Friday, May 28, 2010

no-bake granola bars

I printed this recipe from Enlightened Cooking a year maybe even two years ago.  It's kept making it's way into my pile of recipes to make someday and finally, finally I got around to making it yesterday morning for breakfast since we were out of eggs.  Once I tasted them I thought "how could I have gone this long WITHOUT these?"  Seriously I made them in about 5 minutes and they tasted SO good!  And they are good for you too!  The pan barely survived a whole day in our house.  Brandon and I thoroughly enjoyed them but quite honestly Jordan was probably the one who at the most.  I'm thinking she ate about half the pan by herself.  Next time I am doubling (possibly quadrupling) the recipe since this one only makes a square pan.  (No picture because these were eaten so quickly.  Sorry!)

Homemade Cliff Bars

1 1/4 cup Rice Krispies
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oatmeal
3 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 cup dried fruit (we used Craisins)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (we used peanuts and sunflower seeds)
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup, light molasses or brown rice syrup)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup nut butter (we used peanut butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips
Optional:  1/2 tsp cinnamon (we did not use)

Combine cereal, oatmeal, flaxseed, fruit & nuts in a large bowl.

Bring the honey and brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat.  Stir in nut butter & vanilla until blended.  

Pour nut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until coated.  Press firmly into a greased 8x8 square pan.  Cool in pan (or eat warm!) on wire rack.  Cut into 12 bars, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in fridge (if they last that long!)

*Quite honestly I got the honey & brown sugar mixture on the stove heating while I quickly mixed the dry ingredients.  This really decreased the time it took to make the bars from start to finish.

(For nutrition information per serving and other variations visit Enlightened Cooking's original post)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


That's right, this recipe is for making your own yogurt at home.  The coolest part is you don't even need to buy a special (and pricey) yogurt maker, you can make this in your crock pot!  I got the recipe from Sarah's Musings and I am quite impressed!  We use this yogurt recipe primarily in our smoothies but I've also been using it to make our own cream cheese which is super easy too and I'll explain at the bottom of this post how to do that.

Crock Pot Yogurt

1/2 gallon (8 cups) whole milk
1/2 cup live/active plain yogurt (the container will say live or active on it)
you'll also need:
     -crock pot
     -heavy bath towel or blanket

1.  Pour milk into a 4 quart crock pot and turn on to low.  Cover and allow to cook for two and a half hours.
2.  After two and a half hours have elapsed, turn off crock pot, unplug from the wall and allow to sit, covered for three hours.
3.  After the three hours is up, whisk in the yogurt and re-cover.  Cover and wrap the entire crock pot with a large bath towel or blanket and leave on the counter for eight hours.
4.  After eight hours has passed the yogurt is done.  Just put it into containers and place in the fridge.  If you like flavored yogurt, now is the time to flavor it.  Stir in fresh or frozen fruit and maybe a little bit of honey or stir in some vanilla.  Make sure to save a half cup of the plain yogurt so you can use it to make yogurt again!

*To make cream cheese:   line a colander with cheese cloth or coffee filters, place over a bowl and fill with yogurt (see above image).  The whey will drain off into the bowl and you'll be left with cream cheese!  I hear you can save the whey for and use it to soak grains or make lacto-fermented foods (quite honestly I have no idea what those mean but I'm going to be looking into it so I'm not wasting the whey.  I've included links in case you want to do some research yourself)  It's also suggested to add it to smoothies, I haven't tried that yet but I think I will today!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Salted Peanut Chews

I know we have a lot of desserts on this blog but I can't not put the recipe for this deliciousness on here for that reason! I recently made this one for Brandon & I and shared some with my Bible study girls too and it seemed to be a hit with everyone! My mom used to make this quite a bit when I was growing up; the recipe actually came off of a box of a cake mix.

Salted Peanut Chews

1 (18.25 oz) pkg Pillsbury Moist Supreme Yellow Cake Mix
1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 egg
3 cups mini marshmallows

2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine or butter (works best if softened)
2 tsp vanilla
1 pkg peanut butter chips (I only had a partial bag due to dropping the open bag on the floor that morning so I used about 2/3 peanut butter chips and 1/3 butterscotch chips...really good either way)
2 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups salted peanuts (I accidentally bought unsalted!)

1. Heat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine cake mix, 1/3 cup butter and egg; beat at low speed until crumbly. Press in bottom of un-greased 9x13 pan.

2. Bake at 350 for 12-18 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with marshmallows. Return to oven; bake an additional 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows just begin to puff. Cool while preparing topping.

3. In large saucepan, combine all topping ingredients except cereal and peanuts. Heat just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cereal and peanuts. Immediately spoon warm topping over marshmallows; spread to cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm (I personally don't like this when it's been refrigerated because it gets so hard so I like to keep it at room temperature.) Cut into bars. Store in covered containers.

yield: 48 bars

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fried Ice Cream

I don't know about you, but I love fried ice cream! It's surprisingly very simple to make too! And the recipe can easily be doubled and trust me, you will want to double it! We each had two just wasn't enough.

Fried Ice Cream

6 scoops of ice cream (full, rounded scoops)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
oil for frying

1. Scoop ice cream then freeze for 3 hours.
2. Mix together graham cracker crumbs & cinnamon. In separate bowl, beat egg with milk.
3. Roll ice cream balls in cracker mixture then dip in egg mixture then back in cracker mix then freeze for 1-2 hours.
4. Heat oil to 375. When oil is hot cook one ice cream ball at a time until brown. This only takes 10-15 seconds (or less!).
5. Eat your heart out!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This sounds really weird but it really tastes wonderful! It's not spicy like I thought it would be which turned out perfect for us so that Jordan could eat it with us but if you prefer hotness I think you could just add more of the hot sauce or even sprinkle in some cayenne pepper. I don't have a picture but if you head on over to Stolen Moments blog where the original recipe came from you'll be able to see her picture. I came across the recipe at Once a Month Mom because it was on this month's once a month cooking menu.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

1 lb spaghetti, fully cooked & drained (we used seashell pasta)
1 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups chicken stock
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 cup Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing (we used Ranch)

1. Season chicken breasts with salt & pepper. Place in a skillet with chicken stock, bring to a boil, cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove and reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

2. In a saucepan, combine cream cheese, hot sauce & reserved cooking liquid. Cook over medium-low heat until the cream cheese is completely melted (this part is pretty weird looking until the cream cheese is completely melted and mixed in). While the sauce is cooking, shred or cube the cooked chicken.

3. Add the dressing and the chicken to the saucepan, stir to combine then toss with the cooked pasta. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Everything Good Cookies

These cookies are actually pretty good for you (minus all the butter & sugar). They are filled with lots of "good for you" ingredients and I must say they really taste wonderful! I took them to work for a birthday a while ago and they were a hit. Everyone was shocked to find out what was in them.

Everything Good Cookies
makes: about 66 cookies
oven: 375 F

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins or other snipped dried fruit
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
vanila chips (optional)

1. In a very large mixing bowl beat butter & shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, & baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, milk & vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Stir in oats, nuts, raisins, wheat germ & vanilla chips.

2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. (I like to underbake my cookies slightly as they tend to continue cooking once on the pan once they are taken out of the oven. This results in a very soft cookie.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Waikiki Meatballs

These meatballs are FANTASTIC! I didn't take any pictures and I'm not even going to post the recipe...but I will send you to my friend Kristen who took an amazing picture and is where I got the recipe from in the first place. We will definitely be making these again...and soon! I can't get over how wonderfully delicious my mom's meatballs are that I can hardly eat any other kind so needless to say I made this amazing sauce to go over these amazing meatballs (only making the meatballs & not the sauce of course! Although that sauce is really yummy and recommended too)!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chilled Vanilla Coffee

I don't even have any words. If you like Starbucks frappaccinos or Big Trains or any type of blended coffee you HAVE to try this. Super fast and incredibly delicious!

Chilled Vanilla Coffee

2 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
3/4 c. warm water
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 c. ice cubes

Dissolve coffee in water, blend in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.
Pour mixture into blender and gradually add ice cubes.
Blend until smooth.
Serve immediately.
Serves 4

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fudge for One

I can't remember where I got this recipe but it is a great snack when you are craving something chocolate. It's wonderful! In fact, I'm ready to make some now...

Fudge for One

1/3 cup sugar
1 heaping Tbsp. cocoa
1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. milk
1 scant Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix sugar, cocoa and milk in 1 quart measuring cup. Microwave on high 1 minute. Stir down sides of the cup and then microwave 40 seconds more. Add butter and vanilla. Beat until thick. Let set up and cut into squares or eat warm right out of bowl! Mmmmm!!!!

Catherine's Banana Bread

I don't really like banana bread with a strong banana flavor. The cream cheese in this one really helps tone it down and it's so moist! I got the recipe from a friend at work several years ago and I am so thankful because I didn't care for banana bread until I tried this recipe! This is also fun to make in mini loaves like I did this time and give away as gifts; just make sure to cut the baking time down a bit so they don't over cook and get dry.

Catherine's Banana Bread

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. margarine
1 c. mashed bananas
2 eggs
2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. bkg. powder
1/2 tsp. bkg. soda
1 c. chopped nuts

Combine cream cheese, sugar and margarine, mixing until well blended. Blend in banana and eggs. Add combined remaining ingredients, mixing just until moistened. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Serve with additional cream cheese, if desired.

Whole Wheat Bagels

I was trying to decide between 3 bagel recipes and landed on this one because I could make it so quick. They turned out delicious! The recipe came from an old Better Homes & Gardens bread cookbook.

Whole Wheat Bagels

2 3/4 - 3 c. all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water (110 degrees)
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour

In large mixer bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour and the yeast. Combine water, sugar and salt. Add to dry mixture. Beat at low speed with electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir in the whole wheat flour and enough remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead till smooth (8-10 minutes). Cover; let rest 15 minutes.
Cut into 12 portions; shape each portion into a smooth ball. Punch a hole in center of each with a floured finger. Pull gently to enlarge hole, working each bagel into uniform shape. Cover; let rise 20 minutes. In large kettle, combine 1 gallon water and 1 Tbsp. sugar; bring to boiling. Reduce heat to simmering; cook 4 or 5 bagels at a time for 7 minutes, turning once. Drain. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes. Remove from baking sheet; cool. Makes 12 bagels.

*for Everything Bagels:
-sesame seeds
-poppy seeds
-minced onions
just sprinkle on right after boiling!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chicken Salad

Okay, I don't have any really good pictures to share of this recipe but hey, it's chicken salad...they all pretty much look the same, right?! Taste is a whole other story and this I'd have to say is THE BEST chicken salad recipe I have EVER tasted so I just had to share it. This tastes great as a sandwich, or on crackers, or like we did for my daughter's wedding. We made little "puffs" like for creme puffs and filled them with this recipe. Although, do let people know that this is what it is. One of our good friends loved another friend's creme puffs and he thought by looking at them that that's what they were. Oh my, you should've seen the shocked look on his face when it tasted nothing like the sweet creme puff he was expecting! I sure wished we'd had the camera ready for that shot! Makes me laugh out loud just thinking of it! Thanks, Gary, for the fun memory. Well, fun for me anyways.

Chicken Salad

2 cans chicken, 10 oz. each
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 stalk celery
2 heaping Tbsp. mayonnaise
4 heaping Tbsp. ranch dressing
small amount Lowry's season salt
(You can also add cut up onions or bell peppers, if you like)

Mix all together and enjoy.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I got this recipe from the comments on a post over at Money Saving Mom and now I have no idea which post or who posted the comment, but whoevers recipe this is, I am forever grateful! It is the perfect snack! It's so nutritious and super delicious! I love how easy it is to grab on the go, how filling it is and most of all how healthy it is!

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup milled flaxseed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup dried fruit
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Mix peanut butter and honey together until smooth.
2. Gradually add in oats, flaxseed & wheat germ, also stir in any chocolate chips, dried fruits and nuts you choose to add. (we used craisins! raisins, and sliced almonds...very delicious. I think next time I want to try some dried apples too). I think next time I will also add some coconut!
3. Mix gently in stand mixer or by hand (I did this by hand and had no problem getting it all mixed together easily).
4. Roll into ping-pong sized balls.
5. The original recipe says to place in mini muffin cups and the refrigerate overnight but I just rolled them into balls and tossed into a square pan all together because that fit into my fridge much better. We had no problems with them sticking together so I would definitely do it this way again.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Penne with Chicken, Tomato & Two Cheeses

I got this recipe out of a cookbook the company I work for put together many years ago; it was given to me as the company gift when I first started working there. I have yet to try a recipe I didn't like from it. In fact the hot fudge sauce I wrote about before is from this same cookbook. This pasta recipe is very easy although it does take quite a bit of time to cook down so be prepared for that! We had to have a snack while it was cooking because I didn't start it early enough.

Penne with Chicken, Tomatoes and Two Cheese
Serves 4

6 T olive oil
1 1/2 c chopped onion
1 t garlic, minced
3 28oz cans Italian plum tomatoes, drained (I used the diced variety so they didn't need to be drained)
2 t dried basil
1 1/2 t crushed red pepper
3 c low salt chicken broth
1 lb penne pasta
3 chicken breasts, cooked & chopped
2 1/2 c grated Havarti cheese (this is kind of expensive, next time I plan to use Mozzarella)
1/3 c sliced black olives (I omitted these)
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c finely chopped fresh basil (we didn't use this either)

Heat 3 T olive oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion & garlic; saute until onion is translucent.

Mix in tomatoes, dried basil & crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat tol medium; simmer until mixture thickens and is reduced to about 7 cups (no idea how you would know this!) stirring occasionally - about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well. Return pasta to same pot; toss with 3 T olive oil. Stir together pasta and sauce; add chicken and toss to blend. Mix in Havarti cheese. Transfer to 9x13 glass baking dish (mine didn't all fit into a 9x13 pan so I also used a round casserole dish). Sprinkle with olives and then Parmesan cheese.

Bake 30 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil.