Category: recipes

Healthy Cinnamon Toast

My kids are totally crazy about this cinnamon toast. They honestly can’t get enough…in fact, I am too. I could eat endless amounts of this stuff…so it’s a good thing it isn’t piled on with butter and sugar like what I used to devour growing up.  If you love cinnamon toast like us, try this lighter alternative that your body will love as well.

healthy-cinnamon-toast

 

Toast some bread (we like honey wheat)
while its hot, spread some coconut oil
sprinkle some salt (to get the salty butter effect, if you wish)
Squirt some honey
sprinkle some powered cinnamon.

We love dipping our warm cinna-triangles in cold milk…ahh, its one of my favorite breakfasts!

Enjoy!

Easy Microwave Caramel Popcorn (Free printable)

popcorn

I love sending my Christmas wishes to friends and family during the Holidays. But ya know, for me taking care of my little children alone basically consumes all time and energy, add holiday parties+gift shopping +Christmas traditions (ok, maybe I’m not that mom with many cutsie christmas activities but the ONE we have takes time too!) +cold weather crankies (agh, the gloomy, winter is not my friend, I need me some sun!)  and my good intentions rarely come to fruition. Luckily, earlier this year I come across this super yummy and too simple to be true (oh, but it’s true) microwave caramel popcorn recipe.  I was trying to make caramel popcorn one day but the top google search for caramel popcorn took a whole stinkin’ hour and half to make, (I must have been in quite a  hurry to consume fatty sugary goodness as quick as possible) so I kept looking. I googled microwave caramel popcorn actually hoping to use my already buttered microwave popcorn bags I had but instead I found this recipe.  15 whole minutes to a delicious caramel popcorn, you won’t even believe it was made in the microwave! It does call for air popped popcorn but one of the most wonderful tricks of the trade I have ever learned is that you can actually pop popcorn kernels in a brown paper sack in the microwave. So the version I have for yous can be made the microwave entirely. Woot.

yummy-microwavecaramel-popcorn

I’ve experiment quite a bit before to get the right amount of popcorn kernels and microwave time to suit my microwave and get the most popped kernels without burning them. Yes, many times my OCD attempts to be ‘efficient’ ends up costing me triple the time but now that I’ve got it right enough times, it is that much quicker, right?

popcorn-in-brown-paper-sack

So I have found 1/4 a cup of kernels  in a brown paper sack does a splendid job.

pop-popcorn-kernels-in-microwave

Then microwaved for 2 minutes works really well (listen for your kernels when you do yours, all microwaves differ if the time between popped kernels slows down to 2-3 between pops, get it out) Make sure you roll up your bag a bit like so. Make two-three bags depending on how rich you want your popcorn.  This is a trick I learned as I experimented: shake the bags of popped corn so the unpopped kernels settle to the bottom, you’ll see why. Leave them in their bags!

melted-ingredients-in-bowl

Meanwhile dump 1 cup brown sugar, one stick of margarine (I used butter), 1/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a bowl and stick it in the microwave for 3 min. Bring it out, stir and put it back in microwave for another 1.5 minutes. Pull it out and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, it will fizz up a bit.  I know, weird ingredient but I like to think it is the magic touch,  I think it gives it a slightly crisp crunch!

mix-in-popcorn

Now, instead of dumping the popcorn straight from the bag into the bowl of melted goop, GRAB the popcorn fistfuls at a time from the bags  into your bowl. Since I had you shake the kernels to the bottom, you won’t get unpopped kernels in your popcorn!! Hurray.  Mix as you go. But don’t use a whisk like I did. I soon had to grab a spatula after I took this picture. Put back in microwave for another 1 minute and continue stirring until coated as desired. Let cool. Enjoy!

One time I resorted to this recipe when I needed some quick potluck item. I realized only after I had started the recipe that I didn’t even have brown sugar. I used white sugar, I also added nuts and raisins to try to offset all that sugar since the potluck was with peeps in my exercise classes. I already felt funny bringing caramel popcorn to a lunch potluck with people who all, of course, brought ‘healthy foods’, but the fact that I didn’t even know if all my modification even worked made me not want to announce my offering in anyway. Eventually the ladies found the culprit food and I don’t know if it was because there was nothing with as much sugar and butter in sight but those females devoured it like there was no tomorrow! They couldn’t stop commenting on how good it was.

So there you have it. White sugar works (favorite combo, half white, half brown sugar) and now it is common for me to add raisins/dried cranberries and nuts to at least half of the batch since, quite honestly I think is an awesome team of yum.

Here is the download:

[Download not found]

just-popping-by-gift-tag-popcorn microwave-caramel-popcorn

Easy Microwave Caramel Popcorn
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Sariah tate
Cook time:
Total time:
15 minutes to delicious popcorn! Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/microwave-caramel-popcorn/
Ingredients
  • 4 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine (or butter)
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Instructions
  1. <b>To microwave popcorn in paper bag:</b>
  2. Put 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels in paper bag for 2 minutes (listen as kernels slow down, you might need longer or less time depending on your microwave)
  3. Pop 2-3 bags depending on how rich you want your popcorn
  4. Shake bags so unpopped kernels will settle to bottom
  5. <b>For Caramel</b>
  6. In a microwave safe bowl combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and vanilla.
  7. Microwave for 3 minutes.
  8. Remove from microwave and stir.
  9. Return to Microwave for another 1.5 minutes.
  10. Remove from microwave and stir in baking soda.
  11. Grab popcorn from bags fistfuls at a time into bowl of caramel sauce, stir and with coat caramel. Stir in nuts and raisins/craisin if desired. Put back in microwave for another 1 minute and continue stirring until coated as desired. Let cool. Enjoy!

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My Potluck go-to Bean and Corn Salad

quick and easy bean and corn with vinaigrette salad for potluck, gatherings and dinner.

Quick and easy bean and corn with vinaigrette salad for potluck, gatherings and dinners.

I can’t even begin to tell ya how many times we’ve been invited to some gathering (parents, inlaws, friend BBQs) and I realize only moments before going that I needed or wanted to bring to something to share. Here is one of my top potluck to-go recipes not only because it is such a crowd pleaser but I can whip up in no time with ingredients that my pantry and fridge are usually stocked with.  In fact, the original recipe that it was inspired by was modified to best fit what I usually have resulting in this wonderfully colorful, fresh and zesty salad. You will need to grab and mix: 

1 can of corn

2 cans of whatever beans you have in your cupboard (I like black and pinto)

1 red/green bell pepper

2 gloves of garlic, minced

3 green onion bunches chopped

2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 Tb sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

4 Tb vinegar (I like to use redwine)

2 big avocados

additional optional ingredients that I’ve played with and added:

1/2 cup chopped strawberries

1/2 cup chopped cilantro.

Mix all ingredient together except for avocados. Mix them in very last so they don’t end up as smashed smeared green from all the mixing. The flavor might be a bit sharp at first from the vinegar but the more is sits (in fridge if several hours) the better the flavors will blend. Yes, it is better if you don’t run on last minute frenzys like me, but if you do…hey, it totally still works great! Look it at this way…my last minute habits have created some groovy improvised recipes.

Serve alone or with chips…or if you are like me and don’t usually have chips on hand but find flour tortillas,  brush with olive oil and sprinkle salt, slice them up and stick them in your oven for a few minutes to crisp up.  YUMMMMM.

 

chips

My Potluck go-to Bean and Corn Salad
Recipe Type: salad
Author: Sariah Tate
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 1 can of corn
  • 2 cans of whatever beans you have in your cupboard (I like black and pinto)
  • 1 red/green bell pepper
  • 2 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 green onion bunches chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 Tb vinegar (I like to use redwine)
  • 2 big avocados
  • additional optional ingredients that I’ve played with and added:
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro.
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredient together except for avocados. Mix them in very last so they don’t end up as smashed smeared green from all the mixing. The flavor might be a bit sharp at first from the vinegar but the more is sits (in fridge if several hours) the better the flavors will blend. Yes, it is better if you don’t run on last minute frenzys like me, but if you do…hey, it totally still works great!
  2. Serve alone or with chips…or if you are like me and don’t usually have chips on hand but find flour tortillas, brush with olive oil and sprinkle salt, slice them up and stick them in your oven for a few minutes to crisp up. YUMMMMM.

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Chocolate Eclair Pancakes Recipe

chocolate eclair pancake recipe

Chocolate Eclair Pancakes: It had to happen. Where the best breakfast food and best dessert collide into an explosion of irresistible flavor and happiness.  I was having me some pancakes with some vanilla pudding sauce one day and this surge of genius told me: “Whoa. Make this an ECLAIR pancake with  just a few extra touches” And this is what I came up with:

For the Pancake
Use your favorite pancake mix or recipe. This is my fav and what I used. It’s a modified version of this blueberry pancake recipe:

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 eggs
2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Mix first 4 dry ingredients in large bowl. Beat in eggs and milk. Mix in melted butter. Pour batter into griddle and flip when several bubbles have formed and popped on top.

For the pudding filling

2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla

Make your filling  by beating eggs and milk in a sauce pan add sugar, salt and cook over medium heat while stirring continually. Boil for one minute, (keep a stirrin) mixture will thicken. Remove from heat and throw in your butter and vanilla and stir till smooth and thick.

Chocolate drizzle:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
4-6 tablespoons hot water

Melt chocolate chips in microwave for 1 minute, stir and microwave again for 30 more seconds. Sir until smooth.  Add 2 tablespoons butter and stir until melted, nuke for 30 more seconds in microwave if needed. Add 4-6 tablespoons hot water (hot water from tap works fine) depending on desired dizzling consistency.

Putting it together:

Grab a pancake, slice it in half length wise, plop a generous amount of  pudding filling between the slices.  Drizzle chocolate on top using a spoon (or snip corner of plastic ziploc bag, fill with chocolate and drizzle away for way better drizzles than shown in picture) and top with berries if desired. Dig in!!

slice of chocolate eclair pancake

 

Quick and dirty way to achieve same results:

1. pancake mix (prepare according to directions)

2. vanilla pudding mix (prepare according to directions)

3. chocolate syrup

put to together as mentioned above and enjoy in no time!.