Archive for: DIY

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

There's no need to buy pumpkin pie spice at the store when you can make your own in just minutes with the spices you probably already have in your kitchen.  Make some today and be ready for fall baking!  Now that September 1st has come and gone, it seems like everyone has fall and pumpkin on their minds.  The weather is still warm here but there's been a definite chill in the air in the mornings.  We enjoyed dinner outside on the patio last night, and are predicted to get temperatures over 100 degrees (!) most days this week, but even so I broke out the pumpkin this weekend.  The earlier we start with fall baking, the longer we can enjoy it, right?  ;) I've been making this Homemade ... [Continue Reading]

Roasted Carrot and Garlic Hummus

Craving something new and healthy for snack or lunch time? This Roasted Carrot and Garlic Hummus is delicious with fresh, raw veggies or pita bread.  It's an easy appetizer to serve at your next party, too! I am always reminding myself that I need to make hummus more often. It's such a healthy snack, especially if your dippers of choice are fresh vegetables. And my kids love hummus just as much as I do! Which is even more reason to make it on a weekly basis. Julia will eat bell pepper after bell pepper dipped in hummus. (She'll even eat hummus plain by the spoonful!) William likes his hummus with carrots, bell peppers, whole wheat pita or crackers, and even an occasional cucumber. I've ... [Continue Reading]

Apple, Cinnamon, and Raisin Chewy Granola Bars

Apple, Cinnamon, and Raisin Chewy Granola Bars are the perfect homemade snack for fall.  Warm spices, apples, raisins, and oats... these bars have it all! As you know, homemade snacks are one of my favorite things to make.  Lately I've been especially loving homemade granola bars and breakfast cookies.  I've tried a number of granola bar recipes, and even have a few new ones that I'm excited to test out.  My latest creation are these Apple, Cinnamon, and Raisin Chewy Granola Bars. These bars are full of good-for-you ingredients, including oats, flaxseed, apples, and cinnamon. They are lightly sweetened with maple syrup as well as natural sweetness from the apples and raisins. If ... [Continue Reading]

{Greek Yogurt} Homemade Ranch Dressing

Homemade Ranch Dressing makes a great dip for fresh veggies and is delicious on green salads. Made with Greek yogurt rather than mayo, you'll love the tangy, fresh herb flavor of this homemade ranch! Homemade Ranch Dressing. Yes, I tried it, and you should too. Unlike store-bought ranch which can be filled with unpronounceable ingredients, this homemade ranch is made with fresh, recognizable ingredients. I opted to use a combination of Greek yogurt, sour cream, and buttermilk as the base of my homemade ranch. I'm not at all a fan of mayo, but you can certainly sub mayo for all or part of the Greek yogurt if you like. The pretty green color of this dressing lets you know that it's ... [Continue Reading]

Whole Grain Graham Crackers

These Homemade Graham Crackers are full of whole grains and the warm, spicy flavors of cinnamon and cloves.  Once you take your first bite (and see how easy they are to make), you'll be hooked on these Homemade Whole Grain Graham Crackers! It's been a while since my last post. All of a sudden work got super crazy, and I've been spending most evenings grading papers and doing other school work. Add in a weekend camping trip, a broken washing machine (now replaced), and all of the other day-to-day stuff that's involved in caring for two kids, and blogging time has been hard to find. I was determined not to let another week pass without sharing a recipe with you, though, so here ... [Continue Reading]

Easy 100% Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread

This Easy 100% Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread is perfect for sandwiches, toast, french toast, or just snacking!  Once you make a loaf, you will be addicted to this homemade bread! I try to buy and bake with whole grains as much as possible.  We always eat whole-wheat pasta and brown rice.  I often cook with quinoa, make whole-wheat pizza dough, and bake with whole-wheat flour.  Whenever we buy bread at the grocery store, it's always 100% whole-wheat.  So it shouldn't be a surprise that my favorite homemade sandwich loaf is 100% whole-wheat as well. I recently purchased the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook, and I absolutely love it.  I've had it less than a week, and ... [Continue Reading]

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Rich homemade ricotta cheese is wonderful spread on a toasted baguette, as a vegetable sandwich spread, or simply enjoyed on it's own with a drizzle of honey. Homemade ricotta cheese... yes, I made cheese, and no, it wasn't at all difficult or time-consuming! Ricotta cheese is a great place to start in homemade cheesemaking, because it is SO easy. I'd estimate it takes 10 minutes (at most) of active time, and about 30 minutes of inactive time until you have fresh ricotta ready to enjoy. Making ricotta cheese requires no fancy ingredients or equipment. If you have milk, salt, and lemon juice, you can make ricotta. An instant-read thermometer, fine-mesh strainer, and some cheesecloth ... [Continue Reading]

Mocha Granola

This Mocha Granola is full of chocolate, coffee, and almonds.  It makes a great late-night snack, breakfast, or afternoon pick-me-up! Hello Friends and Happy Friday! We've come to the final recipe of Granola Week! In case you missed any of this week's recipes, here's a quick recap. We started the week with this Tropical Granola, filled with pineapple and coconut. I also shared 5 great reasons why you should make your own granola. Tuesday's recipe was this super crunchy Cherry Almond Quinoa Granola. If you love almonds and dried cherries, you've gotta try this one. Next up was this super simple 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola. Peanut butter lovers, this one's for ... [Continue Reading]

Honey Almond Flax Granola

This Honey Almond Flax Granola is one of my very favorite breakfasts. Not only will you crave bowl after bowl of this granola, but it's also a healthy way to start your day! Just look at that Honey Almond Flax Granola. I'm wishing I had a bowl of it right now. You too? It's just bursting with crispy, oaty goodness! Full of toasted coconut flakes, sliced almonds, crunchy oats, and flaxseed, this granola is lightly sweetened with honey and a little bit of maple syrup. I added two teaspoons of pure almond extract as well, to really infuse the granola with almond flavor.   Out of all of the granola recipes that I'm sharing this week, I think this one is my favorite. It's really hard for me to ... [Continue Reading]

4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola

This Peanut Butter Granola is made with just 4 ingredients, in only 10 minutes of prep time. It's crisp and lightly sweetened, with just the right amount of peanut butter flavor. Today is day 3 of Granola Week, and if you missed my recipes for Tropical Granola and crunchy Cherry Almond Quinoa Granola you should go check them out!  I'll wait for you right here. :)   You're gonna love today's granola. It can pass for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert. When it comes to food, simplicity is often best and that is so true with this recipe. You only need 4 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time to make amazing, crunchy peanut butter granola.   Do you get as excited as I do about recipes ... [Continue Reading]

Cherry Almond Quinoa Granola

Made with red quinoa, this Cherry Almond Quinoa Granola is super crunchy and filled with cherries and almonds! Almond extract gives it even more almond flavor. When I set out to create a new batch of granola recipes, I knew I wanted to include a quinoa granola. I had never made quinoa granola myself, but I'd seen it pop up on blog after blog. I love cooking with quinoa, and I knew it would give a granola some nice crunch. I've used red quinoa because of it adds a pop of pretty color to the granola. (Plus, it coordinates so well with the cherries, don't you think?) You add the quinoa to the granola raw, just like the oats, and it toasts up as the granola bakes. You will want to be ... [Continue Reading]

Tropical Granola {plus 5 reasons why you should make your own granola}

To kick off a week of granola recipes, I'm sharing 5 reasons why you should make your own granola, plus a recipe for Tropical Granola. Full of coconut, pineapple, and almonds, this granola will bring a taste of the tropics to your kitchen table! Hi there and Happy Memorial Day! I hope you have the day off and have some outdoor fun planned! I'm heading to our neighborhood park with the kids, and then this afternoon we'll be grilling out in the backyard at my parents' house. It's supposed to be about 90 here today, so we'll head indoors for the hottest part of the day. What have you been up to over this long weekend? I am super excited about today's post because it kicks off a week of ... [Continue Reading]

Vanilla Wafers and Chocolate Vanilla Wafers

You won't be able to resist these bite-sized treats!  Homemade Vanilla Wafers in chocolate and vanilla. Why choose... try them both! I can remember eating Nilla wafers from the yellow box since I was a kid. I don't know what it is about them, but they are addicting! When I was pregnant with both Julia and William I would often snack on a few Nilla wafers, with a spread of peanut butter on each one. (If you've never tried that, you must. Sooo good.) Since Julia saw me eating Nilla wafers while pregnant with William, she of course tried them and they quickly became a favorite of hers too. I haven't bought Nilla wafers from the store for a while, since they have some ingredients that ... [Continue Reading]

Whole Grain Fruit Bars

Homemade Whole Grain Fruit Bars are the perfect treat to add to your lunchbox. Made with real ingredients, kids and adults alike will love these bars! These Whole Grain Fruit Bars are my latest addiction. I love how easy they are to make. I love that they are whole grain and contain only recognizable ingredients. I love that these fruit bars can pass for both a snack or healthy dessert. In my efforts to pack nutritious lunches made from real foods for both myself and my kids, I've been making up a batch of these every few weeks. They make a great lunchbox addition or after-school snack, paired with a cold glass of milk of course. You know those fruit-filled cereal bars that you can buy ... [Continue Reading]

Oatmeal-Honey Sandwich Bread

Today let's bake some bread! In my ideal world, I would make all of our bread from scratch. Of course, in this ideal world I would also always make homemade granola bars, Greek yogurt, graham crackers, granola, hummus, pita, and, well you get the idea. In the real world there is such a thing as limited time, so I have to make choices about what I will make in each particular week. For the past few weeks, I have been baking this oatmeal-honey sandwich bread, and it's my new addiction. It makes great sandwiches and amazing toast.  I also can't resist a fresh slice spread with a little butter, right after it cools from the oven.  So. so. good. In my testing of this recipe, I've found that I ... [Continue Reading]

Homemade Hot Cocoa

A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for Peppermint Hot Cocoa. Today I'm sharing a traditional hot cocoa recipe with you, because sometimes you just want a basic cup of cocoa. This homemade hot cocoa is simple to make on the stovetop, or even in the microwave if you're in a hurry. I went light on the sugar because only a little is needed to enhance the rich chocolate flavor. Whipped cream is optional but highly recommended! I prefer to mix up my hot cocoa ingredients each time I make it, but I know that some of you might like to keep a mix on hand. Below I have also included a larger-scale recipe to make hot cocoa mix, which you can store almost indefinitely at room temperature. We still ... [Continue Reading]

Homemade Taco Seasoning

For a while now I have been trying to get away from buying packaged foods as much as possible. I know that fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are much more healthful than processed foods, and I want to feed my family foods in their natural state as much as possible. One result of this is that I have a really hard time buying packages of things like pre-made taco seasoning, which can be loaded with extra sodium and other not-so-nutritious additives. To make my own homemade taco seasoning, I began by researching various recipes online. The differences between recipes are great, and when creating my own I used a combination of the recipes I found. I wanted my taco ... [Continue Reading]

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Weekday mornings are often rushed, busy times. Whether you are trying to get out the door to head to work or getting kids ready to go to school, there is not much time to prepare breakfast. My usual quick breakfast is a bowl of cold cereal, but I get tired of the store-bought options. I love making homemade granola because I can fill it with nutritious ingredients and customize the flavors to my liking. My all-time favorite homemade granola is made with lots of nuts and maple syrup, but for fall I've been loving this pumpkin spice granola. I made three batches of pumpkin granola in two days, because I wanted to get the recipe just right. This granola has plenty of pumpkin spice flavor, ... [Continue Reading]