Lemon Cheesecake Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Fresh Blueberries

Hello Lovely,

Is there anything better than waking up to the smell of pancakes?

When I was in London I was so happy to find Lemon Curd in a Windsor gift shop, but up until this recipe, I had never used it. I knew I would need it for something when I bought it, just didn't know what exactly. Then a light bulb went off in my head! I found this recipe by Bobby Flay and just had to make it! These are the lightest, fluffiest pancakes ever! I really think it's because of the cream cheese in them. The original recipe called for ricotta, but I had cream cheese in the fridge and subbed that to save money. Feel free to try this recipe with ricotta or cream cheese. It'll be delicious regardless because of that lemon zing!

Lemon Cheesecake Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Fresh Blueberries 1.jpg

Lemon Cheesecake Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Fresh Blueberries


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Butter, for griddle
  • 1 (11-ounce) jar prepared lemon curd
  • Fresh blueberries, for garnish
  • Confectioners' sugar, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat a nonstick griddle or skillet.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Brush the hot griddle with butter or nonstick spray. For each pancake, pour approximately 1/4 cup measure of the batter on the griddle and cook on both sides until light golden brown. Repeat until no batter remains.
  3. Empty the contents of the lemon curd into a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Alternatively, remove the lid and place in a microwave oven on 50 percent power for 2 minutes, stopping after 1 minute to stir the curd. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the curd over the pancakes, top with fresh blueberries, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
Lemon Cheesecake Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Fresh Blueberries.jpg

Fresh Flower Petal Perfume

Fresh Flower Petal Perfume

Making your own perfume from scratch might sound complicated, but it’s actually a lot simpler than you think. Most perfumes are nothing more than a mixture of fragrant oils, water and alcohol. Simply mix it all together and spritz! So break out that pretty spray bottle you’ve been saving and let’s bottle some blooms.

Read More

Strawberry Baked French Toast

Strawberry Baked French Toast

Today we are bringing it all together for breakfast tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow… I’m sorry to say that this is an OVERNIGHT recipe.

You have to make this the night before and then bake it in the morning. This is kind of a good thing. When you have guests staying the night, this is a simple breakfast that won’t keep you in the kitchen. In fact, if you have one of those fancy ovens with a timer to start it, you can preheat the oven, get up and pop the tray in, then go back to snuggling for another 30 minutes. It easier than cold cereal!

Read More

Strawberry Lemon and Rosemary Infused Water

I LOVE water.

For at least three years now, I've travelled with a large water bottle that I try to finish every day. Of course there are days when I fall short of that goal. And we all have our moments. You know what I mean. When you're thirsty, and instead of reaching for that something good, you reach for something sugary and sweet instead. Or when the something that's supposedly good for you isn't necessarily good for your wallet? (Put down the $9 Strawberry Banana Smoothie and walk away! Yes, YOU!)

Making healthy choices can be difficult, especially when it starts to get hot. For us, in the Bahamas, we're practically in our summer heat and it's only getting worse. So the best thing we can do right now is hydrate! Getting our daily dose of hydration is as important as breathing. Especially during the summer months, when our bodies sweat overtime, we need to make sure there’s plenty of water coming in to keep us going. The easiest method to make plain water taste better and to convince ourselves to drink more of it is to infuse it with fruits, veggies and herbs.

I never understood the fruit infused water craze and this is my first attempt to honest (I really didn't understand why you couldn't just drink plain old water). The original recipe actually called for ginger, but somehow I misread it and convinced myself that it asked for mint (which I still couldn't find in the food store anyway) so rosemary it is! So just play along and act like the rosemary was meant to be there (no disrespect to you rosemary, you're a great team player). But rosemary is still a spice which adds it's own unique flavour to this lemonade-tasting infused water. Serve this at your next garden party or get together and really impress people!

Because no one drinks plain water any more.

Strawberry Lemon and Rosemary Infused Water

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup strawberries, tops removed and sliced

  • 4 lemon slices

  • 1 Rosemary leaf

  • Water

Directions:

  • Add strawberries, lemon slices and rosemary to a liter-size jar or bottle.

  • Fill with water, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before enjoying.

XoX,

Olivia

St. Patrick's Day Avocado Banana Smoothie

It's St. Patrick's Day, and I can't wait to get a drink in me to celebrate!

While you could make this beverage alcoholic, I kept it virgin for health reasons. (I lost four pounds!!!) About 5 more and I'll stop, I swear. I promise my fingers aren't crossed behind my back!

I am one of the laziest dieters. I exercise for about 10 minutes every 3 days, and I ended up having 2 cheat days on the weekend.

So I'm all for "juicing" the pounds away.

 

Avocado Banana Smoothie

Prep time      5 mins             Total time     5 mins                     Serves: 2


Ingredients:

½ of one medium avocado, peeled and pitted

1  banana, peeled

⅛ tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp granulated sugar, or to taste

1 cup soy milk, approximate

6 ice cubes

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until creamy and smooth (approximately 10-15 minutes), adjusting sweetness to taste and adding more milk as necessary to reach desired consistency.


(Since it's St. Patty's Day, I won't judge if you spike it a little. Just make sure the kiddies don't touch!)

Kitchen Hack: Never Buy Green Onions Again

We all know gardening is a great way to be frugal.

Growing your own fruits and veggies means lower grocery costs and fewer trips to the store to pick up a vegetable you need for dinner. Plus, there’s no denying that all fruits and veggies taste better when they’re fresh.

Unfortunately, all that great savings comes to an end when summer comes to a close, but there are actually a few vegetables you can grow all year long, regardless of your climate, space constraints or green thumb (which I severely lack)!

Green onions grow fast, and all they need is a little water and a lot of light. With very little effort, you can have a steady supply of green onions, grown right in your kitchen! They add an extra kick to almost any dish, so they’re great to have on hand (especially when they’re free!)

The next time you pick up a bunch or two of green onions at the grocery store, don’t discard the white ends after you’ve used up all the greens. Instead, stick the white root end into a glass with an inch or two of water then place it in a sunny window. THAT'S IT!!!

Make sure to trim most of the green end off before you place it in the water, or they’ll just get droopy!

Within a day or two, you’ll notice the green shoots starting to regrow, and the roots in the water getting longer. In less than a week, they’ll be back to their original size, and you can just trim off as much as you need, whenever you need it.  

 Not only is this a useful little “kitchen garden,” it also makes a pretty little plant to sit on your windowsill. The best part, though, is knowing you’ll never have to buy green onions again!

Wild Berry Salad

Who am I? When did I become the kind of person that makes salads? This is so foreign to me! I mean I am not hating on the salad eaters, but do you ever feel like when a girl is eating a salad, secretly she’s imaging that it’s a slice of pizza, or a thick juicy burger? I get that are actually people out there who genuinely enjoy eating salads (hi weirdo’s) but I am just not that girl!

 

It’s day four of my detox and I think I’m doing well. I’m still on the fence about whether detoxes really work. I’ve noticed more bumps springing to the surface of my face and that is not good at all! It’s the opposite of what I expected. Maybe I’m doing this detox wrong. I’m following Little Spice Jar’s guide and she laid it out like this:

·         Glowing Skin Smoothie

·         Oatmeal

·         Insert Smoothie Here

·         Eggs

·         Glowing Skin Smoothie

·         Pancakes (ahem, maybe just 1)

·         Insert Smoothie Here

·         Hash browns + light breakfast quiche

·         Glowing Skin Smoothie

I drank my Very Berry Spinach Avocado Smoothie yesterday and I actually licked the jar. It was really that good!

Update: I just rubbed my chin and I don’t feel the bumps I felt before. Maybe they just shifted to my cheek. Hmm, I’ll keep up with this and see what happens.

Wild Berry Salad

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls spinach

  • ¼ cup blueberries

  • ¼ cup strawberries

  • ¼ cup diced apples

  • 1 fish fillet sliced in semi-thick strips

  • Sesame seeds (optional)

  • Salt and black pepper for taste (optional)

Directions:

Prepare ingredients on your cutting board. Toss ingredients together in a bowl. Sprinkle sesame seeds over salad if you choose to use it. Top with Kraft Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing and serve!


I hope you like this recipe. Stay on the healthy track and you’ll be ready for Valentine’s Day in no time!


XoX,

Olivia

Green "Goddess" Smoothie: Day 1

A wise person once said, "Man cannot live by bread alone. He must have peanut butter."

 

You guys know that I'm a foodie at heart. I love food, I love making food, taking pictures of food, eating food (not necessarily a fan of sharing food though). So what could possibly possess me to start a detox? Considering this is my birth month, I want to look extra special! (That's not vain, right)? Over the Christmas break, I engorged on sweets, like, everyday. It made my skin break out horribly. While I got most of the breakouts under control, there's still some fine bumps just underneath the surface of my skin that you may not be able to see, but you can definitely feel. And that is no bueno! Remember my face mask attempt at clearing my skin? Well I did that again this morning as a way to attack the acne from both inside and out.

My original plan of action was to drink one for breakfast and lunch and then eat dinner. That got switched around when I remembered I can't go the whole day without eating. In fact, as I type this I'm getting heartburn. So I decided something that would be more effect (considering it's my first ever detox) would be: smoothie, lunch, smoothie. That way, I can slowly get my body used to it. I really don't know what to expect to happen, but I always plan for the worse. I didn't want to go whole heartedly into something I did limited research on. And I'll be the first to admit when I'm wrong (depends on the circumstances). But I would never lie to you guys. In fact, the only reason I picked this recipe is because you can still eat real food while drinking it. It works as either a meal replacement or as part of a meal. So that gives me hope that I actually can do this. Because the Hunger is real!

So here's how it really went down.

I was so hurt when someone brought in at least 8 plates of pancakes and sausage links and left it in our office, for OTHER PEOPLE to eat! No one offered us a single bite and the smell danced so enticingly over to my desk. But did I break? No sir! I wanted to. I really did. But I stayed strong. I'm sure you're wondering what kind of super smoothie this could be that I turned away from Pancakes!

Side Note: No one told me before hand that it would be more effective if I chopped the kale first. I definitely should've known to do that. Because I didn't, the smoothie was chunky and I do not like chunks of anything in my mouth. That's why I buy smooth and creamy peanut butter, hello! This would've been amazing had I done that first. I had to go to the cafeteria (perks of working in a school) and ask to use their strainer. I got all of the liquid out and I tried to eat the solid mix left behind but it just didn't work with my taste buds. I will definitely try this again tomorrow (probably with spinach instead of kale).

I got the recipe from CHowDivine.com. I left out the flax/chia seeds because I just don't have any. I also only had iceburg lettuce and not romaine lettuce and I used brown sugar instead of the Stevia, because if this is supposed to be an all natural smoothie, I'm not going to use a substitute or "artificial sweetner". Plus I heard Stevia tastes horribly and I am not wasting an investment. She swears that this detox smoothie does wonders for her skin, so I'll stick to this for a week, with the detox face mask every other day, and I'll give you guys my progress next week.

Green “Goddess” Smoothie Recipe


Can be a meal replacement or added to a meal. Yields 2 12 oz servings.

Ingredients
3-5 romaine lettuce leaves
1 BIG handful of baby kale
5 sprigs of parsley
1/2 large lemon or 1 small lemon
1 small red apple
1 small banana
2 TB ground flax seeds (or combination of flax and chia seeds)
1 cup of water
4-5 ice cubes
1 tsp of brown sugar (optional)
1/2″ ginger (optional)
1/2 – 1″ cucumber cylinder (optional)

Directions

  • Add romaine, kale, parsley, lemon, apple, ginger, cucumber, and water to the vitamix or blender. Close the lid tightly. Slowly turn up the variable up to 10. This should just break down the contents. It will look slightly lumpy. It should only take about 10 seconds using the variable knob for the contents to break down in a vitamix.

  • Add rest of the ingredients to the vitamix or blender. Turn the vitamix or blender on. If using a vitamix, turn the variable knob to 10, then to high. Blend on high for about 45 seconds – 1 minute until completely smooth. If you are using a different blender, it may take longer.

  • Cook’s Note*:

If you plan to drink this on a regular basis. Try to change the ingredients from time to time. For example, use spinach in place of kale, skip the banana, or use a pear in place of an apple. Using a few chunks of frozen pineapples really gives this a tropical flavor. I usually cut up 2 or 3 pineapples and freeze it in freezer bags for smoothies. I find that this smoothie is most effective (for your skin) when the banana is not used, but that will affect the taste and texture. It will be healthy either way. 

I use a Ninja Blender for this smoothie. Kale leaves will be difficult to pulverize if the blender isn’t powerful enough, and the texture of the smoothie will be less than desirable.

Don’t blend for too long. The smoothie will get warm.

If you are a newbie to green smoothies, it may be easier to drink if the consistency is thinner. You can adjust the water to make it thinner (or thicker) depending on your preference.

Are you guys thinking about detoxing? I definitely would suggest getting the facts before starting. For example, what would work best for your problem area, what's good for your budget, best times to start and how long it should last. I thought this smoothie would give me energy but I literally just finished drinking it and I am sleepy! Also, no word yet on how this will treat my stomach. I'll get back to you on that as well.


XoX,

Olivia

Rise & Shine: Vanilla Almond Coffee Smoothie

Show of hands, who here is a morning person?

 

 

Yeah, that's what I thought. I'm the kind of girl that will hit snooze twice or three times before swinging my legs out and jumping out of bed. (Well most mornings, it's a semi-fast paced crawl out of bed).

 

I've recently been thinking about setting up healthy morning and night rituals. One of my new morning rituals involves reading a bible scripture every morning. So I downloaded an app that brings it to me. I try to read it just before or after my shower, before checking my other notifications. It's a great way to get your mind centered and ready for the day ahead. But why stop with your mind? I tweaked a recipe from Lauren Conrad, and hope to make this a staple in my morning ritual. I find that although I enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the morning, it leaves me feeling sleepy and luggy. This recipe on the other hand made me feel energised. I wouldn't say that I'm ready to do back flips, but I'm also not hiding behind my computer screen trying to sneak a nap either.

Rise & Shine: Vanilla Almond Coffee Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coffee, chilled

  • 4-5 ice cubes

  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk

  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (I suggest anything in a vanilla)

  • 2 drops vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions:
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until it becomes a smoothie consistency. Add more ice cubes if you prefer. Serve in a mason jar or your favourite tumbler and enjoy!

Did this put an extra pep in your step? Sound off in the comment section below and if you loved this recipe and can't wait to see more, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE!


XoX,

Olivia