Bee Sting Cake

We spent our mini moon after the wedding in a tiny German inspired town. One of the big things I noticed was all the baked goods were light and airy with some sort of almond topping.

I really wanted to try making a classic Bee Sting Cake. A cross between a bread and cake with honey vanilla pastry cream. I always start out thinking my recipe will be classic, but then I start adding ingredients until it is very loosely based on the original. I couldn’t help but add cinnamon and brown sugar. The flavors just all pair soooo well together!

The texture is much lighter than bread, but still has that yeast feel. The crumble on top of the cake is the only truly sweet element. I added fresh whip cream to really turn it into a summer dessert.

This cake was the perfect time to break out my favorite Rodelle vanilla ingredients! The vanilla bean paste is my all time favorite. That plus the vanilla extract definitely intensify the honey.

Ingredients

For the cream –

3 egg yolks

2 tbsp of Rodelle vanilla bean paste

1 tbsp of Rodelle vanilla extract

1 tbsp of cornstarch

1/4 cup of honey

1/2 cup of sugar

1 1/3 cup of whole milk

For the cake-

2 eggs

1/2 cup of salted butter

2 cups of AP flour

1/2 cup of warm whole milk

1 packet or 2 1/2 tbsp of dry active yeast

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tbsp of honey

1 tbsp of Rodelle vanilla extract

1 tsp of salt

For the topping-

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup of honey

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp of cinnamon

Directions

For the pastry cream-

In a sauce pan heat half the sugar, vanilla paste, vanilla extract, and milk until almost boiling. Little bubbles will rise to the surface. Reduce to medium low.

In a bowl mix egg yolks, honey and remaining sugar.

Add the egg yolk mixture to the sauce pan. Whisk continuously to avoid the eggs from curdling.

In a separate bowl mix the cornstarch with a little water to make a paste. Add to the sauce pan.

Whisk over medium high heat until the cream has thickened and coats the back of the spoon.

Let cool and set the in fridge. I like placing plastic wrap into the top to avoid skin texture from forming.

For the cake-

In a mixer (with a dough hook) add the warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Let sit until the yeast bubbles.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix until ingredients are fully incorporated. The dough will look like a cross between bread dough and cake batter. Slightly loose and sticky.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the dough and let rise for 30 minutes to an hour.

You can grease a 9 inch cake pan or use parchment paper. I prefer parchment.

Place dough in lines pan and spread the best you can. Just try and keep everything even.

Top with the honey, brown sugar, and almonds.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until set.

Let cool before slicing the cake into two layers.

Spread the cooled pastry cream on the bottom layer before placing on the top layer.

Serve with fresh whipped cream if you like!

Definitely made for impressing guests, but would be great for a not too sweet brunch!

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Sweet and Spicy Sticky Chicken

There is a restaurant near us that serves a platter of super spicy crispy chicken, potato wedges, pickled radish, cold corn and tons of dipping sauces.

We were shopping the local section in Publix and came across locally made pepper jellies. I knew right away I wanted to make a glaze with the peach jalapeño jelly. If you can’t find fruit pepper jelly you can get a regular pepper jelly and add peach jam.

I made this chicken the other day and Patrick liked it so much he requested it again last night! Lightly breaded chicken perfectly crispy and salty. The glaze really takes it over the top.

The mix of pepper jelly, honey, jalapeño and soy sauce is just a magical experience when it mixes with the salty chicken.

Ingredients

Chicken thighs boneless skinless

1 cup flour/1 cup cornmeal or 2 cups of autrys chicken breading

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp salt / pepper

2 tbsp of peach pepper jelly

1/4 cup of honey

2 tbsp of soy sauce

1 fresh jalapeño sliced

Oil for frying

Directions

Preheat oil to 350 degrees ( I like to use a cast iron skillet or large soup pot

In a large ziplock bag or Tupperware add the four/cornmeal (or breading), salt, pepper and garlic.

Add the chicken and shake until fully coated

Fry until cooked through around 160 degrees it will rise as the chicken rests

Season liberally with salt and pepper

In a sauté pan whisk, honey, pepper jelly, soy sauce and jalapeño. Heat over low until combined

Drizzle over the chicken

We like to serve ours with potato wedges and garlic greens!

Enjoy !!! ( with lots of sriracha!)

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Pizza Flatbread

If you live anywhere near a Sprouts farmers market you definitely need to download their app. We discovered recently that you can do all your shopping on the app to make a list or have everything delivered! Since I am currently obsessed with fresh lemon and herbs we have been going to the store every few days. This recipe takes everything I love about summer and pulls it together in this awesome appetizer!

The dough takes about 30 minutes to rise. While that happens you can throw together your sauce! Top with whatever you have available and wow your guests (or family) with this super easy flat bread!

The lemon oil and herbs are what make this recipe stand out about the traditional flatbread. Everything is so fresh.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of AP flour

1 packet of dry active yeast

3/4 cups of warm water

1 tsp of lemon zest

Juice from one lemon

1/2 cup of olive oil

2 tbsp of sugar

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 cup of chopped herbs ( I used oregano and basil)

Pepperoni

Fresh mozzarella

2 tbsp of tomato paste

1 cup of chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp of garlic

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Mix yeast, sugar and water and let sit for 5 minutes

Add in the flour, lemon zest and half of the herbs

Mix with a dough hook until smooth ( add more flour if needed)

Drizzle a little oil over the ball cover and let rise

Tip** place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit on top of the oven while it preheats

In a sauce pan heat chopped tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, remaining herbs, crushed red pepper, over medium heat. Add water if you need to as it cooks down. Once it starts to thicken like a paste add 1 tsp of oil or butter.

Pat out the dough on parchment paper and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook for 5 minutes then slather the bread with your tomato mixture. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until the dough starts to look golden brown.

Add your cheese and pepperoni. Broil until cheese melts and pepperonis crisp.

Serve with side of olive oil!

What’s your favor summer appetizer?

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Grilled Chicken Adobo Bowls

It has officially been a month since we got married! Today is actually my birthday. Patrick took the day off so we could spent some time together. We have both been working crazy hours to catch up from our wedding time off.

The entire past month has honestly been a blur. We got back our amazing wedding pictures and have been working on framing/hanging them throughout the house. Today we finished putting together some furniture that we desperately needed for our bedroom. Hopefully now I can stop tossing the clean laundry on our folding table 😬.

One thing that has definitely changed is our eating! We were eating straight junk food the first two weeks after we got back. Now that the weather is perfect we have been grilling almost every day.

These adobo bowls are so fresh and delicious! If you are going lower carb like me just skip the rice and beans here.

I love these because if you have anything left over it is so easy to toss into a wrap with some egg and have the best breakfast burrito. PS did you know mission tortilla has mini low carb wraps now? They are the perfect serving size and only 4 net carbs!

Ingredients

Boneless skinless chicken thighs

Chipotle chilis in adobo sauce

Garlic powder

2 limes

1 cup of prepared basmati rice

1 cup chopped peppers and onions

1 handful of asparagus

1 cup of pico or 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños

1 can of low fat refried beans

2 ears of sweet corn

Optional toppings: avocado, cheese, sour cream

Directions

Prepare a grill or grill pan

Marinade chicken thighs with 1 chopped chipotle chili and 2 tbsp of sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, salt /pepper, half of a lime juiced, 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Grilled until cooked through

Cook off your peppers and onions until fork tender ( I cook mine on the grill with a grill pan)

Grill the asparagus with a little olive oil and salt

Grill the corn with a little olive oil and salt (smoked paprika is good here too!)

Slice off the cobb and set to the side

Heat refried beans through

Toss the rice with the rest of the limes juiced, one lime zested, lots of pepper, salt to taste

Assemble the bowls! I like to put my veggies down and top with chicken, Patrick likes the rice and beans down and top with everything else

These are especially good with the chipotle Tabasco sauce drizzled on top!

Enjoy!!!! These are one of our favorite meals! Super easy for meal prep!

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Everything Bagel Creamy Grits

When I think breakfast I think savory, fluffy, toasty buttered breads. One of our favorite breakfast sandwiches is an everything bagel with eggs and bacon. The garlic onion crunchy topping is perfect.

Sometimes I am in the mood for something quick and we usually don’t have bread in the house so I experimented with some of my favor flavors!

Grits are definitely a southern thing. I actually can’t believe most of the people I meet either don’t like grits or like them with sugar. Anytime I have a grits recipe I usually enlist Patrick’s son to be my official taster. He loves his grits really creamy with lots of hot sauce.

These are soooo easy, but have a lot of flavor. We love the Trader Joe’s everything but the bagel seasoning, but you can definitely make your own. All you need is dehydrated chopped onion, garlic powder, sea salt, and black sesame seeds.

Ingredients

1 cup of fast cooking grits cooked to package instructions

2 tsp of everything bagel seasoning

1/2 tsp garlic powder

5 tbsp of butter

1/4 cup of cream cheese

1/2 cup of smoked Gouda

Directions

Cook grits to package instructions

Add cream cheese and 3 tbsp of butter

whip with a fork until creamy

Add in Gouda and garlic powder

Pour into two serving bowls

Top with butter and everything bagel seasoning

Enjoy!!

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Better Breakfast Sandwich

This past weekend was our wedding shower! Only 21 days until I am a Mrs!

I cannot wait! As much fun as the planning has been the past year, I am definitely ready to wrap it up!

So let’s talk about these sandwiches. One of my guilty pleasures is a sausage egg and cheese McMuffin. Obviously, that is not on my wedding approved food list. I decided to try and make a lightened up version.

These homemade English muffins are so airy and light. Once you toast them they are nearly identical to the popular fast food version. The sausage I made from scratch because I wanted to know exactly what was in them. Lots of fennel seeds and crushed red pepper make them soooo good.

Ingredients

1 pound of ground pork

1 tbsp of garlic

1 tsp of crushed red pepper

1 tsp of fennel

Salt and pepper

3 cups of bread flour

1 cup warm water

1 tbsp of sugar

1 packet of active yeast

1/2 tsp of salt

1 egg

2 tbsp butter

American cheese

Scrambled or steamed egg

Directions

In a mixer attach the dough hook

In the bowl add warm water, sugar and yeast until the yeast bubbles

Add in the butter and egg

Slowly add the flour and salt

Let rise for 1 hour

Roll into 6 even balls of dough

Heat a non stick skillet with oil or butter to medium low

Press down the dough balls

Cook each side for about 5 minutes

Mix the sausage with garlic, salt, pepper, crushed pepper, and fennel

Brown patty shapes in a skillet until cooked through

Toast the muffin and add the sausage, egg and cheese

Still a treat, but slightly less calories!

Enjoy!

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Crispy Salmon BLT

Our wedding is only a month away! I cannot believe how quickly everything has come together. We have been working on the finishing touches and the weather has not cooperated with my projects. It has been non stop rain. I’m hoping this means it will be nice and dry by the time the wedding day is here.

These Salmon BLTs are perfect for adding a little freshness during this dreary weather. Lemon aioli, spicy pepper bacon, juicy tomato, and fresh cut lettuce all do their part to liven up my favorite salmon.

You can use Texas toast or a lettuce wrap for these. We like the Publix onion rolls. They soak up all the aioli in the best way.

Ingredients

Green leafy lettuce

Tomato

Thick cut bacon (we like pepper crusted bacon)

1/4 cup of mayonnaise

Juice from 1 lettuce

Tsp black pepper

1 small white onion sliced

Bread

Fresh salmon filets

2 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil

Steak seasoning or a blend of garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper

1/2 tsp dill

Directions

Rub the filets with oil and season liberally

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Fry each side in a cast iron skillet

Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through

Fry a few pieces of bacon and use the excess fat to sauté the sliced onion

Mix mayo, lemon and pepper

Slather on both pieces of bread

Add tomato slices and lettuce

Add the salmon

Top with the onions and bacon

Now there is nothing left, but to enjoy multiple times a week!

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Banana Pudding Cupcakes

This post is in collaboration with Rodelle. All opinions are my own. Thank you for letting me support my favorite brands!

Happy Valentines Day! Every year I usually do some kind of extra chocolate recipe. This year I branched out and experimented with Patrick’s favorite flavor profile- banana pudding.

These cupcakes are super easy to throw together. They are perfect for those last minute party desserts! We don’t like artificial banana flavors so everything starts with a rich vanilla custard. Then I added fresh chopped banana.

You guys know I love Rodelle. Their line of extracts are some of the best I’ve ever baked with to date. For the filling I used the bakers extract which is a super rich vanilla with a creamy caramel/chocolate undertone and I also used the vanilla paste. The combination leaves you with such an amazing custard base that pairs perfectly with banana.

The frosting is my go to vanilla buttercream. Not too sweet, but very airy and creamy.

The chocolate hearts are optional, but super easy. You just melt your favorite baking chocolate and pour into a ziplock bag. Snip the bottom corner and draw your hearts! I put them in the freezer for 15 minutes for the best texture.

Ingredients

For the cake use your favorite recipe or box mix. I used a classic vanilla recipe.

For the filling

1 ripe banana chopped

1 egg yolk

2 1/2 cups of whole milk

1 tbsp of Rodelle bakers extract

2 tbsp of Rodelle vanilla paste

3 tsp of corn starch

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tbsp of salted butter

For the frosting

1 stick of salted butter

1 tbsp of vanilla extract or the bakers extract

3 cups of powdered sugar

1 tsp of cream or milk

For the top

Sliced banana, sprinkles, and chocolate hearts

Directions

For the filling

Heat the milk, vanilla paste, bakers extract, sugar, cornstarch, butter, and egg yolk over low heat.

Whisk until throughly mixed and turn heat to medium.

Whisk until mixture slightly bubbles and starts to thicken.

Remove from heat.

Add chopped banana and let cool in the fridge.

Add plastic wrap pushing to the top of the mix to avoid skin.

Scoop the middles out of the cupcakes and fill with the pudding once cooled.

For the frosting

Whip the butter and extracts.

Start adding the powdered sugar slowly.

Use the cream/milk if you need to thin the consistency.

Whip until you are happy with the texture.

Top your cupcakes and decorate!

I hope you all have an amazing holiday!!!

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Keto Buffalo Chicken Bites

One of my all time favorite snacks is a crispy fried chicken bite with hot sauce. Hot sauce is basically my favorite food. I just try to find things to put it on since it is not social acceptable to drink it from the bottle.

Chicken thighs are big on the keto diet because they are fatter. I just think they have more flavor and can hold a marinade better. I took a pound of chicken thighs and sliced them up. Coated them with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and some hot sauce. Wrapped them in uncured bacon and baked them until crispy.

An extra drizzle of buttery hot sauce and they are ready to dip!

These are right on par with a traditional chicken bite with less calories believe it or not! If you use a low sodium uncured bacon they are even better.

Ingredients

One pound of chicken thighs

1 pound of uncured bacon

1/2 cup of hot sauce

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of butter

Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Slice chicken thighs into bite size pieces. You can get about 3 pieces per thigh.

Marinate chicken with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a drizzle of hot sauce. (15 minutes or so)

Wrap each piece of chicken in one piece of bacon.

Bake until crispy. About 20 minutes.

Melt butter with remaining hot sauce.

Brush onto the chicken bites.

Enjoy !!!!

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Keto Peanut Butter Cookies

Have you ever tried to go low sugar before? Your taste buds completely change. Things are way saltier to me now. I played around with this recipe until I found a texture that matched my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe the closest.

The key here is to use room temperature butter and really whip it to get as much air as possible in the batter. Typically I am super against airy batter, but in this case it just works. If you don’t whip your batter the cookies will be pretty dry and crumbly.

You can add peanut chunks or pecans too! I think that would make an awesome topper.

Ingredients

1 cup natural peanut butter ( mine only had the ingredient peanuts)

5 drops liquid stevia

2 eggs

1 cup soft butter

1 1/2 cups of almond flour

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Whip butter until light and airy about 4 minutes

Add 2 eggs and continue until nice and fluffy

Add vanilla, cinnamon, and stevia

Incorporate almond flour and baking powder

Scoop batter onto a parchment paper lined pan

Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown

Enjoy!

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