Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie - My Favorite Go to Smoothie!

This is my favorite go-to smoothie since I always have the ingredients on hand! Might satisfy a chocolate craving in a healthier sort of way ;) Makes 2 cups and Serves 1-2 people. Nutrition facts are listed below for the entire 2 cups.

1 banana (approx. 95 grams peeled)

2 tablespoons chia seeds or flax seed

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons peanut butter powder

¾ cup milk

1 cup ice (about 10-15 cubes)

handful of spinach or kale leaves (optional)

Blend until smooth. I use the smoothie setting on my Blendtec. Serve immediately!


  • If you have a cheap blender the chia seeds may not grind up all the way, which is fine, but not the best texture, so you might leave those out if your blender isn’t powerful enough. 

  • Also, the sweetness of the final drink will depend on the size of your banana and how ripe it is.

  • I store my chia and flax seeds and my spinach and kale in the freezer, they last for a long time!

  • I LOVE my 2 Tablespoon stainless steel scoop for this recipe and many more!

  • If you are concerned about your spinach or kale completely blending in, you can blend the leaves and milk until no green specs are visible, first before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Kristi's Kitchen Hacks #6 Spray Bottle with Water!

This is one of my best kitchen hack ideas I had a few years ago! So simple but so useful! 😊 I literally use it multiple times a day! Everytime I heat up something in the microwave I just give it a couple sprays: rice, bread, pasta, leftover dinner entrees, etc. When a batter is a little dry, give it a few sprays! Roasting veggies in the oven or sauteing in a frying pan, give them a few sprays to help steam them and speed the cooking process without burning. 

I use this thing ALL. THE. TIME. and I get super angry when I can't find it because my kids stole it and are somewhere in the house spraying each other with it.... 😡😂 Anywhooo .... go pick a cheap one up at Walmart or the dollar store this week and you won't regret it!! 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I finally perfected one of my favorite soups with lots of flavor and a simple trick for a super smooth creamy cheesy base! It's really easy to make and perfect for Fall and Winter dinner menus! Serves 4-6 people. 

4 tablespoons butter

1 small to medium onion, roughly chopped

3 teaspoons minced jar garlic or 3 fresh garlic cloves

1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper

1 box chicken broth (32 oz, 4 cups)*

4 cups chopped broccoli, tiny florets

1-2 large carrots, grated, diced, or sliced

2 Cups - Milk/Cream Options:

1 cup milk + 1 cup heavy cream

OR 2 cups half and half

OR 2 cups heavy cream (extra rich/naughty ;))

6 oz grated cheese (cheddar or colby/monterey jack blend)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1.5 oz, optional)

salt to taste at end

Optional Garnish: bacon bits, extra cheese, croutons


Melt butter in a large soup pot.  Add onion and garlic, stirring over low heat until tender. Whisk flour, pepper, and mustard and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth while whisking. Next Step (with caveat*): Puree until smooth with an immersion blender OR use a regular blender to puree the onion/butter/garlic mixture with some of the chicken broth (if using a regular blender blend use room temp broth so you don’t accidentally burn yourself!) This is key to ensuring a super smooth soup texture in the end!

Bring mixture to a simmer. Add broccoli and carrots and continue simmering, covered until broccoli is soft and cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Optionial, you can then mash some of the cooked broccoli if you want with a potato or ground beef masher. Turn heat to low and add dairy/cream mixture, and cheese, stirring until melted and smooth and thoroughly heated. Add salt to taste.

Serve with bacon bits, extra cheese, or croutons!

*If you want the base to be on the thicker side, stick with the two cups of cream, or you can add a tablespoon or two of cornstarch dissolved in cold water at the end.

Slightly adapted from Our Best Bites and Smitten Kitchen.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Thai Coconut Curry (Any Variety)

Basic recipe for a delicious Thai Coconut Curry! Use your favorite curry paste and add your favorite vegetable! My favorite are sweet potato and broccoli :)


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small to medium onion, cut into large pieces 

3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed (3 teaspoons)

1 tablespoon ginger paste (find in produce section) OR 1 teaspoon ginger powder

1 teaspoons ground coriander

1-14oz can coconut milk, full fat*

4 tablespoons (60 grams) Thai Curry Paste (any color, red, yellow, green)**

Approximately 2-3 cups of chopped vegetables, whatever combination you like (white potato, sweet potato, carrots, green beans, peas, broccoli)

8-16oz thin sliced chicken breast (depending on how much veggie to chicken ratio you want)

1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

2 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste

1-2 tablespoons lime juice (optional to taste)

Water or chicken broth to thin if needed

chopped fresh cilantro and or chopped peanuts, for garnishing individual servings (optional)


Saute onions on medium low heat in oil until tender. Add spices (garlic, ginger, and coriander) and stir for one minute. Add a couple tablespoons of coconut cream from the top of the can and the curry paste. Stir for 1-2 minutes. Add rest of coconut milk. Puree with immersion blender (optional).

Add vegetables, chicken, salt, pepper, (and sugar and lime juice to taste). Cover and simmer low for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender and vegetables are cooked. 

Thin with ¼ cup of water or chicken broth if needed. Serve over jasmine rice. Garnish individual servings with fresh chopped cilantro and or chopped peanuts.

*I like Chakaoh and Thai Kitchen Brands of coconut milk

** Curry paste brands will vary in taste and heat. I like Mae Ploy, Thai Kitchen and Mae Anong brand

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Sour Cream and Soda Biscuits

Rich, light, delicious, and most importantly easy! Perfect for breakfast or a companion to dinner! Very similar to the biscuits served at The Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma!

2 cups Bisquick (240 grams) (I prefer Heart Smart Bisquick made with canola oil)

1/2 cup sour cream (120 grams)

1/3 cup soda (Sprite, 7up, Sierra Mist, or  Ginger Ale  type; I just keep the mini cans on hand for this)

1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 450. Stir sour cream and bisquick until well mixed in and crumbly, using a long fork or a wooden spoon. Pour in soda and stir until it forms a ball. Dust the counter with bisquick and knead the dough a few times until it comes together, may need to add a T or two of bisquick to the dough if it is sticky. Spread approximately 1 tablespoon of the melted butter over the bottom of an 8x8 pan with a pastry brush (may need a larger pan for option 2 below*) 

Next Step 2 Options:

  1. Press dough into the buttered 8 x 8 pan, spreading it out evenly. Then cut the dough with a sharp knife into 9 even squares. 

  2. OR you can roll out the dough, cut into circles, and place them in the buttered pan.*  

Spread remaining 3 tablespoons of melted butter over the biscuit dough with a pastry brush. Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve immediately!

Note on Bisquick: It should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, once opened, and it will last for months! I keep it in the freezer so I always have some on hand :)

Adapted from The Recipe Critic

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Kitchen Hack #5 Buy Cooking Broth at Dollar Tree!


Kristi's Kitchen Hack #5 Buy Broth From Dollar Tree!! I've been buying my cooking broth From Dollar Tree for over 10 years and it's one of my best money saving secrets! It's hands down the cheapest you can find anywhere and it's never gone up in price ;) Plus it's really good! #kitchenhacks

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Homemade Ice Cream Tutorial and Recipes

Easy ice cream tutorial and recipes, just in time to bring some summer quarantine happiness!Yay for homemade ice cream with simple ingredients you can trust and pronounce ;) 

Base Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream*

1 cup milk (any %)

¾ cup white sugar

⅛ teaspoon salt

Place freezer bowl in a plastic grocery bag in deep freeze (at least 0 degrees F) for at least 24 hours. Be sure it is sitting on a level surface in the freezer.**

Dissolve sugar, extract, and salt in the milk by whisking, blending, shaking, or mixing with a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes. Put milk mixture and heavy cream into the freezer for 15-30 minutes to get very cold. Take the freezer bowl out of the freezer just before you are ready to add the ingredients. Assemble the ice cream maker and turn it on. Add milk mixture and cream to the ice cream maker at the same time while it is turning. Process for 15-20 minutes until expanded and thick. Add any additional add-ins and process for an additional 2-5 minutes. Store in freezer safe container in deep freeze for 4-24 hours before serving.***


*If you want to vary the fat content or how creamy vs icy it is, you can use a lower percentage of milk (1% or skim) or reduce the heavy cream to 1.5 cups and increase the milk to 1.5 cups. Don’t reduce the heavy cream volume any more than 1.5 cups (50% of the base). I prefer to make it with 2 cups of cream and skim or 1 or 2% milk, since cream comes in a pint and I prefer not to have any leftover. With 1.5 cups of cream it will be a lot softer, more like a frosty starting to melt, right out of processing. With 2 cups it is much firmer.

**Do not store ice cream in the ice cream maker freezer bowl. Immediately rinse and wash out the freezer bowl, let water drain out, then wrap back in a plastic grocery sack and put it back in your freezer. If it hasn't completely thawed it should be good to go to make ice cream again by the next morning. If it has thawed it may take up to 24 hours of freezing time before you can make another batch. If your ice cream doesn't process correctly it means your bowl wasn't frozen long enough or your freezer isn't at low enough of a temperature.

***Right out of processing ice cream will be a soft serve consistency. Enjoy immediately if that's what you want or store in the freezer to harden. I find the best scooping consistency results when freezing the processed ice cream overnight or 24 hours :)


Freezer storage containers (insulated containers that keep ice cream easy to scoop OR regular round freezer storage containers, will keep ice cream hard) DO NOT store your ice cream in the ice cream maker's freezer bowl.

Ice cream maker - I have the Cuisinart 1.5qt ICE-20 (these recipes will also work in a 2qt ice cream maker) 


Vanilla or Vanilla Bean

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Add add beginning of processing


3 T cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Mix in blender with milk, sugar, and salt for 30-60 seconds

Cookies and Cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

12 small crunchy chocolate cookies, chopped or crushed (if using Oreos, remove the frosting layer first)

Add vanilla at the beginning of processing. Add cookies during the last five minutes. 

Mint Chip or Mint Oreo

½ teaspoon mint extract (I like Watkins brand)

2-6 drops green food coloring (optional)

Add into milk and sugar mixture. Add the chocolate below during the last five minutes of processing time. 

4 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, finely chopped

OR 12 small crunchy chocolate cookies, chopped or crushed (if using Oreos, remove the frosting layer first)

Peanut Butter Cup

3 tablespoons peanut butter powder (like this)

⅔ cup white sugar

4oz chopped mini reeses cups

Fruit Swirl

6 oz fruit, crushed (like strawberry, raspberry, or mango)

Add to basic vanilla ice cream recipe

Mix ¼ cup of the sugar with the crushed fruit. (Make your ice cream base with the remaining ½ cup sugar.) I use a ground beef masher to crush the fruit.  Heat in a saucepan until simmering, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Add 1-2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in water .Continue to simmer and stir for approximately 5 minutes until mixture is thickened and fruit is fully cooked. Transfer to a small container and store in the fridge or freezer until cold (not frozen). When basic vanilla ice cream is processed add ⅓ of it to your freezer container and swirl in ⅓ of the fruit mixture with a spoon or knife. Repeat for the additional two layers.  (Note: I have tried adding raw fruit to the ice cream and it just froze into hard ice pieces, which is why I recommend cooking it first). 

Other Add in Options for Vanilla or Chocolate Ice Cream

- chopped heath bar

- chopped nuts

- marshmallows

- brownie bits

- fudge or caramel swirl

- chopped candy bars

Monday, June 29, 2020

Lemony Garlic Butter Herb Basmati Rice (Electric Pressure Cooker)

Hands down my favorite food is rice and this is the latest recipe that I'm obsessed with. I love rice so much that for me it's a main dish :) I serve this with a side of chili or black beans and a sweet potato or salad. Please use basmati rice for this recipe! It's tender and stays separated. Other rice varieties will not turn out as well.

1.5 cups basmati rice
2 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups water + 2 teaspoons better than bouillon)
4 T salted butter (or half butter, half olive oil)
½ tablespoon dried oregano
½ tablespoon dried basil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one lemon + 2 T lemon juice

Spray pot with nonstick cooking spray. Add rest of ingredients. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Natural release for 5-10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Fluff well and mash and mix in garlic cloves if still intact. Additional salt/pepper and or lemon juice to taste if desired. 

*if you don’t have lemon zest, just add lemon juice

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Wooden Scrapbook Paper Jewelry

Easy fun craft that can be made for adults, tweens, or kids :)

wooden circles from craft store
large popsicle sticks
scrapbook paper
modge podge
earring hooks and rings
glass mason jars
blow dryer, optional

Earrings: Cut out piece of scrapbook paper slightly larger than the circle. Glue on with modge podge, let dry, Cut the excess off. Put layer of modge podge on top and let dry (can use blow dryer to speed up the process). Drill hole near top and attach ring and earring hook,

Bracelets: Boil popsicle sticks in a saucepan for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Bend into mouth of mason jar, pulling tight to form smooth arched shape, and let dry in the jar overnight. Trace the paper with a flat popsicle stick, cut out, and modge podge on trimming away any excess. Let dry and modge podge the top. Glue ribbons on to tie, optional.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Good Morning Granola

Easy and adaptable to whatever nuts or fruits you prefer! The best and easiest granola recipe I've found and it's made with natural sweeteners! Wake up to this for breakfast and it will definitely be a good morning :)

3 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups chopped nuts (pistachio, sliced almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts)
1 cup dried shredded coconut
¼ cup flax seed or chia seed
1/2-3/4 cup coconut oil (*see note)
2 T honey
2 T real maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

½-1 cup raisins or other dried fruit (craisins, cherries)

Stir ingredients (except dried fruit) together in a large bowl. Spread onto a large baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir in raisins. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to form clusters. Store in an airtight container. 

*If you want it a little less oily, use 1/2 cup. It won't cluster as much with 1/2 cup but it's still excellent and crispy!

Slightly adapted from

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Servings: 18
Amount per serving 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18.2g23%
Saturated Fat 13.3g66%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 2mg0%
Total Carbohydrate 22.9g8%
Dietary Fiber 3.8g13%
Total Sugars 4.4g 
Protein 4.1g 
Vitamin D 0mcg0%
Calcium 19mg1%
Iron 2mg14%
Potassium 163mg3%