Chewy Granola Bars

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I had been wanting to make some good protein granola bars and found this one on the internet. So, I made up a batch. Of course, I had to change it up a bit for our tastes!

  • 2 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Rice Krispies
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate bark
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (Traverse City cherries are best)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 9 X 9 inch square pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix together until well combined. Press into prepared pan. Bake 18 - 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes and then score into bars. Let it set completely and then cut into bars. 
My Thoughts
They were really tasty, but super, super crumbly. We basically had to eat them in a bowl with milk. There was no keeping these 'bars' in the shape of bars. Yes, I scored them... no, they didn't hold up well. BUT, the flavor was the best I have ever had for homemade granola bars!

Cherry Almond Scones

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One sunny morning, eating a nice, not too sweet, not too plain, yummy scone...

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp almond or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup half-n-half
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cherries
  • 1/4 cup almonds, crushed (just enough to not be too small or powder-like)
Preheat oven to 350, Mix all dry ingredients. Cut butter in until crumbly. Add vanilla and half-n-half. Mix well. Roll out on floured surface with dough roller. Cut into circles or, in our case, leaves :). Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar, Bake for 25 min.

We served ours with Creme Fraiche and home-made berry jam. I believe we all had one for breakfast, and another for snack in the late afternoon. Our family likes these ALMOST more than daddy's not-so-secret cookie recipe for dessert. This is our favorite breakfast item. :)

Pesto Tortellini Salad

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Another salad for a hot, sunny, day...

  • 1 medium sized package of tortellini, we use three cheese
  • 1 8.1 oz can of traditional basil pesto
  • 1 cup of cooked, cubed chicken
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
Bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add tortellini and cook until soft. Drain. stir in chicken. Stir in pesto. Add red and yellow pepper. Add red onion. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Right before serving, toss with a Parmesan or regianno cheese.

We didn't react, we just snarfed it down. This was a fabulous quick and easy, or make-for-later meal. :)

Super Salad With Crunch

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's been real hot out lately, so we've been making a lot of salads. :)

  • 1 1/2 pounds, skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  •  salt
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (about 12 key limes or 4 regular limes)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced (6 cups)
  • 1/2 small red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (4 cups)
  • 1 jicama (1 pound), peeled and cut into matchstick-thin strips (4 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 4 ounces white cheddar cheese, cut into1/2-inch cubes (optional)

Heat pan over medium heat until hot. sprinkle chicken with 1/2 tsp salt. grill chicken 12 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with knife, turning over once. Transfer chicken to cutting board; cool slightly.

Prepare vinaigrette: in a bowl, with wire whisk, mix lime juice, oil, honey, and 1 tsp of salt. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch pieces; place in large bowl with remaining ingredients and vinaigrette; toss to combine. serve immediately.

Jicama is a new favorite veggie in this family. We loved the salad, and it is so refreshing on a hot, muggy, Texas day.

Fruit Salad Salsa

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
That day that we went to the pool party, we also made some fruit salad salsa. Haven't ever had it? Oh, it is sooo good!

  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
  • 8 ounces raspberries
  • 1 carton of strawberries, diced
  • 1 Tablespoons white sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons strawberry basil fruit preserves (ours was homemade)
  • 10-12 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray
  • Cinnamon Sugar (1 cup white sugar, 2 Tablespoons cinnamon)
In a large bowl, mix all your fruits. In a small bowl, combine the fruit preserves and 1 Tbsp each of sugar and brown sugar. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dump your cinnamon sugar into a large zip lock. Coat both sides of each flour tortilla with melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and put them in the large zip lock. Shake it like a Polaroid.

Now arrange the wedges in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with fruit salsa. Try to eat it the same day you made it because it gets watery and droopy after 24 hours.

Ok. Nuff said, we devoured it!

Dijonic Tortispinach Salad

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ok, so...
take this 

 plus this

And you get... oh. We ate it too fast to get a picture. :) But trust me, it's yummy. And we have invented a new, yummy salad that I call Dijonic Tortispinach Salad. It is part Dijon, part Balsamic Vinaigrette, part spinach salad, and part tortellini salad.


  • 1 (20-ounce) package cheese tortellini, cooked according to directions, strained, and lightly oiled (so it doesn't stick)
  • 1 lb skinned and boned chicken breasts, grilled and chopped small
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups firmly packed fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2  cup yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 6 oz feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic - minced
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Honey Dijon mustard (we use Boar's Head)
  • 2 Tbsp Citrus Vinaigrette (Maple Grove Farms of Vermont is a great brand)
  • Pepper to taste
Dump all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl. In a separate, small bowl, mix all of the dressing ingredients, whisk, and let set for about 15 minutes. Then whisk again and pour over the salad ingredients. Toss well to coat. Eat and die from the bliss of this strange concoction!

  • Daddy - this stuff is awesome. Hard to eat, but awesome!
  • Mommy - wow, I love the sweet, tart, bold flavors of the salad
  • Briaunna - eh, I like everything separate, but together it is confusing. Maybe I'll like it when I'm "more mature"... (mom replies, "you mean when your older", I reply, "take off the 'er' and your right")).
  • Kairi - I don't like it. Well, I like the tortellini and chicken, and I like the pecans and cranberries... but I don't like the spinach (surprise suprise)
  • Charis - yum! Can I have more?
  • Jocelyn - I'm full. I ate a bite and I'm full.
  • Xander - it sticks in my mouth! I want to take a nap.

Spinach Chicken Salad

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
We went to our friends house for a pool party on Sunday! So, of course, we had to make pool food!

We saw this pretty salad on pinterest and had to try it!

  • 8 cups chopped spinach 
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn cut from the cob
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chipolte seasoned chicken
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place spinach in a large salad bowl. add remaining salad ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad and toss well. We doubled the dressing recipe because we also added more spinach.

I LOVED the salad, and Jenn, Brian, mom, and daddy all loved it too. My brother and sisters didn't even try it, though, not with fruit salad salsa and ice cream to fill them up! It was super simple too! So we could spend more time in the pool than in the kitchen!

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