Tag Archives: honey

(Oatmeal) “Snackers”


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These are a great snack, a great answer to the “I’m huunnngry.” (Which we all hear or say at any moment of any day!!) I keep mine in the fridge, but they are good at room temp too.

Feel free to add things like coconut, craisins, nuts, sunflower seeds, etc. Things you think about when you think of granola bars, those ingredients would work best.  If you add to many “mix-ins” and your Snackers don’t stay together, just add a bit more peanut butter and bit more honey.

Pulse means pulse. Not puree. I had my son help me the first time and I said ~” hit this button a few times, like “”Bump Bump Bump.”” I thought that was clear :/ Well. He went “Buuummmmp Bummmmmmp Bummmmmmmmmmmmp.” So ours was so very well mixed! But still good.  Always an adventure with kids!

This is the version we like best! 🙂 What is YOUR or YOUR families favorite version?

Oatmeal “Snackers”

2 c. old fashioned oatmeal
1 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. raisins (or craisins)
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1/4 c. ground flax seed

Pulse the oatmeal, peanut butter, honey and raisins ~ just till combined.  Add the chocolate chips and flax seed and pulse to combine. Chill. When cold, roll into balls AND ENJOY!!!

Recipe adapted from Food Network.


Grilled Honey Mustard Pork Chops


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Grilling season is here! I reek at grilling. It is just not my comfort zone. Thankful that my husband enjoys it! I enjoy the prepping and planning and whatnot as LONG as he can grill it! Works great!! (PS. I am working on learning to grill. I no longer burn off all my arm hair!! HIGH FIVES!!!! One step. at. a. time.)

Grilled Honey Mustard Pork Chops 

1/4 c. Dijon mustard
4 tsp. honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
dash of salt
4 pork chops (about 3/4″ thick is great!)

Mix together the Dijon, honey, apple cider vinegar and salt & pepper. Put in a large Ziplock bag ~ pour the marinade over top and mix. Seal bag. Freeze. (OR at least marinade in fridge for 4 hours – overnight.)

If you froze the meat, thaw completely. Grill over lowish heat. Grill about 6 minutes per side. Though this is hard to trust as all grills grill differently. Just grill till cooked through……


Recipe adapted from “Tried and True Recipes.”

Well we are on the topic of grilling….. do you find that you are grilling a lot this time of year?? Any favorite grilled recipes your family enjoys???

A few more grilling recipes…..

marinated Chicken Breasts

Grilled Vegetables 

BBQ Chicken Kabobs

Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers

Pizza Dough for the Grill 

Brat Burgers

Ranch Chicken Wraps

Beer Brats

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Basic Burgers

Grilled Asparagus

Mushroom Side Dish

Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Feta Cheese


Hi everyone!!! So, it is Weds. ~ usually that is Aldi day here. I took a few weeks off, was it missed?? I never have minded doing the “Aldi Special Buys” posts”, I actually enjoyed it ~ BUT really I don’t see an increase in readers that day, comments, or extra clicks. SO I am not sure it is read or useful to anyone. That is fine. I just think for now I am not going to be doing the Aldi day anymore.  (unless THERE is a huge protest and people still want to see the “special buys”!!)

THANKS as always for reading AND commenting. Seriously. Thanks.

Now for a recipe, Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Feta Cheese.

THAT sounded fancy as I typed it in. Well, I am really not fancy. Nor is this salad. It is easy, healthy, yummy. I did not serve this to my family, but to a friend. We both enjoyed it.   Keep this in mind when you are having some friends over for lunch, it is a fun salad for that. OH, or just for fun,  make it for yourself. I have.

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Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Feta Cheese 

1 1/2 c. of cooked, cooled quinoa (follow pkg. directions)
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. toasted pecans (toast slowly in a skillet, stirring often, till they smell nutty)
4 oz. feta cheese
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
few grains of salt

Combine the quinoa, green onion, cranberries, pecans and feta.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, honey and salt. Pour over quinoa mixture JUST before serving.


Some Snacking Options……


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Looking for a GREAT snack that is not only quick to make, quick to grab and not too bad for you!????    I have talked about making this for.ever.  It just took doing it once to become addicted. We all enjoy grabbing this for a snack! The best part it that you can make it ALL your own! So, this really isn’t a “recipe” per say ~ more of a “method” lets say. Add what you want!! Take out what you don’t!!!

Please let us know your combinations!!! Maybe it will inspire us! THANKS!

Trail Mix    

nuts (whole almonds, mixed nuts, cashews, etc.)
peanuts (dry roasted, lightly salted, cocktail, etc.)
dried fruit (raisins, craisins, mixed dried fruit, apricots ~ cut up,  etc.)
M & M’s (of course…….or chocolote chips,  dark chocolate, peanut butter chips, vanilla chips, etc. will work too!!!)
yogurt covered raisins (Aldi…..WHY have you not had these for weeks?!?!?!? OH, this past week they had them!! So, below is another batch I made. ↓)

Mix as much or as little of the ingredients you like. Store in a covered container and ENJOY!!!!

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Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

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I have been telling a few people about this recipe, TIME to share it!!! We have these with “breakfast for dinner” or for breakfast…..or for snack…….. I enjoy knowing that there is wheat flour in it……sneaking some goodness into my kids without them knowing it! I hope you too make these and enjoy! Grab the recipe here at Kats’ Kitchen. (PLEASE enjoy her picture, mine really wasn’t so very good, sorry……)

My tips for the muffins!!!

* I use 4 TB. oil and about 4 TB. applesauce.
* I find that this recipe yields more then 12, closer to 16 muffins I would say.
* I like to brush the muffins with the butter instead of dipping.

Happy Baking!!! 🙂

OH, another thing!!! PLEASE, if you are trying to figure out the whole snacking- healthy-fill-you-up-sorta-thing……THEN please, check this recipe out from Lisa at Cooking Up a Sale.  My kids and I enjoyed this yesterday as a snack. I served it with apples, though thought that graham crackers would be a fabulous dipper as well!!! Though, I was encouraging my kids to eat their fruit AND BOY DID THEY!!!

Light (er) Apple Dip

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The taste is much like Peanut Butter  Gram-wiches, so if you liked the taste of those, you will enjoy the dip as well.

She has GREAT tips on her post, please take the time to check it out. ESPECIALLY the tip about “Grab and Go Apple Slices! I ended up using plain Greek yogurt and added a touch of vanilla extract.

Happy Snacking!!! What is YOUR favorite thing to snack on???

Oven-Roasted Ranch Broccoli, Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini & Steakhouse Wheat Bread


Today I am going to take a moment to share some FANTASTIC recipes from some friends of mine. Sorry, you will have to do just a BIT of clicking around BUT you will not be sorry. These girls are great cooks and have some fun delicious recipes to share!! Tell ’em, Bobbi sent you…..OH KIDDING that is nerdy. Just enjoy and let me know if you see anything fun/good/unique….I  just might have missed a delicious treasure!! Happy Cooking!!!

Oven – Roasted Ranch Broccoli 

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Looking for a unique new side dish?? Look no farther than RIGHT here! This recipe comes from Lisa at Cooking Up a Sale, she actually uses cauliflower ~ but I had broccoli on hand, so I went with that! IT was really good. Looking forward to trying it with cauliflower soon!

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

I enjoy soup for many reasons:

  1. It means COOD weather IS here!!!
  2. Soup can usually be made early in the day and them simmer the afternoon away OR put the pre-made soup in the fridge till an hour before dinner, then just simmer till heated through. I like to make my meals early in the day.
  3. Leftovers are fantastic. Not only for my lunch….my husbands as well.
  4. I can hide veggies LIKE CRAZY in soup and my kids don’t seem to see or taste them….hum…… they just like soup ~ that means that they like the veggies IN the soup! Bonus!!!
  5. Soup in a good way to stretch a buck, you can EVEN make soup out of your leftovers from another meal…if you are creative!!!

SO. I am happy to share this fantastic soup from Rachael, she shared this recipe with me not to long ago and my mouth was watering. Yum. Check out the recipe here on her blog Blue Skies and Butterflies.

* I did make one change. I had some fresh spinach in my fridge, just begging to be added….so I made a pile of spinach leaves and cut up into strips and added to the soup along with the zucchini. Else I followed her recipe exactly.  It was enjoyed by ALL here!!! Hope your family enjoys too!!!

Don’t Forget the Bread!!

Steakhouse Wheat Bread

I enjoy homemade bread for these reasons:

  1. It is fun to bake. It is handy to use a bread machine.
  2. Makes the house smell fantastic!!!
  3. It means cooler weather is here……. (though I still do bake bread in the summer……so maybe this one doesn’t count. But I still like this reason…)
  4. It is not store-bought bread….ugh…..my leastest of all favorite foods.
  5. MAKES a fantastic dipper in your soup (if you are into that…..).

This bread at Kat’s Kitchen caught my eye INSTANTLY!!!  It was delicious.

* I doubled her recipe. It made one loaf of bread (I baked in my 4″ x 8″ loaf pan) and 7 rolls. (I actually used the rolls as hamburger buns…..cause it was nearly summer one day and winter the next!!!! So we grilled one night and had soup the next!!! Ha. Such unique weather we have had lately!!!!!)


Squash and Apple Bake & Crunchy Chocolate Dipped Granola Bars


Oh Fall, so lovely is the Fall ~ the crispness in the air ~ the crunch of the leaves ~ the smell in the air ~ the salt & pepper shakers ~ the hoodies ~ the sheer THANKFULNESS for everything ~ Fall is so welcome. (Did I mention it IS the 1st day of fall??!? “High fives all around ~ wohoo whohoo!!”)  I hope you are enjoying it too!!!! Here is a fall recipe from me to you…..

I enjoy squash, so…. I MAY be the only one in my family WHO truely does, BUT that is NOT going to stop me from sharing this AWESOME recipe. The squash and apples roast to a lovely deliciousness right before your very nose.  IT might just tempt your picky eaters too!!!

* I do NOT have a kitchen scale, so I do not know how much 2 lb. of squash is ~ I just cut enough to fill a 9″ x 13″ pan about 1/2 full with cut up squash.
* I like to uncover the last 20 minutes of cooking, it thickens up the juices and browns the squash a little bit.
* I leave the skins on my apples, though you may peel if you are not keen on that ~ I need all the nutrients I can get!!!
* This recipe is from my Aunt and she suggests serving it with pork chops and rice, I liked the sound of that, so that is what I ALWAYS serve it with too!!
* I used 4 apples, feel free to add more to your bake as well!!

Squash & Apple Bake 
2 lb. butternut squash,
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. melted butter
1 TB. flour
1/2 tsp. salt (opt.)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 baking apples, cored and cut up
Have fun cutting that squash ~ oh, and be be careful, PLEASE!! I cut in half, remove the seeds and then peel the rind off with a vegetable peeler till I see no more rind, then I cut into 1″ slices, then cube up. (But you can do it however you want to, just get yourself some cubed squash! :)) Put  cubed squash in a greased 9″ x 13″ pan, add the cut up apples.  Combine the sugar, butter, flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread it over the apple/squash mixture to the best of your ability, that is hard, sometimes I melt it a bit to make it more spreadable. Bake @ 350* for about 50-60 minutes. (I like to stir at about 30 minutes, then uncover to bake the rest of the way.) Enjoy this taste of Fall!!

Thanks Aunt Laurel for this fantastic recipe! One of my favs!!

Now for the much-anticipated (….in my dreams…..) 2nd installment of “lunch box ideas”! Drum roll…….
GRANOLA BARS!!!!!  Do you love ’em? Have you wanted to make your own BUT have failed attempt after attempt and attempt ~ or was that just me? I just couldn’t get it right. Though….not any more! 🙂 I have found a bar that I THINK will end my search. Thanks to the Pioneer Women for this one! Check out the original recipe here…I of course was lacking some ingredients and went with what I had, was happy and will probably just leave it as I did it!

*These babies ARE crunchy. I cooked mine the full 25 minutes, will check at 18!!! minutes next time FOR sure. I let it cool all the way, bad. I could not cut! I had to break, so I got some not so lovely “bars”. My advice for that would be to “scor” the pan o’ granola into the size bars you want, not going all the way through ~ that way when it cools you can just break and it SHOULD break along your line you made….should.

* I think that you could use your imagination with these, Pioneer Women added nuts (sounds great, I sadly had none! Add about 1 c.). How about instead of dipping in the chocolate, just add some chocolate chips (though you may want to cool the sugar mixture down a bit 1st or they will ALL melt). If you like coconut, then that  might be a GREAT addition too!

* Pioneer Women used Rice Krispie cereal (I used corn flakes). Use whatever cereal you have! (Within reason of course…..maybe Allbran, Cheerios, etc.)

* Feel free to use wheat germ, oat bran, wheat bran ~ any of those type of things ~ just gives it an extra bit of health!! PW used wheat germ.

Here is the bars the way I made them….as I said HERE is the original! How she gets her things to look so purdy, I will NEVER know!!

Crunchy Chocolate Dipped Granola Bars
6 c. quick oats
1/4 c. melted butter
1/4 c. oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. water
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. coarsely crushed Corn Flakes
1 c. oat bran
1 1/2 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine the oats and the oil, butter and salt. Toss this in a large bowl. Pour into 2 cookie sheets (with sides) and bake @ 350* for about 18 minutes, stirring a few times. You want them just toasted light brown. Meanwhile. Heat the brown sugar, honey, molasses and apple juice just until sugar is dissolved ~ ALMOST to a full boil. Take off heat and add the vanilla. Pour the toasted oats in a large bowl, add the Corn Flakes and oat bran ~ pour the sugar mix over and stir till ALL coated wall. Pour into a foil lined cookie sheet (with sides), be sure to grease the foil well. Gently press down a bit till nice and flat. Lower your oven to 325* and bake for 18-22 minutes ~ be sure to check at 18! It may just be done by then!!! When done, let cool a few minutes then scor your bar shape into the large sheet of granola. This will help you later on. Let cool all the way. Cut into bars. Dip into melted chocolate, either all the way or just the bottom 1/2. Place on waxed paper (chocolate side up, if you can) and let set till the chocolate hardens. This yields quite a bit of bars, the number is unknown to me, just a lot. Why not put in baggies right away and freeze, so lunch time prep is easy peasy!! I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!!! THANKS!! 🙂

Recipe slightly adapted from Pioneer Women.


Salsa Mac & Cheese & Ranch Chicken Wraps


Aldi Sales for August 22 ~ August 28.

IF you LOVE tortillas, salsa, chilies, etc. ~ then you will really enjoy the Aldi ad for this week! We do enjoy tacos, tortillas, quasadillas, and chip dips so I will for sure be stocking up on certain things! I am happily going to share 2 recipes with you. Sadly, one of which does not have a picture ~ I will add one when we make it next time, and one of them in a quick dinner.

1st let’s take a look at what we CAN make using some special buys!

* Hawaiian rolls ($2.29 for a 12 count package) and Dill Pickle Chips ($1.19 for a jar…not certain of the ounce, 24-32 oz.) are 2 of the important ingredients in Mock White Castles.
* Chicken Breasts ($5.49 for a 48 oz. bag) and Wheat Kaiser Buns ($1.49 for a 20 oz. package) are 2 important ingredients for Slow Cooked Chicken Caesar Buns.
* Tortillas are a staple in this house, how about your’s?? We use them for Baked Creamy Taquitos,  and Cinnamon Chips ~ just to name a few. You get 20 ~ 6″ tortillas for $1.49. Nice. (OR grab an 8 pack of 10″ tortillas for $1.29.)
* Gotta grab an avocado ($0.49 each) or 2 to make some guacamole to go with tortillas…how ever you choice to serve them! I would love to hear your ideas for avocado use! 🙂
* Tortilla Chips, anyone?? $1.19 a bag. Delicious to dip in your quac. Or are Corn Chips your thing?? OH, I NEARLY SCREAMED OUT. LOUD. They now have Chili Cheese Corn Chips…..I just spotted it RIGHT. NOW!!!! $1.19 a bag. I like those. Tortilla or Corn Chips and ESPECIALLY Chili Cheese Corn Chips are great with Fiesta Corn Chip Dip (don’t forget the Mexicorn!! $0.79).
* Looking to get some green veggies in your diet? NOW IS the time when fresh broccoli is $0.99 for a 16 oz. package. Here is one of my favorite salads that puts broccoli in the spotlight.
* Mushrooms are a great side dish, even IF you don’t like mushrooms….you might want to give these a go! Try to make Mushroom Side Dish, I did, and I liked. Shocker.  ( An 8 oz. package is $0.69. FYI.)

 This 1st recipe comes from my son ~ he has patiently been waiting for me to share it! This is not going to get any awards for health, it, however, was a GREAT memory from when my oldest son asked me if he could make dinner.  The kids Great Grandma gave them a cook book, it has all kids of easy recipes,  and A LOT of recipes have been flagged to try. He saw the idea for Salsa Macaroni and Cheese, but did not have the proper ingredients called for, it needed a cheese Ragu sauce or something, so we went to the fridge and pulled out some stuff, quite literally, he put it together (with a bit of help from me with the measuring and cooking of noodles) and they really enjoyed eating it!

It is memories like that that mean a lot, just a reminder to us to take the time in the kitchen to cook with the kids EVEN if it makes us want to pull out our hair…….  I am encouraged to see that all my kids enjoy getting in the kitchen with me EVEN if it is just to snag a beater…..or two too lick or a bowl to scrape clean. I hope you too enjoy cooking with your kids and letting their imagination run wild!  I grew up eating homemade mac & cheese made from velveeta and shell pasta, so this was a blast from the past ~ with some new flavors in it!  Salsa Con Queso (is $2.29 for a 16 oz. jar) and salsa ($1.69 for a 24 oz. jar) and a box of shell noodles ~ or elbow, whatever you like is all you need for this recipe.

* Salsa Con Queso is a jar of cheese/salsa sauce/dip, we eat it with tortilla chips sometimes on Sunday nights. It is by the salsa at Aldi, just wanted to tell you in case you had never heard of it!

Salsa Mac & Cheese 
8 oz. shell noodles, uncooked
1 c. salsa
1 c.  Salsa Con Queso cheese sauce
Cook the noodles according to pkg. (Mom’s you may have to help here!) Drain, put in a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and stir well, may need to re-heat a bit if stirring takes too long. (At this point you may add a little bit of velveeta cheese if you need to add a little more cheese.)  Let your kids serve it up. Enjoy their smiles when they talk about the dinner they made! Enjoy the memories you are making….

Recipe idea from “Simple 1-2-3 Cooking for Kids”.

Grilling is a wonderful treat in the summer, here is a unique recipe for grilling chicken. I really liked the idea of the sweet mango and cilantro ~ I LOVE cilantro! Leftovers make for great lunches! Thanks Denise for sharing this delish recipe with me! It will be a recipe I make often! Tortillas are $1.29 ~ $1.49 this week. Aldi also has chicken for $5.49 for a 48 oz. bag. The also carry Ranch dressing and honey, for sure ~ and at times they have mangos and cabbage. I THINK they have lime juice ~ don’t quote me PLEASE.

* I served with extra Ranch, by now you SHOULD know that my family really enjoy their sauces or dips or dressings!!

Ranch Chicken Wraps 
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c. Ranch dressing
2 TB. honey
2 TB. lime juice
tortillas, maybe 8 or so
2 cut up mangos
fresh cilantro, cut up
thin sliced cabbage (I used lettuce)
Combine the Ranch dressing, honey and lime juice in a bowl and add the chicken. Allow to marinade in the fridge for 1 hour. Grill, about 6 minutes per side ~ give or take, till cooked through. Take off grill and allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes. Slice and serve on the tortilla with the mango, cilantro and cabbage. Roll up and enjoy!

Recipe from Denise.