Apple Nachos
Recipes

Apple Nachos

Apple Nachos

Apple Nachos

This recipe is the dessert version of nachos.  With apple slices, peanut butter, melted chocolate, and assorted toppings; it is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.  I love this recipe as a family treat or as a great dish to take to a party.  

Ingredients:

  • 3- Apples- Whatever kind you like will work.  I used honey crisp.
  • 3 TBSP- creamy peanut butter
  • 3 TBSP- chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp- vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C.- shredded coconut
  • 1/4 C.- sliced almonds

Instructions:

  • Slice the apples into thin slices
  • Layer the apple slices on a plate
  • Place the peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl 
  • Heat in the microwave, stiring every 10-15 seconds.  When the peanut butter becomes thin, drizzle it over the apples
  • Place the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a seperate microwave safe bowl and repeat the microwave process until the chocolate is thin 
  • Drizzle the chocolate over the apples
  • Layer the shredded coconut and sliced almonds on the apples

Enjoy!

Apple Nachos

This is a recipe that can be altered to your liking.  Some variations of this recipe that I have tried include:

  • caramel sauce
  • other nut butters
  • chopped peanuts
  • craisins
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DIY, Recipes

Everyone Can Use Some Extra ‘Dough’ During the Holidays.

Give a little extra ‘dough’ this year…Cookie dough that is.

cookie dough log gift wrapped with a tag

I love giving homemade gifts during the holiday season. To me, a homemade gift tells a person that you care about them enough to take time to create something special. Another benefit is that you can give a great gift without spending a lot of money. I do, however, try to ask myself one thing before making gifts…

Will someone actually want this?

Well, when it comes to sweets, the answer always seems to be YES! Cookies are a crowd favorite, but there are a few things I love about giving cookie dough, instead of baked cookies.

  • First is that the recipient does not have to use it immediately. With baked cookies, they have to be eaten within a few days. With dough, if they don’t plan to bake the cookies that week, it can be placed in the freezer for up to 8 weeks and still bake perfectly.
  • The second thing that I love about giving dough is that the recipient gets to be the one to fill their home with the delicious scent of freshly baked cookies. YUMM!
  • Finally, if they are not a ‘cookie person’ (not sure why I would be friends with a person like that…) the dough can easily be passed along to someone else that would enjoy them. As long as someone gets joy out of the melty, googy chocolate chip cookies, that it all that matters.

Check out the super easy instructions (with images) below:

  1. Mix your cookie dough according to the recipe. If you don’t have a cookie recipe that you are in love with, you can use this chocolate chip cookie recipe. This recipe yields 24 cookies, so I was able to split the dough into 2- logs that each will yield one dozen cookies.
raw cookie dough in mixer

2. Be sure to chill the dough. I recommend removing the dough from your mixing bowl before chilling, otherwise the cold mixture is very hard to scrape out of the bowl. I took my room temp dough ball and wrapped in it plastic wrap before placing in the fridge.

chilled cookie dough

3. Once the dough has chilled for the appropriate amount of time, you can now roll it into logs.

4. Take the dough logs and wrap them in parchment paper or freezer paper. Make sure that there is enough to cover the ends as well.

5. Wrap the dough logs in a decorative paper of your choice and tie the ends with ribbon. Be sure to add directions for baking along with the dough!

Sample instructions to print for your gift tag:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Yields: 12 cookies

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Keep the dough in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut the dough into 12 equal slices.
  • Place slices of dough 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes (or until the edges are golden and the tops are no longer glossy).

**Note: Dough can be frozen for up to 8 weeks if you are not ready to bake the cookies!  Simply allow the dough to thaw in the fridge before baking. **

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

ranch pretzels with dill
Recipes

Ranch Pretzels with Dill

Ranch Pretzels with Dill

ranch pretzels with dill
ingredients for ranch pretzels

Total time 40 minutes (bake time 35 minutes)

Ingredients:

  • 1- 15-16 oz bag pretzels of choice
  • 1 package dry ranch mix 
  • 3/4 C. vegetable oil
  • 1 TBSP dill
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 250 degrees F
  • Place pretzels in a mixing bowl
  • drizzle the oil over the pretzels
  • stir until pretzels are evenly coated
  • Sprinkle the dry ranch powder, dill, and garlic on the pretzels
  • Stir again until evenly coated
  • dump pretzels in a single layer on a sheet pan
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Stir pretzels
  • Bake for an additional 15 minutes

Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip with Apples
Recipes

Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

I love simple recipes that require very little time and effort; yet taste amazing!  This is one of those recipes!

greek yogurt fruit dip
cool whip, greek yogurt, instant pudding mix

Ingredients:

  • 1- 2lb tub Cabot Greek vanilla bean yogurt
  • 1- 8 oz package lite cool whip
  • 1- 3.4 oz package instant french vanilla pudding

Directions:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the greek yogurt and cool whip. Stir until well mixed
  • Add all of the instant pudding powder to the yogurt/cool whip mixture.
  • Stir well.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Lick the spoon (optional).

***Tip: Save the yogurt and cool whip containers to use if you plan to package the dip up to take somewhere. 

apple dipped in fruit dip

This fruit dip is perfect for any type of fruit, but I especially love it with strawberries or apples. You can serve vanilla wafers or graham crackers to dip in it as well.

caramel apple bar
DIY

DIY Caramel Apple Bar

DIY Caramel Apple Bar

Perfect for a fall party buffet!

Disclosure- Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission on purchase.

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This past weekend, we had a fall party with lots of friends and family.  I wanted to have a simple, yet, custom sweets area.  I decided to construct a DIY Caramel Apple Bar.  I had accumulated tons of yummy apples from my Fall CSA and this would be the perfect time to use them.

I purchased two bags of Kraft caramel bits and a super small food warmer (images link to the products on amazon!):



I then rummaged through my cabinets and found everything else that I needed.  That included kaboob sticks for poking the apples and toppings to sprinkle on the caramel after dipping.  I chose crushed peanuts, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, almond slivers, toffee bits, and coconut flakes.  The possibilities for topping options are practically endless.

Check out the rest of my set up below!  YUMMMYYYY!

apple slice about to enter melted caramel2EEB27AC-FB36-49B0-8D25-B340B7B498ADtoppings for caramel apple bar37C5E5AE-A0A5-459D-BBF1-BA6113C2CDFB

My only complaint is that after letting the caramel in the warmer for a few hours, it began to taste a bit burnt.  I would suggest not melting and warming the caramel until the dessert portion of your party.

Recipes

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

My family goes through a lot of hard boiled eggs.  They are such an easy grab-and-go snack.  Plus you can use them to whip up a quick batch of deviled eggs….yum!

There is nothing more frustrating than going to peel the first egg from a batch and you are stuck peeling every little piece of shell off.  Not only does it then take forever to peel them, but you are also left with a bunch of sad looking eggs with pieces missing.

If this sounds familar to you, well, then keep reading!  I have finally found a method that makes peeling my eggs easy.  Every. Single. Time.

EASY PEEL Hard Boiled Eggs

  1. Fill a pot of with enough water that your eggs will be completely covered once they are added.
  2. Place the pot on the stovetop, set on high, with a lid and bring the water to a boil. **NOTE:  keep checking to see if you water has started to boil so that it doesn’t boil out and over.
  3. Once the water has come to a rolling boil, GENTLY lower your eggs into the boiling water. **NOTE: if your egg has even the slightest crack (or if you don’t lower them gently) you can expect some of the egg white to leak out of the egg.  This usually happens to one of my eggs, but I don’t mind.  They are all still super easy to peel.
  4. Once you have all of the eggs in, lower the temp (to medium or medium-low).  Make sure that the water continues to gently boil the entire time.
  5. Set a timer for 12 minutes.
  6. While you are waitng for 12 minutes to pass, fill a large bowl with ice water.  I don’t just mean cold water.  Place a handful or two of ice in a bowl and add nice cold water.  This will be where your eggs go IMMEDIATELY after they are done boiling.
  7. When your timer goes off, quickly remove the eggs from the boiling water and add them directly to your ice water.  Stir the eggs in the ice water for a moment and make sure that there is enough water to submerge all of the eggs.
  8. Let them sit in the water for 5 minutes.
  9. Peel immediately.  **Remember to smile as the shell just falls off!

I promise to add pictures to this post soon!  I will take some the next time I make a bunch!

Recipes

Yogurt Drops- (yogurt without the mess!)

 

All you need is a container of your child’s favorite yogurt, a sandwich bag, a sheet pan, and parchment paper.

  1. Scoop a container of yogurt into a disposable sandwich bag.  Try to keep the yogurt down in one corner.
  2. Line a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Cut a SMALL corner off of the sandwich bag.  If you go too big it will just run out of the bag.  Start small and make the cut bigger if you need to.
  4. Go crazy squeezing dots on your pan.  Mine are not all perfect in size or shape.
  5. Pop the dots in the freezer for an hour or so and then scrape them off and transfer them to a baggie for easy access.

I usually have a baggie of these in my freezer at all times.  They are perfect for when my little is ready for food, but I don’t have food prepared yet.  She will sit content in her high chair munching on these while I make her dinner.

Recipes

Fall CSA- Week 2

Local Produce

 

 

Yummy Taco Pepper Poppers

Pepper Poppers

This recipe reminds me of stuff peppers, but made into a snack or appetizer size.  From my CSA, I was able to use my tomatoes, peppers, and onion (from a different week).

Find the recipe here!

 

Shrimp and Sausage Old Bay foil bakes

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Find the amazing recipe here. 

We were able to use CSA potatoes and corn for this recipe.

Sliced Watermelon:

Deciding what to do with my watermelon this week was super easy…just slice it and eat it!

I did, however, try a new way of slicing my melon…with DENTAL FLOSS!  I can not take credit for this hack.  I saw it on a facebook video and just had to give it a try.

  1. Cut the watermelon in half, and then cut the half again.
  2. Now it is time to break out the floss.  See images below!

It worked perfectly!  And…no…my watermelon did not taste like mint.  You do have to put the watermelon rine against your body when you are doing the first pass with the floss.  This is a sacrifice I was willing to make because of how easy this trick made slicing the watermelon.  You could always put a towel between yourself and the watermelon as well.

 

Apple Nachos:

Basically a decadent candy apple on a plate.  Whenever I am having a craving for something snacky and sweet, this is my go to!

Recipes

Fall CSA- Week 1

CSA stands for community supported agriculture.  Basically, you pay an upfront fee, and you have access to farm fresh produce (and other goods such as milk, cheese, and eggs) on a weekly basis.

This is my first time joining a CSA.  I decided on a location that is convenient for me to pickup my produce on the way home from the office.  I also chose a small share, which should be a good amount of produce for myself, my husband, and our young daughter.  The CSA that I choose to be a part of runs for 9 weeks in the fall (there was a summer session as well, but I didn’t sign up in time for that one!).

I picked up my first CSA box on Tuesday, and here is what was in it!

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 bag of potatoes (4 large)
  • 1 large cantaloupe
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 5 peaches
  • 3 tomatoes (actually from a friend’s garden)

fresh local produce
Fresh Produce from our local farm

Time for a plan!  I do not want any of my precious produce to go to waste.  I was really hoping to get creative with my recipes, but it has been a busy week, so here is what I have done so far!

Garden Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce (from CSA)
  • 1 cucumber (from CSA)
  • 1 tomato (from a friends garden)
  • 1/4 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 sweet onion- chopped

I chopped everything up.  Placed it in a clear glass bowl and then popped it in the fridge.

TIP #1** Anytime that I prep a batch of salad, I always put it in a clear glass bowl.  This ensures that each time I open the fridge, I see salad.  This makes me so much more likely to grab a quick bowl of salad rather than reaching for another snack or food.  It also allows me to keep an eye on how fresh the veggies are looking.

Salad in a clear bowl
Fresh green lettuce

TIP #2** I shred the cheese ahead of time, but I do not add it until I am ready to eat it.  This keeps my cheese from getting all wet and slimy…gross.  You can use bagged shredded cheese too, I just prefer to shred my own…mostly because it is cheaper!

Garden Salad

 

Cantaloupe

I do not like cantaloupe.  It smells so good, but I just don’t enjoy the taste of it.  Maybe I’ve just never had a good cantaloupe?  Regardless, I am determined to not let anything go to waste, and I am pushing my self to try new things.

NOTE* one great thing about my CSA is that they have a trade table.  If I really did not want my cantaloupe, I could leave it on the trade table and take something else (like more potatoes!).

I did not do anything fancy with my cantaloupe.  I cut it up once it was ripe…took a few bites…then took it with me to the office where my coworkers finished it for me!

 

Potatoes

The potatoes I saved and they went into one of my favorite dinners….shrimp and sausage cajun foil bakes.  See pictures and the recipe in CSA Week 2 here.

 

Peaches

We let them sit on the counter until they softened a bit.  Sliced them. Ate them.  BORING I know!  With fresh produce like this…it doesn’t take a lot of work.