HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE

This Hot Chocolate Cake is a moist chocolate cake, hot chocolate buttercream frosting and marshmallow filling! The combination is wonderfully decadent and addicting!

HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 1
HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 1

HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE

Hot chocolate just feels very holiday-y to me, but it’s obviously perfect for any cold weather.

And I’m a big hot chocolate fan. Have you ever tried it with Baileys in it? It’s amazing. And the more marshmallows the better.

HOW TO MAKE A HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE

Since hot chocolate isn’t going to be strong enough on it’s own to give a cake a full on chocolate flavor, the cake has to use both cocoa powder and hot chocolate. Otherwise you’d have a vanilla cake with a smidge of chocolate flavor. Not what we want.

HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 2
HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 2
HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 3
HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 3

Not only is the chocolate make amazing (if you haven’t tried it yet, you have to), but the frosting is SO good! It’s made with four whole packets of hot chocolate (assuming you use the individual packets for a cup of hot chocolate), but it’s dissolved in a small amount of milk, so you get loads of hot chocolate flavor without thinning out your buttercream. Sweet!

FLUFFY MARSHMALLOW FROSTING

The only thing that could make this cake better is a wonderful marshmallow filling. I used a marshmallow frosting made with just three ingredients – butter, powdered sugar and marshmallow cream. And since more marshmallows are better, I used almost a full container and a half of cream. I also made sure that this cake had three layers of filling. Not one, not two, but three.

HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 4
HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 4
HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 5
HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 5

The trick with this cake is layering everything. The marshmallow filling is on the softer side when at room temperature, so you will want to refrigerate the cake for about an hour after you torte and fill it – prior to frosting the full cake and decorating it. You might be able to get by without that step, but you’ll have to be really careful, since the layers slip around a bit. So do yourself a favor, and refrigerate it – it’ll be much easier to work with and it won’t budge again.

Once the cake is frosted, I added a white chocolate drip and a ring of marshmallows on top. I was torn between a white chocolate and regular chocolate drip. Both would have been so fun. But ultimately, since hot chocolate is covered with white marshmallows, I went white.

To help give yourself full coverage with the marshmallows, it’s helpful to have both mini marshmallows and marshmallow bits, which can fill in gaps and small spaces really well. It also gives a little size variety, which looks a little more interesting.

BEST HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE

The final result of this Hot Chocolate Cake is one amazing dessert! The combination of moist chocolate cake, smooth hot chocolate frosting and fluffy marshmallow filling is amaizing.SO yummy and such a fun cake!

HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 6
HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 6
HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 7
HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE 7

HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE

This Hot Chocolate Cake is a moist chocolate cake, hot chocolate buttercream frosting and marshmallow filling! The combination is wonderfully decadent and addicting!

  • Author: Zeeshan
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 slices 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE CAKE

2 cups (260g) flour
2 cups (414g) sugar
3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup (240ml) milk
1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup (240ml) hot water

HOT CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

4 tbsp (60ml) hot water/milk
2.92 oz hot chocolate powder mix*
1 1/2 cups (336g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup (237g) shortening
10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
2 tbsp (14g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1–2 tbsp water or milk

MARSHMALLOW FILLING

1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (115g) powdered sugar
10 oz marshmallow creme

WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE

6 oz (1 cup) white chocolate chips
3 tbsp (45ml) heavy whipping cream
Mini marshmallows
Marshmallow bits

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM, OPTIONAL

1/2 cup (112 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (230 g) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1–2 tbsp water/milk

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Prepare two 8 inch cake pans (see note below) with parchment paper circles in the bottom, and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
2. To make the chocolate cake, add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
3. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
4. Add the hot water and mix until well combined.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
6. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
7. To make the hot chocolate frosting, dissolve the hot chocolate powder into the hot water or milk. It’ll be fairly thick. Set aside.
8. Add the butter and shortening to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
9. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
10. Add the hot chocolate mixture and cocoa powder and mix until well combined and smooth.
11. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
12. Add additional water or milk as needed to get the right consistency.
13. To make the marshmallow filling, add the butter to a mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
14. Add the powdered sugar and beat until well combined and smooth. It’ll take a bit for it all to fully incorporate, so scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and keep mixing.
15. Stir in the marshmallow cream. Set filling aside.
16. When you are ready to build the cake, remove cake domes from top with a large serrated knife, if needed. Divide each cake into two layers, so you have four total layers.
17. Place the first layer of cake on cake plate or cardboard cake circle. Add half a cup of hot chocolate frosting and spread into an even layer.
18. Pipe a dam around the outer edge of the cake, then fill it with about 3/4 cup of marshmallow filling. Spread into an even layer.
19. Place the second layer of cake on top and add another layer of hot chocolate frosting and marshmallow filling.
20. Repeat with the third layer of cake and filling, then top the cake with the final layer.
21. Spread a light crumb coat around the sides of the cake, then refrigerate for about an hour to let the filling firm up a bit. The layers will slip around a bit if you skip this step.
22. After refrigerating, frost the outside of the cake. Feel free to use my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake with buttercream.
23. To make the white chocolate ganache, add the white chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl. Heat the cream just until it begins to boil, then pour over the white chocolate.
24. Whisk the chocolate mixture so that it begins to melt. Heat for another 10 seconds and whisk to continue melting. If needed heat another 10 seconds.
25. Drizzle the white chocolate around the top edge of the cake. I like to use a squeeze bottle, but you can also use a spoon or any other method.
26. Fill in the top of the cake with the ganache and spread evenly.
27. To create the ring of marshmallows, make the vanilla buttercream. Add the butter to a mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
28. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
29. Add a tablespoon of water or milk and the vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
30. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add additional water or milk, if needed for the right consistency.
31. Pipe a ring of the vanilla buttercream around the top edge of the cake, then add mini marshmallows and marshmallow bits.
32. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Cake is best served after letting it sit out for a few hours to come closer to room temperature. Cake is best when stored well covered for 2-3 days.

NOTES

1. For the hot chocolate powder mix, I used four 0.73 individual packets of hot chocolate powder. If you have one large container of hot chocolate powder, it would be about 20 tablespoons.
2. These two cakes are fairly tall once baked, so they will completely fill an 8×2 inch cake pan. If you have 8×3 inch pans, those would be ideal.

Keywords: hot chocolate cake, chocolate cake recipe, easy chocolate cake, marshmallow frosting, hot chocolate dessert, best chocolate dessert ideas, best chocolate dessert recipe

Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This pineapple upside-down cake is a classic recipe that never goes out of style! It’s delicious with the traditional pineapple, but try it with peaches or a combination of cranberries and orange.

Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake 1
Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake 1

Makes 9 servings

Prep: 20 min
Bake: 30 min. + standing
Total Time 50 min

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 can (20 ounces) sliced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 maraschino cherries
  • Whipped topping, optional

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°. In an ungreased 9-in. square baking pan, combine butter and brown sugar. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/3 cup juice. Arrange 9 pineapple slices in a single layer over sugar (refrigerate any remaining slices for another use). Sprinkle pecans over pineapple; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Blend in vanilla and reserved pineapple juice. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to batter, beating well.
  • In a small bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Spoon into pan.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before inverting onto serving plate. Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple slice. If desired, serve with whipped topping.

Peach Upside-Down Cake: Omit the pineapple, pecans and cherries. Drain 1 can (15 ounces) sliced peaches, reserving 1/3 cup juice. Arrange peaches over brown sugar. Substitute reserved peach juice for the pineapple juice. Cranberry Orange Upside-Down Cake: Omit the pineapple, pecans and cherries. Sprinkle 1 cup halved fresh or frozen cranberries and 1 chopped peeled orange over brown sugar. Substitute 1/3 cup orange juice for the pineapple juice.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

1 piece: 361 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated fat), 88mg cholesterol, 193mg sodium, 58g carbohydrate (46g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

KETO FRENCH SILK PUDDING

It sounds, looks, and tastes fancy but, this Keto French Silk Pudding takes about ten minutes to prep and only ten minutes to cook. It’s healthy and allergy-friendly as well? You can’t beat a dessert like this one.

KETO FRENCH SILK PUDDING 1
KETO FRENCH SILK PUDDING 1

Sometimes, you just want a dessert with a fancy name that’s actually pretty easy to make. I love making myself sweet treats but, rarely do I like to go over the top in the effort department. This Keto French Silk Pudding is a perfect sweet treat that takes little effort to make.

WHAT IS KETO FRENCH SILK PUDDING?

Have you ever had a French Silk Pie? That chocolate pie of goodness? I wanted to replicate that without all the carbs. Really, all of the flavor of the pie is in the chocolate filling and its easy enough to make.

There’s nothing like a decadent dessert that’s actually considered a healthy option. Keto French Silk Pudding is low carb, if you can believe it. No worries, you’re not sacrificing one ounce of flavor for this treat to be healthy.

WHAT DOES FRENCH SILK PUDDING TASTE LIKE?

Now this is a VERY RICH pudding. Don’t sit down with a huge big bowl otherwise you will be out of calories for the day in a jiffy. I would treat this more as a fat bomb.

It does have such a rich flavor, that you’re not going to be able to eat that much of this Keto French Silk Pudding anyway. If you like chocolate then, then you’re going to love this pudding. It’s rich, and smooth, and will hit any chocolate craving you might be having.

CAN I MAKE THIS INTO A KETO FRENCH SILK PIE?

Yes! It’s actually very easy. To do that, follow the directions to make the Keto French Silk Pudding. Then make my Keto Pie Crust recipe. Fully bake the pie crust and let it cool. Then spread in this Keto French Silk Pudding. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

HOW DO YOU MAKE KETO FRENCH SILK PUDDING?

  • In a large bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Set the cream in the refrigerator. 
  • Place Truvia, chocolate, eggs, and butter in a 1 quart saucepan. Melt together the ingredients over medium heat, stirring often. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. 
  • Slowly mix the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream, and stir gently until it is well-incorporated.
  • Pour into six 4 ounce ramekins and refrigerate until set, about 1-2 hours.

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MAKING KETO FRENCH SILK PUDDING

  • Do not overcook the egg mixture, or cook on a high heat, unless you want chocolatey scrambled eggs.
  • Don’t whip the chocolate and whipped cream together. Use a silicone spatula and just gently fold the two together until there are no longer white streaks.
KETO FRENCH SILK PUDDING 3
KETO FRENCH SILK PUDDING 3

If you’re attempting to eat healthy right now, don’t deprive yourself. Whip up this Keto French Silk Pudding and curb that crazy sweet tooth craving. I assure you, you’ll love it.

KETO FRENCH SILK PUDDING 4
KETO FRENCH SILK PUDDING 4

Keto French Silk Pudding

This Keto French Silk Pudding is decadent, delicious and surprisingly low carb. With only 5 ingredients, this simply delicious dessert is simple to make

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes

Total Time

20 minutes

Course

 Desserts

Cuisine

American

Servings

 6 

Calories:

320 kcal

Author

Zeeshan

Keyword: Chocolate Recipes, Easy Dessert Recipes, French Silk Pie Recipe, French Silk Pudding, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes, Gluten Free French Silk Pudding, Keto Dessert Recipes, Keto French Silk Pudding, Low Carb Dessert Recipes, Low Carb French Silk Pudding, Simple Dessert Recipes, Simple French Silk Pudding Recipe, Two Sleevers 

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Small Sauce Pan
  • 4 OZ RAMEKINS

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In large bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Set the cream in the refrigerator. 
  • Place Truvia, chocolate, eggs, and butter in a 1 quart saucepan. Melt together the ingredients over medium heat, stirring often. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. 
  • Slowly mix the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream, and stir gently until it is well-incorporated.
  • Pour into six 4 ounce ramekins and refrigerate until set, about 1-2 hours.  
  • Don’t cook the egg mixture over high heat, or you will unintentionally scramble the eggs. Low and slow.
  • Don’t whisk the whipped cream and chocolate mixture together. Instead fold it over gently with a silicone spatula until there are no longer any white streaks.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Calories: 320 kcal | Carbohydrates: 7 g | Protein: 5 g | Fat: 34 g | Saturated Fat: 21 g | Cholesterol: 129 mg | Sodium: 108 mg | Potassium: 207 mg 

 Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 1 g | Vitamin A: 899 IU | Vitamin C: 1 mg | Calcium: 55 mg | Iron: 4 mg

KETO PIE CRUST | VEGAN LOW CARB PIE CRUST RECIPE

It’s not easy to make a healthy pie crust. At least when you’re creating your own recipe. It took a few trial and errors to land this perfect Keto Pie Crust. It was well worth the effort–and guess what? No rolling required!

When following a keto diet, most recipes that call for a crust are just made crustless. Say that tactic goodbye and start using this Keto Pie Crust instead. It I guarantee it will make those recipes that call for a crust, much more satisfying.

KETO PIE CRUST
KETO PIE CRUST

KETO PIE CRUST | A KETO & VEGAN PIE CRUST RECIPE

Eating keto can be tough sometimes. It calls for a strict focus, especially at first, since there can be quite a few details to remember and include. However, it gets easier the more you learn about it and the more you find recipes like this Keto Pie Crust to make certain food more appealing.

WHY IS THIS THE BEST KETO PIE CRUST RECIPE EVER?

Do you know what special about this recipe?No rolling out the dough.Yes But it’s an exercise in frustration for me.So this super easy pie crust is one where you just mix up a bunch of ingredients in a bowl, and then you start patting.Which is also a great time to get kids involved, and I just think holiday cooking is so much more fun with kids.

Looking for a great filling for this pie crust? Use my Keto French Silk Pudding and make a delicious, low carb French Silk Pie

KETO PIE CRUST 2
KETO PIE CRUST 2
KETO PIE CRUST 3
KETO PIE CRUST 3

If you were trying to stick to your keto diet during the holidays, this Keto Pie Crust will help. It definitely makes the idea of not eating traditional pie much easier. It’s a “must try” kind of recipe.

Keto Pie Crust

This 3-ingredient pat out Keto Pie Crust recipe is a keto dieters dream! No need to make crustless pies in order to keep it low carb. It’s completely keto and vegan. 

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes

Total Time

20 minutes

Course

Desserts

Cuisine

 American

Servings

 8

Calories:

137 kcal

Author:

Zeeshan

Keyword: Best Pie Crust Recipe, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes, Gluten Free Pie Crust, Homemade Pie Crust, Keto Pie Crust, Low Carb Dessert Recipes, Low Carb Pie Crust, Pie Crust Recipes, Two Sleevers, Vegan Dessert Recipes, Vegan Pie Crust 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (112 g) Superfine Almond Flour
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) Powdered Swerve
  • 1/4 cup (54.5 g) Melted Coconut Oil

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix together almond flour and powdered Swerve.  
  • Pour in the melted coconut butter and mix well until you have a crumbly mixture. 
  • Tip the mixture into a 9-inch shallow pie pan. Use your fingers to pat the pie crust evenly into the bottom and then work your way up the sides. 
  • Once the mixture is evenly spread through the pan, use the tines of a fork to prick the bottom of the crust. 
  • Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes. If you find the top starting to brown faster than the rest, either cover the edges with foil, or reduce the temperature to 375F.  
  • Allow the crust to cool for 30 minutes and then fill with the filling of your choice. The French Silk Pudding would be perfect for this crust.   

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Calories: 137 kcal | Carbohydrates: 6 g | Protein: 2 g | Fat: 13 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Fiber: 1 g

Instant Pot Hamburger Helper

This quick and easy instant pot hamburger helper puts dinner on the table in no time and tastes just like the classic hamburger helper recipe we know and love, minus the unknown ingredients! 

Instant Pot Hamburger Helper 1
Instant Pot Hamburger Helper 1

It’s completely homemade, and you only have one pot left to clean at the end of the meal.

Instant Pot Hamburger Helper 2
Instant Pot Hamburger Helper 2

SIZE OF INSTANT POT USED IN THE PREPARATION OF THIS DISH?

-Use trusty 6-quart Instant Pot for this recipe, which is what I recommend for most families, and is what most Instant Pot recipes are based on. It can cook enough food for a family of four and won’t take as long to come to pressure as an 8 quart will.

CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED IN AN 8 QUART?

Unfortunately there isn’t enough room to double this recipe in an 8 quart Instant Pot.

CAN YOU FREEZE MACARONI?

Cooked Macaroni is a great food to freezer for future meals. Here are some tips for success:

-Cook the pasta to the Al Dente Point, but no more. That way the pasta won’t be overcooked when you reheat it. For this recipe, the quick release of the pressure valve helps to halt the cooking process. It’s also best to avoid reheating the pasta again before you freeze it.

-I love to make easy foil packets for freezing these. I lay out strips of foil on the counter and use a big spoon to create portions of desired size on each one, then I wrap it into a square packet, add the packets to a freezer bag, label it, and freeze! When you’re ready to eat, just pop the entire frozen foil packet in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or so.

-Ziploc bags are also convenient freezing vessels, just let out any extra air in the bag. Laying it flat and freezing it in a uniform rectangle shape will take up less freezer space but will also allow the pasta to thaw out at the same rate when you remove it from the freezer.

Adding vegetable oil on the bottom of the pan prior to browning the meat helps with this.

Instant Pot Hamburger Helper 3
Instant Pot Hamburger Helper 3

Instant Pot Hamburger Helper

Servings

6

Prep Time

5 MINS

Cook Time

20 MINS

Total Time

25 MINS 

Author

Zeeshan

Course

MAIN COURSE

Cuisine

 AMERICAN

This quick and easy instant pot hamburger helper puts dinner on the table in no time and tastes just like the classic hamburger helper recipe we know and love, minus the unknown ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 16 oz. dried elbow macaroni (equal to a 1 lb. box)

Instructions

  1. Set the instant pot to Sautee and add the vegetable oil.
  2. Add the ground beef and cook and crumble for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the onions and cook for another 3-4 minutes or so, until the onions are soft and translucent and the meat is cooked through.
  4. Add the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and salt/pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  5. Pour in ¼ of the beef broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to release the cooked pieces of beef that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. This will give the sauce extra flavor but also prevents the burn indicator from turning on during pressure cooking.
  6. Add the rest of the broth and submerge the macaroni into the sauce so that it’s completely covered.
  7. Lock the lid, seal the valve, and set the pressure cooking time to 5 minutes.
  8. Once 5 minutes are up, quick release the steam valve. Gently stir in the cheese using a silicone spatula until well combined. 
  9. Garnish with chopped parsley or Parmesan flakes if desired, and serve!

NUTRITION INFORMATION 

Calories: 747, Fat: 37 g, Saturated Fat: 20 g, Cholesterol: 113 mg, Sodium: 1072 mg, Potassium: 617 mg, Carbohydrates: 60 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 39 g, Vitamin A: 650%, Vitamin C: 3.3%, Calcium: 458%, Iron: 3.5%

Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad

Classic Chicken Caesar Salad accompanied by perfectly seasoned avocado slices and protein-packed, hard boiled eggs. An easy meal to make ahead in meal kit form for busy weeknights!

Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe
Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe

This Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad is a perfect meal to prepare ahead of time.

Cut and clean the lettuce and tomatoes ahead of time and put each ingredient into its own storage bag. Then, all that’s left is some easy assembly when it’s dinnertime.

It starts with Seasoned Chicken Breast.

Next up, the hard boiled eggs.

How long to boil eggs

  • Submerge the eggs in 2 inches of cold water in a pot on the stove-top.
  • Gradually bring them to a boil.
  • Once the boil is reached, cover the pot and remove them from the heat, letting them sit for 12 minutes.

Let’s move on to the avocados.

Grilled Avocado and Eggs
Grilled Avocado and Eggs

Finding Ripe Avocados

  • A ripe avocado should be slightly soft on the outside when touched.Test this by pressing on the end where the stem is.
  • Avocados that are still hard on the outside aren’t ripe yet, which adversely impacts their flavor and texture.
  • Ones that are TOO soft will end up being mushy and are overripe. (Beware of this when avocados are on sale.)

Keeping Sliced Avocados Fresh

  • If you’re slicing avocados ahead of time, drizzling them with lime juice will help to keep them fresh during storage. Otherwise they turn brown quickly.

Calories in an Avocado

  • There are approximately 322 glorious, energizing, calories in an avocado.

Seasoning the Avocado

  • Seasoning the avocado before adding it to this salad is a great way to pack in some extra flavor.
  • I use a combination of cumin, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder, (and perhaps a sprinkle of salt). These are my favorite guacamole seasonings and tastes great on the avocado in this salad!
Mixing Caesar Salad
Mixing Caesar Salad

Homemade Caesar Dressing

I’ve included a killer homemade Caesar Salad Dressing recipe below. The huge perk for me is that it doesn’t contain any mayonnaise! (Not a mayo fan.) This also means that it keeps in the fridge for a longer period of time. Score!

Make Ahead Tips

  • This meal can be made 2-3 days ahead of time if you’re using fresh lettuce, however, I recommend slicing the avocado no more then one day ahead of time.
  • Drizzle the sliced avocado with lime juice to keep the flavor fresh and the color vibrant.
Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe 2
Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe 2

Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad

Servings

4

Prep Time

15 MINS

Total Time

15 MINS

Author

Zeeshan

Course

 SALAD

Cuisine

 AMERICAN

Classic Chicken Caesar Salad accompanied by perfectly seasoned avocado slices and protein-packed hard boiled eggs. An easy meal to make ahead in meal kit form for busy weeknights!


Ingredients

  • 11 oz. Chicken Breast
  • 4 cups Romaine Lettuce chopped
  • 1.5 cups Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup Caesar Dressing
  • 1 Avocado
  • 4 Hard Boiled Eggs

Spices for Avocado

  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt optional

Instructions

  1. Place the lettuce, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, and salad dressing in a large bowl. Use salad tongs to toss until well combined.
  2. Slice and peel the avocados and sprinkle lightly with each spice.
  3. Distribute onto 4 plates and garnish with sliced chicken, hard boiled eggs, and seasoned avocado slices. 

Recipe Notes

Tip: Drizzle the avocado slices with lime juice to keep them fresh if prepping this ahead of time or storing leftovers.

An optional garnish includes a sliced tortilla that’s been brushed with olive oil and grilled or baked until crisp.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

 Calories: 546, Fat: 41 g, Saturated Fat: 11 g, Cholesterol: 259 mg, Sodium: 1097 mg, Potassium: 788 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 34 g, Vitamin A: 5010%, Vitamin C: 20.3%, Calcium: 514%, Iron: 2.5%

Homemade Caesar Dressing

This creamy homemade Caesar dressing contains a handful of simple ingredients that blend together perfectly. You’ll think it came from a gourmet restaurant!  

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

BEST OLIVE OIL FOR SALAD DRESSING

-Make sure you use high quality extra virgin olive oil when making this recipe. In turn, it’ll yield a high quality salad dressing and will ensure that the olive oil remains in liquid form when refrigerated.

CONSUMING RAW EGG YOLKS

Consuming raw egg yolks is certainly a personal decision, however the USDA considers it safe to consume raw egg yolks from pasteurized eggs, and notes that there is a low risk of an egg being contaminated.

Making-Ceasar-Salad-Dressing
Making-Ceasar-Salad-Dressing

STORING CAESAR SALAD DRESSING

-Homemade Caesar Dressing should be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

Note: Other homemade dressings that do not contain cheese or eggs (such as a vinaigrette) can be stored for up to two weeks.

TOOLS I RECOMMEND FOR THIS RECIPE

1.) Food Processor: If you don’t have a mini food processor, try this one. It is small enough where I can store it in the cabinet with my pots and pans, but large enough to fit the ingredients that I typically need to combine.

2.) Box Cheese Grater: This box cheese grater is super sharp and has every size of grate that you would need. I use the finest grate when I make this recipe so that my Parmesan cheese is super thin and almost resembles a powder.

  • PRO TIP: Buying blocks of cheese and grating it at home will always yield a better result.

3.) Garlic Peeler: This garlic peeler will remove the super thin skin from a garlic clove in a second. It really saves time and frustration for me on a daily basis.

  • PRO TIP: Using cloves of garlic as opposed to jarred minced garlic is much more flavorful and worth the extra effort.

DONT FORGET THE CROUTONS!

-Try my homemade sourdough croutons with this delicious dressing for a real gourmet spin!

Homemade-Caesar-Salad-Dressing
Homemade-Caesar-Salad-Dressing

HOMEMADE CAESAR DRESSING

Servings

10

Prep Time

10 MINS

Total Time

10 MINS 

Author

Zeeshan

Course

SALAD

Cuisine

AMERICAN

This creamy homemade Caesar dressing contains a handful of simple ingredients that blend together perfectly. Pair it with some homemade croutons for an extra touch of gourmet! 


Ingredients

  • ½ cup high-quality olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Romano Cheese finely shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 dash salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 whole anchovy filet I use one

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the garlic cloves and anchovy filet. Whisk for a good 60 seconds, until well combined.
  2. Add the whisked mixture to a food processor along with the garlic coves and anchovy filet. Blend until completely smooth.
  3. Refrigerate for a minimum of one hour prior to serving, it will thicken upon standing.
  4. Store the dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week

Recipe Notes

If the salad dressing is thicker than you’d prefer, add one teaspoon of water and stir well to combine. Repeat until you’ve attained your desired consistency. (Just tread lightly and add small amounts at a time.)

These mason jars make perfect storage containers for homemade dressing.

NUTRITION INFORMATION 

Calories: 116, Fat: 12 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 23 mg, Sodium: 41 mg, Protein: 1 g, Vitamin A: 40%, Vitamin C: 0.4%, Calcium: 39%, Iron: 0.1%

Homemade Croutons

These crunchy, buttery sourdough croutons are tossed in Olive Oil and sprinkled with freshly Grated Parmesan cheese. They’re so easy to make at home and can be ready in just 15 minutes! 

Sourdough-Croutons
Sourdough-Croutons

This is a perfect way to make use of some older stale bread that you might have lying around, especially a nice crusty homemade loaf.

Ingredients-for-Croutons
Ingredients-for-Croutons

BEST MADE FOR HOMEMADE CROUTONS

-A loaf of crusty Artisan bread is perfect for making croutons, particularly if it’s about 3 days old.

-Perfect examples include Sourdough, Ciabatta, and French Bread.

Sliced-Sourdough-Bread
Sliced-Sourdough-Bread
Sliced-Bread-for-croutons
Sliced-Bread-for-croutons

BEST OLIVE OIL FOR CROUTONS

-Make sure you use high quality extra virgin olive oil when making this recipe.

Sliced-Bread-for-croutons
Sliced-Bread-for-croutons
Croutons-before-Baking
Croutons-before-Baking

SHELF LIFE OF HOMEMADE CROUTONS

-Homemade croutons made with Parmesan cheese can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days. 

To extend the shelf life of homemade croutons, omit the Parmesan cheese and store for up to two weeks. 

cubes of bread on a baking sheet after being baked for homemade croutons.

Homemade Croutons

Servings:

10

Prep Time

10 MINS

Cook Time

10 MINS

Total Time

20 MINS 

Author

Zeeshan

Course:

SALAD

Cuisine:

AMERICAN

These crunchy, buttery sourdough croutons are tossed in Olive Oil and sprinkled with freshly Grated Parmesan cheese. They’re so easy to make at home and can be ready in just 15 minutes!


Ingredients

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread 3 days old
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut the sour dough bread into bite-sized cubes.
  3. Place the cubes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder salt, and pepper.
  4. Use a large spoon to toss the cubes and evenly coat them in the oil and toppings.
  5. Spread the cubes around, leaving space around each one so that the edges can crisp up. Use 2 baking sheets if needed.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. (Mine were done after 10 minutes exactly.)
  7. Leave them on the baking sheet to cool. Once fully cooled, store them in an airtight container for 2-3 days. 

Recipe Notes

  • French Bread and Ciabatta Bread are also perfect for making croutons. 
  • To extend the shelf life of homemade croutons, omit the Parmesan cheese and store for up to two weeks. 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

 Calories: 186, Fat: 6 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 322 mg, Potassium: 57 mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 6 g, Vitamin A: 15%, Vitamin C: 0.1%, Calcium: 44%, Iron: 1.7%

Ciabatta Bread

This crispy crusted homemade ciabatta bread has a soft, warm center with little crannies that are perfect for dipping into seasoned oil, butter, soups, dips, and more!

Cibata Bread
Cibata Bread

WHAT IS CIABATTA BREAD?

Ciabatta bread is an Italian bread with a crispy crusted outside, and a soft and airy inside. The crannies on the inside are a perfect way to absorb seasoned oil, sauces, and dips. Ciabatta bread also makes a great sandwich bread.

WHAT IS A STARTER DOUGH?

A starter dough (or “sponge”) is a simple mixture of yeast, water, and flour that sits for an extended period of time to allow it to ferment. It is then added to dough and acts as a leavening agent, perhaps with the addition of more yeast. This helps create the best tasting bread.

👉The top left image is what the starter dough will look like when its finished, nice and porous!

Making Ciabatta Bread
Making Ciabatta Bread

STORING CIABATTA BREAD

Before storing, ensure that the bread has cooled completely. Then wrap it tightly in foil or in an airtight plastic bag. Leave it at room temperature, do not refrigerate as that will cause it to dry out. It will remain good at room temperature for 2-3 days.

CAN YOU FREEZE CIABATTA BREAD?

Yes! To freeze Ciabatta bread, wrap it in aluminum foil or freezer plastic wrap and place it into an airtight freezer bag. It will be at its freshest if used within 3 months, however it’s still safe beyond that time-frame.

Ciabatta Bread
Ciabatta Bread

WAYS TO USE LEFTOVER CIABATTA BREAD

–Homemade Croutons are a perfect way to use up leftover Ciabatta bread.

-French Toast is also a delicious way to make use of bread that’s a few days old.

Ciabatta Bread 2
Ciabatta Bread 2

Homemade Ciabatta Bread

Servings

20 SLICES

Prep Time

13 HRS

Cook Time

20 MINS

Total Time

13 HRS 

Author

Zeeshan

Course

BREAD

Cuisine

ITALIAN

This crispy crusted ciabatta bread has a soft, warm center with little crannies that are perfect for dipping into butter, soups, dips, and more!

Ingredients

Yeast Starter Dough:  (Needs to sit for 8-12 hours. Overnight works well too)

  • 1/2 tsp. rapid rise yeast
  • 3/4 cup room temperature water
  • 1 cup bread flour or all-purpose flour

Ciabatta Dough:

  • 1/2 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
  • 3/4 cup room temperature water
  • Yeast Starter Dough from above
  • 2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

Phase One: Starter Dough:

  1. Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Cover with Saran Wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours, or overnight. This dough doesn’t rise so you won’t need excess room in the bowl. 

Phase Two: Ciabatta Dough:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and the water. Add the starter dough and mix gently. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined.
  2. Use a hand mixer and mix the dough on low for 3 minutes, then let it sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Repeat, mixing for another 3 minutes and letting it sit for 10.
  4. Remove the dough with a silicone spatula and drop into a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 45 minutes.
  5. Use the same silicone spatula and drop the dough onto a floured surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. The dough will be extremely sticky. 
  6. Take one end of the dough and fold it up into the middle. Take the other end, and fold that one into the middle.
  7. Sprinkle more flour on top of the dough and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  8. Repeat the two prior steps again, folding and letting it sit for another 15.
  9. Take the bread and create an 8×8 inch square.
  10. Use a sharp knife and cut the square in half. Cover each of the loaves with a light dish towel and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees while it sits.
  12. Gently lift the loaves onto a greased baking sheet, trying to touch them the least amount possible.
  13. Bake for 17-25 minutes, (mine was ready after 17 exactly so I’d keep an eye on it a little before that time.)
  14. Let it cool on a cooling rack and then slice it up and serve!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

 Calories: 69, Sodium: 175 mg, Potassium: 21 mg, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Protein: 2 g, Calcium: 3%, Iron: 0.2%

Texas Roadhouse Rolls

These Copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls are brushed with sweet honey butter and can be made in a bread machine or by hand! A perfect side dish idea for holidays and family dinners!

Texas Roadhouse Rolls
Texas Roadhouse Rolls

INGREDIENTS

  • Active Dry Yeast -See below for using Rapid Rise instead
  • Milk
  • Honey
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Flour- All-purpose or bread flour may also be used

Subbing Instant/Rapid Rise Yeast for Active Dry

  • Cooks Illustrated recommends using 25% less yeast if using Instant instead of Active Dry.
  • In this recipe, that equates to 1 + 3/4 teaspoons.
  • Combine the yeast with the flour instead of adding it to the warm milk.
  • Proceed as outlined, no need to let the milk stand for 5 minutes after combining it with the honey.

Can These Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes! Here’s how to make these rolls ahead of time:

  • Bake for no more than 12 minutes, before the tops start to brown too much.
  • Don’t top them with the melted butter yet. Let them come to room temperature and store them in an airtight container.
  • When ready to serve, bake for a few minutes at 350°, until the tops are golden brown.
  • Top with melted butter and serve!

Can You Use a Bread Machine?

  • Yes. Add the ingredients to a bread machine in the order listed in the recipe card and select the dough setting.
  • From there, proceed with rolling and cutting the rolls. Place them on baking sheets, cover, and let them rise until doubled in size.
  • Bake and brush with honey butter.
Ball of Risen Dough
Ball of Risen Dough
Risen dough being punched down
Risen dough being punched down
Rolling out tx roadhouse dough
Rolling out tx roadhouse dough

How to Make Dough Rise:

Dough needs a warmer environment in order to rise. If you’re having trouble, try these tricks. Note: it may take the dough longer to rise with these methods:

Method #1: (👉My favorite)- Preheat the oven to 315° F and place the bowl on top of a warm spot on the oven. For me, the warmest spot is right in the front of the oven between the front two burners.

Method #2: Place a baking tray on the bottom rack in the oven. Remove the top rack. Boil water and pour it into the tray, then place the bowl of dough on top and close the door.

-Method #3: (Assuming you have a warm place for the dough to rise but it still isn’t)-Take a new package of active dry yeast and mix it with 1/4 cup of warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes until it starts to foam. Knead the yeast mixture into the dough, and place it in a warm place to rise.

Cutting Dough for Rolls
Cutting Dough for Rolls
Brushing Rolls with Butter
Brushing Rolls with Butter

Texas Roadhouse Rolls

Servings

24 ROLLS

Prep Time

1 HR

Cook Time

15 MINS

Time

1 HR 45 MINS 

Author

Zeeshan

Course

SIDE DISH

Cuisine

American

These Copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls are brushed with sweet honey butter and can be made in a bread machine or by hand! A perfect side dish idea for holidays and family dinners!Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons melted Butter, separated
  • 1 large Egg at room temperature
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 4 cups all-purpose Flour or Bread Flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon Active Dry Yeast or 1 packet

Instructions

  1. If using a bread machine, see next section below.
  2. Bring the milk to a boil. Remove it from heat and let it reduce lukewarm, between 80-90 degrees.
  3. Mix the milk, yeast, and honey in a small bowl until well combined. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of the butter, the milk mixture, the room temperature egg, and 2 cups of flour. Mix slowly until smooth. (Use a mixer with a dough hook if you have one, otherwise it works by hand.) Gradually add the remaining 2 cups of flour and mix until a dough has formed.
  5. Add salt, and mix/knead for 8 minutes. Then drop the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a few more minutes.
  6. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and drop the dough inside. Cover the bowl (plastic wrap or a damp cloth works) and let it rise for an hour in a warm place.
  7. Punch down the dough and roll it out on a flat, floured surface until it’s about ½ inch thick. Fold it in half and gently seal.
  8. Cut into 24 squares of even size and place on 2 lightly greased cookie sheets. Cover them and let them rise for 30-40 minutes,, until doubled in size.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown.
  10. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and brush the top of the rolls.
  11. Serve with Copycat Texas Roadhouse Butter.

If using a Bread Machine:

  1. Add the ingredients to the bread machine in the order listed above. If your manual indicates a different order, follow that.
  2. Set the bread machine to the dough cycle, let it do the work from there.
  3. Once complete, proceed to step 6 above.

Recipe VideoRecipe Notes

SUBBING INSTANT/RAPID RISE YEAST FOR ACTIVE DRY:

  • Cooks Illustrated recommends using 25% less yeast if using Instant instead of Active Dry.
  • In this recipe, that equates to 1 + 3/4 teaspoons.
  • Combine the yeast with the flour instead of adding it to the warm milk.
  • Proceed as outlined, no need to let the milk stand for 5 minutes after combining it with the honey.
  • Bread flour or all-purpose flour both work well in this recipe. 
  • Make sure your yeast is fresh and not expired!

IF YOUR DOUGH DOESN’T RISE:

If you’re baking on a chilly Fall or Winter day, it might be tougher to get your dough to rise as it needs to do so in a warm place. These tricks can get you out of a bind, just note that it may take longer for your dough to rise if these methods are needed:

Method #1: Preheat the oven to 315 degrees and place the bowl on top of a warm spot on the oven. For me, the warmest spot is right in the front of the oven between the front two burners.

Method #2: Place a baking tray on the bottom rack in the oven. Remove the top rack. Boil water and pour it into the tray, then place the bowl of dough on top and close the door.

-Method #3: (Assuming you have a warm place for the dough to rise but it still isn’t)-Take a new package of yeast and mix it with 1/4 cup of warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes until it starts to foam. Knead the yeast mixture into the dough, and place it in a warm place to rise.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION 

Calories: 117, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 122mg, Potassium: 54mg, Carbohydrates: 19g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 3g, Vitamin A: 90%, Calcium: 19%, Iron: 1%