Jalapeño Popper Chicken (THM S)

This quick and easy main dish packs in all the flavor of bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers without a ton of the work. I’ve even included in a more kid-friendly option, so the whole family can enjoy it.

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Jalapeño poppers are one of my favorite things. I mean, cheese, spicy peppers, and bacon?! How can you go wrong?

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I roasted my jalapeños under the broiler for a few minutes to soften them. Turn on your broiler to “normal,” halve the peppers lengthwise and spritz with coconut oil spray. Roast on both sides for about 5-7 minutes or until the skin begins to blister.

Place the peppers into a heat-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap then cool. This helps steam the pepper and release the skin from the flesh of the pepper. When they’re cool enough to handle, peel the skin away and roughly chop.

If you prefer them raw, just finely mince them instead of chopping so that there aren’t any huge pieces of raw pepper.

Next, grill 2lbs of thinly cut chicken breasts. My shortcut is to use the scallopini cut breasts from the store, but you can also slice them thinner yourself. Season simply with salt and pepper, and throw them onto the grill.

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Mix the jalapeño with softened cream cheese, salt and pepper, then top each breast with a few tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture and top with shredded sharp cheddar. [For the kiddos, I did not add jalapeño to their cream cheese. My daughter enjoys spicy food, but my son not so much.]

Bake the chicken for about 10 minutes at 350, or until the cheeses are melted and bubbling.

Top with chopped cooked bacon, and enjoy!

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My kiddos are bacon lovers, and they devoured this main dish. The best part for me was how easy it was to make. I prepped the bacon and roasted peppers ahead of time, then the rest (with sides) came together in about 15 minutes. Perfect for those busy weeknights!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Jalapeño Popper Chicken (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 2lbs scallopini (or thinly sliced) chicken breasts
  • 3 jalapeños, roasted and chopped
  • 6oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Grill the chicken breasts and set aside.
  2. Combine the roasted jalapeños with the softened cream cheese. *If you have kids you’re making this for also, reserve some of the cream cheese without jalapeños for their portions.
  3. Top each chicken breast with about 2 Tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture, spreading it around evenly.
  4. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar, and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, or broil for about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Top with crumbled bacon and enjoy!

Creamy Cauli Grits (THM S)

Let me tell you about one of my new favorite sides – cauliflower grits!

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Cauliflower is a super food that can take on many roles – mashed cauliflower, roasted cauliflower, cauliflower steaks, and dairy free Alfredo sauce, just to name a few.

I’ve tried these grits a few times, but this recipe really hit it out of the park. They were creamy, flavorful, and a perfect breakfast or dinner pairing. This recipe actually went with my Southern-Style Shrimp and Grits, but I also ate the leftovers as a lovely breakfast side a few days later.

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The best part is that these come together in under 10 minutes, and all you need is a microwave and a food processor.

Start by roughly chopping a small head of raw cauliflower. Toss it all into your food processor, and pulse until it’s finely minced. [Do not rinse out the raw cauli bits after pulsing. It helps add texture to your grits, so leave ’em.

Place the minced cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl and cover with heat-safe plastic wrap. No water, nothing added to the cauliflower – just cover it. Throw it into the microwave on high for 6-7 minutes. My microwave is aging, so it generally takes longer whereas newer microwaves will take less time to cook the cauliflower. It won’t be completely soft – it will still have an al dente “bite” to it, but that’s what you want!

Carefully peel back the plastic, then place the (hot!) cauliflower back into your food processor (with the raw bits), add the butter, nutritional yeast, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, a few shakes of hot sauce, and the cream/half and half. Pulse a few more times until the grits are creamy and all the ingredients are incorporated. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and serve right away.

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You won’t believe how easy it is to make these cauli grits. It’s one of those low-maintenance sides you can throw together in minutes while your main dish simmers.

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And can we talk about TASTY?! The texture alone was just dreamy. You hear cauli grits and think, “OK, just more cauliflower mush.” NOPE. They have texture and depth of flavor – you get a little heat from the hot pepper sauce and creaminess from the butter, cream cheese, and sharp cheddar – it’s the perfect balance.

Try these with your low carb breakfast or for dinner (Shrimp and Grits, HAY). They’re perfect any time!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Creamy Cauli Grits (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 c grated sharp cheddar cheese (bagged or fresh grated is fine)
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2oz cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2-3 Tbsp heavy cream or half and half
  • 8-10 dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Add the raw cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until finely minced.
  2. Place into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 7-8 minutes. (Newer microwaves start on the lower time. Don’t rinse the raw bits of cauliflower out of your food processor.)
  3. Carefully remove the plastic and place the hot cauliflower back into the food processor.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as needed. Serve immediately.

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Cake (THM S)

In case you weren’t already aware, blueberry and lemon are best buds. They should always hang out together, because they are a dynamic duo. Sweet blueberries against the tart freshness of lemon – it just doesn’t get any better in my book.

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I call this a breakfast cake, because I more often than not eat this at breakfast or lunch. Really, you can eat it anytime. No one’s going to stop you!

For the dry base of the cake, combine almond flour, oat fiber (not oat flour – there is a difference), whey protein isolate (for a protein kick), baking powder, salt, and Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet. I used both oat fiber and whey for two reasons: 1) I wanted to give the cake a sturdy texture and 2) I wanted to tone down the sometimes aggressive flavor of the whey.

For the wet base, combine the almond milk, vanilla, melted coconut oil, zest of 1 lemon, and juice of 1/2 the lemon.

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Combine the two bowls of ingredients, whisking until there are no lumps.

Next, prepare the blueberries. I used frozen berries, because it’s what I had on hand but you could use fresh if you like. Combine the frozen berries with 1 Tbsp of coconut flour and toss them together.

This helps create a little flotation device for the berries that helps them to stick in the cake batter without sinking to the bottom once the cake bakes. [It is so annoying when that happens!]

Prepare an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil spray and a square of parchment paper in the bottom.

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Pour the batter in, and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

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As you can see, the top of the cake doesn’t brown as much as the sides. Make sure you look there for doneness first, and check the middle with a toothpick start around 30 minutes of bake time. It’s OK if it puffs a little, it will reduce as it cools and you can (gently) press it back down if needed.

Let the cake cool completely, then prepare the glaze.

Beat together the cream cheese, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, lemon juice, and vanilla until the mixture is slightly fluffy. One tablespoon at a time, add the almond milk until the mixture is thick, yet pourable. Pour it right over the top of the cake, letting it go down the sides and wherever it pleases. Just gently spread it with a spatula so that all sides are evenly coated.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate for future use.

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The cake is perfectly moist with tiny bursts of blueberry throughout. The glaze is smooth, velvety, and zesty with the fresh lemon. It’s the perfect breakfast or snack time pick-me-up.

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Cake (THM S)

  • Servings: Serves 9
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. For the cake, combine the almond flour, oat fiber, whey, baking powder, salt, and sweetener in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, almond milk, coconut oil, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until there are no lumps.
  4. Toss the blueberries with the coconut flour, then fold them into the cake batter.
  5. Line an 8×8 pan with a square of parchment paper, and spray with coconut oil. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Cool the cake completely and make the glaze.
  8. For the glaze, beat together the softened cream cheese, sweetener, lemon juice, and vanilla. When the cream cheese is slightly fluffy, beat in the almond milk 1 Tbsp at a time. The mixture should be thick, but pourable.
  9. Pour the glaze over the cake, and spread it evenly with a spatula. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.


 

 

Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes (THM S)

These strawberry cupcakes are not only fresh and tasty, but so easy to make!

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These cupcakes are a celebration of the beautiful, fresh strawberries of Spring. They’re popping up by the gallon at our local farmer’s markets in Georgia already, and I just can’t resist them.

For the batter and frosting, you’ll need to make a batch of my Strawberry Sauce. It helps preserve your fresh berries while readying them for different recipes: baked goods, pies, syrups, or pour it over ice cream.

For the cupcakes, combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: almond flour, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, strawberry sauce, lemon zest and juice.

Whisk the wet into the dry mixture until just combined. For a deeper pink color, you can add food coloring if you like. I liked the natural look, so mine are pictured with no additional coloring.

Scoop the mixture into a lined cupcake pan [I love using an ice cream scoop for this! Makes the portions even, and one scoop is the perfect amount of batter.]

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Bake the cupcakes in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned and fully set in the middle.

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Allow the cupcakes to cool completely while you make the frosting.

For the strawberry frosting, combine the softened cream cheese, butter, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Once the mixture is slightly fluffy, add the strawberry sauce and whip until fully incorporated.

Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a tip, and pipe some onto each cupcake.

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These cupcakes are moist with the lightly sweet and tart flavor of fresh strawberries. The frosting is the perfect creamy complement to these delicate cupcakes.

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My kiddos enjoyed these very much [probably because I let them have cupcakes for breakfast a few times ^_~]. Adults will love them too!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes (THM S)

  • Servings: Makes 12-15
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

    For the Cupcakes:
  • 2 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/3 c Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 c Strawberry Sauce
  • For the Strawberry Frosting:
  • 2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet
  • 1/3 c Strawberry Sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. For the cupcakes, combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
  3. Whisk the wet into the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
  4. Scoop the batter into a lined cupcake pan.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned and fully set in the middle. Cool completely while you make the frosting.
  6. Combine all ingredients for the frosting except the strawberry sauce and whip with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  7. Add in the strawberry sauce, and beat again until fluffy.
  8. Pipe or spread the frosting even onto each cupcake. Serve immediately or refrigerate if making more than 24 hours ahead of serving.

 

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers with Sweet Sriracha Sauce (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Let it be known that I am a bacon fiend. I eat bacon morning, noon, and night. When I discovered the glory of homemade jalapeño poppers using bacon – shut the front door!

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I’ve seen many bloggers make these poppers before – this isn’t new. However, I almost never see a sauce with them. Ranch, I know, is probably a favored staple. While I have a very special place in my heart for ranch, I much prefer a sauce with some heat.

Enter: Sriracha.

If you haven’t been introduced to the glory that is Sriracha, you need to get on it. It packs the heat of chiles minus the vinegar-y flavor you get with hot sauce. Even my kids love Sriracha! [Side note: My older toddler, who loves all things spicy (totally my kid) was all over these poppers. Even my younger one was digging them – more like, he was taking the bacon off the jalapeño and dipping it in the sauce, but I still count that as a win.]

The crowning glory of this appetizer is that it’s insanely easy to make. The poppers take just 3 ingredients, and the sauce is 3 ingredients. How easy is that?

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For the poppers, you’ll need a baking sheet with a rack or a broiler pan and some toothpicks. It’s best to use a rack when cooking bacon in the oven, because it will crisp faster and all the grease drops into the bottom pan (i.e. no soggy poppers). Also, the toothpicks help keep the bacon firmly wrapped around the pepper.

First, you’ll have to clean 6-10 fresh jalapeños. Believe it or not, I have a fantastic trick for cleaning these in a flash without getting the pepper heat all over your hands/nails/everywhere.

It involves this little gadget: a grapefruit spoon.

A grapefruit spoon for jalapeños? But how?!

Easy.

Cut the top off of pepper, and slice it in half lengthwise. Hold the pepper by the small end. Place the serrated tip of the spoon against the inside of the pepper, grip firmly, and drag it down the pepper until the ribs and seeds are removed.

BOOM. And no hot pepper juice under your nails to burn your face off later.

Next, prepare the softened cream cheese with some salt and pepper. Spoon it straight into the pepper, wrap in bacon, and secure with toothpicks.

Place the poppers into a baking sheet with a rack, or broiler pan fitted with a rack, and bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes.

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You’ll notice the sauce is a bit of a hodgepodge. The reason for this is because I was down to the last bits of my jelly and sriracha. However, there’s a bonus to that because I shook the sauce right inside the jelly jar in order to get as much of that flavor as I could. Saves me a bowl and whisk to wash!

In a small bowl, or jelly jar, combine the strawberry and raspberry all fruit spread, water, sriracha, and xanthan gum. Shake and adjust as necessary to get the texture and sweetness you desire.

Can it really be that easy? Yes. It can.

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Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers with Sweet Sriracha Sauce (THM S)

  • Servings: Makes 1-2 dozen
  • Time: about 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 6oz softened cream cheese
  • 8 fresh jalapeños, halved and cleaned
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon, cut in half
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp strawberry all fruit spread
  • 1-2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp raspberry all fruit spread
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2-3 Tbsp water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a small bowl, season the softened cream cheese with salt and pepper.
  3. Begin spooning the cream cheese into the halved jalapenos. Wrap with half a bacon strip, and secure the ends with toothpicks.
  4. Place the wrapped poppers onto a baking sheet fitted with a rack, or a broiler pan.
  5. Bake the poppers at 375 for about 15-20 minutes.
  6. While the poppers are baking, make the dipping sauce. Combine the all-fruit spreads, Sriracha, and xanthan gum in a small bowl. Add water 1 Tbsp at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
  7. Enjoy immediately. [While they last!]

Warm Bacon & Blue Cheese Dip (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

If you aren’t already  aware, bacon and blue cheese are besties.

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I remember my mother-in-love making a fabulous bacon and blue cheese spread years ago, before my husband and I were married, and I think that was the moment her and I became best buds. We completely bonded over our mutual love of this spread, and it never died.

Another example: For my husband’s and my anniversary a few years ago, we went all-out to a fancy steakhouse nearby. I still remember that meal, because it was so amazing. Beautifully seared steak alongside a risotto which featured, you guessed it, blue cheese and bacon. THEIR LOVE CANNOT BE DENIED.

Flash forward to Thanksgiving season this year, and I was heavily contemplating what appetizers to make for our Friendsgiving meal [we spent our day with friends, so we dubbed it Friendsgiving ^_^]. In dreaming up ideas, my mind came to this conclusion: a warm bacon and blue cheese dip.

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Cream cheese, scallions, crispy bacon, blue cheese, and a variety of stringy cheeses to take it that extra mile (because I can).

People went nuts over it. Even people like my husband who feel “meh” towards blue cheese, could NOT get enough of this dip. Simple ingredients, easy prep, and you get something that’s equal parts impressive and tasty.

I mean, need I do more explaining?

Serve this dip with some baked low carb pitas and/or an assortment of crudites (zucchini sticks, cucumbers, celery, mini sweet peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.).

I’m loving this new stoneware made by Le Creuset. The larger stone baking dish fit this dip perfectly, and it made for great presentation (straight from the oven to the table). If you don’t have a dish like this, that’s OK – just pick something relatively long and shallow that will make for easy spooning/dipping.

Warm Bacon & Blue Cheese Dip (THM S)

  • Servings: Multiple
  • Time: Prep, 10 mins, Bake 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 2 8oz blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 12 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 c heavy cream or half and half
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese (or a mix of mozzarella and monterrey jack)
  • 1/4 c blue cheese crumbles
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 6-10 dashes hot sauce
  • 1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients, leaving out half of the mozzarella, parmesan, and parsley. You can also reserve a small handful of bacon as topping.
  3. Lightly butter your baking dish, and spoon in the dip mixture.
  4. Top with the remaining cheeses and parsley. (If you’re worried about the mixture dripping, you can place the dish on a sheet pan. Although, mine did not boil over.)
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375, until hot and bubbly.
  6. Serve hot with an assortment of crudites.

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Are you ready for all the decadence and none of the guilt?

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I bring you, peppermint cheesecake-stuffed brownies. OH, YES I DID.

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I’m a lover of recipe books. I have memories of flipping through my mom’s old cookbooks when I was a kid. It’s inspiring looking at all the pretty food, plus it gives you new and different ideas.

One day I was flipping through an old Pillsbury holiday booklet (not even a cookbook, more like a mini magazine. Yes, I keep those too.), and came across these cheesecake-stuffed brownies. Oh. My. Gravy. Who wouldn’t love that mash-up?! So, I decided to take it a step further and give the brownies a mint flavor.

I took this brownie recipe (minus the black food coloring), halved the vanilla and added peppermint extract. I also halved the chocolate chips, and only added them to the base layer.

Once the brownie layer is whipped together, halve the batter between 2 bowls and add the chips to the bottom layer. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil, and spread the base layer evenly into the bottom of your dish.

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For the cheesecake layer, cream together one 8oz block of softened cream cheese with some Pyure, vanilla, and one egg. Lightly spoon the mixture evenly on top of the base layer, leaving a 1/4 – 1/2 inch border around the edge.

Carefully spoon the remaining batter on top, pushing it to the edges and gently down the edge with a thin spatula to “connect” the brownie layers.

The whole thing then bakes at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Don’t worry, at the end of the baking time it will look puffy, and almost “broken” on top. It’s ok! Once it cools, the cheesecake deflates and everything sets beautifully. The only catch is you have to be patient and let it come all the way down to room temperature before enjoying a slice.

Talk about holly jolly in my mouth! YUM.

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies (THM S)

  • Servings: 9-10
  • Time: about 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients, except for chocolate chips, together in a medium bowl. 3. Add the melted butter and coconut oil.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and cream, then add to the rest of the mixture.
  4. Halve the batter between two bowls, and fold the chocolate chips into the base layer.
  5. Spray an 8×8 pan with coconut oil, and pour in the base layer.
  6. Mix all the ingredients for the cheesecake layer together in a medium bowl until combined. Gently spoon the cheesecake filling on top of the base layer, leaving a 1/4-1/2 inch of brownie border around the edge.
  7. Gently spoon the other half of the brownie batter on top of the cheesecake layer, spreading it evenly over the top and running a spatula around the edges to seal the brownie layers.
  8. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. An inserted toothpick should come out mostly clean at the end of cooking.
  9. Cool completely to room temperature before slicing.

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Salted Caramel Spice Cake (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Let me go ahead and put this out there – this cake took me two tries. Not only did it stick to my non-stick, sprayed pan (GRR!) but also the flavor needed adjusting. However, in my absolute need to make the second cake a good one (as I was running out of ingredients), I concocted this amazingly flavorful cake.

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My little dude just turned 2 before Thanksgiving, and for his birthday I like to make Fall or Winter-inspired cakes. Last year, my mother-in-love made him an amazing pumpkin spice cake that he (and the rest of us) gobbled right up. This year, I wanted to do something a little different, but still keeping with a seasonal theme.

Enter – spice cake.

Warm spices are something I live for this time of year, and a newly discovered favorite addition is cardamom. Cardamom isn’t warm like cinnamon or cloves – it’s more floral like lavender, and complements the other spices with which it’s paired.

This cake is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and molasses for a deeply intense flavor. [The cake itself is dairy free, so if you need to go that route on the frosting as well, I suggest one of the dairy-free icings (pg. 309)  in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.]

Once the layers were cooling on the rack, I soaked them with warm salted caramel sauce. [YUM.] If the layers cool before you’re able to put the caramel on, that’s fine too. The caramel does stiffen slightly [like a glaze, almost] once it cools to room temperature, so you won’t have any issues when you try to frost. It should glide right over the glaze like a big, fluffy cream cheese blanket (Can you tell I like frosting?).

I finished it with vanilla mascarpone cream cheese frosting and chopped toasted pecans. If mascarpone cheese is unfamiliar to you, it’s basically an Italian sweet, and slightly softer, version of cream cheese. It does have a few carbs with it, so I only use a touch of  it in this recipe. I usually find mascarpone in the specialty cheese section of my grocery store. If you don’t have it, or your grocer doesn’t carry it, you can just replace it with extra cream cheese.

The layers are moist and spicy, while the frosting is fluffy and creamy; finished with crunchy pecans, and you have a real holiday winner.

*TIP: When you’re stacking the cake on your display stand, cover the stand underneath the cake with pieces of parchment paper. I rip a small square of it to cover the edges of the cake, but are still small enough to easily pull out later. This way, you can be as messy as you like while frosting it, then pull the paper out when you’re done and all the mess goes with it.

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Salted Caramel Spice Cake (THM S)

  • Servings: 16-18
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine dry ingredients with spices and sweetener in a small bowl. In a separate large bowl, beat together the eggs and yolk, coconut milk, almond milk, vinegar, molasses, and melted coconut oil.
  3. Begin adding the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in two batches, being careful not to over-mix.
  4. Prepare two 8-in round cake pans by cutting two circles of parchment paper for the bottom.* [You do not want to skip this step, otherwise your cake may not come out. Trust me, I lived it on my first attempt.] Lightly spray the parchment and sides of your pan with coconut oil.
  5. Pour the batter evenly between the two pans, and gently tap the pan (picking it up a bit and then lightly dropping it evenly) against a flat surface to release any air bubbles. Bake in at 350 degree oven for 30-35mins, or until an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly.

Salted Caramel Glaze (THM S)

  • Servings: 1 cup*
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Add the first 4 ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. *[The coconut sugar is optional. It adds a negligible amount of carbs and sugar per serving, less than 1g each. You can do molasses instead if you’re sensitive to blood sugar spikes.] Bring mixture to a boil and continue boiling carefully for 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly. The coconut sugar will caramelize slightly, and some of the liquid will evaporate off. Keep the heat at or below medium (about 4 on an electric range) to prevent the sugar from burning.
  2. Remove from the heat, whisk in butter and cream. Whisk in table salt, and sprinkle in sea salt.
  3. Cool for about 5-7 minutes, then spoon the mixture over both cake layers.

Vanilla Mascarpone Cream Cheese Icing (THM S)

  • Servings: 16-18*
  • Time: 8 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 3 blocks softened cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted, softened butter
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 1/3 c mascarpone cheese (chilled is fine, as the cheese is soft)
  • 1/4 c Pyure or Gentle Sweet* *(If using GS, grind it in a blender cup or spice grinder)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (vanilla beans from the pods work also, or an extra 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 pinches salt
  • about 1 c chopped, toasted pecans

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except nuts in a large bowl and whip with a stand mixer (or with a handheld electric mixer) on medium-high speed until everything is fluffy and well-incorporated. Adjust for sweetness, if needed. *[This recipe makes enough to abundantly coat between the layers and outside of the cake. If your sweetener has a little “crunch” in your icing, don’t worry, it does break down once the frosting has a chance to set.]
  2. Coat the completely cooled layers with the icing, and stack. Finish the sides and top of the cake. [I like a more rustic, “homemade” look so I don’t spend a ton of making the edging perfect.]
  3. Cover the top of the cake with the chopped pecans. Store at room temperature for immediate serving, or in the fridge if you’re serving the next day.

Low Carb Sausage and Cream Cheese Crescents

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My mother-in-love has made these lovely sausage and cream cheese crescent rolls for years during the holidays. It’s honestly one of my favorite things about the holidays!

Since we are both Trim Healthy Mamas, I wanted to figure out a way we could still have our favored holiday treat.

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Enter: magic fathead pizza dough.

This dough is so versatile! I even added a little “crescent” flavor to it by putting in a touch of butter extract. I kept the filling the same, just breakfast sausage and cream cheese. I’ve used hot sausage before, which is very tasty. Get creative and use your favorite – there are numerous good blends!

I mean, don’t they look EXACTLY like crescent rolls?

I even fooled my husband with these – and he’s a hard one to get “low  carb” things  past.

Sausage and Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls (THM S)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb sausage
  • 6oz cream cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 c almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Begin by browning the sausage in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the fat and cool slightly. Add 4oz of cream cheese and stir to combine.
  3. Make the dough by melting the mozzarella cheese and 2 Tbsp of cream cheese in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes. Stir and add in the almond flour, 1 egg, butter extract, and salt.
  4. Stir until well combined, and place between 2 sheets of parchment. Roll out to about a 10in round and slice into long triangles.
  5. Add about 1 Tbsp of the sausage filling and roll like a crescent. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Whisk the remaining egg, and brush the tops of the crescents lightly. This helps ensure that you get golden brown tops of your crescents.
  6. Bake at 375 for about 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

THM Mummy Dogs

It’s no secret that I love Halloween. This is my favorite time of year! And I’m letting it shine in my food.

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Mummy Dogs (THM S)

Serves 4-6

  • 1 package of all-beef uncured hotdogs (I used an 8-ct from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese (packaged is fine! I used Kirkland brand)
  • 2 Tsp cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • googly eye candies for decoration (optional, not for consumption ^_~)

Preheat oven to 425.

Begin by removing the dogs from their package and scoring them a few times on two sides. Place them in a medium-sized skillet (I used cast iron), and brown them on all sides over medium heat. NOTE* I like a crispy dog. You can skip this, if you like, as they will go into the oven. I just like the extra layer of flavor a crispy dog provides.

Prepare the dough by placing the mozzarella and cream cheese in a medium-sized microwave safe bowl. Microwave them for about a minute, stir, then let it go for another 30 seconds.

The mixture will  be HOT. Stir it with a spatula or a large wooden spoon. Add the egg, almond flour, and seasonings. Wet your hands slightly, and press the dough out to a 10-in round (don’t worry about it being perfect). Cut mummy “strips” with a pizza cutter (about 1/2 – 3/4 in.). Roll the strip between your fingers (like you would Playdoh, back in the day) and wrap your dog with the mummy strip. NOTE* If you have an 8-ct package, you likely won’t use all the dough. You can roll some up and bake it as garlic knots or make yourself a mini flatbread.

Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

These were so fun! My kids loved them, and it came together fairly quickly. An easy crowd-pleaser, if I do say so. They also warm up beautifully the next day in lunches.