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Archive for the ‘Bring to a Party’ Category

Often times I get frustrated because I cannot find a recipe that is exactly what I want. So what do I do?? Make up my own recipe! Such is the case for this one. I have been craving this kind of muffin since I LOVE cranberries and it is such a festive holiday food, not to mention very good for you. Cranberries are full of antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, among many other important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Add heart healthy walnuts, vitamin C rich orange juice, and healthy whole-wheat flour and these muffins are a delicious and guilt-free treat. Eat them warmed spread with a little bit of butter and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Zest of one orange
  • Juice of one orange
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins with muffin cups (of course I use festive Santa ones :))
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, gently combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. Mix together eggs, vanilla, sugar, canola oil, orange zest, and orange juices. Slowly add in flour mixture. Then gently add in walnuts and cranberries.
  4. Scoop into muffin tins- I filled them up to the top using one scoop of a big spoon. It will look like a lot but they do not rise too much.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure they are fully cooked.

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We have been having such a hot summer and the last thing that I want is to make something hot for dinner. I made this pasta salad the other night and it was light, healthy, and delicious. The best part was all of the leftovers- I think I got at least 4 meals out of it! I love the crunchiness of the veggies and knowing how healthy it is with the salmon and whole wheat pasta. It would be a fabulous side to bring to a BBQ or party!

Ingredients:

  • 2 5oz. cans salmon (in water)
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/ 2 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 lb. whole wheat pasta
Directions:
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, mix together all other ingredients.
  3. When pasta finishes cooking, drain and let cool. Gently mix in other ingredients and put in the fridge to chill before serving.

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I made up this cookie recipe last night when I was craving something sweet and healthy. I’ve been trying to incorporate flax into more of my recipes since you can mix it into anything to increase the nutritional value and let me just say these are some of the best cookies that I have EVER made! The oats, flax, raisins, and walnuts add a HUGE nutritional punch to your diet and the coconut and chocolate give the cookie a sweet flavor that will leave you craving more and more and more. I think I ate 4 cookies within 4 minutes! I brought these to work today and they were a HUGE hit. A must-make for a BBQ, potluck, or just because!

Makes: ~ 48 cookies

Oven temp: 325 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
  • 2.5 cups oats
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup ground golden flax (I use Flax USA brand from Costco)
  • 1.5 sticks butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream together brown sugar, white sugar, and butter. Add in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a another bowl, gently mix together flour, oats, flax, and baking soda. Add in slowly to sugar/butter/egg/vanilla mixture.
  4. One at a time, add in coconut, chocolate chips, raisins, and walnuts.
  5. Scoop cookie batter using a tablespoon onto cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookies start to brown around the edges. Let cool for about a minute on the cookie sheet and then immediately move cookies to a cooling rack- this is the secret to making them chewy!
  7. Serve with milk or crumble cookies over ice cream. Yum!!!

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This appetizer sampler was inspired by a lot of random things in my refrigerator… another time that my scrounging has led to yumminess! Sometimes I will make this for a little dinner for myself or I will make it for a group if I am entertaining. I didn’t list amounts in the ingredients since you can pretty much just make as much as you need! I love cheese and crackers at any time and the salami is an added yummy factor. Asparagus and proscuitto is a simple appetizer that a lot of people think sounds complicated but it it super easy and quick to prepare. Babybel cheeses are little and fun and they have so many different flavors to choose from: Original, Bonbel, Gouda, and White Cheddar (and I may be forgetting one or two). Try this little appetizer platter and you will wow everyone- yourself included!

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite crackers (I like the big round whole wheat ones)
  • Sliced deli cheese (I like all kinds but especially Swiss and Cheddar for this)
  • Salami
  • Prosciutto
  • Asparagus
  • Babybel cheese (I love all flavors!)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil over a large baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut ends off of asparagus and rinse. Pat dry and roll asparagus in oil, salt, and pepper and place on baking sheet. Put in the oven and cook on both sides until it starts to brown (turn it after about 5 minutes but check in on it depending how hot your oven is).
  2. While the oven is preheating and asparagus is cooking, work on everything else. 🙂 Cut cheese slices into 4 and assemble salami and cheese onto the crackers. I like the big round crackers since the salami fits perfectly on top (I use Safeway brand whole wheat crackers but I am sure there are a ton of other similar kinds).
  3. When asparagus is done cooking, let it cool and then roll it the long way in the prosciutto.
  4. Arrange everything on a large serving plate (or you can have a plate for each appetizer if you are making lots of each). Something else fun that I like to do is make a little plate for everyone that I am entertaining but you can do whatever you want to. 🙂
Serve with: White or red wine and/or cocktails. This is a perfect starter for an Italian meal- I used it as my starter for a meal of stuffed shells and Caesar salad and it was a perfect pairing. 🙂

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This recipe is an upgrade on one of my absolute favorite comfort food recipes, broccoli casserole. 🙂 Some of my favorite foods are pasta, cheese, and veggies and the addition of ham to this casserole adds extra protein and LOTS of flavor! I decided to toss ham and mushrooms into the casserole tonight since I had them in my fridge and I am a huge fan of using things in my fridge before they go to waste. This recipe is one of my favorites because you can assemble it in advance, pop it in the fridge, and cook it when you are ready to eat. I did all of the prep, went to yoga, then came home and popped it in the oven, cooked it for 30 minutes and it was piping hot and ready to eat! The best part? LEFTOVERS! After eating my dinner, I put the rest it into tupperwares and placed them in the fridge so now when I need a quick lunch or dinner this week I can pop one in the microwave for 2-3 minutes until hot and ready to eat. A yummy meal in an instant!

Here is the recipe for this yummy casserole:

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 small heads of broccoli, rinsed and chopped
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, rinsed
  • 1 green pepper, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I buy it pre-grated!)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 12 oz. wide egg noodles
  • 8 oz. chopped black forest ham (I used the sliced deli meat since I had it in the fridge. It was super easy to just chop it up into little pieces to toss into the mix)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse and chop veggies and place in a large mixing bowl. Add in ham. Mix together gently.
  3. Add in cream of mushroom soup and mix in gently.
  4. Cook pasta noodles according to package instructions and mix in when they are done and drained.
  5. Add in cheese and mix in.
  6. Add salt and pepper as desired.
  7. Place mixture into a large casserole dish (you may need to use two since it makes a lot) and put in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, until noodles start to brown and casserole is cooked through.

Note: I LOVE veggies and cannot get enough of them. If you or the people that you are cooking for are not huge veggie lovers, feel free to cut the amount of veggies in half that you use. But remember that the more veggies, the healthier your meal! 🙂 Enjoy!

Egg noodles cooking away!

Veggies and ham waiting for the pasta and cheese!

The finished product!

Leftovers for the week!

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I was flipping through Food Network magazine and came across the recipe for this dip and could not wait to go to the store, buy all of the ingredients, and make it! And let me tell you, it is just as yummy as it sounds (as looks). This is a perfect appetizer for a party (superbowl is coming up…) and will definitely win you any man’s heart. Try it and see, I guarantee EVERYONE who tastes it will love it!

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Serves: 12

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups Daisy Brand Sour Cream
  • 3 ounces bacon bits
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup green onion, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients.
  3. Place the mixture in a 1-quart baking dish. Cover.
  4. Heat the dip for 25-30 minutes or until hot.
  5. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables, crackers and/or chips.

*Serving option: Dip may also be placed in hollowed round sourdough loaf, wrapped in foil and heated in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Recipe source: Daisy Brand

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The added cinnamon to the classic peanut butter chocolate chip cookie makes it perfect for winter and the holidays. I got this recipe through the daily emails from MyRecipes.com and couldn’t wait to make them. They were delicious and a HUGE hit at work. The huge chocolate chunks and peanuts make them a crowd pleaser and everyone loved the taste that the cinnamon added. I can’t wait to make these again soon!

Here is the recipe, straight from MyRecipes.com:

Yield: Makes 28 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
  • 1/2  cup  shortening
  • 1  cup  chunky peanut butter
  • 1  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1  cup  firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2  large eggs
  • 2 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1  cup  unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1  (11.5-ounce) bag chocolate chunks

Preparation:

  1. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add chunky peanut butter and sugars, beating well. Add eggs, beating until blended.
  2. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients. Add to butter mixture, beating well.
  3. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chunks.
  4. Shape dough into 2-inch balls (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie). Flatten slightly, and place on ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake at 375° for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pan 1 to 2 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Double Chocolate Chunk-Peanut Cookies: Reduce flour to 2 cups; add 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted. Proceed as directed.

 

Recipe Source: MyRecipes.com

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