To Make / Spicy Cauliflower Soup

 
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     Hi there! I changed up the site yesterday to reflect the new direction I've taken towards posting mostly about food. I'm loving the new site and hope you do too! The new design is much more geared towards the content I've got lined up for this awesome new year, so get excited for some new posts! My first one for 2018 is a delicious and spicy soup from my new favorite cookbook by Half Baked Harvest (thanks mom + dad!!). I'm dedicating a whole post to the book next week, because I can't not share it's contents, but for now I'd like to present you with my adaptation on Tieghan's curried cauliflower soup! I switched out the curry for the Indonesian sambal oelek, as I've never been the biggest fan of curry. Also, I omitted the coconut milk in favor of greek yogurt, as that's what I had on hand! Now, this recipe is only in her book (you can purchase your own copy here), but she has a similar recipe on her blog with squash instead of cauliflower, so I'd highly recommend giving that one a try! In the meantime, see my warming cauliflower soup below: 

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Ingredients:

- 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets

- 6 cloves of garlic

- 4 tbs. of olive oil

- 1/2 of an onion, diced

- 2 tbs. of sambal oelek

- 1 tsp. of smoked paprika

- sprinkle of cinnamon

- 1 cup of greek yogurt

- 3-4 cups of broth, any kind will work

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425. Roast cauliflower and garlic on a baking sheet for 25 minutes. While the cauliflower is roasting, heat your olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot. When it shimmers, add onion and cook until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Then, add your spices and sambal oelek, and saute for another minute. Add 1 cup of broth, and stir in the greek yogurt, then let simmer until cauliflower is done. 

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2. Once cauliflower is roasted, take your pot off the heat, and let cool slightly. Pour into a blender or food processor, and then add your cauliflower and garlic. Blend until smooth. 

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3. Return soup to pot and add 2 more cups of broth and stir. Simmer over medium heat until soup is heated through, then ladle into bowls and serve with warm naan or buns. Enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend! I'll be back next week to talk the Half Baked Harvest cookbook, and to share a golden milk tonic that's been helping alleviate all of the sinus yuck we've been having this winter! 

To Bake / Chocolate Sugar Cookies

 
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     Good morning! Growing up, we always made sugar cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, and I wanted to do something similar with Bailey this year. We didn't make them on Christmas Eve, I'll be making chocolate chip cookies because that's Santa's (i.e. Brett's) preference this year, and cinnamon rolls for the next morning from scratch - another family tradition, c/o my dad (although we always enjoyed Pilsbury instead, but who doesn't?!)! Even though chocolate chip will be on Santa's plate this year, I still wanted Bailey to get to do the cookie cutters and icing aspect of Christmas cookies. However, sugar cookies are one of my least favorite cookies, so I added some cocoa powder! They turned out better than I expected (duh, chocolate). They have a brownie taste with a sugar cookie texture, and in my opinion, that's a huge upgrade to the original cookie! See for yourself below, and peep Bailey getting in on the action. She had a blast! 

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Ingredients:

- 1 cup of butter (2 sticks) - room temperature

- 1 cup of sugar

- 1 egg

- 1 + 1/2 tsp. of vanilla

- 2 cups of AP flour

- 3/4 cup of cocoa powder

- pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Mix together butter and sugar, then add your egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the wet mixture. Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Let dough chill in the fridge for one hour. 

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2. Using whatever cookie cutters you like, cut out shapes. Chill shapes in the fridge for 10 minutes.

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3. Preheat oven to 350.

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4. Bake for 12 minutes.

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5. Let cool to room temperature before icing, this is very important!

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6. Ice your cookies as desired and enjoy!

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      Bailey really loved doing this, and I think we definitely have a new holiday tradition now. 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday! We'll be back later this week to celebrate the start of winter!

To Bake / Chicken Pot Pie

 
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     Good morning! I tried my hand at chicken pot pie for the first time last weekend, and the results were too good not to share! I'm not sure I'd ever even tried chicken pot pie (I was against meat in pies for most of my youth, for some reason), but it sounded delicious and just right for the colder weather we've been getting. Also, there's not much that's topped with a puff pastry crust that I won't eat. Find the recipe below (adapted from Bon Appetit)!

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

  • 1/3 cup of AP flour

  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 cups of shredded chicken

  • 1/4 of an onion, diced

  • 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed

  • 1 cup of frozen carrots, thawed

  • Hot sauce

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator

  • 1 large egg, beaten for brushing

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400, and melt your butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Once melted, add your diced onion and rosemary, and saute for 4 minutes. Add your flour and stir repeatedly until the mixture is golden brown, for about 6 minutes. Whisk in your broth, 1/2 a cup at a time. Then, whisk in milk and add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking throughout, until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add your peas, carrots, and chicken. Next, stir in your hot sauce + Worcestershire sauce.  

2. Pour your filling into a greased baking dish, and top with your pastry crust. Press the edges to your dish to seal, and brush the entire crust with your egg wash. Feel free to add a pretty touch, like these little rosemary leaves!

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3. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any spills!), and bake for 20 minutes. Then, reduce heat and bake for another 30 minutes. 

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4. Let sit for 10 minutes after baking, then serve warm. Enjoy!

     Thanks for reading! Have a fun Wednesday, and we'll be back next week with a twist on classic cookie cutter sugar cookies for Santa!

To Bake / Cranberry Butter Dutch Baby

 
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     Good morning! Cranberry season is still in full force around my house. I had such an excess from making cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, and it's been a lot easier than I thought to find uses for the leftover sauce, but also for the raw cranberries! I've been adding the fresh cranberries to my daily lunch smoothie, and stirring in the leftover sauce with some greek yogurt to add to my grain or lentil bowls. Today though, I've added my beloved cranberry sauce to butter for this cinnamon dutch baby pancake (recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest)! It's the perfect amount of sweet for breakfast or brunch, and serves 3-6 people (depending on how many slices you eat :)). Get the recipe below!

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For the Dutch Baby:

- 4 eggs

- 2/3 cup of milk

- 2/3 cup of AP flour

- 2 tsp. of vanilla

- a good shake of cinnamon

- another good shake of nutmeg

- 1/2 tsp. of salt

- 4 tbs. of butter

- syrup for serving!

For the Cranberry Butter:

- 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce 

- 4 tbs. of butter at room temp.

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Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450, place 2 tbs. of butter in your cast-iron skillet, and put in the oven to warm. While that's heating, blend your flour, milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and 2 tbs. of butter in a blender. Make sure there are no lumps!

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2. Pour batter into your hot skillet, and place back in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes, and don't open the oven or your pancake will deflate! 

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3. While the pancake is baking, mix together your soft butter and cranberry sauce. When the dutch baby is done, spoon on cranberry butter and let melt.

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4. Drizzle with A LOT of syrup. 

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5. Serve warm and enjoy!

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     I, as usual, enjoyed mine with a cup of black coffee (the perfect pairing with a breakfast so sweet!). The pancake was the fluffy, sweet, and buttery confection I was looking for, and I hope you all enjoy it!

    Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday! I'll be back later this week to share about my new gifting philosophy for Bailey this year. See you then!

To Bake / Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Pie

 

     Good morning! I have the best chocolatey pie for your thanksgiving table today! It's not anywhere near healthy, but people tend to forget about those kinds of things on holidays (myself included!). This pie (recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest) is basically a giant chocolate chip cookie in a pie crust, so you really can't go wrong. Get the recipe below!

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Ingredients:

- 1 pie crust (I used store bought, but by all means, make your own!)

- 2 eggs

- 1/2 cup of ap flour

- 1/4 cup of brown sugar

- 1/4 cup of sugar

- 2 tsp. of vanilla

- 1 + 1/2 sticks of butter, softened

- 2 cups of chocolate chips

- 2/3 cup of sweetened condensed milk

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 and grease your pie plate. To make filling, mix together your eggs until frothy, then add the flour, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla. Add the butter, and continue mixing until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

2. To assemble, press your pie crust into your pie plate. Then, pour about half of your condensed milk over the crust. 

3. Pour in half your batter, then top with the rest of the condensed milk. Add the rest of the filling on top.

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4. Bake for 55-60 minutes, then let cool for 20 minutes. 

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5. Serve warm and enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday! 

To Make / Honey Butter Healthy-ish Pancakes

 
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     Hi there! I whipped up these pancakes this weekend, and had to share the recipe with you all asap! They're slightly healthy (thanks whole wheat flour + greek yogurt!), but also pack a sweet punch with caramelized bananas and honey butter. Get the how-to below!

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Ingredients (pancakes):

- 1 banana

- 1 egg

- 3/4 cup of almond milk

- 1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt

- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract

- 1 + 1/2 tsp. of sugar

- 2 tsp. of baking powder

- 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour

- 1/2 cup of AP flour

- a pinch of salt

Ingredients (honey butter):

- 1 stick of butter

- 1 tbs. of honey

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Directions (honey butter):

1. Melt honey and butter together by placing them in a bowl and microwaving for 1 minute. Stir together and pour into a jar. Let set in the fridge overnight (can still drizzle melted over pancakes!). 

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Directions (pancakes):

1. Combine flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, then stir to combine. Add in greek yogurt and stir. 

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2. Heat your griddle, and pour out your batter for pancakes. Slice your banana and place rounds on top of cake. Brush bananas with melted honey butter. Wait til the cakes are bubbling on top, then flip and let cook for about another minute, or until pancakes are browned on both sides. 

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3. Serve warm with honey butter and maple syrup (and bacon, if you're so inclined). Enjoy!

To Make / Seasonal Fall Flatbreads

 
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     Good morning! I'm back with a yummy seasonal flatbread for you all today! Sweet potatoes, bacon, spinach, and asiago/parm cheese are all you need to put together this simple meal. Get the how-to below!

Ingredients:

- 1 garlic naan flatbread

- cooked bacon

- cooked sweet potato

- fresh spinach

- shredded parmesan + asiago

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400, and assemble your flatbread with as much or as little toppings as you'd like! (Bailey likes a lot of cheese, just like her mama.)

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2. Bake for 10 minutes, until crust is just crispy enough and cheese has melted.

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3. Slice up and serve warm. Enjoy!

To Make / GF Pumpkin Tahini Cookies

 
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     Hi there! October means all things pumpkin, and I have a yummy pumpkin tahini cookie recipe for you all today! They're on the slightly healthier side than other cookies, being gluten free and containing nutrient filled tahini. Get the recipe below (adapted from A Beautiful Mess)!

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Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 heaping tablespoons tahini
- 1 1/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon (aluminum-free) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup of softened butter

Directions:

1. Mix together the butter, pumpkin, and sugars. Then add in the egg, vanilla, and tahini.

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2. Next add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Once dough has formed, add in chocolate chips. Scoop out into cookie dough balls, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  

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3. Either store in fridge until ready to bake, or preheat your oven to 350, and bake for 12 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!

To Make / Salted Honey Apple Gouda Toast

 
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      Good morning! I have a delicious recipe for you all today, and it's perfect for the season: apple gouda toast (adapted from Half Baked Harvest, I just can't get enough of her recipes)! Topped with sea salt, honey, and rosemary, these toasts hit all of the flavors and are amazing for an easy fall lunch. Get the recipe below! 

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Ingredients:

- 2 slices of your choice of bread (I used my favorite sprouted version from Food For Life!)

- 2 pats of butter

- 2 slices of gouda

- half an apple, cut into slices

- raw honey

- sea salt

- rosemary

Directions:

1. Place a pat of butter on each of your bread slices, then layer on the cheese and apples.

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2. Set your oven to the broiler, and place your toasts on a baking sheet. Broil for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

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3. Drizzle your honey on the toasts, then sprinkle your salt and rosemary on top. Eat as is, or mush the two toasts together for a tasty sandwich! Enjoy!

To Make / Homemade Tomato Soup

 
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      Hi there! A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor brought over some surplus tomatoes, and I immediately wanted to make tomato soup. I adapted Half Baked Harvest's recipe, and am sharing it with you all today! Get the how-to below!

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Ingredients:

- 3 ripe tomatoes

- half an onion

- 1 cup of milk

- 3 tbs. of pesto

- 3 tbs. of olive oil

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Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 425, and roast your tomatoes and onion drizzled in your olive oil for 20-30 minutes.

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2. Once roasted, place your tomatoes and onion in a blender and add your milk. Blend until smooth.

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3. Pour your blended soup into a large pot, and heat over medium high until bubbling slightly, then add in your pesto, and heat until warm.

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4. Whip up a grilled cheese, and serve with your soup. Enjoy!

To Make / Chocolate Coffee Nice Cream

 

    Hi there! This is my last #whole30 friendly recipe for the time being! I loved this treat for when I had a sweet craving, and it's guilt-free, which makes it even sweeter! Get the how-to below!

Ingredients:

- 1 ripe banana

- 1/2 cup of almond butter

- 1/2 cup of almond milk

- 2 softened dates

- 1/2 cup of coffee

- 1/4 cup of cocoa powder

- berries for topping (I used fresh blackberries because the taste really works with this strong chocolate flavor!)

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Freeze for at least 6 hours.

3. Scoop out and enjoy!

To Make / Healthy Red Pepper Dip

 

      Hi there! During my Whole30, I tested a lot of recipes. You basically have to, to survive a month of eating no dairy, grains, legumes, or sugar. That's one of the best parts of the program though, it pushes your creativity! One of my favorite things to test was snacks. I love a good snack after work and am always switching it up. When I stumbled upon this recipe from A Beautiful Mess, I had to try it out! Roasted red peppers give the best flavor, and combined with pumpkin seeds, make a super nutritious dip. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- 1 red pepper, sliced in half and roasted

- 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds, or pepitas

- lemon juice

- chili powder, paprika, and salt

Directions:

1. Put your peppers and pumpkin seeds into your food processor, then squirt in some lemon juice, and sprinkle in your seasonings. 

2. Blend until smooth. 

3. Serve with chips of your choosing and enjoy!

To Make / Peach + Citrus Smoothie

 

      Hi there! I have a yummy, summery smoothie to share today, and it packs the perfect citrus punch to get your day started right! With fresh peaches being in season, I've been including them in my smoothies as much as possible. They just scream "summer" to me. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of orange juice

- 1 banana

- 1 peach

- 1 tbs. of flax/chia blend

Directions:

1. Chop your banana and peach, and toss into the blender.

2. Pour in your OJ, and blend. Enjoy!

To Assemble / Strawberry Pico Chicken Salad

 

      Hi there! As you may know, I'm in the thick of my Whole 30 health reset. It's going swimmingly so far, and I'm feeling much more confident in being able to make healthier choices once those 30 days are up! What I've enjoyed the most so far about this process is letting my guard down when it comes to new flavors and not just sticking to what's comfortable. I'll try most things once, and if it contributes something new to my palette, then all the better!

     This mindset is what brought me to today's recipe. I'm always looking for ways to get the trifecta of fruit, veggies, and protein all in one dish, because I'm not big on just eating fruit on its own. Unless it's an apple or banana, it's going into a recipe! So, when I was searching for a way to incorporate the massive amount of strawberries I needed to use up (because a certain little toddlers' tastes change on the daily), the thought of strawberry pico de gallo came to me. I'm a huge fan of pico (it's so fresh!), and strawberries add just enough sweetness to whatever they touch. Perfecto! With the addition of a balsamic vinaigrette, the flavors of this salad balance just right, breathing life into something that could easily be bland. Taste for yourself through the recipe below! 

Ingredients:

- a large handful of spinach

- grilled chicken

- 5-6 ripe strawberries

- 1/2 cup of pico de gallo (our local grocery stores all stock fresh pico made there on the daily!)

- 1 avocado

- chives

- 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar

- 1 tsp. of lime juice

- 1 tsp. of olive oil

Directions:

1. Dice your strawberries and mince your chives. Stir these into your pico!

2. Assembly time! Chop up your avocado, and toss together your pico, spinach, and chicken. 

3. Whisk together your vinegar, lime juice, and olive oil. Drizzle on top of your salad. 

4. Serve with the leftover vinaigrette (if there is any!), and enjoy!

To Make / Iced Matcha Lattes

 

     Hi there! I'm doing the Whole 30 this month, and am on the biggest health kick of my life. I'm not sure why, but it just clicked one day that I want to nourish my body, and not just keep it running but enrich it with all of the good things, and not as much of the bad. Don't get me wrong, I'm a cheese + chocolate lover (one of my nicknames growing up was Mouse), but it's just time for a reset. After the Whole 30, I know that I'll love and appreciate those small indulgences even more, keeping them special and not just for everyday consumption.

    On that note, I've been trying out new things that have major health benefits, which brings us to matcha! Matcha is a powdered green tea that is essential for keeping a healthy metabolism, is full of antioxidants and vitamins, and enhances your mind and concentration. I've been a believer in green tea for awhile, but the powdered version has more flavor and pairs better with almond milk to make a yummy (unsweetened) latte! Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- 1 tsp. of matcha

- 1 cup of water

- 1 cup of almond milk

- glass of ice (because it's summmmmer!)

*Note: if you aren't on the Whole 30 and want your latte to be a little sweeter, I highly recommend adding a little honey!

Directions:

1. Boil your water, and add your tsp. of matcha to a shallow bowl. Pour your hot water over the tea and whisk until the tea dissolves. 

2. Chill the tea in the fridge for 15 minutes. (This is only for iced versions, if you want to make a hot version, just add your milk, stir, and enjoy!)

3. Assemble your latte by first pouring your milk over your ice. 

4. Add in your tea. 

5. Stir and enjoy!

To Make / Summer Smoothies

 

     Hi there! I wanted to share my current favorite smoothie combo with you all today! It's not the most photogenic (thank you raspberries + spinach), but it sure is delicious and nutritious, and that's what matters most! See the recipe below. 

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of raspberries

- 1 banana

- 1 cup of frozen peaches

- 1 cup of spinach

- 1 cup of almond milk

- 1 tsp. of flax + chia

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in your blender, and blend until smooth. 

2. Serve chilled and enjoy! 

To Cook / Strawberry Stuffed Croissant French Toast

 

     Good morning! It's strawberry season, and while Bailey can eat tons of them on her own, there are always quite a few left over that have to be made into something delicious before they go bad. Enter: Pinterest! Pinterest has been a godsend for recipe inspiration, since I'm not a fan of just snacking on berries. Snacking on apples or bananas, sure; but there's something about berries that calls for them to be additions in my head, not on their own. I stumbled on this recipe from Half Bake Harvest (my go-to food blog!) and had to give it a whirl, with my own twists of course! Check out the recipe below!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

- 2 croissants

- 1/2 cup of almond milk

- 1 egg

- 1 tsp. of vanilla

- a dash of cinnamon

- 1 tbs. of butter

- 1 cup of Greek yogurt whipped cream cheese

- 1 cup of fresh strawberries

- maple syrup for serving

Directions:

1. Whisk together your milk, egg, vanilla, and cinnamon. Soak both sides of your croissants in the mixture, and add them to your heated (on medium!) + greased pan. 

2. While your croissants are getting all golden in the pan, stir together your strawberries and cream cheese. Be sure to set aside any strawberries you want to top the croissants with!

3. Once your croissants are golden on both sides, remove from the heat and smother in your strawberry cream cheese + maple syrup. Enjoy!

To Make / Cornbread Waffles

 

     Hi there! I'm sharing a new (and final, for a while) waffle recipe today! These cornbread jalapeno cheddar waffles are a dream. They are savory but sweet, and work perfectly with a chicken sandwich and pair well with some yummy queso. I highly recommend these for a summer brunch or bbq! Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- 3/4 cup of cornmeal

- 3/4 cup of flour

- 1/4 cup of sugar

- 1 tbs. of baking powder

- 1 tsp. of salt

- 2 eggs

- 1 cup of milk

- 4 tbs. of melted butter

- 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

- 1 jalapeno

Directions:

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. 

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together, then add the butter. Add in the dry ingredients, then fold in your cheese and sliced jalapenos. 

3. Cook according to your waffle irons instructions. 

4. Serve with queso or fill with chicken for a sandwich, and share with your best buddy! (Bailey actually loved the cornbread part, minus the jalapenos!)

To Drink / Rosewater Sparkling Lemonade

 

     Good morning! A few weeks back, I got to try out Fentiman's Rose Lemonade for the first time in Springfield, MO, and it was so good that I had to recreate it. Since I made this, I've been drinking it non-stop (which is ok, because I don't add any sweetener to my lemonade; to me it just doesn't need it)! Bailey has tried it, but she doesn't like sparkling water yet, so I only get grimaces of course. However, for those of you that like bubbles, lemonade, and rosewater anything, this recipe is right up your alley! Get the how-to below!

Ingredients:

- 3 cups of cold water

- 1 can of lime or lemon La Croix

- 2 lemons to juice

- 2 tsp. of rosewater

Directions:

1. Juice your lemons!

2. Add your water to a pitcher with ice, then pour in your La Croix, lemon juice, and rose water.

3. Stir and enjoy (preferably in a mason jar glass)! :)

To Make / Avocado Dipping Sauce

 

     Good morning! I'm always craving Mexican food once the warm weather hits, so I wanted to share this spicy avocado sauce with you today, just in case you suffer from the same cravings! It's filled with avocado, cilantro, and a kick of jalapeno. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- one avocado

- cilantro

- onion

- jalapeno

- 1/4 cup of olive oil

Directions:

1. Pit and skin your avocado, chop your veggies, and throw all ingredients into a food processor.

2. Process until smooth and creamy.

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3. Serve with what you like! I picked sweet potato fries this time, and as always, no regrets.

4. Enjoy!