Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Roasted Almond Bark

I love Baker By Nature - I follow her on Instagram and so enjoy Ashley's recipes.

I have made several of her recipes.  When I spotted her "3 Ingredient Toffee Bark", I knew I had to make it.  Please visit Baker by Nature for all of her helpful hints regarding this chocolate toffee bark. It was so easy and it is so yummy.... I am making it again today!   I love chocolate, roasted almonds and toffee!!!

I used Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate bars.  I did cheat and buy roasted almonds - I didn't roast my own. :(..... And.... I topped it with sea salt.  I also broke mine into irregular shaped pieces instead of cutting into neat squares like Ashley

This recipe looks fabulous and tastes even better!!  LOVE IT!!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad

I have mentioned before... I love pasta salads in the summer.  They are great to make ahead, take to parties... and they don't get "wilty" or yucky!

I love this hearty pasta salad from Southern Living.  The smoked cheese and artichoke hearts make for great flavor.  I could see adding a black olive... but I have to many "olive haters" in my world.  I made this over the July 4th weekend.  I took some to two different gatherings, and we enjoyed some at home!  I doubled the recipe!  I think this is a keeper!

Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad (adapted from Southern Living)
*I doubled the recipe

1  6 oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts
1  8 oz pkg rotini pasta, cooked and drained
1  7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips or bites
1/2  lb smoked Mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch bites
1/2  5 oz bag of baby spinach leaves (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2  4.5 can chopped green chiles, drained (I didn't use these)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove, minced
Garnish - tomato wedges, spinach leaves or a little shredded Parmesan cheese

Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade.  Cut artichoke hearts in bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.  Add pasta and next four ingredients, tossing gently.  Stir together the reserved artichoke marinade, mayonnaise and the next four ingredients until blended.  Add to pasta mixture, gently stirring to combine.  Cover and chill until ready to eat.

*I only added about half of the artichoke marinade at first...and then added a little more.  I didn't want the dressing too runny. I saved the extra artichoke marinade for the next day.  Pasta salads tend to soak up some of the dressing and I "refreshed" it with a little more marinade.

Printable Version

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

S'mores Cookie Bars

Who doesn't love S'mores in the summer!

One of our four year old classes at preschool makes a cookbook for a mother's day gift.  This fun recipe came from one of those four year olds and her mommy!

Enjoy!  I thought it was great!

S'mores Cookie Bars (I doubled the recipe and made a 9 x 13)

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 Tbsp butter, melted

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

1  1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1 regular size milk chocolate Hershey bar
extra marshmallows for top

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with baking spray.  Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.  Press into the bottom of prepared pan.  (I baked my crust for 5- 7 minutes to set - the original recipe didn't bake the crust first)

Cream 1/2 cup softened butter... adding sugars and beat until fluffy.   Mix in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to butter mixture, mixing well.  Once this is all combined, fold in chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.  Spoon cookie dough evenly over crust. Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes.

While bars are baking, break Hershey into sections and place in freezer.  After 12 minutes of baking, take cars out of oven and sprinkle with some mini marshmallows.  Return to oven to finish baking and lightly brown the marshmallows.  When tester comes out clean, remove from oven and gently place Hershey bar pieces on the top of the bars.  Let cool completely before cutting.  Enjoy!

Printable Version

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Quinoa Salad

My crazy, fun friend, Kathy, shared this recipe with me.  Kathy is Celiac and often cooks "gluten-free".  My family enjoys different salads in the summer... so I decided to try Kathy's yummy salad. We loved it!  Kathy told me to double the recipe and to cook my quinoa in a rice cooker.  I don't have a rice cooker.  I bought my quinoa at Costco and just followed the directions on the package.  I have a good-size bag of quinoa so I am going to have to come up with some new quinoa recipes.  I thought it tasted yummy right out of the pot - reminds me a little of brown rice.  

I pretty much followed Kathy's recipe to a T!  My middle daughter was with me when I made it and she thought I should add avocado to it upon serving.  I didn't put avocado in the whole recipe - just in individual servings.  I also think you could add grilled chicken for a complete dinner!  

Try this yummy, refreshing summer salad! 

Quinoa Salad (Kathy recommends doubling the recipe)

1 cup of quinoa, cooked  with 1/2 tsp salt

Cook quinoa according to package directions and allow to cool.  While it is cooking, make dressing and prepare ingredients.   


Combine ingredients and set aside

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (more if needed)
1 Tbsp olive oil (more if needed)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
pepper to taste
lemon zest to taste


2 green onions, chopped
fresh basil, chopped ( I use kitchen shears to cut)
fresh cilantro, chopped (I use kitchen shears to cut)
1 - 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Once quinoa is cooked and fairly cool, add all ingredients to the quinoa.  Add the dressing!  Toss and chill until ready to serve.  

*serve with avocado and/or diced grilled chicken