Get In My Belly: Holiday Haystacks

I know it’s been a hundred million years since I’ve posted a Get In My Belly. The reason for that is because I don’t cook or bake anymore. If it weren’t for my husband, I’d eat tortilla chips for dinner every day and so would the kids.

I whipped up these haystacks for Amelie’s preschool cookie exchange because they are almost the quickest and easiest holiday treat ever. Plus, DELICIOUS.

(For the record, nut clusters are the easiest).

Ingredients:

  • a bag of sweetened coconut
  • a 1/2 bag of melting chocolate (I used Wiltons from Michaels)
  • about 40 mini cupcake liners
  • sprinkles, if you wish

Instructions:

1. I didn’t realize you could toast coconut in a pan. In the past, I’ve tried the oven and it’s tricky to toast it evenly. It’s also messy and awkward stirring coconut in the oven. Instead, toss in a pan over medium heat and stir constantly. In a few minutes…bam, toasted coconut.

toasted

I promise you, the house will smell soooo good.

2. Melt chocolate according to the directions on the package. You don’t want to burn it or get moisture in it. I use the microwave and it takes only a few minutes.

3. Add toasted coconut to the melted chocolate and stir until well coated. Spoon into mini muffin cups liners and add sprinkles before the chocolate hardens.

haystacks

3. Leave the haystack alone for a while because the chocolate takes some time to harden – maybe about 20 minutes.

The sprinkles and little liners are optional but I think it makes it all so festive. Pro-tip: Target dollar section has holiday sprinkles!haystacks2

Keep this recipe in your back pocket for when you need a quick and easy treat for that surprise school event or holiday get together. These are the best!

You guys, Christmas Eve is tomorrow. Amelie told a lady yesterday that Santa is bringing her a puppy!! Oh my.

 

Get In My Belly: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

It’s high time for carving your prized pumpkins but be sure to save the glop you scoop from them so you can make roasted pumpkin seeds!  It’s a mostly guilt-free treat!

Ingredients:

  • somewhat clean pumpkin seeds (not the stringy slimy stuff)
  • spices of your choosing*
  • 2 tsp melted butter (if you wish)

*we used a mixture of cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and thyme to create a salty spicy batch.  But you could do anything you wanted, really.  Get feisty with it!

Instructions:

  1. Set oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Spread a nice even layer of pumpkin seeds onto a cookie sheet.  We line ours with foil to help with clean up.
  3. Drizzle butter and seasonings over them and shove those suckers in the oven!
  4. Get back to carving.  It’ll take about 45 minutes to crisp them up!

Get in My Belly: Dill Cucumber Toasties

What’s not classy? Showing someone your c-section scar over Facetime.

What’s classy? THESE toasties. They are so delicious and would be great to serve at a shower or brunch or…ANYTIME.

Ingredients:

  • block of softened cream cheese
  • package of dry Italian seasoning mix
  • 1/2 C mayo
  • 1 cucumber, sliced  (see? it’s healthy!)
  • 1 french baguette cut into rounds
  • dried dill (or fresh if you roll that way)

*You could serve these on crackers instead of french bread.

Instructions:

  1. Mix cream cheese, seasoning, and mayo.
  2. Spread onto rounds of baguette.
  3. Top with cucumber slices.
  4. Adorn with dill and you’re DONE.

*claps hands*

Get In My Belly: Green Smoothie

Hubs and I are still doing the “Salad Challenge”, a New Year’s resolution he made a few years ago to get more good-for-you-stuff into our bodies. We’ve been keeping it up because frankly, it works for us. But for a few long weeks in my first trimester, I could barely stomach anything – especially a spinach salad. BLECH. Oh the guilt I felt that I stopped eating spinach when my growing baby needed it most…so I switched to spinach smoothies. Seriously, just try it. You’ll be surprised at what a treat it is!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 frozen banana, sliced
  • 1/2 c yogurt (any type really – we like Chobani)
  • a big wad of spinach
  • just a little milk or juice to thin it out and make it easier to blend

**You can add-lib, anything really goes and the measurements are far from exact. Try with soy milk or add frozen berries (it might turn the smoothie an unappealing color, but it’ll still taste awesome!).

**This is a great way to use up those past-prime bananas too. I just slice them up and stick them in the freezer.

Instructions:

  1. Blend everything together.
  2. Drink right away, otherwise it’ll separate.
  3. Feel smug about all of those vitamins you just ingested, obviously.

 

Get in my Belly: Pumpkin Pancakes

Hubs is known for his amazing breakfast skills and he just recently added these pumpkin pancakes to his repertoire.

Recipe stolen from here, but we skip the nutmeg whip cream and serve it with maple syrup. Although homemade whip cream is something dreams are made of…so maybe you should do it up right?

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/3 c Bisquick
  • 2 1/2 Tbs white sugar
  • 1/3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c milk
  • 1/3 c canned pumpkin (Hubs adds 1 Tbs extra)
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil

Instructions:

  1. Whisk dry ingredients together. The spices alone are drool worthy.
  2. Beat together eggs, milk, pumpkin, and vegetable oil (the wet stuff, duh).
  3. Add wet stuff to dry stuff and stir.
  4. Cook in pan or on a griddle, using 1/4 c of batter per pancake. Wait until bubbly and golden around edges.
  5. Serve with homemade whipped cream if you are fancy. It also pairs nicely with maple syrup. Hot COFFEE makes them even better.

Your Sunday mornings will never be the same!

 

Get In My Belly: Chewy Ginger Snaps

Callie and I got together one evening to bake Christmas cookies. It was only the third time since meeting her over a year and a half ago that I’ve seen her in “citizen’s clothes” and she brought a recipe to share. It’s her Grandma’s and even though ginger snaps have never made my list as a favorite cookie, these are amazing. They are soft and chewy and not too spicy. These are on the list now!

*Do yourself a favor and double the recipe, plus add an extra dollop of molasses.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c white sugar
  • 3/4 c butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs dark molasses
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • Hershey kisses, unwrapped obviously

Instructions:

  1. You know, the usual.  Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together. It’s off to a good start already!
  3. Add in egg and molasses. Don’t eat the molasses plain. Blech.
  4. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and add until blended.
  5. Roll into balls and then roll them in a bowl of white sugar. *drools*
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Add a chocolate kiss to the middle while the cookie is still warm and LET SET. Muster up some will power for goodness sake.
  8. Serve with milk and love me forever.

Personally, I love the cookie without the chocolate kiss. Hubs prefers it with. Get crazy and make both if you’re feeling bipartisan.

I can assure you that these freeze well and are excellent to snack on in the middle of the night when the baby inside of you is up and ready to play.

Get In My Belly: Candied Sweet Potatoes

It’s that time again.  Time for turkey, cranberry sauce and those heavenly, decadent, to-die-for sweet potatoes.  I swiped this recipe from my friend, Allrecipes.com.  For the original link, sans Candace commentary and modifications, click here.

Ingredients:

  • duh, sweet potatoes (4-6) peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 1/4 c butter (!!!)
  • 1 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 3 c mini marshmallows, divided
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • a sprinkle of nutmeg

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease a 9×13 baking dish.  Extra points if you grease it with butter!

2.  Fill a large pot with water and wait for it to boil.  Now would be a good time to eat the rest of the bag of mini marshmallows.

3.  Once boiling, add sweet potatoes in and boil for 15ish minutes.  You don’t want them to be as hard as kidney stones but you don’t want to them to be a soft as my squishy midsection is these days, if that makes sense.

4.  Drain sweet potatoes.

5.  Put them back in the hot pot, along with butter, brown sugar, half the marshmallows, and spices.  Let everything get all wonderful and gooey together.  You may want to mush up some of the sweet potatoes if the chunks are too big (meaning the ratio between actual sweet potato and bad-for-you stuff isn’t balanced).

6. Slide the whole batch into the greased pan and bake for 15 minutes.

7.  Top with the rest of the mini marshmallows and bake until golden brown (a few more minutes).

8.  Eat up because it’s the beta-carotine you’ve been desperately craving!

 

Get In My Belly: Spiced Glaze

I’m sorry for inundating you with more recipes but this one is quick, festive and pairs very nicely with my all time favorite recipe, The Best Pumpkin Bread Ever.  I found it here while perusing Pinterest and decided it wouldn’t hurt to add a little spice to my life, you know?

Ingredients:

  • 1 c + 3 Tbs powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs milk
  • 1/4  tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves

Instructions:

1.  Mix everything together.  If I can do this, you can too.

I got maaaaad props when I drizzled this glaze over the pumpkin bread and brought it to a party.  I love it when that happens.

Since this post needs a picture and I don’t have one of the actual glaze, here’s a pic of a pile of pumpkins.  Helpful, huh?

Get In My Belly: Special Chili

This is the twisted chili recipe that I promised you last month.  It’s smokey and spicy and meat-y.  Go forth and crockpot stuff!

Obviously, it was stolen from allrecipes.com because I would never be creative or daring enough to make this up on my own.

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 2 onions (we used wild ones from our garden!), chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced.  We’re so classy that we use the real stuff now!
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1lb of beef tenderloin (yuuum), but we’re lazy and just used extra ground beef
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can/bottle of dark beer (!)
  • 1 cup strongly brewed coffee (!)
  • 2 (6oz) cans of tomato paste
  • 1 (14oz) can of beef broth
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 Tbs cumin seeds (we used ground and way less of it)
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder (!)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cans kidney beans
  • 4 fresh hot chili peppers, seeded and chopped (optional)

Other throw ins: sweet corn and chopped green bell pepper.

Instructions:

1. Brown the meat with garlic, onions, and green peppers (if you added them).

2.  Throw everything into a crockpot on low for a few hours.  EASY, right?

3.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top and a side of cornbread!

Get In My Belly: Spicy Sausage Dip

Football season is here (Hubs told me so) and what better way to celebrate the big game by stuffing your face with this manly dip (that the ladies will like too)?  I snarfed this deliciousness down one night at Emily’s house and never looked back!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 block of softened cream cheese
  • 1 can Rotelle tomatoes (with diced chilis)
  • 1 lb of pork sausage, cooked
  • Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or Fritos

**Hubs usually sets some cooked sausage aside for the next day’s breakfast, so we don’t use the entire tube for the dip.  I say, do what you want when you want, you know?

Instructions:

  1. Brown up the sausage.  Best not think too hard because sausage is kind of a disturbing thought.
  2. In a mini crockpot (every good Minnesotan household has at least one of these), add the cream cheese, Rotelle tomatoes (juice and all), and sausage.
  3. Wait until nice and bubbly.  THEN HAVE AT IT.

That’s it.  It’s easy to transport too!

Wouldn’t this be a great way to warm up after surviving a blizzard in Rocky Mountain National Park?

We’ll need to remember that for next time.  Brrrr.