Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oatmeal Candy Apple m&m’s Cookies


It’s time to pay homage to the apple:

Oh apple, how I love thee
 
So crisp, tart, and sweet.
 
A round jewel of red or green
 
The perfect gift for any queen.
 
Yet some may use you to disguise
 
Their wicked plots.
 
No poison can destroy your splendor
 
As you will remain the most beautiful of all.
 
By ~ me.
 I don’t know about you, but apples always remind me of the story of Snow White. That beautiful red apple the witch poisons to place Snow White into a deep sleep so she can no longer be the fairest of them all. Who can resist such a beautiful red apple? Not this girl either, Snow White!

Apples also remind me of Fall and Halloween. Odd combination I know, but I think it’s that whole October is apple picking season....Halloween is witching season and is celebrated in October....and then there’s the wicked witch in Snow White, who has that shiny, red apple....all reminding me of apples. Yes, my mind really does work in crazy ways!

With that said, I have a little treat for you (insert evil laugh here…muahaha). And yes, it has apples in it! And not only are there apples in it, but I also added those red, shiny candy apple m&m’s.


So from now on, you too will think of Snow White, Fall, and Halloween when October rolls around each year.

You’re welcome {insert evil smile here}!


Hopefully, you’ll also be making these cookies for all the little “goblins” that may be lurking around this time of year!

By the way, a big congratulations goes out to Leah Sorensen, who won the Annie's Homegrown Giveaway from last week! Congrats Leah and enjoy your goodies!


Oatmeal Candy Apple m&m’s Cookies

Ingredients

¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 and ½ cups whole wheat flour

1 and ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 Tablespoon corn starch

2 cups oats (can use either old fashioned or quick cooking)

1 apple, peeled and diced

Peelings from apple

½ cup sweet apple cider

1 package Candy Apple m&m’s

Ingredients for Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

2-3 Tablespoons sweet apple cider

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Directions

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Prepare cookie sheets by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Wipe off excess spray with clean paper towel. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and corn starch. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugars together, beating until creamy. Add in vanilla and eggs until blended. Set aside.

Place ½ cup apple cider into a blender and add apple peelings. Puree for about 1 minute or until peelings are puréed. Add cider puree into sugar and butter mixture and blend together.

Slowly add in flour mixture, mixing well.

Add in oats ½ a cup at a time until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Stirring by hand, add candy apple m&m’s until well blended.

Drop dough onto greased cookie sheet, about 1 Tablespoonful, placing 2” apart.

Bake for 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Remove from oven and let cool for about 2 minutes on cookie sheet before placing onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For Glaze topping

Combine powdered sugar, cinnamon, and apple cider into a small bowl. Mix well with a fork.

After cookies are placed on wire rack, drizzle glaze over tops of cookies.

 Let stand for 1 hour before placing cookies into an airtight container.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Best served with a tall glass of cold milk!

Inspired by ~ Apple-Oat Cookies

*Helpful Hints*

- place a sheet of wax paper under wire rack before drizzling glaze onto cookies to help make clean-up easier.

- All measurements are US

All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.

Disclaimer - This post may contain affiliate links.
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Shared with: Foodie Friends Friday Recipes Linky Party #119, Pin Junkie Pin Party #91

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Basil Pesto

 

What do you do when life hands you too much basil at one time? Make pesto.

I don’t know about you but I L-O-V-E pesto! I use it on my spaghetti noodles, I slather it on my French bread before baking, I use it instead of tomato sauce when I make pizza, I use it to season my spaghetti sauces, I can find a use for it in any Italian dish! It’s my one stop Italian food favorite, next to olive oil and fresh garlic, of course.
 

So when I saw how easy it was to make your own pesto, I was all over it, especially with all these basil leaves I had!

Although the traditional recipe of pesto is made with pine nuts, you can use any variety of nuts you choose for making it. And since I didn’t have pine nuts on hand at the time I made my pesto, I used almonds. To me the almonds didn’t change the flavoring of the pesto, as the basil and garlic are the quintessence of this recipe.

The result was delicious! A beautifully green pesto sauce with a rich flavoring of basil and garlic, magnifico!


A little fact about basil, throughout Italy its meaning is Love. So next time you’re making an Italian dish for your loved one, throw in a little extra basil {wink}.

BASIL PESTO

Ingredients

2 cups fresh basil leaves

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon parmesan cheese, freshly grated

½ cup raw almonds

3 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1/3 cup Extra Virgin olive oil

¼ cup water

Directions

After you have washed, rinsed, patted dry, and destemmed (cut the stems off) your basil leaves, set them aside.


Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree. You can puree to your own liking of either coarse (the ground almonds) or finely ground (almonds).

Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 week or you can freeze in a freezer safe container for later use.


Inspired by ~ Lou Lou Girls Pesto Pasta

*Helpful Hints*

- All measurements are US

All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.

Disclaimer - This post may contain affiliate links.
Follow Julie's board Sweet and Spicy Monkey on Pinterest.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

S'mores Candy Corn Marshmallow Treats (aka Marshmallow Gremlins)


I can’t remember the last time I made rice crispy treats, that sticky, crispy, sweet marshmallowey (yep, that is a word in my kitchen {smile}) goodness I loved when I was a kid. So when I saw these candy corn marshmallows at my local grocery store, I just knew I had to make some.

Since it had been years from the last time I made marshmallow treats, I forgot how messy the whole making process was! Melted marshmallow sticks to E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! Even the pot and spoons I used to make it. Yes, I used two spoons because the marshmallow was a big blob on one spoon and the other spoon was used to help get the marshmallow off the other spoon, which really wasn’t much help at all! So there I was in my kitchen, laughing like some crazy lady with two spoons full of marshmallow treats!


I really wish you could have been there because you would have been laughing at me! Sorry, no photos of that as my hands were also covered in marshmallow treats. Now I know why kids love making these!

After I got all the marshmallow off my hands and the spoons and into the pan, I finally got smart and sprayed my hands with a little bit of nonstick coconut spray. This worked great as I used my hands to help flatten the top of the marshmallow treats into the pan. I might remember this little trick for the spoons when I make these again {wink}.*


The result are these beautiful orange marshmallow treats sprinkled with S’mores candy corn. Don’t they just look spooktacular!


I like to refer to them as marshmallow gremlins, after the scene in my kitchen when I was creating them {smile}.

S’mores Candy Corn Marshmallow Treats (aka Marshmallow Gremlins)

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons butter

1- 14 ounce package of Candy Corn Marshmallows

6 cups crispy rice cereal

1 package S’mores candy corns

Directions

Prepare 11" x 8" pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray and wiping off excess with clean paper towel. You can also use butter or margarine if preferred. Set aside.

Over low heat, melt butter in a large sauce pan. 

After butter has melted, add marshmallows and cook over Low heat until thoroughly melted.

Remove from heat and stir in crispy rice cereal. Making sure all cereal is covered with marshmallow.

Place in prepared pan and press down with hands. * See above for tips.*

Sprinkle S’mores candy corns over the top.

Let cool before serving.

Cut into squares and enjoy!

Store in airtight container.

Original recipe ~ The Original Rice Crispies Treats

*Helpful Hints*

- You might want to spray nonstick cooking spray on utensils used after the cooking process. Of course, you won't have as much fun as I did when making them!

- These would also be great for Thanksgiving treats with their orange coloring and the S'mores candy corns.

- All measurements are US

Disclaimer - This post may contain affiliate links.

All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.

 
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Sweet & Salty Snack Mix + Giveaway


I’ve recently teamed up with Annie's Homegrown to become a #teamannies Brand Ambassador. I just love these products as they incorporate healthy eating into our lifestyles. They use organic products which are free of artificial flavors, coloring, and preservatives. And y’all know I try to keep my eating healthy, except for the sweets, but hey, baby steps for me {smile}.


 I think they also must have heard that I cannot (for the life of me) make homemade macaroni & cheese and maybe felt a little sorry for me. Because in my care package, they sent me three boxes of Annie’s mac & cheese! Oh, I’m a happy girl! I can whip up a mean box of mac & cheese!

My Annie's care package

I also got some of their cheddar snack mix which combines their infamous bunny cheese crackers and pretzels...Yum! Now I know what you're thinking..."I want one of these care packages too", because if I were you, I would be thinking that right now {wink}.

Well, today must be your lucky day because Annie's is letting me host a give away where one lucky winner will receive:
  • 3 boxes of Annie's Mac & Cheese
  • 2 boxes of Annie's snacks
  • Annie's Homegrown Coupons
  • a chino bag (very cool and handy!)
  • and a Team Annie's spork (who doesn't love a spork?)
All you have to do is follow the rules listed below in the Rafflecopter Give Away and enter by leaving your answer to the following question, "How do you incorporate Annie's Homegrown ingredients into your meals?" in my comment section below. Make sure you get credit for answering the question by marking the appropriate box in the Rafflecopter section. Giveaway ends October 24, 2014 so hurry up and enter and let your friends know too. And be sure to check back for results following closing date. This giveaway is currently only open to U.S. residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So I got to thinking, why not add a little sweetness to my cheddar bunnies and pretzels? Oh yea, the perfect blending of a little bit of sweet and a little bit of salty. The perfect combination to help satisfy my monster sweet tooth cravings!

My intention was to keep it healthy with coconut chips, dried mangos, banana chips, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. But the little devil on my shoulder threw in a bag of Reese’s pieces and candy corn M&M’s when I wasn’t looking. Much to my surprise when I got back home from the store and found them in my grocery bag.


But that little devil sure had the right idea because this trail mix is unquestionably delicious! Satisfying any sweet and salty cravings you might have.

Plus, you can feel good about this snack mix because Annie’s products are made with organic ingredients and you’re the one making it, giving you the option of how much and what to put into it. So you can regulate the sweets, but still have a little taste to satisfy your cravings.


Happy snacking and Good Luck to all who enter the Giveaway!

Sweet & Salty Snack Mix

Serving size - 2 and 1/2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup Annie's Cheddar Snack mix of cheddar bunnies and pretzels

1/4 cup banana chips

1/4 cup dried mango

1/4 cup roasted & salted pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup Reese's pieces

1/4 cup Candy Corn M&M's

12 strips of coconut strips, broken into bite size pieces

Directions

Add all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Enjoy!

*Helpful Hints*

- I cut my mango pieces into smaller bite size portions.

- can divide up and place into sandwich bags for individual snacks to take on the go.

- All measurements are US


Join #teamannies ~ a fun social community where fans share their love for Annie's and get special access to Annie's world. Click here to Join Team Annie's.

Disclaimer - #spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between my blog and Annie's Homegrown. This could include Annie's providing me with content, product, access or other forms of payment.


All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Yogurt


Ever since I made my first batch of Pumpkin Butter this year, I just can’t get enough of it, after all I only make it once a year. And this year, I’ve been trying it on almost everything I eat, with my latest being in my morning yogurt.

Since peach season is officially over {sad face}, I’m trying new ways to wake up my morning breakfast. And I think I found it here with this Pumpkin Spice yogurt.

It’s everything I’m loving right now and makes for the perfect breakfast as it combines my favorite Fall flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, with a sprinkling of  pecans. All mixed together with my favorite Greek yogurt.


Not only is this healthy, but it’s also a quick and easy recipe to make and you can even prepare it the night before, so in the morning you can just grab it and go with your morning coffee or tea.


Or you can do like me and slowly savor every scrumptious, creamy bite while catching up on episodes of 'The Blacklist' with my morning coffee {smile}.

Pumpkin Spice Yogurt

Makes 1 serving
Ingredients

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

3-4 Tablespoons pumpkin butter

1 Tablespoon chopped pecans

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Enjoy!

*Helpful Hints*

- You can find the recipe for my Pumpkin Butter here.

- If y’all follow me, you know I only use Fage plain Greek yogurt as its creamy with no bitterly sour taste like other plain yogurts.

- If preparing the night before, mix in a small bowl and transfer to an airtight container. And if you prefer your pecans a little crunchier, you can leave the pecans on top and mix in right before you eat.

- All measurements are US

Disclaimer - I was not paid for use of Fage yogurt in this recipe nor am I a spokesperson for Fage. I just love their creamy yogurt and think its the best!

All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.
Follow Julie's board Sweet and Spicy Monkey on Pinterest.

Featured at ~ Savoring Saturdays #37



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