Christmas Baking, part 1

I’ve always liked baking, there’s something about a homemade cookie that is just so much better than anything you can buy! I don’t bake a lot during the year, but once the Christmas season comes around, I tend to go a little crazy with the baked goods, making more than enough to share with my friends and family.

These recipes are by no means healthy…they’re filled with sugar, but they ARE delicious, and frankly, that’s what matters! Moderation is key when it comes to sweet treats, but there’s no reason not to enjoy them!



Jello Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • this is my Mom’s recipe, and has been a fan favorite for years. The jello pudding keeps the cookies light and fluffy!


  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. white sugar
  • 1 (3.5oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 c. chocolate chips/m&m’s/nuts, etc.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Cream together butter and sugars
  3. Add in pudding mix, vanilla, and eggs
  4. Mix together flour and baking soda, and slowly add to the creamed mixture
  5. Fold in chocolate chips
  6. Form into balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or lightly browned

oreo truffles

Oreo Truffles

  • this is a Kraft recipe I have made the past five years! It’s simple, fast, and only requires 3 ingredients!


  • 36 Oreo cookies, finely crushed
  • 1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 pkg semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces


  1. In a food processor/blender, blend the oreo cookies until they are a fine dust
  2. Reserve 1/4 c. of the cookies
  3. Mix together the cream cheese and remaining cookie crumbs
  4. Form cookie mixture into 1 inch balls and place on a lined baking sheet
  5. Freeze for 10 minutes
  6. Melt chocolate using a double broiler
  7. Dip cream cheese balls into the chocolate, and place back onto the lined baking sheet
  8. Sprinkle the tops with the reserved cookie crumbs
  9. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until firm


Popcorn Peanut Brittle

  • this is great because it’s sweet & salty, and only needs a microwave!


  • 1 c. sugar
  • ½ c. corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 4 c. popped popcorn
  • 1 c. roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. mini m&m’s


  1. Stir together sugar and corn syrup in a large bowl
  2. Microwave for 1 minute
  3. Stir in butter, popcorn, and peanuts
  4. Microwave for 3-5 minutes, or until sugar begins to caramelize
  5. Stir in baking soda, vanilla, and m&m’s
  6. Pour onto a greased baking sheet
  7. Let cool completely
  8. Break apart and serve


Chocolate Blossoms

  • rich, chocolate, and the kiss in the middle melts just enough to make it even more delicious


  • ½ c. butter
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ½ c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp, baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 30 Hershey’s kisses (unwrapped)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and set aside
  3. Cream together butter and sugars until fluffy
  4. Mix in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, and beat until smooth
  5. Add the dry ingredients slowly until combined
  6. Mix in the milk until smooth
  7. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, then roll in the 1/4 c. sugar
  8. Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet
  9. Bake for 10 minutes
  10. Immediately remove cookies from baking sheet onto a cooling rack, and let cool for 6 minutes
  11. Gently press cookies into the top and let cool completely

Overnight Oats

I always struggle to eat a healthy breakfast on work days, and find I am a lot more successful when I can make something that I can just grab and take to work with me!

I’ve posted some overnight oat recipes before, but I decided to add a little spin on my basic go-to recipe by using Seabuckthorn’s new fruit powders! My favorite part about overnight oats is how versatile they can be, just by adding different spices and toppings! I used strawberries and raspberries this week, as that’s what I had in my fridge! I will often add some granola for a little crunch, or a scoop of protein powder to get some extra protein in my breakfast. I made 2 batches, which I split into 4 jars, which is the amount I need for breakfast to go this week.

Seabuckthorn’s new fruit and veggie powders work perfect in these oats, and I often top my plain yogurt with them for some extra flavor! These powders are made right in B.C. from fresh and local produce, and are fully organic, kosher, and full of nutrients and anti-oxidants! They’re the perfect addition for any baking and cooking!

You can use the code BEFIT at checkout to save yourself 15% on any regular priced products, these powders included, just head to their site! All orders over $100 include free shipping, and all product is priced in Canadian dollars.

Overnight Oats

Serves: 2-4

Nutrition/serving (based on 4 servings):

Calories: 266

Carbs: 39.6g

Fat: 5.8g

Protein: 15.1g


  • 1/2 medium banana, mashed
  • 1/3 c. oats
  • 1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c. milk of choice (I usually use almond, but used regular milk since that’s what I had on hand)
  • 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp. Seabuckthorn fruit powder of choice (I used blueberry in one batch, and raspberry in the other)
  • fruit of choice for toppings


  1. Mash banana
  2. Measure out all dry ingredients in a bowl, or measuring cup
  3. Mix together thoroughly
  4. Put into jar or container (I split the mix into 2 small mason jars)
  5. Top with fruit of choice (or can add before eating)
  6. Let sit overnight in fridge
  7. Enjoy!

30 Day Freezer Meal Prep

As some of you may know, I am having a surgery at some point this year that could have me recovering on the couch for up to six weeks. Anticipating this, I decided to spend a weekend making some meals that could be frozen ahead of time to ensure that I (and the BF) could eat wholesome, healthy, and delicious food each night with leftovers for lunch the next day!

Using a mix of personal favorites, and a couple of new finds on Pinterest, I successfully made up 30 dishes, and each will feed the BF and I both dinner and lunch, with some even feeding an additional meal or two (the chicken pot pie and the pulled pork will feed at least 6). I tried to make sure I had a good variety of meals, with different proteins, and avoided duplicates so we wouldn’t get bored!

I planned out the meals I wanted, made a comprehensive grocery list, and spent $300 on groceries, not including the frozen chicken breasts I already had at home, as well as dried goods (like rice) and spices, and was able to complete the entire prep! This works out to $10/meal and $2.50/serving. While the BF had a mild heart attack at the total bill between Costco and Safeway before I began this prep, once I did this math, I felt much more relieved. For that entire month as we use these meals, the only groceries we will need to buy is fruit, vegetables, and milk! I generally spend around $125 per week on groceries, if not more, so this is much more economical. Each of the recipes below I split into two meal portions.

It’s also important to note that I own a FoodSaver vacuum sealer – this thing is the best gift my father has ever given me. Not only can I freeze any and everything from soups, to whole chickens, to burger patties, it also is a fantastic method to marinate food for a couple of hours before cooking and getting all that flavor that normally takes an overnight process. I used the sealer for most of my meals, with the exception of 10 square tins and 2 pie tins that I bought at the dollar store, for a whole $12. You can definitely still do this prep with freezer Ziploc bags, I just prefer the vacuum sealer because there is no chance of leaking or spoiling. I also lay these bags flat to freeze, and they now can stand up straight and use up minimal space in the deep freeze.

While I don’t follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, I am sure that any of these recipes could be adapted to suit your own needs! All links to recipes are provided. Full grocery list provided as well!


Items with a * can be cooked in the crockpot


Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken, Broccoli, Potato, & Bacon Bake

Turkey Chili*

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole*

Chicken Ravioli Lasagna




Sweet & Sour Meatballs*

Slow Cooker Pizza*

Spaghetti Bolognese sauce*


Taco Bake


Smothered Pork Chops*

Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork*

Grocery List

Meat (I purchased all my meat in bulk at Costco, it was the most cost-efficient)

12 chicken breasts

6 lbs. lean ground beef/ground turkey (I did 5 beef and 1 turkey)

2 lbs. beef stewing cubes

4-6 pork chops

2 lbs. pork tenderloin

1/3 c. cooked crumbled bacon (I use the pre-cooked bacon bits from Costco)

1 pound Italian sausage (I omitted this)


1 ½ c. grated parmesan cheese (I use Kraft dried parmesan)

12 c. shredded cheese

⅓ c. + 2 tbsp. butter or margarine

1 c. milk

½ c. heavy cream

1 c. light sour cream

1 c. ricotta cheese

Canned goods

4 cans tomato sauce

2 small cans tomato paste

3 c. chicken broth

6 c. diced tomatoes

2 cans corn niblets

1 can white navy beans

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

4 cans cream of chicken soup

3 jars pasta sauce (of choice)

1 – 14 oz. can pizza sauce

Dry Goods

12 cups (cooked) rice

1 onion soup mix

1 pork gravy mix

1 package taco seasoning mix

1½ c. dry macaroni noodles



All-purpose flour



Garlic powder

Minced garlic



Onion powder


Bay leaves

Beef bouillon powder

Chicken bouillon powder

White sugar

Brown sugar


White vinegar

Soya sauce

Italian seasoning

Chili powder

Cayenne pepper


4 onions

1 bunch celery

5 red potatoes

6 heads of broccoli

7 large carrots

1 green pepper

Frozen Goods

1 bag frozen peas

1 package frozen ravioli of choice (I used fresh chicken and cheese ravioli)

1 package frozen meatballs


4 unbaked pie crusts (I used 2 packages of Pillsbury pie crusts, each comes with 2)

15 no-boil lasagna noodles






Favorite Recipes from Mom’s Recipe Box

The four recipes below are some of my absolute favorites that my Mom used to make! I of course raided her recipe box a long time ago and these are often in my meal rotation.

I made these meals as part of my freezer meal prep! The grocery list I provided includes all the ingredients needed to make these recipes.

Chicken Parmesan

Serves: 4


Calories: 208

Carbs: 15g

Fat: 3.5g

Protein: 29.7g


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 6 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. oregano


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray
  3. Pour tomato sauce into pan, add in parmesan cheese and oregano, mixing well
  4. Add chicken breasts, and coat with sauce
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through
  6. Top with mozzarella cheese and cook 5 more minutes

Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce

Serves: 4


Calories: 297

Carbs: 11.9g

Fat: 17.2g

Protein: 25.6g


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 bayleaf
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Brown beef
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (you can also use a crockpot for this instead)
  3. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray
  4. Mix beef with dry ingredients
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbling (or cook on low for 6-8 hours in crockpot)
  6. Serve with pasta

Beef Goulash

Serves: 4


Calories: 393

Carbs: 7.9g

Fat: 24g

Protein: 32.6g


  • 1 lb. beef stewing cubes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. beef bouillion powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients in the crockpot
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
  3. Serve with rice or pasta


Serves: 4


Calories: 293

Carbs: 10.6g

Fat: 15.8g

Protein: 27.4g


  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 container light sour cream
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 c. shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Brown beef/turkey
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F
  3. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray
  4. In casserole dish, toss turkey/beef with flour
  5. Add sour cream, chicken soup, and cheese, mix well
  6. Bake for 30 minutes
  7. Serve with rice or pasta

Turkey Chili

Chili has to be one of the most versatile meals ever. You can add almost anything! Like it hot and spicy? Add chili flakes. Like bell peppers? Chop some up. Like beans? Throw any kind you like in there. Hate beans? Don’t use them.

Chili is so easy to make in large batches, cook it up in the crockpot, and have meals for quite a few days! You can also always portion them out and freeze them for easy grab and go meals.

Since I began tracking macros, I look for meals that I can make sure are protein packed, but still full of vegetables to fuel my body and keep me full. After a few trials, I think I have finally perfected my chili recipe, which I made sure to fill with lots of natural protein. Remember, you can add any other vegetables or spices as you like, and can substitute the turkey meat for any other meat (or make it vegetarian) you’d like.

Crockpot Turkey Chili

Serves: 6


Calories: 293


Fat: 5.1g

Protein: 27.6g


  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey meat
  • 3 c. diced tomatoes
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can white navy beans
  • 6 large carrots
  • 1 c. chicken/vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste


  1. In a skillet, cook ground turkey until cooked through, seasoning with salt and pepper as it cooks
  2. Empty can of beans into a colander and rinse thoroughly
  3. Wash, peel, and then dice carrots into small bite size pieces
  4. In crockpot, add carrots, rinsed beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and chicken/vegetable broth
  5. Add in cooked turkey meat
  6. Add in the spices; cumin, oregano, garlic, parsley, onion powder, paprika and bay leaf
  7. Stir all ingredients together
  8. Cook on low for 8-10 hours
  9. Serve topped with cheese, sour cream, or any other topping you would like (toppings not included in caloric count)


Protein Energy Balls

It can be really hard to find a snack sometimes that has protein, is filling, and healthy for you! I first made these energy balls in the spring to take to a YYC BBG Meet Up, and they were loved by everyone! They are quick and easy to make, and you can use any flavor of protein powder you want in them!

Today I used my Unico Nutrition Peanut Butter Chocolate protein powder, and it just made the flavor so much more peanut butter filled! You can never go wrong with too much peanut butter, at least not in my books.

If you want to try out Unico, use the code KYLEY at checkout to save yourself 15% off your order! They have 5 awesome protein flavors, and sell BCAA’s and pre workout as well. I’m an ambassador and love their products.

These energy balls are now the perfect grab and go snack!

Protein Energy Balls

Serves 20


Calories: 96

Fat: 4g

Carbs: 12g

Protein: 3g

  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 8 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/2 c. vanilla* protein powder
  • 1/2 c. natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp. mini dark chocolate chips

*you can use any type of protein powder you’d like!


  1. Add dates to a food processor and pulse until they form a thick paste. Add in rolled oats and pulse a few more times until just combined
  2. Place date and oat mixture into a bowl
  3. Stir in protein powder and peanut butter. Then add almond milk and stir well to combine. If the mixture seems dry, add an extra splash of almond milk.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips and form mixture into bite-size balls using your hands
  5. Store in a covered container in the fridge or freezer

Financial compensation and product were not received for this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own and not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates in any way.

Homemade Chicken Broth

In September I attended the Wholistic Dining event, hosted by Annice Elaine Wellness and Wholistic Health YYC.

This event was about learning how to support a healthy relationship with food, body, and mind. I learned about sense of hunger, and how eating with mindfulness brings more flavor and enjoyment to food, as well as feeling more full as you eat since you are actually taking the time to digest it. Eating to nourish and enjoy, rather than for the sake of just eating.

One of the six courses this night was bone broth, which is becoming the latest health craze. I’m not usually one to jump on the latest fad, but knowing how good chicken soup is when you’re sick, I did some additional research after listening to Elaine & Annice speak about the benefits.

10 Reasons Why You Should Add Broth to Your Diet:

  1. Contains protein
  2. Nutrient rich
  3. Extremely nourishing
  4. Boosts the immune system
  5. Detoxifies the body (glycine)
  6. Supports digestion
  7. Improves protein digestion efficiency
  8. Supports skin, hair, and nail health
  9. Full of calcium and magnesium which are easily absorbed by the body
  10. Improves symptoms of: high cholesterol, joint pain, common cold, hypertension, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice, food allergies, leaky gut, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis,  cramps, muscle spasms, insomnia, irritability, anxiety,  allergies, pain and inflammation

Homemade is the way to go – this is how you can really ensure that you are getting the maximum amount of nutrients into the soup as possible, and can add all your own seasonings. No artificial ingredients or additives!

I had bought a rotisserie chicken from Safeway on Sunday night, and kept the carcass. This gave me no excuses! I have been procrastinating making this myself for a while, and it’s so easy I should do it more often.

Homemade Chicken Broth

Serves 6


Calories: 132

Fat: 7g

Carbs: 2g

Protein: 13g


  • 1 chicken carcass, skin/meat attached is fine
  • Water
  • 1 onion
  • 5-6 celery stalks, leaves on
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. basil
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Place chicken carcass in large stock pot
  2. Cover chicken completely with water
  3. Chop celery into chunks, add to pot
  4. Quarter the onion, add to pot
  5. Add in dry ingredients
  6. Slowly bring to a boil
  7. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 hours
  8. Strain soup into large bowl, discarding all bones and vegetables
  9. Let cool 8 hours, or overnight in the fridge
  10. Skim the surface to remove all the fat
  11. Pour cooled broth into mason jars
    • if you are freezing them, make SURE you leave 1″ of room to allow for expansion and avoid the glass breaking





Is there anything tastier than avocados?

That’s a rhetorical question – the answer is clearly no. I didn’t start eating them myself until the past year or so, and I’m not sure how I lived without them!

I add it to salads, sandwiches, toast, tacos, the list is endless really.

Avocado is allowed on the candida cleanse, so when I was making my meal plan for the week, I really wanted tacos and realized that I could make my own guacamole and use that as a makeshift dressing for a taco salad! No cheese or taco chips, but that’s ok, I will survive.

I cannot stand cilantro – I have that gene that makes it taste like soap, so buying guacamole often doesn’t work for me anyways, and now I have a quick and easy go-to for homemade.

I loved this so much I ended up having taco salad the next week too, because the combo was so delicious.


Recipe adapted from My Latina Table

Serves 2


Calories: 127

Fat: 11g

Carbs: 9g

Protein: 2g


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Lime juice (to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tomato, finely chopped


  1. Peel the avocado and remove the core.
  2. Mash the avocado in a bowl until it reaches your desired consistency
  3. Add the tomato and mix well.
  4. Add lime juice and salt to taste.

Tomato Bisque Soup

Cold days call for soups…and soups you can make in a crockpot and blend up at the end of the day are my kind of meal.

I love simple recipes that are delicious! The best part about this particular soup is its versatility! I’ve cooked tortellini and topped it with the soup, I’ve added ground beef, rice, quinoa,  noodles, the possibilities are endless*! I also eat it as is without anything added too.

Tomato Bisque Soup

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Serves 4-6

Nutrition/serving (based on 6 servings):

Calories: 174

Fat: 7g

Carbs: 12g

Protein: 5g


  • 1 ¾ c. diced carrots
  • 1 ¾ c. diced yellow onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 carton vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • ¾ c. heavy cream


    1. Dice up carrots and onion, add to crockpot
    2. Add in diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, garlic basil, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and sugar
    3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-3 ½ hours
    4. Once this time has passed, remove the bay leaves from the crockpot
    5. Puree the mixture using an emulsion blender (I have also used a measuring cup to pour into a large blender once scoop at a time if you do not have an emulsion blender)
    6. Stir in heavy cream and allow to sit for 10 minutes

*If you are adding in any additional ingredients such as beef, rice, tortellini, noodles, quinoa, etc. and only allow warm in the crockpot with the soup to desired temperature – leaving it sit too long will result in soggy/mushy food



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