Peppermint Bark

A few years ago I fell in love with Peppermint Bark. It became a staple around my house during the Holiday’s! But then, the store I use to buy it from stopped carrying it!! And if you are a lover of peppermint bark like I am, you know it is best FRESH and not that prepackaged and old kind. So I figured I would try and make it myself. I had heard it wasn’t that hard to make, and I was surprised to find out that is VERY true. Not only is it easy, it’s also even better as its much fresher! And your kids can help you with making it so it becomes a fun tradition for the whole family! Here is my easy to follow, quick, and delicious recipe for Peppermint Bark. Hope you enjoy!

Peppermint Bark

 

Ingredients:peppermint bark

12 ounces white chocolate (chopped up if using a chocolate bar)

6 ounces dark chocolate

1 and ½ teaspoon coconut oil

½ teaspoon peppermint extract

4 Candy Canes, crushed (can use more or less)

 

Directions:

Place the dark chocolate and ½ teaspoon of oil into a small microwavable bowl. The key with melting chocolate in the microwave is do it slowly, don’t rush! I start out by putting it in for 15-30 second increments and stir each time until it is melted and creamy.

Once it is melted, add in ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract and stir well. Next, line an 8 inch baking sheet with aluminum foil. Pour the chocolate on the pan and spread evenly. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or in the freezer for 8 minutes.

Next, melt the white chocolate following the same steps as with the dark chocolate (don’t forget to use the oil!). Remember to melt it slowly so as not to burn!

Once it is melted, add in the ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract and stir. Then remove the dark chocolate from the freezer. Pour the melted white chocolate over the dark and use a spoon or spatula to even it out.

Now, crush up your candy canes! I do mine by putting them in baggies and letting my kids crush them with a rolling pin, or a plastic bowl/cup. Makes its fun for them plus a little help for me! Once the candy canes are crushed, sprinkle them over the white chocolate and return it to the fridge. Leave it in the fridge until it is hard, approximately 20-30 minutes. Once it is hardened, you can break into pieces and enjoy! Store it in the fridge and it will keep for at least 2-3 weeks!

Dana

Skinny Bacon Ranch Chicken

Since my husband returned to college at the beginning of the year and changed his work schedule, dinner at my house has been chaos! All but 2 nights a week, he is not home for dinner which means I have to cook the meal while helping one child with homework, preventing one from climbing on the furniture, and another from painting the house. Not the easiest job! Especially when trying to also have a meal that is healthy!

My goal this year is to try one new meal a week. I’m not going to lie, some that I have tried have been utter fails and I was left eating a protein shake for dinner haha. The tough part is I need meals that are easy to prepare, easy to cook, and can be done in the crock pot or a little time in the oven. If it requires 20 ingredients, tons of chopping, peeling, stirring and sautéing, then it won’t happen!

This meal has become one of my favorites! It meets my picky criteria of easy to prepare, few ingredients and baked in the oven in a short period of time! It also is healthy, my kids and husband like it, and its not a boring meal! Give it a try!

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Ingredients:

4 Chicken Breasts

4 Tbsp Light Ranch

4 Slices Turkey Bacon

Cheddar Cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the chicken breasts in a 4×6 baking dish. Cover each breast with 1 Tbsp Light Ranch (you can add more if you would like, but too much makes the dish watery and takes longer to cook). Next, layer the chicken with the uncooked turkey bacon. I break mine up to fit it evenly on the chicken breasts. Cook for approximately 30-40 minutes (varies depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts so check when it comes close to the end of cooking). Top with cheddar cheese and cook for another 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Enjoy!

 

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Dana

Cauliflower Breadsticks

A few months ago, I started having to go gluten free for medical reasons. At first it wasn’t too big of a deal, but slowly it got very boring!!! I found I needed to always be looking for new recipes to keep me on track, and not miserable at the same time haha. I had tried these breadsticks before, but they did NOT go over well. The first recipe did not taste good, they feel apart, and it was not something I enjoyed eating. So I tried again. And again. And again.

Finally I found one that is good!!! Give it a try!!

Ingredients:12548933_10153446616849576_6609756744823683084_n

1 Head Cauliflower

2 Eggs (or 1/4 Cup Egg Whites)

1/2 Cup Mexican Cheese

1/ Cup Mozzarella Cheese

1 Tsp Italian Herb Seasoning (or more)

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Pepper

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 3. Wash the cauliflower and cut it into small pieces. Place the pieces into a food processor and blend until its smooth, some bigger pieces are ok but most should be chopped up very thing to look like flower. Place the cauliflower into a 8×8 Baking Dish (or similar size) and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Once removed from the oven, let it sit until it is cool and crank up the oven to 450. Once the cauliflower is cooled off, you need to drain the liquid from it. I found this worked best by placing the cauliflower in the middle of a dish towel, and closing up the top, then squeezing. This got out about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of liquid so its a very important step! You can also place the cauliflower between two paper towels and push down to get the liquid out that way.

Once the liquid is out, place the cauliflower in a bowl, combine with 1/4 cup Mexican Cheese and 1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese, the eggs, seasoning, and salt and pepper. Mix until it is all combined. Spray a baking dish with olive oils spray, and put the mixture on to bake. I pressed mine down to combine it and make sure it didn’t fall apart. Just make sure its not too thin! Mine was about 1/4 inch thick. (note, I tried using wax paper and it got stuck PLUS the wax paper burned so be careful if you try that). Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove and top with the remaining cheese (less or more or none, totally up to you!) and bake for another 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Allow it to fully cool before trying to cut and serve! These are great by themselves, or with some dipping sauce! Enjoy!!

 

Dana

Easy BBQ Chicken

I am always on the hunt for a new recipe that is easy, healthy, affordable, and delicious! I love BBQ chicken, but how I normally make it (just baked in BBQ sauce) was not popular with my husband, so I began searching for new ideas and tweaked a few to fit my family! Here is how I now make my BBQ and everyone who tries it, loves it!

 

Ingredients:c6b30cf4-992c-4d08-9189-c13a42ee031c

4 Chicken Breasts

1 Bottle BBQ Sauce

1 Sweet Onion

1 Cup Low Fat Cheddar Cheese

 

 

Directions:

Marinate the chicken breasts in BBQ sauce (you can pour the sauce on them and cook, but I found that was too watery) in the fridge for a few hours. Once they are ready, put them in a 4×6 baking dish (bigger if you use more chicken) and cover with a small spoonful of the BBQ sauce on each. Not a lot, just a little or its too watery. Next, layer with a sliced onion. Last, add the shredded cheese evenly over the dish. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Enjoy!! These go great with baked potatoes by the way!

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Dana

Healthy Crock Pot Chili

One of the only things I like about winter is getting to eat lots of soup!! I’m one of those people who can’t eat soup when its hot outside, so I really enjoy it for most of the winter. I normally make 4 different types of soup, and freeze them so we have an easy meal every week. Chili is one of the favorites in my house, my 18 month old LOVES chili!! I like it as its packed full of protein, healthy, and fills you up! Plus this recipe is super easy and makes a huge batch so I also have something for lunch all week too. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

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Ingredients 

1 Lb. Lean Ground Turkey

1 Onion

1 Yellow Pepper

1 Red Pepper

2 Cans Tomato Sauce (15 Oz)

2 Can Diced Tomatoes (15 Oz)

2 Cans Black Beans (15 Oz)

2 Cans Kidney Beans (15 Oz)

1 Cup Frozen Corn

1 Tbsp Chili Powder (add more if you like your chili to have a kick!)

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 Tsp Salt

½ Tsp Pepper

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

 

Directions

10353088_1061867783846687_4815752159621034768_nPour the olive oil into a saute pan and cook the ground turkey. While it’s cooking, chop up the onion and peppers and pour them in the crock pot. Rinse off the beans and add those to the crock pot too. Next add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Once the ground turkey is brown, add it to the crock pot along with the corn. Stir the ingredients in the crock pot. Next add the spices and stir again. One everything has been stirred, turn the crock pot to low and cook for 6 hours (or 4 hours on high).

Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!!

You can also freeze this and warm it up when you need it!

 

 

 

Dana