The Little Things Newsletter #383 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! I’ve been outside as much as possible this week, soaking up this gorgeous fall weather. I’m reading a book right now where one of the characters is annoyed with Anne Shirley’s October quote, as he insists October is an awful month for weather, and I just had to laugh to myself as this has become one of my favorite months.

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 

ON THE BLOGS this week: Warm hash browns, crumbled bacon, eggs, and cheese create an Amish Breakfast Casserole that is pure morning magic.

Roasted sweet potatoes, crisp warm baby spinach, and spicy breakfast sausage are all topped with an egg in this Sweet Potato Hash.

Tender chicken and a rainbow of vegetables mingle with noodles in a smoky chipotle sauce to make this Chipotle Chicken Pasta an easy dinner that is out of this world.

Tender, juicy meatloaf is seasoned to melt-in-your-mouth perfection and smothered in a rich, velvety mushroom gravy that’s so good you’ll want to lick the spoon. Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy is your next favorite dinner.

Creamy, classic mashed potatoes are elevated with the sharp and tangy flavor of white cheddar cheese in these White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.

Sliced fresh apples, with a drizzle of peanut butter and honey, topped with a handful of crunchy chocolate peanut butter granola add up to a plate of the best ever Apple Nachos.

Freshly brewed espresso is poured over creamy vanilla ice cream to create Affogato, an Italian dessert that is a marriage made in flavor heaven.

Juicy peaches, cinnamon, and brown sugar bubble merrily beneath an irresistible fluffy crust in this Crockpot Peach Cobbler.

What I’m CRAVING: Creamy mashed potatoes are topped with breaded chicken, cheese, corn, and gravy to make these Chicken Mashed Potato Bowls! Oh my word, why have I never thought of doing this?

My FAVORITE THING this week is this set of pillows. Over the past few years, I’ve replaced just about every pillow in our home with these pillows. And our guests

Plum Galette

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Plum Galette

A plum galette on a baking sheet

Take advantage of the remaining plum season to make this super easy Plum Galette. Flaky pie crust is filled with juicy plums, flavored with warm cinnamon, it is the perfect transition dessert from Summer to Fall!

Are you tired of all the heat and already looking forward to Autumn with all of its amazing Fall desserts like this Pumpkin Bundt Cake, or this beautiful Apple Pear Pie? I totally feel you! But I want to introduce you to a great season transition treat, this super easy Plum Galette.

How to make Plum Galette

I used an all butter pie crust or a pate brisee for this recipe. But if you have a pie dough recipe that has been passed down in your family like this Mom’s Magic Pie Crust, feel free to use it instead!

  1. First, make the pie dough and let it chill out in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour. When it’s ready, take it out of the fridge and roll out into a circle, about 11” – 12”. 
  2. Slice up the plums and mix them with part of the sugar for about 10 minutes to release their juice. Discard the juice and mix the plum with the rest of the sugar, salt, cinnamon and tapioca flour (or cornstarch).
  3. Assemble the plum slices in concentric circles leaving a border with enough crust to fold over. Brush the exposed crust with egg wash and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar and sliced almonds.
  4. Bake until golden brown, about 30 – 35 minutes at 400°F.

Tips for Plum Galette

  • Macerate the plums with a little bit of sugar before you mix it with the rest of the filling ingredients will allow them to release some of the juice which can be a lot. This juice is to be discarded or reserved and reduced into a glaze if desired.
  • If you don’t discard some of the juice and use it all in the recipe, you’ll end up with soggy crust or having the juice spill out all over the baking sheet and burn.
  • Brushing the crust with some egg white will also help with preventing it from being soggy.

Delicious variations

  • You can add citrus zest like lemon or orange to brighten up the filling.
  • For a fancy plum almond galette version, you can roll out or press some almond paste to the bottom of the crust before adding the sliced fruits on top, similar to this Almond Apple Tart.
  • Change up the spices to suit your mood: allspice, cardamom, cloves, and ginger all go well with plums.
  • Add in a mix of stone fruits like apricots, nectarines and peaches.

Can I use store bought pie dough?

Absolutely, you can save time by using store bought pie dough. Just be sure to buy one you can roll out and not one that’s already shaped into a pie pan.

How to store leftover

You can leave leftovers on the counter overnight but if you’re planning to keep them for more than a few days, it is best to refrigerate. Refrigerated, the plum galette will last for 5 days to a week. 

You can serve it cold straight from the refrigerator or yo

Affogato

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Freshly brewed espresso is poured over creamy vanilla ice cream to create Affogato, an Italian dessert that is a marriage made in flavor heaven.

Horizontal shot of affogato (vanilla ice cream and espresso), served in a glass with a silver spoon and a floral print towel

Affogato

As a bona fide, lifelong lover of homemade ice cream, Affogato is an absolute dream come true. It’s the perfect blend of hot and cold, as the warm espresso meets cool ice cream.

Because the ingredients are not mixed or blended, you end up with a wonderful range of colors, textures, flavors, and temperatures in this recipe. Eating it is such a treat, because each bite is a slightly different experience.

Vertical shot of espresso mid-pour, starting to cover vanilla ice cream in glass

What is an Affogato?

If you’re wondering “What is an affogato?”, it’s really quite simple. Affogato is simply a shot of espresso poured of a scoop of gelato or ice cream. That’s it. No stirring required, just start eating.

The hot and bitter espresso is cooled and sweetened by the ice cream, while the freezing cold ice cream is softened and warmed by the espresso. Together, they become something more, something magical.

A shot of espresso pouring from a machine into a glass mugRead more

10 Vegan Recipes For Fall

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‘Tis the season for all of the comfort food! If you want to enjoy your favorite fall flavors without dairy or eggs, I’ve got you covered. I’ve gathered up 10 delicious vegan recipes for fall.

Hi friends! Anyone else feeling SO EXCITED for fall? Last year, I felt like I was going through the motions, but this year, I actually feel myself really looking forward to the upcoming season. I can’t wait for some fun celebrations with the fam and fall and winter activities.

I also feel like my cooking mojo has come back, so it’s been fun to finally enjoy cooking again and trying new recipes. For today’s post, I wanted to share some vegan recipes we love or new ones that are on our radar. Please shout out any fave fall vegan recipes in the comments below!

10 Vegan Recipes For Fall

1. Pumpkin Pie Protein Bowl

A delicious and healthy high-protein breakfast option that tastes like pumpkin pie! It’s gluten-free, vegan, and an awesome breakfast for busy mornings.

2. Apple Pie Walnut Baked Oatmeal

This apple pie baked oatmeal is gluten-free, vegan, and an incredibly delicious make-ahead breakfast option. This is perfect to make as part of meal prep for busy weekday mornings. Simply reheat and eat.

3. Vegan Eggnog

Anyway, let’s talk about this recipe! It’s a holly jolly holiday beverage, minus some of the ingredients that can make us want to crawl into hibernation. (Don’t worry, there’s still some booze in there if you want it!) For a creamy egg-less eggnog, I used my favorite strategy for awesome texture minus the dairy: soaked cashews, plus a little turmeric for that light golden egg-ish color.

4. Pumpkin Pie Mousse

141: Ditching the “all or nothing” mindset, Q&A episode

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Hi friends! How are you? I hope you’re enjoying the morning! New podcast episode is up with a little Q&A. Thank you so much to those of you who submitted questions via Instagram. If you have any topic or guest requests, please send them my way!

141: Ditching the “all or nothing” mindset, Q&A episode

Here are today’s questions:

– How do I improve my all or nothing mindset? I feel like when I’m on the plan, I can stick with it, but once I do something that’s not on the plan, the whole day is ruined.

– How to adjust mindset/nutrition/movement when recovering from surgery?

– Lab ranges that are different in functional medicine

– Kettlebells! How to choose the correct weight? Where to start? Work with a certified kettlebell coach

– Nutrition certification and deep dive of coaching options

1:1 Coaching – email me with the subject COACHING gina@fitnessista.com for an application

Fit Team– phased strength training plans you can do at home, designed to improve strength, performance, and body composition

Vitality– health foundations, functional lab testing, and personalized action plan to get you feeling your absolute best

More resources from this episode:

I love love love the meals from Sakara LifeUse this link and the code XOGINAH for 20% off their meal delivery and clean boutique items. This is something I do once a month as a lil treat to myself and the meals are always showstoppers. You can join their fall reset now!

If any of my fellow health professional friends are looking for another way to help their clients, I highly recommend IHP. You can also use this information to heal yourself and then go one to heal others, which I think is a beautiful mission. You can absolutely join if you don’t currently work in the health or fitness industry; many IHPs don’t begin on this path. They’re friends who are passionate to learn more about health and wellness, and want to share this information with those they love. You can do this as a passion, or start an entirely new career.

You can use my referral link here and the code FITNESSISTA for up to $250 off the Integrative Health Practitioner program. I highly recommend it! Read more

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