Monday, February 28, 2011

St. Patty's Day Truffles (No Bake!)

St. Patty's Day No-Bake Truffles

1 pkg. Double Stuf Oreos – any flavor you like best – (1 lb. , 1 oz. pkg.)
• use 22 cookies with cream centers included
• use 10 cookies with cream centers discarded
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
White chocolate bark or candy coating
Green sprinkles and/or green sugar, etc...

1. Finely crush the cookies in a food processor or a ziploc bag with a rolling pin.
2. Stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together completely.
3. Roll the mixture into 1″ balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet.
4. Place covered in freezer or refrigerator for a few minutes to help retain shape when dipping in melted chocolate.
5. Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra, sprinkle with green sprinkles or sugar, and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry.
6. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Revamped My Granola Recipe -- WooHoo!

Don't know if you've noticed but the price for a decent granola is ridiculous, especially considering how cheaply it can be made at home. Even better is that when you make it yourself you know exactly what's in it. Nothing artificial and no preservatives...Yay!
Here's my recipe, but this is incredibly versatile, so tweak it all you want until you find your perfect granola!


2 heaping cups whole rolled oats (don't use quick cooking or instant)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey (best to use local honey, but any will do)
1/8 cup pure maple syrup or molasses
1/8 cup firmly packed brown sugar (you can add more if you like a very sweet granola)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds, or chopped walnuts, or pecans, etc... (optional)
1/3 cup dried fruit of your choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you can used waxed paper, too.)

In a large bowl, toss the oats with the cinnamon and salt.
In a smaller bowl, combine oil, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, and extracts.
Whisk until completely combined.

Pour the honey mixture over the oats and use your clean hands to combine them. You'll need to gather up the mixture a few times, making a fist each time to make sure all the oats are coated and you've got a little bit of clumping going on.

Spread it out evenly, leaving a few clumps here and there, onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and using a metal spatula, lift and flip all of the granola.
Now sprinkle the nuts over the top and return to oven, and bake another 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool completely. Then remove from pan and into an airtight container. After it's cooled, you can toss with dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries, etc... if you want.

This will keep about a week in the airtight container, but it always gets eaten before that in my house.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Yummy without the carbs!

I love almonds! I love them raw most of all. I actually carry a small pouch of raw almonds in my purse all the time so I have a healthy and delish snack if I'm out and about and get the hungries. This way, I'm not tempted to grab something less than healthy for my picky body. I do best, health-wise, on a low intake of carbohydrates.
But what's a girl to do when she's wanting cookies? Everyone loves cookies, right? Every now and then we all probably crave a handful of cookies and a tall glass of (almond) milk.
So, here's one of my 'go-to' recipes that I whip up when it's cookie time.

Lower Carb Almond Cookies

• 2 cups almond flour
• Your choice of sweetened equal to 1 cup sugar (I use a blend of Truvia and EZ Sweetz)
• 1/2 cup softened butter
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
• 1/2 teaspoon salt ***omit if using salted butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 300°F
Using an electric mixer blend softened butter and sugar substitute until creamy, add in melted coconut oil and blend, then add in egg and blend. Add remaining ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon.
Form dough into walnut sized balls and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 5 minutes, and then press down lightly with the back of a tablespoon, then continue to bake another 18 minutes.
Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing.

* Depending on cookie size, this makes between 12 - 18 cookies, and will have approximately 1 - 3 net carbs each.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Maybe We Can Lure Spring In With a Yummy Cake!

It was a gray and dreary day here today...and I've been longing for sunshine and shorts, and the warmth to get into my car, put the top down and go for a ride with the warm breeze in my hair.
Suddenly, into my head popped a vision of a light, bright, airy and delicious cake that my mom-in-law made the first time she and I met.
It's called "Pea Pickin' Cake" and reminds me so much of warm days surrounded by family. Best of all, it's super easy!
*This is the recipe as she wrote it down for me...I don't have exact measurements of cans or product sizes, but whenever I make it, I just grab what looks right and it comes out yummy!!

1 yellow cake mix
1 small can mandarin oranges with juice
4 eggs
1/2 cup cooking oil

Beat all ingredients together until well blended, Use 3 greased and floured cake pans.
Bake in 350 degree oven about 25 minutes or until center of cake springs back when touched.

1 large cool whip
1 large can crushed pineapple with juice
1 small box instant vanilla pudding

Combine pineapples and juice with the pudding mix. Fold into cool whip. Spread between layers and on top of cooled cake. Refrigerate overnight.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My newest addition to Etsy!

I've been having so much fun crocheting sweet treats that don't add a single inch to your waistline! These are made from 100% pure love and cuteness, certified organic! LOL
Check them out...I can even customize them with your favorite "cake" & "frosting" -- and your choice of "sprinkles" or "cherry" on top.
Makes a great addition to a little girl's tea party set.

***Original idea was from Debi Y. -- I just began with a few less stitches at the bottom and increased a few on the way up, for more of a conical shape to the cake section of the cupcake, and then went down 1 hook size when crocheting the edge of the frosting so it would be tighter and curl up a bit. You can find the original pattern here on Debi's blog, "Hooks, Yarns, Crafts & Gardening"
~My Etsy Shop~

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My homemade stitch markers!

I love using markers to mark my place when crocheting in the round. I made these, using paperclips, tiny pliers, and some beads, and clasps from old costume jewelry I had. I ♥ upcycling! I'll put a tutorial up this weekend if anyone wants to see how I did it. Let me know in the comments section.