entertaining · pumpkin · snack

Snack On Pumpkin Pie Crunch Mix!

We traveled to the northeast last weekend and saw some beautiful fall colors and scenery.

We stopped at an adorable Amish Bulk Food store where they had rows of adorable little pumpkins and gourds for sale, as well as giant multi-colored varieties.

It got me to thinking about pumpkin flavors, and then I remembered this Pumpkin Pie Crunch recipe. It’s Pumpkin-flavored Chex Mix.

Oh. My. Goodness.

This stuff is irresistible! It has no pumpkin added, only the pumpkin pie spices. It’s just sweet enough to offset the cinnamon and nutmeg and yummy enough to have you dreaming about it when you visit a pumpkin stand!

Here’s the simple recipe you can make in less than 30 minutes!

Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups Cinnamon Chex cereal
2 cups wheat Chex cereal
2 cups Honey Nut Chex cereal
8 oz. nuts

1. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice; set aside. In small microwave-safe dish, microwave butter on high about 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in vanilla. In large microwaveable bowl, mix all cereals and nuts. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly distributed. Add sugar and spice mixture and stir until coated.

2. Microwave uncovered on high 5 minutes, or until mixture begins to brown, stirring every minute. Spread on waxed paper or a cookie sheet to cool. Store in airtight container.

Whether you’re having guests over to watch football, are asked to bring a snack to an event, or are taking the family to the local pumpkin patch, why not mix up this Pumpkin Pie Crunch and smack your way through pumpkin heaven?

What fall events have you participated in so far?

Pumpkinly yours,

Side dish · snack · zucchini

Crunchy Zucchini Chips

When you love the crunch and salt of chips, but you’re trying to eat healthy, is there anything aside from a bag of Lay’s that will satisfy that hunger? The answer is Yes! Zucchini Chips! If you own a garden, chances are you have an ABUNDANCE of them right now and are wondering how to use them up! If you don’t have a garden, you’re going to want to get the grocery store to purchase a zucchini or two to make this crunchy side dish!

Crispy, salty and the perfect accompaniment to sandwich!

The two most important ingredients for this yummy recipe are:

  1. Zucchini
  2. Time – These take 2 hours at a low heat, so start them early in the afternoon.

When I found this recipe I was a little skeptical, but because I had the two important ingredients, I decided to try them for myself! I am totally won over!

Here’s all you do ~

Zucchini Chips

  1. Slice the Zucchini to the thickness of about that of a quarter. (I used my food processor and used the blade with the thickest slice and they were just right.
  2. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Lay the slices in rows on the cookie sheet.
  4. Spray lightly with cooking spray and lightly salt. (They shrink while they dehydrate in the oven and the salt taste will intensify, so don’t use too much.)
  5. Place in a 250 degree oven for one hour. Flip the zucchini over. Rotate pans.
  6. Bake for up to another hour, or until they turn light brown and crispy.

These are best served right away. The recipe says they will turn chewy as after a while. We didn’t get to test that part because I baked up one zucchini and we ate every bite!

Some tips:

  • These shrivel up quite small, so make twice the amount you think you’ll need!
  • It’s probably better to go a little thicker with the slices than too thin. They just might need longer to bake.
  • Keep a watch on them after that first hour. Some of mine got a little too dark.
  • Eat them right away.

I’m not one who loves weird snacks. Don’t even think about giving me a rice cake! I tell you that to emphasize that I thought these were just delicious! I bet sprinkling them with some grated Parmesan cheese would be an extra layer of deliciousness!

I served these alongside a pork tenderloin sandwich and it made a great side dish! They’d also make a great snack. I’m thinking children would never know they’re getting a helping of vegetables! What they don’t know won’t hurt them!

What’s the strangest vegetable you eat or have eaten as a snack or side dish?

Happy crunching!

baking · Bars · Easy recipe · snack

Your Favorite Granola Bar

Homemade granola bars that are full of good protein and fruit are snacks I try to keep in my fridge. Before I walk in the morning, on a busy day when I don’t fix breakfast, or when I need a little afternoon pick-me-up, these are the perfect bars to grab!

Pan is ready for granola bars!

Cooking light has given a recipe that gives you the necessary amounts of grains, nuts, butter and fruits, then gives you the option to choose your favorites of each so you can create your best-loved granola bar! In other words, they give the formula to successively create your kind of granola bar your way. Here’s how to create them:

Create a base

Toast oats in the oven to give them a nutty flavor. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 2 cups old-fashioned oats onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 12 minutes. Transfer oats to a bowl, and cool to room temperature.

Add richness

Creamy nut butter and toasty coconut oil enrich the bars. Liquid sweetener, well, sweetens them. Place 1/3 cup nut butter,1/4 cup liquid sweetener (such as honey, maple syrup, or agave), and 11/2 Tbsp. coconut oil in a bowl. Microwave 30 seconds or until warm.

Boost the flavor

Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt to the nut butter mixture to heighten the flavor; whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1 large egg white; it’s a key part of the binder that will hold all the ingredients together.

Add Crunch and Chew

Stir 1/2 cup unsalted roasted nuts (or broken-up pretzel pieces) into the cooled oats for hearty crunch. Add 1/3 cup dried fruit (chop the pieces if they are large) for bright, sweet flavor and textural contrast.

Mix and Press

Pour nut butter mixture over oat mixture; stir well until all pieces are evenly coated. Transfer mixture to an 8-inch square metal baking pan lined with parchment paper. Press mixture very firmly into pan; packing tightly helps keep bars from crumbling.

Bake and Cool

Bake at 350°F until lightly browned around edges, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Lift bars out of pan with parchment paper; cool completely on rack before cutting (warm bars might crumble).

MY favorite combination is oats, walnuts, dried mixed fruits, maple syrup (or honey) and peanut butter. I store them in the fridge because I find it helps them not crumble as much. So good!

Rather than buying these, consider baking your own so you can customize them to your dietary needs and likes! Because of that, they will be your favorite bar!!

entertaining · snack

Sweet & Salty Treat

pretzels a

With the holidays around the corner, you will probably need a little treat.  If you want to make something that’s super fast and super delicious, I have the perfect suggestion.  I’m not sure you could even call this a “recipe” because it requires no baking or even baking skills!  Melt some chocolate, caramel and pour over pretzels.  That’s pretty much what you do!  Here are the ingredients and the instructions:

Ingredients
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used a chocolate bar I had on hand)
  • 8 ounces mini pretzel twists , half of a regular 16-ounce bag
  • 11 ounce bag Kraft Caramel Bits
  • Sea salt for sprinkling

pretzels

Instructions
  1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 8 ounces of the chocolate chips gently in the microwave (on low heat, stirring every 15 seconds) until smooth.

  3. Spread the chocolate evenly over the parchment. Immediately add the pretzel twists over the top (it’s fine if they overlap!) and gently press them into the chocolate.

  4. Add caramel bits to a microwave safe bowl with 2 tablespoons water and melt according to package instructions (on high for 2 minutes). Stir well and drizzle the melted caramel over the top of all of the pretzels.
  5. Melt remaining 4 ounces of chocolate and drizzle over the caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Refrigerate until hardened.
  7. Cut into pieces, I found it best to serve them in cupcake liners for individual servings.  It looks better than a pile would!

pretzels 2a

These are delicious and so easy.  What event is coming up that you could take these to?!  I took them to the Pinterest Party at our church this past weekend and came home with empty platters!
With love from my country kitchen,
Denise Signature 150 px