Gift Guide for Those Who Love to Cook

 

Gift Guide for Those who Love to Cook

Still looking for the perfect gift for a certain person on your list? Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with the perfect gift for someone. Today I will be sharing my gift guide for those who love to cook. Hopefully some of these ideas will help you out in your Christmas shopping. You can shop directly from this post by clicking the product images below. All of the items I will be discussing today are items that I use regularly and love.

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Gift Guide for Those Who Love to Cook

  1. The first item I will be discussing today is the silpat baking mat. I started using one of these mats several months ago and have not looked back. It makes clean up easy and I have not had any trouble with food sticking to the mat. It is especially useful when making my almond flour chocolate chip cookies.

Gift Guide for those who love to cook

2.The second gift idea I will be sharing is the perfect gift for the chefs with a sweet tooth. A plastic peanut butter cup mold. It makes creating sweet treats extra easy with minimal clean up. You can see how I used my molds to create some almond butter cups here.

Gift guide for those who love to cookGift guide for those who love to cook

3.  Donut molds are also an excellent gift idea for the baker with a sweet tooth. I have both the mini donut mold and the larger donut mold. Creating your own donuts at home can be fun. Try out my Chocolate Protein Donut recipe here.

Gift guide for those who love to cook


4.  You have probably seen people creating noodles out of vegetables, like zucchini, and it can look quite complicated. A spiralizer is the tool you can use to achieve these low carb noodles. It is very user friendly and pretty fool-proof. You can even use it to recreate my zucchini noodle stir fry here.

Gift guide for those who love to cook

 

5. Another great gift idea is an apron. Nothing is worse than fixing a meal and having half of it ending up on your outfit. There are so many different aprons available and you could even customize one further by having it monogrammed as well.

Gift guide for those who love to cook

6.  A food processor is another kitchen tool that I use all the time. It makes breaking down food quick and simple. You could use it to create your own nut butters or to make my cauliflower cornbread like I did here.


Gift guide for those who love to cook

7. And last but definitely not least is the kitchen aid mixer. This is definitely on the more expensive end but is something that everyone needs in their kitchen. You can buy a multitude of different attachments from a spiralizer to an ice cream maker. The mixers come in a variety of colors as well which allow them to double as décor if you wanted.

Well if you were still searching for a gift idea for someone I hope that you found this gift guide for those who love to cook helpful. I would love to hear about some of your favorite kitchen products that you would recommend as great gift ideas.

 

 

 

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Quinoa Crusted Acorn Squash

 

Quinoa Crusted Acorn Squash

You may have read my post on roasted acorn squash in which I expressed my love for acorn squash.  Recently, I had bought some acorn squash but didn’t have the ingredients to make my roasted acorn squash and decided to try crusting it in quinoa instead. The end result turned out pretty tasty. I recently shared a post on quinoa crusted tilapia. I decided to use that same recipe to create a quinoa crusted acorn squash. In case you missed that post, I will recap how to make the crust below.

Quinoa Crusted Acorn Squash

Begin by preheating the oven to 450 degrees F. Cook 3/4 cup of quinoa on the stove top. After the quinoa is completely cooked, set it aside to cool. Next spread the cooled quinoa on an aluminum lined baking sheet and place it into the oven for 8-10minutes. The quinoa should now have a crunchy consistency. Set the quinoa aside again to cool.

Quinoa Crusted Acorn Squash

In a mixing bowl, combine 2/3 cup of shredded parmesan cheese, 3/4 tsp of garlic powder, and 1 tsp of paprika. Then, add in the cooked quinoa and mix thoroughly. Next fill a bowl with 1/2 a cup of almond flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour) and in another bowl add 1 beaten egg.

Quinoa Crusted Acorn Squash

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.

Quinoa Crusted Acorn Squash

Next, cut the acorn squash into 1/2 inch thick slices. Dredge each piece of acorn squash through the almond flour and then into the egg before coating in the quinoa mixture. Place the coated acorn squash onto an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Continue for the remaining pieces of the acorn squash. Place the baking sheet into the oven at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Now the quinoa crusted acorn squash is ready to be enjoyed!

Quinoa Crusted Acorn Squash

Quinoa Crusted Acorn Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 3/4 cup of quinoa
  • 2/3 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour

Instructions

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Cook 3/4 cup of quinoa on the stove top.
  3. After the quinoa is completely cooked, set it aside to cool.
  4. Next spread the cooled quinoa on an aluminum lined baking sheet and place it into the oven for 8-10minutes. The quinoa should now have a crunchy consistency. Set the quinoa aside again to cool.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine 2/3 cup of shredded parmesan cheese, 3/4 tsp of garlic powder, and 1 tsp of paprika. Then, add in the cooked quinoa and mix thoroughly.
  6. Next fill a bowl with 1/2 a cup of almond flour (I prefer Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour) and in another bowl add 1 beaten egg.
  7. Cut the squash in half and scoop the seeds out.
  8. Next, cut the acorn squash into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  9. Dredge each piece of acorn squash through the almond flour and then into the egg before coating in the quinoa mixture.
  10. Place the coated acorn squash onto an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
  11. Continue for the remaining pieces of the acorn squash.
  12. Place the baking sheet into the oven at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
http://www.thesouthernmagnolia.com/quinoa-crusted-acorn-squash/

What are some of your favorite ways to cook acorn squash? I would love to hear your favorite acorn squash recipes!

 

 

 

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Turmeric and Garlic Spiced Tilapia

Turmeric and Garlic Spiced Tilapia

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I took a little time away from the blog last week to spend as much time as possible with family. After a week of indulging in all the Thanksgiving foods I think its time to share a healthy recipe to help get me back on track. Today I will be sharing my recipe for a turmeric and garlic spiced tilapia.

Turmeric is a spice that is supposed to have lots of health benefits. Turmeric (mainly curcumin- an active ingredient in turmeric) is said to have anti-inflammatory effects as well as being a strong antioxidant. I had never tried cooking with turmeric but due to the possible health benefits decided to try to find a way to incorporate it into some of my dishes. Below I will share how I created this turmeric and garlic spiced tilapia.

I started by trying to come up with a way to season the tilapia that we eat on a regular basis (Check out this quinoa crusted tilapia recipe) . Since we eat a lot of tilapia I constantly try to find ways to keep it from getting boring.

Turmeric and garlic spiced tilapia

Begin by adding 1 tbsp. of turmeric, 3 minced cloves of garlic, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tbsp. of lemon juice, 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes, 2 tbsp. of olive oil to a mixing bowl. Next press each filet into the mixture to completely coat. Then place tilapia into a lightly oiled pan. Continue for the remaining two filets.

Turmeric and Garlic Spiced Tilapia

I liked to lightly sear each side of the filet for a few minutes before placing into the oven to bake at 375 degrees F. I usually only leave in the oven for 5-7 minutes depending on the size of the fish. Once fish is thoroughly cooked, remove from the oven and enjoy!

Turmeric and Garlic Spiced Tilapia

Turmeric and Garlic Spiced Tilapia

Ingredients

  • 3 tilapia filets
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Mix 1 tbsp. of turmeric, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt, 3 minced cloves of garlic, 1/2 tbsp. of lemon juice, and 1 tbsp. of olive oil into a bowl.
  2. Next coat each filet of the tilapia in the mixture.
  3. Place each coated filet into a lightly oiled pan.
  4. Lightly cook each side of the filet and then place into a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 5-7 minutes to finish cooking the fish.
  5. Remove from the oven when completely cooked and enjoy!
http://www.thesouthernmagnolia.com/turmeric-garlic-spiced-tilapia/

Turmeric and Garlic Spiced Tilapia

 

 

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Chocolate Protein Donuts

Chocolate Protein Donuts

Donuts are one of those treats that I can just never say no to. I believe driving by a Krispy Kreme when the HOT sign is on is just a crime. A chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme donut can not be beat. I don’t live near a Krispy Kreme so fresh hot donuts are not something I get to divulge in regularly. I wanted to come up with a donut recipe that I could make at home that would be healthier than the tasty Krispy Kreme donuts but still taste good. That is what inspired the chocolate protein donut recipe below.

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Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Next combine 1 egg, 1 egg white, 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup of almond flour, 1 scoop Quest chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2tbsp coconut oil, 1 1/2 tbsp. of almond butter, and 2 tbsp. of vitafiber into a mixing bowl. Mix ingredients until fully combined.

Chocolate Protein Donuts

For my donuts I used both a small donut pan and a silicone large donut mold. Spray your donut mold with a nonstick spray. The easiest way to get the dough into the molds is by putting the dough into a Ziploc bag and cutting off the corner. This allows you to easily pipe the dough into the molds. Fill each mold only half way with the dough as they will rise. Once you have filled your molds, place the pan into the preheated oven.

Chocolate Protein Donuts Chocolate Protein Donuts

Cook the doughnuts for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the donuts to cool for 5 -10 minutes before enjoying or adding your favorite icing to your delicious chocolate protein donuts.

chocolate protein donuts chocolate protein donuts

Chocolate Protein Donuts

Ingredients

  • 1 egg, 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 scoop Quest chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. almond butter
  • 2 tbsp. vitafiber (or sweetener of your choice)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine egg, egg white, almond milk,almond flour, chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, coconut oil, almond butter and vitafiber into a mixing bowl.
  3. Thoroughly mix until ingredients completely combined.
  4. Spray donut mold pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Scoop dough into a Ziploc bag and trim corner off of bag. Pipe the dough into the donut mold pans. Fill the molds half way as the dough will rise.
  6. Place pans into oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before enjoying or adding icing/glaze
http://www.thesouthernmagnolia.com/chocolate-protein-donuts/

chocolate protein donuts

I created an icing for my chocolate protein donuts but felt that they also tasted really good without it as well. For those that want to attempt an icing I will share my recipe. Combine 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 tbsp. of almond butter, 1/4 cup of coconut flour, 1/4 cup of truvia and 1/2 scoop of Quest chocolate protein powder. Stir the mixture until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. To ice the donuts, use the same method you used to pipe the donut dough into the molds.

chocolate protein donuts chocolate protein donuts

 

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Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

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After having some success with the almond flour chocolate chip cookies, the next logical step is to make other variations of almond flour cookies, right? My second favorite cookie would have to be a peanut butter cookie so I decided to try making an almond flour version. You can use traditional peanut butter (creamy or chunky) or whatever nut butter you prefer. I decided to go with a creamy peanut butter this time but plan to try different types of almond butter in the future.

To make these delicious almond flour peanut butter cookies, start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F.  Next, combine 1/2 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour, 1/3 cup of granulated Truvia (you can use whichever sweetener you like), 1/3 cup of peanut butter, 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract into a mixing bowl. Mix ingredients thoroughly.

peanutbuttercookies2 peanutbuttercookies3

Next line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. ( I have just recently started using a silicone baking mat and LOVE it).Form balls from the dough that are about 1 inch each and place onto the baking sheet. Continue until all of the dough is used up. Next, use a fork to make the traditional crisscross pattern on top of each piece of dough.

almond flour peanut butter cookies almond flour peanut butter cookies

Put baking sheet into the oven and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes. The cookies should be a nice golden brown. Remove the cookies and allow to cool 5-8 minutes. Now its time to enjoy those mouth watering almond flour peanut butter cookies!

Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour
  • 1/3 cup of granulated Truvia (you can use whichever sweetener you like)
  • 1/3 cup of peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract into a mixing bowl.

Instructions

  1. Preheating the oven to 375 degrees F.  
  2. Combine 1/2 cup of Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour, 1/3 cup of granulated Truvia (you can use whichever sweetener you like), 1/3 cup of peanut butter, 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract into a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix ingredients thoroughly.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. ( I have just recently started using a silicone baking mat and LOVE it).
  5. Form balls from the dough that are about 1 inch each and place onto the baking sheet. Continue until all of the dough is used up.
  6. Use a fork to make the traditional crisscross pattern on top of each piece of dough.
  7. Put baking sheet into the oven and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes. The cookies should be a nice golden brown.
  8. Remove the cookies and allow to cool 5-8 minutes.
http://www.thesouthernmagnolia.com/almond-flour-peanut-butter-cookies/

Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

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Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

 

 

Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

The Southern Magnolia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

I have always been a huge fan of Reese Peanut Butter Cups (especially the Reese’s eggs they release around Easter, can you say YUM). I have recently seen a lot of homemade chocolate peanut butter cups on both Instagram and Pinterest and decided to give them a try. There are a number of different combinations you can try whether it be milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate. You can also try an endless amount of different things in place of the peanut butter if you prefer. I opted for dark chocolate and made some candies with almond butter and the others with Buff Bake’s Birthday Cake Protein Butter. I will explain how I made these delicious dark chocolate nut butter cups below.

Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

I stumbled upon a plastic candy mold at my local Hobby Lobby that is very similar to this one. I had no trouble with the plastic one but there are silicone ones available as well. I started by melting 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips with 1/2 tbsp. of coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. It can be easy to overcook the chocolate so I typically only heat the chocolate for 20 seconds at a time and will stir the chocolate and heat it another 15-20 seconds. Once the chocolate is completely melted, I spoon a small amount of chocolate into the bottom of the candy mold. I spoon just enough chocolate into the mold to cover the bottom. Once I have finished coating the bottom of the molds in chocolate, I place the molds in the freezer for about 5 minutes to let the chocolate harden.

Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Cups Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

After the chocolate has hardened, I remove the molds from the freezer and get ready to put the nut butter into the molds. Make sure the nut butter or whatever filling you are using is not too oily or it will not harden properly. I used Justin’s Almond Butter for about half of the molds and Buff Bake’s Birthday Cake Protein Butter for the other half. I spoon a small amount of the nut butter into the molds onto the hardened chocolate.

Depending on how much melted chocolate you have left over you may have to melt some more to have enough to top off the molds or you may have to reheat the leftover chocolate from earlier. Spoon some melted chocolate over the top of the nut butter until the nut butter is covered and the chocolate reaches the top of the mold. Place the molds back into the freezer for another 5 minutes or until the nut butter cups have completely hardened. To pop the nut butter cups out of the mold I simply pressed on the bottom of the mold and the candy easily popped out.

Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

My favorite candy between the two was definitely the nut butter cups filled with the Buff Bake Birthday Cake Protein Butter. I am looking forward to experimenting with other combinations. What are your favorite combinations?

Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

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Quinoa Crusted Tilapia

Quinoa Crusted Tilapia

We eat a lot of fish and chicken in our house and sometimes I find myself getting burnt out on both of them. I am constantly looking for new ways to prepare both fish and chicken to try to keep them interesting so that I don’t dread eating my dinner every night. Tilapia is probably one of my favorite fish to cook because it is so simple and quick. I try to find low carb ways to bread both my fish and chicken to switch it up every once in a while. I have used almond flour and several different types of nuts to crust my fish in the past but this was my first attempt at crusting with quinoa. This quinoa crusted tilapia is packed full of flavor and I don’t see myself getting tired of it anytime soon.

Quinoa Crusted Tilapia

To achieve this golden flavor-packed tilapia, you will need to start by cooking 3/4 a cup of quinoa on the stove top. Once the quinoa is completely cooked, set aside and let cool. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Once quinoa is cooled, spread it out on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and place it in the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes. The goal is to try to dry out the quinoa to make it crunchy. Remove the quinoa from the oven and set it aside to cool once again.

Quinoa Crusted Tilapia

While the quinoa cools, we can begin to make the rest of the crust. In a mixing bowl, combine 2/3 cup of shredded parmesan cheese, 3/4 tsp of garlic powder, and 1 tsp of paprika. Once the quinoa has cooled, add it to the mixing bowl and stir all the ingredients together.

Quinoa Crusted Tilapia

Lay out 3 separate plates and pour the quinoa mixture out onto one of them. On the second plate, pour half a cup of almond flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour), and on the third, pour 1 beaten egg. Dredge the tilapia through the almond flour and then place into the egg before finally coating in the quinoa mixture. Continue this process for the next two pieces of fish as well. Place the fish into a pan with a small amount of olive oil and lightly cook on each side before placing into the oven at 375 degrees F to finish cooking the fish. Once the tilapia is completely cooked, remove from the oven and enjoy!

Quinoa Crusted Tilapia

Quinoa Crusted Tilapia

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of quinoa
  • 2/3 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour

Instructions

  1. Start by cooking 3/4 a cup of quinoa on the stove top.
  2. Once the quinoa is completely cooked, set aside and let cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  4. Once quinoa is cooled, spread it out on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and place it in the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes. The goal is to try to dry out the quinoa to make it crunchy.
  5. Remove the quinoa from the oven and set it aside to cool once again.
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine 2/3 cup of shredded parmesan cheese, 3/4 tsp of garlic powder, and 1 tsp of paprika.
  7. Once the quinoa has cooled, add it to the mixing bowl and stir all the ingredients together.
  8. Lay out 3 separate plates and pour the quinoa mixture out onto one of them.
  9. On the second plate, pour half a cup of almond flour.
  10. On the third, pour 1 beaten egg.
  11. Dredge the tilapia through the almond flour and then place into the egg before finally coating in the quinoa mixture. Continue this process for the next two pieces of fish as well.
  12. Place the fish into a pan with a small amount of olive oil and lightly cook on each side before placing into the oven at 375 degrees F to finish cooking the fish.
  13. Once the tilapia is completely cooked, remove from the oven and enjoy!
http://www.thesouthernmagnolia.com/quinoa-crusted-tilapia/

Quinoa Crusted Tilapia

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Skinny Turkey Meatloaf

Skinny Turkey Meatloaf

The Southern Magnolia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

Growing up I never really liked meatloaf. It wasn’t because I had ever tried it and disliked the taste but more because of the way it looked and the name. Something about the name “meat loaf” was off putting to me so whenever it was an option I simply steered clear. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I tried a meat loaf for the first time and surprisingly enough I actually really liked it. Now the traditional meat loaf isn’t exactly the healthiest thing so that is what inspired me to come up with this skinny turkey meatloaf recipe.

There are so many different options of ingredients that you can use in a meatloaf so don’t be afraid to get creative. In order to cut down on the fat content that is in a traditional meatloaf, I chose to use lean ground turkey. I usually opt for the 98% fat free ground turkey.

Skinny Turkey Meatloaf

To start, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Next we will dice an onion and cook on the stove top in a small amount of olive oil until onions become translucent.

Skinny Turkey Meatloaf

In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked onions with 2 lbs of lean ground turkey, 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs, 1 egg and 1 egg white, and 1/3 cup of ketchup. Ketchup is one of those condiments that is loaded with sugar and sodium. I use a ketchup with 50% less sugar, 50% less sodium and no high fructose corn syrup. For the breadcrumbs, I prefer to use Ian’s Panko breadcrumbs which is perfect for those that require a gluten free option. Stir all of the ingredients until they are completely mixed.

Skinny Turkey MeatloafNext we will prepare the sauce for our meatloaf. In a separate mixing bowl combine 3 tablespoons of ketchup and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Stir mixture and set aside.

Skinny Turkey Meatloaf Skinny Turkey Meatloaf

Spray a loaf pan with a nonstick spray and add the turkey mixture to the pan. Spoon the sauce of the top of the turkey mixture and place into the preheated oven. Cook the meatloaf for 50 mins to 1 hour.

turkeymeatloaf10

Skinny Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg and 1 egg white
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup and 3 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Dice and oil and sauté in a small amount of oil until onion becomes translucent.
  3. Combine 2 lbs of ground turkey, cooked onion, 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs, 1 egg and 1 egg white and 1/3 cup of ketchup into a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  4. In a separate bowl combine 3 tablespoons of ketchup and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and stir.
  5. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray and add in the ground turkey mixture.
  6. Spoon the sauce over top and place into the preheated oven.
  7. Cook the meatloaf 50 minutes to 1 hour.
http://www.thesouthernmagnolia.com/skinny-turkey-meatloaf/

Skinny Turkey Meatloaf

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Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almonf Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

I may have mentioned this before but I am a huge fan of sweets. In my attempt to eat healthy I don’t eat a ton of sweets but do have the occasional splurge. I am always on the look out for healthier recipes for some of my favorite desserts. One of my favorite sweets to indulge in is probably a chocolate chip cookie. Anyone else with me? You just can’t beat one fresh out of the oven still warm and gooey.

almond flour chocolate chip cookiesThe Southern Magnolia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

I stumbled upon Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour chocolate chip cookie recipe and decided to give it a try. I have been a huge fan of Bob’s Red Mill almond flour for a while and use it in all kinds of things like low-carb chocolate pancakes (recipe to come soon), zucchini brownies, cauliflower cornbread, and roasted acorn squash. It is a healthier and lower carb alternative to using traditional wheat flour.

almond flour chocolate chip cookies almond flour chocolate chip cookies

Now to get down to business, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. The Bob’s Red Mill recipe makes 25 cookies but I decided to cut the recipe in half since it was my first time trying these cookies and I wanted to make sure I liked the taste before making a large batch. I started by combining 1 1/2 cups of almond flour with 1/2 tsp of baking soda. In a separate bowl I combined 1/8 cup of coconut oil and 1/8 cup of sugar-free maple syrup (I prefer the taste of the Hungry Jack sugar free syrup). Mix the syrup and coconut oil until mixture becomes creamy, it takes several minutes. Next I added 1 egg, and 1 egg white as well as 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract to the syrup mixture. Mix for another couple of minutes. Add the almond flour and baking soda into the wet ingredients and thoroughly mix. Add in 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips and mix further.

almond flour chocolate chip cookies almond flour chocolate chip cookies

Next either grease a baking sheet or place a silicone baking mat over the baking sheet. In the past I typically would just grease the baking sheet and sometimes food would still stick. Since using a silicone baking sheet I have not had any trouble with food sticking and cleanup is so much easier. Scoop a tablespoon of the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet and repeat until you have used all the dough, leaving about 1 inch of space in between each cookie. Place into the oven for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are nice and golden.

almond flour chocolate chip cookies

To get the full recipe for these almond flour chocolate chip cookies, head to the Bob’s Red Mill website here.

almond flour chocolate chip cookies

I had mixed feelings on these cookies. I prefer my cookies more on the gooey side and these came out to be a bit more dry than I like. Also, I didn’t find them to be very sweet tasting. Next time I will either try adding stevia to the mixture or adding a bit of vitafiber, which would help with the texture and taste. My husband, however, loved the cookies so it wasn’t a total bust.

almond flour chocolate chip cookies

 

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Cabo San Lucas Mexico: Reviewing our Trip

Cabo San Lucas

Today I will be recapping my husband and I’s recent vacation to Cabo San Lucas. You may have read my post here where I mention that he surprised me with a trip to Cabo for our anniversary. It was my first time visiting Mexico and I absolutely loved it.

The Resort:

We stayed at an all inclusive resort, Secrets, in San Jose de Cabo which was about 40 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas. It is an adult only resort so this option may not work for everyone. I can not recommend this resort enough. The staff, the food, and the accommodations were all top notch.  There are a couple of different options room wise. We stayed in a room with an ocean view but there are also rooms with a swim up pools. The rooms are beautifully decorated with either king size beds or two double beds. They also offer a number of different types of pillows to choose from if you require a special one to sleep at night. The bathrooms are very spacious with a huge shower and a jacuzzi for two. Each room has a safe that you can store your valuables in when you are out of the room. Most places charge hefty fees for anything you take out of the mini bar but this resort offers a complimentary minibar filled with beer, juice, sodas and water that is replenished everyday.

Cabo San Lucas Cabo San Lucas

The maid service comes around to every room twice a day. Typically once to clean the room and the second time for the turn-down service. The staff does an incredible job at cleaning up the rooms and replenishing the towels, bath products, and minibar. You can call the concierge to schedule what time you would like your turn down service if you prefer a certain time. My husband and I tend to turn in earlier than a lot of the others so we were usually already in the bed when they would come around for turn down service. There is a do not disturb switch inside the room that lights up outside advising staff if they can come in or not. There is also a room service box that the staff can deliver your order to and you can receive it without having to open your door. The resort also offers free Wi-Fi throughout the resort and it worked very well the entire time we were there. The staff puts on several activities and events throughout the day and at night, which include water volleyball, beach volleyball, aerobics, ping pong, and lots of other games. You can find the schedule for events on a specific channel on your TV or on the daily newsletter they post in the lobby so that you can plan accordingly.

There is a decent sized gym also available at the resort. My husband and I like to indulge a little more while we are on vacation than we typically do at home so we like to hit the gym in the morning to get a workout in before we start our day. The staff keeps the gym stocked with water bottles and towels so you don’t have to bring your own. There is also a spa at the resort but my husband and I didn’t get a chance to check it out during our stay. The resort also has a golf course for those that are interested. There are two infinity pools as well as the pool with the swim up bar. One of the pools is where most of the activities takes place throughout the day so the other infinity pool is available for those that would like more peace and quiet. Another thing that was nice is that for the most part there were plenty of lounge chairs for all the guests. I know its always frustrating when you try to lay out at the pool only to find that all of the chairs are already taken.

Cabo San Lucas Cabo San Lucas

Food:

There are a total of six different restaurants and a coffee shop at the hotel and they offer room service 24/7. During our stay we ordered room service several times and tried all of the restaurant except for one. Room service offers a breakfast menu, a lunch/dinner menu, and an after midnight menu. They have tons of options on each menu that is perfect for even those picky eaters. It does take any where from 30-45 minutes to get your food after ordering so do take that into account when calling. We only stopped into the coffee shop once to grab my husband a coffee but they do offer pastries as well and they are open 24 hours a day.

One important thing to know about the restaurants at this resort is that they each have a separate dress code. We had no idea until our arrival that most of the dinner restaurants require pants for men. They won’t turn you away if you are in shorts but you will have to eat outside. Being outside in Mexico can get a little hot even at dinner time and the flies tend to swarm the minute your food is delivered. There is a gift shop at the resort where you can purchase pants if needed, which we ended up doing.

My favorite restaurant at the resort was probably Himitsu, which is an Asian restaurant. They serve sushi as well as have hibachi tables. They recommend calling ahead to make reservations if you are planning to sit at the hibachi tables because those tend to fill up fast. We just opted for the sushi as they had some incredible rolls as well as appetizers and salads. Since it was all inclusive who was I to turn down dessert, it was vacation after all. We probably ate at Himitsu at least three times during our trip.

Cabo San Lucas

There was also a Mexican restaurant called El Patio which had great food as well. Oceana was a third restaurant that was probably my second favorite. It is a seafood restaurant that has the most incredible view. You practically sit out on one of the infinity pools and have a view of the ocean and the mountains in the distance while the sun sinks below the horizon. The food was also incredible here. There is also an Italian restaurant called Portofino which is the only one we did not eat at. It has the strictest dress code of all the restaurants.

Cabo San Lucas

For breakfast and lunch we would typically eat at the Market Café. It is a buffet style restaurant filled with international cuisine. There were so many options available. For breakfast, they had a omelet bar in which the chef would prepare you an omelet just the way you wanted, which was my husbands favorite part. They also had a huge array of freshly baked breads and pastries available as well as tons of desserts. Literally anything you could think of, you could find at the buffet.

There are two restaurants located out by the pools, Barefoot Grill and Seaside Grill. You could eat over at the barefoot grill cabana or you could order and have it brought to you by the pool. They offered items like pizza and nachos. Seaside grill however offered lots more options and was a sit down restaurant that has outside seating only. We ate there on our first day and really enjoyed it.

There are multiple bars located through out the resort including the swim-up bar located in one of the pools. There is tons of staff that serve the pool areas so there is really no need to even leave your chair or the pool. They will bring you beverages as well as food items from the Barefoot Grill. They are also incredibly quick to help out with anything you may need while pool side as well.

Excursions:

There are tons of excursion options to do in Cabo San Lucas. The resort is nice enough that I didn’t even really feel the need to leave but we did embark on two excursions during our trip so I will be discussing those. The concierge desk is very helpful in going over all the excursion options and booking them for you to take any hassle out of it. My husband wanted to go fishing while we were there so we did book a full day fishing trip. We unfortunately did not catch anything but the views were incredible.

Cabo San Lucas

The second excursion we went on was the Sunset Cruise with a fajita dinner. You had the option to upgrade the trip for a captains dinner but we opted for the fajita dinner. The excursion included a trip to downtown Cabo San Lucas for shopping and Tequila tasting before heading over to the marina to board the boat. I honestly could have done without the shopping and tequila tasting personally. The area we stopped in to shop did not really have many options. Once boarding the boat, we headed up to the top deck where there was a live band playing. The boat sets sail and takes you around the rock formations, including the Arch, and Lover’s Beach. All the while the sun is slowly sinking behind the mountains. The views were really breathtaking. After the sun goes down, everyone heads down stairs for dinner and more entertainment. The dinner was delicious but the dining area was fairly crowded. Overall, I was really pleased with the excursion and definitely recommend it.

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One excursion that is supposed to be the most popular is the whale watching cruises. Unfortunately we were down there a little to early as whale season starts in December. That is definitely something that I would like to do if I ever get the opportunity to go back.

Cabo San Lucas

It was really hard to leave the resort on our last day. From the incredibly beautiful views, to the delicious food, to the amazing staff and service I can not recommend the Secrets Resort enough. Now I’ve got to figure out a way to convince my husband we either need to go back Cabo San Lucas or check out one of the many other Secrets Resorts.

 

 

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