Category Archives: Snacks

The Not Too Sweet Pumpkin Bread

Happy Friday!

This chilly fall morning started with Brent and I jumping up and running to Cumberland Farms for our FREE COFFEE FRIDAY! Normally I run in to grab some water, gatorade, energy bars or every once in a while some ice cream. If I want coffee, it’s Dunkies or Starbucks for this girl. But who can deny a free coffee?? So, head to Cumberland Farms this morning for your free coffee πŸ™‚

Anyways, this past weekend Brent and I headed to Nashville to hang out with some friends and just see the city. It just may be my favorite city I have ever been to. We had a SUPER early flight back to Boston and we were back home by 2. Which gave us just enough time to prepare for some people coming over for the Patriots game. While Brent headed to the game with them, I decided to make some pumpkin bread and sweet potato biscuits for breakfast the next morning. It was an easy way to have something for everyone to eat without making much of a fuss.

Fall Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

1 Can Pumpkin Puree 2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Canola Oil 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar 2 1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Water 3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder 1.2 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer, whisk the pumpkin puree, canola oil, light brown sugar, water, eggs, and vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.

3. Add the dry mix to the wet and stir until well blended. Pour the batter into a greased bread pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Pumpkin Bread Steps

The bread is definitely not sweet and has a strong natural pumpkin flavor, which I love. It allows the pumpkin puree to take over the bread, as opposed to sweetness and spices. It was delicious.

I also made, or attempted to make, sweet potato biscuits. I had gotten this cute mix in a mason jar from a wedding that Brent and I were in a little while ago. I think my definition of a large sweet potato was VERY different than their idea of large. Because my biscuits turned out to be more like a moist cake texture. I don’t think I have ever made anything quite like this before.

IMG_3688

It was definitely delicious and I can see how the biscuit version of this would be irresistible.

This weekend I’m working on some fall inspired coffees that you can make at home. I love making “fancy” coffees on the weekend and have some ideas on pumpkin spice coffees.

What do you make when you have several people over for breakfast??

The bread was definitely a win. It made breakfast super easy, especially when we all got up at 5AM for work!

Advertisements

Rice Cakes, Boring to YUM!

Now I don’t want to take credit for this idea because it wasn’t me. Kaela introduced me to the idea of using a rice cake as almost an open faced sandwich instead of trying to choke down a dry, lightly salted rice cake. Let’s get real, if you eat them, you probably need a large glass of water to go with it. OR you are enjoying the caramel apple or some other sugary version of it.

Check out these yummy snacks:

Rice Cakes

They are delicious. Before the half marathon, Kaela pulled this snack out and it was perfect before our run.

It doesn’t really photograph well, but the sharpness of the cranberries goes really well with the rice cake and the cream cheese.

IMG_2148

 

I made this in my kitchen, and while I was placing the cranberries on it my sister, my mom and Brent all became curious. My sister loved it and Brent was pleasantly surprised. He’s the sceptic when I’m trying new things out and he actually liked it. πŸ™‚

From there, bananas made it onto the cream cheese and it was topped off with a blueberry jam that is made with fresh wild blueberries from maine. It’s not a sweet jam at all. But the snack is extremely moist and filling.

IMG_2147

 

YUM.

And for something a bit sweeter, try taking the Apple Rice Cakes and top it off with peanut butter and sliced bananas. Brent’s response to this one, “You did good things.”

IMG_2152

 

I have to say, there will definitely be more experimenting when it comes to this snack. It is healthy, low calorie, low carb snack that I don’t feel guilty eating. And there are so many options when it comes to adding things on top that I don’t think it could get boring.

With the fall upon us, I am looking forward to trying a PUMPKIN flavored rice cake! Apples might be something to try on it as well. Raisins??

 

Have you ever taken a boring, bland snack and made something amazing with it??

Italian Herb Flatbread

Going into this weekend I had one thing on my mind…Relax. I was tossing around the idea of heading to the cape for a little escape because I really just needed a little break. Over the past few weekends, we have been painting the house like nuts and then heading out for the normal work week.

Instead, I stayed around and planned on getting back into the kitchen to make something new and different. Flatbread!

It turned out that my sister needed an appetizer to bring to a party last night, so it was perfect timing. I wasn’t really sure how the flatbread was going to turn out, but I don’t mean to too my own horn, but toot toot! Haha.

I am more excited about it because I hadn’t really cooked much with yeast, and this just felt like an accomplishment.

Italian Herb Flatbread

Ingredients:

1 1/3 Cup Warm Water 2 7g Sachets of Fast-Acting Yeast
2 Teaspoons Honey 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tablespoon Diced Basil 1 Tablespoon Chopped Rosemary
1 Clove of Garlic, Diced 3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1. In a tall container, I used a drink jug, mix the water, honey and yeast. I warmed the faucet water for 10 seconds in the microwave. Set it aside until it becomes frothy.

Flatbread Yeast

2. While the yeast is doing it’s thing, take a large bowl and mix the flours, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and herbs. Once the yeast mixture is frothy, add it to the flour mix. Begin stirring it gently and once you can get your hands into it, knead the dough until it is smooth. Leave the dough in a ball and place it into a clean bowl. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and place it in a warm area for 40 minutes.

IMG_1992

3. While the dough is setting, mix 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, 1 tablespoon basil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let the oil sit until the dough is ready.

IMG_1999

4. Once the dough is ready, cut it into 8 smaller balls of dough. Gently roll them out into thin circles. The flatbread will puff up when they are cooked. Brush the top side with the olive oil mix and place it on a cast iron pan at medium heat, oil side down.

Flatbread- Steps

5. Leave the flatbread on the skillet for about a minute, or until the bread is slightly browned. Then spread the oil on the top side and flip it. If the flatbread springs back when you touch it, it’s cooked. Once the second side is cooked, remove it from the heat and dust it with a little salt.

IMG_2022

 

6. Cook each piece and let them cool before slicing them up. And Finito!

IMG_2038IMG_2045

 

When Maggie went to grab the dish at the end of the party, it was completely empty and there were rave reviews. “YOU WERE THE ONE THAT BROUGHT THE FLATBREAD?!”

Great success.

I am really quite happy with how they came out and am already trying to think of new ways to mix it up. Maybe an onion spin on it?? Or parmesan cheese??

 

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Brent is a big fan of anything buffalo flavored. ANYTHING. If you are staring at a menu, it’s not hard to guess what the man will get. So, I know this is a bit late, but for the Superbowl, I made a buffalo chicken dip with shredded chicken mixed into it. It’s super easy to make, and much healthier than you think!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

 

Ingredients:

1 8oz Package of Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
1 Rotisserie Chicken 2 Tablespoons Buffalo Sauce
Blue Cheese to top it off

 

Directions:

1. Peel the chicken off the rotisserie chicken and shred it into thinner pieces. Mix it with the room temperature cream cheese (just to make it mix in easier). Then add in the buffalo sauce. Add it in to your liking.

IMG_0084

 

 

2. Put it into a flat pan, I used a pie plate. You can top it with blue cheese. Then bake it for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. You want the top to brown slightly and it to be warmed throughout.

IMG_0096

 

 

I ended up doing it half and half with the blue cheese and half without because Brent isn’t the biggest fan of blue cheese. The dish was a hit though. It’s very simple, light tasting and over all one of the healthiest buffalo dips. Everyone really liked it and you can really make it as spicy as you would like!

 

If you are having some people over for a movie, a game or anything, this is a great dish. I’m positive this will be a winner because it is healthier for you, and packed with buffalo flavor.

 

What is your favorite dish for game time??

 

I love anything dippy. Chips and dip, veggies and dip. Munchy and dippy for me!

 

Popcorn Cookies and Clockwork Abs

Yesterday I told you that I was working on a clockwork abs workout and here you go! The whole time I was actually doing the workout I was trying to come up with a clever name for it…Like “Rockin Abs Around the Clock” or “Rock Hard Abs Around the Clock” but I couldn’t come up with something that just seemed to roll off the tongue. Sooo Clockwork Abs it is.

For this workout, you simply go down the list of exercises and do each for a minute straight, except for the ab circles clockwise and counter clockwise, do each for 30 seconds. If you get to the point where you can complete them for a minute straight each…that’s amazing. I have included some videos to go along with the exercises to clarify what I’m talking about but couldn’t find a few…so I have described them. If you have trouble understanding…let me know I will try to clarify πŸ™‚

Clockwork Abs

Leg Lifts

Side to Side Pendulum

Ab Circles Clockwise and Counterclockwise: Lie on your back and lift your legs a few inches off the ground. Β With your legs completely straight the entire time, begin drawing a large circle with your feet in either a clockwise or counter clockwise manner. Your arms should be placed in the same position as the Side to Side Pendulum.

Ab Circles Alternating: Staring with your feet at the top most position in the ab circles, move your feet in a clockwise motion. When you reach the top mot position again, pause and move them back in a counter-clockwise motion. Continue pausing at the top and alternating between clockwise and counter-clockwise.

V-Crunch

V-Crunch Alternating Sides: Get into your starting V-Crunch position with your knees pulled in and your shoulders off the ground. Instead of extending your legs straight out, twist your body onto your left hip and extend your legs out to the right side. Bring them back to the middle with your body centered. Then twist your body onto the right hip and extend your legs out to the left side. Bring the back to the middle with your body centered.

Please let me know if any of this is confusing. I will keep looking for the appropriate videos if the description is confusing.

I had Maggie do this workout with me yesterday and she loved it. You don’t have to count how many you are completing, just push yourself through each minute and get as many reps in as you can. The workout is also going to target every muscle in your abs. We are both feeling sore today and looooove it.

Popcorn Cookies

A little while ago I can up with the idea of putting popcorn into cookies. I know this isn’t an original idea but it was in my head πŸ™‚ I added some white chocolate chips and cranberries to the mix because I am really a big fan of cranberries in cookies (if you couldn’t tell). They are extremely healthy and packed with flavor. When my family was eating them, they at first weren’t really sure what to make of them because they have such a different texture in comparison to a typical cookie. My mom thought they should be cut into bars and be called a snack cookie or something to the effect. They are extremely crunchy is what I’m getting at. But delicious. I really recommend you give them a try if you are looking for something that is sweet but on the healthy side. Because they are so crunchy, it takes you a little longer to eat…which isn’t a bad thing if you are looking to cut down on the number of cookies you are eating πŸ™‚

Cranberry Popcorn Cookies

Ingredients:

1 Stick of Butter, Softened 1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/4 Cups Flour 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Salt to Taste 3/4 Cup Popcorn Kernals
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips

Directions:

1. In a sauce pan, add in a tablespoon of canola oil and the popcorn kernals. Over medium heat, heat until popcorn popping has slowed down. Make sure you put a cover on the sauce pan or your will have oil and popcorn EVERYWHERE!

IMG_9880

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

IMG_9881

 

3. Add in the egg and vanilla.

IMG_9883

 

4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Then gradually add it into the wet mixture. Top it off with the lightly CRUSHED popcorn, chocolate chips and cranberries.

IMG_9887

 

IMG_9890

 

5. Spoon dough onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake them at 350 degrees for approximately 14 minutes. You want them to be slightly browned.

IMG_9895

 

IMG_9900

 

 

Just let them cool before you start tasting them, but I was really happy with the way that they came out. Such a different take on a cookie. They were sweet and healthy at the same time.

IMG_9911

 

IMG_9927

 

And just a little update on the Oreo, my little problem child. She is doing much better. She is walking around and has a ton more energy. She still won’t attempt going up stairs but in just a few days she will be as good as new πŸ™‚

Have you ever tried to combine two of your favorite snacks to see if you can make a better one?!