Healthy Almond Meltaway Cookies.

Almond Meltaway Cookies via LashesandDashes
Today I am bringing you an updated Healthy Almond Meltaway Cookies recipe. As most people in the world including my family are getting healthy I thought I would repost this yummy recipe. If you are anything like me, you still have to have something sweet while eating healthy. This recipe is even better then the original full fat version. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! In the next coming weeks I will be talking a bit more about the system we will be using to get healthy. Below is the original post as well as new photos. As a side note in the original post I announced I was moving back home to Florida. It is crazy to think we are two short months away from being here a full year! 

Almond Meltaway Cookies via LashesandDashes
Today I am  taking a quick break from iTunes Tuesday to bring you delicious Almond Meltaway Cookies, that on top of being yummy are also healthy! As a side note I can officially tell you that we are moving home to Pensacola, Fl woohoo! Now back to your regularly scheduled programming :)  My mom loves almond so they were a hit with her as well as my dad and I. The original recipe comes from The Novice Chef. I changed the recipe up a bit to make it a little healthier . The original recipe also had a glaze on top, I did not include the recipe for this but feel free to stop over at The Novice Chef to get the original recipe.  Enjoy :)

Almond Meltaway Cookies via LashesandDashes
Almond Meltaway Cookies via LashesandDashes
Almond Meltaway Cookies via LashesandDashes
Almond Meltaway Cookies via LashesandDashes
Almond Meltaway Cookies via LashesandDashes
Almond Meltaway Cookies via LashesandDashes
Almond Meltaway Cookies via LashesandDashes

Ingredients 

2 cups King Arthur Organic Unbleached Flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 cup Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

3/4 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Fair Trade Cane Sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon almond extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In measuring cup whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a stand mixer using flex edge beat Coconut Oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract, mixing until combined. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until completely combined. Using cookie scoop press dough into scoop making sure it is packed in scoop, release dough unto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies will not look browned or cooked, but they are! Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Mocha Chiffon Cake with Mocha Chantilly Cream for Valentine’s Day.

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I made this cake yesterday in between watching the news and weather for updates on the Gridlock and Snow that we have been inundated with over the past 24 hours. As I am writing this post I am watching the Governor of Georgia give an update on the State of Emergency. In my county there were 450 children stuck at school overnight and hundreds of thousands stuck on the roads for upwards of 24 hours. Please say a prayer for all of those who are still stuck in school and on the roads.

Ok enough of that onto the recipe for Valentine’s Day, since it is coming up in a few short weeks I thought I would get a jump on dessert. I used a recipe from my Great Grandma’s Cookbook, with a few tweaks of my own. This cake is wonderful if you want a light cake that is not super sweet! One tip for separating the egg yolks from the whites is to let the eggs come to room temp before separating, this will also help the egg whites whip.

Mocha Chiffon Cake with Mocha Chantilly Cream via LashesandDashes

The Finished cake

Ingredients

3/4 cup strong coffee

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 3/4 cups cake flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup cooking oil

8 unbeaten egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla

8 egg whites

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Directions

Whisk together the cocoa and coffee, let cool. Sift or using pastry cutter mix together flour and sugar making sure there are no lumps. Add in baking powder and salt, mix together. Make a well and add in order: oil, egg yolks, cooled cocoa mixture, and vanilla, beat until smooth. I used my hand mixer for the batter portion of the cake. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl, using a stand mixer whip egg whites until very stiff peaks form. The egg whites should be stiffer than for meringue. Do not underbeat! Gradually pour egg yolk mixture over whipped egg whites, gently fold with spatula until just mixed. Do not Stir! Pour into a greased 4 in deep bundt pan. Cook in a preheated oven at 325 for 55 minutes, then up the oven temp to 350 for 10-15 minutes. Cake is done when top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately turn pan upside down unto cooling rack.

Mocha Chantilly Cream

1 cup heavy cream

3 TBS powdered sugar

1 TBS powdered cocoa

1 TBS Cooled Strong Coffee

Directions

In a chilled bowl with a chilled whisk, whisk on high cream and coffee. When the cream begins to hold its shape add in the cocoa and powdered sugar. Continue to whip until it is stiff. When ready to serve cake dollop the chantilly cream on top. Enjoy!

Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice via LashesandDashesI love P.F. Chang’s Fried Rice but unfortunately whenever I am craving it, I am no where near one. Which brings me to todays recipe, Chicken Fried Rice. I used a electric wok but you could also use a skillet. Chicken Fried Rice is one of my favorite ways to include vegetables in my meal! The wok I used has been in my family ever since my parents were first married, it was given to them by a dear friend as a Wedding gift. Shortly after they were married my mom was making Fried Rice using this recipe, as she was getting ready to put the rice in the Icebox, it was the old style that had the freezer on the inside with the pull down door. As she was trying to maneuver the rice into the freezer the door came unlatched, fell down, hit the bowl of rice, and the rice went flying everywhere. Mrs. Koch, their neighbor and landlord, was out hanging clothes on the line when she heard all of this as it was happening since the kitchen window was open. Mrs. Koch yelled up to Mom and asked if everything was ok, Mom told her what had happened and Mrs. Koch said well I guess it’s time for a new fridge! She ordered them a new fridge that had a real freezer, Mom & Dad were very Thankful for having such wonderful Landlords for their first time renting a home! Mr. and Mrs. Koch became great friends and they still are to this day some 27 years later. I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce for the health factor. This recipe makes a lot so feel free to freeze what is leftover. I plan to freeze the Fried rice in individual containers so that when ever I have a taste for Fried Rice I can just pull it out of the freezer.

Cooked Rice ready to go in to the Fridge

Cooked Rice ready to go in to the Fridge

The oil heating up in the Wok

The oil heating up in the Wok

Scrambled egg in the Wok

Scrambled egg in the Wok

The onion and garlic cooking.

The onion and garlic cooking.

Water Chestnuts and Chicken stirred into the Wok.

Water Chestnuts and Chicken stirred into the Wok.

Adding in the carrots and bean sprouts.

Adding in the carrots and bean sprouts.

Egg stirred in the Wok.

Egg stirred in the Wok.

Ingredients

4 cups cooked long grain rice refrigerated

2 boneless chicken breast chopped

3 tablespoons peanut or olive oil

2 eggs

1/2 onion chopped

2 tsp minced garlic

1 cup sliced water chestnuts

1 cup julienned carrots

1 cup bean sprouts

1/2 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Directions Add 1 TBS oil to Wok, set control to 200F, when light goes out add eggs and scramble, remove and set aside. Turn heat up to 250F add remaining oil, add garlic and onions cook until tender. Stir in Chicken and water chestnuts, cook until chicken and water chestnuts are browned and warmed through. Stir in cold rice and soy sauce, continue to stir until well mixed. Stir in carrots, bean sprouts, and egg, continue to mix until well combined. Place lid on and let heat until food is hot. Serve warm. Freeze leftovers.

St. Louis Art Museum

You could spend several days at the St. Louis Art Museum but we only spent a few hours. There are two buildings and three floors, we went in both buildings but only on the first floor. The amount of beautiful artwork is outstanding! Right outside the front doors of the Museum is the beautiful Emerson Grand Basin and Art Hill. My favorite piece was Breaking of Vessels, below I posted the story make sure you scroll almost all the way to the bottom to read the story!

Flowers at Emerson Grand Basin and Art Hill

Flowers at Emerson Grand Basin and Art Hill

Apotheosis of St. Louis Statue Outside of The Saint Louis Art Museum

Apotheosis of St. Louis Statue Outside of The Saint Louis Art Museum

Flowers at Emerson Grand Basin and Art Hill

Flowers at Emerson Grand Basin and Art Hill

Emerson Grand Basin and Art Hill

Emerson Grand Basin and Art Hill

The Saint Louis Art Museum

The Saint Louis Art Museum

The Saint Louis Art Museum

The Saint Louis Art Museum

Emerson Grand Basin and Art Hill

Emerson Grand Basin and Art Hill

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

These are Fresh Flowers that they change out, they have 4 of these huge vases

On the front steps of the Art Museum

On the front steps of the Art Museum

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

One Bowl Healthy Coffee Cake

One Bowl Healthy Coffee Cake via LashesandDashesAfter spending most of the day making homemade bread I decided to make a simple One Bowl Coffee Cake for dessert. I used my Great Grandma’s recipe for Chocolate Applesauce Coffee Cake but made it a little healthier. Even though I never met my Great Grandma I just know we would have been kindred spirits. When I look through her old tattered Cookbook I see where I get my love of sweets from!

Original Recipe

One Bowl Healthy Coffee Cake via LashesandDashes

My Recipe

One Bowl Healthy Coffee Cake via LashesandDashes

All of the dry ingredients in the bowl.

One Bowl Healthy Coffee Cake via LashesandDashes

Topping spread on top of batter.

Ingredients 

1 1/2 cups Unbleached Flour (you could also use Whole Wheat)

1/4  cup of Sugar or sugar substitute of your choice

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup Greek Yogurt

1 TBS vinegar

2 tsp Vanilla

Topping

1 TBS melted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl put all of the dry ingredients, mix together. Stir in wet ingredients continue until dry ingredients are moist. Grease 8×8 square baking dish, scoop half of batter in dish, spoon half of the topping onto the batter, scoop the rest of batter into the dish and spread the rest of the topping onto the batter. Using a spatula spread the topping so that it covers the batter. Bake for 35-40 minutes.  It is super moist and will become a favorite in your house!

 

Valentine’s Day Decorations

After we took down all of the Christmas Decorations the house looked really plain,  so we decided to go all out on our Valentine’s Day decorations because why not?!? Mom left the honors up to me, and let’s just say I had a ton of fun!

Topiary Tree DIY via LashesandDashes

 

First up on the agenda was to make garland for above the fireplace, I saw a tutorial on Pinterest by One Good Thing by Jillee for a Simple Heart Crafts and decided to do my own take on it. I will take you step by step for each tutorial, let me know if you try any of these tutorials! Keep in mind the number of strips of paper you will need is based on the length of garland you want, my garland is roughly 5 1/2 feet long.

Supplies for Double Heart Garland

30 strips of cardstock 1 inch wide. The patterned paper was 12 inches long and the red cardstock was 11 inches long.

Pencil

Stapler

Hot glue gun

Valentines Day Garland via LashesandDashes

Valentines Day Garland via LashesandDashes

Fold the two ends unto each other making sure they are even, you will start to see the shape of the heart but do not crease the paper just yet.

Valentines Day Garland via LashesandDashes

Staple the two ends together half an inch from the ends.

Valentines Day Garland via LashesandDashes

Now using your finger make a slight crease at the bottom of the heart, do not fold the heart to make the crease as this would take away from the soft shape of the heart.

Continue the above steps with half of your strips of paper.

Since I had a mixture of patterned paper and cardstock I choose to do half patterned paper and half cardstock, this looks better for the garland.

Now using the other half of the cut strips of paper, make a slight crease in the middle of the paper.

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Start to roll one end of the strip on the pencil, continue roll the paper until you have almost reached the middle of the paper where you creased it.

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Continue the above step for the other side of the paper.

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You should now have a heart with curly cues, if the crease on the bottom of the heart is not deep enough now is the time to crease it again to reach the heart effect. Each curly cue heart will be a bit different, which if you are a perfectionist like me could bother you but I decided it gave them character.

Now we begin the process of putting the garland together.

Using the stapler, staple two of the large hearts together at an angle almost in the shape of a U. I have learned from experience if you staple the hearts in a straight line the garland will not work. Continue the stapling process until you have stapled all of the large hearts together.

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Take the curly cue hearts and place them in the middle of the large heart garland, if the large heart was patterned paper I used a red curly cue heart.

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A close up of the large hearts with the curly cue inside.

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Using the glue gun place a small dot of glue on each side of the large heart.

IMG_4360Now take the curly cue heart and pinch it onto the large heart. Continue until the hearts are all glued on.

We have small hooks underneath our hearth so I cut two small pieces of red ribbon and tied it on each end of the garland and hooked it underneath the mantel.

After I made the garland I moved onto the Flower Topiary, I decided to make two Topiaries, one for each side of the mantel. I based the Topiary loosely off of  Classy Clutters Tutorial. The Topiary Tree is not hard to make but it does take time, I put together the trees in a afternoon and evening. The flowers are super easy to make once you get the hang of it, it took me a couple tries to get the technique down but once I did I could whip a flower together in under two minutes. On a side note the trees would be a wonderful center piece for a DIY wedding or any special occasion.

Supplies for Topiary

2 6 inch round foam balls

1 dowel rod 1 inch in diameter

2 Plastic Pots 6 1/2 inch in diameter

48 pearl corsage pins (You may need more depending on the size of the flowers)

2 rolls of crepe paper

2 foam blocks

Brown Paint

Topiary Tree DIY via LashesandDashes

All of the supplies set out, ready to be crafted into beautiful Trees!

Topiary Tree DIY via LashesandDashes

Start by cutting the dowel rod in half, then stick the rod into the foam blocks. Use smaller pieces of the foam block to stabilize the dowel rod in the pot.

Begin to push the foam ball onto the dowel rod making sure to push the ball straight onto the rod.

Cut the crepe paper into a 4 foot strip (If you would like smaller flowers cut a smaller section of crepe paper) cutting the paper at an angle. Begin to fold the crepe paper into a fan folding it in a circular motion, continue folding the paper, once you have made a full circle continue ruffling the paper to make layers of the flower. You will see it begin to take shape after you have gone around the circle a few times. Continue ruffling the paper until you have a half inch left, fold the excess paper onto the back of the flower covering the last few folds you made. Stick the corsage pin into the flower from the front making sure to go through the middle of the flower where the folds are. Stick the flower into the foam ball. Continue this process until the whole ball is covered.

Topiary Tree DIY via LashesandDashes

After I finished with the flowers I painted the dowel rod with brown paint, you could also paint the dowel rod before you begin the assembly of the Topiary.

Topiary Tree DIY via LashesandDashes

The finished Valentine’s Day Mantel.

Topiary Tree DIY via LashesandDashes

Topiary Tree DIY via LashesandDashes

Topiary Tree DIY via LashesandDashes

Topiary Tree DIY via LashesandDashes

To add a little sparkle to the kitchen I also decorated the table.

Valentines Day via LashesandDashes

I used Conversation Hearts in the Vase with a Flameless Candle.

Valentines Day via LashesandDashes

The Missouri History Museum

My family visited The Missouri History Museum one of the nights it was open late. Ever since I was a child, History has been a favorite subject of mine, so whenever we travel I try to visit as much of the local History I can!  The museum is free to visit but a few of the exhibits had a small admission fee. My favorite exhibit was The 1904 World’s Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward, since Forest Park was the Location of The 1904 World’s Fair we were very interested in learning more about the World’s Fair. Another very interesting exhibit was Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty. This exhibit was organized by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello in partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. We decided not to take pictures in the Slavery Exhibit out of respect for the people and their families that were affected by slavery.

The Missouri History Museum is a great destination for the whole family and with the extended hours at night the perfect date spot!

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

Outside of the Museum

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

The 1904 World’s Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward
Continuing Exhibit

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

Trying the Stereograph

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes

St. Louis Trip via LashesandDashes