Monday, July 27, 2015

Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana "Lollipops"

After a summer that has felt more like fall, this week is supposed to be a hot one! All of the complaining on social media about how cold and rainy this summer has been will now cease...and make way for the complaining about how hot it will be.

It all evens out in the end.

During this week, you might need a snack to cool off, and this one is a delicious way to beat the heat. It is a frozen treat that is not only delicious, but is a way to get some fruit in too!

Interested? Check out the FULL RECIPE on Little Lake County! Make up a batch of these, stay cool and enjoy!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Easy Party Popcorn

Who doesn't love a good party?!

The bigger question is...who doesn't love a good party treat?

This is my go to party snack (of course it involves popcorn), especially if I need something quick.  I love that you can just change out the colors to fit any holiday or party theme. It's easy to make as little or as much as you want and it is a great gift.  Just put some in a cute bag with a fun ribbon and tag, and you are set. This could not be any easier! Perfect for a snack before your party gets started, or as part of your dessert bar!

Let's just hope there is some leftover for you to snack on after the party ends!

Easy Party Popcorn
Rice chex cereal
candy melts (I like to use Wiltons)

Mix popcorn, chex mix,  and pretzels in a large mixing bowl. Heat up candy melts in the microwave, start with a minute, and then do 15-30 seconds after, while stirring in between each time until melts are completely smooth and creamy.  Pour over mixture making sure everything gets coated. Spread mixture out on baking sheets lined with parchment or wax paper Sprinkle the M&Ms and sprinkles over mixture while it is still wet, gently pressing the candy into the soft candy melts, and then let it sit until completely set. Break up party mix, stick it in a bowl or party bags and serve.

What would you add to this mix to make it perfect for your party? Comment below! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Shrimp Salad with Tequila Honey Lime Dressing

I love summer, and one of my favorite summer things to do are parties and barbecues. I love being outside with family and friends, sharing great food, and wonderful company. I am usually asked to make potato salad, or my mom's famous crab salad (recipe will post soon-you will not want to miss that one!).  However, not everyone likes rich, creamy salads, and would much rather have something light.

The good news? 

I have a great recipe that solves this problem.

If you are in the mood for something fresh and summery, this shrimp salad is my favorite. It can be served as a side dish, or a main dish. 

Looking for something to make for the fourth? Well, this is your recipe! 

Whenever I make this salad, everyone seems to ask for the recipe, so now I am sharing it with the world (or the people who read this blog-thank you!). 

The dressing calls for tequila.....yes, tequila. Need I say more? 

It is optional if you need to make it more kid friendly,  but it makes the dressing so delicious. Just call it an adult salad. Tell the kids there is spinach in it or something. They won't want to come near it and then, there is more for you! 

The recipe calls for cooked shrimp. I roasted mine in the oven at 450 for about 10 minutes. You also could grill the shrimp (yum!), or buy cooked shrimp. The corn should be fresh off the cob and does not need to be cooked. Raw corn is so delicious, especially this time of year. 

Shrimp Salad with Tequila Honey & Lime Dressing
serves 4

1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces 
1 pound of shrimp(cooked) and cooled
1 pint of grape tomatoes halved
4 large scallions, chopped
3/4- 1 cup of fresh corn
3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons of  fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons of honey
1 tablespoons of tequila(optional)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Cook the asparagus in a large pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes, Drain and rinse under cool water. You may also roast the asparagus with the shrimp 450 for 5-10 minutes until crisp tender (Just let it cool slightly before adding other ingredients) next combine all other ingredients. Then whisk together lime juice, oil, tequila (optional), salt and pepper. Toss with shrimp mixture. Serve immediately or chill. 


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Cookies

So...I am on a cookie kick lately I guess? Does anyone mind? Anyone? Well then...

Cookies for breakfast?

Sign me up!

Isn't it funny how if you sell the food you are serving your family just right, they will have a completely different reaction?

Try it.

"Green smoothies for breakfast!"


"Green Monster Milkshakes!"

Kids running to the table.

"Healthy oat muffins!"


"Blueberry Cookies for breakfast!"

Cannot make enough to satiate crazy hungry children grabbing for cookies.

It really works.

Not to mention, you will be grabbing for this cookies too. Delicious and good for you, you will have every reason NOT to resist them! I made a double batch and popped them in the freezer too. Perfect for breakfast on the go. Let them thaw out the night before or pop them in the microwave right before breakfast. They really taste like an oatmeal cookie, bursting with blueberries!

I mean, as parents, sometimes we have to get a little creative, right? The kids don't have to know that these cookies are packed with whole wheat flour, blueberries and apple sauce, and chia seeds and toasted almonds. Let them eat their cookies in peace!

Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Cookies

2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar if you do not keep coconut sugar in the house)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tblsp chia seeds
3 cups rolled oats (not quick oats!)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, add coconut oil and coconut sugar. Beat on low with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, vanilla and apple sauce, blend on medium speed until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon and salt. Add to wet mixture and mix on low until dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in chia seeds. Add oats. Mix until everything comes together. Fold in blueberries and toasted almonds*. Scoop with a cookie scoop or heaping tablespoon onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until fully baked and golden brown. Let cool on sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Serve immediately, or, store in a sealed container at room temperature for one day (cookies will be much softer when stored at room temperature). Store in refrigerator for 1 week, or freeze in an airtight container for 3 weeks.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Browned Butter Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wow! Can I trash up these cookies anymore?

I am pretty sure that I just combined about four different types of cookies and created one! These just might be the cookies of your dreams. Just sayin'.

The browned butter gives these cookies a warm, nutty flavor. The oatmeal makes it a hearty cookie and the chocolate and peanut butter just bring it over the top. There is the little extra step of browning the butter, but other than that, these are just as easy as any other cookie recipe you have ever made.

These excessive rainy days are giving me no choice but to bake cookies. If the weather would ever be nicer, maybe I would have a taste for asparagus or broccoli or something. Unfortunately, rain + thunder + kids home = COOKIES.

I can't help it.

I know you appreciate me.

You're welcome. ;)

Browned Butter Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick + 2 tblsp butter, browned*
1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk (discard or save the white)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips

*In a medium saucepan, place stick and tablespoon of butter. Heat on low heat until butter is lightly golden and gives off a nutty aroma. Remove from heat immediately before it burns. Set aside to cool just slightly.

In large bowl, combine warm butter and peanut butter and mix with a hand mixer on low until smooth and creamy. Add sugars and continue mixing. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in oats gently. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and powder and salt. Add this to the wet ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Do not over mix. Add chocolate chips and stir. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop cookie dough out in heaping tablespoons or with a cookie scoop. Place on the cookie sheet making sure to evenly space then apart. Bake for 11 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack so they continue cooling.

It will be hard not to eat them all while warm!