Categories
Drinks Gluten Free Lactose Free Vegan Vegetarian

Skinny Chocolate Breakfast Shake

Oats and almond milk give the base to this shake. Combined with all the other ingredients, it's the nutrients and fuel you'll be needing to start your day off right.
Oats and almond milk give the base to this shake. Combined with other ingredients, it’s the nutrients and fuel you’ll be needing to start your day off right.

The terms “healthy” or “skinny” doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. It’s a thick chocolate shake perfect for breakfast, no gimmicks. Packed full of nutrient dense foods and additional health benefits, this shake will help you to stay focused, full and feeling good as you embark on your AM adventures.

Shakes are simple. It is why they work amazingly well in the morning when too many knocks to the alarm clock mean you have precious minutes to spare for dressing, let alone breakfast. 

A typical shake, but with the right balance of creamy, thick, healthy and tasty.
A shake is a shake except when it achieves the right balance of creamy, thick, healthy and tasty. The Skinny Chocolate Breakfast Shake will not disappoint!

Nailing the flavors is what made this shake go from “okay” to something I consume every other day. The first part of this recipe requires a soak of chocolate almond milk and rolled oats. The oats give the shake some extra heft, but by soaking them you lose that chalk taste which can happen if you blend dry oats into a smoothie. If your mornings are super hectic, feel free to combine everything into your container sans banana and ice cubes the night before. (It’s why I love my Nutribullet and all their storage containers). 

Behold the power of almond milk. This is one of my latest and most favorite finds. Sadly misunderstood, it can be reminiscent of skim milk, flavorless. The reason why I use it in this smoothie (other than being addicted) is because of the extra protein in the almond milk which helps keep you fuller longer. When you add in the banana, any watered down misconceptions are no more. The banana also helps to thicken the shake along with the soaked oats. For those of you don’t like banana, try this shake anyways. The chocolate helps to mask any banana-y taste, and if you can still taste it, use more peanut butter.

Creamy, dreamy and vegan? Yes, all of this can be yours.
Creamy, dreamy, and vegan? Yes, it’s true, and all of it can be yours.

For extra added nutrients, I include chia and flax seeds in the recipe. I keep them in my freezer and use in most of my cooking. They don’t add much in terms of flavor so they’re not required to make the shake taste great, just to simply give your body extra nutrients.

Last but not least is the extra sweetner. To some, honey is not considered vegan and that’s okay. Use whatever you have on hand or feel comfortably using. For me personally, I just like the extra touch of sweetness and the wonderful benefits honey provides for my body. The ripeness of your banana will also dictate the sweetness level of the shake, so taste and sweeten as desired.

Trickster to husbands and meat eaters, this vegan shake is what can bring a person to the dark side, or at least over to your house for breakfast.
Trickster to husbands and non-vegans, this shake is what can bring a person to the dark side, or at least over to your house for breakfast.

It’s a feel good kind of shake. A celebration for your mouth, fuel for your body, and vegan too. What’s not to love? Party on breakfast goers.

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

Skinny Chocolate Breakfast Shake
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup of chocolate almond milk
  3. 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  4. 1 teaspoon of honey (or agave)
  5. 1 teaspoon of flax seeds
  6. 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
  7. 1 banana
  8. 4 ice cubes
  9. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Place your oats and milk together in a container. Refrigerate for three hours to overnight.
  2. Combine the remainder of your ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth and thick, about one minute.
  3. Garnish with cocoa nibs or cocoa powder, serve immediately.
Eat Your Tarte Out | Life, Love and Full Plates https://eatyourtartout.com/
Categories
Life Lessons

Staying Centered on What Matters Most

Have you ever realized how often we find ourselves on autopilot? We don’t usually even realize until something major breaks our cycle. 

Given the current state of things, everyone’s normal cycles and routines are being dramatically altered. I’m not immune to current events. No one is. But what can help us tremendously is staying centered on what matters by keeping what matters most at the center. If we did that each and every day, how radically our lives would shift even when the storm has passed? Imagine how different our mindset would be if we were responding from the center of the hurricane rather than reacting from the chaos of the storm. Wise words from George Mumford. 

We all enjoy distractions of movies, television, and scrolling through social media. But what we often don’t realize is that in these things we disengage or enter into a numbing out phase. We go farther away from that thing that grounds and centers us. What if, instead, we left comments on what we just read and how it affected us. What if, on our next binge watch, we did it with someone else on the phone or through FaceTime? Download apps like Marco Polo and leave video messages for friends and family. Expressions of gratitude might be extremely healthy and heartening in these trying and uncertain times.

In some of my own daily practices that help me stay centered and grounded, I’ve found what works for me is taking a beat to engage all my senses, bringing me back to the here and now. What do I hear? Smell? See? Taste? Feel?

For obvious reasons we need to physically isolate, but the things that center us don’t need to change. We don’t need to shut down, and honestly resist shutting down in any capacity. The scope of our feelings was created for a reason: to feel. Anxiety, fear, and confusion can all teach us something if we are open, and dare I say, brave enough to let those feelings in. Dolly Parton has an awesome quote, “The way I see it, if you want rainbows, you gotta put up with the rain.” 

What centers you? What matters most to you and how can you engage that to find life’s rainbows right now?

Originally written for Rena-Fi

Categories
Life Lessons

Show Up

It’s a simple statement, and yet here I am. I’m showing up, I’m committed to sharing myself again so that others may find assistance in whatever I’ve been through, or just be along for the ride, whatever that looks like.

This blog originally started as a place to share my love for food. It still is that place. However, after a long hiatus of finding myself as I navigated motherhood to two beautiful kiddos, I simply have a lot more to offer now. I’ve have found and continue to find amazing life lessons, profound womanly advice, trials and triumphs of motherhood and a completely new way to look at food. It’s food, family, life and chaos.

In the coming weeks and months, I have so much stockpiled awesome to share. Those that are still miraculously subscribed – thank you. To those that continue to dribble in – thank you.

I plan to be less hard on my self in terms of perfection, and will just enjoy the art of sharing. I’ll continue striving for the best, but some days my best may look different.

To life, love and full plates,

Kat

Family photo

Categories
Desserts Lactose Free

Cookies and Creme S’Mores Bars

oreobar

Marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate, it doesn’t get much more summer than that. Remove the fire element and instead combine a chocolate like graham cracker, nutty brown butter and melty marshmallows, and you’ve got a new summertime treat in Cookies and Creme S’Mores Bars.

Rewind to a few weeks ago when I was feeling lazy due to summer’s ever impending heat. I wanted something sweet, no fuss, and ready in a jiffy. Rice Krispie treats always to come to mind. But imagine my surprise when there’s no crispy rice cereal in my pantry, major fail. What’s a girl to do? Fretting about heading to the store when I just wanted to lounge, I spotted a box of Back to Nature‘s Classic Creme Cookies. Between my husband and I, the box never lasts long so it became a now or never situation. Quickly nabbing them up, I wondered if I really could enhance the perfectly crispy delicious cookies into something downright sinful and live to blog about it? As you can guess, that is where we ended up today.

oreobar

I gathered my ingredients of marshmallows, cookies and creme cookies, and butter together. In no time I’d be on my way to delectable. But then I remembered we don’t have a microwave. Melting marshmallows without a microwave suddenly seemed so daunting. At this point I was just too excited and decided that the promise of of delicious was just too enticing.  Time to carry on.

On my first trial of this recipe, I only used one package of cookies. The marshmallow to cookie ratio seemed a little off. The bars were pretty flimsy and stuck to everything. They tasted good so I didn’t worry a whole lot. However, knowing my husband likes everything chilled, I decided to put the bars into the refrigerator. We ended up with about the most amazing thing ever! The bars never seized up and become rock solid. Instead, they reminded us of less sticky s’mores with all the flavors of cookies and creme. As they started to melt, they became a challenge to eat, reminding us of all those marshmallows we eat all summer long. We gobbled them up all in the name of “trials for the blog,” and on I went to try a few more times for the perfect treat. What I ended up with was a cookies and creme bar highlighting all those things about summer I love. Crispy cookies, melty marshmallows, the addition of toasty goodness, all slightly chilled. Doesn’t it make you just want to dig in?

oreobar

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

Cookies and Creme S'Mores Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 1 package of cookies and creme cookies (12 ounces)
  2. 1 package of marshmallows (10 ounces)
  3. 4 tablespoons butter (or butter substitute)
Instructions
  1. Butter a 9×13″ pan, set aside.
  2. In a ziplock bag, crush cookies using a rolling pin. You want the majority of the cookies to be about the size of your thumb nail or smaller. Sprinkle a handful of crumbs onto the bottom of your buttered pan. Reserve a half cup of cookies, and then set aside the remaining cookies in a separate bowl (should be about two cups).
  3. In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt your butter. Stir constantly until your mixture starts to foam. As the water evaporates, continue stirring as the foaming continues. Pay close attention to color. When it achieves a light tan color, remove it from the heat. Continue to stir for another minute. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a large microwave safe bowl, heat marshmallows together (about three minutes) until puffy and mostly melted. You can also do this in double boiler on your stove. Stir in your browned butter and then quickly stir in your two cups of cookie crumbs.
  5. Spread your mixture into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to press the mixture around the dish, and flatten evenly. Sprinkle your remaining half cup of cookie crumbs on top.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill about an hour before cutting into squares. Store in the fridge until ready to eat and enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you want more stability in your bar and not have to refrigerate them, consider adding additional cookies and creme cookies. You can also add in crispy rice cereal too.
  2. Consider using peanut butter sandwich cookies in lieu of the cookies and creme cookies for a fluffer-nutter twist!
Eat Your Tarte Out | Life, Love and Full Plates https://eatyourtartout.com/
Categories
Desserts Gluten Free Kid Friendly Lactose Free Vegan Vegetarian

Everything But The….No Bake Energy Cookies

Nutty, chocolatey, oat filled bites with nuances of coffee and coconut. Everything but the..... Nutty, chocolatey, oat filled bites with nuances of coffee and coconut. Everything but the…..

Cookies for breakfast? Cookies to help give you a boost midday? Cookies all the time! Try these no bake cookies that take no effort to throw together and using bunches of ingredients you probably have on hand. You’ll end up with a nutty, well balanced cookie that packs tons of flavor and a bit of energy to be  enjoyed all throughout the day.

too many cookies = carried away too many cookies = carried away

I love cookies…well maybe that’s an understatement. Any dessert is likely to take up my immediate and undivided attention. Yet when you want cookies in an instant and you’re trying to be healthy, one can run into a conundrum. 

A no-bake cookie from Foundation Grounds packing tons of flavor with very little sugar. Goo Balls, a party for your mouth. A no-bake cookie from Foundation Grounds packing tons of flavor with very little sugar. Goo Balls, a party for your mouth.

Taking a note from the makers of awesome ice cream, specifically Everything But The… and the traditional flavors of no bake cookies (peanut butter, chocolate and oats), a new cookie in my home started to take shape. However, what really solidified it as my favorite no bake cookie was the addition of coffee that I learned by chance in Maplewood, MO. Foundation Grounds, a local coffee house had what they call a Goo Ball, a no bake cookie with coffee in it. Balancing the usual sugariness of no bake cookies and giving it a bit of a zip, the cookie turned out to be unforgettable.

 

Addicting and satisfying, these cookies won't dare heat your kitchen, but will instead stoke your energy levels. Addicting and satisfying, these cookies won’t dare heat your kitchen, but will instead stoke your energy levels.

While I have no idea what their recipe calls for, I just started adding a bunch of this and a bunch of that to come up with what I thought were the perfect compliments to one another. I started with sugar and butter, the start to any great cookie. From there I kept it healthy adding in peanut butter and almond butter which balanced each other and gave a well rounded nuttiness to the cookie. Cocoa powder and instant coffee added the bitter notes, but also a depth in flavor. And then, the bulk of the cookie came from oats. Finished off with a dash of salt to enhance all the flavors, it was blissful delicious.

Quickly formed no bake cookies sit in coconut powder waiting to be rolled in nutty goodness. Quickly formed no bake cookies sit in coconut powder waiting to be rolled in nutty goodness.

For awhile I didn’t do anything else to the cookie, but realized that I had an ingredient in my pantry I needed to find a use for, coconut powder. It was bought on my sister’s trip to Dubai and it’s not something we see all too often in the states. Basically it’s shredded coconut minced really finely, and a

The The “station”. First up mix city, followed by coconut hills and stopping at plated national.

lot drier. I figured since I had just about everything else in my pantry, why not one more ingredient? The addition added a nice finish and one more note of sweetness and nuttiness. The cookie was complete!

While I love the cookie as is and have all these ingredients in my pantry, you might decide you want to alter it based on what you have available. Here are some options, especially if you have a food allergy:

  • lactose free- use your favorite butter substitute
  • vegan- use your favorite butter substitute
  • sugar free- use your favorite sugar free nut butters, and if you’re able, substitute the sugar for pitted, chopped dates
  • instant coffee substitute- boil your favorite coffee down to get a concentrated flavor. You will have to add more oats to soak up the moisture.
  • nut butter- feel free to use all peanut butter or all almond butter, whatever you have on hand. Consider mixing in Nutella too!

Well that’s it, in ten minutes you could be on your way to pure cookie bliss.

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

Don't you want to finish off that bite? Don’t you want to finish off that bite?
Everything But The...No Bake Energy Cookies
Yields 16
A great and super easy recipe to make when the cookie monster comes a calling. Packed with loads of tasty ingredients, this addicting cookie is enjoyed morning, noon and night.
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup of coconut shreds or powder
  2. 1/4 cup butter
  3. 1/8 cup of almond butter
  4. 1/8 cup of peanut butter
  5. 1/4 cup of sugar
  6. 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  7. 1 teaspoon of instant coffee
  8. 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  9. 1 cup of rolled oats
Instructions
  1. In a non-stick skillet, heat coconut over low heat until it is slightly browned or starts to smell nutty in aroma. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Mix together the remaining ingredients. Take heaping tablespoons of batter and roll into a ball. Roll into coconut. Repeat.
Notes
  1. Substitute pitted chopped dates for sugar if desired.
  2. You can also food process your rolled oats for a finer, less chewy texture.
  3. Great to make with kids and for packing in lunches, enjoying on hiking adventures and car trips.
Eat Your Tarte Out | Life, Love and Full Plates https://eatyourtartout.com/
Categories
Desserts Family Favorites Vegetarian

Gooey Butter Blondies

A blondie base reminiscent of yellow cake and a creamy buttery top, these treats are lip smacking good. A blondie base reminiscent of yellow cake and a creamy buttery top, these treats are lip smacking good.

There truly is nothing like this recipe. You’d have to combine a thick slab of blondies with a chess pie/gooey butter cake/cheesecake to full understand the flavor profile of this dessert. To be honest I’m still not even sure that the name suits it. Regardless, warm or cold…this dessert is rockin’ and should be on your must-try list – immediately.

At our New Years Eve party, my aunt had made what she was calling Neiman Marcus Brownies for our shindig. She is awesome at taking cake mixes and turning them into something super delicious, so it was no surprise she did it yet again. Yet ever since that party, I couldn’t get the tastes of it removed from my memory. It was so good, and I’m sad I didn’t enjoy more of it at the time. Upon googling and looking on Pinterest, this recipe has been reenacted many a times. I decided that I needed my own version, preferably one made from scratch where I could let my ingredients do the recipe complete and utter justice.

Still warm, these cracked blondies impart a creamy goodness that is absolutely delectable. Still warm, these cracked blondies impart a creamy goodness that is absolutely intoxicating.

It’s a two layer dessert. The bottom takes like a yellow cake, but is more dense like a blondie would be. The topping starts off looking like a cheesecake batter, but morphs into a thick layer that resembles the uppermost layer of gooey butter cake, yet with a taste similar to chess pie and a thin crackled top. Once you make it, you’ll understand. 

A golden bubbling topping that mimics cheesecake and chess pie. A golden bubbling topping that mimics cheesecake and chess pie.

After countless times now to perfect it for you, I have a few pieces of wisdom to impart. The pan makes a huge difference. You have to use something that is not only deep, but retains even heat. You’re cooking it low and slow to create the definitive layers. If possible, using a glass 9 x 13″ baking dish works best. The batter will barely go up the pan halfway, but will absolutely double in size as it bakes. 

The next piece of wisdom is to not halve anything, topping or base. When I made a double batch I didn’t want it to overflow, so I halved the topping. It did not taste even remotely the same as the original. The cake part was super thick and the topping was chewy. I then tried just the opposite, to halve the base. Not only did the lack of base not support the topping, but it was just too gooey. Just stick with the ratios below, and if you have to, halve the whole thing.

Lastly, you can and should experiment with flavors. Try swapping out some of the flour for cocoa. Add in pecans, and even consider adding in butter rum extract for some of the vanilla. Make it your own, it’ll be good.

I do hope you enjoy this new riff on a favorite box cake dessert.

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

A plate full of Gooey Butter Blondies ripe for the picking. A plate full of Gooey Butter Blondies ripe for the picking.
Gooey Butter Blondies
A dessert with a blondie-like base layer, and a thick gooey topping with a slight crunch. This recipe reenacts flavors of yellow cake, blondies, chess pie and cheesecake. A new favorite from my home to yours.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 sticks of butter, room temperature and divided
  2. 1 cup of sugar
  3. 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  4. 5 eggs, divided
  5. 2 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
  6. 2 1/2 cups of flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  9. 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  10. 3 cups of confectioners sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter a glass 9 x 13" baking dish and set aside.
  2. Combine together 1 1/2 sticks of butter with the sugar and brown sugar. Cream for 3-5 minutes. Add in three eggs and mix till thoroughly combined. Add in flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, baking powder and salt. Stir till just combined. Press into an even layer in your baking dish.
  3. In another bowl, beat together remaining 1 stick of butter and cream cheese till no lumps are present. Add in the eggs one at a time until mixed in completely. Add in your remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla. and mix again. Finally, add in your confectioners sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Pour batter over the base layer.
  4. Bake for one hour, or until cake is puffed up and lightly golden on top. Remove and allow to cool for 45 minutes before serving. Can be served slightly warm or completely chilled. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Notes
  1. It is important to use a deep baking dish as the batter will double on you in size.
  2. Feel free to experiment a bit with flavors, adding scraped vanilla beans instead of vanilla, swapping out some of the flour for cocoa, adding in pecans to the base, or even consider adding in butter rum extract for some of the vanilla.
Adapted from Neiman Marcus Brownies
Adapted from Neiman Marcus Brownies
Eat Your Tarte Out | Life, Love and Full Plates https://eatyourtartout.com/
Categories
Desserts Gluten Free Grain Free Vegetarian

Chocolate Cinn-Almonds

cocoaalmond

A combination of roasted almonds, coated in chocolate, and then dusted in cinnamon, cocoa and salt. It’s a snackers dream as it’s not overly sweet and addicting as heck. And the sheer beauty is that it’s one of the easiest recipes ever to make!

I’ll admit that have a weakness for chocolate covered almonds. And, for whatever reason I enjoy them immensely as singly covered entities, not in bars. It’s a weird little fixation of mine, but it’s also a surefire way to make me smile. I can always go for some, even now. However, not all chocolate covered almonds are created equal. The chocolate to almond ratio can be off, and then there’s usually a shiny waxy coating many of them have to ensure they don’t stick together which detracts from the simple but delicious flavors.

I decided I was going to make them at home figuring I could control what chocolate balanced the almonds I had, and rid myself of the wax. Dipping individual chocolates can be time consuming and tedious, and I quickly lost interest. I made large ugly lumps and devoured them once they set up, never to talk about them again. I’m not sure what reinvigorated my interest, but the reasoning went out the window and a recipe/method was born.

A bowl of these almonds will disappear quickly, so be sure to make a few batches.
A bowl of these almonds will disappear quickly, so be sure to make a few batches.

Taking a note from shake and bake chicken, unceremoniously plopping chocolate dipped almonds into a dry rub of sorts and shaking all your frustrations out works SO well in this case! I’m serious, anyone can do it and it makes you feel better physically and taste sensationally afterwards.

Simple ingredients and complex taste with incredibly easy directions to follow.
Simple ingredients and complex taste with incredibly easy directions to follow. Chocolate chips, cinnamon and almonds, how easy is that?

I figured out that the dry rub should contain some cocoa powder, as the shaking technique only coats the almonds with a thin layer and we all know how I like my chocolate. From there, I added some organic Korintje cinnamon which I picked up at Whole Foods. I liked the spicy notes in it which seemed to wake up my concoction. From there I added a little salt to enhance the flavors and I was done. It balanced really well, and even the men in my life were quickly devouring them.

As if the ease and deliciousness of this recipe weren’t awesome enough, you then can save the leftover bits of chocolate and cinnamon powder for a delicious base for hot chocolate. Waste not, want not! Sounds like a great way to cuddle up a loved one, dog or kitty cat, or to simply enjoy on a night when you need a pick me up

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

A pretty bowl of cinnamon chocolate almonds and a love letter to accompany a mid morning snack.
A pretty bowl of cinnamon chocolate almonds and a love letter to accompany a mid morning snack.
Chocolate Cinn-Almonds
Roasted almonds, coated in chocolate and dusted in cocoa, cinnamon and salt make for a delightful snack that you'll keep coming back to.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of almonds
  2. 1 cup of milk chocolate chips
  3. 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  4. 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  5. 1 teaspoon of salt
Instructions
  1. In a dry saucepan, heat the almonds on medium heat until they give off a nutty aroma, 4-5 minutes turning periodically. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.
  2. In a double boiler, heat chocolate until melted. Add the almonds and coat completely.
  3. In a large tupperware container, container with a lid, or ziplock bag, add the remaining ingredients. Add in the almonds and all of their chocolate shaking vigorously until coated completely with the cinnamon mixture.
  4. Lay individual almonds onto plate or cookie sheet and allow to set. Anything remaining from the chocolate/cinnamon mixture, set aside and use as a base for hot chocolate.
Notes
  1. Use the best quality ingredients you can find, it will make a world of difference. Definitely experiment with different types of milk chocolate and use various kinds of cinnamon for slight, but delicious nuances.
Eat Your Tarte Out | Life, Love and Full Plates https://eatyourtartout.com/