Honey Ginger Quinoa Fruit Salad Recipe

This Honey Ginger Quinoa Fruit Salad Recipe is absolutely perfect to make at the beginning of the week to have on hand for a healthy breakfast or snack. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser for brunch with family and friends.  The flavors are unique and provide a new twist on a traditional fruit salad.  It will satisfy a sweet tooth and keep you full as it’s packed with protein.

Fruit salad.  Good stuff.  Quinoa fruit salad.  Alright, that sounds healthy.  That’s what you’re thinking, right?  Quinoa is very healthy for you as it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein.  But let’s be real.  It’s pretty bland.  You’ve really got to spruce up quinoa or add it to a flavorful dish.  I’ve heard people say time and time again that they don’t like quinoa.  Friends, you’re doing it wrong!  The sauce for this honey ginger quinoa fruit salad will completely change your minds about quinoa.  And if you’re already a fan of quinoa, this will be your new favorite way to eat it.

honey ginger quinoa fruit salad recipe

You can make this over the weekend when you have time to wash and cut all the fruit and eat it throughout the week.  Or you can make it the morning when you are hosting brunch.  I’m telling you, this honey ginger quinoa fruit salad is awesome!  It’s not just any fruit salad, and it’s not like any quinoa fruit salad you’ve ever had.  It makes a large amount, so it’s definitely worth the prep time.

Honey Ginger Quinoa Fruit Salad Recipe

adapted from Fresh Thyme

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 3 cups sliced strawberries
  • 3 cups cubed pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup honey + 1/4 cup honey (separated)
  • 3 tsp orange zest
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • 3 in piece ginger, grated
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil.  Add quinoa.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer over medium-low until quinoa is tender and water has absorbed (about 15 minutes).
  2. In a small saucepan, heat 1/3 cup honey, orange zest, orange juice, and ginger over medium-low heat until honey has liquefied.
  3. Transfer cooked quinoa to large bowl.  Pour honey ginger mixture over quinoa and toss to coat.
  4. Add strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, blackberries, almonds, and dried coconut flakes to quinoa and gently toss.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of honey.
  6. Place quinoa salad in serving bowls and top with dollops of yogurt mixture.

I garnished with additional almond slivers and dried coconut flakes.  Other options for garnish include chopped fresh mint or cacao nibs.

honey ginger quinoa fruit salad

I received an email on Monday morning asking if I could be available to do a cooking demonstration the following morning on a local news station.  I was able to take a half personal day from school, and I was excited for my first tv appearance.  After William was asleep, I went to Fresh Thyme for the first time.  Fresh Thyme reminds me of a local farmer’s market that got turned into a grocery store.  They had lots of great deals on their produce and had a large selection of organic products, as well as an extensive bulk section. I purchased the ingredients I needed for my honey ginger quinoa fruit salad, and I got to work washing, cutting, and prepping all the ingredients.

Bright and early, I went to get my hair and makeup done.  (Hey, for my first tv appearance, you better believe I was going to make sure everything was on point!)  I took my haul to the news station and was welcomed by one of the producers.  Immediately, I went to work setting up the counter.

great day stl itzlinz

I was on Great Day St. Louis with host Laura Hettiger.  Check out my cooking demonstration of the honey ginger quinoa fruit salad segment below.

KMOV.com

I had so much fun sharing the recipe!  My parents were watching William, and they snapped this adorable photo of him watching his momma do her thing on tv!

tv

Have you ever made or tried a quinoa fruit salad before?  Another great thing about the recipe is that it can easily be tweaked based on what you have in your kitchen.  Feel free to play around with different fruits, nuts, and seeds!

still not cooking, but eating well

I enjoyed sharing my meals with you last week so much that I thought I’d do it again this week!  My goal lately is to meal prep and cook larger batches, so I have more easy food to grab and go or make meals from.  However, this week I have parent / teacher conferences, so my time is even more limited than normal. This would have been the ideal time to meal prep and batch cook, but that just didn’t happen.  Hey, sometimes life gets in the way of our goals, and that’s ok.  Please realize that the meals I’m posting and aren’t necessarily reflective of my everyday meals, just a snapshot of some of my better meals as of lately!  Though I’d have no problem eating sushi every night! 😉

To introduce you to today’s WIAW post (over at Sprint 2 the Table), I thought I’d show you a picture of William in his kitchen.  Yaya and Pops got William this Melissa & Doug kitchen for Chanukah, and he LOVES LOVES LOVES it!

kitchen

We have a few different Melissa & Doug kitchen sets (grill, pizza, and fruit).  I love Melissa & Doug since the toys are all wood.  William loves bringing “real” kitchen tools into his kitchen.  He loves baking and cooking and having me eat his food.  “Yummy in my tummy!” is what he often says when playing!

Breakfast

lgf hot oats

Love Grown Foods hot oats have saved me this week!  I love oatmeal and never get sick of it.  I think oatmeal is a quick and easy meal to make and there are a million mix-in options, so you never get sick of it.  LGF hot oats make mornings a no brainer since you literally just have to add water or milk and stick in the microwave!

Lunch

daveandtonys salad

Dave and Tony’s salad that my team at school ordered for lunch during conference week.  It was a nice mid-week treat among the business of conferences!  Dave and Tony’s is our favorite place that delivers to order from.  The build your own salad with the veggie burger (the best!) and corn, black beans, cucumbers, carmelized onions, and balsamic is faaaaantastic!

This picture is from a couple of weeks ago, but look how happy William is when Pops was reading to him during his lunch!

pops reading

Dinner

sushi

SUSHI!!! I love sushi so much and could literally probably eat it every night.

As a Nuby Parent Blogger, I was sent the iMonster Feeding Set to review.

nuby monster set

Nuby really has the best products, and they’re all so affordable, too.  This monster set is adorable and makes eating even more fun.

nuby monster plate

William was eating his goldfish before the monster did!  Do you see Zoey scavenging in the background?  While William does use the iMonster set to actually eat, whenever they’re clean, he brings them to his play kitchen; they’re always being used!

Note: I just proofread this post and realized I used the word “love” close to one hundred times (in a 500 word post).  Slight exaggeration, but just goes to show I share things I really do love enjoy. Or maybe I just need a thesaurus.

Have you been cooking or eating out lately?

Snarf’s Super Bowl Specials

Snarf’s.  That a funny word, isn’t it?  That’s the nickname of the creator of Snarf’s Sandwiches who opened the first one in 1996 in Boulder, Colorado.  Now, the family-owned business has grown to nearly 20 restaurants in Colorado, Chicago, St. Louis, and Austin, Texas.  There are currently three here in St. Louis with another one opening soon.  I had an awesome opportunity to check our Snarf’s a couple of weeks ago prior to hosting a playoff football game party.

snarfs stl

I had never been to Snarf’s before, so I told Louie, the manager at the MX location, how many people would be in attendance and he put together an AMAZING spread!  Snarf’s makes catering crazy easy.  Not only is all their food delicious, but it appeals to everybody, the portions are humongous, and they provide all the serving supplies you need.  Here was our spread from the playoffs:

snarf's catering

We got two HUGE cases of an assortment of sandwiches, sauces, salad, cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, pickle spears, and hot peppers and onions.  Literally, everything was awesome.  You know a place is good when people are talking about the pickles; yes, the pickles were even talked about!  The sandwiches are cut in half which is perfect because you don’t have to totally commit to just one kind.

snarfs catering

I was glad I left the ordering up to Louie because after looking at the menu, I knew I couldn’t decide what to get with all the options Snarf’s has.  Louie gave us something of everything, and from the moment I opened the box, everyone’s eyes were wide and mouths were drooling!  I mean you gotta get a close up:

snarfs sandwiches

Of the sandwiches I tasted that night, I think the Prime Rib & Provolone was my favorite, but it was not an easy decision.  I tasted at least six different sandwiches.  There were even a couple left over, and they were great toasted the next day.  (No, they did not get soggy!)

Another HUGE reason why I love love love Snarf’s is that the produce is sourced locally from Long Acres Farms and the bread is baked fresh daily from Fazio’s Bakery.  Local, fresh ingredients always taste better!

They even have dessert.  Brownies and chocolate chip cookies were eaten during half time by all, but the little ones were the only ones we made pose with their treats before we allowed them to eat it!

kids cookies

So through my partnership, I got to create a “Super Bowl Special” sandwich for the big game on Sunday!  Last weekend, I went back to Snarf’s to meet with Louie and discuss and try out my creation.  It was a fun challenge as I literally put all my favorite ingredients on one sandwich and Louie made suggestions based on his expertise.  We came up with….

snarfs turkey

Snarf’s Touchdown Turkey – Smoked turkey breast, low fat herb cream cheese, sautéed hot peppers and onions, mushrooms, topped with tomatoes, baby spinach, and fresh sliced avocado.  THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE!!! GO GET IT WHILE THEY HAVE IT!!!

Other mouth-watering, ridiculously delicious specials that Snarf’s will be running through the weekend include:

buffalo chicken

Snarf’s Half Time Buffalo Chicken – Rotisserie chicken smothered in red hot ranch, aged swiss cheese, smoked bacon, and caramelized onions served on Snarf’s signature baguette.

ny deli

Snarf’s Super Bowl NY Deli – Hot pastrami and corned beef, aged swiss cheese, onions, and mushrooms, then finished with a creamy garlic aioli on Snarf’s signature baguette; served with a side of au jus.

I think I’ve officially tried everything on and off their menu.  I got to try each of these three Super Bowl special sandwiches (I may or may not have shared), and literally they’re all winners.  I know “classic” Super Bowl food includes pizza and wings; I have nothing against that, but something a bit different (and dare I say maybe a tad healthier?) would be Snarf’s sandwiches.  Go check out their menu, place your order, and impress your guests.  I’m going back for my Super Bowl order on Sunday which will be the third weekend in a row that I’ve been at Snarf’s.  I like this pattern, and I must say, it’ll probably continue…

Be sure to check out Snarf’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  See ALL Snarf’s locations HERE.

What are you doing for the Super Bowl?

This post was sponsored by ALIVE Influencer Network on behalf of Snarf’s.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hello, it’s me

Hello, it’s me
I was wondering if after all these days you’d like to me to blog
To go over everything
They say that time’s supposed to make ya write
But I ain’t done much writing

Oh, that’s not the Adele version you know? Weird. Holy moly blog hiatus!  I don’t know what happened there!  Actually, I do.  Last week, William and I both were battling a horrible head cold. I had no energy and went to bed shortly after he did every day.  By the time Friday rolled around, we were both wiped.  I put him to sleep, went to bed, woke up at 2:30 in the morning to William throwing up in his crib.  I brought him in my bed; he puked 30 minutes later.  I changed his crib sheets, threw in a load of wash for both of our sheets, and went to sleep in the extra bedroom.  He woke up at 4:30, I brought him in bed, he woke up at 6:30 throwing up on that bed.  Again, at 8:00 in the living room. And one final time at noon in the kitchen.  Gross, laundry, sanitize, sleep.  That was the drill.

William was feeling better Sunday when, naturally, I started feeling funky.  I’ll spare you my details, but I thought my insides were trying to leave my body for a good portion of the day.  Needless to say, I took the day off work on Monday.  Now, we’re both healthy and keeping all our food inside.  Thank goodness.

So HI! What’s been going on?!  Besides sanitizing the heck out of my house and doing a thousand loads of laundry, not a ton has been going on around here!  Here’s a photo to show you that I’m still alive and kickin’…

steph jan16

Stephanie often jokes about how William has no boundaries when it comes to nursing, yet she’s the one who comes in to take a sister selfie WHILE he is nursing!  Talk about no boundaries!  Can you spot his little hand?

We’ve had some crazy nice days of weather which we’ve been sure to get outside as much as possible, especially given the nasty germs inside.

walk jan16

William is talking up a storm these days.  My mom, his Yaya, gets him to talk the most and they converse in full sentences for hours on end.  He babbles and babbles and picks up and understands everything you say. He literally talks in complete sentences now.  It’s quite amazing!

You know how everyone jokes about the “Freshman 15?”  When you go to college and inevitably gain 15 pounds?  Well, the school where I teach looooves to eat. Instead of the Freshman 15, there’s our school’s 20… As delicious as the donuts are in the teacher’s lounge every week, they’re not so great for anyone’s waistline.  This is why I helped to start “Wellness Wednesday,” where we do a 15 minute workout in the morning and share healthy snacks in the lounge.  After National Popcorn Day, I reached out to SkinnyPop and asked if they’d like to sponsor a Wellness Wednesday.

skinnypop snacks

To say teachers were happy about the healthy snack that day would be an understatement!  That SkinnyPop went like wildfire!  Those individual bags are so perfect. I always love SkinnyPop, but sometimes it is hard to demonstrate restraint and portion control when eating out of the big bags. The snack bags are perfectly portioned at 100 calories.  Big thanks to SkinnyPop for being awesome and encouraging healthy snacks!

Robes.  I live in them.  First thing in the morning, I put it on, and it’s the last thing I take off at night.  Right when I come home from school, I undress, put my pajamas on, and then my robe.  I literally live in my robe.  My family constantly questions me as to why I’m always, always in my robe.  “Because it’s so darn comfortable,” I tell them over and over.  Well, for Chanukah, one of William’s gifts he received was a Thomas the Train robe.

robe jan16

This makes my heart so happy! #robes4life

Alright, that’s it for today.  Short and sweet, yes.  Let’s just ease back into this blogging thing. That was my longest hiatus in my four plus years of blogging!

Catch me up – what’s been going on?!

Online Health Food Store

Let’s talk food today – a topic I love.  It’s been fun to introduce new foods to William and see what his preferences are, as well.  Something he always loves? Mama’s homemade matzoh ball soup!  It’s no secret in our family that Mama (and my own momma!) makes the very best matzoh ball soup, and we’re lucky that she makes it quite often… and better yet, she shares!

When we went to Mama and Papa’s house over the weekend, Mama sent us home with a great big jar of matzoh ball soup.  While sometimes William can be picky with what he eats or even getting into his high chair (hello, being a toddler!), the last couple nights I’ve asked him if he wants to eat Mama’s soup and he literally goes sprinting to the kitchen!  To say he loves it is an understatement.

matzo ball soup

He can’t get enough of it!  I usually help feed him with one spoon while he works his own spoon.  Last night, he wanted both spoons to make the process go faster!  The alphabet noodle letters were an added bonus!

I love food, plain and simple.  I love grocery shopping, too, which I know some people find strange.  Before William was born, I used to go to a few grocery stores each week to find the best prices on a variety of items.  Now, I’ve got to be more practical in my outings, so it’s usually just limited to a local grocery store and Trader Joe’s once a week.  Anyway, I know my prices is what I’m trying to get at.  So when Swanson Vitamins reached out and asked me to review their site, I was eager to see what they had and how their prices compared.

For the record, Swanson Vitamins carries much more than just vitamins.  It’s really an online health food store, or at least in my eyes it is as I had the most fun browsing the food.  They provided me with a stipend and I spent a very long time choosing exactly what I wanted.  My goods:

swanson items

Swanson has their own brand, along with hundreds (thousands?) of other brands.  I found that their brand was less expensive and came in larger quantities of items I usually buy anyway.

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: I use coconut oil with EVERYTHING on a daily basis.  This 3 lb 6 oz container is $21.99.  It is HUGE and a slight pain in the tuchas to store and take out so often, but you literally cannot beat the price.  And it will probably last me a decent amount of time.

Chia seeds, coconut flour, cocoa powder, and honey are all regular buys. Great prices on all.  I wanted to try ginger tea as ginger is great for tummy troubles.  It’s pretty good!  I also really wanted to try raw cacao nibs as I feel like many healthy living bloggers love these and sprinkle them in / on everything. Um… I do NOT understand the hype. They were way too bitter for me, no matter how I tried!!!

swanson

I saw they had elderberry extra syrup and I’ve heard this is a great natural remedy.  Has anyone ever tried it?  Knock on wood, nobody around here has been sick, so we haven’t needed it, but now I have it on hand just in case.  I drink apple cider vinegar every morning with a jug of water and I’ve never seen a bottle this big! 32 ounces!  Maple syrup is great in recipes, and I love nutritional yeast flakes with my eggs!  I give William probiotics mixed in with his oatmeal everyday. Garden of Life Raw Probiotics is a brand I love.  Swanson Vitamins definitely had the best prices on all of these items.

And I wanted to splurge since I had the stipend….

almond butter

I looooove Justin’s nut butters, but only get it once in a blue moon since it is a total splurge. Justin’s maple almond butter is my absolute favorite.  The chocolate hazelnut butter was a sale item; if I remember correctly, it was just five dollars!

If you sign up for Swanson’s email list, you automatically get 10% off and free shipping on your first order.  Plus, they send out many great deals, so definitely sign up before you order.  I’ll continue to order my staples from them.  Online shopping is so much easier with a toddler, and the prices are great!  They have tons of sales, too.  Oh, and you can PayPal it, so it’s basically free! (Ha! Maybe not, but it feels like it. LOL)

Do you shop online for any food? What good deals am I missing?!

Ultimate Fried Egg Veggie Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

You guys.  I made something ridiculously amazing.  Like for real.  Like it should probably be on the menu of some cute, trendy restaurant.  And I ate half of it in one sitting.  It’s that good.  Obviously, as this post title name implies, it’s the Ultimate Fried Egg Veggie Pizza with Cauliflower Crust.  It does take a bit of prep work, but it’s definitely worth every minute.  It’s really not hard to make at all, and it can be modified based on your preferences and what you have in your kitchen.

ultimate fried egg veggie pizza cauliflower crust

How good does that look?

Fried eggs are all the rage right now.  Just the other night, I went out to dinner and ordered a burger that had a fried egg on top.  It was decent, but my pizza was WAY better.  Like by a landslide.  And oooobviously I used Eggland’s Best eggs.  Why?  Because compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs stay fresher longer, have 10X more Vitamin E, 25% less saturated fat, have more than DOUBLE the Omega-3s, have 4X more Vitamin D, 3X more Vitamin B12, and 38% more Lutein. [more nutritional facts HERE]

All Eggland’s Best eggs are produced by hens that are fed an unique, all-vegetarian diet of healthy grains, canola oil, and an all-natural supplement of rice bran, alfalfa, sea kelp and Vitamin E.  The feed contains no animal fat, no animal by-products, and no recycled or processed food.  Eggland’s Best never uses added hormones, steroids, or antibiotics of any kind.

egglands best

I’ve been indulging quite a bit this lovely holiday season.  I enjoy every minute of it, but it’s not to say I still don’t try to make many healthy choices.  Swapping out regular pizza for this cauliflower crust pizza loaded with vegetables is one of them.  There are tons of cauliflower crust recipes out there.  I used a combination of this one and this one. (Make sure to add plenty of cheese and cook it long enough!)

fried egg veggie pizza cauliflower crust

After the cauliflower crust bakes, spread your favorite sauce, cheese, and add the veggies.  I sauteed baby portabella mushrooms (SO GOOD!) and added green pepper, red onion, and sun-dried tomatoes.  The combination was phenomoneal.  Then, of course, I topped it all off with three fried eggs (Eggland’s Best make the perfect fried eggs!).  Every bite was incredible.  I kept cutting the pizza and telling myself it would be my last slice.  However, it was so light and delicious I kept nibbling away!  Before I knew it, half the pizza was gone.  (Don’t worry, I shared the other half which was enjoyed just as much as it was by me!)

ultimate fried egg veggie pizza cauliflowercrust

So the next time you decide to make pizza for dinner, give this one a shot.  It’s much healthier than traditional pizza, yet packs way more flavor.  I promise whoever you decide to share it with (if you decide to share it, that is) will agree.  Mmm, I’m getting hungry all over again.

Are you a cauliflower crust pizza lover?  What are your favorite toppings?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

easiest snack for entertaining

With the holidays here and football season upon us, entertaining is something going on in most households on a regular basis.  Or, if you’re not hosting, most likely you’re attending, and often times, asked to bring an item to contribute.  This time of year can be stressful, as fun as events are to attend, it’s just a busy time.  One less thing you need to worry about is snack food while entertaining.  What’s the easiest thing to do?  Open a can of almonds for some BIG flavor and a healthy snack.  Double win!

wasabi soy sauce

Blue Diamond is, by far and away, my favorite brand of almonds.  They have tons of different flavors, something for everyone.  Sweet, salty, savory, spicy, you name it!  Every single can I’ve opened has been absolutely fantastic.  And I’m not just saying that.  I eat almonds on a regular basis for snacks, I keep them stashed in my closet at school, I bring them on road trips, etc.  Check out all the flavors:

  • Traditional Flavors: Smokehouse, Whole Natural, Roasted Salted, Honey Roasted, Lightly Salted
  • Bold Flavors: Sriracha, Honey Dijon, Jalapeno Smokehouse, Wasabi & Soy Sauce, Habanero BBQ, Salt ‘n Vinegar
  • Oven Roasted: Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt, Cafe Mocha, Blueberry

My favorites are all the bold flavors, though I also really like honey roasted!  Honestly, these are the easiest snacks to put out while entertaining.  You don’t even have to put them in a separate dish.  Open the lid, keep them in the can so guests know the flavors, and let people munch away!

If you would like to put in a drop of extra time for some equally delicious, crowd-pleasing snacks, here are three unique recipes:

Green Apple Mint Trail Mix

trailmix4

Healthy Wasabi Soy Sauce Dip

wasabi soy sauce dip

Superfood Trail Mix

trailmix

How good do those look?  Super easy, too!

In addition to being delicious and such an easy snack for entertaining, almonds also pack an awesome nutritional punch!  Some benefits include regulation of cholesterol, good for your brain, immune system strength, bone health, anti inflammation, boosts energy, skin care, and rich in fiber.

blue diamond

What’s your easiest snack for entertaining?

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Ditch the chips and grab some Game Changing Flavors this football season! Enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Football Party Prize Pack, get great savings and ideas for delicious snack hacks at GameChangingFlavors.com.

not cooking

So I’ve been doing a whole lot of not cooking lately.  I know, I know.  Just yesterday I posted the Chipotle Cheddar Burgers, but those were made a few times in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.  Once my long weekend began (last Wednesday), I’ve only done baking in my kitchen.  That means I’ve gone out to eat A LOT, way more than usual.  Sure, I’ll make eggs in the morning, but that hardly counts as cooking; you know what I mean?  I thought it would be fun to put together a WIAW post for today since it’s been awhile since I’ve done that.

First though, let’s start with the little man.  He’s totally been digging his new cup.

nuby cup

As a Nuby Parent Blogger, I receive some of their new products from time to time.  He’s drinking from the Insulated Stainless Steel No-Spill™ Flip-it™ with 360 Weighted Straw.  I love it for several reasons.  First of all, it’s stainless steel and I prefer William not to use plastic whenever possible for drinks or food.  Second of all, the 360 weighted straw allows him to drink from any angle and reaches the water even when there’s not a lot left.  There’s the “Clik-it™” where you actually hear the “click” to know it’s locked.  It keeps water cool up to ten hours and it’s BPA free.  William loves playing with the flip it lid and opening and closing it.  Oh, and it’s survived several throw downs when William is in his high chair and decides he’s finished.

So that’s what William’s been into lately.  Now let’s talk about all the food I’ve been eating and not cooking.

Yesterday morning we had a lovely baby shower before school for a sweet co-worker and breakfast was served.  I helped myself to a piece of egg casserole and a muffin.

breakfast

With a cup of coffee on the side (and cake at lunch).

During Thanksgiving break, I had a nice girls lunch with one of my good friends.  We went to Crushed Red as they have phenomenal chopped salads.  I went with a large “Health Nut” salad and ate every last bite.

crushed red

It was good, but I should have added some more protein to it.  It included broccoli, edamame, carrots, almonds, cranberries, and chickpeas with spinach and romaine. Raspberry vinaigrette on the side.

The dinner I’ll highlight is from Crown Candy.  I mentioned it in Monday’s post, but it’s worth showing you for the dinner portion of today’s WIAW.  Crown Candy was featured on The Food Network for their BLT.

crown candy blt

Like a pound of bacon on it, for real.  BLT’s don’t do much for me, but if you’re into them then it’s worth ordering.  Crown Candy is a fun place to visit for the experience.  It’s old fashioned and has mini jute boxes on the table, a candy counter, and they’re also famous for their homemade shakes with real ice cream.  THAT did not disappoint.

crown candy milkshake

Chocolate marshmallow?  YES!  And they’re huge.  That large cup filled up three glasses.  We ordered a strawberry shake when we finished that, and William had his first milkshake experience.

crown candy

Slurps, smiles, and full bellies all around!

Have you been cooking a lot lately or going out to eat more?  I’ve got to get back in the kitchen!

Chipotle Cheddar Burgers

Popping in quickly today to share a recipe I’ve been all about lately!  But first, true confession time: until a month ago, I had never cooked with red meat.  Embarrassing, I know!  I like eating it, but I had never prepared it before.  It does kind of gross me out, and I didn’t feel confident enough to make something out of it.  You’ll usually find chicken or turkey in my kitchen, but I’m branching out now and so glad I did!  I’ve eaten A LOT of these Chipotle Cheddar Burgers (almost three pounds worth over the last month! Well, I did share some.) and don’t plan to stop soon!

chipotle cheddar burgers

Seriously, how good does that look?  Drool!

I was offered the chance to try Laura’s Lean Beef.  Before committing, I spent awhile browsing their recipes in order to get an idea of what in the world I’d do with that raw cow once I got it.  I decided on their Patty Melts.  However, based on what I like / had on hand / what I wanted to do, they turned into Chipotle Cheddar Burgers.  And I don’t have a real recipe to share with you since I literally threw ingredients together.  If you want to make these, I would look at the patty melt recipe to use as a reference, and then throw some of my extra ingredients in.  Yeah, that’s what I did and they turned out great!

chipotle cheddar burger

Let me tell you a little bit about Laura’s Lean Beef because this was a brand I was previously unfamiliar with.  In a nutshell, here’s [what I feel is] the important part about Laura’s Lean Beef:

Beef had developed a reputation for high total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, and many health-conscious people had cut back or given it up completely.  Laura had these same concerns about food and health, but realized that as a farmer, she could make a difference. She began experimenting with lean, gourmet breeds of cattle like Limousin and Charolais and committed to raising them without hormones or antibiotics. She also believed that sustainable farming practices and humane treatment would produce happier animals and healthier food.

Laura’s Lean Beef comes in: Ground Beef, Steaks and Roasts, Grass Fed Organic, Deli Meats, Lean Beef Jerky, and prepared foods with lots of variety in each category.

Alright, so here’s what I used in the Chipotle Cheddar Burgers:

  • Laura’s 96% Lean Ground Sirloin, egg (one egg per pound), old fashioned oats, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, garlic powder, and pepper

I caramelized a yellow onion to top the burgers, mixed all the ingredients together, cooked them on the stove (it was raining out and nobody wanted to use the grill in the rain!), then melted a slice of chipotle cheddar cheese on top!  Make a couple healthy sides like roasted zucchini and baked sweet potato and a salad, and you’ve got yourself a delicious dinner!  Sorry it’s not more of a recipe; I literally just threw it all together, but hey, it did work out!  William even approved!

chipotle cheddar burgers recipe

How do you make burgers? What are your favorite ingredients / toppings?

fresh cranberry bread recipe

Wow! I am blown away by all the heartfelt comments from yesterday’s post on being a single mom.  Thank you for your constant support, your understanding, and for the kindest words I’ve read in quite some time.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Switching to a much lighter, and a much more delicious subject, let’s talk about a super easy recipe that’s perfect for fall / winter / Thanksgiving / the holidays / you name it.  Perfect for entertaining, let’s just say that.  You can make it ahead of time or have it in the oven cooking to give your house a wonderful aroma when guests are arriving.  But I will say, if you make it ahead of time, make sure you keep any grubby fingers (your own or others!) out of it, so it doesn’t look like this just thirty minutes after removing it from the oven…

cran bread loaf

Yeah, that loaf didn’t stand a chance.  I made a second one the day after and that, too, was demolished very quickly.  Cranberries are a funny thing for being such a seasonal food.  I feel like people either love them or hate them; there’s no in between.  Of course many people are fond of dried cranberries.  I mean, they’re loaded with sugar, what’s not to love?  But fresh cranberries?  I’ve got to admit I had never bought fresh cranberries before last season.  I wanted to try out a cranberry sauce recipe and I became obsessed!  I think I made a batch almost every week and put it on everything from sandwiches to oatmeal.

cranberries

This year, I’ve been branching out a bit, and when someone suggested baking cranberry bread, I knew that’s what I had to do!  After the first couple loaves with some minor tweaks, I think I’ve nailed it.  It’s soft and moist and sweet and tart and most delicious when warm, though I don’t discriminate.  It’s loaded with cranberries in every single bite.  And did I mention it’s perfect for this time of year?

cranberrybread

Whether I’m making eggs for breakfast or baking a sweet treat, like this fresh cranberry bread, I always, always, always use Eggland’s Best.  William and I eat eggs daily; they’re such a food powerhouse, just packed with nutrition.  And did you know that compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs stay fresher longer, have ten times more Vitamin E, 25% less saturated fat, have more than DOUBLE the Omega-3s, have four times more Vitamin D, three times more Vitamin B12, and 38% more Lutein?  Why would you ever buy any other eggs?!  It’s a no brainer! [source]

Check out Eggland’s Best eCookbook!

fresh cranberry bread recipe

Fresh Cranberry Bread Recipe

~makes one loaf, or double the recipe, so you don’t run out as quickly!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 Eggland’s Best egg
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed

Directions:

  1. Mix wet ingredients.  Add dry ingredients.  Gently stir in cranberries.
  2. Pour mixture in greased bread pan.  Bake at 350 for 65 minutes.
  3. Let cool (at least slightly) before enjoying!

cranberry bread

Are you a cranberry fan?  What’s your favorite way to eat them?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.