Sunday, August 17, 2014

P.B. Banana Oat Bites

We have had no sugar or processed food in our house for two weeks now!  Seriously...not even a bag of flour! I have loved experimenting with different salads and smoothies but honestly, I miss baking! Tonight I was itchin' to make our traditional Sunday night chocolate chip cookies but settled on a sugar-free cookie recipe on Pinterest.  I just amped it up a little bit cause that's fun. My kids have been so deprived of sweets (in the house that is) that they loved them!  They are not too banana-ie or p.b.-ie which is perfect.  I would seriously make these for a quick grab breakfast!  (I used gluten-free oats just cause that's what I have.  You can use just regular oats if you want.)

P.B. Nana Oat Bites

2 mashed bananas
2/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c. Natural peanut--chunky or smooth
1 teas. Vanilla 
1 egg
1 teas. Baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp. honey (optional)
1 1/2 c. Gluten free old fashioned oats
1 c. Gluten free oat flour*
1 c. Add ins--unsweetened coconut, Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, low sugar craisins, raisins, dried blueberries, or nuts (have fun with combinations)

Mix first three ingredients until smooth.  Add vanilla, egg, baking soda, salt and honey. Mix well. Stir in oats and then oat flour.  The dough will be wet but thick enough to form a ball--you can add more oat flour if you need to.

Scoop unto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Makes about 2 doz. bites.

*to make oat flour just whiz about 2 cups of old fashioned oats in a blender in smaller batches until it is a flour consistency--it's super easy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Straight Up eggs and veggies

Pan fry asparagus, grape tomato and shiitake mushrooms in one tablespoon of olive oil for about three minutes or until tender crisp. Salt and pepper.  Remove to plate. In the same pan crack two eggs.  When whites are set fill the lid with a scant 1/4 cup water and place on top of pan with a vent.  Allow water to evaporate and steam the yolk.  Salt and pepper to taste and lay over veggies.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Another version of a classic, I know, but listen up...this one is really good and, if you have leftover baked potatoes, is really fast to throw together!!  Creamy, potato-ie, and completely satisfying...dare I say better than a loaded baked potato?

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

4 strips of thick cut bacon
1 large onion, diced
6 cups chicken broth
4 baked potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups broccoli florets
salt and pepper
3 tbsp. flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 cloves of pressed garlic
1 cup grated swiss cheese
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
sour cream
cheddar cheese for toppings

In a large skillet cook bacon until crisp.  Remove to a paper toweled plate and allow to cool.  Pour bacon fat in a bowl and reserve for later.  Fry onion in the pan that you cooked the bacon in until onion is translucent.  In a separate large pot add chicken broth, potato, broccoli, and onion.  Bring to a boil and simmer until broccoli is tender.  Add salt and pepper.  Back in the bacon skillet, add reserved bacon fat. Whisk in flour and add heavy cream and milk all at once.  Add garlic and whisk until thickened.  Remove from heat and add cheeses.  Stir until cheeses are melted.  Add creamed mixture to the potato soup.  Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Top with cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, bacon crumbles, and chives.  Enjoy!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Raspberry Fudge Brownie Trifle

The fudge sauce/raspberry preserve layer alone could bring about world peace in this amazing trifle lie!!
*sorry for the lame picture! 

Raspberry Fudge Brownie Trifle

9x13 Pan of brownies, cut into 1 inch squares
2 small boxes vanilla pudding
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp. powdered sugar
2 teas. Vanilla
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (optional)
2 cups fudge sauce (good quality or home made)
1/2 to 3/4 cup raspberry preserves 
36 oz. fresh raspberries

Whisk pudding and milk together in a medium bowl. Set aside. Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Reserve one cup for topping.  Fold remaining whipped cream into the pudding.  Add the yogurt if desired.  (It just adds a little tang...I like it).  Mix the fudge sauce and raspberry preserves in a separate bowl. In trifle bowl layer brownie, fudge sauce, pudding mix, then raspberries. Repeat one more time. Then another layer of brownie, then fudge sauce. If you are coming to the top finish with whipped cream you set aside in the middle, line the outside with raspberries, and drizzle with fudge sauce.

New addition as of 3/28/14...but with chocolate pudding instead of vanilla.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chicken Alfredo Casserole

So normally the word casserole brings to mind a bland rice, chicken, cream of something combo topped with crunched up potato chips. No thank you!

The only problem…the rest of my family loves a good casserole! So I sometimes need to find a compromise.  Tonight I came up with a pretty good one! 

Chicken Alfredo Casserole 
1/2 box bow tie pasta cooked
2 chicken breasts cooked and cubed
10 cherry tomatoes halved*
2 cups broccoli*
1 jar Alfredo sauce
2 tbsp prepared pesto
1 teas. Fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cup grated mozzarella 
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
2 slices white bread cubed and crumbled
1/4 cup butter melted
2 teas. Italian seasoning
1 teas. Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first seven ingredients in a bowl.  Spread into a 9x13 pan.  Top with cheeses.  In a bowl combine last four ingredients until bread is covered with butter and spices are well integrated.  Spread over top of the cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking for 10 minutes or until bread crumbs are browned. 

*use any vegetables you want!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Caramel Apple Trifle

Caramel Apple Triffle*

2 sm. packages vanilla pudding
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cup cold milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 c. Sugar
1 teas. Vanilla

Salted Caramel Sauce (home made or from the store...Trader Joes has the best)

Toffee Chips

2 Sara Lee pound cakes, cut in 1" cubes

6 to 8 apples cored and diced**
1/2 cup sugar
2 teas. cinnamon
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Toss apples with cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice and set aside.

Beat heavy cream until whipped.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Beat in milk, yogurt, and pudding mixes.

Heat caramel to easily spreadable consistency.

In a trifle dish layer pound cake, pudding mixture, apples, caramel and toffee.  The caramel layer can be thin. Continue with another round of layers.  Finish off by mounding pound cake in the center of the trifle and piping remaining pudding on  top. Decorate with apples, caramel, and toffee.

*i have a really bad cold while writing this recipe up so please excuse vagueness for now.  I will come back when I am feeling better and add more detail!!

**If you are feeling lazy you could by a couple cans of good quality apple pie filling to substitute for the fresh apple layer.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mini Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

I LOVE FALL!!  The breeze is so cool, the sun is so warm and low in the sky.  Second to none, however, is fall food.  We made our first batch of chili a week was delicious!!  Last year I made these little gems quite a bit (see here), but with a different caramel frosting recipe.  The frosting wasn't my would get hard and crumby after a couple hours. Bummer. So this year I took it upon myself to figure out a yummier way to make a caramel frosting...better yet, a SALTED caramel frosting.  My inspiration came from a recipe I found on pinterest, however, they had you MAKE the salted caramel before you added it to the frosting.  Now, I am all for making caramels!  I make and wrap at least 200 each Christmas season, but making the caramel from scratch in this case defeats the ease of making the cupcakes (note the ingredients list for the cupcakes below)!  Luckily I have a trusty little friend up my short-cut sleeve and his name is Joe.  (He is a trader of some sort...haven't figured that one out yet.)  He carries a wonderful little jar of salted caramel sauce that did the trick!  When the substitution was made and a little more tweaking was done the result is sweet and salty perfection!  Go ahead...take a lick...wait for it...wait for it...BAM!  That rich, salty caramel sneaks up on you huh?!  Do you want another?


1 box spice cake
1 small can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the two together and fill mini cupcake (or mini muffin) pans. Bake for about 15 minutes. This will make about 40 mini cupcakes.


8 oz. salted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2-3 tbsp. heavy cream or whole milk
4-5 cups powdered sugar
10 oz. jar Trader Joes Salted Caramel Sauce

Mix the butter and cream cheese together.  Alternate adding 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 tbsp. of cream until desired consistency.  Add the whole jar of caramel sauce and mix until incorporated.  Spread on cupcakes and enjoy!