Filed In: Eats

plated review

If you’ve never heard of Plated, be warned: you will absolutely want to try it out after you read this post.

plated-reviewsSince being married, I have somewhat struggled in the “dinner-making” department. When I was single, I was totally okay with eggs or cereal for dinner, basically every night. Unfortunately a bowl of cereal might not fill up Michael like it fills me up. So, finding recipes that are filling yet healthy, that don’t take a million years has been a struggle for me!

This is why I think Plated is a total lifesaver. In case you’ve never heard of it, “Plated delivers everything you need to create chef-designed recipes, making it simpler and more fun to cook at home” (from their website). You go online, select the meal you want, and they deliver fresh ingredients to your door along with the recipe card. plated-reviews

Every meal we tried took 40 minutes or less to make, was super healthy, and SO yummy. It was also really fun cooking with Michael! It saves you so much time not only with grocery shopping, but also from scrolling through Pinterest for hours to find a recipe both you and your man will like.

So I definitely encourage you to click this link and try it out! (By clicking that link, you will get 2 free plates with the purchase of 4 plates!) Let me know what you think!

another day, another cookie

If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ve probably figured out I’m a total cookie monster. No matter how many cookie recipes I’ve pinned, you can never have enough. Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes. The recipe is simple and easy to follow. You do have to chill the dough, but only for 30 mins or so! It’s kind of a mix of a few different ones I’ve found online, with my own personal tips. Enjoy!

chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (6 oz) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups dark chocolate chips (I use a mix of semi-sweet & dark chocolate!)

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cooled melted butter and the sugars with a hand-mixer for about one minute. Then, add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until just combined.
  3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix briefly, just until there are no flour clumps left. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 325 degrees, making sure you have the racks in the middle of the oven.
  6. Scoop however much cookie dough you want out and roll into a balls (I personally like smaller cookies, like less than 1/4 cup of dough. Then you don’t feel guilty for eating 10). Also – try making your balls taller rather than fatter, it helps them not flatten out too much. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a silipat mat), making sure the cookies have plenty of space to spread.
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating half-way through, or until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden, but the center of the cookie still looks soft and just slightly under-cooked. Let cool on the baking sheets until the cookies are firm enough to remove. Every oven is different, so I recommend starting with just one or two cookies on the tray to see what baking time works best for you!
  8. Repeat with remaining batches, until all cookies are baked.

 

shakeology: healthy, yummy, easy

Okay, let me start this post off by saying: I am not a health nut. I don’t spend tons of money on supplements and expensive vitamins and things of that nature. I’ve definitely tried some of that stuff out but more often than not, found it to not be worth the money. Until I tried out Shakeology.

shakeologyShorts | Tennis Shoes | Fitbit

Here’s 3 reasons why I’m loving Shakeology and think it’s a great use of your money:

  1. First and foremost – it’s super healthy. Each shake is packed with superfood ingredients. As much as I try to get in superfoods each day (kale, avocado, things of that nature…), it’s not always easy if you’re in a hurry. Every shakeology shake has protein & fibers, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, probiotics, and so much  more. All of those things your body needs to keep you feeling full, reduce sugar cravings, support your immune system and lots of other good things!
  2. It’s delicious. My favorite flavor is chocolate. I’m a HUGE sweets lover, in case you hadn’t noticed, and the chocolate shake totally satisfies my sweet tooth! Honestly I would drink it for dessert if I could! If I’m having it for a meal, I’ll add half a banana and almond butter to the blender and it is so yummy!
  3. It’s easy. As much as I’d love to have time every morning to make scrambled egg whites and turkey bacon with avocado and a whole wheat english muffin with fresh fruit…that’s just not realistic most days. After I’m done with a workout I usually shower, get ready and am running out the door. Shakeology is so perfect to just put in the blender and you have your breakfast on the go!

If you’re interested in buying shakeology, just go to this website and you’ll find everything you need!

greek-style meatballs

As most of you know, Michael and I just bought our first house back in March and have been working hard to fix it up and make it feel like home. One of our favorite things about owning a house now has been inviting people over for dinner or get togethers. We both love having people into our home, the conversations shared in these walls, and the laughter that fills the rooms.

One thing that still gives me slight anxiety though is the dinner part. I will be the first to admit that I’m not the greatest cook. I so enjoy it, but I’m not awesome at it. Last night we had my brother & sister-in-law over for dinner and I made these Greek-style meatballs I’m sharing with ya’ll today. They are so unique and yummy, and on top of that, super healthy and easy to make! It’s become my go-to when we’re having people over for dinner and I want to get a little fancier than chicken, but not spend a ton of time on the meal. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Greek meatballs

Greek-style meatballs

  1. In large bowl, mix 1 lb ground beef, 3/4 c. crumbled feta cheese (I used reduced fat!), 1/2 small red onion, grated, 1/3 c. Italian-style bread crumbs; 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley, 1 lg egg, lightly beaten; 2 tsp dried oregano; and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper
  2. Form into 12 balls and thread onto skewers
  3. On cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray, roast meatballs at 425 degrees, 15 to 20 mins, or until cooked through.
  4. Serve with lemon slices and 1/2 c. prepared tzatziki (I just bought mine premade from Trader Joe’s!)

For the side dishes, I just did roasted red potatoes and a kale salad. But you could really do anything you want with it! Enjoy! xx

dinner made easy (and healthy!)

In case you don’t know this about me already, I am a major foodie. I love good food, I love great restaurants, and I love desserts. I’ll be the first to admit though, I’m not the greatest cook in the world. Baking – I love. Cooking – not my strong suit. I’m trying to get better though & find more recipes that are healthy and easy!

I recently found this turkey burger recipe (from The Pioneer Woman) and thought it looked simple and delicious. I tried it last night and both my husband and I loved it! The goat cheese/pesto spread was amazing, and the entire meal took less than 30 mins to make. (The Pioneer Woman recipe has the turkey burger on a toasted everything bagel. My husband had his on a toasted bun, and I did mine just on a bed of spinach! She also put more butter in her’s than I used. So, the recipe below is my version of her original) Enjoy!

turkey_burger_goat_cheese

Ingredients (This is for 8 servings – if you have a big family or just want lots of leftovers!)

  • 8 whole Everything Bagels (Again, I used a bun for my husband, just spinach for me!)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 ounces, weight Goat Cheese (chevre)
  • 2 Tablespoons Pesto
  • 2 pounds Ground Turkey
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
  • Plenty Of Black Pepper
  • 8 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 whole Egg Yolk (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Sliced
  • 3 whole Avocados, Sliced
  • 16 whole Large Basil Leaves

Preparation Instructions

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and grill the cut side of the bagels until golden brown and slightly crisp. Set aside.

Stir together the goat cheese (or cream cheese) and the pesto until smooth. Add more pesto if you’d like!

Combine turkey, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and egg yolk (if using) in a large bowl. Stir or knead together with your hands, then form into patties.

Heat canola oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties on both sides until totally done, with no sign of pink in the middle, at least 4-5 minutes per side.

To serve, spread a good amount of the pesto spread on each bagel half. Place the burgers on the bottom half, then top with tomato slices and basil leaves. Lay avocado slices on the top half, using the spread to make them stay put. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the avocados, then place the top half on the bottom half, smush it together…and dig in!

Flawless Chocolate Chip Cookies

In case we haven’t met before, my name is Lauren Sims, and I am an absolute cookie MONSTER. I love all sweets but ever since I was an infant (maybe even before), cookies have won my heart. Particularly chocolate chip.

I have several different recipes I rotate through when baking cookies, depending on the occassion and how much time I have. The recipe I’m about to share with you all is for brown butter chocolate chip cookies. I love this one because you don’t have to chill the dough, because really…who has time for that. They are also so chewy and stay soft for days!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (this recipe is adapted from Baker By Nature, I just made a few changes!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 15 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt; set aside
  3. Place 8 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until the butter has browned.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 7 tablespoons of butter; whisk until completely smooth. Place the bowl in the refrigerator or freezer and bring the butter back to room temperature. *You’ll know the butter is at room temperature when you press a finger into the top and it makes a slight indentation.
  5. Once the butter is at room temperature, add the sugars and the vanilla to the browned butter and whisk until light & fluffy; about 2 minutes (I use a stand mixer!) Add the eggs and beat quickly, for only about 30 seconds – until they’re just combined.
  6. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes, then beat the eggs for another 30 seconds
  7. Gently fold in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear.
  8. Fold in all chocolate chips
  9. Lightly grease a cookie sheet (or place a silipat mat on a cookie sheet! This is the one I use and i’m obsessed with it. Totally transforms your cookies)
  10. Roll the dough into balls (I personally like smaller cookies – then you can easily justify eating 5), then place on prepared sheet (make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading).
  11. Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled.
  12. Place baking sheets in preheated oven and bake for 11-14 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. (I cook mine 10 minutes actually!)
  13. let cookies cool for 5 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely. (This is the wire wrack I use)
  14. Enjoy!! Try and cut yourself off after a dozen if you can!

Make sure you follow me on pinterest for more yummy dessert recipes. xx