as possible. Breakfast has become fairly easy for me. I generally make everything ahead of time.  In the morning  I just have to throw things on a plate and heat as needed. Thaxton really likes muffins, so we have those quite often. I’ve been making them from scratch in order to pack them full of nutritious ingredients. After baking a batch I then put what we will need for the week in a container in the fridge and I freeze the rest for later. (Currently I have 4 types of muffins in the freezer.)

My favorite muffin is banana, so I just had to make it the first muffin Thaxton would try.  As I searched for a healthy recipe, I wanted something with oatmeal and applesauce. Oatmeal has so many great health benefits, and applesauce definitely helps make a moist muffin; plus you have health benefits there too!  I also added spinach to the recipe; this is an ingredient you can leave out if it is a turn-off for you, but I assure you that it doesn’t take away from the taste, and it definitely adds more nutrients to your muffins!  Hope you’ll try and enjoy these Banana Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins! [Read more…]

Apple Carrot Spinach Muffins

Thaxton is now 14 months old! How time flies!  He eats a variety of food, including a lot of vegetables!  Our biggest eating challenge has been getting him to eat chunky foods and different textures.  As a result, he still eats a lot of purees. For his non-pureed foods, I try to give him things that are as healthy as possible.  One thing that he is very good at eating is breads and anything else from the grain group, so I started looking for healthy muffin recipes.

Today I’m sharing a recipe for Apple Carrot Spinach Muffins. Don’t let the spinach throw you!  If you didn’t see the specks of green in the muffin, you’d never know they had spinach in them!  I put spinach in Thaxton’s scrambled eggs, all of our muffins, and smoothies!  It’s a great way to get some extra greens, which is something I struggle with myself!

I did take one shortcut with these muffins.  I used applesauce instead of chopping up fresh apples.  Thaxton enjoys applesauce, so we keep that in the fridge, and I like the idea of using what I have, rather than going out and buying more ingredients.

Apart from being very wholesome, these muffins are delicious and very moist!  Hope you enjoy! [Read more…]

Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta – Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

About a year ago I discovered the Instant Pot, and I was intrigued by all the recipes and blog posts I found online.  After a couple of months of browsing I decided I would buy an Instant Pot when they went on sale for Black Friday.  And I got one!  My husband was a little skeptical at first.  He wondered why we needed an Instant Pot. (After all, we already have a Crock Pot!)  But I promised him, it would be worth it!

Thanksgiving night I was looking online at the Instant Pot and getting ready to place some Christmas orders, when my husband walked in the door with an Instant Pot in hand! (While running out the store, he decided this would be a nice surprise for my upcoming birthday.)  Now I have to admit, at first I got a little intimidated by this contraption, but luckily my husband loves to cook too, and he was happy to help me with the first recipe I decided to cook.  (Since then, he’s been more than happy to experiment with his own Instant Pot recipes!)  And like a lot of things, once I got to working with the Instant Pot, I found it very easy to use!

Today I am sharing the very first Instant Pot recipe I decided to make.  It is Crack Chicken Pasta, or if you prefer Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta.

Why I Love This Recipe

This pasta turned out so great!  Personally I love anything that has Chicken Bacon Ranch in the name, so I was very excited to make this!

And I was impressed with just how easy it is to make this one-pot meal (pictures of the process are below).

I was also happy to serve this to our baby.  He’s eating more table foods now, and he loved it.  I just chopped up some of the chicken and noodles for his portion and then served him some veggies on the side.

Tips and Recommendations

If you wanted to make the whole dish healthier, you could add any vegetables you like; I’d recommend broccoli or perhaps a medley of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.

I should also mention that Instant Pot Recipes like this one make a LOT of food, and they are very easy to freeze for later.  (I have a a goal for 2019 to do a lot more freezer cooking!)



If you’ve been thinking about buying an Instant Pot and just haven’t gotten around to it, I completely recommend it.  I have the Instant Pot 7-in-1 DUO60. I have the 6 quart, but this same model comes in 3 and 8 quart.  The 6 quart is a good size for our family, and it allows me to make enough food for freezing or to giveaway, and it has all the functions and features we need.

And if you already have an Instant Pot, then I’d love to have your recipe recommendations! Leave a comment here or share with me on social media.  (You can also link up your recipes at our latest Friday Favorites linky party!)