Recipe: Halloween Marshmallow Treats



Halloween Marshmallow Treats Recipe

Craving a sweet treat?  Looking for a fun and festive dessert to make with your kids?   These ooey, gooey pumpkin shaped treats are just the thing!

Halloween Marshmallow Treats

  • 3 Tb. butter
  • 1 package (10 oz) marshmallows
  • Orange food coloring
  • 6 cups rice crisp cereal
  • 1 Hershey’s chocolate bar (broken into 12 pieces)
  • Green gel icing
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

In a large microwave safe bowl, heat butter and marshmallows on high for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes.  Continue stirring until smooth.  Add rice crisp cereal and orange food coloring and stir until incorporated and desired color is achieved.

Using a ½ cup measuring cup coated with cooking spray, divide the cereal mixture into 12 portions.  Using buttered hands, shape each portion into a round pumpkin shape.  While still soft, stick a piece of chocolate in the top of each pumpkin to serve as the stem (use a butter knife to cut a slot if necessary).  Use the green icing to put a vine on each pumpkin.  Serve the same day.

Inspired by Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Surprise Pumpkin Treats.

No-Bake Mini Strawberry Pie Recipe



No-Bake Mini Strawberry Pie Recipes

I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes using strawberries lately! You usually find them around certain holidays such as Memorial Day or Fourth of July. I love strawberries and wanted to create my own quick and easy recipe using strawberries! Strawberry pie just sounds delicious so the recipe I am sharing with you is quick, easy, simple, and delicious. You only need a few ingredients and your No-Bake Mini Strawberry Pies are ready!

I usually don’t like to make large desserts. Why? Because I have little self control when an entire pie is sitting in my house with easy access. I found a way to create mini-pies so that I can control my serving size and limit my portions.

The recipe I’m sharing with you is the No-Bake Mini Strawberry Pie Recipe!

You’ll need:

  • Ready Made No-Bake Mini Graham Cracker Crusts (found in the baking aisle)
  • Vanilla Pudding (I use the Snack Pack Pudding Cups)
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Whipped Cream

That’s it!

Mini Strawberry Pie Recipe

First, spread a thin layer of vanilla pudding on the graham cracker crust. Make sure you cover the sides as well. This will help the strawberries to stick to the bottom.

Mini Strawberry Pie

Slice your strawberries into thin slices. I love using my Strawberry Slicer to slice up my strawberries! It’s quick and easy! (Just be careful–blades are sharp!)

Strawberry Slicer

Strawberry Slicer

Fill your graham cracker crust cup with the sliced strawberries.

Mini Strawberry Pie

Cover the strawberries with whipped cream. Place two slices of strawberries on top. Chill and serve!

Mini Strawberry Pie

Recipe: Quick and Easy Quesadillas



Need an easy dinner or lunch recipe that doesn’t require too much time? I make these often for my family and my kids love them! You can change them up by adding different ingredients like pinto beans, or your favorite veggies.

Quick and Easy Quesadillas

Corn tortillas
1 16 oz. bag shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 large tomato, diced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
sour cream (for serving)
taco sauce or salsa (for serving)
butter

Instructions:
Heat a skillet on medium to low heat. Add a dab of butter. Place one corn tortilla on the pan. Sprinkle cheese evenly on tortilla. Place diced tomato, avocado, and beans on top of the cheese. Press a second tortilla on top. Let the quesadilla slowing brown before turning it. When turing it, you may need to use your hand so that the toppings do not fall out.
Cook the quesadilla about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Makes about 4 quesadillas.

Cut each quesadilla into 4 triangles using a pizza cutter.  Serve with sour cream and taco sauce or salsa.

Recipe: Chicken Pesto Pizza



This is on of my favorite homemade pizza recipes that I make often. Instead of the usual pizza toppings, using pesto, chicken, black olives and artichoke hearts makes for a delicious and interesting change! There should be enough toppings to make two pizzas. You can purchase pre-made pizza crusts at your grocery store or make your own crust. I have included my favorite crust recipe as well. It is easy to make and my son loves to help me knead it and roll it out!

Chicken Pesto Pizza

1 chicken breast, cooked and diced (I season mine first)
1 6-8 oz. jar basil pesto sauce
1 16 oz. bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 12 oz. jar of marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1 2.25 oz. can sliced black olives
1 jar pizza sauce for dipping (optional)

Instructions:
Spread an even layer of pesto sauce on the uncooked crust.
Place the chicken, black olives and artichoke hearts evenly on top of the pesto sauce. Sprinkle a liberal amount of cheese on the top. Bake according to directions on pre-made crust package. You will have left over pesto sauce. Use pizza sauce for dipping.

 

Easy Homemade Pizza Dough (familyfun.com) 

1 cup plus 2 Tb. warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (a 1/4 oz. envelope)
a pinch of sugar
About 3 cups unbleached flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tb. olive oil

Instructions:
Pour the water into a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast and sugar over it. Let the mixture stand until it becomes slightly foamy, then stir it until the yeast dissolves. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and the oil to the flour and stir until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky to handle, but not too much that it becomes stiff and dry. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and springs back when pinched, about 10 minutes.

Lightly oil the inside of a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it over once so that the top, and bottom will be coated with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place until the dough doubles in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

Flatten the dough with your fist. Cut it in two and shape each piece into a ball.

On a floured surface, roll out each piece of dough into a round shape.  Carefully place the crust on a pizza baking sheet or baking stone.

After placing toppings on your crust, bake each pizza at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

This crust is also great for stuffed pizzas!

Recipe: Sweet Potato Pancakes



I love to add ingredients to pancakes to make them extra special! My kids absolutely love pancakes and have always enjoyed them with added banana. I decided to try adding some left over baked sweet potato and they turned out so wonderful! I am excited to share this delicious recipe!

Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 1/2 cups pancake mix (I use Log Cabin All Natural)
2 eggs
2/3 cup plus 2-3 Tb. milk
2 Tb. plain unsweetened applesauce (oil substitute)
1/2 cup mashed baked sweet potato
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tb. ground flax seed

Instructions:
Preheat griddle to 375 degrees. Mix pancake mix, eggs, apple sauce, milk, sweet potato, vanilla, spices and flax seed. Combine until lumps disappear. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure each pancake. Pour the batter onto a lightly greased griddle. Turn pancake when bubbles form on the top. Only turn the pancake once and cook for 60 seconds on the other side.  Makes 10-11 pancakes.

Tip: bake the sweet potato the night before you plan to make them so it is ready to add in the morning!

Recipe: Pumpkin Bread



One of my favorite things about the fall holiday season is eating pumpkin flavored desserts and breads! I have been making this recipe for over 10 years and it is one of my favorites. I have made quite a few changes to make it healthier for my children, since they love muffins and breads so much! By cutting down on the sugar, adding carrot, zucchini, flax seed, apple sauce and whole wheat flour, this bread becomes a nutritious and healthy snack.

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plain apple sauce (no sugar added)
3 eggs
1 can (15 1/2 oz) pumpkin
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tb. ground flax seed
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded zucchini

Grease 3 medium sized loaf pans.  Set oven to 325 degrees.  Beat sugar with oil and apple sauce.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add pumpkin.  In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and flax seed.  Beat into pumpkin mixture.  Add carrots and zucchini.  Divide batter into 3 loaf pans.  Bake for 55 min. or until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from pans and wrap in plastic wrap to insure moisture. Adapted from Homer’s Favorite Pumpkin Bread by Pat Howell.

Recipe: Easy Chicken Salad



This recipe for Easy Chicken Salad is one of my favorite quick and easy lunch recipes. It tastes great and takes no time to make! Enjoy it with crackers or make a sandwich on your favorite bread. It costs under $6.00 as well!!

Easy Chicken Salad

1 can of white chicken breast in water (12.5 oz)
1/4 c. mayonnaise
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 dash garlic powder, salt and pepper
3/4 c. grapes, sliced in half
1/4 c. sliced almonds
1 green onion, sliced

Drain chicken. Mix first 5 ingredients until well mixed. Add the grapes, almonds and onions and mix. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe: Warm White Chili



With cool fall weather in the air, a hot bowl of chili hits the spot! This recipe for Warm White Chili is sure to be enjoyed by the whole family. It is simple to make and affordable as well!
Money saving tips: when possible, buy store brand beans, corn, green chilies, cheese and sour cream. Choosing frozen chicken breasts will also save money.

Warm White Chili
3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 1/2 cups chicken broth or stock
2 cans great northern beans, drained (15 oz)
1 can white corn, drained (15 oz)
1 can chopped green chilies (4 oz)
1/2 white onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tb. olive oil
sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Instructions:
Sauté diced onion and celery until tender in olive oil.
In a large pot, add chicken, broth, beans, corn, green chilies, onion/celery, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to low heat and simmer for 45 min.
Top chili with sour cream and cheese. Can be served with corn bread.
Makes 4-6 servings.

Berry Spinach Smoothie Recipe



Note: I am not a professional doctor or dietician. All tips that I give are based on my own opinion. Seek medical advice before starting any diet or fitness program.

About two weeks ago, I pulled out my smoothie maker (I use the Magic Bullet Express Blender and Mixer System) and started making healthy smoothies again. I LOVE to make smoothies in the spring and summer and usually make them on a daily basis. There are so many different smoothie recipes you can make so get your blenders out and get creative! I like to throw just about any combination of healthy fruits and/or vegetables together, sometimes with milk, almond milk, water, or juice.

One of my favorite smoothies to make is the berry spinach smoothie. Yes, I said spinach. You are probably already cringing at the thought of putting spinach in your smoothie, but trust me on this one. Just try it first. You can put as little or as much spinach as you wish, but if you want to make it to where you don’t taste the spinach as much, I recommend 2/3 fruits and 1/3 spinach. By doing this, you taste the berries in the smoothie more than you do the spinach.

To save money, I buy store brand frozen fruit. You can see that this recipe includes frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, spinach leaves, and fat free milk. You can tweak this recipe however you’d like. I put about a handful of spinach at the bottom of the cup, then pour in the blueberries, a few strawberries, and then the milk. I blend it up until its smooth and creamy and then enjoy! You can add sweetener if you wish, but I prefer to leave any sugar out. If you do choose to use sweetener, stick with something as natural as possible: organic sugar or Stevia. I try to stay away from artificial sweeteners. Also, keep in mind that the fruits are naturally sweet, so you really do not need to add sweetener to this recipe!

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