Aren’t these Fudgy Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies gorgeous? They taste even better! It’s a rainy day here in New York. It’s been pouring for hours. The baby is finally down for a nap so I figured what better way to pass the time than to make brownies…peanut butter swirl brownies to be exact! I grabbed my little sous chef Josh and we got to work. I can not even tell you how good my kitchen smells right now! Fresh homemade fudgy brownies warm out of the oven are like a hug after a long days work. Can you believe the whole process took under 25 minutes to make!
Have you ever had homemade applesauce? It’s so good! I never knew how simple it is to make. Well, this recipe is actually one that I can not claim as my own. I am very proud to say that this Slow Cooked Apple Sauce recipe was given to me by my son Joshua. When he was in Kindergarten last year his teacher made Slow Cooked Apple Sauce with the class. They each had a turn mixing the ingredients and mashing the apples. Josh came home so excited to give me “his recipe”. That weekend we tried it at home. This apple sauce recipe only takes a few ingredients and very little effort but it is one of the best tasting apple sauces I have ever had in my life. It was sweet but not too sweet and had the slightest taste of cinnamon that brought it all together. Best of all I was able to make it with my little best friend!
So with the baby finally here and summer only three months away I’ve been really trying to eat healthy to get my pre-baby body back. (Maybe lose even more weight) To help me stay on track I create a meal plan for the week. On Friday night I write out a full menu and map out all my meals for the week. It makes eating healthy so much easier. I never have to stand in front of the fridge and think, “What should I have?” Everything is mapped out which leaves little time for me to grab something unhealthy. This afternoon I put together the most delicious tuna salad!
Sofrito is an aromatic mix of herbs and spices, used as a base flavoring and seasoning in cooking all throughout the Caribbean, especially in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. This fragrant mixture is used to season countless dishes such a stews, beans, rice, and occasionally meats. Sofrito mixtures range in color from green to orange to bright red. The one I make in bulk comes out green and includes cilantro, green and red bell peppers, lots of garlic, yellow onion, and olive oil. It keeps in the fridge really well for a while although to be honest I use it so often that I usually have to make a large batch each month. This sofrito is incredibly simple to make. I use my Ninja Food Processor and can have it completely done in under 15 minutes. This sofrito recipe is something I highly recommend. It adds so much incredible flavor to any dish. I have even used this sofrito to marinate a pork shoulder once. After a couple of days I cooked the pork shoulder in the slow cooker and the smell that filled the house made my mouth water. It came out so flavorful and juicy! (I promise to make it again soon and put up the recipe) So without further ado let’s make some sofrito!
You have probably seen these Apple Blossoms floating around the internet lately and though that they are way too difficult to actually make at home. Well I am here to tell you that these little bite sized apple pie tasting desserts are surprisingly really simple to put together. I expected them to be a little bit of a headache to make but was in awe of how easy they are. Now I have said this many times…I am not a baker. It’s not that I don’t love to bake it’s just that I’m not the best at it. When it comes to baking the simpler the better. I really thought I was going to step out of my comfort zone with this recipe but they were done before I even realized and each blosson came out so gorgeous! I brought them over to my aunt’s house, you know her as Zia Anna from Zia Anna’s Famous Three Bean Salad, for Thanksgiving and she was so impressed! This means a lot because Zia Anna is a true blue baker. She is so incredibly talented when it comes to baking and for her to be impressed made me feel so proud. Not only was she impressed but Zia Anna requested them for the next family gathering! If you still don’t believe me on how simple it was to make these Apple Blossoms I’ll show you!
With the summer season just three months away this is the perfect time to start collecting some delicious cold side dish ideas for those days when it will be just too hot to turn on the oven. One of my favorite go to recipes is my Zia Anna’s Famous Three Bean Salad. This salad is so easy to make and will take you no time at all. This lite and healthy salad makes the perfect side dish to any summer BBQ or if you’d like to get really creative toss this Three Bean Salad with some cooked pasta and you have yourself the tastiest pasta salad! Now for my friends who are working hard to get their beach bodies ready for summer lets break down this salad and see how it can help shed those pounds!
You have not lived until you try Mama’s Macaroni Salad! This sweet and savory pasta salad will make the perfect side to any summer bbq and will easily become your go to comfort dish. It’s so good that my mother in law (you all know her as Mama from Mama’s Beef Stew recipe) is not allowed to attend any family bbq’s or dinners without bringing her amazingly delicious macaroni salad. I know what your thinking….I thought it was silly too until I tried Mama’s Macaroni Salad myself. It has you wanting more every time. The saltiness of the ham and the sweetness of the pineapple mixed with the creaminess of the dressing….OMG! I just can’t! This macaroni salad was my ultimate craving the whole 9 months of my pregnancy. It’s also so easy to put together. Simply boil the pasta and mix everything together. That’s it! You don’t believe me? Here I’ll show you….
Located in Flushing, NY Java Day Cafe has to be hands down one of my favorite breakfast spots of all time. The portions are big, the prices are great, and the quality of food is excellent. The employees are all very hospitable and the owner Diana is always very sweet and really makes an effort to remember her customers and makes them feel like home. Java Day Cafe offers a great variety of dishes from bagels and wraps to omelets and large breakfast platters. It’s a great place to bring the family, hang out with friends or sit and enjoy a great meal and some quality me time.
Habichuelas Guisadas or Stewed Red Beans is a classic Puerto Rican dish normally served over white rice. Growing up this was a staple in Dave’s childhood. His Grandma Minnie would make Habichuelas Guisadas and rice with almost every meal. With the big family that Dave had growing up it was a quick and inexpensive way to make sure everyone was fed and happy. For Dave this dish has become a nostalgic comfort food. Now we get to pass down this dish to our family. Stewed beans are so simple to make and only take a few on hand ingredients. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner idea for every season.
Ceviche de Camarones has to one of my favorite quick weeknight meals. It takes no time to prepare and is so full of flavor. Ceviche can be enjoyed over warm white rice as a main course or even as an impressive appetizer at your next holiday party! Serve with crispy tostones or Tostitos chips and let your guest dig in! Besides being incredibly delicious did you know that shrimp ceviche is one of the best guilt free things to eat when trying to lose weight! It’s high in essential nutrients and low in calories. Fish is recommended to people with high cholesterol levels, those at risk of heart disease, and even people who seek to stave of senile dementia, or Alzheimer’s Disease. Eating more fish is a great way to lose weight and stay fit!