Brown Sugar Peanut Butter Cupcakes

These delicious brown sugar cupcakes are filled with sweet caramel sauce (complimentary of Trader Joe’s) and are topped with an ever so tempting peanut butter frosting. 

I love when my friend’s have birthdays. It’s a sweet time to celebrate their lives and also a perfect excuse to bake some delicious cupcakes! The base of these golden cupcakes is a sweet brown sugar cake, perfectly sweet. The topping is a rich peanut butter frosting that I could just about eat by the spoonful! I love how easy this recipe is, and I had all of the ingredients already at hand to bake these. Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you though. These cupcakes are highly addictive if you are a peanut butter lover like me. These tiny little cakes should be enjoyed with a tall glass of milk, but beware. You might not be able to just eat one! 

Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Cupcakes
Yields 12
These golden peanut butter cupcakes are perfect for all you peanut butter lovers out there!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  2. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  4. 1 c. dark brown sugar
  5. 1 large egg
  6. 3/4 c. milk of choice
  7. 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
  8. salted caramel
Frosting
  1. 8 oz cream cheese
  2. 1/2 c. peanut butter
  3. 1 c. dark brown sugar
  4. 1 c. powdered sugar, plus more
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar and egg until smooth. Add milk and mix well.
  4. Slowly pour in butter, continuing to mix well.
  5. Add in the flour mixture, mixing until smooth and no flour lumps remain.
  6. Evenly distribute batter into cupcake liners.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until tops are golden and toothpick comes out clean.
Frosting
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and beat together until smooth and no lumps remain.
  2. Add more powdered sugar if you want the frosting to be thicker.
Assembly
  1. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
  2. Remove the center of the cupcake with a corer.
  3. Add a teaspoon (or more!) of salted caramel into the center of the cupcake.
  4. Frost with a generous amount of peanut butter frosting.
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If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! (: 

The Best Crepe Breakfast

When I say the best crepe breakfast, I really mean the BEST crepe breakfast. Ever. I wouldn’t lie to you! I mean this is the kind of breakfast you will dream about at night. The kind of breakfast that will have you waking up before your alarm. You will love this crepe breakfast so much, that you will make it and have it in the oven before your coffee is even done brewing. Yeah. I’m that serious my friends! 

This recipe was inspired by a similar breakfast my husband and I had when we were taking an anniversary trip in Colorado last summer. We stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast in a charming little town and were served somewhat of a crepe casserole for breakfast. I am a huge fan of crepes, so I was overjoyed when I learned we would be having them for breakfast! Our host had a friend from France who gave her a bunch of homemade crepes. She softened up some pears on the stove and layered the crepes with butter, pure maple syrup, and pears. My husband and I helped ourselves to seconds. And thirds. 

I decided to add pretty much anything I could find in my pantry to these layered crepes including slivered almonds, currants, chopped pecans, and shredded coconut. What I love about these crepes is that you can get so creative! Add your favorite nuts, fruits, and toppings to make this dish unique every time! I cooked up all of my toppings in coconut oil and honey on the stove, softening up everything and adding amazing amounts of flavor. 

The Best Crepe Breakfast
Serves 4
A delicious crepe recipe loaded with nuts, coconut, and fruit that will keep you full and satisfied!
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Crepes
  1. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  2. 4 eggs
  3. 1 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
  4. 1 cup water
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. Coconut oil
Topping
  1. 1/4 c. chopped pecans
  2. 1/4 c. slivered almonds
  3. 1/4 c. currants
  4. 1/2 c. shredded coconut
  5. 1 c. diced apples
  6. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  7. honey, as desired
  8. coconut oil, as desired
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl or blender add all of the ingredients (besides the coconut oil) and mix until completely smooth and blended.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a pan.
  3. Pour ¼ c. of batter into the pan and tilt in a circular motion so that the batter evenly spreads.
  4. Cook for about 1 minute on each side.
Topping
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a medium sauce pan and cook until apples are soft.
Assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start by placing one crepe on the bottom of a pie dish. Sprinkle some of the nut topping and sprinkle a few pieces of diced butter on top.
  3. Continue until all crepes and topping are gone.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the butter is melted and the crepes are golden brown.
  5. Serve with pure maple syrup and fresh berries!
Notes
  1. Get creative with this recipe! Substitute any of the toppings for a unique crepe casserole every time.
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Confession: I say this recipe serves 4…but my husband and I could truly finish this off just the two of us! (; it’s the perfect lazy, Sunday morning breakfast. 

Cranberry Orange Glazed Cookies

Okay all, I am in Christmas mode. I have been for a few weeks, and I will probably continue to be for several more weeks. Bare with me. I love everything about this time of year: Hallmark Christmas movies, sparkling trees, cozy fires and hot cocoa, Christmas lights, and yes even the music.

And what I really get excited about this time of year is the food! These cranberry orange cookies filled my house up with beloved Christmas smells and brought joy to my Christmas-loving self. 

These light and fluffy holiday treats are loaded with fresh cranberries and orange zest. They are finished with a light orange glaze that adds the perfect touch of sweetness. I couldn’t decide whether to call these cookies or biscuits-they are kind of in between! They are nice and soft in the inside but slightly crunchy around the edges. Whether a cookie or a biscuit, these sweet little guys go great with a cup of tea or a tall glass of milk! 

Cranberry Orange Glazed Cookies
Yields 12
These festive cookies are filled with the beloved Christmas tastes of cranberry and orange!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour (I did one cup whole wheat and one all-purpose)
  2. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. ½ teaspoon salt
  4. zest from 1 orange
  5. 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  6. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1/2 cup sugar
  9. 1 cup frozen cranberries
Glaze
  1. powdered sugar
  2. juice of 1/2 orange
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Add the cold butter into the flour mixture and mix well until crumbly.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, heavy cream, and egg.
  5. Pour into the flour mixture and mix well.
  6. Fold in the cranberries.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the slightly sticky dough out.
  8. Using a cookie cutter or mason jar, cut circles out of the dough and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Glaze
  1. Add freshly squeezed orange juice to a bowl.
  2. Add the powdered sugar until you get a nice thick pourable consistency.
  3. Drizzle on top of your cooled cookies and enjoy!
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Sugar Plum Filled Puff Pastry

I have a wonderful puff pastry dessert for you today that is perfect for the holiday season. And honestly, this recipe couldn’t be easier. It calls for three ingredients. You guys, three ingredients! But you would never know how simple and easy this recipe is because they look absolutely gorgeous. Your friends and family will be wowed by these delicious little puff pastry desserts at your next holiday party! 

I used store bought puff pastry, because it is SO easy to work worth. I haven’t attempted to make my own pastry yet…I have to admit I am a little intimidated by homemade pastry! I’ve seen them make it on the Great British Baking Show, and it looks like no easy feat. For now I will stick with the easy and still delicious store bought puff pastry! (: 

Sugar plum jam, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a rich plum flavored jam enhanced with sweet notes of orange. It is incredible cozy and delicious in this recipe and you can also use the leftover from the jar on toast, scones, or muffins. Your holiday mornings will be made dreamy by this sugar plum jam. 

Filled with sugar plum jam and dusted with snow, I mean powdered sugar, these puff pastry squares are so festive and will bring holiday cheer to any get together this season. 

Sugar Plum Jam Filled Puff Pastry
Yields 12
This easy 3 ingredient recipe is perfectly festive, making it a charming holiday treat to satisfy all.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 puff pastry sheet (I use Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, 17 Oz (Frozen))
  2. Sugar Plum Jam
  3. Powdered Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Allow puff pastry sheet to thaw completely.
  3. Once thawed, cut into 12 squares and place on lined baking sheet.
  4. Mark each square with an L in each corner.
  5. Place desired amount of jam in the center. I did about 1 1/2 teaspoons.
  6. Fold in the corners so they meet in the middle.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges start to turn golden.
  8. Allow to cool and sprinkle desired amount of powdered sugar on each.
Notes
  1. When I took my puff pastries out of the oven, I added a little bit more jam to the centers because I love this sugar plum jam! You can play around with how much you add depending on your preference.
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Sriracha Beef Lettuce Boats

Lettuce wraps don’t just have to be an appetizer you get at fancy Asian restaurants! This recipe is the perfect low-carb dinner that even picky eaters will enjoy and want seconds. And thirds! Totally guilt-free…

Spicy Sriracha sauce, beef, and potatoes come together to make an absolutely mouthwatering low-carb dinner. I love love Sriracha sauce. It packs the perfect punch of spice and can be added to just about any dish to instantly add flavor and heat. This instantly became a favorite in my house. I made this dish for my dad and grandparents, somewhat picky eaters, and they could not stop raving about these lettuce boats. This recipe will definitely be in my dinner rotation!

This recipe is super easy to make and can be whipped up in no time in the kitchen for a fast dinner option. It is also budget friendly. What more could you ask for in a dinner? You will love these lettuce boats because they are healthy, light but very filling, and are packed with flavor. 

Sriracha Beef Lettuce Boats
Serves 4
An easy low-carb dinner packed with color and flavor!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb ground beef
  2. 6-7 small potatoes, diced
  3. 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  4. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  5. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  6. 1 tablespoon fresh garlic
  7. zest and juice of 1 lime
  8. handful of fresh cilantro, washed
  9. 10 romaine lettuce boats, washed
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large pan and add potatoes.
  2. Cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add beef, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once beef is cooked through, add Sriracha, soy sauce, garlic, lime and sesame oil.
  5. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are soft.
  6. Lay out lettuce boats and add a generous filling of the beef and potato mixture.
  7. Top with fresh cilantro and more Sriracha sauce.
  8. Enjoy!
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Raspberry Lemon Cake

If you love lemon as much as I do, you have got to make this lemon raspberry cake that is oh so moist and oh so perfect for summer. 

I love love lemons and all things lemony. This cake has the perfect amount of lemon and raspberry to make it a fresh summery cake for all occasions…birthdays, BBQ’s, a Sunday afternoon teatime, this cake will delight at all times. This cake is filled with a homemade raspberry jam and a delicious lemon cream cheese frosting. Using fresh raspberries and lemon slices adds so much color and flavor to this summery treat. 

I absolutely love baking with fresh fruit. It almost makes you feel like you are eating healthy right?! It can’t have calories if there is fresh fruit! Don’t worry, this lemon raspberry cake is guilt-free (; Oh so worth it…..

Don’t let summer pass you by without making this fresh and colorful cake! 

Raspberry Lemon Cake
This is a fresh summery cake loaded with lemons and raspberries perfect for all summer gatherings.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  4. 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  5. 4 eggs, at room temperature
  6. 2 1/2 cups flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  11. 1/2 cup milk
  12. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  13. 2 and 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
Frosting
  1. 1 block cream cheese, room temperature
  2. 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  3. 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  4. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  6. 2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
Garnish
  1. handful of raspberries and lemon slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, add butter and sugar. Beat until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, zest, and lemon juice. Continue to beat until combined and fluffy.
  4. In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients.
  6. Add the milk and greek yogurt.
  7. Gently fold in the raspberries using a rubber spatula.
  8. Add the batter evenly among two cake pans.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  10. Allow the cake to completely cook before frosting.
Frosting
  1. In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and butter. Beat well until fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar and lemon juice. Beat until mixed well and no lumps remain.
  3. Add greek yogurt and mix well. Add more powdered sugar if it's not thick enough.
Assembly
  1. Once cakes have cooled, take one out of the pan and place on cake stand.
  2. Add a layer of store bought or homemade raspberry jam.
  3. Top with a thick layer of the frosting.
  4. Place the second layer on top and generously frost the whole cake.
  5. Decorate with desired amount of raspberries and lemon slices.
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Stuffed Bell Peppers

Oh my goodness. I never knew how much I could loved stuffed bell peppers until these ones came into my life. You guys. I was really missing out on a deliciously healthy mouthwatering dinner. If you are missing out on the joys of stuffed bell peppers, you gotta hop aboard the healthy veggie train and make these to wow your family and friends.

I used red, yellow, and red peppers because they are so colorful and summery! This dinner was perfectly fresh and a delight to my whole family. Stuffed with couscous, more veggies, and topped with chicken and cheese, these peppers are sure to please carnivores and vegetarians alike (sans meat of course & stuffed with more couscous). These peppers were truly so fun to make because I felt like I could get as creative as I wanted. You can truly add anything to these peppers to make a delicious and healthy dinner. You can even stuff peppers with those leftovers you just don’t know what to do with! 

I love couscous, so I chose to be very generous and put a thick layer at the bottom. I also made chicken in the crockpot the morning of, so assembly was very easy and clean up was simply. Who doesn’t love an easy clean up?! 

Packed with tons of flavor, these versatile peppers MUST be on your menu for dinner this week! 

Stuffed Bell Peppers
Yields 6
This healthy dinner is so versatile and is sure to please the whole family.
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Ingredients
  1. 6 bell peppers
  2. 1/2 lb. chicken
  3. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 1/2 c. green salsa
  6. 1 box pearl couscous
  7. 1 c. mushrooms
  8. handful of spinach
  9. salt and pepper
  10. mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Chicken
  1. In a crockpot, add chicken, chili powder, salt, pepper, olive oil, and green salsa.
  2. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.
  3. Shred chicken using a for.
Couscous
  1. Add chopped mushrooms to a pan and sauté with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. Mix in a handful of spinach.
  3. Next, stir in couscous and cook until couscous is golden.
  4. Add water according to box and cook until all water is absorbed. About 15 minutes.
Bell Peppers
  1. Add 1/2 cup water to the bottom of a casserole dish.
  2. Cut the tops of the peppers off and remove seeds.
  3. Place the peppers standing up in the casserole dish.
  4. Add a generous layer of couscous to the bottom of the peppers.
  5. Next, place shredded chicken to the top of the pepper.
  6. Top with desired amount of cheese, salt, and pepper.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes until cheese is golden.
Notes
  1. Substitute chicken with black beans or garbanzo beans to make this dish vegetarian!
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Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Smoothie

This smoothie is so creamy and thick, perfect for breakfast or for a quick snack during a hot summer afternoon!

I love smoothies! Especially during the summer when it is so hot. What’s not to love about smoothies? They are delicious and nutritious! Peanut butter and banana is one of the best combinations out there. This smoothie, made with only a few simple ingredients, tastes almost like a dessert! 

This smoothie is made from one banana, almond milk, peanut butter, and ice. It’s so simple! Throw it all in the blender and voila! Breakfast is ready. I like my smoothies nice and thick, but if that’s not your style, just add a little more almond milk. 

Enjoy this simple and delicious smoothie! (: 

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
Serves 1
This delicious smoothie is a perfect healthy option for breakfast or an after school snack.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 banana
  2. 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  3. 1 cup almond milk (or more!)
  4. a few ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth and creamy!
  2. Enjoy.
Notes
  1. Add a few dark chocolate chips to make this a true healthy dessert option!
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Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

These are without a question my favorite muffins. They are incredibly moist and each bite explodes with tangy lemon flavor! 

It’s still very much summer here in the hot desert sun! Which means more lemon recipes. They probably won’t stop coming till’ Fall comes. Sorry guys. It’s just gonna be a whole lot of lemon recipes until it’s time for a whole lot of pumpkin recipes. Actually who am I kidding!? I’m not sorry! Lemon is absolutely amazingly delicious this time of year. Whether it’s in a muffin, cake, bar, or drink, lemon is such a refreshing pretty lookin’ little fruit. 

These whole wheat lemon poppy seed muffins are just perfect for a Sunday brunch recipe (or anytime of the hot summer day recipe!). Made with whole wheat flour and greek yogurt, you could almost argue these little muffins are healthy for you. These muffins are super moist and tangy as they are filled with lemon juice and tons of lemon zest. I honestly love anything packed with lemon juice and zest. Not too sweet and not too tangy, these muffins are a hit in my house. The lemon drizzle adds even more of a zesty punch that you will just love (I couldn’t stop eating it off the spoon!). 

This classic lemon poppyseed recipe is sure to be a hit with your family and friends the summer! 

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Yields 16
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Muffins
  1. 1⅓ c. whole wheat flour
  2. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  3. ½ teaspoon salt
  4. ¼ cup butter
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 2 medium eggs
  7. zest of 1 large lemon
  8. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  9. ¾ cup greek yogurt
  10. 2 tablespoons poppyseeds
Frosting
  1. 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  2. 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  3. 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the eggs, lemon zest and juice, and mix until well combined.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Mix well. Add poppyseeds.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until not doughy in the middle and golden on top.
  7. Allow muffins to cool completely.
Icing
  1. Mix together all ingredients and drizzle on top of cooled muffins. Enjoy!
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Watermelon Pizza

****HUSBAND APPROVED DESSERT

This watermelon pizza is not only lovely to look at, but it is absolutely refreshing and perfectly sweet. Lemon zest and fresh strawberries add beautiful summer colors to this dessert and make it bright and wonderfully light. This easy no-bake dessert can be whipped up in no time and is the best afternoon snack for a hot summer day. Finally a dessert that is satisfying, low-carb, and loaded with fresh fruits! I promise, you are going to want to make this refreshing watermelon pizza. Your kids will love this as an after school snack, and your friends will be impressed and delighted at your next barbecue get together. 

Honestly, this is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made. Slice a watermelon, whip up some whipped cream, and cut up some strawberries. Voila! Easy as pie. And almost tastes like pie with fresh strawberries and whipped cream but has half the calories and takes half the time to make. I don’t know about you, but on hot summer days I really love eating fresh fruit. Which is why this watermelon pizza is a perfect summer dessert option for those of us who have a sweet tooth but also want to look good in our new summer dresses. You definitely do not have to feel guilty after enjoying a few slices.

I have been obsessed with making homemade whipped cream. It is so much fun to make and so delicious. Confession: I ate most of the whipped cream with strawberries before I even took pictures of this recipe! Oh did I mention this whipped cream is loaded with fresh lemon juice and zest?? That’s right friends. Lemon whipped cream. How’s that for a delicious summer treat? This watermelon pizza will not disappoint! In fact, what am I still doing typing…I have 2 pieces left in the fridge (sorry honey, I will make more!)!

Watermelon Pizza with Lemon Whipped Cream
This easy summer dessert is so light and fresh!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 small watermelon
  2. juice of 1/2 lemon
  3. lemon zest
  4. fresh strawberries, sliced
  5. 1/4 c. heavy cream
  6. 1 teaspoon sugar
Instructions
  1. Add heavy cream, sugar, and lemon juice to a bowl.
  2. Mix on high speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Slice watermelon and cut circle into 4 pieces.
  4. Spread a thin (or thick) layer of whipped cream on top of watermelon slices.
  5. Place sliced strawberries on top of whipped cream.
  6. Add desired amount of lemon zest on top.
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