Tag Archives: sweet

Smoky and Sweet BBQ Sauce

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The Stars at Night, are Big and Bright…

All my fellow Texans just clapped in their heads and sang “Deep in the Heart of Texas”. Admit it, you know you did! I’m certainly missing Southern California, but I am happy to be back in my great state. Texans are a proud people, and one of the things we pride ourselves on is our BBQ. You can find at least one little BBQ joint, if not three or four, in pretty much every tiny town in Texas, and probably every single one boasts it’s own “special BBQ sauce”. I love BBQ sauce; I cook with it, dip things in it, and top things with it! It’s so versatile; sweet, spicy, tangy…and loaded down with refined sugar. A popular brand of BBQ sauce has a staggering 16g of sugar in only 2 tbsp of sauce, and the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25g of added sugar for women and around 12 for children, depending on their age. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want nearly all of my sugar consumption for the day to come from a measly 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce.

So what are we supposed to do when we want that sweet, tangy sauce? Make some with no added sugars! This BBQ sauce is sweetened using dates, which are a sweet and sticky fruit, so the sugar content is natural and unrefined. The smokiness comes from charring an onion, and the tangy flavor comes from apple cider vinegar and garlic. This sauce is delicious in my Barbecue Meatloaf, is perfect to top shredded chicken or pork with, or use as a marinade. However you use it, I know you will love the flavor, and relish in the fact that there are no added sugars. Healthy food doesn’t have to be flavorless or boring; enjoy it!

Smoky and Sweet BBQ Sauce

Makes about 2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 cups of water, or more for a thinner sauce
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste, no salt or sugar added
  • 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 yellow onion, charred either over gas burner or in the broiler
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp of cayenne, depending on taste
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp of chipotle powder, depending on taste

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium heat
  • Stir until combined and just starting to steam
  • Carefully transfer ingredients to food processor or blender
  • Puree until desired consistency
  • Use immediately, or store covered in fridge for up to 2 weeks

For other flavorful sauces, be sure to check out my Dairy free Garlic Herb RanchSpicy Garlic SalsaClassic Garlic Hummus, and Lemon Garlic Aioli. For creative ideas on how to use this BBQ sauce, check out my Barbecue Meatloaf, or possibly with leftovers from my Roasted Chicken with Carrots. And, of course, all BBQs need a delicious side of Mustard Potato Salad. Yum!

I hope this BBQ sauce inspires you to cut out added sugars and to truly enjoy healthy foods! Cover everything in sauce…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer

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Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

The nights here in Southern California have been dipping down into the 50s; it’s so nice, crisp, and cool in the mornings. I just want to cuddle up under a big, fluffy blanket with a warm mug full of delicious, flavored coffee. Mmm. And since it’s fall, the flavor of the coffee should obviously be…PUMPKIN PIE! 

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is kindaaa unofficially the official first sign of fall, and one thing’s for sure: the sugar content is spooky. In a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte with 2% milk and no whipped cream there is… 48 grams of sugar! *cue dramatic thunder clap and flickering lights* That’s scarier than anything you’ll see this Halloween.

I’m not a huge fan of really sweet coffee, and have never actually tried a PSL; however, at this time of year, I love all things pumpkin-y, cinnamon-y, and spice-y. If you want to make your own homemade and healthier version, I have just the thing for you! This creamer is dairy free and refined sugar free…not to mention pure pumpkin coziness in a cup! It includes real pumpkin puree in the mix, which is great for gut health, and of course, delicious. You can mix the creamer right into your brewed coffee, or blend it up to make it foamy like a latte; I gulp it down either way. I hope you make a batch, or two, or 10 to enjoy this fall!

Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer

Makes two cups.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan
  • Warm over medium-low heat, whisking until well combined
  • Remove from heat
  • Pour directly into coffee to stir in or make a “faux latte”
    • To make a “faux latte”
      • combine desired amounts each of coffee and creamer in blender
      • blend on low speed for 30 seconds until foamy
  • Once cooled, store leftover creamer covered in fridge for a week (it still stirs in just fine when it’s cold)

If you like all things pumpkin this time of year, you should bake my Pumpkin Spice Cake and enjoy a slice along with your spiced coffee! If you make either pumpkin recipes, I’d love to see it; you can tag me on Instagram (mrsmollymills). Have some delicious coffee, cuddle up with your family, stay cozy…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

I Want to Remember

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I was looking through old photos and got a familiar ache,

the ache you get when you miss someone from your past.

I know it’s cliche, but I’m discovering it’s true,

that babies grow up fast.

 

Right now, I count down the hours until nap time comes,

so I can pick up, sit down, and do what “needs” to be done.

I rush through the days, I clean, and I cook,

When, really, I just need to sit with you, snuggle, and read a book.

Because I’m realizing with a heart-stabbing pain,

that you’re growing up,

and you’ll never be this small again.

The days are long, emotions run high,

yet, at the same time, the years fly by.

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Oh I want to remember, and never forget

the way you climb in my lap and lay your head on my chest.

But only for a moment, and then you run away

you’re squealing and laughing, wanting to be chased.

 

I want to remember your sweet little words,

which ones are especially cute, and which ones you said first.

I want to remember you blowing kisses and saying “wub you” in bed at night.

I know someday it will just be a quick hug and you’ll say “love you” right.

I want to remember your little round cheeks, long lashes, your little button nose,

your sweet dimpled hands, and tiny, round toes.

I want to remember every tiny thing. The things that make me smile, laugh, and cry,

Because, no matter what, the years will continue to go by.

I shouldn’t wish these times away,

Because someday you’ll be grown, and I’ll wish you could stay.

Oh, I want to remember these short years

where the days seem so long, and often end in tears.

Though, yes, the days are hard, a memory is what I can’t lack

because I just know, someday, I’ll wish for my little toddler back.

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Keep growing, my little love, be wild, and don’t lose

your spark.

Even though the growing breaks my heart,

I will be sure to notice, really notice, you;

I’ll watch you learn and play,

take in all the new words you say.

I want to notice and take stock of all of you,

because the years fly by, it’s true.

 

So one day when you’re grown, and I’m in Life’s winter,

I can smile, look back…and remember.

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