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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie {Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free}

This post is sponsored by LorAnn Oils but as always all opinions are my own.

This gluten-free, dairy-free Pumpkin Spice protein smoothie is perfect for fall!


This gluten-free, dairy-free Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie is a perfect way to start the day!



I have been trying to eat healthier lately.  Breakfast has always been my struggle – I know it’s the most important meal of the day but I’m the kind of girl who wakes up at the last minute possible and runs out the door so I’m not late.  I don’t have time for breakfast!  So I have been drinking protein shakes.  For those of you cringing at the thought of trying to choke down a chalky, funky tasting drink – keep reading I promise this one taste good!  In fact it taste like your favorite Pumpkin Spice drink.

That’s right I turned everyone’s beloved PSL (pumpkin spiced latte for those of you who don’t speak Starbucks) into a tasty breakfast treat!  Well it’s not really a latte – I didn’t add coffee but you definitely could! 

I have two secret ingredients – first quality protein powder.  I have been on a hunt for the perfect protein powder, one with not a lot of extra stuff and that tastes good.  My second secret ingredient is a baking emulsion from LorAnn Oils.  The baking emulsion is an exact that adds a boost of flavor to baked goods, or in this case a smoothie!  You can find LorAnn Oils at your local crafting store or online.   They have some fun flavors like cinnamon spice, cream cheese frosting, and coffee.

Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie - tastes like fall in a cup!  Plus its gluten free!

There are two ways to make this delicious smoothie – the “oh crap I have 5 minutes to get ready” way or the “hey I woke up early and have a few extra minutes” way.

Speedy Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie
1 cup almond milk, cold
1 serving of vanilla protein powder*

In a protein shaker, mix almond milk, pumpkin spice emulsion, and 1 serving of protein powder.  Shake until well blended. Serve immediately. 

Blended Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie
1 cup almond milk, cold
1 teaspoon LorAnn Oils Pumpkin Spice emulsion
1 serving of vanilla protein powder*
5-6 ice cubes

In the blender, add almond milk, pumpkin spice emulsion, and 1 serving of protein powder, and ice.  Blend until smooth.  Serve immediately.


Looking for a more authentic Pumpkin Spice Latte smoothie or just need an extra caffeine boost?  Replace 1 cup almond milk with ¼ cup cold coffee and ¾ cup almond milk.  

*Make sure you pick a protein powder that is gluten-free and dairy-free if that is important to you!  Orgain is one of my favorite brands.  

I wanna hear from you! 
What's your go-to quick breakfast??
If you could make any flavor smoothie what would you make??



Curious to see what else you can make with LorAnn Oils and Flavors??  
Check out what a few of my favorite bloggers made! 

Strawberry Fudge from The Stylish Nest
Pumpkin Spice Latte French Macarons from Rickabamboo
Amaretto Cookies from The Blonde in the Apron
No Soda Root Beer Cupcakes and Frosting
Coffee Donuts from the First Year Blog
Pumpkin Spice Brownie Cookies from Flippin' Delicious
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake from The Frugal Foodie Mama
Sink Freshening Tabs in a Snap from Christina, Plain and Simple
Marshmallow Cookies with Princess Cake Frosting from Mom's Busy Helper
White Chocolate Key Lime Shortbread from It Bakes Me Happy
Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate from Delightful E Made
Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie from Nel's Nook
Cinnamon Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting from Hezzi-D's Book and Cooks
Almond Cake Cookies with Cinnamon Spice Glaze from Mom's Test Kitchen
Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies from Love Bakes Good Cakes
Princess Sand Tarts from Diary of a Recipe Collector
Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Cinnamon Glaze from Deliciously Sprinkled
Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse from Confessions of a Cooking Diva
Purple People Eater Popcorn Balls from Seven Alive
Green Apple High Hat Cupcakes from Pint Sized Baker
Pumpkin Pie Pudding Parfait from Fearlessly Creative Mamas
Pistachio Lemon cake from Self Proclaimed Foodie
Apple Crumb Coffee Cake from Healthy Delicious
Chocolate Chip Horchata Zucchini Bread from Plate to Gate
Key Lime Cookies from Cooking with Curls
Key Lime Margarita Cookies from Lori's Culinary Adventures
Chocolate Irish Cream Bundt Cake from Lynsey Lou's
Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies from Never Skip Dessert
Maple Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Salted Maple Caramel Sauce from the Paisley Barn
Pumpkin Cinnamon Cream Puffs from That's my Home
Citrus Body Scrub from Melissa's Cuisine
Pumpkin Spiced Tres Leches Cake from Flavor Mosaic
Salted Caramel Meringue Cookies from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Pumpkin Toffee from Eazy Peazy Meals
Movie Theater Pops from KC Bakes
from I Love my Disorganized Life
Maple Bacon Fruit Dip from Renee's Kitchen Adventures
Maple Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding from Awesome on $20 a Day
Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn Snacks from Grumpy's Honey Bunch
Cranberry Cheesecake Bites from Lady Behind the Curtain
Pumpkin French Macarons from Sweet and Savory by Shinee
Caramelized Apple Spice Cake from The Freshman Cook


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Friday, June 27, 2014

Celebrating Change: Gluten-Free Cherry Coffee Cake

This post is sponsored by Lucky Leaf, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Gluten-Free Cherry Coffee Cake is a perfect treat for breakfast or dessert!

This Gluten-Free Cherry Coffee Cake is perfect for breakfast or dessert!  #LuckyLeafSummer

As you may have noticed it has been a little quiet here at Nel’s Nook (insert cricket chirping here).   There has been a lot going on in my offline world and quite frankly blogging just got set to the back burner.  But the lots going on in my offline world means a few changes around here – hopefully they will be good changes – they are real, honest, sometimes messy changes but I think it will make for good conversation.

Monday, May 19, 2014

What's Momma Makin' - Penne Pesto Salad

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BBQ, picnic & potluck season is just around the corner,
here is an easy, delicious Penne Pesto Salad to take along




Some of the best foods in life: garlic, basil, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, goat cheese, garlic, balsamic vinegar and garlic…. Did I mention garlic?? 

Any time I can incorporate any or all of them in a recipe, it is sure to be a winner!

This is a recipe that was originally given to me by a good friend about 25 years or so ago.  Like all of my recipes, it has changed and evolved over the years.  As a matter of fact, this same friend and I went on a girl’s weekend away last month. Since it is tradition, I made the salad to take with us. While we were eating, she commented on how wonderful the salad was and wondered aloud where we had ever gotten the recipe… Um, it’s yours???  A sure sign we have been friends for way too long, our memories are slipping!!  Either that or I made a lot of changes to the original recipe...

Monday, April 28, 2014

What's Momma Makin' - Fish Tacos

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Easy, healthy fish tacos with homemade refried black beans for any day of the week!









A few years back we started the tradition of Turkey Taco Tuesdays, we pick up fresh tortillas and salsa from the local Mexican restaurant, some fresh avocados to make some guacamole and I always have a batch of homemade refried beans that I’ve cooked up and portioned out into smaller servings and have frozen and waiting for every Tuesday.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Crunch

**Lucky Leaf generously sent me a sample pack of pie fillings but as always all opinions are mine**

High-protein Greek yogurt mixed with homemade granola and blueberry pie filling - quick, healthy breakfast option for those on the go!



I don’t know about you but I struggle with finding something quick for breakfast that tastes good and is good for you!  I have been using Greek yogurt as a substitution for a lot of things – sour cream, cream cheese, mayo but never really eat it just by itself. I buy plain Greek yogurt which is way too tart for me to eat all by itself.  Plus since I use it as a condiment or sauce all of the time I think I just forget it can be eaten straight out of the container.  I mean I guess you can eat sour cream straight out of the container but you may get some funny looks! 

So back to breakfast – in an attempt to incorporate some healthy and tasty breakfast options into my day I came up with this super easy, super tasty recipe using Greek yogurt and Lucky Leaf pie filling.  I love using fruit filling because it’s so quick and easy plus it tastes fantastic!

This recipe is perfect for mornings you are rushing around and need something fast..  I stick it in a container with a lid and eat it on my way to work.  The yogurt, fruit, and granola crunch go perfectly together.  My girlfriend said “it tastes like the yogurt they used to have at McDonalds only way better!” - points for me!

Blueberry Granola Greek Yogurt
6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup oats
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
4 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1-32 ounce container of nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2.5 tablespoons powdered sugar
I can of Lucky Leaf Blueberry Premium Blueberry Pie Filling

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

In a bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, flour, brown sugars, cinnamon, and ½ teaspoons vanilla.  Stir until well combined.  Spread the mixture into a thin layer on your prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until dark golden brown.   Let cool.

While the granola mixture is baking, combine the yogurt, powdered sugar, and 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract in a bowl until well incorporated.

Now you have some options:  You have two options when you make it – you can mix everything together all at once (4 servings) or you can make 1 serving at all time which makes it great for mornings!

If you are making it all at once, mix together the yogurt mixture with the Lucky Leaf Premium Blueberry Pie Filling.  Divide the fruit and yogurt mixture into 4 bowls and top with the granola crumble.  Serve immediately. 


If you are making it one serving at a time, mix together 1 cup of the yogurt mixture with ¼ of the can of Lucky Leaf Premium Blueberry Pie Filling.  Right before serving, top with ¼ of the granola crumble. 


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Monday, March 3, 2014

What's Momma Makin' - Baked Potato Soup

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This baked potato soup is amazing for a crowd or for leftovers!



The temperatures have been hanging out in the high teens and low twenties for the past few weeks, unseasonably cold for the Pacific Northwest but it has been sunny almost every day instead of raining so I will take the cold to enjoy that sunshine in the middle of winter! Now if we could just get some snow going….

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What's Momma Makin' - A Little Bit of Anything Scramble




Last spring I joined Nel and a group of people from her work and their friends in a diet called Game On Diet. Being a protein addict, that part was easy but one of the requirements on the diet is to incorporate two large servings of vegetables each day.  

Easy to get a salad in at dinner but I was having trouble getting more veggies in during the day until I remembered my Brother-in-Law, Rob and his eggs, which led to this breakfast idea. Plus, it is a great way to keep the vegetable bin in your fridge fresh and well stocked.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Peanut Butter and Jelly Deep Dish Cookies

Peanut butter and jelly deep dish cookies - raspberry pie filling baked into huge peanut butter cookies. Plus a giveaway!


PB&J Deep Dish cookies - Super soft giant peanut butter cookie filled with raspberry filling!  #LoveableLuckyLeaf

I was compensated by Lucky Leaf to create this post, but as always, all opinions expressed are completely my own.  

Nothing goes together better than peanut butter and jelly right?  How about peanut butter and jelly and cookies??  Yep thats right I took everyone's favorite lunch time combo and turned it into dessert!  And not just any dessert these peanut butter and jelly deep dish cookies are to die for. I recommend pouring yourself a huge glass of milk and maybe sharing with a friend... maybe! But seriously these cookies are not your average cookie - they are huge.  And they are the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and tart.  

Plus if you are super corny (like me!) these would be the perfect dessert for Valentine's Day, that is if your significant other doesn't like chocolate... but then I would wonder why you are with them unless your plan was to keep all of the chocolate for yourself and then I would say good plan but I digress. 

Back to that Valentine's Day idea - wrap up one of these cookies and put a card with it that says "You are the peanut butter to my jelly" and you have the perfectly corny Valentine's Day gift!  


You can't go wrong with Peanut Butter and Jelly - especially in a giant cookie!  #LoveableLuckyLeaf

Peanut Butter and Jelly Deep Dish Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/4 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
1/2 can of Lucky Leaf Premium Raspberry pie filling

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your ramekins (optional but helpful for clean up) and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.  Add half the flour, cornstarch, and baking soda and mix until fully incorporated.  Add the other half of the flour and mix again.  Beat until the dough balls together in big clumps.

In each of your ramekins, put a big scoop of dough in the bottom of each ramekin (about 1/4 cup).  Press the dough flat and up the sides about a half inch.  Put a big scoop of the Lucky Leaf Raspberry pie filling into the cookie dough - filling it up to the top of the cookie dough on the sides.  Crumble cookie dough over the top of the pie filling.  

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the cookie is golden brown.

This recipe made 5 cookies in the Rachael Ray Bubble & Brown Square Singles Stoneware (10 oz) but it would easily make 6-8 cookies using smaller ramekins (6 or 8 oz size).  If you use smaller ramekins reduce the baking time.  


Oh and one last thing - whats better than peanut butter, jelly, and cookies??  Well that's easy - peanut butter, jelly, cookies and a GIVEAWAY! 

Lucky Leaf will be providing one winner an of Lucky Leaf pie filling, a recipe card and a Rachael Ray Bubble & Brown Square Singles Stoneware set


Giveaway rules
  • This giveaway is open to US residents only 18 years and older
  • Each entry must be accomplished exactly as it is stated for it to count.
  • Please be sure to use the same email address when you leave a comment as you do to entry the giveaway so I can verify your entry (or put your email address in the comment).
  • Make sure to use a VALID email address so I can contact you if you win.
  • All entries will be validated before a winner is contacted so please be honest and only mark the entries complete that you completed.
  • After being contacted by me via email winners will have 72 hours to respond to my email to claim their prize.  After 72 hours another winner will be chosen.  

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What's Momma Makin' - SEAHAWKS Cake Pop Bars

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With Seahawks and Super Bowl Mania sweeping all of Washington these last few weeks, I decided to get into the spirit and make a special treat for game day. Of course, we have the standard chicken, ribs and wings and other game day food but I thought this would be a great way to put some team colors on the table and enjoy a sweet treat at the same time.