Archive for the ‘Nuts’ 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!


  • 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


  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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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


  • 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
  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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Yum! This is a meal that I cannot wait to make again! I’ve been really into salads lately, since they are light and healthy and also since summer is coming I am starting to work on my bikini body ūüôā I love to add as many colors into my salads- it makes it look pretty and also the more colors, the more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are in your meal! Salmon is a fabulous addition to the salad because it is full of important omega 3’s that our bodies NEED to stay healthy. I’m not a big meat eater, but I have always loved salmon for its taste as well as the health benefits that it offers. In addition to the omega 3’s in the salmon and avocado, this salad is also full of vitamin C in the tomatoes, red peppers, and mandarin oranges, beta carotene in the carrots and red pepper, and LOTS of fiber in all of the veggies. So eat up and enjoy this super yummy and healthy salad!

Here is the recipe:


  • Greens of choice (I use mixed greens, spinach, really whatever appeals to me when I am at the grocery store)
  • Carrots
  • Snap peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Red Pepper
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Pine nuts
  • Feta cheese
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Salad dressing of choice (I like Annie’s dressings- balsamic, goddess, honey mustard, they are all yummy!)
  • 1/4 lb. baked salmon seasoned with lemon juice and lemon peppers (or your favorite seasonings)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle olive oil in a small baking pan and place salmon in it. Squeeze lemon juice and season salmon as desired. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until salmon is cooked through.
  2. Wash and chop veggies and prepare salad while salmon is baking. There are not really specific quantities for the ingredients listed above. I usually just put as much in of everything as I want depending on how hungry I am. Use as much or as little as you would like and feel free to be creative and add different colors, fruits, or veggies to the salad. When salmon is done cooking, let it cool for a few minutes and then flake it over the salad. Drizzle dressing of choice and EAT UP this yummy and guilt free meal!

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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


  • 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


  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¬į 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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I called my mom today for her peanut butter cookies recipe and she told me that it was actually her mom, my Nana’s recipe, and that my Nana has been making this recipe for 60 years, since she got her first Sunbeam mixer. I loved hearing this story and it made me even more excited to make this family recipe today. The cookies are soft and chewy and taste delicious. No one can have just one and I think my boyfriend had about 10 today!¬†


  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup crisco
  • 2 eggs (sometimes I add one more depending on the consistency of the batter)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsbp. water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Dash of salt (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together peanut butter, crisco, sugars, eggs, water, and vanilla.
  3. Gradually add in flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  4. Scoop cookie dough into balls onto cookie sheets, as big as you like :).
  5. Using a fork, make criss-crosses onto each ball of dough. This is best done by dipping a fork in a cup of water in between each cookie so that the fork doesn’t stick to the cookie dough.
  6. Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. After taking cookie sheet out of the oven, let cookies sit for about 2 additional minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack.

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My mom has been making pesto bread for as long as I can remember and it is one of my favorite appetizers. The combination of warm, fresh bread and flavorful pesto is oh so delicious and just thinking about it right now is making me crave it! This is a great party appetizer and it’s so easy to make. If you keep pesto frozen in your freezer, you can make pesto bread at any time of the year!


  • Pesto (homemade or store bought, but homemade is best :))
  • 1 large loaf of fresh French bread (or your favorite bread)
  • Olive oil¬†


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You can also cook this on the grill in the summertime, just turn up your grill to high.
  2. Coat one side of the bread with olive oil and the other with pesto, as much as you like.
  3. Place bread on cookie sheet (or grill) oil side down and pesto side up.
  4. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until pesto starts to melt into the bread a bit.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!

Note: Want to spice up your pesto bread a bit? You can add mozzarella and/or tomato, prosciutto, or whatever else you like!

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This recipe comes from my Joy of Cooking day calendar. It would be great for a party appetizer, served with chicken or spring rolls, as mentioned below. I love anything with peanuts and peanut butter and I can’t wait to make it!¬†

Yield: 1.5 cups

Some version of this sauce is served all over Southeast Asia, with the small skewers of meat and chicken known as satays, or with many other dishes from spring rolls to grilled meats. Thin it with a bit of rice vinegar for a Thai-style salad dressing or marinade. 

Heat in a small saucepan over medium heat:

  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil

Add and cook, stirring until golden brown, about one minute:

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

Add and cook, stirring until thickened, about 4 minutes:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup chunky peanut butter,¬†preferably¬†unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar, or to taste

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