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#TreatYourself: Karamel Krispies

October 21, 2016

Karamel Krispy Bar RecipeMy lovely, bakerista sister Kimberly is back with a delicious batch of goodies.

No, really.

Fair warning, these are *not* healthy for you. Let’s not even pretend these things are going to clear your arteries or freshen up your skin. Nope, these are total, 100% #treatyourself dessert bars.

But it’s all about balance, right? Or as close to “balance” as humanely possible. Basically, indulge without going overboard. Everything within moderation.

Alright, you were fairly warned.

But really. Look at these things…

Karamel Krispy Bar RecipeUgh I wish I could reach through the screen and just grab one right meow.

Karamel Krispy Bar RecipeSpeaking of healthy eating (ha!), I’ve been doing okay with all of that.

I’ve been sticking to #BBG (week 3!), incorporating yoga once a week and mixing in some strength training and LISS.

However, I’ve also been feeling super low-energy.

For awhile, I was tracking my calorie intake using MyFitnessPal again. I love using it get back on track after I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit. However, when I started upping my workouts, I obviously became hungrier and then it got to a point where I was worried I wasn’t eating enough…but then I don’t want to eat too much…

So now I’m in some weird limbo where I’m not sure how many calories I’m supposed to be eating.

I don’t want to eat too many and gain the wrong sort of weight (I don’t really care about the number on the scale, I just want to tone up and lose overall body fat), but don’t want to eat too little and run low on energy.

I’ve also been pretty bored with my meals, which can’t be helping the cause.

All of which is to say, I’m doing okay…

I’m still trying to get the hang of treating myself (preferably to one of these rice krispie bars), lowering my stress, keeping my energy up, killing my workouts and also eatinging clean most of the time.

Ugh, the elusive “balance” people. Balance.

Karamel Krispy Bar Recipe

Karamel Krispy Bars
A decadent take on a crispy classic.
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 1 pan
  • 2 cups crispy cereal (ie: Rice Krispies)
  • ¾ creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick of butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ½ cup melted chocolate
  • Nuts (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional)
  1. Spray a 7 x 7 pan with a nonstick spray.
  2. Melt the peanut butter in the microwave until it is easy to mix, around 30 seconds. Add the 2 cups of crispy cereal and mix until all the cereal is covered. Press the mixture into the pan and freeze until hard.
  3. In a separate pot, heat up the butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup until combined and bubbling, continue to mix. Make sure the mixture doesn't burn. After 1 or 2 minutes of stirring while bubbling, take the pot off the heat. After the peanut butter and crispy mixture is frozen, take out of the freezer and pour the caramel mixture on top of the crispy crust.
  4. Let the caramel set until firm. Then take the melted chocolate and spread on top of the caramel layer. Add sprinkles, nuts or leave plain if you prefer. Make sure to keep bars in cool place until served.
  5. Enjoy!



healthy halloween round-up

October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween everyone!

I’m so excited Halloween fell on a Friday this year. In fact, I propose every Halloween is on a Friday–we need the weekend to recover from our influx of candy (alcohol).

Ryan and I are having dinner and drinks out, then coming home to watch scary movies. Low key perfection.

Whether you’re like us and you’re looking for a good snack, planning a party or just bringing a sweet plate to pass, I wanted to round-up a few of the “healthiest” Halloween treats on the Internet. Better for you than Reeses, but still tasty. Let’s just say that. Because you can’t let one (or three) days completely derail you, but you still have to indulge…I mean, it’s the holidays!

healthy happy halloween!1. pumpkin fudge // 2. apple bites // 3. candy corn popsicles (made with fruit juice!) // 4. skinny pumpkin frapp // 5. mini halloween cakes (they’re small, guys!) // 6. nana popsicles // 7. vegan peanut butter balls // 8. cheerios & chocolate pumpkins // 9. vegan caramel covered apples // 10. caramel grapes


worth the cheat: mini halloween cakes

October 30, 2014

mini halloween cakes #midwestlovefestLet’s continue on the Halloween-themed train, shall we?

But before we begin, I have to say: no these are not healthy. I know, it’s a bummer. The only “healthy” part about them is they aren’t made with corn syrup or unidentifiable ingredients (with the exception of the Milano cookies and the Oreo crumbles). Just simple, pure ingredients. If that’s worth anything…

mini halloween cakes

Again, this is an exercise in Halloween themes over recipe creation.

First off, I have to tell you guys, I love the idea of mini cakes. In books, the authors always say people are “drinking tea and eating little cakes.” How delicious does that sound? I just love the idea.

When I worked for a bakery, they had all types of mini cakes. And I guess that’s where I picked up a few nuggets of wisdom on how to prep and decorate them properly. Though a lot of it also came from good ol’ DIYing and guess and check work.

Anyway, for these Halloween cakes you’ll need:

+Red & Black food coloring (I know, not the best. I say go with organic if you can, but I was lazy and this is a cheat meal anyway).
+Chocolate cake
+Vanilla frosting
+Milano cookies
+Oreo/Newman Os

I used this chocolate cake recipe. Because it’s my fave. I then decorated the cakes three different ways, just to see how it would look. I think my personal favorite is the one with the Oreo crumbs.

But let’s get down to the nitty gritty. How to decorate these suckers.

First, cut this recipe in half (or use the full recipe if you want more cakes) and pour batter into a brownie pan. Make sure the batter is evenly distributed, or you’ll get thick cake on one end and dusty, crusty nonsense on the other.

Once the cake is baked, throw it into the freezer for a good couple of hours.

mini halloween cakes #midwestlovefest

Take out the cake and, using a circular cookie cutter, cut holes. You can also use a large glass like I did, if you’re short on cookie cutter.If it’s so frozen you can’t puncture it, give it a few minutes to thaw–but not too long!

Once you cut away all the circles, throw away or save the scraps. If you save them–you can sub the Oreo crumbles for cake crumbles later, or just save them and eat them with ice cream. Or just give them away to trick-or-treaters. Whatever suits your fancy. Then throw the cut out, whole circles back into the freezer. Again, allowing them freeze for a few hours.

Once completely frozen, take out the cakes and pair them off (two pieces = one small cake).

Take one half of the cake and flip it over, spreading a generous amount of frosting on top (made red with food coloring). I used this recipe as a guide for my vanilla frosting, but ended up tweaking it to add more milk and get a softer consistency.

I intentionally made the red frosting overflow a little to resemble blood and then sandwiched it with another piece of chocolate cake.

I then made gray/black frosting (adding black food dye to my vanilla frosting) and put it in two different Ziplocs–one where I cut a larger hole in the corner, and one with a small hole.

I used the small-holed bag to write “RIP” on the upper half of a Milano cookie, and then pushed the cookie into the cake, so just the “RIP” was visible. I used the Ziploc with the larger whole to accurately frost the entire top of the cake. I then crumbled Oreos (Newman O’s / something like an Oreo) in a Ziploc, and placed them on top! Boom, done.

mini halloween cakes #midwestlovefest mini halloween cakes #midwestlovefestmini halloween cakes #midwestlovefest

The second way involved the same (red) middle, same RIP Milano tombstone, but with grey frosting all over the little cake.

The third way, I tried to do a squiggly type of design on top, using the grey frosting, and letting the frosting drip down. Like some sort of icky grey matter from Witches of East End.

mini halloween cakes #midwestlovefesthamini halloween cakes #midwestlovefest

Voila! What do you think? Which one is your fave?

vegan caramel covered apples with cashews

October 28, 2014

vegan caramel applesI used to have a blog before this one. And a blog before that. Yes, I like to blog.

Well, it got confusing for a bit because I thought I had posted this recipe on this blog. Nope! It was my last blog. My bad.

Please excuse the slightly out of whack photos, but I really wanted to share this little Fall snack idea with you guys because I loved it that much.

I mean, vegan caramel sauce is just better than regular caramel sauce. First, you know you’re not consuming large amounts of corn syrup. Seriously – you should check those ingredients. They are…not pretty. Plus, aside from the obvious “health” benefits, it actually tastes pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

For this little concoction, I used this recipe. However, I’ve recently been using this caramel sauce in a lot of my recipes and loving it even more (though the ingredients are nearly the same).

vegan_caramelAfter making the caramel sauce, I put 1/4 cup of cashews in a Ziploc bag and crushed them with my hands (they’re pretty soft), then put them in a bowl. Next, I washed and set aside three honeycrisp apples.

cashews for vegan caramel applesNow, I’m sure there’s a better way to dip your apples, but I’m an “all hands on deck” kind of person, so I used my fingers to help dip the apples in the caramel sauce. Making sure to cover each apple as thoroughly as possible, before dipping them in the cashew bowl and pouring cashews all over them.

apples for vegan caramel applesapples3Once you’re done, you’re done! But if, like me, you’ve made one too many apples, you can wrap the whole thing in saran wrap and store them in the fridge for the night.

vegan caramel apples with cashewsKeep in mind this is a vegan caramel, so it might be a little lighter and thinner than the icky caramel sauce you see in stores, but, in my opinion, it tastes just as good. And part of that probably comes from the lack of corn syrup…just sayin’.


healthy & easy apple “pie” (2 ways)

October 9, 2014

healthy & warm apple "pie"I feel like all I keep doing is talking about apples. Do I have a problem? Maybe. But, I can’t help it…I love them. Especially honeycrisp apples, which I had NEVER even heard of until last year when a co-worker introduced me to them.

Where was I, you ask? Living under a rock? I don’t know. But I’m definitely making up for lost time. Because every trip to the grocery store includes a [ somewhat expensive ] bag of delicious, beautiful honeycrisp apples.

And, while apples and fruit make delicious late-night desserts, sometimes my sugar tooth wins. I’m sorry, it does. It’s bad, but it does. Sometimes you just need a little extra sumthin’ sumthin’.

Hence, these little apple pie-like tricks.

healthy & warm apple "pie"I say tricks because really we are tricking our tastebuds into thinking these are 500+ calorie pieces of decadent [ usually processed ] apple pie. When, in reality, it’s apple with a bit of added sugar (or no sugar at all, if you go for the 2nd version!).

And they are still every bit as delicious and warm as your fondest childhood memory.

healthy & warm apple "pie"First, you core that apple. Then you pour a bit of sugar and cinnamon (or just cinnamon) inside. Nuke it. And boom! Warm apple, in your tummy.

Of course, if you really are feeling those dessert pings, you can always add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. But it’s definitely not necessary. In fact, I challenge you to go without ice cream for your first try.

delicious & warm apple "pie" snackAlso, if fall was a dessert, don’t you think it would be this one? I mean, look at those colors.

delicious & warm apple "pie" snackdelicious & warm apple "pie" snack

healthy & easy apple pie (2 ways)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A simple and healthy way to eat your one of your favorite desserts.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1
  • 1 apple
  • ½-1 tsp ghee (air on less)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (plus a little more, if you'd like)
  • shake of cinnamon
  1. ONE WAY
  2. Cut out the core of the apple, without cutting out the bottom. It should form a narrow bowl.
  3. Pour ghee in and around top of apple.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar and shake of cinnamon into the apple's "bowl."
  5. Use a knife to spread the ghee/sugar mixture up around the sides of the bowl.
  6. Place in the microwave, on a microwave-safe plate, for 45 seconds.
  7. Let cool for a few seconds.
  8. Place back in the microwave for 45 seconds.
  9. Let cool.
  10. Sprinkle a pinch more brown sugar, if you're feeling sinful.
  11. Enjoy!
  13. A healthier way--no added sugar--that's even simpler to do would be to core the apple, all the way to the base.
  14. Sprinkle cinnamon in that hole/the center of the apple.
  15. Microwave for 45 seconds.
  16. Let cool for a few seconds.
  17. Microwave again for 45 seconds.
  18. Let cool before enjoying!

Thanks for letting me share this apple pie trick! And I hope you enjoy one of these tasty treats yourself this fall!


great american cookie cake recipe

October 3, 2014

halloween party cookie cakeHappy Friday wonderful people!

Today is my favorite day, as you probably know. Even though it’s dreary and rainy here in Chicago, I’m on cloud 9 because tonight there will be drinks (The Pony, where Ryan is DJing), and tomorrow there will be more drinks (Notre Dame game). And really, that’s what I need most this weekend: booze. Also, Witches of East End (my guilty pleasure) has a 2 hour season finale on Sunday + new episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown soooo…you could say my weekend is PRET-TY busy.

I’ll also be using Sunday as a food prep day because, wow, I’ve been lazy after work. And I need good, healthy meals that I can grab quickly because my eating habits have not been the best since the honeymoon.

While we are on this topic of…not the best eating, can we talk about this stacked cookie cake I want to share with you guys today?

halloween party cookie cakeDo you remember Great American Cookie? I don’t know about you guys, but those cookie cakes were always a huge hit in middle school. But for my frugal mom, they were a little on the pricey side. So rather than shell out the 35+ bucks, she used to make cookie cakes at home. And, trust me, they were the They were a hit through my high school years, if I remember correctly…

Anyway, I didn’t want to make a huge cookie cake this time (because I didn’t really want to clean up that mess), so I made something a little smaller and yummier: a stacked cookie cake.

Now, if you want to make a giant cookie cake like these, all you need to do is use a pizza stone! Use this exact recipe for cookie dough, evenly distribute (like you would pizza dough!) and bake for about the same time as recommended (20-25 mins, maybe longer). cookie cake like great american cookieObviously, this is not the healthiest recipe. But after teasing Ryan with the promise of sweets with those bombed pumpkin cupcakes, I had to make it up to him!

The only way I kind of “healthified” this recipe was by trying to use pure-ish ingredients (see below). Other than that, sometimes you just have to embrace delicious, naughty indulgences.cookie cake like great american cookie cookie cake like great american cookieSide note: What is it about cookie dough that makes it so alluring? Just look at that! I could’ve eaten the whole bowl. Don’t try me.stacked cookie cake cookie cake like great american cookie stacked cookie cakeDid I mention this recipe is also fool proof? As in, it’s extremely easy. I’ve only messed it up once in my life (trust me, that’s a record) and it is so, so soft. Ryan likes to warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds, to give it that just-out-of-the-oven vibe, but even if you don’t heat it up, it still has that special gooeyness that good chocolate chip cookies are known for.stacked cookie cake frosting trickOnce baked, give the cookies a few minutes to cool down and harden a little on the outside. Then, flip one cookie cake over (it shouldn’t crumble, if it’s cooled enough) and frost the top. Then, place the other cookie pie on top of it (right side up) and frost as you wish! (Note: I tweaked this frosting recipe to get the consistency I wanted, see recipe below).halloween party cookie cakeMy frugal mother also taught me this cheap frosting bag tip: put your frosting into a Ziploc bag and cut a point out of the bottom point of the bag–as big or small as you want–to make a frosting bag on the fly. Trust me, it works! I made this entire design using a Ziploc and a knife tip.cookie cake like great american cookie

stacked cookie cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A cookie cake to conquer all cookie cakes.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8-10
  • CAKE
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tbsp butter (I used grass fed)
  • 2⅔-3 cups powdered sugar
  • A little less than 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Mix together sugar and brown sugar.
  3. Add shortening and eggs. Stir.
  4. Add vanilla, salt and baking soda.
  5. Mix together.
  6. Slowly mix in two cups flour.
  7. Finally, add chocolate chips.
  8. Mix thoroughly.
  9. Evenly distribute dough in 8 inch cake pans.
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven.
  11. Let cool.
  12. Frosting, to me, is always a guessing game. So feel free to adjust recipe according to preference.
  13. Mix together butter, vanilla and milk.
  14. Slowly add powdered sugar (by the ½ cup), mixing thoroughly, until achieve desired consistency.
  15. Note: Makes enough frosting to create as shown. If you want more frosting, double the recipe.
  16. Flip one cookie cake so it's facing down.
  17. Apply frosting.
  18. Flip other cookie cake so it's facing the right way up.
  19. Decorate with frosting, as desired.

holiday cookie cakeOkay, what do you think? Worth the weekend indulgence?


decadent raw peanut butter chocolate bars

July 9, 2014

natural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break)I love Reeses Fast Breaks. You know the candy, right? They are, my weakness. And I have no clue what’s going on recently, but either they got very popular or they’re being stripped from the shelves of grocery stores! I never heard about them being recalled or discontinued, but dammit. Where are they!?

Granted…they probably, really, aren’t that good for you. I know this. I know this. I’m trying to break myself of the habit (which, is rather easy when the candy you so love can’t be found anywhere!).

Anyways, it’s this lack of candy (and want of candy) that led me to making these little Reeses bites.

Now, if you are a Fast Break fan like I am, I must warn you, they do not have the same taste as Reeses. Something tells me you can’t find that flavor in nature. But it has the same components–nougat, chocolate and peanut butter. Just in a more natural, raw way.

But before we get into all that, can we just admire these flowers I got at the farmers market? And how great my stevia and mint plants are doing? I have never had a green thumb, so the fact all these plants are living and thriving at one time is a miracle and needs to be recognized.

flower power on midwestlovefest natural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break) peony & peanut butterOkay, back to the nutty bites.

This is my first go at making chocolate with coconut oil. Holy hell is it easy. But, you do still get a coconut-y flavor from it. So, if that’s not your jam, I suggest you melt chocolate chips instead, for a slightly more familiar flavor.

Then, coat the bottom of an ice cube tray with the chocolate. Lesson learned here: make sure there is a fairly thick coating of chocolate, and don’t forget the sides! Because, when you flip it, that top chocolate piece is sort of containing all the peanut butter goodness. So the thicker, the better. Then, throw it in the freezer (the chocolate hardens fast, so it doesn’t need to be in that long).

After that, take out the tray and press the nougat on top of the chocolate, evenly distributing it throughout each “cube.” Throw that in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

natural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break)natural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break)natural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break)natural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break)Next, take a knife and spread the peanut butter on top of each piece, till you can no longer see the nougat. This should be pretty easy, as the peanut butter is fairly soft. Throw in the freezer for another 30-60 mins.

Finally, use a new batch of chocolate and spread it on top of each bite, till you can no longer see the peanut butter. Place back in the freezer for 60+ minutes. In this case, the longer it’s in the freezer, the better. Too early, and the four layers will come flying apart.

Take out of the freezer, pry each piece from the tray and enjoy the raw, nutty amazingness! And side note, unlike Fast Breaks, these are really filling. Probably all the protein from the nut and almond butter (in the nougat). But I swear, one bite you’ll be full.

natural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break)natural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break)natural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break)natural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break)ingredients in double nutty bitesnatural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break)natural peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by reeses fast break)

raw peanut butter chocolate bites (inspired by Reeses Fast Break)
Prep time
Total time
layers of chocolate and nutty goodness in one bite
Serves: 1-12
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp coconut flour
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼-1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Start by mixing together all the ingredients for the first layer of chocolate.
  2. Generously coat each ice cube box with the chocolate, including the sides.
  3. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the nougat ingredients until doughy.
  5. Divide into small pieces and press on top of the chocolate.
  6. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
  7. Take out, and coat each piece with peanut butter until you can no longer see the nougat.
  8. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  9. Mix second batch of chocolate in a bowl.
  10. Take the tray out and top each cube off with the chocolate.
  11. Place in freezer for at least 60 minutes, so that each individual layer freezes together.
  12. Take out of the freezer and, using a knife, pry each piece from the tray. If it was in the freezer long enough, the entire "bite" should stay together.
  13. Enjoy!



desserts worth the cheat (and the perfect Mother’s Day treat): homemade chocolate cake

May 7, 2014

eggless, easy chocolate cake from scratchConfession time: I’m not always at my best in the kitchen. While baking definitely comes easier to me than cooking, I will say there was a time when even baking was a challenge (I may or may not have added an entire cup of salt to a batch of chocolate chip cookies instead of a cup of sugar once #spacecaseproblems).

eggless, easy chocolate cake from scratcheggless, easy chocolate cake from scratcheggless, easy chocolate cake from scratchWithout knowing my track record, my grandma gifted me a very small, children’s cooking book when I was little. In retrospect, it might have been one of those books the flour companies make to push their products, but whatever. I loved it. I’m sure the little booklet is still buried somewhere in one of my piles of books at my parents’ home…though I haven’t been able to find it.

eggless, easy chocolate cake from scratcheggless, easy chocolate cake from scratcheggless, easy chocolate cake from scratcheggless, easy chocolate cake from scratchThe main takeaway from that little booklet (or advertising pamphlet) was this “x-tra celebration cake” recipe (yes, that was the official name, minus the “e” because that was apparently x-tra cool). I somehow nailed it on the first try and it was a huge hit with my family (rare at the time). The recipe was requested at every party and holiday after that. That includes Mother’s Day! Though everyone in my family is being x-tra healthy this year because of my wedding, I figure I’d whip one up just in case.

eggless, easy chocolate cake from scratchI mean, diets aside, it’s always nice to get a homemade anything as a mom (or so I would imagine). Love baked into every bite, right? I’m sure the chocolate part helps a lot too.

eggless, easy chocolate cake from scratchNow, I altered the recipe a bit, but I’ll include the original way too. I also included two different ways to decorate the cake — coconut and vanilla frosting! Woohoo! Options! All vegan (though you can always use regular frosting, especially if you have a picky fiance who can taste any “foreign” flavors).

eggless chocolate cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 8
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (or regular)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cold water
  1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease 2 round pans and dust with flour.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Mix oil, vinegar and vanilla in separate bowl.
  4. Stir oil mixture and 2 cups water into flour mixture real hard until well blended, about 1 minute. Immediately pour batter into pans, dividing evenly.
  5. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes (keep a watch, it does depend on your oven).
  6. Remove from pans and let cake cool completely before frosting.

Once your cake is cooked, cooled and firm, it’s time to frost! Like I mentioned, here are two different ways I frosted my cake (though sprinkles and standard Pillsbury vanilla or chocolate frosting is always a hit with the more “traditional” folk).

Coconut frosting

eggless, easy chocolate cake from scratcheggless, easy chocolate cake from scratch eggless, easy chocolate cake from scratchI think it’s a bit odd when people specify how to make frosting. Basically it’s a bit of milk, a lot of powdered sugar and some butter, then mix till you get the consistency you want. What I did? Mixed 1 cup of coconut butter with powdered sugar, which I added gradually. It tasted a bit too sugary, even when it was smooth, so I added 1/4 cup almond milk. This made it a tad chunkier somehow, but I didn’t mind since it tasted perfectly coconut-y and added to the body of the cake.

Vanilla frosting with a splash of strawberry

eggless, easy chocolate cake from scratcheggless, easy chocolate cake from scratchThis was a lot easier because I just picked up a jar from Whole Foods for about $4.99. Worth it, since (to me) the frosting tasted exactly the same I was used to, but was dairy-free. I got the pink color by juicing five strawberries and stirring it with a cup of the frosting. However, if you have picky eaters, I’d skip this and either keep it plain white or use food coloring (they will pick up on the strawberry flavor, or at least Ryan did).

eggless, easy chocolate cake from scratcheggless, easy chocolate cake from scratchIf you end up making this for your mom for Mother’s Day this Sunday (regardless what version of frosting you go with), please share! The best part about this cake is the versatility–you can frost it with whatever flavor, or whatever design, you want.

Enjoy & happy hump day!


a delicious no egg, no sugar banana bread recipe

March 21, 2014

easy banana bread | midwestlovefest.comHooray it’s Friday! These past few days have been so wonky, leaving work in the middle of the week and coming out here has really thrown off my “clock.” But it’s a small price to pay for a beautiful weekend with family.

In the spirit of #TGIF and weekend celebration, I wanted to share this delicious and easy recipe. I mean, I have a huge sweet tooth. Like, when I watch people resist a 2nd cookie or piece of cake I am in awe of their self-control. Maybe one day I can be like that…but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anytime soon.

easy banana bread | midwestlovefest.comeasy banana bread | midwestlovefest.comSomehow we keep buying bananas under the impression we will actually eat them. But after two weeks, all I had to show was three brown bananas and four black ones. Something had to be done. So I whipped together this amazing banana bread–no cane sugar, no eggs. As pure as I could get it. Granted, it is still a dessert (so don’t be eating this for breakfast), but it’s probably 10x better for you than reaching for a Reeses peanut butter Easter egg (as temping as they can be).

bananabread4bananabread5Even though it has to bake for about 75-85 minutes, it’s actually a god-send. Infusing your home with a deliciously sweet,  warm scent. Plus, it’s pretty easy to make and most of the ingredients you should have lying around your house. And at 165 calories a slice, you can barely feel guilty about indulging in this special little sweet.

EASY BANANA BREAD (with no added sugar or eggs!)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10
  • 4 medium overripe bananas
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Spray 9 inch loaf pan.
  3. Mash bananas in a bowl (I used a fork, though you could puree them).
  4. Add applesauce, honey and oil to bananas.
  5. In separate bowl, mix together: flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  6. Fold flour mixture into banana mixture. Mix evenly.
  7. Pour mixture into pan.
  8. Bake for 75-85 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 10 Calories: 164 Fat: 3.2g Saturated fat: 2.5g Carbohydrates: 34.2 Sugar: 15.5g Sodium: 169mg Fiber: 3.6g Protein: 2.9g Cholesterol: 0

I hope all of you have a wonderful first weekend of spring! Mine will be filled with a trip to L.A., wedding dress shopping, Sprinkles ice cream, laying out by the ocean and a little bit of work (can’t help it!). Follow me on Instagram for updates! And enjoy a wonderful few days with (hopefully) warmer weather!