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Emerald Gemini Smoothie

I’m in a state of shock, relief, panic and excitement because May has arrived. For me, this means an entire flux of things – I’m graduating college in less than a month. I’m less than a month away from turning 22. I’m less than a month away from apartment hunting in NYC and starting an awesome full-time job. But also, it’s my birth month. 😉

My fellow fun-loving, multi-tasking, outgoing geminis will tell you all about how important our birthdays are to us. In fact, they’ll find any excuse to – especially if they can sense you’re a gemini as well. This is actually how I met one of my best friends my freshman year of college – she noticed I was wearing an emerald ring and asked when my birthday was. Turns out, we were born less than a day apart.

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All astrological serendipity aside – this smoothie is just as delicious as it looks. The sweetness of the fruit balances out the not-as-pleasing taste of nutrient-packed spirulina, which gives it an extra dose of protein as well.

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Keep reading to see the full recipe for my Emerald Gemini Smoothie.

the-classy-cook

Emerald Gemini Smoothie

Serves: 2      Prep Time: 3 Minutes      Cook Time: 2 Minutes      Total Time: 5 Minutes

Let’s Get Started:

1 banana
1 apple
1 handful spinach, washed
1/2 cup organic coconut water
1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp spirulina powder

Let’s Get Cooking:

Toss all ingredients into a blender and combine.

Let’s Get Creative:

Add more fruit to this recipe! It’ll boost your nutrient and anti-oxidant levels and will make it taste even better. Note: the color will be less green depending on which fruits you add to it!

Stay Classy! xx

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One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila…

* I did receive products from el Jimador for this post however, as always, all opinions are my own.

With Cinco de Mayo approaching in a few days, it’s important to pair an appropriate drink with the festivities. Yes, the status of tequila is no longer just that three a.m. bar go-to when you’ve already had more than enough to drink but don’t want to go home. Well for some, I’m sure it still is (guilty). But that’s not all it’s good for.

Tequila shots can be classy. I know, I know – don’t think I can’t already feel you rolling your eyes at me. But hear me out. Pair them with a delicious black bean and corn appetizer, great stories and good company and I’ll promise that you’re going to have a great time. In fact, feel free to leave a note in the comments if you do try this, because I’d love to some of your stories for a change. 😉

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Unlike scotch, I find tequila to be one of the hard alcohols that goes down smoothly—especially when you drink it the right way. Speaking of which, the last time I gathered some friends together to take tequila shots with me before heading out to a bar, some of them needed a little refresher on how to take the shot. So I’m assuming some of you might need one too: 🙂

  1. Lick the side of your left hand (if you’re right handed, or vice versa). Pour salt on that spot.
  2. Lick up the salt, take the shot and then suck on a lime wedge. Repeat! x

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Let’s just say, I’ve never met a tequila I didn’t like. (Or at least if I have, I don’t remember 😉 ). el Jimador is made from 100% blue agave, with no additives. This is important to note because it means that the quality of the alcohol is pure—and that it will go down easily.

Stay Classy! xx

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Almond Cookies with Blood Orange Frosting

*I received products from Limoneira and Nielsen Massey to create this post however, as always, all opinions are my own.

All it takes is one out-of-the-ordinary ingredient to get my kitchen creativity stirring (and mixing, whisking… you get the picture.) So when a box of the most beautiful blood oranges I’ve ever come across landed into my hands, I knew I had to make something worthy of them.

Limoneira prides itself in creating the most gorgeous fruit on the market, and from personal experience I can attest that this is not an exaggeration. Plus, their fruit tastes as good as they look – meaning, really lip smacking mouthwatering good.

Putting this recipe together gave me reinstated faith in my culinary skills. I’ve been SO busy the last month and a half (working my day job(s), trying to finish college, trying to find the perfect full time post-graduate job, you know the drill) that I’ve barely managed to cook for myself, let alone bake. Gaining a few moments in the kitchen over spring break reminded me that this is what I love to do, and it’s a great stress reliever too.

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I try to use the most natural and organic ingredients I can find when creating my recipes (and I link to the products I love in the ingredient list below!). Whether it is food or beauty products, my goal is to come in contact with all that is natural, non-toxic and not doused with chemicals, preservatives and all of the bad-for-you things that the FDA shouldn’t allow in our food… sigh.

This is pretty difficult at times, but hey, at least for this recipe (and all of the recipes on my site!) I did the hard work for you – all you have to do is click and buy via Amazon and the ingredients will be at your doorstep in 2-3 days. Voila, sometimes the Internet is magical.

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These cookies bring out the citrusy nutty flavors that remind me how great it is to be Italian. The combination of blood orange, almond and sugar will have you reaching for another and another with a big hot cup of herbal tea (no caffeine FTW!) They come out soft and almost fluffy, making them fun to frost and even more fun to eat. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. x

Keep reading to see the full recipe for my Almond Cookies with Limoneira Blood Orange Frosting.

the-classy-cook

Almond Cookies with Limoneira Blood Orange Frosting (Yield: 25 cookies)

Prep Time: 20 Minutes  Cook Time: 3 Hrs 10 Minutes  Total Time: 3 Hrs 30 Minutes 

Let’s Get Started:

for the cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp blood orange zest
1/2 cup sugar (you can sub this out for monkfruit for a healthier option!)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp blood orange juice
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1 large egg

for the frosting

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 Tbsp blood orange juice
1/8 tsp pure almond extract

Let’s Get Cooking:

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Place blood orange zest and white sugar in a food processor (a blender works similarly well) and pulse for 1 minute. Beat blood orange sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Add blood orange juice, almond extract and egg; beat until just combined. Gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined.

Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. (If cookie dough has chilled overnight, let stand for 20 minutes before baking.) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Form 1 1/4 inch balls of dough and place a few inches apart on baking sheets, flatten mounds slightly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden.

For the frosting: whisk together powdered sugar, salt, melted butter, blood orange juice, and almond extract in a small bowl until smooth and spreadable. Frost cookies and let set before serving. Enjoy!
Let’s Get Creative:

You can play around with the amounts of blood orange juice that go into the frosting mixture to change the color of the frosting! Some blood oranges are more purple than pink, and that translates to frosting colors as well.

In a baking mood? These Cinnamon Crackle Cookies are great to make (and eat) for any season. And this buzzy service will send you gourmet ingredients and recipes to bake up easy and delicious desserts.

Enjoy & Stay Classy! xx

Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal Nest Cookies

Nothing gets me in the mood to bake more than a combination of stress (baking is definitely one of my biggest stress relievers!) and an upcoming holiday. I grew up in a house where we bake for every holiday and these nest cookies are just the beginning of the dessert menu this year! I am blessed to spend the week visiting with my family and decided to surprise them by making Oatmeal Crème Pies with Homemade Whipped Crème.

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Yet after a glass of wine and quick trip to grocery store, I realized that Oatmeal Crème Pies weren’t going to cut it with my creativity. So I melted some chocolate, broke out the coconut and Cadbury Crème Eggs and turned my would-have-been oatmeal crème pies into some adorable little Easter nests. They were a hit with my boyfriend and I know my family will love them as well! Of course, I saved a few cookies to make the oatmeal crème pies that I had originally intended to create, so this recipe includes the decorating ideas for those as well! xx


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Let’s Get Started:

For the cookies:

1 cup butter (about 16 Tablespoons), softened
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda (or 3 teaspoons baking powder)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups oats

For the whipped crème:
1 cup whipping crème
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

For decorating:
Baking Chocolate
Shredded Coconut
Sprinkles
Cadbury Crème Eggs

Let’s Get Cookin’:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with non-stick parchment paper. Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until combined. Add in oats and mix until incorporated in the batter. Bake larger cookies in oven for 13-15 minutes and smaller cookies for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown (my oven tends to get quite hot so 7 minutes was plenty of time).

For the homemade whipped crème, pour whipping crème into a medium size bowl with granulated sugar. Whip until fluffy and peaks begin to form.

Let’s Get Creative:

To decorate the Chocolate Coconut Easter Nest Cookies I melted pieces of baking chocolate and drizzled it on top of the cookies. Then I used desiccated coconut to create the base for the nests. On some cookies I placed a dollop of whipped crème atop the coconut and set the eggs in that for a fluffier and sweeter creation. Then I sprinkled small pink sugar crystals. You can totally play with the coconut strands and use food coloring to dye them fun colors as well!

For the Oatmeal Crème Pies, I selected cookies around the same size and filled them with homemade whipped crème. I then put the remaining crème into a plastic bag, cutting a small hole out of one corner and scalloped the crème around the edges of the crème pies. I then sprinkled the pink sugar crystals around this crème and voila!

Enjoy & Happy Easter!

Stay Classy! xx

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Tie Dye Unicorn Popsicles

Unicorn food is the food trend right now. In fact, all things unicorn are the new thing. Whether you’re trekking down to Brooklyn to get your $9 unicorn latte fix or walking into a Forever 21 during your lunch break to check out the new unicorn athleisure wear and bathing suits and unicorn pool floats – unicorns are everywhere!

Thanks to a combination of the weather *~finally~* warming up and my obsession with all things fruit, (I have a natural sugar sweet tooth to the extreme) I knew that I needed to create an easy-to-make recipe that could satisfy my cravings for healthy dessert and fresh fruit… unicorn popsicles seemed like the only logical answer! 😉

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For something that comes out looking so beautiful and delicious, these ice pops really take no time at all to make – you just need enough patience to wait a day for them to freeze properly. I used the fruits I had in my house and next time I’ll definitely be adding more. More fruit = more flavor, more color and more nutrients! If you’re looking for a simple summer treat that is refreshing, hydrating and totally natural you’re going to want to try the recipe below! x

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Let’s Get Started:

1 cup organic coconut water (I used the one from Trader Joe’s below and loved it)
1 peach, peeled and sliced
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
2 strawberries, sliced
Fresh watermelon, cubed and sliced

Popsicle mold

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Let’s Get Cooking:

Place fruit into the molds – use a toothpick to arrange the fruits the way you want them to look. Pour in coconut water and place the cover or Popsicle stick into the mixture. Freeze overnight.

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Let’s Get Creative:

Increasing the amount of various fruits in your pops will also increase their colors! I used what I had on hand, but virtually any fruit should work with these ice pops.

Stay Classy! xx

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Why Kombrewcha Is About To Super Charge Your Next Happy Hour

If you haven’t found yourself on the kombucha band wagon just yet, you aren’t alone. I had been skeptical of the so-called “miracle drink” that says it can do everything from align your chakras to give you enough energy to get through the day. Actually, I still haven’t even tried downing one of the many flavors that it comes in… except for the alcoholic version.

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No, I didn’t cheat on Whole 30 (which brings you on a sober kick for 30 days). I actually tried Kombrewcha right before starting the diet. Here’s why you might want to try it at your next happy hour or girl’s night in.

Keep reading to find out the benefits of kombucha and it’s alcoholic sister drink, Kombrewcha.

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Kombucha, the non-alcoholic drink, is essentially fermented black tea (yes, there IS caffeine in this drink) and natural sugars that come from fruit. Because it is fermented, it is good for gut health and your digestive system, just like Whole 30! In addition to improving your digestive system, it is also known to help mood stability and mental clarity.

Add a little bit of alcohol to it and voila, you get Kombrewcha. Kombrewcha is basically beer for the wellness junkies out there. It only has 2% alcohol which may seem ineffective when compared to other options, but for only 75 calories a bottle, light drinkers can actually feel a buzz.

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Kombrewcha is the hippest new beverage option for those who want to cut virtually all harmful things out of their diets… cough, cough Whole 30 anyone?! And whether you try it out at brunch or at home, the delicious flavors won’t be a disappointment.

Stay Classy! xx

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Whole 30 Compliant Sweet Potato Fries

As you saw in my last post, going Whole 30 is hard but WORTH IT. For just 30 days you’re taking your digestive system back to its roots while eating only whole and natural unprocessed foods. If you like to cook and have the time to do it, that makes it a whole lot easier.

At the start of my diet I began to realize that my body was craving something hard and filling that I could chew (that wasn’t bread or any sort of grains). The answer was potatoes. If you go on Whole 30 or are simply just looking for another super quick and healthy snack to make, whip up the recipe below. It takes just a few minutes of prep time and you have time to get other things done while the fries are baking in the oven.

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The sweet potatoes are SO delicious and help satisfy my cravings for sugar as well – there’s none added of course, but the sweet potatoes are naturally, well, sweet which does help curb other Whole 30 threatening cravings in the long run.

Keep reading to see my recipe for Whole 30 Compliant Sweet Potato Fries!

the-classy-cook

Whole 30 Compliant Sweet Potato Fries

Prep Time: 5 Minutes        Cook Time 45 Minutes        Total Time: 50 Minutes

Let’s Get Started:

1-2 sweet potatoes, rinsed and sliced into fry shapes
Salt
Pepper
Italian Seasoning
Olive oil

Let’s Get Cooking:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. On a baking sheet place cut sweet potato fries. Drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning and olive oil over the fries. Bake for 30-45 minutes, flipping halfway through. Enjoy!

Let’s Get Creative:

If you’re going Whole 30, you definitely want to stay away from ketchup… I know, that’s not ideal but there’s SO much sugar in ketchup! Instead, try a garlicy aioli dipping sauce or spice it up with some sriracha. I honestly like that they taste more natural so I don’t dip them in anything myself!

Stay Classy! xx

Galway Green Smoothie

One of my regrets from my time abroad was not going to Ireland. Sure – I’m not even Irish, but I do find their culture fun and fascinating. The closest I got to the gorgeous green rolling hills was meeting a group of friends in Barcelona, who were from a small rural town in Ireland… and by listening to Ed Sheeran’s new song “Galway Girl,” of course. This smoothie is a vibrant green that will brighten up any day – and is the perfect way to pack in extra protein before starting a round of drinks on the 17th. 😉

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Please note that many times my smoothies will include different protein powders in them – this is because I usually drink a smoothie or protein shake after working out because it helps with muscle recovery and hunger cravings. Adding protein to your smoothie or breakfast shake is a great addition to your breakfast or snack, but by no means is it essential! The smoothie below will taste just as yummy without the protein powder, no worries!

Classy Cookbook LogoGreen Goddess Smoothie

Prep Time: 4 Minutes   *   Cook Time: 1 Minute   *   Total Time: 5 Minutes

Let’s Get Started:

1 banana, frozen
1 cup of kale
1 kiwi
¼ cup organic coconut water
¼ cup non-fat plain yogurt
2 scoops of Greek Girl Beauty Protein
Shaved ice

Let’s Get Cookin’:

Blend banana, kale, kiwi, ¼ cup organic coconut water and yogurt. Pour over a small amount of shaved ice and enjoy!

Let’s Get Creative:

This smoothie is all about the green goodness! I didn’t have an avocado on-hand but it would be an awesome addition and will make the consistency more creamy.

Enjoy & Stay Classy! xx

Organic Cinnamon Roll Chia Seed Pudding

You don’t have to go out to brunch to enjoy the best of what breakfast food has to offer. Save yourself the time and money by prepping your breakfast for the week in advance – and give yourself some bonus points for making something super good for your health. I’ve been obsessed with chia seed pudding for a little over a year now. There’s something about the texture that I love (maybe because it’s so similar to rice pudding, which is unhealthy yet still bae) and the versatility of the flavor.

From time to time I like switching up the traditional and really plain recipe for chia seed pudding – just seeds and a nut mylk! I don’t add anything unnatural to these variations, but it’s always a good morning to know that you’ve switched up your breakfast flavor to something that’s a little sweeter, yet still incredibly healthy.

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Chia seeds are an amazing source of omega fatty acids, which are the good fats that are so essential to your overall health and brain function. In fact, chia seeds actually have 8x more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon – so this is an awesome recipe for vegetarians and vegans.

Chia seeds are also a superfood – they’re an amazing source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and amino acids and anti-oxidants. With a few spoonfuls of them in the morning, you can be confident that you’re starting your day off right.

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I make a batch or two of chia seed pudding a week. When I’m in the mood for something sweet I’ll reach for this instead of something less healthy. When I’m making oatmeal for breakfast and want some extra flavor I’ll add in a few scoops of this pudding. It’s so versatile and easy to make that there are no excuses for you not to try it. 😉

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Keep scrolling to see my recipe for Organic Cinnamon Roll Chia Seed Pudding!

the-classy-cook

Organic Cinnamon Roll Chia Seed Pudding 

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 5 Minutes     Cook Time: 5 hours or overnight    Total Time: 5 hours 5 Minutes

Let’s Get Started:

1 c organic almond milk
1/4 c organic chia seeds
1 tsp. organic cinnamon
2 tsp. organic agave nectar
1 tsp. organic vanilla extract

Let’s Get Cooking:

Mix ingredients together in a small mason jar. Refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight, stirring about halfway through so that the seeds don’t clump at the bottom. Enjoy!

Let’s Get Creative:

When you’re ready to eat this pretty and delicious snack, top with fruit! I personally love eating it with my favorite berries or banana coins.

Stay Classy! xx

Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower

It’s starting to seem like every other week I hear of someone going vegan or vegetarian. It’s usually for a variety of reasons and they’re always solid and justifiable, especially because what you put in your body should be your own conscious choice, and it’s honestly had me think about it a few times too.

I’m an animal lover and I know that not eating meat is good for the environment and my body, but I haven’t yet reached the point where I’m ready to give it up completely. However, I have become more aware about how much meat I’m consuming and I’ve brought that amount down A LOT. This has been mostly due to my ability to control exactly what I’m eating during the week by meal prepping most of my breakfasts, lunches and dinners. It is sometimes a challenge but it definitely helps me be more creative about putting together my dishes and has encouraged me to try making different foods.

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That’s how this recipe came into being. I had been craving wings – like the greasy kind covered in buffalo sauce that you dip in ranch at a sports bar – but wasn’t in the mood to deal with raw meat. The second-best thing that I could make from ingredients I already had were this delicious Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower and the BBQ and Spicy Cauliflower that I made a few days before. By taking the chicken (and ranch) out of the picture, I not only saved myself from eating meat but also the seriously fattening and high-in-calorie ingredients that my body loved the taste of, but certainly not the consequences.

While I was making this recipe I posted stories to my Instagram, showing you step-by-step how I did it – and got some awesome feedback! Follow along to see more posts like that, I have so much fun doing them and am SO glad they’re helpful. x

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By the way, if you’re digging this bowl it’s even more awesome than you think! It’s actually a to-go lunch container (it comes with a plastic lid!), it’s ceramic and microwave and dishwasher safe. Basically it’s one of the most-used items in my cabinet! I had become so sick of bring my lunch to work in plastic containers and heating them up in the microwave (which is SO bad for you) and this container solved that problem in an instant. I couldn’t find this exact pattern online (I got it in the home section of T.J. Maxx!)  but I’m linking to some similar ones here, they’re cream colored and have flamingos painted on them and I am SO tempted to buy them for myself.

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Now let’s get cooking! Keep scrolling to see how to make these Balsamic Cauliflower Wings for yourself or try these BBQ and Spicy Variations!

the-classy-cook

Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes        Cook Time: 45 Minutes        Total Time: 55 Minutes

Let’s Get Started:

1 head of cauliflower
1/4 c all-purpose flour (can be substituted for a gluten-free flour)
1/2 c water
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Let’s Get Cooking:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse, dry and break apart cauliflower head into smaller pieces. Add flour to a small bowl. Slowly mix in water until it creates a pancake batter-like consistency. Coat cauliflower pieces in the mixture, then place them on a parchment paper covered pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through. When your timer has ten minutes to go, drizzle desired amount of balsamic on the cauliflower and continue to bake. Let sit for ten minutes or until cooled, and enjoy!

Let’s Get Creative:

I like to make this dish as an appetizer, side dish or even a meat substitute for rice bowls! All you need is 1/2 c brown rice and a variety of other veggies and you can make yourself a delicious lunch or dinner.

Enjoy & Stay Classy! xx