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Five for Friday! (And thoughts about turning 30)

This is 30. Nothing glamorous or grand. Blurry iPhone pic and all.

Yesterday was my big 3-0. It feels very surreal because 30 has always been an age I put a lot of weight on. As a kid, I always thought that when I turned 30, I would be so put together, accomplished, debt-free, and I would know what I wanted to be when I grew up. In fact, I thought I would already be succeeding in my “dream job,” whatever that was.

And here I am, a stay at home mom, sometimes feeling as though I am surviving one day at a time, and no where near what I thought I would be at the age of 30. But here’s the thing I’ve realized…I had these ideas about where I would be and should be by now, but those ideas completely skipped over all the steps in between. When I was in middle school imagining the mythical age of 30, I didn’t know that I would go to college, marry someone in the military, move overseas, travel to places i had only seen in the movies, go to beauty school, have twin girls, move to Charleston and the list goes on. All I considered was the destination, never the journey.

The weird thing is, life is nothing like middle school Holly imagined it would be, but I’m the most content that I’ve ever been. I look around and things are pretty dang good. Of course there’s always room for improvement and I’m always striving to be better and do better, but I feel extremely fortunate for all that surrounds me.

Cheers to the next 30!

Now, Five for Friday, shall we? Also, I totally cheated and gave you lots of bonus links today…

Beauty :: If you are not already a Sephora Insider member, you definitely need to get on that! It’s free and with every purchase you earn points that can be redeemed for various products at any time. Just go to Sephora’s website to sign up. Right now they are holding their Holiday Insider Event. Rouge members have already had their discount days, but if you’re a VIB or Beauty Insider (depends on how much $ you spend at Sephora in a calendar year), your discount days are coming up! It’s a great time of year to stock up on your favorites, plus buy gifts for the holidays.

VIB Members: 20% off 11/9-11/12 with code: VIBBONUS

Insider Members: 15% off 11/16-11/19 with code: BIBONUS

Here’s a few of my favorite Sephora finds:

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation
Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder
Bite Agave Lip Mask
Bumble and Bumble Save the Day Daytime Protective Repair Fluid
IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream
Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara

They also have such great gift sets from some of my favorite brands. These are a few caught my eye:

BeautyBlender
Tatcha
First Aid Beauty
Bite Beauty

Food :: I’ve been feeling crummy because I have eaten WAY too much sugar since Halloween. Now that our week of fun is over, I’m back to cutting out sugar and excessive carbs. These Swedish Meatballs look amazing! I think I’ll serve them over garlicky zoodles.

Fashion :: I’m on the hunt for a holiday party dress. One of my favorite places to look for dresses on a budget is Lulu’s. This one is calling my name.

Home :: Several months ago I was in the market for new curtains. A friend of mine surprised me when she said that JCPenny has a great selection of curtains. I ended up finding these and they were perfect for brightening up my bedroom.

Random/Miscellaneous :: We are tossing around the idea of cancelling our DirectTV when our contract ends in January and getting a Amazon Fire Stick or appleTV to cut down on our bill. Do you have either? We are total newbies and have no idea which direction to go. AppleTV seems so much more expensive, but why? What is the difference? Help us out!

Recipes, Uncategorized

Creamy Chicken Soup

Things have been a little quiet over here for the past week on butter+blush. My family has had such a fun week with Halloween, my girls’ 3rd birthday, a friend visiting, a big grilling party at our house, a night out to celebrate my 30th coming up and then Monday night, I started feeling sick. Womp, womp. Too much fun and too many late nights and my body said NOPE. I guess this is what being 30 is like. So here I am nursing myself back to health with hot tea and *ding, ding, ding* this chicken soup!

This is one of my favorite soups ever. It’s creamy, hearty and full of flavor, but it’s a little on the indulgent side for my current lifestyle. I decided to use that recipe as a spring board to create a soup that doesn’t pack the high carb and fat content and I’m really pleased with how this turned out. If you find yourself feeling like junk, then I highly recommend whipping this up. Or even if you don’t feel like junk and you want something full of veggies and flavor, then that’s a good reason too. If you’re dairy-free, I think substituting a milk alternative would be just fine, but you could also leave the dairy out all together and adjust the seasoning a bit so it’s not too salty.

Ingredients:

2 TBS avocado oil
2 TBS butter
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cups cooked chicken*
1 1/2 TBS chicken powder
32 oz chicken broth
1.5 TBS Herbs de Provence
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 bay leaves
1 TBS parsley
1.5 cups whole milk, half and half or heavy whipping cream

1) Heat the butter and oil over medium high heat. Add the veggies and cook, stirring often, until crisp tender.

2) Add the rest of the ingredients, crank the heat up to high and bring to a boil.

3) Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 min.

4) Taste and adjust seasoning and add salt if necessary.

5) Cozy up and enjoy!

*You could use rotisserie chicken or leftover baked, grilled or boiled chicken. Chopped or shredded is fine.

Recipes, Uncategorized

Easiest Ever 4 Ingredient Taco Chili (Keto Friendly)

Can you tell that I am full force into fall mode? It’s true. When the weather dips below 80, I’m gone and never look back. So here is another chili recipe not even 3 weeks after the last chili recipe. It’s just who I am.

Last night we were in a huge hurry to get to church for our small group meetings. I defrosted some ground beef the day before and needed to do something with it for dinner. I had VERY minimal ingredients available (my fridge is looking SAD) and only about 20 min to cook.

Here’s what I came up with.

Ingredients:

2 lbs lean ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

4-5 Tbs Pioneer Woman’s Taco Seasoning (I make a large batch and keep it in an airtight container)

1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce

*optional toppings: additional chopped onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole or fresh avocado, salsa

1) Brown ground beef and onion in a splash of oil on medium-high.

2) Sprinkle taco seasoning over the top and stir to combine.

3) Add can of tomato sauce. Stir occasionally while bringing to a simmer.

4) Turn the heat down and simmer on low for 5-10 min.

5) Serve hot with your choice of toppings. Enjoy!

*If you aren’t low carb, you could always add a can of beans (black, pinto or kidney would all work) and/or serve over rice.*

Beauty, Uncategorized

Makeup Monday: Favorite Affordable Cruelty Free Products

I was going to title this “Favorite Cruelty Free Drug Store Products”, but not all of these can be found at your local CVS or Walgreens. Next to each item I have noted where I have seen each item sold and, if you click on the product, the link will send you where you can order it online.

I used to have this crazy idea that makeup had to be high end to be good quality. I don’t know where I came up with that (probably social media), but I was so wrong. I have tried $60 foundations that have flopped, while my most used foundation in my collection is under $13 (read more about it below)! Price really does not always dictate quality and I am here to tell you all the deets about my favorite affordable makeup products.

Foundation ::

Physicians Formula Healthy Foundation ~$11-13 (Walmart, Ulta, Target)
Hands down, this is the best drug store foundation that I have ever tried and I have tried several. I have combination skin that leans more to the dry end most of the time so I like this foundation because it’s hydrating, but it doesn’t slide off your skin. It comes in 16 shades and the finish is dewy without being sticky. I often choose this foundation over high end products because it’s just that good. I wear shade LN3. *Hint, a lot of places often run Buy One, Get One 50% off savings on Physicians Formula, so keep an eye out for a sweet deal!*

Bronzer ::

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer $14.99 (Walmart, Ulta, Target)
This bronzing powder lives up to its name. It’s smooth and buttery on the skin and blends like a dream! The undertone is perfect because it’s not too orange or red, so it’s flattering on so many skin tones. There are 4 different shades to suit various skin tones. I wear the shade Light.

Blush ::

e.l.f. Cosmetics Powder Blush Palette $6 (Target, Ulta)
For the price, you cannot beat these blush palettes. There are two versions – one for lighter skin tones and one for darker skin tones (pictured above) – and they come with 4 shades in each. If I had one complaint, it is that they are a little bit dusty when you pick up the product on the brush making it a little messy in the compact. It doesn’t particularly bother me because they blend like a dream.

Milani Color Harmony Blush in Coral Beams $12.99 (Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Ulta)
This blush is a stunner. I typically don’t choose a blush with shimmer, but this warm toned shade is an exception because it goes on so smoothly and gives the prettiest glow. This product is a triple threat because I can skip bronzer and highlighter on quick makeup day because this one does it all. It is also a fantastic dupe for MAC Margin.

Lipstick ::

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creme $6.49 (Target, Ulta)
The name says it all…they’re soft, they’re matte and they have a creamy consistency. I love these lip cremes because they aren’t too drying, they’re long lasting and they come in a million different shades. It is a matte formula, but they don’t make my lips look cracked and scaly like a lot of mattes do. I love the shade Montreal.

Milani Color Statement Lipstick$5.99 (Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Ulta)
These lipsticks just feel good on the lips. They’re easy to wear and so comfortable. I personally love the shades Teddy Bare and Pretty Natural. Blend them together and you get a fantastic dupe for MAC Twig, which was one of my favorite shades before switching over to cruelty free products.

Gloss ::

NYX Butter Gloss $4.99 (Target, Ulta)
NYX coming in hot with another killer product. These glosses are soft, not sticky and don’t wear off giving that weird line on the inner rim of your lips. I know some of you know what I’m talking about! They also come in a ton of shades, so there’s something for everyone. My favorite color is Tiramisu.

Eyeliner ::

e.l.f. Cosmetics Lock On Liner & Brow Cream $4.00 (Target, Ulta)
This eyeliner comes in a little pot and is applied with a brush. I prefer this method for doing winged liner because I feel like I have more control with a brush rather than a pen style liquid eyeliner. I love the espresso shade for those with lighter skin tones because black can sometimes look a bit harsh.

Mascara ::

Essence 18 hr Volume $4.99 (Ulta)
This mascara packs a punch. It gives great volume and length and at under $5, you can’t beat it. My only complaint is that it’s a little heavy duty and can be difficult to remove.

Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volume Mascara $3.49 (Walgreens)
This brand is a new discovery for me. I decided to give my lashes a break from the Essence mascara mentioned above and really fell in love with this one. It gives my lashes a lot of oomf and doesn’t crumble or transfer.

Pixi by Petra Lower Lash Mascara $11 (Target)
To some of you, it may seem pretty extra to have a special mascara dedicated to your lower lashes, but I don’t care because this teeny tiny brush grabs every single lash and it never transfers onto the skin throughout the day. I love it and I never use anything else on my lower lash line anymore.

Lashes ::

Ardell $3.49-$6.49 (Walgreens, Target, Ulta)
I like Ardell lashes because they have a style for everyone. They have very subtle lashes, like the style Beauties, and they have big, voluminous styles in their Double Up collection. My personal favorites are the Demi 120 lashes because I like the tapered end to create a cat eye look. Next time I need a new pair, I’m going to grab some of the faux mink lashes because they look so lightweight and comfortable.

Setting Spray ::

Morphe Continuous Setting Mist $15 (Ulta)
This is the only setting spray I’ve ever used that comes in an aerosol can. It’s pretty genius because the product comes out in such a fine, even mist. I’ve tried other products, but I keep coming back to this one.

What are some of your favorite cruelty free products? I am always looking for new things to try out!

Uncategorized

Five for Friday!

Happy weekend, y’all!

This week (specifically Wednesday) has been a doozy with my girls. I read something about a three day full moon and I’m convinced that was the cause of the madness. Nearly every other mom I’ve talked to has had far more than their usual frustrations with their kiddos, so if you’ve had a rough week, you are not alone!!

Elliot and I are headed to the Coastal Carolina Fair tonight and I’m so excited! I have never been before and I’m beyond ready for a deep fried Oreo or Snickers…or both. I know, I know, I’m generally a low carb girl, but you gotta live a little! Walker Hayes is also playing and I’m so excited to see him live. He’s definitely one of my favorites…and that jaw line…oh my lawd!

Here’s what I have been looking at this week!

Beauty :: As you might have watched on my Instagram stories, I’ve been slowly changing all of my skincare over to Dermalogica. The products are pricey, so it’s been a gradual switch over the last couple of months, but I am loving the way they work with my skin. I have some wrinkles on my forehead that bother me (my 30th birthday is in two weeks…*silent sobs*), so I’ve been considering getting a chemical peel as opposed to going the Botox route to see how much it would lift them. I shopped around and found that the prices were a little steep for my budget considering the holidays are coming up ($150-200+), so I put that idea on hold. Well, I happened to stumble upon this new at home peel kit from Dermalogica. With my professionals discount, it was only $109 and it came with 10 peel treatments, a full size moisturizer with spf 50 and a travel sized cleanser and hydrating toner. It arrived yesterday and I couldn’t wait to give it a try! I did the first peel last night and my first impression is that it is an incredible product. My skin feels like a baby’s butt today and my wrinkles are actually already improved and I’ve only done the first treatment! Crazy! I can’t wait to finish all 10 treatments over the next several weeks and give you guys a full review with before and after pictures.

Food :: I am a straight sucker for pizza, so when I started eating low carb/keto, I wondered if there was a way I could still indulge in one of my favorite treats without over doing it on the carbs. Enter Fat Head Pizza Crust. With a mixture of cheeses and almond flour and only your microwave, you can create a thin crust pizza dough that will definitely satisfy your cravings without going crazy with carbs. Give it a try!

Fashion :: I am one of those people who loves a lot of current fashion trends on OTHER PEOPLE, but I am always at least a year or two behind actually jumping on board. I hold back for way too long and then once I decide to go for it, I love it and I’m mad at myself that I didn’t go for it sooner. That’s definitely what I did with the ankle boot trend. Yes, I know they’ve been in style for like…4 or 5 years now, but I was a riding boot kind of girl for so long. I was afraid that ankle boots wouldn’t balance out my lower half the way that riding boots do. I still don’t know if they do create the same sort of balance, but I love ankle boots just the same. I especially like pairs that have a little bit of a heel to give me some height and I have been eyeing this affordable pair for a while now.

Home :: I got my hair done yesterday and my stylist, Kameron, has just moved to a brand new salon (Salon on Main in Moncks Corner for all of you local gals!) and I was in LOVE with these mirrors that they had on the wall. They’re from Kirklands and super affordable considering how large they are and I am trying to find a place in my house where I can put one or two.

Random//Miscellaneous :: If you’re looking for toddler girl jeans, look no further than Old Navy. They carry skinny jeans, jeggings and boyfriend jeans for toddlers that are affordable, stretchy and have buttons inside the waistband to adjust them. They also have great sales pretty much daily, so if they’re not on sale today, look next week and they probably will be. I got the girls these yesterday and they look so adorable on them! I want to go back and get another pair in a pretty fall color. I’ll probably get maroon because…Gig em.

Hope you are able to get outside and enjoy some pretty fall weather this weekend! Have a great one!

Beauty, Uncategorized

Makeup Monday: 15 Minute Makeup

 

I have been challenging myself lately to see just how quickly I can get ready. There are definitely days when I can (and want) to spend an hour doing my hair and makeup, but those days are few and far between. Most of the time, I only cleanse my skin and apply moisturizer and SPF, but there are days when I want to do a little more so I feel more put together when I’m out and about. As every mama knows, speed is the key to anything in this life and that’s where these makeup tips will come into play. Last week, I actually timed myself! Here is the screen shot to prove it:

img_0669

FIFTEEN MINUTES, Y’ALL! I wouldn’t say I was racing through it, but when I am trying to get ready quickly, I prioritize. For me, the most important things to make me look fresh and awake are: a more even complexion because I have a lot of redness on my cheeks and dark circles (#momlife), mascara to open up the eyes, brows to frame my face and something on my lips. I used lipstick for this post, but even just a clear balm makes my lips look healthier.

I like this look because it requires minimal everything – time, products and tools. My primary tip for getting ready quickly is to use minimal products. You will notice that I don’t necessarily skip any part of the face, it’s just all simplified. I used the same bronzer, blush, and highlighter on my cheeks and my eyes. One other little tip would be to keep the makeup and brushes that you’ll use for a quick makeup look separate from all of your other products. That way, when you’re in a hurry, you can grab only what you need and you won’t have to look for anything. The less time you spend digging through your bag or drawer, the faster you’ll be.

There are minimal tools required for this – only 3 brushes and a damp beauty sponge. I listed the products that I used, but I recommend using whatever you already have and like. These items are just my favorites these days, so unless you’re looking for something new, stick with what you love.

Here’s how you can create this look on yourself:

1) Base: With a Real Techniques beauty sponge, blend out Physicians Formula Healthy Foundation all over (nothing new here!).
2) Conceal: Dot a small amount of Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (I used Fair Neutral) under your eyes and with the same sponge, tap and blend that in. Use whatever is leftover on the sponge to conceal the tops of your eyelids to eliminate any veins or discoloration.
3) Set It: Then, dip the same sponge into some Cover FX Perfecting Powder and tap it over the concealer to set it.
4) Bronze: Swirl a Morphe R2 brush in Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer (I use the Light shade), tap off the excess and apply it to the top of the forehead and the cheek bones to warm up your face and give it a little definition.
5) Blush: With a Morphe E4, apply Tarte 12-Hour Blush in Risque to the apples of your cheeks.
6) Highlight: With your finger, apply a little Colourpop Lunch Money Highlighter to the tops of your cheeks, inner corner of your eyes and down the center of your nose (and the very tip of your nose if you like that.)
7) Eyes: With a Morphe M504 brush, apply the same bronzer to the crease of your eyes and blend up toward the brow. With the same brush take a little of the blush and do the same thing. This is going to create some definition on your eyes, as well as a really nice monochromatic look across your whole face. Apply some Essence 18 hr Volume Mascara on your top lashes and Pixi Lower Lash on bottom.
8) Brows: Use a tinted brow gel (I used Tarte Busy Gal Brows in Taupe) to add some color and definition, but also to keep those babies in place.
9) Lips: Finish it off with some Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Pretty Natural.

If you decide to give this a go, time yourself and let me know how long it takes you!

Uncategorized

Five for Friday!

Elliot and me at the A&M vs. University of South Carolina game last weekend

I’ve decided to start doing something called Five for Friday! I am certain I haven’t invented this catchphrase, but this is where I will share links for 5 things that have caught my eye lately. The categories will be Beauty, Food, Fashion, Home, and Random/Miscellaneous. Honestly, it’s probably going to be hard for me to only include one link for some of these categories, so you might get some bonus links in there occasionally! So, here we go! My first Five for Friday! Happy weekend, everyone!

Beauty :: I have been enjoying the finish of the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation for a couple of months now, but I have been back and forth to Sephora and Ulta to try to find a color that looks right on my skin tone. They are all very yellow, even the ones that claim to be “neutral” or “rosy,” so I am considering returning it and trying something completely different since I haven’t had much success. I am curious about this foundation by Urban Decay. Has anyone tried it?

Food :: Made this soup this week and it is delicious – creamy, hearty, smooth and comforting. It’s the perfect fall dinner and my kids even ate it! *Disclaimer: I forgot to order ham in my grocery order, so I substituted cooked bacon instead (obviously a happy mistake). I also did a mixture of additional chicken broth and heavy cream instead of half & half.

Fashion :: BlankNYC has the best faux leather and suede jackets and they are very reasonably priced. I got a black faux leather one with gold hardware last year for Christmas and I can’t wait for it to be cool enough in Charleston to wear it. Maybe that will happen sometime in January?? (Insert eye rolling emoji here.) The one I have isn’t available at Nordstrom anymore, but I really love the color of this one for something a little different than your standard black, but still a neutral.

Home :: Ohhh my goodness. I could post SO MANY links of home items. Over the last 2 years since moving into our first home, I have swooned over many things and realized that it is freaking expensive to decorate your home! We’ve worked room by room to furnish the house and our master is the last one to finish. We still need nightstands, lamps and a piece to go over the bed…I’ll probably decide and purchase all of these items just in time for me to change my mind and want to redecorate, ha! I have my eyes on these nightstands, I am just waiting for Wayfair to have a sale and then I might snag them.

Random :: Several of you have asked me for the link for the Keto course that I took to get started back in June. Here it is! It is completely free and takes about 1-2 hours to complete. It will teach you all you need to know about what keto is, the benefits and how to calculate your macros so you can be successful!

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Makeup Monday: Lauren

THOSE FRECKLES! THOSE BLUE EYES!

Since I don’t have freckles myself and haven’t really worked with freckled skin before, I was back and forth a bit about what to do. “Do I use full coverage foundation and cover them up or do I let them shine through?” As I considered this, I asked Lauren if she had a particular look she would like me to do and thought I would base my decision on whatever she requested. She shocked me by saying that she doesn’t ever wear makeup and I could do whatever I wanted! I see Lauren fairly regularly because my babysits my girls and there have been many occasions that I assumed she had makeup on because she’s so beautiful! BUT NOPE! She’s just a natural beauty!

So based on the fact that she doesn’t regularly wear makeup, I decided to go pretty light handed. I wanted to enhance her features and add warmth and glow, but she was going to a concert that night and I wanted her to feel comfortable. I wanted her to wear the makeup, not for the makeup to wear her, ya know? I LOVE how everything turned out.

Before & After:

 

Here’s what I did:

1) Mixed IT Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair and Physician’s Formula Healthy Foundation in LN3 and applied all over with a Morphe Beauty Sponge.
2) Concealed her under eyes with Too Faced Concealer in Almond and Colourpop No Filter Concealer (unsure of the shade-I think it’s Fair Neutral??).
3) Set the under eye with Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder and with what was left on the brush I tapped around the areas where I would add more powder products (bronzer, blush, etc). This helps take the tackiness from the foundation so the other powders apply more smoothly.
4) I bronzed the high points of the face using the Butter Bronzer by Physicians Formula in Light (top of the forehead & cheekbones).
5) For highlight, I applied a mixture of Mary Lou-minizer by theBalm and Cargo Bronze on the tops of the cheek bones, a little on the tip of the nose and chin.
6) I used Tarte Majesty (a light peachy tone) for blush to keep things warm.
7) For her eyes, I wanted to keep it warm and natural. I wanted it to be a subtle gradient from lighter on the inner corner to darker on the outer corner. I used the same Butter Bronzer in her crease as a transition shade (more info on transition colors coming soon!) and the Cargo Bronze highlight all over the lid. Then from the Jaclyn Hill Palette by Morphe, I used Creamsicle (lower crease), Buns (outer corner), Beam (inner corner and right under her brows) and Central Park (used as eyeliner across the top and halfway along the lower lashes). As usual, I used Essence 18 hr Volume Mascara on her top lashes and Pixi Lower Lash mascara on the bottom lashes.
8) I filled in her brows with Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Definer in Taupe.
9) For lips, I applied Tarte Lip Gloss in Exposed.

Recipes, Uncategorized

Low Carb White Chili

I am a straight sucker for soups and chili. I am guilty of making them in the dead of summer because I really like a one pot wonder type of dish…you know, something that doesn’t require extra sides to dress it up and is fantastic leftover! I want to be able to throw last night’s dinner in the microwave and have the easiest lunch ever. #mealprep, amiright?

As I’ve said before, I eat low carb/keto, so I needed figure out a way to enjoy one of my favorite dishes, white chicken chili, without the beans. I didn’t want it to be just meat and broth, so I decided I would subtract the beans and bulk it up with chopped zucchini instead. I made this for the first time sort of on a whim and didn’t have one of the key ingredients on hand – green chile. So being the creative genius that I am (ha!), I just took the jar of salsa I had in my fridge and used that instead. And guess what? Magic happened. I now have to make this in double batches because it disappears so quickly in our house. No kidding, I will double the recipe and it will still be gone within 3 days.

Also, if you can chop a vegetable, you can make this recipe. It is so straight forward and simple that from start to finish, you could have a hot bowl of chile ready in less than an hour. Get after it!

Ingredients:

1-1 1/2 lbs of ground chicken (or turkey…or pork…or a mixture of any of the three)
1/4 large onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup of salsa or chopped green chile
12 ounces chicken or veggie stock
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne *optional – if you use a spicy salsa, you might want to omit the cayenne
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

1) Season meat and onion with garlic powder, salt and pepper and brown on medium high.
2) Add chopped zucchini, salsa, stock and spices and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and allow to simmer until zucchini is cooked through and tender.
3) Add sour cream and heavy whipping cream and heat through.
4) Serve hot and garnish with any of the following: shredded cheese, extra sour cream, sliced avocado, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, etc.

Uncategorized

Low Carb/Keto Chocolate Treat

If I learned anything from binge watching episodes of Barefoot Contessa with my friend Caitlyn in college, it is that you can enhance certain flavors by adding particular ingredients. I remember a specific episode where she talked about chocolate and the one thing that really brings out the richness of it – coffee. Mmm, chocolate and coffee. Two of my biggest loves.

That being said, something you should know about me is that I can never just leave a recipe alone. I always feel compelled to adapt the ingredients to make it exactly what I want. This could mean taking things out, adding things, substituting one vegetable for another, etc. A recipe is rarely ever written just right, and like most recipes, I took this Two-Ingredient Chocolate Pudding recipe and adjusted it to my taste. Yes, you could absolutely keep it just two ingredients, but I think my additions make this chocolaty dessert just a little more special.

I personally really like this little treat. My husband wasn’t crazy about it, but I think he was expecting a velvety smooth “Snack Pack” type texture, and that’s just not what you get with this. I think the fat in the coconut milk sets a little when it’s chilled, so if you have any tips for getting a smooth, pudding like texture with coconut milk, please share!! I am going to do a little research and try a few more methods, but for the mean time, here’s what I’ve come up with! Also, if your taste buds are used to a lot of sugar, this may not be sweet enough for you. For me, this is a perfect dessert to kick my sweet tooth and cure my chocolate cravings.

Ingredients:

1 can full fat coconut milk
5 oz dark chocolate (at least 75% cocoa, the higher the better if you are watching your sugar/carbs)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp brewed coffee (preferably at room temperature)
Pinch of salt
Stevia drops (if desired)
Fresh berries (optional, but highly recommended!)

Combine all ingredients except for the berries in a saucepan on low heat, whisking constantly until melted and combined. Pour into a glass container or individual ramekins and cover. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Serve chilled with fresh berries on top!