In case you were unaware, kindergarten really makes a kid hungry! Even with a morning snack and a full lunch, he still comes home looking for food. Lots of learning and multiple recesses must really work up an appetite. So in my journey to figuring out this ‘having a kid in school’ thing, I have been looking for and experimenting with all sorts of meal and snack ideas. Since he is a peanut butter LOVER and has recently discovered the joys of marshmallow creme, I knew this would be something he would enjoy. I was able to mix it together real fast before I picked him up and then upon returning home I sliced an apple and we got to dipping! He loved it and there was plenty so we stored it in an airtight container and enjoyed it for a few days. With only 3 ingredients it is simple and easy and great on apples or even on graham crackers!
According to the calendar, fall is still a week away…but according to the cool, gentle breeze outside, fall has arrived. I was absolutely ecstatic to put on jeans, socks and slippers the other day while cooking up some good ol’ comfort food. And after my monthly stack of magazines arrived last week (I’m always excited for fresh reading material!), I was flipping through Food Network Magazine and spied their list of an entire month of apple recipes. Then my Friday afternoon turned into a loaf of applesauce granola bread and a batch of these little beauties.
If you’re a fan of soft, cake-like cookies, these are for you. Full of spice and grated apple, these cookies are just begging to be made on a cool, fall afternoon. Don’t skip the glaze, it’s the icing on the, errr, cookie
- 2¼ cups FLOUR
- 1 cup OLD-FASHIONED OATS
- 1 teaspoon GROUND CINNAMON
- ¾ teaspoon BAKING POWDER
- ½ teaspoon BAKING SODA
- ½ teaspoon SALT
- ¼ teaspoon GROUND ALLSPICE
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) BUTTER, melted and cooled slightly
- ½ cup BROWN SUGAR
- ½ cup WHITE SUGAR
- 2 EGGS
- 1 GALA or FUJI APPLE, coarsely grated
- 2 teaspoons VANILLA
- 1 cup POWDERED SUGAR
- 2 Tablespoons MILK
- ½ teaspoon GROUND CINNAMON
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line baking sheets with Silpat mats or parchment paper.
- Combine flour, oats, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and allspice in a bowl.
- Stir together butter, sugars and eggs in a large bowl. Add grated apple and vanilla, stir well. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Use a cookie scoop (mine was 1½ Tablespoons) to scoop dough onto baking sheets. The cookies can be fairly close together because they don't spread out too much.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes until set around the edges. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.
- Stir together powdered sugar, milk and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Spoon onto cooled cookies.
Recipe Source: Food Network Magazine October 2014
Fresh apple faves…
This Family Size Batch of Basic Granola makes enough to feed a crowd and is a super breakfast or snack!
I have spent all of last weekend down and out on the couch with lower back pain…absolutely no work or play for me. Thankfully, yesterday I made it into the chiropractor and I’m on the mend. Hopefully I’ll be like new by the end of the week, at least my house is sure hoping so. My people helped hold things together while I could barely move, but there’s just no way like mama’s way to do things
Today I bring you…the most basic granola ever. My kids have been scarfing this stuff right and left. They would eat it all day long if I let them. They love it with milk or yogurt or dry as a snack. You see the need for a family size batch, otherwise it would be gone before I blinked! You can easily add dried fruit or nuts if you like, but we like to stick to the basics in regards to granola.
It’s so simple to make and have on hand for the before-school-rush-to-get-out-the-door. You could also package it up in small portions to go in a lunchbox and it makes a great fruit and yogurt parfait too. It’s super versatile, which is one of the reasons we’ve been making it since way back when. I’ve tweaked it a bit and it’s completely irresistible…seriously, just try letting it cool on the counter without walking by 17 times to taste just a little bit.
That’s right, THE Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, you only need 3 ingredients to make this mouthwatering meat for sandwiches, tacos and more!
I cook pork shoulder at least once a month. It’s super versatile and a main dish that our family loves. I own a smoker, which I love, but I don’t always have time to babysit the meat while it cooks. But I have finally found a pulled pork recipe that is made in the slow cooker that tastes like it was made in the oven or maybe even the smoker. My husband is partial to the smoked meat – who wouldn’t be?! So the first time I made this, I didn’t tell him it I made it in the crock pot because I didn’t want him to judge the taste based on that. He really liked it and gave it a thumbs up. I think I’ve made it twice since then.
There’s a tiny bit of science behind the prep to this recipe. When I smoke meat in the smoker, I brine it in a salt water brine to add flavor and make the meat more tender. Since we’re cooking this in the crock pot, we don’t have to worry about losing moisture, but we want to enhance the flavor. To do that, we’re going to salt the entire piece of meat and wrap it up for several hours before we cook it. I know, I know – it takes a little bit of planning ahead, but nothing is difficult about the actual process. After it’s been salted and sits awhile, throw it in the slow cooker with a little more salt and liquid smoke and your work is done. 8 to 10 hours later, you’re ready to pull the pork and serve it with BBQ sauce on buns, in a taco or however you like….
This recipe for Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches is brought to you by International Delight.
Lately I honestly find myself wanting to be far, far away from the kitchen. I guess it’s just the summer itch to be outside soaking up the sun and making memories with my kids. But summer also brings the desire for all things cold and frozen. So this is my solution to heading out of the kitchen, but still having a cool treat ready to enjoy at any time. Feel free to personalize them by using your favorite store bought cookies.
Minty and refreshing…Peppermint Pattie Cookies will satisfy any chocolate craving.
So…how was your weekend? We have family in town and we’ve just been hanging out enjoying the lovely weather. You know how it is before you have house guests…the big scramble to clean every crevice that has been over looked in the last few months, making sure there’s clean sheets so everyone will be comfy and getting a menu together so nobody gets hangry. That leaves little time for baking up a welcoming treat…unless you whip these babies up. They’ll be ready in no time, so you’ll have a few extra minutes to finish up the guest bedroom.
Cake mix cookies are becoming my go-to, quick
sometimes lazy gal’s version of cookies. You really can’t beat 3 or 4 ingredients mixed together and into the oven they go. I mean, it’s summer – quick and easy is the name of the game. I also love cake mix cookies because you can make them anywhere you are and you don’t have to worry about your MIL’s baking soda being past the expiration date.
Peppermint patties and minty chocolate cookies are made for each other no matter what time of year it is. In fact, they’re especially refreshing in the summer heat
- 1 box DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE MIX
- 1 EGG
- ½ cup BUTTER, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon PURE PEPPERMINT EXTRACT
- 1 8 oz. pkg. YORK PEPPERMINT PATTIE MINIS
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a mixer, thoroughly combine cake mix, butter, egg and extract.
- Scoop dough into 1 Tablespoon sized balls, roll until smooth and place on baking sheet. Press down slightly with your hand.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes until slightly puffed and the edges start to crack.
- Press two peppermint pattie minis* into the middle of each cookie immediately after removing from the oven.
- Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 2½ dozen cookies
More cookies to love…
A peanut butter lover’s version of a classic treat…Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats are the perfect for your next get together, as an afternoon snack or just because!
I feel like you can never have enough RKT versions to fall back on when you are eluded by what to make as a dessert. I mean, you really can’t go wrong by starting with cereal and marshmallows and adding chocolate and peanut butter. The fact that kids and adults love them and there’s no baking required is just a bonus. I love how the mini peanut butter cups absolutely perfect the chocolate peanut butter ratio of these bars. And don’t offer these to a crowd before you’ve secretly hid one for yourself…they go super fast, just sayin’
More RKT to love…
Banana Cream Pie Rice Krispie Treats from Crazy for Crust
Pay Day Krispy Bars from Lady Behind the Curtain
Your favorite Girl Scout cookies meets your morning muffin in this Thin Mint Streusel Muffins recipe!
There are few things better than a warm muffin alongside a steaming, hot cup of coffee. They go together so well, in fact, I’ve considered telling my husband that he’s the muffin to my morning coffee because some things should just be together.
So this muffin, this muffin…absolutely incredible. A buttery vanilla muffin full of Thin Mint cookie chunks and topped with Thin Mint cookie streusel…there are few words to describe this amazing-ness. The only way you’re going to know is to make them yourself! Serve them with coffee, of course, for breakfast or brunch. They’d also make a fun lunchbox treat or after school snack. Seriously, just do it!
More muffins to love…
Easy and kid friendly Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are a quick meal the whole family will enjoy!
Selective eaters…one of the great joys of parenting. Seriously, I can’t keep up with all of the things my kids abruptly decide that they don’t care for from one day to the next. I don’t plan meals around their preferences (being picky is not an allergy!). I’m of the philosophy that dinner is what’s on the table – there will be another meal come breakfast time if you don’t eat this one.
Pepperoni is always a winner at my house, so adding that to a meal almost guarantees that they’ll eat it. Grilled cheese sandwiches, also a winner, serve with pizza sauce or tomato soup for dipping and you’ve got a quick weeknight meal. This recipe could also be called – grilled cheese for a crowd. Crank up that oven and bake the sandwiches all at once so that everyone sits down to eat together. Feel free to add other pizza toppings to your sandwich as you like – it’s all gooey and delicious
This is my first year with a child old enough to be in preschool. With that comes a lot of firsts. One of those is having a class full of kids for holiday parties. So as Valentine’s Day rolls around I wonder what I could do that would be cute, fun for him to help with, and NOT involve candy! I’m assuming that he will get more than enough candy from the other kids, not including what he is likely to end up with from his grandparents. So after doing some brainstorming and research, which involve some searching of Pinterest. I decide on crayons. We love art and coloring and I fell in love when I saw this melted crayon heart idea on Buzzfeed. It’s adorable and the perfect way to use up the broken crayons at the bottom of the box. It gets a little tedious because you have to take all of the wrappers off the crayons. But once I got into the rhythm of cutting and peeling, it went pretty fast. It is fun for the kids to help break the crayons into smaller pieces and my boys loved helping pick out some color combos. I really liked the monochromatic ones but the multicolored ones are fun too. The great thing is they are all unique. I had also hoped the find a silicone heart mold but didn’t have much luck outside of ordering it online. But I finally found a heart cookie mold pan in the Valentine’s Day section at Target and while I was slightly skeptical, it was PERFECT! Each heart had a different detail or design which added just another element to the uniqueness of each crayon! I love the way they turned out and think they make the perfect Valentine’s Day Card!
I got the idea for crayon valentines from The Nerd’s Wife, but made a few adjustments. Here is what I did…..
First, I dug through the crayon box and pulled out all of the broken pieces. Beyond that I just chose a good selection from every color group. Then I carefully cut through the wrapper so that it peels easily away.
Next, we broke the crayons into small pieces and sorted them by color. I like to include the neutrals such as brown, black, gray, and white because I think it adds a little something to all of the color chaos.
Then, we let our creative juices flow as we combined colors and picked which colors would go in which mold. The kids loved this part!!
Now, they were ready to be melted! I placed the sheet in a 200 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. Or until all of the pieces are liquid. Then remove the pan VERY CAREFULLY as it is all liquid and can spill very easily. I love this part because it is so deceiving. I would look at one in the pan and think “Yuck that one just turned out an ugly brown!” or “Those colors didn’t melt well together!” But then when I popped them out the front was a wonderful marbled array of vibrant color. When removing them, keep in mind that the cooler they are the easier they come out. If some are stubborn you can stick them in the freezer for awhile to help the process.
Finally attach it to a card or put it in a cute Valentine’s Day bag. I made a card that says “Hope You Have a Fantastic Valentine’s Day for CRAYON Out Loud!” Then used a little hot glue to adhere the crayon to the card and had Jonah sign them. How adorable! My printable is available here!
We hope you have a fantastic Valentine’s Day full of LOVE!
For another great Valentine’s Day Card idea check out: VALENTINE’S DAY ROCKETS