14 Bite-Sized Valentine’s Day Desserts

Hi Friends!

We’re getting a little crazy up in here with two posts in one day! If you’re looking for the Foodie Penpals Reveal day linkup, CLICK HERE.

I just wanted to pop in and talk dessert with you real quick. Hubby and I have a valentine’s day tradition of making a fancy dinner at home, busting out the fancy china and eating in the dining room. It’s more convenient than going to a restaurant…not to mention cheaper!

I’ve been thinking about what to make this year and although I still have no idea what to make for the main course, I’ve got lots of dessert inspiration… so I thought I’d share it with you.

I’ve teamed up with my friends at Foodie and put together a little dessert collection for you to check out! I hate making a huge dessert and then having it laying around all week for just the two of us…so i’m thinking about scaling things down and going mini. Bite-sized desserts are great for parties, but they’re also great for portion control!

Click on the words “See Collection” below to see the ENTIRE collection, or click the arrows on the picture to scroll through one at a time. If you see something you like, click the picture to be taken to the recipe!



Let’s chat:
What’s your favorite dessert?


This post was sponsored by Foodie.com. I was compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

January Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

Hi Friends!

Time for another Foodie Penpals Reveal Day!

fpp January Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

This month I exchanged boxes with Amanda from Eat Hard Work Hard. Check out her blog if you haven’t already. She rocks!

Here’s what she sent me:

janfpp e1391101855519 January Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

  • Homemade Cookies icon smile January Foodie Penpals Reveal Day She knows the way to my heart
  • Granola bars- delicious
  • Treats for the dogs! They love her!
  • Peanuts- such a good snack
  • Candy- who can say no to that?
  • Nut and seed mix- addicting!

Thank you so much Amanda! I loved everything and it’s pretty much all gone icon smile January Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

Want to participate in next month’s Foodie Penpals? Here’s some more info

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. 
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans.  

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for February, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 

You must submit your information by February 4th as pairings will be emailed on February 5th!

If you participated this month, link up below and go check out a few other posts to see what they got!


Pin It Party 4

Hi Friends!

It’s time for another Pin It Party! Are you following me on Pinterest? If not, CLICK HERE.

pin it party e1390186029146 Pin It Party 4

In case you missed out on the last one, here are the rules:

All bloggers are welcome to participate! Here’s what you do:

  • Round up 5 blog posts you’ve written that you would like to see on Pinterest.
  • Make sure there is a nice, pinable image or photo included in each post.
  • Write a short post featuring the posts you chose- ie, put 5 nice images & links to the posts all in one place, along with a short description of each post.
  • On Thursday, publish your post, then visit The Bean and add your post to the linkup! (If you’re just reading this today and still want to participate, just publish in the next few days…I’ll leave the linkup open for about a week!)

The only rule is this:

If you add your post to the linkup, please take a few minutes to visit at least three other posts  and pin some of their images!

That’s it! Hopefully this will be a fun way to get some Pinterest exposure to some of your best posts and to help drive traffic to your blogs.

If you’re a reader, you can still join in the fun if you’re on Pinterest! Remember that pinning images from blog posts you love is a great way to support your favorite bloggers! It helps more people see the posts and can help the blogs grow! So, if you’re a reader in the mood to pin, visit the Pin It Party, check out some of the great posts that are linked up and pin away!

So, here are 5 of my posts I’d love to see on Pinterest:

freezer chocolate pb cups Pin It Party 4

{Freezer Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups}

frozen yogurt trailmix bars Pin It Party 4

{Frozen Yogurt Trailmix Bars}

quinoa breakfast bars 11 Pin It Party 4

{Quinoa Breakfast Bars}

salt free spice rub Pin It Party 4

{Salt-Free Spice Rub}

no bake protein bars Pin It Party 4

{No Bake Protein Bars}

Annnnd, 1 more for good measure!

sweet potato bites Pin It Party 4

{4 Ingredient Sweet Potato Bites}

In the mood for more pinning? Check out my last 3 Pin It Party posts!

pinit 1 Pin It Party 4

CLICK HERE to pin these recipes!

pinit 2 Pin It Party 4

CLICK HERE to pin these recipes!

pinit 3 Pin It Party 4

CLICK HERE to pin these recipes!

Add your link below! Happy Pinning!


Garden Fresh Salsa

Hi Friends!

I’m glad you all enjoyed Mr. Bean’s guest past so much yesterday. You’ve successfully inflated his ego, increased his twitter following and given him blog post fever all in one day. He’s already plotting his next post.

Until then, you’re stuck with me icon smile Garden Fresh Salsa And I have a new recipe to share with you guys! Let’s talk salsa.

If you follow me on Instagram or read my Weekly Eats posts, you’ve probably noticed that I’m mildly obsessed with salsa. And not just any salsa- Jack’s Hot Salsa.  I put it on pretty much everything. So good.

I’ve been meaning to try to replicate said salsa for a while now. I actually love their ingredient list and don’t mind buying it…but it’s always fun to be able to make something yourself.

garden fresh salsa Garden Fresh Salsa

I was also looking to test out my new Ball FreshTECH Automatica Canner. I was sent this canner by Food & Nutrition Magazine to review independently of the blog, but I loved it so much I thought I’d share a little bit about it with you guys. Lemme tell ya, it is awesome. I’ve always been afraid of canning but this machine literally does all the work for you. You put the jars in, press a button and it preheats them. Then take them out one at a time, fill with whatever you’re canning, stick them back in, press another button and voila! Just take them out when they’re done and that’s it.

Anyways, I’m fully aware that February isn’t exactly tomato season here in Ohio…but I love salsa so much that I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to test out my canner AND test out a salsa recipe.

So I adjusted one of the basic salsa recipes that came with my canner and here’s what I came up with:

Garden Fresh Salsa
Prep time

Total time


A close imitation of Jack’s Hot Garden Fresh Salsa
Serves: 4½ cups

  • 3 pounds tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded and diced (approx 5 cups)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ – ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2-4 hot peppers (i used 2 serrano & 2 jalapeno)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Taste and add more vinegar if desired.

A few things. The canning recipe called for you to add all the ingredients to a pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. So that’s what I did since I was testing out the canner…You can do that if you want, however, I don’t think it’s necessary and I won’t be doing it for the next batch of salsa I make.

DSC 0215 e1390946973916 Garden Fresh Salsa

I cannot wait to try this during tomato season with some fresh, juicy farmer’s market tomatoes! Oh, and here’s a shot of the canner in action:

IMG 2516 Garden Fresh Salsa

Happy scooping!

DSC 0200 Garden Fresh Salsa


Help, I’m Married To A Blogger!

Hi Friends!

Since so many of you enjoyed Mr. Bean’s writing in last week’s post, we thought we’d bring him back more frequently! Today he’s here to share a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be married to a blogger.

Take it away Mr. Bean!

married Help, Im Married To A Blogger!

The Bean wasn’t always a blogger, or a dietitian, or even someone who knew much about cooking. I remember back when we thought we were a big deal for trying to cook salmon (is it done? It’s still pink. Well, it was pink when we started!).

However, as time progressed, so did Bean’s interest in the culinary arts and enhancing our diet. I was on board, because I like to eat. I can trace the origins back to a particular summer – 2007- where we would come home from work, open the windows and cook together listening to the new smash hit John Mayer album “Continuum”. The cats would lay on the window sill scanning for birds (this was in the time B.D.- Before dogs), we could hear the calm, constant sound of the apartment complex fountain- ‘Gravityyyy, is work-ing, against me-e-ee’… Anyways, I digress. Bean was reading a lot of cookbooks, and things were getting more adventurous. We made rice (the amount of water matters we quickly found out). Hell, our sophisticated palates probably even tried a Merlot! She had started making charts of what we were going to eat each week . The food was getting better. Bean would read an article about nutrition labels, then the food got less salty. We should eat this, not that. And then the magic started. Bean would photograph the night’s dish, share the photo on Facebook , and the pandemonium began! “What’s that?” “Looks delicious” “Recipe, please.” …. And after this trend continued for a few years, the murmurs and buzz around Bean reached a fever pitch. Then point of no return… “Babe, you should start a blog.” [GASP]

The rest is history. Let’s fast forward to present day. I’m “the hubby” in the juggernaut blogger household of The Lean Green Bean (I helped create that name BY THE WAY), but what you don’t know is that there’s a secret, behind closed doors, darker side to a blog household. I suffer in silence. There are probably other “hubbies” out there that suffer as well, and this post is for you my comrades- my silent band of brothers. We will be silent no more. Today I share the things they didn’t want you to know about, the issues that have been swept under the rug. Let me shine my light brightly as we tackle the gritty issues of being a blog hubby!

cardboard Help, Im Married To A Blogger!

1) Cardboard: A corrugated nightmare

A blog household makes frequent use of UPS, FedEx, and the USPS. Lots of samples, giveaways, etc. make their way to this house, which while appreciated, creates a staggering amount of cardboard and packing materials. You would be blown away by what goes into shipping Chobani. You could probably ship human organs with the same setup. I’m thinking about starting my own spin off business, The Lean Green Recycling Center. I’m pricing bundlers and it may be financially viable. On a particularly high volume day I may have trouble getting in the front door there are so many cardboard boxes lying around. And guess who has two thumbs and breaks them all down (points to self with his thumbs). This Guy.

props Help, Im Married To A Blogger!

2) Mad Props (and not the kind given for a job well done)

Ramekins, Cloth Napkins, Mason Jars, Pitchers, Glasses- Let me tell you folks, we aren’t that fancy. This isn’t just normal stuff we eat off of day to day. These so called “props” have spilled out of the cabinets, to stacks on the counter, and now to their own dedicated four shelf baker’s rack that I purchased and assembled. You might even trip on some navigating your way through the photo studio that is our house (the light is particularly choice in the living room). Let’s just say World Market and Pier One love it when the Bean swings through.

fridge Help, Im Married To A Blogger!

3) Experiments – Welcome to our Lab

“Uh, babe, are you aware there’s a mason jar full of little green things that appear to be growing?” Apparently those were sprouting lentils, which were ultimately a success. I don’t really question these things anymore, but it’s not all perfection in a blog household. Lots of trial and error creates the wonderful items that the Bean will post. I will often find full batches of muffins or other various goods in our trashcan. Every once and a while I’ll swoop in too early and go to take a bite of something on the counter and hear , “Don’t eat that, those are terrible!” I won’t even tell you what was in that jar in the refrigerator…

dinner Help, Im Married To A Blogger!


The pictures are beautiful, aren’t they? You can see the steam rising off the freshly prepared meal…. mouthwatering… In my world, I see it after it was on the floor for a quick pre dinner photo shoot, next to the panting faces of the begging dogs, after three or four photo attempts, then put back on the counter for dinner, but it’s cold, then we put it in the microwave and I can eat it after picking a dog hair off of it.


twitter Help, Im Married To A Blogger!

5) Twitter Envy

I didn’t really know what Twitter was when Bean signed up. Apparently you need it when you’re a blogger juggernaut. She gave me crash course and set me up with an account. I use it to get the news, or fire off the occasional complaint to a company. As far as connecting with people though, I have a bigger outreach when I open up the front door and yell out to our neighborhood. The Bean, however, presides over her thousands of adoring fans and can tweet for a book recommendation and get 20 responses within the hour. That’s the reality folks, I’m self-diagnosed Level 10 twitter envious. I Tweet what I think is a hilarious quip about this week’s “Biggest Loser” and 7 people probably read it who don’t even watch the show.

instagram Help, Im Married To A Blogger!

6) Unhealthy Instagram Interest

As a supplement to my social media woes, I have to admit Bean has created an Instagram monster, but not like you might expect. I like Instagram as much as the next guy and have my own account. It’s far less pathetic than my Twitter, but again, nowhere near Bean’s league. However, one day it dawned on me that I am a co-curator and analyst of Bean’s Instagram. I find myself guessing how many likes a photo will get. I suggest things for her to post. I’m a filter consultant. I make comments like “Wow, did you see how many likes that pic of the dogs got?” “I’ll bet this dinner will get 200 likes”. Who am I? What was life like before Instagram?

bloggers Help, Im Married To A Blogger!

7) Blog Names as People

I’ve become a part of this blog world/community/culture unknowingly. It completely snuck up on me and took me by surprise. Bean can bring clarity to a conversation about fellow bloggers using their blog name and I will totally know who she is talking about. Shout out to Nutritionella, Cotter Crunch, Peanut Butter Fingers, Run Wiki, Food Fit and Fam,  A Healthy Slice of Life, Delights & Delectables and Olive to Run. Don’t feel slighted if I didn’t mention your blog, my unintended knowledge of food and health blogs runs much deeper. scary.

bzz Help, Im Married To A Blogger!


C’mon Bean , we get it, you’re popular. Silence that phone! Tweetbot, Instagram, Email, Facebook, WordPress, ARGH!!! The madness! I wake up in the middle of the night hearing phone buzzes. “Foodlikerperson123 liked your photo!” “Healthyperson1 shared your tweet”


photo 771 Help, Im Married To A Blogger!

9) Bean in the Zone

Blogging is time consuming. Sometimes Bean is in the zone and needs pried away from her laptop with a crowbar. I talk to her and know she’s not listening. “Hey babe, I’ve taken up with a cult and am on my way out the front door to board the spaceship”. “That’s nice honey, can you proofread Bean Bytes first?”

grains Help, Im Married To A Blogger!

10) Pain in the Grain

Whatever happened to rice? I liked rice. Rice was nice. But now I’m caught in a whirlwind of farro, wheatberries, and Quinoa. Quinoa is a bitch. It’s like the glitter from a greeting card or sand from the beach. It. Gets. Everywhere. If you can scoop cooked quinoa out of one container and put it into another without getting it all over the place, I want proof. Send video.


Is anyone with me?! AM I ALL ALONE? Set up your comment box and tell hubby to start typing. I’m here to commiserate.

[ok, ok, ok, no hate mail. I hope this came across in the slightly hyperbolic, satirical tone I intended. Bean is the best, I love her, she is my best friend, she’s super cool, nicest person you’ll ever meet, yada yada yada. BUT I RAISED SOME VALID POINTS- STAY STRONG HUBBIES!!!]

–Mr. Bean

PS. If you have questions for me, Mr. Bean, I’m an open book! Leave them in the comments and give you the skinny in a future post.