100happydays : day 16

So, I fell a little behind and haven’t posted in a few days.  Sorry!  There’s so much I love about this pic… But mostly I just love this sweet little girl, her style, and how she still asks to hold our hand.  I know the day will come where she won’t want to so I am going to cherish this while I can.  #100happydays 

 

pumpkin spice cupcakes recipe

Photo: Pumpkin Spice Cupcake with Cream Cheese FrostingRecently, we hosted a “lil pumpkin” baby shower for some friends and I made some very yummy pumpkin spiced cupcakes for dessert.  The mommy-to-be gobbled them up and the guests raved about them.  What I love about these cupcakes is that the flavor of the cake is subtle and when topped with cream cheese frosting, well, it’s a match made in heaven. These spiced cupcakes are perfect for your fall entertaining and would be a welcome treat as your dessert after Thanksgiving dinner.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes Recipe

1 box of yellow cake mix and ingredients to make the cake*

1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Make the yellow cake mix according to the directions.  Add in the pumpkin pie spice and divide the mix evenly among 12 cupcakes.  Bake according to the box directions and let cool.

* You could use a recipe for homemade yellow cake as well. I was running short on time so opted for the box version.

Martha Stewart’s Cream Cheese Frosting

 (1/2 of recipe)

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

2 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium-high setting of an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add in the confectioner’s sugar, and then the vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined.

Finishing Touches

Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes and top with this adorable pumpkin cupcake toppers.  Aren’t they super cute?!  I found these cute sugar pumpkins at a great little shop on Etsy called SugarArtByJulie.  Enjoy!

easy clean eating recipes

Photo: CarrotsLast March, I embarked on a clean eating challenge and did Whole30 for the entire month. It was an eye-opening experience and I learned a lot about the food we eat and how our bodies react to different foods.  The most eye opening thing was how much sugar is in mainstream foods, like deli meat.  It was a difficult challenge as I removed many of my favorite foods – dairy, beans, and wine.  I had my bad days where I was grumpy as can be but once I got over the hump, I really felt great.  I noticed an increase in energy, a positive change in mood and I also experienced a little weight loss (yay!).  Overall, I am happy I did Whole30 and still incorporate some of the principals in our daily life but add a little room for things I love.

I think the thing I liked most about this program was discovering new foods and recipes.  We fell in love with zoodles and they pretty much replace noodles these days.  I also really like Lara bars, especially the cherry pie flavor.  I found that many of the meals were simple and easy to prepare and family friendly.  My husband really liked the variety and by association he even lost weight!

If you’re looking to do Whole30 or just clean eating in general, I’ve got a great list of recipes for you to try.  These are the recipes we use on a regular basis because we loved them so much.  Enjoy!

Easy Clean Eating Recipes

  1. Clean Eating Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken – Serve with sautéed broccoli or snow peas.
  2. Paleo Avocado Bacon Sliders – Match with a salad or just eat the sliders.  These are by far one of my favorite clean eating recipes.  Sooooo good!
  3. Simple Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad – Pair with grilled pork chops and you’ve got a great combo!
  4. Green Juice – I started drinking this about 6 months ago.  It’s my mid-day treat and helps me get over the mid-day slump.  Packed full of vitamins, it’s yummy too!
  5. Skinny Hawaiian Slaw – OMG.. my whole family fell in love with this one.  Even. The. Kids.  Pair with slow cooker pulled pork.
  6. Beyond Easy Pulled Pork – Great match with the slaw listed above.  And, who doesn’t love a good slow cooker recipe???
  7. Favorite Simple Roast Chicken – So incredibly easy and delicious.  Outside of grilling season we probably make this once a week and it’s replaced our need for rotisserie chickens.  Love this recipe!
  8. Easy Summer Chick Pea Salad – Perfect at the end of summer when tomatoes and veggies are at their peak.
  9. Garlic Roasted Shrimp with Zucchini Pasta – A super easy all-in-one meal. After trying “zoodles” for the first time we were hooked.  I don’t really miss pasta that much anymore.
  10. Ginger Chicken – Since there’s not a ton of meat on chicken legs, we make this recipe using thighs instead and it works well,  Great when served with broccoli and carrots sautéed in sesame oil.

Do you have any favorite clean eating recipes?  Share them in the comments below… would love to add some new ones to my rotation🙂.   Good luck this week!