Honey Almond Granola

After months of procrastination the “Recipe Index” page is {finally} complete! The thought of including an index page has been on my mind for so long. Yesterday I am proud to say I completed that task. No more scrolling. No more hunting. Just one click. Take a look!

For the next couple weeks, the hubs and I are kicking desserts and processed food to the curb. We have indulged in the amazing California food excessively. I wanted a sweet, yet healthy tasting snack to satisy those cravings. This “no bake” granola can be eaten alone or transformed into granola bars. I made this granola recipe last year but changed up a few ingredients.

If the granola stays in the freezer you can cut them into granola bars. Refrigerator? Not so much. Definitely store in fridge and top on yogurt or oatmeal. The possibilities are endless.

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Honey Pecan Granola (altered from here)

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine oats, raisins, almonds, pecans and cinnamon.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl combine honey, coconut oil, vanilla and peanut butter. Place in microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir. Heat additional 30 seconds or until liquid ingredients combine well.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well to completely coat oats.
  4. Press mixture into parchment lined or greased dish. (I used 8×8 dish)
  5. Freeze for 2 hours.
  6. Enjoy!

“Smoothie” in a Bowl coming at ya.

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Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Muffins

Looking for a quick, sweet and warm baked muffin recipe? See below.

First off, how was your weekend? This past weekend was filled with family and celebrations. The hubs was unable to come into town, but thankfully I have wonderful friends and family to keep me company.

My middle sister turned 22 this past weekend. {Where has the time gone?} We celebrated her birthday at the lake Friday night. Such a special time with my siblings. We missed you Amy!

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Friday night sunset.

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Love them.

The weekend ended on a very happy note. We spent more time loving on Libby. So thankful she is home with her parents. Libby is going to be spoiled by her many aunts.

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This picture makes me smile.

Now lets talk about those muffins. Can you say “more please”? People, these muffins are delicious thanks to mountain momma cooks. Most of the ingredients are “kitchen friendly”. The buttermilk and oil were the only things I had to purchase. Next time I make these muffins, I will substitute coconut oil instead of regular oil.

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Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Muffins (recipe from here)

What you will need:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Line 2 separate 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In one large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In separate bowl mix together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Mix in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk. Mix until just combined. 
  5. Stir in chocolate chips. Separate and fill both muffin tins.
  6. In small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle one tsp over muffin.
  7. Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove and cool completely. 
  9. Enjoy!!

Savory side dish up next.

Memorial Weekend + PB Apples

Oh sweet summertime. It is officially here! How did you spend your holiday weekend?

This past weekend was full of family and celebrations! My brother graduated high school then we headed to the lake for much relaxation. It was so special spending time with my family and celebrating our brother. Want to know what made this weekend even better? The hubs was back in town!

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Our brother is Auburn bound!

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Never a dull moment at the lake. Entertainment as far as the eye can see.

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Beyond thankful for my sweet family.

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Happy to have him back for the weekend!

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Nothing compares to sunsets at the lake.

Last week before leaving town I was craving {as usual} a sweet snack. This simple snack with kick that craving to the curb.

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PB Apple Snacks

  • 1 apple
  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Shredded coconut
  1. Wash and slice apples to desired thickness.
  2. Spread crunchy peanut butter over apple slices.
  3. Top with chocolate chips and coconut.

Dinner in less than 20 minutes? Coming tomorrow.

 

Cinnamon Almonds

Good Morning and Happy Thursday!

This has been an eventful week to say the least. On Monday one of my sisters and I made a quick road trip to Chattanooga to visit our sister, Amy. Chattanooga is such a great place to visit. From outdoor activities to delicious food varieties, it has a lot to offer.

Tuesday morning we took Amy to the ER. She had consistent headaches over the course of a few days, so we went to make sure everything was okay. Praise the Lord her CT scan was normal! We decided to stay with her until Wednesday morning just to be on the safe side. Tuesday consisted of lots of sister bonding time and Netflix. {Oh, and gelato} Milk and Honey Gelato makes everything better.

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Of course any road trip calls for snacks. Last week we made a trip to Costco and bought a 3 lb bag of almonds for $7! Typically at your local grocery store you will pay $5-7 for 1 lb. This is a great deal. My mom informed me that almonds actually freeze really well due to their high fat content. Did you know that? I had no idea!

With that being said I placed 2 lbs in the freezer while continuing to snack on the pound of almonds I have in my cabinet. I love to snack and I love almonds. Sometimes you just need some variety.

These cinnamon almonds are easy and inexpensive. All of the ingredients are “kitchen friendly” aside from the almonds. They are also pretty healthy which is an added plus!

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Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

  • 2 cups raw unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Place almonds in a bowl or plastic bag and coat with olive oil.
  3. Add cinnamon (to taste) and brown sugar until almonds are evenly coated. (You can add more or less cinnamon and brown sugar)
  4. Spread almonds evenly on baking sheet.
  5. Bake almonds for 1 hour stirring occasionally. Let almond completely cool before you dig in!

Need an inexpensive dinner for one? Coming tomorrow.

White Chocolate Easter Treats

Happy Friday! Hopefully everyone has had a restful week. This past year I volunteered at a pregnancy center and wanted to bring them one last treat before I left. Problem? Half of my kitchen is in boxes. Solution? This White Chocolate goodness to follow. No baking needed and little kitchen utensils required.

I came across this recipe for White Chocolate popcorn. I was not quite in the mood to buy an abundance of popcorn and take time to cook and then let it cool. {So tedious I know} Well, Chex Mix cereal became my substitute. I also took the easy way out and used white chocolate “Candiquik“. It is a little pricier than purchasing the morsels, but there is zero cleanup. Heat, stir and literally toss in the trash. Anything that requires less clean up these days is calling my name.

There are several recipes for Chex Mix on the web. Ranging from white chocolate, chocolate, popcorn, cereal, peanuts, pretzels, etc. The options are endless. I added melted peanut butter. Just because.

Once home, I realized all my wrapping supplies were taped and boxed. {Sigh} Thankfully I found some ribbon leftover in a drawer. Well, desperate times call for desperate actions. Saran wrap + aluminum loaf pans. Yes. That is what I used. Better than nothing, right??

{Price Breakdown}

  • Chex Rice Cereal- $3.79
  • M&Ms- $2.89
  • Pretzels- .26 cents
  • White Chocolate- $3.40
  • Peanut Butter- .30 cents
  • TOTAL- $10.64

 

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This was my last resort to wrapping these sweet treats! Cover the loaf pans several times with Saran wrap and make sure it is snug. Place ribbon around the pans and there you have it! Homemade wrapping.

 

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White Chocolate Easter Treats

  • 12 oz box Chex Rice Cereal
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 9 oz bag of M&Ms
  • 16 oz melted white chocolate
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  1. Mix cereal and broken pretzel sticks in large bowl.
  2. Melt white chocolate in microwave until completely melted. Stir in peanut butter.
  3. Pour melted white chocolate over cereal and mix carefully.
  4. Once well combined mix in M&Ms.
  5. Pour mixture on parchment paper and allow to cool. Time to dig in!

Our ONE year anniversary is this weekend! Where has the time gone?

Weekend getaway update coming next week!

“Banana Bread” Smoothie

Are any of you familiar with Pure Barre? If so, then you know the soreness I have been feeling lately. It is a great workout! But ladies, prepare to work some muscles you never knew existed.

Last week a friend went with me for the first time. After “wobbling” out of the classroom, we deserved a much needed treat. Our reward after the class? Smoothies from Whole Foods. My friend came up with her own smoothie flavor…Banana Bread Smoothie. {Amazing}

No joke, this smoothie tastes just like banana bread. It is the perfect combo of sweet and refreshing. I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk to add a hint of vanilla. If you prefer regular milk that will taste great as well!

Do you know much about dates? I certainly did not. I did a little research to find some of the benefits. They are packed with vitamins and minerals to help aid in post workout recovery. So get your workout on and drink this delicious smoothie!

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Banana Bread Smoothie

  • 1 medium banana
  • 5 dates (pitted and sliced)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tbsp peanut or almond butter
  • 4 ice cubes
  1. Slice dates into small pieces.
  2. Place all ingredients in blender to combine.
  3. Pour into desired glass and enjoy!

Quick and easy Asian dish coming your way tomorrow!

PB Oatmeal Granola Bars

Good morning! Are you loving this spring weather? I hope so!

The hubs had a work dinner earlier this week so this left me home alone with the kitchen all to myself. {More recipes to come next week} This weekend I am meeting up with some sweet friends to celebrate a friend getting married next month! You know what weekend trips mean to me? Over indulging in great food.

Road trips also equal snacks. {Multiple snacks} Snacking is my weakness. From personal experience, I have learned to pack healthy snacks for myself on weekend trips. One of the girls we are spending time with this weekend is an amazing cook. She can come up with a meal from essentially nothing. She is awesome! To keep me from indulging in her delicious dishes throughout the day, I am packing myself some homemade granola bars.

As you may have already learned, I have a slight obsession for oats. I can have them for breakfast, incorporate them into a snack or place them on top of fruit for a desert crisp. They have a long shelf life, are inexpensive and allow for hundreds of dishes. The Gracious Pantry gave me some inspiration on making these wonderful snack bars. All of the ingredients used were “kitchen friendly”. I did not have to buy a single item! {Two thumbs up}

These granola bars contain chocolate chips, dried cranberries, dates and raw sunflower seeds. There are so many possible flavors! Some other ideas are raisins, dried blueberries, peanut butter chips, coconut, etc. I added a little less coconut oil and honey, and increased the amount of “mix ins” to the bars. Make them personal to your taste!

 

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Oatmeal Granola Bars (adapted from here)

You will need the following:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried dates (pitted and sliced)
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
  1. In a large bowl combine the oats, cranberries, dates, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds and cinnamon. Stir well.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl combine the oil, honey, vanilla extract and peanut butter. Place in microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir. Heat for additional 30 seconds or until liquid ingredients combine well.
  3. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the mixing bowl and mix well to completely coat the oats.
  4. Press mixture into an oiled or parchment lined baking dish. (I used an 8×8 baking dish)
  5. Freeze for 2 hours.
  6. Cut bars with a sharp knife and enjoy!

Let me know if you have any suggestions! I would love to hear!

Tomorrow there may or may not be a sweet treat coming your way.