Recipe

Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Bean Marshmallow S’more Pops.

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I did something bad. Well, I did something good. Okay, I did something bad for our waistlines, but good for our taste buds. Enter, s’more pops.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Marshmallow S'more Pops.

I don’t know about you, but the combination of marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker shouts summer to me. Does anyone else have a problem with getting this song stuck in their head this summer?

Homemade marshmallow s’more pops are a great way to give the classic flavors a little bit of a gourmet twist (Can we pretend that isn’t really as pretentious of a statement as it sounds? Thanks. Haha.) Really, any food on a stick is just fun, and this way, you don’t have to build a fire or dealing with gooey marshmallow all over.

Smore pop bite

First, make marshmallows using this recipe (Thanks Martha Stewart!). Don’t be intimidated – homemade marshmallows are surprisingly simple. I guess you could use store-bought marshmallows instead, but it’s just not the same.

Marshmallow wisking

While the marshmallows set, melt a cup of dark chocolate (or milk chocolate if that is more your jam), and crunch a sleeve of graham crackers in a food processor or plastic baggie. Once you have cut the marshmallows, insert a wooden skewer into each marshmallow, dipping the skewer in a little bit of white chocolate first (optional) to really make it stick.

??????????????????????????????? Smore pop in progress

Dip each marshmallow into the melted chocolate, and then graham crackers, coating each side, and then place on parchment-covered baking sheet. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 15 minutes. Yep, it is that easy.

Smore pop trio

What do you think of s’mores? Would you try this twist on a classic?

Hugs,

Megan

Smore pop close up

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Recipe: Panzanella Bread Salad.

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I’m warning you. Once you’ve tried this salad, there is no going back. It delicious and the best part? It is also as easy as can be! My mouth is watering as I write this. It goes great with some grilled chicken for a meal, but if you’re anything like me, the panzanella is all you will want.

I’m not going to say that I split this whole recipe with just my mother for dinner, but I won’t deny it either.

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Ingredients:

A baguette, cut into 1 inch pieces

4 large beefsteak tomatoes cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup artichokes marinated in oil, drained

1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and sliced

1/2 cup red onion, quartered and sliced

1/2 cup black olives

1/4 cup basil

For the dressing: 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 3/4 cup leftover artichoke marinade (or olive oil), 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 chopped garlic clove, and many grinds of pepper (You will only use half of the dressing for the salad. Feel free to half the ingredients, or save the leftover for use as balsamic vinaigrette.)

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Spread bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toast in a 400 degree oven for about 10  minutes, or until golden. Wisk dressing ingredients together. Place fresh ingredients in a bowl, add toasted bread, drizzle with half of the salad dressing, and toss. Serve immediately – I highly recommend accompanying a glass of sangria.

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Hugs,

Megan

Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Orzo.

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One of the most fun parts of spending an extended amount of time with the boyfriend last week was getting to cook together. A lot of people my age might not agree, but I’m clearly an old lady, so there’s that.

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                We had talked about having roasted red pepper and goat cheese orzo one night (thank you Pinterest), but not exactly how it would be made. When we realized that we were planning on somewhat different dishes with the same ingredients, we (well, I…) decided to do our own things and make it into a competition. Because relationships are all about competition, right? (I kid…)

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                Michael went for a bit of a lighter looking by mixing the pasta with sautéed onions,  garlic, and roasted red peppers and goat cheese from the beginning. The texture of roasted red peppers is a little worm-like for my taste, so I decided to blend the ingredients together, making a smooth sauce to pour over the orzo.

All of this is to say, put roasted red pepper and goat cheese in your pasta (along with some sautéed onion, garlic, and black pepper) and add a piece of salmon on top. It’s so good.

Tell me, does the texture of roasted red peppers bother you?

Hugs,

Megan

*Linking up with Jessica and Ashley!

Recipe: Festive Trail Mix.

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This is the quickest and easiest “recipe” that really only involves measuring out some goodies, mixing them together, and finding a container to store the mix in. I mean, you really don’t even need to measure. Just throw some nuts and dried fruit into a mason jar, give it a few shakes and call it a day.

I’m a pro short-cutter, if you hadn’t noticed. At least 50% of the time. The rest of the time I’m making things harder than they need to be, so I guess it evens out. Trail mix doesn’t need to be complicated though. Life lessons, from me to you.

Is it a coincidence that the main colors in this trail mix are red, green, and white, and it’s the middle of December? I think not.

Enjoy!

almonds gogi ed

cran yogurt mix

Mix together 1/3 cup each of gogi berries, cranberries, almonds, dry roasted edamame, and yogurt covered somethings (in this case, raisins). Store in a mason jar for optimum charm. Eat as study fuel.

 festive mix

Tell me, have you tried gogi (pronouced “go-gee”)berries? They are supposed to be one of the world’s great “superfoods,” high in antioxidants with cancer-fighting properties. I had never tried them before now, and was surprised at the taste. A little bitterly tangy and a little sweet, but good.

Hugs,

Megan

Recipe: Maple Oat Biscotti.

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The first thing that pops into my mind when I think about biscotti are plastic-wrapped, chocolate-dipped items at the Starbucks checkout. Have you ever made biscotti though? For something you have to bake twice, I was surprised at how easy it is!

Let’s be real, biscotti is our way of eating dessert for breakfast. We all know biscotti is a cookie. Still, sometimes it’s nice to have something simple to eat with your coffee.

I used pumpkin pie spice when I made these, but feel free to use cinnamon. The tin labeled “pumpkin pie spice” is probably so much more expensive than all of the individual ingredients, but at this point, I am trying to use up the container that I had at the beginning of the season.

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1 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk flour in a bowl, then add in brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredient to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined and a dough forms.

Lightly flour your hands to transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (the dough may be sticky). Shape dough into around a 10 inch by 5 inch rectangular log. Bake for 25 minutes until firm to the touch and lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and let cool until you are able to handle the log. Keep the oven on. Once cooled enough, use a serrated knife to cut the log into 1/2 inch diagonal slices. Place the cut biscotti back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 more minutes.

Now, pour yourself a hot beverage to dunk your biscotti into and enjoy!.

The biscotti will crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight container.

Hugs,

Megan

Recipe: My Favorite Sweet and Spicy Shmashed Sweet Potatoes.

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No, shmashed is not a word. Yes, I think it’s a lot more fun to say than smashed.

The family insisted we have regular mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving so I used Sunday night to make my new favorite way to have sweet potatoes – sweet and spicy shmashed sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and fiber. They also have fewer carbs and a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes, so I like to use them instead whenever possible.

I must be the worst blogger ever because I forgot to take pictures until I snapped this awful one at the last minute, but I still wanted to share the recipe because it is so easy and so yummy.

sweet potatoes

Peel  and cut potatoes into about 1 inch discs (This can be adapted for any amount of people. I used 5 small potatoes for 5 people as a side.)

Fill a pot with enough water to cover the potatoes and set on high heat. Once the water is boiling, add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes.

Drain potatoes and let cool while you make the topping.

Combine 6 parts brown sugar (I used 2 tablespoons) with one part each (1 teaspoon) of salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and about 10 grinds of black pepper.

Place the slightly cooled potato rounds on a foil-lined baking sheet and press each firmly with a glass (or plate… or measuring cup… whatever you have around) to flatten a bit.

Now you can either melt coconut oil or butter and spread a bit on each shmashed potato, or just give all the potatoes a quick spray with cooking oil spray.

Pat half of the brown sugar/ spice topping over the coated rounds. Try to get as little on the pan as possible. It will burn.

Flip the rounds and do the same thing to the other side. Depending on how intact your potatoes stayed when you shmashed them, this might look a little messy. Don’t worry, the ones that are falling apart taste just as good and usually get a little crispier anyways (That’s the best part).

Cook the potatoes in a 400F oven for 12 minutes, then flip and cook another 12-15 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

(pro tip: these go great with ham and lots of peach wine)

Hugs,

Megan

Recipe: Seven Layer Greek Dip.

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Greek Dip

We all know Mexican layer dip. But how does it work with other flavors? The answer to that question, with Greek at least, is so well.

This dip has all the classic Greek flavors – feta, hummus, lemon and cucumber, olives. It is super simple to throw together and one of those no-cook dishes that anyone can make. Perfect for a game watch party, or dare I say, a healthy dip option for upcoming holiday parties.

 Dip

You’ll need:

10 oz hummus (I used roasted red pepper hummus)

1/2 cup black olives, roughly chopped

1/2 cup seeded and diced tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts

1/2 cup seeded and finely diced cucumber

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1/2 cup feta

Lemon juice

Olive oil

A few dashes of salt, paper, and garlic powder

hummus

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pour over cucumber and onion and mix to coat. Spread hummus in your dish and layer all the other ingredients on top.

Serve with pita chips and bell pepper.

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