Category Archives: Easy

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Homemade Enchilada Sauce ...a super simple sauce from scratch, so much better than the canned stuff! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

Mexican food!
It is all I want. I tend to go overboard so generally whatever I am craving at the moment I go grocery shopping is what we have for an entire week. This week included nachos, tacos, enchiladas, and tex mex stuffed peppers. Ha!

Variety is not my middle name.

I love enchiladas and could eat them all the time, but I am kind of picky about my enchilada sauce. I want a thick full bodied sauce, not a thin sauce that obsorbs into the tortillas. I want to taste the chili powder and the cumin, and cilantro must be absolutely nowhere in sight.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce ...a super simple sauce from scratch, so much better than the canned stuff! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

And the enchilada filling? Pure and simple. Ground beef and sharp cheddar cheese. Oh yes. I might trash up and complicate all kinds of other recipes but my enchiladas are simple. Why mess with perfection?!

This sauce is such a cinch to throw together. Just tomato sauce, garlic and loads of spices. I just let it simmer on the stove to make sure all of the flavors meld together perfectly and voila, your done!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce ...a super simple sauce from scratch, so much better than the canned stuff! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (ancho chili powder works well if you want more spice)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
  1. Heat a small sauce pan to medium heat.
  2. Add olive oil and garlic, stirring for about 20 seconds until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, hot sauce, garlic salt, and salt, stirring mixture for about thirty seconds.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and water, stir well.
  5. Bring mixture to a light simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Let mixture simmer 20 minutes.
  6. This makes enough for a 9x13 pan of enchiladas.

 

Raspberry Red Wine Slushy with Chocolate Whipped Cream

I don’t know about you guys but it has been a week and a half around here. And it is Thursday…Thursday morning to be exact. How we will make it to Saturday I have no clue. I am thinking I might have something to ease the pain though.

Raspberry Red Wine Slushy with Chocolate Whipped Cream...the ULTIMATE girls night drink!! www.maebells.com

Slushy anyone?!

Raspberry Red Wine Slushy with Chocolate Whipped Cream...the ULTIMATE girls night drink!! www.maebells.com

Let’s face it. Drinks are way more fun with whipped cream.

Want to know what makes fun drinks even more fun? Chocolate whipped cream.

Want to know what makes it super fun? If it is a wine slushy topped with chocolate whipped cream.

Raspberry Red Wine Slushy with Chocolate Whipped Cream...the ULTIMATE girls night drink!! www.maebells.com

After I made the Mango Moscato Smoothies I was totally hooked on the idea of a wine slushy. I have never liked slushies before but I was fairly sure I could get on board with the idea of wine+fruit+ice in a nice, ice cold drink. After all, we still have two official weeks of summer left!

So I tried and failed at a red wine slushy several times. I tried strawberries, blueberries, a mixture of the two, and a couple different wines until I settled on a sweet red wine and frozen raspberries. Ah-mazing! Totally what I had been searching for, but something was missing. It needed a little extra oomph.

Raspberry Red Wine Slushy with Chocolate Whipped Cream...the ULTIMATE girls night drink!! www.maebells.com

When in doubt add whipped cream. Always, always add whipped cream.

So I beat some heavy whipping cream, sugar, and cocoa powder in the mixer, topped these babies off, and called it a day.

Perfection my friends. Complete and total perfection.

Raspberry Red Wine Slushy with Chocolate Whipped Cream...the ULTIMATE girls night drink!! www.maebells.com

What are you waiting for?! Drink up!

Raspberry Red Wine Slushy with Chocolate Whipped Cream
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • For the Slushy
  • 1 cup sweet red wine
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup ice
  • For the Chocolate Whipped Cream
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. To make the slushy blend the wine, frozen raspberries, and sugar (optional) for 30 seconds. Strain slushy mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any raspberry seeds. Place the strained slushy mixture back in the blender with one cup of ice. Blend 30 more seconds. Place mixture in freezer while you make the whipped cream.
  2. For the chocolate whipped cream: Beat the heavy cream, sugar and cocoa powder with an electric mixer for approximately 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
  3. To assemble, pour slushy into glasses and top with whipped cream.

 

 

 

 

Sausage+Cheddar+Summer Squash Waffles

These. Waffles.
Omg. There are just no words.

Sausage+Cheddar+Summer Squash Waffles..the ultimate breakfast! Make ahead of time for a grab and go breakfast! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

Cornmeal+flour+cheddar+sausage+squash+black pepper, a pretty impressive line up if you ask me!

I made these as part of my meal prep for the week. I needed a breakfast dish that could be made ahead of time and reheated quickly for a great grab and go breakfast. I wanted to try to incoporate everything you would want in a full breakfast like protein, veggies, and carbs. These totally fit the bill!

Sausage+Cheddar+Summer Squash Waffles..the ultimate breakfast! Make ahead of time for a grab and go breakfast! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

I have kind of mentioned the prep work I do on the weekends before, but in case you are interested in getting a little more done on the weekends to help during the week I usually divide the work into three categories, breakfast, lunch, and dinner prep. Sometimes I do all of them, and sometimes I don’t. This week in particular I only prepped our breakfast and lunch for the week because our evenings won’t be too busy.

Sausage+Cheddar+Summer Squash Waffles..the ultimate breakfast! Make ahead of time for a grab and go breakfast! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

For breakfast I made these waffles, these Strawberry Muffins, and chopped a big bowl of fruit. For lunch I made these Pizza Puffs, then washed and chopped a bunch of vegetables for easy salads. It just makes life so much easier. Breakfast is ready and lunch just needs to be packed. I generally feel more on top of things when I do a little extra work on the weekends. In my opinion it is a small amount of work that goes a long way.

Sausage+Cheddar+Summer Squash Waffles..the ultimate breakfast! Make ahead of time for a grab and go breakfast! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

Anyway, these waffles. Do it my friend! They are delicious!

Sausage+Cheddar+Summer Squash Waffles
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup gluten free Bisquick
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked sausage, crumbled and drained
  • ½ cup shredded squash, as much water removed as possible
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1¼ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Shred the squash (2 small) and place in a small mesh strainer. Using your hands, push as much water as possible from the squash. When you have removed as much water as you can it should measure about half a cup.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the cooked sausage, shredded squash, and cheddar cheese. Stir so it is evenly distributed.
  4. Add the beaten eggs and milk.
  5. Stir very well. Mixture will be thick and lumpy.
  6. Heat a waffle iron according to manufactures directions.
  7. Place batter in the middle of each waffle iron, close and cook according to your waffle makers directions.
  8. My waffles were perfect in about 2 minutes.
  9. Let cook on a wire rack.
  10. To reheat you can microwave for 20 seconds or put in a toaster on medium low setting.

 

Salted Caramel Mocha Granola

 Salted Caramel Mocha Granola has all of the flavor of a Starbucks favorite! Just a few simple ingredients for this delicious sweet and salty snack!

Salted Caramel Mocha Granola. All the flavor of your Starbucks favorite in an easy granola! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

I am kind of the queen of granola in case you haven’t noticed. It is quickly becoming my favorite thing to play around with in the kitchen. I love how quickly it comes together and the endless variations of add ins and flavor combinations, but most of all I like having easy, delicious snacks around the house.

Salted Caramel Mocha Granola. All the flavor of your Starbucks favorite in an easy granola! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

My Mocha Granola recipe is our go to, but I decided to try putting a new spin on it. Last year around the Holidays I tried a Salted Caramel Mocha from Starbucks and was totally hooked. I rarely go for a super rich, chocolatey coffee drink, but this was basically heaven in a cup. All of my Starbucks gift cards from Christmas were gone in like a week, and my skinny jeans were feeling a little too tight. Luckily, it is not offered year round!

Salted Caramel Mocha Granola. All the flavor of your Starbucks favorite in an easy granola! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

Once the idea for Salted Caramel Mocha Granola got in my head it was pretty much all I could think about. I thought of a couple different ways to approach it like adding a caramel sauce or making granola clusters with caramel in the center, but eventually simplicity won out and I settled on adding chunks of caramel in the granola and topping it with course sea salt.

Salted Caramel Mocha Granola. All the flavor of your Starbucks favorite in an easy granola! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

Yum. Just yum.

This is the perfect afternoon pick me up or great over ice cream and yogurt! Give this a try, you won’t be sorry!

Salted Caramel Mocha Granola
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6+
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 2½ cups old fashioned oats (I used gluten free)
  • ½ cup caramel squares, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine coconut oil and honey in a medium size mixing bowl. Microwave 45 seconds or until coconut oil is melted. Add cocoa powder and espresso powder, stir mixture until well dissolved.
  3. Add oats and stir mixture until all oats are completely covered in the chocolate coffee mixture.
  4. Grab a large baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
  5. Spread oats mixture thinly and evenly across the baking sheet.
  6. Bake 10 minutes, stir mixture, and add half of the chopped caramel squares, bake 10 more minutes.
  7. Remove oats from oven, let them cool about 10 minutes, and while still warm sprinkle the rest of the caramel over the granola mixture.
  8. When the granola is completely cool add the sea salt over the top
  9. Store in an air tight container

 

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans

These no bake Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans are packed with oats, puffed rice, fruit, nuts, protein powder and chocolate! They are a cinch to make and give you a boost to get through the day!

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

I go through fazes.

I can go from ninety to nothing in a day. I can be so totally all into one thing, then totally uninterested the next day. Urgh. I really hate that about myself. I am trying very hard to change. To be a finish what you start-always do what you say you will do-make it happen kind of person. I feel like I am about 75% of the way there, but not quite where I want to be.

Two years ago we started revamping our house. Yes, two years. We tackled the floors, tiling, painting the walls and cabinets, new furniture, and new lighting, and then I hit a wall. I didn’t want to look at paint colors, carpets, cabinets, tile, light fixtures…no, just no. I was over it.

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

So our little remodel never made it past the front rooms of our house. Leaving the bedrooms and bathrooms untouched. You know what? I didn’t care. Not one bit. I just kind of thought..okay if we have house guest I will just close the doors or something. For two years my I don’t care attitude stayed. We had bedrooms with bare white walls and all was right with the world.

Until last week.

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

I woke up and on my way to the kitchen glanced into one of the guest rooms. Urgh…I hate you, I thought. White walls, plain carpet, cheap blinds. I walked to the front of the house, made a cup of coffee and looked at my pretty kitchen. Everything was in its place. Everything was exactly how I wanted because I had done it. Then I remembered I had once hated this kitchen. The cheap, stained laminate flooring, the ugly cabinets, the plain light fixtures. I peeked around the corner into the living room. My nice living room with pretty barnwood floors and lovely drapes. The living room that once had dingy carpets and an Ikea coffee table. It was a nice living room because I had made it nice.

A seed had been planted.

I stood in the door way of the plain, untouched guest room, coffee in hand and the wheels started turning. Suddenly, paint colors and light fixtures seemed interesting again! The humble little room in front of me had so much more potential than I had ever thought!

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

So, as I mentioned on Monday, I spent an entire weekend covered in paint. The room is far from finished. There is still a lot I want to do, but this morning I woke up, walked to the front of the house and glanced into the guest room. The pretty, freshly painted room with new furniture, new curtains, and new picture frames and I smiled.

It is pretty because I made it pretty. It is just how I want it, because I did it.

Sometimes we need to be reminded the only thing standing in our way is ourselves. Sometimes you just need to make it happen.

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

Of course a little help is never a bad thing! I made these Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans to give me something to snack on during the weekend. They take all of five minutes to make and require no baking. They are the perfect little pick me up that is totally guilt free!

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut oil, measured solid
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 cup oats (I used gluten free)
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies (I used gluten free)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ⅓ cup pecans
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the honey and coconut oil. Microwave for 45 seconds until the oil has melted.
  2. Add the protein powder and cocoa, stir well.
  3. Add the oats, rice, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips until well combined.
  4. Line an 8x8 pan with foil, spray with cooking oil.
  5. Add the granola mixture to the pan and spread it evenly. Using your spatula press the mixture down into the pan. (the tighter the mixture is the less likely your bars are to fall apart)
  6. Place bars in the freezer to set, 15-20 minutes.
  7. Turn bars out onto cutting board, carefully removing foil, and slice into bars.
  8. Keep cold.