Monday, October 17, 2011

No Bake Granola Bars

I had a bit of a bake-a-thon this weekend and made a few new must-trys that have turned into a huge hit in my home. We are granola bar fanatics. Before the gym, part of lunches, afternoon snacks, grocery store 'save the days' during a 2 year old meltdown. They are an integral part of our life, we eat them by the dozens.

Well step aside Nature Valley, Quaker and the like - I'm making my own now! You most likely have these ingredients in your house, so the cost savings is phenomenal and they are not chock full of preservatives, and taste great! The best part - they are ridiculously easy to make. Need I say more? Go scour your pantry and make these with me...ready?

No Bake Granola Bars
2 1/2 c. Rice Krispys
1 1/2 c. oats
1 c. mixed nuts (roughly chopped)
3/4 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. brown sugar
Craisins & Chocolate Chips optional

First, take a large sheet of foil and line a 8x8 square pan.

Then, combine the Rice Krispys, oats, nuts and your optionl Craisins or Chocolate Chips (I used a handful of Craisins, as I like something chewy).

Next, combine the peanut butter, brown sugar and honey in a microwave safe bowl.

Don't skimp on these proportions or you will have a crumbly mess that won't cut into neat bars (not that I have any idea about this whatsoever). Microwave these ingredients for a minute and stir to combine.

Pour this peanut butter mixture over your dry ingredients and stir to coat well.

Next, pour this into your foil lined pan and press it down nice and compact. If it's not pressed enough, it once again will not cut into neat bars. Let this cool.

Once cool, lift the foil out and peel it back, slice into bars and individually wrap for tasty treats that will disappear quickly.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blogswap Gift Arrives!

This past weekend I was out of town attending a retreat at The Cove, in the beautiful North Carolina Mountains. It felt like Fall and completely put me in the mood for blue jeans and comfort food - with a pair of knee boots and a latte. Upon my return, I found my highly anticipated Blogswap Gift sitting on the counter - just waiting to be opened. (Noelle, I put your gift in the mail today - being out of town put me a bit behind but you'll get it soon!)

Sweet Jeni had my name and put together a fun box of treats...having done some research on my blog and discovering my love of sweets.

For each letter of FALL, they all incorporate my kitchen.

F - Fall Fragrance. It was an Apple Pie scented reed diffuser. I do love the smell (and taste) of apple pie. This gets me in the mood to bake one!

A - Aerated Chocolate. OH HONEY! I'm hiding this from the kiddos. I LOVE the new aerated chocolate and these will go quickly. Thank you for feeding my sweet side!

L - Luminary. Such a precious accent for my kitchen that needed a splash of fall. I love that it's a flameless candle!

L - Linen. This will go perfect in the kitchen as well. Some of my kitchen towels are a bit care worn and I needed an excuse for a new one. This is just the right accent.

And Jeni also typed up the most beautiful poem titled 'God in the Seasons' by Joanna Fuchs. It's such a perfect reminder of seeing the Lord in every stage of life and in every circumstance.

Jeni, my heart is thankful - I appreciate the gifts you sent me!

Happy Fall from North Carolina!


It's a rainy fall day and I'm munching on the remnants of the best peach cobbler I've made to date for breakfast. This past weekend I enjoyed a retreat in the mountains with 300 other women from my church and have come back so refreshed and rejuvenated. The food was amazing and the fellowship and services even better. God is good!

I had a girlfriend call me just before I left telling me about the last of the peaches being sold at one of our favorite farmer's markets for the season. It's my families favorite fruit and I simply couldn't turn down a bushel of them. I was blanching peaches at 6am the morning of my trip and was able to weasel the secret family recipe out of my mother in law, so I could make "THE" peach cobbler. There were so many peaches, I had enough to make one humungus cobbler, and then enough filling for another for the freezer. Ah, the joy, the bliss, the delight! I was a hero in my families eyes as they had a special treat to enjoy while I was off.

But I'm not here to tell you about that recipe, it's a closely guarded family secret that I've only just stumbled upon. Nope, instead it's full speed ahead to fall and all things related to it. That means....Apples and Pumpkins! I have been on an apple kick and eat them with peanut butter, raisins and carmel dip. Apples just say Fall to me, as do Pumpkins.

I have such a great Pumpkin recipe to share with you - this one was a huge hit made by one of the sweet ladies I sing in the choir with at church. She brought it to an event and we all pounced on it like Tigger. After a helping or two and the evening drew to a close, women made up excuses to take some home...'Oh, I've GOT to share this with my husband, may I take a piece home?' - Innocent comments shrouded in the delusion of sharing. We all knew that none of us were sharing a crumb and that all evidence would be eaten, scarfed and licked clean on our respective rides home.

I had to have it, so sweet Sherri emailed it to me and I'm sharing it with all of you. Perfect for crowds or just a hungry family, here is the delicious pumpkin treat to tantalize your tastebuds....Enjoy!

Pumpkin Delight

1 can of pumpkin (15 oz.)
1 large can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1 stick of butter

Mix together the first five ingredients and pour in 9x13 pan. Mix 1 cup pecans with dry cake mix and sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Melt one stick of butter and drizzle over cake mix. Bake one hour at 350 degrees. Let cake cool completely. Put icing on and refrigerate.

1 large container of cool whip
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese

Mix ingredients together and spread over cooled cake and refrigerate.

Happy Fall Y'all!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I've been eating!

I celebrated my birthday this past weekend and boy was it delicious! Somehow I managed to swing 4 celebrations out of it. There was a girlfriend birthday at Buca Di Beppo's where I ordered the largest slab of lasagna you can possibly eat. I was too full for dessert on that one.

Next, I celebrated with my side of the family - my mom makes the best homemade pizza and apple pie that have ever graced the lips of mankind. Soooo good, I can bareley contain my excitement over that wondrous meal. The flakey crust, the warm cinnamon apples with vanilla bean ice cream. Oh hold me back!

Then, I celebrated with my husband's side of the family. Can I just say that the Barbeque Ranch Chicken Salad from Cheesecake Factory is a rock star meal? Top it off with a fun Oreo chocolate chip ice cream cake and life is good!

I celebrated with my immediate family and polished off the perfect ice cream sundae after a mexican feast, and now I'm sitting here pondering the caloric intake and regretting that the Zumba DVD has been collecting dust over the past week.

That's where I've been folks - eating 'til my heart's content.

I hope you are well. Stay tuned for a fun fall dessert later this week!