The Recipe Olympics: The Easiest Crepes You’ll Ever Make!

Continuing with our Recipe Olympics we are traveling to France to taste these lovely fluffy and sweet crepes. BTW, If you have a great international recipe, we’d love to see it and post it on our blog, please email it … Continue reading

Bicycles and Not Your Average Banana Bread

Good Afternoon! I have been nonexistent with the Blog lately. Sorry about that. I just have not been cooking and we are eating out way to much. We’ve been stressed – you know… Why, or better question, how does life … Continue reading

Chocolate Energy Bars, Fuel for your Day!

If you need energy for a workout or breakfast on the go -these are the perfect way to go. Our Chocolate Energy Bars are full of protein, whole grains, chocolate, and just a touch of cayenne creating a little taste of Heaven in every bite. Low in sugar, and high in energy!

I have been using energy bars a lot now because I have a weight goal. Just 18 months ago I was 205 lbs. and am only 5’4″. I did not like how I felt on the outside or on the inside. I spent my first 40 years on the planet overweight and out of shape. I woke up one day and said NO MORE! I never looked back. It has been a struggle but only at first. Once I found the one thing that got me results quickly, I stayed with it. For me, that was running. So today, I am 162 lbs. and need to lose 22 more.

Recently, I have added to my running and eating healthy routine.  My boss gave all of us a 90 day membership to Cross Fit. Really great guy, he heard us talking about getting personal trainers and wanted to do something really great for all of us.

So here I am trying to lose the last of this extra weight, and now I’m nearly doubling my workout. I feel more drained and need the extra fuel to get through it all. So I created my version of an energy bar. Sort of a granola bar meets no bake cookies, but with wholesome ingredients. I am an advocate for real-natural ingredients, so there is real butter, natural peanut butter, and honey in these. About the only thing that’s not natural in here are the chocolate chips.  Hey, I said natural ingredients are great, but I’m not perfect -girl’s gotta have her chocolate!

Chocolate Energy Bars

Ingredients:

1/3 Cups Cocoa

1/2 Cup Butter

3 Tbs. Honey

1/4 Cup Brown sugar

1/3 Cup All Natural Peanut Butter

1. In a medium sized pot warm all of the above ingredients on the stove top until well melted. Not too hot, just until the brown sugar is dissolved. Set aside and let cool slightly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Then I gathered the rest of the ingredients -this is so easy you won’t believe it:

1 1/2 Cups Granola (see our recipe!)

1 3/4 Cups Rolled Oats

1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour – fresh ground is best

2 Tbs Wheat Germ

3 Tbs Ground Flax

1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (optional – but so good)

3/4 tsp Cinnamon

3/4 tsp salt

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

2 Eggs (beaten)

2. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the above dry ingredients (minus the eggs) and mix well.

3. To the wet cocoa mixture that has had time to cool a bit, add slowly, 2 beaten fresh eggs and mix well. Then pour all of this into the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Spread into a 13″ x 9″ sprayed pan.

4. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool slightly, cut into bars and separate on a cooling rack to cool fully. Wrap and store on the counter for 2-3 days or in the fridge is best. Will last for a week if you don’t eat them all first!

Makes: about 36, 1.5″ x 4″ bars.

Time: 30 minutes

Enjoy and be healthy!!


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Dang Tasty Whole Wheat Pancakes

These little power houses are energy packed and so easy to make. They are light and fluffy despite the powerful ingredients like fresh ground whole wheat and flax seed that pack a punch full of fiber and protein. I made this recipe after being so tired of the same old pancake mixes with tons of sugar and generic ingredients. It’s so import to me to put healthier food on the table as I have gone through the transition of  being extremely obese to just a few more pounds to go. I do grind my own wheat and flax seed, but you don’t have too.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Easy homemade whole wheat and flax seed pancakes, are great when topped with fresh fruit!

grinding flax seed

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbs. Flax Seed (ground)
1 Cup Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Butter (melted)
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 Cup Butter Milk

Directions:
In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.In a separate bowl beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla together. Then add the mixed wet ingredients into the dry mixture, and then add the melted butter. Mix just until combined, it’s okay if the batter is slightly lumpy.

Makes 12 medium pancakes, with only 140 calories per pancake!

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread


I needed to get my baking fix in for the week.  The house wasn’t smelling like baked goods and I’m soooo not okay with that.  Neither are my children or the hubs.  They think something’s amiss if I’m not baking or cooking up a storm.  In reality, I had just been preoccupied with other things.  But really, what’s more important than food to a foodie? This situation needed to be remedied stat!

I knew just what I was going to bake.  It’s sweet, cinnamon-y, moist, chewy in the right spots and has a few crunchy spots too from the topping and swirled goodness.  It’s even drizzled with a powdered sugar icing *swoon*…my Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread.  Yep.  Time for a little less talk and more action!  Let’s get you started…

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

Ingredients:

¼ Cup Butter (softened)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Baking Soda
½ tsp. Salt
1 Cup Buttermilk
  Swirl/Topping
½ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Sugar
¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
1 Tbs. Ground Cinnamon
 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a bread loaf pan and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.  Beat until well blended.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix together. Add these ingredients alternately with buttermilk to egg mixture above.

4.  In a small bowl, mix together swirl/topping ingredients.

5. Spread 1/3 of bread batter into prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle with a 1/3 of swirl/topping mixture.  Take a bread knife and lightly drag it through the swirl/topping to create ‘swirling effect’.  Repeat layers twice, ending with swirl/topping sprinkled on top of bread batter.

6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out almost clean.

7.  Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and place on wire rack to finish cooling.

8.  When thoroughly cooled, drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze or icing. I used the Powdered Sugar Icing from our Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats eBook
that’s available now in the Amazon Kindle Store.  It was just perfect for this bread!

Tip: If you don’t keep buttermilk on hand at home, it’s easy to make your own!  Take one cup of milk and 1 Tbs. of white vinegar and combine.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes.  The vinegar ‘sours’ the milk and voila!  You’ve got homemade buttermilk that works great for baking!

Makes:  Approximately 8 servings

Really want a ‘slice’ of heaven?  Eat the bread fresh out of the oven with a nice schmear of butter.  Ahhhhh, bliss and possibly breakfast perfection!

Simple (and frugal) Granola

I admit it without shame.  I’m a penny pincher.  Why pay such an exorbitant price for store bought granolas full of ingredients that I don’t want let alone don’t like.  And it costs the proverbial arm and leg.

I really love granola.  I eat it every morning with a cup of yogurt as my breakfast.  I’ve been doing this for about two years now as apart of my weight loss/maintenance plan.  You’d think I’d be ready to chuck it out the window because I’m so sick of eating the same thing day after day…but nope.  I LOVE IT!  The texture of this granola is perfect.  The crunch is toothsome and the flavor is controlled by me and the ingredients I chose to add when I made that specific batch.

There’s another reason I choose to make my own granola.  Moms out there, I’m sure you will appreciate this.  I’m trying everyday to get my children to choose and eat healthier snacks.  With this granola, I’m able to sneak some ingredients in there that are so healthy no one is any the wiser.  The most obvious one is oatmeal, which is loaded with fiber and antioxidants.  I also have started adding flaxseed meal.  It has such a subtle flavor you don’t even know it’s there.  Flaxseed also is high in fiber and antioxidants but it also packs an Omega 3 punch.

Yep, the flax is really there! I promise!

Sometimes I add chopped nuts, but not always.  I don’t always have them on hand and I don’t go out of my way to purchase them because they’re typically on the spendier side at the store.  But nuts are definitely the ‘good fat’ you want in your diet  Lastly, for healthy ingredients, coconut.  Yep.  It’s actually pretty good for you!  It’s high in protein and considered another good fat.  I also read somewhere that it can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles…well heck, sign me up!!!

Fortunately, my children totally worked WITH me on this, and decided to adore the granola!  They’ve even come up with a few different ways to enjoy it…they eat it on their yogurt, munch on it alone as a snack or as a cereal with milk.  They’ve also went as far as putting it on ice cream!  Even the hubs does that.   But, as you can see from the picture here, the like of demarcation is clearly drawn.

I like my granola with dried fruit.  My kids won’t touch it with that in it.  I think it’s a psychological thing because I’ve still been able to pull one over on the three year old when she’s not looking.  I tell her the ‘red stuff’ is just red granola.  I definitely get the ‘are you schoolin’ me’ look but she shrugs it off and goes to town.  Turns out the eight year old has been schooled one too many times and sees right through me so I’ve had to split it up a bit.  It’s super simple to do that. I just throw some chocolate chips on their side and a few butterscotch chips on my side (my guilty pleasure) with my dried fruit and call it a done deal.

Making your own granola really couldn’t be more simple and it truly is much more inexpensive.  You control the ingredients and you can make the batch as large or small as you like.  Definitely appeals to the inner penny pincher and baker in me!  How about you?  Give this a try and let me know what your favorite ingredients are.  Would love to hear them!

Simple Granola

This granola is so easy and flavorful.  Plus it makes an energizing snack any time of day!

Ingredients:

3 Cups Rolled Oats
1 ½ Cups Flaked Coconut (optional)
¼ Cup Flaxseed Meal (optional)
½ Cup Chopped Nuts (optional)
1 Tbs. Honey
1 Tbs. Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/8   tsp. Nutmeg(freshly grated is best)
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
½ tsp. Salt
1 Cup Dried Fruit (optional)
1 Cup Chocolate Chips (optional)
1 Cup Butterscotch Chips (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease a large baking sheet and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix oats, coconut, flaxseed meal, and nuts together.

3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine honey, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, vegetable oil and salt.  Mix well.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir.  Microwave for additional 20 seconds and stir well.

4. Pour wet ingredients over oat mixture and thoroughly combine.

5. Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove and stir granola.  Place baking sheet back in oven for additional 10 minutes.  Remove and stir one more time and place baking sheet on wire rack to cool completely.

6. When granola is cool, add dried fruit, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips.  Mix well.  Store in an airtight container.

Tip: This granola recipe is very versatile.  Add your favorite baking chips or dried fruit.  Or completely leave them out.  Feel free to get creative and make it your own!

Makes:  Approx. 6 Cups

This post is partying over at:Savvy Southern Style