Category Archives: Sweet

summer sour acv drink.

Okay truth, I have a sweet tooth. Not like a “oh yeah, I love cookies too!” kind of sweet tooth, more like an “I just consumed 2 king size tootsie rolls while I waited for my car to be washed” kind of sweet tooth. I have been reading a lot lately about controlling the mind’s cravings whether it be junk food, laziness, or moods and I have to say I’m learning a lot. Anyways, during my research I found these awesome sweet drinks that are actually low in sugar and high in health benefits and I have to say that when I’m craving something sweet, I calm the “Pig” (have you read Never Binge Again by Glenn Livingston? by tricking my mind into thinking it’s getting what it wants. Tricking yourself? It’s some crazy Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde stuff right here. Anyways, I’m sure you’ve heard the crazy good health benefits that Apple Cider Vinegar offers right? To start it aids in weight loss, tricking your body into feeling full. (There goes that trickery again!) Aside from that it also prevents Diabetes, lowers cholesterol, aids in digestion, increases energy and overall detoxes the body. Why wouldn’t you drink this stuff? Well it’s pretty hard to get down. I personally don’t mind the taste of vinegars such as Kombucha but when mixing this stuff with a little flavor, I could drink it all day. Plopping a few drops of flavored stevia makes this stuff amazing, I would compare it to almost that of Jolly Rancher! Give this stuff a try, even if it doesn’t quiet the “Pig” then to give your body that extra love it deserves.

Summer Sour ACV Drink
Makes 1 serving.
1½ Cups of Alkaline Water
1 Tablespoon of Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, I use Bragg’s!
28 Drops of Watermelon Flavored Stevia Drops, I use Sweet Leaf’s!
1 Cup of Ice

Method //
Add Alkaline water, apple cider vinegar and stevia drops – mix to combine. Pour over ice and enjoy.

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Elderberry + Chamomile Popsicles

It’s been one of those whirlwind weeks so I’m not surprised that the we’re sick. My poor little girl is pushing through this head cold like a trooper but I on the other hand am moping around like 13-year old complaining of a sore throat. We’re currently diffusing peppermint and lemon throughout the house and I’ve been gulping down chamomile tea and honey. After rubbing a little lavender on the bottoms of Hera’s feet and putting her down for a nap, I went to the kitchen to throw out the remaining chamomile tea that had gone cold; then I thought, why not freeze it into popsicles. This way Hera could enjoy a little of my favorite cold remedy as well. To make them prettier and pack more of a “cold-busting punch” I added a little bit of Elderberry syrup to the popsicle molds. Elderberry is awesome for fighting colds; it boosts the immune system while also fighting of upper respiratory infections by reducing mucous secretions and swelling of the passages, which means less discomfort and trouble breathing and soothing coughs! You can add in a little lemon and honey into the tea which I usually do, but I skipped on the honey for the popsicles since the elderberry syrup basically does what the honey does, plus more.

Elderberry + Chamomile Popsicles
Makes a Dozen Popsicles

4 Cups of Boiling Water (We use Alkaline Water in our home, you can read more about it here.)
6 Bags of Organic Chamomile Tea
Natural Elderberry Syrup
The Juice of 1 Lemon
Honey, optional

Method //
Steep the chamomile tea in the boiling water for about 5 minutes. If you’d like to add honey, do so while the tea is still hot. Transfer the tea to the fridge to chill.

Add about ½ ounces of the Elderberry syrup to bottom of your popsicle molds. Add a few drops of the lemon juice to the syrup followed by a splash of water. Place the popsicle molds into the freezer and allow them to freeze for about 20 minutes.

Once the tea has chilled, fill the remainder of the popsicle mold with the chilled tea. Add popsicle sticks and return to the fridge. Allow the popsicles to fully freeze for about 2 hours. Enjoy! (… and feel better!)

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Taste // Flourless Cacao + Coconut Cookies.

I’m headed out to a “girl’s night” at a friend’s house this evening and everyone is bringing something to nibble on. After listening to the endless list of delicious sounding salads I knew I wanted to bring something sweet. While attempting to keep the desert semi-healthy (who am I kidding, there’s chocolate in it!) I stumbled upon a mouth watering recipe for flourless chocolate chip cookies. Keeping in true fashion, I had to fudge the recipe a little bit (no pun intended). I thoroughly believe that recipes should be like the old game “telephone”, how else are they supposed to evolve?. I swear I just simply cannot follow a recipe. But you know what? These turned out amazing! How do I know? I had to sneak a little nibble before bringing them to the party, of course.

Flourless Cacao + Coconut Cookies
Makes 2 Dozen Cookies
Adapted from Everyday Food

6 Cups of Confectioner’s Sugar
1 ½ Cups of Organic Raw Cacao Powder
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
½ Cup of Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 Cups of Unsweetened Coconut, shredded
8 Large Organic Cage-free Egg Whites, room temperature


Preheat the oven to 325°F and line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper. I only had two baking sheets so I did this in two batches and it worked perfectly fine!

In a large mixing bowl combine the confectioner’s sugar, cacao powder and salt; whisk together. Next add in the chocolate chip and coconut shreds. Finally add in the egg whites and carefully folder them into the mix making sure not to over mix.

Drop 1 tablespoon of batter on to the parchment paper leaving some room in between the cookies as they will spread while baking. If you are making these in two separate batches, set the batter aside. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are dry with a glossy sheen and have begun to crack. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to allow them to fully cool. Repeat the steps with the second batch of batter if necessary.

The last step is optional but a slight sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar on top of the cookies never hurt anyone.

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Taste // Berry + Balsamic Patriotic Pie

Disclaimer: I know this post might be a little late for anyone who wants to whip this treat up for The Fourth; sorry, with a 6-month old who just started crawling, I guess that’s just how I roll these days.

With the over abundance of fresh strawberries begging to be used up in my fridge, thanks to a visit to a farm and two CSA produce boxes chalk full of them,  I knew a strawberry pie was in order. I saw a pie similar to this one floating around Pinterest awhile back and ever since then I’ve been wanting to make a “patriotic pie” like this –  for the last five 4th of July’s! I finally took the idea and ran with it.

My mother-in-law brought back the most divine aged Balsamic Vinegar from Italy that melts in your mouth and literally tastes like honey. Seriously, I could drink the stuff. So for this year’s festivities, I took an old fashion favorite like berry pie and added a twist to it. But honestly, this pie is too yummy to make just once a year so I highly recommend giving it a go even with this year’s celebrations nearly in the rearview mirror. Just throw some lattice pie crust on top and you’ll turn a “patriotic pie” into an “everyday kind of pie” –  and in my opinion it’s the perfect Summer treat.

We have a jam-packed (not pun intended) day planned for our Fourth of July. A little beach party here, a BBQ there, and a little socializing on our family friend’s sailboat! Do you have anything fun planned for the Fourth? As long as there is sunshine and good grub, I’ll be one happy little firecracker. Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Berry + Balsamic Patriotic Pie

1 ¼ Cups of Organic Un-Bleached White Flour
½ Cup of Unsalted Butter, chilled and cubed
¼ teaspoon of Kosher Salt
¼ Cup of Ice Water
1 Organic Free Range Egg

1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
5 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
½ teaspoon of Organic Cardamom, ground
¼ teaspoon of Kosher Salt

3 ¾ Cups of fresh Organic Strawberries, sliced
1 ¼ Cups of fresh Organic Blueberries
1 teaspoon of fresh Lemon Zest
4 Tablespoons of fine Balsamic Vinegar

For the Crust

Using a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt, and butter. Mix until the dough resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly pour in the water one tablespoon at a time. Once the dough forms remove from the mixer and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least four hours.

Note: The pie crust can be made ahead of time. Just cover in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you are ready to use. Better yet, make this in larger batches and freeze!

For the Pie

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cardamon, salt, and lemon zest; set aside.

In a small mixing bowl combine the blueberries, ¼ cup of the dry ingredients and 1 Tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar. In a second larger bowl combine the strawberries, the remaining dry ingredients, and the remaining balsamic vinegar.

Roll the dough out to fit a 9-inch pie plate; saving a little extra for the top of the pie. Flour both sides of the dough and carefully lay the crust into the pie plate a press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Spoon the blueberry mixture into the top lefthand quarter and fill the remaining three-quarters with the strawberry mixture.

To create your patriotic stars and stripes, use a pastry wheel to cut three 9-inch long stripes and two 4-inch long stripes. I cut the stars out by hand, but for those perfectionists out there a small star-shaped cookie cutter will definitely do wonders! Assemble your stars and stripes to resemble the good ‘ole American Flag. Crack the egg and give it a good whisk before slathering the stars and stripes with the egg wash.

Place the pie on top of an aluminum-lined baking sheet (to catch drippings) and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and continue to bake for another 30 – 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden. You might want to wrap the sides of the pie in aluminum foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent the edges from burning.

Remove the pie and allow to fully cool before serving.

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Taste // Coconut + Lime Chia Seed Pudding with Blackberries

Have you ever just taken a second to stop, breathe and take a look at where you are in your life? I do this and often times think to myself “When did I become so grown up?” This morning was one of those moments. I was up at 5am, feed Hera, put her back to sleep, made a cup of this amazing coffee in my French Press, put the news on, hopped back into bed and it hit me – whoa, I’m an adult … like a coffee drinking, news watching, baby raising adult. Sometimes I feel like I’m still 16 but then I catch myself when I see 16 year olds driving around town and I feel like they look like children. I can’t believe I’m going to be 28 in a couple of weeks, where has the time gone? I have to say I’m so pleased with where I am in my life and what I’ve accomplished in my relationships as a wife and mother as well as my career. It’s so refreshing to feel this way. I wake up in the mornings with a smile on my face feeling so blessed. Sorry for the sappy moment here, it’s just mornings like these make me realize how amazing life can be. I think all these emotions stir from the fact that I’m turning another year older and how my 21-year old sister referred to one of her classmates as “your age”. Okay, I’ll lay off of the brain-unloading … I’m not quite sure what came over me.

Has anyone else jumped onto the Chia seed bandwagon? I know I’m a bit late but I have been in love with Chia seeds for quite sometime now, they just have never been the staple in a recipe. It began when I found these little gelatinous beauties floating around in my Kombucha. Can I just digress for a second and bring up the fact that I used to smother these bad boys on a Garfield-shaped terra cotta statue and they would magically sprout into the cartoon cat’s fur? Am I the only one who didn’t put these two together until just recently? Anyways, I’ve known about their amazing qualities for sometime and would often throw them into my smoothies or delicious Paleo Pancakes, but when I came across this Chia Seed pudding phenomenon I had to give it a shot. To be honest, this flavor combination was not meticulously thought out, it was not created from my culinary imagination, it was merely created based on what was in my fridge and pantry at the moment; but let me tell you – it is amazingly delicious. Coconut and lime is always a match made in heaven and the blackberries add such a freshness to the whole combination. It’s refreshing and robust at the same time. (Seriously what is up with all this emotional verbiage this morning?!) I better stop.

Coconut + Lime Chia Seed Pudding with Blackberries
Perfect for 2.

1 Cup of Organic Almond Milk
3 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds
2 teaspoons of Organic Honey
½ Vanilla Bean, caviar
The zest of 1 Lime, divided
Unsweetened Coconut Shavings


In a large mixing bowl combine the Almond Milk, Chia seeds, honey, vanilla caviar and half of the lime zest. Mix together thoroughly and set aside. Wait approximately five minutes before stirring once again. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Spoon into two separate bowls and garnish with blackberries, coconut shavings, and the remaining lime zest. Enjoy!

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July 17, 2014 - 9:23 pm

KimberHills - Thank you so much for your kind words! I hope your pudding turned out as yummy as mine did! :)

May 7, 2014 - 7:29 pm

kitchenbutterfly - Beautiful. I’m a crazy about limes. Mangoes. Coconut. And I have chia seeds.

Yum. Thank you.

I also call vanilla seeds, caviar :-)

You have an amazingly beautiful blog. A gift. Thank you.

In The Kitchen // Chocolate “Dipped” Strawberries

Someone was quite maleficent by placing Valentine’s Day so close to the beginning of the year. How can one continue with their “New Years resolutions” with all this chocolate and candy floating around? I’ve been scouring cookbooks, blogs and magazines to find a suitable Valentine’s Day treat and I must say – this does the trick. I’ve always been a sucker for chocolate covered strawberries but the added sugar and chocolate just doesn’t fit into my plan this year. As scrumptious as those treats are, shedding the baby weight is more important that those extra, yet delicious, calories.

I stumbled upon this amazing recipe that is the best of both worlds. I never thought I would eat something that is as nutritious as it is delicious – and just in time for the sugariest holiday around. Strawberries, although taste sugar-laden are surprisingly 92% water, which helps prevent dehydration, leaving you feeling refreshed and glowing. While many would think chocolate is a complete “no-no”, a good friend of mine once said, “everything in moderation.” Chocolate can aid in the release of endorphins which must be why it always leave a smile on my face. Studies have also shown that dark chocolate helps reduce the chance of heart failure. So between dark chocolate and red wine, I must have the strongest heart around. Many know the health benefits of Greek Yogurt, one cup has just about half your daily requirement of Vitamin B12, which helps promote a healthy metabolism and is a great energy boost – so go ahead, lick that bowl clean.

Chocolate “Dipped” Strawberries
Serves 4 people, 90 calories each
Adapted from Fitness Magazine

1 Dozen Fresh Organic Strawberries, washed
1 Cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
½ Vanilla Bean, caviar removed
2 Tablespoons of Mini Dark Chocolate Chips


In a small mixing bowl combine the greek yogurt and vanilla caviar. Mix until evenly blended. Add in the chocolate chip and mix again. Keep in the fridge until ready to enjoy. Dip your strawberries in the yogurt for a deliciously decadent yet guilt-free treat.

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February 12, 2014 - 3:05 am
February 11, 2014 - 12:53 am

Raw Beauty // A Perfectly Pink Pout. » Oh, Hera. | A Simpler Take on Life. - […] make up products and seeing the beautiful color of strawberry stained lips from munching on my Chocolate “Dipped” Strawberries, I couldn’t resist the urge to create my own lip balm. I love creating my own make up […]