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!