First of all, my apologies for being away so long. Bad Tonya. Bad bad. I have allowed my life to become too full. Actually, I thought with both my children heading to school this fall, my schedule would free up substantially. Apparently having more time is the great lie of having school age children. Why didn’t anyone tell me that I was about to become the Tonya Taxi Service? I feel like my life is spent in my van driving round in a 2 mile loop. Ok, enough complaining. I have resolved to suck it up and find time to share with you all. You deserve it. Regardless of how harried I feel on a daily (hourly) basis these days. Deliciousness still needs to be made. Women have successfully managed school, children, meals, housecleaning and jobs for decades – it’s the least I can do to get some recipes typed up! Starting with these dee-licious apple chips. No dehydrator needed!
I have been looking for a no-fail, easy homemade granola bar recipe for a few weeks now. Fall is coming and my sweet Madison is starting Kindergarten. How did that happen so fast? I blinked and suddenly she was 5. Crazy. I cannot wait for after school snack time. I remember that being the best thing ever. Come home from school to a glass of cold milk and some kind of treat? Oh yeah. This recipe is going to be made every single week I’m sure. It takes 5 minutes, you don’t have to bake anything and they are incredibly delicious.
My nieces came over unexpectedly today. My gluten/dairy free sweet lovelies. I had just pulled a Blueberries & Cream Pie out of the oven…which, (of course) they cannot eat. It’s absolutely unacceptable for my sweet girls to come over to Auntie’s house and not get a treat. But what to make?
I remembered seeing this recipe on Pinterest ages ago and thought I remembered it being gluten free. A couple quick keystrokes and I the recipe pulled up. A speedy scan of the confirmed I had all the ingredients and was gluten free as I remembered. Bonus, it got rid of some bananas that were rapidly heading towards a ripeness only enticing to fruit flies.
Do not be tempted to sub out the sugar for applesauce (as someone started suggesting on Pinterest to do). Applesauce will make these bars turn into a mushy mess. You can however sub out the milk for almond milk (or rice milk) to make these gluten & dairy free.
These are sweet enough to pass off on unsuspecting children as dessert and nutritious enough to eat yourself for breakfast. Top with extra peanut butter if desired. Or, if you are feeling wild and crazy, (and are a fan of chocolate hazelnut in general) give it a little dollup of Nutella. Hello delicious! It should be noted that Nutella is not a low calorie or “health” food. Shocking, I know. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars
adapted from Gingerbread Bagels
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I rounded my measuring cup just a bit)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 medium mashed bananas
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 350°
Mix together the quick cooking oats, light brown sugar, baking powder, kosher salt and ground cinnamon.
Add in the vanilla extract, milk and egg. Mix the ingredients together.
Add in the mashed banana and peanut butter. Combine all of the ingredients.
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch metal baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Cool Completely. Cut into squares and enjoy!
You heard that right. Trix. Krispies. No I am not kidding. Yes, they are as incredible as they sound.
Now, I have to admit, I have not tried the various other krispie recipes I’ve seen around lately. Making them anyway. I’ve certainly consumed my fair share. It is all the rage to do outrageous things to rice krispie treats and several of my friends have brought different batches around for me to taste. I haven’t gotten in on that action for two main reasons.
First, I love my recipe for the original rice krispie treats. They are incredibly gooey, perfectly rich and delicious. I cannot imagine a more perfectly easy treat. Second (and the “real” reason for not branching out), every alteration to the original seems to add gluten into the mix. Cake batter treats are delicious, but my Celiac sister and her gluten intolerant family cannot eat them. I’ve even seen a recipe for Lucky Charms treats that look very yummy, but again, it makes it hands-off for lots of my family members. With so many things already off-limits, I just didn’t feel right taking away the stand by good-for-everyone dessert.
Then I saw this genius idea for using Trix. Did you know that Trix are made from corn? Yes. Corn. Not wheat. Delicious, fruity corn. Non gluten, beautiful, colorful corn. Silly rabbit! These Trix are for everyone! I adapted this recipe to use a whole box of Trix and one bag of marshmallows. Why waste the little extra bits of either bag? Trust me, once they are combined into these amazing krispies not one little fruity ball will be left over.
I cannot begin to tell you the deliciousness of these. Truly. Like a bar version of fruit with a marshmallow dip. And, just looking at them makes you happy. That rainbow of colors winking out at your from beneath a layer of gooey butter marshmallow. Yuuuuuuuum.
adapted from Cravings of a Lunatic
1 (16 ounce) bag mini marshmallows
1 (10.7 ounce) box of Trix cereal (about 8 cups)
1/4 cup of butter
- Melt butter slowly in the microwave (I do this on half power). Once butter is just melted, add marshmallows and continue microwaving about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until mallows are melted.
- Stir well.
- Mix in your trix and stir.
- Pour into a large greased pan (9 x 13 or 11 x 11) and press down with a spoon.
- Cut into squares.
I use the empty butter wrapper to press my krispies into the pan. It’s already greased and won’t stick. You could also spray your spoon with non stick spray before using it.
I’m always trying to find new ways to use up bananas. Somehow, there are always a few growing freckles on my counter. Banana bread or delicious Monkey Bites are usually what I bake up, but a breakfast cookie intrigued me. These “cookies” have the texture of baked oatmeal, but since they’re dropped and baked on cookie sheets they get the cookie moniker.
These are dairy free, egg free and using gluten-free oats makes these babies a perfect snack for all you GF folks. They are soft and filled with flavor. Perfect for on-the-go breakfast or stashing in your bag for an afternoon snack. You could use blueberries or dried cranberries instead if you’re not a fan of raisins.
Here’s where the obvious food preferences of my children come into sharp focus. I called these cookies when offering them to my daughter, which made her decide not to even try them at first (she is her father’s non-sweet tooth child). Later in the day she consented to have one (and loved it) after I explained that it was oatmeal and not really a cookie cookie.
My son heard the word cookie from across the house and came bounding down the steps and lightning speed to gobble down three for breakfast. I was celebrated as the nicest, greatest mom ever because I said yes when he asked for more. The look on his face was priceless. Like he was trying to figure out what bizzaro world he’d woken up to where mom was doling out cookies for breakfast. It was great. Make up a batch and be a hero in your house too! Enjoy!
makes 19 cookies
3 mashed bananas (ripe)
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Drop spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets, flatten slightly and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
I do not have an ice cream maker. This upsets me greatly. However, this recipe for strawberry ice cream doesn’t require a fancy confection making gadget. That fills my heart with joy and gladness. Just think, in only a few minutes you could be eating frosty creamy glorious ice cream. Added bonus, there’s no added sugar and it’s gluten and dairy free! Which means I can make it for our next family BBQ and my special-food-issues family members can ALL eat it! Celiac disease, diabetes and dairy allergies can just bite me! Hooray!
This ice cream uses coconut milk, which I’d never really used before. I was shocked to open the can and find it was solid. Then I read the side and saw that it was natural for it to separate and solidify in the can. Make sure you mix it up if your can has done this too. There’s liquid underneath, it just needs to be recombined.
Some frozen bananas and strawberries get blended up in a food processor (or a good blender would also work I’m sure).
It gets a little hit of vanilla and just enough coconut milk to make it creamy and smooth.
Only moments to sweet ice cream perfection. A little sweet and full of fruity goodness that everyone can enjoy. Yuummmy!
Non-Dairy Strawberry Ice Cream
adapted from The Primal Home
1 banana, sliced and frozen
2 handfuls of strawberries, frozen
1-2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the frozen bananas and strawberries into a food processor. Start blending then add in the vanilla and coconut milk. Just enough for it to blend together but not too much, we want it to be really thick! Once it is nice and smooth but still very thick scoop it out and enjoy! It needs to be eaten right away as it will not keep very well in the freezer. Makes 2 servings.
I think of butter mints alongside turkey and stuffing, not hearts and flowers. Thanksgiving always meant butter mints when I was a kid. My Nanny (English grandmother, not baby-sitter) would have a bowl of them sitting on top of her giant TV, temptingly out of reach. It was the best turkey day ever when I was tall enough to reach up and help myself to sweet buttery goodness that dissolved on my tongue. I’m not sure what made it pop into my head to make my own mints, but when I realized how EASY it is, I couldn’t wait until next fall. I decided to make some for Valentine’s Day (season). Which, as you may or may not know, runs from the second week of January until mid-February. It’s true. Just ask Hallmark.
I’ve been hearing from many of you about how long it’s been since I posted anything. First of all, I appreciate being missed. You make me feel so loved. Second. I’m sorry. I was shocked to look back and realize it’s been almost 7 months. For shame for shame!! I wish I had some amazing excuse. Some reason that would be forgivable in any reasonable world – unfortunately, I do not. I suppose I could blame it on the fact that I have a son who just turned three, and the past few months have felt particularly draining with him. But, my little man is (mostly) remarkably well-behaved and I only think he’s trouble until I hang around other three-year-olds. Reality check! He’s really quite delightful. I really don’t feel right blaming him. I don’t have any debilitating ailments or horror stories of massive trauma in my life (thank you Lord for that!). Basically, life has just gotten the better of me. Do you ever feel that way? Like it’s a chore to just get through each day? That adding anything beyond keeping your children breathing and out of the ER is too much to ask? Well, that’s been my state of mind for a while. Can’t pinpoint exactly why. Just, life.
These should have an aka after the title. Also known as “pieces of heaven”. When I read this recipe I started drooling after the first two ingredients. Chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Yeah. You really can’t go wrong when those two things are going to be combined. I’ve never been a fan of rocky road ice cream because the good stuff is surrounded by chocolate ice cream – which I despise. I’ve finally found a version of rocky road that I love. These are a fudgy base filled with marshmallow and pecans. You all know how I feel about nuts, but in this case, it just works. These candies are super quick to put together and make for perfect camping food in my opinion. Throw them all in some tuperware and off you go. I love food that travels well. And to top it off, they are gluten free! Yippee! Continue reading
Meringues sometimes seem a bit daunting, but with a couple of tips you can whip out a batch of melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness that are puffy clouds of perfection. I always make these after baking cookies it seems. I just cannot bring myself to waste the egg whites when some other recipe has only used the yolks. Poor little whites – getting left out of delicious cookies. Besides, mother’s day is just around the corner and my Celiac sister (I know, that’s a horrible name to give her…she’s so much more than that. It’s just an easy distinction since only one of my three sisters lives gluten-free.) will be here for momma’s day lunch. She probably won’t be able to eat whatever the guys cook up as a dessert (yes, the guys are in charge on Mother’s Day). So I’ll just keep some of these in a baggie for her until Sunday. Continue reading