Royal Icing recipe you all need…for real.

Royal Icing recipe you all need…for real.

Such a great frosting if you need to decorate and don’t want anything runny. Every single recipe always asks for meringue powder…which I don’t have in my home. So I was pleased to see this one didn’t. There are recipes … Continue reading

Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters

I love eating granola. I could seriously go through a whole bag or container of it in one day. My favorite are the cluster kinds- it’s delicious. On top of that, I am a fan of homemade food so this was my fav.

Recently we just added a sweet new baby to the mix of our family. One of my good friends probably didn’t know this ( I call her my sista from another mista) came over and brought me a delicious jar full of this mix. I needed this recipe stat. Not only did I enjoy it, but my three year old AND my husband enjoyed it. That means, that jar was gone within a day or two…I was so bummed. Thankfully, she let me have this recipe. It is gluten-free, refined sugar free, soy free and has a grain-free option. I was excited because for me, I like to watch my sugar intake and love when there are substitutes that make it just as scrumptious. You can probably add whatever the heck you want, but this is a good start. I may have to add other things into the mix possibly.

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(that picture makes me want to make another batch)

So, I wanted to share this recipe with you all too. Many people I feel are on gluten diets and sometimes it’s hard to find some real good ones. I do have a sister who does need to be on the gluten free diet for a reason and whenever there is something good, I like to share and help others out. It’s really not that difficult to make which makes it even better!!

Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters

Makes 6 cups (eighteen 1/3 cup/75-mL servings)

Prep time: 15 minutes .   Cook Time: 38-45 minutes 

Ingredients

1 c. whole raw almonds

1/2 c. raw walnut halves or pieces

3/4 c. gluten-free rolled oats

1/2 c. raw buckwheat groats or gluten-free rolled oats

2/3 c. mixed dried fruit (such as cranberries, apricots, cherries, etc).

1/2 c. raw pepita seeds ( I used chia seeds)

1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds

1/3 c. shredded unsweetened coconut

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. fine-grain sea salt

1/4 c. + 2 TBL pure maple syrup or other liquid sweetener ( I use raw honey)

1/4 c. coconut oil, melted

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

 

1. Preheat the oven to 275° F (140° C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place 1/2 cup of the almonds into a food processor and process for about 10 seconds, until a fine meal forms (similar to texture to sand). Transfer the almond meal to a large bowl.

3. In the food processor, combine the remaining 1/2 cup almonds and all the walnuts and process for about 5 seconds, until finely chopped. You’ll be left with some larger pieces and some powdery meal, which is what you want. Add the mixture to the bowl with the almond meal.

4. Add the oats, buckwheat groats, dried fruit, pepita seeds (or chia), sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon, and salt to the large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

5. Add the maple syrup, melted oil, and vanilla to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until throughly combined.

6. With a spatula, spread the granola into a 1/2 inch layer on the prepared baking sheet and gently press down to compact it slightly. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate he pan and bake for 18-20 minutes more, or until the granola is lightly golden on the bottom and firm to the touch.

7. Cool the granola on the pan for at least 1 hour before breaking it apart into clusters.

8. Serve the granola in a glass jar in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks or freeze it for 4 to 5 weeks.

Tip: If you’d like to make a completely grain-free granola, simply replace the buckwheat groats and rolled oats with an additional 1 cup finely chopped nuts. 

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Moms Homemade Mint Brownies

I was hoping to get this post up before St. Patricks Day but these days, getting certain things done on time isn’t always going to happen (I have been realizing more and more lately). So if you still want to celebrate or if you want a yummy new brownie recipe, I’ve got it.

These brownies are quite scrumptious. My beautiful mama would make these occasionally for the family and it’s one of those special desserts as a child and now, as an adult, I have never forgotten. I love peppermint/ mint desserts or anything with mint ( I should say) so I love these ones! So will you too if you enjoy a nice fresh mint flavor.

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Here is the recipe, and enjoy!!

Moms Mint Brownies

1st layer

1 c. granulated sugar

4 eggs

1/2 c. melted butter

1 can hershey’s syrup (16 oz.)

1 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Using beaters, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat until well blended. Bake 20 minutes in greased baking sheet at 350. Cool 10 minutes and then refrigerate 20 minutes.

2nd layer (Mint filling)

1/2 c. margarine

2 c. powdered sugar

2 TBL. water

1 tsp. peppermint or mint extract

4-5 drops of green food coloring…or a little dap of Wilsons

Using beaters, mix together well. Spread over 1st layer and refrigerate 20 minutes.

3rd layer (chocolate top)

1/2 c. butter

1 c. chocolate chips

Melt on stove top and cool for about 15 minutes after everything is smooth. Spread over 2nd layer and refrigerate for 5 minutes. Cut into little squares. (Should cut nicely). No need to over cool and no need to refrigerate after.

My little guy loves to help and wanted to include these gems of his in the pic. Legos and the hulk. They were also our helpers in the making.

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And nothing like some chocolate syrup involved too…I may need to change this recipe to dark chocolate though next time. That is one of our favs in this family. So for sure, you can definitely substitute milk chocolate to dark chocolate!

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1st layer…the brownies.

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2nd layer…mint filling.

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3rd layer…chocolate frosting

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…and you’re delicious finished product!

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::Red Velvet Cupcakes::

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Let me first tell you, that little helper of mine couldn’t wait to get his hands on one of them. (Can’t ya tell)? How could you not want a cupcake though? Especially one with a nice cream cheese based frosting dolloped on the top? I know I couldn’t resist. Sorry to all those on the New Year resolutions of healthy eating…but hey, that’s what working out is for right??

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So yes. Red velvet cupcakes. That is what we baked in the kitchen today. It made me think of Valentines day already…I am going to hashtag only once for no complete reason…#howcrazyamI??? I just can barely believe we are in the mid of January already! Freezing cold over here…which I guess for us, it’s that time of year.

If you’re looking for an easy, yummy dessert to hand out…or make for yourself. Or your family. Or your significant other for Valentines day, here it is!

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Recipe adapted by Food Network

Sweet Potatoes (With Honey & Rosemary)

I feel I’m always at the grocery store. Whether it is for some random ingredient I forgot, or just being lazy and not planning out my ‘weekly’ meal plan I feel everyone does…which is smart. I just don’t think like that. Anywho, this is so random but I was grabbing my normal things I needed from produce and saw the sweet potatoes and wanted to make something with that…and I made it happen. This goes excellent with one of the recipes I shared, Roasted Pork Tenderloin. It was yummy. Plus, I love roasted veggies. So I couldn’t go wrong. Thanks again to Fork Knife Swoon for sharing this!

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Sweet Potatoes (With Honey & Rosemary)
2 lbs sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs honey
4- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400º.

2. Place sweet potatoes in a flat layer on a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or rimmed baking sheet. Place rosemary sprigs on top of sweet potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and honey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Roast, stirring occasionally for 35 to 45 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork tender. Serve hot.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Orange Herb Sauce

Who is ready for fall?? I kinda am. I can’t wait to bring out my favorite fall recipes. (I will probably regret saying that because I love the sunshine and the heat). Well, I had to bust one out since its been somewhat cooler in our neck of the woods.
We love roasted pork tenderloin. This marinade/ sauce was excellent with this as well. If you really like rosemary too, this is a winner.

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Roasted Pork Tenderloin (with Orange Sauce)

Ingredients
2 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
For the marinade:
1 cup fresh orange juice (about 3 oranges)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced

Instructions:
1.Make the marinade. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well combined.
2.Cut the pork into 4-5 equal pieces. Pour the marinade over the meat and let marinate for at least an hour and up to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Before cooking, let the pork come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
3.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork to the pan, reserving the marinade, and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes per side.
4.Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the pork is cooked through but still slightly pink in the middle, about 25-35 minutes. A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat should read at least 155 degrees.
5.While the meat is roasting, heat the reserved marinade in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, then turn the heat down to low and let simmer until the pork is done.
6.Remove the pork from the oven and let rest on a cutting board, loosely covered in aluminum foil, about 10 minutes. Cut into thin slices and serve warm with the orange sauce.

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From Fork Knife Swoon ( go check them out)!

Chicken & Avocado salad with lime and cilantro

This summer I’ve been on this weird lime and cilantro kick. I don’t know why but it sure tastes good…! My husband has been noticing- but who wouldn’t mind that? So here is a real delicious summer salad we both really enjoyed. You can do lettuce wraps with it, croissants or whatever you want. We just ate it as a salad…Hope you all enjoy!

Chicken and Avocado Salad with Lime and Cilantro

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded into large pieces
2 medium avocados, diced
1 T + 1 T fresh squeezed lime juice
salt, to taste (I didn’t use too much salt because you can always add more at the table.)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (or chop it more coarsely if you prefer)
2 T mayo or light mayo

Instructions:
Shred the chicken apart until you have 2 cups of chicken shredded into fairly large chunks. Dice the avocados into medium-sized pieces, mix with 1 T of the lime juice, and season avocado with salt to taste. Thinly slice the green onion and finely chop the cilantro. Mix mayo and 1 T lime juice to make the dressing.

Put the chicken into a bowl large enough to hold all the salad ingredients. Add the sliced green onions and dressing and toss until all the chicken is coated with dressing. Add the avocado and any lime juice in the bottom of the bowl and gently combine with the chicken. Then add the chopped cilantro and gently mix into the salad, just until it is barely combined.

Serve right away or chill for a while before serving. This could be served inside pita bread or sandwich bread, or inside crisp lettuce cups, but we just ate it as a salad. (I would imagine this would be fine in the fridge overnight but I didn’t have any left over when I made it!)

Compliments to Kalyns Kitchen.

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Crockpot French Onion Soup

I don’t know about your neck of the woods but ours, our weather has been quite different than the norm for winter. Real mild, somewhat cool but almost fall like. Kinda crazy…Anywho, I have been craving french onion soup with this kind of weather and what better than one of my favorite food blogs to have this delicious recipe. On top of that, an easy one!

I love when I see the word crockpot in a recipe, because I know it will cook for hours…and I won’t have to do a whole ton! Hope you all enjoy.

makes a giant pot, about 8-10 servings

4 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons flour

8 ounces of ginger ale…recipe asks for beer

64 ounces of low-sodium beef stock

2 tablespoons fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

french bread

gruyere cheese, sliced

Set your crock pot on high, then add onions, garlic, brown sugar, butter, salt and balsamic and mix until combined. Cover and let cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are a bit caramely and brown on the edges. Add in flour, then stir thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes. Add in beer, beef stock, thyme, and pepper, then turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 6-8 hours.

Before serving, cut french bread or baguette into slices. Fill soup bowls to the top, then cover with slice of bread and a slice of cheese. Set under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Be careful when serving as bowls will be hot!