Archives for April 2016

Loaded Pepperoni Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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Beauty comes in all sizes and shapes, small,
large, square, circle, thin crust, thick crust, stuffed crust, four cheese,
extra toppings. . .  See what I did
there? We all know that pizza is one of the best foods out there. This recipe just made it even better. Pizza is incredible, right out of the
oven, or right out of the fridge the next day ( cold leftover pizza is amazing!
). There is truly no wrong time to devour pizza.  There are a myriad of scrumptious
pizza combinations from veggie lovers, to bbq chicken, hawaiian, and dare I say it. . bacon pizza! ( Yes, it exists ). Whatever your hungry heart may be craving, pizza delivers.

I love classic pepperoni pizza, or a stringy four cheese round. You can never go wrong with cheese. I decided to take a shot at classic pepperoni with this recipe and jazz it up a little. I loaded it up with red peppers, baby bella mushrooms, sweet basil, and fresh mozzarella! This topping combination elevates classic pepperoni to a whole new level. This pizza is.. chic. Is that even possible? Each bite is beautifully balanced; equally spicy and savory. There is a hint of red pepper flakes to add warm heat, and sweet basil adds a gentle herby flavor. Fresh mozzarella seals the flavors together with a hint of salt, and adds a divine creamy texture that dances with the pepperoni. Okay, i’m making myself incredibly hungry right now! All of these sumptuous flavors are carried by an amazing cauliflower pizza crust. This cauliflower crust is better than classic crust. I am making that claim you guys! It. is. outstanding. 

Marrying together creamy melted cheese and savory sauce with your favorites toppings on a crispy warm crust is the epitome of deliciousness. Without that delectable crust to carry those
yummy toppings we would just be chowing down on veggies, and stacks of pepperoni. Which is fine, I love me a veggie bowl. There is a certain satisfaction, though, in gently lifting a slice of heaven up and knowing that you are about to partake in a cripsy, salty culinary love affair ( Wow, Jen, that got intense ). You’ll understand when you take that first bite of this cauliflower crust. 

This life changing pizza serves two or one intensely hungry person. Bless the clever culinary soul who thought up cauliflower based crust. You can eat the entire pizza without a shred of guilt, or extra bulge. Now we can have our pizza crust and eat it too!

 Pepperoni, Mushroom, and Red Pepper Pizza
– With Cauliflower Crust –
Prep Time: 20 min  |  Cook Time: 25 min  | Servings: 2 – 4

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Ingredients:
For the crust 
– 1 medium size head of cauliflower
– 1 egg 
– 1 teaspoon oregano
– 1 teaspoon sweet basil
– ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
– Small palm full of red pepper flakes ( optional )
– pinch of sea salt
For the toppings
– ¼ cup pre-cut baby bella mushrooms (you can find small pre-cut portabella’s in the produce section)
– half of a red bell pepper cut into strips ( about 10 bell pepper strips )
– ¼ cup turkey pepperoni slices ( about 15 slices )
– 3 slices of fresh mozzarella 
– ½ cup pizza sauce

Instructions.
First things first, preheat the oven to 425˚, and line a pizza pan, or baking sheet, with parchment paper. Then begin with the cauliflower crust! Rinse the head of cauliflower, pat dry, and remove florets from stalk. If you’re feeling a little lost because you’ve never worked with cauliflower before, think of it this way: You are basically dealing with albino broccoli here. So treat it as such. Just cut the florets off of the stalk and pop them into a bowl. Easy as pie! ( get it.. because pizza.. pizza pie! )

1. Begin by making cauliflower “rice”. Place cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse in until a rice or grit like texture is achieved. If you do not have a food processor you can use a fine cheese
grater!

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2. Fill a medium pot with an inch of
water and bring to a boil. Add in the cauliflower rice, cover, and boil for 4 -5 minutes. Drain into fine mesh strainer, and transfer onto a cheesecloth or a clean thin dish towel.  Wrap up the
steamed cauliflower rice into the dishtowel, twist it up, and squeeze all of
the excess moisture out. This is the most important step! If there is too much
moisture, the crust will be soggy. So squeeze like heck!
The rice will be very hot so please be careful not to burn your hands. 
In a pinch you can microwave the riced cauliflower instead of boiling it. Microwave for 4-5 minutes on high, then squeeze all of the moisture out in the same manner as above.
3. In a medium size bowl, mix together the strained ( and squeezed ) cauliflower rice, egg, parmesan cheese, and spices. Use a fork or your hands to work the ingredients together. Place dough on lined pizza pan and pat out into desired shape. Dough should be about a ¼ of an inch thick. Bake for 20 minutes. When the crust is a warm golden brown on the edges and top it’s ready!

4. Now it is time to add all of the delicious toppings! Start with pizza sauce then add the mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, and mozzarella to top it off! You can add as much of the toppings as you desire. Go light or go heavy! Whatever your hunger inspires you to do 😉 
5. Return pizza to oven and bake for 10 minutes or until toppings are bubbly and especially delicious to the eyes! 
Remove from oven, slice, and enjoy! I suggest sprinkling more parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes for an extra kick of flavor. You can customize this pizza in anyway that you like. The cauliflower crust is SO GOOD. You can make a hawain, supreme, classic pepperoni, bbq chicken. . the possibilities are endless!
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What are your favorite pizza toppings? Will you try them with this cauliflower crust? Share your cravings with me in the comments! Have a beautiful day!
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Bohemian Knotted Twist Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WholeBlends #CollectiveBias

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Hey girls!! How was your weekend!? April is THE nicest month here in South Carolina ( Am I right SC girls!? ). The weather is somewhere in-between cool and hot..so that’s lukewarm. That’s probably not the best way to convince you that it’s beautiful outside, but, I am loving this lukewarm weather and the summer activities that it is ushering in! This past weekend Austin and I ventured out to the pool for the first time this season. It was a glorious release after being wrapped up in sweaters for so long. With all of the time in the sun, exposure to chlorine, and on beach days, salt water, my hair takes a beating during the summer months! The curls can get quite depleted. I am a huge fan of wetting my hair before getting into the pool to prevent too much chlorine absorption, and using coconut oil masks to restore the lion’s mane! Often times though, that simply isn’t enough. I have been using Garnier products for years, and recently turned to their new Whole Blends Refreshing Hair Care  to revitalize my curls and boost shine for my summer hair! It is a wonderfully refreshing hair care system with essence of green apples and green tea! Two things I love to eat and drink on a regular basis as well, because.. YUM. Now my hair can enjoy their benefits too!

You can find the entire Whole Blends line here. The line has something for everyone and every type of hair; smoothing, hydrating, nourishing and more! If your hair needs a little love, snatch up one of the new Garnier Whole Blends hair care systems at your local Walmart and treat your strands!

One of my go-to hairstyles for spring/summer is this fun Bohemian Knotted Twist half-up style. It is quick, easy, and works on all hair; curly, straight, iron curled, all of it! You can even create this knotted twist with shorter hair. Shout out to my girls with long bobs!
BOHEMIAN KNOTTED TWIST TUTORIAL
   Bobby Pins  |  Texturizing Spray  |  Hairspray

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The key to any hairstyle looking great is starting with strong, healthy hair. I use the Whole Blends Refreshing Hair Care to give my hair the revitalizing nourishment it needs to stay bouncy, shiny, and smelling amazing! I am so glad I made the switch to this hair care system. The shampoo and conditioner leave my hair volumized and silky! The third step to this hair care system is the 5-in-1 lightweight spray. It detangles, protects, and primes, leaving hair happy all day. Happy hair is pretty hair!

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Step 1. Starting with freshly washed hair or lived in hair, spray ends with a texturizing spray like the Garnier Beach Chic or Whole Blends 5-in-1 Lightweight Spray. Spray a generous amount on hands and tousle hair at the roots. This will give your hair more texture and volume!

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Step 2. Sweep your hair back and section off the hair on top of your head; With your pointer fingers, start at hairline above the arch of your eyebrows, and gather the front portion of hair up into a non-fastened pony ( like you would gather hair for a pompadour ). Holding the tail of the pony securely, take your pointer finger and middle finger on the opposite hand and twist the pony tail around into a knot, pulling the tail all the way through. Secure with bobby pins, and give the knot a few gentle tugs to loosen it up a bit.

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Step 3. Again, with your pointer fingers, starting just in front of your ears, gather up hair to the crown of your head ( in the same fashion as the first knot ).  Your hair should be half up and half down. Just like the first know, holding the tail of the pony securely, take your pointer finger and middle finger on the opposite hand and twist the pony tail around into a knot. This time, keep the loop open and grab a section of hair directly under the second know. Pull this section of hair through the loop, and let it cascade down. Secure second knot with bobby pins.

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That’s it! This Bohemian Knotted Twist is one of the easiest styles to do. After you try this once, you’ll be able to pull up the knots without looking in a mirror! It’s that easy. I love this look because it’s a little messy, and totally effortless. The bohemian vine is just fun, and perfect for summer! You can add a couple of braids to this look if you want even more of a boho feel. To keep this look feeling tousled and fresh, and give your hair a little boost, spray the ends with the Garnier Whole Blends 5-in-1 Lightweight Spray.
What is your go-to summer hairstyle? You can check out the entire Whole Blends line here.  What blend will you try? Will you give this fun boho style a go? Let me know in the comments. Have a beautiful day! xo, Jen
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With love,

Roasted Red Pepper Jalapeño Chicken Bake

I love to eat, you guys. Food is delicious, obviously, but, it is also a conduit for bringing people together! Namely, our nearest and dearest family and friends.This Roasted Red Pepper and Jalapeño Chicken Bake is the perfect meal for those times when you want to come together and share a meal, but, are short on time. Fresh ingredients, easy prep, and a bold flavor payoff make this Roasted Red Pepper and Jalapeño Chicken Bake a triple threat recipe. You can impress your family/friends with your cooking skills, without having to slave away in the kitchen.

Sounds like heaven right? Oh, it is.

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 Roasted Red Pepper Jalapeño Chicken Bake
 – with Gouda, Asparagus, and Potatoes –
Prep Time: 15 Minutes  |  Cook Time: 30 Minutes

What You Need..
4 Chicken Breast
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Medium Jalapeño Pepper
1 Large Lime
Gouda Cheese
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cilantro ( dried or fresh will do )
1 tblsp Butter

PREPARATION.
Preheat oven to 425. De-seed and roughly chop both the red pepper and jalapeño pepper. Place in a bowl and set aside.Roll the lime and slice in half. Set aside. Slice four hearty slices of the Gouda cheese and set aside in refridgerator. This will be a decandent topper for the chicken!

1. In a glass baking dish, place the four chicken breast evenly apart. Squeeze juice from both lime halves over chicken breast. Season with 1 teaspoom of black pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Sprinkle cilantro evenly over chicken breast. Break 4 tablespoons of butter into chunks and disperse over chicken, and in baking dish around chicken.

2. Grab the bowl of roughly chopped peppers and a spoon, and dish out evenly over chicken breast. Make sure the each chicken breast is evenly covered.

3. Cover chicken with aluminium foil and place in overn. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with Gouda slices and serve!

Serve this chicken bake with rice or potatoes, and any veggie that you like. Or serve all on its own! I served this Roasted Red Pepper and Jalapeño Chicken with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. It was a HUGE hit. I may or may not have hoadred some leftovers all for myself. This dish will make you greedy 😉

| Need help with a side? You may also like: Savory Roasted Asparagus

How adventurous are you in the kitchen? Will you give this recipe a go!? Let me know in the comments! Have a beautiful day, Jen xo

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