Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Puppy Chow

Here is the famous puppy chow recipe! I know people think it's just muddy buddies, but there are a few small changes that make a big difference in this recipe.

6-8 c. Crispix cereal (NOT Chex)
1 stick butter
1 c. peanut butter
1 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
3-4 c. powdered sugar (plus more as needed)

Melt together butter and peanut butter and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and heat until mixture is glossy (you can do this in the microwave or on the stove). Pour cereal into a large bowl and add chocolate mixture. Stir gently to coat, trying not to crush cereal. Add additional cereal if it appears to be too heavily coated. In a plastic grocery bag (I double or triple layer mine to prevent a mess), put powdered sugar and then dump in chocolate-covered cereal. Twist bags to close and shake well (this works best if you also close air in the bags so the cereal can move more freely). After shaking for 1-2 minutes, check cereal. If it's stuck together in clumps, break them up and add more powdered sugar and shake again. Continue until most of the cereal is separated into individual pieces, as pictured above. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fruited Black Bean Salad

I made this salad for a work picnic and it was a huge hit! There are so many different flavors that you wouldn't expect to blend well, but they do. It's like a party in your mouth.

Original recipe here

1 can black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped mango
1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp salsa verde (unless you like it spicy, get a mild kind)
1/4 tsp cumin
dash of salt

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Note: this is delicious the first day but disgusting the next day (the strawberries absorb all the other flavors and get kind of fermented in onion and salsa verde). I highly recommend consuming all of it the first day and not keeping any for leftovers.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sweet Potato Burritos

What? Losaunne cooks? Surprise! And it's not even pasta, my common go-to when I was so terribly forced to make dinners for the family as a child. I chose not to put cheese in these burritos, but I'm sure it would be tasty if you choose to! Feel free to get crazy with the toppings.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cans of black beans, roughly mashed
2 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Cayenne pepper to taste
Cinnamon to taste
5 mashed sweet potatoes
20 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a medium skillet and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add chili powder, mustard, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Mix beans into the onion mixture. Stir in water, and heat until warm. Combine the onion and bean mixture with the sweet potatoes, and mix until evenly distributed. Add the cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Spoon the mixture into tortillas, and fold the tortillas burrito-style. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Nutrient-Packed Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

These cookies aren't very photogenic, but they are delicious enough to make up for their less-than-attractive appearance. We went on an early-morning "hike" (in Texas that means a walk around a park on a wooded trail), and took these with us. They are perfect for hikes, camping, or just a quick breakfast to keep in the freezer.

Recipe adapted from MOMables

1/2 c. mashed banana (about 1 large)
1/2 c. peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/2 c. honey
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. quick oats
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. ground flax seed
1/4 c. powdered milk
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. banking soda
1/2 c. raisins or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together banana, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla. Add oats, flour, ground flax seed, powdered milk, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir until just combined. Stir in raisins/chocolate chips. Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet and cook for 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 12 cookies.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pistachio-Cilantro Pesto

Breanne and I love ALDI! Sadly, you Utah folk don't get to experience it, but we'll try to share recipes from time to time so you can at least benefit from it somewhat! This is another incredible recipe from their website. When I saw it, I knew immediately it was something we would love, but when I made it Sam and I were both blown away! This flavor combination is fantastic. Well worth the time it takes to shell all the pistachios. (A fabulous activity for 4-year-old fingers, by the way.)

Recipe slightly adapted from ALDI

Sweet Potatoes
4-5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1 Tbsp. olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. chili powder
zest of 1 lime, divided

1 tsp. minced garlic
1 bunch cliantro leaves
1/4 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups pistachios, shells removed, divided
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 c. olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Toss with oil, seasonings, and half of the lime zest. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender and carmelized. Meanwhile, prepare pesto. In a food processor, combine ingredients (except 1/4 c. pistachios) and chop until desired consistency is reached. Roughly chop remaining 1/4 cup pistachios. Toss warm potatoes with pesto. To serve, sprinkle potatoes with remaining pistachios and lime zest.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Cauliflower Soup with Goat Cheese

YUM! This soup is delicious, especially on a cold wintery day. 

Picture and recipe courtesy of Closet Cooking

4 red bell pepper, cut in half and seeds removed
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1 pinch red pepper flakes
4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Place the red peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down, broil until the skins are blackened, about 10 minutes, place in a sealable container and let 'steam' for 20 minutes before pinching the skins off and dicing.

Meanwhile, toss the cauliflower in the oil, place it in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees until tender and caramelized, about 20-30 minutes, mixing once in the middle.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the onion until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the roasted red peppers, cauliflower, broth, paprika and goat cheese and simmer for 10 minutes before pureeing to the desired consistency with a hand blender. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with goat cheese.

I found the most tedious part of this to be pinching the skins off the red peppers. But you know what? I just realized that I sliced them thinly first and then broiled them. I highly do not recommend that. I'd be interested in hearing if the skins pinched off easily with the peppers only cut in half.

Also, the goat cheese garnish at the end adds quite a bit of flavor--I highly recommend sprinkling some on top!

Sweet Potato Salad

I made this salad one night when the sisters were coming over and it was a huge hit! I made it again on Christmas Eve but I used white sweet potatoes, which changed the taste quite a bit. I like it a lot better with orange sweet potatoes (I think they differentiate between yams and sweet potatoes out West, but I've never seen yellow sweet potatoes here). I got the recipe from Aldi, my all-time favorite grocery store. Here's another reason to love them!

Picture courtesy of

6 pounds small sweet potatoes (orange or red), peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
1/4 cup vinaigrette
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 pinches chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup thawed corn (canned also works, but frozen is better)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Spread onto a large baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until tender. Refrigerate.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette, cumin, chili powder, paprika, lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add the corn, black beans, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro and chilled sweet potatoes to the vinaigrette. Toss until well combined.
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