August 2016 - Buttered Side Up

Iced Matcha Latte

Iced Matcha Latte
Guys, I've totally jumped onto the whole Matcha bandwagon. I'm sold hook, line, and sinker. It is DELICIOUS.

Yes, matcha can be a bit of an investment. But it's totally worth it in my mind.

Iced Matcha Latte
I love a good, flavorful drink. Coffee is my favorite, but it gives me the shakes. Even decaf affects me a bit. Matcha on the other hand, even though it contains caffeine, doesn't make me jittery. At all. And I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine.

So if you're looking for an iced latte that doesn't make you want to do ten million jumping jacks and twenty million pushups (at the same time), an iced matcha latte could be just the thing for you. Plus it tastes pretty awesome.

Iced Matcha Latte
Many frappuccino drink recipes call for ice. It's what makes your drink nice and cold and thick. But I don't like to water down my drinks if I can help it.

So I came up with a way to have my cream and drink it too (so to speak): use frozen cream instead of water! Not only does it keep the fat ratio nice and high, it makes for a very smooth drink.

Iced Matcha Latte
My one caveat: Matcha is definitely an acquired taste. My husband thinks it tastes like grass. My sister thinks it tastes healthy. Me? I think it tastes fantastic. 

All of that to say: don't get mad at me if you try matcha because Erica told you to, and then hate it. But I don't think you's absolutely sublime. Just make sure you get the good stuff!

If you have any questions about Matcha, don't hesitate to ask!

Iced Matcha Latte

Iced Matcha Latte

Recipe by Erica Kastner | 5 mins | Serves 1 | PRINT


1/2 cup heavy cream, frozen in an ice cube tray,
1/2 cup whole milk,
1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder,
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract,
1-3 teaspoons pure maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like your drinks),


Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until completely smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula a couple of times to make sure all of the match gets dissolved.

Serve immediately.

I'd like to get to know you better!

 2016 Buttered Side Up Reader Survey

Hey friends!

I have a special request for you: would you allow me to get to know you a bit better? I would be so pleased if you would do me the favor of filling out the survey below.

By letting me know more about yourself, I'll be able to serve you better! Please be honest - this information will help me to improve Buttered Side Up.

Thank you!

Collard Greens

Collard Greens

Welcome to another addition of Eat Your Greens, where I encourage you to eat more leafy green vegetables!

Today we're going to be talking about Collard Greens.

Collard greens are a cruciferous vegetable related to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts. They are actually native to the Mediterranean.

Collard Greens - Learn how to prepare collard greens, along with recipe ideas for what do make with them!

Collard greens contain High levels of vitamin K and A, a good amount of vitamin C and folate,  moderate amounts of Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Calcium, Manganese, and Vitamin E , plus other vitamins and minerals in lower amounts, as well as antioxidants.


Collard greens are available year-round, but they are at their peak in Fall, Winter, and early spring. So technically they aren't at their peak right now (late summer), but I found some local ones at our natural foods grocery store.

Collard Greens - Learn how to prepare collard greens, along with recipe ideas for what do make with them!

To prep you collard greens, begin by slicing out the stems. You can do this by sliding a knife along the stem on both sides, or just tear it off by hand.

Collard Greens - Learn how to prepare collard greens, along with recipe ideas for what do make with them!

You can then chop up the leaves.

As with spinach (and other green leafy vegetables), collard greens contain oxalic acid, which inhibits mineral absorption.

A great way to reduce the amount of oxalates and goitrogens is to steam (or boil) your collard greens for about 5-7 minutes. Make sure you throw out the water, because the oxalates and goitrogens leach out into the water.

I recently read this article saying that the fear of goitrogens in food is a myth, but I still feel that greens benefit from being cooked.

Collard Greens - Learn how to prepare collard greens, along with recipe ideas for what do make with them!

My personal favorite way to eat collard greens is to chop them up and sauté them in bacon grease. Mmhmm.

Here are some other ideas:

Have you ever eaten collard greens? How do you like to fix them?

Dr. Axe
Dr. Mercola
Nutrition Data
Eat To Beat

Egg Custard

Egg Custard
One of my all-time favorite summer desserts (or breakfasts, if I'm honest), is perfectly ripe fruit topped with some form of fat. Heavy whipping cream is quite fabulous. It's super quick and simple, but oh so satisfying.

Egg Custard
Another great topping for fruit is rich custard. Granted, it is more time-consuming, but it is sublime: so rich, so smooth, so dreamy-creamy.

Egg Custard
If you know me for long, you come to realize that I have two requirements for my desserts: not too sweet and heavy on the fat content. This egg custard definitely fits the bill.

Egg Custard

As I said, I like my desserts quite un-sweet. If you have more of a sweet tooth, you can always add more sweetener. I wouldn't recommend going over about 3 tablespoons unless you like things REALLY sweet.

This custard is extremely rich, so you don't need a whole lot. You can make it less rich by using half and half instead of cream, but you'll probably want to make a double batch then.

What's YOUR favorite summer dessert?

Egg Custard

Egg Custard

adapted slightly from Shaye Elliott | 30 mins | Serves 2 | PRINT


1 cup heavy cream,
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (<< The best!) or vanilla extract,
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or sweetener of choice),
6 egg yolks,


In the top of a double boiler (or a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water), place the cream, vanilla bean paste, and maple syrup. Heat until quite hot to the touch.

In a medium-sized heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Once the cream mixture is hot, slowly add half of it to the egg yolks, whisking all the while.

Return all to the top of the double boiler. Cook, whisking frequently, until custard thickens, about 10 minutes.

Strain into a heat-proof container. Serve hot, warm, or chilled on top of berries, peaches, roasted apples/pears, etc. Or just eat by the spoonful (I won't judge).

Egg Custard Nutrition Facts

Cuban Sandwiches

Cuban Inspired Sandwich
If I'm going to eat a sandwich, I like to go all out. Because I'm trying to not eat too many grains these days, when I do indulge, I like to make sure it's WORTH IT.

This Cuban sandwich is totally worth it in the cheating department. It has a lot going on, but it all goes together so well.

Cuban Inspired Sandwich 14

Pulled pork, ham, sour and salty pickles, and a mustard-mayonnaise sauce. Mmhmm. You can also add some cheese if you like (Swiss is most traditional).

I used my crockpot pulled pork recipe, Applegate ham, Woodstock pickles, and Sir Kensington mayonnaiseAnd I used this 40-minute bun recipe.

Get the full recipe and step-by-step photos for these Cuban-Inspired Sandwiches over on The Pioneer Woman's blog!

Cuban Inspired Sandwich: Pulled pork, ham, pickles, and a mustard mayonnaise sauce. Mmhmm.

NOTE: Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Buttered Side Up!

Pizza Mushrooms

Pizza Mushroom - Buttered Side Up
Not gonna lie: I love me a slice of Pizza Hut super supreme stuffed crust. What I DON'T love about it is the ingredients they use to make it. It contains soy, corn syrup, nitrites, preservatives, flavorings, and I'm sure MSG is hidden in there somewhere. YIKES!

What's a healthy, pizza-loving girl to do?! Make your own pizza, of course!

Pizza Mushroom - Buttered Side Up
Lately, as I've mentioned before, I've been trying to cut back on grains in my diet. But I was having a major pizza craving. I've tried coconut flour crusts as a grain-free option, which are OKAY, but I wanted to simplify the process a bit.

Mushrooms are a great crust substitute since they are already a yummy pizza topping. Plus, they make these pizzas completely flour-free!

Pizza Mushroom - Buttered Side Up
You can make these pizzas how I have this recipe written (this is a very classic pizza flavor), or you can substitute with your favorite toppings.

BTW - I used Applegate pepperoni and cut out the cute little circles with scissors. You could also just chop up pepperoni with a knife.

Also, the filling tends to spill out of the mushrooms if the sides of the mushrooms are broken at all. They still taste fine, it's just less pretty. Try to select mushrooms that have deep "cups" that are not broken.

Looking for more homemade pizza? Here are some recipes to try:

Pizza Mushrooms

Pizza Mushrooms

Recipe by Erica Kastner |45 mins | Serves 2


4 large Portobello mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and gills scraped out,
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil,
1 small clove garlic, minced,
1/3 cup pizza sauce (I used this brand),
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped pepperoni (more to taste)
1/4 cup sliced black olives
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
3 tablespoons freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
fresh basil leaves, as garnish, optional


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C).

Place the mushrooms, gill side up, on a rimmed baking sheet.  Mix together the olive oil and minced garlic. Spread the olive oil evenly in the "cup" of the mushrooms.

Layer the rest of the ingredients evenly in the mushroom cups: pizza sauce, cheddar cheese, pepperoni, olives, bell pepper, Parmesan cheese, and basil leaves.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-25 minutes, until cheese is nice and bubbly. Remove from oven, allow to cool a bit, and serve with a steak knife.

Recipe idea from Eating Bird Food.

NOTE: Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Buttered Side Up!

10 Tips To Help You Meal Plan Like a Boss

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyGo2Pen #CollectiveBias
How to Meal Plan Like a Boss
It took me several years into married life to start meal planning. My mom never planned out her meals, so I just wasn't into it. I had a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of shopping/cooking plan. That can work great for some people, but I found that I was wasting food and I'd often be at a loss as to what to make for supper.

Then I decided it was time to change. I've been meal planning regularly for over a year now, and I LOVE it.

Yes, it takes time to plan out your meals each week. But when you have a plan, you won't be staring at your kitchen at 4:00, wondering what to have and hoping supper will magically make itself.

Here are my 10 tips to help you meal plan like a boss to save money and reduce waste:

How to Meal Plan Like a Boss

Before you write out your meal plan for the week, take a look into your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Choose 2-3 things to build some meals off of. For example: Do you have salmon in your freezer? Plan to make Salmon en Papillote for one of your suppers. Got spaghetti and pasta sauce in your pantry? Plan to make Hearty Pasta Sauce for a supper.

Not only will this reduce this week's grocery bill, it will keep you from wasting food when you have to throw it out when it goes bad.


I actually only plan for 4 meals each week (plus the leftover meal). We always eat with family on Sundays, and there's usually one more day a week where we eat at someone else's house or go out to eat. If you plan too many meals, food will go to waste (especially delicate produce!).

How to Meal Plan Like a Boss

There are some things that our little family can't eat up in one meal: we just can't use an entire head of lettuce. So I plan to use it for at least two meals in a week.

For example, I plan to make chicken salad for one meal, and taco salad for another.


We usually have enough leftovers every week to make a meal out of it. I like to plan one of my meals as a leftover meal so this food doesn't go to waste. You can also plan a "clean out the fridge" meal where you have to eat up whatever is left from the week's grocery haul. It's a great challenge!

Alternatively, you can plan to eat any leftovers for lunches.

How to Meal Plan Like a Boss

Sometimes (most of the time, if I'm honest), I draw a complete blank when I sit down to map out my meals for the week. Having a list of your favorite meals really simplifies the process. All I have to do is glance over my list and select which meals sound good to me that week.


It's great to have your list of favorite meals, but they can get boring if you never try something new. I like to have a secret Pinterest board with recipes I think we'd enjoy (for inspiration, check out my "What's For Supper" board). Each week I try to choose one new recipe. Then, if it's a huge success, I can add it to my favorite meals list.

How to Meal Plan Like a Boss

I don't know about you, but having fun/pretty supplies motivates me to actually do my meal planning. Buying my meal planning pad (with the rip-off list) is what really pushed me to meal plan regularly.

Good pens are a MUST for me. But I'm always losing them! I picked up some new ones at Walmart the other day. I'm enjoying these Pilot G2 pens (I've been a sucker for gel pens since I was a kid). I like the pretty designs on their fashion collection pens, but you can choose from different collections (premium or metallics, for example), 4 point sizes and 15 colors.

How to Meal Plan Like a Boss

I like to scribble down my meal list in my notebook before writing out the final plan. This way I can make adjustments and my final draft won't be all messy. I also write out my grocery list as I think of ingredients I need.

How to Meal Plan Like a Boss

Once I have my meal plan finalized and my list of groceries written out, I like to go back and make a more organized grocery list. It's a great idea to color coordinate your list by types of food. For example, green for produce, blue for pantry items, pink for dairy products, orange for meat, etc. You can do whatever colors make sense to you.

Color coordinating your list makes it easy to see if you have everything in a category so you can move on to the next section of the store.

Which brings me to tip #10:


Instead of having a random list of products to buy, it's MUCH more convenient to have your list arranged by where things are located in your store. That way you are less likely to forget something on your list.

For example, most stores have the produce section first. Put all of the fresh fruits and veggies at the top of your list.

So those are my top 10 tips for meal planning. If you have any more tips, make sure to share in the comments.

Happy meal planning!

By the way, if you're interested in the pens I used in this post, you can save $0.75 on any ONE 4-pack (or larger) of G2 Gel Ink pens with this coupon.

Mint Chip Ice Cream

Mint Chip Ice Cream
Have you ever disliked something as a kid, only to do a 180 and learn to love it as an adult?

My dad was a huge influence on what I liked and disliked growing up. And it just so happened that he disliked mint chip ice cream. So of course I turned up my nose to it as well. I mean, mint goes in toothpaste, not ice cream!

Fast forward to when I got to know Reuben and his family better. To my surprise, I learned that they actually, purposefully BOUGHT mint chip ice cream. BECAUSE THEY LIKED IT. I had always thought that mint flavored ice cream only made its appearance at gatherings because some dimwitted person didn't know how to buy ice cream.

Mint Chip Ice Cream
But when I saw Reuben enjoying it (I was crushing on him, so of course I wanted to like what he liked), I decided to give it a second chance.

And I learned that it was actually yummy. The mint gives a bit of freshness to the rich custard and dark chocolate. It's lovely for summer.

Guys, it took me 3 tries to get this recipe perfect. So do me a favor: go get the recipe on Pioneer Woman's blog, give it a whirl before summer is gone, and enjoy!

Oh, and my dad liked this ice cream, even though he eyed it suspiciously when I told him what flavor it was. :D

If you make this (or any of my recipes), make sure snap a picture of it and share with me on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ButteredSideUpRecipe and tag me @ericaleakastner. KTHANKS!

What I Ate Wednesday (8-2-16)

What I Ate Wednesday

Funny story: I totally thought yesterday was Wednesday, so I started to document my meals. Once I realized my mistake, I figured I'd keep going anyway so you guys could have a What I Ate Wednesday post this week. So this was actually Tuesday's food!

What I Ate Wednesday- Breakfast

Cheese omelette with fried bell pepper and onions, avocado, sauerkraut, and carrots.

What I Ate Wednesday- Lunch

Banana Carob Smoothie (made with frozen bananas, collagen, carob powder, vanilla extract, and whole milk). It's kinda like a healthy milkshake.

What I Ate Wednesday- Lunch

Fried cheese (Helen calls it "the crustiness"), Applegate pepperoni, avocado, and carrots. I shared this plate with Helen.

What I Ate Wednesday- Snack

I've been really into matcha lattes lately. I'm working on a post for PW Food and Friends, so be on the lookout for that this fall/winter!

What I Ate Wednesday- Supper

I made Korean-flavored chicken in my Instant Pot and served it with rice (cooked in chicken broth) and zucchini (sauted in butter with garlic and ginger powder). Of course I topped off my bowl with generous amounts of butter and a bit of sauerkraut.

What I Ate Wednesday - Snack

We went to my family's house after supper. I stupidly forgot to bring snacks (when I'm nursing I get HANGRY), so I bummed some food off of my parents: raw cheddar cheese and peaches and cream. Mmmhmm.

So that's what I ate yesterday!

By the way, if you like my What I Ate Wednesday posts, make sure to follow me on Snapchat. I often post meals we eat over there. My username is ericaleakastner.

What did YOU eat yesterday?

NOTE: Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Buttered Side Up!

In Season NOW: Peaches

In Season Now- Peaches - Buttered Side Up
No fruit says end-of-summer to me quite like a perfectly ripe, juicy peach. It evokes blazing-hot afternoons spent at the lake, or trying to keep cool in the air con.

They definitely rank in the top 5 of my favorite fruits. Their flavor, sweetness, and texture are superb. The fuzzy skin sometimes gets on my nerves, but it's all good.


Peaches can start to come in season as early as May, but they are at their peak in July and August. They can still be acceptable into September.


Peaches contain many vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, and antioxidants (Source).

Just remember, peaches are quite high in sugar, which can spike your blood sugar. Make sure to consume peaches with plenty of healthy fat to stabilize your blood sugar (Source).


Most of the time, peaches are a little under ripe when you get them from the store. I like to place them on my counter with about 1/2" of space in between each one (this helps prevent molding). Once they're soft and ripe, consume immediately, store in the fridge for a few days, or freeze for long-term storage.


Now, I love peaches with just heavy cream. It's the best way to eat them, IMO. But they are also delicious in recipes.

Here are a few ideas:

In Season Now- Peaches - Buttered Side Up 12
Peach Freezer Jam

It's super easy guys. If you've never made jam before, this could be the recipe to ease you into it!

Here are some more recipe ideas from around the interwebs:



What's YOUR favorite way to eat peaches?
Back to Top