Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Peanut Butter Granola Balls

Please don't judge these little balls or clumps by this picture. It was hard to get a good shot of them. I saw the recipe for these little babies over at Two Peas and their Pod and knew I needed to try them out. These did not disappoint. They came together in a snap and where quite tasty with no added sugar and very little butter. If you want a quick little snack or treat but don't have a lot of time and want something a little bit healthier give these babies a try.

Peanut Butter Granola Balls adapted from Two Peas& their Pod
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup natural or homemade peanut butter recipe found here
4 T. butter
2 cups rice cereal(rice krispies)
2 cups old fashioned oats(not quick cooking)
1/2-3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2-1 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup mini M&M's(optional)

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, peanut butter, and honey. Stir until melted and smooth about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cereal, oats, cranberries, and chocolate chips. Let the mixture cool for 2 minutes and then stir in the M&M's. Drop mixture by tablespoons into mini paper cupcake or candy liners and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. I stored mine in the fridge.

Note: if you want chunks of chocolate instead of it melted than let the mixture cool and stir in chocolate chips later but I liked stirring in the chocolate right away and letting the chocolate coat the mixture and get melted.
Note:makes about 32 balls or clumps. I was too lazy to make mine look a lot like balls or to roll them for that matter so I just left them as clumps and they still tasted great!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I love jambalaya and I always have. I have been searching for a homemade recipe for awhile now. I spotted this recipe at Mel's kitchen Cafe a little while back and printed it off. I finally got around to making it tonight for dinner. Man was it good. My kids gobbled it up as well. While I was cooking my little 5 year old said Man mom it sure smells yummy in here. If you love Jambalaya you must give this recipe a try. It is supper easy and comes together pretty quick.

Jambalaya adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into pieces
1 pound chicken, cut into pieces or small shrimp(i used shrimp)
2 T. flour
2 T. butter
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 T. garlic, minced
3 ribs celery, I didn't have any on hand so I didn't use
1 bell pepper (red or green) chopped I used about 7 or 8 mini sweet peppers
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp creole or cajun seasoning(us a light hand if you don't want it overly spicy)
1(10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp liquid smoke
1(14.5 oz) can chicken broth(can use low sodium or whatever suits your fancy)
2 cups cooked rice

In a 4-6 quart pot, cook the sausage and chicken or shrimp over medium heat. If you don't use the sausage then you will need to use a little olive oil to cook the chicken and shrimp in. Cook until done then scrape meat onto a plate and set aside. Melt the butter in the same pot stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add the veggies, basil, Cajun seasoning, Rotel tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sugar. Stir well. Simmer the mixture over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Add the meat back into the pot and cook for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Then stir in the hot cooked rice until you achieve the desired consistency. (i used more than 2 cups rice)

Note: you can use all one kind of meat if you desire. Use whatever you like the best.

Note: if you want it spicier than add more Cajun or Creole seasoning(i would have added more if my kids weren't eating with us but for them the amount was good that I did) YOu can also by hot rotel or mild so that can change the heat also.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Key Lime Bars

Oh boy where do I begin with these. These are lets just say amazing especially if you want a cool dessert for the summer. These babies are way better than any key lime pie I have every had. If you love Key Lime Pie you must give these babies a try. I have seen the recipe for these on many of the recipe sites that I enjoy looking at so I can't take the credit but I did change them up a little bit because I don't like using only a 2 oz of cream cheese and then I have leftover cream cheese but usually not enough for another recipe so I added the whole 8 oz in and loved it.

Key Lime Bars

5 cups animal crackers
6 T. packed brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 T. grated lime zest
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cup fresh lime juice(about 6-8 regular limes or 40 key limes)

3/4 cup toasted coconut
or more crumb crust
or Whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

For the crust process the animal crackers and sugar in a blender or food processor until really fine. Place in a bowl and mix with the melted butter and mix till well combined. Press in to the pan and bake until fragrant and golden, about 15-18 min.

For the filling, mix the cream cheese and lime zest together. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk untill smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks and lime juice until combined. Pour the filling evenly over the baked crust. Bake the bars until the filling is set and the edges are just slightly pulling away from the edges of pan, 15-17 minutes. I baked mine for 16 exactly and they were perfect.

Let the bars cool completely in the pan, about 2 hours. Then cover pan and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Garnish as desired.

Note: I have made these twice in the past couple of weeks and one of the times I was pressed for time and didn't have time to zest the limes so I didn't add it in and I prefered them without the zest but do whatever suits your fancy

Note: Store leftovers (if there are any) in the fridge!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Whole Wheat Dinner Muffins

I spotted these muffins over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe and I knew I had to give them a try especially since they said they were fast and had whole wheat in them. Cause lets face it sometimes we want bread with dinner but just don't have the time to make yeast rolls or bread for dinner. These were really yummy and such a great recipe when you are short on time. They go great with soup but would be good with anything you like a piece of bread with-pasta, roast, etc. Who doesn't want to try and get more whole grains into their diet.

Whole Wheat Dinner Muffins
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 T. cornmeal
6 T. firmly packed brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 eggs, separated
6 T. melted butter or olive oil(I used olive oil)
2 cups buttermilk
4 T. sour cream or plain yogurt(I used plain yogurt)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins. In a large bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks, butter(oil), buttermilk, and sour cream(yogurt)until blended. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and mix just till moistened. Don't overmix. Batter will be slightly lumpy. In another bowl using a mixer beat the egg whites just until they form soft peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold in the egg whites until blended, again don't overmix. Spoon the batter in the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup nearly level with the rim of the cup. Bake the muffins until they are golden, dry and springy to the touch and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. about 18-20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes then take out of tin and serve warm.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Root Beer Float on a Stick

I saw this recipe over at Recipe Shoebox and just knew I had to make them. I made them for a get together for the fourth and man were they a hit!!! These were so yummy and so easy and they truly taste like a root beer float. My kids loved them so much I made another batch for them today!!! We have to survive the hot and humid weather somehow. Thanks Lara for such a great recipe!!!

Root Beer Float on a Stick adapted slightly from Recipe Shoebox

Cream layer:
1 cup heavy cream(lara used whole milk i had cream or 1% milk so I opted for the cream)
3 T. Sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together and pour 2 T. into the bottom of 13 (3 oz) dixie cups. Put in freezer for 1 hour. Take out and place sticks in them.

Mix the root Beer layer ingredients together:
3 cups root beer
1 cup sweetened condensed milk

Then pour evenly over each cream layer in the 13 dixie cups(or popsicle molds)Put back in the freezer for 3 hrs or until solid.
This made 13-3 oz size dixie cups.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tortellini Spinach Bake

I saw this recipe over at Our Best Bites a little while ago and just new I had to try it. It was so good and I think it was even better the next day. I changed the recipe up just a bit because I wanted to and because I can. It you want to see the original recipe go check it out at They have some really amazing recipes!! If you love pasta like I do give this one a try!!!

Tortellini Spinach Bake adapted from Our Best Bites
1(12 oz) bag Barrilla Cheese& Spinach Tortellini(in the dry pasta isle at walmart)
1/2 a 1 lb box of whole wheat Rotini(or you can use two tortellini bags)
2 T. olive oil
2 T. garlic
3 T. flour
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup pesto
1/2 tsp basil
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes(depending on how spicy you like things)
1 medium lemon
2 c. loosely packed fresh spinach, chopped
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup parm cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and rotini and cook according to package directions. In skillet heat the olive oil, add the garlic and cook till fragrant and tender, about 1 min. Add the flour to the pan and whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer. Add the juice of the lemon and the pesto and continue to stir and cook until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain the pasta and mix the drained pasta with the sauce. Add the chopped spinach and 1/2 cup each of the cheeses. Pour into a 8x11 or 9x13 inch dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup each of the cheeses. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

*you can add chicken or bacon to this if you desire but I think it is tasty as is!!