30 days of Vegan Recipes (Challenge)

Friday, August 29, 2014

For the month of September, I thought it would be fun to do a 30 day challenge and to be more specific it'll be a 30 days of vegan recipes! Why? Because vegan cooking is just as easy as your regular cooking and super healthy, I'm going to be sharing easy, delicious and mouth-watering recipes (recipes with no meat or animal products) and I hope you'll follow along too. So, stay tuned and enjoy the challenge and journey!

Here are a few recipes from the past that I've shared on the blog, just to get into the challenge mood!

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Warm Potato & Green Bean Salad

Basil Hummus

Carrot Fries & Kale Chips

Barley, Butternut Squash & Corn Salad

Are you in for the 30 day of vegan recipes challenge?
Also, if you want to share some vegan recipes or give some suggestions or ideas, please let me know!
Thank you.

Breakfast Series: Egg Whites Sandwich

Here's a great way to start your morning and filling up your belly, egg whites sandwich! Super quick and easy, take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients (serves 1):
2 slices of bread, toasted and buttered
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons chopped parsley and chives
Salt and black pepper
Cooking spray

In a small bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add fresh chopped herbs and season with salt and black pepper. Heat a medium non stick skillet over medium/high heat, spray with cooking spray. Pour beaten egg whites and cook the omelet for about 3 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat. Fold omelet and cut in half, add pieces to a toasted and buttered slice of bread and top with the other. Serve and enjoy!

Sophia's 4th Birthday Party: Care Bears Theme Party

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My little girl is officially 4 years old today and I can't believe it! It feels like yesterday I brought her home from the hospital and now she's so big and so beautiful. This past Saturday we celebrated her birthday with a Care Bears theme party, she chose the theme and everything turned out beautifully. Take a look:

We were planning to make the party in our backyard just like last year but the weather wasn't in our favor and it rained throughout the day. So, we had to bring the party indoors and it worked pretty well.

It was pretty colorful with pastel colors and lots of sweets: marshmallows pops, brigadeiros, sweet peanut treats, sugar cookies, cupcakes, gum balls and jello.

 I was lucky enough to find a Care Bears party package from EasyPartyPrintables etsy shop and the package included: banners, cupcake toppers, water labels, thank you labels, treat labels and much more.

My little cutiepie had lots of fun at her party with her friends, I love seeing her so happy!

Here is she with us, her grandparents and her auntie.

♥ ♥ 

Blackberry & Muenster Cheese Panini

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This panini might seem like a weird combination but I promise it's not! It's incredibly delicious, the munster cheese combines really well with the tartiness from the blackberries. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients (serves 1):
2 slices of bread
1/3 cup blackberries
Few slices of Munster Cheese
1 tablespoon butter

Pre heat panini press. In a small dish, add the blackberries and mash blackberries using a fork. Butter both sides of each slice bread. Spread the mashed blackberries onto one bread slice, top with cheese and top with the other bread slice. Gently place the sandwich onto hot panini press and let cook for about 2 minutes, it should be golden in color and cheese melted. Serve hot and enjoy!

Warm Chayote Salad

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

As a child I used to hate eating chayote, to me it had a weird taste. Now, as a grown-up I love eating it and it's not always easy to find but when I saw these at the supermarket the other way I knew I had to grab them and make a delicious dish with them. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

3 chayotes, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
Juice 1/2 lime
Handful chopped cilantro
Salt and black pepper

In a large pan, heat oil over medium/high heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until golden in color. Add the chopped chayote and sauté for a couple of minutes. Pour the water and cover, let it cook until chayote softens (if necessary add more water). Once chayote softens, add the diced onions and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Remove from heat. Add the lime juice and chopped cilantro. Mix well to combine. Transfer to a bowl and serve. Enjoy!

Back to School Cupcake Toppers (Free Printable)

Monday, August 25, 2014

The kids are going back to school and what a great way to celebrate with these back to school cupcake toppers, I'm sure every kid will love it! So go ahead, get this free printable and celebrate with some delicious cupcakes. 

Spinach, Avocado & Blackberry Salad

I love meals that takes just a few minutes to make and I love when everything is fresh, this salad is super delicious and healthy. I love how each ingredients elevates the other, I also love the fact that these blackberries are from my backyard and each year I try to make something different with them! Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

2-3 cups baby spinach
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
Handful of blackberries
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt

In a bowl, arrange baby spinach, top with avocado slices and sprinkle blackberries over the top. Pour fresh lemon juice and season with sea salt. Serve and enjoy!

Blackened Fish with Pineapple Salsa

Friday, August 22, 2014

I'd a delicious meal at Crabby Bill's while on vacation, I'd ordered a blackened mahi-mahi and I knew I had to try to create my version at home. While my version it's not exactly the one I'd at the restaurant, I still loved the results. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

4 tilapia fillets or 4 equal pieces of mahi-mahi
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple slices, drained and chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
Handful chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a bowl, combine chopped pineapple, diced onions, chopped cilantro and lime juice. Mix it well and refrigerate until ready to serve. In small dish, combine paprika, salt, ground black pepper and onion powder, mix and reserve. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. In a baking sheet, spray a good amount of cooking spray and place fish onto baking sheet. Using a little brush, brush each top of fish with melted butter. Pat blackened seasoning mixture onto the top of each fish. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until flaky.  Remove from oven and top with pineapple salsa right before serving. Enjoy!

KIND Nuts & Spices Bars (Review)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I've been addicted to KIND healthy grain bars and products ever since I was introduced to them. I love the fact all the products are all-natural, non GMO, gluten free and all delicious! 

KIND recently added two new flavors to its KIND Nuts & Spices line of bars: Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond and Caramel Almond & Sea Salt, each bar contains 7g fiber, 6g protein and 5g sugar.

Caramel Almond & Sea Salt combines sweet caramel with crunchy almonds and a perfect amount of sea salt. It creates a perfect combination of sweetness and saltiness in my opinion!

Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond combines dark roast coffee, crunchy whole almonds mixed with honey and drizzled with dark chocolate. After eating this bar I came to this conclusion; it's the best bar I've ever eaten and that's saying a lot! I love the combination of almonds with dark chocolate and the hit of coffee wasn't too strong, just the way I like it.

Here are some of the other flavors as well from the Nuts & Spices line of bars: Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, Dark Chocolate Chili Almond, Madagascar Vanilla Almond and Cashew & Ginger Spice. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Chicken a la Caroline

The food I share here at the blog tend to be fairly easy and simple but full of flavor (of course!), just the way I like it! Today's recipe it's like that, easy and simple with full of flavor. And it looks really pretty on the plate too. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

4-6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and black pepper
Chopped parsley and chives for garnish

In a bowl, combine chicken and garlic, season with salt and black pepper. In a large pan, heat vegetable oil over medium/high heat. Add chicken, let it cook until golden in color on each side. Remove chicken from pan. Add onions and bell pepper to the pan, sauté until onions are translucent. Add carrots and mix. Return chicken to the pan, garnish with chopped parsley and chives. Serve with polenta or white rice. Enjoy!

Good Eats During Vacation

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The place where we stayed had a fully-equipped kitchen, we made mostly of our meals during our stay which also allowed us to save some money. 

I really don't mind cooking during vacation since I love to cook and so does my husband. In the photo below it's one of his favorite meals to prepare - Pan Seared Garlic Chicken and Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and White Sauce, delicious!! Take a look:
Our last night at Clearwater, we had wonderful dinner and time at Crabby Bill's.
I had a Blackened Mahi-Mahi with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Southern Green Beans
and a few people ordered "The Steamer Bucket" and it comes stuffed with snow crab, shrimp, mussels and clams, served with drawn butter and a few sides too. If you love seafood, this is a great place to eat!

A few snapshots of the kiddos with grandma and auntie Carine. 
♥ ♥ 

Vacation: Sand Key Beach

This post marks the last post from the vacation series, we spent our last vacation day at Sand Key State Park, a beautiful place with two different areas - beach and park. The park has picnic tables and grills, playground for the kids, nature trails, affordable parking and restrooms and bath houses too. On this day, we spent our day at the beach and enjoyed it as much as possible, take a look:

View of Sand Key State Park from the bridge.
This beach had piles of seashells.
The boys playing and being silly.

We had a wonderful vacation and hopefully we'll be back next year!

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