Sweet and Spicy Monkey

Sweet and Spicy Monkey has moved to: www.sweetandspicymonkey.com

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Moving - Easter Bark Recipe

I've recently moved my site to: Sweet and Spicy Monkey.com  where you will find my latest recipe for Easter Bark. You don't wanna miss this recipe! I'll still be sharing recipes of the foods I love and I hope to see y'all over there.
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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Strawberry Banana Beet Smoothie

Some big things are in store for Sweet and Spicy Monkey this month. The first (and probably biggest change) is Sweet and Spicy Monkey will be moving to a new location on the World Wide Web.

Yes, it's finally going to happen! Sweet and Spicy Monkey is getting it's very own .com site! I'm so excited with this move as it’s been a goal of mine for this site since I started blogging. And now I'm finally able to make my dreams come to reality.

I know, I know, I'm such a nerd!

Don't worry about missing any recipes though, as I will let you know when the big move becomes final. In the meantime, I'm still going to be sharing recipes here.

Speaking of food, I haven't shared a smoothie recipe with y'all in quite some time. If I remember last, my green smoothie recipe was the last. And green smoothies are so last year!

2016 is all about the color and right now, my new smoothie crush is this pink Strawberry Banana Beet Smoothie.

Made with beet, beet juice, strawberries, banana, chia seeds, dates (for sweetness), and cashew milk or your milk of choice. This smoothie is easy and quick to make for those hurried mornings or your go-to drink before or after your workouts, or between meals.

I love to drink it in the morning before I leave the house or sometimes for breakfast or lunch. It's chock full of vitamins and good for you stuff.   And with its bright pink coloring, this smoothie is sure to wake you up in the mornings to the start of a great day.

After all, how can you stay grumpy in the morning with this beautiful pink Strawberry Banana Beet smoothie?

You can't!

Strawberry Banana Beet Smoothie

Recipe by Julie Murphy @ Sweet and Spicy Monkey
A quick and easy Strawberry Banana Beet smoothie that you can enjoy at breakfast, as a snack, or anytime of the day.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cooked beet
  • 7 to 10 whole strawberries
  • 1/4 cup beet juice
  • 2 Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • 1/4 cup uncooked oats
  • 1 tall glass (8 ounces) cashew milk
  1. In a small microwavable cup, add 1/4 cup water and the 2 dates. Cook on High for 45 to 60 seconds. Remove from microwave and let cool as you prepare smoothie.
  2. Add remaining ingredients into a high speed blender.
  3. Remove dates from water and slice in half. Remove seeds and place dates into blender.
  4. Pour water from dates into blender.
  5. Pulse on High setting until all ingredients are pureed, about 7 to 10 times. Or about 1 minute of continuous blending at High speed.
  6. Pour into a tall glass and serve.

All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.
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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Buttermilk Biscuits

I've been searching for a buttermilk biscuit recipe to make and haven't really found any that I like.

For starters, they add sugar to the recipe. Not good for someone trying to cut their sugar intake. And I don't ever remember eating a sweetened buttermilk biscuit.

Then I tried a recipe that I saw on Pinterest for buttermilk biscuits. I was supposed to "swoon" over these tall flaky biscuits with buttery layers.


It turned out to be more work than needed for flaky buttermilk biscuits because you were supposed to fold over layers, roll out, fold, roll out, fold, roll out, and cut. Not to mention, they were nothing near tall and flaky, more like short and flat.

Very disappointing and I did not "swoon" over them, as promised.

I was about to give up my quest for a flaky buttermilk biscuit before I realized I had a recipe for buttermilk biscuits in...wait for it...of all things, a cookbook. A real life paper and cover cookbook!

Needless to say, this cookbook has been in my family since I was a teenager, when I bought it for my mom. This cookbook has been with me since I moved out of my mom & dad's home. Let's just say, a long time.

The cookbook, "The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking", has a recipe for anything and everything food. One of the reasons I bought it for my mom. It reminds me of Pinterest, if Pinterest were a book.

As you can see, this is a well loved cookbook of mine.

I can't tell you how long it's been since I've actually cracked open a cookbook with Pinterest and the Internet. So when I opened the book and looked up biscuits, I was happy to see a recipe.

The original recipe calls for Crisco and whole milk. Since I don't cook with Crisco, I substituted butter and I used buttermilk for the whole milk because I wanted my buttermilk biscuits.

No folding over layers and rolling out over and over here. Nope, just your old fashioned mix up ingredients, knead a few times by hand, lightly roll to a flat dough, cut and bake.

To my surprise, beautiful flaky buttermilk biscuits!

I might have even "swooned" over them! Yes, I think I did swoon!

Buttermilk Biscuits

Recipe by Julie Murphy @ Sweet and Spicy Monkey
Light and fluffy buttermilk biscuits with a soft & flaky inside.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 to 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Yield: 8 biscuits
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup (5 Tablespoons and 1/3 Tablespoon) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Cut butter into small pieces. Set aside.
  4. Place dough attachment on stand mixer.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, add dry ingredients. Mix together with a fork, about 3 times.
  6. Mix butter throughout flour mixture, about 1 minute.
  7. Pour buttermilk into flour mixture and knead until dough is soft and slightly sticky. If dough is too dry, add in buttermilk, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until dough becomes more pliable to work with. If dough is too sticky, don't worry because as we roll out dough on floured surface, it will take some of that flour into the dough, making it soft and easier to work with.
  8. Remove dough from bowl and place on a clean, dry, flat, lightly floured surface.
  9. Knead dough gently 10 to 12 times with your hands.
  10. Gently roll dough until its about 1/2" to 3/4" thick.
  11. Using a lightly floured biscuit cutter, cut biscuits and place onto prepared cookie sheet. Repeat until all dough is used.
  12. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until biscuits are a light, golden brown on top.
  13. Serve immediately with butter.

All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Warming Winter Cocktails for Cold Nights

It took awhile for winter to get here, but now that it's here, its not letting up any. We're getting more rain here in Georgia, with another cold front, and the weatherman is even talking about snow again...Ugh!

Arctic polar fronts, rain, sleet, ice, and snow....I've had enough! No, this Cali girl could never live in Michigan or Canada. I really don't know how y'all do it up north.

This is how I've been feeling...enough already winter!

So to help keep you warm this winter, I'm sharing these warm cocktail recipes for a cold winter's night from FIX. These cocktails will help you forget how cold it is outside while making you feel all warm and cuddly.

Luckily, winter doesn't last forever (although it seems to sometimes) and it's only 25 more days until Spring, with Summer following close behind.

So raise your glass with me to warmer, sunny days and sandy beaches.

Source: Fix.com

*If you aren't able to view all of the ingredients on my page, visit original source here.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

No-Bake Granola Bars

Recently I attended a Facebook Q&A (well, I logged onto and submitted a question) for David Lebovitz on Sur La Table's Facebook page. Sur La Table's Q&A gives fans a chance to ask questions to some of their favorite food chefs. And I was lucky enough to see this one for David Lebovitz coming up.

You know where you see something coming up and you get all excited about it? And then the day comes around and you've totally forgotten about it? Yea, that happened to me on this Q&A. Luckily, I still had 10 minutes left in it, so I thought of a quick question to ask.

One that's been on my mind (especially after my Swiss Cake Roll fail x 2, thank you very much) is does he have one recipe that he finds a challenge. So that's the one question I submitted.

And do you know what the answer was for this famous pastry chef and cookbook author? Granola bars! Yes, you read that right, granola bars. A healthy granola bar gives David Lebovitz troubles.

This made me feel good because if you follow me, you know the troubles I've had with the Swiss Cake Roll. Although after the last one, I learned that you have to make the cake by scratch because box cake mixes are more crumble-prone than homemade sponge cakes. Something I was unaware of at the time. I've yet to try it after the last fail because I got so frustrated over it.

But to know that David Lebovitz has troubles with granola bars (of all things) makes me feel good. Sorry. Not Sorry. David.

Which got me thinking of the granola bars I made last year and never got to share with y'all. Yes, I held out a recipe from you. Well, not intentionally, just forgot.

These No-Bake Granola Bars are so yummy, you'll forget they're good for you too! I've packed them full of coconut, chia seeds, cacao nibs, and dried cherries. And to help sweeten them, I used a combination of honey and dates.

The best part is you don't need to bake anything and they're ready to eat immediately. Although, I would let them chill for a few hours so the honey and peanut butter can set since they might be a little crumbly if eaten right away. That's the "glue" that holds them together.

Of course, you can also put chopped peanuts, almonds, or pistachios instead of the chia seeds, but you might want to add a little more honey or peanut butter (1 to 2 Tablespoons extra) because that might throw off the wet to dry ratio.

But don't let the chia seeds throw you off thinking these bars won't have any crunch to them. The chia seeds, along with the cocao nibs, gives a nice crunchy texture to these granola bars.

You can also substitute for the dried cherries, using raisins, dried cranberries or blueberries. It's a very customizable recipe so try what you like and let me know how they turn out.

Now about that Swiss Cake Roll recipe....

No-Bake Granola Bars
Recipe by Julie Murphy @ Sweet and Spicy Monkey
Deliciously healthy & easy to make granola bars for on the go breakfast or snacking.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 3 cups Old Fashioned Oats, uncooked
  • 1 and 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 5 Medjool dates, diced
  • 3/4 to 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup cocao nibs
  • 4 Tablespoons chia seeds
  1. Prepare 8" x 11" pan by wiping down with coconut oil. Wipe any excess off with a clean, dry paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir together, making sure peanut butter and honey coat all ingredients.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down firmly with palm of hand.
  4. Cover pan and let chill in refrigerator so peanut butter and honey can set.
  5. Can store in covered pan in refrigerator for up to 1 week. But they won't last that long!
 *Helpful Hints*     
- You can use a smaller pan, but that will make bars thicker. Same goes if you want to use a larger pan, bars will be thinner in size. Bars shown are 1" thick using an 8" x 11" pan.

- You can use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips instead of cocao nibs in this recipe.

- You can use flaked sweetened coconut instead of unsweetened coconut flakes.

All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.
Follow Julie's board Sweet and Spicy Monkey on Pinterest.