Bill’s homemade cereal.

My husband, Bill, has been making this cereal for about 10 years.  Within that timeframe, he has pursued a very focused healthy lifestyle.  Working out 6 days a week, lifting, running and eating very clean.  He slimmed down, losing about 15 lbs and dropped his cholesterol.  Now I could never insinuate or claim that this cereal will lower your cholesterol because I cannot substantiate the claim with medical studies or trials but in our house… we have all lowered our levels and have seen the benefits.  Now, with all of the fiber you need to be well aware… this is also quite good for your colon health.

Ingredients:

3 cups of wheat bran
2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of oat bran
3/4 cup of wheat germ
3/4 cup of flax seed meal
1/2 cup of sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 cup of chopped pecans or almonds
1 cup of dried tart cherries (or raisins)
1/2 cup of apricots, chopped
1 cup of dried blueberries
1 scoop of protein powder or Arbonne essentials Vanilla Protein Shake Mix (3 packages of 1.48 ozs)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and then store in a gallon ziploc baggie or tupperware container.  You can keep in your pantry or in your refrigerator (although not necessary).  Serve with milk or atop of your yogurt.

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Frozen chocolate banana bites.

Who’s up for a frozen chocolatey treat?  I am!!!  Chocolate + banana + coconut + chocolate chips + sea salt = Ohhhhh MY GoOdNesS!

Super easy & equally fabulous tasting.  A must-do recipe this summer.

Ingredients:

2 bananas, cut into 2 inch chunks
8 ounces of dark 60% chocolate chips
1 tsp of canola oil
Sea salt
Toasted coconut
Mini dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper.  Set aside.  In your microwave, melt the chocolate chips and oil.  If your microwave has a melt setting, use that.  If not, melt and check on every 30 seconds.  Avoid overheating or the chocolate will burn.  Stir until just melted.  Dip your banana bites into the chocolate and coat.  Place onto your lined cookie sheet.  Top with your favorite toppings.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes.  Then… EnJoY!!!!

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Fresh strawberry, banana, Chobani Mango smoothie.

We picked 12 lbs of fresh strawberries yesterday.  This morning’s smoothie idea was given!  So easy and such a flexible recipe.  My daughter said this was the best smoothie ever!  Love that!

Ingredients:

2 cups of fresh strawberries, washed with tops removed
2 ripe bananas
1 -6 ounce container of Chobani mango yogurt
1 cup of vanilla almond milk
1 scoop of protein powder (vanilla Whey protein powder)
6 ice cubes

Directions:

Blend everything (except for the ice cubes) on high or a smoothie setting on your blender.   Add the ice cubes for the last 30-45 seconds of blending.  Pour and enjoy!

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Marinated fresh mozzarella.

I’m a self-proclaimed cheese addict.  I can’t imagine ever giving it up.  It’s beyond versatile and this weekend – it made a wonderful appetizer for a party that we hosted.  Super easy. Prepare ahead of time.  Leftovers?  Use them in salads, to top pasta, for a wonderful panini or just hit it straight up!

Ingredients:

1 lb of fresh mozzarella (I used bocconcini) – perfect size for appetizers
4 tbl of good quality olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced (use more if you like)
2 tsp of oregano
1 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of rosemary (I used fresh)
4 whole basil leaves torn up (garnish)
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 tsp of salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine and let those delicious flavors marinade for at least 24 hours.  Remove about 1 hour prior to serving to let the cheese come down to room temperature.  Garnish with fresh basil.  I used these on mini skewers with cherry tomatoes (both yellow and orange) with a basil leaf.

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Strawberry Basil Margaritas.

 

I adore hosting summer parties outside on our patio.  Small groups or large groups… Love having people over.  We fire up our firepit (that I built) and enjoy cocktails while the kids toast marshmallows and make s’mores.  One of my favorite things about summer, hands down!

This weekend we had a wonderful party to celebrate my daughter’s 11th birthday.  I wanted to prepare some drinks for my beverage containers ahead of time.  I adapted this recipe from theKitchn website.

This was to fill a 3 gallon beverage dispenser.

Ingredients:

4 (12 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate cans
12 c of fresh, water
15 strawberries, hulled and cut in half
18 basil leaves
1 bottle of 750 ml – Golden Tequilla

Into your beverage dispenser, empty all of the limeade cans into your dispenser followed by 10 cups of water  Then add the tequila.  Stir to blend.  Then add the strawberries and basil.  Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.  We had ice on the side, not to water the margaritas down throughout the night.  These were such a hit!  Both the men and women loved it.  I’ll be making this cocktail throughout the summer.

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Marinated aspargus.

I rarely take shortcuts but this is one I always do for a party and it is a time saver & a great appetizer.  How can you go wrong, right?

Ingredients:

1-2 lbs of fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed (bottoms)
1 container of a good quality Italian dressing

Directions:

Place the asparagus in a ziploc and pour the entire bottle of dressing over top.  Seal and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.  Remove and plate.  So good, unbelievably easy.  I always plate with other things, olives, tomatoes – I also served my marinated mozzarella skewers with this on the side.

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Drunken lemonade.

Another wonderful cocktail to prepare ahead of time in your beverage dispenser is this yummy concoction.  I used a 4 gallon dispenser for this recipe.  Refreshing and perfect for an evening party or barbecue.

Ingredients:

4 containers of frozen lemonade
10 c water
4 c of vodka
2 lemons, sliced for garnish

Directions:

In your beverage dispenser, add all 4 frozen lemonade containers.  Add the water & vodka and stir until combined.  Then add the lemon slices to the top (they will float).  We served ice on the side so the cocktails wouldn’t get watered down.

Feel free to use more or less vodka in this recipe, depending on your preference.  You can also garnish with fresh berries, mint, basil, rosemary etc.

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Raspberry Balsamic Coulis.

Today I purchased a large container of fresh raspberries and I instantly thought of making this to top pancakes, yogurt or ice cream.  I adore the bright, vibrant red color with the complexity of the spices that I added.  This makes eating the rainbow even more fun for kids & adults alike.  So easy to make, stores beautifully in the refrigerator.  Definitely a recipe to try.

Ingredients:

3.5 c of fresh raspberries
2.5 tbl of raw honey but you can use regular honey as well
1 tbl of a good quality, aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp of nutmeg

Directions:

Add all of the ingredients to your food processor and combine.  This should take about 1 minute.  Then with a fine mesh strainer over top of a mixing bowl, pour the mixture into the strainer.  Take the back of a spoon and start pressing the mixture through the strainer.  You will need to keep stirring the seeds to allow the liquid to pass through.  What remains is a gorgeous ruby-colored sauce that you can top anything from your favorite pancakes/waffles, chicken, pork, yogurt to pretty much any dessert.  Very versatile sauce :)  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

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Lemon whipped cream.

Perfectly light and wonderful on my fruit shish kabobs tonight.  Would also be a lovely pairing with a lemon or fruit pie.  So many options…

Ingredients:

1 c of whipping cream
2 tbl of confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp of lemon extract
Zest from one lemon

Directions:

In your stand mixer, with the whisk attached, pour in the whipping cream and beat.  I typically beat this for about 1 minutes then add the sugar and lemon zest and extract.  Beat on medium to high until it takes on a whipped cream consistency.  Serve immediately.

 

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5 Ingredient Chocolate Energy Bars.

The 3 ingredient energy bars have been such an overwhelming success in my house that I needed to start making more for everyone.  Being a self-proclaimed chocoholic – this version was inevitable!  :)

Ingredients:

1 c almonds, toasted
16 pitted Medjool dates, pitted
3 tbl of good quality cocoa
3 tbl of dark chocolate chips (optional)
1/8th tsp of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the almonds on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes.  Add the almonds to your processor and blend until you have fine chunks of almond.  Then add the remaining ingredients to your food processor and blend until a large mass forms.  Break it up and process again until it it is well blended.

In a lined (parchment) 8×8 or 9×9 glass pan, add the mixture.  I then add a piece of plastic wrap over the top and roll a small glass over top to smooth it out and make it even.  Refrigerate for 45 minutes. Then remove and slice into bite sized squares or bars.  Enjoy!

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