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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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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 πŸ™‚

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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 loathesΒ  anything to do with peanuts or peanut butter. Weird, I know.Β  Oh well, I love him anyway πŸ™‚

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

Pumpkin Doughnuts

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I know, you must think I’m crazy for posting another pumpkin recipe, but I just couldn’t resist! This one is just too perfect. Too yummy to not pass on.

I had never made doughnuts myself, but when I was growing up, my mom would make them once in a while. Cover them with powdered sugar, a cinnamon sugar mixer, or just eat them plain, right out of the fryer! Oh, the memories.

So my sister asked me to make these for our “down home” Thanksgiving gathering and I jumped at the chance! We happen to own a deep fryer, so I was pretty pumped to pull that out!

Did I mention it made my house smell fantastic??? Cause it did.

Did I mention we made adorable turkey's with my two boys and nephew that day!!!

Did I mention we made adorable turkey’s with my two boys and nephew that day!!!

These are seriously worth the trouble for the chance to eat them afterwards. Make them for your own Christmas morning…before the kids are up. That way you can have them all to yourself πŸ˜‰

Pumpkin Doughnuts (from Annie’s Eats)
Yield: I don’t remember how many this made..but it made quite a few

For the Doughnuts:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (1/2 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice, fill up to 1/2 cup mark with milk, let sit 5 minutes)
1 cup pumpkin pure

Canola Oil or Peanut Oil for frying. (This can be done in a deep skillet or a deep fryer)

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the dough, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar and butter and beat until well blended and fluffy. Mix in the egg, then egg yolks, then vanilla until incorporated. Combine the buttermilk and pumpkin in a liquid measuring cup and whisk together. With the mixer on low-speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk pumpkin mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Once the dough is mixed, cover and chill for at least 3 hours (I had to chill mine overnight, which was nice since we had fresh doughnuts for the morning!)

On a well floured surface, roll or pat out the dough until it’s between 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. (I think mine were a little closer to 1/4 inch, which was fine with me, it made more that way) Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour and with a biscuit/doughnut cutter. Re-roll the scraps as necessary.
Add oil to your frying pan (2-3 inches of oil) or deep fryer and heat to 365-370 degrees F. (Our deep fryer only went down to 375 and it worked just fine)

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Add the rings of dough to the hot oil (only 2 or 3 at a time, whatever fits best in you pan or fryer) a single layer, and not touching. Fry turning once until doughnuts are golden brown and cooked through.Β  I ended up having a few at the beginning that weren’t quite done, so I left the next ones in a little longer. Use the same process for the doughnut holes.

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. While the doughnuts are still hot (just right to touch) and still a little greasy, roll in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat completely.

Enjoy!

Here are a few more picture of my fun!

My messy doughnut cutter. This is no clean task.

My messy doughnut cutter. This is no clean task.

Coffee, turkey's and doughnuts...could Thanksgiving get any better??

Coffee, turkey’s and doughnuts…could Thanksgiving get any better??

Done to perfection.

Done to perfection.

 

I have to share with you all my Flamingo ornaments. I’m not really sure how or why I got hooked on these birds. I just think they are so cool! So I thought I’d share all my flamingo ornaments with you. One a day per my 12 Days of Christmas Posts πŸ™‚

Here’s the first one!

Our first Christmas ornament; 2005

Our first Christmas ornament; 2005

 

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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?

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!

Sweet and Sassy…(I Mean Salty)

Are you sick of pumpkin yet?

I’M NOT!!!!!!!

I could eat pumpkin all the time. All year ’round.

Pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin dip. (gonna make that soon too!)
Pumpkin cookies. (an old favorite of mine)
Pumpkin lattes.
Pumpkin bread.
Pumpkin. Pumpkin. PUMPKIN!!!

Okay. I’ll stop. For now…

But I have a great treat for you today! And yes, it has to do with pumpkin.
Have you seen the pretzel treats with a Hershey Kiss and a M&M on top? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
But one day, I had a brilliant idea. I was ecstatic! Beyond ecstatic. Overjoyed! Let’s just say, I’m pretty sure I’m a genious…

Alright, fine. I’ll share my brilliance with you.

Pretzels…with a pumpkin spice Kiss and an M&M on top…

What? You didn’t know there is such a delicious, delectable treat such as this?
Well, now you do.
Go buy some. Trust me.

The great thing about this treat or snack, whichever you prefer, is it’s fast and easy. Easy clean up. Clean enough to eat, even with kids. There’s really no mess. One bite and it’s gone. (Unfortunately, this is also the downfall. You will eat WAY too many. I suggest making these for a party, so you don’t gain 10 lbs from eating these)

This is also a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen. They can help unwrap all those Kisses, help place them om the pretzels, and, if they’re l careful enough to not burn themselves, place the M&M’s on the warm Kisses.

These are also very versatile. However, I’ve found them easiest with soft chocolate Kisses, rather than dark chocolate. To stick to the milk chocolate, white chocolate ‘hugs’, or pumpkin spice. Anything soft really.

Alright, alright…I’ll give you the recipe already. I know you will want to run to the store (and not only to start burning calories now! Lol…sorry…I like to throw out lame jokes once in a while. I get that from my mom)

Disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for anyone’s pants that may or may not fit after making and eating these.

Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Bites

1 bag round or square pretzels (I used round butter flavored pretzels)
1 bag pumpkin spice Hershey’s Kisses
1 large bag M&M’s (I used fall colors in honor of fall)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
On a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, place as many pretzels as you can flat on the pan.
Unwrap the kisses and place one in the middle of each pretzel. (I ended up using a couple kisses from a second bag)
Place pan in oven for about 2-3 minutes, just until the kisses are soft or shiny looking. Remove from oven and carefully place one M&M in the middle of each Kiss.
Place pan in refrigerator or freezer until the kisses are hardened.

These will get soft when left out, so I suggest leaving them in the fridge until about 10 minutes before serving.

Happy Fall!