Main Dishes

Dr. Pepper Chicken Tostadas

I love Mexican food for a lot of reasons. It’s super flavorful, always has so many pretty colors, and you can really load on the veggies. But, you do have to be careful of cooking methods, as some dishes can have loads of fat.

That’s where I come in with this recipe.


I’ve been working on my tostada game for the past 3 days. Meaning this recipe has been refined three times to perfection and that I am probably going to turn into an actual tostada at some point….. No regrets. I could (and have been) eating these every night with no complaints.

I threw the chicken in the fridge with the diet Dr. Pepper before heading to work so it had plenty of time to bathe. They took me about 20 minutes to cook & assemble in the evening, start to finish.

This recipe makes 4 tostadas. In my household this served 2 people. I have broken the nutrition info down per tostada, in case your appetite isn’t as rampant as mine. After 2 of these paired with steamed broccoli I was stuffed.


Dr. Pepper Chicken Tostadas

Yield: 4 tostadas


  • ½ lb boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • 1 can Diet Dr. Pepper (divided)
  • ½ tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder (divided; ½tsp & ½ tsp)
  • 1 tsp Paprika (divided; ½tsp & ½ tsp)
  • 1 tsp Cumin (divided; ½tsp & ½ tsp)
  • ½ Cup Pinto beans
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk beverage of choice (I used unsweetened cashew)
  • 1.5 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ lime


  1. Marinate chicken in ½ can diet Dr. Pepper for at least 1 hour, covered in the refrigerator.
  2. Once marinated, in a sauce pan combine remaining ½ can of Dr. Pepper, chili powder, ½ tsp each of garlic powder, paprika, and cumin. Add chicken to Dr. Pepper liquid and then add water to cover chicken. Cover with a lid and boil chicken for ~15 minutes, until chicken shreds with a fork.
  3. In a small pan combine pinto beans, milk, salt, and remaining ½ tsp of each spice. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Beans should now be soft enough to mash with a fork, do so until completely mashed. Continue to simmer until liquid has been reduced by half and you have the consistency of paste.
  4. To assemble tostadas: spread beans among 4 tostadas, top with lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, and avocado. Squeeze lime juice over tostadas and add lime zest as desired (about 1-2 tsp)
  5. Serve warm

Nutrition Information Per Tostada: 215 calories, 7g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 14.5g protein



The tostada train isn’t stopping here…. I’ll be bringing it on over the breakfast this weekend… Stay tuned!


Glazed Rum & Egg Nog Donuts

Merry Christmas Eve!!! Its really hard to believe it’s actually Christmas time, I swear it was just August. Regardless- I am super pumped for the next 2 days of festivities (Joe’s family today and mine tomorrow)

So much food is about to be consumed. Same for you? Be sure to move people- you’ll feel 10x better if you do SOME sort of physical activity rather than sit like a bump on a log stuffing your face. I’ll be earning my eats this Am.

Okay, done harping on that…Now, let’s get to the good stuff.

Today I am sharing with you all a recipe that can help you out of the “What the heck do I make for Christmas ( or even Christmas Eve!) Breakfast?” conundrum. 

The answer is Glazed Rum & Egg Nog Donuts. 


You COULD take out the rum, but I’d encourage you not to. The glaze has the perfect amount in it, you can definitely taste it, but it isn’t so strong you’ll be walking wonky. 

I love how cake-y these donuts are, and the flavors come through and mingle so nicely. 



Glazed Rum&  Egg Nog Donuts 

Yield: 7 donuts


For the donuts

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup egg nog (I used Silk brand)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

 For the glaze

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp rum
  • 2 tbsp egg nog


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease and lightly flour a donut pan.
  2. Whisk together egg, butter, rum, applesauce, vanilla, and egg nog. Once combined add in sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining donut ingredients, stirring with a fork. 
  4. Add dry ingredient mixture to the wet mixture, stirring until you have a thick, uniform batter.
  5. Fill donut pan.
  6. Bake for ~22 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool through.
  8. While donuts are cooling make the glaze. 
  9. Start by placing powdered sugar into a small bowl, adding rum and 1 tbsp egg nog. Stir. 
  10. You want your glaze to be the consistency of paste. Go ahead and slowly add 2nd tbs. 
  11. Once donuts are cooled through, glaze & enjoy!

Nutrition Information per Donut: 167 calories, 2.8g fat, 30g carbohydrate, 3g protein

** Note: I did use Soy Nog for this recipe.

Also, can we just take a look at this bomb spread we get from our neighbor every year?

Look forward to it each Christmas!!!



Cakes, Cookies & Desserts

Double Chocolate Cranberry Brownie Pie

I know you shouldn’t eat your feelings, but it’s kinda hard to make the argument that chocolate can’t cure a bad day.  That’s what I always have chocolate at my desk, a little thing we like to call “discretionary calories”.

I mentioned in my last post (Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes With Mashed Potato Frosting and Cranberry Sauce Topping) that I picked up a bag of Michigan Cranberries, we’ll we are going to keep the cranberry train goin’ with today’s recipe.


These are the perfect ooey, gooey, holiday season brownies. They’re been healthified a bit (hence why they only have 180 some calories per 1/8th of the pie- that’s a large slice!) but still taste so chocolatey and indulgent. We ate these for dessert on the daily, with no shame.


Double Chocolate Cranberry Brownie Pie

Yeild: 8 slices, 1 slice serving each


  • ½ cup cranberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 container yogurt (I used Kroger Carb Master)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips


  1. In a small sauce pan combine cranberries, water, and 2 tbsp sugar. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Cranberries will pop and mixture will be reduced by half. Using a fork, stir, mushing cranberries, creating a sauce. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350, lightly grease a pie dish.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine butter and sugar. Once evenly combined mix in eggs, yogurt, and vanilla.
  4. Next, add flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder, stirring until combined.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pie pan. Drop cranberry sauce by the spoonful on top of batter. Then, use a knife to swirl in sauce.
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes, center will remain gooey.

Nutrition Information Per 1/8th pie: 186 calories, 6.55g fat, 28.3g carbohydrate, 6g protein


Main Dishes

Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes With Mashed Potato Frosting And Cranberry Sauce Topping

I believe that food should never be boring. I am in my mid-twenties and still enjoy playing with my food- and I don’t anticipate that ever stopping. 

This past week I was doing my usual grocery store ad scrolling and saw a fantastic deal on Michigan cranberries. Ding Ding Ding! 

So festive and so many ideas came to mind, so I immediately added them to my list. 

The first recipe I made were these adorb holiday dinner inspire cupcakes. They’re so cute I almost didn’t want to eat them… Almost..


They were very simple to make and made dinner time much more fun. Fantastic for both kids and adults alike.  cc2


Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes With Mashed Potato Frosting And Cranberry Sauce Topping

Yield: 2, 2 cupcake servings


2 medium potatoes

  • 1 cup fresh, raw cranberries
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used cashew)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash and scrub potatoes. Cube them and place them in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, ~20-25 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, combine cranberries, water, and sugar into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook for ~5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cranberries will pop and the mixture will reduce by about half, becoming thick. Set aside.
  4. For the cupcakes, in a large bowl combine 2-3 tbsp prepared cranberry sauce, turkey, egg white, oats, onion, Worcestershire sauce, & 1 tsp garlic powder. 
  5. Lightly grease a muffin pan and spread turkey mixture evenly between 4 muffin molds. 
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the muffin pan. 
  7. Then, take the turkey out of the muffin pan and place on a cookie sheet, cooking for an additional 3-5 minutes (this helps to get the bottoms crisper)
  8. Once potatoes are finished, mash with a potato masher, adding in 2 tbsp milk at first, adding more as necessary until desired consistency is met. Then add 1/2 tsp garlic powder and thyme. Salt & pepper if desired.
  9. Now, assemble cupcakes, place a large dollop of mashed potatoes on top of each turkey cupcake, then top with remaining cranberry sauce. 
  10. Dig in!

Nutrition Information Per 2 cupcakes: 418 calories, 9g fat, 60g carbohydrate, 30g protein

Main Dishes

Chicken-Bacon Pasta With Roasted Veggies & A White Wine Sauce

Like most girls in their mid-twenties, I love wine, and I am a firm believer it’s pretty much always the answer.

Bad day? Glass of wine. Celebrating? Glass of wine. Alive? Glass of wine.

Call me “basic”, I really don’t care, I just love wine.

Like I said, wine is always the answer, and that holds true to recipes too.

Brace yourselves for the recipe I am about to share with you.

Not only is it pasta covered in wine, it has chicken… and bacon.. and cheese… and roasted tomatoes.

If you aren’t salivating I might have to questions our friendship right now. Just kidding (kind of).

Now, as I am sure you know by now, I am lactose intolerant- or so my body tells me. I choose to pretend it’s lying on occasion. I mean let’s be real, I aint ever passing up ice cream, just a little…. However,  I did use lactose-free milk and 100% parmesan cheese (naturally lactose free- fun fact of the day!) for this recipe, but you certainly don’t have to.

You can also use regular bacon. Actually, you’d probably have a much more flavorful dish. However, this is what I had on hand. Feel free to swap out the green beans for another veggie if you like, but I’d recommend keeping the tomatoes- simple because I think they look so fun when they are roasted and deflated.


Point being, as always, modify to your liking, this is simply what I did.

This recipe makes 2 large servings and even though it sounds fancy with it’s “White wine sauce”, it took about 45 minutes start to finish.

Throw this baby together on a weeknight and watch the jaws drop.


Chicken-Bacon Pasta With Roasted Veggies & A White Wine Sauce

Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 cup pasta, dry
  • 3 slices bacon (I used Turkey)
  • ½ lb chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ cup white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used lactose free)
  • 1 tbsp & 1 tsp Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place cherry tomatoes and green beans on a cooking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until tomatoes are soft.
  3. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  4. While veggies are cooking, cook bacon in a large skillet.
  5. Once crisp, remove and pat off oil with paper towel. Do not wash the pan!
  6. Pound chicken with a meat tenderizer until ½-3/4 inch thickness
  7. Cook chicken in the same skillet as the bacon. This will take about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove from pan when finished. Do not wash pan.
  8. Next, add butter to pan used to cook bacon and chicken. Once melted add garlic and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, it will be very aromatic.
  9. Next, add wine, milk and cheese. Allow to reduce by about half.
  10. Once thickened, add in dried thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Now, add bacon, chicken and veggies to drained pasta noodles. Coat with wine sauce.
  12. Mix it up nice and good and serve warm!

Nutrition Information Per ½ Recipe: 450 calories, 12g fat, 37g carbohydrate, 34g protein






Breakfast · Cakes, Cookies & Desserts

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple-Dried Cherry Filling

It may only be hump day, but I am already revving myself up for the weekend.

My favorite part of the weekend: BRUNCH.

Our routine has become huffing it out at the gym in the morning after a cup of coffee, then coming home to make a giant spread. So lucky to have found a man who shares my love for sweating & eating.

This past weekend I saw a recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls in my Better Homes and Garden magazine while running and snapped immediately snapped a picture of the recipe, took it home, and got to work.


I amped up the filling by adding dried cherries and maple syrup and modified the dough just a touch.


We made them on Sunday, but they store well and have been eating them throughout the week. These would be perfect to have on hand for any guest that may be arriving throughout the holiday season (or any time really). Brownie points would surely be gained, after all, the key to the heart if through the stomach… unless that’s just me..


Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple & Dried Cherry Filling

Yield: 10 rolls


  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup sugar (1 tbsp reserved for filling)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (1/2 tsp reserved for filling)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup pumpkin (2-3tbsp reserved for filling)
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (I used sugar free)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp water


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Reserve 1 tbsp sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, remaining sugar & cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter (or a fork), cut in butter until large, doughy clumps form. Add in pumpkin, reserving 2-3 tbsp for filling. Knead dough until just combined.
  4. Place dough on a floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll out until a ~1/2 inch thick rectangle (~8” x 12”).
  5. Spread reserved pumpkin over rectangle, followed by reserved cinnamon sugar mixture, dried cherries, and maple syrup.
  6. Working on the long side of the rectangle, begin rolling away from you, forming a log.
  7. Slice log into 10 equal slices and place them on parchment paper lined baking sheet, swirl side up.
  8. Bake for 22 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare icing by mixing together powdered sugar and water. Start with 1 tbsp water, slowing adding more until you get a thick paste-like icing.
  11. Drizzle icing over rolls.
  12. Serve immediately, or store in an air tight container.

Nutrition Information Per Roll: 160 calories, 5.3g fat, 26.3g carbohydrate, 2.25g protein

At 160 calories these cinnamon rolls won’t break the caloric bank- leaving plenty of room for other brunch time goodie s 😉

Main Dishes

Slow Cooker Pork Barbacoa

Sundays are always meal planning days in my household. We figure out what we want to have each night and create a grocery list with those recipes in mind. This alleviates SO much stress during the week. No “What will we have for dinner tonight?!” worries. It also helps free up time during the week. Since I know what we will be having I can do prep ahead and have more time on weekday evening for things like running errands, going to the gym, or long puppy walks. Win-win.


This slow-cooker barbacoa is simple to make and can be served throughout the week in different ways. Add it to your menu this week for hassle-free dinners and a happy belly.

We had over right for barbacoa bowls the first night, which were phenom. Then I had to travel later in the week for work, so that left Joe on his own for dinner. He was able to use the barbacoa for a burrito, on a toasted bun, and in taco shells. It was also a perfect meat source for a quick lunch salad.

It makes about 10, 1/2 cup servings, so it’s a larger recipe. Don’t want it all in one week? Freeze a few portions for a later time.
Simple. Healthy. Versatile. Amazing.


Slow Cooker Pork Barbacoa
Yield: 10, 1/2 cup servings


  • 2.5lb pork loin roast, fat trimmed
  • 14 oz coke zero (divided 6oz & 8 oz)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (divided 1/4c & 1/4 c)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 tsp each- Cumin, chili powder, garlic
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Combine 6oz coke zero, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup water (I did this right in the slow cooker). Stir until combined, then add your pork loin. Allow to marinade here for 2+ hours, overnight if desired.
  2. Once marinated, cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for about 8.
  3. When pork is able to be shredded with a fork, remove marinade liquid and shred pork.
  4. Once shredded, add remaining ingredients (8oz coke zero, 1/4 cup brown sugar, tomato paste, salsa, spices, and s&p to taste)
  5. Cook on high for 1-1.5 hours
  6. Serve over rice, in a burrito, on a bun, etc.

Nutrition Information per 1/2 cup: 208 calories, 1.62g fat, 12.4g carbohydrate, 28g protein

Other idea on how to serve it? Share away!