Mini Chocolate Chip Scones

Mini Chocolate Chip Scones
with vanilla glaze (optional) 

Easy & Delicious

 Prep Time 15 minutes
 Cook Time 15 minutes                                                                  I cut the recipe in half when just making these 
 Total Time 30 minutes                                                                 scones for 2 people, my boyfriend and myself. 
 Servings Apx. 32 mini scones or 16 regular scones
               depends on how you cut. 
Ingredients

Scones

  • 4 cups all purpose flour (465g)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder (18g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup very cold unsalted butter frozen is better 
  • 1 cup heavy cream (237ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract ( I make mine homemade ) that's the recipe I use. 
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips, only use Enjoy Life brand, you can use whatever you want. 

Glaze
(glaze is optional) I prefer them without, my boyfriend prefers his with. 

  • 1-1.5 cups powdered sugar (110g+)
  • 2 Tablespoon milk (30ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
I always get all my ingredients out before baking. No matter if i'm going to add the recipe somewhere or take pictures, this is just how I bake. In the small bowl is my baking powder and salt, other small bowl is my sugar, larger, flour. I didn't have buttermilk so I make my own 1 cup of milk and 1/4 cup butter. 
Tall bottle is my homemade vanilla extract. 
When at the cutting step you can cut them into 16 regular-sized or 32 petite scones to suit your preference. 
We prefer these bite-sized. 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Thoroughly cut in butter (I prefer to freeze the butter, grate it using a box grater, and then cut it in that way. This method yields the flakiest scones, but is not mandatory -- you can use cold butter cut in with a pastry cutter).
  4. Measure out heavy cream in measuring cup and add vanilla extract. Stir gently.
  5. Carefully stir heavy cream/vanilla mixture into flour mixture. You do not want to over-mix, but due to the amount of dry ingredients it may be tricky to well incorporate the liquid and the dry mixes. You may briefly use a KitchenAid or electric mixer on a low setting to help coax the dough to cling together.
  6. Once dough is beginning to cling together, add chocolate chips, stir briefly, and then transfer to a very lightly floured surface
  7. lightly knead the dough and chocolate chips together until you are able to form a ball.
  8. Break the dough into 4 even pieces and round each one out into a disk about 5" wide.
  9. Cut each into 8 wedges and transfer to cookie sheet.
  10. Bake on 375F (190C) for 14-16 minutes.
  11. While the scones cool, prepare your glaze by whisking together milk, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Start with 1 cup powdered sugar, and if it still seems too runny you may increase the sugar amount.
  12. Once scones are cooled, dip, drizzle or spoon the glaze lightly over the top of each scone. I serve these warm and never wait until they cool to glaze, love the chocolate chips warm. 
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Mixing all my dry ingredients and butter

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After wet ingredients are added. Ready to separate and form into scones.

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I made half a recipe

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Hand pressed flat, cut and ready to go on cookie sheet.

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Ready to go in the warm oven. This is the size we like, about 3 bites per scone.

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Glaze, Vanilla, Powdered Sugar & Milk

Finished, right of the oven, we like them warm so the chocolate chips melt in your mouth. Half with glaze, half without

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Tonight i'm making St. Louis Style Ribs on the grill if the Monsoon rains stay away oven if they don't. So I decided to make some BBQ to go along with them. I will also be making baked potatoes. The sauce turned out better than any bottle sauce I have ever had. I just put togther some things I had and made it work. Here's what I used. I didn't have black pepper in the picture since I added it at the end.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Would be good on chicken too. 
1 1/4 Cup Ketchup
4 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinager
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Salt ( I used pink salt)
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
1/2 Tsp Dry Onion Flakes (also not pictured) Optional
1 Tsp Dry Mustard
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar, I used light you can use dark
1/3 Cup Molasses
1/4 Cup Honey

Mix everything in a sauce pan, heat to a boil and turn down to a simmer stirring often. Let it all simmer about 15-20 minutes then it's done. Don't taste right off the bat, it's HOT you will burn your tongue. Let it cool or blow on the spoon. Don't just dip your finger in, trust me, I did, it was a mistake. 

Loaded Baked Potato Soup ~ Fast and Easy to Make

Excellent cold nights soup. 
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Potatoes, Bacon, Green Onions & Cheese
what's not to love. 

Ingredients:
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk, or more, as needed
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • If the soup is too thick for you (as it is for me) I thin it out with chicken  broth. I think it adds a better flavor plus to me it breaks up the milk flavor, I am not a big milk fan. Even when re-heating the next day I add some chicken broth to thin it out. 

***I always double or triple this recipe, one reason is I like to bring a big container to my neighbor along with some fresh baked bread. Second cuz it's EXCELLENT as leftovers. 

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes and green onions.
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  4.  Plus into bowls and garnish with green onion, cheese and bacon, if desired. Even a spoonful of sour cream if you would like. 
  5. See my above note for re-heating directions. Let the soup cool completely before storing leftovers in the fridge. I use mine up within a day or two but could store up to a week or freeze, but not sure how well this will freeze and re-heat, never tried that. 

Crock Pot PHILLY CHEESE-STEAK SLOPPY JOES (MADE WITH GROUND BEEF)

This may look like mush or something not so appealing in the pictures. But let me tell you it's AMAZING, easy and smells so good while it cooks. 

Prep took 10 minutes total. Cook time 5 hours. 
Since you use ground beef this whole meal for 4 with the bread cost $9. There's only 2 of us so we might have leftovers. 
(we did, enough for 2 more sandwiches)

Cut up the veggies throw them in the crock pot.
One Onion, One Bell Pepper, 1 cup of Mushrooms (optional)
At the same time ground one pound beef with one clove of garlic and salt and pepper to taste. 
Leave the chunks of ground beef on the bigger side. 
(picture of beef not included till it's in the crock pot, I forgot to take one)
Toss veggies with 2 Tablespoons of flour
Add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire (had on hand) and one can of French Onion Soup
to the veggie mixture
Add the cooked ground beef and garlic mixture and toss around. 
Close up your crock pot. 
Set your crock pot to Low for 5 hours and wait for your house to start smelling AMAZING
At the last 5 minutes of cook time. I took the lid off my crock pot, added the 2 cups of cheese and let it melt into the mixture. You could get away with cooking for 4 hours if needed. Around the 4 hour mark I took the lid off to taste, it was ready to be served, but we weren't ready for dinner. 
Crock Pot PHILLY CHEESE-STEAK SLOPPY JOES (MADE WITH GROUND BEEF)
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 large (or 2 small) onions slivered
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1½ cups thickly sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 can low sodium condensed French Onion soup (or beef broth if you can't find French Onion)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups shredded provolone or mozzarella (or a combination)
  • Cheese Wiz (Optional) 
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef and garlic in a pan. Try not to break the beef up too much, you want to have the pieces a good size. Drain any fat.
  2. Place beef, onions, pepper and mushrooms (if using) into a slow cooker. Toss with flour and pepper to taste. ( I added the salt & pepper to my beef mixture instead)
  3. Pour soup & Worcestershire sauce over top of mixture and cook on low 4-5 hours.
  4. Remove lid, sprinkle with cheese and replace lid for a few minutes until it melts.
  5. Serve on rolls or toss with pasta (as you can see I served mine open faced and ate with a fork, it was to messy to pick up. I also added a little bit of cheese whiz for extra cheesy taste. Optional. I just happened to have some so I tired it. 

Simple to make, very little prep and a wonderful meal waiting for you when you get home. 
Enjoy!

Crock-pot Lentil Soup

Super Easy... Perfect for a cold night,
serve with toasted french bread 

I love lentil's and even more lentil soup. This is an insanely easy recipe and took very little time to prepare.  Just throw it all in the crock-pot, go on with your day and when dinner rolls around just toast some french bread or cheese rolls and dinner is served. 

2 medium  uncooked carrots, peeled, cut into large chunks
2 ribs (medium) uncooked celery, cut into large chunks
1 medium  uncooked onion, cut into large chunks
2 cloves (medium) garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry lentils, picked over... I used green I was going to use 1/2 orange 1/2 green but can't find my orange lentils
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
6 cups vegetable broth (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
2 cups water

Place ingredients in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Cover slow cooker; cook on low setting for 6 hours.
Even better the next day. 

Homemade Minestrone Soup 

I LOVE Soup, could eat it every night!
I found this awesome recipe on Pinterest from LittleSpiceJar.com, I hope she doesn't mind me posting it. Check out her site, she has TONS of excellent recipes. Below is the recipe to this super easy to make Crock Pot Minestrone Soup.
Perfect for these cooler nights. 
HOMEMADE MINESTRONE SOUP {SLOW COOKER}

Author: Little Spice Jar

Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  5 mins
Total time:  15 mins

Serves: 6-8 servings
 
An easy to make, minestrone soup recipe that tastes 1000 times better than the Olive Garden's version! My minestrone soup is loaded with good for you veggies, like spinach and zucchini. It's also protein packed with red kidney beans and great northern beans. You'll be full for hours from this healthy, nutritious soup!
INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1¼ cup celery, diced
  • 1½ cup white onion, diced
  • 4 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 sprig rosemary (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups zucchini, diced
  • 1½ cups tubular (ditalini) pasta
  • 1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
  • 2½ cups baby spinach, chopped
  • Finely shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving (or Romano)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato pesto, parmesan rind, vegetable stock, water, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves to a slow cooker. Seasonw ith salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  2. Add in red kidney beans, great northern beans, zucchini, and pasta and cook on high heat for an additional 20 - 25 minutes until pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and green beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes until heated through. Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese and garlic toasts.

Make ahead smoothies.....

I am not a big breakfast fan, but I know I need to eat something to get my morning started... If not I become very grumpy by lunch time and that grumpiness seems to continue all day (even when I eat lunch)
So, after searching around online for easy, fast breakfast items I came up with this...
MAKE AHEAD SMOOTHIES
You can use just about anything you would normally make a morning smoothie with. 
I choose to use spinach, banana, mixed frozen fruit, oj concentrate, hemp hearts & Arboone Daily Fiber Boost. 

The simple part is....
I took a handful of clean spinach leaves, stuffed them into a quart ziplock bag, added 1/2 a banana (skins off of course), 
1 cup of frozen mixed fruit (peaches, pineapples, grapes & strawberries) and 2 TBLS. of Orange Juice concentrate. 
Along with 1 TBLS. Hemp Hearts & 1 scoop Arboone Daily Fiber Boost. 

After filling 6 bags I closed them up and put them in my freezer. 

In the morning I take a bag out of the freezer, crunch it up in my hands, to break up the mixed fruit 
(otherwise my blender has a hard time mixing it)
 Pour the frozen items in to my Ninja blender. Add 2 cups cold water and blend for a few seconds.... 
Till I see all the spinach broken up very fine. DONE!

So Simple,Fast and DELICIOUS!

Yummy, Chocolate Chip Cookies.. Bake half, freeze the other half to bake later...

10:30pm on Tuesday my boyfriend says... Do you want to make Chocolate Chip Cookies... Um, NO!
I'm about ready to go to bed, why would I want to bake...

So, Wednesday I have an idea!
Make a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies, Bake Half & Freeze the other half, ready to bake for those 10:30pm cravings. 

Above shows the Cookies I baked and the Cookies I froze. 
I used a small ice cream scoop to get the perfect size cookies. 

These are yummy, buttery chocolate chip cookies. 
Great for any sweet tooth. 

Ingredients
3 ½ cups flour
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups real unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 (11.5 oz.) bag Ghiradelli chocolate chips, or other quality chocolate chips

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine and set aside.
3. Using paddle attachment on mixer, cream butter and sugars together just until blended.
4. Add eggs, one a time, mixing well after each addition.
5. Add the vanilla.
6. Put mixer on low speed, and add in dry ingredients.
7. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
8. Stir in chocolate chips by hand gently.
9. It's best to make bigger cookies for the right texture - so I would recommend using 4 Tablespoon size
scoop to form your cookies.
10. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes. I like mine to look a little undercooked in the middle,
then let them finish cooking on the cookie sheet for a few minutes while they cool. Then move them to a
cookie rack or plate to keep cooling.

When freezing these cookies: Form into balls- with scoop, add to a ziploc freezer bag.
 I just released the scoop into the bag, to help keep the dough together. 
They will last for about a month in the freezer. To bake just take out and bake
as directed, adding a few extra minutes of baking time.

Homemade Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Soup

This soup is so good. 
I had it for dinner ~ 2 bowls with French Bread
Then lunch the next day. 
Excellent, Creamy, Cheesy Goodness. 
If you like Broccoli & Cheese you will LOVE this soup. 
You can even make 2 batches and freeze one to re-heat later. 
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup onion, pureed or finely chopped
3 cups finely chopped fresh broccoli
1 cup chopped fresh broccoli, medium sized for texture
1 cup grated carrots
3 large cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
1 cup half and half (I used fat free)

1 cup shredded Gouda cheese ( I used smoked Gouda)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Add the broccoli, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaf and chicken broth to a pot. 
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat simmering for 15 minutes. 

2. While that is cooking, mix the butter & flour in a sauce pan, just cooking the flour for 2-3 minute
to take out the flour taste (you're making a rue), with a whisk add the half & half slowly, whisking till this mixture thickens. 

3. Slowly pour the half & half mixture into the vegetables. 
Remove from heat and add in shredded cheeses. Then add salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

4. Freezing Directions: Prepare soup as directed above and allow to cool. Divide into quart or gallon
freezer bags, label, and freeze. To serve: reheat on stove top or microwave until heated through. Enjoy

Homemade Caramel Sauce & Chocolate Sauce

I love love love caramel apples. 
What better time of the year to enjoy then, when apples are sweet & crisp. 
I was buying caramel sauces in my local store but thought, you have to be able to make this stuff.. and sure enough I was right. 
I found this recipe online for SUPER EASY, SUPER FAST, SUPER YUMMY Caramel Sauce. 
Plus Chocolate Sauce ~ It's rich and creamy.. PERFECT for Chocolate Milk. 
Ingredients

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup half-and-half
4 TBSP butter
Pinch salt
1 TBSP vanilla extract

Chocolate Sauce
1 cup of cocoa powder
1½ cups sugar
1 cup water
a dash of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions
 Directions for Caramel Sauce
 Mix all ingredients except the vanilla in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for
5 to 7 minutes, until it gets slightly thicker. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further.

Remove pan from stove top and let cool. Pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold.

Directions for Chocolate Sauce
 Mix together all the ingredients in a sauce pan, except for the vanilla and cook on medium heat. Stir
constantly until it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and add in the vanilla. Let cool for a few minutes
and enjoy! Whatever is left, pour into a jar and refrigerate.

Shelley's Chicken Enchiladas 

When making a grocery list last week I was searching online for new dinner ideas and came across these enchiladas of course since they had my name in them I had to try them out and I was very surprised they are EXCELLENT. I added a little extra spice to mine but if you like mild Mexican food you will love these.

I bought already shredded chicken from the deli section at my store and for extra spice I added chili powder. 


This is the description that came with the recipe: 
These are the BEST chicken enchiladas I have EVER eaten.  I am talking restaurant quality!  I have never been a fan of the popular chicken enchilada recipe that uses cream of chicken soup and sour cream.  Too much creaminess in each bite and not enough texture to cancel it out and because of that, I rarely get to eat chicken enchiladas. 

Now that I have this amazing recipe, I will be eating chicken enchiladas A LOT!
They are easy to make and come together pretty quick.

This site has so many great recipes, I had to steal her image ( I hope she doesn't mind) since I forgot to take a picture. 
Check it out

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Shelley's Chicken Enchiladas

3 Tbl. unsalted butter
3 Tbl. flour
1 (14.5 oz.) can low-sodium chicken broth
1 c. sour cream
1/4 - 1/2 c. green salsa, depending on how spicy you want it
or 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
rotisserie chicken, shredded
or season a few chicken breasts with taco seasoning
and bake until done, then shred
2-3 c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8-10 corn or flour tortillas
chopped cilantro, opt.
For the enchilada sauce: melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Whisk in the flour, one
Tablespoon at a time, to prevent lumps from forming. Cook a minute or two to cook off the flour
taste, stirring occasionally. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Continue
cooking until thickened, about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches desired thickness,
remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and green salsa; set aside. Heat tortillas for 10-15
seconds in the microwave until pliable. Divide shredded chicken between tortillas, top each with a
little bit of cheese and cilantro. Roll up and place seam-side down in a 9x13 inch pan. Cover with the
enchilada sauce and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly.
Broil for a minute or two at the end if you want the cheese to brown. Yield: 4-5 servings.
Jenn's Notes: I cooked two Costco chicken breasts that I seasoned with taco seasoning and I had
enough chicken for 6 enchiladas. I used 1/2 cup of green salsa in the sauce and I made half with corn


Creamy Crockpot Chicken Alfredo

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Creamy Crockpot Chicken Alfredo

Recipe type: Slow Cooker

Prep time:  20 mins
Cook time:  4 hours
Total time:  4 hours 20 mins

Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients

  • 2 large or 4 medium chicken breasts (can be frozen!)
  • 1 can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup
  • ½ cup Italian dressing
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 8 oz block of cream cheese
  • ½ to 1 bag of frozen peas or broccoli
  • 1 lb egg noodles or noodles you like

Instructions

  1. Place chicken breasts in crockpot and add in the cream of chicken soup, Italian dressing, minced garlic, and mushrooms.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. About 20 minutes before serving, pull chicken out and shred or cut into cubes and return to the crockpot.
  4. Add in the block of cream cheese and stir until combined.
  5. Boil water and cook your noodles.
  6. minutes before noodles are done, mix in frozen peas or broccoli into the boiling water with noodles and stir.
  7. Drain noodles (and veggies) and pour alfredo sauce over top…Enjoy!

Crockpot Banana Bread

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Crockpot Banana Bread

Recipe type: Slow Cooker

Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  1 hour 30 mins
Total time:  1 hour 40 mins

 
Ingredients

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ⅓ cup butter or margarine
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 tbsp dark corn syrup
  • 3 ripe bananas, well mashed

Instructions

  1. Grease and flour a 4½ quart crockpot.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a small bowl, set aside.
  3. Cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  4. Slowly add sugar, eggs, corn syrup, and mashed bananas.
  5. Beat until smooth.
  6. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture.
  7. Pour into crockpot, cover and cook on high for 1¼ to ½ hours or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Let cool, then invert bread onto serving platter.

Check the bread at the end with a toothpick some crockpots may take longer then others to cook the bread


No-Bake Energy Bites

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No-Bake Energy Bites

Recipe type: Dessert

Prep time:  30 mins
Total time:  30 mins

Serves: 18-20 bites
 
Ingredients

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. cup oatmeal
  2. /2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  3. /3 cup honey
  4. cup coconut flakes
  5. /2 cup ground flaxseed
  6. /2 cup mini chocolate chips
  7. tsp vanilla
  8. Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated.
  9. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  10. Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!
  11. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  12. **You can substitute almost anything for any of the ingredients to work around food allergies, special diets, etc. Soybutter, almond butter, cashew butter, sun butter, etc all works in place of peanut butter. You can use creamed or liquid honey, or agave nectar or even maltitol syrup in place of the honey. If you do not like or cannot eat coconut try some type of crushed cereal, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, granola, cocoa powder…the possibilities are really endless. If you cannot find ground flaxseed you can buy it whole and grind it yourself in a coffee grinder or magic bullet or you can substitute any other dry ingredient in it’s place. Yes, the mini chocolate chips can be regular sized or carob or you can use raisins, cranberries, goji berries, or crushed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, whatev) of some kind.

Super Moist Chocolate Cake

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This is a rich and moist chocolate cake. It only takes a few minutes to prepare the batter. Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.

Super Moist Chocolate Cake
makes 2 - 9 inch round cake layers (as you can see I only frosted one)

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine inch round pans.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cashew Chicken

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INGREDIENTS
  • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds total), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Peanut oil (about 3/4 cup, can substitute other vegetable oil)
  • Chili Powder (about 3 Tbsp)
  • Tamari (about 1/2 cup) (if you don't have access to tamari you can substitute soy sauce, use Wheat-free tamari or soy sauce if you need to cook gluten-free)
  • Honey (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • Salt
  • 3 cups roughly chopped onions (about 2 medium large onions) I added one medium yellow onion and one medium purple onion
  • 3 cups roughly chopped mushrooms

Optional

  • 1-2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion greens

I added both the ginger and onion, we usually make some sort of Chinese food twice a week and by far this is the best cashew chicken I have ever had. 


1 Marinate the chicken. Place the cubed chicken in a medium bowl. Add the oil. Add the tamari until the marinade turns dark brown (about 2 Tbsp per breast). Sprinkle the chili powder over the chicken pieces while stirring, so that each piece of chicken gets well coated with the chili powder and marinade. Stir in the honey, about 2 tablespoons for each breast. Add chopped ginger if using. Marinate for 1/2 hour to several hours, the longer the better.

2 Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Spread the cashews in a single layer over the bottom of the pan. Stir until lightly browned, remove from heat.

3 Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. (it spatters i think due to the honey so make sure you have a splatter screen, I didn't and had a mess to clean up after dinner) Working in batches if needed so you don't crowd the pan, use tongs to remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place them in the pan, reserving the extra marinade. Sauté the chicken pieces until just cooked through, remove from the pan and set aside. Place any extra marinade back in the pan and simmer for several minutes (to kill any bacteria). Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the marinade into a separate bowl and reserve.

4 In the same pan, sauté the onions on medium high to high heat for several minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until onions are translucent and mushrooms are cooked, several minutes more. Add some reserved marinade to the pan if necessary.

5 Combine chicken, mushrooms, onions, with the cashews. Stir in onion greens (if using) right before serving. Serve over rice.

Makes: Serves 4-6.


Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

Ingredients:

For the biscuits:
2 cups flour
1 tbls. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 stick cold salted butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3/4 cup cold 2% milk

For the gravy:
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage or links with casing removed
1/4 cup flour
4 cups 2% milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
pinch or two cayenne (optional of you like it spicy)

Step 1
First prepare the biscuits  Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baling powder, and salt. Use a pastry blender or two butter knives or fork to cut the butter into the mixture until it has a course pea-like texture. Add the milk and stir the mixture until it forms into a shaggy dough. 

Step 2
Knead the dough to help butter works in but only knead 3-5 times you want the butter to remain a solid. 

Step 3
Flatten dough with a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch rectangle. Use a 3 inch biscuit cutter or drinking glass to cut out 10 dough rounds. Transfer them to a 12 x 17 inch baking sheet with parchment paper (if you have) and bake until golden brown about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Step 4
While the biscuits cook, make the gravy. Brown the sausage in a medium skillet over medium heat. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan. Slowly sift the flour into the pan as the meat continues to cook. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to work the flour into the meat. Add the milk. Let the mixture simmer until it begins to thicken. Add salt and pepper (cayenne if wanted) let the gravy continue to simmer until it reaches the consistency of creamy soup. If it becomes too thick add more milk. Never boil the mixture just simmer it. If need be add more salt and pepper to taste. 

To serve put biscuits on plate ladle the gravy over biscuit. 
Enjoy!

Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti 

12 servings ~ Great for family get-together or potlucks
this recipe always tastes better the next day, so it can be made the day before then just re-heat or assemble it all then cover till the next day then cook If it's for a family of four you can separated it into two separate dishes, freeze one before cooking for later. 

1 c. Chopped Onions
1 c. Chopped Green Bell Pepper (I use one large bell pepper)
1 tbls. Butter or Margarine or whatever you want to use to saute the veggies  
1 can 28oz. Crushed Tomatoes with the Liquid
1 can 4oz. Mushrooms Steams & Pieces Drained
1 can 2 1/4oz. Sliced Olives Drained
2 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 pound Ground Beef, Browned & Drained of any Fat
12oz. Box Spaghetti Noodles Cooked & Drained
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 cans 10 3/4oz. Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (undiluted) 
1/2 c. Water
1/4 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a large skillet saute onions & bell peppers in the butter/oil of your choice till tender. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, oregano & ground beef
Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. In a small bowl mix the cans of mushroom soup and water, set aside. Place half the cooked spaghetti in a greased 13x9x2 baking dish Top with half the vegetable/meat mixture. Then 1/4 -1/2 the soup mixture  and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Repeat the layers ending mushroom soup mixture on the top. Sprinkle the rest of the cheddar cheese and then parmesan cheese on top. Make sure all noodles are covers so they don't burn in baking. 

Bake uncovered @ 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. 
Enjoy with salad and garlic bread

Hearty White Bean Soup

PictureAfter Prep of all ingredients

Hearty White Bean Soup

4 cups veggie stock
4 cups white beans (We use dried beans and just soak them overnight.)
3 cloves garlic
6 organic carrots
6 celery stalks
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 bay leaf
1 medium yellow onion
1 T olive oil
1 T parsley
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme
salt to taste

In a food processor (or by hand), finely chop the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Put everything in a crock pot, turn on low, and let the contents slowly get warm.After they are warm (about an hour), you can turn on high and let slow cook for some time.  The longer you can let it cook, the better. I would suggest waiting to salt after everything has had a chance to cook.  If you salt a soup to early, you run the risk of it being too salty as some of the liquid inevitably boils off.  I cooked mine for a total of 6 hours.  Enjoy!

The smell in the house was to die for. I couldn't wait for the soup to get done.