October 11, 2020

Apple Pie Skillet Oatmeal




I made this Apple Pie Skillet Oatmeal twice this weekend and let me tell you! It is BEYOND delicious. And literally tastes like a bowl of warm apple pie with creamy, melting, vanilla ice cream on top. This recipe came to me on a whim when I was laying in bed and craving a good warm breakfast. I imagined warm and buttery caramely apple pie filling with some hearty oatmeal and this did NOT disappoint.  If you enjoy a good apple pie dessert and/or if you are a fan of good oatmeal, you will LOVE this recipe. 

The key to this Apple Pie Skillet Oatmeal is that you have to cook it in a NON-STICK skillet! The bigger surface space allows the caramely apple mixture and the oatmeal to cook together and get buttery, toasty, nutty, creamy ...everything that you would expect in a delicious piece of hot apple pie! 


Ingredients (For 1 Hefty Serving or 2 Normal Servings):
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Granny Smith Apple, diced
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Pinch of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Instant Oats
1 Cup of Milk {of your choice}
Toppings of your choice {nuts, milk, brown sugar, etc.}



{In a non-stick skillet, over medium-low heat, melt the butter.}

{Add in the diced apples and begin to saute.}

{Sprinkle on the brown sugar, pinch of salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract.}

{Reduce the heat to low and let this apple mixture sauté for about 8 minutes. You want the apples to be soft, but not too mushy.  The brown sugar and butter mixes together and will create a yummy caramel that will coat each apple piece and create amazing flavor for the oatmeal.}

{After about 8 minutes when the apples are soft add the caramel is bubbly and delicious, add in the instant oatmeal. I used 2 of the instant packets, which is the equivalent to 1/2 cup.}


{Mix the instant oatmeal with the apple/caramel mixture to combine and coat everything.}

{Add in the milk and stir well.}


{Continue stirring over low heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until the milk is absorbed and the oatmeal is perfectly rich and creamy.}

{You will have the perfect bowl of warm and buttery apple pie goodness! Serve it up warm and enjoy!... Or you could top it off...}


{...I topped mine with a splash of milk and a walnut/pecan/almond nut mixture. You could also add brown sugar, coconut flakes, honey, whatever you like.  Any way you top it, this oatmeal is EVERYTHING! Let me know if you decide to give this one a try. :)} 



xoxo, thanks for reading! 

 

October 7, 2020

Simple Ideas for Designing Your Perfect Morning Routine

For the past few months, I have been making a conscious effort to design a morning routine that works for my lifestyle. I was tired of being so tired during the day, especially when I work from home. I felt like I was wasting my mornings and those precious moments before getting my day started. It is so easy to start scrolling on your phone and wasting the morning and getting sucked into social media. I simply decided that I wanted to do MORE with my mornings. 

I have made some pretty useful discoveries about myself and uncovered some realistic tips that make mornings way more pleasant. I wanted to share them here on the blog, hopefully they will be helpful to you! 

After determining the way I want my mornings to go and what actions to take, it has been confirmed that, a.) I am NOT a morning person but that doesn't mean I can't have a morning routine that works for me. b.) Those cliché cutesy aestheticized morning routines that you sometimes see on YouTube or Instagram are not realistic for everyone. c.) Consistency is KEY. and d.) Morning routines are POWERFUL!

After starting my new business, Shop BeautyFash, I knew that a solid morning routine would help me move forward and achieve my goals. And as much as I was fighting getting out of my warm and comfy bed and waking up early, I found out that working through the discomfort is worth it. Having a consistent morning routine is the first opportunity to send your day in a positive direction. 

Of course, depending on the day, the time of month and what you have going on in life, some ideas will work better for you than others.  

My strategy is super simple though: Start small. Pick just one (or a few!) ideas from each category below and design YOUR realistic morning. Work your way up to having more steps as you discover what works for you.

 

BASIC TASKS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE

  • Set an alarm on your phone and make sure the phone is not within arm's reach 
  • Make your bed
  • Open the blinds or curtains and let all the sunshine in
  • Do your everyday skincare and makeup routine
  • Get dressed for the day
  • Take your time and make a good cup of tea or coffee
  • Make your favorite breakfast
  • Prepare your lunch and/or dinner for the day
  • Text/call and say hello to someone you love


BE WELL - WELLNESS IS KEY 

  • Drink at least 12 ounces of water as soon as you get up
  • Go for a walk or run
  • Meditate for 10 minutes
  • Pick the vitamins you want to start taking daily and TAKE THEM
  • Sit outside for a few minutes and breathe in some fresh air
  • Listen to your favorite song
  • Read a chapter or two of a good book
  • Write down 3 things that you are grateful for


NEVER STOP LEARNING

  • Watch a short tutorial on YouTube
  • Watch a TED Talk
  • Read a chapter in a self-help book
  • Start an online course that you can work on 
  • Read a blog post that inspires you to try something new
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Do a word puzzle or play a game that gets your brain working
  • Research a project that you can work on


YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH IS PERSONAL!

  • Work on your side hustle or a new business
  • Make a list of the new things you want to try
  • Research something fun you want to do over the weekend
  • Try a new breakfast or lunch recipe
  • Sign up for a new class in your neighborhood
  • Have a phone call with a mentor or mentee
  • Reach out to someone new for advice
  • Brainstorm / write down a few new ideas to make your life better
  • Add something to you bucket list


ORGANIZATION IS KEY

  • Plan out your week, month or year
  • Plan out your day - make a list of the things you need to do
  • Clean your workspace or desktop
  • Check your email and delete things that you don't need
  • Check in on your finances / update your budget
  • Get your work supplies ready for the day
  • Organize and plan your clothes for the day or week


To sum things up, your morning routine is a very powerful thing. It can set up your day for success OR it can slow you down and make you feel stuck and behind on everything else. Get inspired and decide what you want from your mornings.  A fast and efficient routine? A chance to get some extra time doing what you love? Some peaceful time alone? Before you can start a new morning routine, you have to understand what it is you want.

After that, reference the ideas listed above to get things started. Write your new routine down and memorize it. Treat each day as an experiment to find out what works best for you and your lifestyle!

xoxo, thanks for reading and sharing!


















October 1, 2020

Tips for Easy Entertaining at Home



Having the expertise to quickly and effortlessly throw together a party at home for your loved ones should be highly coveted, especially now that we are spending a lot of time at home. With my simple tips, outline below, you will be a party-throwing expert in no time! :)

I hosted my parents' 44th wedding anniversary dinner party at home this past weekend and it was such a beautiful event.  Everything went off without a hitch, the food was amazing, the appetizers were perfect, the decor was festive and colorful, the cocktails were perfection and most importantly, my guests had an amazing time! Here are my best tips for easy entertaining at home. 

Start cooking a little earlier than you think you should. Prep dishes the night before if you can.  Have the salad fixings chopped, the veggies sliced, pasta pre-boiled, and the meats marinating well in advance, to save time when you are ready to start cooking.  Always plan in advance what foods you will serve and go grocery shopping ahead of time. For the anniversary party this weekend, I made the crab cake mix the day before, chopped the salad fixings that morning and I also marinated the chicken and steaks a few hours before. 


Big batch cocktails will be your best bet for executing the dinner party drink situation with ease.  Think sangrias, a large batch of Moscow Mules or an adult lemonade with a few unexpected elements like lavender or rosemary. This time, I made a big pitcher of Pumpkin Pie Vodka Spritzers, which was a mixture of Tito's Vodka, Pumpkin Butter, Grand Marnier, and Vanilla Sparkling Water, garnished with Pumpkin Pie Spice. SO GOOD!


Always add a fun twist! I used rock candy sticks as swizzle sticks for the champagne and it was so fun and unexpected. Not to mention, the sugar sticks added pretty color and a sweetness to every sip. Perfect for the occasion. 

Keep appetizers simple.  If you plan to serve appetizers, try to keep things simple and effective.  I decided to go with a charcuterie board and mini crab cakes, which were both very easy to pull together. That lessened the stress for the pre-dinner bites, which allowed me to focus on the dinner and sides. 



Brighten up the tablescape and instantly add an upscale touch by covering the dining and/or serving table with a crisp white tablecloth (I get them from Amazon for less than $10!). Always remember, bright beautiful balloons are always a good idea for a celebration.  Amazon has the most amazing balloon arch kits that are so easy to put together. The color combinations are pre-selected, which makes it super easy to develop the perfect theme.



Beautifully arranged fresh flowers will bring life to your dinner party, literally. Always play up on the seasons when decorating.  Our party fell on the first weekend of autumn so I decided to get festive with a few mini pumpkins and sunflowers. The colors went beautifully with the other décor and  made such a pretty seasonal statement. 





And finally, HAVE FUN! Just by rocking my Fancy Apron instantly put me in the best mood while I prepped, cooked, danced and decorated.  It was such an amazing stress-free night. 


I hope these tips were helpful! Let me know what you think. :)

xoxo, thanks for reading and sharing! 














September 10, 2020

August 23, 2020

Shrimp Scampi

 


Definitely ready to dive into this bowl of shrimp scampi.

There's juicy shrimp, diced shallots, chopped leeks, red pepper flakes, and lots of crushed garlic, butter, a sprinkle of brown sugar and of course wine. Oh and we can't forget the clam juice, which adds an insane amount of seafood flavor.  SIGN. ME. UP!

This sauce is unreal.  You will want to drink it with a spoon. LOL! It has all the best qualities of a deliciously light and silky sauce that can easily be slurped up with noodles. I've been making really easy and simple dishes for dinner this summer and this one is definitely a fave.  We actually had it two nights in a row a couple weeks ago. I added some steamed broccoli to have as a side and this was the most perfect well-rounded summer dish!

Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons Butter, Divided
1 Small Leek, Chopped
1 Shallot, Chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
2 Teaspoons Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/4 Cup White Wine
3-4 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
1 8 Ounce Jar Clam Juice
1 Pound Shrimp, Peeled and De-veined
Fresh Parsley
3/4 Pound Cooked Linguini Pasta



{^^ To a large skillet over medium high heat, add in 3 tablespoons butter and the chopped leeks and shallots.  Sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add in the brown sugar, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning,  onion powder, lemon pepper, salt and pepper.}

{^^ Stir and continue to sauté for a minute more while the seasonings bloom and become fragrant.}


{^^ Add in the crushed garlic and stir.}


{Add the white wine to the pan to deglaze. Reduce the heat to low.}


{^^ Let the wine bubble and cook off for about a minute more.}

{^^Add the clam juice to the pan. This will add so much flavor!}

{^^Let all this goodness simmer. After about 3 minutes, add in another 3 tablespoons butter. }

{^^Once the butter melts, add the shrimp into that luscious, silky sauce.}

{^^Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp are just pink and opaque.}

{Add in lots of fresh chopped parsley.  Be sure to spoon that amazing sauce over each and every shrimp as they simmer.}




{Serve over perfectly al dente linguini and enjoy immediately!}

xoxo, thanks for reading and sharing!