Chocolate Covered Banana Bites

Chocolate Covered Banana Bites

Summer is officially over. (So are my 20’s, but that is a post for another day).

I’m going to be completely honest, I have never been so ready for fall. For whatever reason, this summer was *so so* crazy. We were all over the place in 1,000 different directions and I’m just ready for the structure of fall. (I’m just a little type A). I’m also ready and excited to be working less, spending more time with my kiddos and photographing more…hopefully blogging more as well. Good.Bye.Summer.

Tomorrow is the first day of school for Springfield, so I thought I would post a back to school snack that kids would be happy to come home to.

Chocolate Covered Banana Bites

makes 7 bites 

1 large banana

2 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter

1/2 cup chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Slice banana into about 14 pieces. Spread peanut butter on one side of a banana slice and sandwich in between two slices.  Sit on wax paper and place in freezer for 30 minutes. While bananas are in the freezer, prepare chocolate. In a double boiler combine chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup. Stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth, then add vanilla. Drizzle chocolate over banana bites, then place back in the freezer. Before serving remove from freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Enjoy!



Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I have posted this delightful muffin recipe before, but it is so delicious and so great for fall I thought I would share it again. These muffins are incredibly easy…last week was nuts (you might have guessed from the lack of blogging) but I managed to find an extra five minutes to get these in the oven. I promise they are a great way to start your week…and get your taste buds in the mood for fall!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

1 Spice Cake Mix

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 jumbo muffin cups or grease muffin tins. Combine ingredients until mixed well. Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes until centers are set. Cool on wire wrack.

Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips

With summer in full swing and the Fourth right around the corner, this is a great dessert recipe for barbeques, picnics or just a good summer snack.

Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips

There are two Pampered Chef products that I love for this recipe. The Food Chopper. It makes chopping the fruit so much easier. I also like the fruit to be finely chopped for this recipe…it does a great job of this in a matter of seconds. The second is the Sugar Shaker. I have two of these. I keep one full of cinnamon sugar all of the time, so for this recipe I just pull it out for the cinnamon chips.

2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor I used peach 10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter (we use smart balance). Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar.  Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.
Recipe found at All Recipes.

Homemade Granola Bars

My friend Courtney is an amazing cook and baker. I am constantly saying ‘Hey, can I get that recipe?’ This is her granola bar recipe. I made them the night she sent it to me. The granola bars are very soft and amazingly yummy. The thing I love most about them is that you can add whatever you would like! Thanks Courtney for constantly sharing your recipes with me!

Granola Bars

2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup total (or more!) of any extra goodness you want! -Chocolate Chips, cranberries, nuts, coconut, etc.

For these I added 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips and 3/4 cup coconut.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray a 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, (extra ingredients) and salt.

Make a well in the center, and pour in the oil, honey, egg, applesauce and vanilla. Combine with a large spoon. Pat down the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Use a section of plastic wrap over the pan to press down and make it nice and smooth!

Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges, but are still a little shiny. DO NOT OVER BAKE!

Cool for 5 minutes, and then cut into bars while still warm. Serve when completey cool & enjoy!

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups

For some strange reason, I kind of like fruit roll ups. I didn’t eat them a lot as a kid, and I don’t eat them a whole lot now, but every once in a while, I like to take a fruit roll up, shape it into a ball and shove it in my mouth. Sorry if I just grossed you out. When I saw these homemade fruit roll ups on food gawker, I immediately wanted to give them a try. I slightly adapted the recipe from Hungry Foodies Pharmacy. Not only are these way more healthy and tasty than store bought fruit roll ups, they will make your kitchen smell amazing!

Mango-Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups

2 cups strawberries, diced

1 large mango, diced

2 tablespoons water

Agave Nectar

1 Teaspoon Sugar in the Raw

Preheat oven to 150 degrees F one hour before dehydrating the fruit roll-ups.

If your oven does not allow you to bake at 150 degrees F, you can use your warm setting.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, add water and diced fruit. Cook until the fruit breaks down so that it is soft and mushy. Allow the fruit mixture to thicken (the syrup should coat the back of the spoon and shouldn’t be runny or thin), almost like the consistency of a chunky applesauce. Adjust sweetness with agave nectar and raw sugar.  I used about 1 tablespoons of agave nectar and a half of a tablespoon of raw sugar.

Carefully pour the fruit mixture into a food processor or blender, and puree the liquid until it is smooth in consistency.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease with non-flavored oil, such as corn or vegetable oil. Pour fruit mixture onto baking sheet and spread evenly across the baking sheet, about 1/4-inch thick. Spreading the fruit evenly is extremely important, in order to insure that dehydration is even.

Place baking sheet into oven and dehydrate for about 6 to 8 hours. The amount of dehydrating time varies depending on the thickness and the amount of sugar in the fruit mixture, so check every two hours until done. You don’t want crispy fruit roll-ups. When the fruit is dry and no longer sticky to touch, remove baking sheet from oven, and allow to cool at room temperature. If you find that the edges are a little crispy, just rehydrate by dabbing the edges with a wet paper towel.

When cool to handle, carefully peel the sheet of dehydrated fruit and lay it on a cutting board, and cut with a knife or pizza slicer into strips. Cut wax paper or parchment paper just a little larger than the strips, and roll the strips of fruit into fruit roll-ups. Store in the pantry in an airtight container for up to two weeks.