My brother-in-law threatened to remove me from his favorites list yesterday because I haven’t posted anything new in almost a month. Seemed a little harsh to me, but, just for him, I ran straight to the kitchen and mixed up these s’mores treats.
(Well, not really. I really made them for my Claudia, but I know she’d share with Uncle Jim if he were here!)
Recipe: S’mores Treats
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 (10 3/4 oz.bag) of marshmallows
6 cups of Golden Grahams cereal
handful of milk chocolate chips
handful of mini marshmallows
Pour chocolate chips into a bowl and allow to chill in the freezer. Spray an 8″ square pan with cooking spray and set aside. Melt butter and the bag of marshmallows over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in Golden Grahams until coated. Wait one or two minutes and stir in chilled chocolate chips. Then add mini marshmallows. Press mixture into the baking pan with the back of a spoon you’ve sprayed with cooking spray. Cool completely and cut into squares.
Yum, yum, and yum. Three layers of goodness. A brownie topped with peppermint frosting, finished off with ganache and crushed candy. I am such a lover of all things peppermint and this fits the bill perfectly.
If you want to go the full homemade route, by all means, make your brownies from scratch. I was definitely going for quick and easy, so I used a boxed mix. But with the peppermint layer and the creamy ganache, even my humble boxed brownies reached great heights.
Recipe: Peppermint Patty Brownies
(adapted from how sweet it is)
your favorite boxed mix and necessary ingredients
Peppermint Patty Layer:
2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbsp. evaporated milk
1/4 tsp. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
2-3 Tbsp. evaporated milk
chopped candy cane Hershey kisses or crushed candy canes
Prepare brownies according to package directions, or make them using your favorite brownie recipe. While brownies are cooling, mix peppermint patty frosting. Combine powdered sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Spread over brownies and place in refrigerator until set, about 30 minutes.
To make ganache, gently heat evaporated milk until warm and pour it over chocolate. Stir for a few minutes until smooth and creamy. Spread on top of the peppermint layer. Sprinkle with chopped candy cane Hershey kisses or crushed candy canes.
I discovered chia seeds and hemp seeds over the summer, and I can’t rave about them enough. The health benefits are incredible and they really are one of nature’s perfect foods. I loved the blueberry chia jam I made, but with the arrival of Fall weather and pumpkin recipes everywhere, I got a little creative and made pumpkin chia butter. It’s delicious on top of toast, but I also love it stirred into Greek yogurt or as a topping for waffles or pancakes.
Recipe: Pumpkin Chia Butter
(inspired by and adapted from skinnytaste.com)
1 29-oz. can of pumpkin puree
3/4 c. apple juice or apple cider
1/2 c. light brown sugar (If you have more of a sweet tooth than I do, you can add another 1/4 c. of brown sugar.)
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3-4 Tbsp. chia seeds
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Combine pureed pumpkin, apple juice, brown sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium saucepan. Mix well. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add chia seeds and continue to simmer until thickened, about 10 more minutes. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow to cool slightly and transfer to small mason jars or reusable containers. Pumpkin chia butter should be stored in the refrigerator. Pumpkin chia butter can also be frozen, but be sure to leave a little space in the top of the jar if freezing to allow for it to expand a bit.
I made these yummy turkeys a couple years ago, but wanted to share them in case you might be looking for a silly way to get the kids excited about Turkey Day. They were both huge hits with kids and teachers alike, plus they’re healthy snacks. And frankly, just plain fun!
Paper Bag Popcorn Turkey and tutorial found at one charming party.
Fruit turkey directions from Family Fun magazine.
I am so addicted to Pinterest, aren’t you? Not only do I find decorating and crafting ideas there, but the food pins are enough to make you drool. That’s where I stumbled upon this brilliant little gem. A melted Rolo sandwiched inside two salty Ritz crackers. Mmmmm.
If you ever need a last minute treat for anything, you’ll be happy to have this idea in your back pocket. Trust me. Salty and sweet? A match made in Heaven.
Recipe: Rolo Stuffed Ritz Crackers
(from something swanky)
Since I’ve gone back to work, I’ve tried to make better use of my crockpot in getting a good meal on the table during the week. Schedules are getting crazy now that basketball practices have begun for both kids, and with me working again, I’m finding it more of a challenge to get us all to the table to share a meal. I like that the crockpot can do most of the work for me, so I’ve always got my eyes out for a tasty recipe.
This flavorful rub and a roasting chicken that fits into your crockpot will give you a meal that rivals the rotisserie chicken you buy from the grocery store. And the perk is that you’ll probably have leftovers for sandwiches, salads, or soup for a couple of days. That’s a total win.
I tear off 4 pieces of foil and wad them into balls to put in the bottom of the crockpot, then rub the spices all over the chicken (inside and out), and put the chicken on top of the foil balls. The house smells amazing when we get home and the chicken literally falls apart coming out of the crockpot.
Recipe: Rotisserie Chicken at Home
(recipe from busy mommy)
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3-4 lbs.)
2 Tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
3 cloves of diced garlic (or 2 Tbsp. garlic powder)
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl and add water by the teaspoon until a paste forms. Stir until well combined. Place foil balls in bottom of crockpot and lightly spray inside of crockpot with cooking spray. Rub entire chicken with spice rub and place in the crockpot, on top of the foil balls. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours.
This is one of the treats I make every Christmas, but a luncheon with a World Series theme brought it out of the recipe box a little early this year. See the connection? ♫By me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks….♫ But this version is waaayyyy better than the one you find in the little box, let me tell you. It’s not difficult to do from scratch either, though you do need to give yourself about an hour.
I found this recipe years ago at allrecipes and the title alone grabbed my attention right away. It was called “My Amish Friend’s Caramel Corn.” That’s actually what I still call it, but my husband pointed out that I don’t really have an Amish friend, so I shouldn’t make claims that indicate that I do. Says it’s misleading. But we like this recipe so much that in my heart, I feel like I do have an Amish friend and I did get this recipe from her. So that being said, it will always be referred to as “My Amish Friend’s Caramel Corn!” So there!
Recipe: My Amish Friend’s Caramel Corn ☺
(from allrecipes.com, submitted by AnitaLouise)
7 quarts plain popped popcorn (I make 2 batches in my hot air popper.)
2 c. dry roasted peanuts, optional
2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 c. butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Place the popped popcorn and peanuts onto two shallow, greased baking pans. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to blend. Once mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes, while stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. Immediately pour over popcorn and stir, but don’t worry about not getting every piece of popcorn covered. Bake for 1 hour, removing pans every 15 minutes to stir popcorn and turn pans. When finished, pour the caramel corn onto waxed paper and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.