THAI CHICKEN SALAD WITH GINGER LIME DRESSING

THAI CHICKEN SALAD WITH GINGER LIME DRESSING

Today, I’ve got a Thai Chicken Salad with amazing texture and flavors, but first, let’s talk about Mommy Guilt.
Now that the craziness from back to school had faded into the new normal, one of my big goals is to start working out again.

I’ve mentioned many times that since becoming a Mom more than ten years ago, I struggle with keeping any consistency with working out. I start programs with great enthusiasm. (Usually, it is something meant for someone in better shape.) A few weeks into working out, I become stressed for time, and my workout is the first thing to go.
And as terrible as it sounds, I feel guilty when I work out because I always feel like I should be doing something else. Cleaning the house, playing with the kids, making a homemade meal, or working.

The other thing I have going on is that I have the attention span of a toddler. I don’t mind working out; I just get bored quickly. Even changing routines once a month has been a problem for me. But yet, I KNOW I have to do something. With my crazy thyroid and a stressful summer, I’ve managed to put on more weight than I’d like to admit. And, sadly, I can no longer blame it on “Baby Weight”. Is there such a thing as Toddler Weight?

While I get mentally geared up, let’s share a salad that is perfect fuel for an intense workout. And speaking of intense, this Thai Chicken Salad is packed with flavor. I adore the color and texture.

THAI CHICKEN SALAD WITH GINGER LIME DRESSING
THAI CHICKEN SALAD WITH GINGER LIME DRESSING

INGREDIENTS :

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (get a freecoconut oil with a Thrive Market Membership)*
  • 1 small red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (Red Boat brand)
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or 2 drops Ginger Essential Oil)
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Honey, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, toasted and chopped

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. Heat coconut oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook for two minutes.
  3. Add chicken and saute until browned and the chicken is fully cooked. Allow to cool and shred chicken
  4. Make dressing by whisking together lime juice, fish sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
  5. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Add honey to taste.
  6. In a large bowl combine cabbage, red pepper, carrots, scallions, basil, cilantro and chicken.
  7. Toss with dressing. Top with cashews and serve.

You can find complete recipes of this THAI CHICKEN SALAD WITH GINGER LIME DRESSING in wendypolisi.com

Zucchini Pasta Lasagna

Zucchini Pasta Lasagna

Another fantastic pasta substitute! All of these low carb pasta ideas are making my new year’s resolutions a lot easier. Thank you, Skinny Taste for this awesome low carb and gluten free lasagna recipe. Gina made this lasagna with beef, but you could easily leave it out for a vegetarian option. You could also use eggplant in place of zucchini.

By replacing the lasagna noodles with thin sliced zucchini you can create a delicious, lower carb (gluten-free) lasagna that’s loaded with vegetables, and you won’t miss the pasta!

I’ve made this a gazillion times and even shared it in my first cookbook. Since zucchini tends to be very watery, grilling it first is a must (I use my grill pan). After it’s grilled, I leave it on paper towels to soak up extra water while I make the sauce.

Zucchini Pasta Lasagna
Zucchini Pasta Lasagna

INGREDIENTS :

  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz can) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 3 medium (8 ounces each) zucchini, sliced 1/8″ thick
  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 large egg
  • 16 oz (4 cups) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. In a medium sauce pan, brown meat and season with salt.
  2. When cooked drain in colander to remove any fat.
  3. Add olive oil to the pan and saute garlic and onions about 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan,
  4. Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for at least 30-40minutes, covered.
  5. Do not add extra water, the sauce should be thick.
  6. Meanwhile, slice zucchini into 1/8″ thick slices, add lightly salt and set aside or 10 minutes.
  7. Zucchini has a lot of water when cooked, salting it takes out a lot of moisture.
  8. After 10 minutes, blot excess moisture with a paper towel.
  9. Preheat a gas grill to medium high, and grill 2 to 3 minutes per side, until slightly browned.
  10. Place on paper towels to soak any excess moisture.
  11. Preheat oven to 375°.
  12. In a medium bowl mix ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and egg. Stir well.
  13. In a 9×12 casserole spread 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom and layer the zucchini to cover.
  14. Spread 1/2 cup of the ricotta cheese mixture, then top with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up.
  15. The last layer top with remaining zucchini and sauce, cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.
  16. Uncover the foil and bake 20 minutes (to dry up the sauce) then place the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and bake until melted, 10 minutes.
  17. Let stand about 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

You can find complete recipes of this Zucchini Pasta Lasagna in recipebyphoto.com

TERIYAKI VEGGIE SPRING ROLLS

TERIYAKI VEGGIE SPRING ROLLS

These teriyaki veggie spring rolls are light and tasty and surprisingly filling. Made with simple, healthy ingredients, they are quick and easy to assemble.

I love spring rolls but I always imagined they were a lot of work and difficult to assemble. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I whipped these up in less than half an hour the other night when my daughter had a hankering for sushi and the sushi guy at the health food store near my husband’s office was disappointingly absent.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I grabbed some ingredients I had on hand and mixed them together to see if I could make something to satisfy her craving – she’s been working hard in school and I thought she deserved a treat.

I had purchased some brown rice spring roll wrappers the last time I went shopping with the idea that I would attempt making my own. Since my daughter has to follow a gluten-free diet I try to come up with creative ways to keep her meals – especially the lunches I pack her – interesting. However, I tend to procrastinate when it comes to trying something new, so the spring roll wrappers had been sitting in the cabinet.

TERIYAKI VEGGIE SPRING ROLLS
TERIYAKI VEGGIE SPRING ROLLS

INGREDIENTS :

  • 8 brown rice spring roll wrappers
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 avocado pitted and peeled
  • 1/2 cucumber medium, peeled and seeded
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (try my homemade recipe)

INSTRUCTIONS :

Filling

  1. Pulse onion in a food processor fitted with an S blade until it is chopped finely.
  2. Scrape chopped onion into a large mixing bowl and repeat the chopping process separately with the carrots,
  3. celery and spinach until all are finely chopped and added to the mixing bowl.
  4. For best results, chop spinach 2 cups at a time.
  5. Add almonds and teriyaki sauce to the chopped vegetables, stir to mix well and set aside.
  6. Slice cucumber and avocado into long thin strips and set aside.

How to Assemble

  1. Fill a large bowl with warm water and set it next to a large plate.
  2. Submerge one spring roll wrapper in the warm water for about 20 seconds and then place the wrapper on the large plate.
  3. Place 2-3 tbs of the chopped vegetables in the center of the wrapper.
  4. Add 2 slices of cucumber and 1-2 slices of avocado
  5. Carefully fold front of wrapper over the veggies and then fold the sides over and
  6. roll forward to wrap the back and seal the roll.

You can find complete recipes of this TERIYAKI VEGGIE SPRING ROLLS in veggieprimer.com

EASY QUINOA PIZZA BOWLS

EASY QUINOA PIZZA BOWLS

Ten days until Barclay and I leave for New Zealand!!! And I can’t WAIT!

I can’t wait to meet all of B’s Kiwi relatives who are coming together for a big reunion at a beautiful National Park campground (complete with a family jam sesh, since apparently everyone’s musical). I can’t wait to take our time (nearly 4 weeks) adventuring all over both islands, visiting the long list of towns and hikes and restaurants and coffee shops that some dear friends have recommended.

I can’t wait to soak up lots of quality downtime with this cute guy, especially after some extra busy schedules we’ve had these past few months. And — I must admit — after a brutal winter week here in Kansas City, I can’t WAIT to cross the equator and have it be summer down there!!!

My swimsuit and flip flops are already packed. 🙂

Still, I’ve been working hard to get ahead and create a bunch of winter-friendly recipes to share here on the blog while I’m gone. And oh my goodness — I had initially scheduled this one to be posted in mid-February, but I couldn’t wait another second to share it with you. Because I’m convinced I have stumbled upon a winner here.

They’re everything we all love about a good slice of pizza. They’re made healthier (and also gluten-free) with lots of protein-packed quinoa. They’re 100% easy to customize with all of your favorite pizza ingredients. They’re quick and easy and actually really fun to make. And oh my goodness — THEY ARE GOOD.

Meet my new favorite Easy Quinoa Pizza Bowls! Everyone seems to be obsessed with anything that’s served in a bowl lately, and I’ll admit I’m no exception. There’s something about digging a spoon into a big bowl of deliciousness that is oh-so-comforting. (And as a food stylist, I’ll also add in that bowls are oh-so-pretty!)

So when I was craving pizza the other day, I randomly decided to try tossing all of my favorite pizza ingredients into a new set of ramekins I just bought. (<–That’s an affiliate link, for anyone in the ramekin market.

I totally recommend them!) I’m a big fan of pepperoni (always), green pepers, red onions, mushrooms, mozz, and Parm. In lieu of crust, though, I just cooked up a quick batch of quinoa, stirred it together with my favorite pizza sauce, and then added that to the mix.

EASY QUINOA PIZZA BOWLS
EASY QUINOA PIZZA BOWLS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup (dry) quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 (14-ounce) jars pizza sauce
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 cups of your favorite pizza toppings (I used pepperonis, diced green peppers, diced button mushrooms,
  • and thinly-sliced red onions, but see other ideas below*)
  • optional toppings: grated Parmesan cheese, crushed red peppers

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
    Cook quinoa in the chicken or vegetable stock according to package instructions. (Or you can use this tutorial for how to cook quinoa.)
  2. When the quinoa has finished cooking, fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  3. Then stir about 1/2 cup pizza sauce into the quinoa until evenly combined. Set aside.
  4. Lightly spray 6 large (10-ounce) oven-safe ramekins with cooking spray.
  5. Place the ramekins on a large baking tray.
  6. Spread about 2 Tablespoons of pizza sauce evenly over the bottom of each ramekin.
  7. Layer each with about 1/4 cup of quinoa, and spread with a spoon to flatten.
  8. Layer each evenly with pinch of shredded Mozzarella.
  9. Layer each with a single layer of pizza toppings.
  10. Repeat by layering each with another layer of sauce, quinoa, Mozzarella, pizza toppings, followed by a final layer of Mozzarella.
  11. The ramekins should be full but not overflowing.
  12. Transfer the baking sheet full of ramekins to the oven, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are heated through.
  13. At this point, you can either remove the pizza bowls from the oven.
  14. Or if you’d like to get the cheese extra golden on top, you can turn the oven to “broil”.
  15. Then — keeping a close eye on the cheese so that it does not burn — broil the pizza bowls until the cheese is golden on top.
  16. Remove and sprinkle each pizza bowl with a pinch of Parmesan cheese and crushed red peppers, if desired. Serve immediately.

You can find complete recipes of this EASY QUINOA PIZZA BOWLS in gimmesomeoven.com

SPICY VEGAN JAMBALAYA

SPICY VEGAN JAMBALAYA

This easy vegan recipe for jambalaya is full of fresh produce and gets a spicy kick from fresh jalapeños! Ready in under an hour – the perfect healthy vegan recipe for busy weeknights. I am a huge fan of dinners that are quick, easy, and don’t involve a last-minute trip to the grocery store. This spicy (vegan!) jambalaya definitely falls into that category.

I grew up on jambalaya that was loaded with shrimp, chicken, and andouille, but when I went vegetarian I had to improvise a bit. Turns out jambalaya is just as good without the meat and fish! Even now that I’m back to being an omnivore, this recipe is still one of my favorites for a quick dinner or a Meatless Monday dish.

If I’m particularly hungry, I’ll throw in some portobello mushrooms or tofu to give it a bit more oomph, but for the most part I eat it just like you see it here. Full of tomatoes and cilantro (two of my favorite things in the universe) with a nice kick from the jalapeño and paprika.

SPICY VEGAN JAMBALAYA
SPICY VEGAN JAMBALAYA

INGREDIENTS :

  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 large stalks celery, diced
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon diced jalapeño (use more or less depending on how spicy you like things – 1 Tbsp. gives it a nice kick)
  • 4 cups diced fresh tomatoes (you could also use whole cherry tomatoes – they’ll break down as it all cooks)
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 4.5 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons vegan worcestershire sauce (you can find some good vegan varieties online or, if you don’t have any of the vegan stuff handy, just leave it out!)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I use Sriracha)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cups chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan (use one that has a tight-fitting lid).
  2. Add onion, garlic, celery, and jalapeño to oil and sauté until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and cook an additional minute or two to soften them up.
  4. Add rice, vegetable stock, worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, paprika, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to pan and stir to combine.
  5. Cover and bring mixture to a simmer.
  6. Let it cook for 20-40 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and cooked through.
  7. Stir in fresh cilantro and serve immediately.
  8. Garnish with extra cilantro.

You can find complete recipes of this SPICY VEGAN JAMBALAYA in lifeasastrawberry.com

Pineapple Upside Down Minis

Pineapple Upside Down Minis

A twist on the classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Pineapple Upside Down Minis
Pineapple Upside Down Minis

INGREDIENTS :

  • 2 cans DOLE Pineapple Slices
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 9 maraschino cherries, cut in half
  • 1 package yellow or pineapple flavored cake mix

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. Drain pineapple; reserve juice. Reserve 2 pineapple slices for another use.
  2. Stir together melted butter and brown sugar.
  3. Evenly divide sugar mixture into 18 (2/3 cup*) muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Lightly press well-drained pineapple slices into sugar mixture.
  5. Place cherries in center of pineapple, sliced side up.
  6. Prepare cake mix according to the package directions, replacing amount of water called for with reserved juice.
  7. Pour 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup.
  8. Bake at 350° F. 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Cool 5 minutes. Loosen edges and invert onto cookie sheets.

NOTES :

If muffin cup is smaller than 2/3 cup, it will not be large enough to hold pineapple slice and batter.

TIP:

  • Cakes may be served with Pineapple Caramel Sauce. Combine 8 oz. Crushed Pineapple, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. When sauce has cooled, blend in a blender or food processor until smooth.

You can find complete recipes of this Pineapple Upside Down Minis in dolesunshine.com

VEGETARIAN MUSHROOM MEATBALLS

VEGETARIAN MUSHROOM MEATBALLS

These soft and moist Mushroom Meatballs are simple to prepare and make a perfect vegetarian dinner!

How about some vegetarian meatballs, people? You are probably feeling a little skeptical about these right now, but let me assure you – these Vegetarian Mushroom Meatballs are fantastic! They are super moist and have a wonderful earthy and nutty taste. You only have to taste these once, and they will surely end up in your “Favorites” list…

I cook a lot of vegetarian dishes, because we (my husband and I) are trying to save some animal lives. I believe that people consume way too much meat on a daily basis, and, if we all cut back on meat even a little bit, it would have a significant impact. Plus, it’s better for your health. What are your thoughts about that? Even a major meat lover won’t be disappointed with these meatless meatballs. 🙂

Let’s talk about the cooking process a little. Once you roll the mushroom mixture into balls, you’ll have to decide whether you want to fry these or bake them. I’ve tried doing both and they both turned out great. And while frying the meatballs does give them a nice crust, the baked meatballs taste almost the same, but they are healthier.

So, I’ll leave this choice to you. If you decide to bake these, however, make sure you have these Silicone Baking Sheets. I’ve recently purchased these and I cannot believe I lived so long without them.

VEGETARIAN MUSHROOM MEATBALLS
VEGETARIAN MUSHROOM MEATBALLS

INGREDIENTS :

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 20 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 cup quick cook oats
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 24oz jar Ragu marinara sauce
  • parsley to garnish
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. In a large skillet, saute the onion in olive oil on medium-low heat for about 7 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms, increase the heat to medium-high and cook them for 10-15 minutes.
  3. You’ll need to wait until the water evaporates and then keep cooking the mushrooms until they brown nicely.
  4. Add garlic, stir, and transfer the mushrooms into the mixing bowl. Let them cool down.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients excluding marinara and parsley to the mixture.
  6. Stir the mixture nicely and cover it with plastic wrap.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, possibly overnight for the flavors (and texture!) to develop.
  8. When ready to cook, using a tablespoon as a measure, form small balls from the mixture.
  9. Fry the balls in a small amount of vegetable oil until they turn brown or bake them in a preheated oven at 400F for 15 minutes.
  10. Add marinara sauce to the medium saucepan.
  11. Place the meatballs on top and cook the meatballs in the sauce on a low heat for about 15 more minutes.
  12. Garnish with grated Parmesan or fresh parsley.

You can find complete recipes of this VEGETARIAN MUSHROOM MEATBALLS in cooktoria.com

SPICY BAKED SWEET POTATO WEDGES

SPICY BAKED SWEET POTATO WEDGES

These spicy baked sweet potato wedges are easy to make, healthier than traditional fries, and SO delicious!

Happy Mother’s Day!
My mom’s funny. She has nine children but hates celebrating mother’s day for herself. She refuses to let us cook for her or give her gifts, instead she cooks for us… and we give her gifts anyway.

Mother’s are selfless, they don’t like to be spoiled, but sometimes they really need spoiling. If I had children though, I’d certainly let them cook me dinner, at least as long as they were making spicy baked sweet potato wedges. And I wouldn’t have to feel guilty because these babies are quick and easy peasy to make.

After tossing them in some olive oil, you just sprinkle on some seasonings – a little garlic, salt, and chili powder – and bake them up for about 20 minutes. Bingo! Amazing sweet potato fries straight from the oven – no frier needed.

SPICY BAKED SWEET POTATO WEDGES
SPICY BAKED SWEET POTATO WEDGES

INGREDIENTS :

  • 3-4 medium-large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, or other cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dipping sauce
  • ⅓ cup mayo
  • 1-2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (use less or more depending on how spicy you want it)

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place potato wedges in a large bowl.
  2. Drizzle with oil, then toss to coat.
  3. Place potato wedges skin side down in a single layer on a large, greased baking sheet.
  4. In a small bowl stir together salt, chili powder, and garlic powder.
  5. Sprinkle mixture over potato wedges.
  6. Bake potato wedges for 15-25 minutes until fork tender.
  7. Stir together mayo and sriracha sauce for dipping.

You can find complete recipes of this SPICY BAKED SWEET POTATO WEDGES in lecremedelacrumb.com

SWEET POTATO CORN CAKES WITH GARLIC DIPPING SAUCE

SWEET POTATO CORN CAKES WITH GARLIC DIPPING SAUCE

I’ve been dying to post this all week because these Sweet Potato Corn Cakes are SOOO good and I just know that you’ll love them as much as I do… and if you don’t, I might be forced to ask myself what is wrong with you.

These are “every bite is better than the last one” good. They’re so good that they make you wonder why other food even exists when flavors this bright and vibrant are possible.

…and thats what I was thinking when eating the reheated leftovers a minute ago. So, can you imagine how good they were fresh? Probably not. It’s unimaginable. You have to experience it. Anyway, enough gushing. Onto the important stuff.

First – This recipe makes a HUGE batch, so feel free to half it. I wouldn’t suggest trying to half a raw egg, instead just add more than half breadcrumbs (probably 3/4 cup) to make up for the extra moisture.

Second – These sweet potato corn cakes are fried. You’ll just have to accept that. I tried to bake some and they were horrid. Dry, poor texture, just not good. If you’re brave enough to try baking them yourself and actually have success, please share your technique… because I just couldn’t make it work.

Third – I demand that you to try these.

SWEET POTATO CORN CAKES WITH GARLIC DIPPING SAUCE
SWEET POTATO CORN CAKES WITH GARLIC DIPPING SAUCE

INGREDIENTS :

  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes $3.17
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels $0.30
  • 2 green onions $0.19
  • ¼ bunch cilantro (divided) $0.21
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 large egg $0.25
  • ⅓ cup yellow cornmeal $0.19
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs $0.50
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (for frying) $0.43
  • 1 cup plain yogurt $0.55
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. Begin by cooking the sweet potatoes. The fastest way to do this is in the microwave.
  2. Prick the skin of each potato with a fork. Wrap one potato in a paper towel, place it on a plate, and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove it from the microwave, squeeze it to make sure it’s soft in the center, and the allow it cool as you cook the next one.
  4. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them open and scoop the flesh into a large bowl.
  5. Slice the green onions and roughly chop a handful of cilantro (about ⅛th of a bunch).
  6. Add the green onions, cilantro, frozen corn kernels, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper to the bowl with the cooked sweet potatoes.
  7. Stir until well combined. You can taste it at this point and adjust the seasoning as desired.
  8. Add the breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and egg to the bowl.
  9. These ingredients will bind the mixture together and keep it from falling apart while cooking.
  10. Stir until evenly combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb moisture.
  11. While the sweet potato mixture is refrigerating, mix up the garlic sauce. In a small bowl combine the yogurt, one clove of well minced garlic, and a handful of cilantro leaves (roughly chopped).
  12. Stir until combined and then refrigerate until ready to serve.
  13. After the sweet potato mixture has refrigerated, it’s time to cook.
  14. Add enough vegetable oil to fully cover the bottom of a medium skillet.

You can find complete recipes of this SWEET POTATO CORN CAKES WITH GARLIC DIPPING SAUCE in budgetbytes.com

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CAKE

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CAKE

Three layers of Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake! So decadent!

Happy Friday!

Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m currently feeling ALL of the feelings. Also currently in the car, driving to the beach, eating a slice of cake and chasing it with an iced coffee. If today is any indication of what 29 is going to be like, I think this year is going to be pretty great!

Before I embark on my birthday adventure I wanted to pop in and share a slice of cake with YOU. You have been a huge party of what has made this past year so unbelievably amazing and you’re the reason I have so much hope, joy and passion for the year to come.

But enough gushing (because I’m tearing up and don’t have waterproof mascara on right now now): let’s talk about cake!

I bake myself a birthday cake every year and this year I wanted something sinfully decadent. At first I thought it would be chocolate (my favorite)… then I started dreaming of something drenched in salted caramel… finally I decided to full on treat myself and create a cake that featured BOTH.

So, without further ado, meet my 29th birthday cake: Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake. Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success:

  • This recipe calls for vegetable oil, but you can use an equal amount of melted coconut oil in its place.
  • I do not recommend substituting oil with butter.
  • I used store bought salted caramel in this recipe to save me time, but feel free to use homemade if you’d like! I suggest using a salted caramel sauce with a thicker consistency.
  • You can click here to check out the exact caramel sauce I used.
  • You might also want to check out my recipe for 6-minute salted caramel sauce.
  • For best results, make sure your eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, and milk have all come to room temperature before you begin baking.
  • When you measure your flour, be sure you’re not packing it into the measuring cup.
  • Packed flour will yield a dense and dry cake.
  • The cake layers should all be baked on the middle rack of your oven.
  • If there’s not enough room in your oven to bake them all in an even row at once, simply bake them in two batches.
  • For the frosting, you’ll want to make sure your butter is VERY soft before creaming it.
  • The cakes should be completely cool before adding the frosting and salted caramel.
  • The assembly is a two part process: you’ll place one cake level on a large plate, top it with a thin layer of frosting, then add the caramel,
  • then add another cake level and repeat.
  • Once you’ve added the final cake level you’ll want to leave the top bare and place the cake in the fridge to set for one hour.
  • Once it’s set, you can finish frosting.
SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CAKE
SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CAKE

INGREDIENTS :

For the chocolate cake:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (not packed!)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups full-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (you may also sub in melted coconut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups hot water

For the salted caramel chocolate frosting:

  • 2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks, 16 ounces), VERY soft
  • 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream (more if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce

Garnish:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups salted caramel sauce (please see post for more on this)
  • Flaky sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS :

For the chocolate cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°(F). Cut out three 9-inch round segments of parchment paper to line your cake pans with.
  2. Spray each pan generously – sides and bottom – with nonstick cooking spray,
  3. then place the parchment paper cut out in the bottom of the pans and spray again.
  4. It’s important to make sure every bit of pan and paper are sprayed so your cakes don’t get stuck. Set pans aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, combine both sugars, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt;
  6. mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  7. Use your hands to break up any large clumps, if needed. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, milk, oil and vanilla extract;
  8. mix until completely combined. Pour mixture into the dry ingredients and beat on low until just incorporated.
  9. Pour in hot water and continue mixing until completely combined; about 1 minute.
  10. The batter will quite thin. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.
  11. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  12. Cool cakes for 10 minutes in the pan before removing from pans and transferring to a cooling rack;
  13. cool cakes completely before frosting.

For the chocolate frosting:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the softened butter on medium-speed until completely smooth; about 3 minutes.
  2. Turn the mixer off and sift the powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl.
  3. Turn the mixer on the lowest speed and mix until the sugar/cocoa have been absorbed by the butter; about 2 minutes.
  4. Increase mixer speed to medium;
  5. add in vanilla extract, salt, heavy cream and salted caramel; beat for 3 minutes.
  6. If your frosting appears a little too thin,
  7. add a little more confectioners’ sugar; If your frosting needs to be thinner,
  8. add additional heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Assembly:

  1. Using a serrated knife, carefully trim the raised top of each cake,
  2. making each one an even, level surface.
  3. Transfer 1 layer to a large plate or cake stand.
  4. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top,
  5. then add a 1/2 cup of caramel

You can find complete recipes of this SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CAKE in bakerbynature.com