Simple Strawberry Syrup

Strawberry syrup
This started out as a way to use up some slightly dried up fresh strawberries that were in the back of my fridge. And it turned out to be something so great I just had to share. You can use the syrup in a variety of ways, mix into iced tea for a sweet fruity treat, mix into lemon juice for strawberry lemonade, have over angel food cake, have on biscuits for strawberry shortcake, or serve over pancakes or waffles for a truly delicious breakfast.

Strawberry syrup 1

Simple Strawberry Syrup

2 cups fresh strawberries diced
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

In a saucepan combine all ingredients except vanilla (if you want to add that) and stir over low heat until all the sugar is melted and mixture comes to a slow boil. Remove from heat (add vanilla if you want) and pour into a jar. Let cool and use as desired. As it cools it will thicken, if it’s too thick you can add a couple tablespoons of water and stir it. If you are making it for pancakes or waffles you can add 1 Tablespoon of butter while the mixture is hot (if you don’t use all of it and you put it in the fridge it will get hard, you’ll need to warm it up before you can use it or you can use it cold like a spread). Keeps in the fridge for about 1 week.

(My kids loved this!)
Strawberry syrup 2

Baked Apple Bites

Have you ever had a baked apple?  With all the cinnamon, brown sugar, oats and butter stuffed in an apple and baked?  They are wonderful.  This is just a smaller version of them, one I can send to school with my son in his lunch.  🙂

Baked Apple Bites

Baked Apple Bites
2 green apples, washed, cored and grated
1 cup oats
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
a dash ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix everything together and pack into muffin cups that have been sprayed with non stick spray.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool and eat.  🙂
I baked mine in silicone mini muffin cups, if you use a larger size muffin pan you’ll need to add 10 minutes or so on the cooking time.

Note: if you want to make the original baked apples combine everything but the grated apples and lemon juice and pack into washed apples that you have cut the top off and scooped out the middle.  You can chop up the apple that you scooped out (no seeds or core) and mix it with the oat mixture (and the lemon juice).  Set the apples upright in a baking dish and put the tops back on the apples.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the apples start to soften.  Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Ginger Pear Muffins

It’s not quite my mom’s recipe but it’s a pretty good one all the same. My recipe is pretty strong with ginger and a little spicy, if you don’t like that you can cut the ginger in half or leave out the fresh ginger.

Ginger Pear Muffins

Ginger Pear Muffins

2 ripe pears, washed, cored, and chopped fine
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 inch  fresh ginger, pealed and grated fine
1/4 cup oil (I used olive oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
1 1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine pears, eggs, ginger, oil, and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add in baking soda and powder, salt and flour and stir until it just mixes together, don’t over mix.  Fill muffin pans (I have some new silicone ones, love them!) half full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and eat.  Yum!

If you want you can bake it in a loaf pan but it’s going to take closer to 40-45 minutes to bake.

Creamy Green Salsa Chicken with Pasta

creamy green salsa chicken

This is a super easy less than 30 minute chicken recipe that tastes so good.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
2 pounds chicken thigs or breasts
1/2 of a red or white onion
1 cup green salsa
1 8oz container of low fat cream cheese
1 16oz box bow tie pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. While the water is coming up to a boil dice chicken and onion and brown in a skillet. Once chicken and onion are browned add green salsa and cook for 5 minutes. Add cream cheese to chicken onion and green salsa and stir on low heat until the cream cheese is melted. Once pasta is cooked drain and return to the pot. Pour chicken into pasta and stir. See? Totally easy! You can top with some cilantro if you like, or mix it in, I just don’t have any on hand at the moment.

And as a side dish I mixed some mango salsa with some frozen corn and zapped it in the microwave for a couple minutes until it was warm.

Side note: I couldn’t stop tasting the chicken mixture while I was waiting for the pasta to cook. If you diced the chicken really small, cooked it and instead of mixing it with pasta let it cool it would make a stellar dip for tortilla chips.

Extra side note: to make this even easier (as if it was difficult) you could use rotesserie chicken and cut the chicken’s cooking time in half. Though you’d still have to wait for the pasta to cook but you wouldn’t have to handle raw chicken.

Green Salsa Eggs

A very easy recipe, takes 5 minutes and tastes great. What more can you ask for?

Green Salsa Eggs – Serves 1
eggs 4
Ingredients
2 eggs
1 tablespoon minced onion
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic (or a small squirt of garlic in a tube like I did)
2 tablespoons green salsa (salsa verde)
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
2 tablespoons grated cheese (I used cheddar but jack would be good)
1/4 cup corn tortilla chips crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil

eggs 1

eggs 2

eggs 3

Warm your pan over a low heat. Add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Add green salsa and all but a pinch of the cilantro. Saute for 1 minute. Add tortilla chips. Stir together until all the chips are coated with the salsa mixture. Add eggs and stir until cooked most of the way. Mix cheese into the egg mixture and turn off the heat. Plate up with a couple tortilla chips on the side and the rest of the cilantro on top of the eggs. Eat and enjoy!

eggs 4

Oatmeal Energy Bites

This is a recipe that I ran across, tried, and improved upon. Sorry I don’t have the link to the original but you can get the gist. It makes about 20 balls and they are 85 calories, 8 g carbs, 5 g fat and 3 g protein each. And they are very tasty. After they have sat in the fridge overnight I put them in a resealable container and snack on them here and there. Very tasty.

Ingredients

1 cup old fashioned or rolled oats

1/4 cup flax seed meal

1/4 cup almond meal

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 Tablespoon honey

Mix everything together. Shape into a ball about the size of a cherry tomato. Set on a plate uncovered in the fridge over night. Eat. Yum. 😉

Jelly Jar Deserts

I found some of these floating around the internet and was wondering what I was missing. Is this a new fad that I didn’t catch or is it something that only a couple people are doing and if so why? Well, so I tried a couple of them out and I have to say they are way cool. Super cool. I’ll be testing more out as I go along (and as I get more jelly jars, all of mine are tied up storing jelly for me).

Peach or Berry Cobbler in a Jar

1 pound frozen peaches or berries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup Bisquick mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter melted

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 4 small (8oz) jelly jars with non-stick spray and set on a foil lined baking sheet.

Mix together the fruit, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon evenly into the 4 jars. In another bowl mix the Bisquick, sugar, milk and melted butter. Pour evenly over the fruit in the jars.

Put the jars into the oven while they are still on the lined baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and the top is brown.

Let cool some before eating, because of the jars it might take hours. You can serve in the jars with a little whipped cream or a spoon of ice cream on top or just by itself…they are wonderful.

Monkey Bread in a Jar
1 tube refrigerator biscuit dough with each biscuit cut into quarters
1 ripe banana, diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 4 small (8oz) jelly jars with non-stick spray and set on a foil lined baking sheet.

Mix together the biscuit dough pieces, banana, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Spoon evenly into the 4 jars.

Put the jars into the oven while they are still on the lined baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is browned and slightly crispy.

Let cool some and eat right out of the jar.