Ranch Roasted Chickpeas

Are you kids like mine and ask for snacks all.day.long? OMG…you would think I never feed them! I’ve been gathering up snack type recipes to make instead of them constantly raiding the pantry. These ranch roasted chickpeas were a HUGE hit…and were gone in 15 minutes. Yes, 15 minutes! I guess I should have made a double batch.

I love the ranch flavor and they’re so simple and easy to make. I’ll be having my daughter make the next batch.

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Chewy Almond Vanilla Bars – Simple Sesame Blogger Challenge

I’m excited to share a recipe I created for the Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe 118956612Challenge!
As part of the challenge, I received three flavors of Simply Sesame to try: Vanilla with Almond Bits, Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom and Pure Roasted Sesame. I immediately knew I wanted to make experiment and make a recipe for granola bars. My kids are big fans of snacks and these would make great after school snacks for them.I loved that all three were 100% natural, non GMO and low in calories, sugar and salt – and it makes a great alternative to peanut butter or hazelnut spread. It’s also gluten-free and vegan!

I love the vanilla and almond flavor of the bars and hint of sesame. The bars held up well and can be cut into whatever size you’d like. I did rectangles for my oldest and then smaller bite sized pieces for my youngest. The spread was great to use and I loved the flavor. I can’t wait to try the regular variety to make a batch of hummus! There’s so many possibilities with these products and are great substitute for those of us with food allergies.

Visit Simple Sesame over on their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram  or Twitter for more delicious recipes and find out where you can get your own Simple Sesame spreads!

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Graham Crackers – #FilltheCookieJar

Happy December! I can’t believe how quickly this year and flown by and I know the next four weeks are going to be gone in a blink. I’m excited to share this recipe for graham crackers as part of December’s Fill the Cookie Jar group. They were so easy to make and my kids LOVE them! They have asked to have them in their lunch and snacks after school. They’re a winner and I’ll be making them often. If you have kids or grandkids, you’ll need to try this recipe.

If you’re not familiar with the Fill the Cookie Jar group, we’re a bunch of bloggers who get together on the first Thursday of each month and share a recipe that can fill your cookie jar. I mean who doesn’t love cookies and sweets!?!

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Pumpkin Energy Bites – The Secret Recipe Club

Happy Halloween! I can’t believe it’s already Halloween…where did fall go? My kids are so excited to go trick-or-treating tonight. Madeline is dressing up as Cleopatra and Cooper is going as Batman. I’ll be looking forward to them going to bed as soon as we’re done. I’m not looking forward to the sugar high…and then sugar crash.

Today’s recipe is the Secret Recipe Club‘s special themed reveal for Fall Dishes. My assigned blog was, Cooking with Traci. She has so many great recipes and is currently doing 31 Days of Slow Cooking…so many great ideas that I’ll be borrowing this winter! I decide to go with her recipe for Pumpkin No Bake Energy Balls…except make it into bars since my kids make a mess with energy balls. Bites are much easier for them and not as messy! These had the perfect pumpkin flavor and they’re the perfect treat for them for after school.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Bars – #FilltheCookieJar

It’s the first Thursday of the month and that means it’s time to Fill the Cookie Jar! This month’s theme is fall or halloween. Fall for me usually means pumpkin, apple and comfort food, but lately it’s been running here, running there, and running everywhere. So, when I decided on a recipe, I needed something that my kids could eat on the go. These chocolate peanut butter chia bars were perfect for that!

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Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds – Secret Recipe Club

Surprise…two Secret Recipe Club reveals in one month! Since August has five Mondays, we are having a special theme reveal day – Back to School. It’s perfect timing since today is my daughter’s first day of fourth grade. She’s ready to go to back to school, see all her friends and meet her new teacher. I’m ready to be done paying for camp fees 🙂

This reveal’s theme was open to so many things – quick dinners, breakfast, lunches and after-school snacks. I decided to go with the snacks since Madeline is always hungry when she comes home from school. I needed something quick and would fill her up, so when I saw this recipe for Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds from my assignment, Cookaholic Wife, I knew it would be perfect. Nichole is the foodie behind Cookaholic Wife and we both are compulsive-list makers and baking helps us relax. There’s just something about crossing off items on a list that I enjoy.

Back to the almonds, they were simple and easy to whip together yesterday. Yes, I waited until the day before the reveal to make this recipe, but I knew it would be successful! They’re the perfect amount of sweet and a handful really fills you. Plus, I have enough almonds to get us through at least the first four days of school. Cinnamon Almonds | Join Us, Pull up a Chair #SecretRecipeClub

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Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites

I’m on the hunt for new snacks for my kids. We’ve really slacked on eating healthy this summer and I know I’m paying for it now. So…needless to say, I’m on the mission to clean up our pantry again and try to minimize our the prepackaged foods in our house, especially with school starting in about a month.

I saw this recipe in the May 2015 Rachel Ray Magazine and knew Madeline would love it and she would be able to make it by herself. I did a trial run first and she’ll be making the next batch since it’s so easy. Just throw some ingredients into a food processor, add some mix-ins and roll in coconut. Super easy! I sampled one and it was really good, full of peanut butter flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness. Next time, I want to try making them with almond butter.

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No Bake Coconut Date Energy Bites – #FilltheCookieJar

Happy New Year! I took a little time off from blogging to spend time with my husband and kids. It was a nice break, but I’m ready to get back to sharing recipes and being in the kitchen.

The start of the New Year is always a time when resolutions are made and I’ve made a few myself. One of those is to stop the mindless snacking and finally lose the last of the weight I’ve be carrying around from my last pregnancy. This month’s Fill the Cookie Jar theme was healthy cookies, snowflake or new year. I decided on a no bake energy bite. They’re the perfect bite when I’m craving something sweet and want something healthy. They are also a great option for my kids to snack on and feel full after one. I’m hoping this will stop them from spending time in the pantry looking for something to eat.

The best part – they’re so easy to make! It took me less than 10 minutes to make and then pop them in the fridge to firm up for an hour. This recipe is very versatile, you can swap out the walnuts for another nut or roll the bites into shredded coconut.

No Bake Coconut Date Energy Bites | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

1/3 cup walnuts
10 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp water

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until they are chopped. Add in the dates, coconut, coconut oil and water. Process for a minute until the mixture comes together and there are no large pieces of dates.

Scoop out the mixture with a cookie scoop and roll in ball. Place in a mini muffin liner and refrigerate for an hour. Stir in an air tight container.

Check out all the cookie recipe’s in this month’s Fill the Cookie Jar in the link below!

Pretzel Bites with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce – The Secret Recipe Club

Welcome to the August reveal for Group C for The Secret Recipe Club. If you don’t know about the SRC, you’re missing out! Every month, all the participating bloggers are assigned another blog and we need to select one recipe to make from our assignment. Then we all reveal our recipe and assigned blog on a Monday. It’s always fun to look through the links to see who had your blog.

This month, I received Ashley’s blog, Rainstorms and Love Notes. She shares recipes, writes about love and life and binge watching TV, her three cats and love for the Steelers (Go Eagles!). I went through all the recipes and found a great recipe for pretzel bites with a jalapeno cheese sauce. I loved the short cut in using canned French bread to make the pretzel bites. I’ve made pretzels from scratch before and it’s time-consuming. The sauce was really good and had the perfect amount of heat with the jalapeno. My daughter loved it too!

Pretzel Bites with Jalapeno Cheese Sauce - SRC | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

1 can French loaf bread
2 Tbsp butter
Salt for sprinkling

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from the can and slice in half lengthwise. Cut each strip into small pieces and roll into small balls.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Drop 10 pieces of dough into the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the boiled dough with a slotted spoon and transfer to a piece of parchment paper to cool. Continue until all pieces of dough are boiled. Place on a foil covered baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

While the pretzels are baking, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and milk and whisk until smooth. Add in the jalapeno and garlic. Continue to stir until the mixture starts to thicken. Once thick, remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese and cayenne pepper.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter on the baked pretzel bites. Sprinkle with salt and serve. Enjoy!

Check out all the other recipes in this week’s group by clicking the link below!

Rum-Glazed Roasted Pecans

I’ve been wanting to make some sort of glazed nut recipe for months now. My friend Meg was making glazed nuts the other day and said she thought of me while making them. After she was disappointed in her recipe, I decided to look around and see what type of glazed nut recipes I could find. I stumbled on this recipe for rum-glazed roasted pecans and since I had all the ingredients in my pantry, I gave it a shot.
 
They were simple to make and smelled amazing as they were roasting. Madeline was watching the syrup bubbles in the oven and amazed at how she could see the bubble and then it would pop. I’m so glad my new oven has a light and she can watch things cook. I was planning to wrap these as a gift for Cooper’s physical therapist, but decided to keep them all our own. They were too good to pass up. The rum flavor isn’t too strong, I used a clear rum since I was out of dark rum….I rarely drink liquor anymore, so our stock hasn’t been replenished in awhile. I do think the rum flavor would be strong using dark rum and I think I’ll use dark brown sugar next time I make them too.
 
So if you’re looking for a quick treat to make, these pecans won’t disappoint! I would double the recipe if you’re planning to give them as a treat…don’t forget to keep some for yourself!

 
 
 
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp rum
2 cups whole pecans
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
 
In a medium sauce pan, heat both sugars, salt and 2 tablespoons of rum over medium to medium-high heat until it boils. At this point, stir the mixtures until the syrup starts to turn clear and non-granular. I turned the heat down to medium-low so not to burn the syrup.
 
Pour in the pecans. The mixture will be thick but don’t worry. Once the pecans are coated, carefully add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of run. The syrup with thin out at this point. Stir continuously until the syrup returns to a boil. Spoon the pecans onto the prepared baking sheet.
 
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the bubbling stops and the syrup appears hard. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool on the baking sheet. Break apart and store in a cool, dry place.