Grandma Lee’s No-Bake Bars


Today I had my first meeting with my new clinical team. I wanted to make a sweet treat but didn’t want to turn on the oven. It was 88 degrees in my house! I haven’t turned on the air … yet. 

I have been wanting to make Grandma Lee’s recipe for a while now. She used to prepare it for the school where she was employed as head cook.  I can remember growing up and going to visit her at work. She’d always sneak me a cookie and some milk when I visited with grandpa. Grandma also always stored these in the freezer as well, so when we’d go visit her at home she never let us go with a cookie for the road. 

This recipe can be made into cookies or bars. I was pressed for time; therefore, went on the safe side and made bars. 

Yields: 24 bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup, 1 stick unsalted butter (grandma uses salted, I just used a pinch of kosher with the unsalted butter)

1/2 cup (fat free half & half) grandma uses whole milk

1 cup natural creamy peanut butter

4 Tablespoons cocoa powder ( I prefer penzeys)

1 1/2 cups quick oats

1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (grandma uses all quick oats)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

9 by 13 pan & lined with Parchment paper

Directions

1. Take a medium sauce pan on medium heat and add first 4 ingredients and bring to a boil.

2. Once the sauce boils, allow to boil for two minutes & then remove from heat and add oats and vanilla. 

3. Incorporate the oats into the melted mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Even out the batter with a rubber spatula. Cover with sealable container or foil. Store on the counter. Do not refrigerator. 

4. Allow to harden, I waited overnight. Use the parchment paper to pull the bars out of the pan and on a cutting board, cut the bars into even pieces. 

As pictured Recipe yields 24 bars. 

If you decide to go the cookie route, this recipe will yield 30 to 36 cookies using a size 40 scooper. I would recommend dropping them on wax paper and letting them sit before storing them in a sealable container.

Enjoy !

Quinoa and Cucumber Salad

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Today we are celebrating father’s day a little early since my dad has to work next weekend. I was asked to bring a salad or the vegetarian dish. As my mom would put it “something you will eat” lol. This recipe is vegan so you can be safe to make the dish for your vegan guests as well.

There are a lot of benefits to a using quinoa in dishes. I like the fact that it is a whole grain and packed with protein. I prefer using the tricolor quinoa more or less for ascetics. I know the tricolor tends to be more expensive. If you like the tricolor as well,  I will share a trick to making the pantry staple last longer. Try purchasing a large bag of the white quinoa (like the Costco size) and mixing it with a small bag of tricolor. You will be surprised how the two can extend the tricolor effect.

This recipe yields: 6 (1 cup) servings

Ingredients

1 1cup(s )canned low sodium black beans, drained (this is one 15 oz can)
cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and diced
cup cooked tricolor quinoa, cooled
1cup English cucumber, diced (this about 1/2 a medium)
1cup fresh lemon juice (this took about 1 and a half fresh medium lemons)
1 cup raw red bell pepper, diced (this is about one medium)
1 cup raw yellow bell pepper, diced (this is about one medium)
medium raw scallion(s)
clove(s), smallgarlic clove(s)
2Tbs Pasta Sprinkle aka Italian seasoning
1tsp kosher salt
1tsp ground  pepper
1cup Lime jalapeno balsamic vinegar
Instructions
1. Place all the ingredients in a resealable container and give it a good toss.  Place the lid on the container. Store in the refrigerator to marry overnight or for a solid 1-2 hours.
2. Enjoy at your next potluck!

Roasted Yellow Pepper & Garlic Hummus

Hummus is very versatile and can be made with just about any type of bean or legume. Most traditionally though it is made with chickpeas AKA garbanzo beans. 

I like to make all kinds of variations of hummus. Generally, I like to have both garlic and roasted peppers in my hummus. 

 Yields 5 cups (20 servings; 1/4 cup)

Ingredients:

2 cans (15 oz) of reduced sodium chickpeas, drained and reserve one 1/4 cup of liquid

7 ounces of roasted yellow peppers  (packed in water NOT oil); drained
6 cloves of garlic (I love love garlic)
3 tablespoons of tahini ( essentially Sesame seed butter)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

6 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon of curry powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of Penzeys Arizona seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in the vitamix and place the device on liquid setting. Once mode complete, place contents into sealable container. Allow the contents to marry overnight for optimal flavor

Keep stored in refrigerator. 

My favorite combinations with this hummus recipe is tacos tacos, and fresh turnips.

Zesty Tajin Hummus

Yields 14 servings (1/4 cup)

Tools needed for the job:

Vitamix

Ingredients:

2 cans (15 oz) of chickpeas,  drained and reserve one 1/4 cup of liquid

7 ounces of roasted red peppers and yellow or combination (packed in water NOT oil) drained

7 cloves of garlic (I love love garlic)

3 tablespoons of tahini ( essentially Sesame seed butter)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

6 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon reduced sodium tajin 

1 teaspoon of curry powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in the vitamix and place the device on liquid setting. Once mode complete, place contents into sealable container.  Allow the contents to marry overnight.

Keep stored in refrigerator. 

My favorite combinations with hummus are #1 Pizza! Other favorites are snap peas, carrots, wasa crackers, whole grain corn and quinoa cakes,  & added to kale salad! 

Canadian Bacon & Egg Bake for Two


This is a quick and easy breakfast idea for two people. I also cut a significant amount of fat out of the original recipe. Plus added a whole grain component. 

Ingredients:

2 light wheat English muffins, toasted and cut into 1/2 inch squares 

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon Penzey’s Ruth Ann’s chicken seasoning 

Cooking spray

1/2 cup Canadian Bacon, chopped

1/4- 1/2 cup 2% Shredded cheddar cheese 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 3 cup glass baking dish spray with cooking spray to coat the pan. Generously cooking spray the English muffin pieces & Canadian bacon. Now sprinkle with seasoning to coat the ingredients and give a good toss. Add the bread mix to your prepared baking dish. Evenly pour the eggs over the dry ingredients. Lastly top the dish with the cheese.

Bake the dish uncovered, at 350° for 15-18 minutes or until eggs are cooked through out. 
Yield: 2 servings 

Link


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Recipe Yields: 24 standard size cupcakes (using a Size 16 Scoop)

I never thought I would say GO Lakeview Bulldogs! No way not from growing up a Golden Flash! Go Champion Flashes!!  However, my cousin’s daughter, Meg,  graduated from Lakeview High School this year. I was asked to make cupcakes for her open house this weekend.

Luckily I moved back to the Pittsburgh area . I am am only 81 miles from home instead of 500 plus. I was able to prepare the cupcakes in my new quant 1920 home. I love baking and making cupcakes, even though I just moved back and still have boxes everywhere… How could I say no! I laughed initially because I honestly don’t think I have ever made vanilla cupcakes.

These are super fun and easy to make and don’t skimp out on not using a vanilla bean to add the little black flecks of tasty vanilla with each bite.

Of course when I made the cupcakes for the event I Quadrupled the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of sugar

1 vanilla bean, vanilla seeds scrapped

12 Tablespoons of unsalted butter,  (1 1/2 sticks of butter (room temperature))

4 large eggs, (room temperature)

3/4 teaspoon salt, kosher

3 cups of all purpose floor

11/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1 1/4 cup of buttermilk,(room temperature)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Buttercream Frosting I used this one and had to make 2.5 recipes of the batter! It really does pipe beautifully

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line with paper liners 24 light in color muffin tins. Set aside.

2. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla bean seeds, and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, mix after each addition.

3. In a medium bowl sift together the baking powder, salt, and flour. Set aside.

4. Start incorporate on a low speed some of the flour mixture, alternate and gradually add some of the buttermilk in three parts, swapping between buttermilk and flour until all the mixture is incorporated. Be cautious not to over mix.

5. Portion out the batter using a size 16 scoop into prelined muffin tins. Bake for 8 minutes and rotate in the oven and bake for another 8 minutes. All the cupcakes to cool in tin for 5 minutes and remove from tin and allow to cool on wire rack for the remainder of the time frame. Prior to frosting.

6. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, frosting using buttercream recipe link. Or your favorite go to frosting.

Enjoy!

Sweet & Salty Whole Grain Bars

I planned a very big trip this weekend. I went to Georgia to pick up my baby girl Lucy. My second cousin breeds Labs and I have wanted one of her’s for years. 

I am starting a new chapter in my life, and I am looking forward to the road ahead with her. She already has stolen my heart. 

I made these bars to take on my adventure to Georgia. I never like to go anywhere empty handed. These tasty treats turned out delicious. Even my Cousin said they taste really good for looking like bird food. 😂

Yields:

24 bars 

Ingredients
:

9 by 13 glass Pyrex pan 

Parchment paper

3/4 cup honey

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 1/4 steel oats

1 cup pretzels pieces (crumbs)

1 1/3 cup Millet

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups Puffed barley cereal

Pre directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Parchment paper line 9 by 13 glass pan. Set aside 

Directions:

1. In a large bowl mix the honey and peanut butter. Microwave in 30 second intervals. Until the batter is very smooth and easy to mix. It only took me 1 minute to reach the consistency I was going for. 

2. In a separate bowl while the peanut butter softens. Place all the remaining ingredients into a medium bowl mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the honey/peanut butter blend. Stir until combine. 

3. Pour the batter into the parchment paper lined baking dish. Spread the batter evenly. I like to use another piece of parchment paper to do this. 

4. Place in preheated oven for 17-20 minutes. 

5. Remove from oven allow to cool and cover place in refrigerator over night with lid. 

6. In the morning remove the bars using the parchment. Place them on a cutting board. Cut into 24 bars using sharp knife. Place in snack size ziplock bags or place back in the glass dish and store in refrigerator. 

Enjoy

Cashew Lover’s Trail Mix

Any trail mix connoisseur will love.. love this blend of nuts, seeds, and everything in between. Especially all you cashew lovers in the crowd

Ingredients

71 oz sealable container 

1 cup pepita seeds

1 cup cocoa almonds

1 1/4 cup mixed dried fruit, no added sugar (blueberries, cherries & cranberries)
1 1/2 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds

2 1/2 cups unsalted whole cashews

1 3/4 cup of dark chocolate pretzels nibs ( I found at Marshall’s♥️)

1 cup of lightly salted peanuts 

Directions:

1. Layer the ingredients separately in the container. Make sure to leave some room at the top. 

2. Secure the lid on top of the container and give it a good shake. Gently shake until all nuts, seeds, and everything in between is well incorporated throughout. 

Yields: 71 oz of trail mix and saves you $. Just say NO to store bought and your wallet will be smiling 😁

Elvis Overnight Oats


My all time favorite combo is Peanut Butter and Banana. Honestly I could eat this combo for every meal and snack. I usually enjoy a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch but ran across this concoction since I had an overripe banana lingering in the kitchen. 

Ingredients: 

1 small banana ripe

1TB PB2, chocolate 

1 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds

1 truvia packet

3/8 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 1/2 cup Water (I like mine watery, if you prefer yours thick omit)

Directions:

1. Place the peeled banana in an 18 oz mason jar. Mash the banana with a fork. 

2. Add the next 4 ingredients into the jar, mix well. 

3. Finally add the liquid ingredients (almond milk and water) into the banana purée. Place the lid and seal on the jar and give it a good shake. Place the jar in the refrigerator overnight to allow the ingredients to marry.

4. When ready for breakfast, give the jar another good shake and remove seal and lid to enjoy. If you are in a hurry, you can drink it through a straw in the way to work. 

Breakfast Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Stromboli

We traveled back to Pennsylivanna recently, and I was rummaging through the kitchen trying to find a dish to prepare for breakfast. Low and behold, I found a frozen homemade pizza dough in the deep freezer at the house. I always try and make a double or triple batch to keep on hand in case of an emergency. 

As we continue down the journey of relocating, I press on at trying to be resourceful with staple pantry items. I have been utizling several of my stowed away items from one of our three freezers for it seems like months. Now if we were in the middle of blizzard we would be safe and never hungry! However, since we are moving I have found it a challenge but the good news is we just cleared an entree refrigerator/freezer combo out completely and it is up for grabs.

Nevertheless, I sure felt lucky to be back in my kitchen, and bake breakfast for my hubby. As far as I am concerned apartment baking leaves little to be desired.  I am looking forward to a spacious kitchen. 
Recipe yields: 4 Servings 

Ingredients:  

1 pound of homemade pizza dough, if frozen allow to completely thaw

1/2 pound fully cooked breakfast sausage

3 eggs, scrambled seasoned with kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon of salt free garden blend seasoning

1 tablespoon dried Parsley

1/2 cup shredder 2 % cheese monterey jack

Scant olive oil, optional 
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper down on a half sheet baking pan. Set aside. 

2. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface into a rectanglar shape. Scatter the sausage evenly on the dough. 

3. Layer the scrambled eggs on top of the sausage. Next, add the cheese evenly on the top of the eggs and generously sprinkle the dried parsley & salt free seasoning on top of    

    the cheese. 

4. Take the longer side of the rectangle, start to roll up the dough (like a cinnamon roll). Continue to roll and tuck the seal on the bottom side. 

5. Seal the ends of the Stromboli, and fold them under the dough. Lastly at an angle cut with a sharp knife a few steam slots to allow for thorough baking. Place the dough 

    (seal down) on parchment paper lined sheet pan. Brush with olive oil. 

6. Place the Stromboli in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool slightly before slicing into.