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July 2020

Four of My Favorite Easy & Healthy Snacks

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Y’all, I am terrible about eating too many snacks! It’s definitely where most of my calorie intake comes from. Over the last few years, I have tended to get things like Oreo’s, chips, Jalapeno Cheetos or ice cream to munch on. The first year that we moved to Arizona, I downed so much ice cream as a coping mechanism for being so far away from family. It’s very very easy to get lost in eating sugary foods, especially if your upset or stuck in a pandemic like we are now. But I’ve been wanting to be better, to make better decisions, and that starts with thinking about how I’m snacking. So today, here are five of my favorite healthy snacks to munch on!

1.) Sliced Tomatoes

Here me out on this one! Slice some tomatoes into medium thickness and arrange them evenly on a plate. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto each slice of tomato. I would do equal portions of each as I think both are needed for this snack. Then I sprinkle goat cheese on top of each tomato slice. I try to arrange it so I will have goat cheese in every single bite. Absolutely worth the extra time to sprinkle them on carefully! Without doubt one of my favorite snacks and definitely a healthy option!

2.) Pre-Cut Vegetables

When I’m feeling motivated and really want to be healthy this is a go to option! I have done this a few times and have been so grateful for it. I get veggies like bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers and celery at the store. Cut them into bite size pieces and place them into separate containers. I’d personally go for getting one container that can hold all the veggies in separate sections, but any container will work. Then when I’m feeling hungry I grab the containers, throw some on a plate and dip them in some ranch dressing. Now I know that ranch isn’t the healthiest thing for you, but compared to eating chips or cookies I count it as a win! Plus its a good avenue to start getting your daily veggies in.

3.) Berries & Yogurt Covered Pretzels

I like to think of this as a version of a parfait. Yogurt covered pretzels have less calories than chocolate covered pretzels and when combined with some good flavored berries it hits all the taste buds. You can set these out as a cute berry board and go munch on items when you get that craving for something sweet or sweet and salty. I was thrilled with this berry board and think it was a great snack idea for the week!

4.) Pepperoni and Cheese

This one came directly from my dad! He has always been drawn to snacking on meats and cheeses. Especially when you wrap some cheese in the meat, it’s been a staple among cooks for years and its definitely a great snack. I like to get pepper jack squares (thick square cuts of cheese) and pepperoni or sausage for this snack. Wrap the pepperoni around the cheese and eat. No artificial colors, sugars, etc; just good old fashioned meat and cheese. If you are feeling on top of it, pre-wrap the meat around the cheese and hold it together with a toothpick. I swear this helps curb your appetite twice as fast as well. It’s more hearty that the other snacks and has always been a go to for me!

What are you favorite healthy snacks? Or just your favorite snacks in general! Let me know in the comments below!

Sausage & Kale Soup – Magnolia Table

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There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of good soup! And this soup is seriously the easiest to make! So so good and light yet hearty and the same time. By far one of my favorite soups and one I will have on repeat this fall! Overall, the hardest part would be the prep of cutting the veggies to the smaller sizes. I would highly recommend cutting them down to the proportions that she requests so you get all the flavors in one bite and everything cooks evenly. Beyond that, this recipe will take very little effort for an amazing payoff. There aren’t a lot of spices, but the leftover grease from cooking the sausage brings all the flavor that you will need! I did a quick video to show you the process and how easy it is to make! If you make it let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Overall Review: 5/5

Sausage & Kale Soup

By Magnolia Table — Joanna Gaines

Ingredients
  

  • tbsp Vegetable Oil (I use olive oil)
  • 14 oz Smoke Sausage – 1/2inch thick slices
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 large White Onion
  • 1 pd Red Potatoes
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 – 32 oz Boxes of Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 pd Baby Kale

Jalapeno Cornbread- Magnolia Table

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Is there anything more Midwestern than a good slice of cornbread?! Seriously, whenever people mention cornbread my first thought is one of our family dinners with a big bowl of chili with a hearty slice of cornbread. It’s just one of those Midwestern staples you can’t help but love. So when I saw it in the Magnolia Table cookbook I knew it was my next recipe to review! And I was so excited to review it!

First off, this recipe is so darn easy! It doesn’t take any time to put together (except pickled – jalapenos if you so choose). The ingredients aren’t expensive making this the perfect go to side dish for any soup or dinner you might be making. The recipe calls for two optional ingredients jalapenos and ___. I opted for neither and instead cut up one jalapeno (seeds included) and threw that into the liquid mixture. I knew my husband would like the kick of spice that came along with it. My next attempt will include the pickled jalapeno option, but for today the raw jalapenos were included. The recipe does take a hot minute to bake — 50 minutes — but as long as you do this before the rest of your dinner prep you should be good to go!

Now for the one downside I have and this is towards cornbread in general. It’s a very dry dish. It’s just the way its meant to be and that’s totally okay. This is a home-style dish that is served with extraordinary amounts of butter. So be prepared to have butter on the side otherwise this is very hard to get down. Regardless, this recipe is perfect for what it was intended to be and is definitely one that I will keep in my back pocket for future family dinners.

Jalapeno Cornbread

From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Tbsp Butter (Melted)
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Fine Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup White Corn (I used yellow)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped drained pickled jalapenos (I used raw jalapenos) – OPTIONAL
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped roasted pimientos – OPTIONAL

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Butter a circular baking dish — It calls for a cast iron but mine is too big for a small recipe like cornbread. If you have a smaller cast-iron skillet use it!
  • Whisk flour, cornmeal, salt and garlic powder and set aside
  • Whisk melted butter, cream and eggs
  • Add liquid ingredients to the dry flour mixture. Add the corn, jalapenos and pimientos. It states to not overmix them just mix until moist.
  • But the mixture into your circular baking pan and cook for 50(ish) minutes. Once the endges are golden brown and the top is starting to brown is when you take it out. Stick a knife or toothpick in to make sure it's cooked through.
  • Cut into individual sections. I did 8, but the recipe calls for 6.
  • Serve warm with a heaping amount of butter! Enjoy!

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread – Magnolia Table

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I was craving this Lemon Poppy Seed Bread ever since I saw it in the Magnolia Table cookbook! Seriously give me any bread with lemon in it and I am good to go! This recipe was so simple and easy to make. The hardest part was getting the lemon zest since I STILL haven’t bought a grater. Why it is taking me so long to go buy one is beyond me. The bread was a bit dry for my taste and I’m thinking either I should have made more lemon drizzle or I should have added more lemon juice to the inside. Regardless, it’s an amazing loaf and totally worth your time! This paired great with coffee or an after dinner snack, I also think it would be a great bread to share with friends coming over!

Overall Review: 4.5/5

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Ingredients
  

Bread

  • Vegetable Oil Spray
  • 2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 3/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Grated Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbps Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Lemon Drizzle

  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I'd also spray or butter your bread pan here just so you don't forget later.
  • In a medium bowl mix the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I'd whisk this together to make sure its combined well.
  • In a seperate larger bowl mix the sugar, milk, vegetable oil (I subsititued for olive oil), eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the larger bowl with the liquid and mix. Mix well but don't mix too well. Somewhere in the middle is what you are looking for.
  • Pour into your bread pan and sit in the oven for 1 hour. 1 hour was perfect for me, came out nice and done in the center.
  • While the bread is cooking, take your powdered sugar and dump into a medium bowl. Then add a good helping of the lemon zest. Add the recommended lemon juice to the mixture, if its not to the consistency you'd like add more. I like the drizzle pretty runny so that it covers more ground.
  • Once the bread is out of the oven, drizzle the lemon mixture on the top, cut and serve. For some reason my bread didn't rise as well in the center so a lot of the lemon mixture ran down there. But it still was good!

Flatbread Pizza with Prosciutto & New Potatoes- Magnolia Table

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Ya’ll this flatbread pizza turned out so good! The flavors complimented each other perfectly, it was easy to make and even my husband loved it! This is one of those recipes that will continue to be in my rotation.

A few tips from my experience. The amount of cheese mixture that is called for is pretty thick and for those who aren’t huge cheese lovers it’s a bit too much. For the non cheese lovers in your family, only put half the cheese mixture on the flatbread and save the other half for another flatbread. That amount of cheese was perfect for my husband. Brought all the flavors that you needed to pull together the meal without the overwhelming cheese taste. But for those who love cheese, I suggest lathering the whole mixture on there as it really has an amazing taste to it! Additionally, I would error on the side of more prosciutto and potatoes than less. It adds to the quality of the flatbread and the thinner your potatoes the better your pizza will be.

This definitely is more of an appetizer or light lunch. I would highly recommend making at least two flatbread pizzas if you are cooking for two. That or pair it with another food item so you get filled up. Overall, I would highly recommend this flatbread pizza as it is easy to make and the taste is well worth your time! If you cook this recipe let me know how it goes below! You can get this recipe and more in Joanna Gaines book Magnolia table by clicking here.

Overall Review: 5/5

Flatbread Pizza

From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Ingredients
  

  • Red Potatoes
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Garlic Clove
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Heavy Cream
  • Gorgonzola Cheese
  • Black Pepper
  • Flatbread Crust
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Prosciutto
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Basil Leaves

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Heat a medium pot with salted water until it boils
  • Add in the potatoes for 6-8 minutes. Then drain and let cool. Once cool, cut into thin slices.
  • In a small saucepan, heat a tablespoon of butter until melted.
  • Add garlic and let brown.
  • Add two tablespoons of flour and whisk with the butter and garlic
  • Once combined, add a cup of heavy cream and whisk together.
  • Once combined, add a cup of gorgonzola cheese and whisk until melted and combined.
  • Take off heat and sit aside
  • On a baking sheet lay parchment or foil down. Then place your flatbread down and add a small amount of oil and spread on the flatbread
  • Take the cheese mixture you set aside and spread across the flatbread. Make as even as possible.
  • Lay 4-6 pieces of prosciutto onto the flatbread.
  • Add the sliced tomatoes, some under the prosciutto and on top of the prosciutto.
  • Top with parmesan cheese and cook for 15 minutes
  • Add five basil leaves to the top of the flatbread.
  • Cut into four slices and serve immediately!

BLT Sandwiches – Magnolia Table

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I am always on board for a good BLT! Some good, thick bacon, crisp green lettuce and juicy tomatoes…. always a good idea! This is a classic recipe that takes very little time but gives you a huge reward! I was so excited for today’s recipe review because it comes with a small twist — herb mayo. And while I am a huge fan of classic mayo in a blt, I think an herb mayo will be just what these sandwiches need!

On to my review of these sandwiches. First of all, like I mentioned earlier, so easy to make. Perfect for nights that you don’t want to spend hours cooking. Let’s start with the herb mayo. You can and should make this ahead of time so it has time to sit in the fridge. Seriously it’s the herb mayo that makes this BLT Sandwich. It brings a richness and so much flavor to the BLT. I was honestly planning on my husband hating this sandwich, he loves a good classic BLT. But this herb mayo was a hit with both of us. The flavors complimented each other so well and just really ramped up a classic. The full recipe can be found in the Magnolia Table Cookbook by Joanna Gaines.

BLT Sandwiches

Recipe From Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Ingredients
  

  • Mayo
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Thick Country Bread
  • Lettuce
  • Vine Tomatoes
  • Bacon

Instructions
 

  • Let's start with the herb mayo!
    1 Cup of mayo, black pepper, salt, paprika, chives, parsley, and dill. Mix together and set in the refrigerator. It's recommended for 2 hours, but I only had it in there a half hour and it tasted great!
  • Set the oven to 400 degrees and place the bacon on a baking sheet. Set in the oven for 15-20 minutes. My husband doesn't like the bacon super crispy so it was only in there about 15 minutes before I took it out. Place on paper towels so the grease can come off the bacon.
  • Place small amounts of mayo on each side of the country bread and toast until golden brown.
  • Once both sides are toasted, place on a plate and begin assembling.
  • Place a good tablespoon of the herb mayo on each slice. Add the bacon, tomato, lettuce and salt and pepper.
  • Place the sides together to create two sandwiches. Cut in half and serve as halves!
  • Enjoy!