Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sweet, Salty and Spicy Honey Comb Snack Mix

What to do with a bunch of half eaten boxes of cereal, bags of pretzels and dried fruit/nuts that no one is eating??? Easy solution for me....make a snack mix.... 


Ingredients:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup or agave
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 T. Soy Sauce
2 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1 T. Saracha
1 T. Garlic Powder
1/2 T. Dried Rosemary
1/2 T. Black Pepper
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
4 C. Honeycomb Cereal
3 C. Cheerios Cereal
3 C. Pretzels (slightly broken)
1 C. Mixed Nuts
1 C. Dried Cranberries
1 C. Banana Chips

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place the oil, butter, corn syrup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Saracha, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the butter melts and sugar dissolves. In small dish combine garlic powder, dried rosemary, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
3. Pour the cereals, pretzels, nuts cranberries and banana chips in large mixing bowl. Drizzle 1/2 of the syrup over the cereal mix and mix well. Sprinkle 1/2 of the spice mix over the mix. Continue adding syrup and spice mix and mixing until all ingredients have been added and the cereal mix is evenly coated.
4. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool. Transfer into an air tight container.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Classic Macaroni Salad

 



Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar ( I used apple cider vinegar)
1 tablespoon mustard (you can use, yellow, brown or Dijon)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lb macaroni, cooked, drained and cooled
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped red/yellow or orange pepper
1/2 cup chopped tomato

Prepsaration:

Whisk together 1st 6 ingredients in a small bowl to make dressing.  In a large bowl combine cooled macaroni, celery, red pepper and tomato.  Pour dressing over the top and mix to combine well.  Cover and chill.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Applesauce Cinnamon Mini Muffins with Cracker Crumb Topping

I'm always trying to think of different ways to use staples that I always have in my house to create recipes.  the classic salty and sweet combination is always a winner so why not use salty, buttery crackers as an ingredient in a crumb topping?  I had to actually change many things in this receipe to suit the ingredients I had on hand.  I made these muffins over a year ago but never got around to posting it so I decided to make it again and take new pictures.  The original recipe called for butter, yogurt and graham crackers so naturally I subbed in oil, sour cream and Club crackers.  I added more sugar to the crumb topping to cut the savory aspect of the crackers a bit and these little muffins were soooooo delicious.  Much better than the original recipe.  They were literally gone in minutes.  I guess I need to double the recipe next time :)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2  cup applesauce

1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla


Topping:
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups crackers, crushed into find crumbs. 
(You can use any delicate salted crackers such as Club or Ritz crackers)
1/4 cup brown sugar


Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl beat together sugar, eggs and oil.   Add applesauce, sour cream and vanilla to the egg mixture and combine well.  In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time until fully combined.


For the crumb topping.  Add crushed crackers, brown sugar and melted butter to a bowl and combine until all the crackers are moist and the mixture resembles a crumb topping.  

Spoon muffin batter by a heaping tablespoonful into a greased mini muffin tin and then top with a generous teaspoon full of cracker crumbs.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Cool before removing from muffin tins.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mom's Carrot Cake


This is another old family favorite!! It is a super moist cake and really simple to make. This has also won awards at a few Girl Scout Bake Offs!! This recipe requires a bundt pan which I do not own so I decided to make a homemade version. I wasn't sure if it would work but I was willing to take the chance. Ellen thought it had a 100% chance of failing but I was much more confident than that. I gave it a 65% chance of success. LOL... And it totally worked! It was a perfect bundt...nothing stuck to the glass. I was very impressed with myself. So if you are in need of a bundt pan and do not possess one, no worries....you can make one. Just place a heavy bar glass in the middle of a round cake pan and spray that sucker really well. If you have a really thin batter that might not work as well but a thick batter doesn't move or run under the glass so it will totally work.

My Homemade Bundt Pan

I was nervous while it was baking...

The end result.....PERFECT!



Ingredients:

2 C Sugar
3 C. Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Baking Soda
3 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 C. Oil
4 eggs
1 T. Vanilla
4 4 oz. Containers Carrot Baby Food

Preparation:

Mix all dry ingredients together. Add oil, eggs, vanilla, carrots. Spray bundt pan generously with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.   Cool completely before turning out of pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spring Pasta - Shells with Broccoli, Edamame and Pesto


Pesto has become a new favorite in my house.  I find I use it constantly for the kids.  They LOVE Pesto Pizza and Pesto Cheesy Garlic Bread but for some reason I haven't made Pesto pasta.  This one I whipped up in just minutes for a quick dinner using prepared pesto that I bought at the market.  When I have more time I'll make my own and of course post that recipe too!

My kids absolutely loved this dish.  It's a great side dish or a main dish served with garlic bread.  Use the prepared pesto for an easy, super quick dinner during the week.  This would also be delicious served cold for a BBQ side dish.

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. pasta (any shape you like)
1/2 cup prepared Pesto
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 cups raw broccoli florets, cut small
1/2 cup frozen, shelled edamame

Preparation:

Cook pasta until a dente and drain.  Stir in pesto and parmesan cheese and mix until pasta is well coated.  In a med skillet on the stove heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add garlic and cook on med heat for about a minute stirring so it won't burn.  Add broccoli florets and sauté garlic for about 2 minutes.  Stir in frozen edamame and cook for another minute until edamame is heated through.  Pour hot broccoli and edamame over the pesto pasta and stir in.  Serve immediately.




Saturday, April 9, 2016

Good Morning Love Chocolate Chip Muffins



I woke up ridiculously early one Wednesday morning and had a lot of time on my hands which for this mother of 3 is extremely rare.  I walked the dogs and then decided to make my kids muffins for breakfast.  I really needed to hit the market that day because we were out of pretty much all easy to prepare breakfast foods and some staples, which included milk. Grrrrrr!  I had a bag of mini chocolate chips and some flour and sugar so I figured I could whip up some muffins that the kids would really like to have before school.  I start making the muffins and then realize again, NO MILK!   What to do, what to do?  I had a small container of light cream and a small container of half and half. So it was worth a shot, cream is thicker than milk right?  So how about half cream and half water to make up for the cup of milk?  Then I need vegetable oil and of course I'm out of that too......so Olive Oil?  why not?  These muffins came out so delicious and the kids really loved them, especially because they were in the shape of hearts (also a last minute choice :)


Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup of milk (or 1/2 cup light cream or half and half plus 1/2 cup water)
1/3 cup veg oil (or 1/3 cup olive oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preparation:

Prepare muffin pans by lining with cupcake liners and then rolling up small balls of aluminum foil and placing foil ball outside of each cupcake liner to make a "heart" shape.  You can also use marbles but nothing that is plastic, plastic coated or rubber.

In a med bowl mix first 3 dry ingredients together using a whisk to get out any lumps.  In a large bowl mix together eggs, oil, sugar, milk(or cream and water) and vanilla.  Once combines add dry mix into wet and stir until the batter is smooth.  Add in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips and stir to combine.  Fill each heart shaped muffin cup 3/4 full with batter.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.  Allow a few minutes to cool in pan before removing to a wire rack to cool further.   Serve with LOVE!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Cake Batter Popcorn


My oldest daughter made this as a treat one afternoon for her and her sister and brother.  It was  a quick and easy treat to make and they all loved it!

Ingredients:

1 bag microwave popcorn, popped
3 cups mini marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup confetti cake mix, dry
pinch of salt

Preparation:

 In a large saucepan melt butter.  Once melted add mini marshmallows and stir until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in dry cake mix and salt.  Pour in popped popcorn and quickly mix until popcorn is coated with the marshmallow mixture.  Add additional sprinkles if desired.  Pour into a bowl, let cool and enjoy!  You can also spray hands with non-stick cooking spray and roll into popcorn balls.