Apple Pie Pancake Apple Rings

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Autumn.  The season that seems to be a favorite among people living in Indiana.  I can’t say that I disagree.  I love the changing colors of the leaves.  All those colors, I would have to say, are my favorite.  That’s probably why the walls of my home are variations of orange, red and browns.  I miss jumping in the big leaf piles like we did when I was a younger kid at home.  I can’t accumulate that many leaves in my yard where I live now.

This past Saturday my parents, my husband and I went to a local orchard to pick pumpkins and apples.  It was a perfect day outside for it.  Sunny with a little chill in the air so we just had to bundle up a bit.  And of course we got some hot apple cider to accompany us.  We walked thru the aisles of the apple trees with a red wagon and filled our bushels full of the types of apples we wanted.  Then I knew what I wanted to make first with all my apples.

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Apple rings. 

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Dip to coat.

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Cook until browned.

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Apple Pie Pancake Apple Rings

  • 1 cup pancake batter.  I made mine from Bisquick and 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and sliced
  • syrup for topping

Prepare pancake batter according to package instructions.  Add in apple pie spice.

Peel apples and then slice into 1/4 –  1/8 inch thick slices.  (I sliced and then peeled mine).

Cut out the center of each apple slice so that there are no seeds.

Coat skillet with non-stick cooking spray.  Preheat on medium heat on stove top.

Dip each apple slice into pancake batter, coating slice completely.  Place apple slice onto warm skillet and cook until browned on each side.  This doesn’t take long.

Serve warm with syrup.  Enjoy!

I originally saw something similar to this made on a morning show recently.

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Look at those yummy apples in between the pancake coating!

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And so the apple picking adventure begins!

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I see a juicy green apple in that crystal ball, don’t you?

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My parents, my husband and I went straight to the orchard this past Saturday to get our apple picking on!

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The apples can’t get much fresher than that, right off the tree!

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Grab a fork.  You know you want to eat these.

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What is your favorite season of the year?  Or do you not even get to experience the seasons where you live?

Happy Fall Y’all!

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , | 11 Comments

White Chocolate S’mores Gooey Cake Bars

White Chocolate S'mores

Remember those cool evenings in the fall when you are sitting on your back patio, listening to the crickets, with sweatshirt and jeans on, around your fire pit, dreaming of a gooey warm s’more?

Or what about those hot summer days spent boating on the lake with your friends and family, soaking up those golden rays of sunshine, and sitting around the campfire at night time telling old stories of your youth, while dreaming of a sticky and sweet s’more?

Well then this treat is for you!  Whether or not you have actually eaten a real s’more cooked over an open flame or not, you will still love the taste of these sticky, sweet and gooey bars.

Of course if you follow Picky Palate, then you know this fabulous recipe is from Jenny!

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The ingredients are: 1 box yellow cake mix.  1 egg.  1/2 cup butter.  4 1/2 full grahams, 10 oz. white chocolate chips.  2 cups mini marshmallows.  1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk.

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Of course I popped a few mini marshmallows in my mouth while the bag was open.  Who wouldn’t.

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Spread out the rest of the cake mix over the grahams, chocolate and marshmallows.

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Then pour over the sweetened condensed milk.  This gooey stuff is very sweet on it’s own.  I actually added some of the remaining can of this to a smoothie and it was delicious.

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White Chocolate S’mores Gooey Cake Bars

Recipe from Picky Palate~

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 1/2 full graham crackers
  • 10 oz. back white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line an 8×8 inch baking pan with tin foil that’s been generously sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure foil goes all the way up and over the edges for this one. It will be a full pan .

2. Place cake mix, egg, and butter into a large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until a dough forms, similar to a cookie dough. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer with graham crackers, white  chocolate chips then marshmallows. Top with remaining half of dough pressing evenly. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over top then bake for 28-33 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown on top.

Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes then take a knife and run along edges to loosen marshmallow (this will allow bars to come off the foil easier).  Let cool completely then remove bars from pan with foil edges.  Cut bars into squares and serve.

They are delicious room temperature or chilled.

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See the layers of cake, grahams, chocolate, marshmallows and more cakeSmile

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Now you can’t sit here and tell me you don’t want to sink your teeth in to one of these bars!

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Thank you Picky Palate for creating this delicious recipe!

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My other version of these bars here.  Gooey White Chocolate Fluffernutter Cake Bars.

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Do you prefer white, milk or dark chocolate?

What are you going to miss most about the summertime?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged | 12 Comments

Fruity Vanilla Oatcakes

Oatcake

This my friends, is the breakfast of champions!   Not to take anything away from Wheaties, but these oatcakes are good. 

And good for you.  Who doesn’t love that?!

A toasty twist on oatmeal that will make you grin from ear to earSmile

What better way to gain the strength and energy to carry you through a hectic morning schedule than with a small stack of warm oatcakes.

A quick to make breakfast or snack.  And we all like things that are easy. 

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Mix up the oats, egg whites and spices together.

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Form a patty in your pan and brown oatcake over medium heat.

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Top the oatcake with the fruit that you like best. 

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Fruity Vanilla Oatcakes

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup raspberries or fruit of your liking
  • 1/2 cup applesauce

In a bowl, combine first 4 ingredients.  Spread evenly in a skilled coated with cooking spray.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, flipping once.

Enjoy your oatcake topped with applesauce and fruit!

You may need to add a little sweetener to your oatcake if you like your oats slightly sweet.  I used Splenda.  Or top with a dollop of Applesauce Refresher.

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Mmm, mmm, raspberries!

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A meal full of fiber!

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Red deliciousness!  Or are they pink?

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A perfect way to start your day off right!

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Delish.  Devour.  Devine.

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You could also top this with some Pineapple Orange Applesauce Refresher!

Or an Applesauce Refresher of your choiceSmile

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How many times a day do you eat oatmeal?

Do you ever put raw oats in your smoothies?  Trust me, it’s good!

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged | 7 Comments

Cheesecake Stuffed Peaches

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It’s summertime and peaches are in season!

A plump and succulent ripe peach filled with creamy sweet cheesecake in the middle is what you are feasting your eyes upon right now.  Are your eyes bugging out towards the screen because you want to eat one so bad or what?  Is your mouth watering?  I am sure it is.  Mine sure did when I found this recipe one day. 

Don’t you wish this was a scratch-n-sniff screen?!

Merging a favorite fruit with a classic dessert = Excellent Smile 

First, select some ripe, juicy, sweet and plump peaches.  If they aren’t quite ripe, put them in a paper sack for a few days until soft.

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Before baking:  below.

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After baking:  below.

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Cheesecake Stuffed Peaches

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens

  • 6 peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. cinnamon and sugar mix
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat.  Trim a very thin slice from the round side of the peach half so the halves will stand flat on the baking sheet.  Dip peach halves in melted butter to coat.  Arrange peach halves, cut sides up, in prepared pan.  Sprinkle cut sides of peaches with cinnamon-sugar; set aside.

2.  In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Add sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla.  Beat until combined.  Spoon cream cheese mixture into peach centers.

3.  Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until lightly browned and softened.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Makes 6 servings.

Enjoy!

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Oh yum, look at that cheesecake center.  So sweet!

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Peaches and cream my dear.  It’s what’s for dinner.  Or dessert.  Or both.

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Sure to tempt your taste buds and tickle your tongue.

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If you want, you could add in some amaretto flavoring to the cheesecake mixture.

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Enjoy this great, simple peach cheesecake dessert!

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I mean, I’m not saying you have to use a fork to eat this.  Just pick it up and biteSmile

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Would you rather have cheesecake or cake?

 

What is your favorite cheesecake topping?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged | 5 Comments

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Mix

 

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Dark chocolate.  Peanut butter.  Granola.  =  Total party in the mouth.   Or with a spoon and some milk.  Or on top of a banana or some yogurt.  However you choose.  Just believe me, this is good stuff.

I am a cereal addict.  I could it cereal for all 3 meals plus snacks every day.  But granola is a breakfast food and a snack food.  So no wonder it makes me happy.

If you think you love cereal that comes from a box on a shelf, be warned, this recipe may change your mind.

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Oats, chia seeds, kamut puffs, puffed millet and sesame seeds make for a great granola combination.

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Dark Chocolate peanut butter, a delicious ingredient.

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Mix the honey and peanut butter together.  Stir in cinnamon plus vanilla and voila, you’ve got the granola glaze.

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Clusters of granola, yum!

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This is one jar of treats that you WILL NOT be able to shut the lid on!

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    I am not going to lie.  I ate some of this straight out of the container with a spoon.  And sometimes with my fingers.

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Mix

  • 1 c. millet puffs
  • 1 c. puffed kamut
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/2 c. sesame seeds
  • 2 c. oats
  • 2/3 c. honey
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2. tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 2/3 c. dark chocolate peanut butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.   Toast the two cups of oats on a large jelly roll pan for 5 min.

In large bowl, combine honey and peanut butter.   Microwave for 30 sec. and then mix thoroughly.

In the bowl, add in millet puffs, puffed kamut, chia seeds, sesame seeds, vanilla and cinnamon.  Mix well so that the mixture is sticky.

Spray the jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Spread the granola mix out onto the sheet evenly.

Bake for 10 min.  Remove, stir it around and place back in oven for additional 5 min.

Allow to cool before indulging.

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Great texture.

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Definitely should eat more granola.  Like right now!

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What is the oddest ingredient you have ever used when making granola?

What is your favorite non-traditional way to eat granola?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged | 10 Comments

Gooey White Chocolate Fluffernutter Cake Bars

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What the fluff?

Did you know that there is a National Fluffernutter Day?  It is October 8 this year.  I say we start celebrating that day NOW!

Is fluffernutter a childhood memory of yours?  Were you ever made a sandwich with marshmallow crème and peanut butter?  Well that’s what fluffernutter is, in case you’ve been living in a cool cave this summer and didn’t know that fact.

Go ahead.  Add this recipe to your “Yummy Book.”  Then find some fluff.  And get to fluffing up this wonderful concotion my friends!

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Peanut butter, marshmallow fluff mixed with sweetened condensed milk.

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Pat the crust dough in to a foil lined and greased pan.  Pour on the creamy mixture and sprinkle with white chocolate chips.

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Gooey White Chocolate Fluffernutter Cake Bars

Recipe from Picky Palate

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow crème
  • 1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
  • 12 oz. bag white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a 9×13 inch baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place cake mix, egg and butter into a large bowl.  Mix until well combined, will be the consistency of thigh cookie dough.  Press dough into prepared pan.
  3. Place peanut butter, marshmallow crème and condensed milk into a large bowl and mix until will combined.  Pour over crust then top with white chocolate chips.  Bake for 25 minutes, until cooked through.  Center will seem somewhat jiggly, but will set up while cools.
  4. Let cool completely, cut into squares and serve.  (I cooled mine in the fridge before cutting and for storing the bars too).

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One will just not do.  Have three or four.  Then go brush your teeth.

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Peanut butter, marshmallow and sweet milk = a gooey layer that may stick to the roof of your mouth, but it’s so worth it.

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Such a sweet and sinful treat.  Gotta eat that up.  No shame. 

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Ooey gooey goodness in your mouth!

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I’ve been know to eat marshmallow fluff straight out of the jar with a spoon.  How about you?

 

What have you sunk your teeth into lately that has been so sweetly decadent?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia Tacos

 

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It wasn’t until a few years ago (maybe two) that I developed a real taste for fish.   I mean really enjoying eating fish.  And actually being able to choose to eat fish and not being forced to eat it because that is all that was offered for dinner that night.  Granted that was usually really fresh fish that my dad caught in the lake that day, but I would have rather had a bowl of plain pasta.  You see, I grew up going camping.  Camping on lakes.  Boating on lakes.  And along with boating, came fishing.  I loved to go fishing when I was younger.  Now I’d rather read a gossip magazine, but that’s besides the point.  So while I had gotten away without eating fish for a while, my like in eating it has returned.  And I at least think it is a little bit healthy for me too.

So many restaurants offer fish tacos on their menus now and I think that is what got me hungry for creating my own.  That and my mom and I got this great salsa verde slaw at a local farmer’s market that we thought would be delicious on fish tacos.  It did not disappoint.

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Sour cream, tortilla crusted tilapia, avocado, lime juice, tomatoes, corn tortillas, salsa verde slaw and red onions.

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It may sound silly, but when I spotted this tortilla crusted tilapia in the store I about jumped for joy.  I knew it would be the perfect fish for my taco creation.  And I was right.

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I baked the fish until it was super crispy.

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Fish in tacos?  Not too long ago I wouldn’t even have thought that sounded good.  But now, I love them!  And these are the best fish tacos I have ever had. 

This is the salsa verde slaw that was purchased at a local farmer’s market. 

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Tilapia Tacos

  • White fish of your choice.  I used tilapia
  • sour cream
  • avocado
  • tomatoes
  • lime juice
  • red onion
  • corn tortilla’s
  • salsa verde slaw

Cook fish as directed.  Slather sour cream on to a tortilla.  Top with sliced and diced avocado, tomatoes, red onions, squirts of lime juice, sticks of baked fish and spoonfuls of salsa verde slaw.

Wrap your mouth around the taco and taste the deliciousness!

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I find that corn tortilla’s make these tacos much better, rather than using flour tortilla’s.

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A  very enjoyable casual meal.  Colorful too.

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I love the crispy fish that was seasoned great with the tortilla crust on it.

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Now go grab a frosty libation and enjoy your summer 2011!

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A great way to introduce fish to someone who isn’t used to eating it.

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Have you ever had a real fish fry?  I mean fish that is straight in from the lake where they were caught?

 

Do you like to go fishing or do you find it boring sitting there waiting for the bobber to move?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Pineapple Orange Refresher

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Remember my post about things I love about summer?  I have a few more things to add to my list.  What can I say, summer is a fabulous season.

Summer Lovin’:

  • Sandals
  • Lemonade
  • Crashing Waves
  • Watermelon
  • Grilled Corn on the Cob
  • Sprinklers
  • Blueberries
  • Lightening Bugs
  • Smoothies
  • Lanterns
  • Porches
  • Bubbles

A few weeks ago I made a great summertime treat called Applesauce Refresher.  I mixed raspberry jell-o with applesauce.  Such a refreshing snack to eat on these hot and humid summer days.  Then my mind starting going and I thought of other flavor combinations to try.  Thus I came up with the pineapple orange mixture.  Go ahead, let your mind wander into applesauce space and see what combos you can come up with that are just as delicious!

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I mixed sugar-free applesauce with sugar free jell-o, water and crushed pineapple.

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Pineapple Orange Refresher

24 oz. unsweetened applesauce

1 pkg. sugar-free Jell-o mix in a box, flavor of your choice, I used orange

1 small can crushed pineapple with juice

1 cup boiling water

Place 1 cup water in microwave safe bowl and heat till boiling.  Add Jell-o mix and stir until dissolved.  Let sit for 30 min. or until cool.  Then stir in applesauce and pineapple until mixed and place in refrigerator until cool.  Then spoon in to dish, serve, eat and feel refreshed!

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You could also make this with homemade applesauce.  Because that is so easy to make too!

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I love the color of this food, it just screams FUN!

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A great snack for all ages!

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Colorful and sweet!

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Do you ever buy applesauce or make your own?

 

How many of you are looking forward to the fall when we can go pick apples at the orchard?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Wheatberry, Bean and Feta Salad

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I have never been the one to like beans.  I hated eating beans growing up as a kid.  But momma knows best.  And so I was forced to eat beans a time or two too much.  Funny how things change as you get older and your tastes mature and you broaden your food horizons. 

Guess what?  This girl likes beans!  I’ve been known to roast a can of garbanzo beans till crisp in the oven and eat them all because I was craving a salty snack.   They are healthier than potato chips.

And then I went to Sanibel Island on vacation earlier this year and ate dinner at The Blue Giraffe.  On their side menu was something called edamame salad.  I was curious and wanted to try it, so I did and I loved it.  I knew I wanted to recreate something similar to it once I got home.  Their dressing was a little too oily for me, so the light dressing I use on this salad makes it delicious!

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Thanks to Whole Foods bulk bins, I have discovered a new good food, wheatberries!  In the pan above, I soaked the wheatberries for 8 hours in water and then boiled for an hour.

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Red onions, chickpeas, black beans, cooked wheatberries, edamame and light parmesan asiago balsamic vinaigrette dressing make up this salad.  How simple is that!?

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Wheatberry, Bean and Feta Salad

  • 1/3 red onion, chopped
  • 16 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked wheatberries
  • 1 1/2 c. shelled edamame
  • 1/2-3/4 c. light dressing of your choice
  • feta cheese for topping

After cooking wheatberries and draining beans, mix all ingredients together.  Add dressing and allow salad to sit in fridge for 4 hours or overnight before serving.  Upon serving, sprinkle with feta cheese.

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I have ate this bean salad for the last 3 days and I am not sick of it yet.  It still tastes good!

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I served this to my in-laws at our cookout a few days ago and they were raving about it.  They said they were even going to go home and get the ingredients to make this themselves.  Score!

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Delicious and nutritious!  Plus it’s so cheap to make. 

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Stick a fork in it!

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Lesson learned:  Don’t be skeptical about beans. 

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Have you always been a bean lover/hater?

 

What is one food you were skeptical about eating until you actually tried it?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cookies

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Why is it that whenever I make anything with bananas I always have monkey’s on the mind?  As in monkey’s at the zoo, not the Monkees that my mom was in love with.  I guess it’s because monkey’s eat bananas and I’m sure I’ve seen that at the zoo.  But monkey’s don’t get the luxury of putting chocolate with their bananas like we do.  Geesh, I’m glad I am a human.

Bananas are a handy fruit to have around let me tell ya.  My newest obsession is to slice a banana in half lengthwise.  Then I spread peanut butter on top of it and sprinkle on some granola or cereal on top of that.  It’s like my banana sundae.  I eat it for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner and snacks.  Just depends on what day it is.  Some days I want one, but my nanners are green.  Anyone know how to speed up the ripening process of a banana? 

And if you’ve never tried homemade banana fro-yo, try this now!

Banana + chocolate + almond flavoring + vanilla flavoring = Banana-rama-terrific!

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Cream the sugars, peel bananas and mash, add mashed bananas, stir in oats, add chocolate chips and form cookies.  Sounds easy right?

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cookies

adapted from Sweet Treats and More

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla next.  Add cinnamon powder, baking soda and flour.  Mix well.  Mix in mashed bananas and oats using mixer.  Then stir in chocolate chips with spoon. 

Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Or use a cookie scoop.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool.

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp. water

In small bowl mix together frosting ingredients.  Add enough water until frosting is desired consistency.  Place frosting in small baggie.  Clip a small corner off of the baggie and squeeze out frosting and drizzle on top of cookies in whatever pattern you choose.

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I don’t know where I learned the “frosting in a baggie” trick, but I am sure glad I did.   I tried taking a picture of myself frosting the cookies, ha.  And before you ask, no I don’t have white hair.   Those are feather earrings. 

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The baked and iced cookies all ready to be handed out once I figure out what to plate them on.

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Oh, and I also sprinkled some cinnamon on top of the cookies for looks. 

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Doesn’t that yellow plate look like a banana!  PS, don’t use green bananas like I have in the picture here.

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Scrumdiddlyumptious!  Who doesn’t love a soft cookie?

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I live in an addition where there are lots of new houses going up behind us.  And we have new neighbors.  What a better way to greet your new neighbors than to walk over with a warm plate of cookies and welcome them to the neighborhood.  So I plated some treats on a paper plate I found in the pantry and wrote on it what they were in case they forgot what I told them amongst the introductions and small talk of meeting new people.

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Ooo, don’t you wish you were my neighbor?!  Going out on another delivery run…this time to a friend who is having a birthday.

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Go ahead and make yo’self some banana bread cookies.  Potassi-YUM!

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What is your favorite fruit to add in a cookie?

 

Who else thinks the summer is flying by already?  

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged | 9 Comments

Applesauce Refresher

applesauce refresher

I love summer!  It’s just a great season for many reasons. 

But in Indiana, it gets hot.  And it gets really humid during the summer here too.

So I have some favorite summertime treats that are a cool and refreshing indulgence.

Have you ever tried frozen grapes?  Such a good snack to have in the heat of the day.

Some of the things I love most about SUMMER:

1.  Sunshine!

2.  Flip-flops

3.  Talking in to fans

4.  Bare feet

5.  Sun tea

6.  Picnics

7.  Swimming

8.  Days at the pool and lake

9.  Raft floating

10.  The smell of sunscreen

11.  Shorts

12.  Tank tops

13.  Sun dresses

14.  Ponytails

15.  Water play

16.  Water parks

17.  Family vacations

18.  Days on the beach

19.  Seashell hunts

18.  Sand castles

19.   Camping

20.  Smore’s

21.  Popsicles

22.  Sparklers

23.  Air conditioning

24.  Night walks

25.  BBQ’s with friends

I am sharing with you another refreshing dessert that is great to eat in the heat of the summer.  And it’s a no-brainer when it comes to putting this recipe together.  Simple ingredients.  Simple preparation.

Applesauce Refresher

24 oz. unsweetened applesauce

1 pkg. sugar-free Jell-o mix in a box, flavor of your choice

1 cup boiling water

Place 1 cup water in microwave safe bowl and heat till boiling.  Add Jell-o mix and stir until dissolved.  Let sit for 30 min. or until cool.  Then stir in applesauce until mixed and place in refrigerator until cool.  Then spoon in to dish, serve, eat and feel refreshed!

I used raspberry flavored gelatin, but you could use any flavor of gelatin.  Strawberry would be good too.

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You can call this a dessert, a treat or a meal.  I could eat it for any of those and all of those.  Plus it’s fat free so I feel no shame in gulping this down.

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What is a cool and refreshing treat you enjoy during the summer?

What are your family’s summertime fun favorites?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Sanibel Island and Siesta Key

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Hi!  Long time, no recipe huh? 

I just returned from 8 nights away with some fabulously fun and fashionable ladies!  We had a wonderful time exploring the islands, eating some delicious meals, walking the beaches looking for shells, riding bikes to breakfast, collecting shopping bags and indulging in some great desserts. 

We stayed 4 nights on Sanibel Island Florida and then 4 nights near Siesta Key on Longboat Key.  Sanibel is a serene place that is not all commercially built up.  We enjoyed being able to walk right out of our hotel room door to the pool and beach.  Lots of shells on this island.  We saw an alligator on our morning bike ride to breakfast and saw a guy catch a baby shark too.  Yep, the same baby sharks we were swimming with in the ocean.  Eek!  We stayed on Lido Beach on Longboat Key and it was great having a room high up with great beach plus sunset views.  We were so close to St. Armand’s Circle that we walked there for breakfast and dinner, not to mention all the great shopping stores where we collected more trophies!  Siesta Key beach was a happening place for sure.  But it was beautiful, just like Dr. Beach said.  We definitely got our 8 days of funshine sunshine on this play-cation~!

Beautiful beaches, clear brilliant blue skies, blaring golden sun rays, sand like powdered sugar and water blue like the Caribbean.

Lots of pictures ahead!

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That’s me, my aunt, my sister-in-law (plus 1) and my mom. 

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What happens on Sanibel…we talk about all week!  This chair was at the Island Cow restaurant.

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J U M P !

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Doing the vacay-sway!  Do you have that Old Navy commercial stuck in your head yet?

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Ft. Myer’s Beach sunset!

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That’s my mom above with me and my sister-in-law who is expecting.  I’m gonna be an aunt!

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Sarasota Cupcake Co. was our nightly indulgence!   I am eating one like a Hostess cupcake and my sister-in-law is eating a peanut butter and jelly one, both had fillings!

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Sunset on Lido Beach!

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Dr. Beach named Siesta Key Beach the #1 Beach in the USA for 2011.

But I wanna know…

What do you think is the most beautiful beach in the United States?

Posted in A Scene | 35 Comments

Homemade Banana Fro-Yo

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Is it always your bananas fate to end up in a bowl of oatmeal or a loaf of bread?

Why not give them a whirl and cool off with this scrumptious and nutritious homemade banana frozen yogurt after a sweaty workout.

The beauty of this frozen yogurt is that it tastes as good as ice cream but is healthier and requires virtually no cooking, just blending.

And it has me singing Gwen Stefani’s song B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

“Let me hear you say
This s*** is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S”

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Bananas sliced and frozen.

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I used this Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter and it is delicious!

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Banana Frozen Yogurt

  • 1 banana that has been sliced up and frozen
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, or any nut butter of your choice

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend up until smooth.   Pour into serving glass and enjoy!

You could also top it with some chocolate chips, crushed gingersnap cookies, cinnamon, maple syrup or whatever you fancy!

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Pour out.  Insert spoon.  Open mouth.  Slurp.  Smile 🙂

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This is the picture of the neat shape my blender made while churning up this fro-yo.  (Bad iPhone quality)

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You will go B-A-N-A-N-A-S for this frozen sweet dessert!

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What is your favorite flavor of frozen yogurt?

Have you ever made something similar to this banana fro-yo?  If so, please share your recipe with me!

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , | 15 Comments

My Virgin Kale Attempt

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Curious.  That sums up my virgin kale attempt. 

Many of you know how good baked kale chips are.  Well, I had never heard of them until I started seeing them on other blogs.

I wondered how you bake this sort of edible plant in to a tasty treat that is just as good as salty potato chips.

Well mission accomplished!  Something just as good as those pesky tempting chips in a bag and much healthier for you.

Kale is a form of cabbage.  Kale has more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food.

A guilt-less chip.  There is such a thing!  And now you know about it too 🙂

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I used this Matt’s Mix seasoning that I picked up in Michigan at at Farmer’s Market.  It included kosher salt, garlic, herbs and spices.  And I used some seasoned pepper.

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Drizzle on a little olive oil and toss the kale to coat.

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Kale all drizzled up with olive oil and seasonings, ready to go in to the oven~

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Baked Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch of fresh kale
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place fresh and washed kale in a large bowl.  Make sure you tear or cut it into smaller pieces (such as 3×3 inch).  Add oil and seasoning to bowl and toss to coat the kale thoroughly.  Spread out on to baking sheets in 1 layer.  The kale will shrink when cooked.  Bake at 400 degrees for 9 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes and then dig in!

Enjoy~!

A big secret to getting kale super crispy is to make sure it is dry.  You may use a salad spinner or lay it out on paper towel for an hour or so.

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The kale shrinks during baking.  Hmm, what a concept, get hot and shrink.  If only that worked for humans.

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Crispy and crunchy edible plant goodness!  I mean, I never thought I would be eating something like this, but it is really very good!

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Thin, light and crispy “chips” and are practically guiltless!

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A low calorie and nutritious snack.  Just like potato chips.  You can’t stop at just eating one!

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Did you know what kale was before entering the blogosphere?

Have you ever made your own kale chips?  If so, please share your recipe with me!

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged | 10 Comments

Creamy Spinach & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

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This meal will keep you eating your veggies (spinach and tomatoes) but has a tiny bit of creamy indulgence built in too.

An amazingly refreshing pasta made with spinach & sun-dried tomatoes, topped with pine nuts and shredded parmesan cheese.

This dish may look like it takes forever to make, but I guarantee you it comes together quickly.

Hands down, a wonderful, uncomplicated dinner.

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Pappardelle’s Southwestern Blend with blue corn, red southwestern chile, green jalapeno and yellow maize flavored pasta.

You can get the many flavors of Pappardelle’s Pasta here.

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Fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and ricotta cheese make up the sauce.

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Fresh spinach cooked stovetop without any oil.  Add in fresh pepper, minced garlic and garlic salt.

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To the spinach & tomatoes, you add in ricotta and milk to make it creamy.

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Pour in the cooked and drained pasta to the creamy sauce.

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And VOILA~You got a tasty pasta dish with a wonderful sauce.

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The creaminess of the ricotta cheese sauce, added to the flavored pasta makes this a WIN, WIN DINNER!

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Creamy Spinach & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 c. diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 c. ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1/2 c. pine nuts
  • 2 cups cooked pasta of your choice
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

Cook pasta according to pasta directions.  Drain.

In medium skillet, cook spinach over medium heat until wilted, adding in the sun-dried tomatoes.  Then add in black pepper, garlic salt, ricotta cheese and milk to make a creamy sauce.  I also added in half of the pine nuts to the sauce.  Continue to stir over medium heat until heated through. 

Add pasta in to creamy spinach sauce and stir to mix.  Transfer to serving bowls and top with the rest of the pine nuts and add parmesan cheese to the top.   Also good with garlic bread on the side!

Enjoy~!

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Fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and ricotta make up this delectable pasta sauce.

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Pine nuts were a new purchase for me, something I hadn’t ventured to buy before.  They are very soft nuts and a great addition to this pasta dish.

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Yes, I am raving about this dinner.  It was THAT good!

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And I had to make some garlic bread to go with this dish 🙂

Cugino’s makes the best cheesy garlic bread spread ever.  Check it out here.

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This pasta dish will keep your friends and family happy, satisfied and wanting more.

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Very creamy and delicious!  Makes you want to have seconds, for sure!

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I made something similar to this a week ago and called it P&S, I Love You.  To see that post click here.

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Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Seriously Spinached Smoothie

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So for a year or two now I’ve been reading about so many others making smoothies with spinach in them.

At first, I have to admit, it sounded gross.  I am not one to mix certain things together.  Like I don’t want mandarin oranges in my salad.  And I don’t want cranberries in my chicken salad.  I was certainly skeptical of spinach in a smoothie.

But I have to say, I’m sold on this idea now. 

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I gathered up the ingredients and brought out the blender, which never usually sees the light of day for smoothie making unless it’s summertime.

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Frozen strawberries, mangos and pineapple and then a large handful of raw spinach.

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I also added some ice and light apple juice.

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Green gobbley goop.

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But when it was all blended up, poured out and slurped up, it was really tasty!

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Seriously Spinached Smoothie

1 c. frozen fruit mix of your choice (I used strawberries, mangos, pineapple)

1 c. spinach leaves

4 large ice cubes

1/2 c. light apple juice

1 Splenda sweetener packet

Add all ingredients to the blender and zap!  Blend in to frozen green goodness. 

Pour out, slurp up!

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It was the perfect consistency and just as sweet as I needed it to be. 

And even though it’s wintertime, and I never have smoothies in the winter because I am too cold natured, I would definitely whip up another one of these anytime to enjoy!  That’s what electric blankets are for, right?!

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Spinach Smoothie Satisfaction!

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What other way do you eat spinach that is out of the ordinary?

 

What is your favorite ingredient to mix with spinach in a smoothie?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Cherry Tapioca

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I have been eating cherry tapioca for years.  The recipe originally came from my Grandma on my dad’s side of the family.

I love this dessert that is beaming with red cherries.  It’s easy peasy to make too.

I know how you like a cherry on top of your sundae, but these cherries are not maraschino cherries.  These are sour, pitted, frozen cherries.  And you’d like them too on top of this tapioca and jello dessert concoction 🙂  My mom gets a 5 gallon container of these red sour pitted cherries every year from Michigan.  They come frozen in a big container and she divides them out in to freezer tupperwares and always gives me some.  Thanks Mom!

Oh how I wish I had a bountiful cherry orchard in my back yard!

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I have always loved tapioca.  I call them lil fish eggs, even though they are nothing like that.  Some people don’t care for it’s texture, but I happen to like the beady starch obtained from the root of the cassava.

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This is how the tapioca looks when it is boiling in water.  It is sticky.

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Jello.  Sugar.  Frozen cherries.  Together this team makes a fabulous dessert!

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It’s red.  It’s gooey.  It requires a spoon to eat.   It’s scrumptious!

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This fantastic dessert will brighten your day!

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Cherry Tapioca

  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup large pearl tapioca
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 small pkg. cherry jello
  • 2 cups pitted cherries (I used frozen sour pitted cherries in a 5 to 1 sugar ratio)

Boil tapioca and water for 25 min.  Remove from heat and add in jello, stir until combined fully.  Then stir in sugar and cherries.  Let cool before serving.

I used Splenda sugar blend and sugar-free jello.

Enjoy!

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Yummy, sweet and smooth!

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A cherry jello sundae with cherries on top and mixed in!

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A cherry sundae!

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See the little pearls of squishy tapioca!

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Mmm, a bite full of cherries, tapioca and jello!

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Love this stuff, it is so refreshing!

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I am a dessert person.  As if you haven’t noticed.  And this is just another one of my favorites~!

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The picture above is from our trip to Napa Valley California where we stopped at a road side stand to get some fresh cherries.  Man were these good! 

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Yummm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Have you ever tried tapioca?  What did you think?

 

Do you eat cherries?  What is your favorite thing to make with cherries?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged | 8 Comments

A Chocolate Surprise!

Of course I love Max Brenner’s Chocolate By The Bald Man. I’ve delighted my tastebuds in the restaurant in NYC and Las Vegas. But who knew they had a cookbook.
This chocolate dessert recipe collection book arrived in the mail today and I didn’t order it. Hmm…who is it that sent this to me? I love you.

How about I make the veg-out chocolate cornflake TV wraps. Or the control freak chocolate spread? Intimate chocolate scones sound delicious and so does the Parisian new life chocolate dream cake. Or a philosophical highly concentrated fudge brownie. Maybe the high school bonfire chocolate melting heart cake will fulfill my craving. I’d really enjoy eating the forever young white chocolate custard. But maybe first I’ll make the love and hate doughnuts with dogmatic raspberry chocolate raspberry filling!

And yes, there is a recipe for chocolate guacamole in the book too.

Sigh.

Posted in A Scene | 9 Comments

Spinach Romano Soup and Bruschetta Biscuits with Feta

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What a wondrous meal this turned out to be for us.  I mean, I love spinach and I love Romano cheese, so the soup couldn’t be bad, right?!

To go along with the soup I knew I wanted to make some sort of bread.  My mom had given me the recipe for the bruschetta biscuits with feta and they sounded just like something that would satisfy my tastebuds.

Soups perfect sidekick:  Bruschetta Biscuits with Feta Cheese

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Santa had set out this soup mix with my stocking for Christmas.  All I had to do was add 6 cups of water to it and cook on the stovetop.  I also added in half of a chopped onion.  It wasn’t quite thick enough for my liking, so I added in a little cornstarch too.  I am more of a chowder girl!

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Olive oil, milk, chopped spinach, chopped basil and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

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Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix.

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Form a square with the dough and cut in too pieces.  Top with feta cheese and pine nuts.

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Bake biscuits until browned.

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The recipe called for kalamata olives, but I put black olives in half of the biscuits for my husband.

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Bruschetta Biscuits with Feta

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried tomatoes (not oil packed) chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. pine nuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a bowl combine milk, oil, spinach, basil, tomatoes and olives.  In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Make a well in center of flour mixture.  Add milk mixture all at once; with a fork stir until moistened.

Gently knead dough on a lightly floured surface until dough holds together.  Pat into an 8×8-inch square.  Cut into 9 squares.

Place biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.  Brush lightly with milk.  Sprinkle with feta cheese and pine nuts.  Bake 15 minutes or until golden.  Cool slightly before serving.

Makes 9 biscuits.  Store in refrigerator.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens.

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A topping of cheese seasons everything to perfection!

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A hearty meal to warm your soul!

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This meal was so tasty! 

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Is it weird that I don’t like tomatoes but that I will eat sun-dried tomatoes?

And I don’t like bruschetta because it has fresh chunky tomatoes in it, but I love these bruschetta biscuits!

Is there a veggie you don’t like?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

You Might Be A Nurse If. . .

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You can’t phase a nurse.  

We’ve seen it all, more than we ever wanted to see.

We have to exhibit a “whatever it takes” attitude for the sake of our patients.

Why patients are modest around us, I don’t know.  We’ve seen it all, thousands of them. Butts and boobs all look the same after a while. 

We have to smile NO MATTER WHAT we are asked to do.

Under the nurse umbrella we are also a waitress, maid, repairman, plumber, activity director, counselor, transcriber, slave driver and secretary.  And we are expected to do all these jobs flawlessly and with a smile.

This post is dedicated to all my fellow hardworking caretakers out there.  Your job is priceless.  You are valuable and needed.

This should make you laugh 🙂

You Might Be A Nurse If. . .

  • You don’t get excited about blood loss unless it’s your own.
  • You believe anything can go wrong, will go wrong and if nothing has gone wrong, you obviously don’t understand the situation.
  • You’ve ever said, “Why am I here?”
  • You hope there is a special place in Hell for the inventor of the call light.
  • You believe that everyone gets treated the same…until they piss you off.
  • When you call the MD for orders, the MD says “You write the orders, you know the patient better than I do.”
  • You’ve seen a patient with 12 tattoos say “I am afraid of needles.”
  • You stare at someone in utter disbelief when they actually cover their mouth to cough.
  • You believe the government should require a permit to reproduce.
  • You believe that every waiting room should have a Valium salt lick.
  • You have a special shrine in your home to the inventor of Haldol.
  • You believe the patient needs TLC: Thorazine, Lorazepam and Compazine.
  • Your sense of humor seems to get more warped every year.
  • You call some of your co-workers “Flowers in the Field of Medicine” because they’re bloomin’ idiots.
  • You hope there is a special place in Hell for the inventor of the call light.
  • Everything only happens all at once.
  • You believe that the problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
  • Your new lunch time is 1600 and your breakfast time was at 0600.  Patients before food ya know.
  • You have the bladder capacity of five people.
  • Your feet are flatter and tougher than Fred Flinstone’s.
  • You get an almost irresistible urge to stand and wolf down your food even in the nicest of restaurants.
  • You always try to schedule days off around the phases of the moon.  Working when there is a full moon suck.
  • You constantly feel the veins in your husbands arms, boasting “I could hit that one easy.”
  • You believe in the underwear theory of charting, “Keep your ass covered.”
  • You have seen more moons than the Hubble telescope.
  • You wash your hands before you go to the bathroom.
  • You remember, in medicine, to always remember never to say always and never.
  • You’ve been exposed to so many x-rays you consider it a form of birth control.
  • Your idea of fine dining is sitting down to eat.
  • You call subcutaneous emphysema Rice Krispies.

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Nurses are angels in comfortable shoes.

Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.  ~Val Saintsbury

When I think about all the patients and their loved ones that I have worked with over the years, I know most of them don’t remember me nor I them.  But I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them and they to me and those threads make up the beautiful tapestry in my mind that is my career in nursing.  ~Donna Wilk Cardillo, A Daybook for Beginning Nurses

Nursing care comes in many forms.  Sometimes it is the ability to make someone feel physically comfortable by various means.  Other times it is the ability to improve the body’s ability to achieve or maintain health.  But often it is an uncanny yet well honed knack to see beyond the obvious and address, in some way, the deeper needs of the human soul.  ~Donna Wilk Cardillo, A Daybook for Beginning Nurses

THANK YOU TO ALL MY FELLOW RN’s!

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Now onto some food!

Looking for a great snack, dessert or breakfast?  This one will hit the spot.  Delicious!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie

  • 1 smashed banana
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. chocolate chips
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
  1. In microwaveable bowl, mash banana with a fork and mix in egg.
  2. Stir in vanilla extract.
  3. Add in the oats, baking powder and cinnamon.  Stir until fully mixed up.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Microwave for 2 min.
  6. Spread peanut butter on top and enjoy the cookie while warm!

Recipe from A Foodie Stays Fit.

Scrumptious!

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Banana, smashed, then oats and cinnamon added with egg white and mixed up.

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The baked cookie came out looking like this.  You have to eat this cookie with a spoon!!!  Yummy!

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Do you have a healthified cookie recipe that you would like to share with me, please?!

Are you a nurse?  If so, tell me, I’d love to “meet” you!

Posted in Fabulousity | Tagged , | 17 Comments

For All You Peanut Butter Lovers Out There!!!

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For all you fellow peanut butter lovers out there, how about this delicious flavor!

White Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter.  Are you salivating now just thinking about it?

You can buy this fabulous peanut butter here from Cherry Republic in Michigan.

They also have delicious Boomchunka cookies and Wonderbars sold here.

I love cherries and I love all their stuff, so yummy!

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Here I am standing outside the Cherry Republic store in Michigan a few years ago.  And yes, I’ve got a bag full!

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Riding dune buggies on the sand dunes was a blast!!!

And walking up and down the dunes was hard work!

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Just a glimpse of our trip to Michigan a few years ago.

I really just wanted to share the peanut butter with ya, but thought I’d add in a few pictures too.

Happy Saturday!

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What is the most outrageous flavor of peanut butter you have tried?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged | 14 Comments

U.G.L.I. You Ain’t Got No Alibi

UGLI

Enter the Ugli fruit from Jamaica 🙂

It’s a hybrid fruit made up of combining a grapefruit, orange and tangerine.

Sounds good huh? 

With some tang, bitterness and sweetness, this fruit was a good find on a recent grocery store trip.

I was skeptical to buy it because of it’s name, but it was mixed in the middle of the orange and grapefruit displays, so I thought I might as well give it a try.

 

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The skin was loose fitting.  It peeled really easily, in 3 big pieces.

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A good source of Vitamin C and fiber!

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Acidly sweet and juicy!

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Plump, full of juice and nearly seedless, the Ugli fruit makes a great snack!

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Have you ever tried an UGLI fruit?

 

What is an exotic fruit that you’ve tried and loved?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Midwest Goes West

I’m giving a great big hug to the desert in Arizona, Nevada and California. I’m loving exploring it.

The mountains. The palm trees. The heat. The sunshine. Love it!

Posted in A Scene | 10 Comments

1 April, 2011 00:26

The best way to see the original London Bridge? Riding 58 miles down the Colorado River in a jet boat at 45 mph to Lake Havasu Arizona!

That’s what I did yesterday. Today was spent by the pool as it was 90 degrees. Tomorrow is supposed to be 96 degrees. I’ll be soaking in the pool!

Posted in A Scene | 10 Comments

Oatmeal Fluff

Oatmeal

We all know how good oats are. 

Oats in a jar, oats with nut butter, oat cookies, oats in granola, oats in smoothies and stovetop oats.

This time, I wanted to fluff up my oats.  I mean really puff those babies up and give them a big head like they deserve.

So here it goes:  Oats + Egg Whites = Fantastically Fluffy Oatmeal

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Oatmeal Fluff

2 servings of your favorite oatmeal cooked

4 egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Make your oatmeal on the stovetop as usual.  I used part milk, water and honey vanilla flavored coffee creamer and McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal.  Beat 4 egg whites, cream of tartar and cinnamon in a medium bowl on high speed until stiff peaks form.  When there is just a little bit of liquid left in your oatmeal on the stovetop, fold in the beaten egg whites and continue to stir while cooking on medium low heat for 3-5 minutes.  Keep stirring until oatmeal gets as thick as you like it.  Spoon into a bowl and serve!

Add sweetener or vanilla/almond extract if desired to flavor your fluffy oats!

 

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I used part water, part skim milk and part honey vanilla flavored coffee cream liquid as the base for my bowl of oats.

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Beat the 4 egg whites, cinnamon and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form~

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Stir the whipped egg whites in to the cooked oatmeal~

I should have put in some vanilla or almond extract too~Next time!~

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Keep stirring and stirring until the oatmeal reaches your desired consistency~

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Can you see the egg whites in the oats?  Puffed it up alright!

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The oatmeal was so light and airy, not heavy and thick like oatmeal sometimes is~

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I should have drizzled on some nut butter or something, but this just tasted really good as is!

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I have OATMEAL fever.  Do you?

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I love pomegranates on my oats!

 

I know there are a ton of toppings to put on a bowl of oats, but if you could only choose 1 thing to put on your oatmeal bowl, what would it be?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , | 16 Comments

28 March, 2011 12:01

A wonderful day spent hiking in Joshua Tree National Park in California!

The sights were magnificent!
We had a picnic lunch here too.
More fun times ahead 🙂

Posted in A Scene | 10 Comments

25 March, 2011 14:50

Enjoying spring break out west! Las Vegas, hiking in Red Rock Canyon and onto Palm Springs California. I’ll be back…someday. Maybe!

Posted in A Scene | 11 Comments

Cookie Dough Stuffed Truffles

cookie dough truffles

~~Shake Your Bon Bon, Shake Your Bon Bon~~~

These truffles stuffed with sweet cookie dough are definitely worth dancing for!

The delicious taste of chocolate chip cookie dough turned in to a decadent truffle filling and then dunked in drippy milk chocolate and then popped in to your mouth, for that dance party that I was talking about!  Party in your mouth!

Yes, it’s confession time.  You know you’ve done it.  I’ve done it a lot

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First you mix up the dough in a big bowl with a mixer.  Then stir in the chocolate chips.  Chill in refrigerator.

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Form in to balls and place on wax paper lined baking sheet.  Place in freezer for 30 minutes or until frozen.

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Place frozen cookie dough ball in melted chocolate to coat and place back on waxed paper lined sheet until coating has hardened.

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Cookie Dough Stuffed Truffles

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Chocolate for dipping

In large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter and sugars together.  Add in milk and vanilla extract.  Mix in flour, baking soda and salt until thoroughly blended.  With a spoon, stir in chocolate chips.  Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 30 min. so it will be firm enough to make balls out of. 

Form 1 inch round balls out of the cookie dough and place on wax paper lined baking sheet (or something you can fit in your freezer).  Chill truffle balls in freezer for atleast 30 min.  This will make them a lot easier to dip in chocolate.

Melt chocolate in microwave or stovetop.  Using a spoon, one by one, dip truffle balls in to melted chocolate, rolling around, coating fully and then place back on wax paper lined baking sheet and allow coating to harden. 

Pop’em in to your mouth and enjoy~!

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Yea, these things are like decadent bon bons.  So easy to pop one in your mouth and savor the sweet flavor!

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Really, these are easy to make.  They may look like they are time consuming, but they totally are not.

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With no raw eggs in this cookie dough, that means you can eat as much as you want without getting sick.  Unless of course, you get sick from all the sugar 🙂

Go ahead and make the confession, you know you’ve eaten plenty of cookie dough before you actually bake your cookies, right?!

Cookie dough

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I don’t know about you, but I’m lovin cookie dough better than the baked cookie!

What is one thing you like better unbaked than baked?

Have you been known to eat lotsa dough before your cookies ever get in to the oven?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , | 47 Comments

Chickpea Crunch Salad

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Cheap and easy.  Simple and Delicious.

That describes this chickpea salad perfectly. 

This wonderful vegetable is full of protein and takes center stage in this salad recipe.  Not your traditional salad, as in lettuce salad, but nonetheless it has the makings of a great meal that will surely fill your belly!

The celery, pickle and onion pieces give this salad a welcome crunch!

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Garbanzo beans, celery and mayo are just part of the mixture~

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Stir it all up and give it a taste test.  That’s what I did and it was just perfect, I didn’t add anything else~

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Chickpea Crunch Salad

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small pickle, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Chop celery, onion and pickle.

In large bowl, stir together all ingredients.  

Serve with crackers, on a bun or just eat with a fork!

This recipe is super easy and full of flavor!

Recipe adapted from here.

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I ate my serving on some Wasa crisp crackers and I served my husband’s on a toasted sandwich thin bun.

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You could also mash up some of the chickpeas if you wanted to make this salad a little creamier~

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Why does the chickpea have two names; chickpea and garbanzo bean?

What is your favorite way to eat garbanzo beans?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged | 25 Comments

Protein Packed Pudding~Chia Seed Style

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Chi-ch-ch-CHIA.  When you think of chia, you think of chia pets right?  Well chia seeds are no longer being used for just chia pets.  They are incredibly nutritious and are being used in all kinds of baking and cooking recipes today.

It looks like black and brown tapioca pudding doesn’t it?  I love tapioca so no wonder I love chia seed pudding too 🙂

This was my first attempt at making chia seed pudding and it ended up really good and tasty!

And this pudding is the easiest recipe ever.  No baking.  No cooking. Mix, stir once and VOILA!

It’s smooth and creamy with a hint of crunch~

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I bought these chia seeds at Whole Foods.  Even though they are really expensive, their health benefits override the cost!

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Measure out 3/4 cup chia seeds and add to milk.  Stir in all other ingredients, including cinnamon~

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Let mixture set in fridge for at least 1 hour and watch the chia seeds plump up~

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Chia Seed Pudding

3/4 c. chia seeds

2 cups milk (almond, soy or skim)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. almond extract

pinch of salt

4 packets Splenda

Simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and let set in fridge for one hour.  As time passes the chia seeds will plump up and the pudding will thicken.  Spoon in to two serving dishes and eat! 

Enjoy~

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Chia is the richest plant-source of this healthy oil. By weight, chia contains more omega 3 than salmon, and it still tastes like whatever you want! Omega 3 oil is important in heart and cholesterol health.

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Anti-oxidants have been in the news lately due to their super healthy benefits. You know that blueberries and several exotic fruits (that aren’t always in season) have them, but did you know that chia is extremely high in anti-oxidants too?

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Chia’s protein is complete to raise your energy levels. The combination of complete protein, vitamins, minerals and blood-sugar balancing gel all work together to make sure you have steady, never jittery energy.

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Did you know when a chia seed is exposed to water, it forms a coating of gel, increasing its size and weight. Since the gel made of water, it has no calories. It’s also difficult to remove from the seed, meaning that it helps your body think it is full, without adding calories!

Chia information found here.

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Even though it may look a little weird or like something you are not used to eating, the pudding is delicious and nutritious!

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Chi-Ch-Ch-CHIA!  Remember those commercials from way back when?  They made me laugh hysterically and I thought chia pets were the dumbest things ever.

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Have you ever tried chia seeds?

If so, what is your favorite way to eat them?  Please share your recipe!

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , | 28 Comments