Reindeer Rice Krispies

 These little guys are super cute and so easy to make. I made these for my kids class party last week. The original post I found these on was from www.thirtyhandmadedays.com and they made them into Reindeer pops! Super cute! I didn't have any sticks on hand so I improvised.

Reindeer Rice Krispies

Candy eye balls
Red M&M's
Popsicle sticks, optional
Pre-made rice Krispie treats or make your own
semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

To assemble: place pre cut rice kirispy treats on a sheet pan that has wax paper on it. If using sticks, carefully push sticks into each rice krispy treat. Melt your chocolate in a plastic bag. Snip the edge of the bag with scissors and pipe your antlers on each treat, a dallop of chocolate to make your eyes stick and a dab of chocolate to help your red M&M nose stick. EnJOY!

Rice Krispy Treats:

6 cups Rice Krispy cereal
3 Tblsp butter
1 package 10oz mini marshmallows

In microwave safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on high for 2-3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add cereal and stir. Pour into a greased 9x13 dish and using a greased large spatula, pack down into dish. Cover and cool or refrigerate.

Christmas Jello Cups

It's that time of year! I just love gawking over all of the cool Pinterest ideas for Holiday treats! These are so simple and fun! One word of advice, don't add the cream and sprinkles until you are serving. My cream melted on my way to delivering them to my kids class!

Christmas Jello Cups

1 package 6oz Strawberry Jello
1 package 6oz Lime Jello
8 oz. thawed cool whip or use the spray kind of whipped topping
Christmas sprinkles
4 cups boiling water
4 cups cold water
20 small clear cups

Have your ready to fill on a tray that will fit in the fridge. Then place strawberry jello mix into a bowl and add 2 cups of boiling water. Stir well until dissolved. Add 2 cups cold water. Fill each glass about 1/2 full of strawberry jello and refrigerate until set.
 When strawberry jello is set prep the green jello. Place lime jello in a bowl and add 2 cups boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add 2 cups cold water and stir. Fill each glass that has the strawberry jello with the lime jello until mostly full. Place in refrigerator until set. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and Holiday sprinkles. EnJOY!

Kiwi Christmas Tree

I needed a fun and festive but healthy treat for my kids class last week and found some fun ideas on pinterest!

Kiwi Christmas Tree

10 ripe kiwi
1 Palmagranite (you can use strawberries or raspberries as well to add that beautiful red punch)

Peel all kiwi but keep 3 of the peels for the "tree trunk" portion of the treat. Slice kiwi rounds. Assemble on a large serving dish by first placing your kiwi peels as the trunk, then add the kiwi rounds to the plate making into the shape of a tree. Last, place 3-5 palmagranite seeds in a cluster together to form the "ornaments" of the tree, or use slices of strawberries or just one raspberry. One of my friends even made hers with star fruit for the tree topper! So cool! So many fun ways to make a fruit tree. EnJOY!

Caramel Toffee Crunch Chocolate Pie

     I found this recipe on  www.whitelightsonwednesday.com and had to try it for my families Christmas party. It was super rich and amazing! I doubled my crust to get a thicker crust but the thinner crust is just as amazing. The pudding recipe is my new fav chocolate pudding!

Caramel Toffee Crunch Chocolate Pie

Crust:
9 graham crackers, finely ground
6 Tblsp unsalted butter, melted (I used salted butter and omitted the salt)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Filling:
2 cups milk (2% or whole)
1 cup half and half
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tblsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tblsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup Heath milk chocolate toffee bits

Whipped topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tblsp powdered sugar
2 Tblsp caramel topping

Topping:
1/4 cup Heath milk chocolate toffee bits
2 Tblsp caramel topping

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir until everything is evenly moistened. Pour the graham cracker crumbs into a 9 inch pie plate. Spread the crumbs out evenly in the dish. Press them down to pack them into pie plate, starting with the bottom first and then working your way up the sides. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Filling:
 In a medium to large saucepan, whisk together the milk, half and half, and egg yolks. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and whisk the sugar mixture into the milk mixture. Cook for 6-9 minutes, whisking frequently, until the mixture bubble and thickens to a pudding like consistency. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until the chocolate has melted completely. Pour the Heath toffee bits into the bottom of your cooled pie crust, and spread into an even later. Pour the chocolate pie filling onto the toffee bits. Cover the pie filling with plastic wrap, placing the wrap directly onto the filling. Chill for 2-3 hours or until the filling has cooled completely and set up.
 Whipped Cream:
 In a large mixing bowl, beat together the heavy cream and powdered sugar until the cream begins to thicken. Add the caramel topping and continue to whisk until medium peaks form.
 Topping:
 Remove the pie from the fridge and peel off the plastic wrap. Top the pie with your caramel whipped cream, drizzle caramel topping over the whipped cream and sprinkle with heath bits. Refrigerate until ready to serve. EnJOY!

Chicken and Waffle Bites

 What is better than chicken and waffles? How about bit sized chicken and waffles! Yes! Don't forget the hot sauce and syrup!

Chicken and Waffle Bites

1-2 packages of frozen popcorn chicken bites
1-2 boxes mini waffles
hot sauce
maple syrup

 Preheat your oven and bake your popcorn chicken on a sheet pan according to package directions. Then using a toaster, toast the mini waffles until golden and cool. Then assemble your waffle bites by placing each waffle on a serving plate, top with chicken and poke a tooth pick through it to make it easier to pick up. Have hot sauce and maple syrup on the side for people to drizzle on their waffle bites. EnJOY!


Mini Chicken Pot Pies

I love anything mini and these are just so adorable and scrumptious! They are so much fun for a party and my kiddos absolutely love these! I found this recipe from www.princesspinkygirl.com

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

14.5 oz can Campbells creamy herb and garlic soup (I had to use cream of chicken and added extra spices)
2 packages Pillsbury Cresent rolls - seamless dough sheet
1 cup Frozen mixed veggies, thawed
1 cup cooked chicken cut into small pieces (I used a rotisserie chicken from the store)
3 inch round cookie cutter
cupcake pan

Preheat oven to 400. Lay the crescent roll flat on a lightly floured surface and cut out 12 rounds. Press them in the cupcake pan along the bottom and up the sides. In a bowl, mix the soup, thawed veggies and cut up chicken.
Using a pizza cutter, cut strips of crescent dough to cover the top of the cups, 2 across each way, so 4 strips total per cup. Bake 15-18 minutes or until top and sides are golden brown. If top gets too brown cover it with foil until the bottom is cooked. Let cool and use a knife to loosen and lift out of pan. EnJOY!

Crock-Pot Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs




Oh yes, this one is seriously awesome! I have made so many different meatball recipes and this is by far my fav! Even if you make them without the mozzarella inside, they are insanely good! The kid is mixing the hot sausage with the ground beef! It gives it so much flavor. Thanks to my father in law for sharing another fabulous recipe from Tasty.

Crock-Pot Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

1 block low moisture mozzarella, cubed
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground hot Italian sausage
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
2 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 jars marina

Pour 1 cup marinara on bottom of crock-pot. Mix beef, sausage, garlic, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, eggs, milk and parsley together in a large bowl. Take a chunk of the meat mixture and roll it in a ball, stuff a piece of mozzarella in the middle of the meatball and seel, drop on top of the marinara in crock-pot. Continue to roll out meatballs and stuffing with cheese, put into crock-pot. Cover with marinara sauce and cook on high for 3 hours or cooked. Serve over pasta and EnJOY!

Crock-Pot Chicken and Biscuits

I just love quick and easy meals, especially crock-pot meals! This recipe is a simple and hardy meal that is a hit with the family! Thanks to my father in law for sharing this Tasty Jr. recipe!

Crock-Pot Chicken and Biscuits

3 chicken breasts, cubed
2 cups carrots, largely chopped (I used baby carrots)
2 cups broccoli, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
21.5 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can refrigerated Pillsbury biscuit dough
fresh parsley

Mix chicken, seasoning, carrots, broccoli and soup in crockpot, cook on high for 4 hours. Pull apart biscuit dough and evenly top chicken mixture with chunks of biscuit dough and cook on high 1 more hour. Serve and sprinkle chopped parsley. EnJOY!

Crock-Pot Cornbread Chili



I love crockpot meals! Thanks to my amazing father in law sharing this recipe it was perfect for a busy week meal.

Crock-Pot Cornbread Chili

2 lb pork shoulder, cubed (can also use beef) 
1 Tblsp seasoned salt
1 Tblsp cumin
1 can kidney beans drained
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I used one can petite diced tomatoes)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup enchilada sauce (I used 1 cup)
1 package corn bread mix + ingredients to make the mix according to box

 Mix together cubed pork shoulder, seasoned salt, cumin, beans, tomatoes, onion, and enchilada sauce in the crockpot. Turn on high for 3-4 hours. Mix cornbread ingredients and spoon evenly over the crockpot mixture. Cook on High for 1 hour. Top with cheese and EnJOY!

Crockpot Orange Chicken


I love www.thefrugalgirls.com , they have so many amazing crockpot recipes. I made this one last week and it was a big hit! I like mine served over some brown rice.

Crockpot Orange Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
3/4 cup Smucker's sweet orange marmalade
3/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray's original BBQ sauce
2 Tblsp soy sauce

Cook the chicken in crockpot for 3 hours on high, or 6 hours on low. Drain juices after cooked. Remove chicken and cube into bite sized pieces. Mix together BBQ sauce, marmalade and soy sauce. Pour over cubed chicken and cook in crockpot on high for 30 more minutes. (optional: serve over rice). EnJOY!

Caramel Puff Corn (Popcorn Crack)


Oh Suzi Stockton you are both my hero and in trouble for sharing this recipe with me! These are seriously addicting and amazing! I've never had anything like these! A must try people! A must try!!! The hardest part of this recipe is finding these darn puffcorns! I have yet to find them in stores!

Caramel Puff Corn (Popcorn Crack)

8 oz Butter flavored Puffcorn (I used two 4oz bags) these MUST be BUTTER flavored!
1 cup butter, no substitution
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place puff corn in a very large roaster pan (I had to use 2 9x13)
In a large sauce pan bring butter, brown sugar and corn syrup to a boil, then cook for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and baking soda (this will foam up). Remove from heat and stir well. Pour over puff corn, mix and bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on wax paper. Then eat and eat and eat! EnJOY!



Pumpkin Bread

This is my fav pumpkin bread! Recipe altered from sallysbakingaddiction.com . Super moist and full of flavor!

Pumpkin Bread

1 3/4 Cup flour
1 tps baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice (or milk)
1-2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (depending on how chocolaty you like yours)

 Preheat oven to 350. Grease or spray loaf pans or mini loaf pans. Set aside. In large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt together until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar together until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, oil, and orange juice. Pour these wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. There will be a few lumps. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
 Pour the batter into the prepared 2 loaf pans. Bake for 55-65 minutes and 30-40 for mini loafs. Check the center of bread with a toothpick, if it comes out with only a few small moist crumbs it is done. Cool bread completely in pan.
 Can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight and bring to room temp before baking. EnJOY!

Crockpot Asian Sesame Chicken


Mmm mmm this is a great Fall recipe, ok it's a great any day recipe! Thanks thefrugalgirls.com for this super easy and fast recipe!

Crockpot Asian Sesame Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed
8oz bottle of Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame dressing
1/3 cup Smucker's Apricot preserves
1 packet dry Lipton Onion soup mix
Sesame seeds
Chopped green onions

Cook chicken in crock pot on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
After 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low, drain juices from crockpot.
Mix together Asian Toasted Sesame dressing, apricot preserves, and dry onion soup mix. Pour mixture over chicken, and cook on high for 30 more minutes or until done.
Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onions. EnJOY!

Strawberry Shortcakes in a Jar

A fun, easy, cute way to serve strawberry shortcakes! These can be made ahead of time as well.

Strawberry Shortcakes in a Jar

Angel Food cake pre-packaged (or yellow cake mix made into cupcakes and cut in half. You can also use pound cakes, cubed.)

Strawberries, rinsed, dried, sliced and mixed with a little sugar to help release the juices.

Cool whip (I use 1 cup Heavy whipping cream and whip it in a stand mixer on high with about 1/2 cup powdered sugar to sweeten. Whip it until soft peaks form.)

 To assemble your jars, if using angel food cake or pound cake, cut int cubes and place 3-4 cubes on the bottom of the jar. If using cupcakes split in half and place one half on bottom of jar. Top with large spoonful if sweetened strawberries, then top with cool whip or cream. Repeat. EnJOY!

Snickers Cupcakes in a Jar

These are such a fun new take of your basic cupcake! Put them in a jar and they are instantly more fun! So many different variations of cupcakes in a jar!

Snickers Cupcakes in a Jar

Cupcakes

1 Devils food cake mix
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup mayo or sour cream

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. line 24 cups of muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil, water and mayo. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake 15-20 min until center is set. Cool on a cooling rack.

Caramel Frosting

2 sticks butter, room temp
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
1/3 cup caramel topping, plus more for drizzling
Chopped snickers bar for garnishing

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add vanilla and caramel syrup and combine. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition.
 Once the cupcakes have cooled, cut cupcakes horizontally into 2 pieces. Place bottom piece in the jar first. Top with frosting, chopped snickers and caramel. Repeat with the top and EnJOY!

Pancake Bites

 Here is a super quick and easy breakfast idea! So many different ways to change these up too!

Pancake Bites

Instant pancake mix plus ingredients to make the mix.
Cooked sausage cut into bite sized pieces, or blueberries, strawberries, bacon, anything you want in your pancake bites.

Mix your instant pancake mix with ingredients box calls for. Mix in your sausage or desired filling. Using a mini or regualr sized cupcake pan, lightly spray the pan and fill 3/4 full of batter. Bake 350 for 12-15 minutes.
Top with maple syrup, fruit syrup, powdered sugar, whatever you want! EnJOY!

Lemon Bars

I made these bad boys for a school function and a wedding. I am normally a chocoholic but these hit the spot for me too! I found this recipe on jocooks.com

Lemon Bars

Crust:
1/2 cup white sugar
2 sticks (1/2 lb) butter, unsalted and at room temp.
2 cups flour
pinch of salt

Filling:
6 eggs at room temp
3 cups white sugar
2 Tblsp grated lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, make sure parchment paper is long enough to come over the sides. This will make it easy to pull out the bars.
 In the bowl of mixer, add sugar and butter and beat using the paddle attachment until light. Add flour and salt and mix until the dough starts forming into a ball. It will still crumble easily.
 Dump the dough into the prepared baking dish and flatten using your floured hands.
 Bake the crust for 20 minutes, until very lightly browned, you'll start seeing the edges brown. Let it cool and leave the oven on.
 To make the filling, whisk together all the filling ingredients. Pour over cooled crust and bake for another 30-35 minutes or util the filling is set. Let cool at room temp.
 Cut into triangles or squares and dust with powdered sugar. EnJOY!

Flourless chocolate Cake

Yum! I have made a flourless chocolate cake before but this one is my fav! So rich and fudgy! Thanks cookingclassy.com! You can Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and drizzle some chocolate on top as well!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

6oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped(I used semi sweet chocolate chips)
10 Tblsp unsalted butter, diced into pieces (I used salted butter)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Topping Optional:
Chocolate drizzle
powdered sugar
Fresh strawberries or rasberries
Whipped cream

Preheat oven 375 degrees. Butter a 9inch springform pan, line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter paper.
 In large microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate with butter on 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring well between increments until melted and smooth. Whisk in granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined about 1 minute. Add eggs and whisk until well blended, about 1 minute. Sift in cocoa powder and stir until combined. Pour batter into prepared baking dish, smooth top into an even layer and bake in preheated oven 20-25 minute. Allow to cool, then cut into slices and serve with whipped cream, berries, powdered sugar or ice cream. Store cooled cake in an airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days. EnJOY!

Cowboy Caviar Dip

This is a super easy and tasty dip recipe that I make regularly.  A must try! 

Cowboy Caviar Dip

1 (15oz can) seasoned black eyed peas, rinsed and drained well (I use white beans or chili beans when I can't find black eyed peas
1 (15oz can) seasoned or plain black beans, rinsed and drained well 
3/4 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 or 3 tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced with seeds removed
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 ripe avocado, chopped
Tortilla chips

Dressing:
1 Tblsp olive oil
1 Tblsp white wine vinegar
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Combine black eyed peas, beans, green onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro in a medium bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper. Pour over bean mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
Just before serving, add avocado and gently stir to combine. 
Serve with tortilla chips. EnJOY!

Easy Mini Bite Sized Caramel Cheesecakes

Cheesecake is dangerous. Mini bite sized cheesecake is even more dangerous! It's too easy to just pop one of these little devils in your mouth and reach for another! There are so many different ways you could top these; caramel, pureed strawberry, cherries, chocolate, endless! These are from kraftrecipes.com

Easy Mini Bite Sized Caramel Cheesecakes

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tblsp brown sugar
small pinch salt
1 cup sugar
4 Tblsp butter, melted
3 pckge (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
24 kraft caramels
2 Tblsp milk

Heat oven to 325. Mix graham crumbs, 2 Tblsp brown sugar, salt and butter, press onto bottoms of 24 paper filled muffin cups or in a mini cheesecake pan.
 Beat cream cheese and sugar with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over crusts.
 Bake 15 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.
Place unwrapped caramels in small heat proof bowl, add milk and place over pan of boiling water, making sure boiling water does not touch bottom of bowl. Cook until caramels are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently. Drizzle about 1 tsp caramel sauce over each cheesecake; sprinkle with salt if desired. Refrigerate 1 hour. EnJOY!


Easy Egg Free Chocolate Mousse

I was looking for a more simplified version of mousse and this one cought my attention. So rich and creamy and way more simple than most mousse recipes. I added a little extra coco and chocolate to really make it rich. Altered from wonkywonderful.com

Easy Egg Free Chocolate Mousse

16oz cold heavy cream
2 Tblsp powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips (I added 2 cups)
(I added 1 Tblsp coco powder as well)

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave while stirring every 30 seconds. Once the chocolate is melted set aside to cool slightly.
Whip the heavy cream in stand mixer using the whisk attachment. Whip it on med. high until it thickens and peaks appear.
Add the powdered sugar (and coco if using) and melted chocolate, quickly. Whip for another 30 seconds or until the mousse is thick and fully blended. Transfer to serving dishes, top with whipped cream and chocolate garnish if desired. I refrigerated mine until ready to serve. EnJOY!

Mini Chocolate Ganache Tarts

Did you say ganache?! Yes! These little babies are dangerous! I bought the tartlet online but some local grocery stores carry them as well. This is a super easy and fun dessert.

Mini Chocolate Ganache Tarts

1 (12oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tblsp butter

Put all ingredients in a medium sized microwave safe bowl. Microwave in increments of 30 seconds, stirring in between. It should only take 1- 1 1/2 minutes total. Mix until smooth. Let the ganache cool at least 1 hour (I prep mine the night before). Pipe into tarts. EnJOY!

Easy Microwave Lemon Curd


Um, don't be afraid. Just hear me out. This is amazing! So good! I added a little extra sugar and it is not as thick/firm as my other homemade curd but it is so ridiculously easy! I mixed it with whipped heavy cream and put in mini tarts. I found this recipe on mybakingaddiction.com

Easy Microwave Lemon Curd

1 cup white sugar (I added 1 1/4 cup)
3 eggs
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
zest of 3 lemons
1/2 cup butter, melted

Whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth in a microwave safe bowl. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and butter and stir until fully incorporated. Microwave on high in one minute intervals for 5-6 minutes. Stir well after each minute. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from microwave and push through fine mesh sieve and Store in a jar or tight seal tupperware in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or freeze until needed. If freezing, place in fridge over night to defrost.

To make lemon tarts, 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar until medium peaks form. Add as much or as little of your lemon curd as you like according to taste. Pipe into mini tarts and top with fruit, and additional lemon zest if desired. Keep refrigerated until needed. EnJOY!


Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew

I love a good soup recipe! This is a Forks Over Knives recipe and I will definitely add this to our regular menu. So easy and so good! Not to mention so healthy! You can leave out and add in anything you have on hand like I did. I left out the caraway seeds and potatoes and added kale.

Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew

1 large onion, chopped
salt to taste
3 stalks celery
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
1-1 1/2 lbs potatoes, cut in large dice
1/3 cup pearled barley (or sub. with gluten-free grain)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6-8 cups low sodium veggie stock (or reg. broth of any kind)
3 cups great northern beans cooked (or 2 cans, drained) (white beans)
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1 Tblsp parsley, chopped

 Place veggies, seasonings, barley and broth into a large stockpot. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender, about 45 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary. Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Optional: Cook in crockpot. Place veggies, seasonings and barley into large slow cooker. Add enough veggie stock to just cover the veggies (start with 6 cups and add more as needed). Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours.
 Add beans, tomatoes, parsley and salt to taste. check seasonings and add more herbs if necessary.
Cover and cook for another hour. EnJOY!

Mac and Cheese Bites


We were having some friends over the other night with little one's so I thought these would be a fun food for all the kids. I doubled the recipe and froze the left overs in individual bags for my kids lunches the following week. Yum! I found this recipe on chef-in-training.com

Mac and Cheese Bites

1/2 lb elbow macaroni
2 Tblsp butter
2 Tblsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg beaten

 Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray. Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside. In a medium size pan combine butter and flour over medium heat. Whisk until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Slowly add milk and bring to a simmer. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until smooth and creamy. Remove from heat.
 In a large mixing bowl, carefully stir pasta, cheese sauce, and egg until evenly mixed and pasta is evenly coated. Spoon mac and cheese into mini muffin tins and top each with a small pinch of remaining cheese. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
 Allow to cool 5 minutes before gently removing the bites. I find that carefully running a knife around the edges one at a time and tipping it onto a plate is the easiest. EnJOY!

Beet Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

What better Valentine recipe post then something red! I adapted this recipe from my spiralizer cookbook and I was a bit apprehensive about it but ended up loving it! Give yourself plenty of time to prep this one and time to soak your cashews.

Beet Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

4 beets, trimmed and peeled
1/2 Tblsp olive oil
3 sage leaves
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
pinch of chili pepper flakes
1/2 cup cashews, pre-soaked in water for atleast 30 minutes
2 Tblsp freshly chopped parsley
pinch of sea salt and pepper
1 Tblsp toasted sesame seeds

Create beet noodles by using the smallest setting on spiralizer then trim pasta to 2 inch strands. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 and prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the beet pasta on the baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil and a little salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
While the beets are in the oven, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in the sage and fry it on both sides for 30 seconds. Remove the sage leaves from skillet and set aside on a plate.
In the same skillet place the garlic, pepper flakes and onion and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the pumpkin puree then season it with salt and pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon, sage leaves. Let the sauce cook for 2-3 minutes then pour it into the blender. Drain the cashews then place them in the blender. Pour in the broth, cover the blender then process for 30 seconds. Set aside.
Take out the beet pasta from the oven and place them in individual bowls. Spoon the pumpkin sauce over each bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and parsley on top. EnJOY!

Sesame Almond Butter Zucchini Noodles


Spiralizer to the rescue! I needed something healthy but not just a salad or another roasted veg. So I came across this amazing recipe on iowagirleats.com and it is a must try! Go buy a spiralizer or zoodler just for this recipe!

Sesame Almond Butter Zucchini Noodles

1/2 cup smooth almond butter (I used natural peanut butter)
3 Tblsp low sodium soy sauce or gluten free Tamari 
1 Tblsp honey
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tblsp lime juice
1 Tblsp water
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup slivered almonds or peanuts (plus more for garnish)
3 small zucchini, spiralized
3/4 cup chopped scallions, green and white parts
2 tsp white sesame seeds
chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Combine almond butter, gluten free tamari or soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, lime juice, water, salt and pepper into a food processor then pulse until creamy and transfer to a small bowl. (I just mixed with a fork in a small bowl). 
Place the zucchini noodles into a medium bowl with the scallions. Add the almond butter sauce and nuts and toss to combine thoroughly. Top with sesame seeds, extra chopped nuts and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately. EnJOY!


Avocado and White Bean Salad with Vinaigrette


 This is a super quick, easy, healthy salad that is packed with flavor! I modified this recipe from foreverafterblog.com

Avocado and White Bean Salad with Vinaigrette

1 can white beans
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion chopped finely

Vinaigrette:

1 1/2 Tblsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tblsp fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp mustard

Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together then pour over salad base and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. EnJOY!


Pad Thai Salad


My sweet hubby bought me a sweet spiralizer attachment for my kitchen aid for Christmas. I was skeptical about spiralized veggies but I am such a fan! Absolutely amazing! Ive adapted this recipe from thelondoner.me and I just added some sauteed and seasoned shrimp to my dish.

Pad Thai Salad

1 cucumber
2 large carrots
2 green onions, chopped
1 handful of fresh cilantro
1 mint leaf, diced
1 handful of peanuts, roughly chopped
a couple handfuls of shredded chicken/beef/shrimp or anything you want

Dressing:

Juice of 1 lime
3 Tblsp sesame oil
3 Tblsp soy sauce
1 Tblsp fish sauce
1 Tblsp chili flakes
1 Tblsp honey
1 clove garlic, finely diced

Run your carrots and cucumber through the thinnest setting on your spiralizer. Sprinkle chopped onions on top, chopped cilantro and mint, and your shrimp or protein if using. Shake up all dressing ingredients in a jar until fully mixed, then poor over salad and toss lightly. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top. EnJOY!

Mexican Street Corn Salad

I love love love this recipe! cookingclassy.com you didn't fail me on this one! It's the perfect street corn taste without the chunks left in your teeth feeling after eating a corn on the cob!

Mexican Street Corn Salad

4 ears fresh corn, husked and kernels cut from cob (3 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 Tblsp veggie oil
salt to taste
1/3 cup chopped red or green onion (if using red run under water and drain to remove harsh bite)
1/3 cup slightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 oz. Cotija cheese, finely crumbled
3 Tblsp mayo
1 1/2 Tblsp fresh lime juice, divided
1/2 tsp chili powder, then more to taste
1 1/2 medium avocados (semi-firm but ripe) peeled, cored and chopped small

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add corn, season with salt to taste and toss, then let cook, tossing only occasionally (about every 2 minutes) until corn is well charred all over (about 6-10 minutes total). Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Add corn to a medium bowl along with onions, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, 3/4 of the cotija, mayo, 1 Tblsp lime juice and chili powder and toss. Pour remaining 1/2 Tblsp lime juice over diced avocados then add to bowl with corn mixture and gently toss. Top with remaining Cotija cheese and additional chili powder to taste. EnJOY!

Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce


This is a killer salmon recipe from damndelicious.net! Its not overly spicy, and so dang flavorful and amazing! I used honey instead of the sweetened condensed milk. Make sure you prep ahead of time to marinade the salmon.

Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce

1 Tblsp cornstarch
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 Tblsp honey
4 (5oz each) salmon fillets

For the Sriracha Cream Sauce

1/2 cup mayo
2-3 Tblsp sriracha
1 1/2 Tblsp sweetened condensed milk (I used honey instead)

To make the sriracha cream sauce, whisk together mayo, 2 Tblsp sriracha and honey in a small bowl; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic powder, honey and 1 cup water; bring to a simmer. Stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes; let cool to room temperature.
In a gallon size ziploc bag or large bowl, combine teriyaki marinade and salmon filets; marinate for atleast 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Place salmon filets along with the marinade into the prepared baking dish and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. 
Serve salmon immediately with sriracha cream sauce over rice if desired. EnJOY!

3 Bean Chili for a Crowd

 I found this yummy and filling recipe on a Forks Over Knives app. Super healthy and Hardy, and easy to make. It makes a lot! Perfect for when we have company.

3 Bean Chili for a Crowd

1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tblsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
2 Tblsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper (I added 1/2 tsp only)
1 1/2 cups tomato paste
3 cups pinto beans, cooked or 2 15oz cans rinsed and drained
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 28oz cans diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

 Saute the onion in a large pot over medium heat for 8 minutes. Add water 1-2 Tblsp at a time, as needed to keep the onion from sticking.
 Add the garlic, ground cumin, ancho chile powder, and cayenne pepper. Cook 1 minute.
 Add the tomato paste, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, diced tomatoes, sea salt and black pepper to taste and 4 cups water.
 Cook 20-25 minutes. EnJOY!

Vegan Banana Muffins

 I have been cooking and baking more plant based foods this last month and had to share this recipe from Forks Over Knives. These are so healthy, so super easy to make and so good! I added frozen blueberries to mine so the baking time was longer. Also I found that tin muffin liners worked better to get the muffins out of.

Just Bananas Muffins

4 very ripe bananas
2 cups oats, ground into flour
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tblsp ground flaxseeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 Tblsp alcohol free vanilla extract
1/2 Tblsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tblsp aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven at 350. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Grind oats into a flour with food processor. Place in a large bowl and add all the other dry ingredients. Puree bananas in a food processor until smooth.
 Add the apple juice, applesauce, vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar and process again until combined. Pour over dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Pour into TIN muffin liners filling about 2/3 full.
 Bake for 20-22 minutes until tops are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle, Let cool. EnJOY!

French Toast Roll-ups








Since we had a day off of school and work last week I decided to make something fun and special for breakfast for my kids. So naughty and so good! I came across this recipe on the-girl-who-ate-everything.com    I used wheat bread but I would definitely recommend white bread. Its much more moist and easier to roll up.

French Toast Roll-ups

8 slices white sandwich bread
Nutella or softened cream cheese
Diced strawberries
2 eggs
3 Tblsp milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
butter, for greasing the pan

Cut the crust from each slice of bread and flatten it out with a rolling pin.
Place about 1-2 tsp of your chosen filling 1 inch from one end of the bread in a strip. Roll the bread up tightly and repeat with the remaining pieces of bread. I really like Nutella with diced strawberries or you can do cream cheese with strawberries. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until well combined.
In a separate shallow bowl mix the sugar with the cinnamon.
Heat the skillet medium high and melt a Tblsp of butter. Dip each bread roll in the egg mixture coating well and then place them in the pan seam side down. Cook in batches until golden brown, turning them to cook and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add butter to the pan as needed.
Add cooked rolls immediately from the pan to the cinnamon sugar and roll until completely covered in sugar. You can serve with syrup for dipping if desired. EnJOY!