Tag Archives: Recipe

Granola Bars

I love granola bars. In fact, they’re probably my favorite food… well those and ice cream!

I’ve been pinning different granola bar recipes for awhile. I haven’t actually made any of these, but maybe sharing the recipes here will inspire me to try some of them!

Granola Bars by Cooking Channel

No Bake Chewy Granola Bars by Back to the Cutting Board

Katie’s Granola Bars by Kitchen Stewardship

Crunchy Good-For-You Granola Bars by Brown Eyed Baker

Chocolate Granola Bars by The Marathon Mom 

via Pinterest

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It seems that my current cooking hobby is making muffins. I’m sure Logan would rather more desserts (or even dinner consistently), but I’m loving a muffin each morning before school!

I found these two recipes on Pinterest, and they’re huge hits!

Inside Out Carrot Cake Muffins (really, need I say more?)
*The only changes I made were to the flour and oil. I used 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. I substituted the applesauce for the oil.

from King Arthur Flour

Pumpkin Muffins (as in, easiest muffins ever)
*After reading through the comments, I decided to add some cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, and cloves because I did want the pumpkin taste to come out more.
*Only 2 bad things about this recipe: 1.  I made it during a heat wave of a winter so it seemed just a little weird to be eating the pumpkin flavors on days it would be warming up to 65 (didn’t stop me, just seemed weird). 2. The dog ended up eating all but a few of these muffins when he wasn’t gated in his “room” one day and jumped up on my counter. Grr. He liked them too though.

from Sweet Verbena

Then I was thinking, how great would it be to combine these two? Take the cream cheese filling from the Inside Out Carrot Cake Muffins and put it in the Pumpkin Muffins? Yum!

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12 Gifts of Christmas: Cookies

Today I thought I’d post recipes for some of my favorite Christmas cookies and cute ways to wrap them as gifts. I’m sure most people are all set with their cookie recipes, but in case you need some fillers, here’s what I did this year.

Chocolate Peppermint Wafers by Real Simple (love that there are so many variations on a sugar cookie recipe!)

Lemon Burst Cake Mix Cookies by Tidy Mom (3 ingredients, so easy!)

White Trash/Coated Chex Mix by Food.com (I’ve heard it called both)

Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddies by Cookies and Cups

*I also do a variation on Buckeyes and gingersnaps from Betty Crocker’s box mix.

I haven’t tried this yet, but doesn’t it look wonderful!
Nutella Fudge with Sea Salt by The Crunchy Mamacita

I love giving cookies as gifts. Here are some fun, easy, cheap ways to wrap them up. Easier than buying more holiday tins!

Treat Bag with Topper by DCWV Diary (I just used some wrapping paper)

Pringles Can Cookie Holder by A Thousand Words

Happy Eating!



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Pureeing It Up

I know some people aren’t into “hiding” vegetables in their food, but I’m a huge fan. Both my husband and I eat  plenty of fruits and vegetables (he’s come so far since we first met!), but I’m certain I still don’t get enough. When given the choice, I eat carbs (granola bars are one of my favorite foods).

So I’ve been using the Deceptively Delicious and Sneaky Chef books to give a little boost to our veggie intake. At first, Logan wasn’t thrilled about the idea of the purees so I’d make him taste the dish before I’d tell him what was in it. Now he’s pretty cool with it.

And 2 hours later, I have…
*8 bags (1/4 cup each) of purple puree
*9 bags (1/2 cup each) of orange puree
*5 cups of flour mixture
*24 Powerhouse Breakfast Cookies

Not too bad 🙂

Love this pot from Ikea. The steamer fits right into the top of the pan.

Probably my favorite piece of equipment.

I make a huge mess measuring out the mixtures. Not sure about the green tints in the picture.

I lay them all flat and stick them in the freezer.

Ready to go!

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Honey Nut Cheerio Treats

Usually I buy the store brand of most foods–including cereal. And usually Logan is just fine with that (currently he’s working through a box of Target brand Frosted Mini Wheats). But apparently, Honey Nut Cheerios cannot be substituted. Which explains why there’s been a box and a half sitting in the cabinet for a few weeks.

So this morning, I decided to fix that. Because who says Rice Krispies is the only cereal we should mix with marshmallows?

What you’ll need:
*3 Tbsp butter
*1 bag big marshmallows or 4  cups mini marshmallows
*6 cups cereal of your choice (I obviously used Honey Nut Cheerios)

 The recipe goes exactly like if  you were making Rice Krispies treats.

1. Melt the butter in a large non-stick pan.

2. Mix in the marshmallows and stir like crazy until melted.

3. Mix in the cereal.

4. Spread into a 9×13″ pan using waxed paper or a greased spatula. I also lined by pan with foil to make clean up a little easier.

Optional:  Let cool and cut into 2″ squares. Or just eat them right then out of the pan!

My mistake this morning:  I decided to do 1 1/2 batches at once. Not smart. You have to work so fast to get the cereal mixed in and the whole thing spread into the pan. I wasn’t nearly fast enough… maybe because I kept sampling though…


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Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Over the summer I was sitting through an incredibly boring workshop and met Cali from Home Awaits. She has a great blog full of pictures of homes to dream about… which is exactly what she’s doing! While clicking through, I found her recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Brownies. Can you really ask for anything better? I made a few changes to her recipe, and they were fabulous!

What you’ll need:
*1 box of your favorite brownie mix
*1/2 cup chocolate chips
*3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350. Spray or line 40 mini-muffin cups or 20 muffin cups (I used the regular size because I don’t have minis. Besides, then you don’t have to eat 4 to get your brownie fix).

2.  Prepare the box mix as directed. Spoon into muffin cups. Cook until a toothpick comes out slightly wet when stuck in the center. For the minis it’s 13-15 minutes and for the full size it’s 20-22 minutes.

3.  After the brownies begin to cool, the centers will fall. If they don’t, take a spoon and scoop out a little of the brownie to make a hole for the peanut butter mixture (I might have eaten all of the centers I scooped out).

4.  Put the peanut butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 25 seconds and stir. Continue heating in 25 second increments until smooth. Spoon into the centers of your brownies. Top with chocolate chips. Let cool in the pan.

Yum. Chocolately-Peanut Buttery Goodness.

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Zucchini Bread Recipe

If we’re going to be honest, the only reason I try to grow zucchini is to make Zucchini Bread. Every year I say I’m not going to try these plants again, because I only got a few to pick last year. And every time I go to the farmer’s market, I pick up sprouts, because I hate the thought of not having bread all summer long.

The love of zucchini bread started when I was little and would stay at my grandparents. During most of those visits in the summer, Grandma Barb and Pop Red would make a big production of my sister and I working in the kitchen to make the bread with them. One of my favorite memories was when Pop stuck the toothpick in the center to see if the bread was done. It wasn’t… and swallowed the toothpick right down to the bottom. Later, when we cut open the bread, we cut it right along the edge of the toothpick. I just thought that was the most amazing thing.

Since then, I’ve changed recipes, but every time I’m making zucchinibread in my kitchen, I think of those summers!

This recipe is modified from the one found here at Simply Recipes.

What you’ll need:
*2 eggs, beaten
*1 1/3 cups sugar
*2 tsp vanilla
*3 cups grated fresh zucchini
*2/3 cup melted butter
*2 tsp baking soda
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
*1/2 tsp nutmeg
*2 tsp cinnamon

Couple of Notes:
*If you’re short on zucchini, use some grated carrot. It adds the moisture and bulk you need without changing the flavor. And since I use the whole wheat flour, the bread is a little darker so it’s harder to see the orange!
*I use salted butter so I don’t add any extra salt to the recipe. If you use unsalted butter, just add a pinch of salt.
*I love the combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flour in this recipe. The wheat adds a little extra nuttiness.

1.  Preheat the oven to 350. Grease, flour, and line two bread pans.

2.  Peel, seed, and grate your zucchini. This is probably the longest part of the whole process. My suggestion:  use your food processor. It saves SO MUCH time! (I love my Kitchen Aide!)

3.  In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add the zucchini and melted butter. Mix well.

4.  Sift the baking soda over the mixture (I’m not sure if you really need to sift baking soda, but I have terrible memories of biting into a clump of either baking soda or baking powder and that awful taste. I just don’t take the chance!).

5.  Mix in the salt and both flours. Add about a third at a time and mix until just moistened. Add the nutmeg and cinnamon. It makes a pretty thick dough.

6.  Divide between two loaf pans. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. I usually check around 45-50 min (mine has never taken more than 50 min so be sure to check). If the top of your bread is looking done but the center isn’t, cover the loaf with foil. Turn out on cooling racks and cool completely (Or if you’re like me, cut of the end and be careful not to burn your fingers or mouth when you eat it!).

This bread freezes really well too! Wrap the cooled loaf in plastic wrap, put it in a ziploc baggie, and leave it in the freezer. I’m not sure how long it will last in there though… usually I freeze one loaf, we eat one, and then start in on the frozen one. But a week is fine!

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Easy Caprese Salad Recipe

My tomato plants are on the verge of producing tons of ripe tomatoes, but I still have a few in my refrigerator. So for a church pitch-in, I decided to make a quick caprese salad to use up what I already had.

What you’ll need:
5-7 ripe tomatoes
1 block mozzarella cheese
fresh basil
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Cut your tomatoes in quarters. Scoop out the seeds (otherwise your salad will be runny and too juicy).

Cut the tomato “shells” into chunks. This doesn’t need to be very fine.

Cut the block of cheese into chunks about the same size as your tomatoes.

Rinse and dry your basil (I used out salad spinner). I’m using boxwood basil, so the leaves are small, and I didn’t cut them. But if you’re using sweet basil, roll your leaves, and chop them thinly.

Gently tossed the three together.

Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Perfect for a summer salad

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Ice Cream Cake

Logan’s birthday is next week, and we just celebrated with our families. My friend Natalie made an apple pie ice cream cake last year, and it was fabulous! Another friend, Annie, also sent me an ice cream dessert recipe that was like Dairy Queen’s Peanut Buster Parfait. So, I combined both recipes to make an Oreo Ice Cream Cake with hot fudge sauce and peanuts. Yum!

You can really use any ice cream and toppings you want, but the steps will still be the same.

What you’ll need:
48 oz chocolate ice cream
48 oz death by chocolate ice cream
1 jar hot fudge sauce (keep some aside)
1 package Oreo cookies (broken up and keep some aside)
2 cups peanuts
1 big tub Cool Whip (thawed)

Line a 9×13 pan with plastic wrap or foil. You’re going to be building the cake from the top down and then turn it out onto a tray. Make sure you have plenty of room in the freezer to put your pan. Keep in mind that when you turn the cake out onto a tray, it’s going to need even more clearance with the Cool Whip. Lesson learned…

Soften the chocolate ice cream (I stuck it in the refrigerator for about an hour). Spread it into the pan. Refreeze.

Cover with the hot fudge, Oreos, and peanuts. Freeze. (Your hot fudge topping won’t get super smooth and easy to pour–no matter how long you microwave it. And don’t try to microwave the whole jar for very long or it will gurgle up the sides and leave a lovely, sticky mess for you. Another lesson learned…)

Soften the death by chocolate ice cream and spread it into the pan. Refreeze.

To release from the pan:  Partially submerge the pan in warm water for just a few moments to loosen it up. Put the tray on the top of the pan and flip the whole thing over. If it still sticks, wipe it with a warm washcloth.

You can see the top layer melted a little. I probably should have put the whole thing back in the freezer before putting the Cool Whip on, but it turned out fine.

Cover the top and sides with the Cool Whip and “drizzle” the rest of the hot fudge  and Oreos along the top (see previous note about the hot fudge–it’s more like “drop” the rest of it in various patterns). Refreeze.

Before you’re ready to serve, leave the cake out for a few minutes. That way you’ll actually be able to cut into it! Keep a cup of warm water handy to rinse your knife.

Enjoy! Just as good as Dairy Queen 🙂 

And thanks to Natalie and Annie for their recipes!


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