Tune out Sarah Palin Granola Recipe

Sorry – I had an elaborate post repudiating the RNC, and in the interest of not making my blog a terribly hostile place, this was the most passive aggressive way I could think of to get my message out. And the granola is actually quite good, no matter what your political leanings!

peanut butter granola
From blog: Everybody Likes Sandwiches
2 1/2 c oats
1/2 c wheat germ
1 t vanilla extract
2 T canola oil
3 T natural peanut butter
2 T brown sugar
3 T chopped chocolate (optional)

In a large bowl, mix oats and wheat germ together. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat up oil, peanut butter, vanilla and brown sugar over medium high heat and let it all get melty together. Pour hot mixture over oats and stir well, so that everything is covered. You may have to use your hands if your peanut butter mixture is extra stiff. Add chocolate, if using, and mix well. Spread mixture on a baking sheet or large glass baking pan and toast in a 325 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, checking on it and stirring it occasionally until mixture is dry. When cool, store in a tightly lidded container.

*The chocolate chips thing initially weirded me out – like how do they not get all melty and ruin the granola (since it’s combined with the heated up stuff off the stove)…but it’s kind of a small miracle, they stay pretty much in their shape and keep to themselves.

I like it in vanilla yogurt or in applesauce! We’ll be toting it along when we go to Maine later this week too! Enjoy!

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A terrible recipe for kids, and how we spent our 4th

Erica’s here! We’ve been having a great time so far! Last night we ended up renting Rendition – a movie about how the US skirts the law to detains terror suspects… um, not the most “Yay America, happy Independence Day” movie… It was very, very good though.


Last night, we made a recipe from my cookbook “Silly Snacks. Classroom Treats and Cookie Dough Fun”… a cookbook intended for teachers and/or mothers since most of the recipes are like cookies shaped into pigs or hamburgers or something cute that kids would just gobble up. Well, Erica and I were looking through the cookie dough fun section and decided to give the Cookie Pizza a go. HOLY crap, it takes a LOT to make me say this, but it is so rich. What mother in her right mind would feed this to her child, it’s like pure sugar. It’s like a sugar cookie topped with fudge topped with m&m’s. The only situation I can think of where I’d feed it to a child is if I was babysitting and handing the kid off shortly and really despised the person I was handing him off to.

Cookie Pizza

1 18-oz package refridgerated sugar cookie dough
2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 14-oz can Eagle Sweetened Condensed milk (we used Fat Free, cause we’re health NUTS. Obv, w/ the cookie pizza and all…)
2 c M&Ms
2 c mini marshmallows (we omitted)
1/2 c peanuts (also omitted)

Directions:
1. Preaheat oven to 375. Press cookie dough into 2 ungreased 12 in pizza pans. Bake 10 min or until golden.
2. In medium-sized saucepan, melt chips with sweetened condensed milk. Spread over cookie dough. Sprinkle with M&Ms and other toppings.
3. Bake 4 min or so. Cool. Cut.

Apple Dumplings & Ice Cream

Mmmmm, these bad boys are baking right now! I pulled the recipe from Pioneer Woman, and she has a ton of really helpful pictures of the step by step assembly of these delicious and low-cal dumplings (hahahahah…right).

Apple Dumplings
From – Pioneer Woman Cooks

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
cinnamon
1 small can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

And we also made some homemade ice cream last night to take along. We’re headed over to my parents’ for Easter dinner and dessert as soon as the dumplings are sufficiently browned.

Happy Easter everyone! We wish we could be there for the Long Easter Egg Hunt – with Kelly pregnant I’m guess it’s a pretty small field of competitors and we’d get even more coins and candy 🙂

Smoothies

I made these just using ingredients we had on Monday morning after spinning class and it really hit the spot. And it made two servings so I could share 🙂 Usually when I do a high intensity workout like spinning in the morning, I’m useless until I have Gatorade. I’m proud to say I didn’t have a drop of it on Monday and I think it was bc of the smoothie! It’s a miracle!! 🙂

And we’re leaving today to visit family in Pennsylvania so I had to get rid of the smelly banana and leftover strawberries…so I made them again! They were really simple and healthy too.

Delicious Breakfast Smoothies

Ingredients
1 cup cut strawberries
1 banana, sliced up into a few pieces
2 single servings of yogurt (I used Fiber One Strawberry yogurt which was great…but any flavor would work.)
1 cup(ish) of milk

Directions:
Put all ingredients in blender and blend. (Rocket science, right!?)

Baking Fool!

Lately, as we’ve been getting healthier and cheaper, I’ve started doing some Sunday baking to last us through the week and provide us with healthy and tasty snacks. I really love the fruity granola bars and No Pudge brownies in addition to the two muffins I made today.

Even though these are exceptional in the fall, they’re still tasty and remarkably healthy all year round…
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin muffins

1 box spice cake mix
1 15-oz. can pure pumpkin puree (Libby’s)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use mini chips for max distribution)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cake mix, pumpkin and water, mix until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter between 20 muffin papers. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Makes 20 servings
130 calories
3.3g fat
1g fiber

The Banana Muffins are a big hit with Scott. I actually don’t like banana flavored things, but he’s a big fan and being the selfless wife I am, I make them for him anyway 🙂 They can be breakfast or a snack 🙂
Banana Muffins

Ingredients
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (6 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cooking spray
Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add banana and milk; beat well.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add to sugar mixture; beat just until moist.

Spoon batter evenly into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Place muffins on wire rack.

Yields 12 servings (serving size: 1 muffin)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 183(28% from fat); FAT 5.7g (sat 0.9g,mono 1.3g,poly 3.1g); PROTEIN 4.3g; CHOLESTEROL 18mg; CALCIUM 61mg; SODIUM 155mg; FIBER 1.4g; IRON 1.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 30g

Peppermint Patty Brownies

I just had a little corner of these – OMG…they’re so good!!! We’re having Ebert family game night tonight at our house. On the menu – roasted potatoes, Cheeseburger Calzone and salad. Oh, and these bad boys..
Peppermint Patty Brownies

Ingredients
1 box brownie mix
1 big bag of York Peppermint Patties

Directions:
Prepare brownies as directed on box. Pour half of mixture into 9 in square pan, reserving about 2 cups of brownie mixture for later. Unwrap a bunch of peppermint patties (I can’t remember how many it was – about 25 or so at least) and place evenly across batter. Pour the rest of the batter on top of this, and cover. Bake according to box – I baked mine about 35 min. It’s also best to prepare according to the “fudgy” directions on the box if that’s an option 🙂

Yummy Granola Bars

Ok, not gonna lie. I got this recipe from my cousin’s girlfriend’s Kids’ cookbook (go ahead, check my apostrophes, they’re good), but they are an excellent semi-healthy snack 🙂 Also enjoy the awesome picture I took.

Fruit & Oat Bars
1 c all purpose flour
1 c uncooked quick cooking oats
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 c margarine, melted
3/4 c fruit preserve. (I used strawberry and it’s delish, but I bet apple would be even better bc it’s very cinnamon-y)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 in square pan with non-stick spray.
2. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt & cinnamon in medium bowl; mix well. Add margarine, stir w/ fork until crumbly. Reserve 3/4 c crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture evenly into bottom of pan. Bake 5-7 mins or until lightly browned. Spread preserves on crust and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
3. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Make either 9 bigger squares, or 16 snack-sized squares.

In other news, Scott finally got Guitar Hero… woohoo! Smarty’s enjoying the music, but every time Scott gets a note wrong she looks up like – hey, what was that! 🙂