1
1 Pint Blueberry Jam Recipe
2
Homemade Tomato Paste
3
Creamy Chocolate Nutella Fudgsicle Popsicle
4
Turkey Kale Meatball Sub
5
Chocolate Avocado Brownies
6
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
7
Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole
8
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
9
Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
10
Egg Drop Soup with Sugar Snap Peas and Greens
11
Braised Lettuce
12
No Bake Oreo Birthday Cake Batter Squares
13
White Bean Lentil Dip
14
Cookie Dough Overnight Oatmeal
15
Preserving Strawberries, Kale and Basil
16
Banana, Strawberry, Pineapple Smoothie
17
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
18
Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
19
For The Love of Pineapple
20
Gingerbread Popcorn

1 Pint Blueberry Jam Recipe

HOMEMADE Blueberry Jam recipe made from 1 pint of blueberries! This easy to make no pectin, no sugar recipe is perfect for eating and canning.   This healthy jam is delicious served over toast, pancakes, french toast and ice cream!    

Blueberry Jam Recipe

We’re jammin’, I wanna jam it wid you. We’re jammin’, jammin’, And I hope you like blueberry jammin’, too.  

I was craving fresh blueberry jam but I didn’t want to make a big batch of it, in fact I wanted to make jam with just 1 pint of blueberries. Maybe you’ll pick fresh blueberries from your garden or maybe you’ll pick up a pint of blueberries from the farmers market, either way you can enjoy this easy and quick recipe.  
HOMEMADE Blueberry Jam made from 1 pint of blueberries! This easy to make no pectin recipe is perfect for eating and canning. This healthy jam is delicious served over toast, pancakes, french toast and ice cream!

 

1 Pint Blueberry Jam

This jam recipe is incredibly easy to make!  You’ll want to add 1 pint blueberries, honey, cinnamon and lemon juice to a saucepan. Bring it to a boil for about 30 minutes, or until it’s jam consistency, giving it a stir every few minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pot.
Blueberry Jam Recipe

This jam recipe can easily be tweaked to other berries – like blackberries or raspberries too!  A few people reached out to me to ask me if they could use frozen blueberries in the recipe instead of fresh… well you can! 

 I prefer fresh berries for this recipe but frozen berries will still taste good.  Just make sure to defrost the blueberries before you add to the pan, and keep a eye on the jam as the berries might cooker quicker than fresh ones.

HOMEMADE Blueberry Jam made from 1 pint of blueberries! This easy to make no pectin, no sugar recipe is perfect for eating and canning. This healthy jam is delicious served over toast, pancakes, french toast and ice cream!

How many cups is 1 pint of blueberries?

1 pint of blueberries equals about 2 cups fresh blueberries.

Don’t you love how flavorful blueberries are? I love that they’re so tiny but filled with flavor! They’re great to add to mini blueberry muffins,  overnight oats, blueberry buckle or just enjoy on a piece of toast (like this jam!). In case you needed more reason to like blueberries, they also are high in antioxidants, boost brain health, support digestion and promote heart health!

I love spreading this blueberry jam on toast, scones (here’s my easy scones recipe), muffins, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pancakes, french toast or more.  It’s also delicious served over ice cream!  However you serve it – I hope you enjoy it!

Looking for more jam recipes?

If you like this Blueberry Jam recipe, try these other family favorite jams:

Raspberry Jam

Homemade Watermelon Jam

Strawberry Peach Jam

Need more Summer recipes? Try my Cantaloupe Salad and Half Sour Pickles!

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HOMEMADE Blueberry Jam made from 1 pint of blueberries! This easy to make no pectin, no sugar recipe is perfect for eating and canning. This healthy jam is delicious served over toast, pancakes, french toast and ice cream!

1 Pint Blueberry Jam

HOMEMADE Blueberry Jam recipe made from 1 pint of blueberries! This easy to make no pectin, no sugar recipe is perfect for eating and canning.   This healthy jam is delicious served over toast, pancakes, french toast and ice cream!    

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword blueberry jam recipe
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into a saucepan and stir.
  2. Bring to boil, then simmer for 30-35 minutes until jam consistency.
  3. Keep in jar refrigerated.

Recipe Video


Homemade Tomato Paste

This is the beginning of many tomato posts to come in the next few weeks.   Right now we’re handling Tomato Season 2013 so I’m constantly looking for new tomato ideas to both use our harvest, but also preserve so we can enjoy it until next summer!

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3618

A great way to use up lots of tomatoes you have is to make homemade tomato paste.  Tomato paste is a great ingredient to have on hand to thicken up sauce and soups.  Not to mention it’s a great base to make some yummy marinara sauce.  I love this specific recipe because we are going to freeze them in ice cube trays which means you can use a little bit  at a time. No more using one of those tomato paste cans that you only need 2 tablespoons for.   By using ice cube tray size you use what you need, nothing goes to waste.  

The best type of tomatoes for paste is roma or plum tomatoes (think elongated in shape) because they have the least amount of seeds.  In this recipe, we don’t take the skin off or deseed the tomatoes, we just cut them in half.   Tomato paste is super easy to make, it just takes a little patience until it’s done.  It’s made by cooking the tomatoes on the stove for hours to the point of where you boil away all the liquid, causing a very concentrate form of tomatoes, which turns into “paste”.     By the time the hours are over, you are going to have beautiful tomato paste.. and a house that smells wonderful!  You will be hungry after smelling this on the stove.. ๐Ÿ™‚  These cubes last a very long time, months. I could easily throw a cube in some tomato sauce in January that I make this week.   I love these tomato paste cubes because when it’s snowing out and I reach for one, I get to remember the good garden days had months prior.. and that just makes me smile!

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3629

Homemade Tomato Paste

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds of roma or plum tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic

Instructions

  1. Slice tomatoes in half.
  2. Put tomatoes and garlic in food processor (in batches), pulse until smooth.
  3. Put your tomatoes in a pot, add salt and stir.
  4. Turn your stove on to medium high heat and bring the tomatoes to a boil.
  5. Turn your stove down to low medium heat to keep them at a constant low simmering boil.
  6. Cover and cook for 3 hours, stirring once in a while, until tomatoes turn into a paste and liquid is gone.
  7. Put your paste in ice cube trays and freeze.

 Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3608
Here’s your beautiful roma tomatoes.  

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Slice them in half and take the stems off if there are any.

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Throw in food processor and pulse until liquid smooth.  Then it goes onto the stove.. in a few hours all that liquid tomato  will turn into…

Homemade Tomato PasteIMG_3626
Great smelling tomato paste!

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Fill up your ice cube trays and throw in the freezer.

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Pop a tomato paste cube out whenever you need one!

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Easy and fresh, does it get any better?

Creamy Chocolate Nutella Fudgsicle Popsicle

Do I need to say anything else when you read a title like that?
I mean there’s chocolate, there’s Nutella, they are in popsicle form. They will melt, they will run all over you, you will need to lick yourself clean. It’s a great situation to be in.

Creamy-Chocolate-Nutella-Fudgsicle-Popsicle

After posting about the sweltering heat a few days ago I decided to make some popsicles with these cute popsicle molds I bought a few summers ago. I was going to make a fruit popsicle, lemon or lime.. but then I had a chocolate craving (shocking). Remember Fudgesicles? They were great. So what happens when we take the idea of a fudgy popsicle and add creamy Nutella to it? You get a popsicle that will cause you to fall in love.

Creamy Chocolate Nutella PopsiclesIMG_3807
(Nutella – I love you). 

Fact: We first ate these for dessert over the weekend. Minutes later Matthew and I were in a complete popsicle trance. We used plates below incase they melted (it’s really hot out) and then I noticed we both licked our plates clean. We’re meant for each other. We’re meant to be with these popsicles. Chocolate Nutella popsicles, I love you guys. Get in my belly.

The other wonderful thing is I used fat free milk so these came out to 150 calories a popsicle. I think that’s a pretty great deal as these are major for chocolate lovers. They will hit the spot. Your craving will be fulfilled. You will be very very very very happy.

Creamy Chocolate Nutella PopsiclesIMG_3875

Creamy Chocolate Nutella Popsicles

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk I used fat free
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • 1/4 cup melted chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Mix all your ingredients together with a spoon or blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds.
  3. Freeze.
  4. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This makes 4 popsicles.
When ready to eat, run the popsicle mold under warm water or just hold with hands on a hot day to get the mold off.

 Creamy Chocolate Nutella PopsiclesIMG_3811
Here’s all the ingredients in the molds.  I like when the cocoa powder isn’t fully mixed in and is still visible, it adds a nice texture to the top and the inside of the popsicle once frozen.

Creamy Chocolate Nutella PopsiclesIMG_3814
Molds go into the freezer.  I let them sit overnight so they’re completely frozen.  But again, it’s a million degrees here.

Creamy Chocolate Nutella PopsiclesIMG_3874
And when it’s time, get your popsicle on!  YUM YUM YUM!

Creamy Chocolate Nutella PopsiclesIMG_3883
Enjoy! These really are something special! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Turkey Kale Meatball Sub

HEALTHY Ground Turkey Kale Meatball Sub!  These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on  a sub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it!  Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich!

Who doesn’t like a good meatball sub?  It’s quick, it’s hearty, it’s sloppy, you get to eat it with your fingers.  It’s meat, cheese and tomato sauce – how can you go wrong? But with this one we’re going to mix it up a little bit and add some kale to get your greens in!  Don’t be alarmed by the combination of kale and meat together in this sub – once everything is mixed together, it just works. My husband is a Midwest boy who loves his hearty dinners and this sub is A+ in his book!

HEALTHY Ground Turkey Kale Meatball Sub!  These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on  a sub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it!  Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich!

This meatball sub is based on my kale meatballs recipe which I first made last summer and fell in love with.  These turkey meatballs are great over spaghetti, yummy grilled as a finger food on a stick, but they are delicious on a sub roll!  This kale turkey sandwich is one of our dinner favorites! 

 A meatball sub isn’t finished until it’s slathered in tomato sauce and then American cheese is melted on top – then it’s ready to eat!

HEALTHY Ground Turkey Kale Meatball Sub!  These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on  a sub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it!  Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich!

Enjoy one of my all time favorite sandwiches, Turkey Kale Meatball Sub!  

HEALTHY Ground Turkey and Kale Meatball Sub! These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on asub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it! Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich! 

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HEALTHY Ground Turkey and Kale Meatball Sub! These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on asub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it! Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich!

Healthy Turkey Kale Meatball Sub

HEALTHY Ground Turkey Kale Meatball Sub!  These meatballs are fried on the stove and then covered with tomato sauce and American cheese on  a sub roll! This homemade recipe is easy, healthy and your family will love it!  Even my Midwest husband thinks this is the BEST meatball sandwich!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups uncooked chopped fresh kale
  • Pinch of dried rosemary parsley, oregano, thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • Sub Rolls
  • American cheese slices
  • Tomato Sauce

Instructions

  1. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add kale and spices. Cook until your kale is wilted.
  2. Put kale mixture and garlic into a food processor to mince. Add your turkey and egg and pulse until itโ€™s all combined.
  3. Form this mixture into 2 inch balls.
  4. Use your same pan (its already greased) and heat to medium high.
  5. Add your meatballs and cook until browned on all sides (make sure to flip them), about 10-15 minutes.

For the sub

  1. Cut your sub rolls down the middle.
  2. Add meatballs on sub roll to fit.
  3. Add 2 slices of American cheese slices on top of the meatballs. Melt cheese in microwave or toaster oven if needed.
  4. Spoon tomato sauce on top.

Recipe Notes

Servings: 3-4

 

Chocolate Avocado Brownies

FUDGY CHOCOLATE AVOCADO BROWNIES that are made with APPLESAUCE instead of butter! These healthy version brownies are easy to make in a 8×8 pan and can easily be turned vegan! They are flourless and delicious – my entire family (even the kids!) love them!

I stock up sometimes in the supermarket with avocados because my mind is racing with so many ideas.   Usually though I come home with multiple avocados and only use them for soup (this soup to be specific – it rules).  With the heat on this July soup isn’t really in the cards, but my avocados were turning ripe quickly.

Chocolate Avocado Brownies 

One problem, my beloved Matthew doesn’t like avocados.   I’m a bad girl.  A very bad girl.  I apologize in advance.  

FUDGY CHOCOLATE AVOCADO BROWNIES that are made with APPLESAUCE instead of butter! These healthy version brownies are easy to make in a 8x8 pan and can easily be turned vegan! They are flourless and delicious - my entire family (even the kids!) love them!

I made these while he was working on the computer.  I did it pretty secretly incase he would walk by. I hid my avocado pits and skin under the compost. I cleaned my bowls quickly.  I lit a gingerbread candle in the kitchen incase he would smell the avocado (I’m crazy).  Once I had it mushed up a good bit, I was in the clear so I quickly covered it with the other ingredients to where it appeared like the usual brownie mix.  

Then I was brave.  I needed a tester for my brownie mix so I held out a spoon to him.  He ate it.  I stared at him (too much).  “Is it good?” I asked.  He shook his head yes, “very good”.  And than ate another spoonful. 

I just lied to my other half.  I’m sorry. I had to do it.  Please forgive me.   Sometimes you have to sacrifice things in a relationship and this is one of them.  

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Brownies

Anyways – these brownies are amazing! They’re super fudgy and filled with avocado, chocolate and peanut butter!  They are now a family favorite in my house – even if my family sometimes doesn’t know there’s avocado in them!

Healthy Avocado brownies

Why else are they amazing? They’re made with applesauce instead of butter! They are flourless!  They are the perfect brownies to make if you have that overripe avocado that you don’t know what to do with! These brownies are WIN WIN WIN!
THE BEST Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies! These delicious brownies are my family's favorite! They are easy to make and the avocado makes them more healthy than regular brownies! The chocolate chips are a key to this recipe because you put them into the mixture whole – not melted.  As the brownies bake, the chocolate chips will melt which cause a intense decadence. 

If you want to make them vegan, that’s easy too! Just substitute the chocolate chips with vegan chocolate chips (I like these ones!).


THE BEST Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies! These delicious brownies are my family's favorite! They are easy to make and the avocado makes them more healthy than regular brownies!

When they come out of the oven, let them cool. I know this is really hard to do because you just want to eat them but because they are so fudgy they need to cool off or they will fall apart.   They are so fudgy delicious and definitely worth the wait!
THE BEST Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies! These delicious brownies are my family's favorite! They are easy to make and the avocado makes them more healthy than regular brownies!
So eat one, go for it.  You deserve it.  Eat it with a fork.  Eat it with a spoon.  Eat it plain.  Throw ice cream on top.  Throw whip cream on top.  Throw sprinkles on top.  Just throw it in your mouth already.

Enjoy! 

Looking for more recipes? Try my Chocolate Banana Bread Muffins too!

FUDGY CHOCOLATE AVOCADO BROWNIES that are made with APPLESAUCE instead of butter! These healthy version brownies are easy to make in a 8x8 pan and can easily be turned vegan! They are flourless and delicious - my entire family (even the kids!) love them!

Flourless and No Butter Chocolate Avocado Brownies

FUDGY CHOCOLATE AVOCADO BROWNIES that are made with no butter or flour! You will love these healthy brownies!

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado inside - all mashed up
  • 3 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8x8 pan with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Mash your avocado up with a fork or spoon, as creamy as you can get it.
  3. Add your apple sauce, peanut butter, egg, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla. Stir until smooth.

  4. Add your cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Stir all together.
  5. Pour into pan, smooth top with spatula.
  6. Cook for 30-35 minutes or until your toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe Video

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Hershey’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Let me take a minute to swoon. 

What isn’t there to love about them? It’s peanut butter, it’s chocolate, it’s bite size, it makes me happy when I am sad, it is a dear friend.

Where did this obsession start?  Well first, I am from Pennsylvania so trips to Hershey Park, a amusement park,  were had every summer.  And there at Hershey’s Park there are chocolate bars that walk around and hug you.   Thanks Hershey’s for making me emotionally attached to chocolate, ever since I was a child.   
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Not only is Hershey Park a amusement park but it’s also home to CHOCOLATE WORLD, which is a “ride” where you sit down and are taken into darkness and shown a simulation of the chocolate making process.  It’s air conditioned, it smells heavily of chocolate, when you finish you get a free Hershey’s bar, and then you can go buy a huggable size Hershey Kiss plush (I totally did).  Hershey Park, it’s a good place, check it out if you are ever in the area.

Surprisingly, Homemade Peanut Butter Cups are easy to make! And they taste real good.  REAL REAL GOOD.  If you could see the smile on my face you would understand my happiness and enthusiasm (and you would be slightly creeped out).   The best thing about these Peanut Butter Cups is the peanut butter has grit, which we owe to the graham cracker crumbs.  It’s not crunchy but it has that slight gritty taste that your beloved Reese’s cup has.  

Give these  a try next time you have a Peanut Butter Cup craving! 

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3454

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3445

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3441

Here’s a full walk through:

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3414
Here’s all your ingredients you need.  Pretty basic, right?

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3409
To get graham cracker crumbs we do it the old fashioned way, putting it in a bag and beating it up.

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3411
It’s a good stress reliever.

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3415
Get your mini muffin cups and double them up.   We double them up because usually they are pretty thin and this will help hold up the weight of the peanut butter cup.

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3416
Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave.  Careful, this is hot.

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3417
Fill up your muffin cups about 1/5 of the way with the melted chocolate.  I also made one white chocolate one because I wanted to show you that you can make it that way too!

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3418
Now gather your peanut butter ingredients.  Powdered sugar, graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter?  Yes, please.

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3420
Stir it up until it has a gritty texture.

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3424
Then with your fingers (because we are fancy like that) roll them into little balls.

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3425
You want the balls to be the size to fit in the middle of each muffin cup but not touch the sides.  We are eventually going to pour chocolate over and we want that to go down into the sides.  This is like making a moat and the peanut butter is the castle.   Great comparison, I know.

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3435
Then pour your chocolate on top of the peanut butter, making sure it goes down the sides.  

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3434
If you have to push any of the chocolate down, use your fingers.  This is a great excuse to eat more chocolate.

Then into the refrigerator they go,  at least 1 hour until firm.  I like to chill mine personally for a few hours, especially in the summer time.

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3442
And when it’s time.. you have chilly, firm, delicious Peanut Butter Cups!

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When you unwrap them sometimes you will get a perfect chocolate one all the way around…

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Sometimes you will get a peanut butter swirl one (I love how this looks).

Homemade Peanut Butter CupsIMG_3450
And if you make it with white chocolate this is how it will look… tastes equally delicious!

So go ahead, make some Peanut Butter Cups! Enjoy!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 24 mini muffin cups

Instructions

  1. Take your 24 mini muffin cups and double them up. You want your cups doubled up to hold the weight of the peanut butter cup.
  2. Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, microwave for another 10 seconds.
  3. Place a small amount of chocolate at the bottom of each muffin cup (about 1/5 of the cup).
  4. Mix your graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and peanut butter together until you get a grainy mixture you can roll in your hands.
  5. Make a mini peanut butter ball in your fingers and place on top of the chocolate in each cup. You want to make sure that the peanut butter ball is in the middle of the chocolate, it should still have a slight space around it where we can pour chocolate in.
  6. Take the rest of your milk chocolate and pour on top of each peanut butter ball, getting the chocolate to go down into the edges.
  7. Put in your refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until completely firm.
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You can substitute white chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips if you'd like!
It helps if you put the muffin cups in a muffin pan, this will help with form.

 

 

 

 

 

Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole

You’ll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.  

Who doesn’t like pizza?  I love it.

You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.

Who doesn’t like cauliflower? I love it.    

Cauliflower pizza casserole is born!

When I first found a great cauliflower pizza casserole recipe it called for pureed cauliflower, but pureeing cauliflower that we grew seemed like a absolute sin to me.  I can’t give so much energy and love to our garden cauliflower and then just blend it up, that would be the saddest thing ever.  If we were ever to sell produce commercially I would put on every single package a (cute) warning sign that says “YOU MAY NOT PUREE ME, IT WILL MAKE PAMELA VERY SAD, PLEASE LOVE CAULIFLOWER WHOLE.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH”.  So in my recipe, we cut it into small bite size pieces.  I prefer it this way as well as the cheese will get in all the nooks and crannies of the cauliflower.    And who doesn’t’ like cheese?    Especially with cauliflower.  This is a absolute win situation.

You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Here’s your cauliflower.  Mine happens to talk.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Here’s your cream, butter and garlic mixture.  Pizza always needs a little garlic.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.And here’s your pepperoni.  I quartered each slice.  Do this with scissors, a knife or just tear it apart with your hands.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.This is step 1 of the casserole, your cauliflower/butter mixture/pepperoni are all mixed up. 



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Step 2: Add your pizza sauce.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Step 3: Add your cheese!  Be brave, cover this sucker.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Step 4:  Pepperoni time.  Feel free to eat a few slices too, I won’t tell anyone.

Then into the oven it goes…



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.And out of the oven it comes! Mamma-Mia!



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.The cheese is melted, a little bubbly, a little brown. I have pure joy right now.



You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.Then take a few whole basil leave and put it on top.  I love pizza with fresh basil. 

You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.

Cauliflower Pepperoni Pizza Casserole, it’s like having your own garden pizzeria!  Major winner here – enjoy!

Cauliflower Pepperoni Pizza Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower head - cut up into small bite size pieces
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter - melted
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 15 slices of pepperoni - quartered
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

For on top of the casserole

  • 3/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 12 slices pepperoni
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • fresh basil to garnish

Instructions

  1. Chop your clean cauliflower into small bite size pieces. Steam for 2 minutes, drain. Put into casserole dish.
  2. In a bowl mix your butter, heavy cream and garlic.
  3. Pour butter mixture over cauliflower.
  4. Add quartered pepperoni slices, 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella on top of your cauliflower.
  5. Mix everything up so cauliflower is coated.
  6. Spread your pizza sauce evenly on top of your cauliflower.
  7. Pour your 1 cup shredded mozzarella evenly on top.
  8. Put your sliced pepperoni on top.
  9. Cook at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
  10. Garnish with basil when it comes out of the oven.
  11. Enjoy!

 You'll love this baked extra cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe.

 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I have a few rules for lunch.

-It has to be yummy.
-It has to be easy.
-It can’t use the oven.  

Every single day when I eat lunch I sit in front of my computer, usually catching up on email or going through my blog reader to see what all my great recipe/garden friends are up to.   You know lunch is exceptional when you plan to do this, but the only thing you can do is turn your monitor on before you devour your entire lunch without touching the keyboard or mouse once.    This lunch time experience was just me and the stuffed pepper and it was a good one.

These stuffed peppers are:
-Yummy.  Very.
-Quick and easy.  The thing that takes the most time is making the quinoa.
-It doesn’t use the oven.  It uses the stove top and the microwave.  
-Fresh!  Garden pepper and spinach, yum!

Quinoa Stuffed PeppersIMG_3332

Quinoa-Stuffed-Peppers
Here’s all your beautiful ingredients.  Such a pretty lunch we’ll be having!

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Hello Mr. Pepper!  You are huge, beautiful and delicious. I love you dearly.

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Here’s your quinoa with chopped up spinach and garlic.   The way I make my quinoa is 1/4 cup dry  quinoa with 1/2 cup water.  Bring to boil, then simmer and cover for 15 minutes.  

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After I melt the cheese, I put the pepper top back on.  More pepper to eat makes me a happy girl!

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If you have any quinoa that can’t fit in your pepper, I just put it on the side.  Also, I always put extra tomato sauce on top. I love tomato sauce. When it’s time to start picking tomatoes from the garden this will all be fresh. I can’t wait!

Lunch Time Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 green pepper - seeds removed and top cut off but keep the top!
  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 4 spinach leaves - chopped
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • tomato sauce - amount depends on your preference

Instructions

  1. Cook your quinoa as instructed on box.
  2. Cook green pepper in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, set aside.
  3. When quinoa is done, add spinach and garlic and mix around.
  4. Fill pepper with quinoa mixture. Add a spoonful of sauce on top, then cover with your mozzarella cheese.
  5. Microwave for 20-30 seconds until your cheese is melted.
  6. Add another spoonful of tomato sauce on top.
  7. Put your green pepper top on.
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You can add additional tomato sauce all over the pepper as desired.
This recipe is for one 1 pepper, if you want 2 peppers, duplicate it and so on.

Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

We’ve harvested alot of broccoli this season.  Every single plant produced a beautiful big head of broccoli.  You guys know I love broccoli already,  but do you know I love macaroni and cheese too?  Macaroni and cheese is a comfort food and it holds dear memories of my father making me dinner every single day he was home from work during high school.  He knew I loved that mac and cheese so he made it once a week, I was a very happy girl.  Thanks Dad!

 So what happens when you mix comfort food with happy harvest?  You get one of  my favorite broccoli dishes: Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese. I love macaroni and cheese of all sorts.  I’m fine with the box, I’m super fine with homemade.  I’m fine with it made with cheese that comes in a foil package (Where my Velveeta fans at?), I’m super fine with a baked version.    This recipe is a in between, yes it’s baked, but the inside of the dish is still soft and cheesy and gooey.   It’s just perfect, the best of both worlds.

So if you like mac and cheese and you like broccoli, this dish is for you!

 broccoli macaroni and cheeseIMG_2912broccoli macaroni and cheeseIMG_2931      
broccoli-mac-cheese

 

Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Boil water and cook macaroni as instructed on box. When there is 3 minutes left, add your broccoli to the boiling pot. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan melt your butter over medium heat. Slowly add flour, dry mustard and pepper until it's smooth.
  4. Add your milk slowly and keep stirring until it's smooth.
  5. Add in your cheese and continue to stir until it's smooth.
  6. Take off burner.
  7. Add your macaroni to cheese mixture saucepan and stir until all noodles are coated.
  8. Transfer your mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
  9. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly.
  10. Enjoy!

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We have a big bag right now full of broccoli.  Every time I open it I just smile and breathe in the scent of broccoli.  

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For this recipe, you need 4 cups of florets.  I leave mine pretty big.

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For this, we’re going to cook our macaroni, then when there’s 3 minutes left we’re going to throw our broccoli in too.  This means only one pot to clean.  High 5.

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Drain and set aside for a few minutes.

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Hello cheese. I love you so much. I like to use 2 different versions of cheese for this recipe so I use good ol Velveeta and Monterey Jack. 

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Shred it however you want.  I was lazy so I put it in my food processor.

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Now we want to start to make the cheese sauce so get your butter melted.

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Then add in your flour, dry mustard and pepper.  You’ll want to mix quickly until it’s smooth.

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Then add your water and keep stirring.

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Then your beautiful cheese.  This take a few minutes for it to melt, but  keep stirring.

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Great job, some yummy cheese sauce  there.

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Take your macaroni and broccoli and add to the cheese sauce.

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Perfect! 

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Transfer to a baking dish.

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You can see here it’s still pretty soupy, but this cheese is going to melt beautifully and hold it all together.

Add your bread crumbs and into the oven it goes…

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And out pops out this beautiful dinner after 20 minutes!

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The bread crumbs are just slightly golden brown, just how I like them.

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And see how the cheese all melted together and it’s no longer too wet, instead it’s gooey and cheesy and oh my!

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Serve some up.  You can add some bread on the side if you’d like too.   Who doesn’t like bread on the side? 

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And enjoy this broccoli macaroni and cheese!

Egg Drop Soup with Sugar Snap Peas and Greens

Do you love soup? Do you love chinese restaurants? Do you love chinese restaurants soup? Ok, then this is for you!  What is your favorite soup from chinese restaurants?  There’s wonton, which I love.  Then there’s shrimp noodle which is great.  Then there’s this….

This is egg drop soup and it’s so good.  

 Egg Drop SoupIMG_3169

Can you believe it takes 10 minutes to make? I’m not kidding. And you can customize it if you’d like.  Maybe you’d like to add some onions or carrots, that would be good too! For this recipe I wanted to use some fresh garden harvest so I threw in some sugar snap peas and salad greens – *pats self on back * – good choice.  The salad greens wilt because of the hot broth making them perfect for this soup.  The sugar snap peas still keep their snap and crunch so it’s a nice bite to the soup.  

I hope you try this soup. I really really do!

Egg Drop Soup

Egg Drop Soup with Sugar Snap Peas and Greens

Ingredients

  • 4 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup ripped salad greens
  • 1/2 cup chopped sugar snap peas

Instructions

  1. Heat up your chicken broth in a pot. Take 3/4 cup out of it and set aside.
  2. Add salt and ginger to chicken broth in pot. Bring to a boil.
  3. In your reserved 3/4 cup chicken broth, add cornstarch and stir until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl whisk your 3 eggs together with a fork.
  5. Add your greens and sugar snap peas to boiling chicken broth.
  6. With a fork, drizzle your eggs into the boiling chicken broth a little bit at a time. Once it hits the broth it will cook right away.
  7. Add your cornstarch broth mixture now and stir until it's all mixed.
  8. Enjoy!

Step by Step:

Egg Drop SoupIMG_3130
You need 4 and 3/4 cups of chicken broth for this.  I usually always use bouillon cubes for my broth but you can use the packaged stuff too.  Whatever you do though, use low sodium broth.  When I first made this without low sodium broth I found it way too salty.  If you absolutely have to use regular broth, I would omit the additional salt the recipe calls for.   When your chicken broth is boiling, remove 3/4 cup of it and set aside, we’ll use this later.

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My beloved sugar snap peas picked from the garden.  

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Then you de-string them.  Is that a word de-string? I don’t know but that’s all I could come up with.

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Then chop them up into bite size pieces. I usually cut each pea up into 2 or 3 pieces.

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Then grab your salad greens, I just picked these from the garden so I threw them in a bag to keep chilled.

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Rip them up, no certain way, just rip them up.

Great! Now your vegetables are set.
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Remember that chicken broth you set aside? Now we’re going to use it to thicken the soup.  

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Add your cornstarch and stir, stir, stir until it’s smooth. 

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Now we want to get the eggs ready for this soup.

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Take 3 our and whisk with your fork.

I couldn’t take any pictures of the process of dropping in vegetables, eggs as I don’t have a 3rd arm (one day?) but after you put everything in and add your cornstarch broth to thicken…

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Then your delicious egg drop soup will be ready!

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It’s a  messy looking soup, but it’s also a pretty looking soup.   I love the greens in it.

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Sit down and enjoy, I hope you like it!

 

Braised Lettuce

You’ll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe!   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!

I love this braised lettuce.  Love, Love, Love.

As we have been harvesting our lettuce plants, I have been requesting this almost every single night.  Most people use lettuce in salads or as a topping, but  in this recipe you can use it as a entire side dish.   When I first learned about braised lettuce I didn’t think twice about making it because just lettuce as a side, really?   Then I tried it and my opinion changed immediately.  Just like my lettuce soup recipe, this one is a life changer too!

 It’s such a easy recipe consisting of just a few ingredients, but it packs such a hit in taste.   Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew.  Just as you would expect in the greens family, lettuce wilts much, so  as it simmers,  it gets tender.  As it simmers, the lettuce will pick up the garlic and broth.  Your lettuce will be full of flavor.  It’s so great.

Please, please see this past recipe as “just lettuce” and give it a try.

 You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe! Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!

Braised Lettuce

Ingredients

  • 1 head of lettuce cut up into quarters - washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Take your washed lettuce head and cut it up into quarters.
  2. Head olive oil and minced garlic in pan over medium heat. Add your quarters of lettuce, cut side down.
  3. Saute until the side is lightly brown. This takes about 10 minutes.
  4. Turn over, add your chicken broth and bring to a slight boil.
  5. Turn down to low, cover and heat for 15 minutes.
  6. Add salt + pepper to taste.
  7. Serve as desired.

Recipe Notes

Bibb or Romaine lettuce works well.
You can substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth.

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe! Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
First, let’s take a minute and admire this gorgeous lettuce we grew.   Sigh.   

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe! Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
This recipe calls for one head, so cut it into quarters so you have 4 pieces.

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe! Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
Lettuce, you are so pretty.  For this recipe I used buttercrunch because that’s what we grow.  You can use Bibb variety, or Romaine – it’s up to you.  

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe! Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
Take your lettuce and put it in a pan with olive oil and garlic.  Make sure you put it cut side down in the pan.

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe! Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
Once it’s slightly golden brown, you’re going to flip it over to the other side.  

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe! Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
Then add your chicken broth.  Alternatively, you can use vegetable broth if you’d like.    Bring to a boil, then put your heat on low and cover for 15 minutes.

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe! Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
When the 15 minutes is up, you will notice how much your lettuce has wilted.  Then you will smell that aroma and smile.  Then you will taste the lettuce and faint.

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe! Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
Who knew, lettuce could be this good? I’m a lettuce believer now. 

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe! Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!
You can use this in many ways, feel free to even think outside the box, like putting it on pasta or rice… or a sandwich!

You'll start to love lettuce once you make this Braised Lettuce recipe! Braising consists of lightly frying, and then simmering like a stew for full flavor!

No Bake Oreo Birthday Cake Batter Squares

No Bake Oreo Birthday Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. These are my favorite treat with rainbow sprinkles!

The last few days have been really hot in NYC.  Weather that you definitely don’t want to turn your oven on for! So what’s a girl to do when she’s craving pies, cakes, brownies and breads?  2 words “no bake”.    In the summer we should have a rule, only turn the oven on if we are making pizza.  Any blog post that ever has the words “no bake” on it, I will click, read, comment that I love you.. because I truly do.    So let’s embrace these no bake cake batter treats.

No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake!

No Bake Oreo Birthday Cake Batter Squares recipe

 No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake!


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Now look, what we’re about to do might receive gasps from the Oreo community but you have to trust me here.


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! We’re going to grind them up.  This will take a few batches, I could do about 8 cookies at a time.


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Transfer your crumbs to a bowl.  If you taste this – oh my.  You can still taste the creme, but it’s crumbly.


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Melt your white chips.  Even though it doesn’t look melted, it probably will be after 30 seconds.


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Add your milk. 


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Add your rainbow sprinkles.  


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! And stir.  


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Pour into the crumb mixture.  


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! It’s my version of Yin and Yang.


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Then begin stirring it all together.


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Note: The mixture is not creamy, it’s kind of rough.  You want it this way as we’re setting it to be hard.  


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Have your sprayed 8×8 baking pan nearby.


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! And add your beautiful cookie mixture to the pan.


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! With a spatula press down..


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! So it’s nice and firm.


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Add your sprinkles and press down again.  This will make sure they don’t fall off.

Now put foil on top and throw in the fridge for 1 hour.  

Once it’s set take it of the fridge after 1 hour and begin cutting into your squares right away.
No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake!


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! These are just the right size!  


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Then freeze them  in a freezer bag. I like to put mine into mini cupcake liners because I was planning to take them to a party later and individually wrapped treats make everyone smile!


No Bake Oreo Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake! Whenever you’re feeling hungry for one, take one from the freezer and pop it into your mouth!  Enjoy it!

No Bake Oreo Birthday Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. They are perfect for when it's too hot to bake!

Frozen No Bake Cake Batter Squares

No Bake Oreo Birthday Cake Batter Squares recipe that only needs 4 ingredients. These are my favorite treat with rainbow sprinkles!

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Birthday Cake or Golden Oreos
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup Rainbow sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Get a 8x8 baking pan, spray it with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, grind up your Oreo cookies to a crumb mixture. You will probably have to do this in 3-4 batches. Set the crumbs aside in a large bowl.
  3. Melt your white chocolate chips in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds until melted.
  4. Pour in your condensed milk to the chocolate chips and stir until smooth.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of rainbow sprinkles into the mixture and stir again.
  6. Take your chocolate chips/milk/sprinkles mixture and pour it into your Oreo crumbs mixture.
  7. Stir around until everything is mixed.
  8. Spoon your mixture into a sprayed baking pan and with a spatula press down so it's flat and even across the top.
  9. Add your remaining sprinkles and use the spatula to press these down.
  10. Put foil on top and put in your refrigerator for 1 hour to set.
  11. Remove from fridge, cut into small squares.
  12. Put pieces in a freezer bag, and put in freezer.
  13. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you are making shapes by using cutters instead of squares, I would let you sit this at room temperature for about 10 minutes after taking them out of the fridge. Then cut.

White Bean Lentil Dip

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It’s one of the BEST Party dips!

Do you tend to buy things at the store and then they get pushed back to back of the cabinet and you forget about them? Ooops.

That’s how I am about dried beans. I love beans.  So whenever I’m in the dried beans aisle, I think to myself “Look at how cheap these are to cans, I should get a few bags, this is a great idea”.  Then they sit in my cabinet and the canned beans get used instead.  It’s a horrible crime, I know.   So when I was cleaning out my cabinets this weekend I found multiple bags of beans that were calling my name.  

My first thought “soup” was quickly erased when I realized that was a horrible idea for the sweltering heat.  My second thought “dip”.  Dip is great, especially on hot days.   It’s great to dip crusty bread in, or carrots.   Or how delicious would it be with these homemade everything bagel chips?    It’s great for a party.  It’s great to snack during the day as bean dip is nutritious and filling.

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!

This bean dip is easy!  If you don’t want to use dried beans, you can used canned ones, but man,  dried beans are worth the value!    The ingredients in here are navy beans, lentils, lemon juice, olive oil, onion powder, salt, parsley to garnish.. and garlic and a bit of cumin for some kick.

 I bet you have almost all these ingredients already – how much of a win win situation is this?  Because of the garlic and slight hint of cumin, the dip has a bit of a bite to it  – not overwhelming – but it’s there with just the right amount.

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!

 So let’s get started and dive in…

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!
Here is my 1/2 cup dried navy beans and 1/2 cup lentils.  The way that I soak these is:  Add your dry beans and lentils together to a deep pot and add enough water to cover beans by 3 inches. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain.

bean dip IMG_2708
Then you will start adding your ingredients (except olive oil and parsley)  to your food processor.  I love my food processor so much.

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Once you are finished adding your ingredients, then add your olive oil and process more until smooth.  Tip:  The olive oil is going to make it smooth, but you might need some more additional smoothness.  If you do, add a tablespoon of water and process again.  Repeat this step until it’s just the amount of creaminess you want.  

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!
Take it out of the food processor and spoon into serving dish.  Sprinkle dried parsley on top.

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!
I like to serve this with little pieces of bread, or baby carrots.

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!
Then snack away!  Who doesn’t love healthy snacking?

bean dip IMG_2738
Bonus points: Take to a party, everyone will love you!

Enjoy this White Bean Lentil Dip!

Pin for later:
HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!

WHITE BEAN Lentil Dip

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry navy beans
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 4 clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dried Parsley to Garnish

Instructions

  1. Soak beans. Add your dry beans and lentils to a deep pot and add enough water to cover beans by 3 inches. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain.
  2. Add your beans, lentils, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, onion powder and salt to a food processor. Pulse until all combined.

  3. Add olive oil to food processor and turn on until smooth.
  4. Spoon out and put in serving dish.
  5. Garnish with dried parsley.

Recipe Notes

If you don't want to use dry beans, use one 15oz can navy beans, one 15oz can lentils.
If your dip is chunky, add a tablespoon of water to food processor and pulse. Keep adding until smooth.

Cookie Dough Overnight Oatmeal

Did you ever wake up in the morning and the last thing you want to do is make breakfast? Actually, the last thing you want to do is wake up, but after that.. you just don’t want to make anything.  As some of you know my go to breakfast is my usual breakfast sandwich, and although it’s quick to make, sometimes I just want breakfast in 10 seconds.  My solution?  Overnight cookie dough oatmeal.  Get ready… this oatmeal is magical!

Knowing you will want a few extra minutes to sleep, or knowing you are going to have a hectic morning, or just knowing this oatmeal is so darn good you want to plan in advance, this is a overnight recipe.  Before you go to sleep, stir together all these ingredients, it takes 2 minutes.  Throw it in the fridge.  When you wake up the next morning, splash a little bit of milk on top, and eat away.  It’s that easy!

Can I tell you how much this breakfast fills me as well?   This breakfast easily gets me through until lunch wanting no snacks in between.  And because the oatmeal has peanut butter in it and tastes like cookie dough, it’s like a breakfast dessert.  Dessert for breakfast – can life be any grander?

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For this recipe you need flax seeds.  I didn’t know much about flax seeds, but here’s what I found out: they rule.   Putting them in the overnight oatmeal is going to make the oats thicken, so they aren’t runny.  You can also add them to muffin and cookie recipes.  And because of how little you use, this bag is going to last me at a long time.  Flax seeds are a good investment.

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Just a side note, Matthew’s younger brother was terrified of the Quaker Oats man as a kid.  Matthew (because he’s a loving brother) still sometimes sends him Quaker Oats wrapped up as a gift (to terrify him more).

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Night before, easy.  Just put all your ingredients in a bowl.   

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Then mix it all around.  If you notice, it looks runny because of the milk.  Your flax seeds are going to take care of that though and thicken it!

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The next morning, thick!  Delicious! I add a little splash of milk, stir it around, then it’s breakfast time.

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You an eat it plain, it’s delicious that way, or you can add a topping. Topping ideas: sliced bananas, dried or fresh berries, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips. 

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I love some dried blueberries so that’s what I added.

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Enjoy your breakfast! This one is a keeper.

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Here’s some flowers I picked to start the day off bright too!

What’s your favorite oatmeal topping?

Overnight Cookie Dough Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter you can use another nut butter of your choice if you'd like
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon flax seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • topping to your liking

Instructions

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Cover bowl with lid, put in refrigerator overnight.
  3. Right before eating, add a small splash of milk and mix again.
  4. Add toppings that you'd like!

Recipe Notes

Topping ideas: sliced bananas, dried or fresh berries, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips.

Preserving Strawberries, Kale and Basil

Instructions on How to Preserve Strawberries

As the garden season takes off, I will be doing a series of posts on how to preserve everything you grow so you can enjoy them now and many months later.   We won’t let any of our hard work that went into planting and caring for these plants go to waste here!

I often say “I garden because I cook”.    My love for being in the kitchen goes hand in hand with getting my nails dirty pushing down seeds.    

Here are other reasons why I love bringing these worlds of gardening and cooking together:

-You learn where everything comes from.  Did you know Brussels Sprouts grow the way they do? I didn’t either!    By gardening you see the process from seed to harvest, it often surprises you!
-You respect everything you grow.   Those pumpkins that I grew? They came from me pollinating them for a week straight at 5:30AM in the morning.   Those tomatoes that are beautiful red and perfect?   They stayed alive because you ran out into the pouring rain to make sure their windblocker fabric was up and everything was secure.    Those sugar snap peas?  Do you know how long they take to pick? Oh my!
-You try new vegetables.   I hated lettuce before we had our garden, now I’m like a rabbit where Matthew has to shoo me away.    I never tried radishes before, now I eat them whole.  
-This results into trying new dishes in the kitchen.  Pesto? Never made before, except now I have about 10 different recipes for it with every different plant.   I scour websites and cookbooks looking for new ways to use tomatoes, broccoli, carrots.  Dinner, Lunch, Desserts – I try it all!    The most important part is starting with a base you love.  So grow what you like!  
-Preserve! Preserve! Preserve!   This is the big one for me.  There are a few weeks in July and August that I am spending many hours every single day preserving our tomatoes to last us (forever).  So you just grew those kale plants – but did you have any idea how much kale grows on a plant? Or those edamame plants that I grew last year – did I know that I would get 20 pounds of edamame, all at once?  What are you going to do?  Well you just spent so much time and energy and love on these plants to grow great vegetables so now we’re not going to let it go to waste! Oh no we aren’t!  We are going to preserve it!    Did you know I had to buy my first can of diced tomatoes earlier this month because I had enough saved from last summer’s harvest?  Do you know how awesome of a feeling that is to have fresh vegetables you grew in your freezer all winter long?  Oh it’s snowing out and 3 degrees, let me just grab a extra fresh pack of frozen green beans that I grew a few months back.  *High 5’s*

 I spend quite a bit of time preserving everything we grow, and figuring out new ways to try.  One year I went as crazy as literally not wasting any of the broccoli plants, by finding ways to use the leaves and chop up the stems.    I blanch, I freeze whole, I puree,  I turn into sauces, I chop, I husk, I dry.  I do whatever it takes to preserve everything.   This post will be dedicated to strawberries, kale and basil.    Sometimes in future posts, I will give you another idea for the same vegetable.  There are many ways to preserve each plant, so I want to share some options for whatever is best for you in your kitchen. ๐Ÿ™‚

Strawberries
Who doesn’t love strawberries?  And is there anything better than a sweet strawberry picked right off the vine and plopped straight into your mouth?  Oh yum!  But what happens when you are are harvesting pounds of strawberries?  Or what happens when you go the grocery store and find out that they are selling pints of strawberries for 89 cents.  Buy a bunch, we can keep your strawberry love stocked up for months!

We are going to freeze strawberries.   Strawberries keep in a freezer for a long time, I’m talking  a year.  Amazing, right?

What can we do with frozen strawberries? Well I’m glad you asked.
Smoothies!  My favorite.  Throw frozen strawberries in your blender and continue as usual in creating your favorite smoothie.
-Throw them into pies.
-Strawberry jelly!
-Strawberry sauce! Blend them up and pour over ice cream, cakes and waffles.
-Strawberry butter.  Yup,  you heard me right!
-Make strawberry bread.
-Strawberry salad.

Here are your beautiful strawberries.  
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Seriously, aren’t they the most loveliest things in the world?   I hope one day I can be at least 1% cool and classy as strawberries.
Now you want to wash them, wash them real good.
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Then once they are washed, you want to hull them.  Basically you want to rip off their green tops and cores.  You can do this a variety of ways with special tools, or just a knife.  Personally I just use my finger nails to get in there.   Then lay them on a cookie sheet and let freeze.    Once they are frozen, put them into freezer bags.  
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Then when you need some strawberries, take them out of your freezer and bask in the glory of them!  Use them however you want.  I will be making myself one happy strawberry smoothie. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Kale
Kale, the winner of everything cool in 2013. Do you hear all the buzz about kale?  What a popular guy.    It seems to be the king of greens!  One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K.  It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.  Can we say it’s healthy?  


So what to do with kale?  When you’ve eaten your share of fresh raw kale, let’s figure out ways to preserve it, so you can be eating this vegetable powerhouse for months to come!
I like to make kale cubes, which is basically kale all chopped up, frozen into cubes.  It’s all kale, nothing else added in. 

What you can do with those frozen kale cubes?
-Smoothies! Again!  Want a real pick me up?  Throw a kale cube into your next smoothie.  
-Defrost and mix into pasta.  Warm through.  
-Throw a cube or two into any soup or stew.   Just a little bit of frozen kale goes a long way in getting your vitamins in!
-Defrost and mix with meats to make delicious ravioli.
-Defrost and mix with meats to make delicious meatballs!

Kale!  You hearty animal you (not really a animal). 
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I destem it.  I do this with my hands too, I just rip it off.  Maybe I’m the animal here.  Then I rip it into pieces to fit it into my food processor.preserveIMG_2401
A few pulses later and your once entire food process cup hardly has any kale in it.  Kale likes to shrink.  preserveIMG_2403
Then spoon it out and throw in some ice cube trays.
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Fill them up to the top.    A entire bushel of kale filled up one ice cube tray, so pack it down.  Now put into the freezer.
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Once they’re frozen, poke them out with a fork.    I find it works best to let them sit on your counter for a few minutes, then poke them out.  They defrost pretty quickly for you to grab one out of the tray.  From here you can keep them in the tray and use as you want, or throw them in freezer bags.
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Because you packed them in, they stay in cube form nicely.preserveIMG_2475

 

Basil
Who else loves the smell of basil?  I love picking fresh basil and putting it in pasta, and especially on pizza! A slice of margarita pizza with basil is the key to my pizza loving heart.   But what do you do when you have pounds of basil and you can’t eat 8 pizzas a nights (don’t try this, just believe me).  You can dry it!
I love dried herbs.  Almost 80% of the time if a recipe calls for fresh herbs, I will ignore it and use dried herbs.  Why? Because I know the dried herbs are ones I grew, loved and they will taste just as good in the dish!  
What can you do with dried basil?
-Any dish call for fresh basil? You can substitute with dried basil.
-Use in any tomato pasta.
-Sprinkle over each lasagna layer.
-Sprinkle over pizza.
-Use in rices.
-Use in a varieties of stews and soups for extra seasoning.
-Use in pasta salad.
-Sprinkle on garlic bread.

So let’s pick your basil!  What you want to do is wash it, then let dry.  I do this by putting it on paper towel sheets and then help blotting excess water on top.  Let dry completely.
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Then find a space of your home that you want to smell like basil for the next few weeks.  Grab a rubber band and hang on something.  We have screws in the top of our loft that we drilled in just for drying herbs.  This is at the very front entrance of our loft, so as soon as you walk in… it’s fresh city USA.preserveIMG_2412
Then just let dry until they are completely brittle.  If the basil seems “fresh” and flexible they aren’t dry enough.  You basically want them to the point of if you touched a leaf, it would crack.  You can see in the top right of this picture I have some dried oregano ready to go.  
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Then pick the leaves off the plant (do this over a bowl, the leaves are going to fall apart beautifully).  Throw in your food processor and you’re done.  If you don’t have a food processor, just crumble with your fingers.  Now you have dried basil ready for whenever you want!preserveIMG_2467

 

Banana, Strawberry, Pineapple Smoothie

The last few afternoons I have been craving a smoothie.  We’ve been hard at work gardening and all I want is a cold “pick me up” when I’m exhausted.  This does the trick!  The best thing about this recipe is that you can match fruit to your liking and create your own. Other examples:  banana, orange, pear watermelon, kiwi banana, orange, strawberries banana, blueberries watermelon, orange, pineapple banana, apple, orange pineapple, kiwi orange, strawberries banana, peach strawberry, banana blueberries, apple, banana banana, cherries pineapple, blueberries blueberry, pomegranate, banana There are so many more variations.  Isn’t it amazing?   I also love this recipe because it gets rid of any fruit where you aren’t sure what to do with.  Many times I’m left with a few random strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, a banana that is very ripe, half an orange, etc.    Put all the soon to go bad fruits in your blender and you’ll quickly have a delicious drink.

Read More

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

MELT in your MOUTH Slow Cooker Pot Roast!  This Crockpot recipe is the best and is so easy to make!  Add your roast, cream of mushroom soup, beef soup mix and vegetables to the slow cooker and dinner will be ready in 7 hours! This beef roast is my husband’s favorite meal, and our family loves the leftovers! 

MELT in your MOUTH Slow Cooker Pot Roast! This Crockpot recipe is the best and is so easy to make! Add your roast, cream of mushroom soup, beef soup mix and vegetables to the slow cooker and dinner will be ready in 7 hours! This beef roast is my husband's favorite meal, and our family loves the leftovers!

I love meals that you can throw in your crockpot, let sit all day, then you come back and somehow it transforms into one of the best meals.   You can customize this meal with vegetables on the side that you throw in the crockpot as well.  I prefer carrots and celery, but this time I threw in mushrooms as well which might have been the best idea I had all week.  If you aren’t having mashed potatoes on the side, throw in some cut up potatoes in the crockpot too!

Might I recommend you serve creamy mashed potatoes on the side?  Please do! 

MELT in your MOUTH Slow Cooker Pot Roast! This Crockpot recipe is the best and is so easy to make! Add your roast, cream of mushroom soup, beef soup mix and vegetables to the slow cooker and dinner will be ready in 7 hours! This beef roast is my husband's favorite meal, and our family loves the leftovers!

How to Make Slow Cooker Pot Roast

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Here’s all your pot roast ingredients, nothing too fancy here.

 A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Before we put it in the crockpot we are going to pan fry it.   Lightly dust it with some flour.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Then put some dried rosemary on top.  By pan frying it first we are going to lock in all the flavors and yummy juices that we want.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
So throw it in a pan and cook until all sides are lightly browned.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Keep flipping every single side.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Even right side up!

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
The smell of rosemary through your house is worth the extra work to pan fry it first.

While it’s browning, prepare your other ingredients in your crockpot (or slow cooker as you might call it).

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Add in your cream of mushroom soup, beef onion mix and water.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Then stir it all around.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Once your pot roast is all browned (and beautiful might I add)..

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Then carefully transfer it to your crockpot.  There lower it in.  During this step I’m always 100% sure I am going to drop it on the ground. 

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Then cover it with your wet ingredients.  Make sure to completely cover the roast. 

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Then put on high for 3 hours.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Once 3 hours is up, then turn it on low for 4.5 more hours.  You can see after 3 hours how nicely it’s looking with the soup mixture you added.  The smell too! 

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Add your vegetables in 3 hours before it’s done.  Add in carrots, celery, potatoes, onions – whatever you want.  Note: If you are adding mushrooms, only add them 30 minutes before it’s done completely.

And when it’s done….

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Just take a minute and admire the masterpiece of your slow cooked pot roast.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Bask in the beauty of this roast.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
And those vegetables, how pretty are they? Especially those mushrooms.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
This roast is a keeper.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
And when you slice through it, it will be like cutting butter.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
The meat falls apart in a moment of glory.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
The meat is moist and has so much flavor due to the slow cooking.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Enjoy your dinner!

MELT in your MOUTH Slow Cooker Pot Roast! This Crockpot recipe is the best and is so easy to make! Add your roast, cream of mushroom soup, beef soup mix and vegetables to the slow cooker and dinner will be ready in 7 hours! This beef roast is my husband's favorite meal, and our family loves the leftovers!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 3.5 pound pot roast
  • 2 cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 package dry onion beef soup mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • flour and rosemary to cover
  • chopped vegetables of your choice

Instructions

  1. Cover pot roast in light flour and then add a pinch of rosemary on all sides.
  2. Pan fry pot roast until itโ€™s a light brown.
  3. In a slow cooker, mix mushroom soup, dry onion mix and water together.
  4. Add pot roast into slow cooker and cover with soup mixture.
  5. Cook on high for 3 hours.
  6. Change temperature and cook on low for 4.5 hours.
  7. Add your vegetables to the slow cooker 3 hours before itโ€™s done. I recommend potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms *See note for mushrooms*
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you are using mushrooms, only add them when there is 30 minutes left.
In a hurry? Cook on high for 4.5 hours.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

These Homemade Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are about to become your new favorite breakfast, snack and dessert!  This is a healthy copycat recipe for Quaker Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.  Are there any words more beautiful?

After I made the first batch of chocolate chip granola bars, my mind started to wonder to the wonderful world of peanut butter.  Soon later it floated to the island of pretzels.  There peanut butter pretzel chocolate chip granola bars was born.

 About these delightful bars:

Do you enjoy chocolate + salty at the same? I do!  These are for you.
Do you like a bit of crunch in your granola bars? I do!  These are for you.
These are dangerous to have around your house.  Proceed with caution.
I don’t listen to my own advise and made multiple batches.   We annihilated these batches.
I have given these to friends as a “hey you are pretty cool” gift.  Friends swoon.
After the first time I made them I declared “These might be the best thing I ever made”.  

 So now I present you.. the future love of your life that will always be there for you, Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.

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 Is there a better afternoon snack than this?
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Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 3/4 cup chopped pretzels
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Spray a 8x8 pan lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Mix your oats and cereal together in a large bowl.
  3. Chop your pretzels up and mix with oats and cereal.
  4. In a small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter on medium high heat until melted. Once it begins to bubble change heat to low and stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove saucepan from burner and stir in your vanilla.
  6. Pour your hot mixture over your oats mixture. Stir well. You want to make sure every single piece of oats and cereal is coated.
  7. Pour your mixture into your greased pan and push down with spatula to flatten it.
  8. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top evenly. Use your spatula to press them down so they are embedded in the bars.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to set for 1 hour.
  10. Cut into granola bar sizes.
  11. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you would like to make a larger batch, use a 9x13 pan and double everything, except use 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips.
Store these in the fridge.

Adapted from Rachael Ray

 

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Here’s all the ingredients you need!  Note: When I use peanut butter in recipes like this I usually get the cheap stuff and don’t use my gourmet peanut butter cinnamon swirl magic that I usually eat on bread.  The cheap stuff does the job for these, very well!

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Do you love pretzels as much as I do?

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We need these chopped though, so I put them in a baggie and get a potato masher and just take out all my frustration on these poor pretzels.

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Add your pretzels with your quick oats and cereal.

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And give it a good stir to mix everything around.

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Now we create the delicious peanut butter cream.  When  making this unicorns will arrive at your home, sparkles will fall, the clouds will open, rainbows appear.  I’m not kidding. This creates magic.

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Take this magical peanut butter mixture and add it to your oats/pretzels/cereal.

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Now mix, mix, mix, mix.  Nope, still not done, mix it more.  Make sure every single piece of oat, cereal and pretzel is sticky.  This is going to hold everything together.  Think of it as a glue that you can eat.

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Then put it in your pan and pat it down with a spatula so it’s flat.

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Add your chocolate chips and push them down too.  You want them inserted in the granola mixture.

Now you throw them in the fridge for 1 hour while walking around anxiously whispering “hurry up, hurry up, hurry up”.  You can even lay in the middle of the floor and whisper this.

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And when they’re ready, HOLY MOLY.

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Cut them into granola bar sizes, or squares if you’d like.

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While cutting the bars I smile nonstop.

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I also smile inside because my belly is waiting for this..

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The granola bars are firm and hardly crumble at all.

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When you flip it upside down you will see there’s good pretzel distribution as well.

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These granola bars are hard to just eat one.  I’m warning you.

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I wrapped some up and gave to friends.  Friends will have a hard time just eating one at a time.  Warn them!

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And then 2 days later I made a double 9×13 batch because I like to live life on the wild side and can’t get enough of these!

Give these granola bars a chance, I think you will love them. 

These Homemade Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are about to become your new favorite breakfast, snack and dessert! This is a healthy copycat recipe for Quaker Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.

For The Love of Pineapple

Do you love pineapple? I do.  Pineapple is beautiful and delicious, the 2 best qualities in food.     I got this gorgeous pineapple from my local grocery store for only $2.50.  It’s enormous! My arms tired carrying it home.

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But then after I bring it home, I always fall into the question “What should I do with it?”

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So you cut off the top and admire the beauty.  (Note:  We were going to plant the pineapple top but I cut  too high, oops.)

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Then you cut it into slices.  Your fingers are sticky, the pineapple aroma is building.  But what are you going to do with it?  

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One solution that I usually always fall for is just eating pineapple by the slice.   Nothing else.  Just plain ol great pineapple slices.  

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The other solution is cubed pineapple with a little bit of shredded coconut on top.

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MMMMM!

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For breakfast I like to add some blueberry granola, shredded coconut and dried apples to it.  This breakfast is super filling!

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My other favorite pineapple use is blended up. I throw some chunks in the blender with 1/2 half an apple (cut up) and about 1/4 cup of orange juice.  Blend until smooth.  You can even throw some mint on top.  I love this drink for a mid afternoon pick me up!

How do you like to use pineapple?
Anyone have any great pineapple recipes? If so, please share them in the comments, I need ideas!

 

Gingerbread Popcorn

We recently got a air popper which is changing our lives.    With a air popper you don’t have to use any butter or oil.  It’s fresh, low calories and each kernel is so puffy and light.   Not to mention it’s so quick to pop.  The product claims you can pop 18 cups in 2.5 minutes – wow!  For now we have stuck to single servings or a bowl for both of us, but because of how quick it works for us, I trust it can do that amount too.  On the calorie side, one big bowl of popcorn for one clocks in at 110 calories plain.  It always fills me!  On our counter now sits a 12 pound jar of popcorn ready for you to scoop and pop!

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A few nights ago during the night I whispered to my husband “give me your phone”.  There I sent myself a email that only had a subject line.  The email looked like this:
gingerbread

I knew when I woke up the next morning I would understand it, I needed to make gingerbread popcorn.  But where to start?

I had a few rules:
-Needs to taste like gingerbread
-No butter
-No oil of any kind

The result: A  simple gentle ginger tasting popcorn which was eaten in a few minutes.  I have a bunch of popcorn thoughts in my head so stay tuned for more popcorn recipes!

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Gingerbread Popcorn

Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unpopped popcorn
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 single packet of Splenda

Instructions

  1. Use a air popper to pop your corn. Put in a bowl.
  2. Mix ginger, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon and splenda in a bowl.
  3. Mist your popcorn with water 1-2 times.
  4. Sprinkle seasoning mixture over popcorn and toss popcorn around.
  5. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This recipe is for one serving. Duplicate for as many as you need.
If you'd like to use real sugar or Stevia you can use that instead of Splenda. A packet of Splenda measures a little less than 1/2 teaspoon, so measure accordingly.

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Air popping.. 

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Your gingerbread spices..

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If you aren’t using oil or butter, the seasoning is not going to stick to your popcorn.  The solution to keep this oil and butter free is to mist your popcorn with a water mister (or a cheap one from the dollar store) 1 times, toss it so the bottom is now the top, mist again.  Misting it 1-2 times will not cause your popcorn to get soft.  The water will allow the seasoning to stick to it, plus it will keep your popcorn low calorie. 

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Eat as a afternoon snack..

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Or while you’re watching your favorite television show…  The only 2 shows I watch right now is Game of Thrones and Mad Men.  What do you watch?

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Enjoy every single piece! (PS.  My nails are supposed to look like this – I’m lying). 

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