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

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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