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Pumpkin Buttermilk Pancakes

15 Oct

Fall is finally in the air. Leaves are changing and the air has a chill in it. Front porches are decorated with pumpkins, mums, hay bales, and corn stalks. I love this time of year!

http://www.front-porch-ideas-and-more.com/image-files/autumn-porch.jpg

 

There is something about the fall that makes me want to bake. I love to make pumpkin bread and muffins, but sometimes I want something less heavy. These Pumpkin Buttermilk pancakes are wonderful. They are soft, fluffy and slightly sweet. My children love them with pure maple syrup and butter. You will love this recipe. One bite and you will taste autumn. Enjoy!


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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

11 Oct

It’s that time of the year again where the idea of cooking with Pumpkin and Apples is on the top of my mind. I picked up a couple of cans of pureed pumpkin and mini chocolate chips at the grocery store the other day and decided to make some cookies. These cookies are very soft. I actually made a mistake of stacking them on a plate overnight and they were stuck together. I do not recommend doing that. These cookies are really delicious. They are like eating a combination of pumpkin bread and chocolate chip cookies. My kids and husband literally ate all of them in 1 1/2 days. Your whole family will love them! Enjoy!

 

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Freezer pancake mix!

24 Aug

With school on the horizon I know I will have to whip up some fast and healthy breakfasts for my 2 kiddos. I don’t usually have time to make pancakes from scratch on week days, but with this new trick, I can definitely do it!!! Take all the dry ingredients and put them in a freezer bag or large plastic container and mark the wet ingredients on the outside. This will allow you to cook up some healthy and delicious pancakes in a few minutes! I also froze tons of fruit on cookie sheets and then threw them in bags, so I have blueberries, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, small chunks of apples etc at a moments notice. These are perfect thrown in your pancakes, as a topper or as a great snack for lunch boxes. Here is my basic pancake recipe broken down for you with variations. This will make 6 batches of 8 pancakes. If the dry mix is kept in the freezer it will last 4-6 months.

http://mixingbowlkids.typepad.com/.a/6a010536fe5b48970c012877a913e0970c-pi

Image  from Family Bites

Freezer Pancake Mix

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It’s been a long week!

7 Aug

It’s been a crazy week. I worked full time coordinating a summer camp at the local community college and my kids were up at my parents at “Grandparent Camp”. I got home each night famished, exhausted and stressed. Needless to say I did not have the energy to post or cook. My meals at night consisted of salsa and chips, cereal or ice cream. Not the best week for eating healthy. I did however have time to make a cake for someone I know who was throwing a 50th wedding anniversary for her parents. I thought it turned out really well! It was vanilla cake with fresh strawberries and vanilla butter cream. Yum!

 

So my goal is to post some new recipes this week as well as get a giveaway going for food should taste good chips!! Night all!

Picking Fresh Fruit and Amazing Peach Crisp!

18 Jul

Today I decided to go blueberry and peach picking at a local orchard. It was very hot out, but we were able to get a good amount of fresh fruit. Not only is this fruit local, fresh and grown with minimum pesticides, it was cheap! I couldn’t wait to get home and make a peach cobbler.

Check out some of these fun pictures from our picking adventure!

Getting Ready to pick!

Beautiful CT peaches

Trying one out!

Look what we picked!!

 

15 peaches and a big bowl of blueberries for only…….

 

This peach crisp  is absolutely delicious and I paired it with some vanilla ice cream!! This is easy enough to whip together for dinner and yummy enough to share with friends!

Peach Crisp

 

Peach Crisp

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Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

14 Jun

I grew up eating Bisquick pancakes.  On weekend mornings my mom would whip together a pancake breakfast for our family and we would drench them in butter and syrup. But, when I had my first “from scratch” pancake at a restaurant in college, I was shocked how different the texture and flavor were. Ever since I have been on the search for a delicious, easy recipe that emulates those pancakes I had years ago. Since  blueberries are everywhere in the grocery store this time of year, I decided to make fresh pancakes for my kid’s breakfast this morning. They inhaled them and said they were the best ones I have ever made. I looked in my new favorite book “Wildly Affordable Organic” and used her recipe for pancakes, but I sweetened it up a little with extra sugar. They were awesome. Enjoy!!!!

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

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Organic Gardens and Easy No Knead Bread

1 Jun

Good morning everyone. It is a bright, beautiful day here in sunny Connecticut. We had a wonderful weekend of cookouts and gardening. My goal for this summer is to try and grow all our veggies and some of our fruit. My daughter and I went to our local organic nursery Jessica’s Garden and got all the essentials for our garden. (they also have awesome lobsters rolls and fresh ice cream! My favorites are goat tracks and dirty barn shoes (both chocolate with different mix ins) Gotta love rural CT!) I got a bunch of organic top soil and my favorite veggies. I like the fact that I can go out into my garden right before dinner and get fresh lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes, still hot from the sun and the flavors just burst in your mouth!

So here is what we got!

4 kinds of tomatoes!

2 types of Cherry tomatoes and 2 regular sized tomatoes

 

Peppers

1 green pepper, one red pepper and 1 banana pepper

My deck garden!

3 types of lettuce, strawberries, basil, cilantro and mint!

 

Cukes!

4 cucumbers, 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash

 

Blueberries

2 blueberry bushes!

 

I got very inspired from a book I recently picked up called Wildly Affordable Organic by Linda Watson. She has amazing ideas on how to save money and very simple recipes. Last night I made her No Knead “Wisk” bread and baked it this morning! It was so amazing. Check out the recipe here. I will be giving away one of her books in July, it will change your outlook on how to eat organic on a budget!

 

Wisk bread!

mmmmm nutella

 

Have a great day!

Enjoying my backyard!

Granola Bites (1 point +)

15 May

Granola bars are a yummy and easy snack.  Have you ever tried to make your own? I have tried a few different recipes, but they always have a lot of oil and peanut butter, so they are not very low in points. I decided to create little granola bars today using my mini muffin tin and some of the cereals in my pantry. These were super simple to make and very good! My children love them and they are peanut free, so they are good for kids that have peanut allergies. Enjoy!!

 

I have a new giveaway starting tomorrow morning. It’s a BIG one stay tuned!!

Granola bites!

Yum!

 

Granola Bites

Servings 24

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Puffed Brown Rice Cereal (I used Nature’s Path Organic Smart Bran Cereal)
  • 1 cup Low Fat Granola with Raisins (I used Trader Joe’s Low Fat Granola)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 very ripe banana smashed
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

 

Directions:

  1. Spray mini muffin pan with non stick spray and set oven for 350 F.
  2. Mix brown rice cereal, granola, sugar and banana together in a large bowl.
  3. Put almond butter, oil, maple syrup and honey in a bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Add vanilla extract and stir well.
  4. Add honey mixture to the cereal mix and stir well.
  5. Fill mini muffin tins with mixture and press down well.
  6. Cook for 15 minutes.
  7. When still warm, press down each granola bite with a spoon to compact further.
  8. Let cool completely.

Eat as an easy snack or crumble over yogurt!

 

Calories 50, Total Fat 2.1g, Total Carbohydrates 7.8g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 0.6g

1 point + per bite

Individual Lemon Curd, Strawberry Cheesecakes (4 points +)

9 May

I made a fantastic Peanut Butter cup cheesecake the other night and it was a big hit, but sometimes you just want your own little cheesecake. I made these for dessert today for a friend who was coming over for lunch. They are the perfect size and the lemon curd and strawberries are an amazing combination. These were very easy to make and I like that you don’t have to figure out the serving size, because it is already done for you!! These are perfect for a summer BBQ or a light dessert!!! Enjoy!

 


 

Individual Lemon Curd and Strawberry Cheesecakes

Serves 9

Ingredients

  • 9 vanilla wafers
  • 1 package (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup fat free Honey Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons lemon curd
  • 9 small strawberries

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Place 9 muffin liners in a muffin tin. Place one vanilla wafer flat side down in the bottom of each liner.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, Greek yogurt and sugar until smooth. Add egg and beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in vanilla. Pour filling evenly into the 9 muffin liners.
  3. Bake for 20 -25 minutes. Allow to cool.
  4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  5. Before serving garnish each one with a ½ teaspoon of lemon curd and one strawberry.
  6. Optional –  Blend 10 strawberries, a tablespoon of water and a little bit of sugar in food processor to make a sauce for decoration on the plate

9 servings

Nutrition Facts: 159 calories, 10.8 g fat, 13.1 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 3.2 g protein.

1 cheesecake is 4 + points each

Shannon’s “Healthier” Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake (9 points +)

5 May

We were invited over to a friend’s house for dinner this week and she said I could bring dessert! I suggested cheesecake, but she said her husband wasn’t a big fan. So I said how about if I put chocolate and peanut butter in it? She said “He will love it!” So I decided to create a decedent, reduced fat version of my favorite cheesecake, Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple at the Cheesecake Factory.  One slice of their cheese cake has: Calories 930 , Total Fat 59g,  Total Carbohydrate 93g , Dietary Fiber 4g , Protein 17g on piece is 27 POINTS +!!!! Scary!!!! My version is just as delicious and will satisfy your every chocolate, peanut buttery desire. I used fat free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and it made the filling very velvety and creamy!!! Enjoy!!!


Shannon’s “Healthier” Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

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