Don’t you hate it when you have a whole blog post written and nearly done and you shut your computer WITHOUT SAVING IT and the next day, BAM!, it’s not there?! Yeah, me too. Sooooo, without further adieu, we’re just going to get right to this recipe! S’mores are everywhere right now because camping is the thing to do (at least in Missouri) and you obviously can’t camp without making s’mores! But if you’re anything like me and hate to camp but still love s’mores and can’t legally/safely build a bonfire in your backyard, this S’mores Puppy Chow is THE PERFECT thing to make. It combines the crunchy, addictive goodness of puppy chow with all the decadent components of s’mores. And it is impossible to keep your hands out of it. Trust me, I know. This would be perfect for any July 4th party (yeah, already time to make that menu!)…s’mores without the work and mess but all the flavor!
2 c. each Semi-Sweet and Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
Place the Rice Chex, 2 cups of the Golden Grahams and 2 cups of the mini marshmallows in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt the peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips at 20-second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each until completely melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
Pour the chocolate/peanut butter mixture over the cereal and marshmallow mixture and stir gently until everything is evenly coated.
Place the brownie mix and powdered sugar in a large paper bag. Add the chocolate/peanut butter/cereal/marshmallow mixture to the bag. Shake vigorously to evenly coat everything with the powdered sugar and brownie mix.
Spread the remaining 2 cups of Golden Grahams out in a single layer on two large, foil-lined baking sheets. Melt 1 cup of the semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup of the bittersweet chocolate chips in a medium bowl in a microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each until completely melted and smooth. Drizzle over the Golden Grahams and let the chocolate dry completely.
Place the puppy chow in a large bowl and add remaining 2 cups of the Golden Grahams with the chocolate drizzle, remaining 2 cups mini marshmallows and remaining 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips. Stir everything together. Eat!
Makes ???? servings. A LOT. Enough for at least 25 people.
I know it may sound silly, but I love puppy chow (also known as muddy buddies to some). And just like 7-Layer Bars, I had never made it before! Crazy, right? Puppy chow is such a holiday thing to me and I always knew someone else would be bringing it to whatever function I’d be attending so I’ve never bothered to make it. However, I have always thought that puppy chow needed revamping. It’s totally yummy but am I the only one that would look for the little nuggets of two or more Chex squares stuck together with an excess of the chocolate and peanut butter mixture?? Know what I’m talking about? Yes, I’d pick through the puppy chow mix to find those little scrumptious morsels–I’m not ashamed! I’ve just always thought it needs MORE chocolate and peanut butter goodness. So I decided to do something about it!
I started off doubling the chocolate and peanut butter mixture but then I thought it needed something more. And that something was alcohol! Can’t go wrong adding booze to a dessert, right?! But then my evil mind went even further and thought it needed something even more…like bacon….and peanuts. Yes, bourbon, bacon and peanuts…in puppy chow. Things got crazy up in my kitchen people. Crazy in a VERY GOOD way. What resulted was the yummiest puppy chow I’ve ever had. No more digging for the little morsels of Chex Squares stuck together–there were plenty of those! Now if you don’t want to add all the additional ingredients and stick closer to the classic, that’s totally ok…but the bourbon, bacon and peanuts add such another dimension of yumminess to it. I highly recommend! Fabulous sweet/salty snack for a Superbowl party!
½ c. Unsalted Butter (I'm sure salted would work fine too)
2 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
⅓ c. Bourbon
1 lb. Bacon, cooked and chopped (I tore the fatty pieces off of mine)
2 c. Dry-Roasted Peanuts
9 c. Chex Rice Cereal
3 c. Powdered Sugar
In a large bowl, combine the cereal, bacon and peanuts.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt the peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips at 30-second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each until completely melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla and bourbon.
Pour the chocolate/peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture and toss gently until all the cereal is evenly coated.
Place the powdered sugar in a large bag. (You could use a large Ziploc type bag but it will probably not be big enough. I used a large paper bag and I recommend doing that.) Add the chocolate/peanut butter and cereal mixture to the bag. Shake the bag vigorously to evenly coat each piece of the puppy chow with powdered sugar.
Once the mixture is fully coated, store in an airtight container.
Up until recently I have bought Jeremy granola every week for I don’t even know how long. I buy a very specific organic brand that is healthy and he likes it so even though it’s a little pricey, I don’t mind pay a little extra for the health benefits. I’ve even made my own granola before but he really likes this specific kind so we’ve always stuck with it. Until now.
That’s right, I managed to find a granola recipe that BEATS THE CRAP out of the store-bought granola. Yesssssss. Not only does he LOVE it, it is even healthier than the organic stuff and, oh yeah, cheaper. The original recipe is here and yes, I took a little liberty and changed some things (shocker, I know). The combination of cinnamon and almond flavor totally works in this recipe and it turns so crunchy after it has cooled. It’s honestly hard to stay out of it. I like to mix some Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes into mine just to give it that cereal aspect so feel free to add or not add…totally up to you. You could throw in nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc. Whatever sounds good at the moment!
1 c. Thick Rolled Oats (if you don't have access to rye or red wheat flakes, just use all thick rolled oats)
1½ c. Rye Flakes
1½ c. Red Wheat Flakes
½ c. 7-Grain Cereal (can be found in bulk section of health food store or substitute uncooked millet)
2 T. Chia Seeds
½ c. Sucanat
1¼ t. Sea Salt (I prefer pink himalayan)
1½ t. Cinnamon
⅓ c. Safflower Oil
¼ c. Light Agave
¼ c. Maple Agave
⅓ c. plus 1 T. Raw Almond Butter
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 t. Almond Extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, stir together all wet ingredients. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir to combine. It will seem dry at first but keep stirring and it will all get coated.
Divide the mixture between the two pans and spread in an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring, rotating pans and switching racks (if your oven cooks unevenly, like mine does) halfway through. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container.
It’s the middle of summer. It’s freaking hot. Like hotter than it has ever been in my 31 years of life. Sweating, sticky and smelly are pretty accurate descriptive words of just about everyone around me, including MYSELF. Who knew it was possible to gross yourself out SO much?!? But it totally is.
Naturally, people are wearing less clothes. And thinking about their figure a little more. Ok, not all people are thinking about their figure but I know I am! Can’t you tell by all the low-calorie, fat-free, sugarless, uber-healthy recipes that I post?! Oh. Maybe not. Ok, usually my recipes are sinful and totally NOT healthy but I like to think of them as treats and hope that other people think of them the same way (am I delusional or what?!). However, I have posted a few nutritious cookie, cake and brownie recipes and hope to keep that list growing. And these pancakes most definitely qualify as good-for-you food! We are totally addicted to these things in our house. I have made them once a week, every week for probably the last month or two. They are an absolutely fabulous gluten-free option and are perfect for breakfast or a snack. I have even thrown some cocoa powder in them for a chocolate version that was quite delicious!
Of course you could always throw in some chocolate chips but I like the cocoa powder because it gives it that chocolate factor without all the added fat and sugar. Feel free to use this recipe as a base and and throw in things like nuts, dried fruit (unsweetened is best) or whatever you happen to be craving at the time! It is so, so good.
3 c. Gluten-Free Oat Flour (I just process thick cut oats in my processor until I get three cups of oat flour)
½ t. Aluminum-Free Baking Soda
1 t. Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
1 t. Ground Cinnamon (feel free to add more if you really like cinnamon...I probably do more like 1¼ t.)
½ t. Fine Ground Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
3 c. Water
1 c. Creamy, Unsalted, Raw Almond Butter
¼ c. Pure Vanilla Extract
4 t. Fresh Lemon Juice
½ c. Light Amber Agave (or honey, sucanat, etc)
6 T. Chia Seeds
¾ c. Thick-Rolled Oats
In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. In a blender, mix the wet ingredients until smooth and it has a milk consistency. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Fold in add-ins. The chia seeds will make the mixture VERY thick as it sits (almost the texture of a drop cookie) so if you'd like it thinner, don't add as many or just thin it out 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you want. Warm a griddle to medium (I do 325 degrees) and coat with a bit of coconut oil. Scoop batter with a large spoon onto your griddle. Cook for four minutes on each side, until the sides and tops start to look dry. Top with maple agave and fresh blueberries (my personal favorite way to eat them!) and enjoy!
Memorial Day weekend is coming, bringing with it lots and lots and LOTS of food. And I don’t know what it’s like where you’re at, but here it’s in the 90s already! And you know what that means…pools. And lakes. And…bikinis. Yes, it’s already swimsuit season! Yikes! Are you ready?!? It kinda snuck up on me, I gotta admit, but I am trying to incorporate more and more natural sweets (as in honey, fruits, etc) into our diet so we don’t look like the michelin man when we bare it all at the first water-type event this year. Of course, can’t do anything about the whiteness (trying to avoid that pesky skin caner) but we CAN do something about the shape of our bodies and our overall health!
(Sorry, little peptalk for myself there. Ahem. Ok, back to the recipe…)
If you are watching what goes in your mouth this weekend (like me and my husband) and are kinda scared about the next 72 hours of festivities and merriment, may I suggest these Honey Almond Date Balls as a sweet and healthy alternative? You might want to double or triple the batch because once people taste them, they will want more. Seriously. Jeremy doesn’t even like coconut and he LOVES these things. I left the recipe alone for the most part except instead of rolling the balls in more almonds, I rolled them in unsweetened coconut.
1 c. Raw Almonds (do 2 cups if you plan on rolling the balls in almonds)
2 c. Pitted Dates, preferably Medjool
¼ c. Raw Honey
⅓ c. Dried, Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grind almonds in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until fragrant and a shade darker.
Roughly chop dates and add to food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and dates form a ball. Remove from processor to a bowl. And the almonds and honey to the dates. Mix together until evenly incorporated.
Using a damp washcloth to dampen your hands periodically, for the mixture into 1" balls and roll in the coconut.
Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for a few days or transfer to the fridge and they will keep for a couple of weeks.
This was my first time making anything sweet with quinoa and can I just say, I am forever changed! Knowing that I can incorporate something into my desserts that is so nutritious and protein packed, is revolutionary. Not kidding. I was definitely skeptical how this would work, but once you mix all these ingredients together, you don’t even know the quinoa is there…all you know is that these balls are DELICIOUS.
I found this recipe on the eat, live, run blog. I used her original recipe but once I had everything mixed up, it was VERY loose and absolutely not sticking together. I might have done something wrong…who knows? But I still thought the mixture tasted AMAZING and decided to just add some more stuff and hope it would come together. The recipe was originally gluten-free but to get it to stick together I had to throw in some white whole wheat flour (which is the only one I had on hand). You could use another type of gluten-free flour though if you have issues with gluten.
In the end, the balls stuck together nicely and tasted sooooo yummy. They seriously remind me of an oatmeal cookie and are definitely my new favorite healthy sweet treat…well, after my No-Bake Almond Butter Rice Krisp Treats. Those things can’t be beat.
1 c. White Whole Wheat Flour (or whole wheat pastry, almond flour, etc)
½ c. Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
⅓ c., plus 2 T. Raw Sunflower Seeds
⅔ c. Dried, Unsweetened Dark Tart Cherries
⅔ c., plus 2 T. Agave
¼ c. Organic, All-Natural Peanut Butter (no added salt, oil)
1 t. Sea Salt (I use pink himalayan)
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
¼ c. Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
In a large bowl, stir together the oats and next five ingredients. In a small pot on the stove, bring the agave to a simmer over medium/low. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, salt and vanilla. Pour over oat mixture and mix well until combined. Let cool. Add mini chocolate chips into mixture. Form into 1" balls with your hands. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
The healthy recipes just keep getting better and better! This week I’ve got a fabulous, super-quick recipe for no-bake energy bites…that taste like a cross between peanut butter cookie dough and no-bake cookies. Can you say YUM?? They are full of good stuff that won’t send you on a sugar-high but instead provide a source of natural, tasty energy. All you need is one bowl and handful of ingredients–get busy!
½ c. All-Natural, Smooth Peanut Butter (or any nut butter you prefer)
⅓ c. Honey
2 t. Pure Vanilla
¾ t. Fine Sea Salt
1 c. Rolled Oats
½ c. Wheat Germ
½ c. White Whole Wheat Flour
Oats, Peanut Halves, etc for topping
In a large bowl stir together peanut butter, honey, vanilla and salt until smooth. Add oats, wheat germ and white whole wheat flour and stir until thoroughly mixed together. Form into 1" balls and roll in oats or top with peanut half. Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
Sometimes I make the mistake of doing, ahem, research for my blog when I’m hungry. And it never ends well. After looking at numerous varieties of desserts for this post, it was all I could do to not go into my kitchen, get a huge bowl of peanut butter, sprinkle it with dark chocolate chips and crushed graham crackers and call it dinner. But I didn’t! Instead, I had a sensible meal of garden lasagna (delicious!) and refrained from eating every bit of sugar in my house. Just a word of caution!
Any of these desserts would be GREAT for a Superbowl party. I tried to choose things that were fairly simply and not too labor intensive. After all, you’ve barely recovered from Christmas baking! I really don’t think you can go wrong with whatever recipe you choose–they’re all delicious. And next week I’ll have football themed desserts if you’re feeling a little more crafty with your baking…football shaped sweets are just too darn cute!
Jeremy and I went to the fair this past weekend. We basically had one thing on our agenda while we were there: FRIED OREOS. Ok, so maybe it was more MY agenda but after getting a taste of those delicious fried chocolatey puffs last year, I’d been dreaming about them ever since. And really, what is there to do at the fair besides eat? I mean, you’ve got fried twinkies, funnel cakes, caramel apples, ice cream, fried Oreos, cheesecake wontons, cotton candy, fried peanut butter and jelly, chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick and even fried Kool-Aid! And that’s just the sweet stuff!
So after a little searching, we found the fried Oreos and also decided on a fried PB&J. We grabbed a spot near the karaoke stage to listen to the up-and-coming Springfield musical talent and do a little people watching while we munched down.
First, the fried PB&J. Absolutely NOT good. Jeremy and I both agreed that while in concept the idea is great, it just didn’t work this time. The peanut butter tasted disgusting (perhaps because all I ever eat is natural peanut butter?) and it wasn’t really a peanut butter sandwich, it was one of those Uncrustable things that you get in the freezer section at the grocery store, fried in funnel cake batter. So disappointing. I’ve actually been wanting to purchase a deep fryer for home, so once I do, we are trying this again…with a REAL PB&J sandwich!
Now the fried Oreos on the other hand…absolute. fried. genius. I just love these little things. The Oreo is dunked in funnel cake batter which fries up nice and golden while the Oreo gets soft on the inside. Finished with a touch of powdered sugar, these are Oreo HEAVEN. They are fresh and warm and oh so delicious. My only complaint is that they don’t serve them with milk! Other than that, magic.
Ok, confession time. See, I have this feeling that I give off the impression on my blog that everything that emerges from my oven is perfect and beautiful and rainbows and puppies and all that cute stuff. But the truth is, it’s not. Every now and then I have some serious baking failures and not-so-perfect baking days. Usually when it happens, I can immediately look back and realize what I’ve done wrong or need to do differently. I didn’t go to a fancy, schmancy pastry school (I wish!) or get trained by some world renowned pastry chef; I’m just learning as I go. So, in light of this revelation, I’d like to start off this post for a most delicious chocolate zucchini bread (more like cake, who are we kidding) with a short list of things I did “wrong”:
1. Forgot an egg.
2. Took it out of the oven prematurely, thus causing the middle to collapse upon itself. Lovely.
3. Didn’t line the pan with parchment or foil, thereby making the removal of the bread to a serving plate in one piece, a feat worthy of Houdini himself.
So, there it is. Now, I can’t say that forgetting the egg made any difference and I did manage to throw the bread back in the oven and get it on the more cooked side as opposed to raw and inedible and getting it out of the pan only took one VERY large spatula and some sideways tipping maneuvering. All in all, a good time in the kitchen. Just ask my husband who has to listen to the choice words coming from that part of the house.
Needless to say, this cake…err, bread is one of the most delicious things I have every tasted. It was incredibly moist and dense and formed a beautiful crust on the top. And I loved the hint of cinnamon blended into the chocolate. Also, I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips both in the batter and on top and they kind of disappeared into the batter so next time I’ll use regular size or maybe chocolate chunks. And there WILL be a next time. Cause it was that good.
As of today I’ve been in Destin, Florida for five days. Surprise! Jealous? You should be, it’s awesome here. Sun, sand, emerald blue water and doing a whole lot of nothing. It’s been glorious. But of course I had to take a little time out of my day and tell you all about a little road trippin’ snack I made.
See Jeremy and I are actually pretty health conscious (despite what I blog about) and have been getting in shape for this vacation for awhile. Knowing that we would be in the car for 12+ hours, I wanted something healthy to snack on should hunger strike. And let’s face it, the healthy options at a 7-Eleven are pretty much limited to the bottled water. We had to be prepared!
So I thought a nice snack would be homemade granola. I’ve seen a few recipes but never attempted it myself, so after doing some research I found one that sounded like it had potential and was super versatile (because no way in heck was I NOT going to change the recipe!). I started with Playgroup Granola Bars from Allrecipes.com. I modified it alot but the bones of the recipe were great…the granola turned out awesome! I could not keep my hands out of it and seriously didn’t know if there would be any left by the time we actually got on the road. And yes, this recipe is healthy. But healthy can taste really, really good. Like, “no way can this be healthy” good. Eat it by the handful or pour some milk over it and enjoy it for breakfast. And DO play with the recipe…experiment with flavors and ingredients!
½ c. 7-Grain Mix (If you can't find it at your local health food store, substitute Wheat Germ or Flax Seed)
2 c. White Whole Wheat Flour (I like King Arthur)
1½ t. Salt
½ c. Sugar in the Raw
¼ c. Cocoa Powder
½ c. Chocolate Protein Powder (I like the All Natural Chocolate Muscle Milk)
2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
¾ c. Honey
¼ c. Safflower Oil
¼ c. Peanut Oil
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
½ c. All-Natural Peanut Butter
½ c. All-Natural Dry-Roasted Peanuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oats and the next 7 ingredients.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the eggs and the next 5 ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spread evenly into the cookie sheet, pressing down with the back of a spoon or your hands. Sprinkle the dry-roasted peanuts on top and gently press into the mixture. Bake for 22 minutes and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, or until the granola is cool enough to handle.
Get another cookie sheet and break up the granola into small pieces (the peanuts will probably fall off but that's ok), dividing between the two cookie sheets. Bake both cookie sheets of granola for another 10 minutes. Let cool completely and store in an air-tight bag.
Today is National Chocolate Chip Day and to celebrate I came up with these super easy Triple Chocolate Muffins. If you need something in a hurry, these are perfect and quite frankly they could pass as cake. I’m really not sure who eats this kind of stuff for breakfast, but I will admit they would go perfect with a cup of coffee.
I adapted this recipe (as you can see I use Allrecipes.com quite a bit) and didn’t have the full cup of sour cream so I did part Miracle Whip which I’ve used in baking before with great results. I made a few other changes and ended up with an awesome super soft, super chocolatey muffin. Enjoy!
Triple Chocolate Muffins
2 2/3 c. AP Flour
1 1/2 t. Baking Soda
1/2 t. Salt
1/2 c. Cocoa
3/4 c. White Sugar
3/4 c. Light Brown Sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, softened
3 Large Eggs
1 T. Vanilla
3/4 c. Sour Cream
1/4 c. Miracle Whip
1 c. Whole Milk
3/4 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
3/4 c. White Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease 24 regular size muffin cups.
Beat together butter and white and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Add eggs, one at a time to the butter/sugar mixture and beat in vanilla. Beat in the sour cream and Miracle Whip. Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Add half the milk and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Add half the remaining flour, beating until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and beat thoroughly and the rest of the flour. Stir in both kinds of chocolate chips.
Fill cupcake tins 2/3 with the batter and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan.
Today is National Pretzel Day! Yep, get excited. I know it’s a little late in the day but there is still time to make these super easy chocolate covered pretzels. I wanted to give this classic treat a little update so I used pretzel chips and through in some peanut butter. The pretzels even have their own little “handle”, making dipping a cinch. You can have them done in about 30 minutes! How great is that?
And yes, there is a food for every day. Check out this link that lists each month at the bottom of the page, click on the month and it will take you to a daily list. Ya know, just in case you were wondering when you should plan on celebrating raisins or escargot or something ummmm…equally delicious…
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Chips
-Dark, Milk or White Chocolate Candy Discs
In a medium bowl, microwave the chocolate until melted, stirring every 20 seconds. Spread a generous dollop of peanut butter on one side of the pretzel and dip in the melted chocolate. Place on foil and let dry completely. Decorate with a drizzle of white chocolate (if dipping in dark, or vice versa).
Holidays. Food, food and more food. What it’s all about. Oh, and candy. Lots and lots of candy. In fact, so much candy that it can be quite confusing walking down the holiday candy aisle in a store. How do you choose? Solid chocolate bunnies, hollow chocolate bunnies, hollow white chocolate peanut butter swirl bunnies, peanut butter eggs, pastel everything, speckled gum, bunny gummies, oh and of course…Peeps. I can barely type that. How does something so completely inedible sell like hotcakes every year? I don’t get it.
Anyway, the point is there are a LOT of choices. But I’m going to help you make the right one. Next to Junior Mints, Butterfingers and every variety of sour gummy candy out there, malted mini Robin Eggs are the only (Easter) candy worth your money and daily allotment of saturated fat and sugar. In my humble opinion. So sweet. So perfectly crunchy. So…malty. I could eat a whole bag (or two) in the time it takes to watch one episode of American Idol. This candy is good. And dangerous.
So hopefully this will help you cut down on the 30 minutes or so you’ll spend in the candy aisle, picking up bags and putting them back, agonizing over what to get. Before you know it you’ll through the express check out line, in your car and have half the bag eaten before you even leave the parking lot.
P.S. If you are a mini Robin Egg lover such as myself, check out these fun recipe ideas!