Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chocolate, Caramel Peanut Butter Krispie Treats

This is another one of those weird days when I am trying to write a happy, perky blog and I am sad. Last Friday, my neighbor died instantly. He was 49 years old and had a massive heart attack. It was a roller coaster of a weekend and just a sad week. Today, is Rob's funeral. We really cannot believe he is gone. Rob was a large guy with a HUGE heart. His personality was even larger than his heart. Rob dearly loved his wife, children, grandchildren and family. Furthermore, he also cared for so many of us.

Rob was a people person. He worked a room and was always the center of attention.  If you asked, he would give the shirt off his back. The shirt was probably sweaty, maybe a spill on the front, but he would give it to you. Even if he could stopped for just a minute, he always said HI. This is what I am going to miss more than anything.

Rob also wanted to be my sample person. He was the benefactor of many of my test products. I wish I could find my Cherry Bar recipe. That was always his all time favorite, but he was more than willing to test the many runner he called them.

This was also one of his favorite runner ups. 

Rob's wife, Karen is one of my best neighbors.  It is so heartbreaking to see her so sad. The other day, I brought food to their house. I cut up a bunch of different fruit for a healthy alternative and made three different bars. I did not take pictures while I was assembling, no time for that. Barely pictures of end results. Someday, I will really get my Shit together..... RIGHT.....

These Rice Krispie treats are over the top. They really did not require to much more work, and were amazing. Actually, this is something that I could have eaten the whole pan. Rob would have enjoyed me pigging out. So, a easy recipe that anyone can make!!!

Chocolate, Caramel, Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
adapted from

3 tablespoons Butter
10 ounce bag of Marshmallows
7 cups Cocoa Krispies
14 bag unwrapped caramels or caramel chips
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups peanut butter, divided
1 12 ounce bag semisweet or dark chocolate chips


Spray or butter a 9x13 pan. Set aside

Place the butter and marshmallows  in a medium size saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir frequently until completely melted and smooth. Turn off heat and at 2 cup intervals, stir in all the cocoa krispies until completely coated. Pour into buttered pan. Coat hands with butter or spray and press in mixture. Place in refrigerator to chill.

In another saucepan, add caramels and water over low heat. Stirring frequently until smooth. Add 1 cup of peanut butter to the caramel mixture and stir until completely blended. Pour onto the chilled krispie mixture and spread to the edges. Place the pan back in the refrigerator.

Over low heat, melt chocolate chips in a saucepan. Stir frequently, so that the chocolate does not scorch. When melted, add the remaining 1/2 cup of peanut butter to the mixture until blended. Pour chocolate mixture over the caramel layer, spreading to the edges in an even layer. Place dessert in the refrigerator to chill. Once chilled, cut into squares. Eat.

Mixing the Cocoa Krispies with the caramels, peanut butter and chocolate is like a perfect combination of flavors. Pure Heaven. And NOT just a Rice Krispie treat. Totally kicking it up a notch.

Rob, I will miss you. You were truly an amazing person. Thank you for being my friend and neighbor.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tropical Smoothie

Next week, my Husband and I are going on vacation. We will be going to FLA to visit my Mother. She  spends her winters in the Naples area. It is a beautiful place to visit. My Mom is literally on the beach. I am hopeful to see my Sister and her family. She lives on the other coast. It is a great break from everything going on around here. I can sit on the beach and do NOTHING. (right) There are people from our hometown and the surrounding area there to see. The people that are in her building are mostly from the Midwest. Great group of people to hang out with.

This beach is where a large amount of my shells have come from. We like going on morning walks and finding shells. It is also a bit of exercise to start the day. Then my day will consist of sunning, eating, reading, cocktails and telling stories. LOVE IT. In any order.

In order to go on vacation, I really needed a pedicure. My Husband actually caught the hint, and He gave me this for Valentine's Day.

Thank you Tiffany from Divas. You are the bomb. Best Pedicure I have ever had.

I am also starting to clean out my refrigerator to get ready for vacation. There sat a VERY overripe Pineapple and two wrinkly Mango's. I was worried that everything was garbage, but I lucked out. This recipe would have to be adjusted with a sweetener due to the ripeness of your fruit.

This was one of the best tasting smoothies I have ever drank. It was like a tropical vacation in a glass. It is almost like being in FLORIDA. Ok, probably not, but it did taste good.

Tropical Smoothie

2 very ripe mangos
1 very ripe whole pineapple
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
3 cups almond milk

Set up blender. Remove pit and skin from Mango's and place in blender. Remove top, remove skin and core from the Pineapple and place chunks in blender. Add 1 scoop of  Vanilla Protein powder and add the 3 cups of Almond Milk. Blend.

If  you would like to add ice, be my guest.

Fabulous, the only calories came from the powder and milk. 
Make your own smoothies, forget the mixes. This was easy and tasted amazing.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Red Velvet Cake

Happy Valentine's Day ~~ One day late.

I will forever be running late. I really wanted to post this yesterday, but I had such a wonderful evening with my Sweetheart. We had Fillets, Lobster tails and steamed Vegetables for dinner at home. I decided we could splurge on a holiday. This is hardly pig out food   My Husband and I have started level two on Beachbody's Insanity. It is a kick butt cardio workout. We have worked out everyday. My Husband is of course seeing results, me... small changes.

As I was surfing around the internet, I came across this lovely recipe for Red Velvet Cake. I do not believe I have ever tasted a good Red Velvet cake. It is usually dry and flavorless, ahhh but not this cake.

This cake was baked in a 11 x 13 pan. The recipe call for two 9 inch round pans. I am sure you could also use a 9 x 13 pan for a taller cake. So many options for deliciousness. Did I also mention this fantastic cream cheese frosting. O my goodness.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
followed exactly by
December/January 2007

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter softened
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
16 ounces cream cheese cut into 8 pieces softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the CAKE: Adjust oven racks to the middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your cake pan. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and eggs in large measuring bowl. Mix cocoa with food coloring in a small bowl until a smooth paste forms.

With a electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy for 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl as necessary. Add one third of the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just incorporated. Add half of the buttermilk mixture and beat on low speed until combine. Scrape down bowl. Repeat with half of remaining flour mixture, remaining buttermilk mixture and finally flour mixture. Add the cocoa mixture on medium speed until completely incorporated. Using rubber spatula, give batter a final stir.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes depending on the size of your pan. Bake until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and turn out and cool on racks for at least 30 minutes.

 For the FROSTING: With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy about 5 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time. Beat until incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Refrigerate until ready to use.

When cakes are cooled, spread frosting on the individual cake or cake layers. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

I placed cake in Valentine's liners to give out to my friends and neighbors

Soft and Moist and a Perfectly Cut Cake--Delicious

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cold Oatmeal

I have this new passion. COLD Oatmeal. My Mother just shakes her head and tells me she will continue to eat her perfectly good warm oatmeal. Cold Oatmeal is like an action punch. It  fills you up and gets you through the morning. You really could eat this anytime if you wanted. I am so loving this, I wish I had not waited so long.

What flavor to like. OMG, I have not found one I did not like. I guess because I am making this. I have tried some new combinations, and loved them also. Protein bars have been my go to breakfast forever. They work, they even satisfy my chocolate craving. But they get expensive and they are loaded with preservatives. Oatmeal is CHEAP. A large container will go a long ways. I have been adding Almond milk to my Oatmeal. I am digging that also. On Saturday mornings, I have a bowl of cereal with Almond milk. I also add Greek Yogurt to my Oatmeal. Gives you your Calcium and Protein all in one scoop. My last little treasure that is added to my COLD Oatmeal..... Chia Seeds. Another: Love them!! They are loaded with Omega 3's and Fiber and have more punch that Flax Seeds. They also remind me of mini Tapioca. My Mother made Tapioca pudding for my sisters and me when we were youngsters all the time. Yummy. Just a brain thing.

I am going to give you the basic recipe. Then some additions you can make, and the rest is up to you.

Cold Oatmeal
adapted from

serves ONE
1/2 cup uncooked Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoon Chai seeds

Place all ingredients into a small bowl, mix well, cover and put into the refrigerator overnight. DONE!

It really cannot be any easier than that to have Oatmeal in the morning. IF YOU WANT, you can heat your oatmeal in the microwave. My Husband likes it warm sometimes.

This particular Oatmeal has Dried Cranberries, Coconut and Slivered Almonds. The flavor combination was fabulous

This Cold Oatmeal had Mandarin Oranges diced up, 1 tablespoon Peach Preserves and Slivered Almonds. A very fresh taste. A Peach Pie for breakfast.

For two servings, I used 1 serving of Apple Sauce and Cinnamon. A thousand times better than a packet of Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal. I also added raisins to this combination. OMG Very Delicious

This is Heaven. 1 teaspoon of Cocoa Powder, 1 tablespoon of Peanut Butter and 1 teaspoon of Honey. This bowl was Protein packed and will keep you full for hours. You might even want to try it with Nutella.

There are tons of different variations you can do. The options are endless. What I really like about this recipe is, you are eating Oatmeal with good things added to it. It is "mostly" healthy and loaded with nutrients. You will look at a package of Oatmeal very differently. ENJOY.