Halloween Caprese Salad

Halloween Eyeball Caprese Salad


I’m back with more Halloween fun for y’all today! I have a TON of basil growing in my yard right now and I absolutely love caprese salads so I wanted to make a yummy recipe with a spooky twist. I know that olives are not typically included in a caprese salad but I also LOVE black olives and needed the pop of black for my food art creation. They are the perfect option for creating tasty and creative food art for Halloween. This recipe is super easy and a great healthy alternative to all of the candy at Halloween parties.

Ingredients mozzarella tomatoes olives basil

Ingredients

Basil Leaves
Fresh Mozzarella Pearls
California Black Ripe Olives
Grape Tomatoes
Balsamic Reduction

Halloween Table Setup with Caprese Salad

Directions

First, slice your tomatoes and olives. Next, using a spoon, mash your mozzarella pearls (this gives them a little more texture and makes them a little larger). Then place your basil leaves out on a tray and layer the tomatoes, mozzarella and olives on top. The final step is to drizzle the balsamic reduction on top before serving. You can serve them plain with toothpicks or have some chips or crackers on the side. Enjoy!

Eyeball Caprese Salad in Bat Glasses

Don’t forget to download the water bottle labels that I designed as well, they add a special touch to your Halloween table setting.

Halloween Caprese Salad on Platter

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you.

Fall Recipe Roundup

I was browsing through my archives and realized I have a ton of great Fall inspired recipes so I decided to gather up my favorites for you today! I’d love to hear if you make any of them.

Maple & Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies
maple brown sugar shortbread cookies

Gratin Dauphinois
Gratin Dauphinois Recipe

Peanut Butter Scotcheroos
peanut butter scotcheroos recipe

Candy Bar Surprise Cookies
halloween candy bar surprise cookies

Caramel Apple Cider
Caramel Apple Cider with Whipped Cream in Mason Jar


Cinnamon Apple Chips
Cinnamon Apple Chips Recipe

BONUS: 16 unique and delicious grilled cheese recipes

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Nestle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BreakfastEssentials http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

Last month I talked about being proactive in creating a healthier diet. In addition to what I mentioned then, I’m also drinking lots of smoothies, especially since it’s getting super hot in New Orleans!  I pretty much drink them all throughout the day, sometimes for breakfast, sometimes as a snack and even for dessert!

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie Ingredients

I have always been a huge fan of the Carnation Breakfast Essentials powders. They are so yummy and easy for breakfast, just dump a pack in a glass of milk and you are good to go! But have you ever thought about adding a pack to your smoothie, SO good! They come in lots of flavors so they work well for a variety of recipes. I find that it’s pretty hard to make a bad smoothie, most of the time I just wing the proportions! But since I love y’all, I put an actual recipe together for you!

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Mango Smoothie Ingredients

Ingredients

2 heaping cups of frozen strawberries
1/2 heaping cup of frozen mango
1 tablespoon almond butter
3 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 banana broken into pieces
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 packet of Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder (rich milk chocolate)

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Mango Smoothie Blender

Add all of these items into a blender and pulse until there is a smooth consistency. If you find it too thick, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until it blends more easily.

Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie Paper Straw
Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?  I’d love to know about it!

For other smoothie recipe ideas visit the Carnation Breakfast Essentials website and the Carnation Breakfast Essentials Facebook page.

I got all of these ingredients at Walmart and they even have a coupon right now for $1.00 off any Carnation Breakfast Essentials. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you and all opinions are my own.

Choosing Healthier Options

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Last week I shared how I get motivated to work out including fun fitness programs and sprucing up my gym wardrobe. Today, I’m going to share a few things I’ve been switching up in my daily meals for a healthier diet!

Kitchen Prep

I used to eat cereal for breakfast and a sandwich consisting of bread, turkey, cheese and mustard for lunch. Hello Ciera, where the heck are the fruits and veggies?! That was just no good and I’m determined to live a healthier lifestyle so I’m being proactive and changing what I eat! The cool thing about the meals I suggest below is that you start with the basics but customize them with different fruits and vegetables so that it doesn’t get boring!

 

Breakfast

Now I eat greek yogurt with fruit and granola. I stick to plain greek yogurt and use vanilla almond granola to sweeten it up some. My favorite fruits to add are pears, blueberries, strawberries and bananas.

Yogurt Blueberries Granola Coffee Breakfast

Lunch

Now I eat quinoa with veggies. I like to cook a bunch of quinoa at the beginning of the week and then switch up the ingredients each day. My favorite things to add are spinach, carrots, broccoli, red onions, garlic and garbonzo beans. I really just throw in whatever we have in the fridge. I just drizzle a little olive oil on top then I usually top it with avocado, salt and pepper.

Quinoa Carrot Spinach Veggie Bowl

Beverages

Now I swap regular high calorie soda with the TEN sodas product line. I know that water is always your best bet but I just can’t completely give up my occasional soda. The TEN sodas come in four flavors, 7-up, Sunkist, Canada Dry & A&W, and I found them at Walmart. They only have ten calories a serving but with the same full flavor of their regular counterparts! I also tried the 7-up with a splash of cranberry juice and it was really good!

Ten Calorie Soda Option

What do you like to eat for a healthier diet?

You can save $0.50 at Walmart when you buy TWO 2 Liter bottles or TWO 4-pack cans of 7UP TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TEN, RC TEN or Sunkist TEN soda. If you share that digital coupon via email, Facebook or Twitter (there is a click to share button) the coupon will save you $1.50 off that purchase instead of just $0.50! Offer available while supplies last, from 3/27-4/17. Click here for coupon and visit DPSG on Facebook and Twitter.

The Font Feast Presents Roasted Veggies

roasted-veggies

Last year, we signed up for our first CSA. Not the kind of CSA my friends subscribe to (no offense if you’re reading this, ladies) where you go pick up a cheap box of pineapples and bananas every week. The CSA we signed up for was run by a little family that grew, picked, and delivered all of their own vegetables every week from Spring to Fall. We signed up for a Large Box and were awash in produce for six whole months. We ate lots and lots and lots of cool vegetables–crazy varieties of cucumbers and broccoli, potatoes in every color imaginable, more tomatillos than we could possibly consume, the totally weird-looking but delicious kohlrabi–and oven-roasting became my go-to method for cooking any and every vegetable.

Oven-roasting is great for so very many reasons. First, it is so quick. It literally takes just a few minutes of prep work and just a few minutes of cooking. Even if you are cooking other things in the oven and have to wait to roast the veggies until the last minute, they’ll be ready by the time you’ve called everyone to the table. Second, you can roast pretty much any vegetable using this same method and they’ll taste great. All you have to vary is the cooking time. Third, it makes the colors really pop! Greens, oranges, purples…they all become even more vibrant as they cook. And last but not least, and actually best of all, roasted veggies taste amazing, plain and simple. They get brown and crispy in spots, and their flavor really deepens. Yum! I can’t wait for our Large Box of veggies to start rolling in again in a few weeks!

The font that inspired this easy recipe (more of a method, really) is so appropriate: Bright + Beautiful by Skyhaven Fonts.

Roasted Veggies Recipe

Roasted Veggies inspired by Bright + Beautiful

vegetables, washed, dried, and chopped into hefty bit-sized pieces (We are on a cauliflower kick lately!)
extra virgin olive oil
garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle all over with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with garlic salt. Using clean hands, toss the veggies until everything is well-coated with oil and salt. Roast the veggies, tossing occasionally with a long-handled spoon or spatula, until lovely, crispy, brown spots appear and the veggies are just tender. The time will vary depending on what vegetable you’re roasting. Green beans go quickly, broccoli and cauliflower take a little longer. Check often. Eat immediately.

So…this is my last Font Feast post, everybody. It has been such a pleasure to work with Ciera on this series for the past 18 months, and I’ve loved every single post! xoxo

The Font Feast Presents Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries

Nutella Strawberry Crepes Recipe

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! Luckily, my husband is a pro at breakfast-making. Fluffy buttermilk pancakes, crisp, golden waffles, savory scrambled eggs, hearty biscuits and gravy–you name it, he can make it. One of my favorite things that he makes for us is crepes! Crepes filled with apples and cinnamon and butter, crepes filled with lemon and powdered sugar, crepes filled with homemade berry jam. And the creme de la creme of crepes, at least at our house, crepes filled with Nutella, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream. They’re really easy to make, but they seem so fancy and indulgent, and are so delicious! They make even regular weekend breakfasts an event to remember!

The font I chose to go with our fancy French crepes is called Little Lord Fontleroy, and the moment I saw it, I knew it was the perfect French-inspired font for this month’s post. It’s just beautiful! 

Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries

Crepes with Nutella & Strawberries inspired by Little Lord Fontleroy

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
a splash of vanilla
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar
nutella
strawberries
whipped cream
powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil, salt, and vanilla. Add flour and cinnamon sugar and whisk until smooth. Spray a crepe pan or large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the center of the pan and gently swirl the pan to spread the batter out into a thin circle. Allow to cook until golden on the bottom. Using a large spatula, turn the crepe over and continue to cook until golden on both sides. Stack finished crepes on a large plate until ready to serve. Fill crepes with Nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream before serving, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 12 crepes.