March 27, 2015

Pan-Fried Chickpeas and Onions

Pan-Fried Chickpeas and Onions are simple, yet full of flavor, seasoned with fresh garlic, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.

Pan-Fried Chickpeas and Onions |

Oh, delicious little chickpeas...where have you been my whole life?  I'm not sure why I was so put off by chickpeas for the better part of my days, but it's a darn shame that I was because they are gooooood.  I've discovered that chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are incredibly versatile little things.

They can be roasted until nice and crispy and seasoned with either sweet or savory spices for a healthy snack that rivals the mighty potato chip.  Don't believe me about that?  Try my Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas or Sesame Garlic Chickpeas.  Both are very snack-worthy.  Trust me on this one.

Chickpeas can also be blended up into creamy dreamy hummus.  Hummus can go so many ways as far as flavoring, like my Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus, Roasted Jalapeno Hummus, Classic Hummus. Perfect for dipping veggies or crackers.  Love, love, love it.

I've also been told that you can make desserts with chickpeas.  I've yet to try it, but I am for sure intrigued.  Because chickpeas are amazing.

This time around I pan-fried my chickpeas with onions and garlic, then I seasoned them up so they were a little smoky and a little spicy.  Yum and yum.  I ate them on their own as a simple vegetarian lunch (actually they weren't 100% vegetarian -- See Notes), but prepared this way, they could also be served as a side dish or on top of a salad.  They were perfectly delicious and I can't wait to make them again!

March 25, 2015

Creamy Potato Carrot Mash and a Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by Libby's Fruits and Vegetables®.  Creamy Potato Carrot Mash is a simple and delicious side dish that is made by combining smooth and creamy mashed potatoes with sweet carrots.

Creamy Potato Carrot Mash |

Ah, Spring is in the air.  Can you feel it?  Well, maybe you can't if you're up north.  In Florida where I am, Spring is in full swing!  Even if you are still bogged down with that pesky lingering winter weather, as least you can rest assured knowing that the first official day of spring has finally arrived and some gorgeous long-awaited fun in the sun is on the horizon.

I just love the changing of the seasons and Spring brings along a feeling of renewal and somehow just makes me feel lighter.  The days are getting longer and the nights are getting warmer.  It's time to get in gear for outdoor meals and family get-togethers, dust off the patio furniture, and break out the lounge chairs!

March 20, 2015

Goat Cheese Scrambled Eggs with Blistered Tomatoes

Goat Cheese Scrambled Eggs with Blistered Tomatoes is a decadent breakfast dish that is made by mixing creamy goat cheese into fluffy scrambled eggs and topping them with bold garlic and herb-seasoned blistered tomatoes.

Goat Cheese Scrambled Eggs with Blistered Tomatoes |

I stopped at the grocery store yesterday to pick up some milk.  As usual, I wasn't able to enter the grocery store and just pick up the one thing I went in for.  I just can't do it.  Even if I try to have laser focus, I inevitably think of 5 (or 12) other things that I need once I'm there.

Or I'll see a fabulous deal that I can't pass up.  That's what happened yesterday.  As I was breezing past the fancy cheese case on my mission to get the milk, I saw one of those little sale tags on the side of the case.

It said goat cheese.

I think I gave my 2-year old whiplash because I literally stopped so fast to backtrack to make sure I read it right.  It did indeed say goat cheese.

March 17, 2015

Peanut Butter Raisin Cookies

Peanut Butter Raisin Cookies are soft, thick and delicious with a peanut buttery flavor studded with sweet raisins.

Peanut Butter Raisin Cookies |

Every time I bake cookies, I think about how when I was a little girl I wanted more than anything to be a Mom.  Part of my idea of what the perfect Mom would do is bake cookies for her kids.  Like, all the time.  In my Mommy dreams, the Mom makes fresh baked cookies for her kids at least twice a week.  Haha.

I'm now all grown up and living my Mom dream and, although I don't bake cookies on a weekly basis, when I do pull out the baking sheets, I can't help but smile in my Mommy contentment knowing that I am kinda living the dream.  And it totally makes my heart smile to see how excited my kiddos get when I tell them there's fresh baked cookies in their near future.

March 11, 2015

Strawberry Refrigerator Jam

Strawberry Refrigerator Jam is super quick and easy to make and tastes out of this world!  Once you taste it, you will never want to buy it from the store again.

Use fresh strawberries to make a quick and easy Strawberry Refrigerator Jam

The other day at our local market, I came across a big stack of flats containing the most beautiful fresh strawberries.  Naturally, I had to have them.  They screamed, "buy me"!  I had no idea what I was going to do with all of those strawberries, but I didn't care.  They were coming home with me.

Look at them, down there, aren't they pretty?  Yum.

March 5, 2015

No-Bake Cheesecake Parfaits

No-Bake Cheesecake Parfaits are made with layers of silky no-bake cheesecake, graham cracker crumbs, and toppings of your choice.  They are one of the easiest desserts you'll ever make!

No-Bake Cheesecake Parfaits are made with layers of silky no-bake cheesecake, graham cracker crumbs, and toppings of your choice.  They are one of the easiest desserts you'll ever make!

These parfaits are seriously the prettiest little things with very little work!  So darn easy to make and so darn good to eat!

When you think cheesecake, or at least when I think cheesecake, I think of a baked in the oven, cross your fingers it doesn't crack, creamy cake.

Well, this cheesecake is none of those things.  Let me explain.

This is a no-bake recipe.  That's right, all the cheesecake goodness you love without heating up the oven.  And this takes waaaay less time to prepare than an oven cheesecake.  The texture is more of a thick mousse than a cake, but the flavors are fab and just what I love about classic cheesecake.

Also, you don't have to worry about getting your finicky cheesecake just perfect so it doesn't crack.  As a matter of fact, with these parfaits, you can be as messy or as neat as you'd like with your layering and you're almost guaranteed not to screw it up. Works for me!

Add the topping of your choice to this delish no-bake cheesecake and you have a dessert wothy of holidays, special occasions, or just because!

March 2, 2015

Libby's Vegetable and Fruit Cups Review and a Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by Libby's. Libby’s® Vegetable and Fruit Cups are perfectly portioned, portable, and microwaveable. Available in varieties such as Sweet Corn, Diced Carrots, Cut Green Beans and Sweet Peas, the 4 oz. cups each contain one full serving size of veggies and don’t skimp on taste or health benefits.

I was really excited when I was recently contacted by Libby's to try out one of their brand new product lines, Libby's Fruit and Vegetable Cups! I've worked with Libby's for past posts (Baked Cream Cheese Corn and Crumbled Bacon and Overnight Refrigerator Pear Oatmeal), and I really love their products!

What I think is really great about the new line (that is available in stores nationwide!) is that they are portioned cups. They are 4 ounces each, which is so perfect for so many reasons. I can't tell you how many times I've opened a larger can or bag of fruit or veggies when I only needed just a little bit of what's in it.  Been there?  If I don't have plans to use the leftovers, I end up throwing them away, and that's something I don't want to do.  Now I can use one or two of the Libby's Cups in a recipe and nothing goes to waste.  Perfect!

February 27, 2015

Homemade Creamy Italian Dressing

Homemade Creamy Italian Dressing made with parmesan, garlic, and fresh herbs is perfect for topping a salad or serving as a vegetable dip.

Homemade Creamy Italian Dressing, made with parmesan, garlic, and fresh herbs, is perfect for topping a salad or serving as a vegetable dip.

Lately, I have really embraced the idea of "a homemade pantry".  The idea basically involves replacing all of my usual store-bought items that are stored in the pantry with homemade versions.  One, because homemade usually will mean less chemicals.  Sure, I indulge in processed food.  I'm not a 100% clean eater by any means.  But if I can eliminate some of those chemicals with homemade recipes that, more often than not, taste better than their pre-packaged counterparts, well then why not?

So, the second reason I like the idea of a homemade pantry is that it helps me save money!  I can make a homemade saucepesto, or baked good, and it is almost guaranteed that I can do it for less money than buying it from the store.  Again, why not?
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