Vanilla Plum Chia Seed Pudding

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One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about blogging is getting to see what trends other people are into and learn about new foods in the process. Lately it seems like everyone has been really excited about chia seeds, so I had to get some and try them out.

As much as I consider myself a healthy person, I’m always skeptical of new health foods. I always assume that they won’t taste good or I won’t like it and I’ll end up disappointed. So, naturally, I was hesitant to try these chia seeds but boy am I glad I did! This pudding is seriously good, you wouldn’t believe it’s made with such healthy ingredients. I had the intentions of making it for dessert, but I couldn’t resist taking a few too many spoonfuls throughout the day while it chilled. The plums also make it such a beautiful pink color, what’s not to like!?

And of course it’s Fiesta Friday! So I guess I’m that person bringing the healthy food to the party, but I think you’ll enjoy it!

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4-5 plums
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup chia seeds

1. Cut the plums up into small pieces. Place them in a plan with the water and sugar on low heat. Cook the plums on low heat for about 5 minutes, then bring the heat to medium until it starts to get bubbly. Then turn the heat back down and cook on low heat for 8-10 more minutes, until the plums are mushy and soft. Stir in the vanilla, then turn off the heat and let sit until cooled.

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2. Add the milk to a bowl and stir in the chia seeds. When the plums have cooled incorporate them into the milk mixture.

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3. Chill the mixture overnight, enjoy!

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Chocolate Whiskey Brownies with Caramel Drizzle

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Happy (early) St. Patrick’s day everyone!  And also Happy Fiesta Friday, The Novice Gardener’s blog party!  So much to celebrate today! Whether you’re going out, throwing a party or just staying in these brownies are the perfect way to celebrate.  The brownie is nice and chocolatey, while the addition of the whiskey gives you just a little kick. I decided the flavor of the whiskey in the batter wasn’t quite enough after they baked, so I brushed some more on top of the cooked brownies. You can adjust how much you add if you want more or less whiskey taste.

I also had trouble deciding how to frost these. I usually like a thick layer of butter cream on brownies but I didn’t want to outshine the whiskey so I opted for a caramel drizzle instead. I suggest saving some of the caramel and pour a little extra over each brownie before you eat it – but that’s just my idea!

Chocolate Whiskey Brownies Recipe adapted from Hershey’s Ultimate Chocolate Brownies
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup whiskey
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Caramel Drizzle
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine the cocoa powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the boiling water and mix well.

2. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl and mix. Next add the eggs mixing after each one. Then add the flour, whiskey and salt and combine until the mixture is smooth.  Finally, add in the chocolate chips.

3. Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  If you want a stronger whiskey flavor, poke the baked brownies all over with a fork and brush some more whiskey on top.

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4. Next make the caramel. Combine the heavy cream and butter in a pan on low heat. Then add the brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let it cool. When the brownies have cooled and the caramel has thickened lightly pour the caramel over the brownies, enjoy!

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brownie

 

Apple and Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

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I have to give credit to my husband for the genius behind these cinnamon rolls. While I was debating what I should put in them, he suggested Nutella, I immediately decided to go with that idea and it I’m glad I did. This weekend I ran my first 5k. I begrudgingly signed up for it after my husband and friend decided to do it and had been dreading it ever since. For those of you who don’t know, I absolutely HATE running, I never run and I certainly never understood the idea of paying to run. But it turns out the 5k was actually pretty fun and kind of motivated me to see if I can do another.

After successfully finishing the race, I decided I deserved an indulgent Sunday morning breakfast. Given the chilly weather and my seemingly endless surplus of apples I decided a cinnamon roll was the perfect choice. These were great treats, super soft and gooey on the inside perfectly browned on the outside. These would definitely make a great breakfast Thanksgiving morning to tide your family over until the big meal is ready.

Apple and Nutella Cinnamon Rolls
Dough:
3 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons meted butter
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg

Filling:
1 large apple cut into small chunks
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup Nutella

1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a separate bowl add the milk, melted butter, the egg and combine. Using the dough hook attachment slowly combine the wet ingredients with the dry until it forms a ball. If your dough seems really sticky add a bit more flour.

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2. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise for 60 minutes.

3. To make the filling add the cut up apples to a bowl and then mix them with the lemon juice. Combine the rest of the fillings ingredients with the apples.

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4. When the dough has risen place it on a floured surface and begin rolling it out (I have limited counter space so I had to do this in two batches). Roll the dough out evenly until its
about 1/4 inch thick.

5. Spread the filling in the middle of the dough. Roll the dough up and cut off the ends. Cut the dough into 2-3 inch segments and place on a baking sheet.

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6. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until the rolls begin to brown. Some of the filling will likely spill out while they’re cooking but that’s ok. Enjoy!
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