Red Velvet {Blood} Halloween Cupcakes

This MAY be a healthy living blog, but I am a firm believer in doing what you love and eating what you love! (I guess within certain limits haha!)

I love to bake…and I love to eat baked goods!

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I’ve been making these RED VELVET cupcakes for years! Back when I was baking for parties, weddings, and other fun events these were always a request! I’ve topped them with glittery white flowers and even delicious chocolate ganache.

But today…Today it’s blood.

These are perfect for Halloween or maybe even Valentines Day…

Or maybe a day when you are stressed ;).

Either way, I love a good Doctored up cake mix because it makes things a little easier, especially when baking with a three year old.

Have you ever been faced with a 3 year old demanding to add 3 cups of flour to a bowl??

None of it makes it in that bowl…Most of it ends up on the floor. ;)


{Doctored-Up} Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cake

Yields 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake mix

1 box Godiva white chocolate pudding, 3.9 ounce

4 eggs

1 TB. vanilla

1/2 cup + 2 TB. buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

  2. In a mixer bowl, add all of your ingredients except the chocolate chips. Mix until combined, but do not overmix.

  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.

  4. Using a cookie scoop, add batter to cupcake pan and fill liners 3/4 full.

  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cupcakes have baked all the way through.



Cream Cheese Frosting:

Yields 3-4 cups

Ingredients:

1 block cream cheese, softened

2 sticks salted butter, softened

2-3 TB. heavy whipping cream

1 TB. vanilla Extract

3-4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Add the butter and cream cheese to a mixer bowl. Using the whisk attachment, beat together until creamy.

  2. Add the rest of your ingredients and beat until creamy and fluffy! Frost cupcakes when cool. For this recipe I used a FRENCH STAR FROSTING TIP.


Fake Blood

Yields 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 TB. cornstarch

Red Food coloring

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until combined. Drizzle on top of cupcakes for a bloody look ;).


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Apple Cider Bundt Cake

It’s Faaaaalllllllllllll.

You have no idea the joy that this time of year brings me! I tend to bake a lot this time of year…and I tend to eat a lot of those baked goods too…

Which brings me to this delicious cake! The flavors are SO on point with this cake! It’s moist, has all the right fall spices, and in my opinion would pair perfectly with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream! Or plain with breakfast…Or on the go in your car driving your kids to school…Or late at night when you can’t stop crying while watching ‘This Is Us’…

As you can see, there are so many options.

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Spiced Apple Cider Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups spelt flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups coconut sugar

1/2 cup canola oil, or melted coconut oil* (I haven’t tried this but I assume it would work well)

1 1/2 cups apple cider, cooked down to 1/2 cup cider. (See notes below for directions)

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 eggs

1 TB. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

  2. Add apple cider to a small saucepan. Turn the heat on medium low and continue to cook the apple cider until it has cooked down to 1/2 cup. Continue to whisk while it cooks so it doesn’t burn. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.

  3. In another bowl add the cider, applesauce, oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk together.

  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Do not over mix.

  5. Spray a bundt pan generously with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the bundt pan.

  6. Bake for 30-50 minutes, depending on your oven and altitude.

  7. Let cool before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar/serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serve and enjoy!


These links are from Amazon and include Affiliate Links. I receive a small portion when you buy from my site. Thank you so much for supporting The Diva Dish!

The Best Chicken Salad Sandwich

My kids spill their drinks everyday.

Every. Single. Day.

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On a day when it's almost bed time and the spill hasn't happened, I literally visualize the calm before the storm. A few weeks ago we went out to eat with the kids and ordered a large lemonade.

First mistake.

 Somehow the restaurant messed up and they brought us three. THREE large lemonades on a table with three kids.

Second mistake.

We let the kids all have sips.

Third Mistake.

Then...Each cup of lemonade was knocked at some point during the dinner and proceeded to spill  all over the floor, table, their clothes, my purse, my pride...

After the first spill we removed the remaining two lemonades to the other side of the table. My husband got up to go to the bathroom and some how his butt knocked the other cup off the table. The third happened when we were getting out of the booth and my 3 year old grabbed the large cup when I wasn't looking and dropped it everywhere.

You guys!! Who gave us children?!  

In my defense, I helped the waiters clean up each mess as I jokingly said we shouldn't be allowed outside and each time not one of them laughed...BECAUSE WHY WOULD THEY?

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What does this have to do with chicken salad sandwiches you might ask?

Nothing.

It's just an easy dinner for a tired mom who is holding a mop and regretting throwing away the sippy cups.

I love chicken salad sandwiches for dinner because it comes together SO easy and I don’t have to turn on my oven. It’s versatile and you could add what ever you have on hand, but the touch of fresh herbs and lemon juice take this meal over the top! Trust me, everyone will ask you for the recipe! I cannot take full credit for this recipe, because the amazing blog How To Feed a Loon came up with the original recipe. I adapted it a little to what I had on hand.

The Best Chicken Salad Sandwich

Ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded

1 cup purple grapes halved

3 small or 2 large celery stalks chopped

3 scallions sliced

1 cup  candied pecans

1 cup mayo or plain greek yogurt, or half yogurt/half mayo for a lighter version 

1 1/2 TB. ground mustard

2 TB. finely chopped dill

1 TB. finely chopped Italian parsley 

Juice of 1 juicy lemon

1/2-3/4 tsp. salt

lots of fresh ground pepper ;)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl toss together the chicken, grapes, celery, scallions, and pecans together.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayo or yogurt. Add chopped herbs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. 

3. Pour dressing over salad and mix to combine. 

4. Let set in the fridge for at least an hour if able. 

5. Serve and enjoy!

Original Recipe From How To Feed A Loon

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I Eat Dessert

There was a time in my life where all I ever ate was health food. I was the girl at a dinner party who would skip the creamy baked chicken casserole, eat only the lettuce and tomatoes from the taco dinner, and say no to homemade brownies and ice cream made by a loving friend who invited my family to dinner.

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Like, how rude.

I am still such a major lover of health food. I would say that 70% of the time I opt for healthier options. I would also say that I'm not as skinny as I was 8 years ago when I was a 22 year old vegan. I almost wrote virgin. But at 22, it's a lot easier to eat healthy and exercise and look good, versus 30 years old plus three kids. It's basically torture after that. And if your husband is addicted to Taco Bell, well then it's pretty dang impossible to turn it down after 10 years of marriage.

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I had this thought come to my mind as I was mindlessly ruining a perfectly good nights rest by scrolling through Instagram. I follow a lot of fitness, healthy eating type people. I love them. I'm jealous of them sometimes when they have managed to make a full healthy dinner after 5 hours of their kids baseball practice and homework. But every once in a while, on some random holiday that they allowed themselves, they would post a picture of a piece of pie and say...

"It's ok to indulge. Enjoy life! I'll be working this off in the gym tomorrow!"

Or...

"Ate some ice cream and cookies tonight and feel like CRAP. That's why I never eat like this. Love that I choose to eat healthy!"

(I'm paraphrasing here, but all I hear is, "blah blah blah I'm a dirty tramp!") #namethatmovie

You guys!!!

If you were lying on your death bed tomorrow would you say to your self, "Im so glad I allowed my self one piece of pie on Christmas!"

NO! You would say, "DAMNIT! I wish I would have at least allowed my self to have a cookie every once in a while!" That's how I've grown as a healthy lifestyle blogger. I'm not the girl who is going to lie to you and tell you I only eat desserts on holidays and birthdays. No.

I have dessert every week. I have ice cream, cookies, bites of brownies, and ice cream...

But I also eat so healthy, I *try my best* to exercise, and chase three little kids around. I have a husband who is gone a lot, so after a long lonely day...I EAT MY FEELINGS. I'll admit, sometimes I eat apples. But there are days when it's been 14 hours since my last quiet moment and a chocolate chip cookie just does wonders. It's ok do that and NOT feel guilty!

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We shouldn't feel guilty for being normal. We shouldn't feel bad or feel like we have to run 30 minutes because we ate pie. We should run because we love it and it's good for our bodies. And because exercise is cheaper than therapy ;). 

We should eat healthy and whole because we love the way it makes us feel and because we know it's helping us live long and healthy lives. But I'm also a firm believer that allowing your self a bowl of ice cream here and there isn't going to be the end of you. TREAT YO' SELF. 

Now, I feel like I'm rambling ...

If you get anything from this message it's this:

Have you had dessert this week? If not, do so now. 

The end. 

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Anxiety


My First Panic Attack


I remember the night I had my very first panic attack. I can still picture it so clear in my mind, and can basically do that with every other panic attack I've had since then.

I was 14/15 years old and my family had just moved to an apartment because our new home was being built. It was our first night in that two bedroom apartment, and I wasn't too happy that I had to share a room with my two brothers. My friend Heather was with me and we decided to watch a new Jennifer Lopez movie called 'Enough'. It's about a girl who is being beaten and terrorized by a boyfriend/husband...sounds amazing right?

 My friend Heather and I. She's so beautiful!!

My friend Heather and I. She's so beautiful!!

Perfect movie for a 14 year old girl.

After the movie, we went to bed. It was a dark, quiet new place. The movie was pretty 'anxiety' ridden, which I think was what triggered it. 

I started to feel I couldn't breath, like I couldn't catch my breath. My heart was racing, and every time I would try to take a deep breath, I couldn't. (You guys...I can't even write this without FEELING these emotions.)

I went to my parents room and told them I was having trouble breathing. After a few minutes my dad decided to take me to the emergency room. I remember walking back into my room and whispering to my friend, "Hey, my dad is going to take me to the emergency room because I'm having trouble breathing." 

I don't remember much except for sitting in the ER with a paper bag because my dad thought it would help as I breathed in and out through it...and then I remember the doctor telling me it was just a panic attack...something I had never heard of.

After that, everything changed. I couldn't sit in class without freaking out. I would get up and go to the bathroom multiple times. I starting skip class and sometimes skipping school. I remember telling a teacher that she couldn't call on me in class because I would get a FULL blown panic attack if I was asked to read...I remember going to class with a senior friend of mine and sitting in her science class. The teacher bent down and talked to me and told me I could stay as long as I wanted and he understood. I remember thinking how much comfort that gave me.. that someone understood and told me it was ok. 

It wasn't until one day I woke up and realized I would never be able to leave and go to college if this didn't stop. And seriously that day, I didn't get another panic attack for YEARS. (If only I was young and naive today like I was back then!)

I ended up doing a study abroad in Central America, attended college thousands of miles a way, and drove multiple times alone for hours to and from different states all after I told myself anxiety would not control my life...

 I did however drop a Spanish honors class in college because we had to read spinach aloud....haha!

As the years followed, certain things made me anxious, but never took control of my life. I didn't let things that made me nervous bother me. I had confidence that things were no big deal and I paid little to no attention to the anxiety that did creep up..

Skip to the summer of 2016 when I attended a Youtube conference by myself. I was in traffic all morning and was semi nervous to do such a big thing alone. I walked into the conference center and got on this mile long escalator when it happened. I felt like I couldn't breath. I was trapped on this escalator with thousands of people everywhere.

 Love my little sidekick.

Love my little sidekick.

I was alone.

I was freaking out.

I walked and pushed people out of the way to the top, just so I could turn around and go to the bottom. I walked a mile to my car, trying my best to keep my composure. When it got to my car, I lost it. It all came coming back, and being alone surrounded by thousands of people...doing this whole blog/youtube thing alone...It triggered me. 

After that I tried to go back to the convention but I couldn't. I made my mom come with my kids and wait at a mall near by so I could try and attend. I took my oldest daughter with me just so I could sit through one class. I remember my left arm going numb because I was freaking out inside SO bad. I wanted to get out of there as fast as I could. 

After that I couldn't do anything. I couldn't go to the grocery store or target without having a panic attack in the checkout line. I dreaded picking the girls up from school because I would have an anxiety attack having to walk all the way in to get my daughter, worried I would pass out and embarrass myself and her. I was afraid to leave my house, go out with friends, live my life....

Then my heart started having the worst palpitations. (It's a natural side affect to anxiety.)

I remember my heart palpitating so bad as I pulled up to my daughters school. I called my dad hysterical telling him I was going to die. My 5 and 2 year old were in the back, and my 5 year old came and hugged me in the car. My dad stayed on the phone with me as I walked in to get my daughter. (I had to park far away and walk a ways to get her...)

Anxiety was and IS the worst. 

Anxiety feels like tunnel vision. It's like your are SO scared, your body is in flight mode and your adrenaline has reached it's highest peak. It's one of the scariest feelings in the least scariest scenario. It's bizarre...

Anyways...skip to today. 

 My.Whole.World.  My why.

My.Whole.World.

My why.

I've learned a lot about myself. I'm way stronger than I was two year ago, but I do have my days where I'm weak. I have to remind myself that it's ok to be weak. It's ok if I don't feel up to doing something, but I also know when I have to push myself. I know so much more about myself and what I need to do to be confident in my abilities...But sometimes those things are the HARDEST things to do. Sometimes it's so hard to tell myself to go do something. But I really try and tell myself to do it. Because if I don't, then I am 10 steps back after taking 5 steps forward. 


-How I have, and how I am, overcoming my anxiety.-



Taking care of me.


My third daughter is quite the girl and we've had our fair share of challenges with her. From her lack of sleep, to her severe lack of eating...Then this past year after dealing with some behavioral issues, we decided to put her into a  preschool where they can help her work on certain behaviors.  All of this alone has been quite the challenge for me as a mother, and probably one of the reasons my anxiety has skyrocketed over the past couple of years. Every time I would go somewhere or do something, my daughter would really struggle. Immediately I felt, and was a lot of times judged. I was already anxious to go get my daughter from school because every time my baby would scream bloody murder and I would have to walk a half mile with her completely melting down. It was humiliating. On top of it all my husband was working 12+ hours a day 5 days a week, plus a half of Saturday and some Sunday. I was completely mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.

 My sweet and sour baby!

My sweet and sour baby!

 Part of healing, especially when dealing with a child whose needs are quite demanding, has been to take care of myself. It hasn't been easy. I don't mean relaxing at the end of the night with a bath and a good Netflix binge. I mean leaving my house and going somewhere alone or with friends. Saying yes more to those type of situations that are SO hard for me, that I know will give me anxiety. Even if it means my palms are sweaty and I can't sit still, I always try and go. (Because eventually I WILL calm down.)  It was also really hard putting my husband in charge and leaving the house, even though I do feel an enormous amount guilt because he just worked 13 hours that day.

Also saying no to my daughter, or my other kids, and being ok with it. Not feeling guilty about hiring a babysitter every week so I can do date night...Things like that. Things that are not easy for me to do, but doing them always makes me feel better.

I'm also really trying to make time for myself. More exercise, that's a tough one for me because I legit can't deal, I hate exercise haha! But making time for me to be healthy, it's so important. Otherwise if I've taken care of kids ALONE from 6-8 at night, then I go to bed late, and well eventually I've snowballed myself into a gallon of Ben and Jerry's tonight dough. (Which by the way I feel is totally healthy and acceptable every once in a while.) But most likely the next day, and the groundhog days of motherhood that follow, will cause my anxiety to creep back.

Lastly, less phone time. BIG ONE. Social media is good and evil. If you are struggling, the last thing you should do is look on Instagram for inspiration. It it no way will make you feel calm, I can do this, I'm amazing, and I'm strong. It will however make you feel more anxious, weak, insecure, less than, and like 'everybody has their shit together but me' type of attitude. 


Going there, even when I absolutely do not want to.


Some times the hardest thing for me is to go to the grocery store that's 5 minutes away. Already my nerves start to build up just thinking about it. It could be because every time I go to the store, and I'm already on edge, my daughter will most likely throw a huge tantrum. Which doesn't make it easier. But if something scares me, I do it anyways. I'm not always good at this, but I've been so much better these past couple months. If I'm afraid to go to the store, I go. Every night by myself. I buy one thing, or more the next night. But I go. I (you) have to train your body to know that you are not in a harmful or dangerous situation. And going and doing even when you don't want to is KEY.


Talking about it.


Something I did differently a few months ago was tell my closest friends about my anxiety. Shame and embarrassment is something that gives me anxiety, about anxiety. Makes total sense right haha?! But just knowing that I could openly talk about it with my friends made it not so scary, and I knew that if I ever had a panic attack with any of them I could tell them. It was comforting. But I've never had to because It made anxiety much less threatening when I talked about it.

Also having that someone you can call and talk to when things get rough. It's not easy to open up with someone when you are afraid to admit a weakness. Afraid to admit you might be crazy, even though dealing with this in no way makes you crazy at all. But if you deal with it all on your own, it's so much harder to overcome. Talk to someone. Anyone. A family member, friend, partner...whatever. Just casually bring it up that you have anxiety, and get more comfortable talking about it as time goes on. You won't believe how many people have experienced or are experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. TRUST ME...And you won't feel so alone. I know it's hard. It's probably the hardest thing to talk about...But you can do it. I promise.


The Book that changed my life.


One of my biggest turning points in my anxiety was reading this book: (Click book for link.)

Dare

It was like reading my inner most thoughts. It answered every one of my fears and questions, but also told me how I can control the anxiety and even overcome it. That's what we all want right? I call it my Anxiety Bible because whenever I feel myself starting to have a rough week, I go back and read on things I'm struggling with and I almost immediately feel so much better off.

If you are struggling with anxiety you MUST read this book. It saved me.


Faith


Last but definitely not least is my Faith. I know we all come from different background, religions, and beliefs. So whatever your lifestyle is, this may not be for you. But my faith, and my Anxiety Bible lol, are probably one of the two things that had the most impact on helping me with my anxiety. I'm a Mormon, and I relied a lot on prayer and scripture. I prayed daily to have strength to overcome this. For faith that I could do small and simple things that seemed so hard. I read my scriptures nightly and relied on my Heavenly Father. I became so much stronger I know because of this. Again, we all believe and live differently, but I really feel that relying on a greater being of some sort...it really does help.

 No special occasion, we always dress fancy and match at the same time. It's how we roll.

No special occasion, we always dress fancy and match at the same time. It's how we roll.


You can be stronger, I have so much faith in this!


Something so comforting to me is when someone believes in me. When someone assures me that everything will be ok and that I can do this even when something is telling me I can't. But I promise you that you can. As someone who has and does struggle, I know that there is and will always be the light at the end of the tunnel. That we are SO much stronger than we let ourselves be. 

And lastly...Tonight Dough Ben & Jerry's really does calm all anxiety. 

One Pan Baked Chicken, Butternut, and Pecan Dinner with Orange Dijon Maple Glaze


My ‘One Pan Baked Chicken, Butternut, and Pecan Dinner’ is going to be your new dinner favorite! This dinner is on repeat weekly at my house. It’s made in one pan, which makes cleanup amazing. It also all comes together in about 30 minutes! Lifesaver
— (Me)-Ari

This week marked the first week my three year old started preschool. Before she started I began to realize it was the first time in 7 years I wouldn't have a child attached to my hip for a couple of hours every day.

Sheer panic set in because I don't think I know how to do anything without someone saying,"Mom.Mom.Mom.Mom.Mom!!!!" 56 times while I'm taking a shower. How will I learn to make decisions when I am not under an extreme amount pressure?? 

Like, how am I supposed to brush my teeth, hair, and wash my face without a toddler screaming, a 5 year old who refuses to get her shoes on no matter how many times I ask her to, and a 7 year old yelling, "MOM! We are going to be late AGAIN!"

I.Cannot.Function.Without.Stress.

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My husband. Bless his 1950's heart, told me that now that I have a few hours without the kids I can actually get stuff done.

He's hilarious. And dead to me.

But in all actuality, I'm really quite sad. As hard as motherhood is, it's almost harder to not be in 100% control..For me at least. I can't be a helicopter parent when they are at schoo!l! Unless...I spy on them through the parking lot while they are at recess. Or, I call the secretary to make sure my daughter made it to class even though I walked her in. 

You guys. ISSUES!!

I'm not always that bad, but I think some time alone will do me some good. Give me time to chill, relax, recharge...and watch Bachelor alone.

(And obviously come up with yummy recipes like these, which make life easier!)

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One Pan Baked Chicken, Butternut, and Pecan Dinner with Orange Dijon Maple Glaze

Ingredients:

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast one inch thick, or more if you can fit them the plan

(Salt/pepper to season chicken + EVOO to cook)

3 cups chopped butternut squash

1 cup pecans

2 TB. melted butter

2 TB. pure maple syrup

salt

(Orange Dijon Maple Sauce)

1/3 c. pure maple syrup

2 TB. whole grain dijon mustard

juice and zest of 1 orange

1 TB. cornstarch mixed with 1 TB. cold water

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 357 degrees. 

2. Cover a large baking sheet with tin foil. In a bowl, mix together squash, pecans, and a nice sprinkle of salt. Add to one side of the baking sheet and place in the oven.

3. Heat a skillet on med/low heat with 1-2 TB. EVOO. Season both sides of a chicken breast with salt and pepper. Make sure your breast are about 1 inch thick. Pound with a meat mallet to thin out if needed.

4. Cook chicken on both sides, 3 minutes. Set aside. Continue to cook each chicken, same amount of time, until you've cooked all of the chicken. Pull the pan out of the oven and add the chicken breast to it. Cook for 15 minutes.

5. Before the chicken is almost done, make the sauce. In a small sauce pan add all of the ingredients, minus the cornstarch mixture. Heat on low/medium hit until the mixture begins to bubble slightly. Add the cornstarch mixture, bring to a bubble and allow the mixture to thicken. Set aside.

6. Remove the pan from the oven. Check to see if the butternut squash is soft enough. If it's not, remove the chicken and cover it in foil and set on a plate, and place the pan back in the oven until the squash is tender. 

7. Once everything is done, drizzle it with the sauce, serve over rice if wanted, and enjoy!


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Now, share with my your motherhood craziness! Like, do you spy on your kids at recess. Pop in unexpected at lunch time to make sure no little punk kid is being a bully to your baby? 

2017 Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Yea! Thanksgiving is ALMOST here!

As I was compiling the list on my site of all the best Thanksgiving style recipes I realized I didn't have that many. Things will have to change! In the mean time, below are 22 recipes that you can bring to your Thanksgiving dinner and wow your guests! 

Just click the picture or link below the pictures to get the recipe!







Holiday Chocolate Fudge Cake

If you have been reading my blog over the years, then you already know my obsession with chocolate cake.

Chocolate cake has gotten me through many hard times. Whether I was eating or making the cake, it somehow has healed all of my mental and emotion wounds. Pretty sure that's what Saturday night looked like for me in college...

If you look back through my website, you will notice a large recipe collection of chocolate cakes. It's because I can't stop. Won't stop. Cause we get down baby. We get down baby.

Scroll through and click on which cake you want the recipe for!

These images remind me how much I LOVE sprinkles WITH chocolate cake. I have a serious problem.

Obviously I couldn't stop at 1, 2, 3...ok so there is a lot of chocolate cake recipes. I was really looking for the perfect recipe for the Holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holidays where you over indulge A lot. 

I think my FAVORITE part about this chocolate cake is the frosting. It reminds me of a rich chocolate ganache. But what makes it incredible is that it's made with a secret hidden veggie. I've been on the lookout for a healthier frosting, and I almost cried when this came together! 

This cake is naturally sweetened and not overly loaded with sugars and unhealthy fats, which pairs perfectly with the 18 sides of stuffing that most likely I'll give into come Thanksgiving day. Balance. 

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print recipe
Healthier Holiday Chocolate Fudge Cake
Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Cloves
  • 1 TB. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Applesauce Unsweetened
  • 1 TB. Vanilla Extract
  • 6 oz. Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, spices, salt, and baking soda.2. In a medium bowl whisk together oil and sugar. Then add the eggs and applesauce. Followed by vanilla and greek yogurt. 3. Whisk together the dry ingredients with the wet. Don't over mix. 4. Pour batter into two prepared 9 inch cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until done. Be careful not to over bake. Let cool on cooling rack completely.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:
print recipe
Healthier Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Ingredients
  • 1 can Pumpkin Puree
  • 3- 3.5 ounces 70% chocolate Bars, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Coconut Sugar
Instructions
1. In a sauce pan add your pumpkin puree. Turn the heat on medium low and constantly stir to heat up.2. Once heated, remove from heat and add the chocolate and sugar. If needed, start with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Taste, and add more if desired. 3. Set in the fridge to thicken and set, about an hour or so, or until completely cooled. You can cook this before you make the cake so it's ready to be used by the time the cake has cooled.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:
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What is your go-to comfort food that you just can't stop making and eating?! Share your ideas down below!

Zucchini, Pumpkin, and Butternut Squash Lasagna

I lived off of this dish for an entire week. Breakfast, why not? Lunch...hell ya! Dinner, don't have to ask me twice. Grab a fork before bed time and dig in...calm down there sweetie.

I was obsessed.

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I love this time of year because my favorite vegetable season is the one where I wear black leggings every day with a hideous old t-shirt underneath a nice cozy sweater. I love looking like I'm going to bed. Is that sad?

No, it's #goals. 

But enough about living the dream...

This lasagna will fill your house with those cozy fall scents, give you that nice taste of total comfort food, all without weighing you down. I replaced the lasagna noodles with zucchini noodles, which has never been heard of in this year of 2017. 

Then I whipped up my FAVORITE Pumpkin Cream Sauce to go along with it, plus nice flavorful chunks of roasted butternut squash. I. Cant.Even. 

I hate when people say that.


 Zucchini, Pumpkin, and Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 Recipe Pumpkin Cream Sauce

8 oz fresh grated mozzarella

1/2 large butternut squash. skin removed, then chopped

3/4 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch layers

-(Ricotta Layer)-

16oz. ricotta

1 egg

1 TB. fresh rosemary

2 tsp. Italian seasonings

1/4 c. parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven for 400 degrees. Place chopped squash onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little EVOO, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Toss every so often. 

2. While the squash is roasting, make the pumpkin sauce. Allow the sauce to cool once done.

3. As the sauce and the squash are cooling down, make your ricotta mixture by mixing all the ingredients for the ricotta layer.

4. Begin to assemble the lasagna as follows: Sauce, zucchini slices, ricotta, butternut squash, cheese. Repeat one more time.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

6. Serve immediately and enjoy!


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Do you have a favorite fall comfort dish? Maybe a favorite fall dessert? Share your ideas below!

 

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf

*These Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaves are the perfect meal to make your family on Valentine's Day! It comes together so easy, and everyone will love seeing a cute little heart on their plate!*

Listen. I'm not going to lie to you. Making dinner just sucks.

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

Does anybody really enjoy making dinner for a family who 75% of the time won't touch it? Is it worth the hassle of even checking Pinterest for a 'weeknight meal' only to have the energy for Cheerios?

I mean, I get home at 4 from getting my daughter from school. FOUR! That's basically when I have to start preparing dinner, but who can mentally prepare for that after you do school pick up. With homework, or dance, or soccer, or the 'I can't find my dance shoes'  dilemma...Dinner is just so inconvenient ;).

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

So I won't lie and say that every night is a Pinterest night. I just have to mentally tell my self no and save myself the headache. Especially when my husband get's off work at 8, I just.can.not.

But on the nights where I do try a little harder, the reward is so great. Not for the kids, but for me. Usually that means leftovers, and leftovers means mommy's lunch, and having something other than your child's left over sandwich is the best thing ever!

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

I will say though, that my oldest two each ate a full sized heart of these cute little meat loafs, which made me re-consider my anti Pinterest dinners...Almost.

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • A little more than 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 1/2 c. parmesan
  • 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1 package organic ranch dressing seasoning packet
  • 1 egg
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 TB. worcestershire sauce
  • light sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • (Topping Spread)
  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 2 TB. mustard
  • 2 TB. coconut sugar
  • 1 TB. worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven In a bowl, fold together the ingredients for the meatloaf.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, press the meatloaf into the cutter. Then press the meat out onto the parchment paper.
  3. Bake the meatloaf for 20-25 minutes. (You want the meatloaf to be almost done, but not quite yet.
  4. While the meatloaf is cooking, mix together the sauce for the topping. When you pull the meatloaf out, spread the sauce on top of the hearts.
  5. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until done.

3.5.3208

Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish
Heart Shaped Turkey Meatloaf via The Diva Dish

So what is your favorite weeknight meal that's quick, easy, and everybody loves?! Do they exist?!

{Healthy} Chocolate Chip Cookies

(To get the recipe for the 'Happy' version of our favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, go HERE.) It's no secret that I love making Chocolate Chip Cookies. Every time I get out my big Kitchen Aid mixer and my large bag of chocolate chips, my family knows what is coming!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

When it came to putting together a healthier recipe, I knew that the cookies had to be just as addicting as the Happy version. I've made my fair share of healthy cookies, but I needed this one to stand out...

And more importantly....

I needed my family not to really notice a difference.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

These cookies, in my mind, are healthy. To others they might still be a 'treat', and that's ok. They are packed with wholesome grains, naturally sweetened, and made with coconut oil instead of butter :).

You could skip the chocolate chips, add nuts and raisins...

But raisins in cookies are just so un cool...

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 c. coconut oil, softened
  • 1/2 c. coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 1 ripe large banana, mashed
  • 1 c. old fashioned oats
  • 2 c. chocolate chips, carob chips, or chopped dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl fitted with a mixer, add coconut oil and sugar. Beat for 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add egg, and mix in, followed by vanilla.
  4. Next mix in mashed banana.
  5. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Next mix in the oats, and once that is all mixed, then add in the chocolate chips and mix.
  6. Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet using a small cookie scoop. Flatten the tops of the cookies a little.
  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes. (We like to undercook them slightly, and let harden on the tray.)

3.5.3208

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

(Making her work hard for her cookie!)

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

What other recipes would you like to see Happy and Healthy?! Let me know in the comments below!

{Happy} Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been wanting to share this cookie recipe for a LONG time, because everyone loves a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe right? I'm sure there are a million different recipes for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and believe me I have tried A LOT of them. I wanted a recipe that would stick with our family forever. One that my kids would know were their mom's chocolate chip cookies. A recipe that my friends and family would beg for, where I could hold it over their head hostage and demand their secrets for mine.

And a recipe that wasn't on the bag of the Nestle Toll House bag... ;)

I'm not going to write a long drawn out post and explain why I love chocolate chip cookies so much, so....

Here you go!

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
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Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

{Happy} Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2-3 cups chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each one.
  3. In a separate bowl, add your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix, then slowly mix into batter until incorporated.
  4. Mix in chocolate chips. (These are full of chocolate chips, so if you want, you can reduce the amount.)
  5. Using a large cookie scoop, measure out cookie dough onto prepared baking sheet (with parchment paper). Using your palm, flatten the tops of the cookies slightly.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. I like to undertake mine, then let cool on the hot pan for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack. Careful not to overbake :). Store in an air tight container. Best eating the first 1-3 days.
  7. I also store cookies in the freezer and pull them out in the morning and pack them in my girls lunches. By lunch time they have thawed and are perfect to eat.

3.5.3208

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish
Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies via The Diva Dish

Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe? How do you like your cookies? Flat, thick, chewy, crispy, chippy?

Christmas Tree 2016

I know I don't typically share stuff like this, but over the past couple years I've been addicted to decorating my Christmas tree! I've slowly been adding to my Christmas stash each year, and my husband will find Hobby Lobby and Michaels bags hidden through out the house starting in October. He loves it. That being said, I thought I would share our Christmas tree(s) each year, just as a little fun thing. And yes, I said trees plural. Currently we have two, the one pictured and another white tree with pink, blue, and silver. It's the girls' tree, and I let them decorate it because they aren't allowed to touch mine haha!!

So here it is, my Christmas Tree for 2016 :)!

Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish
Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish
Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish
Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish
Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish
Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish
Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish
Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish
Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish
Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish
Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish
Christmas Tree 2016 via The Diva Dish

My Christmas tree was THIS one from Walmart, and I love it!

As for my ornaments, I've collected over the years from different local stores and craft stores. And if my husband asks, that ornaments not new, I've totally had it forever ;).

Merry Christmas!