Five Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

pumpkin spice muffinsThe only thing better than pumpkin muffins is five ingredient pumpkin spice muffins. I mean, you really can’t go wrong when you can count the ingredients on one hand, right? I think I have already established my abundance of love for fall. Now that the temperatures are starting to drop there is literally no holding me back. Windows open, coffee brewing and candles lit. I have really fallen for autumn this time around. Last week I shared my famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, and if you liked that, you are going to LOVE this. I have turned my ordinary muffins into a pumpkin spice delight, and it was as easy as repurposing a few of those same ingredients you used for your first #psl of the season. pumpkin spice muffins My sister in law turned me on to substituting liquids with fruits and pumpkin about two years ago. The recipe she gave me called for chocolate cake mix and a few other deliciously dirty secrets (including one can of pumpkin puree). Let me tell you, to. die. for.  But, after making a few batches of her recipe this year I decided that I wanted to branch out a bit. That coupled with my love of fall, and I think you can see how I ended up here. What is there not to love about pumpkin spice?! The rich textures, spicy flavor and gooey warmth. Mmm! You just tell me its pumpkin and I’m sold like a cheap car at the used car mart. When you marry that with the fact that these are sorta  healthy (I mean they don’t have any butter, oil or eggs!), I think you just may have found the perfect Thanksgiving dessert that won’t leave you feeling larger than a house. So, without further ado, here is my (soon to be famous) five ingredient pumpkin spice muffin recipe! muffins

Ingredients (makes 24 muffins):

  • One box vanilla cake mix
  • One regular size can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

(add water to achieve desired consistency if needed–usually 1/4-1/2 cup)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients into bowl and mix until the batter achieves a smooth and whipped consistency.
  3. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

Now tell me you are not dying to try these?! They are definitely worth a little table talk. What is your favorite fall recipe? Let me know below! xoxo Ashley Kate

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Chicken Croissants: A healthier approach

Chicken Croissant

 

So, these are to. die. for. Seriously.  I have been wanting to share these for awhile, especially after becoming overwhelmingly addicted to their distant cousin found here. Yes, I am sure you have all seen those Pinterestingly delicious baked croissant goodness. But, being the health conscious  easily guilt ridden person that I am, I had to find a better, less self-hatred inducing alternative.

Introducing my chicken croissants.

chicken croissant

I mean come on. Those could not look any better if I paid a professional photographer—ok they totally could. I do have a DSLR…I just choose to be an iPhone freak. #Lazy.

Anyways, onto the recipe.

I started with the base, because I knew I had to be healthier than the creamy, gooey deliciousness of the original recipe. So I went with chopped onions and green bell pepper—which I love by the way, and I added the chopped chicken to the pan as well.

chopped onion and peppers

 

I seasoned it with salt, pepper and red pepper—just for kicks.

This healthy base gave me the freedom to stick with the croissants that make the show worth watching, if ya know what I mean.

wrapping

 

Now, I LOVE cheese. Like, the kind of love that makes you jump out of airplanes and swim with sharks. Ok, maybe that was a bit dramatic, but regardless, lets call it an affair.

One of my favorite types of cheese? Feta, despite my husband’s distaste. So, if you are like him and wish to swap the feta out I won’t judge, but trust me feta rules the roost on this one. After I added the cheese I drizzled each croissant with a bit of honey, killer idea.  Best ever. Forrealzzzz, worth more than a little table talk.

Ingredients (serves 4, makes 8):

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 package of croissants
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • drizzle of honey
  • salt, pepper and red pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees (duh, this is totally my go-to).
  2. Chop the chicken, green pepper and onion into smallish (see picture) pieces, and cook until chicken is no longer pink on inside and peppers are soft.
  3. Open the croissants and unroll each.
  4. Place 1/8 of the chicken mixture onto of the unrolled croissant, add 1/8 of cheese and roll up. Repeat until all are filled.
  5. Drizzle tops with honey.
  6. Back until croissants are golden brown, approximately 10-15 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

xoxo Ashley Kate

 

 

A potato-ish affair: Potatoes worth a little carb loading

Potato

So, confession: I. love. carbs. There, I said it. Come on, I know you do too. So delicious, filling, stuffing. Mmmm. Well, when I want to pretend that I am not cheating on my low-carb wannabe diet, I make potatoes. Sometimes I make potatoes that are the polar opposite of everything healthy and clean that I want to be. But, today I made potatoes that are just close enough to the line that you may feel like you haven’t even cheated. This, my friends, is my potato-ish affair. In. its. glory.

Healthy Potatos

 

Whenever we have friends over I always feel like there should be something carby and delicious on the table, I mean, come on…no one actually likes most of what we pretend to have to eat. So, Instead of making my signature crack potatoes—oh yes, I will definitely be sharing those soon—I decided to branch out and try something more natural and just as delicious.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love cooking healthy. I love turning boring food into delectable food, all while saving time and money. But sometimes a girl’s gotta eat, ya know?

I started with six smallish potatoes. Just rinse and chop, no need to peal. Once I had these in my pan, I added some of my favorite chicken seasoning, just to shake things up.

IMG_0760

 

Then I sprinkled the potatoes with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil. This really added the tangy-goodness that I was looking for. I wanted to marry the salty seasoning and starchy potatoes, lemon and fresh mozzarella did just the trick!

IMG_0763

 

Now tell me those don’t look fantastic! What’s  your goto when it comes to a sorta-healthy food affair?

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp chicken seasoning
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella crumbled
  • Drizzle of olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
  2. Rinse and chop potatoes, place in an oven-safe pan.
  3. Season with seasoning and lemon juice, mix well.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Crumble mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Cook until potatoes are soft, generally 50-60 minutes (you can boil beforehand to speed this time up).
  7. Enjoy!

Now that, is worth a little table talk! You know what I always say, ok so I’ve probably never said it before but you get the point, if you’re gonna cheat on your diet, you might as well make it delicious and at least semi-nutricious! Share it, love it—eat it!

xoxo Ashley Kate 

Stuffed Sweet Pepper Appetizer: Hello house party

Appetizers. We all hate love to love them. From cheesy gooey crescent bites to the traditional cheese and crackers every one of us loves a good chow down before dinner. Why do we love appetizers so much? Here’s my theory: what you eat before you sit=no calories, no worries, no “I can’t button my pants today,” just plain old no problemo. I know you know what I’m talking about.

Plus, appetizers give you something to do with your mouth other than letting your jaw drop to the floor as you listen to someone you kinda really don’t like talk about their cat as you try to ignore the cat litter precariously strewn across the dinner table—real life story. But I digress. Any of you have a story worth a little unladylike table talk? Let’s here ’em in the comments!

Now, on to the food.

Introducing the easy and healthy: Stuffed Sweet Peppers

stuffed sweet peppers

Yes, I know. Delish. Best part? These little babies are really guilt free. Three main ingredients, and you are on the way to #besthostever status.

So, I started with a few fresh sweet peppers. You can grab them at any major grocery store. How amazing do these look?! After rinsing your peppers, go ahead and gut ’em. Yes, this is a bit difficult given their dainty size, but it is worth it!

sweet peppers
 Ok, I already wish I had some more of these—warning: they were gone within 5 minutes of serving. No joke! So, once you have them all nice and gutted it is time to start on the filling. I used a basic mozzarella and red onion blend, but my husband suggested adding some type of meat next time. Don’t worry, I told him to never critique my food again. Just kidding—kinda. 

Mozzarella filling

Once you have this yumminess all mixed together, simply stuff the peppers and you’re on your way to appetizer heaven—but really. These appetizers are good enough to make any guest beg for more.

Stuffed Sweet Peppers

And, in typical fashion I forgot to snap an after shot before these little guys were devoured.. Guess you just have to make them to see them in their full glory!

Check out the full recipe and instructions below!

Ingredients:

  • Sweet peppers
  • 1 red onion chopped finely
  • 1  cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp Cilantro (I used dried)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat over to 350°
  2. Wash and gut peppers
  3. In a bowl, mix mozzarella, spices and onion together
  4. Stuff the gutted peppers with the cheese mixture
  5. Place in a baking pan so that peppers stand together (this prevents any unnecessary spillage)
  6. ENJOY!

I paired this with a delightfully cheap moscato. And that, my friends, is worth a bit of table talk. Take it, share it, love it.

xoxo Ashley Kate

Clean Eating: Asian Flank Fry

Hi. My name is Ashley. Now, normally I wouldn’t introduce myself on a blog, but seeing as this is my first post, I figured we would all be a little better off if I just broke the ice. Before I jump into the stir fry creation that might will, literally, change your life, let me tell you a bit about why I am here.

For the past 24 years I have been a creator. I love painting, creating new content (mostly for websites), and of course creating recipes.

When I cook I have a nasty habit of not measuring, taking shortcuts and drinking wine. (The latter I highly encourage.) All of this to say that my food is generally delicious, easy, fast and relatively inexpensive.

Lately all (ok maybe just 3-4) of my friends have been asking me for my recipes. They have been asking me how I find inspiration—why I’m never bored in the kitchen. So I decided that there is no better way to help them out other than to chronicle my favorite concoctions here. So, now that you know me , you can definitely believe me when I say that this stir fry will change. your. life.

healthy asian stir fry

{Disclaimer: Ok, so first, you have to excuse the picture quality. I promise  this is not an indication of the deliciousness nor future photo quality of my recipes! My DSLR was D.O.A today, hence the iPhone lack of focus.}

Eating healthy—I mean no one can honestly say that that sounds fun. Seriously. But, as I head into my third year of marriage…well let’s just say that marriage makes the freshman 15 seem like a kiddie ride at the fair. So, we try to eat healthy here and there. Enter: this fantastic asian flank stir fry. Today I knew I wanted to make a healthy meal. Something high in protein, low in fat—and most importantly cheap.  Now, the #1 rule of cooking on a budget is to figure out your local grocery store’s mark-down routine. Today I found all of these ingredients on Food City’s “Deal of the Day.” Food City Deal of the Day In total, this meal cost me less than $5.00 to create, feeding two. Now that’s a deal. I began by lightly sautéing my vegetables. I used a bit of apple cider vinegar for taste, as well as a small amount of olive oil. Once my veggies were nice and softened, I added in the steak. I used flank steak because it was on sale, but you could easily substitute this for another cut if desired. Sautéing Now, I don’t know about you, but one of the reasons that I despise dislike eating healthy is that I generally feel that healthy food is bland, boring and—well, just plain not worth it. So, I knew my sauce was going to be the staple of this creation. Now, let’s be honest. I don’t have time to create some magic sauce from air and water (that is how it works in the moves isn’t it?). So, I used four ingredients that almost every one of you already have in your fridge or pantry. Yes, 4 ingredients.  I know, anything under 5 is music to my ears. Sauce ingredients Yep. Apple cider vinegar, raspberry preserves, barbecue sauce and a touch of siracha. And let me tell you. Life. Changing. I may have turned to the dark side of healthy food and clean eating—hahahah ok, that was funny but, seriously. Delicious. I was tasting tis sauce between sips of my favorite dry riesling—and yes, a red would have been a better pairing, but I had the white open, and let’s face it I’m cheap. Please tell me I’m not the only one breaking the cardinal rules of white and red pairings?! So, without further ado, here is the full recipe and instructions! Healthy Asian Stir Fry Ingredients (stir fry):

  • 10 ounces of steak sliced thinly (season with salt and pepper)
  • Once green bell pepper
  • One sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 of an onion
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 avocado

Sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 2 Tbsp raspberry preserves
  • 2 tsp siracha (more or less to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Begin by adding the apple cider vinegar and olive oil to your pan. Heat together on medium while slicing your vegetables.
  2. Add vegetables to your pan and sauté.
  3. Once vegetables are soft, add in steak and cook until lightly browned.
  4. Mix all sauce ingredients together and add to your sautéd steak and vegetables.
  5. Heat until sauce cooks down and meat is medium to well done.
  6. Slice avocado and serve on top of the stir fry.
  7. ENJOY!

Now, that is a meal worth a little table talk. Take it, share it and most of all let me know your thoughts! xoxo Ashley Kate