Category Archives: Recipes

Homemade Trail Mix

One of my absolute favorite snacks is trail mix! This past Sunday my husband and I went on a short hike and took some trail mix with us to enjoy. I usually don’t measure out what I put into these mixes because it depends on what I want to be the heavier flavor of that particular mix, so feel free to change the ratio of ingredients as shown in the picture. There are many other combinations that can be made with these ingredients and more! The blueberries and cranberries could be mixed together for a patriotic trail mix, or the blueberries and banana chips would make a yummy combination. The possibilities are endless!
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The mix on the left consists of: peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and dried blueberries.

The mix on the right consists of: cashews, dried raspberries, banana chips, and dried cranberries.

Almond Blueberry Granola Bars

Granola Bars are one of my favorite snacks…they’re easy to make, easy to grab in a hurry, and of course very delicious! For these granola bars, I decided to give a healthier update to a favorite made with chocolate chips. Although I used almonds and dried blueberries, there are many combinations that could be made (cashews and raspberries, banana chips and blueberries, peaches and almonds…endless combinations!).
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Almond Blueberry Granola Bars
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Yield: 10 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
handful of dried blueberries
handful of crunched almonds
1. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir the oats and rice cereal together; set aside. In a small saucepan, melt the brown sugar, honey, and butter together over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
3. Pour the melted mixture over hte dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pout the oat mixture into the prepared pan and press down to ensure that the ingredients are tightly compacted in the pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with the bluerries and almonds and press down on the top lightly with the back of a spoon.
4. Cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or until the bluerries and almonds are set before cutting into bars. Wrap in plastic wrap or keep in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Pesto Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo

The past few months I’ve been on an Alfredo kick. Usually with just a bit of salt and pepper, sometimes with a few sun-dried tomatoes thrown in, but never anything else. Well the other day I was admiring the basil in our window box and thought about how tasty Alfredo would be with a little pesto in addition to the sun-dried tomatoes, so I tested it out. I was right, it was divine!! I used this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens as a base, and just added 2 extra ingredients. Mushrooms and garlic, roasted peppers, or even a hint of lemon would be a great addition to the basic Alfredo sauce as well. Mmm!
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Pesto Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup pesto
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat, being careful not to brown the butter. Carefully pour the cream into saucepan with butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the butter-cream mixture to boiling; reduce heat to a simmer and cook the sauce gently until it begins to thicken, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. This will take 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Stir in pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, until they are incorporated and heat for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in Parmesan. Continue stirring until cheese is incorporated into sauce.

3. Toss with 8 oz of hot, cooked, and drained pasta. Serve immediately.

Sweet Homemade Lemonade

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, I am officially declaring it summer. What better way to celebrate than with an ice cold glass of homemade lemonade out of a pint jar. Even if you don’t have the pint jar, you can still make this homemade lemonade. This recipe is my great aunt’s and just the right balance between sweet and lemony. I promise it’s worth the work!
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Sweet Homemade Lemonade
yields: a little less than 2 quarts

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 cups water
Juice from 9 lemons
1-2 trays of ice cubes (or equivalent from fridge)

Directions:
Squeeze lemons and pour juice through strainer. Combine lemon juice with other ingredients and mix until sugar dissolves. Enjoy!