Food & Drinks
Fabulous food and drink from NW Favorites! Who's hungry for great recipes, party tips, cocktails, and more?
Happy New Year! 2023 is already shaping up to be a phenomenal year! We are kicking off the New Year with our new blog Northwest Favorites! We’re excited to share the best of northwest living! We hope it will inspire you wherever you are in this great big beautiful world. Join us as we talk about foods we’re loving, festivities, fitness and fun! We hope these posts bring you joy and some good ideas throughout the year to help make it your best and most present and beautiful year yet!
In this post we’re exited to bring you some delicious and healthy snacks to kickstart your new years diet. And by “diet,” we don’t mean some obsessive quest to reduce your intake of food. Nope, we mean nourishing your body with nature’s bounty! Maybe you resolved to eat better, lose weight or just eat more healthy snacks! We’ve rounded up 7 ideas that you will love so you enjoy a different healthy snack every day of the week.
- Celery with peanut butter and everything bagel seasoning or sesame seeds! This one is sure to please, it tastes great and adds tons of good protein to your diet!
- Olives are always a great snack. They’re so good for you. Olives are rich is Vitamin E and antioxidants, which can help reduce your risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease- I’m not a huge fan of most olives (thought Christina is), but this year I’m happy to report that I found some I LOVE – try castelvetrano olives, they’re buttery and delicious, and they don’t disappoint. If you are new to olives, this is a variety you should definitely try.
- Kale ‘chips’ are such a great choice if you like the crunch of potato chips but not the fat. They’re full of flavor and you can eat a LOT of them – perfect for snacking on when watching football! We made a great Kale chips recipe, that you might enjoy!
- Roasted Chickpeas- A great source of protein and delicious to boot. You can really customize them by adding garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, herbs, etc. Make sure they’re really dry before roasting them so they’re extra crunchy! Some people think they taste like corn-nuts.
- Airpopped Popcorn- Air popcorn is so satisfying and you can add fun herbs to it too, like herbs or dried dill.
- DIY Trail mix is a great snack for ON the Go! Be careful though because nuts can have quite a few calories so be sure to keep an eye on portion control.
- Smoothies are always a great choice – they’re great to use up leftover fruits and veggies and they’re good for you to boot!
Give some of these healthy snacks a try and let us know what you think!
Love, Erika, Christina and Evelyn
Baked Salmon is a staple in our house! It’s packed with Omega-3 fatty acids. This heart healthy entree is something you can feel good about feeding your family. Just like all of of our recipes, we keep it simple.
Start with a nice piece of fish, (Salmon Filet, about 12 make sure you check the dates on the package so that you have a very fresh one.
Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees.
Rinse the salmon, and bolt with a paper towel.
Melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter with 2 cloves of garlic (we prefer the little frozen cubes).
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the salmon.
Next, brush the butter garlic mixture on the salmon.
Slice lemon and place on top of your salmon.
Bake at 400 Degrees for 10-12 Minutes, or until it reaches at least 135 Degrees. Tent it and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Be sure to save this dish, and include on your Pinterest board. Tag us @northwestfavorites if you make the recipe too, because we love to see!
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The Best Coziest Healthy Pumpkin Soup!
Who has been craving pumpkin everything?! It’s the absolute best for this time of year, so cozy and rich and gives you that hygge Autumn feeling!
Here’s our recipe for the yummiest pumpkin soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, very finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh sage
3 cups pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons half and half
5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon umami powder
Toasted sunflower seeds for serving! (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, sauté for 5 minutes or until onions start to brown, add in garlic and cook another 5 minutes.
Add the Thyme and sage stir to combine, next stir in the pumpkin puree, salt, cumin, pepper and ginger.
Cook over medium-low until fragrant, about 5 minutes. At this point mix in the chicken broth and stir to combine.
Remove from heat, mix in the maple syrup and half and half, stirring constantly. Add Worcestershire sauce and umami powder. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Taste it and adjust salt and pepper accordingly.
The flavors meld as the soup sits so it’s best to cook this 3-4 hours before serving. Garnish with toasted sunflower seeds!
Enjoy, and be sure to save it to your Pinterest recipe board!
A healthy cookie is the perfect complement to an afternoon cup of earl grey, or for breakfast. The great thing is, you get a great tasting cookie with this combo of agave nectar and honey. Bonus, if you are trying to lean toward more healthy fats – you can feel good about just using a bit of olive oil instead of butter.
Some of us are all for the healthy choices, and some say, “hey, if I’m going to eat a cookie,” it better be a real treat and somewhat of splurge. Which one are you? Let us know on Instagram at either our NWFavorites account or Fittbe, depending upon which one is more your jam. And speaking of jam, we have some favorite jam picks for your cozy autumn tea and toast morning.
On to the cooksters… These are so easy to make, and you don’t even need to putt out your Kitchen Aid. Believe us, we love it – but the thing is heavy and I don’t keep it out on the counter, lol!
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Method: Ready for this easy method?! Simply blend together the wet ingredients and set aside. Then mix up your dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and then add in your raisins and chocolate chips.
Scoop with an ice cream scoop onto a cookie sheet with silpat. Bake for about 12 minutes, and voila, you have delicious, healthy cookies that are perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea, or even road trips!
If you’re anything like us, then you might be trying to eat a little more Mediterranean or emulate those lauded “Blue Zones,” so captivating for their lifestyle and the longevity and good healthy their inhabitants tend to have.
If this sounds like you, then you definitely should be adding more delicious legumes to your diet!
Here’s a beautiful side for you to add to your repertoire. It features garbanzo beans/chickpeas, green beans, green onions, and is full of fresh flavor with star ingredient, mint!
1 lb green beans, cooked and trimmed
1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
6 green onions, finely chopped
12 large mint leaves, Julienned (technique tips from Jamie Oliver)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (we buy it on Amazon since we use it for everything from salad dressing to tea!)
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon olive oil
Blanch green beans in boiling salted water, 2-3 minutes or until tender. Remove immediately to an ice bath to shock them and retain their bright color. After they’re cooled, drain and pat them dry, then slice into 1 inch pieces.
In a large mixing bowl, add sliced green onions, chickpeas, mint leaves, salt, pepper, cider vinegar, capers, olive oil and green beans.
Toss to combine, taste and season with additional salt if needed.
Serve at room temperature.
Be sure to Pin this if it sounds good to you, and if you make it, we hope you tag us on instagram @northwestfavorites
These healthy granola oatmeal cookies are so delicious! It’s a bit of a taste “cheat” to use the yummiest granola you can, partially because they’ve done some of the work for us, but hey, you’ll all busy enjoying life right, so saving a little time is a major “YES” in our book!
Ingredients / Shopping list:
3/4 Cup Flour (any kind you like)
3/4 Cup Quick Oats
3/4 Cup of of your Favorite Granola (For this, we tried Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin and Flax Seed, Yum!)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup agave or honey
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins
Here’s how to make them! Get ready for a complicated recipe, just kidding, it’s a total breeze!
Preheat oven to 325 Degrees
Prepare a cookie sheet with a sil pat.
Whisk together the Flour, Quick Oats, Granola (you may need to break it up a little), baking power, salt chia seeds, salt.
In a separate bowl (we use the kitchen aid mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the butter, egg, agave/honey. and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients.
Once blended, add in the raisins!
Get your ice cream scoop and scoop about 12-15 cookies out. Press them down slightly with a spoon.
Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the sides are golden!
Great ready to devour! They are perfect for breakfast, road trips, Fika, you name it!
This light loaf is the perfect addition to your Sunday morning coffee. It’s light, yet rich and lemony too! You could also add a blueberry compote with a scoop of ice cream and serve it for dessert. Yum, Yum!
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
Ingredients for Blueberry Lemon Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- zest of 1 large lemon (add more if you want a pucker!)
- 3/4 vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups greek yogurt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries (if using frozen, thaw before adding and drain out water)
Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, whisk sugar and eggs together until pale and smooth, add olive oil, coconut oil, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Stir in yogurt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder,
andsalt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Fold in blueberries. Place the batter in the prepared baking dish, smooth the top and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.
Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
These cookies are perfect for Valentine’s, Galentine’s, or any “tines” day! Cake-like, full of flavor, and fun to make, bet you can’t just eat one!
Makes 20 cookies
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup brown Sugar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp red food coloring
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Method for Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
In a bowl combine your dry ingredients; flour, cocoa powder, baking powder & salt. Give it a quick whisk and set aside.
In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix together until combined. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix together until thoroughly combined. Add in red food coloring a few drops at a time while mixing until a deep, bright red hue is achieved.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour powdered sugar onto a plate or in a shallow bowl. Scoop chilled cookie dough into small balls and roll in powdered sugar. Once you’ve rolled all the cookie dough balls in powdered sugar repeat this step one more time, roll in the powdered sugar once more to get a good coating of powdered sugar on each cookie.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before you transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for later.
These chocolate covered pretzels are so delicious, they add the perfect amount of savory and sweet, and are the perfect treat with a cup of coffee or tea!
The beauty of these, is that you can really make them for any holiday or season. Just change up the sprinkle colors for Halloween, Christmas, or even Easter with pastels and white chocolate!
Makes 16 Pretzels
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 16 pretzel rods
- Valentines day sprinkles
Place chocolate chips in a
microwave safebowl. Microwave on high for 1 minutesat 50% power, remove from microwave and stir. The chocolate chips won’t be fully melted so continue to microwave on high in 10-15 second intervals, stirring in between until all chips are melted! Set aside.
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat, lay 16 pretzel rods on the cookie sheet and drizzle chocolate over them. Keep drizzling until you’ve reached your desired “chocolaty-ness”
While the chocolate is still wet, add your sprinkles and place
inthe refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. The chocolate will be set and your chocolate Valentines day pretzels are ready to serve!
Need a fun weekend activity? How about throwing a wine tasting party? It’s so much fun and obviously the only approved kind of “Wine-ing!”
We began by inviting 8 people, and had each pair bring a bottle of wine wrapped inside a paper bag, Each bag was then given to 1 person (the sommelier) for the evening and the fun began!!
What you need…
- Friends…preferably friends who like wine, and talking about flavors would be a plus!
- 1 friend designated as the “sommelier” they won’t be as into the tasting as they’re somewhat “working” but they can still play along. Pick someone charismatic.
- Printable “tasting” notes cards…find one on the internet or make it up..!
- Snacks! cheese platter, grilled meat, and my all-time favorite, smashed potatoes
Viola, that’s it! I would say that’s an evening well done, don’t ya think?