Category: Recipes

Kaylee May’s favorite recipes

Easy Homemade Chocolate Eclairs

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Davey requested Aldi’s Chocolate Eclairs for his birthday, and since I make nothing easy on myself, I decided to MAKE him chocolate eclairs. Actually, I think he didn’t want me to mess up a cake, but whatevs. I bought him the requested eclairs so his birthday wasn’t too disappointing and also texted my mom for the easy-peasy yummy recipe she made us growing up.

Here’s the easy recipe I used from my mom.

Ingredients
2 packages instant vanilla pudding
1 9 oz cool whip
3 and 1/4 cup milk
1 can chocolate frosting
1 box graham crackers

9×13 pan, buttered

Mix pudding, cool whip, and milk.

Place a layer of graham crackers on bottom of buttered 9×13 pan. Pour half of the pudding mix. Place another layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding. Pour the other half of the pudding mix. Place a layer of the last graham crackers on top. Place in refrigerator.

Frost the top layer of graham crackers and enjoy!

Make low fat with skim milk, light cool whip, and sugar free pudding.

Davey and Seton love the yummy summer treat!

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Whole30 Recap

The last time I cheated on anything was in 4th grade (on a test, question 13, the answer was A- The Iroquois) and since the little angel on my shoulder gives the little devil on the other shoulder a beat down all the live long day I was not about to cheat on Whole30.

So despite my numerous dreams of eating bagels and my daydreams of chocolate chips all over the place, I made it!

Whew, what an exercise of self discipline that I so needed.

On my last day of doing the Whole30 program, I want to share my thoughts before next week happens, and I forget all the feelings.

Best thing: I eat so many more vegetables than I used to, and I love them! After a 20 year sabbatical from brussel sprouts, I lived on the edge and roasted them, salted them, and — reluctantly–ate them. And I liked them. Going forward I will make sure to continue eating veggies at every meal and snack time! Here are some photos of meals I ate:

Tilapia, zucchini, sweet potato
Tilapia, zucchini, sweet potato
Chicken apple sausage (Whole30 compliant), zucchini, greens
Chicken apple sausage (Whole30 compliant), zucchini, greens
Whole30 compliant turkey burger with fried egg and avocado, chicken salad with homemade pale mayo, tomato, green pepper on lettuce bed
Whole30 compliant turkey burger with fried egg and avocado, chicken salad with homemade paleo mayo, tomato, green pepper on lettuce bed
potatoes, fried egg, avocado (Davey's favorite)
potatoes, fried egg, avocado (Davey’s favorite)
Chicken, egg, tomato, avocado, greens
Chicken, egg, tomato, avocado, greens
my typical breakfast : cinnamon apples, eggs, sausage
my typical breakfast : cinnamon apples, eggs, sausage
spinach, egg, tomato, avocado, celery with homemade almond butter and unsweetened raisons
spinach, egg, tomato, avocado, celery with homemade almond butter and unsweetened raisons

I also ate a lot of pork, chicken, salmon and tilapia for dinner with various veggies.

Worst thing: I got sick of eggs. Give me a few months. I can’t really even think about them right now without my stomach turning a little.

Overall thoughts: Melissa Hartwig, founder of the Whole30 program, was right. After 30 days, I no longer crave sweet things. I don’t see myself emptying my entire pantry just in case there is a bag of chocolate chips I forgot about anytime in the near future. But I will say I miss the whole experience of food. I miss sharing a Sunday afternoon coffee and cheesecake with Davey. I miss snuggling up to him and having a glass of wine. I miss going out to eat at our favorite breakfast place. I miss going to people’s houses and taking part in the food they prepared for their guests. Whole30 got me back on track of living in moderation and making more conscious decisions about food.

Buuuuuuut, I am really excited to share birthday cinnamon rolls tomorrow morning with Davey.

3 ways I increased my breast milk supply while doing Whole30

I made the mistake that so many people make when first doing Whole30. I didn’t consume enough calories to keep up my breastmilk supply. I also skipped pumping sessions at work, which certainly didn’t help. I began to panic as I saw the freezer stash deplete day after day and had to have the tough conversation with Davey as to whether we should buy formula. I said to him, “I’ll stop doing Whole30 before I buy of formula.” I’ve been so determined to breastfeed for a year–not that using formula is bad–but I really enjoy breastfeeding. As a working mom, it’s the one thing that only I can do for Seton. She has other people put her down for naps, feed her solids and bottles, etc, etc. Selfishly, I wanted to keep breastfeeding for just her and me.

I’m not a quitter. I was confronted with the dilemma of quitting breastfeeding or quitting Whole30.

So I decided I needed to find a way to keeping doing both.

The main thing I realized through reading things on the interweb is that I am not consuming enough calories. I used to eat cereal, yogurt, bagels, sandwiches that gave me plenty of calories to feed triplets (ha!). I went from calorie heaven to … well… a lot of lettuce and sweet potatoes. I have done 3 things to bump up my calorie intake in a healthy, Whole30 compliant, way.

1. I make a smoothie each morning. I drink half in the morning, then half when I get home from work. It contains:

4 cups water
2 bananas
1 cup blueberries
3 cups spinach

It tastes good (sweet from the fruit!), forces me to drink more water (extremely important for breastfeeding) and bumps my supply right back up. We aren’t encouraged to drink our calories, so I also make sure that I eat a hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

2. I put a scoop of canned coconut milk in my coffee. I’m a black coffee kind of girl, but I’m trying to add healthy fats and calories where I can. This is a quick and easy solution that doesn’t rob coffee of its enriching flavor.

3. I make homemade almond butter. I throw a few cups of almonds in the food processor, grind for about 15 minutes (an exercise of patience), and then spread on celery sticks, carrots, apples, etc. It’s a quick way to eat good, healthy fat. And it tastes really good.

I would like to say I am also drinking a ton of water, but that one is still really hard for me. I don’t have the luxury of running to the bathroom every 30 minutes at work, so yeah. But I am trying!

Anyone else have any suggestions?

Cozy Cauliflower Soup

I hate cooked cauliflower, so I don’t know what possessed me to think it was a good idea to make this. I blame the luring depths of my google search for healthy soups and the guise the cauliflower ones took on to resemble their less healthy counterpart, potato soup.

Whatever it was that convinced me it was a good idea to make cauliflower soup, I am so grateful. This is my new favorite winter soup!

I combined recipe ideas from my google search based on ingredients I already had in my kitchen. The closest recipe to mine is from Slender Kitchen and can be found here.

cozy cauliflower soup

Cozy Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients
1 frozen bag of cauliflower
1 cup diced carrots
1 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
4 cups water
1/4 cup flour
12 oz. fat free evaporated milk
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup almond milk
1 can celery soup
Salt and pepper
1.5 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

Directions
Combine vegetables and water. Let simmer until vegetables are soft. Add remaining ingredients (except cheese, salt, and pepper) and turn heat to high for 10 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add cheese, salt, and pepper.

Blend soup to desired consistency.

I LOOOOOOVE our handy dandy vegetable cutter thingy mabob.

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My not so helpful sous chef:

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YUM!

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How to make oatmeal taste amazing (and still be healthy)

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Our household has been eating oatmeal for breakfast for as long as we have been a household. We eat it completely for the health benefits and not at all for the taste. Because it tastes disgusting. Let’s stop kidding ourselves.

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Davey got tired of shoveling down mush every morning so he decided to cook it with almond milk, cinnamon, and some honey from his hive.

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Now we eat amazingness every morning. I have successfully tricked myself into thinking I am eating dessert for breakfast.

oatmeal

Ingredients
2 cups almond milk (vanilla almond milk is EXTRA tasty)
1/2 cup Steel cut oats
A couple dashes of cinnamon
A spoonful of honey
Raisons

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Directions
Bring almond milk to a boil. Stir in oats and turn heat to medium-low. Let oats cook for 20-30 minutes. When oats have softened, stir in a couple dashes of cinnamon and a spoonful of honey. Top with raisons.

This recipe is for one person. Double if cooking for two.

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Goldilocks would say it tastes just right.

Homemade Caramel Corn

homemade caramel corn

I am concerned about my husband. He seems to enjoy making carnival foods like homemade cinnamon sugar pretzels and homemade caramel corn. I am bracing myself for the day he approaches me with the idea to start a food stand for the carnival and live our life on the road. If you know my husband, you know the manifestation of this idea is entirely probable.

There is no question about it, Davey is the chef/cook/baker around here. He likes to keep busy, so I think it’s one way he keeps himself entertained when we are at home. I get the benefits of being the taste-tester and blogger behind it.

I wanted to share this recipe for Homemade Caramel Corn because its fun to eat in the fall and will make great Christmas gifts for coworkers, neighbors, and teachers.

Davey found an original recipe here and modified it a bit. Here is how he did it:

homemade caramel corn

Ingredients

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels (about 16 cups popped corn)
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/6 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pop popcorn kernels over stove or with use of an air popper. Once the popcorn is done, empty into a large baking pan.

In a small sauce pan, melt butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt over medium heat. Once melted together, stir and bring to a boil. Boil for 2-4 minutes.

Take caramel mixture immediately from stove and drizzle on top of popcorn. Stir the popcorn to coat evenly. Place popcorn in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to redistribute the caramel mixture.

Cool mixture. Continue to stir occasionally to prevent clumping.

YUM. Try not to eat the whole thing. Just try.

homemade caramel corn

Healthy Sweet Potato Nachos

sweet potato nachos

This recipe was inspired by our favorite food blog, Pinch of Yum. Go to the original recipe here to see our inspiration!

I haven’t posted much recently because I have been staring at this the past 3 weeks:

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And laughing when she makes faces like this:

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Luckily, Davey has been off work the past three weeks. Thank GOD. Praise JESUS. I would be dead by now if he had been gone all day long leaving me to fend for myself and the baby. Dead, I tell you. Since giving birth was actually really hard (I know, I was warned, but still a shock), I have had a great excuse to avoid cooking and dishes. This means I get to enjoy Davey’s creations all the time. Davey has a thing for sweet potato fries, so when I saw Pinch of Yum’s Healthy Grilled Sweet Potato Nachos, I forwarded him the link and let his creative brain take over from there (a subtle “hint hint” never hurt anyone). I knew he would come up with something that was typical “Davey Special”: Simple, quick, and easy. Here it is, folks:

sweet potato nachos

Directions:

Slice potatoes thinly.

Spread evenly on pizza brick or baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until slightly crispy.

Top with your favorite toppings. Davey used:

Refried beans
Black beans
Corn
Diced onions
Shredded cheese

Place back in oven until cheese is melted.

Add remaining cold ingredients. Davey used:

Diced tomatoes
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Sour cream

Enjoy!

Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Chicken

cheesy bacon wrapped chicken

Davey and I look for recipes that are suuuuuper easy to make. When I say easy, I am talking 5 ingredients and less than 20 minutes of prep time.

This Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Chicken recipe is easy and quick. When we ate it for dinner last night, we both commented that this is a good recipe to make when we have guests for dinner because it can easily pass for being classier than it actually is.

Here is how we did it (and by “we,” I clearly mean Davey):

Ingredients:
3 boneless chicken breasts
cream cheese
blue cheese
salt/pepper for taste
6 strips of bacon

Directions:
Cut uncooked chicken breasts in half. Spread cream cheese on each of the halves. Sprinkle blue cheese over the cream cheese. Add salt/pepper as desired. Roll each chicken breast so the cheesy filling is on the inside. Keep the chicken rolled tight by wrapping with a slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick.

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Cook at 425 degrees uncovered in a baking or casserole dish for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Enjoy!

cheesy bacon wrapped chicken

Homemade Iced Coffee

homemade iced coffee

Fun fact about Kaylee: I was a barista in college. I barely made any money, but I got free coffee and had a blast hanging out with my friends when they came to visit me at work. Kids, this was before the Keurig was invented.

Here are some old photos of the place where I spent most my time:

iced coffee

iced coffee

iced coffee

iced shop

And here’s from the last night at Yellow Kitchen Cafe:

iced coffee

We were cool. Promise.

It was working at Yellow Kitchen Cafe (formerly a Jittery Joe’s in Athens, GA) that I discovered the greatest thing about summertime: iced coffee. I have successfully gotten Davey hooked on it as well, so when we go out running errands on the weekends we stop and get an iced coffee to “make running errands better” (because it does).

I figured I should probably just start making my own so I don’t end up spending more money on iced coffee than on fruits or vegetables or healthy things. Also, it’s really easy.

Here’s what I do:

Brew a full pot of coffee

Stir in sugar and your favorite flavor to your liking while the coffee is hot so it dissolves easily (Torani flavors can be purchased at World Market).

Let sit for 30 minutes to cool down.

Place in refigerator overnight. Enjoy in the morning with your favorite coffee creamer or milk!

MMMM.

homemade iced coffee homemade iced coffee

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Summertime Rhubarb Pie

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summertime rhubarb pie

I have found the one thing Minnesotans like more than hockey…farmers’ markets.

No, that’s a lie.

They love hockey the most. Then Chipotle (which they also pronounce CHIP-OLE-TEE or CHIP-O-TELL).

THEN they love farmers’ markets.

Chipotle and farmers’ markets are two Minnesotan loves I will gladly partake in. Not so keen on the hockey.

farmer's market
On our way to St. Paul’s Farmer’s Market

We’ve been hitting up the farmers’ markets on the weekends which has stirred up my deep hidden desire to get really good at baking rhubarb pies. I remembered I have a rhubarb pie recipe in the family cookbook Davey and I were gifted for our wedding.

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

{side note: for our wedding, my dad’s cousin collected recipes from my great-grandma, grandma (on both sides), great-aunt and mom and craftily (is that a word?) made a cookbook with the stories behind each recipe. AWESOME, right?! Most thoughtful wedding gift in the world? That’s what I think, too. We have already made close to half the recipes in the cookbook and have loved them all so far! Knowing that someone like my great-grandma has memories tied to the recipes makes them even more special. Which leads me to share with you my love of food and that fact that I think eating should be an experience rather than just a time to stop for nourishment. That’s another blog post for another time. End side note that turned into small novel}

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So I bought two stalks of rhubarb, then realized that I didn’t even know how to go about preparing it. I turned to my trusted friend, Google, and these are the fun facts I found out about rhubarb:

It’s a vegetable. (Yeah, this was shocking to me) However, a New York court decided it can be counted as a fruit in 1947 so that there was a reduction on imported rhubarb tariffs since tariffs were higher for vegetables than fruits. I would have loved to be in on that court case.

It’s best harvested in mid-late spring.

Rhubarb leaves contain toxic levels of oxalic acid. Gotta cut those bad boys off before cooking/baking!

It is one of the least calorie vegetables. (This make rhubarb pie healthy, right?)

Rhubarb contains dietary fiber, poly-phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins. (Again, this makes rhubarb pie healthy, right?)

So onward I went, cutting off the toxic leaves, washing the stalks, and dicing the rhubarb into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces per Google recommendations.

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I combined the 6 cups of rhubarb with 3 cups sugar, 6 tablespoons of flour and 6 beaten eggs. I poured into unbaked pie crust and covered with another unbaked pie crust.

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I put this in the oven which was preheated to 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Then I reduced the heat to 350 and baked for 45 more minutes.

When I took it out of the oven, I put a little bit of melted butter on top and sprinkled with sugar.

It’s not the prettiest looking–I have to improve my art of making food look pretty. BUT it IS tasty.

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