Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies <3 Olivia

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Christmas cookies… I have been on a sweets binge and it is mostly due to the huge amount of yummy cookies that my mom made. This recipe is from Martha Steward and they were soo delicious. The chocolate thumbprint stays soft and fudge-like. This recipe makes about 50 cookies.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies:

– 1 cup and 3 tbs. butter, at room temperature
– 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
– 1/4 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 2 & 1/2 cups flour
– 3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, chopped
– 1 tsp. corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. In a large bowl, beat together 1 cup butter, the sugar, salt, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. You could probably do this without the electric mixer. Slowly beat in the flour.

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Form dough balls with your hands, using about 2 tbs. of dough per cookie. Place the balls on your baking sheets about 1 inch apart from one another. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

3. Once the cookies are cool enough to touch, press a deep thumbprint in each cookie. Return cookies to the oven and continue baking until the edges begin to brown, about 7 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

4. In a very small pot, combine the chocolate, 3 tbs. butter, and corn syrup and heat on low, stirring constantly until it is combined and melted. Once it is melted, remove from heat.

5. Pour a small spoonful of chocolate into each thumbprint mold.
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Enjoy 🙂 Olivia

Butternut Squash Risotto <3 Olivia

Another thing with butternut squash… I use it all the time but that is because it is delicious and good for you. The texture of this dish is great, I really enjoyed it. Risotto is time consuming because you need to constantly stir, so make this when you have 30 minutes to spend by the stove. I forgot to take a picture of this one but you should try it.

Butternut Squash Risotto:

– 1 large squash
– 3 or so cups chicken broth
– 1 cup water
– 6 tbs. butter
– 1 yellow onion, diced
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 bunch fresh sage, finely diced (about 4-5 tbs.)
– 1 cup arborio (risotto) rice
– 1/2 cup white wine
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
1. Cut the squash in half, vertically. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for roasting into a nutritious snack. Peel one half of your squash and dice into 1 inch cubes.

2. Lay out the squash half (face side down) and the diced squash pieces on a baking pan with olive oil. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced. Toss once halfway through roasting.

3. Once the squash is done, remove it from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Place the diced pieces in a large bowl. Scoop the squash from the vertical half and place in the bowl with the diced pieces. Set aside.

4. Heat the chicken broth and water in a medium pot over medium heat on the stove. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

5. In another large sauce pan, melt your butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

6. Stir in your risotto (to the butter mixture) and add the wine. Stir constantly until the wine is absorbed. Stir in the chicken broth and water mixture (that is still simmering on the stove) into the butter mixture 1/2 cup at a time. Wait until the risotto absorbs the broth before adding more. Continue to stir constantly and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the risotto is tender but still al dente.

7. Stir in the roasted squash that you set aside earlier. Stir in the parmesan cheese and sage. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Enjoy ❤ Olivia

Sauteed Mushrooms and Quinoa as a Dinner Side

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So I needed some yummy sides with the teriyaki glazed salmon so I made 2 sides. Quinoa and some sautéed mushrooms. Here’s what you’ll need:

1 package of cut up mushrooms
1 egg
¼ cup of milk
1 tablespoon of sour cream
Parsley
Crushed red peppers
Crushed black pepper
Quinoa

First, follow the instructions for the quinoa. I made 1 cup of uncooked quinoa which made 3 cups cooked. I added in sprinkles or the red pepper, parsley, and black pepper to give it some kick. I suggest adding a little bit more water than the bag says- but I like my quinoa super fluffy so do whatever works for you!
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While that’s cooking, throw your mushrooms into a skillet with a little olive oil and cook on medium heat.
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After they start to cook, add in some red pepper and black pepper. After they are cooking for about 5 minutes, mix the milk, egg, and sour cream in a bowl.
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When well mixed, pour over the mushrooms. Add in a little bit more red pepper and some parsley. Mix well and turn the heat up a few notches, I let this cook for about 5-7 minutes.
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The quinoa will be just about done now.
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I placed these two with the salmon and it was sucha good combination of flavors! Also, I sprinkled a little bit of parm on the quinoa- yum.

Enjoy!

-Ena

Teriyaki Glazed Salmon

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My turn to cook dinner! I was super craving some fish so I made my favorite, salmon. I love teriyaki and was wanting some Asian flavors so I came up with this! Here’s what you’ll need:

Wild Salmon – I made about 1.25 pounds
4 heaping tablespoons of teriyaki (whatever kind you want)
1 tablespoon of honey
Parsley
Crushed red pepper
Cracked black pepper
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Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Cut up the salmon into whatever sized filet you want. I do not remove the skin because I think it makes the fish tastier/maintain the juices and flavors. Mine made 5 filets.
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In a bowl, mix the teriyaki and honey.
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Tear apart as many pieces of foil as you need based on you cut the fish.

Place each filet on a piece of foil and use a brush (or just a spoon) to put the teriyaki mixture on each filet- I didn’t put too much but enough to really glaze each part of the fish.
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Then sprinkle a little parsley, red pepper, and black pepper on each piece of fish.
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Crinkle the tops of the foil so you cannot see the fish inside or you can barely see it. It’s not necessary to make sure they’re fully invisible. Place in an oven safe dish.
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Bake for about 20 minutes. I’d say 15-20 minutes per pound of fish is usually a pretty good rule.
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When done, either eat right from the foil or use a spatula and remove. It was really good! The sweet and savory flavors definitely played together really well. We could smell the sweetness from the teriyaki sauce and honey while it was baking. Sooo delish. I made mushrooms and quinoa to compliment the salmon. I will post that next. I absolutely recommend this recipe if you like salmon!

Enjoy!

-Ena

Dark Chocolate Banana Bread

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Time to play the “I need to get all this food out of my apartment” game! So, I had 2 very sad, very bruised bananas staring at me today. I needed to use them up before they went bad – I hate throwing food away, especially fruit. So, I decided to have some fun and make chocolate banana bread! Here’s what you’ll need:

2 VERY ripe medium sides bananas
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar or vanilla extract ( I used sugar)
¾ cup of light brown sugar
¾ stick of butter
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all purpose white flour
1.5 tablespoons of dark chocolate cocoa (you all know I’m a huge loved of Hershey’s)
Cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

First, use a fork to mash up the bananas in a big bowl, don’t do this too much- leave lots of lumps.

Then add in the baking powder and egg and keep using the fork to mash.

Next, add the salt, vanilla and sugar and keep mixing until they are all dissolved.

Melt the butter in the microwave and mix until it is almost completely dissolved.

Add in the flours, one half of a cup out at a time, mixing them thoroughly. And sprinkle some cinnamon into the dough- do this to your liking. I like cinnamon so I gave it a good sprinkle!

Finally, add in the dark chocolate cocoa and mix well.

Lightly spray a bread/cake pan and evenly pour the dough into it.

I added some crushed almonds on top.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Take out and let cool when done. Then cut up and enjoy!
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Banana anything is always a yes for me so I love this. It’s so delicious for dessert or with some coffee in the morning. Simple and easy recipe AND you most likely have everything that is in this recipe at home already.
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Enjoy!

-Ena

VERY Veggie “Lasagna”

I put lasagna in quotes because this really isn’t a lasagna as much as it’s veggies on top of veggies on top of veggies. I forgot to take a picture of this- my apologies. But it was too yummy not to share. Also, we’ve been slacking with updating and this recipe is perfect to use up veggies left over in your house! Here’s what you’ll need:

1 zucchini
1 cup of diced up kale
½ cup of diced up tomatoes
¾ cup of black beans
1 cup of diced up broccoli flourets
1.5 cup of your favorite pasta sauce – I’ve recently discovered Trader Joe’s brand organic sauce. So healthy and 50 calories per ½ cup!!)
¼ cup of your favorite shredded cheese
2 lasagna pasta noodles (the ones that don’t need precooking)
Basil
Parsley

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Take a small lasagna dish and lightly spray nonstick cooking spray on it.

Then cup up the tomatoes, broccoli, and the zucchini and very thin slices.

Pour some sauce on the bottom of the dish and use a spoon to evenly spread it on the bottom. Then line it with kale, broccoli, then the zucchini, add some beans and tomatoes. Then pour a little more sauce on that. Sprinkle basil and parsley on top.

Line the 2 noodles on top of the vegetables.

Then repeat the same on top. Sauce, kale, broccoli, zucchini, beans, tomatoes, sauce, and spices again.

Finally, evenly sprinkle the cheese on top of the veggies and sauce.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Serve hot and ENJOY! I hope you now understand why I couldn’t call this a full on lasagna….it barely has any noodles in it. It’s so ultra healthy and it was delicious- I had to stop eating it!

Enjoy!

-Ena

Zucchini Pizza Boats

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Insane healthy kick is still going strong. So after 2 classes of hot yoga this week I needed to keep going on my health kick. A nice vitamin packed lunch was necessary, so I decided to go to Trader Joe’s and make an organic and vegetarian meal! It took all of 30 minutes…SO EASY! Here’s what you’ll need:

2 medium sized zucchinis
1 cup of organic red pasta sauce
¼ cup of shredded cheese
½ cup of diced up mushrooms
Salt
Basil
Parsley

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the zucchini horizontally.

Then cut horizontal lines in the zucchini about halfway cut through the whole zucchini. I did about 4 lines per zucchini half.
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Then take a spoon (teaspoon worked better for me) and scoop out the insides of the zucchini while still leaving about ¼ on the sides and bottom making the boat shape.
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Take a cookie sheet and spray it with nonstick spray (not sure if this is necessary but I did it anyway!). Then line up your zucchini.

Fill the insides with the red pasta sauce about ½- ¾ of the way.
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Then line with as many mushrooms as you want.
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Then sprinkle some cheese on top and some salt, parsley, and basil- I honestly just sprinkled a little on each one.
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Put in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
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Enjoy hot! These were yummy, easy, and totally veggie!! I added a little bit of Greek yogurt on the side to dip these in and it was such a great combination of flavors. What’s easy about these is you can add in whatever meats or veggies you want. The zucchini doesn’t even taste like a vegetable! It honestly just takes on the flavors you add to it. I cannot wait to eat leftovers tomorrow. Yum.
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Enjoy!

-Ena