Dairy Free Cookie Dough Recipe

My hubby, B get’s full credit for this recipe and it’s just too good not to share — so consider this a guest blog from my one and only (he even took the pictures!) Since quarantine has started, we’ve definitely been enjoying a few more sweets than normal, so he was on the hunt for a healthier dessert recipe that would also be dairy-free for me! So, as I mention — B get’s full credit for finding this five-ingredient recipe and grabbing all the ingredients, and when he mentioned he was making cookie dough, I definitely did not complain *grins* !CookieDough(3)
Although this is a simple recipe and only utilized 2-cups of cashews, this definitely makes a larger portion that will last nights to help satisfy that sweet treat. B also decided to get 95% dark chocolate to help with that healthy portion of this tasty treat — but you can definitely decide to put in whatever chocolate, or other goodies you may want to add into this treat.

Prep-Time:
3-4 hours

Shopping List:
– 2-cups of Whole Cashews
– 95% Dark Chocolate Bar
– 3 tbsp. Agave
– 2 tbsp. Coconut oil
– 1/4 cup of Almond Flour
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Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. First, boil 3-4 cups of water. Once the water comes to a boil, pour over your cashews in a glass bowl. Let your cashews soak in the water for 3-4 hours.
2. Once the cashew’s have soaked, drain the water from the cashews. Add your cashews, almond flour, coconut oil and agave into a food processor and blend well.
3. The blended mixture should appear creamy and well blended.
4. On a cutting board, break up your chocolate bar into smaller chunks
5. Scrape your cashew base into a bowl and then add your chocolate bar chunks and mix together, then refrigerate before serving!
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This was such a yummy treat and definitely felt guilt-free when enjoying. After having it this first round, it would be fun to play around with adding in some other types of chocolate or goodies like sprinkles or m&ms for a little extra color and crunch! I am not a huge lover of super dark chocolate, but mixed in with this, it was definitely a good balance of tart and sweet with the cookie dough.

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Taco Pizza Recipe

We recently had the brilliant idea of making our own at home taco pizza — and let me tell you, it was seriously that, brilliant AND delicious. Normally we make BBQ or Buffalo Chicken Pizza’s but were inspired to make one of our favorite dishes into another dinner favorite, in pizza form. The recipe it quite simple and therefore the perfect amount of taco without going completely overboard with toppings. So when we were prepping our menu for our fancy Cinco De Mayo fiesta, this was the perfect and simple addition to make at home for a fun night in! TacoPizza(3)
This will quickly become a fun way to switch up your Taco Tuesday, Friday night pizza or splurge your upcoming Cinco De Mayo party at home!

Shopping List:
Pizza Crust
Miled Ortega Taco Sauce
– 1-pound of ground beef
– Taco seasoning packet
– Shredded Cheese
2.25oz Sliced Black Olives
– Tomato to slice into pieces
– Optional: Green Onion
– Sour Cream for serving

Step-by-Step Directions:
1. First up, cook your ground beef! Once fully cooked, add your taco seasoning in and set-aside while you prep the rest.

2. With your pizza crust on a pizza pan, pour your Ortega Taco Sauce on as your sauce, and spread around crust with a spoon for nice coverage.

3. Now spoon and spread your ground beef to cover the top of the pizza! Add your black olive slices and tomato slices on next.
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4. Finally, sprinkle your cheese (shred a brick or use a pre-shredded bag) we like to use a mix orange and white cheddar for some added color. And garnish with green onion, if you have it (we didn’t have it this time).

5. Cook in the oven based on the crust directions until crust is looking golden and cheese is melted! Slice up and enjoy!

B likes to serve this with sour cream, it is a nice touch for this delicious pizza — I only have a few bites with sour cream, because that is one dairy item that definitely does not agree with me! But it is a nice flavor accent of cool with the taco flavors on the pizza. Again, we kept this recipe simple because it’s definitely easy to over to do it with your taco toppings — and it’s simply perfect!
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We also like to make B’s simple homemade guacamole paired with our favorite go-to Tostitos lime chips.  To finish off our fancy fiesta night, serve up with a Corona and lime or this super easy and delicious strawberry margarita made with prosecco instead of tequila! This has quickly become a treat that we like to make for date night and a recipe we first tried out for Valentine’s Day when we were planning our date night in. I think the next taco inspired pizza recipe we play around with will be a breakfast taco pizza – omg yum! Like I mentioned, we love everything tacos. And will be sharing our full fancy fiesta Cinco De Mayo night next!

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Prosecco Margarita Recipe

Cinco De Mayo celebrations will be a little different this year — although we don’t typically celebrate this day normally like most anyway, May 5th is special to us for another reason, it’s the anniversary of our first date! So looking ahead at this year, I thought it would be fun to create a fun and fancy fiesta to celebrate with some of our favorite Mexican dishes we make at home! But, before we get to the decor and our favorite Taco Pizza recipe, we needed to make sure we had a festive beverage for our fiesta first!
MargRecipe(4)This fresh margarita inspired recipe is easy, delicious and in my opinion a no brainer since it’s topped with Prosecco instead of Tequila.  I had my one night of Tequila fun, and don’t ever need to enjoy it ever again *grins* — you have had one of those nights too, right?

Shopping List:
– Bottle of Prosecco – Freixenet is my go-to
– 2 cups of Fresh Strawberries
– 1/4 cup of Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
– 1/2 cup of Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (about 2-3 limes depending on size)
– 1.5 – .75 Oz. Agave Nectar
– 1 cup of Ice (2 for 4-servings)ProseccoMarg(1)Step-by-Step Directions:
1. Make sure to wash your fresh fruit well, I ended up slicing my strawberries in half since we had some big ones.
2. Place all your ingredients into a blender. If you want to make a double batch, add two cups of ice — also I used about half as much agave nectar than the recipe I found because I know it’s sweet. Blend well until completely mixed.
3. Get ready to serve! Pour the fruit mix into goblets or cocktail glasses about 2/3rds full and then top off with your bubbles — pour slowly, the Prosecco will bubble quickly with your marg mix. Top off your glass gradually!
4. Slice the center of your strawberry and garnish on the rim of your glass, get ready to cheers and sip away!
MargRecipe(2)This recipe was sooo easy and will be delicious to sip on this summer! Not to mention I love my new Monique Lhuillier Gabrielle Etched Champagne Coupes, they’re give a little bohemian chic vibe for our fancy fiesta and these bubbly margaritas. My next blog is going to be sharing our new go-to make at home Taco Pizza Recipe that will be the perfect taco fix for your at home Cinco De Mayo party — plus I’ll be sharing my fancy fiesta decor!

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Easy Bundt Cake Recipe

With my new found love of bundt cakes, I wanted to try making my own to see if I was able to make anything as good as the Whole Foods ones! The other factor I was dealing with was finding a recipe that didn’t call for heavy cream or lots of ingredients, especially since we’re trying to limit our grocery trips!
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Since I only had mini-bundt cake pan, I altered the bake time to accommodate for the smaller pans, but also included the bake time if you have a full-sized pan. I also modified this recipe to incorporate almond milk.

Bundt Cake Ingredients:
– Cooking Spray / Crisco
– 1.5 cups of stick butter (3-stick)
– 2 cups of sugar
– 4 large eggs
– 1 TBSP. vanilla extract
– 3 cups of flour
– 6 TBSP. cornstarch
– 1.5 TSP. kosher salt
– 1/2 cup of almond milk

Glaze Ingredients:
– 1.5 cups of powdered sugar
– 4-5 TBSP. almond milk
– 1/2 TSP. vanilla extract
– 1/8 TSP. kosher salt

Cake Step-by-Step:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 and grease your bundt pan.
2. In a large bowl, with a hand mixer beat softened butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
3. Add your eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg is added – with your last egg, add your vanilla extract in and mix well.
4. Next in another bowl whisk you dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
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5. Now take half of your dry ingredients and mix with your first bowl of wet ingredients – beating well until combined. Pour in 3-tablespoons of your almond milk and milk until fully incorporated, then add remaining dry ingredients and rest of the milk depending on consistency.
6. One your batter is ready, it’s time to bake! Pour your batter into greased pans – do not fill your batter up to the top and about half way up, smoothing the top with a spatula. I knew better, but still filled up my first batch to the top – see my #fail below, although it did make for a yummy scraps!
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7. For mini bundt pans, cook for 20-minutes and make sure your toothpick comes out clean – I was able to get 10-mini cakes, if I hadn’t over filled we probably would’ve had a dozen mini cakes. If you’re baking in a full-size pan, back for 55-minutes.
8. Let cakes cool in pan and invert cake pan onto a plate or cooling rack.

Glaze Step-by-Step:
1. Whisk together your powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Since I used almond milk, I gradually added the milk to make sure the consistency was good.
2. Pour of cake and serve!

The cake batter reminds me a lot like my mom’s Christmas cookie dough! It’s sooo yummy, and I definitely licked the bowl and batters clean. Once I filled the tins in about half way, they cooked perfectly at 20-minutes and came out relatively easy with the cooling guides. I love the little personal-sized bundt cakes for a post-dinner or breakfast snack — just add some sprinkles on top and you’ve got a sweet little treat!

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Recipe inspired by Maria’s Kitchen

Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Treats Recipe

Sweet treats are for the pups too! This recipe is coming to you just in time to spoil your pup this Valentine’s Day… or even National Dog Biscuit Day on February 23rd! My fellow dog lover and bestie, D first introduced these treats to us, since she made them for her pup and Moz’s BFF, Maybel. They’re even gluten free and have dog friendly favorite’s like pumpkin and peanut butter!  So since D and Maybel moved to the coast, Moz has been in need for some homemade, yummy treats — and what better time to spoil her than for Valentine’s Day?
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Dog Biscuit Ingredients:
– 3 cups of brown rice flour
15oz can of pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
– 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
– 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
– 2 eggs

This recipe is pretty easy, the only thing that will take some time is mixing and then flattening out your dough – I also linked the pure pumpkin and brown rice flour above! It is quite messy to work with, so make sure to have extra brown rice flour on hand and readily available for multiple applications.

Pro-tip: I refrigerated the second half of the batch over night and prepped and cooked the next day and this was a bit easier to work with.
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Step-by-Step:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and get your un-greased cookie sheets ready!

2. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, I used a spoon and then just got my hands in there to mix everything together well. Optional: cover and refrigerate over night, for easier handling

3. After everything is mixed, divide the dough in half. Put brown rice flour down on your counter and heavily over your rolling pin. Then roll out half of the dough so it’s a half-inch thick. Cut with cutout shape of your choice, place an inch apart on cookie sheet.

4. Since this is a harder dough to work with, I did just roll a few balls together and pressed them down on the the sheet, while also making some cute dog bone and heart shaped treats for Moz!

5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. 35 minutes was enough for me to see the edges turning a golden brown. Let cool on a baking rack for 30-minutes.

6. Refrigerate or freeze baked cookies for longer storage, otherwise store in a room temperature treat jar for up to a week. When serving to your pup, feel free to add a thin layer of peanut butter on top for an extra special treat!
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My cookies didn’t come out looking the prettiest, but they soften a bit over time after they set and cook, Moz is definitely a little cookie obsessed as I was making these!  This recipe is from Betty Crocker and is a great one to keep on hand, especially since it’s a five ingredient recipe, and your pup will love them (plus you can even try a bit yourself – they aren’t terrible!). These are definitely Moz approved ✅🐶!

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Overnight French Toast Casserole – The Recipe

For Easter brunch this year I made a new dish, that I’ve had at my aunts but this was new to my immediate family and for me! So it was a perfect time to make it for them.  Plus, it’s an overnight casserole, so all your prep is the night before and all you have to do morning of is pop it in the oven – SO EASY! Not to mention, this is SOOOO good, especially if you love some breakfast sweets.
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Prep Time: 20-minutes
Cook Time:
45-minutes

What You’ll Need:
– 10-12 slices of white bread (I used 10)
– 5-6 eggs (I used 6)
– 1/2 cup of margarine aka 1-stick
– 1.5 cups of brown sugar
– 1-teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1.5 cups of milk (I used almond milk)
– 9×13 baking pan
– Maple Syrup for serving
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Step-by-Step:
1. Items to prep ahead: (a) Melt your stick butter (b) Beat your 6-eggs into a bowl, add your milk and stir well (c) Mix your brown sugar and cinnamon into a smaller bowl.
2. Now that you have all the main fixings prepped, take your 9×13 baking pan and pour your melted butter across the bottom – from there fill the pan with your first layer of bread.  Only 4-full pieces fit in my pan, so I cut one in half to fill in the little spot left.
3. Sprinkle about half of your cinnamon and brown sugar mix overtop the first layer.
4. Add your second layer of bread, I adjusted where my smaller pieces were from the bottom, just because!
5. Pour your egg and milk mixture over all of the bread.
6. Sprinkle the rest of your cinnamon and brown sugar mixture overtop.
7. Cover and refrigerate over night!
8. Good morning! Pre-heat your oven to 350 and bake covered for 30-minutes.
9. After 30-minutes, uncover and bake for 15-minutes or until set and toppings are browned.
10. Serve with maple syrup & enjoy! French Toast (6) - the bee life
The next time I make this dish, I have a few other ideas on how to step this up to the next level, adding in apples in between the layers for an apple french toast, or even having a strawberry drizzle to put on top before serving and eating. Doesn’t that sound even more delish?!  But seriously, if you love a good sweet in the morning – this is so easy and so delicious!

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Hot Whiskey Sours – The Recipe

Towards the end of the summer I shared my Granny’s famous Whiskey Sour recipe – that I mentioned my family is game to drink cold anytime of the year, it shows up at Thanksgiving and at summer parties.  But I thought it would be delicious to try this family famous recipe out with a twist as the colder days start creeping in and make it a hot drink for fall parties and winter gatherings!
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What You’ll Need:
– Ten High Whiskey
– (2) Frozen Lemonade Mixes
– Water
– Maraschino cherries for garnish
– Lemon slices for garnish

Step-by-Step:
1. Dump your frozen lemonade mixes into the pot on the stove.  Fill up empty lemonade canister with water and pour over top – repeat this one-to-one for each frozen lemonade mix being used.
2. Stir lemonade mix and water together and bring to a boil on the stove top, once to a boil, let it simmer and eventually turn off heat.
3.  Pour your whiskey into your glass first, a large shot or a 1/4 of the glass – then pour your water/lemonade mix over top.
4.  Garnish with cherry juice, a couple cherries and a slice of lemon and enjoy!

It was a delicious twist on a great refreshing drink and definitely helped warm us up handing out candy on Halloween!  I’ll always love the cold version, but mixing in this new, super easy hot cocktail will definitely be making a few appearances at our house – plus B really liked it.  Looking for other festive cocktails – get some inspiration with these.

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Dairy Free Queso – The Recipe

A little while back I shared a few recipes for my fellow dairy-free eaters that want to enjoy taco night!  Coming to terms with my dietary restrictions and not being able to enjoy some of the staples of taco night (sour cream… queso…) has been an ongoing process, but within the last year and a half, I’ve finally mastered saying no and working to find healthier alternatives that work with my diet! Enter; dairy free queso.
Dairy Free Queso - The Recipe - bee life blog
What You’ll Need:
– Cashews (2-cups)
– Nutritional Yeast (1/3 cup)
– Almond Milk (1/2 cup)
– Corse Sea Salt (2 teaspoons)
– Lime Juice (1 tablespoon)
– Chili Powder (1/2 teaspoon)
– Fresh Cilantro, chopped (1/4 cup)
– Rotel Tomatoes w/ chile peppers  (10oz can)

Step-by-Step:
1. Soak your cashews over night in water (5-hours minimum)
2. Drain cashews and mix with all ingredients except the Rotel Tomatoes.  Using a food processor blend ingredients on high until smooth.  I opted to try and use our Vitamix for this portion, I wish I would’ve pulled out the food processor – the consistency wasn’t as smooth as it should’ve been.
3.  Once the ingredients are blended, put mixture into skillet on stove top and mix in Rotel Tomatoes.  On medium/low heat stir as needed to warm and mix everything together.
4. Garnish and serve with chips and salsa!

This recipe was surprisingly easy to make and not time intensive – which is nice for a change when it comes to a dairy-free recipe!  I will definitely be giving this recipe a go with round two, this time using the food processor and probably a little more nutritional yeast to help with that cheesy flavor.  The recipe above was adapted from The Cookie Rookie – but will probably try a few others and adapt together. Do you have a dairy free queso recipe? Tips? Leave a comment, below!

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Blueberry Mint Mixer – The Recipe

Summer may feel like it’s coming to an end – but let’s hang onto it just a little longer… I have an easy and tasty cocktail to help fill those hot summer days and long weekends!
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What You’ll Need:
– Vodka of your choosing, I used Tito’s
– Tonic water
– Frozen blueberries
– Mint leaf ice cubes

Step-by-Step:
1. Prep! The night before, get some fresh mint and make some ice cubes with mint in them! Rip off mint leaves and place into the cube tray and then pour ice over, have it sit overnight and you’ll have some fancy and tasty ice ready for your drink!
2. Okay, time to make the drinks! Place your mint ice cubes into the glasses and sprinkle a spoon or two of frozen blueberries over the ice cubes.
3. Use a shot glass and pour your vodka in, this is totally on preference, but I usually keep my drinks 1-to-1 with alcohol and the mixer. Once you’ve added your vodka, top off with your tonic.
4. Give it a stir, cheers with your boo and enjoy!
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This one is easy to have all the ingredients stocked around the kitchen and has hints of summer written all over it with the light flavors from the mint and blueberries.  The pinkish-purple coloring really make this a fun drink – not to mention the pretty mint garnishes from the ice cubes!

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