Popcorn Snack Recipe

If you’re looking for a healthy, filling treat, give the below recipe a try.  It’s made with oatmeal cereal, popcorn, cranberries, apples, and a bit of chocolate.  It’s easy to make a huge batch at once and divide it in to small bags to take to work or school.  I call it “high fiber snack” but you can call it whatever you want!

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Ingredients

  • 9 cups popped popcorn (I make mine using an air popper, but you could also buy bagged popcorn and use that instead.  I especially like Skinny Pop popcorn)
  • 1.5 cups oatmeal cereal squares
  • 3/4 cups dried cranberries
  • 2.5 oz package of dried apple slices.  You can also make these yourself if you’d prefer
  • 1.5 cups chocolate chips
  • Optional – raisins, almonds, walnuts, etc.

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Store in a gallon plastic bag or tupperware container.

 

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

It may be a tad early for pumpkin-flavored things but the colder-than-average temperatures have put me in the mood to bake fall favorites.

I found a recipe for pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies online and, after reading some of the comments, decided to make some changes to the recipe.  My cookies turned out less chewy than regular snickerdoodle cookies and more soft and pillowy.  I took some to work and I received a lot of compliments and requests for the recipe.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle cookies

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (not packed)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (this helps make the cookies soft. I use them in chocolate chip cookies, too)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For rolling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Instructions

Combine flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.  Set aside.

Cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until just combined.  Mix in egg yolk, then pumpkin and vanilla extract.  Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Place dough in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 45-60 minutes. Without this step, the dough is too sticky to roll.

Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit during last 10 minutes of chilling  In small box, mix 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon.  Scoop dough out in 1 or 1.5 rounded tablespoons and roll dough in cinnamon sugar mixture until evenly coated then transfer to baking sheet, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.  Bake in preheated oven 12-14 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

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Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas

A posted a recipe for fajita quesadillas a few months ago.  I really enjoy making (and eating) those but I wanted to try something different today.  Instead of onions and peppers, I decided to make the quesadillas with black beans and corn.  They turned out really good!
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Here’s how you make them!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of chicken
  • flour tortillas (I use 10 inch tortillas)
  • shredded cheese (I used colby cheddar)
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1-2 tablespoons of taco seasoning
  • butter for frying pan

Directions

  • Poach chicken for ~10 minutes or until fully cooked.  Remove chicken from pot and shred using two forks.  Set aside.
  • Drain and rinse black beans.  Then drain corn.  Add corn, chicken, taco seasoning, and black beans to a frying pan.  Cook on medium high until all ingredients are hot and a bit more cooked through like shown below.  This also helps burn off some of the water left over from rinsing. img_3041
  • In a separate frying pan, melt a bit of butter.  Add 1 tortilla over the butter then add cheese and as much of the bean/corn/chicken mixture as you’d like.  Then add second tortilla over top.
  • Once the bottom of the first tortilla starts to brown, flip the quesadilla over to cook the bottom (I put a plate over the pan and then quickly flip the quesadilla on to the plate.  Then I push the quesadilla back on the pan.  This helps avoid spillage which happens to me if I try to flip using a spatula).
  • Once the bottom of the second tortilla starts to brown, remove from heat, transfer to plate, and cut it in to 4 even piece.
  • Add toppings (salsa, green onions, guacamole, sour cream, etc.) to your liking.

Enjoy!

Chicken and Veggie Wrap

I made these chicken and vegetable wraps for lunch today.  It’s a great recipe if you’re looking for something low carb or healthy.

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Ingredients (enough to make 4 wraps)

  • Low carb whole grain flatbread.  I find these in the bakery section of the grocery store.  Or you can use tortillas.
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (1/4 cup per wrap)
  • 1 pound of chicken breast
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 of a white or red onion, sliced
  • 2 shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash Chicken Grilling Blend)
  • Lettuce (or spinach leaves)
  • Diced tomato (optional)
  • Dijon mustard (or a different condiment of your choosing – ranch, mayo, etc.)

Directions

  • Poach chicken for ~10 minutes until cooked through.  Remove chicken from pot and shred it using two forks.  In a warm skillet, toss chicken with chicken seasoning and keep warm while assembling wrap.
  • Spread dijon mustard on flatbread.  Add peppers and onions, lettuce, cheese, carrot, tomato, and chicken.
  • Roll the flatbread tightly and place on a plate.  Cut it diagonally and serve with sun chips, fruit, or yogurt.

We really enjoyed these.  They are filling and delicious!

I hope you enjoy them too.

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Crock Pot Beef & Vegetable Soup

Hi All!  Today I made a family recipe for beef and vegetable soup.  It turned out great and was perfect for a cold, rainy day.

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Ingredients
– 2 pounds of bottom round cut beef.  Top round and English roast also work.
– 12 oz. can of tomato sauce
– Small bag of frozen mixed vegetables (mine had peas, corn, carrots, and green beans)
– 3/4 cup of frozen lima beans (optional)
– 4 to 5 stalks of celery, cut in to small slices
– 3 to 4 red potatoes, cut in to chunks
– 1 beef bouillon cube
– 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
– 1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
– 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
– water

Directions
– The night before, rinse the beef and put in crock pot.  Pour cold water in to crock pot over the beef until it is just covered.  Cook on low overnight.
– In the morning, remove the beef from the crock pot.  Using two forks, shred the beef.  Discard any fat.
– Keep the water that’s left over in the crock pot because this is the start of your broth.  Add the beef bouillon cube, tomato sauce, and the spices/seasoning to the crock pot. Stir.
– Add the beef and vegetables to the crock pot and stir until ingredients are mixed.  Cook on low all day (8-10 hours) or on high 4-6 hours.

I served the soup with yummy cinnamon muffins straight from the oven.

Enjoy!

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Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

Hello everyone!  I want to share with you the recipe for a quick and easy dinner I’ve made a lot recently.

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas!

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound of chicken (I use chicken tenders cause they’re cheaper and cook quickly, but you can use chicken breasts instead.  Or you can use seasoned ground beef. Or you can go vegetarian which is awesome too.)
  • Bell peppers and onions.  I use the pre-packaged “fajita vegetable mix” in the produce section.  Super easy.
  • Flour tortillas. I use the 10 inch shells but you can go smaller with the 8 inch if you’d prefer.
  • Taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Shredded cheese
  • Your choice of toppings (sour cream, guacamole, green onions, cilantro, salsa, etc.)
  • Butter for cooking the tortillas

Directions

1. Poach the chicken until done. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred in to small pieces using two forks. Mix 1-2 tablespoons (depending on your preference) of taco seasoning with the chicken.

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2. In a skillet, mix olive oil with the bell peppers and onion. Stirring frequently, cook over medium-high heat until peppers and onions are soft.

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3. Heat a separate skillet on medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of butter and allow it to melt.  Place a tortilla in the skillet and move it around a bit so the butter evenly coats the bottom. Then add cheese, the onion/pepper mix, and the chicken. Top with a second tortilla shell.

 

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4. Check the bottom of the tortilla fairly often because it burns quickly.  Once the tortilla starts to brown, place a dinner plate on top of the quesadilla.  Pick the skillet up and flip the quesadilla on to the plate.  I usually wear an oven mitt on the hand holding the plate in place so I don’t burn myself.

5. Melt a bit more butter in the skillet.  Using a large spatula, transfer the quesadilla from the plate back to the skillet to cook the other side.

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6. Once the bottom is browned, remove the quesadilla from the skillet using a spatula.  Cut it in to four even pieces (so it’s easier to eat)

Enjoy!

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Zucchini Bread Recipe

I didn’t wait long after the start of fall to make some zucchini bread.  This recipe is a combination of recipes I’ve seen online and one that my mother-in-law gave to me a few weeks ago.

IMG_0181Ingredients
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 1.75 cups of sugar (most recipes call for 2 cups, so you can add more if you’d like)
– 1 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. cinnamon (sometimes I add 3 tsp if I want more of a cinnamon taste)
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– 1 tsp. baking powder
– 1 cup of oil (I used 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of applesauce to reduce calories)
– 3 eggs
– 2 tsp. vanilla
– 2 cups of grated zucchini

Directions
Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Mix together dry ingredients and add oil, eggs, vanilla, and grated zucchini and stir until combined.  Pour batter (about  2.5 cups each) in to two greased bread pans and bake for 55-70 minutes.  Bread is done when toothpick comes out clean.  I leave mine in for 70 minutes.

Then, share with friends
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Or keep them for yourself.  Enjoy!
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