Month: March 2014

Peanut Butter Brownies


There is nothing better than chocolate and peanut butter and when you put them together lets just say magic happens. The clouds part and the rain goes away. In that moment everything is right in the world.


When I was a kid we always made brownies out of the box. The colorful box consisting of powdered chocolate sugar with chocolate chips. All you had to do was add the nasty canola oil. I thought it was the best thing at first, but as it started to digest I wished I had never opened the box. The days of the colorful box is finally past me. These brownies don’t contain any flour, butter or refined sugars and you certainly won’t find any cardboard boxes lurking about.


There is one problem with these brownies, they are seriously addictive! I even ate one for breakfast. They didn’t even last a day in my house. I made the mistake of sending a couple of friends a picture of what I was working on and they came banging on my door saying, “So where’s the brownies?”

4If you let anyone know you are making these you better make a double batch and hide one of them!

Peanut Butter Brownies
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • 1/2 cup 365 creamy peanut butter (make sure to stir really well so that you don’t end up with a lot of oil)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder, not cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dark mini chocolate chips
  1. Grease an 8×8 pan with coconut oil
  2. Pulse all of the ingredients, minus the chocolate chips in a food processor
  3. Pour the ingredients into a bowl and mix in the chocolate chips by hand
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan
  5. Bake the brownies at 350 degrees for 13-16 minutes
  6. Allow brownies to cool completely and to un-puff before serving.
  7. When you take the brownies out of the oven they will be very puffy but will settle down as they cool



Apple Cake Muffins


Does anyone shop at Costco? Costco can be great for large families, but for small families like mine you could end up eating the same meal for three weeks because there is way too much food! Who seriously wants to eat pizza for three weeks straight? Ok prego’s, put your hands down I’m not talking to you. Pizza is like crack when you are pregnant. The day isn’t complete without pizza. “What do you want to eat today honey?” “How about a pizza donut for breakfast, for lunch I’ll have a pizza salad and for dinner how about if we just order some pizza?”


For this Costco go around we have been stuck with apples. I didn’t know we needed 25 apples, but Costco thought we did. I mean come on, they are only going to be good for about a week and then they are going to start getting brown spots. Therefore, we are going to have some apple recipes coming your way! In fact there will be 102. I hope you are ready! Wow. what if that were really true? Snooze-fest!


As always you will find no refined sugars or butter in this recipe. I used whole wheat flour, but the muffin is still light and fluffy! In case you were wondering, yes it is jam packed with apples. I mean somehow we have got to get rid of these apples. They are taking over the house.


Let me just say we ate a lot of Apple Cake Muffins these past two weeks. I made them four times before I got the right consistency.


They are so moist, crumbly, flavorful and melt in your mouth buttery. They have the perfect combination of seasonings and textures. They taste just like biting into a yummy apple cake, but better because it is for breakfast! Who wouldn’t want cake for breakfast and bonus points because it is good for you?


Apple Cake Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Nilsen Pantry
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • Muffins:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons xylitol
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup pink lady or green apples, peeled and chopped into 1/4 – 1/2 inch cubes
  • Streusel Topping:
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons quick oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Line 8 muffin tins in a muffin baking tin and grease them
  3. Mix all of the streusel ingredients with your fingers. Pinch and press everything together until well combined and solid dark brown
  4. Take out two large bowls
  5. In one bowl combine and mix all of the dry ingredients (not the apples)
  6. In the second bowl combine and mix all of the wet ingredients (not the apples)
  7. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well
  8. Stir in apple chunks
  9. Fill the muffin tins to the brim with the muffin mix
  10. Top with streusel and slightly press down
  11. Put the muffins into the oven on 425 for 5 minutes and then set the oven to 350 degrees for a remainder 10-12 minutes


Sweet Potato Waffle Fries

French fries are something that has been in my life for a very long time. I don’t think people realize how bad the fast food restaurant fries are. Sure, regular potatoes are vegetables and all, but they aren’t the most beneficial to our health and then you throw on some disgusting hydrogenated oil on the top of them that has been sitting in the fryer for weeks and you’ve got yourself a nice bath of free radical garbage! You start off with something descent and turn it into one of the most unhealthy food products on the planet. What is sad is that people are feeding these to their children! Oh here you go you’ve been such a good boy how about I give you a higher percentage of getting heart disease. It makes no sense.


Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Soup

Can you think of something that makes you happy? For me, I only need one word- Thanksgiving. I know we are far from Thanksgiving on both ends of the calendar, but who cares! Seriously, are you going to complain about having Thanksgiving too many times in a year? If you are then we can’t be friends. Ok, come back we can still be friends. But, I will give you the stink eye for 2.5 minutes. Thanksgiving is just one big ball of yum. Every once in a while I love to bring out the Thanksgiving flavors because they are too good to only have one day a year.



Savory Roasted Carrots

When I was little we visited my Great Aunt Jerry and Great Uncle George in Tahoe. It was one of the first memories I have of playing in the snow. I remember thinking I had found the coolest popsicle as I ran across the street to show my parents. They quickly jumped to tell me to stop eating the icicles because they could give me worms. Yum! So I stopped eating them! Soon after I also found out that the yellow snow was not lemon flavored snow cones. Don’t worry I didn’t actually eat the yellow snow. Gross!


Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa

Ok lets be honest. Truth, I couldn’t keep my fingers out of the pan while I was cooking these. They are that good! I have been making these for about 2,5756 years. Ok, not that many, but for at least 2,000 years. Most of my friends have had these and they are always a hit.

lettuce wraps 8

Lettuce wraps are great to have when you have company. It is a “social food” as I like to call it. Everyone gets messy and interactive with each other. They are fun because you can stuff your lettuce with any of the options that are on the table and make it a personal wrap! (more…)

Pink Lady, Parsnip and Potato Soup with Homemade Croutons

It’s time to talk about soup!


Soup is awesome for many reasons. It keeps you warm in the winter, it makes your belly feel nice and full, it can go with any meal or even by itself and it’s so easy to make! You could pretty much throw anything into a pot with broth, let it get tender and blend away. I mean my Aunt Debbie who volunteers to bring rolls and corn to event gatherings could do that. If she can do it, so can you. I believe in you!


You would think those reasons would be enough to get the pot out right now at 11 o’clock at night. Put it back, you’re just being silly now! Seriously though, the number one reason I love soup is because you can get a junk load of nutrition in one cup! In case you didn’t know “junk load” is a lot! It may not be in Webster’s Dictionary, but it’s in my dictionary. Webster’s has nothing on my dictionary.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

What is better than banana bread?


Banana bread covered in chocolate chips!


What kid wouldn’t want to eat this for breakfast? It’s covered in chocolate!

9I love baking breads and muffins because they are so easy to grab when you are in a hurry.  I am guilty of skipping meals, eating a piece of cheese (or chocolate), or just grabbing anything in front of me when I am desperate for time and am in a hurry.


Uncle John’s Lemon Tart

I want to be the first person to say Happy Birthday Uncle John!! He would have been 62 today.


Anyone who knows me personally knows that my family had a very big loss this past October. My Uncle John was one of the best men in my life and definitely one of the most important. Trying to wrap my head around the fact that I will never see him again still seems impossible.

Loaded Shepherds Pie

With all of this cold wet weather lurking around it makes me crave something warm and hearty!


I love the rain, well, let me rephrase that. I love the rain when I can be inside next to a fire. I don’t love the rain when it is ruining my hair, my shoes, or my freshly washed car. I don’t wash my car that often, but it seems as though every time I do, it rains just like this last weekend. Why me? It’s like there are these tiny little rain clouds lurking around the corner to see when I will be outside washing my car and then BAM old faithful right before my eyes. Well, what can I say, that’s life.