Category Archives: Snacky-Snacks

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

One of my favorite parts about fall is pumpkins. One of my favorite parts about pumpkins is the slimy guts. Ok not really. Just wanted to see if you were listening.  One of my favorite parts about pumpkins is the pumpkin seeds.  It took me a few years to actually like them, but now I can’t seem to get enough.  This year, we bought many pumpkins. Many. And it may, or may not be because I wanted the seeds.  😉

Pumpkin seeds are simple to make, and delicious to eat.  There are quite a few ways to make them, too.  I like the simple ‘dash of salt’ flavor, while other nights we use a bit of cinnamon and sugar instead.  Either way…Delicious!!

The Ingredients:
Seeds from a pumpkin
Sprinkle of salt (about 1 TBL .)
Cooking Spray

The How-To:

*Preheat oven to 300*.
*Toss seeds in a strainer, ‘swirling’ around under a stream of water. (This helps get all the slimy pumpkin flesh off. Not sure why, but it clumps together making it easier to dispose of.)
*Once seeds clean, spread them on a cloth to dry. (If you don’t want to let them dry out a bit, go ahead and skip this step and move right on to the next.)
*Spread seeds in a single layer on a sprayed baking sheet.  Once they’re flat, spray the top of them with more cooking spray.
*Sprinkle salt over top (I usually dump about 1 TBL of salt in my palm, taking a ‘pinch’ size and sprinkling that on top of the seeds until it looks like enough.  Some like them salty..I like them with just a hint of salt flavor.)
*Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.
*Let cool and enjoy!

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Peanut-y Fruit Dip

You are not going to believe this.  No, really..I didn’t either.   This delicious fruit dip is made with something you would never guess.  I’m a little hesitant to even tell you what it is because I don’t want to scare you off.  However, I will.  But before I do, let me just tell you how yummy this is.  It’s YUMMY!!  ok..I’ll tell you more.  It’s absolutely delicious!! We love to dip fruit chunks in it..apples, pineapple, bananas..it’s all good.  If we’re really crazy, we dip crackers in it. (see photos for proof of our dipping craziness.)  Ok..are you ready for the secret ingredient? Here it is……….drum roll please……………garbanzo beans. There. I said it.  Now, before you run away and hide..just give it a try. It truly is tasty, and healthy, for you.  I stumbled upon this recipe here, at Chocolate Covered Katie.   And while you’re there, take a look around. Her stuff will blow your socks off. For reals..she’s genius when it comes to making healthy dishes that also taste fantastic. 🙂

Ok..on to the recipe:

The Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup nut butter
1/4 cup plus 3T nondairy milk (I used 1%. It’s all I had)
2/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Optional: I add 1/4 cup flaxmeal for omega 3s and a fun texture (you can also add quick oats!)

The How-To:
Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a blender or food processor, and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Now, if you’ll notice, mine turned out a little more creamy then hers.  That’s because I didn’t have any flaxmel and didn’t use quick oats.  Next time, I think I will use the oats.  Also..how could I not have any chocolate chips on hand!? That should be illegal!!! Next time (and there WILL be a next time!) I’ll be adding these for sure. 

Very yum! Just sayin’…

 

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Ball

When I first saw this post  about these delicious Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls..I had to try them out.  First, they have peanut butter in them. Everyone knows that one of my weaknesses is peanut butter. Wait..you didn’t know that? Oh. Well, now you do. And now you know that if you offer me peanut butter on a spoon, I’ll gobble it up. Or peanut butter on a popsicle stick, I’ll take that as my cue to make toast and spread pb all over it.  The best thing for all of us would be to just put the peanut butter down, and walk away.  But we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about these yummy peanut butter oatmeal balls.

I love that you can have these for a breakfast, snack, or a “I’m-trying-to-be-good-” dessert.  The real test came when I offered them to my kids.  Would they like them? Would they throw them at me? Answer: They LOVED them. (I can safely come out of hiding. Whew!)

Here’s the recipe in its original form.  I did make a few changes (added in italics).  Overall..perfection and delicious. 

Ingredients:
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pistachios, chopped (I didn’t have any, so I used chopped peanuts)
1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried blueberries, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I left this out because of the salt on the peanuts..I figured I didn’t need it. It’s up to you.)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 The How-To:

*In a large bowl, combine all ingredients making sure to evenly distribute all the ingredients.  
*Roll some of the dough between your hands, if it sticks together it is ready to go. If it feels too dry then add a bit more peanut butter or honey. If it is too wet add extra oats or flaxseed.  
*Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1½-inch ball and then place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

I really, REALLY like the dried cranberries and blueberries in this recipe.  It adds a little sweetness to the peanut/oatmeal flavor. My mouth may or may not be watering just thinking about this…
For a quick, easy and super yummy treat, make these. And send me any left overs.  (Did I mention I loved peanut butter?)

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Filed under breakfast, cookie, dessert, Snacky-Snacks

Summer Fruit Salsa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the great things about this fruit salsa, is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just strawberries, kiwi, and blueberries.  No siree..go ahead and add pineapple, or mango, or if you’re really wild and crazy..how about throwing some pear chunks in there?  Can’t you see it now? “Mom of Year” Award because of this amazing simple dish that the whole family..the whole neighborhood..heck, the whole town will love. 😀 

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Granola-smizzola

Yes, I did say ‘smizzola’.  What? It’s fun to say new words. Especially when trying to rhyme with “granola”.  (Don’t judge..not as easy as you might think..) Getting off topic here.. moving on..

This weekend was Memorial day. Usually that is associated with bbq’s and gatherings with yummy, tantalizing food that you just can’t say no to.  However, here…it snowed. I know, right!? Who ordered that?!  Actually, I love the cooler weather, so I was completely A-OK with it.  For our Memorial day feast, we enjoyed….wait for it……..Granola!! Fresh from the oven, it truly was a treat to nibble on.  Loaded with dried cranberries, dried blueberries, cinnamon, sunflower seeds and oatmeal, this granola deserves a little smizzola. 😀

(original recipe found here, at Two Peas and Their Pod.  My modifications are in parentheses.)

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds (I used sunflower seeds instead, both would be amazing and a little extra crunch)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 T dark brown sugar
3 T pure maple syrup
2 T canola oil
2 T agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup raisins (I used 1/3 cup dried cranberries, and 1/3 cup dried blueberries…YUM!!!)

The How-To:
* In a medium bowl, mix the oats, almonds, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar together.
* In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, canola oil, agave nectar, and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. I do this with my clean hands.
* Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 300 degrees, stirring occasionally. (I  stirred every 7 minutes or so, and took it out of the oven for good at around 22 minutes.) Take the granola out as soon as it starts to brown.
* Stir in the raisins (blueberries/cranberries) and cool completely. Store in an air tight container.

In the past when I’ve made granola, it never turned out, thanks to overcooking.  The trick to making granola is to take it out of the oven right when it starts to brown.  It may still feel a little moist, but it will crispen and dry as it cools.  So don’t fret, it will turn out.  😀  And when it does, you’ll be doing the Granola-Smizzola dance in your kitchen, too!! 🙂

What I love about granola is the many ways you can use it.  Top yogurt in the morning for breakfast, mix it into a salad for a crispy punch, eat it by the handfuls for a tasty snack..there is no end to what you can do with granola. Now..go..dance..rhyme words..

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Pumpkin Muffins

 

In my book, you can never have too many pumpkin recipes. Ever. Especially pumpkin muffins.  These divine muffins are perfect for a quick breakfast, a snack on the go, or a tasty little treat,  you can’t go wrong with these. The kids can take them to school in their lunch, you can pack a few for an easy pit stop while running errands around town..see what I mean? Can’t go wrong. Given to me by my friend, Lora, these have quickly become a household favorite, even with the picky eaters.

Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 Tablespoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon all spice or cloves

The How-To:
*pre-heat oven to 350*
*line  a cupcake tin with muffin liners or spray well with nonstick cooking spray
*mix all ingredients together in a large bowl
*fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full
*bake 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

These are incredible. Easy, moist, and delicious.  Especially the next day.

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Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread


There really are no words to say how yummy this bread is.  I’ve been wanting to make this for a long time, but have been just a little..nervous. I mean, it’s bread. On the other hand..it’s raisin bread. 😀  So when my hubby came home one day and said that he needed to take some bread to a work lunch, I knew this is what I wanted to make.    I didn’t have a recipe for it though, so I went online and found this one  at  Allrecipes that I thought would work. Bingo!! It more then worked!! 4 loaves later, I can officially say this is my favorite bread to make.  Since my kids don’t like raisins, we left those out of 2 loaves..the result? Again..delicious! 😀  Light and airy with a hint of sweetness..this bread is sure to please.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

The How-To:
*Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm.
*Dissolve yeast in warm water, and set aside until yeast is frothy. Mix in eggs, sugar, butter or margarine, salt, and raisins. Stir in cooled milk. Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
*Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Place in a large, greased, mixing bowl, and turn to grease the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled.
*Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Moisten dough with 2 tablespoons milk. Mix together 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon, and sprinkle mixture on top of the moistened dough. Roll up tightly; the roll should be about 3 inches in diameter. Cut into thirds, and tuck under ends. Place loaves into well greased 9 x 5 inch pans. Lightly grease tops of loaves. Let rise again for 1 hour.
*Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes, or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when knocked. Remove loaves from pans, and brush with melted butter or margarine. Let cool before slicing.

**NOTE**
This recipe makes 2 loaves. Double the goodness! 🙂

YUM!!  Perfect as toast for breakfast, or for a little treat during the busy day.

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Filed under bread, breakfast, sides, Snacky-Snacks

Orange-blueberry Muffin

 

I love the citrus flavors you can add to muffins.  Usually, I add lemon, but when I saw this recipe here, I knew I had to try it.  There’s just something inviting about a muffin with a citrus flavor, mixed with blueberries.  The orange zest used in this muffin gives it a tangy zing, but not overpower the flavor of the sweet blueberries.

Ingredients:

  • Grated zest and juice of one orange
  • About 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking power
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
  • Turbinado sugar, for topping
The How-To:
*Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
*In a two cup glass measuring cup, add the orange juice and enough buttermilk to make 1 cup. Whisk in the eggs, honey, and melted butter.
*In a large bowl, rub the orange zest and sugar together with your fingers. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
*Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Top the muffins with turbinado sugar. Bake until muffin tops are golden and springy to the touch, 20 to 24 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

 

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Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Why, hello there. Let me introduce you to my newest BFF.  Enter: Lemon Poppyseed Muffin.  Light, moist, bursting with lemon-y flavor. What’s not to love? These muffin are so easy to make, which means you can have them any time of the day. Or, if you’re like me,  even as a midnight snack. Topped with a lemon glaze, these muffins are sure to become your new BFF, too! This recipe was found here, at Annie’s Eats, a fantastic food blog that makes me want to drool. 😀 What I love about these is the use of yogurt!! (Shhh..a secret ingredient) Simply amazing!!

Ingredients:
For the muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)

For the glaze (optional):
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1-2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

The How-to:

*Preheat the oven to 350˚.  
*Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
*Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
*Stir briefly to combine.
*In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  *Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.  
*Mix in the lemon zest and the vanilla extract.  
*With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in two additions alternating with the yogurt, beating each addition just until incorporated.
*Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds full.

* Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*While the muffins are still warm, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl to make the glaze.  Drizzle a small amount of the glaze over each muffin.  Let the glaze set before serving.

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Mixed Berry Popsicles


Mixed berry popsicles? YES PLEASE!!  With summer just around the corner, who wouldn’t want something cool and full of berry flavor? And the best part? You control how much sugar goes into them! Awesome! I promise you, you kids will never know these are good for them. 😀  The ingredients are things you’ll have in your house, especially with the summer fruits in season. If you want to ‘cheat’ a little, I found these amazing smoothie mixes in the freezer section which have everything already in them. Berries, frozen yogurt, it’s all there.

Ingredients:
Fresh or frozen berries of your choice. (for the above photo, I used raspberries, strawberries and blueberries)
1 container of yogurt, any flavor (I used vanilla)
1 cup apple juice
1 cup milk
honey or sugar to sweeten it up (optional.)

The How-to:
*gather all your fruit, wash it well
*place fruit in a blender


*pour the yogurt in the blender
*add the milk and juice
*mix everything until it’s at the desired consistency
*take a little taste.  If it needs some sweetness, add a bit of sugar or honey, or more apple juce and yogurt. 
*once everything is mixed to your preference, pour it into popsicle molds, add popsicle sticks
*place in the freezer until set

When it’s frozen through, simply remove from mold and enjoy! 
What is so great about these puppies, is that you can ix it up.. use pineapple and mango, or any other fruits you love. I can forsee having different kinds of popsicles every. day. in. the. summer. 😀 And that, my friends, is how you’ll get the ‘Parent of the Year Award!’ ha ha ha..

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