Fresh Bruschetta – A Crowd Pleasing Appetizer

For years, one of my favorite go to snacks has been bruschetta. There are so many different ways it can be made, but the one I love best takes only a few minutes, has fresh ingredients and fills your house with amazingly yummy smells.

Now the great thing about this recipe is that you can customize it with the ingredients that you love. The freshest ones available to you. If you ask me, there can never be enough onion and garlic, but I know that’s not everyones favorite, so make a few different varieties.

One thing that doesn’t change though is a quality olive oil. There are hundreds of varieties of olive oil, and we are loving this Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Flavor Your Life. The higher quality oil you use, the better the flavors come out in any recipe.

The best part of this, is that you are making this from the heart, so there are no exact measurements. Handfuls of fresh tomatoes, a bunch of basil, grated cheese of choice, finely chopped onions and garlic… and of course extra virgin olive oil to incorporate all of it together.

We used a food processor for this, but a blender works or simply chopping all of your ingredients together too. Now some bruschetta is much chunkier than this, and it is complete based on preference. I enjoy mine like a spread, that I can add more cheese and tomatoes on to. Each bite is a little different. Sometimes I want more basil, other times more tomato.

Most of the time this never makes it onto a plate. The family going around as I make different batches and we eat it off of the cutting board. Dip it, spread it, eat it off of the spoon. Just enjoy it.

Finding recipes and meals that use fresh foods make me feel like I’m making better choices for myself and my family.

Of course, find your favorite bread and enjoy. Don’t worry so much about the rules of cooking…and focus more on your favorite flavors.

Buddy The Elf Spaghetti Snacks – For Someone Special

I remember going to the theatre ages ago to see Elf in between college classes at FAU. I had a huge gap on Mondays and always popped in to see something new. I honestly had no idea what to expect and had probably seen every other movie they had to offer.

@thisfloridamom

Love the movie #Elf? This is the yummiest snack to make. It’s just like a rice crispy but with chow mein noodles. #baking #christmascountdown

♬ Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Michael Bublé

I don’t remember any of the other movies I saw then…but I remember Elf. Of course, it is one of our favorite holiday movies and we still watch it every year. Multiple times.

“Buddy the Elf, What’s Your Favorite Color?”

This was the easiest treat to make, and the boys ate half of it while we were making it. I did too. We will probably make it a few more times in the next few weeks too. These are a great and fun surprise at holiday parties or neighbor cookie swaps.

Depending on what you want to add to yours, you might have most of the ingredients already.

Of course, there are no real measurements with this and it’s only a hyped-up rice crispy treat. Minus the rice crispies.

2 cans of Chow Mein noodles

1 bag of chocolate chips

1 bag of white chocolate chips

1 stick of butter

1 bag of small marshmallows

1 canister of Freeze-Dried marshmallows bits

M&M’s

sprinkles

Anything else you may want to add.

Melt half stick of butter with a full bag of marshmallows.

Melt other half of butter stick with bag of white chocolate chips. When bother are completely melted incorporate them together and stir.

Pour into a bowl of chow mein noodles. Mix well and pour onto a cookie sheet or other flat surface.

Pour chocolate chips on the top while still warm. The chocolate will start to melt as well.

While everything is still warm flatten the noodles and add your toppings.

Once the treats come to room temperature and harden, cut, and serve.

Make for someone special of course.

Egg Nog Blondie Bites – Fun Festive Food

I asked my husband what his favorite holiday flavor was going into the Christmas season… and was a little surprised when he said Egg Nog. Now, I absolutely love Egg Nog — always have–but I try not to buy it because I will non-stop drink it. Do you have any food like that?

So when he mentioned Egg Nog, I was glad I could buy some and use it to bake with.

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A ‘No Fail’ Cut Out Cookie — Cut Out This Dough After it Bakes

Ingredients for a basic Black and White Cookie

I can’t make a cut out cookie. I gave up ages ago. I blame it on living in Florida, low elevation, humidity, an old oven… a million variables that I can’t change. But as I was eating a black and white cookie, I thought I might be able to actually cut out one that is already baked.

If you’ve ever made these cookies, they are not the type of dough you roll out, its a scoop onto the sheet type situation.

I followed a basic cookie recipe : Sally’s Baking Addiction Black and White Cookies and made a few changes along the way.

I first tried to use the cookie cutter with the cookies upside down but found that having the cookies right side up at the start worked out much better. I don’t think you can use a very detailed cookie cutter, but this one worked perfectly.

I also discovered that my boys were happy to eat the spare cookies that were cut out and they loved dipping them in the icing. So I was able to make smaller icing cups just for them and they were like personal Dunkaroos.

Once I had all of the cookies cut out, I made one color of icing. Following the icing recipe. I was not able to find clear vanilla extract, which was my inspiration for light pink. Depending on the holiday or special occasion – you can choose complimentary colors.

For the first color, I dipped the whole cookie into the icing. I knew I wanted to do it at an angle and found this was the easiest way. I made sure to cover the counter with wax paper because there was quite a bit of icing that dripped off. I in no way wanted to have to clean that off of my counter.

Because I was going from pink to red, I could use the left over pink and the same bowl. I simply added more food coloring when I knew I didn’t need pink anymore.

I waited for the pink on the cookies to dry completely. This is an important step to stay a little more neat and organized.

Grab some sprinkles or candies to add to the “other” side of the cookie. You will want to add these when your second color is still wet. This icing does harden pretty quickly.

Instead of dipping the second side, I used a spatula and was able to spread the red on… that was easier for this portion of the process, then immediately added sprinkles. My youngest son helped with this part and loved that they only stayed on the red part.

Are the cookies perfectly smooth? Nope. Is that OK? Yup. They were darn delicious.

Now that I have found this recipe… it is a perfect addition to any of our holiday gatherings. All I have to do is change the icing color. Everything tastes better if it’s shaped like a Mickey head right??? I’m already planing green and yellow for Easter… red and blue for Fourth of July… you get the picture.

Gooey Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars- This Will Become a Fall Favorite…

I’ve started my pumpkin baking season already, and I’m not sorry about it one bit. I figure, if I only have 2/3 months that I can, I might as well enjoy it. I also added some of my sourdough discard into it on a whim and it totally worked.

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Lemon Lime Sugar Cookie Balls – An Easy Summer Snack

I’ve known my husband for over 10 years and for some reason this weekend when I said I was going to make Lemon-Lime Truffles he informed me he doesn’t like lemon desserts….huh??? You’ve got to be kidding me.

So instead of Lemon-Lime Cookie Balls I told him I was making Lime Cookie Balls.

What he doesn’t know…

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Last Minute – 3 Ingredient Chewbacca Bites – 5 minutes to make a tasty Star Wars treat…

Did you forget today was Star Wars Day? Do you completely forget to plan for it? No worries! This is so simple, your 7 year old can do it. All you need are marshmallows, caramel and cereal. I’m quite certain any Chewbacca colored cereal will work. Don’t stress if it isn’t Cocoa Krispies.

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5 Oatmeal Recipes Your Kids Will Love – Try one this weekend…

January is National Oatmeal Month — did you know that? Of course there is a month for everything, so let celebrate!

Did you have a favorite oatmeal as a kid? No, not the instant kind, although I do enjoy the blueberry flavor. Not sure it has real blueberries though.

While it is has cooled off considerably in South Florida I know that I need to take advantage of the weather and feel like I live up north.

Continue reading “5 Oatmeal Recipes Your Kids Will Love – Try one this weekend…”