Being surrounded by great cooks and their passion for food has allowed me to explore my options and always be open-minded when it comes to food. Now I have to admit, I was a little spoiled growing up with my family of amazing cooks that I when I attempt my own recipes and try my turn in the kitchen, not much compares to the way my dad or grandmother cooks. However, when it comes to the basics of breakfast foods (think oatmeal and smoothies) or healthy desserts, I'm your girl! My family actually steps aside and allows me to take over the baking in our household, so here are a few of my recipes that give your boring eggs a makeover, save you some money by making your own versions of Starbucks drinks, and create a homemade version of a famous NYC bakery's pudding.
DIY Egg McMuffins
I have to admit I'm pretty partial towards breakfast. My friends always make fun of me because it is my favorite meal of the day, and I could have breakfast food morning, day and night. I tell everyone who doesn't like breakfast that they're doing it wrong. The possibilities are endless with what one can do with breakfast foods. Think about it - oatmeal can go from a boring bowl of mush, to a filling, healthy, protein-packed breakfast where the combination of toppings is infinite.
To give those lame scrambled eggs a little oomph, I make my own version of egg McMuffins. First, I chop a small tomato and a quarter of a red onion. I then combine those chopped veggies with a sliced whole red pepper and some spinach (you can add any cheese of your liking) and mix the veggies all together with four egg whites and four (whole) eggs and carefully spoon them into nonstick, sprayed (so important for this recipe as my first batch stuck all over the inside of the muffin tins) muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes, and your little healthy egg McMuffins will be scrumptiously golden brown. Make sure to let the muffins cool before popping them out. I like to store my muffins in a Ziploc and keep them in the fridge or freezer (depending on when you plan on eating them). This is such an easy recipe for busy mornings when you know you must eat before you run out the door but you're in a rush. No excuses now for skipping breakfast!
As a writer myself, I love stalking other blogs and learning as much as I can from other people who share similar interests as me. A blog I stumbled upon, which has now become my favorite site to visit, is Skinny Confidential. Run by blogger Lauryn Evarts, Skinny Confidential gushes with posts about everything from beauty tips to cute workout clothes to easy, healthy recipes. It recently had its own version of a chai latte, and I've been obsessing over it ever since. The simple recipe is mixing one cup of The Godfather Celestial Seasonings Chai Tea concentrate, 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, three sprinkles of cinnamon, two sprinkles of cardamom and two dashes of turmeric. Look at all of the superfoods in this ahh-mazing recipe. And yes, it tastes just as good as it sounds!
Lastly is my go-to dessert for whenever I am going over someone's house and I want to bring something or I need to make something for Christmas and all my other attempts at Christmas cookies were a fail. Not for bragging rights, but everyone flips over this easy recipe and is always so impressed by it. Magnolia Bakery in New York City (sounds familiar thanks to Sex and the City) is known for its cupcakes, but an underrated gem on their menu is the banana pudding. After trying it once, I fell so in love with this pudding that I knew I had to find a recipe to replicate it.
Discovered on POPSUGAR, this recipe requires 1 1/2 cups water, 2/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix, 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk, three cups heavy cream, 1 (12-oz.) box vanilla wafers and four bananas, sliced. As stated on the site, mix together the water, pudding mix and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight until it sets up. Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Working in thirds, fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until well incorporated. In a deep bowl, layer vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and pudding mixture; continue until you've used up all the pudding mixture. Refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes before serving. I promise you this recipe is a guarantee win and everyone will be asking you for the recipe at your next get-together.
Enjoy a few of these recipes that are some of my favorites. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty in the kitchen and attempt trying different recipes you stumble upon.