Honey Almond Granola

Warning:  This granola is highly addictive!  I don’t know what it is, but I can never stop with just one handful.  Usually I’ll be munching away and half the batch is gone before I even realize how much I’ve eaten.  Oh well, it’s healthy right?  When you bake this granola be sure to press the mixture down firmly into the baking sheet and wait until it is completely cooled before

removing from the pan.  This is what forms the big clusters of granola making it perfect for snacking on.  I love mixing up a batch before road trips to keep us from loading up on less healthy treats at the gas station.  It’s also great mixed in with some fruit and yogurt for breakfast.

Want more granola?  Check out my Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola.
Honey Almond Granola

4 Cups Rolled Oats
1 Cup Sliced Almonds
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Wheat Germ
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil
1/3 Cup Honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl add and stir together all of the dry ingredients.  Heat a small sauce pan over low/medium heat.  Add the coconut oil and honey.  Whisk together.  Can also be warmed in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat stirring every 30 seconds until melted and combined.  It’s okay if the honey and coconut oil do not completely combine together.  Just warm and whisk until the oil and honey are melted.  Pour over the oat mixture.  Stir until completely combined.  Dump the granola into a greased rimmed baking sheet.  Spread evenly and press down firmly.  Bake in a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes.  Cool completely before removing from pan.  Store at room temperature in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

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Glazed Cinnamon Scones

I’m not quite sure how I’ve gone my whole life without having tasted a scone.  I owe my sister-in-law big time for introducing me to these babies.  I can’t believe how how amazing these are for how simple they are to throw together.  Simply pour some cream over the dry ingredients, stir a few times and knead until a soft dough forms.  Only one bowl, less than 25 minutes

from start to finish and no mixer required.  These bake up so fluffy and soft that the dough practically melts in your mouth.  These would be perfect for a Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch this Sunday.  The recipe is even simple enough that you could print it off and then hand it over to the hubby and kids to prepare, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy.  And trust me you will enjoy, at least I know I did.

 I am totally in love with these scones and can’t wait to try out some other flavor combinations.  Since I am a newbie to the scone world I would love for you all to help me out and share your favorite flavor or recipe(or link) in the comments section.  I can totally see myself getting hooked on trying out all kinds of different scone recipes, so I am just warning you that you can probably expect to see some more scone variations here in the not to distant future.

Glazed Cinnamon Scones
Dough
2 Cups Flour
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 and 1/3 Cups Heavy Cream
Cinnamon Glaze
1 Cup Powder Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease a baking sheet.  Whisk together the dry ingredients.  Pour the cream over the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Gently knead the dough until completely combined and a soft dough forms.  Divide into two dough balls.  Roll each ball into a circle about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.  Use a pizza cutter to cut the each circle into 8 triangles.  Place the triangles on prepared baking sheet about 1-2 inches apart.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the top just begins to brown.  Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack for 2-5 minutes while you prepare the cinnamon glaze.  For the glaze combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk until combined.  Drizzle over the scones.  Allow the glaze to set up for about 5 minutes.  Serve and Enjoy while still warm.
Yield: 16 scones

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Cookie Dough Brownies

My husband requests chocolate chip cookies for dessert about 95% of the time.  I, on the other hand, think there are just way too many good desserts out there to stick with the same one all of the time.  Don’t get me wrong I love myself a chocolate chip cookie, but come on you gotta switch it up.  I made these brownies with the hopes of pleasing his chocolate chip cookie craving and my desire to try out a new dessert.  These were the perfect combination.  This cookie dough frosting is Amazing.  If you like cookie dough you are going to love this frosting.  It tastes just like cookie

dough, except there are no eggs so it is perfectly acceptable to eat it by the spoonful or better yet spread it on top of these thick fudgey brownies.

 

Cookie Dough Brownies
Brownie Batter
1 Cup Butter, melted
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/3 Cup Cocoa
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Flour
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In your mixer add the butter and sugars.  Mix until completely combined.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated.  Spread the batter in a greased 9×13 inch pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.  Cool completely before frosting.  Enjoy!
Cookie Dough Frosting
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 and 1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
5 Tablespoons Milk
1 Cup Chocolate Chips(mini or regular)
Cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the vanilla and mix well.  Add the flour and salt stir until combined.  Stir in the milk and beat until the frosting is fluffy.  Gently stir in the chocolate chips.  Spread on cooled brownies and frost.  Enjoy!

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Blackened Tilapia

My fish used to be served with a more than healthy dose of tartar sauce just to make sure I didn’t taste any hint of a fishy flavor(not that tilapia really has any anyways).  The first time I tried this blackened tilapia I was surprised to notice at the end of dinner I had not even

touched my heaping pile of tartar sauce.  The seasoning on this tilapia is seriously amazing and it would be a crime to drown it out with tartar sauce.  Looks like I can leave the tartar sauce in the fridge from now on, or even at the store for that matter.  Tilapia is such a quick healthy dinner.  The tilapia itself cooks up really quick and the seasoning mix takes less than 5 minutes to mix up.  You can even double or triple the seasoning mix and store the extra in an airtight container in your spice cupboard to save you some time on the next go around.  Oh and don’t be afraid of the cayenne pepper in the mix.  It adds just a hint of heat to the mix, but not to much. My kids love it and will usually even ask for seconds.

Blackened Tilapia
2 Tablespoons Paprika
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 Teaspoons Lemon Pepper
1 and 1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil Leaves
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
6 Tilapia Fillets
8 Tablespoons Butter, divided
In a small mixing bowl add and mix together all of the dry seasoning ingredients.  Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a shallow dish big enough to dip each tilapia fillet in.  Add the other 2 tablespoons of butter to a large frying pan and heat to medium.  Dip each fillet into the shallow dish of butter.  Rub the seasoning mix on both sides of each fillet.  Place in the heated pan and cook each side for 3-5 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and the fish flakes apart easily with a fork.  Enjoy!

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White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Blondies

These blondies are so good.  Seriously, a thick chewy snickerdoodle loaded with white chocolate chips and topped with a flaky cinnamon sugar crust = Yum.  I don’t know that I’ll ever have a desire to make regular snickerdoodle cookies again.  These will definitely be making a regular appearance in my kitchen.  I love how quick and easy they are and they use simple ingredients that I almost always have on hand.

 

White Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Blondies
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup Butter, room temp
2 Eggs, room temp
1 Tbsp Vanilla
2 2/3 Cup Flour
2 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
12 oz. White Chocolate Chips
Topping
2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon

Cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Stir in the white chocolate chips.  Spread in a greased 9×13 pan.  Mix the topping together and sprinkle evenly over the batter.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 27-32 minutes, until the center is set and the top is golden brown.  Allow the bars to cool for at least 1/2 an hour.  These are great warm or completely cooled.  Enjoy!

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Chocolate Cookie Cupcakes

C is for: Chocolate Cookie CupCakes.  Yep, that’s what I’ve been teaching my kids.  I recently decided to try and start doing a little at home preschool with my 2 1/2 and 4 year old.  Nothing big, just a few hours a couple days a week where they learn a new letter then read a few books, do a simple activity and have a snack that go along with the letter of the day.  I was doing so good with the snacks.  For Aa we had apples, Bb we had bears(Teddy Grahams) and bananas, for Cc we had….. oops somehow I totally forgot about a snack.  And wouldn’t you know that there wasn’t a single Cracker or piece of Cheese to be found in our house.  I decided to not mention a snack and hope they wouldn’t notice.  What was I thinking?  Of course they would notice.  The first thing they asked was “What’s a snack for C Mom?”  I tried to explain that I forgot and we would have a snack next time.  There’s no way my determined, organized, never forgets a thing 4 year old was going to let me try and explain my way out of a snack.  So I decided if we were going to get creative and make a Cc snack it should have as many C’s in it as possible. As a result Chocolate Cookie CupCakes were created.  My boys loved helping make a very simple chocolate cookie dough and rolling it into balls.  We baked them in a mini cupcake pan and topped them with marshmallows, one of my kids favorite treats.   Then, we added some Chocolate glaze and dug into our Cc snack.  After tasting our creation I don’t think  any of us were still upset that I spaced having a snack prepared.  Next time you find yourself in the dog house try making a batch yourself and see if all is not forgiven.

I am happy to report that we have since done letters Dd and Ee and I have been 100% prepared with acceptable snacks.  Wish me luck with the next 21 letters.

Chocolate Cookie Cupcakes

Dough
1 Cup Butter
1 and 1/2 Cups Sugar

2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Cups Flour
Mini Marshmallows
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add in the dry ingredients. Roll the dough into heaping tablespoon size balls.  Bake in a greased mini muffin tin. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 7-9 minutes. You want them to still look just a tad underdone in the center.  Remove from the oven and top each cookie with 3 mini marshmallows.  Return to the oven for about 30 seconds to 1 minute or just until the marshmallows start to puff up.  Cool and top with chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze
I have to admit I am really bad at using exact measurements when making frosting.  These measurements are all a pretty close guesstimation(is that a word?) to what I used.  You want it to be a thick glaze, but still thin enough to drizzle on with no need to spread.  You can add more or less milk or powdered sugar to get the thickness you desire.
1/2 Cup Butter, melted
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Milk
Mix the butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and cocoa together until fully combined.  Add enough milk to reach your desired consistency.   Spoon some glaze onto the center of each cookie cup.  It’s all right if some spills over the edges.  Let the glaze set up.  Enjoy!!!

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Easter Baskets

I dream of having a craft room someday.  While I wait for this dream to come true most of my crafting takes place in my kitchen. So today I decided to take a break from what’s been cookin’ in my kitchen and share what’s been craftin’ in my kitchen.

Growing up we had fabric Easter baskets that my mom made and we loved them.  I decided that I wanted to carry on this tradition with my kids.   So I made these fun square Easter baskets for my boys.  I love how they turned out.  I followed this great tutorial.  I love that they can fold up for easy storage and we can use them year after year.  Anyone else find themselves getting crafty in the kitchen?

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Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Pretzel, Oatmeal Cookie Bars

I know the name for these is really long.  But any other name just didn’t sound right.  I just couldn’t leave the word chocolate, peanut butter, pretzel or oatmeal cookie out of the title, cause each one is equally vital to the yummyness of these bars.  I contemplated calling them Dream Bars, but come on who could resist a treat with the words Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Pretzels, Oatmeal and Cookie in the title?  Obviously, NOT Me.  For these bars I started with my all time favorite oatmeal cookie bar recipe.  Then I threw in a handful of chopped pretzels, added a layer of  peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk and topped it all off with a layer of chocolate.  YUM!
Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Pretzel
Oatmeal Cookie Bars

3/4 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cup Oatmeal
1 3/4 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Cups Pretzels, Coarsely Chopped
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
7oz Sweetened Condensed Milk(half of a can)
2 Cups Chocolate Chips

Cream the butter and sugars together.  Add the egg and vanilla, mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Stir in the chopped pretzels.  Spread the dough in a greased 9×13 pan.  In a small microwave safe bowl add the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk.  Microwave in 30 second bursts until melted and stir to combine.  Spread evenly over the dough and swirl into the top a little bit with a butter knife.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 18-20 minutes. Immediately after removing evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, let sit for 5 minutes to melt.  Spread the chocolate evenly over the bars.  Cool and Enjoy!

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Baked Southwest Chicken Taquitos

For some reason I don’t really remember ever having the fried store bought version of taquitos.  When I told my hubby I was making these he was excited, cause he said he loved it when his mom used to buy them when he was younger.  We both loved this healthier homemade version.

Baked Southwest Chicken Taquitos
4oz Cream Cheese,softened
1/4 Cup Green Salsa
1 TBSP Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Bunch Cilantro, chopped
2 TBSP Onion, diced
1 Cup Shredded Chicken, cooked
1 Cup Rice,cooked
1 Cup Black Beans
1 Cup Shredded Cheese, cheddar and/or pepper jack
8-12 Small Corn or Flour Tortillas
Kosher Salt
Cooking Spray
Mix together the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, cumin chili powder, and onion powder.  Stir until smooth.  Add the garlic, cilantro,onion, chicken, rice, beans and cheese.   Stir until well combined.  Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to make them soft and easier to roll.  Spoon 2-3 Tbsp of filling mixture onto each tortilla and roll up tightly.  Place seam side down onto a greased baking sheet.  Leaving 1-2 inches between each taquito.  Spray the tops lightly with with cooking spray and sprinkle with the kosher salt.  Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the they are crisp and golden brown on top.  Serve with salsa, sour cream, ranch or guacamole.  Enjoy!

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Teriyaki Chicken

I love slow cooker meals.  They are so quick and easy to throw together.  I love being able to get dinner all ready earlier in the day, instead of trying to figure out what to make at 5:00 when the kids are begging for dinner.  Which is exactly why I love this teriyaki chicken.  This chicken really couldn’t be easier.  Simply put the chicken and sauce in the crock pot, turn on low and cook for 5-6 hours, serve over rice and steamed veggies and you’ve got yourself a quick, easy, stress free meal.

Teriyaki Chicken
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1-2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Water
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 lb. Chicken Breast or Tenders
Place the chicken in the crock pot.  In a mixing bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together and pour over the chicken.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours.  1 hour before serving shred the chicken in the crock pot using two forks to pull it apart.  Replace the lid and finish cooking.  Enjoy!
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