Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares

I found this recipe through Pinterest, and my FAMILY loves it! It is the perfect breakfast bar, and it comes together really FAST, so that is a winner in my book. We sometimes are known to SPREAD a little extra PEANUT BUTTER on top, or even some Nutella. Mmmmm!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares (from tastebook.com)
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well. Pour into a greased 8 x 8-inch baking pan and then bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Eat warm and enjoy!

TIP: Some chocolate chips would be a FAB addition!


Chopped Mango Chicken Salad

About a month ago, my husband and I went to TRADER JOE'S and I discovered something amazing—Roasted COCONUT Chips! The moment I opened the bag and sampled the "chips" I starting DREAMING of this salad. It is refreshing and light and absolutely DELISH!

Chopped Mango Chicken Salad
Romaine lettuce, chopped
Chopped cooked chicken (I cooked mine with olive oil and Montreal Chicken Seasoning)
Red bell pepper, chopped
Red onion, chopped
Fresh ripe mango, chopped
Extra sharp white cheddar cheese, cut into little pieces
Avocado, chopped
Trader Joe's Roasted Coconut Chips
Wonton strips (I buy these on the "salad" aisle at Target, or you could just make some!)
Kraft's Mango Chipotle salad dressing

Build your salads on individual plates starting with a handful or two of lettuce, then top with the chicken, bell pepper, onion, cheese, mango, avocado, wonton strips, and the coconut chips. Drizzle dressing over top.

TIP: Mix and match your salad toppings! I think chopped macadamia nuts would be fantastic in place of the wonton strips, and gorgonzola cheese might be fun instead of the extra sharp white. :)


Ding Dong Cake

So I've seen a few "Ding Dong" CAKES on Pinterest and wanted to try something like it. When I promised my sister-in-law an OOEY and GOOEY chocolate dessert, I decided this was what I should make. (She was kind enough to snap a picture of it for me!) Anyway, the FILLING is unlike any you've probably ever had, and the cake really is just SOFT and MOIST. My family and I got a sample after I leveled the cake layers. I'm not gonna lie. It was GOOOOOD! Maybe make it for dad? You still have time . . .

Ding Dong Cake
1 box devil's food cake mix
Ingredients called for on box
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
1/4 to 1/3 cup sour cream (I use light)

Filling (from Food.com)
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 can fudge or dark chocolate frosting (any brand should be fine)

Mix cake mix together with ingredients called for on box. Stir in the dry pudding mix and sour cream. Bake as directed on box for 8-inch-round pans. Let cool completely on wire racks.

While cakes are cooling, prepare the filling. Combine the milk and flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until thick, then set aside to cool. In another bowl, beat together the butter and shortening for 4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat 4 minutes more. Add the flour mixture and beat 4 minutes more.

Level each cake layer and discard (or eat!) what you remove. Slice each layer in half so you have a total of 4 cake circles. Place a cake layer on a cake platter or stand. Top with a third of the filling and another cake layer. Repeat two more times, ending with the fourth cake layer.

To frost, remove frosting from the container and heat for 10 to 15 seconds so it is soft enough to spread. Cover entire cake.

TIP: I'm sure this filling would be fabulous in numerous desserts!


Pink Baby Shower!

So I know I usually just post recipes, but I had an all PINK baby shower for my sister-in-law and wanted to share. I think all the pink turned out super cute and SWEET. Perfect for our new little niece that will be arriving this summer! I did include a recipe for the cute dipped marshmallow POPS shown in the picture below—they were too CUTE not to! The best part about this type of shower is that you could customize it to any color!

Items shown include:
Strawberries with a "pink" fruit dip
Brownie topped with white chocolate drizzle (dyed pink of course!)
Frosted sugar cookies with sprinkles
Mini cupcakes with pink cream cheese frosting and sugar crystal sprinkles
Strawberry Whoppers, Watermelon Fruit Rings, Pink Peppermints, and Mike & Ikes
White Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

White Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows
1 bag large marshmallows (I actually used strawberry marshmallows so it would be pink inside!)
20 to 25 white sucker sticks
1 bag white chocolate chips or melting disks
Pink sprinkles (must be the little "ball" kind!)

Open marshmallows and start pressing them onto the end of the sucker sticks so they are ready to go, as you have to move fairly fast. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute or so, using 20- to 30-second increments, stirring well each time until it finally stirs smooth. Dip the marshmallow in the chocolate and then swirl around and let the excess chocolate drip off. Place on a sheet of waxed paper and let sit for a few seconds and coat with a nice layer of sprinkles. (I usually dipped about 3 marshmallows and would then add the sprinkles starting with the first one.) Set in a glass to finish setting. 


Simple S'mores Rolls

Looking for a fun Father's Day TREAT? These S'mores with a twist are sure to put a smile on that SPECIAL guy's face! My kiddos loved putting these together, but I think they LOVED eating them even more. DAD got a couple too though, so it all worked out!

Simple S'mores Rolls
1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls (I used the reduced-fat)
Large marshmallows
Semisweet and milk chocolate chips
Cinnamon sugar

Roll out the refrigerator dough and separate all the triangles. (I just buy the cheapo brand that has 8 in a container.) Slightly spread out and flatten each triangle. Place a marshmallow and 6 or so chocolate chips—we did a mixture of both chocolates. Roll up and try to completely seal in the marshmallow and chocolate (we weren't completely successful as you can tell from the pics!). Roll in cinnamon sugar to coat. Bake according to package directions or until golden brown and firm. Eat warm!

TIP: These really don't reheat well, so be sure to eat them all!