#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars

It’s the final day of #CranberryWeek hosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking. We’ve been sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

My husband chipped away at the dish full of cranberry cream cheese bars with a warmed serving after the boys went to bed. I think he used it as his source of energy before tackling the dishes from dinner. 😉

I on the other hand, would have a little bit in the morning around 10 am. You know, when my first breakfast has worn off but it’s too close to lunch to have a second breakfast.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook (1)

I really like desserts that are acceptable for my mid-morning snack. The crust of these bars is made of oats – breakfast. The filling involves cream cheese – breakfast. Cranberries are a fruit – breakfast!

I liked eating my cranberry deliciousness with whipped cream, but no one would complain if you served yours with vanilla ice cream.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 1/2 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C + 1 tbsp sugar, divided use
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 C key lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 can (16 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, 1/4 C sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and the butter with a hand mixer. Set aside 1 1/2 C. Press the remaining mixture into the prepared pan. Bake 12 – 15 minutes, until golden. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add in the condensed milk, key lime juice, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Spread over the baked crust.
  4. In a small bowl combine the cranberry sauce, cornstarch, and remaining tablespoon of sugar. Evenly distribute over the cream cheese.
  5. Top with the remaining oat mixture.
  6. Bake 40 – 45 minutes, until golden.

*This recipe is adapted from Danelle at https://www.letsdishrecipes.com/2014/12/cranberry-cream-cheese-bars-with-quaker-whole-grain-oats.html*

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great cranberry recipes:

Cranberry Bliss Bars (Starbucks Copycat) from Family Around The Table

Cranberry Clementine Gin from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Cranberry Clusters by The Freshman Cook

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Cranberry-Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bark from Books n’ Cooks

TBD from Palatable Pastime

Panettone from Caroline’s Cooking

You Make Me Blush Cocktail by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Warm Cranberry Punch from Everyday Eileen

 

Mummy Granola Bars

Granola bars have been on my “to make” list for quite some time. In fact, I’ve tried making them before with disastrous results.

So I did some searching for another type of recipe – this one a no bake!

These chewy granola bars are made kind of like rice krispie treats! They’re packed full of healthy ingredients (and sugar) and given the mummy treatment with a drizzling of melted white chocolate. To give the mummies eye, I simply cut raisins, though melted dark chocolate would work quiet well, too.

These granola bars have an airy crispiness from the rice cereal and a smokey sweetness from the local honey I used in the recipe. Because I was mummifying these granola bars with a drizzling of white chocolate I opted to omit the mini chocolate chips.

If you have a granola bar recipe you swear by, by all means use that – and share it in the comments, I’d love to expand my granola bar repertoire!

Mummy Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C + 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C quick oats
  • 1 3/4 C crispy rice cereal
  • 1/2 C sliced almonds
  • 1/4 C flax meal
  • white chocolate
  • raisins or dark chocolate

Steps:

  1. Line a 9×11″ baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter, brown sugar, and honey together. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook 2 more minutes, until thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, stir to incorporate.
  3. Fold in the oats, cereal, almonds, and flax meal. Mix until combined.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking dish and press firmly. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
  5. Remove from the fridge and cut into rectangles.
  6. Melt the white chocolate and pour over the granola bars to make them look like mummies. Cut a raisin in half for each granola bar to make eyes.
  7. Store in the refrigerator.

*This recipe is adapted from Jenn at https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/chewy-chocolate-chip-granola-bars.html*

Mummy Granola Bars | Sew You Think You Can Cook

CIC: Pineapple & Sweet Potato

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I’m {finally} back with another Crazy Ingredient Challenge!

This month’s mission: to combine pineapple and sweet potato. Two of my husband’s favorite ingredients.

At first I was thinking of some sort of savory/sweet empanada, which does still sound insanely delicious. But as things have their own way of developing, pizza became the final answer.

I made slow cooker pineapple barbecue pulled chicken on one of our 100 degree days when preheating the oven seemed like the worst idea on the planet. We served that chicken over rice. The leftovers had gone to work with my husband for 3 days. Firecracker and I loved it re-purposed as nachos, too.

As I sat there with still an insane amount of chicken in my fridge, the light bulb went off. (Not the one in my fridge.) I had half of the CIC challenge done! Now to incorporate the sweet potato. Ding! Pizza!

I made a gluten free pizza dough out of a white sweet potato. (Hello sneaky veggies!) Topped it with barbecue sauce, cheese, the leftover chicken, and some extra pineapple for good measure. The pizza dough was incredible easy to make and held up to the heavy toppings I layered on top. Maybe I’ll make it again using an orange sweet potato for Halloween!

sweet potato crust

This recipe makes 2 servings.

Pineapple Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2/3 C rolled oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2-1 tbsp olive oil
  • barbecue sauce
  • 2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • leftover slow cooker Hawaiian barbecue chicken, finely chopped
  • fresh pineapple, diced

Steps:

  1. Peel potato. Cube. Place in a pot covered with salted water. Boil 10-15 minutes, until potato is fork tender. Drain and allow to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place cooled potato in a food processor along with the rolled oats and the egg. Process until smooth.
  4. Using wet hands, transfer the pizza dough to the prepared baking sheet. Form into a circle, 1/4-1/2″ thick. Bake 25-30 minutes. Allow crust to cool. Flip the crust, peel off the parchment, and brush with olive oil. Bake another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Top pizza crust with barbecue sauce, cheese, chicken, and pineapple. Bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the toppings are warmed through.

*The crust recipe is modified from Lindsay at http://pinchofyum.com/sweet-potato-pizza-crust*

Pineapple Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust for Crazy Ingredient Challenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

#FantasticalFoodFight: PB&J

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This month’s Food Fight is PB&J. Recipe requirements were to share a recipe that had to include fruit and peanut butter. I love doing twists on the classic pairing and can’t wait to see what everyone else has brought to the fight. Be sure to scroll past my recipe to click on the link-up!

There’s a show on Cooking Channel called Food: Fact or Fiction that gives a fun history on food. One episode was about classic food pairings with PB&J being a big feature. It was quite fun to learn about how the two seemingly perfect ingredients came to be a match made in culinary heaven.

Peanut butter used to be an expensive food item while jelly was cheap and for commoners. It wasn’t until George Washington Carver developed an easier and more effect way of cultivating peanuts.

It took WWII for peanut butter and jelly to marry when both were provided in soldiers’ rations.

I’ve done PB&J muffins before. I’ve also made a smoothie before and quite enjoyed it. I decided to try developing a real recipe and am happy with the results. The oats in the smoothie provide the “bread like” quality that you get when enjoying a true PB&J sandwich. This smoothie is perfect for kids with a cold who refuse to eat.

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My PB&J creations bucket list includes: cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, and oatmeal. Huh, looks like I’m on a breakfast kick. (I actually made PB&J pancakes for dinner tonight, too!)

I wonder if I could turn PB&J into something savory: perhaps a stir fry or a pizza?

An Original Recipe

This recipe makes 1 small smoothie.

PB&J Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 4 strawberries
  • 1/2 C vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/8 C smooth peanut butter
  • splash of milk (as needed)

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The amount of milk needed will depend on the consistency of the peanut butter.

PB&J Smoothie for #FantasticalFoodFight from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To check out the other Fantastical PB&J inspired dishes click here:

If you would like to join our Fantastical Food Fight, you can learn more on our informational page.

Bonus cute kid photo: Firecracker wanted me to take a picture of him eating the strawberry.

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#FoodieExtravaganza: Heart Healthy Fiber Rich Foods

foodieextravaganza-300February is Heart Health Month, fitting being the month of love. Wendy, our host this month, decided to help us improve our diets by adding more heart healthy fiber.

The American Heart Association provides great recourse if you’re looking for healthy eating. An entire page on whole grains and fiber is a great place to start!

Like most of my Foodie friends, I used oats in my recipe.

I like throwing oats into smoothies for a little extra boost of fiber and substance. I made this smoothie last year with some extra beets and was saving it for February!

Heart Beet Smoothie for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

This recipe makes 1 smoothie.

An Original Recipe

Heart Beet Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C fresh cranberries
  • 5 whole frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 C chopped beets
  • 1/4 C old fashioned or quick cook oats
  • 1/4 C whole milk vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 C whole milk

Steps:

  1. Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Heart Beet Smoothie for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

Be sure to check out these other heart healthy recipes:

 5-Way Cincinnati Chili Spaghetti Squash Boats from Palatable Pastime

Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Bake from Cookaholic Wife

 Baked Oatmeal from A Day in the Life on the Farm

 Black-eyed Pea Salad – Saladu Ñebbe from Food Lust People Love |

 Cranberry Nut Muffins from Hardly A Goddess

Easy Breakfast Oatmeal from Basic N Delicious

 Farmer’s Salad from Fearlessly Creative Mammas

 Fruity chewy granola bars from  Caroline’s Cooking

 Fruity Custard from Sneha’s Recipe

 Heart Beet Smoothie from Sew You Think You Can Cook

 Moroccan Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

 Vegetarian Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps from cookinandcraftin

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Oat Smoothie

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Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving falls during #CranberryWeek. #CranberryWeek is hosted by Caroline’s Cooking and A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. We’ve been sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. You can search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

With it being Thanksgiving Day I knew my time was up for sharing specific holiday centered recipes. Hopefully you’re spending your day surrounded by loved ones and don’t have any last minute grocery runs today.

That’s why my cranberry submission involves kitchen staples. Well, fresh cranberries aren’t a year round staple, but for this time of year, I’m going to place my bets. You can put those bags of fresh cranberries in your freezer for year round enjoyment of the tart, red berry. In fact, I’m planning on stocking up on my next grocery trip so I can make this smoothie whenever the mood strikes! I made mine with fresh, not frozen, cranberries. If using frozen cranberries, I’d hold off on adding any ice.

Today’s smoothie is a fantastic way to kick off Turkey Day. It’s a healthy and refreshing beverage that will leave you satisfied yet not worn down.

cranberry-oat-smoothie-for-cranberryweek-from-sew-you-think-you-can-cook-2

This recipe will make one smoothie.

An Original Recipe

Cranberry Oat Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 container (6 oz) French vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 C fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 C ice
  • 1/4 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C milk

Steps:

  1. Place ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.

Cranberry Oat Smoothie for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out all the other cranberry recipes being shared today:

Apple-Ginger Cranberry Sauce from Palatable Pastime

Broccoli Salad with Cranberries from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Cranberry Blondies from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Cranberry Caipirinha from Caroline’s Cooking

Cranberry Oat Smoothie from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Graavilõhe from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Cranberry Walnut Macaron with Orange Buttercream from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Warm Cranberry Spread from Family Around The Table

#ChoctoberFest: Cocoa Butter Granola

Dislcaimer: I received products as part of #Choctoberfest for review. All opinions and statements are my own.

#Choctoberfest

I’m happy to be back for the final day of #ChoctoberFest to remind you it’s your last chance to enter the amazing giveaway thanks to our fabulous sponsors. One of those sponsors, Caveman Coffee, provided product that is the star of my recipe today.

caveman-coffee-logoCaveman Coffee was founded by three athletes (I can’t wait to share this information with my husband when we reunite this weekend!) who joined forces with a master coffee roaster from Albuquerque to create sustainable and naturally grown coffee. Their coffee beans are hand-picked and wet-processed before roasting.

In addition to coffee they have other paleo-friendly products, including Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Green Tea.

cc-packageI received a bag of White Gold coffee beans and a bag of cocoa butter as part of #Choctoberfest. I’d never worked with cocoa butter before and was quite excited to explore its possibilities. I honestly didn’t even know what to expect! In my mind I was picturing something along the lines of a nut or seed butter (after all, cocoa is a seed). Contrary to my perception, cocoa butter is better used as an oil or dairy butter substitute, with a slightly chocolaty aura. The best part is that it’s a healthy vegan option that doesn’t involve coconut which I’m allergic to!

I decided to make a granola using the cocoa butter, but my head is already reeling with more ways to use the product. I’m dreaming about some rice krispie treat action… Caveman Coffee suggest stirring it into their hot coffee for a mocha inspired beverage.

This granola is addicting and perfect for topping your morning yogurt with some fresh strawberries. It can be used in any way you’d use a sweet granola – in cookies or pancakes and atop ice cream. I tested it out as my morning cereal and while it does work, the min chocolate chips make it a little “odd,” but the oats were fantastic with the addition of cool milk.

Cocoa Butter Granola featuring Caveman Coffee Cocoa Butter for #Choctoberfest from Sew You Think You Can Cook

My boys quite enjoyed the granola as well. Even my Treat who doesn’t like oatmeal quite enjoyed the sweetened oats when paired with strawberries and vanilla yogurt. However, when given a cup to himself, Firecracker simply picked out the chocolate chips.

Cocoa Butter Granola

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C cocoa butter
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 C mini chocolate chips

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Place cocoa butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the oats, tossing to coat.
  3. Spread oats onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Allow oats to cool before tossing with the chocolate chips.

cocoa-butter-granola-for-choctboerfest-from-sew-you-think-you-can-cook

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more chocolate recipes today: