October 27, 2014

Monster Bars


Can you imagine many of your favorites mixed into one delicious bar?
Reese's Pieces… Peanut butter… Oats...
As a kid, my mom has made these bars every fall and they never lasted long in my family. Since it contains eggs, peanut butter and oats, they are considered healthy, right?!

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. white Karo syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. crunchy peanut buter
  • 4½ c. uncooked oats
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. Reese's pieces
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Cream together eggs and butter. Add baking soda, Karo, vanilla, and peanut butter until blended; stir in oatmeal, chocolate chips and Reese's pieces.
  3. Press into an ungreased 9x13"baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
Let bars cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!


October 26, 2014

Lasagna


Italian food is hands down, my favorite cuisine. I have made pizza, spaghetti, ziti, stuffed shells, but never lasagna. After looking through many recipes, I came across this one, which I adapted from Maggiano's blog. It was very simple-- just allow some prep and assembly time.

This is a great meal to make the night before, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, just preheat the oven and bake for 30 minutes. A little serving goes a long way, as this is very rich! Disclosure: Recipe is not gluten free, dairy free, or lactose free!

INGREDIENTS
Assembly:
  • 1 box lasagna noodles, cooked
  • Lasagna filling (recipe below)
  • 1½ lbs. ground beef (optional for vegetarians)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 (28 oz.) jars marinara sauce
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 10 oz Mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
Filling: (3.5 quarts)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 lbs Ricotta cheese
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dash of oregano
DIRECTIONS
Filling:
  1. In large mixing bowl, add the eggs, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and garlic.
  2. Mix well with whisk. Add the flour, salt and pepper, nutmeg and oregano. Mix until completely incorporated.
  3. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate.
Meat option:
  1. In a large sauté pan, cook ground beef, onion, and Italian seasoning over medium heat, until browned. Drain and set aside for assembly.
Assembly:
  1. Using a spatula, spread ½ cup marinara sauce on bottom of 8 qt. baking pan. Lay a layer of pasta over sauce.
  2. Spread 3 cups of lasagna filling evenly over pasta with spatula. Spread ¾ cup of cooked meat evenly over filling (optional). Spread 3 ounces of marinara sauce evenly over filling. Sprinkle ¼ cup Parmesan cheese on top. Place another pasta layer on top.
  3. Repeat layers of pasta and filling. Spread ¼ cup of marinara on top layer.
To Cook:
  1. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling around the edges.
  2. Melt grated Mozzarella over top and broil for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow dish to rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Cut into portions and serve with additional marinara, grated Parmesan, and fresh basil.
Enjoy! :)



October 7, 2014

Pineapple Cheddar Spread



My family has been going to Emerald Isle, NC since I was a toddler. When everyone can make it, there are 18 of us. My siblings, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents always look forward to the beach and our time together. It's tough to find restaurants that will accommodate large parties, so ever since I can remember, we have taken turns cooking dinner.

One of our favorite dinners is "finger foods / appetizer night." We all chipped in and made an appetizer. I created this spread using some of my favorite ingredients, which was a perfect blend for the beach.

INGREDIENTS
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • ½ c. mayonnaise
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
  • Green onions, chopped, to taste
  • Bacon bits, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
DIRECTIONS
  1. With an electric mixer, whip cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper and cayenne.
  2. Gently fold in pineapple, green onions, and bacon bits. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

I love that view.

Eight different finger foods / appetizers.


October 5, 2014

Apple Pancakes


Since it is officially fall, and the temperatures have dropped into the 50s, apple pancakes sounded like a wonderful breakfast. The original recipe is from the bag of Bob's 10 Grain Pancake and Waffle Mix, which you can find in the natural foods section in your grocery store. I added ground flaxseed, cinnamon, and almond milk for the perfect fall flavors.  Makes 4 pancakes.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 c. Bob's Red Mill 10 Grain Pancake and Waffle Whole Grain Mix
  • 2 Tbsp. Bob's Red Mill ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ¾ - 1 c. almond milk
  • 1 apple, skin removed and chopped (I used a Zestar)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Mix all above ingredients until batter is an even consistency. Spoon desired amount of batter onto a heated and greased skillet over medium heat. Once bubbles appear on the top (about 1 minute later), flip pancake and let cook for about 45 seconds.
  2. Once cooked, remove from heat and serve immediately. Enjoy!