Category Archives: Snacks

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


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


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 !

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


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 


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 😁

Roasted Cashew Oat Bars with Dark Chocolate Drizzle

My hubby loves cashews, last night we made ginger cashew chicken and we had some leftover cashews. I have been wanting to try cashews in a bar for a while now. He will be heading back to the burgh in a few a days so I thought I make these for him to snack on during his commute. Hopefully they will hold him over so he doesn’t have to make too many stops at Sheetz. 🙈

This recipe yields 12 bars

1 1/2 cups raw whole cashews, unsalted (divided); chop roughly 

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

2 Tablespoons hemp seeds

3 Tablespoons canola oil

2 Tablespoons milled flaxseed

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground Vietnamese Cinnamon 

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries, low sugar

1/3 cup Dark Chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli), optional 


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Take a glass 8 by 8 baking dish and line with parchment paper. Set aside.


1. Place 1/2 cup of the cashews and all the oats and hemp seeds on a parchment paper lined 1/2 sheet baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes and toss with wooden spoon and bake for 5-10 more minutes (until oats and cashews turn golden brown). 

2. In the meantime place remaining cashews, canola oil and flaxseed in food processor and purée until nut butter consistency. Set mixture aside. 

3. While the oats continue to bake, place a 2 quart sauce pan on medium heat, add honey, raw sugar, cinnamon and salt. Allow contents to heat for 4-5 minutes, remove from heat and add cashew butter mixture. Stir to combined. 

4. Once the oats have baked to desired golden hue, using parchment paper siphon the baked contents into large glass bowl, add the dried cranberries. Pour warm liquid cashew mixture over oat mixture. Fold all the ingredients together with spatula. Make sure to incorporate all ingredients together until there are no signs of dry residue. 

5. Take mixture and press into prepared baking dish. Press flat & even using another piece of parchment paper. 

6. Place the dish in the center rack of the oven and bake 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set on wire rack and allow to cool & harden (about an hour). Using the sides of the excess parchment pull out of the pan and set on cutting board and cut into 12 bars. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds and stir and continue to heat in 30 second intervals, stirs after each interval until smooth.

7.  Place the chocolate in a snack size ziplock bag and clip the end of the bag with food sissors and drizzle away. 

Maple Cinnamon Toasted Granola

March is National Nutrition Month & tomorrow is Registered Dietitian Day! I like to celebrate with a bold nutritious dense cinnamon delicious treat. I made this blend to honor my Clinical Team. RD day is a way to celebrate the wonderful profession of nutrition and dietetics and to honor hard working dietetic professionals. 

Granola is very versatile!  You can put just about anything in it. You can make it sweet or savory. You can eat granola dry, or add a splash of milk, or top off your yogurt with it. I like to incorporate it into Ina Garten’s Banana Muffins. They are my most requested muffin recipe. 

Yields: 4 cups 

Servings: 8 (1/4 cups)


2 cups 100% rolled oats (not quick or instant)

1 cup puffed brown rice 

1/2 teaspoon Vietnamese ground cinnamon 

3 Tablespoons brown sugar (not packed)

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup 100 % pure maple syrup 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup dried cranberries, low sugar

1/4 cup lightly salted roasted sunflower seeds

1/8 cup pepita seeds


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl mix together the first 4 ingredients. Set aside. 

3. In a small bowl mix together canola oil, maple syrup,& vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry oat mix. Give the mixture a good stir. Make sure all the dry ingredients are coated with liquid goodness.

4. Pour the oat mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Place the pan in the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes. 

5. After 15 minutes elapsed use spatula to toss the granola on the pan. Allow to bake for another 5 minutes and continue to repeat until you reach desired golden brown hue. It took about 20 additional minutes. Add the seeds and craisins. All to cool on pan entirely. Enjoy! 

Valentine’s Day Trail Mix

I broke down, and had to purchase personalized M&M’s for my husband for Valentine’s Day. The process of ordering the M&M’s was too much fun with selecting any color, adding cute little sayings, and pictures. I was able to order them with Groupon one of my favorite apps which decreased the overall cost. My whole intent of ordering the M&M’s was to make him trail mix with these “melt in your mouth” American staples. 

I added all his favorite fixings into the mix.  Trail mix is one of his favorite snacks, and is great in between meals as a satisfying sweet and salty treat. 


1 cup dried cranberries 

1 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds, lightly salted

1 cup whole cashews, lightly salted 

2 cup peanuts, lightly salted

1 cup M&M’s 

1 cup Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips

1/4 cup pepita seeds


1. Mix all the ingredients into a sealable container. Lock the lid on the container & give the container a few gentle shakes to distribute all the ingredients throughout. 

2. Store the trail mix in the sealed container or portion out into small sealable snack baggies for travel. 

Creamed Cinnamon Honey Roasted Pecans

My team at work for Christmas gifted me a lovely bag of North Carolina Local Gems. 

I couldn’t wait to open the Creamed Cinnamon  Honey! I made some Carmellized Banana Pecan French Toast with it this morning to coincide. 

This is a tasty way to utilize local ingredients for a delicious snack or gift. The finished product reminded my husband ,and I of a fancier version of Cracker Jack’s since that is the texture they portrayed. 


1 pound of raw pecan halfs

1/4 cup creamed Honey with cinnamon 


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place raw pecans on the baking pan. Place the pecans on the sheet in the preheated oven on the center rack. Bake for 6-8 minutes. 

2. In the meantime place a two quart sauce pan on low medium heat and melt the creamed honey. Once the timer has elsapsed on the pecans place the pecans in the sauce pan with the honey. Allow the pecans and honey to merry. Use mini spatula to incorporate the honey throughout. Allow the ingredients to heat for 6 minutes on low. 

3. Pour the pecans on wax paper and allow them to cool. The pecans will remain tacky. Allow for them to cool on the wax for about 1 hour then place in ziplock sealable container. That is if they make it past the cooling part! 😉

Homemade Trail Mix 

Trail mix is a staple at our house. We love it to snack on when we travel or when we are watching a show. I love to even keep some in my bookback or purse when we are shopping. Trail mix is always good for a mid day high energy snack. A little goes a long way. 

Trail mix at the grocery store,vending machine, or convenient mart can be costly.  I bought all these ingredients for this blend at Aldi and tossed them together for a fraction of the price of the prepackaged variety.

Tips! Mix it up; if you don’t like sunflower seeds try pumpkin seeds. Or if you don’t like dark chocolate maybe try peanut butter chips. If you don’t like raisins use dried blueberries or cherries (just make sure to get the unsweetened ones). This blend below just happens to be my husband’s favorite pairing. 

This recipe yields approximately {8  1/2 cups}: 34 servings (1/4 cup is a serving

2 cups of lightly salted dry roasted peanuts

2 cups of  unsalted dry roasted sunflower seeds

1 1/4 cup extra dark chocolate chips (63 % cacao)

1 (8 ounce bag of Peanut M&Ms), about 1 1/3 cup

1 cup of raisins 


1. Throw all the ingredients in a resemble bag and shake it up! 


Sunflower Cocoa No Bake Bars

Recipe yields: 12 bars 


1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup sunflower butter

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 quick oats

1 cup brown rice crisps cereal 

1 oz Dark chocolate (melted) optional 

Pre work:

Take a class an 8 by 8 baking dish and foil line it and spray with cooking spray. Set aside


Place the sunflower butter & honey in a large glass microwave bowl. Microwave for 1-1 1/2 minutes and stir. Add in the cocoa, & salt. Add in oats and stir. Lastly fold in rice cereal. Press the batter evenly into the prepared class dish. Cover and let the bars firm up in the refrigerator for 2 hours to even overnight. 

Take the foil on both sides and pull the bars out of the glass dish. Place on a cutting on cutting board. Cut the bars into 12 bars. If you wish drizzle some chocolate on the top of the bars. Place in a resealable container. 

Macadamia Nut Blondies

Today is Macadamia Nut Day. Instead of adding walnuts into your oatmeal or your favorite trail mix try giving the macadamia nut a try. Macadamia nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and plant substances that might lower cholesterol.

My husband and I went to Hawaii this past May and Hawaii is famous for their native Macadamia Nuts. One thing we noticed while we stayed on the various islands of Hawaii, these nuts are added to just about every baked good from cookies to quick breads. Today I thought I’d add them to a blondie bar. 

Prep time: 15 minutes Bake time: 25- 30 mintues

This recipe yields: 24 Blondies 

Essential Tools for the job & pre work:

  • 9 inch baking pan
  • Parchment paper (optional but will make life easier)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line baking dish with parchment paper; enough to get sides to pull the Blondies out to make for easier cutting.


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2-2/3 cups whole wheat pastry  flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup chopped finely macadamia nuts


1. In a stand mixer attacjed bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add applesauce and mix. Beat in eggs one at a time & add vanilla. Set aside.

2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, spices and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Lastly fold in the macadamia nuts. Spread into a prepared 9 inch square baking pan (I did use a dark pan). The type of pan will effect the cooking time). If your pan is lighter you might need to bake it longer. 

3. Bake in the center rack of oven for 25-30 minutes or until set and golden brown & toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using parchment “handle” pull bars out and place on cutting board & cut into 24 bars. Store in a airtight container, whole wheat products don’t last as long as AP baked goods.

Bold Black-Eyed Pea Hummus



We had my husband’s colleagues over for a picnic yesterday. I had intentions of making my vibrant blackeyed pea salad; however, I cooked the beans too long in the pressure cooker. It was my first time cooking the black eyed peas in the pressure cooker.  Apparently they don’t take as long to cook as black beans. Well, I learned my lesson for the day. There seems to always be a lesson to be learned. Anyway, there is a positive to this food story,  the unintended outcome was this spicy black-eyed pea hummus. I was able to showcase some crispy fresh garden vegetables from my grandfather’s garden and also my favorite local markets as well.

Hummus goes well with so many foods, I like to add it on top of a pizza instead of marinara sauce. I also add it to my vegetarian BLTs, and I love it on my soft tortilla shells. My frequent go to with hummus is with fresh vegetables. I suggesting skipping the ranch and giving this creamy dip a try.  My favorite pairs are cherry heirloom tomatoes, kohlrabi, red bell peppers, and snap peas.

This recipe makes 30 ounces of hummus (plenty to share; even for us non-sharers )


1/2 cup Water

2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

3 1/4 cup cooked black eye peas, (if canned make sure to buy low sodium and rinse well)

4 Tablespoons fresh chives

4-5  large of cloves of garlic, peeled

2 teaspoons of ground cumin, plus more for garnish (optional)

1 teaspoon of fajita seasoning

Tools: Vitamix Blender  (I have the Professional Series 750)

2 (2 cup capacity sealalbe containers to store the goods)


  1. In the order of the ingredient list, place all the ingredient items in the vitamix or blender. Place the lid on the attachment to secure.
  2. Select variable number one and gradually increase to number seven.
  3. Allow for all the ingredients to marry in the vessel for at least 1 minute. Use the vitamix wand to press the ingredients to the blades if necessary.
  4. Portion out the hummus in two separate containers. Sprinkle with fresh chives.