Friday, April 26, 2013

Arugula Pesto

Last week was the first time I have ever tried arugula. It was on sale for $0.89 at the store so I decided to give it a try. It has a lovely, somewhat mustard-y bite to it. It's quite unique and delicious. It gives traditional pesto a very unusual and tasty twist.

Arugula Pesto
5 c. loosely packed arugula
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
1/2 c. toasted walnuts (toast in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, tossing occasionally)
3 cloves garlic
1/3 c. olive oil
salt and pepper

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except oil and salt & pepper.

 While food processor is running, add olive oil in a steady stream.
 Season with salt and pepper and viola!
 Store pesto in the fridge.
 It's a wonderful on sandwiches, breads, veggies, pasta, or in soup. Today I used this pesto to make Tomato & Feta Crostini.
 I spread the Arugula Pesto on baguette slices, added sliced tomatoes, crumbled feta, and cracked black pepper. Delightful!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


When I was dating my hubby, I remember his mom introduced me to Scotcharoos. They are a delicious peanut butter rice crispy treat with a chocolate/butterscotch topping. Since my husband and I are both HUGE peanut butter fanatics, I decided to put my own spin on these bars and call them REESE-a-roos ... get it? Because they're full of Reeses cups. Hahaha, I crack myself up. And I'm sure Reeses is a registered trademark so ... Dear Hershey's Company, please don't sue me!

7 c. corn chex
1 c. corn syrup
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. (heaping) peanut butter (I used Jif)
1 c. Reeses cups, cut into large pieces (I used Reeses Eggs leftover from Easter)
1 (12 oz.) bag milk chocolate chips
1 T. refined coconut oil
1 c. mini Reeses cups, quartered

Measure corn chex into a large mixing bowl.
In a saucepan, combine corn syrup and sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Add peanut butter to hot sugar syrup.
  Stir well.
 Pour hot mixture over chex.
 Mix well, then gently fold in 1 c. chopped Reeses.
 Reeses will get melty and delicious, but don't overmix it. It's lovely to have chunks of peanut butter cups still somewhat intact.
 Press mixture into a greased OR parchment-lined 9x13" pan.
 Now for the topping, combine chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave for about 1 minute, stirring halfway through.
 Pour chocolate mixture over chex. Spread evenly.
 Sprinkle the top with remaining Reeses cups. I used the Reeses minis that come already unwrapped in the bag.
 Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Once chocolate has set, cut into bars.

 I've made these twice in the past week. They're just so dang good. Enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Cracklin' Oat Bran Copycat Granola

I love Cracklin' Oat Bran cereal! I can't put my finger on just what it is that makes it so delicious, but it is purely divine. I bought a box last week and discovered that my whole family loves it too. I just had to figure out how to make my own homemade version of this addictive stuff. And no, I didn't bother trying to shape it into tiny squares, but if that matters to you, then by all means go for it.

Cracklin' Oat Bran Copycat Granola
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. virgin coconut oil
1/3 c. pure maple syrup (honey would probably work here, too)
1 T. molassas
1 & 1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
pinch nutmeg
2 c. oat bran
1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. ground flaxseed
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c. wheat germ

In a microwave safe bowl, combine brown sugar, coconut oil, maple syrup, and molassas. Heat for about 30-60 seconds just until it melts together. Add cinnamon, vanilla, salt and nutmeg.
 Pour the liquid mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients.
 Stir well to combine.
Press mixture into a greased OR lined 10"x15" jelly roll pan.
Bake at 325 F for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Once granola is cool, break into bite sized pieces.
 If the middle is still a bit chewy, don't worry. It will continue to cool and dry out after you break it.
 Store in an air tight container.
 If nothing else, my awesome sister will appreciate this recipe. I blame her for my addiction. This one's for you, Sis! :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

4-Layer Brownies

My brother was in town last week and I wanted to make something yummy for him. He really likes peanut butter cups and nutella so I decided to combine them in a brownie.

4-Layer Brownies (adapted from Kirbie's Cravings)
1 box brownie mix + eggs, oil, & water as box indicates
24 oreo cookies
handful of peanut butter cups, cut in half (I used 6 large Reeses eggs)
1 c. Nutella

Heat oven to 350 F. Mix up brownie mix according to package directions and set aside. Break oreo cookies into the bottom of a greased 9"x13" pan.
 Pour brownie batter over oreos.
 Sprinkle peanut butter cups over brownie batter.
 Drizzle Nutella all over the top.
 Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.
 When cooled completely, cut into squares.
 These were impossible to stop eating! Consider yourself warned.