No Bake Trail Mix Bites

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I saw this recipe in the May 2015 Rachael Ray Magazine. I immediately knew this would be something my daughter would love doing with me and I had almost everything I needed to make them. Who doesn’t love a healthy no bake treat!

The original recipe called for peanuts, but I didn’t have them, so I subbed almonds instead. You could also sub a different nut butter or a different dried fruit.

Ruby and her friend had fun helping dump the ingredients into the food processor and rolling them in the coconut. They wouldn’t even look up for a picture!

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You’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 toasted wheat germ (usually found with the cereal at the store)
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined.

Pour into a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips and cranberries.

Roll into balls and then roll the balls in the shredded coconut. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Buon appetito!




Italian Meatballs

Who doesn’t love meatballs? They’re good with spaghetti, in a panini with some melted mozzarella, or in the middle of the night when you sneak one from the fridge…oh wait, is that just me? Anyway, meatballs are one of those quintessential Italian recipes and everyone has their own. This is my version of my grandparents’ recipe. I remember helping mix and roll them out when I was a kid. We’d dump them in the Sunday Gravy with the italian sausage once they were cooked and it would simmer on the stove all day until dinner. Yum!

Meatballs are great to get kids involved! They can help mix and then help roll them. I think the more you get them in the kitchen, the more they’ll appreciate the food they’re eating.

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Cake Mix Cookies

Want a quick go-to dessert recipe guaranteed to be loved by everyone that’s simple and easy to make? This one’s for you! I get rave reviews every time I make these. They are little puffy clouds of amazing goodness. Just like Pringles, eat one and you won’t be able to stop until they’re gone.

I found this recipe about 6 months ago on Paula’s Home Cooking. The original recipe is chocolate, but immediately my brain began thinking of other kinds to make, spice cake mix with pecans, vanilla, carrot cake cookies…yum!

I’ve made these for baby showers, work parties, family get-togethers and every time at least one person asks for the recipe. The key is letting the cookie batter sit in the fridge for at least an hour before scooping – makes it much easier to work with.

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Bake-Dried Apples

I went to a local grocery store a few days ago for lunch – they have a really good sushi bar! – and saw a bag of bake dried apples made by Bare Fruit in the checkout line. I was even more impressed when I picked up the bag and looked at the ingredients – Apples. Yes, that was the one – and only – ingredient. They suckered me in and I bought a bag, along with my Spicy Tuna and Spicy Salmon rolls – yum! I figured since apples were the only ingredient, that I could duplicate them at home. After some research, I combined a few techniques to come up with this recipe.

This post will also show you how to make a simple syrup. It’s pretty simple…ha! Get it? Ok, so simple syrups can be used to soak cakes, sweeten tea, and flavor cocktails among other things. You can also flavor it with anything! Spices, herbs, fresh ginger, etc. The simple syrup steps are completely optional for this recipe, however, I think it adds a nice touch of spice and sweetness. Once made, you can store your simple syrup in a bottle or other airtight container, and it will last for months.

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Homemade Cheese Crackers


It’s been almost a year since my first blog post on the test site and lots has happened since then! I’ve been promoted at work to a Supervisor, my husband began his own computer business (shameless plug – couldn’t help it!), and the best news of all – my nephew was born! It’s been a great year and I’m so happy to begin – officially!

And now on to the cooking…most of us remember snacking on Goldfish when we were kids and then we moved on to the more grown-up version – the CheezeIt. Though I must confess…Goldfish are still one of my favorite snacks. One thing I enjoy making are homemade versions of everyone’s favorite processed foods – after all, wouldn’t you want to know what’s in the food that you and your family eat? So when I saw this – I had to try it!

This recipe has been passed around a few blogs, but I first saw it on Tasty Kitchen. I don’t have pictures of the creation of the dough, but if you’ve ever made pie dough, it’s very similar. Start with your flour, cold cubed butter, salt, and grated cheddar cheese in your food processor. Pulse until the dough resembles sand. Then, while continuing to pulse, slowly stream in the cold water until the dough comes together. Take it out and wrap the cheesy goodness in plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes in the fridge. (more…)