Coconut Cream Protein Cookie Sandwich

Lately I have been on a coconut kick and can't get enough of its creamy, delicious taste. This morning I wanted to make something quick, easy and relatively healthy. Something which was gluten-free, low in sugar and filling. Thats when these coconut cream protein cookies were brought to my attention and I knew I had to make them. They are made with all-natural sweeteners and are packed with protein from my favorite Vega protein powder. 

Also, this recipe is vegan, making them perfect for anyone. The coconut cream filling gives these cookie sandwiches the perfect sweetness and makes them fun to eat. They're the perfect anytime snack or for breakfast or an after workout snack. 

Lastly, these protein cookie sandwiches take less than 20 minutes to make with only a handful of ingredients required. The recipe calls for sunflower seeds, but I didn't have any in my pantry so I added pumpkin seeds and walnuts instead. You can find the recipe here. 

To make the Coconut Cream filling, you need 1 can of coconut cream, 1/2 cup of coconut flakes (or enough to thicken the coconut cream mixture), 1/4 c. maple syrup and 1 tsp. of vanilla. 

Chocolate Coconut Cups (V)

I've found my newest obsession and its in the form of sweets...obviously. Also, its just in time for Valentine's Day. These Chocolate Coconut Cups are incredibly easy, all naturally sweetened and vegan. Also, they take no longer than 10 minutes to make and require no more than 5 ingredients. 

These are an absolutely must-try and are the perfect little thing to satisfy any chocolate craving. I found the recipe from one of my favorite blogs: Its To Die For

Ingredients 

For the filling:

1 414mL can coconut cream (refrigerated for at least seven hours)
1 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla
1 tsp. Himalayan or sea salt

For the chocolate coating:

1 c. coconut oil
1 c. cocoa or cacao powder
1/3 c. maple syrup (or more, to taste)
3/4 tsp. HImalayan or sea salt
Splash vanilla

Directions

  1. Add all filling ingredients into a bowl and combine until smooth with a whisk. Note: for the coconut cream, use only the solid ‘cream’ component (discard or save the watery part for a smoothie). Set in fridge while you make the chocolate coating.
  2. Melt coconut oil in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk together until smooth.
  3. Place baking/muffin cups in your muffin pan (if your paper muffin cups are firm enough you may not need the muffin pan — I find it helpful). Pour a small amount of liquid chocolate sauce into each cup and roll it around so that the chocolate coats the lower sides of the cup. Set in fridge to firm up and then repeat this process up to four times.
  4. Next, add your coconut filling to a ziploc bag and snip off the corner of the bag. Pipe the filling into the cups – as little or as much as you like. I like lots.
  5. Lastly, with a spoon, finish the cups by spooning more liquid chocolate into each muffin cup — make sure the coconuty filling is completely covered. Place in fridge until completely firm and enjoy!

Lemon Thyme Chicken (Whole 30)

There has been a major shift happening in my household lately. My entire life I was all about eating and cooking with white meat chicken breasts. Not anymore, when cooked correctly, chicken thighs are so succulent and juicy and never dry. They are smaller in size and perfect for portion control as well. I found this recipe from the blog Kitchn and it is incredibly easy. One pan, 5 ingredients and so flavorful.  

I love this recipe, because the cooking and the cleanup is easy. Place the chicken thighs in the cast iron skillet skin side down and leave in place for 15 minutes to crisp and brown. Easy, right? After that, add some sliced lemon, thyme sprigs and throw in the oven to finish cooking for another 15 minutes! 

I can't say enough about this easy Whole 30 approved recipe. Its also easy to get creative with this dish and add additional herbs and spices. Enjoy immediately and at work throughout the week! 

 

Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs

Serves 4

2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on (about 4 to 6 thighs)
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 lemon, sliced thin
5 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400° F. Drizzle the chicken thighs with olive oil and season them well with pinches of salt and pepper.

Place the thighs in a large, cold cast iron skillet, skin-side down. Place the skillet on a burner over medium heat. Let them cook, undisturbed, for 14 to 15 minutes.

When a lot of the fat has rendered out and the skin is crispy and brown, flip the thighs so the crispy skin is up. Dot the cast iron skillet with lemon slices and thyme sprigs and stick it in the hot oven. Let the thighs finish cooking in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 165° F. If you're in doubt, leave them in for another few minutes.

Coconut Milk Meatballs (Whole 30)

Hello Motivation Mondays! We are back on after this extended quiet period while I've been busy with school and out of town traveling. But, don't worry, because this week's Motivation Monday recipe is back and with a bang!

Over a week ago, I decided to start the Whole 30 challenge for the second time and have been constantly searching for flavorful, creative and healthy meals to make. I then came across these Coconut Milk Meatballs from the blog I Heart Umami, and had been craving them for days! I have always loved all types of curry dishes and this recipe is the perfect combination of East and West cuisine.  Yesterday, I finally got around to making them and am still dreaming about the creamy, decadent, flavorful taste of these coconut curry meatballs. Like me, you guys will never look at meatballs the same way again. They are amaze-balls!!! :) 

This recipe is also easy to double and take the additional leftovers (if there's any) with you to work throughout the week and reheat. 

This kind of recipe makes the Whole 30 challenge a breeze. I can't wait for you all to try them and make sure to share some love and tag me on Instagram @oliviasobjectionsofobsession and follow me live on snapchat @oliviajoan21

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground chicken (50 % breast, 50% thigh) or turkey, lamb, veal
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro for garnish

Meatball seasonings:

  • ¾ cup cilantro
  • 2 small shallots
  • ¾ cup diced carrots
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • ½ tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream

Sauce:

  • 14 oz full-fat coconut milk 1 can
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste I use Thai Kitchen (sub green curry paste) 
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste no sugar added (sub 2-3 tsp of marinara sauce) 
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander powder (cilantro) 
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder (combination of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper) 

Instructions

  1. Combine and blend the first 5 ingredients listed under "meatball seasonings" in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the rest of meatball seasonings and blend well.

  2. Pre-heat oven to 410/420 F. LIne a non-stick aluminum foil over a large sheet pan. Mix ground meat with the seasonings from Step 1. Mix well and form golf ball size meatballs (about 20 meatballs). Bake first side 20 minutes and flip side 15 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked through.

  3. While the meatballs are cooking, mix ingredients under “sauce”. Slow simmer over medium-low heat. Keep stirring the sauce until everything is combined and reduced to a thicker sauce (similar to tomato soup texture). Taste and see if more salt, tomato paste, or red curry paste is needed. * keep stirring the sauce to prevent it from burning in the bottom.

  4. Once the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is thickened, add the meatballs back to the sauce. Simmer for another 3 minutes. Coat the sauce over meatballs. Drizzle with lime juice and garnish with cilantro leaves before serving.

Chocolate Sea Salt Stuffed Caramel Cookies

Ok, three words: Christmas came early! You're welcome to showing you this amazing, delicious, sweet, salty and chocolatey goodness of a cookie from Ambitious Kitchen! It will change your outlook on all cookies and you can make it just in time to share with all of your friends and family for this holiday season! 

During the holiday season I love trying out new recipes and sharing them with the people I know...and obviously eating some (or mostly all) of them myself. I have always loved baking cookies, especially around this time of year, because its such a great activity that brings all of your family together, whether it be taking part in the actually baking or just sitting around the table eating and enjoying the deliciousness of a cookie!

If you love the sea salt and caramel combination or caramel and chocolate combination, these cookies should be your go to from now on! Plus, they have all of those quintessential holiday spices of cinnamon and nutmeg in them too! They are actually super easy to make, grab some already made caramels from the store, put them in the center of your cookie dough and then roll them into balls! Of course they are best when served warm! 

I can't wait to hear all of your thoughts about these cookies. Have a wonderful holiday and/or Christmas!! Spend lots of time with family and friends and eating good food. 

Share some love with me on Instagram and make sure to follow on Snapchat to watch my weekly Motivation Monday stories! 

White Chocolate Dipped Mocha Cookies

Hello weekend!! I have been in full force Christmas mode recently and frivolously brainstorming tasty and adorable holiday treat ideas...and when I came across this recipe, I knew I needed to make them immediately. They are the perfect combination of minty and sweet, but not overly sweet, because of the dark cocoa powder which is included. Also to add a boost if extra flavor, I added in additional chocolate chips. 

These cookies will be the perfect thing to serve at any holiday party and will be the cutest ones at any cookie exchange! To make these cookies really stand out, I melted some white chocolate to dip in, and sprinkled a variety of green and red sprinkles to make them that much more festive! Chocolate on chocolate with sprinkles? Who wouldn't love these!! 

To see the full recipe, you can find it on the adorable website, Sally's Baking Addition, here.  Enjoy! xx

WEEKEND IN SCOTTSDALE, AZ

Scottsdale. Perfect weather. The perfect combination of relaxation & adventuring. The perfect getaway destination. 

Having visited the Phoenix, Scottsdale area many times while since I was young, I have seen this area change immensely into a iconic destination for celebrations, fun, hiking, exploring and just a place to enjoy the heat. There is a perfect blend of the old city charm with chic new restaurants, rooftop pools and amazing views. 

A perfect weekend getaway in this lovely city should include a stay at the adorable and chic Saguaro hotel, which is also a "bloggers paradise." This colorful, lively and well decorated hotel is located in the heart of Old Town and a short walk down the road from another favorite of mine, Misson restaurant. Hands down, some of the best Mexican cuisine I've had. Make sure to try their traditional marg and make to order guac!  Of course Fashion Square shopping will have everything your heart desires and lastly stop at the W Hotel Scottsdale for some cocktails next to the rooftop pool. 

Photos from my weekend getaway below: 

Cranberry Almond Bundt Cake

This post is short and sweet just like this recipe! Isn't it the best when you can utilize the leftovers you have from a meal or a holiday gathering, like this past Thanksgiving and incorporate them into a new dish. It just spices your meals up and allows you to get creative! Well, that is what this recipe and post is all about. I am a huge cranberry fan and I could eat them all the time. Therefore, since I had a large amount cranberries leftover from Thanksgiving, I knew this Cranberry Almond Bundt cake would be the perfect recipe & who doesn't love a beautiful bundt cake!? You MUST check out this recipe and it can also continue to be the perfect dessert for this holiday season! You can find the recipe here!! 

P.S. I subbed whole fat greek yogurt in place of the sour cream to reduce the amount of calories! Its a 1:1 transfer ratio! 

Make sure tag @oliviasobjectsofobsession if you share on social media & follow along on snapchat @oliviajoan21 to see live recipes every Monday! 

Maple-Roasted Hasselback Butternut Squash

Lets just say this is one of the most impressive dishes I've come across and it actually looks much harder than it really is. Oh and with a maple syrup glaze mixture to highlight the beautiful flavors of the butternut squash, this dish will be a reoccurring staple for all of your future thanksgiving meals or week night dinners! This recipe was inspired by Chez LaRae and the recipe can be found here

The best part about this recipe, is that it doesn't require much assistance. Throw it in the oven, pour the glaze on here and there & after 45-55 minutes, its done and ready to serve! 

Make sure to share the love on social media and tag me @oliviasobjectsofobsession 

Thanksgiving Sides (Zesty Cranberry Sauce + Orange Basil Sweet Potatoes)

Its the beginning of the best time of year, holiday season!! Its Thanksgiving this week and I have been non-stop getting in the holiday spirit, baking, making recipes for Thanksgiving and spending time with friends and family. But, lets be real, the holiday season is one of the busiest times of year and who doesn't want an easy way out or a quick recipe to make! Thats why I am sharing with you these two amazing and incredible easy recipes that your friends and family will love. 
Push that can of already made cranberry sauce to the side and say hello to this fresh & zesty cranberry sauce that takes no longer than 10 minutes. Throw in some fresh cranberries, orange zest, some sweeteners and let boil, then you're ready to go! You can find the recipe and details, here

Moving on to my second favorite and technically more healthy item than your average mashed potato is this incredible orange, basil mashed sweet potatoes from Andie Mitchell's recipe book Eating in the Middle.  Throw a few whole sweet potatoes in the oven for an hour. When the sweet potatoes are soft in the middle scoop the insides out and transfer to a bowl. Add 2 Tbsp of butter, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, nutmeg, salt & pepper and mash together well! Before serving add some chopped fresh basil and serve!! 

Duh, these are the two easiest side dishes you could make on this crazy day of cooking, prepping, traveling, or just relaxing. Make prepare these ahead of time and reheat as well to ease your stress away! 

Thanks again for following and have the best Thanksgiving day!  

Wild Mushroom Stuffing

I know that Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays have been on everyone's minds lately, especially my own, and that is why these next few weeks are all going to be focused around Thanksgiving! I am thinking about you all and that is why I went searching the internet to find the best and most delicious holiday recipes that you can make and share with your family and friends, or all to yourself...lets be honest! I found this recipe from one of my favorite sites, What's Gaby Cooking

The past couple of weeks, I have been testing out this new stuffing recipe, since I've never made any sort of stuffing before in my life. Not even boxed stuffing! So after trying this out a couple times, I am certain, that this Wild Mushroom Stuffing will be the best dish on your plate without a doubt! It is fresh, flavorful and down right delicious! It also gets better with time and as leftovers, as the bread soaks up all of the amazing flavors and juices! Also, I know not everyone LOVES mushrooms, so you can definitely leave them out & it will still be a winner!! 

I can't wait to cook this for my entire family and for every Thanksgiving holiday from here on out!  Make sure to share some love and tag me on Instagram @oliviasobjectsofobsession and follow me live on Snapchat @OliviaJoan21

Butternut Squash + Spinach Ricotta Lasagne

Its mid week and I am in need of a major pick me up or something to get excited about, and this latest recipe including three types of cheese, butternut squash and spinach is the perfect thing. I am so happy I found this recipe from the site, Julia's Album, and even more excited that it turned out this great! This recipe is vegetarian and the perfect thing for these upcoming cold winter days. It is creamy, decadent and flavorful. 

I typically don't eat much dairy, but lately I have been dreaming of everything with butternut squash and because I have been so busy with my last semester of graduate school, this recipe was the perfect choice, because it is actually quite easy to create and makes for the perfect leftover. The reason why this particular lasagna is easy to make, is that it uses already premade pureed butternut squash. Therefore, no need to worry about cutting, scraping and baking the butternut squash in the oven, just mix it together with the required amount of ricotta cheese and you're set! 

I do want to make a point, that when boiling your lasagna noodles, make sure that you add some olive oil to the boiling water, to ensure that the noodles don't stick together. This can happen very easily and typically the noodles will tear into small pieces, which you don't want for a lasagna dish! 

Secondly, I altered this recipe just slightly with the spinach, and instead of leaving the spinach leaves whole, I pureed the sautéed spinach leaves together with the ricotta to combine them together. This made a huge difference and really brought all of the flavors together well. 

This recipe is one you will want to try and when you do, make sure to tag me on Instagram or leave a comment below!! 

Ingredients: 

Butternut Squash Filling: 

  • 2 cups butternut squash puree (about half of squash)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk (or more, if needed)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Spinach Filling: 

  • 1 cup cooked spinach (8 oz uncooked)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste

Other Ingredients: 

  • 10 oz lasagna noodles, cooked (for gluten free, use Tinkyada brown rice lasagna noodles)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (or more)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (on top)
  • Italian seasoning
  • Paprika
  • Basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. For this filling, you will need to have pre-cooked butternut squash puree. Using food processor, combine 2 cups of butternut squash puree with Ricotta cheese, milk, salt and nutmeg. Add more milk if needed (to make the butternut squash filling very creamy). Mix very well, taste and add more salt, if needed.
  3. Sauté the spinach leaves until wilted. Combine spinach, Ricotta cheese, mozzarella, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix, taste, and add more salt and pepper, if needed. (I pureed all of these ingredients together in a food processor). 
  4. Bring a very large pot of water to boil, and cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the water. Rinse in cold water, drain. Using knife, trim noodles to fit your baking dish (if necessary). 
  5. Prepare a baking dish - I used a casserole dish 11 inches x 8.5 inches x 3 inches deep. Grease the lasagna dish lightly with olive oil spray. Spread 1/3 of butternut squash filling on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked lasagna noodles without overlapping (I used 3 noodles).
  6. Spread half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  7. Spread another layer (1/3) of butternut squash mixture, then sprinkle lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  8. Spread the remaining half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with the final layer of cooked noodles.
  9. Spread a generous amount of butternut squash filling (the remaining 1/3) over this final layer of noodles, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and remaining mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 cup of mozzarella). Generously sprinkle the cheese with Italian seasoning, paprika, basil. 
  10. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes.

 

Halloween Marshmallow Pops

Happy Halloween!! 

I just had the most wonderful weekend, spent in Chicago, celebrating Halloween with some awesome people & friends!

I am back in home & so excited, because I found the cutest recipe to continue celebrating Halloween. Today I am making Halloween Marshmallow Broomstick pops! The best part about these pops, is that they are easy, convenient and can be made any way you want, you just need to get creative! 

I love celebrating all holidays and getting into the spirit, and these marshmallow pops are such a great way to do just that. They are incredibly versatile, you can change up the decorations or colors of the sprinkles to suit the specific holiday you are celebrating. When I was young, I would always be in the kitchen baking cookies, frosting and decorating desserts and hanging up holiday decor to get my family and I into the spirit! 

For this recipe, I made the pops completely free of dairy, therefore they are vegan, so everyone can enjoy. The marshmallows I used are Dandies, all natural vanilla marshmallows and the chocolate is dairy free as well. I used two types of chocolate, the first was a gnash made of melted coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder and the second was melted diary free chocolate chips. 

Once you have dipped the marshmallows into the chocolate mixtures, put the sprinkles on while it is still melted, so they stick and stay on. Then put the pops into the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to harden. 

I can't wait to share these with you & am excited for you all to try for yourselves. Come say hi on Instagram and tag me @oliviasobjectsofobsession 

Ingredients: 

2 Tbsp of cocoa powder
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
1/4 c of maple syrup
Sprinkles
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 cup of diary free chocolate chips
1-2 bags of marshmallow (V)
cake pop sticks

Directions: 

1. Take 1-2 bags of marshmallows and insert the sticks into them
2.Melt the chocolate chips on 30 second intervals, until it is thoroughly melted and creamy. 
3. For the second chocolate mixture, melt the coconut oil, and add the cocoa powder and maple syrup to it and mix together thoroughly. 
4. Dip the marshmallow sticks into either chocolate mixture
5. Roll the wet chocolate into the sprinkles, pecans or any topping of your choice

Zucchini Bread

Today is going to be a good day, because I successfully made one of the best zucchini breads ever. Well, it was the only time I've made zucchini bread, but it turned out perfectly! I found the recipe from Domestically Blissful, and it couldn't be any easier to make. There's under 10 ingredients and most of those ingredients are all thrown together and combined into one bowl! Talk about an easy clean up!! 

First, the most time consuming thing you will have to do is grate the zucchinis. I only used two whole zucchini and that was more than enough for the required two cups for this recipe. Make sure that you are grating the zucchini and not spiraling or chopping it, because you want it to mix easily into the batter. 

Once you've finished grating the zucchini, mix the sour cream, sugar and three eggs in a bowl until creamy. You will slowly add in all of the remaining ingredients, starting with the zucchini first, then flour, etc. Make sure all of the ingredients are combined very well and then... you're done! What? That's it? Yes, like I said, this is one of the easiest recipes ever and incredible tasty too! 

Transfer your batter from your mixing bowl to a bread loaf pan, which has either been lined with parchment paper or well greased. Throw into the oven at 325 degree for an hour. I left my zucchini bread in the oven for slightly over an hour to make sure it was baked completely through. 

If you know me, I love trying new things and taking on new challenges, so I I couldn't believe how amazing this bread was after trying it, with all of that zucchini throughout it. This bread is chewy, moist, dense and incredibly flavorful. Oh and look and the beautiful toasted brown color to it! Its definitely a perfect item for Fall. 

Again, you know the drill, share some love on social media with me if you make it and don't forget to tag me @oliviasobjectsofobsession

Triple Chocolate Banana Bread (V + GF)

Recently, I've been on a baking kick, looking for the best, most delectable recipes, while still being conscious of the sugar and ingredients added into them. This past week, I came across this vegan & gluten-free Triple Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe from the website Dear Kitchen and knew this would be the perfect thing to share with you all. Especially with the upcoming holiday season.  

This banana bread was so moist, because of the ripened bananas added to it, which also gave the banana bread some its sweetness as well. But, the best part about this banana bread is that it only uses natural sweetener, like maple syrup to sweeten it up. The gnash topping encapsulates this delicious treat and bumps up the flavor and sweetness as well. I adapted this recipe slightly and added a bit of maple syrup to the gnash and sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts opposed to blueberries. But, if you want to be creative, most anything can be added to the top: coconut flakes, blueberries, raspberries, nuts, etc. 

I love seeing the pictures and recipes you post, so make sure to tag your social media posts with #tripleo and @oliviasobjectsofobsession 

Ingredients: 

  1. 2 cups (500 ml) oat milk
  2. 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  3. 3 tbsp maple syrup
  4. 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut oil
  5. 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  6. 1 cup all purpose flour
  7. 2/3 cup (60 g) cocoa powder
  8. 1 tsp baking soda
  9. 2 tsp baking powder
  10. 1/2 tsp salt
  11. 4 tsp cinnamon
  12. 100 g dark chocolate chips 

Ganache: 

  1. 100 g dark chocolate
  2. 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut oil

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a bread rectangular baking dish (34x12 cm, 2 litres) with baking paper.
  2. Mix together oat milk and vinegar and leave for a few minutes. In a larger bowl whisk together maple syrup and coconut oil. Add the milk and vinegar mixture and mashed bananas. Whisk to combine.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Slowly add to the wet ingredients while whisking on low speed or with hand. Fold in the coconut chips and transfer to baking dish. Bake for 1 hour.
  4. Leave it to cool completely. On a double boiler melt together the chocolate and coconut oil. Pour over the bread and leave to cool down and harden.

 

    Baked Sweet Potato + Almond Butter + Banana + Chia Seeds

    I know what you're thinking, sweet potato with bananas and almond butter? Before you think any further, stop and give it a try!! I found this recipe from the amazing site Ambitious Kitchen and this recipe is seriously to die for. I would have never thought about combining these ingredients together, but the creaminess of the almond butter blends and melts perfectly into the hot sweet potato and the banana adds that perfect hint of sweetness while the chia seeds add the perfect crunch! 

    I have had a crazy last couple of weeks and today was no exception, so I was looking for something incredible easy and healthy to eat and take on the go with me to school. This recipe was the perfect thing and is jam-packed with nutrients and with all its vitamins and fiber, the sweet potato keeps you feeling full for hours. To read more about the amazing health benefits of sweet potatoes read here

    Side Note: sweet potatoes produce collagen which helps aid in maintaining the elasticity of the skin, giving you that youthful looking appearance. 

    The best part about this recipe is that it is relatively inexpensive, quick and requires only four ingredients, which most likely are already within your pantry or kitchen! So don't waste anymore time, and give these baked sweet potatoes a try! 

    Make sure to like us on Instagram @oliviasobjectsofobsession and Facebook, here. Also, share some love and tag myself and @ambitiouskitchen when posting a picture!! 

     

    Fall Fashion Favorites

    Thick knits, high necks, wraps & scarves is everything happening this Fall 2016 season, and also a few things I can never get enough of. 

     

    High Neck Sweaters

    IMG_8246.jpg

    Wearing: High neck thick knit sweater, olive green ripped cropped jeans

    Both of these items can be found at PRIMP Boutique

    When I heard that high neck dresses & sweaters (or turtle necks) as they were once called, were making a comeback, I was a but skeptical, but since trying them on, I haven't been able to stop purchasing them & sure enough they are now to be seen everywhere. 

     

    Thick Wool Blend-Wrap

    Wearing: Black & White Wool-Blend Wrap, black high neck sleeveless dress, UO Black slip-on sneakers

    These clothing items can be found at PRIMP Boutique 

    I love this black and white wool wrap, with its exaggerated size and versatility. Its the perfect item to transition from Fall into Winter, over something like this simple high neck black dress to a long sleeve shirt, jeans & boots in the Winter months. 

     

    Duel Suede + Knit Zip-up Vest

    Wearing: Cream Duel Suede + Knit Vest, Cropped black jeans, UO Slip-on black sneakers

    The vest can be found at PRIMP Boutique 

    One of my favorite ways to style an outfit is to throw over a statement piece like this vest. This vest is all about the subtle cream color, making it a perfect transitional piece in between seasons. I absolutely love the two different materials used from front to back and the comfortability of this piece. 

     

    Blanket Scarves

    Wearing: thick wrap flannel blanket scarf

    This item can be found most places, or here

    We all know that scarves are not new to fashion, but this extra large flannel blanket scarf is the perfect accent piece for your upcoming Fall wardrobe this season. The best part about it, it can be worn multiple ways to ensure your outfits never look the same. 

     

    Happy Fall! 

    The best part about all of these items is that they are affordable and locally sold. This Fall shoot was done in collaboration with the amazing PRIMP Boutique.  Make sure to check them out at their multiple locations around Minnesota. 

     

     

    Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad + Pumpkin Seeds

    Theres no doubt that I've been on a pumpkin kick lately and this salad is just another item to add to the list. But, this salad gets even better as it is packed with incredible nutrients and super foods such as butternut squash, quinoa & pumpkin seeds, and it is gluten free & guilt free! Click to see the recipe details here or below

    There are so many ways in which you can incorporate pumpkin seeds into dishes as well as butternut squash and quinoa. They are such versatile foods that can be used within a side dish or for this instance the main course. I have been eating this light and filling salad all week & its the perfect thing to tide over my hunger and keep me feeling full for hours. Lastly, since most of the items within this dish are savory, the hints of sweetness from the dried cranberries are the perfect thing to liven this salad up. 

    I also am obsessed with how colorful this dish is and it will make the perfect item to bring to your upcoming Fall get togethers or a Thanksgiving side dish as well. This dish takes no longer than 30 minutes total and that is mainly due to the required time for the quinoa to cook. 

    I can't wait for all of you to enjoy & when you do, because I know you won't be able to resist, share and spread some love with me on Instagram @oliviasobjectsofobsession or on my Facebook page, here

    Ingredients: 

    1. 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
    2. 1 cup uncooked quinoa
    3. 2 cups water
    4. 1/3 cup dried cranberries
    5. 1 red onion (or whatever your preference) 
    6. 3 Tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds
    7. Salt and pepper
      Vinegarette Dressing: 
    8. 1/2 cup olive oil 
    9. 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
    10. 1 tsp honey
    11. 1 tsp dijon mustard
    12. 1 tsp minced garlic 

    Directions: 

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
    2. In a large bowl, place the cubed butternut squash. Season with olive oil and salt and pepper and place into the oven until soft. (20-25 minutes). 
    3. While squash is roasting, place the quinoa on the stovetop for 15 minutes to cook, until water has absorbed. Bring to a boil and then reduce down to a simmer. 
    4. Once squash and quinoa have finished cooking, let the quinoa and butternut squash cool completely and combine squash, quinoa, dried cranberries, red onion, pumpkin seeds and vinaigrette with salt and pepper. 
    5. Chill in fridge. 
    6. Enjoy! 

    Top 5 Fall Pumpkin Seed Recipes

    Since I've been in the mood for everything Pumpkin lately and was cooking up a storm in the kitchen with all recipes involving pumpkin seeds, I wanted to do a quick post about my Top 5 pumpkin seed recipes. They are so versatile and can be used in so many various ways, I searched and narrowed down my top 5 picks and wanted to share them with you all! 
     

    1. Seasoned & Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: I love the whole idea of carving your own pumpkin and using the seeds inside, seasoning and roasting them yourself! Personally, I love seasoning the seeds with either cinnamon and sugar or something more zesty like onion and garlic powder. I found some great options here for roasting your own pumpkin seeds.  
    2. Pumpkin Seed Granola - Of course, since I just made a Pumpkin Maple Pecan Granola for Motivation Monday, this is at the top of my list! It is  not only incredible easy to make and the perfect snack, it also just takes like Fall. Check out my recent post for the recipe, here.

    3. Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad + Pumpkin Seeds - Like I said, I am definitely drooling         over all things pumpkin or pumpkin seeds and this is another fantastic recipe! It is extremely healthy with super food quinoa, filled with protein, essential amino acids and its gluten free as well as with bits of sweet and savory throughout. You can find the recipe, here

    4. Pumpkin Seed Pesto - Ok, now I am just trying to find a way to incorporate pumpkin seeds into anything, but isn't this a great spin on a pesto? I think it sounds amazing and can't wait to try! I found the recipe here, and the best part, its healthy and its vegan! 

    5. Almond Pumpkin Seed Butter - Last, but definitely not least, this pumpkin seed butter with honey and cinnamon sounds absolutely amazing and I can't wait to eat it with all of the upcoming Fall cookies, scones, toast, and just everything! I found the recipe here, and hope you guys love it as much as I do! 

    There you go, five different ways to utilize pumpkin seeds this Fall! Make sure to tag me on Instagram and share some love @oliviasobjectsofobsession 

    Skin Care Favorites Fall 2016

    Its finally Fall and for this beauty post, I am focusing on my recent skin care obsessions that I have been using lately and highly recommend for Fall as the air will be getting colder and drier, and it is important to keep your skin hydrated and taken care of during the winter months.

    1. Dead Sea Mud Mask - The first skin care product that I am obsessed with is this Dead Sea Mud Mask from Stella & Grace.  I have now used it a few times and have been thrilled with the outcome every time. The mask is very rich and moisturizing and since you only need to leave it on for 5 minutes, its incredibly convenient as well. This mask leaves your skin feeling refreshed, incredibly soft and reduces pore appearance and redness. Also, it is made with all natural ingredients and helps detoxify impurities from the skin. I highly recommend. Make sure to buy this product and use code: TRIPLEO20 and receive 20% off your purchase. 

    2.  Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser - Move over make-up remover wipes, this is the best thing you'll find to help with that hard to take off makeup. It removes all of your makeup while moisturizing simultaneously and when you're done, wipe off with a damp rag. Its cheap and easily and you can find it here

    3. Rituals Shower Scrub - There aren't enough good things that I can say about all of the Ritual products in general. From the high quality packaging and ingredients to the scents used, this body and facial scrub both gently remove the dead skin on your face and body leaving you with a radiant glow and hydrating feeling. Check out the product here and the whole site in general. I have been using it for years now and always love the outcome. 

    4. TULA - Recently, I have been using this Hydrating Day & Night Cream from TULA and I am obsessed. The best part about this cream, is that its very concentrated and made from high quality ingredients and especially is cruelty free. I have sensitive skin and this hydrating cream is lightweight enough and has probiotics in it to ensure any skin feels nourished. I am loving it. Check out the products here

    5. Simple Face Wash - If you're like me, you love to find a deal, especially when it comes to beauty products. This Simple Face Wash is a perfect and inexpensive face wash to use. Its lightweight, foamy and doesn't leave your skin feeling oily or dry after using it. Its sold at most drug stores and you can also find it here

    6.  Anti-Wrinkle + Energizing Eye Masks - Did you have a long night last night, feeling a little sleepy and can't wake up or have some dark under eye circles or puffiness? Well, I've found the answer to all of these issues. These Grace & Stella under eye masks are so incredible, I wish I could wear them around all day...but that would be silly, right? These cute, little gold strips also reduce the appearance of under eye circles and are made with collagen and minerals to bring back the elasticity of skin and youthful appearance. I am seriously obsessed with this product and you MUST try them. Visit the website here & use my code TRIPLEO20 and receive 20% off your purchase.