Apple-Carrott Muffins

Despite what you may think when you look at my last post, I have been eating better lately.  I was introduced to this recipe a little while ago and can’t stop making it.  It’s healthy, low calorie, and an energy filler.  Love it!  I’ve made some alterations that I’ve written beneath the original copied post.  CLICK HERE to find some more great healthy recipes from the blog I got this from.

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Apple-Carrott Muffins

1 cup baking flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut yogurt
1/4 cup melted vegan butter
1 1/4 cups shredded apple (about 1 large)
1 1/4 cup shredded carrots (about 2 large)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
*1/2 cup chopped golden berries
Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare the muffin pan by coating it lightly with coconut oil and sprinkling with wheat flour.

In a large bowl mix the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fill the muffin tins about ¾ full with batter.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Let them cool for about 15 minutes before removing them from the pan and serving.

(I used all purpose flour for both cups of flour, because I was out of wheat when I took this picture, so you’re muffins might look a little darker.  I ended up using 2 apples and dates instead of golden berries)

 

Rice Krispie Treats

This is the most simple comfort treat that was one of my favorites when I was young.  It’s so easy to make, yet I make it so infrequently that I always have to look up the recipe.  So, here it is in my box of recipes so I don’t have to forget again.

Rice Krispie Treats

5 cups rice krispies cereal

1 bag large marshmallows (not the ultru large, but the regular large)

1/4 cup butter (NOT margarine)

1 tsp vanilla

(opt. 2/3 cup peanut butter – stirred in with melted butter, m&m’s sprinkled on top after set in pan while still somewhat warm)

On medium heat melt butter in a large pot.  Once butter has melted, add marshmallows and stir continuously until they have all melted.  Do NOT let it heat up too much or it will brown or burn and not set well.  Add vanilla.  Once the marshmallows are mostly melted add the krispies and stir until well immersed.  Pour/scoop into a greased 9×13 pan.  Push down and flatten with a greased spatula.  Let it set for about an hour and then enjoy. . . although I always sneak one while it’s still hot and gooey.  Mmmm.

Frog Eye Salad

This is one of my favorite salads of all time.  I’m not sure that it’s fair to call it a salad though, since it’s so naughty.  My mom made this every fourth of July and other special occasions.  When I got older I was baffled to find out that some people don’t like it.  So, if you’ve never had it before, make a small batch to make sure you can handle the goodness.    I guess the texture of the acine de pepe pasta is not for everyone.  My hubby and boys won’t eat it, so when I have an opportunity to make the salad for a party or event I jump at the chance.  Taking home the leftovers is my favorite part:)  So, this post is for those awesome people who love this sweet bit of goodness like me.  I looked online at a few different recipes to see if I could find one that looked the best.  This recipe I have here was on allrecipes.com, so I copy and pasted it with a few changes.  It ended up to be almost identical to my moms original concoction.  Yummm!

Frog Eye Salad

1 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons salt (divided)

1 3/4 cups drained juice from the canned fruit

2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 quarts water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 (16 ounce) package acini di pepe pasta

2 cans mixed fruit, drained and saved

1 can pineapple tidbits, drained and saved

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1 cup shredded coconut

In a sauce pan, combine sugar, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pineapple juice and eggs. Stir and cook over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat; add lemon juice and cool to room temperature.

Bring water to a boil, add oil, remaining salt and cook pasta until al dente. Rinse under cold water and drain.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, egg mixture, fruit and whipped topping. Mix well and refrigerate overnight or until chilled. Before serving add marshmallows and coconut. Toss and serve.

Easter Rolls

I love Easter and it’s so nice to find a way to make it more meaningful.  I want our boys to know what Easter is all about.  I want them to understand the Passover and that because of a perfect mans willing sacrifice of his own life,  death will only be a sting in the eternal journey of a continued life.  He concurred death so that we can too defeat the grave and be free.  I started searching online for something I could cook up with an analogy.  This was the best thing I could find for explaining the resurrection to a 4 and 5 year old.  It went well and the boys really seemed to understand and grasp onto the meaning.  Not to mention they were delicious and made the house smell TANTALIZING!

I copied the recipe from here:  http://growinggourmets.blogspot.com/2011/04/resurrection-rolls-resurrection-cookies.html

She has some great pictures of the whole process too.  However, when I made them I used crescent rolls.

Easter Rolls

1 can of refrigerated biscuits (crescents)
1 package of large marshmallows, (must be fresh; stale ones won’t work)
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Melt butter in a microwavable bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.

 Have the children each take a marshmallow.  Jesus was pure and sinless which is represented by the white marshmallow.

Now have the children roll the marshmallow in the butter.  After Jesus died on the cross, they anointed his body with oil.

Next, roll the marshmallow in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  This represents the spices that were put on Jesus’ body before they placed him in the tomb.

Take one biscuit and flatten it with your fingers. Wrap the biscuit around the marshmallow and seal it very carefully.  Make sure it completely sealed.  Jesus was placed in the tomb and they rolled a large stone in front of it to seal it.

Roll the ball of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place it on the cookie sheet.  Be sure and place them, seal side down, so the marshmallow doesn’t expand and puff out the top.

Bake the biscuit tombs in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until browned on the outside.  Remind the children that Jesus was sealed up in the tomb for three days.

Finally, remove the biscuits from the oven.  Let cool slightly and encourage them to break open the tomb.  Where is Jesus?  He has risen!  The rolls taste sweet. Easter is a sweet time because Christ died for us and then three days after the cross, he arose so that we also can have a new life in Him!

No-Bake Cookies

Thanks for hanging in here with me!  I know my posts have been few and far between lately.  Let’s just say, as sickening as it is to admit this, we’ve been eating a lot of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and sandwiches.  I love this little kicking boy inside me, but man he really throws off our diet and my relationship with the kitchen.  I mustered up enough energy to make some of the easiest cookies around to appease the boys begging. I was shocked to see that I hadn’t posted our favorite no-bake cookies on here!  So, for your chocolate enjoyment here is some goodness that never gets old.  Oh, and my boys really thought it was hilarious when I told them that some people call them Gorilla Poop cookies.  Enjoy and happy baking!   . . . Oh, and it goes great with a scoop of rainbow sherbet ice cream, mmmm.

No Bake Cookies

Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly:

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup margarine

Add:

1 cup peanut butter

5 Tbsp. Cocoa

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut (opt)

Then add and stir until blended:

3 cups rolled oats

Cool slightly.  Drop onto wax paper in blobs.  Let cool in refrigerator.

Cake Truffles (Guest post)

(I’m so excited that my sister, who is an AMAZING cook/baker has offered to help me out this months and be a guest contributor to my box of recipes.  You’ll love her and you’ll LOVE her recipes.  Anything she puts on here is edible gold, so be sure to save these recipes!)  Here’s Michelle Ouderkirk:

It was just another baby shower. . . . or so I thought. Delicious fruity drinks, decorative cookies, veggie and fruit trays, a variety of salads, etc.,etc., etc.  And then I saw them: CAKE TRUFFLES.  They looked adorable: pastel pink with rainbow sprinkles. I am often disapointed at “cute” treats but NOT this time. The cake truffles tasted delicious. I had to try a couple just to make sure they were really as good to eat as they were to look at . . . they were.   I spent the rest of the baby shower trying to get any information about those cute little truffles – mission accomplished. I’ve been making cake truffles ever since. I make them for work parties, gifts, midnight snacks, company visiting from out of town, and any other excuse I can think of.

Cake Truffles

Ingredients: Be creative with flavors;the possiblities are endless!

One baked cake

One tub frosting (slightly softened)

Dipping chocolate

Instructions:

Let baked cake cool slightly.  Break apart entire cake using fingertips.  Pour all frosting on top of cake crumbs.  Stir to an even consistency.  Shape into balls (a cookie scoop makes it very easy).  Freeze at least 2 hours – I prefer overnight.  Melt dipping chocolate and dip cake balls using skewer or toothpick.  Place on wax paper and let cool.  Decorate as desired.

Helpful hints about Cake Balls/Truffles:

(They’re not all that pretty in the process.  Here’s the cake and frosting balls being put onto the wax paper.)

-Place frosting on top of oven as cake is baking.  This will soften the frosting and make it easier to mix with crumbled cake.

-Use a cookie scoop to form the balls (they are universally shaped and you can pack the dough in fairly tight).  Small and medium sized scoops are what I use most often.  The small scoop uses more dipping chocolate since there are more balls created causing a greater surface area to cover in chocolate.

-Freeze cake balls before dipping.  If the balls are frozen they are more likely to hold their shape while dipping, and your dipping chocolate stays cleaner.

-If cake balls are falling apart while dipping, hand roll cake balls into a more compressed ball and/or place back into the freezer.

-Using ‘candy coating’ in place of dipping chocolate allows for a variety of flavors and colors.

-If dipping chocolate is too thick, add a small amount (teaspoon at a time) of pure vegetable oil, olive oil, or shortening until desired consistency is reached.

-Decorate with a complementary different color of chocolate, sprinkles, and/or decorative-colored sugar.

-With or without chocolate, truffles may be frozen for at least 2 months (maybe more, they just never make it longer than that in my house:). I know the chocolate may ‘sweat’ if refrigerated or frozen but I have never had a problem with it.

-Use a variety of complementary flavors.  Although using milk chocolate cake, frosting and dipping chocolate will be fine it really tastes so much better if all you flavors are NOT the same.

-Here are some fail-proof flavors to mix-and-match:

Cake: yellow, white, milk chocolate, German chocolate, French vanilla

Frosting: cream cheese, vanilla, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, butter cream

Dipping Chocolate: semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, mint chocolate

By far my favorite combination – especially around Christmas:

Chocolate cake- Mix as usual but right before you pour the batter into the baking pan, add 1 tsp. peppermint extract and 2 pulverized candy canes (place in plastic bag and smash with a meat tenderizer)

Cream Cheese Frosting

Dark Chocolate and Mint Chocolate dipping chocolates (equal parts of each)

Mini Pumpkin Pie

Better a late post then no post, right?  With the holidays and the craziness that surrounds them my posts might be sporadic for the next month.  Late on a Sunday night I was asked to help out with my sons Kindergarten Thanksgiving feast they would be having on the following Tuesday morning.  With such short notice I quickly decided that I wanted to make something 1. EASY, 2. cute, 3. yummy, and 4. bite size.  This is what I came up with and they were perfect.

Mini Pumpkin Pie

(I knew I would forgot what I bought so I took a picture so I would remember.  This was my first experience with store bought Pie Crust and I was pleasantly surprised.  The crusts were delicious, but unlike homemade crusts they don’t taste as good over time.  So, these little pies need to be eaten within a day or two, if you want them to taste their best.)

Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix

2 eggs

Evaporated Milk (save the empty can)

2 boxes of Pie Crusts (double crust)

mini muffin pan

whipped cream

grated chocolate

Follow the directions on the Pumpkin Pie Mix to make the Pie filling.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Pull out the pie crusts one at a time and unroll them.  Use the empty evaporated milk can to cut out small circles (just like you would cut out biscuits).  Gently push the circles into the mini muffin pan.  Don’t push the sides much, the crinklier the better.  Now pour some of the pie filling into a plastic baggie. Snip a small hole into one of the bottom corners.  Be sure you hold the corner up when you cut, because the filling is pretty runny.  Handle the bag carefully so you don’t make a big mess, and then pour the filling into each cup, about 3/4 full.  Cover the entire muffin pan with aluminum foil and then cut/rip holes into the aluminum foil where each of the pies are so that the filling is exposed. Try not to expose the crusts, but don’t stress out about making it perfect.  I should have taken a picture of my super messy holes I made into the aluminum foil.  It doesn’t have to look nice!  Bake for 10 minutes.  Now remove the aluminum foil, turn the oven down to 375 degrees, and bake for another 10-12 minutes.  Let cool.  Beautify with whipped cream and grate some chocolate over them all.  Enjoy!!!

Baked French Toast

Here’s another great breakfast that is perfect for making the night before, because who really wants to cook early in the morning?  This was our General Conference Breakfast this last weekend and it was a hit, especially with the homemade whipped cream with orange sprinkles for the season and sausage links.

Baked French Toast

1/2-1 loaf French Bread – cut into 1 inch thick slices

6 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

4 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. salt

Optional:

cinnamon, powdered sugar, strawberries or bananas

Arrange bread pieces into a single layer in a greased 9×13″ pan.  In medium bowl; whisk eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Pour mixture over bread.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.  Sprinkle with cinnamon if you’d like.  Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and serve with powdered sugar, syrup, whipped cream, fruit, etc. Love it!

 

Orange Julius

Here is the basic orange juilius recipe that I grew up with, strait out of my Mom’s box of recipes.  I can’t live with out this one! Best served with delicious French Toast, sausage, and whipped cream:)

Orange Julius

1 6oz. can orange julius, concentrate frozen

1 1/2 cans(the empty OJ can)  water(sometimes I use a little less)

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cans evaporated milk (can imitate with 1/2 as much regular milk)

8-12 ice cubes

Blend everything, except the ice, until smooth.  Add ice and crush.  Yumm!

Caramel Popcorn

I’ve never been a big fan of popcorn.  In fact, when I was younger I would refuse to eat it, along with some other random things like ketchup, all salad dressings, and tomatoes.  Good things our taste buds change over time.  I’ve come to accept this movie theatre treat now.  I still can’t say I love it, but I don’t hate it anymore.  When I do make it I prefer to have it caramel-y and crunchy.  Here’s my favorite easy caramel popcorn recipe.  I found the recipe HERE, and just made a few alterations.

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Caramel Popcorn

4 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

cinnamon (for sprinkling)

Place the popped popcorn into a large brown paper bag or a large container with lid. Set aside.

In a 2 quart casserole dish, or other heat-proof glass dish, combine the brown sugar, margarine, corn syrup, salt and almond extract. Heat for 3 minutes in the microwave, then take out and stir until well blended. Return to the microwave, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave, and stir in the baking soda.

Pour syrup over the popcorn in the bag. Roll down the top once or twice to close the bag, and shake to coat the corn. Place bag into the microwave, and cook for 1 minute and 10 seconds. Remove, shake, flip the bag over, and return it to the microwave. Cook for another 1 minute and 10 seconds. Dump the popcorn out onto waxed paper, sprinkle with cinnamon, and let cool until coating is set. Store in an airtight container.

Now, curl up on your couch and watch a movie as you crunch away on your yummy goodness!