PB&J Snack Bars

i took this one from - evolving mommy

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup natural-style chunky peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
2 large eggs
1/4 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds)
1/2 cup all natural Raspberry or Strawberry fruit spread
1/4 Wheat germ (optional)
1/2 cup puffed rice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

Mix the flour,flax seed, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix the peanut butter and honey using a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, applesauce, and vanilla to the peanut butter mixture and mix until well blended and smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until well incorporated. Mix in oats, dried cranberries, and nuts. Scrape batter into the prepared baking dish.

To spread the mixture evenly in the pan either use a piece of plastic wrap to spread the batter or wet both hands and press mixture using wet bare hands. Using a spatula spread natural fruit spread in an even layer over bar mixture. Sprinkle optional wheat germ and puffed rice over top of fruit spread layer.

Bake the bars 22- 26 minutes or until firm to the touch. Place pan on wire rack to cool. Be sure to cool bars completely in the pan on a rack before cutting into bars.

Makes 24 bars. Bars freeze well.
Moist Apple Cake Recipe

This is a cake that is low fat and has no oil or butter, it uses only one egg, and sugar-free sweetened condensed milk and applesauce and has the healthy addition of oats. It comes out so moist. It's great the next day for a breakfast treat.

35 min | 10 min prep


* 1 cup sugar-free applesauce
* 1 cup reduced-sugar sweetened condensed milk
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup oats
* 1 1/4 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
* nonstick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 8x8 inch square baking pan.
2. In a food processor or blender, grind oats to a medium consistency, set aside.
3. In a large bowl with a whisk, mix applesauce, milk and egg.
4. Add all the flour, oats and spices. Fold in, until everything is incorporated.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
6. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

thank you small town girl...

bean and bacon soup


4 strips bacon
1 large carrot, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 15 1/2-ounce cans great Northern beans, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Let cool, chop, and set aside. 2Over medium heat, add the carrot to the pan drippings in the Dutch oven and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the celery, onion, and garlic, stirring well and cooking for 3 minutes more. 3Add the beans and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 10 minutes. 4Uncover and, with a potato masher or large slotted spoon, partially mash the bean mixture until it thickens slightly. Stir in the parsley, salt, pepper, and bacon. Serve hot. By Cynthia Nicholson, February 2005

new cocktail....

Sparkling White Sangria

1 bottle sparkling wine (such as Champagne or Prosecco)
1 1/2 cups apricot nectar
1 1/2 ounces triple sec

In a pitcher, mix together the wine, apricot nectar, and triple sec. Serve in wineglasses.

Upgrade: Add 1 bunch frozen grapes to the pitcher before serving.

Beef Satay With Peanut Sauce

another real simple fav

Ordering take-out Thai food isn't the only way to eat beef satay at home. With precut meat, dry salad-dressing mix, and sesame oil, you get all the flavor without having to wait. The salad-dressing mix eliminates the chopping and mixing required for a complicated marinade; combined with oil, it flavors the beef in minutes. The mix also lends a savory edge to a peanut butter-based dipping sauce. Stick the beef onto some skewers, pop them under the broiler for a couple of minutes, and serve.

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 .92-ounce package Good Seasons Roasted Garlic salad-dressing mix
1 pound presliced sirloin
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Wooden skewers soaked in water

In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the dressing mix, and 3/4 cup water and set aside.

If the beef strips have not already been flattened, gently pound them flat with a rolling pin. In a bowl, toss together the beef, oil, and remaining salad-dressing mix. Coat each strip of beef well and thread a skewer through it. Broil 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve the satays hot with the dipping sauce.

If you made it from scratch: 1 hour

Yield: 4 servings

CALORIES 485(1% from fat); FAT 29g (sat 7g); CHOLESTEROL 65mg; CALCIUM 23mg; CARBOHYDRATE 23g; SODIUM 5825mg; PROTEIN 32mg; FIBER 2g; IRON 3mg

Bean and Sausage Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 13-ounce package chicken sausage links, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 19-ounce can white beans, drained
1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bunch kale
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Crusty bread (optional)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, without stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn, add the garlic, and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the beans, broth, and tomatoes and their juices. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.

Fold each kale leaf in half lengthwise and remove the stem by ripping or cutting it. Tear each leaf into large pieces. Add the kale to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Season with the salt and pepper and spoon into individual bowls. Serve with the bread (if using).

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 495(28% from fat); FAT 14g (sat 3g); CHOLESTEROL 65mg; CARBOHYDRATE 43g; SODIUM 1,020mg; PROTEIN 36g; FIBER 9g; SUGAR 11g

peanut butter blossoms

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
8 oz. pkg. milk chocolate kisses
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
more granulated sugar
Heat oven to 375 F. Remove wrappers from chocolate. Beat butter and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup sugar and brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Cover tightly and chill for 4-8 hours in fridge.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate piece into center of each cookie; cookie will crack slightly around edges. Let stand on cookie sheets for 3-4 minutes, then remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies

To freeze, shape dough into balls but do not roll in sugar. Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheets and freeze until firm. Pack into hard sided freezer containers; label, and freeze up to 3 months. To bake, roll frozen dough into sugar, then bake as directed, adding 3-6 minutes to the baking time.