Valentine’s Dessert

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This is seriously the most simple sweet treat! It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day because A. festive colors duh! and B. you get to look all fancy/sophisticated for a fraction of the price and effort. Now we’re talking! I honestly think Valentine’s day is silly and overrated (nobody wants to wait in those nasty lines for a rezzie at a crowded restaurant!). Soooo in my book, it’s all about pampering my friends/loved ones and baking delicious treats and writing goofy, meaningful cards to show everyone how much I love them. I know, I know, sorry. Really it’s about the sweetheart candies and Dora Explorer cardboard cutout cards that you buy last minute at Ralphs! SO FUN!!

But seriously, make these. They’re yummy and really pretty and the strawberries (and dark chocolate?) are good for you!

What you need:

♥ Marshmallows (pink and white for festive effect)
♥ Chocolate (dark is best, but get crazy and go for a white drizzle, add chopped almonds, etc!)
♥ Strawberries
♥ Toothpicks (or skewers if you want to make dessert kabobs!)

Roll the tip of a mallow into your yummy melted chocolate, take a taste test, and repeat. Kidding-not-kidding about the taste test part. I like to only dip the mallows because they’re amazingly easier to coat in chocolate than strawberries, but if you’re a profesh, go ahead and get a little fancy!  Then, skewer your kiddies together on a toothpick and lay cute-ly on a serving dish!

Voila!

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Date night dinner: Homemade pizza

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If you’re into simple, healthy meals that are a ton of fun to prepare, this is for you! There’s something special and super entertaining about making pizza from scratch… this is a great go-to date dinner because it takes the pressure off of cooking! It’s something you can do together, while simultaneously being creative & personalizing your pies so that they’re made just the way you like ’em!

Here’s what you’ll need:
♥ 1 package Pamela’s Pizza Crust Mix
♥ 2-1/4 tsp or 7grams active dry yeast
♥ 1 cup plus 2 TBSP very warm water (110°optimum)
♥ 2 TBSP oil
♥ Pizza sauce
♥ Toppings of choice (we love mozzarella, prosciutto, fresh tomatoes, & arugula)

The how to:
♥ Mix & form pizza crust as directed on Pamela’s Pizza Crust
♥ Par-bake pizza crust (aka cook about halfway through)
♥ Spread pizza sauce onto par-baked crust
♥ Cover pizza with toppings of choice, then return to oven for another 5 – 10 minutes
♥ Remove, slice, & enjoy!

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If you’re having guests over, making personalized pizzas can be the “event” of the evening. Start your peeps off with a fun cocktail or drink, and make sure to put out some snacks so that no one is tempted to eat the ingredients! ;) See below for one of my favorite light & easy drinks:

What you’ll need:
♥White wine
♥Splash of Chambord
♥Frozen berries to taste

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How perfect / delicious is this meal!? Comment below to share some of your favorite pizza topping combinations!

Happy National Donut Day! The Healthiest Donuts Ever

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National donut day just so happened to correspond with the last day of my juice cleanse! (Stay tuned to read more about my juice cleanse and my win-win tips for surviving the horrid affair! But that’s a whole ‘nother story. For now – DONUTS!)

In an effort to stay healthy but still indulge in one of the year’s best holidays, I made these healthy donuts to snack on all week long. No sugars, no frying… these are some BAMF donuts.

Like most of my recipes, these are super simple & healthy! Read on to make your own!

What you’ll need:

♥ 1 banana
♥ 2 eggs
♥ 1 cup oats
♥ 2 Tbsp chia seeds
♥ 2 Tbsp cup flax seeds
♥ 1 Tbsp stevia (powder form)
♥ 2/3 cup whole grain flour
♥ 2 Tbsp Honey
♥ 1 Tsp vanilla extract
♥ 1/2 Tsp baking powder
♥ Pinch of salt
♥ 1 Tbsp cinnamon
♥ 1 Tbsp ground cloves

The how to:

♥ Mix the liquids, then blend in the banana.
♥ Mix in the dry ingredients until well blended. Place dough into a donut mold, or just make donut shaped circles on a cookie sheet. Sound crazy? We tried it, and it works just fine.
♥ Bake at 375° for 15 minutes!

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If you’re feeling extra naughty, top with some nutella ;)

LC’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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◊ How perfect is Lauren Conrad? Even her cookies (above) are flawless ◊


LC is a goddess. If she’s allowed to eat chocolate chip cookies then HELL, so are we. We based these perfect cookies off of the original Lauren Conrad Recipe, but made a few tweaks customized to our taste!

Here’s what you’ll need:

♥2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
♥1 teaspoon baking soda
♥½ teaspoon of sea salt (plus more for sprinkling on top)
♥1 stick butter
♥½ cup Greek yogurt
♥1 ¼ cup packed coconut sugar
♥¼ cup granulated sugar
♥1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
♥2 teaspoons vanilla extract
♥½ cup carob chips
♥½ cup chocolate chips

The how to:

  1. Mix together dry ingredients.
  2. Combine melted butter and Greek yogurt. Add sugars to the mix until well blended, then add egg yolk and vanilla.
  3. Add the dry ingredients slowly, mixing until combined. Add carob / chocolate chips to taste.
  4. Place dough on a cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Sprinkle sea salt on top right after they come out of the oven!
  5. Lauren Lowstan’s Tip: If you want to get the perfect chocolate chip cookies that are crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside, then refrigerate your dough balls for 24-48 hours before baking. Make sure to bring to room temperature before putting in the oven. This will give your cookies the perfect crispy-to-chewy ratio.

And you’re ready to enjoy! We love ours with a Yogi Chai Green Tea latte (seep green tea packet in warm almond milk).

Brownie Bites

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After years of snooping, sneaking, and trying desperately to unveal my sister’s secret brownie recipe, I’m finally victorious! She’s agreed to share her magical recipe — which is unbelievably simple! — with our lovely Halfsies readers!

INGREDIENTS:

♥1 cup butter, room temperature, diced into 1-inch pieces
♥1 cup granulated sugar
♥1 cup packed light brown sugar
♥2 tsp vanilla extract
♥4 eggs at room temperature
♥½ tsp salt
♥10 oz dark chocolate, chopped
♥½ cup cocoa powder
♥1 cup all purpose flour
♥1/4 tsp baking soda

 DIRECTIONS:

♥Combine flour, salt, cocoa powder in a dry bowl
♥Combine chocolate chunks and butter in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until completely melted
♥Combine chocolate butter mixture, eggs, and sugars
♥When well blended, add vanilla extract and baking soda
♥Combine wet mixture with flour mixture, folding contents together until completely blended
♥Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry

 

Pour a large cup of milk, and enjoy!!