More chocolate.

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Because chocolate will never get old. Atleast not in my house. Joey even got me a sign at an antique shop in Avila Beach that says “All you need in life is a good friend with chocolate”. It’s so cute and so me and so perfect for my new kitchen.

My recent move to San Luis Obispo has been going great. If great means a crap load of hard work…then yes, great. But in all seriousness all the house work is so satisfying in the end, knowing you put all that stuff together to make this little nook your home. Since the apartment is coming together, I am anxious to start school, meet people and get workin.

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One thing missing from all this new adventure is my best friend. Joey. And when you live 6+ hours away from your lova there is only one solution. Dark chocolate brownies. With peanut butter. And more peanut butter on top. My solution to all things in life.

Since Joey is so far, my cooking has to be tweaked. As in I can’t bake a whole batch of ooey gooey chocolate cookies when I don’t have a boyfriend around to eat half the batch. Or buy a jar of cookie butter knowing Joey will help me eat it with a spoon.

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So my experiments now have to be for…a single lady. Aka single servings or small batches.

The amazingly talented people over at Peanut Butter & Co. sent me a lovely package of samples of their peanut butter. I nearly DIED. The package could not have came at a better time, helping fill my Joey-Void with endless peanut butter lovin.

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Here we have brownies for two. With dark chocolate peanut butter by the fabulous Peanut Butter & Co peeps. I don’t reccomend using any old flavored peanut butter because their chocolate flavor is really what makes these brownies…brownies.

Their flavors are all natural which is always a plus in TNK and with this stuff on hand I don’t even feel a need for sugary filled nutella or cookie butter. Halleluija!

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies for Two with Whipped Cocoa Mousse
Print
Brownies
  1. 1/4 cup oat flour
  2. 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  3. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  4. sea salt to taste
  5. 1/2 banana, mashed
  6. 1 Tbsp honey
  7. 2 Tbsp dark chocolate peanut butter (peanut butter & co.)
  8. 2 Tbsp vanilla almond milk
  9. Dark chocolate chips to taste
Cocoa Mousse
  1. 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  2. 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  3. 1 Tbsp dark chocolate peanut butter
  4. 2 tsp sweetener of choice*
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Grease two medium ramekins with olive oil spray.
  2. Combine brownie ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until fully mixed. The mixture shouldn't be too thick or dough like. It will be be slighlty runny. Fold in your chocolate chips then distribute into two greased ramekins.
  3. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a fork comes out clean. While the brownies are baking make your chocolate mousse frosting. Simple combine the ingredients and add sweetner to your liking.
  4. Once the brownies are done, layer on your mouse and optional toppings. I like granola for an extra crunch!
Notes
  1. *For sweetner in the mousse frosting, I used chocolate stevia drops. Maple syru, honey or sugar will work as well.
  2. Make sure you use dark chocolate peanut butter and not regular peanut butter in this recipe. I have been loving Peanut Butter & Co.'s brand!
  3. Serves 2.
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

Basically your chocolate death wish.

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Hence the dramatic “death by chocolate” title. I like to be dramatic with food, it makes life more exciting. These cupcakes deserve all the dramatizing they can get because these little beauts made me famous.

They didn’t start out as cupcakes. They started out as a cake. A cake I made for Joey’s birthday months ago that made me the chocolate cake queen. And then the recipe was passed down to Joey’s mom and sister and craved by all my family members to an extreme level. Including me.

I truley am a modest person, I promise. But there’s no room for modesty with this recipe. It simply is THE BOMB-DIZZ. Capital letters and all.

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In other bomb-dizz news I am officially moved into my new apartment in San Luis Obispo! Needless to say it has been a crazy busy week unpacking, organizing, painting and shopping.

I have been in and out of target, home depot and world market like a mad woman and am currently sitting in a lampless + coffe table-less living room as I write this post. Missing Joey desperatly. Oh adult life…

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Times like these we crave rich chocolate nutella cupcakes. You will notice this recipe isn’t the most “nutritious” thing to come through TNK but us healthy people are human too you know.

I truley believe being healthy means finding a balance in your life and doing what makes you feel good. These may not be “sugar free” “dairy free” or whatever free but they are homemade using simple ingredients with no funny business. Oh and they’re flippin amazing.

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I will take a homemade REAL cupcake over boxed cupcakes anyday. That stuff is filled with unheard of crap and not even worth your time. TRUST ME. These cupcakes will become your “go-to” chocolate cake recipe to make for your lovers and friends.

My coworkers stated quote unquote: You just set the cupcake bar really high for cupcakes to come”. Gaawd I miss them…

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The secret to these babies? Using hot coffee as part of your liquid, throwing chocolate chips into the batter and the NUTELLA in the frosting.

Don’t leave out or replace the nutella/chocoalte chips/coffee. These ingredients are vital to your recipe to give you super moist, rich and deep chocolate lovin.

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Death By Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes
Print
Cake
  1. 1 cup all purpose flour
  2. 1 cup raw cane sugar
  3. 1 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
  6. Dash of sea salt
  7. 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  8. 1/4 cup fat free milk
  9. 1/4 cup canola oil
  10. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 1 egg (at room temperature)
  12. 1/2 cup hot coffee
  13. 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or peanut butter cups
Frosting
  1. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  2. 3/4 cup nutella
  3. 1 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.
  2. Combine dry cake ingredients in a large bowl and stir with an electric hand mixer on low speed until combined. In a separate bowl whisk together oil, milk, vanilla extract and the egg. Slowly pour into dry ingredients and continue to mix with the hand mixer. Add in your hot coffee and mix the ingredients on high speed until fully mixed. Stir in your mini pb cups or chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  3. Distribute the mixture into your cupcake liners until a little more than halfway full. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Mine were ready in almost 18 minutes but check to make sure a toothpick or fork comes out clean, and that's when you know they’re ready! Let it cool completely before frosting.
  4. To make to frosting beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. This should take about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and continue to beat the frosting until sugar combines with the butter. Add in your nutella and continue beating until a creamy frosting comes together. You can also add in more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin for your liking.
  5. Frost the cupcakes once they’re completely cooled and enjoy! Cake stays fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3 days. After three days place in the fridge but probably won't last more than a day! :)
Notes
  1. Makes 12 cupcakes with extra frosting!
  2. Recipe can be doubled to make 24 cupcakes or a double layer cake.
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

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You guyssss. Hello hello! It has been awhile and I have missed you. Missed the blog, the writing, the recipes and everything inbetween. Before we get into my amazing week spent full of beach, magaritas and guacomole, how are you?! How has everyone been spending the last glimpse of summa time and first bite of Fall?

Hopefully you all have been enjoying it to the fullest and below you can see how I have been with some iphone picture scenes from my Cabo trip with Joey. Aka my last little vacation splurge before the reality of moving, starting a new life and finishing up my degree begins. On top of that the week has been full of exciting news that I will share with you soooon ;)! Some of it including this peanut butter. Can’t wait to update you guys!

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That last picture was eaten in the airport during our layover back home. It’s a bbq chicken pizza from Sammy’s Woodfire Pizza which was honestly my favorite meal of the trip…I know crazy.

Aka fancy salad.

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This salad is so Giada. You know Giada de Laurentiis? One of my all time favorite chefs/idols/inspirations. Seriously that woman just rocks. I have never made one bad recipe of hers and all her cookbooks are beautiful. Not just beautiful photos but all around beauty. Her varitey and ingredients are always on point, fresh and have great flavor. To me she represents balance and delicious meals to be shared with your loved ones.

I am just dying to go to her new Italian restuarant in Vegas. Someone puh-lease take the hint and get me reservations. As well as a sample from everything on the menu…

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So my Aunt Diane shares this mega-chef-crush on Giada as well. Last week at our summer bbq we talked Giada, recipes and pantry organization. My Aunt totally gets me. And she totally gets the whole cooking thing because she made this roasted potato + orange vinaigrette salad which was well beyond Giada-worthy.

I tend to be that annoying person at bbq’s where I talk food and food adventures the whole time and beg for certain recipes that made me drool and go back for seconds. Does anyone else share this same annoying (aka amazing) quality?

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Basically I begged my Aunt Diane for the recipe everyday until she emailed it to me then immediatley adapted it into TNK a few days later.

I didn’t really change much because it was SO delicious as is; The original called for gorgonzola cheese and that got swapped for goat cheese and I added some dried orange flavored cranberries. Awesome decision.

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You will also add some maple syrup to the vinaigrette because it needed a little something sweeter in my opinion while I was whisking it together. Make sure you use freshly squeezed orange juice from an actual orange and GOOD quality balsamic vinegar. I reccomend checking out Bluff Cove Olive Oil Co.. I will swear my their balsamic till death. The strawberry is my favorite!

Anyways the recipe overall is super simple, healthy and makes for a tasty lunch for the fam. you will almost forget you’re eating an actual “salad”. Giada would be proud.

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Roasted Potato, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Print
Potatoes
  1. 1 lb baby russet potatoes
  2. 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. sea salt + pepper to taste
  4. basil or seasoning of choice
Orange Vinaigrette
  1. 1 Tbsp extra virigin olive oil
  2. 1-2 Tbsp fresh orange juice*
  3. 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  4. 1 tsp maple syrup
  5. Sea salt to taste
Salad
  1. Lettuce blend of choice (preferably one with arugala)
  2. Roasted russet potatoes (see above)
  3. Goat cheese
  4. Toasted walnuts or pecans
  5. Dried cranberries
  6. Orange vinaigrette
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, and toss with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and seasoning of choice. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet, lying on flat side.
  3. Bake potatoes for 35-40 minutes until tops become crispy and golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool.
  4. To make vinaigrette whisk together all ingredients until fully mixed. You may need to double to recipe if making for a large group.
  5. Assemble the sald by combining lettuce, goat cheese, toasted nuts, dried cranberries and roastred potatoes. Toss with dressing and enjoy!
Notes
  1. *Use fresh orange juice from a real orange for optimal flavor
  2. Serves 4
Adapted from Aunt Diane
Adapted from Aunt Diane
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

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Confession: I have been addicted to oreos lately. My Cabo bathing suit has been giving me evil glares every time I dive into the box of Trader Joe’s Jo-Jos. Jo-Jo’s are oreo knock off cookies and I equate them to being healthier than regular oreos because they are sold at Trader Joe’s.

Don’t you love my logic? You know you suffer from the same thing. So like cookie butter is healthy cuz it’s from TJ’s right?! So I can totally demolish their latest cookie butter ice cream guilt free?

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Yeah…I know what’s really up but let’s just eat our secret dessert stash in peace shall we? In reality news, Fall quarter begins in about 4 weeks and I know most of the high school/younger grades are already starting which means we are suppose to say goodbye to summer…and I am SO not ready.

Well I sort of am. A new school is enticing for me and the idea of moving on with my life never sounded so decadent. Decadent like cookies and cream protien bars. That taste like oreos + peanut butter in bar form. Yaaaas that is what heaven sounds like.

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Back to school = healthy back to school snacks. Aka bars. Aka whiskey on the rocks? Just kidding…not those kind of bars. Although a stiff drink always sounds good during finals week. But until we get to finals lets stick to the healthy snacks. The healthy yet decadent snacks in bar form. Which happens to be the theme for the Recipe Redux this month!

These cookies and creme protien bars are no-bake making your time in the kitchen that much easier and less tempting to opt for store-bought, over-priced, over-processed, guilt-filled bars.

The base of these bars consist of:

Chocolate Protien Powder (whey protien, any plant based protien will not work)
Oat flour (oats grinded into flour)
Peanut Butter (all natural)
Honey
Granola (any kind will work! I have a ton of homemade options under “snacks”)

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How easy is that? The topping is a concoction of melted white chocolate and crushed oreo cookies. Well I actually used Trader Joe’s Jo-Jo’s because they’re healthier right? Don’t answer that. You only need a few of the cookies for a cute crumble topping and true cookies&creme flavor. You gotta live a little!

Once these harden in the fridge for about an hour or two they make the perfect bars for your kids lunchbox or you own! I also enjoyed them as dessert at night when my sweet tooth craving kicked in. Either way, they are delicious, easy and healthy. Fall quarter I am so ready for you.

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No-Bake Cookies&Cream Protien Bars
Print
Protein fudge layer
  1. 1/2 cup oat flour (oats grinded into flour)
  2. 1/2 cup chocolate whey protein powder
  3. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  4. 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
Middle layer
  1. Crunchy granola of choice (optional)
Creme layer
  1. 1 cup white chocolate chips
  2. Oreo cookie sandwiches, crushed
Instructions
  1. Combine oat flour and chocolate protein in a large bowl.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, mix together peanut butter and maple syrup until a thick mixture has formed.
  3. Pour peanut butter mixture into dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough has formed. You may need to use your hands for this part to really get the flour and wet ingredients combined. The end result should resemble cookie dough.
  4. Press dough into an parchment lined 8x8 sqaure dish. You will need to spread it out to fill the dish evenly. Press granola or crushed oreo cookies into your dough.
  5. Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second increments until fully melted, careful not to burn. Pour over the fudge/granola layer and spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle crushed oreo cookies over white chocolate then place in the fridge for 2 hours. Cut immediately into 12 sqaures. Pack some into you lunch box and be happy!
Notes
  1. Makes 12-16 bars. Store bars in the refrigerator for up to a week.
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/