Homemade Frothed Hot Chocolate

This is the easiest Hot Chocolate recipe. You’ll never want to use packaged Hot Chocolate again!

Recipe

  • 1/2 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Hershey’s Cocoa Powder
  • 4 Cups of Milk (milk substitute such as Almond or Oat Milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup of Hot Water
  • Crushed Peppermint Candy (optional)
  • Marshmallows (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)

In a medium sized sauce pan, add the sugar & cocoa. Add in the water and bring to a boil. Be sure to stir constantly as the mixture is boiling. Boil for about 2 minutes and then reduce the heat to low.

Next, add the milk and stir. Turn the heat back up enough to warm the milk mixture, but do not boil. Add the vanilla. For froth, continuously whisk mixture as it warms up until foamy.

Serve in your favorite mug and garnish with Marshmallows, cinnamon, and crushed peppermint candy, if you’re fancy. Enjoy!

Keep Calm & Detox

It is so important to detox your body, whether it be through a juice cleanse, or removing toxic foods and beverages from your diet! Try some of my favorite recipes for a natural body detox.

7 Benefits Of Detoxing

  1. Provide your body with necessary vitamins and minerals.
  2. Immune System support
  3. Increased energy levels
  4. Aids in weight management
  5. Helps to improve skin blemishes.
  6. Helps fight food craving
  7. Improves Skin

Juice 1: Berry Blast Detox Smoothie

  • 5-6 strawberries
  • 1 half cup of blueberries
  • 1 half cup of raspberries
  • 1 piece of ginger
  • lemon juice from half lemon
  • 1 handful of spinach or kale
  • Almond milk or by product of your choice

Juice 2: Mean Green

  • 1 hand full of kale
  • 1 or 1/2 lemon peeled
  • Half of cucumber
  • One large or 2 small green apples
  • 1 piece of ginger
  • 1 or 2 celery stalks (remove leaves)

Juice 3: Cozy Detox Tea

  • 2 bags of green tea
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder or boiled turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder or boiled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

Juice 4: Orange Sicle

  • 2-3 large oranges peeled
  • 2 large or 3 medium sized carrots
  • 1/2 cup of pineapples
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder or 1/2 of small turmeric root
  • 1 pinch of black pepper

Strawberry Cobbler with Strawberry Lemon Butter Glaze

Welcome back to my page! Today I am sharing the easiest Cobbler recipe ever. The fun thing about Cobbler is its versatility. You can literally make any flavor you want. Some of my favorites–Strawberry, Blueberry, Peach and Apple. You can also mix all the fruit you want. Cobblers are great year-round which makes them the perfect desert for any occasion.

Recipe

  • 1 Cup of Self Rising Flour
  • 1 Cup of Sugar (for cobbler mix)
  • 1/2 Cup of Sugar (for fruit)
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Cartons of Fresh Strawberries (substitute for fruit of your choice)
  • Vanilla Ice Cream for serving
  • Pie baking dish–glass, ceramic, or tin

GLAZE (optional)

  • 1 Cup of Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of Strawberry Juice.
  • 1 Tablespoon of milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Melted Butter
  • Pinch of salt

Cut strawberries in half and place in a large bowl. Squeeze juice of 1/2 of a lemon on top of strawberries. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over the strawberries-mix together and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a stick of butter inside of your baking dish. Place dish inside of the oven to melt the butter. When completely melted, remove from oven and set on top of the stove.

In a large bowl add flour, sugar, milk, and vanilla–mix well. Remove strawberries from fridge. Add the fruit to your baking dish, covering the entire base of the dish. If you want to add fruit on top of your cobbler when it’s done, save some of the fruit. Pour your liquid mixture evenly inside of the baking dish.

Place baking dish in oven for 45-50 minutes or until crust has risen and turns golden brown. When cobbler is desired color, remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite Ice Cream! Enjoy!

GLAZE: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until desired consistency is achieved. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Pumpkin Bread

Welcome! I’m really into fall right now and all of the great treats that come with it—Pumpkin Bread is one! I tried a recipe before for Pumpkin Bread and it was a flop. After experimenting in the kitchen, I created the perfect bread! Check out the recipe below.

Recipe

  • 1 15oz can of pure pumpkin
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cloves (you can a use 1/2 teaspoon if you find cloves to be too strong)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon (you can add more cinnamon if you like the flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter–softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (clear or brown)
  • Step 1: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  • Step 2: In a large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. Lightly mix together.
  • Step 3: Grab a fresh mixing bowl. In this bowl, add the softened butter and sugar– mix well. At this point the mixture will look crumbly—that’s perfect.
  • Step 4: Add the eggs to the sugar and butter mix and blend just until the mixture becomes fluffy.
  • Step 5: Add your flour mixture to the fluffy egg and sugar mixture along with the pumpkin puree—mix well until ingredients are mixed. At this point, you can add vanilla to the mixture if you desire.
  • Step 6: When your mix is blended well, grease two 8×4 inch loaf pans with cooking spray or butter. Also, add a little flour to the bottom of the pans to prevent sticking.
  • Step 7: Pour mixture evenly into both pans.
  • Step 8: Bake on 325 for 60-65 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!

TIPS:

  • Do not overbake the bread.
  • I suggest using a hand mixer or stand mixer. It is really hard to combine all ingredients with a whisk or spoon.
  • Make sure your bread is cool enough before serving.

Cast Iron Baked Mac & Cheese

Alright y’all. As promised, I’m sharing this homemade Mac & Cheese recipe. The key to this recipe is baking with a Deep Dish Cast Iron skillet. Cast Iron skillets are great because they heat evenly. Food cooks faster without the headache of adjusting temperature. Another important thing to keep in mind when making this is the quality of cheese. I’m not saying break the bank, but buy a good quality cheese. It is time consuming, but shredding your own cheese provides a better result. Some of the pre-shredded cheeses contain fillers that make it nearly impossible for the cheese to melt properly. If you do buy shredded cheese, use a “creamy-melt” or the cheese available in the deli area. Let’s get into it!

RECIPE

  • 2 32oz containers of chicken stock
  • 1 box of elbow macaroni noodles (more or less depending on how much you’re making)
  • 8-9 cups of your favorite cheese (I use Mozzarella, Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar & Monterey Jack)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream (add more if needed)
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste (don’t add too much salt. Cheese is naturally salty)
  • 1 stick of butter

The first thing you want to do is boil your noodles in the chicken stock. You don’t want to cook the noodles completely because they will cook more in the oven. Just make sure they are tender. Drain noodles. Add noodles to a large bowl and add your butter–stir lightly. Add the sour cream and mix in. At this point, you want to make sure the noodles are coated well in sour cream and the mixture is nice and creamy. If you need to add more sour cream, go for it. Next, add a little salt and pepper. Then add about 2-3 cups of cheese to the mixture and stir. Set aside and grab another bowl. In your fresh bowl, add the eggs, milk, and heavy cream and whisk together–set aside

Next, grease your Cast Iron really well with butter or olive oil to prevent sticking. Once completed, add a layer of the macaroni mixture to the skillet, then a layer of cheese, and then pour in some of the milk mixture and repeat this process two more times. You want to add about a cup or so of the milk mixture at a time. When you get to your final layer of cheese, make sure it covers all of the noodles. You really want to be heavy handed on the top layer of cheese. It needs to brown nicely in the oven. Bake on 375 for 50 minutes to 1 hour. If you want to check if the macaroni is done, stick a spoon in the corner of the skillet and lift. If you see the milk mixture is still a little runny, that means you need to bake a little while longer. Bake 10 extra minutes at a time until the mixture is no longer runny or to your desired texture.

Think of this recipe as a lasagna. All you’re doing is layering. You should have 3 layers of noodles, cheese, and milk mixture by the time you are done. If you are using a regular Cast Iron skillet and not a deep dish, you will only have 2 layers. I suggest reserving 1 cup of the milk mixture if using a regular Cast Iron. This is a recipe you can’t ruin. You can use as much cheese as you want. The only step I recommend following exactly is the milk mixture. If you use less cheese than recommended , you may want to cut down on the amount of milk and cream you use because you don’t want it to come out soupy. But honestly, if you’re not going to use a lot a cheese, don’t bother making this. It is not meant to be healthy, it’s meant to taste good! If you try this recipe, take a picture and tag me! I hope you enjoy!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Southern Fried Cabbage

Hi there! Thank you for stopping by to check out this easy version of fried cabbage. Fried cabbage is a southern staple–prepared all year long. With the holidays approaching, I wanted to give you one more recipe to add to your feast!

The great thing about fried cabbage is that you can make it as southern as you want or…not. This recipe can be made vegan with all of the same flavor. If you are preparing this dish for a larger party, double the ingredients.

RECIPE

  • 1 smoked turkey, beef or pork sausage link or 1 pack of bacon (all if you desire)
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of Texas Pete Hot sauce or Tabasco sauce (adjust hot sauce to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons of FRESH parsley for garnish.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons of liquid smoke (vegan option)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of poultry seasoning (vegan option)
  • 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (optional)

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and fry your bacon or sausage. When meat is cooked, remove from pan, leaving the grease behind. Chop your meat into bite sized pieces and set aside for later.

Add your chopped garlic, chopped onion and chopped bell pepper to the pot until onions cook down. Add your cabbage and stir in well. It is important you do not cover the cabbage with a lid. This will cause the cabbage to steam, not fry. When cabbage has cooked down to almost desired texture, return your meat to the pot. Continue to stir-fry cabbage for about 2-3 additional minutes. I like my cabbage cooked with a little crunch, not wilted completely.

Add your Tabasco or Hot sauce, smoked paprika and salt & pepper. When desired taste is reached, remove from pot and garnish with fresh parsley.

VEGAN OPTION

Follow the steps above, but do not use meat. Instead of bacon or sausage grease, use your favorite oil. When you begin to season your cabbage, add the liquid smoke and poultry seasoning.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Summer Blueberry Salad

First and foremost, thank you for checking out this quick and easy recipe! I’m just going to get to the point. I bought a salad bowl, and it triggered the desire for me to make more salads…and here we are.

So, I tried this super easy summer salad. It is a quick and easy meal you can easily dress up and make your own. This salad is also packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

RECIPE

Romaine Lettuce

Arugula

Spinach

Blueberries

Red Onion

Heirloom Tomatoes

Chicken, Shrimp, or Steak (Optional)

Eggs (optional)

Salt & Pepper

Olive oil (optional)

Shredded Cheese (Mozzarella or Feta)

Cut up the lettuce to your desired size. Wash and mix lettuce, spinach and Arugula. Slice the onion and tomatoes and add to the greens. Rinse blueberries and add to the greens. *I love blueberries so I go a little overboard sometimes.

Garnish with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil (optional). If you like some sort of protein in your salad, feel free to add eggs, grilled shrimp, chicken or steak. Complement this salad with fresh blueberry or raspberry vinaigrette if desired.

Health Benefits

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes are packed with nutrients that our bodies crave. Just remember, tomatoes are…fruit…yes, fruit, which means they contribute to your overall well-being. Tomatoes are a major source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Heirloom tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Not only are tomatoes good for you, but they always add a little color to any salad.

Arugula


Personally, I think arugula is not the tastiest leafy green–with an odd taste and peppery bite, but I can tolerate it every now then because it is super healthy. Arugula is full of antioxidants and full of calcium, potassium, vitamin C, K, A, and folate. Arugula is considered a Superfood which means it is a ” nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being”.

Blueberries

Ahh, yes, the humble blueberry. I think blueberries are underrated and taken for-granted. Blueberries are the King of antioxidant foods. Blueberries reduce DNA damage that can help protect against cancer and aging. Blueberries may help lower blood pressure and decrease chances of heart disease.

Soufriere, ST. Lucia

So–my trip to St. Lucia started off a little rocky. Our flight was delayed and we ended up stuck in Miami for two days, yes, TWO DAYS!! It was not terrible simply because we were in Miami, however, it was a terrible start to what was supposed to be a four day vacation. Needless to say, we are no longer American Airline customers.

When we finally arrived to St. Lucia, we were truly amazed at how beautiful the island was. The Pitons (mountains) were gorgeous and just blew us away. We decided to stay at Ladera Resort in Soufriere, St Lucia. This hotel is amazing because all rooms conform to a 3-walled concept. This means the entire room is essentially outside. We opted to stay in an enclosed unit with a fourth wall. I’m not a fan of wildlife, but still wanted the experience.

We learned that the hotel itself actually sits in an inactive volcano. Most people would be concerned of eruption, but the St. Lucians assured us not to be worried. There are geologist that come to the island every few moths to monitor the islands’ volcanoes.

There is still gas that emerges from the volcano. Surprisingly, the gas smelled awful–worse than rotten eggs.
We spent most of our time at the hotel by our private pool relaxing. We took so many naps, but they were much needed. Each night, we were served dinner at the hotels restaurant, Dasheene. We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at this restaurant. Each meal was excellent. I really wanted a chance to mingle with the locals and try some authentic St. Lucian food, but we just ran out of time.

We were able to get out and take a tour of the island. This was great because it gave us a chance to really dive into the culture and see what the island was all about. If you ever visit St. Lucia, Diamond Falls and the Sulfur Springs are a must do! The Sulfur Springs is a mud bath composed of volcanic ash. This bath is believed to have healing properties for the body. The water was naturally warm, which was an added plus .

If I had the chance, I would return to St. Lucia, but go to the North side where there is a little bit more action. Ladera is a once in a lifetime experience and should be on anyone’s bucket list, however, if you are interested in many activities on a resort, this is not the place. Come prepared to relax–read a book kind of relax. I appreciated the tranquility Ladera offered. It is the peace we all need!

If you decide to stay at Ladera, I would recommend staying in a 3-walled room if you can handle an occasional lizard and a few bugs. All beds are covered in a mosquito net, which prevents most pests. Being that Ladera is at a high elevation, there is a lot of wind. Be sure to choose a suite with a heated pool (something we did not do). The weather is nice, but with the added wind, it would have been nice to have a warm pool.

If you do not plan to deviate much from the resort, it may benefit you to obtain an all inclusive package. I only suggest this if you intend to drink a lot. We ate three times a day and it added up, but the all inclusive plan was a lot more than the amount we actually spent on food a drinks per day, so, to each his own.

Overall, we had a great trip. I would recommend this experience to anyone seeking a little adventure.

Dinner at Dasheene

New Providence, Bahamas

Oh the Bahamas! Let’s just say you will experience no place like it. On August 17, 2017, we set sail on a three day cruise. Now, this was my first time on a cruise and it was the exact opposite of my expectations. I expected the Titanic, of course. For anyone wondering, excursions were booked through the Carnival cruise line. When sailing, booking excursions through the cruise line is the safest route to go.

After our luggage was delivered to our room, we spent the first few hours of our time on the ship learning our way around and throwing a few back, if you know what I mean. Everyone was nice and was ready to have a good time! We explored the restaurants and the multiple bars. There were available activities every day–pool parties, games, comedy shows, night clubs, live musical entertainment and much more. Just as a side note– do not over pack! I think we packed two bags each, big mistake. Pack lightly and only your essentials. One bag is enough.

Most days at sea were pretty much the same. By the time we actually arrived to the Bahamas, I was ready to explore. We got up early that morning, ate a hardy breakfast and took a mini boat from our cruise ship to reach the island. When we arrived, we were in complete awe of how beautiful the views were. We had two excursions planned for that day. Our First excursion was jet ski riding. I’m sill not sure why I agreed to do this. It was the best /worst experience of my life. I am a pretty good swimmer, but I’ve never had to battle it out with ocean waves. It started out great and ended great, but I still have mixed feelings about everything in between.

Here we go!

Needless to say, my honey had no problem taking off on his jet skies, as if he’d done it one hundred times before. If you’ve never operated a jet ski, I would highly recommend it for the experience. If you crave a little excitement, then this is an excursion for you. This excursion lasted roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes. All equipment is provided for you.

Next up: ATV Island Tour. This by far was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. I will say, I was a bit more relaxed with this excursion because we were on land. We began by getting suited up and picking our bikes. This tour was done in a group of about 12 people. We rode together, following our tour guide around New Providence Island. We had the freedom to go as fast as we wanted, just not passing the tour guide for safety reasons. One guy in our group was actually thrown off his bike, into the bushes. He ended up okay, and came out with a small scratch. When everyone knew he was okay, we could not do anything but laugh with him! If you are not experienced with ATVs, just be careful! Accidents can happen.

By the time we got back to the ship, we were exhausted and full from the amazing island food we had on our tour. We ate at a little hut on New Providence Island after we finished our tour and it was amazing! We had jerk chicken, shrimp, macaroni and cheese and cornbread. Some of the best island food I’ve had. It’s hard to find the authenticity in the states.

Let me say this: if you are cruising, BRING EXTRA MONEY. If you do a short cruise like we did, I would say bring a minimum of 250 dollars USD just for entertainment, drinks, and other food options. The cruise line also allows you to purchase their beverage program. With this, you pay around 50 dollars a day for the length of your cruise. Keep in mind, if there are two of you in one room, both people must buy the package. I didn’t feel it was necessary, but if you are a big drinker, go for it!

We spent a lot of our time in the Casino and it’s easy to cash out . Like I mentioned earlier, bring extra money for things like this. My honey spent a lot of time playing in the casino, and he actually won! He’s not a millionaire, but he won, TWICE.

One restaurant that we found really enjoyable was Guy’s Burger Joint and the pizza shop. There are buffets in the morning and around dinner time. People say you can eat 24 hours, and you can but there are only a few restaurants open 24 hours, at least on this particular cruise. We mostly ate pizza on late nights and room service was available 24 hours.

Don’t forget to bring your fancy attire for the Captains dinner. Here’s the time to get dressed up and enjoy a meal. To our surprise, the seating arrangements were strange and we were upset because we were not aware. Basically, if you are a party of two, you will more than likely end up sitting at a dinner table with other people. If you want a private dinner arrangement, be sure to ask in advance. I think some of the food is over hyped on cruise ships and just not aligned with my pallet. Some may argue, but I know good food when I have it. I didn’t make a big deal of it because I understand they are feeding thousands of people, and you can’t please everyone.

Overall this was a great experience and definitely one for the books. We had a ton of fun and experienced new things together. What more could I ask for? I would recommend this be a trip you take at least once. No matter where you cruise, you can expect to have a great time.