sweet tooth satisfied

321Cake!image by dthoskins

As someone with a perpetual sweet tooth, this is one of my favorite go-to guilt-free desserts.  At only 170 calories, this gives me the taste of a hot, yummy, baked dessert without the calories.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 tbsp of any flavored cake mix (I prefer french vanilla, butter pecan, strawberry, or chocolate.  This also works with gluten-free mix)
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • microwavable dish (I use a ramekin or coffee mug)
  • microwave

Step by Step:

  1. Measure 3 tbsp of cake mix and place into dish.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of water and stir.
  3. Microwave for 1 minute on high.
  4. Top with the topping of your choice and enjoy.  I love a bit of powdered sugar or a dollop of cool whip.

 

See, it’s totally easy!  3-2-1, cake!  Yum.

This is also a great dessert for unexpected guests–it’s great with a cup of coffee.

katherine Greene

new year’s resolutions

image by dthoskins
image by dthoskins

These are a few of our favorite tips and tricks for starting the New Year organized and healthy!

  • A great HIIT cardio workout that doesn’t take up too much time.
  • An organized desk is a great way to get work done and keep a clear head
  • Clear your winter sinuses with this neti routine
  • These stress-busting yoga moves will help you shake off the post-holiday slump
  • Start your day off with an easy, healthy breakfast parfait
  • Combat winter skin with this amazing routine
  • Plan your weekly meals and grocery shop ahead to avoid the take-out temptation.  We love simple slow cooker meals (even slow cooker desserts!)

What are your New Year’s goals?

BGTsig

gluten free slow cooker breakfast

crockBGT

photo by dthoskins

At my house, I’ve begun a gluten-free diet to try to clear up some health issues that were believed to be a result of gluten intolerance.  After just a few days, I felt amazing!  Now, over four months down the road, I am building quite the repertoire of delicious, easy, gluten-free recipes for my family to enjoy.  This was one of our recent trials and it was a smashing success!

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (make sure that it is gluten-free cheese; we like Sargento’s)
  • 4 chicken and apple sausage links (I used Johnsonville’s gluten free)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup of fat free or skim milk
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 bag of Ore-Ida shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Step by Step:

1.  Place hash browns in your slow cooker.  Try to break up any frozen lumps.

2.  Chop sausage into bite-sized chunks and dice the bell pepper.

3.  Whisk the eggs and milk.  Add the salt, pepper, diced green pepper and sausage into the whisked mixture.

4.  Pour egg mixture over the hashbrowns in the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours and serve warm.  Serves 6-8.
We enjoyed our casserole with additional shredded cheese on top and a bit of salsa.

A yummy gluten-free dish that no one will complain about!

katherine Greene

daytrip: shakertown

Undoubtedly one of my favorite bluegrass spots, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill or Shakertown, has been the site of many of family memories and special occasion dinners.  Shaker Village is the perfect place for a family staycation or a romantic trip for two.

This is me waiting to board the riverboat last summer.  I would highly recommend a ride on the Dixie Belle. The captain, who narrates your one-hour cruise, is incredibly knowledgable and points out the native species and geological landmarks, as you coast down the Kentucky River palisades.

highbridgebgtw

Above:  View of High Bridge from the deck of the Dixie Belle; photo by dthoskins

Don’t miss out on a delightful breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Trustees Office Dining Room, home to the gorgeous shaker staircase.  My last visit was for dinner on my fifth anniversary and it was absolutely wonderful!  (On a side note, they are great about accommodating gluten allergies.)

 

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Above:  Staircase in the Trustees’ Office; photo by dthoskins

Another must place to stop is the craft store.  Everything is so gorgeous, you’ll have to pick something up!  I’ve always wanted to stay on the property, but have only gone for day visits.  I hear that their rooms are great!

Summer vacation is here in the bluegrass, consider Shaker Village for your next day trip.  Check out the special events calendar for more information on featured events on property.

Have you been to Shakertown?  Do you have a favorite thing to do there?  Do share!

katherine Greene

green smoothie goodness

greensmoothiebgtw

photo by dthoskins

This is a favorite go-to easy breakfast treat!  Surprised to hear that a green smoothie is a treat?—You haven’t tried the right recipe yet.

I personally love this one.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 banana
  • 2/3 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/3 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 large handfuls of organic baby spinach (it is much more tender)

Step by Step:

1.  Add the spinach and water to your blender and pulse until pureed.

2.  Add the banana and frozen fruit and pulse until pureed.

3.  Serve and enjoy!

This recipe makes 1 large smoothie or 2 small ones (perfect for an afternoon snack to share).  My 2.5 year old is particularly fond of this smoothie, so mine is usually divided into two.

I’ve read that for optimal nutrient absorption, your green smoothie should be consumed by itself and you should not have eaten 40 minutes prior or again for 40 minutes after.  You won’t mind!  The smoothie is incredibly filling and lasts me well until lunchtime.

Give it a try!  You might be surprised.

katherine Greene

3, 2, 1…cake!

photo by dthoskins

As someone with a perpetual sweet tooth, this is one of my favorite go-to “diet” desserts.  At only 170 calories, this gives me the taste of a hot, yummy, baked dessert without the guilt.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 tbsp of any flavored cake mix (I prefer french vanilla, butter pecan, strawberry, or chocolate)
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • microwavable dish (I use a ramekin or coffee mug)
  • microwave

Step by Step:

  1. Measure 3 tbsp of cake mix and place into dish.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of water and stir.
  3. Microwave for 1 minute on high.
  4. Top with the topping of your choice and enjoy.  I love a bit of powdered sugar or a dollop of cool whip.

 

See, it’s totally easy!  3-2-1, cake!

Christmas revisited

These are a few of our favorite holiday things…

The countdown to Christmas is on!  Are you ready?

diy cheesemonger {greek yogurt cheese balls}

Greek yogurt cheeseballs are a simple and beautiful dish that will impress your guests (or just your family!).

In this recipe I used fresh thyme for flavor, but you can do just about anything you like with cheese.  Here are some ingredients that I plan to incorporate in the future:

  • Chopped dried cranberries
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Herbs de Provence
  • Honey (drizzled)

What our house loved about these little cheeseballs was their versatility.  We might drop one into our omelettes with breakfast, spread one on a cracker as a snack, or spread on our bread with dinner.  They are such a healthy alternative to butter and they look great on the plate too!

Ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Fresh thyme
  • Cheesecloth
  • Kitchen string

Preparation:

Empty container of yogurt into a large enough piece of cheesecloth that you have enough room to form a pouch.  Tie securely at the top with kitchen string.  Hang yogurt pouch over a bowl in the refrigerator.  Let hang for 48-72 hours squeezing periodically to release the liquid. Remove from cheesecloth, and form cheese into 1 inch balls.  Roll tops of cheese balls in finely chopped fresh thyme.  Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.

Images by dthoskins