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Entries in blissful eats (142)


blissful eats with tina jeffers: No-bake pumpkin cheesecakes

I am sad to say that my son has officially arrived at the age where he is too cool to treat-or-treat.  I miss the days when we planned a costume and I made special treat bags for all his closest friends.  While I don’t usually dress up for the holiday I always enjoyed making him a costume. One year he wanted to be Harry Potter so I spent several weeks knitting him up an authentic Gryffindor scarf.  I guess I have to now satisfy myself with enjoying other little monsters and princesses that come to my door.

Needless to say I am horribly unprepared for Halloween this year.  I thought a pumpkin treat would get me in the spirit of the holiday.  I love pumpkin in any form and cheesecake is one of my favorite indulgences.  By making mini no-bake cheesecakes this is a dessert that is perfect for last minute gathering since you can have it ready from start to finish in about 20 minutes.   Have a safe and happy Halloween and visit me at www.scalingbackblog.com for more recipes!

No-bake pumpkin cheesecakes   




For the crust:

7 graham crackers or 1 cup of your favorite graham cookie or gingersnaps

¼ cup roasted hazelnuts

3 tablespoons butter


For the filling:

1 ½ cups heavy cream divided

2 tablespoons maple syrup

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup pure pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup maple syrup

½ teaspoon kosher salt


2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground ginger

a pinch of ground cloves


In a food processor or high-speed blender crush the cookies and hazelnuts into fine crumbs.  In a small skillet melt the butter over medium heat and then cook stirring occasionally until the butter starts to brown and smells nutty 4-5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the butter to the cookie mixture and stir to combine.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the mixture for garnish and divide the remaining mixture evenly into six small serving containers pressing gently to form an even layer.


Whip one cup of heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks form and set aside.  In the same bowl that you whipped the cream in add the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, maple syrup, salt and spices and process until smooth.  Gently fold the reserved cup of whipped cream in two separate additions. 


Clean the bowl of the stand mixer and whip the remaining ½ cup of the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup until stiff peaks form.


Pipe the pumpkin mixture over the prepared cookie layer and then pipe or dollop the maple whipped cream over the top and sprinkle with the reserved crumbs.


birthday lunch

hello all!  i used to make a big deal out of my birthdays...i used to say "if i don't make a big deal out of my birthday, who else will?"  seems so funny now since i try to keep my birthdays pretty quiet..keeping this year's especially quiet...*wink*

i do, however, feel pretty thrilled to spend my birthday lunch at farmshop.  the food looks amazing, but the interior has me completely floored...

i believe i could live in farmshop and eat very well in the process...

xo mrs. french

via remodelista photographed by mariko reed and katie newburn


blissful eats with tina jeffers: Baked coconut oatmeal

Now that the weather is changing I’m craving something warm and comforting to start the day with.  Heidi Swanson is one of my favorite bloggers and this is a variation of one of her recipes.  Here recipes are always unique, easy to prepare and free of artificial ingredients.  I basically took two of her recipes and combined them into one.  I loved the idea of coconut, lemon and poppy seeds for breakfast.  It’s nice to bake up a batch of this on the weekend and then I can have a warm breakfast ready in minutes.  The variations for this are endless and you can get really creative.  I think some mango layered into the mixture before baking would be lovely or you can switch things up and try a version with pumpkin and hazelnuts.  I’m sure you’ll see another version or two from me before winter is over.  Visit me at www.scalingbackblog.com during the rest of the week for more recipe inspiration!

Baked coconut oatmeal

adapted from Heidi Swanson 



1 cup flaked coconut

2 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup honey

1 1/2 cups low-fat coconut milk

grated zest from 1 lemon

1 large egg

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons turbanido sugar




Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Spread the coconut flakes on a baking sheet in a thin layer and toast for 5-10 minutes stirring occasionally until fragrant and lightly browned. 

Increase the temperature of the oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl mix together the oats, half the pumpkin seeds, half the coconut, the poppy seeds, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the honey, coconut milk, lemon zest, egg and the vanilla.  Add the oat mixture to the wet mixture and stir gently to combine.

Pour the mixture into a 9-inch baking dish, top with the remaining pumpkin seeds and coconut and sprinkle with the turbanido sugar.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the oats are set.  Drizzle with additional honey and milk if desired.



blissful eats with tina jeffers: Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

I had to make a dessert for a baby shower and when I found out that the mom-to- be loved peanut butter I knew I had to make these.  They were a huge hit and I’m glad I saved a few for home because there weren’t any leftovers.  It’s a recipe that I used to make years ago and it’s a pretty traditional cupcake and frosting recipe.  The batter is thinner than a normal cake batter since you add a cup of hot coffee to the mix.  The coffee adds a depth of flavor and results in a moist dense cake that is perfect counterpart to the decadent frosting.  I would recommend using a commercial brand of peanut butter for the frosting like Jif or Skippy, it will result in a super creamy not too sweet frosting.  If you decide to use a natural peanut butter you may need to add a little bit more sugar to the mix.  For more recipes visit me at www.scalingbackblog.com

Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting


For the cupcakes: 

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

¾ cup good cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk, shaken

½ cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


For the frosting: 

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 cups creamy peanut butter

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup heavy cream 


For the cupcakes:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.  With the mixer still on low. Add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a spatula.  Batter should look and feel more watery than normal batters.  Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup ¾ full.  A regular size ice cream scoop portions the perfect amount and allows you to get a consistent size.  Bake the cupcakes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Immediately remove cupcakes from muffin tin and transfer to a wire rack.  Let cool completely before frosting.


For the frosting:

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.


blissful eats with tina jeffers: Warm sweet potato and chickpea salad

I’ve never mentioned what I do for my day job have I?  When I’m not in my kitchen dreaming up new recipes I run a small gym that I own with my husband.  It’s a great way for me to stay in shape, make a living and have plenty of time to spend with my family.  Last week we spent the morning having a little team completion where we played games, worked out and finished it all off with a barbecue.  I wanted to make a variation from the usual potato salad that would be tasty, healthy and delicious.  This is a salad that I used to make all the time and I had forgotten about it.  The original from Smitten Kitchen is made with butternut squash but I am a sucker for sweet potatoes.  I like to add a little miso to the dressing for an extra kick of flavor, it’s totally optional but if you happen to have some in your fridge it makes a nice addition.  Be sure to visit me at www.scalingbackblog.com for more recipes and inspiration!



Warm sweet potato and chickpea salad


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen




For the salad:

2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¼ of a medium red onion, finely chopped

½ cup chopped fresh parsley


For the dressing:


1 medium garlic clove

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon miso paste (optional)

salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. 

Place the sweet potato on a large baking sheet, toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

While the potatoes are roasting prepare the dressing.  Grate the clove of garlic with a microplane grater or finely dice, sprinkle with a touch of salt and mash with the back of a spoon until you get a smooth paste.  In a small bowl add the garlic along with the lemon juice, tahini and miso and whisk to blend.  Add the water and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  You should be able to pour the sauce easily, add more water to achieve the desired consistency.

To assemble the salad, combine the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, onion and half the parsley in a mixing bowl.  Add the tahini dressing and toss gently to combine.  Sprinkle the top with the reserved parsley and serve.