Tag Archives: easy

Apple Harvest Bars

Do you love the chill in the air, the change of color?  All reminders that it is apple harvest time!  This recipe will remind you of apple pie, but in dessert bar form.  Layers of a buttery crust, spiced apples and a lightly sweet topping.  Let the aroma fill your kitchen!

Apple Harvest Bars2

Apple Harvest Bars

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 2-3 large apples)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375° and grease a 9 x 13″ baking pan.

In a food processor, add flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt, pulsate once to combine.  Add butter and pulse a few times until the mixture turns to dry crumbs.  Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

In a medium bowl, toss the sliced apples in lemon juice.  Arrange the apples slices in rows on top of the crust.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Sprinkle over the layer of apples.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the coconut, egg, condensed milk, vanilla and pecans in a medium bowl.  Remove the pan from the oven and spoon the coconut mixture evenly over the layer of apples.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes until the coconut is golden brown.

Slightly cool in pan and cut into bars while still warm.

Apple Harvest Bars Sweet Stackers

The aroma of apple pie fills the house!

Apple Harvest Bars Dessert Container

Tip:  Cut dessert bars ahead of time to make an easy-to-serve dessert. Sweet Stackers layer your baked goods in one container so they are ready to serve or transport to a party!  Visit sweetstackers.com to learn how you can convert your containers to multi-level.

 

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Coconut Key Lime Bars

Most of the time, I bake from scratch.  But there are those times when you need a quick dessert.  I always keep a couple of cake box mixes in my pantry and tada…we have super simple dessert bars!  The marshmallow crème makes a tasty and easy topping – a bit of sweet to complement the tart lime flavor.

PartyKitchen Coconut Key Lime Bars

Coconut Key Lime Bars

  • 1 box of Pillsbury Key Lime Cake Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of butter, melted
  • 2 cups of sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup of marshmallow crème *

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9 x 13″ pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, butter and 1 ½ cups of coconut.  Spread evenly in pan and bake for 19-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges turn golden brown.  Let cool.

Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of coconut on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 6 minutes, watching carefully until it is lightly toasted.

Spread marshmallow crème in a thin layer over the dessert bars and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

*note:  could use fresh whip cream or Cool Whip as a topping

Sweet Stackers KLB Squeeze Risers  SweetStackers risers squeezed between dessert

Layer baked goods in one container using Sweet Stackers!  This stackable food storage system insert into major brand food storage containers.  The trays are available in 4 sizes and the risers come in two sizes for either cookies or dessert bars.  They can even be squeezed flat in between bars or brownies.  Why not layer cookies and brownies in the same container?!

SweetStackers dessert storage solution

Stack the dessert tray over the bottom layer and they are ready to go!

sweetstackers.com

SweetStackers layer bakery

Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Baked Chicken should have been title of this dish!  So easy, so tasty and just a handful of ingredients.

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Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken

  • 2 large chicken breasts with skin on
  • 2 lemons; one sliced thin and 1 squeezed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh green beans

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Prepare baking dish and drizzle bottom with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Layer the lemon slices on the bottom of pan and place chicken on top.  In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and S&P.  Toss the green beans in mixture and pour over the chicken.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked.  About half way cooked, spoon juices over the chicken to baste.

Serving suggestion – serve with pasta tossed in the lemon garlic juice from the chicken bake.

 

 

Creamy Turkey and Rice Crockpot Soup

It’s totally a delicious-homemade-soup-kind-of-day being snowed in during the deep freeze of 2014.  Most likely you will have all the ingredients without having to run to the grocery store to pick something up.  Plus it is a very forgiving soup if you don’t have one of the ingredients.

This soup was inspired by a recipe that appeared on Facebook via the Back For Seconds Blog.  I actually didn’t have any chicken on hand, but I did have some left-over cooked turkey from the holidays.

Kitchen Tip:  A container of chicken base is something that I always have on hand in my pantry.  First, I can control the amount of sodium in my broth.  Plus I don’t need to worry about having enough cans or cartons of broth for large batches of soup.

Creamy Turkey and Rice Crockpot Soup

Creamy Turkey and Rice Crockpot Soup

  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 cup long grain rice
  • 1 to 2 cups of diced cooked turkey (or chicken)
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk

Add broth, onion, carrots, bay leaves, garlic, pepper, cumin to crockpot.  Cook on high for 2 hours.  Add rice and cook for remaining 2 hours.  When rice is cooked and expanded, add turkey, peas and corn.  In a small mixing bowl add flour and milk and whisk until smooth.  Slowly add the paste to the soup to thicken.

Enjoy a hot bowl of soup and stay warm!!

Christmas Magic Bars

Simple, Festive, Sweet – the perfect Christmas treat!

There are many variations of “Magic Bars” out there, so I added a little twist of my of my own to make them look more festive for the holidays and also made them with a chocolate graham cracker crust.  The pop of color using the red M&Ms and white chocolate chips looked so pretty on my holiday table.

Holiday Magic Bars

Christmas Magic Bars

2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs

½ cup (5 ½ tablespoons) butter; melted

1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 ½ cups chocolate chips

¼ cup red M&Ms

¼ cup white chocolate chips

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350º F.

In a large bowl combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; press mixture onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan.  Pour condensed milk evenly over crumbs.  Combine the chocolate chips and coconut, then spread evenly over the condensed milk.  Sprinkle the red M&Ms and white chocolate chips on top, followed by the chopped pecans.  Press down lightly.  Bake 25 minutes or until set.  Cool completely.  Cut into bars.  Store in an air tight container.

Holiday Magic Bars

Ready to store and transport to a holiday event on my Sweet Stackers!  The Christmas Magic Bars were transferred to a pretty crystal plate to pass around this formal event.

Dessert Storage Magic Bars

Sweet StackersTM are the solution to layering pastries, cookies, bakery or even finger foods in one storage container without disturbing their appearance or plainly having them stick together.  Sweet StackersTM allow you to store your bakery in an air tight container by using a stackable tray system.  Visit sweetstackers.com for more ideas on how to use Sweet StackersTM.

 

Pumpkin Muffins – two ingredients?

Muffins with only two ingredients?  I saw this recipe on Pinterest and was totally skeptical!  So now that I tried it – get out that healthy can of pumpkin and celebrate autumn!

Kid & Mom approved – great snack for a lunch box or afterschool treat.

Pumpkin Muffins

For this batch, I used a chocolate cake box mix and one 15 ounce can of pumpkin.  With an electric mixer, combine the ingredients.  Add a couple of tablespoons of milk to moisten the batter if needed.  For kicks, add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice…spice it up!  With a little research you can use any flavor of cake.  I am sure that spice cake would be pretty yummy.

For mini-muffins:  Bake in a 350° oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Store these moist cupcakes using Sweet Stackers stackable food storage trays.  The trays separate and divide your food items in one container without a mess – visit sweetstackers.com!

Golden Potato Soup for the Crock Pot

Only 15 minutes of prep time and a few hours later, I had the wonderful aroma of homemade potato soup filling the house.  This recipe is super easy because you throw all of the ingredients in a crock pot and let it cook.  I used a combination of Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled for added nutrition and a large sweet potato.  It produced the beautiful golden-colored soup!

Crock Pot Potato Soup

Golden Potato Soup

Serves approximately 15

3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes (peel or leave the skin on, chopped)

1 large sweet potato (peel and chopped)

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 TB chicken soup base

8 C water

1 – 8 ounce cream cheese

Topping suggestions: grated cheddar cheese, green onions, fresh chives, crumbled bacon

Add chopped potatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, soup base and water to crock pot.  Cover and cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 8 hours.  Once complete, cut cream cheese into small chunks and add to the pot, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes to soften and melt the cream cheese.  Stir to thicken the soup and use a potato masher to make the soup smoother consistency if needed.

Serve with the suggested toppings above.  This soup will freeze good for later use!!