Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No Bake Energy Bites

I've been trying to stick with no-bake recipes this summer, and this is one of the best of the bunch.  

These tasty treats are easy, healthy, delicious! 
 They have protein, high-fiber and contain NO refined sugar! 

That's a pretty good mix I'd say. 

Thank you to Amee at Amee's Savory Dish who linked these up at another one of our awesome and wonderful Weekend Potlucks!
(I think you'll see a trend here...I make a lot of those linked dishes!) 

Please stop over and visit Amee - tell her I said hello.  She hosts "Fit & Fabulous Friday" linky parties and I am always happy to take part and check out the other amazing HEALTHY dishes linked up there. 

These would make a great snack or even breakfast. I sure enjoyed mine with my morning coffee (& stevia!=) 

I made make mine in the food processor because it was already setting out, so the texture of mine is smoother than Amee's.  


1 c. dry whole old-fashioned oats
(I used 7-grain - found at my bulk food store)
1 c. toasted coconut flakes
1/2 c. chocolate chips
(My homemade no-sugar recipe is here)
1/2 c. (natural) peanut butter
1/2 c. ground flaxseed
1/3 c. agave or honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (or food processor for a smoother texture) and chill for 30 minutes. Roll into balls.  Enjoy.  Dip in dark chocolate for a special treat. 

Linked to Weekend Potluck
        Ingredient Spotlight - Oats

Monday, July 30, 2012

No-Bake Peanut Butter Nutella Bars

Here's another fabulous no-bake treat I wanted to be sure to share before school starts in most places. 

I was just so excited when I saw it at Sweet Pea's Kitchen.  She has awesome photos and super recipes there.  My hubby has always called our daughter "Sweet Pea"...so I'm pretty partial to this blog.  *-*

As far as I'm concerned, there's no better combination than peanut butter and chocolate...UNLESS YOU ADD NUTELLA TO THE MIX!! 

This would make a great lunch treat or after school snack. 

It's simple and I love that it uses ingredients I normally have on hand. 

If you love Nutella (and who doesn't?  If you don't...I have to feel sorry for you=( ...I love eating it by the spoonsful!)

I'm drooling just looking at this photo again...


1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 - 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. smooth peanut butter
1/4 c. Nutella (hazelnut spread)
3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips
1/4 c. peanut butter chips
2 TB. Nutella 

Butter bottom and sides of an 8" X 8" square pan. Place a long sheet of parchment paper in the bottom, letting the paper extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. 
(This will make it easier to remove the bars from the pan later). 

Melt 1/2 c. butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar stirring until smooth. Stir in peanut butter, Nutella and graham cracker crumbs until completely combined and smooth. Spread the peanut butter mixture into prepared pan and smooth top.

In the now-empty saucepan, melt chocolate, peanut butter chips and nutella until almost completely melted.  Remove from heat and continue stirring until completely melted and smooth.  Pour over peanut butter layer and smooth into even layer.

Refrigerate for atleast 1 hour to set (I know...I know...it's tough to wait...trust me, it's gonna be worth it!) Remove from the pan using the parchment overhangs and place on a cutting board.  Use a pizza cutter to slice into 16 bars.   Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Leader Enterprise - August 25, 2012 - Getting ready for school

Cheesy Ranch Potatoes (1)
Cheesey Ranch Potatoes - photo credit: 4 little Fergusons 

The kiddos will be heading back to school very soon. I've read the average family spends about $600 on back-to-school shopping. Ugh! And even more for larger families! I've been reading many tips on the internet, and in print, and wanted to share some to help you stay within your budget and not break the bank in the process.

Recycle: Send your kids on a treasure hunt. Many of the supplies the kids need are already in your house. Pencils, sharpeners, scissors, etc.can be gathered and used at school.

Match Prices: Some of our local retailers offer price matching, so scour the circulars and mark the 'best buys' and enjoy shopping, because you'll be saving a lot of bucks. I recently saw a local store advertising two-pocket folders for 9 cents each. Scarf up those deals when you can. If there's a limit,take a friend with you and buy double.

Wait if you can: Many stores slash prices two or three weeks after school begins. Buy only what's necessary to start, and do more shopping later.

Don't be afraid to Splurge: The school year brings many new things: teachers, classrooms, classmates, schedule,etc. Find out one thing your child really wants and get it for them. You can compromise so that everything doesn't have to be purchased brand new. Let the kids help decide which things to wait to buy, and which things to splurge on. It can be a good lesson in money management.

This is a great website that can help you save on clothing.www.ShopItToMe.com. They track the brands you like in chosen sizes and alert you when they go on sale. It's worth checking out,especially if brand names matter.

If you don't have your own garden, I hope you've visited your local farmers market and are enjoying many seasonal fruits and veggies available this time of year. Fresh is always best.


6 bacon strips, cut into 1/2" pieces

2 lbs.fresh green beans, cleaned

3 Tb. brown sugar

2/3 c. water

In large skillet,cook bacon over medium heat until crisp-tender,about 5 minutes.Add beans,brown sugar and water.Stir gently;bring to a boil.Reduce heat;cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.Remove to serving bowl with slotted spoon.Yield:6-8 servings.


3 eggs,beaten

1 c.oil

1-1/2 c.white sugar

2 c. raw,unpeeled zucchini,grated fine

2-1/2 c.all purpose flour

1/2 c. baking cocoa

1 tsp.salt

1-1/2 tsp.baking soda

1 tsp.ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp.baking powder

1/2 c.finely chopped nuts,optional

Preheat oven to 350.Grease 2 large or 4-5 small loaf pans.Place eggs,oil,sugar and zucchini in blender;blend well.In medium bowl,place flour,salt,baking soda,cinnamon and baking powder,and nuts.Stir wet mixture into dry and blend with electric mixer.Pour into prepared pans.Bake 35-55 minutes,depending on size of pan,testing with toothpick for doneness.Smaller loaves will bake faster.


8 frozen buttermilk waffles

4 Tb.cream cheese,softened

1-1/2 c.sliced fresh raspberries(or any berry)

(I cut the raspberries in half,but you wouldn't have to)

1-1/4 c.milk

6 lg.eggs

1/4 c.maple syrup(I used sugar free)

1/2 c.firmly packed brown sugar

(I used1/4 c.Splenda brown sugar blend)

1/2 c.butter

Garnish:fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350. Arrange waffles in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Spray an 11"  X  8" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line waffles in a single layer on the bottom of dish. Spread cream cheese over waffles. Top with raspberries. Arrange remaining waffles over raspberries. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and maple syrup. Pour mixture over waffles. Cover and chill overnight. Preheat oven to 375. In a small saucepan, whisk together brown sugar and butter over medium high heat until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Pour over waffles. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until set in the middle. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Top with additional raspberries if desired.(Using Splenda, mine baked about 22 minutes-be sure to start checking early for doneness)


1/2 c. fresh blueberries

1-5/8 c. all-purpose flour,divided

1/2 c. quick cooking oats

1/2 c. chopped pecans

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. shortening

1 c. white sugar

2 eggs

1 c. mashed bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. In a medium bowl, dredge blueberries in 2 tablespoons flour. Gently stir blueberries together with oats, nuts, 1-1/2 cups flour, soda, and salt. In a large bowl, cream shortening. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in mashed banana.Add blueberry mixture to creamed mixture,and stir just until moistened.Spoon batter into the prepared pan.Bake 50-55 minutes,or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the loaf.Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan;cool completely on a wire rack.


3 lbs. red potatoes,diced small

1 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. seasoning salt

2 tsp. chili powder

2 Tb. butter

3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped

1/2 c. cheddar cheese,shredded

Ranch Dressing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes in a baking dish. Sprinkle them with chili powder, seasoning salt & pepper. Place butter around the top of the potatoes. Cover with tin foil & cook for an hour or until potatoes are fork tender. Remove from oven and add bacon, cheese,and ranch dressing. Stir and return to oven uncovered until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Oriental Cabbage Salad

1/2 head of medium size cabbage- chopped
1 package of CHICKEN Ramen Noodles- noodles broken, save seasoning packet
4 chopped green onions with tops
3 chopped apples (I used Gala)
1/3 cup slivered or diced almonds, optional
(or honey roasted peanuts when serving - MMM!)

Toss the above ingredients together.

Mix seasoning packet from the CHICKEN Ramen Noodles with

1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 T. sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 T. cider vinegar

Put these ingredients in a shaker. Mix well, pour over the salad. Makes a large amount and keeps well in the refrigerator.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Caramelized Veggie Trio & Weekend Potluck #28



When I share a recipe worth sharing again...

is a wonderful combination of YUM! Red taters and fresh green beans, along with caramelized onions, in a vinegar & brown sugar base. 

(Click on link below for the simple recipe) 

Caramelized Veggie Trio

C'mon...let's head on over to the party! 

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Cheeseburger Macaroni
Cheeseburger Macaroni by Everyday Mom’s Meals

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Nanaimo Bars
Nanaimo Bars by Ginger Bakes

Deep Dish Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sundae

And, a personal favorite ~

Make These No-Bake Cookies and Host a Bake Sale!
No Bake Cookie Recipes by Fun, Easy Recipes for Kids!

If you were featured today, please don't forget to snag our featured button below....

Weekend Potluck Featured

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all SIX blogs. Plus…


Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

Weekend Potluck Linky

Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Some time ago - I was excited & grateful to receive the 

One Lovely Blog Award from Some, Some and Some 

Thanks so much "B" for passing this onto me.  I just love the gorgeous blog background she uses...full of 'real' photos (my most favorite!)  And the awesome recipes she shares also...

I apologize for taking so long to get this together to share....
Now, on to the business associated with this award…

Rules of the Award:
1. Display the blog award.
2. Create a link to the site that nominated you.
3. Write 7 random facts about yourself.
4. Display the links of the blogs you love and pass on the award (I’ve gone for seven, which are below).

7 Random Facts About Me:
1. I love all kinds of chocolate, especially dark. 
2. I have been a wife to the same wonderful man for 44 years, am mama to 3... Nana to 8. 
3. I have surprised myself and have actually enjoyed doing some public speaking. I have been dubbed an "Inspirational Humorist"...(I like that!) 
4. My favorite color is purple...the darker, the better.
5. My favorite books to read are autobiographies or ones authored by my dear friend, Mesu Andrews. Her fictional stories about Biblical characters are amazingly creative. 
6. It would be difficult to survive in my kitchen without my whisk. 
7. I am an encourager at heart. 

7 Blogs I Love Reading:
1. For super creative recipes; anything you can imagine...and more!
Lark's Country Heart
2. For healthy recipes and info - Whole New Mom
3. For a 'kozy', homey atmosphere and recipes - Kitty's Kozy Kitchen
4. For awesome every day baked treats to serve your family - The Big Green Bowl
5. For a delicious healthy sugar-free recipes  - Sugar-Free Mom
6. For great recipes and awesome parenting ideas - Meaningful Mama
7. For yummy recipes, blogging tips & crafts - 4 You with Love

Thank you again "B" for sharing this sweet award with me. 

Sauteed Apple & Cranberry Oatmeal

It's been a while since I shared an oatmeal recipe....

I am OAT-Rageously WILD about Oatmeal...and anything you can add to it....

Peanut butter, chocolate, fresh fruit, nuts, dried fruit, pumpkin, spices, etc. etc. 

As soon as I saw this idea from Kelley at The Grant Life I knew I would be enjoying it soon.  I've made it a few times since also.

So easy - and healthy for you. 

And it won't heat up the kitchen!  Gotta love that this time of year!

I cooked my oatmeal in the microwave, then topped it off with the sauteed fruit, but try it the way you want to.

Any way - I'm sure it'll be delicious. 

More Please!!


(I subbed coconut oil) 
One medium apple, peeled and chopped
(Galas are my favorite) 
Dried Cranberries
Honey, cinnamon/sugar or your favorite sweetener
Old-Fashioned oats
(enough for 1 - 2 servings)

Sautee the apple in oil until tender, about 5 minutes, sprinkling with cinnamon or cinnamon/sugar. Add the water, cranberries and oatmeal and cook according to pkg. directions. 

Or just add the fruit mixture to cooked oatmeal and top with spices.
The next time I make it I plan to add apple butter at the finish.

It'll warm your tummy and give you a great start on your day!

I love oatmeal for lunch and dinner too.  MMMM! 

Linked at
            Fit & Fabulous Fridays
               Ingredient Spotlight - Apples
            GBP Roundup - Breakfasts

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Honey Glazed Carrots in the Slow Cooker

This is another one of Tiffany's easy and frugal recipes I found at Eat at Home.

A simple side dish for any meal, but this would be great for those times you're cooking a big meal and need the oven for other things...say...

Thanksgiving? Easter?....a potluck?...or maybe you just don't want to heat the kitchen by turning on the stove?


1 lb. carrots, cleaned and cut in 1" pieces

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. honey

salt and pepper to taste

Spray 2 or 3 quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

Place carrots in slow cooker, along with butter. Drizzle honey over top.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cook on high for 3 hours.



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blueberry Banana Flaxseed Smoothie

If you didn't already realize it...I LOOOVE SMOOTHIES! 

And during this hot hot summer, I have been enjoying many. 

We have them for breakfast often because sometimes our tummies just aren't ready for hot food.  And they're quick...just toss everything into the blender and turn it on! 

Smoothies can be very healthy also - I always use skim ( or almond) milk, yogurt and fruit of choice, and Hubs and I both enjoy them. 

I really loved the addition of almond extract to this flavor combo. 

So when I saw this one at The Foodie Physician - adding flaxseed (which I do when I think of it!) and two of my favorite fruits...why of course, I had to try it.  It was smooth and delicious!

She also has some great info about flaxseed...this is one brief paragraph from all the info shared there...

Flaxseed is high in protein and can be sprinkled on many foods like yogurt or oatmeal.  It also can be stirred into hot soups, stews and pasta sauces.  It can even be used in baking and can be incorporated into cakes, cookies and muffins.  It’s also a great addition to smoothies to add extra fiber and protein.  To reap all of the health benefits of flaxseed, it’s recommended that you eat 1-2 tablespoons a day.   

So give this a try - you won't be sorry. 


  (2 servings)

2 TB. whole flaxseed
(I used 2 TB. flax seed meal)
1 ripe banana*
1 c. blueberries
1/2 c. fat free Greek Yogurt
3/4 c. skim milk
(I used 1 cup)
1 TB. honey
1/4 tsp. almond extract
6 ice cubes

Place the flaxseed in a blender and blend until it is ground fine.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  Garnish with blueberries. 

*I keep banana slices frozen ready to add to great recipes like this one. 

Linked to Thursdays Treasures
       Weekend Potluck
          Mop it up Monday

Monday, July 23, 2012

Country Baked Beans


Because I write a bi-monthly food column for a local newspaper, the 
Leader Enterprise, I am the one who GETS to cook beans to serve folks on the street in front of the Leader office for an annual Bean Days celebration. 

We just celebrated Bean Days this past weekend.  On Friday, July 20, I cooked up an 18 - qt. roaster, plus a 6-qt. crockpot full of these beans....I love that they are made with canned baked beans....then doctored up.   I intended to get a photo of the roaster full...and forgot....

Then we talked about having the newspaper photographer take a photo when she got back from shooting photos elsewhere....and forgot again. 

We gave samples to over 225 folks on the street, (within an hour's time!) and even though we didn't win the contest, there were many folks who thought our beans were the best, so not winning a contest with only 4 judges didn't bother me in the least.   I was just elated that so many thought our beans were the best and told us so. 

I came home with this little bitty bowlfull and remembered to take a photo! *-* 

(My Sweetheart of a Husband chopped all the bacon and onions for me - that was such a great help!) 

This is a simple Taste of Home recipe and I will make it again and again.  I adore recipes with only FIVE ingredients!

It's sort of a sweet 'n' sour taste and bacon is always a winner in baked beans. 

These would be an awesome addition to a potluck or a picnic. 

You could cook them in the crockpot for a couple of hours (or longer) on high if you prefer. 

This recipe can be easily halved, or doubled.  (I made 8X the recipe!=) 


4 cans (16 ozs each) baked beans, drained 
1 (12 ozs) bottle chili sauce
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 # sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled 
1 c. packed brown sugar

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Pour into a 4-1/2 qt. bean pot or two ungreased 2-qt. baking dishes. 

Bake, uncovered, at 350* for 45 - 60 minutes or until heated through.  

Yield: 10 - 12 servings 

Linked to Thursdays Treasures
Weekend Potluck

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fiesta Dip

This delicious recipe was linked to Weekend Potluck a few weeks ago.  It came from Jenn at Eat Cake for Dinner.  

You know it's gotta be great because this is a recipe she chose to feature from Gooseberry Patch's Simple Shortcut Recipes.  

Who doesn't LOVE Gooseberry Patch?  YUUUMMM!  

Mexican dishes are my most favorite anyway, so this was right up my taste bud alley! 

I didn't realize it made such a big batch until I was in the middle of it, so I sent some home with one of my hubby's buddies.  It wasn't long and his wife called for the recipe. 

It has corn and black beans....and as far as I'm concerned, you can NEVER go wrong adding cream cheese to anything.  

We ended up finishing it off by adding it to quesadillas...we loved them!

So if you are hosting company, or going to a picnic....mix up some of this tasty dish and be sure to take the recipe along with you. 
It does have a bit of a 'pizazz'. 


1 - 8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 - 16 ozs. container (lite) sour cream (2 cups)
1 - 11 ozs. can sweet yellow and white corn, drained
1 - 15 ozs. can black beans, rinsed and drained 
1 - 10 ozs. can rotel tomatoes, drained
(tomatoes with green chilies)
1-1/2 Tb. salsa seasoning mix
(Jenn and I both used taco seasoning mix)
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
tortilla chips for serving

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients; stir until blended. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving. 
Serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pina Colada Fruit Dip & Weekend Potluck #27



Where I share a recipe worth sharing again!

This is a fabulous fruit dip.  Easy to make, delicious to eat.
Great for the summertime when fresh fruit is easily accessible. 
And only 5 simple ingredients!

(click on link above for recipe) 


We would love to see lots of Oven-Free meals and desserts linked up this week.  But anything is fine too!  

We spend ALOT of time reviewing the recipes you link up. I have been making a lot of them to share at my blog too, so do your thing...and we'll do ours.  

The recipe with the most views was ~

Rockstar Crescent Rolls
Rockstar Crescent Rolls by Kelli’s Retro Kitchen Arts

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Tomato Pie
Tomato Pie by Recipes for Divine Living

Lemon Delight Cake
Lemon Delight Cake by Mandy’s Recipe Box

And, a personal favorite ~

Frozen Lemonade Cheesecake with Vanilla Sweetened Berries by Recipes for My Boys

Don't forget!  If you were featured today, snag the featured button below....

Weekend Potluck Featured

Your Hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all SIX blogs. Plus…


Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

Weekend Potluck Linky