CoCo Wheats

Do you remember CoCo Wheats from when you were a kid? I do! My Dad usually, not my Mom, would make my sisters and I this delicious but simple breakfast. It must have been a Dad thing?

If you have never heard of such a thing called CoCo Wheats, it is a creamy chocolatey almost like porridge. The creamy hot cereal was introduced in 1930 with the belief that hot cereal could taste good, and be good for you. They thought most would love the cocoa taste too!

On the back of the box there are stovetop and microwave instructions. For a big/family batch I would suggest following the stovetop instructions but for a single serving the microwave method is just fine.

The instructions are on the back of the box but I’ll share them with you anyways…

Microwave Cooking Instructions

  • Step 1: Mix 3 tbsp. CoCo Wheats, 1 cup water or 1 cup milk (I use milk because it makes it creamy and delicious!), 1/8 tsp. salt, and 1 tbsp. sugar (optional….but you’ll want to add it) in a microwaveable bowl.
  • Step 2: Cook on high for 1 minute.
  • Step 3: Stir. Cook 1-2 minutes more, stirring well every 30 seconds until cereal is desired thickness. Watch carefully!
    • I always cook mine for an additional minute at least. But please, please make sure you watch carefully otherwise you’ll have a messy microwave!
  • Step 4: Remove, stir well and let stand 1-2 minutes.

**Just before I enjoy this wonderful breakfast I always add a few teaspoons of sugar and a little splash of milk, which helps cool it and adds a little something to the hot cereal.

 

I hope you try CoCo Wheats for yourself and enjoy this wonderful breakfast! It brings back so many memories of my childhood and I can’t wait to create these same memories with my bundle of joy on the way!

Cucumber, Tomato, & Cream Cheese Bites

Over the holidays I decided I better start contributing to our traditional spread of appetizers (I am an adult and married for goodness sakes!) at our family Christmas Eve get-together.  There were about 25 family and friends that gathered at my parents house to celebrate the joyous holiday.

When I decided to make an appetizer I naturally started  flipping through Pinterest. When I was going through the millions of pins I wanted to find something that was holiday cute and semi-healthy.

This is what I found….

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This is what I created…

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The picture I found on Pinterest didn’t really come with instructions so I decided I would just “wing” it.

“My Version” of Cucumber, Tomato, Cream Cheese Bites Ingredients:

  1. 2 Large Cucumbers
  2. 1 container of Grape Tomatoes
  3. 1 tub (8 oz.) Philadelphia Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
  4. Black Pepper

“My Version” Instructions:

  1. Peel cucumbers and slice into 3/4 inch rounds and cut grape tomato in half the long way.
  2. Spoon out middle section of each cucumber round slice (to remove most of the seeds).
  3. Spoon the cream cheese spread (about 1 tablespoon or a little less) into the middle of cucumber. (I eye-balled this…depending on how deep the hole was)
  4. Once cream cheese is spooned into the middle of the cucumber slice, place one tomato halve on each.
  5. Sprinkle with a little black pepper for taste.
  6. Refrigerate if waiting for guests to arrive and ENJOY!

These simple bites were a hit at both my families Christmas celebration and I also brought them to a New Year Eve Celebration too! I only ended up tossing a few after each night. I’d say that’s considered an appetizer HIT!

Puppy Chow

First of all, do you know anyone that hates Puppy Chow? I surely do not! Puppy Chow reminds me of summer swim meets. The reason why it brings memories back for me is because, my sisters and our teammates would live for the homemade Puppy Chow at the swim meets. We would make our way up to the concession stand after warm-ups and dig through all the zip-loc bags full of the powdery yummy treat to find the perfect coating of powder and find the single bag that appeared to have the most in it. Sounds like we were really focused on our races right?! 😉

The reason I made Puppy Chow recently was for a work christmas party. It’s easy and everyone loves it. It’s a great go-to hit!

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Puppy Chow Recipe

Ingredients
9 c chex (any variety)
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ c peanut butter
½ c butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1½ c powdered sugar

Instructions
1. Into large bowl, measure cereal, set aside.
2. In 1 quart sauce pan, heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter over low heat stirring frequently until melted.
3. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.
4. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.
5. Pour into two gallon resealable plastic bags.
6. Add powdered sugar.
7. Seal bag and shake until well coated.
8. Spread over waxed paper to cool. (I skipped this step and put it directly into a container)
9. Store in airtight containers.

Pumpkin Pancakes: easy, delicious, and fluffy goodness!

Here’s another tasty fall recipe that I love! Now, quick reminder, pancakes are not just for breakfast because we all know breakfast is the BEST supper too!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients
2 cups complete pancake mix
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin
Nonstick cooking spray
Lite pancake syrup, if desired (I didn’t need any!)

Instructions
1. COMBINE pancake mix, water, and pumpkin in bowl. Stir just until moistened. Batter may be lumpy
2. SPRAY griddle or large skillet with nonstick spray. Heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle; cook until batter bubbles begin to burst. Turn and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with syrup.

Makes 6 servings, about 12 pancakes total

 

PS. Pumpkin Pancakes pair great with Turkey Bacon! 😉 Enjoy!!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Today in South Dakota it has been one of the first very cold and windy days! As I was sitting in a continuing education class for work all I could think about was, hot Chicken Noodle Soup! (Oops, sorry to my instructor 😉 )

By the way if you think I’m talking about Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup…I’m most certainly not!

One of the first meals my Mom taught me to cook when I moved into my first college apartment was Chicken Noodle Soup. She always would say, “Allie, cooking is so simple”! In the recipe I list below have some fresh ingredients and some “canned” but please enjoy it and stay warm!!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:
4 cups Swanson Chicken Broth (I used Low Sodium Chicken Broth)
Generous dash ground black pepper
1 medium carrot, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup uncooked extra wide egg noodles
1 cup shredded cooked chicken or turkey (I diced my chicken)

Directions:
1. Heat the broth, black pepper, carrot and celery in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil.
2. Stir the noodles and chicken in the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes or until the noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.

 

PS. If you want to make it easier on yourself, go buy the carton of Swanson Chicken Broth and there’s the recipe! 🙂 …See, my Mom was right, “so simple”!

Pumpkin Cookies

These cookies are soft and oh-so delicious!

Who doesn’t love pumpkin everything during the fall season?!

Enjoy!

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients: 

2 cups butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 15-ounce can pumpkin

4 cups all-purpose flour

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 to 4 cups powdered sugar (add until desired consistency/firmness)

Ground cinnamon sprinkled on top (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat the 2 cups of butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, the 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Beat until combined. Beat in the eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Beat in as much of the four as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour with a wooden spoon.

2. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on engrossed cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

3. For frosting, in a small saucepan heat the 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread frosting on cookies. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired.

ENERGY BITES

These energy bites are my favorite with a cup of coffee in the morning! My beachbody coach, Megan posted this recipe and ever since she did, I have been OBSESSED with these tiny little balls of heaven!! Enjoy!

1 C Quick Oats
1 C all natural PB (I use Smart Balance)
2-3 scoops Vegan Chocolate Shakeology (Love to use Vanilla too!)
3 Tbsp melted Coconut Oil (optional for taste & healthy fat)
2 mashed Bananas (I’ve also used Avocados)
1-2 Tbsp Cinnamon

*Can also use PB2, but will want to add some Almond Milk too*

Remove jewelry 💍 and mix together until all dry ingredients are mixed – forming a “dough” like consistency. Should be able to form with it. If too dry (crumbly, flaky) add a splash of Almond Milk. If too sticky, add more Shakeology. Aim for ping-pong size balls – this batch makes about 2 dozen. Keep in ❄ freezer ❄ and only takes seconds before soft & chewy!

**These tiny pieces of heaven are 21 Day Fix approved! If you are wondering which colored container to put these under like I was then here you go…2 energy bites is 1 orange container and 4 energy bites is 1 red container.