Monday, January 26, 2015

Blueberry Pancake Squares

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When our daughter was younger I made pancakes every weekend.
She loved pancakes with chocolate chips.
I would always try to make them a little healthier by adding some flax
seed and whole wheat flour.
Mom's can be sneaky like that :)
Now that she's in college and living in an apartment I rarely make pancakes.
I miss those times.

I was feeling a little nostalgic, so I decided to make pancakes for my husband and I.
Instead of standing over a griddle with a spatula in hand, I decided to bake them.
That way I could get started on some of my weekend chores while the pancakes were
cooking themselves.
Pretty smart, huh.

I prefer fruit instead of chocolate in my pancakes, so since National Blueberry Pancake
Day is coming up on Wednesday, January 28th, I decided to add Driscoll's blueberries
and for old times sake I added a little flax seed and whole wheat flour too.

Baked pancakes are awesome!
They aren't quite as light and fluffy as regular pancakes, but they are still delicious.
Cut them into squares and top with your favorite pancake toppings for an easy
weekend breakfast.

The recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 inch pan.
I stored the leftovers in the fridge and re-heated a square in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Super easy breakfast before work!
Celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day by trying my Blueberry Pancake Squares!

Blueberry Pancake Squares

3/4 C unsweetened almond milk
1 C Driscoll's Blueberries
2 T butter, melted
1 large egg
1 T sugar
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground flax seed, optional
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray an 8 x 8 bake dish with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg, milk and butter.  Add sugar and then
the flour, baking powder and flax, whisking to combine.  Fold in blueberries.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Cut into squares and serve with powdered sugar, fresh fruit and maple syrup.

Serves 4.

Adapted from Big Red Kitchen

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter Chicken Bake

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I haven't posted many dinner ideas lately, so I thought I would share one of our favorites.
Winter Chicken Bake is an easy one dish meal that is perfect on a cold winter evening.
The flavor combination is delicious!
Sweet potatoes, onion, carrots, apples and chicken baked in a cranberry barbecue sauce.
I use fresh cranberries, but frozen would be fine too.
Not fond of sweet potatoes?  Use Russet or little red potatoes.
This dish has so many possibilities!

I usually serve Winter Chicken Bake with roasted green beans or broccoli.
Add it to your dinner rotation and let me know what you think!

Winter Chicken Bake

3 or 4 boneless chicken breasts
2 sweet potatoes, sliced and quartered
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 C Barbecue Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a 9 x 13 inch bake dish with cooking spray.
Arrange the onion, sweet potatoes and apple in the bottom of prepared bake
dish; drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
Brush barbecue sauce on both sides of each chicken breast and place them on top
of the vegetables.  Sprinkle cranberries over the entire dish.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink in the center.

(Note - I usually stir the vegetables around after they have baked about 25 minutes or so)

From All Recipes


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Monday, January 19, 2015

Oats and Prune Energy Bars

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I don't know about you, but around 10:00 a.m. or so I'm always ready for a mid-morning
snack to keep me going until lunch.  I've been trying really hard to make wise choices for
healthy snacking in the new year and I have found by making my own snacks and
bringing them with me to work, I stay on track and avoid the temptation of the office donuts.

Homemade granola bars, muffins, energy bars and smoothies are my go-to snacks
and they are so easy to make using healthy whole grains, dried fruit and nuts.
Sunsweet® prunes and juices are perfect ingredients for nutritious snacking 
and help you stick with your healthy eating resolutions for 2015.
Prunes get a bad wrap, but these little gems are a good source of fiber for only 100
calories per serving! Prunes also have a low glycemic index, which means they keep
you filling full longer.

My Oats and Prune Energy Bars packed with oats, nuts, dried fruit and fiber-rich
Sunsweet® prunes to keep you full between meals and they are perfect for
breakfast on the go.

Make sure to line your bake dish with parchment paper to allow for easy removal
from the pan.  My little trick is to use clothes pins to hold the parchment in place
while I'm filling the pan.  Be sure to remove them before placing the bake dish
in the oven!

After the bars have cooled, cut them into squares, wrap them individually with
plastic wrap in keep in the freezer for a healthy snack on the go.

Here's to healthy snacking in 2015!

Oats and Prune Energy Bars

1 1/4 C rolled oats
1/2 C chopped nuts (I used almonds, pepitas, walnuts and sunflower seeds)
1/4 C Sunsweet Pitted Prunes, chopped
1/4 C dried cranberries
1/4 C golden raisins
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
t tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a 8 x 8 bake dish with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl add all dry ingredients.
Pour almond milk and vanilla over the oats and let it sit for 10 minutes for the
oats to absorb some of the milk.
Pour mixture into the prepared bake dish, pressing down with the back of a flat
measuring cup to even out.  Bake for 35- 40 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and then cut into squares.

I like to wrap them individually with plastic wrap and freeze.
On busy mornings I can toss one in my bag and eat for a mid-morning snack.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Breakfast Banana Split

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Who say's you can't have a banana split for breakfast?!?

This delicious banana split is made with bananas, Stonyfield Greek yogurt,
peanut butter granola, fresh Driscoll's berries, nuts and a drizzle of
Reese's Spreads.

Have you tried this stuff?
Oh my!
I received this jar of Reese's Spreads in my first VoxBox from Influenster.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in a spread - yummy!
It's the perfect drizzle of chocolate this breakfast treat needed.

Breakfast Banana Split.
It's a thing,
A good thing!

Breakfast Banana Split

1 banana, sliced
2 scoops of Stonyfield Greek Yogurt (I used vanilla)
2 T peanut butter granola
1 T nuts (I used pepitas and sunflower seeds)
1 T toasted coconut flakes
1/3 C fresh Driscoll's raspberries and blackberries
Drizzle of Reese's Spreads

Slice banana and top with yogurt, granola, berries and nuts.
Warm some Reese's Spreads in the microwave for 20-30 seconds,
Using a fork, drizzle spread over the banana split.

Disclosure - I received Reese's Spreads complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Peanut Butter Granola {Small Batch}

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Sometimes you just want a little granola because if you make a large batch
you will EAT IT ALL.

I guess it's no surprise that I am a big fan of granola since I love my oatmeal :)
This small batch of peanut butter granola is just enough to sprinkle on your yogurt,
ice cream, pancakes or whatever for the week.
You can even just eat it as is with a little milk - delish!

I usually make peanut butter granola with regular peanut butter, but the last time I
went shopping at Trader Joe's I picked up this jar of Crunch Salted Peanut Butter 
with Flax and Chia Seeds.  
Game changer!
Peanut Butter made better!
I thought I would give it a try in my peanut butter granola.
It worked and is even better than my original recipe!
Now I have a small batch of delicious granola for the week.
Give it a try and let me know what you think,
Peanut Butter Granola {Small Batch}

2 T peanut butter (I used Trader Joe's)
2 T honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C rolled oats

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium glass bowl, combine peanut butter and honey and microwave
about 30 seconds, or until peanut butter melts.  Stir to combine.
Add cinnamon and vanilla to peanut butter mixture.
Add oats and mix until all of the oats have been coated with peanut butter.
Spread oat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes or until granola is lightly browned,
Cool on a wire rack.

recipe from PBFingers

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Blueberry Oat Smoothie

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I am not a winter person, but I do love January and all of the promise
that a new year brings.
I love setting goals, making lists, organizing.

Eating healthy, whole foods the majority of the time and exercising daily
is at the top of my list.That doesn't mean you won't see cupcake and dessert recipes here,
I believe in everything in moderation, but you will see more healthy recipes made
with real ingredients.
I hope you'll stick around :)
We can be healthy together!

Smoothies make the perfect healthy breakfast, lunch or snack.
They are so versatile - you can throw in whatever fruit you have available.
I always keep a supply of frozen bananas, spinach and berries on hand so
I can make smoothies whenever the mood strikes.
Driscoll's organic raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are on our
grocery list every week!  We love them!

This Blueberry Oat Smoothie is one of my faves.
You know how I love my oats :)
I hope you'll like it too.

If you prefer raspberries, be sure to give my Raspberry Chia Smoothie
a try.  You can find the recipe here.

Cheers to a new year my sweet friends!

Blueberry Oat Smoothie

1/2 cup Driscoll's blueberries
1 banana (frozen is best)
1/4 C rolled oats
1 C unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp. agave or honey
1/2 C  ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Top with oats if desired.
Serves one.

Linking to:
Serenity Now

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Hello Monday

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Hello to a Steelers selfie at Heinz Field.
Too bad they lost :(

Hello to Deacon from Nashville singing the National Anthem!
Love him!

Hello to a super fun weekend with our girl.

Hello to a Primanti Brothers sandwich.

Hello to ice skating in North Park.

Hello to our favorite thumbprint cookies from Giant Eagle.
Our trips to Pittsburgh are not complete until we have them!

What did you say hello to this past weekend?
I would love to hear!

Happy Monday!

Linking up to Hello Monday with Lisa Leonard.


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