No Bake Chocolate-Peanut Flaxseed Butter Bars

No Bake recipes bar cookie recipes are some of my favorite cookie/bar types of desserts, especially this time of year when I’m so busy. I quickly mixed up these up  one afternoon, and my kids told me these were a “home run” (well that was what the boys said). My daughter loved them even though she isn’t a coconut fan. These No Bake Chocolate Peanut Bars call for ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. These make a great afternoon snack, dessert (with milk) and an easy homemade gift for Christmas or Hanukkah.

Peppermint Milkshakes: Only 3 Ingredients

I first made this recipe for Peppermint Milkshakes on my blog in December of 2008 when I literally threw three ingredients together in a blender for my kids instead of taking them to get peppermint ice cream. Since then, I have been making these religiously for parties and for my 3 kids. It has been one of the most heavenly requested recipes from my children’s friends who have come to my house and tried them. Whenever I’m invited to a holiday party, I typically get asked to make these. This past sunday night, I made them for 28 people, and it was beyond an absolute hit. So many requested me to post the infamous recipe one more time so they can make them for their family Christmas events. Here it is…Enjoy!

Healthy Holiday Appetizer: Pear, Pecan and Gorgonzola Crostini

If you’re looking for a simple holiday appetizer for Christmas or Hanukkah, look no further. These Pear, Pecan and Gorgonzola Crostini are so fresh, pretty and easy to make. I am making these on television today for a  “healthy holiday appetizer” show on NBC 13 Daytime Alabama. You can find this recipe and 399 others in my latest cookbook, “400 Best Sandwiches: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments” published by Robert Rose.

 

Molten Cake in a Mug

It’s the time of year when my kids get hooked on any type of hot chocolate desserts. My 3 kids especially love “molten” and “lava” cakes. So, I thought, “Why not change a recipe around a bit to create another tasty treat for them.” Instead of using ramekins, I tried some fun stoneware mugs. These Molten Cakes in a Mug came out absolutely wonderful. They make a simple, inexpensive holiday gift. Just purchase a stoneware or ovenproof mug, and tie a recipe card with this recipe to go along with it. It may just be what my neighbors are getting :). I hope they aren’t reading this…

Snowmen Cookies by Callye of Sweet Sugarbelle

When I first saw Callye’s incredible blog, The Adventures of Sweet Sugarbelle, I was in awe. My daughter, Leigh, and I couldnt decide which cookie to make first. Every time she posts, it’s the first thing I post on Pinterest. I look forward to her incredible inspirations weekly, and I truly believe she is one of the sweetest, most humble and most talented cookie decorators out there. I’m so honored to know her, and I’m so excited that she was willing to show a new creation for Snowmen Cookies to my readers at Ingredients, Inc. She will be on the Martha Stewart show on December 12th on the Hallmark Channel so check her out. Take it away Callye, and thank you so much!

Hi, I’m Callye, and I love to decorate cookies. I am here today to show you how to make snowmen Cookies with an easy to find Christmas ornament cutter. These cookies are simple enough for even a beginner.

To make these cookies you will need:

If you need help with coloring and preparing icing, click HERE.

If you need help with outlining and flooding cookies, click HERE.

Begin by outlining and filling the snowman’s face.

Then, quickly use tweezers to make a face with candy pearls.  Work one cookie at a time so that the  beads will stick in the wet icing.  Let the faces dry for about thirty minutes.  Next outline and fill the blue portion of the hat.

At this point, let the cookie dry for four to five hours.  When the base is dry, use a #13 tip to add accents to the hat and orange twenty-second icing for a nose.

Let the cookies dry completely, preferably overnight.

Show up to your next Christmas party with a plate of these.  You will be amazed at the reaction you get.  It’s one of the most rewarding feelings.

This is the perfect time of year to try a little cookie decorating. If you’d like to know more, please come visit my blog, The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle, where I write about my cookie decorating fun. See you soon!


Healthy Food Gift Idea: All Natural Granola Bars

I’m always looking for new granola bars recipes to try since it’s one of mine and my 3 kid’s favorite snacks. I saw a version of this bar recipe on The Whole Kitchen by my friend Jenn which was adapted from a talented Cookbook Author (who I also know) Camilla’s Enlightened Cooking. These Homemade, All-Natural Granola Bars were a huge hit with the kids. I was so excited to share this recipe for a healthy homemade holiday food gift option. These make a great breakfast, afternoon snack or pre-workout offering. I even break them up and stir them into nonfat Greek Yogurt for a wonderful high protein breakfast. You can see me making these on Monday on NBC 13 “Daytime Alabama” at 11:30 CST on my food television segment on featuring healthy homemade food gift ideas.

Peppermint Dark Hot Chocolate Mix

Okay…my kids are obsessed with Peppermint Hot Chocolate. The past few weeks we have been visiting Starbucks more than often to savor their craving. Since I have been working on my Christmas list, I decided to create my own homemade version of Peppermint Dark Hot Chocolate Mix that will make the perfect holiday food gift. I used dark chocolate instead of milk or semisweet chocolate, but feel free to use your favorite. It has been said to lower blood pressure, work as a powerful antioxidant and even help release endorphins to boost your mood. It’s super easy and inexpensive to make, and everyone loves it.

Date-Pecan Bread with Greek Yogurt

This Date-Pecan Bread with Greek yogurt is my newest favorite healthy, quick bread recipe. I used whole wheat and all-purpose flour, flaxseed and nonfat Greek yogurt to create a flavorful, moist bread. My kids were skeptical at first, but shortly after they tried it, they were gladly helping themselves to seconds. Perfect for breakfast, dessert, an afternoon snack or holiday gift, this recipe is a cinch to prepare (no mixer needed). I bought my dates at Costco, but you can find them at any local grocery store. Dates are filled with so may health benefits. They’re full of fiber, Vitamin B, Vitamin, A, Vitamin C, Iron and potassium. They are an excellence source of energy and work wonders for the digestive system.

Acai Pomegranate Smoothie and Blendtec Blender Giveaway

I hope everyone has had a great holiday weekend. Did you go shopping? I am so excited about sharing my recipe for Acai Pomegranate Smoothie (my kid’s favorite). It tastes great, and it’s full of vitamins and antioxidants. Now, I can’t wait to announce my Blendtec Blender giveaway: One lucky winner will receive the Total Blender Combo including the Fourside and Wildside Jar, a $474 value. This blender is my newest all-time favorite all-in-one kitchen appliance. Not only does it make the best smoothies, but I have used it to prepare dips, fondues, ice cream, salad dressings, sauces, soups, milkshakes and even bread dough.

My kids have been making smoothies and milkshakes daily, and I feel great letting them try different fruits and yogurts to create new concoctions. Whether you’re in college, single or have a family, using a Blendtec is a great way to stay healthy this time of year. The winner will be able to choose a white, red or black model, and this is one of the best holiday presents ever.

To enter this giveaway, follow the steps below. Winner will be chosen by random.org on Thursday, December 1st, at 9 a.m EST.

1. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know

2. Like Ingredients, Inc. on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know

3. Follow Alison Lewis on Pinterest  and leave a comment letting me know

 4. Follow Blendtec on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know

5. Like Blendtec on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know know

6. Join the Blendtec Mailing list and leave a comment letting me know

7. Join the Ingredients, Inc. email list and leave a comment letting me know

8. Tweet about this giveaway by mentioning the following or something similar:  check out @alisonlewis @Blendtec giveaway just in time for the holidays

Happy Thanksgiving and Healthy Holiday Recipes

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have a wonderful holiday season! I have so many things to be thankful for, and I appreciate everyone’s continued support. I want to share a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday menu I developed for Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms. I had a blast working on this project, and all of the recipes are “lightened up,” so enjoy. Check out Autumn Quinoa Salad, Rosemary Garlic Citrus Rub, Pomegranate Cider, and Lightened Up Sweet Potato Casserole, just to name a few.