Hot Cocoa and Toast

hot cocoa and toast

Do you have those memories that are just burned into your brain forever?  It was like you saw/heard/felt it yesterday but in reality is has been years?  I have a few of those gems from my childhood, and I pray that I never forget them!  I truly do hold them close to my heart, because at some point in my life the people/places in those memories will be gone.

One memory I was thinking about yesterday involves my Dad. If you have read any of my previous posts about my family, I simply adore my parents. Every morning while growing up, I would walk upstairs and be greeted by my dad sitting at the kitchen counter with a mug of hot cocoa and 2 slices of my Mom’s buttered homemade toast.  I can still hear the “clink, clink, clink” of his spoon on the mug as he would stir the hot cocoa mix into his milk. There is an art of “toast dipping”, just in case you didn’t already know. It’s a technique, really, on what angle to bring the toast into the cocoa, how deep to dip it, and for how long to hold it there before taking a large bite.  My Dad can teach you in less than an hour. Lots of toast and cocoa will be consumed.

Yesterday, I must have been feeling a bit homesick and needed some comfort food so decided to put my own spin on this favorite of my dad’s. I used protein powder in my cocoa and coconut oil on my toast. Just as delicious and tastes even better with a memory attached!

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 TB cocoa powder
few drops of stevia
1-2 slices Ezekiel bread
1/2 – 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Combine all ingredients in a Coco-motion machine and turn on. Toast the bread then top each slice with coconut oil and cinnamon.

1 cup hot cocoa + 1 slice toast + 1/2 TB coconut oil = 292 calories (based on a 100 calorie per serving protein powder).


Breaded Shrimp

Breaded Shrimp

What is it about appetizers or finger food that is so enticing to me?  Anyone else?  I am like a moth to a flame when it comes to bite-sized foods. I would be fine making meals out of appetizers for the rest of my life. So freaking good.  On that note….here is one more appetizer idea for the big game tomorrow, and just like the others, you can use it all year long.  The “breaded” part of this recipe is actually the same recipe I use on my Chicken Nuggets. If you do venture to make these tomorrow, run to the store and grab Grama’s Sweet Chilli Sauce.  This delicious sauce is perfect for breaded shrimp, and I use it on my tilapia during the week.  Have a fun Superbowl Sunday!

1 cup breadcrumbs or oats
1/2 tsp onion salt or powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt or powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
3 egg whites

In a blender or food processor, blend breadcrumbs (or oats) with seasoning and parmesan cheese and place in a gallon sized baggie. Dip shrimp into egg white mix then place in baggie with crumbs. Shake baggie until shrimp are completely coated. Layer shrimp in a single layer on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray (important so they don’t stick). Bake in oven at 400 for 20 minutes, turning halfway through. Serve with a sweet chili sauce or cocktail sauce.

Blue Cheese and Hot Chicken Bites

I have never been a huge fan of blue cheese.  It kind of smells like feet. Ok…it smells a lot like feet. And tastes like feet. BUT, once in a while if it is in the right combination, I love it!  This blue cheese dressing is one of those combinations. Pair it up with the hot chicken bites, and I am in heaven!  Crazy that my taste buds like this, but they do!  Another perfect appetizer for the big game this weekend. Make a lot of this one as they will definitely disappear quickly!

Blue Cheese and Hot Chicken Bites

1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
3/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB vinegar
1/8 tsp garlic salt
sprinkle of salt and pepper

1 lb raw chicken
1/3 cup Frank’s hot wing sauce

To make the dressing, mash the blue cheese and yogurt together with a fork. Stir in remainder of ingredients until well blended. For the chicken bites, you can use wings, legs, or I used chicken breast. If using chicken breast, dice into small, bite sized pieces. Toss with 1/2 of the Frank’s hot wing sauce. Layer on a baking sheet and broil for 8-10 minutes each side. Remove from oven and toss with remainder of hot wing sauce. Serve with blue cheese dressing.

Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

Superbowl Sunday is coming, and I’ve got party food and appetizers on the brain!  My next few posts will be related to this, but I think all of these ideas make great snack ideas, too, so you’ll be able to use these recipes year round. Bonus!

I have to admit that I find great satisfaction in being able to come up with my own version of foods, although sometimes it takes several attempts to get the recipe just right and sometimes I am the only one in my family that actually likes it.  Oh well…more for me!  This homemade version of sun dried tomato hummus is perfect as an appetizer at a party, as an afternoon snack, or as a spread for a delicious wrap or sandwich. It is super easy to throw together and tastes great with veggies or crackers.

Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans (drained)
1 oz sun dried tomatoes (canned in olive oil)
1/4 cup water
2 TB Tahini
1 TB lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Serve with vegetables and crackers or chips. Yields 1 1/2 cups.

Chicken Corn Chowder

It’s cold here in Utah. Bone-chilling cold. This weather makes me want to drink hot cocoa all day long, stay curled up by the fire, cook all my meals in a crockpot, and have all of those meals be some variation of soup.  Is that so much to ask?  Our crockpot is out at least twice a week during these cold-curl-up-by-the-fire days.  Today we tried a new recipe – Chicken Corn Chowder. If success is measured by the fact that everyone in the Allen household ate it and actually liked it, then this chowder was a smashing success!  The flavor will surprise you!  Enjoy and stay warm!

Chicken Corn Chowder

6 slices turkey bacon (diced small)
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 potatoes (diced small)
1 lb raw chicken
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups frozen corn
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

In a frying pan, crisp bacon. Remove bacon from pan and sauté onion and potatoes. In a crockpot, combine all ingredients and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bites

If I was a mom who baked cookies everyday for my children as they skipped home from school, these granola bites would be on my list. But I am not that mom, so I made them for myself. And ate almost all of them for myself. Don’t judge. I consider it research for my followers. They were all delicious, just in case you were wondering.  Simple. Easy. Clean. Yummy. Exactly how I like my recipes.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bites

1 1/2 cup oats
2 TB almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 TB honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
10 drops liquid stevia
1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients with a fork or a mixer. Drop into 12-16 equal portions on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. If you have any left over, they do freeze well.

Healthy Living Lectures and Workshop

Healthy Living Lectures and Workshop

I am excited to announce the next series of Healthy Living Lectures and to introduce the Healthy Living Workshop!  If you’re new to my blog or  haven’t heard of the lecture series hosted by Lyceum, you are in for a treat!

We created the Healthy Living Lectures specifically for women to provide them with the tools to live a healthier, happier, and fuller life. Whether that means providing recipes, stress management tactics, or how to deal with cravings, the lectures are meant to uplift, inspire, and create a call to action.

Over the next two months we have lined up some powerful training and recruited some of the best in our community to advance the healthy living cause. One difference between these lectures and those in the past, is that we are offering individual class sign-ups instead of requiring you to sign up for all 4 lectures (although I don’t know how you could choose just one!)

Healthy Living Lectures
Dates: Nov 14th, Nov 21st, Dec 12th & Dec 19th
Time: 9:30-11am or 7-8:30pm

November 14th: Exercise & Nutrition Myths, Trish and Jesse Allen
November 21st: Holiday Appetizer Cooking Class, Trish Allen
December 12th : Dealing with Seasonal Depression, Shanna Gwilliam
December 19th : Goal Setting & Your Five Year Plan, Jesse Allen
Price: $30 per class


Healthy Living Workshop
Date: Dec 6th
Time: 9am – 1pm

Trish & Jesse Allen: 5 Steps to Affective Behavior Change
Rachelle Chase: be.YOU.tiful – Being You and Loving It
Gordon Bruin: Motivational Interviewing, How to Communicate with Children and Spouse for Change
Price: $49 in advance ($79 at the door)

I want you to be able to come to ALL of the lectures and the workshop, so we are offering the opportunity to come to EVERYTHING for just $149. That’s how much I love ya and want you there!!

Click HERE to sign-up! (My blog is getting a new look! And more good things to come. Exciting!!)