Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Melissa!! (+ favorite recipe)

In honor of my sister's birthday today I decided to share what has been our favorite family recipe for about 3 years now.  It was my first healthy recipe to ever receive and we still absolutely love it!

When I asked my sister the other day what she was hoping to receive for her birthday, the only thing she said was "your peanut butter bars" so guess what...I'm about to head into the kitchen and whip some up!  She's going to get a little more than just the bars but that is to remain a surprise for now :-)

As for my sister, she is literally the best sister a girl could ever ask for.  I remember in high school being so annoyed with her and someone telling me the wisest words: Someday she'll be your best friend.  I sure scoffed at them then but their words proved true...she is my best friend!  I am blessed to live near my sister where our kids can grow up together and hopefully be best friends too (our 2nd sons were born only 1 day apart!).  My sister is the most loving, patient friend and mom.  She sacrifices more for her family than most people will ever know.  And she sacrifices much for me and my family as well.

This is a tribute to her and I hope she doesn't mind my sharing our last photo taken together:

Happy Birthday Melissa!!!

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

In a large bowl combine the following:
½ cup honey
Just over 1 c peanut butter (chunky or creamy – if creamy you can add some chopped pecans)
1 cup oats (I use ¼ c steel cut oats, ¾ c rolled oats – you can use all of one or whatever combo of both to get the consistency you like.  If you use quick cooking oats you might want to cut back cooking time a little)
¾ c granola
You can add anything you like – butterscotch chips, cc chips, chopped m&m (after cooking), etc…
Microwave for 2 min, mix ingredients
Microwave for an additional 2 min, mix ingredients
Cover baking sheet with wax paper or tin foil, spread mix over paper and let sit for a few hours.  (I actually cover over the top too and then use a rolling pin to roll them flat and even.  Then I refrigerate them.)
Cut into bars – enjoy!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chocolate Chip Bread Bites...or are they cookies??

Today was a special day for us.  My little guy turned 6!  I made these wonderful from-a-box cupcakes that were dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, sugar-free.  (Believe it or not, they really are good!!)  At the party this one little cutie says "no thankyou" to the cupcakes.  I said, "Really? Are you sure?" and he said, "I've already had two donuts today.  I can't have any more sugar."  (Cheers to his mom!)  I was so impressed!  So I said, "Well, guess what!  These don't have any sugar in them!" and with that three kids at the table pushed them away and said, "Ew!  I don't want to eat these!"  Oh well...  You win some (1) and lose some (3).

I changed up my Recipe page and won't be posting any recipes on there from this point on but will be catching up on all the past recipes and re-posting them.  They will now be accessible to everyone.  Today I'm transferring over the recipe that has been on that page (for the past 6 months...oops it's July... so 7 months!) to this post. 

And I have a favor to ask.  If you look to the right ------------> where the "email" button is, would you please enter your email to receive subscriptions straight to your inbox when I publish new posts?  Once you enter it you will receive a confirmation email.  Just open the email and click to confirm.  I'd love to get my numbers up a little bit and would appreciate the help!  Thank you!!

Here's the Recipe.  It's a favorite!  I made it for our recent trip to California.  It traveled well and gave us energy for both Legoland and Sea World.  I hope you love it as much as we do!

Re-posted from January 2012:  I found this recipe last week and immediately had to hop off my bed and run to make it.  It only has a few ingredients and is super quick to whip up, making them a truly perfect recipe.  BUT while they were called cookies in her blog (Chocolate Covered Katie), and they look like cookies, they do NOT taste like cookies.  Once I got over the non-cookie-tasting cookies, I loved them. 

I have adjusted a few ingredients and renamed the recipe to be Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bread Bites.  Because they really are like eating little oatmeal bread bites...or Chippers as Paradise Bakery might call them.  They're great for a solid snack, easy to grab for on-the-go, great breakfast for kids before school (and they're sweet!).  They are gluten-free AND sugar free!  My kids didn't like them at first but, as with all of my clean-eating snacks, they are adjusting and just gobbled up a few of the ones that came out of the oven moments ago.  So here you are...have fun trying variations of this recipe and enjoy!

Chocolate-Chip Oatmeal Bread Bites

· 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
· 1 cup applesauce (or a little less)
· 1/2 cup organic or all-natural peanut butter (try with almond butter too!)
· 1-2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
· 1 tsp vanilla
· 1/2 tsp cinnamon
· 1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt (depends on how salty you like it)
· Chocolate chips (I didn't measure, just poured in until I was satisfied)
· Preheat oven to 350 degrees
· Mix all ingredients together in one bowl.  This is a moist dough.  I kept adding more oatmeal to make it a little stiffer until I got to the amount I listed above.
· Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet
· Bake for 30 - 35 min  (less if you like moister cookies, more if you want a more crisp top)
· yields 2 dozen
Isn't that the easiest recipe ever!  You can do raisins/craisins instead of chocolate chips.  Add in some chopped nuts.  Change out 2 over-ripe mashed bananas for the applesauce for more of a banana bread taste.  So many options!  This is super healthy.  Add in 1 T ground flax-seed for more of a health kick (ooh - why am I just thinking of that now?  I'm definitely doing that next time!)  Take out the maple syrup if you want it less sweet.

I hope you love these as much as I do!

With clean-eating recipes, food doesn't expand as it bakes.  Feel free to pack them on the tray!  They'll come out exactly the same size that you plopped them on at. (pre-baking pic)

Post-baking picture.  They look pretty much the same. 
Bake 5 min longer if you want them a little more browned on top.