Enjoy Chocolate Nut Clusters on Valentine’s Day!

Hello Beautiful People,

I know you have been seeing everything from hearts to stuffed teddy bears to chocolates for Valentine’s Day.  I am wishing everyone a Happy Lovers’ Day, Happy Love Yourself Day, A Happy Be Good To Me Day, a Happy Be the Best You Day! I want to see a smile on your face. Another person doesn’t define who you are, so don’t get caught up in why you don’t have anyone and you are feeling alone. You can’t get caught up in that because you are already pretty terrific because God made only one you and that’s even if you are an identical twin.

I thank God for my husband; but you know what? I never thought I would be married. I never dated because I grew up in a strict household and I never thought that I was that attractive. For me, being married is totally God’s plan.

I wanted to share a Valentine recipe that my husband and I have made. It is delicious and easy. The scrumptious Chocolate Nut clusters are fun to make and you can store them in the fridge in a covered container. Lets get to the recipe.

Milk Chocolate Nut Clusters

Delicious Nut Clusters

  Ingredients
24 oz. bag of Nestle milk chocolate morsels or dark chocolate morsels
Unsalted peanuts, cashews, pecans or walnuts
Peppermint Oil (Optional)

Utensils
Glass bowl
Saucepan
Tablespoon 
Wax paper for pan

Directions
First,  place all ingredients on countertop so that everything at is close at hand.
Put a 1 1/2 inches of water in a sauce pan on the oven burner and bring the water come to a boil.

Melting the Chocolate

Place a glass bowl on top of the saucepan, like a double boiler. Add the chocolate morsels, (I used milk chocolate morsels in this recipe) and begin to stir until it is smooth and silky. You can also add in a few drops of peppermint oil if you enjoy the flavor. If not, can definitely leave it out.
When the chocolate is fully melted and stirs easily, take the bowl out of the saucepan and place on a towel.

Adding in the Nut Clusters

Add in the desired number of peanuts or other nuts and continue to stir. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the chocolate and nuts onto a 9″ x 12″ pan that has been lined with wax paper (parchment paper).  Depending on how large you make your clusters, you may need more than one pan.

Place the pan in the refrigerator until the clusters are firm. After they are firm, place the clusters in a secure bowl with cover for storage. Enjoy!

On Valentines Day, enjoy yourself whether you are with the love of your life, with friends celebrating, or a night in watching a great movie reading that favorite book.  Be good to yourself and get a chocolate nut cluster with some tea!

 

It’s National Cookie Day!

Good Evening Wonderful People!

Have you ever noticed that there is a holiday for everything. And today is no exception.
It is National Cookie Day!!

Cookies are one of my favorite treats, especially when they are homemade and for the holidays. Nothing completes a Christmas meal like a good homemade cookie.
Some of my favorites are chocolate chip and peanut butter.


The Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

We featured the recipe for these peanut butter cookies last year and you can find it here!
They are super easy to make and super tasty.

We often look for  new recipes that are healthy, but still very tasty. We found these oatmeal raisin cookies that are made without sugar.

Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Each year, we take part in a fast with our church family. During the fast, we do not eat any meat; but we also do have any sugar. These cookies are perfect for those times. The recipes can be found here!

This year, we found a great recipe for a Cranberry Oatmeal Cooke that we hope to try over Christmas holiday. Cranberries are one of our favorites and had been looking for a healthy and easy recipe. Here it is!

Ingredients
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 banana, cut
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup white chia seeds
1/4 cup plus 1Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

Directions
— Heat oven to 350 degrees (F), and lightly coat a baking sheet with a thin layer of coconut oil.
— In a bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice.
— Add oats, cranberries, walnuts and chia seeds.
— In a blender, mix coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add the banana and blend again until smooth.
— Stir in dry ingredients, into banana mixture. Drop batter on baking sheet, about an inch apart, to make 24 cookies.
— Bake for 15-20 minutes until cookies are brown and mostly firm. Let cool for 5 minutes. then enjoy!

Let us know which cookie is your favorite? May you will try one of these and add it into your holiday spread. If you try these Cranberry Oatmeal, let us know what you think.

Thanksgiving Holiday Childhood Memories

Happy Thanksgiving Beautiful People!

My Grandmother’s house

When I think of the holidays, I think back to when I was a little girl spending time with my family. My grandmother was a wonderful cook and she would prepare a full spread with all the goodies. My mother was also a good cook, however, she spoke fondly of my grandmother staying up at night putting the dressing in the oven, taking it out after it was done and then putting the capon and goose in the oven. Although not necessarily at the same time.

What is capon, you say?

Capon 2014

Most of the time when I tell people that my Grandmother prepared capon for Thanksgiving they would not know what I was talking about. My mother prepared the traditional turkey, but a capon was just as familiar and not strange at all.
A capon is a castrated rooster that is fattened to make the meat more tender.
Growing up, I did not know what a capon was. It was not until I became in adult that I learned more about it. I knew the bird was a chicken; but that was all. After I was married, I went to my local Farmer’s Market and saw a fresh capon available. I felt nostalgia inside, thinking back to my childhood. I purchased it and prepared it for my husband who never had capon before. My husband really enjoyed it and when he asked me what type a bird it was. We were wondering, so we some research. When I found out what a capon was, it equipped me with knowledge. It kinda felt like I came to the table thinking I was eating something completely different than what I thought I was eating. It’s my choice if i want to continue to cook capon for Thanksgiving.  Really, people don’t realize how their meat comes to the table so it’s smart to be a wise consumer whether chicken, beef, fish, whatever. It’s really something to see that capon is now considered to be a delicacy and has been around since the middle ages.
Will I stop eating meat? No. Will I have capon every Thanksgiving as an adult? No. I have had it twice since my childhood.

Childhood Memories
I had great childhood memories of my Mother, my Dad, and I lived right around the corner from my Grandmother. I  spent practically all my Thanksgivings with her. She was a strong woman of faith and I can’t tell you how much wisdom and knowledge that she instilled in her children and in me. She was better than a cook. She was a diva chef who taught me many different recipes and cooking capon was a small facet of that. Thanksgiving also meant picking and cleaning collard greens, picking string beans and peeling potatoes. She would bake at least ten sweet potato pies and give out to her family to take home with them.

I will never forget my Grandmother taking the time to show me how to make biscuits in her kitchen. She worked as a cook in a high school cafeteria and it’s amazing how I will hear students talk about how they remembered Ms. Blue.

1967 Sumner year book

I would remember my mother, grandmother and I would go to the grocery store and the cashier would say look at the three generations.These memories are so precious to me because my Grandmother, my mother, and my Daddy are in heaven.  So take hold of those special memories and don’t take your family for granted. If you haven’t told them you love them call them up and tell them.

If you are by yourself on this Thanksgiving Day, remember that you are not alone. God is always with you and He loves you.

Happy National Zucchini Day!

Hello Wonderful People!

Happy National Zucchini Day!
Who knew that there is a holiday devoted one of my favorite summer vegetables.
Zucchini is such a versatile veggie. You can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

You can start your day with some zucchini bread. We have tried several different recipes; but our favorite one from my mother. Her recipe tastes so good and your really don’t know you are eating zucchini, maybe that is because she tops it off with sugar or that the zucchini is finely shredded. MMMM … I can taste it now. Whenever we visit my mother, she will usually load us up with a couple of loaves, and some homemade raisin bread and homemade chocolate chip cookies. But we have finished off our last supply from the last visit. I guess it is time for another trip to see momma!

One of the best ways to enjoy zucchini is adding it to a homemade veggie pizza. Frozen pizza and fast-food style pizza taste so processed to me. They are oily, doughy and don’t have must taste. I don’t remember the last time that I had either one. If we don’t make it ourselves, then we don’t eat pizza. To make your own, all you need is some whole-wheat bagels, or everything bagels, or a pre-made crust of your liking; and then add your favorite toppings. We usually will make a veggie pizza with mushrooms, zucchini, squash and tomatoes; and sometimes fresh spinach. Top it off with some provel cheese and you have one tasty pizza that will be beat any fast-food pizza. If you are not familiar with provel cheese, it’s a Saint Louis thing. The Saint Louis style pizza has provel cheese and it is differently our favorite.

Homemade Veggie Pizza with Mushrooms, Zucchini, Squash and Tomatoes!

 

I will add zucchini to almost anything that I am making for dinner. Whether it is fajitas, pasta, stir-frys or chili; zucchini will make it all taste better. I will steam broccoli and carrots; and then add some zucchini to it, and top it off with cheese sauce. It makes a wonderful, but simple side dish. Another option is to fry red potatoes, zucchini, squash and broccoli for a tasty sautéed side dish. No matter what cuisine you are making, zucchini will enhance the taste. The zucchini will add a bit of heartiness to the Italian pastas. It will add a bit of crunchiness to the Chinese stir-frys. And it will add an unexpected punch to the Mexican fajitas. Never underestimate the power of the zucchini.

Italian style veggies with risotto. A perfect side dish or a even a main dish.

 

How do you incorporate zucchini into your meals?
Let us know in the comments below your favorite recipe or if you have a favorite zucchini memory.

Until then, Happy National Zucchini Day!

Monday Menu Makeover: Maple-Glazed Salmon with Almonds and Pecans

Greeting Wonderful People!

We often hear that eating salmon at least once a week can provide many great health benefits. Salmon is a good source of protein and rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. A 3.5 ounce serving of salmon is loaded with essential vitamins, like potassium, selenium and many in the B family.

But how do we prepare salmon in a way that it is tasty and fun to eat. My experience with salmon has been boring and not that great to eat. You can put it in the oven and bake it; but I have found that it dries out. You can put in a skillet on the stovetop, but that can make it too rubbery. In both cases, the salmon may be healthy, but it was not an enjoyable meal.

Maple-glazed salmon with almonds and pecans

I discovered a method to prepare salmon in only ten minutes that is tasty and is sure to please the entire family. I call it Maple-Glazed Salmon with Almonds and Pecans. Here is the quick and easy recipe that you can prepare for dinner tonight.

  1. In a 9-inch skillet, add about two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of minced garlic and two salmon fillets. I use the frozen fillets, but fresh ones would work just as well. But keep in mind the cook time will be much faster.
  2. Add seasoning salt, black pepper and herb provence to both sides of the salmon fillets.
  3. Sauté on medium heat for two minutes.
  4. Turn over the salmon fillets. Add small amount of water to the skillet and put on the lid. The salmon will cook very quickly so keep an eye on it.
  5.  Add the maple syrup to the top of the salmon fillets and around the edge of the skillet and reduce the heat to low.
  6. Turn the salmon fillets again to allow the maple syrup to fully coat both sides of the fillets.
  7. Allow the salmon fillets to simmer in the maple syrup for about a minute.
  8. Add the sliced almonds and pecans to the skillet and continue to simmer for another minute.
  9. Remove the salmon fillets from the skillet and place on serving plate.
  10. Allow the almonds and pecans to continue to cook in the maple syrup until the maple syrup had reduced down.
  11. Pour the almonds, pecans and maple syrup over the top of the salmon.
  12. Pair the salmon fillets with your favorite vegetable and potato. We like sautéed brussel sprouts and roasted potatoes.

The maple syrup cooking down with the almonds and pecans.

The Maple-Glazed Salmon with Almonds and Pecans is one of our favorite choices for dinner. The sweetness of the maple syrup mixes well with the seasoning salt and garlic for an amazing flavor. The almond and pecans add a crunch to the flakiness of the salmon. The presentation looks like you spent hours preparing it; but it is ready in only ten minutes. The whole experience will leave your mouth wanting more.

I hope that the quick and easy recipe for salmon will be a favorite for you and your family. If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out. I would enjoy hearing from you.

Start Your Day With belVita Breakfast Biscuits

Hello Wonderful People! Happy New Year!!
It is the only the second day, but I hope your 2017 is off to a wonderful start.
It is that time of year when most people talk about new resolutions to incorporate in their life. I, myself, I do not make any New Year’s resolutions. I am constantly in the habit of evaluating my life and look at ways to improve myself. I do this year round, and so I don’t have to wait until the first of the year to make a change.

But if you are looking to incorporate some changes in the new year, it is my hope that you get your desired results. I recommend to achieve your goal is to start small and work your way up. If you desire to loose weight in 2017, set your ultimate goal and the date by which you want to accomplish this goal. Then, to get started, set smaller goals that are easier and quicker to achieve. If, by the end of 2017, you want to lose 50 pounds, I suggest that your first goal is to loose five pounds in January. Then, when you have accomplished that goal, work up to ten pounds by the end of February. It is easier to convince your mind that you can reach the five pound goal than it is to reach fifty pounds.

Add belVita Breakfast Biscuits to your breakfast menu

If loosing weight is your goal for the new year, diet and exercise will work well together to achieve it. However, if exercise is not an option for you at this time, then turn your focus to your diet. It is important to evaluate what you are eating and make healthier choices that will aid in loosing the desired weight. Maybe it is time to eliminate those sugary, high-calorie danishes at breakfast and replace them with belVita Breakfast Biscuits. Our family has been eating belVita Breakfast Biscuits for more than two years and enjoy the many flavors and varieties. Our favorites are the Cinnamon Brown Sugar and Blueberry biscuits. There are also belVita Soft Baked Biscuits and belVita Bites. There is sure to one option that you will enjoy. When combined with your breakfast that includes a serving of fruit and milk, the belVita Breakfast Biscuits will give you four hours of steady nutritious energy to keep you going all morning long. The belVita Breakfast Biscuits also make for a great Grab-N-Go breakfast if you need to eat on the run.

If you are not convinced that belVita Breakfast Biscuits are right for you and your family, I suggest that you head out to your local Walmart on January 7th or 8th (2017) and check out the special belVita Breakfast in-store event. Each participating location will offer belVita Breakfast samples, exclusive savings, smoothies, giveaways and more. Events will take place at select Walmart locations between 12:30 pm – 6:30pm. To find a Walmart near you, click here. There will also be a special offer available from Ibotta beginning on January 4th. More details to follow soon.

Picking up more belVita Breakfast Biscuits at Walmart.

I just purchased another box of belVita Breakfast Biscuits at Walmart. We are looking forward to trying the Golden Oat flavor. I know it will be great addition to our breakfast menu. With so many flavors and varieties to choose from, I know that the belVita Breakfast Biscuits will be a winner for you.

FTC Disclaimer:
Bubbling With Elegance And Grace was compensated to purchase the belVita Breakfast Biscuits and to write this article. However, all opinions about belVita Breakfast Biscuits are our own.

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