August 30, 2012

A Grownup Birthday Milkshake

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It's my birthday!!!!

Today marks my 29th birthday and it's the perfect beginning to a great year. In a little more than a month I am marrying the man of my dreams with all of our closest friends and family present, enjoying 2 mini-moon vacations across New England and embarking on the strongest journey of hope I will ever encounter.
I am not one to get depressed over getting older yet instead I embrace my wisdom as I age. I think birthdays are a time to celebrate the life you've lived thus far and the life you have in front of you that has yet to unfold. It's exciting.

Birthday's are exciting... and fun and silly. And who doesn't like silly?

I do!
It seems like such a short time ago that it was my 28th Birthday and Paul and I were bunkered down for what we thought would be the big storm of the year, Hurricane Irene, and I was celebrating the safety of all my loved ones, to our homes still standing and to me getting yet another year older! 

I guess you could say not much has changed except that there was no storm this year. I continue to be so blessed.
I don't have much planned for my birthday this year, the last year in my 20's, but I have to say I have so much coming up to look forward to that I am so excited about... more so because it's time spent with friends and family.

As I mentioned this past weekend we were unexpectedly invited to the JETS's Sunday night football game by his best man, his wife and our little ring bearer and we all had the time of our lives. Little tailgating, couple of beers and a whole lot of J.E.T.S. JETS JETS JETS chanting! This coming weekend we have Paul's family reunion, one of my good friends wedding and a couple of fun wedding errands of our own. 

It's a back-to-back exciting week for us.
So in keeping with last year's cocktail theme I really wanted dessert before dinner tonight and being that it's my birthday I thought I earned that right. We have lot's of opportunities for unhealthy foods coming up but thus far I have been very good in keeping with the "wedding diet" so in keeping with that mindset, I decided to have a healthy yet delicious sweet treat. 

I had some inspiration from a close SRC friend when she had her blog's birthday but I knew the exact birthday cake combination I wanted. I was a bartender back in college and one of the best shots to give out was the chocolate cake... a mixture of vanilla vodka and frangelica taken with a big bite of a sugared lemon slice. 

CHOCOLATE CAKE. 
I am telling you it's the best.
Citrus and vanilla with hints of sweet liquored hazelnut and toped with all the sprinkles I wanted... ahh that's a birthday milkshake. Of course I shared my fabulous milkshake with my wide-eyed fiancé being that he is such a huge ice cream fanatic (I know, I am good like that), but this sweet sip totally put a smile on my face. 

So here's to 29

May you be healthier, happier and full of great surprises!!!
A Grownup Birthday Milkshake 
Serving: 1 milkshake

Ingredients
4 scoops of french vanilla frozen yogurt
1/2 cup original almond milk
2 oz Frangelica liquor
1 oz citrus vodka (I use Absolute)
1/4 cup whip cream
Sprinkles, lots and lots of sprinkles

Blend all of your ingredients together.
Pour milk shake into glass and top with whip cream and loads of sprinkles.

Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 

August 27, 2012

Ruby Red Grapefruit Bars

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Monday monday all. It's going to be a slow start to the week after Paul and I went to the Sunday night JETS football game last night but it was well worth it. I am sad to see the weekend gone but this means that we are within 6 weeks from our wedding (yikes). 
This month I had the amazing pleasure of having a GREAT blogger friend for my Secret Recipe Club, Carrie over at Bakeaholic Mama. I have been so excited just waiting to be able to tell her that I have been stalking her blog (like normal) all month long for the perfect recipe to share today.

If you remember way back, I did a guest post for sharing my Beer Braised Chorizo Tostadas, they were the perfect recipe for her Mexican week-themed meals.
Carrie has so much to offer her readers including an inside peek at King Arthur's Flour blogger baking course, her amazing kid-friendly snacks and meals that her 3 boys get to enjoy everyday and tons of sweet treats that had be drooling.

You will also notice just how beautiful her pictures are. She is a true photographer and can capture the yummies in all her recipes. I was so excited to have Carrie this month for all these reasons but also because I have never had someone for SRC that I have already worked with previously. YAY!
So after a long long time trying to decide what to make I landed on these Grapefruit bars and fell in love. I am a sucker for lemon bars so to really shake things up with grapefruit made my decision for me.

And who doesn't love grapefruit... especially in late August? I know I do.
These were a sinch to throw together (especially because Paul and I got an electric stand mixer at our show a few weeks back - oh how easy it makes life).
These bars are so sweet with just the littlest tang from the fresh grapefruit juice. Each bite is refreshing and light but perfect to hit that sweet tooth craving right in the kisser.

There were so many other recipes of Carrie's that I really want to try, and probibly still will, but I was so so happy that I chose these bars. I made them for date night a few days ago and the leftovers that I had kept in the fridge came with us to the JETS game last night for a quick tailgating dessert on-the-go.
I cant wait to jump on over to see what everone has been working on for today's reveal and see what ideas i'll have for my birthday dinner coming up this week.

Have a great day lovlies!
Ruby Red Grapefruit Bars

Ingredients
1/2 cup room temp butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour + 2 tbs
2 eggs
2 tsp grapefruit zest
1/2 cup freshly sqeezed grapefruit juice (about 1 grapefruit)
1/4 tsp baking powder
Powder sugar for dusting

In your electric mixer mix 1/4 of your sugar, 1 cup flour and butter together until it is crumbly. Press on the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. 
Mean while in your mixer beat eggs, zest, juice, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbs of flour and 1/4 tsp baking powder. When the crust is done remove from oven and poor grapefruit egg mixture over crust. 

Bake for another 20 minutes or until edges are golden. Let cool completely then dust with powdered sugar and slice into squares.

Goes great with a cup of tea!

Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 
Recipe adopted by Bakeaholicmama 

Check out Carrie's Blog


Click here for more of my SRC reveal posts!



August 20, 2012

My Pinterest-Perfect Bridal Shower

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Hi lovlies!!!


It's been a crazy couple of weeks so I have to apologize for not being around so much. However, this does mean that I have soooo much to share with you. 

My Bridal Shower

Last Saturday was my bridal shower thrown by my father and his fiance, my mother and all my beautiful bridesmaids. The morning started up with heavy rain but like all things perfect the skies cleared about an hour before guests started to arrive. We have the most amazing spread of food, appetizers, cold salads, antipastos and so much more. There was a margarita jug, compliments of my fathers kickin' recipe and a champagne shower punch all along side a cookie bar that my girls put together as a dessert table as well as a goodie bag of treats to take home.

The day was easily upwards of 95 degrees with humidity but it was the perfect day. I was able to enjoy the afternoon with friends and family, and new friends and new family. We ate, enjoyed and received some beautiful gifts. My mother also had a Christmas Tree put up outside because all guests were asked to bring a ornament for our first Christmas. It was so amazing to see the ornaments that we received, ones that were army, cooking, my old Girl Scout troop, Paul's first deployment ornament... it was overwhelmingly special to me and I just loved it all.

Thanks a million to my beautiful bridesmaids, friends and family for the perfect weekend. Paul and I couldn't have had a better time and it's all thanks to you all. We are so loved and lucky ♥

My Interview with Ellie Krieger
Last Thursday I had the privilege to not only speak to, but interview Ellie Krieger about healthy snacking. HOLY COW!!! My nerves we shaking and my excitement was off the charts. I only had 10 minutes to speak with her, and apparently had way to much material on my notes sheet but I think I got out some really great questions and I can't wait to get the clip so I can share it all with you.

Ellie was a doll to speak with and she really does know her stuff. She shared some delicious recipes that I will be posting soon as well that pair perfectly with incorporating grapes into healthy snacking.

Stay tuned.

Foodista Blog of the Day
Foodista Food Blog of the Day Badge
Yesterday, August 19th, I was honored to be inducted into the Foodista's Blog of the Day community. They actually featured my Ellie Krieger recipe for Peach French Toast Bake that I had made and featured here on A Healthy Jalapeño in preparation for my Ellie interview. I was very excited to read the news and so thankful to be considered. It topped off this weekend.

More to come but wanted to share a little of my life with you today.
Have a great Monday all!!!! 

August 15, 2012

Peach French Toast Bake

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Morning my lovelies!

I am getting really excited for my interview with Ellie Krieger tomorrow afternoon. If you have any questions you would like her to answer and you haven't told me yet, go here and write me your question.

Life has been so busy lately, but all very exciting. My bridal shower was this weekend and it was perfect. After a huge morning down pour on Saturday the skies cleared just in time for guests to arrive and enjoy the afternoon. Paul and I recieved some beautiful gifts along with spending time with great friends and family which always makes us realize how lucky we are.
So in preparation to talking with Ellie, I decided to make one of her mouth-watering breakfast bakes for the morning after my bridal shower for anyone that decided to stay late into the night and crash over. I pulled out the works to 'thank' our bridal party for all the work they put in and my father and his wife for hosting such a perfect day for us.

There were veggie and sausage quiche's, bagels and cream cheese, strawberries and coconut fruit meadley, freshly sliced cheeses, mimosas, coffee and of course, an Ellie Krieger special, Peach French Toast Bake.
This French Toast Bake was outstanding and perfect for a breakfast or brunch for a crowd. I made it the night before and morning of I just popped it in the oven and it was ready to serve. This bake was light but held much of the classic flavors we all love in french toast, just without all the uneccissary sugars and syrups. You can serve this bake with more fresh fruit and yogurt or just enjoy by itself.

Our morning after party crew really enjoyed this, even more so because they were able to taste a dish from the woman I would be interviewing this Thursday and had talked so much about... even the pups got a nibble. There were smiles all around for the perfect shower weekend.
Peach French Toast Bake
Total Time: 8 hr 55 min

Servings: 6

Ingredients
Cooking spray
1 large whole-wheat baguette (about 8 ounces)
4 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 cup low fat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 1/2 tbsp)

3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Slice the baguette into 1/2-inch slices and arrange the slices in a single layer in the baking pan. Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan. In a medium bowl, toss peaches with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar. Scatter the peach slices evenly on top of the bread. Combine the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake for 40 minutes.

Serving suggestion: Top with a dollop of vanilla yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup and a side of Canadian bacon for a all around perfect dish.

Recipe by Ellie Krieger
Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 

Nutrition
Serves: 6
 Calories: 267
Total Fat: 6 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams
Protein: 13 grams
Total carbohydrates: 41 grams
Sugar: 23 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Cholesterol: 144 milligrams

Don't forget to let me know your questions for Ellie on healthy snacking tips and tricks? Tomorrow is going to be a blast.


Enjoy!

August 08, 2012

Do You Have A Question for Ellie Krieger?

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Morning my favorite foodies. It has been a crazy couple of weeks here at my house planning a wedding in only 3 months (and we're just under 2 months away), getting everything ready at my father's house for my bridal shower this weekend, gearing up for a week at camp with over 11 different international Girl Scout countries visiting for our 100th Anniversary aaaaaaaand I was asked to sit down and have an interview with Ellie Krieger!!!!!!

What?????? Yup, that is right, A Healthy Jalapeno and Ellie are going to have a chat about healthy snacking and I wanted to ask your help as to what we all would like to know. Being that I own most of her books and never questions a single one of her recipes being that she is always creating with a healthy consious-mind, I am so excited to chat with her and fine out how she does it.
So here is the plan, I have a 10 minute interview with her scheduled for next Thursday and although I have questions flowing out of my mouth to ask her, I wanted to know what my readers also want to know. What would you want to ask our #1 healthy hero? After the interview, I will be given a video of our chat to put up here on A Healthy Jalapeno.

Ellie Krieger is the host of the popular Food Network show Healthy Appetite and a registered dietitian, with a masters in nutrition from Columbia University. She is a regular contributor to Parenting and Fitness magazines and promoter of eating healthy. Her recipes range from kid friendly to elegant dining and all include fabulous taste, and always with a healthy kick.

So, do you have some questions for Ellie?

Here is your chance, post your questions in the comment section below or e-mail them directly to me at healthyjalapeno@yahoo.com.

Thanks loves!!!