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Movie Time!

For us, Sunday’s are our ‘down-time’ days. Unless we have something specifically planned, we tend to just hang out at home, as a family in the afternoon and evening. Which also means no fancy dinners coming from this lady. To be honest, take out pizza is a big hit at our place…
But, one of our other favorites is popcorn. And last year sometime, I found a recipe (yes, on Pinterest) for diy kettle corn. If there’s one thing in a sucker for at county fairs and festivals, its kettle corn. The smell is tantalizing. It just begs you to buy the giant (yes, you have to get the giant one) bag and eat bite and sweet and salty bite. Mmmm.
Okay, I won’t torture you any more…

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DIY Kettle Corn

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup popcorn seeds
Salt to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat until hot (I don’t have a specific temperature, I just wait til its hot)
Add the popcorn and sugar and quickly stir with a wooden spoon. (or something that can withstand the heat)
Put the cover in and wait to hear a couple pops of the popcorn.
Using hot pads, hold the handles of the pot while also holding the lid on. Shake the pit back and forth a few times and return to heat. Continue to do this until most of the popcorn is popped. Usually when it gets down to a couple pops every few seconds, its done.
Be careful not to burn the sugar. I’ve done that a few too many times and its not yummy when half of it is burnt.
So shaking the pot is very important!

As soon as it’s done popping, carefully pour the popcorn into a large bowl and salt to taste.

Enjoy!

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Gluten Free Pie Crust

My mother-in-law has Celiac’s and has for years. It seems to be a growing trend these days and I, myself, have even had issues with wheat and flour products. I won’t even to begin to tell you the reasons for this, it would take me all day!

Either way, I love to find yummy treats and food to make for her, not to mention, it’s usually healthier for the rest of my family as well.

Well, in honor of Pi Day (Pi=3.14… March 14th is 3/14…you get it, right? Yes, I am that big of a nerd, thanks for my Calc teacher, in high school) I decided to make a pie. A chocolate one, to be exact. I will share that recipe with you as well, but right now, it’s just the crust.

If you’re scared of making gluten free foods, or just starting out, don’t fret. I’ve made many mistakes already with things not tasting good and such. It’s quite sad after you put the money, time and effort into it. But oh well. This one seems to be a winner! (and paired with chocolate or fruit filling…it can’t be bad, right?)

Gluten Free Pie Crust (adapted from Primal Palate)
Yield: make about 1 1/2, 9-inch crusts

2 1/2 cups almond flour (I was a little short so I had to add about a 1/4 cup Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil, (soft, but not melted. It softens pretty easily when you stir)
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. I found it best to whisk it together
In a small bowl, combine, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk until mostly smooth I had a few chunks of coconut oil that I tried to break up with my fingers.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix. I started out by using a rubber scraper, but eventually had to use my hands. It was pretty sticky at first, but the more I kneaded it, the more pliable and dough like it became. So don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and go at it!
Spray the bottom of a 9 or 10-inch pie pan with non stick cooking spray. Carefully press the dough into the pan and up the sides a bit. (I ended up burning my crust after the filling was in, so don’t press it up too far!) If you have some left over, you can use it in little tart pans for for some mini ‘pies’.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, and bake crust(s) for 10-15 minutes or until golden. Let cool.
Then add whatever filling you want.

Note: If the pie filling needs to be baked, I would almost suggest not baking the crust until you are ready to bake the filling. Maybe the crust won’t burn as easily then. Or, if you have a crust shield, that would keep the crust from burning after you add the filling to bake as well. 

Enjoy!

DIY Ketchup

Have you ever been making lunch for your kids (or yourself) and realize you’re out of ketchup? I have…a lot. Last time I went grocery shopping, I walked by the ketchup and thought to myself, “We have enough ketchup at home. I don’t need to buy any this time” 

Needless to sayI was wrong.

I did need ketchup. I didn’t buy any. And now my kids are kethcup-less with their chicken nuggets, tater tots, and hot dogs…it’s a sad day at our house when there is not enough ketchup to go around.

Then, one day, it occurred to me. Why don’t I make my own ketchup? DUH!

This was a complete break through for me. And with my pregnancy brain lately…almost everything is a breakthrough for me.

As you may have already guessed, I started Pinterest-ing and found hundreds thousands many recipes for diy ketchup. There’s kinds you can ‘can’ (thought that sentence sounded weird with to ‘can’s in a row..) However, I just wanted something I could whip up and throw in the fridge. 

I looked at a couple that had some weird ingredients and that doesn’t work. I need something that I will always have the ingredients for.

DIY Ketchup (adapted from Basic Ingrdients)
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

1 (6oz) can tomato paste
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp molasses
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup water (if you want it a little thicker)

In a small/medium bowl, whisk together all in ingredients except water. Slowly add the water while continuing to whisk. It will seem a little lumpy as first, but trust me, it comes together in the end 🙂

Keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. You can use the container you mixed it in (I mixed mine up in a Pyrex), or buy a special squeezy bottle for your ketchup, and even using an empty ketchup bottle from the store would work too!

 

note: I took some pictures with my phone, but it’s not working to upload them on here right now. So you’ll have to take my word for it when I say this ketchup, like the stuff you buy from the store, is red. 🙂

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

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It may not be fall, but I still love pumpkin! (shocking, I know)

So, this morning I felt like baking some muffins for the kiddos and since my youngest was having a tantrum for and hour in his room, i figured, what the hey, now’s my chance.
Off I went perusing my Clean Eating Pinterest Board.

The first recipe I came across (that I had all the ingredients for) was mine. And it’s good thing I stocked up on pumpkin last fall!!!

These were super easy, grain, egg, and oil free. (if you want them to be gluten free, make sure you buy gluten free oats).

You can really get creative with these muffins too! You could add chocolate chips (yum!), banana, cranberries, raisins, nuts, different yogurt flavors, anything really!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Muffins (adapted from Spokane Dinner Club)
Yield: 12 muffins

2 1/2 cups oats (instant or regular)
1 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup add-ins (nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, etc)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners, or spray the tin. (I used a silicone pan with spray and it worked perfectly!)

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In a blender or food processor, blend the oats until they look close to a flour texture. Pour into mixing bowl (a kitchen-aid would probly work, I used a regular bowl and a whisk) Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the 1/2 cup of add-ins and mix/whisk together until well blended.
Then add the add-in of your choice.
Divide the batter between your 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for a few minutes before eating 🙂

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Buck-Eye Bark

What is Christmas without some good ‘ol peanut butter!?!?!?!

According to my hubby, awesome. As he doesn’t like hates loathes  anything to do with peanuts or peanut butter. Weird, I know.  Oh well, I love him anyway 🙂

Normally I would have at least 3 things peanut butter on my Christmas cookie list. This year: one. Numero uno.

But let me tell me, it’s so worth it.

I am a fan of peanut butter balls, or better known as in the good ‘ol state of Ohio (O-H-I-O!), buckeye’s. And as you may know, a good friend of mine, (I won’t mention any names, *cough, Beth, cough* is from Ohio and VERY proud of it!)

So, I found this recipe on, you guessed it, Pinterest! I was sold. Chocolate. Peanut butter.

My description of these is this: buckeye’s in bark form.

Another plus is that they were so easy! The hardest part, was cutting the chocolate coating. Seriously. That’s it. And if you’re man is around, make him do it…lol

Buck-eye Bark (from Live Sigma Kappa)

2 1/2 lbs chocolate candy coating
1 (16.3 oz) jar (about 2 cups) creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt half the chocolate (1 1/4 lb if you are weighing it like I did) according to package directions. I just did mine in a pot on the stove. I just kept in a low heat. Spread the melted chocolate on parchment paper line cookie sheet. Don’t spread too thin. Only 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Place in freezer until firm,

In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla. Blend until creamy. (it will be pretty thick) Remove the first layer of chocolate from the freezer and spread the peanut butter mixture over the chocolate. Place back in the freezer until firm.

Melt the other half of the chocolate. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Place back in the freezer until the top layer is firm.

Once firm, break the bark up into small-ish pieces using a large knife.

Store in the fridge or freezer until served.

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Flamingo, 2011

Fantasy Fudge

My mom makes he best fudge.
No. Really. She does.
This recipe is one I’ve been making (and eating) with her since I was a kid.
It wasn’t until recently that I found out the recipe she’s used is found on the back of the marshmallow creme jar…oh well. It’s still the best fudge ever.

I usually have to make two or three batches of this stuff, cause everyone loves it and I like to give it as gifts as well.

Life’s just better with fudge. That’s all there is to it.

Fantasy Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 (12oz) pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (7oz) marshmallow creme
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium sauce pan, combine sugar, butter, and milk; bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Cotinue stirring constantly and let boil for 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 234 degrees F.
Once it reaches the desired temperature, remove from heat and mix in chocolate chips until melted.
Add marshmallow creme and vanilla until well blended.
Pour into a greased (or parchment paper lined) 9×13 or 8×8 pan. (depending on whether you want thick or thin fudge)
Let cool before cutting into squares.
Store in refrigerator.

Flamingo #4, 2008

Flamingo #4, 2008

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’ve been trying a lot of new things this week.

Between dinner, baking, working out, and crocheting, I’ve been one busy momma!

And not only am I baking delicious treats, as usual, I’m trying gluten free treats! It just makes me feel so good to make something that EVERYONE can eat. Even those with celiacs. And since this gluten intolerance has been becoming more of an issue lately, I want to contribute to that side of the eating spectrum as well.

I’ve had the muffins ‘pinned’ for a while and decided to make them for a playgroup that I attended this week. Since we do have some allergies in the group, I try to make things that everyone can enjoy. Kid friendly and mommy friendly 🙂

I do have to say, I was probably just as excited to use my muffin cups that I bought from the Wilton Tent Sale with Beth.
I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to use these. And this morning it just felt right. I still have a bunch left, so you may see them in future posts as well 🙂

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (adapted from Dessert Stalker as found on Multiply Delicious)
Yield: 12-18 muffins or 30-35 mini muffins (this is a total guess!)

6 eggs
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup ripe mashed bananas (about 3 small bananas)
1/2 cup chocolate chips and a few extra for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners. (I made 24 mini muffins before using my cool baking cups, but I didn’t have enough liners, so I sprayed the pan, but they did NOT come out well, so I really suggest you use liners)

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, honey, salt, and vanilla.
Combine coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a sifter and sift into egg mixture. Whisk together until there are no more lumps. Stir in melted coconut oil. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Batter will be thick.

Spoon batter into prepare muffin pans.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until muffins are golden.
Cook for about 10 minutes and Enjoy!

Aren’t these cups beautiful?

Try, Try Again

Well, I’ve done it again. I made a clean (which also happen to be gluten free) treat for myself last night, and it did NOT turn out.

I’ve done this countless times. I really want something yummy AND healthy. Is that too much to ask for?

I don’t think so.

Most recipes I try aren’t sweet enough or are too sweet, but in a weird way. Not a sugary sweet, since I don’t use granulated sugar. It’s hard to explain, but it’s weird. And I don’t like it.

So I’m trying it again. Vanilla Coconut Flour Cookies. Found here.

Not only are these clean, but they are also gluten free 🙂

I whipped them up quickly after dinner and was so excited to have a yummy healthy treat!!! And right before Halloween. Maybe I won’t splurge on candy this year…well, let be real.

They were…okay. Don’t get me wrong, they tasted good. The texture is something to get used to, especially for someone that’s never baked with coconut flour. But if you are someone like me that is used to sugar filled goodness, these will wake up your taste buds!

The texture is definitely different  from any baked thing I’ve ever made, but don’t let this discourage you, try, try again.

Vanilla Coconut Flour Cookies (adapted from The Prudent Wife)

3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (you can also use butter)
1 cup coconut milk
6 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp honey (more if you want the cookies sweeter)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, beat the eggs thoroughly. Add coconut milk and honey. Pulse a few times until combined.
Add coconut oil and pulse until combined.
Add dry ingredients and pulse gently until combined.

Taste your ‘dough’ to see if you like it. If it’s not sweet enough, add some more honey.

Bake for 20 minutes

All ingredients mixed together!

The finished product!

Add-ins:

When adding the dry ingredient, mix in:
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
Dashes of ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves, to taste.
Top with a few chocolate chips before baking.

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Granola

I know I have mentioned this multiple times, but I love finding delicious and healthy snacks! And if you are a peanut butter lover like I am, you will like this one.
It’s super easy to slap together and you can enjoy it almost right away.
I also think this recipe would be pretty versatile. You could make this into a trail mix, adding some dried fruit or nuts. You could also use almond butter instead of PB.
Not only is this a clean recipe, but it could also be a gluten free recipe. Throw some gluten free oats in there and you’ve got a cheap and easy gluten free granola!

Peanut Butter Granola (adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers)

4 Tbsp natural peanut butter
4 Tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I make my own)
2 cups old fashioned oats

Spread out and ready to go in the oven!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Either spray a cookies sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and honey. Microwave for about 30 seconds, or until peanut butter melts.
Add cinnamon and vanilla; mix well.
Stir in the oats until they are completely covered in peanut butter mixture.
Spread oat mixture out on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake about 12-15 minutes, or until granola is slightly browned.
Let cool.
Granola will become crunchy as it cools.

I put this in some Coconut Milk Chocolate yogurt and it was so yummy! I think it will taste good in all my flavored yogurt!

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tried to get this recipe out at the end of last week, but clearly just ran out of time. So, I will continues with my Pumpkin week today… I hope you don’t mind 🙂

On Friday, I made a meal for some friends that just had their fourth baby. A girl…they actually have four girls now! But, really, they are just trying to hold up the girl end of all these new babies. Seriously, there are lots and lots of boys going on here.

I knew what meal I wanted to make them. I grabbed some salad and dressing from the store and was well on my way. Except for dessert. I really wanted to practice more cakes, but ran out of time. Last week was so busy, I could even imagine baking and frosting another cake. But I also didn’t want to make it look like I just threw this meal together in a day. (maybe a day and a half…lol)

I knew I had lots of bags of marshmallows on my pantry shelf in the basement, since I went on an accidental marshmallow shopping spree a few weeks back. I also had a new box of rice krispies from a good sale at the local grocery store. So obviously, rice krispy bars were on my mind, but again, it sounded too boring to me at the time. (when I male something for someone, I can’t make it easy…its the OCD coming out in me)

Lucky for me, I remembered a recipe that I pinned on Pinterest for pumpkin spice rice krispy bars. It was the perfect dessert. Not too messy for the little girls that I knew would eating these, but also a little more sophisticated for the grown ups.
The original recipe, found here, has you ‘brown’ the butter before adding the marshmallows. I say forget that…do it the easy way and just melt it all together like you normally do. Add the rice krispies and ‘tada’! You have a masterpiece fit for a king..or at least an adult.

This a great recipe to get the kind involved in too. If you have small children, using the stove would be a not so good idea, they could definitely help press the rice krispy mixture into the pan.

So without further ado…here’s the recipe and some lovely pictures to go with it 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Bars (adapted from Cookies and Cups)

6 cups rice krispies
10.5 bag marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Melting butter, marshmallows and pumpkin spice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour rice krispies into a large bowl; set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, marshmallows and pumpkin pie spice.
Once it’s melted, pour the marshmallow mixture into the bowl with rice krispies. Mix well.
Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Pat down with greased hands.
Let sit until completely cooled; cut and enjoy!

Can you see the pumpkin pie spice mixed in there?