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    Family, Fashion, Fitness, Food, For the Home

    The Best of 2015 – A recap of my First Year Blogging

    The Best of 2015

    I can’t believe it’s already 2016. 2015 flew by and I couldn’t be more thankful for all the blessing we received. It was a year of ups and downs, but overall I wouldn’t change it one bit because through all life’s challenges I have grown so much and become a better person because of it. This year I became a mom. We welcomed our wonderful son Jayden into the world on January 19, 2015. I never knew how much I could love something until he came into this world. It scared me how much I loved him, I would die for him. protect him with all my being, and I would go to the moon and back just to give him the world. He was my inspiration this year, and because of him I became a better blogger. Because of him I was able to step back from my full time career to focus on being a mother and it also allowed me to pursue blogging. I’ve blogged about being a mother, fitness, fashion, and photography. So if you have followed along or have just started here are my favorite posts of the year. Continue reading

    Food

    Gluten Free Frosted Raspberry Protein Muffins

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      What if I told you the frosting was fat free and protein packed? Yes you can have your frosting and eat it too! Less than 70 calories a muffin and with 9 grams of protein This is a great morning snack to kick start your day! In less than 6 easy steps you can make this delicious treat.

    Ingredients:

    3 scoops or whey isolate of choice
    1/2 cup rice flour
    1.5 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 cup granulated stevia
    4 egg whites
    1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
    2/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
    3/4 cup fresh raspberries, halved

    FROSTING

    2 scoops vanilla whey isolate of choice
    1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tbs of vanilla extract
    1/3 cup fat-free cream cheese

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
    3. Combine all cupcake ingredients except the raspberries into a food processor and mix together until smooth. Gently fold in the raspberries and mix together until smooth.
    4. Evenly pour into each of the muffin cups and put in oven for approximately 12-15 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and tops are firm. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
    5. Prepare the frosting by combining ingredients into food processor (or by hand) and blend or mix until smooth. Put in piping bag (if you have one) and place in the fridge to firm up.
    6. Squeeze frosting from the piping bag (or simply use a knife or spoon to spread) onto the tops of each of the cooled muffins.

    Enjoy!

    <3 Dawn

    P.S. For more fitness tips and motivation follow me on Instagram @dawnpdarnell_wefit!

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    Food

    Easy No Bake Chocolate Protein Peanut Butter Cream Pie

    Easy No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie

    Inspired by Jamie Eason’s Peanut Butter Protein Chocolate Pie, I decided to make my own version of this recipe. For those getting their beach body ready for the summer, or just want a healthier version of a chocolate peanut butter pie this recipe is for you! No need for a crust, this works perfect in a mini pie dish. In less than 3 steps this is by far the easiest and tastiest recipe I’ve made. This is a perfect guilt free dessert or post dinner or even post workout treat!

    Ingredients (for 1 mini pie):

    2 scoops whey protein

    1/2 cup low fat cream cheese

    1/4 cup non fat greek yogurt

    2 tbsp natural peanut butter

    2 tbsp honey

    2 tbsp stevia

    2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

    1/2 tbsp coconut oil

    3 tbsp Reese’s chocolate and peanut butter topping (optional topping)

    Easy No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie

    Directions:

    1. Blend and mix all ingredients but the chocolate topping in a bowl

    2. Pour in pie pan and top with chocolate topping

    3. Freeze for 30 min and enjoy!

    Yup it’s that easy! It’s a perfect summer guilt free treat, and a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Definitely try it out and let me know what ya’ll think! Stay healthy my friends!

    <3 Dawn

    Easy No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie

    Food

    Non fat cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole

     

     

     

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    So this week as a part of my May Resolution I challenged myself to cook something a little more difficult than my last post. I was craving a casserole so I found this healthy recipe on Yummly.  Yummly is an app you can download, and I highly recommend it to anyone. It is easy to use and has a large database of recipes. Below are the ingredients from the recipe I found. However instead of reduced fat cheese I used non fat cheese as an alternative.

    Ingredients:

    • 13/4 cups low sodium chicken broth ? Tasty tip
    • 2 cups quick cooking brown rice 
    • 1 lb broccoli florets (chopped into bite-sized pieces
    • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil 
    • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (chopped into bite-sized pieces
    • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (divided
    • 3/4 tsp garlic powder (divided
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper (divided
    • 2 tbsps flour 
    • 2 cups milk (divided, I used skim
    • 3 tbsps dijon mustard 
    • 1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt 
    • 11/2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese (divided, about 6 ounces)

     

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    For the directions, it was a little more complicated that I expected it to be. I never juggled having 3 different things going on when it comes to cooking. I had the chicken cooking, the rice boiling, and stirring the cheese sauce all at once while trying to entertain a 4 month old. If I were to try something out like this again I will look for less complicated directions. I know for other moms out there, or anyone like me who doesn’t have the best attention span when it comes to cooking, how difficult it can be to do all these at once. One thing I would change is to avoid sprinkling the cheese on top until its fully cooked, that way it doesn’t harden too much into a crusty like top layer like mine did.

    Directions (Well Plated): 

    1. Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch square, deep baking dish or a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
    2. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot, then add rice. Return to boil, add broccoli to the top of the pot, then cover, reduce heat to low, and let cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, heat extra virgin olive oil in Dutch oven or large deep pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté until cooked through and no longer pink in the center, about 4 to 6 minutes, then remove to a plate and set aside. Being careful not to burn yourself, wipe the pot clean with a paper towel.
    4. Reduce heat to medium. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup milk. Pour the mixture into the pot, then add remaining 11/2 cups milk. Cook mixture, stirring constantly until thickened, 7-10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and whisk in Dijon, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Once combined, stir in the Greek yogurt and 1 cup of the shredded cheese until smooth.
    5. Add the rice and broccoli mixture and the reserved chicken to with cheese sauce, stirring gently to coat. Spoon the mixture the prepared dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.

    Notes

    This dish is easily customizable to your tastes and the season. Feel free to swap the rice for prepared farro, quinoa, or another whole grain (adjust the quantity and cooking time accordingly), the chicken for white beans, or the broccoli for any sautéed vegetable of your choice.

    Let me know how yours turns out!

    <3 Dawn

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    Food

    Easy 15 Minute Veggie chicken wrap

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    One of my resolutions this month is to cook something new every week. Cooking is something I can improve on. I don’t have the patience for it, and as a busy mom it’s one of the last things on my to do list. I decided to make this a priority in my life so I can experiment and find recipes that are healthy, tasty, and not time consuming. Below I put a fun creative spin on eating veggies and chicken, two things you can get very tired of eating when you are eating healthy. Check out this easy 5 STEP recipe.

    Veggie Chicken Wrap

    Ingredients:

    thin sliced chicken breast/ bell peppers/ salt and pepper/ asparagus

    Directions:

    1. Slice chicken breast in thin long strips, and slice bell peppers in thin strips and cut bottoms of asparagus

    2. Season chicken and veggies with salt and pepper

    3. Cover pan with aluminum foil and spray cooking oil

    4. Wrap veggies with one strip of chicken and secure with tooth pick. Arrange in Pan like picture below.

    5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

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    VOILA!

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    Try it out and let me know what you think!

    <3 Dawn

    Family, Fashion, Food

    Roost

     

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    This weekend for my first Mother’s Day my husband took us out to the city for the day. We went to this cozy hole in the wall restaurant called Roost in Montrose to try their famous fried cauliflower and donut holes. It was amazing and I highly recommend anyone who wants to try something new. I loved their unpretentious feel and diverse menu inspired by local availability of farm fresh ingredients. After dinner my husband and I went to a local park downtown to take family pictures. I can’t believe my little man is trying to walk already. Love some of the candid pictures my hubby took of us. I know I will cherish these memories forever.

    Below is a more detailed look of my outfit. Can you believe my dress and heels are less than $15! It’s a steal for a momma on a budget. I posted links below where you can purchase the items. IMG_0324 IMG_0326IMG_0327  IMG_0328 IMG_0329 IMG_0332

    dress: sheinside/shoes: cicihot/ purse: guess/ belt: BCBG/ earring: Kendra Scott/ bracelet: Alex and Ani/ hat:(similar style)

    <3 Dawn

    P.S. Don’t forget to follow my instagram located below  @dawnpdarnell for more fashion and style post. Thanks and have a great day!

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    Food

    Gluten Free Meatloaf

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    Hey guys I was googling healthier versions of meatloaf on my Yummly App and came across two recipes. One made with a Turkey and the other one was a Paleo Recipe. Below is the link to both.

    http://flavorthemoments.com/turkey-meatloaf-with-homemade-barbecue-sauce/
    http://thepaleodiet.com/paleo-meatloaf/

    Unfortunately I wasn’t fan of the turkey, nor was I a fan of having a flat texture with the Paleo recipe. So I decide to make my own recipe and take what I did like from both and combine it into one and hoped it would come out just as good. I was pleasantly surprised how amazingly delicious it came out! And it took less ingredients and time to make. If your a beginner at cooking like me there’s a 5 ingredient 5 step rule to anything I make, anything more is just too complicated for my short attention span brain lol. But you would be proud of me I did venture out a little with incorporating more than five ingredients with this recipe.

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    Ingredients:

    3lb lean beef
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup of milk
    1/2 old fashioned rolled oats
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
    1 whole chopped purple onion
    1 whole chopped red bell pepper
    1/2 cup fresh cilantro
    1/2 fresh parsley
    2 teaspoon cumin
    3 eggs
    Ketchup

    Directions:

    1. Take all ingredients and mix in bowl with your hands. Set in fridge for 30 to 45 minutes till firm

    2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

    3. Bake for 15 minutes and then add ketchup. Add as much as you would like.

    4. Bake for another 35- 45 minutes until done.

    Hope y’all like it! Let me know what ya’ll think. 😊✌️

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