Category Archives: Eat, Drink, Be Merry!

Halloween in Doughnut Form

I am as basic as they come when it comes for my love for all things pumpkin, and I’m okay with that!

When I think of pumpkin+a sugary exterior, I always think of the Halloween parties we had at school when I was younger….you know the ones with apple cider and those pumpkin sugary doughnuts???? I loved them! And where I am from, the doughnuts usually came from the greatest fall doughnut place ever, Whitehouse Fruit Farm. Seriously, if you have some time, make the drive there and grab some doughnuts and fruit from the orchard. It’s worth it, I promise.

Recently my kickboxing studio had a Halloween themed dj night for two of our classes, so the instructors made Halloween themed treats for the class. I kept thinking of those doughnuts from when I was little, and since I was going as a giant doughnut, I figured I needed to make a doughnut of some sort. I ended up making my delicious and always popular pumpkin spice doughnut muffins. Everyone loved them and asked for the recipe….here it is!

INGREDIENTS:

-2 tsp baking powder
-1 3/4 cups flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 cup canola oil
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-6 oz pumpkin puree
-1 egg
-1/2 cup milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:
-1 cup sugar
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp pumpkin spice
-1/2 stick of butter, melted

Grease mini muffin pans and preheat oven to 350. Combine baking power, salt, flour, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, oil, pumpkin, egg, and milk until well combined. Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and blend until smooth. I use a Pampered Chef baking scoop (medium) to scoop mixture into muffin tins. Bake between 10-12 minutes.

As muffins bake, melt butter, then mix in a separate bowl the remaining topping ingredients. Once muffins have completed baked and have cooled for a few minutes, dip in butter then spoon the sugar topping mixture over the doughnut muffin.

I love to keep these chilled, but you don’t have to. Be careful though….you’ll want to eat the whole batch! Enjoy!

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Jack-O-Peppers!

I don’t normally do back to back recipes, but since it’s been awhile AND Halloween is just around the corner, I wanted to share a fun twist to one of my go to recipes: the stuffed pepper!

A few years ago I shared my recipe (you can access it here), and it has remained a constant on my meal plan over and over again. Stuffed peppers are so much fun because you can change up how you make them based on your likes. Sometimes I use rice, other times I use quinoa. Sometimes I use black beans, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I season with taco seasoning, other times I don’t. Be creative with them!

I wanted to turn the pepper into a little jack-o-lantern to be festive, and it was surprisingly easier than I thought. All you need is a sharp paring knife (I use one from Pampered Chef that was the perfect size), and sub in orange peppers in place of the green peppers!

If you are the kind of person who usually tosses the “hat” or top of the pepper, don’t this time. Make sure when you make the cut you do so relatively close to the top so there is plenty of room to fill with your stuffing AND so it resembles the top of a pumpkin. Remove the innards (I call it the pepper brain).

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Using your knife, “carve” your pepper pumpkin.

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Prepare your stuffing mixture, then fill your pepper pumpkin.

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Place pepper pumpkins in a 9×9 pan (or larger if you are making a larger batch). Place top on each pumpkin and bake for about 40 minutes at 300! Your family will love them, and you’ll be hooking them up with a healthy and festive dish! Enjoy!

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Are muffins just naked cupcakes???

I used to think so, but then I started to find delicious recipes that made me love muffins as much as their cousin cupcake….and this recipe is one of them!

Since it is October, I can completely embrace my status as a Pumpkin-a-holic! I know I’m not alone with this….and my fellow basic bitches will agree. All pumpkin everything errrryyyyyddayyyyyyyy.

Lately I’ve been baking like a maniac, and everything seems to incorporate pumpkin in some way. It’s a great way to make (some) dishes healthier, but the recipe I’m going to sure isn’t one of those, but it is a tasty one!

Whether you want a nice pumpkin snack or a pumpkin muffin to pair with your morning coffee, this is the recipe to make!

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These are super easy and great for Fall!

                                    Katie’s Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins
Ingredients:

For muffins:
-2 large eggs
-1 3/4 cups flour (I use whole wheat but you can use all purpose)
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tbl pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-15 oz can of pumpkin (make sure it is pure  pumpkin puree)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 packed brown sugar
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1 tbl vanilla extract

For cream cheese mixture:
-1/4 cup sugar
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-8 oz cream cheese
-1 large egg yolk

Line muffin tin with liners as oven preheats to 375 degrees. Combine pumpkin spice, baking soda, flour, and salt using a whisk. Set aside after well combined. In a separate bowl, beat vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and eggs, then whisk in the flour mixture until smooth. Fill muffin tin with mixture until each cup is about 3/4 cup full.

Beat the cream cheese in a separate bowl until smooth, then add in egg yolk, vanilla, and sugar until well combined.

To swirl the cream cheese in the muffins: top each muffin with about one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture. Using a toothpick or knife, swirl the mixture into the batter.Don’t worry if it looks a little strange; once it bakes it will have a nice swirled look.

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Bake muffins for 20 minutes (keep an eye on them; every oven is different, and you don’t want them to burn). Store in the fridge in an airtight container after baking.

Enjoy!

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Give me S’more S’mores!

Last week I was in complete Fall mode and was craving S’mores like nobody’s business. Since I have yet to buy a fire pit for my backyard, I decided on a different solution to making S’mores: an easy, yet fabulous cookie recipe that I loved.

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The best S’mores cookie ever!

I shared a picture on Instagram and instantly was bombarded with people asking for the recipe. I have to preface this by stating these should be eaten in moderation because they will NOT fit into any meal plan, regardless of how hard you try.

                                                 Katie’s S’mores Cookie Recipe

-Chocolate Chip Cookies
-1 package mini marshmallows
-10 oz melting chocolate
-1 sleeve of graham crackers, crushed

If you have a specific chocolate chip recipe you love, I encourage you to use it. I use my family’s recipe (which I keep secret because some things should be). Obviously, you want to make the cookies first and let them cool completely.

Crush the graham crackers completely as you turn the oven on to BROIL. This is extremely important…you don’t want to have the BAKE setting on!

Place 7-10 marshmallows on each cookie (depending on the size of the cookie), pressing into cookie slightly before putting cookie sheet into oven and broiling until the marshmallows are golden brown. This happens FAST, so keep an eye on them or you will be really sad when you have burnt marshies!

Remove from oven and allow the cookie to cool completely. Once cooled, melt the chocolate, dipping each cookie in halfway and then sprinkling with crushed graham crackers. Transfer to cooling rack to allow the chocolate to harden completely.

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Sorry, Murphy. No cookies for you!

These are so easy to make and are always a huge hit, especially with kids! Enjoy!

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Me gusta Mexicano!

Food, food, food…..I love you! I know it is pretty clear if you follow me on social media, but I really love Mexican food, especially tacos. There’s just something about the flavors in Mexican dishes that make me happy!!!!

Several years back I experimented with a dish that has become one of my favorites to make when entertaining because it is a) simple to make b) something that puts a spin on your regular stuffed shell recipe and c) absolutely delicious.

Mexican Stuffed Shells! Yes, you heard right!

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I made these last week and posted some snaps on my snapchat and IG story, and so many of you messaged me or snapped me back asking for the recipe. Here it is, friends!

                                                Katie’s Mexican Stuffed Shell Recipe
Ingredients:

-1 lb ground beef
-1 package taco seasoning
-4 oz cream cheese
-1 box of jumbo pasta shells
-1 1/2 cups salsa (you can use any kind you prefer or make your own)
-1 cup taco sauce
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-Black Beans, rinsed (optional)
-Corn (optional)
-Green onions, chopped
-Sour cream OR plain greek yogurt

Directions:

Cook the ground beef as oven preheats at 350. Once beef is cooked, mix in cream cheese, taco seasoning, corn, and black beans if you are using. I have made this recipe both with corn and black beans and without, and I definitely prefer with!

As you cook the ground beef mixture, bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the shells. It’s all about multitasking, friends!

Use a 9 x 13 baking dish (I use a stoneware baker from Pampered Chef because I love how it cooks them),  and pour salsa on the bottom of the pan to coat. Spoon meat mixture into shells and place in pan. Drizzle taco sauce on top of shells, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.

After your timer goes off, remove foil from shells and add shredded cheese, baking for another 15 minutes. Once completed, remove and top with sour cream and green onions.

***I provided the option of Greek Yogurt as a substitute for sour cream. This IS a recipe you can make healthier, and this is one of those healthier swaps.

These are so tasty and are different….prepare to share this recipe because once you make them for friends, they are going to ask you for the recipe!

I often get asked what I pair with these since your traditional garlic bread and salad may not go as well. I typically make homemade guacamole and chips!

ENJOY!

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Eat Chili when it’s not Chilly….

Anyone else love some chili?

I could take or leave plain old chili….I eat it about once a year, and I’m good with it.

White chicken chili on the other hand….I could eat that for weeks on end without complaint!

My meal plan this week included my delicious 21 Day Fix Approved White Chicken Chili, a favorite not only because of its zesty flavor, but because it involves dumping everything in a crockpot and letting it do all of the work.

Here’s how you make it!

                                                  Katie’s White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

-1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
-1 15oz can of Great Northern Beans
-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
-1/2 teaspoon cumin
-2 cans of canned corn
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-32 oz of chicken broth
-1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
-1 can green chiles (I use Old El Paso)

Throw all ingredients into crockpot and cook on low for about 5 hours. Do not drain the corn or chiles. Once it is done cooking, mix in 8oz of cream cheese.

I garnish with a dollop of plain Greek Yogurt (if you don’t care about healthier options you can do sour cream), shredded cheese, green onions, and a few crushed up tortilla chips.

****If you like thicker chili, don’t use as much chicken broth. If you use the 32 oz it will have a more soup-like consistency.

Super easy, guys, and so so so good…plus you can freeze it for a day you are in the mood for it!

Try it and be happy 🙂

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I DONUT live a life without donuts!

Donuts are one of my all time favorite things….I’m pretty sure anyone who reads my blog and follows me on Facebook knows this. I mean…..I captain a running team called Running for Donuts and run the race with a donut on my head. It’s an obsession. I’ve embraced it.

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I go by the running name “Bearclaw.”

Every now and again I like to enjoy a donut from Peace, Love, and Little Donuts….a franchise that makes the best donuts around, but most of the time I prefer making healthier versions of this treat.

I know what you are thinking…they don’t taste like real donuts. If you are after the Fruity Pebbles donuts or Creamsticks, then you are right….you can’t make those kinds healthy regardless of how hard you try. I love chocolate, and I love chocolate glazed, so the recipe that I make the most is the closest thing to that. They are so good!

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Donuts that taste like a brownie but fit in any meal plan. 

Here’s my recipe!

                                                                         Katie’s Chocolate Donuts

– 1 cup whole wheat flour (or oat flour)
-2 scoops Chocolate Shakeology
-1/2 cup Truvia (you could use Stevia if you prefer)
-3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
-1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
-1/2 Teaspoon Salt
-1/4 cup egg whites
-8 ounces natural applesauce
-1/4 cup water

Mix well. If batter is too thick, add more applesauce or water until it reaches desired consistency. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees! Enjoy!

**If you are a 21 Day Fixer, I break one donut down to be 1/2 cup yellow, 1/2 purple, 1/2 red.

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You won’t regret these beauties!

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Need some Energy?

I’m a huge fan of energy bites….I have so many recipes I could share! 

I wanted to share the one I make the most…it’s so easy, quick, and delicious! Plus it’s versatile…so feel free to omit or add something to change it up!


Ingredients:

-1/2 cup natural peanut butter

-1 cup oats

-1/3 cup honey or agave

-6 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

-1 tsp vanilla

-2/3 cups shredded coconut

-1/4 cup chia seeds

Combine everything in a bowl (using your hands is best) and place covered in fridge for about an hour. Then roll into bite sized balls and keep stored in fridge for up to a week. 

Enjoy!

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Tacos are Life.

Guys, my love for tacos….it is a deep, deep love. They are right up there with pizza when it comes to my favorite foods.

One thing I pride myself on is finding a way to balance the things I love with living a healthy life. This is so so so important! No lifestyle should have you completely eliminating everything you love; that is just setting you up for failure.

Tacos are one of those foods that YOU have the power to make healthy. I brown ground beef all the time and use a taco seasoning (my favorite is the Southwestern mix from the 21 Day Fix plan) and serve on healthy taco salads, as tacos, or, in this case, as taco cups!

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Super easy….super quick…super delicious.

Here are a few ways you can make your tacos a little healthier:

1. Use corn tortillas. These are actually gluten free and a tasty alternative.

2. Swap out sour cream and use Greek yogurt instead.

3. Utilize ingredients such as black beans and corn.

4. Opt for cheese that is grassfed…stay away from the bagged shredded cheese! Do you know that bagged cheese includes powdered wood pulp (on the bag it says CELLULOSE), which prevents it from clumping? Gross! If you can’t find grassfed, buy a block of cheese and grate it yourself. Wood pulp doesn’t fit into any meal plan….sorry to break the news.

5. Use lettuce as a taco shell or top with as much lettuce as you can!

This week’s meal plan featured my incredibly easy and delicious taco cup recipe, and I had to share for my fellow taco lovers! This is a recipe that is great for kids and adults, can be easily transported, and can also serve as a great, healthy appetizer for events.

                                                           Katie’s Taco Cups

What you need:

-Corn tortillas
-Ground turkey or beef
-Taco Seasoning or Fix Southwest Seasoning
-Greek yogurt
-Guacamole
-Cheese

What you need to do:

Coat a muffin tin (or two depending on how many you are making) with coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray.

Brown the meat and mix in the taco seasoning, just as if you were making regular tacos.

Cut the tortillas into squares. (I take the excess and make homemade cinnamon chips with them to pair with fruit salsa….I can share that recipe later!) Place one square in each muffin cup, spooning some of the meat mixture into each cup. I use between 1-2 tablespoons in each. Top with a sprinkle of cheese. If you prefer, you can top with chess AFTER baking; it’s up to you!

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Ready for some cheese!

Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes…but keep an eye on them. Every oven is different!

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Watch your shells…no one likes a burnt taco!

Top your taco cups with whatever you want….I use a small dollop of greek yogurt and another of guacamole!

If you are following the fix meal plan, I usually count three cups as one serving, but it all depends how much meat you are using.

Store in fridge and heat before serving! Enjoy!

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Hope you love them!

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Operation: Don’t Eat the Feelings!

Do you ever feel like you absolutely KILLED the week?

That was me this week.

I officially started Core de Force Monday as a participant with a coach launch group as well as started a focused launch group of my own. These two groups were EXACTLY what I needed. Not only did I stick to my workouts, but I was laser focused on my meal plan, too. I’ll tell you what…when you have people who can see if you logged your workout or not….who encourage you when you don’t quite feel like pushing play….great things can happen. I’m so excited to take my progress pics tomorrow and measurements! Besides that, this program is proving to be a great fit for the stress and weird feelings I associate with this time of year. Let’s just call it DVD therapy!

Last week I totally failed and forgot to post my meal plan….sorry guys!

Here’s what on tap for this week.

This week I am fully exercising my right to the crock pot. Do you realize how many incredible recipes you can make in one pot with minimal effort???? Last year I ran a group focused on sharing healthy crockpot recipes that was a big hit….I’ve been toying around with the idea to run another one. The pumpkin overnight oats I am making this week came from that group originally, and I’m also making 21 Day Fix Pork Carnitas for dinner. They are so good!

Aldi’s has had some great deals on Jalapeños, so I am using them in my egg muffins as well as the Jalapeño Cheddar Burgers that came from the Core de Force recipe book. These are very flavorful, and if you are making meals for people who aren’t as focused on eating healthy as you are, serve them with a bun instead of plain.

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This week is going to be a little hectic for me…I will be out of town Tuesday-Wednesday, which will result be eating out for a few meals. Since I will be back home by my favorite local spot, All Good Things (be on the lookout for a blog on them coming soon), I will be grabbing dinner there Tuesday…their Quinoa Salad is one of my favorite things! I’m also trying out a new place Wednesday for lunch that is a vegetarian restaurant….I haven’t ben able to access their menu online, but I’ll make sure to share how it is! I get a lot of questions as to why I add an extra snack on Wednesdays…I always have an apple before I teach Cize Live….it’s just my little energy boost!

Besides being on the go this week is also going to be a tough one for me emotionally. Tomorrow would have been my Grandmother’s birthday, and since it has only been two months since we lost her, I know I am going to be a little sad. Besides that, Sunday is the one year anniversary of losing my dad. I’m worried I will deviate from the meal plan this week and eat my feelings, but I am going to do my best to stay on track. I know the groups I am in will help me, too. However, if you see me and I am going for a brownie…or cookie…or pizza….you have my permission to smack me.

Let’s do out best to make it a great week, ok? I know we can do it.

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Happy Birthday in Heaven to my sweet Gram. She is missed so much!

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