Russian Tea Cakes

Hey Everyone!

Today I made Russian Tea Cake Cookies. They are not the most healthy thing, but every once in a while, you have to splurge. And it’s officially the holiday season, so I have no regrets!

This recipe has a few names, i’ve heard people call them, mexican wedding balls, snowball cookies, hungarian nut balls… the list goes on and on. In the end, they all taste the same.

Whenever my Mom and I make Russian Tea Cakes, we use this recipe. This recipe says to use any nuts, but we always use pecans. I like these cookies because they are crunchy, not too sweet, and fall apart as you bite into them. Also, the recipe calls for an entire cup of butter and everything tastes better with butter, right?

When I made these cookies, I decided to make a vine out of it! Click on the link below to check it out!

https://vine.co/v/OJKhezllpbF/embed/postcard

Some of my other favorite cookies to make during the holiday season are peanut butter cookies and oatmeal cookies with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. The oatmeal cookies sound healthy, but they are really just as sugar-filled as all the other cookies.

If you ever want to try the oatmeal cookies that I love, check out this recipe from Oceanspray. If you make them, let me know what you think!

What are your favorite cookies to make during the holiday season? I’d love to try them myself.

Have a good week everyone!

All about Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! Now that I don’t live at home with my parents and sisters anymore, I have become so appreciative of holiday season with the family. Especially since this semester has been a stressful one, I am very excited to head home next Tuesday for Thanksgiving! I randomly came across an article about Thanksgiving and its history and it was very interesting to me. I decided to make an infographic on the history and facts about Thanksgiving day.

Hope you like it!

Thanksgiving

I couldn’t believe it took so long for Thanksgiving to become an official holiday!

Did any of the facts in the infographic surprise you?

My top 5 favorite pumpkin recipes from around the blog world!

pumpkin

 

Oh fall… the most favorite time of the year for so many people! To me, there is truly nothing better than crunchy, colorful leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and riding boots! Almost everyone I know cherishes fall! I never want it to leave.  One of my favorite perks about fall is pumpkin! Pumpkin drinks, carved pumpkins, pumpkin foods… the list never ends. The best part about the blog world is that it seems like everyone is on the same page as me and can’t get enough of fall.

Below I have listed six fabulous pumpkin recipes I have found on blogs I love!

Lets start with Julie’s recipes from Peanut Butter Fingers!

1. Pumpkin almond flour pancakes

I love pancakes! I can honestly eat them at any point in the day! Especially late at night after a night of studying at the library! These are very easy to make and all the ingredients are fairly inexpensive. Almond flour is a healthy alternative to regular flour, but if you do not have that on hand, then just use regular flour. They will still be tasty!

2. Pumpkin Banana Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of the easiest things for me to make and I always have oats on hand! This recipe takes a bit longer than a normal breakfast, but its definitely worth trying on a weekend morning! It’s a warm meal so its perfect for a crisp fall morning.

Now lets move onto Courtney’s recipes from sweettoothsweetlife!

3. Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy treats!

This recipe might call for a grocery store trip! You will need to find the pumpkin spice marshmallow bag! It’s seasonal so if you like them, stock up! I love making rice crispy treats because they are so easy and everyone enjoys them! Also, they are a fairly low calorie treat. Courtney adapted this recipe from Kraft Foods.

5. Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

This is absolutely amazing! If you love pasta but want to change it up from marinara, this is the way to go! There is prep work that goes into this recipe, so be prepared to do some cutting and cleaning in the kitchen! I pretty much always have the ingredients I need for this sauce in my kitchen except for the herbs!

4. Pumpkin Spice Bars from Sally!

These bars are to die for! Thankfully, they are lightened up with less fat and sugar but they are so good, you cannot even tell they have been tweaked to have less calories. If you’re in a baking mood, this is one of the best pumpkin treats to bake!

I hope you all have time to try a few of these pumpkin recipes this fall! If you do, please let me know what you think!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tilapia & Risotto

Happy Thursday everyone! Tonight I decided to make tilapia, risotto, and asian vegetables. Tilapia is one of my favorite things to buy because it is so affordable no matter what store you go to. Sometimes I can buy it for $4.99 at Aldi! 

It all started with a box of risotto my mom sent me in the mail. She knows I love to cook (since she taught me) and i was in the mood for some rice and vegetables.

risoto

 

I was really happy my mom sent me this box because she makes risotto at home all the time. She doesn’t use the pre-seasoned boxes though. My mom is such a talented cook and she can make anything from scratch. Some day, I really hope I can be as good as her in the kitchen.

Back to dinner, I like to have each dinner consist with a protein but I wasn’t in the mood for chicken. I remembered I had the frozen tilapia so I took that out of the freezer to thaw around noon today. Each piece is individually packaged so it’s very convenient for one person.

This risotto was very easy to cook because it already had the seasoning in it. All I had to do was put the seasoning and risotto in a pot with 2 1/2 cups of water. The risotto takes about 30 minutes to cook so I started that first.

rissotto in pot

Below is the piece of tilapia I thawed out. I placed it in a pan after I sprayed the pan with cooking spray.

raw tilapia

 

Then, I put panko bread crumbs on the tilapia. Panko bread crumbs are the most versatile ingredient to have on hand at all times. I put it on a lot of my proteins with dinner!

tilapia with panko

The tilapia cooks for about 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Another plus about tilapia is that it cooks so fast!

Once the fish was in the oven, I took my asian blend vegetables out of the freezer from Giant Eagle. They were super affordable and I make a handful at a time. Technically, you can steam them in the bag in the microwave but, since I am only cooking for one I just cook as much as I need. Typically I buy Green Giant, but I wanted to give the Giant Eagle brand a try since it was a bit less expensive!

 

Asianveg

unnamed-11

Below is the risotto once it is finished. It’s similar to rice but thicker with seasoning. It’s almost like a cheesy texture.

cookedrissotto

Once the fish is done, some of the panko bread crumbs will be brown. I like it that way because then they are extra crunchy. Below is a picture of my finished meal! I drizzled a miso ginger dressing from giant eagle over the top of the fish and vegetables. I went to the store on a good day because I got two dressing for one price! 

risottotilapiaveg
If you are new to cooking, making all three things at once can be tricky. I suggest making the rice and fish at the same time and then the vegetables last. The vegetables are the easiest to cook and you can keep the risotto covered once its finished cooking. 

 

Happy Hour!


After a long day at my internship, I love a delicious martini! Happy hour time is always a blast, but it can be expensive depending on where you go.

To save money, I love making my own cocktails! It has always been something my mom and I bond over. We love to make yummy drinks like sangria, martinis, and favorite, a batch of mojitos!

Today I am going to share with you a blueberry lemonade martini! It’s basically the same thing as a cosmopolitan but I use a different juice. I will list the ingredients below first.

  • 1 1/2 oz. lemon vodka
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 1 oz. blueberry lemonade
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • splash of diet sprite
  • drink shaker

martiniingredients

I am really lucky because the orange shaker I have came from a christmas promotion box of Cointreau. My mom thought it was the coolest thing so she bought three bottles so she could give each one of her daughters a mini shaker. If you do not have this mini shaker, they you will have to measure your ingredients out with a shot glass! A standard shot glass is 1 1/2 ounces. So, when measuring under 1.5 ounces, just leave about a centimeter left at the top.

Steps to make the martini:

  1. combine all ingredients except for sprite into the shaker
  2. add ice
  3. attach the top of the shaker and shake you ingredients for 10 seconds
  4. pour mix into martini glass
  5. add a splash of diet sprite to your martini
  6. enjoy!

Blueberry lemonade martini

 

In this post, i’d also like to share with you some of my favorite cocktail spots. I live in Kent, Ohio and there are so many amazing bars and restaurants for a delicious affordable cocktail. My number one place right now is Bricco. I first tried Bricco in the summer with my dad and sister. Ever since then, it’s held a special place in my heart. I have tried so many of their martinis but my absolute favorite is the pink flirtini.

Bricco Martini

It has a splash of champagne, how could I not love it?  Martinis here are $7.50 each, but you definitely get your moneys worth, the martinis are huge!

Another favorite place for drinks in the area is Ray’s Place! They have a large selection of beers on tap that they change regularly and daily specials. I’m not the biggest fan of beer, but I definitely have my fair share in the summertime when shandy’s make an appearance on tap. Ray’s is also also famously known for their long Island Ice teas. It’s $3.75 for a very large mug and it’s pretty much the only drink you will need all night. Ray’s has been in Kent for a very long time. It’s a casual bar that all the townies and college kids love. The staff is awesome and I give them a lot of credit for dealing with such a busy bar and restaurant every night of the week!

Below is a picture of my dad and I our first time at Ray’s Place. Every time he visits me we have to go there for at least a beer!

Ray's Place

 

What are your favorite places for happy hour around you? I’d love to find out!

Healthy Chicken Tenders

Happy Thursday everyone!

Last night I made my own healthy chicken tenders. I adapted this recipe from this blog, Love to be in the kitchen. After making hers a few times, I slowly made it into my own! I do this often because it is so quick! It adds a nice twist to my dinners because I usually just cook my chicken right on a pan. This recipe is so simple! You will all love it!

Let start with the ingredients. The only ingredients you need are:

  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • chicken tenderloins (thawed out)
  • flour
  • panko bread crumbs
  • baking sheet

ingredients for chicken tenders

Once you have all your ingredients ready, you can preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then, Rinse your chicken with water and place on a plate for when you are ready.

Combine your flour and panko bread crumbs into a bowl. I use 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs for two tenderloins. I never use it all but it makes it easier to cover the chicken when you have more than you need.

Once your egg is whisked and your dry ingredients are mixed, you are ready to prepare your chicken! All you need to do is completely dip your chicken in the whisked egg, and then dip it in the dry ingredients! Make sure your chicken is completely covered in the flour and bread crumbs. Once you’ve done that, you can place them on a baking sheet. Make sure you spray your sheet with cooking spray before you put your chicken on top to ensure an easier clean up!

pre baked chicken tenders

The chicken cooks for twenty minutes. I flip them over after ten minutes so the dry ingredients are evenly crispy.

As the chicken was cooking, I prepared a salad to lay the chicken on.

On Monday, I went grocery shopping at Acme and got a great deal on bagged lettuce. It was buy one get one and since I make so many salads, I could not pass that deal up.

lettuce mix

I grabbed two handfuls of lettuce and put them on my plate. Then, I cut up tomatoes, onions and cucumbers to place on top.

salad with cut vegtables

Once I finished preparing my salad, the chicken had been cooking for about 10 minutes so it was time for me to flip the chicken. I used a spatula to flip it over because it can be very hot! During the next ten minutes, I  cleaned all my dishes so I didn’t have to do them after dinner.

Below is a picture of what the chicken will look like after twenty minutes. I cut the piece on the left to make sure the inside was no longer pink.

baked chicken tenders

I know they are not the most perfect looking chicken tenders, but they taste really good!

After I let them cool for a few minutes, I placed them on top of my salad and drizzled Ken’s Light Sweet onion dressing over my salad.

salad with chicken tenders

Remember, you can eat these any way you want! My other favorite way to eat them is dipping them in my favorite sauces.

Try this recipe out and let me know how you serve them! I would love to hear new ideas.

Banana “Ice Cream”

Ice cream is definitely one of my favorite treats. I crave it all day long! If I could eat it for every meal, I would.

Unfortunately, eating ice cream everyday is not the healthiest choice and I’d rather not gain 100 pounds each year.

A few years ago, I kept coming across banana “ice cream” on my Pinterest. For a while, I just kept pinning it, but never actually thought I would try it myself. One day I was feeling adventurous and I thought i’d give it a shot! Since I always have bananas in my kitchen, it wasn’t a hassle. I only needed a few more things in order for me to make it. Below, I listed what I use to make my version of “banana ice cream.”

  • frozen ripe bananas
  • almond milk
  • peanut butter
  • magic bullet (or food processor or blender)
  • toppings to garnish the finished ice cream. (almonds, chocolate chips, melted peanut butter, etc.)

Now, lets get mixing!

I like to use very ripe bananas. I prefer ones with brown spots that look like this:

ripe bananas to freeze

I peel the banana and then cut them into one-inch slices. I put them in a plastic bag or container and then freeze them. Once the bananas are completely frozen, they are ready to be used for banana ice cream.

I use a Bella Rocket Blender to mix my bananas. It’s basically the same thing as a magic bullet, just a little less expensive. I got mine at Macy’s. It’s really easy to clean and store so its very college friendly. It comes with three different size blender jars.  My favorite jar is the one I can take with me on the go!

supplies for banana ice cream

The picture above includes all of the ingredients that I use to make my banana ice cream. Peanut butter, almond milk, and frozen bananas! Some people put vanilla extract in it to make it sweeter, but since I use the honey almond milk, I don’t think I need it.

Now it is time to fill your jar. When you fill the blending jar, there is no exact portions for each ingredient. I usually add only a little bit of milk at a time because too much will ruin the consistency. If you add too much milk it will become more like a milkshake. Now, fill your jar, attach it to the Bella machine, and then blend! Pulsing the blender makes it easiest. Don’t be afraid to add more milk if it seems like its not blending enough. Keep blending until you get all the banana chunks blended into a ice cream texture. The photo below shows you what it should look like.

mixed frozen bananas

Once you’ve blended your bananas, you can go ahead and place it in a separate dish. This time, I added cookie dough bites and melted peanut butter to the top. Some other toppings I use are chocolate chips, m&m’s, almonds, and sprinkles!

banana ice cream with toppings

Next step, Eat! The banana ice cream melts faster than regular ice cream so be aware! The hardest part of the whole process is cleaning the blender, but it is definitely worth it!