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Protein Balls

3 Feb

For something healthy, these actual taste good. 🙂 Make a batch and start the week out on a flax seed foot!

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Ingredients:

2 scoops chocolate (or vanilla) protein powder

2 cups slow cook oatmeal

1 cup brown Rice Krispies

1 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup honey

1 Tbsp flax seeds

Combine all ingredients and form into balls.

Sweet Corn Puffs

17 Dec

Remember me? It’s ok…I don’t either. I’ve been MIA for the last little bit – hubby sent me on an awesome, sun-filled visit to FL to spend time with my sister and her family. The 7 hour flight down there, by myself, baby in tow, was even worth it. 🙂 He actually flew very well, but I’ve learned something about planes now that the novelty of flying from my youth has worn off…there is no privacy in planes. The only respite is in the bathroom. I was almost grateful to make my neighbor move three times (yes…I was in a middle seat! yikes) with the excuse to go feed the baby or change him. But I’d do it again. Next time I think I’ll bring my husband with me though. 😉

Following my return, I had a special presentation to do in my daughter’s school class, and then a company Christmas party to go to the same night. Where I proceeded to get food poisoning. Needless to say, writing about food was not on my list of priorities as I hurled all night and lay limp in bed the entire next day. Lucky for me, my mom loves me…a lot. She had already spent tons of times at my house taking care of my kiddos while I was away and my husband was at work. And then, the day after I get back…”Mom! I’m soooo sick.” She’s an angel. I ate two whole pieces of toast this morning and half a pot pie (the latter only because I’m nursing and I decided that, no matter how much my stomach cramped up, I had to eat something for his sake). I’m still alive, but not quite all the way there.

Recipe for today is the easiest thing alive. My husband calls them the most addicting packaging peanuts around.  photo-186

Ingredients:

8 ounces puffed corn puffs (not the cereal Corn Pops)
1 C butter
3 T water
2 T corn syrup
1 C sugar

In a medium saucepan, melt butter then add water, corn syrup, and sugar. Mix well and cook for 8-10 minutes until the mixture reaches a golden brown color. Pour mixture over corn puffs and stir until evenly coated. Cool. Store in an air-tight container.

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

21 Nov

“Mom! These are the best ever!” Palm to the forehead…why do I bother cooking anything that takes even a smidgen of effort? My kids always rant and rave about the things I throw together last minute, and poke their fork hesitantly at the things I slave over. I’ll tell you why I bother; I do it because I like my food to be interesting. So, I’ll keep doing it until one day my children develop taste buds and an appreciation for good food. In the mean time, however, I do thank my lucky stars that there are quick fixes out there that do taste pretty darn good.

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Ingredients:

1 pkg refrigerated crescent rolls

6 pieces of bacon, cooked crispy and broken in bits

shredded cheddar cheese

Lay out crescent roll dough in 2 rectangles, and cover with cheese and bacon bits. Tightly roll dough, sealing the edges and cut 4-5 individual pinwheels from each rectangle. Place on baking sheet and bake 375^F for 12-15 min.

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Mozzarella Rolls

1 Nov

Happy Halloween! I have a confession to make. My kids filled their trick-or-treat buckets three times this year: my in-laws always have a Halloween party where the kids bust open a piñata and load up on goodies, our neighborhood does a trunk-or-treat, and then there’s the regular door-to-door stuff on Halloween night. Aka: my kids got a lot of candy. So, here goes my confession…I dumped all of their previously hoarded candy into ziplock bags (so they would actually have room in their buckets for anything more than a Jr. Mint), dutifully writing their names on the bags so that they wouldn’t mix, and sent them on their way with Dad to trick-or-treat. I then went through their bags and re-treated a good selection of their candy to the trick-or-treaters coming to my house. Gasp! I know…kind of a mean mom. I did, in fact, have candy that I had prepared for the costumed cuties roaming the neighborhood, but we really get a lot of trick-or-treaters and I didn’t want to run out. I also didn’t want to deal with having candy coming out of my children’s ears for the next three months. Good news is, they didn’t notice.

Trick or treating started early this year – I think most of the kids wanted to get going before it got frigid outside…I don’t blame them. But that meant that I sent my munchkins out before dinner was ready, plus I didn’t have much time to get anything prepared because I was going back and forth to the door every two seconds. Enter my new favorite thing…egg roll wraps + string cheese. When I finally convinced my kids that eating dinner before gorging themselves on candy was actually a good idea after they got back from trekking round the neighborhood, my four year old reluctantly sat down, took a bite, and said, “Wow, Mom! This is so good! It may be the best ever!” And it took 5 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to cook. Winner, winner!!! I used deli ham tonight, but pepperoni is really good too – I really see endless possibilities! You can use them as sides – they are perfect finger foods – an after-school snack, or for a quickie dinner on Halloween night. 🙂

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Ingredients:

egg roll wrappers

string cheese

sliced deli ham, pepperoni, or other filling of choice

On top of an egg roll wrapper, place ham or pepperoni across middle of wrapper – corner to corner leaving enough space to fold top corners inward. Place a piece of string cheese on top. Fold the two top corners over the cheese. Fold unfolded edges over cheese and pepperoni, meeting corners and forming a triangle. Roll until cheese is tightly sealed. Moisten corners with water to seal. Repeat with the rest of wrappers. Deep fry until golden brown or bake at 375^F for 20 minutes or until desired brownness.

*Tip: I tried using only cheese in a few of them and the cheese ended up bubbling out. The meat forms a barrier around the cheese so that when it melts it doesn’t leak out of the folds in the egg roll wrappers.

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Fruit Leather

2 Oct

One of the local grocery stores was selling flats of strawberries for $3.88 – that’s 8 of those little containers (I should know the volume, but I don’t) for less than $4!! Couldn’t pass that up! But I also couldn’t eat all of them before they went bad. 🙂 So, we opted to try to make our own fruit leather. I was frustrated at first because I couldn’t find a recipe with real instructions. They are all kind of like, “add some fruit, add some sweetener, add whatever flavor you want…” I’m not good at making things up. I need a recipe unless I’ve been making it for at least ten years – these are the rules. However, it turns out that there just isn’t a concrete recipe for fruit leather. You have to be a little flexible. Deep breath.

I made a strawberry batch and a strawberry banana batch – both were really good. I just got some raspberries and peaches and I’m going to try a few more concoctions…no recipe and all. I’m so brave. I was planning on using these for my daughter’s lunches and after-school snacks, but my husband took most of them to work with him for his snacks. 🙂 That works too!

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Ingredients:

2 1/2 – 3 cups fruit, diced

2 tsp lemon juice

spices and/or extracts to taste (optional)

honey, sugar, or agave to taste

Preheat oven to lowest temperature (mine is 170^F). Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap of silicone baking mat (don’t use foil or waxed paper). The plastic wrap will shrink in the oven, so leave the edges loose.

Puree fruit and lemon juice in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add sweetener to taste and any other spices/extracts you desire. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread as evenly as possible to about 1/4 inch thick (the puree will shrink a little so don’t spread it all the way to the edges). Place in oven and bake 6-8 hours or until center is not tacky. Remove from oven, let cool to room temperature, and peel off baking sheet. Cut into strips and roll in wax paper or plastic wrap. Store in air-tight container.

*Tip: If your fruit leather comes out too hard and cracks instead of peeling off of your cooking sheet, brush it with water then return it to the oven for another 10 min or so – it will soften right up!