Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Last week I started back at the gym again. I was a pretty regular gym rat prior to our little nugget working out right up until he was born. Five days a week I did strength, cardio or yoga. Plus Dave and I were pretty active with biking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. But a winter baby--born during the worst winter in recent history (do the people complaining about the lovely summer heat forget our 7 feet of snow?)--plus the lack of time, energy and shear access to get to the gym has meant I've neglected my former workouts. I workout to be healthy and this body was built by baby and cookies, so getting back into some sort of active lifestyle needed to take on a new priority level in my life. So the other day I found myself on day two of my new workout routine, on the elliptical and really pushing hard. It felt great and I surprised myself by not being nearly as out of shape as expected. And then I remembered I wanted to make brownies or some sort of bar for work the next day. Browsing Pinterest on my phone, the irony hit me right away that while I was working to shed the pounds from baby (and yes, far too many cookies and other sweets since then), I was also researching a new way to enjoy sugar and chocolate. But really these bars have oatmeal so that means they're healthy, right (right?!?). Soft, chewy, gooey bars mimic a perfect oatmeal cookie all full of nutty goodness but made more awesome with an overabundance (is there really such a thing?) of chocolate chips. Plus, hello simple. I got these done in about a half hour, after work, start to finish, including washing the dishes while they baked.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cookies and Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

Welcome to another installment of "I had to make these more than once because we ate them all before I could take a photo." And really, isn't that the true sign of an awesome recipe. Particularly a cookie--because that's a lot of opportunities that got shoved into mouths before you realized a critical step of the recipe was missing when it comes to food blogging. So, yes, these cookies are that good. I mean, it's a cookie with cookies in it. Can it really get better than a cannibalized cookie? Well, if you're going to add cream cheese to make the soft and tender and both chocolate chips AND white chocolate chips for good measure, then yes it can get better. I gifted a batch of these to my friend Rachel for her birthday and she just about lost her mind. Cookies for the win!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

The days are longer, the weather is warmer and no one wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen this time of year. It must be summer. Even though I don't want to be in the kitchen for hours, we still need to eat, so my crock pot keeps a spot on the counter even through the summer. It's perfect for creating excellent dinners without heating up the kitchen or keeping me away from the summer fun. So I'm thrilled to have this recipe for stuffed peppers with a Mexican twist to cook right in the crock pot. They are delicious, filling and super easy to make. Mexican flavors are always a win in our house and these peppers definitely make us happy. Enchilada sauce, seasoned rice and diced tomatoes with green chiles and more get added to ground beef for a delicious filling to these tender pepper just bursting with flavor. This is one of those recipes that makes me so excited to be part of Secret Recipe Club!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Applesauce Granola Bread

How could I forget to post this bread? It's so delicious and super easy, not to mention fairly healthy for a quick bread. I made this a few times in a short period and have been thinking of making it again. The first loaf was to try it out. The second was to share with some friends. And the third went to Logan's teachers at daycare as a thank you and morning surprise for them. Overall, this recipe got great reviews from everyone. What's great about this bread is how you can play with the flavor depending on the kind of granola you have on hand. So you can get a little something different each time. Which is always fun.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Classic Stuffed Peppers

Sometimes comfort food is in order and for me, stuffed peppers are one of those comfort foods I love. They remind me of my mom, who made them fairly regularly growing up. And even though when I was little I wanted "stuffed peppers without the pepper" (aka, meatballs) which Mom was good enough to oblige this one menu request, I eventually grew to love the pepper part too. Now I make these and serve them up with lots of mashed potatoes and a salad for a hearty, comforting delicious dinner. I love the seasoning, the extra texture from the rice and frankly, the satisfying look of a pepper just overstuffed and overflowing with a delicious filling.