Sunday, June 27, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

A few days ago my kids were bored. Shocking right? I am sure NONE of you have heard those words lately! Gotta love summer hehe!
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I found a recipe online and tweeked it to fit our family and it turned out SO yummy I just had to share!
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I didn't need to run to the store for any of the ingredients too which is always a bonus!
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I started by gathering all my ingredients.

Start by mixing peanut butter, brown sugar, applesauce, vanilla and corn syrup together
Mix till it looks about like this
Then in a seperate bowl, mix instant oatmeal, cheerios, coconut, chocolate chips and wheat germ. You can add anything your fam likes here.
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For example: nuts of any kind, marshmellows, m&m's, raisins etc.
Be creative and make this recipe your own!
Then blend both bowls together and let those helpers finish all the work.
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My 3 kids actually made these completely by themselves. All I did was make sure the right measurements were going in. They are VERY simple and since my kids love to cook this was a great chance to give them something to do to cure the "I'm Boreds" 
We tossed em in the oven and watched em bake
When they were all done we let them cool completely and then cut them into rectangles like regular granola bars.
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We hope your family loves them as much as ours!

Happy Baking!!

**Amanda's Homemade Granola Bars**
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 2/3 cup peanut butter
• 5 tablespoons corn syrup
• 1/2 cup applesauce
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 3 cups rolled oats
• 1 cup chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup toasted oat cereal rings
• 2/3 cup wheat germ


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, applesauce, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together the oats, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, cereal rings and wheat germ. Stir the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture until evenly coated. Press lightly into the prepared pan.
3. Bake or 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until slightly golden. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

**You can add whatever fun things you would like. For example m&m's, nuts, coconut, craisins, dried pineapple. All end up being super yummy!**

Monday, June 14, 2010

Some Fun Summer Treats

A fun idea for those long summer days when making lunch seems like a chore
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I bought decorative toothpicks, cut the cheese into tiaras with a small cookie cutter and folded a peice of salami in quarters. Poke the salami then the cheese!
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Instant cuteness
They looked so fun all together and ready to eat!
Then we wanted somthing yummy but also warm!
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So we made "Unicorn Calzones"
These are Pillsbury crescent rolls filled with ham, turkey and string cheese peices!
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Roll em up and bake em till they are brown and the cheese is melty!
I sprinkled a few poppy seeds on some of them for an extra bit of flavor!
These were both a big hit and super easy!

Happy Cooking!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Super Yummy...Failure

So I have been wanting to find something, anything in the dessert category that my little boy can eat. I found this recipe and completely altered it to match both what he could eat and what was in my pantry.
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I think you will all be happy with this one! It is SUPER SUPER moist and oh so yummy! Plus as a bonus takes almost no time to throw together. It is perfect for the upcoming months as it is light too! I am calling it
Banana Bliss Cake
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Ok let's get started
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You can use any flavor cake mix you'd like. I wanted yellow but only had a strawberry so we went with that. Plus, bonus, strawberry cake is PINK
Make the cake mix according to box
Then grab a couple bananas. I used my super ripe ones so they don't get thrown out
And sprinkle them with 1 tsp of baking soda
Mash em all up really well
Then add them to the cake mix and mix WELL

At this point you can choose which type of pan to bake it in. I am sure a 13x9 would work great but I love circle cakes so I divided mine into 2 9" rounds.
This is always the hard part
Waiting for things to bake
Specially when they fill your house with the yummiest aromas
Here is the part where I learned a HUGE lesson grr
You can frost the cake with plain Cool Whip but I read a post somewhere that mixing pudding with it is super yummy. Unfortunately, I didn't think it all the way through.
Don't make the same mistake. Mix your pudding with only 1 CUP of milk, not the 2 it calls for. Then after it starts to set (about five mins) add the entire Cool Whip container.
If you don't...
This is what it looks like :(
Ok Ok
Super lame mistake
I promise though, it didn't taste like it looked
It was the most moist cake I have ever tasted and SO SUPER yummy
Just learn from my mistake...
And DIG IN!!!
So get using those yucky almost black bananas you know you either have or will have in 2 more days! It beats banana bread and shakes it up!

Happy Baking!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chicken Sesame Bowtie Salad

Ready for a yummy all in one summer salad?!?
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This salad has it all:
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It is great with a bbq or all by itself! My sister in law gave me this recipe a while ago and we make it ALL the TIME now! I hope it is one of yours very soon!
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Start by boiling a box of farfalle (bowtie) pasta. Rinse and drain.
Then take a few chicken breasts and cut them into bite size bites.
Sprinkle them with lemon pepper and saute in a dash of oil until all the way done.
I like mine a little crispy and brown.
You do what you/your fam like best!
Cut up half a red pepper and half a yellow pepper
Cut 4 green onions
Mix chicken, veggies and pasta together
Now it is time for the dressing!
Grab your blender and ingredients
Mix all together in the blender until totally blended.
Pour half over the pasta and store the rest!
Cover the salad and refrigerate until you are ready to serve!
Then toss a half bag of spinach into the salad and add more dressing if needed
This is the best part in my opinion!
Take 3TBS sugar and put in a frying pan on med-low
Watch it carerfully until it melts completely.
Then toss sliced almonds into the sugar and put on wax paper to cool
Break apart and crumble onto the salad
Then it is ready!
It is so SUPER yummy!
Let me know if you love it!
I can't get enough of this stuff!
Happy Cooking!


Chicken Sesame Bowtie Salad
2-4 chicken breasts
16 oz bowtie pasta
4 sliced green onions
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
1 bag baby spinach
lemon pepper
dash of sesame oil

Sprinkle chicken with lemon pepper & saute in sesame oil. Cool & combine with pasta, peppers and onions.

1/2 C sesame seeds
2/3 C red wine vinegar
1 C canola oil
2/3 C soy sauce
6 Tbs sugar
1/2 C parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Blend all in blender. Mix half dressing with salad & carmelized almonds.
Add spinach and extra dressing if needed.