Category Archives: Snacks

Topsail Trail Mix

Yep it’s that time of year we load up the car and head to to the beach. Just when you think you cannot fit one more thing in the car (and trust me, my dad is good at packing a car) you find a spot for homemade baked goods and nonperishable snacks! 

Trail mix is my go to for road trips! This one is special since we are taking it to the beach! Look out NC…here we come! 


1 cup roasted whole cashews

1 cup roasted whole peanuts 

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup roast lightly salted sunflower 

3/4 cup Dark chocolate chips 

1 cup dehydrated apples slices 

1 cup lightly salted roasted whole almonds 


1. Mix everything in a sealable container and give a good shake or two. Enjoy! 

Mashup Nut Butter Bars

Recipe yields 3 dozen bars

It’s been too hot for the oven in Pittsburgh these last few weeks in July. Yet I have not turned on the air conditioning in the house. In turn, I know I have been taking it easy with the baking. These bars are super easy. Plus soft but crunchy with a blend of two different nut/seed butters.  Plus an extra bonus of a wide variety of seeds and nuts to pack in the protein. 


3 1/4 cup of Cheerios (I used the pumpkin flavored ones)

2 3/4 cup of Brown rice cereal

1/4 cup of sliced almonds

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup of peptia seeds

1/4 cup milled flaxseed

1/4 cup of quinoa, uncooked 

1/4 cup dried mixed fruit ( I used a variety of blueberry and cranberry)

1 1/2 cup of local honey

1 Cup Smooth Cashew Butter

1 Cup Smooth Sunflower Butter


  1. Line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper, make sure to place the parchment over the sides to make for easy removal of the bars. Set aside.
  2. Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the meantime mix together the nut/seed butters and honey in a medium microwavable safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second and stir. Continue to microwave and stir in 30 second intervals until smooth and creamy. The mixture should appear melted. 
  4. Add the melted nut butter mixture over top of the dry ingredients and incorporate thoroughly with a rubber spatula. 
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared half sheet pan. A nice trick to this is to spray your spatula with nonstick cooking spray. Another pearl of wisdom, you can also use wax paper to push the bars down into the pan to make the even. 
  6. Place bars in the refrigerator covered and allow the bars to set overnight. 
  7. After the bars have hardened overnight in the refrigerator cut in to three dozen bars.  For optimal results and extended shelflife, store the bars in an airtight container  in refrigerator.  



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.