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Entries in tina jeffers (122)


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.



blissful eats with tina jeffers: Chicken, black bean and sweet potato chili

The weather has turned here with a vengeance.  While I’m still wistfully longing for the days of sunshine and barbecues I must admit that I have a certain fondness for the fall.  Curling up in front of the fire with a good book or talking a walk and feeling the leaves crinkle beneath your feet it makes this one of my favorite seasons.  Rainy weather makes me crave something to chase away the chill and wet.  We love chili in our house because I can make a huge pot of it over the weekend and we can enjoy it on nights when we are getting home late from work or basketball practice. 

I prefer to use dried chili’s that are toasted, soaked and then pureed in my chili recipes; they add a depth and richness to the chili that is more intense than dried chili powder.  If you don’t want to bother with this step you can substitute 2 tablespoons of good chili powder for the puree.  Be creative with the toppings for your chili, we like a little sour cream, cheese and fresh lime juice, but radishes, chopped onions and fresh cilantro are just a few other suggestions.  This recipe also makes a wonderful vegetarian chili if you omit the ground chicken.  Like with most chili the longer you cook it the deeper the flavor and it tastes even better the second day.

Chicken, black bean and sweet potato chili


Serves 6




3 whole dried ancho chiles

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 ½ pounds ground chicken breast

2 cups chopped red onion

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 bottle (12 ounce) of mild lager beer

1 can (15-ounce) fire roasted tomatoes

1 can (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups diced peeled sweet potato

salt and pepper to taste


Toast dried chilies in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and blistered, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Remove stems and seeds; discard.  Transfer chiles to a small saucepan and add enough water to just cover roughly 1 cup.  Bring the chiles to a boil and add the apple cider vinegar.  Let soak for 30 minutes and then puree in a blender.

Heat a large pot over high heat.  Add one tablespoon oil.  Season chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.  Cook the chicken about 8-10 minutes or until it begins to take on color.  Transfer to a plate. 

Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the onions and garlic and cook over medium-high heat until onions start to caramelize and take on color about 8-10 minutes.   Add cumin, cocoa and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute.  Add beer and cook for a minute scraping the bottom of the pan.

Stir in chicken and chile puree.  Add tomatoes, black beans, sweet potatoes and ½ teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer gently partially covered for at least 1 hour or up to 2, the longer it cooks the more the flavors develop.  If chili seems dry add a little water to the mixture.  Serve with sour cream, diced herbs, shredded cheese and wedges of lime if desired. 


a favorite home presented by one of my favorite people

hello blissful readers!

i cannot tell you how thrilled i am to introduce an extra post this week from tina jeffers.  tina spends her thursdays here on bliss sharing all things delicious...this week she is sharing a lovely home with us.  i have to tell you that i would so love for her to do both on a regular basis...love this gal! 

If only life could be as beautiful as the boards I curate on Pinterest.  Well sometimes it is.  Roughly a year ago I met Nicole at a workshop and we both expressed our love of Pinterest.  When I went home that day I made sure to follow her and over time came to realize that we shared very similar design aesthetics.  A few weeks ago I received an email from her inviting me to her house for tea.  I never expected when I accepted the invitation that I would be in for such a treat.  Nicole's house is like one of my favorite pin boards come to life.  Every corner is filled with a lovely vignette begging to be photographed.  We talked and I mentioned that I would love to take some photos of her home to show Mrs. French and hopefully post on Bliss.  I must admit I was a little nervous since I have never photographed interiors but it was a delight to be invited into her lovely space.  

A big thanks to Mrs. French for letting me share something new with you!  

Enjoy the tour!